Serendipity SOUL | Saturday Open Thread

Happy Saturday, Everyone.  Keep the joy in your hearts, and stay safe.  Here’s hoping Hurricane Irene has Mercy on those in her path.

Wiki:  Huddie William Ledbetter   January 20, 1888 – December 6, 1949) was an iconic American folk and blues musician, notable for his strong vocals, his virtuosity on the twelve-string guitar, and the songbook of folk standards he introduced.  He is best known as Lead Belly. Though many releases list him as “Leadbelly“, he himself spelled it “Lead Belly”. This is also the usage on his tombstone,[1][2] as well as of the Lead Belly Foundation.[3]

Although Lead Belly most commonly played the twelve-string, he could also play the piano, mandolin, harmonica, violin, concertina, and accordion. In some of his recordings, such as in one of his versions of the folk ballad “John Hardy”, he performs on the accordion instead of the guitar. In other recordings he just sings while clapping his hands or stomping his foot.

The topics of Lead Belly’s music covered a wide range of subjects, including gospel songs; blues songs about women, liquor and racism; and folk songs about cowboys, prison, work, sailors, cattle herding, and dancing. He also wrote songs concerning the newsmakers of the day, such as Franklin D. Roosevelt, Adolf Hitler, Jean Harlow, the Scottsboro Boys, and Howard Hughes.

In 2008, Lead Belly was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame.

Goodnight, Irene” or “Irene, Goodnight,” is a 20th century American folk standard, written in 3/4 time, first recorded by American blues musician Huddie ‘Lead Belly’ Ledbetter in 1932.

The lyrics tell of the singer’s troubled past with his love, Irene, and express his sadness and frustration. Several verses make explicit reference to suicidal fantasies, most famously in the line “sometimes I take a great notion to jump in the river and drown

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38 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Saturday Open Thread

  1. Ametia says:

    There will be no incoming or outgoing flights Sunday at the five New York-area airports operated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, agency spokesman Steve Coleman said.

    This means there are “thousands of flights canceled, with 150 to 200 people a flight,” said Coleman, speculating that “probably tens of thousands of people” are affected.

    North Carolina and Virginia have already been affected by Hurricane Irene, with nearly 1 million power customers without electricity, according to state and utility reports.

    There will be no incoming or outgoing flights Sunday at the five New York-area airports operated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, agency spokesman Steve Coleman said.
    This means there are “thousands of flights canceled, with 150 to 200 people a flight,” said Coleman, speculating that “probably tens of thousands of people” are affected.
    North Carolina and Virginia have already been affected by Hurricane Irene, with nearly 1 million power customers without electricity, according to state and utility reports.


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    • Ametia says:

      We aren’t going to speculate on damage before it happens, period. But, as you know, Eric has consistently said that additional funds for federal disaster relief ought to be offset with spending cuts.

      Eric Cantor: Hurricane Relief Spending? Only If Cuts Are Made
      According to a spokesperson from the office of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), if any relief spending is to occur as a result of Hurricane Irene it will have to be offset by cuts made in other areas.
      “We aren’t going to speculate on damage before it happens, period,” wrote his spokesperson Laena Fallon in an email. “But, as you know, Eric has consistently said that additional funds for federal disaster relief ought to be offset with spending cuts.”
      Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA) says of the cuts, ”It is sinful to require us to cut somewhere… in order to provide emergency disaster assistance for American citizens.” He pointed out that in his home state of Louisiana recovery from Hurricane Katrina would’ve been delayed “by years” if Congress had made the same requirement of spending cuts. The relief effort after Hurricane Katrina cost the federal government more than $100 billion. He went on to say, “I have been one who has been preparing for the hurricane, trying to give people some comfort. One thing they need to know is the federal government can come to their aid… I don’t think we’re in a position, given the rules set up by the majority, that we’re going to be able to come to their aid quickly.”
      The recent east coast earthquake had its epicenter located in the midst of Rep. Cantor’s district. Even though there was only minimal damage, he felt likewise about his own neck of the woods. Any disaster relief spending would have to be offset with additional spending cuts. He also said a similar statement after a devastating EF5 tornado ripped through Joplin, MO earlier this year

  2. Ametia says:

    Yet again a Republican has failed to deduce how to fix the economy.

    1. A constitutional amendment for term limits.

    2. A constitutional amendment establishing the death penalty for flag burning.

    3. A constitutional amendment mandating prayer in school, at the work place and any government facility.

    4. Death penalty for activist (liberal) judges.

    5. Pass laws against the use of pollution control systems and gas efficient vehicles.

    6. Mandatory gun ownership by age 6 and must carry weapon by age 12.

    7. Round up 10, 20, 30 million brown people and send them to Mexico. (This should be privatized.)

    8. Eliminate ALL taxes to increase tax revenues and balance the budget.

    9. Start a war.

    10. Secede from the union.

    11. Kill the poor people.

    12. Default on our debt and show the Chinese who’s boss.

    13. Every county secede from its state.

    14. Take science out of schools.

    15. Close all public schools.

    16. Privatize public highways.

    17. All cities secede from their county.

    18. All neighborhoods secede from their city.

    19. Negative taxes on corporations and rich people.

    20. Secede from reality.

    Now that is a plan that any Republican can get behind.

  3. Ametia says:

    August 27, 2011, 3:58 pm
    Sunday Breakfast Menu, August 28

    As Hurricane Irene bears down on the East Coast, the Sunday shows are talking about the storm and the threat it poses to the millions of people in its path.

    W. Craig Fugate, head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, will be on four shows — CNN’s “State of the Union,” NBC’s “Meet the Press,” ABC’s “This Week” and “Fox News Sunday” — to talk about how the federal government prepared for the hurricane and its next steps as it pummels the coast.

    ABC also plans to discuss the conflict in Libya as the rebels struggle to seize power from Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi.
    Continuing its “2012 One on One” series on the presidential election, Fox plays host to Representative Ron Paul asking what it will take for him to secure the Republican nomination.

    In addition to talking about the hurricane, CBS’s “Face the Nation” will feature retired Gen. Colin L. Powell. General Powell, who was the first African-American to serve as secretary of state, will appear on the show on the 48th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. The memorial honoring Dr. King was scheduled to be dedicated on the National Mall on Sunday, but it has been postponed due to the storm.

    Univision’s “Al Punto” is also talking about the hurricane, as well as the recent attack on a Mexican casino. The show will broadcast from Monterrey, Mexico, where armed men set a casino on fire on Thursday, killing more than 50 people in what President Felipe Calderon of Mexico has called a terrorist attack and drawing attention to the country’s problems with drug cartels and other organized crime.

    Focusing on education, Education Secretary Arne Duncan will be on C-Span’s “Newsmakers” to talk about his new proposal for No Child Left Behind.

    And Bloomberg’s “Political Capital” features Senator Mark Warner, Democrat of Virginia.


  4. Ametia says:

    Obama warns of ‘a long 72 hours’

    MACKENZIE WEINGER | 8/27/11 12:28 PM EDT Updated: 8/27/11 2:20 PM EDT

    As Hurricane Irene pounded North Carolina and barreled north Saturday, President Barack Obama said “it’s going to be a long 72 hours” for the East Coast.

    Obama visited FEMA headquarters Saturday afternoon, where he toured the national response coordination center and participated in a teleconference with federal and state agencies.

    It’s going to be a long 72 hours,” Obama said according to the pool report.

    Obama spoke to FEMA workers at the headquarters and told them they are “doing a great job.”

    “This is still obviously going to be a touch and go situation for a lot of communities, but knowing that they’ve got an outstanding response team like this will make all the difference in the world,” Obama said. “Especially because you all are not going to get any sleep for the next 72 hours or so.”

    According to the Associated Press, Obama said he discussed the situation Friday with governors and mayors, asking them what else they might need. “There was quiet on the phone and that was a good sign,” Obama said.

    Hurricane Irene made landfall around 7:30 a.m. Saturday as it passed over North Carolina’s Outer Banks. Extremely high waves and fierce winds pounded the coast and the AP reported that one North Carolina man has died. MSNBC placed the death toll at three.

    Read more:

  5. dannie22 says:

    Stay safe everyone

  6. Ametia says:

    Al-Qaeda’s second-in-command, Atiyah Abd al-Rahman, has been killed in Pakistan, a senior Obama administration official said Saturday.

    The Libyan national who was the network’s former operational leader rose to the No. 2 spot after the U.S. killed Osama bin Laden during a raid on his Pakistan compound in May.

    For more information, visit

  7. rikyrah says:

    Political Animal
    August 27, 2011 9:35 AM
    ‘It is sinful’

    By Steve Benen

    Hurricane Irene made landfall this morning, hitting North Carolina with sustained winds of 90 miles per hour. Irene was downgraded overnight to a Category 1 hurricane, but it remains a powerful storm capable of doing serious harm.

    Obviously, we can all hope the severity of the damage is limited. Regrettably, though, the line on federal disaster aid from congressional Republicans has not changed.

    This week, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said the GOP approach would break from how U.S. policymakers have operated. Whereas Congress used to provide emergency funds after a disaster, without regard for budget caps or offsets, Republicans have said they will no longer accept such an approach — if Democrats want emergency assistance in the wake of a natural disaster, Republicans will insist on attaching some strings to the relief funds.

    In this case, the strings are cuts elsewhere in the budget. Or as Cantor’s spokesperson put it, GOP leaders expect “additional funds for federal disaster relief” to be “offset with spending cuts.”

    The Republican position is already drawing fire.

    “It is sinful to require us to cut somewhere … in order to provide emergency disaster assistance for American citizens,” Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.) told The Huffington Post on Friday.

    The Louisiana Democrat pointed out that this weekend is the sixth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, which devastated his district and cost the federal government more than $100 billion. That recovery effort would have been delayed “by years” if Congress had required the same kind of spending cuts to offset aid, he said.

    “I have been one who has been preparing for the hurricane, trying to give people some comfort. One thing they need to know is the federal government can come to their aid,” Richmond said. “I don’t think we’re in a position, given the rules set up by the majority, that we’re going to be able to come to their aid quickly.”

    Perhaps realizing the potential for a political nightmare — Republicans are already unpopular; just wait until they hold hostage relief funds for communities hit by a hurricane — GOP leaders weren’t eager to talk about their position yesterday.

    But they didn’t disavow it, either. Cantor’s office rejected questions about “hypothetical federal aid caused by hypothetical damage,” despite the fact that the Majority Leader and his spokesperson were more than willing to discuss the position 24 hours earlier.

    House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) office was also cagey, saying policymakers will “discuss costs when and if they occur.”

    Neither Republican leader offered the correct response, which is, “Of course we’ll do whatever it takes to help the affected communities.”

    With any luck, this will be a moot point. If the damage isn’t severe, Congress won’t have to approve emergency relief. At this point, we just don’t know.

    But in the event of extensive damage, there’s a real possibility that the first question from congressional Republicans won’t be, “How can we help?” but rather, “What will Democrats give us in exchange for disaster aid?”

  8. rikyrah says: features both aggregated and original content.

    Washington Post Starts Black-Oriented Section Online

    The Washington Post Thursday unveiled a local-news website section devoted to African American news, a concept few mainstream newspapers have attempted since the New York Times met opposition from the black press when it attempted to start a “black” newspaper in Gainesville, Fla., in 2005.

    The Gainesville paper let its editor go and redefined the product as a “community” outlet.

    Since then, however, white-owned media have started a number of Internet projects targeting the black community nationally and Latino communities both nationally and locally.

    “The Root DC will serve as a must-read source of content from a black perspective with features including daily updated event listings, profiles of people around the region, video stories, and reader essays about things or people that bind, uplift, and annoy the community,” an announcement said. The Post Co. already owns, an African American-oriented site with a national focus.

    “By creating The Root DC, we are able to expand on The Post’s local coverage by providing the African-American community with more of the content it is looking for in a way that makes it easy to access news, share information, and engage online,” Liz Spayd, a Post managing editor, said in the release.

    “The Root DC includes aggregated content from The Washington Post and original reporting by Robert Pierre, Editor of The Root DC, who will write a weekly column; Hamil Harris, who will focus on faith and religion; Chris Jenkins, staff writer; and other Post reporters and contributors.

    “Readers also can find The Root DC on B2 of the newspaper’s Metro section each Friday.”

    In a note to readers, Pierre wrote, “It’s a new space that’s all about acknowledgement and conversation, a place to laugh and cry and argue. Oh, and did I mention, to see yourself. This site is meant, in part, to address one of the most persistent criticisms of journalism that I have heard over the past two decades: it doesn’t focus on what matters to you.”
    TV News Directors of Color at Third-Highest Level Ever

    “The latest RTDNA/Hofstra University Annual Survey finds that the percentage of minorities rose in both television and radio [PDF]. The percentage of minority news directors in television hit its third highest level ever and is the highest ever at non-Hispanic stations,” Bob Papper reported this week in his latest survey for the Radio-Television Digital News Association.

    “On the flip side, most of the gains were small, and the percentage of minorities in TV news remained at the low end of the narrow band within which the percentages have floated for the last decade.

    “There was no good news for women in radio and television news. Women in TV news and women TV news directors stayed largely the same — each had a slight dip — and women in radio news and women radio news directors both fell noticeably.

    “As far as minorities are concerned, the bigger picture remains unchanged. In the last 21 years, the minority population in the U.S. has risen 9.5 percent; but the minority workforce in TV news is up 2.7 percent, and the minority workforce in radio is actually down from what it was two decades ago. Still, TV news diversity remains far ahead of newspaper[s].”

  9. rikyrah says:

    GOP Congressmen Put Constituents Who Asked Tough Questions On A ‘Watch List’

    By Marie Diamond on Aug 26, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    In recent weeks GOP congressmen have resorted to all sorts of underhanded schemes to avoid interacting with their angry constituents back home over August recess. Now two Republican freshmen, Reps. Daniel Webster (R-FL) and Tim Griffin (R-AZ), are taking this trend one step further, using disturbing intimidation tactics and “watch lists” to discourage constituents from asking them questions:

    Rep. Webster’s Winter Garden, Florida district office gave out a “Watch List” of six Floridians who had asked questions at Webster’s previous town halls. The list, with the header “For the Media,” included names, photographs, and questions that members of the media should ask them.

    The Watch List itself doesn’t contain any information on who wrote it or where it comes from.The memos surfaced in Arkansas in connection to the office of Rep. Tim Griffin, and were traced back to Rep. Webster’s office.

    With black and white photos that resemble police surveillance, some of them pulled from the individuals’ Facebook profiles, the memo is clearly meant to intimidate these six people and anyone else who might stand up and ask a question of their elected representative. At a Griffin town hall, staffers were handing out the Watch List to attendees, calling it their “homework.” Griffin staffers were also spotted taking photos and shooting video of attendees, creating an extra layer of intimidation.

    While Webster and Griffin are ostensibly making these lists to screen out paid activists, the people they are targeting are regular constituents who have simply spoken up and expressed their disagreement about important policy decisions. Nevertheless, Webster staffers clearly went out of their way to investigate the backgrounds of these individuals and insinuate people like them are not welcome at future town halls.

    In April, ThinkProgress reported from Webster’s home district about a town hall where he faced a barrage of criticism for defending his support for tax breaks for the rich and the Medicare-ending Paul Ryan budget. One of the constituents ThinkProgress interviewed, Tamecka Pierce, ended up as #5 on the “Watch List.”

    Pierce, who had to undergo chemotherapy, asked Webster a tough question about what would happen to people like her with major preexisting conditions under the Republican budget. She expressed her disappointment in Webster for dodging her question — which apparently was enough to land her on a McCarthy-esque list that pictures her like a criminal.

    In another instance, the memo suggests that members of the media question the military service of a 66-year-old Vietnam veteran named Ron Parsell. Parsell told the Orlando Sentinel, “I think it’s pretty weird. Someone asks a legitimate question, and all of a sudden somebody’s got a dossier on you.” Parsell added, “It’s the type of thing they’d do in old Russia.”

  10. rikyrah says:

    August 26, 2011 08:40 AM
    ESPN Defends ‘White Michael Vick’ Photo
    By David

    The author of a new article about Eagles quarterback Michael Vick in ESPN The Magazine says he was “dismayed and horrified” when he discovered that the publication had photoshopped the football star into a white man.

    “I didn’t imagine that they would do that and it contradicts what I’m doing in the story,” Touré told CNN’s Carol Costello Friday. “This whole concept doesn’t really make any sense. Race informs your entire life. So, you wouldn’t even enter the same moment the same way. If Michael Vick were white, if that were even imaginable, he may not even go to the NFL because he might see other options for his life.”

    “So, just the concept of re-imagining somebody is white or black is extraordinary difficult, and I dismiss the concept of that right away in the story. For the headline and the image to suggest, ‘Let’s look at him as white’ is extremely — it’s just a perpendicular relationship to the story that I wrote.”

    ESPN The Magazine senior editor Raina Kelly was quick to defend the decision.

    “Well, the first reason we did it is because, I mean, I’m sure, as you know, the purpose of the art in a magazine, on television, in the newspaper, is to accompany and make the reader think in a way similar to the story,” she explained. “What we wanted to do is discuss Michael Vick as fully as possible and discuss the dog-fighting issue as fully as possible.”

    “You can use all kinds of code words so that nobody really knows what you’re saying, or you can just put the issue out there and let people talk about it. That’s what we did and that’s what we have done.”

    “You heard her explanation, what do you think?” Costello asked Touré.

    “I deal with it as a writer. I can’t even deal with the marketing of the story, putting that image, taking that title. When you see the image in particular, which goes counter to what the story is all about, you come to the story with a pitchfork,” he replied. “I mean, there is so many issues. Race is so layered. You can’t just switch people’s races and know the answer… In America, we love dogs. And for a lot of people, hurting a dog is morally equivalent to hurting a toddler. I think if Tom Brady were found to have a massive dog-fighting ring in his backyard, he would do two years in jail as well, and be thrown out of the Patriots and out of the NFL. And he would not be able to get away with it because he is white.”

    ESPN briefly removed the photo from their website Thursday, but by Friday morning it reappeared again.

  11. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 01:41 PM ET, 08/26/2011
    The next big labor brawl: Unions ramping up for showdown over FAA
    By Greg Sargent

    I’m not sure whether people appreciate how big a deal this is going to be, but another major battle over union organizing is looming next month — and as Rick Perry would put it, the fight’s going to get “pretty ugly.”

    I’m talking about the battle over the long-term reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration, which was temporarily settled earlier this month but will certainly flare up again in September — with a GOP provision to make it harder to organize airline and railway workers at the center of the fight.

    I’m told that the Communications Workers of America — the lead union in this battle — is ramping up a preemptive organizing push in the days and weeks ahead, a sign of how urgently labor wants to win this fight.

    The new campaign includes the launch of a new Web site,, which will document the central role in this battle being played by the Republican chairman of the House Transportation Committee, Rep. John Mica of Florida. Mica took a ton of criticism during the previous standoff over reauthorization that temporarily shut down the FAA. Mica tried to get the FAA reauthorization bill to overturn a decision by the National Mediation Board to scrap a rule that had made it harder for airline and railway workers to organize by counting absentee worker votes as No votes.

    The deal earlier this month temporarily settled the matter, but when the battle over long-term reauthorization rejoins in September, House Republicans are certain to renew their anti-union push. And so the CWA campaign will include appearances by airline workers at airports around the country, where they will try to educate the public about the fight. The new push will also include picketing in the districts of House Republicans who will be pressured to agree to a long-term FAA reauthorization without the union-busting provision.

    But Democrats also matter in this fight, and this could be a major opportunity for them.

    Until now, Congressional Dems have refused to cave to the GOP demand for the anti-union provision — even allowing an FAA shutdown rather than give in. But when this fight ramps up again, right when the Congressional debt “super-committee” talks get under way, the incentive will be strong for Dems to find a compromise. Labor, however, badly needs a high-profile win, and will be expecting Dems to hold firm. At a time when unions — unhappy with Democrats over the debt ceiling deal and the failure to create jobs — are mulling whether to channel more resources into state-level fights, a strong stance by Congressional Dems in the looming FAA fight could help reinvigorate organize labor’s faith in the national Democratic Party in advance of 2012.

  12. Ametia says:

    Rikyrah, what do you think about this article & photo?

    Sometimes a Quilt is Just a Quilt
    Wednesday, August 24, 2011 at 07:19AM
    Aminah Hanan, Managing Editor

    Saw this over on The Maddow Blog and had to share it with Michelle Obama Watchers. The National First Ladies’ Library, a museum in Canton, Ohio, is home to FLOTUS memorabilia. The mission of the museum, which is part of the National Park Sevice…

    “As the first and only facility of its kind, the National First Ladies’ Library serves as a unique national resource for patrons from school children to serious scholars. As a national archive devoted to educating people about the contributions of First Ladies and other notable women in history, the Library’s holdings fill an informational void that has long frustrated academicians and armchair history buffs alike. The Library fulfills this mission by serving as a physical educational facility and an electronic virtual library, in an effort to educate people in the United States and around the world.”

    The museum also houses a First Ladies’ quilt that includes First Lady Michelle Obama, pictured in the bottom right hand corner of the above picture.

    Although interesting, and as a quilter I can appreciate the artistry of the quilt, it was not the post that caught my eye, but some of the comments…

    “LOL!!! You have to be kidding me right? Maybe I’m seeing more than I need to see but that looks nothing like Michelle. I don’t know who that is. I guess they ran out of brown thread. Looks more like Michele Bachmann than Michelle Obama.”

  13. Ametia says:

    Obama’s late night return to D.C.
    By POLITICO STAFF | 08/27/11 10:52 AM Updated: 08/27/11 10:57 AM
    President Obama and his family arrived on the White House lawn aboard Marine One at 11:17 p.m. Friday, ahead of Hurricane Irene’s passing that forced an early end to their Martha’s Vineyard vacation.

    Earlier, the president, First Lady Michelle Obama and their daughters Sasha and Malia disembarked Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base and jumped onto Marine One for the short flight to D.C., according to pool reports.

    The first family left their Martha’s Vineyard vacation home at 9:08 p.m., about 12 hours earlier than originally planned, arriving at the island airport about 9:20 p.m. They boarded Marine One for the short journey to Cape Cod, where they hopped on Air Force One for the journey south, according to pool reports

    • thorsaurus says:

      So let’s see. When we were attacked on 9/11, GW Bush threw down his children’s book and flew to the Mid-West, away from the danger. When faced with a different type of attack, PBO keeps a hands -on approach, both with FEMA and local leaders, then flies back to D.C., directly in the path of a class 1 hurricane to ride it out with the people he is sworn to protect. Don’t look now Obama bashers, but the guy is doing a damn good job of leading. Ametia, that “Obama Accomplishments” thread just keeps getting longer and longer [even when he’s on vacation:)].

  14. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 03:40 PM ET, 08/26/2011
    Independents WANT Obama to fight GOP harder
    By Greg Sargent

    It’s been widely reported that Obama’s political team believes that the best way to win back the all-important independent vote is to reach grand compromises with Republicans. Hence Obama’s much-discussed “adult in the room” strategy.

    But what if crucial independent voters actually want Obama to be more confrontational with Republicans, and don’t see compromise as a virtue in and of itself?

    That’s the conclusion suggested by the new Pew poll.

    First, the key topline finding. Among overall Americans, there’s been a rise in the number who want Obama to challenge Republicans more aggressively:

    A 37% plurality now contends that Obama should challenge the Republicans in Congress more often; 25% say Obama should go along with GOP leaders more frequently, while about the same percentage (26%) say he is handling the situation about right. In April, fewer (27%) said Obama should challenge GOP congressional leaders more often.

    Jonathan Chait and Steve Benen both have good posts up noting that it’s striking that a plurality of overall Americans wants Obama to fight the GOP harder, given that Americans always are said to want compromise — raising the stakes considerably for the White House’s planned jobs offensive this fall.

    But I think an equally interesting finding concerns what independents think on this question.

    The poll finds that there’s been a six point rise, up to a plurality of 36 percent, among overall independents who want to see Obama stand up to the GOP. Only 21 percent of indys say he should go along with Republicans more often, and 27 percent say he has the balance right.

    But more crucially, the poll breaks down Dem-leaning and GOP-leaning independents — and it finds that 51 percent of Dem-leaning independents want him to more aggressively confront the GOP.

    Dem-leaning independents are the ones it’s crucial Obama not lose. As Alan Abramowitz noted the other day, there’s a myth out there that holds that independents are a bloc of free-floating, wholly independent voters. Rther, they mostly lean towards one party or the other.

    And the Dem-leaning independents want Obama to fight the GOP harder, rather than be too compromising with Republicans. That’s the way to hang on to them.

  15. Ametia says:

    What Would Hillary Clinton Have Done?
    Published: August 17, 2011

    In the worst of the Democratic primary campaign in 2008, the angry end of the thing, when I had become a devoted Hillary Clinton supporter and was engaged in bitter arguments with people with whom I often agreed, I used to harbor a secret fear, the twin of my political hope: I worried that Hillary Clinton would win her party’s nomination.

    This possibility scared me because I knew, with a furious surety, that if she went on to win the presidency, I and the handful of other Clinton supporters in my privileged, mediacentric, Obama-drunk circle would be forced to spend the next four to eight years hearing the words “We told you so,” spoken at various accusatory pitches. Every time she made a compromise, lost a battle or started a war, those of us who had — often shamefacedly — proclaimed a preference for her would have to answer for it, and more profoundly, have to answer for the dream we dashed. We would have to apologize to the world for robbing it of an imagined Barack Obama presidency.

    Three years after that intense and acrimonious time, in a period of liberal disillusionment, some on the left are engaging in an inverse fantasy. Almost unbelievably, they are now daydreaming of how much better a Hillary Clinton administration might have represented them.

  16. Ametia says:

    The Evangelicals Engaged In Spiritual Warfare

    August 24, 2011 An emerging Christian movement that seeks to take dominion over politics, business and culture in preparation for the end times and the return of Jesus, is becoming more of a presence in American politics. The leaders are considered apostles and prophets, gifted by God for this role.

    The international “apostolic and prophetic” movement has been dubbed by its leading American architect, C. Peter Wagner, as the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR). Although the movement is larger than the network organized by Wagner — and not all members describe themselves as part of Wagner’s NAR — the so-called apostles and prophets of the movement have identifiable ideology that separates them from other evangelicals.

  17. Ametia says:

    5 Reasons Progressives Should Treat Ron Paul with Extreme Caution — ‘Cuddly’ Libertarian Has Some Very Dark Politics

    He’s anti-woman, anti-gay, anti-black, anti-senior-citizen, anti-equality and anti-education, and that’s just the start.

    August 26, 2011 |
    There are few things as maddening in a maddening political season as the warm and fuzzy feelings some progressives evince for Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, the Republican presidential candidate. “The anti-war Republican,” people say, as if that’s good enough.

    But Ron Paul is much, much more than that. He’s the anti-Civil-Rights-Act
    Republican. He’s an anti-reproductive-rights Republican. He’s a gay-demonizing Republican. He’s an anti-public education Republican and an anti-Social Security Republican. He’s the John Birch Society’s favorite congressman. And he’s a booster of the Constitution Party, which has a Christian Reconstructionist platform. So, if you’re a member of the anti-woman, anti-gay, anti-black, anti-senior-citizen, anti-equality, anti-education, pro-communist-witch-hunt wing of the progressive movement, I can see how he’d be your guy.

    Paul first drew the attention of progressives with his vocal opposition to the invasion of Iraq. Coupled with the Texan’s famous call to end the Federal Reserve, that somehow rendered him, in the eyes of the single-minded, the GOP’s very own Dennis Kucinich. Throw in Paul’s opposition to the drug war and his belief that marriage rights should be determined by the states, and Paul seemed suitable enough to an emotionally immature segment of the progressive movement, a wing populated by people with privilege adequate enough to insulate them from the nasty bits of the Paul agenda. (Tough on you blacks! And you, women! And you, queers! And you, old people without money.)–_%27cuddly%27_libertarian_has_some_very_dark_politics?page=1

  18. Ametia says:

    Friday, August 26, 2011
    Hurricanes, white quarterbacks, and the evangelical candidate.

    Field, make sure you pick up a couple of cases of bottled water and snacks, and make sure you tap the ATM and get some cash. Oh, and don’t forget to get some flashlights and batteries if you can…”

    That’s what part of my text from Mrs. Field looked like as the big gal upstairs prepared to hit you heathens on the East Coast with yet another rare natural disaster. This times it’s of the hurricane variety. What will it be next, a meteor shower? WTF? Even the city that never sleeps is shutting down. These are strange days, indeed.

    Irene is her name, and she is going to cost us some money.Heck she already started. This lady has expensive taste. Not even the Donald can afford this one. She might tear up his casinos in AC and some of his Manhattan high rises with one devastating swoop.

    Speaking of strange, I see that ESPN the Magazine done went and made #7 white to make a point. [See pic with this post.] As is to be expected, some folks aren’t pleased. But I have to give it to ESPN, they know how to sell magazines. Fire up those color arousal buttons and folks will talk. Talk leads to curiosity, and curiosity leads to sales. And, let me say for the record, I can’t even imagine Michael Vick as white. And if you knew how white folks feel about their pets and vice versa, you couldn’t either.


  19. Ametia says:

    Friday, Aug. 26, 2011
    Obama finds refuge among close friends on vacation
    By ERICA WERNER – Associated Press

    VINEYARD HAVEN, Massachusetts — They golf with him, they vacation with him, their kids and his kids hang out. To them, he is Barack, not Mr. President. He can be teased and tease back.

    They form the trusted circle of tightlipped friends who have sustained Barack Obama through good times and bad since his days in Chicago, from Hawaii to Washington to Martha’s Vineyard and back again.

    For the most powerful man on the planet who nonetheless may have one of the loneliest jobs, a close band of buddies – Eric Whitaker, Martin Nesbitt and Valerie Jarrett form the core – has become a second family, to a degree replacing the one he lost or never had with the absence of his father and death of his mother in 1995.

    Read more:

  20. Ametia says:

    Live Hurricane Irene Coverage from North Carolina
    UPDATED: 1:00 am EDT, August 27, 2011 by Mark Sudduth Email Me


    It has been an exhausting day for us and probably millions of others who have been preparing for hurricane Irene. We set out a weather station that is reporting live right now (so far, so good) from Rodanthe, pretty much the farthest east point we could get along the NC coast. There is a link to the station below. Hopefully it will continue to work throughout the hurricane. We also set out a pair of live streaming cams for our Client Services members. It seems that one of the cams has quit for an unknown reason. It was placed down in Hatteras Village. Perhaps it will come back online tomorrow, we’ll see. We have two more that will set out near dawn along the northern Outer Banks, right on the ocean. We would love to be able to provide them free of charge to everyone but this is how we pay for what we do and the streaming costs can be enormous with 1000s of people watching at one time. We do and always will offer a live cam from the specially equipped Chevy Tahoe at no cost. Anyway, enough of the business side of things. We have Irene to deal with….

    The night has been full of dangerous tornadoes across eastern North Carolina. We witnessed one near Creswell as evidenced by a series of power flashes and debris falling from an otherwise not-very-windy sky. The rain has been coming down relentlessly as the bands of the hurricane have moved through. This will continue throughout the next 12 to 24 hours and give the region a hefty soaking. Remember to NOT drive across flooded out roads. You can die in your vehicle if you do. It’s that simple.

    Tropical storm conditions are spreading over the coast and even inland. I think that the line will be basically east of I-95 where the worst of the hurricane’s impact will occur. Once we get to daybreak, the wind will increase to hurricane force right along the Outer Banks and a moderate storm surge is likely to inundate a good deal of the sound and ocean side of the Banks. It’s so tough to know just how bad and what areas will be impacted the most. We shall see.

  21. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

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