Serendipity SOUL |Tuesday Open Thread


Wiki:  David Bowie (play /ˈb./ BOH-ee;[1] born David Robert Jones on 8 January 1947) is an English musician, actor, record producer and arranger. A major figure for five decades in the world of popular music, Bowie is widely regarded as an innovator, particularly for his work in the 1970s, and is known for his distinctive voice and the intellectual depth of his work.

Bowie first caught the eye and ear of the public in July 1969, when his song “Space Oddity” reached the top five of the UK Singles Chart. After a three-year period of experimentation he re-emerged in 1972 during the glam rock era with the flamboyant, androgynous alter ego Ziggy Stardust, spearheaded by the hit single “Starman” and the album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. Bowie’s impact at that time, as described by biographer David Buckley, “challenged the core belief of the rock music of its day” and “created perhaps the biggest cult in popular culture.”[2] The relatively short-lived Ziggy persona proved merely one facet of a career marked by continual reinvention, musical innovation and striking visual presentation.

In 1975, Bowie achieved his first major American crossover success with the number-one single “Fame“, co-written with John Lennon, and the hit album Young Americans, which the singer characterised as “plastic soul“. The sound constituted a radical shift in style that initially alienated many of his UK devotees. He then confounded the expectations of both his record label and his American audiences by recording the minimalist album Low (1977)—the first of three collaborations with Brian Eno over the next two years. The so-called “Berlin Trilogy” albums all reached the UK top five and garnered lasting critical praise.

Gail Ann Dorsey (born November 20, 1962) is an American musician considered one of the premier bass guitarists and vocalists within the alternative rock scene.[1] With a distinguished career as a session musician, it has been most notably her long association performing in David Bowie‘s band, from 1995 to the present day, that has brought her fans and accolades. Aside from playing bass, she occasionally has sung lead vocals according to Bowie’s introduction on A Reality Tour, on “Under Pressure“, and duetted with him on others, including “The London Boys“, “I Dig Everything“, accompanying Bowie on clarinet.[1] and a cover of Laurie Anderson‘s “O Superman

From 1993-96, Dorsey also recorded and toured extensively with Tears for Fears, and collaborated on songwriting with the band. Her diverse range of work includes performances and/or recordings with, among others, Bryan Ferry, Boy George, the Indigo Girls, Khaled, Jane Siberry, The The, Skin, Gwen Stefani, Charlie Watts, Seal, Gang of Four, ani difranco and Dar Williams Gail’s Website.

And some laughs courtesy of JJP’s commenter dj.

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71 Responses to Serendipity SOUL |Tuesday Open Thread

  1. Ametia says:

    Rep. Ryan orders protesters with disabilities arrested
    13 minutes ago | Washington, District of Columbia | Vetting explained

    iReport — “I think it is ridiculous we have to get arrested to be able to talk to our members of Congress. But Medicaid funding means life and death for seniors and people with disabilities so, if arrests are necessary, we will do it again,” said Bruce Darling, an organizer with Rochester, NY. ADAPT, who spent the night jailed.

    Under the Ryan Plan, Medicaid programs would be cut by 35%, which translates to a loss of $772 billion in human services. Additionally, the Ryan Plan proposes a system of Medicaid block grants for states—giving states greater ability to make cuts.

    Of the 60 million people counting on Medicaid right now, 8.5 million are people with disabilities; 8.8 million are low income, frail, elderly and disabled individuals who rely on Medicaid to plug the gaps in Medicare coverage, such as long term care. Medicaid pays for vital services to assist people with intellectual disabilities to live and work in the community rather than be forced into an institution; and screening programs to identify and diagnose disabilities for children.

    There is widespread support for services for the people with disabilities and older Americans. According to a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll, 69% of Americans oppose cutting Medicaid. These results are consistent with a 2010 Harris survey that found that 89% Americans supported a tax increase to assure that people could receive services in their own homes, rather than being forced into nursing facilities or other institutions. The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) polls repeatedly find that the vast majority of seniors want to age in their own homes with any needed services.

  2. Ametia says:

    Word is PBO did invite GWB to join him at Ground Zero, and he declined.

    Obama should invite Bush to Ground Zero

    President Obama could further distinguish himself in this landmark week by inviting his predecessor in the Oval Office to join him Thursday at Ground Zero. By standing arm-in-arm with George W. Bush at the site of the Sept. 11, 2001, attack, Obama would demonstrate a much-needed willingness to rise above partisan politics in the interest of uniting the nation at a critical point in the war against terrorism. It would also create a bipartisan opportunity to remind the nation that we still face a grave threat from the surviving elements of Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda and the many related Islamic extremists who have made clear their determination to kill Americans at every opportunity, both here at home and abroad.

    Read more at the Washington Examiner:

  3. US troops were yards from Osama bin Laden house in 2008 – WikiLeaks files

    US forces were stationed just a few hundred yards from Osama Bin Laden’s Abbottabad compound in October 2008, according to reports within the WikiLeaks embassy cables.

    The revelation that US forces were so close to the world’s most wanted man in 2008 comes after material from the Guantánamo files suggested the US may have received the intelligence that led them to Bin Laden as early as 2008.

    The US soldiers were due to perform a routine posting “training the trainers” of Pakistan’s 70,000-strong federal military unit, the Frontier Corps.

    Abbottabad is home to the Pakistan Military Academy, the country’s version of Sandhurst in Britain, and trains officers from across the nation. The academy is streets away from where Bin Laden was tracked down and killed.

    The information about the US troops is contained in the account of a meeting in Washington between the-then US deputy secretary of state, John Negroponte, and Pakistan’s foreign minister, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, discussing security co-operation and concerns across the country.

  4. Obama’s Approval Ratings Jump On Terrorism, Afghanistan

    WASHINGTON — A handful of new national polls conducted in the immediate aftermath of Osama bin Laden’s death reveal happiness and relief combined with improving perceptions of President Barack Obama’s handling of terrorism and the war in Afghanistan. The results are more mixed when it comes to the expected bounce in his overall job approval rating.

    The surveys, which were all conducted in just one day, show overwhelming public support for the commando raid that killed bin Laden:

    A USA Today/Gallup poll finds 93 percent approval of the raid, with almost as many, 79 percent, saying they consider the killing bin Laden extremely or very important.
    A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey finds most Americans feel either thrilled (37 percent) or happy (42 percent) about the death of bin Laden, while only 4 percent are unhappy.

    A Washington Post/Pew Research Center survey asks how Americans feel about bin Laden’s death. It finds most respondents are relieved (72 percent), proud (60 percent) and happy (58 percent). (Participants could agree with more than one feeling.)

    Two of the polls show big increases in ratings of Obama’s handling of terrorism and the Afghanistan War. Specifically, the CNN poll shows a 7 point jump in approval of the president’s handling of both “terrorism” (60 to 67 percent) and “the situation in Afghanistan” (from 51 to 58 percent) since January. The Washington Post/Pew Research poll shows even bigger gains on Obama’s handling of “the threat of terrorism” (up from 56 to 69 percent approval) and “the situation in Afghanistan” (44 to 60 percent) compared to identically worded questions asked on a Washington Post/ABC News poll in April.

  5. Ametia says:

    Will US Caregivers Go Broke Because of Government Budget Cuts?
    Posted on May 2, 2011
    USA Today, May 2011
    By Gail Sheehy

    Family caregivers are the largest group in the workforce—65 million Americans who provide unpaid care for a chronically ill, disabled or aged family member. The value of the services they give free to our society is estimated to be $375 billion a year. That is almost twice as much as the government spends on homecare and nursing home services combined ($158 billion).

    I spent last week at the annual Aging in America conference where 3700 professionals in the field of aging gather to exchange ideas and information. These are all passionate advocates for older Americans and their adult children, but nowhere did I hear new hope for easing the financial burden of working caregivers.

    Three-quarters of caregivers do work for a living as well as look after family members who are chronically or seriously ill or lingering with dementia. How do they manage this most challenging and extended passage?

    They give up their savings, sell their homes, often move into the same home with their frail loved ones to cut expenses, and face the constant danger of being fired for their divided concentration between family and work.

    Will family caregivers get government help before they go broke?

    We know that 47% of working caregivers say the increases in caregiving expenses has caused them to use up all or most of their savings, according to the 2009 Survey of the Economic Downturn and Its Impact on Family Caregiving by Evercare and The National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC). Women who are family caregivers are two-and-a-half times more likely than non-caregivers to live in poverty and five times more likely to receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

    But it’s the physical toll taken by the stress of unpaid caregiving that may be the greater cost to families and society. The shadow heroes who provide long-term care for their family members by and large don’t see doctors for themselves, don’t have time to exercise and develop poor eating habits. Nearly a quarter of family caregivers who look after aging loved ones for five years or more report their health is fair or poor, according to AARP and NAC.

    Forty to 70% of family caregivers have clinically significant symptoms of depression. Research has shown that the stress of caregiving can trigger an underlying predisposition to depress or other mental illness. Even celebrities with all kinds of resources can be taken down by the shock and sadness of caregiving.

    Catherine Zeta-Jones fell into depression when her husband, actor Michael Douglas, went through brutal treatment for stage 4 throat cancer last fall. The actress couldn’t sleep or get out of bed even to meet a few friends at a restaurant. She was diagnosed in March with bi-polar disorder and checked into a mental health facility.

    The stress of caregiving for a family member with dementia is even more severe. It has been shown to impact a person’s immune system for up to three years after their caregiving ends, according to the National Academy of Sciences.

    In the current cost-slashing environment, why should corporate America care if family caregivers have to foot the entire bill for keeping mom and dad going?

    One reason: caregivers for elderly loved ones cost employers 8% more in health care costs estimated to be worth $13.4 billion per year. And business takes a heavy hit from lost productivity by caregivers.

    Kathy Greenlee, President Obama’s Assistant Secretary on Aging, addressed the Conference without ever mentioning the program which she is charged to implement: The CLASS Act.

    A year ago, when President Obama signed this into law, it was heralded as a long-term health insurance plan offered by the federal government to working Americans who could voluntarily enroll through their employers. The CLASS plan would provide participants with the cash to help pay for needed caregiving assistance if they become functionally limited.

    In other words, they could pay their family caregivers a minimum of $50 a day. But the budget-cutters in prominence in Congress have put the law through a buzz saw. Secretary Greenlee is tasked, by law, to release details of the plan by Oct.1, 2012. She refuses to be interviewed about it. She has said that she won’t put forward a plan that is not financially sustainable.

    I can’t help but wonder, don’t the budget-busters have aging parents, too?

  6. Ametia says:

    OMG, that pic of Tim Paw is dreadfully dull.

    South Carolina presidential debate still on, with or without candidates
    By Matea Gold, Washington Bureau
    May 3, 2011, 12:14 p.m.,0,4969337.story

    The first debate of the 2012 Republican presidential primary contest appears set to go forward Thursday – even if there is just one major candidate on stage.

    Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is the only top-tier candidate expected to participate in the forum at the Peace Center in Greenville, S.C.

    Fox News, which is producing the debate with the South Carolina Republican Party, said the other anticipated participants were former Sen. Rick Santorum, Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, restaurant executive Herman Cain and former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson.

    Former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer, who was originally expected to be included, will not meet Fox News’ requirement of garnering at least 1% in the most five recent national polls, said Michael Clemente, senior vice president of news for the cable news channel.

    Other Republicans considered likely or possible contenders in 2012 have opted not to participate, including former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Ambassador Jon Huntsman, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

    “Our job is not to marshal the field but to ask the tough questions of those who do get in the race,” Clemente said in a statement. “This is the first of our five debates, and I’m sure we’ll be able to kick-start the conversation about who will be the next president of the United States.”

    Fox News laid out strict criteria to qualify for the debate, including requiring candidates to register exploratory committees or to have announced a formal presidential campaign, to file all necessary paperwork with the Federal Election Commission and pay all federal and South Carolina filing fees.

    That amounts to $25,000 per candidate in South Carolina, due to the party by 5 p.m. Tuesday. It’s unclear who, if anyone, has yet paid. Party spokesman Joel Sawyer declined to say, adding that the information would be released Wednesday.

    And as of midday Tuesday, neither Santorum nor Cain had registered an exploratory committee or filed a statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission. Clemente said he expected both to do so by the end of the day.

    The debate is set to air at 6 p.m. PDT/ 9 p.m. EDT on Fox News Thursday.

    Though candidates are cool to the event, state party activists are not. The South Carolina GOP says that the event is “at capacity.”

  7. Ametia says:

    I’ve been looking for this video since Sunday.

    Lessons from the birther debate

    Tavis Smiley comments on the fallout caused by President Obama making his so-called “long form” birth certificate public.



    President Obama will be on 60 Minutes this Sunday. Steve Kroft will conduct the first interview with President Obama since Osama bin Laden was killed.

  9. Sarah Palin Can’t Name Most Influential Journalist (VIDEO)

    Here we go again.

    Sarah Palin had a Katie Couric moment over the weekend during the White House Correspondents Dinner festivities.

    At the MSNBC after party, NBC’s blog NBCU Direct asked several party attendees the following question: Who do you think is the most influential journalist today?

    But while most of the attendees had no problem coming up with answers (Eliot Spitzer said Brian Williams, as did Andrea Mitchell, while SNL’s Bill Hader went for The New Yorker’s David Grann), Palin fumbled when asked.

    “Oh my goodness, that’s a great question,” she said, before turning to her husband Todd and asking for his input.

    When Todd also balked, Palin came back and said, “Um, gosh, that’s a great question, I have to think about it, OK? Because there are many.”

    As Palin walked away from the camera, she ran into her Fox News pal Greta Van Susteren, and then turned back to the NBC cameras to shout, “Greta Van Susteren is the most influential journalist!”

    Does she know what’s a journalist? Does she understand what unfluential means?
    Sweet Jesus…where would we be if this ignoramus got elected President?

  10. rikyrah says:

    May 3, 2011
    EXORCISING PARTY DEMONS…. I tend to think much of the mockery Jimmy Carter receives is gratuitous. He wasn’t an especially good president, but the ridicule he receives, even now, decades later, often seems unnecessary.

    That said, Carter remains a symbol of a “failed Democratic president,” and Dems bristle at any comparisons to him. With that in mind, reader J.T. emailed last night with an interesting point I hadn’t thought of. Noting the work that went into the mission in Abbottabad, J.T. noted, “The whole scene to me was eerily similar to Pres. Carter’s failed attempt to rescue the hostages in Iran.”

    J.T. added, “In both cases it was a high-risk, high-reward gamble. In both cases mechanical failure disabled a helicopter at a crucial moment in the mission. And in both cases there were serious political as well as national security consequences. The major difference is Carter’s gamble failed where Obama succeeded. And the impact on the national psyche in both cases has been dramatic, in opposite directions.”

    William J. Dobson has a good piece in The New Republic today, emphasizing a very similar point.

    [T]here is another reason why this event is hugely important for the foreign policy of this president: A Democratic president opted against ridding the world of its most wanted terrorist by lobbing a missile from 30,000 feet above. He sent helicopters in on a daring raid with a clear mission and plan for exit. In one fell swoop, President Obama has done more to exorcise the demons of Democratic foreign policy error and mishap than anyone in the last three decades. This was not Operation Eagle Claw over Iran. This was not the bombing of a pharmaceutical factory in Sudan. This was not another Black Hawk Down.

    After the first year of his presidency, it was popular to call Obama the new Jimmy Carter…. [H]ad Sunday’s mission gone horribly wrong, “Carter” would have tripped off the lips of every pundit. That would have been an obvious political risk to anyone in the room when the president scrapped the idea of a surgical missile strike in favor of an assault led by Navy SEALS.

    The mission could have gone wrong, but it didn’t. It was judiciously planned. Obama’s helicopters flew straight, and, when they encountered unexpected adversity — one of the helicopters engines stalled — they had a contingency plan to see the mission through successfully. The desire of a president to move decisively, combined with the patience to see to the details: Who is going to call Obama the aloof, contemplative professor now? The comparison to Carter died in Pakistan along with bin Laden.

    I’d argue the Carter comparison was always rather ridiculous, and was put to rest when President Obama racked up huge legislative wins over his first two years. But if we’re looking for political bookends, with Eagle Claw on one end and the killing of bin Laden on the other, that works for me.

    —Steve Benen 12:35 PM

  11. Ametia says:

    I would hate now to be a Republican candidate thinking of running,” Barbara Walters said on “The View” this morning.
    Barbara Walters: I’d “Hate To Be A Republican” Running Against Obama

    “Skip the next election,” Joy Behar chimed in.

    Elisabeth Hasselbeck says she will not join in on the politicization of Osama bin Laden’s death.


  12. How Obama Succeeded Where Bush Failed — Again And Again

    WASHINGTON — As he announced the death of infamous terrorist Osama bin Laden on Sunday night, President Barack Obama struck an extraordinary contrast with his predecessor, George W. Bush.

    That was to some degree unavoidable. Bush’s consistent failure to respond appropriately to bin Laden — as a potential threat, as a fugitive, or as a public enemy no. 1 — represents one of the greatest shortcomings of his presidency.

    Obama has now succeeded where Bush failed. And it was impossible to hear Obama declare that “justice has been done” without thinking about how long it went undone.

    But Obama also went out of his way to draw distinctions between how he approached the problem and how Bush did.

    For instance, as the months and years went by after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks — and Bush’s initial bluster about capturing the al Qaeda leader “dead or alive” became a source of embarrassment — Bush began to insist that bin Laden himself wasn’t so very important.

    “I truly am not that concerned about him,” Bush said at a White House press conference on March 13, 2002. And of course the following March, he shifted America’s focus to Iraq, which proved to be a gigantic diversion.

    Obama took a different tack.

    “Shortly after taking office,” the president explained Sunday night, “I directed Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA, to make the killing or capture of bin Laden the top priority of our war against al Qaeda, even as we continued our broader efforts to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat his network.”

    Obama’s comments on Sunday night were clearly directed not just to the American public but to the world, evoking images of the horror of 9/11 in an effort to dampen any possible al Qaeda propaganda value from bin Laden’s death.

    By contrast, the tactics and the rhetoric of Bush’s “war on terror” — most notably his decision to invade Iraq and the torture of Muslims in Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo and elsewhere had served as al Qaeda’s most potent recruiting tools.

    And to a nation of people who, nearly ten years after the terrorist attacks in America, are overwhelmingly despondent about both of the wars launched by Bush, Obama was at long last able to deliver something that, at least for a moment, seemed like victory: “The death of bin Laden marks the most significant achievement to date in our nation’s effort to defeat al Qaeda,” he said.

    Ironically, Obama’s announcement came eight years to the day after Bush famously and prematurely declared “Mission Accomplished” in Iraq after landing on the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier.

  13. rikyrah says:

    A New Class of Consumers Grows in Africa
    Market on Par With China’s and India’s.
    Sustained economic growth in Africa has produced for the first time a broad middle class, one that cuts across the continent and is on par with the size of the middle classes in the billion-person emerging markets of China and India.

    The rise of a middle class in the world’s poorest continent is a dramatic marker for the global economy. At a time when the U.S., Europe and Japan are struggling to grow, Africa is beginning to beckon as a consumer of what other nations produce, thanks in part to a young population more upwardly mobile than ever before.


    “Over the past decade, the number of middle-class consumers in Africa has expanded more than 60% to 313 million, according to a new report from the African Development Bank Group. The study — one of the first efforts to document the contours of Africa’s emerging consumer class — brings into focus a potentially huge and enticing frontier market for global investors. In the past few years, multinational appliance makers, telecommunications companies and retailers have piled into the continent in search of these consumers who, while still relatively poor, now have money in their pockets to spend, according to Mthuli Ncube, chief economist at African Development Bank Group, the parent of the funding arm. ‘They are creating demand, and it’s driving growth,’ he said. Last year, the continent’s 313 million-person middle class — those who spend between $2 and $20 a day — comprised about 34% of the population. Its number rivals that of the middle classes in China and India, according to the study, which was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. A decade earlier,the number was 196 million, it said.”


    “These new consumers are credited with cushioning Africa from the recent global economic crisis. The International Monetary Fund projects that sub-Saharan Africa, a collection of 47 countries, will grow 5.5% this year and 6% in 2012. Documenting their numbers and consumption habits across different countries presented a challenge. Given scant official statistics, bank researchers mined information from airlines for travel, auto dealerships for car purchases, and a company that sells SIM cards to analyze mobile-phone consumers. They looked at school enrollments and noticed a rising number of Africans opting for private education, another indication of a robust new middle class. The data paint a picture of a continent on the move, thanks to more open markets and a greater degree of political stability. New jobs — instrumental in China’s and India’s growth and urbanization — are spurring migration to cities and Africa’s wealthier countries.”


    Corporations are taking notice: “The continent’s prospects have proved alluring for Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which has agreed to pay roughly $2.4 billion to buy 51% of South Africa’s Massmart Holdings Ltd., with plans to use the discount retailer as a foothold for continental expansion. Yum Brands Inc. recently said it wants to double its KFC outlets in the next few years to 1,200. In South Africa, Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp. are behind efforts to fund local entrepreneurs, with the hope that seeding African technology firms will grow their own businesses. Nestlé SA is opening a new factory in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a central African nation repeatedly roiled by rebel insurgencies. Still, the number of people who can afford the Swiss food giant’s sachets of coffee and other price-sensitive products is on the rise.”

  14. rikyrah says:

    From the Field Negro:


    The celebrations across the country has been dizzying. A-merry-cans really needed this. A chance to celebrate a victory. Make no mistake, getting OBL was a victory for A-merry-ca. A chance to say that you cant just orchestrate the death of over 3,000 of our people and die of natural causes.

    Some of you have sent me nasty e-mails about my side-bar: “Field, how dare you make fun of Islam and the man’s death like that?” Save it. OBL was a murderous coward who did not represent true Islam. (He tried to use his wife as a shield for crying out loud! And, BTW, he was chilling in a million- dollar mansion, not a cave.) Personally, I am glad I won’t have to listen to his garbled 911 speech ever again. That s*&^ was getting old.

    All you Obamaholics should be proud of your boy. I know the wingnuts will try to kill your joy, but f&^% em. He gets credit for making a gutsy cal. If that SEAL team had botched the job the winguts would be measuring the curtains in the White House as I type this. This will by no means guarantee him a win in 2012, (-ECONOMY- ECONOMY- ECONOMY-)but it can’t hurt. And Mr. Bad Hair better keep him out of his Casinos, that man would be a serious player at the poker table. Just think, he knew all of this was going on while he was making fun of Mr. Bad Hair and FOX NEWS at the WH Correspondents’ Dinner.

    Folks, look at it this way; If OBL had masterminded another September 11 style attack on us here in A-merry-ca while O was in office, what do you think they would say? Who do you think they would blame? If you guessed the beige man in the people’s house move to the head of the class. So shouldn’t he get the credit when something good happens on his watch? Don’t answer that wingnuts, it made too much sense for you to comprehend it.

  15. Leaders praise Obama for attack

    Here are the world leaders, according to the White House, who congratulated President Obama on Monday for authorizing the attack that killed Osama bin Laden:

    Felipe Calderon, David Cameron, Angela Merkel, Benjamin Netanyahu, Sebastian Pinera, Juan Manuel Santos and Nicolas Sarkozy

    They all “congratulated the President, and conveyed admiration for the courage and capability of the Americans who conducted the operation,” the White House said in a statement. “The leaders discussed the ongoing terrorist threat that will require steadfast efforts in the future, and committed to working closely together to defeat al Qaeda.”

  16. Ametia says:

    Court takes on foreign policy dispute (UPDATED)
    The Court agrees to decide whether Congress acted unconstitutionally in 2002 in dictating how the Executive Branch makes out birth certificates for U.S. citizens who were born abroad, in Jerusalem.
    Final update 12:18 p.m.

    Stepping into a significant test of the President’s foreign policy powers, the Supreme Court agreed on Monday to decide whether Congress had the authority to dictate how the Executive Branch makes out birth certificates for U.S. citizens born abroad — in this case, in Jerusalem, a city that the U.S. government does not recognize as an official part of Israel. At issue is the validity of a nine-year-old law in which Congress aimed to acknowledge Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. That dispute came in one of two cases the Court agreed on Monday to hear, at its next Term. It also resolved an interstate dispute over water rights in the Yellowstone River basin, and summarily ruled on jury instructions in death penalty cases.

    After State Department officials refused to fill out a report on the foreign birth of a boy born in 2002 in a Jerusalem hospital to show that his birthplace was “Israel,” his parents sued, seeking to enforce the 2002 law that ordered the State Department to do just that, when asked to do so. A federal judge and the D.C. Circuit Court refused to decide the case, saying the controversy was a “political question” that the courts had no authority to resolve. The boy, who will be nine years old in October, and his parents took the issue on to the Supreme Court. (The family’s petition identifies the boy as Menachem Binyamin Zivotofsky, but the Court refers to him only by his initials. The case is M.B.Z., et al., v. Clinton, Secretary of State, docket 10-699.)

  17. White House: Bin Laden’s Wife Not Killed In Raid

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A woman killed during the raid of Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan was not his wife and was not used as a human shield by the al Qaeda leader before his death, a U.S. official said on Monday, correcting an earlier description.

    John Brennan, President Barack Obama’s top counter- terrorism adviser, told reporters earlier that the slain woman had been one of bin Laden’s wives and had been used — perhaps voluntarily — as a shield during the firefight.

    However, a different White House official said that account had turned out not to be the case. Bin Laden’s wife was injured but not killed in the assault.

    U.S. officials have said a small U.S. strike team, dropped by helicopter to bin Laden’s hide-out near the Pakistani capital of Islamabad under cover of night, shot the al Qaeda leader dead with bullets to the chest and head. He did not return fire.

  18. Palin Thanks Bush — Not Obama — Following Bin Laden’s Death

    In delivering a speech in Colorado on Monday night, Sarah Palin reacted to the death of Osama bin Laden and the path taken by the country to achieve the accomplishment.

    According to multiple reports, Palin acknowledged President Barack Obama in her remarks, though not by name. She did, however, offer her thanks and appreciation to his predecessor George W. Bush.

    “Yesterday was a testament to the military’s dedication in relentlessly hunting down the enemy during many years of war,” Palin said. “And we thank our president. We thank president Bush.”

    I loathe this dumb ignorant wasilla trash.

  19. Breaking News:

    New Anchor Of ‘CBS Evening News’ Announced

    Scott Pelley is the next anchor of the “CBS Evening News,” the network announced Tuesday. He will succeed Katie Couric, who has been the anchor since 2006, and who announced her departure in late April.

    Pelley’s first broadcast will be June 6. The show is being renamed the “CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley.” Pelley has been a correspondent for “60 Minutes” since 2004, and will continue to report for the show. He has been with CBS since 1989, serving in a wide variety of roles, including stints as a foreign, national and White House correspondent.

    “Scott has it all. He has the experience, the credibility and he is among the very best reporters ever to work at CBS News,” CBS News chairman Jeff Fager said in a statement. “…We like to think of CBS News as the ‘reporter’s network’ and I can’t think of anybody in this business better suited for the anchor chair than Scott.”

    “I am delighted to join the terrific team at the ‘CBS Evening News,'” Pelley said. “It’s a privilege to work alongside the most gifted and talented journalists in the industry.”

    The move had been widely expected. He will now become the chief public face of a news division that has struggled with cutbacks, scandals and increasingly lower ratings over the past decade, even as it has often won praise for its journalism.

  20. rikyrah says:

    May 3, 2011
    WHAT MADE IT A ‘GUTSY CALL’…. John Brennan, assistant to the President for Counter-Terrorism, spoke to reporters yesterday about the mission that killed Osama bin Laden. He noted that there had been some disagreement among advisors about whether to greenlight the operation before the president gave the order, a move Brennan called “one of the … gutsiest calls of any president in recent memory.”

    I got an email last night suggesting this was needless hyperbole. The reader said, “Anyone would have given the order to kill bin Laden. What’s so ‘gusty’?”

    This must-read, tick-tock piece in the New York Times helps flesh out the answer.

    As more than a dozen White House, intelligence and Pentagon officials described the operation on Monday, the past few weeks were a nerve-racking amalgamation of what-ifs and negative scenarios. “There wasn’t a meeting when someone didn’t mention ‘Black Hawk Down,’ ” a senior administration official said, referring to the disastrous 1993 battle in Somalia in which two American helicopters were shot down and some of their crew killed in action. The failed mission to rescue hostages in Iran in 1980 also loomed large.

    Administration officials split over whether to launch the operation, whether to wait and continue monitoring until they were more sure that Bin Laden was really there, or whether to go for a less risky bombing assault. In the end, President Obama opted against a bombing that could do so much damage it might be uncertain whether Bin Laden was really hit and chose to send in commandos. A “fight your way out” option was built into the plan, with two helicopters following the two main assault copters as backup in case of trouble.

    About a week ago, the president asked his national security team for options, and Defense Secretary Bob Gates was skeptical about a helicopter assault, preferring an aerial bombardment using smart bombs. The result, however, would have been a crater — with no physical remains.

    On Thursday, Obama led another meeting with his top national security officials.

    Mr. Panetta told the group that the C.I.A. had “red-teamed” the case — shared their intelligence with other analysts who weren’t involved to see if they agreed that Bin Laden was probably in Abbottabad. They did. It was time to decide.

    Around the table, the group went over and over the negative scenarios. There were long periods of silence, one aide said. And then, finally, Mr. Obama spoke: “I’m not going to tell you what my decision is now — I’m going to go back and think about it some more.” But he added, “I’m going to make a decision soon.”

    Sixteen hours later, he had made up his mind. Early the next morning, four top aides were summoned to the White House Diplomatic Room. Before they could brief the president, he cut them off. “It’s a go,” he said.

    Obama, as the Wall Street Journal put it, “rolled the dice.”

    Is it reasonable to call this “one of the gutsiest calls of any president in recent memory”? It seems fair to me.

    To reiterate a point from yesterday, there’s a difference between talking tough and being tough, just as there’s a difference between chest-thumping rhetoric and getting the job done.

    —Steve Benen 9:50 AM

  21. rikyrah says:

    Under the Banner of The Stupid
    by BooMan
    Tue May 3rd, 2011 at 09:07:15 AM EST

    Whether Republicans want to admit it or not, their problem with “clown candidates” began when Grumpy McUnderpants chose Sarah Palin as his running mate and let The Stupid genie out of the bottle:

    Longtime GOP strategist Mike Murphy was struck by the metaphorical symbolism the instant NBC cut from Trump’s “Celebrity Apprentice” to what he called “the real world.”
    “Trump never felt more over to me than at that moment,” said Murphy. “Maybe the market for clown candidates will now diminish.”

    Palin was just an extreme example of a trend. What was it about Spiro Agnew or Dan Quayle than made anyone think they were qualified to be president? Why didn’t they get the Harriet Miers-treatment from the base? Obviously, it was because they were the kind of vapid reactionary buffoons that the base identifies with.

    With Palin, they took this pandering to eleven. They opened up Pandora’s box; they let the cat out of the bag; they crossed the Rubicon of Stupid. Humpty Dumpty fell off the wall.

    Now “Establishment Republicans” are hoping that the killing of Usama Bin-Laden will focus the collective hive-mind of their base and they’ll be able to start putting the pieces of their party back together again.

    I’m sorry, but it isn’t going to happen in this cycle. And the reason in simple. The Republicans’ legislative agenda isn’t serious and is designed to encourage their stupid ill-informed supporters in their fever-mad delusions and prejudices.

    I called their legislative calendar for this week the Chandra Levy agenda because the disappearance of Chandra Levy was all anyone in Washington could talk about in the month leading up to 9/11. The killing of bin-Laden will have the same effect of making the Republicans’ stupid obsessions seem small, petty, inconsequential, and fundamentally unserious.

    For the Republican base to get serious, they would first have to be led into seriousness. And their leadership is still marching under the banner of The Stupid.

  22. rikyrah says:

    May 3, 2011
    A WELL-TIMED CHARM OFFENSIVE…. In recent weeks, some prominent political voices, including David Brooks and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) argued President Obama needs to schmooze more. Bloomberg, in particular, argued, “The president’s got to start inviting people over for dinner. He’s got to play golf with them… 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’ve argued that this suggestion is a little silly, but it seems the president took it to heart. Last week, Obama invited the bipartisan leadership of Congress over to the White House, not for a meeting or policy negotiations, but as part of “a get-to-know-you effort in the spirit of bipartisanship and collegiality.” Members accepted the invitation.

    The dinner was last night, and as it turns out, was very well timed.

    President Obama told members of Congress on Monday that because of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, America on Sunday “experienced the same sense of unity that prevailed on 9/11.”

    Making brief remarks at a dinner whose aim had been to bring members from both parties to the White House for a purely social dinner, Mr. Obama said the coincidence of the successful raid the day earlier made the occasion “especially fitting.”

    The president said he was mindful of the tough debates likely to occur in the months ahead, but said that “several moments like this during the course of this year that have brought us together this year as an American family.

    “Last night was one of those moments,” he said.

    Obama added that he sees bin Laden’s demise as an opportunity for some political healing. “I know that that unity that we felt on 9/11 has frayed a little bit over the years, and I have no illusions about the difficulties, the debates that will have to be engaged in in the weeks and months to come,” he said. “But I also know there have been several moments like this during the course of this year that have brought us together as an American family, whether it was the tragedy in Tucson or, most recently, our unified response to the terrible storms that have taken place in the South.

    “Last night was one of those moments. And so tonight it is my fervent hope that we can harness some of that unity and some of that pride to confront the many challenges that we still face.”

    It was a social gathering, but the president nevertheless received a standing ovation from attendees.

    I’ll concede that the timing couldn’t be much better. The president, by all appearances, genuinely wants policymakers to find some common ground and work together with a sense of common purpose. If killing bin Laden offers an amorphous boost to the national psyche and inspires a renewed sense of unity and optimism, then sure, it’s an opportunity.

    But at the risk of sounding cynical, I’d still recommend keeping expectations low. The differences between the parties is just too great and the partisan divisions run too deep. 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?”

    I don’t blame the president for trying, but when it comes to Washington dysfunction, I’m not sure if anything can help.

    —Steve Benen 8:00 AM

    • Ametia says:

      The POTUS & First Lady DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT want to hang out partying with a bunch of gossiping, runtelldat, DC bubbleheads.

  23. rikyrah says:

    May 02, 2011
    Frum here to eternity
    David Frum:

    Here’s hoping that we have at last seen the end of this ugly insinuation that there is something less than fully American about the black president with the exotic name….

    The success of the bin Laden operation is a great moment for the United States – and not only for the United States.

    But it is also a deservedly bad moment for some of the destructive forces in American public life: for those who have substituted for ordinary politics a sustained campaign to brand President Obama as an outsider, as un-American, as non-American.

    Genuinely incomprehensible to me is why more conservatives cannot see what Frum sees: that the GOP’s scandalous drumbeat of the president as “Other” is, in both the short term and long, the single most self-destructive strategy available to it.

    I suppose from a purely cynical, altogether ruthless and even coldly pragmatic point of view, had the right’s unsubtle campaign of Obama-qua-Kenyan or terrorist-friendly Mau Mau shown itself to be effective in the pursuit of electoral alienation among any group other than its numerically shrinking and squalid base, then a legitimate case could be made for it. Politics is, after all, war, and disinformation campaigns are part and parcel of its accepted ordnance. Yet there’s no evidence that its strategy was accomplishing anything other than making the right look remarkably foolish: a still-dragging economy and higher gas prices were taking a toll on Obama’s approval ratings; the right’s unsubtleness was not.

    The objection will be raised that the GOP’s 2012 presidential candidate must first win the nomination by running the diseased gauntlet of Republican primaries: that he or she will win the nomination only by feeding the ravenous base, thus he or she has no route but the scandalous one. Again, myopia. Whoever wins the nomination in 2012 is already a historical footnote. The real winner will (could) be whatever Republican candidate comes along, this year or next, who denounces such scurrility in GOP politics and thereby primes himself for the 2016 nomination; by which time, it is to be hoped, anyway, the conservative base will have learned its unforgettable lesson of 2012 and will have re-expanded to conservative normality. Such an Eisenhower-Rockefeller re-expansion would permit this visionary Republican to then campaign on a platform of sanity– and perhaps, even, to have a shot at victory.

    For now, though, the GOP seems to be hopelessly mired in the suicidal muck, grabbing at every sick, opportunistic plaything that appears shiny. It has lost its soul, its every reason for being. It has become merely a plague on both the nation and itself. Yet what is most astounding is that not one of its “luminaries” is willing to see the irrevocable darkness ahead — as David Frum so clearly has — and make some attempt to change course.

  24. rikyrah says:

    Pat Robertson’s law firm defends Texas bus driver who refused to take woman to Planned Parenthood
    By Ashley Lopez | 05.02.11 | 6:37 pm

    Pat Robertson’s American Center for Law and Justice recently provided legal defense for a public bus driver who was fired for refusing to take a woman to a Planned Parenthood clinic in Texas back in January 2010. According to the lawsuit, he was “concerned that he might be transporting a client to undergo an abortion.” #

    Edwin Graning, a bus driver and ordained Christian minister in Austin, has been awarded $21,000 from the Capital Area Rural Transportation System after being fired for refusing to do his job. The Center for Law and Justice has called the settlement “a win for religious accommodation.” #

    The woman Graning was hired to transport did not mention she was having an abortion. Graning assumed she was going to Planned Parenthood for that reason. Even though most of Planned Parenthood’s services are not abortions, it has become popular as of late to exaggerate the role abortion plays in Planned Parenthood’s services. #

    According to the lawsuit filed by the Center for Law and Justice on behalf of Graning, Graning told his supervisor that he “in good conscience, could not take someone to have an abortion,” after being dispatched to take the woman to a Planned Parenthood clinic early last year. #

    According to Austin Legal, the attorneys handling the case advised the Capital Area Rural Transportation System to settle instead of fighting the lawsuit against them because “it would cost a lot more in attorney fees than it would cost to settle.” #

    According to the Center for Law and Justice’s website, the organization filed a complaint, which “alleged that firing Graning without even attempting to accommodate his religious beliefs was a violation of his rights under the Civil Rights Act of 1964.” #

    “[The settlement] is not just a great resolution to Graning’s case,” the website says, “it’s an important victory for the rights of conscience everywhere. It sends the clear and unequivocal message that pro-life employees cannot be discriminated against based on their religious beliefs.” #

    The general manager of the transportation service said that now officials have to make it clear to drivers that when they are hired they “have a job to do and don’t decide what destinations are,” Austin Legal reported. #

  25. rikyrah says:

    Wasserman Schultz draws on experience to lead Democrats

    As the Democratic National Committee’s incoming leader, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz must rally her party to take back the U.S. House of Representatives from Republicans. She’ll need all her political experience and energy to do it.
    WASHINGTON — Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz was running late, but she couldn’t pass up the opportunity.

    In a room filled with congressional colleagues, the Florida Democrat called out Republican Gov. Rick Scott for “gutting” a crime unit that targets online predators, a move she called “hard to grasp and irresponsible.”

    She held her ground even as Scott told her she was misinformed, asking him to have his staff provide her with details “to show me where I’m incorrect.”

    It was vintage Wasserman Schultz: aggressive, determined and direct.

    Now the hard-charging 44-year-old, a Democratic rising star since she was elected at age 26 to the Florida state House, is poised for her biggest role yet: President Barack Obama’s choice to chair the Democratic National Committee – a critical part of his efforts to win another term. The one-time congressional staffer will be the third woman to hold the post when the DNC meets Wednesday to ratify Obama’s decision.

    Democratic strategists say Wasserman Schultz relishes going toe to toe with Republicans on issues she’s passionate about, a factor that attracted the White House as it preps for a campaign that promises to be a bruiser.

    “The fact that she’s tough and doesn’t back down is a really important strength that’s going to be needed,’ said Karen Finney, a former DNC spokeswoman.

    Wasserman Schultz chalks her selection up to a “range of skills and attributes that I think will be complimentary to our needs.

    “Florida is a hugely important state, women are hugely important to our success,” she told the Miami Herald. “I’m a young mom, a good fundraiser and I can put a sentence together.”

    Supporters suggest Wasserman Schultz’s profile as a young mom juggling Girl Scouts and a demanding job will strike a chord with working mothers. Her Jewish roots and deep ties to the community could help Obama with that key Democratic constituency. And then there’s her familiarity with elections in Florida – the country’s biggest swing state.

    But those attributes may be secondary to Wasserman Schultz’s doggedness, her fundraising mastery, her comfort with the television camera, and, as a lively liberal, her ability to re-energize Democrats who feel frustrated with Obama and who stayed home in 2010.

    “It’ll be my job to make sure people feel a part of the excitement of re-electing the president and Democrats up and down the ballot,” said Wasserman Schultz, who campaigned in 52 congressional districts in 25 states in 2010.

    Read more:

    • Ametia says:

      DWS is the woman for the job. She didn’t survive breast cancer for NOTHING. Bring it, Debbie!

    • “Florida is a hugely important state, women are hugely important to our success,” she told the Miami Herald. “I’m a young mom, a good fundraiser and I can put a sentence together.”


      Go, Debbie! Work it!

  26. rikyrah says:

    Obama’s poker face was sorely tested
    In the 72 hours before Osama bin Laden’s death was announced, the president balanced public events with a series of private military briefings. Nothing leaked.

    By Peter Nicholas and Christi Parsons, Washington Bureau

    May 3, 2011
    Reporting from Washington— Standing before a roomful of Hollywood celebrities, journalists and politicians, comedian Seth Meyers quipped that Osama bin Laden was hiding in plain sight by hosting an obscure C-SPAN show that no one ever watched.

    One person at the White House Correspondents’ Assn. dinner who clearly enjoyed the joke was President Obama.

    Obama, dressed in a tuxedo, smiled broadly on Saturday night, in possession of a closely guarded secret. He knew where Bin Laden was living and he had already signed his death warrant, ordering a risky raid that would kill the world’s most wanted terrorist the following day.

    All presidents keep secrets, but over a 72-hour span leading to Bin Laden’s death, Obama’s capacity to keep a poker face was tested as never before.

    He gave a commencement speech in Miami and golfed with aides in Maryland. He met with victims of deadly storms in Alabama and delivered zingers at the correspondents’ dinner in Washington.

    Through it all he got a steady series of private briefings on the military mission. Nothing leaked. Obama announced the successful outcome of the raid with a dramatic flourish late Sunday night, in a nationally televised East Room address that even some veteran White House aides were unaware was coming.

    Bin Laden’s killing stands as Obama’s biggest triumph as commander in chief, a role he has struggled with. The war in Afghanistan is deeply unpopular, while the one in Libya is stalemated. Whatever else happens, though, history will show Obama was the president who felled Bin Laden.

    The operation was set in motion at 8:20 a.m. Friday in the Diplomatic Room, when Obama told his national security advisor, Tom Donilon, that he wanted to proceed with the raid on the compound north of Islamabad, Pakistan.,0,6668629.story

  27. Ametia says:

  28. Ametia says:

    Prince Charles to meet with Obama during Washington visitBy the CNN Wire Staff
    May 3, 2011 — Updated 1108 GMT (1908 HKT)

    Washington (CNN) — Britain’s Prince Charles, the heir to the throne, is coming to Washington, D.C., Tuesday, days after many in the United States were glued to the television watching the wedding of his elder son, William.

    He is expected to meet with President Barack Obama during the three-day visit, according to a statement from his office. He is also expected to make several stops related to agriculture.

    Prince Charles is scheduled to deliver the keynote address at a conference on sustainable agriculture at Georgetown University, along with visiting a city farm that grows food for low-income residents in D.C.

    The Prince of Wales is also expected to visit the Supreme Court and attend an event honoring British and American soldiers.

    Tuesday will be the first time he has visited the United States since 2007 when he was joined by his wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. On that trip, he attended events in Philadelphia and New York.

  29. Ametia says:

    US holds photos of slain bin Laden, weighs release
    (AP) – 5 hours ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Still-secret photos of the dead Osama bin Laden show a precision kill shot above his left eye, a U.S. official said, as fresh details emerged of an audacious American raid that netted potentially crucial al-Qaida records as well as the body of the global terrorist leader. President Barack Obama is going to ground zero in New York to mark the milestone and remember the dead of 9/11.

    Patience and persistence — characteristics normally attributed to al-Qaida — proved decisive in America’s decade-long hunt for bin Laden, whose fate was sealed in 40 minutes of thunderous violence, years in the making.

    According to the U.S. account, the assault team came away with hard drives, DVDs, documents and more that might tip U.S. intelligence to al-Qaida’s operational details and perhaps lead the manhunt to the presumed next-in-command, Ayman al-Zawahri. The CIA is already going over the material.

    “We’re moving with great dispatch to mine that” material for insights into terrorist plots that may be in the works and for clues as to the location of senior al-Qaida officials, White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan said Tuesday on television news shows.

  30. Ametia says:

    May 2, 2011, 8:11 PM ET.
    Obama to Visit Ground Zero
    By Carol E. Lee
    President Barack Obama will visit Ground Zero in New York City on Thursday for the first time as president, a trip that comes just days after the U.S. military operation that killed 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden.

    Mr. Obama last visited the site of the terrorist attack that brought down the World Trade Center during his 2008 campaign. On Thursday, he will meet with families of the victims of the attack, White House officials said.

    Americans, including some of those family members, have been celebrating at the site since the president announced Mr. bin Laden’s death late Sunday night.

  31. Ametia says:

  32. Ametia says:

    With bin Laden’s death, a moment of liberation
    By Eugene Robinson, Published: May 2
    The flag-waving, horn-honking crowd that converged at the White House Sunday night was brimming with unrestrained joy, unmitigated patriotism and a sense of unlimited possibility — which meant Osama bin Laden had suffered not only death but defeat as well.

    Thousands had come to witness and celebrate history. Many, perhaps most, were college students who had been in elementary school when deluded fanatics, indoctrinated and dispatched by bin Laden, crashed airliners into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field near Shanksville, Pa. But there were also older men and women who had lived through that unforgettable day as adults. Some brought young children for whom Sept. 11, 2001, would never be more than an answer on a history test.

  33. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone! :-)

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