Thursday Open Thread

The Four Tops are an American vocal quartet, whose repertoire has included doo-wop, jazz, soul music, R&B, disco, adult contemporary, hard rock, and showtunes. Founded in Detroit, Michigan as The Four Aims, lead singer Levi Stubbs (born Levi Stubbles, a cousin of Jackie Wilson and brother of The Falcons‘ Joe Stubbs)(who also led [[100 Proof(Aged In Soul)), and groupmates Abdul “Duke” Fakir, Renaldo “Obie” Benson and Lawrence Payton remained together for over four decades, having gone from 1953 until 1997 without a single change in personnel.

Among a number of groups who helped define the Motown Sound of the 1960s, including The Miracles, The Marvelettes, Martha and the Vandellas, The Temptations, and The Supremes, the Four Tops were notable for having Stubbs, a baritone, as their lead singer; most groups of the time were fronted by a tenor. The group was the main male vocal group for the songwriting and production team of Holland-Dozier-Holland, who crafted a stream of hit singles, including two Billboard Hot 100 number-one hits: “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)” and “Reach Out I’ll Be There“.

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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49 Responses to Thursday Open Thread

  1. NBC Dodging Lawrence O’Donnell’s Donald Trump Criticism (VIDEO

    NBC declined to comment Thursday.

    “I wouldn’t dignify Lawrence O’Donnell’s ridiculous statements by even providing a response,” said Michael Cohen, an executive with the Trump Organization and a Trump spokesman.

    O’Donnell’s latest blast at Trump, a not-infrequent target, came hours after the White House released President Barack Obama’s long-form birth certificate from Hawaii, debunking persistent claims that Obama was born in Africa.

    Oh, so NBC want to get cocky? Lets see how cocky they’ll be when their pocketbook is hit? Arrogant no good race baiting mofo!

  2. QB Cam Newton goes 1st in NFL draft to Panthers…

  3. GOP Lawmaker Faces Hostile Questioning Over Medicare

    WASHINGTON – Rep. Rick Berg (R-N.D.) heard from elderly voters angry about his vote to end Medicare and replace it with a voucher program at the Bismarck Public Library Tuesday evening.

  4. GOP Strategists Fear Fallout From Obama Birth Certificate Release

    The question of whether President Barack Obama was born on U.S. soil will have zero impact on the 2012 campaign but could significantly damage Republicans’ prospects for retaking the White House if it lingers. That was the consensus analysis of more than a dozen experienced GOP political strategists, consultants and operatives who were interviewed Wednesday within an hour of Obama going on national television to publicly release the long-form version of his birth certificate.

    These Republicans were nearly unanimous in their desire to see the issue permanently put to rest because they fear it could make the party seem too extreme.

    “It doesn’t affect 2012. The economy is what will matter,” said one Republican operative affiliated with a prospective presidential candidate.

    A second GOP operative, who also might land on a presidential campaign this cycle, added, “Having this issue go away helps any Republican candidate and the party as a whole.”

    Nah Nah Nah….You own this bitch, GOP!

  5. The roots of birtherism go beyond race

    Let’s be clear: Birtherism itself has everything to do with race. It encourages — and feeds off — emotional, culturally driven resentment of President Obama, a sense that he’s not “one of us.” But as Obama seeks to put all of the zany conspiracy theories to rest for good, it’s worth remembering that there’s a broader phenomenon that birtherism grew out of: the right’s instinctive, aggressive rejection of Democratic presidents.

    Think back to the late months of 2007, when it was taken as a given that Hillary Clinton would be the next Democratic presidential nominee. At the time, the right still considered itself at war with the Clintons — something that had started with Bill Clinton’s election in 1992, continued through his presidency, and extended well into his ex-presidency. From the moment Bill left office in January 2001, the right had been preparing for its inevitable showdown with Hillary — something that looked imminent in late ’07, when Obama’s campaign seemed to be foundering. Against this backdrop, Obama was typically portrayed by conservative commentators not as a radical, anti-American outsider but as a plucky, well-meaning (if a bit naive) do-gooder who was about to be savagely and unfairly mauled by the Big Bad Clinton Machine.

    Shortly thereafter, though, something unexpected happened: Obama started winning primaries and caucuses. Lots of them. By the end of February, he’d built a commanding delegate advantage. Hillary, it became clear, was going to lose. The threat of a Clinton restoration was over. And just like that, conservatives seemed to forget every nasty, terrible thing they’d ever said about the Clintons. The most hilarious example, as I documented at the time, may have been Pat Buchanan, who had famously pilloried Hillary as a radical feminist “lawyer-spouse” during his 1992 Republican convention speech; but as she fell hopelessly behind Obama, Buchanan began portraying her as a folk hero to white working-class voters — with Obama now relegated to the role of dangerous radical. And Buchanan was hardly alone. It was at this point in the 2008 campaign that conservative opinion-shapers began focusing obsessively on Jeremiah Wright and Obama’s other frightening “associations.”

    • Ametia says:

      What a load of bullshit. I loathe how these white folks try to minimize, negate, skirt the issue about the fact that this issue is RACISM, pure and simple.

      I don’t want to hear jackshit about Hill & Bill and other Democratic POTUS’ NARY a one of them where ever hounded and pounded with racist chants and dog-whistling to produce a fucking piece of paper.

      Nope, not buying this other Democrats go throught similar thrashing like Obama. OWN THE RACISM! OWN YOUR SHIT!


  6. rikyrah says:

    Shiloh Baptist Church receives threats after comments from Sean Hannity
    By Hamil R. Harris, Published: April 28 | Updated: Wednesday, April 27, 3:41 PM
    Shiloh Baptist Church in the District said it has received threatening phone calls and e-mails after an Easter visit from President Obama and a conservative television commentator’s subsequent playing of a videotape in which the pastor said that those espousing racial prejudice do so “under the protective cover of talk radio.”

    The Rev. Wallace Charles Smith said the church has received more than 100 threats since Fox News channel’s Sean Hannity aired a tape Monday of a speech Smith gave in January 2010 at Eastern University in Saint Davids, Pa.

    “We received a fax that had the image of a monkey with a target across is face,” Smith said. “My secretary has received telephone calls that have been so vulgar until she has had to hang up.”

    Smith, who shared several of the e-mails with The Post, said he had not notified authorities but is consulting with church leaders about what to do.

    On Sunday, Obama and the first family visited the church, founded in the 1860s by former slaves. On Monday, Hannity aired a clip of a speech Smith gave when he served as president of Palmer Theological Seminary in Philadelphia.

    “It may not be Jim Crow anymore,” Smith says in the videotape. “Now, Jim Crow wears blue pinstripes, goes to law school and carries fancy briefs in cases. And now, Jim Crow has become James Crow, esquire. And he doesn’t have to wear white robes anymore because now he can wear the protective cover of talk radio or can get a regular news program on Fox.”

    Smith, 62, said that he had been asked to give a speech on racism and that he “was giving some background on what I thought were some of the issues regarding race in this country.”

    Hannity compared Smith to Obama’s controversial former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, whom Obama denounced after YouTube videos surfaced showing Wright saying that the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks were “America’s chickens . . . coming home to roost.”

    (See a Washington Post interview with Wright from March 2010.)

    “Wright’s contentious sermons hit the airwaves and forced Obama eventually to denounce his spiritual leader of more than 20 years,” Hannity said. “Now, here’s the twist: Dr. Wallace Charles Smith doesn’t think that there’s anything wrong with what Jeremiah Wright preached.

    “I don’t believe that it is a coincidence out of all the churches in the country that Obama finds himself sitting in, why is he always in pews listening to such controversial spiritual leaders?” Hannity said.

    In an e-mail Wednesday, Hannity said he sought out comment from Smith and offered him “an open invitation to explain his comments on our show and he refused. We played his own words in full context but now it’s time for him to explain.”

  7. Ametia says:

    Breaking News Alert: Obama to visit Alabama on Friday
    April 28, 2011 12:37:33 PM

    President Obama will visit Alabama on Friday to tour storm damage areas and to meet with state and local officials and families impacted by the storm, according to senior administration officials.

    For more information, visit

  8. Ametia says:

    April 27, 2011
    A Certificate of Embarrassment

    With sardonic resignation, President Obama, an eminently rational man, stared directly into political irrationality on Wednesday and released his birth certificate to history. More than halfway through his term, the president felt obliged to prove that he was a legitimate occupant of the Oval Office. It was a profoundly low and debasing moment in American political life.

    The disbelief fairly dripped from Mr. Obama as he stood at the West Wing lectern. People are out of work, American soldiers are dying overseas and here were cameras to record him stating that he was born in a Hawaii hospital. It was particularly galling to us that it was in answer to a baseless attack with heavy racial undertones.

    Mr. Obama practically begged the public to set aside these distractions, expressing hope that his gesture would end the “silliness” and allow a national debate about budget priorities. It won’t, of course.

    If there was ever any doubt about Mr. Obama’s citizenship, which there was not, the issue was settled years ago when Hawaii released his birth certificate. The fuller document that Mr. Obama had to request contains some extra information, including his parents’ signatures and the name of the hospital where he was born, but it was unnecessary to show his legitimacy.

    So it will not quiet the most avid attackers. Several quickly questioned its authenticity. That’s because the birther question was never really about citizenship; it was simply a proxy for those who never accepted the president’s legitimacy, for a toxic mix of reasons involving ideology, deep political anger and, most insidious of all, race. It was originally promulgated by fringe figures of the radical right, but mainstream Republican leaders allowed it to simmer to satisfy those who are inflamed by Mr. Obama’s presence in the White House.

    Sarah Palin said the birth certificate issue was “fair game,” and the public was “rightfully” making it an issue. The House speaker, John Boehner, grudgingly said in February that he would take Mr. Obama “at his word” that he was a citizen, a suggestion that the proof was insufficient. He said, however, that it was not his job to end the nonsensical attacks. “The American people have the right to think what they want to think,” he said at the time. That signal was clearly received. Lawmakers in nearly a dozen states introduced bills requiring presidential candidates to release their full birth certificates.

    It is inconceivable that this campaign to portray Mr. Obama as the insidious “other” would have been conducted against a white president.

    There was a price to the party for keeping the issue alive; inevitably, it was picked up by a cartoon candidate, Donald Trump, who rode birtherism directly to the prime-time promontories of cable TV. The Republican establishment began to wince as it became increasingly tied to Mr. Trump’s flirtations with racial provocation, and Karl Rove told him to knock it off. Naturally, he did not.

    Finally, his taunting and the questions of television correspondents obliging Mr. Trump got on the president’s nerves. Mr. Obama was tactically smart to release the certificate and marginalize those who continue to keep the matter alive. It is tragic that American politics is fueled by such poisonous fire. Mr. Trump quickly moved on to a new fixation, questioning Mr. Obama’s academic credentials. Mr. Boehner, and other party leaders, have a new reason to call a halt to the politics of paranoia and intolerance.

  9. rikyrah says:

    April 28, 2011
    TELLING SENIORS TO GIVE UP ON MEDICARE…. Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) represents a Miami-area district with quite a few seniors. That did not, however, stop him voting to end Medicare and gut Medicaid when his party’s budget plan reached the House floor.

    The right-wing lawmaker probably realizes this is likely to cause consternation among his constituents, so earlier this week, West hosted a public meeting, but refused to allow voters to ask questions from microphones. Instead, the strange congressman would only responded to pre-screened written inquiries.

    Last night, West gave it another try.

    It can’t be easy defending your party’s plan to cut and privatize Medicare in retiree-heavy Boca Raton, Florida, but Rep. Allen West gave it his best shot on Wednesday. Questioned by constituents about the budget at a town hall, the freshman Republican warned that everyone is doomed with Medicare as is.

    “I gotta tell you something: if you support Medicare the way it is now, you can kiss the United States of America goodbye,” West said, according to local station WPTV.

    This isn’t going to work. Most Americans want Medicare left alone, and most voters in South Florida feel strongly about leaving Medicare alone.

    In other words, the more West argues that the future of America rests on the ability to destroy Medicare, the happier the DCCC is.

    Update: One of West’s constituents criticized the congresman at the event. For her trouble, she was taken into police custody and maced in jail. When Tea Partiers talk about “freedom,” I wonder if this is what they’re referring to.

    —Steve Benen 11:30 AM

  10. Ametia says:

    Posted at 10:27 AM ET, 04/28/2011
    Trump insults ‘the blacks,’ again
    By Jonathan Capehart

    Years ago at a party, a fete filled with the gorgeous mosaic that is New York City, an African American friend told me a joke. “What do they call a black doctor in the South?” she asked. Before I could respond, she said, “Nigger!” And she said it in that slavemaster-from-“Roots” kinda way for dramatic and comedic effect. We both howled.

    The joke was as ugly as the word that is its punchline. But it voiced a truth all black professionals feel deep in their core. No matter how hard we work. No matter how hard we play by the rules. No matter how much we prove through grades, degrees or just plain success, we are less-than. And to be clear: less than white people. No matter what we do, we will never measure up. We will never truly have it made.

    What made me — and countless others, blacks and whites, I’ve heard from — so sad yesterday was that even as president of the United States, a job he worked hard to attain and will have to work even harder to keep, Barack Obama was not immune to the reality of my friend’s crude joke. His legitimacy as president was challenged by folks who doubt his American citizenship. But even after the racist birther conspiracy was once again proven false yesterday with the release of Obama’s long-form birth certificate, Donald Trump dug deeper into the racist rabbit hole by questioning Obama’s academic achievement.

    Lawrence O’Donnell last night went right at the loathsome dog-whistle politics employed by Trump.

    Trump turned from attacking one man’s birth certificate to trying to undermine the acceptance of the academic credentials of not just Barack Obama,” O’Donnell said, “but of African Americans generally.”

    And with that sentence, O’Donnell spoke to why I and countless other African Americans felt wounded by what Trump did. As I explained on O’Donnell’s show in response, we felt wounded because in 2011 you can work hard, play by the rules, achieve great things academically and professionally and still have people look at you as less-than, look at you as not deserving of the things you worked hard to achieve, look at you as unqualified despite plenty of evidence to the contrary because you are black — even if you are the leader of the free world.

    After the early victories in Obama’s quest for the 2008 Democratic nomination, young whites drawn to this transformational figure took to chanting “race doesn’t matter.” There have been debates and countless column inches devoted to whether we now live in a post-racial society as many insisted. What happened yesterday — from the release of Obama’s long-form birth certificate to Trump’s taunts about the president’s academic achievement — should show everyone that we do not live in a post-racial America. Not when even the White House can’t be a refuge from racism. And not when someone who proclaims to have “a great relationship with the blacks” gleefully proves every day that that’s a lie.

  11. rikyrah says:

    April 28, 2011
    DEMS PRIORITIZE THE END OF OIL INDUSTRY SUBSIDIES…. Though he later said he didn’t mean it, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said this week that he’s open to ending lucrative taxpayer subsidies to extremely-profitable oil companies. It was the opening Democrats had been waiting for.

    A half-day later, President Obama wrote a letter to congressional leaders in both parties and both chambers, urging them to end the oil-industry incentives and apply the savings — around $4 billion a year in additional revenue — to reduce the nation’s dependence on foreign oil. The president added that he was “heartened” by Boehner pre-walkback comments.

    It quickly became clear that the Speaker has no intention of following through on this — his office all but admitted he was lying on national television — but his is not only the chamber on the Hill.

    President Barack Obama’s most powerful ally on Capitol Hill said Wednesday that the Senate will turn quickly to legislation to repeal billions of dollars in government subsidies enjoyed by big oil companies every year.

    Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said the Senate will consider as early as next week Obama’s proposal to repeal the tax breaks. Obama wants to use the billions in saving to invest in alternative energy in an effort to reduce the country’s dependence on foreign oil.

    “There’s no necessity for these subsidies,” Reid told reporters. “The companies have broken all records for profits.”

    It’s a near certainty that Senate Republicans will filibuster the cost-saving measure — they’re allegedly desperate to lower the deficit, but rather picky about how — and given the makeup of the Senate, getting to 60 will be all but impossible.

    But even under this scenario, Democrats see a political opportunity: with consumers paying nearly $4 a gallon, Republicans are fighting to defend subsidies for Big Oil, on top of the industry’s massive profits. Like the vote on the House budget bill, the point is to put the Senate GOP in a tough spot.

    Not to be outdone, House Dems, led by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (Ore.), are also pushing Boehner to at least hold a vote on this, giving members a chance to do what the Speaker told a national television audience he’d consider doing.

    Democrats don’t see chances to go on the offensive very often, but they see an opportunity here. That strikes me as wise — if the GOP keeps defending the industry incentives, it’s a political cudgel, and if Republicans cave and end the subsidies, the money can be better spent elsewhere.

    —Steve Benen 8:00 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (13)

  12. rikyrah says:

    Study: Republicans’ Hidden $34 Trillion Tax On Seniors
    A new report by economists at the liberal Center for Economic and Policy Research looks at House Republicans’ plan for privatizing Medicare from a new angle, and finds that it could increase health care costs for beneficiaries by a staggering $34 trillion over 75 years.

    You won’t find these expenditures on the government ledger. They represent the amount of money Medicare beneficiaries would have to pay out of pocket if they wanted to buy insurance policies that provide Medicare-equivalent benefits.

    The reasoning is fairly straightforward, according to CEPR’s Dean Baker and David Rosnick.

    The money the government currently spends every year on Medicare doesn’t cover every penny of health care its beneficiaries consume. The government agrees to pay a fixed percent, and the rest falls to the beneficiaries who share in the cost of the services they and their doctors order. The sum of those two numbers — both of which are expected to rise steeply over time — is the total cost incurred by Medicare. Under the House Republican plan, the government holds fixed the amount of money it’s willing to pay per patient per year, and leaves the residual costs for seniors to sort out with private insurers. Because private insurers are smaller, profit-driven, and less efficient than Medicare, those out-of-pocket costs will be significantly higher than they are now. And they’d grow much, much faster. Over the course of the program’s 75 year planning period, the difference would amount to $34 trillion.

  13. rikyrah says:

    Your Lying Eyes
    By Ta-Nehisi Coates
    Apr 28 2011, 9:30 AM ET
    I’m going to concur with Jeff and say that it’s always cool when Fallows gets angry:

    This alone disproves Donald Trump’s crock-of-shit* insulting and preposterous assertions that Obama was an affirmative action or charity admittee to the Ivy Leagues who couldn’t really cut it on his own IQ or test scores, as if there weren’t already evidence enough: It is his use at time 0:50 of the word “bemusement” in its proper sense (puzzlement, confusion) rather than what most people think it means (mild amusement). I would like to have someone ask Trump what he thinks the word means. Maybe some variant on “easement”? [*

    Update: OK, it’s a sign of defeat to resort to profanity. My exasperation is a sign of how I feel about this line of slurs. First, whatever is wrong with Obama, no sane person thinks he’s stupid. Second, I wonder how many people think Donald Trump is in a position to judge Obama’s smarts. Third, there is no avoiding the racist connotation of saying that a successful black person got there — wink wink — through special treatment. “Of course the black guy ended up as editor of the Law Review. What do you expect?” So I should just have said that rather than “crock of shit.” On the other hand, a crock of shit is what this is.]

    I don’t agree on the profanity point. I think cursing was quite appropriate.

    But beyond that, it is impossible to miss the racism at work here. This is not Vince Foster. This is not Swiftboating. This is the dude who passed health care reform as “the biggest Affirmative Action in history.” This is the whitey tape. This you are an “Indonesian welfare thug.” This is the host of “Celebrity Apprentice,” questioning the intellect of the past editor of the Harvard Law Review. This is the scion of inherited money as populist, and the scion of a teen single-mother as elitist. This is, if you were white, you and the black dude who came before wouldn’t be here. This is we don’t believe you.

    In other words, this is a racism of the bone.

    My ire is not so much for those who see their interests in that frame, but for the Very Serious People, who see nothing in the fact that those who are sorry that this country wasn’t cleaved in half by Genosha, and those who believe the first black president is a Muslim sleeper agent, are all at the same party. Who with a straight face chalk it up to the inexplicable vagaries of the human mind, or mere chance.

    My ire is for those who claim to know better, but do not.

  14. Epic: Lawrence O’Donnell Hammers NBC; Demands They Reveal Trump’s Future Plans

    We’ve been closely following MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell’s coverage of Donald Trump and the would-be Republican candidate (or not, if you’re inclined to agree with O’Donnell’s assessment of the situation) and we were keen on seeing what he’d have to say about Trump tonight in the wake of the White House’s presentation of Barack Obama’s birth certificate. And O’Donnell did not disappoint.

    Instead of going after Trump – a man to which he has devoted time week after week on his show, and one whom he accuses of doing or saying anything in his ongoing quest to quence his insatiable thirst for media attention – O’Donnell set his sights squarely on Trump’s employers at NBC, accusing the network of having effectively “created a monster.” O’Donnell pointed specifically to an anonymous NBC exec who told The New York Times that this is all “just Donald being Donald” (It’s a quote we at Mediaite also found… interesting, to say the least.)

    O’Donnell has previously taken the network to task for, essentially, allowing Trump to bring the “birther” issue to the foreground of current political and cultural discussion when they know (again, if you happen to agree with O’Donnell) or at least have a sense that the man is not going to run for office. Earlier this month, he went so far as to call Trump NBC’s “greatest individual embarrassment.” In New Hampshire, Trump said he could not make an official announcement regarding hsi campaign plans until his NBC show, The Apprentice, finishes its season. O’Donnell pointed out that this is simply untrue – Trump can announce, today, whether or not he plans to run without forcing his network to have to supply equal airtime to other candidates. The issue is not the announcement, it’s whether Trump will file the legal documents necessary to become an actual, legal candidate – and only then would equal time claims come into play. Therefore, explained O’Donnell, Trump is hiding behind NBC, evidently with the network’s full cooperation.

  15. rikyrah says:

    in G-T-F-O-H news


    Michigan Bible group: Obama the Antichrist
    By Ed Brayton | 04.28.11 | 7:38 am
    A Michigan-based group called the Bible Nation Society, which has been urging Congress to pass a resolution commemorating the 400th anniversary of the King James Version of the Bible, also says that President Obama may be the Antichrist.

    Religion Dispatches reports:

    The Bible Nation Society, affiliated with Immanuel Baptist Church in Corunna, was founded by Immanuel’s pastor, Douglas Levesque. At the Bible Nation Society’s 2010 Bible in Culture Conference, Levesque preached on the “Antichrist Quotient,” in which he laid out wide-ranging conspiracy theories that President Obama might be the Antichrist…

    Perhaps, though, the Democratic Party would have some issues with one of its House members taking up the suggestion of a group that has promoted Obama-might-be-the-Antichrist conspiracy theories. In the 2010 video, Levesque noted that “God has given us a purposeful ambiguity around” the Antichrist, yet proceeded to offer what he apparently believes is evidence that Obama might be it — or at least anti-Christian, or Antichrist-ish. Levesque claimed Obama “twist[s] the word of God” and “the Antichrist Quotient goes up above and beyond for someone who would so blatantly attack the word of God.” He added, “This man offends me, this man offends my God.”

    After offering a jumble of conspiracy theories, including the evils of environmentalism, the one-world ambitions of the U.N., and the connection between the Israel-Palestine peace process and the possible end-times date of December 21, 2012, Levesque read at length from the Book of Revelation. Then, with all that great fire and brimstone in his audience’s mind, he observed that Obama’s motorcade vehicle is called “the Beast,” that Barack “means thunder and lightning” and that the name of his then-Chief of Staff, Rahm Emmanuel, means “lightning, God with us.” But Levesque saved the greatest conspiracy theories of them all for his conclusion: “Why doesn’t Obama answer the questions about his citizenship? Why doesn’t he answer questions about his faith? Why doesn’t he answer the questions about his bisexuality, his homosexuality, his drug use?” Why, Levesque insists? “Because he has a mouth speaking great lying things

  16. rikyrah says:

    Black caucus plans federal case against Emergency Manager law
    The Michigan Legislative Black Caucus is working with the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, Rep. John Conyers (D-Detroit), and others on a lawsuit to challenge Michigan’s Emergency Manager law.
    Rep. Fred Durhal (D-Detroit), chairman of the caucus, said last night that the group expects to challenge the law in federal court within a few weeks.

    The Emergency Manager law, also known as Public Act 4, violates the voting rights of people in Michigan, he said, and runs afoul of Constitutional provisions against enacting laws to violate contracts.

    Durhal said the group also expects to file suit in state court for violations of the Home Rule Act which empowers communities to elect their local governments.

    Conyers is the only member of Michigan’s Congressional delegation to publicly criticize the law.

    In a statement last month he said that allowing Emergency Managers to dissolve local governments, “implicitly targets minority communities that are disproportionately impacted by the economic downturn, without providing meaningful support for improved economic opportunity.”

    Conyers called the bill an opportunistic Republican power grab aimed at crushing workers rights.

    Durhal said that he expects the group will ask the court for an injunction on the law.

    “If we are going to stop the travesty caused by this law,” he said, “we need to start with Benton Harbor.”

  17. rikyrah says:

    don’t let the door hit you where the good Lord split ya


    Norfolk teacher who held mock slave auction on leave

    By Steven G. Vegh
    The Virginian-Pilot
    © April 28, 2011

    A fourth-grade teacher who held a mock slave auction in her Sewells Point Elementary School classroom is on administrative leave while the school division investigates the incident.

    Chief Operations Officer Michael Spencer said the investigation of Jessica Boyle’s actions will be completed no later than next week. The review involves interviews with staff, students and Boyle. The teacher was put on leave with pay April 14, division spokeswoman Elizabeth Thiel Mather said.

    According to the division, Boyle separated black and mixed-race students from white classmates and auctioned them as part of an April 1 Civil War history exercise. The school’s principal apologized to the students’ parents in a letter, and the School Board and Superintendent Richard Bentley renounced the exercise.

    The investigative results will go to Bentley, who is responsible for recommending personnel action by the School Board.

    That recommendation could go to the board as early as its May 18 meeting, Spencer said.

    Boyle, who has been with the division since 2005, has taught at Sewells Point for three years, and before that was at Dreamkeepers Academy, according to the division website.

  18. Ametia says:

    DoT giving Minneapolis $474 million for light rail
    By Keith Laing – 04/27/11 02:51 PM ET

    Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minn., will get $474 million from the federal government for a proposed light-rail system connecting the two cities, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said Wednesday.

    The announcement comes despite Congress’s decision to eliminate funding for other types of trains in the recently passed budget deal.

    The deal to avert a government shutdown eliminated $1.5 billion in funding for high-speed rail this year and $400 million that was in last year’s budget. But the money for the Twin Cities light rail will come from the Federal Transit Administration.
    Making no mention of the budget Wednesday, LaHood said the train would help Minnesotans deal with rising gas prices.

    “The 11-mile Central Corridor will link the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, connecting the State Capitol with the University of Minnesota and the downtown Minneapolis business district along one of the region’s most heavily traveled routes,” he wrote on his “Fast Lane” blog. “It will offer Twin Cities commuters a convenient, affordable option for getting to work without pumping money into their gas tanks or tailpipe emissions into the air.”

    FTA Administrator Peter Rogoff agreed, saying in a statement: “Every time Minnesotans take light rail instead of driving, they will be keeping gas money in their own pockets.

    “This project truly embodies the president’s vision for winning the future through infrastructure investment,” Rogoff said.

    LaHood said the project would create 3,400 jobs and foster development on its 18 stations.

  19. Ametia says:

    President Obama tells Oprah why he revealed his birth certificate, what took him so long
    BY Meena Hartenstein
    Wednesday, April 27th 2011, 8:31 PM

    President Obama took a load off on the couch Wednesday after stirring up a frenzy with the release of his birth certificate.

    Oprah’s couch, to be exact.

    The President and First Lady flew to Chicago to sit down with the talk show queen after a surprise press conference in which Obama handed his long-form birth certificate to reporters, trying to end the “birther” controversy once and for all.

    “When it first came up, were you thinking, I hope I was born here?” Winfrey asked, to laughter from the audience.

    “Can I just say I was there, so I knew,” Obama said. “I knew I had been born. I remembered it.”

  20. rikyrah says:

    he’s been trying to get rid of Father Mike since he got there. Like there are just SO MANY active, positive Black Catholic Parishes in the United States…



    In shock’: Cardinal George suspends Rev. Michael Pfleger
    Staff Reporters Apr 28, 2011 08:35AM

    Cardinal Francis George suspended Rev. Michael Pfleger from his ministry at St. Sabina Catholic Church and barred him from performing Catholic sacraments over public statements Pfleger made about a possible reassignment.

    In a letter from George to Pfleger released to the media on Wednesday, the Cardinal said Pfleger’s public remarks that he would leave the Catholic Church rather than accept a position outside of St. Sabina led to his decision.

    “If that is truly your attitude, you have already left the Catholic Church and are therefore not able to pastor a Catholic parish,” George wrote.

    Pfleger didn’t speak publicly Wednesday, but St. Sabina church leaders said they are upset at the Cardinal’s decision and offended that Pfleger had to learn about his suspension through the media.

    “He was ambushed,” said Associate Pastor Kimberly Lymore, flanked by more than a dozen church leaders outside the church. Lymore said Pfleger has “given his life to this community.” She said Pfleger is “upset,” and “in shock, just as we all were.”

    Lymore said Pfleger was given the letter at 4:30 p.m., “and Cardinal George did not want to discuss it.”

    George and Pfleger have been at odds publicly several times in recent years over the duration of Pfleger’s time at St. Sabina, where he has been a priest for more than 30 years–much longer than priests are typically allowed to stay at one parish. The latest dispute surfaced in March when George offered Pfleger the president’s job at Leo High School, a Catholic school near St. Sabina. Pfleger did not want to go and Sabina’s parishioners said they did not want him to leave.

    “My life is in God’s hands,” Pfleger preached during mass on March 20. “What happens at St. Sabina’s is in God’s hands.”

    But in the letter, George wrote to Pfleger, “Several times in recent years you have told me that you do not want to remain as Pastor” of St. Sabina “for the length of your priestly ministry in the Church.”

    On Wednesday, Lymore said the Cardinal had not responded to several requests in recents weeks to discuss the issue.

    An outspoken activist against violence and racism, Pfleger was suspended from his pastor position in June 2008 after a video surfaced during the presidential campaign in which he claimed Hillary Clinton was upset because Barack Obama was “stealing (her) show.”

    In 2008, however, George did not suspend Pfleger’s “sacramental faculties,” like the ability to perform marriages, hear confessions or consecrate the Eucharist. Those were suspended Wednesday “as a priest of the Archdiocese,” the letter said.

    In the letter, George wrote he didn’t think the conflict was personal.

    “This conflict is not between you and me; it’s between you and the church that ordained you a priest, between you and the faith that introduced you to Christ and gives you the right to preach and pastor in his name,” said George. “If you now formally leave the Catholic Church and her priesthood, it’s your choice and no one else’s. You are not a victim of anyone or anything other than your own statements.”

    The letter was released to the media and St. Sabina parishioners “to avoid misrepresentation and manipulation on anyone’s part,” George wrote.

    George had been scheduled to preside at a service honoring Pope John Paul II on Wednesday night before flying to Rome for the pope’s beatification. That service was canceled Wednesday morning.

  21. Ametia says:

    City of Benton Harbor for use as the Jean Klock Park

    Check out EB’s video and stories on Benton Harbour, MI here:

    and here:

  22. rikyrah says:

    The “Great White Hope” Republican primary.
    by Dennis G.

    In the run for the White House there are always the “Primaries” before the first official Caucuses and Primaries. There is the “Money Primary”, the “DC Beltway Insider Primary”, the “Press Primary”, etc., etc.

    The different Parties also have unofficial “Primaries” to build support with key voting blocks. In 2008 Democratic candidates worked hard to win the Netroots, Unions, Environmentalists and the various other groups that make up the “Base” of the Party. Now it is the Republican’s turn.

    At this stage in the election cycle, announce, unannounced and poser Republican candidates are trying to win the traditional “unofficial GOP Primaries” by pandering to Right-wing Christians, Glibertain fan boys, deep pocketed Oligarchs, TeaBaggers and the like. And ever since the Neo-Confederates began to take over the Republican Party in the 1960s all GOP Presidential candidates have also taken part in a shadow Primary to appeal to white supremacists. Mostly this GOP “Whites Only” primary has been conducted with codes words, plausible deniability and dirty tricks in the shadows of American politics. Not anymore.

    Since a black man was elected President in 2008 the active catering to racism, white fear and appeals to white supremacy have moved more and more into the open. Republicans of almost every stripe has become trapped in cycles of more and more extreme rhetoric. From time to time the racism and fear just explodes. It was a major factor in the 2010 midterms and proved to be the most effective organizing tool the Modern Conservative movement had in their bag of tricks. White anxiety and the fear of a brown planet has led many a fool to join the Tea Party and vote Republican. It has also attracted many grifters to exploit these very gullible people.

    And that brings us to Donald Trump.

    He may or may not be a racist, but that hardly matters. He is a grifter who uses racism for profit. He exploits the fear of a brown planet and whites becoming a powerless minority. To save the white race, Trump offers himself up as “The Great White Hope”. It is a powerful appeal to fear, racism and the desire for control.

    More than any other recent Republican candidate (or pretend Republican candidate), The Donald has brought the racism of the GOP’s “Whites Only” pre-primary into the light of day. It is stunning to watch folks try to push it back into the shadows, but Trump will not let it go. He is forcing the rest of the Republican Party to actively compete with him in a “The Great White Hope” primary. He is pushing the effort to win the support of white racists into the open and making appeals to racism a Republican litmus test.

    Trump has added a new unofficial “Primary” on the road to the Republican Presidential Nomination: The “Who can save us from that uppity nigger” primary.

    He should be condemned, but it will not happen. Instead he will laugh all the way to the bank. And on the way the rest of Wingnutopia will embrace this racist bullshit even more.

    It has been ugly, but it will get worse.

    So it goes.


    • Ametia says:

      THIS: “And that brings us to Donald Trump.

      He may or may not be a racist, but that hardly matters. He is a grifter who uses racism for profit. He exploits the fear of a brown planet and whites becoming a powerless minority. To save the white race, Trump offers himself up as “The Great White Hope”. It is a powerful appeal to fear, racism and the desire for control.’


  23. rikyrah says:

    April 27, 2011 01:00 PM
    Challenge to Sarah Palin: Produce YOUR Academic Papers
    By karoli

    Dear Sarah Palin,

    You are an ass. A moose’s ass. You just opened the lid on Pandora’s Box — a lid you can’t slam shut easily, and now I’m gonna call you on it.

    Now that you’ve been completely hosed and defeated over the Birther issue that you so happily trump-eted, I see that you have fallen in lockstep with the newest Donald Trump stupidity; that is, the assertion that the president got into Harvard without having the academic credentials to belong there. All code for affirmative action, which I think you probably have even said aloud more than once.

    But this little rant of yours really cannot go unchallenged:

    Well, I think the media is loving this because they want to make Birthers as they call people who are just curious about the President of the United States and his background and his associations and his consistency with what he says today versus what he said in both the memoirs that he wrote — or Bill Ayers or whomever wrote — the media is loving the fact that some curious Americans are actually asking the questions and they’re trying to make those curious Americans sound kinda crazy, so the media is loving this issue and they’re perpetuating the issue trying to make sound really worse than it is.

    What the heck is wrong with asking the President of the United States to disclose what his college thesis was, what some of the um, uh, Harvard Law Review papers were that he wrote? I don’t care about his grades. I don’t care if he was a C student, more power to the C student. (You wish, Sarah, you just wish)

    What I care about is what goes into his thinking today, what is his foundation? From his background, a lot of that could be reflected in the writings he produced as a college and a grad student.

    Here’s my simple challenge, Sarah. You attended four universities in six years, before finally managing to eke out a degree from the University of Idaho in journalism. Over that fine university career, did you write anything? If so, would you be kind enough to produce it?

    And let’s say you can’t really produce any documents you wrote when you were in college. Let’s talk about the tens of thousands you’ve spent on ‘advisors’ to assist you with your knowledge of foreign affairs, your messaging, and your strategies. Let’s see.

    There’s the right-wing journalist Joshua Livestro, who you pay $4,000/month. What does he add to your thinking, your views? Is his background your background?

    How about Orion Strategies, who you pay $10,000 per month for “issue consulting”? What, exactly, does Randy Scheunemann contribute to your thinking for that 120K per year salary?

    Then there’s the matter of the $10,000 per month retainer your PAC pays North Star Strategies to ghostwrite your Facebook posts? Certainly you wouldn’t have a Bill Ayers of your own would you?

    You know, for the $59,500 per month you shell out to consultants like those I’ve named, you must be getting a hell of an education. That’s pricier than Harvard, and you didn’t even have to avail yourself of affirmative action to get in on the action. Plus, it’s all paid for by taxpayers!!! Wow, Sarah, that’s a real deal.

    So what the heck is the matter with me asking you, Sarah Palin, to satisfy my ordinary-person curiosity about what you’re learning from all these highly-compensated consultants? How do these people shape your views?

    Also, what the heck is wrong with asking a few questions about your husband and his secessionist ways? After all, you can’t really live with a man for over 20 years and not pick up a few of his attitudes, right? Kind of what you think about Reverend Wright and Bill Ayers? And if, by osmosis, you’ve picked up a few of your hubby’s radical right-wing anti-American secessionist thought patterns, don’t I, as an ordinary curious citizen, have a right to know?

    Anxiously awaiting your reply,


  24. rikyrah says:

    The Lawrence O’Donnell Betting Pool
    by Steven D
    Thu Apr 28th, 2011 at 07:45:24 AM EST

    Lawrence O’Donnell just moved to the front of the line of the next MsNBC cable news hosts who will be fired for being “too liberal” last night when he essentially accused NBC executives of enabling Donald Trump’s racist gambit to garner as much attention for himself as possible. Here, go watch the video at Mediate. Here’s the transcript from MsNBC of O’Donnell calling out NBC executives. Excerpts below (spelling not corrected as I have medical appointment to get to and am already running late):

    NBC has created a monster. And it is called Donald Trump. […]
    There are executives at nbc, both here in new york and in burbank, who shall for this hour anyway remain nameless who know whether donald trump is already committed to appearing on his fake reality show next season.

    If donald trump has committed to do that, he is obviously not running for president. And all of this, every bit of it, is as fake as donald’s fake reality show where he pretends to fire some very sad people. Those nbc executives should not be allowed to survive another day of involuntary entanglement in the trump hatred campaign without being asked everything they know about donald trump’s professional commitments and performance obligations to nbc.

    That now is important news. Nbc will announce its full schedule for the coming season IN NEW YORK ON MONDAY, MAY 16th, But they don’t have to wait UNTIL MONDAY, MAY 16th, TO TELL Us what is going to happen to donald trump’s fake reality show, and donald trump’s personal employment with nbc. […][

    Nbc has created a monster who is using his nbc fame to spew hatred, wreaking with racist overtones and undertones about the president of the united states. Nbc can no longer stand idly by, not for one more day.

    Good luck Lawrence. I suspect Keith Olbermann is holding a job open for you.

    • Ametia says:

      Tee hee hee, watching LO last night left me with the impression that he really didn’t give a good fungus about losing his job at MSNBC. He acted as if he were going out, he was going out in a blaze!

      He slapped the shit out of NBC, Trump, and that batshyt crazy Orly Taitz. Wat to go Lawrence!

  25. rikyrah says:

    Gov. John Kasich on Obama: “Why doesn’t he do his job?”
    The State Column | Staff | Thursday, April 28, 2011

    Ohio governor John Kasich slammed President Obama Wednesday, telling the president to stay out of Ohio politics.

    Mr. Kasich, a first-term Republican, said he’s working to balance the state’s budget and urged the Democratic president to do the same.

    “Why doesn’t he do his job?” Mr. Kasich said. “When he does his job and gets our budget balanced and starts to prepare a future for our children, then maybe he can have an opinion on what’s going on in Ohio.”

    The Ohio Republican, who received national attention after pushing forward with a bill banning collective bargaining rights for state public employees, made the comment just days after Mr. Obama told a local Cleveland news outlet that he strongly disapproved of the newly enacted law.

    Mr. Kasich defended the law, saying the state must address the budget shortfall and that each resident will have to share the burden.

    The president seemed to take issue with that, saying Tuesday, “Let’s make sure that we’ve got shared sacrifice, that we make sure that the burden doesn’t just fall on one set of folks.”

    Read more:

  26. Lisa MB says:

    Good morning, 3Chics community!

    Make it a MAGNIFICENT day!!

    • Ametia says:

      Good Morning, Lisa & Everybody! :-)

    • Good Morning, Lisa!

      I hope today is a better day. Yesterday, I felt so many emotions in a matter of minutes from disbelief to sadness, anger, heartbroken, to rage. I read Baratunde’s thread at JJP this morning and the tears have started again.

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