Serendipity SOUL | Thursday Open Thread

                                  3 Chics Thursday Tribute to Elizabeth Taylor

                                        February 27, 1939- March 23, 2011

Here’s one of my favorite movies and scene starring Elizabeth Taylor and Rock Hudson from 1956.  It’s as powerfully relevant today as it was 54 years ago.  You know those ‘cries for “STATES RIGHTS”

 “GIANT ” 

And last but certainly not least, Dame Taylor was a fierce ADVOCATE for AIDS.

Harvey Weinstein: Elizabeth Taylor Was AIDS’ Greatest Fighter

Elizabeth Taylor was more than a Hollywood legend—she was one of the earliest champions against the AIDS epidemic. Film producer Harvey Weinstein remembers her tireless passion for the cause.

Elizabeth Taylor is known around the world as an Academy Award-winning actress and screen legend, but I am privileged to have known her in one of her most incredible roles: as a fierce advocate in the fight against AIDS. This was a role she played for 25 years and she brought to it every ounce of her considerable passion, intelligence, and will. She selflessly let her star power be used for the cause. She was a cheerleader, a globetrotter and an advocate. Source

Rest in Peace, Dame Taylor.

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56 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Thursday Open Thread

  1. rikyrah says:

    Did you all see THIS?


    Indiana prosecutor resigns over Walker email

    Posted on March 24, 2011 by Kate Golden

    Carlos Lam, a deputy prosecutor in Johnson County, Ind., resigned after sending an email encouraging Gov. Scott Walker to fake an attack against himself.

    Initially denied encouraging Wisconsin violence

    By Kate Golden

    An Indiana deputy prosecutor and Republican activist resigned Thursday after the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism uncovered an email to Gov. Scott Walker in which he suggested a fake attack on the governor to discredit union protesters.

    Carlos F. Lam submitted his resignation shortly before the Center published a story quoting his Feb. 19 email, which praised Walker for standing up to unions but went on to say that the chaos in Wisconsin presented “a good opportunity for what’s called a ‘false flag’ operation.”

    “If you could employ an associate who pretends to be sympathetic to the unions’ cause to physically attack you (or even use a firearm against you), you could discredit the unions,” the email said.

    “Currently, the media is painting the union protest as a democratic uprising and failing to mention the role of the DNC and umbrella union organizations in the protest. Employing a false flag operation would assist in undercutting any support that the media may be creating in favor of the unions. God bless, Carlos F. Lam.”

    At 5 a.m. Thursday, expecting the story to come out that day, Lam called his boss, Johnson County, Ind., Prosecutor Brad Cooper, and told him he had been up all night thinking about it.

    “He wanted to come clean, I guess, and said he is the one who sent that email,” Cooper said.

    He came into the office and gave his resignation verbally, Cooper told the Daily Journal in Franklin, Ind. The resignation was announced after the Center’s initial story was published.

    Email headers with detailed IP addresses suggested that the message was sent from Indianapolis.

    Lam, an Indianapolis resident, at first told the Center he never wrote it.

    Reached Tuesday by phone at the number listed on the email, Lam confirmed his email address matched the Hotmail address appearing on the Walker email, but said he had never written to Walker.

    “I am flabbergasted and would never advocate for something like this, and would like everyone to be sure that that’s just not me,” he said, after being read the email.


    • Ametia says:

      The GOP’s trickery, chicanery, shenanigans, lies, and deception knows NO bounds. And don’t think some of them have killed to get what they want. Just EVIL…

    • Ametia says:

      Can we add “racist” to “resigned” for official who advised Walker to stage phony attack?
      Posted on Thursday, March 24, 2011 by GottaLaff

      Why, it seems like only a few minutes ago that I posted about Carlos F. Lam, former– he has resigned– GOP deputy prosecutor in Johnson County, Indiana, and his splendid little email to Wisconsin Gov. Walker the WonderWank suggesting that “Walker should fake an attack on himself, in order to create sympathy for his cause and damage the reputation of the unions.”

      Oh wait, it was only a few minutes ago.

      Isn’t he special?

      Ohhh, but there’s more.

      Just when we thought Carlos F. Lam couldn’t get any worse. Can this be the same one?


      Of course, that’s the least of it. Lam seems to have a case of Negrophobia; as Rachel Maddow put it, “Be afraid, white people! The black people are coming for you!”


  2. Huffington Post yanks Breitbart from front page

    After standing by Andrew Breitbart yesterday, the Huffington Post has made the decision to yank him from their highly-trafficked front page, in the wake of some vicious comments Breitbart has since made about former White House adviser Van Jones, a HuffPo spokesman confirms to me.

    HuffPo had come under increasing criticism for giving Breitbart a major platform from groups like Color of Change, which argued that he has a history of racially-charged and factually-challenged political activism that has no place on a reputable news and opinion site. While Breitbart will still be allowed to post at HuffPo, the decision to yank him from the front page and downgrade his visibility effectively gives the critics what they’d asked for.

    Last night, HuffPo was still sticking by Breitbart, arguing that the site was committed to airing a range of voices and maintaining that Breitbart’s posts on HuffPo had remained civil. But this morning, the Daily Caller published an interview with Breitbart in which he railed at Van Jones as a “commie punk” and a “cop killer-supporting, racist, demagogic freak.” This put HuffPo in a particularly awkward spot, and now HuffPo has had enough.

    HuffPo spokesman Mario Ruiz emails me:

    The Huffington Post is committed to fostering a lively and often provocative debate about the issues of the day and encourages a wide range of voices from all perspectives to participate. Andrew Brietbart’s false ad hominem attack on Van Jones in The Daily Caller violates the tenets of debate and civil discourse we have strived for since the day we launched. As a result, we will no longer feature his posts on the front page.

    He is welcome to continue publishing his work on HuffPost provided it adheres to our editorial guidelines, as the two posts he published on HuffPost did — guidelines that include a strict prohibition on ad hominem attacks. Our decision today recognizes that placing posts on the front page is an editorial call that elevates some posts over others, and is an indication of how seriously we take these judgment calls.


  3. rikyrah says:

    Black people, Black people…

    please explain it to me.

    Why are the Ungawa Ungawa crowd so in love with Moammar?

    I’m listening to the local Black talk radio station, feeling relief, that he WASN’T talking about Libya today..

    I should have known better. He was talking about the Public Schools, and the financial scam that is the food program, and how local schools get ripped off. He took ONE CALL.

    ONE CALL on this topic.

    Maybe spent all of 15 minutes on it, and


    here we are back at Libya again.

    He reads from a NYTimes article about how Moammar got the American Oil Companies to pay the money that he was to pony up for the Lockerbie bombing.

    The Ungawa host’s reponse?

    1. he didn’t even bother to deny that Moammar shot down the plane. I thought he would at least fake that.

    No, that’s not what he said.

    he said…

    2. that the American Oil companies should be happy to pay the money; after all, Moammar got the European Oil Companies out of there, so they could come in.

    he said that.


    3. he said all the countries ask for graft. that it’s terrorism blood money wasn’t the issue..all countries ask for graft, so they should by happy to pay it as a price of doing business.

    I had to turn off the radio.

  4. Breaking News:

    NBC: NATO To Take Over Leadership of No-Fly Zone Over Libya

    All 28 Member Nations agreed to enforce No-Fly Zone

    • Ametia says:

      I’m soooo proud of POTUS & SoS Clinton. Getting it done, while the clowns swing from tightropes, pounding their chests and yelling like unevolved primates.

  5. Ametia says:

    hat tip BWD, thanks! :-)

  6. Wisconsin Anti-Union Bill Kicked Up To State Supreme Court

    MADISON, Wis. — A Wisconsin appeals court says the state Supreme Court should decide whether a law that takes away nearly all collective bargaining rights from public workers should be allowed to take effect.

    A majority of the seven-member Supreme Court must agree to take it or it would remain in the appeals court.

    The 4th District Court of Appeals said Thursday it is appropriate for the state’s highest court to take the case because it presents significant issues that are likely to end up before the Supreme Court anyhow.

    A Dane County judge issued an order last week preventing Secretary of State Doug La Follette from publishing the law, saying Republicans violated the state open meetings law when passing it.

  7. rikyrah says:

    Yemeni President Nears Deal to Resign .

    Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh and the country’s top general are hashing out a political settlement in which both men would resign from their positions within days in favor of a civilian-led transitional government, according to three people familiar with the situation.

    The outlines of that peaceful transition emerged amid rising tension over the standoff between the President Saleh and Gen. Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar, who earlier this week broke ranks and declared his support for the array of protesters demanding that the president step down immediately.

    Opposing tanks from units loyal to Mr. Saleh and to Gen. Ahmar have faced off in the streets of San’a all week and tens of thousands of anti-government demonstrators continued their vigil in the capital’s Change Square.

    The people familiar with the negotiations said Thursday that Mr. Saleh and Gen. Ahmar are intent on preventing bloodshed and preserving stability in the Arabian Peninsula nation. Aides to both men said that while they both understand that Mr. Saleh’s continued rule is untenable, they have agreed that the timing of his resignation can’t happen until they have worked out the details of a transitional governing council that would take his place. They hope to have a detailed plan ready by Saturday, the people said.

  8. rikyrah says:

    but but but….I thought the GOP was about saving money….

    let’s be clear…they don’t give a shyt about saving money or LIVES…

    if anything can be credited to something POTUS DID.


    March 24, 2011
    AN UNHEALTHY COMMITMENT TO IDEOLOGICAL ENDS…. At first blush, this sounds like a great American success story. A creative American physician comes up with an invention that can save lives and money, and looks for available grants to help bolster his innovation. The doctor runs into trouble, though, when his Republican senator has different priorities.

    Welcome to Jim DeMint’s version of America. (thanks to R.P. for the tip)

    Dr. David Cull, a prominent vascular surgeon in Greenville, S.C., had invented a small valve system that could spare 300,000 dialysis patients across the country enormous suffering — and save American taxpayers billions of dollars in Medicare costs.

    Yet, Cull’s hometown senator, Jim DeMint, refused to write a letter supporting the surgeon’s application for a federal grant under the landmark health care bill that President Barack Obama signed into law a year ago this week. […]

    Backing a doctor’s grant application under the law — even from a constituent who lives in the same city as DeMint — would leave the senator open to charges of hypocrisy.

    And really, what’s more important? Saving lives and money, or one strange senator’s politics?

    Regardless of what Republicans think of the Affordable Care Act, there are grants available to medical professionals. Officials, regardless of ideology, should want more innovation that leads to better and more affordable care for American consumers, and lawmakers would presumably want that work done in their states and districts, rather than somewhere else.

    But that’s not what Jim DeMint wants. The goal isn’t to make a stronger, healthier system; the goal is to crush Democratic efforts.

    In this case, DeMint’s constituent, Dr. David Cull, is ready to start clinical trials on what he’s labeled his Hemoaccess Valve System. Fortunately, Cull was able to get nearly $250,000 in federal funding for his research through the Obama administration — taking advantage of a project aimed at encouraging cutting-edge biomedical research — but he had to work around his own senator’s opposition.

    “It’s a good sound bite on Fox News, but he’s looking at it so simplistically,” Cull said. “He’s completely ignoring the huge (possible) savings.”

    A typical dialysis patient will undergo 10 to 12 operations over a lifetime to treat the complications, with 1 million performed each year — all paid for by Medicare.

    With dialysis one of the few medical conditions covered by Medicare regardless of a patient’s age, such surgeries cost taxpayers one-fifth — $15,000 — of the $75,000 a year the federal program pays per person with acute kidney failure.

    Cull’s valve system, by contrast, can be closed when not used for dialysis, cutting off the blood flow and thus decreasing or even eliminating the costly and painful complications.

    The grant Cull got from the federal government supplements money from private investors.

    “This is money that, in my view, was very well spent,” he said of the grant. “If our valve doesn’t work, the government will have lost $250,000. If it does work, they will have saved a gazillion dollars.”

    But DeMint doesn’t want to save a gazillion dollars; he wants to wallow in a rigid right-wing ideological agenda. The senator isn’t looking for better care at a lower price; he’s looking for a presidential “Waterloo.”

    —Steve Benen 2:30 PM

  9. rikyrah says:

    The Case For The War, Ctd
    24 Mar 2011 03:05 pm

    A reader writes:

    Saw your meep meep. In the context of the swirling and rapid change in the region, consider this.

    If the Libya intervention works as intended, this is it. “It” being the end of the neocon-Bush doctrine. This is the moment the Al Qaeda “narrative” is first dealt its death blow. This is the moment America turns the page on 10 years of insanity. This is the moment of “change” we all voted for, with dividends for years and decades to come.

    I think that’s why Obama took the considerable risk, knowing the blowback would be breathlessly apocalyptic, knowing he had little time, and knowing the opportunity would not present itself again.

    Meepity meep fucking meep.

  10. rikyrah says:

    And K-Lo Wept
    24 Mar 2011 10:46 am
    A new study has found results that confound the posturing of the Vatican and its politicized Republican supporters. Actual American Catholics are strikingly pro-gay:

    Nearly three-­quarters of Catholics favor either allowing gay and lesbian people to marry (43%) or allowing them to form civil unions (31%). Only 22% of Catholics say there should be no legal recognition of a gay couple’s relationship. If marriage for gay couples is defined as a civil marriage “like you get at city hall,” Catholic support for allowing gay couples to marry increases by 28 points, from 43% to 71%.

    Nearly three-­quarters (73%) of Catholics favor laws that would protect gay and lesbian people against discrimination in the workplace; Nearly 7­‐in­‐10 (69%) Catholics disagree that homosexual orientation can be changed; less than 1-in-4 (23%) believe that it can be changed.

    A majority of Catholics (56%) believe that sexual relations between two adults of the same gender is not a sin. Among the general population, less than half (46%) believe it is not a sin (PRRI, Religion & Politics Tracking Survey, October 2010).

    • Ametia says:

      You know, just the sound of “allowing” gay folks to get married sounds wrong.
      It’s the “ALLOWING” that’s so OPRESSIVE

  11. Walker administration still intends to sell state power plants

    Though it was removed from the budget repair bill, Gov. Scott Walker’s plan to privatize Wisconsin’s state-owned power plants remains alive.

    “We’re still looking at a range of options regarding the power plants moving forward,” said Cullen Werwie, Walker’s press secretary.

    The controversial plan was the focus of another dustup this week when the State Building Commission approved spending $9 million for upkeep and improvements at the plants prior to their sale — a move slammed by Democrats.

    Jeff Plale, administrator of the Division of State Facilities, said Friday that the proposal to sell the plants will probably be either introduced as separate legislation or added to Walker’s budget.

    Plale said the administration remains committed to the idea of selling the plants because it would be cheaper for the state to buy power from a private operator.

    The proposal as it appeared in the budget repair bill called for selling all 37 power plants, including the Charter Street Heating and Cooling Plant on the UW-Madison campus, to private operators. Most controversial, however, were provisions to sell the plants with no bids and with no review by the Public Service Commission. The plan also gave the state the authority to decide what constitutes a fair selling price.

    The proposed no-bid sale of the power plants became one of the favorite targets of protesters at the Capitol, who charged that energy billionaires David and Charles Koch, contributors to Walker’s campaign, were in line to buy the plants in a sweetheart deal. A spokesman for Koch Industries denied the company has any interest in purchasing the plants.

  12. rikyrah says:

    Conservatives On Wisconsin Supreme Court Let Corporate Lobbyists Write Judicial Ethics Rules

    Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser
    Wisconsin elects its Supreme Court justices, but the court’s four conservative justices –including Gov. Scott Walker’s embattled ally Justice David Prosser — all voted to reject an ethics rule that would have prevented them from hearing cases involving their major campaign donors. Instead, the conservative justices enacted a rule written by powerful corporate lobbyists:

    Those justices, including Justice David Prosser, who is running for re-election April 5, voted 4-3 against proposed rules that would have required them and other state judges to recuse themselves from cases in which one of the litigants had contributed more than $1,000 to their election campaign

    Wisconsin’s League of Women Voters and the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign had suggested the rules, which were vigorously opposed by the big business lobby, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, and the state’s Realtors Association, both of which are heavy contributors to court races. When they spend a lot of money to elect a justice, of course, they want to make sure the justice gets to vote.

    The four conservative justices not only declined to adopt the league’s suggestions, but instead of writing their own guidelines, they opted to enact without any changes the “rules” written by WMC and the Realtors Association, which leave the decision of whether to recuse to the justices themselves. So much for appearance of judicial conflicts of interest worrying the Wisconsin high court.

  13. rikyrah says:

    As former President Bill Clinton leaves Harlem, no tears from residents
    BY Michael J. Feeney

    HARLEM residents aren’t crying over former President Bill Clinton’s offices moving out of their neighborhood.

    The William J. Clinton Foundation, which moved onto W. 125th St. nearly 10 years ago, plans to move most of its offices to Water St. in the financial district.

    Clinton will keep an office in the building, but many residents don’t care what his plans are – either because they never saw him or don’t think his presence helped the neighborhood.

    “It don’t faze me; I never saw him,” said lifelong Harlem resident and Clinton supporter Susan Chaplain.

    “When he was here what did he do for us? Nothing,” she said as she stood on Lenox Ave., not far from Clinton’s offices. “He never did nothing while he was here. What difference does it make?”

    Sharon Johnson, 59, also wasn’t concerned with Clinton’s plans.

    “He don’t come out here so it don’t matter one way or another,” she said. “He never even comes out to say ‘hi.'”

    James Carrington, 62, is one of many sidewalk vendors selling artwork on W. 125th St. near Clinton’s building.

    “It doesn’t matter to me,” said Carrington, who added he’s spotted Clinton only once and that his presence hasn’t made any impact on Carrington’s business.

    “It doesn’t hurt me. It doesn’t affect me,” Carrington said of the move.

    One woman, who declined to give her name, said she wasn’t surprised to hear Clinton was moving.

    “I knew he wasn’t going to stay up here too long,” she said. “I was surprised when he moved up here…It was a lot of attention when he came up here, but when was the last time he was here?”

    Another resident, who refused to give his name, hoped the rent for businesses would go down now that Clinton is packing up and leaving Harlem.

    “Maybe now that he’s leaving, the rent will go down,” he said. “Him being in the community doesn’t affect us. All it did was raise the rent.

    “Drugs were still being sold. People were still being killed,” he said. “It won’t be no tears. No, thank you. Goodbye.”

    Read more:

  14. rikyrah says:

    Donald Trump’s birther rant: ‘I want Obama to show his birth certificate!’ Whoopi Goldberg calls ‘B.S.’ on Trump
    by Ken Tucker
    If Donald Trump runs for president, it’s safe to say Whoopi Goldberg won’t be voting for him.
    Swaggering onto The View Wednesday morning to promote The Celebrity Apprentice, Trump started off with some presidential talk — “If I got the nomination […] I definitely think I could beat Obama” — but got into hot water when he asked of President Obama, “Why doesn’t he show his birth certificate? […] I want him to show his birth certificate!”

    “There’s something on that birth certificate that he doesn’t like,” said Trump. He pointed to Elisabeth Hasselbeck and said, “Look, she’s smiling!”

    Goldberg took off like a rocket. “Donald, I think that’s the biggest pile of dog mess I’ve heard in ages! It’s not because he’s black, is it?”
    “It has nothing to do with him being black,” said Trump.

    “Because I’ve never heard a white president being asked to show his birth certificate. That’s B.S.,” said Goldberg vehemently.

  15. rikyrah says:

    karma…it’s what’s for breakfast, lunch and dinner.



    Worker leapfrogged others who formally applied
    State records released to WKOW27 News show candidates for various jobs in Governor Walker’s administration were passed over despite recommendations from high-level officials, while a woman with ties to Sen. Randy Hopper (R-Fond du Lac) was hired to a position with an immediate salary increase, without formally being recorded as a job applicant.

    Officials said Valerie Cass, 26, was hired to a limited term communications specialist position in the department of regulation and licensing last month at a pay rate thirty five percent higher than the worker she replaced because the position’s duties were expanded to include legislative outreach activities. Cass’ salary is equivalent to $42,328 annually. Sources confirmed Cass has a relationship with Hopper, who is estranged from his wife and in the midst of a pending divorce matter. Hopper has denied to WKOW27 News playing any role in Cass’ hire.

    Gubernatorial transition team records show dozens of applicants for jobs of all descriptions in many state agencies, but Cass’ name does not appear in the records. During the compilation of the record of applicants, Governor Walker’s spokesperson Cullen Werwie said Cass was in Washington, D.C. helping Reince Priebus’ successful bid to become republican national committee chairman, and was not included in the formal list.

    Several applicants in the records were listed as being out-of-state.

    Records in some cases also noted who recommended the applicant. Those offering recommendations included republican state senators Leah Vukmir, Dale Schultz, Mike Ellis, Dan Kapanke and Alberta Darling. The positions applied for ranged from general work to a department executive assistant.

    Department of Administration spokesperson Carla Vigue said there’s no record of any of those listed as possessing recommendations from the senators as being hired.

    Bruce Marcus of La Crosse was listed as applying for a position in communications in the department of regulation and licensing. Marcus told WKOW27 News while his work history was almost entirely in radio broadcasting, he was acquainted with Walker and other administration officials. Marcus said he was available for limited term employment because at the time of his application he was working part-time. Marcus said he was never invited to interview for a position, and now works as news director of a Michigan radio station.

    Cass’ resume released to WKOW27 News listed a journalism degree from Marquette University, a stint as an aide to former state senator Ted Kanavas, and positions with ties to republican political campaigns. A December email released to WKOW27 News shows Cass corresponded with then-transition director Keith Gilkes about procuring unspecified work with the governor’s administration.

    • rikyrah says:

      someone else pointed out that they increased her age…when the story first came out, she was only 24…now she’s 26

  16. rikyrah says:

    March 22, 2011
    Obama’s ‘unilateral’ decision
    Nate Silver looks at the CNN polling numbers and tentatively concludes an abnormal lack of American jingoism (that’s good) and a weariness of our Afghanistan entanglement (that’s good) and

    this is a bit of an educated guess, but I suspect that Mr. Obama is more susceptible to a decline in support from liberals and Democrats on this question than he is likely to benefit from an increase in support among Republicans and conservatives. Reactions from prominent left-leaning bloggers and editors, like Josh Marshall, have been cautious — but generally skeptical and pessimistic. Some liberals, also, are not opposed to the action in Libya per se, but dislike the fact that Mr. Obama did not consult Congress before agreeing to participate in the allied action

    and that’s only par for the course.

    I’m sympathetic to liberal objections on this, but let’s do face reality: Congress would still be debating whether we should take Richmond if Lincoln had not taken the helm. The House? It’s swarming with counterfeit “constitutionalists” whose principal mission is to retire not the debt but Obama, and the Senate can agree only on extended vacations — so that the senators can campaign back home and tell their constituents why those other fools can’t ever agree on anything.

    A presidential act of dumping a UN resolution on Libya in their laps while critical hours ticked off the clock would have predetermined the act’s outcome: nothingness.

    Now perhaps that would have been wise and good. I don’t know. But, if you were president and genuinely believed that time, as they say, was of the absolute essence, would you have left the matter to Congress? This Congress?

    I return to the issue of trust. And this, of course, is where things get dicey. I trust Obama to do the right thing because his moderation and intelligence have shown he’s trustworthy. George W. Bush never — ever — demonstrated those attributes, thus I was horrified when Congress permitted him his cowboyish ways, in so many arenas. But someday, most likely, we’ll again be orphaned to the thoughtless vagaries of another George W., and then I’ll be arguing for — indeeed, demanding — Congressional oversight, every step of the way.

    Just consider this a kind of pre-hypocrisy alert

  17. rikyrah says:

    3/23/2011 11:31 AM ET.
    |By Liz Weston, MSN Money
    Meet the woman the banks fearWhy do they see this affable ‘granny’ as a threat? She wants a consumer-friendly financial industry and may soon have the power to bring it about.

    When I asked Elizabeth Warren last week how she’d like to be remembered, I expected her to cite one or more of her professional accomplishments. Perhaps:

    Her groundbreaking research as a Harvard law professor with the Consumer Bankruptcy Project, which exposed the fragility of many American families’ finances, or her best-selling books that sprang from that research, “The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Mothers and Fathers are Going Broke” and “All Your Worth: The Ultimate Lifetime Money Plan.”

    Or her role as head of the Congressional Oversight Panel, which investigated the bank bailout, criticized how rescue funds were used and suggested ending the notion of “too big to fail” by liquidating insolvent banks.

    Or her current job putting together the fledging Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which she championed and which she believes, had it existed earlier, could have prevented the financial crisis by blunting the growth of subprime mortgage lending to unsophisticated borrowers.

    But no. After first asking for a rain check to consider my question, the former Sunday school teacher blurted out that what she’d really like to be known for is being “a good granny” to her three young grandchildren, whom she was flying to see in California the next day.

    Warren, 61, has a way of confounding expectations. Bankers so loathed her for her criticism of their industry that naming Warren as the director of the consumer protection bureau was considered politically untenable last year. President Barack Obama instead hired her as a special assistant to Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, which didn’t require congressional confirmation.

    But recently, in what The Wall Street Journal and others have called a “charm offensive,” Warren has been reassuring groups of bankers that what she wants is more transparency, not necessarily more regulation, which the Oklahoma native likens to fences on a prairie that lawyers can easily dodge around.

  18. rikyrah says:

    Piss Tests for Everyone
    by mistermix

    Florida Governor Rick Scott, who owns Solantic, an urgent care center chain that offers drug screens, has ordered random drug testing for state employees and applicants.

    This comes on the heels of Scott’s last plan, which would push Medicaid recipients into private HMOs:

    Scott’s budget would curb growth in Medicaid spending, the state-federal safety net insurance program, by requiring most recipients to join private HMOs. Solantic accepts Medicaid HMO reimbursements, but not state Medicaid, so adding clients could broaden the clinics’ customer base

    Scott’s Cato-based health advisor also wants healthcare to come in the form of vouchers that they could use to pay for direct medical care or to buy insurance. One might think that this benefits Scott, since those vouchers will be used at his clinics while insurance often limits their use, but Solantic co-founder Karen Bowling will set you straight:

    Bowling said Floridians can count on Scott to do the right thing. His push to privatize government-provided health is born of deep personal conviction, not out of any designs to benefit Solantic, she said.

    As long as what you know in your heart benefits big business, it’s OK to have those kinds of deep personal convictions.

  19. rikyrah says:

    Elizabeth Taylor was a STAR!

    An honest-to-God Hollywood Movie Star.

    today’s pretenders are just poseurs.

  20. Ametia says:

    Poll: U.S. leaders top global approval ratings
    By JENNIFER EPSTEIN | 3/24/11 6:37 AM EDT

    The rest of the world thinks U.S. leaders are doing a better job than those in half a dozen other world powers, including Germany, the United Kingdom, Russia and China, an analysis released Wednesday suggests.

    Forty-seven percent of the people surveyed by Gallup in more than 100 countries during 2010 said they approved of the job performance of leaders in the United States, while 25 percent said they disapproved. Another 21 percent didn’t know or refused to answer.

    While that may not be the most stunning endorsement for the United States, it is better than any other world power did in the survey. In second place was Germany, with a 40 percent job approval rating for its leaders, a 17 percent disapproval rating and 38 percent having no opinion or refusing to answer. Coming in close at third place was France, with a 39 percent approval rating, 22 percent disapproval rating and 39 percent with no answer.

    Read more:

  21. Ametia says:

    Critic’s Notebook
    Movies, Men, Melodramas: A Lust for LifeBy MANOHLA DARGIS
    Published: March 23, 2011

    The last movie star died Wednesday. By the time Elizabeth Taylor left this mortal coil at 79, she had cheated death with a long line of infirmities that had repeatedly put her in the hospital — and on front pages across the world — and in 1961 left her with a tracheotomy scar on a neck more accustomed to diamonds. The tracheotomy was the result of a bout with pneumonia that left her gasping for air and it returned her to the big, bountiful, hungry life that was one of her greatest roles. It was a minor incision (later, she had surgery to remove the scar), but it’s easy to think of it as some kind of war wound for a life lived so magnificently.

    Unlike Marilyn, Liz survived. And it was that survival as much as the movies and fights with the studios, the melodramas and men (so many melodramas, so many men!) that helped separate Ms. Taylor from many other old-Hollywood stars. She rocketed into the stratosphere in the 1950s, the era of the bombshell and the Bomb, when most of the top female box-office draws were blond, pneumatic and classifiable by type: good-time gals (Betty Grable), professional virgins (Doris Day), ice queens (Grace Kelly). Marilyn Monroe was the sacrificial sex goddess with the invitational mouth. Born six years before Ms. Taylor, she entered the movies a poor little girl ready to give it her all, and did.

  22. Ametia says:

  23. Ametia says:

    Cicely Wolters: An unabashed advocate for the Peace Corps
    By The Partnership for Public Service, Monday, March 21, 2:02 PM
    A former Peace Corps volunteer in Nicaragua and now desk officer for Morocco and Jordan at headquarters in Washington, D.C., Cicely Wolters has watched as the Internet and cellphones have transformed the experiences of volunteers worldwide.

    “Technology has been a blessing in that volunteers can communicate with family and friends back home, but it is also a curse because one of our most important measures of success is interacting with the community,” she said.

    As a response to current political tension in the region, Wolters said that some parents of volunteers have become concerned after reading postings on their children’s social media sites. This has prompted worried calls to staff in Washington and resulted in to follow up inquiries with country directors, something that used to occur far less frequently

  24. Ametia says:

    Sanctions in 72 hours: How the U.S. pulled off a major freeze of Libyan assets
    By Robert O’Harrow Jr., James V. Grimaldi and Brady Dennis, Wednesday, March 23, 2:38 PM
    The Treasury Department team had been working nonstop on a plan to freeze Libyan assets in U.S. banks, hoping they might snare $100 million or more and prevent Moammar Gaddafi from tapping it as he unleashed deadly attacks against protesters who wanted him gone.
    Now, at 2:22 Friday afternoon, Feb. 25, an e-mail arrived from a Treasury official with startling news. Their $100 million estimate was off — orders of magnitude off.

    The e-mail said there was in “excess of $29.7 Billion — yes, that’s a B.”

    And most of the money was at one bank.

    It was a piece of extraordinary good fortune for the Obama administration at a crucial moment in the efforts to address the bizarre and deadly events unfolding in Libya.

    Never before had U.S. officials so quickly launched economic sanctions affecting so many assets of a targeted country.

  25. dannie22 says:

    Good morning all!

  26. Welcome Home, Mr President

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