Friday Open Thread

LaDonna Adrian Gaines (born December 31, 1948),[1] known by her stage name, Donna Summer, is an American singer/songwriter who gained prominence during the disco era of the 1970s, earning the title “The Queen of Disco“. A majority of her work was produced by the team of Giorgio Moroder and Pete Belotte. Summer is a five time Grammy winner and has sold approximately 35 million albums and singles worldwide.[2][3]

Summer was the first artist to have three consecutive double albums reach number one on the US Billboard chart, and she charted four number-one singles in the US within a thirteen-month period.

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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84 Responses to Friday Open Thread

  1. Ametia says:

    March 18, 2011 10:00 AM
    War On The Poor: Minnesota Republicans Want To Bust Poor People Who Carry Cash
    By Susie Madrak

    They’re not just crazy, they’re evil — and un-Christian, should they have the audacity to claim otherwise. If only we could force them to live like this, they wouldn’t last a week:

    St. Paul, MN – Minnesota Republicans are pushing legislation that would make it a crime for people on public assistance to have more $20 in cash in their pockets any given month. This represents a change from their initial proposal, which banned them from having any money at all.

    On March 15, Angel Buechner of the Welfare Rights Committee testified in front of the House Health and Human Services Reform Committee on House File 171. Buechner told committee members, “We would like to address the provision that makes it illegal for MFIP [one of Minnesota’s welfare programs] families to withdraw cash from the cash portion of the MFIP grant – and in fact, appears to make it illegal for MFIP families to have any type of money at all in their pockets. How do you expect people to take care of business like paying bills such as lights, gas, water, trash and phone?”

    House File 171 would make it so that families on MFIP – and disabled single adults on General Assistance and Minnesota Supplemental Aid – could not have their cash grants in cash or put into a checking account. Rather, they could only use a state-issued debit card at special terminals in certain businesses that are set up to accept the card.

    The bill also calls for unconstitutional residency requirements, not allowing the debit card to be used across state lines and other provisions that the Welfare Rights Committee and others consider unacceptable.

    Buechner testified, “We’ll leave you with this. It is not right to punish a whole group because of the supposed actions of a few. You in this room could have a pretty rough time if that was the case. It is not right to stigmatize and dehumanize women living the hard life of trying to raise children while living 60% below the poverty level. It is not right to use racist, bumper-sticker hate to inflict human misery for political gain.”

    It may not be right, Angel. But it sure as hell is effective, and that’s why politicians without shame continue to use the poor as their own political punching bags.

    Personally, if I lived in Minnesota, I’d be out looking for skeletons in the Republican closets. It seems to be the most effective way of purging these immoral creeps.

  2. Ametia says:

    Drinking From the White Fountain: Tea Party Candidate Herman Cain Turns His Back on the African-American Community

    By Chauncey DeVega, AlterNet
    Posted on March 17, 2011, Printed on March 18, 2011

    While stumping on the fundraising circuit in Nashua, New Hampshire last weekend, prospective Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain gave a speech right out of the black conservative playbook.
    Cain spun a tale of his own childhood that was part Leave it to Beaver mated with a healthy dose of The Andy Griffith Show. He colorized these nostalgia-laden versions of Americana and whiteness — lies wrapped around a fiction — by adding an anecdote from his own experience as a young man encountering the evil that was Jim Crow America. In Cain’s telling, he was denied admission to the University of Georgia based on his race,even though he ranked second in his high school class. Rather than show righteous anger and indignation at how his basic life chances were threatened by the (il)logic of white supremacy, Herman Cain “never lost faith in America” and oddly “found inspiration in the experience” as it reinforced the values his parents had instilled in him.


  3. Herman Cain criticizes Obama over failure to mention God

    Herman Cain, the former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza who has been making buzz as a potential Republican presidential candidate, said on Friday that President Obama was deliberately omitting mention of God during his public speeches.

    In an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network, Cain described his concern.

    “I have been able to get the pulse of the American people of not only what’s in their head but what’s in their heart. What’s in their heart is they love this country. They love the values upon which this country was founded and they don’t like it when the President omits ‘endowed by their creator’ from reciting the Declaration of Independence,” Cain said.

    Cain continued: “I believe it was intentional because he’s done it three times, two of which I know about and a friend of mine actually knows of a third time. Now with all of his Teleprompters how could you not put that in there? No. I believe it was intentional.”

    Cain continued: “I believe it was intentional because he’s done it three times, two of which I know about and a friend of mine actually knows of a third time.

    If this isn’t the most asinine thing I’ve ever heard. Make it stop!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • dannie22 says:

      Bye Negro!

    • Ametia says:

      What an assclown. Herman, the coon Cain, and the rest of the decrepid GOP have no goals, plans, or inclination to serve the American people.


      Just sitting around dissecting President Obama’s every move, while he goes about the business of actually being PRESIDENT.

      It’s all a game of distraction for they have nothing up their sleeves but more slight of hand trickery, theivery, lies, distortion, obstruction, and destruction of everything good about America.

      Herman Cain’s a SLAVE-CATCHING COON of the highest order, and he’s not fit enough to spit on the POTUS’ shoes.

    • Ametia says:

      LOL a shuckin’ & buckin’, jivin’ & conivin’, lawn jockey, hanky head, slave-catching COON.

    • rikyrah says:

      you know this KNEEGROW is plucking my last Black nerve with his cooning.

  4. Ametia says:

    This is so cool.

    ‘Supermoon’ Rises: Biggest Full Moon in 18 Years Occurs Saturday Nightby Joe Rao, Skywatching Columnist
    Date: 18 March 2011 Time: 08:11 AM ET

    This story was updated at 3:32 p.m. ET.

    Thanks to a fluke of orbital mechanics that brings the moon closer to Earth than that it has been in more than 18 years, the biggest full moon of 2011 will occur on Saturday, leading some observers to dub it a “supermoon.”

    On Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, the moon will arrive at its closest point to the Earth in 2011: a distance of 221,565 miles (356,575 kilometers) away. And only 50 minutes earlier, the moon will officially be full. [Photos: Our Changing Moon]

    At its peak, the supermoon of March may appear 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter than lesser full moons (when the moon is at its farthest from Earth), weather permitting. Yet to the casual observer, it may be hard to tell the difference.

    The supermoon will not cause natural disasters, such as the Japan earthquake, a NASA scientist has stressed.

    Read on

  5. Ametia says:

    POTUS speaks on Lybia at 2p ET

  6. rikyrah says:

    Judge temporarily blocks Wisconsin anti-union law

    By Sahil Kapur
    Friday, March 18th, 2011 — 12:18 pm
    A Wisconsin judge on Friday issued a temporary order blocking the state’s highly controversial new law stripping the collective bargaining rights of public employee unions.

    Judge Maryann Sumi of Dane County issued the order in response to a request by District Attorney Ismael Ozanne (D). As The Associated Press summarized, Ozanne contended that the legislative committee that passed the bill “met without the 24-hour notice required by Wisconsin’s open meetings law.”

    The measure was signed by Gov. Scott Walker (R) last week. The Republican-led Wisconsin Senate passed it despite the absence of the chamber’s 14 Democrats, who fled the state in protest and kept the bill in limbo for weeks.

    • Ametia says:

      There’s a shitload riding on whether this shitty bills becomes law, and that judge knows it. Hopefully she’s not holding out for a huge PAYOFF by the Koch boys!

  7. Wisconsin Judge Temporarily Blocks Implementation Of Law Curtailing Public Worker Union Rights

    Madison, Wis. — A Wisconsin judge issued a temporary restraining order Friday blocking the state’s new and contentious collective bargaining law from taking effect, a measure that drew tens of thousands of protesters to the state Capitol and sent some Democrats fleeing to Illinois in an attempt to block a vote on it.

    The judge’s order is a major setback for new Republican Gov. Scott Walker and puts the future of the law in question.

    Dane County Judge Maryann Sumi issued the order, which was requested by that county’s District Attorney Ismael Ozanne, a Democrat. Ozanne filed a lawsuit contending that a legislative committee that broke a stalemate that had kept the law in limbo for weeks met without the 24-hour notice required by Wisconsin’s open meetings law. The Republican-controlled Legislature passed the measure and Walker signed it last week.

    Secretary of State Doug La Follette planned to publish the law on March 25, but the judge’s order will prevent that from happening, at least for now.

  8. rikyrah says:

    the bizness community saw how 1070 began to fuck up their MONEY and said HELL TO THE NAW


    Ariz. Senate rejects illegal immigration bills
    Arizona legislators took a timeout from illegal immigration with the Senate easily defeating five related bills, reflecting little appetite for an issue that made the state the focus of national debate and protest last year.

    Majority Republicans were split Thursday in their votes on the defeated bills, which included two measures intended to force a U.S. Supreme Court ruling against automatic citizenship for U.S.-born children of illegal immigrants. The other three dealt with health care, public services and everyday activities such as driving.

    Supporters of the measures voiced frustration and said there could be political fallout for lawmakers who voted against them.

    “The lack of political courage” is the only impediment to step up pressure on illegal immigration, said Republican Sen. Russell Pearce, the sponsor of the 2010 law.

    But business leaders have been urging lawmakers to put the issue aside to avoid damaging the still-ailing economy.

    The 2010 law known as SB1070 resulted in protests, boycotts and legal challenges. A federal judge has put key provisions on hold.

    “It’s time for us to take a timeout,” said Republican Sen. John McComish of Phoenix. “It’s something that the people don’t want us to be focusing on.”

    Critics also said the bills rejected Thursday were over-reaching and flawed.

    The two bills on citizenship were defeated on votes of 12-18 and 11-19 as majority Republicans split on the issue. The chamber’s nine Democrats voted against all of the bills.

    “I’m hopeful that now we can move on and focus on the business of the state,” Democratic Minority Leader David Schapira of Tempe said after the three-hour floor session.

    One of the rejected bills would have required hospitals to contact federal immigration officials or local law enforcement if people being treated lack insurance and can’t demonstrate legal status.

  9. Ametia says:

    This video of Rep. Ellison is worth viewing folks!

  10. rikyrah says:

    Sarah Palin in India
    March 17, 2011 – 3:15am
    March 17, 09:54
    Just a quick recap of the highlights of the trip so far.

    Sarah Palin landed in New Delhi, early afternoon and checked in to a hotel. From what we understand, she is traveling with one person (all indications are that she is traveling with Todd). Shortly after checking in, she went out to DLF Emporio Mall, an upscale mall in New Delhi where, after looking around for around 40-50 minutes, she decided to head back (presumably).

    One shop owner reported that she liked a jacket but she wasn’t too crazy about the fit and decided not to purchase the jacket. We are told that she did not purchase any item from this mall.

    Another interesting detail – our initial attempts to connect to her room at the hotel were successful during the time that she was out at the mall. After her presumed return, subsequent requests to connect were promptly denied.

    One could argue that Palin’s selection as speaker for the Dinner Keynote Address for this event is quite a break from tradition. Palin joins speakers like Aamir Khan (2010), Pervez Musharraf (2009), Al Gore (2008), Benazir Bhutto (2007).

    Understandably, there have been certain quarters, it is rumored, within the India Today group (the organizers of the speaking event) that had got the impression that they had been sold a pup.

    Another justification that has been given for the “Palin pick” (thought you’d seen the last of that phrase right?) is that Aroon Purie, the owner of the the magazine, is a shrewd businessman and understands that generating any sort of press for the event is in the group’s interest. He is also a credible journalist and is not given to sucking up to anyone so the Q&A section of Palin’s speech would be interesting. (Hint: Don’t expect soft ball questions like she got from the “lamestream media in the West”)

    The problem for Purie is that given what has happened in the Indian Parliament yesterday, the entire event might be missed – Conclave, Palin et al. For those interested, a WikiLeak cable was released which exposed that MPs (Senator equivalent) were being bribed for votes on the passage of a certain Indo-US civilian nuclear bill. The amounts were on average $2.5 million a vote. You could read more about it here.

    The video below is from the TV channel owned by the India Today Group – so think of this as a positioning exercise.


    March 17, 21:23
    It appears that our coverage from yesterday has been a source of great consternation in the Palin camp – which was not the intended result of our reportage. Since last evening there has been a virtual blackout of all information about her movements.

    IRTV would want Ms. Palin to enjoy India to its fullest and would like her to know that we wish her well. And since we have established that someone from their team is actually viewing this blog, as no other media outlet is covering Ms.Palin (they are, it appears, not interested), we are confident that this message will get passed on to her.

    • Ametia says:

      BWA HA HA HA She’s trying to play the cultural emersion game.

      Palin’s game=
      1. Go to a FOREIGN country, one with the majority of peoples of color. BROWN PEOPLE!

      2. Get taped on video being seen arriving and walking around in the country of brown people- but don’t get to close, and use hand sanitation or wipe you hands on your handler i.e. Haiti- Go shopping i.e, India, and make like you’re going to buy something, but don’t. Why would she want to wear that Indian garb?

      3. Shut out the media when she’s asked any REAL questions on world events/happenings.

      4. Speak to a group of people using talking points, You betcha’s love my country, smaller government, liberty, constiution, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH.

      5. Pick up her paycheck and get the fuck outta dodge.


  11. Ametia says:

    I’m reposting this video.

    Well, you getting your statewide organizing and RECALLS!

  12. rikyrah says:

    Libya Says It Will Release Times JournalistsBy DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK
    Four New York Times journalists missing in Libya since Tuesday were captured by forces loyal to Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi and will be released Friday, his son, Seif al-Islam el-Qaddafi, told Christiane Amanpour in an ABC News interview.

    Like many Western journalists, the four had entered the rebel-controlled eastern region of Libya without visas over the Egyptian border to cover the insurrection against Colonel Qaddafi.

    “They entered the country illegally and when the army, when they liberated the city of Ajdabiya from the terrorists and they found her, they arrest her because you know, foreigners in this place,” Mr. Qaddafi said, according to the transcript of the interview. “But then they were happy because they found out she is American, not European. And thanks to that, she will be free tomorrow.” Mr. Qaddafi was apparently referring to Lynsey Addario, an experienced war photographer, but Libyan government officials told the United States State Department on Thursday evening that all four would be released.

    The Libyan government allowed the journalists to call their families on Thursday evening

  13. rikyrah says:

    This Is What Class War Looks Like: A National Campaign, State by Stateby greywolfe359 .

    The wealthiest 5% of Americans control 72% of America’s financial wealth. The bottom 80% control only 7% of the nation’s financial wealth. The richest 400 Americans have more combined wealth than the poorer HALF of all Americans. That means 400 people have more wealth than 150,000,000 people combined. American corporations saw record profits in 2010. Nearly 80% of all economic gains made in the past thirty years have gone to the richest 1%. In the 1970s, the average CEO made 30 times what an hourly worker made. Today, a CEO makes 300 times what an hourly worker makes.

    Meanwhile, unemployment remains around 9%. Underemployment is much higher. Wages are stagnant. The cost of necessities like food, gas and healthcare are soaring.

    If you were among the beneficiaries of this trend, if you had more financial wealth than 375,000 of your fellow citizens combined, if you made 300 times what one of your hard-working, middle class employees made, and if you saw the everyday struggle that middle-class and working class families go through, and if you were a humane, reasonable human being, your heart would go out to them. You could conclude that it was time to share the wealth. You would conclude that you are not worth more than three hundred of the people whose blood, sweat and tears really make your company successful. No humane, sane, reasonable and compassionate human being could honestly believe they were worth that much more than a fellow American.

    Certainly no one who believes that “all men are created equal” could believe such a thing.


    Across the nation, they are demanding to be rewarded with even more wealth. While the middle class is struggling just to stay above water, the wealthy have tasked their puppets in the GOP with waging a three-pronged attack against what remains of middle-class power and wellbeing. It is a strategy that is being waged state by state across the country and also at the federal level in Washington, D.C. The strategy is simple:

    First, pass massive tax cuts that primarily benefit large corporations and wealthy individuals.

    Second, use the resulting loss of revenue to declare a “financial crisis” and begin making massive cuts to state and federal budgets.

    Third, undermine the ability of middle and working class people to fight back by taking away their rights to collective bargaining and by selling off the institutions of a democratic state.

    When you see this same pattern repeated in state after state across the country, when you see this same pattern reflected at the federal level, when you see it happening again and again you cannot escape the conclusion that it is a national, coordinated strategy to further enrich the wealthiest 2% at the expense of everyone else.


  14. Ametia says:

    Today, March 18, 2008 marks the Three year anniversary of the PBO’s FAMOUS “Race” speech

  15. Rush Limbaugh Denies He Was Mocking Japanese Refugees (AUDIO)

    Rush Limbaugh responded to criticisms that he was mocking Japanese refugees by insisting that he was only mocking a news report about them.

    Limbaugh sparked outrage on Tuesday when he laughed about a report by ABC’s Diane Sawyer that noted that refugees in a Japanese shelter were recycling. He then turned to a question from a caller, who said that he found it ironic that such an environmentally conscious country had been struck by such a large natural disaster.

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

    On his Thursday show, Limbaugh said he was only making fun of Sawyer. “I did make fun of Diane Sawyer, but not the Japanese people,” he said, calling Sawyer an “anchorette.”

    He also said that his caller’s question was, similarly, not mockery.

    “I don’t think that’s making fun of the Japanese people, I think that’s cramming it down the throats of the liberals,” he said.

    He’s a lying liar! He did mock the Japanese people! I hope he goes to his own place soon.


    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!”

    This video clip includes audio of Limbaugh laughing as he says it:

  16. Ametia says:

    Senate passes short-term government-funding measure that includes some easy cuts
    By David A. Fahrenthold and Felicia Sonmez, Thursday, March 17, 9:30 PM
    By Friday, Washington should have a new drop-dead date.

    The Senate approved another stopgap budget bill Thursday that would keep the federal government open until April 8. The measure, which had already passed the House, is expected to be signed by President Obama on Friday.

    The bill would cut $6 billion in federal spending. That makes twice this month that lawmakers from both parties have agreed to slash billions from the budget.

    But the measure did not get Democrats and Republicans any closer to agreeing on a larger deal to fund the government through September, the end of the fiscal year.

    It just puts three more weeks on the clock.

    “Patience is wearing thin on both sides with these stopgaps,” said Sen. Charles E. Schumer (N.Y.), the Senate’s No. 3 Democrat. “All signs point to this being the last one. Three weeks should be enough to negotiate a final deal.”

  17. rikyrah says:

    Top Republican: Cut taxes by 10% … for the rich

    By Eric W. Dolan
    Thursday, March 17th, 2011 — 10:02 pm
    Congressman Dave Camp (R-MI), the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, said he hopes to cut the tax rate for the richest individuals and corporations to 25 percent to help spur job growth.

    The top U.S. tax rate has been 35 percent for both individuals and corporations since 2001, when President George W. Bush pushed for tax cuts. The previous rate, which President Barack Obama has proposed the US returns to, was 39.6 percent.

    “There is no doubt that today’s tax code is too complex, too costly and takes too much time to comply with,” Rep. Camp, who heads the House committee charged with writing tax legislation, said in a statement. “Add to that the unpleasant reality that America will soon have the highest corporate tax rate in the world, and it is no wonder that the current economic recovery has been far more muted than in past recoveries.”

    Along with Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT), Rep. Camp has directed the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) to investigate ways the Congress can enact comprehensive tax reform.

    Rep. Camp told the Wall Street Journal that the current tax code is “too burdensome for families and employers of all sizes to comply with.” He said the tax code needs to promote job growth and would also like to see many popular deductions cut or eliminated.

    “Congress must take a comprehensive approach to tax reform so that we address the needs of all job creators – big and small,” he said. “I look forward to using this additional research to identify the pathways to the tax policies that promote the job creation our country needs.”

    According to the Wall Street Journal, lowering taxes on the wealthiest Americans to 25 percent would cost $2 trillion over a decade.

  18. rikyrah says:

    Grant Hill claps back:

    In his garbled but sweeping comment that “Duke only recruits black Uncle Toms,” Jalen seems to change the usual meaning of those very vitriolic words into his own meaning, i.e., blacks from two-parent, middle class families. He leaves us all guessing exactly what he believes today. And, I wonder if I would have suggested to former Detroit Pistons GM Rick Sund to keep Jimmy King on the team if I had known, back then in the mid-90s, that he would call me a bitch on a nationally televised show in 2011.

    I am beyond fortunate to have two parents who are still working well into their 60s. They received great educations and use them every day. My parents taught me a personal ethic I try to live by and pass on to my children. They remain committed to each other after more than 40 years and to my wife, Tamia, our children, and me. They are my role models and always will be.

    In moments like these, it’s always worth revisiting the original statement:

    For me, Duke was personal. I hated Duke and I hated everything I felt Duke stood for. Schools like Duke didn’t recruit players like me. I felt like they only recruited black players that were Uncle Toms.”

    I was jealous of Grant Hill. He came from a great black family, congratulations. Your mom went to college and was roommates with Hilary Clinton. Your dad played in the NFL, is a very well-spoken and successful man. I was upset and bitter that my mom had to bust her hump for 20-plus years. I was bitter that I had a professional athlete that was my father that I didn’t know.

    I don’t find this garbled, or sweeping at all. Indeed, I find it quite clear. I think you can debate Rose’s critique of Duke–which he still holds today. But it’s very hard for me to read this and believe that Jalen Rose is either saying, or implying, “Grant Hill and his family are Uncle Toms.” On the contrary, I think Rose was making as much of statement about Duke, as he was about himself. Rose literally says “I was jealous of Grant Hill.” He literally says “He came from a great black family.” He literally says “I was bitter.” I’ve heard accusations of Tomming before. Rarely have I known them to be this reflective.

    With that said, I do not think Hill’s response should be dismissed. He goes to great lengths to detail his family own long hard struggle toward prosperity. Reading through that, it occurred to me that this almost certainly was not the first time he’d been accused of Tomming, or acting white, or some variant. It’s worth watching the clip above, because at the end Rose basically confesses to doing exactly that. I think if there was some history of people interrogating and attacking my identity, I wouldn’t really be in the mood for parsing and nuance.

    • Ametia says:

      What is this tit for tat all about? Sorry, but I haven’t been following this drama.

      • rikyrah says:

        Jalen Rose, on some ESPN piece, said that when he was a player at Michigan, he considered the Black players at Duke to be ‘ Uncle Toms’. He did state that that was how he felt back then, and that, upon looking back, he realized that how he felt, was in part jealousy at the fact that Grant Hill came from a loving, two -parent Black family.

        Grant Hill wrote a response back in the New York Times basically saying, ‘ my parents and grandparents did everything folks told us we were supposed to do, and that makes ME an Uncle Tom?’

        I had no issue with Hill’s response.

  19. Ametia says:

    Inviting a nuclear emergency
    By Eugene Robinson, Thursday, March 17, 7:57 PM
    The most urgent focus of Japan’s worsening nuclear crisis is the threat from radioactive fuel that has already been used in the Fukushima Daiichi reactors and awaits disposal. In the United States, the nuclear industry has amassed about 70,000 tons of such potentially deadly waste material — and we have nowhere to put it.

    U.S. officials’ increasingly dire assessment of the situation in Japan stems largely from the fact that spent fuel rods — which were stored in pools of water to keep them cool — have apparently become uncovered. The material is “cool” only in the relative sense: Once exposed to air, the fuel rods rapidly heat up and release large amounts of radiation.

    This is just one of several calamitous system failures at the Fukushima plant, but it is the most immediately perilous. For days, Japanese officials denied that there was any problem with the spent-fuel pools, which are located in the same structures that house the reactors. On Thursday, however, authorities acknowledged the seriousness of the situation and began doing everything they could to address it.

    They even used helicopters to scoop up buckets of seawater and try to dump it onto the spent fuel rods in two of the plant’s six reactors. But the rods were giving off so much radiation that chopper pilots, for their own safety, had to release the water from a great height. Almost all of it missed, and the effort was halted after just four passes.

  20. rikyrah says:

    why is it that I simply don’t believe him, in any way.

    Yeah, I guess I am that cynical.

    But, these mofos tried their best to paint the protestors as crazed ‘dirty fucking hippies’.

    Now, yes, I think they’re just straight up lying, trying to make themselves out to be the victim.

    not believing a word he says.


    Wis. GOP State Senator Claims Vandalism, Death Threats
    Eric Kleefeld | March 17, 2011, 5:14PM

    One of the Republican state Senators facing a recall campaign in Wisconsin, Sen. Dan Kapanke, has announced that he has been subject to vandalism and death threats as a result of his support for Gov. Scott Walker’s newly passed law curtailing public employee unions — and as a result, is canceling some local events in his district.

    The Wisconsin State Journal reports:

    Sen. Dan Kapanke has canceled upcoming district meetings after being the target of threats and vandalism. Rose Smyrski, Kapanke’s chief of staff, said the senator’s car window was smashed in Madison, and his wife found nails scattered in the driveway of their French Island home.

    He also received death threats.

    The second-term Republican had scheduled a listening session Friday in Ontario and office hours Monday in West Salem. Another meeting in La Farge had not been announced, legislative aide Hannah Huffman said.

  21. Ametia says:

    Breaking News Alert: Foreign minister says Libya is declaring a cease-fire
    March 18, 2011 8:59:16 AM

    Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa says Libya is declaring an immediate cease-fire and stopping all military operations.

    Friday’s decision comes after the United Nations voted to authorize a no-fly zone and “all necessary measures” to protect the Libyan people, including airstrikes.

  22. rikyrah says:

    The Forgotten Millions
    Published: March 17, 2011

    More than three years after we entered the worst economic slump since the 1930s, a strange and disturbing thing has happened to our political discourse: Washington has lost interest in the unemployed.

    Jobs do get mentioned now and then — and a few political figures, notably Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic leader in the House, are still trying to get some kind of action. But no jobs bills have been introduced in Congress, no job-creation plans have been advanced by the White House and all the policy focus seems to be on spending cuts.

    So one-sixth of America’s workers — all those who can’t find any job or are stuck with part-time work when they want a full-time job — have, in effect, been abandoned.

    It might not be so bad if the jobless could expect to find new employment fairly soon. But unemployment has become a trap, one that’s very difficult to escape. There are almost five times as many unemployed workers as there are job openings; the average unemployed worker has been jobless for 37 weeks, a post-World War II record.

    In short, we’re well on the way to creating a permanent underclass of the jobless. Why doesn’t Washington care?

    Part of the answer may be that while those who are unemployed tend to stay unemployed, those who still have jobs are feeling more secure than they did a couple of years ago. Layoffs and discharges spiked during the crisis of 2008-2009 but have fallen sharply since then, perhaps reducing the sense of urgency. Put it this way: At this point, the U.S. economy is suffering from low hiring, not high firing, so things don’t look so bad — as long as you’re willing to write off the unemployed.

    Yet polls indicate that voters still care much more about jobs than they do about the budget deficit. So it’s quite remarkable that inside the Beltway, it’s just the opposite.

  23. rikyrah says:

    $350,000 Goal Is Set For Re-election Donors
    Published: March 17, 2011

    The top contributors to President Obama’s re-election campaign were given an ambitious set of marching orders on Thursday, with an elite group of 450 donors each asked to raise $350,000 this year to help finance what is likely to be the most expensive political race in the nation’s history.

    Jim Messina, who is managing the president’s re-election campaign, announced the new goal during a closed-door meeting of the Democratic Party’s national finance committee and advisory board. The amount is more than twice what top Democrats were asked to raise four years ago, several participants of the meeting said, and the donors could be given an even bigger goal next year.

    As the 2012 presidential campaign gets under way, both sides are already engaged in an aggressive money chase. Prospective Republican candidates have been lining up contributors for months, and outside groups are setting high targets for how much they intend to invest in trying to influence the race.

    Mr. Obama is not expected to have a challenger for the Democratic nomination, but he is wasting no time starting to raise money. By next month, he and at least some Republican contenders are planning to open fund-raising committees with the Federal Election Commission.

    This week, Democratic donors from across the country have gathered here for a series of briefings and strategy sessions that are essentially serving as the unofficial opening to Mr. Obama’s re-election bid.

    If all 450 top Democratic contributors meet their goal for 2011, as outlined by Mr. Messina, the tally from this group alone will be $157 million this year. The campaign is also relying on a large portion of its money coming from small contributions on the Internet.

  24. rikyrah says:

    As Ohio GOP Goes After Unions, Obama’s Support Rises
    Jon Terbush | March 17, 2011, 4:15PM

    Only once since 1944 has Ohio voted for a losing presidential candidate, and if the 2012 election were held today, President Obama would be breathing easy, as a new PPP poll of registered voters shows him building on his lead over a slate of potential Republican challengers.

    On Wednesday, PPP released poll results showing that as voters rapidly soured on Republican Gov. John Kasich — who has pushed to strip unions of their collective bargaining rights — they were simultaneously sounding much more positive about reelecting Sen. Sherrod Brown. Now, it appears that same Democratic bump has buoyed Obama’s reelection odds as well.

    In December, Obama led four Republican challengers by between one and seven points; he now leads them all by at least six.

    In the latest poll, Obama led Mike Huckabee 48% to 41%, and topped Mitt Romney 46% to 40% though he led them by one and two points respectively three months ago. Against Newt Gingrich, Obama’s lead doubled from six to 12 points, while Palin’s deficit slipped from a seven to a 16-point margin.

    The big reason behind Obama’s surge is a sudden surge of support from Democrats.

    In December, Obama posted an upside-down approval rating, with 42% of all voters approving of his job performance, including about seven in ten Democrats. Yet now, while Republican and independent support has remained fairly constant, 84% of Democrats are suddenly behind the President.

    As with Sherrod Brown’s rising support, it appears as though the budget-battle has energized Democratic voters to throw their weight behind their party’s candidates. Of course that bump could easily recede by election day, but if not, it could give a big boost to the Democratic ticket in 2012.

    • Ametia says:

      We must keep the pressure on these GOPers, and highlight their shenanigans, because they’ll try to use ALL the money on the planet to win back the White House from that NEGRO, despite the mounting opposition from their NOW disgruntled supporters.

  25. rikyrah says:

    “The Time Pressure Is Intense”
    18 Mar 2011 07:42 am Julian Borger looks at the logistics of setting up the UN-approved no-fly zone:

    If this had been a Bush-era ‘coalition of the willing’ operation, it could have been put into action quite rapidly. The US would have done all the fighting with a few token British and French planes along for company. But the Obama administration, which tried very hard to avoid this moment, is insistent that the Arabs and Europeans must at least be seen to take the lead, and that will take more time. There is a trade-off between speed and making it look right.

    … The time pressure is intense. If Benghazi falls before the air operation gets off the ground, it would be the worst of all worlds. Gaddafi will have defied the UN, and any subsequent air strikes against his forces could simply worsen the reprisals against the rebels and the people of Benghazi.

    Richard Norton-Taylor goes into more detail. Al Jazeera provides a visual primer.

  26. rikyrah says:

    Libya should not be our problem. Libya is Europe’s problem and the Arab League’s problem. How it wound up our problem when we barely have diplomatic relations with them just disgusts me.

  27. rikyrah says:

    Anti-teacher climate humbles the conservative husband of a Cleveland educator: Connie Schultz
    Published: Wednesday, March 16, 2011, 5:15 AM
    Updated: Wednesday, March 16, 2011, 9:25 AM

    It’s a question on a lot of parents’ minds these days: How do we teach character?

    New York Times columnist David Brooks was in Cleveland on Monday to talk about his new book, “The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement.” During the audience Q-and-A, the self-described conservative was asked how he would design high school curriculum to include the teaching of character.

    Brooks shared a memory of his own teachers: “I don’t remember what they taught me, but I remember how they behaved.” Many in the audience nodded and murmured in agreement.

    Like most people, I could easily rattle off the names of several teachers who changed my life by the way they lived theirs. I’ll spare you that walk down my memory lane.

    Instead, I want to quote another self-described conservative who had a lot to say about character. His recent e-mail to me echoed the sentiments expressed by many readers who object to various states’ legislative attacks against public school teachers, including those in Ohio. These letters and e-mails are not from teachers, but from those who love them.

    This particular reader is a business analyst. He made it clear that, while our dads held similar blue-collar jobs, he and I grew up to disagree on many issues. He’s not a fan.

    But he does share my high regard for the men and women paid by taxpayers to teach America’s children. He’s been married to one of those dedicated public servants in Cleveland for nearly 14 years.

    “We spend tons of money on supplies for the kids,” he wrote. “I have begged her to leave Cleveland and she refuses to because it is her calling. I should be so lucky.”

    To insulate this man and his wife from the current blood sport of teacher-bashing, I won’t name them. He did give me permission to share the recent letter of apology he wrote to his wife:

    Dear Honey,

    I’m sorry.

    I am a conservative husband, belong to the Tea Party and I voted for John Kasich. I have been married to a Cleveland teacher for almost 14 years and my vote let her down.

    I apologize:

    For letting people tease you about having the summer off and not asking them to thank you for the tough days ahead that begin in early August. I know for a fact you work more hours in those 10 months than many people do in 12. All those hours are earned.

    For complaining that my Sunday is limited with you because you must work.

    For making you think you have to ask permission to buy a student socks, gloves and hats.

    For not understanding that you walk through a metal detector for work.

    For leaving dirty dishes in the sink [when you awoke] for your 4 a.m. work session. I should know you have to prepare.

    For thinking you took advantage of the taxpayers. Our governor continues to live off the taxpayer dole, not you.

    For counting the time and money you spend to buy school supplies.

    For not saying “thank you” enough for making the world and me better.

    I love you.

    Consider the take-home message for America’s schoolchildren:

    Conservative politicians emboldened by brand-new legislative majorities insist that children are our most precious resource, but then pass bills guaranteed to undermine the teachers entrusted with our children’s future.

    Nevertheless, those same public school teachers under attack continue to report for duty every day.

    We know that children watch, and learn. And what they are sure to understand is that, unlike those politicians, their teachers refuse to give up on them.

  28. rikyrah says:

    At height of WI union fight, Walker made time for Frank Luntz … Plus: WI GOPers back down
    At least, we think it was the real Fox News pollster and message guru, and not a Koch-style prankster…

    Rounding out this Milwaukee Journal Sentinel story about the complete fold Wisconsin Senate Republicans have done on the supposed “sanctions” and “contempt” against the 14 Democrats who left the state in an effort to stop Scott Walker’s union-busting bill (that bill is now the subject of a lawsuit seeking to stop its implementation, by the way)… was this interesting tidbit:

    lso this week, Walker’s office released his calendar for the months of January and February.

    The calendar showed he met with national political consultant and pollster Frank Luntz on Feb. 23. That was at the height of the conflict at the Capitol over Walker’s union bargaining measure and the morning after the governor took a call from a blogger posing as the conservative billionaire David Koch.

    Walker spokesman Cullen Werwie confirmed the meeting took place but emphasized it was not held to discuss the fake Koch call.

    Werwie said that Luntz paid his own way for the visit and that Luntz did not do polling for Walker. He said the Walker and Luntz discussed how to “help entice job creators into Wisconsin and encourage those here to create more jobs.”

    Walker and Luntz had never talked before, Werwie said. He said Walker’s law giving local governments more flexibility with their employees has “sent shock waves through the country, which has gained the attention of prominent opinion leaders.”

    Luntz Global says on its website that the firm fashions messages that resonate with voters and consumers.

    Seems Luntzy’s skills are slipping a bit, because Walker’s poll numbers are in the toilet.

    In fact, they were already in the toilet on February 23rd, the same day that a bunch of pretty hideous poll numbers for Scott from the day before were hitting the blogs. And wouldn’t you know it, right around the time of their meeting, Luntzie’s employer completely flipped those poll numbers on the air, through the mouth of Brian Kilmeade.

  29. rikyrah says:

    Today’s Herald column: Rick Scott, Carlos Alvarez and ‘recall fever’
    I’ll bet Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez never thought he’d be leaving his job like this – on the business end of the biggest recall in the U.S. since Californians dumped Gray Davis (and wound up with the Governator.) But could there be even bigger ticket recalls in Florida’s future?

    Move over, Wisconsin — South Florida’s got the “recall fever, too…”

    From today’s Herald column:

    What can Rick Scott learn from Carlos Alvarez?

    Both are Republican politicians with a salty way of dealing with the media. Both see no contradiction in cutting government workers’ pay, and simultaneously growing the size or salaries of their own staffs. And Alvarez favored a cushy stadium deal for the multimillionaire Florida Marlins at local taxpayers’ risk, while Rick Scott favors cushy deals for multimillionaires in all fields of endeavor, including letting utilities’ rate payers foot the cost of lower electric bills for big business.

    That’s pretty much where the similarities end, unless you count the “hair thing.”

    But Alvarez, who got booted big time by the nine in 10 Miami-Dade voters who no longer want him as their mayor, could yet teach Tricky Ricky a few things.

    Sure, Alvarez fell on the outs for raising the property-tax rate, while Scott wants to set them at Third World tax-haven levels for corporations and rich homeowners.

    Yes, Alvarez, the former cop, sought to protect police and fire pensions, while Governor Gollum (of Lord of the Rings fame) wants to flip all state pensions into Wall Street-hitched 401ks.

    And Alvarez didn’t run his policies by the tea party overlords before letting the rest of the public in on his plans.
    Still, in the end, the people’s wrath (and Norman Braman’s) proved to be the mayor’s undoing.

    Democrats are salivating over the prospect of doing to Rick Scott what Miami-Dade voters just did to the county mayor. There are even a couple of bills pending in Tallahassee that would amend Florida’s constitution to subject state legislators and the four statewide officials — the CFO, agricultural commissioner, attorney general and governor — to citizen recalls.

    Read the rest here.

    And while my “bill of particulars” on Slick Rick didn’t get to it (the old “700 word limit thing” gets me every time… Scott is also, right now, flouting the two constitutional amendments passed by voters last year to end partisan redistricting. As Dan Gelber, who curiously, is NOT running for Miami-Dade mayor (nor is any big ticket Democrat that I know of…) pointed out earlier in the week, Scott has a duty to uphold the Florida constitution, which the Fair Districts amendments are now a codified part of. And if he continues to refuse to certify the amendments, our boy Gollum will find himself in direct dereliction of that constitutional duty.


    Oh, and by the way? Sorry, Facebookers. Unless he commits a crime (and actually gets caught this time, rather than wriggling out of it by taking the Fifth 75 times the way he did with Columbia/HCA) …

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