Friday Open Thread

GQ was an American group, formed in 1978 in The Bronx, New York, primarily noted for its success in disco music and R&B. The core membership of the group commenced playing professionally, under different group names, as of 1968.

GQ was first formed in 1968 as a quartet called Sabu & the Survivors, with “Sabu” being a moniker of member Keith Crier. The group then evolved in the 1970s as The Rhythm Makers, playing primarily funk music. The Rhythm Makers were composed of Emanuel Rahiem Leblanc (lead vocals and rhythm guitar), Keith “Sabu” Crier (bass and vocals),[1] Herb Lane (keyboards and vocals) and Kenny Banks (drums and vocals). The group released one album, Soul On Your Side in 1976, from which the group had one major international dancefloor hit, “Zone”. At the time that Kenny Banks left The Rhythm Makers and was replaced by Paul Service in 1978, the group’s manager suggested that the group name be changed to “GQ”, which stood for “good quality”.

Can you shimmy, watusi, do the jerk, tighten up, mashed potatoes, twist, funky chicken, hustle, cabbabe patch, running man, electric slide, Texas two step? Want to learn a few steps of the oldies but goodies? Stay with 3 Chics this week, as we get down with it. don’t hurt yourselves, now!

About SouthernGirl2

A Native Texan who adores baby kittens, loves horses, rodeos, pomegranates, & collect Eagles. Enjoys politics, games shows, & dancing to all types of music. Loves discussing and learning about different cultures. A Phi Theta Kappa lifetime member with a passion for Social & Civil Justice.
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53 Responses to Friday Open Thread

  1. Ametia says:

    Jon Huntsman gets the Vogue treatment
    By Beth Marlowe, Updated: Friday, August 19, 12:16 PM
    Vogue magazine loves to profile political players, and Republican presidential hopeful Jon Huntsman gets the full, glossy treatment in the September issue.

    In an article dubbed “Jon Huntsman: The Outsider,” reporter Jacob Weisberg goes on the campaign trail and down memory lane with Huntsman and his family, portraying the former Utah governor and Obama’s ambassador to China as the moderate of the 2012 Republican presidential field.

    The in-depth profile come complete with Annie Leibovitz photographs, one a sun-dappled photo featuring Huntsman with his wife and six of his seven children striding lithely through a grassy field, and another of Huntsman in a wood-paneled room peering into the camera with the intense, quizzical gaze that Weisberg explains thusly:

    “His left eyebrow is pitched slightly lower than the other, and the eye below it has a slight squint. This gives him a perpetual expression of thoughtful engagement, the look of someone listening intently to what others are saying.”

    Weisberg, who is better known as the editor-in-chief of the Slate Group, one of The Washington Post’s sister companies, also explains that President Obama may have sent Huntsman, who was then the governor of Utah, to China as the Obama administration’s ambassador in part to keep him from running in 2012.

  2. rikyrah says:

    August 19, 2011
    ‘So what happens now?’
    Ezra Klein interviewed Noble-laureate economist Michael Spence and says of the transcript, “If you read only one part of it, read the final question.” One can see why.

    E.K.: So what happens now?

    M.S.: Some leader is going to have to stand up at some point and say we really need to spend money putting people back to work, period. And that’s going to mean sacrifices on the part of the people who are working. We’re trying right now to keep our lifestyles going, and it’s not really working, but the way we’re doing it is putting all the burden on the unemployed while trying to leave the employed untouched. Eventually, this is going to require a redistribution of that burden.

    There ends the interview. I don’t wish to put words in Prof. Spence’s mouth, but I reasonably gather that by a redistribution of burdens he means not only the expiration of George W. Bush’s upper-end tax cuts, but the expiration of them all. And I imagine the older, upper-end bracket will someday far exceed the roughly 40 percent range. Also to come, once political sanity is regained, will be a hefty estate tax, the termination of unearned-income taxes of only 15 percent, and a sweeping away of heaps of costly tax expenditures.

    Permit my utopian side free rein for just a moment longer. In addition to the above, massive investments in education, K through grad school; and single-payer healthcare to end the extravagant madness of for-profit insurance. Defense cuts of at least 50 percent, which would still leave the United States with about three times what the People’s Republic of China spends (no kidding). New Deal regulation of Wall Street. Near 100 percent unionization of workers. A Constitutional amendment banning outside money in politics, and the repeal of the 22nd Amendment (which would have barred FDR from a third term, as it now does a Barack Obama).

    Finally, George Will ends his “This Week” appearances and goes into stand-up comedy. The intriguing part will come in seeing if anyone notices the change.

  3. Ametia says:


    Jon Huntsman Goes ‘Crazy’
    Aug 19, 2011 1:58 PM EDT The presidential candidate caused a Twitter explosion by acknowledging the existence of global warming. Jill Lawrence on whether that is an unforgivable heresy in today’s GOP

    Jon Huntsman has finally cut through the din to get noticed, and how he accomplished this is notable in two ways. One, he did it through Twitter. And two, he expressed views that are completely unremarkable—except in a Republican presidential primary.

    The former Utah governor and Obama administration envoy to China has been the forgotten man in the race, far more so than the aggrieved Ron Paul. That has changed, at least temporarily, with Huntsman’s Thursday tweet: “To be clear. I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy.”

    No one missed the context, since Huntsman flung his revolutionary sentiments into the media mix the same day that Rick Perry conveyed deep skepticism about both evolution and global warming. And just like that, the forgotten man was an online sensation: Most retweets of any candidate for president this year; doubled traffic on his campaign website Thursday; 5,500 new Twitter followers as of Friday morning; surpassed Mitt Romney on the “Klout” scale of social-networking influence; and continuing buzz on both cable and “the twitters.” Huntsman also is a guest Sunday on ABC’s This Week—a booking that preceded his Twitter moment, but which certainly will allow him to capitalize on it.

  4. rikyrah says:

    Too Bad for Huffington Post, but the “Dumbest Motherfuckers in the World” are Fighting Back
    have to thank rootless for noticing and posting here about the Huffington Post article on the OFA state director of New Mexico sending out my article on the debt ceiling deal. The author of the Huffpo article, Amanda Terkel, choose a curious headline for her piece: “Obama Campaign Staffer Sends Out Email Bashing Paul Krugman And The ‘Firebagger Lefty Blogosphere’ ” – which is marginally better than its previous version, in which she accused me of calling Krugman a Firebagger. I pointed out the fact that I have never directly called Krugman a Firebagger in an email to Terkel, and she, to her credit, clarified the lede.

    But I digress. Terkel’s choice of the headline is curious, and not the least because my article on the debt ceiling, titled Paul Krugman is a Political Rookie. Or How Barack Obama Left John Boehner Holding the Teabag, Again., is actually primarily about the political (and policy) merits of the debt ceiling deal. And I expect that is the reason OFA’s New Mexico state director Ray Sandoval sent it to supporters. But of course, you can always expect the Huffington Post – a corporate media outlet sold for a cool $315 million in cash and at the cost of 200 American jobs lost – to pick up on the poutrage and not concentrate on the merits. No surprises there.

    Incidentally, nor is the article, contrary to Terkel’s claims, about “bashing” Paul Krugman. Here’s what I said:

    Paul Krugman is a political rookie. At least he is when compared to President Obama.

    That’s a fact. Paul Krugman is a political rookie, compared to President Obama. I don’t think even Paul Krugman would dispute that fact. If anyone would like to claim that Paul Krugman is better experienced and more knowledgeable about how things work in the political world than the first African American president of the United States, they are welcome to make their case, but I don’t think they’d get anywhere.

    At this point, I would be remiss if I did not say a word of thanks to Ray Sandoval for picking up on the article and getting the message out – I am grateful!

    But Terkel did get something right. I mean, you know, credit where credit is due. She patiently explains to her readers – who I suppose she assumes are even more political novices than Krugman – what the term firebagger could possibly mean.

    Firebagger” is most likely a combined reference to the liberal blog FireDogLake, founded by Jane Hamsher, and “Tea Bagger,” a less-than-flattering term for Tea Party activists.

    Almost right. So close. Except FireDogLake is not a liberal blog. It’s a Pseudo-Left-Libertarian extremist ideologue blog. But other than that, on the money. Why, yes, Sherlock, Firebagger is a term that combines FDL’s hair-on-fire ridiculousness with Teabaggers (for example, opposing things just because President Obama supports them) – whom the FDL rah-rah types act like, only from the Left. It’s a characterization that fits them perfectly – they are more interested in tearing things down than building a country up, more interested in ideological podium-pounding than pragmatic solutions. The bagger (both tea and fire) mentality is the reason our politics is in a rut. If one side was busy spreading hatred and propaganda to increase wingnut turnout, the other (firebaggers) side was busy spreading hatred and propaganda to subdue Democratic turnout. Oh, also, as John Cole points out, it’s a name the Firebaggers gave themselves.

    By the way, can someone please tell me why criticism of whiners and Krugman is cause for clawing the chalkboard from Huffington Post, but the constant propagandist bashing of President Obama never gets a critical eye from the same folks?

    Speaking of Firebaggers, her Majesty the Highness of FDL, Jane Hamsher, picked up on Terkel’s article and went nuts with it. You know, the usual.

    By the way, Ms. Terkel, you seem very upset about the OFA state director in New Mexico sending out an email pointing out the political and policy merits of the debt ceiling deal, an article that also calls out the firebaggers, but for some reason I cannot find our outrage article about Jane Hamsher – the Firebagger in Chief – calling Obama supporters the “dumbest motherfuckers in the world.” Am I missing something or is your reporting just not objective?

    Let me send a message to Huffington Post, FDL, and all the ideologue havens in the Firebagger Lefty Blogosphere (that’s right, I said it again): You have been propagating your anti-progressive, pro-dysfunction political message without accountability for too long. In President Obama’s words, Enough! Count on us in the pragmatic progressive blogosphere to stand up and fight back. You do not represent progressivism or liberalism, and we are done letting you hijack it. You wanted a fight, didn’t you? Well, you got one.

  5. rikyrah says:

    Political AnimalBlog
    August 19, 2011 3:30 PM

    ‘Goofy and wrong’

    By Steve Benen

    Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) has an idea on how to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan.

    America’s foreign policy would be different if the U.S. was energy independent and its economy was growing again, he said.

    “The best way to get us out of Afghanistan is to grow our economy, change the regulations, have a vibrant, growing America where people are afraid to come against us,” Coburn said.

    I’m trying to wrap my head around this one. If only we got rid of those pesky “regulations” — Coburn didn’t say which ones, but he’s apparently not a fan of the Clean Air Act — then the economy would thrive. And once we experience a robust recovery, America’s foes would simply cower. Terrorists, presumably, would say, “We don’t dare strike against a country with 5% GDP and lots of pollution!”

    And this will, of course, allow the U.S. to withdraw from Afghanistan that much more effectively because, well, just because.

    Jamison Foser added, “Coburn’s attempt to link leaving Afghanistan with reducing government regulations that have nothing to do with the military is certainly a novel approach: Coburn is essentially saying that U.S. troops should stay in harm’s way until he is able to enact his unrelated domestic agenda. And in light of his view that a vibrant, growing economy will cause people to be ‘afraid to come against us,’ one wonders whether Coburn remembers the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, which came immediately following the longest economic expansion in American history.”

    Earlier this week, Coburn told his constituents President Obama loves his country, but his ideas are “goofy and wrong.”

    Between Coburn and Obama, I think “goofy and wrong” applies pretty well to one of them, but I’ll give you a hint: it’s not the president.

  6. Ametia says:


  7. rikyrah says:

    Political AnimalBlog
    August 19, 2011 12:45 PM

    Crisis on the courts

    By Steve Benen

    As the Senate wrapped up business before its August break, magnanimous Republicans graciously allowed the chamber to briefly function, approving four of President Obama’s judicial nominees. Senate Democrats hoped to move on 20 other judges — all of whom enjoyed bipartisan support in the Judiciary Committee — but the GOP Senate minority refused. All of those 20 were qualified jurists, but Republicans didn’t care.

    From time to time, it’s worth remembering that among DC’s many political crises, the vacancies on the federal judiciary rank pretty high. The Washington Post editorial board recently got this largely right.

    There are 88 federal court vacancies, and five judges have announced their plans to retire. Mr. Obama was woefully slow in sending up nominations early in his term, nominating only 34 in 2009. But he has picked up the pace, with 71 nominations in 2010 and 50 so far this year. Yet the Senate has confirmed just 35 Obama judicial nominees this year — with only three for the courts of appeals. The responsibility for lingering vacancies now lies primarily with Capitol Hill. […]

    The gamesmanship is not only frustrating but also destructive. The lives of nominees and their families are put on hold. Cases grind to a halt and expenses for litigants soar as even relatively simple matters take an inordinate amount of time to resolve. The legitimacy of the courts is undermined. Stephen Zack, president of the American Bar Association, put it well in a recent letter urging Senate leaders to move expeditiously on filling empty judicial slots that “create strains that will inevitably reduce the quality of our justice system and erode public confidence in the ability of the courts to vindicate constitutional rights or render fair and timely decisions.”

    The White House also appears to be taking this at least a little more seriously, today unveiling an interesting “infographic” that highlights the diversity of Obama’s nominees, and reminds us about the broken confirmation process. This part of the image, comparing the obstructionism against other modern presidents, was of particular interest:

    It’s a little tough to see (click on the image for a larger view), but note that the average wait time for a Bush circuit court nominee was 29 days. For Obama, it’s 151 days.

    For many, especially in the media, there’s a sense that the obstructionism we’re seeing is just routine political wrangling — Dems do this to GOP presidents, Republicans do this to Democratic presidents. Nothing to see here.

    This perception is demonstrably wrong. Obama’s judicial nominees are being blocked at a level unseen in American history. This isn’t just denying an elected president an opportunity to leave his mark on the judiciary; these delays are literally undermining the nation’s system of justice.

    • Ametia says:

      This obstruction is criminal. I’m still highly pissed at the missed opportunity for Goodwin Liu to serve as an Obama nominee. Good move on Cali. Governor Jerry Brown, though.

  8. rikyrah says:

    Political AnimalBlog
    August 19, 2011 1:10 PM

    Cantor eyes end of stimulus ‘discussions’

    By Steve Benen

    This week, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) sent a letter to his caucus, urging them to avoid budget brinkmanship when lawmakers return in September, suggesting Republicans don’t have much of an appetite for another showdown over a government shutdown. But that’s not the only thing Cantor said in the letter.

    Reader F.B. flagged another tidbit that’s especially relevant right now.

    [Cantor] blamed Obama’s policies for harming the economy, and invoked President Franklin Roosevelt, whom he said had lengthened and deepened the Great Depression with some of his decisions.

    To help reduce uncertainty, Cantor said the GOP will focus on ending regulations and “stopping the discussions of new stimulus spending.”

    The Majority Leader is frighteningly confused about the basics of economic policy, which certainly does not bode well for the nation’s economic future.

    The White House message to Cantor and his GOP colleagues will be pretty straightforward: both sides can get what they want out of an economic plan. Democrats can get short-term economic growth and job creation with common-sense measures that have traditionally enjoyed bipartisan support, and Republicans can get long-term debt reduction with changes to the tax code and entitlement “reforms.”

    The results would give the economy a boost, demonstrate that the American political system can still function, reassure investors and global markets, and probably even improve the public standing for both parties. It’s an approach that economists, financial experts, and business leaders from both parties consider painfully obvious.

    And yet, there’s the dimwitted House Majority Leader, blaming FDR for making the Depression worse and telling his caucus “stopping the discussions of new stimulus spending” is a top Republican priority.

    America can’t thrive if Republicans won’t let it.

  9. rikyrah says:

    August 19, 2011 2:00 PM

    ‘A disregard for the facts’

    By Steve Benen

    Greta Van Susteren raised an argument on Fox News that the network’s viewers don’t usually hear: Tea Partiers are careless when it comes to the facts.

    “You know, I see a lot of good, hard-working Americans who are in the Tea Party movement. And then, you know, from time to time, I see things like, you know, today, I wrote on Gretawire a blog [post] about what’s going on within the Tea Party movement to Senator Orrin Hatch. I mean, he’s getting attacking by a small portion of the Tea Party movement for not being Tea Party-ish enough, and it fundamentally goes around the balanced budget amendment, which is the mantra of the Tea Party movement.

    “But if you do a little research, Senator Orrin Hatch going back to 1979 in the U.S. Senate was pushing a balanced budget amendment. Yet some of these people in the Tea Party movement won’t recognize it. They won’t look at the facts and they go after him. So it’s, like, even within the Tea Party movement, there is, you know, there’s a disregard for the facts.”

    TPM has a video of the comments.

    Now, those who’ve paid any attention to American politics lately surely know that the Tea Party crowd isn’t especially concerned with pesky facts. Greta Van Susteren wasn’t exactly breaking new ground.

    What was different is that Fox News has partnered with the so-called “movement” since its inception, making on-air criticism like this rather unusual.

    We apparently know what it takes for Fox News personalities to criticize the Tea Party crowd: far-right activists have to go after a Republican the network likes.

  10. rikyrah says:

    Bachmann the Liar
    by BooMan
    Fri Aug 19th, 2011 at 02:13:43 PM EST

    The fact that’s she appears to be crazy may not be enough to sink her campaign, but the fact that Michele Bachmann is a really bad liar is probably a serious problem.

    Michele Bachmann, on the campaign trail today, offered what seems to be a new explanation for her previous work as a lawyer for the Internal Revenue Service, something that has drawn some ire from the right.
    Her explanation: She worked for the IRS as a kind of secret anti-tax mole whose mission was to get to know the place in order to better undermine it later. As she put it: “The first rule of war is `know your enemy.’”

    This explanation seems a bit at odds with descriptions of the episode she’s given on previous occasions, when she’s said her anti-tax fervor was the result of her work for the IRS. This version on the trail explains her work for the IRS — which spanned four years, from 1988-1992 — in a way that will be more acceptable to hard-core anti-tax conservatives.

    Candidates forget that almost everything they say is captured on video tape. If you have a tendency to exaggerate, it’s going to cost you. If you want to contradict yourself and tell outright lies, it’s going to sink you.

  11. rikyrah says:

    Political AnimalBlog
    August 19, 2011 2:25 PM

    Perry’s Social Security problem

    By Steve Benen

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    Once a high-profile presidential candidate is on record calling Social Security, one of the nation’s most popular and successful programs, a “Ponzi scheme,” it’s tough to walk it back.

    Indeed, while Republican hostility for Social Security isn’t exactly new, Republican presidential hopeful Rick Perry has taken this to an unfamiliar level. He’s not only dismissed the bedrock program as a “Ponzi scheme,” the Texas governor has also said Social Security is unconstitutional, and could be turned over to the states (it can’t).

    Perry is at least sharp enough to know these criticisms can cause him some trouble, but if a campaign stop in New Hampshire yesterday was any indication, the governor isn’t quite sure how to deal with Social Security scrutiny.

    Inside the cafe, Gail Mitchell and a companion grilled him: “You said Social Security was unconstitutional.”

    “Social Security’s going to be there for those folks,” Perry answered his inquisitors, making reference to the elderly.

    “But you said Social Security is unconstitutional,” Mitchell repeated.

    “I don’t think I — I’m sorry, you must have,” Perry said before stopping himself.

    Instead of elaborating, Perry stuffed a generous piece of popover in his mouth. (Perry called them “pop ups.”)

    “I’ve got a big mouthful,” Perry said and then ordering a glass of water. He later tripped over one of the women standing at his side pressing him on Social Security.

    “I’m sorry, sweetheart,” Perry said to her.

    When a candidate would rather stuff food in his mouth than answer an important question, it’s safe to say he considers the issue politically problematic.

    Later, Ray Sullivan a Perry campaign spokesperson, told reporters he’s “never heard” the governor question the constitutionality of Social Security.

    Sullivan may be the only one.

    As for Perry’s reluctance to stand by his own positions, what happened to the swagger, Rick? Folks want to know if you stand by what you said about Social Security. You’re not going to let polls and a bunch of aides tell you what to think, are you?

  12. rikyrah says:

    ugust 19, 2011 10:10 AM


    By Steve Benen

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    In mid-July, when it looked as if congressional Republicans were prepared to follow through on their threat to force a national default on purpose, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) presented a complicated procedural solution. The idea was ultimately rejected by his own party, but McConnell’s preliminary pitch to the right is worth revisiting.

    Here’s what he said on a conservative radio talk show the day after presenting his plan:

    “The president will have the bully pulpit to blame the Republicans for all of this destruction…. I refuse to help Barack Obama get re-elected by marching Republicans into a position where we have co-ownership of a bad economy.”

    At the time, McConnell’s comments were refreshingly candid. His principal concerns weren’t the nation’s wellbeing or the health of the economy; the Senate Minority Leader was chiefly concerned about his party getting blamed for causing a recession.

    I bring this up now because that same motivating factor — i.e., fear — hasn’t gone away. As the threat of another recession looms, Democrats will apparently be advancing a jobs agenda, starting with a big speech from President Obama in a few weeks. Naturally, Republicans will reflexively oppose any measure intended to help the economy at all. “No jobs, no way,” the GOP leaders will say. (This week, Speaker Boehner denounced the White House plan that does not yet exist.)

    But look again at that McConnell quote: he “refuses” to allow Republicans to take “co-ownership of a bad economy.”

    Guess what, Mitch? If Democrats are pushing a jobs agenda, while Republicans refuse to invest in infrastructure, refuse to extend the payroll tax break, refuse to extend unemployment benefits, and refuse to even consider any idea to lower unemployment, even the vaunted Conservative Message Machine will find it challenging to avoid “co-ownership” of the economy.

    If, on the other hand, Republicans strike a deal with Democrats, and accept long-term debt reduction in exchange for a short-term economic boost, Congress’ approval rating will go up and the wildly unpopular GOP will look pretty good in the public’s eyes.

    This won’t happen, of course, because Republicans’ hatred for the president outweighs literally every other consideration, even the standing of their own party, but if GOP leaders want to avoid “co-ownership” of a weak economy and improve their reputations on the nation’s most pressing issue, Obama’s outstretched hand will at least be an opportunity.

  13. rikyrah says:

    Political AnimalBlog
    August 19, 2011 11:10 AM

    Considering the consequences of conspicuous unintelligence

    By Steve Benen

    The estimable Bruce Bartlett apparently made a little news this morning by speaking his mind.

    Former Treasury official Bruce Bartlett labeled newly-minted Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry “an idiot” Friday.

    Bartlett, who served at Treasury under former President George H.W. Bush and as a domestic policy adviser to the late President Ronald Reagan, delivered the choice words to the Texas Gov. in reference to his recent comments about Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.

    “Rick Perry’s an idiot, and I don’t think anyone would disagree with that,” Bartlett said Friday on CNN’s “American Morning.”

    This has caused a stir, since this kind of candor is uncommon on television news, especially if it’s directed at a Republican presidential candidate from a veteran of previous Republican administrations.

    For what it’s worth, putting aside questions of propriety and name-calling, it’s awfully hard to disagree with Bruce’s assessment. As an objective matter, I suspect most detached observers would agree that Rick Perry just isn’t an especially bright person. That doesn’t make him unique — there are, alas, far too many unintelligent people in public office, and some are seeking the Republican presidential nomination — but it also doesn’t change the underlying truth.

    The next question, though, is whether this realization matters, either practically or electorally. Ta-Nehisi Coates argued the other day that it does not.

    I’m sure there some level of imbecility which would be too much for Americans, but it seems that the ability to understand and speak to the ambitions of a critical mass of the electorate is much more important. Intelligence might help that effort. But empathy — or at least the ability to communicate empathy — with your audience seems much more important…. Intelligence is overrated.

    Maybe, but I’d draw a distinction between “too dumb to govern” and “too dumb to win.” Ta-Nehisi seems to be speaking to the latter — Perry doesn’t need to convince the electorate he’s an intellectually curious, creative thinker, capable to examining complex issues in a sophisticated way; he needs to convince them he’s likeable and relatable.

    But after the election, the requirements change. Governing requires intelligence.

    In 2000, voters were effectively told, “Don’t worry that George W. Bush isn’t bright; he’ll have capable advisors to keep him on track.” What this argument neglected to mention is that sometimes advisors will disagree, and it requires an intelligent leader to pick the wisest course among many complex options. Bush lacked the intellectual wherewithal to do so, and it contributed to tragic results.

    Is Rick Perry conspicuously unintelligent? All evidence suggests he is. Are his intellectual limitations even worse than Bush’s? There’s a strong case to suggest that this is true, too. Will this hurt his chances in the election? I suspect not, but it would undermine his ability to function after the election.

  14. Ametia says:

    Prof. Melissa Harris Perry TCB on Morning Murderer- “Has Obama lost his chance to do something big?” In repsonse to Charles Krauthammer’s op ed.

  15. Ametia says:

    August 19, 2011 6:16 AM
    BofA reportedly slashing thousands of jobs

    AP) Bank of America Corp. is cutting 3,500 employees this quarter and working on restructuring plans that will ax several thousand more jobs, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times reported, citing people familiar with the situation.

    The reports Friday said that the job cuts at the biggest U.S. bank by assets might exceed 10,000 or about 3.5 percent of its current work force.

    The retrenchments are part of CEO Brian Moynihan’s efforts to engineer a recovery at BoA, which was hit hard by the bursting of the housing bubble. Its share price has fallen nearly 50 percent so far this year.

    “I know it is tough to have to manage through reductions,” Moynihan wrote in a memo to the company’s senior executives late Thursday, according to the reports. “But we owe it to our customers and our shareholders to remain competitive, efficient and manage our expenses carefully.”

    Many other banks and financial institutions are also cutting staff. They are under pressure to improve returns to investors amid a weak U.S. economy and new restrictions on lucrative trading and banking activities that were blamed for contributing to the 2008 financial crisis.

    The WSJ said the initial 3,500 job cuts are spread across BoA’s business including investment banking and trading.

  16. rikyrah says:

    Political AnimalBlog
    August 19, 2011 8:45 AM

    Perry, parties, and pragmatism

    By Steve Benen

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    This fascinating clip made the rounds yesterday, and with good reason. To get a sense of how Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) evaluates evidence, it’s an illustrative three minutes.

    I can’t find a full transcript, but to offer a flavor, the clip shows a reporter passing along a question from the audience to the governor: “Why does Texas continue with abstinence education programs, when they don’t seem to be working? In fact, I think we [in Texas] have the third-highest teen-pregnancy rate in the country right now.” Perry responds, “Abstinence works.”

    So, the reporter tries again. “But we have the third-highest teen teen-pregnancy rate among all states in the country. The questioner’s point is, it doesn’t seem to be working.” The governor answers again, “It — it works.” Perry then spends two-and-a-half minutes on a meandering answer that doesn’t really make any sense.

    The problem here isn’t just that Perry has the wrong answer. The more meaningful problem is that Perry doesn’t seem to know how to even formulate an answer. He starts with a proposition in his mind (abstinence-only education is effective), and when confronted with evidence that the proposition appears false (high teen-pregnancy rates), the governor simply hangs onto his belief, untroubled by evidence. As Jon Chait put it, Perry seems to struggle “even to think in empirical terms.”

    To understand the larger dynamic here, consider Paul Waldman’s sharp observation: “[T]he difficulty he has here comes from the fact that his stance on sex education is about 95 percent moral and 5 percent practical. He gets forced to confront the practical question, and he does so in such a bumbling way because he keeps trying to turn the practical question into a moral one…. He doesn’t have a practical argument because he’s probably never thought about it in those terms, and doesn’t much care.”

    That sounds right to me. In general, conservatism isn’t pragmatic because policy outcomes aren’t the goal. Indeed, they’re largely irrelevant. As we’ve seen in too many instances, Republicans aren’t principally concerned with solving problems; their goals are ideological.

    In a case like education and lessons on sexual health, the left tends to look at this in terms of results: what works in preventing teen pregnancies and the spread of sexually-transmitted diseases? For the right, the question is philosophical: what’s consistent with their morality.

    The exchange in the clip is amusing because it makes Perry look foolish, but it actually offers a peek behind the curtain: the right believes programs work, even when they don’t work, so long ideological goals are being met. Real-world implications are meaningless.

    • Ametia says:

      And this is why IDEOLOGUES are DANGEROUS: .."the right believes programs work, even when they don’t work, so long ideological goals are being met. Real-world implications are meaningless."

  17. rikyrah says:

    August 18, 2011
    Predictable humbug
    The Pavlovian curs are yapping and snapping already:

    In a memorandum to House Republicans on Wednesday, Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia, the majority leader, said their agenda must include “stopping the discussions of new stimulus spending with money that we simply do not have.” He accused the president of waging “class warfare” — Republican code for Mr. Obama’s proposed tax increases on high incomes.

    Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican minority leader, criticized “job-killing tax increases” and said, “Continuing the spending spree on failed stimulus programs won’t shrink the deficit.”

    Should President Obama propose in September so much as one dilapidated school repaired, or one more fireman or policeman retained, or even one dollar of deficit reduction achieved through temporary spending hikes and more equitable taxation, he’ll be ruthlessly assaulted by the usual Republican suspects and viciously barraged by their usual rhetorical humbug as though he’s Chairman Mao proposing a Great Leap Forward. This much we do know.

    Therefore his proposal might as well be Big; it might as well contain aggressive economic remedies of the most authentically Keynesian sort. Because … see above paragraph.

  18. rikyrah says:

    August 18, 2011
    Some dreary reality
    President Obama’s steady, methodical long game is in need of an audible, something along the lines of the old razzle-dazzle. The latest from Gallup:

    A new low of 26% of Americans approve of President Barack Obama’s handling of the economy.

    That dreary statistic reflects an 11 point plunge in 90 days. Only 29 percent approve of Obama’s handling of job creation. And, after squandering months in a counterproductive contest with fiscal psychopaths over how much to cut spending, the president’s approval rating on the deficit is a nearly invisible 24 percent.

    These findings are not outliers, they are not statistical abnormalities, they aren’t the freakish results of mad social science. They are a trend.

    Worse, they were an avoidable trend. Had Obama stuck to his bigger, electorate-fortified guns in the debt-ceiling debacle, or had he demonstrated a crowd-pleasing jobs-creation intensity by calling this demonstrably corrupt Congress back into session, his public-opinion trajectory likely would be in ascendance, not freefall. Of that, I am convinced. To those who aren’t, they might at least ask themselves: Could Gallup’s latest look any drearier?

    The president is receiving bum political advice, which is platitudinously orthodox, in dramatically unorthodox times: Pamper the independents, Mr. President, who invariably hew to the cautious side. That advice has been rewarded with this:

    In contrast to Democrats’ majority approval of Obama on all seven issues tested [terrorism, foreign affairs, education, Afghanistan, jobs-creation, the economy, the deficit], fewer than half of independents approve of the president’s handling of any of these.

    On creating jobs, independents approve of Obama’s performance by 24 percent. So what political-advisory word is circulating about the president’s belated, upcoming jobs package? It’ll be “modest.”

    Well right, sure, of course — wouldn’t want to scare the independents away.

    Perhaps I’m hopelessly mired in some wrong-headed historical empiricism, but I observe that though FDR’s actual economic policies were often modest — through hindsight, at least — FDR never gave the appearance of modesty. He projected boldness, uncanonical experimentation which thrust here and there, a liberated determination to do whatever it takes — and to hell with the cowering voices of timidity and caution.

    Obama would do well to reread some of that history, because his political advisers have quite obviously forgotten it.

    • MoObama says:

      He reads and understands. Don’t be pulled into these polls; polls had Hillary president.

      • Ametia says:

        Agreed; PBO does know his history. It’s folks who write shit like this who want PBO to be like Ike, FDR, Kennedym, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, who don’t point out the real elephant dookie in the room. RACISM schewed polls that do NOT reflect the true population of folks who approve and aren’t given voice in print and tee vee, unless they are BASHING the president.

  19. rikyrah says:

    Hows Does This Happen in a Great Country?
    by BooMan
    Thu Aug 18th, 2011 at 10:33:35 PM EST

    Whatever else you might say about the Ames Straw Poll, it does take some money and organizational skill to win it. The outcome doesn’t necessarily reflect the true sentiments of Iowa’s Republican voters, but anyone who figures out how to be victorious in the Straw Poll probably has a decent chance of figuring out how to do very well in the Iowa Caucuses. When we consider that the winner of the Straw Poll is also leading in the Real Clear Politics collection of Iowa polls, we have to take Rep. Michele Bachmann’s at least somewhat seriously as a candidate. It’s just damn hard to do. Today, she went on the Jay Sekulow Live radio show and said the following about her victory and her message:

    BACHMANN: I would say it’s a unified message. It really is about jobs and the economy. That doesn’t mean people haven’t [sic] forgotten about protecting life and marriage and the sanctity of the family. People are very concerned about that as well. But what people recognize is that there’s a fear that the United States is in an unstoppable decline. They see the rise of China, the rise of India, the rise of the Soviet Union and our loss militarily going forward. And especially with this very bad debt ceiling bill, what we have done is given a favor to President Obama and the first thing he’ll whack is five hundred billion out of the military defense at a time when we’re fighting three wars. People recognize that.

    Bachmann is a better speaker than Palin, but I think she meant “unifying,” didn’t she? And she meant “have” not “haven’t.” I hope she also meant “Russia” rather than the now extinct Soviet Union. And who are we going to lose to militarily? Who’s afraid of us losing militarily? Finally, she must assume that the president will force the Republicans (somehow) to refuse to make a deal on the Supercommittee, which will then automatically trigger $600 billion in cuts to the Pentagon’s budget (as well as $600 billion in cuts to Medicare providers).

    In any case, this is a garbled pile of stupid bullshit, which pretty well describes everything I’ve been hearing from the right since Bush left office. Prior to that, it was much less garbled. Actually, the garbling started when McCain weaponized the stupid by choosing Caribou Barbie as his running mate

  20. rikyrah says:

    Seven Things To Know About Rick Perry’s Health Care Record
    By Igor Volsky on Aug 18, 2011 at 9:02 am

    As Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) continues to attack the Affordable Care Act, his own health care record in Texas is coming under renewed scrutiny. The Houston Chronicle’s Patricia Kilday Hart and Gary Scharrer — who are writing a series of four reports “looking at the state of Texas infrastructure under the tenure of Gov. Rick Perry” — offer this handy guide:

    1) With 26 percent of its citizens lacking health insurance, Texas ranks the worst in the nation for health care coverage.

    2) Premiums are well above the national average ($14,526 for employer family coverage in Texas v. $13,871 nationally).

    3) While Perry trumpets the state’s balanced budget, he fails to mention that lawmakers this year cut $805 million from doctors serving Medicaid patients, and that they also postponed $4 billion in Medicaid costs for payment in the next budget cycle.

    4) Meanwhile, the demand for Medicaid is growing. Most of Texas’ new jobs are low income and have been accompanied by a soaring number of Texans who qualify for Medicaid – from 2.1 million in 2001 to 3.5 million today.

    5) But the latest state budget included an 8 percent cut in reimbursement rates to hospitals, which came on top of a 2 percent cut in the last budget, in addition to a 23 percent cut to trauma care funding.

    6) More than 5.2 million Texans already live in areas designated as official health professional shortage areas.

    7) In fact, Texas ranks 48th out of 50 states in the number of physicians per 100,000 residents — that’s only going to get worse. In addition to cutting the loan repayment program, lawmakers this year reduced state support to graduate medical education by almost 40 percent, ensuring that many medical school graduates will leave Texas to other states for residency programs.

  21. rikyrah says:

    Charles Rangel Tries To Respond To Allen West’s “Harriet Tubman” Comments
    Reported by Ellen – August 19, 2011 – Comments (3)

    The O’Reilly Factor brought on Congressman Charles Rangel Thursday night (8/18/11), ostensibly to answer Allen West’s ludicrous comments of the night before in which he likened himself to Harriet Tubman, leading African Americans from the “plantation” of Democrats. But unlike West, Rangel barely got a chance to say a word before guest host Laura Ingraham bombarded him with new questions. Sadly, Rangel did not handle it as well as he could have, evading questions about how the war on poverty has worked for the black community and even resorting to calling Ingraham “just a pretty girl,” though he later apologized. But Ingraham was a model of a rude host, even making a snotty comment about Rangel’s ethics troubles at the end.

    Compare how Ingraham treated Rangel to the way she treated West.

    Fair and balanced my foot!

    • Ametia says:

      Charlie Rangel go exactly what he deserved from FOX ,IMO. His handling of the topic and his comments are indicative of the CBC’s ineptness. And of all places Faux Noise, when that station like the rest of cable networks this week are at war with PBO and his black supporters/voters.

  22. rikyrah says:

    Hugh Hefner: Civil Rights Activist?
    A documentary about the Playboy patriarch makes a strong case for “yes.”

    With NBC’s new series The Playboy Club premiering Sept. 19, 2011, The Root’s editorial staff decided to revisit another side of the original Playboy Club nightclub-chain founder.

    Hugh Hefner isn’t one of the names you usually think of when you hear the words “civil rights pioneer.” So I was more than a little dubious when I got invited to a screening of Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist and Rebel, the newly released documentary that, the publicist promised, would show how the founder of Playboy magazine had been in the vanguard of the struggle for racial equality in the 1960s.

    And for the first few moments, I sat there rolling my eyes at what seemed to be no more than the expected hagiography, an attempt by a rich old guy to shape his legacy while he still could. (Despite his recent effort to take Playboy Enterprises private again, Hefner is 84.) But I came around as race men such as Jesse Jackson, Jim Brown and Dick Gregory popped up among the documentary’s talking heads to testify about the many things Hefner had done to help advance the movement of African Americans into the U.S. mainstream.

    Of course, Hefner first pushed himself into that mainstream in 1953 when he published the premiere issue of Playboy, an unabashed celebration of the male libido in all its manifestations. Men may have bought Playboy for the nude centerfolds and the naughty cartoons, but they also eagerly consumed the magazine’s philosophy on such things as how to dress, what to drink, which music was cool and even how to think about controversial subjects.

    The Playboy Interview became the primary vehicle for the latter, and the very first one, which appeared in the September 1962 issue, included a candid exchange about racism between the writer Alex Haley and jazz great Miles Davis. At a time when few black journalists were breaking into white publications, Hefner made Haley Playboy’s chief interrogator, and he didn’t restrict the writer to black subjects.

    Haley did go on to interview icons such as Muhammad Ali and Martin Luther King Jr. for Playboy, but his subjects for the magazine also included The Tonight Show host Johnny Carson and, memorably, George Lincoln Rockwell, the racist leader of the American Nazi Party. In a film clip shown in the documentary, Haley recalled how he told Rockwell, “I’ve been called nigger before, and this time I’m being well paid for it. So go ahead and tell us why you hate us.”,0&wpisrc=root_lightbox

  23. rikyrah says:

    Right-Wing Media Distort Study To Blame Obama For Poverty
    August 18, 2011 4:11 pm ET — 28 Comments
    Fox Nation, The Drudge Report, and Rush Limbaugh all mischaracterized a new study showing an increase in child poverty, blaming President Obama for the increase, despite the fact that George W. Bush was president during almost the entire period covered by the study. Limbaugh went on to falsely claim that food stamps are ineffective.

    • MoObama says:

      Well, Maxine Waters is not far from the teabag tree.

      • Ametia says:

        Hi MoObama. Truth! Notice the timing of the CBC grand entrance on the media stage? PBO an congress out of town. Now these clowns are make a stink and tell us it smells like fresh flowers. GTFOH

  24. rikyrah says:

    the Road
    With Hair Pat-Downs, Complaints of Racial BiasBy JOE SHARKEY
    Published: August 15, 2011

    TIMERY SHANTE NANCE is an African-American woman who has a thing about her hair. “I don’t use chemicals or straighteners,” she said. “It’s just my natural texture, and I wear it in a normal-looking puff.”

    Now she wonders, as some other black women evidently do, whether the Transportation Security Administration also has a thing about their hair. Ms. Nance is the second black woman I’m aware of within a month who says she was racially profiled when a T.S.A. officer insisted on publicly patting down her hair after she had already gone though a full-body scan without setting off any alarm.

    Ms. Nance was departing from the airport in San Antonio in late July. After she passed through the body scanner, she said, a female T.S.A. screener told her to stand facing her possessions. “You’re good to go, but first I have to pat your hair,” the officer told her, she said.

    “I’m like, pat my hair? O.K., I guess,” Ms. Nance said.

    But it wasn’t O.K. Ms. Nance, who had been visiting her husband at the Air Force base where he is stationed, was deeply embarrassed as other passengers stared at her, “as if I’d done something wrong.”

    She asked the screener why her hair was searched while others, including white women with ponytails or bushy hair, were simply waved through. “Is it just African-American women with natural hair who get the hair search?” she asked.

    The screener said no, “but if you have certain kinds of ponytail or bun, you have to get your hair patted,” said Ms. Nance, who is 30.

    Now, as I said, this is the second such recent incident. On June 30, a young African-American woman, Laura Adiele, said that a screener at the Seattle-Tacoma airport insisted on patting down her hair, which was also natural and curly, even though the body scan had not set off an alarm. Ms. Adiele said in various interviews that she thought the search had been racially motivated.

    The T.S.A. denies that. “All passengers are thoroughly screened coming through the screening checkpoint,” said Kristin Lee, a spokeswoman. “Additional screening may be required for clothing, headgear or hair where prohibited items may be hidden,” she said.

    The agency says it never uses racial or ethnic profiling — and I totally accept that assurance, as a matter of agency policy. But when I spoke to Ms. Nance, she seemed to see also a cultural issue, rather than a strictly racial one.

    “More black women are wearing their hair in a natural state,” she said. “It’s becoming more of the norm in business cities, for example. On the other hand, for black women, it’s been 40 or 50 years of needing to relax and straighten your hair, wearing weaves, things like that.”

    In other words, black women who choose to maintain their hair naturally can get some cultural pushback — including even from other African-American women who choose otherwise. In fact, Web sites like, are popular among black women who share a sense of community, and some defensiveness, about wearing natural hair.

    • Ametia says:

      SMGDH Now I have a full-blown 1960s Angela Davis AFRO. I wish a mofo would touch it. It’s full and thick enough to plant a set mouse trap. LOL

  25. Ametia says:

    LOL Jack Cafferty: this scares the HELL out me

  26. rikyrah says:

    CBC Chairman Warns Frustrated Blacks ‘Might Not Vote At All’ In 2012
    by Hazel Trice Edney
    Originally posted 8/17/2011

    WASHINGTON (TriceEdneyWire) – Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) – witnessing thousands of Black people lining up for CBC job fairs and town hall meetings around the country – is warning that African-American frustrations could result in voters staying home on presidential election day Nov. 6, 2012.

    “Citizens of this country are hungering for work. And that hunger in all likelihood is going to turn into desperation and I don’t know how that desperation will be played out,” Cleaver said in an interview this week. “There are some frustrations and I hear all kinds of things from African-Americans. I think what’s going to happen is that people would be angry but I think at the end of the day, they’re not going to vote on the other side. The danger for the President is that they may not vote at all. He will get the majority of the Black vote. The issue is the majority of what?”

    Cleaver says he has assured President Obama that he is totally committed to his re-election and that he will do everything in his power to make it happen. But, he said he has become increasingly troubled by what he has heard the past two weeks as the CBC has traveled to target high-unemployment cities to hold job fairs. Among them, Cleveland, Ohio, where more than 7,000 lined up for a job fair at Cleveland State University for only 2,200 jobs, he said, noting that many came at 4 a.m. and left after 6 in the evening.

    The jobless rate in the Black community has hovered around approximately 16 percent – twice that of Whites – for most of this year. When Obama was asked early in his administration about the even higher jobless rate among Black males, he responded at a White House press conference, “A rising tide lifts all boats.”

    Fast forwarding two years later that has not happened. Therefore, the CBC has taken to the streets to find jobs for their constituents, Cleaver said.

    “I am troubled that we do not have laser-like targeted programs and initiatives to relieve the unemployment pain in Black America. I think we CBC members received critical words from Black America about what they perceive to be the President’s lack of involvement in targeting Black America with job opportunities, so what we decided was that the president will do his thing and we will do ours and we will create jobs.”

    Cleaver said he intends to transform his own frustration into actions.

    “I said to myself as we were in Cleveland last week, no matter how angry I get because of the problems I see in African-American communities, I am not going to allow it to discourage me or the CBC,” he said. “I thought that it was time for us to quit complaining or depending on someone else to work in this area and the Caucus has been fabulous in its support of proposals that I’ve brought before them and this has been no different.”

    The CBC’s goal is to find at least 10,000 for African-Americans. More than 200 companies are participating in the effort – companies that have real jobs available, Cleaver stressed.

  27. Ametia says:

    Obama orders improved workforce-diversity effort
    By Isaac Arnsdorf, Published: August 18
    President Obama on Thursday issued an executive order requiring government agencies to develop plans for improving federal workforce diversity.

    The long-awaited executive order directs a group of high-ranking officials to create a government-wide plan, followed by specific plans in each agency. It marks the highest-profile response to a problem that has been on the administration’s radar: Whites still hold more than 81 percent of senior pay-level positions.

    “The federal government has a special opportunity to lead by example,” John Berry, director of the Office of Personnel Management, said in a conference call. “We will only succeed in our critical mission with a workforce that hails from, represents and is connected to the needs of every American community.”

    The order creates a framework, but the details have not been worked out. Instead of creating a new administrative body, as with Obama’s 2009 executive order on veterans’ employment, this initiative will look to a council of deputy agency chiefs. OPM, the Office of Management and Budget and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission will participate.

  28. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone. Happy FRY-ay! :-)

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