Serendipity SOUL | Tuesday Open Thread

Wiki:  Switch was an R&B/funk band that found fame recording for the Gordy label in the late 1970s releasing hit songs such as “There’ll Never Be”, “I Call Your Name” and “The Best Beat in Town” and influenced bands such as DeBarge, which featured members Bobby and Tommy‘s siblings.

Formed in Mansfield, Ohio in 1974 under the name First Class. Featuring brothers Bobby and Tommy DeBarge and Greg Williams, all of whom hailed from Grand Rapids, Michigan along with Akron, Ohio natives Phillip Ingram (brother of James Ingram), Eddie Fluellen and Jody Sims. At the time, they called themselves First Class. They joined Barry White’s background group ‘White Heat’ as background musicians and were let go shortly thereafter.

[edit] Success years

Eventually changing their name to Switch due to their ability to ‘switch’ to different instruments during a song, the group got the attention of Jermaine Jackson, former member of The Jackson 5, who heard the group’s demo tape and within days the group was promptly signed to the Motown Records subsidiary label, Gordy. There, they recorded and released their self titled debut album in 1978. The album featured their first Top 10 R&B hit single entitled “There’ll Never Be”. Depending on whom was singing lead on the songs, their songs were written by Williams, Ingram and Bobby DeBarge and often in collaboration with Jermaine Jackson, who continued to sponsor the band throughout their five years on the label. Though they never did manage to cross over into the pop singles chart, they were a consistent presence on the R&B charts through the late 1970s with albums such as Switch II from 1979 (their second release), This Is My Dream and Reaching For Tomorrow in 1980. Their final release on Gordy was Switch V which was released in 1981. Other than “There’ll Never Be”, songs such as “I Call Your Name” and “Best Beat in Town” also became hits for the group.

[edit] Later years

Shortly after the DeBarge brothers left to mentor the group DeBarge with their siblings, and lead singer Philip Ingram left to pursue a solo career, new musicians were added in the personage of percussionist and singer Joe Robinson, Gonzales Ozen and keyboardist Attala Zane Giles. This configuration of Switch signed with Total Experience (well known home of their contemporaries The Gap Band) and recorded a final album Am I Still Your Boyfriend in 1984 breaking up later on that year. In 1991, Motown released a greatest hits compilation album by the band, and a similar version on the 20th Century Masters series released more recently is all that remains in print of this band. Former lead singer Bobby DeBarge died of AIDS-related complications in his home in Grand Rapids, Michigan on August 16, 1995 at age 39. Switch has since reunited featuring founder/leader Gregory Williams, Eddie Fluellen, Philip Ingram, and original sessions/on stage guitarist Michael McGloiry. It also includes new members Akili Nickson and Michael Norfleet.

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114 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Tuesday Open Thread

  1. Ametia says:

    Cornel West on Ed Schultz. West as lost his fucking mind. THE.END. HE’S STUCK IN 1960’s.

  2. Mon @ JJP posted it to me. The music & beat is the ish!!!!!!!!!

    Ain’t no sunshine – Tracy Chapman & Buddy Guy

  3. Newt Gingrich Hit With Glitter At Book-Signing

    MINNEAPOLIS — GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich and his wife Callista were hit with glittery confetti by a protester Tuesday during the couple’s appearance at a book-signing.

    The man approached the Gingriches during the signing at a downtown Minneapolis hotel, dumped a cracker box full of colorful confetti on the pair and said, “Feel the rainbow, Newt! Stop the hate! Stop anti-gay politics!”

    Two Associated Press reporters witnessed the event. The man was quickly pushed out of the room by an event organizer as the Gingriches brushed confetti out of their hair and laps.

    Newt Gingrich smiled as he brushed confetti off the table, and said, “Nice to live in a free country.”

    Although authorities couldn’t immediately confirm the man’s identity, he appeared to be Nick Espinosa, a prankster who has disrupted at least two other political events in Minnesota, including one in which he dumped a bagful of pennies in the lap of a Republican candidate for governor last year. In that prank, Espinosa – who has also used the name Robert Erickson – told reporters he was trying to highlight immigration issues.

    Espinosa emailed reporters later Tuesday and attached pictures of the confetti attack. He said it was a protest against a proposal to amend Minnesota’s Constitution to ban gay marriage.

    Newt Gingrich was due to give a speech at the event sponsored by the Minnesota Family Council later in the evening.

  4. FIRESTORM: Psychologist ‘Explains’ Why Black Women Are Less Attractive

    Psychology Today blogger Satoshi Kanazawa sparked a firestorm with his latest posting entitled, “A Look at the Hard Truths About Human Nature.”

    In it, the evolutionary psychologist at the London School of Economics argues that black women are less physically attractive than other women. The article was quickly removed from the site, but not before screenshots made their way onto BuzzFeed. Some excerpts:

    What accounts for the markedly lower average level of physical attractiveness among black women? Black women are on average much heavier than nonblack women. The mean body-mass index (BMI) at Wave III is 28.5 among black women and 26.1 among nonblack women. (Black and nonblack men do not differ in BMI: 27.0 vs. 26.9) However, this is not the reason black women are less physically attractive than nonblack women. Black women have lower average level of physical attractiveness net of BMI. Nor can the race difference in intelligence (and the positive association between intelligence and physical attractiveness) account for the race difference in physical attractiveness among women. Black women are still less physically attractive than nonblack women net of BMI and intelligence. Net of intelligence, black men are significantly more physically attractive than nonblack men.

    The only thing I can think of that might potentially explain the lower average level of physical attractiveness among black women is testosterone. Africans on average have higher levels of testosterone than other races, and testosterone, being an androgen (male hormone), affects the physical attractiveness of men and women differently. Men with higher levels of testosterone have more masculine features and are therefore more physically attractive. In contrast, women with higher levels of testosterone also have more masculine features and are therefore less physically attractive. The race difference in the level of testosterone can therefore potentially explain why black women are less physically attractive than women of other races, while (net of intelligence) black men are more physically attractive than men of other races.

    Kanazawa, whose prior, controversial works can be viewed in part here, was met with widespread backlash. Jenée Desmond-Harris at The Root wrote, “The blog’s presentation of the allegedly scientific findings had a decidedly informal tone, especially given the highly contentious conclusions. It struck us as so outrageous that we almost thought it was a hoax of some sort, and we double-checked the URL to make sure it didn’t include ‘The Onion.'”

    Latoya Peterson at Racialicious opined: “Justifying racism using ‘science’ isn’t new, by any means. Every few years, it appears that someone needs to provide a rationale for bigotry, so they publish some sort of madness and hope most of the readers suffer from scientific illiteracy. The problem is that even with a thorough debunking, people latch on to articles like this to confirm their own biases.”

    Kaja Perina, Psychology Today’s editor-in-chief, didn’t explain why Kanazawa’s piece was removed, however she told NPR, “Our bloggers are credential[ed] social scientists and for this reason they are invited to post to the site on topics of their choosing. We in turn reserve the right to remove posts for any number of reasons. Because the post was not commissioned or solicited by PT (in contrast to a magazine article), there was no editorial intent to address questions of race and physical attractiveness.”

    Kanazawa hasn’t made any public statement, although, as NPR notes, his personal website does disclaim, “Prepare to be offended.”

  5. Ametia says:

    *Moments ago, the Dem bid in the Senate to end tax breaks for Big Oil fell short of the 60 need votes, 52-48. The only two Republicans who voted Yes: Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe.

    The Dems who opposed it: Mark Begich, Mary Landrieu, and Ben Nelson.

  6. creolechild says:

    Here’s a partial comment from Deaniac at The People’s View regarding Cornell West’s latest interview:

    “See, Barack Obama is the child of a brilliant black father (read: a black man with books is obviously acting “white” unless he uses his intellect to talk only about racial issues) and a white mother (how disgusting that West has to get into this a latent bias against interracial relationships between a black man and a white woman). Being a child of diversity, evidently, makes him “rootless.” And since Barack Obama, a brilliant man himself, also did not spend all his time fighting and talking about racial issues, he must not count as black.”

    “I didn’t know you could be this offensive to this many people in the space of two short paragraphs, and I wouldn’t have believed it had I not read Cornel’s screed. Barack Obama is a “white man with black skin” – why don’t you just call him an Oreo, Dr. West? I am neither black nor white, but I am wondering just who gave Cornel West the right to define what a black man is, what a white man is, and when someone can be pejoratively called an Oreo.”

    “Oh, and, all that milk-white upbringing of Barack Obama. God forbid a child of mixed race is brought up in Kansas and Hawaii, where there are only white people (by the way, Hawaii is 18% white). And you know that all white country of Indonesia. Seriously. What is wrong with West? A man who has seen diversity of culture all his life – as even West’s screed inadvertently admits – is apprehensive about independent black men?”

    “What is this about Barack Obama not knowing the black culture? If this is anything other than a pathetic attempt at making Barack Obama the “other” to the African American community, I don’t know what it is. What West is really doing is no better – and perhaps worse – than what the birthers, Fox News, and the far Right does: telling people (in West’s case, telling African Americans specifically) that Barack Obama is not ‘one of you.'”

    “If West is good at his race baiting, he didn’t leave antisemitism too far behind, either. Oh, Obama talks to Jews! Everyone knows all Jewish people are white, upper middle class. And also, Jewish Americans have never faced any discrimination, as they control our government and the media. I mean Jewish people are so synonymous with White, that…

    “As Jews become more integrated into the overall American society, growing numbers of African Americans, Asians, Latinos and mixed-race individuals are becoming part of the Jewish community. However, this growth augments a diverse Jewish population that has existed in America for hundreds of years. The first American Jews were Sephardic and African, before Ashkenazi Jews came to the New World.”

    “Ironically, Jews, as a group, were defined by the American majority as non-white well into the 1950s and early 1960s. Jews were considered by others to be “black” or “Oriental.” It is no coincidence that racially-restrictive covenants and housing laws in America, prior to the late 1940s, targeted African Americans, Asians, and Jews, all considered to be foreign, non-white racial groups.”

    “Ironically, Jews, as a group, were defined by the American majority as non-white well into the 1950s and early 1960s. Jews were considered by others to be “black” or “Oriental.” It is no coincidence that racially-restrictive covenants and housing laws in America, prior to the late 1940s, targeted African Americans, Asians, and Jews, all considered to be foreign, non-white racial groups.”

    “I am tired of this divisiveness, racism, religious intolerance and every other form of tearing us apart – no matter whether it is employed by Glenn Beck’s fringe Right or Cornel West’s fringe Left. I am not the only one. Princeton University professor of politics and African American studies Melissa Harris Perry took West to the cleaners for this offensive diatribe….”


    Thank you, Deaniac!

    • Ametia says:

      Tell it, Deaniac! For some one who professes to be Ivy league educated, Cornel West is REALLY showing that obtaining a degree doesn’t necessary equate to maintaining good common sense.

  7. Ametia says:

    POLITICSMAY 17, 2011
    Medicare Revamp Exposes Divisions Within the GOP

    Newt Gingrich’s dismissal of the House Republican plan to overhaul Medicare provoked a rebuttal from the proposal’s author, Rep. Paul Ryan, highlighting a split in the party over how hard to push a priority for the House GOP majority.

    On Monday, Mr. Ryan (R., Wis.), hit back at Mr. Gingrich’s comments. “With allies like that, who needs the left?” Mr. Ryan said on the Laura Ingraham Show, a radio program.

    Mr. Ryan’s plan would turn Medicare into an insurance premium support system for those currently under 55. When beneficiaries become Medicare-eligible, the government would pay private insurers a set amount toward their health policies, rather than paying directly for their health care.

  8. Put a woman in charge’
    New DNC chief gives Obama hope

    President Obama made his first public comments about Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s new job as the head of the Democratic Party on Monday, suggesting to supporters that his wife recommended her because she’s a woman.

    “How about my new DNC chair, Debbie Wasserman Schultz,” Obama said, to applause, at the second of two Democratic National Committee events Monday night. “She is tireless, tireless. And she’s got the most adorable kids, and I don’t know how she keeps up with everything.”

    Obama then added this anecdote: “But as Michelle said, if you want something done, put a woman in charge. So, all right, everybody got – women, you got a little too excited on that.”

    At his first Washington campaign event of the night, Obama implied that he’s confident he’ll be reelected because Wasserman Schultz is “extraordinarily dynamic.”

    “I think she is going to do an outstanding job,” he said. “So we are very proud of her.”

  9. Ametia says:

    Cornel West v. Barack Obama
    Melissa Harris-Perry
    May 17, 2011

    Professor Cornel West is President Obama’s silenced, disregarded, disrespected moral conscience, according to Chris Hedges’s recent column, “The Obama Deception: Why Cornel West went Ballistic.” In a self-aggrandizing, victimology sermon deceptively wrapped in the discourse of prophetic witness, Professor West offers thin criticism of President Obama and stunning insight into the delicate ego of the self-appointed black leadership class that has been largely supplanted in recent years.

    West begins with a bit of historical revision. West suggests that the President discarded him without provocation after he offered the Obama for America campaign his loyal service and prayers. But anyone with a casual knowledge of this rift knows it began during the Democratic primary not after the election. It began, not with a puffed up President, but when Cornel West’s “dear brother” Tavis Smiley threw a public tantrum because Senator Obama refused to attend Smiley’s annual State of Black America. Smiley repeatedly suggested that his forum was the necessary black vetting space for the Democratic nominees. He needed to ask Obama and Clinton tough questions so that black America could get the answers it needed. But black America was doing a fine job making up its own mind in the primaries and didn’t need Smiley’s blessing to determine their own electoral preferences. Indeed, when Smiley got a chance to hold candidate Clinton “accountable” he spent more time fawning over her than probing about her symbolic or substantive policy stances that impacted black communities. Fiercely loyal to his friend, Professor West chose sides and began to undermine candidate Obama is small and large ways. Candidate Obama ceased calling West back because he was in the middle of a fierce campaign and West’s loyalties were, at best, divided. I suspect candidate Obama did not trust his “dear brother” to keep the campaign secrets and strategies. I also suspect he was not inaccurate in his hesitancy.

    West may have had principled, even prophetic reasons, for choosing this outsider position relative to Obama, but it is dishonest to later frame that choice as a betrayal on the part of the President. After what I had written about Senator Clinton during the campaign I wasn’t expecting an offer from the State Department.

    Furthermore, West’s sense of betrayal is clearly more personal than ideological. In Hedges’s article West claims that a true progressive would always put love of the people above concern with the elite and privileged. Then he complains, “I couldn’t get a ticket [to the inauguration] with my mother and my brother. I said this is very strange. We drive into the hotel and the guy who picks up my bags from the hotel has a ticket to the inauguration… We had to watch the thing in the hotel.” Let me get this straight—the tenured, Princeton professor who collects five figures for public lectures was relegated to a hotel television while an anonymous hotel worker got tickets to the inauguration! What kind of crazy, mixed up class politics are these? Wait a minute…

    What exactly is so irritating to West about inaugural ticket-gate? It can’t be a claim that the black, progressive intellectual community was unrepresented. Yale’s Elizabeth Alexander was the poet that cold morning. It can’t be that the “common man” was shut out because the Neighborhood Ball was reserved for the ordinary women and and men who worked to make Obama ’08 possible. It must be a simple matter of jealous indignation. While I appreciate the humanness in such a reaction, it hardly counts as a prophetic critique.

    Since the inaugural snub, Professor West has made his personal animosity and political criticism of the president his main public talking point. There was that hilariously bad documentary with Tavis Smiley and the rest of the Soul Patrol in 2009. There is the tiresome repetitiveness with which West invokes the name of his erstwhile Harvard nemesis Lawrence Summers as indicative of President Obama’s failed economic vision. And just a few weeks ago there was the eminently watchable screaming match on MSNBC where love-the-peoplc West called Rev. Al Sharpton a “mascot” for the Obama administration. Add to this three year screed the current Hedges article and it looks more like a pissing match than prophesy.

    Take for example West’s ad hominem attack on the President’s racial identity.

    I think my dear brother Barack Obama has a certain fear of free black men… It’s understandable. As a young brother who grows up in a white context, brilliant African father, he’s always had to fear being a white man with black skin. All he has known culturally is white. He is just as human as I am, but that is his cultural formation.”

    This comment is utter hilarity coming from Cornel West who has spent the bulk of his adulthood living in those deeply rooted, culturally rich, historically important black communities of Cambridge, MA and Princeton, NJ. And it is hard to see his claim that Obama is “most comfortable with upper middle-class white and Jewish men who consider themselves very smart, very savvy and very effective in getting what they” as anything other than a classic projection of his own comfortably ensconced life at Harvard and Princeton Universities. Harvard and Princeton are not places that are particularly noted for their liberating history for black men.

    Let me be clear, being an Ivy League professor does not mean that one has no room to offer critical engagement on issues of race. Like Professor West, I too make my living at elite, predominately white institutions. For the past five years we were on the same payroll at Princeton. Like Professor West I supplement my income by giving lectures about race, politics, and history. Like West I hope to influence policy, inspire individuals, and intervene in public conversations about race. My criticism of West is his seeming unwillingness to acknowledge how our structural positions within the academy and in public intellectual life can be just as compromising to our position vis-à-vis black communities as is President Obama’s.

    As tenured professors Cornel West and I are not meaningfully accountable, no matter what our love, commitment, or self-delusions tell us. President Obama, as an elected official, can, in fact, be voted out of his job. We can’t. That is a difference that matters. As West derides the President’s economic policies he remains silent on his friend Tavis Smiley’s relationship with Wal-Mart, Wells Fargo, and McDonald’s—all corporations whose invasive and predatory actions in poor and black communities have been the target of progressive organizing for decades. I have never heard him take Tavis Smiley to task for helping convince black Americans to enter into predatory mortgages. I’ve never heard him ask whether Tavis’ decision to publish R. Kelley’s memoirs might be a less than progressive decision. He doesn’t hold Tavis accountable because Tavis is his friend and he is loyal. I respect that, but I also know that if he were in elected office the could not get off so easily. Opposition research would point out the hypocrisy in his public positions in a way that would make him vulnerable come election time. As a media personality and professor he is safely ensconced in a system that can never vote him off the island. I think an honest critique of Obama has to begin by acknowledging his own privileges.

    Instead, West seems determined to keep black politics tethered to a patronage model of politics. He tells Hedges:

    “Our last hope is to generate a democratic awakening among our fellow citizens. This means raising our voices, very loud and strong, bearing witness, individually and collectively. Tavis [Smiley] and I have talked about ways of civil disobedience, beginning with ways for both of us to get arrested…”

    God help us if Cornel West and Tavis Smiley getting arrested is our last chance at a democratic awakening.

    I have many criticisms of the Obama administration. I wrote angrily about his choice of Rick Warren to deliver a prayer at the inauguration. I have spoken on television about my disagreement with drone attacks in Pakistan and been critical of the administration’s initial choice to prosecute DADT cases. I worked for more progressive health care reform legislation and supported organizations that resisted the reproductive rights “compromises” in the bill. I’ve been scathing in public remarks and writings about the President’s education policy. My husband leads a non-profit that is suing HUD for its implementation of a discriminatory formula in the post-Katrina Road Home program. The president has never called me. I got my ticket to the inauguration from Canada! (Because Canadian Broadcast Television who gave me a chance to narrate the day’s events.) But I can tell the difference between a substantive criticism and a personal attack. It is clear to me that West’s ego, not the health of American democracy, is the wounded creature in this story.


    • Ametia says:

      LOL It would be the icing on the cake if Tavis & Cornel West got themselves arrested.

      • creolechild says:

        Smiley and West remind me of that person from Alaska who does everything she can to get a response or reaction from the President–even though she’s making a total fool of herself.
        It’s called attention-seeking behavior….

        • Ametia says:

          Indeed. And PBO is not going to respond to the nonsense. He’s got bigger fish to fry, like taking down OBL. While the children whine in the sandbox.

  10. creolechild says:

    I think the Republicans are addicted to fear-mongering….be afraid….be very afraid. (So we can screw you even more while you’re being distracted.) NOPE!

    “These days, no Republican, not even Paul Ryan, chairman of the House budget committee and author of the draconian Ryan plan for lowering the federal debt, makes the case for deficit reduction more passionately than Mitch Daniels, Indiana’s popular governor, who is suddenly being talked about as a presidential candidate. Speaking at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in February, Daniels labelled the federal government’s debt “the new red menace”.

    “Especially in the state that produced Senator William E Jenner, Joe McCarthy’s staunchest congressional ally in the “red scare” days of 1950s, there is no mistaking Daniels’s analogy: those who are soft on debt reduction are as dangerous to America as those who were “soft on communism” during the cold war.”””

    The irony is that, like so many other Republicans who held power during the George W Bush era, Daniels was not terribly concerned about deficit reduction when his party was in office. As Bush’s director of the Office of Management and Budget, Daniels presided over a historic turnaround in the nation’s fiscal fortunes, in which the $5.6tn surplus that emerged from the Clinton administration morphed into a 10-year forecast for a $2.1tn deficit by early 2003.”

    “”The unpaid-for expenses of the Iraq war soon made the country’s deficit worse than predicted, but even before the war, Daniels defended going into debt. “It is not the top, let alone the only priority,” he observed of the deficit in 2003, when President Bush submitted a budget with a $304bn shortfall. “Would you not try to spur economic growth?” Daniels asked Democrats who complained that Bush’s tax cuts, which heavily favoured the wealthy, were going to those who did not need them – and did not take into account an impending war.”

  11. Ametia says:

    BWA HA HA Prediction: Celebrity Apprentice will be a major FAIL.

  12. creolechild says:

    “BAE Systems has agreed to pay fines of up to $79m (£48.7m) to the US government for breaking military export rules, drawing a line under corruption investigations into the British company on both sides of the Atlantic.”

    “Europe’s biggest defence company and a major supplier to the US military said on Tuesday that the latest penalties formed part of a civil settlement with the US state department. The decision comes after BAE, which makes around half of its revenues in the US, last year admitted making false statements over the sale of fighter planes to the Middle East and Eastern Europe. The latest penalty comes on top of $450m in fines from the US and Britain revealed by BAE last year, following long-running corruption investigations into defence deals in Saudi Arabia, Tanzania, Sweden, the Czech Republic and Hungary.”

  13. Newt Gingrich owed six figures to Tiffany’s

    In 2005 and 2006, the former House speaker turned presidential candidate carried as much as $500,000 in debt to the premier jewelry company, according to financial disclosures filed with the Clerk of the House of Representatives.

    Gingrich, who represented Georgia in Congress for two decades, retired in 1999. But his wife, Callista Gingrich, was employed by the House Agriculture Committee until 2007, according to public records. She listed a “revolving charge account” at Tiffany and Company in the liability section of her personal financial disclosure form for two consecutive years and indicated that it was her spouse’s debt. The liability was reported in the range of $250,001 to $500,000.

    When asked by POLITICO whether Gingrich has settled this debt, and why he owed between a quarter-million and a half-million dollars to a jeweler, Rick Tyler, Gingrich’s spokesman, declined to comment.

    “No comment,” he said in an email.

    • Ametia says:

      no comment, eh, New? I’ll comment. Newt’s a white-privileged GRIFTER who like Trump is masquerading as a presidential candidate using race-baiting and hateful rhetoric to gain media attention and PROFIT and new will keep up the CON, as long as the media props him up or until he gets taken out from bein publically EXPOSED as the RACIST FRAUD he is.

  14. creolechild says:

    File this under the “Not surprised!” category –

    “Jon Stewart went on Fox News to have a debate about Common’s appearance at the White House, and found when the debate was discussed later on the network, his criticisms of Fox News got left on the cutting room floor. This is exactly why I thought it was good for ratings, but a bad idea for Jon Stewart to debate O’Reilly on Fox News. Fox selectively edited Stewart, and is now using him as token opposition to push their phony Common controversy. If anyone should know that a guest is not going to get a fair shake on Fox News, it’s Jon Stewart. He covers their bias on a nightly basis.”

    • Ametia says:

      I’m not a Stewart fan, and when I heard what he and Fox were up too in regards to debating Common, I just ROLLED MY EYES, and said NEXT!

  15. rikyrah says:

    How We Get a Brokered Convention
    by BooMan
    Tue May 17th, 2011 at 10:00:33 AM EST

    If Mitt Romney is going to be the Republicans’ nominee for president, he’s going to do it through Establishment support. The fact that he can raise $10 million in a single day is an indication of his popularity within the Establishment, but he’s getting no love from some important quarters. For example, in 2007-08 the National Review supported Romney’s campaign, but now they are openly mocking him. Somehow, the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act has become one of the biggest campaign issues for the Republican base. Newt Gingrich was for the mandate on Sunday when he appeared on Meet the Press and against it the next day when he released a video of him opposing it in uncompromising terms. Romney decided last week to defend his health care bill in Massachusetts that has an individual mandate. He won’t be able to flip-flop on that stand, and that position will dog him for the remainder of primary season.
    I think Romney is in a similar quandary to the one Joe Lieberman faced in 2004. Lieberman had a strong claim to the nomination because he had been on the ticket in 2000 and had actually received more votes than either George W. Bush or Dick Cheney. But he had to campaign in a Democratic primary while supporting the fiasco in Iraq. There was no way that Lieberman was going to win any primaries in the 2004 cycle because he was on the wrong side of the most important issue to the Democratic base. No amount of Establishment support could have changed that.

    I honestly think Romney is in the same position. Electorally speaking, he’s a dead man walking. What’s interesting is that enough people have not come to this conclusion yet that Romney can still reel in huge hauls of campaign cash. I would expect that to stop overnight if Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels gets off the pot and announces that he’ll be a candidate.

    If Daniels opts against a run, I expect Establishment support to move to either Pawlenty or former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman (or some combination of both). My guess is that one of the more conservative and unrealistic candidates will win a small plurality of the delegates in the Iowa Caucuses. I expect Romney to get trounced there and then again in the New Hampshire primaries. He’ll have no chance in South Carolina. And, as a result, the Mormon community in Nevada will opt for Huntsman over a clearly dead-duck Romney.

    I think the odds are actually high that the first four contests will produce four different winners, and that Romney won’t be one of them. Because the GOP has done away with winner-take-all primaries for all the early contests, no one will be able to wrap up the nomination until very late in the game. It could take until June, or even possibly go to the convention. The more candidates that stay in early and accumulate delegates, the more likely a brokered convention becomes. Will Ron Paul win any early states? Will any of the seriously socially conservative candidates like Bachmann or Santorum win any early contests? These are the things to look for.

    The most likely scenario for a brokered convention is that the delegates from the early contests get split rather evenly among three or four candidates and then someone new emerges late in the game to win some of the winner-take-all contests. That would set up a situation where no one has a majority of the delegates heading into the convention.

    It’s more likely that late winner-take-all contests (perhaps in California and New Jersey) will decide the contest, but that assumes that those contests will go to someone who has already accumulated a lot of delegates.

  16. TJMS: DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz Cautions Against Thinking Pres. Obama Is A Lock For 2012

    Roland Martin talks with DNC Chairwoman, Debbie Wasserman Schultz about people thinking President Obama is a lock for the 2012 presidential election. Wasserman Schultz told Roland that she would “strongly caution them that is a very dangerous attitude …” Wasserman Schultz also addressed claims that President Obama is not doing enough for African-Americans.

    • Ametia says:

      DWS knows the deal. Black folks ain’t buying the ole PBO ain’t doing shit for Black folks. We know better. We know that while the Democratic Party is far from perfect, as is PBO, we know what he’s up against. I’m not going to criticize this POTUS. I know what day it is.

  17. rikyrah says:

    May 17, 2011 1:25 PM

    Santorum explains how torture ‘works’ to McCain

    By Steve Benen

    Facebook Twitter Digg Reddit StumbleUpon Delicious To his credit, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has been vocal in his recent criticism of torture. As members of his own party try to credit Bush-era torture policies for Osama bin Laden’s demise, McCain has been a voice of reason on this.

    For his trouble, the Republican senator is now getting pushback from the likes of Rick Santorum.

    John McCain has been on something of a crusade this week on the question of how we found Osama bin Laden, giving speeches and writing op-eds outlining his position that it was not torture of detainees that led the U.S. to its man.

    Now comes presidential candidate and “enhanced interrogation” supporter Rick Santorum arguing on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show that McCain simply “doesn’t understand how enhanced interrogation works.” Yes, he’s talking about the same John McCain who, in his five and a half years as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam, was interrogated during a program of beatings and torture.

    It would have been annoying enough if Santorum had just parroted the party line and said bin Laden’s demise was the result of torture. Indeed, Santorum did parrot that line, and it’s wrong.

    But then he had to go further and argue that McCain — unlike Santorum — just “doesn’t understand” torture. As Santorum sees it, “I mean, you break somebody, and after they’re broken, they become cooperative.”

    Except McCain has first-hand experience with the subject matter, and know that even after the breaking point, those being tortured can and do feed bogus information to their torturers.

    Maybe now would be a good time to note that Santorum has no national security experience, never served in the military, and didn’t serve on any of the relevant committees (Intelligence, Armed Services, etc.) during his Senate tenure.

    And yet, Santorum wonders why people struggle to take him seriously.

  18. rikyrah says:

    Obama’s 17 Dimensional Chess and John Boehner’s Reason to Cry
    NY-26 is as blood red a district as it gets. Hillary Clinton lost the district twice, even as she won the state with big margins for her senate races. George W. Bush and John McCain won the district even as John Kerry and Barack Obama trounced them in the state in 2004 and 2008, respectively. Then they got a Craigslist Congressman, who resigned. And right now, the Democrat in the special election to fill the seat, Kathy Hochul (by the way, you can click here to donate to Hochul) is statistically tied with the Republican, some polls even showing her leading.

    Why? Because of pretty much this: Republican candidate Jane Corwin’s support to the Paul Ryan plan to end Medicare. As the candidates debated on Thursday,

    Hochul returned time and again to Corwin’s support of Rep. Paul Ryan’s plan to cut spending and turn Medicare into a voucher program, arguing that it would return the nation to a time when seniors were the most impoverished citizens.
    The Republicans made a major blunder on Medicare. It’s not particularly a secret to any of us that the Republican leadership wants to end Medicare. After all, this is what the insurance industry and Wall Street that bankrolled their legislative victories in 2010 demand. But what we couldn’t have made up in our wildest dreams is that they would be so crass about it. That right after taking power in the House, they would show their cards, and blatantly try to end Medicare. I mean, George W. Bush tried to run the exact same scam with social security just about five years ago, and even his swagger couldn’t fool this.

    The New Deal and the Great Society are the major progressive achievements of this country that the ideological Right have been after for a long time. And the corporate Right has been after the publicly secure funding in the Social Security and Medicare trust funds. After 2010, the Republicans misread the public mood: they believed that victory was about the deficit, which they could couch any of their radical policy ideas in. And so, Paul Ryan released his path to poverty that he calls a budget, and John Boehner, the newly minted Speaker of the House, put every single House Republican on record on ending Medicare. Damn nearly every House Republican voted for it too.

  19. creolechild says:

    “This made me laugh and laugh. The Republicans actually increased the budget by $3 billion beyond the original budget. Good job! This year’s big spending cut bill that prevented a government shutdown by slashing the federal budget and allowing Republicans to make good on their campaign promises actually — wait for it — increased federal spending by $3 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office.”

    “You read that right. Had the federal budget for the remainder of 2011 remained untouched, the government would have spent $3 billion less through September than it will now spend under the Republican-driven course “correction. Keep going! You’re doing great!”

  20. creolechild says:

    “Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum doesn’t think former POW and torture survivor John McCain quite understands how torture works. Santorum was on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show, and responded to a question about Sen. McCain’s (R-AZ) repeated assertions that torture doesn’t work and that there’s no evidence that it led to the killing of Osama bin Laden.”

    “Now your former colleague, John McCain, said look, there’s no record, there’s no evidence here that these methods actually led to the capture or the killing of bin Laden,” Hewitt said. “Do you disagree with that? Or do you think he’s got an argument?”

    Here’s Santorum’s response, via Justin Elliott of Salon: “I don’t, everything I’ve read shows that we would not have gotten this information as to who this man was if it had not been gotten information from people who were subject to enhanced interrogation. And so this idea that we didn’t ask that question while Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was being waterboarded, he doesn’t understand how enhanced interrogation works. I mean, you break somebody, and after they’re broken, they become cooperative. And that’s when we got this information. And one thing led to another, and led to another, and that’s how we ended up with bin Laden.”

    Okie dokie, except that’s NOT how we got OBL…

  21. creolechild says:

    Hmmm…I wonder if Russ is going to run again? This sounds almost like a campaign speech:

    “Ousted from the Senate in 2010, Russ Feingold, may have fewer Democratic friends to count on if he chooses to enter the race to replace retiring Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI). The progressive icon eviscerated his former colleagues in an e-mail for his advocacy group Progressive United on Tuesday, accusing two prominent Democrats of enabling “corruption” by opposing new transparency measures on political donations.”

    “This culture of corporate influence and corruption is precisely what we as Progressives United want to change,” he wrote. “So we’ve decided to take on those legislators who are unwilling to stand up to corporate power, and we’re naming names.”

    “The names included House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO). In addition, the email targeted Sens. Mitch McConnell, (R-KY), Rob Portman (R-OH), Joe Lieberman (I-CT), and Rep. Darrell Issa, (R-CA).”

    “Feingold accused the group of backing “corporate interests in Congress” by opposing an executive order under discussion in the White House that would require government contractors to reveal their political donations. “If we make contributions public, we can hold legislators and contractors accountable. We can shine the bright light of transparency on the whole practice of awarding government contracts, so the American people can truly see what is going on,”he wrote. “Let’s start by holding the defenders of corruption accountable to their constituents right now.”

  22. Ametia says:

    Mark Levin Turns Charges Of Racism Towards NBC And MSNBC
    by Colby Hall | 10:54 am, May 17th, 2011

    The intersection of race and politics is a dangerous game that nobody seems to win; continued layers of allegations of insensitivity and finger-pointing seem to collectively lead us down a rabbit hole of despair. Yes, racism exists, particularly towards America’s first black president. But that does not axiomatically mean that every criticism leveled towards Obama is actually racist, nor even a dog whistle towards racists. This seems to be the point made by conservative radio host Mark Levin, who turned the tables of racism towards MSNBC and NBC in the following audio clip.

    To best understand the game being played here, its probably best to leave it to a self-described conservative media commentator. Writing for Daily Caller, Jeff Poor sums it up:

    Keeping track of what NBC News and the cable arm of that operation MSNBC deems as a so-called racist dog whistle these days is quite a difficult task. The latest charge from that operation has been directed at GOP presidential contender Newt Gingrich for pointing out how the number of people receiving food stamps under President Barack Obama has gone up.

    However, perhaps it’s time to take a look at those network’s track records as they pertain to race according to conservative talker Mark Levin. On his Monday show, Levin went through each network’s line-ups and pointed out that much of it is white and lacks that diversity.

    The problem with oversimplified descriptions and allegations of race is that no one can really know what is someone’s heart or mind. The lack of diversity at MSNBC is a subject that we have pointed out, specifically with the phrase “judge not, lest ye be judged.” And while Levin and others take great exception to what they fairly deem as unfair and irresponsible allegations of racism towards conservative politicians, to make the same allegations towards one’s political foes can be fairly seen as hypocritical. Yes, the larger point might get made, but at the potential cost of one’s own reputation. Something about two wrongs don’t make a right. Or is it the Golden Rule?

    Judge not, lest ye be judged.

  23. creolechild says:

    This is how it’s done, and this is what they do to try to make anyone who criticizes their methods seem as though we’re whining or into conspiracy theories…I suggest you watch the video because dude got his azz handed to him by a young woman which left him speechless. And why do some “journalists” take everything that comes out of a politician, wealthy individuals, or corporate spokesmen for granted–without checking further. Isn’t that an important part of the job? Anywho…

    “Here’s a remarkable piece of tape from a hearing of Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett’s Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission last week, which media reports have noted is well-stocked with campaign contributors from the energy industry. In the clip Chad Sailor, communications director for Lt. Governor Jim Cawley is explaining to a reporter that testimony of drilling opponents was relegated to the back end of the hearing because they’d signed late on a “first come first served” witness list.”

    “A unidentified woman from Pittsburgh overhears the exchange, and steps in to explain that there actually two witness lists, and protesters weren’t allowed to sign the same one that got the industry reps top billing. This is from an account friendly to protesters at the Checks and Balances Project.”

    “I called Sailor to for an explanation, and he got right back to me. I asked if there were two witness lists, including one the protesters couldn’t get to. Yes and no, he said. There aren’t many rooms that can accommodate a 30-member commission, plus staff, media and everyone from the public that want to attend, he explained. So they got a big room with an overflow auditorium a floor above with a closed-circuit TV feed. There was a witness list in the main room, and another list in the room upstairs for those who couldn’t fit downstairs. So yes, he said, protesters who got there after the meeting started couldn’t get to the first list because the room was full. Both lists went to the lieutenant governor, who called the main room list first.”

    “Sailor also said some protesters were there to disrupt the meeting, and that the commission stayed late so that everyone who wanted to speak was heard. This was confirmed by reporters who were there. I’ve been to a lot of hearings like these over the years, and it’s my observation that somehow members of the public are usually shunted to the end, when the presiding panel members are tired and the TV crews have folded up and left. I think everybody should have their say at public hearings, and access to the witness table should be even-handed and transparent. I also think protesters should be respectful of the rights of others to be heard….”

    UPDATE: This came in from Tracy Carluccio of the Delaware Riverkeeper Network:
    I was there and can verify what you reported. One more point – the meeting was publicly noticed for a 10:30 am start time. But it began an hour early. From what I understand, the members of the Commission were told about the hour early start item. However, many of us from the public did not know about it. I don’t know if they changed the time on their website prior to the meeting but those of us who traveled (I came from DRN’s office in Bristol PA) hours to get there had no notice of the change. I planned to be there before the start to sign up and arrived at about 10:00 am, well in advance of the start time and went in to sign up to speak. The “upstairs list” was already upstairs and I was denied entrance to the meeting room by the guards. So, the change in the start time made it impossible for the public who were not on the “inside” about the time change to sign up on the “inside” list. How did the first raft of speakers know to get there early? Did members of the Council call them? Was there an email notification to an elite group? Did the change in time meet sunshine law requirements? Even if it did, it made the frontloading of the speaker list even more difficult for us “outsider” public.”

    Tracy Carluccio
    Deputy Director
    Delaware Riverkeeper Network

  24. creolechild says:

    I think Stewart didn’t do a good job; he could have done better. O’ Reilly’s statement that these people were convicted blah, blah, blah…was a good point to show that a there are people who are convicted of crimes that aren’t guilty. (See USA Today – Justice in the Balance.

    “We’re kind of accustomed to seeing Jon Stewart pretty much mop the floor with Bill O’Reilly every time he goes up against him on Fox — even when O’Reilly tries to carefully edit the tapes. And of course, it was no different last night when Stewart took up O’Reilly’s challenge to debate him over the latest fake controversy ginned up by the network’s smear-scandal mills.”

    “As Ari Melber observes: In two short segments, O’Reilly walked through his case, responded to factual charges of hypocrisy with some fairly sad parsing and then, when desperate, with rank “pettifogging,” to use a term bandied by both men. Meanwhile, the “Daily Show” anchor’s rebuttals were striking because, even in this casual mode on a minor item, he was more persuasive than the vast majority of people who are called on to represent a progressive view on TV.”

    “The highlight came when O’Reilly, the past master of the Wurlitzer propaganda organ, accused Stewart of “pettifogging” the issue — and then found himself promptly busted for pettifogging himself. Stewart basically reiterated the points he’d already raised in The Daily Show’s own rebuttals of the Fox fakery — namely, Fox is hypocritical in its criteria for denouncing White House guests, especially given the network’s own predilection for hosting people with violent backgrounds.”

  25. creolechild says:

    The usual suspects…at it again:

    “The Senate is set to vote Tuesday on the Democrats’ controversial bill that would cut the tax breaks received by the big five oil companies. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) filed cloture Monday night on the legislation, which means it would come to a vote at 6:15 p.m. Tuesday evening.”

    “It must reach a 60-vote threshold to proceed in the legislative process. Democrats estimate that the bill will bring in about $21 billion in revenue over a decade and they vowed to use the money to pay down the nation’s $14.3 trillion deficit.”

    “Opposition among Republicans to the plan is strong and even some Democrats, such as Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), also oppose it. It is unlikely the legislation will garner enough votes to reach cloture. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) said Monday night that Reid was forced to file cloture on the bill as Republicans had threatened to conduct a “silent-filibuster” if he attempted to bring it to the floor.”

    “Several Democratic senators, including Merkley, came to the Senate floor Monday to voice their support of the bill.”

  26. Ametia says:

    Don Lemon on Wendy Williams’ show today. coming up in a few minutes.

    • Ametia says:

      Don is all the way live. His boyfriend’s name is Nick. Love this man for his courage.

      • creolechild says:


        Are you going to give a brief summary about the discussion after the show is over?

        • Ametia says:

          LOL Don spent all of 5 minutes with Wendy. He said he was relieved to have written his book “Transparent’ having come out as being gay, and CNN is keeping him employed. His book is in stores June 17. THE END!

  27. Ametia says:

    Queen arrives in Ireland after bomb discovery

    Irish army forced to make safe a viable device found on bus near Dublin ahead of historic royal visit
    The Queen has begun a four-day tour, which will include events at Trinity College Dublin, the Gardens of Remembrance, the National War Memorial Gardens in Islandbridge and Croke Park stadium Link to this video
    The Queen has arrived in Ireland for a historic visit as it emerged that the Irish army was forced to make safe a viable improvised explosive device found on a bus.
    The royal party touched down at an airstrip at Baldonnel, near Dublin, on Tuesday at the start of four-day visit – the first by a British monarch to the Republic of Ireland.
    The bomb was discovered in the luggage compartment of the vehicle at a bus stop on the outskirts of Maynooth, in Co Kildare late on Monday night. An engineering unit from the Irish Defence Forces arrived at 11.10pm after receiving a request from the Garda Síochána.
    An Irish military spokesman said a controlled explosion was carried out close to a hotel and the scene was declared safe at 1.55am. The remains of the device were handed over to the Gardai for investigation.
    The bomb discovery comes after a dissident republican terror alert brought parts of London to a standstill on Monday.
    Some opposition to the royal visit has been voiced as dissident republican violence rises. But both the British and Irish governments say they hope the official trip will hasten a new and better relationship between the people of Ireland and Britain, built on equality and mutual respect.

  28. Ametia says:

    Denzel Washington receives honorary Penn degree
    By theGrio
    3:50 PM on 05/16/2011
    KATHY MATHESON,Associated Press

    PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Denzel Washington confessed to a bit of stage fright in his latest role: Commencement speaker at the University of Pennsylvania.

    Addressing about 5,000 graduates at the Ivy League school in Philadelphia on Monday, the Oscar- and Tony-winning actor said the academic ceremony was “a little overwhelming and out of my comfort zone.”

    And that was his reason for accepting the invitation to speak, he said.

    “I had to come exactly because I might make a fool of myself,” said Washington. “I’ve found that nothing in life is worthwhile unless you take risks. Nothing.”

    The 56-year-old star of “Malcolm X” and “Philadelphia” delivered a humorous speech with a sobering truth: Failure is inevitable. Yet instead of having something to fall back on, he said, graduates should “fall forward” — learn from their mistakes and keep going.

    Thomas Edison had countless failed experiments before succeeding with the light bulb, he said.

    “Do you have the guts to fail?” Washington said. “If you don’t fail, you’re not even trying.”

    One of his earliest failures was as a pre-med student at Fordham University in New York, he said. He changed to pre-law, then journalism, and was close to flunking out before switching to drama and getting his degree.

    Washington described a second failure about 30 years ago at a miserable tryout for a Broadway musical. Then last year, on the same stage as that audition, Washington won a Tony award for his work in “Fences.”

  29. Ametia says:

    Paul, the BLUE-EYED DEVIL Ryan is spinning & spinning on spending. How about those tax cuts for the rich, Paulie, to help keep the country from going broke?

    The shared scarity bullshit ain’t flying, now that grandma & grandpa told you & the GOP to go fuck yourselves.

    • creolechild says:

      “Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) won’t run for Senate in 2012, he confirmed Tuesday. Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee, said he would prefer to stay in the House, where he enjoys a key perch of power at the center of Washington’s prolonged fight over spending.”

      “I am grateful for the tremendous outpouring of encouragement that I have received from my friends and supporters since Senator Kohl announced he would not seek re-election to the U.S. Senate. For my family and me, the most important factor in making this decision was determining where I could make the biggest difference,” he said in a statement.

      • Ametia says:

        TRANSLATION; I’d rataher stay in the HOUSE than come out on the porch again. i got my ass whupped by a few senior citizens at town halls, for trying to up end their medicare. Now I’ll just stay in the safety of the HOUSE and try to re-spin the Medicare plan in another direction.

      • Ha! Like he was going to win? Paul Ryan knows he done fugged up! lol

  30. Ametia says:


  31. Ametia says:

    Now that we’ve gotten the morning gossip out, check this out

    May 16, 2011, 6:18 pm Citizens United Lawyer Creates Super PAC

    While the comedian Stephen Colbert’s plan to form a so-called Super PAC to raise money for federal elections attracted some attention last week, another Super PAC formed by a key Republican campaign lawyer filed registration papers with the Federal Election Commission. The Republican Super PAC Inc., formed by James Bopp Jr., an Indiana lawyer, and Roger Villere, chairman of the Louisiana Republican Party, is designed to be a vehicle for unlimited contributions toward independent expenditures in support of Republican candidates at the national and state levels.

    The new PAC will hold a discussion on Wednesday in Dallas to detail its plans. In an e-mail promoting the event, its founders wrote that the committee would allow donors to earmark contributions for specific races and would coordinate its activities with other independent entities “to bridge gaps in the independent campaigns supporting Republican candidates.”

    “The best way to neutralize President Obama’s unprecedented $1 billion political war chest and the political spending by labor unions and wealthy Democrats is to build a super fund-raising infrastructure for independent expenditure spending,” the e-mail states.

    Mr. Bopp is the lawyer who brought the court case Citizens United v. F.E.C., which opened the way for corporations, labor unions and other groups to raise and spend unlimited amounts independently to influence federal elections. Several prominent Super PACs active in the 2010 midterm elections, including the Karl Rove-advised American Crossroads, are planning similar efforts for the 2012 contest. Top Democrats have formed their own group, Priorities USA Action, partly in response to the successes enjoyed by Republican-backed PACs.

  32. Ametia says:


    ‘Put a woman in charge’
    New DNC chief gives Obama hope
    By MATT NEGRIN | 05/17/11 6:54 AM Updated: 05/17/11 6:57 AM

    President Obama made his first public comments about Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s new job as the head of the Democratic Party on Monday, suggesting to supporters that his wife recommended her because she’s a woman.

    “How about my new DNC chair, Debbie Wasserman Schultz,” Obama said, to applause, at the second of two Democratic National Committee events Monday night. “She is tireless, tireless. And she’s got the most adorable kids, and I don’t know how she keeps up with everything.”

    Obama then added this anecdote: “But as Michelle said, if you want something done, put a woman in charge. So, all right, everybody got – women, you got a little too excited on that.”

    At his first Washington campaign event of the night, Obama implied that he’s confident he’ll be reelected because Wasserman Schultz is “extraordinarily dynamic.”

    “I think she is going to do an outstanding job,” he said. “So we are very proud of her.”

    • creolechild says:

      “The Obama administration on Tuesday announced three new initiatives to encourage physicians and hospitals to better coordinate care after a key regulation came under intense criticism over the past week.”

      “Democrats’ healthcare reform law seeks to transform the way government programs such as Medicare reimburse medical providers by rewarding them for quality rather than quantity of care. A key tool to get there are the so-called accountable care organizations (ACOs) that allow providers to keep a portion of the money they save Medicare by working together, but leading healthcare systems such as the Mayo Clinic and Geisinger have told the government that proposed ACO regulations are too stringent and costly for them to participate.”

  33. rikyrah says:

    May 17, 2011
    Misreading Trump
    It was with Kierkegaardian fear and trembling that I peeked at Chris Cillizza’s piece, “What Trump can teach the GOP field.” It is here, in “The Fix,” where Beltway banality is so often born — the spawn of Washington’s insider trading and warmed-over conventional wisdom — and I quaked at another delivery so soon, right on the heels, that is, of The Huck’s.

    Instantly I was staring into the black, come-hither eyes of the Prince of Banality himself: Cillizza informed me that although Trump’s media playtime was but a footnote in politics, “that doesn’t mean the Trump saga — and, it was a saga — is without lessons to be learned by the Republican candidates who will run for president in 2012.”

    So what, Chris, was “The most important lesson?” Was it, perhaps, that racism still tragically works in American politics? That anti-intellectualism persists as a real keeper? That it’s now impossible to distinguish betwixt “carnival barkers” and right-wing politicians? That the right wing itself has flown from all semblance of rationality and seriousness?

    Alas, no. For from the miasmic muck arose this, Cillizza’s Answer to Cillizza’s Question: “Confrontation is good. Confrontation works.”

    Ah, I sense you’re underwhelmed. Appallingly so. But hey, at least my piece came with an up-front disclosure.

    At any rate, by and by we learn from Cillizza that by “confrontation” he intended a somewhat unshockingly unrevolutionary theory of political campaigning, for which Cillizza conscripted political veterans to endorse.

    Such as Rob Stutzman, GOP strategist: “[Trump] had the appeal of a candidate who would brawl with Obama on behalf of the rank and file and create contrast” (whoa, now there’s an understatement). Added Stutzman, “The birther issue was stupid and contrived but it should demonstrate to legitimate candidates that you can stand out by being the candidate who engages Obama on substance like taxes, homeland security and spending.”

    All of which Cillizza promptly re-disfigured through boneheaded synthesis: “Put another way: Trump’s willingness to fight mattered more than the substance of what triggered the fight.”

    Precisely, absolutely, altogether and extraordinarily wrong.

    From the beginning, Trump appreciated that he could appeal to the right-wing base only by exploiting their diseased willingness to believe anything wickedly mysterious about Barack Obama. It wasn’t Trump’s mere “willingness to fight” that stimulated them to ecstatic heights of drooling hysteria; it was the substance of idiotic non-substance that the reactionary army of whackodom was able to comprehend, and so exuberantly sign on to.

    Aggressive accusations about Obama’s “China policy” or superfluous drivel on taxes? Come on. What the far right wanted, what it needed, and what it got from Trump was a boatload of stupidity. And they ate it up. Because …

    • Ametia says:

      Chris Cillizza’s a greasy-headed mofo who along with the rest of the stupid white frat boys propped up that rat-headed racist Trump, and continues to do so with his twisted lbullshit ogic of learning lessons from Trump.

      Gawd, it must be painful being a white male these days.

  34. rikyrah says:

    Arnold fathered a child with one of the ‘help’.


    Poor Maria and the kids.

    • Ametia says:

      ain’t that some shit. These men with power, they marry up, and then screw their way down the chain of class and decency. I’m not knocking maids, however, this woman is responsible for her adulterous behaviors too.

    • OMG! He fathered a child? Oh, I could smack him!

    • dannie22 says:

      I’m wondering how improper this relationship was. If she was a maid she can’t say no, right? Arnold was in the position of power. I wonder what the nature of the “relationship” was.

      • Ametia says:

        Hi Dannie. You know I thought about this too. The relationship was totally improper, there’s NO doubt about it. the maid had some control of this, I’m of the belief that there was $$$ involved and lots of it to keep this under wraps. There was a child involved. Details will continue surfacing, now that he and Maria have seperated. Look for a book by the maid, perhaps, unless she sworn by some contract to keep hush about it.

      • You know, this is one of the worst hurts. Cheating and then having a child with the woman? Arnold need to smacked across the face and neck.

        How can any relationship recover from that?

        • Ametia says:

          The body builder would never have become the guvenator had it not been for Maria Shriver- her family name, money got him the governorship. It’s the ulimate betrayal.

  35. Ametia says:

    Carla Bruni-Sarkozy pregnant, says father-in-lawPal Sarkozy tells German newspaper Bild that France’s first lady is pregnant, but she refuses to confirm

    Angelique Chrisafis in Paris,
    Tuesday 17 May 2011 09.41 BST Article history

    Nicolas Sarkozy’s father has told a German newspaper that France’s first lady, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, is pregnant.

    Pal Sarkozy told Bild: “I’m glad to be having a grandchild,” adding that neither the French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, nor his wife “want to know the sex of the child, but I’m sure it’s a girl who’ll be as beautiful as Carla”.

    For weeks Bruni-Sarkozy has refused to confirm or deny a rumoured pregnancy, telling media she was protecting her family. This week she appeared on the TV channel TF1 and again refused to be drawn, but the presenter still offered congratulations. One French celebrity magazine reported last week that Bruni-Sarkozy had gone to the high-street store H&M accompanied by a bodyguard and spent €300 (£260) on maternity clothes.

  36. Ametia says:

    Beauty pageant girl, eight, given Botox by her mother is taken into care
    By Paul Thompson
    Last updated at 10:34 AM on 17th May 2011

    A British mother who admitted on American TV that she gave her eight-year-old daughter Botox injections has had the child taken away by social workers.
    Britney Campbell was removed from the care of her mother Kerry after the TV appearance boasting about the beauty treatment sparked outrage across the U.S.
    Hundreds of complaints were received when she was featured on the Good Morning America show injecting her daughter with the anti-wrinkle

    Read more:

  37. Ametia says:

    Schwarzenegger fathered a child with longtime member of household staff

    His wife, Maria Shriver, moved out of their Brentwood mansion earlier this year after the former governor acknowledged the child was his. The staff member worked for the family for 20 years, retiring in January.
    By Mark Z. Barabak and Victoria Kim, Los Angeles Times

    May 17, 2011
    Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and his wife, Maria Shriver, separated after she learned he had fathered a child more than a decade ago — before his first run for office — with a longtime member of their household staff.

    Shriver moved out of the family’s Brentwood mansion earlier this year, after Schwarzenegger acknowledged the paternity. The staff member worked for the family for 20 years, retiring in January.

    Read on if you dare.,0,4552508.story?om_rid=DRaeQf&om_mid=_BN0m4jB8bN6zVa

  38. rikyrah says:

    May 17, 2011 8:35 AM
    Romney takes defense cuts off the table
    By Steve Benen

    Ask the American mainstream which parts of the federal budget should get cut, and defense spending is usually one of the more common responses. But in Republican politics, especially at the presidential level, it’s not nearly this simple.

    To be sure, there is a contingent within the GOP that’s so desperate to cut federal spending and reduce the deficit, they’re willing to put defense on the table. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) was asked in January, in the context of a discussion about spending cuts, “Do you consider the defense budget sacred?” He replied, “Absolutely not.”

    But in general, most Republicans, alleged deficit-reduction goals notwithstanding, consider funding for the military off-limits. Yesterday, for example, GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney (R) vowed not to reduce defense spending at all if elected.

    Romney said that he would be open to redirecting spending within the defense budget to ensure that it’s more efficiently allocated, and to eliminate waste. But the overall budget won’t face cuts.

    “I’m not going to cut the defense budget,” Romney said in a question-and-answer session on his Facebook page.

    The former Massachusetts governor acknowledged that there’s “a lot of waste” in the defense budget, and that “there’s work that we have to do with the money that we have.” But, Romney reiterated, he wouldn’t cut the overall budget.

    This isn’t especially surprising. Mississippi’s Haley Barbour, back when he was an apparent candidate, said he’d gladly cut the Pentagon budget, and was immediately attacked from the right for saying so. Romney, not exactly a Profile in Courage kind of guy, no doubt wants to avoid this kind of heat.

    But Romney’s pandering is impossible to take seriously. We’re spending $700 billion a year on defense, nearly as much as every other country on the planet combined. The former governor doesn’t want to reduce that total by a penny? Even with Pentagon officials agreeing that it’s time to trim their budget?

    What’s more, we have a $1.5 trillion deficit, which Romney claims to care about. If he intends to balance the budget, and he refuses to consider tax increases or defense cuts, how exactly does Romney plan to close the budget shortfall? Applying profits of unicorn sales?

    Postscript: Given that Romney considers this “peacetime,” shouldn’t he be prepared to make defense cuts?

    • Ametia says:

      mitten, mitten, mittens…

    • creolechild says:

      “There is a huge double standard playing out in the media and it couldn’t happen at a worse time. Why is it fine for John Boehner to say on CBS that everything is on the table to lower our deficit except raising taxes?”

      REPRESENTATIVE JOHN BOEHNER: No more whistling past the graveyard. And now is the time to deal with the fiscal problems we have in an adult-like manner.
      HARRY SMITH: Including Medicare?
      REPRESENTATIVE JOHN BOEHNER: Medicare, Medicaid, all– everything should be on the table except raising taxes because raising taxes will hurt our economy and hurt our ability to create jobs in our country.

      “That’s not putting everything on the table. Raising taxes brings in much-needed revenue, and to dismiss that out of hand is not acting like an adult. How many times have you heard the Beltway media hail Paul Ryan as a brave and bold man instead of dissecting his policies in detail and exposing them for the shams they are? Luckily, we’re allowed at least one liberal economist on TV to speak up for us instead of the usual Conservative Democrat.”

      • Ametia says:

        Good quesstion, creolechild. John Boehner, just like Paul Ryan will get a pass from the media, because, well they’re GOP. But I’m not concerned about this latest show by Boehner. He’ll get his ass kicked by PBO just like Ryan. If they haven’t learned by now that PBO will kick’em in the ass right before the cameras and to their faces.

  39. Ametia says:

    U.S. speeds up direct talks with Taliban
    By Karen DeYoung, Published: May 16

    The administration has accelerated direct talks with the Taliban, initiated several months ago, that U.S. officials say they hope will enable President Obama to report progress toward a settlement of the Afghanistan war when he announces troop withdrawals in July.

    A senior Afghan official said a U.S. representative attended at least three meetings in Qatar and Germany, one as recently as “eight or nine days ago,” with a Taliban official considered close to Mohammad Omar, the group’s leader.

    State Department spokesman Michael A. Hammer on Monday declined to comment on the Afghan official’s assertion, saying the United States had a “broad range of contacts across Afghanistan and the region, at many levels. . . . We’re not going to get into the details of those contacts.”

    The talks have proceeded on several tracks, including through nongovernmental intermediaries and Arab and European governments. The Taliban has made clear its preference for direct negotiations with the Americans and has proposed establishing a formal political office, with Qatar under consideration as a venue, according to U.S. officials.

    An attempt to open talks with the insurgent group failed late last year when an alleged Taliban leader, secretly flown by NATO to Kabul, turned out to be a fraud. “Nobody wants to do that again,” a senior Obama administration official said.

  40. rikyrah says:

    May 17, 2011 8:00 AM
    Ryan’s risible reboot remarks
    By Steve Benen

    After a rough few weeks, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) is hoping a public-relations offensive will help get his agenda back on track. The effort includes media appearances, op-eds, and as of yesterday afternoon, a luncheon speech to the Chicago Economic Club decrying “class warfare.”

    So, how’d it go? Put it this way: if Ryan is hoping to turn things around, he might need a Plan C.

    Though billed as an effort to revamp his widely criticized budget, Ryan avoided describing his health care plans in specific detail, eschewing even the friendly terms he and other Republicans have used to explain it since he first unveiled it earlier this year. Instead, Ryan reframed the entitlement cuts in his budget as “strengthen[ing] welfare for those who need it,” and accused Democrats who have attacked his budget as engaging in class warfare.

    The House budget would phase out the existing Medicare program and replace it with a new program to provide future retirees with private insurance subsidies, which would shrink in value over time relative to steeply rising health care costs…. Ryan characterized this distinction differently.

    “If I could sum up that disagreement in a couple of sentences, I would say this: Our plan is to give seniors the power to deny business to inefficient providers. Their plan is to give government the power to deny care to seniors,” he said, according to prepared remarks.

    Substantively, Ryan’s argument is just wrong. Politically, the argument still won’t make Medicare privatization any more popular, and trying to reframe Medicare itself as “welfare” — a word Americans have been trained to reflexively dislike — is a losing proposition anyway. For that matter, the fact that the Budget Committee chairman refused to go into any detail in defending his Medicare plan on the merits suggests even he’s prepared to see privatization whither on the vine.

    The rest of Ryan’s case wasn’t much better. For example, the right-wing Wisconsinite is convinced, based on his bizarre approach to monetary policy, that the improvements in economic growth and job creation over the last two years are actually bad news

    What’s more, Ryan rejected the “mentality” that leads the left and right to compromise on debt-reduction plans. As Jon Chait explained, Ryan sees the larger dynamic this way: “Reducing the deficit is nice, but growth is what really matters, and that relies upon low upper-bracket tax rates. Ryan likewise adopts the Norquistian claim that bipartisan budget deals are bad because the tax hikes happen but the spending cuts don’t. (The belief is demonstrably false, but never mind.) He’s putatively arguing against Obama, but the real target seems to be a bipartisan deal that many GOP senators seem to want to cut.”


    All of this is more tiresome than offensive. One could note that the “real class warfare” is Ryan’s effort to shift burdens onto the poor and the middle class, while cutting taxes on the rich and corporations, in a radical/regressive redistribution scheme, but there’s probably no point.

    Ryan is flailing and he knows it.

  41. rikyrah says:

    the arrest of the IMF President is a big deal. sitting there waiting for my coffee and bagel this morning, and a guy was reading about it – it’s the front page of the Financial Times.

  42. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

  43. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone! :-)

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