Wednesday Open Thread

The Kingsmen is a 1960s garage rock band from Portland, Oregon, United States. They are best known for their 1963 recording of Richard Berry‘s “Louie Louie“, which held the #2 spot on the Billboard charts for six weeks. The single has become an enduring classic.

When recorded the band members were Jack Ely (vocalist/rhythm guitar), Lynn Easton (drummer), Mike Mitchell (lead guitar), Don Gallucci (electric piano) and Bob Nordby (bass guitar). Ken Chase (Kingsmen manager and Portland radio station KISN music director) produced the recording session. Robert Lindahl (Northwestern Inc. recording studio owner) was the audio engineer.

“Louie Louie” was kept from the top spot on the charts in late 1963 and early 1964 by the Singing Nun and Bobby Vinton, who monopolized the #1 slot for four weeks apiece. The Kingsmen single reached #1 on the Cashbox chart and #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Additionally in the UK it reached #26 on the Record Retailer chart. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc.[1] The B-side of the single was an instrumental, “Haunted Castle”.

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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41 Responses to Wednesday Open Thread

  1. rikyrah says:

    Jane Hamsher’s “Afro-American” Reeducation Program Rolls Through Washington, D.C. (and Other Ratfucking Tales)

    by ABL

    Roll out!

    For those who have not yet read Dana Houle’s post about Jane Hamsher’s duplicity, you should do so. The article speaks for itself. For my part, the revelation is unsurprising. Also unsurprising? That her acolytes rush to defend her, usually with some version of the “Obama sucks” song.

    I suspect, however, that while their cognitive dissonance won’t permit them to draw the obvious conclusion—that Hamsher has played them like a fiddle, spouting her special brand of Obama Derangement in order to loosen their wallets —it is still necessary to draw attention to her chicanery in the hopes that the media will stop treating Hamsher like she is some Progressive darling when she so plainly is nothing of the sort. (And when she selectively edits her appearances on the MSM in order to make herself seem more politically savvy than she is.)

    I’m sure I need not remind you of Jane’s purported loathing for people who attack Democrats from the outside. You know… veal pen and all that. So what does one call heading up a company that sells ads for Republicans? Elephant Pen, perhaps?

    What does one call a person who heads up a company that sells ads for Republican and who simultaneously systematically attacks Democrats (Obama, Reid, etc.), while seemingly doing NOTHING ELSE?

    Ratfucker. That’s what.

    In fact, Matt Osborne of Osborne Ink and Crooks and Liars wrote about Hamsher’s ratfuckery months ago—“Nixon Had A Word for People Like Jane Hamsher”—and drew this response from Kevin Gosztola: “Jane Hamsher is No “Ratfucker” (And She Shouldn’t Be Required to Show Progressive Credentials Either) – with Updates.” Even Gosztola, however, had to recognize a bit of double-dealing:

    [Osborne] goes after Hamsher for using a web ad company that took money from BP. Fair enough, but this seemed to be something that happened because BP purchased ads as part of their greenwashing campaign. BP effectively tried to intimidate ThinkProgress, Crooks and Liars, AmericaBlog, Eschaton and other liberal blogs relying on ad revenue from Common Sense Media. It threatened to pull ads if they were found to be appearing near posts that were “offensive” or critical of BP. Pulling the ad, of course, would mean loss of ad revenue, which is often the life’s blood for blogs. Those familiar with Firedoglake know they had a BP Oil Disaster campaign that was funded by donations. It is likely that they took a minimal amount of money if any.

    Needless to say, Osborne clearly woke the beast. At Netroots Nation this past weekend, Osborne was offered a paid writing gig in “the movement,” (his words) but was informed that he “would need to “dial back” his criticism of Hamsher.


    Ask him.

    Or read his twitter stream from June 17.

    Or read this Chirpstory (also viewable at ABLC]:

    You tell me: What exactly is progressive about this woman? That she is tolerant of other views in her blog space? That she takes a hard-line against the use of racist dogwhistles? That she would never employ blackface to make a point? That she takes a hard stance against using the term “nigger” to describe Democrats and ensures that her moderators and diarists do as well?

    Oh right, she does the exact opposite of those things.

    So, the answer is nothing. There is nothing progressive or righteous about Jane Hamsher, as far as I can tell. She’s fleecing her readers and taking advantage of the Progressive movement in the same way that Arianna Huffington did.

    So now can we require her to show her progressive credentials?

    Well what if I were to tell you that she has been instrumental in rolling out a Primary Obama bus billboard that will be covering—wait for it—only black neighborhoods in Washington, D.C.


    The “Primary Obama” campaign over at was successful and the bus ads are finally placed. Because it took the company so long to place the ads they decided to give us six ads instead of one. Perhaps they are sympathetic to the cause?

    Here is the original ad.

    I had to reformat it to fit on a bus instead of a billboard but the message is the same.

    Heavy Downtown coverage from 16th Street NW eastward into portions of Northeast DC coverage including Capitol Hill, Chinatown, Metro Center, Union Station, L’Enfant Plaza, Mt Vernon-convention center neighborhood, McPherson Sq, NoMa, Thomas Circle, Logan Circle, Columbia Heights, Mt Pleasant, Adams Morgan, Shaw, U Street Corridor, Cardozo.

    I grew up and have lived in DC for years. I have one question for Jane Hamsher:

    Why no coverage in Dupont Circle? Georgetown? Cleveland Park? Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Silver Spring? You know—where the white folks are?

    Could this be the reason?

    Much better would be to go on the offensive, IMO. I.e., exploit this dustup [sic] (with West’s blessings, of course), to take things to a higher level. Specifically, West, with the NPA’s backing, could undertake an education program, with the initial target the US black community, of teaching them about, say, Obama’s Top 10 betrayals, and Obama’s Top 5 betrayals of Afro-Americans.

    Nah, couldn’t be.

    Jane would never do that.

  2. rikyrah says:

    From the Archives: Why We Hate the Media
    By James Fallows

    I’ve gotten a lot of mail about the recent exchanges between Jon Stewart and Chris Wallace, which I’ll get to in the next few days. For the moment, it might be worth posting a link to an Atlantic cover story from 15 years ago, which ran as “Why Americans Hate the Media,” with the illustration at right. That article was adapted from my 1996 book, Breaking the News.

    It has short-term relevance, in that the opening anecdote recalls a kind of TV program hard to imagine in today’s environment (the “Ethics in America” series) and and also explains some background on Stewart-v-Wallace.

    I think the article as a whole is surprising, in a 15-year perspective, for what it suggests about the things that are the same in today’s media environment, the things that have gotten irretrievably worse, and the things (there are a few) that have gotten better. On the “getting better” front, I have this recent cover-story update. All this offered in “for the record” spirit. If I had the heart, I’d re-do Breaking the News, but I’ve got enough other things to juggle.
    UPDATE: If someone were starting on a mid-2011 update, an item from today’s news could be a case study. Al Gore’s new essay in Rolling Stone, about impending climate disasters, is mainly about the failure of the media to direct adequate attention to the issue, and to call out paid propagandists and discredited phony scientists. That’s where the essay starts, and what it covers in its first 5,000 words. The second part, less than half as long, and much more hedged in its judgment, is about the Obama Administration’s faltering approach on climate change. But of course the immediate press presentation on the essay has been all “OMG Gore attacks Obama!” For instance at Slate,* TPM, NY Mag, Huffington Post, the AP, and the Atlantic’s own Wire site.

    (Example of the hedged judgment: “In spite of these obstacles [financial crisis], President Obama included significant climate-friendly initiatives in the economic stimulus package he presented to Congress during his first month in office. [Long paragraph of other signs of Obama efforts on the topic.]… But in spite of these and other achievements, President Obama has thus far failed to use the bully pulpit to make the case for bold action on climate change.”)

    Yes, the news value here is Gore-v-Obama; yes, that’s part of the story. But the theme I tried to lay out in that essay is that the media’s all-consuming interest in the “how” and “who’s ahead” of politics, and “oh God this is boring” disdain for the “what” and “why” of public issues, has all sorts of ugly consequences. It makes the public think that politics is not for them unless they love the insider game; it makes the “what” and “why” of public issues indeed boring and unapproachable; and as a consequence of the latter, it makes the public stupider than it needs to be about the what and why.

    The reaction to Gore’s essay illustrates the pattern: from his point of view, it’s one more (earnest) attempt to say “Hey, listen up about this problem!” As conveyed by the press, it’s one more skirmish on the “liberals don’t like Obama” front, and one more illustration of the eyes-glazing-over trivia and details about melting icebergs and scientific disputes.

  3. Report: Sarah Palin quits bus tour halfway through, retreats to Alaska

    WASHINGTON – Amid diminishing media interest, Sarah Palin has quit her high-profile bus tour halfway through and returned to Alaska with her family, according to RealClearPolitics.

    The move puts a damper on widespread speculations that Palin’s “One Nation” bus tour, which launched on Memorial Day, was a precursor to a potential White House bid for 2012. Palin never made it to her scheduled stops in the key primary states of Iowa and New Hampshire.

    RealClearPolitics, which originally broke the story about the bus tour, reported Wednesday on Palin’s “extended hiatus.” The remaining legs of her trip, according to Scott Conroy, are “in limbo” as “Palin and her family have reverted to the friendly confines of summertime Alaska.”

    The “One Nation” tour launched with intense media pursuit, as reporters initially followed Palin and her family on the road, diligently trying to decipher the former half-term Alaska governor and ex-GOP vice presidential nominee’s 2012 intentions. But after being ignored and mislead and denied interviews or access, reporters’ interest fizzled.

    Palin has been remarkably coy about her plans for 2012, declining to rule out a presidential run but refusing to come any closer than saying she has “fire in the belly.”

    What? Quit again? Trifling b*h!

  4. rikyrah says:

    June 22, 2011 1:15 PM

    The ‘sabotage’ question goes mainstream

    By Steve Benen

    In November, I faced all kinds of pushback by raising a provocative argument: is it possible Republicans would pursue policies that would hurt the economy on purpose?

    Seven months later, it appears the “sabotage” question is going mainstream.

    E.J. Dionne Jr. inched pretty close to it last week, noting that Republicans “have no interest” in working on job creation because “Republicans benefit if the economy stays sluggish.” Kevin Drum wondered whether this will ever be “a serious talking point,” adding, “No serious person in a position of real influence really wants to accuse an entire party of cynically trying to tank the economy, after all.”

    That appears to be changing.

    Republicans are sabotaging economic recovery efforts because it will help them win in 2012, Senate Democratic leaders charged Wednesday.

    “Unfortunately our Republican colleagues in the House and Senate are driven by putting one man out of work — President Obama,” Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) declared at a Capitol Hill press conference called the day after Senate Republicans blocked an economic development bill that they have backed in the past.

    Durbin pointed to remarks made by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), in which he said the top goal of Republicans should be to make Obama a one-term President.

    Durbin added that “their only goal” is to defeat the president, adding, “They believe a weak economy is there best chance of winning the next election.”

    This isn’t subtle. Durbin is saying that Republicans are deliberately holding back the economy for purely partisan reasons. It’s an explosive charge, and as of today, he’s not the only one making it.

    The rhetorical shift appears to the result of last night’s vote on the Economic Development Administration, a successful program that provides federal grants to local projects. Republicans have repeatedly said that they believe the EDA is great for economic growth and job creation, but they nevertheless linked arms and killed the bill. This comes after Republicans balked at a payroll tax cut intended to spur hiring, another measure the GOP has traditionally supported — until now.

    Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), the number three Democrat in the chamber, told reporters this morning, “If they oppose even something so suited to their tastes ideologically, it shows that they’re just opposing anything that helps create jobs. It almost makes you wonder if they aren’t trying to slow down the economic recovery for political gain.”

    Yes, almost.

    At a minimum, it hardly seems unreasonable to call for some national discussion on this. Republicans said a payroll tax cut would help create jobs, and now they’re opposed to their own idea. Republicans said the Economic Development Administration is great for the economy, and now they’re opposed to that, too. Many Republicans endorsed the TANF Emergency Fund last year as an incredibly effective method of lowering unemployment, and then the congressional GOP killed that, too.

    Republicans are blocking qualified Federal Reserve nominees who could help improve the economy. Republicans are also blocking qualified Treasury Department nominees who could also be working on economic policy. The GOP is demanding that Congress and the White House agree to immediately take money out of the economy and eliminate public-sector jobs, even when conservative economists say that’s crazy. What’s more, these same Republican officials have made it abundantly clear that failure to give them the cuts they want would force them to crash the economy on purpose.

    And it’s against this backdrop that one of the most powerful Republican officials on Capitol Hill has argued, more than once, that his “top priority” isn’t job creation, but rather, “denying President Obama a second term in office.”

    Is it really that outrageous to at least ask the question? It’s an uncomfortable subject, to be sure, but maybe it’s possible the political world should have the awkward conversation? When Republicans oppose ideas they used to support, at a critical time for the economy, are we not even allowed to consider their motives?

    Update: I should also note that Senate Dems aren’t the only one broaching the subject. Some respected and knowledge pundits — Dionne, Eugene Robinson, Daniel Gross — have all said recently it’s at least possible that some Republicans are pursuing a destructive economic policy on purpose.

  5. rikyrah says:

    My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant
    Published: June 22, 2011

    One August morning nearly two decades ago, my mother woke me and put me in a cab. She handed me a jacket. “Baka malamig doon” were among the few words she said. (“It might be cold there.”) When I arrived at the Philippines’ Ninoy Aquino International Airport with her, my aunt and a family friend, I was introduced to a man I’d never seen. They told me he was my uncle. He held my hand as I boarded an airplane for the first time. It was 1993, and I was 12.

    My mother wanted to give me a better life, so she sent me thousands of miles away to live with her parents in America — my grandfather (Lolo in Tagalog) and grandmother (Lola). After I arrived in Mountain View, Calif., in the San Francisco Bay Area, I entered sixth grade and quickly grew to love my new home, family and culture. I discovered a passion for language, though it was hard to learn the difference between formal English and American slang. One of my early memories is of a freckled kid in middle school asking me, “What’s up?” I replied, “The sky,” and he and a couple of other kids laughed. I won the eighth-grade spelling bee by memorizing words I couldn’t properly pronounce. (The winning word was “indefatigable.”)

    One day when I was 16, I rode my bike to the nearby D.M.V. office to get my driver’s permit. Some of my friends already had their licenses, so I figured it was time. But when I handed the clerk my green card as proof of U.S. residency, she flipped it around, examining it. “This is fake,” she whispered. “Don’t come back here again.”

    Confused and scared, I pedaled home and confronted Lolo. I remember him sitting in the garage, cutting coupons. I dropped my bike and ran over to him, showing him the green card. “Peke ba ito?” I asked in Tagalog. (“Is this fake?”) My grandparents were naturalized American citizens — he worked as a security guard, she as a food server — and they had begun supporting my mother and me financially when I was 3, after my father’s wandering eye and inability to properly provide for us led to my parents’ separation. Lolo was a proud man, and I saw the shame on his face as he told me he purchased the card, along with other fake documents, for me. “Don’t show it to other people,” he warned.

    I decided then that I could never give anyone reason to doubt I was an American. I convinced myself that if I worked enough, if I achieved enough, I would be rewarded with citizenship. I felt I could earn it.

    I’ve tried. Over the past 14 years, I’ve graduated from high school and college and built a career as a journalist, interviewing some of the most famous people in the country. On the surface, I’ve created a good life. I’ve lived the American dream.

    But I am still an undocumented immigrant. And that means living a different kind of reality. It means going about my day in fear of being found out. It means rarely trusting people, even those closest to me, with who I really am. It means keeping my family photos in a shoebox rather than displaying them on shelves in my home, so friends don’t ask about them. It means reluctantly, even painfully, doing things I know are wrong and unlawful. And it has meant relying on a sort of 21st-century underground railroad of supporters, people who took an interest in my future and took risks for me.

  6. In case you missed this video. The kids are so cute and adorable!

    The First Lady Visits Emthonjeni Community Center

  7. rikyrah says:

    Poll: Majority worried about GOP taking control
    Posted on Wednesday, June 22, 2011 by Paddy

    A new Bloomberg Poll finds 49% of respondents said they’re worried about Republicans gaining control of the White House and Congress and following through on pledges to slash funding for Medicare and Medicaid, outnumbering the 40% who said they are concerned about another term for Obama and a continuation of current spending policies.

    Among independents, 47% said they are worried about a Republican takeover compared with 37% who are concerned about maintaining the status quo.

    • Ametia says:






  8. rikyrah says:

    City sees no room for hotel living
    Lawrenceville officials want 45-day limit on stays enforced
    By Joel Anderson

    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

    Room 146 at the Extended Stay America in Lawrenceville is not a home. That’s because Alicia Harris will not allow it to become one.

    The 45-year-old mother of three keeps her clothes in plastic trash bags instead of the only dresser in the room. She keeps the closet-sized kitchenette stocked with frozen waffles, beans and noodles — items that don’t require much preparation. The drawer in the bedside table is stuffed with her 6-year-old son’s medley of action figures, dolls and a jump rope.

    A book of local apartment listings sits on top of the table.

    “This is not where I want to be,” said Harris, who works at a local drive-through burger joint. “It’s where I’ve got to be.”

    Representing fallout from challenging economic times, Harris checked into the hotel last month after a string of misfortune. Troubles at her mother’s home forced her to move. A bad credit report and decade-old drug conviction made it difficult to secure an apartment.

    Across Gwinnett County, many share this plight. Single parents, unemployed construction workers and women escaping abusive relationships are some of the people suffering financial hardship who find refuge in dozens of extended-stay hotels. School buses picked up and dropped off 200 students from various hotels during the past school year.

    Lawrenceville officials share Harris’ urgency to make her stay a short one, and they’re planning to make sure other hotel guests feel the same.

    City Council members recently called for the enforcement of a 14-year-old city ordinance limiting guests to a 45-day stay at the same hotel, with Councilman Tony Powell front and center on this issue. Lawrenceville’s city attorney when the hotel-stay ordinance was adopted in 1997, Powell got involved once more when he noticed a school bus pick up 15 children at the Villa Lodge & Suites.

    Powell said residents have voiced concerns to him about criminal activity at the hotels. He said cities have the right to make the distinction between a hotel and a home.

    “It needs to be enforced, period,” Powell said. “This is a problem.”

    A decade ago, Gwinnett County was considered the nation’s No. 1 market for extended-stay hotels, and officials in the county and in cities such as Duluth issued construction moratoriums on them.

    Not everyone agrees hotel ordinances are necessary. Harold Buckley Jr., an attorney representing Extended Stay America, told the Lawrenceville City Council that enforcement of the law was “arbitrary, capricious, and lacks any relation to the public’s health, safety and welfare.”

    Said Suzy Bus, helpline director for the Gwinnett Coalition for Health and Human Services, “Where are they going to go?”

    Many people who turn to extended-stay hotels have lost homes through foreclosure or eviction and lack the credit rating or rental deposits needed to obtain an apartment.

    Powell wants his fellow city officials to make enforcement of the 45-day hotel stay ordinance the priority it has never been: Not a single citation has been issued since the law went on the books in 1997.

    As for claims the hotels are a magnet for crime, at least one Gwinnett police agency said the hotels do not stand out as problems.

    “We have crimes all over the city,” said Capt. Greg Vaughn of the Lawrenceville Police Department. “I wouldn’t necessarily say those are our hottest crime spots.”

    Powell has the support of the Lawrenceville Neighborhood Alliance, an influential group of about 80 households that thinks unregulated hotels could continue the drop in local property values.

  9. rikyrah says:

    June 22, 2011 10:10 AM

    Issa plays ‘Fast and Furious’ with the facts

    By Steve Benen

    Rep. Darrell Issa (Calif.), chairman of the House Oversight Committee, is furious about an ATF anti-gun-trafficking operation called “Fast and Furious,” launched last year. As Issa sees it, officials showed “felony-stupid bad judgment” in pursuing the policy, and never should have allowed the operation to proceed.

    Issa, however, has a fairly dramatic problem to overcome: he was fine with “Fast and Furious” last year.

    A chief Republican critic of a controversial U.S. anti-gun-trafficking operation was briefed on ATF’s “Fast and Furious” program last year and did not express any opposition, sources familiar with the classified briefing said Tuesday.

    Rep. Darrell Issa (Calif.), who has repeatedly called for top Justice Department officials to be held accountable for the now-defunct operation, was given highly specific information about it at an April 2010 briefing, the sources said. Members of his staff also attended the session, which Issa and two other Republican congressmen had requested. […]

    At the briefing last year, bureau officials laid out for Issa and other members of Congress from both parties details of several ATF investigations, including Fast and Furious, the sources said. For that program, the briefing covered how many guns had been bought by “straw purchasers,” the types of guns and how much money had been spent, said one source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the briefing was not public.

    “All of the things [Issa] has been screaming about, he was briefed on,” said one source familiar with the session.


    To be sure, this isn’t a defense of the operation itself, which targeted Mexican gun traffickers, but has been linked to the killing of a U.S. Border Patrol agent and the illegal export of guns into Mexico. ATF took a risk that appears to have failed.

    The point, though, is that Issa thinks he has the credibility to complain incessantly about this. He doesn’t. Issa and his staff received a detailed briefing about the program, and had an opportunity to raise questions or objections. He declined.

    Issa now wants officials to be “held accountable” for their “felony-stupid bad judgment.” Perhaps he should start by looking in the mirror.

  10. rikyrah says:

    June 22, 2011 8:00 AM

    Killing the Economic Development Administration

    By Steve Benen

    Congress isn’t likely to do much to create jobs anytime soon, so when opportunities arise, ideally lawmakers would take advantage of them. Yesterday in the Senate, for example, members were asked to reauthorize the Economic Development Administration, a successful program that provides federal grants to local projects.

    There was at least some hope that Republicans could support this. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), for example, said yesterday of the EDA, “I have seen firsthand that it has led to the creation of jobs in my home state and has been a catalyst for private sector investment.”

    Sounds good, right? Wrong. Collins, a few hours later, voted to kill the Economic Development Administration. Indeed, Democrats needed 60 votes to overcome a Republican filibuster, and didn’t even come close.

    A bill to fund the Economic Development Administration (EDA), a measure Democrats characterized as a “jobs bill,” was stopped from advancing in the Senate Tuesday in a 49-51 vote.

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) was unable to find a path forward through nearly 100 mostly nongermane amendments offered by Republicans and Democrats.

    Reid said the fact that only one amendment actually dealt with the EDA was an indication that Republicans don’t actually care about job creation

    In fairness, this wasn’t entirely partisan. Most of the superfluous amendments came from the GOP, but Dems had about 30 of their own. And while every single Republican voted to block an up-or-down vote on the measure, four Senate Dems gave them a hand.

    But let’s be clear about what transpired yesterday: Republicans who’ve praised the Economic Development Administration for years voted in lock step to kill a measure that would have created jobs. They did so in part because they wanted to waste time on a bunch of irrelevant amendments and Harry Reid didn’t want to let them.

    The result is the apparent end of a program that even the most far-right members have embraced in the recent. Hell, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), arguably the Senate’s most right-wing member, held a workshop last year to help South Carolina businesses and organizations take advantage of EDA opportunities. Yesterday, DeMint led the fight to kill the EDA.

    Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said last month that funds from an EDA grant “would pave the way for the creation of new jobs and business opportunities, which will strengthen the region’s economy.” He voted to kill the program, too.

    Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said just two weeks ago that an EDA grant would bring “a much needed boost to the local economy.” He voted to kill the program, too.

    Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) has called EDA projects “key to our region’s future economic development.” He voted to kill the program, too.

    Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) recently boasted, “I have long been a supporter of EDA programs.” He voted to kill the program, too.

    It’s bad enough when Republicans rely on a bizarre ideology to stand in the way of good ideas. But what are we to think when Republicans won’t even allow a vote to fund a program they claim to like?

  11. rikyrah says:

    June 22, 2011 10:50 AM

    Huntsman’s bogus claim to healthcare credibility

    By Steve Benen

    Republican presidential hopeful Jon Huntsman’s new line on health care only makes sense if you ignore reality altogether.

    Huntsman told ABC News that Mitt Romney “has little credibility” on health care. […]

    “If you’re talking about free market health care, the kind we did in Utah, and the kind that is needed in this country, then he has little credibility,” Huntsman said. “Little credibility based on the model that was created in Massachusetts.”

    Huntsman doesn’t appear to have faced any pushback on this from ABC, perhaps because the reporters weren’t briefed on the relevant details, but if we’re going to talk about candidates, health care, and credibility, Huntsman needs to hope folks aren’t paying any attention.

    First, the “model” Romney “created in Massachusetts” has been a terrific success. That’s not a credibility killer; that’s the opposite.

    Second, when Huntsman pursued health care reform in Utah, he endorsed an individual mandate. In other words, he and Romney have been on the same page.

    Third, the plan “we did in Utah” hasn’t been particularly effective — after Huntsman was forced to drop his support for a mandate, the result was a policy that’s done little to bring coverage to the uninsured.

    Huntsman must know all of this, meaning that he’s falling into some dishonest habits as he makes the transition to national candidate.

  12. rikyrah says:

    June 22, 2011
    ‘Anti-Keynesians’ and their stultification of growth

    In an absolute must-read piece, Ezra Klein points to the macroeconomic wisdom of PIMCO’s bond-trading Bill Gross:

    [I]n an unusual mid-month note to his investors, Gross hammered the “anti-Keynesians” in both parties who believe “that fiscal conservatism equates to job growth.” The truth, he says, is just the opposite. “Fiscal balance alone will not likely produce 20 million jobs over the next decade. The move towards it, in fact, if implemented too quickly, could stultify economic growth”….

    Gross’s credentials as a deficit hawk are unimpeachable, but he’s arguing here that, to be a deficit hawk over the long term, you need to be jobs-focused now, as no economy with 9 percent unemployment is going to achieve the growth necessary to get its deficit under control. And he’s right. The question is whether his call for the government to refocus on jobs and brush aside fantasies that deficit reduction is also job creation will get as much attention as his concerns about debt and deficits.

    From a strictly political hardball point of view, which is the only view from which Republicans “govern,” the deficit-obsessed GOP’s strangling of the economic recovery is internally deemed the smart play (although I have my doubts that some of their prolonged wreckage won’t rebound, in 2012, squarely in their face). So, in the perverse way of all is fair in politics and war, their sabotage is (almost) forgivable.

    What is unforgivable in every way is that the electorate refuses to take a two-minute break from “Dancing with the Stars” to study and comprehend (a liberal estimate of the above article’s reading time) just precisely what it is the GOP is so malevolently doing.

  13. rikyrah says:

    Are these voters likeable enough?
    by Kay

    Here’s far-Right ideologue and voting rights opponent Scott Walker making the usual deliberately misleading conservative comparison between a commercial transaction and the constitutionally guaranteed right to vote:

    “Requiring photo identification to vote will go a long way to eliminate the threat of voter fraud,” Walker said. “If you need an ID to buy cold medicine, it’s reasonable to require it to vote.”

    Conservatives like Walker continue to compare voting to buying cold medicine or cashing a check or driving a car, none of which are valid comparisons, because they want us to accept their belief that voting is a privilege, not a right. Fact is, it’s a lie to compare a right (like voting) to a privilege or commercial transaction (like driving or buying cold medicine), and every time you hear that comparison from a conservative, and you hear it a lot, they’re lying to you.

    In a just and sensible world, we’d win on the facts and the law in voter suppression debates. Voting is a right, not a privilege or a commercial transaction. Many, many perfectly valid and worthwhile Americans (despite Justice Kennedy’s blissfully ignorant and inexplicably firmly held belief) don’t have a valid diver’s license or a bank account, and holding a driver’s license or a bank account is not now and was never a requirement or condition for exercising the franchise.

    But, we’ve been yammering about efforts by conservatives to suppress voting for years, and I don’t think we’re getting anywhere. I think I know why we’re not getting anywhere, too. These are the voters conservatives have targeted for disenfranchisement up to this point (pdf):

    Minorities and poor populations are the most likely to have driver’s license problems. Less than half (47 percent) of Milwaukee County African American adults and 43 percent of Hispanic adults have a valid drivers license compared to 85 percent of white adults The situation for young adults ages 18-24 is even worse—with only 26 percent of African Americans and 34 percent of Hispanics in Milwaukee County with a valid license compared to 71 percent of young white adults in the Balance of State.

    A large number of licensed drivers have had their licenses suspended or revoked, many for failure to pay fines and forfeitures rather than traffic points violations.. Only 65 percent of adults in Milwaukee County have a current and valid Wisconsin drivers license, compared to 83 percent of adults in the Balance of State.

    These voters aren’t popular or engaging because, let’s face it, no one who is important and serious knows any of them personally or is likely to run into any of them. Worst of all for them, they’re probably not a lucrative share of any market.

    But, Americans get all misty-eyed and sentimental when earnest, future-leader college students vote:

    “Nurturing America’s future leaders is the business of America’s colleges and universities,” said Your Vote, Your Voice co-chair David L. Warren, president of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities. “Our students receive rigorous intellectual training, character development, and exposure to a world rich in new ideas. Just as important to us is fostering a strong sense of civic awareness and involvement in students of all political persuasions.”

    “If our democracy is to be sustained and strengthened, we must continue to educate students about their rights and responsibilities as citizens and foster their engagement in the electoral process,” Curris said.

    Future leaders. Citizenship. If our democracy is to be sustained, no less. I don’t remember hearing any of this lofty language during the ACORN witch hunt, do you? Maybe I missed it, what with the three weeks of playing that carefully crafted and extensively edited tape that was (incredibly) presented by media as a factual depiction of actual events.

    No one cared when conservatives targeted poor and minority voters, but now they’re going after college students, and we like college students. Is that a bridge too far? What about a warning that if your kid attends college in Wisconsin, Ohio, Texas or any of the other states where there is a conservative in power, your kid may be denied his or her right to vote, or pulled out of line and placed in the second-class ballot (provisional) tier of voters?

    Is that likely to resonate with the middle class or upper middle class parents of college students, thereby back-door benefitting the less marketable voters who are also disenfranchised by these laws? I had two who went out of state to college, to Michigan and Pennsylvania, respectively, and I would not have remained a happy check-signing parent if I had discovered that conservatives in those states had rammed through a law making it extremely difficult for my kid to vote. Why not focus on students? It’s all true, and we’re not making much headway drawing attention to efforts to disenfranchise poor and minority voters, and we’ve been at that for years.

  14. rikyrah says:

    Not Fade Away
    by John Cole

    Look what happens media folks, when you just ignore her:

    Amid diminishing media interest, Sarah Palin has quit her high-profile bus tour halfway through and returned to Alaska with her family, according to RealClearPolitics.

    The move puts a damper on widespread speculations that Palin’s “One Nation” bus tour, which launched on Memorial Day, was a potential precursor to a potential White House bid for 2012. Palin never made it to her scheduled stops in the key primary states of Iowa and New Hampshire.

    RealClearPolitics, which originally broke the story about the bus tour, reported Wednesday on Palin’s “extended hiatus.” The remaining legs of her trip, according to Scott Conroy, are “in limbo” as “Palin and her family have reverted to the friendly confines of summertime Alaska.”

    Ignore her, and she goes away. She doesn’t want to give you a schedule and wants to play games, ignore her. She thrives on media attention, so much so that her flacks like Mansour get all worked up when you don’t immediately publish her facebook ramblings. Ignore her.

  15. rikyrah says:

    Nuttiness in South Carolina
    by BooMan
    Wed Jun 22nd, 2011 at 10:07:31 AM EST

    South Carolina has a history of being a big deal in presidential primaries. You might remember Barack Obama’s stunningly dominant performance there in 2008 that prompted Bill Clinton to compare him to Jesse Jackson and inspire a big backlash. Or you might remember that John McCain solidified himself as the frontrunner after winning the Palmetto State in 2008. And who can forget the incredibly nasty campaign George W. Bush waged in the state against McCain in 2000? Winning South Carolina stopped McCain’s momentum cold, and started a quick march to the nomination for the younger Bush. Even going back to 1980, a thumping win by Ronald Reagan in South Carolina signaled his strength as a candidate and the race was never close thereafter.
    Although next year’s nomination schedule is still in flux, South Carolina is expected to be the second primary (after New Hampshire) and either the third of fourth contest overall (Iowa and Nevada caucuses). With Romney expected to win Nevada easily, all the focus after New Hampshire should be on South Carolina. They can expect a lot of press coverage, a lot of advertising, and a lot of tourism dollars. Nonetheless, the state’s Republican governor has decided that the event is not important enough to fund.

    …Republican Gov. Nikki Haley, a conservative who has been making a name for herself nationally, insists that taxpayer funds be used only for what she calls core functions. She told lawmakers earlier this year that those functions don’t include primaries.
    “Political parties have sufficient fundraising ability to offset the costs of partisan presidential preference primaries, and in a budget year like this one, it is my ask that we do not dedicate taxpayer dollars to something I believe does not rise to the level of a core function of government,” she wrote in a letter in March.

    The Democrats don’t care, but the Republicans will now have to use their own money to pay for an election. The price tag will be in excess of a million dollars and will presumably have to be paid by the state party which currently has $137,000 cash on hand. It’s hard to believe that Gov. Haley could be so destructive to her own party. It’s not like the people of South Carolina were clamoring for the state’s GOP to pay for a primary that will bring buckets of money to the state.

    But, hey, I’m not complaining. Let the GOP screw themselves for a change.

  16. Ametia says:

  17. rikyrah says:

    like they give a shyt about Medicaid and Poor People on Medicaid


    Millions of middle-class people could get Medicaid

    President Barack Obama’s health care law would let several million middle-class people get nearly free insurance meant for the poor, a twist government number crunchers say they discovered only after the complex bill was signed.

    The change would affect early retirees: A married couple could have an annual income of about $64,000 and still get Medicaid, said officials who make long-range cost estimates for the Health and Human Services department.

    After initially downplaying any concern, the Obama administration said late Tuesday it would look for a fix.

    Up to 3 million more people could qualify for Medicaid in 2014 as a result of the anomaly. That’s because, in a major change from today, most of their Social Security benefits would no longer be counted as income for determining eligibility.

    It might be compared to allowing middle-class people to qualify for food stamps.

  18. rikyrah says:

    For New Life, Blacks in City Head to South
    Published: June 21, 2011

    In Deborah Brown’s family lore, the American South was a place of whites-only water fountains and lynchings under cover of darkness. It was a place black people like her mother had fled.

    But for Ms. Brown, 59, a retired civil servant from Queens, the South now promises salvation.

    Three generations of her family — 10 people in all — are moving to Atlanta from New York, seeking to start fresh economically and, in some sense, to reconnect with a bittersweet past. They include Ms. Brown, her 82-year-old mother and her 26-year-old son, who has already landed a job and settled there.

    The economic downturn has propelled a striking demographic shift: black New Yorkers, including many who are young and college educated, are heading south.

    About 17 percent of the African-Americans who moved to the South from other states in the past decade came from New York, far more than from any other state, according to census data. Of the 44,474 who left New York State in 2009, more than half, or 22,508, went to the South, according to a study conducted by the sociology department of Queens College for The New York Times.

    The movement is not limited to New York. The percentage of blacks leaving big cities in the East and in the Midwest and heading to the South is now at the highest levels in decades, demographers say.

    “I feel a strong spiritual pull to go back to the South,” Ms. Brown said.

    Middle-class enclaves, like Jamaica and St. Albans in Queens, are feeding this exodus. Black luminaries — like James Brown, W. E. B. Du Bois and Ella Fitzgerald — once lived in St. Albans, a neighborhood that is now being hit by high unemployment and foreclosures.

    The migration of middle-class African-Americans is helping to depress already falling housing prices. It is also depriving the black community of investment and leadership from some of its most educated professionals, black leaders say.

    The movement marks an inversion of the so-called Great Migration, which lasted roughly from World War I to the 1970s and saw African-Americans moving to the industrializing North to escape prejudice and find work.

  19. rikyrah says:

    Toyota Refuses to Thank Black Consumers .
    y Jasmyne A. Cannick, NNPA National Correspondent –

    Toyota Motor Sales USA executives have angered National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) Chairman Danny Bakewell Sr. and America’s preeminent Black newspaper publishers after the troubled carmaker backed out of a multimillion dollar advertising campaign targeting Black consumers.

    In a letter to Mr. Bakewell and the NNPA, Toyota executives said that Black consumers of Toyota products receive their advertising message from a number of media channels which include mainstream media (white media), thus implying that advertising in the Black newspapers was unnecessary.

    This decision comes after months of meetings between Toyota executives and the NNPA, a network of 200 Black publishers which represents over 19.8 million weekly readers, approximately half of America’s Black population.

    “This is disappointing and intolerable behavior from a company who earned $2.2 billion from Black consumers last year and who was all too eager to send us their press releases asking us to write stories and editorials to influence Blacks to remain loyal in their time of trouble,” said Chairman Bakewell. “But now that Toyota’s pain has been eased by a Federal Transportation Department and NASA report, once again the Black consumer and the Black press have been forgotten.”

    Earlier this year, Toyota’s president and CEO, Mr. Toyoda said, “Everyone at Toyota will continuously maintain a sense of gratitude to customers…”

    Mr. Bakewell said, “Based on Toyota’s actions, it appears that Mr. Toyota’s statement applies to everyone but the Black consumer.”

    The issue first surfaced with Toyota’s unwillingness to run “Thank you” ads in Black newspapers. This was after Toyota spent millions advertising in white newspapers after last year’s safety recall. “Black people stood by Toyota during their time of crisis to the tune of $2.2 billion,” said Mr. Bakewell.

    “Where is the thank you to Black consumers for their support and loyalty to Toyota? We just can’t stand by and let Toyota disrespect our people that way.”

    NNPA publishers plan to run full page ads in their newspapers beginning next week in response to what they feel is another example of Toyota sending a clear and direct message that Toyota disrespects, undervalues and takes the Black consumer for granted. The ads will ask Mr. Toyoda to stop disrespecting and exploiting Black consumers — their customers.

    “Toyota insulted us by putting those thank you ads in white newspapers and refusing to address Black consumers in Black newspapers,” said Walter Smith, publisher of the New York Beacon.

    “What Toyota is doing is reprehensible,” commented Robert Bogle, publisher of the Philadelphia Tribune.

    “If it’s so easy for Toyota to dismiss the Black press, no wonder they have no problem overlooking thanking their Black consumer base.”

    Even though African Americans contributed $2.2 billion to Toyota’s annual sales, this was the second time that Black newspapers and Black consumers were not included in Toyota’s advertising campaign, the first being Toyota’s immediate response to its sticky gas pedal defect which resulted in full page newspaper ads in white newspapers in 25 cities.

    According to research from leading automotive marketing research firm R.L. Polk & Company, Black consumers represent almost 10 percent of Toyota’s American market share, 15 out of every 100 Black consumers purchase a Toyota.

    Last week, Toyota’s Vice- President of Product Communications Mr. James Colon left a phone message for Mr. Bakewell instructing him that he planned to reach out directly to NNPA’s publishers in an effort to bypass the organization’s leadership and speak directly to the organization’s member newspapers, an unprecedented move which clearly violates protocol.

    In an attempt to defend the letter Mike Michels, Toyota spokesperson stated, “We communicate with advertising media directly all of the time, so a communication to a variety of news media one kind or another I don’t think is unusual.

    The discussion with NNPA chairman and his negotiating team hasn’t had a satisfactory outcome certainly for NNPA.

    And so the purpose of the communication was to express our commitment to the African-American community and to reiterate that while it’s being said that we don’t have a commitment we do indeed. Long story short, we wanted the members to know our side of the story.”

    Mr. Bakewell responded, “I wish him good luck but I don’t think that our publishers will break rank with me, after all we’re smarter than that. That’s what Toyota executives don’t give us credit for. We know all too well the history of the Willie Lynch syndrome to divide and conquer.”

    Peggy Hunt, publisher of the Tri- County Sentry in California said that she was very offended by Mr. Colon’s suggestion that she break rank and not follow the strong and unwavering leadership of NNPA’s Chairman Mr. Bakewell.

    “Mr. Colon wouldn’t and isn’t going to get us to break rank and support Toyota,” commented Hunt.

    “I was in the meeting when Mr. Colon committed to a partnership with NNPA and he has clearly broken his word. For Mr. Colon to then come back to the table with a drastically different proposal offering us less than what we agreed upon while excluding prior conversations regarding an annual advertising schedule with Black newspapers directed towards Black consumers shows that he and Toyota are taking the Black press for granted.”

    “I am not surprised at Toyota’s lack of commitment,” said Walter Smith. “Toyota has a long history of insulting and ignoring African Americans. In 1985, the Prime Minister of Japan, Yasuhiro Nakasone, said that Japan was more intelligent than countries like the United States because they didn’t have a lot of Blacks, Puerto Ricans, and Mexicans. He felt that ethnic minorities were low level and brought the intelligence quota down, an unforgivable statement.

    So what Toyota is doing with the NNPA is of no surprise to me.”

    Currently, Toyota’s spends $1.6 billion annually advertising in America of which $20 million is spent in total in Black media, including radio, print, television, and digital advertising. However, Mr. Bakewell pointed out, the media Toyota uses to reach Black people is not always Black owned even though Toyota claims to spend $20 million with Blackowned media.

    Burrell Communications, Toyota’s advertising agency of record for the African-American market has repeatedly claimed that Toyota’s commitment to diversity is reflected in their partnerships with many highly respected minority organizations throughout the country.

    And while calls to Burrell’s Co- CEO Fay Ferguson were not returned, Toyota’s James Colon was quick to point out in his letter to NNPA’s publishers that through partnerships with Black organizations, Toyota has demonstrated their commitment to Black people.

  20. Ametia says:

    Wimbledon 2011: grunting tennis players are spoiling the game

    Exclusive: Female tennis players who grunt too loudly are putting off their opponents and spoiling the game for the millions of spectators, the head of Wimbledon says.

    In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Ian Ritchie admitted tournament officials were becoming increasingly uneasy about the practice.

    As the Championships celebrate its 125th anniversary this year Mr Ritchie, the chief executive of the All England Lawn and Tennis Club (AELTC), said fans were also becoming frustrated with loud players who they believe are spoiling the game.

    He blamed younger players, whom he said suffered from an “education problem” about the issue.

    On the first day of the SW19 championships, Victoria Azarenka, of Belarus, a player often criticised for her wails, edged towards record noise levels as she made her debut on Court No 2.

    Noise machines recorded her reach a level of 95 decibels as she shrieked her way through the first round match against Slovakia’s Magdalena Rybarikova.

  21. rikyrah says:

    Michelle Obama: You say ‘yes, we can’
    2011-06-22 11:32
    US First Lady Michelle Obama urged young Africans on Wednesday to fight for women’s rights and battle the stigma of Aids, using her husband’s “yes, we can” campaign slogan to motivate youth across the continent.

    Obama is on her second solo trip abroad as first lady to promote issues such as education, health and wellness.

    But her speech at Regina Mundi Church, which played a role in South Africa’s anti-apartheid movement, touched on much harder topics: race, discrimination, democracy, and development.

    Obama, who is travelling with her mother and two daughters, drew on the leaders of the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa and the civil rights movement in the United States as an example for the younger generation to follow.


    “It is because of them that we are able to gather here today…It is because of them that I stand before you as First Lady of the United States of America,” she said to applause.

    “That is the legacy of the independence generation, the freedom generation. And all of you – the young people of this continent – you are the heirs of that blood, sweat, sacrifice, and love.”

    Obama appeared visibly moved when the audience stood and sang an impromptu serenade as she approached the podium. Placing her hands over her heart, she thanked the crowd and seemed to choke back tears.

    She spoke passionately about women’s rights, saying the young leaders should ensure that women were no longer “second-class citizens” and that girls were educated in schools.

    In this generation

    “You can be the generation that stands up and says that violence against women in any form, in any place, including the home – especially the home – that isn’t just a women’s rights violation. It’s a human rights violation,” she said.

    “You can be the generation that ends HIV/Aids in our time, the generation that fights not just the disease, but the stigma of the disease, the generation that teaches the world that HIV is fully preventable and treatable, and should never be a source of shame,” she said to applause.

    Obama was introduced by Graça Machel, Nelson Mandela’s wife.

    Obama and her family met Mandela at his home on Tuesday.

    ‘Yes, we can’

    Barack Obama is the first black US president, just as Mandela was the first black president of South Africa.

    Mrs Obama used her husband’s famous campaign slogan, which helped him win the 2008 presidential election, to urge the audience to follow through on the issues she addressed.

    “If anyone ever tells you that you shouldn’t or you can’t, then I want you to say with one voice – the voice of a generation – you tell them, ‘yes, we can’.”

  22. Ametia says:

    The 3 Wings of the Republican Party: The Crazies, the Corporatists … and Democrats

    Democrats must endorse progressive principles again and hammer home the distinction between the party that cares about everyday Americans, not just the wealthy.
    June 20, 2011 |

    Today’s Republican Party has three wings: the psychiatric wing, the corporate wing, and the Democrats.

    The first wing, the psychiatric wing, is defined by severe psychological and intellectual impairments, exemplified by the inability to read a birth certificate. Sarah Palin’s recent foray into American history, replete with her description of

    Paul Revere as the man who rang alarms, bells, and buzzers to signal his support for the Second Amendment years before there was either a United States or a Bill of Rights, provides an example of the kind of “gaffe” that is, in fact, psychologically meaningful. This level of intellectual dysfunction, equally common in the pronouncements of Michelle Bachmann, once disqualified a candidate for high office. That was until the “lamestream media” decided to turn elections into reality shows, where the only real criterion is celebrity (defined as the state of being or becoming famous), and where commentators may poke occasional fun but no longer communicate to the public the seriousness of intellectual deficits in someone running for high office who would actually have to make decisions in which “facts” occasionally matter. (The dangerousness of that level of media indifference to reality should have been a lesson of George W. Bush’s tenure in office, but things have sadly only gotten worse since then.)…_and_democrats


    June 21: Meeting with South African President Jacob Zuma’s wife Nompumelelo Ntuli-Zuma in Pretoria and visit to the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg

    June 22: Mrs Obama will deliver keynote address to a Young African Women Leaders Forum in Soweto

    June 23: Meeting with U.S. consulate employees in Cape Town, before visit to Robben Island, where former president Nelson Mandela was imprisoned. She will end the day with a speech to young people attending a workshop at the University of Cape Town

    June 24: Meeting with Botswana President Ian Khama and visit to the Botswana Children’s Clinic Center of Excellence Teen Club.

    June 25: Meeting with U.S. Embassy employees in Botswanan capital Gaborone before the family go on safari

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