Saturday Open Thread

The Supremes, an American female singing group, were the premier act of Motown Records during the 1960s.

Originally founded as The Primettes in Detroit, Michigan, in 1959, The Supremes’ repertoire included doo-wop, pop, soul, Broadway show tunes, psychedelic soul, and disco. They were the most commercially successful of Motown’s acts and are, to date, America’s most successful vocal group[1] with 12 number one singles on the Billboard Hot 100.[2] Most of these hits were written and produced by Motown’s main songwriting and production team, Holland–Dozier–Holland. At their peak in the mid-1960s, The Supremes rivaled The Beatles in worldwide popularity,[2] and their success made it possible for future African American R&B and soul musicians to find mainstream success.[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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34 Responses to Saturday Open Thread

  1. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 06:59 PM ET, 06/11/2011
    The backstory on Weiner’s implosion
    By Greg Sargent

    So the Democratic leadership has called on Anthony Weiner to resign, in the wake of news that he had connected with a 17 year old girl through social media. The family has claimed that nothing was untoward, but suddenly, a fusillade of statements came from Dem leaders today demanding he resign.

    Here’s what happened, according to a senior Democratic aide. Nancy Pelosi had been privately urging Weiner to resign and seek treatment for days, the aide says. But he told her today that he would take a temporary leave of absence and seek treatment. Once she heard that, she released a statement calling on him to resign.

    “Congressman Weiner has the love of his family, the confidence of his constituents, and the recognition that he needs help,” Pelosi’s statement said. “I urge Congressman Weiner to seek that help without the pressures of being a Member of Congress.”

    Similar statements came out today fromChris Van Hollen and DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

    My understanding is that Pelosi and other Dem leaders were angry with Weiner because he lied to them, publicly and privately. After the news of the first Tweet broke, he privately assured Dem leaders that he had been hacked and that there was nothing to the story, I’m told.

    That put Pelosi in a tough spot. When she was asked to comment on the story, she said: “I am a late comer to the issue. But I am sure I have confidence in Anthony Weiner that if an investigation is in order, that will take place.” When the truth came out, Dem leaders felt personally betrayed.

    Also: Dem leaders were beside themselves over the fact that Weinergate seemed to be completely taking the steam out of their momentum on Medicare. On Thursday the Post released some polling that seemed to show that Republicans are decisively losing the argument over the program. Yet the only topic of discussion in the media was Weiner’s weiner. Fair or not, this intensified the desire among Dem leaders for Weinergate — i.e., Weiner — to go away.

  2. rikyrah says:

    I don’t care what anyone says…

    I love The Wedding Crashers…it was insane..


  3. rikyrah says:

    African Embassy Bomber Killed

    by BooMan
    Sat Jun 11th, 2011 at 01:01:09 PM EST
    Under Bush, terrorists were “elusive,” “masters of disguise,” and the president didn’t spend that much time thinking about them. Under President Obama, terrorists are dead. Hell, even pirates are dead if they mess with American citizens.

    Fazul Abdullah Mohammed was actually indicted in a U.S. court for his role in the African Embassy Bombings of 1998. But he didn’t turn himself in, so now he’s dead.

    Al-Qaeda’s presumed chief in east Africa, Fazul Abdullah Muhammad, killed in a shootout in Mogadishu, was a Comoran blamed for east Africa’s deadliest bomb attacks who dodged US agents for years.

    Fazul Abdullah, 38, is thought to have planned the massive US embassy truck bombings in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam in 1998 that left 224 people dead and had a $5 million bounty on his head.

    The official word is that he was killed at checkpoint by Somalian security forces. Maybe, in this case, Obama was just lucky. Who knows? I’ll take a lucky president over a bumbling one.

    This is how a war on terrorists should have looked. Instead of big invading and occupying armies that chewed up our treasury, we should have methodically tracked down the people who were directly responsible and either captured them and put them on trial in normal courts or killed them if that wasn’t possible.

    The geniuses around Bush left us broke with a prison we can’t close, prisoners we can’t prosecute or let go, broken countries we can’t leave, a reputation for torture, and enough resentment to last many generations.

    The mess Bush left was epic. So epic.

  4. rikyrah says:

    Pawlenty Goes Through the Looking Glass

    by BooMan
    Sat Jun 11th, 2011 at 10:15:49 AM EST
    People did not understand what they were doing, but they voted for this in November 2010.

    “It’s not even gridlock. It’s worse than that,” said Allan Lichtman, a history professor at American University who once ran for the Senate himself as a Democrat. He said “gridlock” implies that somebody was at least trying to get legislation passed.

    Instead, he said, this year “they’re not even trying to get something done.”

    No, instead, they’ve spent a third of their time in the Senate in quorum calls. I can’t say I blame them. There is nothing that Democrats and Republicans can agree on to do, and neither party has the strength to force anything through. And that won’t change under any imaginable scenario after the next election.

    Speaking of the next election, it is looking increasingly likely to me that Tim Pawlenty will emerge as the only possible alternative to Mitt Romney. And, since the Republican base in almost infinitely less likely to accept Romney as their ordained front-runner than the Democratic base was willing to accept Hillary Clinton in that role, it looks to me like Pawlenty is close to a lock to win the nomination. Steve Benen is focused on the Alice in Wonderland aspect of Pawlenty’s tax plans, but he’s smart to embrace The Stupid early and often. When has talking reason with Republican voters ever gotten anyone anywhere. An independent analysis of Pawlenty’s tax plan says it will reduce taxes by well over a trillion dollars a year over the next decade ($11.6 trillion overall) and that almost every penny will go to people who are already fabulously wealthy. Here’s what Pawlenty had to say about it on Fox News:

    “Keep in mind, whether it be the Bush tax cuts, the Reagan tax cuts, or other tax cuts, they always produce an increase in revenue. There’s no dispute about that…. We don’t have to guess what will happen to revenues if we do bold tax cuts, and mine are amongst the boldest in the modern history of the country. We saw that the revenues increased dramatically because of President Reagan’s tax cuts, same with Kennedy, same to significant extent under President Bush the second. So it’s not a question of whether revenues are going to go up. They will.”

    This reminds me of a scene from Lewis Carrol’s Through the Looking Glass, a book my father read to me more than any other:

    Alice could not help laughing at this, even in the midst of her tears. ‘Can you keep from crying by considering things?’ she asked.

    ‘That’s the way it’s done,’ the Queen said with great decision: ‘nobody can do two things at once, you know. Let’s consider your age to begin with — how old are you?’

    ‘I’m seven and a half, exactly.’

    ‘You needn’t say “exactly”,’ the Queen remarked. ‘I can believe it without that. Now I’ll give you something to believe. I’m just one hundred and one, five months and a day.’

    ‘I can’t believe that!’ said Alice.

    ‘Can’t you?’ the Queen said in a pitying tone. ‘Try again: draw a long breath, and shut your eyes.’

    Alice laughed. ‘There’s no use trying,’ she said ‘one can’t believe impossible things.’

    ‘I daresay you haven’t had much practice,’ said the Queen. ‘When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.

    People who watch Fox News before breakfast know what the White Queen is talking about. Or, at least, they should know what she’s talking about, but probably don’t. How often do we listen to Republican rhetoric and think to ourselves, “There is no use in arguing, one can’t argue with people who believe in impossible things”?

    And how often do they come back and chide us for living in a reality-based community that believes that solutions emerge from a judicious study of discernible reality?

    There is not a whiff, a scent, an iota, or even a scintilla of truthiness to what Pawlenty said on Fox News. He was engaged in the most outrageous lying, telling us that there isn’t even any dispute about something that absolutely no one acquainted with facts happens to believe.

    And this is precisely why he is going to benefit from it politically. He’s basically double dog-daring Mitt Romney to tell the Republican base that the truth is otherwise. Let the Mormon prove he is a heretic and an infidel who doesn’t understand or subscribe to the Gospel of Supply-Side Jesus.

    Fortunately, for now, the public seems to understand what they’ve done and are assigning blame appropriately.

  5. rikyrah says:

    June 11, 2011 8:45 AM
    Pawlenty dances with the Tax Fairy

    By Steve Benen

    The non-partisan Tax Policy Center released an independent analysis of Tim Pawlenty’s massive tax-cut plan yesterday. While estimates on the price tag vary, the TPC found that the Republican presidential hopeful is proposing $11.6 trillion in tax cuts over the next decade, nearly all of which would benefit the richest of the rich. No, that’s not a typo.

    But don’t worry, Pawlenty says. By dramatically reducing government revenue, he’ll magically increase government revenue. Here’s the argument the confused former governor offered on Fox News yesterday:

    “Keep in mind, whether it be the Bush tax cuts, the Reagan tax cuts, or other tax cuts, they always produce an increase in revenue. There’s no dispute about that…. We don’t have to guess what will happen to revenues if we do bold tax cuts, and mine are amongst the boldest in the modern history of the country. We saw that the revenues increased dramatically because of President Reagan’s tax cuts, same with Kennedy, same to significant extent under President Bush the second. So it’s not a question of whether revenues are going to go up. They will.”

    Yep, Tim Pawlenty believes in the Tax Fairy.

    This comes up from time to time, but the incessant stupidity of the claim is bordering on pathological. The argument is straightforward: cutting taxes grows the economy, which means individuals and businesses will make more money, which means they’ll pay more in taxes. Voila! Cutting taxes brings in more revenue!

    Except this is idiocy. Pawlenty believes — or at least pretends to believe — that “there’s no dispute” about this, but he has it backwards. The very idea has not only been proven false repeatedly, the argument itself is so ridiculous that no credible economist — not even conservative economists — takes it seriously. Even the Bush administration — the most fiscally irresponsible in American history — rejected it as nonsense. Even Paul Ryan — the Ayn Rand-loving, right-wing chairman of the House Budget Committee — doesn’t believe it.

    Tim Pawlenty started the race as the dull former-moderate. He’s now making the transition to the not-terribly-bright crank who spews demonstrable gibberish on Fox News. It’s proving to be painful to watch.

  6. rikyrah says:

    June 11, 2011 10:10 AM
    When ‘flip-floppery’ matters, and when it doesn’t

    By Steve Benen

    Kathleen Parker makes the case in her latest column that the political world’s preoccupation with politicians’ “flip-floppery” is misplaced. At first blush, the argument seems more than fair.

    A politician may be able to survive cavorting with prostitutes, sexting with coeds and commingling with interns, but heaven forbid he should change his mind — the transgression that trumps all compassion.

    Or thinking.

    After all, thinking can lead to that most dangerous territory for a politician — doubt — and, inevitably, the implication that dare not be expressed: “I could be wrong.”

    At a certain level, this strikes me as persuasive, because there’s nothing inherently offensive about a political figure changing his or her mind once in a while. Policy makers come to one conclusion, they gain more information, and then they reach a different conclusion. That is, to be sure, a good thing — it reflects a politician with an open mind and a healthy intellectual curiosity. Better to have a leader who changes his or her mind based on new information than one who stubbornly sticks to outmoded policy positions, regardless of facts or circumstances.

    But — and you had to know a “but” was coming — what Parker is describing are sincere changes of heart, which certainly occur. It’s something else entirely when pandering politicians reinvent themselves, sometimes more than once, as part of a cynical, calculated ploy. This isn’t indicative of an open mind; it’s actually indicative of a character flaw.

    Parker’s column, for example, seems inclined to absolve Mitt Romney of his flip-flopping sins. And in instances in which the former governor came to new conclusions after earnest reevaluations, I’d be inclined to cut him a fair amount of slack.

    The problem with Romney, though, is that there’s nothing remotely sincere about his repeated reinventions. The guy has demonstrated a willingness to flip-flop like no other American politician in a generation.

    Romney was a pro-choice supporter of gay rights, gun control, and comprehensive immigration reform. He’s reversed course on everything from economic stimulus to health care, the auto-industry rescue to foreign policy.

    I’ve almost lost count of his iterations. Romney 1.0 was an independent who distanced himself from Reagan and H.W. Bush. Romney 2.0 was a moderate Republican who passed health care reform. Romney 3.0 was a social conservative who cared deeply about the culture war. Romney 4.0 is a hysterical Mr. Fix-It who fears the death of capitalism.

    I’m perfectly comfortable with a politician pondering doubts and questioning whether he or she is right about an issue. But when a politician changes his views so fundamentally that he’s adopted several different worldviews in a fairly brief time span, is it really unreasonable to question the man’s integrity?

  7. rikyrah says:

    June 11, 2011 10:40 AM
    Reconsidering the nuclear option

    By Steve Benen

    As has been clear for a while, the Senate nomination/confirmation process is completely broken. The last few weeks on this front have been a national embarrassment.

    Republicans won’t allow votes on Consumer Financial Protection Bureau nominees. Republicans won’t allow votes on Independent Payment Advisory Board nominees. Republicans are filibustering qualified judicial nominees creating a vacancy crisis on the federal bench. Republicans intend to block the new Commerce Secretary nominee. Top banking regulatory offices are empty because Republicans want them to be, and Treasury Department offices related to financial institutions, economic policy, and tax policy are also vacant, again by GOP design.

    Jonathan Bernstein argued yesterday that we’ve reached the breaking point, and it’s “long past time” for Senate Democrats to “threaten to go nuclear.”

    Yes, there have been party-wide filibusters of executive branch nominees in the past, but it’s almost always been about specific people who the president could withdraw and replace. Holds placed by individuals or small groups of Senators in order to get leverage over a specific grievance — usually some home-state interest — are common, and every Senator has an interest in preserving that procedure, whether outsiders like it or not. But a party-wide decision to simply not confirm anyone for a variety of positions? I’m not sure if it’s ever been done before by a majority party during periods of divided government, let alone by the minority party.

    What Reid and the Democrats should be doing is threatening dramatic action: eliminating supermajority rules for executive branch confirmation. The truth is they should probably threaten to just get rid of filibusters altogether. But that’s a tall order. For now, it should be doable to get every Democrat to support making it possible to confirm executive branch nominations with a simple majority of Senators. Doing so would simply return the Senate to how it was governed throughout its history up until the Obama presidency. Dems would simply be threatening to restore the old norm that while the Senate could influence policy, the president was, barring exceptional circumstances, entitled to the person he wanted to carry out that policy.

    In late January, after months of behind-the-scenes talks about changing the way the Senate does business, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) reached a gentlemen’s agreement of sorts. As part of the deal, both promised to take the so-called “nuclear option” off the table, effectively forever.

    But the same deal was supposed to feature a GOP pledge to “exercise restraint.”

    Under the circumstances, Bernstein makes the case that “going nuclear” should be “a credible threat.” Here’s hoping Senate Dems agree.

  8. rikyrah says:

    Certifiable Space Case: The Premature Obituary of Obama’s Presidency

    Another “liberal” beltway opinion writer, Harold Meyerson, caused a bit of a hu-ah moment, so to speak, in the Left Puritan blogsphere with his backhanded, poorly thought out column in the Washington Post earlier this week. In a piece that the nutroots ate up like a tripple chocolate Sundae, under the veil of discussing how history will judge President Obama’s economic policies, Meyerson purports to write, at once, both history’s judgment on President Obama’s economic policies and his political obituary.

    Meyerson starts with this juvenile paragraph:

    When historians look back at how Barack Obama lost the 2012 election — or won it only because the Republicans nominated a certifiable space case — they will doubtless focus on his first few months in office and ponder why he didn’t do more to stanch the recession and arrest the downward mobility of the American people.

    I’ll tell you what a certifiable space case is – it’s this column by Meyerson. For a moment, let’s set aside the fact that Meyerson is attempting to write the history of Barack Obama’s presidency when Obama has been in office for less than two and a half years. So historians will focus on the first few months in office of Barack Obama and ask why he didn’t do more, will they? Sure, if by “historians” Meyerson means people who are bereft of historical perspective, he might be right. But so long as we are talking about how historians will judge something or what they will ask, it seems logical that one will want to examine the history of the conditions Barack Obama took office and what, from it, he delivered.

    Barack Obama, as it has been mentioned, took the helm of this economy not just after the proverbial Titanic hit the ice berg, he became the captain after the ship nearly completely drowned and its occupants started abandoning ship. We had been mired in the worst economic calamity in this country’s history since the Great Depression and paralleled by no other part of our history. We were losing 800,000 jobs a month – nearly a million a month – when President Obama took office.

    The severity of the job market was of course not the only bad economic indicator. We were experiencing a complete collapse of the financial system, causing everyone’s retirement savings to disappear along with their home values. All in all, our economic house was on fire. It is from there that President Obama started. And today, the economy is growing as are jobs, albeit way too slowly, the financial markets are stable, and an entire American industry (the US auto industry) has made a stunning comeback thanks to the insistence of one man: Barack Obama that we not leave the industry and its workers behind. The fire has been put out and the rebuilding started.

    So of course, we have the puritanical whining from Mr. Meyerson complains that his fire department put out his fire but did not immediately rebuild the house, saying that President Obama’s economic recovery plan (the Recovery Act) “might [have] halt[ed] the economy’s slide but were hardly sufficient to turn it around.”

    I hate to break it to Mr. Meyerson but when your house is on fire, you put out the fire first. You don’t complain that the firefighter got in the way of your new tiles in the kitchen. When you have bleeding that lands you in the emergency room, your health professionals try to first stop the bleeding. I doubt you’d complain to the doctor that she stopped your internal bleeding, but she did not, immediately, make your cancer disappear.

    The truth in this is also blurred, of course. The Recovery Act made significant investment in long and short terms. In the short term, it delivered unemployment extension with 65% COBRA paid for by the government, targeted tax cuts to the middle class and the poor, increase in state aid, etc. In the longer term, it made unprecedented investments in green energy and infrastructure. Ask anyone who is or was unemployed if the what the Recovery Act did for them was insignificant. Ask a teacher or firefighter whose job was saved by the Recovery Act and subsequent state aid packages if it was insignifcant.

    But on the other hand, to Mr. Meyerson, it’s really about the optics.

    by opting for barely perceptible tax cuts, preserving public services and a glacial rollout of public works, the Obama administration had devised a stimulus whose price tag was apparent to all but whose achievements were all but invisible.

    First of all, for someone claiming to support economic stimulus, this is preposterous argument. “Barely perceptible tax cuts” are exactly the ones most effective type of tax cut in stimulating an economy based on consumer spending. It enables the recipient to buy some extra groceries, or take their family out to eat for a day in a month, or be the difference between being able to afford some back-to-school supplies for one’s child and not. But it’s not noticeable, which is why it gets spent – you know, as in consumer spending, the driver of our economy. When you give tax cuts in a lump sum, like Bush’s bribe of $600, people tend to save it or use it to pay down debt rather than in consumer spending.

    And umm, what’s wrong with preserving public services? As for a glacial rollout of the works, this chart from says it all:

  9. rikyrah says:

    June 10, 2011 09:30 AM
    Gingrich tries to change the subject to the ‘Obama depression’
    By David

    A day after his campaign staff resigned en masse, Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich attempted to change the subject.

    “I am a candidate for president of the United States because I think we are in the early stages of the Obama depression,” he told reporters Friday.

    “I’m prepared to go out and to campaign very intensely but I want a campaign on ideas and on solutions and I want to do it in a way that brings Americans together into a large movement,” ABC News quoted the former House Speaker as saying.

  10. rikyrah says:

    Botswana seeks ‘First Lady’ to host Michelle Obama
    Mounting anticipation in Botswana over next week’s visit by Michelle Obama and her daughters is being undercut by concerns over the absence of a first lady to host the US visitors.

    Despite long-running criticism, the country’s president, Ian Khama, remains resolutely single.

    Mr Khama, a 58-year-old former army officer who trained at Sandhurst, has in the past said that a wife would be “a distraction” to his duty of serving the country.

    He has also caused consternation by saying that any wife he chose would have to be “tall and slim”.

    An intense debate has begun as to the most suitable female candidates to stand in as first lady.

    The wife of vice-president Mompati Merafhe has been dismissed as a relative unknown, and while Botsalo Ntuane, the opposition leader, has a girlfriend, only a married woman would fit the role, according to Botswana’s daily Mmegi newspaper.

    The speaker of Botswana’s parliament, Margaret Nasha, would be a possible candidate were she not 20 years older than Mrs Obama, the paper said.

    “Surely Michelle Obama would need someone with whom she can chit chat and perhaps give a ‘high-five’ to,” it said.

    The two deemed most suitable for the role are Dorcas Makgato-Malesu, the minister of trade and industry who is tipped as a possible future president.

    Failing that, the newspaper tips Dineo Saleshando, the wife of the president of the Botswana Congress Party.

    Mrs Obama will visit Botswana with daughters Sasha and Malia and her mother Marian Robinson on or around June 21 to promote education and health.

    She will then visit South Africa, where, due to the polygamous President Jacob Zuma, she will be spoilt for choice for first ladies.

  11. rikyrah says:

    Democrats leave self-promoting Anthony Weiner to defend himself, too

    By Steve Kornacki

    Anthony Weiner really could have used two specific types of friends last week: the kind who could have vouched for him publicly after the lewd picture that may or may not be his surfaced, and the kind who could provide him with smart, practical guidance for dealing with the resulting media circus.

    But when it comes to his life in politics, friends like this are in short supply for Weiner, and it’s really showing now.

    Only one Democratic member of the state’s congressional delegation—Louise Slaughter, from Western New York—was willing to issue a loud and unequivocal defense of Weiner.

    “I don’t doubt for a moment that it was not him” in the photo, Slaughter said in an interview last Tuesday. Weiner promptly rewarded this loyalty by making his colleague look like a fool, announcing the next day that he couldn’t say “with certitude” that the picture wasn’t actually of him.

    The rest of the state’s Democratic delegation seemed to know better. Most stayed quiet, while others said as little as possible. Gary Ackerman told the New York Post that Weiner’s statement seemed “a little strange,” while Steve Israel said, “I think he should listen carefully to what his lawyers say.” Even Chuck Schumer, who Weiner claims as his political mentor, was careful to say, “I don’t know the details,” while stating that he was “virtually certain” Weiner had done nothing wrong.

    This lack of public support is partly the result of all of the unanswered questions surrounding the incident. Even someone who likes Weiner would have to think twice about vouching for him when Weiner has been so hesitant to vouch for himself, and his story about what happened has seemed so odd, and the possibility of new revelations seems so real. It’s possible that if Weiner simply apologized for whatever happened he would have made it easier for Democrats to rally to his call for the media to move on from this silliness. But it’s too late for that now—he’s stuck with a stated version events that created more questions than it answers.

    (At the Celebrate Israel parade over the weekend, Governor Andrew Cuomo answered a question about Weiner without the merest pretense that the congressman had explained himself to anyone’s satisfaction: “It’s going to be up to the congressman how he handles it and then people will have an opinion when they actually have the facts.”)

    But the lack of support is also a consequence of the me-first style of politics that has defined Weiner’s two-decade career. What offends so many of Weiner’s New York colleagues isn’t really that he’s a camera-chasing self-promoter, even though he is. It’s that he seems utterly uninterested in exerting the same effort behind the scenes to actually achieve anything meaningful. So when he does get attention, which is often these days, it’s usually at the expense of someone else who really did put in the work.

    The ultimate example of this probably came last summer, when Weiner hijacked the congressional debate over a healthcare bill for 9/11 first responders, launching a memorable tirade on the House floor against Republican obstruction. It was a classic Weiner move: The rant was played over and over on cable news, certified him as a hero to liberal activists across the country, and only increased his desirability to television producers.

    But there were two problems. The first is that it didn’t actually cause Republicans to reconsider and pass the bill; it wasn’t until months later that a watered-down version of the legislation passed during the lame duck congressional session. The second is that Weiner had, essentially, done no work on the bill. By most accounts, his New York colleagues Carolyn Maloney and Jerry Nadler were the real workhorses, the ones who had invested significant time and energy crafting the bill, talking up their colleagues, and struggling to find a way to move it through the House. But you would have never known that by watching cable news, where Anthony Weiner was the undisputed star of the drama.

    When it comes to Weiner’s style, the 9/11 bill is the rule, not the exception. He’s a natural showman, with a thirst for the spotlight. (Before turning to politics, he had dreamed of being a television weatherman.) His New York colleagues seem to be on to him, and so do his party’s leaders in Congress, who have watched him become a cable news sensation by, in effect, calling them sellouts.

    They, too, have never seen Weiner as a team player who’s willing to work constructively behind the scenes. For his first decade or so in Congress, he was a virtual nonentity, someone who just wanted an important-sounding title so he could run for mayor. It was only when his plans for a second mayoral bid in 2009 were derailed that Weiner began to make noise in Washington, and all of it either on television or in made-for-television House floor theatrics. His shtick is simple: He’s from the “fighting wing” of his party and can’t figure out why his fellow Democrats won’t forcefully confront Republicans on issue X. What irks House leaders is not the ideological purity of this message, but the cynicism.

    Maybe this is why Steny Hoyer, the No. 2 Democrat in the House, would only say that “he’s handling it, I hope” when he was asked about Weiner’s Twitter mess last week. And maybe it’s why Nancy Pelosi has had absolutely nothing to say.

    It’s been obvious that Weiner wasn’t getting any help behind the scenes, either. There was no apparent strategy to his response last week. When the controversy first erupted on Twitter over Memorial Day weekend, he claimed that his online accounts had been hacked. Then, when he returned to Washington a few days later, he held an awkward press conference in which he refused to say whether he’d sent the “crotch shot” from his Twitter account to a college student in Washington state.

    His performance was so disjointed and uncharacteristically defensive that many who had previously been ignoring the story suddenly wondered if Weiner was hiding something. After absorbing harsh reviews, he then changed course again, giving a series of interviews in which he insisted he hadn’t sent the picture but wouldn’t say whether it was an image of him. He succeeded, at least, in making the experience as undignified and unflattering for his interviewers as it was for him. But it still seemed like he wasn’t being fully candid. Then he cancelled a speech in Wisconsin and spent the weekend in a bubble, out of view.

    What we’re seeing now is the downside of operating as a one-man band. It’s not just that Weiner isn’t popular among his colleagues in Washington and in the New York political world. It’s also that he’s unimportant to them. He has no role in setting the party’s congressional agenda and no power base on Capitol Hill. It’s the same in New York, where he doesn’t control a political organization, and lacks either a team of well-paced allies and proteges or the ability to call in chits from well-connected movers and shakers. There is no incentive for anyone in politics to go to bat for Weiner, because virtually none of them depend on him for anything.

    There will be no great rallying of the party in defense of Anthony Weiner—the Clinton impeachent, this isn’t. If Weiner is going to get out of this mess, he’ll have to do so on his own.

  12. Breaking News:

    Anthony Weiner Seeks Treatment, Requests Leave Of Absence As Top Democrats Call For Resignation

    WASHINGTON — House Democratic leadership issued a deafening rebuke of Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) midday Saturday, calling on the embattled New York Democrat to resign from his post amid growing controversy over his lewd online activity.

    In successive statements, Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chair Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) urged Weiner to conduct his rehabilitation outside the confines of public office. Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) the ranking member of the Budget Committee and former DCCC head, followed with the same request 45 minutes later.

    “Congressman Weiner has the love of his family, the confidence of his constituents, and the recognition that he needs help,” said Pelosi, whose word carries the most weight of the group. “I urge Congressman Weiner to seek that help without the pressures of being a Member of Congress.”

    Shortly after the calls for resignation were delivered, reports emerged that Weiner was, indeed, checking into a treatment center — though where and for what precisely (depression? addiction?) wasn’t immediately clear.

    Weiner’s office put out a statement confirming those reports and announcing that he had requested a “short leave of absence from the House of Representatives so that he can get evaluated and map out a course of treatment to make himself well.”

  13. Breaking News:

    Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Nancy Pelosi: Anthony Weiner Should Resign

    The chair of the Democratic National Committee has called on Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) to resign in the wake of his admission that he engaged in “inappropriate” online relationships with six women in recent years.

    According to CNN, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) said in a statement, “It is with great disappointment that I call on Representative Anthony Weiner to resign.”

    The call from Wasserman Schultz comes on the heels of Weiner acknowledging that he interacted with a Delaware female teenager online. He said, however, that the nature of their interactions were “neither explicit nor indecent.”

    The Democratic lawmaker addressed the matter after Fox News reported the teen had been interviewed by police about the matter on Friday.

    The AP reported earlier this week on the controversy surrounding the embattled lawmaker:

    Weiner’s prospects for political survival dimmed precipitously on Wednesday with the appearance on the Internet of an X-rated photo said to be of the congressman – and the first calls from fellow Democrats for him to step down.
    “In light of Anthony Weiner’s offensive behavior online, he should resign,” Pennsylvania Rep. Allyson Schwartz, a member of the party campaign committee’s leadership, said in a statement that was quickly followed by similar expressions from other Democrats.

    House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi issued a statement on Saturday urging the embattled lawmaker to step down and seek “help without the pressures of being a Member of Congress.”

  14. Be still my heart…The Supremes! One of my absolute favorites of “the girl groups” I will be digging out my treasure trove of their music for the Kiddos this afternoon. They love jamming and dancing to my “oldies” Sis and I saved and pooled our money to buy a “record player” so we could listen to our favorites when ever we wanted instead of waiting for the radio to play what we liked. We would sing along and dance like two crazy fools. Great memories!

    • Happy Saturday, Aquagranny! I remember being so excited when the Supremes made their appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show for the first time. It was wonderful. Oh, how I loved the Ed Sullivan Show.

  15. The_A says:

    Goood Morning Ladies! How are you doing today?

  16. Ametia says:

    REALLY, SERIOUSLY? Desperate for hits are we Daily Beast..

    The Anthony Weiner Scandal: C’mon, America, Nobody’s Perfect
    by Lee Siegel

    Creepy as Anthony Wiener’s photos are, the level of outrage aimed at him is wildly unfair. If we’d scrutinized the private behavior of past leaders to the same ridiculous degree, we’d blow up all our heroes, says Lee Siegel.

    With all the commotion over Anthony Weiner’s gross and undignified online behavior, we have been too distracted to see that we have an even worse miscreant in our midst

    I’m not talking about a congressman from Queens. I’m referring to a figure who has inspired the hopes of tens of millions of people in this country and even throughout the world, and who then betrayed those hopes time and time again. He spoke of the dignity of ordinary men and women but acted in a way that makes Weiner’s online dalliances seem trivial. A compulsive seducer of women, he lied to his closest aides and friends, and to his wife and children. Knowing that he was being watched and recorded, he went ahead and had sex with promiscuous abandon, jeopardizing his cause and desecrating the martyrdom of the people who gave their lives for that cause. He traduced what he claimed to be his own most fundamental principles.

    The man I am describing is Martin Luther King Jr., and before you head-butt your screen—or report me to your local blogger/commissar—think for a moment. If you are breathlessly following every revelation of Weiner’s stupidity, or angrily denouncing his conduct and pronouncing him unfit to hold office, you might to want ask yourself where this country would be if the FBI, which tape-recorded King’s extramarital adventures, had released the tapes to the public. You might want to reflect on where this country would be had the technology of exposure, and the culture of personal destruction, existed when we needed credible, if flawed, leaders to make this country a more just and humane place to live.

    The calls for him to resign are as surreal as the fact that hitting the wrong key on your keyboard can utterly change your life.

  17. Ametia says:

    WE HAVE A FOURTH: John Kasich, the Republican governor of Ohio, will be the fourth golfer to play with Barack Obama, Joe Biden and John Boehner on June 18, the House speaker announced on Twitter.

    Boehner, who represents a district in Ohio, wrote “#nomulligans” after his Tweet.

  18. rikyrah says:

    Friday, June 10, 2011

    Hope I get old before I get sick

    by digby


    So Joe Lieberman is proposing that we raise the Medicare eligibility age. That’s a truly cruel idea; as it happens, I know several people who are hanging on, postponing needed medical care, hoping that they can make it to 65 before something terrible happens. And if I know such people in my fairly sheltered social circles, just imagine how widespread such stories must be.

    There are a ton of people like that and with this job market there are likely to be a whole lot more to come. If you lose your job, you lose your insurance and if you lose your insurance over the age of 55 it’s very expensive to buy it. Now, the new health care plan will eventually end things like denial for pre-existing conditions and rescission, but it’s not going to help with those expensive premiums for quite some time (if ever.) And people over 55 tend to start having some health problems which make those premiums more expensive.

    Like Krugman I know quite a few who are hanging on for dear life and just hoping against hope that whatever’s wrong with them doesn’t kill them before they get a new job or qualify for Medicare. Raising the age makes no sense at all. In this economy with the system in flux it should be lowered to age 55 — a position, by the way, that Joe Lieberman used to have (until he agreed that sticking it to the hippies in the health care debate was more important):

  19. Ametia says:

    Newsmax Joins Obama for White House Economic Summit
    Thursday, 09 Jun 2011 06:32 PM
    By Steve Coz, Editorial Director

    WASHINGTON — Newsmax met with President Barack Obama and his senior advisers at a special White House Summit to discuss a wide range of serious economic issues facing the United States and the world.

    In a first for the administration, the White House brought together 22 of the country’s leading online media — including Newsmax, Forbes, The Economist, Kiplinger, MSN, Yahoo, and AOL/Huffington Post — to create a platform to better communicate the administration’s economic message.

    Newsmax Editorial Director Steve Coz and Newsmax magazine Editor in Chief Ken Chandler attended the summit Wednesday and spoke with Obama and his advisers.

    President Obama and his advisers asserted that the public is not aware of the economic improvements that have taken place during the past 18 months.

    Speakers at the exclusive invitation-only summit included Austan Goolsbee, chief economist for the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board, and Gene Sperling, director of the National Economic Council and assistant to the president for Economic Policy.

    The summit focused on the debt ceiling, the housing crisis, and the job market. Obama, looking determined, urged patience and insisted that his economic programs are working, and challenged Republicans on spending cuts.

    “We went through a bubble that happened at every level — government, corporate, financial, and consumer,” Obama said. “This deleveraging has been very painful. It has sobered everybody up.”

    Overall, after six consecutive quarters of solid growth, the first quarter of 2011 saw a dismal 1.8 percent GDP growth rate. That was down from 3.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010.

    The president, noting that the symposium’s media attendees could reach tens of millions of Americans, added: “It remains smart to spend on things that will increase productivity and income in the long term. The economy has to get back to producing more and not just spending more.”

    Referring to the disappointing unemployment numbers reported in May, Goolsbee said: “You cannot make too much out of any one jobs report,” adding that “1 million new jobs” have been added in the past six months.

    The unemployment rate, which has been improving over the past several months, rose unexpectedly in May from 9.0 to 9.1 percent, causing concern about the nation’s economic recovery.

    However, Goolsbee said, “We do not have a sense of panic,” and stressed that the overall trend was important, not one individual set of numbers.

    And Sperling suggested that both sides in the debt ceiling battle had come to an agreement that there had to be “a significant down payment on deficit reduction.”

    Sperling also said taking on entitlements including Medicare cannot be ruled out.

    Obama confirmed Sperling’s statements, saying it is a challenge to deal with those who believe supporting programs such as Medicaid and cutting spending to reduce the deficit are mutually exclusive.

    “It doesn’t mean we’re not going to have some tough choices,” he explained. “What I think is absolutely true is that the general public does not have all the information they need in respect to how the federal budget is constructed.

    “I don’t blame them. When I was not actively involved with the federal government, I had no idea what was taking place and what was in appropriations bills.”

    After Obama presented his views on the overall economy, he engaged the audience in a Q and A and shared some of his own personal financial experiences.

    When asked his No. 1 personal finance tip for the average consumer, Obama said: “Don’t spend all your money.” He went on to say that doesn’t mean pinching pennies. He explained how he and first lady Michelle “spent $120,000 for their education, including Harvard law school,” and had to pay off the loan “over 10 years.”

    Obama noted that things worked out quite well for him and Michelle from that investment. “There is a distinction between spending on things that will increase your productivity and your wealth and spending on things you merely want.

    “Some folks say that investment is just another term for spending. There’s an important distinction.”

    He shared some advice he learned from his grandmother, who was one of the first female vice presidents at the Bank of Hawaii: “Save a little bit of whatever you’re earning and the magic of compounding interest applies.”

    Between unemployment, school debt, the housing problems and — for a growing number of people — having to care for elderly parents, the economy can be a “quadruple whammy,” he said, and it’s more important than ever that people have “spending discipline.”

    He stressed that, on a personal level, managing debt and living within one’s means could be the keys to securing a strong financial future.

    Read more on Newsmax Joins Obama for White House Economic Summit
    Important: Do You Support Pres. Obama’s Re-Election? Vote Here Now!

  20. Ametia says:

  21. Vice President Joe Biden meets with Pope Benedict XVI in his Vatican office, in Vatican City, June 3, 2011.

  22. Margaret Thatcher’s Aide Calls Sarah Palin ‘Nuts’, Right-Wing Reacts Angrily

    Recently, when asked if Margaret ‘The Iron Lady’ Thatcher would be interested in meeting with Sarah Palin when she visits England, an aide to Thatcher was quoted as saying;

    Lady Thatcher will not be seeing Sarah Palin. That would be belittling for Margaret. Sarah Palin is nuts.

    Sarah Palin had expressed interest in meeting Margaret Thatcher recently when she stated;

    I am going to Sudan in July and hope to stop in England on the way. I am just hoping Mrs Thatcher is well enough to see me as I so admire her.

    Today, Rush Limbaugh reacted angrily to the snub, saying the story was ‘proposterous’ and claiming to know Lady Thatcher well enough to say that he knew with certainty that none of her aides would make such a statement. He then accused Lady Thatcher’s inner circle of “disgracing the former prime minister”.

    Via The Guardian;

    The US conservative right reacted furiously after the Guardian reportedthat Thatcher’s aides had decided it would be inappropriate for her to meet Palin, who is planning to visit London next month en route to Sudan. Palin has been touring US historical sites (an excursion that saw her slip up this week on the subject of Paul Revere, the American patriot who made a famous “midnight ride” to warn of approaching British forces).

    One Thatcher ally told the Guardian: “Lady Thatcher will not be seeing Sarah Palin. That would be belittling for Margaret. Sarah Palin is nuts.”

    The former prime minister’s friends say she will show the level she punches at when she marks the centenary of the birth of Ronald Reagan by attending the unveiling of a statue of the late president outside the US embassy in Grosvenor Square on independence day, 4 July. The Thatcher ally added: “Margaret is focusing on Ronald Reagan and will attend the unveiling of the statue. That is her level.”

    The response from the US right was swift. Limbaugh opened his show on Wednesday with a lengthy denunciation of the Guardian after the New York Daily News and a host of US publications picked up on the comments.

    “There’s a story out there today, and it’s an illustration of how things happen, how things are said and reported,” Limbaugh told his listeners. “This is preposterous, and I have personal knowledge of this.”

    Limbaugh said he knew Thatcher well and embarked on a lengthy description of how he had driven her round a Florida golf course on a golf cart: “I have been with her in social and professional settings as well. It’s obvious that her health is not today what it was, but back in the day,Margaret Thatcher would in no way allow an aide to refer to anybody, Sarah Palin notwithstanding, as ‘nuts’.”

    La Donna Hale Curzon, the host of Sarah Palin Radio, accused the Thatcher circle of disgracing the former prime minister. “Margaret Thatcher would never call a fellow Conservative, let alone Gov Palin ‘nuts’,” Hale Curzon tweeted. “Thatcher’s handlers have disgraced the Iron Lady.”

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