Serendipity SOUL| Friday Open Thread

Happy FRY-day, Everyone!

Your CONGRESS at work, folks. Are you happy, Harry?

*WE SEE YOU, CNN WITH YOUR “COP KILLER” SPECIAL AIRING SATRUDAY NIGHT*

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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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63 Responses to Serendipity SOUL| Friday Open Thread

  1. rikyrah says:

    What Scares Republicans More Than Paying Workers a Living Wage? Voting Rights

    By: Adalia WoodburyFeb. 15th, 2013

    During his State Of The Union Address, the President spent most of his time on ideas to improve our economy and with it our lives.

    The only thing that scares Republicans more than paying workers a living wage is our right to vote. One can only imagine what they were thinking when the President said:

    ” Defending our freedom, though, is not just the job of our military alone. We must all do our part to make sure our God-given rights are protected here at home. That includes one of the most fundamental rights of a democracy: the right to vote. When any American, no matter where they live or what their party, are denied that right because they can’t afford to wait for five or six or seven hours just to cast their ballot, we are betraying our ideals.

    So tonight, I’m announcing a nonpartisan commission to improve the voting experience in America. It definitely needs improvement. I’m asking two long-time experts in the field — who, by the way, recently served as the top attorneys for my campaign and for Governor Romney’s campaign — to lead it. We can fix this, and we will. The American people demand it, and so does our democracy.”

    Combine that with Senator Boxer’s LINE Act (recently co-sponsored by Senator Ben Nelson) and Republicans see their efforts to destroy this most basic freedom go up in smoke. It’s enough to send Republicans into a fetal position for some time.

    One can almost imagine them muttering to one another. Bad enough them Democrats are sabotaging all our hard work to make sure only the right people vote. But, co-opting Mitt Romney’s lawyer, it’s a communist plot I tell ya!

    Rick Scott was probably trying to find another way to say that he had nothing to do with the reduced voting hours that forced 102-year-old Desiline Victor and many other Floridians to wait 5 to seven hours to vote.

    Perhaps the cruelty inherent in Florida’s voter suppression policies played a role in Marco Rubio’s night of the big gulp. After all, how can you possibly look voters in the eye knowing that your party was directly responsible for attacking the freedoms that Republicans say they love, but attack when it hurts their interests?

    http://www.politicususa.com/scare-republicans-paying-workers-living-wage-voting-rights.html

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  2. rikyrah says:

    Senate Democrats Revive Buffett Rule to Halt Sequester

    Friday, February 15, 2013 | Posted by Deaniac83 at 12:00 PM

    Republicans just can’t catch a break. The memory of Marco Rubio’s cottonmouth (and I’m not just talking about his bottled water moment) moment has barely faded, and the whiplashes from President Obama’s aggressively progressive State of the Union address have barely dried up. And suddenly, Democrats in the Senate are back with something else to beat up the Republicans with some more: the Buffett Rule, or the Millionaire’s tax. Senate Democrats are now proposing a new way to avert the sequester – the set of automatic spending cuts slated to go into effect on March 1.

    The Democratic proposal would establish a 30-percent minimum tax rate on incomes over $1 million to raise about $54 billion over 10 years. It would raise $1 billion more by subjecting tar sands oil to a tax to pay for oil-spill cleanups and by ending a business tax deduction for the cost of moving equipment overseas.

    The remaining $55 billion would come from $27.5 billion in defense cuts from 2015 to 2021 and $27.5 billion in farm-subsidy cuts.

    GOP might want to take a sip of water here, and towel off. This is an entirely progressive proposal to avoid the sequester – both in the cuts and in the revenue. Democrats are bringing back the wildly popular Buffett Rule and sparking the debate on fairness again – after all what American isn’t for making the uber wealthy pay at least the same tax rate as their secretary? Hell, even Ronald Reagan was for it. Democrats are adding to that a tar sands oil tax – jogging the memory of the BP oil spill – and targeting one of the most reviled industries ever – the oil barons.

    Then the cuts. Half of it comes from defense, as usual (but this would see the defense cuts for the year reduced by 75% – half the cuts are replaced by revenue, as above, and only half of the remaining half is defense). But other half, that comes from domestic spending – the GOP’s favorite pinata, would come out of subsidies afforded to big agrabusiness.

    http://www.thepeoplesview.net/2013/02/senate-democrats-revive-buffett-rule-to.html

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  3. rikyrah says:

    Virginia GOP Destroys the Conservative Argument Against the Voting Rights Act

    By: Sarah JonesFeb. 15th, 2013

    Conservatives and Republicans are waging a war on a key section of the Voting Rights Act (VRA), claiming that the South no longer has a problem with discriminating against minority voters. Ari Berman at The Nation reported on the Alabama lawsuit’s claims, “”Section 5′s federalism cost is too great” and that the statute has “accomplished [its] mission.””

    As they prepare to make this argument to the Supreme Court, Virginia Republicans just passed a new voter ID law that disenfranchises minority voters, which destroys the entire basis for their argument.

    The essential part of the Republican/conservative argument is that the Section 5 of the VRA is no longer needed because it accomplished its mission. Yes, things in the south are so great for minorities now. No problems down here, ya’ll, nothing to see!

    The Civil Rights Organization debunks the myths about Section 5, in particular the argument that it unfairly targets covered jurisdictions:

    “Fact: Congress approved Section 5 to prevent the implementation of new discriminatory laws or practices, not to punish for past practices. Section 5 applies to places that have a history of significant discrimination and where ongoing and persistent discrimination continues. Under the “bail-out” provision of the VRA, a jurisdiction can be removed from Section 5 coverage if it shows that it has not engaged in voting discrimination over the past ten years and has complied with the VRA. Recently, eleven jurisdictions in Virginia have done so.” 1

    Notice how they use jurisdictions in Virginia as an example of areas that can be removed from Section 5 because at that time, they had not engaged in voter discrimination for ten years? Well, Virginia is about to engage in voter discrimination again (which sort of suggests that the South is not to be trusted when they say all is well).

    Virginia Republicans passed a new bill (Senate Bill 719 and House Bill 1337) that would change “acceptable” forms of ID required in order to vote. Things that used to be acceptable like “current utility bill, bank statement, government check, or paycheck” will no longer work, but hey, if you have a concealed weapons permit, you are good to go. If signed into law, Virginia voters will need a photo with their ID. The bill, if signed by Republican Governor Bob McDonnell, would go into effect conveniently in 2014.

    Obviously this isn’t about proving that you live where you say you live, or are who you say you are. Virginia does not have a problem with voter fraud. It’s especially egregious since African Americans, Latinos, and the poor are the least likely to have a drivers’ license, and more prone to use the no-longer-acceptable forms of identification.

    Sure, this is most likely illegal under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, and that is exactly why Republicans and conservatives are trying to get it overturned by the Supreme Court, which will hear their case on February 27. Section 5 is the part that changed everything, because it requires states to prove to the Justice Department that the changes to voting laws do not result in disenfranchisement of minorities. According to the Civil Rights Organization, the Voting Rights Act took aim at the deliberate disenfranchisment of African-Americans in the South and Latinos in the Southwest.

    http://www.politicususa.com/va-republicans-voting-id-law-disproves-claim-voting-rights-act-unnecessary.html

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  4. rikyrah says:

    photo/1

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  5. rikyrah says:

    Never shoulda given y’all twitter

    ……………………………………

    #RacialDraft2013

    Dart_Adams ‏@Dart_Adams
    The word is that the White Delegation’s asking price for Adele is steep. According to a Black Delegate “They damn near askin’ for Blue Ivy!”

    Dart_Adams ‏@Dart_Adams
    The White Delegation has extended Mitt Romney’s contract through 2023 because “….we couldn’t unload him if we tried. We’re stuck with him”

    Dart_Adams ‏@Dart_Adams
    BREAKING NEWS: The Asian Delegation has totally released Bobby Jindal. He is now a free agent. No offers are on the table for him as of yet

    Dart_Adams ‏@Dart_Adams
    BREAKING NEWS: Stacey Dash has been waived by the Black Delegation & is now a free agent. The move shocks NO ONE in attendance…

    Dart_Adams ‏@Dart_Adams
    Aziz Ansari pointed out that in Racial Draft history NO Asian Delegate has ever been late. Not a one. Intriguing…

    Like

  6. Today in Black History: I honor my friend Myth’s maternal great-grandmother:
    SALLY LINDLEY SMITH

    Sally Lindley Smith

    Sally Lindley Smith, a strong woman, born after 1865 before 1900, after the end of slavery. She raised 5 children and 4 grandchildren. She married Joe Smith whose name was given to him because his mother did not want to name him after his father, Townsend Clark, a white man (did I mention this was POST-SLAVERY) in rural Limestone County Texas. Sally Smith raised my friend Myth’s wonderful grandmother, mother and aunt Verdene Austin.

    3ChicsPolitico honors Mrs SALLY LINDLEY SMITH!

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  7. Ametia says:

    Where’s that buck-dancin’ graphic?

    Like

    • Ametia says:

      Naw; he was speaking in generalities. LOL Malia’s too young, and I don;t believe PBO would ever let the JACKALS in on something that private about his daughter. Nice try though media.

      Like

  8. Ametia says:

    You hear that Congress?

    Like

  9. rikyrah says:

    Racist Alabama Legacy Shadows High Court on Voting Rights

    By Greg Stohr – Feb 14, 2013 11:01 PM CT

    To Frank “Butch” Ellis, the racist culture that defined Alabama 50 years ago is gone. Integrated neighborhoods are common, and blacks are winning local elections with white support, he says.

    “It’s not an issue anymore with us here,” the white lawyer said from his office across the street from the Shelby County courthouse in Columbiana.

    To Harry Jones, a black minister, the racism has just moved underground. “Shelby County has modernized the ‘good ole boy’ syndrome,” he said at his church in Calera, 10 miles away.

    Those divergent views of Alabama and the American South are at the core of a U.S. Supreme Court fight over the 1965 Voting Rights Act, the landmark law that did more than any civil rights-era measure to empower blacks at the ballot box. Which perspective the court adopts will determine the fate of a central prong of the law being challenged by Shelby County. The court hears arguments Feb. 27 and will probably rule by late June.

    The dispute is one of two major race cases now before the justices, who are also considering whether to scale back university affirmative action programs. Together, the two clashes may mark a turning point for civil rights, ending decades-old legal protections for blacks and Hispanics.

    At issue in the Shelby County case is the law’s requirement that all or parts of 16 states, including virtually the entire South, get federal approval before changing election districts, amending voting rules or even moving a polling place.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-02-15/racist-alabama-legacy-shadows-high-court-on-voting-rights.html

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  10. rikyrah says:

    Republicans still don’t ‘get’ Latino voters

    Posted by Jamelle Bouie on February 14, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    Many Republicans still can’t seem to understand that there’s far more to Latino public opinion than immigration, and that immigration reform won’t be enough to bring Latino voters to the GOP. This is neatly captured in an op-ed for Politico by Texas Rep. Lamar Smith. The Congressman doesn’t support comprehensive immigration reform (he refers to a package of enforcement and penalties as “amnesty”), but he captures what his GOP colleagues fail to understand:

    Republicans should focus on what Hispanics care about: better financial security — more take-home pay, more job opportunities and a stronger economy. That also happens to be a winning formula for all Americans.

    Under the Obama administration, Hispanics’ family income has dropped and unemployment is higher than the national average and economic growth has slowed to a crawl. Republicans should address these issues by favoring low taxes, reducing the government’s debt and creating more private-sector jobs.

    I disagree with Rep. Smith that austerity is the solution for our economic woes, but the basic point is sound. If Republicans want to win Latino votes, they need a positive agenda that extends beyond immigration. Supporting reform — and then relying on the same rhetoric of low taxes and trickle-down economics — will just give Democrats a greater opportunity to make inroads with the demographic.

    Unfortunately, there’s no sign the GOP understands the actual concerns of Latino voters. Yes, Florida Senator Marco Rubio gave his State of the Union response in Spanish and English, but the substance was little more than a variation on the economic worldview that defined the GOP’s approach in last year’s presidential campaign. And rather than find some compromise with President Obama’s push to raise the minimum wage — perhaps by offering an expanded Earned Income Tax Credit instead — Republicans denounced the proposal without offering an alternative. This despite the wide support Latinos show for raising the minimum wage — 85 percent, according to a poll conducted before the 2012 election.

    Republicans won’t make inroads with Latino voters unless they recognize the extent to which they need to offer an agenda that responds to the problems and concerns of working Americans. They’ve begun a rhetorical move in that direction — as reflected in House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s speech to the American Enterprise Institute. But they’re still promoting the right-wing, anti-government policies that Latinos refuse to accept.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2013/02/14/republicans-still-dont-get-latino-voters/

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  11. rikyrah says:

    GOP approach to sequester jumps shark

    Posted by Greg Sargent on February 14, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    John Boehner spoke to reporters today, and the main news coming out of his remarks is that he called on Senate Democrats to take the lead in passing Obama’s agenda. But buried in The Hill’s account of his remarks is something more interesting — something that really makes it clear that the GOP approach to the sequester is so deeply unserious that no deal looks even remotely possible.

    Boehner told reporters that the Senate would have to go first in coming up with a plan to avert the sequester. Then he added:

    “I’ll tell you the same thing I told my Republican colleagues at our retreat,” Boehner said. “The sequester will be in effect until there are cuts and reforms that put us on a path to balance the budget in the next 10 years.”

    So, Boehner says House Republicans are not only willing to let the sequester hit, but that the only acceptable replacement for it will be a plan that wipes away the deficit in 10 years — all without revenues.

    Let’s pause to consider what this means. Getting rid of the deficit in 10 years with no new revenues would require extraordinarily deep cuts to the federal government. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities recently ran the numbers and concluded it would require across the board cuts totaling anywhere from one-sixth to one-third of the government, depending on whether defense and/or entitlements are included. Boehner is saying that it’s either this or the sequester remains in effect.

    What’s more, consider the timing here. There’s simply no chance that House Republicans will produce such a budget by March 1st, which is the deadline for the sequester. If Boehner means any of this, he’s confirming that we’re getting the sequester, and it will remain in effect until it is replaced by a plan that is simply never, ever going to happen. Wiping out the deficit in 10 years with no new revenues would be at least as bad as the Ryan plan — probably worse — yet even that plan was loaded up with unspecified cuts and other big question marks. Republicans are never going to propose specific cuts that balance the budget in 10 years with no new revenues — ever. Boehner has, in effect, just taken ownership of the sequester.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2013/02/14/gop-approach-to-sequester-jumps-shark/

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  12. rikyrah says:

    Marco Rubio is Being Groomed for 2016

    by BooMan
    Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 12:15:00 PM EST

    Something I noticed in January, when Marco Rubio unfurled his support for comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship, was that many voices on the right who vehemently oppose “amnesty” (as they insist on calling it) were extremely reticent about criticizing him. Reading Beth Reinhard’s piece in the National Journal helps to explain why. There is a widespread feeling on the right that Marco Rubio is going to run for president in 2016 and that he will be the nominee. For the most part, this is something that is hoped for across a pretty wide spectrum of the Republican Party.
    According to Ms. Reinhard’s reporting, Jeb Bush has right of first refusal, so if he decides to run, Rubio will not. Many see Rubio as someone who can follow pretty closely in President Obama’s footsteps. Perhaps, most importantly, they see Rubio as someone who can inspire people to vote less for the man’s ideas than the man. After all, there wasn’t a tremendous amount of difference between Obama’s policies and the policies of John Edwards and Hillary Clinton. Obama was not saddled with a vote authorizing war in Iraq, and that was extremely important, but the most important thing of all was his persona. If Marco Rubio wants to be president, he is going to have to hope that he can inspire the same kind of confidence in people, because he has one of the most extreme right-wing voting records in Congress.

    Like Obama, Rubio is young, good-looking, articulate, and a racial minority. Like Obama when he began his campaign, Rubio is a freshman senator with a thin record, which has its advantages. But it also had its disadvantages. That is why Rubio is being groomed. He gave the Keynote Address a primetime speech at the Republican National Convention. He delivered the official Republican response to the State of the Union. He will travel internationally as part of his responsibilities on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He is the designated point man on immigration reform which, if it passes, will give him a high profile legislative accomplishment. These are boxes that need to be checked if Rubio is going to make a run.

    It seems that the widespread hope that is being invested in Rubio may be the catalyst for a successful effort to do immigration reform. A failure to pass a bill will damage the GOP’s Great Brown Hope just as badly as it will damage the president, if not worse. And, yet, the Republicans’ hatred of brown people is strong enough that they may not be able to help themselves.

    One repetitive obsession of conservatives is a discomfort with accusations of racism. They seem to be able to alleviate any feeling that the charge might hit the mark by supporting racial minorities. “Clarence Thomas is my favorite judge.” “I love Herman Cain.” “Look! Our chairman is Michael Steele. He’s black.”

    It’s a variation on the “I’m not racist because I have black friends” gambit that never convinces anyone. The truth is, for every conservative who enjoys supporting the rare conservative racial minority, there are dozens who won’t support them because they are unapologetically racist. Any immigration reform that includes any pathway to citizenship will be deeply unpopular on the right, and a desire to beat the Democrats with a charismatic Latino candidate isn’t going to change that fact.

    This creates a scenario nearly the opposite of what Obama faced in 2008. Obama’s great advantage was that he had not been on the wrong side of the debate over Iraq, which was the most controversial issue in the Democratic primary. Rubio will almost surely face a plethora of rivals who either voted against reform or were on the record as opposing it. Can he rely on those rivals to treat him and the issue with kids’ gloves?

    Of course, the dynamics will be different depending on whether reform passed or failed. If it passed, the GOP will want to get the maximum amount of benefit from it with the Latino electorate. That is, after all, the main motivation of conservative reformers, as John McCain openly admits. Rubio will have many staunch defenders on the right and in the establishment. If it fails, however, those who supported it will be seen as apostates. McCain’s failure to pass immigration reform in 2005, basically killed his campaign for president in 2007, before he made a near miraculous comeback. Like Romney, McCain only won the nomination after every alternative proved ludicrous. I sincerely doubt that Rubio will enjoy a similarly inept set of challengers.

    In the end, there is a lot being invested in Rubio’s ability to sell a rejected product. So far, his only deviation from Tea Party orthodoxy is his support for immigration reform. The white hot intensity of the right’s distaste for immigration reform makes it all the more necessary for Rubio to hew the line on every other issue. Far from being a new kind of Republican, he’s an extreme Republican in the most excessive Tea Party-mold. His candidacy will not signify an ideological move to the middle, but the most radical presidential candidacy since at least Goldwater, and probably ever.

    Even if we assume that he has the charisma and political chops to rival Obama, can he really overcome his record, the unpopularity of even moderate Republican ideas, and the changing demographics of the country? Can he even win his party’s nomination?

    Another thing to consider is something Ron Fournier discusses in this piece. Many Republican strategists are beginning to panic about an independent run by Rand Paul. If Paul runs as an independent after a strong but unsuccessful attempt at the Republican nomination, and if Hillary and Rubio are the two major party nominees, will the GOP be able to win anywhere?

    http://www.boomantribune.com/story/2013/2/15/12150/4057

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  13. rikyrah says:

    The Morning Plum: Over 100 House Dems tell Obama — no cuts to entitlement benefits

    Posted by Greg Sargent on February 15, 2013 at 9:07 am

    Yesterday, Senate Democrats released their plan to avert the sequester for the rest of the year — it contains $110 billion in deficit reduction, evenly divided between spending cuts and new revenues. The new revenues are derived from a 30 percent minimum tax on income over $1 million; the spending savings are a mix of defense and farm subsidy cuts. There are no cuts to entitlement benefits: No rise in the Medicare eligibility age; no “Chained CPI” for Social Security.

    However, many liberals and Democrats remain worried that in the end, the White House and Dem leaders will ultimately give ground on entitlement benefits to reach a deal. So today, over 100 House Democrats will release a letter calling on Obama to hold firm and not agree to any cuts to Medicare or Social Security benefits. From the letter, which was spearheaded by Rep. Jan Schakowsky:

    ………………………………………….

    The White House has already taken the Medicare eligiblity age hike off the table, but Chained CPI, a fancy way of describing what is in fact a real cut in benefits, does appear to be in the mix. And so, in addition to these House Democrats, other progressive groups, such as the Progressive Change Campaign Committee and CREDO Action, are mobilizing against any such cut.

    Obviously Republicans will point to this letter as evidence that Democrats are not serious about cutting spending. But what needs to be stated clearly is that the position laid out in this letter by these progressive Democrats is less ideologically marginal than the position held by the entire GOP leadership. Democrats are open to spending cuts — indeed, the plan they laid out to avert the sequester is made up of 50 percent cuts. What’s more, even these House Democrats are open to entitlement cuts, as long as they’re on the provider side.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2013/02/15/the-morning-plum-over-100-house-dems-tell-obama-no-cuts-to-entitlement-benefits/

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  14. rikyrah says:

    Those open to compromise vs. those who aren’t
    By Steve Benen

    Fri Feb 15, 2013 9:43 AM EST

    Two weeks from today, deep, automatic sequestration cuts will kick in, doing real damage to the nation’s economy, military, and public needs. Both Democrats and Republicans say they want to avoid that fate, but only one side seems to be doing anything about the threat.

    This week, House Republican leaders, including Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), said they would do literally nothing to resolve the problem until Senate Democrats acted. It was a bizarre posture to take — the House GOP freely admits it doesn’t want to do any work at all to clean up the mess Republican helped make.

    The whole point of the sequester, which GOP leaders have admitted to championing, was to get both sides to the negotiating table, but this week, House Republicans said they refuse to participate. So, as is often the case, Senate Democrats accepted the role of grown-ups, and yesterday unveiled a balanced plan to replace the dangerous policy.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/02/15/16974413-those-open-to-compromise-vs-those-who-arent?lite

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  15. rikyrah says:

    Jesse Jackson Jr. Plea Deal Could Be Filed As Soon As Friday

    Federal prosecutors are now ready to file their plea agreement with Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr., CBS 2 has learned.
    Jackson’s wife, Sandi, faces legal troubles under the arrangement

    Formal charges against Jesse Jackson Jr. could be filed as soon as Friday and Tuesday at the latest. His plea has also implicated his wife, leading to tax fraud charges against her.

    The filing at the U.S District Courthouse in Washington will not require a court appearance by either Jackson. Plea agreements will be submitted to the court clerk and assigned to judges, who will set initial court dates.

    As CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine reported last week, Jesse Jackson Jr. will plead guilty to one felony count of misuse of campaign funds and then let a federal judge determine his punishment, which according to the agreement could range from probation to five year in prison.

    Jackson’s deal calls for him to repay hundreds of thousands of dollars spent for things like travel and meals with a mistress and a $40,000 men’s Rolex watch he bought for himself. Jackson’s resignation from Congress was also part of the deal.

    But Jackson’s pleading guilty to using campaign funds for personal expenses could expose Sandi, his campaign manager, to tax-fraud charges.

    The congressman’s guilty plea says Sandi knew about improper purchases that apparently include breakfast snacks, cosmetic services, even beds purchased for campaign workers.

    Sandi Jackson is expected to accept responsibility for some things because, as the congressman’s campaign manager, she signed the tax returns.

    http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2013/02/14/jesse-jackson-jr-plea-deal-could-be-filed-as-soon-as-friday/

    JJJ to his wife….

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  16. Ametia says:

    Jon Stewart Grilled Susan Rice Over The Obama Administration’s ‘Odd’ Handling Of Benghazi

    Stewart pressed Rice, saying that the Sunday show explanations and the administration’s other initial responses were “odd.”
    “It does look like there’s a great deal of confusion there,” Stewart told Rice.
    “There is always confusion when you have a tragedy of that sort and Americans are killed,” Rice said. “The bigger tragedy is we’ve spent all of these months trying to figure out the origin of some talking points — which were cleared at the highest level of the intelligence community — and, in my opinion, not enough time doing the service that we owe to our fallen colleagues.”
    At the end of the interview, Stewart asked Rice if she wanted to respond directly to her critics.
    “They’re dead wrong,” Rice said. “And they are, in fact, doing a disservice to those we lost.”
    Watch the full interview in the clips below:

    Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/jon-stewart-susan-rice-benghazi-obama-2013-2#ixzz2KzgzXCrq

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  17. rikyrah says:

    The perilous future of infrastructure investments

    By Steve Benen

    Fri Feb 15, 2013 12:29 PM EST

    In his State of the Union address this week, President Obama spoke enthusiastically about addressing “an aging infrastructure badly in need of repair.” As he put it, “Ask any CEO where they’d rather locate and hire — a country with deteriorating roads and bridges, or one with high-speed rail and Internet, high-tech schools, self-healing power grids.”

    Presumably, the president thought the answer was obvious, and proposed a “Fix-It-First” program, talked up for years by transportation policy wonks. As Matt Yglesias explained, “[P]oliticians and real-estate developers like to open brand new roads with fun ribbon-cutting ceremonies and new subdivisions. Finding money to actually maintain roads we already have is less appealing. Consequently, we get too many miles of road (and too much sprawl), but the roads suck. The fix-it-first concept is to flip this and make sure we’re maximizing the value of our existing roads before we build new ones.”

    Plenty of Republicans, including a guy named Mitt Romney, used to think this was a smart approach to infrastructure spending, but then again, Republicans used to like cap-and-trade, the Dream Act, and an individual health care mandate, too.

    But even putting that aside, the next question is whether Obama’s infrastructure plans have any chance at all on Capitol Hill. On the surface, there’s little reason for optimism — as I’ve written more times that you’ve cared to read, we’ve basically been able to borrow money for free to make real investments in this area, creating jobs and boosting growth, but the GOP has refused.

    Neil Irwin isn’t convinced all hope is lost. With the private sector supporting new infrastructure spending, and even small government conservatives wanting “quality roads in their districts,” Irwin thinks there’s a chance.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/02/15/16975623-the-perilous-future-of-infrastructure-investments?lite

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  18. Ametia says:

    “WE’RE ON A “FRIGGIN” CRUISE SHIP.” This ain’t got nothing to do with Katrina, BITHCES.

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  19. rikyrah says:

    Rubio takes a stand against a minimum wage
    By Steve Benen
    Fri Feb 15, 2013 10:53 AM EST.

    President Obama called for a minimum-wage increase in his State of the Union address this week, and within about 10 hours, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) offered his response: forget it.

    Predictably, Boehner said what the right usually says when the subject comes up: “When you raise the price of employment, guess what happens? You get less of it.”

    This has been an ongoing debate for many years, but the evidence clearly favors the Democratic position: raising the minimum wage does not hurt businesses, and arguably helps them when more consumers have more money in their pockets.

    But there’s an angle to this that’s often overlooked. GOP leaders, including Boehner, have no qualms about rejecting a minimum-wage increase, but are generally reluctant to oppose the existence of a minimum-wage law. It’s the logical end to their line of thinking, but Republicans are loath to look like extremists given support for the minimum wage with mainstream voters.

    There are, however, exceptions.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/02/15/16974959-rubio-takes-a-stand-against-a-minimum-wage?lite

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  20. rikyrah says:

    Cuccinelli gets promotional help — from Democrats
    By Steve Benen
    Fri Feb 15, 2013 11:25 AM EST
    Virginia’s Republican gubernatorial hopeful, Ken Cuccinelli, has a new book out, and no one seems happier about that than Democrats.

    Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II’s new book hit stores Tuesday with the public readings and promotion you’d expect to accompany a missive from a big-name political author.

    The surprise was that the dramatic readings and calls to buy the book came from Democrats, who hope the Republican’s book will help sink his gubernatorial campaign.

    This week, in a Capitol Square office building in Virginia, some Democratic legislators went ahead and literally did a public reading of Cuccinelli’s book, “The Last Line of Defense: The New Fight for American Liberty.”

    I’m not a publicist or an expert in p.r. but I think it’s probably a bad sign when your rivals think it’s hilarious to read your book out loud in public.

    And in this case, who can blame them? As we learned last month when the Cuccinelli text leaked, the right-wing state Attorney General to endorse the “47 percent” thesis, condemning social insurance programs like Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid, food stamps, and subsidized housing.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/02/15/16975176-cuccinelli-gets-promotional-help-from-democrats?lite

    Like

  21. rikyrah says:

    Former San Diego mayor acknowledges using charity for gambling, losing $1 billion
    By Andrew Rafferty, Staff Writer, NBC News

    Former San Diego Mayor Maureen O’Connor acknowledged in federal court Thursday that she took $2 million from her late husband’s charitable foundation to pay for her addiction to video poker — and lost $1 billion wagering over the course of a decade.

    O’Connor, the mayor of California’s second largest city from 1986 to 1992, pleaded not guilty to money laundering as part of a deal with prosecutors that will defer the charges for two years as she attempts to repay the debt.

    An attorney for O’Connor, Eugene Iredale, told reporters outside the courthouse that his client had severe health problems, including a brain tumor, that led to her gambling addition, according to NBC San Diego.

    Iredale said his client won more than $1 billion from 2000 to 2009 playing video poker in Las Vegas, Atlantic City and San Diego, but lost most of it.

    After dipping into the red, she wound up compiling $13 million in debt, according her attorney.

    Prosecutors allege that between September 2008 and March 2009, the 66-year-old took more than $2,088,000 from the foundation started by her late husband, Jack-in-the-Box founder Robert O. Peterson.

    O’Connor was elected the first female mayor of San Diego after serving eight years on city council. She was married to Peterson from 1977 until his death in 1994, and her estate was at one time worth $40 to $50 million.

    http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/02/14/16964847-former-san-diego-mayor-acknowledges-using-charity-for-gambling-losing-1-billion?lite=

    Like

  22. Ametia says:

    the ‘Black Card': Who Gets One, and Who Gets to Keep It?
    By: Damon Young | Posted: February 15, 2013 at 12:38 AM

    Very Smart Brothas’ Damon Young — inspired by reactions to Christopher Dorner but also referring to figures like Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas — tries to unpack what makes us decide that some folks are authentically black while we retract others’ racial credentials.

    Anyway, Thomas and Dormer are just two prominent examples of this phenomenon Eere’s more..

    http://www.theroot.com/buzz/black-card-who-gets-one-and-who-gets-keep-it

    Like

  23. Ametia says:

    John McCain’s petty, childish hypocrisy
    FEBRUARY 15, 2013 · POSTED IN NEWS AND CURRENT AFFAIRS

    Want to see something that will further shake your faith in the integrity of politicians? Watch this:

    http://blog.reidreport.com/2013/02/john-mccains-petty-childish-hypocrisy/

    Did you get that?

    Hagel wasn’t held up for some important reason related to national security, or because he somehow, tangentially, ridiculously, had something to share on Benghazi that he wasn’t, or because of his finances (again unprecedented for a national security nominee) — or for any substantive reason. In fact, both McCain and his sidekick Lindsey Graham have admitted publicly that there will be the votes to move the nomination forward, and that in fact, they might vote for cloture. They’re only holding Hagel up to jam him over being mean to George W. Bush, for dissing the Iraq war, and for just generally not being nice.

    That’s JOHN MCCAIN saying that. The same John McCain who after Dubya beat him (in the ugliest possible way) in the 2000 Republican primary, made it his personal mission to make Bush’s life miserable, often to the cheers of his former fans in the non-right wing media and the Democratic Party, and who is now doing the same thing to President Barack Obama, who beat him, too. The same John McCain who has made being unpleasant into an art form. And the same John McCain who turned bucking his party into a slogan — “Maverick!”

    THAT John McCain is now lecturing his supposed friend Chuck Hagel on collegiality, and punishing him by dragging out his confirmation vote with an unnecessary, humiliating filibuster that sets a terrible precedent, and literally degrades the United States Senate.
    John McCain should be ashamed of himself. But of course he won’t be. He’s John McCain.

    Like

  24. Ametia says:

    Richard Haas; you’re one of the reasons McGrampy and Ms. Lindsey think they can trash our leaders, obstruct and showboat. They’re a disgrace to America.

    Just say it, Ms. Greenspan, the REPUBLICAN PARTY is DEAD CRAZY.

    Like

  25. Ametia says:

    Seriously? Rik, SG2, your thoughts on this?

    Rahm Emanuel May Be Toying With 2016 Presidential Run
    by Lloyd Grove Feb 14, 2013 5:15 PM EST

    Obama’s former chief of staff Rahm Emanuel might make a go for 2016, two well-connected Democrats tell Lloyd Grove—as long as Hillary doesn’t. And the potty-mouthed Chicago mayor could win

    Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is said by well-connected Democrats to be considering the idea of running for president if Hillary Clinton opts out of the 2016 race.

    he 53-year-old Emanuel, who is busy raising money for his 2015 reelection campaign in the Windy City, has had discussions both over the phone and face to face in the past month with Democratic Party donors and fundraisers about a possible White House run, according to sources.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/02/14/rahm-emanuel-toying-with-2016-presidential-run-sources-say.html?utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&utm_campaign=cheatsheet_morning&cid=newsletter%3Bemail%3Bcheatsheet_morning&utm_term=Cheat%20Sheet

    Like

  26. Ametia says:

    eb 15, 8:58 AM EST

    DORNER’S REMAINS ID’D, CAUSE OF DEATH UNCLEAR
    BY TAMI ABDOLLAH
    ASSOCIATED PRESS

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Investigators determined fairly quickly that the burned human remains found after a shootout in Southern California mountains are those of Christopher Dorner, the ex-police officer suspected in a rampage that left four people dead. But the answer to a second question will likely prove more elusive – how did he die?

    http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_LAPD_REVENGE_KILLINGS?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2013-02-15-04-59-39

    Like

  27. Ametia says:

    Revealed: Morning-After Pill Not Making Women Slutty
    These four charts show who uses emergency contraception, and how.

    —By Hannah Levintova and Kate Sheppard | Fri Feb. 15, 2013 3:01 AM PST

    The so-called morning-after pill has exploded in popularity since it was first approved by the Food and Drug Administration 15 years ago. According to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 5.8 million American women used emergency contraception (EC) between 2006 and 2010. Nearly a quarter of sexually active women ages 20 through 24 have used it.

    All told, 11 percent of fertile, sexually active women said they had used EC, whereas back in 2002, the last time CDC surveyed women, only 4 percent had.

    While more people are using EC, what’s most interesting is who is using it and how. For instance, only 5 percent of women over 30 have used it. And most who have say they have only done so once—a rebuttal to the stereotype that the morning-after pill is enabling women to be irresponsible hussies.

    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/02/emergency-contraception-plan-b-women

    Like

  28. Ametia says:

    Obama, winning the argument
    By Eugene Robinson, Published: February 14

    In his bid to be remembered as a transformational leader, President Obama is following the playbook of an ideological opposite, Margaret Thatcher. First you win the argument, she used to say, then you win the vote.

    Obama is gradually winning the argument about what government can and should do. His State of the Union address was an announcement of that fact — and a warning to conservatives that, to remain relevant, they will have to move beyond the premise that government is always the problem and never the solution.

    It’s ridiculous for critics to charge that Tuesday night’s speech was not sufficiently bipartisan. Repairing the nation’s infrastructure is not a partisan issue; bridges rust at the same rate in Republican-held congressional districts as in Democratic ones. The benefits of universal preschool will accrue in red states as well as blue. Climate change is not deterred by the fact that a majority of the Republican caucus in the House doesn’t believe in it.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/eugene-robinson-obama-winning-the-argument/2013/02/14/31f7bf32-76e9-11e2-aa12-e6cf1d31106b_story.html?wpisrc=nl_opinions

    Like

  29. rikyrah says:

    ‘What was she a victim of?’
    By Steve Benen
    Fri Feb 15, 2013 8:37 AM EST.

    In his State of the Union address this week, President Obama hoped to illustrate the need for election reform by pointing to Desiline Victor, a 102-year-old woman in North Miami, who was told when she arrived at her polling place that there would be a six-hour wait. The point, of course, was to point to a dramatic example — which no one could possibly defend — to make clear the need for non-partisan improvements to the system.

    There are, however, partisan concerns that make reforms difficult. For one thing, Republicans chose to make voting more difficult on purpose, so they don’t see a problem worth fixing. For another, as Emily Arrowood noted, the Desiline Victor story didn’t quite resonate with some on the right

    On Fox News Radio’s Kilmeade & Friends, host Brian Kilmeade and Fox’s Martha MacCallum and Bill Hemmer laughed off the difficulties 102-year-old Desiline Victor endured in order to vote in the 2012 election. Victor, who was invited to the State of the Union address and whom President Obama applauded for enduring a long wait to vote, had to make two trips to the polls and wait in line for over three hours before she was able to cast her ballot.

    Discussing Victor, MacCallum wondered, “What’s the big deal?” and said, “This is such a non-issue. Ridiculous.” Hemmer added that at the State of the Union, “They held her up as a victim. What was she a victim of?”

    Hemmer added that it doesn’t matter whether this 102-year-old woman ended up with “rashes on the bottom of her feet.”

    Let this realization sink in for a moment: the United States is the only modern, industrialized democracy on the planet that tolerates eight-hour voting lines, even for centenarians, and for Fox News personalities, it’s “ridiculous” to even try to improve the system.

    ——————————————————————————–

    Also note the shift in Republican rhetoric on this. As Michael Tuck reminded us the other day, Karl Rove was irate in 2009 when GOP voters in New Mexico were expected to wait in line for 45 minutes to vote. But now the Republican line is Desiline Victor’s ordeal is a “non-issue”?

    The “war on voting,” which is intensifying in several states, has become increasingly shameless.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/02/15/16973952-what-was-she-a-victim-of?lite

    Like

  30. rikyrah says:

    GOP Throws Tantrum, Loses Respect

    by BooMan
    Thu Feb 14th, 2013 at 06:57:20 PM EST

    The Senate failed to overcome a Republican filibuster of Chuck Hagel’s confirmation to be Secretary of Defense this afternoon. The vote was 58-40, with Sen. Vitter not voting, Sen. Hatch voting ‘present,’ and Harry Reid changing his vote from ‘yes’ to ‘no’ for procedural reasons. In other words, there were 59 votes to end the filibuster, but 60 were needed. Sen. John McCain, who had previously promised not to support a filibuster, explained to Fox News that he voted against cloture because Hagel called Bush the worst president since Herbert Hoover and he opposed the surge in Iraq.
    Supposedly, the Republicans will agree to end the filibuster after the holiday recess, or about ten days from now. Why the wait? Do they just want to make current Defense Secretary Leon Panetta miserable by postponing his return to California for the beginning of his well-earned retirement?

    Fred Kaplan says that the Republicans can no longer be trusted with our national security because their leaders have become “shallow, ignorant, and totally unserious.”

    Not to sound like a Golden Age nostalgic, but there once was a time when the members of the Senate Armed Services Committee prided themselves on having an understanding of military matters. They disagreed in their conclusions and sometimes their premises. But most of them worked to educate themselves, at least to the point where they could debate the issues, or ask questions of a general without coming off like complete idiots. The sad thing about this new crop of senators—especially on the Republican side—is they don’t even try to learn anything; they don’t care if they look like complete idiots, in part because their core constituents don’t care if they do either.
    After Tuesday’s vote, Sen. Levin adjourned the session, saying, “We thank you all, and we look forward to another wonderful year together.” The other senators laughed, but it really wasn’t funny.

    Most people won’t know or care that anything weird happened in the Senate this week. But people who actually work on national security issues in this country are feeling pretty shocked at the spectacle the Republicans have put on. The GOP has never been less trusted to safeguard the country’s security or lead its armed forces. Maybe Obama makes them crazy, but they’re doing this to themselves.

    http://www.boomantribune.com/story/2013/2/14/185720/941

    Like

  31. rikyrah says:

    The meteorite in Russia.

    Like

  32. rikyrah says:

    Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Scandal?!? Episode 14 Recap

    [ 16 ] February 15, 2013 | Luvvie

    After last week’s Scandal episode left me in need to pressure pills and sniffs of extra oxygen from Verna’s tank, I was just ready to see what was next. And when I heard that the show was jumping 10 months ahead, I knew Shonda and her team were gon shake every table. This week didn’t leave me rolling around on the floor like last one but it ended and I was unable to can with many questions.

    Water Weight – The episode starts off with Olivia in a pool swimming like Michaela Phelps. Seems that she’s tryna work off some thangs!

    Shower Shutdown – President Ghost is in the shower (owww) when Mellie walks in the bathroom with a drink he requested. She hands it to him and then joins him. She’s clearly working hard at trying to get him to give her some loving and he looks less than enthused. She heads down south to get on her knees and he shook his head with such fervor that you’d think he’d get whiplash. Maybe Mellie shoulda read Superhead’s book (-_-).

    Surprise Bed Gift – David wakes up and realizes he’s holding a bloody knife. He looks next to him and there’s a dead woman who has been stabbed with that same knife and he hops out of bed. HOW THE HELL?!? Who set this poor guy up? As he jumps outta bed, police knock on his door and it takes him a while to open it. When he does, they tell him a neighbor called saying she heard a woman screaming. A nervous David tells them that it might have been his TV being loud. Poor guy was shaking like a polaroid picture until they left his doorway. We know who Liv’s newest client gon be.

    Coffee and Flirting – Olivia is standing in line at NotStarbucks when the guy in front of her accidentally knocks her phone out of her hand. He helps her pick it up and once he sees that she’s FAHN and her hair is LAIDT like forgiveness, he starts chatting her up. They trade witty banter and he gives her his phone number. Well, check out Pope getting back in the game.

    David Gets the Gladiators – David is no fan of Liv’s but he knows that he needs the Gladiators to come fix the newest mess he’s in. They get on the scene and he says he didn’t kill this woman, whose name is Wendy. But he did sleep with her. Huck notices that his pupils are turned inward and tells him he’s been roofied. Well DAMB. The more you know. It also turns out that since he got fired as State Attorney from failing his last two MAJOR cases, he’s been blacklisted in government. He’s now a high school political science teacher whose granny had to pay his last month’s rent.. AAWWW poor guy! They really did ruin his entire livelihood.

    Showing Quinnsey the Ropes – Huck and Quinnsey are left to “clean up” the crime scene after the Gladiators moved Wendy to her own house. Huck gives Quinnsey tips on what to do to make a crime scene not staged, and he gives her the honor of re-stabbing Wendy. When she did it and smiled at him, I got worried. But Huck’s almost orgasmic face at seeing her do it made me cackle.

    Cyrus Shut Out – President Ghost is taking meetings without letting Cyrus know and it’s clear that Cy is out of his trust circle. And he’s not pleased. And Ghost doesn’t give a damb.

    Not Baby Arms – The Gladiators try to figure out who set David up for this murder so they go through Wendy’s cellphone and find hella pics of men’s bodies without their heads visible. She’s clearly run through them. They also use her Facebook posts to figure out where she was when she took the pics. Win. Also a reminder for folks to turn off the geolocation when they post. As they go through the pics, Abby asked a dumb question and Harrison helped her clarify. ”Is that someone’s…?” “Hair baby arm? No.” I AM HERE FOR HARRISON!!!

    rest here:

    http://www.awesomelyluvvie.com/2013/02/whiskey-tango-foxtrot-scandal-episode-14-recap.html

    Like

  33. rikyrah says:

    May I have some hot chocolate please?

    Like

  34. rikyrah says:

    Good morning, EVERYONE :)

    Like

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