Friday Open Thread – Party Time!

Time to let it all out, folks. And for those of us who may be trying to have a “senior” moment, I give you The Gap Band telling you to go out and “Shake Yo Booty”. Have a good weekend!

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About leutisha

I have also blogged as "The Christian Progressive Liberal" and "The Political Junkie", and I am committed to the political education and uplift of the poor and downtrodden.
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66 Responses to Friday Open Thread – Party Time!

  1. rikyrah says:

    Indentured Servitude? GOP Lawmaker Wants To Tether Immigrants To ‘The Dirtiest Jobs’

    By Igor Volsky on Feb 21, 2013 at 9:23 am

    A top conservative in the House of Representatives told NPR Thursday morning that he opposes bipartisan proposals to allow undocumented immigrants to earn a path to citizenship, but would support expanding “a guest-worker program for immigrant-labor-dependent U.S. agriculture” to ensure that farms have a steady stream of foreign labor to fulfill the “dirtiest jobs.”

    The Senate’s bipartisan framework for immigration reform includes a separate track for agricultural workers, allowing them to “earn a path to citizenship through a different process under our new agricultural worker program” and lawmakers had previously considered proposals “that would provide agricultural employers with a stable, legal labor force while protecting farmworkers from exploitative working conditions.”

    In light of current proposals for earned citizenship, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) is concerned that legalized agricultural workers will take opportunity of their legal status to abandon back-breaking agricultural work and find jobs elsewhere, leaving farmers without a stable stream of labor.

    “You’re going to have to have a program that assures those farms and those processing plants that there will be workers,” he says. “Because if you give them legal status, they can work anywhere in the United States — they’re not going to necessarily work at the hardest, toughest, dirtiest jobs.”

    Immigration reform, then, could include a compromise that requires agricultural workers to remain in the industry for a pre-determined period of time and a new temporary worker program that ensures a constant supply of farm workers.

    http://thinkprogress.org/special/2013/02/21/1619901/indentured-servitude-gop-lawmaker-wants-to-tether-immigrants-to-the-dirtiest-jobs/

  2. Ametia says:

    Where’s the OUTCRY for Pistorius” BLADE RUNNER” getting out on bail for $115,000.00, for ALLEDGEDLY killing his girlfriend?

  3. Ametia says:
  4. Ametia says:

    Give it up, Ed Rendell NO HILLARY IN 2016.

    Fuck NO!

  5. Ametia says:

    LiL EDDIE MUNSTER, ZOMBIE-EYED GRANNY KILLA’S FOR SEQUESTERS DON’T CHA THINK?!

  6. rikyrah says:

    Still going!

    @CNRush: Madonna = Icon. Janet Jackson = Bitch Who Corrupted Our Children With Her Titty #WhiteHistoryClasses

    P-Rae Brown ‏@PRB_PSM
    Media Studies: How To Create a TV Network For Women, But Only Put White Women On It: The Cultural Impact of Lifetime. #whitehistoryclasses

    @ashe_phoenix: White Privilege: Act Like the Exception, Benefit from the Rule #whitehistoryclasses

    Tmrrwppl ‏@tmrrwppl
    Nigger or Nigga: how to use nigger correctly and avoid ass whippings from Negros- Lisa Lampanelli guest lecturer #whitehistoryclasses

    Luana Y. Ferreira ‏@lingodom
    Gluten-Free, Organic, Farm-Raised and Local: Epicurean Status Symbols #whitehistoryclasses

    P-Rae Brown ‏@PRB_PSM
    Maximizing Your Double Standard: How Confederate Flag is Heritage, But a Dashiki Just Looks Ridiculous. #whitehistoryclasses

  7. Ametia says:

    Miss & love you much, WHITNEY- It’s been just over a year

  8. Ametia says:

    Mythe this one’s for you! ;-)))))

  9. rikyrah says:

    Can Hillary Kill the Modern GOP?

    by BooMan
    Fri Feb 22nd, 2013 at 10:20:03 AM EST

    As you know, in 2008, I made a commitment to the candidacy of Barack Obama after he won the Iowa Caucuses. If John Edwards had won the Iowa Caucuses, I would have thrown my limited weight behind him, albeit with significantly less enthusiasm. It was a hard stance to take because, due to the Pie Fight, my audience was made up largely of women of a certain age who had a natural affinity for the candidacy of Hillary Clinton. Most of them left the site, and I thank most of them for doing it silently and respectfully. While they were here, they were great members who taught more about women’s point of view and experience than I have learned from any other source. I never intended to alienate them, and am still conflicted about how my political judgment impacted them. The bottom line was that my opposition to Hillary was about Bill, and the people that Bill surrounded himself with. I am talking about people like Terry McAuliffe, James Carville, Mark Penn, and Paul Begala. I desperately wanted to avoid seeing those people re-empowered.
    If Hillary Clinton had chosen new and different people to lead her campaign, I might have been more open-minded, but she didn’t. I was very impressed with her performance and behavior as Secretary of State, and my opinion of her has softened considerably, but I still have all the old reservations that will impact how I feel about a potential run the Democratic nomination in 2016. I really have to compartmentalize those feelings in order to do a fair analysis of the potential upside of a Clinton candidacy.

    Yes, I still feel hostile to the idea of the Clintons taking over the party and putting all their people in charge. I still feel like her people are hostile to progressives. I still feel like we can do better. But I also know that progressive outcomes are better correlated with raw power than ideological purity. Obama is freer to let his progressive flag fly now that he doesn’t have to face reelection, but he doesn’t have the numbers in Congress to do anything.

    The big question we have to ask ourselves as we assess the 2016 candidates, is how big can than they win? Can they win big enough to retake the House and win back 60 votes in the Senate?

    http://www.boomantribune.com/story/2013/2/22/10203/7893#33

    • Ametia says:

      NO. Because Hillary and her ilk started the birther meme with “AS FAR AS I KNOW HE WAS BORN IN AMERICA.” They’re part of the problem, so how could she ever KILL the GOP.

      NO MORE CLINTONS!

  10. rikyrah says:

    Farmers markets stand to benefit the poor the most

    By Susie Cagle

    Farmers markets sometimes get a bad rap for catering to the moneyed set, as though only the well-to-do like to buy their produce in a pleasant, social, outdoor environment, direct from the source.

    It turns out that’s all a bunch of compost. Low-income shoppers are actually the real farmers-market power users, buying bigger shares of their groceries at the markets than at other stores compared to middle- and high-income shoppers, according to a new report from the Project for Public Spaces.

    The report looked at eight markets across the country in low-income neighborhoods with otherwise broad differences in demographic makeup. “[A]lmost 60% of farmers market shoppers in low-income neighborhoods believed their market had better prices than the grocery store,” the report states

    http://grist.org/news/farmers-markets-stand-to-benefit-the-poor-the-most/

  11. Ametia says:

    Lying POS

    Does Obama have a plan? A conversation with David Brooks
    Posted by Ezra Klein on February 22, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    I had some issues with David Brooks’s column Friday on the two parties’ sequester positions. But rather than write a long response, I thought it would be more interesting to ask Brooks about the column directly. Happily, he agreed. A transcript of our conversation follows.
    Ezra Klein: In the column, you said that the Obama administration doesn’t have a plan to replace the sequester. I feel like I’ve had to spend a substantial portion of my life reading their various budgets and plans to replace the sequester, and my sense is that you’ve had to do this, too. So, what am I missing?

    David Brooks: First, the column was a bit of an over-the-top lampooning column about dance moves. I probably went a bit too far when saying the president didn’t have a response to the sequester save to raise taxes on the rich. In the cool light of day, I can say that’s over the top. There’s chained CPI and $400 billion in health proposals. So I should say I was unfair. I’m going to attach a note to the column, if it’s not up already

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/02/22/does-obama-have-a-plan-a-conversation-with-david-brooks/

  12. rikyrah says:

    February 21, 2013, 1:47 pm121 Comments

    Rick Scott Accepts Reality

    By DAVID FIRESTONE

    Conservatives ridiculed Gov. Rick Scott of Florida as a traitor to their cause after he announced yesterday that he would expand the state’s Medicaid program with money from President Obama’s health care reform system. In fact, he simply accepted reality before they did. Eventually, all the holdout states will knuckle under and do exactly the same thing

    The logic in favor of doing so is overwhelming. By investing a relatively small amount of their own money to cover the poor, states get a huge increase in federal Medicaid funds. For instance, by spending $3 billion over the next decade on Medicaid, Mr. Scott’s state will receive $26 billion. The Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that the collective incremental cost to states for expanding Medicaid is $8 billion, a 0.3 percent increase through 2022. In exchange, federal spending on Medicaid increases by $800 billion, or 21 percent.

    The benefits of that small investment are enormous: a significant increase in the number of insured people, rising by as much as 16 million if all states go along. Throughout the United States, the indigent and uninsured now get expensive emergency health care courtesy of state, county and local treasuries, as well as hospital corporations that have to charge more to everyone else as a result. Florida’s hospitals spent $2.8 billion on the uninsured in 2011, and the power of their lobbyists were a major reason why Mr. Scott changed his mind.

    As the country has seen in the last four years, ideology and emotion often supersede the logic of numbers. The 13 Republican governors who have refused the expansion know full well that they are giving away billions of dollars, hurting their own low-income residents, and forcing taxpayers to subsidize Medicaid programs in other states but not their own. Yet they are trapped by their years of furious opposition, issuing alarmist statements like this one, from Rick Perry of Texas: “To expand this program is not unlike adding a thousand people to the Titanic

    http://takingnote.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/21/rick-scott-accepts-reality/

  13. rikyrah says:

    What Unites Obama’s Coalition — and What Could Divide It

    A new Pew Research poll shows President Obama reinforcing support on some issues but still vulnerable on the economy.
    By Ronald Brownstein

    Updated: February 21, 2013 | 8:44 p.m.
    February 21, 2013 | 6:02 p.m.

    One conclusion that jumps from the Pew Research Center/USA Today national survey released Thursday is that the coalition that reelected President Obama last fall remains in step behind him — and is largely unified behind the key elements of his increasingly aggressive second-term agenda. But the poll also suggests that failure to generate more-rapid economic recovery could nonetheless strain the powerful coalition Obama has assembled.

    Obama won reelection last fall behind strong performances among groups in what I’ve called the “coalition of the ascendant”: minorities, young people, and college-educated white women. That allowed him to overcome cavernous deficits among blue-collar, older and rural whites.

    At National Journal’s request, Pew analyzed the results among those groups from their new national survey, which explored attitudes on an unusually wide range of issues. The results found that Obama’s core groups express solid support for his central priorities, with very few exceptions.

    Overall, the survey put Obama’s approval rating at 51 percent — almost exactly replicating his share of the vote last November. For all of his key groups, his approval ratings today remain close to his vote shares against Republican Mitt Romney. The survey put his approval among African-Americans at 91 percent (compared to his vote of 93 percent in November), among Hispanics at 68 percent (compared to 71 percent in November), college-educated white women at 48 percent (compared to 46 percent), and adults ages 18 to 29 at 57 percent (compared to 60 percent). Considering that several percent of those in each group described themselves as undecided on Obama’s performance, those numbers suggest almost no change from his support in the election.

    The poll indicates that the issue agenda Obama is advancing could reinforce that support. On immigration, for instance, the survey found that adults divided exactly in half, with 49 percent saying the top priority of reform should be “creating a way for illegal immigrants already here to become citizens if they meet certain requirements” and 47 percent prioritizing “better border security and stronger enforcement of our immigration laws.”

    http://www.nationaljournal.com/politics/what-unites-obama-s-coalition-and-what-could-divide-it-20130221?page=1

    • rikyrah says:

      comment from POU

      jziglar

      The media and the republicans wish that this emerging majority coalition would fragment because they are scared of it. They thought 2008 was a fluke but 2012 showed them that they were dead wrong.

      This coalition is strong and the media / GOP can’t do anything to stop it.

    • Ametia says:

      Yes; we know all about these polls, now don’t we? Shit-stirring’s not gonna work.

  14. rikyrah says:

    Taking McCarthyism literally

    By Steve Benen
    Fri Feb 22, 2013 12:33 PM EST

    When his detractors talk about Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), the one word that seems to come up more than any other is “McCarthyism.” The point, of course, is to draw parallels between Cruz’s worst habits and those of former Sen. Joe McCarthy (R-Wis.), who led ruthless and baseless witch hunts against his perceived rivals — while mastering the art of guilt by association — before being censured by the Senate in 1954, in an effort led by McCarthy’s own Republicans colleagues.

    Though Cruz is nowhere near McCarthy’s level — give the Texan time, he only joined the Senate last month — the accusations are not without merit. We saw repeated examples of this during Cruz’s campaign against Chuck Hagel’s Defense Secretary nomination, which led Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) to recently note, “It was really reminiscent of a different time and place, when you said, ‘I have here in my pocket a speech you made on such and such a date,’ and, of course, nothing was in the pocket. It was reminiscent of some bad times.”

    It was a trick Cruz leaned on repeatedly to question Hagel’s loyalty and patriotism, going so far as to suggest, without evidence, the former Republican senator may have received unreported funds from foreign enemies of the United States.

    But Jane Mayer reports today that it wasn’t too long ago that Cruz delivered a speech at a Fourth of July weekend political rally, sponsored by the Koch brothers’ political group, accusing Harvard Law School of harboring secret Communists on its faculty

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/

  15. rikyrah says:

    The limits of Rand Paul’s libertarian ideals
    By Steve Benen
    Fri Feb 22, 2013 11:59 AM EST

    Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) isn’t shy about his ideology. He’s from the libertarian wing of the Republican Party, and when asked about most federal programs, the Kentucky senator will advocate for slashing spending and asking states and the private sector to pick up the slack.

    Indeed, when Paul joined other Senate Republicans in rejecting the Violence Against Women Act last week, he said he opposed “borrowing money from China” — Paul doesn’t know China only finances 8% of U.S. debt — to make investments that should come from states and charities.

    At the same time, however, Paul believes the federal government can and should intervene to prevent women from exercising the reproductive rights, and as reporter Joe Sonka reminds us, Paul is a co-sponsor of a bill that would imprison physicians if they perform an abortion for a minor who crosses state lines to have the procedure without the presence and consent of her parents. Sonka hoped to nail down the senator on his federalist contradictions.

    SONKA: You support the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act. Why is action like that good on the federal level, but not the Violence…

    PAUL: (interrupts) I’m not familiar with the details on that, anybody else?

    SONKA: But you’re a sponsor of the legislation?

    As the media Q&A continued, Sonka tried again, which led Paul to promptly ended the press conference.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/02/22/17057728-the-limits-of-rand-pauls-libertarian-ideals?lite

  16. rikyrah says:

    Pelosi to GOP: You oppose minimum wage hike at your peril

    Posted by Greg Sargent on February 22, 2013 at 11:45 am

    As I reported here yesterday, Democrats are drawing up plans to run hard on Obama’s proposal to raise minimum wage in the 2014 Congressional elections. What few people remember is that there’s precedent for this: The minimum wage hike was one of the key issues Dems used to take back the House in 2006.

    In an interview with me, Nancy Pelosi summed up the message Dems used against Republicans in 2006, and will again use in 2014: “Just keep it simple. We want to raise the minimum wage, and you don’t. Why not?”

    In 2006, the minimum wage hike was one of the key planks in what Dems called the “Six for ’06 Agenda” — a set of initiatives focused on jobs and wages, national security, affordable health care, and energy independence. After Dems won back the House, the minimum wage hike was signed into law the next year. Pelosi tells me she would much prefer that Republicans agree to raise the minimum wage before it ever becomes a campaign issue, but if they don’t, Democrats will rerun the 2006 minimum wage playbook — and that if anything, it will be worse this time, because it encapsulates the argument the parties have been having in the years since the financial crisis heightened public awareness about inequality.

    “There’s an even greater awareness now than there was six years ago about the disparity of income in our country — and that this disparity is not a healthy thing for a family or an economy,” Pelosi told me. “Raising the minimum wage is the right thing to do, but it’s a popular thing to do as well.”

    The other day, John Boehner shot down Obama’s minimum wage proposal, arguing it would kill jobs for low wage workers. Asked to respond, Pelosi cited studies showing little correlation between the minimum wage and unemployment, and noted that the debate is a template for the larger argument over what kind of economy we want. Republicans believe higher wages hurt the economy — as Boehner put it, “when you raise the price of employment, guess what happens? You get less of it.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2013/02/22/pelosi-to-gop-you-oppose-minimum-wage-hike-at-your-peril/

  17. rikyrah says:

    The Morning Plum: Questions for the “blame it on both sides” crowd

    Posted by Greg Sargent on February 22, 2013 at 9:05 am

    White House adviser Dan Pfeiffer and the National Journal’s Ron Fournier got into a fascinating Twitter exchange this morning that sheds light on an increasingly apparent reality: There is a fundamental imbalance between the two parties’ approach to the sequester — and our fiscal problems in general — that many commentators are going to extraordinary lengths to avoid reckoning with or even acknowledging.

    To summarize, Fournier and Pfeiffer argued over who is to blame for the sequester. Pfeiffer criticized David Brooks’ “pox on both houses” column this morning and noted that only one side (the GOP) is not willing to compromise to avoid the sequester. Fournier, who also tweeted a link to Brooks’ column, replied with several tweets arguing that it’s on the President to secure compromise from the opposition, such as this one: “only one side is president. Both sides should be ashamed.”

    This echoes Fournier’s recent column arguing that while Republicans have adopted a fundamentally uncompromising position (which to Fournier’s credit he’s been willing to acknowledge), “in any enterprise, the chief executive is ultimately accountable for success and failure.” Brooks’s column, meanwhile, argues that both sides are to blame, because Obama doesn’t have a plan to avert the sequester (which is false). So, some questions for the “blame it on both sides” crowd:

    1) Let’s grant Fournier’s premise that a president should do all he can to secure cooperation from the other side. What more, if anything, could Obama actually do to win cooperation from today’s Republican Party on averting the sequester, short of giving in to the GOP demand that we replace it only with spending cuts? Republicans say no compromise to avert the sequester is acceptable. That’s not an exaggeration: It’s the party’s explicit, publicly stated position. What more specifically could Obama do to change this? If the answer is “nothing,” then why are both sides equally to blame?

    2) Which side’s approach to averting the sequester, and solving the deficit, do these commentators actually agree with? That is to say, do they think we should avert the sequester with a mix of spending cuts and new revenues via the closing of loopholes — as in the Senate Dem and White House plans — or do they think we should avert it only with spending cuts? Which side’s approach do they agree with when it comes to the remaining $1.5 trillion or so in deficit reduction many experts want to see? Whose argument do they agree with: The GOP claim that the tax debate should be entirely over, because Republicans already agreed to $600 billion in tax hikes, or the Dem argument that we’ve already cut spending by $1.5 trillion, and finishing the deficit job through cuts alone would be so damaging as to be deeply reckless and unrealistic?

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2013/02/22/the-morning-plum-questions-for-the-blame-it-on-both-sides-crowd/

  18. rikyrah says:

    A muddled message gets messier

    By Steve Benen

    Fri Feb 22, 2013 9:40 AM EST.

    Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), talking to the Salt Lake Tribune this week about looming sequestration cuts:

    “I’m for sequestration,” Hatch said, if Congress can’t cut spending. “We’ve got to face the music now, or it will be much tougher later.”

    Hatch, in literally the next paragraph, during the exact same interview:

    With across-the-board spending cuts set to kick in next week, Hatch said sequestration would lead to an economic disaster in Utah as two-thirds of civilians working at Hill Air Force Base would be furloughed. He said it would be “devastating to our nation’s readiness.”

    Dan Gross called this “amazing.” I suppose that’s as good an adjective as any.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/02/22/17056693-a-muddled-message-gets-messier?lite

  19. rikyrah says:

    Don’t bite on GOP’s clever sequester trick, Dems
    Posted by Greg Sargent on February 21, 2013 at 5:01 pm

    So it’s looking more and more like Republicans will propose an alternative to the sequester: It would kick in, but Obama administration agency heads would have control to reallocate where the cuts hit at their discretion, so they’re not imposed in a slap-dash across-the-board fashion. Among those suggesting this idea: National Review and Karl Rove. My Post colleague Jennifer Rubin reports that it’s being discussed.

    This is, as Brian Beutler notes, a “clever” idea. It makes Republicans look more reasonable, because they’re giving control over the cuts to the Obama administration. It allows Republicans to escape proposing a new batch of specific replacement cuts. (Remember, Republicans keep claiming the House has passed its own plans to avert the sequester, but those died with the last Congress, and there’s no telling whether House Republicans could pass another one.) And it puts pressure on Dems to accept the plan, because it makes the sequester less arbitrary and threatening.

    I’m picking up some rumblings to the effect that some folks are worried that red state Democrats could potentially find this idea seductive. Some Dems think the GOP designed it specifically to attract them.

    But Dems would be insane to embrace this. At bottom, it is simply a way for Republicans to bait Dems into accepting their insistence on reducing the deficit only through spending cuts. Agreeing to it would represent a total cave on the need for more revenues, which Dems have worked very hard to keep in the deficit reduction mix. This would signal to Republicans that Dems are prepared to accept a cuts-only approach — making it impossible for them to renew any demands for new revenues later. Dems are eying the coming government shutdown as the next chance to force a GOP surrender on revenues. Signaling now that Dems are prepared to drop the demand for more revenues — even temporarily — would be folly.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2013/02/21/dont-bite-on-gops-clever-sequester-trick-dems/

  20. rikyrah says:

    Big health insurance rate hikes are plummeting

    Posted by Sarah Kliff on February 22, 2013 at 9:16 am

    The number of double-digit rate increases requested by health insurers has plummeted over the past four years, according to a Friday report from the Obama administration.

    Researchers combed through data available from the 15 states that publicly post all requests for rate increases in the individual market. They found that, in 2009, 74 percent of all requests came in above 10 percent. By 2012, that number had fallen to 35 percent. Preliminary data for 2013, which only cover a handful of states, shows 14 percent of rate increases asking for a double-digit bump. Here’s what this looks like in chart form:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/02/22/big-health-insurance-rate-hikes-are-plummeting/

  21. Ametia says:

    Robin Roberts Turns a ‘Mess Into a Message’

    Her triumph over cancer isn’t the only reason the GMA star is one of the most loved hosts on TV.
    By: Helena Andrews | Posted: February 22, 2013 at 12:14 AM

    (The Root) — I cannot get enough of Robin Roberts. She’s the type of woman whose smile isn’t just infectious — it’s irresistible, overpowering. When she smiles, you have absolutely no choice but to join in and do the same. It’s practically cultlike, my Robin Roberts worship, and it appears as if the rest of you are believers, too.

    Returning to her post as co-anchor of ABC’s Good Morning America after six months of medical leave, Roberts, 52, told her legion of fans yesterday: “Faith, family and friends have brought me to this moment. As my mother said, we all have something, and everyone’s story has purpose and meaning and value. And I share this morning, this day of celebration, with everyone

    http://www.theroot.com/views/robin-roberts-turns-mess-message

  22. Ametia says:

    BREAKING:

    A South African magistrate granted bail Friday to double amputee Olympian Oscar Pistorius, who is accused of murdering his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

    Pistorius is charged with premeditated murder in the death of Steenkamp.

    Prosecutors allege that Pistorius, 26, killed his girlfriend after a heated argument in the early morning hours of Valentine’s Day.

    The sprinter, however, says he thought an intruder was hiding in a toilet room inside the bathroom of his Pretoria home. He says he fired into the room in a fit of terror before realizing Steenkamp was inside.

    See full coverage on CNN and CNN.com

  23. Ametia says:

    Keeping the party going with the Gap Band…

  24. Ametia says:

    MIKE “TWO TIMES” PENCE TO STEAL GOV. MCDONNELL ULTRASOUND TITLE.

    Video
    http://video.msnbc.msn.com/the-rachel-maddow-show/50899424/

  25. Ametia says:

    Wal-Mart holds back on minimum wage proposal — so far

    By Peter Whoriskey,

    The last time Congress passed a minimum wage increase, Wal-Mart’s chief executive at the time seemed to lead the way.

    “The U.S. minimum wage of $5.15 an hour has not been raised in nearly a decade, and we believe it is out of date with the times,” then-chief executive H. Lee Scott Jr. said in a 2005 speech to company executives that connected low wages to troubles for the retailer’s patrons. “Our customers simply don’t have the money to buy basic necessities between paychecks.

    Two years later, Congress approved raising the rate to the current level of $7.25 an hour.

    Now that President Obama has proposed raising the minimum wage to $9 an hour, however, the retailing behemoth is more reticent. The company has not yet taken a position on the issue, a spokesman said.

    “At this point, we are still reviewing a number of President Obama’s proposals from the State of the Union speech,” the Wal-Mart spokesman said.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/wal-mart-holds-back-on-minimum-wage-proposal—so-far/2013/02/21/2349a470-7c46-11e2-82e8-61a46c2cde3d_story.html?wpisrc=nl_politics

  26. rikyrah says:

    Michelle Obama And Race In America

    February 21, 2013

    A post-racial president? Not so fast, says Wellesly social scientist Michael Jeffries. We’ll talk about his new book on the state of race and class and gender in Obama’s America.

    Guests

    Michael Jeffries, Knafel Assistant Professor of Social Sciences and assistant professor of American studies, studies race, gender, politics, identity, and popular culture at Wellesley College. His new book is “Paint the White House Black: Barack Obama and the Meaning of Race in America.”

    More

    Michelle Obama has been the subject of numerous portrayals in the media that many consider racist. You can find some examples of controversial cartoons here, here, and here.

    WBUR “Obama’s name appears in the titles of courses at colleges and universities across the country, and even those that don’t pitch themselves as classes about the president are full of Obama-related reading and discussion; “Obama Studies” is emerging.”

    The Atlantic “One of the iconic moments of late Bush-era America came when Kanye West wandered off script at a Hurricane Katrina telethon and boldly proclaimed, “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.” Despite some obvious political and personal differences between Bush and Barack Obama, the current president has also been criticized for taking black supporters for granted and failing to advance a policy agenda that effectively combats black suffering.”

    Wellesley College “We need to move away from “great man” or “great woman” explanations for historical change. President Obama is a supremely talented politician, and an important thinker and speaker in many ways, but he operates within all sorts of constraints. Likewise, our impressions of the president are constrained by our cultural context—the language we use, the images we see, and the stories that are amplified by media outlets become the raw material for building our own personal models of Barack Obama.”

    http://radioboston.wbur.org/2013/02/21/jeffries

  27. rikyrah says:

    TPM: How The Voting Rights Act, Now In Danger, Came To Pass And Shaped History

    On March 15, 1965, a week after Alabama state troopers brutally attacked civil rights protesters in Selma, President Lyndon Johnson delivered a stirring speech to a joint session of Congress introducing a bill to end voter discrimination against blacks.

    The law that it gave birth to, the Voting Rights Act, now hangs in the balance, with oral arguments next week before the Supreme Court. Five conservative justices are skeptical that a centerpiece of the nearly-half-century-old law is constitutional.

    http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2013/02/civil-rights-law-hangs-in-the-balance.php?ref=fpb

  28. rikyrah says:

    Huckleberry Closetcase

    Now, WHO can he be talking about?

    BWA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

    ………………………………………………………….

    Chuck Hagel Took Shrapnel For These Clowns?

    Charles Pierce: It looks like the long slog of Chuck Hagel toward the corner office of the Pentagon …. may be coming to a successful conclusion. However, this will not happen until Huckleberry Closetcase and his followers have their say about this whole sad episode…again.

    …. All 15 of the signatories to this appeal to bipartisanship are Republicans. They include some of the dimmest lights in the entire chandelier ….. Of course, the number of signatories jumps to 25 if you count all the phantoms hiding under Lindsey Graham’s divan. Many of whom appear to speak to him in Farsi.

    http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/The_End_Of_The_Hagel_End_Game

  29. rikyrah says:

    Who ‘owns this mess’
    By Steve Benen
    Thu Feb 21, 2013 4:55 PM EST.

    National Journal’s Ron Fournier seems to realize that when it comes to sequestration politics, President Obama “has reached farther toward compromise than House Republicans.” But Fournier wants to blame the president anyway.
    In any enterprise, the chief executive is ultimately accountable for success and failure. Sure, blame Congress — castigate all 535 lawmakers, or the roughly half you hate. But there is only one president. Even if he’s right on the merits, Obama may be on the wrong side of history.

    Fair or not, the president owns this mess.

    I realize that many may find this line of thought appealing. Americans like to think of their president, no matter who’s in office, as the most powerful person on the planet. The president is the Leader of the Free World and the Commander in Chief. He’s the Top Dog, the Big Cheese, the one with whom the buck stops.

    But let’s not abandon our appreciation for Civics 101 for the sake of rhetorical convenience.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/02/21/17047124-who-owns-this-mess?lite

  30. rikyrah says:

    When false claims drive the debate

    By Steve Benen
    Fri Feb 22, 2013 8:37 AM EST.

    As best as I can tell, New York Times columnist David Brooks is a well-connected pundit. Powerful people return his phone calls, and when he wants information from top governmental offices, Brooks tends to get them.

    And with this in mind, it’s puzzling that Brooks based his entire column today on an easily-checked error. The conservative pundit insists President Obama “declines to come up with a proposal to address” next week’s sequester mess, adding, “The president hasn’t actually come up with a proposal to avert sequestration.”

    I’ll never understand how conservative media personalities get factual claims like this so very wrong. If Brooks doesn’t like Obama’s sequester alternative, fine; he can write a column explaining his concerns. But why pretend the president’s detailed, already published plan, built on mutual concessions from both sides, doesn’t exist? If you’re David Brooks, why don’t you just pick up the phone, call the West Wing, and say, “Do you folks have a proposal to address the sequester or not?” I’m certain an administration official would help him by sending him exactly what he’s looking for, and then he wouldn’t have to publish claims that are demonstrably wrong

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/02/22/17056245-when-false-claims-drive-the-debate?lite

  31. rikyrah says:

    ‘Pack journalism’ targets Ed Markey for no reason
    By Steve Benen
    Fri Feb 22, 2013 8:00 AM EST

    Rep. Ed Markey (D) is generally considered the leading candidate in Massachusetts’ upcoming U.S. Senate special election, so it stands to reason there will be considerably more scrutiny of his daily comments than there was before he launched his statewide bid. But scrutiny and manufactured controversies are not the same thing.

    Republicans and some elements of the media got pretty worked up yesterday after learning that Markey made this comparison while speaking to a group of supporters this week.

    “I want to go to the United States Senate in order to fight for a constitutional amendment to repeal Citizens United. The whole idea that the Koch brothers, that Karl Rove can say we’re coming to Massachusetts, to any state of the union with undisclosed amounts of money is a pollution, which must be changed,” Markey said to loud applause.

    “The constitution must be amended. The Dred Scott decision had to be repealed, we have to repeal Citizens United,” he added.

    You can probably guess what happened next. The right and some in the media pounced, arguing that Markey apparently believes there’s a moral equivalence between slavery and post-Citizens United campaign-finance laws.

    The congressman’s phrasing may have been a little awkward, but the criticism is a bit much.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/02/22/17055915-pack-journalism-targets-ed-markey-for-no-reason?lite

  32. rikyrah says:

    NBC Sweeps: Network Falls To Fifth Place In TV Ratings Behind Univision For February

    More bad news for NBC: The one-time No. 1 network has fallen to fifth place in the Nielsen TV ratings during the important February sweeps period, according to Deadline.com.

    Sweeps occurs three times for four-week periods each year, when networks inundate TV audiences with hairpin plot turns, tear-inducing weddings, jaw-dropping deaths and more major moments all in the hopes of giving their ratings a vital boost during the critical periods when Nielsen surveys the country’s TV viewing habits.

    The Peacock network started the TV season off strong with hits like “Revolution” and “The Voice” and even won November sweeps. But once those shows went into hiatus in November and December respectively, NBC’s numbers quickly crumbled. Deadline reports that during the February sweeps period, NBC has averaged a 1.2 rating in the key 18-49 advertising demographic, while Univision has brought in a 1.5 rating. It’s a far cry from NBC’s reign at the top in November, which was the network’s first time in the lead since 2003.

    “This is a great thing for our morale, if nothing else,” Bob Greenblatt, chairman of NBC Entertainment, told the Associated Press in November. “But I’m the first one to say there will be ups and downs for the next few years.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/21/nbc-sweeps-fifth-place-ratings-univision_n_2735466.html

  33. Ametia says:

    The Republican Party needs a reality check
    By Michael Gerson,
    Published: February 21

    In the summer of 1999, George W. Bush chose the first major policy speech of his presidential campaign to pick a fight with Grover Norquist. Bush flatly rejected the “destructive” view “that if government would only get out of our way, all our problems would be solved” — a vision the Texas governor dismissed as having “no higher goal, no nobler purpose, than leave us alone.”

    Norquist had proposed to define conservatism as the “leave us alone” coalition — a movement united by a desire to get government off our backs. Bush countered that “the American government is not the enemy of the American people.”

    SNIP

    A Republican recovery in presidential politics will depend on two factors. First, candidates will need to do more than rebrand existing policy approaches or translate them into Spanish. Some serious rethinking is necessary, particularly on economic matters. In our Commentary essay, we raise ideas such as ending corporate welfare, breaking up the mega-banks, improving the treatment of families in the tax code, and encouraging economic mobility through education reform and improved job training. Whatever form Republican proposals eventually take, they must move beyond Reagan-era nostalgia.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/michael-gerson-republican-party-needs-a-shakeup/2013/02/21/d89d9d82-7baa-11e2-9a75-dab0201670da_story.html?wpisrc=nl_opinions

  34. rikyrah says:

    This clip always cracks me up

  35. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone at 3CHICS!

  36. leutisha says:

    Kinda chintzy to just provide the link to the video I wanted here, so I apologize, and good morning, everyone!

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