Sunday Open Thread

Timothy Wright (June 17, 1947 – April 24, 2009)[1], generally credited as Rev. Timothy Wright or Reverend Timothy Wright on recordings, was an American gospel singer and pastor.

Wright started on piano at age 12, and sang and composed for his church choir as a teenager at the St. John’s Fire Baptized Holiness Church of God in Brooklyn.[2] He played piano for Bishop F. D. Washington and Isaac Douglas in the 1960s and 1970s, including on recordings, and he formed his own gospel ensemble in the mid-1970s, the Timothy Wright Concert Choir. He eventually became pastor of the Pentecostal Grace Tabernacle Christian Center Church of God in Christ located in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, and issued albums regularly from 1990.[2][3]

Wright’s 1994 album Come Thou Almighty King, with the New York Fellowship Mass Choir, made Billboard’s Top 20 chart for gospel albums and was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Traditional Soul Gospel Album, as was his 1999 release Been There Done That.[4][5]

On July 4, 2008, Wright was critically injured in a car crash on Interstate 80 in Pennsylvania, a crash which killed his wife and grandson as well as the driver of the oncoming car.[4] He died April 24, 2009 as a result of these injuries, at the age of 61.

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.

111 Responses to Sunday Open Thread

  1. WASHINGTON – US President Barack Obama will hold a news conference at 11am EDT

  2. Obama, congressional leaders to meet again on debt deal on Monday

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Obama, congressional leaders to meet again on debt deal on Monday

    • creolechild says:

      Well, we’re not completely out of the woods yet and never underestimate the ability of the GOP to “go places that they’ve never gone before,” but tomorrow’s another day! This is a good article, short and sweet…


      I trust the professional left, progressive activists, online doomsayers and cable thunderers will now graciously retract their riveting denunciations of Obama’s negotiating skills.

      It’s true that Obama’s larger compromise gamble was riddled with peril — there was always the slim, and grim, chance that House Republicans would smile and bellow a big “Thanks!” — but he weighed the odds and bet that the GOP would resist the internal sin of ideological impiety.

      He bet right. And that’s all that counts.

      • creolechild says:

        Leaving you with a piece entitled, Free, which is performed by jazz pianist Alex Bugnon, who is the nephew of trumpet player, Donald Byrd. (Remember the group The Black Byrds from back in the day?)

    • creolechild says:

      I promise…this is the last one for the night! Chillax!

  3. rikyrah says:

    GOP Financial Services Chairman Opposes Including Help For Homeowners In Foreclosure Fraud Settlement

    By Pat Garofalo on Jul 9, 2011 at 10:00 am

    A groups of state attorneys general have been attempting to negotiate a settlement with the nation’s biggest banks over the foreclosure fraud scandal that erupted several months ago. Reportedly, the settlement will involve the banks paying billions in penalties, at least some of which will go towards helping troubled homeowners who are underwater on their mortgages through no fault of their own.

    However, several Republican AGs have balked at requiring the banks to aid homeowners, with one, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, deriding such help as “welfare.” And now, House Financial Services Chairman Spencer Bachus (R-AL) is piling on:

    Federal regulators are trying to prevent future fraud by clamping down on the nation’s largest mortgage servicers that engaged in some shady practices during the housing crisis, but the legal action by the states could yield significant financial penalties of more than $20 billion, according to some reports.

    Bachus suggested that the money go toward paying down the national debt instead of forcing companies to reduce the amount some homeowners owe on their mortgages.

    Bachus — who is of the opinion that Washington’s role is to “serve the banks” — has opposed the very idea of a foreclosure fraud settlement, so its not surprising that he would oppose using the money to aid troubled homeowners. But at the moment, more than 20 percent of the homes in America are underwater, and housing is proving to be a substantial drag on the economy.

    At the current rate, it would take 103 months to “sell off all the foreclosed homes in banks’ possession, plus all the homes likely to end up there over the next couple years, at the current rate of sales.” That’s eight and a half years of backlog. Wall Street is also not maintaining the properties it owns, further dragging down the value of homes. More foreclosures and empty houses will do nothing to help the situation.

    This week, President Obama hinted that the administration is planning to pressure banks into implementing additional aid for homeowners. Having the foreclosure fraud settlement provide substantial aid for homeowners would be an excellent development, but Republicans at both the state and federal level seem to be doing their best to prevent such an outcome.

  4. rikyrah says:

    uly 10, 2011 03:00 PM
    Bill Daley to Business: Quit Whining and Step UP
    By karoli

    In the wake of John Boehner’s pullout from the budget talks, Bill Daley came on Christiane Amanpour’s show this morning to address the state of negotiations, where the Democrats stand, and what the president believes needs to be done to restore confidence in the economy.

    It is the first time I’ve heard a clear message coming from the White House in ages. Whatever Daley’s leanings are, he succeeded in getting these key points across:

    Democrats are not using Social Security as a deficit reduction tool
    Social Security and Medicare do need shoring up, but not at the expense of beneficiaries.
    Jobs are tied to uncertainty about the economy, which is why it’s important to do something more than apply a bandaid.
    If corporate America wants certainty, they can step up and put some pressure on the DC lunatics to get this done.

    Daley sent the whistle out loud and clear to Wall Street and the rest of the business community: If you want certainty and a deal, step on the people who are holding it up. (That would be the Republicans, in case you doubted that)

    AMANPOUR: Your long-standing relations and your history of professionalism here is with the business community to a large extent. What are you saying to them? You were meant to be able to sort of convince them to start investing and hiring people. Instead, they’re racking up profits, doing sort of cost-cutting and not hiring. And this is a problem for the employment rate.

    DALEY: There’s no question that there’s a tremendous amount of profit on the company’s books. But they are looking to see the signs of confidence for them to invest. Every major company does that. I talk to business leaders every day. They don’t have as negative an attitude about the economic situation, that they know it’s difficult, that Washington seems to have. On the other hand, they want to see leadership. What I say to the business community is, you complain and whine about the political system all the time. Get involved. Get involved and make the statement about the fact that you need a balanced approach to solve our fiscal problems. It is not going to be solved — it should not be solved on the backs of those who have given and are having a difficult time right now.

    AMANPOUR: So given what you say, their legitimate concerns, what is your prediction for employment next month and the month after?

    DALEY: Well, I’m not a predictor, nor would I be stupid enough to try to guess what the numbers are going to be. I think there’s plenty of signs. But whatever the numbers are, positive, we have come — we are coming through the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. When President Obama came in, there were almost 800,000 jobs a month were being lost. That’s the size of Charlotte, North Carolina. Four million jobs have been lost the previous, 13 months before he came into office. This country was in a crisis like very few people had ever seen. And we are slowly coming out of that. Albeit, it is frustrating to this president that it’s not coming fast enough. But a lot of that is based upon this dysfunction that seems to be going on in this town, and that gets felt throughout the country, and there’s a lack of confidence in whether these political leaders in this town will have the guts to stand up and do the tough things.

    I’m not sure I buy this notion of confidence being the barrier to economic growth, but I do like having someone actually stand up and put some pressure on these companies to quit sitting on their assets and start growing again. It was a pretty clear signal to business that they need to support a plan that involves taxing the rich as well as cutting budgets. Will they listen?

  5. rikyrah says:

    July 10, 2011 11:00 AM
    Kent Conrad Drops Senate Dems’ Budget On The Table: Will Anyone Pay Attention?
    By karoli
    After a week of flurries and fears that Democrats are about to give away the store to keep the nation from defaulting on its debt, Kent Conrad presented his budget proposal to Democrats. Unlike the Republican proposal, it’s a 50/50 blend of cuts and tax increases.

    Washington Post reports:

    “I explained to the President and Vice President how the Senate Budget Committee Democrats developed a plan that achieves $4 trillion in deficit reduction in a balanced and fair way,” Conrad said in a statement. “It is my hope the plan will help influence the bipartisan negotiations and help them reach a comprehensive and balanced deficit reduction agreement.”


    Under the blueprint, the top income tax rate would rise to 39.6 percent for individuals earning more than $500,000 a year and families earning more than $1 million. That group, which constitutes the nation’s richest 1 percent of households, would also pay a 20 percent rate on capital gains and dividends, rather than the 15 percent rate now in effect.

    In addition to raising rates for the very wealthiest families, the blueprint proposes to obtain fresh revenue by targeting offshore tax havens and corporate shelters. It would also scale back the array of tax breaks and deductions known as tax expenditures, perhaps by focusing on the wealthiest households, which claim an average of $205,000 in tax breaks each year on average income of $1.1 million.

    The blueprint would take nearly $900 billion from the Pentagon over the next decade — the same amount recommended by Obama’s fiscal commission. It would slice more than $350 billion from domestic programs. And it would produce interest savings of nearly $600 billion attributable to reduced borrowing.

    A majority of Senate Democrats have approved of this proposal. Will it be considered “bold”, “courageous” and “innovative” by the Beltway media who used those terms with respect to Paul Ryan’s plan even as they held their nose over specific provisions? Doubtful. I’ll be amazed if it gets a fraction of the coverage Ryan’s plan received, despite the fact that every one of these bold proposals is supported by a majority of the American people.

    I’m already seeing a whole lot of negativity on the liberal side of the planet. Claims of ‘too little, too late’, that Conrad is just introducing a sweeping budget because he’s retiring in 2012, that no one will take these things seriously because they’ve been involved in talks for so long.

    I recommend looking at it differently. The President called for everyone to bring their bottom line deal to the table on Sunday. Conrad has just dropped the Democrats’ bottom line on the table, knowing full well that it will be unacceptable to every Republican in the room. So what? It would have been unacceptable to every Republican in the room two months ago, two days ago, two hours ago. It still delineates the differences between the two and sets a negotiating line that is far more to the left than the administration proposals (on purpose, by the way).

    The question at this point is not when Conrad brought his proposals to the table. The question is whether liberals, progressives, the left, whatever you want to call them, will use their formidable vocal skills to generate some buzz around these, since you can rest assured the so-called liberal media never will.

    The thing is, this week’s stupid news blurbs were all about one thing: Highlighting the fact that no matter how far Democrats would go to make a deal, there is no deal for the Republicans. After a week of that, Conrad laid down the budget most Democrats would view as one they could support and get behind. No one expects it to pass, any more than anyone thought Paul Ryan’s budget would pass. But Ryan has paid a high political price for introducing his wingnuttery early and often, and Republicans in the House have paid an even steeper one for voting for it, as they will continue to do in the future.

    This is all drama, all theater. Now that Republicans have shown themselves to be the party of ungovernance, Democrats step up with a set of proposals that actually reduces the deficit, preserves the social contract, and raises taxes on people who can afford it. Of course the Republicans aren’t going to bend to this, either. They weren’t going to bend to anything. So when nothing gets done, or some bandaid patch deal is done that doesn’t solve the longer-term issues, there will only be one party to blame and it won’t be Democrats.

  6. rikyrah says:

    Friday, July 08, 2011

    Bruce Bartlett Connects the Dots– It’s the National Security, Stupid


    People think the current threat of default concerns whether Social Security checks will be mailed a week late, and whether the Washington Monument will be closed for a couple weeks. They are wrong.

    Today we are facing more than a fiscal crisis. We are facing a long-term national security crisis.

    American government debt has long been viewed as rock solid and essentially risk free. That is why foreign investors, especially in China, have been willing to allow us to spend freely. If they come to believe that we are incapable of paying our debts because our government is not run by adults, they will not be willing to fund our huge investments in national defense– including the three wars we are currently fighting, our investments in weaponry, and our anti-terrorism programs– at their current low interest rates.

    We rely on foreign governments and foreign investors to finance our national defense. That is why we have been able to maintain an enormous defense budget at a far lower interest cost than other countries would face. But once American debt is seen as risky, foreign investors will find American debt to be a much less secure proposition, and they will demand higher interest rates in compensation. That will increase the costs of defending the country significantly in the short run, and the increase in interest rates may remain for years to come. That is the long-term problem created by the short-term crisis.

    There are two important discussions in the debt ceiling debate today. One is Larry Tribe’s New York Times op-ed, which calmly reiterates (1) that Congress, not the President is entrusted with the power to issue debt, (2) that in and of itself the debt ceiling by itself is not unconstitutional under section 4, and (3) that the President’s power is at its lowest ebb because Congress has specifically refused to raise the debt ceiling. On these three points, he and I agree.

    Tribe, however, does not discuss the elephant in the room: He knows as well as I that Republicans in Congress are openly threatening to drive the United States into default. Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina has blithely announced that he is willing to cause “serious disruptions” to the U.S. economy in order to get his way:

    “What I’m advocating here is, let’s use this as a point of leverage, give the president an increase, but don’t come away without real cuts from real caps and spending, and without a balanced budget,” DeMint said on FOX Business Network.

    “We’re at the point where there would have to be some, you know, some serious disruptions in order not to raise [the debt ceiling],” he said. “I’m willing to do that.”

    The legislative history of section 4 of the Fourteenth Amendment shows that this sort of threat is precisely what the framers wished to make unconstitutional. They were worried that future Senators from South Carolina– and other southern states–would try to hold the federal government hostage in order to undermine Reconstruction. Whether Senator DeMint knows it or not, he is channeling his rebel predecessors. And lest there be any doubt about this point, this is not something to be proud of.

    Congress has a constitutional duty under the Fourteenth Amendment not to drive the U.S. economy over a cliff to satisfy a political agenda: therefore it has a duty to raise the debt ceiling if this is necessary to avoid default. Tribe does not focus on this issue; the closest he comes is in the final line of his op-ed: “Only political courage and compromise, coupled with adherence to traditions that call upon Congress to fulfill its unique constitutional duty, can avert an impending crisis.” True enough, but the “unique constitutional duty” is the duty created by section 4 of the Fourteenth Amendment.

    But the real eye opener, and, in my view today’s must-read, is Bruce Bartlett’s testimony before the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee of the House of Representatives. Bartlett offers a sobering account of why the U.S. economy, and the world economy, are teetering on the brink of collapse due to the radical ideology of portions of the Republican Party, egged on by radical economists who have been urging the U.S. to default on its obligations for some time.

  7. parx24 says:

    Somebody…please educate me. When Congress has passed a budget,why is the debt celling even relevant? The budget addresses HOW the expenditures are to be paid, not WHETHER they are to be paid. The debt ceiling is the tail wagging the dog. The commitment has been made..the ability to pay Visa is irrelevant.

    • Hi Parx24!

      Welcome to 3 Chics! IIRC, The GOP raised the debt limit under Bush 7 times. This obstruction is about making the Black man in the White House a one term President. It’s their one & only goal. They’d rather fk up the country than work with him to solve the country’s problems. Whatever this President is for, they are against it. They’ll do anything to defeat him even if it means destroying the country.

    • creolechild says:

      Hi parx24! Hope the following article is helpful. It explains the budget process and continuing resolutions. This article was published in 2010 and I know that continuing resolutions have been passed but I’m not sure if the same can be said of the 2011 budget…hard to keep up with all this stuff!

      Congress Once Again Punts on FY 2011 Budget

      Surprising almost no one, on Tuesday Congress passed a short-term continuing resolution (CR), funding government for another few months and delaying passing a budget for the 2011 fiscal year. Over the past week or two, it became obvious that Democrats did not have enough votes to pass a year-long budget of some kind, either as a CR or as an omnibus. Republicans blocked any effort to pass a long-term spending bill, instead lobbying for a short-term CR, which in this case will last until March 4, 2011. With the budget delayed until next year, Republicans will theoretically have more of an influence over it, since they will have more power in the next Congress.

      While it is common for federal budgets to be completed after the start of the fiscal year, it’s somewhat less common for budgets to take this long.According to THOMAS, the Library of Congress’ bill tracking site, Congress was unable to complete a federal budget on time in any of the last fourteen fiscal years (including FY 2011). Only one of those budgets, however, took until March to be finished.

      As I mentioned in my last post, a short-term CR is pretty much the worst option available to Congress. The CR essentially funds government at FY 2010 levels, with a few minor additions and subtractions. Delaying a final FY 2011 budget for the federal government and continuing funding at last year’s level makes it harder for agencies to do their job. Agencies can’t create new offices, and it’s difficult to start new initiatives without a guarantee they’ll be fully funded. The New York Times has a great article yesterday on just how hard temporary funding makes governing, giving the following examples of how the budget fight is affecting agencies



  8. Ametia says:

    June Jobs Figures: Economic Indicators and the Republican Jobs Blockade
    Jobs figures released Friday were dismal by any measure. 18,000 net jobs were created in June, while the private sector added 57,000 new jobs and government payroll declined by 39,000 jobs. Whether you are looking at the overall 18,000 number or the private sector growth of 57,000, while the latter number is better, the growth is anemic. The questions after that kind of a jobs report naturally paint a frightening picture: is the economic recovery over? Are we headed for a double dip recession? [Chart credit: NY Times.]

    Indicators: But the question must also be asked whether the anemic numbers are the lagging indicator, as jobs often are. Lagging indicator, that is, in this case, of the path the recovery is taking. There was never any questions that the path to recovery will be pretty tough and bumpy. So if we take the long view, and assume jobs to be the lagging indicator, how does it stack up with other indicators?

    Politicians: The next question is about politicians. What are they doing? What can they do? What can the President do? What can Congress do?

    I am going to do a bit of an exploration and analyses of each of these questions. I will try not to make them mind-numbingly boring, but you will have to bear with me and get through the piece. (Warning, wonkish post ahead!)

    Continue reading here:

  9. creolechild says:

    Here’s to better days, y’all! Keep your head up, hear?

  10. creolechild says:


    Boehner pulls out of discussions of a potential $4 trillion debt deal over insistence on zero new taxes, says talks should focus on smaller deal.

    The White House responds with new statement after the jump …

    July 9, 2011
    Statement from White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer on Budget Negotiations

    “The President believes that solving our fiscal problems is an economic imperative. But in order to do that, we cannot ask the middle-class and seniors to bear all the burden of higher costs and budget cuts. We need a balanced approach that asks the very wealthiest and special interests to pay their fair share as well, and we believe the American people agree.

    “Both parties have made real progress thus far, and to back off now will not only fail to solve our fiscal challenge, it will confirm the cynicism people have about politics in Washington. The President believes that now is the moment to rise above that cynicism and show the American people that we can still do big things. And so tomorrow, he will make the case to congressional leaders that we must reject the politics of least resistance and take on this critical challenge.”

  11. creolechild says:

    Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson today called upon Congress to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would ensure that no one can be fired based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Nine out of 10 voters already believe such a federal law exists, but only a handful of states actually offer the LGBT community protections, and in eight states, only sexual orientation is protected. Unlike Catholic Bishops in New York, Rhode Island, and Illinois, Bishop Robinson sees supporting LGBT equality as a matter of Christian principle:

    The scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are filled with admonitions that we will be judged by the way we treat our most vulnerable members. For Christians and Jews, God is described as having a special concern for the poor, the marginalized, and the vulnerable. We are morally bound to take special care to protect those who are so marginalized. I believe that in our time, it is gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people who are the marginalized deserving of civil protections. Surely, in this great nation, we can at least do that much.

    Though protections are inconsistent from state to state, progress is being made in the absence of a federal ENDA. The map below was current just four months ago, but since then there have been victories for transgender protections in Hawaii, Nevada, and today Connecticut. (Those states should appear as red now.) Still, the map has a bit too much orange, representing the 29 states that have no employment protections for LGBT people whatsoever:

    [Click on link to view the map.]

    • creolechild says:

      Thank you, GottaLaff and the Political Carnival!

      Slavery language dropped from “Marriage Vow” pledge, because it was “misconstrued”


      Politico reports that the LEADER is now stripping its pledge of the language:

      “After careful deliberation and wise insight and input from valued colleagues we deeply respect, we agree that the statement referencing children born into slavery can be misconstrued, and such misconstruction can detract from the core message of the Marriage Vow: that ALL of us must work to strengthen and support families and marriages between one woman and one man,” the group’s officials said in a statement. “We sincerely apologize for any negative feelings this has caused, and have removed the language from the vow.”

      “Can be misconstrued.” “Misconstruction.” Yes, that’s right… if you were one of those idiots who thought the LEADER sounded racist, then they’re awfully sorry you somehow twisted their words, “a child born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent household than was an African-American baby born after the election of the USA’s first African-American President” to mean something other than “Boy howdy, them slave kids were lucky ducks! They sure as heck had it good back in the day!”

      • Ametia says:

        Ya know these batshyt crazy bigots, it’s too late; you’ve already exposed yourselves, like way back in 2009. We know you’re longing for the good old days, but theyz long gone,…. mmmkay!

      • This whole thing made me really ill and I haven’t commented on it. This is sort of OT but maybe not. When my oldest Grandson was about eight we read the book “Sounder” together. It gave me the opportunity to discuss some history that wasn’t being taught in school. It was also a chance to really discuss prejudice and racism and the effects of slavery on the AA community. It was especially poignant for him because he had a little friend at that time whose Dad was in prison for some stupid shit I can’t remember.

        In his little boy way he put some things together and said: “So, Granny this is why some black kids don’t have their Dads at home, because the bad guys put them in jail?” I told him it was a lot more complicated but in some cases this was true. We talked a lot more about prejudice and racism but I never forget that question.

        For the sake of the innocent minds of our children we have to fight these misbegotten mutant offspring of diseased goats with every fiber of our being. We just can’t let them take us back anymore.

  12. creolechild says:

    Today the decision of the Presbyterian Church (USA) to remove all barriers to the ordination of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people as ministers and lay leaders, which was voted on and passed in May, goes into effect. It is a historic day in the Church. Discrimination will no longer stand in the way of those who have received the calling to ministry.

    The Presbyterian Church (USA) is another denomination that has seen a new day in the intersection of faith and sexual orientation and gender identity. This is not only good for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people but it is good for the soul of the church. LGBT Presbyterians have been some of the most prophetic and faithful leaders within the Presbyterian Church and now they can bring their faith and their humanity fully into the work of building loving, God-affirming communities. We thank More Light Presbyterians, Covenant Network of Presbyterians, That All May Freely Serve, Presbyterian Welcome, and Presbyterian Voices for Justice for their hard work and dedication in removing discrimination from the Presbyterian Church (USA).

  13. creolechild says:

    House Minority Leader Eric Cantor made it known today that tax loopholes would now be allowed consideration in the debt ceiling negotiations. According to the Associated Press, the statement was a break from his former position that they only be considered in an exhaustive overhaul of the tax code. It is a slight break in what has become a deeply entrenched partisan-specific debate. But Rep. Cantor has a problem with conflict of interest with regard to the negotiations, something that was made public a week ago. So why hasn’t he recused himself not only from the negotiations but from having anything to do with the debt ceiling talks and/or its subsequent vote?

    Last week, ran an article revealing that Rep. Cantor had up to about a $15,000 investment in ProShares Trust Ultrashort 20+ Year Treasury EFT, a fund that deals in “shorting” U.S. Treasury bonds. To explain: a “short” increases in worth when something fails. In this case: U.S. Treasury bonds. If the debt ceiling is not raised and the United States defaults on its loans, treasury bonds are likely to see increased market volatility and an assured drop in worth. If that were to happen, Cantor stands to make a lot of money on his investment.

    Yet, the congressman is in negotiations with Vice President Joe Biden and others in what is supposed to be attempts at resolving the debt ceiling issue and keeping the government from shutting down, which could occur should a compromise not be reached by Aug. 2, the last day Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner maintains he can keep juggling the government’s bills in order to keep it running smoothly without defaulting on at least some of its debts.

    You read that right. Eric Cantor will personally profit if we default on the debt ceiling. I had written some weeks ago that I thought this whole debate was nothing more than kabuki theater, because ultimately, the GOP would not go against their Wall Street masters and destroy the full faith and credit of the country. But when your lead negotiator is lining up side bets that we will, in fact, fail, then you have to wonder where his loyalties lie and whether any negotiations coming from the Republican could be considered “in good faith”.


  14. creolechild says:

    After a week of flurries and fears that Democrats are about to give away the store to keep the nation from defaulting on its debt, Kent Conrad presented his budget proposal to Democrats. Unlike the Republican proposal, it’s a 50/50 blend of cuts and tax increases.

    Washington Post reports:

    “I explained to the President and Vice President how the Senate Budget Committee Democrats developed a plan that achieves $4 trillion in deficit reduction in a balanced and fair way,” Conrad said in a statement. “It is my hope the plan will help influence the bipartisan negotiations and help them reach a comprehensive and balanced deficit reduction agreement.”

    Under the blueprint, the top income tax rate would rise to 39.6 percent for individuals earning more than $500,000 a year and families earning more than $1 million. That group, which constitutes the nation’s richest 1 percent of households, would also pay a 20 percent rate on capital gains and dividends, rather than the 15 percent rate now in effect.

    In addition to raising rates for the very wealthiest families, the blueprint proposes to obtain fresh revenue by targeting offshore tax havens and corporate shelters. It would also scale back the array of tax breaks and deductions known as tax expenditures, perhaps by focusing on the wealthiest households, which claim an average of $205,000 in tax breaks each year on average income of $1.1 million.

    The blueprint would take nearly $900 billion from the Pentagon over the next decade — the same amount recommended by Obama’s fiscal commission. It would slice more than $350 billion from domestic programs. And it would produce interest savings of nearly $600 billion attributable to reduced borrowing.

    A majority of Senate Democrats have approved of this proposal. Will it be considered “bold”, “courageous” and “innovative” by the Beltway media who used those terms with respect to Paul Ryan’s plan even as they held their nose over specific provisions? Doubtful. I’ll be amazed if it gets a fraction of the coverage Ryan’s plan received, despite the fact that every one of these bold proposals is supported by a majority of the American people.


  15. creolechild says:

    This blew me away! Lara Fabian was mistreated by her record company either here or in Canada, can’t remember which, anyway this is what her FANS did to show her how much she was loved. It was planned in advance with the band, without her knowledge…unbelievable!

  16. creolechild says:

    How about a little music? I LOVE this woman’s voice! Sometimes she’s mistaken for Celine…but Lara sings in five languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, and Frenchl! (Actually, I like the Italian version of this song that will be featured the best.) I also like this video because it’s very creative…

  17. creolechild says:

    Here’s something to think about:

    We take water for granted. And why not? We turn a tap and out it comes. But that’s going to have to change, says author Alex Prud’homme. As he explains in a new book, The Ripple Effect, the basic problem is this: the quantity of water in the world is finite, but demand is everywhere on the rise. As oil was in the 20th century – the key resource, a focus of tension, even conflict – so water will be of the 21st, as states, countries, and industries compete over the ever-more-precious resource. So we need to figure out how to use it more sustainably. But that’s not all. In the United States fresh water is under threat from new kinds of barely understood pollutants, from pesticides to pharmaceuticals, and from a last-century infrastructure of pipes, dams, levees, sewage plants that urgently needs upgrading.

    All this and (much) more you’ll learn from The Ripple Effect, a book that will forever change the way you think about what comes out of your faucet. (A film based on the book, titled Last Call at the Oasis, produced by the same folks who brought us An Inconvenient Truth and Food Inc., is in preparation.) Rolling Stone recently got Prud’homme on the phone to talk about thirst, waste and the fate of fresh water.


    • I believe! I grew up in the desert and I’ve know all my life just how precious water is. After water it will be jugs of clean air they will sell to us.

  18. creolechild says:

    Just a few years ago, a powerful ideology – the belief in free and unfettered markets – brought the world to the brink of ruin. Even in its hey-day, from the early 1980’s until 2007, American-style deregulated capitalism brought greater material well-being only to the very richest in the richest country of the world. Indeed, over the course of this ideology’s 30-year ascendance, most Americans saw their incomes decline or stagnate year after year.

    Moreover, output growth in the United States was not economically sustainable. With so much of US national income going to so few, growth could continue only through consumption financed by a mounting pile of debt.

    I was among those who hoped that, somehow, the financial crisis would teach Americans (and others) a lesson about the need for greater equality, stronger regulation, and a better balance between the market and government. Alas, that has not been the case. On the contrary, a resurgence of right-wing economics, driven, as always, by ideology and special interests, once again threatens the global economy – or at least the economies of Europe and America, where these ideas continue to flourish.

    In the US, this right-wing resurgence, whose adherents evidently seek to repeal the basic laws of math and economics, is threatening to force a default on the national debt. If Congress mandates expenditures that exceed revenues, there will be a deficit, and that deficit has to be financed. Rather than carefully balancing the benefits of each government expenditure program with the costs of raising taxes to finance those benefits, the right seeks to use a sledgehammer – not allowing the national debt to increase forces expenditures to be limited to taxes.



  19. rikyrah says:

    Response to “Changing Chatham” series: Touching and frustrating


    June 29, 2011 6:22PM
    Updated: June 30, 2011 2:11AM

    The response to the “Changing Chatham” series was both touching and frustrating.

    It is touching that many of you wanted to share your Chatham story.

    For instance, although I’ve been knowing him for years, I didn’t know that Richard Steele, host of “848” on WBEZ 91.5, grew up in Chatham. That explains his passion for community reporting.

    Steele sent me an email lamenting his childhood home.

    “My father was a postal worker who retired in the late ’80s and died in 1990. Our home was a brick two flat. My mother, who is now in her 90s moved into a senior citizens residence about five years ago and my brother now owns the property and lives there. These days it always makes [my mother] sad to come to grips with how much things have changed . . . for the worst. I’m pretty sure my brother will stay. Maybe he’ll be one of the faithful who will try and keep the dream alive,” Steele wrote.

    Michael Carter, who is currently living in Atlanta, painted this picture of Chatham’s business community during the early ’90s:

    “I remember my mom getting our birthday cakes from a ‘A Piece of Cake’ on 83rd and Cottage Grove. Lou had the only Black Beauty Supply Store I knew of, ‘Solo’ on 82nd and Cottage Grove, Henry Jackson on 82nd & Cottage used to cut our hair, and when we did good on tests, our 8th grade teacher used to take us to Curt’s and Leon’s BBQ.”

    However, I am frustrated by readers who equate “white flight” of the ’50s and ’60s with the “class divide” within the African-American community today.

    Stephen Taylor of Austin, Texas, for instance, wrote in an email:

    “I find it amusing that middle-class blacks are allowed to make comments and observations about poor blacks on Section 8 and the damage they do to established neighborhoods. But if I made those same comments I would be accused of racism as I am a white male. I would also like to see you draw some conclusions about just why Section 8 tenants are so toxic for established neighborhoods?”

    Let me put this as delicately as I can. This is a family matter. But if you must know, ever since darker-skinned slaves were shipped to the fields to toil while light-skinned slaves were welcomed in the house, black people have been dealing with some kind of a divide. We will work it out.

    Still, let me be real clear.

    In my mind, the only toxic Section 8 tenants are those whose behavior makes a community less safe, i.e., loitering, drug-dealing, gang-banging and other illegal activities.

    Unfortunately, some readers like David G. Whiteis of Humbodlt Park, who wrote a letter to the editor, walked away thinking that what’s really going on in Chatham is “virulent classism.”

    I’m sorry he reached that conclusion because Chathamites I interviewed didn’t care about how much money someone was making. These residents simply want the same quality of life enjoyed by people living in other middle-class neighborhoods.

    “We can only do so much with our neighborhood watch system — we need help,” said Chanel Bell in an email.

    “I can’t say I have ever come across a patrol car in our area. If we want to save this community with so much history, we need help,” Bell said.

    As with any series, I interviewed a lot of people who were not quoted in the articles. But the perspectives and stories these Chathamites shared were invaluable.

    I am especially grateful to the following:

    Melinda Kelly, Executive Director of Chatham Business Association; Dr. Felicia Blassingame, president of South Central Community Services; Ed Johnson; Keith Tate, president of Chatham-Avalon Community Council; W. Erskine Quicksey, owner of Flowers First; the Rev. Bob Miller of St. Dorothy’s Church; Herbert Skinner; and the Rev. Jon E. McCoy, pastor of St. Mark United Methodist Church.

    Finally, where does Chatham go from here?

    In order for Chatham to remain a desirable neighborhood, a lot more of these residents will have to get involved in an activity that promotes the values that Chatham represents.

    There’s just no other way to hold the line against encroaching crime.

    But there is real reason for hope.

    After all, if one generation could overcome hardships and racial bias to build a community, then surely another generation can save it.

  20. rikyrah says:

    The disappearing black middle class

    July 10, 2011 12:24AM

    Millions of Americans endured financial calamities in the recession. But for many in the black community, job loss has knocked them out of the middle class and back into poverty. And some experts warn of a historic reversal of hard-won economic gains that took black people decades to achieve.

    “History is going to say the black middle class was decimated” over the past few years, said Maya Wiley, director of the Center for Social Inclusion. “But we’re not done writing history.”

    Adds Algernon Austin, director of the Economic Policy Institute’s Program on Race, Ethnicity and the Economy: “The recession is not over for black folks.”

    In 2004, the median net worth of white households was $134,280, compared with $13,450 for black households, according to an analysis of Federal Reserve data by the Economic Policy Institute. By 2009, the median net worth for white households had fallen 24 percent to $97,860; the median net worth for black households had fallen 83 percent to $2,170, according to the institute.

    Austin described the wealth gap this way: “In 2009, for every dollar of wealth the average white household had, black households only had two cents.”

    Austin thinks more black people than ever before could fall out of the middle class because the unemployment rate for college-educated blacks recently peaked and blacks are overrepresented in state and local government jobs. Those are jobs that are being eliminated because of massive budget shortfalls.

    Since the end of the recession, which lasted from 2007 to 2009, the overall unemployment rate has fallen from 9.4 to 9.1 percent, while the black unemployment rate has risen from 14.7 to 16.2 percent, according to the Department of Labor. Last April, black male unemployment hit the highest rate since the government began keeping track in 1972. Only 56.9 percent of black men over 20 were working, compared with 68.1 percent of white men.

    Even college-educated blacks fared worse than their white counterparts in the recession. In 2007, unemployment for college-educated whites was 1.8 percent; for college-educated blacks it was 2.7 percent. Now, the college-educated unemployment rate is 3.9 percent for whites and 7 percent for blacks.

    Nearly 8 percent of African Americans who bought homes from 2005 to 2008 have lost them to foreclosure, compared with 4.5 percent of whites, according to an estimate by the Center for Responsible Lending.

    • This happened to some Latinos too. Just a little personal thing but my own son who worked hard, went to college on a scholarship and got a good job where he worked for over 12 years, got laid off 2 days before Thanksgiving in 2009. He didn’t find another job until January 2011. Even though my DIL still had her job, they and their four children rapidly went from the middle class American dream to food stamps and relying on our
      family to survive. We and others in our family helped them keep their house because we could but it was touch and go. We have a big family and we support each other.

      Our niece and her baby moved in with us because she lost her good job. She just let the pigs take her house and car because she didn’t want the fight while she was also dealing with a divorce. She went back to school and we helped her. She finally did get another job and her own apartment a few months ago but it will take her a lot of time to rebuild what she lost.

      I could go on and on. We are the fortunate ones because some of us have resources we can share out and because this family takes care of each other, no matter what. How about those others not so fortunate or those who don’t have family with a few resources to help out?

      • I want to add that the job my son found pays 1/3 less than his old job with few benefits and the same goes for my niece, even though she finished up and got her associate’s degree.

      • creolechild says:

        Hi Aqua~ Thank you for sharing that story! It’s rough going in this country right now and the only way we’re going to survive–outside of becoming politically active and organizing–is to look out for each other. Somehow, we lost that sense of community and we need to revive it. Back in the day, folks managed to survive the Great Depression because they helped one another out and stuck together.

        I try to keep this in mind and ask family members and friends to go through their closets at the start of each season and take the gently worn clothes they know they aren’t going to wear to local shelters. We also do yearly coat drives and round up children’s books to be dropped off at shelters. It’s not much, but there are many small ways to help others that would make a difference.

  21. creolechild says:

    JERUSALEM — Israel deported two pro-Palestinian activists overnight, but another 118 were still in custody after flying into Israel as part of a pro-Palestinian protest, an Israeli official said Sunday. “A couple of Belgians were returned overnight, and 118 pro-Palestinian activists are still being held in our prisons,” immigration service spokeswoman Sabine Hadad told AFP.

    “We hope it will be possible to return them to their home countries in the next 48 hours. It will depend on what spaces are available on departing flights,” she added.

    The activists are currently being held in Beersheva’s Ela prison, in southern Israel and the Guivon prison in Ramleh, near Tel Aviv. Most of the activists being held are French, but nationals from the United States, Belgium, Bulgaria, Holland and Spain were also in detention.

    The activists were participating in the “Welcome to Palestine” campaign in which up to 800 activists planned to fly into Israel and head to the Palestinian territories on a peaceful mission to visit Palestinian families.


  22. creolechild says:

    No surprise here, just amazed that the GOP is so bold about it–on top of actually believing that they’re “straightening this country out.” Looking around at the policies they’re enacting proves him, and his party members to be L.I.A.R.S–who could give less than a damn about this country or the people in it, except the wealthy and multinational corporations! That much is obvious…


    Even with the country on the brink of default, the Senate’s highest ranking Republican says his “single most important” goal is to make Barack Obama a one-term president. “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told National Journal’s Major Garrett in October.

    Fox News’ Bret Baier asked McConnell Sunday if that was still his major objective. “Well, that is true,” McConnell replied. “That’s my single most important political goal, along with every active Republican in the country.”

    “But that is in 2012,” he added. “Our biggest goal for this year is get this country straightened out and we can’t get this country straightened out if we don’t do something about spending, about deficit, about debt and get the economy moving again. So our goal is to have a robust vibrant economy to benefit all Americans.”


    • Ametia says:

      Of course TIPPY TURTLE McConnell will go on Fox channel and lie about getting our country “straightened out.” Your goal, along with the rest of the lying Rethugs is to continue DESTROYING our economy, and attempt to regain the White House while doing it. Bye BOY!

  23. creolechild says:

    Speaking of FOOLS, right on cue, up pops Rick Perry with this nonsense! Is there something in the water down there? (sigh)…

    Governor of Texas and potential GOP 2012 candidate Rick Perry is touting a national prayer event in Texas in early August. Footage of the evangelical preacher he is running the event with, however, shows that he may be spouting some very unpopular ideas: He thinks Oprah is the anti-Christ.

    “They will feed the poor, have humanitarian projects, inspire acts of compassion…for all the wrong reasons,” he shouts of these harbingers. And of Oprah: “She is winsome, she is kind, she is utterly deceived.”

  24. creolechild says:

    That’s exactly the right way to handle them, Alan. Don’t feed into their ish…they just want controversy in the form of a screaming match to drive up their ad revenues and generate clicks. The only thing Bolling gained from this interview was making a fool of himself! Mission accomplished…

    Maybe Alan Grayson was having a bad day. Maybe had a bit of acid reflux. Or maybe he just didn’t feel like being a dancing liberal monkey on a string for Eric Bolling, the host of Fox Business Channel’s “Follow the Money”. Whatever the cause, the former Congressman didn’t live up to his reputation as a fiery showman in his interview with Bolling from Friday at all.

    Mediaite’s Frances Martel sees a “smugness” in Grayson’s behavior. Others might see Grayson as refusing to swing at pitches as high and wide as the ones that Bolling is throwing, calling Social Security and Medicare not just socialism, but “Marxism”.

    Watch the video, embedded via Mediaite, below. What do you think?

  25. rikyrah says:

    Whatever happened to Armstrong Williams?

    It’s been so long since I have heard his name, I thought since “ole massuh Bush” left the White House, Armstrong had retired close to his beloved cotton on the plantation singing his favorite song, ‘ole massuh, I is heah’” — A Williams critic’s Internet comments

    Back in the day, Armstrong Williams proved to be “one of the most recognizable conservative voices in America.” He possessed a pugnacious and provocative style, and Williams was “on point” when expressing his viewpoints. Most importantly, he provided conservatives and Christians with what they longed to hear. In the 1990s, Williams’ colloquies regarding Black Americans, received national attention by pointing out that high percentages of African Americans actually hold conservative views. Williams also noted that “political leaders dupe Blacks and persuade high numbers of them to swap their votes for Democratic handouts.” Today, after hitting some bumps along the road, Williams is back on the national scene with a new book that talks about his current attitude and perspective. He still considers welfare as “a new plantation system” and decries America’s obsession with race. Chronicling his personal journey through purgatory, the conservative African-American political commentator has written, “Reawakening Virtues: Restoring What Makes America Great.” In his new book, Armstrong Williams calls for “a renewal of basic virtues that have gone by the wayside in today’s world.” Drawing on his upbringing in South Carolina, Armstrong discusses pertinent issues such as the sanctity of life and the virtues of capitalism. In the 190-page book, Williams discusses traditional virtues from a Christian perspective and ultimately argues for a revitalization of American society, politics and culture by updating the values of our founding fathers and bringing them into the 21st century.

    It was that “conservative” and “Christian” persona that got him in trouble in the first place. In 2005, Armstrong Williams acknowledged that he was paid $240,000 by the Department of Education to promote its initiatives on his syndicated television program and to other African Americans in the news media. That disclosure of payment set off a storm of criticism from Democrats over the Bush administration’s spending to promote its policies to the public. According to the contract with the Ketchum Agency, a public relations and marketing firm that had the contract with the Department of Education, Williams was required to broadcast two one-minute advertisements in which Education Secretary Rod Paige extolled the merits of its national standards program, No Child Left Behind.

    Neither Ketchum’s contract with the Department of Education or Williams’ role to promote Secretary Paige and No Child Left Behind were new to the way business is done in Washington. While no other contractors who participated in the deal were chastised, Armstrong bore the brunt of criticism. He told the New York Times that the substantial, negative media he had received was due, at least in part, to his being African-American. He said “The liberal elite despise Black conservatives. I am a conservative who does not know his place. If I were white, they wouldn’t care.”

  26. creolechild says:

    Come on, people…there’s no excuse for this!

    If Iron Eyes Cody (the “crying Indian” of the ’70s anti-littering commercials) were alive today, he would almost certainly shed a few tears about this news: Litter from fast-food chains is spreading far and wide. When a team from the environmental nonprofit Clean Water Action surveyed litter in four cities in the San Francisco Bay Area, it found that trash from four restaurants (McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, and Starbucks) and one convenience store (7-11) made up more than half of the litter it collected.

    Miriam Gordon, Clean Water Action’s California director, was careful to note that the survey was “not comprehensive; it was just a snapshot of trash in four communities.” But its implications are big, since McNuggets boxes and Big Gulp cups dropped in the Bay Area often find their final resting place in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, the giant gyre of trash that floats in North Central Pacific, between California and Hawaii. According to Gordon, 80 percent of the patch’s trash comes from land-based sources. And it’s growing: In 1999, a researcher who surveyed the patch found six times more plastic than plankton. By 2009, there was 40 times more plastic than plankton.

    Some communities are wising up to the litter problem. Several cities in California and a few in DC’s Potomac Basin are aiming to get rid of litter before it enters creeks and storm drains by installing trash capture devices in the storm drains and ramping up litter collection. But “this will be costly from a taxpayer perspective, ” says Gordon. “The real environmental solutions come from reducing trash at the source.” Clean Water Action estimates that as much as 31 percent of the trash it collected could have been eliminated if restaurants allowed customers to bring in reusable food and drink containers.


    • creolechild says:

      Millions of tonnes of plastic debris dumped each year in the world’s oceans could pose a lethal threat to whales, according to a scientific assessment to be presented at a key international whaling forum this week. A review of research literature from the last two decades reveals hundreds of cases in which cetaceans — an order including 80-odd species of whales, dolphins and porpoises — have been sickened or killed by marine litter.

      Entanglement in plastic bags and fishing gear have long been identified as a threat to sea birds, turtles and smaller cetaceans. For large ocean-dwelling mammals, however, ingestion of such refuse is also emerging as a serious cause of disability and death, experts say. Grisly examples abound.

      In 2008, two sperm whales stranded on the California coast were found to have a huge amount — 205 kilos (450 pounds) in one alone — of fish nets and other synthetic debris in their guts. One of the 50-foot (15-metre) animals had a ruptured stomach, and the other, half-starved, had a large plug of wadded plastic blocking its digestive tract.


  27. creolechild says:

    Back in 2008, ExxonMobil pledged to quit funding climate change deniers. But according to new documents released through a Greenpeace Freedom of Information Act request, the oil giant was still forking over cash to climate skeptics as recently as last year, to the tune of $76,000 for one scientist skeptical of humankind’s role in global warming. This—and much more—came to light in a new report about the funding of Wei Hock “Willie” Soon, an astrophysicist with the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

    Soon has been a favorite among climate skeptics for years, since coauthoring a paper back in 2003 that claimed that the 20th century was probably not the warmest, nor was it unique. That paper, published in the journal Climate Research, was widely criticized by climate scientists for its content, not to mention the funding it received from the American Petroleum Institute. An astrophysicist by training, Soon has also claimed that solar variability—i.e., changes in the amount of radiation coming from the sun—are to likely to blame for warming temperatures.

    In 2007, Soon coauthored a paper challenging the claim that climate change harms polar bears. The paper drew plenty of criticism, as it was funded in part by the American Petroleum Institute, The Charles G. Koch Foundation, and ExxonMobil—groups with a clear interest in the debate over whether the bears merited endangered species protections.


  28. Ametia says:

    What’s up with these civilian planes entering forbiden airspace?

    Two civilian planes intercepted near Camp David

    (Reuters) – Fighter jets intercepted two civilian planes in the vicinity of Camp David on Saturday, in separate incidents that both took place while President Barack Obama was there.

    In both cases the planes were met by F-15 fighter jets and landed without incident at nearby airports, North American Aerospace Defense Command spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Bill Lewis said.

    They marked the third and fourth such incidents in a month, all four of them taking place while Obama was at the Maryland presidential retreat.

    The first plane, identified only as a civilian aircraft out of radio communication, was intercepted by a pair of fighter jets at about 12:17 p.m. local time on Saturday, Lewis said.

    The second, a Cessna 210, was intercepted at about 6:56 p.m. on Saturday and was met by law enforcement at Carroll County Regional Airport in Maryland. No further details were immediately available.

    Last Saturday, a small plane got within six miles of the presidential retreat before it was intercepted by an F-15 fighter jet.

    And on June 11, fighter jets scrambled to guide another small plane away from the area without incident.

    Camp David has been a presidential weekend and holiday retreat in the nearby Maryland mountains for decades.

  29. rikyrah says:

    Sun Jul 10, 2011 at 06:00 AM PDT
    The only crisis here is the one the Republicans are making+*

    by Mark Sumner

    There is no fiscal crisis. Everyone should be clear on that.

    The United States is not bankrupt. Social Security is not about to founder. Wall Street is not on a precipice, the IMF is not standing by demanding massive shifts in our government, and U.S. bonds are not trading 1:1 with Charmin. There is nothing wrong.

    Nothing except that the Republican Party is prepared to slice the nation’s throat to get its way.

    Real crises do exist. There are moments in a nation’s history where the government must take abrupt action, either military or fiscal, to prevent disaster. In the collapse of 2008, some might disagree with the exact nature of the action the Bush administration took in bailing out banks that had recklessly overextended themselves, but there’s little doubt that there was a real problem and without action there was a chance that it could grow from disaster to catastrophe.

    That’s not the case this time. Not only does solving the issue at hand not require the launching of a single ship, it doesn’t require the expenditure of a single dime. Raising the debt limit does not commit the United States to any debt it has not already incurred. Refusing to raise that limit is no more an act of fiscal prudence than refusing to pay the restaurant for a meal already eaten.

    Not only is the money already spent, the Republicans are the ones who spent it. It’s not Social Security that drove up the debt over the last decade. Social Security is responsible for 0% of the deficit. Make that 0.00%, to be exact. The deficit that the Republicans are railing against is driven by the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and by the cost of the recently extended Bush tax cuts. You know what’ll happen if we cut Social Security? We’ll get less Social Security, not less deficit.

    It’s funny that politicians on both sides of the aisle keep demanding that “everything be on the table,” when what they really mean is that “everything not responsible for the problem be on the table.” Not that it matters. The truth is that Republicans aren’t interested in solving the problem. They’re making the problem. They invented it from thin, hot air and they’re entirely invested in seeing that the problem gets worse.

    Don’t think the Republicans would put the nation at risk on purpose? Consider this: the only thing they won’t even think about, the only option so odious they’ll walk out of the room rather than talk about it, is precisely the only thing that would actually help. If we allow the Bush tax cuts to expire as scheduled—all of the cuts—the deficit will dry up and the nation will return to sound fiscal standing in short order. If we don’t allow those unsustainable rates to expire … then we will. If we go down after making cuts in Social Security and health care, then we’ll we’ll only succeed in making a lot of people miserable to no purpose. Only returning taxes to viable levels will help.

    If Republicans were actually concerned about the fiscal health of the nation, they would sign onto raising the debt ceiling without hesitation or condition. Because there’s nothing wrong, and because raising the limit would cost nothing. Instead they’ve created a completely artificial problem as nothing more than an excuse to extend the damage they’ve already caused. It’s really a wonderful little game they’ve created: drive the nation so far into debt that there’s no choice but to raise the limit, then use raising the limit as an excuse to create more debt. No wonder they call it red ink.

    The only crisis we’re facing is that one of our nation’s political parties has decided to hold its breath until the nation turns red. And the media, the public, and the opposing party are treating this massive tantrum with far more respect than it deserves.

    • Ametia says:

      We know what the GOP, congress and the media are all about. Just more fear-mongering, and politicking. It’s SHAMEFUL! WHERE ARE THE FUCKING JOBS?

  30. creolechild says:

    The Basics: On August 2 (or maybe a few weeks later), the US government will reach the legal limit on how much money it can borrow—a.k.a., the “debt ceiling.” It’s currently set at $14.3 trillion. The government borrows money to pay for everything from tax refunds to wars and veterans’ benefits, not to mention repaying our creditors, which include China, Japan, the United Kingdom, state and local governments, pension funds, and investors in America and around the world.

    A debt ceiling has existed since 1917. Before that, Congress had to provide its stamp of approval each time the Treasury Department wanted to sell US debt to raise money. (Here’s a wonky history of the debt ceiling [PDF], courtesy of the Congressional Research Service.) Putting a borrowing limit in place gave the federal government more flexibility to fill its coffers without going to Congress over and over. Lawmakers in Congress have raised the debt ceiling on many occasions, including eight times in the past decade, and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner has said that failing to raise it and allowing the US default “would shake the basic foundation of the entire global financial system.”


    That’s economics 101. If you default on, say, your mortgage or car payment, creditors consider you a bigger risk and as a result, it’ll cost more for you to take out loans in the future. The same idea applies here, too, except that everyone—consumers, cities, states, corporations, and the government—will pay higher borrowing costs if the federal government defaults, Geithner says. Not to mention that the government would run out of cash to pay the salaries of federal employees and members of the military, veterans benefits, Social Security and Medicare, unemployment benefits to states, individual and corporate tax refunds, Medicaid payments, and on and on.



  31. rikyrah says:

    Boehner: Back to Biden, Please
    By Steve Clemons
    When the Republican leadership orchestrated the Eric Cantor June 23rd walkout of the debt ceiling talks, led by Joe Biden, the strategy was to up the ante by forcing President Obama to engage them.

    Obama offered a grand deal — huge cuts across the board, including substantial rollbacks of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security benefits — but including the suspension of economically distorting tax benefits for the rich and highly profitable firms, particularly ethanol and oil, that were gorging themselves on public dollars.

    David Brooks was right in stating the obvious in his provocative essay “The Mother of All No-Brainers” – that the Republicans had won but are so paralyzed by Tea Party ideologues that they can’t close the deal. Republicans have set the terms of debate, forced the Democrats to promise a sacrifice of holy commitments to their base, and would have been able to steal back the mantle of “fiscal conservatism” after Bill Clinton became the balanced budget guy and George W. Bush blew the hole out of the economy’s bottom.

    Now, John Boehner is showing that he is trapped in an ideological bind with his own constituents and that Obama is too overwhelming for him. The big deal won’t work, Boehner says, because Boehner can’t get his caucus to do the deal of the era because it involves minor revenue increases. They’d rather default on the national debt and undermine global trust in the United States as a political stunt.

    Boehner has now rejected the course of negotiations with the President and wants Biden back and the smaller scale, more pragmatic plan that Joe Biden had been working on with leaders of both parties before Eric Cantor decided to capsize the effort.

    Boehner said in a statement: “I believe the best approach may be to focus on producing a smaller measure, based on the cuts identified in the Biden-led negotiations, that still meets our call for spending reforms and cuts greater than the amount of any debt limit increase.”

    The Obama-Biden team is working well in these negotiations. It’s clear that they forfeited a lot of ground to the GOP in these talks — and Obama may in fact be pulling off what Bill Clinton did with welfare reform and repositioning the Dems to forfeit much of their Great Society architecture as a way to institutionalize more access to centrist and independent voters who are skeptical of the LBJ-forged nanny state mandates.

    But Obama-Biden also seem to know that the GOP is testing them as they move up and down the ladder, and now that Boehner is pining for Biden again, it shows how indispensable Joe Biden has turned out to be as a partner to Obama.

    Biden also has revenue increases in his more workable, less grandiose plan. He’s not soft on the GOP — just pragmatic. And now the Republicans are essentially going mostly the direction with Joe Biden where Obama wanted them to go in the first place.

    • creolechild says:

      Like I said earlier, the Republicans got punked by the President! This is what is known as FINESSE. When you have it, there’s no need for posturing and pounding on the “bully pulpit.” You just go about your business and get sh*t done!

  32. rikyrah says:

    Political Animal
    July 10, 2011 9:45 AM
    The incredible shrinking Speaker

    By Steve Benen

    On Thursday, President Obama asked the top eight officials in Congress — four from each party — and Vice President Biden to express a preference about a debt-reduction target. Should the negotiations focus on a more modest series of cuts ($2 trillion), a larger package in line with the Biden-led talks ($3 trillion to $3.5 trillion), or a more ambitious approach (roughly $4 trillion)?

    Of the 10 people in the room, eight, including all the Democrats, said they want to go big. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) was one of them, “enthusiastically” endorsing the notion of a grand bargain, telling Republican lawmakers that bold action is necessary, and that this is why he wanted to be Speaker in the first place.

    Two of the 10 balked. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) said there’s no point in trying to strike a grand bargain because rank-and-file Republicans will never accept a compromise on revenue.

    As of yesterday, Boehner abandoned his plan and came around to Cantor’s and Kyl’s way of thinking. The Speaker discovered his caucus just wasn’t willing to follow him.

    The sweeping deal Obama and Boehner had been discussing would have required both parties to take a bold leap into the political abyss. […]

    [Some] Republicans said Boehner had finally realized that he could not sell the tax framework within his party. Many House Republicans, particularly the influential 87-member freshman class, won elections vowing to never raise taxes. At a Thursday meeting at the White House, Cantor said the tax package could not pass the House. And at a Friday morning news conference, every member of Boehner’s leadership team denounced the idea of including tax increases in the debt legislation.

    As a substantive matter, the anti-tax extremism that dominates Republican politics is well past the point of being farcical. Given a chance to cut the debt by $4 trillion, GOP leaders who claim to be frantic about a non-existent debt crisis have been exposed as frauds.

    But the political issue that stands out for me is realizing just how weak a Speaker Boehner really is.

    He started this debt-limit process saying, “We’re going to have to deal with it as adults. Whether we like it or not, the federal government has obligations and we have obligations on our part.” Republicans proceeded to ignore him. This week, Boehner believed he had the power and influence to convince at least most of his caucus to rise to the occasion. Republicans proceeded to ignore this, too. Even the Speaker’s own leadership team didn’t want to follow him, and in the end, it looks like Cantor understood the extremist attitudes of the caucus far better than the Speaker did.

    The Speaker of the House is arguably one of the most powerful offices in the government, at least in theory. It’s supposed to be within Boehner’s power to simply tell his caucus what they have a responsibility to do, and demand their fealty.

    But a leader with no followers is, by definition, weak. Boehner may be the Speaker, but as he’s quickly realizing, he’s taking the orders, not giving them.

    In the asylum known as the House of Representatives, is there any doubt as to the inmates’ power?

  33. creolechild says:

    Some lawmakers, pundits, and others continue to say that President George W. Bush’s policies did not drive the projected federal deficits of the coming decade — that, instead, it was the policies of President Obama and Congress in 2009 and 2010. But, the fact remains: the economic downturn, President Bush’s tax cuts and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq explain virtually the entire deficit over the next ten years (see Figure 1).

    The deficit for fiscal year 2009 — which began more than three months before President Obama’s inauguration — was $1.4 trillion and, at 10 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the largest deficit relative to the economy since the end of World War II. At $1.3 trillion and nearly 9 percent of GDP, the deficit in 2010 was only slightly lower. If current policies remain in place, deficits will likely resemble those figures in 2011 and hover near $1 trillion a year for the next decade.

    The events and policies that pushed deficits to these high levels in the near term were, for the most part, not of President Obama’s making. If not for the Bush tax cuts, the deficit-financed wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the effects of the worst recession since the Great Depression (including the cost of policymakers’ actions to combat it), we would not be facing these huge deficits in the near term. By themselves, in fact, the Bush tax cuts and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will account for almost half of the $20 trillion in debt that, under current policies, the nation will owe by 2019. The stimulus law and financial rescues will account for less than 10 percent of the debt at that time.

    President Obama, however, still has a responsibility to propose, and put the weight of his office behind, policies that will address our key long-term fiscal challenge — preventing the relentless rise of debt as a share of GDP that will occur under current policies. The President and Congress could make major progress toward stabilizing the debt for the coming decade by letting all of the Bush tax cuts expire on schedule at the end of 2012. That would just be a first (although a substantial) step. To keep the debt stable over the longer run, when the fiscal impacts of an aging population and rising health care costs will continue to mount, policymakers will need to take large additional steps on both the expenditure and revenue sides of the budget.

    Having said that, policymakers should not mistake the causes of the swollen deficits that we face in the decade ahead — nor make policy based on mistaken impressions.

  34. Rick Santorum Says He Was ‘Taken Aback’ By ‘The Marriage Vow’ (VIDEO)

    Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum said he was “taken aback” by a controversial pledge introduced last week by The Family Leader, an Iowa-based conservative group, during an interview that aired on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday morning.

    Standing behind “The Marriage Vow – A Declaration of Dependence Upon Marriage and Family” is a requirement for earning the organization’s endorsement. The pledge entails supporting “federal Marriage Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which protects the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman.” Among other things, it also means backing a ban on pornography.

    “When I first read it, I was taken aback by it. I can’t argue that I wasn’t,” Santorum told CNN’s Candy Crowley. “But I understand why they’re saying it, because it does undermine people’s respect for the institution, respect for the people governing this country. If you can’t be faithful to the people that you’re closest to, then how can we count on you to be faithful to those of us who you represent?”

    GOP White House contender Michele Bachmann has also signed her name to the pledge.

    Former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson, a lesser known candidate vying for the Republican presidential nomination, has said that the pledge gives members of his party a bad name.

    “Government should not be involved in the bedrooms of consenting adults. I have always been a strong advocate of liberty and freedom from unnecessary government intervention into our lives,” Johnson explained in a statement. “The freedoms that our forefathers fought for in this country are sacred and must be preserved. The Republican Party cannot be sidetracked into discussing these morally judgmental issues — such a discussion is simply wrongheaded. We need to maintain our position as the party of efficient government management and the watchdogs of the ‘public’s pocket book’.”

    He added, “This ‘pledge’ is nothing short of a promise to discriminate against everyone who makes a personal choice that doesn’t fit into a particular definition of ‘virtue’.”

  35. creolechild says:

    The Tea Partiers are inflamed by budget deficits, so it’s a tragic irony that they’re doing everything in their power to send the deficit skyrocketing.

    What they fail to understand is that the largest single contributor to today’s budget deficit isn’t “runaway spending,” the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan or even the Bush tax cuts – although all of those are big factors. The leading contributor to the deficit today is the recession that followed the burst of the housing bubble (over the next 10 years, it will be the Bush tax cuts). People lost trillions in wealth and millions of jobs, businesses were hurt bad, and all of those things led to a huge drop in tax revenues. Last year, the federal government collected the smallest share of the economy in taxes than in any year since 1950.


  36. rikyrah says:

    July 10, 2011 11:00 AM

    ‘A gamble where you bet your country’s good name’

    By Steve Benen

    I can’t help but think the vast majority of the public just doesn’t fully appreciate what’s transpiring here.

    We’re dealing, after all, with fairly obscure legal mechanisms. Most Americans don’t know what the federal debt ceiling is, and in fairness, they’ve never had to. It’s a law that was approved more than eight decades ago, and hasn’t been particularly controversial or even relevant since. Policymakers have always realized they have an obligation — legal, economic, moral, and otherwise — to do the right thing.

    The United States is like the Lannisters: we always pay our debts. And in the case of the debt ceiling, we’re talking about money we’ve already spent — this is the equivalent of getting a credit card bill for charges we’ve already made. The entirety of the Republican Party — in the House, in the Senate, and its presidential candidates — has said it might pay the bill, but only if Democrats agree to take trillions of dollars out of a fragile economy.

    And if Democrats don’t do enough to make Republicans happy, GOP officials will simply refuse to do their duty. They know the consequences would be severe for the nation and the world. They apparently don’t care.

    Americans almost certainly can’t appreciate the extent to which they’ve made a tragic mistake. Voters perceived the Republican Party has a conservative governing party, capable of responsible center-right governance, and rewarded the GOP handsomely in 2010. What voters probably didn’t understand are the similarities between today’s Republican Party and a not-terribly-right organized-crime family, run entirely by petulant children.

    The Economist, a conservative publication, had a fascinating editorial this week, explaining that Republicans are creating a crisis, on purpose, for no reason. The United States has a manageable debt, low interest rates, low inflation, and the ability to borrow on the cheap. But because right-wing extremists are chiseling away at our political system, we’re quickly approaching a point of no return.

    The sticking-point is not on the spending side. It is because the vast majority of Republicans, driven on by the wilder-eyed members of their party and the cacophony of conservative media, are clinging to the position that not a single cent of deficit reduction must come from a higher tax take. This is economically illiterate and disgracefully cynical.

    This newspaper has a strong dislike of big government; we have long argued that the main way to right America’s finances is through spending cuts. But you cannot get there without any tax rises. In Britain, for instance, the coalition government aims to tame its deficit with a 3:1 ratio of cuts to hikes. America’s tax take is at its lowest level for decades: even Ronald Reagan raised taxes when he needed to do so.

    And the closer you look, the more unprincipled the Republicans look…. Both parties have in recent months been guilty of fiscal recklessness. Right now, though, the blame falls clearly on the Republicans.

    The Economist added that this is “a gamble where you bet your country’s good name.”

    I suspect there are many saying, “We get it; they’re reckless.” But that’s not enough — no one given this much power is supposed to be this reckless. Republicans gained power because voters were frustrated with high unemployment, and yet GOP leaders are threatening to deliberately create a crisis that would make unemployment much worse. And the breaking point is very soon.

    All of this could go away in a heartbeat. Republicans could do, today, exactly what they did repeatedly during the Bush years: simply vote to raise the debt ceiling in a clean bill and move on. The entire process could take literally a few minutes.

    But GOP officials don’t want to. They want to play a game in which the entire world could lose.

    How is this not the biggest political scandal in modern American history? How is it that those who claim the high ground on patriotism could put our financial well being on the line, on purpose, when they don’t have to?

  37. creolechild says:

    Umm ummm ummm…no shame! Making these workers jump through hoops after going through this experience which caused the deaths of 11 of their co-workers.

    Faced with mounting personal injury claims, Transocean Offshore Deepwater Drilling Inc. is pushing hard for survivors of the Deepwater Horizon disaster to submit to physical and mental exams before their cases can be heard in court. The drilling giant, who owned the rig, has preselected doctors and scheduled appointments for 15 of its former employees who say they sustained psychological and physical injuries from the April 20, 2010 explosion that killed 11 members of the 126-person crew. The motion takes a brusque tone with the employees’ refusal thus far to comply with previous urgings from Transocean.

    “It is Claimants who have asserted personal injury claims and have, therefore, placed their medical conditions at issue, yet it is Claimants who are now preventing Transocean from obtaining the discovery to which it is entitled,” reads the filing.

    Transocean demands that, “to assess the existence and extent of their injuries, if any, as a result of the Incident,” each of the survivors go to four appointments, two with psychiatrist Dr. John W. Thompson and two with neuropsychologist Dr. Kevin W. Greve, at prescheduled times and dates. Stephen Bertone, the rig’s chief engineer, has a fifth appointment scheduled with an orthopedic doctor in response to his claim of needing of back and neck surgery.

    Bertone made headlines as the trial opened in 2010 by saying the rig had been experiencing mechanical failures for months before the explosion. He told the court that the rig’s propeller system had been “having problems” for eight months, and that the computer station where the rig’s driller sits had temporarily lost electrical power days before the blowout, according to the LA Times.

  38. rikyrah says:

    Political Animal
    July 10, 2011 8:55 AM

    The White House’s tactical victory

    By Steve Benen

    With House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) no longer willing or able to pursue his own debt-reduction goals, it’s worth pausing to appreciate how the politics have played out in the White House’s favor. Jay Newton-Small’s take sounds right to me.

    [T]he collapse of the grand bargain leaves President Obama in a more favorable political position. If both parties agree to cut $2 trillion from the budget with minor tax increases, he’ll notch a bipartisan accomplishment. But he can also say he tried something more ambitious in putting cuts to Social Security and Medicare on the table without facing the political fallout of actually slashing those programs.

    [Obama] went big and congressional Republicans — not to mention the noticeably silent 2012 Republican presidential candidates — didn’t. It will be Republicans who will have to justify bowing to the extreme wing of their party and walking away from a deal that included some ten times more spending cuts than revenue increases.

    All things being equal, this certainly looks like a tactical win for the White House, at least at this point. From the perspective of the political establishment, the president was willing to do something ambitious, even risking the ire of his party’s base. Congressional Republicans, meanwhile, have now said they don’t want a massive debt-reduction package if it means asking the rich to sacrifice even a little.

    Put it this way: as of this morning, which side of the political divide appears more concerned with fiscal responsibility*? The president with the plan to cut the debt by $4 trillion or the House majority that cares most about tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires, none of which are paid for?

    Did President Obama deliberately present GOP leaders with an ambitious solution, knowing they’d blink and he’d end up looking better in the end? We may never know, but if Boehner isn’t asking himself that question this morning, he’s not paying close enough attention.

    * I realize this gets repetitious, but I feel compelled to point out that prioritizing fiscal responsibility is a mistake under the current circumstances. With weak growth and rising unemployment, officials should be borrowing more, investing more, generating demand and creating jobs. Within the context of a debate about fiscal issues, I think the White House has won a tactical victory, but in the larger context, what I want to see is policymakers forget fiscal issues and focus on the economy.

  39. creolechild says:

    Apparently, Walker’s trying to cause as much damage as possible but not to worry from what I understand he’s ripe for recall next year. Wisconsin has been on their grind so I’m sure he’s next–and it can’t be soon enough!

    Republican Governor Scott Walker signed a bill on Friday allowing citizens to carry concealed weapons, leaving Illinois as the lone state with a ban on concealed weapons still in place. Under the Wisconsin law, gun owners who want to carry concealed weapons will have to get special training and permits. Permits and photo IDs are required when carrying a concealed weapon.

    The state Department of Justice will issue permits to state residents 21 and over who get training and clear background checks that show they were not felons or otherwise prohibited from carrying guns.

    “By signing concealed carry into law today we are making Wisconsin safer for all responsible, law abiding citizens,” said Walker in a statement.

    Twice in recent years the Wisconsin legislature passed a law allowing concealed carry but then Democratic Governor Jim Doyle vetoed it. Doyle left office in January and was succeeded by Republican Walker. Opponents of concealed carry have said that allowing more freedom for citizens to carry guns in public places will increase violence rather than reduce.


    Under the Wisconsin law, gun owners who want to carry concealed weapons will have to get special training and permits. Permits and photo IDs are required when carrying a concealed weapon.

    The state Department of Justice will issue permits to state residents 21 and over who get training and clear background checks that show they were not felons or otherwise prohibited from carrying guns.

    “By signing concealed carry into law today we are making Wisconsin safer for all responsible, law abiding citizens,” said Walker in a statement.

    Twice in recent years the Wisconsin legislature passed a law allowing concealed carry but then Democratic Governor Jim Doyle vetoed it. Doyle left office in January and was succeeded by Republican Walker.

    Opponents of concealed carry have said that allowing more freedom for citizens to carry guns in public places will increase violence rather than reduce.

    After Walker signed the bill at a ceremony in Wausau, guns will be allowed in most public places except police stations, courts, schools and businesses that post signs. Concealed weapons could also be carried in parks and taverns.

    In April, lawmakers in the Illinois state House attempted to pass a measure that would have allowed gun owners to carry them in public, but it fell short of the number needed to pass.

  40. creolechild says:

    File this under “HOW EMBARRASSING” or “BUSTED!” Take your pick…

    Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), a leading advocate of shrinking entitlement spending and the architect of the plan to privatize Medicare, spent Wednesday evening sipping $350 wine with two like-minded conservative economists at the swanky Capitol Hill eatery Bistro Bis.

    It was the same night reports started trickling out about President Obama pressing Congressional leaders to consider changes to Social Security and Medicare in exchange for GOP support for targeted tax increases.

    The pomp and circumstance surrounding the waiter’s presentation, uncorking and decanting of the pricey Pinot Noir caught the attention of another diner who had already recognized Ryan sitting with two other men nearby.

    Susan Feinberg, an associate business professor at Rutgers, was at Bistro Bis celebrating her birthday with her husband that night. When she saw the label on the bottle of Jayer-Gilles 2004 Echezeaux Grand Cru Ryan’s table had ordered, she quickly looked it up on the wine list and saw that it sold for an eye-popping $350, the most expensive wine in the house along with one other with the same pricetag.

    Feinberg, an economist by training, was even more appalled when the table ordered a second bottle. She quickly did the math and figured out that the $700 in wine the trio consumed over the course of 90 minutes amounted to more than the entire weekly income of a couple making minimum wage.

    “We were just stunned,” said Feinberg, who e-mailed TPM about her encounter later the same evening. “I was an economist so I started doing the envelope calculations and quickly figured out that those two bottles of wine was more than two-income working family making minimum wage earned in a week.”

    She was outraged that Ryan was consuming hundreds of dollars in wine while Congress was in the midst of intense debates over whether to cut seniors’ safety net, and she didn’t know whether Ryan or his companions was going to pay for the wine and whether the two men were lobbyists. She snapped a few shots with her cell phone to record the wine purchase.



  41. creolechild says:

    THIS is what we need more of…time to take off the gloves!

    From John Shore blogging at the Christian Left, advice I can strongly endorse:
    That final point is well taken; this is an increasingly great time time to be a crooked politician. No more snooping reporters asking bothersome questions about expense accounts and behind-door meetings. No more impertinent requests for public records. No more “public watchdogs” sniffing around city hall, digging into corners where they might unearth meaty bones best left buried.

    We hear much talk these days about “citizen journalists.” And it’s good that we do; in some very real ways, citizen journalists are the only journalists left. The big dailies aren’t covering city hall anymore. So if you want city hall covered, you have to cover it yourself. And who better to do that than you and citizens like you? Nobody cares about local politics like local citizens. Nobody can. The adage is true for a reason; all politics is local.

    If you’re a blogger, start sitting in on, and writing about, city council meetings. Get to know who’s who in your local city government. Get on the email lists coming out your city and county’s primary government offices. Show up at press conferences. Attend public forums. Raise questions. Insist on explanations. Request private meetings. Help the people who work for the office of the mayor and other local public officials to remember that they work for you and people just like you. Help restore the balance of power between the local citizenry and the people who were elected to represent them.

    And don’t go it alone, either. That’s too difficult; there’s too much ground to cover. Instead, reach out to your fellow informed local bloggers. Join or form a coalition of local politico bloggers such that, after awhile, your group becomes the go-to place for people in your area wanting to understand what’s really happening with their tax dollars and local resources.

    Be thorough; be precise; be professional; work in coordination with others. And stay at it. You’ll get the results you’re after. You will force politicians and government officials to be as accountable as they should be. You’ll provide an invaluable service to your community.

    You’ll make a difference. The fourth estate isn’t dead. It’s just got a whole new set of offices. And one of the best of those offices could be as close as your kitchen table. It’s not as if most of us have jobs anymore, right?

    • Ametia says:

      This video is the BOMBDIGGETY! LMBAO. This is right on, I plan to attend the DNC in NC in 2012 and will def be blogging about it too.

  42. creolechild says:

    More non-stop nuttery from “you-know-who” (sigh). Imagine what could be accomplished if the Republicans were actually invested in doing something beneficial for this country…instead of wasting taxpayer dollars on this nonsense!

    New audio of statements by the prominent Iowa social-conservative group THE FAMiLY LEADER suggests the group believes essentially all pornography is illegal. Moreover, they are seeking commitments from presidential candidates to appoint an Attorney General who would prosecute almost all pornography found online or in stores.

    This week, THE FAMiLY LEADER introduced a pledge intended to protect traditional marriage which quickly attracted the signatures of Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum. ThinkProgress, ABC, the Washington Post, the New York Daily News, Slate and many other outlets interpreted the broad language in the pledge as advocating a ban on pornography.


  43. creolechild says:

    For this who may have missed this yesterday, I’m reposting this article…

    ~BREAKING NEWS~ You’re going to love this!

    These all-too-rare moments are damned gratifying, aren’t they?

    In a swift affirmation of Arizona’s fast growing and powerful new political movement, Secretary of State Ken Bennett notified Gov. Jan Brewer that the once seemingly invincible architect of the state’s controversial SB 1070 “papers please” immigration law has officially been recalled. Bennett confirmed that the recall petitions delivered by the Citizens for a Better Arizona “exceeds the minimum signatures required by the Arizona Constitution.”

    “Let’s make no mistake about it,” said Randy Parraz, co-founder of the Citizens for a Better Arizona. “Russell Pearce has been recalled.”

    According to Bennett’s statement, Pearce has two options: Resign from office within five business days, or become a candidate in the recall election. Either way, Pearce becomes the first state senate president in recent memory to be recalled in the nation.

    “No one expected this or picked up on this political earthquake,” said Parraz, one of the main organizers behind the extraordinary grassroots campaign, which electrified a bipartisan effort in Pearce’s Mesa district. Parraz credited a “dramatic shift” over the past six months due to Pearce’s often extremist leadership in state senate.

    “We had people pouring into the office,” Parraz said, citing the role of Republicans, Democrats and Independents in the door-to-door canvassing initiative, “and they told us: Russell Pearce is too extreme for our district and state.”


    • creolechild says:

      I’m want to give a shout-out to Aquagranny, who posts here occasionally, as well as over at The People’s View and The Only Adult in the Room and to Desertflower1 who also posts at those sites–for their participation in this successful recall campaign against Russell Pearce! To all the others who were involved: Well done, my social justice warriors…well done!

      See, organizing and fighting back does work…

    • Ametia says:

      This is how it’s one. Power to the peeps.

  44. creolechild says:

    How does that saying go: sunlight is the best disinfectant…

    The Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board rejected the National Organization for Marriage’s bid to keep corporate donors anonymous in the state’s gay marriage fight, which it argued was to protect the donors from “harassment, property damage, a chilling effect.”

    And regardless of that decision, lobbying records examined by the Minnesota Independent show some of the biggest individual donors behind the effort for a ballot initiative that would ban gay marriage. Among them, the owner of a DVD company who is a big contributor to Republicans, the meat mogul Rodney Huisken, and staffers for the Minnesota Family Council.

    Tom Prichard, president of the Minnesota Family Council, argued that if donors are disclosed it “would have a significant chilling effect on free speech. Even in Minnesota already it’s gotten heated in some respects.”


    The campaign board disagreed, and in a 5-1 vote ruled Thursday that corporations that give over $5,000 to a campaign for or against a ballot measure must disclose the names of their donors who have given over $1000.

    So, let me get this straight…he’s concerned about the donors’ rights but the rights of gays, not so much. Three words: SHUT.IT.UP!

  45. creolechild says:

    In the fallout over the Atlanta Public Schools cheating scandal, in which 178 teachers and principals from 44 schools were implicated in altering student answers on state standardized tests, education historian and critic of school testing Diane Ravitch explained in an interview with CBS News what she believes motivates educators and administrators to cheat: No Child Left Behind.

    Here’s a partial transcript of what she said:

    What we’re seeing in Atlanta is the culmination of a rotten federal policy. We have a terrible federal law, called No Child Left Behind, that says all schools must have 100 percent of their students proficient in reading and math by 2014 or their schools will be closed down, or they’ll be privatized, or the principals will be fired and the staff may be fired … this law is such a bad law because it incentivizes cheating, and it puts the pressure on to get the scores up.

    The American Independent has reported on unethical or questionable school district procedures that scholars and education veterans allege is the result of officials seeking to parry the punitive consequences of low performing schools. With most high-profile school districts in urban areas, where the percentage of students designated as low-income routinely exceeds 70 percent and, at times, reaches over 90 percent, insiders maintain not enough funding is allocated to combating the effects poverty has on a student’s academic experience.

  46. creolechild says:

    A few weeks ago, hundreds of people, most of them white, gathered in Lincoln Park to celebrate Peace Fest, which featured DJ sets, jam bands, and enough open marijuana smoking that passersby on surrounding streets could get a contact high. Not that anyone was complaining.

    That week at the Cook County courthouse at 51st and Wentworth, dozens of people, almost all of them black men, went before a judge to face marijuana possession charges. Some of them ended up with fines and jail time. Yes, marijuana is illegal. Yet studies show—and come on, everybody knows—that it’s widely used by all racial groups. By and large, however, black people are disproportionately getting busted for it.

    The ratio of black to white arrests for marijuana possession in Chicago is 15 to 1, according to a Reader analysis of police and court data. And by the time the cases make their way through the court system, the gap widens even further: the ratio among those who plead or are found guilty is 40 to 1. Here’s another way to look at it: almost nine of every ten people who end up guilty of possessing marijuana in Chicago—86 percent, to be precise—are black men.

    The racial gap has become so glaring that Cook County Board president Toni Preckwinkle says something has to change, if only because taxpayers can’t afford to continue arresting, detaining, and prosecuting low-level marijuana offenders. In an interview last week, Preckwinkle, for the first time, said what no other high-ranking local official has dared: “I think we should decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana, that’s for sure.” Preckwinkle added that she recently told Chicago police superintendent Garry McCarthy to “stop arresting people for small amounts of drugs, because you’re wasting our time.”


  47. creolechild says:

    Thom Hartmann gives us a history lesson on how Reagan and both Bush’s raised the federal debt incredibly over their terms and now Republicans are balking at paying for their own borrowing. My pal Hartmann says they are committing financial fraud because Republicans refuse to pay the bills that their own heroes created. Reagan-worship is most dominant these days too. You never hear the press explain to us how the federal debt even got so high in the first place. It’s like Obama spent $14 trillion since he took office. Well, Cheney said Reagan proved deficits didn’t matter, and conservatives didn’t even blink.

    The line is not likely to make this week’s eulogies to Ronald Reagan, but when Vice President Cheney allegedly declared, “Reagan proved deficits don’t matter,” he summed up an enduring argument from the former president’s economic legacy.

    The fiscal shift in the Reagan years was staggering. In January 1981, when Reagan declared the federal budget to be “out of control,” the deficit had reached almost $74 billion, the federal debt $930 billion. Within two years, the deficit was $208 billion. The debt by 1988 totaled $2.6 trillion. In those eight years, the United States moved from being the world’s largest international creditor to the largest debtor nation.

    No outrage, no Tea Party revolts, no FOX News meltdowns, just cheers for the war hawk.

    Because of course they agreed. Deficits only matter when it comes to cynical right-wing politics.

    And the Villagers lap it up. Andrea Mitchell was talking to Mark Warner and, while giving him a few different scenarios, painted one depicting Nancy Pelosi riding the Democratic Party over the cliff with American flags if she refuses to deal on Social Security and Medicare. And Mark Warner spews the same Republican arguments about how long we’re living and other Heritage Foundation nonsense.

    OK, we’ll use the GOP’s favorite analogy: A household. If you charged a half a million dollars at Tiffany’s like Gingrich did on a credit line and then, when the bills had to be paid, you refused unless Tiffany’s gave you a bigger credit line-plus a 250K watch thrown in, how long do you think you would stay out of jail? Yet that’s what the GOP is doing at this point.

  48. creolechild says:

    Ah ha…the Republicans got punked by the President….

    House Speaker John Boehner is abandoning discussions with the White House on a large-scale debt deal slated to achieve $4 trillion in deficit reduction. The bone of contention is Boehner’s insistence on no tax increases in the deal. Instead, Boehner said the talks should focus on reaching a smaller debt-reduction deal.

    “Despite good-faith efforts to find common ground, the White House will not pursue a bigger debt reduction agreement without tax hikes,” Boehner said in the statement. Boehner’s statement indicates that there is room for a much narrower spending cut bill based on work done by a group led by Vice President Joe Biden.


  49. creolechild says:


    In the entire history of the state of Wisconsin, organizers have only managed to trigger recall elections four times. Today, Dems are set to file the signatures they need for the recall election of their fourth Wisconsin GOP state senator this year: Sheila Harsdorf. Graham Zielinski, a spokesman for the Wisconsin Democratic Party, tells me Dems will submit over 23,000 signatures — nearly 150 percent of the 15,744 required.

    Dems have already submitted the signatures required for recall elections against state senators Dan Kapanke, Randy Hopper, and Luther Olsen.

    Here’s what this means. Presuming all four elections take place — which they all but certainly will, given the massive amounts of signatures gathered in all four cases — Dems will have matched the amount of recalls triggered in the state’s whole previous history in less than a year.

    That’s as clear a demonstration as you could want of the grassroots energy unleashed by Scott Walker’s overreach, and of the organizing successes of his opponents. Republicans have less than a week until the deadline for their signatures to trigger recall elections against Dems. They have not yet submitted any.

    The election to recall Harsdorf, like at least two of the other races, is going to be a competitive one. Dems need to net three recall wins to recapture the state senate. Though they still have a very long way to go, it’s fair to say that this possibility is now in play.

  50. creolechild says:

    Forgetting my manners, Congratulations to Black Snob!

  51. Good Morning, 3 Chics, Friends & Visitors! Happy Sunday!

Leave a Reply