Wednesday Open Thread

Stevland Hardaway Judkins (born May 13, 1950), name later changed to Stevland Hardaway Morris,[1] known by his stage name Stevie Wonder, is an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer and activist.[2] Blind since shortly after birth,[3] Wonder signed with Motown Records‘ Tamla label at the age of eleven,[2] and continues to perform and record for Motown to this day.

Among Wonder’s best known works are singles such as “Superstition“, “Sir Duke“, “I Wish” and “I Just Called to Say I Love You“. Well known albums also include Talking Book, Innervisions and Songs in the Key of Life.[2] He has recorded more than thirty U.S. top ten hits and received twenty-two Grammy Awards, the most ever awarded to a male solo artist.[4] Wonder is also noted for his work as an activist for political causes, including his 1980 campaign to make Martin Luther King, Jr.‘s birthday a holiday in the United States.[5] In 2009, Wonder was named a United Nations Messenger of Peace.[6] In 2008, Billboard magazine released a list of the Hot 100 All-Time Top Artists to celebrate the US singles chart’s fiftieth anniversary, with Wonder at number five.

About SouthernGirl2

A Native Texan who adores baby kittens, loves horses, rodeos, pomegranates, & collect Eagles. Enjoys politics, games shows, & dancing to all types of music. Loves discussing and learning about different cultures. A Phi Theta Kappa lifetime member with a passion for Social & Civil Justice.
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90 Responses to Wednesday Open Thread

  1. Conservatives: We Are Being Outworked And Out-Organized In Wisconsin Recall Campaigns

    WASHINGTON — Both national and Wisconsin-based Republican operatives tell the Huffington Post the party is being dramatically outworked and out-organized by Democrats in the recall campaigns being launched against state Senators.

    The operatives, who raised their concerns out of hope it would jar the GOP into assertiveness, argue complacency has taken over after Governor Scott Walker successfully shepherded his anti-collective bargaining bill into law. While the Wisconsin Democratic Party, with major assists from progressive groups and unions, has harnessed resentment towards the governor into a full-throttled effort to recall eight GOP Senators, neither the enthusiasm nor organizational acumen exists on the Republican side of the aisle.

    “It’s clear that Democrats and liberal organizations are engaging in an attempt to make recall more than a mere hypothetical possibility for some Wisconsin Republicans,” said Liz Mair, Vice President of Hynes Communications and former RNC Online Communications Director, who has worked closely with officials on the ground in Wisconsin. “Even though Governor Walker acted to end the impasse, Republicans and conservatives should not be acting like this is done and dusted.”

    Why are they acting all surprised? Did they think Democrats were going to lay down and take their sh*t? Stupid mofos!

  2. First lady to pen book about White House garden

    Washington (CNN) – You can soon add “author” to the distinguished resume of first lady Michelle Obama when she writes an upcoming book about her garden at the White House.

    The still untitled book will “tell the story of the garden she has established on the South Lawn of the White House and explore how improved access to fresh, locally grown food can promote healthier eating habits for families and communities,” her publisher, Crown Publishing Group, said in a press release announcing the project.

    While the book will include photos of the White House garden throughout the seasons, it will also include photos of other community, urban, and school gardens from across the country. An e-book with additional multimedia content and features will be released as well.

    In the book, Obama will explain the idea to plant an edible garden at the White House sprang from a change in her own family’s eating behavior, inspired by her two daughters, the press release said. In addition to sharing some of her favorite healthy recipes, the book will provide ideas and resources for readers to create gardens and farmers markets in their own communities.

    The announcement came the same day Obama hosted students from local D.C. elementary schools to participate in the third spring planting of the White House garden.

    Obama accepted no advance for the book according to her publisher, and will donate all proceeds to a charity or charities to be named later. The book is set for release in the spring of 2012.

    Robert Barnett, who has handled book deals for past presidents, and other Washington elite, is representing Obama in the project.

  3. Clinton says no to second term

    (CNN) – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer she does not want to serve a second term as secretary of state or run for president of the United States.

    Blitzer sat down with the former 2008 presidential candidate in Cairo.

    Full transcript:

    Q- If the president is reelected, do you want to serve a second term as secretary of state?


    Q- Would you like to serve as secretary of defense?


    Q- Would you like to be vice president of the United States?


    Q- Would you like to be president of the United States?


    Q- Why not?

    Because I have the best job I could ever have. This is a moment in history where it is almost hard to catch your breath. There are both the tragedies and disasters that we have seen from Haiti to Japan and there are the extraordinary opportunities and challenges that we see right here in Egypt and in the rest of the region. So I want to be part of helping to represent the United States at this critical moment in time, to do everything I can in support of the president and our government and the people of our country to stand for our values and our ideals, to stand up for our security, which has to remain first and foremost in my mind and to advance America’s interests. And there isn’t anything that I can imagine doing after this that would be as demanding, as challenging or rewarding.

    Q- President of the United States?

    You know, I had a wonderful experience running and I am very proud of the support I had and very grateful for the opportunity, but I’m going to be, you know, moving on.

    Q- I asked my viewers and followers on Twitter to send questions and a lot of them said, “Ask her if she’ll run in 2016 for the presidency.” A lot of folks would like to you to do that.

    Well that’s very kind, but I am doing what I want to do right now and I have no intention or any idea even of running again. I’m going to do the best I can at this job for the next two years.

  4. Ametia says:

    16 March 2011 Last updated at 11:27 ET Share this pageFacebookTwitter ShareEmail Print ‘World’s largest paedophile ring’ uncoveredBy Dominic Casciani

    BBC News home affairs correspondent

    International police led by a UK team say they shut down the largest internet paedophile ring yet discovered.
    Along with the Netherlands and the UK, suspects have been identified in Australia, Italy, Canada, New Zealand and Thailand.

    The members of the network went into a private channel,, and then used its secret systems to share films and images of abused children, said Rob Wainwright, director of European police agency Europol.

    However, child abuse investigators, including a team from Ceop, had already infiltrated the network and were posing as paedophiles to gather intelligence.

    In the UK, the 240 suspects include police officers, teachers and a karate teacher. One of the suspects in the UK is a woman.

    The latest arrest was in Northamptonshire.

    To date, 33 have been convicted, including John McMurdo, a scout leader from Plymouth. Another forum user was Stephen Palmer, 54, of Birkenhead, who shared abuse images with contacts in the US. A third man, 46-year-old Colin Hoey Brown of Bromsgrove, was jailed for making and distributing almost 1,000 images.

    ‘New ground broken’

    Peter Davies, head of Ceop, said: “The scale and success of Operation Rescue has broken new ground.

    The global forum had 70,000 followers at its height, leading to 4,000 intelligence reports being sent to police across 30 countries.

    The operation has so far identified 670 suspects and 230 abused children.

    Detectives say 184 people have been arrested – 121 of them were in the UK. Some 60 children have been protected in the UK.

    The three-year investigation, Operation Rescue, was led by investigators from the UK’s Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (Ceop).

    Speaking at a news conference at The Hague in the Netherlands, investigators said the network hid behind a legal online forum which operated out of the country – but its members came from around the world.

  5. rikyrah says:

    These Are The People In Your Neighborhood
    by Kay

    Went to an after-work rally in Toledo last night to oppose the anti-union bill that is moving through the Ohio legislature. There was a steady cold rain and the turnout was still quite good. The gathering was near the intersection of two busy roads, and we got lots and lots of support from rush hour drivers, blowing their horns and waving.

    Having attended many lefty-liberal-political rallies over the years, I have to say the composition of this crowd was really interesting. I cannot recall standing next to a group of off-duty policeman holding signs while the hippie at the podium plays the harmonica before. Former Fox News personality turned very unpopular governor John Kasich has certainly brought people together.

    The other thing that occurred to me, standing there listening to the fireman with the bullhorn, was that a lot of the workers attending the rally appeared in the coloring book I got in kindergarten. “Your Community”, I think it was called. I don’t know if you got one of those at public school, but I think you know what I mean. There’s the brick schoolhouse, the teacher, the school bus driver and the crossing guard in the foreground, with the police officer waving the fireman in the fire truck through the 4-way stop in the background. That’s what came to my mind.

    This is what comes to radical Republican and morality expert Rick Santorum’s mind when he views the same crowd, apparently:

    “Just call them what they are. Public schools? That’s a nice way of putting it. These are government-run schools”.

    Just insane, that these people and places are now portrayed as sinister and scary. I don’t care how many times paid conservative mouthpieces repeat this utter nonsense, when you’re standing next to these completely ordinary but all-of-a-sudden reviled public workers, the carefully orchestrated national campaign against public workers seems bizarre.

    Anyway, here’s a coupla links if you’re in Ohio and want to see for yourself. I’ll be at one of the Saturday morning rallies.

  6. rikyrah says:

    I think disqus is fixed folks!!

    it just worked at JJP :)

  7. rikyrah says:

    Protests In Michigan Over ‘Financial Martial Law’
    Following the pitched political battles over public employee union rights in Wisconsin, Ohio, and elsewhere, another state’s fight over finances is heating up. In Michigan, new Republican Gov. Rick Snyder has just passed a bill through the legislature to allow state-appointed financial managers to void municipalities’ union contracts.

    As the Macomb Daily Tribune reports, the bill has been described by Republican state Sen. Jack Brandenburg, a supporter, as “financial martial law” for localities where finances have gone out of control: “He [an emergency financial manager] has to have the backbone, he has to have the power, to null and void a contract.”

    Protests in opposition to the measure still don’t seem to have reached Madison levels — that is, the tens of thousands who turned out in Wisconsin — but there certainly remains the potential that some of Snyder’s tougher measures could trigger a backlash.

    As Reuters reports on the content of the bill:

    The Michigan bill allows a governor-appointed emergency manager to modify or end collective bargaining agreements. With the governor’s approval, the emergency manager also could dissolve a city government or recommend consolidation.

    The bill expands the powers for the state to name emergency overseers and gives them powers over academics and finances in the case of school districts. The emergency manager also could close schools and buildings.In addition, protests have landed at the state Capitol over another component of Snyder’s financial proposals: To tax retirees’ pensions, which have until now been exempted from the state’s 4.35% income tax. On Tuesday, more than 1,000 seniors and activists turned out for a demonstration at the state Capitol.

    I’m wiling to bet dollars to donuts that those seniors were out there voting FOR Snyder, because the Black Mooslim Socialist was gonna ‘take away their medicare’.

  8. rikyrah says:

    March 16, 2011
    WHEN CUTTING MORE ENDS UP COSTING MORE…. We talked a couple of weeks ago about how misguided it is for congressional Republicans to cut funding for the Internal Revenue Service. The goals are fundamentally backwards — the GOP intends to “save” money and lower the deficit by slashing the IRS budget, which would in turn end up costing more money and raising the deficit.

    Why? Because for every dollar the IRS spends on audits, liens, and property seizures, the government brings in more than $10. If the goal is reducing the deficit, undermining the agency that collects revenue is counter-productive. Indeed, the Obama administration — which may be more interested in fiscal responsibility than it should be — wants to increase the IRS’s budget precisely because it will reduce the budget shortfall Republicans pretend to care about.

    In other words, in this case, the GOP plan to reduce the deficit is almost certain to increase the deficit.

    Ezra Klein uses this as a launching pad to highlight the fact that cutting spending not only fails in some occasions to reduce the deficit, it even fails to actually reduce spending.

    There are three categories of spending in which cuts lead to more, rather than less, spending down the line, says Alice Rivlin, former director of both the Congressional Budget Office and the Office of Management and Budget. Inspection, enforcement and maintenance. The GOP is trying to cut all three.

    I can appreciate why some of this seems counter-intuitive. I can even imagine some Fox News personality telling viewers, “Those wacky liberals think it costs money to cut spending! What fools!”

    But it just requires a little bit of thought. If we cut spending on volcano monitoring and tsunami warnings, we save a little money on maintenance, but pay a lot of money on damage repairs after disaster strikes. If we cut spending on food safety, we save a little money on inspection, but pay a lot of money on health care costs when consumers get sick. If we cut spending for the Securities and Exchange Commission, as Republicans are desperate to do, we save a little money on enforcement, but pay a lot of money to clean up financial catastrophes.

    This comes up all the time. A couple of years ago, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) thought it was outrageous to spend $650,000 on “beaver management” in North Carolina and Mississippi, blissfully unaware of the fact that this funding ended up saving nearly $5 million in potential flood damage to farms, timber lands, and roadways. Spending a little money saved a lot of money.

    Ezra summarized all of this nicely:

    There are all sorts of reasons Republicans are being penny-wise and pound-foolish. Cutting $100 billion in spending in one year sounded good on the campaign trail but turned out to be tough in practice. Curtailing the IRS and cutting the Department of Health and Human Services — and, particularly, its ability to implement health-care reform — is a long-term ideological objective for Republicans.

    Whatever the reason, the effect will be the same: a higher likelihood of pricey disasters, an easier time for fraudsters, and bigger price tags when we have to rebuild what we could’ve just repaired.

    Just don’t try to explain any of this to congressional Republicans. It seems to make their heads hurt.

    —Steve Benen 1:25 PM

    • Ametia says:

      We must REMEMBER this:



  9. rikyrah says:

    She’s Back! Sharron Angle Launches House Campaign (VIDEO)
    Sharron Angle, the former Nevada state representative and 2010 Republican nominee for Senate — who lost that race due in part to her talk about “Second Amendment remedies” and other very right-wing positions, and a refusal to speak to non-conservative media — has now officially declared her candidacy for the open House seat in the state’s Second District, which Republican Rep. Dean Heller is leaving to run for Senate.

    Angle previously ran for the seat in 2006, very narrowly losing the Republican primary to Heller in the open-seat race. She then went on to great fame in 2010, ultimately losing the Senate race to Reid by a 50%-45% margin.

  10. rikyrah says:

    Boehner Tips His Hand, Hints At Deal With Democrats On Spending
    Reflecting on Tuesday’s House passage of stopgap legislation to keep the government open for three weeks, House Speaker John Boehner suggested that the path to keeping the federal government running over the long term will require a compromise with Democrats — an acknowledgment that won’t sit well with conservatives in his party.

    At a Wednesday job creation forum hosted by the Republican leadership, I asked Boehner whether Democrats have a point when they note that he needs their votes to fund the government. His first reaction since the vote revealed his bind, and suggests he’s not throwing in his lot with the Tea Party. “Let me remind you that Republicans control one-half of one-third of our government,” Boehner said. “It’s never been lost on me that because we only control the House there are a lot of other players that we need to work with in order to come to any agreement to keep the government open. But I’m confident that we’ll be able to find a way to cut spending — which we believe will lead to a better environment for business to hire people in America — and keep the government open.”

    If Tuesday’s vote had failed, it would in all likelihood have touched off a government shutdown. That’s an outcome Boehner wants to avoid. But to pass the spending resolution, he couldn’t rely on his caucus alone — the 54 defectors in his caucus, who drew a line in the sand in pursuit of much more drastic cuts and far-right policy measures, meant that he needed Democratic votes to get it done.

    That’s a no-win situation for him. He’ll have to choose between bending to the will of the right flank of his party, and precipitating a government shutdown, or cutting a deal with the White House and congressional Democrats, and further alienating his base.

  11. rikyrah says:

    under the ‘ You have WAAAAYYY too much time on your hands’ news:


    Mom sues preschool for not prepping 4-year-old for Ivy League
    By Kavita Varma-White

    Did you hear the one about the New York mom who sued the preschool for not preparing her kid for the Ivy League?

    Sadly, folks, this isn’t a joke.

    There is, for reals, a mom (the plaintiff, Nicole Imprescia of Manhattan) and a school (the defendant, York Avenue Preschool) and a lawsuit (plaintiff suing defendant for a refund of the $19,000/year tuition she paid).

    The New York Daily News first reported about Imprescia’s beef. She claims the school jeopardized her 4-year-old daughter Lucia’s chances of getting into an elite private school (by not preparing her for the admissions exam you have to take to get into top notch/top dollar elementary schools in the city) and, therefore – wait for it, wait for it – ruined her chances of being a future Ivy Leaguer.

    The lawsuit claims that the school put Imprescia’s “very smart” 4-year-old in a class with kids half her age – a class where the focus was on shapes and colors. (The York School’s website says 4-year-olds work “with one alphabet letter each week creating connections between the letter, the sound and the children’s lives.” Students are also “introduced to the works of artists represented in the many museums found within New York City.”)

    “The school proved not to be a school at all, but just one big playroom,” the lawsuit says.

    Again, this isn’t a joke, but if it were, maybe this would be the punch line: Imprescia pulled her daughter out of the school after just three weeks – which means the child maybe got to the letter “C.” But the school, which has a firm no-refund policy, wouldn’t give her money back. (Nanny, nanny boo-boo.)

    Where to start with this story: Paying $19,000 for a preschool? Saying the school sucks after just three weeks? Filing a lawsuit because you think your 4-year-old won’t get into Harvard? We took to the blogosphere to find out what bothers people the most.

    In the Jewish parenting blog, Jordana Horn writes about what the $19K preschool price tag is really about:

    It’s more about the connections – you’re buying into the system early with the idea, as this woman has somewhat indelicately put it, of buying a ticket for the wild ride of Manhattan competitive education. You fight to get into a preschool, then an elementary school, then high school, and then the golden ticket of the decal for the back of the car that costs $19K to put in the garage all year. Fun!

  12. rikyrah says:

    What Is At Stake
    by John Cole

    Here’s who the anti-union jihad of the GOP and the glibertarians is targeting:

    Jodi and Ralph Taylor are public workers whose jobs as a janitor and a sewer manager cover life’s basics. They have moved out of a trailer into a house, do not have to rely on food stamps and sometimes even splurge for the spicy wing specials at the Courtside Bar and Grill.

    While that might not seem like much, jobs like theirs, with benefits and higher-than-minimum wages, are considered plum in this depressed corner of southern Ohio. Decades of industrial decline have eroded private-sector jobs here, leaving a thin crust of low-paying service work that makes public-sector jobs look great in comparison.

    Now, as Ohio’s legislature moves toward final approval of a bill that would chip away at public-sector unions, those workers say they see it as the opening bell in a race to the bottom. At stake, they say, is what little they have that makes them middle class.

    “These jobs let you put good food on the table and send your kids on school trips,” said Monty Blanton, a retired electrician and union worker. “The gap between low and middle is collapsing.”

    Gallipolis (pronounced gal-uh-POLICE) is a faded town on the Ohio River, one whose fortunes fell with the decline in industries like steel in bigger cities along the river. That erased a swath of middle-income jobs in the area, said Bob Walton, who, as a commissioner for the Southern Ohio Port Authority, an economic development agency, has tracked the economic history of the area for decades.

    “It’s a real big change,” Mr. Walton said. “It has changed the complexion of our community.”

    Today, storefronts are mostly dark. About one in three people live in poverty. Billboards advertise oxygen tanks and motorized wheelchairs. Old photographs in a local diner look like an exhibit from a town obituary. The region has some of the highest rates of prescription drug abuse in the state, with more people dying from overdoses than car crashes, according to Ed Hughes, executive director of the Counseling Center in Portsmouth, about 55 miles west of here.

    David Beaver, 65, a barber, said that when he got out of high school, “you could go anywhere you wanted to and pick your job.”

    “Now, it’s depressing,” Mr. Beaver said. “I hear the boys talking. They can’t find anything.”

    It is not that there are no jobs, but rather that the jobs available pay too little and have no benefits, resulting in, as Mr. Beaver put it, “just scraping by.” A private hospital and two power plants do offer good jobs, but they are highly competitive and many require some higher education, something that fewer than one in five people here have, according to 2009 census data.

    So most people scrape by, as Ms. Taylor did before landing her state job in 1996. At the time, she was living in a trailer and working in low-wage jobs at Wendy’s, Dairy Queen and a Big Lots discount store. Her hourly wage jumped to $9 when she started at the Gallipolis Developmental Center, a state home for mentally retarded people, up from $5.25 at a private nursing home.

    It’s an interesting mind that can tell you that the jump from 5.25 an hour to 9 dollars an hour makes someone a fat cat union employee while simultaneously arguing that 250k a year is not rich. I’m sure there is a Reason video somewhere that explains this.

    Ahh, glibertarians.

  13. Ametia says:

  14. Michele Bachmann: ‘I Made A Mistake’

    Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) tried on Tuesday to explain away a historical gaffe she made during a stop in New Hampshire last weekend.

    In a misstep that landed her in the headlines, Bachmann told a group of local Republicans, “You’re the state where the shot was heard around the world in Lexington and Concord.” The first shots of the Revolutionary War, however, were not fired in the Granite State, but rather in Massachusetts.

    “I made a mistake; I should’ve said Massachusetts rather than New Hampshire,” said the Tea Party favorite during an appearance on the Laura Ingraham show on Tuesday, according to The Hill.

    According to Bachmann, her remarks captured the attention of the media because of “a double standard” against conservatives. She said, “…as we know all 3,400 members of the mainstream media are part of the Obama press contingent.

    • Ametia says:

      Bachman is a MISTAKE. PERIOD

      “…as we know all 3,400 members of the mainstream media are part of the Obama press contingent.”

      Oh th eglaring evidence of being fed a shitload of nonsensical statistics.

      What I’d love to know is where were all 3,400 members of the MSM last weekend during that 100,000 WISCONSIN protester’s rally?

    • rikyrah says:

      heifer, don’t nobody believe it was a mistake..

      you show your stupidity and ignorance, time and time again.

  15. rikyrah says:

    U.S. Chamber Hires Bush’s Attorney General To Help Weaken Ban On Corporate Bribery
    As ThinkProgress reported in October, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is pushing to overhaul the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), the government’s main enforcement mechanism to stop American-based multinational firms from bribing foreign governments in order to win special business advantages. The Chamber thinks the law is too burdensome for American businesses and makes them less competitive compared to foreign companies, which are freer to engage in corruption.

    The Blog of Legal Times reports the Chamber has now enlisted a powerful ally to fight the scourge of anti-corruption — President Bush’s Attorney General Michael Mukasey:

    Debevoise & Plimpton, where Mukasey is a partner, filed lobbying registration papers on his behalf this month, according to Senate records. The registration is for the Chamber’s Institute for Legal Reform and is effective back to March 3. It covers possible FCPA amendments and other issues “related to criminal law and policies affecting U.S. corporations.” […]

    Harold Kim, senior vice president at the Chamber’s Institute for Legal Reform, said he’s pleased with Mukasey’s hiring. “He brings a wealth of experience on these matters given his past positions as attorney general of the United States as well as chief judge of the Southern District of New York,” Kim said in an interview. “I think he’ll be a good advocate as part of our overall efforts to secure some more clarity and certainty with respect to the current statute.”

    The Chamber may have decided to take on the FCPA now because President Obama’s Department of Justice has decided to do what Bush’s Department of Justice under Mukasey didn’t — thoroughly enforce the law. Under Obama, the department collected more than $1 billion in fines during fiscal year 2010, the most the government has collected in the law’s 38-year history, and more than ten times the $87 million collected in 2007 by the Bush Administration

  16. rikyrah says:

    under Nigger, Please news:


    Herman Cain: Planned Parenthood Should Be Called ‘Planned Genocide’
    Presidential aspirant and former pizza tycoon Herman Cain did not mince words when criticizing Planned Parenthood on Tuesday, saying the organization would be more aptly described as ‘planned genocide.’

    Speaking to a group of reporters at the conservative Heritage Foundation, Cain said he supported fully defunding Planned Parenthood — as House Republicans have sought to do with their budget bill — because, he claimed, the organization was founded with the goal of killing black babies before they were born.

    “Here’s why I support de-funding Planned Parenthood, because you don’t hear a lot of people talking about this, when Margaret Sanger – check my history – started Planned Parenthood, the objective was to put these centers in primarily black communities so they could help kill black babies before they came into the world,” Cain, who is African American, was quoted as saying to

    “You don’t see that talked that much about,” he was also quoted as saying. “It’s not Planned Parenthood. No, it’s planned genocide. You can quote me on that.”

    Cain then went on to say that Planned Parenthood doesn’t do any planning, “other than to abort the baby.”


    so, I guess the MILLIONS of women, who get free HEALTHCARE there, and get screenings, that sometimes SAVE THEIR LIVES, are just imagining things.

    since this fucker is also against healthcare for all, I guess he’s saying that these poor women, and working poor women should just FUCKING DIE.

  17. rikyrah says:

    Palin’s Base Shrinks But Intensifies
    16 Mar 2011 11:39 am

    A new ABC/WaPo poll finds her negatives among Republicans at an all-time high. The Hill summarizes:

    Palin has a 58 percent net favorable rating among Republicans, and a 37 percent net unfavorable rating. While that rating is still positive, it’s the worst she’s had with Republicans since she emerged on the national stage; her previous low was 63-31 percent.

    But look behind the headlines and you find something more interesting:

    “Strong” favorability matters in primaries, where motivation to turn out is an important factor. Among strong Tea Party supporters, strongly favorable views of Huckabee and Palin are highest, at 45 and 42 percent, respectively; strongly favorable views of Gingrich and Romney drop off in this group to 35 and 31 percent, respectively.

    There’s a similar pattern in a related group, leaned Republicans who say they are “very” conservative. Palin and Huckabee (at 45 and 44 percent) again attract much higher strongly favorable ratings among strong conservatives than do Gingrich and Romney (30 and 28 percent).

    In primaries, enthusiasm matters. And if Huckabee doesn’t run …

  18. rikyrah says:

    VIDEO: Before Meltdown, GOP Mocked Concerns About Nuclear Safety
    Commenting on the unfolding nuclear reactor crisis at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi plant, John McCain (R-AZ) said recently:

    I think what happens now to this power plant as to whether the damage is contained or not will have a direct effect on the future of nuclear power in the United States. Let’s have a little straight talk.

    Kicked off by the 9.0 magnitude earthquake which struck the country on Friday, the crisis has already become the worst nuclear accident since the Chernobyl disaster. An ensuing series of explosions and breakdowns has forced workers on site to react with increasingly desperate measures to bring the crisis under control, primarily by pumping seawater into the damaged reactors in an attempt to cool the overheating cores.

    Not surprisingly, the crisis has also inspired renewed debate over the future of nuclear technology here in America. It’s worth noting that, before offering “straight talk” on nuclear energy, McCain and fellow Republicans — including Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), and Sen. Kit Bond (R-MO) — were displaying a frighteningly blasé and contemptuous attitude towards the severity of nuclear power’s dangers and the regulations necessary to address them

  19. rikyrah says:

    Rep. Steve King Not In Favor Of Restoring Tsunami Funding, Warns Against ‘Over-Reacting’
    As ThinkProgress and others noted last week, the 2011 budget proposed by House Republicans — as well as the three-week continuing resolution they just passed — eliminates critical funding to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that will hamper the agency’s ability to track and respond to tsunamis. The agency said the cuts “will take away [our] ability to upgrade tsunami models and will put considerable stress on watchstanders ability to react.”

    The cuts were roundly pilloried in the wake of the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan. But this morning, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) — a Tea Party favorite and rigid ideologue on budget cuts — said he still favors the reduction, and dismissed calls to restore the funding because “we often over-react” to natural disasters:

    KING: The tsunami warning centers, it’s really — the timing of that really puts attention on the subject matter. I don’t know that I would go back and look at that. I would ask people to come forward with the facts on this — how badly do we need them and do the tragic events in Japan give us a different perspective. I would look at it from a different perspective. I don’t know I would at this point know say that I’d be willing to make that change. I think we often over-react to emergencies, especially natural disasters, before we assess the limit of the damage, and particularly with the nuclear part of this

    Watch it:

    Yesterday, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) also defended the cuts, saying “All of us need to be tempered by the fact that we’ve got to stop spending money we don’t have.” This follows a similar pattern of other conservatives trying to ignore the tragic reality of the events in Japan in service of their political goals. Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) said yesterday that reaction to the nuclear power crisis there is “overblown,” and Bill O’Reilly said the “worldwide media is hyping the nuke situation in Japan a bit too much.”


    there are SEVEN LEVELS in nuclear disaster.

    Chernobyl was a SEVEN.

    Japan is NOW at a SIX.

    yet, BILL-O-THE-CLOWN, says folks are OVERREACTING.


  20. rikyrah says:

    they’d sell their Mama for a quick buck.


    RNC considers selling TV rights of presidential primary debates
    Posted on Wednesday, March 16, 2011 by Paddy

    If I tried I couldn’t come up with anything more appropriate to define the Republican Party.

    Washington (CNN) – The Republican National Committee is considering sanctioning the GOP presidential primary debates and then selling the broadcast rights to news outlets, two Republicans with knowledge of the idea tell CNN.

    The proposal was mentioned last week during a meeting of top RNC officials and a handful of political operatives representing potential GOP presidential candidates.


    It is unclear if it is legal for the RNC to sell the broadcasting rights or whether it would constitute a prohibited political contribution in the eyes of federal law.

    Also unknown is whether news outlets would pay to exclusively air a presidential primary debate. CNN and several other news organizations have already announced plans to hold presidential primary debates in 2011 and 2012.

  21. rikyrah says:

    Straight . . . No Chaser
    God is money, money is God; The Wet Dreams of American Aristocrats

    Here’s a stark reality; most folks won’t be robbed by a gun-toting thug. No, instead far too-many of us will be taken to the bank . . . by a banker – a serpent in alligator loafers, shark skin suit and claiming Ivy League/Wall Street credentials.

    Everything is not as it appears . . . .

    Eradicating organized labor, undermining worker-ant solidarity, that’s what’s really going on right under our noses. Class warfare waged by the world class wealthy against us workers bees. The Trickle Down Theory is being rammed down the throats of the average, everyday Fred and Wilma Flintstone.

    It’s like Mr. Slate has gone mad, insane. Corporate extremism on display.

    Let me give it to you straight, no chaser; mortally, fatally wounding organized labor is precisely what the landlords, the haves and have every-things yearn for, and the desire is nothing new, it’s been so since Ludlow and even before – hording resources, maximizing profits via any means required, putting “the market” (people/families) through as much as it can bear while in-search-of endless ever-growing profits, that was the bulls-eye in Wisconsin from the start. It’s the fat-cat national blueprint.

    I can think of no legit debate that can be had about “intent” or “motivation,” the evidence speaks World Book Encyclopedia volumes; the prime factor being – dismantling labor unions – increasing profits, i.e., greed, but also undermining a major revenue stream of the Democratic Left – erasing, eradicating . . . eliminating political and economical competition.

    Some of the same sentiment plays a role in the NFL owners obscene power grab; at the end of the day the leagues aristocratic ownership cartel wants to “break “ the players union while holding their victory over the well paid gladiators high, for all elitist to see – as an incentive to attack organized labor on any step of the economic ladder – well paid gladiators all the way down to lowly teachers, firemen and police. . . .
    Please, many of these football fat-cats break bread with Rush Limbaugh, who maintains an open engraved invite to numerous n’ various NFL and MLB owners penthouse suites in coliseums across the land, and over the last few weeks, since Wisconsin Governor (for the time-being) Walker began his assault against organized labor, Rush has insulted. slighted, bitch-slapped and back-stabbed the American worker – nonetheless it won’t get him exiled from any NFL owners royal box.

    This drug addicted sexist, racist and elitist hypocritical ground-sloth amplifies the wet dreams of the rich.

    Tragically Rush and the rest of the Red-Neck rabble-rousers have the rank n’ file and note, none of these good ol boys bring home six figures, yet Limbaugh has them shooting themselves in their own asses, their own wallets. Working class White trash voting and supporting legislation which is against their own best interest – out of some twisted fear those who are “unworthy” will reap some welfare check which comes out of their hard working, real American pocket.

    Slow down, take your time, don’t walk by this one – Rush is a friend to many a team/plantation owner – obviously some NFL owners see the world like Rush Limbaugh. Translation they despise FDR, MLK, LBJ, Che, JFK, Mr.X, and RFK . . . .

    Limbaugh represents and sings the sweet song of unbridled, unchecked, Liaise-Fare capitalism. He endorses the run-of-the-mill US citizen underwriting the industrial/military /pharmaceutical/insurance/banking industry . . . while selfishly, pompously touting his Every man for himself, I am not my brother’s keeper . . . I got mine – you get yours, survival of the financially fattest n’ fittest view of the world and life.

    The cozy man-luv shared between Rush and the NFL round-table is troublin’ but nonetheless a telling tid-bit about how these country club aristocrats see the world and the tiny people who inhabit it.

    Ownership. management, administration, the US investor class – the patriotic folks who also rather invest in private prisons then public education. Even high school history tells us these elements in the economic equation prefer their workers not merely un-organized, but preferably disorganized – John Q. Public kickin’ Jane Q.Privates ass – it’s easier to screw folks who’ve no unity.

  22. Governor Sued For Axing Low-Income Health Plan

    NEW YORK (Reuters) – Pennsylvania’s governor and other state politicians have been sued in a class action suit after 41,000 residents lost health coverage following the state’s axing of an insurance program for low-income workers.

    The suit, filed in a state court by three of the affected residents, said freshman Governor Tom Corbett wrongly redirected Pennsylvania’s share of the money from a master settlement agreement between cigarette makers and states away from the health plan.

    As a result, the health plan, adultBasic Insurance, closed because no other funding provision was made. This left the people who were enrolled in the lurch along with 500,000 other individuals who were waiting to be covered, according to the law suit, which was filed on Monday in Commonwealth Court.

    The over $200 billion settlement between cigarette-makers and states aimed to compensate taxpayers for the soaring healthcare costs of treating ailing smokers.

    The lawsuit said that a Pennsylvania statute enacted a year after the 2000 national settlement required that “the tobacco monies would be used to make Pennsylvanians healthier and to fund the health of future generations of Pennsylvanians.”

    Some 30 percent of the tobacco money was set aside for the adultBasic Insurance program and the Medicaid program for disabled workers, according to the lawsuit, which seeks class action status.

  23. The Shocking Way US Cops Are Trained to Hate Muslims

    America today is too politically correct to acknowledge the reality of Islamic fanaticism, Kharoba said. “Would Islam be tolerated if everyone knew its true message?” he asked the class. “From a Muslim perspective, do you want non-Muslims to know the truth about Islam?”

    No!” came the audience reply.

    “So what do Muslims do?” Kharoba demanded.


    Kharoba strode forward to the front of the room, his voice slower now, more measured. “Islam is a highly violent radical religion that mandates that all of the earth must be Muslim.”

    He was referring to the events of September 13, 2002, when three Middle Eastern men at a Shoney’s restaurant in Calhoun, Georgia—one Jordanian, one Pakistani, and one Egyptian—were overheard talking about “bringing it down” to Miami. A nearby diner, one Eunice Stone, became alarmed and contacted the Georgia highway patrol. In what became a terrorist scare with national coverage, the police pulled the three men over on Alligator Alley, the long section of Interstate 75 that cuts west across Florida. For thirteen hours, the police combed the vehicle for explosives.



  24. Rush Limbaugh Mocks Japan Quake Refugees (VIDEO)

    Rush Limbaugh laughed about Japanese refugees recycling after the earthquake that struck the country on his Tuesday show.

    A caller asked Limbaugh, “If these are the people that invented the Prius, have mastered public transportation, recycling, why did Mother Earth, Gaia if you will, hit them with this disaster?”

    Limbaugh called this an “interesting question,” and played a clip of ABC’s Diane Sawyer reporting from a shelter in Japan. In the clip, Sawyer is surprised that the refugees in the shelter have maintained a recycling program. Limbaugh first mocked Sawyer, doing an impression of her and saying that “she sounds like she saw her husband for the first time in six months.” He then turned to his caller’s question.

    “He’s right,” Limbaugh said. “They’ve given us the Prius. Even now, refugees are recycling their garbage.” Here, he began to laugh, continuing, “and yet, Gaia levels them! Just wipes them out!”

    Sometimes I have to ask God….How long, Lord? How long?

  25. rikyrah says:

    Checkmate: No Good Moves For Boehner In Spending Fight
    Brian Beutler | March 16, 2011, 6:00AM

    The House of Representatives passed emergency legislation Tuesday to keep the government funded through mid-April and avoid a shutdown reminiscent of the one Newt Gingrich triggered back in 1995.

    That was the broader result Speaker John Boehner wanted, and, indeed, House GOP leadership has insisted for months now that they don’t want a shutdown, period.

    But Tuesday’s outcome was nonetheless a mixed one for Boehner. It illustrated a reality he’d hoped to escape — that a large chunk of his caucus won’t vote with him if he compromises. Indeed, the 54 Republicans who voted against the stop-gap legislation put him in an unenviable box: Either he kowtows to his right flank, and pushes initiatives that can’t pass in the Senate; or he abandons them, as Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has suggested, and passes consensus legislation. The latter option, however, would require significant concessions to win Democratic votes, and further delegitimize himself with the Tea Party base.

    If he chooses option (b), he will need Democratic votes. And that would abruptly flip the dynamic on Capitol Hill, where Republicans have been riding high since they trounced Democrats in the November elections.

    If he chooses option (a) — if he and his party don’t back off their pitched demand to fundamentally reshape the U.S. government — the consequences they’d hope to avoid — shutdowns and worse — will become all but inevitable.

    Two weeks ago, the House passed a similar stop-gap spending resolution with almost 340 votes. Only a handful of Republicans defected. Indeed, if every Democrat had voted against that funding measure, Boehner could have pushed it through on the strength of GOP votes alone. Tuesday’s vote was much different. Although the three-week stopgap passed with 270 votes — dozens more than needed to pass — Boehner lost scores of his own members, and needed the help of many, many Democrats to get it done.

    In a statement to reporters shortly after the vote was gaveled closed, Schumer crowed.

    “Speaker Boehner wouldn’t have been able to pass this short-term measure without Democratic votes, and he won’t be able to pass a long-term one without Democratic votes either,” he said. “It’s time for him to abandon the Tea Party, and forge a bipartisan compromise.”

    Huddling with reporters after the vote, House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer broke it down. “There are a large number on their side which preclude a majority of Republicans from saying that they’re prepared to compromise,” he said.

  26. rikyrah says:

    Gunning down immigrants — and other democratic experiments
    By Dana Milbank, Tuesday, March 15, 7:51 PM
    Here in Washington, the immigration debate is in stalemate. But in Kansas, there has been a breakthrough.

    This striking achievement came about this week during a meeting of the state House Appropriations Committee on efforts in Kansas to shoot feral swine from helicopters. Republican state Rep. Virgil Peck suddenly had an idea. “Looks like shooting these immigrating feral hogs works,” he commented, according to a recording posted by the Lawrence Journal-World. “Maybe we have found a [solution] to our illegal immigration problem.”

    Brilliant! Shooting immigrants from helicopter gunships! Why didn’t they think of that in Congress?

    There are a few logistical problems with Peck’s idea, including the fact that Kansas isn’t a border state. But maybe Oklahoma and Texas will grant overflight rights for immigrant-hunting sorties.

    Peck, the Republican caucus chairman for the state House, later suggested his brainstorm was a joke, although he also defended himself: “I was just speaking like a southeast Kansas person.”

    Kansans may be surprised to learn that the immigrant-shooting idea was offered in their names, but they wouldn’t be the only Americans getting unwelcome news from their state legislators now that many Tea Party types have come to power.–and-other-democratic-experiments/2011/03/14/ABQVXzZ_story.html

  27. rikyrah says:

    Tuesday, March 15, 2011
    Brutal numbers for Kasich, SB 5
    Ohio Senate Bill 5 may not be in effect for very long…54% of voters in the state say they’d repeal it in an election later this year while just 31% say they’d vote to let the bill stand.

    Voters in the state are having significant buyers remorse about the results of last fall’s election. In a rematch 55% say they would now vote for Ted Strickland to just 40% who would vote for Kasich. Because this is a sample of all registered voters in the state and not just those who voted in last fall’s Republican heavy electorate the self identified 2010 vote of this sample is 49% for Strickland and 46% for Kasich but that still suggests a 12 point movement toward Strickland among those surveyed over the last four months.

    Of course the reality is that Democratic leaning voters did this to themselves to some extent. It’s a small sample but among those who admit they didn’t vote last fall, Strickland has a 57-13 advantage over Kaisch. It was a similar story in Wisconsin the other week where Tom Barrett led Scott Walker 59-22 among those who had stayed at home in 2010. Democratic voters simply did not understand the consequences- or didn’t care- of their not voting last fall and they’re paying the price right now. But the winners of that realization in the long run may be Barack Obama, Sherrod Brown, and Herb Kohl- these states are already looking politically a whole lot more like 2008 than 2010.

    It’s looking like a tough road ahead for Kasich.

    • Ha! How much you wanna bet voters will take their asses to the polls next time? These folks were watching the black man in the White House and took their eyes off the wolves on the outside.

    • Ametia says:

      NO MERCY. Except, it just kills me that the folks who know better are being subjected to the sheer ignorance of a few Cacs.

  28. rikyrah says:

    Tuesday, March 15, 2011
    Obama leads in Maine
    Barack Obama’s a little weaker in Maine than he was in 2008, but he doesn’t appear to be at any serious risk of actually losing the state next year.

    Obama took 58% of the vote against John McCain in Maine, winning it by 17 points. His approval rating has dropped a good bit from that level of support and is now 51% with 44% of voters disapproving of him. He is largely popular with the Democratic base at 84% approval but his support from Republicans is pretty limited with only 10% of them giving him good marks. He also fares well against independents at 53/41.

    Only Mitt Romney gives Obama a remotely serious challenge and he still trails by 8 points at 49-41. Romney is not particularly well liked in the state with 34% of voters expressing a favorable opinion of him to 46% with a negative one. That puts him ahead of the curve of the rest of the Republican candidates though. Mike Huckabee’s favorability is 31/45, Newt Gingrich’s is 28/55, and Sarah Palin’s is 31/64.

    Huckabee, who trails by 12 points at 51-39, and Gingrich who trails by 16 points at 53-37 both perform better than John McCain did in the state. Palin, however, does not. Her 22 point deficit to Obama at 57-35 there would represent the worst loss for a Republican candidate in Maine since Barry Goldwater lost to Lyndon B. Johnson by 38 points in 1964.

    Although Obama may not be as popular he was in 2008 he doesn’t seem likely to lose any states next year where his approval rating remains above water. And he certainly won’t as long as voters are reacting as negatively to the GOP contenders as they are in Maine

  29. rikyrah says:

    NRA Refuses White House Meeting on Gun Rules
    Democrats are out to kill Second Amendment, says group

    The Obama administration is trying to bring together both sides in the debate over gun control for a series of meetings, but the NRA sees it as a waste of time. “Why should I or the NRA go sit down with a group of people that have spent a lifetime trying to destroy the Second Amendment in the United States?” NRA chief Wayne LaPierre asked the New York Times. Given the NRA’s clout, the decision could doom the White House initiative.

    “It shouldn’t be a dialogue about guns; it really should be a dialogue about dangerous people,” said LaPierre. But that’s essentially the tack the president is taking, says an aide: He plans to “focus on the people, not the guns,” and put the emphasis on law enforcement, not new rules. Click to read the president’s op-ed in a Tucson paper this week on the issue.

  30. rikyrah says:

    Obama to raise money in Harlem

    By MAGGIE HABERMAN | 3/15/11 9:26 PM EDT Updated: 3/15/11 10:27 PM EDT
    President Barack Obama is coming to New York City later this month to raise big bucks at a DNC fundraiser and hold a “thank-you” reception planned in Harlem, an important base of support for the president as the 2012 campaign takes off, POLITICO has learned.

    According to two invitations obtained by POLITICO, Obama will hold a small, six-table, high-dollar fundraiser at the Red Rooster Restaurant on Lenox Avenue. The restaurant is the brainchild of chef Marcus Samuelsson, who prepared the first White House state dinner in 2009.

    The donation for the dinner is $30,800 a head, with funds going to the Democratic National Committee.

    Later that evening, the president will attend what’s being billed as an an invitation-only, “Thank You Reception with President Obama,” at the Studio Museum on 125th Street. The DNC isn’t planning to solicit donations for that event.

    The choice of locations puts Obama back in a heavily African-American district, at a time when he’s seeking to assure that turnout among black voters remains strong next year.

    It also puts him smack in the district of Rep. Charles Rangel, whose supporters Obama infuriated last year when, at the height of his House ethics case, suggested the long-serving congressman should think about his legacy — including a possibly graceful exit.

    It’s the first trip Obama has made to the storied neighborhood in several months.

    Read more:

  31. rikyrah says:

    Miami-Dade Mayor Ousted
    Carlos Alvarez recalled by huge margin

    An overwhelming majority of voters in Miami-Dade county have decided to chuck their mayor out of office before the end of his term. Almost 90% of voters chose to oust Carlos Alvarez in the biggest recall of a local politician in American history, the Miami Herald reports. Alvarez, a Republican, was elected to a second term in 2008 but his popularity crumbled after a series of missteps, including a massively unpopular 14% hike in property taxes.

    Billionaire businessman Norman Braman launched the campaign to recall Alvarez. “County voters have demonstrated by their ballot that they are tired of unaccountable officials, of being ignored, and of being over-taxed in this very difficult recessionary time,’’ Braman said after elections results came in. “We’ve empowered the people of this county to take back the government and ask the government to be responsive to the people.” He urged county commissioners to call an election for a new mayor instead of appointing a replacement.

  32. Ametia says:

    Posted at 02:29 PM ET, 03/15/2011
    Michelle Obama to city leaders: Anti-obesity campaign can help economy
    By Nia-Malika Henderson
    First lady Michelle Obama took her battle of the bulge message to local leaders Tuesday, linking obesity to the economy at a time when cities and states are grappling with deficits and budget cuts.

    Speaking to the National League of Cities Conference, Obama said that she knows that everyone is “worried about budget shortfalls,” but that addressing the epidemic of childhood obesity has an impact on the bottom line.

    “You all know better than anyone that childhood obesity is already affecting your communities,” she said at a hotel in Washington, D.C. “It’s already weighing down your budgets. It’s already hampering economic growth.”

    Obama’s focus on the fiscal side of fat comes as municipalities face layoffs, spending cuts, and high unemployment and as congressional leaders wrangle with the budget. She suggested that tackling childhood obesity shouldn’t be “something you get around to doing when you have the money, but as something that could affect whether you have the money in the first place.”

    “So make no mistake about it: When we talk about childhood obesity, we’re talking about the workforce that you’re trying to build,” she said. “We’re talking about businesses that you’re trying to attract. We’re talking about the budgets that you’re trying to balance each and every day.”

    So far, some 550 communities have signed up for the first lady’s Let’s Move initiative. Launched a year ago, the program is an administration-wide effort to significantly reduce the problem of childhood obesity in a generation. Over the last year, Obama has addressed elected officials, school leaders, food manufacturers and restaurant associations as part of her efforts. Her biggest get was Wal-Mart, the nation’s largest grocery store chain, which pledged to offer healthier and lower cost foods to its millions of customers.

    While Obama has garnered mostly bipartisan support for her efforts, she has not been without her critics, most notably former Alaska governor Sarah Palin and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn), who have suggested that Obama’s efforts are akin to a “nanny state.”

    In her remarks, Obama said that local leaders “don’t have to pass sweeping new ordinances or spend a fortune to get results on this issue,” but can instead focus on simple solutions such as more gym time, sidewalks and nutritious lunches.

    “You’re the ones who can spur action. You’re uniquely positioned to put our communities on a stronger, healthier and more financially sound foundation for the future,” she said, echoing her husband’s “Winning the Future” mantra. “And that’s what really this effort is all about, in the end. It’s really about our future.”

  33. rikyrah says:

    GOP jackasses
    Posted on Tuesday, March 15, 2011 by GottaLaff

    I’ve been fuming about how shortsighted Republicans– especially conservative Republicans… especially tea baggers– are, and how they are completely irrational.

    Between having absolutely no foresight or grasp of the health of our planet and wanting to do away with the Environmental Protection Agency to wanting do to away with anything and anyone who threatens their quest for power and money, they put the health and welfare of our country at risk… as I ranted here.

    What they don’t want to do away with is their goal of single party corporate rule.

    As I observed their despicable, infantile lack of foresight in action, it struck me:

    They are nothing but donkey-eared, hee-hawing, self-serving, Me-Me-Me, more-more-more, greedy, self-absorbed, irresponsible, anti-American, snotty little Pleasure Island boys in search of immediate gratification at the expense of anyone and everyone else. They are live-action, real world Lampwicks.

    Their reckless lack of foresight puts this whole country in danger, as is evident by their blind support of nuclear power in the midst of a tragic, deadly catastrophe in Japan while poo-pooing clean energy sources like wind and solar power.

    In fact, they demean and smear anyone and anything that doesn’t please their personal corporate ATMs, and they do that because they believe there won’t be any negative consequences. Wrong.

    There will be, there have been, and there are.

    Pinocchio‘s sequel is not a movie, it’s an ongoing series called “The New Civil Rights Movement”. It’s up to us to write the ending before the GOP does.

  34. Ametia says:

    Posted at 04:53 PM ET, 03/15/2011
    The sad, hypocritical retirement of Evan Bayh
    By Ezra Klein
    Posted at 04:53 PM ET, 03/15/2011
    The sad, hypocritical retirement of Evan Bayh
    By Ezra Klein

    After two terms in the Senate, Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) announced that he was done with Congress. “There are better ways to serve my fellow citizens,” Bayh said. “I love working for the people of Indiana. I love helping our citizens make the most of their lives, but I do not love Congress.” (Spencer Platt – Getty Images) Evan Bayh wasn’t a particularly distinguished senator. You’ll not find much major legislation with his name on it, or a particularly coherent philosophy laced through his votes. He was a popular Democrat in a red state, and most of his efforts seemed to be devoted to keeping it that way. In practice, that meant talking a lot about the deficit, taking occasional potshots as liberals and avoiding any overly courageous legislative stands. “An ordinary politician,” I wrote when he retired.

    But he was a very interesting near-retiree. When he decided not to seek reelection in 2010, he published a precise and devastating broadside against the institution in which he and his father had served. Instead of merely condemning the bitter partisanship of the place, he proposed to close the loopholes that had enabled polarization to metastasize in paralysis. “Filibusters should require 35 senators to … make a commitment to continually debate an issue in reality, not just in theory,” he wrote. And “the number of votes needed to overcome a filibuster should be reduced to 55 from 60.” Strong stuff. He then went after money in politics, calling for “legislation to enhance disclosure requirements, require corporate donors to appear in the political ads they finance and prohibit government contractors or bailout beneficiaries from spending money on political campaigns,” not to mention “public matching funds for smaller contributions. Bayh had no record of leadership on any of these topics. But, in part for that reason, it was particularly potent to hear him speaking out on them.

    • rikyrah says:

      who actually believed anything else where Bayh is concerned? who else thought he’d land anywhere other than FOX? If you paid attention to his weasel ass at all, this was obvious.

    • Ametia says:

      Really, NO record on LEADERSHIP on the topics he espouses, yet he cries about how no one wants to work together.

      Sounds like the perfect prerequisite for a job at FOX channel.

  35. rikyrah says:

    this nuclear plant stuff is just fucking scary. the workers there know they’re killing themselves, yet, there they are, trying to do whatever they can to avert complete disaster. they are no less heros than the cops and firefighters who entered the Twin Towers on 9/11.

  36. rikyrah says:

    Congress and Regulators
    by mistermix

    As DougJ said the other day, “shit happens” can’t be the response to the current nuclear crisis in Japan. A set of reactors based on an sixties-vintage US design, and spent fuel storage ponds operated in the same manner as US sites, has caused a local disaster and is now clearly at the brink of a major region-wide disaster.

    With that in mind, here’s a snippet from a Union of Concerned Scientists press conference:

    REPORTER: Is there any comparison to the BP oil spill? And, you know, that was a pretty worst-case scenario in a different manner in respect to, you know, several missteps and technological breakdowns happened.

    MR. LOCHBAUM: Well, I think the common denominator is the United States Congress, and what we’re hearing now on the BP oil spill is that MMS was an ineffective regulator, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is another ineffective regulator, but it’s not really the NRC’s fault. The United States—when the NRC, in the nineties, was trying to enforce its regulations after the debacle up at the Millstone Nuclear Plant in Connecticut, the nuclear industry ran to Congress, and Congress told the NRC to stop enforcing its regulations. You are going to put these guys out of business. So, the NRC, since their budget is controlled by the United States Congress, they listened. They haven’t enforced regulations in about 15 years. So, when the accident occurs in a nuclear power plant, Congress will call the NRC and say, geez, what’s wrong with you? They’ll change their name and they’ll do the same old stuff. The United States Congress should stop telling federal regulatory bodies to stop regulating. They’re not doing the American public much good by those kind of shenanigans.

    Reading the UCS press conference transcripts from the last couple of days, the issues that need to be addressed in the US include moving spent fuel from storage ponds to dry casks more quickly, backup generators for hydrogen ignitors, requiring that new plants be certified to a higher safety standard, and re-examining site blackout procedures and assumptions.

  37. rikyrah says:

    Rapper Nate Dogg Dead at 41
    Gangsta rap legend started out with Snoop Dogg, Warren G

    West Coast gangsta rap star Nate Dogg has died at the age of 41, reports his hometown newspaper, the Long Beach Press-Telegram. The cause of death is not yet known, but the rapper—real name Nathaniel D. Hale—had battled health problems in recent years and suffered strokes in 2007 and 2008. The ex-Marine started out as part of rap trio 213, joining Snoop Dogg—no relation—and Warren G. He released three solo albums but was best known for his collaborations with other rappers, including Dr. Dre and Tupac Shakur.

    “We lost a true legend n hip hop n rnb,” Snoop Dogg tweeted. “One of my best friends n a brother to me since 1986 when I was a sophomore at poly high where we met.”

  38. rikyrah says:

    Saying No to Libya Intervention
    by BooMan
    Wed Mar 16th, 2011 at 08:42:26 AM EST

    I have been saying for weeks that the Obama administration should resist pressure to get directly involved in Colonel Gaddafi’s ouster from power in Libya. For a long time it seemed like the State Department wanted us to get involved and the Pentagon did not. This is a reversal of the normal approach to world affairs of those two departments, but it might reflect the differences between their secretaries. In any case, Hillary Clinton has finally come out against acting unilaterally:

    NBC’s Andrea Mitchell reports from Cairo that there is “no U.S. support” from the State Department for a no-fly zone over Libya, with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton instead saying that the proposal must go to the United Nations, where it is expected to face opposition from Russia and China.
    Meeting with Clinton last night in Paris, Libyan rebels asked the Secretary to launch airstrikes against three airfields, to offer military aid, and to implement a no fly-zone, Mitchell reports.

    But the United States is not going to meet those demands, according to an off-camera read out after that meeting — the highest-level contact to date between the administration and the Libyan rebels.

    Make no mistake. The president will be unfairly attacked for making this decision, as well as for not going to war with Iran after their sham elections in 2009 and subsequent crackdown.

    People who loath war and dislike American interventionism have a responsibility to have the president’s back on this. For once, we didn’t intervene and we didn’t choose war. We didn’t add Libya to our list of responsibilities. At least, not yet.

    If Gaddafi survives, be ready to rebut arguments that Obama was indecisive and disengaged.

    Libya is NOT our business. Let the Arabs clean up an Arab mess.

  39. rikyrah says:

    Did SC Gov. Haley lie about 2007 earnings?
    Income on job application, federal tax returns differ

    By John O’Connor
    Posted: Wednesday, Mar. 16, 2011

    Then-state Rep. Nikki Haley’s application for a job at Lexington Medical Center reported she earned $125,000 a year – more than five times the amount that Haley, now S.C. governor, said she earned on her federal tax returns.

    That application also said Haley expected to be paid that same amount – $125,000 a year, according to hospital documents obtained in a public records request by The State. Haley’s federal tax returns show she was paid $22,000 by her parents’ clothing store, Exotica International, during 2007.

    In 2008, Lexington Medical hired Haley, then under financial pressure, for a $110,000-a-year fundraising job, created specifically for her, despite her lack of fundraising experience.

    Gov. Haley’s chief of staff, Tim Pearson, denied Tuesday that Haley misrepresented her earning record to Lexington Medical.

    “It is illogical,” he said. “It just doesn’t make sense.”

    Haley’s August 2008 application to become a fundraiser was included in more than 70 pages of records that Lexington Medical turned over to The State regarding Haley’s employment from August 2008 until April of last year.

    The State requested the documents after a political blog said Republican activist and Haley critic John Rainey had requested information from Lexington Medical via a freedom of information act request.

    Pearson noted the job application document containing information about salary history and expectations, dated Aug. 5, 2008, is not hand-signed by the then-state representative from Lexington – as was as accompanying form authorizing a background check.

    The document says the applicant’s typed name or signature constitutes a signature, and includes details such as Haley’s previous employers, their addresses and supervisors, and names and phone numbers of references.

    Haley also hand-signed or initialed at least five other hiring documents in the records that Lexington Medical produced.

    “She never said that she made $125,000 from Exotica,” Pearson said Tuesday, “and the application does not have her signature on it. … The governor did not fill out the application that has her making $125,000 a year.

    “It is illogical that a single person would fill out two pieces of paperwork for the same job, on the same day, and only hand-sign one of them. It just doesn’t make sense. She didn’t sign it because she didn’t fill it out.”

    Pearson also noted one page of the application did not include a file stamp, as the other pages did.

    Efforts to reach hospital officials after business hours Tuesday were unsuccessful.

    Haley’s $110,000-a-year job as fundraiser came under scrutiny during the campaign after the hospital told The State that it created the position for Haley, whose only prior work experience was working for her parents and a short stint accounting for a Charlotte recycling firm.

    Haley was paid a higher salary than others in similar positions at nonprofits of similar size or geography, according to a salary survey compiled by the S.C. Association of Nonprofit Organizations. Haley’s $110,000 salary was 63 percent higher than the highest fundraiser salary – $67,500 – among organizations with budgets that are similar in size to the Lexington Medical Center Foundation. The average salary for the same position among those surveyed was $44,195.

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  40. dannie22 says:

    Good morning all!

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