Saturday Open Thread

Classics IV was the band formed in Jacksonville, Florida, United States, in 1965, given credit for beginning the “soft southern rock” sound. The band and its lead singer Dennis Yost are principally known for the hits “Spooky”, “Stormy”, and “Traces”, released in 1968 and 1969, which have become cover standards.

The group grew out of a local cover band called The Classics, consisting of Buddy Buie, JR Cobb, Walter Eaton, Dennis Yost, and Robert Nix. Buie, Cobb, Nix and Dean Daughtry went on to play in The Atlanta Rhythm Section; and Nix on the first two Lynyrd Skynyrd albums. The band played Ventures covers, instrumental versions of “Misty” and “Summertime“. People started requesting songs that required vocals, so Dennis would say “I can sing that”, and that was the beginning of the group’s changing direction. In addition to playing a rendition of The TornadosTelstar“, they started playing songs with vocals, such as “Sherry” by The Four Seasons. When Dennis Yost joined Wally (Walnut) Eaton’s group they became The Classics.

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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27 Responses to Saturday Open Thread

  1. rikyrah says:

    Sat Jul 02, 2011 at 08:15 AM PDT
    The New Class War: McConnell will vote against free trade if it includes assistance for U.S. workers+*

    by Hunter

    “Free trade” is important to Republicans. It’s one of those things that they rally around, and one of the few things that Republicans and Democrats have managed to keep passing no matter how frosty relations between the two parties might become. It is the ultimate business-friendly device, requiring the U.S. government to overlook disparities in environmental standards, worker protections, and all those other little irritants of international business in order to get a really ripping good price on some consumer product, often itself one that has been outsourced away from America to better take advantage of those more lax environmental or worker standards.

    We’re talking here about a party (and town) that obsesses daily over how business-friendly they can possibly be, which leads to a perhaps obvious question: what would it take to get compulsively free-trade Republican senators to vote against a free trade deal? Not only vote against free trade deals, but vote against ones they have specifically been demanding?

    Simple. Put something in them that’s meant to help American workers in some small, trivial way.

    The administration had been refusing to move the pacts forward without Congress reauthorizing the Trade Adjustment Assistance program, which aids workers who lose their jobs due to international trade. Republicans allowed an expansion of TAA to expire back in February (even as they were advocating for their constituents to receive TAA payments).

    Congressional leaders yesterday struck a deal with the White House that will reauthorize TAA in return for moving on the pending agreements. But McConnell is so adamantly opposed to helping workers who are harmed by trade that he vowed to vote against a free trade deal that includes a reauthorization of trade assistance:

    “I’ve never voted against a trade agreement before — but if the administration were to embed TAA into the Korean trade agreement, I would be compelled to vote against it,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told reporters.

    Well, there you go. Free trade is very, very important to Republicans but, like everything else in Washington this year, there’s a Republican willing to loudly ditch their support if it contains provisions to help American workers that might be affected by their policies. We can’t do that. If oil companies want subsidies, fine, if businesses need tax breaks, no problem, and if we want to open trade with certain other countries, that’s wonderful. But what’s that – this bill might help some token subset of the middle class? Oh, well screw the whole thing, then.

    In the spirit of unnecessary disclosure, I need to say that I don’t really give a damn if these agreements get killed. I’m not a fan. The offending addition involved here, however, is simply a minor effort to help workers who find their own jobs outsourced. That Mitch McConnell is willing to nix his much-desired set of free trade bills because it might dare include a provision to help the working class is more of the same dynamic that has colored the debt ceiling talks, the budget talks, the tax talks, and so on; Republicans are at this moment so focused on blocking help to average Americans, under the banner of austerity-for-some-but-tax-cuts-for-others, that they are willing to scuttle any other function of government in order to prevent it.

    Mere compromise isn’t good enough: if a proposal helps the lower or middle classes, it’s a nonstarter. I wonder if any one of our professional political pundits has yet realized what a remarkable position this is – or how consistently Republicans have been demanding it.

  2. Ametia says:

    June 25, 2011

    Why am I going on the Freedom Flotilla II to Gaza? I ask myself this, even though the answer is: what else would I do? I am in my 67th year, having lived already a long and fruitful life, one with which I am content. It seems to me that during this period of eldering it is good to reap the harvest of one’s understanding of what is important, and to share this, especially with the young. How are they to learn, otherwise?

    Our boat, The Audacity of Hope, will be carrying letters to the people of Gaza. Letters expressing solidarity and love. That is all its cargo will consist of. If the Israeli military attacks us, it will be as if they attacked the mailman. This should go down hilariously in the annals of history. But if they insist on attacking us, wounding us, even murdering us, as they did some of the activists in the last flotilla, Freedom Flotilla I, what is to be done?

    There is a scene in the movie Gandhi that is very moving to me: it is when the unarmed Indian protesters line up to confront the armed forces of the British Empire. The soldiers beat them unmercifully, but the Indians, their broken and dead lifted tenderly out of the fray, keep coming.

    Alongside this image of brave followers of Gandhi there is, for me, an awareness of paying off a debt to the Jewish civil rights activists who faced death to come to the side of black people in the American south in our time of need. I am especially indebted to Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman who heard our calls for help – our government then as now glacially slow in providing protection to non-violent protesters – and came to stand with us.

    They got as far as the truncheons and bullets of a few “good ol’ boys'” of Neshoba County, Mississippi and were beaten and shot to death along with James Chaney, a young black man of formidable courage who died with them. So, even though our boat will be called The Audacity of Hope, it will fly the Goodman, Chaney, Schwerner flag in my own heart.

    And what of the children of Palestine, who were ignored in our president’s latest speech on Israel and Palestine, and whose impoverished, terrorised, segregated existence was mocked by the standing ovations recently given in the US Congress to the prime minister of Israel?

  3. rikyrah says:

    Sat Jul 02, 2011 at 11:15 AM PDT
    Courts allowing states to screw retired public workers

    by Laura Clawson

    Here’s a New York Times story that should terrify retired and soon-to-retire public workers everywhere:

    Judges in Colorado and Minnesota have dismissed court challenges by retired public workers whose pensions had been cut — developments that may embolden other states and cities to use pension reductions as a tool to help balance their budgets.

    The two lawsuits sought to reverse reductions in the cost-of-living adjustments that Colorado and Minnesota had previously promised to retired public workers. Generally speaking, once lawmakers have agreed to provide certain pension benefits to public workers, it is difficult, if not impossible, to roll them back because of protective language in state laws and constitutions and years of court interpretations.

    Public pensions have lately been treated as an impending crisis, an emergency that must be dealt with immediately and must be taken out of the hides of workers. But Monique Morrissey of EPI explains that it’s less of an emergency than it’s been portrayed:

    Public pensions now have an estimated $700 billion in unfunded liabilities. According to the Center for Retirement Research, public pensions last year had around 78% of what they needed set aside to pay for pension benefits. To make up the difference, state and local governments would have to devote about 5% of their budgets to pension contributions over the next 30 years, up from under 4% today, assuming an average 8% return on fund assets.

    This is a significant bump, but hardly untenable, especially for the majority of state and local governments that have kept up with their pension fund contributions. (The average funding ratio and required contribution cited above includes a few states like California, Illinois, and New Jersey that short-changed some or all of their pension funds over many years.) Nor is such an increase unprecedented: State pension contributions were around 6% before the long bull market that began in the mid-1980s.

    That’s the state budgeting angle. There’s also an obvious human angle. Public workers are undercompensated relative to private sector workers with equivalent qualifications. The wage gap is greater than the total compensation gap: public workers earn $6,061 less per year in wages than equivalent private sector workers, but when benefits, including retirement benefits, are factored in the gap narrows (but does not close) to $2,001.

    That means that the $4,000 difference between the wage gap and the compensation gap is a direct trade-off that public workers have taken: lower wages than they could otherwise have earned in exchange for better benefits (though still not enough better to equal what their private sector counterparts get). Now, governments are effectively saying, “Psych! That trade-off you made? After spending your career earning less than you could have, you no longer get the pension that was supposed to provide the upside to the trade.”

    John Cole nails it:

    What are these retirees, who made financial decisions their entire lives, supposed to do? If you thought for 40 years as you worked that you had X amount of money coming in retirement, it would substantially change your investment strategy and portfolio. You can’t recover when the government just yanks it all away. You don’t get a do-over to go back and invest more.

    In these days of class warfare from above, though, state governments that shortchanged their pension funds do get a do-over, as long as it involves screwing workers.

  4. Ametia says:

    Drug Company Profiteering, Pill Mills and Thousands of Addicts: How Oxycontin Has Spread Through America

    Corruption down the line, from Big Pharma to doctors and the war on drugs, builds a growing epidemic and an addiction-fueled empire.

    June 30, 2011 |
    Photo Credit: AFP LIKE THIS ARTICLE ?
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    TAKE|Get Widget|Start an Online Petition � I left a very white, very affluent Philadelphia suburb for NYU in 2007. When I go home, Oxys always come up in conversation with friends: Who got really “bad” (and can you believe it was him?!), who started selling, or what new pill-based friendship is the strangest. On one visit, I found pens gutted to be used as straws (to snort pills) and tin foil in my old best friend’s bedroom, to smoke Oxys.

  5. Ametia says:

    MSNBC’s FOUL week tries to compensate by pluggin Rev. Al in next week Cenk gets a break from whatever the HELL he’s been doing in the 6 pm slot.


  6. rikyrah says:

    Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann Give Birth to Hooters Democracy
    July 1, 2011
    By Sarah Jones

    I wanted to stay above this mud wrestling fight, but dragged down into it I am, right along with the rest of a rather bewildered America. How did we get here? Well, Michele Bachmann, a Republican presidential candidate, brought up the suggestive image of her mud wrestling her would-be competitor.

    Michele Bachmann responded to a question totally unrelated to mud wrestling, unless Sarah Palin is now automatically equivocated with such, with the following ode to Republican red light specials:

    “They want to see two girls come together and have a mud wrestling fight,” the Minnesota congresswoman said. “And I’m not going to give it to ‘em.”

    What you just heard was the sound of Republican politics this year. That was Michele’s return fire for Bristol’s attacks on her and a not too subtle way of asserting her sexuality as on par with Palin’s. Because, you know, the presidency is all about the sexy.

    Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin are bringing out the worst in the American public, once again, and dragging women back further into the Hooters’ cave than I could have imagined when Palin first graced us with her beauty pageant demands that we not be sexist by calling out her diminished intellectual capacity. We had to give her special rules at the debate and then pretend she was viable VP material, even though she never responded to the questions asked. Ironically, she was largely successful in doing this because of the overly sexualized way she presented herself, taking refuge in her white knighting GOP daddies whose war on working Americans and general awareness she was all too happy to parrot.

    To say that many women were enraged by this double standard, backstabbing insult is to put it mildly. We are, after all, most of us members of the working class and some of us have been ducking the overly presumptuous grabs of male authority figures our entire working lives, and here was Sarah Palin telling us to not only like it, but use it. Cock-tease your way to the top, ladies! It’s the new American way.

    Of course, many women don’t have the privilege of being protected by the boss because they haven’t sold their soul to him. And only a certain kind of woman knows how to tease her way to the top, avoiding unpleasant incidents of assault along her journey. But in the end, the fact is that many of us do not want to engage in this. Unlike some people, we value our freedom and dignity and relationships of mutual respect. It brings to mind the slobbering, middle-aged married men at run down strip clubs, about whom I have often wondered, who here is really getting taken for a ride? You can see the analogy: Club owner is to the GOP what stripper is to Republican Barbie President, as the GOP voter is to never-gonna-get-it man paying to be conned into wanting something he can never have. But that is another matter, for another day.

    Bristol Palin had earlier accused Michele Bachmann of copying her mother’s “style”. This petty, mean girl snide sent from the cowardly missile of another wanna be’s daughter tugs at our outrage, begging us to join it in the gutter. It’s obvious that whatever “style” Sarah Palin had during the 2008 campaign was the result of stylists who have been doing that style for years now. It’s nothing new (does Sarah really think her hair is original? She knows she stole that from her idol Ivana Trump and earlier, Anita Bryant gave that back-combed puff a place in political history). And actually, Bachmann does it better.

    Palin doesn’t own “Dressed for Work Barbie.” In fact, it’s pretty obvious that she has the stylistic sensibilities of a social climber who came into money but sadly, has no grace. Recall, if you will, any number of vulgar exhibitions by Ms Palin, from sitting on stage in a thigh gracing skirt at an official Memorial Day event that invited TMZ type shots of the forbidden land all too visible to those who sat beneath her to the black water bra underneath a white t-shirt, topped off by a garish Jesus themed baseball hat at the upper crust Belmont Stakes. Jesus apparently sold his trademark to the Republicans in the name of capitalism. Sarah Palin, worshiper of consumerism, has never seen a brash logo she didn’t covet. Bachmann, for all of her many intellectual failings, can at least dress herself.

    Prior to Palin’s $250,000 Wasilla Hillbilly looting Neiman Marcus from coast to coast make-over, Sarah Palin had no style save pushing her sex appeal. She has always been self-regarded “proud Valley Trash”. I can’t see Michele Bachmann running around in a “Proud to be Valley Trash” t-shirt. Nor can I picture Bachmann donning a belt on low riders with a huge cross on it pointing down, down, down to the nether regions of sin. As a result of said belt, Joe McGinniss labeled Sarah Palin the “rhinestone Christian”.

    Palin, notorious in high school for her rabid competitiveness with girls more popular than she, is obviously taking pot shots via her daughter because she can’t handle the fact that Bachmann is also attractive and sexy. For Palin, that’s what our Presidential race is all about; it’s a beauty contest and she’s damn determined to get her grubby paws on that elusive crown this time, even if she has to use her daughter to fight her battles in order to get it.

    Both Bachmann and Palin are GOP puppets; religious extremists dressed up, puffed up and pushed out, sold to the highest bidder to put a pretty face on ugly ideas. Both women seem nice enough from afar, both are ostensibly good mothers from afar, both are absolutely hypocritical on almost every issue they purport to stand for and too ignorant to know it. Both are wildly over-confident, in the way that can only come from a small mind that cannot conceive of larger issues beyond the self-aggrandizing, unregulated id that drives them.

    Both women bring out the worst in our culture. Both appeal to the lurking sexism, hooking it with a wink and bringing all women down into the mud with them if we dare call them out on it. Yes, if we dare say a word, we are then labeled ugly haters or “fat”. It’s as if we are back in Junior High, only I never knew anyone so shameless and tawdry as either of these two women in Junior High. It offends me to even address their vulgar cries for attention via their sexuality.

    • Ametia says:

      IN A NUTSHELL: “Both Bachmann and Palin are GOP puppets; religious extremists dressed up, puffed up and pushed out, sold to the highest bidder to put a pretty face on ugly ideas.”

  7. rikyrah says:

    July 02, 2011 10:25 AM
    When a party refuses to consider bipartisanship

    By Steve Benen

    Ezra Klein asked this week whether it’s even possible for President Obama to be bipartisan given congressional Republicans’ approach to governance.

    Let’s say you were the Democratic president of the United States, and you wanted to cut a deal with the Republican Party on the debt ceiling. What would you do?

    Well, you’d probably start with quiet negotiations to give both sides maximum room to compromise. And then you’d go back to what Republicans had said about deficit reduction in March, which is that a successful plan would be about 85 percent spending cuts and 15 percent tax increases, and you’d offer them that. Your base wouldn’t like it, of course, but hey, you want a deal.

    And let’s say you wanted to cut a deal on health-care reform. Presumably, you’d go back to past health-care reform plans the Republican Party had offered and try to craft something similar. You’d notice that Republicans particularly seemed to like the individual mandate — no surprise, given that they invented the thing — so even though you opposed it during the campaign, maybe you’d add that. Sure, liberals wanted Medicare for All, or an employer mandate, but hey, you want a deal.

    Global warming? Well, Republicans came up with cap-and-trade in the 1990s, and in 2007, Newt Gingrich had said he’d “strongly support” extending it to carbon emissions, so that’d be an obvious approach.

    The point, of course, is that Ezra described President Obama’s approach to enacting his agenda. In 2008, then-candidate Obama promised voters he’d be pragmatic and fair, solving problems by embracing ideas from both parties, building consensus, and trying to bridge the partisan divide.

    It’s gone largely unnoticed, but it’s hard to overstate the extent to which Obama kept his word. But dysfunction, partisan acrimony, and gridlock all continue to get considerably worse, due entirely to the deliberate choices of congressional Republicans.

    I’ve lost count of how many Republicans ideas Democrats have agreed to accept, only to find that GOP leaders have begun rejecting their own ideas.

    As recently as 2008, it was very common for Republican officials at a variety of levels to support cap-and-trade, an individual health care mandate, the DREAM Act, comprehensive immigration reform, trying terrorist suspects in civilian U.S. courts and then imprisoning them on American soil, a payroll tax cut, a bipartisan deficit commission, infrastructure spending, the Economic Development Administration, routinely raising the debt ceiling without preconditions, and funding for Planned Parenthood. If we go back just a little further, we see that GOP officials also used to occasionally support modest tax increases as a way to maintain fiscal sanity.

    As recently as three months ago, House Republicans wanted a deficit-reduction plan that included 85% spending cuts and 15% increased revenue.

    Now, literally all of these policies aren’t just deemed problematic by Republicans, but are rejected as wholly unacceptable extremism. This week, the leading Senate Republican went so far as to characterize Democratic support for bipartisan compromises as “acting in bad faith.”

    Seriously. That’s what he said.

    How did all of these policies — some of which originated in Republican circles — go from sensible to radical? The ideas didn’t change; Republican standards did. A Democratic president got elected, telegraphed an openness to proposals the GOP has traditionally supported, and suddenly Republicans didn’t want to take “yes” for an answer anymore.

    To Ezra’s question, how is President Obama supposed to work in a bipartisan fashion under these circumstances? He isn’t. I assume that next year, one of the more common complaints from the GOP will be, “Obama said he’d bring people together and reach across the aisle. He failed.”

    But he really didn’t. He made good faith efforts to work cooperatively with Republicans, only to find GOP officials who are against the ideas they’re for.

  8. Ametia says:

    Paul Krugman calls the President “Herbert Hoover”….… /

    From today’s radio address:

    Government has to start living within its means, just like families do. We have to cut the spending we can’t afford so we can put the economy on sounder footing, and give our businesses the confidence they need to grow and create jobs.

    Yep, the false government-family equivalence, the myth of expansionary austerity, and the confidence fairy, all in just two sentences.

    Read this and this to see why he’s wrong. This is truly a tragedy: the great progressive hope (well, I did warn people) is falling all over himself to endorse right-wing economic fallacies.

  9. Ametia says:

    July 1, 2011 1:38 PM
    Obama recruits more than 400,000 donors

    At the end of the first significant fundraising quarter of the 2012 election cycle, President Obama had collected donations from nearly half a million donors, more than twice as many as he had at the same point four years ago.

    The Obama campaign has collected money from 493,697 individual donors, his campaign announced on Twitter. By this time in 2007, the Obama campaign had only amassed 180,000 contributors.

    Mr. Obama and the Democratic National Committee aimed to raise $60 million in the second quarter of this year for his re-election campaign — the same amount Mr. Obama raised for his first presidential campaign in the second quarter of 2007. They have yet to announce whether they met that goal.

    The second quarter ended Midnight Thursday, and information on the candidates’ fundraising will be made public on July 15.

    None of the Republican presidential candidates are expected to come close to Mr. Obama’s fundraising numbers, and their hauls are expected to be smaller than what GOP nominees took in around this time in the last election.

    Mitt Romney, for instance, is expected to report less than $20 million raised. Even though the candidate last month reported raising more than $10 million in one day, the Los Angeles Times reports that the sum actually represented donations made over multiple days.

    Pawlenty, one of the first Republicans to officially enter the race, brought in less than $5 million, the New York Times reports. That puts him on par with Jon Huntsman, who only entered the race nine days ago but has raised more than $4 million — albeit, some from his own pocketbook.

    Ahead of the quarter’s close, the Pawlenty campaign told CBS News, “Our numbers will show that we’re on track… raising the resources we need to execute our strategies in the early states.”;morenews

  10. Ametia says:

    Minnesota, Your State Sucks Because Your Government Shutdown:
    Hey, look at these happy, happy motherfuckers with their ignorant, bullshit signs:

    They’re the College Republicans, and they were at the steps of the state capitol in Minnesota yesterday to blame Democrats, especially Governor Mark Dayton, for the shutdown of their state government over a budget impasse. They were, according to their own Twitter status (quoting the Minnesota Independent), “the only conservative representation on the steps of the Capitol.” And they’re just happy little children on picture day. Smile for Mom, kids. All ten of you.

    Of course, as these things go, Dayton and the Democrats had agreed to almost everything that Republicans asked for. Remember: it’s not that Democrats are necessarily bad negotiators. It’s just that they are damned with having a conscience. So while Republicans generally don’t give a fuck what destruction happens, Democrats do. It ain’t the position of strength.

    The Democrats wanted to raise taxes on the top 2% of Minnesota incomes. The GOP countered with laying off teachers and other state workers, and, hey, throw in that abortion restrictions bill the governor vetoed a couple of months ago. It’s the equivalent of trying to buy a car, and the salesman says, “You’re gonna pay the full retail price and I’m gonna bone your daughter. Deal?”

  11. Ametia says:

    Seriously, SG2. Sometimes I feel like everything the Civil Rights movement fought and died for is fading, all for the sake of a wink, a smile, and a few extra $$$. Is no one willing to stand on principles and defend wha tis right? I don’t mean hiding behind the first amendment or the constitution either. There’s only so much of this I care to listen to, without any real, meaningful actions to back it up.When we allow folks to use the first amendment to spew the vileness, hatred and bigotry that our people sought and died to get other amendments to protect us, and then turn around and defend it, so they can continue to ASSAULT us…

  12. Ametia says:

    Can NEVER post this video enough:

  13. Ametia says:


  14. Ametia says:

    By Associated Press, Updated: Saturday, July 2, 2:29 AM
    WASHINGTON — Guest lineups for the Sunday TV news shows:

    ABC’s “This Week” — Panels on the Constitution and immigration with analysts and commentators.

    NBC’s “Meet the Press” — Pre-empted by Wimbledon tennis coverage.


    CBS’ ”Face the Nation” — Govs. John Kasich, R-Ohio; Deval Patrick, D-Mass.; and Scott Walker, R-Wis.; Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.


    CNN’s “State of the Union” — Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.; Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan; AOL co-founder Steve Case.


    “Fox News Sunday” — Sens. John Cornyn, R-Texas; Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.; and Joe Lieberman, I-Conn..

  15. Ametia says:

    Why the GOP Loves the Debt
    Michael Tomasky
    July 1, 2011

    Republicans portray themselves as champions of fiscal responsibility. But as Michael Tomasky argues, they need the debt to push through their radical and unpopular agenda.
    July 1, 2011 10:47 AM EDT
    Now Minnesota joins the list of states being gutted by the Republican Party. The government in the state famous for being nice has shut down, because Democratic Governor Mark Dayton wanted to impose a higher income tax on Minnesotans earning $1 million or more a year—a whopping 7,700 people in a state of 5.3 million. There are additional matters—a GOP insistence on a 15 percent reduction in state workers over the next four years, for example. And so the evidence mounts: In Saint Paul and Columbus and Tallahassee and Madison, as in Washington D.C., we are watching something that is no longer a political party in the normal sense, but a group of cynical highwaymen perpetuating a national crisis and then exploiting that very crisis to try to destroy the public sphere.

  16. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone at 3CHICS!!!

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