Serendipity SOUL | Thursday Open Thread

Hello Everyone. Happy Valentine’s Day. Have a Thunderously enjoyable Thursday.

A few tunes for you…

JOY & PAIN

ONE

MY FUNNY VALENTINE

LOVE ME STLL

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About Ametia

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

  1. rikyrah says:

    Mellie is one ruthless bitch.

    And, I love her.

    LOL

    Like

  2. Ametia says:

    YES; WHY HAVEN’T WALL STREET BANKERS BEEN PROSECUTED?

    Like

  3. Ametia says:

    CNN

    Medical examiners confirmed that the charred body found in a burned California cabin is Christopher Dorner’s, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said.

    The identification of the rogue former police officer blamed in four killings was made through dental records, sheriff’s spokesperson Jodi Miller said.

    Like

  4. rikyrah says:

    From The Grio:

    Find local black businesses with new iPhone app

    Opinion

    by Sajjad Musa, DFRAGG.com | February 12, 2013 at 1:49 PM

    Around the Way is an app for your iPhone or Android device that helps its users locate black owned businesses. The app is important because it uses technology to combat social issues that often deter minority own businesses from thriving.

    Around the Way App Version 2.0 has a pretty intuitive interface, which mimics the native iPhone maps App. This makes it very simple to use and pick up right away to help you locate black owned businesses using your phone. When you open the App, you’re greeted with a scroll bar at the top, which groups black businesses by good and services that range from beauty shops, barbers, banks and restaurants. There are also several tabs below, which allow you to view all of the black businesses in a certain area, search for specific stores or add a black business that you may have spotted.

    One of the cool features of the app is the ability to favorite locations. This app is all about supporting black businesses so this feature makes it easy for you to become reoccurring customers once you book mark your favorites spots. Business owners and entrepreneurs have the ability to add their own business to the Around The Way App Directory directly from their phone.

    Our only gripe with the App is that once you locate a business, it would be convenient if the app provided a link to open the directions in the native iOS maps or Google maps app. Check out the link below and download the app and let us know what you think. Would you use this app to find black businesses?

    Like

  5. Hey Chicas!

    I just got a bouquet of flowers delivered to my house. SG2 is happy. They’re soo beautiful!

    Like

  6. rikyrah says:

    Doctors Struggling to Fight ‘Totally Drug-Resistant’ Tuberculosis in South Africa

    TB kills more people annually than any other infectious disease besides HIV

    By Jason Koebler

    In a patient’s fight against tuberculosis—the bacterial lung disease that kills more people annually than any infectious disease besides HIV— doctors have more than 10 drugs from which to choose. Most of those didn’t work for Uvistra Naidoo, a South African doctor who contracted the disease in his clinic. For those who contract the disease now, maybe none of them will.

    A new paper published earlier this week in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Emerging Infectious Diseases journal warns that the first cases of “totally drug-resistant” tuberculosis have been found in South Africa and that the disease is “virtually untreatable.”

    Like many bacterial diseases, tuberculosis has been evolving to fend off many effective antibiotics, making it more difficult to treat. But even treatable forms of the disease are particularly tricky to cure; drug sensitive strains must be treated with a six-month course of antibiotics. Tougher cases require long-term hospitalization and a regimen of harsh drugs that can last years.
    …………………………………………………..

    William Bishai, of the Johns Hopkins Center for TB Research Laboratory and head of the KwaZulu-Natal Research Institute for Tuberculosis and HIV in South Africa, works with Naidoo and says his commitment to getting better is uncharacteristic in South Africa. TB is particularly easy to contract among people who have compromised immune systems due to HIV infection—a group that makes up about 12 percent of the country’s population.

    http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2013/02/11/doctors-struggling-totally-drug-resistant-tuberculosis-south-africa?page=2

    Like

  7. Ametia says:

    Senate Republicans block Hagel nomination after Democrats force vote

    By Ed O’Keefe and Paul Kane,

    Senate Republicans blocked Chuck Hagel’s nomination as secretary of defense in a filibuster on Thursday, demanding more time to study their former colleague’s speeches and finances after he left the Senate in 2008.

    It is the first time a national security nominee has ever faced a filibuster

    The 58-40 vote, with 1 present, came after Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) announced a few hours earlier that the Senate would push ahead, despite calls by several Republican senators to delay the vote until at least Feb. 25, when the Senate is scheduled to return from its Presidents Day recess.

    By calling the vote, Reid set up the Senate to block President Obama’s choice to lead the Pentagon, a stinging rebuke for a former colleague and member of that chamber.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/senate-republicans-have-the-votes-to-filibuster-on-hagel/2013/02/14/91afab0c-76c5-11e2-8f84-3e4b513b1a13_story.html?wpisrc=al_comboNP_p

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  8. Ametia says:

    Senate Democrats to force vote to end debate on Hagel confirmation

    By Rachel Weiner, Ed O’Keefe and Paul Kane,

    Senate Democrats are forcing a vote Thursday afternoon to end debate on the nomination of Chuck Hagel to serve as secretary of defense, bringing to a head a showdown over the confirmation of the former Republican senator which faces strong GOP objections.

    Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) announced that the Senate would vote at 4:15 p.m., pushing ahead despite calls by several Republican senators to delay the vote until at least Feb. 25, when the Senate is scheduled to return from its Presidents Day recess.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/senate-republicans-have-the-votes-to-filibuster-on-hagel/2013/02/14/91afab0c-76c5-11e2-8f84-3e4b513b1a13_story.html?wpisrc=nl_pmpolitics

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  9. rikyrah says:

    Don’t Make Nancy Mad. Just Don’t

    By Tom Levenson February 14th, 2013

    I rather think John Boehner may still be feeling a sharp, shooting pain radiating from his groin. Consider this shot, delivered last night:

    “I don’t understand that because he’s a gentleman, the speaker is,” Pelosi said in an interview with CNN published Wednesday. “But that remark [on the President's "weakness"] was — I mean, it was almost as if he was projecting onto the president his lack of being able to pass any bill that created jobs since he became speaker.”

    CNN’s Chris Cuomo clarified: “You think the speaker is projecting onto the president his own failure?”

    “Exactly,” Pelosi said. “Because he hasn’t been able to deal with his own party. There isn’t anything that he passed that we haven’t’ delivered the votes for him that has been job-creating.”

    If I may be so bold, oh Once-and-Future Speaker Pelosi? Will you be my (strictly political) Valentine?

    PS: thinking of Nancy Pelosi’s lien on certain smallish bits of John Boehner’s anatomy reminds me of the old jr. high school joke:

    Q: What do you have when you’ve got two small green balls in your hand?

    A: Kermit’s undivided attention.

    http://www.balloon-juice.com/2013/02/14/dont-make-nancy-mad-just-dont/

    Like

  10. rikyrah says:

    Biggest Loser in the World: Jim Inhofe

    by BooMan
    Thu Feb 14th, 2013 at 01:39:25 PM EST

    If you think that John McCain is a grumpy old man who shouts at clouds, he’s got nothing on Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma. Neither of them can stand Chuck Hagel for the simple reason that he is a constant reminder that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and that our invasion of that country was a gigantic strategic and (especially) moral blunder that got a lot of people injured and killed unnecessarily and at tremendous expense. When Hagel turned against the war, he turned McCain and Inhofe into mortal enemies. Yet, while McCain retains an iota of dignity about it, Inhofe recently accused Hagel of being “cozy with Iran.”

    Perhaps stung by the resulting rebukes, Inhofe felt compelled to explain himself. You see, Inhofe just took over at the Ranking Member (i.e., senior Republican) on the Senate Armed Services Committee, which was in charge of handling Chuck Hagel’s confirmation process to be the next Secretary of Defense. And he and freshmen Ted Cruz of Texas, who also sits on the committee, lobbed incendiary accusations at Hagel, including that he may have taken money from Saudi Arabia and North Korea. This is not in the tradition of the civil and bipartisan climate of the Armed Services Committee. So, Inhofe promised that he will be better behaved once Chuck Hagel is disposed of.

    http://www.boomantribune.com/

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  11. rikyrah says:

    Walker’s Medicaid rejection comes with a twist
    By Steve Benen
    Thu Feb 14, 2013 10:29 AM EST

    With six Republican governors — and counting — embracing Medicaid expansion in their states, the issue has become something of a test for the party’s various state chief executives: will arithmetic trump ideology or not?

    To reiterate a point we’ve discussed, the way the Affordable Care Act is structured, Medicaid expansion is a great deal for states, and should be a no-brainer for governors who care about lowering health care costs, insuring low-income families, improving state finances, and helping state hospitals. But many Republican governors remain afraid of their party’s far-right base, and don’t want to be seen implementing a key provision of “Obamacare.”

    That list now includes Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R), who yesterday became the 13th governor to reject the ACA’s Medicaid expansion, despite the fact that the policy would have covered 235,000 of his low-income constituents with Washington picking up the vast majority of the tab.

    But unlike the other 12 GOP governors, Walker’s story comes with a twist. As Sarah Kliff explained, Wisconsin “is in a bit of a weird position.”

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/02/14/16962077-walkers-medicaid-rejection-comes-with-a-twist?lite

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  12. rikyrah says:

    Reid sets stage for Hagel showdown
    By Steve Benen
    Thu Feb 14, 2013 11:06 AM EST.

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) announced this morning that Chuck Hagel’s Defense Secretary nomination will reach the Senate floor tomorrow morning. And by all accounts, the Senate Republican minority really will launch an unprecedented filibuster.

    But as Rachel noted last night, GOP senators still don’t want their filibuster to be called a filibuster, because they fear (a) that would make them appear extremist; (b) they’d be setting a new precedent; and (c) someone like me might point out all the times they said that cabinet nominees must never be subjected to a filibuster.

    Steve Kornacki had a good piece this morning on just how unusual this level of obstructionism really is.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/02/14/16962427-reid-sets-stage-for-hagel-showdown?lite

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  13. rikyrah says:

    Stay classy, FreedomWorks

    By Steve Benen
    Thu Feb 14, 2013 11:54 AM EST.

    FreedomWorks, a far-right activist group and super PAC, has been the subject of considerable controversy in recent months. As the Tea Party organization struggles through an ugly, internal staff shake-up, including the ouster of former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, Mother Jones’ David Corn has uncovered all kinds of ugly details about FreedomWorks’ antics.

    But nothing quite as ugly as this.

    An internal investigation of FreedomWorks—the prominent conservative advocacy group and super-PAC—has focused on presidentMatt Kibbe’s management of the organization, his use of its resources, and a controversial book deal he signed, according to former FreedomWorks officials who have met with the private lawyers conducting the probe.

    One potential topic for the inquiry is a promotional video produced last year under the supervision of Adam Brandon, executive vice president of the group and a Kibbe loyalist. The video included a scene in which a female intern wearing a panda suit simulates performing oral sex on Hillary Clinton.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/02/14/16962932-stay-classy-freedomworks?lite

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  14. rikyrah says:

    A lot of cooks in the GOP’s kitchen
    By Steve Benen

    Thu Feb 14, 2013 12:33 PM EST

    We talked recently about House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s (R-Va.) rebranding initiative, which is his fourth such effort in the last four years. Apparently, he’s going to have some company.

    When Cantor launched his first rebranding effort in 2009, it was through an entity called the National Council for a New America. What’s been largely forgotten is that it wasn’t alone — after Republicans’ electoral failures in 2008, all kinds of rebranding groups popped up to also help improve the party’s image.

    Remember organizational powerhouses like Rebuild The Party, the Center for Republican Renewal, Renewing American Leadership, and Resurgent Republic? No? Well, that’s because they all came and went fairly quickly, just as the National Council for a New America did.

    As it happens, it appears history is repeating itself. In the wake of another national cycle in which the GOP struggled, Cantor has a new rebranding initiative, and once again, he’s not the only one.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/02/14/16963297-a-lot-of-cooks-in-the-gops-kitchen?lite

    Like

  15. Ametia says:

    Scandal’s on tonight. Rik, any previews?

    Like

  16. rikyrah says:

    What ‘Friends of Hamas’ and ACORN have in common

    By Steve Benen

    Thu Feb 14, 2013 1:57 PM EST.

    From time to time, we’ll still hear Republicans complaining about ACORN, which always strikes me as odd — ACORN doesn’t exist. The organization closed its doors years ago, and is literally incapable of doing whatever it is the right thinks it’s doing.

    As it happens, fearing the efforts of groups that are both nefarious and imaginary is spreading. Dave Weigel published this gem today

    On February 7, Breitbart News’s Editor-at-Large Ben Shapiro published an explosive-looking story under the headline “Secret Hagel Donor? White House Ducks Question on ‘Friends of Hamas.’” Quoting “Senate sources,” Shapiro claimed that crucial documents on Hagel’s “foreign funding” might be kept from the Senate Armed Services Committe because “one of the names listed is a group purportedly called “Friends of Hamas.”

    It was a short item, three paragraphs, the third paragraph consisting of White House assistant communications director Eric Schultz blowing off Shapiro. It caught fire on the right in no time.

    The folks you’d expect to run with this — RedState, National Review, Mike Huckabee, Lou Dobbs, et al — did so, and last week, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who’s already prone to believe all kinds of strange things he reads on far-right websites, told Hugh Hewitt that Hagel’s ties to Friends of Hamas are “more and more concerning.”

    The problem, as you might have surmised, is that “there’s no proof that ‘Friends of Hamas’ actually exists.” As Weigel explained, “The Treasury Department, which designates sponsors of terror, has done so to many charities tied to Hamas. ‘Friends of Hamas’ is not among them. The State Department doesn’t designate it, either. And a bit less holistically, a Lexis search for the group reveals absolutely nothing.”

    So, much of the right has spent a week outraged by Hagel’s ties to an organization that’s imaginary

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/02/14/16964001-what-friends-of-hamas-and-acorn-have-in-common?lite

    Like

  17. rikyrah says:

    Obama ‘expects’ to see Pelosi as Speaker again

    By Steve Benen
    Thu Feb 14, 2013 9:56 AM EST

    It was largely heard behind the scenes, but there was a fair amount criticism among Democratic congressional candidates in 2012 that President Obama was focused too much on his election prospects, and not enough on theirs. The concerns were not without merit — though Democrats fared quite well anyway, Obama and his team spent the year largely ignoring down-ballot races.

    Looking ahead, the president has very different plans for 2014. Obama no longer has to worry about his own re-election, and he intends to take a keen interest in congressional races.

    President Barack Obama has agreed to do more than just raise money for House Democrats’ effort to win back the majority in 2014: He is also going to help with candidate recruitment.

    Obama will headline eight fundraising events in 2013 for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and more fundraisers are planned for 2014. But Obama’s agreement to help DCCC Chairman Steve Israel of New York make the sell to would-be candidates in targeted districts is also significant.

    “It’s transformational,” Israel said in an interview, adding that House Democrats are “firing on all cylinders like I’ve never seen before.”

    The Roll Call piece suggests this is an even greater priority for the president than one might imagine. Remember Obama’s victory speech in Chicago at 2 a.m. on Election Night? One of the very first things he did after leaving the stage was call Steve Israel and Nancy Pelosi, stressing his interest in the 2014 midterms.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/02/14/16961823-obama-expects-to-see-pelosi-as-speaker-again?lite

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  18. rikyrah says:

    ‘We got that in law’

    By Steve Benen

    Thu Feb 14, 2013 9:16 AM EST

    House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), talking to CBS News yesterday, on automatic sequestration cuts:
    “Don’t forget it’s the president who first proposed the sequester,” Ryan continued. “It’s the president who designed the sequester as it is now designed.”

    House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), talking to Fox News in August 2011, on automatic sequestration cuts:

    What conservatives like me have been fighting for, for years are statutory caps on spending, legal caps in law that says government agencies cannot spend over a set amount of money. And if they breach that amount across the board, sequester comes in to cut that spending, and you can’t turn that off without a supermajority vote. We got that in law. That is here.”

    These can’t both be true. Either, as Paul Ryan said at the time, Republicans got the sequester in law, or this is all President Obama’s idea.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/02/14/16961543-we-got-that-in-law?lite

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  19. Ametia says:

    SHUT THE FUCK UP; HARRY REID.

    Like

  20. rikyrah says:

    The GOP’s epic gamble

    Posted by Greg Sargent on February 13, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    The media consensus seems to be that Marco Rubio’s Big Gulp distracted from the message of his rebuttal, a circumstance that’s being broadly portrayed as a negative turn of events for him. But Brian Beutler speculates that perhaps this was a better outcome for the Florida Senator, because it distracted the public from the vacuousness of his message.

    Beutler runs through the speech’s substance, such as it was. There was a wink at climate change denial; a fusillade of the same old anti-government bromindes; a nod towards the Fannie and Freddie theory of the financial crisis; and a rehash of the idea that lowering the top marginal tax rate will uncork a rush of growth. He concludes the public would have seen through the ruse if not for the Big Gulp:

    hese are views that have marginalized the GOP over the past four years. But rethinking the agenda that attends to them has turned out to be too tall an order for the GOP. Easier to foist Rubio into the spotlight to propound it more gently than Mitt Romney did, and then hope his youth, ethnicity, and support for immigration reform will be the talismans that reverse the party’s hemorrhaging of minority and immigrant voters.

    That lazy, cynical strategy was naked on the stage Tuesday night. Republicans should be thrilled Rubio got a touch of dry mouth at the wrong moment.

    Having reached a similar conclusion about the GOP’s refusal to rethink its actual policy agenda, I’m still struggling with a question: Is it really possible that the smartest strategists in the Republican Party have decided that they don’t need to change a substantive thing aside perhaps from the party’s stance on immigration?

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2013/02/13/the-gops-epic-gamble/

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  21. rikyrah says:

    The Morning Plum: Dems to use minimum wage against GOP in 2014

    Posted by Greg Sargent on February 14, 2013 at 9:12 am

    Yesterday, both sides drew their battle lines in the coming war over the minimum wage. After Obama called for a minimum wage hike in his State of the Union speech, House Republicans dug in against it, casting their opposition as grounded in concern for the plight of low wage workers. John Boehner asked: “Why would we want to make it harder for small employers to hire people?”

    But who is really going to believe Republicans oppose a minimum wage hike for this reason?

    In an excellent piece, Steven Dennis reports that Democrats are quietly laying plans to use the minimum wage as an issue against Republicans in the 2014 elections. Dennis supplies important context: The last battle to hike the minimum wage provided Democrats with ammunition in their effort to win back Congress, which they ultimately accomplished in 2006. The minimum wage was raised the following year.

    It’s too early to say just how precisely Dems will use the issue, in which Senate races it might or might not matter, or how much of a boost it could give to Dem efforts to take back the House. But that history is an important reminder that this is a very potent issue for Democrats. As I’ve been saying here, it goes directly to the GOP’s inability — or unwillingness — to articulate a positive vision for how government can improve people’s lives. Democrats can press Republicans who oppose a minimum wage hike with a simple question: What action by government do you support to improve social mobility and boost the prospects for struggling workers who are falling behind?

    Dems are already road testing this message. Yesterday, White House adviser Dan Pfeiffer Tweeted: “If the GOP is opposed to raising the minimum wage, what is their plan to ensure people who work full time don’t live in poverty?”

    Dems believe that this battle goes directly to fundamental and deeply held voter beliefs about which party is really on the side of economically struggling Americans. Having just lost an election in which they were perceived as prioritizing the interests of the rich over everyone else, Republicans understand this, which is why they wrap their opposition to the minimum wage increase in a veil of concern for low wage workers.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2013/02/14/the-morning-plum-dems-to-use-minimum-wage-against-gop-in-2014/

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  22. Ametia says:

    NRA Caught Handing Out Newsletter Calling For Treason And Violent Revolution
    2013/02/13

    By Nathaniel Downes

    The Wisconsin branch of the National Rifle Association sure did make a mess of things this past weekend. Not only was their lobbyist caught on tape bragging about how he controls the legislature, but the NRA was handing out copies of The Reality News, an extremist right-wing publication. But not only is it an extremist right-wing publication, it’s an extremist right-wing publication calling for armed revolt to topple the government.
    Within the publication was a piece by Karl Koenigs titled, “What Would Davy Crockett Say?” In the article, he makes a call for armed revolt, to topple the democratically elected government of the United States, following with the imposition of a dictatorship, where he, and those who believe as he does, are the dictators.

    http://www.addictinginfo.org/2013/02/13/nra-caught-handing-out-newsletter-calling-for-treason-and-violent-revolution/

    And…

    LYING LIARS & THE LIES THEY SPEW

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  23. Ametia says:

    Definitely NOT ready for Primetime.

    Marco Rubio, Who Bragged About Living In “Working Class” West Miami, Is Selling His $675,000 House

    By Tim Elfrink Wed., Feb. 13 2013 at 8:25 AM

    Marco Rubio — the Tea Party’s wunderkind, GOP’s great not-too-white hope, and water’s most awkward chugger — had his moment in the national spotlight last night, delivering a rebuttal to President Obama’s State of the Union speech in both English and Spanish. The reviews are in, ranging from the Daily Beast’s “winsome” to Maureen Dowd’s “parched, sweaty and shaky.”

    But let’s talk for a moment about his humbleboast, “I still live in the same working-class neighborhood I grew up in.” Yes, that would be West Miami, where Rubio has been trying to sell that house for an un-working-class-like $675,000 so he can up and move his family to GODLESS ELITE DC.

    http://blogs.miaminewtimes.com/riptide/2013/02/marco_rubio_who_bragged_about.php

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  24. rikyrah says:

    Rubio’s Pathetic, Exhausted, Vapid Response

    Feb 13 2013 @ 1:00pm

    In the reax below, I have to say I think Conor has it right. The question I have to ask is a simple one: could this speech have been given thirty years ago? Of course it could have. It was not a political speech; it was a recitation of doctrine, dedicated to Saint Ronald, guardian saint of airports. Here is an article of faith which is now so banal it does indeed sound, as Conor notes, like a song whose lyrics have become meaningless by repetition:

    More government isn’t going to help you get ahead. It’s going to hold you back. More government isn’t going to create more opportunities. It’s going to limit them. And more government isn’t going to inspire new ideas, new businesses and new private sector jobs. It’s going to create uncertainty.

    Then this truism from the 1980s:

    In order to balance our budget, the choice doesn’t have to be either higher taxes or dramatic benefit cuts for those in need. Instead we should grow our economy so that we create new taxpayers, not new taxes, and so our government can afford to help those who truly cannot help themselves.

    Wow. Never heard that before. And this utopian, Randian future:

    If we can get the economy to grow at just 4 percent a year, it would create millions of middle class jobs. And it could reduce our deficits by almost $4 trillion dollars over the next decade. Tax increases can’t do this. Raising taxes won’t create private sector jobs.

    They did in the 1990s. And cutting taxes irresponsibly in the 2000s reduced the rate of job growth. Nonetheless the dogma is in place, like some Animal Farm slogan: “Big government” is bad. “Small business” is good. And yet, Rubio, in the few instances when he mentioned specifics that might tackle actual problems, was in favor government action:

    Helping the middle class grow will also require an education system that gives people the skills today’s jobs entail and the knowledge that tomorrow’s world will require. We need to incentivize local school districts to offer more advanced placement courses and more vocational and career training. We need to give all parents, especially the parents of children with special needs, the opportunity to send their children to the school of their choice. And because tuition costs have grown so fast, we need to change the way we pay for higher education. I believe in federal financial aid.

    Is that not government? Yes, there were things that were dead-on and I’d prefer them to what Obama is offering. A simplified tax system? There are few indications Obama is interested. This I profoundly believe:

    The truth is every problem can’t be solved by government. Many are caused by the moral breakdown in our society. And the answers to those challenges lie primarily in our families and our faiths, not our politicians.

    But sadly, the speech was also full of lies, avoidance and misdirection. This one really pissed me off:

    The President loves to blame the debt on President Bush. But President Obama created more debt in four years than his predecessor did in eight. The real cause of our debt is that our government has been spending 1 trillion dollars more than it takes in every year. That’s why we need a balanced budget amendment.

    Seriously? A president who gave us two unfunded wars, massive tax cuts, and unfunded new entitlement in our biggest spending program, Medicare, in a period of growth was more fiscally prudent than a president who inherited a collapse in revenues to 60 year-lows because of the worst recession since the 1930s? And a balanced budget amendment, which in general I favor, would have been catastrophic in the last four years as demand was wiped out of the economy. For these statements to be true, you have to live in a sealed ideological universe that hasn’t changed since 1979.

    On policies? No compromise on gun control. Immigration? Secure borders first. Growth? Drill, baby, drill – as if we haven’t. Climate change? “No matter how many job-killing laws we pass, our government can’t control the weather.” Please. Gay equality? Not a word. Foreign policy? Nothing on Afghanistan; nothing on what the last decade has taught us; nothing on drone warfare; nothing. No wonder the GOP has the lost its historical advantage on this topic.

    http://dish.andrewsullivan.com/2013/02/13/rubios-pathetic-exhausted-vapid-response/

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  25. rikyrah says:

    Michael Tomasky: …. A lot of commentators are amusing themselves by pointing out that very few of Obama’s long list of State of the Union goals are likely to make it into law while he’s in office. I say that seeing as how he’s a pretty smart man, he knows this. But he’s doing it anyway. Because he’s thinking more about history than his story, and because he understands that if he wants to be a transformational president, the change he initiates is going to have to continue well past his time – and yes, the great presidents have all thought this way.

    …. Obama knows that fighting climate change and getting universal pre-school and doing something to help the working poor are big jobs, long jobs. They’re certainly not going to happen under the current legislative configuration, and they’re probably not going to happen while he’s in office ….. his play is to inch us toward those goals however he can …. He might not be the guy who’s there to sign the bill. But he’s okay with that, too.

    …. If three or four of these things pass in the next four years, great, all the better. But if they pass in the eight years after he’s done, everyone will know who put them in motion. And I have little doubt Obama will be happy to share the credit with the then-sitting president, whoever she may be.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/02/14/obama-s-2024-strategy.html

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  26. rikyrah says:

    Jobless claims show sharp improvement, near five-year low

    By Steve Benen
    Thu Feb 14, 2013 8:39 AM EST

    Though January offered some wild seasonal swings on initial unemployment claims, the new report from the Department of Labor shows conditions improving quite a bit in February.

    The number of Americans who applied last week for new jobless benefits fell sharply, though it’s unclear whether part of the drop stemmed from the huge snowstorm that battered the Northeast. Applications for initial unemployment benefits sank 27,000 to a seasonally adjusted 341,000 in the week ended Feb. 9, the Labor Department said Thursday. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch expected a much smaller drop to 360,000 from a revised 368,000 in the prior week. Claims are now just slightly above a five-year low.

    It’s worth noting that results from Illinois and Connecticut were incomplete due to heavy snow storms, leading the Labor Department to use estimates.

    That said, the seasonally adjusted 341,000 claims is the second-best total we’ve seen in the U.S. in the last five years.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/

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  27. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone! :-)

    Like

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