Serendipity SOUL | Monday Open Thread

Happy Monday, PEOPLE!  This week, 3 Chics will feature the music of Barbara Streisand.

Wiki: Barbra Joan Streisand (pronounced /ˈstraɪsænd/; born April 24, 1942) is an American singer, actress, film producer and director. She has won two Academy Awards,[1] eight Grammy Awards,[2] four Emmy Awards,[3] a Special Tony Award, an American Film Institute award,[4] a Peabody Award,[4] and is one of the few entertainers who have won an Oscar, Emmy, Grammy, and Tony Award.

She is one of the most commercially and critically successful entertainers in modern entertainment history, with more than 71.5 million albums shipped in the United States and 140 million albums sold worldwide.[5][6] She is the best-selling female artist on the Recording Industry Association of America‘s (RIAA) Top Selling Artists list, the only female recording artist in the top ten, and the only artist outside of the rock and roll genre.[7] Along with Frank Sinatra, Cher, and Shirley Jones, she shares the distinction of being awarded an acting Oscar and also recording a number-one single on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart.

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126 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Monday Open Thread

  1. creolechild says:

    This is a MUST READ article to understand how companies, corporations, and multinationals have steadily eliminated the number of jobs that are available to the U.S. workforce, and why! (It’s a lengthy article that I hope you’ll read in its entirety when you have a chance.) Thank you, AdLib and Planet POV!

    The End of Jobs in America
    By: AdLib On August – 8 – 2011

    Welcome to the new normal, it’s called high unemployment…and high underemployment. The hollowing out of the nation by Wall Street and Corporate America has progressed to a new level and it’s one that many Americans haven’t realized as yet. Anyone who is looking forward to the time when major corporations will start hiring Americans for good paying jobs again in big numbers, are among those who don’t know what the “new normal” is for corporations.

    There is no job recovery coming, at least not from the corporate world. The stock market could hit 20,000 and it won’t translate into many well paying jobs because a new dynamic has been adopted by corporations and proven effective. Corporations have learned how to operate by employing fewer Americans to work as full time employees and are enjoying record profits as a result. What corporate CEO would be interested in changing that?

    This is not doom and gloom so hang in there and you’ll see some suggestions for solving this situation but before a problem can be solved, as they say in AA, you first have to admit you have a problem. And like an alcoholic, America, in general, is in denial. Corporations have been transferring the wealth of the Middle Class to themselves for decades. Simply put, they don’t want a Middle Class possessing the assets that could, and in their minds, should be theirs. A society of haves and have-nots insures a low cost of labor and an inordinate amount of power in society and government in the hands of the few who have enormous wealth.

    Americans want to believe in the American Dream which corporations and their political arm, the GOP, preach about like evangelists. However, the biggest threat to it has been and continues to be the very same corporations and political party that hide their American-Dream-destroying policies behind their banners and balloons celebrating it. This concerted effort by corporations to reduce American jobs isn’t new, it’s just been accelerated thanks to the economic collapse of 2008 that they helped cause…like being hit by a car then watching the driver rush over to you just to take your wallet before speeding away.

    Over the past decades, as corporate greed chipped away at unions, pensions, health care, 40 hour work weeks, raises and upward mobility, the central pillar of the employment relationship was being chipped away at as well. That is, corporations were avidly seeking ways to shrink the costs of having so many full time Middle Class Americans as their employees. It’s not that corporations were unprofitable, it’s that the salaries, bonuses and stock options for top executives at those corporations became far richer when each quarter’s profits were greater than the previous quarter’s and hopefully exceeded expectations.

    So, there first came a cocktail of corporate employment that gradually blended full time employees, part-time employees, temporary employees and consultants. The great thing about all of these categories of workers that aren’t full time employees is that they cost much less than full time employees, chiefly because health insurance is not part of the arrangement. Also, the more fragile, limited and/or temporary the employment relationship is, the more insecure the employee feels and the more leverage the employer has on freezing or reducing wages (the “You can be replaced” arrangement).


  2. Ametia says:

    Wall Street had its worst day since the 2008 financial crisis, as fearful investors reacted to the United States losing its coveted AAA credit rating.
    All three major U.S. stock indexes sank between 5% and 7%, pushing the Dow below 11,000 for the first time since last November. Overall, stocks have fallen 15% during the past two weeks.
    Though observers said S&P’s downgrade shouldn’t matter all that much, the market wasn’t buying it. “Investors are having one reaction to the downgrade: Sell first and ask questions later,” said Paul Zemsky, head of asset allocation with ING Investment Management.

  3. Ametia says:

    pure craziness

    Newsweek’s Michele Bachmann Cover Raises Eyebrows (PHOTO, POLL)
    First Posted: 8/8/11 08:35 AM ET Updated: 8/8/11 12:34 PM ET

  4. Ametia says:

    For creolechild

  5. rikyrah says:

    Political AnimalBlog
    August 08, 2011 2:30 PM

    The Westen piece

    By Steve Benen

    It’s not exactly a secret that there is widespread liberal consternation with the Obama presidency. Though the frustrations aren’t always apparent in the polls, the evidence to bolster the trend isn’t exactly elusive. As regular readers know, I don’t generally share those attitudes, but only a fool would deny their existence and their intensity.

    With this in mind, Drew Westen, an Emory psychology professor, had a fairly long, much-discussed New York Times piece yesterday that strongly resonated with many of the president’s liberal detractors. And while I can appreciate why the essay might have been cathartic, I also found it, at best, underwhelming.

    Now, I suspect those who found Westen’s piece compelling won’t appreciate this. “Of course you didn’t like it,” the emails will say. “You support the president.” But that’s not what I’m getting at here. There are plenty of criticisms of the president I find quite persuasive, on areas including housing policy, Afghanistan, immigration, civil liberties, and negotiating styles in general, among other things.

    In this case, though, it’s Westen’s case itself that fell flat, at least with me.

    Westen’s general approach to political analysis, like Lakoff’s, focuses almost exclusively on rhetoric and the establishment of larger political narratives though “storytelling.” Yesterday’s piece is a little tough to excerpt — it’s about 3,300 words — but Westen believes political stories drive the public’s understanding of the world around them, and President Obama’s missteps can be attributed — sometimes directly, sometimes indirectly — to poor rhetoric, inadequate themes, and weak storytelling.

    So, for example, had the president chosen a story more to Westen’s liking in his inaugural address — one that condemned Republicans and Wall Street more directly — it “would have inoculated against much of what was to come in the intervening two and a half years of failed government, idled factories and idled hands.”

    I seriously doubt that. And yet, this is the prism through which all of Westen’s analysis shines. As Jon Chait put it:

    Westen’s op-ed rests upon a model of American politics in which the president in the not only the most important figure, but his most powerful weapon is rhetoric. The argument appears calculated to infuriate anybody with a passing familiarity with the basics of political science. In Westen’s telling, every known impediment to legislative progress — special interest lobbying, the filibuster, macroeconomic conditions, not to mention certain settled beliefs of public opinion — are but tiny stick huts trembling in the face of the atomic bomb of the presidential speech. The impediment to an era of total an uncompromising liberal success is Obama’s failure to properly deploy this awesome weapon.

    f I had to guess, I’d say the Westen piece resonated with folks who want to hear the same kind of rhetoric Westen wants to hear, which necessarily makes it seem persuasive. But that doesn’t make the larger analysis accurate.

    Take Westen’s take on the Recovery Act.

    The truly decisive move that broke the arc of history was his handling of the stimulus. The public was desperate for a leader who would speak with confidence, and they were ready to follow wherever the president led. Yet instead of indicting the economic policies and principles that had just eliminated eight million jobs, in the most damaging of the tic-like gestures of compromise that have become the hallmark of his presidency — and against the advice of multiple Nobel-Prize-winning economists — he backed away from his advisers who proposed a big stimulus, and then diluted it with tax cuts that had already been shown to be inert.

    Most of this doesn’t make any sense. I’ve criticized the size of the stimulus hundreds of times, so on the larger concern, Westen and I largely on the same page. But notice the basis for his argument: the Recovery Act would have been bigger if the president had “indicted” Republican economic policies. I have no idea how Westen arrives at this conclusion.

    For that matter, the stimulus included plenty of tax breaks, and Westen believes they “had already been shown to be inert.” Really, how? Through use of a time machine? The tax policies in the Recovery Act weren’t a continuation of Bush policies; they were new tax breaks. Even if Westen believes Bush-era tax breaks were a failure — a belief I strongly share — it’s lazy and wrong to assume that all tax policy is the same.

    There was also this assessment of FDR:

    In similar circumstances, Franklin D. Roosevelt offered Americans a promise to use the power of his office to make their lives better and to keep trying until he got it right. Beginning in his first inaugural address, and in the fireside chats that followed, he explained how the crash had happened, and he minced no words about those who had caused it. He promised to do something no president had done before: to use the resources of the United States to put Americans directly to work, building the infrastructure we still rely on today.

    This is wrong on a variety of levels. FDR took office with massive Democratic majorities in both chambers after the economy had already bottomed out; Obama walked into office in the middle of the freefall, still needing Republican votes to overcome filibusters. These circumstances aren’t exactly “similar.”

    What’s more, Westen’s praise for FDR’s rhetoric notwithstanding, that same first inaugural from Roosevelt called for the state and local governments to cut spending, which is hardly the “story” Westen would want to hear, and the larger storytelling didn’t fundamentally alter the public’s perceptions anyway. Towards the end of FDR’s first term, despite the Westen-endorsed themes, the vast majority of Americans still wanted a balanced budget — despite 20% unemployment.

    Perhaps most notably, Andrew Sprung scrutinized Westen’s piece and discovered that Obama has publicly and repeatedly stressed some of the identical messages Westen wanted to hear from the president. Maybe the professor missed those speeches; maybe he didn’t check.

    Westen is a good storyteller. There is real force to many of his charges. But modeling what he says Obama should have done, he tells a simplified morality tale — highly selective, with a clear villain, and in some points, demonstrably false. He makes copious use of political cliches about messaging that fail to take into account the degree to which economic conditions shape audience reception of a politician’s message…. And in the end, it devolves into an ad hominem attack with recourse to cheap psychologizing (notwithstanding Westen’s protestations of scientific detachment) and unfounded impugning of motive.

    Westen says the debt-ceiling deal cuts entitlements, but it doesn’t. He gets Medicaid policy wrong, too. He rests his entire case on the power of rhetorical phrases, when as Chait noted, “The clear reality is that Americans pay hardly any attention to what presidents say, and what little they take in, they forget almost immediately.”

    There’s a sizable contingent on the left that wants Obama to be The Great Progressive Pugilist, shaping a agenda around blistering attacks on Republicans and their allies. Love him or hate him, Obama has never been that guy. Remember the 2004 Democratic convention speech that launched Obama into the political stratosphere? It was the keynote address in a year Dems were taking on an incumbent, and Obama literally never even mentioned Bush or Cheney.

    He doesn’t want to pick partisan fights. He said as much in 2008 and won in a near-landslide.

    Kevin Drum concluded:

    …I think Westen misses the big point. The problem isn’t that Obama didn’t have a story. He did, and he told it pretty well. His story was one about the dysfunctional partisanship destroying Washington and how to move beyond it. You might not like that story, but it was there. And while it obviously didn’t succeed in moving the needle on partisanship, it did allow Obama to produce a pretty decent set of legislative achievements. As much as two years of anti-conservative stemwinders would have thrilled me, I doubt they would have produced anywhere near as much. […]

    Obama’s cool demeanor got him elected and it’s kept him personally popular in the face of massive Republican intransigence over the past two years. Like it or not, the public seems to prefer that to the pugilistic style that seems like such a no-brainer to us lefties.

    I continue to believe progressives have a credible case to make against the president. The problem is, Westen’s indictment isn’t it.

    • Ametia says:

      That Westen piece was a steaming pile of HORSESHIT

    • I continue to believe progressives have a credible case to make against the president.

      Progressives can go straight to the hottest hell and take that Westen’s piece with them!

      • Ametia says:

        LOL The venom is at pitch level, and is getting louder with every breath these haters take. There must be a helluva lot of $$$ being made from all this HATERATION.

        I think POTUS willl definitely be taking his message STRAIGHT to American People, because he knows the media is seeped in the haterade and profits

  6. rikyrah says:

    S&P Seen Surrendering to Tea Party
    QBy Zeke Faux – Aug 8, 2011 11:22 AM CT

    Standard & Poor’s, the rating company that downgraded the debt of the United States to AA+ from AAA for the first time, now finds itself assailed by investors led by billionaire Warren Buffett for making a political decision that has more to do with Tea Party politics than the financial stability of the U.S.

    S&P officials, shrugging off a $2 trillion calculation error, blamed “uncertainty” in the policymaking process on Aug. 5 when they cut the assessment of the U.S. government’s ability to pay its debt, citing Congress’s failure to agree on as much long-term deficit reduction as the credit-rating company wanted. Buffett, the world’s most successful investor, said S&P erred and the U.S. should be rated “quadruple-A.”

    The New York-based subsidiary of McGraw Hill Cos., whose inflated grades of mortgage-backed investments — paid for by the banks that created the toxic debt — were blamed by Congressional investigators for fueling the financial crisis, rattled investors around the world and provided fodder for President Barack Obama’s rivals in the 2012 elections. Treasuries rose, the dollar gained, global stock markets tumbled, oil sank and gold rallied to a record.

    ‘Political Decision’
    “Clearly the ratings downgrade was a ‘political decision’ in the sense that the politics explained the timing of this, because the numbers have been irrefutable for a decade,” said Robert Litan, vice president for research and policy at the Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City, Missouri. “It gives an enormous amount of ammunition to the Tea Party. They said the deal didn’t go far enough and they’ll say ‘see.’”

    Litan, a former consultant to the U.S. Treasury, said yesterday in a telephone interview that he agreed with the downgrade, if not the timing. “The charts that show exploding deficits have been around for over a decade,” he said.

  7. creolechild says:

    Here’s Cherrelle, featuring Alexander O’Neal, singing Saturday Love.

  8. rikyrah says:

    Political AnimalBlog
    August 08, 2011 12:30 PM

    Ryan on revenue

    By Steve Benen

    For months, congressional Republicans have said they would rather do anything than lower the deficit with new revenue. They felt so strongly about this, GOP officials at least claimed to fully prepared to cause a national default if Democrats pursued a “balanced” approach to debt reduction.

    The fight over the debt ceiling is, of course, complete until 2013, but with the so-called Super Committee poised to get to work fairly soon, Republican hostility towards revenue continues to be of critical interest.

    On “Fox News Sunday” yesterday, Chris Wallace pressed House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on his “open-mindedness.” The host posed a hypothetical in the event that Ryan is one of the 12 members of the panel: if Democrats offered $3 or $4 in cuts for every $1 in revenue increases, the revenue came from closed loopholes and eliminated deductions, could Ryan accept a compromise?

    Ryan eventually said “the answer is yes,” but it’s all of the caveats that came with the answer that matter.

    “It all depends on the spending side of the ledger. Here’s what I mean when I say that: can you get higher revenues through broad based tax reform that gets more economic growth and therefore higher revenues. The answer I believe is yes.

    “The question really is, and we have yet see a response to this question, are we doing the things we need to do to get the spending line down, down to 20 percent of GDP. It’s going to 40 of GDP by the time my kids are my age. And we have yet to see three to one, two to one, four to one, whatever you call it. We have yet to see any commitment to actually bring the spending line down.

    “So if you’re just raising revenues to chase ever higher spending that is not good policy. And I don’t think that’s a good agreement. If we are convincingly restructuring these entitlement programs and getting that spending line down to meet that revenue line, then can you have higher revenue growth through more economic growth and tax reform, yes — the answer is yes.”

    It’s tempting to think Ryan’s ultimate openness to new revenue is evidence of progress, but a close look at the language suggests little reason for optimism.

    As the right-wing Wisconsinite sees it, Democrats can have their new revenue if the revenue comes by way of policies Republicans like. Ryan sets an absurd goal — lowering spending to 20% of GDP — and ties this to smoke and mirrors. Note that first paragraph in particular: revenues must come from economic growth. Given the Budget Committee Chairman’s record, he’s arguing that his right-wing policies will be so effective, they’ll grow the economy, and that’s how Democrats can have their revenues.

    It’s best to keep expectations surrounding the Super Committee very low. The panel’s inevitable failure appears quite likely.

  9. rikyrah says:

    Maybe Some Lemonade?
    by BooMan
    Mon Aug 8th, 2011 at 12:57:44 PM EST

    In the making-lemonade-out-of-lemons category, the S&P downgrade of our credit rating and the subsequent massive sell-off of stocks might actually weaken the Republicans’ resolve to make no revenue concessions on the SuperCommittee. I know they’re going around pretending that this is the president’s fault, but business leaders know better. The Republicans spent all summer shrugging off all warnings that they shouldn’t play around with debt ceiling, telling us repeatedly that our credit rating was safe and even a default wouldn’t be that big of a deal. They were wrong. And I think a lot of people who went along with their kidnapping ransom scheme with a wink and a nod are now much less trustful of Republican assurances. The outcome of the Republicans’ hostage-taking plan has been a total disaster for the country, and I don’t see how the GOP can just continue down the same path. Obfuscation can only carry you so far. When the chickens come home to roost, you’ve got a problem.

  10. rikyrah says:

    Fox News Blames The Left For New Half Black Half Hispanic Spider-Man
    Fox News has accused the left of forcing Marvel to “take a radical left turn to extreme political correctness” by making the new Spider-Man half black and half Hispanic

    Rick Folbaum said, “Peter Parker the man behind the mask in the original comic series, but did you know there’s more than one Spider-Man universe? In Ultimate Spider-Man, which comic book readers know is different than the original, Peter Parker was killed off back in June and this week a new Spider-Man was introduced. Miles Morales is a half black, half Hispanic teenager who has a knack for fighting injustice and comes with some of the same powers but with different abilities, and this news took some in the media by surprise questioning whether or not Marvel Comics took a radical left turn to extreme political correctness by killing off a traditional American hero and replacing him with Miles Morales.”

    The most of part of that story is the idea that the white Peter Parker is a traditional American hero, with implication being that Miles Morales isn’t an American and because he is not white he can never be considered a hero.

    It wasn’t a radical turn to the left that led to Marvel creating Miles Morales. It was demographics. Fox News doesn’t want to acknowledge this, but America is changing. A half black and half Hispanic character is more reflective of the national population than the assumption that all superheroes must be white. It was business decision on the part of Marvel. Miles Morales can attract new readers to the series. He could bring new marketing opportunists, and who knows maybe even a new movie franchise? Blaming this on political correctness or left is a stretch even for Fox News.

    Not surprisingly, Fox News found a way to use Spider-Man to fit one of their favorite conservative narratives that the left wants to destroy everything American. The left wanted Peter Parker dead and replaced with brown skinned hero, because they hate everything good about America. White Spider-Man had to die, because Barack and Michele Obama said so

  11. rikyrah says:

    Tavis Smiley and Cornel West Blast Obama, Again; Time for Them to Shut Up
    We celebrate and protect Tavis Smiley’s and Dr. Cornel West’s right to criticize President Obama or anyone else, for that matter. But they both have thoroughly invalidated their political positions because their public discourse has been contaminated by personal animus and resentment for being allegedly snubbed by the president.

    They, along with Georgetown professor Michael Eric Dyson, cry foul because they have not been invited to play on the South Lawn with Obama’s other friends, and that’s sad.

    West confirmed in a New York Times interview my previous suspicions that he is admittedly embittered because he never received a single phone call from Obama after campaigning so hard for him.
    “I think he had to keep me at a distance. There’s no doubt that he didn’t want to be identified with a black leftist. But we’re talking about one phone call, man. That’s all. One private phone call.”

    West also shared that it was a personal blow to his ego when Obama made former Harvard University president Larry Summers one of his first administration appointments — and this was after Summers severely lampooned West, telling him that his rap album was an “embarrassment” to the university. West left Harvard soon thereafter.

    Personal is the only way to describe how West went from calling Obama his “brother, companion and comrade” during the historic 2008 campaign to labeling Obama a “black mascot of Wall Street oligarchs” and “black puppet of corporate” barons and saying that Obama is the “head of the American killing machine, and he is proud of it”

    Here’s the thing: I happen to agree with Smiley that Obama’s record with redressing the grievances of the working class and the poor has left a lot to be desired. Obama has been particularly soft-handed with Wall Street reptiles and the banks who continue to red-line minorities in terms of loans and never really punished the financial and mortgage institutions for their serial predatory lending, all of which nearly bankrupted this country. West’s points have some validity as well.

    But it is obvious that the spirit of their criticisms has been motivated by egoism, that they possess this attitude of “How dare Obama ignore my requests for a phone call and spurn my invitation” to Smiley’s defunct “State of Black America” events. Blacks recognized Smiley’s personal pettiness, which incited the ire of African Americans and led to him being run off the “Tom Joyner Morning Show.”

    The legitimacy of the two men’s points is polluted to such a degree that many folk can’t hear what they have to say.

    • creolechild says:

      “Here’s the thing: I happen to agree with Smiley that Obama’s record with redressing the grievances of the working class and the poor has left a lot to be desired. Obama has been particularly soft-handed with Wall Street reptiles and the banks who continue to red-line minorities in terms of loans and never really punished the financial and mortgage institutions for their serial predatory lending, all of which nearly bankrupted this country. West’s points have some validity as well.”

      Here’s the thing: It’s admirable that you’re defending their right to make asses of themselves. Problem is that Smiley was promoting Wells Fargo to black folks…and it’s widely known the damage that was done by Wells Fargo’s bogus subprime loans. The author may need to rethink and/or edit his article, especially since the current administration has gone after these banks and making them compensate homeowners. The articles have been posted on this site so it can’t be that hard to actually verify information first before mindlessly repeating what’s been said by those two BOZOS! But never let facts get in the way of a good “story,” right?

      • Ametia says:

        LOL You’re on a roll, creolechild. Those PESKY lil facts!

      • creolechild says:

        Oh, and some aspects of the financial shenanigans that occurred during the economic meltdown can’t be legally prosecuted. Want to know why? Because, for the most part, what occurred was clearly unethical but not illegal since no regulations were in place. Remember, Glass-Steagull was repealed during the Clinton administration in the 1997 or 1998.

      • Ametia says:

        Remind folks, CC. And yet, Smiley licks Bubba and Hillpatine’s ass.

  12. creolechild says:

    Here’s Lakeside, singing Say Yes.

  13. rikyrah says:

    Lack of jobs for blacks creates tension between black lawmakers and Obama
    By Ylan Q. Mui, Published: August 7

    Black lawmakers are embarking on a monthlong campaign Monday to address the staggering unemployment rate among African Americans, an issue that has become a growing source of tension between members of the Congressional Black Caucus and the Obama administration

    Lawmakers have met with the administration three times this year seeking support for programs that specifically address the black community, but President Obama has not backed their proposals. The caucus chairman last week slammed the deal negotiated by the administration to raise the national debt ceiling and cut government spending as a “Satan sandwich” that unfairly harms African Americans.

    Now, as the CBC launches its most public and coordinated jobs campaign so far, the president is notably absent from the lineup. Instead, the White House has dispatched Housing Secretary Shaun Donovan, who is white, to the event and announced that Obama will embark on his own jobs tour that will take place in the middle of the CBC’s campaign.

    “We want him to know that from this day forward . . . we’ve had it,” Michigan Rep. John Conyers recently said of the president. “We want him to come out on our side and advocate, not to watch and wait.”

    The White House did not respond to a request for comment.

    To be sure, the brunt of black lawmakers’ frustrations are aimed at Republicans, whom they blame for blocking more than 40 bills intended to create jobs for African Americans since the party swept the House of Representatives a year ago. But they have also grown frustrated with Obama’s belief that the best way to help black communities is to improve the overall economy.

    The CBC has repeatedly argued that the high unemployment rate should be addressed through targeted programs, such as directing government grants to the poorest neighborhoods. The unemployment rate for African Americans is more than double that for whites and higher than the rate of any other racial group, according to government data. It inched up in July to 16.8 percent from 16.6 percent a year ago, while the jobless rate for whites fell half a percentage point to 8.2 percent.

  14. rikyrah says:

    Salmonella-Tainted Turkey Sickens Dozens As GOP Seeks To Slash Food Safety Budgets
    By Pat Garofalo on Aug 5, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    In the third-largest recall on record, food giant Cargill is pulling 36 million pounds of ground turkey out of stores after a salmonella outbreak linked to one of the company’s plants sickened nearly 80 people, killing one. The recall follows other salmonella related troubles in the U.S., including salmonella-tainted eggs producing the largest U.S. foodborne illness outbreak since 1973 last summer.

    According to the Hill, “although the first illnesses [related to the current outbreak] were reported in March, it required months for federal regulators to trace the cause back to Cargill’s turkey.” And things are not likely to get better going forward, as House Republicans are blocking the funds to implement a landmark food safety law and have proposed slashing the budgets of food safety inspectors:

    As part of their Agricultural appropriations bill, House Republicans in June voted to slash millions of dollars from the FDA’s budget, which would have prevented the agency from enforcing tougher food safety laws installed by the Democrats in December.

    The Republicans also cut funding for USDA food inspectors, who are charged with ensuring the safety of poultry, among other meat products.

    In a statement yesterday, Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) took the GOP to task for cutting food safety funds that are so clearly necessary. “The House majority has slashed funding for the FDA and USDA, choosing to preserve tax cuts for the wealthy over investing in and improving our food safety system,” she said. “By cutting their funding, we have limited their effectiveness and asked FDA and USDA to do more with less, and the impact of these cuts is starkly clear with this most recent recall.”

    At the moment, one out of six Americans suffers from a foodborne illness every year, with 128,000 of those resulting in hospitalization. Ultimately, 3,000 people die from foodborne illness annually, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. Georgetown University’s Produce Safety Project has found that foodborne illness costs the U.S. $152 billion each year.

    Republicans have justified their cuts to food safety by insisting that the private sector “self-polices.” But that clearly wasn’t the case here, and this isn’t the first time that Cargill has had problems and been forced into a recall. In fact, “in 2007, the company recalled roughly 845,000 pounds of frozen ground beef patties linked to an outbreak of E. coli.”

  15. creolechild says:

    Here’s Loose Ends, singing Hangin’ On A String.

  16. rikyrah says:

    GOP Presidential Candidates Ignore S&P’s ‘Blast At Republicans,’ Pin Downgrade Blame on Obama
    By Pat Garofalo on Aug 8, 2011 at 9:40 am

    On Friday, the credit rating agency Standard & Poors downgraded the U.S. from AAA to AA+ in the first downgrade in U.S. history. In its release, S&P took Republicans to task for using the debt ceiling as a political football and refusing to consider new revenues as an option for reducing the country’s long-term deficit. As National Journal put it, “it’s hard to read the S&P analysis as anything other than a blast at Republicans.”

    However, you wouldn’t know that from reading the statements the GOP presidential candidates released in the wake of S&P’s announcement. In their world, the downgrade was entirely due to government spending, and the way to turn things around is to balance the budget without raising any additional revenue:

    MICHELE BACHMANN: “We were warned by all of the credit agencies that a failure to deal with our debt would lead to a downgrade in our credit rating, but instead he submitted a budget that had a $1.5 trillion deficit and then requested a $2.4 trillion blank check. President Obama is destroying the foundations of the U.S. economy one beam at a time. I call on the President to seek the immediate resignation of Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and to submit a plan with a list of cuts to balance the budget this year, turn our economy around and put Americans back to work.”

    MITT ROMNEY: “Standard & Poor’s rating downgrade is a deeply troubling indicator of our country’s decline under President Obama. His failed policies have led to high unemployment, skyrocketing deficits, and now, the unprecedented loss of our nation’s prized AAA credit rating.”

    JON HUNTSMAN: “Out-of-control spending and a lack of leadership in Washington have resulted in President Obama presiding over the first downgrade of the United States credit rating in our history. For far too long we have let reckless government spending go unchecked and the cancerous debt afflicting our nation has spread.”

    Of course, the S&P explicitly cited the fact that “new revenues have dropped down on the menu of policy options” as reason for the downgrade, pointing out that one way to get the U.S. on a more sustainable fiscal path is to allow the Bush tax cuts to expire:

    Compared with previous projections, our revised base case scenario now assumes that the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, due to expire by the end of 2012, remain in place. We have changed our assumption on this because the majority of Republicans in Congress continue to resist any measure that would raise revenues, a position we believe Congress reinforced by passing the [debt ceiling] act.

    Yesterday, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) seemed to soften his anti-tax zeal just a bit in response to the downgrade, saying that he might be open to revenue positive tax reform. But for the GOP presidential hopefuls, S&P’s move was just another political hammer, regardless of S&P’s justification for its action.

  17. rikyrah says:

    Obama Hate Has Driven Republicans To Humiliate America

    America’s economy has suffered setbacks in the past, but during those perilous times, the leaders in Washington have come together out of concern for the stability and survival of the economy and the nation. The country now finds itself in another tenuous situation and instead of coming together to make important decisions to save the nation’s economic standing, Republicans are working to keep the economy on the precipice to portray the Obama Administration as ineffective. What the nation, and indeed the world, sees is that Republicans obstructed difficult economic decisions that prompted one of three credit rating agencies to downgrade America’s credit rating. It is difficult to know exactly how the downgrade will affect the economic picture, but suffice it to say, it does not bode well for the nation.

    The S&P report explained why they downgraded America’s rating; the agency said that government is not working because Congress is so polarized and unable to reach a sensible compromise to rein in the deficit that there may be long term difficulties with no end in sight. The agency did not downgrade short-term prospects and were specific in what they were looking for to preserve the AAA rating America has always maintained. It is sad that Republicans are so attached to the Norquist-ordered anti-tax ideology that the world is now in jeopardy of falling into dire economic straights the same as America.

    The report specified that they were looking for $4 trillion in cuts over ten years as a reasonable amount to start with and it is the exact figure President Obama called for before the debt ceiling negotiations began. In fact, as far back as April of this year, the president called for $4 trillion in spending cuts but Republicans balked and hung on to the $2 trillion amount eventually decided on. The Republicans barely agreed to that amount because they wanted to revisit raising the debt limit during the 2012 campaign season. It is an old story, but Republicans claim to want to reduce the deficit, but their words never match their deeds. If they were the least bit serious about reducing the deficit, they would have accepted the balanced approach President Obama called for by closing tax loopholes that allowed the wealthy and corporations to avoid paying taxes combined with spending cuts.

    Although the S&P report cited Congress’s failure to reach an agreement that included President Obama’s balanced approach, Republicans were quick to blame the downgrade on President Obama because it happened on his watch. What the Republicans will never admit is that they demanded $2 trillion in cuts instead of $4 trillion, and there is overwhelming evidence they refused to budge. The report also cited Republicans’ refusal to let the Bush tax cuts expire to bring in much needed revenue that is necessary to pay down the debt over time. There may well be problems with S&P because they gave good ratings to sub prime mortgages prior to the 2008 economic meltdown, but they agreed with President Obama’s higher spending cuts and plan to set American on a stronger financial footing.

    Throughout President Obama’s tenure, Republicans have ignored every financial expert in the world who said to get Americans back to work and grow the economy the government had to increase its investment in stimulus and infrastructure improvements. In the recent FAA shutdown that Republicans caused, tens-of-thousands of workers were laid off and construction projects were halted because Republicans are trying to break the unions. The more closely one examines the Republicans’ plans for the economy, the more evident it becomes that they are doing everything wrong. The simple act of cutting spending will never reduce the deficit and will in fact reduce tax revenue as millions more jobs are lost. Without tax revenue, there is no way to pay down the debt Republicans caused funding two unnecessary wars and Bush’s tax cuts. A local economist said that if America stops borrowing and spending today, the deficit will continue to grow because the interest on the debt for the wars and Bush tax cuts will continue to accrue, and without revenue increases the debt will rise without pause.

    There are not enough hours in a day to list the myriad ways Republicans have mishandled the economy, but S&P did a nice job blaming Republicans for downgrading America’s credit rating. The basic premise of the report said if Congress had adopted the president’s $4 trillion spending cut plan coupled with increased revenue over ten years by raising taxes and letting the Bush tax cuts expire, they would not have downgraded America’s rating. Another economist confirmed S&P’s premise and added that if any business, large or small, followed the Republican’s methodology of only cutting spending without increasing revenue, they would not last one year. America is not quite in that category, but if Republicans continue blocking revenue increases, it is doubtful the government can continue operating.

    The other aspect of the report that bears repeating is that there is no optimism that Republicans will ever change their approach of not compromising to ensure economic stability. Mitch McConnell has promised that the Republicans’ recipe of holding the economy hostage to maintain the Bush tax cuts and block revenue increases will continue even though it contributed to the outlook for economic instability. It is disturbing when a relatively independent agency downgrades America’s credit rating because Republicans refuse to compromise. Republicans cannot point fingers at Democrats or the president because only they refused to compromise or concede their cherished perpetual tax breaks for the wealthy. It is tragic, but when America does collapse, it will be because Republicans insisted on giving preferential treatment to the wealthiest 2% of Americans and the corporations they own.

  18. rikyrah says:

    Political AnimalBlog
    August 08, 2011 9:50 AM

    House GOP picks its August message

    By Steve Benen
    With members of Congress already back in their states and local districts for the summer recess, the major parties have already advised lawmakers on the kind of message they should push with voters. For Dems, especially in the House, it’s “Accountability August,” hammering Republicans on Medicare and the debt-ceiling hostage strategy.

    As of late last week, GOP leaders had a different idea in mind.

    House Republicans, feeling they have scored significant fiscal victories, are moving on to an even bigger challenge: persuading voters, state legislatures and Democrats to alter the Constitution with a balanced budget amendment.

    In a meeting with his conference on Monday, Speaker John A. Boehner told members that the best thing they could do during the August recess was to sell their constituents on the idea that the amendment — which essentially stipulates that government cannot spend more than it takes in — is necessary and good.

    Really? This is how House Republicans are supposed to spend their August? Never mind job creation and economic growth; focus on a constitutional gimmick that almost certainly can’t pass either chamber?

    What a remarkable waste. Even if we put aside the fact that there are real problems that require immediate attention, and even if we ignore the proposal’s legislative prospects, the Balanced Budget Amendment is one of the worst ideas in the history of bad ideas. That congressional Republicans managed to create a BBA this year that was even worse than the previous version is a testament to their creativity. What sensible policymakers should be doing is dismissing this “pathetic joke” of a proposal as quickly as possible.

    That this is at the top of the priority list for congressional Republicans is a reminder of just how far gone they really are.

  19. creolechild says:

    This is a tongue-in-cheek explanation regarding how much time Congress actually spends “working” each year on issues of importance to this country~

  20. rikyrah says:

    August 08, 2011
    Obama’s greatest challenge
    This serial rebuttal of Drew Westen’s too-familiar assault on President Obama in the NY Times Sunday Review is so comprehensive, it renders another superfluous. Point by point it refutes, clarifies and corrects Obama’s vast omissions, as charged by Westen.

    Having said that, I will add this, however: Obama’s larger, most powerful enemy in American politics isn’t the Republican villain; it is, roughly framed, America’s tradition of anti-intellectualism, which the GOP merely exploits. Yet as an intellectual, Obama somehow fails to grasp the immense ignorance that pushes the American political narrative along.

    It’s an old story — indeed, an old failure. A man of Obama’s clarity of mind tends to think that having said something once, maybe twice, the audience “gets it.” No need to repeat things. What could be clearer than any or all of Obama’s clearly stated positions, as itemized in the above-cited rebuttal? See? Obama did explain, he did argue, he did reply, and here’s the black-and-white evidence. And in Obama’s clear mind (and, not unjustifiably, in the minds of his defenders), he had in fact counterattacked. See? Here’s the speech, and here’s the relevant section in which he did just that.

    So, what could be clearer? Well, there is something, and that something is that for 200 years we have demeaned the “egghead” and reveled in discrediting the expert; we have indulged the emotional over the analytical; we have elevated the demagogic over the technocratic; we have, increasingly, stewed ourselves in a bumper-stickered gruel of simple explanations and even simpler resolutions of enormously complex problems; we have, increasingly, entertained ourselves into utter distraction; we have, increasingly, morphed into a criminally negligent, political inattentiveness which perpetually permits the cynical Eric Cantors of this nation to professionally befuddle it — in short, we honor, more than ever, our anti-intellectual tradition.

    Thus an Obama speech now and then, or press-conference comment, to counter the GOP’s unremittingly witless lies about the healthcare act or financial regulation or debt and deficits is a pop-gun to a howitzer. Republicans reload hourly, and they know a simple lie — business requires, above all, not consumer demand, but “certainty”; our huge deficits come from Obama’s big spending; upper-end tax hikes would kill what’s left of the economy — is an extraordinarily effective weapon in this, an unschooled society that just barely pays any attention.

    So, finally, Obama’s greatest challenge: educate, educate, educate.

    • Ametia says:

      In 2008 as in since the beginning of time, Blacks greatest challenge has always been WHITE FOLKS. Guess what, Barack Hussein Obama got elected 2008 by WHITE FOLKS. So I don’t agree with Obama’s greatest challenge is educate, educate, educate educate who? Racist, power hungry whites?

  21. rikyrah says:

    August 08, 2011
    The gasping radical right
    This will come as neither unpleasant nor shocking, but Ross Douthat is wrong:

    [T]he next election may be no more transformative than 2008 turned out to be. The next Republican president may find himself as hemmed in and frustrated as President Obama has become. Meanwhile, America will still have a credit rating to fix, and a deficit to close.

    He’s wrong on both the grand narrative and the specifics. As to the latter, America has no credit rating to “fix.” S&P’s downgrade was isolated and abjectly political; our debt is as good as gold, like always. Second, we’ve a “deficit to close” only later; to narrow it now — or even to emphasize its narrowing now — would merely facilitate the arrival of “the next Republican president,” in 2013.

    And that leads to Douthat’s misapprehension of the narrative. To read 2008 as non-transformative is to miss the ugliest of American reactionaryism that 2008 called out. The radical right in this country has bubbled and simmered since the New Deal; it re-ignited in its McCarthyism and concomitant assaults on liberalism; it reflowered in Goldwaterism; it expanded ideologically in its New Rightist social conservatism; it tempered its underlying class warfarism with the smiley-face of Reaganism; it overreached in its predations on Clintonism; it demonstrated its utter incompetence and breathtaking indifference to sound governance in its Bushism — and now it’s achieving its logical denouement: it is a raging, demographically dying cesspool of hate and ignorance, crimsonly livid over a black progressive in the White House, and sputtering its last vitriol as a major player in electoral politics.

    Because it is dying out, quite literally, and it knows it. This — this moment in American political history — is its knowing, last gasp.

    That observation comes with an enormous caveat, however. One must never assume one’s doomed enemy is already dying; one must drive a stake in him, as Obama did in 2008, and now he must plunge that stake all the way through. And that he will not accomplish through temperate words about compromise with lunatics and an agreeably divided government and everyone coming to reason and work together.

    As the debt deal showed with a sickening vividness, the time for that is as antiquated as the radical right’s “thinking.”

  22. Charles Wyly, Texas Billionaire And Political Donor, Killed In Aspen Car Wreck

    DALLAS — Texas billionaire and philanthropist Charles Wyly, whose family donated millions of dollars to Republican causes and Dallas arts projects, has died after a car accident in western Colorado, authorities said. He was 77.

    Wyly, who maintained a home near Aspen, Colo., was turning onto a highway near the local airport when his Porsche was hit by a sport utility vehicle Sunday, the Colorado State Patrol said in a statement. Wyly died at Aspen Valley Hospital.

    “He is among the finest people I have ever known,” William Brewer III, Wyly’s attorney and long-time friend, said in a statement to The Associated Press. “His contributions in business, philanthropy and civic leadership will forever be remembered.”

    The other driver suffered moderate injuries.

    In Texas, Wyly and his younger brother, Sam, along with their wives, gave $20 million to help build Dallas’ performing arts center. They also donated big, but quietly, to Republican causes: the brothers had said they’d given about $10 million to GOP candidates and causes since the 1970s.

    Texas Gov. Rick Perry was one of the biggest political beneficiaries, receiving more than $300,000 combined from the Wylys since 2000, according to Texas Ethics Commission reports. According to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, the brothers had donated almost $2.5 million to more than 200 Republican candidates and committees at the federal level over the past two decades.

  23. A commenter @ HP

    So, what’s the GOP really talking about here, with all this
    super-aggr­­essive, synchroniz­­ed, theocratic federal/st­­ate

    NO Jobs.
    NO Healthcare­.
    NO Medical Research.
    NO Protection­s for Women’s Health Issues.
    NO Minimum Wage.
    NO UI Income.
    NO Medicare.
    NO Medicaid.
    NO Social Security.
    NO Labor Rights/NO Unions.
    NO Child Labor Laws.
    NO Welfare.
    NO Food Stamps.
    NO Food for the Homeless.
    NO Food Safety.
    NO Public Education.
    NO Sex Ed.
    NO PP/Birth Control.
    NO Abortions.
    NO WIC Food.
    [insert the latest “NO” here]

    I could be mistaken, but it appears to me that the GOP wants the dirty
    masses to just drop _dead.

  24. Mitt Romney: Obama Is ‘Out Of His Depth,’ The Nation’s Security Is At Risk

    CONCORD, N.H. — Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney blamed President Barack Obama Monday morning for Standard & Poor’s decision to downgrade U.S. debt, saying the nation risks losing its sovereignty if it does not take “corrective action.”

    “The failure of the president to reignite this economy and get people back to work is one of the reasons we’re seeing such high levels of deficit and why the debt continues to grow at such an alarming rate,” Romney said.

    “We need to put more Americans back to work and I’m afraid the president is just out of his depth when it comes to understanding how the private economy works.”

    • Kiss where the sun doesn’t shine, Mitt!

    • Ametia says:

      LOL MIttens, what are you going tod do about the economy? Simply jumping on sthe “Obama ain’t shit bandwagon” isn’t going to get you into the White House.

      • Hold the phone….Hold the phone! Mitt just did a flip flop…

        After Getting Ripped By Team Obama, Mitt Romney Flip-Flops On Downgrade

        After gauging the political winds, and getting ripped by Team Obama, Mitt Romney has flip-flopped and is no longer just blaming Obama for the S&P downgrade.

        This was Mitt Romney’s statement on Friday after S&P announced the downgrade,

        “America’s creditworthiness just became the latest casualty in President Obama’s failed record of leadership on the economy. Standard & Poor’s rating downgrade is a deeply troubling indicator of our country’s decline under President Obama. His failed policies have led to high unemployment, skyrocketing deficits, and now, the unprecedented loss of our nation’s prized AAA credit rating. Today, President Obama promised that ‘things will get better.’ But it has become increasingly clear that the only way things will get better is with new leadership in the White House.”

        On Face The Nation yesterday, Obama adviser David Axelrod ripped Romney apart, “Alright, but let’s talk about the rest of them, including Mr. Romney, the frontrunner, who on the day that a compromise was reached that at least set – made some progress and set a process in motion to do the rest – he jumped in after ducking and dodging and evading and took a position against this, without any solution. These are, presidential races are tests. And this was a test of their presidential metal, and in this case he failed and most of those candidates failed.”

        This led to a classic Mitt Romney flip-flop today while addressing a Chamber of Commerce gathering in New Hampshire, “I don’t think it’s simply the president’s fault. I’m sure there are many people to share responsibility for the excessive spending in Washington over the past couple of decades.”

        Over the course of a weekend, Mitt Romney went from blaming Obama only to blaming his own party too. Romney changed his position because he is trying to take advantage at the same time while distancing himself from the public outrage at Republicans for this downgrade. In the debt ceiling debate Romney did what he always did. He didn’t risk anything by taking a position. He waited to see which way the political winds were blowing and then he rode the breeze. When the political winds shift, Mitt Romney shifts with them.

    • creolechild says:

      Romney Gives Obama A Failing Grade, But Massachusetts Ranked 47th In Job Growth While He Was Governor – By Travis Waldron


      What Romney leaves out of his stump speech, however, is just how bad his state’s job creation statistics were during his four years as governor. Different job creation studies rank Massachusetts in the bottom four states during Romney’s administration. A study by the independent think tank MassINC ranked the state 49th in job creation from 2001-2007, ahead of only Michigan. And according to the U.S. Department of Labor, Massachusetts ranked 47th, ahead of only Michigan, Ohio, and Louisiana. Michigan and Ohio, both located in the Rust Belt, faced heavy job losses due to the flight of manufacturing jobs from the Midwest. Louisiana, meanwhile, lost hundreds of thousands of jobs in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.


      As Pat Garofalo notes, Romney’s record in the private sector is equally unimpressive.
      Romney blames the poor job numbers on Democrats in the Massachusetts state legislature. But since its economy faltered in 2008 and 2009, Massachusetts has rebounded in the job creation ranks, emerging from the recession with some of the nation’s strongest job numbers. Under current Gov. Deval Patrick (D) — and a legislature still controlled by Democrats — the state experienced 4.2 percent job growth in the first quarter of 2011, better than twice the national average and good enough to rank in the top 10 nationally. That followed a year of solid growth in 2010, when Massachusetts was among the nation’s leaders in job growth.

  25. creolechild says:

    Thank you, AdLib and Planet POV!

    Outrage Manufacturing, Inc.
    AdLib On August – 1 – 2011

    In light of the prospective deal on the debt ceiling, all of the propaganda machines are churning at full capacity, from Huffington Post to Fox News, Obama haters of all stripes and alleged political positions are joined in a chorus of furious, self-righteous bleating, like a flock of sheep with gas pains. It’s quite a buffet of attacks to choose from, Obama betrayed Dems, was weak, outmaneuvered, is destroying the middle class, is ignorant, incompetent, a terrible negotiator, etc. This deal marks the death of Keynesian economics, guarantees the death of the middle class, destroys Social Security and Medicare, assures a double dip recession or another Great Depression, will kill the entire bee population in the US, create an epidemic of impotency and make zombies rise from the dead to eat our brains (clearly not a threat to Republicans).

    It’s easy to be a slanted pundit, just follow these easy directions:

    1. Only recognize information that supports your pre-determined opinion (facts that don’t cooperate with already held opinions are not really facts, they are “Faecties”, imaginary things that only exist if you choose to believe in them).

    2. Use your mind as a magnifying glass. Use it to burn those you see as ants then place it over any information that even tangentially supports your views to distort and exaggerate it and its impact on the future.

    3. Never apologize. Sure, yesterday you may have said the world will blow up by the next day but just because it didn’t, that doesn’t prove you’re wrong, you may just be one day off. Instead, insist that despite claims to the contrary, the world is blowing up then quickly turn to another outrage which will surely be an even greater disaster (somehow).

    4. Talk over others and ignore what they say or ask. You’ve spent all that time creatively carving up square facts to make them fit the round hole of your opinion (I’ll let you guess where it’s located), it’s just plain rude for others to interfere and insist square pegs should fit in square holes. Drown them out or wait for them to finish talking or asking questions (while ignoring what they say and instead humming the old Supertramp song to yourself, “Bloody Well Right”). When they’re done, just spout out your talking points as if they’re the answer to the question or statement you didn’t even listen to.

    5. There is no such thing as “too hysterical”. Your category may be Politics but never forget that this is Show Business, emphasis on the “Show”. You’ve got to show outrage, frustration, smugness, cynicism and indignation. Often you’ll find that the day’s events thoughtlessly deprive you of legitimate reasons for giving your audience the emotional display they rely on.

    That is why the InstaHowl 3000 from Outrage Manufacturing may be the most valuable investment in your career. Just input the day’s news into it, press the big red panic button and it will manufacture a variety of outrages that you can spout to whip up your audience (requires high decibels or big red fonts – not included).

    Then there is the Mini-Me to this Dr. Evil, the herpes to this Black Plague…Troll Blogging.
    Troll Blogging is a public pool where everyone is welcome from every part of the community to jump on in. And peeing in the pool is not only permitted, it’s encouraged. As to the cast of characters in Troll Blogging, on the right, there are the earnest Dittoheads and Tea Partiers who have had megaphones implanted into their heads so their GOP authority figures can speak through them at will.

    Then there are the paid and unpaid Arsonist Trolls who simply try to spark fires at moderate and Progressive sites to keep them busy stomping out tiny embers and disrupt their coming together to build or accomplish something. Next are the Concern Trolls, Republican bloggers masquerading as Democrats and generously sharing their disappointment and disgust at how Obama has failed and betrayed “them” and all other Dems. They vow to never again vote for or support Obama, just as they vow to never again ride unicorns naked. These are the electronic equivalent of Trojan Horses only once inside the gates of Dem castles, they are evacuated out of the rear end of the horse.

    Coming off similarly and resembling these horse’s asses are the so-called Dem Purists. They sing in chorus with Concern Trolls and are nearly indistinguishable except for the knives they leave in the backs of others. Purists are fighting for your Democratic values…by trying to bring down the Democratic President and prepare the way for a right wing Republican to take over the White House. Only then can we return to the purity of Democratic principles and have all of them reunited in one safe place…a wish list. After all, if there’s anything worse than not getting all the changes you want now, it’s getting more of them later. Their motto is “All or nothing!” and they’re not too sure about keeping the “All or” in there.

    If President Obama killed Bin Laden, he’d be attacked for how he did it. If he passed health care reform that would insure most of the 50 million Americans who aren’t insured and those with pre-existing conditions, he’d be attacked for betraying Democratic values. If Obama saved the nation and the world from tumbling into a Great Depression through stimulus spending and loans to major industries, he’d be attacked for not doing enough. At least, that’s my guess. For the types of people described above, Obama is playing the Purgatory version of Jeapordy, no matter how many answers you get right, you can never win.

  26. creolechild says:

    16 countries sue Alabama over its new immigration law
    By Scot Kersgaard


    In an effort to ensure their citizens are treated fairly in Alabama, 16 nations, including Mexico, filed briefs against the state’s controversial new immigration law that has already drawn fire from the U.S. Department of Justice. Edward Still, a Birmingham attorney who filed the brief, told The Montgomery Advertiser that the nations “want to have one immigration law and not 50.”

    “Mexico has an interest in protecting its citizens and ensuring that their ethnicity is not used as basis for state-sanctioned acts of bias and discrimination,” the brief said, according to the paper.
    Criticism for the law, which is said to be the strictest state-level immigration law in the country, has been fierce and swift. Besides the DOJ’s lawsuit, the Roman Catholic Church, three dozen plaintiffs represented by the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Immigration Law Center have all filed lawsuits against the state’s governor, The Montgomery Advertiser reported.

    As noted by Fox, the Catholic Church has also come out against the Alabama law. Considering that Alabama’s immigration laws have had the effect of driving workers from the state and has been shown to be unconstitutional on its face, this latest suit may be nothing more than adding insult to injury.

  27. rikyrah says:

    August 08, 2011 11:05 AM

    Those who ‘welcomed’ a downgrade

    By Steve Benen

    Two weeks ago, Neil Cavuto and John Stossel had an exchange on Fox Business Channel that was startling at the time, but seems even more relevant now.
    For those who can’t watch clips from your work computers, Cavuto, Fox News’ vice president of business news, told viewers, “I would welcome a downgrade. I really would. I think it would be the pain from which we have a gain.”

    Stossel added, “Maybe that would wake people up.”

    They didn’t really elaborate why they would “welcome” the “pain,” or what Americans were supposed to realize after having been awoken.

    The point, though, is that conservative rhetoric only makes sense today if you ignore the conservative rhetoric from July. Throughout the Republicans’ debt-ceiling hostage strategy, a wide variety of prominent voices on the right downplayed the threat, not only of default, but also of a downgrade. It was pure madness, even at the time, but that was their line and they stuck to it. Don’t worry about the consequences of the hostage plan, conservatives said, just focus on the ransom.

    And yet, notice what happened after the downgrade actually occurred — suddenly the consequences the right “welcomed” are necessarily President Obama’s fault, reality notwithstanding.

    Indeed, two weeks ago, Fox viewers were told downgrade might be a good thing. This morning, Fox viewers were told repeatedly that the downgrade the GOP caused is a tragedy that must be blamed on the White House.

    There’s a good reason Fox viewers seem so confused so often.

  28. rikyrah says:

    The Administration Should Copy the CBC
    by BooMan
    Mon Aug 8th, 2011 at 11:16:54 AM EST

    The president, and probably the vice-president, too, need to take a page from the Congressional Black Caucus’s playbook and start doing combination townhall meetings/job fairs in some of the most economically distressed areas of the country. The CBC is doing these job fairs throughout August. So far, they’ve scheduled job fairs in Cleveland (today), Detroit (8/16), Atlanta (8/18), Miami (8/22-23), and Los Angeles (8/30-31).

    This August, thousands will gather for town hall meetings, job fairs, job readiness workshops, and seminars as a part of the Congressional Black Caucus For the People Jobs Initiative. Last week we were happy to announce almost one hundred employers registered to participate with several job vacancies available to improve the dismal unemployment situation in our communities. This week, we are pleased to announce that number has grown to over 120 companies. The CBC looks forward to working with more partners as we work diligently to decrease the numbers of unemployed.

    With congressional Republicans refusing to do anything to help create jobs, the administration needs to partner up with the business community (large and small) to reduce unemployment. They shouldn’t focus only on our inner cities. They should go wherever unemployment is highest, and they should match people up with companies that are hiring.

    This would help the unemployment problem only marginally, but it would be important symbolically. It would highlight two things that need highlighting. First, it would show the administration is doing something about joblessness. Second, it would show that effective governmental action on joblessness is impossible with the Republicans in control of the House of Representatives.

  29. rikyrah says:

    The Fairy Tale Of Drew Westen

    Well, in Andrew Sprung’s words, today’s brutal, unsparing attack on Obama from the dreamy left was “a rhetorical nuke dropped on ground zero in the liberal heartland.” I have no doubt that it will appeal to many who are depressed and demoralized by a presidency fighting both a global depression and a brutal, extremist right-wing opposition. And the one good element of the piece is that it starts from the very beginning, with disappointment that Obama didn’t launch from Day One into a reprise of an idealized modern FDR and LBJ wrapped into one. Sprung’s is a must-read in response.

    To take just one point, does Westen believe that, after TARP, a much bigger stimulus would have been able to get through Congress? And for what? These are not the 1930s, and in a much higher tech society, Depression era shovel-ready projects were not so easy to find. And the aversion to tax cuts seems strange. Aren’t they among the most effective way to stimulate demand quickly? And how much debt would we now have with such a stimulus? The trouble with telling stories is that fiction isn’t fact. And Obama faced a country that had become so leveraged in public and private that the 1930s option Westen wanted was a chimera. Is $14 trillion not enough debt?

    Westen laments that Obama failed to rally the country with a clear explanation of the baddies (whom close to half the country voted for) versus the goodies. Westen is simply wrong and Sprung tackles every specific complaint Westen makes with a clear Obama speech doing exactly what Westen wanted. For example:


    Nor did anyone explain what health care reform was supposed to accomplish (other than the unbelievable and even more uninspiring claim that it would “bend the cost curve”), or why “credit card reform” had led to an increase in the interest rates they were already struggling to pay.

    Obama, Sept. 9, 2009:

    Our collective failure to meet this challenge — year after year, decade after decade — has led us to the breaking point. Everyone understands the extraordinary hardships that are placed on the uninsured, who live every day just one accident or illness away from bankruptcy. These are not primarily people on welfare. These are middle-class Americans. Some can’t get insurance on the job. Others are self-employed, and can’t afford it, since buying insurance on your own costs you three times as much as the coverage you get from your employer. Many other Americans who are willing and able to pay are still denied insurance due to previous illnesses or conditions that insurance companies decide are too risky or too expensive to cover.

    We are the only democracy — the only advanced democracy on Earth — the only wealthy nation — that allows such hardship for millions of its people. There are now more than 30 million American citizens who cannot get coverage. In just a two-year period, one in every three Americans goes without health care coverage at some point. And every day, 14,000 Americans lose their coverage. In other words, it can happen to anyone. But the problem that plagues the health care system is not just a problem for the uninsured. Those who do have insurance have never had less security and stability than they do today. More and more Americans worry that if you move, lose your job, or change your job, you’ll lose your health insurance too. More and more Americans pay their premiums, only to discover that their insurance company has dropped their coverage when they get sick, or won’t pay the full cost of care. It happens every day.

    I remember that speech vividly. It was the most persuasive case I have ever heard for real reform, and it ended with universal healthcare, a goal every president before him failed to achieve. I agree on one thing: the case for this law was subsequently left unmade. But I have a feeling that when the GOP promises to repeal it, we will hear again. And the case cannot be made by one man alone. His party, including its liberal wing, ran away from the reform almost as soon as it was passed. And the liberal media outlets did the same, referring to sulk about the public option rather than see and celebrate and explain the very real progress that had been made.

    What Westen seems to have wanted was the Democratic version of George W. Bush, contemptuous of his opponents, ruthless in his often unconstitutional determination to get his agenda through, divisive and polarizing. But Obama would not have won election on those grounds and did not have a mandate for that. He was elected as a moderate Democrat, prepared to engage any pragmatic solution to obvious problems, while not splitting an already polarized country even further.

    That he has tried to do, against an opposition party that decided to double down on polarization, on politics as warfare, on politics as a game, and bereft of any ideas except taking us back to before the New Deal. What has to be defeated is not just their agenda, but their modus operandi. Only by patiently out-lasting and out-arguing them will Obama be able to do this. And it says a lot about the utopian left that they do not see the wisdom and responsibility of this strategy.

  30. rikyrah says:

    Gallup: Obama Approval Rating Improving In Crucial States
    President Obama has seen some hits to his national approval rating over the last few weeks as residue from the bruising debt debate, although Congress is even worse off since the almost-default. But new data from Gallup released on Monday shows a much more coherent and specific picture of Obama’s job approval as he ramps up his 2012 election campaign, and how his approval rating looks when set against the modern electoral map.

    The data, taken from Gallup’s polling from January 2011 to June of this year, charts the president’s rating in all 50 states, using interviews with more than 90,000 interviews with American adults. While his national approval rating for this time period in the Gallup tracking poll is below 50%, the map shows an improving picture after the GOP victories of 2010, and much of that improvement in swing states.

    From the report:

    The president did receive a 50% or higher approval rating in a few more states during the first half of 2011 than he did in 2010 — 16 compared with 12, along with the District of Columbia in both time periods. His approval rating crept back to the 50% level in Maine, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota in the first part of 2011 after being below that level in those states in 2010.Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota. Three states that the President almost certainly needs to win to make the electoral math work. Some other crucial states just below the fifty percent mark: Iowa at 49%, Pennsylvania at 48%, Florida at 47%, and southern Democratic beachheads Virginia and North Carolina are at 46%.

    There were also some trouble spots for the President. In Oregon, a state that has gone Democratic since 1992, Obama only notched 44% approval. He scored the same in Colorado and Nevada, states that Obama flipped from the 2004 election, and 46% in New Mexico, a state Obama was able to win in 2008 and Al Gore took in 2000.

  31. Ametia says:


  32. Ametia says:

    Watch Live at 1 p.m. EDT: President Obama delivers a statement

    This afternoon at 1 p.m. EDT, the President will deliver a statement to the press in the State Dining Room. You can watch live at

  33. creolechild says:

    French Courts Orders Probe of IMF Head Lagarde
    2011-08-05 04:37

    Another court in another country but once again the case involves the Head of the International Monetary Fund. This time its Christine Lagarde – not her predecessor Dominique Strauss Kahn. A French court has backed a prosecutor’s request to investigate whether Lagarde’s abused her authority by approving of a massive compensation payment to a friend of President Nicolas Sarkozy. She was France’s Finance Minister at the time.

    Gerard Palisse is a senior member of the court….”I can’t give you the motivation or the contents of the decision as it’s not a public act, not a judgement that can be made public. But I would indicate to you simply and without any further details that it is a recommendation to a measure of investigation concerning Mrs Lagarde.”

    The case involves a 285 million euro payment to Bernard Tapie in 2008. It was paid after he claimed the former state-owned bank Credit Lyonnais defrauded him 15 years earlier when he sold his stake in the sports clothing business Adidas. The former left-wing government minister lost his case in 2006. A year later he switched political sides to support Sarkozy’s bid for the Presidency, and launched an appeal against the court’s decision. Lagarde overruled objections to drop the case. But there is no suggestion she profited personally and her lawyer says she has nothing to fear.


  34. creolechild says:

    NATO tankers ablaze in Pakistan.

    An explosion destroys twelve trucks and about a dozen containers carrying fuel and other supplies for NATO forces in neighboring Afghanistan at a terminal near the northwestern city of Peshawar. There are no reports of casualties. Police say they are investigating the incident.

    An eyewitness describes what he saw…”I was at my house. Around 8 p.m., a loud explosion was heard at our village. I rushed out of my house.Then I came to know that an explosion has taken place in the terminal at Ring road and a big fire has erupted.”

    Militants, battling Pakistani troops in the northwest, have frequently targeted NATO supplies that pass through Pakistan. Routes through Pakistan carry about 40 percent of supplies for NATO forces in Afghanistan.

  35. creolechild says:

    Australia’s PM Announces $19 Billion for Health Funding
    Gina Shakespeare, NTD News, Melbourne, Australia.
    2011-08-08 07:50

    Australia’s Prime Minister Julia Gillard has swept the carpet clean with a long overdue cash injection in health funding. She made the announcement that public hospitals will receive just over $19 billion over the next nine years. Julia Gillard, Prime Minister: “States and hospitals can reliably plan knowing that the Federal government will be there and be an equal partner in growth.”

    Ms. Gillard has entered into a Health Reform Agreement with each State and Territory. This overcomes the lengthy arguments over who gets what in terms of Federal support. She says that hospitals will be properly funded and the funding will be transparent and accountable….“What this new agreement means put simply, is more money, more beds, more services, more local control, greater accountability, less waste and less waiting times around the nation.”

    Complaints about hours of waiting in hospital emergency departments, the lack of staff and facilities are expected to reduce with the new reforms. Reforms in the health industry are also expected to improve Ms Gillard’s standing with voters. However, the Acting Opposition Leader Julie Bishop said “All that’s happened is that Julia Gillard has provided the States with more money, but with no guarantee of any reforms at all.”

  36. creolechild says:

    Thousands Rally for Peace in Yemen
    2011-08-06 06:33

    Tens of thousands took to the streets of Yemen’s Capitol City of Sanaa, determined to bring a peaceful end to their demand for the government to step down. Buntings and lights adorn Sanaa’s “Change Square” to mark the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. The square has been at the center of a sit-in for the past six months. But the festive atmosphere has not distracted the protesters from their goal–the ousting of President Ali Abdullah Saleh. The veteran leader is still in power – even though he is in Saudi Arabia, recovering from an attack on his palace in June.

    Waleed al-Amari, Protester: “This is our revolution, it has been blessed by God and it will not be crushed and the changing weather will not change anything. This revolution has started and it will not end. We will not accept a half revolution or be pushed backward–a half revolution is suicide and being pushed back is a betrayal to the blood of the martyrs. We will persist until victory.”

    President Saleh has backed out of a Gulf-brokered power transition plan three times. He has vowed to return to Yemen and lead a dialogue. In a Ramadan greeting to his countrymen, he reiterated the call to dialogue–but the opposition has ignored his offer, sticking to the streets.

  37. creolechild says:

    Riots Flare in London Against Police Violence
    by: Ravi Somaiya and Sarah Maslin Nir

    Anarchy gripped parts of London on Saturday night as hundreds of rioters and looters set entire buildings on fire, launched fireworks at police and ran unchallenged through the streets with armfuls of stolen goods. The riots began as a peaceful protest against the death of Mark Duggan, a 29-year-old man and father of four, who was killed Thursday in Tottenham by officers from the Trident unit of the Metropolitan Police, which investigates gun crime, according to the Independent Police Complaints Commission, an external government body which regulates the police. News reports suggested that around 300 people had gathered outside the local police station by early Saturday evening.

    But by 10:20 p.m. local time, the protest had turned violent. Two empty police cars were burned and officers were “subject to bottles and other missiles being thrown at them by the crowd,” according to a statement released by the police. Police said that eight officers had been hospitalized in clashes, one with head injuries. The BBC reported that ten other people had been treated for injuries and that nine had been taken to a hospital.

    By 3 a.m., it appeared that parts of the riot zone had spiraled out of police control. An enormous fire raged in a blocklong building, with no sign of police or fire department intervention, even while residents raced to drive their cars away as the building’s windows exploded and glass rained down on them. Giant fires raged in allies, unabated. As the sun rose over north London Sunday morning, several buildings in the Tottenham area were still on fire. The blackened wrecks of a double-decker bus and several cars smoldered, and the streets were littered with smashed glass and stolen goods.


  38. creolechild says:


    Refunds likely for some Bank of America debit card users
    Settlement on overdraft fees available after class-action suit
    Aug. 6, 2011, 12:02AM

    NEW YORK — If you had a Bank of America account with a debit card between January 2001 and May of this year, you may be due some cash. The nation’s largest bank has started contacting customers who may be entitled to refunds. It recently reached a class-action settlement over the way it charged overdraft fees. Other suits are working their way through court in Florida. Bank of America is setting up a $410 million fund to settle the overdraft suit.

    The bank is one of about three dozen named in a series of class-action lawsuits over the practice of “reordering.” A policy that became widespread in the 2000s, reordering involves deducting purchases from an account starting with the largest dollar amount first. That means a customer may end up paying additional overdraft fees. For instance, someone with an account balance of $95 and who made three purchases in one day, the first for $5, the next for $25 and the last for $75, would be charged two overdraft fees. The lawsuits say reordering was done to intentionally increase the number of overdraft fees collected. Banks took in about $39 billion in overdraft fees annually before the Federal Reserve put new rules in place last year.

    To inform customers that they may be eligible for a refund of some overdraft fees, Bank of America is sending postcards with a brief explanation of the settlement and the address of a website for information. Customers who are part of the class don’t need to do anything to receive a payment or account credit. They will automatically receive their money if the court approves the settlement at a hearing scheduled for Nov. 7. Any customers who do not want to be part of the settlement must act by Oct. 3 to opt out. That would allow them to go forward with legal actions on their own. More details are available at or at 800-372-2390.

  39. creolechild says:

    Despite rhetoric of homegrown energy, Colorado coal increasingly headed overseas
    By David O. Williams

    Republican lawmakers, at least in Colorado, are fond of pointing to America’s vast domestic fossil fuel reserves as a largely untapped means of ending the nation’s dependency on overseas energy imports. But there isn’t a lot of talk these days about getting other countries hooked on our homegrown power sources. “Let’s also develop coal, let’s also develop nuclear energy in this country, let’s develop our oil and our oil shale and do it in a responsible way,” Colorado 3rd Congressional District Rep. Scott Tipton said this spring, referring to the need to strip away federal regulations that are allegedly holding back domestic energy production so that America can curb its foreign oil addiction.

    Tipton’s district encompasses most of the state’s Western Slope, including the heart of Colorado’s coal country along the North Fork of the Gunnison River. That’s where the West Elk Mine is among several that helped produce 28.8 million tons of coal valued at $1 billion in 2009, according to the Colorado Mining Association. That’s a lot of domestic energy. Except when it’s not. According to the second-quarter earnings report for Arch Coal, the St. Louis, Mo., company that owns Colorado’s West Elk Mine, 2011 is expected to be a banner year – based at least in part on increasing overseas exports.

    “Second quarter average sales price increased slightly compared with the first quarter, reflecting a more favorable mix of customer shipments, including volumes destined for the eastern U.S. and for export out of the West Elk Mine in Colorado,” according to the report. That jibes with reports that Arch and Peabody Energy, which together mine about half the coal in the massive Powder River Basin of Wyoming, anticipated big jumps in exports to China, Japan, India and other booming Asian nations hungry for American coal.


    Read more:

  40. creolechild says:

    Who didn’t see THIS coming?

    Tavis Smiley Issues New Statement on Wells Fargo
    By Mary Kane

    As TWI has reported, Wells Fargo & Co. teamed up with talk show host and commentator Tavis Smiley for “Wealth Building” seminars in black neighborhoods beginning in 2005. A suit by the Illinois attorney general contends Wells used the seminars to market high-cost and risky subprime loans to minority borrowers.

    Smiley declined any comment for our story. On Friday, he told Richard Prince, author of the Maynard Institute’s “Journal-isms” column, that he has severed all ties with Wells Fargo until charges that the company unfairly steered African American borrowers into costly subprime mortgages are resolved. “I cut everything off with Wells Fargo,” Smiley told Prince. Prince noted that Smiley’s comments came as TWI’s story “circulated.”

    Today, Smiley has a new posting on his Website regarding his business relationship with Wells Fargo, saying that he severed his ties to the bank earlier this year, and not in recent days. In his latest statement, Smiley says he actually made that decision in “the first quarter of this year,” some time “shortly after the State of the Black Union” and announced it then in a statement he posted on his Website.

    The undated pdf file, which was not issued as a press release, notes that “Wells Fargo currently is not a sponsor of TSG or Tavis Smiley Foundation programs or events and will not be a sponsor for SOBU for 2010.” Wells had sponsored the State of the Black Union 2009, which was held on February 27-28. According to C-SPAN footage, Smiley lauded the bank at the symposium, telling the predominantly African American audience that “Wells Fargo is your financial action planning guide to every stage of life.” Later that day Smiley praised Wells Fargo for its generosity and said, “This conference is free this year because of Wells Fargo. Give them some love.”

    On Friday, Smiley told Prince that Wells Fargo sponsored Smiley’s radio show on Public Radio International, and underwrote the annual C-SPAN-televised “State of the Black Union” conference that Smiley organizes. Smiley’s foundation also distributed Wells Fargo materials to young people at foundation events, he told Prince. Smiley also said the move to end his relationship with Wells cost “a lot of money,” but he said he did not know how much. In the new statement, Smiley says that “I addressed this issue months ago with a statement on my website during the first quarter of this year when allegations against Wells Fargo first surfaced.”

    The NAACP filed suits against Wells Fargo and HSBC on March 13, alleging racial discrimination in lending. TWI cited Smiley’s earlier statement regarding his relationship with Wells in its story last week. Smiley has declined any additional comment.

  41. creolechild says:

    Quickie: Bill Halter may enter Arkansas congressional race
    Posted by GottaLaff

    Today’s Quickie:

    The GOP is scoffing at this, says Roll Call. But they scoff at everything the Dems do, so who gives a good goddamn (and yes, I’m getting progressively crankier as I watch this country sink into the vast teabagger-induced abyss):

    Former Arkansas Lt. Gov. Bill Halter (D) is pondering a bid to take on Rep. Tim Griffin (R) in the state’s 2nd district, according to a Democratic source in Little Rock. […] Halter took on then-Sen. Blanche Lincoln in the 2010 Democratic primary. With the help of national liberal interest groups, he raised more than $4.2 million during his short campaign.

    Remember that? Too bad he didn’t win that one. I bet the GOP scoffed then, too.

    That was today’s Quickie. Was it good for you?

  42. Ametia, I’m loving Barbara Streisand this morning. People is so beautiful!

    Big Up to Barbara for standing up and supporting our President.

  43. creolechild says:

    Doom Is Not Inevitable: Hope Is Out There, We Just Have to Work For It
    By Rebecca Solnit

    They may not make it into mainstream news, but hard working activists who understand that hope is not guaranteed continue to give us reasons to be optimistic. Recently, Nelson Mandela turned 93, and his nation celebrated noisily, even attempting to break the world record for the most people simultaneously singing “Happy Birthday.” This was the man who, on trial by the South African government in 1964, stood a good chance of being sentenced to be hanged by the neck until dead. Given life in prison instead, he was supposed to be silenced. Story over. You know the rest, though it wasn’t inevitable that he’d be released and become the president of a post-apartheid South Africa. Admittedly, it’s a country with myriad flaws and still suffers from economic apartheid, but who wouldn’t agree that it’s changed? Activism changed it; more activism could change it further.

    Meanwhile, Rupert Murdoch, who’d amassed a vast media empire, banked billions of dollars, and been listed by Forbes as the world’s 13th most powerful person, must have thought he had it made these past few decades. Now, his empire is crumbling and his crimes and corrosive influence (which were never exactly secret) are being examined by everyone. You never know what’ll happen next.


    Still, that wheel didn’t just turn. It took some good journalism — thank you, reporters of the Guardian! — to bring Murdoch to his knees. Just as it took some dedicated activism to break Mandela out of prison and overcome the apartheid era. Everything changes. Sometimes you have to change it yourself. Unpredictability is grounds for hope, though please don’t mistake hope for optimism. Optimism and pessimism are siblings in their certainty. They believe they know what will happen next, with one slight difference: optimists expect everything to turn out nicely without any effort being expended toward that goal. Pessimists assume that we’re doomed and there’s nothing to do about it except try to infect everyone else with despair while there’s still time.


    Read more:

  44. creolechild says:

    Can you hear us now? 4,500 East Coast Verizon workers strike

    NEW YORK — Thousands of Verizon Communications Inc. workers are on strike from Massachusetts to Washington, D.C., over labor issues. Dozens of people wearing red shirts and carrying signs have gathered outside Verizon’s headquarters in New York City on Sunday. They’re carrying signs saying they’re “on strike for middle-class jobs.” The company is asking for changes in their contract including employee contributions to health care.

    The 45,000 workers went on strike after their contract expired at midnight Saturday. That contract covers the company’s division that oversees landlines and Internet networks. Verizon is the nation’s largest wireless carrier, but the contract that expired covers workers in the company’s wireline division, which includes landline operations, services for businesses and governments and long-haul wholesale traffic. Talks in Philadelphia and New York stalled Saturday night after Verizon continued to demand more than 100 concessions from workers regarding health care, pensions and work rules, said the Communications Workers of America.

    CWA workers picketed at Verizon headquarters in New York City on Sunday morning, wearing red and holding signs with messages including “CWA on strike for middle-class jobs.” Mark C. Reed, Verizon’s executive vice president of human resources, called the outcome of the unions’ actions “regrettable” for customers and employees. “We will continue to do our part to reach a new contract that reflects today’s economic realities in our wireline business and addresses the needs of all parties,” he said in a statement.


    Read more:

  45. creolechild says:


    Overriding a Key Education Law

    Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has announced that he will unilaterally override the centerpiece requirement of the No Child Left Behind school accountability law, that 100 percent of students be proficient in math and reading by 2014. Arne Duncan, secretary of education, in 2009. He said the No Child Left Behind law was hurting efforts to improve schools. Mr. Duncan told reporters that he was acting because Congress had failed to rewrite the Bush-era law, which he called a “slow-motion train wreck.” He is waiving the law’s proficiency requirements for states that have adopted their own testing and accountability programs and are making other strides toward better schools, he said.

    The administration’s plan amounts to the most sweeping use of executive authority to rewrite federal education law since Washington expanded its involvement in education in the 1960s.
    Conservatives said it could inflame relations with Republicans in the House who want to reduce, not expand, the federal footprint in education. But Mr. Duncan and White House officials described their plan as offering crucial relief to state and local educators as the No Child law, which President George W. Bush signed in 2002, comes into increasing conflict with more recent efforts to raise academic standards. The law made its focus the use of standardized test scores in schools, particularly those serving minority students.

    “I can’t overemphasize how loud the outcry is for us to do something right now,” Mr. Duncan told reporters on Friday in a conference call that he said could not be reported until midnight Sunday. Melody Barnes, director of President Obama’s White House Domestic Policy Council, who joined Mr. Duncan in the announcement, said that all states would be encouraged to apply for waivers from the law’s accountability provisions, but that only states the administration believed were carrying out ambitious school improvement initiatives would get them. “This is not a pass on accountability,” Ms. Barnes said. “There will be a high bar for states seeking flexibility within the law.”


  46. creolechild says:

    E-Trade Baby Loses Everything…

  47. creolechild says:

    Black Tea Monday
    Posted by GottaLaff

    [Click on link to view chart.]

    Earlier the Dow was down 300. Tomorrow should be a fun day, huh? Or as my pal @Marnus3 called it, Black Tea Monday.

  48. creolechild says:

    Exclusive: S&P’s flub-filled draft press release

    Ahead of its downgrade of the U.S.’s AAA rating Friday night, Standard & Poor’s sent a draft press release — obtained by POLITICO — to the Treasury Department that afternoon that included several numerical errors, setting off a heated back-and-forth as officials tried to correct the credit firm’s work. The draft press release, according to POLITICO’s Morning Money, included projections that overestimated U.S. debt by $2 trillion. The initial projections were the general government debt-to-gross domestic product ratio would rise to 81 percent in 2015 and 93 percent by 2021.

    In the final release, those numbers were revised down to 79 percent and 85 percent, respectively. Treasury officials noted that the corrected numbers put U.S. debt in line with other AAA-rated nations, including the United Kingdom and France, arguing that the U.S. ratio won’t reach France’s level for a decade. The draft release had a bullet point about the debt-to-GDP ratio near the top of its release, but, with less grim numbers, pushed it lower in the final version that was released to the public, leading with concerns that “the effectiveness stability, and predictability of American policymaking and political institutions have weakened at a time of ongoing fiscal and economic challenge.”

    In an interview with NBC that aired Sunday night, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner blasted the decisions made by Standard & Poor’s. “I think S&P has shown really terrible judgment,” he said. “They have handled themselves very poorly and have showed a stunning lack of knowledge about basic U.S. fiscal budget math. And I think they drew exactly the wrong conclusion.”

    Read more:

  49. creolechild says:

    Lawmakers pushed to slash Florida oversight of Assisted Living Facilities
    Posted on Sunday, August 7, 2011, 7:30 am by Paddy

    I literally only read the first page of this and started crying. /throws up hands Where the f are the advocacy groups like AARP when this carp is going on? Much more at the link, if you can take it.

    When Sedrek Singleton, a career criminal with a violent past, checked into Nueva Vida assisted living facility, caretakers at the cluster of cottages in Miami-Dade never took steps to protect other residents. They never had to. Months after moving in, the 30-year-old man flew into a rampage, beating his roommate to death with a brick — nearly tearing off the disabled man’s ear — before bolting from his new home. The brutal assault came just weeks after Florida lawmakers rejected a bill that would have put the burden squarely on ALF owners to safeguard people in their homes when accepting residents with criminal histories.

    But the defeat in 2008 to bring more protections to vulnerable residents was just the beginning.
    Over the next three years, lawmakers rejected sweeping plans to toughen Florida’s ALF law — often at the urging of industry leaders — while stripping away enforcement powers that left hundreds of residents to fend for themselves in dangerous conditions. While frail residents were dying of abuse and neglect in ALFs across the state — nearly one a month — lawmakers pushed three dozen pieces of legislation since 2007 to cut crucial protections that had been in place for a generation.

  50. Ametia says:

    60 Minute repeat from April

  51. creolechild says:

    Tea Party’s Next Targets
    Posted by Paddy

    They’re not even pretending. Via Taegan-

    The Daily Beast reports 19 GOP congressional freshman met for dinner last week and “reveled in the satisfaction of knowing they had dramatically brought Washington to its knees.”

    “This ragtag band of proud obstructionists is already looking down the calendar to its next targets: blocking President Obama’s judicial and federal-agency nominations, radically restructuring Medicare and other entitlement programs, and maybe even killing the gasoline tax.”

  52. Ametia says:

    Explosive Jackie O tapes ‘reveal how she believed Lyndon B Johnson killed JFK and had affair with movie star’
    By Rachel Quigley and Liz Thomas
    Last updated at 1:37 PM on 8th August 2011

    Jackie Onassis believed that Lyndon B Johnson and a cabal of Texas tycoons were involved in the assassination of her husband John F Kennedy, ‘explosive’ recordings are set to reveal.
    The secret tapes will show that the former first lady felt that her husband’s successor was at the heart of the plot to murder him.
    She became convinced that the then vice president, along with businessmen in the South, had orchestrated the Dallas shooting, with gunman Lee Harvey Oswald – long claimed to have been a lone assassin – merely part of a much larger conspiracy.
    Texas-born Mr Johnson, who served as the state’s governor and senator, completed Mr Kennedy’s term and went on to be elected president in his own right.
    The tapes were recorded with leading historian Arthur Schlesinger Jnr within months of the assassination on November 22, 1963, and had been sealed in a vault at the Kennedy Library in Boston.

    The then Mrs Kennedy, who went on to marry Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis, had ordered that they should not be released until 50 years after her death, with some reports suggesting she feared that her revelations might make her family targets for revenge.

  53. rikyrah says:

    Earl Graves on the Importance of Black-Owned Media
    The Newest Member of the Advertising Hall of Fame on the ‘Paucity of Publications’ Reaching an Audience Hungry for Information

    There are definite advantages to publishing a magazine aimed at a black audience.

    That’s the opinion of Earl G. Graves Sr., the founder and publisher of Black Enterprise and one of this year’s inductees into the Advertising Hall of Fame.

    “Because there’s such a paucity of African-American magazines that are out there, I don’t think we are going to have the diminution that some of our fellow publishers might have,” Mr. Graves told me in a video interview. There’s Ebony and Jet, Black Enterprises and Essence (no longer African-American-owned).

    “And so there’s a paucity of publications that are really first class that are reaching an audience more and more hungry for information.” But, he added, that audience wasn’t always appreciated.

    “When I was first out selling Black Enterprise, I had people that would ask me, ‘What black business class?’ and they would ask me, ‘What black professionals?’ And I actually had people tell me in the very beginning that they didn’t want to associate their brand with the African-American market.”

    But some advertisers signed up. Mr. Graves told Fortune Small Business in 2003 that Black Enterprise’s first long-term advertiser, Carter Products, wrote a check for a full year of ads before the magazine hit newsstands. Carter’s Little Liver Pills, Mr. Graves said, “were supposed to be so effective that even after you died your liver would still be flapping around and you’d have to beat it to death with a stick. In that first year we had $900,000 in ad revenues, and the magazine was profitable by its tenth issue.”

    And on the race-relations front, progress was being made. At the Hall of Fame dinner, Bill Cosby was presented the President’s Award for Special Lifetime Contributions to Advertising. “What Bill Cosby did was to convince all of America to like Jell-O. And now we have an African-American president. And that’s not to say that Jell-O had anything to do with making Mr. Obama president, but the environment was there in order to let that happen,” Mr. Graves observed.

    So compared to what he encountered back in the ’70s, when he started Black Enterprise, “we’re making enormous progress in this country. … I never really, quite honestly, thought that we would see an African-American president in my lifetime. I was thrilled to be able to contribute to his campaign,” he said.

    Mr. Graves has built an impressive media operation. In addition to the magazine, the family business includes a book-publishing house (he wrote the best-seller “How to Succeed in Business Without Being White”), two syndicated TV shows and business and lifestyle events. He also co-founded a private-equity fund with Citigroup to invest in minority businesses.

    So does he see the day when he would align himself with a larger publisher? “Not at this time. These are very tough times, I want to be very clear. And were it not for the other entities we’re involved in, it would be difficult. The events that we have. The internet, which obviously is a big thing and which my son is still explaining to me how it works, in terms of why it will make the money that he thinks it will.” (Mr. Graves has three sons in the business.)

  54. rikyrah says:

    Not here for your entertainment
    by Ol’ Dirty DougJ

    Joe Klein writes:

    A lot of us have been picking around the edges of the problem of Obama’s curiously unsatisfying presidency…

    I’d take issue with the “unsatisfying” part—ACA and DADT repeal were huge victories in my book—but I take even more with the “curious” part. There’s nothing particularly mysterious about 9 percent unemployment and a Republican Congressmen that admits it takes hostages. Klein comes out later and says that what he means is that Obama hasn’t made Klein’s mythical regular Murkins feel good. What he really means is that he hasn’t made Klein himself feel good.

    Last season on “Mad Men”:

    Don Draper: It’s your job. I give you money, you give me ideas.
    Peggy Olson: And you never say thank you.
    Don: That’s what the money is for!

    That’s how I feel about all this “the president needs to make us feel good” stuff—that’s what the policies decisions are for! People feel bad because the economy sucks. No amount of pounding the bully pulpit or playing “Signed, Sealed, and Delivered” and other boomer-friendly hits is going to change that, just as no amount of half-assed “thank you” makes up for being underpaid.

    We heard this shit with Clinton too—he’s not living up to his potential, people don’t trust him, etc. A few years of 4% unemployment made him so popular that people had to shut about it eventually, but it went on for most of his presidency.

    I also think of this quote from Kareem in “Airplane”:

    Tell your old man to drag Walton and Lanier up and down the court for 48 minutes.

    Tell Joe Klein to try to make everyone smile while Eric Cantor and Mitch McConnell try to blow up the economy. Why not focus the criticism on the kidnappers rather than the insufficiently cheer-making negotiators?

  55. rikyrah says:

    August 08, 2011 8:00 AM

    The meaning of the word ‘compromise’

    By Steve Benen

    There were a few noteworthy exchanges on the Sunday morning shows, but the most amusing quote came from Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R) of Utah, who appeared on ABC’s “This Week” roundtable.

    Host Christiane Amanpour, of course, explored the S&P downgrade decision in some detail, which led Chaffetz, a right-wing lawmaker and likely U.S. Senate candidate, to talk about “compromise.”

    CHAFFETZ: Both sides have to be willing to come to the table and do things they don’t want to do for there to be a compromise. That’s what happens in divided government. And what didn’t happen before was that willingness.

    AMANPOUR: But you and the Tea Party don’t like compromise, right?

    CHAFFETZ: We have actually done a lot of compromising. Remember, it was the Tea Party that really spurred — I was the primary sponsor of “Cut, Cap, and Balance.”

    Steve Rattner, who oversaw the auto industry rescue for the Obama administration, felt compelled to interject. “Wait a minute,” he said. “‘Cut, Cap, and Balance’ was not a compromise.”

    Chaffetz replied, “Yes, it was,” and then changed the subject.

    It’s not uncommon in casual conversation for someone to jokingly say they don’t know the meaning of a word. (“‘Quit’? I don’t know the meaning of the word ‘quit.’”) It’s not meant to be taken literally.

    But in this case, it appears a congressman went on national television, kept using the word “compromise,” and really didn’t know what it meant.

    In case Chaffetz is curious, let’s go ahead and set the record straight.

    Before the debt-ceiling agreement was reached, Democrats, in general, wanted Congress to do what it’s done 89 times in the last 72 years: pass a clean bill. After Republicans refused, Dems came up with a series of alternative plans that, they hoped, might make GOP officials happy. They weren’t what Democrats wanted, but they were looking to strike a compromise by accepting concessions to satisfy GOP demands. Each plan has included massive spending cuts; some plans have included entitlement cuts; and every plan has tried to achieve “balance” by featuring far more cuts than revenue.

    And then there was the “Cut, Cap, and Balance” measure. This was a plan that would have immediately taken $100 billion out of the U.S. economy, eliminating thousands of jobs in the process, en route to trillions more in additional cuts. It would have made draconian cuts to key public priorities, including education, infrastructure, and energy. It would have gutted Social Security and Medicare, and made it almost impossible for any Congress to ever raise taxes on anyone ever again. It went out of its way to protect tax cuts for the very wealthy, while targeting the most vulnerable. It doesn’t even do an effective job of reducing the deficit, its ostensible point.

    This wasn’t an attempt on the part of conservative Republicans to make Dems happy; it was an attempt on the part of conservative Republicans to make themselves happy.

    No sane person could perceive this as a credible way to strike a bipartisan compromise. What’s more, if this is what far-right lawmakers perceive as a plan intended to win over Democrats, it should be abundantly clear to everyone exactly why the traditional give and take of American politics is broken.

  56. rikyrah says:

    August 08, 2011 9:00 AM

    Boehner pretends he isn’t Speaker of the House

    By Steve Benen

    Perhaps my favorite GOP response to the downgrade announcement came from the Speaker of the House.

    Said House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio): “Democrats who run Washington remain unwilling to make the tough choices required to put America on solid ground.” He quoted the S&P report as saying that reforming entitlement programs is necessary, but he did not mention its discussion of the potential need for new tax revenue.

    This is almost beautiful, in a comedic sort of way.

    First, S&P blamed Boehner’s hostage strategy for the downgrade, so Boehner trying to shift the blame elsewhere is cheap and cowardly. Second, Dems were willing to make all kinds of “tough choices,” but found Boehner was too weak to persuade his own caucus to compromise.

    But that’s just routine nonsense. What I especially enjoyed is the notion that, from Boehner’s perspective, Democrats “run Washington.”

    I’ve noticed the Speaker has referenced that wording a few times recently, so I checked Boehner’s own website to see how many times the Speaker’s office has used the phrase. I found over 3,000 results. For a guy who’s only been Speaker for seven months, it suggests this is a phrase Boehner absolutely loves.

    There is, however, one small problem, which Boehner may have lost sight of: he’s the elected Speaker of the House of Representatives. He was able to become Speaker because Republicans enjoy a House majority.

    And if Republicans enjoy a House majority, it necessarily means Democrats don’t “run Washington.”

    This need not be complicated. When Boehner goes to work, does he see the Secret Service agents around him? Does he notice where it says “Speaker of the House” above the door he walks through? Does he realize when President Obama negotiates with him, it’s not because the president enjoys Boehner’s company?

    Obviously, I get the point of the little rhetorical exercise. Washington is unpopular, so Boehner wants voters to blame the party that “runs” things in DC. But as rhetorical games go, this one is just pathetic, even by GOP standards.

    • Ametia says:

      Boehner won’t be speaker for long. Interestingly enough, I was listening to NPR last week, and they had some folks on disgusting the debt ceiling debacle. The guest was asked if Boehner was in trouble with his caucus and voters. The guest said, doubtful, as folks don’t really know who Boehner is. SMGDH. This dumb fucks really think we believe this shit! NPR is going down fast with it’s right wing slanted drivel.

  57. rikyrah says:

    August 08, 2011 8:30 AM

    No contest

    By Steve Benen

    It’s probably only natural that, in the wake of Friday night’s downgrade announcement, the relevant political players would start holding their rivals accountable. But in this case, if reality has any meaning at all, the debate on this would be brief.

    Putting aside, at least for now, whether Standard & Poor’s has the credibility to make such assessments, it’s worth emphasizing the extent to which the agency pointed the finger at congressional Republicans. It not only directly attributed blame to the GOP hostage strategy of the past few months, it lamented the very idea of allowing “the statutory debt ceiling and the threat of default” to “become political bargaining chips in the debate over fiscal policy,” before complaining that “the majority of Republicans in Congress continue to resist any measure that would raise revenues.”

    The chairman of S&P’s sovereign ratings committee freely admitted that the downgrade decision was “motivated” by the Republicans’ debt-ceiling hostage strategy. A National Journal analysis concluded, “[I]t’s hard to read the S&P analysis as anything other than a blast at Republicans.”

    And here’s how Republican presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann interpreted all of this.

    “The president’s refusal to remove Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner shows the president has no plan to restore the AAA credit rating to the United States of America,” Bachmann said. “The president is not listening to the people of this country, nor is he providing the leadership that is necessary to bring about economic recovery.”

    Just let that sink in for a moment. Bachmann’s tactics contributed to the downgrade decision, and Bachmann blames … Tim Geithner. It’s tempting to note how much choots-pah it takes to be this shameless.

    But before anyone assumes that Bachmann is just a bizarre caricature, keep in mind that the larger phenomenon is widespread: the downgrade right-wing Republicans caused is leading right-wing Republicans to blame the White House.

    Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), the surprisingly unintelligent freshman senator, said the developments “provide further evidence that President Obama’s agenda has been a disaster for our economy.” Among right-wing activists, the argument is the downgrade happened during the Obama presidency, which necessarily means it’s Obama’s fault.

    This is obviously an Alice-in-Wonderland-style farce, though I assume many Americans will believe it, and the media will parrot it as part of the “both sides are always to blame for everything” coverage.

    But for those who take reality at all seriously, it’s rare to be able to draw such a clear line, linking one party’s recklessness to an awful result. That Republicans are denying responsibility for their mess should exacerbate the severity of this scandal, at least if there were any justice.

  58. rikyrah says:

    August 07, 2011
    A staggering false equivalency
    Kudos to the NY Times’ Frank Bruni for having won, through a preposterousness that staggers, this week’s Asinine Equivalence Award:

    We all have our religions…. And if yours isn’t a balanced-budget amendment and a [lean] government … it might well be a big fat binge of Keynesian stimulus spending. Liberals think magically, too, becoming so attached to a certain approach that they wind up advocating it less as option than as panacea.

    So in Bruni’s Big Book of Journalistic Balance, the balanced budget amendment currently being touted by a frightfully mutant breed of economus ignoramus, such as Sen. Jim DeMint and Rep. Joe Walsh — an amendment described in running commentaries by a former Reagan/H.W. Bush official as “idiotic,” “dimwitted,” “insane,” “stupid,” “shameful,” “dopey,” “dumb,” “absurd,” “irresponsible,” “contemptible,” “silly,” “juvenile,” “ignorant” and “immature” — not only can but should be lumped with 80 years of empirical Keynesianism: just more “magical thinking.”

    I submit that there is greater empirical evidence to support the plucky insurgents of the Flat Earth Society than there is to mitigate the wholesale imbecility of straitjacketing government in the crippling absence of aggregate demand; yet Bruni breazily asserts the latter as commensurate with an economic school of historically and impressively verifiable efficacy.

    What’s more, there is nothing intrinsically liberal — that is, nothing intrinsically ideological, and certainly nothing magical — about the material effects of increased government spending in an economic slump. They just are. They are provable, trackable, tangible. In a liberal’s execution of a Keynesian recovery, 2 and 2 still equal 4; in a conservative’s execution, with all other variables being the same, they do not somehow equal 3.9. The multiplier effect under Eisenhower was similarly unaware of, and thus unaffected by, the president’s political label; and the stimulus of 2009 never knew that Congressional Republicans opposed it.

    Ah, but those awful, resulting deficits, conservatives counter — ideologically. In the short run, they’re correct. In the longer run, they’re actually arguing against lower deficits. Cornell economist Robert Frank, appearing on MSNBC a few days ago, explained the ABCs of Keynesianism’s long game:

    When we have so many millions out of work, the losses from the output they don’t produce are 10 times the size of the interest we paid on last year’s deficit…. It’s just an order of magnitude, greater loss to allow people to remain unemployed than it is to take steps that would get them back on the job.

    A tax-paying, deficit-reducing, confidence-building job, which appreciates not a solitary element of its “ideological” creation.

    The amusing irony of Bruni’s column? Its larger point is that “To get us out of this mess, we need a full range of extant remedies, a tireless search for new ones and the nimbleness and open-mindedness to evaluate progress dispassionately.” In other words, to break free of the old passions of ideological politics and, we should add, false journalistic equivalencies that only amplify the intellectual slavery of ideological entrenchment.

  59. rikyrah says:

    Video Shows Teens Driving Over Black Man

    On a recent Sunday morning just before dawn, two carloads of white teenagers drove to Jackson, Mississippi, on what the county district attorney says was a mission of hate: to find and hurt a black person.

    In a parking lot on the western side of town they found their victim.

    James Craig Anderson, a 49-year-old auto plant worker, was standing in a parking lot, near his car. The teens allegedly beat Anderson repeatedly, yelled racial epithets, including “White Power!” according to witnesses.

    Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith says a group of the teens then climbed into their large Ford F250 green pickup truck, floored the gas, and drove the truck right over Anderson, killing him instantly.

    Mississippi officials say it was a racially motivated murder. What the gang of teens did not know was that a surveillance camera was focused on the parking lot that night, and many of the events, including the actual murder of Anderson, were captured live on videotape.

    CNN has exclusively obtained that surveillance tape. The group of teens that night was led by 18-year-old Deryl Dedmon, Jr., of Brandon, Mississippi, according to police and officials.

    “This was a crime of hate. Dedmon murdered this man because he was black,” said Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith. “The evidence will show that.”

    Asked if there could be any doubt whether the intent was to actually hurt and kill a black person, Smith responded: “No doubt about it. They were going out to look for a black victim to assault, and in this case, even kill.”

    Dedmon led and instigated the attack from early in the evening, he took part in the beating of Anderson, and Dedmon was also the actual driver of the Ford 250 truck that would serve as the murder weapon, according to officials.

    As the teens were partying and drinking miles away from Jackson that night, in largely white Rankin County, Dedmon told friends they should leave, saying “let’s go fuck with some niggers,” according to law enforcement officials.

    Then, the gang of teens climbed into Dedmon’s green truck and a white SUV Cherokee, and drove 16 miles down Interstate 20, to the western edge of Jackson, a predominantly black area.

    The teens would have seen Anderson immediately as they exited the highway, as the parking lot where he was standing is just beside the exit ramp.

    “This is the first business that you get to coming off the highway and so that was the first person that was out here and vulnerable,” said district attorney Smith.

    On the videotape, obtained and reviewed by CNN, the group of teens is seen pulling into the parking lot, and stopping where Anderson is standing, though he is just off camera and not visible.

    The teens can then be seen going back and forth between their cars and Anderson. Witnesses told law enforcement officials this is when the repeated beatings of Anderson took place.

    Dedmon pummeled Anderson repeatedly as he crumpled to the street, according to officials, though this is not visible in the videotape. Finally, after the beating some of the teens left and some got into the green truck.

    At this moment on the video, Anderson becomes visible, as he staggered into view and walked towards the headlights of the truck. The truck suddenly surges ahead, running over Anderson, then continuing at high speed away from the scene.

    Shortly after he allegedly drove the truck over Anderson, Dedmon allegedly boasted and laughed about the killing, according to testimony given by some of the teens to detectives.

    “I ran that nigger over,” Dedmon allegedly said in a phone conversation to the teens in the other car.

    He repeated the racial language in subsequent conversations, according to the law enforcement officials.

    “He was not remorseful he was laughing, laughing about the killing,” said district attorney Smith.

    Later that morning, James Craig Anderson’s family learned their 49-year-old brother and son died in a hit and run. Only later, when witness statements were taken did they learn the real horror.

    “It appears there is no doubt that this was a racially motivated killing,” said Winston Thompson, the attorney representing Anderson’s family. “The family is still in shock still in disbelief.”

    Smith and officials in the Hinds County District Attorney’s office say they plan to indict Dedmon for murder and a hate crime.

    Read more:

  60. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everybody! :-)

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