Monday Open Thread

After 7 is an R&B group founded in 1988 by brothers Melvin and Kevon Edmonds, and Keith Mitchell. The Edmonds brothers are the siblings of popular pop and R&B singer-songwriterproducer Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds” (Melvin is older, and Kevon – born Kevin – is younger). Mitchell was long thought to be the cousin of Babyface’s then-partner, songwriter-producer Antonio “L.A.” Reid, however, this was actually set-up as a marketing tool for the group and was actually incorrect.[1]

Virgin Records released their self-titled debut album in autumn 1989, which included the hits “Heat of the Moment“, “Can’t Stop” and the quiet-storm staple “Ready or Not“. After promoting the album and seeing it go platinum, they scored a hit with the Motown-influenced “Nights Like This” on 1991’s The Five Heartbeats soundtrack. The trio returned with Takin’ My Time in 1992, which included the hit cover of The Originals‘ “Baby I’m For Real“. The trio released their last album, Reflections in 1995, which included the hit “‘Til You Do Me Right”.

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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80 Responses to Monday Open Thread

  1. Ametia says:

    Lawrence O gets Rev. Franklin Graham to backtrack, and hide behind God for his hateful birther talk.

  2. Ametia says:

    Source: Ron Paul to announce presidential exploratory committee tomorrow
    By Amanda Carey- 4-25-11

    Sources close to Rep. Ron Paul tell The Daily Caller that the Texas Republican will announce an exploratory committee for president tomorrow afternoon during an appearance in Des Moines, Iowa.

    Questions about a Ron Paul 2012 presidential campaign have been swirling for months after the congressman said last December he wouldn’t rule out running again. As a candidate in 2008, Paul experienced massive success in terms of fundraising and establishing a solid, enthusiastic support base.

    Back in March, Paul told The Daily Caller in an interview that another presidential campaign would largely depend on whether the country was “receptive to my ideas.”

    “Now my biggest concerns have to do with the value of the dollar and expanding foolishness of our foreign policy…that would have an influence on what I decide to do,” said Paul at the time.

    If Paul announces his candidacy for president, he will join another libertarian-leaning Republican in the current primary field, former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson.

  3. Ametia says:

    Heads up 2011 WHCA DINNER NEWS 3 Chics will be live blogging!!! Join us
    Details to come.


    NEW YORK, NY — December 8, 2010 – Seth Meyers, head writer and anchor of “Weekend Update” on NBC’s Emmy Award-winning program “Saturday Night Live,” will be the featured speaker at this year’s annual White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner, which will be held Saturday, April 30, 2011 at the Washington DC Hilton.

    Meyers, who hosted the 2010 ESPY Awards on ESPN this past July, is currently in his tenth season on “Saturday Night Live,” his fifth season as head writer, and his fifth season as anchor of “Weekend Update.”

    A graduate of Northwestern University, he studied and performed at ImprovOlympic before moving on to the Boom Chicago Theater in Amsterdam, Holland.

    “We’re very excited. Seth is a very smart, very sharp, and very funny observer of the political scene, and we’re looking forward to seeing him on April 30,” said David Jackson of USA TODAY and president of the WHCA.

  4. Ametia says:

    For Prostitutes, An Alternative To The Streets
    by Jacki Lyden

    First in a three-part series

    Nashville, Tenn., is hardly a mecca for prostitution. But it thrives there just as in any other major American city.

    It’s also trying to break the cycle of prostitution, and often that begins with an arrest.
    One afternoon in February when the vice squad went out on an undercover detail looking for prostitutes, it almost immediately found Brittany Messina.

    Messina is a 21-year-old prostitute. She’s been arrested four times for prostitution in five years; she has a boyfriend who may be a pimp; and she’s a drug addict.

    The police found her on a relentlessly forlorn stretch of Dickerson Pike, home to low-slung motels, bail bond joints and payday loan storefronts. And it’s the strip where prostitutes can easily be found walking.

    “I’ll do whatever you want,” she told the vice squad cop as she got in his Ford Mustang. But there is something that she wanted first: crack cocaine. It bumped this sting up a notch, particularly since the drug deal ended up going down near an elementary school.

    Messina is the mother of a 4-year-old daughter. Pretty, with long flowing red hair, Messina has a delicate, narrow face, but the half-moon shadows under her eyes give away her addiction. As the bust unfolded, it seemed somewhat routine for Messina. But then, under the weight of felony drug charges, she seemed to grow desperate, and her alarm was evident. She tried to bargain with police and ended up ratting out her best friend, the suspected drug dealer.

    Listen here:

  5. Ametia says:

    AG Eric Holder to REPUBLICANS:

    Holder says he’s not going anywhere
    By Jerry Markon, Monday, April 25, 3:07 PM
    He’s been a focus of criticism and a longtime target of congressional Republicans, one of whom recently called for his resignation.

    But Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. made it clear Monday that he’s not going anywhere.

    Read on

  6. rikyrah says:

    April 25, 2011
    MANUFACTURED NONSENSE: A CASE STUDY…. It’s always impressive to see the evolution of a “controversy,” from Republican media on up.

    Fox News today slammed President Obama for not issuing a proclamation acknowledging Easter. (Somehow, Christians managed to hear about the holiday anyway.) Conservative activists quickly followed suit, probably unaware of the fact that Bush and Reagan didn’t issue Easter proclamations, either.

    It’s a garbage story, even by the standards of GOP media, but sure enough, the question came up during today’s White House press briefing. Press Secretary Jay Carney quite literally laughed at the question — which was the appropriate response — but another reporter pressed further.

    “I’m glad you’re asking these key, important questions, guys,” Carney said, before explaining that the First Family celebrated Easter by attending church services yesterday.

    Substantively, the story is nothing short of pathetic. President Obama hosted an Easter prayer breakfast; the Obamas attended Easter services; and the White House hosted a big Easter Egg Roll for families today. No proclamation was issued, but no other modern presidents — from either party — have issued Easter proclamations, either.

    But Fox News gets the ball rolling with a cheap shot, and within hours, it’s in the White House briefing room, with the president’s chief spokesperson being pressed for an explanation.

    How very sad.

    Update: Oh, look, Politico has a story, too.

    —Steve Benen 4:35 PM

  7. rikyrah says:

    Sean Duffy Gets First Opponent Of 2012 Cycle

    Freshman Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI), who picked up a seat for the Republicans in the 2010 wave, now has his first declared challenger, with former Wisconsin state Sen. Pat Kreitlow launching his campaign.

    Kreitlow was elected to the state Senate in the Democratic wave of 2006, after a news broadcasting career in western Wisconsin, defeating a Republican incumbent. He then lost his race for re-election in 2010.

    Duffy was elected to Wisconsin’s 7th District in 2010, after having served as a district attorney (and earlier starring on MTV’s The Real World), winning the seat that Democratic Rep. David Obey had held for over 40 years until his retirement.

    Recently, Duffy was the subject of high profile embarrassment when he publicly stated at a local event that he was “struggling” on his Congressional salary of $174,000 per year. The local Republicans then attempted to pull the video from the Internet — which then led to Duffy’s office complaining about TPM’s surviving excerpt, saying it was selectively edited. Eventually, Duffy admitted that his words were “poorly chosen.”

  8. rikyrah says:

    April 25, 2011
    WHY MITCH DANIELS’ STRENGTH IS ACTUALLY HIS WEAKNESS…. The Washington Post had a fairly long item yesterday, highlighting Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) for his focus on fiscal issues, and pondering whether he’s likely to run for president in 2012. To hear the Post’s Dan Balz put it, Daniels is uniquely qualified to make his party’s fiscal agenda his own national platform.

    No prospective Republican presidential candidate has done more to highlight the issue of debt and deficits than Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels. He calls it the “new red menace,” an ocean of red ink that he says is every bit as dangerous as the Soviet nuclear threat during the Cold War.

    His call to arms gives him a provocative though politically risky platform for a potential 2012 presidential candidacy. Daniels thinks dealing with the debt problem will require a potentially dramatic restructuring of Medicare for future recipients, revamping Medicaid to slow its spending, and altering Social Security for today’s younger workers by raising the retirement age and recalculating the cost-of-living formula.

    What Daniels has long been advocating dovetails with the budget blueprint recently unveiled by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). His entry into the race could ensure that a debate between President Obama and Ryan becomes a central issue of the 2012 campaign. More than any other potential candidate, Daniels would test whether voters are ready for the kind of stiff medicine he prescribes.

    This sort of analysis is extremely common, and every time I read it, I shake my head a little more.

    As Paul Krugman noted recently, Daniels is “held up as an icon of fiscal responsibility” without having earned it: “[W]hat I can’t forget is his key role in the squandering of the fiscal surplus Bush inherited. It wasn’t just that he supported the Bush tax cuts; the excuses he made for that irresponsibility were stunningly fraudulent.”

    It’s just bizarre for a guy who led the Bush/Cheney budget office to pick fiscal responsibility, of all things, as a signature issue.

    It was, after all, 10 years ago when George W. Bush signed his first massive tax-cut bill. At the time, he thanked three people for helping make it happen — Dick Cheney, then-Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill, and his director of the Office of Management and Budget, Mitch Daniels.

    It was that tax-cut package that helped eliminate the massive surplus Bush and Daniels had inherited from the Clinton administration, and began a sea of red ink that, ironically, Daniels is now concerned about.

    When asked about this, Daniels tends to blame the end of the dot-com bubble for eliminating Clinton-era surpluses. The argument is utter nonsense, and has been thoroughly debunked.

    What’s more, Jamelle Bouie notes that Daniels “badly underestimated the cost of the Iraq War, offering an estimate of $50 to $60 billion for the initial assault, and a forecast of $17 to $45 billion per year of occupation. At best — if we extend those costs to the present — Daniels was off by 2 and a half trillion dollars.”

    In theory, this seems like a deal-breaker for Daniels’ presidential ambitions. The base already doesn’t trust him after his proposed “truce” on social issues, and his credibility on deficit reduction and fiscal responsibility is severely undermined by his Bush administration failures.

    If only someone would explain this to the media establishment.

    —Steve Benen 3:10 PM

    • Ametia says:

      LOL add Daniels to the list to get scratched off as a 2012 GOP presidential candidate. He sounds as much of a fraud asthat blue-eyed devil Paul Ryan.

  9. Hello 3 Chics!

    Would you be so kind to take a few seconds of your time to nominate us for The Black Weblog Awards 2011? Click on the link here


    Just enter our URL the following categories:

    [Best Culture Blog]

    This category is for blogs which analyze and discuss Black culture and/or the African diaspora with respect to art, dance, Black history, music, and other related content.

    [Best Faith-Based Blog]

    This category is for blogs which feature unique religious and spiritual content from any religion or faith.

    [Best Group Blog]

    This category is for a single blog which is updated by a group of people (two or more people). This blog can be about any topic.

    [Best New Blog]

    This category is for blogs of any topic which have been started on or after September 1, 2009.

    [Best Political or News Blog]

    This category is for blogs which are about politics or current newsworthy topics.

    [Blog of the Year]

    The blog of the year has it all: great writing, frequent posts, active comments, and a strong reader base.

    [Blog to Watch]

    This category is for that great blog that not everyone knows about…but should! It’s undiscovered. It’s a best kept secret. (Although it won’t be anymore if they win this award!)

  10. Ametia says:


  11. Ametia says:


    Republican Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour says he will not run for president in 2012.
    The two-term governor and former chairman of the Republican Governors Association has been exploring a bid with trips to early presidential contest states.
    Although he is popular among Washington insiders, he has had trouble gaining traction in recent national polls.
    His decision eliminates one name from a still crowded field of potential Republican candidates against President Barack Obama’s re-election bid.

    • Ametia says:

      American’s are smart enough not to vote for you BOSS HOGG, especially being governor of one of the poorest if not THE POOREST, poverty-stricken, racist, backwards state in America. BYE, CaC!

      • Ametia says:

        Posted at 04:32 PM ET, 04/25/2011
        First thoughts on Barbour’s exit
        By Aaron Blake
        The 2012 GOP presidential field is looking unusually and unexpectedly small after Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour’s (R) decision Monday not to run for president.

        Barbour, fresh off a trip to New Hampshire that had injected considerable buzz into his potential candidacy, promptly announced that he cannot invest himself into a presidential campaign, saying he’s not sure if he has the requisite desire.

        “Supporters expect and deserve no less than absolute fire in the belly from their candidate,” Barbour said. “I cannot offer that with certainty, and total certainty is required.”

        Barbour becomes the latest major potential presidential candidate to say no, joining Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) on the sidelines and delivering what could be a game-changing decision.

        So where does this leave us? A few thoughts:

        Clearing the way for Daniels?

        Barbour and Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels are good friends and have said publicly that they didn’t want to run against each other. And for the longest time, it was assumed by most political observers that Barbour was the more likely presidential candidate.

        With Barbour gone, a significant impediment to Daniels running is now out of the way, and those who know the governor say his decision just become a little (emphasis on little) easier.

        All of that said, there is still considerable doubt that Daniels will run, and it’s no cinch.

        Daniels is expected to make his decision in the near future.

        And what about Huckabee?

        If you’re keeping score at home, Sarah Palin’s poll numbers have nose-dived and Barbour is not running for president. If you’re Mike Huckabee, you have got to be pinching yourself.

        More than anything, Barbour’s exit means the only other true southerner in the field is out. Meanwhile Huckabee keeps polling like the most liked candidate in the GOP field.

        Things are slowly coming together for Huckabee, and as we’ve said before, at some point it’s going to be very hard for him to say no.

        At the same time, Barbour’s quote about not having the “fire in the belly” is also telling when it comes to Huckabee. Put plainly: Huckabee needs it too. And without it, he could be offered the nomination on a silver platter and still turn it down.

        Practical effects

        As another potential frontrunner bows out, the vacuum in the primary field only grows.

        The question is whether that means other candidates might start to look at the race or it just means the field of candidates will be that much smaller.

        One thing it does mean is that Barbour’s many donors and loyalists are now fair game for everybody else in the field, and for such a well-connected Republican with such good people around him, there’s a lot to be mined.

        Through his entire process of considering a presidential run, Barbour has been turning himself into a potent potential endorser. We’ll see if he uses it.

        Early stuff matters

        The fact is that the presidential race begins even before the presidential race begins, and it wasn’t always kind to Barbour.

        The governor got tripped up when he suggested the Civil Rights era wasn’t that bad in his home town, and then a staff member got caught sending off-color jokes via e-mail, among other issues.

        Even before the launch of an exploratory committee, a potential candidate is being vetted by some important people in the presidential nominating process: experts, the media, Republican operatives and donors.

        Barbour already had obstacles as a southern governor with a thick accent and a lobbying past that can be tied to the tobacco industry, and he wasn’t making things easier on himself.

        Which could be part of the reason why he didn’t have the fire in the belly to jump into the race, even after sending plenty of signals that he did.

    • Bye Barbour!


  12. rikyrah says:

    April 25, 2011
    THE PLAN TO PUT THE SENATE GOP ON THE SPOT…. When congressional Republicans think they have a policy that works for them, they have a process they want to see followed: start with an ambitious House bill, pass it, lean on the Democratic Senate to hold an up-or-down vote. Even if Dems reject the House measure, Republicans will have the Senate majority on the record.

    In early February, for example, the House GOP voted to eliminate the entirety of the Affordable Care Act, and Senate Republicans went to great lengths to force Democratic leaders to bring the measure to the Senate floor.

    But occasionally, this dynamic can be turned on its head.

    Senate Democratic aides expect Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to force Senate Republicans to vote on the Paul Ryan budget plan.

    Reid hasn’t made a formal decision yet, and won’t until he returns from an overseas trip.

    The idea is to drive a wedge through the GOP caucus and put vulnerable incumbents such as Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) in a political jam.

    It’s the polar opposite of the ACA-repeal vote — have you noticed Senate Republican leaders demanding that the House budget bill be brought to the floor for a vote? No? There’s a reason for that.

    The House GOP measure is extreme and unpopular. If Senate Republicans vote for it anyway, Dems can and will use it against them. If some in the Senate GOP balk — as Maine’s Susan Collins already has — Dems will use that to emphasize the “bipartisan” opposition to the House agenda and use it as leverage in budget talks.

    This seems to belong in the “no brainer” category.

    —Steve Benen 10:10 AM

    • Ametia says:

      “Reid hasn’t made a formal decision yet, and won’t until he returns from an overseas trip.”

      WTF, barring Harry Reid doesn’t contract some mental disorder, amnesia, or die from some contracted disease, he better return and FORCE THE HOUSE REPUBLICANS to VOTE on that TURD of a PAUL RYAN BILL.

  13. rikyrah says:

    elections have consequences


    Republican voters discover bold and courageous cuts in school funding means less money is sent to their schools
    by Kay

    The angry crowds are back, but this time they aren’t wearing silly hats:

    Battered by angry crowds at suburban school district meetings in recent days, House Republican lawmakers will offer up changes Thursday limiting the budgetary pain inflicted on schools by Gov. John Kasich’s budget proposal.

    House Finance Chair Ron Amstutz said many changes to the $120 billion, all-funds budget proposed by Kasich are coming, including tweaks to a controversial blueprint for funding schools over the next two years authored by the Republican governor. “We are looking to take the edge off of this problem across the spectrum of school districts—not just for the upper” property wealth districts, said Amstutz, a Wooster Republican shepherding the budget through the GOP-controlled House.

    Many changes. Many. That austerity budget was really less a budget and more a road map, turns out. I also love how he issues a preemptive denial that he’s planning to restore funding only to these well-off suburban districts. NOT just for the upper property wealth districts. Did anyone suggest that’s what he was going to do? Well, he’s not. In case anyone was thinking that.

    Taxpayers from those districts, many in traditional Republican territory, are also concerned—and downright angry. Hundreds of them have been giving GOP lawmakers an earful at recent community meetings.

    How fast can Republicans in the legislature run from former FOX News personality Governor Kasich? Should be fun to watch the stampede.

    • Ametia says:

      LOL It sure is fun watching the GOP baggers get a taste of their own medicine. They wrote the prescription for this poison, now they’re getting a taste of it, and don’t like it.

  14. rikyrah says:

    Poll: Russ Feingold Ties Gov. Scott Walker In Hypothetical Wisconsin Recall
    A slim majority of Wisconsin voters don’t support the idea of a recall election to oust Gov. Scott Walker (R), according to a new poll. That is, unless Russ Feingold is offered up as the challenger who could replace Walker in just such an election.

    In a poll of registered voters conducted by Ethridge & Associates, 51% of respondents said they oppose recalling Walker, compared to 44% who said they supported doing so. However, a recall election would not be just a choice of keeping or booting Walker, but would pit Walker against a Democratic challenger. To test that dynamic, Ethridge paired Walker with progressive favorite former Sen. Russ Feingold, and found the two tied at 48%.

    That finding does come with some caveats.

    For one, Walker can’t be recalled until at least next year. State law requires politicians to have served at least one year before becoming eligible for recall, and Walker is just a few months into his first term. While the union rights battle is fresh in voters’ minds now, that fight — and the calls for a recall election that it fostered — could dissipate over the course of the year.

    Even if enough voters sign a petition to recall the governor in 2012, there’s no indication that Feingold would step up as the Democratic challenger in a recall election. Since losing his reelection bid last year, Feingold took a position as a professor at Marquette University.

    Previous polls have shown that Walker could face a strong challenge in a recall election.

    His approval rating is deep underwater, according to several polls conducted amid the budget debate in Wisconsin. A survey by Republican-leaning pollster Rasmussen from early March even found him deeply unpopular at home, with 43% of likely voters approving of his job performance, verus 57% who disapproved.

    Further, in a strong sign of buyers remorse, a March PPP poll showed Walker losing a hypothetical do-over election against the candidate he beat last year, Democrat Tom Barrett. In that poll, a 52% majority

  15. rikyrah says:

    file this under, ‘MOFO, PLEASE’ news:


    Walker: Too Many Recalls ‘Makes It Very Hard’ To Get Things Done
    Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) is criticizing the wave of recalls in his state, which are taking place in the wake of the controversial passage of his anti-public employee union legislation.

    Wisconsin Radio Network reported on Friday:

    Walker says in the past lawmakers have faced recall elections after instances of misconduct in office and not over a single vote.

    “At some point if you have a recall after every vote, you could have those continuously, one-after-another-after-another and it makes it very hard in a Republic for things to get done.”In fact, as an article from the State Bar of Wisconsin indicates, the four legislative recall elections that taken have place in Wisconsin history were mostly motivated by politics. (Interestingly, one of the recalls was in 1990, against Democratic state Rep. Jim Holperin, who won the election and stayed in office — and who is now a state senator targeted for recall again.)

    Democrats are hoping to gain three or more state Senate seats via recalls, and thus win a majority in the chamber. Republicans have responded in kind with recall petitions against the Democrats, targeting the Democrats who fled the state in an attempt to block a three-fifths budget quorum. In addition, under Wisconsin’s recall law requiring at least one year of a term to have been completed before a recall drive can commence, Democrats have openly declared their intention to recall Walker next year.

    Thus far, Democrats have filed recall signatures against five Republicans: Dan Kapanke, Randy Hopper, Luther Olsen, Sheila Harsdorf and Alberta Darling. Republicans have filed recall signatures against three Democrats: Dave Hansen, Jim Holperin and Robert Wirch. More petitions could yet be filed in the next two weeks.

  16. rikyrah says:

    April 25, 2011
    EVEN FOR FOX, A CHEAP ATTACK…. I should probably let this go, but given that Fox News is pushing it and far-right blogs are picking up on it, let’s take a moment to explain just how cheap the attack really is.

    President Obama failed to release a statement or a proclamation recognizing the national observance of Easter Sunday, Christianity’s most sacred holiday.

    By comparison, the White House has released statements recognizing the observance of major Muslim holidays and released statements in 2010 on Ramadan, Eid-ul-Fitr, Hajj, and Eid-ul-Adha.

    The White House also failed to release a statement marking Good Friday. However, they did release an eight-paragraph statement heralding Earth Day. Likewise, the president’s weekend address mentioned neither Good Friday or Easter.

    I guess the implication is supposed to be that Obama honored Islamic holidays but not Christian ones, and cares more about environmentalism than Christianity.

    Let’s note a couple of truths that provide some context to this.

    The first is that the Obama White House didn’t exactly ignore Easter. The First Family, for example, attended services yesterday. There’s not only a big Easter Egg Roll for families at the White House today, but President Obama also hosted an Easter prayer breakfast last week, during which he told attendees the following:

    “I wanted to host this breakfast for a simple reason — because as busy as we are, as many tasks as pile up, during this season, we are reminded that there’s something about the resurrection — something about the resurrection of our savior, Jesus Christ, that puts everything else in perspective.

    “We all live in the hustle and bustle of our work… But then comes Holy Week. The triumph of Palm Sunday. The humility of Jesus washing the disciples’ feet. His slow march up that hill, and the pain and the scorn and the shame of the cross. And we’re reminded that in that moment, he took on the sins of the world — past, present and future — and he extended to us that unfathomable gift of grace and salvation through his death and resurrection.

    “In the words of the book Isaiah: “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”

    “This magnificent grace, this expansive grace, this ‘Amazing Grace’ calls me to reflect. And it calls me to pray. It calls me to ask God for forgiveness for the times that I’ve not shown grace to others, those times that I’ve fallen short. It calls me to praise God for the gift of our son — his Son and our Savior.”

    Put it this way: Ramadan, Eid-ul-Fitr, Hajj, and Eid-ul-Adha didn’t get this kind of treatment.

    The other point to keep in mind is that George W. Bush was in office for eight years. How many Easter proclamations did he issue? Zero.

    Something to keep in mind when your crazy uncle emails you, outraged about that rascally Obama ignoring Easter.

    —Steve Benen 1:15 PM

  17. rikyrah says:

    Village of the damned
    by Comrade DougJ

    The sociopath who ran “The Note” post-Halperin sheds his nonpartisan persona to shill for the eradication of Medicare:

    They’re up with a Web ad targeting GOP House members by warning of the consequences of Republicans’ “voting to end Medicare”—an ad the independent fact-check group labeled “pants on fire.”


    Democrats during the Clinton years said Republicans wanted the program to “wither on the vine.” Last year, it was Republican-aligned groups attacking Democrats for a provision in the Obama health care law that would find $500 billion in future savings in Medicare.

    The result has long been political paralysis around Medicare, with neither side seeing much of an incentive in seriously engaging in a discussion that’s presumed to be a political loser. It comes as Medicare’s costs are expected to spike significantly, as Baby Boomers reach age 65 and health care costs continue to escalate.

    There is no mention here of the larger truth, that rising medical costs are also hugely problematic—more problematic—in the absence of Medicare, just the Village-approved right-wing meme that we have to tighten our belts by throwing sick people out into the street. It’s the only responsible thing to do! I didn’t want to do it, I felt I owed it to them.

    Also too, lying about “death panels” is the exactly the same as factually accurate statements about Medicare funding.

  18. rikyrah says:

    April 25, 2011
    A BIG SHAKEUP IN THE DOMA DEFENSE…. A couple of months ago, the Obama administration announced that it no longer considers the Defense of Marriage Act constitutional, and would stop defending the law against court challenges. Officials told Congress it could step in and defend DOMA if it wants to, and soon after, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said the House would gladly do just that.

    Last week, Boehner’s office announced it has hired former Bush Solicitor General Paul Clement to defend DOMA, and would pay Clement and his legal team from King & Spaulding as much as $500,000.

    This morning, the story received quite a shake-up.

    Law firm King & Spalding announced Monday it will not defend the Defense of Marriage Act on behalf of the U.S. House of Representatives. Afterward, Paul Clement, the partner who had taken the case, announced his resignation. […]

    Shortly after the firm announced that it would no longer take the case, former Bush solicitor general Paul Clement, the partner charged with leading the firm’s defense, submitted his letter of resignation to Hays, which was passed along to The Huffington Post.

    “My thoughts about the merits of DOMA are as irrelevant as my views about the dozens of federal statutes that I defended as Solicitor General,” he wrote. “Instead, I resign out of the firmly-held belief that a representation should not be abandoned because the client’s legal position is extremely unpopular in certain quarters. Defending unpopular position is what lawyers do.”

    The interesting thing about Clement’s response is that it tells us a fair amount about what happened behind the scenes — King & Spalding, a major D.C. law firm, simply didn’t want to be responsible for fighting to defend the discriminatory law. It apparently made the firm look bad, and risked King & Spalding’s ability to recruit new attorneys. One assumes the partners have received more than a few angry calls over the last week.

    Despite some earlier reports to the contrary, Clement will remain on the DOMA case, and will do so from a law firm led by former Bush administration officials. Clement will also continue to receive taxpayer money to defend the anti-gay law.

    It’s unclear if the contract will need to be renegotiated. It’s also unclear why the House leadership’s existing legal team can’t handle the case, or why Boehner didn’t accept the services of many conservative lawyers who would likely have worked pro bono.

    But putting all of that aside, the key takeaway from this morning’s developments is pretty straightforward: defending DOMA has become so politically controversial, even one of D.C.’s leading law firms no longer wanted anything to do with it.

    —Steve Benen 12:35 PM

  19. rikyrah says:

    karma remains undefeated


    Drug-bashing RI Republican charged with drug use

    Robert Watson, a high-ranking Republican state legislator in Rhode Island, is in hot water after being charged with driving under the influence of marijuana and possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Drug charges alone would be bad enough for a public official, but Watson, Rhode Island’s House minority leader, is still remembered for his controversial anti-drug, anti-gay and anti-immigrant remarks.

    In February, Watson said the Rhode Island legislature had their priorities right “if you are a Guatemalan gay man who likes to gamble and smokes marijuana.”

    Watson was a guest on a radio show soon after the luncheon where he made the misstep, and in response to the outcry over his comments said, “I reject the suggestion that it’s insulting.” He went on to say that lawmakers were “preoccupied with a number of issues, primarily social issues,” when Watson thought they should focus on the economy.

    “I apologize when appropriate and/or necessary,” Watson told the Providence Journal in February. “I identify this situation as representing neither circumstance.”

    Watson was pulled over at a police checkpoint Friday, East Haven police told the Associated Press. Police noted a “strong odor of marijuana” coming from Watson’s car, and charged him with possession and driving under the influence. The lawmaker was released after he promised to appear in court, and has not yet issued a statement.

  20. Ametia says:

    The Body Toxic: How the Hazardous Chemistry of Everyday Things Threatens Our Health and Well-being
    Nena Baker

    About the Program

    Nena Baker contends that the chemical make-up of several of the products that make contemporary life easier and more convenient may be responsible for serious health problems. Ms. Baker argues that the Toxic Substances and Control Act of 1976 was ineffectual in regulating potential industrial contaminants and presents her research on products that she deems of possible danger, which range from the non-stick coating on cookware to several different types of plastics. This event was hosted by Google at their headquarters in Mountain View, California.

  21. Duffy Gets Huffy: Congressman Tells Voters Concerned With Ryan Budget To ‘Have Your Own Town Hall’

    As ThinkProgress reported last week, GOP Rep. Sean Duffy (WI) was encountered angry opposition from his constituents at a town hall meeting last week in Wisconsin. Locals objected to Duffy advocating for Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) budget plan that would effectively end Medicare while at the same time advocating for cutting taxes even more for the richest people.

    Now, more video has been posted on YouTube from the same town hall, revealing that Duffy faced even more opposition on the Ryan budget than previously thought. One constituent pointed out that Ryan’s budget is being buoyed by statistics from a flawed Heritage Foundation study:

    CONSTITUENT: I’d like to know where you get your information, where those projections come from?

    DUFFY: That’s also from the CBO.

    CONSTITUENT: No, no, no, no, no. Did you get any information from the Heritage Foundation?

    DUFFY: […] This is OMB and CBO.

    CONSTITUENT: Show me how the Ryan budget that you just voted for brings down the deficit.

    DUFFY: I don’t have the chart here. […]

    CONSTITUENT: […] I know what chart you used, it came from the Heritage Foundation, from a man named William W. Beach, he’s lying. It’s a fraud. […] A Nobel Prize-winning economist labeled it a fraud! [referring to Paul Krugman]

    Later, another constituent criticized Duffy’s claim that the Affordable Care Act cut half a billion dollars from the Medicare program, pointing out that much of this was to tackle waste, fraud, and abuse. This caused Duffy to lose his cool and angrily suggest to the constituent to go host his own town hall:

    DUFFY: If you look at PPACA, we’re taking 500 billion dollars out of Medicare to fund this program.

    CONSTITUENT: That’s not true!

    DUFFY: (laughs)

    CONSTITUENT: This is about fraud and abuse. You see these things happen all over the country. They’re talking about money into Medicare fraud enforcement. 60 minutes did a huge story, billions into medicare fraud annually.

    DUFFY: Let me tell you what. When you have your town hall you can stand up and give your presentation.

  22. Ametia says:

    Where was CNN when Malia Obama was getting bashed for wearing shorts and a peace symbol t-shirt?

    Clarence Page, please, seasoned reporters? GMAFB

    CNN’s Reliable Sources’ Skin-Deep Coverage Of The Wonkette/Trig Palin Story
    by Tommy Christopher | 1:37 pm, April 24th, 2011

    For those wondering where the mainstream media is in covering the brouhaha over Wonkette’s birthday attack on Trig Palin (since deleted), CNN’s Reliable Sources answered the call Sunday morning. Host Howard Kurtz gave a quick recounting of the offensive post (and perhaps too much credit for an apology), and while the panel unequivocally disapproved, the discussion was disappointingly superficial.

    Kurtz pulled a few choice quotes from the post, saying that Wonkette mocked 3 year-old Trig Palin as “retarded,” “somewhat alive,” and “perhaps not really Sarah Palin’s child,” then explains how the site initially stood by the post, but once advertisers began to desert the site in response to an online campaign, deleted the post and “apologized for poor comedic judgment.”

    The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin said the Trig post showed “rotten taste,” and brought up the David Letterman joke that prompted outcry (and an angry response from Sarah Palin) a few years ago. She also observes the near-free ride that Andrew Sullivan has gotten on his pursuit of Trig Trutherism. Unfortunately, she failed to connect the dots between the Wonkette boycott, Sullivan’s objection to it, and the fact that he’s next on their list.

    Clarence Page talked about the “normally delightful” comeuppance of Wonkette at the hands of their “lack of experience” in not knowing that you don’t go after the kids. Adweek’s Michael Wolff called Wonkette “tone deaf,” and throughout the segment, a chyron that said “Wonkette’s Low Blow: An apology for mocking Trig” appeared.

    Cumulatively, the effect was a failure to convey the true character of the Wonkette post, which was “tone deaf” in the way that a punch in the balls is “impolite,” and the apology, which was of debatable sincerity and completeness.

    The segment was also disappointing because it didn’t ask any of the deeper questions that this story begs. Chief among them is the power of the Twitter boycott, and the question of whether such boycotts are necessarily a good thing. While it’s not surprising that Andrew Sullivan has reservations, so do some who support the boycotters in spirit.

    Additionally, while comparing this episode with others where politicians’ children were insulted, it would have been natural to discuss the ways in which this attack crossed lines that the others didn’t. Finally, with advertising expert Wolff on hand, why not delve into the practical consequences of a #TrigsCrew-style boycott?

    In any case, Kurtz deserves credit for covering a story that isn’t getting the attention it deserves, but is right in Kurtz’s wheelhouse. It would have been nice if he had gotten a little more distance on his swing.

    Here’s the segment, from CNN’s Reliable Sources:

  23. Ametia says:

    Chris Rock talks Trump, Tea Party on Oprah

    By KARIN TANABE | 4/22/11 5:34 PM EDT Updated: 4/25/11 8:43 AM EDT

    Making his 25th appearance on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” on Friday, comedian Chris Rock was praised by the talk show host as “pure genius.” He gushed about Winfrey in return and then played along when she asked him to give his two cents on current events.

    Two of the issues du jour? Donald Trump and the tea party. Of the former, Rock said, “He might win. He’s got enough ex-wives to vote for him.” Well, two, actually, but the dig still got a lot of laughs.

    Rock also reiterated comments he made in the March issue of Esquire, in which he compared the tea party to children getting rowdy before bedtime.

    “A child acts up most before they go to sleep,” said Rock. Imitating an energized kid, he said, “You literally think they are possessed by the devil. Then you turn your head for a second and they’re out cold.”

    “When I see the tea party … they’re getting ready to go to sleep,” he surmised.

    Oprah diplomatically replied, “Only your brain could pick that up.”


  24. rikyrah says:

    Is Virginia on verge of a racial battle over voting?
    Senate Democrats say black voters are ‘packed’ into one district
    By Kimball Payne, | 247-4765

    9:29 p.m. EDT, April 23, 2011

    One Hundred and fifty years after the first shots of the Civil War, there’s a looming battle over race in Virginia with the potential to turn ugly.

    The Republican-controlled House of Delegates and the Democrat-led Senate are already at odds over how to redraw the state’s 140 General Assembly districts. But the racial makeup of Virginia’s congressional delegation could start a drawn-out battle over voting rights, racial discrimination and federal authority.

    For two decades, black lawmakers have argued that Virginia’s demographics mean the state should have at least two districts with heavy minority voting blocs. According to the 2010 Census Virginia’s population is more than 19 percent black, but the state’s 11-member delegation only has a single black member — U.S. Rep. Robert C. “Bobby” Scott, D-Newport News.

    The Senate Democrats’ plan, put forward by Sen. Mamie Locke, D-Hampton, would draw down the minority population in Scott’s district, and draw black voters in Richmond and Petersburg into the district represented by Chesapeake Republican U.S. Rep. Randy Forbes.

    “For far too long, the voices of minority voters have been diluted in other districts because of packing,” said former Del. Mary Christian, D-Hampton. “It’s time to give minority voters a real opportunity to choose their candidate of choice.”

    Forbes’ district would actually become a minority majority district under the Locke plan. Scott’s district would gain a significant amount of white voters on the Peninsula but remain a so-called “opportunity district” where minorities wield significant influence.

    House Republicans are arguing that the redistricting process should honor and reflect the results of the most recent election cycle, which left the GOP with an 8 to 3 advantage in Washington.

    The House plan is sponsored by Del. Bill Janis, R-Henrico, who said that he worked to build the new districts around the core of the current maps and that he spoke with each member of the delegation to make sure they approved of the new maps.

    “The lines don’t change very much…. It tries to respect the results of the last election cycle,” Janis said.

    But black leaders have been critical of the Republican plan because Scott’s current district, which rambles from Richmond to Hampton Roads, is made up of 60 percent black voters, which has been derided as “packing.”

    Federal lawmakers don’t face re-election until November 2012, so the General Assembly has plenty of time to battle over congressional maps.

    Christopher Newport University professor Quentin Kidd said you can’t help but notice a “racial tension right underneath the surface” in the debate.

    “If we go through redistricting without some sort of litigation I will eat my shoes,” Kidd said. “It’s going to end up in a courtroom somewhere.”

    Nine states, primarily in the South, must have their redistricting maps approved by the U.S. Justice Department because of past problems with racial voting rights. Virginia is one of the first states nationwide, and the first Voting Rights Act state, to begin redrawing maps to incorporate 2010 Census data. Virginia takes the lead because its off-year election cycle has General Assembly lawmakers up for re-election this November.

    That also leaves Virginia maps as the first to be reviewed by federal lawyers, and this is the very first time that a Democratic administration has been in the White House overseeing redistricting since the act was first passed in 1965.

    That adds extra uncertainty to how federal attorneys will interpret the act and increases the potential that Virginia could receive extra scrutiny and attention. Further, the Department of Justice will be interpreting election law while the country’s first black president returns to the campaign trail.

    Kidd said that if Virginia’s General Assembly becomes deadlocked over the congressional maps because of the Voting Rights Act, the struggle could trigger similar fights elsewhere.

    “If it plays out like this in Virginia, how many other southern states are there where there are questions like this?” Kidd said. “We have the potential here to see the worst of what redistricting can do — everything about redistricting that voters hate.”

    Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli already caused a stir when he suggested late last year that Virginia should be freed from federal oversight because it has “outgrown” the racial injustice the Voting Rights Act was written to counter. Cuccinelli’s office is declining to comment on redistricting now because as the state’s top lawyer, Cuccinelli might have to defend Virginia maps in court later this year.

    But Cuccinelli spokesman Brian Gottstein said “the attorney general has no plans to file suit to object to the Voting Rights Act requirements.”,0,4885393.story

  25. rikyrah says:

    Obama paints Rep. Ryan as the GOP face for 2012

    Eager to start campaigning for re-election next year, President Barack Obama isn’t waiting for the Republican Party to nominate a rival. He’s running against Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis.

    Obama professes to like Ryan, the 41-year-old chairman of the House Budget Committee. But in increasingly personal and pointed terms, Obama is attacking Ryan as the face of a Republican Party that he says would use the government’s debt crisis to turn America in a radical new direction.

    He’s doing it for two key reasons. Obama wants to shift the public focus away from own contribution to the nation’s skyrocketing debt — which hurt Democrats in the 2010 congressional elections — and onto the Republican Party’s proposed solutions. And he wants to frame the election as a choice between two very different visions of America: The Republican one he calls a dark place for the poor and middle class, and the other his own view of a friendly, more utopian place.

    Obama, his top advisers and fellow Democrats believe that Ryan handed them a gift when he proposed a budget plan that would cut taxes by $2 trillion over 10 years and also cut federal spending by $6.2 trillion, cuts which include possibly wrenching changes in the popular Medicare program.

    Some Republicans think, however, that Obama already is overplaying his hand. His attacks on Ryan may make it harder for him to strike a bargain with congressional Republicans, and could alienate voters focused on the enormous debt problem. And he also could turn off independents who chafe at partisan warfare.

    Either way, it’s Obama versus Ryan for the foreseeable future.

    “This is the beginning of a year-and-a-half argument about how to save the country’s economy,” said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Polling Institute at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut.

    Obama all but dared the Republicans to go first, signaling that he thought it foolhardy for him to make the first move in proposing specifics on big, long-term budget changes.

    “This is not a matter of you go first or I go first,” he said when he rolled a budget proposal in February that did not propose any substantial debt-reduction.

    “If you look at the history of how these deals get done, typically it’s not because there’s an Obama plan out there; it’s because Democrats and Republicans are both committed to tackling this issue in a serious way.”

    Obama let Ryan go first. The Wisconsin congressman unveiled his budget blueprint in early April.

    The White House said it didn’t like it, and Democrats quietly started keeping track of which potential 2012 Republican presidential candidates endorsed the plan.

    Read more:

    • Ametia says:

      The POTUS has come out swinging, drew the LINE IN THE SAND with the theiveing , lying, GOP, and now, he’s gone to far? GTFOH

      Keep the heat on’em, Mr. President, and stand up for the AMERICAN PEOPLE.

  26. rikyrah says:

    Report: Colleges cashing in on minority athletes
    Too many Blacks leaving school with no degree, substandard
    education, study shows

    In the race to have the best team, win the most games and make the most money, college sports programs have exploited student-athletes for university gains, according to some of the nation’s leading experts on race and intercollegiate sports.

    In their research into race and economics in college sports, Robert and Amy McCormick, law professors at Michigan State University, have found that student-athletes, particularly African-Americans, don’t reap the benefits of their labor.

    Those athletes generate huge revenues for their schools. But despite getting the opportunity to attend college at little or no cost, they often walk away without a degree or with a substandard education, the McCormicks say.

    All the while, the predominately White administrators of colleges and intercollegiate sports programs draw rich salaries and their schools build ever-better facilities.

    Not sharing in the wealth

    “A largely African-American workforce – the players – are generating a great deal of wealth by creating the product of college sports, but they are not allowed to share that wealth,” Robert McCormick said.

    The average future NFL draftee brings in $400,000 a year and a future NBA draftee brings in $1.2 million a year for their schools, according to Ahmed Taha, professor of law at Wake Forest University School of Law.

    If that athlete actually graduates with a degree, it yields them, on average, just $72,868 in annual earnings. And only 56 percent of the 2010 NCAA basketball tournament bracket schools graduate at least 50 percent of their African-American players, according to the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport.

    “African-American athletes should not be relegated to providing services for free to benefit and entertain White Americans,” Amy McCormick said. “Legally, as employees, and morally, as human beings, they must be paid.”

    204 players, 277 incidents of crime

    Coaches and college sports administrators also are failing athletes when it comes to dealing openly with recruits who have criminal records, said Jeffrey Benedict, author of the recent Sports Illustrated special report “Criminal Records in College Sports.”

    His investigation found that, of the Sports Illustrated Top 25 preseason 2010 football teams, seven percent of players (or 204) had been charged with or cited for a crime. Those players were implicated in 277 incidents.

    But only two of 25 schools conducted any kind of criminal background check on incoming football scholarship recipients – and only one school, Texas Christian University, had a roster free of criminal records.

    Safety net needed for athlete

    It’s not a matter of automatically disqualifying any recruit who has a felony record, Benedict said. “I don’t think that would be a good policy,” he added. If a coach decides to recruit a player with a record, however, the school should ensure there’s a safety net for that athlete – so he stays out of trouble and gets an education that prepares him for life after football.

    “That’s a guy who needs something more than shoulder pads and a helmet,” Benedict said. “He needs people who are looking out for his social well-being and his academics.”

  27. rikyrah says:

    In a Life Filled With Firsts, One More
    Published: April 24, 2011

    Open lunchboxes are sprawled on the kitchen counter. Four dogs dart in and out. And three children rummage through backpacks. With the predawn bedlam at its height, the harried mother asks: Do you have your baseball glove? What do you want for a snack? How about the form I have to sign?

    Rebecca, 11, who like most of her peers has embraced the eye roll as a punctuation mark, announces she is wearing leopard-print flats to school.

    “Why don’t we start with, ‘Mom, is it O.K. if I wear these shoes to school today?’ ” chides Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz, in white sneakers and head-to-toe pink sweats, her mass of curly hair pulled back. “Choppity-chop, let’s go.”

    In less than two weeks, Ms. Wasserman Schultz — mother, wife, Girl Scout leader, legislator, fund-raiser and House vote counter — will add another job to her monumentally orchestrated life. She will become the first woman elected to lead the Democratic National Committee, a role that requires grit, exaltation and inspiration. At 44, she will be the youngest committee leader in decades.

    As the country races toward the 2012 presidential election, it will be her task to rally Democrats to give money and time, swatting away Republican barbs and defending President Obama at every turn. It is a job she is well prepared to handle, having served years on the House’s Democratic campaign committee.

    Later that morning, in a nearby deli, Ms. Wasserman Schultz, now wearing a businesslike gray suit and pumps, said, “The timing is right for a retail politician.”

    But the symbolism of her selection is not lost on her.

    “It’s a big deal, a very big deal,” said Ms. Wasserman Schultz, whose toughness was admired by her colleagues even before she grappled with breast cancer in 2007. “My generation is significantly unrepresented in terms of public policy and decision making. As a woman today, it’s very different living through raising children and balancing work and family. It’s an opportunity to reach out to so many families. And women who work outside the family can say Democrats get it.”

    “It doesn’t hurt that I’m from Florida,” she added. “It’s a huge priority.”

    Ms. Wasserman Schultz is a New Yorker who graduated from the University of Florida and never left the state. In her Broward County district, which includes a sliver of Miami-Dade County, she is largely beloved. In 2010, she was re-elected to the House, where she has served since 2004, with 60 percent of the vote. Before that, she served 12 years in the State Legislature, becoming — at age 26 — the youngest woman elected to the Florida House.

    At a recent town hall-style meeting at a senior center, where she talked about Medicare’s future and what she said was the irresponsibility of Republicans, the audience swarmed her.

    “I think you’re a gutsy lady,” one man said. “I like your talking points. We need to stress what Obama has done.”

    “They gave me a megaphone now and I’m going to use it,” she told him.

    But not everyone in Florida is so enthusiastic about Ms. Wasserman Schultz. James Gleason, a possible opponent in 2012, said she would only increase the partisan comments in her new job and magnify the country’s polarization.

    “I think to be an effective legislator, you have to come together with your own party but also work with the other side and not just be antagonistic,” said Mr. Gleason, a Republican business owner who lives in Coral Springs.

    While I don’t always agree with Wasserman-Schultz……I have no doubt that she’s FIERCE in defending the Democratic Party position…..and that’s why they are scared of her.

  28. Storytime Stage
    Live from The 2011 White House Easter Egg Roll

  29. Ametia says:

    Christine Amanpour is another ABC tool.

  30. Supreme Court Rejects Virginia Request For Immediate Review Of Obama Health Care Law

    WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court has rejected a call from Virginia’s attorney general to depart from its usual practice and put review of the health care law on a fast track. Instead, judicial review of President Barack Obama’s signature legislation will continue in federal appeals courts.

    The justices on Monday turned down a request by Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, a leading opponent of the law, to resolve questions about its constitutionality quickly. The Obama administration opposed Cuccinelli’s plea.

    Only rarely, in wartime or a constitutional crisis, does the court step into a legal fight before the issues are aired in appellate courts. Hearings already are scheduled in May and June in three appeals courts.

    The case still could reach the high court in time for a decision by early summer 2012.

  31. Ametia says:

    April 25, 2011
    Maryland Renames Law School After Donation

    William Polk Carey need not worry about people forgetting his family name any time soon.

    On Monday afternoon, the W. P. Carey Foundation plans to announce that it will give $30 million to the University of Maryland School of Law, which is in Baltimore. It will be renamed the Francis King Carey School of Law, after Mr. Carey’s grandfather, an 1880 graduate.

    “It’s time to think about the future of Baltimore, a great city with a great history,” said Mr. Carey, the 80-year-old founder of W.P. Carey & Company, a corporate real estate financing firm. “The law school is now in the first tier. I’m looking forward to a joint J.D.-M.B.A. program, where it will be one big great happy family, giving people the best education imaginable, in Baltimore.”

    He envisions a program linking the Carey School of Law with the Johns Hopkins Carey School of Business — named for Mr. Carey’s great-great-great-grandfather after a $50 million gift from the Carey Foundation in 2006.

    Baltimore institutions are not the only ones to bear the Carey name. There is also the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, so named after a $50 million gift from the Carey Foundation in 2002.

    Mr. Carey’s relationship with Arizona State stems from the university’s decision decades ago to name a building after his grandfather John Armstrong.

    “They didn’t ask the family for a dime, and I thought that was nice,” Mr. Carey said.

    Later, the university also gave Mr. Carey an honorary degree.

    “That was nice, too,” he said. “I accepted it, and we got acquainted.”

    Then, impressed by the university, he made his gift to the business school.

    Mr. Carey says his family has long believed in the importance of education. His grandmother Anne Galbraith Carey founded the Gilman School, the nation’s first country day school, in Baltimore in 1897. Recently, Mr. Carey contributed $10 million for the renovation of Carey Hall there, and he cut the ribbon when the work was completed in 2007.

    Mr. Carey attended Princeton University (“I cut too many classes, too many chapels, and I resigned before someone could ask me to leave”) and the University of Pennsylvania (“My brother got me in”). He professed fondness for both institutions (“I do care about Princeton, and plan to do something for it as soon as I get around to it”).

    Phoebe Haddon, dean of the University of Maryland’s law school, said Mr. Carey’s gift came as a “wonderful” recognition of its stature and strong interdisciplinary programs.

    “We’ve spent much of the last six months talking about his vision and our vision for developing our law and business program,” she said. “We’re very interested in developing a program with the Carey School at Hopkins.”

    Mr. Carey’s company owns more than 875 buildings in 15 countries, including part of The New York Times Building in Manhattan.

    Mr. Carey said he planned to give the bulk of his fortune to his family foundation, for philanthropic purposes.

    “I don’t believe in having my family be rich,” he said. “They don’t need a lot of fancy cars to drive around. My goal is to make the foundation a billion, and then after it’s a billion, I might be old enough to think about passing on.”

  32. rikyrah says:

    April 25, 2011
    COBURN, NORQUIST, AND THE GANG OF SIX…. We don’t know what they’ve come up with, or when we’ll see the details, but it sounds as if the so-called “Gang of Six” will come up with some kind of bipartisan debt-reduction plan., probably pretty soon.

    The Senate’s “gang of six” appears to be headed toward a budget compromise that would boost tax revenues and rein in popular entitlement programs, according to a Democrat and a Republican from the bipartisan group who appeared Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

    “If we don’t have an agreement soon, we won’t be relevant to this discussion,” Senate Budget Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) said. “We intend to be relevant. We have made enormous progress in this group. It is the only bipartisan effort that is under way, and at the end of the day it has to be bipartisan or nothing is going to happen.”

    Also over the weekend, we learned that Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), the gang’s only professed liberal, noted that he’s heard Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) deliver “the doomsday speech” — the one in which the right-wing Oklahoman explains how the debt will destroy civilization as we know it — and was apparently worn down by it. “He has convinced me,” Durbin said. “This is serious, and if we don’t do something, and do it quickly, bad things can happen, in a hurry.”

    Perhaps now would be a good time to note that Coburn, a physician with no background in economic, fiscal, or monetary policy, doesn’t really understand these issues.

    Nevertheless, Coburn continues to note that he’s prepared to accept some higher taxes as part of the larger compromise. He told NBC yesterday that he’s aware of his 2004 pledge not to raise any tax on anyone by any amount, but may feel inclined to do the right thing anyway.

    “Which pledge is most important… the pledge to uphold your oath to the Constitution of the United States or a pledge from a special interest group who claims to speak for all American conservatives when, in fact, they really don’t?” Coburn asked. “The fact is we have enormous urgent problems in front of us that have to be addressed and have to be addressed in a way that will get 60 votes in the Senate… and something that the president will sign.”

    “Where’s the compromise that will save our country?” Coburn added. “This isn’t about politics that is normal.”

    Norquist responded soon after, “Coburn said on national TV today that he lied his way into office and will vote to raise taxes if he damn well feels like it, never mind what he promised the citizens of Oklahoma. Sen. Coburn knows perfectly well that the pledge is not to any organization but to the citizens of his state. He lied to them, not to Americans for Tax Reform.”

    The running feud between Coburn and Norquist is of some interest, but the larger point is that Norquist may prove to be more persuasive to congressional Republicans. Indeed, there’s no guarantee anyone outside the Gang of Six will actually like what they’ve come up with. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) last week vowed to kill any deal that included even a penny in tax increases, and it’s likely most, if not all, Republicans outside the gang will reach the same conclusion. This isn’t just true of the Senate, where 60 votes will be a very heavy lift, but also in the House, where a radicalized caucus just voted to cut taxes by trillions as part of their fraudulent attempt at fiscal “responsibility.”

    —Steve Benen 8:00 AM

  33. rikyrah says:

    April 25, 2011
    THE LIMITS OF SCHMOOZING…. A couple of weeks ago, the NYT’s David Brooks suggested President Obama and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) would better understand each other’s agenda if only the president invited the far-right lawmaker over for lunch.

    New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) sounded a similar note yesterday, suggesting Obama would be in a better position if he schmoozed more.

    “The president’s got to start inviting people over for dinner. He’s got to play golf with them. He has to pick up the phone and call and say, ‘I know we disagree on this, but I just want to say — I heard it was your wife’s birthday or your kid just got into college.’

    “He has to go build friendships. That’s what an executive’s job is, and the president is a people-person. He knows how to deal with people.”

    I tend to think this is all pretty silly, but so long as the argument is getting attention, let’s flesh this out a bit.

    The first point to keep in mind is that Obama has already made an effort to cultivate some of these relationships. He established some friendships during his Senate tenure — he and Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), for example, are reportedly good friends, ideologies notwithstanding — and the president has used occasions like the Super Bowl and March Madness to invite bipartisan groups of lawmakers over to hang out.

    It doesn’t seem to be helping much. Republicans don’t respond to interpersonal outreach; they respond to Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, and the GOP’s hysterical base.

    The second, related point is that I’m not at all sure what Obama and Republican leaders would talk about when he invites them “over for dinner.”

    As Paul Krugman recently explained, “The point is that the two parties don’t just live in different moral universes, they also live in different intellectual universes, with Republicans in particular having a stable of supposed experts who reliably endorse whatever they propose. So when pundits call on the parties to sit down together and talk, the obvious question is, what are they supposed to talk about? Where’s the common ground?”

    The Bloomberg/Brooks suggestion — schmoozing will lead to progress — rests upon the assumption that congressional Republicans are responsible officials, willing to negotiate and work in good faith, and prepared to find common ground with Obama. All they need is some face-time and presidential hand-holding. Once they can get along on a personal level, a constructive process will follow.

    It’s a pleasant enough fantasy, but it’s at odds with reality. Republicans are deliberately pushing a radical agenda, without regard for bipartisanship or reason, and are generally unwilling to even consider Obama a legitimate president. They eschew compromise — Speaker Boehner appeared on “60 Minutes” and refused to even use the word — and have even said they’re prepared to destroy the economy, on purpose, as part of the latest in a series of hostage strategies.

    Sharing a sandwich with these guys on the portico probably won’t do much good.

    —Steve Benen 8:35 AM

    • Ametia says:

      The idea of POTUS inviting these clowns over for lunch is LAUGHABLE. The only thing Paul Ryan and his ilk would prefer President Obama do for them is SERVE THEM LUNCH.

      Nope, no ass kissing these fools, they need to MAN UP, take responsibility and govern, but that would be too much like the RIGHT THING TO DO, for the American people.

  34. rikyrah says:

    Saturday, April 23, 2011
    The Inspiration For Paul Ryan’s Profoundly And Explicitly Anti-Christian Budget

    Thursday Wisconsin’s nihilistic governor, Scott Walker, wrote a glowing paean to political ally Paul Ryan for Time Magazine’s top 100 people of the year contest:

    Paul Ryan, 41, came of age down the road from me. Although we didn’t know each other at the time, it’s clear now that growing up in south-central Wisconsin during the Reagan years had a lasting impact on both our political philosophies. Like our 40th President, Paul has always stuck to his core beliefs: in limited, effective government; individual liberty; and making the hard decisions so our children will inherit a country at least as great as the one we did. Overnight, his economic plan has redefined the nation’s conversation about public spending.

    It has been said that there are two types of people in politics: those who want to be somebody great and those who want to do something great. Paul Ryan is the latter, and our country is better off because of that.

    What is the great cause for which Ryan wants to devote his political life? Unkind critics point to the unprecedented– at least in Wisconsin politics– gushers of money Ryan has solicited from the Wall Street sector and detect a correlation between the bribes he takes and the policies he espouses. And since there is nothing that holds his voting record– huge, unjustifiable bailouts for Wall Street banks coupled with the dismantling of Medicare and unconscionable tax breaks for the richest Americans coupled with privatization of Social Security– other than obeisance to a garden variety Big Business agenda, this interpretation has become widespread. What people may be missing, however, is a parallel influence on Ryan– one not unrelated, but not identical either: his devotion to the adolescent philosophy of Ayn Rand: “the virtue of selfishness,” a more direct– if somewhat off-putting to non-beleivers– description of a philosophy known as “Objectivism.” Like Ron Johnson, Wisconsin’s new senator and Ron and Rand Paul (as well as Clarence Thomas, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Alan Greenspan), Ryan has embraced Ayn Rand’s anti-Christian doctrines as a replacement for religion. Inverted Christianity– and inverted Marxism– is the best way to describe a political philosophy that stopped growing somewhere in Ryan’s sophomore or junior year of college.

    The April 18 edition of Newsweek carried an interesting article. According to author Jonathan Chait, it explains “How the GOP came to view the poor as parasites and the rich as our rightful rulers.”

    Regarding novelist Ayn Rand, Chait wrote “her novel Atlas Shrugged, expressed Rand’s inverted Marxism… In 2009 Rand began popping up all over the tea party movement.”

    Congressman Paul Ryan has been a fan of Rand’s philosophy for a long time. According to Chait, “Ryan once appeared at a gathering to honor her philosophy, where he announced ‘The reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand.’ He continues to view Rand as a lodestar, requiring staffers to digest her creepy tracts.”

    Chait also mentions that part of Ryan’s budget proposal about Medicare includes “imposing huge cuts on anybody who retires starting in 2022.”

    We know how Ryan wants to cut Medicare, Medicaid, and other programs for the middle class and the poor. Perhaps now we know why.

    Reading Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead will help you understand the deep cheap level of attraction for Rand by the intellectual lightweights of the far right.

    The philosophy, such as it was, which Rand laid out in her novels and essays was a frightful concoction of hyper-egotism, power-worship and anarcho-capitalism. She opposed all forms of welfare, unemployment insurance, support for the poor and middle-class, regulation of industry and government provision for roads or other infrastructure. She also insisted that law enforcement, defense and the courts were the only appropriate arenas for government, and that all taxation should be purely voluntary. Her view of economics starkly divided the world into a contest between “moochers” and “producers,” with the small group making up the latter generally composed of the spectacularly wealthy, the successful, and the titans of industry. The “moochers” were more or less everyone else, leading TNR’s Jonathan Chait to describe Rand’s thinking as a kind of inverted Marxism. Marx considered wealth creation to result solely from the labor of the masses, and viewed the owners of capital and the economic elite to be parasites feeding off that labor. Rand simply reversed that value judgment, applying the role of “parasite” to everyday working people instead. On the level of personal behavior, the heroes in Rand’s novels commit borderline rape, blow up buildings, and dynamite oil fields — actions which Rand portrays as admirable and virtuous fulfillments of the characters’ personal will and desires. Her early diaries gush with admiration for William Hickman, a serial killer who raped and murdered a young girl. Hickman showed no understanding of “the necessity, meaning or importance of other people,” a trait Rand apparently found quite admirable. For good measure, Rand dismissed the feminist movement as “false” and “phony,” denigrated both Arabs and Native Americans as “savages” (going so far as to say the latter had no rights and that Europeans were right to take North American lands by force) and expressed horror that taxpayer money was being spent on government programs aimed at educating “subnormal children” and helping the handicapped. Needless to say, when Rand told Mike Wallace in 1953 that altruism was evil, that selfishness is a virtue, and that anyone who succumbs to weakness or frailty is unworthy of love, she meant it.

    PAUL RYAN’S AYN RAND BUDGET: Given that Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) is the lead architect of the GOP’s 2012 budget plan, his own devotion to the ideas of Atlas Shrugged and its author are worth noting. Conservative columnist Ross Douthat has dismissed the connection as Ryan merely saying some “kind words about Ayn Rand,” which simply isn’t a plausible characterization given what we know: Ryan was a speaker at the Ayn Rand Centenary Conference in 2005, where he described Social Security as a “collectivist system” and cited Rand as his primary inspiration for entering public service. He has at least two videos on his Facebook page in which he heaps praise on the author. “Ayn Rand, more than anyone else, did a fantastic job of explaining the morality of capitalism, the morality of individualism,” he says. All of which reflects a rather more serious devotion than a few mere kind words. So it should come as no surprise that Ryan’s plan comports almost perfectly with Rand’s world view. He guts Medicare, Medicaid, and a whole host of housing, food, and educational support programs, leaving the country’s middle-class and most vulnerable citizens with far less support. Then he uses approximately half of the money freed by those cuts to reduce taxes on the most wealthy Americans. By transforming Medicare into a system of vouchers whose value increases at the rate of inflation, he undoes Medicare’s most humane feature — the shouldering of risk at the social level — and leaves individuals a nd seniors to shoulder ever greater amounts of risk on their own. But if your intellectual and moral lodestar is a woman who railed against altruism as “evil” and considered the small pockets of highly successful individuals to be morally superior, it’s a perfectly logical plan to put forward.

    • Ametia says:

      I’ve read both Atlas Shrugs and seen teh movie The Fountainhead. This woman was even BORN IN THE USA. (RUSSIA) And the nonsense she espouses is utter BULLSHIT.

  35. rikyrah says:


    by digby

    Matt Yglesias notices a small but important change in the way the plutocrat apologists are presenting their case:

    You can tell something’s happening in the economic policy debate when you start reading more things like AEI’s Arthur Brooks explaining that it would simply be unfair to raise taxes on the rich. Harvard economics professor and former Council of Economics Advisor chairman Greg Mankiw has said the same thing. And of course Representative Paul Ryan is both a fan of Brooks and a fan of the works of Ayn Rand. Which is just to say that we used to have a debate in which the left said redistributive taxation might be a good idea and then the right replied that it might sound good, but actually the consequences would be bad. Lower taxes on the rich would lead to more growth and faster increase in incomes.

    Now that idea seems to be so unsupportable that the talking point is switched. It’s not that higher taxes on our Galtian Overlords would backfire and make us worse off. It’s just that it would be immoral of us to ask them to pay more taxes even if doing so would, in fact, improve overall human welfare.

    Rand did write a whole series of essays on “The Virture of Selfishness” so intellectual wingnuts and certain college freshmen will not find anything to quarrel with in the idea that it’s immoral to ask the wealthy to pay more in taxes. But since that adds up to a few thousand people at most, that leaves the much larger number of conservatives who subscribe to the teaching of a fellow named Jesus Christ. And while they may be influenced by the new breed of capitalist evangelicals, I think most of them still unconsciously accept the teachings of the older Biblical moral system — we are our brother’s keepers and all that rot.

    But as Yglesias says, this is good news. It means they know their intellectual flim-flam isn’t working any more.

    For more on Rand’s deeply anti-Christian philosophy and how it inspired the deeply selfish Ryan budget, read this epic post at Down With Tyranny.


  36. Ametia says:

    And this right here:

    Some of Lou Barletta’s Contributions 2009-2010, you can find them at OpenSecrets(.)ORG

    Citizens United – $10,000

    Freedom Project (Funded by the Koch brothers) – $10,000

    Koch Industries – $7,000

    Capital One Financial - $6,000

    Exxon Mobil – $5,000

    Prosperity PAC (another Koch funded PAC) – $5,000

  37. Ametia says:


    • Ametia says:

      And this right here:

      Obama paints Rep. Ryan as the GOP face for 2012
      Steven Thomma | McClatchy Newspapers
      last updated: April 24, 2011 03:17:41 PM

      WASHINGTON — Eager to start campaigning for re-election next year, President Barack Obama isn’t waiting for the Republican Party to nominate a rival. He’s running against Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis.

      Obama professes to like Ryan, the 41-year-old chairman of the House Budget Committee. But in increasingly personal and pointed terms, Obama is attacking Ryan as the face of a Republican Party that he says would use the government’s debt crisis to turn America in a radical new direction.

      He’s doing it for two key reasons. Obama wants to shift the public focus away from own contribution to the nation’s skyrocketing debt — which hurt Democrats in the 2010 congressional elections — and onto the Republican Party’s proposed solutions. And he wants to frame the election as a choice between two very different visions of America: The Republican one he calls a dark place for the poor and middle class, and the other his own view of a friendly, more utopian place.

      Obama, his top advisers and fellow Democrats believe that Ryan handed them a gift when he proposed a budget plan that would cut taxes by $2 trillion over 10 years and also cut federal spending by $6.2 trillion, cuts which include possibly wrenching changes in the popular Medicare program.

      Some Republicans think, however, that Obama already is overplaying his hand. His attacks on Ryan may make it harder for him to strike a bargain with congressional Republicans, and could alienate voters focused on the enormous debt problem. And he also could turn off independents who chafe at partisan warfare.

      Either way, it’s Obama versus Ryan for the foreseeable future.

      “This is the beginning of a year-and-a-half argument about how to save the country’s economy,” said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Polling Institute at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut.

      Obama all but dared the Republicans to go first, signaling that he thought it foolhardy for him to make the first move in proposing specifics on big, long-term budget changes.

      “This is not a matter of you go first or I go first,” he said when he rolled a budget proposal in February that did not propose any substantial debt-reduction.

      “If you look at the history of how these deals get done, typically it’s not because there’s an Obama plan out there; it’s because Democrats and Republicans are both committed to tackling this issue in a serious way.”

      Obama let Ryan go first. The Wisconsin congressman unveiled his budget blueprint in early April.

      The White House said it didn’t like it, and Democrats quietly started keeping track of which potential 2012 Republican presidential candidates endorsed the plan.

      “I applaud Rep. Paul Ryan,” said former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, a likely candidate. “Anyone who has read my book knows that we are on the same page.”

      Romney’s endorsement was noted in the White House, and stored away for later use.

      Two months after Obama said there was no need to have an “Obama plan out there,” the president announced that he’d give a major speech outlining his long-term budget ideas. Aides said he’d always planned it, that he wasn’t just responding to Ryan.

      With Ryan sitting in the audience as an invited guest at George Washington University near the White House, Obama didn’t just propose his own plan — he launched his first broadside at Ryan’s plan.

      “This vision is less about reducing the deficit than it is about changing the basic social compact in America,” Obama said. “Ronald Reagan’s own budget director said, ‘there’s nothing serious or courageous about this plan.’

      “There’s nothing serious about a plan that claims to reduce the deficit by spending a trillion dollars on tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires. And I don’t think there’s anything courageous about asking for sacrifice from those who can least afford it and don’t have any clout on Capitol Hill. That’s not a vision of the America I know.”

      Ryan said he was stunned.

      “When the president reached out to ask us to attend his speech, we were expecting an olive branch,” he said afterwards. “Instead, his speech was excessively partisan, dramatically inaccurate, and hopelessly inadequate to address our fiscal crisis. What we heard today was not fiscal leadership from our commander-in-chief; we heard a political broadside from our campaigner-in-chief.”

      The next day, Obama ripped Ryan while speaking to campaign contributors in Chicago, in what he thought was an off-the-record session.

      “When Paul Ryan says his priority is to make sure, you know, he’s just being America’s accountant …,” Obama said in remarks taped through an open microphone by CBS reporter Mark Knoller, “this is the same guy that voted for two wars that were unpaid for, voted for the Bush tax cuts that were unpaid for, voted for the prescription drug bill that cost as much as my health care bill — but wasn’t paid for. So it’s not on the level. And we’ve got to keep on, you know, keep on shining a light on that.”

      Then last week in California, Obama reacted almost with anger when asked to respond to pundits who credit Ryan with being bold and courageous in making the first detailed proposal to cut deficits.

      “The Republican budget that was put forward I would say is fairly radical. I wouldn’t call it particularly courageous,” Obama said. “I do think Mr. Ryan is sincere. I think he’s a patriot. I think he wants to solve a real problem, which is our long-term deficit. But I think that what he and the other Republicans in the House of Representatives also want to do is change our social compact in a pretty fundamental way.”

      Polls suggest that Obama may have the upper hand. A McClatchy-Marist poll last week, for example, found that voters by 2-1 support raising taxes on the wealthy, and by 4-1 they also don’t want to cut Medicare.

      Obama wants to raise income and other taxes on incomes above $200,000. He also wants to raise Social Security taxes on income above 106,800.

      Ryan proposes to slash top income tax rates on high incomes from 35 percent to 25 percent, but also would eliminate some unspecified deductions and loopholes.

      Republicans concede that it was politically risky for Ryan to propose a detailed plan to curb deficits. But they think voters will reward him for stepping up to the problem, and that Obama will pay a price for appearing more partisan than serious.

      “Of course there’s risk. But it is a sincere effort to address the problem,” said Republican pollster Whit Ayres of Ryan’s effort.

      “The president’s attacks are not the actions of someone who’s trying to find a solution, they’re the actions of someone who’s trying to find a political edge. … This is the sort of thing that independents hate — partisan attacks rather than solving problems.”

  38. Ametia says:

  39. Ametia says:

    Gabrielle Giffords’ doctors, husband share details on her progress
    by Jaimee Rose – Apr. 24, 2011 12:00 AM
    The Arizona Republic

    HOUSTON – Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is left-handed now.

    Her handwriting looks different in the letter she recently wrote to her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, than it did the last time he went into space. Giffords’ mother helped her pen the traditional NASA sendoff note two weeks ago. She wrote to her “sweetie pie,” and that part – those words – were the same

    Many other things are different since Giffords’ brain was pierced by a bullet during the shootings near Tucson on Jan. 8. Her hair is short, maybe 2 inches long, says Pia Carusone, her chief of staff, so there are scars on her scalp that show through. Eventually, her hair will cover them. A thin scar across the top of her forehead is healing well and fading, and her face, though sometimes swollen, is otherwise the same as before, Carusone says.

    Giffords speaks most often in a single word or declarative phrase: “love you,” “awesome,” even “get out” to doctors in her room at the end of a taxing day. She longs to leave the rehab center, repeating “I miss Tucson” and wheeling herself to the doors at the end of the hall to peer out. When that day comes, Giffords told her nurse, she plans to “walk a mountain.”

  40. Ametia says:

    Five myths about church and state in America
    By David Sehat, Friday, April 22, 2:42 PM
    Liberals claim that the founding fathers separated church and state, while conservatives argue that the founders made faith a foundation of our government. Both sides argue that America once enjoyed a freedom to worship that they seek to preserve. Yet neither side gets it right. As we mark Passover and Easter, let’s end some misconceptions about religion and politics in America.

    1. The Constitution has always protected religious freedom.

    Many Americans believe that the First Amendment’s separation of church and state safeguards religious liberty. But when the First Amendment was ratified in 1791, it did not apply to the states and would not until well into the 20th century. As a result, the First Amendment did not prevent states from paying churches out of the public treasury, as Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut and South Carolina did when that amendment was written. And those states that did not fund churches still favored Christianity. Blasphemy was forbidden in Delaware in 1826, and officeholders in Pennsylvania had to swear that they believed in “the being of a God and a future state of rewards and punishments.”

    Read on

  41. Ametia says:

    Happy MUN-dane, Everybody! :-)

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