Sunday Open Thread

Chester D.T. Baldwin & Music Ministry Mass. Hailing from Texas, Baldwin fronts a 200-voice aggregation in a live recording held at the Shoreline Christian Center in Austin. Sing It On Sunday Morning! is accessible, traditional church all the way.

This album doesn’t just contain a few sure-fire hits —it’s literally stacked with them from beginning to end.

Baldwin ‘handles’ lead vocals on most cuts, but that’s hardly a verb that does justice to what he does with these songs. He is blessed with rich, soulful cords that express every ounce of heart and joy evidently bursting from his soul, and he’s able to translate that joy to those who will simply listen.

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.
This entry was posted in Christianity, Current Events, Good News!, Gospel, Honor, Inspiration, Love, Music, Open Thread, Politics, Praise, Religion, Spirituality, Worship and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

45 Responses to Sunday Open Thread

  1. Ametia says:

    Prosser ‘s a woman abuser; GETHIMOFFTHEBENCH&ARRESTHISASS!

  2. Ametia says:

    Anyone watching the BET Awards? Jill Scott is bringing it.

  3. rikyrah says:

    Block Grants Would Only Worsen The Medicaid Access Problem

    By Igor Volsky on Jun 23, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) relied on a recent New England Journal of Medicine study — which found that children in Medicaid had a harder time accessing care than those with private insurance — to advocate for substantial reforms of the public health care infrastructure. “Now, the whole debate that we’re having, does Medicare, does Medicaid as currently constructed work?,” Burr asked during a hearing at the Senate Finance Committee today. “It can’t be something that’s working because all of the information is telling us that it’s not,” he said.

    Republicans are proposing to transforming Medicaid into a block grant program and providing states with less federal funds and greater flexibility to cut their rolls and institute other benefit changes. Critics maintain that reforming the program by cutting care would only worsen the access problem. It’s a point former CMS head Bruce Vladeck made in responding to Burr:

    VLADECK: Absolutely, Medicaid patients have great difficulty in access to care in some communities more than in others and one can only imagine what would happen to those problems in a block grant situation. That’s why CMS has finally belatedly issued regulations to begin to figure out how to define or enforce the access provisions in the statute.

    Watch it:

    Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D) — another witness at the hearing — also argued that his state could not maintain its Medicaid program under the kind of block grant structure Republicans are proposing. “There is about a $23 billion cost to us, in cost shifting, over 10 years. A state with a strong balance sheet like ours cannot absorb that and provide the same level of benefits. So you make a decision, you cut benefits or you cut people,” he said. Watch that exchange:

  4. rikyrah says:

    Costa Mesa’s police chief abruptly quits over council’s plan to slash workforce

    Steve Staveley accuses the council majority of manufacturing a fiscal crisis to justify trimming staff by half. The city manager condemns the memo as ‘unprofessional’ and ‘potentially libelous.’

    By Catherine Saillant, Los Angeles Times

    June 21, 2011

    Costa Mesa’s police chief resigned abruptly Monday, leaving behind a blistering four-page memo that calls the City Council majority “unethical and immoral” and accuses them of manufacturing a fiscal crisis in order to slash the city’s workforce by nearly half.

    By day’s end, Costa Mesa City Manager Tom Hatch announced he had already hired a replacement for Chief Steve Staveley and angrily condemned the departing chief’s memo as “unprofessional” and “potentially libelous.

    Staveley’s departure marks a significant ratcheting up of tensions at City Hall, where municipal leaders have pledged to cut payroll and pension costs by laying off workers and contracting out municipal services. The city’s hard-line approach has drawn national attention and is being watched by political and labor interests throughout the state. “Tea party” conservatives have called Costa Mesa “ground zero” for similar action in other cities.

    Staveley, a law enforcement veteran of more than 30 years, said that in recent days he’d learned that the budget-cutting strategy being pushed by the council majority would mean up to 12 police officers would lose their jobs, and others would be demoted.

    Staveley said he was unwilling to do that and believes the council is exaggerating the extent of the city’s budget problems.

    “They have pushed finance and the budget process around to get the kind of numbers that benefit their position,” Staveley wrote. “They have, in essence, lied as they create the appearance of crisis in order to appear as the white knight to a narrow band of political followers.”

    The council in mid-March ordered layoff notices for roughly half of the city’s staff. Layoffs won’t take place until September, but reaction in the rank and file has been immediate. A public works employee, Huy Pham, 29, jumped from the roof of City Hall the day the layoff notices were distributed. His death was deemed a suicide, but the council has requested further investigation.

    Last month, Kim Bryant, a community development manager with the city for more than two decades, quit and took a similar post in neighboring Newport Beach. And at least five police officers have left the Costa Mesa Police Department for jobs in other cities, Staveley said in a brief phone interview with The Times.

    He predicted more upheaval if the council continues its course.

    “What they are doing is not fiscal conservatism, it is destruction of an institution,” Staveley said. “It takes five years and millions of dollars to train that many police officers. That’s not fiscally responsible. It’s just stupid.”

    In his parting letter, Staveley called the council ‘weak” and “incompetent.”

    “The council majority plays fast and lose (sic) with the law and ethics and I am certain as individuals they will step over the line and it won’t be long before the DA or more likely the AGs office comes knocking on the door.”,0,5396956.story

  5. rikyrah says:

    In Costa Mesa, are extremists playing politics with people’s lives?

    Critics of the plan to slash half the city’s staff say proponents are more concerned with taking an ideological stand than with saving money.

    By Steve Lopez

    June 5, 2011
    These are not the best of times to be a public employee in America. From coast to coast, their paychecks, their pensions and their benefits are under attack. To my knowledge, though, no one’s being pummeled like the clock punchers who toil forCosta Mesa in Orange County.

    If the City Council gets its way, half the town’s employees will be fired. About 200 pink slips have gone out, and come September, private contractors may be brought in to replace maintenance workers, dispatchers, mechanics, firefighters and other workers providing essential city services.

    Councilman Jim Righeimer, whose strafing of public employees helped get him elected last November, told me pensions are rising and revenues are shrinking.

    “We have no money in our budget,” he said.

    But when I visited Costa Mesa this week, I heard a bit of a different story. Yes, people agreed, Costa Mesa has budget deficit problems like lots of communities. But critics of the outsourcing plan, including some Republicans, think the tough talk is about philosophy more than about numbers, and that extremists are playing politics with people’s lives.

    “If this were about dollars and cents, we’d have no problem,” said Billy Folsom, who got a layoff notice after 30 years as a city mechanic.

    Folsom told me he’s a Republican with friends in the “tea party,” but he thinks Costa Mesa is actually ground zero for the anti-government movement run amok and that privatizing will cost more in the long run. If the city could save money by going private, he said, why hasn’t it produced a shred of evidence?

    “You don’t just pull the rug out from under people,” agreed former Mayor Sandy Genis, a Republican. She’s bristled in the past at what she considered excessive pay and benefits, but she thinks city officials could have negotiated better deals without threatening the mass layoff, and she can’t believe they didn’t first get bids on the cost of privatizing.

    She and others in town were talking about my colleague Catherine Saillant’s story last week in which Orange County Republican Party Chairman Scott Baugh told tea party supporters that Costa Mesa is “ground zero” in the GOP’s next big movement.

    “This is basically a coup at this point,” said another longtime Costa Mesa Republican, Geoff West, who writes the highly regarded blog Bubbling Cauldron.

    Though he believes pensions need some tweaking, West said county GOP leaders are using Costa Mesa as a testing ground for unproven political ideas and a training camp for a particular strain of politician. He thinks Righeimer may be trying to use public employee bashing to advance his career in much the same way former Mayor Alan Mansoor rode a militant stand on illegal immigration into the state Assembly.

    West called Righeimer a “carpetbagger” who moved to Costa Mesa four years ago, worked as a campaign manager for U.S. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher and was appointed to the city planning commission by Mansoor despite filing his application after the deadline.

    “I find it frustrating,” former Mayor Genis said of recent developments in the seaside burg.

    We were strolling through Costa Mesa’s lovely Fairview Park when I asked what she meant.

    “We seem to attract a certain kind of Republican,” she said.

    What kind is that? I asked.

    “Intolerant,” said Genis.,0,863526.column

  6. rikyrah says:

    Indiana’s bumpy road to privatization

    After the private sector took over the state’s public assistance program, services were disrupted while politically connected firms benefited. The state’s experience underscores the risks of such handoffs — and the issue is likely to persist nationwide.

    By Matea Gold, Melanie Mason and Tom Hamburger, Los Angeles Times

    June 24, 2011, 4:40 p.m.

    Reporting from Indianapolis—
    Louise Cohoon was at home when her 80-year-old mother called in a panic from Terre Haute: The $97 monthly Medicaid payment she relied on to supplement her $600-a-month income had been cut without warning by a private company that had taken over the state’s welfare system.

    Later, the state explained why: She failed to call into an eligibility hot line on a day in 2008 when she was hospitalized for congestive heart failure.

    “I thought the news was going to kill my mother, she was so upset,” said Cohoon, 63. Her mother had to get by on support from cash-strapped relatives for months until the state restored her benefits under pressure from Legal Services attorneys.

    Cohoon’s mother, now suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, was one of thousands of Indiana residents who abruptly and erroneously lost their welfare, Medicaid or food stamp benefits after Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels privatized the state’s public assistance program — the result of an efficiency plan that went awry from the very beginning, the state now admits.

    Though the $1.37-billion project proved disastrous for many of the state’s poor, elderly and disabled, it was a financial bonanza for a handful of firms with ties to Daniels and his political allies, which landed state contracts worth millions.

    The disparate effects underscore the risks of handing control over public services to the private sector. Whether the approach will ultimately improve services and save money remains a matter of fierce debate in Indiana. But the state’s experience shows that without adequate safeguards, privatization can compound the very problems it is designed to correct: bureaucratic burdens, perceptions of influence-peddling and a lack of competition.

    It’s an issue that is likely to persist, as Republicans in statehouses nationwide turn to private companies as they seek to shrink government and weaken the hold of public-sector unions. One of the main proponents has been Daniels, who privatized a prison and a major toll road and sought unsuccessfully to lease out the state lottery, cultivating a reputation for fiscal discipline that led major party figures to urge him to run for president in 2012. He recently declined, but retains considerable influence in his party.,0,5837406,full.story

  7. rikyrah says:

    Swiftboat Ad Funder Gives Big Bucks To Karl Rove’s Super PAC
    Ryan J. Reilly | June 24, 2011, 4:00pm

    Bob Perry, the Texas real estate mogul who bankrolled the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth advertisements against then-Presidential candidate John Kerry back in 2004, is now cutting checks to a conservative “super PAC” run by two former aides to George W. Bush.

    American Crossroads, run by former Bush aides Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie, said in a Federal Elections Commission report filed yesterday that it got $500,000 from Perry back in late February.

    The group, which spent more than any other super PAC in the 2010 election cycle, also received $2 million from the Jerry Perenchio Living Trust, which is affiliated with Jerry Perenchio, the chief executive of Chartwell Partners and $1 million from Robert Rowling, the chief executive officer of TRT Holdings.

    Spencer MacColl did the math on the OpenSecrets blog of the Center for Responsive Politics and figured out that between Jan. 1 and June 13, just three donors provided 91 percent of the money the group received.

  8. rikyrah says:

    hey everyone.

    well, my other sister is in town, and she and Peanut spent the day together.
    at the end of the day, she and I are talking, and she didn’t want Peanut to know about the surprise she had brought for her, so she spelled it. Peanut turned to me and said, ‘ Auntie, what did Auntie A just say?”

    cracked us up.

  9. rikyrah says:

    June 24, 2011
    Teatime for third partiers

    Barack Obama may have his malcontented scatterings on the left, but Mitt Romney, should Mitt Romney it be, as the GOP’s sacrificial purveyor of doom, is facing a most unpleasant cadre of right-wing opposition that actually knows how to organize. From Politico …

    Mark Meckler, Tea Party Patriots’ co-founder:

    I don’t think anybody is looking for a third-party candidate, but anybody who would count out that possibility, I just think is ignorant…. I talk to – coordinators, activists, and the hundreds of thousands of people on our Facebook page – there is virtually no support for Romney.

    Dustin Stockton, of Western Representation PAC (chairman, Joe Miller, yes, that Joe Miller), and Matt Kibbe, FreedomWorks’ president:

    [B]oth said that Romney is so unpalatable to tea party activists that the movement could consider backing a third party candidate instead of working for him in the general election.

    “If the Republican Party nominates an establishment Republican who’s wrong on healthcare, who’s wrong on cap and trade and our core issues, tea partiers could stay home or they could go third party,” said Kibbe

    And Tea Party Express’ chairwoman, Amy Kremer

    was sharply criticized [by fellow teasters] after a Fox News Channel interview this month in which she dismissed the possibility of tea partiers supporting a third party presidential candidate, and predicted “the entire tea party movement” would support the eventual GOP nominee, even if it’s Romney.

    I almost feel sorry for Mitt. Like any second-rate pol of first-rate flexibility, he doesn’t believe one word, one syllable, one solitary diphthong of the inanities he happily drools on the campaign trail for the de-edification of primary-voting ideologues. Yet even that isn’t good enough for the party’s most ideological activists. They demand a proven moron, a nominee so unfathomably dimwitted that he or she actually believes the delusional verities of the comically unbalanced Tea Party.

    Poor, poor Mitt. Wrong candidate, wrong party, wrong century.

  10. rikyrah says:

    Cantor’s Cant


    Increasingly, Americans and the markets have every reason to feel scared shitless. The controlling faction in the Republican House is a faction that is not so much anti-debt as anti-government. If they have to choose between tackling the debt and raising even some revenues (while cutting spending dramtically), they will choose to push the US into default. Such a default would risk destroying the savings of Americans, make the debt far far worse, spark a double-dip recession, and throw countless people out of work and make those in work radically less financially secure. Even those of us who have saved for retirement by buying unglamorous bonds could see our financial future wiped out by these maniacs on a mission. That is the kind of small-c conservatism these Savonarolans want to penalize.

    They see this ideologically, i.e. not politically. But the political facts are these. Federal tax revenues are at a 50-year low; marginal rates are lower for many than they were when Reagan was president. In a divided government, any achievement requires some sacrifice from both sides. And yet the GOP is insisting that its side offers no sacrifice, even as the other party controls the Senate and the White House. Their own party, moreover, contributed dramatically to the debt we now face. And there is no clear evidence that raising revenues will lead to economic decline. Ronald Reagan’s tax hike to deal with a much smaller debt in 1982, as Bruce Bartlett shows, preceded a burst in growth. The tough budget calls, including tax hikes, of GHW Bush and Bill Clinton led the way to economic growth far outpassing that after George W. Bush’s bankrupting tax cut.

    The notion that no revenues can be raised in the current crisis is, quite simply, nuts. You can even do it without raising rates, by eliminating tax expenditures/breaks. But even that golden Bowles-Simpson compromise is too much for these fanatics – even if the president coaxes his side into swallowing big spending cuts.

    This is brinksmanship with all of our lives, our money, our core financial stability and future growth. It is an outrageously reckless way to run a government. And Cantor’s refusal to take any personal responsibility for the result of these talks is of a piece with the record of this shallow, callow fanatic who has the gall to call himself a conservative, even as he launches a wrecking ball at the very fabric of the American and global economy.

    These current Republicans would rather destroy the US economy than sacrifice one scintilla of ideological purity. They are an imminent threat to the stability of this country’s economy and the world’s. And they must be stopped before the damage is irreversible.

  11. Borakanelo Restaurant, Mochudi
    First Lady stops in Mochudi village for a snack before proceeding to Madikwe Game Reserve.

  12. rikyrah says:

    Pelosi demands seat at debt talks
    By Alexander Bolton – 06/25/11 12:55 PM ET

    House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) will demand a seat in the table for the final talks on the national debt limit, putting a strong liberal voice in the room.

    Pelosi and House Democrats were left out of the negotiations between President Obama and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) last year that extended nearly all of the Bush tax rates though 2012.

    Pelosi didn’t participate in the final high-level talks over fiscal 2011 spending levels either.

    But now she’s demanding her say at a time when many of her House Democratic colleagues are disappointed in Obama’s level of consultation with their caucus.

    “If they don’t have the votes, House Democrats have to be at the table,” said a House Democratic leadership aide.

    Pelosi stayed out of the talks on crafting a continuing resolution funding the rest of 2011 that included $38.5 billion in spending cuts because House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) expressed confidence they would pass it without Democratic help.

    But, in the end of that debate, the Republican votes fell short, and GOP leaders needed help from House Democrats. Democrats went along with a deal they had almost no part in negotiating because they wanted to avert a government shutdown.

    The experience left a bitter taste in their mouths, and Pelosi won’t let it happen again.

    Although she is the minority leader in a chamber that gives the minority party few powers, Pelosi believes she has leverage in the debt-limit debate.

    “We know that they do not have 218 votes for any package that increases the debt limit,” said the Democratic leadership aide of House Republican leaders.

    Flexing her muscle, Pelosi asked for and got a meeting with Obama on Thursday morning to discuss the next phase in the negotiations.

  13. rikyrah says:

    Buzzkill: The problem with Huntsman hype
    Published 04:41 a.m., Sunday, June 26, 2011

    GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney, a disciplined and aggressive campaigner, could easily throw Huntsman on the defensive on the campaign trail, barring a radical change in Huntsman’s laidback and even diffident style.

    And, for all that Huntsman’s case rests on his general election strength, there’s no sign yet that Huntsman is ready to go round-for-round with Obama. The president similarly cultivates a reputation as a cerebral politician who pines for civility. But at key moments in 2008, he’s proved himself a ruthless competitor.

    Some have compared Huntsman to John F. Kennedy. But Huntsman could just as likely end up looking like former Sen. Bill Bradley of New Jersey, the Rhodes scholar and pro basketball star who had a golden image but was stiff and downbeat at retail politicking when he took on Al Gore in 2000.

    There were warning signs throughout, starting with the interview, which Huntsman conducted on a sweltering patio because he said air conditioning gives him bronchitis.

    It was one of several moments when we started to wonder about Huntsman’s fitness for the rigors of a campaign that will go at least seven months and, for the nominee, 15 months. New York Times reporter Jim Rutenberg, one of only three reporters traveling with Huntsman on the second formal day of his campaign, wrote that the candidate “has already complained about being tired.”

    Huntsman’s Obama affiliation is bad enough to give pause to most Republicans, especially conservatives. But you could imagine him having a route to the nomination if he were in a position to say, “Look, I served my country, served a president of the opposite party, but I am with you on every important issue facing America in this election.”

    He can’t say that. In fact, he can’t say that to a single wing of the Republican Party. He wants to retreat in Afghanistan even faster than Obama. He said he’s not backing away from his gay-friendly stands: “I’ve been a supporter of civil unions; I am today.” He said the stimulus needed to be bigger. That’s all three legs of the stool knocked out right there.

    Who, exactly, is his natural constituency in any closed Republican primary? For now, there is no electabilty argument. Romney is tied, or close to, or beating Obama in every poll. By the time Huntsman is well known enough to register like that, the primaries will be over.

    His strategy rests on reaching independents as well as hardcore Republicans. But as the 2010 elections proved, a lot of those swing voters are as frustrated with Obama as the GOP base is. It seems questionable that those voters are not looking for another intellectual sophisticate with a bipartisan spiel.

    Read more:

  14. U.S. first lady Michelle Obama’s plane takes off from the Sir Seretse Khama International Airport in Gaborone June 26, 2011

    • U.S. first lady Michelle Obama gestures as she boards her plane in Gaborone at the end of her week-long trip to Africa June 26, 2011.

      • US first lady Michelle Obama steps out of a vehicle, prior to boarding her plane, in Gaborone, Botswana, at the end of her week long trip to Africa, Sunday, June 26, 2011. The first lady’s plane left Botswana Sunday morning. She was due to arrive at the White House early Monday. Mrs. Obama went to South Africa and Botswana to foster good will between the U.S. and Africa. She also promoted youth leadership, education and HIV/AIDS awareness. She ended the visit with a safari and overnight stay in a South African game reserve.

  15. Justice Bradley Speaks Out

    Madison Wisconsin — Justice Ann Walsh Bradley came forth with a statement late Saturday saying that fellow Justice David Prosser choked her and refuting claims that she attacked him first.

    “The facts are that I was demanding that he get out of my office and he put his hands around my neck in anger in a choke-hold,” she said. “Those are the facts and you can try to spin those facts and try to make it sound like I ran up to him and threw my neck into his hands, but that’s only spin.

    “Matters of abusive behavior in the workplace aren’t resolved by competing press releases,” she said.

    “I’m confident the appropriate authorities will conduct a thorough investigation of this incident involving abusive behavior in the workplace.”

    In the mean time, in a typical profile of an abuser, Justice Prosser denied the allegations saying he would be exonerated from the charges. This latest twist in the Wisconsin Supreme Court only amplifies the perception that Wisconsin’s Walker run government is out of control, we can only hope true justice prevails in this matter. It is time for Prosser to step aside to assure that any victim of violence in Wisconsin are not victimized by an elected official getting off the hook easily.

    If you’d like to express your outrage and demand Justice Prosser step down, call his office at 608-266-1882.

    • opulent says:

      This stuff here is surreal! It is simply too shocking for words.

      Bradley is doing everything correctly to bring about the proper legal consequences for Prosser.

      This man has to have a string of assaults, verbal and physical, against women for him to have actually choked her.

      LOL LOL@ Bradley sayin you can try to spin this as I flung my neck into his hands…rotfl

  16. rikyrah says:

    The Qualitative Difference Between Obama And Bush Foreign Policy
    Like many Progressives I would have preferred a faster time table for withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan. But that does not diminish the fact that President Obama’s announcement of his plan to end the Afghan War provides a good opportunity to consider that massive qualitative differences between his foreign policy and that of the previous administration.

    First and foremost, George Bush and his Neocon allies got America into two costly wars. Barack Obama is getting America out of those two wars.

    When Obama took office the United States had 180,000 troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. We now have 150,000 troops in those countries. By the end of the year that number will drop to 100,000 and to 70,000 by next summer.

    The combat mission in Iraq ended last year. All troops will leave Iraq by the end of next year.

    Obama has indicated that all American troops will depart Afghanistan by 2014, with the prospect that their combat mission will end before that date.

    There can be little question that Bush’s War in Iraq was one of the costliest U.S. foreign policy disasters of modern times. Its direct costs are now approaching $800 billion. But a paper by Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz argues that the actual cost of the War in Iraq will ultimately exceed $3 trillion if you take into account both government expenses and the war’s broader impact on the U.S. economy.

    Since the war was not paid for with increased revenue, we will continue to pay interest on its cost for decades. It pushed up the price of oil to levels that have sapped the economy of hundreds of billions of dollars and helped precipitate the financial collapse that cost eight million Americans their jobs.

    The Iraq War diverted billions from critical needs here in the United States.

    It diverted attention from the conflict in Afghanistan and likely prolonged that conflict by years. In 2003, the year we invaded Iraq, the U.S. cut spending on the Afghan conflict from $20 billion to $14.3 billion while pumping $53 billion into the Iraq conflict.

    And taxpayers will be paying to care for and rehabilitate wounded soldiers from Iraq for generations.

    The War in Iraq cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, and displaced millions.

    As we leave Iraq, there is absolutely no evidence that the war benefited our country one iota — much to the contrary. It strengthened our chief adversary in the region, Iran — it fomented hatred for the U.S. and served as a recruiting poster for terrorists worldwide.

    Bush began the Iraq War to find the “weapons of mass destruction” that did not exist and to prosecute the “War on Terror” although there was absolutely no connection between the leaders of Iraq and the 9/11 attacks.

    Barack Obama ran for office as an opponent of that War, and he is ending it, as well as the mission in Afghanistan that — but for the neglect of the Bush Administration — should have ended years ago.

    Second, despite his “War on Terror” bravado, George Bush and his Neocons failed miserably to degrade Al Qaeda and terrorist organizations around the world. Barack Obama has decimated Al Qaeda, and brought Osama Bin Laden to justice.

    Today there are estimated to be fewer than 100 Al Qaeda remaining in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Its command and control structure has been ripped apart and its leadership killed.

    Obama promised to focus like a laser on Al Qaeda, and he did it.

    Instead of concentrating on America’s true terrorist enemies, Bush and company focused on Iraq and downplayed the importance of Bin Laden — who it now turns out was still very much in charge of the Al Qaeda network up to the time of his death.

    And let’s remember that the swaggering but hapless Bush Neocon crowd presided over the worst attack on the American homeland since Pearl Harbor — ignoring intelligence warnings of a pending assault.

    Finally, Bush’s unilateralist, bull-in-a-china -shop approach, sunk America’s reputation in the world to record lows. Obama has restored America’s standing in the world.

    According to a BBC poll, in 2007 — toward the end of the Bush years — America had sunk to become one of the countries with the lowest ratings. Fifty-four percent of those surveyed in its 27-country poll had negative views of the United States, and only 28% had positive views.

    Since Obama took office, views of the U.S. have consistently improved. Now the numbers are reversed. Forty-nine percent of people have positive views of the U.S. and only 31 percent have negative views.

    In a more democratic world — where the views of average people matter more and more — the views of our fellow human beings affect the ability of Americans to be successful in the world of the future. In particular, opinions of the United States directly affect the volume of young people who sign up to be terrorists and attack the United States.

    Some have argued that U.S. support of military intervention in Libya stands in contradiction to the view that his foreign policy is qualitatively different from the policies of the past administration. I could not disagree more.

    In fact, the approach we have taken to Libya is an example of that difference. In Libya, the United States is a part of a true multi-national effort to protect the Libyan population from a leader that had vowed to kill thousands. That action was called for by the international community through UN resolutions — and by the Arab League.

    We have no troops on the ground and now provide only logistical support for airplanes flown by our allies.

  17. rikyrah says:

    Debt collectors want more leeway in contacting individuals
    By Tom Shean
    The Virginian-Pilot
    © June 26, 2011

    Tracking down delinquent debtors is one challenge. Getting them on the phone is another.

    “Some are extremely adept at hiding assets and moving,” said Lynne Williams, head of a Chesapeake debt-collection firm.

    When pursuing someone with an overdue debt, Williams and other collectors must abide by federal law designed to protect the individual’s privacy. That means not disclosing the details of their inquiry to third parties when leaving a message on an answering machine or with someone in the workplace.

    “You can’t be certain who is listening to an answering machine at home,” said Williams, president of Atlantic Collections Inc. “And at work, you often have a nosy receptionist who wants to know, ‘What are you calling about?’ ”

    A national association of debt-collection agencies is advocating changes in the law that would streamline the collection process by easing the restrictions.

    One reason for pursuing the changes is that the statute governing collectors’ behavior – the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act – was passed in 1977, long before consumers came to rely on cellphones, email and voice mail for communicating, said Mark Schiffman, a spokesman for the collectors’ association, ACA International.

    The industry’s proposal came in the wake of a Federal Trade Commission study, released last summer, that said parts of the industry need reform. It also comes as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau prepares to open on July 21. Created by Congress last year to enforce federal consumer financial laws and restrict abusive and deceptive practices, the bureau will have the power to write rules for debt collecting and will share enforcement authority with the FTC.

  18. rikyrah says:

    WHERE IS LUIS G and the rest of them criticizing POTUS on Immigration?


    Republicans seek to roll back discretion in immigration cases

    By Brian Bennett, Washington Bureau

    June 24, 2011, 1:25 p.m.
    House Republicans are targeting an Obama administration effort to give immigration officials more leeway when it comes to deciding who to deport from the U.S.

    Lamar Smith (R-Texas), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, plans to introduce legislation next month that would suspend the Obama administration’s ability to exercise executive discretion in immigration cases.

    Smith’s bill, called the HALT Act, would strip the administration’s power to defer deportation of immigration violators, grant work authorization or grant temporary protected status to immigrants who are fleeing a disaster.

    The bill is aimed only at the Obama administration: In the proposed legislation, the executive powers would be restored at the end of this presidential term.

    “Because of the Obama administration’s record, it cannot be trusted with these powers,” said Smith in a letter dated June 23 encouraging other House members to sponsor the bill with him.

    The bill has little chance of becoming law. Even if the bill passed the House, it probably would not pass the Democratic-controlled Senate.

    Smith’s move comes a week after the director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement instructed immigration officials to take into account a number of factors when deciding whether to continue deportation proceedings against an individual, such as a person’s pursuit of education and whether the person came to the U.S. as a young child and has family relationships in the U.S.

    The policy changes by the administration came in response to concerns that a federal information-sharing program called Secure Communities was unintentionally ensnaring illegal immigrants who are minor offenders, victims of domestic abuse and other crimes, witnesses to crimes and people who were arrested but not convicted of offenses.

    Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose) has pushed for changes to the Secure Communities program and described the new policy guidelines as a “step forward.”

    Still, the changes didn’t address concerns by local sheriffs that illegal immigrants will be less likely to report crimes if local fingerprint checks are linked with the immigration database, Lofgren said in an interview on Friday.

    Also, Lofgren is concerned that immigration agents on the ground may not follow the new instructions.

    Chris Crane, president of the National ICE Council union that represents about 7,000 ICE employees, called the new directives a “law enforcement nightmare” that make it difficult for ICE agents to know who can and cannot be arrested.

    Some of the new factors in the June 17 memo from ICE Director John Morton corresponded with circumstances that would make someone eligible for the DREAM Act, a proposed law that has yet to get through Congress but would create a path to citizenship for young people in the country illegally who go to college or serve in the military.

    “The Obama administration cannot continue to pick and choose which laws it will enforce,” said Smith in a statement Friday. Smith plans to introduce the HALT Act sometime next month.,0,3535524.story

  19. rikyrah says:

    Bachmann’s had her share of government aid
    The fiscal conservative from Minnesota and 2012 presidential contender has benefited personally from federal funds and federal farm subsidies.

    By Melanie Mason and Matea Gold, Washington Bureau

    June 26, 2011
    Reporting from Washington—
    Rep. Michele Bachmann has been propelled into the 2012 presidential contest in part by her insistent calls to reduce federal spending, a pitch in tune with the big-government antipathy gripping many conservatives.

    But the Minnesota Republican and her family have benefited personally from government aid, an examination of her record and finances shows. A counseling clinic run by her husband has received nearly $30,000 from the state of Minnesota in the last five years, money that in part came from the federal government. A family farm in Wisconsin, in which the congresswoman is a partner, received nearly $260,000 in federal farm subsidies.

    And she has sought to keep federal money flowing to her constituents. After publicly criticizing the Obama administration’s stimulus program, Bachmann requested stimulus funds to support projects in her district. Although she has been a fierce critic of earmarks — calling them “part of the root problem with Washington’s spending addiction” — the congresswoman nonetheless argued recently that transportation projects should not be considered congressional pork.

    As Bachmann prepares to formally launch her presidential bid Monday in Waterloo, Iowa, Republican strategists warned that she needs to square her record with her public pronouncements.

    “She’s kind of built an area in the field of candidates where she’s the hawk on those kinds of issues, so any sort of issue that will show her record is not totally consistent will affect some of her support,” said Craig Robinson, a former political director of the Iowa GOP. “I don’t think it’s a deal-breaker, but I think it’s something she’s going to have to be willing to confront head-on.”

    For now, Bachmann is declining to answer questions on the topic. Her congressional and campaign staff did not respond to numerous requests for comment.

    Bachmann has long sought to distance herself from those who benefit from public money. “I don’t need government to be successful,” she proudly told Fox News host Bill O’Reilly in fall 2009 when he asked why she inspired such ire among liberal critics.

    Yet despite her broadsides against “socialized medicine,” Bachmann’s husband, Marcus, applied for public funds for his counseling clinic, Bachmann & Associates. Since 2006, he has received nearly $30,000, according to Minnesota state records. The bulk of the money — $24,041 — came in the form of grants from the state Department of Human Services to train staff how to deal with clients suffering from chemical dependency and mental illness. That program was financed in part by the federal government.

    Michele Bachmann lists the Lake Elmo, Minn.-based clinic — which aims to provide “quality Christian counseling in a sensitive, loving environment,” according to its website — as one of her assets on her financial disclosure forms.,0,1896024.story

    • opulent says:

      She is living on the govrnment dole. Her salary is paid by the taxpayers. Her hubby clinic is funded by taxpayers. She should also be the poster child for FosterCareQueen as she received a bundle of tax dollars for those 27 foster kids.

      Bachmann ain’t foolin nobody…she is suckingoffthegovtteat every chance she gets!

      Take back the American Dream
      vote Obama 2012

  20. rikyrah says:

    Lynne Torgerson to again challenge ‘radical Islamist’ Keith Ellison
    On Tea Party Nation, she says incumbent ‘fails to oppose banning Islamic Sharia law’
    By Andy Birkey | 06.24.11 | 11:00 am

    Lynne Torgerson announced on Thursday that she intends to challenge Rep. Keith Ellison for Congress in 2012 and noted that she based her decision on Ellison’s Muslim faith. Torgerson became a lightning rod in the 2010 campaign cycle for her controversial statements about Islam. Calling Ellison a “radical Islamist” yesterday, she announced her intention to run for the seat on Tea Party Nation.

    “I, Lynne Torgerson, am running for Congress in Minnesota, against radical Islamist Keith Ellison. Keith Ellison fails to oppose banning Islamic Sharia law in the United States,” she wrote on the Tea Party Nation website (registration required). “He accuses people of trying to ban it as ‘conspiratorilists.’ Keith Ellison also fails to support that the United States Constitution should be supreme over Islamic Sharia law.”

    Torgerson ran as an independent in 2010 and her statements about Muslims drew fire from watchdog groups.

    She also called for implementation of laws barring Sharia law.

    We have duly enacted state laws and statutes throughout our 50 states in this, our United States of America. We also have duly enacted, by our elected officials, federal laws and statutes. Everyone who is a citizen of, and who lives in or visits the United States of America, is subject to the laws of our states and federal government. No one gets to come to the United States and bring their own laws here and expect them to apply in our states or federal government, or our courts. Islamic Sharia has no place in America. We must enact legislation barring the implementation of this foreign, non-representative sect of law. Islamic Sharia law must be banned throughout the United States.

    Torgerson lost the race in 2010, garnering 3 percent of the vote versus Ellison’s 69 percent. During that bid she secured the backing of the Tea Party Nation.

    • opulent says:

      Why is she not running against Jewish folks that support Israel. Heck that is a foreign country and its interests do not align with america’s when it comes to national secruity.

      Torgerson just needs to just go somewhere and sit down and stfu.

  21. rikyrah says:

    Sen. Jim DeMint slams Jon Huntsman, says he will not support him
    The State Column | Staff | Sunday, June 26, 2011

    South Carolina U.S. Senator Jim DeMint slammed former Utah governor current Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman Sunday, saying he will not support him.

    “For me, he’s out,” Mr. DeMint said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

    Mr. DeMint, a favorite within the Tea Party, said Mr. Huntsman reluctance to sign a “cut, cap, balance” pledge to slash spending and balance the budget leaves him no choice.

    The South Carolina Republican, who is seen largely as a kingmaker in the U.S. Senate and in South Carolina — the nation’s second primary state, remains a major force in South Carolina politics. Mr. DeMint noted that he has extended his sphere of influence to include Iowa and New Hamphire, where he said is working on persuading Republicans from supporting candidates until an extension of the debt ceiling is voted on.

    “I’m working with people in Iowa and New Hampshire and South Carolina, to try to get a lot of people to hold back and not commit so we can see how they respond to this debt ceiling, the balanced budget and some of the things that we’re going to face here over the next few months,” Mr. DeMint told CNN.

    “I think we’ll know who our candidate is by how they, they lead based on what we’re doing here.”

    The lack of an endorsement is likely a bit of a political blow of Mr. Huntsman, who announced his campaign for president earlier this week. The Utah Republican is seen as a more moderate candidate for the Republican presidential nomination and is largely viewed as a front-runner for the nomination.

    Read more:

  22. rikyrah says:

    Jon Huntsman defends his religion
    The State Column | Staff | Saturday, June 25, 2011

    Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman defended his religion Friday, telling supporters that the 2012 Republican presidential campaign would not be decided on his religion.

    Mr. Huntsman said Friday that he did not think religion would be a concern for voters choosing the 2012 Republican presidential nominee.

    “Nor should it be,” he said. “I’m not running for guru here.”

    The former Republican governor, who entered the 2012 Republican presidential campaign earlier this month, said he will focus on economic issues, rather than religious issues.

    Mr. Huntsman said expects voters “who has a world view that will get us where this country needs to be.”

    The Utah Republican made the comments during his trip to Nevada, where he met with Washoe County GOP leaders and had lunch with Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval and Reno Mayor Bob Cashell.

    Read more:

    • opulent says:

      The problem is that most Americans do not even view Mormonism as a religion.
      They view it as a cult.

    • Ametia says:

      There you go, Jon; let the rightwingers focus on religion, while you focus on how you’r going to get around the fact that you served as Ambassador to China under President Obama, andn your moderate views on social issues.

  23. rikyrah says:

    Dramatic increase in the number of small donors to the Obama campaign”

    You can’t scare us, and you can’t discourage us and don’t mess with us:

    President Obama’s next major fundraising filing will show a dramatic increase in the number of small donors so far this year compared with 2008, his campaign said Saturday.

    “We had 180,000 contributors at this point in the last campaign; now it’s well over 300,000,” said spokesman Ben LaBolt in an email previewing the upcoming filing. LaBolt declined to elaborate except to say in his note that the filing will show “small dollar contributors back in greater numbers.”


    Obama set a high bar in 2008, raising nearly $750 million. Back then, the campaign boasted of the number of small donors who were participating.

    The public won’t have a good sense of the fundraising by Obama or other presidential candidates until after the campaigns file their reports with the Federal Election Commission. Those documents are not released publicly until mid-July, but campaigns doing well tend to leak their numbers early.

    In advance of the end-of-the-month deadline for the upcoming report, all of the campaigns are hustling. Obama campaign manager Jim Messina sent an email to supporters Saturday saying, “A lot of people out there are wondering whether this campaign can inspire the kind of grass-roots support that has been the foundation of our success. A lot of people out there are already saying we can’t. So we’ve got something to prove.”

  24. rikyrah says:

    June 25, 2011 09:00 AM
    Republicans Back Away From The Ryan Plan
    By Nicole Belle

    Pity Paul Ryan. Not only is he one of the least popular member of his party and Congress, but his Randian wet dream budget plan–declared the litmus test for all Republicans this election–isn’t fooling most Americans. So much so that even Ryan is backing away from it.

    And now politicians aspiring to join the Republicans on the national scene have to figure out a way to be for the Ryan plan to satisfy the party leadership and yet not be for a plan that most Americans hate. George “Macaca” Allen has repeatedly resisted answering whether he would support it although by his own words, politicians should answer how they will vote.

    But perhaps the most telling episode came from Florida Republican Mike Haridopolos, who appeared on the conservative Ray Junior radio show in Orlando and gave such mealy-mouthed answers with the typical politician filibuster to issues he did want to talk about that even Junior got fed up and kicked him off his show.

    Poor Mike tried to do the GOP duck and dodge, but the conservative radio host, “Ray Junior”, was having none of it.

    Ray Junior pointed out that it was Mikey who brought up budget in the first place, and the voters needed to know how Mikey was going to vote. Mikey claimed that the Ryan budget was hypothetical, so he couldn’t answer, but in general, he’s “for” a balanced budget. But then Ray hooked him by pointing out that every candidate has to answer hypothetical questions.

    Cue the confusion. Perhaps Mikey only got the Fox News training, but for whatever reason, he was woefully unprepared to answer real questions and seemed rather piqued at being asked for real solutions, as if this were an affront.

    The Orlando based Ray Junior Show touts itself as “…the best in bold, conservative talk. America’s Loose Cannon, Ray Junior, has no fear of telling the truth, no matter which party it hurts or who it aggravates.”

    Love it. And this should be the rallying cry of all Democrats as we near the election: demand that Republicans stand with destroying Medicare as we know it with the Ryan plan. The voters will know how to act.

    • opulent says:

      Too late! Y’all can’t back away. We have seen your plan, you voted on that plan and we are going to hang it around your necks and vote you right on out of office.

      change Congress send the wingnuts home with no more socialized medicine. They are living on socialized medicine while voting to deny all other americans socialized medicine.

      Sweep them out.

      Democratic revolution in 2014 …change congress. Take back America!

    • opulent says:

      Quite interesting.
      Who funds RT News? This was a great piece of journalism not infotainment….

      Acts of civil disobedience are indeed all we have left to snatch back this country from the corporations and rapacious greed of the capitalist on wall streeet….will the people wake up long enough to do it.

      Are there enough umemployed to form the much needed critical mass for civil disobedience has the white working class awaken from reality tv long enough to see they can no longer afford an American lifestyle on the wages WalMart pays.

  25. Ametia says:

    Welp! Is this CaC crazed or what?

    Prosser Allegedly Chokes Justice Bradley
    Saturday, 25 June 2011 08:55 Dee La Count

    Madison Wisconsin — Breaking News — It is being reported that Supreme Court Justice David Prosser put both his hands around the throat of fellow Justice Ann Walsh Bradley in an argument in her chambers last week, according to several knowledgeable sources. It is apparent that Prosser has a lack of temper control as this will be the second alleged instance of his violence against women in chambers.

    If you remember correctly PolitiScoop reported Prosser calling another Justice a “Total Bitch” in a tirade before the recent controversial Supreme Court election. Are we to trust the decision making ability of a man who has the power to control others lives but can not control his own? His utter disregard for the safety and respect of others is appalling. Should this crime against his co-worker manage to not be swept under the rug in yet another injustice in Wisconsin there better be an outright call for his immediate resignation. He has not started his new term, in which should he resign and give the seat to Kloppenburg, however, I am unclear at this point how it would play out. One thing I do know, Wisconsin is better than this.
    Last Updated on Saturday, 25 June 2011 11:52

    • This is unfreakingbelievable. This has escalated from bitch to grabbing a woman around the neck and choking. Prosser need to be charged with assault and thrown off the bench. His behavior is a pattern of violence against women.

    • Ametia says:

      Look at the look on Prosser’s face. He’s a rabid lunatic, and he needs to be charged with assault.

  26. Good Morning 3 Chics, Friends & Visitors!

    Happy Sunday, Everyone!

Leave a Reply