Monday Open Thread

Otis Ray Redding, Jr. (September 9, 1941 – December 10, 1967) was an American soul singer. Often called the “King of Soul”, he is renowned for an ability to convey strong emotion through his voice.[1][2] According to the website of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (where he was inducted in 1989), Redding’s name is “synonymous with the term soul, music that arose out of the black experience in America through the transmutation of gospel and rhythm and blues into a form of funky, secular testifying.”[3] In addition, rock critic Jon Landau said in 1967, “Otis Redding is rock & roll”.[4] Redding died in a plane crash at the age of 26, one month before his biggest hit, “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay“, was released.

About SouthernGirl2

A Native Texan who adores baby kittens, loves horses, rodeos, pomegranates, & collect Eagles. Enjoys politics, games shows, & dancing to all types of music. Loves discussing and learning about different cultures. A Phi Theta Kappa lifetime member with a passion for Social & Civil Justice.
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53 Responses to Monday Open Thread

  1. Newt Gingrich’s Skeleton Closet

    “We had oral sex. He prefers that modus operandi because then he can say, ‘I never slept with her.'” – Anne Manning (who was also married at the time.)

    “We would have won in 1974 if we could have kept him out of the office, screwing her [a young volunteer] on the desk.” – Dot Crews, his campaign scheduler at the time

    [In the book] “Men Who Hate Women and the Women Who Love Them”, [I] “found frightening pieces that related to my own life.” – Newt.

    “I think you can write a psychological profile of me that says I found a way to immerse my insecurities in a cause large enough to justify whatever I wanted it to” – Newt, speaking to Gail Sheehy.

    “She isn’t young enough or pretty enough to be the President’s wife.” – Newt, on his first wife.

    “I don’t want him to be president and I don’t think he should be.” – Newt’s wife Marianne.

    “If the country today were to move to the left, Newt would sense it before it started happening and lead the way.” – Dot Crews, his campaign scheduler throughout the 1970s.

    Sex on the Desk – Oral Sex is More Easily Denied
    Several newspapers are now reporting that Newt Gingrich is dating and basically living with Callista Bisek, a “willowy blond Congressional aide 23 years his junior.” Biske, 33, has been spending nights at Gingrich’s apartment near the Capitol and has her own key. In an amazing act of hypocrisy, Gingrich was apparently dating Bisek all during Clinton-Lewinsky adultery scandal, even as he proclaimed family values and bitterly criticized the President for his adultery.

    Reporters and other Washington insiders have known about this relationship since 1994, even before Gingrich became Speaker of the House, but did not have any solid proof to report. In 1995, Vanity Fair magazine described Bisek as Gingrich’s “frequent breakfast companion.” Gingrich was married to Marianne Gingrich during all of that time, and just filed for divorce in August 1999.

    Newt is apparently trying to create a new hybrid form, Christian adultery. According to MSNBC, Bisek sings in the National Shrine Choir, and Newt would often wait for her at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, listening to her sing while he read the Bible.

    This is hardly the first time Newt has cheated, either. “It was common knowledge that Newt was involved with other women during his [first] marriage to Jackie. Maybe not on the level of John Kennedy. But he had girlfriends — some serious, some trivial.” — Dot Crews, his campaign scheduler throughout the 70s. One woman, Anne Manning, has come forward and confirmed a relationship with him during the 1976 campaign. “We had oral sex. He prefers that modus operandi because then he can say, ‘I never slept with her.'”

    Kip Carter, his former campaign treasurer, was walking Newt’s daughters back from a football game one day and cut across a driveway where he saw a car. “As I got to the car, I saw Newt in the passenger seat and one of the guys’ wives with her head in his lap going up and down. Newt kind of turned and gave me this little-boy smile. Fortunately, Jackie Sue and Kathy were a lot younger and shorter then.”

  2. Ametia says:

    What a loser. Tim Paw’s DOA

    Tim Pawlenty’s presidential campaign is Dead On Arrival, according to his hometown newspaper.

    The St. Paul Pioneer Press hilariously ran the announcement of T-Paw’s presidential campaign on the Obituary page this morning.

    Any other day, it would have made the front page. But that’s what he gets for making his big publicity push the day after a deadly tornado rips through his home state.

    EXCLUSIVE: Jeremy Giefer could be Tim Pawlenty’s Willie Horton

    Here’s the scan of the newspaper page

  3. Ametia says:

    Minnesota voters to decide on gay marriage ban

    (Reuters) –
    By David Bailey

    MINNEAPOLIS (Reuters) – The Republican-led Minnesota legislature approved late Saturday putting a state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage to voters in November 2012.

    The Minnesota House of Representatives voted 70 to 62 after about five hours of discussion, cementing the amendment’s place on the ballot for 2012. The Senate approved the proposed amendment earlier in May largely along party lines.

    Minnesota law already bans gay marriage, but amendment sponsors argued that a constitutional amendment would ensure legislators or a small group of judges could not change that.

    “This is not about hatred, it is not about discrimination or intolerance,” Republican Representative Steve Gottwalt said of the amendment. “I have faith we as Minnesotans can have a reasonable dialogue on this issue characterized by respect and decency and allow the people of Minnesota to decide.”

    Democratic Governor Mark Dayton, who strongly opposes any constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, has no power to stop lawmakers from putting an amendment on the ballot.

    Protesters supporting and opposing the amendment could be heard demonstrating outside the House chambers for days and anti-amendment chants were audible after the vote.

    The amendment is “a real ill-advised attempt to use our constitution to place an important question out of reach of the elected officials and to impose our will in the year 2011 on future generations 100, 200, 300 or more years from now,” Democratic Representative Steve Simon said.

    Democrats questioned the drive for the constitutional amendment with the state budget still unresolved. They also said they were concerned it would lead to a divisive political campaign over the next 18 months to the election.

    “Millions and millions of dollars will be poured into this state on both sides and the pain and agony that I have witnessed in this chamber this evening will be all over Minnesota,” Democratic Representative Kerry Gauthier said.

    Republican Representative John Kriesel, who was severely wounded in the Iraq war, said the amendment did not represent the state and country he fought.

    “If there was a ‘hell no’ button right here, I would press it, that would be the one I’d press,” Kriesel said. “But unfortunately I just have ‘nay’ and that’s the one I am going to press.”

    Republican legislative leaders and Dayton reported little progress Saturday in closing a $5.1 billion gap in the state’s two-year budget by the end of the session at midnight Monday. Most observers expect a special session to be required.

    The vote came a day after Gallup released a national poll that found a slim majority of Americans believed same-sex marriage should be recognized. It was the first majority in the 15 years since Gallup began polling on the subject.

    Support was heavily divided on party lines in the Gallup poll with the gains entirely from Democrats and independents and no change in support among Republicans.

    Five U.S. states allow same-sex marriage, but only one in the Midwest, Iowa. Gay couples also have the right to marry in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire and the District of Columbia.

    Twenty-nine states have adopted constitutional amendments restricting marriage as between a man and a woman, and 12 other states have passed laws to that effect, according to the Human Rights Campaign.

  4. Ametia says:

  5. US President Barack Obama (3rd-R) and First Lady Michelle Obama (C-partially obscured) walk to their car upon arriving at the Stansted airport in Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, on May 23, 201.

  6. U.S. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama step off Air Force One after arriving at Stansted Airport May 23, 2011. Obama continues his four-nation European tour, which includes Ireland, France and Poland.

  7. US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama disembark from Air Force One at the Stansted airport in Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, on May 23,

  8. Ametia says:


    A total of 116 people are confirmed dead as a result of Sunday’s tornado in Joplin, Missouri, city manager Mark Rohr says.
    That means the death toll from the Joplin twister is tied for the second highest in the United States since the National Weather Service began keeping such tornado records in 1950.

    Prayers to the families in Joplin, MO.

  9. Ametia says:

    Cantor nudges Rep. Ryan to jump into 2012 White House race
    By Russell Berman – 05/23/11 01:47 PM ET

    Count House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) as one top Republican who’d like to see Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) jump into the presidential race.

    Cantor responded immediately when asked Monday whether Ryan, a rising GOP star and author of the party’s official budget plan, should run for the White House in 2012.

    “Sure,” Cantor said. “Paul’s about real leadership. I think that that’s what this public so desperately wants to do right now. They don’t want to see individuals that just dismiss problems that we can just sweep under the rug.”

    Ryan, who heads up the House Budget Committee, has been the subject of presidential speculation as other prominent Republicans have bowed out of the 2012 race. Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels announced Sunday he was passing on the race, a week after former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee said he would stay on the sidelines.

    In an appearance Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Ryan repeatedly said he was not running, although he did not rule out a future bid.

    While Cantor said the current crop of contenders included “strong candidates,” he made clear that he wanted them to support the Ryan budget, which has become a political lightning rod as Democrats seek to play up a proposed overhaul of Medicare that is unpopular in public polls.

    “I’m looking for them to embrace our formula in the Ryan budget,” he said. “I’m looking for them to embrace a leadership role that takes the tough positions.”

    Cantor last week denounced former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) for sharply criticizing the GOP budget in an appearance on “Meet the Press.”

    The majority leader laughed off a question about whether he would enter the presidential race himself. “Absolutely not,” Cantor said.

  10. Ametia says:

    Al Sharpton group to open Iowa offices
    5:40 AM, May. 23, 2011
    Written by

    The Rev. Al Sharpton will be in Iowa today and Tuesday to open chapters of his National Action Network.

    Sharpton also will use the visit to discuss public policy for the 2012 political season.

    “We are opening offices in Waterloo and in Des Moines,” said Rachel Noerdlinger, a spokeswoman for Sharpton, “but we also look forward to having a political presence with the primaries approaching.”

    Noerdlinger said Sharpton would visit with Iowa pastors to build a network as he unveils some of his public policy goals for the next round of elections. She could not preview the content of Sharpton’s remarks, though.

    Sharpton is a Baptist minister, author and radio talk-show host. He has worked extensively on civil rights issues in his career.

    Sharpton’s National Action Network focuses on education and social justice in race-related matters. The Waterloo and Des Moines offices will be the first chapters in Iowa.

    Sharpton last visited Iowa in October 2004 to encourage black voters in Waterloo to support Democratic candidates, a review of Des Moines Register archives shows.

    Sharpton’s schedule:


    9 to 10:30 a.m. – Ministers’ breakfast, Mount Carmel Baptist Church, 805 Adams St., Waterloo.

    11 to 11:30 a.m. – News conference at Mount Carmel Baptist Church.

    Noon to 3 p.m. – “Keepin’ it Real With the Rev. Al Sharpton,” University of Northern Iowa Communication Arts Building, Cedar Falls.

    6:30 to 8:30 p.m. – Rally at Mount Carmel Baptist Church.


    9 to 10:30 a.m. – Ministers’ breakfast, Corinthian Baptist Church, 814 School St., Des Moines.

    11 to 11:30 a.m. – News conference at Corinthian Baptist Church.

    Noon to 3 p.m. – “Keepin’ it Real,” KWQW-FM, Urbandale.

    6:30 to 8:30 p.m. – Rally at Mount Olive Baptist Church, 3100 Second Ave., Des Moines

  11. Ametia says:

    Michael Steele Joins MSNBC As Political Analyst
    by Alex Alvarez | 10:45 am, May 23rd, 2011
    Former Republican National Committee head Michael Steele has found himself a new role: MSNBC legal analyst, following a series of negotiations with the channel. The “forward-leaning” news network will feature Steele as an expert contributor across its lineup.

    Says Steele of the move:

    It’s an honor to contribute and engage in the dialogue on MSNBC. I look forward to engaging a diverse audience to share insights and analysis about the people, issues, and events shaping America’s future. I’m sure our discussions will be both informative and a bit spirited!

    He’s now one step closer to making all my evening cable news dreams come true by becoming Ed Schultz’s official co-host.

  12. Ametia says:

  13. Ametia says:

    Cain’s a disgrace

  14. rikyrah says:

    Dem Hochul Leads By Six Points In NY-26 Special Election

    One day ahead of a special congressional election to fill the seat vacated by Rep. Chris Lee (R) in a traditionally red district, a new PPP poll finds Democrat Kathy Hochul on top by six points.

    Among likely voters, Hochul came in at 42%, followed by Republican Jane Corwin at 36%, and Tea Party candidate Jack Davis at 13%.

    Democrats have sought to use the election as a referendum on the Republican plan to privatize Medicare, a plan that polls have shown is politically poisonous. Hochul has repeatedly slammed Corwin for saying she would support the Ryan plan, and Democratic group House Majority PAC ran ads also targeting Corwin’s avowed backing of that plan.

    That strategy appears to have paid off, Hochul came from behind to begin posting leads in several recent polls of the race. A Sienna College poll released Saturday showed Hochul leading Corwin by 4 points among likely voters, 42% to 38%, a sizable shift from late April when Corwin led by a four-point margin.

  15. Ametia says:

    May 23, 2011 07:00 AM
    Mitch McConnell avoids endorsing the Medicare changes in Paul Ryan’s budget plan, but calls it ‘sensible’
    By John Amato

    Mitch McConnell had another chance to wholeheartedly endorse Paul Ryan’s plans to turn Medicare into a voucher system, but he declined to rubber stamp it on Fox News Sunday. He was careful not to enrage the head of the GOP, Rush Limbaugh, by saying said he’d vote for it, but he also made clear that he won’t be enforcing party discipline to line up behind it. He told Chris Wallace that there are plenty of other ideas coming from Senate Republicans like Pat Toomey to choose from. (rough transcript)

    WALLACE: You say you’re going to vote for it, but you also say you’re not going to push any of your colleagues. Is that because it’s bad policy?

    MCCONNELL: No, let me tell you, in the Senate we have a bunch of other budgets that Republicans are pushing. Pat Toomey has a very thoughtful ten-year proposal that he likes. He, like I, also supports the Ryan budget. My Kentucky colleague Rand Paul has a budget. What I’ve said to our members are that we’re not going to be able to coalesce behind just one and we may well vote on the Ryan budget. I’m going to make sure that we vote on the Obama budget….there will be votes on several budgets in the Senate.


    WALLACE: What do you think of the Ryan plan on Medicare?

    MCCONNELL: Well, what Paul has done here is implement a premium support proposal at the end of the period, which is a very sensible way to go to try and save Medicare.

    McConnell tries to describe it as a “thoughtful” plan to help save Medicare and it’s the starting point ot have an adult conversation about Medicare. Anytime you hear the phrase “adult conversation” from a Republican, you know it’s almost always going to be about how the working class of America should have to sacrifice in order for the CEO’s and very rich to continue on their own limited path to prosperity.

    WALLACE: Do you support the idea — you’re exactly right, everybody would agree it’s going to change and they’re going to be cuts of hundreds of millions of dollars either way. Do you support the Ryan concept of turning Medicare from a fee for service plan to a voucher plan, which quite frankly under the CBO analysis means in the long run seniors will end up more out of pocket for health care?

    MCCONNELL: Paul Ryan would say it’s not a voucher plan, it’s a premium support plan.

    WALLACE: What’s the difference?

    MCCONNELL: He says it is different. The point is this Chris, it’s going to change…

    WALLACE: But you’re not willing to say that you support the Ryan plan?

    MCCONNELL: What I’m willing to say is that we’re going to have to change Medicare and it’s going to happen soon.

    New talking point alert: Ryan’s plan is a Premium Support Plan! McConnell would not personally admit what Ryan’s plan actually does. That is, make Medicare a voucher program. That’s what Ryan calls for Medicare to become with his budget, and everybody knows it — including Mitch McConnell. Pushed by Wallace, he refused to embrace it, though, because he understands that politically it’s a huge problem with seniors. So his response is to change the topic and say Medicare has to change.

  16. Ametia says:

    The POTUS & FLOTUS are getting ready to throw back a Guiness! LOL

  17. Ametia says:

  18. rikyrah says:

    Walkback Complete: Scott Brown Now Attacks GOP Medicare Plan He Recently Praised
    Brian Beutler |
    May 23, 2011, 9:21AM

    Within less than a month, Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) has gone from thanking God that Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) had proposed phasing out Medicare to penning a blistering op-ed explaining why he now opposes the idea.

    Brown now says he’ll vote against the House GOP budget when Democrats bring it up for a vote in the Senate, completing the walkback he began shortly after he said he’d vote for the plan. He explains his final views in a Monday Politico op-ed, becoming the first high-profile, moderate Republican to actively explain his opposition — and his critique sounds an awful lot like the one Democrats are making.

    “I cannot support his specific plan — and therefore will vote “no” on his budget,” Brown writes. “First, I fear that as health inflation rises, the cost of private plans will outgrow the government premium support– and the elderly will be forced to pay ever higher deductibles and co-pays. Protecting those who have been counting on the current system their entire adult lives should be the key principle of reform.”

    Second, Medicare has already taken significant cuts to help pay for Obama’s health care plan. The president and Congress cut a half trillion dollars to the private side of Medicare — meaning seniors are at risk of losing their Medicare Advantage coverage….

    We should start by making improvements to the traditional Medicare plan.

    The Government Accountability Office has estimated that nearly 10 percent, or $47 billion, of annual Medicare spending is nothing but waste, fraud or abuse. Attorney General Eric Holder has put the number higher — at $60 billion. We need Medicare administrators to work to prevent these improper payments — instead of the existing “pay and chase” model that makes the system so susceptible to fraud.

    We can also find savings by increasing congressional oversight of how Medicare reimburses providers; as well as improving the quality of medical care to seniors.

    The development comes after Brown originally said he’d support the House GOP budget — despite knowing it would fail — then saying, through a spokesman, that he’d not yet decided how he’d vote.

    It’s particularly devastating for Republicans who’ve already voted for the plan, or have expressed support for it. Their best hope for weathering the ensuing political storm has been that national figures in the GOP — like, say, Scott Brown — would back the plan, or at least refrain from criticizing it so heavily. By attacking the plan from the left, he validates the view that the GOP budget is far out of the mainstream.

  19. Ametia says:

    May 23, 2011 6:45 AM
    Joplin, Mo., slammed by twister; at least 89 dead

    JOPLIN, Mo. – A massive tornado that tore a 6-mile path across southwestern Missouri killed at least 89 people as it slammed into the city of Joplin, ripping into a hospital, crushing cars like soda cans and leaving a forest of splintered tree trunks behind where entire neighborhoods once stood.

    Authorities warned that the death toll could climb as search and rescuers continued their work Monday. Their task was likely to be made more miserable as a fresh storm moved into the area. It was not expected to produce new tornadoes, but lightning, high winds and heavy rains were likely to hamper an already delicate door-to-door search.

    Eleven bodies were pulled from just one location alone. The storm was so powerful it reportedly ripped the bark from trees as wind speeds approached 150 miles per hour, CBS News correspondent Cynthia Bowers reports.

    Read more:

  20. Ametia says:

    May 20, 2011, 3:07 p.m. EDT
    Borders wants more time to control bankruptcy case

    By Joseph Checkler
    Borders Group Inc. (BGP) is seeking to extend the amount of time it has to control its own bankruptcy case, as the bookseller continues to make progress toward either selling itself or reorganizing.

    In a Thursday filing with U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan, Borders said it wants until October to file a reorganization plan and December to solicit votes on that plan without having to worry about competing proposals from creditors or others. Without approval of its request, Borders would have until June 16 to file a plan and Aug. 15 to solicit votes unencumbered by competing offers.

    Judge Martin Glenn of U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan will consider the 120-day extension at a hearing scheduled for June 2. Such requests are typical in bankruptcy cases, and judges usually approve them. A Borders spokeswoman declined to comment beyond the court filing.

    Borders, which filed for Chapter 11 protection in February, is in talks with a potential buyer that would want to keep open more than 225 of its remaining 405 outlets, The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this week.

    Borders said in its Thursday filing that alongside its efforts to restructure the company, it has also “embarked on a dual-path sale process to market their business to buyers as a going concern. This process is ongoing and has produced promising offers that the Debtors and their advisors are diligently pursuing,” Borders said.

    Borders, based in Ann Arbor, Mich., filed for Chapter 11 after struggling with increasing competition for its products and the changing ways that today’s digital consumer reads books. The company had said it wanted to emerge from bankruptcy by summer’s end, but obligations to book publishers have hurt those chances. The company said in its Thursday filing it has closed 237 of its 642 stores since filing for bankruptcy and is reassessing leases on many of its remaining locations.

    The company has said that if it reorganizes, it anticipates being a much smaller bookseller upon its emergence from bankruptcy, projecting its annual sales to decline 28% from 2010 levels to $1.5 billion.

    (Dow Jones Daily Bankruptcy Review covers news about distressed companies and those under bankruptcy protection

  21. rikyrah says:

    New Polling Says Overwhelming Majority Wants Social Security Left Alone

    Ask the voters and they’ll tell you: Social Security cuts are off the table when it comes to cleaning up the budget mess in Washington.

    Fresh polling from Ohio, Missouri, Montana and Minnesota published first by TPM show voters in the states overwhelmingly oppose any cuts to the Social Security entitlement program, even in the name of reducing the national debt. The coalition of progressive groups which sponsored the survey say the polls send a clear message to the Democratic Senate incumbents up for reelection in each state: cut Social Security and you’ll incur the wrath of an angry electorate.

    Public Policy Polling (D) conducted the polls, which were sponsored by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Democracy For America, and CREDO Action. All four groups are strongly opposed to making cuts to Social Security, which some — including President Obama’s debt commission — have said are necessary to put the government’s fiscal house in order for the future.

    The PPP numbers, gathered between late April and last week, suggest the electorate is on the side of the progressives. The polls were conducted in the home states of Democratic Sens. Sherrod Brown (OH), Claire McCaskill (MO), John Tester (MT), and Amy Klobuchar (MN), all of whom are up for reelection in 2012.

    The results (each poll surveyed more than a thousand people has a margin of error of about 3%):

    In order to reduce the national debt, would you support or oppose cutting spending on Social Security, which is the retirement program for the elderly?

    Ohio: 16% support, 80% oppose
    Missouri: 17% support, 76% oppose
    Montana: 20% support, 76% oppose
    Minnesota: 23% support, 72% oppose

  22. rikyrah says:

    Firebags and afros: the *genius* plan to primary Barack Obama
    May 22, 2011 ·
    It’s not news that there are people on the “progressive” side who cannot stand Barack Obama. Well now, the angries have got themselves a plan, and maybe even a poster child. But do they have a candidate?

    In recent weeks, the increasing vitriol between progressive/liberal/libertarian opponents, and supporters of President Barack Obama have been lighting up the Twittersphere.

    There’s the growing rift over racial insensitivity in some of the anti-Obama critique – centering on who is Obama’s “base” – which has pitted black and white Twitterzens led by Balloon Juice blogger AngryBlackLady and her supporters against Salon editor Joan Walsh and her supporters, including most recently, a ThinkProgress blogger named Zaid Jilani.

    There’s Glenn Greenwald’s rather Nixonian enemies list, which he says consists of 30 Twitterzens who spend all their time attacking him (for spending so much of his time attacking the president while sliming anyone who doesn’t attack the president as mindless Obama cultists…) though he refuses to name names.

    And there’s the ongoing Obama-slam by big-time Tweeters like filmmaker Michael Moore (@MMflint) and liberal radio talk host David Sirota (@davidsirota), with Moore even launching his own conspiracy theory that the Pakistanis gave the U.S. Osama bin Laden to be “executed”, because he had outlived his usefulness to the “war on terror.”

    The most aggressive anti-Obama action is to be found in three places: among an group of highly influential blogs connected to Jane Hamsher’s Firedoglake and its associated FDL Action PAC and knit together via Hamsher’s advertising network; from Greenwald, Moore and other libertarian-leaning activists who oppose Obama’s war and national security policies (which they say are too close to George W. Bush’s); and from Adam Green’s Progressive Campaign Change Committee PAC, which has spent as much time attacking the president as it has advertising against Republicans.

    To pro-Obama liberals, these are the “firebaggers” — as vehemently and reflexively anti-Obama as any tea partyer, and when confronted, often just as nasty. It’s thought that some of them, like Hamsher, are into Obama-bashing for the link bait and the cash, while others appear to be true believers in the third party cause, including Greenwald and former Ralph Nader supporters like Moore.

    Up to now, one of the things the anti-Obama progressive movement has lacked is diversity, giving them the appearance of an all-white jihad against the first black president. (Hamsher’s history, punctuated by her now infamous “blackface” post attacking Joe Lieberman, doesn’t help.) In a way, that’s a function of the fact that for decades, the leading voices on the left, from its magazines to its radio shows (the liberal talk network Air America, from which MSNBC drew part of its on-air liberal lineup, had no solo black or Hispanic hosts until it signed daytime talk host Montel Williams just before the network folded in 2010, and there remains only one black nationally syndicated liberal talk radio host: The Black Eagle Joe Madison, who is syndicated by African-American owned Radio One) to its top bloggers, have been conspicuously monochrome.

    A recent Forbes list of the 25 most influential liberals in the U.S. contained only four people of color: Oprah Winfrey, Markos Moulitsas Zuniga (who is Salvadoran and Greek), Matthew Yglesias (who is of Hispanic and Jewish background) and Fareed Zakaria (who on the list has the distinction of being both Indian, and not really a liberal…)

    For the “FDLers,” the perception of theirs being an “all white” attack on the first black president presents a particular problem, since Democratic candidates, including Obama, are typically propelled into office on the strength of the unanimous support of black voters, and the two-thirds backing of Hispanics.

    Last week, the anti-Obama progressive saw an opening to change that dynamic, when the ongoing verbal war that two African-Americans: pundit Tavis Smiley and his mentor, Princeton professor Cornel West, have been waging against Barack Obama since 2007 boiled over.

    A long-time coming

    Smiley and West have disliked Obama since he announced for president in Springfield, Illinois on the same day Smiley hosted his annual “State of Black America” conference. Skipping Smiley’s conference earned the then Senator Smiley’s enduring disdain. He and West became even more vehement after Obama rebuked his former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, over inflammatory sermons which surfaced in the midst of the Democratic primary (and were wielded by the Clinton campaign as they hunted for superdelegates.) I attended a talk Smiley gave in the wake of Obama’s historic speech on race, in which a red-faced Smiley silenced the room at the Broward Convention Center with a broadside so angry and so personal, it left people gasping.

    Smiley’s rage at Obama became so conspicuous, he eventually resigned from his weekly commentary spot on the Tom Joyner Morning Show, and later seemed to burn down the bridge to Joyner entirely when he was invited back on in 2010, going on a tirade that prompted the first of many flare-ups with Rev. Al Sharpton.

    Undeterred, Smiley, who had been a Hillary Clinton supporter during the presidential primary, has continued to slam the president, including during his weekly show for Public Radio International, and in a podcast series he and Dr. West put out periodically, called “Smiley and West.”

    West’s critiques of Obama as ignoring not just black Americans, but also poor people, have ebbed and flowed over the years. According to the book “The Bridge” by David Remnick, after an intervention by Harvard professor Charles Ogletree in 2007, West softened his opposition, and even held a series of discussions with Obama and other black intellectuals, including Michael Eric Dyson, in which the then-candidate tried to create detente.

    It didn’t hold. West reportedly fumed at a lack of access to the newly elected president (and to his inability to get inaugural tickets.) He fumed over Obama naming his former Harvard nemesis Larry Summers as the president’s top economic adviser over West’s strong objections. By late 2010, began denouncing Obama in increasingly vitriolic terms; calling his policies racist against blacks, and calling the president a black “mascot” of Wall Street and a “black puppet” of the oligarchs, leading to further condemnation of West by fellow African-Americans, and culminating in this eye-opening sleight against something Obama cannot control; his parentage:

    “I think my dear brother Barack Obama has a certain fear of free black men,” West said. “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…When he meets an independent black brother, it is frightening.”

    … plus an equally undignified slur that Obama feels most comfortable around “upper middle-class white and Jewish men who consider themselves very smart, very savvy and very effective in getting what they want.”


    Primary the president!

    West’s vitriol included a call last November for someone to step forward and primary Obama from within the Democratic party. The call roughly coincided with an “election” held by a group of activists whose goal was to do just that: field a potential “progressive” primary candidate against Obama.

    Indeed, the idea of primarying the president has been a hot diary topic on FDL since at least 2010. In February of that year, in response to the signing of the healthcare reform bill, a 527 called the New Progressive Alliance was formed:


  23. rikyrah says:

    Cornel West is an expert showman but nothing more: The lead huckster of the Ivy League’s takedown
    by Stanley Crouch

    Cornel West, the Princeton professor of African-American studies who recently made some crude statements about President Obama, has never been much more than a six-figure entertainer, ready to bite the hand that pays him even while reaching for his check. He has never seen a microphone or television camera that he did not like.

    Publicity, not scholarship, is his true tradition. West often gives his listeners no more than sound and fury, signifying nothing. And he is very good at appearing overcome by his passionate convictions.

    This man would prefer to have himself seen as a “revolutionary” – one whose pay level is commensurate with his importance.

    Everyone in academic show business knows that West can fill lecture halls with students roused by his performances. What they actually learn is up for grabs, but they do have a good time. That has resulted in his being the most famous and economically envied of the black public intellectuals.

    The game is now getting old. The last straw may have come when West told the website Truthdig, “My dear brother Barack Obama has a certain fear of free black men … 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 has a certain rootlessness, a deracination.”

    How now, brown cow?

    It fell to Melissa Harris-Perry, who has been a colleague of West’s at Princeton as well as a columnist for The Nation, to take him down on MSNBC last week by rebutting his comments and saying that they “smacked of birtherism.” Black-themed websites were abuzz with Harris-Perry’s cool dismissal of the huckster.

    Many were surprised she had the guts to speak so bluntly, probably because black academics are as cowardly as their white counterparts. One should thus not be surprised that they tend to steer clear of commenting on anything that West says, however removed from reality it may be.

    Serious black intellectuals privately dismissed West many years ago as no more than an academic loudmouth with a good show business game. He has perfected a variety of poses – from academic to conciliator to rapper – that are intended to give the impression that a very substantial mind is mulling over something and will soon drop some rhetorical bombs that will blow away all nonsense.

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  24. rikyrah says:


    sign the check to whatever number Maria says.


    Arnold in further love child claims
    Arnold Schwarzenegger has at least two more secret children, British actress Jane Seymour has claimed.

    It emerged last week that the actor and former governor of California – who recently separated from wife Maria Shriver – has a 14-year-old son with his family’s now-retired housekeeper Mildred Patricia Baena and his famous neighbour has predicted further revelations will emerge about his personal life. Jane – who lives close to Arnold in Malibu, California – said she was not shocked to hear Maria and Arnold, who have four children Katherine, 21, Christina, 19, Patrick, 17, and 13-year-old Christopher had split after 25 years together because she has been told there are other secrets set to be exposed.

    She told CNN: “I was not even remotely surprised. The moment I heard it, that there was an announcement of their separation…He was obviously jumping the gun before everyone else told the world of the news.

    “From what I gather, I think there will be lots of information coming people’s way. I heard about two more [children] somebody else knows about. I even met someone who knows him well.”

    Meanwhile, Maria is said to have hired A-list divorce lawyer Laura Wasser and could pocket $100 million in a settlement, with their combined worth said to be between $200 million and $400 million.

  25. Live online coverage of the President and First Lady’s visit to Ireland

  26. U.S. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama step off Air Force One as they arrive in Dublin, Ireland, Monday, May 23, 2011. President Barack Obama opens a six-day European tour with a quick dash through Ireland, where he will celebrate his own Irish roots and look to give a boost to a nation grappling with the fallout from its financial collapse

  27. US President Barack Obama Arrives in Ireland!

  28. U.S. President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle depart via the Marine One helicopter for a visit to Britain and Europe, from the White House in Washington May 22, 2011. Obama kicked off a multi-nation European tour on Sunday, departing for Ireland, where he will explore his Irish roots in a town that once was home to a distant relative.

  29. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama walk towards Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Md. , Sunday, May 22, 2011, as President Obama begins his trip to Ireland, Britain, France, and Poland.

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