Serendipity SOUL-Friday Open Thread

Happy FRY-day, Folks! Hope y’all enjoyed Steely Dan week.

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54 Responses to Serendipity SOUL-Friday Open Thread

  1. Barack Obama acts to ease US embargo on Cuba

    Barack Obama has eased America’s long-standing embargo on Cuba, allowing many Americans to travel there for the first time and increasing the amounts that they can invest in the island.

    Other changes announced by the president will allow all US international airports to accept flights to and from Cuba; at present, chartered flights are restricted to Miami and a handful of other airports. The moves represent an important step to rapprochement between the US and Cuba.

    Almost as soon as Fidel Castro’s movement took power in the 1959 revolution, the US began an embargo that it has maintained ever since.

  2. Ametia says:

    Shooting victim tries to visit Loughner’s parents
    by Dustin Gardiner – Jan. 14, 2011 03:15 PM
    The Arizona Republic
    Eric Fuller, one of the victims wounded in the Tucson shooting that killed six and critically injured Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, paid a visit to the home of suspected shooter Jared Loughner’s parents Friday.

    Fuller told 12 News that he was there “to forgive them and possibly their son,” but the couple wasn’t home. The younger Loughner remains in jail and has been denied bail.

    Suffering from a bullet-wound to the knee, Fuller got out of his car and limped to the door. He said he decided to stop by on the way to a doctor’s appointment.

    “So I thought I’d come over here and try to forgive them,” he said. “I know that sounds crazy

  3. Ametia says:

    Paranoia as Prelude: Conspiracism and the Cost of Political Rage
    January 10, 2011
    Tim wisse

    Unlike some, I will not attempt to make murderer and would-be political assassin Jared Loughner into a poster-boy for the Tea Party. As it turns out, such a feat would do Mr. Loughner an injustice, ascribing to him a level of sane, if yet disturbing philosophical coherence that he apparently lacks, rather than recognizing him for what he is: a deeply disturbed, likely schizophrenic young man, whose attempt to claim the life of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was motivated by a bizarre and toxic stream-of-consciousness conspiracism, rather than a commitment to conservatism per se.

    That said, his acts cannot be fully divorced from the current political moment either, and specifically that part of said moment dominated by reactionary and right-wing voices, among which are many whose speakers adhere to Tea Party thinking. It is not that Loughner is, literally, a devotee of the right or its organizational edifices. In all likelihood he is not. Rather, it is pertinent — and should not be ignored by those who are trying to de-politicize his crimes — that his paranoid lunacy, the contours of which one can explore thanks to the wonders of the internet, transpired in a nation where paranoia and its peddling have become common fare. In such a place, the Jared Loughners of the world become ever-more dangerous. And it is this about which we should be rightly concerned.

    For while Loughner would never have likely contemplated political assassination in a culture where the most pressing issue was, say, a simple philosophical disagreement over tax policy, or the proper balance between interest rates and full employment, or the percentage of GDP dedicated to debt service as opposed to long-term infrastructure investment, that is not the culture in which he (or any of us) lives. Rather, we live in a nation in which it is commonplace, and considered completely rational, for elected officials to believe the President is a foreign interloper. We live in a culture where the nation’s most powerful Republican, House Speaker John Boehner, cannot bring himself to condemn the maniacal derangement that is birtherism, but is reduced instead to a mere acknowledgement that since Hawaii says the President is a citizen, that’s “good enough for him.”

    We live in a culture in which it is utterly normal, to a degree that has sadly made it nearly banal, to hear multi-million dollar, best-selling authors and talk show hosts suggest that the nation is on the verge of total fascism, death panels for the elderly, door-to-door gun confiscation, and the reconquest of the American southwest by Latinos bent on ethnic war. In short, in a society where paranoia is the daily currency of mainstream commentators, and pseudo-schizophrenic ramblings are elevated to the level of persuasive argument, we ought not be surprised that such a tragedy as occurred on Saturday might happen.

  4. Ametia says:

    After the shootings, Obama reminds the nation of the golden rule
    By John McCain
    Friday, January 14, 2011; 1:30 PM

    President Obama gave a terrific speech Wednesday night. He movingly mourned and honored the victims of Saturday’s senseless atrocity outside Tucson, comforted and inspired the country, and encouraged those of us who have the privilege of serving America. He encouraged every American who participates in our political debates – whether we are on the left or right or in the media – to aspire to a more generous appreciation of one another and a more modest one of ourselves.

    The president appropriately disputed the injurious suggestion that some participants in our political debates were responsible for a depraved man’s inhumanity. He asked us all to conduct ourselves in those debates in a manner that would not disillusion an innocent child’s hopeful patriotism. I agree wholeheartedly with these sentiments. We should respect the sincerity of the convictions that enliven our debates but also the mutual purpose that we and all preceding generations of Americans serve: a better country; stronger, more prosperous and just than the one we inherited.

    We Americans have different opinions on how best to serve that noble purpose. We need not pretend otherwise or be timid in our advocacy of the means we believe will achieve it. But we should be mindful as we argue about our differences that so much more unites than divides us. We should also note that our differences, when compared withthose in many, if not most, other countries, are smaller than we sometimes imagine them to be.

  5. Ametia says:

    Howard Stern On Sarah Palin: “You Want To Vomit From Her” (And That’s The Nicest Part)
    Jon Bershad | 11:57 am, January 14th, 2011
    Yesterday, Howard Stern had some harsh words for Sarah Palin about the tone of her video speech from Wednesday morning. Like many of Palin’s detractors, Stern felt that the former Governor focussed too much on herself and not enough on the actual victims. However, unlike most of the other criticisms of the video we’ve heard, Stern’s aforementioned words weren’t just harsh; a couple of them were those that one doesn’t use in polite company.
    A quote from a more SFW section went as follows:

    “We know you didn’t tell the shooter to go out and shoot people but it isn’t great that you have people in the crosshairs. It’s a bad image. I wouldn’t do that to my worst enemy. It’s like telling people, ‘Gee, I think someone ought to take this person out.’ And then, when she’s laying there in the hospital and you’re making this speech to defend yourself, it just all comes off horribly wrong. It’s like don’t talk about yourself right now. This isn’t about you. This is about a woman, who is a Congresswoman, who’s been shot in the head. A lot of people got taken out that day.”

  6. Ametia says:

    Posted at 3:03 PM ET, 01/14/2011
    President Reagan suffered from Alzheimer’s while in office, according to son
    By Stephen Lowman
    while still in office, according to his son Ron Reagan.

    In his memoir “My Father at 100,” Reagan writes:

    “Today we are aware that the psychological and neurological changes associated with Alzheimer’s can be in evidence years, even decades, before identifiable symptoms arise. The question, then, of whether my father suffered from the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s while in office more of less answers itself.”

    Ron Reagan recounts having concerns as far back as 1984.

    “Watching the first of his two debates with 1984 Democratic presidential nominee Walter Mondale, I began to experience the nausea of a bad dream coming true. At 73, Ronald Reagan would be the oldest president ever reelected…[M]y father now seemed to be giving them legitimate reason for concern. My heart sank as he floundered his way through his responses, fumbling with notes, uncharacteristically lost for words. He looked tired and bewildered.”

    Two years later the president expressed his own concern about his failing memory:

  7. Ametia says:

    Good riddance to this hick, as MN Governor. No way in HELL this dude’s getting in the WH.

  8. Ametia says:

    Looks like Steele might as well put his head between his legs and kiss his black ass goodbye!

  9. dannie22 says:

    Did anyone see Tavis’ hatefest on cspan last night? Yes the hater twins, tavis and cornel, had a forum about, you guessed it, holding PBO accountable. I didn’t watch, but I flipped past and tavis doesn’t look good. I mean he looks sick. Envy and greed will do that to a person.

    • Ametia says:

      Hate will eat away at you like a cancer, Tavis.

      No, I’m chatting with a blogger who was in the audience last night. She got checked at the door for comments that she made in response to Town about Tavis on JJP.

      • I read about her experience with the “heffa” at the door. Who does she think she is? We’re on to Tavis with his bullshit accountability meme. …and it stinks to high heaven.

        • Ametia says:

          Ain’t that some shit. His actions were one step away from hiring a hit on CPL.

          I have NO plans to watch the circus with Arianna Huffpuff and Co. Tavis West just HATERATION.

      • WTF is up with Arianna making light of Christina Green? Does this woman want the spotlight so bad that she would try to make light of what happened to that precious child?

        • Ametia says:

          Arianna’s just another whore riding on the coattails of the tragic death of Christina Green. These media whores have no shame. Tavis, Cornell, they’re all the same. They use the presidency of the first black man to cash in. They don’t have any other credentials, so they get corporate sponsors to host these HATEFEST.

          Hate sells, remember?

    • rikyrah says:

      I wasn’t going to, but I spent a few minutes, and the hate from Tavis just reeks from him, he was painful to watch.

      • Ametia says:

        Thank God for CPL’s review. She’s got hutzpah! Gotta give it to her. I have NO intentions of wasting my enery watching Tavis, West and the rest of Barnum & Bailey Circus bash the POTUS for a ego boost and the almighty dolla.

      • CPL should have played Squeak from the Color Purple and told that woman who was grilling her…Ha Ha Ha…you just an ole heffa! :)

  10. Rush Vs. Fox News: Limbaugh Rips Panel For ‘Slobbering’ Over Obama

    A feud has broken out between Rush Limbaugh and the so-called “All Star Panel” on Fox News’ “Special Report” over the panel’s praise for President Obama’s speech at the memorial for the Arizona shooting victims. Speaking on his radio show Thursday, Limbaugh slammed the panelists–which, on the night of the speech, were Brit Hume, Charles Krauthammer and Chris Wallace–for their positive comments.

    “They were slobbering over it for the predictable reasons,” he said. “It was smart, it was articulate, it was oratorical. It was, it was all the things the educated, ruling class wants their members to be and sound like.”

    On Thursday night’s “Special Report,” host Bret Baier played the Limbaugh clip and asked Krauthammer–who had called the speech “quite remarkable and extremely effective”–for his reaction.

    “As one of the three slobberers…I find it interesting that only the ruling class wants a president who is smart articulate and oratorical in delivering a funeral oration,” Krauthammer said. “It’s an odd and rather condescending view of what the rest of America is looking for in their president.

    • Ametia says:

      Take all this MOFOs from behind a desk, keyboard, tv station, radio studio mic, and they’d have to find other ways to get their HUSTLE on.

      No doubt, they’d find work, due to their whiteness, but the fact that Barack Obama is black, is POTUS, that gives them all an extended HARD ON (forget the viagra & cialis) These charlatans make more MONEY writing and speaking this nonsense.

      Fuck them all.

  11. Ametia says:

    FDA seeks less acetaminophen in prescription drugs
    WASHINGTON | Thu Jan 13, 2011

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. health regulators are requesting a limit on the amount of acetaminophen in prescription pain medicines in an effort to curb the risk of liver damage.

    The move announced on on Thursday aims to limit combination drugs such as the opioids Percocet and Vicodin to 325 milligrams of acetaminophen per pill and calls for them to carry a “black box” warning about potential liver failure.

    Some of these medicines now contain as much as 750 milligrams of acetaminophen, a drug also sold over the counter in lower doses as a generic painkiller and Johnson & Johnson’s Tylenol.

    “This change will provide an increased margin of safety to help prevent liver damage due to acetaminophen overdosing, a serious public health problem,” the U.S. Food and Drug Administration wrote in a public notice.

    The move affects products made by Johnson & Johnson, Endo Pharmaceuticals Holding Inc, Watson Pharmaceuticals Incorporated and Boehringer Ingelheim’s Roxane Laboratories unit, among others

  12. House Members Continue Meet-And-Greets In Wake Of Arizona Shooting

    House Members continue to plan meet-and-greets in the wake of an alleged assassination attempt on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords that left six dead on Saturday, The Hill reports. Mike Illis writes that “a number of lawmakers in both chambers are pushing ahead defiantly with public gatherings designed to demonstrate that the attempted assassination of a colleague will be no deterrent from public interaction with voters.”

    Giffords was shot on Saturday outside a grocery store near Tucson, Ariz. 13 were wounded in addition to the six fatalities.

  13. Ametia says:

    GOOD NEWS!!!

    Industrial production rises by most in 5 months
    Posted 1/14/2011 10:09 AM ET
    By Jeannine Aversa, AP Economics Writer

    WASHINGTON — Industrial production rose in December by the largest amount in five months, providing the economy with solid momentum heading into the new year.
    Activity at the nation’s factories, mines and utilities increased 0.8 percent last month, the Federal Reserve said Friday. Industrial production was up in every month but one in 2010.

    Overall industrial activity has risen 11 percent since hitting its recession low in June 2009. But it is still 6 percent below its peak reached in September 2007.

    Factory production, the biggest slice of industrial output, rose 0.4 percent, the sixth straight monthly increase. Makers of computers and electronic products, clothing and leather, chemicals and other products were among the industries seeing gains. But auto production dipped.

    “Manufacturing looks like it is doing its job and moving the economy ahead,” said John Silvia, chief economist at Wells Fargo.

    Separately, the Commerce Department said retail sales rose for a sixth consecutive month in December. Sales are 13.5 percent above the recession low hit in December 2008.

    And consumer prices rose 0.5 percent last month, the largest increase in 18 months and a reflection of rising gas prices, the Labor Department said. But outside of energy costs, there was little sign of widespread inflation. Core inflation, which strips out volatile energy and food, was up just 0.1 percent in December.

    Rising factory production has played a crucial role in lifting the economy out of the recession.

    Factories started producing more as U.S. companies placed more orders to replenish stockpiles that they slashed during the downturn. Then in the final months of 2010, consumers and businesses showed a bigger appetite to spend, encouraged in part by the improving economy.

    A recovering global economy, meanwhile, also is helping. Sales of U.S. exports to foreign countries has been a key force supporting U.S. economic growth.

    Rising U.S. factory production, however, has only recently led to more hiring at factories.

    Employment in manufacturing grew by 10,000 in December, the first increase since July. Factory workers’ hours stayed the same last month, as did their overtime.

  14. Ametia says:

    The White House Blog
    West Wing Week: Preview of “Dispatches from Sudan”
    Posted by Arun Chaudhary on January 14, 2011 at 12:00 AM EST

    This week, an historic referendum took place in Sudan and West Wing Week takes you there. Watch a preview of “Dispatches from Sudan” and join General Scott Gration, President Obama’s Special Envoy to Sudan for a unique look at the vote that could result in the world’s newest nation. Go behind the scenes at polling stations from Juba to Khartoum, meet some of the international community helping ensure the vote is fair and peaceful, travel to Darfur to inspect conditions on the ground, and learn about the commitment of the United States to peace in this region after decades of civil war. That’s coming soon to, watch the preview now.

  15. Ametia says:

    New guidelines would make school lunches healthier
    The Associated Press
    Thursday, January 13, 2011; 1:23 PM

    WASHINGTON — School cafeterias would have to hold the fries – and serve kids more whole grains, fruits and vegetables – under the government’s plans for the first major nutritional overhaul of students’ meals in 15 years.

    The Agriculture Department proposal announced Thursday applies to lunches subsidized by the federal government. The guidelines would require schools to cut sodium in those meals by more than half, use more whole grains and serve low-fat milk. They also would limit kids to only one cup of starchy vegetables a week, so schools couldn’t offer french fries every day.

    Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the new standards could affect more than 32 million children and are crucial because kids can consume as much as half of their daily calories in school.

  16. dannie22 says:

    Good morning all!!

  17. A Rose By Any Other Name….


    I can’t help but wonder why folks are so afraid to call the mass shooting in Tuscon, Arizona an act of terrorism.

    The fear of the “T” word seems almost palpable in describing the gruesome events that took place this past Saturday. There is little explanation or reasoning for the omission, except that it’s very obvious what most Americans won’t call 22-year old Jared Loughner. It goes without saying that the man is deranged. Fairly obvious that he’s unstable. But, tell us what we don’t know. Get straight to the core of the matter here. Let’s not fool ourselves and everyone else struggling to make sense out of it. Loughner is a terrorist, clearly fit within the strictest definition of the term.

    While other top public officials tip-toed around it, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton almost went there, just short of dropping the “T” word. Instead, she chose “extremist.” While clearly holding back, it was one of the braver rhetorical stands we’ve heard in the past few days. Her comparison to the Middle Eastern “extremism” we routinely see plastered on global headlines is sure to raise a few brows and ‘how-dare-she’ remarks back home, especially since she said it while in Abu Dhabi.

    But, let’s keep it real. The “T” term gets quickly applied within every second a suicide bomber blasts a busy street corner in Pakistan or when a crowded European commuter train is vaporized. We find some sort of geopolitical logic, however violent and horrific, to explain the indiscriminate mass killings of innocent civilians in various corners of the world. Even before responsibility is investigated or admitted by some obscure political fringe group wanting their spot blown, we’re already using the “T” word.

    When a “crazy” White guy with a gun, wound up on polarized talking points and manifestos, indiscriminately kills innocent Americans in broad daylight, it takes several days in the aftermath before the larger public will even accept a hint of pre-meditation. Typically, the collective American psyche will initially trivialize the event by calling the perpetrator “deranged” or “mentally unstable.” The social response script is fashioned to fake us into a false sense of security. It’s isolated, they say. Just one crazed nut with a gun.

    That dude who flew his plane into an IRS building? Isolated. Or the cat who waited for, scoped, then killed three Pittsburgh police officers? Crazy. What about the man who shot at the Panama City school board then shot himself? Off the edge.

    Brown skin man with bombs strapped to his torso? Oh, that’s a terrorist.

    Yet, in every instance, the “isolated” or “crazed” Americans each expressed some form of political reasoning for committing the act. Loughner, whose elaborate musings are outlined in lengthy Internet entries on Myspace and YouTube, was apparently hanging with anti-government dudes who probably have posters of Sarah Palin in a bikini brandishing a semi-automatic prior to the attack.

    So, what’s the difference between a mass political killing in Tuscon, Arizona and the same in Any Town, Middle East?


  18. Ametia says:

    In Tucson, words to bind a nation
    By Eugene Robinson
    Friday, January 14, 2011

    The powerful elegy that President Obama delivered in Tucson was a big step toward his long-held goal of transforming the nation’s choleric and dysfunctional political culture. Subsequent steps will be harder – but no longer seem impossible.
    Listening to Obama’s speech brought back memories of Obama the candidate, a mesmerizing orator with the power to summon visions of a better America. He seemed almost to transcend politics.

    If you listened to what candidate Obama was saying, he often came back to a central theme: Our political system is mired in trench warfare, along battle lines that were established decades ago. We will only be able to move forward if we get beyond the arbitrary and obsolete divisions that keep us at one another’s throats.

    For the first two years of his administration, however, the ideological combat has escalated. Obama’s political adversaries bear some of the responsibility; his allies bear their share as well.

    So does the president. While he never stopped preaching his message of getting past the old dichotomies – progressive-conservative, left-right, Democrat-Republican – he also never devised a new template for political discourse. Washington quickly fell back into its old ways.

  19. Ametia says:

    Banks Are Poised to Pay Dividends After 3-Year Gap
    Published: January 13, 2011
    Financial analysts say the nation’s largest banks are ready to begin restoring their dividends in the first half of the year, after a three-year pause to repair their damaged balance sheets. The reversal could put billions of dollars in the pockets of pension funds and retirees who had viewed bank shares as dependable sources of income.

    Clues to how big a payout is in store could come as early as Friday, when JPMorgan Chase announces its 2010 financial performance, the first of many earnings reports to come over the next week from the likes of Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and Wells Fargo.

    If the big banks deliver a second straight year of rising profits, as many analysts expect, the conditions would be in place for regulators to approve dividend increases by as early as March.

  20. Ametia says:

    MSNBC is giving Tom Delay the spolight to BLAME ‘LIBERALS’ for his verdict of 3 years in jail. How about for the crimes that you committed, Delay. GOPers, blame, obstruct, distort, and fearmonger, and IT’S NEVER THEIR FAULT!!!!

  21. Ametia says:

    Doctor: Giffords may be showing ‘glimmers of recognition’
    By the CNN Wire Staff
    January 14, 2011 — Updated 0355 GMT (1155 HKT)

    Tucson, Arizona (CNN) — Shot in the head less than a week ago, U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords continues to make positive progress, her husband and doctors told CNN in exclusive interviews on Thursday.

    The chief of neurosurgery at Tucson’s University Medical Center said that Giffords’ eye movements suggest the congresswoman is experiencing “glimmers of recognition.”

    “That tracking of the eyes tells you a whole lot more, that she’s aware of her surroundings to some extent,” Dr. Michael Lemole told Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN’s chief medical correspondent. “She’s trying to engage that reality.”

    Giffords opened her eyes briefly for the first time Wednesday, with her husband, her parents and other members of Congress in the room, and continued to open them on Thursday.

    “It was extraordinary,” said Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-New York, who was holding Giffords’ hand when she opened her eyes on Wednesday. “It was a miracle to witness.”

    • Ametia says:

      Happy FRY-day, SG2, friends, and…

      LURKERS!!!! Y’all know who you are! Let us know your thoughts, before you shut them down for the weekend. Tee hee hee..

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