Friday Open Thread

Eek-A-Mouse (born Ripton Joseph Hylton, November 19, 1957, Kingston, Jamaica) is a Jamaican reggae musician. He is one of the early artists to be described as a “singjay“.[1]

Eek-A-Mouse began his music career when he was in college, releasing two roots reggae singles under his own name, which were produced by his mathematics tutor, Mr. Dehaney. These early works were influenced by the music of Pablo Moses.[1][2] He then went on to work for various sound systems over the next few years and also released a few more singles. He adopted the stage name “Eek-A-Mouse” in 1979, taking the name of a racehorse he always bet on; it was a nickname his friends had used for some time.[2][3][4] He began recording for Joe Gibbs in 1979, having a hit straight away with “Once a Virgin”, now showing the influence of Ranking Joe,[1] and this was soon followed with “Wa-Do-Dem” (produced by Douglas Boothe), and “Modelling Queen”, which began an association with Linval Thompson, who produced his debut Bubble Up Yu Hip album.[2]

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.
This entry was posted in Current Events, Music, Open Thread, Politics and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

76 Responses to Friday Open Thread

  1. Ametia says:

    WOOO HOOO Go Rev. Al!

    April 1, 2011 3:51 PM 0 comments .President Barack Obama Back To New York For Rev. Al Sharpton National Action Network Bash
    BY Celeste Katz

    Fresh off his big DNC fundraising visit to Harlem this week, President Obama is set to return to New York City on Wednesday, April 6, as a featured speaker at the Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network yearly bash.

    The president will appear at National Action Network’s “Keepers of the Dream Gala” at the Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers.

    Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett was already scheduled to attend the event, speaking at the NAN Women’s Power Luncheon.

    Obama hit Harlem’s upscale Red Rooster restaurant Tuesday for a cozy $30,800-per-plate fundraiser that pulled in around $1.5 million for the party — and pulled in horders of New Yorkers who lined the streets anxious to get a glimpse of the prez.

    He also appeared at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations for the dedication of the building to late Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown; stopped by the American Museum of Natural History to take in a science fair and held a “thank you” reception at the Studio Museum.

    As the Daily News noted at the time, “The hop into Harlem offered Obama a chance to repair ties with many of New York’s prominent African-American Democrats.

    “He angered many with his team’s clumsy attempt to push then-Gov. David Paterson out of the 2010 gubernatorial race, and he rankled others by suggesting Rep. Charles Rangel resign after the congressman was censured for ethics violations last fall.”

    By appearing at the NAN event, Obama again appears to be making a move to shore up his visibility (and popularity) among African-American voters and Democrats as he gears up for his re-election bid.

    Obama has struggled with voters’ dissatisfaction with the state of the economy, U.S. foreign policy and the job market. A new Farleigh-Dickinson University PublicMind poll shows Obama practically neck-and-neck in matchups against GOP leaders including Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney and Chris Christie.

    Sharpton, as you may recall, was not necessarily an early fan of the man who ultimately became our nation’s first black president. During the 2008 election, he fended off critics who said he was not-so-secretly jealous of being eclipsed by the former senator from Illinois as a powerful spokesman for black Democrats.

    The civil rights activist later threw his support to Obama, but said he’d keep it on the quiet side.

    Since Obama’s election, Sharpton has used his bully pulpit to come to the president’s defense more than once, including trying to tamp down Rep. Anthony Weiner’s criticism of Obama’s tax cut deal with Republicans last year. His increased loyalty has scored him more prominent face time at the White House.

    Update: This just in from NAN spokeswoman Rachel Noerdlinger:

    “National Action Network (NAN) is proud to announce that the President of the United States, Barack Obama is confirmed to speak about education at our 20th anniversary and national convention. In 2007, when he addressed the convention (as all presidential candidates that year did) he promised regardless of the outcome of the election he would come back and we are glad he has chosen our 20th anniversary and our central issue of education as the focus for his remarks. This convention will have many highlights including a dialogue across the political spectrum from MSNBC’s Ed Schultz and noted columnist George Curry, to Fox TV’s Sean Hannity. We will have every major civil rights leader present. We will also unveil a $20 million dollar building fund and announce we that have finalized our debts and tax liens a year earlier then our 3-year agreement. The highlight of our convention will be the President addressing an issue we are so passionate about: education as the civil rights issue of the 21st century.”

  2. Ametia says:

    Afghans Angry Over Florida Koran Burning Kill U.N. Staff
    Published: April 1, 2011

    MAZAR-I-SHARIF, Afghanistan — Stirred up by a trio of angry mullahs who urged them to avenge the burning of a Koran at Florida church, thousands of protesters overran the compound of the United Nations in this northern Afghan city, killing at least 12 people, Afghan and United Nations officials said.

    The dead included at least seven United Nations workers — five Nepalese guards and two Europeans, one of them a woman. None were Americans. Early reports, later denied by Afghan officials, said at least two of the dead had been beheaded.

    The attack was the deadliest for the United Nations in Afghanistan since 11 people were killed in 2009, when Taliban suicide bombers invaded a guest house in Kabul, and it underscored the latent hostility toward the nine-year foreign presence here, even in a city long considered to be among the safest in Afghanistan — so safe that American troops no longer patrol here in any numbers.

  3. Jan Brewer is proposing a $50 dollar fine against obese people who don’t follow their doctors orders. Merciful Jesus…give me strength! When will the madness stop?

  4. rikyrah says:

    Multi-Dimensional Chess
    by BooMan
    Fri Apr 1st, 2011 at 09:54:47 AM EST

    This raises an obvious question:

    Senate Republicans are growing impatient with the stalemate over 2011 funding levels and want to save their political capital for a debate on the debt limit and entitlement reform.
    But they must contend with bloc of House conservatives who want an unqualified budget victory over President Obama.

    For these die-hard conservatives, anything less than slashing $61 billion in spending and cutting funds for Planned Parenthood, the EPA and National Public Radio would be a capitulation.

    Senior Republican lawmakers, however, say they need to preserve their political juice for the fight over the debt limit and entitlement reform, which is a more important.

    We’re actually debating last year’s budget which only covers government spending through the end of September. So, would it be possible to force the Republicans into basically exhausting their political capital over this fight, leaving them in a substantially weakened position to fight on next year’s budget, the debt limit, and any entitlement reform? And, how would we do that?

    It’s a good question. I think the Democrats are offering a reasonable counterproposal on the budget. If anything, it’s too generous. The key is to convince the general public of two things. The first is that the Democrats made difficult and serious concessions in the interest of cutting government spending, and the second is that the Republicans’ spurned those concessions.

    When a deal is finally struck, hopefully after a brief government shutdown that is blamed on radicals in the Republican Party, the public needs to be left with the impression that the Democrats have made sacrifices that anger their base while the Republicans have refused to make any contribution toward solving our long-term budget problems.

    It’s not easy to set narratives when the Republicans have such media dominance, however. The danger is that we make concessions and find ourselves in the same position all over again when it comes to the debt limit or next year’s budget. That’s why it’s important that we let the Republicans overplay their hand now, because this fight is only over spending for the next six months, while the next battles will be more significant.

  5. rikyrah says:

    Teacher faces lawsuit for taking a photo of young pupil’s Jolly Rancher hairstyle and posting it on Facebook for friends to mock
    By Daily Mail Reporter

    A teacher took a photo of one of her seven-year-old pupils so she could post it on her Facebook page for her friends to mock the girl’s hairstyle.
    Ukailya Lofton, a student at Overton Elementary School in Chicago, turned up for her school photo on picture day with Jolly Rancher candies tied to her braids after she had seen the style in a magazine.
    Her computer teacher asked her to pose for a photo with her braids hanging round her face and told her: ‘My husband is not going to believe this

    That night she posted the cell-phone pictures on her Facebook page with the message: ‘Right! This is for picture day.’
    Another parent whose child is the teacher’s friend on Facebook let Ukailya’s mother Lucinda Williams know that the girl’s photo was on the teacher’s page and people were mocking the hairstyle.

    She also saved both the photos and the comments onto a CD.
    Ms Williams, who is a hairdresser, said her daughter begged her to give her the braids hairstyle as she loves to dress up.
    She attached the candies with elastic bands and said she her daughter was really excited to go into school and show them off.
    Most of her daughter’s teachers complimented her hair at school, so Ukailya didn’t think much of a teacher’s request to take pictures of the hairdo, Ms Williams said.
    The comments that appeared on the teacher’s Facebook page said things like: ‘I laughed so hard my contact popped out’, ‘yeah this is foolishness’ and ‘If you are going to make your child look ridiculous the least you could do is make them matching.’

    When a furious Ms Williams notified the school, the teacher removed the photo and apologised but Ukailya’s mother is demanding she apologise directly to her daughter.
    She told the Chicago Tribune: ‘What bothers me is that she still hasn’t apologized to my baby. No child should have to go to school to be bullied by their teacher.
    ‘She wasn’t even suspended, and an apology is not enough.’

    Ukailya said: ‘My mama told me she put it on Facebook and then I felt sad.’
    Chicago Public Schools said the teacher showed poor judgement posting photos of the student but said she was otherwise a good teacher.
    They are now investigating to see if any policies were violated and if it will warrant any disciplinary action.
    Ms Williams said her lawyer is preparing a lawsuit against CPS and they are planning a news conference on Friday.

    Read more:

    Read more:

    • Ametia says:

      WTF?! Sue this heifer but GOOD! This heifer, which by the way this article is not naming or showing has done the most SHAMEFUL and CRUEL things that you can do to a child. I’m curious to know if this teacher is white?
      A teacher bullying along with students? It’s despicable!

    • Oh damn! The teacher need her ass kicked to the moon. How fk dare she bully a 7 year old? Nah Nah Nah…hurting a child like that? Let me at her…

  6. rikyrah says:

    House Defeats Effort to Remove Anti-Union Provisions of FAA Bill
    The House GOP weathered a number of defections to defeat attempts to remove anti-labor language from a bill reauthorizing the FAA on Friday.

    An amendment to strip the bill of a provision requiring workers to be present for votes on union representation or be counted as a “no” vote failed 220-206, with 16 Republicans joining Democrats on the losing side of the ledger. Labor groups had been hoping a larger defection might materialize, allowing them to carry the vote.

    Despite their success in preserving the measure, House Republicans still have to get past President Obama and the Democratic Senate. The White House has stated that it will veto any FAA bill that includes the provision.

  7. rikyrah says:

    under WELL, DUH!! news


    Posted at 12:06 PM ET, 04/01/2011
    Republican policies don’t care about poor people
    By Ezra Klein

    I’m not saying that congressional Republicans don’t care about poor people. But they really care about rich people. So far, the policy agenda they’ve pushed has been a mixture of very expensive tax cuts for the very wealthy and very deep cuts to a lot of programs that focus on the very poor. It’s . . . curious.

    Think back to the tax deal. The GOP’s demands were: 1) the extension of the Bush tax cuts for high-earners; and 2) a massive cut in the estate tax. Put together, the two items will increase the deficit by close to a trillion dollars over 10 years. If the GOP had wanted, they could’ve used that money for more tax cuts for the poor, or even the middle class. The Obama administration would’ve happily signed onto that compromise. But Republicans did not want that. If we were going to increase the deficit, we were going to do it on behalf of the wealthy.

    Now they’ve moved onto deficit reduction, or at least spending cuts, and their priorities in the 2011 budget are telling. Their cuts are coming from non-defense discretionary spending. That’s a category of spending, as you can see here, that tends to focus on services to the poor, the jobless and children. Among other cuts, they’ve proposed slicing more than $1 billion off Head Start, $1.1 billion off the Public Housing Capital Fund, $752 million from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, or WIC, and $5.7 billion from Pell Grants. I could, of course, go on. Democrats have tried to widen the cuts out to other categories so their impact falls less heavily on the disadvantaged, but so far, Republicans have refused. If we’re going to cut spending, we’re going to do it on the backs of the poor.

    As for the 2012 budget, we know Social Security is being left alone, and we know Medicaid — which is to say, health care for poor people — is taking a $1 trillion cut. If we’re going to reform entitlements, it seems, we’re going to start with the one that serves the poor.

    It’s very difficult to argue that these programs are the most wasteful in the federal government. The Pentagon is burning through a lot more cash than Head Start. Medicare spends much more for health services than Medicaid. The mortgage-interest tax deduction is regressive, as is the deduction for employer-based health care, but as of yet, Republicans haven’t proposed reforming either. Again, I’m not saying Republicans don’t care about poor people. But so far, their policy proposals don’t. And you can’t chalk it up to an appetite for sacrifice, because for all that the GOP is asking from the poor, they’ve fought hard to protect the rich from having to make any sacrifices. So far, it’s been program cuts for the poor and tax cuts for the rich. It’s a disappointing set of priorities.

    By Ezra Klein | 12:06 PM ET, 04/01/2011

  8. rikyrah says:

    Arianna: The Huffington Post is not a ‘lefty’ publication anymore

    By Stephen C. Webster
    Friday, April 1st, 2011 — 11:45 am
    In a recent interview with The New York Times, Arianna Huffington revealed a bit of news that’s not likely to show up on The Huffington Post’s front page any time soon: the site is no longer “lefty” in its political bent.

    That will likely come as a surprise to the massive audience of Democrats and liberals The Huffington Post has attracted over the years, who’ve turned the site into a powerful voice for progressive values and one of the largest online publications going.

    Speaking to New York Times reporter Andrew Goldman, Huffington said that for the last three years she has been walking the post-partisan talk.

    “The tag line that we’ve used a lot is ‘Beyond left and right,'” she reportedly said.

    The Times’ writer fired back, suggesting that she was “trying to tell me that Smurfs aren’t blue” by claiming that The Huffington Post was not founded as a “lefty” publication.

    “I’m just telling you that it is very clear that we have progressive views, but to call everything we’re doing lefty — it misses the whole point that American policy needs to be redefined beyond left and right,” she reportedly said. “It’s a completely obsolete view of politics.”

    “Still, I’m amazed you’re trying to tell me that The Huffington Post wasn’t started as a lefty blog?” Goldman asked.

    “I’m not trying to tell you anything,” she reportedly replied. “I’m telling you things. I’m not trying, O.K.?”

    The interviewer also claimed that “salacious,” “boob-related” posts on Huffington’s front page tend to get his clicks more than their original reporting — a point Arianna said was “really a shame.”

    The published text of Huffington’s interview was “condensed and edited,” according to a tag below the piece.

    Huffington has of late been feuding with Bill Keller, the Times’ executive editor, who recently compared her business practices to “Somali piracy.”

    The Huffington Post has significantly more readers than The New York Times.

    But in recent months Huffington has been under fire from liberals and progressives, namely due to AOL’s announcement that it was purchasing the site and making Arianna the editor-in-chief of its new Huffington Post Media Group, under which all their editorial content now falls.

    Some 900 of AOL’s global employees were let go after the Huffington Post purchase, representing about 20 percent of its workforce. The majority were in back-office operations in India.

    AOL reportedly paid $315 million for the site, sparking an outcry from a group of unpaid Huffington Post contributors who demanded to share in the proceeds.

    That was a sore spot for many writers, who’ve targeted Huffington’s business model of not paying most contributors as a factor leading to the decline of journalism. Numerous writers and a swath of readers even openly quit the site in protest, insisting that the failure to pay most contributors was a factor leading to the decline of journalism.

  9. rikyrah says:

    Gallup: More Americans Back Unions Than Governors in State Disputes
    Posted on Friday, April 1, 2011 by Paddy
    So, polls have shown overwhelming support for the unions and huge growth in the Latino population with an emphasis on immigration reform. Think maybe President Obama has his platform for 2012 all laid out for him?

    PRINCETON, NJ – With political battles over state budgets and collective bargaining still playing out to varying degrees in Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana, Maine, and several other states, 48% of Americans say they agree more with the unions in these disputes, while 39% agree more with the governors. Thirteen percent favor neither side or have no opinion.

    Significant budget shortfalls have compelled several Republican governors this year to take on state employee unions over collective bargaining or pay and benefits, or both. Unions in many states have pushed back, arguing they are being unfairly scapegoated, and taking their cases to their legislatures and to the public through massive protests. The March 25-27 Gallup poll was conducted after the Wisconsin legislature passed a budget bill that included new restrictions on collective bargaining, but while that bill’s legality was still under court review.

  10. rikyrah says:

    Poll: Obama’s Approval Rating With Young Voters Rises
    Strong support from young voters was crucial to President Obama’s win in 2008. Now, as he gears up for reelection, a new poll from the Harvard University Institute of Politics shows Obama’s approval rating among that demographic has risen since last year.

    In the poll, 55% of adults aged 19-28 — or, as the survey cals them, ‘Millennials’ — said they approved of Obama’s job performance, up six points since Harvard polled the question last October. That reverses a downward trend Harvard had found in their last three surveys, and it places Obama back near his standing last February, when 56% of young voters approved of his job performance.

    Additionally, 43% of respondents in the latest poll said they disapproved of Obama’s job performance.

    ‘Millennials’ surveyed by Harvard were generally more supportive of Obama’s job performance in general than the overall population. The current TPM Poll Average shows that 46.8% of all Americans approve of Obama’s job performance, compared to 48.4% who disapprove.

    But young voters’ opinion of how Obama has handled the economy runs pretty close to that of the general population.

    Only 42% of young voters in the Harvard poll said they approved of Obama’s job performance on the economy, compared to 55% who disapproved. The latest TPM Poll Average shows that 41.8% of all voters approve of how Obama has dealt with the economy, while 54.7% disapprove.

    The poll also shows young voters preferring Obama to an unnamed Republican in 2012 by a 13-point margin, 38% to 25%.

  11. Ametia says:


    Ah HELL, OPRAH’s going to take Whoopie’s spot on the VIEW!

  12. Ametia says:

    Here’s the C-Span video of PBO at the Landover, MD UPS shipping plant

  13. rikyrah says:

    Cops, firefighters turn on GOP in labor fight

    By JEANNE CUMMINGS | 4/1/11 4:35 AM EDT Updated: 4/1/11 11:33 AM EDT
    Many cops and firefighters have thrown their allegiance to the GOP for years — union members who frequently stray from labor’s longtime support for Democrats.

    A host of new Republican governors is changing all that.

    Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and others took aim at the GOP’s most powerful labor antagonists but ended up hitting some of the party’s best friends too — leaving public-safety unions fearful this year’s attack on teachers might easily be next year’s attack on them.

    It’s a political shift that could have significant repercussions, and not just because these right-leaning union members vote for Republicans in sizable numbers. Angry cops and firefighters make for bad PR — especially after Republicans under President George W. Bush aligned themselves so successfully with the heroes of Sept. 11 in the years since then.

    Chuck Canterbury, the national president of the Fraternal Order of Police, said his members are “shocked” by the turn of events.

    “Who are these evil teachers who teach your children, these evil policemen who protect them, these evil firemen who pull them from burning buildings? When did we all become evil?” said Canterbury, whose union endorsed Bush in 2000 and 2004 and John McCain in 2008.

    He is traveling the country to rally FOP members to rise up against anti-labor laws in their states or in support of their colleagues in other states. “There is going to be a backlash,” said Canterbury, a former county police officer in South Carolina. “We are going to hold them accountable.”

    Already, rank-and-file police officers and firefighters who long viewed themselves as separate from the rest of the movement are carrying picket signs, signing petitions and standing side-by-side with their labor brethren.

    In Wisconsin, Walker, who was endorsed by some small police and fire unions, carved out a special exemption for them in his proposal that essentially denies all other public employees the right to collective bargaining.

    But when Walker ordered the Capitol police to arrest Wisconsin demonstrators who refused to obey a curfew, they refused — and instead, hundreds of them lined up with the demonstrators to show solidarity.

    “We know what’s right from wrong,” one officer shouted into a bullhorn in the packed Capitol building. “We will not be kicking anyone out. In fact, we will be sleeping here with you!”

    In Ohio, Gov. John Kasich and his Republican allies decided against giving police and firemen special treatment, and tried to appeal to their conservative instincts and win them over to the cause.

    Since then, Mark Sanders, president of the Ohio Association of Professional Fire Fighters, said he’s had Republican members “apologize” for backing Kasich. “They are never voting that way again,” said Sanders, a Cincinnati fire department lieutenant.

    Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) experienced the blowback firsthand when he attended a recent event for rising leaders in the New York fire department.

    Read more:

    • Ametia says:

      And the buyer’s remorse continues… cops & firefighters, not surprised, as they have a rep for racist attitudes.

      To the GOP: You know you done fucked up, don’t you?

  14. rikyrah says:

    under NIGGER, PLEASE news….

    Herman Cain Backs Donald Trump’s Birther Spree

    It appears that birtherism is contagious among the bottom-tier Republican 2012 field. A Florida blog interviewed Herman Cain about Donald Trump’s recent crusade and the former Godfather’s Pizza CEO gave the mission his stamp of approval.

    “He’s not off base,” Cain told the interviewer, when asked about Trump’s comments. “Just like the people who have been challenging his place of birth for the last couple of years. It’s just not an issue that I have studied enough to have a view one way or the other.”

  15. rikyrah says:

    John Boehner Caught Between Barack and a Tea Party

    A woman outside of the Capitol building yesterday implored Speaker of the House John Boehner to take off his panties. She wasn’t a groupie with a thing for weepy orange men. She was a tea partier, and the suggestion was meant as an emasculating insult, not a sexual overture. The tea-party activists who rallied on Capitol Hill want Boehner to stand up to the Democrats in the Senate and White House on the budget — the deadline for a new one is Friday, April 8 — not compromise with them on the depth of spending cuts. The rally was small, but tea-party activists are only one of the constituencies Boehner has to worry about as he continues to hammer out a budget deal.

    The other is the group of tea-party-aligned Republican congressmen, mostly freshmen who were elected in the 2010 wave, who think $33 billion in cuts — the figure being floated as a compromise — would be a pathetic, unserious debt-reducing effort. Never mind that the $61 billion in cuts that they want, which the House passed earlier this year but couldn’t get through the Senate, would kill hundreds of thousands of jobs and slow GDP growth in the midst of an economic recovery, while still not really having much more of an impact on the debt anyway. The national debt has little to do with discretionary domestic spending, yet that $28 billion difference is going to be a line in the sand for some congressmen. As Politico reports:

    The restlessness — and perils — that Boehner faces are real. “If you set the bar low, you jump low,” Florida Rep. Allen West, a retired Army lieutenant colonel and freshman Republican, reciting a lesson he learned in airborne training. “When you have the epic proportion problem that we have here, it’s very disturbing to me that in Washington, D.C., we always continue to talk about what less we can do and not what more we can do to resolve this issue,” West said of the budget fight. “I think we’re letting the American people down, and I don’t believe in letting anyone down.”

    South Carolina Rep. Tim Scott, one of the freshmen who represents his class in GOP leadership, said he could not be sold on anything in the neighborhood of what is now being discussed with the White House. “You gotta deepen the cuts to sell it at all to me,” Scott told POLITICO. “I can’t do $33 billion. It’s a good starting point.”

    Would Boehner like to cut $61 billion? Sure. But he’s not an ideologue. He wants a budget that can pass both chambers of Congress (one of them is still controlled by the Democrats, remember?) and get signed by the president. Others in his caucus want to take a stand, even if that means precipitating a government shutdown.

    [T]his may also be where the rivalry is clearest between Boehner and Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.), a favorite of the tea party movement, who also has ambitions outside the House.

    “Why?” Pence said when asked whether Republicans should split the difference with Democrats. “I think we’re starting to win the argument.”

    “Sometimes, the most reasonable thing in the legislative process is to be unreasonable.”

    You can’t argue with that logic! Literally, you cannot. That’s what makes Boehner’s task of threading this needle so difficult.

  16. rikyrah says:

    April 1, 2011
    ANTI-UNION MEASURE BECOMES LAW IN OHIO…. Following Wisconsin’s lead, Ohio’s new right-wing governor, the increasingly-unpopular John Kasich (R), signed an anti-union bill into law late yesterday, limiting the collective bargaining rights of 350,000 public workers.

    The 350,000 public workers covered under the law can still negotiate wages and certain work conditions — but not health care, sick time or pension benefits. The measure also does away with automatic pay raises and bases future wage increases on merit.

    It applies to teachers, nurses and many other government workers, including police and firefighters, who were exempt in the Wisconsin measure.

    For advocates of working families, the developments surrounding the proposal, known as SB 5, were obviously discouraging, but this is seen as a round-one setback.

    Indeed, opponents of the Republican plan now have 90 days to collect 231,148 signatures from at least half Ohio’s 88 counties. If they do, the issue will go to voters statewide as a ballot initiative, giving Ohioans a chance to repeal the new anti-union law before it does significant damage.

    In the meantime, it’s worth appreciating just how offensive Kasich’s new law really is. While not identical to Wisconsin’s measure, Ohio’s public sector workers, in addition to losing some of their collective bargaining rights, makes it harder for union to collect fees, prohibits strikes, and blocks police officers and firefighters from entering binding arbitration.

    …James Brudney, a labor law professor at Ohio State University, said the bill effectively crippled collective bargaining. “There’s a kind of mask or illusion element in this,” he said. “The essence of collective bargaining is when you can’t agree on terms of a contract, you have a dispute resolution mechanism, by strikes or perhaps binding arbitration. Here, you have none of that. That’s not collective bargaining. I’d call it collective begging. It’s a conversation that ends whenever an employer decides that it ends.”

    The bill would allow public employees who are covered by union contracts but who choose not to belong to the union to opt out of paying union dues or fees. The bill would also bar any governmental unit in Ohio from deducting any part of a worker’s paycheck and giving it to the union for political activities unless the worker gave express permission.

    The bill would bar any union contract that limited a public employer’s ability to privatize operations. It eliminates statutory schedules and steps that automatically increase salaries year by year, and it bars seniority, by itself, from determining who is to be laid off.

    “This bill is a reprehensible attack on the middle class and the rights of Ohio’s workers,” said Gerald McEntee, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. “It undermines our basic American values by attacking the right of Ohio workers to have a voice on the job.”

    Will the left be able to collect the necessary signatures in time to force the matter onto the ballot? It’ll be a challenge, but labor leaders are optimistic, and for a change, the “enthusiasm gap” appears to favor the left.

    —Steve Benen 9:55 AM

  17. rikyrah says:

    The shock will probably kill you
    by Comrade DougJ

    How this brother keeps a Murdoch gig (via Wonkette) I’ll never know, but I need to read Naomi Klein’s “The Shock Doctrine”.

    The GOP is anti-democracy: With the GOP, “this whole democracy thing” is “very inefficient,” warned Klein. Republican governors are using “a fiscal crisis as a pretext to do stuff they otherwise want to do … Republicans in Michigan want to be able to unilaterally abolish your town. And how do you know when you’re in a financial emergency? Because the governor tells you … or a company he hires.”

    Yes the GOP, the party of big business and billionaires, secretly hates democracy, it’s too inefficient for the rich class.

    In the interview, Klein reiterated: The GOP governors’ strategy is a clear example of “disaster capitalism,” the Reaganomics war strategy that has dominated, obsessed and driven the GOP for a generation. Klein warns, “these guys have been at this for 30 years,” it is “an ideological movement … they believe in a whole bunch of stuff that’s not very popular,” like “privatizing the local water system, busting unions, privatizing entire towns. If they said all this in an election they’d lose.”

    And that’s why crises are so crucial to the GOP war strategies to take over America: Crises “are very, very handy, because you can say we have no choice. … the sky is falling in.” Then the GOP governors “can consolidate power. We remember this from the Bush administration. They did this at the federal level. After 9/11, they said, we have a crisis, and we have to essentially rule by fiat.”

  18. dannie22 says:

    Thanks again 3 chics for yesterdays Farrakhan thread. That ninja has lost his ever loving mind.

    • Ametia says:

      You’re welcome, Dannie. And today we have visitors telling us to BE QUIET.

      That’s what someone from NOI should’ve tole Min Farrakhan, before he went before the cameras, screaming like a whore whose pimp’s ready to cut him lose.

  19. Ametia says:

    Obama to visit UPS facility in Md. to showcase fuel-saving vehicles-12 noon today
    Stop in Landover continues president’s focus on long-term energy strategies
    The Associated Press
    8:47 a.m. EDT, April 1, 2011

    WASHINGTON— With one eye on the gas pump and the other on his energy agenda, President Barack Obama is showcasing fuel-efficient vehicles as part of his goal to reduce U.S. dependency on foreign oil.

    The president was to make a short trip Friday to Landover to visit a UPS shipping facility that features fuel-saving vehicles. Obama was to launch a public-private partnership designed to help large commercial fleets cut back on their diesel and gasoline use.

    Besides UPS vehicles, Obama also was to view examples of fuel efficiency in the fleets of AT&T, PepsiCo and Verizon.

    The stop represents Obama’s second energy-related event of the week, an effort by the White House to respond to rising gasoline prices by placing a focus on Obama’s long-term energy strategies.

    On Wednesday, the president called for a one-third reduction in U.S. oil imports by 2025. His energy proposals include boosting domestic oil production, increasing the use of natural gas and alternative fuels and making cars and trucks more efficient.

    According to the Energy Department, more than 3 million commercial vehicles used American roads in 2009, guzzling nearly 4 billion gallons of fuel.

    UPS, FedEx, PepsiCo, AT&T and Verizon are charter members of the public-private partnership. They are five of the 10 largest commercial fleets operating in the United States.

    The five companies have made a commitment to use 20,000 fuel-efficient vehicles with an estimated fuel savings of 7 million gallons of diesel or gasoline a year. The White House says that, together, the companies operate more than 275,000 vehicles.

    The Obama administration is encouraging large companies to use more efficient vehicles and to upgrade their fleets with vehicles that use electricity, natural gas or other alternative fuels. The partnership gives companies the opportunity to undertake group purchasing and to collaborate with the Energy Department for technical assistance.,0,6434100.story

  20. Ametia says:

    hat tip JeffL@ JJP

    Just reminding people that starting today and extending for a week or so there will be labor and union rallies across the country. They are planned for this week to coincide with the anniversary of Dr. King’s death. Rally materials are available for download at some of the major union websites, AFSCME, AFL-CIO, SEIU, etc.

    For a rally near you, check out this site–

  21. Ametia says:

    Sen. John Kerry: Obama Has Been “Very Clear” On Libya

    disappointed Repubs aren’t following “politics end at the water’s edge”
    Senator John Kerry (D-MA) says he is disappointed in the Republicans that supported Iraq but now are not supporting the mission in Libya.

    Video posted on April 1, 2011

  22. rikyrah says:

    did the Minister really call MLK and Malcolm X – commonplace Negroes?

  23. rikyrah says:

    April 1, 2011
    THE NUMBER THAT MATTERS TO BOEHNER IS 218, NOT $33 BILLION…. With just one week to go before an inflexible shutdown deadline, there was reason for optimism late Wednesday. Vice President Biden, directly involved in budget negotiations, suggested there’d been a breakthrough. “We’re all working off the same number now,” Biden told reporters.

    Perhaps “all” was the wrong word.

    Yesterday, Capitol Hill was abuzz with discussion about the $33 billion target for cuts, which would be the single largest, one-time reduction in American history, despite the struggling economy. But if House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) hoped for positive feedback from his caucus Thursday, he was probably disappointed.

    As House Republican leaders worked to cobble together a spending plan for this year that can win bipartisan support, their more conservative members made increasingly clear on Thursday that they consider a proposed $33 billion budget cut to be insufficient.

    Even as Speaker John A. Boehner urged Republicans to keep in mind that they would have additional opportunities in the coming weeks to cut long-term spending, some members of his caucus said they would be willing to accept a government shutdown if necessary to back up their demand for $61 billion in cuts for the current fiscal year. […]

    The immediate question, though, remained whether Mr. Boehner could bring House Republicans along on a deal for a $33 billion cut. “If that’s the number, it ain’t good enough,” said Representative Jason Chaffetz, Republican of [Utah].

    For House GOP leaders, the key number right now isn’t $33 billion, it’s 218 — the number of votes a measure needs to pass the chamber. Boehner is relatively close to reaching some sort of deal with Democrats that he can live with, but the question is whether he can get his caucus to live with it, too.

    Reiterating a point from earlier in the week, Boehner would much prefer to be a strong House Speaker with resilient credibility among his own members. He could negotiate with Democrats, go to his caucus and assure them he reached the best possible deal, and they’d believe him and vote accordingly. Boehner is, after all, their Speaker — the most powerful Republican in America.

    But that’s not the case. Boehner is a weak Speaker, leading a caucus that doesn’t necessarily trust him, dominated by freshmen who don’t really know him and owe no allegiance to him, and filled with boisterous extremists who’d rather destroy than deal. The Speaker could work something out with the Senate and White House, explain to House Republicans it’s the best deal possible under the circumstances, only to hear from his own members, “No, you’re wrong, this isn’t good enough.”

    For the record, the House Republican majority has 241 members. Boehner, if he manages to strike a deal with Democrats, which is by no means certain, could lose no more than 23 members of his own caucus before having to rely on Democrats to pass the deal.

    Does the hysterical wing of the House GOP have more than 23 members? You bet it does — and Boehner knows it.

    The Speaker may think that gives him some added leverage in the talks. He can go to Dems and say, “You guys don’t understand; my caucus is nuts. You have to give me more or the thing can’t pass.” Democrats won’t find this especially compelling. Call it a hunch.

    —Steve Benen 8:00 AM Permalink

  24. Ametia says:

    April 1, 2011
    Obama’s Momentous April
    Bob Shrum, The Week

    April is the unforgiving month that will make or break the Obama presidency. It will be a fitting climacteric for a half-term in power that has been an unremitting succession of crises. This month, from Moammar Gadhafi to the U.S. Capitol, Barack Obama will have to master events or see his credibility — and America’s — degraded and his political future — and his party’s — imperiled.

    In Libya, the president brilliantly passed the first test, securing a multilateral, Arab-sanctioned coalition that took control of the skies above the battleground just in time — and within hours after the improbable passage of a U.N. Security Council resolution. He then endured domestic, often nakedly opportunistic criticism in order to exercise a constructive ambiguity about the mission, professing its genuinely humanitarian purpose while pursuing the harder imperative of national interest, the end of the Gadhafi regime.

    Now comes the really hard part. Having intervened, the only acceptable outcome is victory — not the partition of Libya, and surely not the resurgence of a mad dictator who, as the world’s attention turned away, would return to the slaughter of his own people. The United States, to invoke a phrase from the past, would look like a “pitiful, helpless giant,” with debilitating consequences to our security and the world’s. Think of America’s standing if Gadhafi defied and defeated this intervention. Think of Obama’s standing then — and remember Jimmy Carter’s after Desert One, when helicopters sent to rescue our hostages in Iran crashed in the desert outside Tehran.

    The president, who constantly reads history, certainly doesn’t intend to repeat it here. But after the initial successes of the air-covered Libyan rebels, they were suddenly driven into retreat. There are other signals that point in a more hopeful direction. The CIA is on the ground in Libya; the country’s foreign minister, a longtime Gadhafi henchman, has defected and fled to London. His decision reflects a cold calculation that the despot he served can’t outlast the will and firepower of the U.S. and its allies.

    It’s for Obama to make that come true, despite the reservations of Turkey and the remonstrance of Russia and China, which wouldn’t at all mind American humiliation in the sands of North Africa. NATO, suddenly at least nominally in charge, operates by consensus. This is the price of a useful multilateralism — and the challenge. The president can’t let process overwhelm purpose. The United States, Britain, and France have to move the coalition to a consistent application of the airborne equivalent of Colin Powell’s doctrine of overwhelming force. Every Gadhafi tank, column or artillery unit should be a target — hit now and again — to end the conflict swiftly. Maybe it can’t be stated this explicitly, but the humanitarian mission can’t be separated from the strategic goal of removing an inhuman totalitarian who threatens not only his own people, but who would present a constant threat to the region, to Europe, and by aiding and abetting terrorism, to the U.S. as well.

  25. Ametia says:

    Breaking News Alert: Unemployment rate falls to two-year low of 8.8 percent
    April 1, 2011 8:37:07 AM

    The unemployment rate fell to a two-year low of 8.8 percent in March and companies added workers at the fastest two-month pace since before the recession began.

    The Labor Department says the economy added 216,000 new jobs last month, offsetting layoffs a local governments.

  26. Ametia says:

    Ivory Coast Battle Nears Decisive Stage in Key City
    Published: March 31, 2011

    DAKAR, Senegal — The end of the Ivory Coast strongman Laurent Gbagbo’s rule appeared to be nearing Thursday as his rival’s troops approached the country’s main city of Abidjan, his own army chief of staff abandoned his post and his opponents claimed substantial defections of his troops and police officers.

    After steadfastly refusing to leave the presidential palace despite losing an election four months ago — a refusal that has led to hundreds of deaths, international condemnation and sanctions, the financial collapse of what had been West Africa’s economic star and the country’s being plunged back into civil war — Mr. Gbagbo faced the gravest threat yet to his rule.

    With hostile troops bearing down, top officials of Alassane Ouattara, the man recognized by the United Nations, the African Union and other international bodies as the winner of the election last November, gave him a tight deadline to give up.

    In towns across the country, Mr. Gbagbo’s feared security services and soldiers, who for four months have been the violent scourge of civilians in Ouattara-supporting neighborhoods, appeared to surrender with barely a shot, leaving the path wide open for a rapid advance all week by forces loyal to Mr. Ouattara.

  27. Ametia says:

    1 April 2011 Last updated at 06:00 ET
    Yemen braced for mass rival demonstrations

    Tens of thousands of people are taking to the streets in Yemen again as the country’s political crisis deepens.

    In the capital, Sanaa, two rival demonstrations will be held – in support of and against President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

    Representatives from the government and the opposition are reported to have met and agreed to avoid confrontation.

    Protests in recent weeks have brought President Saleh’s 32-year-old rule to the verge of collapse.

    He is under increasing pressure both at home and abroad to resign immediately.

    The UK Foreign Office has urged Britons to leave Yemen as soon as possible, and warned of a “high possibility of violent demonstrations” on Friday.

    Transfer of power

    A BBC correspondent in Sanaa says tens of thousands of demonstrators are marching in two different directions in the capital

  28. Ametia says:

    Obama, Libya, and Me
    — By Kevin Drum
    | Fri Apr. 1, 2011 12:01 AM PDT.

    One of the reasons to vote for someone for president — perhaps the key reason, in fact — is good judgment. Hillary Clinton may have taken a lot of flack for her “3 am phone call” ad during the Democratic primaries in 2008, but she was basically right: ideologically, there wasn’t that much distance between Obama and Clinton, which meant that a big part of any liberal’s decision that year was figuring which candidate had the better judgment. We knew how both of them felt about healthcare reform and climate change and education policy, but what would they do when something came up that no one could predict? How would they handle a Katrina or a 9/11?

    I was one of many who ended up voting for Obama on the grounds that his judgment seemed a bit sounder. Maybe not as toughminded as Hillary, but just as smart and, in foreign affairs, seemingly a little more willing to look at the world with fresh eyes and resist the siren call of intervention at every turn.

    So how’s that working out for me?

Leave a Reply