Serendipity SOUL |Monday Open Thread

Happy Mun-Dane, Everybody! 


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111 Responses to Serendipity SOUL |Monday Open Thread

  1. rikyrah says:


    about the Psychology today bullshyt article:

    here is a great discussion about this at Blacking It Up:

    they light into this.

    it’s today’s show.

    • Thank you, Rikyrah! Let me go check it out. What ignoramus moron had the gall to publish such jaw dropping ignorant bullshit?

    • Ametia says:

      LOL The sista SET IT OFF! Bottom line, MICHELLE OBAMA IS BLACK, BLACK, BLACKETY-BLACK, so the HATERS want to keep up the negative assaults on Black women. Black Women are PRICELESS, and no amount of bullshit articles can ever devalue us.

    • Ametia says:

      We need to ask these racist fools why they aren’t researching white women’s need to pump up their lips with collagen, wear hip pads, have surgically induced hips, get tans to look like black women if we’re so unattractive.

      Nope, they won’t write about the self-loathing of white women who starve themselves to death to look like skinny white boys on etreme and do everything to look black, but claim blackness.

      Naw, naw, naw! folks, this is the POWER of BLACKNESS. They have tried for eons to CO-OPT BLACKNESS, and still can’t be BLACK, so they’ll try to denegrate and hate on black women, but they’ll NEVER be us. Beautiful, strong, mighty, wise, and spiritual, queens of MOTHER EARTH.

  2. creolechild says:

    “Time has come around to where people are agreeing with much of what I’ve been saying for 30 years,” the Texas congressman said on Friday, as he launched his third White House attempt. “The time is right.”

    “Yet despite Paul’s growing cult following, many of his views are just a tad extreme for voters from either major party. To name just a few of these politically dicey positions, President Ron Paul would like to…

    1. Eviscerate Entitlements: Believes that Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are unconstitutional, and has compared the failure of federal courts to strike them down to the courts’ failure to abolish slavery in the 19th century.

    2. Lay Off Half His Cabinet: Wants to abolish half of all federal agencies, including the departments of Energy, Education, Agriculture, Commerce, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, and Labor.

    3. Enable State Extremism: Would let states to set their own policies on abortion, gay marriage, prayer in school, and most other issues.

    4. Protect Sexual Predators’ Privacy: Voted against requiring operators of wi-fi networks who discover the transmission of child porn and other forms online sex predation to report it to the government.

    5. Rescind the Bin Laden Raid: Instead of authorizing the Navy Seals to take him out, President Paul would have sought Pakistan’s cooperation to arrest him.

    6. Simplify the Census: The questions posed by the Census Bureau’s annual American Community Survey, which collects demographics data such as age, race, and income, are “both ludicrous and insulting,” Paul says.

    7. Let the Oldest Profession Be: Paul wants to legalize prostitution at the federal level.

    8. Legalize All Drugs: Including cocaine and heroin.

    9. Keep Monopolies Intact: Opposes federal antitrust legislation, calling it “much more harmful than helpful.” Thinks that monopolies can be controlled by protecting “the concept of the voluntary contract.”

    10. Lay Off Ben Bernanke: Would abolish the Federal Reserve and revert to use of currencies that are backed by hard assets such as gold.

    11. Stop Policing the Environment: Believes that climate change is no big deal and the Environmental Protection Agency is unnecessary. Most environmental problems can be addressed by enforcing private-property rights. Paul also thinks that interstate issues such as air pollution are best dealt with through compacts between states.

    12. Not Do Anything, but Still…: Would not have voted for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 because it was a “massive violation of private property and contract, which are the bedrocks of a free society.”

    13. Let Markets Care for the Disabled: “The ADA should have never been passed,” Paul says. The treatment of the handicapped should be determined by the free market.

    14. First, Do Harm: Wants to end birthright citizenship. Believes that emergency rooms should have the right to turn away illegal immigrants.

    15. Diss Mother Teresa: Voted against giving her the Congressional Gold Medal. Has argued that the medal, which costs $30,000, is too expensive.”

    Two words: JACK ASS!

  3. Obama To GOP: No Trade Deals Without Aid To U.S. Workers

    WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama is drawing a line in the sand with Republicans over pending trade deals, one of few areas with the potential for bipartisan action on Capitol Hill.

    Senior administration officials said Monday that the White House will not act on any of the pending trade pacts with Colombia, Panama and South Korea — all of which are holdovers from former President George W. Bush’s administration — until Republicans sign off on legislation to provide assistance to American workers hurt by jobs going overseas.

    “We are making it clear today that the administration will not submit legislation for the three pending [free trade agreements] until we have an agreement with Congress” about providing robust employment assistance to U.S. workers, National Economic Council chairman Gene Sperling said on a conference call.

  4. Ametia says:

    How about those tax cuts, Paul Ryan. How about the oil industry and your rich buddies pay your FAIR share of TAXES

    Ryan defends Medicare overhaul, argues that GOP plan would grow economy
    By Philip Rucker, Monday, May 16, 3:10 PM

    CHICAGO — The architect of the GOP’s controversial Medicare overhaul delivered a forceful defense of the plan here Monday, saying it would empower seniors and accusing President Obama of having a “shared-scarcity mentality” that promotes “bureaucratically rationed health care.”

    Facing a backlash from voters over his proposal to turn Medicare into a system that subsidizes health coverage for retirees on the private market, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) moved to recast the plan as the only one that would make the economy grow.

    • creolechild says:

      And not to be redundant because rikyrah already posted similar information earlier…oh, what the hell…how about these stats Republicans?

      “Coming as no surprise, self-identified Republican voters are largely dissatisfied with their current field of candidates. Even less shocking, is the fact that dissatisfaction is actually increasing as voters become more familiar with each candidate.”

      “Some 45 percent now say they’re dissatisfied with the GOP candidates who have declared or are thought to be serious about running, up from 33 percent two months ago, according to an Associated Press-GfK poll. Just 41 percent are satisfied with the likely Republican field, down from 52 percent. […]”

      “While the Republican roster of candidates is growing almost by the day — Ron Paul declared on Friday, and Mike Huckabee says he’ll make an important announcement this weekend — satisfaction with the field appears to be shrinking.” [HUCK’S NOT RUNNING…]

      “We’re still many months away from the first Republican primary vote. There’s plenty of time left for dissatisfaction to reach 60% of higher. The sky is the limit.”

      “Meanwhile, 81% of Democrats approve of the job President Obama is doing, and that was before the operation against Bin Laden took place.”

    • creolechild says:

      Hmmm….someone’s priorities are all screwed up~”

      “A deal struck by Gov. John Kasich (R) could cost Ohio taxpayers as much as $15 million over the next year, according to the terms of a state contract with a Los Angeles-based consulting firm that is advising Kasich on his policies regarding the state’s casinos.”

      “Despite forcing widespread cuts on various state programs — including education and children’s health programs — Kasich entered into the agreement with Moelis & Co. in order to help the state “maximize its gaming revenues,” the Columbus Dispatch reports:

      “Moelis, which along with Spectrum Gaming was hired to advise Kasich on casinos and other gambling-related issues in Ohio, will be paid a monthly retainer fee of $200,000 over the year-long contract. Additionally, the Los Angeles-based company can earn up to $13 million in incentives fees….”

  5. Ametia says:

    Appeals court sides with federal judge, allows Minnesota campaign law to stand

    By a 2-1 vote, the 8th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Monday sided with a federal judge in allowing a state campaign finance law to require corporations to disclose when they spend money to support or defeat a candidate.

    “Minnesota did not ban corporate independent expenditures,” the Appeals Court wrote. “Instead, based upon the lower court’s findings, as strongly supported by the record, we find that Minnesota created a statutory scheme designed to require corporations to disclose certain information when making independent expenditures.”

    The decision affirms a ruling by U.S. District Judge Donovan Frank in September 2010, in which he refused to strike down the law. In his ruling, Frank said that voters have “an interest in knowing who is speaking about a candidate on the eve of an election.”

    One of those reports before the primary elections last year showed that Target, Best Buy and other corporations gave to MN Forward, a pro-business group that is buying ads to support GOP gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer. The disclosures riled groups at odds with Emmer’s opposition to same-sex marriage, and they launched a blistering attack on the companies.

    Read more:

  6. Ametia says:

    Here’s an interesting look at REAL AMERICA

    Patchwork Nation has won acclaim for inventing a new way of understanding America. Now, as midterm elections approach, a new set of insights from the award-winning reporting effort is in bookstores nationwide in “Our Patchwork Nation: The Surprising Truth about the Real America.”

    Patchwork nation map

  7. creolechild says:

    “US army engineers open floodgate in attempt to save New Orleans from the river’s worst flooding since 1927. Residents in swampy areas of Louisiana’s Cajun country are waiting for the rising waters of the Mississippi to engulf their homes, after army engineers opened a key floodgate in an attempt to save New Orleans from the river’s worst flooding since 1927.”

    “Units of the US Army Corps of Engineers opened up the first gate on a structure known as the Morganza spillway, sending about 10,000 cubic feet of water per second into the Atchafalaya river basin. Water shot through the gates like a waterfall, hurling fish through the froth, witnesses said. The Associated Press reported that 100 acres were under a foot of water in the space of 30 minutes.”

    “It was the first time the corps, which is in charge of managing the Mississippi flood controls, had to resort to the spillway since 1973. Engineers were expected to open up at least two more gates on Sunday. The operation was designed to divert water from the Mississippi, and reduce pressure on the levees protecting the cities of Baton Rouge and New Orleans.”

    “The planned diversion will send the water into the Atchafalaya Basin, and then onwards to the oil service town of Morgan City. But it will drown about 3,000 square miles of low-lying, swampy land beneath up to 25 feet of water. A number of small towns in what is known as Louisiana’s Cajun country will be destroyed, driving 25,000 people out of homes they have occupied for generations.”

    • creolechild says:

      The flooding will damage the wetlands and wildlife and set Louisiana further back in its restoration efforts.

      • Ametia says:

        My heart aches for Louisana… especially NOLA.

      • creolechild says:

        Thank you for that, Ametia. The people of New Orleans–and Louisiana–are strong, stubborn, and determined to do everything they can to rebuild their city and state.

        In the meantime, there’s good news on a different front-

        “With Republicans in the House failing to produce any jobs bills, Democrats in the minority have decided to propose their own initiatives. This week’s episode, season 2 episode 12, focuses on one of those proposals, H.R. 613, the Airports, Highways, High-Speed Rail, Trains, and Transit: Make it in America Act, sponsored by Representative John Garamendi.”

        Thank you to The Progressive Electorate blog and Main Street Insider.

  8. rikyrah says:

    Mistah Trump, He Dead

    by BooMan
    Mon May 16th, 2011 at 02:29:40 PM EST

    Greg Sargent writes the epitaph for Donald Trump’s aborted presidential campaign:

    Even putting aside the killing of Bin Laden, a high visibility huckster/reality TV star like Trump was the perfect agent to reveal the cheap fraudulence and vacuousness of birtherism and its underlying assumptions.

    But beyond that, you couldn’t have asked for a more striking and revelatory contrast than the sight of the media freak-show surrounding Trump’s bluster and Obama’s release of his long form certificate — followed only days later by the President somberly announcing to the nation that he had given the order to kill this country’s and the world’s most wanted man.

    We can’t fully appreciate yet just how much damage this has done to one of the right’s primary narratives about Obama. And it wouldn’t have happened at all without a showman of Trump’s ability to command media attention for literally any claim, no matter how insane or transparently self-serving. Thank you, Mr. Trump, for your service to this country.

    Only complete morons believed for a micro-second that Donald Trump was actually going to run for president. But he did do the president a giant favor by grabbing all the loose ends of dead-ender Birtherism, tying them all up into one giant ball of Stupid, and thereby letting the president set the whole thing on fire.

    The result is a boost in the polls not only for the president, but for the Democratic Party as well. And it’s a boost in virtually every area, not just areas related to national defense and terrorism.

    Yes, voters believe President Obama has done a stellar job on terrorism.

    Fully 75% approve of the job he has done on terrorism, including nearly half (47%) who believe this strongly, and by a 16-point margin, a majority also approves of his handling of foreign policy (55% approve, 39% disapprove).

    By an overwhelming margin voters now trust President Obama to handle terrorism more than they do the GOP (Obama +21), a dramatic—if expected—turn of events. And not insignificantly, 11% of voters say they are more likely to vote for the President in 2012 because of the death of Osama bin Laden, including 14% of independents.

    But Obama now leads Republicans on multiple dimensions, most of which have nothing to do with terrorism or national security.

    On six other dimensions tested, voters prefer President Obama’s approach to that of the Republicans in Congress on all but one. While they trust the Republicans in Congress by a narrow three points on the deficit, Obama leads the GOP on the economy (Obama +6), jobs (Obama +4), Social Security (Obama +13), and health care (Obama +11).

    Voters also afford Obama a 13-point margin on “sharing your values”, long a perceived strength of the GOP.

    Donald Trump took up the mantle of The Stupid and led with his chin. Mistah Trump, he dead.

  9. creolechild says:

    “US tycoon Donald Trump says he will not be running for the US presidency in 2012, ending weeks of speculation. Mr Trump said he was not ready to leave the private sector and that his ultimate passion remained in business.”

    “This decision does not come easily or without regret,” he said in a brief statement.

    “I maintain the strong conviction that if I were to run, I would be able to win the primary and ultimately, the general election,” Mr Trump added.

    The statement went on to say: “I have spent the past several months unofficially campaigning and recognize that running for public office cannot be done half heartedly. “Ultimately, however, business is my greatest passion and I am not ready to leave the private sector.”

    Translation: “I know that I’m not up to the task, underestimated Barack Hussein Obama, and would have gotten my you-know-what soundly kicked!” See how simple that was, Donald. LOL!

  10. creolechild says:

    “Americans with more education and training have more secure jobs and higher earnings. With jobs hard to find, it may be a good time to consider going back to school. The President recently announced that unemployed workers receiving unemployment benefits may qualify for a special hand in paying for education and training. And aid can be significant: In particular, the Federal Pell Grant program can provide up to $5,350 for educational costs at community colleges, colleges and universities, and many trade and technical schools. This is only one example of several federal student aid programs available to assist unemployed workers.”

    “Applying for financial aid and finding education and training are not difficult.”

    • creolechild says:

      Please, by all means make an effort to ‘get that paper’. When the economy stabilizes you’ll need a degree to become marketable–and competition will be stiff. Do what you can now to acquire additional and/or specialized skills. But AVOID those for-profit institutions…

      “In 2008, the median of the earnings of young adults with a bachelor’s degree was $46,000, while the median was $36,000 for those with an associate’s degree, $30,000 for those with a high school diploma or its equivalent, and $23,500 for those who did not earn a high school diploma or its equivalent.”

      “In other words, in 2008, young adults with a bachelor’s degree earned 28 percent more than young adults with an associate’s degree, 53 percent more than young adult high school completers, and 96 percent more than young adults who did not earn a high school diploma. In 2008, the median of the earnings of young adults with a master’s degree or higher was $55,000—20 percent more than young adults with a bachelor’s degree.”

      • creolechild says:

        “WASHINGTON — The head of the Senate education committee said Wednesday that he would pursue “tight legislation” to fix what he called systemic problems in the for-profit higher education industry. Those problems, brought to light in video and audio clips from an undercover federal investigation, were detailed at a hearing Wednesday.”

        “Problems with for-profits include sketchy accreditation standards, deceptive recruitment tactics and outright lying. In some video clips, campus officials were shown suggesting that prospective applicants lie on federal financial aid forms to qualify for more aid.”

        “The evidence points to a problem that is systemic to the for-profit industry: a recruitment process specifically designed to drive up enrollment numbers, more often than not to the disadvantage of students” and taxpayers, said Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, committee chair. Harkin said he would request documents, such as job placement and graduation rates and program costs, from 30 for-profit schools beginning today to “help us form a fuller picture than we have at this time.” More hearings will be held this fall, he said.”

        “Schools cited in the report, which was prepared by the Government Accountability Office, include branches of Phoenix-based Apollo Group Inc.’s University of Phoenix and the Washington Post Co.’s Kaplan College. Kaplan Inc. said in a statement that it had suspended enrollment at its campus in Pembroke Pines, Fla., and was investigating it and a campus in Riverside, Calif. Apollo Group spokesman Manny Rivera said his company has “initiated an immediate internal investigation.”
        “Earlier this summer, the Education Department proposed tightening federal oversight of the fast-growing industry, including removing some provisions added in 2002 under President Bush that eased restrictions on for-profit colleges.”

      • Ametia says:

        Yes! PBO &FLOUTS are making the rounds at high schools and universities right now. Get that education.

        And for God sakes, do avoid for profit institutions! Thanks for posting this.

  11. creolechild says:

    “Faster than you can say “business as usual,” freshman Republicans on the House Financial Services Committee have begun to execute Wall Street’s agenda. They came, they saw, they were conquered. That sums up the fate of many tea-partying freshmen in the House of Representatives.”

    “As soon as they arrived, the corporate lobbying corps came to visit, saw what these supposed rebels were made of, and quickly conquered them without a fight. The forces of big business only needed to lay out some campaign cash. Faster than you can say “business as usual,” budding lawmakers snatched up the money and began to execute the lobbyists’ agenda.”

    “Check out who is now on the Financial Services Committee, which handles legislation affecting Wall Street. Five tea partiers got coveted slots — and all five were suddenly showered with big donations from such financial lobbying interests as Goldman Sachs. Now, all five are sponsoring bills to undo parts of the recent reforms to rein in Wall Street excesses. Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH) hauled in nearly $100,000 in just his first two months in office — 85 percent of it from the special interests his committee oversees.”

  12. Ametia says:

    CNN’s Don Lemon Comes Out: Publicly Acknowledges He Is Gay Via Twitter
    In a Twitter posting to his 89,805 followers Sunday night, CNN anchor Don Lemon linked to a New York Times story that reveals he is gay, and thanked his followers in advance for their support. The revelation comes in advance of his upcoming book, Transparent (due out June 16), and in the interview with NYT’s Bill Carter, Lemon reveals that, while his sexuality was known to his colleagues, going public carries with it considerable anxiety.

    Lemon reveals to Carter that, in addition to the “normal” stress of coming out, he worries about acceptance from the black community:

    “It’s quite different for an African-American male,” he said. “It’s about the worst thing you can be in black culture. You’re taught you have to be a man; you have to be masculine. In the black community they think you can pray the gay away.” He said he believed the negative reaction to male homosexuality had to do with the history of discrimination that still affects many black Americans, as well as the attitudes of some black women.

    “You’re afraid that black women will say the same things they do about how black men should be dating black women.” He added, “I guess this makes me a double minority now.”

    • creolechild says:

      No matter what your views are on the subject, Julian Bond’s speech should give us all something to think about…

      • creolechild says:

        More recent news about the NAACP and its views on gay rights.

        “WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — The NAACP’s newly revived Worcester chapter elected a 28-year-old openly gay black man as its president this month. In New Jersey, a branch of the organization outside Atlantic City chose a Honduran immigrant to lead it last year. And in Mississippi, the Jackson State University chapter recently turned to a 30-something white man.”

        “Founded more than a century ago to promote black equality, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is seeing remarkable diversity in its leadership ranks — the result of an aggressive effort over the past four or five years to boost NAACP membership and broaden the civil rights organization’s agenda to confront prejudice in its many forms.”
        “The push for diversity troubles some members of the NAACP’s old guard, who worry that problems in the black community may get short shrift. But some social scientists say the new diversity is merely a return to the group’s roots as a biracial organization.”
        “The diversity push was started a few years ago under then-NAACP chairman Julian Bond. Later, Benjamin Todd Jealous, who in 2008 became the group’s youngest leader at age 35, ramped up the effort and also urged the organization to take up gay rights.”

        “At our core, we want to end discrimination and have equality for all people,” Brown said.

        “In a reflection of how it has broadened its agenda, the NAACP came out against California’s Proposition 8, the ballot measure banning gay marriage. Last year, it spoke out against Arizona’s anti-immigration law. It also strongly supported the federal DREAM Act, a proposal to give illegal immigrant students a pathway to citizenship through college or military service.”

      • Ametia says:

        Thanks for the video, creolechild. Looking forward to viewing it.

      • creolechild says:

        Their Liberty, Our Security: An Overview

        First they came for the Muslims, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Muslim.
        Then they came to detain immigrants indefinitely solely upon the certification of the Attorney General, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t an immigrant.
        Then they came to eavesdrop on suspects consulting with their attorneys, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a suspect.
        They they came to prosecute non-citizens before secret military commissions, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a non-citizen.
        Then they came to enter homes and offices for unannounced “sneak and peek” searches, and I didn’t speak up because I had nothing to hide.
        They they came to reinstate and resume the infiltration and surveillance of domestic religious and political groups, and I didn’t speak up because I had stopped participating in any groups.
        They they came for anyone who objected to government policy because it aided the terrorists and gave ammunition to America’s enemies, and I didn’t speak up because…I didn’t speak up.
        They they came for me…and by that time no one was left to speak up.

        -Stephen Rohde, President of the ACLU of Southern California, inspired by Rev. Martin Niemoller

      • creolechild says:

        You’re welcome, Ametia. My pleasure…

      • creolechild says:


        “Sorry, I’m still working to get my jaw off the floor when I saw this article tweeted. It appears the uproar over it caused Psychology Today to pull it down, but there is still a cache version for you to see that it was all too real.”

        “How do you respond to such a grossly heinous attempt to post racism as an objective scientific study?”

        “The whole thing is a pile of crap. Not just because it’s absurdly racist and obnoxious (which it is), but because it’s utterly scientifically incoherent. There’s a lot of stupidity in the piece, and I’ll be linking to some more thorough takedowns later. But for me, one sentence stood out from all the others: “For example, because they have existed much longer in human evolutionary history, Africans have more mutations in their genomes than other races.”

        “I’ll repeat that: Because they have existed much longer in human evolutionary history, Africans have more mutations in their genomes.”

        “Why is this the stupidest sentence in the whole stupid article? Because — and I can’t believe I even have to type this — all humans are descended from common ancestors. No population of humans has “existed longer” than any other, because we all share the same great-great-great-great-(and so on)-grandparents. One group may have left Africa earlier or later than another, but we’ve all been on the planet the same length of time.”

        “The stoopid, it seriously burns. But writer Zantoshi Kanazawa makes many other bizarre allegations, using the term “objective attractiveness” frequently without explanation of how a subjective characterization could possibly be quantified objectively.”

        “Given that ideas of who and what is beautiful are more cultural than objective, it’s not surprising that in the United States, black women are rated on the low end and white women are rated pretty high. Kanazawa can’t figure out why black women receive lower attractiveness ratings, so he wilds a guess: Testosterone.”

        “Great guess. Totally explains things. I’m sure it has nothing to do with the fact that beauty itself is routinely imaged (at least in the country where this study was conducted) as white, and that the physical preferences of the folks who control most media and advertising outlets tend to reign supreme (hint: Those folks are usually light-skinned dudes). Definitely has nothing to do with the fact that our perceptions of beauty tie closely to perceptions of social class, and white people are on the top of the class game in a country like the United States, where white people legally and physically forced black people first into a slave class and then into a generalized underclass with fewer rights and fewer resources. I’m sure centuries of sustained exploitation and abuse of black people by white people, and sustained efforts on the part of white people to maintain social and economic supremacy at almost any cost, have nothing to do with beauty standards. It’s just, like, hormones. Objectively.”

        “Perhaps at another point in my life, I would laugh this off as the musings of someone too stupid to realize how racist he is. But we live in an environment where the President of the United States is repeatedly forced to produce his birth certificate to prove that he was born in this country and where one of the leading candidates on the Republican side repeatedly characterizes the President’s attitude as “Kenyan anti-colonialist” and produces dog whistles like “food stamp president looking to make the entire country like Detroit”. This is not an isolated event by an insulated individual. This is a nasty undercurrent that simmers below the surface all the time and that has been bubbling up more and more frequently. And after being tangentially part of some rather heated online discussions about race and privilege recently, I don’t know that we can ever truly work towards a more progressive future without acknowledging and dealing with this.”

        • What ignoramus moron had the gall to publish such jaw dropping ignorant bullshit? Every damn day, it’s an assault on black women. One day we’re not worth $5. And the next, we can’t find husbands, we’re so unattractive, no one wants us. When will this stupid bullshit stop?

      • Ametia says:

        This video is a keeper.

        I haven’t heard Julian Bond speak so eloquently and with such complete candor in years. Thank you for posting this, creolechild.

      • creolechild says:

        Reading the excerpt from Psychology Today was upsetting in ways that I can’t begin to describe. But if you’re a a person of color (Asian, Black, Latino, Native American), I don’t have to go into detail because you already know what I’m talking about. It’s the feeling that goes hand-in-hand with suffering indignities both great and small that can be either subtle or blatant in its delivery which we experience on some level from adolescence throughout adulthood.

        We’ve watched over the past 2 1/2 years as the president of the United States, Barack Hussein Obama, has been subjected to mind-numbing hatred and demeaning personal attacks on a scale which is unprecedented in American history. Yet, virtually no one in his own party has stepped up to the plate to publicly denounce these attacks, push back on what is/has been said, or call out those who are engaging in this type of behavior. That is, no one EXCEPT us-which includes many whites who voted for, and still support, him.

        This attack on people of color is nothing new. It’s a timeworn calculated, divide-and-conquer strategy that’s always worked in the past. It generates resignation, anger, or frustration which results in POC pushing back sometimes in ways that may hurt those who are actually our allies.

        And don’t get it twisted, I’m not trying to dictate how anyone should or shouldn’t feel when situations like this arise because that’s not what this is about, hear? We know there will be more incidents like this on the horizon–especially with the 2012 elections looming in the background. That said, I do believe that we should give careful thought to how we about how we frame these incidents and what we do to push back because we gain nothing if we alienate whites who are fully committed to working alongside us–and have paid a high price for doing so. Without them, it would have been impossible for Barack Obama to win the election in 2008. It’s something to think about…

        But more to the point, is that we should never “allow” others to even THINK they can define who we are and what we represent. That will be clearly evident by our actions. And that’s what some of this peanut-butter-and-jelly bullshit that’s going on around us is really all about!

        There are aspects of this scenario which are designed specifically to distract us, make us frustrated, angry, and indifferent about moving forward. And those orchestrating this have plenty of help from within our ranks. Nuff said because you know who I’m talking about!

        There are daily attempts to stereotype the POTUS, and by extension people of color, as well. They can’t do it to him no matter how hard they try because they can’t push him into a specific category or fit him into a box and it’s driving them crazy! All they can do is to suppress information about what he’s accomplished through a media blackout- but the information is available–if you take the time to look.

        They try to make it seem that he doesn’t really care about the welfare of Americans who aren’t wealthy or that he isn’t really qualified for the job simply because he’s NOT behaving how they expect or want him to. But his actions have proved them all to be liars…every last one of them! So, haters will continue to hate because they have nothing else to bring to the table!

        That said, the President Obama KNOWS who he is, and is comfortable in his own skin–in spite of how they TRY to define him. His compassion, dignity, intelligence, and grace under pressure has made many people who were firmly against him re-examine their opinions concerning him.

        Short story long, we KNOW who we are, our accomplishments, and what we have endured to get this far. And NO ONE gets to define us but US! Are we going to allow them to throw us off our game or are we going to step up our game up and keep it moving…

  13. creolechild says:

    Environmental groups are going after the world’s largest publisher of children’s books for teaming up with the American Coal Foundation to produce “The United States of Energy,” a lesson plan designed for fourth-graders. The foundation, online at, is devoted to creating “coal-related educational materials and programs designed for teachers and students.”

    “We hope that you and your students enjoy this energizing program!” proclaims the teaching guide. The materials use coal, oil, natural gas, and renewables as a starting point for lessons on geography, science, and math, and promise to teach students “that different types of energy (e.g., solar, fossil fuels) have different advantages and disadvantages.” But the materials are decidedly lacking on that latter front. The worksheets ask kids to explore the question, “What are the benefits of this kind of energy?” without ever entertaining the possibility that there might be problems to consider as well.”

  14. creolechild says:

    Did you hear about this rally which was covered by the media? Probably not…

    “Three months after Governor Scott Walker proposed to strip state, county and municipal employees and public-school teachers of their collective bargaining rights, the governor’s agenda remains stymied. Legal challenges,moves to recall Republican legislators who have sided with the governor and the fear on the part of legislative leaders of mass protests have prevented implementation.”

    “That fear is well-founded.”

    “The Wisconsin protests have inspired similar demonstrations in states across the country, including state Capitol confrontations in Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Ohio and, most recently, California and New York.”

    “Yet, the energy in Wisconsin remains unmistakable, and unrelenting.”

    “Three months to the day after the first large demonstration against Walker’s proposal, tens of thousands of Wisconsinites returned to the great square around the state Capitol and to town and village squares across the state to declare: “This Fight is NOT Over!”

    “We’ve stopped Governor Walker’s plan to take away workers rights for three months — but he is not done. He has expanded his attack to seniors, college students, local schools and more. And he is still intent on ending collective bargaining rights in Wisconsin,” went the message from the Wisconsin unions and their allies — along with the “This Fight is NOT Over!” battlecry.

    • creolechild says:

      How about this? Me thinks there’s a media blackout that’s been in progress for quite some time now? What do you think?

      “More than 20,000 protesters descended upon Wall Street Thursday to demand an end to Mayor Bloomberg’s draconian education cuts and his soft touch approach to billion-dollar companies. The May 12 event began as a series of splinter cell protests in the radius surrounding Wall Street that ultimately converged on the financial district.”

      “Those in attendance included Reverend Al Sharpton, the United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew, and various members of the City Council. At the education protest, teachers came out in droves to protest Bloomberg’s recent decision to lay off thousands of teachers. Additionally, educators were demanding Bloomberg ask his rich friends on Wall Street to sacrifice along with everyone else.”

      “‘David Pecoraro, a math teacher at Beach Channel High School and a parent to a high school freshman, attended the protest to represent the interests of his students and his son. ‘All are going to be denied the right to a quality education because of these politically motivated, unnecessary cuts,’ said Pecoraro, adding that it’s not just a matter of denying educations to youth, but the education cuts are dangerous in some cases, too. Some of his son’s classes use heavy machinery, and the cuts mean there’s less faculty to supervise the students. ‘[Bloomberg] is playing with the kids’ lives,’ he said.'”

      “‘On top of the thousands of teachers Bloomberg plans to lay off, the mayor hasn’t replaced the 5,000 educators who were also fired in the last five years.
      Pecoraro doesn’t see the layoffs as part of a fair compromise plan in which all citizens are asked to share sacrifice. ‘I haven’t seen any of [Bloomberg’s] billionaire friends lose anything,’ he said. ‘There’s no millionaire’s tax on the city level. The Bush tax cuts got extended, so these guys are still partying hardy. The party’s got to end. I’m tired of people trying to take my kid’s education away.'”

    • Ametia says:

      Yes, folks by the blackening of an oval, you elect an assclown. Now the fight is not over. RECALL SCOTT WALKER!

  15. MSNBC:

    Donald Trump will not run for President.

    As if…? Fking ass clown!

  16. creolechild says:

    “Thus America is suddenly at war against its own teachers — along with its firefighters, police officers, public health researchers and caregivers, sanitation workers, census takers, park rangers, air traffic controllers, and the whole horde of ‘do-nothings’ on the public payroll. Fire ’em, bust their unions, take away their democratic rights, slash their pay, increase their workloads, eliminate their pensions, and (most especially) scorn them.”

    “Those are not just the vitriolic sentiments of a few red-faced, tea-party lunatics — but of a squawking flock of right-wing governors, state legislators, mayors, and members of Congress. These are our leaders speaking!”

    [Ironic aside: The ‘leaders’ who’re so wildly assailing public employees also happen to be public employees, and they consume a whole lot more of our tax dollars than those they’re dissing. Gov. Christie, for example, siphons $175,000 a year from the public treasury in salary — far more than any of those “greedy” teachers in his state. And while politicos screech for deep cutbacks in rank and file workers, notice that they’re not volunteering any givebacks in their own pay, pensions, health care, limousines, mansions, and other public subsidies. Apparently, they never had a teacher explain ‘irony’ to them, but it would be a better world if they took a remedial class on the concept. Oh, too late — teachers of irony have been fired.]

    “Funded and orchestrated by such hard-core, anti-laborite billionaires like the Kochs, DeVoses, Bradleys, Scaifes, Coorses, and Waltons, the right wing has declared open season on public employees. But don’t think that the assault by corporate extremists stops there. Using the GOP and the tea partiers as their political foot soldiers — they intend to dismantle the public sphere, crush all unions, downsize the entire middle class, and banish egalitarianism as an American ideal. Ready or not, our nation has devolved into a new and nasty civil war, with moneyed elites now charging into legislatures and courts to separate their good fortunes from the working class and to establish themselves as a de facto plutocracy.”

  17. creolechild says:

    “Almost a third of the Blue Dog Democrats who retired or were defeated in 2010 have gone to work for organizations that lobby their former colleagues in Congress, according to an iWatch News review.”

    “The Blue Dog ranks were devastated by the 2010 election, falling from a high of 54 to 26. Of those no longer in Congress, eight have moved through the “revolving door” to employment with lobbying entities.”

    The conservative Blue Dogs formed a key voting bloc for much of the last congressional session, drawing impressive fundraising from the energy, financial services and health care industries. After legislation in those areas passed or stalled, industry groups abandoned the pro-business coalition in favor of its GOP opponents.

    Some ousted Blue Dogs have expressed interest in running for their seats in 2012. Others have opted to retire. Eight went to work for organizations or companies that engaged in federal lobbying during the first quarter of 2011:

    • Stephanie Herseth Sandlin of South Dakota works for Olsson Frank Weeda Terman Bode Matz.

    • Walt Minnick of Idaho is employed by The Majority Group.

    • Allen Boyd of Florida works for Twenty-First Century Group.

    • Charlie Melancon of Louisiana works for the International Franchise Association.

    • Brad Ellsworth of Indiana is employed by Vectren Corp.

    • Bart Gordon of Tennessee works for lobbying giant K&L Gates.

    • Earl Pomeroy of North Dakota is employed by Alston & Bird.

    • John Tanner of Tennessee works for Prime Policy Group.

  18. First Lady Michelle Obama lifts a baby while greeting the crowd at the annual Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House, April 25, 2011

  19. President Barack Obama shakes hands with a young girl after arriving at Miami International Airport in Miami, Fla., April 29, 2011

  20. President Barack Obama gives gifts to Make-a-Wish child Kai Dunbar, third from left, and her family, during their visit to the Oval Office, April 14, 2011. Pictured, from left, are: Kai’s mother, Kimberly Dunbar; father, Kem Dunbar; sister, Kacie Dunbar; and brother, Kem Dunbar II.

  21. rikyrah says:

    May 16, 2011 10:05 AM

    Changing the terms of the tax deal

    By Steve Benen

    Six months ago, Democrats and Republicans struck a deal on tax policy. Republicans would get a two-year extension on Bush-era tax rates — at the GOP’s demand, all of the costs were added to the deficit — and in exchange, Democrats would get a one-year extension of federal jobless benefits.

    House Republicans have decided the terms of this deal should be revised

    The House Ways and Means Committee, on a strict Republican vote, recently passed a bill to let states use federal jobless money for other purposes, including tax cuts for business. This is a very bad idea at a time when the national jobless rate is 9 percent, and higher than that in 22 states. The $31 billion in yet to be paid federal benefits is desperately needed.

    State unemployment benefits end after six months. Federal benefits, which average $293 a week, then kick in. In better times six months may be a reasonable period to expect a laid-off worker to find another job. But not these days. Right now, more than four million families depend on extended federal benefits to get by.

    The argument from the House GOP is that by giving states the “flexibility” to cut off aid to the unemployed, states can let businesses off the hook for costs in their unemployment funds. Of course, Congress has other options, and Republicans choose to target aid to the jobless.

    And we know why.

    Republicans … aren’t looking to restore the funds to long-term solvency; they want to cut taxes no matter what the cost. And their business constituents — who have resisted paying unemployment taxes in good times as well as bad — don’t want to pay more taxes into the system, even after the economy has recovered.

    Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has been pushing against the GOP plan, noting, among other things, that House Republicans “want to renege” on their part of the tax deal from December.

    In all likelihood, the GOP is once again investing time and energy in a measure that can’t get past the Senate and/or White House, but the party’s near-constant efforts to make things harder on the unemployed continues to be a sight to behold.

  22. rikyrah says:

    saw Jumping the Broom yesterday. I enjoyed it. Anyone else see it?

  23. creolechild says:

    Good afternoon, everyone!

  24. Ametia says:

    International arrest warrant sought for Qaddafi
    By Pamela Falk
    May 16, 2011 7:14 AM

    The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has officially asked the court to issue arrest warrants for Libyan leader Muammar al Qaddafi, his son Saif al Islam, and Libya’s head of intelligence, Abdullah Al Senussi, who is Qaddafi’s brother-in-law, for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

    Specifically, the warrants name Qaddafi for the commission of two categories of crimes against humanity: murder under Article 7(1)(a) of the Rome Statute, and persecution under Article 7(1)(h) of the Rome Statute. The evidence, according to the prosecutor, shows the Libyan security forces conducted widespread and systematic attacks against the civilian population under Qaddafi’s command.

    Now the decision rests with three pre-trial Judges, who may either decide to accept the application, reject it, or ask the prosecutor for more evidence. In all previous cases, according to I.C.C. spokesperson Florence Olara, the Pre-Trial Chamber has granted arrest warrants upon the prosecutor’s request.

    The 74-page document supporting the request for the arrest warrants, with nine annexes, outlines allegations that Libyan forces have systematically attacked civilians since launching a brutal crackdown on anti-government rebels.

    Complete coverage: Anger in the Arab World

    Read more:

  25. Ametia says:

    Sidwell sued over staff psychologist’s alleged affair
    By: Lisa Gartner 05/12/11 8:05 PM
    Examiner Staff Writer @Lisa_Examiner

    A scorned husband is suing Sidwell Friends School for $10 million, saying the elite private school allowed its staff psychologist to carry on an affair with the married mother of a 5-year-old student he was counseling, causing trauma to the child.

    James Huntington was a middle school counselor who taught sex education to sixth-grade students in 2009-2010 — the same year that President Obama’s daughter Malia was a sixth-grader at Sidwell — when Tara Newmyer asked him to evaluate her daughter, a prekindergarten student.


    Shortly thereafter, Huntington and Tara began a sexual affair that many Sidwell staffers — including the head of schools — were aware of but “despite repeated objections” did nothing to stop for a year, according the lawsuit filed Thursday morning by Tara’s husband, Arthur “Terry” Newmyer.

    Ellis Turner, the associate head of schools at Sidwell, said the school will fight the lawsuit. “We’re disappointed that Mr. Newmyer chose this course, but the complaint is without merit and the school will contest it,” Turner said.
    One of the nation’s most prestigious private schools, Sidwell is nicknamed the “presidential prep school” for its class pictures filled with the children of wealthy socialites and high-ranking government officials.

    Turner would not confirm the date or terms on which Huntington left Sidwell. He said Huntington counseled the middle school and did not normally evaluate Sidwell’s younger children.

    Kristin Henrikson, an attorney for Tara Newmyer, said her client has been legally separated from Newmyer since August 2009 and feels “sadness and disappointment” over the lawsuit. Huntington was never involved in psychologically evaluating the Newmyers’ daughter, Henrikson said: “They met as parents.”
    According to the lawsuit, Sidwell fired Huntington in February after Terry Newmyer took his information about the affair to Sidwell’s board of trustees.

    A Sidwell alumnus himself, Newmyer sent two children from his first marriage to Sidwell and was awarded the Newmyer Award — founded by his uncle in 1975 — for his service to the school as a parent.

    At least 11 Newmyers have attended Sidwell since 1937.
    Terry and Tara Newmyer disagreed over whether their daughter, “L.N.,” should attend Sidwell, according to the lawsuit. An attorney, Tara Newmyer enrolled the girl without her husband’s consent, the suit said.
    Huntington sent sexually explicit emails to Tara Newmyer on Sidwell’s email server, sometimes while female students were in his office “talking about male P.E. teachers who try to hit on them,” according to the lawsuit. He also divulged confidential details involving the children and parents of other Sidwell children he was counseling, the suit charged.

    Huntington did not return phone calls seeking comment.
    Terry Newmyer was tipped off about the affair by Huntington’s ex-wife, who was concerned that the illicit relationship was traumatizing L.N, according to the suit.
    A family friend said in court papers that by late spring of her first year at Sidwell, L.N. had become “significantly more withdrawn, less engaging, quieter … She would not look into my eyes at all, and seemed sad.”
    Henrikson said that Tara Newmyer was disappointed by her husband’s decision to take their family matters public. “It’s certainly not the approach you take if you’re truly looking out for your kid’s psychological benefit.”
    This is the second sex scandal to shake Sidwell in less than two years. Last school year, middle school teacher Robert Peterson was fired over allegations that he sexually abused a minor.
    In the wake of Peterson’s termination, Sidwell sent an email to all parents, identifying Huntington as someone they could reach out to for psychological assistance, the lawsuit says.

    Read more at the Washington Examiner:

  26. The President Delivers the Commencement Address at Booker T. Washington High School, the Winner of the 2011 Race to the Top Commencement Challenge

    May 16, 2011 1:30 PM EDT

  27. rikyrah says:

    Sunday, May 15, 2011

    Onward Christian Soldier

    by digby

    According to today’s NY Times, Xe, formerly known as Blackwater, is contracting itself out as mercenaries to Arab countries. Yes, you read that right.

    The U.A.E.’s rulers, viewing their own military as inadequate, also hope that the troops could blunt the regional aggression of Iran, the country’s biggest foe, the former employees said.

    The training camp, located on a sprawling Emirati base called Zayed Military City, is hidden behind concrete walls laced with barbed wire. Photographs show rows of identical yellow temporary buildings, used for barracks and mess halls, and a motor pool, which houses Humvees and fuel trucks.

    The Colombians, along with South African and other foreign troops, are trained by retired American soldiers and veterans of the German and British special operations units and the French Foreign Legion, according to the former employees and American officials.

    In outsourcing critical parts of their defense to mercenaries — the soldiers of choice for medieval kings, Italian Renaissance dukes and African dictators — the Emiratis have begun a new era in the boom in wartime contracting that began after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. And by relying on a force largely created by Americans, they have introduced a volatile element in an already combustible region where the United States is widely viewed with suspicion.

    Ya think?

    Don’t worry, though. They aren’t all Americans so those middle eastern folks won’t ever figure it out. And there’s reason to suspect that they have the permission of the US Government, which is more than a little disconcerting.

    But lest you worry that they don’t know who’s naughty and nice, the right wing evangelical uber-nut Erik Prince has made sure of it:

    [F]ormer employees said that in recruiting the Colombians and others from halfway around the world, Mr. Prince’s subordinates were following his strict rule: hire no Muslims.

    Muslim soldiers, Mr. Prince warned, could not be counted on to kill fellow Muslims.

    Read the whole article if you get a chance. It’s quite chilling. I don’t want to get all conspiratorial, but one can certainly see the outlines of an oil field protection strategy without all that silly democracy interfering with What Must Be Done.

    But do they think they have even the slightest degree of separation in the eyes of Muslims?

    And using a fundamentalist, Christian, fascist crook? Wth? I feel like this is some Left Behind romance novel come to life. (Don’t tease that panther.)


  28. rikyrah says:

    Strong numbers for Obama in poll
    By POLITICO STAFF | 05/16/11 6:28 AM Updated: 05/16/11 6:47 AM

    Most of the public, 59 percent, say they will vote or consider voting for President Obama in 2012, despite 57 percent of people saying they disapprove of the way he’s handled the economy, according to the latest POLITICO-George Washington University Battleground Poll.

    Here are some highlights from the poll, published Monday:

    • Obama gets a 52 percent job approval rating, up 7 percent since the last poll, in October.
    • 57 percent of people disapprove of Obama’s handling of the economy; 42 percent approve.
    • 59 percent say they will vote for him or consider voting for him in 2012; 38 percent say they definitely won’t vote for him
    • 75 percent of people approve of Obama’s handling of terrorism, but 84 percent say the killing of Osama bin Laden will make no difference in how they vote in 2012.

  29. rikyrah says:

    May 16, 2011
    Political M.A.D.-ness

    Krugman asks: “[W]hat will happen if the [debt] ceiling isn’t raised?”He answers: “[T]he government will be forced to stop paying roughly a third of its bills.”

    He projects:

    Consumer spending would probably crash, as nervous seniors started wondering how to pay for rent and food. Businesses that depend on government purchases would slash payrolls and cancel investments.

    Furthermore, markets might well panic, especially if interest payments are missed. And the consequences of undermining faith in U.S. debt might be especially severe because that debt plays a crucial role in many financial transactions.

    He conjectures: “So hitting the debt ceiling would be a very bad thing.”He concludes:

    Unfortunately, it may be unavoidable.Why? Because this is a hostage situation.

    If the president and his allies operate on the principle that failure to raise the debt ceiling is an unthinkable outcome, to be avoided at all cost, then they have ceded all power to those willing to bring that outcome about. In effect, they will have ripped up the Constitution and given control over America’s government to a party that only controls one house of Congress, but claims to be willing to bring down the economy unless it gets what it wants.

    Welcome to the 21st-century version, politically speaking, of M.A.D. — Mutually Assured Destruction, the 20th-century strategic concept of threatening global annihilation to guarantee peace.

    Never was an acronym so precisely eponymous; and never was humanity so lucky as when it escaped the consequences of madmen in power.Yet now, M.A.D. could be achieved with a whimper — relative to the physical holocaust of a thermonuclear war — and not a bang.

    For while the radical right has its share of Dr. Strangeloves, the “progressive” left, too, has an abundance of Gen. Jack D. Rippers. Both extremes possess a rough equivalence in electoral throw weight; both are itching for a fight; neither seems to care much about the vast, extinguishable middle; and of course both extremes claim a willingness to disprove the immediately preceding by seeing M.A.D. carried out to its logical end.

    That most puzzling about Krugman’s assessment lies in his assertion that should President Obama “and his allies” go to unacceptable lengths (translation: unacceptable to Krugman) to resolve the debt-ceiling crisis, then they “will have ripped up the Constitution and given control over America’s government to a party that only controls one house of Congress.

    “Mr. Krugman, “they” might bow to a deadline, and they might even bow to extortion, but there’s nothing in the U.S. Constitution that says the House must compromise with the White House and Senate. Compromise, to be sure, dwells spiritually in the Constitution; yet not a written clause — “in effect” — exists along that line to be “ripped up.”

    The Founders assumed — for they didn’t see redistricting and Citizens United and Fox News, etc. etc., coming — that lawmakers would reflect some indefinable virtuous wisdom of the people, among whom reasonable ones would include compromise, but such organic wisdom could not be mandated, nor could an artificial reflection be dictated.

    In short, the country is stuck with the yahoos it elects to the House. And sometimes the country gets a sickening or even near-lethal dose of its electoral prerogatives. But the bi-annual cure, Mr. Krugman, is indeed plastered in the Constitution. Instead, Krugman rather insouciantly writes that “the president can’t call the extortionists’ bluff unless he’s willing to confront them, and accept the associated risks” — the latter word being a remarkably curious choice, since they’re not “risks” at all: they are, rather, just as Krugman took pains to point out, absolute certainties of calamity.

    A nosedive in consumer spending, impoverished seniors, paralyzed businesses, panicked financial markets and an “especially severe” global distrust of U.S. securities — which is to say, a Great Depression II, no doubt about it.That’s what Krugman is willing to risk: not the “acceptance” of a risk, but an inescapable calamity. And on both sides, it’s M.A.D.-ness.

    • creolechild says:

      In support of rikyrah’s post, consider this:

      “For months, Republicans have been claiming that they will refuse to raise the debt ceiling — and thus risk the widespread economic consequences of the U.S. eventually defaulting on its debt — unless several conditions are met, including cuts to Medicare and Social Security. In fact, some Republicans have said that they think that default wouldn’t be so bad. “The case has not been made that this is an absolute necessity,” said Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-MI).””

      However, Republicans poo-pooing the necessity of raising the debt ceiling might want to look to conservative icon Ronald Reagan. In 1983, Reagan warned that the consequences of failing to raise the nation’s borrowing limit “are impossible to predict and awesome to contemplate”:

      The full consequences of a default — or even the serious prospect of default — by the United States are impossible to predict and awesome to contemplate. Denigration of the full faith and credit of the United States would have substantial effects on the domestic financial markets and the value of the dollar in exchange markets. The Nation can ill afford to allow such a result. The risks, the costs, the disruptions, and the incalculable damage lead me to but one conclusion: the Senate must pass this legislation before the Congress adjourns.”

      “In a 1987 radio address, Reagan also said, “Congress consistently brings the government to the edge of default before facing its responsibility. This brinksmanship threatens the holders of government bonds and those who rely on Social Security and veterans benefits. Interest rates would skyrocket, instability would occur in financial markets, and the Federal deficit would soar.”

  30. rikyrah says:

    May 15, 2011
    Another Sunday of horrors

    Having endured this morning’s inexpressibly deranged talk-show content, I yearn for the reasoned, sophisticated sobriety of a Donald Trump.
    I’m still suffering from a touch of PTSD, hence my recollections could be a bit scrambled.

    So, straight from one transcript, I’ll reproduce the words of just one radically rightist guest, South Carolina’s governor, Nikki Haley, verbatim.

    Should we, asked Christiane Amanpour, raise the debt ceiling?

    HALEY: Absolutely not. You know, we are seeing total chaos in D.C. right now. The very first thing they need to do is make sure that they stop raising the debt….
    You know, government is notorious for saying the sky is falling….

    In response to that fusillade of unprecedented stupidity, the ineffable Ms. Amanpour — pausing long enough only to interject that Wall Street is “worried” — countered:

    So let’s now then turn to the presidential race and the GOP candidates

    Later, watching CNN, on which the slithering Mitch McConnell attributed the nation’s debt problem exclusively to President Obama’s “spending binge” — another blithering hallucination, which host Candy Crowley neglected to pursue or clarify — my strained nerves and palsied fingers reached for the remote relief of “off.”

    Sunday’s public-affairs shows have now surpassed the point of mere journalistic worthlessness to that of actual counterproductivity. Enormous bombshells of the most disgraceful propaganda and oblivious ideology blow right by the hosts unquestioned, unchallenged, untrammeled.

    Yet I imagine that even my level of stunned disbelief is nothing compared to Republicans’ near disbelief that they’re so routinely allowed on these shows to get away with so much.

  31. rikyrah says:

    Steve Benen, Political Animal
    May 16, 2011 8:30 AM
    McConnell thinks midterms settled tax debate

    The Republican line on taxes isn’t exactly a mystery: shrinking the deficit is important, but not as important as making sure there are no tax increases on anyone at any time by any amount. That tax cuts are the driving factor behind the massive budget shortfalls over the next decade (and beyond) is apparently unimportant.

    How do GOP leaders defend this? Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) tried out this line on CNN’s “State of the Union” yesterday.

    CROWLEY: And I think I can get a yes or no from you on this. No tax increases will you accept at all in either the short, the medium or the long term, and that includes close tax loopholes?

    MCCONNELL: Well, there aren’t going to be any tax increases. You know, that was settled by last November’s election. The president knows that.

    I’m trying to think of a dumber line on fiscal policy. Nothing comes to mind.

    The usual Republican position — tax increases necessarily undercut the economy — is absurd enough. But McConnell didn’t even rely on the old canard, choosing instead to make an electoral/policy argument. Americans elected a Democratic president, a Democratic Senate, and a Republican House. Ergo, any and all tax increases are off the table.

    I find it hard to believe even Mitch McConnell, for all of his obvious limitations, could actually perceive this as credible.

    Indeed, I wonder if he’s even thought this through. In 2009, after two consecutive cycles that went heavily in Democrats’ favor, did that settle the debate and prove the country opposes spending cuts? For that matter, did it also settle the debate and demonstrable voters’ desire for tax increases?

    I’m all for the notion that elections have consequences, but McConnell needs to realize how shallow and superficial his nonsense really is. Support for raising taxes, especially on the very wealthy, is actually quite high nationwide. The single most popular approach to deficit reduction is a balanced approach — some tax increases, some spending cuts.

    If McConnell wants to make the case that Americans are wrong about this, he should certainly give it a shot. I’d love to hear him try.

    • Ametia says:

      One thing’s for sure, Mitch “Tippy Turtle” McConnell is consistent in his delusions.

      Americans back tax increases in debt fix: Reuters poll
      By Kim Dixon and Richard Cowan
      WASHINGTON | Wed May 11, 2011 5:39pm EDT

      (Reuters) – More than half of Americans say higher taxes should be part of a fix to tame the $14.3 trillion U.S. debt, a Reuters poll released on Wednesday found, signaling a disconnect with Republicans who reject any tax increases.

      Fifty-two percent of respondents in a Reuters/Ipsos poll said a combination of spending cuts and tax increases was the best strategy to reduce deficits, dovetailing with other recent surveys.

      Republicans have taken higher taxes off the table in negotiations to reduce soaring deficits, while President Barack Obama, a Democrat, favors raising taxes, but only for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans.

      “We’re not going to raise taxes. That was decided in last November’s election,” Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said on Tuesday. “I think the American people pretty clearly believe that we have the deficit problem because we spend too much, not because we tax too little.”

      Tackling rising deficits to keep the economy competitive is seen as a key issue going into 2012 presidential and congressional elections.

      The polling results resonated with Neal Weber, who advises corporate clients at the McGladrey tax and accounting firm in Washington.

      “As I talk to my business clients … I believe that more than half of them share the same belief,” that taxes should be in the deficit-cutting mix, Weber said.

      Democratic Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad noted on Monday that revenue is at its lowest share of the economy in decades, while spending is at its highest.

      “Clearly you’ve got to work both sides of the equation,” he said

  32. rikyrah says:

    Going for the White vote…
    by Dennis G.

    Folks wonder how Newt plans to build a base for his run for the White House. After all, he has a thirty-plus year record as a complete fuck-up to deal with—but to be fair that record has been sold with word strings clever enough to fool the pundit class into thinking they are rooted in ideas. Still, support from his Beltway pals would never put Newt over the top.

    What might help is catering to White anxiety and fear over a changing world—this is especially true for white males. Racism has a role to play in this, but one can make blatant appeals to this fear without being personally racist. Gingrich is building his campaign on making these appeals to fear—and in doing so he will come to the line of racist rhetoric. And from time to time he will cross over it. But that will be OK for Newt because he is a Republican.

    Take his statement in the opening days of his campaign. In a speech back down in Georgia, he expressed his Republican Confederate Party credentials by telling a White Southern audience that:

    I believe the gap between where the people in this room and the vast majority of the people of Georgia would take America and where President Obama would take America is so enormous that this will be the most consequential election since 1860.

    Newt is bonding with his audience by letting them know that he agrees that the threat posed by Barack Obama is just as bad as the threat posed by that Black Republican, Abraham Lincoln 150 years ago. And there may be some truth to this fear if your concern is to preserve White Supremacy. Exploiting that fear is what Newt’s code talking campaign is all about.

    Newt also brought out the lazy young bucks on food stamps meme of his early years in Congress with this bit:

    You want to be a country that creates food stamps, in which case frankly Obama’s is an enormous success. The most successful food stamp president in American history. Or do you want to be a country that creates paychecks?

    And for good measure he called for the return of the literacy test that needs to be passed before you could vote

    “You know, folks often talk about immigration. I always say that to become an American citizen, immigrants ought to have to learn American history. But maybe we should also have a voting standard that says to vote, as a native born American, you should have to learn American history.”

    What could possibly go wrong if Americans had to pass a history test designed and administered by wingnuts before they could vote? Boy oh boy, that Newt is just full of ideas straight out of the Jim Crow handbook.

    And that’s no surprise because Newt is a code talker. He has been doing this “politics of grievance” shit for 40 years. There has never been a base for his policies, his Party or for him, but there a lot of white folks in America who can be scared, fooled and enraged—and if you put enough of a scare in ‘em these white folks will do almost anything. There may even be enough of them voting in the GOP primary to give Newt the nomination if he can mobilize this White Fear into his base. And judging from the opening days of his campaign, that looks exactly like what “The Professor” has planned.

    He was lightly called out on this strategy today when he was on Meet the Press. David Gregory played the “Food Stamp President” quote and asked Newt:

    MR. GREGORY: First of all, you gave a speech in Georgia with language a lot of people think could be coded racially-tinged language, calling the president, the first black president, a food stamp president.

    Newt—of course—took offense and played the white victim card in a response that kept the code talking front and center (extra points for spotting them):

    REP. GINGRICH: That’s, that’s bizarre. That—this kind of automatic reference to racism, this is the president of the United States. The president of the United States has to be held accountable. Now, the idea that—and what I said is factually true. Forty-seven million Americans are on food stamps. One out of every six Americans is on food stamps. And to hide behind the charge of racism? I have—I have never said anything about President Obama which is racist.

    MR. GREGORY: Well, what did you mean?

    REP. GINGRICH: Well, it’s very simple. He has policies—and I used a very direct analogy. He follows the same destructive political model that destroyed the city of Detroit. I follow the model that Rick Perry and others have used to create more jobs in Texas. You know, Texas two out of the last four years created more jobs than the other 49 states combined. I’m suggesting we know how to create jobs. Ronald Reagan did it. I was part of that. We know how to create jobs. We did it when I was speaker. And, and the way you create jobs is you have lower taxes, you have less regulation, you have litigation reform. When the New York Stock Exchange puts its headquarters at Amsterdam, Holland and, by the way, follows 40 other companies in the last year; when General Electric pays zero in taxes; there’s something fundamentally wrong with the current system. The Obama system of the National Labor Relations Board basically breaking the law to try to punish Boeing and to threaten every right-to-work state. The Environmental Protection Agency trying to control the entire American economy by bureaucratic fiat. The Obama system’s going to lead us down the path to Detroit and destruction. I think we need a brand-new path. It’s a path of job creation. And one of the central themes of this campaign is going to be paychecks vs. food stamps.

    Newt Gingrich may or may not be a racist, but he is doubling down on the code-talking and has promised to make if the theme of his campaign. But I doubt Newt is a real White Supremacist because he is first and foremost a grifter—and a grifter doesn’t really believe anything. He will say whatever helps him to con the mark. And for “The Professor” the marks are are white voters fearful of a changing world. Newt will give them people to blame, fear and hate for change with the hope that he can ride their wave of rage all the way to the White House.

    Newt’s not crazy. Mobilizing White fear is a potent and sometimes deadly political tool. It had proven to be a well worn and successful political path over the last 150 years of American History. In 2012, whomever does the best job of mobilizing White fear will become the Republican Confederate Party candidate for President. Newt knows that winning the White Supremacy Primary is the key to the nomination. When wingnuts ask themselves “who can save us from that nigger?”, Newt is betting that they’ll think of him in the voting booth.

    And his Beltway media pals will sell his campaign as being “intellectually seriousness”.

    Go figure

    • Ametia says:

      good luck with the white vote, Newt. That’s all you’ll get..and maybe a few crazy house negroes.

      • creolechild says:

        Gingrich should probably review the statements that he’s made in the past to spare himself some embarrassment–if he’s capable of such a thing–which from all appearances is unlikely:

        “Newt Gingrich is condemning individual health insurance mandates today, finally ditching the policy after more than a decade of vocal support that he reiterated as recently as Sunday morning.”

        “I am for the repeal of Obamacare and I am against any effort to impose a federal mandate on anyone because it is fundamentally wrong and I believe unconstitutional,” he said in a video posted on his website on Monday and apparently shot this morning outside a Washington, D.C., hotel where Gingrich was addressing an Alzheimer’s convention.”
        “In the early 1990s, Gingrich joined many Republican in backing a health care law featuring an individual mandate as an alternative to President Clinton’s proposal. He supported a similar policy throughout the 2000s in several of his books, echoing President Obama and Mitt Romney in backing an individual mandate buttressed by financial support for those who can’t afford health insurance.”

        “He repeated his support for such a plan yet again on Meet The Press this Sunday after David Gregory played a clip of Newt calling for an individual mandate in 1993.”

        “I’ve said consistently we ought to have some requirement that you either have health insurance or you post a bond or in some way you indicate you’re going to be held accountable,” Gingrich said, repeating Romney’s argument that it was necessary to solve the “free rider” problem of how to pay for treating the uninsured. Asked whether this constituted a mandate, Gingrich replied it was “a variation on it.”

    • creolechild says:

      Information the general public might want to know about Gingrich:

      “During an appearance on Meet the Press yesterday, 2012 presidential candidate and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) called Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) proposal to transform Medicare into a “premium support” system for future retirees “too big a jump” and suggested that the reform was tantamount to “right-wing social engineering.””

      “The comments come just weeks after Gingrich told Time’s Jay Newton-Small that Ryan was a “brave” “man of ideas….”
      “In fact, Gingrich proposed a very similar plan in 1995, when Republicans sought to eliminate $270 billion dollars from Medicare over seven years. Seniors would have received a voucher for the value of the annual average benefits and bought insurance from a private insurance company — or traditional Medicare. The Hartford Courant described the proposal as “the most sweeping change in Medicare’s 30-year history,” saying that it would “end Medicare’s guarantee of providing a defined set of benefits.” “Instead, the government would guarantee a certain dollar amount and beneficiaries would be on their own to find the best bargain available,” the paper explained in July 1995. Gingrich himself described the reform as a “voucher:”

      House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) promised Friday that congressional Republicans would devote all future savings from Medicare to assure the solvency of the imperiled health care program rather than to balance the federal budget.

      And he challenged President Clinton to offer proposals “to save Medicare for a generation.”

      Gingrich predicted that Congress would undertake a major reform of Medicare, offering other options to the current fee-for-service system. One alternative would be a voucher program, in which beneficiaries would choose among several competing private health plans. However, he pledged that “anyone who wants to” would be permitted to stay in the present system, which allows unrestricted choice of doctors and hospitals.

    • creolechild says:

      “60 Minutes’ Byron Pitt had a superb segment last night on the sovereign citizens movement, springboarding from the tragic case of Jerry and Joe Kane, two sovereign citizens who mowed down a couple of West Memphis, Arkansas, police officers before themselves being killed.”

      “It was actually a well assembled and insightful piece of reporting, including the analysis provided by J.J. McNabb, who is unquestionably one of the leading experts on the movement from the outside. And while they let movement guru Alfred Adask run off at the mouth, in the end his own radicalism and complete lack of any connection to reality were made self-evident by his own words.”

      “The only question is: Will Peter King finally listen and hold a congressional hearing on right-wing-extremist domestic terrorism, too?”

  33. rikyrah says:

    Jakes Blasts Franklin Graham for Obama Comments
    Date: Monday, May 16, 2011, 4:31 am
    By: Frederick Cosby, Special to

    Bishop T.D. Jakes blasted the son of the Rev. Billy Graham Sunday for questioning President Barack Obama’s religious faith in a recent television interview.

    Appearing on “Washington Watch with Roland Martin,” Jakes accused the Rev. Franklin Graham of hypocrisy stemming from comments he made last month on ABC’s “This Week with Christiane Amanpour” and said the North Carolina-based evangelical minister owes the president an apology.

    “I find it insulting,” said Jakes, chief pastor of the Potter’s House, a 30,000-member non-denominational mega-church in Dallas. “We didn’t question the Christianity of President Bush when he said he accepted Christ, and I’m disappointed in Rev. Franklin Graham in that regard.”

    In an Easter Sunday interview, Amanpour asked Graham if it bothered him that people like potential Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump questioned Obama’s birthplace and his religious affiliation. Graham replied: “As it relates to Muslim, there are so many people that wonder where he really stands on that.”

    “Now, he has told me that he is a Christian,” said Graham, president and CEO of Samaritan’s Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. “But the debate comes, what is a Christian.”

    “For him, going to church means he’s a Christian,” Graham added. “For me, the definition of a Christian is whether we have given our life to Christ and are following him in faith, and we have trusted him as our Lord and Savior. That’s the definition of a Christian, it’s not as to what church you’re a member or. A membership doesn’t make you a Christian.”

    White House officials didn’t hide their contempt for Graham’s comments the following day.

    “I would just say I think it’s unfortunate that a religious leader would choose Easter Sunday to make preposterous charges,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said, “and I’ll leave it at that.”

    Jakes told Martin that he wished Graham had the diplomacy of his famous father, “who brought the gospel to people without being nuanced by politics because when you do those things, you offend people that you are actually called to save and to serve.”

    “And I would hope that he would see the rationale in apologizing for such statements – because if the president’s faith is suspect, then all of our faiths are suspect because the Bible is quite clear about what it takes to be saved, and the president has been quite open about his accepting Christ and him openly confessing it before men,” Jakes said. “And if it’s good enough for the Bible, it ought to be good enough for the rest of us.”

  34. rikyrah says:

    Brace Yourselves
    by mistermix

    The Times has the first of what I’m sure will be many “we can’t afford it” pieces about mandatory employee insurance, pitched to get one interest group an exemption. This one is from the nursing home lobby, though I’m sure we’ll see one from every service industry that’s built on low-wage employees.

    After you’ve shed a tear for the mom-and-pop independent nursing homes that will be put out of business by Obamacare, ask yourself this: where were the nursing home lobbyists when we were debating HCR? Were they pushing to have universal government sponsored healthcare (Medicare for all), so their clients wouldn’t have to worry about how they were to pay for insurance for all their employees? Or were they calling that socialism?

    I don’t know the answer to that question, because the Times’ reporters didn’t bother to ask it, but my guess is that the nursing home associations opposed Medicare for all, just like every other business. And, if so, fuck them and their “we can’t afford it” whining.

    • creolechild says:

      “Nursing homes are unnecessarily administering powerful antipsychotic drugs to many elderly residents, including residents with dementia [1], according to a new report by the Health and Human Services inspector general.”

      “The Food and Drug Administration in 2005 mandated that drug makers issue warning labels [2] on atypical antipsychotics, noting that the drugs—which are generally FDA-approved for treating schizophrenia and bipolar disorder—increase the risk of death for elderly patients with dementia. Yet when the government examined 1.4 million Medicare claims from 2007 for atypical antipsychotics for elderly nursing home residents, the government found that 88 percent of the time, the drugs were prescribed to individuals diagnosed with dementia.”

      “Doctors and nursing homes aren’t the only ones to blame, according to HHS Inspector General Daniel Levinson. The report itself does not specifically examine ties between doctors, pharmacies, and nursing homes, but in a statement accompanying the report [3], Levinson faulted drug companies for aggressively—and illegally—marketing these products to doctors for treatment of dementia and other off-label uses. (It’s not illegal for doctors to prescribe drugs for off-label uses, but it is for drug companies to promote them as such.)”

      “Despite the fact that it is potentially lethal to prescribe antipsychotics to patients with dementia, there’s ample evidence that some drug companies aggressively marketed their products towards such populations, putting profits before safety,” Levinson said.

      “He noted that a number of drug companies have been accused of illegally promoting these drugs off-label to doctors and pharmacies, including those that serve nursing home residents. Some of the lawsuits have settled, but Levin said those settlements alone don’t negate the effects of years of off-label promotion.”

      • creolechild says:

        “Though most states require nursing homes to conduct criminal background checks for prospective hires, 92 percent employ at least one worker with a criminal conviction, according to a report released today [1] by the inspector general for the Department of Health and Human Services.”

        “About 5 percent of nursing home workers—or one out of every 20—had at least one conviction, according to the report, which took a random sample of 260 nursing homes certified by Medicare and ran FBI background checks on their workers.”

        “State rules differ regarding background checks: 43 states require nursing homes to perform background checks against state records, ten of those require an additional FBI background check, and eight states don’t require background checks at all.”

        “The rules also differ on what types of crimes disqualify workers. The report noted that of the workers with convictions, 44 percent had committed property crimes such as theft, vandalism or writing bad checks. Some 16 percent had drug-related crimes, and 13 percent had committed crimes against people, including sexual offenses.”

        “Federal regulations prohibit nursing homes from employing workers convicted of “abusing, neglecting, or mistreating residents,” but because FBI data do not show whether the victims of the crimes were nursing home residents, it’s unclear whether these rules were violated.”

        “The New York Times noted [2] that the current system for background checks—which Wisconsin Democrat Sen. Herb Kohl criticized as “haphazard, inconsistent, and full of gaping holes [3]—has allowed people convicted of crimes in one state simply find jobs at nursing homes in another state.”

      • Creolechild,

        There was an elderly man in my community who was 102 years old but very alert and active. He fell and broke his hip, went to the nursing home where he was heavily medicated and that was the end of him. It was horrid!

      • creolechild says:

        SouthernGirl2- That’s so sad…

        I think in some cases seniors are admitted to nursing homes they pass away sooner than they would if they had had home care services. I know that it’s difficult to families to care for elderly family members who have complicated health issues, but the care provided at some nursing home facilities range from negligent to downright criminal, imho. There’s something I wanted to post about new medicare services regarding this issue, if I can find it…

        • Creolechild~ It was heartbreaking! And his 95 year old wife was so devastated about his death and died a few weeks later. My Mom & Dad were good friends with this couple! Sad!

      • Ametia says:

        This is sad, alarming and so true. I retired from Gereontological nursing in 2004, as a nursing home assistant director of nursing. The stories I could share about the overuse of medications is staggering. What I proposed and initiated was a drug holiday. This entails wheening patients off the most intense meds, i.e, antipyschotics, for a week and alternating with decreasing dosages. Monitoring the behaviors and any side effects. Some staff nurses are not up to snuff on monitoring for side effects, questioning large dosages, monitoring patients weight, dietary habits, etc. These all play a role in the efficacy of medications.

        Elderly patients need advocates. They need to ask questions and demand answers and accoutability from nurses and doctors. Some nursing homes across the country are doing drug holidays.

      • creolechild says:

        Here’s a good tool that will help those who have no choice but to admit their family members to nursing homes. It’s not an easy decision but at least some effort is being made to ensure that families have easily accessible information available to them.

        “Welcome to Nursing Home Compare. This tool has detailed information about every Medicare and Medicaid-certified nursing home in the country. Before you get started, you or your family member may have other long-term care choices like community-based services, home care, or assisted living depending on your needs and resources. For more information, see Alternatives to Nursing Homes. Otherwise, follow these steps when choosing a nursing home….”|3.6|Windows+7&language=English&defaultstatus=0&pagelist=Home&CookiesEnabledStatus=True

      • creolechild says:

        This may also be helpful in regards to seniors:

        “Depending on your needs, you may be able to get help with your personal activities (for example, help with the laundry, bathing, dressing, cooking, and cleaning) at home from family members, friends, or volunteers. If you think you need home care, talk to your family to see if they can help with care or help arrange for someone to come to your home to help.”

        “Some home care can only be given by licensed health workers, such as if you need skilled nursing care and certain other health care services that you get in your home for the treatment of an illness or injury. Skilled nursing care includes services and care that can only be performed safely and correctly by a licensed nurse (either a registered nurse or a licensed practical nurse) or a licensed therapist. Remember, Medicare only pays for home care if you meet certain conditions. For more information, look at the Medicare booklet, Medicare and Home Health Care.”
        The following home health services may be available in your community:

        * Skilled nursing care
        * Homemaker/Health aides
        * Personal care aides
        * Respite care
        * Medical equipment
        * Home repair and modification
        * Hospice

  35. Ametia says:

    N.Y. race is referendum on GOP Medicare plan
    By Philip Rucker, Published: May 15

    AMHERST, N.Y. — Special congressional elections tend to be sleepy affairs, campaigns so condensed and out of step with the normal political calendar that they’re often missed. But they can be mirrors of the national moment, too, and that’s what’s happening in the suburbs of Buffalo and Rochester, where a race to fill a vacant U.S. House seat has turned into a referendum on the Republican plan to overhaul Medicare.

    Sensing an unexpected opportunity for a Democratic rebound from last year’s losses, Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) flew here Sunday morning and moved from table to table at the Family Tree Restaurant, hovering over eggs, sausage links and pancakes to deliver a simple message.

  36. Ametia says:

    Lincoln would weep at the GOP’s 2012 field
    By E.J. Dionne Jr., Published: May 15
    Republicans are unhappy with their field of presidential candidates and yearn for someone who will come along to save them. But here’s what the GOP doesn’t want to confront: its problem lies not in its candidates but in itself.

    The candidates appear much smaller than they are because the party’s primary voters and core interest groups insist upon cutting them down to size. To win a Republican nomination, a candidate has to move right, recant absolutely any past position that violates the current conservative catechism and never dare to speak the truth that solving our deficit problem will require new revenue — a.k.a. taxes.

  37. Ametia says:

    Obama to view Tennessee flood damage, give commencement address, meet NCAA basketball champs

    By Associated Press, Updated: Monday, May 16, 2:04 AM
    WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama flies to Memphis, Tenn., on both unhappy and happy business.

    He meets first with families hit by recent flooding in the state, as well as state and local officials, first responders and volunteers. Then he gives the commencement address at Booker T. Washington High School in Memphis, which was the winner of Obama’s 2011 Race to the Top Commencement Challenge.

    This evening, in the White House’s East Room, the president welcomes the University of Connecticut men’s basketball team, which won this year’s NCAA national championship. And later, he speaks at two events in Washington for the Democratic National Committee.

    Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  38. Ametia says:

    Emanuel to be sworn in as Chicago’s first new mayor in 22 years, replacing the retiring Daley

    By Associated Press, Updated: Monday, May 16, 4:22 AM
    CHICAGO — In a major power shift for a city that thrives on tradition, former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel takes over as Chicago’s first new mayor in two decades on Monday when he replaces the retiring Richard M. Daley, the only mayor a whole generation of Chicagoans has ever known.

    Vice President Joe Biden was expected to attend the morning inauguration ceremony at a popular downtown park before Emanuel heads over to City Hall and, for the first time since he was elected in February, walks into the fifth-floor office that was Daley’s lair for 22 years.

    When I go there, which will be right after I get sworn in … unless I take a wrong turn, that will be the first time, it will be with my family,” said Emanuel, who plans to have his wife, Amy Rule, their three children, his two brothers and parents in tow.

    Biden’s attendance is testament, in part, to Emanuel’s high profile in Washington where he worked until October. He quit as President Barack Obama’s top aide to come back to Chicago to run for mayor.

  39. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone! :-)

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