Wednesday Open Thread

Michael McDonald (born February 12, 1952) is a five-time Grammy Award winning American singer and songwriter. Sometimes described as a “blue-eyed soul” singer, McDonald has a distinctive “husky, soulful” baritone voice.[1] He is known for his work as a member of the Doobie Brothers and backing vocal-work with Steely Dan, and for several hits as a solo artist.

Born in St. Louis, Missouri, McDonald played in several local bands (such as Mike and the Majestics, Jerry Jay and the Sheratons, the Reeb-Toors, the Del Rays and The Guild) while attending McCluer High School in his hometown of Ferguson, Missouri, now a city of some 25,000 people in St. Louis County, Missouri. McDonald was ‘discovered’ while playing with a group called Blue and consequently moved to Los Angeles in 1970.

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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36 Responses to Wednesday Open Thread

  1. rikyrah says:

    here are the March pics from the WH flickr

    look at the one of Justice Breyer and his family at the WH….anyone else notice what I do about the grandson?

  2. Ametia says:

    CNN Breaking
    Jurors convicted Barry Bonds of one count of obstruction of justice. The judge declared a mistrial on three remaining counts of perjury after jurors said they could not reach an agreement.
    Major League Baseball’s home run king was accused of lying to a federal grand jury in 2003 about knowingly taking anabolic steroids and getting injections from anyone but his doctors.

  3. rikyrah says:

    naw, Orange Julius….you’re out on that branch on your own….don’t you be bringing POTUS into your mess.

    POTUS is NOT giving your orange azz COVER


    Boehner: Obama On Board With Using Debt Limit As Vehicle For Cuts
    House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said flatly Wednesday that President Obama is open to using the debt limit as a vehicle for long-term budget cuts.

    At a Capitol press conference with congressional Republican leaders ahead of Obama’s deficit reduction speech, a reporter asked if Obama had signaled that he’d be open to signing something other than clean legislation to raise the debt ceiling.

    “Yes,” Boehner said.

    I asked Boehner how he’ll be able to extract these concessions if he’s taken his leverage — the risk of defaulting on the national debt — out of the equation. He again implied that Obama’s on his side. “We’ve made it clear to the President, and I think the President is pretty serious about this as well, that we’ve got to take meaningful step toward solving our long-term debt problem if in fact we’re going to find the votes to increase the debt ceiling.”

    The question then is, what’s viable. Republicans have taken tax increases off the table. Democrats won’t abide by dramatic entitlement cuts or privatization. That leaves small tweaks to Social Security, cuts to discretionary spending, and perhaps statutory triggers to enforce spending caps in the future.

  4. rikyrah says:

    April 13, 2011
    THERE ARE ONLY SO MANY WAYS TO PARSE ‘PRIVATIZE’…. Five years ago, one of the more annoying aspects of the debate over Social Security privatization was fighting over the word “privatization.” Apparently, the “p” word doesn’t poll well, so the Bush White House and its allies had to engage in rhetorical acrobatics.

    We’re not trying to privatize Social Security, they said, we simply want to overhaul the program so that Americans put their money into private accounts instead of the Social Security system. Who said anything about privatization?

    It was only a matter of time before these same Republicans tried a similar line on Medicare.

    Faced with growing public skepticism of House Republicans’ plans to privatize Medicare, Speaker John Boehner claimed Wednesday that the GOP’s Medicare privatization plan doesn’t privatize Medicare.

    “There’s no privatizing of Medicare,” Boehner said. “We’re transforming Medicare so that it’ll be there for the future.”

    I guess the “p” word still doesn’t poll well.

    I can appreciate the Speaker’s desire to spin this, but reality is stubborn. As we discussed last week, Medicare is very easy to understand — it’s a popular system of socialized, single-payer health care for seniors. Beneficiaries love it, and the system works pretty well.

    The House Republican scheme for Medicare is a little more complicated, but still pretty straightforward — the GOP intends to eliminate the existing program and privatize it. The resulting system would, ironically, look quite a bit like the Affordable Care Act, with seniors entering exchanges, where they would take a subsidy to purchase private insurance. (The voucher wouldn’t keep up with costs, increasing the financial burden on the elderly.)

    This is the definition of “privatization.” Indeed, If Boehner doesn’t think his own caucus’ plan constitutes “privatization,” what, pray tell, does he think privatization would look like?

    My concern going forward is that the media will screw this up. News organizations won’t want to use the “p” word because Republicans, reality notwithstanding, say the word isn’t accurate. The public will hear a stunted debate because media outlets are too often cowed into using politician-endorsed word choice, rather than accurate descriptions.

    —Steve Benen 12:30 PM

  5. rikyrah says:

    April 13, 2011
    BOEHNER WANTS WALL STREET PERMISSION TO PLAY A DANGEROUS GAME…. When drawing up a list of those eager to see Congress raise the debt ceiling, we tend to think of certain groups: Democrats, economists, Federal Reserve officials, Treasury officials, the mentally sound, etc.

    But let’s not forget that the financial industry — not exactly a close ally of the Obama White House — feels as strongly about this as any other entity. Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan Chase, recently said anyone willing to risk such “catastrophic and unpredictable” consequences is “crazy.”

    With this in mind, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has reportedly reached out to Wall Street, asking how much wiggle room he has to play partisan games for a couple of months without doing significant damage to the American and global economy. He probably didn’t care for the response

    The Wall Street executives say even pushing close to the deadline — or talking about it — could have grave consequences in the marketplace.

    “[Conservatives] don’t seem to understand that you can’t put everything back in the box. Once that fear of default is in the markets, it doesn’t just go away. We’ll be paying the price for years in higher rates,” said one executive.

    Another said that “anyone interested in ‘testing’ the debt ceiling should understand the U.S. debt traded wider [with a higher yield] than Greek debt roughly five years ago. Then go ask CBO what happens to our deficits/public debt to GDP, if the 10-year [Treasury bond] goes from 3.5 percent to 5.5 percent to 7.5 percent.” The executive said such an increase would result in a downgrade of U.S. debt by ratings agencies and an end to the dollar as the standard global reserve currency.

    As recently as yesterday, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said he’s prepared to push off any congressional work on this until after the United States government hits the debt limit in mid-May, but before we exhaust our ability to borrow money around July 8. In other words, Cantor is inclined to wait for the crisis to get underway, and then think about resolving it.

    It’s the exact opposite of what the financial industry considers wise. Indeed, Boehner realizes this — implicit in his outreach to Wall Street is the understanding that raising the debt limit is necessary; he just wants to know if he has some time screw around for a while.

    Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) took the right line this morning, “The Speaker seems to be testing out how far he can venture onto a frozen lake before the ice breaks. He should listen to business leaders who are telling him to watch his step. Messing around with the debt ceiling just to satisfy the Tea Party will lead to higher interest rates and an economic cataclysm.”

    I suppose we’ll see soon enough whether there are limits to Republican nihilism.

    —Steve Benen 1:00 PM

  6. Ametia says:



    In September 2010, Velma Hart, an ordinary American citizen and then chief financial officer for the veterans group AMVETS, was among a roomful of business people pressing President Obama for answers at a televised town hall in Washington sponsored by CNBC.

    “I am exhausted…and deeply disappointed with where we are right now. And I thought, while it wouldn’t be in a great measure, I would feel it in some small measure. I’m a mother. I’m a wife. I’m an American veteran, and I’m one of your middle-class Americans. And, quite frankly, I’m exhausted.”

  7. rikyrah says:




    Boehner: Our Medicare Privatization Plan Doesn’t Privatize Medicare
    Faced with growing public skepticism of House Republicans’ plans to privatize Medicare, Speaker John Boehner claimed Wednesday that the GOP’s Medicare privatization plan doesn’t privatize Medicare.

    “There’s no privatizing of Medicare,” Boehner said. “We’re transforming Medicare so that it’ll be there for the future.”

    A reporter asked Boehner whether his members support the GOP budget, which includes a plan to give seniors vouchers to buy insurance in a private marketplace. He offered less than a full-throated defense.

    “I think it’s an option worth considering,” Boehner said. “I think our members are in full support of us continuing to march forward with our budget.”

    Cold feet? We’ll find out soon — the House will vote on the budget resolution Friday.

    • Ametia says:

      Lying DRUNK. Since when has the GOp or Boehner cared about anybody’s future except their own and their “GRANDCHILDREN.’ GTFOH!

  8. Virginia Thomas Builds Tea Party Network

    Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’s wife Virginia “Ginni” Thomas has a new job in conservative journalism that keeps her involved with the recent focus of her political activism and business dealings – the tea party movement.

  9. Newsweek Owner Sidney Harman Dies

    Sidney Harman, the owner of Newsweek, has died at 92, the magazine announced Wednesday. He died on Tuesday after a brief battle with leukemia.

    Harman, a billionaire who made his money selling stereo equipment, bought Newsweek in 2010, merged it with The Daily Beast and hired Tina Brown as its editor. He was married to former Congresswoman Jane Harman.

  10. rikyrah says:

    Teen Rape Victim Punished By Her Church
    by Steven D
    Wed Apr 13th, 2011 at 09:05:45 AM EST

    Do you wonder what the Fundamentalist Christians want? In the abstract it is easy enough to answer. They want to dominate us. Just read about the Seven Mountains Movement in their own words.
    Yet, far more powerful is a real life story, one that forces us to bear witness to the atrocities they would visit upon us, if they could. And in the story of one 15 year old rape victim we can begin to get a taste for what they have in store for us, waiting to be released with a terrible vengeance on the people of America. They want dominion, over body and soul, dominion and power to punish anyone they can with a hatred that flows from the darkest recesses of their ugly little minds.

    Here, read the story of Tina Anderson and tell me I am wrong, that the atrocity she was forced to endure is an anomaly and not part of the future that Dominionist Christians would wish to impose on us with their Biblical Law.

    A 15-year-old rape victim was forced to stand terrified before her entire Baptist congregation in New Hampshire to confess her sin of having become pregnant.

    What Tina Anderson wasn’t allowed to tell the congregation was that she had become pregnant after she was raped by a church deacon, a man twice her age.

    Are you surprised? I am not. Yet still reading the details of this confession she was required by her “faith community” to endure is horrifying and despite the fact I found her story believable, I still find it shocking that this is occurring now in our country, not in some theocratic dystopian future such as described in Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid”s Tale, but here and now, in America, and has been for some time.

    While being kept in seclusion at her pastor’s Concord home in 1997, Tina Anderson, then 15, was too afraid of the reaction from members of her church to tell the police she had been raped and impregnated by another parishioner, she said in an interview with the Monitor.
    Anderson, now 28 and living in Arizona, said Trinity Baptist Church members had told her not to report an earlier case in which she had been molested by a convicted sex offender who was also a member of the congregation, so she expected them to do the same if she told them she had been raped.

    “They told me that to be a good Christian, I need to forgive, forget and move on in my life,” she said. “And they told me that a good Christian doesn’t press charges on another good Christian.”

    And when she became pregnant, what did her forgiving Church and its Pastor require her to do? Did they ask her to forgive her rapist. Oh no. They were not the forgiving kind once it became apparent she was pregnant. They did not ask this child, who they knew had been previously sexually assaulted by a pedophile in their own ranks who impregnated her, or under what circumstances. They “disciplined” her instead:

  11. rikyrah says:

    April 13, 2011
    CANTOR INTENDS TO PUSH HIS (AND OUR) LUCK…. One of the unfortunate elements of the debt-ceiling debate is its ticking-clock quality — policymakers have to resolve the problem, they don’t have a lot of time, and if the clock reaches zero, we’re all in a lot of trouble.

    How much time are we talking about here? According to the Treasury Department, the United States government will hit the debt limit in mid-May. Officials can then take “extraordinary measures” to create a brief buffer, before exhausting our ability to borrow in the first or second week of July.

    House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) suggested yesterday he’s prepared to push his (and our) luck until the country reaches the crisis point.

    House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) suggested Tuesday that Congress will allow the country to hit its debt ceiling, and continue to hold out for dramatic spending cuts while the nation approaches a genuine default.

    “I think Treasury has, if I’m not mistaken, has put … out a notice that there is a window within which we have to act in order to avoid the eventual default of this country on its debt,” Cantor told reporters at his weekly Capitol briefing. “And I believe that that outside deadline is early July.”

    It’s important to understand how painfully ridiculous this is. We have this looming and imprecise deadline, we know policymakers are going to have to deal with it, we know the consequences of failure would likely be catastrophic, and the House Majority Leader is comfortable waiting until the last minute, pushing this crisis right to the brink.

    Keep in mind, pushing off the resolution, even if it’s resolved before the deadline, is itself dangerous — if the country even gets close to exhausting its ability to borrow, it will rattle markets, undermine confidence, and (cue scary music) create widespread uncertainty.

    Cantor’s the one, by the way, who’s been railing against economic “uncertainty” for two years.

    The intelligent, responsible thing to do would be to tackle the problem immediately, reassure the markets, and prevent a disaster. The House Republican leadership freely admits it intends to do the exact opposite.

    For what it’s worth, Cantor’s spokesperson later said the Majority Leader will not allow the United States to slip into default — how gracious of him — and intends to act between mid-May and the July deadline. That’s reassuring, I suppose, except for a couple of nagging points.

    First, even waiting until after we hit the debt limit in mid-May is extremely reckless and unnecessary. Second, if Cantor doesn’t intend to walk right up to the cliff, why did he suggest otherwise when addressing reporters yesterday? Is it because the House Majority Leader doesn’t know what he’s talking about?

    About a year ago, the American Enterprise Institute’s Norm Ornstein, not exactly a raging leftist, said Eric Cantor and other GOP leaders “are becoming the Bart Simpsons of Congress, gleeful at smarmy and adolescent tactics and unable and unwilling to get serious.”

    The assessment is every bit as true today. We need mature, responsible congressional leaders. Instead we have people like Eric Cantor.

    —Steve Benen 8:00 AM

  12. rikyrah says:

    April 13, 2011
    FAILING THE TEST OF FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY…. Imagine if, in the midst of a larger discussion about debt reduction, the Democrats’ most powerful leaders drew a line in the sand: no spending cuts. Period. Full stop.

    Dems, in this hypothetical, said they agreed with the importance of addressing the problem, but before the debate advanced, they wanted to make one thing clear: spending cuts would be bad for the economy, so Republicans ought to just forget about it. Democrats would compromise, but not on this fundamental point. If we’re going to tackle the problem, they’d say, the exclusive focus would be on receipts, not expenditures.

    If Democrats were to take this line, it’s safe to assume they’d be mocked, laughed at, and dismissed as unserious. And yet, Republican leaders are making this precise argument, only from the other direction.

    House Speaker John A. Boehner will issue a warning Tuesday to President Obama a day before the president is set to deliver a major speech on the nation’s deficit: Raising taxes is “unacceptable and a nonstarter.”

    Mr. Boehner plans to issue the warning in a statement Tuesday afternoon, according to a copy of the statement The Caucus obtained. In it, Mr. Boehner says Republicans are “open to hearing” proposals from Mr. Obama about dealing with Medicare and other entitlements that reduce the nation’s long-term debt.

    But he says a proposal by the president that includes tax increases will be treated as evidence that the president is not serious about dealing with the country’s long-term fiscal health.

    More specifically, Boehner said in a written statement, “[I]f the President begins the discussion by saying we must increase taxes on the American people — as his budget does — my response will be clear: tax increases are unacceptable and are a nonstarter.”

    Let’s briefly note the mathematical basics: to reduce a budget shortfall, the government needs more money coming in, less money going out, or some combination of the two. Up until about 1993, Republicans and Democrats generally agreed on the third option, and would argue about the proportions. (Reagan raised taxes seven of the eight years he was in office, precisely to avoid spiraling deficits.)

    Those days are over. We have a $1.5 trillion deficit and a $14 trillion debt, most of which is the result of Republican fiscal irresponsibility. The GOP is desperate, at least if the party’s rhetoric is to be believed, to address this alleged “crisis” of their own making.

    But if Democrats recommend any tax increases, on any one, by any amount, at any time, Republicans aren’t even willing to have the conversation. Bringing in even one penny of additional revenue to address the budget gap has been deemed entirely unacceptable.

    In terms of “seriousness,” there’s no difference between this approach and the hypothetical I described about taking spending cuts off the table.

    For what it’s worth, the American mainstream disagrees with the inflexible GOP line. The most recent Washington Post-ABC News poll asked Americans the best way to reduce the deficit. The Republican mantra — the focus must be on spending cuts, and nothing else — received 31% backing. A combination of cuts and tax increases was preferred by a 64% majority.

    Hell, 47% of Republicans believe a combination of spending cuts and tax increases is the way to go.

    Something to keep in mind when the right goes apoplectic in response to President Obama’s speech this afternoon.

    —Steve Benen 8:30 AM

  13. Ametia says:

    Preemptive whinging is the new norm for the “professional left”

    I’ll say right off the bat that I absolutely hate the term “professional left”. But it will suffice as a descriptor for those on the liberal side of the coin that seem to be able to find pretty much nothing about the Obama administration that they can approve of.

    And when they don’t have anything to get upset about, that’s no problem. They just invent something. Here’s the playbook for your reference:

    1.Read the day’s headlines.
    2.Determine a spin that characterizes the President and his administration in the worst possible light.
    3.If such a spin does not exist, postulate what the President and his administration’s response will be. Make sure that it is as negative as possible, even if it contradicts his past behavior.
    4.Write endless blogs on how the President has once again sold his “base” down the river and kicked hippies in the teeth (after punching them, of course.) It is not necessary for him to actually have done this. Your prediction that he WILL do this is sufficient.
    5.When what you predicted turns out to be quite wrong, ignore that and focus on the next day’s news item. No point in issuing a mea culpa. Just raise a fuss about something new and nobody will notice.
    6.Lather, rinse and repeat.

    This has been the way it’s done for nigh on two years now and this week is no exception

  14. Ametia says:

  15. Ametia says:

    Happy HUMP day, Everybody! :-)

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