Serendipity SOUL | Memorial Day Monday Open Thread

Photo Credit: PR Photos May 25, 2011, (Sawf News) – First Lady Michelle Obama made standout and stately style statements at Oxford and London during the first couple’s state visit to the United Kingdom.

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61 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Memorial Day Monday Open Thread

  1. Ametia says:

    Two thumbs up to all the ladies listed here

    Slideshow: Leading ladies who deserve their own show

  2. Ametia says:

    Well lookie here at the CaC

    James Brown apologises for hurling racial abuse at award ceremony

    A top celebrity hairdresser who counts Kate Moss and Lily Allen among his inner circle has been forced to apologise after calling a black television presenter a racially offensive name eight times.

    By Laura Roberts 2:54PM BST 30 May 2011
    James Brown abused Ben Douglas at the Bafta Television Awards ceremony which was held at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London.

    Mr Douglas, 31, wrote in a national newspaper that he was called “nigger” by a fellow guest at the award show but did not name him.

    However, Mr Brown, who has his own haircare range and reality television show entitled Great British Hairdresser, has admitted that he was the person in question.

    He said: “I’d like to make a public apology to Mr Douglas, to his friends and to Bafta for my offensive and stupid comments. The simple truth is that I had drunk far too much on the evening and my behaviour was totally unacceptable.

    “Everyone who knows me knows I am not racist in any way whatsoever but this incident has shown me that my drinking is way out of control and I need to take urgent measures to deal with it. I have been in touch with Mr Douglas and will be writing to him and to the Bafta organisers to apologise personally. I am very sorry and very embarrassed.”

    • Oh, so it was James Brown that yelled the nigger word 9 times? He wants to imitate Dr Laura, eh? Get out of here with the blaming it on the alcohol. He is mighty luck to have teeth still intact. He should have been spitting up teeth after his racist rant.

      • Ametia says:

        Alcohol, alcohol is to blame for James’ racist rant, according to James Brown. Naw son, the alcohol just dug it up out of your racist gut.

  3. rikyrah says:

    Racial panderers wallop Obama
    May 30, 2011 2:05AM

    Is it the pot calling the kettle black? Or not black enough?

    Those are the questions swirling in the recent dust-up among some of America’s most prominent black intellectuals and talking heads.

    African-American names in the news have been exchanging harsh words over the state of black America in the Obama era. President Barack Obama is the piñata at the center of the controversy, but it’s not really about him.

    It’s about a clash of massive egos and a longstanding worry that as America lurches toward a post-racial age, the racial grandstanders and panderers will tumble into the tar pits of irrelevance. The race careerists are becoming an endangered species.

    One specimen is a classic. Dr.-Professor-Rapper-Signifier Cornel West should be propped up in a glass exhibit case at the Smithsonian. The famous Princeton University scholar is bitterly teed off at the president. West charges that Obama has neglected the unemployed, the poor, those in prison, and — worst of all — the president is not taking his calls.

    In a recent interview with progressive web site Truthdig, West railed that Obama is “a black mascot of Wall Street oligarchs and a black puppet of corporate plutocrats. And now he has become head of the American killing machine and is proud of it.”

    West, whose high-wattage speechifying is a staple of the lecture circuit, claims he made 65 appearances on behalf of the 2008 Obama presidential campaign. And now the president won’t even call him back.

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

    And I thought the birthers were bad.

    Of course, this is nothing new. West’s close pal, PBS talk show host Tavis Smiley, has been hammering away at Obama for years. Smiley bleats that America’s first black president has turned his back on his peeps.

    The Obama debate has opened the floodgates to the rich diversity of opinion among black thinkers and doers. Obama critiques have inspired a needed debate among hundreds of black voices, from Democratic Party maven Donna Brazile, to cable talker Roland Martin, to West’s former Princeton colleague, Melissa Harris-Perry, to New York Daily News columnist Stanley Crouch.

    On May 23, Crouch penned a searing retort to West’s diatribe. The professor, he wrote, is a fake revolutionary and “a six-figure entertainer.”

    Crouch added, “Publicity, not scholarship, is his true tradition. West often gives his listeners no more than sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

    That pot is blacker than black.

    Let’s not kid ourselves. They’re all word warriors, angling for the controversial edge that will deliver lucrative speaking fees, TV gigs and book deals.

    Most African Americans cringe at the contretemps over Obama and his obligation to black America. They understand that the dilemma of being black in America extends into the Oval Office. They just want him to succeed on the best terms he can negotiate with a hostile and unforgiving opposition.

    They fear that airing our dirty laundry only gives comfort and ammunition to his — and our — enemies. I have no fear on this front, and welcome the intellectual street fighting. We are not a monolithic tribe.

    These debates demonstrate that we have an intellectual heft and diversity that should be heard.

    Trust me — Obama is listening.

    • Ametia says:

      Good! I hope President Obama is listening. And I hope he hears that 3 Chics does not see as just another GW Bush, Bill Clinton, or Jimmy Carter. Let the black intellegencia, the haters, teabagging wingnuts, the GOP, and the fauxgressive PONTIFICATE.

      Their is no one else out there like PBO, NO ONE. Keep doing you, Mr. President!

  4. rikyrah says:

    Evaluating Efforts of the Upper and Middle Classes to Uplift Black America
    By Xavier Higgs, Special to the NNPA from Our Weekly –

    Many would agree the Black middle and upper classes have contributed greatly to the success of the American society during the last century, but questions still linger as to whether or not they are doing enough for the rest of Black America.

    And, there is the issue of whether giving money is enough, or should the more affluent stay in the larger community to offer living examples of success.

    There is little dispute that in the United States, living in a poor neighborhood frequently means living in an environment that is unhealthy and violent, and may offer relatively poor learning and economic opportunities. Thus the exodus of middle-class families from poor Black neighborhoods increases the adverse effects of concentrated poverty.

    However, some in the middle class feel they are doing enough to contribute resources to the poor. At the same time, some Black families of a certain means do face a dilemma and ask themselves are they doing enough to help Blacks of lesser means, especially those who live in disadvantaged communities.

    “You cannot lump all Black middle and upper class (people together) as not doing enough, because there are those who are doing more than they should be doing,” says psychologist Thomas A. Parham, Ph.D., University of California Irvine. “Rather than be offended I would invite them to take it as an invitation to explore, examine, and interrogate their own lives and find out if they have an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of someone else,” added the interim vice chancellor of student affairs.

    Black separatism, comes with palpable costs as waves of Blacks flee to the suburbs, a desire stimulated by aspirations to escape the social distress of their former neighborhoods.

    Studies have shown that troubling inequalities in Black neighborhoods may be contributing to the persistence of racial differences in economic mobility.

    The Black middle class carries much of the load regarding financially and psychologically supporting those Blacks concentrated in poverty. Conversely, there is no shortage of consensus to explain why they are apparently not doing enough to resolve socioeconomic problems within the race.

    “We have gotten comfortable,” says Bobby McDonald, president Black Chamber of Commerce. of Orange County. “From my point of view, there are those who believe that Black people have enough, and we don’t owe you anything. As African Americans, our biggest gains have been our biggest downfall. We don’t stand out or step up anymore. We are not at the city council or board of education meetings or in the community, because we are too busy working.”

    Jamaica-born Dorothy McLeod has lived in the United States for more than 30 years, and insists that the average Black middle-class person is so preoccupied with not being poor that they do not want to take the time to think about helping the poor. “They prefer to block it out, because it’s too painful.”

    The good news is that Black investments in neighborhoods can reduce the concentration of poverty and have powerful effects on the economic trajectories of children living within disadvantaged communities.

    According to a 2010 study released by Brandeis University, the typical White family is now five times richer than its African American counterpart of the same class, and Black wealth was largely stagnant from 1984 to 2007.

    However, in spite of income disparities, African Americans have a long and storied history of giving. They formed mutual-aid societies in the early 19th century to finance educational, business, social, and medical institutions.

    “Black communities are known for giving more per capita than other communities (that) might have more wealth,” says Cedric Brown, board chair of Bay Area Blacks in Philanthropy. “Trying to organize ourselves and pool our dollars is a more recent phenomenon that is increasing.”

    Jacquelyn L. Lendsey, director of the Black Philanthropic Alliance, in Washington, D.C., agrees but adds, “The African American community is no different than any other community, when it comes to giving. The contributions (first) go to faith-based organizations such as churches. Second would be organizations that are closest to our values. We have not seen a drop in giving, but folks are strategically targeting their money.”

    According to Chandra Y. Anderson—interim director of the 21 Century Foundation, which is designed to lead, innovate, and influence giving for Black community change—Blacks do give and have historically been the most generous among donors. The areas they tend to support are education, religion, health, and human services. And coincidentally, added Anderson, institutions in these arenas tend to be the most organized when it comes to reaching out to potential funders and providing them with concrete and sustained mechanisms through which to give.

    An April 2010 article in the journal The Chronicle of Philanthropy also noted that nearly three-quarters of the family foundations started by African Americans focus on helping youth.

    Most of these foundations are small with assets ranging from $425,000 to $40 million, with the mean at just under $1 million. Most of them were established during the 1990s and more are located in California than any other state.

    Nearly three-quarters of the foundations studied were started by either an athlete or his or her family members; eight percent were created by musicians, seven percent by actors, three percent by medical doctors, and two percent by business owners. The remaining seven percent were founded by people from a range of backgrounds, including, those who inherited money.

    Lendsey and Brown agree that among middle-class and affluent Blacks there is a growing awareness of these ways of giving and the need to support Black community institutions. The Black church has always been a leader in the social and economic advancement of Black America. Critics blame the church for some of the problems because it seems to have lost its mission, and instead of taking communities higher have simply taken them for granted.

    “When the church is doing a great job, Sunday is a celebration of the things that have taken place there throughout the week,” says Rev. Allen Williams, senior pastor of First A.M.E. Church Pasadena. “In general the struggle is, is middle-class Black America in church in order to meet the needs?”

    Rev. Williams, like other Black ministers, acknowledges that the Black church has done a poor job because it has not been willing to abandon a building or sanctuary that no longer meet the needs of the African American community, because the area surrounding the church is no longer populated by Blacks.

    Disparities within the Black community and how to resolve them is a socioeconomic dilemma that has plagued Black social and behavioral experts since the abolition of slavery in this country.

    Black leadership near the turn of the century was divided between two tactics for racial equality—the economic and the political strategy. The most heated controversy at that time raged between Booker T. Washington and W. E. B. DuBois. Washington was the major spokesman for the gradualist economic strategy while DuBois was the primary advocate of the gradualist political strategy.

    Washington urged Blacks, who were mostly impoverished farm laborers, to abandon their efforts for civil rights and instead cultivate a trade for real life job skills to achieve economic security. DuBois, however, declared the exact opposite approach. His strategy was political and focused on Blacks being book smart. He proposed developing the “Talented Tenth” so they could guide the masses.

    How Blacks view themselves

    Polls show that African Americans indeed look at themselves differently.

    A January 2010 Pew survey surprisingly discovered enormous optimism among those surveyed. The percentage of Black Americans who thought Blacks were better off than they were five years before had almost doubled since 2007. There were also significant increases in the percentages who believed the standard-of-living gap between Whites and Blacks was decreasing.

    But, even as African Americans have made gains in wealth and income, the question that remains is what is the determining factor in how much the middle class and affluent should sacrifice to help Black folk of lesser means.

    Terrence Roberts, retired psychologist and civil rights icon, believes that within the group of folk who are able to help, you’ll find a continuum.

    “There are folk who help all the time,” he said. “At the other end, there are those who never help and then there are those in between. There is no one perspective.”

    He adds that because of the Civil Rights Movement and the opening up of multiple doors, Black people who were prepared “educationally and mentally are operating in the wider world successfully

  5. rikyrah says:

    May 30, 2011 12:00 PM
    George Will mocks Sarah Palin’s National Security Creds: Keep her mitts off da Nukes
    By John Amato

    The Republican establishment is really spooked at the idea that Sarah Palin might run for President in 2012 after she decided to take a long bus ride and George Will didn’t waste any time by throwing a haymaker on ABC’s This Week:

    Will: There’s no undecided vote in this country anymor eon Sarah Palin The threshold question, it’s not usually asked, but it’s in everyone’s mind in a presidential election. ‘Should we give this person nuclear weapons?’ And the answer [Palin], answers itself.” That doesn’t mean she can’t be without political consequence.

    When Republicans call into question another Republican’s national security chops you know there’s real animus goin’ on. Conservatives and the media always give the edge to protecting the homeland to the GOP so this isn’t some off the cuff quote. Conservative pundits and kingmakers are speaking out against her hard so maybe the RWNM will focus on the Conserva-bias being dished out against her instead of the usual mean MSM media.

    Let’s take a quick look at what’s being said by her own. Conservatives have labeled her their ‘Al Sharpton.” Roger Ailes may have called her an idiot. Charles Krauthammer has dismissed her as being not serious. Even Barbara Bush dissed her and now George Will tells the US public that she can’t be trusted with our nukes because maybe she might start an Armageddon.

  6. Ametia says:

    Naomi Campbell Suing Cadbury Over “Racist” Chocolate Ads

    Naomi Campbell is suing Cadbury over an ad campaign that compares the super-model to chocolate.

    “Move over Naomi, there’s a new diva in town,” reads the Bliss bar ad that is seen on billboards and in magazines.

    Campbell is calling for a boycott of the product, and is extremely insulted by the ad.

    “I’m shocked. It’s upsetting to be described as chocolate, not just for me, but for all black women. It is insulting and hurtful.”


  7. Ametia says:

    Just got back from seeing this movie. IT’S A MUST SEE1

  8. President Barack Obama places a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns during a Memorial Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery Monday, May 30, 2011.

  9. Memorial Day pics from around the country….

    Tiffany Sanders of Bethel Park sits next to the grave of her grandfather Charles W. Ligo, an Army veteran who served in Korea, in the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies in Bridgeville, Pa.

  10. Ametia says:

    How Roger Ailes Built the Fox News Fear Factory

    The onetime Nixon operative has created the most profitable propaganda machine in history. Inside America’s Unfair and Imbalanced Network

    At the Fox News holiday party the year the network overtook archrival CNN in the cable ratings, tipsy employees were herded down to the basement of a Midtown bar in New York. As they gathered around a television mounted high on the wall, an image flashed to life, glowing bright in the darkened tavern: the MSNBC logo. A chorus of boos erupted among the Fox faithful. The CNN logo followed, and the catcalls multiplied. Then a third slide appeared, with a telling twist. In place of the logo for Fox News was a beneficent visage: the face of the network’s founder. The man known to his fiercest loyalists simply as “the Chairman” – Roger Ailes.

    “It was as though we were looking at Mao,” recalls Charlie Reina, a former Fox News producer. The Foxistas went wild. They let the dogs out. Woof! Woof! Woof! Even those who disliked the way Ailes runs his network joined in the display of fealty, given the culture of intimidation at Fox News. “It’s like the Soviet Union or China: People are always looking over their shoulders,” says a former executive with the network’s parent, News Corp. “There are people who turn people in.”

    This article appears in the June 9, 2011 issue of Rolling Stone. The issue will be available on newsstands and in the online archive May 27.

    The key to decoding Fox News isn’t Bill O’Reilly or Sean Hannity. It isn’t even News Corp. chief Rupert Murdoch. To understand what drives Fox News, and what its true purpose is, you must first understand Chairman Ailes. “He is Fox News,” says Jane Hall, a decade-long Fox commentator who defected over Ailes’ embrace of the fear-mongering Glenn Beck. “It’s his vision. It’s a reflection of him.”

    Photo Gallery: Roger Ailes, GOP Mastermind

    Ailes runs the most profitable – and therefore least accountable – head of the News Corp. hydra. Fox News reaped an estimated profit of $816 million last year – nearly a fifth of Murdoch’s global haul. The cable channel’s earnings rivaled those of News Corp.’s entire film division, which includes 20th Century Fox, and helped offset a slump at Murdoch’s beloved newspapers unit, which took a $3 billion write-down after acquiring The Wall Street Journal. With its bare-bones news­gathering operation – Fox News has one-third the staff and 30 fewer bureaus than CNN – Ailes generates profit margins above 50 percent. Nearly half comes from advertising, and the rest is dues from cable companies. Fox News now reaches 100 million households, attracting more viewers than all other cable-news outlets combined, and Ailes aims for his network to “throw off a billion in profits.”

    Read the rest here:

  11. Memorial Day pics from around the country…..

    A boy holds up at American flag in the crowded amphitheater of Arlington National Cemetery as all await the arrival of U.S. President Barack Obama to speak at a Memorial Day ceremony in Arlington,Va. Monday, May 30, 2011.

  12. Memorial Day pics from around the country….

    A man sits alone at Arlington West, a memorial display with hundreds of crosses and other religious symbols representing service people killed in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, sponsored by Veterans for Peace, on the beach at Santa Monica, Calif., Sunday, May 29, 2011.

  13. Memorial Day pics from around the country..

    Liz Mueller and husband Bill Mueller of Bridgeville, Pa., visit the grave of her father, John P. Lesica in the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies in Bridgeville, Pa.

  14. Ametia says:

    Here’s CNN’s pathetic coverage of our POWs and Veterans….. We’re FUCKED if this bitch ever gets near our White House.

  15. Ametia, our First Lady is so gorgeous & stylish! I love her!

  16. rikyrah says:

    May 30, 2011 11:15 AM
    Worst. Memorial Day Message. Ever.

    Reader R.P. forwarded me a Memorial Day message sent out by Kevin DeWine, the chairman of the Ohio Republican Party. It starts off with a sentiment that’s easy to agree with.

    “As we gather with family to enjoy Memorial Day weekend at ball games and barbeques, let us not forget the generations of Americans who have fought to preserve our rights and liberties here at home. Their sacrifices are woven into the fabric of America and will forever define us as a nation.”

    So far, so good. But DeWine couldn’t leave well enough alone.

    “Here in Ohio, we must continue to defend liberty in a very different kind of struggle. Ohioans have the opportunity to preserve their rights when it comes to choosing their own health care. Democracy affords us the choice of accepting or fighting back to prevent against a $1 trillion government takeover of our nation’s health care system.

    “You can download the Health Care Freedom Amendment petition by clicking here. As you go to events this weekend in honor of our Armed Forces and the sacrifices made by generations of courageous Americans, I hope you will consider taking the petition with you and circulating it to your friends and family.”

    Seriously? Are we really to believe that American veterans who paid with their lives did so to protect insurance companies’ ability to screw over consumers?

    DeWine’s message is obviously dishonest — the Affordable Care Act isn’t a “government takeover,” and it doesn’t cost $1 trillion — but what’s tasteless about the message is the timing. It’s ostensibly a Memorial Day message, honoring the fallen during a time of war, but the subject line reads, “Help Stop Obamacare.”

    Worse, this Republican leader wants people to annoy their friends and family with far-right nonsense as they observe Memorial Day, as if that’s an appropriate way to recognize the holiday.

    Even by GOP standards, this is cheap. There are plenty of ways to honor fallen American servicemen and women, but this shameless partisan message isn’t one of them.

  17. Hey guys!

    Today is my little Haley’s birthday and take a look at her cake.

  18. rikyrah says:

    GOP Needs Huntsman to Make Play for Iowa
    by BooMan
    Mon May 30th, 2011 at 10:47:47 AM EST

    Considering the fact that Mitt Romney recently made his first visit to Iowa of this election cycle, it appears that he doesn’t intend to seriously contend in the state. And considering that there are a plethora of socially conservative candidates running for the Huckabee vote, and that that vote is therefore likely to be divided up among more than a have dozen candidates, it seems to me like it should be possible for a more mainstream candidate to win the caucuses with a very low overall percentage of the vote.

    I have read in several places that former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman doesn’t plan on competing in Iowa either, and probably for the same reasons as Romney. Iowa’s Republican base is evangelical and not too open-minded about supporting Mormons, regardless of what policies they advocate. That’s the theory, anyway. But Huntman’s road to the nomination has to start somewhere. He can’t skip Iowa and think he will win New Hampshire. And if he doesn’t win in either of the first two states, he certainly won’t win in South Carolina or have any momentum in Nevada. If I were advising Huntsman, I would advise him to compete heavily in Iowa with the goal of finishing in the top three. Assuming that Palin does not run, I don’t think a second place finish in Iowa would be out of the question and a third place finish should be eminently doable.

    Why do I feel this way? Well, part of it has to do with the Iowa caucus system. Here’s an amusing anecdote.

    Most grating to Iowa Republicans have been the snide comments from their fellow early state, New Hampshire, which has a more conventional primary election.

    In a recent column for the New Hampshire Union Leader that was reprinted in the Des Moines Register, former New Hampshire GOP chairman Fergus Cullen wrote that important issues don’t get debated in Iowa, because “three quarters of the audience wears tinfoil hats.”

    “Iowa Republicans didn’t set out to marginalize themselves, but it’s happened — to New Hampshire’s benefit,” Cullen added. “With several major candidates likely to bypass Iowa, and the odds rising that Iowa’s skewed caucus electorate could support candidates with limited general election appeal, the likelihood of New Hampshire being called upon to make a correction” increases.

    Barack Obama won the Iowa caucuses because he performed a minor miracle in getting as many people under the age of 30 to show up as people over the age of sixty-four. But, this time around, Romney isn’t even going to try to overcome the tinfoil-hat nature of the Republican base in Iowa. By conceding, he leaves a quarter of the electorate without a candidate. Rep. Steve King, who exemplifies the Crazy, is set to endorse Michele Bachmann. Pawlenty is positioned to straddle the sweet spot between the lunatics and the Establishment. But he’s going to get pulled far to the right. This is where Huntsman can come in and make an electability argument. He can say that unlike Romney, he’s not a career flip-flopper.

    The goal is not necessarily to win Iowa, which is probably unrealistic, but to be positioned to pick up the pieces for the Establishment when Romney crashes and burns in New Hampshire. And, make no mistake, every GOP outlet that communicates with voters is going to be gunning for Romney because of the health care issue. He is going to take so much friendly-fire that you could use him as a sieve. He has no chance of retaining his lead in the New Hampshire polls, especially after the winner of Iowa steals all the media attention for a week or two.

    Let me put this another way. If Huntsman has not positioned himself to pick up the pieces, the GOP is going to nominate Pawlenty or, shockingly, someone else from their field of loons.

  19. rikyrah says:

    May 30, 2011 9:00 AM
    Pawlenty should rethink the ‘doofus’ line

    By Steve Benen

    Tim Pawlenty talked to CNN the other day, and raised a line of attack I hadn’t heard him make before.

    “We don’t have 20 years, we don’t have time for more status quo politicians to just come here and say, we don’t have to make any tough choices. Any doofus can go to Washington and maintain the status quo. And that’s what we’ve got in the White House and the Congress in terms of the attitude about their willingness to tackle these issues.”

    It’s a strange pitch, and not just because of Pawlenty’s apparent willingness to refer to the president as a “doofus.” It’s not exactly the kind of presidential rhetoric we expect from credible national candidates.

    There’s also a pinch of triangulation to the message, with Pawlenty positioning himself as above the White House and Congress.

    But what I found especially interesting about this line was Pawlenty trying to label President Obama as someone who wants to “maintain the status quo.” For a while now, it was a given in Republican circles that Obama was a wild-eyed radical trying to undo the entire American experiment, turning everything we hold dear upside down. The president, we were told, was responsible for pursuing too much change, too quickly. It led conservatives to stand athwart history, yelling, “Stop.”

    And yet, Pawlenty apparently doesn’t see it that way. Obama, we’re told, isn’t radical enough when it comes to change.

    It seems like a tough sell — Obama can’t be accused of maintaining the status quo and bringing radical change at the same time — but it’s probably a meme worth keeping an eye on. Indeed, I guess Pawlenty, and perhaps others, will try to thread a rhetorical needle, arguing that the president should maintain the status quo on health care for those below retirement age, and pursue radical change on health care for those above retirement age.

  20. rikyrah says:

    May 30, 2011 8:00 AM
    What the media establishment refuses to understand
    By Steve Benen

    It was quite a roundtable on “Meet the Press” yesterday. Viewers got to see a Republican strategist, a conservative pundit, a conservative Democrat, and an ostensibly center-left columnist who thinks that Democrats are big meanies when it comes to Medicare.

    It was “Must See TV” for viewers eager to see a soul-crushing discussion.

    Consider this exchange between host David Gregory and the Washington Post’s Ruth Marcus — who, remember, was the only center-left voice on the four-person panel. The topic at hand was the Democratic win in the special election in New York’s 26th district this week.

    GREGORY: So, Ruth Marcus, what wins here: bold leadership on Medicare and the argument that the Democrats won’t do something courageous, or the Democrats who say, “Hey, those guys want to take away my Medicare”?

    MARCUS: I regret to inform you that I think it’s the latter. And I think when you were asking Senator McConnell if Medicare was the new third rail of American politics, I think the question was wrong in a sense because it’s the old third rail of American politics.

    GREGORY: Mm-hmm.

    MARCUS: This play has been run time after time. If you go back and look at the quotes from President Clinton back when he needed to win re-election, they sound a lot like the quotes from Democrats today about don’t let those Republicans take away your Medicare. The difference is that the debt is bigger, the deficit is bigger, the gap is bigger, and the situation is more dire. But I think that, sadly, the lesson of New York 26 is “mediscare” works.

    The transcript doesn’t reflect this, but viewers saw David Brooks — one of the three conservative voices on the four-person panel — nodding in agreement while Marcus spoke.


    It’s exasperating, but it’s worth reemphasizing what too many establishment types simply refuse to understand: Democrats are telling the truth. Indeed, Dems are doing what the media is reluctant to do: offering an accurate assessment of the Republican plan for Medicare. If voters find the GOP proposal frightening, the problem is with the plan, not with Democrats’ rhetoric.

    I’m at a loss to understand what, exactly, Ruth Marcus, David Brooks, and their cohorts would have Dems do. Congressional Republicans have a plan to end Medicare and replace it with a privatized voucher scheme. The proposal would not only help rewrite the social contract, it would also shift crushing costs onto the backs of seniors, freeing up money for tax breaks for the wealthy. The plan is needlessly cruel, and any serious evaluation of the GOP’s arithmetic shows that the policy is a fraud.

    Which part of this description is false? None of it, but apparently, Democrats just aren’t supposed to mention any of this. One party is allowed to present this agenda, but the other party is expected to sit quietly on their hands.

    Once again, it’s important that the establishment recognize the difference between demagoguery and ringing an alarm. Demagoguery relies on falsehoods to scare people — it’s about playing on folks’ worst instincts, being divisive in a deceptive sort of way, effectively fooling people into believing something they shouldn’t.

    But political rhetoric isn’t “demagoguery” when it’s true. If a political message leads the mainstream to feel scared, it’s not necessarily “scare tactics” if people have good reason to worry.

    What Dems are doing is ringing an alarm — Republicans are up to something dangerous, and Democrats want people to know about it. The question isn’t why Dems are on the offensive; the question is why the Beltway media finds it offensive.

  21. Ametia says:

    Forgetting Why We Remember
    Published: May 29, 2011

    MOST Americans know that Memorial Day is about honoring the nation’s war dead. It is also a holiday devoted to department store sales, half-marathons, picnics, baseball and auto racing. But where did it begin, who created it, and why?

    At the end of the Civil War, Americans faced a formidable challenge: how to memorialize 625,000 dead soldiers, Northern and Southern. As Walt Whitman mused, it was “the dead, the dead, the dead — our dead — or South or North, ours all” that preoccupied the country. After all, if the same number of Americans per capita had died in Vietnam as died in the Civil War, four million names would be on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, instead of 58,000.

    Officially, in the North, Memorial Day emerged in 1868 when the Grand Army of the Republic, the Union veterans’ organization, called on communities to conduct grave-decorating ceremonies. On May 30, funereal events attracted thousands of people at hundreds of cemeteries in countless towns, cities and mere crossroads. By the 1870s, one could not live in an American town, North or South, and be unaware of the spring ritual.

    But the practice of decorating graves — which gave rise to an alternative name, Decoration Day — didn’t start with the 1868 events, nor was it an exclusively Northern practice. In 1866 the Ladies’ Memorial Association of Columbus, Ga., chose April 26, the anniversary of Gen. Joseph Johnston’s final surrender to Gen. William T. Sherman, to commemorate fallen Confederate soldiers. Later, both May 10, the anniversary of Gen. Stonewall Jackson’s death, and June 3, the birthday of Jefferson Davis, were designated Confederate Memorial Day in different states.

    Memorial Days were initially occasions of sacred bereavement, and from the war’s end to the early 20th century they helped forge national reconciliation around soldierly sacrifice, regardless of cause. In North and South, orators and participants frequently called Memorial Day an “American All Saints Day,” likening it to the European Catholic tradition of whole towns marching to churchyards to honor dead loved ones.

    But the ritual quickly became the tool of partisan memory as well, at least through the violent Reconstruction years. In the South, Memorial Day was a means of confronting the Confederacy’s defeat but without repudiating its cause. Some Southern orators stressed Christian notions of noble sacrifice. Others, however, used the ritual for Confederate vindication and renewed assertions of white supremacy. Blacks had a place in this Confederate narrative, but only as time-warped loyal slaves who were supposed to remain frozen in the past.

    The Lost Cause tradition thrived in Confederate Memorial Day rhetoric; the Southern dead were honored as the true “patriots,” defenders of their homeland, sovereign rights, a natural racial order and a “cause” that had been overwhelmed by “numbers and resources” but never defeated on battlefields.

    Yankee Memorial Day orations often righteously claimed the high ground of blood sacrifice to save the Union and destroy slavery. It was not uncommon for a speaker to honor the fallen of both sides, but still lay the war guilt on the “rebel dead.” Many a lonely widow or mother at these observances painfully endured expressions of joyous death on the altars of national survival.

    Some events even stressed the Union dead as the source of a new egalitarian America, and a civic rather than a racial or ethnic definition of citizenship. In Wilmington, Del., in 1869, Memorial Day included a procession of Methodists, Baptists, Unitarians and Catholics; white Grand Army of the Republic posts in parade with a black post; and the “Mount Vernon Cornet Band (colored)” keeping step with the “Irish Nationalists with the harp and the sunburst flag of Erin.”

    But for the earliest and most remarkable Memorial Day, we must return to where the war began. By the spring of 1865, after a long siege and prolonged bombardment, the beautiful port city of Charleston, S.C., lay in ruin and occupied by Union troops. Among the first soldiers to enter and march up Meeting Street singing liberation songs was the 21st United States Colored Infantry; their commander accepted the city’s official surrender.

    Read the entire article here:

  22. Ametia says:

    Breaking News Alert: Obama taps Gen. Martin E. Dempsey for Joint Chiefs chairman
    May 30, 2011 10:18:15 AM

    President Obama nominated Gen. Martin E. Dempsey as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Memorial Day, the holiday that honors the nation’s war dead. Dempsey, who was sworn in as Army chief of staff just last month, replaces Adm. Mike Mullen, who is retiring when his term ends on September 30th.

  23. Ametia says:


    David Gregory Describes Republican Position On Medicare As “Bold Leadership”
    May 29, 2011 12:07 pm ET


    No, David the Republicans are not bold; they are COWARDS, BULLIES, AND UNCONSCIENABLE THUGS!

    • Ametia says:

      All of this…


      Look, selling the snake oil that decreased taxes leads to increased government revenues is not leadership.

      Saying on the campaign trail that you favor reduced government spending, but not actually cutting it when you’re in office is not leadership.

      Saying you favor spending cuts only when Democrats control the White House, while allowing Republican presidents to spend without limit is not leadership.

      Pitching tax cuts for rich people as the cure for everything while cutting wages for the middle class and working poor is not leadership.

      (The economy is in good shape? Reward the rich with a tax cut. The economy is bad? Motivate the rich with a tax cut. Aliens from outer space are attacking the White House? Defeat them with tax cuts — but only for rich the ones.)

      Enabling corporations to pour unlimited, anonymous funds into political campaigns as a way to help your side is not leadership.

      Passing laws making it tougher to vote as a way to hinder your opposition is not leadership.

      You know what else is not leadership? Yukking it up with Republican partisans while you’re pretending to be an objective journalist.

      Pandering to craven self interest at your country’s expense and the expense of the less fortunate is not leadership. It’s just greedy and selfish.

  24. Ametia says:


    President Obama to Make Defense Department Personnel Announcement
    Washington, DC
    Monday, May 30, 2011

    Over the weekend, the White House announced President Obama is expected to make a Defense Department personnel announcement this morning in the Rose Garden.

    It is expected that Army Gen. Martin Dempsey will be nominated to serve as the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

    Admiral Mike Mullen, the current chairman, is set to retire on Oct. 1. Dempsey, who is currently serving as the Army chief of staff was the deputy commander of U.S. Central Command from August 2007 to March 2008, and was also commander of the Multi-National Security Transition Command in Iraq from August 2005 to August 2007.

    Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and National Security Adviser Tom Donilon will attend the ceremony, the release said.

  25. Ametia says:

    Wikipedia goes to class
    By Jenna Johnson
    Published: May 29

    A Virginia Tech graduate student hit save on her overview of the state workers’ compensation commission one spring day, but before her professor could take a look at it, someone else began deleting entire sections, calling them trivial and promotional.

    It wasn’t a teaching assistant on a power trip — it was a Wikipedia editor known only as “Mean as custard.”

    I had worked on it for almost an entire day,” said Amy Pearson, a public administration master’s student. “It was kind of shocking.”

    This school year, dozens of professors from across the country gave students an unexpected assignment: Write Wikipedia entries about public policy issues.

    The Wikimedia Foundation, which supports the Web site, organized the project in an effort to bulk up the decade-old online encyclopedia’s coverage of topics ranging from the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 to Sudanese refugees in Egypt. Such issues have been treated on the site in much less depth than TV shows, celebrity biographies and other elements of pop culture.

  26. Ametia says:

    A Crackdown on Employing Illegal Workers
    Published: May 29, 2011

    TUCSON — Obama administration officials are sharpening their crackdown on the hiring of illegal immigrants by focusing increasingly tough criminal charges on employers while moving away from criminal arrests of the workers themselves.

    After months of criticism from Republicans who said President Obama was relaxing immigration enforcement in workplaces, the scope of the administration’s strategy has become clear as long-running investigations of employers have culminated in indictments, convictions, exponentially increased fines and jail sentences. While conducting fewer headline-making factory raids, the immigration authorities have greatly expanded the number of businesses facing scrutiny and the cases where employers face severe sanctions.

  27. Ametia says:

    For our MEN & WOMEN in the miliary who have served and continue serving our country.

  28. Ametia says:

    Happy MUN-dane, Everybody! Enjoy your Memorial Day holiday. :-)

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