Thursday Open Thread

Bobby Hebb (July 26, 1938 – August 3, 2010)[1] was an African American singer and songwriter, best known for his writing and recording of “Sunny“.

He was born Robert Von Hebb in Nashville, Tennessee. Hebb’s parents, William and Ovalla Hebb, were both blind musicians.[2] Hebb and his older brother Harold performed as a song-and-dance team in Nashville, beginning when Bobby was three and Harold was nine. Hebb performed on a TV show hosted by country music record producer Owen Bradley, which earned him a place with Grand Ole Opry star Roy Acuff.[2] Hebb played spoons and other instruments in Acuff’s band. Harold later became a member of Johnny Bragg and the Marigolds. Bobby Hebb sang backup on Bo Diddley‘s “Diddley Daddy”. Hebb played “West-coast-style” trumpet in a United States Navy jazz band, and replaced Mickey Baker in Mickey and Sylvia.[2]

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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107 Responses to Thursday Open Thread

  1. You know, Ed Shultz act as if the President has no intelligence at all. I’m tired of this fat slob’s condescending tone towards the President. Ed thinks he has to educate the President about how to create jobs!


  2. Ametia says:

    Breaking news: NATO is now targeting Moammar Gadhafi, a senior NATO official with operational knowledge of the campaign says.

  3. Ametia says:

    3 Chics is sending love and blessings to CREOLCHILD. We love and miss you, creolechild!

  4. Ametia says:

    BTW, SG2; I love Sunny. :-)

  5. Sarah Palin Emails: Text Of Messages To Be Released By State Of Alaska

    JUNEAU, Alaska — The state of Alaska on Friday will release thousands of Sarah Palin’s emails from her first two years as governor, a disclosure that has taken on national prominence as she flirts with a run for the presidency.

    The emails were first requested during the 2008 White House race by citizens and news organizations, including The Associated Press, as they vetted a vice presidential nominee whose political experience included less than one term as governor of Alaska and a term as mayor of the small town of Wasilla. The nearly three-year delay has been attributed largely to the sheer volume of the release and the flood of requests.

    Alaska is releasing the more than 24,000 pages of emails in paper form only and asking news organizations to pick up several boxes worth of documents in Alaska’s capital city, accessible by only air or water. Reporters from several news organizations have already begun arriving in Juneau and are making various plans to disseminate the emails to the public.

    Palin told Fox News Sunday that “every rock” that could have been kicked over to uncover things in her family has been. But she also said “a lot of those emails obviously weren’t meant for public consumption” and that she expected people might seek to take some of the messages “out of context.”

    But there may not be any surprises to Palin in the emails. Once the state reviewed the records, it gave Palin’s attorneys an opportunity to see if they had any privacy concerns with what was being released. No emails were withheld or redacted as a result of that, said Linda Perez, the administrative director for Gov. Sean Parnell who has been coordinating the release.

    The voluminous nature of the release, the isolation of Juneau and the limited bandwidth in the city of 30,000 people has forced media outlets to come up with creative ways to transmit the information. The Washington Post is looking for “100 organized and diligent readers” to work with reporters to “analyze, contextualize, and research the e-mails.” The New York Times is employing a similar system.

  6. Bachmann/Palin Smackdown Intensifies

    This could turn into some real fun.

    Remember when Sarah Palin dragged her family into the 2008 presidential election, presented her pregnant, unwed teenaged daughter Bristol as the poster child for Christian values, and then got all steamed with the media for daring to wonder just what in the hell she was doing?
    Imagine what she’s thinking now. Because now, fellow conservative Michele Bachmann is taking a none-too-subtle swipe at Palin’s mothering instincts.

    There’s a video making the rounds from last weekend’s Faith and Freedom Conference where Bachmann is caught on tape telling Ralph Reed that a good Christian woman waits until all her kids are grown up and out of the house before trying to grab the big brass ring.

    Here’s more; this here feud is a-sproutin’ faster than Pappy’s corn likker will put hair on your chest. I hadn’t realized that this would become so entertaining, so quickly. I can’t wait until she picks a fight with Tim Pawlenty.

    Funny dangerous fight

    • Ametia says:


      ***HOLLERRING*******@this here feud is a-sproutin’ faster than Pappy’s corn likker will put hair on your chest.

  7. Rush Limbaugh – Say Bye Bye To The Nomination Mitt Romney, Another One Down

  8. Weiner XXX: Did Andrew Breitbart Release It On Purpose?

    Just when you thought that Andrew Breitbart could not become any sleazier, he is now accusing Anthony Weiner and his wife of releasing the news of her pregnancy as a PR stunt. That’s a stretch even for a scumbag like Breitbart. As usual, he has no evidence, not even an anonymous source. It is a wholly invented canard whose only purpose can be to smear the Weiner family and bring them more pain, and consequently bring more pain to his real target, the Democratic Party.

    This is politics at its worst. Despite Breitbart’s disingenuous assertion that he didn’t want to hurt the Weiner family, he now says that “We have every right to find out to what extent he’s been misbehaving.” Since when? And if we have that right with regard to Weiner, should we also be stalking every other public servant to disclose their misbehavior? Should we see what Breitbart is up to when he’s not peeking through the windows of his ideological enemies?

    If anyone is engaging in PR stunts, it’s Breitbart. When the latest and most graphic picture of Weiner was “leaked” to the media this week, Breitbart feigned outrage, insisting that he had nothing to do with it. Why should anyone believe that?

    Here are the known facts: Breitbart took the photo with him when he went to the radio studio of shock-jocks Opie & Anthony. That’s the first curious thing. Why would he need to have that picture with him while visiting a pair of professional jerkwads who make a living off of rank controversy? Then, without any prodding, he handed the photo, which was on his cellphone, to others in the studio who passed it around amongst themselves while making juvenile wisecracks. That is not something someone concerned about the subject’s privacy would do.

    Later, Breitbart alleged that a surveillance camera in the room captured the photo from his cellphone. That is a suspect assertion at best. It is simply not credible that a surveillance camera could have picked up the image from Breitbart’s cellphone and produced the detail on the leaked photo that went public. Most surveillance cameras are positioned high on the wall near a corner of the room so that they have a broad perspective of the area they are monitoring. Breitbart expects us to believe that one of those cameras, that are not generally high resolution devices, got a clear and detailed shot over somebody’s shoulder of an image on a small cellphone screen. That assertion needs to be challenged.

    Additionally, Breitbart claimed that he only offered to show the photo after he was assured that there were no cameras in the room. That is a verifiable lie. Breitbart knew very well that the show was being videotaped. You can see the video of the show below.

    Clearly this was taken on a hand-held device, not a stationary surveillance camera. Breitbart even looks directly at the camera on several occasions. So he obviously lied when he said that he thought there were no cameras in the studio. And his assertion that he was told that there were no cameras was also a lie. The video shows that he never asked for, nor received such an assurance.

    In my estimation, Breitbart wanted this photo to be released but he didn’t want to take the heat as the sleazeball who released it. So he manufactured this cover story with a couple of radio publicity hounds who would gladly insert themselves into a national melodrama. Anthony Cumia even admitted as much in an interview on Fox News:

    “When you take a chunk of meat into a lion’s den, someone’s gonna take a bite. […] I do kind of like attaching ourselves to an international story. It is the credo of the shock jock.”

    This appears to be a deliberate scheme to extend and amplify the controversy, and it is just the sort of thing Breitbart would do based on his Legacy of Sleaze. There are so many pieces of Breitbart’s story that don’t fit, or are certifiably false, that one has to refer to his history of dishonesty and purposeful deception. Until Breitbart can satisfactorily explain these discrepancies, we should assume that he deliberately devised this scheme to released the photo with his shock-jock accomplices.

  9. rikyrah says:

    Poll: Majority Of Weiner’s Constituents Think he Should Stay In Office

    While lawmakers from Rep. Anthony Weiner’s (D-NY) own party have now begun to call for his resignation, a Marist poll released Thursday night finds that his constituents think he should stay.

    In the poll, 56% of registered voters in Weiner’s NY-9 district think he should remain in office, while only a third (33%) think he should resign. That result comes as further salacious details about the Twitter scandal have come to light.

    However, voters are as yet undecided on whether they’ll support Weiner when he’s up for reeleciton in 2012. thirty percent of respondents said they’d definitely vote for him next year, compared to 31% who said they would definitely not. A 38% plurality said it was too early to say for sure who they’ll vote for in the next election cycle.

    It’s the first poll to survey voters solely in Weiner’s home district, and the first conducted several days out from Weiner’s Monday press conference when he first admitted to sending lewd photos and flirting with multiple women on the Internet.

    Two polls taken just hours after Weiner’s announcement that surveyed New York City residents, and not just those from Weiner’s district, found conflicting results about whether the congressman should resign.

    In addition, the poll found that 46% of Weiner’s constituents think his actions showed a failure of personal judgment, while 10% said it was a reflection of poor professional judgment, and 29% said it was both.

  10. 42 Tennessee Nurses Suspended For Defaulting On Student Loans

    42 Tennessee nurses have had their licenses suspended for defaulting on student loans, according to the Chattanooga Times.

    A disciplinary action report released this month by the Tennessee Department of Health revealed that the October suspensions mark a renewed effort to uphold a statute passed in 1999, which states that license penalties can be implemented in the event of defaults on loans. According to the Times, the suspensions come after an 18-month effort to track down and work out payment plans with hundreds of health professionals.

    According to Tennessee Student Assistant Corporation staff attorney Peter Abernathy, the relatively high number of suspensions represent a regulatory backlog. He told the Times that “going forward, when [the state boards] are taking action on these on a month-to-month basis, the number will drop dramatically…down to a small handful.”

    Officials hope that an implementation of the old law will prompt nurses to be more vigilant about repayment, and perhaps push the default rate down — Abernathy told the Jackson Sun that increased enforcement of the statute “is helpful in the sense that it motivates people to repay their student loans.”

    So far, 20 of the nurses have joined repayment plans and subsequently been reinstated. What do you think of this news? Have your student loans ever interfered with your job?

  11. Ametia says:

  12. Clara Luper Died: Civil Rights Icon Dies At 88

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma civil rights icon Clara Luper, who led sit-ins at drug store lunch counters in Oklahoma, has died. She was 88.

    Luper’s daughter, Marilyn Hildreth, said Thursday that her mother died Wednesday night after a lengthy illness.

    On Aug. 19, 1958, as the 35-year-old sponsor of the Oklahoma City NAACP Youth Council, Luper led three adult chaperones and 14 members of the youth council in a sit-in at the Katz Drug Store lunch counter in downtown Oklahoma City.

    The drug store refused to serve the group but the protesters refused to leave, and the sit-in lasted for several days. The store chain eventually agreed to integrate lunch counters at 38 Katz Drug Stores in Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas and Iowa.

    During the next six years, the local National Association for the Advancement of Colored People group held sit-ins that led to the desegregation of virtually all eating establishments in Oklahoma City.

    “We talked about it all the time, because our whole family took part in it,” Hildreth said.

    “I think mother saw a lot of advancements (in civil rights), and she told us to always stay on the battlefield,” she said Thursday. “The fight continues.”

    RIP Clara Luper!

    • Taking a Stand by Sitting-in with Clara Luper

      • Civil Rights leader Clara Luper, her daughter Marilyn Hildreth and 9-year-old Alexia Grant react Tuesday to the inauguration of President Barack Obama. Luper was watching the ceremony on television at the Freedom Center at NE 26 and Martin Luther King Avenue.

        Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett requested that flags on city property to be flown at half-staff in honor of the memory of Luper through sunset on Friday.

        “While her accomplishments are too many to list, her legacy is easily defined. She opened eyes and, in turn, opened hearts and minds. She made Oklahoma and the United States of America a better place to live and was a shining example of the distinctly American idea that while we might hail from many cultures, we are one people,” Cornett said in a statement Thursday.

        Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin called Luper an “Oklahoma hero, a tremendous civil rights activist and a devoted mother.”

        “Her leadership and commitment to equality and justice will never be forgotten,” she said.

        Luper had tears in her eyes as she watched a television broadcast of the inauguration of President Barack Obama in January 2009. State Rep. Mike Shelton, D-Oklahoma City, one of five black state lawmakers in Oklahoma, said, “Those experiences are why she lived, so that people have an opportunity.

      • Clara Luper reflects on her struggles and triumphs

    • Ametia says:

      God rest her Soul. Rest in peace, Ms. Luper.

    • Civil Rights Leader Clara Luper Dies

  13. Ametia says:

    Sorkin v. Pawlenty: My Writing Won’t Help You
    by Samuel P. Jacobs

    The creator of The West Wing and A Few Good Men says the Republican presidential candidate needs someone smarter than Sorkin himself as a campaign adviser.

    Republican presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty unveiled his economic plan earlier this week with an address in Chicago. The presentation was part of the Minnesota governor’s Tour of Hard Truths, where he promises to be straight with the American people.

    Here’s the full reaction from the Social Network writer:

    “I appreciate the shout out from Governor Pawlently but I’m concerned because Isabel V. Sawhilll, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institute, said that economic growth under the plan the Governor just proposed was ‘highly unlikely’ and Michael Linden, the director of tax and budget policy for the Center for American Progress called Mr. Pawlenty’s plan “sheer fantasy”. I don’t know who’s right but we’re going to need the truth whether we can handle it or not, and to arrive at the truth we’re going to need a full-throated, high-minded debate among people considerably smarter than Colonel Jessep and me.”

  14. rikyrah says:

    June 09, 2011 2:15 PM

    Romney’s awkward trip to Michigan

    By Steve Benen

    Democrats spent much of last week talking about how very wrong Mitt Romney was about rescuing the American automotive industry two years ago. For whatever reason, the GOP frontrunner is making their task easier by heading to Michigan.

    Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney is defending himself in his native Michigan, where he was met today by a small group of protesters angry over his stance against a federal bailout of the auto industry.

    Romney, whose father, George, was once Michigan governor and head of American Motors, wrote a New York Times column in 2008 entitled “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt” that advised against a government bailout.

    Romney continues to argue that the Obama administration “did what I told them they had to do,” despite the fact that he condemned the Obama administration’s policy at the time. He also continues to face Michigan protestors who aren’t persuaded by his underwhelming spin.

    But I think Romney’s biggest mistake here is picking at the scab in the first place. He was wrong; Obama was right. By going to Michigan now — the DNC couldn’t have scheduled the trip at a time more to its liking — Romney gives Dems a chance to keep having the discussion Dems are eager to have. Note this video the DNC unveiled early this morning:

    Michiganders aren’t exactly happy to see Romney, either: “Rep. John Dingell (D) said yesterday that he hopes Romney ‘has answers for Michigan’s working families he abandoned two years ago’ and ‘threw them under the bus.’ Former Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm offered a pithier take in her own op-ed titled, ‘Let Mitt Romney Go Bankrupt.’ Now, even Michigan Republican Rep. Thaddeus McCotter is wiping his hands of Romney. McCotter, who “supported the government intervention for General Motors and Chrysler,” sent ‘a Michigan message to Mitt’ on his auto failure.”

    Welcome home, Mitt.

  15. rikyrah says:

    June 09, 2011 1:45 PM

    RNC involved with election schemes in Wisconsin

    By Steve Benen

    Fearing the worst with looming recall elections on the way, Wisconsin Republicans are beginning to panic a bit. This includes ramming right-wing legislation through at break-neck speed before voters can take away the GOP’s power, but it also includes a series of election-related schemes.

    Most notably, Wisconsin Republicans are pushing fake candidates in Democratic primaries in order to delay the recall process. The scheme will cost state taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars, but the GOP doesn’t seem to care. (Remember when Gov. Scott Walker and his party said saving money was so important, they had to strip state workers of their collective bargaining rights? I guess the commitment to fiscal responsibility was just a phase.)

    Also note, these election shenanigans aren’t just the work of outside agitators — top GOP officials in the state, including the state’s Senate Majority Leader, are in on the game.

    As it turns out, they’re not the only ones. Greg Sargent reports today that an official at the Republican National Committee also appears to be involved in hatching the scheme.

    When the La Crosse Tribune first broke the story earlier this month, the paper reported that one Mark Jefferson, then the executive director of the Wisconsin state GOP, had been recorded discussing the plan with local GOP officials. Jefferson had served in that position for four years, as the right hand man of the Wisconsin state chairman, Reince Priebus. Priebus, of course, is now the head of the Republican National Committee.

    Even as the story about the Wisconsin GOP scheme was breaking, it was already known that Jefferson would be moving to the RNC to play the role of Midwestern regional director, a significant position.

    No one is saying that the RNC itself played an active role in developing the plan. But Jefferson himself has in the past denounced such schemes as highly unethical.

    And now, Jefferson doesn’t want to talk about it.

    Six of the state Senate Republicans facing recall elections were also in on the scheme, though they initially claimed otherwise.

    If unions, Democrats, and their allies in Wisconsin were looking for a little added motivation, this ought to do the trick.

  16. Ametia says:

    As Americans Struggle Republicans Propose More Tax Cuts For The Rich
    June 8, 2011
    By Rmuse
    In the American political theatre, there is one simple fact that is predictable, never-ending, and irrefutable regardless of the party in power or state of the nation. It does not matter how many millions of Americans are out of work, what shape the economy is in, or the level of record corporate profits, Republicans claim cutting taxes for the super-rich creates wealth and jobs for Americans.

    On April 16, 2001, then President George W. Bush said that, “Tax relief will create new jobs, tax relief will generate new wealth, and tax relief will open new opportunities.” If Bush’s remarks from 10 years ago sound familiar, it’s because Republicans are still parroting the fallacious notion that giving tax cuts to the wealthy is good for America. It is important to understand who George W. Bush was selling his snake-oil economic policy to, because the audience definitely benefitted from what is now known as the Bush tax cuts.

    Bush was speaking to the United States Chamber of Commerce, and his message was meant to reassure and reward the corporate world who is the only group that enjoyed economic prosperity from the tax cuts that began hurting the American economy a decade ago this week. Bush was full of praise for his audience when he said, “I’m especially honored to be able to speak to the folks who really help our economy grow, the entrepreneurs, the business folks of America, the employers, the risk takers, the people who really work hard to realize the great American Dream.” Bush was correct in saying the business community realizes the American dream, but they have not helped the economy grow or worked hard for their wealth that comes at the expense of the working-class’s tax dollars. The wealthiest Americans have benefitted from tax cuts and special tax privileges that 95% of Americans will never experience. However, it is the incessant Republican claim that tax cuts for the wealthy create jobs that is most infuriating because it is erroneous and there is sufficient empirical evidence to refute the oft-claimed assertion

  17. Breaking:

    Newt Gingrich 2012 Senior Campaign Aides Resign En Masse: AP Sources

    WASHINGTON — Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich’s campaign manager, senior strategists and key aides in early delegate-selection states all resigned on Thursday, a mass exodus that leaves his hopes of winning the Republican nomination in tatters.

    Rick Tyler, Gingrich’s spokesman, said he, campaign manager Rob Johnson and senior strategists had resigned, along with aides in the early primary and caucus states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.

    Other officials said Gingrich was informed that his entire high command was quitting in a meeting earlier in the day. They cited differences over the direction of the campaign but were not more specific.

    The officials declined to be identified by name, saying they were not authorized to discuss private conversations.

    Gingrich told the group he intends to stay in the race, they added.

  18. rikyrah says:

    Dark Girls
    By Ta-Nehisi Coates

    I watched the preview of this joint with Kenyatta a few days ago. On different levels we both recognized a lot of truth in the commentary. For me it’s a matter of what I thought when I was a kid. There’s an anecdote in the book where I foolishly tell one of my mother’s friends “I like light-skin girls.” My mother, who is lighter than me, read me the riot act in such a way that it sticks with me to this day.

    I was like 12 or something, and I remember being really pissed off at my mother at first (“It’s my choice!”) Then a few weeks later, as I turned it over in my head, a bit embarrassed (“I wish I hadn’t have said that”) then deeply ashamed (“I wish I didn’t think that”) and finally incredibly curious (“Why do I think that anyway?”) This was about the time I first read Malcolm’s Autobiography and was just starting to get conscious. There is something visceral about the discussion around what we think of black women aesthetically. Malcolm was good at really making black men feel ashamed, stupid, and then angry over acceptance of the dominant beauty norms.

    But none of that compares to actually experiencing it as a dark girl, which is Kenyatta’s experience. Her tales of Tennessee and Chicago are, from my perspective, harrowing. Part of it is just what girls go through, but a specific portion of it is in the tradition of this sort of thing:

    If you’re white, you’re alright
    If you’re yellow, you’re mellow
    But if you’re black, step black

    And of course:

    Niggers and flies, I do despise,
    The more I see niggers, the more I like flies.

    With that said, one of things I always liked about Kenyatt was how she owned it. She talked about her experiences, but by the time we met, it was pretty clear to me that she didn’t simply consider her complexion a non-obstacle, she considered it an admirable portion of her entire being. Part of that is being at Howard in the mid-90s. But the most important part is the choice, again, to own the thing.

    Which leads to my one critique of this trailer: I hope the film doesn’t merely offer us a catalouge of pain. And I hope it’s conscious of the fallacy of Jelani Cobb’s “Black people are the only people who…” fallacy. We are more than what was done to us, more than what we’ve done to each other.

  19. rikyrah says:

    You Left Out the Part About …
    Published: June 8, 2011

    Last weekend, like seemingly half the country, I took my son to see “X-Men: First Class,” the latest, and best, big-screen incarnation of the popular comic book franchise.

    My son and I represent two generations of X-fans. I came of age in the ’80s and ’90s and can still recall when Xavier’s students were lords of the Underground, and the phrase “comic book movie” conjured absurd images of David Hasselhoff donning an eye patch. The boy is of the present era, where the geeks and nerds throne and Hollywood is compelled to seriously contemplate the cinematic potential of B-listers Namor, Luke Cage and Ant-Man. Still, we were united across the ages in our love for the X-Men — patron-saints of the persecuted and the champions of freaks and pariahs across the globe.

    In print, the X-Men are an elite team culled from a superpowered species of human. The mutants, as they are dubbed, are generally handled roughly by the rest of humanity and singled out for everything from enslavement to internment camps to genocide. As if to ram the allegory home, the X-Men, for much of their history, have hailed from across the spectrum of human existence. Over the decades, there have been gay X-Men, patrician X-Men, Jewish X-Men, Aboriginal X-Men, black X-Men with silver mohawks, X-Men hailing from Russia, Kentucky coal country, orphanages and a nightmarish future.

    But as “First Class” roars to its final climatic scene, it appeals to an insidious suspension of disbelief; the heroic mutants of America, bravely opposing bigotry and fear, are revealed as not so much a spectrum of humankind, but as Eagle Scouts from Mayfield. Thus, “First Class” proves itself not merely an incredible film, but an incredible work of American historical fiction. Here is a period piece for our postracial times — in the era of Ella Baker and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the most powerful adversaries of spectacular apartheid are a team of enlightened white dudes.

    “First Class” is set in 1962. That was the year South Carolina marked the Civil War centennial by returning the Confederate Flag to the State Capitol; the year the University of Mississippi greeted its first black student, James Meredith, with a lethal race riot; the year George Wallace was elected governor of Alabama.

    That was the year a small crowd of Americans gathered at the Lincoln Memorial and commemorated the 100th birthday of the Emancipation Proclamation. Only a single African-American was asked to speak (Thurgood Marshall, added under threat of boycott). In “First Class,” 1962 finds our twin protagonists, Magneto and Professor X, also rallying before the Lincoln Memorial, not for protest or commemoration, but for a game of chess. “First Class” is not blind to societal evils, so much as it works to hold evil at an ocean’s length. The film is rooted in its opposition to the comfortably foreign abomination of Nazism.

    This is all about knowing your audience.

    I am reminded of the House Republicans, opening the 112th Congress by reciting the Constitution, minus the slavery parts. I am reminded of the English professor last year who, responding to Huckleberry Finn’s widespread banishment from public schools, was compelled to offer the Mark Twain classic, minus the nigger parts. I think of the Pentagon official, who this year justified the war in Afghanistan to soldiers by invoking the words of Dr. King, minus the “ultimate weakness of violence” parts. I am reminded of whole swaths of this country where historical fiction compels Americans to claim the Civil War was about states’ rights, minus the “right to own people” part.

    This is all about a convenient suspension of disbelief.

    When we left the theater, my son and I knew we had experienced the most thrilling movie of the summer. “First Class” is narratively lean, beautifully acted and, at all the right moments, visually stunning. But I had experienced something else. My son is 10 and a romantic, as all 10-year-olds surely have the right to be. How then do I speak to him of this world’s masterminds who render you a supporting actor in your own story? How do I speak of the Sentinels whose eyes melt history, until the world forgets that in 1962, the quintessential mutants of America were black?

    Who do you think has the coolest power, Daddy?

    His great caramel eyes were an amusement park.

    You do, son.

  20. rikyrah says:

    Paul Ryan Calls For The U.S. To Default On Its Obligations
    By Pat Garofalo on Jun 9, 2011 at 9:27 am

    House Republicans have been playing games with the nation’s debt ceiling for months, threatening to not raise it — and thus invite all of the adverse economic consequences that would follow — unless they receive various concessions from the Obama administration and Congressional Democrats, including cuts to Social Security or new constitutional amendments. But at the same time, the Republican leadership has been saying that failure to raise the debt ceiling would be, in the words of House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), “irresponsible.”

    But as Aug. 2 approaches, which is the date on which Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner estimates the U.S. will begin to default on some obligations, the Republicans have acted more reckless when it comes to the debt ceiling. Case in point, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) has outright called for the U.S. to go over the cliff and miss payments to creditors:

    If a bondholder misses a payment for a day or two or three or four — what is more important is you are putting the government in a materially better position to better pay its bills going forward.

    Several Republicans — including Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) — have said default would not necessarily be bad thing. Others, like Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), have said that failing to raise the debt ceiling would bring on a “crisis,” but that such a crisis could be beneficial. But as The State pointed out, Ryan is “is the highest ranking Republican thus far to express support for a possible U.S. default.”

    Ryan has changed his tune regarding the debt ceiling significantly over the last several months. Back in January, Ryan admitted that failing to raise the debt ceiling was “unworkable.” “Yes, you can’t not raise the debt ceiling. Default is the unworkable solution,” he said during an appearance at the National Press Club. Earlier this month, he began to take a more radical line, saying that the ceiling wouldn’t be raised without concessions from Democrats. “It won’t happen, I’m serious about this,” he said. Now it seems he’s gone full-in with the fringe of his party in actually inviting a default.

    Yesterday, the credit rating agency Fitch warned that even a short-term default that resulted in some missed payments — exactly what Ryan is advocating — would do real damage to the U.S. creditworthiness. “If the Treasury missed a payment on its debts, even for a short period, Fitch would lower the nation’s credit rating — adding that it would be ‘unlikely’ the government could return to AAA after such a default,” The Hill reported.

  21. rikyrah says:

    Source: Weiner told New York colleague he doesn’t plan to resign, citing polling and wife
    By: CNN Senior Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash

    Washington (CNN) – Rep. Anthony Weiner told a House Democratic colleague from New York Wednesday afternoon that he does not plan to resign. A Democratic source familiar with this conversation said Weiner told his colleague that his wife Huma Abedin wants him to stay in Congress, and cited polling data showing a majority of New York City voters want him to remain in office. The source described Weiner as “dug in.”

    The source spoke on the condition that the name of the Democratic New York lawmaker not be made public because it was a private conversation with Weiner.

    • Ametia says:

      Who the fuck is this source. I’m sure Dana Bash and John King have a squeaky clean marriage.

  22. rikyrah says:

    Inactivity My A$$: Judge Dismisses Key Argument Of Health Care Reform Foes

    Oral arguments are over in the highest profile lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of President Obama’s health care reform law. So the new parlor game for observers and stakeholders is identifying key moments from Wednesday’s proceeding in Atlanta that indicate where the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals may be headed.

    The three-judge panel in the case, brought by 26 mostly Republican states and others, posed tough questions to both plaintiffs and defendants and made it clear they found merit in arguments from both sides. But in a brief exchange with plaintiffs’ attorney Paul Clement, one of the judges — Bill Clinton appointee Frank Hull — dismissed one of health care reform foes’ key arguments out of hand.

    Specifically, Hull cast aside the plaintiff’s claim that by compelling non-participants in the insurance industry to buy health insurance, it regulates “inactivity.”

    “[T]his case comes down somewhat to whether or not the decision — because you are making a decision, and let me put aside activity and inactivity. Don’t call my economic decisions I’m making inactivity. I consider it inactivity. The activity/inactivity [distinction] doesn’t help me personally,” she said.

    This, however, is central the plaintiffs’ case. They have argued — as have other legal challengers the new law — that the government overstepped its Commerce Clause powers by coercing people to enter a market they have chosen not to enter. Indeed, Clement acknowledges that Congress would have the power to compel the purchase of insurance if and when a patient attempted to seek health care without the means to pay for it, but not before or after.

    For Hull, that means the issue under contention comes down not to the legal tool Congress used to expand the health insurance risk pool, but rather to a matter of timing.

    “The inactivity point is losing salience,” said former Solicitor General Walter Dellinger, who watched the proceedings.

    The panel — comprised of two Clinton appointees and one George H.W. Bush appointee — will decide whether to uphold a ruling by Florida district court judge Roger Vinson, who found “ObamaCare’s” individual insurance mandate unconstitutional. Vinson threw out the entire health care law, which he said could not be separated from the mandate. Much as in the Supreme court, a majority of judges (in this instance, two) can decide the case in the event of a split decision.

  23. rikyrah says:

    Lawmakers Subpoena Jindal Over Health Care Agency Report
    Members of a Louisiana State Senate panel voted Wednesday to issue a rare legislative subpoena, and gave the Jindal administration 24 hours to turn over a report it commissioned on the agency that manages state employees health insurance.

    The administration’s plan to privatize the agency, the Office of Group Benefits (OGB), has been under fire from critics for months, and questions have been raised over the fate of OGB’s $500 million surplus. Recently, the fight has centered on the so-called “Chaffe report,” a financial analysis of OGB prepared for the state by New Orleans-based Chaffe & Associates. Commissioner of Administration Paul Rainwater, in charge of the agency that oversees OGB, told members of the State Senate’s Senate & Governmental Affairs Committee at a hearing last week that they could have copies, but later went back on that pledge. Those same Senators have now put some force behind their request.

    Meanwhile, three committee members, state Sen. Edwin R. Murray (D), state Sen. Karen Peterson (D) and state Sen. Lydia Jackson (D), along with state Sen. Butch Gautreaux (D) — an outspoken critic of Jindal’s plan — sponsored a Senate resolution directing the Division of Administration to “immediately release to members of the legislature any report generated by Chaffe and Associates, Inc., relative to the financial analysis and possible privatization of the Office of Group Benefits.”

    According to the Baton Rouge Advocate, the resolution passed 21-0 on Wednesday.

    The administration contends that privatizing OGB, which oversees health care for around 250,000 state workers, retirees and their dependents, will save the state money and generate significant upfront cash.

  24. rikyrah says:

    Obama 2012 names political director
    By: CNN’s Paul Steinhauser and Gabriella Schwarz

    (CNN) – The Obama re-election campaign will announce its political director Thursday, CNN has learned.

    That person, Katherine Archuleta, will be the first Latina to hold the position on a major presidential campaign, a source close to the campaign notes to CNN.

    Archuleta currently serves as chief of staff to Labor Secretary Hilda Solis. In her new role she will be responsible for outreach to elected officials and groups.

    Prior to this appointment, the Denver native served as chief of staff to former Transportation Secretary Federico Pena and as senior adviser for policy and initiatives to Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper.

    She will join the campaign team, based in Chicago that includes campaign manager Jim Messina, who earlier this year stepped down as deputy White House chief of staff and David Axelrod, who stepped down as White House senior adviser to reprise his role as chief strategist and top political adviser for the Obama campaign.

    Patrick Gaspard and Matthew Nugen served as national political directors during the 2008 campaign.

  25. rikyrah says:

    After Calling Social Security A ‘Pyramid Scheme’ Twice, Rep. Joe Heck Claims He Wants To Protect It
    By Zaid Jilani on Jun 9, 2011 at 9:50 am

    As ThinkProgress reported last week, Rep. Joe Heck (R-NV) faced an angry crowd of constituents last month after telling them at a town hall meeting that Social Security is a “pyramid scheme” that “isn’t working.” The congressman doubled down this week, once again referring to the program as a “pyramid scheme” during an appearance on a local radio show, telling a caller he was “exactly right” to call it that. Then Wednesday morning, on a seperate radio show, he called his aforementioned comments a “poor choice of words.”

    At a town hall last night, Heck refused to address his previous comments and only claimed that he actually wants to defend the program:

    U.S. Rep. Joe Heck vowed Wednesday to preserve Social Security but refused to explain why he called the federal program a “pyramid scheme” that does not work. […] “At this point I am not going to comment on that question,” Heck told a reporter who probed him about the pyramid scheme gaffe. When another reporter asked him about the comment after the meeting, he ignored the question and walked out of the room, avoiding the crowd of constituents gathered to greet him. […] At Wednesday’s town hall, he said he would protect the program, adding, “For future generations there may need to be changes for long-term sustainability.”

    Responding to Heck’s rapidly changing positions, Americans United for Change’s Jeremy Funk said, “It’s a good thing Congressman Heck decided to keep his government health care benefits despite opposing health reform. He may need to be treated for whiplash soon, with all the flip-flopping going on here.”

  26. rikyrah says:

    Herman Cain: ‘I Believe Homosexuality Is A Sin’ (VIDEO)
    Fresh off his keynote speech at the Faith And Freedom Conference in Washington last weekend, Herman Cain took a socially conservative hardline stance on sexual orientation in an interview with CBS News.

    “I believe homosexuality is a sin because I’m a Bible-believing Christian, I believe it’s a sin,” Cain said, adding, “I believe it is a choice.”

    This puts Cain right in the sweet spot for evangelical voters, but perhaps on the wrong side of the American electorate.

    Recent polling has shown Americans are more tolerant of gays and lesbians than ever before. Americans are increasingly comfortable with same-sex couples getting married and raising children. When the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy was ended in Congress last year, the public was overwhelmingly on board.

    Nevertheless, Cain and his fellow contenders for the Republican presidential nomination have to win over conservative primary voters, who remain less comfortable with gays and lesbians than the overall population. So you’re not going to see any of the candidates advocating gay marriage anytime soon (though former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman does support civil unions).

    Still, Cain’s statement to CBS puts him to the right of the field. This week, frontrunner Mitt Romney dodged questions about whether or not he believes homosexuality is a sin in an interview with CNN.

  27. rikyrah says:

    Democratic Party Affiliation Advantage Increases in May
    Posted on Thursday, June 9, 2011 by Paddy

    Very good sign.

    PRINCETON, NJ – In May, 45% of Americans identified as Democrats or said they were independent but leaned Democratic, compared with 39% who identified as Republicans or leaned Republican. The six-percentage-point Democratic advantage represents a slight increase from the four-point advantage Gallup measured in April, which matches the 2011 average to date.

  28. rikyrah says:

    Lupe and the Blissful Ignorance of Not Voting

    So yesterday evening Ryce and I did a podcast, IC 252: Pedophile Insurance (Cheap Plug) and one of the topics we talked about was Lupe Fiasco’s comments about President Obama being the world’s biggest terrorist. I had a few comments about that issue then but felt the need to write this follow up because I did something that I normally don’t do: I commented on the issue before actually watching/listening to what Lupe said. I hate doing that. I hate not getting the full context or full story straight from the source instead. Sometimes things get “lost in translation”. Now to be fair, in the case of Lupe, I was betting on the fact that he probably did indeed say it because that’s pretty much par for the course for the guy. But I still felt it necessary to follow up.

    So…after listening I have to say this: Lupe needs to shut the fuck up.

    Seriously folks. If all you’re doing is listening to what he’s saying and not really thinking about it, it might make sense. But if you stop for a minute…a second even…and really really think about it, Lupe sounds like a fucking idiot (and if you agree with him, you’re sound pretty fucking stupid too). Let me break it down…

    “In my fight against terrorism, to me, the biggest terrorist is Obama in the United States of America. For me, I’m trying to fight the terrorism that’s actually causing the other forms of terrorism. The root cause of the terrorism is the stuff that you as a government allow to happen and the foreign policies that we have in place in different countries that inspire people to become terrorists. And it’s easy for us because it’s really just some oil, which we can really get on our own.”

    So according to Lupe he’s “fighting against terrorism” that US foreign policy is creating. I understand that sentiment. I fully believe that US foreign policy creates terrorism. But here’s the thing, I also understand that the world is complicated. We could pull all our troops currently in foreign country out and bring them home and we’d still have problems like we do today. US foreign policy just isn’t about wars. It’s about who we ally with, who we trade and interact with…it’s a complex deeply rooted thing. For example, if we pulled all our troops out of Afghanistan and Iraq, what about oil companies currently in Africa that are raping the lands there? And that’s the thing with US foreign policy. It’s not a “world policy”. The goal isn’t to strengthen other countries but rather to strengthen the US and do what’s right for the US. It’s selfish. But you know what? It’s no different than what any other country would be doing if given the opportunity. The only way for US foreign policy to ever be what Lupe wants it to be would be for every entity of the US to pull back to within our own borders. I’m just going to be real with you. That’s not going to happen. The US is always going to be stepping on someone’s toes.

    But there’s a larger issue I have with Lupe. It’s based off of this statement:

    “I don’t vote. I don’t get involved in the political process because it’s meaningless, to be honest. I’m a real big believer if I’m gonna vouch for someone, then I’m gonna stand behind everything that they do. That’s just how I am as a human being. So politicians aren’t gonna do that because I don’t want you to bomb some village in the middle of nowhere.”

    Dude…fuck you. Seriously, fuck you.

    I’m tired of people who come off as if they have such a higher understanding of the world because they aren’t going to vote because all politicians are evil. Fuck you. It’s fucking stupid. Maybe people like Lupe who don’t vote don’t realize what voting really is because they don’t vote but let me break it down. First off, voting isn’t going into a booth and voting a straight Democratic or Republican ticket just because that’s the political affiliation you’re registered for. If that’s what you’re doing, I have news for you…you’re just as bad as Lupe and as far as I’m concerned, you’re not voting either. Voting involves doing research to find out who represents a reasonable amount of the views and values you have and supporting them.

    I’m a real big believer if I’m gonna vouch for someone, then I’m gonna stand behind everything that they do. That’s just how I am as a human being.

    What Lupe said right there is fucking stupid because that’s not how the world works.

  29. rikyrah says:

    Feds seek to close African-American health gap

    Clara Robertson has traveled many miles from her home in Montgomery, Ala., to walk dirt roads, knock on doors of trailers and help black women face cancer.

    Robertson, 52, finds free transportation for women who can’t get to a screening or an oncologist. She hands out pamphlets. She comforts. She explains that cancer won’t care that they don’t have the time or money for treatment.

    “In the South, it’s so different,” Robertson says. “My mom didn’t believe in going to doctors.”

    As a volunteer for a program organized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the University of Alabama, Robertson is a diplomat, working to erase nagging health disparities between black Americans and all other Americans.

    Death rates for black Americans surpass those of Americans overall for heart disease, cancer, diabetes, HIV and homicide, the CDC reports.

    “Educationally, we’re doing better. Economically, we’re doing better, so why is it that this gap will not go away?” asks Michelle Gourdine, a pediatrician at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and author of the newly released Reclaiming Our Health: A Guide to African American Wellness.

    Reasons for the gap, according to Gourdine and other experts:

    •Poverty. Many black Americans have no health insurance and a trip to the doctor is a major expense, says Mona Fouad, director of the Minority Health and Disparities Center at the University of Alabama-Birmingham.

    Take Renee Harris of Flomaton, Ala. The 41-year-old wife and mother has diabetes, high blood pressure and a benign breast lump doctors are watching. She has had her gallbladder removed. Harris can’t swing her share of the health insurance offered through her security job at a paper mill, especially since her husband was laid off.

    “I just can’t afford it right now,” Harris says.

    •Fatalistic outlook. Leandris Liburd, director of the CDC’s Office of Minority Health and Health Equity, says she is taken aback when she visits her hometown of Richmond, Va. “It’s not uncommon for me to come upon people I grew up with who are in their early 50s who are double amputees” and who see this as the natural course of aging, Liburd says.

    New efforts are attacking the gap. As part of last year’s health care law, the Department of Health and Human Services put forth a plan in April to better understand and find solutions to health disparities. One element: expand data collected on hospital admissions to include the race, ethnicity and language of patients. “Health disparities … are often driven by the social conditions in which individuals live, work and play,” according to the action plan.

    In May, the department announced $100 million in community grants for programs that promote healthier lifestyles among groups that experience more chronic illness.

  30. rikyrah says:

    While You Were Sleeping …
    Or buying into the latest Andrew Breitbart non-scandal, this happened.

    From Mother Jones on May 31, 2011:

    Following a time-honored Washington tradition of dumping required but embarrassing information on a Friday night before a major holiday, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas finally released the details of his wife’s income from her year or so working for the tea party group Liberty Central, which fought President Obama’s health care reform law. His new financial disclosure form indicates that his wife, Virginia, who served as Liberty Central’s president and CEO, received $150,000 in salary from the group and less than $15,000 in payments from an anti-health care lobbying firm she started.

    The Mother Jones article points out – correctly, I think – that last month’s eleventh-hour financial disclosures strongly suggest that Justice Thomas should be conflicted out of hearing any case challenging the legality or constitutionality of the Affordable Healthcare Act, given Ginni Thomas’ direct involvement in battling the passage of that bill. But there’s more to it than that.

    In fact, Justice Thomas is the subject of two separate ethics complaints filed by an organization called Protect Our Elections – complaints appear to be quite serious. According to the group’s February 8, 2011, press release:

    February 8, 2011- Today, attorney Kevin Zeese filed two formal complaints against Justice Clarence Thomas for falsifying 20 years of financial disclosure statements and benefitting financially from his decisions. The first complaint, filed with the Washington D.C. Bar Disciplinary Committee, seeks Justice Thomas’ disbarment.

    “Justice Thomas violated the Rules of Professional Conduct: he committed crimes that carry serious jail time if prosecuted, he acted in a untrustworthy manner, his conduct involved dishonesty, deceit and misrepresentation, and he engaged in conduct that seriously interfered with the administration of justice.”

    The second complaint, filed with the DOJ’s Public Integrity Section, seeks criminal prosecution.

    “Justice Thomas committed at least 20 crimes by falsifying 20 financial disclosure forms in order hide his wife’s employers and to enrich himself and his family. The crimes he committed carry serious jail time if prosecuted, and those and similar false statement crimes have been prosecuted against many others in the past without allowance for immunity by amendment. Justice Thomas acted in an untrustworthy manner, his conduct involved dishonesty, deceit and misrepresentation, and he engaged in conduct that seriously interfered with the administration of justice.”

    At this juncture, I’m not going to comment on the merits of the complaints against Justice Thomas, but the second complaint (.pdf), filed with the Department of Justice, is particularly disturbing. It alleges that for a period of twenty years, Justice Thomas failed to disclose his wife’s income on the legally-mandated AO 10 Financial Disclosure Forms he was required to file – including the income his wife received from Liberty Central, an organization that stood to benefit from the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, __ U.S. __, 103 S. Ct. 876 (2010).

    Cleary this, and not the inappropriate tweeting of “junk” pictures, is the most important political story in the U.S. today, and we owe it to ourselves – not as liberals or conservatives, but as Americans – to make sure this story gets the attention it deserves. On this Sunday’s edition of The Tim Corrimal Show we plan to go into the Clarence Thomas scandal in further detail. Meanwhile, Joy-Ann Reid of the Reid Report has been keeping tabs on the story here, with extensive analysis and links to any number of additional resources about the scandal.

  31. rikyrah says:

    Monday, June 6, 2011
    Rick Santorum’s Nostalgia for the Good Old Days: You Too Can Have Thirteen Slaves for a Nickel!

    I will have more on Rick Santorum’s honest moment of yearning for a return to pre-1965 America to come in a bit. Given Santorum’s mouth utterance over the weekend, my discovery of a 1939 issue of Popular Mechanics and its essay “Thirteen Slaves for a Nickel” was priceless in its timing.

    You have to love the whiteness of memory. When the Tea Party GOP and their assorted crew of candidates talk about “real America” and “the good old days” they are really signaling to a myopic Whiteness of memory. The blacks knew their places. Women knew to shut up and stay in the home. The domestic sphere was secure. The queers stayed in the closet. Happy Days and Leave it to Beaver were actually real…except for the parts that were not.

    Most important to the White Soul, there wasn’t all of this “political correctness” stuff. Good white people could say what they want and about whoever they wished without any consequences. It was also a fun time where the possibilities of science and progress were everywhere. One could even innocently dream of owning black people as slaves and recreating yee old southern plantation with the help of your friend the kilowatt–without having to worry about being made to feel guilty by those Negro agitators and other assorted rapscallions and troublemakers.

    • Ametia says:


    • Most important to the White Soul, there wasn’t all of this “political correctness” stuff. Good white people could say what they want and about whoever they wished without any consequences.

      They’re romancing the days of old and wishing how it could be. What did Trent Lott say?

      “I want to say this about my state: When Strom Thurmond ran for president we voted for him. We’re proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn’t have all these problems over all these years, either.”

  32. rikyrah says:

    Thursday, June 9, 2011
    Leaked! Herman Cain’s New Campaign Video “We are the Real America” is Seeking Actors: Here is the Call for Extras

    I have friends and contacts in places high and low. One of them forwarded me a call for extras from Herman Cain’s newest campaign commercial, “We are the Real America.” It fits perfectly. I cannot help but to laugh and smile as I read it. Enjoy.


    Herman Cain, Republican Party 2012 Presidential Candidate is seeking extras for the shooting of a new campaign video called “We Are the Real America.” This project is currently auditioning actors and is being cast in the Atlanta, Georgia area.

    The campaign video is being shot by a well-known director who is a notable supporter of Conservative political causes in Hollywood. The 5 minute video is financed by the group Friends of Herman Cain for President in 2012. The campaign film highlights Herman Cain’s broad appeal to a diverse group of Americans and how he speaks for the silent majority.

    The film is seeking extras for crowd shots, as well as individuals and families for close in profiles. For extras, we are looking for the following:

    •Active seniors who convey a sense of happiness and excitement about the future
    •Young, clean cut blacks and Latinos
    •Soccer moms and their children
    •Traditional, middle class Americans from suburban and rural backgrounds. Country music and Christian gospel fans are especially sought after.
    If you are located in the Atlanta, Georgia area and would like to be considered for Herman Cain’s new campaign video “We are the Real America” please email with the role you are auditioning for in the subject heading.

    We are also seeking actors and actresses for the following roles:

    1. Patriotic Muslim. She should be a very exciting, captivating and beautiful Muslim-American. An observant Muslim, she will be comfortable wearing a colorful hijab in the film. This actress radiates a love of the United States. Very charming and delicate, she will be shot waving a small American flag at a backyard barbecue while dancing with her American friends.
    2. Real American Motorcycle Rider. He is a powerfully built American with long blond hair, tattoos, and a goatee. Always ready for action, he is never far from his Harley Davidson motorcycle. Wearing jeans and a leather vest, he will have his patriotic tattoos prominently featured in Herman Cain’s campaign video. If possible, this actor will have an American flag on his biceps that he will flex for a climactic close in shot. 3. Upwardly Mobile Black Professional. He is a slight to small framed African American who wears glasses. With a clean cut look (no dread locks or other ethnic haircut) he is very excited and charmed by Herman Cain’s presence. They will likely embrace each other and exchange a high five. He should be athletic because their meeting will occur while playing golf. This actor will wear a relaxed corporate look of khaki jeans, a cell phone on his belt, and a white baseball hat. 4. Multiracial Family. This group of two parents and at least two children should be of different racial backgrounds. Both are professionals and very much in love. An African American and white couple is preferred. An Asian and white couple is also acceptable. The child should be no older than 2 years old (small enough to be placed on their father’s shoulder while securely waving an American flag), and have light brown or red hair. Grey, hazel, or blue eyes are preferred.

  33. Axelrod: Palin Reflects ‘Why We Can’t Abandon Education’

    CHICAGO (CBS) – Top Obama adviser David Axelrod on Tuesday said Republican superstar Sarah Palin is “a good reflection of why we can’t abandon education.”

    Axelrod was weighing in on Palin’s recent gaffe on Paul Revere, in which she claimed Revere had set off in part to warn the British “that they weren’t going to be takin’ away our arms.”

    “I think it’s a good reflection of why we can’t abandon education,” Axelrod said. “We need good education so everybody knows their history lessons.”

    Palin made the remarks after a visit to the historic Old North Church in Boston last week. She was quickly accused of misquoting history, but on Sunday, she insisted she was right.

  34. Ametia says:

  35. Ametia says:

    Got this email this morning

    Dear Ameita,
    This weekend the New York Times ran an editorial titled, “How a Democracy Works: President Obama has the authority to start fixing immigration, if only he would use it.” In it, the Times called on President Obama to use his authority as President to stop the deportation of young people who qualify for the DREAM Act.1
    The New York Times is asking him to act. Democratic lawmakers across the country are asking him to act. Thousands of members and thousands more of our allies across the country are asking him to act.

    But he still hasn’t done a thing.

    Next week, President Obama will visit Puerto Rico–the first President in more than 50 years to make that trip. This will be a moment where all eyes are going to be on President Obama and his relationship with the Latino community in the country–an increasingly influential voting bloc. It’s an opportunity for all of us to make sure he really hears from our community.
    So, we’re working with our allies in Puerto Rico and across the country to send him a message he can’t ignore: We need real action–not more speeches. Together, we’re organizing grassroots events, press conferences and aiming to take a full page ad in a Puerto Rican paper. It’s an ambitious plan–so we need to raise $5,000 by tomorrow to pull it off. Can you chip in $5?

  36. rikyrah says:

    Wanker of the Day: Walter Russell Mead
    by BooMan
    Thu Jun 9th, 2011 at 11:55:23 AM EST

    The funniest thing I’ve seen today? This:

    The Tea Party WMD stockpile is currently stored in book form: Reckless Endangerment: How Outsized Ambition, Greed, and Corruption Led to Economic Armageddon. By Gretchen Morgenson, one of America’s best business journalists who is currently at The New York Times, and noted financial analyst Joshua Rosner, Reckless Endangerment gives the best available account of how the growing chaos in the mortgage and personal finance markets and the rampant bundling of dubious loans into exotically toxic securities plunged the world, and millions of American families, into the gravest financial crisis since World War Two. It is gripping reading as well, and its explanations are clear enough that readers without any background in finance will have no trouble following the plot. The villains? An unholy alliance between Wall Street, the Democratic establishment, community organizing groups like ACORN and La Raza, and politicians like Barney Frank, Nancy Pelosi and Henry Cisneros. (Frank got a cushy job for a lover, Pelosi got a job and layoff protection for a son, Cisneros apparently got a license to mint money bilking Mexican-Americans of their life savings in cheesy housing developments.)
    If the GOP can make this narrative mainstream, and put this picture into the heads of voters nationwide, the Democrats are toast.

    Good luck making that narrative mainstream. I think it’s fair to say that the housing bubble and all the fancy financial instruments that fueled it took many years to develop and relied on a variety of weaknesses in the system, some of which were created by Bill Clinton. But, let’s remember that the bubble burst in late 2008, after nearly eight years of Republican ownership of the White House. And, during those eight years, the Republicans controlled the House for the first six and the Senate for part of 2001 and all of 2003-2006. They alone had the power to make the kinds of laws or utilize existing regulatory authority to prevent the giant fraud that was being perpetrated on the public. They didn’t do anything. They looked the other way. They let Wall Street run free.

    Before we can get to any Democratic complicity in this, we first have to assign blame to the people who actually had the power to do something. Of course, Gretchen Morgenson served as Steve Forbes’s press secretary and is known for writing hyped and slanted opinion pieces posing as analysis. She also likes to steal bloggers’ work without giving attribution. We know how her bread is buttered. As for Rosner, he was prescient about the housing crisis, but he didn’t blame Barney Frank and ACORN for the impending doom. He blamed the rating agencies and the SEC for failing to do due diligence on the collateralized mortgage bonds. If he now has found new villains, it just means he has a book to sell. But, in truth, I don’t think Mr. Mead is giving a fair and balanced portrait of the book, which has won the praise of people like Bill Moyers. It sounds to me like it has a lot of villains that were conveniently left out of this review.

    But, yeah, if the Republicans could convince people that they’re underwater on their mortgage and out of work because the Democrats gave free houses to blacks and Latinos, the Democratic Party would be toast.

  37. rikyrah says:

    Limbaugh, Palin And “The Left”
    As usual, the tired old bigoted comedian Rush Limbaugh took offense that anyone could call Sarah Palin “nuts,” even though she is quite obviously a few sandwiches short of a picnic, and her grip on reality is, shall we say, tenuous. And as usual, Limbaugh blamed it on the left, i.e. the Guardian’s Wintour/Watt blog. What he doesn’t understand is that Palin’s nutsiness is not a partisan matter in Britain, or anywhere else in the world. It is an obvious truth marveled at by all. Palin’s emergence as a serious figure in American politics has made the country a laughing stock across the world. The idea that a stateswoman like Thatcher, in advanced dementia, would be used by such a crackpot is simply unseemly.

    • It’s shameful how this ignorant woman was thrusted upon us! …And now she won’t leave the stage.
      John McCain, how could you?

    • Ametia says:

      Trust, I’ve spent the last few weekends downtown Mpls., working the streets to inform and remind our brothers an sisters what’s at stake in the 2012 elections.

      • Indeed! Folks better be aware. I’m sure they have been paying attention to what happened in Wisconsin? Take nothing for granted. Get registered & ROCK THE VOTE!

  38. rikyrah says:

    June 08, 2011 3:40 PM

    Lefties are sticklers for reality

    By Steve Benen

    Kevin Drum asks a good question.

    Reading Tim Pawlenty’s paean to double plus supply-side-ism yesterday made me wonder, once again, why conservatives think we liberals are opposed to it. I mean, if it actually worked, why would we be? It’s politically popular, and by their accounts it would generate trillions of dollars in extra revenue that we could use to finance our beloved lefty social programs. What’s not to like?

    The only answer I can come up with is that conservatives are now completely invested in their theory that we liberals loathe rich people so much that we don’t care. We all want to screw the wealthy so badly that we’re willing to forego the elections we’d win and the mountains of revenue we’d gain if we lowered their taxes. We hate them that much.

    And Jon Chait explains that Kevin’s assumption is spot-on.

    The early supply-siders, like Jude Wanniski and Jack Kemp, were sure they could convert liberals to their theory once they had learned the Good News. They actually viewed liberals as their most promising potential converts, precisely because they believed they had unlocked the key to higher revenue at no cost. They genuinely, tirelessly evangelized for years.

    Eventually, pretty much all of them gave up on this hope. Now they almost all believe liberals hate the rich so much they’re willing to sacrifice economic growth and revenue in order to punish them.

    But then there’s the other question: why conservatives continue to support trickle-down tax breaks for the rich, since they don’t work.

    The left, after all, is incredibly pragmatic. If the right could demonstrate with incontrovertible proof that cutting taxes for the wealthy would generate more economic growth and greater government revenue, lefties would sign on. Liberals don’t much care if government is bigger or smaller; we care about end results — making a material difference in the lives of people. To that end, the left wants to do more of what works and less of what doesn’t.

    But notice how the inverse never seems to apply. The left could demonstrate with incontrovertible proof that cutting taxes for the wealthy doesn’t expand the economy and can’t bring in additional revenue … and it wouldn’t make a bit of difference to the right. For conservatives and today’s GOP, the point isn’t to do what works; the point is to satisfy ideological goals. Evidence is interesting, but not determinative.

    And the efficacy of economic agendas is nice, but conservatism’s larger philosophy matters so much more.

  39. Herman Cain promises he wouldn’t sign any bill over three pages long

    Herman Cain has discovered a way to stand out from all the other Republicans running for president.
    The former president and chief executive of Godfather’s Pizza wants to make an offer to Congress that it can’t refuse. Unfortunately, it may be an offer so idealistic that it could have Cain swimming with the proverbial fishes — politically speaking.
    Cain wants to stop lawmakers from passing bills that are over three pages long. Talk about small government.
    “Don’t try to pass a 2,700-page bill,” Cain said to a responsive audience in Pella, Iowa, on Monday.
    “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 said.

  40. Ametia says:

  41. rikyrah says:

    Black Power Wanes Amid Rising Hispanic Clout

    U.S. Representative Danny Davis sits in his west side congressional office, long ago the headquarters of Sears Roebuck & Co., and watches black Chicago slip away.

    The third-largest U.S. city lost 17 percent of its black population — 181,000 people — in the past decade, according to the Census Bureau. In their place, Hispanics gained 25,000, or 3.3 percent. To explain the seismic shift those numbers represent in economic and political power, Davis drew on the words of Chicago blues legend Buddy Guy.

    “While you’re steppin’ out, somebody else is steppin’ in,” said Davis, 69, an eight-term congressman and pillar of Chicago’s black political establishment.

    In the city that drew waves of blacks during the Great Migration of the early 20th century, their descendants barely remain the largest racial or ethnic group, at 32.4 percent. Blacks earn less and are more likely to live in poverty than Hispanics, who make up almost 30 percent of Chicago, a city of 2.7 million that lost 6.9 percent of its population since 2000.

    The reversal of fortunes for the two groups is echoed nationwide, where blacks have fallen to 12.6 percent of the total U.S. population of 308.7 million, and Hispanics have risen to 16.3 percent. Hispanics are also outpacing blacks economically: Their median household income rose 21.6 percent in the decade to $40,946, compared with $34,445 for blacks.

    Supermajority Lost
    Black lawmakers in Illinois and other states have managed to hold onto most legislative and congressional districts by giving up their supermajority numbers. The proportion of blacks in Davis’s district will drop to just more than 50 percent from 65 percent, according to a map approved by the Illinois General Assembly on May 31.

    The mapmakers didn’t eliminate the growing tension between blacks and Hispanics, who are pushing for boundaries they say would better reflect their population gains.

    “There’s no place to divide us up anymore,” said U.S. Representative Luis Gutierrez, whose Hispanic-dominant, horseshoe-shaped district wraps around Davis’s in the center of Chicago.

    The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund criticized state legislative boundaries for failing to “create a sufficient number of districts for Latino electoral opportunities.” Nina Perales, the group’s vice president for litigation, stopped short of saying it would challenge the map in court as it has successfully in the past.

    Reversing Great Migration
    The population shift in Chicago is part of a nationwide phenomenon of blacks moving out of cities and into suburbs or reversing the Great Migration and returning to Southern U.S. states, William Frey, a demographer and senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, wrote in a May 4 report.

    “There’s a national trend of black suburbanization, a new generation of African-Americans who both have more opportunity and don’t see their future living in cities, like their parents and grandparents,” Frey said in a telephone interview from Washington.

    The dispersal of the black population may dilute traditional voting clusters, Frey said.

    “As blacks become more a part of the mainstream of American voters, not only geographically but economically, those kinds of older blocs will be melted down,” he said.

    For the first time, Hispanics now outnumber blacks and represent the largest minority group in major American cities, 26 percent to 22 percent, according to census data.

    No ‘Bloodbath’
    Demographers and political analysts expected the past two rounds of redistricting to produce a “bloodbath” between blacks and Hispanics, said Arturo Vargas, executive director of the Los Angeles-based National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials. That didn’t happen in part because the Hispanic population still has a higher percentage both of non- citizens and young people who aren’t old enough to vote, Vargas said.

    “Our potential electorate is much smaller right now,” he said. “We don’t yet have the potential electorate to draw these lines.”

    Gutierrez’s district, which connects Chicago’s Puerto Rican community on the northwest side and Mexican-American neighborhoods on the southwest side, offers a glimpse of the future. The district was 65 percent Latino when he was first elected in 1992, with 40 percent of those people registered voters. Today, it’s 75 percent Hispanic, with 60 percent registered, Gutierrez said.

    Fatter Wallets
    Hispanics also are strengthening their financial position at a faster pace than blacks. In Chicago, the median household income of Hispanics in 2009 was $41,802, up 14 percent over 2000, compared with $30,769 for blacks, up 6 percent over the same period, according to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. The poverty rate for Hispanics in 2009 was 21.6 percent, compared with 31.7 percent for blacks.

  42. rikyrah says:

    June 08, 2011 4:30 PM

    The GOP’s preoccupation with bill lengths

    By Steve Benen
    About two years ago, Republicans decided one of the biggest problems with the Democrats’ health care reform proposal was the number of pages in the legislation. Even now, it’s still a common complaint — the law must be flawed, the right argues, because it was long.

    Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain picked up on this theme while campaigning in Iowa this week.

    “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.”

    This is deeply odd. It’s true that most of the public is pretty busy and Americans generally don’t have time to read legislation. It’s why we have a representative democracy — we can’t evaluate every proposed measure, so we “hire” (i.e., elect) professional lawmakers (i.e., members of Congress) to do it for us.

    And sometimes, when these professional lawmakers and their staffs address national needs, their proposals get pretty long. That’s to be expected. We live in an advanced 21st-century superpower, and legislation often deals with complex issues. Legislation isn’t really prepared for a lay audience anyway — it’s often filled with technical and legal jargon, which is necessary for it to be implemented as intended.

    There is, I’m afraid, no way to squeeze legislative text into a CliffsNotes-style bill for those who tire of reading after a few pages.

    I guess that’s what irks me most about this incessant preoccupation with bill length — it reeks of anti-intellectualism. The Republicans who complain the loudest aren’t even trying to hide their disdain for depth and detail. “Just dumb it down for us,” they seem to be saying. “We can’t be bothered to, you know, read and stuff.”

    But sometimes, powerful people working on important measures need to care enough about substance to write detailed proposals. Car makers can’t put together a blueprint for a new model in three pages or less. Scientific researchers can’t publish a study on life-saving medication in three-pages or less. It doesn’t mean the cars and/or medicine lack value, just because the typical American couldn’t read the descriptions at the dinner table.

    What’s more, if you’ve ever seen the physical page of a bill in Congress, you know that it doesn’t look like a traditional printed page. There are huge margins, a large font, and everything is double-spaced. Legislation may look enormous, but be fairly manageable. (This blog post would take up more than one legislative page, for example.)

    If we rely on word counts as a more accurate measurement of length, the Affordable Care Act was about as long as Sarah Palin’s first book — and “Going Rogue” wasn’t exactly an endless tome. And yet, the ACA has somehow become the Republican standard for “Too Big To Read.”

    So perhaps the right can pick something new to whine about? Meaningful legislation generally requires lots of pages. There’s nothing wrong with this.

  43. rikyrah says:

    June 09, 2011 8:35 AM

    Like asking a fish not to swim

    By Steve Benen

    Fareed Zakaria’s new column on the economy touches on a variety of points, only some of which I agree with. But his overarching point — simply waiting for job growth to start happening on its own isn’t good enough — is a good one.

    The problem is his misguided assumptions about Republicans.

    Zakaria makes the case that additional steps are necessary to strengthen the recovery, and failure to do so would carry awful consequences. The columnist even offers a constructive suggestion on a way forward:

    [W]e could enact some measures that would spur job creation, many with a limited effect on the deficit. Most immediately, Washington needs to find ways to employ the millions of workers whose jobs disappeared with the housing bust. The simplest way to help them, and the country, would be to create a national infrastructure bank to repair and rebuild America’s infrastructure — which is in a shambles and ranks 23rd globally, according to the World Economic Forum — down from sixth only a decade ago. […]

    In many countries in Europe and Asia, the private sector plays a large role in financing and operation of roads, highways, railroads and airports, as well as other public resources. An infrastructure bank would create a mechanism by which such private-sector participation would become possible here as well. Yes, some public money would be involved, mostly through issuing bonds, but with interest rates at historic lows, this is the time to rebuild. Such projects, with huge long-term payoffs, could genuinely be called investments, not expenditures.

    A national infrastructure bank would also address a legitimate complaint of the Tea Party — earmarks. One of the reasons federal spending has been inefficient is that Congress wants to spread money around in ways that make political sense but are economically inefficient. An infrastructure bank would make these decisions using cost-benefit analysis, in a meritocratic system, rather than basing decisions on patronage and whimsy

    Sounds good, right? A focus on infrastructure would give the economy a boost, put a lot of Americans back to work, and help over the short- and long-term. What’s not to like?

    But then Zakaria notes how congressional Republicans have responded to previous talk about an infrastructure bank: “House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has played down this proposal as just more stimulus, but if Republicans set aside ideology they would see….”

    There’s no point in even quoting the rest of the sentence. Asking conservatives to set aside ideology is a fool’s errand. Before the radicalization of the Republican Party, infrastructure investments were exactly the sort of thing that enjoyed bipartisan support, but those days are long gone.

    I’m glad Zakaria mentioned Cantor, because the Majority Leader offers the perfect example that proves the point.

    In early 2009, when the Recovery Act funded a high-speed rail project in his home town of Richmond, Cantor was delighted. He said at the time that the project would spur economic development and create as many as 185,000 jobs in his area. At the ribbon-cutting ceremony, alongside officials from both parties, Cantor said, “If there is one thing that I think all of us here on both sides of the political aisle from all parts of the region agree with, it’s that we need to do all we can to promote jobs here in the Richmond area.”

    Two years later, Cantor announced his opposition to the same infrastructure proposal he’d already championed. He agreed that the funding would create jobs and spur economic growth in his district, but Cantor concluded that “shrinking the size of government” was more important.

    “If Republicans set aside ideology they would see….” I know what Zakaria is trying to say, and I desperately wish Republicans were as serious about policy as the columnist thinks they can be, but I’ve seen no evidence that GOP officials are still capable of governing with common sense in mind.

  44. rikyrah says:

    The crowds giggles with anticipation…
    by Dennis G.

    So earlier today I saw that little Billy Kristol sent out a breathless post that Mr. 9-11-Word-Salad himself is going to jump into the race to be the 2012 GOP Presidential Nominee. Why? Who knows, and really—who cares. It would be wrong to consider reason, common sense, logic, facts, reality or proven competence as reasons to get in the race. That stuff does not matter to a conservative electorate that only reacts to word salads. And as Kristol the Younger explains, Rudy can toss a pretty impressive word salad:

    Rudy’s message: I’m tough enough to put our fiscal house in order and to protect us from enemies abroad. The U.S. in 2012 is in bad shape—like New York in 1993. The budget crisis is as severe—and seemingly intractable—as the crime/welfare crisis was in New York then. Rudy dealt with that when people said it couldn’t be done. He’ll deal with this.

    Yep, Rudy is good at the word salad thing even if he does limit himself to “9-11” and a few other word strings—and yet, he doesn’t stand a chance. The GOP clown car is filled with word salad ninjas—and some serious kung fu word salad masters (Bachmann and Palin) seem likely to put on their big shoes, red noses and jump on in. The best Rudy can hope for is a great pratfall out of the car on the first turn around the center ring that increases his earning power on the wingnutopia grifter circuit.

    Still, it is quite a show, and the crowd giggles with excitement as more and more of these clowns squeeze into the car. And in the wings are Chris Christie, Rick Perry and possibly Paul Ryan. They each have so much to bring to the spectacle and one can only hope they’ll try to squeeze in.

    It is all quite silly until you realize that one on these fools could ride the proven stupidity of American voters to a 50% plus-1 victory. After all, we live in a Nation that actually did elect George W, Bush in 2004—and even the worst of these clowns start a General Election campaign with the blind support of the 27 percenters.

    In a recent post about the Quitta from Wassila, Andrew Sullivan predicted how she would run against President Obama:

    Pundits speak of her lack of professional organization. What they don’t speak of so often is her willingness to say and do things very few politicians will. She will play the race card powerfully, often and repeatedly. She will run a campaign against Obama as an un-American. She will run on hatred of elites, will turn every sad gaffe, lie or untruth into “truth”, she will deploy religious motifs more effectively than any Republican candidate in modern times. In the last campaign she accused Obama of being a friend of terrorists, and was prevented from using Jeremiah Wright in the last few weeks of the campaign. She will make the Willie Horton ad look like happytalk.

    I think Sully is spot on with this observation when it comes to Palin, but the sad fact is that the same could be said about any of the Republican candidates climbing into the clown car. To “win” they will—each and everyone—say and do things that push them into moral twilight. Many have already taken the ferry across the Acheron and are working hard to secure real estate in one of the nine circles. When the clown show is over and the car is emptied—one clown will be the Republican nominee and that clown will live down to Sully’s worst fears of a Palin campaign. Pushing white resentment and fear is the only path the GOP has to defeat President Obama and whichever clown emerges will embrace that Palin path. It will be ugly.

    I think the best way to view the emerging 2012 Republican filed is to be amused and yet, terrified by the evolving spectacle. The very real possibility that any of these clown car occupants could actually win control of the White House in 2012 should frighten you enough to be ready to work like hell to defeat these fucksticks in 2012.


    • Ametia says:

      BWA HA HA @ ” The GOP clown car is filled with word salad ninjas—and some serious kung fu word salad masters.”

      And this: “The very real possibility that any of these clown car occupants could actually win control of the White House in 2012 should frighten you enough to be ready to work like hell to defeat these fucksticks in 2012.”


  45. rikyrah says:

    Lover Come Back to Me
    by mistermix

    Wal-Mart and Best Buy squared off against JP Morgan and Citibank yesterday in the US Senate, and the retailers won this round: the Tester amendment to stop the Fed from killing ridiculously high bank charges on debit cards couldn’t withstand a filibuster. This means that instead of charging 44 cents to process a debit transaction, the banks can only charge 7-12 cents, taking a huge bite out of $20 billion in profit. Though this would seem like a no-brainer, it’s telling that a majority (54-45) voted for it, with 12 senators changing votes (including Schumer and Gillibrand) over the last year. This means that other Dodd-Frank provisions, as well as the powers of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, are going to be in play in the Senate.

    Since Jon Tester led the charge for the banks, maybe it’s worth revisiting this panegyric from Kos editor McJoan a few short years ago:

    Jon Tester isn’t really a new kind of Democrat, but he’s the kind of Democrat that many of us, and a majority of Montana voters, can identify with, can respect, and can trust to represent them in Congress. As an individual, I predict Tester will redefine what being a representative means. In that sense, Tester’s victory is a victory for middle-class Americans everywhere.

    In a political sense, Tester’s victory means a lot more for Democratic politics, for the grassroots, and for the netroots.[…]

    For the Democratic party, this is a powerful new archetype. In his demeanor, in his approach to politics, Tester is the common man, the simple citizen. As a politician, he projects these personal qualities into a message of common sense, the common good, and representation of the little guy. In that, Tester’s political approach shows us how to recapture what Americans have always liked about the Democrats, that it’s the party of the little guy. He’s a unifying figure for us, from the center to the left. Without sacrificing any of the core values that make him a Democrat—he’s pro-choice, pro-civil liberties, and believes in the essential ability of government to improve people’s lives—Tester can appeal to white, middle/working class voter that has been duped by the Republicans into thinking that they represent their concerns better.

    What’s more, he negates the standard Republican attack on Democrats because he can’t be attacked for not being a real American with real American values. […] It’s not as a result of any specific position he holds, but rather the totality of the image he presents.[…]

    Jon Tester isn’t necessarily a new kind of Democrat, he’s the best of what Democrats have always been.

    In 4 years, Kos front-pagers went from wondering if Tester is more God than man, to saying he should be the Blanche Lincoln of 2012. As a Montana local pointed out the last time Tester did something awful, it isn’t Tester who changed. Tester’s facing Denny Rehberg, who probably thinks that getting money from banks is like receiving a benediction from the Pope or a handjob from Ronald Reagan’s ghost. Tester will pay no political price for supporting this amendment, and he’ll probably gain a bunch of campaign contributions. That’s just the political environment we live in, where the choices are usually between mediocre and awful.

  46. rikyrah says:

    This Will Not Be a Red/Blue Election
    by BooMan
    Wed Jun 8th, 2011 at 11:24:00 PM EST

    I think it’s smart for the Obama campaign to look at all possible ways of reaching the magical 270 electoral votes, but I don’t think this election is going to be close. It is going to be a blowout. As of today, I’d place heavy odds on it being a blowout in Obama’s favor, but things could take a turn for the worse. Actually, let me put this a different way. If Obama wins reelection, he will win it in a rout. If he loses, it could be close or it could be a blowout.
    First, let’s look at recent history. Nixon, Reagan, and Clinton all won reelection in major drubbings that were never really in doubt. Jimmy Carter, who lost his reelection campaign, was drubbed. Poppy Bush only won 37% of the vote in 1992. The lone exception to this rule is 2004, which found George W. Bush winning reelection about as narrowly as it is possible to win.

    Basically, people are able to reach a verdict on their sitting presidents, and it is very rare for the nation to be all that divided about the matter.

    The other day I wrote about Harry Truman’s successful campaign for reelection in 1948, and that still serves as a counterexample to what I’m saying. Truman won narrowly. But Truman wasn’t a true incumbent and was seeking election for the first time.

    I believe Obama will probably win at least as big as Clinton won in 1996, and perhaps close to as big as Lyndon Johnson won in 1964.

    And, if he loses, I expect him to lose decisively, including in states we consider to be reliably blue.

    People are going to come to a decision, and that decision is going to be similar whether it’s the voters of Connecticut or Missouri. This will not be a red/blue election

  47. rikyrah says:

    June 09, 2011
    Deciding our point of no return
    I began to begin by making the observation that E.J. Dionne must be in gargantuan denial, behind the eight ball, slow on the uptake; that he’s in the grip of whatever condition or cliche has prevented him from accepting — not embracing, mind you, just accepting — the brutal reality that the world’s oldest, once-stablest democracy now routinely behaves like a prepubescent, incorrigible child.

    This morning he asks: “At what point do we decide that a political system has become decadent?” He answers: “The breaking point for me was the Anthony Weiner story.” Well, then, that’s his breaking point. Who am I to decide for another the proper tolerance level? Thus I cannot in good conscience attest that Dionne is in denial, etc., etc.; I can only swear that his tolerance is made of much sturdier stuff than mine.

    My personal breaking point? My answer is regrettably imprecise. Yet, I would imagine some qualified psychiatrist somewhere would encourage at least an attempt in some form of some sort of stream of consciousness. Hidden bugaboos and lurking boogeymen and all that come out in mental abandon, don’t you know, or so we’re told. So I’ll make a brief attempt — I’ll take my psychiatric one-hour allotment — after first reconceding that there isn’t really an “answer” to our decided decadence, since we all have our individual breaking points.

    I heard my first unmistakable crack a bit more than 10 years ago, when a colossally corrupt U.S. Supreme Court not only single-handedly determined that the ineffably dimwitted George W. Bush should be president of these United States, but that its reasoning process in arriving at that staggering electoral insult should be forever regarded by future courts as sui generis, since the reasoning process was, like George W. Bush, so ineffably dimwitted. I consoled myself at the time with historical coddling: from county clerkships to the U.S. presidency, the American art of stealing elections has been a long and noble one; and besides, quite often the racketeering thiefs turned out to be not half bad as respectable officeholders.

    So even though I had heard a crack — even though I had, in fact, suffered an undeniable breaking point — I further consoled myself with the Twainian thought that, like Wagner, perhaps Bush would be better than he sounded. Oh, what a misjudgment, or rather, what a false hope. He was worse, far worse, as in galactically far worse, and behind him he harbored a Congress-full of either likeminded ideological nincompoops or spinelessly loyal oppositionists willing to grant their imprimatur to virtually every imbecilic Bushian impulse.

    A plenary listing of our young century’s imbecilities conceived and orchestrated by Mr. Bush exceeds my time, my space, my emotional endurance and even our collective knowledge. Historians, for decades to come, will be unfoldingly horrified and appalled at the Bush administration’s alternating recklessness and indifference; levels that make James Buchanan, by comparison, look like a Lincoln. From W.’s deliberate reversal of our fiscal health, to invading the wrong country, to Constitutional violations committed with a transcendentally arrogant shrug and a sneer, in general his trangressions against law, both domestic and foreign, as well as against human decency and just plain common sense — taken together, the Bush-Cheney record of achievement is as degenerately sui generis as was its extralegal conception.

    Perhaps worse, we reelected these buffooons, subsequent to appreciating just how immmensely boneheaded and corrupt they were. Added to that additional breaking point of 2004 was our national mini-stroke-slash-nervous breakdown of 2010 and, well, you get the diagnostic picture.

    And I’m supposed to be upset by Anthony Weiner’s cyberboners? Is Dionne kidding me? But, as both Dionne and I have so graciously conceded, to each his own, and unto each of us comes our own peculiar breaking points.

    The one intervening salvation, of course, was our restoration of presidential gracefulness, executive competence and pragmatic reason in 2008. Barack Obama is doing his damnedest to make it all better, to heal the wounds, to correct our course and put the ethical, socioeconomic and loosely philosophical meaning of “super” back into “superpower.” If he’s unsuccessful — if the ruggedly ignorant Americanism of tea partyism, Cantorism, McConnellism and Romneyism or T-Pawism proves to be insurmountable — then that compound noun of once-great distinction will not improbably become a thing of the irretrievable past.

    I see that my hour is up.

  48. rikyrah says:

    What Fat Costs
    David Stipp largely blames rising healthcare costs on obesity:

    [T]here’s a giant exception to the rule that the longer life tends to be a healthier one: Obese people are living longer, thanks to factors such as cholesterol-cutting medicines (as is the entire population), but much of their extra time is spent in ill health, and as a result, their annual medical bills are some 42 percent higher than those of normal-weight people. In fact, the obesity epidemic has greatly increased the prevalence of chronic diseases such as diabetes, but contrary to much of the media coverage on the epidemic, it has had little effect on mortality rates. As the title of one study put it, “Smoking kills, obesity disables.”

  49. Ametia says:

    The Periodic Table Expands Once AgainBy THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Published: June 8, 2011

    They exist for only seconds at most in real life, but they have gained immortality in chemistry: two new elements have been added to the periodic table.

    The elements were recognized by an international committee of chemists and physicists. For now, they are called Elements 114 and 116 — permanent names and symbols will be chosen later.

    People are not likely to run into either of them. Scientists make them in labs by smashing atoms of other elements together to create the new ones.

    “Our experiments last for many weeks, and typically, we make an atom every week or so,” said Ken Moody, a chemist with the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory who was part of the discovery team.

    In contrast to more familiar elements like carbon, gold and tin, the new ones are short-lived. Atoms of 114 disintegrate within a few seconds, while 116 disappears in a fraction of a second, Dr. Moody said.

  50. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

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