Saturday Open Thread

Tommy James and the Shondells are an American rock and roll group whose period of greatest success came in the late 1960s. They had two No. 1 singles in the U.S. — “Hanky Panky” (1966) and “Crimson and Clover” (1969) — and also charted 12 other Top 40 hits, including five in the top ten: “I Think We’re Alone Now“, “Mony Mony“, “Crystal Blue Persuasion“, “Mirage“, and “Sweet Cherry Wine“.

The band formed in 1959 in Niles, Michigan, first as the Echoes, then under the name Tom and the Tornadoes, with Tommy James, then only 12, as lead singer. In 1964 James re-named the band The Shondells because the name “sounded good.” At this time, the Shondells were composed of Tommy James (vocals and guitar), Larry Coverdale (lead guitar), Larry Wright (bass), Craig Villeneuve (keyboards) and Jim Payne (drums). Later that year, the band recorded the Jeff Barry/Ellie Greenwich song “Hanky Panky” (originally a B-side by The Raindrops[2]). Released by a local label, Snap Records, James’s version sold respectably in the South Bend, Indiana, market of Michigan, Indiana and Illinois, but Snap Records had no national distribution. Although the band toured the eastern mid-west, no other market took to the song. The single failed to chart nationally, and The Shondells disbanded in 1965 after graduating from high school.

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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100 Responses to Saturday Open Thread

  1. Ametia says:

    Judge denies motions by ACORN pranksters
    By David Ferguson
    Saturday, May 28th, 2011 — 9:00 pm

    James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles, the “pimp” and “prostitute” of the notorious ACORN scam attempted to invoke the First Amendment as a hedge against a $75,000 lawsuit filed by ACORN employee Juan Carlos Vera under the California Privacy Act.

    California federal judge M. James Lorenz has dismissed the argument, stating that since O’Keefe and Giles had established a mutual understanding with Vera that the conversation would remain confidential, rules protecting journalists did not apply.

    Additionally, Giles attempted to shift the onus of the blame for the prank entirely to O’Keefe, in that he wore the camera used to record the conversations. Judge Lorenz denied that motion as well, ruling that the Law “is directed to the surreptitious recording of confidential communications and not the manner or method of recording the conversation”, meaning Giles bears equal culpability in the suit.

    Read more:… /

  2. Ametia says:

    Obama likely to tap Dempsey as Joint Chiefs chairman
    By Sam Youngman and Jamie Klatell – 05/28/11 12:20 PM ET

    President Obama will likely announce on Monday that he will appoint Gen. Martin Dempsey, the recently installed Army chief of staff, as the as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, White House sources said Saturday.

    The White House said that Obama will make “Department of Defense personnel announcements” but would not confirm what those announcements were.

    Defense Secretary Robert Gates and White House national security adviser Tom Donilon are scheduled to be at the Monday morning announcement in the Rose Garden.

    As first reported by The Hill, Dempsey emerged last week as the front-runner to replace Adm. Michael Mullen, according to Defense sources.

    White House officials have been studying a handful of top generals and admirals to replace Mullen, whose second and final term as the U.S. military’s top officer ends this fall.

    If the White House does nominate Dempsey and he is confirmed by the Senate, it would mark the first time in nearly a decade that an Army general has held the coveted chairman’s post.

  3. Ametia says:

    Black Snob NAILS another one!

    Chuggin’ 40s With Obama While Ed Schultz Disses GOP “Sluts” Who Criticize Traveling POTUS

    Nowadays, it’s perfectly OK to say something that is obviously racist, but then totally swear it’s not racist as you did not say the N-word, so “Nah-nah-nah! You’re overly PC and hyper-sensitive! I win!” The N-word, or “nigger,” is a MAGIC word that once uttered there are no takesies-backsies! You ARE a racist and you will be forced to wear the racist crown forever and be shunned by your fellow slightly bigoted people who don’t want to be tainted by your Bull Connor mouth. Sure, it’s FINE to be prejudiced, just don’t say that word! You can say everything but that word. Make weed, watermelon, monkey and fried chicken jokes and all will be fine if you just close it all with, “But white people like marijuana, watermelon, and friend chicken too and people called George W. Bush a monkey so, I win! I’m not racist!”

    That way you can accuse President Obama of chuggin’ 40 oz in Ireland (it was a pint of Guinness to be specific, not a bottle of Ol’ English) and then be all, “What! Totally not racist! White people drink 40 ounces too!”

    It works. Nothing is ever racist anymore without the word nigger attached to it. Totally. It’s science!

    From Mediaite:

    Fox Business host Eric Bolling really stepped in it Monday when, in the middle of a rant about a lack of leadership, he said that President Obama was busy “chugging forties” in Ireland, instead of going to tornado-ravaged Missouri. “Forty” is slang for a 40 oz. bottle of malt liquor (or beer), a mainstay of ghetto iconography. Bolling later tweeted defiantly, “For the liberals offended by my “forty” comment, please read this….,” linking to a slang dictionary. According to pool reports, the President drank most of a pint glass, which, in Ireland, is about 20 oz.

    Bolling totally swears he’s not racist because he once drank a 40 oz. in Chicago and he’s white. Some of his best friends are 40 ounces of malt liquor. You all are so closed-minded. Especially since it’s white people who bear the true brunt of racism today. Having to deal with having more of everything than everyone else and then everyone else despising them for it. It’s so hard to be #1. Don’t hate them because they’re beautiful. If you were SMART, you non-whites would just work hard, pull yourself up by your own bootstraps by (finally) becoming white. But no. You’re too lazy to somehow change your DNA. This is why you can’t have nice things.

    But, back to Bolling for a moment, why say “chugging forties” instead of “chugging a pint of Guinness” which was what he was exactly doing? Why the need to rebrand what is essentially a loaf of bread in a glass, popular with all my Irish American homies and beer snobs as something Snoop Dogg and O-Dog and Nate Dogg and essentially all of the Doggs associated with the West Coast gangsta rap scene drank because it was plentiful and cheap at your neighborhood liquor store? You know, UNLESS the whole point was to say something racist because you think racist jokes are hilarious (Did you know President Obama is black and some other people are black and Billy Dee Williams used to do ads for Colt 45 and he’s black! Obama = Billy Dee. Again, it’s science.)

    But all of this, of course, could have been avoided if Obama would simply stop doing things while other things are happening.

    I’m really getting frustrated with President Obama’s inability to be clairvoyant (or employ clairvoyant people) who can tell him about not planning any overseas trips where he has to do goofy local charm stuff while something bad happens somewhere else. I mean, where is the White House Psychic Divison who can help him better plan these trips? It’s just amazing that with all our might and technology the White House doesn’t have someone like Ororo Iqadi T’Challa taking care of these things to prevent this mess. It’s sooo irresponsible. Almost as irresponsible as Republican Eric Cantor getting funny with the disaster relief money.

    But the President isn’t personally in Joplin, Mo. with Bo the White House Search and Rescue Dog, purposely sifting through the debris while surround by a phalanx of security, police, Secret Service and aids, all staring at him (since he’s the President and all kinds of important) and in the way of actual relief workers, holding up resources and not being helpful at all in the actual effort to help Missouri.

    President Obama is going to Missouri to do whatever Presidents do in these situations. Which is kind of stand around and survey the relief effort, hug a few crying people and listen to the latest on-the-ground update, then promise federal aid to help rebuild the town. Yup. Of course, when he does this, he’ll go from being accused of being aloof to being accused of using the disaster as a photo op as there’s nothing the President can physically do in Joplin, Mo. And this will happen because NOTHING PRESIDENT OBAMA DOES IS RIGHT, EVER.

    Just not possible. He can’t do it. He’s gonna be wrong if he just stays at home and picks his nose all day. That’s how it works. It’s worked with every other natural disaster that’s happened since he became President from the Gulf Oil Spill disaster to various Midwest tornadoes and floods. Whatever response he has, it’ll be wrong because … um … it’s some kind of revenge time for the legitimate complaints people had about former President George W. Bush’s shitacular Katrina disaster relief response in New Orleans.

    All those complaints about the mix of incompetence, under-funding, toxic temporary trailers, lack of back up plan, checks that never came, help that never came, dead bodies, lack of supplies, vigilantes, cops committing suicide because they were unable to cope with the stress, neglected Louisiana wetlands and levies that were never properly shored up and protected by the Army Corps of Engineers, FEMA screw ups, Heck-of-a-job-Brownie, delayed response and bad optics (Look, it’s Bush staring at the disaster from Air Force One, then going to bed at 9 p.m.) was somehow just down right mean compared to Obama’s typical response of — find out what happened, release statement, wait a few days for things to calm down while working to free up resources and talking to the state and local leaders about what they need, then showing up for a walk-through and chat, then going back to Washington to make sure they get their damn funding to rebuild.

    Terrible. Everyone knows the proper disaster response is whatever the opposite of the RNC complaint talking points are.

    Which is why MSNBC’s Ed Schultz called Keith Olbermann’s ex-ladyfriend conservative radio shock jock Laura “Not Ann Coulter” Ingraham a “slut.” Not for actually doing anything slutty of course. But because she’s so good at shouting out various conservative talking points about Obama’s Europe trip. Hence, she is a slut for the GOP. A word slut of some kind, perhaps. I don’t know. I don’t pretend to understand the kind of sexism where you can get called a slut for not actually having intercourse with numerous of males. If you’re going to shout out misogyny, at least be accurate. Laura is really more of a grating bitch opportunist, if you’re going to throw that kind of language around. I prefer to just call her annoying or “wrong.” But, you know, I don’t use mean lady terms to describe conservative womenfolk who carry water for their own misogynists.

    At least with misogynist Liberal dudes you can guilt-bait them into supporting or donating some money to causes that benefit women to kind of off-set the fact that they can’t keep it in the pants. (See Clinton, Bill) I don’t know how Sarah Palin or Ingraham or any of the conservative ladies deal with the significant wing of their party who only likes them because their conventionally pretty, would like to have sex with them, and then would like them to go somewhere and shut up with all this lady talk, settling for a lot of attention, but no substantial power.

    As for Schultz, who’s since been reprimanded by the network, he will forever be known as that one guy who’s not a conservative who my mother always thinks must be a conservative because he’s a loud white man of a certain girth who shouts derogatory things. So, whenever he would come on my mother would always say “Ugh, I hate that Republican” and I’d have to point out he was actually shouting DNC talking points. But he was putting on his best Rush Limbaugh of the Left impression, frothing at the mouth and my mother simply couldn’t get past it. He was just that off-putting. And this is a woman who loves Chris Matthews and never misses Hardball. She just has her limits, you know? At least Chris is kind of funny.

    • creolechild says:

      If I may, I’d like to follow Angry Black Snob’s “pitch-perfect” take down with Tim Wise: An Open Letter to the White Right…


      For all y’all rich folks, enjoy that champagne, or whatever fancy ass Scotch you drink.

      And for y’all a bit lower on the economic scale, enjoy your Pabst Blue Ribbon, or whatever shitty ass beer you favor.

      Whatever the case, and whatever your economic station, know this…

      You need to drink up.

      And quickly.

      And heavily.

      Because your time is limited.

      Real damned limited.

      So party while you can, but mind the increasingly loud clock ticking away in the corners of your consciousness.

      The clock that reminds you how little time you and yours have left.

      Not much more now.

      Tick, tock.

      Tick, tock.



      I know, you think you’ve taken “your country back” with this election — and of course you have always thought it was yours for the taking, cuz that’s what we white folks are bred to believe, that it’s ours, and how dare anyone else say otherwise — but you are wrong.

      You have won a small battle in a larger war the meaning of which you do not remotely understand.

      ‘Cuz there is nothing even slightly original about you.

      There have always been those who wanted to take the country back.

      There were those who, in past years, wanted to take the country back to a time of enslavement and indentured servitude.

      But they lost.

      There were those who wanted to take us back to a time when children could be made to work in mines and factories, when workers had no legal rights to speak of, when the skies in every major city were heavy with industrial soot that would gather on sidewalks and windowsills like volcanic ash.

      But they lost.

      There were those who wanted to take us back to a time when women could not vote, or attend any but a few colleges, or get loans in their own names, or start their own businesses.

      But they lost.

      There were those who wanted to take us back to a time when blacks “had no rights that the white man was bound to respect,” – this being the official opinion of the Supreme Court before those awful days of judicial activism, now decried by the likes of you – and when people of color could legally be kept from voting solely because of race, or holding certain jobs, or living in certain neighborhoods, or run out of other towns altogether when the sun would go down, or be strung up from trees.

      But they lost.

      And you will lose.

      So make a note of it.

      Tweet it to yourself.

      Put it on your Facebook wall and leave it there so you’ll remember that I told you so.

      It is coming, and soon.

      This isn’t hubris. It isn’t ideology. It is not wishful thinking.

      It is math.

      Not even advanced math. Just simple, basic, like 3rd grade math.

      The kind of math that proves how your kind — mostly older white folks beholden to an absurd, inaccurate, nostalgic fantasy of what America used to be like — are dying.

      You’re like the bad guy in every horror movie ever made, who gets shot five times, or stabbed ten, or blown up twice, and who will eventually pass — even if it takes four sequels to make it happen — but who in the meantime keeps coming back around, grabbing at our ankles as we walk by, we having been mistakenly convinced that you were finally dead this time.

      Fair enough, and have at it. But remember how this movie ends.

      Our ankles survive.

      You do not.

      Michael Meyers, Freddie Kreuger, Jason, and that asshole husband in that movie with Julia Roberts who tracks her down after she runs away and changes her identity–they are all done. Even that crazy fucker in Saw is about to be finished off for good. Granted, he’s gonna be popping out in 3-D to scare the kiddies, so he isn’t going quietly. But he’s going, as all bad guys eventually do.

      And in the pantheon of American history, conservative old white people have pretty much always been the bad guys, the keepers of the hegemonic and reactionary flame, the folks unwilling to share the category of American with others on equal terms.

      Fine, keep it up. It doesn’t matter.

      Because you’re on the endangered list.

      And unlike, say, the bald eagle or some exotic species of muskrat, you are not worth saving.

      In forty years or so, maybe fewer, there won’t be any more white people around who actually remember that Leave it to Beaver, Father Knows Best, Opie-Taylor-Down-at-the-Fishing Hole cornpone bullshit that you hold so near and dear to your heart.

      There won’t be any more white folks around who think the 1950s were the good old days, because there won’t be any more white folks around who actually remember them, and so therefore, we’ll be able to teach about them accurately and honestly, without hurting your precious feelings, or those of the so-called “greatest generation” — a bunch whose white contingent was top-heavy with ethical miscreants who helped save the world from fascism only to return home and oppose the ending of it here, by doing nothing to lift a finger on behalf of the civil rights struggle.

      It’s OK. Because in about forty years, half the country will be black or brown. And there is nothing you can do about it.

      Nothing, Senõr Tancredo.

      Nothing, Senõra Angle, or Senõra Brewer, or Senõr Beck.

      Loy tiene muy mal, hijo de Puta.

      And by then you will have gone all in as a white nationalist movement — hell you’ve all but done that now — thus guaranteeing that the folks of color, and even a decent size minority of us white folks will be able to crush you, election after election, from the Presidency on down to the 8th grade student council.

      Like I said, this is math. And numbers don’t lie.

      Bottom line, this too shall pass.

      So enjoy your tax cuts a while longer.

      Go buy whatever you people buy when your taxes get cut: a new car or two, a bigger house, an island. Whatever.

      Go back to trading your derivatives, engaging in rampant financial speculation that produces nothing of value, that turns the whole world into your personal casino. Whatever.

      Play your hand, and for the love of God play it big. Real big. As in, shoot for the moon big. As in, try to privatize Social Security, and health care, and everything else. Whatever.

      At least that way everyone will be able to see what you’re really about.

      We’ve been trying to tell them, but nothing beats seeing it with your own eyes, so “Go big or go home,” Bubba.

      “Git ‘er Done.”

      “Cowboy up,” or whatever other stupid catch phrase strikes your fancy.

      Just promise you’ll do more than talk this time.

      Please, or as one of your celluloid heroes might put it, “make my day.”

      Do whatever you gotta do, but remember that those who are the victims of your greed and indifference take the long view.

      They know, but you do not, that justice is not for the sprinters, but rather for the long distance runners who will be hitting their second wind, right about the time that you collapse from exhaustion.

      They are like the tortoise to your hare.

      They are like the San Francisco Giants, to your New York Yankees: a bunch that loses year after year after year, until they finally win.

      You have had this confidence before, remember?

      You thought you had secured your position permanently after the overthrow of reconstruction in the wake of the civil war, after the elimination of the New Deal, after the Reagan revolution, after the Republican electoral victory of 1994. And yet, those you thought you had cowed and defeated are still here.

      Because those who have lived on the margins, who have been abused, maligned, targeted by austerity measures and budget cuts, subjected to racism, classism, sexism, straight supremacy and every other form of oppression always know more about their abusers than the abusers know about their victims.

      They have to study you, to pay careful attention, to adjust their body armor accordingly, and to memorize your sleep patterns.

      You, on the other hand, need know nothing whatsoever about them. And this, will surely prove politically fatal to you in the end. For it means you will not know their resolve. Will not fear it, as you should.

      It means you will take their greatest strength — perseverance — and make of it a weakness, called losing.

      But what you forget, or more to the point never knew, is that those who lose know how to lose, which is to say they know how to lose with dignity.

      And those who suffer know how to suffer, which is to say they know how to survive: a skill that is in short supply amid the likes of you.

      You, who could not survive the thought of minimal health care reform, or financial regulation, or a marginal tax rate equal to that which you paid just 10 years earlier, perhaps are under the illusion that everyone is as weak as you, as soft as you, as akin to petulant children as you are, as unable to cope with the smallest setback, the slightest challenge to the way you think your country should look and feel, and operate.

      But they are not.

      And they know how to regroup, and plot, and plan, and they are planning even now — we are — your destruction.

      And I do not mean by that your physical destruction. We don’t play those games. We’re not into the whole “Second Amendment remedies, militia, armed resistance” bullshit that your side fetishizes, cuz, see, we don’t have to be. We don’t need guns.

      We just have to be patient.

      And wait for you to pass into that good night, first politically, and then, well…

      Do you hear it?

      The sound of your empire dying? Your nation, as you knew it, ending, permanently?

      Because I do, and the sound of its demise is beautiful.

      So know this.

      If you thought this election was payback for 2008, remember…

      Payback, thy name is…


      • Ametia says:

        Sweet, and Tim Wise would know about this now wouldn’t he.

        I’ve nothing to add to this BULLETIN. He’s said it all.

      • creolechild says:

        And for those who aren’t familiar with Tim Wise, he’s a WHITE sociologist and a social justice activist…

      • creolechild says:

        I almost forgot…if you like what you read on this site, show Ametia and SoutherGirl2 some love. Vote for them to receive the Black Weblog Award of 2011 because these two sisters are truly holding it down…on our behalf!

        Thank you, Ametia and SouthernGirl2! (:

    • creolechild says:

      Here’s some powerful spoken word, courtesy of Def Poetry Slam, to make us think about a *certain* words and why it’s considered offensive:

      • creolechild says:

        Signing off for the day to nurse this cold that is making me miserable. Before I go, I want to share a video by one of the true Masters of the Spoken Word, Gil Scott-Heron who died yesterday.

        Ametia and SouthernGirl2 have devoted a entire page to him, complete with videos of some of his songs which were very well-known. So, go and check out the music of one of the men who cleared the path for the many who would follow in his footsteps:

      • Ametia says:

        Creolechild, on behalf of 3 Chics, THANK YOU, for helping us HOLD IT DOWN, BAY-BEE!

        Get your rest and we’re sending you lots of love and positive good cheers.

        Ametia & SG2! :-))

      • I concur! We are so grateful for all Creolechild does!

        Thank you much, Creolechild!

  4. Ametia says:

    BTW, SG2. Great tune; Crystal Blue Persuasion. Upbeat and positive, loving it!

  5. Ametia says:

    DCCC Chairman Steve Israel on the Rachel Maddow Show Discussing Why 97 Republicans are Losing Sleep


  6. Ametia says:

    Was this lil chat between Clinton & Ryan staged?

    • creolechild says:

      “The words “voted to” could come back to haunt House Speaker John Boehner. In his weekly Capitol briefing with reporters Thursday, Boehner made an unmistakably false claim. “The only people in Washington, DC who have voted to cut Medicare have been the Democrats when they voted to cut $500 billion in Medicare during Obamacare,” he said. Given a chance to walk it back, Boehner’s spokesman did not.”

      “Even if you leave out the key modifier “voted to” this is far from true. Both parties have actually “cut” Medicare many times over the years. Republicans in particular haven’t just voted for cuts, but passed legislation that presidents either signed or vetoed.”

      “That happened repeatedly in the 1990s, as laid out in detail here. In late 1995 and early 1996, it precipitated a government shutdown. In 1997, it resulted in the Balanced Budget Act. But if you leave the modifier in, this turns into a huge whopper.”

      “Not only did Republicans vote aspirationally to cut Medicare — in both the near and short term, and by huge amounts — in their dead-on-arrival budget this year, they’ve arguably made cutting Medicare a hallmark of what it means to be a Republican.”

      “The House GOP budget — which an overwhelming majority of Republicans in both chambers voted for — would cut Medicare in the near-term by repealing the new health care law. That would re-open the prescription drug donut hole, and rescind new guaranteed wellness benefits for seniors. It would also maintain the health care law’s $500 billion Medicare cuts — principally over-payments to private insurers participating in Medicare advantage.”

      “It would impose much, much larger cuts in the long term. Setting aside the privatization scheme, the government saves money under the plan principally by capping Medicare spending (the value of the subsidies to private insurers) and pegging that cap to inflation — way below the rate of growth of medical costs. That’s a cut no matter how you slice it.”

      “They’ve been at this very plan for some time….” [TO READ MORE CLICK ON THE LINK.]

      • Ametia says:

        And who were the 4 Repubs who voted AGAINST the RyanVoucher plan?

      • Ametia says:

        LOL Let’s get those pesky FACTS on the table, creolechild. We know they’re hard to digest, but if you take the facts in small bites, they might go down easier!

        BWA HA HA HA **looking@yoububbaclinton**

    • creolechild says:

      Well, maybe we should listen to what Bill Clinton has to say on the subject since he’s so knowledgeable and was able to pass successful health care reform legislation after Harry Truman, Richard Nixon, and Franklin D. Roosevelt–who didn’t even try.

      What?!! Oh…okay…never mind…wrong guy!

  7. Egypt Gaza Border Reopened Permanently

    RAFAH, Gaza Strip — Egypt lifted a four-year-old blockade on the Gaza Strip’s main link to the outside world Saturday, bringing relief to the crowded territory’s 1.5 million Palestinians but deepening a rift with Israel since the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak earlier this year.

    The Egyptian move will allow thousands of Gazans to move freely in and out of the area – heightening Israeli fears that militants and weapons could easily reach its doorstep.

    Israel and Egypt imposed the blockade after the Islamic militant Hamas seized control of Gaza in June 2007. The closure, which also included tight Israeli restrictions at its cargo crossings with Gaza and a naval blockade, was meant to weaken Hamas, but it also fueled an economic crisis in the densely populated territory.

    Hundreds of Gazans gathered early Saturday as the first bus load of passengers crossed the border at 9 a.m. Two Egyptian officers stood guard next to a large Egyptian flag atop the border gate as the vehicle rumbled through.

    Rami Arafat, 52, was among the earliest arrivals. He said he hoped to catch a flight out of Cairo on Sunday to Algeria for his daughter’s wedding.

    “All we need is to travel like humans, be treated with dignity, and feel like any other citizens of the world who can travel in and out freely,” Arafat said. He said he believed the relaxing of travel restrictions “will guarantee more support from all Arabs and Palestinians for the new Egyptian regime.”

    • Ametia says:

      What’s Bibi gotta say about this bizness, hmm?

      • Kiss it, Bibi! The Palestinians are people! They’re not caged animals. They deserve to treated like human beings.

      • creolechild says:

        I think Bibi’s “catching it” from both ends right about now. Bet he’s not smiling now! And it’s poetic justice for his behavior in front of Congress, whose behavior was just as reprehensible if not more so!

        “The Israeli opposition party Kadima responded to Egypt’s decision to open the Rafah border to Gaza Saturday, stressing the dangers of such a move for Israel’s security and blaming Netanyahu’s government for failing to prevent the move.”


        “The Rafah border was opened for the first time [Saturday] in direct opposition to Israel’s interests,” Kadima said in a statement Saturday, adding that Egypt had “breached the blockade that the Kadima government had brokered with international assistance against Hamas.”

        ‘”The opposition party blamed Netanyahu’s government, saying it was a ‘national failure’ that was caused by its ‘inability to create international cooperation’. The Kadima statement added that Israel is ‘isolated, its security is weakened and Hamas is gaining power'”.

        “‘The statement concluding saying the opening of the border is testimony that ‘Netanyahu’s government talks a hard line against Hamas, but in reality during the time of its leadership, Hamas has become stronger than it has ever been in the past.'”

      • Ametia says:

        …and remember how Bibi tried to diss our POTUS. What an assclown!

      • creolechild says:

        I’m re-posting this for those who may not be aware of what went down. I also hope before too much time has passed that people will coordinate and give Congress the smack down which it richly deserves via emails, letters, and phone calls for pulling this stunt–though it’s highly unlikely that it will actually happen!

        “‘Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could have read the phone book at the Congress podium and received the same standing ovation. His speech used the advice Moshe Sneh gave to himself. The late MK wrote on the draft of one of his speeches ‘weak argument, raise voice.'”

        “There’s no question Bibi knew exactly which points in his speech would make the Congressmen rise to their feet in tumultuous applause. After all, that was his objective in the first place: to begin his bizarre visit to America by embarrassing President Barack Obama and end it by outflanking him with Congress’ applause. It was no coincidence that he was complimented by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Likud MK Tzipi Hotovely.”

        “So according to the Government Press Office, Netanyahu knows the 1,200 words of the U.S. Declaration of Independence by heart, but he hasn’t changed his opinions since he published the second edition of his book “A Place Under the Sun” in 2001.”

        ” Journalist Shalom Yerushalmi, who compared the forewords of the two editions, didn’t discover any change in Netanyahu’s view that a Palestinian state is a strategic disaster, that Jordan is actually Palestine and that any withdrawal exacerbates the situation.”

        “As far as he’s concerned, the speech in Congress was a declaration of intentions. But the issues raised are clearly unacceptable to the Palestinians; for example, that Jerusalem will never be divided and Israel must maintain a military presence along the Jordan River. As someone who presumably appears a man of peace, he didn’t discuss the thorniest problems.”

        “This speech deepened the rift between us and the Palestinians by conditioning the negotiations’ chances of success on issues where Congress is unable to help. When it comes to conducting policy, there’s a total separation between the executive branch and Congress. Look how many times Congress decided to transfer the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem.”

        “Well, have you seen them packing their things at the embassy on Hayarkon Street in Tel Aviv?”

        “What did Bibi actually want when he organized an appearance in Congress for himself, near the date of the Jewish lobby’s conference in Washington? Some observers say he wanted to put pressure on Obama, who is entering an election period, so that he would adopt Israel’s positions. The public hazing of Obama in front of the media at the end of their meeting was embarrassing.”

        “Douglas Bloomfield, AIPAC’s long-time legislative director, writes in his blog that if Bibi is betting on Obama being a one-term president, he’s not as smart as he thinks. At the same time, Gary Rosenblatt, editor of The Jewish Week, describes the White House incident as a “hasbara disaster” – a public relations disaster. The strategic relationship between the United States and Israel is stronger than ever, Bloomfield writes, but the political alliance suffered an unnecessary blow last week, when in front of journalists Bibi distorted what Obama had told him in private.”

        “At the AIPAC conference the president was tough on the Palestinians. He promised to act in Europe to stop the declaration of a Palestinian state at the United Nations; he said including Hamas in the Palestinian government was a serious obstacle, and he didn’t accompany that with a demand to freeze construction in the settlements. His adviser Stephen Hadley said Obama is pressuring the Palestinians to show that they are willing to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, in order to negotiate with it.”

        “Obama used all the friendly expressions presidents use – the close relations between the two countries and the profound commitment to maintain Israeli security and prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. As someone who wasn’t especially connected to the Jews during his political career, Obama was moderate despite everything said against him in Israel under the inspiration of the right wing. He’s not a vengeful president, even if he isn’t in love with us.”

        “He’s a rational president who knows what’s good for world peace, and above all, he’s devoted to doing justice. Aspiring to a Middle East that will not be ruled by dictators who murder their own people, he counts us among the good guys and wishes us well. A failure of the peace process is not an option. The status quo cannot be maintained. True friends tell each other the truth.”

        “So as the clouds of September approach, we have a problem with Bibi’s savoir faire. A victory with the tricks and shticks of someone who finds it hard to drop the dream of a Greater Israel is leading us to destruction.”

      • @ Creolechild:

        And it’s poetic justice for his behavior in front of Congress, whose behavior was just as reprehensible if not more so!

        It was very disrespectful! When evil gets to rockin; Karma comes a knockin!

      • creolechild says:

        There you go, Boo. It should serve as ample warning to all of us to be careful of the type of energy that is sent out into the universe, whether it’s good, bad, or indifferent, because it may find its way back to you…

      • @ Creole: YUP. Sowing & reaping is a law!

  8. Ametia says:

    Posted at 04:33 PM ET, 05/27/2011

    Why you should ignore most of what you’re hearing about the presidential race
    By Jonathan Bernstein

    Texas Governor Rick Perry is finally admitting that he may wind up in the presidential race after all. And as silly as it seems, Rudy Giuliani getting another round of presidential buzz. So perhaps it’s time to think about the shape of the fall campaign.

    Let’s start by running through all the things that don’t matter — even though they are talked about endlessly by political reporters. First: Don’t bother looking at head-to-head matchups between Barack Obama and various Republican contenders. That’s the message from an excellent graph from political scientist Chris Wlezien, posted over at the Monkey Cage. It turns out that such polls this early in the process have basically no predictive value at all. As time goes on, that changes gradually. But this far out, nothing.

    Second, ignore the endless speculation about who will run for the Republican nomination. I wouldn’t pay a lot of attention to the out-party nomination process. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it makes no difference at all who challenges the president, but the effects are probably very small. Perceived ideological extremism in a candidate might cost a few points, and other effects are certainly possible, but mostly what drives presidential election voting is a combination of partisanship and assessments of how the president is doing — assessments that are most heavily influenced by economic factors, although other things can come into play.

    Meanwhile, state-level head-to-head polling is going to be especially meaningless. I recommend totally ignoring those until after the party conventions next year. No matter what state level polls say now, what happens in the states really just generally reflect national events and trends. It’s only in the last few weeks that state polls really start to matter — and that’s only if the race is so close that a slight shift in a state’s electorate, and in the electoral college overall, can make the difference.

    So: ignore all those things. The only two things to watch, this far out, are: Indicators about the state of the economy, especially how it will likely look next year; and Obama’s approval ratings, which incorporate both economic factors and anything else that matters to people. When it comes to predicting who’s going to win in the end, nothing else really counts.

  9. Ametia says:

    Oh really Gov. Walker? How are you gonna make this happen?

    • creolechild says:

      Bravo! Nicely done…however, let’s see if the public remembers this when it’s time to vote! Campaign slogan or not, it doesn’t detract from the simple truth that WE are the change we want to see…

      “Still spinning in the vortex of the May 24 tornado in New York’s 26th Congressional District, Republican leaders insist that Democrat Kathy Hochul’s upset victory on their party’s turf was meaningless. They say that Republican nominee Jane Corwin lost because of her own weak campaign, or the presence of a big-spending tea party candidate on a third ballot line, or just about anything except the Republican scheme to slash Medicare—which became the dominant topic of debate during the special election’s final weeks.”

      “Yet there are signals not only from upstate New York but around the nation that the Republicans face surging discontent, as voters learn what they intend when they attain power. With a majority in the House of Representatives, they have devised a budget plan that would help nobody except the wealthiest taxpayers, while devastating the nation’s health insurance programs, physical infrastructure and environment.”

      “With most of the nation’s statehouses under Republican control, they have inflicted harsh cutbacks in education, health care and public safety, while assailing every public employee, from teachers to firefighters and cops.”

      “Evidently, the people do not approve of these assaults on the standard of living of the American middle class. According to recent public opinion polls, in fact, the people feel a keen sense of “buyer’s remorse” for supporting the Republicans last November. From the Canadian border down to the Florida coast, swing-state voters are expressing deep regret over the results of the midterm elections.”

      • Ametia says:

        Yes, let’s see if folks are going to get those boots on the ground, and canvas, phonebank, and blackened those ovals for CHANGE!

  10. Ametia says:

    Sotomayor gets $1.2 million advance for memoir
    By Associated Press, Published: May 27
    Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor says she received nearly $1.2 million to write a memoir of her rise from a South Bronx housing project to the nation’s highest court.

    Sotomayor reported the payment for the as-yet untitled book from Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group in an annual report of personal finances, released Friday for the justice and her eight colleagues. Knopf revealed last July that Sotomayor had agreed to write the memoir, but the size of the advance had not been public.

    The book will come out simultaneously in English and in Spanish, but no release date has been set. Sotomayor is the court’s first Hispanic justice. Her parents moved from Puerto Rico to New York after World War II.

    Justice Clarence Thomas also received more than $1 million in advance of the publication of his book, “My Grandfather’s Son,” in 2007.

    Thomas reported that his wife, Virginia, received salary and benefits from two conservative advocacy groups she created, Liberty Central and Liberty Consulting. The amounts were not disclosed; they are not required.

  11. Ametia says:

    Obama Visit Underscores America’s European Ties
    by NPR Staff

    May 28, 2011 President Obama meets with Poland’s prime minister and other Eastern European leaders on Saturday before closing his weeklong trip to Europe with a press conference in Warsaw. NPR’s Scott Horsley looks back at the president’s trip.


  12. US President Barack Obama (R) walks with Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski (C) as they review a guard of honour during an official welcome at the presidential palace in Warsaw on May 28, 2011. Obama was to wrap up his European tour by meeting on May 28 with the leaders of staunch ally Poland as Warsaw gets set to take the helm of the European Union.

  13. Ametia says:

  14. creolechild says:

    Well, it looks like “Lucy” has some ‘splainin to do…

    “This is a disaster,” said one prominent Polk County Republican. An elected official called it “an embarrassment”. The embarrassing disaster was the result of Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann’s last minute cancellation of her appearance at the Polk County GOP’s Robb Kelley Dinner. Bachmann’s absence turned what should have been a very successful fundraiser into a black eye for herself, her presidential aspirations and the county party.”

    “Over 300 Republicans paid $75 per ticket to meet and listen to Bachmann. Media from around the country, and even as far away as Norway, descended on Des Moines to cover the event. Extra security was arranged. Speculation rose that she might announce a bid for the presidency at the event. Bachmann squashed that rumor the day before. Then, two hours before the event was scheduled to start, she informed Polk County GOP officials she would not be able to attend.”

    “The scheduling conflict arose because of a House vote on extending the Patriot Act. Backup plans were made for her to use a private jet. In the end, nothing worked and Bachmann was unable to make it. Instead, she appeared on choppy and blurry Skype-style video. Local Republicans were extremely displeased.”

    “It’s awful,” said activist Becky Irvin. “She just shot herself in the foot. She dissed Iowa. You don’t diss Iowa.” The Patriot Act extensions passed easily, 250-153. Bachmann’s presence was not vital. However, some attendees gave her the benefit of the doubt. “I don’t like it, but I understand,” said John Kline.”

    • Ametia says:

      LOL Bachman’s anothe Palin. Puffed up as touch, “maverericky” and America-loving conservative. but she like Palin is NOT SMARTER THAN A FIFTH GRADER. Bachman, like Palin will dodge and hide from any real media questioning & crititique.

      Bachman will continue with the distorting drivel and lies about constitiution, founding fathers bullshit, and her base will funnel money in her coffers, while the media props up another white mediocre GRIFTING woman.

  15. creolechild says:

    SIGH… Yup, this will go a long way in helping to fix the problems in our public school system. (smirk).

    “Don’t worry, American youth: Mike Huckabee has fixed American history. No longer will you suffer under what Huckabee calls “the ‘blame America first’ attitude prevalent in today’s teaching.” Late Wednesday, Huckabee announced, a sort of BMG Music Club for what he calls “unbiased” historical lessons for kids. For around $15 each, the company will send you a new animated tale of American history each month, told through the eyes of a gang of time traveling kids.”

    “The first video (available for just $9.95, with a gift bag full of goodies)? “The Reagan Revolution.” Naturally. In this 90-second preview of the video, one sees a tale of an America in 1970s decay, where unemployed muggers in “DISCO” tanktops threatened anyone they could find with knives. Then came a man that could restore hope to the land: Ronald Reagan.”


    • Ametia says:

      Thanks for the repost, creole. The revisionist can try to re-spin RAY-GUN’s legacy to America all they like. We know that bullshit is a LIE! Ronald Reagan was a senile, hollywood puppet who dragged America down and helped set up the trap that crippled our social safety net. So screw Mike Fuckabee and the cartoon he rode in on.

    • creolechild says:

      Sweetie, you have a way with words that absolutely keeps me from getting “too” upset about the craziness that’s jumping off at the speed of lightning all around us! Sending you a (((((virtual hug!)))))

      • creolechild says:

        THIS IS SO WRONG! I love my home state but things like this make me want to scream…

        “Herman Wallace and Albert Woodfox have entered their 40th year in solitary confinement in the Louisiana prison system. A series of events in New Orleans last month marked the 39th “anniversary” of their placement in solitary, following the murder of Angola prison guard Brent Miller–a murder for which Wallace and Woodfox were later convicted on highly dubious evidence. The third member of the Angola 3, Robert King, was convicted of a separate prison murder, and released after 29 years in solitary when his conviction was overturned.”

        “King was among the 39 people who paid homage to Wallace and Woodfox’s four-decade ordeal by spending one hour inside a 6 x 9-foot replica “cell,” constructed by artist Jackie Sumell. The anniversary events, which took place at the headquarters of the organization Resurrection After Exoneration in New Orleans.”

        “Other events included the screening of the film “In the Land of the Free”, in which Brent Miller’s widow, Teenie Vernet, expresses her belief that her husband’s killers have not yet been caught. Of Wallace and Woodfox she says: “If they did not do it–and I believe they didn’t–they have been living a nighmare.”

        “The three men believe they were originally targeted because they were Black Panthers, organizing against conditions at Angola, and Wallace and Woodfox believe they remain in solitary for the same reason. In a 2008 deposition, Angola Warden Burl Cain said Woodfox “wants to demonstrate. He wants to organize. He wants to be defiant…He is still trying to practice Black Pantherism, and I still would not want him walking around my prison because he would organize the young new inmates. I would have me all kind of problems, more than I could stand, and I would have the blacks chasing after them.”

        “Wallace and Woodfox were recently separated from the prison that made them famous–and from one another–and moved separately to other maximum security prisons. Wallace is now in the Hunt Correctional Center, down the river in St. Gabriel, while Woodfox is in the Wade Correctional Center in Homer, in the far northwest reaches of the state. Both remain in “Closed Cell Restricted” housing, or round-the-clock solitary confinement, with brief excursions for showers and solitary exercise in a “dog pen.” Woodfox is now in his mid-60s, and Wallace is nearing 70. Both depend upon mail to relieve their isolation; they can be reached at the following addresses:

        Herman Wallace
        Elayn Hunt Correctional Center
        CCR – D – #11
        PO Box 174
        St Gabriel, LA 70776

        Albert Woodfox
        David Wade Correctional Center, N1A
        670 Bell Hill Rd.
        Homer, LA 71040

      • Ametia says:

        This is a travesty, creolechild. We’ve got to do more to get our peeps who were wrongfully imprisoned out of America’s prison system.

        The elite profit off our men being uneducated and imprisoned. ENOUGH!

      • It’s modern day slavery!

      • creolechild says:

        There’s some advocacy going on in that area, such as this:

        “Eyewitness misidentification is the single greatest cause of wrongful convictions nationwide, playing a role in more than 75% of convictions overturned through DNA testing.”

        “While eyewitness testimony can be persuasive evidence before a judge or jury, 30 years of strong social science research has proven that eyewitness identification is often unreliable. Research shows that the human mind is not like a tape recorder; we neither record events exactly as we see them, nor recall them like a tape that has been rewound. Instead, witness memory is like any other evidence at a crime scene; it must be preserved carefully and retrieved methodically, or it can be contaminated.”

        “In case after case, DNA has proven what scientists already know — that eyewitness identification is frequently inaccurate. In the wrongful convictions caused by eyewitness misidentification, the circumstances varied, but judges and juries all relied on testimony that could have been more accurate if reforms proven by science had been implemented. The Innocence Project has worked on cases in which:

        • A witness made an identification in a “show-up” procedure from the back of a police car hundreds of feet away from the suspect in a poorly lit parking lot in the middle of the night.

        • A witness in a rape case was shown a photo array where only one photo of the person police suspected was the perpetrator was marked with an “R.”

        • Witnesses substantially changed their description of a perpetrator (including key information such as height, weight and presence of facial hair) after they learned more about a particular suspect.

        • Witnesses only made an identification after multiple photo arrays or lineups — and then made hesitant identifications (saying they “thought” the person “might be” the perpetrator, for example), but at trial the jury was told the witnesses did not waver in identifying the suspect.

        [Read more by clicking on the link.]

      • creolechild says:

        And there are programs like this which are designed specifically to assist women.

        “The Justice Project is a peer-based nonprofit human rights organization, whose mission is to provide criminal justice/social service advocacy and navigational learning for women and transgenders identifying as female in poverty. These women suffer from a multitude of challenges including homelessness, prostitution, sexual exploitation, discrimination, mental illness, and domestic violence. ”

        “While many organizations offer a variety of worthy services, there are still women who fall through the cracks; women with whom other providers have had limited success or have given up on. These women are often fearful, confused, and traumatized by system processes, particularly within the criminal justice system. Mental illness, addictions,and lack of education make it difficult for them to comprehend how to navigate through what they perceive as complicated system processes.”

        “The Justice Project encourages the women to become responsible and accountable by addressing their own barriers to success, seeking their own solutions to system issues, and dissolving obstacles preventing their independence, with guidance by the Justice Project advocates.”

      • creolechild says:

        And here’s a program that’s designed specifically for women.

        “The Justice Project is a peer-based nonprofit human rights organization, whose mission is to provide criminal justice/social service advocacy and navigational learning for women and transgenders identifying as female in poverty. These women suffer from a multitude of challenges including homelessness, prostitution, sexual exploitation, discrimination, mental illness, and domestic violence. While many organizations offer a variety of worthy services, there are still women who fall through the cracks; women with whom other providers have had limited success or have given up on. These women are often fearful, confused, and traumatized by system processes, particularly within the criminal justice system. Mental illness, addictions,and lack of education make it difficult for them to comprehend how to navigate through what they perceive as complicated system processes. The Justice Project encourages the women to become responsible and accountable by addressing their own barriers to success, seeking their own solutions to system issues, and dissolving obstacles preventing their independence, with guidance by the Justice Project advocates.”

      • creolechild says:

        Ametia~ I duplicated the post for the Justice Project. When you get a chance please delete one of them. Thanks and sorry about that!

  16. creolechild says:

    Stephen Colbert is a comedian but I also think he’s more intelligent than a lot of people give him credit for. Think about it…by applying for this “press exemption,” and being rejected, maybe he’s trying to set a precedent to prevent more media figures from capitalizing on, and misusing, PACs. At least, that’s how I’m interpreting it…I could be wrong.

    “Two good government groups are urging the Federal Elections Commission to reject Stephen Colbert’s request for a “media exception” which would allow his employer Viacom to cover the costs of his “Super PAC” without having to disclose those expenses as in-kind contributions — including the group headed by the lawyer representing Colbert.”

    “Colbert’s request could have serous implications on campaign finance law and would “would permit the corporate media employer of these individuals to make unlimited, undisclosed contributions to their PACs under the guise of the ‘press exemption’,” Campaign Legal Center and Democracy 21 said in a statement. They mentioned that Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum all had PACs and are (or recently were) television hosts or commentators.”

    “Although we recognize that Mr. Colbert submitted his advisory opinion in the spirit of political comedy, an opinion by the FEC permitting all that Mr. Colbert requests would have a sweeping and damaging impact on disclosure laws and the public’s right to know about campaign finance activities,” Paul S. Ryan, FEC Program Director at the Campaign Legal Center, said in a statement.

    “Many television show hosts who are serious politicians have PACs that could reap great financial benefit from the expansion of the scope of the ‘press exemption’ to cover the costs of independent expenditure ads made for their federal PACs and the payment of such PACs’ administrative expenses,” Ryan said.

    • creolechild says:

      Good news…

      “In one of the most surprising and inspiring grassroots campaigns this year, the Citizens for a Better Arizona will make history next Tuesday, May 31st, when they present Secretary of State Ken Bennett with more than twice as many signatures needed to recall notorious state Senate President Russell Pearce (R-Mesa).”

      “Defying all expectations, the once powerful Pearce will become the first Senate president to be recalled in American history, according to campaign supporters, if 7,756 valid signatures from Pearce’s District 18 in Phoenix-area Mesa are verified over a rigorous 90-day period.”

      “Take note: The other Arizona — the real Arizona, for a rapidly growing statewide movement — has re-emerged to reclaim its state from one of the nation’s most controversial and embarrassing right-wing hardliners.”

    • Ametia says:

      Colbert’s on to soemthing. I like it.


      • creolechild says:

        Is this the kind of country we’ve become? Better yet, is this where we’re headed? Something to think about…

        “When Sheela Gunn-Cushman decided to take part in a die-in at the California Republican Convention at the Hyatt Regency in Sacramento in March, she didn’t think it would change minds, but she believed that if attendees had to look into the eyes of people with disabilities, they might think twice about pushing for and supporting continued budget cuts.”

        “There wasn’t one person at that action that wasn’t disabled,” said Gunn-Cushman, a disability rights advocate who is blind and has a mild case of cerebral palsy. “We have all been hit hard by budget cuts.”

        “Shortly after arriving, Gunn-Cushman and several other members of Communities United in Defense of Olmstead (CUIDO) got out of their wheelchairs, made their way to the ground of the hotel lobby and quietly revealed signs saying, “Our lives are precious,” “Close corporate tax loopholes,” and “Tax oil.”

        “As this “Die In” video taken by E+ Productions shows, no one could have predicted what came next. Hotel security arrived, followed by a crowd of curious onlookers who took out their cell phones and began taking photos of the disabled protesters. Many laughed and heckled. One man said, “Get a job!” Another said, “You retards are sure gonna look funny tonight on YouTube!” A woman attending the convention said, “Who let this scum in here? Someone should throw out the trash!”

        “I was floored by what happened,” said Gunn-Cushman. “It was appalling. I went into a deep depression after that action and that’s hard for me to do.”

      • Ametia says:

        Lord have mercy! Reapin & sowing, reaping and sowing. That’s all I’m going to say about this situation, creolechild.

      • @ Creolechild: OMG! Sweet Jesus! Folks have gone mad!

  17. creolechild says:

    Curious to see how this develops over time. Stay tuned…

    “Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann are nominally allies, two maverick conservative women who are among the GOP’s brightest stars. Telegenic pols with devoted followings, both appeal to the tea party faithful and would make strong runs at evangelical Christians and social conservatives in Iowa. They’re both favorite faces of Fox News, capable of raising huge amounts of money online.”

    “But despite – or perhaps because of – what they have in common, there are signs of tensions between the camps. And the iron-clad laws of politics suggest there isn’t enough room for the two powerful personalities to occupy the same political space in 2012.”


    “Already, their interests are coming into conflict as Palin makes moves designed to reclaim some of the media sparkle she’s ceded to Bachmann during the spring.
    The timing of Palin’s announcement Thursday of a weekend bus tour up the East Coast overshadowed what appeared to be Bachmann’s final steps toward a presidential bid, a “moneybomb” raising $250,000 in a day and a planned speech in Iowa.”

    “At the last minute, though, Bachmann’s Thursday speech morphed into a telephone conference promising a June announcement. (Plans were changed not for Palin but for a vote on the Patriot Act, her staff said.)”

    “Bachmann and her staff say they’re ignoring Palin’s steps, and when asked about Palin during her by-phone presser with reporters who flew to Iowa Thursday for the speech, Bachmann lauded the Alaskan. But in the next breath she ticked off her resume, seeming to distinguish her own background from Palin’s credentials.”

  18. creolechild says:

    “‘On Thursday, House Republicans finally unveiled their grand plan for tackling America’s jobs crisis and creating jobs for the unemployed. It clocks in at a mere 10 pages, in large type, chock full of slick images. What’s missing is, well, any legitimate solutions to lowering the nation’s 8.6 percent jobless rate. The Washington Post’s Ezra Klein wrote, ‘It looks like the staffer in charge forgot the assignment was due on Thursday rather than Friday, and so cranked the font up to 24 and began dumping clip art to pad out the plan.'”

    “The criticism is well deserved. Reading the “House Republican Plan for America’s Job Creators” (PDF), released by the House GOP leadership, is an exercise in wonderment: you wonder what the GOPers actually propose. Several of the “Republican Solutions” are a bit vague. “After a systematic review of our visa system, the Congress should undertake prudent reforms,” reads one “solution.” Another “solution”: “We will work to control the federal deficit to assure investors and entrepreneurs that our nation’s elected leaders are finally getting serious about paying off the debt over time.” Details? Apparently, the GOP view was, why bother?”

    “The GOP plan boiled down to its essence is rather retro: Roll back regulation, lower taxes, pass free trade agreements, shrink the US debt, and boost energy production. In other words, the GOP’s overall agenda for the past three decades. There’s nothing in this plan that is specific regarding the current jobs crisis, nothing to address such key issues as long-term unemployment, skyrocketing youth unemployment, the war on unemployment benefits in the states (PDF), the use and efficacy of job retraining for laid-off workers, or the polarization of the American work force. It’s empty rhetoric, recycled talking points, and campaign slogans.”

    • creolechild says:

      “….Until this year none of my classmates, many of whom were veteran tomato workers, had ever attended a session like this one, where their fellow workers outlined their new rights and responsibilities under the CIW’s Fair Food Code of Conduct as employees of Pacific Tomato Growers, a major corporation that markets its products under the brand names Sunripe and Suncoast.”

      “….Last November, the Florida Tomato Growers Exchange, a cooperative of agribusinesses that grow the vast majority of Florida tomatoes, signed the Fair Food agreement with the CIW. The CIW had been working since 1993 to improve the lot of farm workers. With a few pen strokes, the Florida tomato industry went from being one of the most repressive employers in the country (nine cases involving abject slavery in Florida fields have been prosecuted in the past 15 years) to being on the road to becoming the most progressive groups in the fruit and vegetable industry.”


      “Every major fast food chain and food service corporation has agreed to the Fair Foods principles and, as a key part of the deal, has begun to funnel an extra penny per pound for the tomatoes they buy directly to workers. But unfortunately, a single dark cloud still hangs over the efforts of the CIW and the growers. With the notable exception of Whole Foods Market, not a single supermarket chain has come aboard. Supermarkets buy about half of Florida’s tomatoes, so they represent an enormous amount of lost wages to workers. The noncompliance of the grocery giants also deprives the workers of the moral and financial suasion that such large buyers can exert to make growers adhere to the agreement.”

      • creolechild says:

        “BEIJING — North Korea freed an American it held for a half year for reportedly proselytizing, handing him Saturday to a U.S. envoy who said Washington had not promised to provide aid in exchange for the man’s release.”

        “The envoy, Robert King, accompanied Eddie Jun on a flight from the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, and told reporters after arriving in Beijing that Jun would be reunited with his family in the United States “within a day or two.”

      • Ametia says:

        WTF was he over in North Korea proselytizing for? Folks need to save their own damn souls, and leave the rest of us to our own religious/spiritual freedoms.

    • creolechild says:

      Remember, some Republicans want to eliminate the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)…

      “Less than a week after a natural gas well blowout in Pennsylvania prompted Chesapeake Energy, the nation’s second-largest producer of natural gas, to temporarily suspend fracking in the state, advocates for clean, safe drinking water today urged President Barack Obama to halt fracking throughout the Delaware River Basin. Food & Water Watch joined with actor and founder Mark Ruffalo to call on President Obama to tell the Army Corps of Engineers to vote against proposed inadequate fracking regulations for the Delaware River Basin.”

      “As pressure mounts to end U.S. reliance on fossil fuels, especially from foreign sources, many are touting shale gas as a “bridge fuel” between current energy resources and the clean, renewable ones of the future. Yet hydraulic fracturing has been shown to contaminate drinking water resources. To date, there have been more than 1,000 documented cases of water contamination near drilling sites around the country.”

      “Fracking can also endanger consumers who do not reside near drilling sites. Wastewater from the process often contains harmful levels of radioactive elements that cannot be effectively treated by the municipal treatment plants to which drillers ship their fracking waste. In Pennsylvania, this has resulted in toxic wastewater being discharged into rivers. Last week, the state’s Department of Environmental Protection told natural gas drillers to stop sending their fracking fluids to municipal wastewater treatment plants.”

      • creolechild says:

        Here’s an article which explains some basics about fracking. From what I’ve read on the subject, it doesn’t appear to be beneficial to humans OR the environment.

        “The process of hydraulic fracturing – or “fracking” – involves drilling a hole deep into the dense shale rocks that contain natural gas, then pumping in at very high pressure vast quantities of water mixed with sand and chemicals. This opens up tiny fissures in the rock, through which the trapped gas can then escape. It bubbles out and is captured in well that brings it to the surface, where it can be piped off.”

        “Why is it controversial?”

        “Many shale deposits are buried under aquifers, and if the cement casing around the wellhole is not adequate, then the process of drilling and fracking can release the chemicals into the aquifer. Leaks of methane can occur, leading potentially to fires or explosions.”

        “The water-chemical mixture pumped in gradually returns to the surface, where it can contaminate land and water. It can also be highly saline and contain solids, such as flakes of rock. Some companies have been accused of poor disposal of the sludge waste that results from fracking. In addition, the vast quantities of water used can lead to problems by depleting local ecosystems. There is also concern about the seismic activity involved in fracking.”

        “These issues have prompted an outcry around the world, and some places are considering a ban – such as Pittsburgh, in the US, while New York called a halt to it pending a review. A bill to ban fracking in France has widespread popular support.”

        “In the US, legal loopholes mean the fracking industry is poorly regulated, as large parts of it were taken out of the control of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by President Bush, and companies do not have to disclose what chemicals they use.”

        “So what chemicals are used?”

        “Reports in the US have found hundreds of chemicals in use, some of them potentially toxic, including methanol, naphthalene, benzene and lead. In the UK, shale gas company Cuadrilla Resources uses only three, including a lubricant commonly found in cosmetics, hydrochloric acid, and a biocide commonly used to purify drinking water.”

        “Should we be worried?”

        “Owing to the legal situation in the US, where fracking has been pioneered, and the secrecy of the fracking industry, it has been hard to gauge how dangerous fracking is and whether the processes can be controlled in such a way as to make them safe. But the US the EPA is currently undertaking a massive study of the industry, so there may be answers from the preliminary report by the end of next year, though the full report will not be available until 2014.”

      • creolechild says:

        “Three months after voting to eliminate funding for the Environmental Protection Agency, Rep. Lou Barletta (R-PA) now says he’s outraged that the EPA isn’t doing more to protect the health of residents in his district. Barletta is insisting that the agency pay special attention to an area in Pittson, PA, after one resident alleged that a tunnel near a Superfund site gave him cancer. The EPA held an open house and information session to address the concerns of residents in the area, but said it did not plan to conduct further testing. This outraged Barletta, who called their decision “unacceptable”:


        “That’s an ironic position for Barletta, considering how often he’s tried to prevent the EPA from doing its job. In February, Barletta voted with the rest of the Republican-controlled House for an amendment that slashed funding for the EPA. Republicans were retaliating against the agency for its efforts to regulate greenhouse-gas emissions. Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX), one of the authors of the amendment, said, “The era of EPA overstepping its authority by imposing over-burdensome and unnecessary regulations at the expense of American businesses is over.”

    • Ametia says:


    • creolechild says:

      “On Tuesday, New Yorkers in the state’s 26th Congressional District delivered House Republicans a clear message that House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) plan to end Medicare won’t fly. But a new poll shows that the American public’s distaste for Ryan’s proposal doesn’t stop at Medicare. According to a new Kaiser Family Foundation poll, 60 percent of those polled prefer the keep Medicaid — the federal heath insurance system for the poor — “as is,” as opposed to Ryan’s detrimental block grant program. Indeed, more than half want to see no reductions in Medicaid spending at all because of “a strong sense of the program’s importance.” Indeed, many said they had benefited or knew people who had benefited from the program directly:

      “Support for maintaining the current program may be due at least in part to the public’s personal connections to Medicaid and a strong sense of the program’s importance. About half of Americans say they or a friend or family member has received Medicaid assistance at some point, and a similar share say the program is important to their family.”

      “Even those who initially supported Ryan’s Medicaid block grant idea said the Democratic position could sway them into maintaining Medicaid as it is….”

    • creolechild says:

      “Without public disclosure, the Federal Reserve doled out money totaling at least $30 million to three foreign banks at interest rates as low as 0.01 percent during the 2008 financial crisis, Bloomberg reported. The banks Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse and the Royal Bank of Scotland were recipients recipients of these loans, approved by Ben Bernanke. The information was released following the filing of a Freedom of Information Act request, raising questions by open government and transparency advocates.”

    • creolechild says:

      Hmmm…now this is interesting but it makes me wonder how Republicans will justify ending health care reform, Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid slashing funding for education and other programs that will also benefit veterans returning from war. Are they going to have the nerve to tell soldiers that they have to engage in “shared sacrifice” too? Really? My guess is that those who return from war will get thrown under the bus with the rest of us while corporations and the wealthy continue to get a free pass…

      “Voting on amendments to the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, the House of Representatives took action to hasten the end of the wars in Afghanistan and Libya. By a 204-215 vote roll call – six switchers would have passed the amendment – the House narrowly failed to adopt a bipartisan amendment from Reps. Jim McGovern (D-Massachusetts) and Justin Amash (R-Michigan) that would have required the Department of Defense (DoD) to develop a plan for an, “accelerated transition of military operations to Afghan authorities.”

      “It may seem counterintuitive to count narrowly failing to adopt an amendment as “taking an action,” but in terms of consequences, it is taking action. Getting more than 200 votes sends a signal to the White House: if you don’t move – for example, by announcing a significant drawdown of US troops from Afghanistan this summer – you could lose the next vote in the House. And if the administration lost a vote in the House on the Afghanistan war, you can bet that would be front-page news in Europe, weakening the administration’s case to the Europeans for continuing the status quo. It seems likely that the administration will want to stay one step ahead of the House, rather than face a public defeat. That points toward an accelerated drawdown this year.”

      • creolechild says:

        “An unexpected voice is joining the international chorus urging Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi to leave. On Friday, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev announced that he would use his country’s solid rapport with Libya to encourage Gadhafi to finally abandon his position—a development that happened on the heels of Medvedev’s meeting with President Obama.” —KA

        The New York Times:

        “Mr. Medvedev’s announcement, which came a day after a 90-minute bilateral meeting with President Obama in France represents a pronounced shift in Russia’s tone on Libya. Russia’s criticism of NATO attacks had become increasingly tough over the last months, reviving a longstanding critique of American unilateralism that had quieted since Mr. Obama took office.”

        “By attaching Russia’s prestige to the effort, Mr. Medvedev is taking a gamble. If Colonel Qaddafi could be convinced to leave, Russia would win international plaudits but would also bear some responsibility for guaranteeing his safety. If he cannot, Mr. Medvedev might find it more difficult to keep his distance from the military campaign, which is not popular in Russia.”|+Ear+to+the+Ground

      • Ametia says:

        Gadhafi’s compund has been hit several times… do you suppose he’s going out like Bin Laden?

      • creolechild says:

        I don’t know how he will meet his demise, but it seems that more countries are committing to his removal from office.

  19. creolechild says:

    Good morning, everyone!

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