Wednesday Open Thread

Junior Walker was born Autry DeWalt Mixon, Jr. in Blytheville, Arkansas[1] and grew up in South Bend, Indiana. His saxophone style was the anchor for the band’s overall sound. The other original members of the group were drummer Tony Washington, guitarist Willie Woods, and keyboardist Vic Thomas.

His career started when he developed his own band at the age of 14, in the mid 1950s as the ‘Jumping Jacks’.[1] His longtime friend Billy Nix (drummer) started his own group the ‘Rhythm Rockers.’ Periodically Nix would sit in on Jumping Jack’s shows, and Walker would sit in on the Rhythm Rockers shows.

Junior Walker (born Autry DeWalt Mixon, Jr., June 14, 1931 – November 23, 1995[1]) & the All Stars were signed to the Motown label in the 1960s, and became one of the label’s signature acts.

****dancing “The Shotgun” ****

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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67 Responses to Wednesday Open Thread

  1. rikyrah says:

    Idaho education firestorm sparks attempt at repeal
    Idaho carried out a sweeping overhaul of its public school system this year and stood out nationally amid a rancorous debate over education around the country. But the man who orchestrated the changes quickly learned that his landmark victory came with a price.

    At the height of the firestorm over the new laws, vandals went to schools Superintendent Tom Luna’s home, spray-painted his truck and slashed the tires. He filed a police report after he said one angry activist went to his elderly mother’s house. The anger of hundreds of teachers, parents and students filled the halls of Idaho’s Capitol during hearings this spring.

    And now, Luna’s critics want to repeal his education laws and kick him out of office.

    “I was driving to work and somebody rolled down their window and flipped me off,” Luna said during an interview on a recent morning at his home in Nampa, a farming and manufacturing town about 20 miles west of the state capital in Boise.

    At issue is a polarizing new education package that restricts teacher collective bargaining, eliminates tenure and arms every high school student with a laptop while Luna also pushes to make online courses a requirement for them to graduate in Idaho. Those who loathe the overhaul, including many educators, say it will undermine teachers, increase class sizes and shift state taxpayer money to for-profit, out-of-state companies that will be tapped to provide online curriculum and laptops to students.

    But to others, Luna is a hero who took on a tough issue and changed a system that was badly broken. They believe Idaho’s public schools, which lost roughly $200 million in funding during the economic downturn and face more cuts next year, are no longer sustainable and commend Luna for restructuring how the state’s scarce education dollars are spent.

    “He really stuck his neck out. He’s not the most popular guy in the state by any means. I definitely think he’s courageous,” said Ethan Stroschein, an 18-year-old from American Falls who received death threats after he created a Facebook page in support of Luna’s efforts.

    Nationwide, state legislatures have tackled education policy this year and triggered protests from teachers over proposed changes to their collective bargaining rights, and how they are evaluated and paid. But Idaho has made some of the most sweeping changes, according to the head of the Center on Education Policy in Washington, D.C.

    “The changes in Idaho haven’t received the attention they ought to,” said director Jack Jennings. “They’re dramatic changes, they’re even drastic.”

    A group of parents and teachers who want to dump the education overhaul have met a June deadline to gather enough signatures to put three repeal measures on the November 2012 ballot. More than 72,000 people signed each of three petitions to put the new Idaho laws to referendum votes next year.

    They also want to oust Luna through a recall effort in what is considered a longshot because of the large amount of signatures required for a statewide recall.

    Jennings is unaware of any other state where critics have mounted a referendum campaign to ditch new education laws, though some legislatures are still in session, he said. In Wisconsin, a legal fight over a new law to strip collective bargaining rights from public workers — including teachers — has moved to the state Supreme Court after a judge struck it down.

    As Luna sat at his dining room table after a morning of summer yard work recently, he seemed far from the furor that erupted earlier this year when critics stormed the Idaho Capitol to protest his plan to restrict education union bargaining rights, introduce teacher merit pay and shift money from salaries to classroom technology.

    He points out that for every opponent who flips him off, he can find another who thinks he did the right thing.

    “By far, it’s been more positive,” Luna said.

    Under the new laws, Idaho will also eliminate bonuses for teachers who retire early; phase out tenure; and make student achievement half of a teacher’s job evaluation while also allowing parents to weigh in as part of the changes Republican Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter signed into law. The state will also ditch the “last hired, first fired” policy used in most school districts across the country for laying off educators, which means teachers with the most seniority could be in jeopardy.

    Students starting in the ninth grade would eventually get laptops or other mobile computing devices, such as iPads, but teachers will get the devices first along with training on how to incorporate them into their classroom instruction. While Luna contends the technology upgrades are essential to better prepare students, his critics say the new laws will come with a grim trade-off — teacher job cuts — as more courses are taught online and money is shifted from salaries to help pay for the new technology.

    Brian Smith, a high school government teacher in the northern Idaho lakeside town of Sandpoint, traveled hundreds of miles to Boise earlier this this year to testify against the changes while they were being debated in the Idaho Legislature.

    “Teachers want to do their jobs and not worry about politics. But in this case, the politics will so affect their ability to do their jobs, they can’t help but get involved,” Smith said. “I think teachers feel as if our profession is being vilified.”

    Luna contends the changes hand more power over to the locally elected school boards and remove barriers to awarding good teachers and getting rid of less effective teachers.

    The Idaho Education Association is convinced voters will turn in droves against the education changes after experiencing their effects, which start this fall.

    Aside from the new laws, one of their biggest criticisms is this: Luna didn’t mention his plans while running for his second term last year.

    “Nobody knew this was coming,” said Michael Lanza, a parent and organizer of the petitions to repeal Luna’s efforts.

    Another point of contention is Luna’s resume.

    He received a bachelor’s degree from an online college and was president of an industrial truck scale company before he was elected to Idaho’s top education post. He has never been teacher or principal, but served on education boards and spent two years traveling around the country as an adviser to then-U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige.

    • Ametia says:

      It boggles the mind how folks could have VOTED for these MORONS. I just can’t offer up any sympathy for folks who vote against their own interest out of sheer ignorance, hatred, and bigotry.

  2. rikyrah says:

    Ginni Thomas: Tea Party Must Mesh With GOP for ’12 Clout

    Read more on Ginni Thomas: Tea Party Must Mesh With GOP for ’12 Clout
    The tea party movement must join forces with the Republican establishment to make sure conservatives take command of the 2012 elections, activist Ginni Thomas tells Newsmax.TV.

    Current events are pulling a lot of people into the tea party movement and the front lines, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas said during an interview at the Faith and Freedom Conference in Washington, D.C. last weekend.

    “I think it’s important that both the tea party movement and grass-roots activists come together with the establishment and we see as little division as possible,” said Thomas, a special correspondent for The Daily Caller. “In order to have the most success, we need to build bridges between the establishment conservative community and the Republican community and the grass-roots community. I hope together we can have an effective force in 2012.”
    The Republican leadership is not yet fully getting the tea party message, Thomas said.

    “I think there’s a gap there and I think there needs to be greater effort by I would say Sen. [Mitch] McConnell and Speaker [John] Boehner and their teams,” she said. “They need to reach out more effectively to the tea party movement and be comfortable with new people coming to the movement as opposed to seeing them as some alien force that’s hostile or offensive in any way. I think this should be one big happy family, and there’s some growing pains around the edges right now that I hope can be fixed.”

    Regarding the crop of GOP presidential hopefuls, Thomas said Herman Cain “has gotten the attention of the grass roots.”

    “I think they’re watching for Michele Bachmann, whether Jim DeMint would get it, that would be exciting. I don’t have a dog in the fight, and I really want the most conservative candidate to prevail in the end. And I want to see as little friction between all the players of our team so we can success.”

  3. rikyrah says:

    June 8, 2011 3:46 PM PDT
    Soldiers’ angry YouTube video changes baggage policy
    by Chris Matyszczyk

    I imagine that if I was a U.S. soldier coming home from Afghanistan, the last thing I’d want to think about is my baggage allowance.

    Still, Staff Sergeants Fred Hilliker and Robert O’Hair–on their way home with
    Delta Airlines–were reportedly offered some delightful extra financial baggage when they checked in at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport in order to fly to Atlanta.

    According to the Associated Press, the group of 34 soldiers had already enjoyed an 18-hour layover when they were told to find a total of $2,800 for extra baggage.

    You see, the folks at Delta believed these men coming home from war were only allowed three checked bags, while the soldiers were sure the U.S. Army’s agreement with Delta was that they could have four. Delta insisted that each fourth bag would cost—go on, guess–$200.

    The soldiers, understandably frustrated, made a little video on the plane and posted it on YouTube. (It has since been taken down.)

    The video reportedly attracted more than 200,000 views and, naturally, one or two comments that weren’t exactly flattering to Delta.

    Which is, perhaps, why Stars and Stripes reported that Delta has agreed to straighten out any kinks in its customer service with regard to this issue.

    Indeed, the Delta blog says: “We’re continuing to work with the soldiers individually to make this situation right for each of them. We regret that this experience caused these soldiers to feel anything but welcome on their return home.”

    However, Stars and Stripes quoted Joe Davis of the Veterans of Foreign Wars office in Washington as saying: “A $200 bill for extra baggage by a government-contracted airline is the worst welcome home any soldier could receive.”

    In O’Hair’s case, the fourth bag was actually a weapons case that included an M4 rifle and a grenade launcher. These are “the tools that I use to protect myself and Afghan citizens while I was deployed,” O’Hair said in the video.

    However, yesterday, Delta’s blog still insisted that the three bags policy was correct because the soldiers were flying in coach. Today, though, a little online pressure seems to have altered the company’s view.

    “After careful consideration, effective immediately, U.S. military personnel traveling on orders in First Class and BusinessElite can check up to five bags at no charge and four bags in economy class,” today’s post–written by Rachel R., who says she is an Army wife–reads.

    Some might wonder whether the time for careful consideration might have been at check-in in Baltimore.

    Please whisper this quietly, but sometimes check-in staff members do actually use judgment. Sometimes, they do allow all sorts of people to skirt the supposed rules. Who has never been able to check an overweight bag without charge? Often, it seems merely to depend on the mood of the staff member in question.

    Did the folks who checked these soldiers’ bags in Baltimore not pause for a moment’s, um, contemplation? Or does it really take a YouTube video to get anything done these days?

    Read more:

  4. Ametia says:

    June 08, 2011 04:00 PM
    N. Carolina GOP Pushes Bill That Forbids Voting For Straight Party Lines
    By Susie Madrak

    See what happens when you turn your back on Republican state legislators? They wreak havoc all over the place. In a strange way, this is good news. Because the Republicans are admitting that, without tricks, traps and lies, voters are much less likely to vote for Republicans! But what delicious irony: They voted in a straight party-line vote to prevent voters from doing the same thing.

    Yesterday in Raleigh, state Senate lawmakers advanced another bill aimed at making voting harder for North Carolinians who actually make it into the voting booth after clearing the other hurdles the GOP-led legislature has proposed. Reporter Laura Leslie put it succinctly [emphasis mine],

    The state Senate voted on straight party lines tonight to forbid NC voters from doing the same thing.Senate Bill 411 would repeal the law that allows voters entering the ballot box to choose to vote for all the candidates in one party or the other. About 40% of voters in NC use this option.

    Those mischievous scamps, what will they think of next? That’s SB411, also described as the “Elect Pat McCrory” bill.

    Since taking over the North Carolina state legislature, the NCGOP has voted to…

    1.Shorten the early voting period by a week [HB 658 — passed the House]
    2.Require registered voters to show a photo ID before voting [HB 351 — passed out of committee in the House, on the House calendar for action today]
    3.Eliminate a voter’s choice to vote a straight ticket [SB 411 — passed the Senate]
    There’s more besides, as lawmakers rush through bills ahead of a key procedural deadline. Passage of a bill through either house by Thursday means they can be considered again next year.

  5. Ametia says:

  6. Ametia says:

  7. Anthony Weiner’s Wife Reportedly Pregnant

    The New York Times reports that Huma Abedin, wife of embattled Rep. Anthony Weiner, is pregnant with their first child.

    The 35-year-old is in the early stages of pregnancy, according to three people with knowledge of the situation, the Times reported.

    Earlier today, a graphic photo of Weiner was leaked, two days after he admitted sending racy pictures to women online. The congressman has said he does not plan to resign.

    The New York lawmaker signaled at a press conference on Monday that he has no intention of splitting with his wife in the wake of the scandal.

    “My wife has known about some of these online relationships since before we were married,” he said in addressing the matter. “But she did not know until this morning that I had not been truthful about the Twitter posting last week. I’m here primarily to express my apologies to my wife and family.”

  8. Matthews: Palin wants us to live in a state of rebellion

  9. Mitt Romney Splits Tea Party Groups

    WASHINGTON — Leaders of one of the Tea Party’s larger grassroots coalitions are hammering a rival group for saying the Tea Party will back whichever Republican wins the presidential primary, even if that candidate is Mitt Romney.

    Tea Party Express Co-Chairman Amy Kremer made the offending comments on Fox News over the weekend, saying, “Whoever the Republican nominee is will have to have the support of the Tea Party movement — the entire Tea Party movement.”

    She added, “If Romney is the nominee, I believe that we want to defeat Barack Obama.”

    The offering of support for both the GOP and the front-running Romney did not sit well with the Tea Party Patriots, which claims more than 3,000 affiliated local groups.

  10. rikyrah says:

    Octogenarian Former GOP State Rep To Run As Fake ‘Democrat’ In Wis. Recalls

    Don’t let anyone say there isn’t bipartisanship in Wisconsin.

    The newest example of Wisconsin Republicans recruiting fake Democratic candidates, to force Dem primaries and make trouble in the state Senate recalls: Otto Junkermann, an 82-year old former Republican state representative, who will challenge official Democratic candidate Nancy Nusbaum for the recall against GOP state Sen. Rob Cowles.

    As the Green Bay Press Gazette reports, Junkermann very openly professes to support Cowles:

    Otto Junkermann, 82 of Allouez, said he thinks “very highly” of Cowles, a Republican also from Allouez, and will run against Nusbaum as a “conservative Democrat.”

    “I respect Rob a great deal. I’ve known him, I followed him into the Assembly and took the position he had when he went into the Senate, and I always admired him,” Junkermann said.

    Junkermann served in the Assembly as a Republican for one term from 1987-88. He was also a Brown County supervisor from 1982-87 and ran again in 2002, 2004 and 2008 but lost.

    Asked if he was a so-called “spoiler candidate,” Junkermann said: “I don’t know how I could avoid being considered that.”Over in another district, a 25-year old county GOP official has signed up to run as a ringer Democrat in a primary. And in another district, a retiree who has donated to multiple Republicans is running as a fake Dem.

    The key here is that recalls are now tentatively scheduled for July 12, under the state election officials’ proposed timelines, targeting six Republicans. If there were only one Democrat against each one Republican, then the July 12 date would immediately be held as the general election. But if there were additional Democrats, the July 12 date would then become the primary, giving the incumbents more time to campaign for a general election in August.

  11. rikyrah says:

    Fake ‘Democrat’ Comes Forward In Wisconsin Recalls
    Wisconsin Republicans have now put forward a ringer Democratic candidate to force a primary in the recall against GOP state Sen. Dan Kapanke, as part of the state GOP’s strategy to combat the recalls. The candidate: James Smith, a 25-year old hospital technician who has served on the La Crosse County Republican executive committee, and who will now challenge the official Democratic candidate, state Rep. Jennifer Shilling.

    The La Crosse Tribune reports:

    Smith, a regular fixture at local labor protests this spring where he held signs touting his support for Gov. Scott Walker, said he resigned his party leadership position Monday before announcing his candidacy. He said he does not plan on campaigning aggressively but wants to protest the recall process.

    “I want to bring light on the issue that 22,000 signatures can pretty much overturn an election where even the loser got 40,000 votes,” he said Tuesday.The key here is that recalls are now tentatively scheduled for July 12, under the state election officials’ proposed timelines, targeting six Republicans. If there were only one Democrat against each one Republican, then the July 12 date would immediately be held as the general election. But if there were additional Democrats, the July 12 date would then become the primary, giving the incumbents more time to campaign for a general election in August.

    Also, thanks to Wisconsin’s open primary system in which anybody can vote in a party primary, it would force the Democrats to spend time, money and resources campaigning for their own nominations.

    The strategy is being officially coordinated by state Republican leaders, and has been endorsed by state Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald.

  12. rikyrah says:

    awe, poor Bobby….hard to find competent flunkies these days…


    Resignation Raises New Questions On Jindal’s Health Care Privatization Push

    Less than two months ago, Scott Kipper replaced Tommy Teague as the head of Louisiana’s Office of Group Benefits (OGB). Teague was apparently ousted for his refusal to go along with the Jindal administration’s plan to privatize the agency, which manages state workers’ health insurance. This week, the saga took another twist, with Kipper turning in his own resignation.

    The administration has argued that the state shouldn’t be in the health insurance business, and has claimed that privatizing all or part of OGB would eliminate 149 jobs and generate recurring savings of $10.2 million, along with a significant upfront payment. But critics have questioned those figures, and the necessity of altering an agency that, by many accounts, provides good, reliable services and has accumulated a surplus of over $500 million. Some have even gone as far as suggesting that the move is an attempt to raid the surplus money.

    Kipper’s resignation “follows a stormy confirmation hearing last week during which senators accused him of withholding information about the privatization effort,” according to the Associated Press.

    The debate apparently centers on a report prepared by New Orleans company Chaffe & Associates, outlining the OGB privatization plan. According to WAFB, Kipper “reportedly didn’t want to refuse access” to the report, while Commissioner of Administration Paul Rainwater wants to keep it out of public view.

    “Well okay, so here, first of all, the report has just been completed,” Rainwater told WAFB on Monday. “Secondly, what I’ve got to make sure is that the report itself does not cause us a problem as we go through a solicitation of offers.”

    Tom Aswell, a former state employee and vocal critic of the privatization push, wrote on his blog on Monday that the administration has argued to him that the report is “exempt from the public records law.”

    Another critic of the plan, state Sen. Butch Gautreaux (D), told WAFB the administration doesn’t want to make the report public “because it indicates that [privatizing OGB is] not a very smart thing to do.”

    Kipper’s resignation will be effective June 24, the day after the regular legislative session ends. The move also apparently eliminates any need for a confirmation vote in the state Senate. Publicly, at least, the administration is not citing any rift with Kipper.

    “He was not asked or encouraged to [resign] — in fact, he was encouraged to reconsider,” Michael DiResto, spokesman for the governor’s Division of Administration, told the AP in an e-mail. “Mr. Kipper has had a long and distinguished career in insurance, but he expressed his conclusion that he did not believe the appointment was a good fit for him, and so his resignation has been accepted.”

    That’s different from what Rainwater said when Teague was fired in April.

    “We just think it is extremely important to have a leader who will work with us,” Rainwater said at the time. A few days later, Teague testified at a state Senate committee hearing that there were “a million details that would have to be worked out in order for a sale to be favorable to the state.”

  13. rikyrah says:

    Influential NJ Dem: Sneaky Christie tried running Republican as a Dem

    Published: Wednesday, June 08, 2011

    Two of New Jersey’s most influential Democrats — including one of Republican Gov. Chris Christie’s harshest critics — survived hard-fought primary election challenges Tuesday.

    Sen. Ray Lesniak and Assemblyman Joe Cryan fended off challenges from a slate of candidates backed by a rival political faction in Elizabeth.

    The pair’s running mate, Assemblywoman Annette Quijano, also won.The Democratic lawmakers have accused their challengers of embracing Republican ideals.”There won’t be any words of conciliation,” Lesniak said after Tuesday’s results were final. “This was Chris Christie’s ace in the hole.

    He thought he could pick off a Democrat by having a Republican run as a Democrat.”All 18 incumbents in the Legislature who faced primary challenges won their races. All 120 seats in the Senate and Assembly are up in November.

    Lesniak, whose 34-year legislative career was on the line, got 54 percent of the vote; his opponent, Elizabeth school administrator Jerome Dunn, had 46 percent.Cryan and Quijano each received 28 percent of the vote. Their opponents got 22 percent each.

    “This election tonight was about Democratic values and standing up for working people,” said Cryan. “We’re going to stand with you each and every day. We’re going to keep fighting Chris Christie.”Cryan has been a constant thorn in Christie’s side, first as head of the Democratic State Committee during the gubernatorial campaign, and now as Assembly majority leader.

    The incumbents raised $2.5 million for the race. The challengers’ campaign cash was temporarily frozen by a judge after questions arose over how donations were raised and recorded.

    The largest teachers union, the New Jersey Education Association, abandoned the pro-labor Lesniak to endorse Dunn. Lesniak supports school vouchers and the union does not.

    The heavily Democratic 20th District virtually reassures re-election for winners of the party primary.

    The district is 38 percent Hispanic and 43 percent black.Republican Sen. Anthony Bucco also survived his primary challenge against Morris County Freeholder William Chegwidden in Morris and Somerset counties.

    Additionally, a tea party-backed candidate upset an establishment Republican in a northern New Jersey’s 27th District Senate primary.Morris Patriots tea party founder William Eames narrowly defeated Essex Fells Councilman William Sullivan in the 27th District on Tuesday.

    He’ll face longtime Democratic state Sen. Richard Codey in the November general election. Codey is a former state Senate president who served as governor for a year.It was otherwise a rough night for tea party-backed candidates who took on candidates with county party organization backing across New Jersey.

    Elsewhere, two of New Jersey’s best-known candidates easily captured their parties’ nominations with no opposition.Nine-time Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis won an uncontested primary for the Democratic nomination for a seat in the state Senate.

  14. Ametia says:

  15. Anthony Weiner Penis Photo Released By Opie And Anthony

    Prominent conservative Andrew Breitbart showed two radio hosts what is likely the X-rated photograph of Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) he signaled he had in his possession earlier this week.

    After Sirius XM’s Opie and Anthony were shown the picture, they subsequently leaked it into the public eye on Twitter.

    Opie wrote in a tweet, which included a link to the photo, “Opie’d eye – this is a pic from @anthonycumia phone of the infamous weiner.” He subsequently said on the social media platform, “Lots of you confused how the pic got out there. Myself and Anthony will explain in a bit right here on Twitter.”

    Breitbart is the most wicke b*h! He seems to be using the photo as blackmail to get Weiner to step down. Breitbart is lowlife bottom of barrel scum.

    • These wicked mo. fos. are after Weiner because of Clarence Thomas. It’s nothing but revenge. Where were they when Mark Sanford, Newt, Ensign, Vitter had sexual affairs? They’re hypocrites of the highest order!

      • Ametia says:

        Does Weiner have support of his own party? This is only going to get uglier; because you, me and others know that Weiner and others in his party and Repubs are out there with similar behaviors. They are treading lightly, as not to shine the spotlight on their own transgressions. BANK.IT.

  16. Michelle Obama to stop by Nickelodeon’s ‘iCarly’

    Add “iCarly” to the list of shows that Michelle Obama will stop by to promote her Joining Forces initiative, a campaign to provide national support for military families, according to the Associated Press.

    The First Lady has already appeared on several shows to promote the iniaitive, including “Sesame Street,” “The Gayle King Show,” and Oprah Winfrey’s now-defunct daytime talk show.

    The lead character of the Nickelodeon teen comedy, Carly, has a father who serves in the military overseas — according to the AP, the First Lady will appear in an episode, scheduled for January, in which Carly tries to bend some rules to talk to her dad on his birthday.

  17. Ametia says:

    President Barack Obama Pens Essay on ‘Being the Father I Never Had’
    By Barack Obama

    Wednesday June 08, 2011 08:45 AM EDT

    In an exclusive Father’s Day essay, the President of the United States – and elementary school basketball coach – Barack Obama tells PEOPLE readers how growing up without a dad made him want to be the best parent he could. For the President’s entire essay and exclusive family photos, pick up the new issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.

    I grew up without a father around. I have certain memories of him taking me to my first jazz concert and giving me my first basketball as a Christmas present. But he left when I was two years old.

    And even though my sister and I were lucky enough to be raised by a wonderful mother and caring grandparents, I always felt his absence and wondered what it would have been like if he had been a greater presence in my life. I still do. It is perhaps for this reason that fatherhood is so important to me, and why I’ve tried so hard to be there for my own children.

    That’s not to say I’ve always been a perfect dad. I haven’t. When Malia and Sasha were younger, work kept me away from home more than it should have. At times, the burden of raising our two daughters has fallen too heavily on Michelle. During the campaign, not a day went by that I didn’t wish I could spend more time with the family I love more than anything else in the world.

    But through my own experiences, and my continued efforts to be a better father, I have learned something over the years about what children need most from their parents.,,20500603,00.html

  18. rikyrah says:

    Bachmann vs Palin: Oh Joy
    Hold your gold:

    d Rollins, [Bachmann’s campaign manager] in his appearance Tuesday on Fox News Radio’s “Kilmeade and Friends,” seemed to telegraph the direction of her campaign. “Sarah has not been serious over the last couple of years,” he said. “She got the vice presidential thing handed to her, she didn’t go to work in the sense of trying to gain more substance, she gave up her governorship.” “Michele Bachmann and others [have] worked hard,” he said. “She has been a leader of the Tea Party which is a very important element here, she has been an attorney, she has done important things with family values.”

    Then the kicker:

    A second top Bachmann ally — who spoke on the condition of anonymity — said Bachmann is well-positioned to take on Palin in the Iowa caucuses. “The view in Iowa is that she’s unstable,” said the aide, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “When she resigned her position as governor that whole event seemed odd, and people in Iowa saw that.”

    In the last two days, some leading old-school conservatives – Thatcher’s coterie and Rollins’ crew have described Palin as “nuts” and “unstable.”

    Know hope.

  19. rikyrah says:

    Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 08:30 AM PDT.

    Top aide makes case for Bachmann: She’s as hot as Palin, but not as dumb
    by Jed Lewison
    As long as you hate President Obama and don’t think that there is an ounce of value in Keynesian economics, then there’s plenty of room for you to prosper in today’s Republican Party. But according to a new story by Ben Smith and Maggie Haberman, Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin apparently don’t agree:

    Rep. Michele Bachmann’s prospective 2012 campaign appears increasingly set on a collision course with former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.

    The coming confrontation is being driven by a belief in Bachmann’s camp that the same grassroots, conservative primary voters and caucus-goers may have to choose between the two women—and that they will choose Bachmann if she presents herself as a more seasoned, reliable, and serious conservative than her high-profile rival. The apparent effort to draw distinctions broke into the open Tuesday when her new top strategist, Ed Rollins, dismissed Palin as “not serious” in a radio interview.

    And how does Rollins distinguish Bachmann from Palin?

    “People are going to say, ‘I gotta make a choice and go with the intelligent woman who’s every bit as attractive.’”

    Wow, with brilliant messaging like that, it’s a shock that Republicans still haven’t figured out why Barack Obama won the female vote by 13% in 2008.,-but-not-as-dumb?via=blog_1

  20. Ametia says:

  21. rikyrah says:

    June 08, 2011
    3-alarm crazy
    The bizarre urge by the right’s vastly unpresidential candidates to blindly scale down, dumb down, and in general take us all down continues to rate glowing reviews among their base.

    For such mirthful appeal, ponder, for example, these rip-roaring lines from the exuberantly unstable Herman Cain to an Iowa audience:

    Engage the people. Don’t try to pass a 2,700 page bill — and even they didn’t read it! You and I didn’t have time to read it. We’re too busy trying to live — send our kids to school. That’s why I am only going to allow small bills — three pages. You’ll have time to read that one over the dinner table.

    Cain’s unembellished drivel, notes ThinkProgress, “received a raucous round of applause from the crowd.”

    The site also observes that the crowd “didn’t seem to fully appreciate the implications of such a radical cut-off mark”:

    Under this bright-line rule, Cain wouldn’t have signed such landmark pieces of legislation as the Civil Rights Act, the Social Security Act, or the PATRIOT Act. In fact, he wouldn’t have even been able to sign the Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003, which ran 114 and 18 pages, respectively.

  22. rikyrah says:

    Refusing to implement healthcare reform, Florida GOP rejecting millions in grants for elderly, kids, disabled
    Rick Scott trashed the federal stimulus, and then took the money anyway, to balance the state budget. But when it comes to healthcare reform, the governor and the Republican legislature are just saying no — a move more extreme than the right wing governments in Texas, Indiana and even Wisconsin.
    How radical is the current government in the state of Florida? This radical:

    Take Wisconsin and Indiana, which are parties to Florida’s lawsuit. Governors in both states have signed off on planning for the health care exchanges required by the federal law. In Florida, Scott has not.

    Pennsylvania, also part of the lawsuit, has 2,684 residents signed up for a program that provides low-cost health insurance to people with pre-existing conditions, such as cancer and diabetes, who can’t buy coverage anyplace else. Pennsylvania runs its own program with funding from the federal government and has more enrollees than any other state.

    In Florida, only 770 people are enrolled in the same plan, and the state has declined to run its own program.

    Texas has accepted $276 million for a program that provides health insurance to people over 55 who have retired but aren’t yet eligible for Medicare. Much of that money is going to Texas state employees.

    Florida, by contrast, has accepted only $15 million for the early retirement program — with local governments taking the money. Scott is planning to accept $37 million for the program, but that was because the payout was agreed to by former Gov. Charlie Crist, officials said.

    The issue in Florida isn’t necessarily over the money, it’s the portion of the federal law that requires people to buy health insurance or pay a tax penalty. That requirement is to take effect in January 2014.

    Florida filed suit challenging the constitutionality of the so-called “individual mandate” provision moments after President Barack Obama signed the act into law in March 2010, arguing that the government can’t force people to buy a product.

    Twenty-five states joined the lawsuit, along with the National Federation of Independent Business.

    A federal judge in Pensacola ruled in January in favor of Florida and the other plaintiffs, concluding that because the mandate is unconstitutional, the entire law is unconstitutional.

    The case is expected to be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. Scott has said he has no plans to implement the federal law until after that decision.

    With that in mind, he returned a $1 million grant that would have helped pay for a system that would allow consumers to monitor insurance rates.

    And the Legislature stiff-armed seven federal grants this year worth more than $17 million available through the health care law.

    The rejected money included $2 million for hospice care for children, $8 million for construction of community health centers and a first installment on a five-year, $35.7 million grant through the Money Follows the Person program.

    The program, created in 2005 under President George W. Bush, aims to keep elderly and disabled people out of nursing homes by providing home health aides and other services. The grants save states money because Medicaid usually pays if clients stay in nursing homes.

    Advocates for the aging are alarmed by the decision to reject the money.

    “Florida needs every dollar it can get to delay the growth of nursing home usage,” said Larry Polivka, director of the Claude Pepper Center, a Tallahassee think tank on aging. “This started with Bush. It’s a Republican program, for God’s sake.”

    The Legislature also discontinued a federal grant that helped poor people get a break on their Medicare costs. Various programs pay Medicare’s premiums, copayments and deductibles and can save people $1,000 to $3,000 a year. The problem is getting the word out. Many people don’t know they qualify.

    Over the past 18 months, the Area Agency on Aging of Pinellas and Pasco counties said it helped 1,400 people apply for the subsidies. Potential savings top $4 million a year, the agency estimates. Without a grant extension, the program will shut down.

    Republicans claim it’s about “not being hypocritical” — but again, they took federal stimulus money that to a man they opposed. And Republicans have placed an amendment on the 2012 ballot that would bar laws compelling people to buy health insurance, or employers to provide it. Even if such an amendment were to be approved by voters, it wouldn’t impact the federal law, due to the supremacy clause in the U.S. constitution. In other words, it’s a moot point.

    But for millions of Floridians who need healthcare, the refusal to take that federal healthcare money is anything but moot.

  23. rikyrah says:

    Miami Beach officials deny cops smashed shooting witness’ cellphone, say he matched (another) suspect

    Miami Beach Police are denying a witness’ account of the night he taped the shooting of a suspect, and then was confronted by officers.
    The May 30 shooting was captured on tape by the witness, Narces Benoit, who says he and his girlfriend Ericka Davis witnessed the confrontation between police and a driver they say aimed his vehicle at no less than five officers over the course of several city blocks before stopping his car at an intersection on Collins Avenue, where police opened fire on the car, killing Raymond Herisse.

    After taping with his cellphone for several minutes, video released by Benoit shows him and Davis jumping into their car, and then being confronted by officers, one with his gun drawn. Here’s what he says happened next, in an interview with CBS 4:

    “One of the officers jumped in the truck, put a pistol to me head, poked me like three times saying ‘What the”bleep” is you recording?” By that time I was on the floor, handcuffed, my phone was smashed, he stepped on it,” said Benoit.

    Benoit said he was able to pull the memory card from the phone and hide it in his mouth while he and Davis were questioned by police.

    He’s now considering suing the Miami Beach police department over the way he and Davis were treated.

    And of course, the city is now refuting that:

    City spokesperson Nannette Rodriguez released a statement saying that officers reacted only after Benoit was seen rapidly walking to his car. Rodriguez stated that Benoit was arrested because he matched the description of one of the suspects just reported fleeing the scene, and refused to stop after repeated commands.

  24. Ametia says:

    Maddow’s soundbite from last night

  25. Ametia says:

    War on Women Is 2012 Democrat Rallying Call Against Republicans

    Democrats and allied groups including Emily’s List are framing Republican moves to cut federal spending as a war on women, an effort aimed at influencing the 2012 elections.

    Support from women voters helped propel Republican gains in the 2010 elections. Democrats are hoping to reverse that next year by arguing that measures including the Republican push to end traditional Medicare would disproportionately affect women, who live longer than men.

    Republican efforts to repeal collective-bargaining rights for public employees also are being characterized as anti-woman. For example, 73 percent of the American Federation of Teachers’ 1.5 million members are female.

    “The Republicans have handed the Democrats a gift,” said Leonie Huddy, a political science professor at Stony Brook University in New York. “If they play it right, they have exactly the issue that will attract women voters to them.”

    Read more:

  26. rikyrah says:

    June 08, 2011 06:00 AM
    The Smoking Gun: Attack On Weiner Was Coordinated With Darrell Issa’s Office. Hmm.
    By Susie Madrak

    So while Weiner did what he did, looks like the attack on his Twitter escapades was helped along by a political heavy hitter’s office. I’m sure it’s just a coinky dink!

    When are Democrats going to learn you don’t play nice with these people? There’s a lot of dirt on these Republicans, and it’s time the Dems started acting just like they do. It’s a shame, really:

    The online duo who spearheaded a vicious months-long Twitter assault on Representative Anthony Weiner–whom they accused of improper contact with underage girls–apparently consulted with an aide to a powerful House Republican as they mulled over how to release information about Weiner’s purported relationship with a Delaware teenager, The Smoking Gun has learned.

    In a series of e-mails exchanged on May 25, Mike Stack and his Twitter sidekick “Dan Wolfe” discussed a Tumblr posting by the high school student that they believed showed she was having “private conversations” with Weiner. Wolfe, who noted that he had made screen captures of the girl’s Tumblr blog, exclaimed, “This is MAJOR!”

    Beginning earlier this year, Stack (a porn site moderator) and Wolfe (whose true identity is unknown) have carefully monitored Weiner’s Twitter page to catalogue the young women being followed by the New York Democrat. In several instances, they have sent tweets directly to these women “warning” them about the politician. The insinuation in these messages–as well as in postings on their individual Twitter pages–was that Weiner was a predator.

    After Wolfe told Stack about making the screen captures from the girl’s Tumblr page, Stack suggested how they could release the information: “I think that since we have the stuff screencapped we call or email his office. But cc a whole bunch of people asking for a comment.” But Stack then noted, “She is underage, however. Let me email Darrell Issa press sec.”

    Stack, e-mails reveal, was referring to Seamus Kraft, press secretary and “director of digital strategy,” for the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which is chaired by Issa, a California Republican. Issa, who has called the Obama administration “corrupt,” is effectively the leading congressional investigator.

    In an e-mail to Wolfe, Stack wrote, “This guy Seamus Kraft is awesome.” Stack noted that he was referred to Kraft by a woman who had recently worked for Issa’s committee. The female staffer, Stack said, “thought I would be good at keeping Seamus and Mr. Issa up to date with ethics and BHO [Barack Hussein Obama] issues around the clock.” Stack then remarked, “They have proven to be great allies,” adding that Wolfe should “Follow mr Issa at @darrellissa.”

    Asked this afternoon about Weiner-related contacts with the toxic Twitter Twins, Kraft said, “I don’t recall that right now.” After saying that, “I have exchanged e-mails with Mike Stack before” Kraft promised he would call back a reporter in 15 minutes after conducting some research. By press time–nearly two hours later–Kraft had not called back with the results of that research (though Kraft did start following TSG’s Twitter feed at 2:55 PM).

  27. rikyrah says:

    June 08, 2011
    A two-man slugfest
    More evidence that while voters are disappointed with the economy’s performance, they’re even less satisfied with Republican leadership alternatives as manifested by this cycle’s overwrought misfits and copycat Obama-bashers. A new Quinnipiac poll shows Obama with double-digit leads over both Pawlenty and Huntsman (12 and 14 points, respectively); and for those who persist in the harmless delusion of a Palin threat to America, she’s even farther behind, with a 17-point deficit.

    What’s more, she’s not running — which appears to be required, factual commentary these days upon each mention of her name — and if she were running, the ensuing national panic would make her 17-point chasm look promising.

    Another fact or two. What percentage of Americans would be “committed to voting for” Palin? Seven percent — a groundswell of grassroots support not witnessed since David Duke’s presidential aspirations. About two-thirds of Americans, by the way, “flatly rule out supporting her in 2012.”

    And then there’s Romney, whom I continue to think will lose the GOP nomination to 12-point-deficit Pawlenty. Presently, Romney trails Obama by only 6 points in the Quinnipiac poll, however Republican primaries won’t be about who is closest to Obama in popularity. Instead, Republican primaries tend to specialize in both religious bigotry and theocratic meddling, and on both counts, Romney is looking at mountainous troubles.

    There’s the Mormon thing, of course, a Christian-fundamentalist bugaboo that Pawlenty has yet to exploit. But he will. And as for that sizable if not determining bloc of GOP primary voters who mistakenly swarm to polling booths and not pews?

    In an interview with CNN’s Piers Morgan, Mitt Romney drew a sharper line between faith and politics than most in the GOP field, explaining: “I separate quite distinctly matters of personal faith from the leadership one has in a political sense … You don’t begin to apply the doctrines of a religion to responsibility for guiding a nation or guiding a state.”

    That is perhaps precisely what religious conservatives would want to hear from a potentially malignant Mormon, but they’d prefer to hear a quite opposite assessment of religion in politics from other candidates who just happen to be “real Christians.”

    As for Huntsman? This cycle is but a trial run for 2016.

    Which leaves a costly, bloody slugfest between Romney and Pawlenty — variable: Bachmann — which will leave both weakened, and their party further divided.

    Advantage, all the way around: Obama.

  28. rikyrah says:

    Innocents Behind Bars
    Radley Balko reports on wrongful convictions:

    It’s notable that one of the few places in America where a district attorney has specifically dedicated staff and resources to seeking out bad convictions—Dallas County, Texas—has produced more exonerations than all but a handful of states.

    That’s partly because Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins is more interested in reopening old cases than his counterparts elsewhere, and partly because of a historical quirk: Since the early 1980s the county has been sending biological crime scene evidence to a private crime lab for testing, and that lab has kept the evidence well preserved. Few states require such evidence be preserved once a defendant has exhausted his appeals, and in some jurisdictions the evidence is routinely destroyed at that point.

    “I don’t think there was anything unique about the way Dallas was prosecuting crimes,” Watkins told me in 2008. “It’s unfortunate that other places didn’t preserve evidence too. We’re just in a unique position where I can look at a case, test DNA evidence from that period, and say without a doubt that a person is innocent.…But that doesn’t mean other places don’t have the same problems Dallas had.”

  29. President Obama honors Auburn University’s 2010 BCS National Championship

    June 08, 2011 3:00 PM EDT

  30. President Obama speaks on the importance of training and preparing our workforce to compete for manufacturing jobs across the nation

    June 08, 2011 11:30 AM EDT

  31. rikyrah says:

    It’s Just a Stupid, Cynical Game
    by BooMan
    Wed Jun 8th, 2011 at 12:30:09 AM EST

    One way of looking at the cynicism of the Republican Party is to think about what would happen to them if they got what they say they want. They want a balanced budget amendment; they want to cut the budget by at least as much as they agree to raise the debt ceiling. Okay. Let’s say that we gave them both of those things. You know what would happen?
    If we couldn’t borrow money to run cherished government programs, we wouldn’t cut them. If we did, the voters would throw that party out of power. What we would do is raise taxes. And we’d raise them on the rich. Oh sure, we’d try to turn everything into a lottery and raise fees on poor and middle class people. We’d squeeze every last bit of juice out of the lemon. But it wouldn’t be enough.

    What Republicans apparently do not realize is that funding the government on debt is a tax break for them. All these years that we’ve raided the Social Security Trust Fund to pay for general expenditures have been nothing but a way for politicians to avoid taxing rich people. If you make it impossible for them to avoid taxing you, guess what is going to happen?


  32. rikyrah says:

    A new Quinnipiac poll finds Mitt Romney leads in the race for the Republican nomination with 25%, followed by Sarah Palin at 15%, Herman Cain at 9%, Newt Gingrich and Rep. Ron Paul at 8%, Rep. Michele Bachmann at 6% and Tim Pawlenty
    at 5%.

    Said pollster Peter Brown: “Whether it’s because of the media coverage of his recent formal announcement, or the fact that Donald Trump and Mike Huckabee have dropped out, Gov. Romney has surged ahead of the Republican field. Until now Quinnipiac University’s polls have shown many candidates bunched together in the mid-teens, now he has opened up some daylight on the field and is within six points of the president.”

    However, in trial heats against President Obama, Romney still trails by six points, 47% to 41%, while every other candidate trails by double-digits.


    You guys see how the media is rooting for Romney? This article should be titled:
    Obama Wins In A Landslide Against Every Republican (If the elections were today). Instead its Romeny Opens Lead…… and is within 6 points of Obama. Spread this far and wide on Twitter please.

  33. Ametia says:

    The media is pushing Romney. Murdering Joe had on the writers and stars of the broadway musical “THE BOOK OF MORMON,” Praising it, and carefully pointing out it’s less threatening doctrine for all those wingnuts who will NEVER vote for a MORMON.

    • rikyrah says:

      they will never admit the truth; the religious right is full of RELIGIOUS BIGOTS, plain and simple.

  34. Ametia says:

    Boehner’s Monthly $2,000 Tab
    Speaker Last in House Taking Expense Checks
    By Paul Singer
    Roll Call Staff
    June 8, 2011, Midnight

    When John Boehner rose from Minority Leader to Speaker in January, he not only expanded his staff and his paycheck, he more than doubled the expense-account check he cashes each month.

    As Minority Leader, the Ohio Republican had received a direct payment of $833 each month from taxpayers to cover “official expenses for leaders,” the same monthly total then-Majority Leader Steny Hoyer received.

    But Boehner now receives a monthly $2,083.33 direct payment for expenses, according to the most recent expenditure reports from the Clerk of the House. Because the total of the expense payment is the same each month, it is apparently not reimbursement for individual itemized expenses.

    Boehner’s office offered no details about how his monthly check is spent. Spokesman Michael Steel would only say, “This money is used in appropriate ways for expenses related to his official duties.”

    Beginning in January, Hoyer, now the Minority Whip, saw his monthly expense check drop to $527, and the Maryland Democrat in March stopped accepting it entirely.

    A spokeswoman in Hoyer’s office confirmed he has not taken the expense payment since February because he decided “the appropriate thing to do was to stop receiving it.”

    While Congress has set aside $235,000 a year to cover the expenses of House and Senate leaders, Boehner now appears to be the only Member of the House accepting this money in direct payments each month.

    Former Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) generally used the expense account to pay for meals or ceremonial events; the expense payments were not made out to her directly. Since she became Minority Leader in January, there is no record of any leadership expense-account payments from her office.

  35. Ametia says:

    JUNE 8, 2011
    Presidnet Obama Presses Bahrain on Reform .

    WASHINGTON—President Barack Obama met quietly with the crown prince of Bahrain on Tuesday to press the royal family to investigate alleged human-rights abuses by its security forces, said senior U.S. officials.

    By meeting Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa, albeit only briefly and without cameras present, Mr. Obama sought to reinforce his position among the prince’s royal relatives while not appearing to endorse Bahrain’s continuing crackdown on political opponents, according to these officials.

    Prince Salman is seen in Washington as the most open to political liberalization among Bahrain’s royal rulers, but he has been weakened politically since the antigovernment uprising began in March.

    “To create the conditions for a successful dialogue, the president emphasized the importance of following through on the government’s commitment to ensuring that those responsible for human-rights abuses will be held accountable,” the White House said after the meeting.

    The White House said the meeting was “productive.”

    Prince Salman, following a separate meeting with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, committed Bahrain to pushing “reform in both the political and economic spheres.” He added that “I would like to reiterate that support and to find out ways in which we can work closely with our very important ally, the United States, in making it happen.”

    But the meeting, which an administration official said lasted just 15 minutes, underscored how skittish Washington is about appearing too close to Manama as Mr. Obama seeks to use his administration’s diplomatic and financial muscle to help advance the “Arab Spring.”

  36. Ametia says:

    Your police department hard at work..

  37. Ametia says:

  38. Ametia says:

    June 8, 2011 – Romney Leads GOP Pack, Runs Best Against Obama, Quinnipiac University National Poll Finds; Mormons Near Bottom Of Voter Comfort Scale

    American voters are substantially less comfortable with the idea of a Mormon president than having a leader of any religion other than a Muslim, yet Gov. Mitt Romney, a Mormon, has opened up a lead in the race for the Republican nomination and runs best against President Barack Obama of the GOP candidates included in a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

    When voters describe their comfort level with the faith of presidential candidates, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds:

    Entirely Somewhat Somewhat Entirely
    comfortable comfortable uncomfortable uncomfortable
    Catholic 60 23 8 5
    Jewish 55 25 9 6
    Christian 43 24 14 12
    Mormon 35 25 19 17
    Atheist 24 13 16 44
    Muslim 21 17 23 36

    Overall, only 45 percent of voters say they have a favorable opinion of the Mormon religion, while 32 percent have an unfavorable view of the faith. Only 25 percent of the electorate says their religion and Mormonism are very or somewhat similar.

    “It appears that the American people – especially Democrats – have many more questions about a Mormon in the White House than they do about followers of other religions,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. “And most don’t see much similarity between their religion and Mormonism.

    “The fact that less than half of voters have a favorable view of the religion is likely to be a political issue that Gov. Mitt Romney, and should his campaign catch on, Gov. Jon Huntsman, will have to deal with as they pursue the White House.”

    Among Republicans, or GOP-leaning independent voters, Romney leads the race for the GOP nomination with 25 percent. The only other candidate in double-digits is former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, at 15 percent. Businessman Howard Cain is at 9 percent, with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Texas U.S. Rep. Ron Paul at 8 percent each. Minnesota U.S. Rep. Michelle Bachman gets 6 percent, with former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty at 5 percent and former Pennsylvania U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum at 4 percent. Huntsman gets 1 percent. Another 20 percent are undecided.

    In trial heats against President Obama, Romney trails 47 – 41 percent, while Huntsman, Pawlenty and Palin trail by 48 – 34 percent, 48 – 36 percent and 53 – 36 percent respectively.

    Voters are split 46 – 48 percent on whether Obama deserves a second term as president.

    READ ON;&strTime=0

    • Ametia says:

      Don’t let the headline fool you.

      THIS: “In trial heats against President Obama, Romney trails 47 – 41 percent, while Huntsman, Pawlenty and Palin trail by 48 – 34 percent, 48 – 36 percent and 53 – 36 percent respectively.

  39. Ametia says:

    Happy HUMP day, Everybody! :-)

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