Sunday Open Thread

Lee Williams and The Spiritual QC’s is an American quartet gospel group originating from Tupelo, Mississippi which has been in existence since 1968, but did not start recording until the 1990s.

The gospel quartet recognize themselves as the number 1 gospel group in the nation, and includes Lee Williams as lead singer, Al Hollis as guitarist and background vocal, Patrick Hollis as background singer, Leonard Shumpert as second lead vocalist, and new full-time bassist Tommie Harris. Lee Williams was not known as the lead singer of the Spiritual QC’s until 1998.

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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18 Responses to Sunday Open Thread

  1. rikyrah says:

    Why Dems are winning the money war


    According to the laws of political gravity, this shouldn’t be happening.

    President Barack Obama’s approval ratings are in the dumps, and so is the economy. Wall Street’s cash cows are angry at the Democratic Party and its sudden embrace of populist rhetoric. Almost no one thinks Democrats have a shot at winning back the House next year and Republicans have an excellent chance of winning control of the Senate.

    Yet even with the prospect of an entirely GOP-controlled federal government in 2013, Democrats are outraising their GOP counterparts in month after month.

    In September alone, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee nearly doubled the National Republican Congressional Committee’s take, while the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee raised $1 million more than the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

    What gives?

    Here why Democrats are winning the money chase.

    Cut, Cap, and Empty-Pocketed

    The new House GOP majority stormed Capitol Hill with the single-minded goal of slashing federal spending.

    But they’ve had a rude awakening: cuts to federal spending are a hindrance to healthy fundraising – especially when it comes to picking the pockets of the K Street donors and interest groups who depend on federal dollars.

    Members of Congress and fundraisers say the choke on spending hasn’t helped with fundraising, and acknowledge that it’s an increasing concern for the GOP as it begins mapping out its 2012 blueprint.

    “The House Republicans have come in with an austerity agenda,” said former Pennsylvania Rep. Phil English, now a GOP lobbyist who is active in fundraising circles. “The disadvantage is that it’s hard to make some people happy.”

    The power of Pelosi

    She’s still got it. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is one of the Democratic Party’s most prodigious fundraisers — and she continues to deliver for her party.

    Since the beginning of the year, Pelosi has held 262 fundraising events in 35 cities and two territories, which have raised more than $24.4 million for House Democrats, according to party officials – a stepped up fundraising pace for the former House Speaker.

    Since Pelosi – who Republicans turned into Public Enemy No. 1 in 2010 – no longer wields the gavel, she’s free to pursue a vigorous political schedule as she leads the party’s push to win back the House.

    Read more:

  2. rikyrah says:

    Ron Paul: End U.S. student loans

    \By ASSOCIATED PRESS | 10/23/11 12:35 PM EDT

    WASHINGTON — Republican presidential contender Ron Paul said Sunday he wants to end federal student loans, calling it a failed program that has put students $1 trillion in debt when there are no jobs and when the quality of education has deteriorated.

    Paul unveiled a plan last week to cut $1 trillion from the federal budget that would eliminate five Cabinet departments, including education. He’s also wants young workers to be able to opt out of Social Security.

    The student loan program is not part of those cuts, but Paul said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that he’d kill the loan program eventually if he were president. That could put him at odds with some of his young followers, many of whom are college students.

    Paul blamed government intervention in the economy for rising tuition.

    “Just think of all this willingness to want to help every student get a college education,” said Paul, who graduated from Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania before earning a medical degree at the Duke University School of Medicine. “I went to school when we had none of those. I could work my way through college and medical school because it wasn’t so expensive.”

    Annual tuition for Gettysburg College is $42,610 for the 2011-2012 academic year. Annual tuition at Duke’s medical school runs $46,621, according to its web site.

    Amid such rising costs, borrowing for college is at record levels. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York says students and parents took out a record $100 billion last year, and owe more on student loans – more than $1 trillion is outstanding – than credit cards.

    Read more:

  3. rikyrah says:

    October 22, 2011
    So vapid, it’s fun

    Joe Nocera, the NY Times’ former business columnist and now word-slinging desperado in all manner of punditocratic enterprises, writes this morning perhaps the most vapid column it has ever been my pleasure to read. Yes, pleasure, not displeasure, for it’s like one of those inexpressibly bad movies we’ve all seen that is so bad, it is downright good; so bad, it’s irresistible; so bad, it almost instantly achieves a kind of cult status.

    Nocera’s cult-like thesis? That Democrats — not Republicans — are chiefly responsible for the primal nastiness in contemporary politics, said nastiness having been launched by said Democrats back, quite precisely, in 1987, the annus horribilis of the Robert Bork battle for the Supreme Court. I kid you not. Here’s Nocera, in full delusional flower:

    [O]ur poisoned politics is not just about Republicans behaving badly, as many Democrats and their liberal allies have convinced themselves. Democrats can be — and have been — every bit as obstructionist, mean-spirited and unfair.

    I’ll take it one step further. The Bork fight, in some ways, was the beginning of the end of civil discourse in politics.

    In order to subscribe to that wretchedly bad history, one must first summarily execute a lot of one’s knowledge about the political 20th century (or, for that matter, the 19th, or even the 18th). For today’s political knife fights are but an extension of past partisan rumbling over the New Deal, as well as its sisterly progression, the Great Society.

    Pseudoconservative Republicans — virtually the only GOP species left — still want to kill them both, and their immeasurable hatred of all things New Dealing today tends to overshadow their profound hatred of yesteryear. You want vitriol and vituperation? Forget the clownish likes of a Michele Bachmann or Rush Limbaugh; check out instead the 1930s’ venom of a Westbrook Pegler or Father Charles Coughlin. In addition to these vermin, FDR’s tenure was marked by miscellaneous right-wing charges of a “dictatorship” being dispensed by a “crippled” socialist in an unAmerican White House.

    From there, one can draw a straight line to the right’s indulgent, postwar hysteria over disloyal Democrats having “lost” China, having bungled Korea, having installed herds of pro-Stalinist subversives in assorted high places, having corrupted our sacred institutions and having sold our powerful secrets. For sure, we liked Ike, but it was Joe McCarthy who set the conversational tone — right up to his admiring Barry Goldwater, in defense of heated extremism.

    The rest is more familiar: the 1970s rise of the malignant, racially coded and theocratically inclined New Right; the 1980s erosions of New Deal-Great Society social protections; Gingrichism and the attempted political assassination of a democratically elected president; more charges of Democratic disloyalty — this time, Iraq; and now, the right’s entire Obama-derangement-syndrome thing.

    The record positively screams the GOP’s immense culpability for the “mean-spirited and unfair … end of civil discourse in politics.” Yet just about all the NY Times’ Joe Nocera can see is … poor Robert Bork. It’s so vapid, it’s fun.

  4. rikyrah says:

    October 23, 2011 11:40 AM
    An ignominious field

    By Steve Benen

    During the CNN debate for Republican presidential candidates this week, James Fallows noted in passing that he hopes “no one outside the U.S. is allowed to watch this hilarious but depressing spectacle.”

    I’m fairly certain Fallows wasn’t talking about the network’s theatrics.

    It’s awfully difficult to keep a close eye on the GOP field and not marvel at its ineptitude. When was the last time a major political party produced a slate of presidential candidates this embarrassing?

    Put it this way: Mitt Romney was a one-term governor so disliked by his constituents he was afraid to run for re-election; the head of a vulture-capitalist firm known for breaking up struggling companies and firing their employees; an uncontrollable flip-flopper who’s taken both sides of every issue; and is widely disliked within his own party, despite having been a non-stop presidential candidate for nearly six years.

    And yet, Steve Kornacki this week accurately described Romney as “one of the weakest front-runners either party has ever seen” who’s still very likely to win the GOP nomination.

    If President Obama had an 80% approval rating and was a near-lock for a second term, this would make a lot more sense. Real candidates would take a pass and focus their efforts on 2016, when a wide-open cycle could offer better odds. But that’s clearly not the case — President Obama is vulnerable and the Republican nomination is worth winning.

    But who’s running? The now-set field is made up of Romney, another befuddled Texas governor, a guy who ran a mafia-themed pizza company, a radical libertarian House member, a wild-eyed conspiracy-theory House member, a disgraced former House Speaker, a defeated former senator who doesn’t even want you to Google his name, a libertarian former governor who can’t get invited to debates, and a former Obama administration official who’s credible but has been deemed beyond consideration by the party faithful. Most of these nine are hard pressed to explain why they’re still even bothering to run.

    How in the world did this happen? Jonathan Bernstein had a good piece on this the other day, asking a similar question: “Why is this year’s Republican presidential field so, well, weird?”

    While each election year field is subject to its own particular constraints and quirks of history, today’s wacky Republican field is also the undeniable product of two long-brewing trends within the party. First, GOP elites have become ruthlessly efficient at winnowing the field of serious contenders. At the same time, however, the growth of the market for conservative books, television shows, and speaking engagements has made a presidential run a good brand-builder for those not seriously seeking to be president but eager to exploit that market.

    These are both persuasive points. On the first, while fields traditionally winnowed after early nominating contests, we now see GOP contenders running and quitting well ahead of Iowa. Tim Pawlenty, for example, was a credible contender, but he lacked staying power. The same forces kept other credible candidates, including Mitch Daniels and Haley Barbour, from even launching campaigns in the first place.

    As for the overabundance of fringe vanity candidates, many of these conservative personalities know national campaigns, even pointless ones, means exposure and post-campaign business opportunities. Bernstein explained, “Their incentive is to stake out the most extreme positions and court controversy in order to get themselves noticed by the most partisan customers of conservative books, talk shows, and other products, instead of developing carefully constructed issue positions designed to build party-wide support.”

    I’d add just one other factor: the failure of the Republican Party in the Bush era was costly to the party in several ways, including the thinning of the GOP bench. Virginia’s George Allen, after all, was supposed to be a major national player, right up until he was caught up in a Democratic wave — one that covered two cycles and ended many Republican careers.

    The result is an ignominious field for the books. This is not to say one of these candidates can’t win the White House next year; one very well might. But it’s hard not to take a good look at these folks and shake one’s head in amazement.

  5. rikyrah says:

    October 23, 2011 9:25 AM
    Cain vs Clinton, 17 years later

    By Steve Benen

    Herman Cain is now the subject of considerable attention from the political world, somehow working his way into the top tier of the Republican presidential field. But this is not the first time Cain gained notoriety on the national stage.

    The first time, my Monthly colleague Ryan Cooper noted this week, came in 1994, when Cain played a leading role in killing President Clinton’s health care reform initiative. At the time, Cain was both the head of Godfather’s Pizza and the newly-elected leader of the National Restaurant Association, and was given a chance to confront the president at a town-hall meeting in Kansas City during the height of the debate.

    Cain’s efforts paid off. Playing the role of a lobbyist, and partnering with the National Federation of Independent Business, the far-right Republican successfully rallied the business community to play a critical role in destroying the entire reform effort.

    But the key takeaway from this isn’t just a stroll down memory lane. What matters are the consequences of Cain’s anti-reform campaign in 1994, and as Ryan explained, small businesses lost badly after Cain won.

    Because of rising costs, starting in the late nineties, small employer coverage was steadily eroded, down from 65 percent offering coverage in 1999 to 59 percent in 2009, compared to 99 percent of large businesses. More small firms contribute nothing to their employee plans than large firms (for singles, 35 percent versus 7 percent; for families, 14 percent versus 2 percent), and their employees face increasingly higher deductibles (see chart below). Cain himself may have put it best in 2007: “63 percent of the uninsured…work for small businesses that cannot afford health insurance coverage because the costs keep rising faster than their profits.” (By the way, 60 percent of small businesses would have seen a reduction in premiums under the Clinton plan.) […]

    By staving off any efforts at cost control, Cain and his allies left small businesses in an increasingly untenable position. Health care price increases disproportionately affect small businesses, mostly due to their lack of bargaining power — large companies, with their bigger pools of employees, can negotiate better prices. This is a major drag on the sector, not only making it more expensive for a small business to do the same work as a large one but also impinging their ability to attract talented employees, as large companies can offer better benefits.

    Cain, in effect, pulled a con. He managed to convince small businesses that the health care reform plan — a proposal that would have helped these enterprises significantly — would have been awful for them. Cain, like most conservatives who pretend to know how best to “help” the private sector, had it backwards. The result of Cain’s failure has meant soaring premiums, fewer profits, and fewer small businesses able to expand and hire new workers.

    Nearly two decades later, Cain is proud of his role in killing the Clinton plan. His pride only reinforces fears that Cain has no idea what he’s talking about, and is too oblivious to appreciate how much damage he’s done to the private sector in the 17 years since.


  6. rikyrah says:

    Borking Didn’t Break This

    by BooMan
    Sun Oct 23rd, 2011 at 10:44:14 AM EST

    Joe Nocera has a column in the New York Times that notes that it is the 24th anniversary of the defeat of Robert Bork’s nomination to the Supreme Court. He uses the occasion to blame the current breakdown of comity in Washington on the Democrats’ decision to reject Bork.

    I bring up Bork not only because Sunday is a convenient anniversary. His nomination battle is also a reminder that our poisoned politics is not just about Republicans behaving badly, as many Democrats and their liberal allies have convinced themselves. Democrats can be — and have been — every bit as obstructionist, mean-spirited and unfair.

    I’ll take it one step further. The Bork fight, in some ways, was the beginning of the end of civil discourse in politics. For years afterward, conservatives seethed at the “systematic demonization” of Bork, recalls Clint Bolick, a longtime conservative legal activist. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution coined the angry verb “to bork,” which meant to destroy a nominee by whatever means necessary. When Republicans borked the Democratic House Speaker Jim Wright less than two years later, there wasn’t a trace of remorse, not after what the Democrats had done to Bork. The anger between Democrats and Republicans, the unwillingness to work together, the profound mistrust — the line from Bork to today’s ugly politics is a straight one.

    Now, he says that rejecting Bork was “obstructionist, mean-spirited, and unfair.” The latter two adjectives are a matter of subjective opinion. Were the Democrats mean and unfair to Bork? Maybe, maybe not. But what they definitely were not is obstructionist. Robert Bork’s nomination was not filibustered. There was unanimous consent, meaning all 100 senators agreed to move to a vote on his nomination. The Senate then voted 58-42 not to confirm him, with six Republicans voting against him and two Democrats voting for him.

    I’d also note one more thing. Ordinarily, when it becomes clear that a nominee is not going to be confirmed, they will withdraw from the process rather than force the issue. Remember that after Bork was voted down, Reagan’s next nominee, Donald Ginsburg, withdrew his name after it was revealed that he had smoked a lot of pot as a younger man. Bork didn’t do that. He felt defiant and so he forced the Senate to have a vote.

    I suppose the reason the right was so incensed by Bork’s defeat is because he had a strong resume. He was rejected because of his right-wing ideas. Therefore, the right felt justified in the future in rejecting the judicial nominees of Democratic presidents based solely on their left-wing ideas. And that has contributed to the poisoning of the well in Washington.

    Remember that the year before Bork’s nomination Antonin Scalia was confirmed 98-0. Obviously, something significant changed after Bork. But the Democrats did not obstruct his nomination. They defeated it. And let’s listen to Bob Dole. Here he is, discussing the Nuclear Option back in 2005.

    When I was a leader in the Senate, a judicial filibuster was not part of my procedural playbook. Asking a senator to filibuster a judicial nomination was considered an abrogation of some 200 years of Senate tradition.

    To be fair, the Democrats have previously refrained from resorting to the filibuster even when confronted with controversial judicial nominees like Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas. Although these men were treated poorly, they were at least given the courtesy of an up-or-down vote on the Senate floor. At the time, filibustering their nominations was not considered a legitimate option by my Democratic colleagues – if it had been, Justice Thomas might not be on the Supreme Court today, since his nomination was approved with only 52 votes, eight short of the 60 votes needed to close debate.

    Unlike Bork, for whom no filibuster was necessary to prevent his confirmation, Clarence Thomas’s nomination could have been defeated through procedural obstruction. Even in the face of compelling questions about his moral rectitude, the Democrats refrained from resorting to the filibuster. Perhaps if Thomas hadn’t made the Democrats regret their decision so much they wouldn’t be willing to filibuster judicial nominees today.

    The truth is that the toxicity in Washington has nothing to do with Bork. He’s just a symbol of something else, which is the conservative movement’s rejection of Supreme Court rulings related to civil and woman’s rights. Because the conservatives want to roll back those rulings, they’ve essentially politicized the court. They argue the reverse, which is that the left used the Court to change the law in a way Congress never would have done. That’s true. If we had waited for Congress to act, we’d still have Jim Crow laws and women would still be getting back-alley abortions. In other words, if conservatives hadn’t been so wrong back in the 1950’s and 1960’s, we might not have a politicized judicial system today. But they were, and we do.

    For the last twenty-four years both parties have used a variety of tactics to stop the judicial appointments of the other party. Only rarely does it come down to a filibuster. Judiciary Committee chairs can slow-walk nominees, or they can be defeated at the committee level. Home-state senators can veto judicial nominations. The Senate can make clear that a nominee doesn’t have the votes, causing them to withdraw.

    One thing should be clear though, in case you want to cast equal blame for this situation. The Democratic nominees want to uphold the law as it stands. The Republican nominees want to overturn Roe v. Wade. Republican nominees who have been confirmed are eroding consumer rights and have already given corporations unprecedented control over our electoral system. The Republicans are the ones legislating from the bench, as Citizens United proved. Since the courts have become legislatures, they have also become political bodies. They blame us for starting it. I blame them for being unrelenting assholes who forced us to choose between Apartheid and a politicized court.

  7. rikyrah says:

    October 23, 2011 8:45 AM
    The wrong turning point

    By Steve Benen

    Exactly 24 years ago today, the U.S. Senate defeated Robert Bork’s nomination to the Supreme Court. As far as the New York Times’s Joe Nocera is concerned, it was an ugly turning point in American politics.

    His nomination battle is also a reminder that our poisoned politics is not just about Republicans behaving badly, as many Democrats and their liberal allies have convinced themselves. Democrats can be — and have been — every bit as obstructionist, mean-spirited and unfair.

    I’ll take it one step further. The Bork fight, in some ways, was the beginning of the end of civil discourse in politics…. The anger between Democrats and Republicans, the unwillingness to work together, the profound mistrust — the line from Bork to today’s ugly politics is a straight one.

    Nocera’s larger point, in fact, is that mean ol’ liberals are largely responsible for the toxicity and breakdowns in Washington. “The next time a liberal asks why Republicans are so intransigent,” the columnist concludes, “you might suggest that the answer lies in the mirror.”

    It’s hard to overstate how remarkably wrong this is. Indeed, nearly every paragraph in Nocera’s piece includes a fairly significant error of fact or judgment.

    The columnist argues, for example, that Bork was an intellectual giant who was unfairly labeled as an “extremist.” I suppose it’s a subjective question — an extremist to one is a moderate to another — but I’d note for context that Bork had endorsed Jim Crow-era poll taxes, condemned portions of the Civil Rights Act banning discrimination in public accommodations, and argued against extending the equal protection of the 14th Amendment to American women, among other things. Nocera may be comfortable with Bork’s ability to justify these positions as a matter of legal theory, but considering Bork’s conclusions as “extreme” seems more than fair.

    Indeed, as recently as last week, Bork was still arguing that the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment doesn’t apply to women.

    Nocera also suggests to the reader that it was Democrats who destroyed Bork. What the column neglected to mention is that Dems didn’t filibuster Bork’s nomination; they simply brought the nomination the floor. At that point, six Republican senators agreed that Bork was simply too radical for the high court.

    Nocera sees the vote as an example of Democratic “obstructionism.” That’s silly. It wasn’t obstructionist and the vote wasn’t along party lines.

    The columnist also argues this one ordeal poisoned the Washington well. But the Democratic Congress and the Reagan White House continued to govern and pass significant bills after Bork was defeated, as did President George H.W. Bush with a Democratic Congress. This was not some kind of unhealed wound that made bipartisan cooperation impossible.

    Nocera goes on to argue that Bork’s opposition to Roe v Wade is somehow comparable to Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s questions about the ruling’s rationale, but to equate the two is just foolish.

    The columnist’s understanding of history related to judicial-nominee fights is woefully incomplete.

    There have been plenty of modern turning points that have created the breakdowns of our political system. The Gingrich Revolution and the far-right takeover of the Republican Party seems like the big one to me, as do the unjustified impeachment of a Democratic president, the dubious legitimacy of the 2000 presidential election, the Bush White House’s post-9/11 strategy of dividing the country for GOP gain, the Republicans’ scorched-earth strategy of the Obama era, etc.

    But the bipartisan opposition to Bork is the real culprit? Please.

  8. rikyrah says:

    October 23, 2011 8:05 AM

    Perry gets back to basics in Iowa

    By Steve Benen

    It’s not exactly a secret that Rick Perry’s presidential campaign had fallen on hard times, despite being the clear frontrunner not too long ago. The conventional wisdom would have us believe it was the Texas governor’s poor debate performances that took the wind from his sails, but a closer look suggests it was issues — most notably immigration and HPV — and not incoherence that dragged him down.

    With this in mind, if Perry is going to get back on track, he’ll have to shift the campaign focus back to his strengths. Speaking to about 1,000 activists at the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition dinner last night, the governor was in his comfort zone.

    Gov. Rick Perry of Texas sought to win over social conservative voters in Iowa on Saturday night as he drew a distinction between his opposition to abortion with the views of his leading Republican rivals and declared, “Being pro-life is not a matter of campaign convenience; it is a core conviction.”

    At a forum for Republican presidential hopefuls, Mr. Perry urged party activists to study the abortion positions of his opponents. He offered veiled criticism of Herman Cain, who told an interviewer last week that he was against abortion, but that the decision to have the procedure was a personal one.

    “It is a liberal canard to say I am personally pro-life, but government should stay out of that decision,” Mr. Perry said, drawing enthusiastic applause from a crowd of social conservative voters. “If that is your view, you are not pro-life, you are pro-having your cake and eating it too.”

    Perry may have a lot of faults as a candidate, but when it comes to restricting America women’s reproductive rights, the Texas governor knows how to connect with his party’s right-wing base.

    This, oddly enough, is evidence of campaign progress for him. A few weeks ago, Perry appeared at the Values Voter Summit in DC, and was expected to connect easily with the religious right audience. Instead, the governor delivered a routine stump speech and underwhelmed attendees. Last night, Perry remembered to cater his message to his audience.

    It helps, of course, that he’s been given an opening. Herman Cain, by some measures the frontrunner-for-now in Iowa, accidentally came out as pro-choice this week (last night, he assured the Iowa audience he wants a policy of “no abortions, no exceptions”). Mitt Romney, who assumed he has no shot with these voters anyway, didn’t bother to show up at all last night, instead going back to New Hampshire.

    Which left Perry among the top-tier candidates to say things like, “When it comes to faith, it is the core of who I am. It is an essential act as much as breathing is an essential act. I found the true source of hope and change, and that is a loving God who changes hearts of stone into hearts of flesh.” It was, to be sure, what the audience wanted to hear.

    In the bigger picture, it’s still hard to imagine how Perry can complete a successful comeback and win the Republican nomination, but it’s probably a little too early to completely write off the candidate we saw last night. Perry has a lot of money in the bank; campaign advertisements haven’t even started running yet; and at least in Iowa, the Texas governor is the only consistent opponent of abortion rights in the GOP’s top tier — a detail he’ll apparently be pushing in Iowa quite a bit.

  9. rikyrah says:

    Most Black Americans Sitting Out ‘Occupy’

    Movement remains overwhelmingly White

    By Chris Levister –

    When Ray Leeds saw a crowd gathering in front of the California Museum of Photography in Riverside’s downtown pedestrian mall last week, the photography buff and out-ofwork union pipefitter left nothing to chance.

    “I grabbed my camera and just started taking pictures. It was surreal. Out of nowhere they just started singing and pitching tents,” he said It was engrossing. You couldn’t just stand there and snap pictures.”

    When Leeds saw a couple dressed up like zombies holding a placard that read “Everyone Needs to Pay Their FAIR Share: End Corporate Greed”. He traded his camera for a piece of poster board that read: “It’s About the People: Not Profits”.

    What unfolded before his eyes was Riverside’s entry into Occupy Wall Street one of the nation’s most progressive grassroots movements. A month ago the protests took shape in lower Manhattan to express anger over Wall St. greed, lack of jobs, political inaction, corruption and other issues.

    As Leeds panned his camera lens across the swelling crowd he could not help but notice the faces were overwhelmingly white and young.

    “My first question was where are the blacks, Latino’s and other minorities? My next question was are people of color too busy making ends meet to join the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ movement, or is there a disconnect between progressives and people of color?”

    So during his regular visit to the barber on Saturday Leeds a black American, fully expected the crowded black shop to be in full tilt over the protests.

    “Hold your breath Bro,” explained Jason Haney, a Saturday regular. “This is not black folk’s protest.”

    “Black folk have been protesting and going through hell since the ‘man’ brought us over here from Africa,” he said.

    “Young white Americans are finally getting a taste of the kind of hell black Americans have endured for generations,” said an unapologetic Shaun Rubinson during a discussion at Andre’s Hair Salon in San Bernardino.

    “I don’t think blacks are rejecting this movement. We are just too busy surviving,” said Rubinson, a long time hair stylist whose clients include all races.

    Rubinson, shop owner Andre’ Mayes and client Stephanie Lewis, a nurse practitioner at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center are among a growing number of black Americans who have chosen to sit on the side lines even as Occupy picks up stream, cash and big name black supporters including Kayne West, Jay-Z, Russel l Simmons and Al Sharpton.

    “Where were these young white MBA’s and laid off corporate workers when black Americans were losing their homes and jobs at unprecedented rates during the early days of the recession,” asked Lewis.

    “Where were those protesters as Tea Party conservatives took over Congress, blocked the president’s historic healthcare overhaul law, smashed his job creation efforts, trashed his landmark stimulus initiative, and undermined his efforts to reign in big banks,” said Mayes.

    “Instead of fighting the demons on Wall Street they put on their earbuds and turned their wrath on the president call ing him an absentee leader. What gives,” said Mayes. “This appears to be more about their pain than America’s pain.”

    “Their working class parents have had their homes foreclosed. Their school loans can’t be paid because they too now are unemployed or underpaid. Their stocks and 401K’s have been eviscerated by the 1%.

    Their middle class status is slipping away,” said Rubinson.

    “Their stark reality has gotten closer to what black people have been battling for years.”

    Bennett College for Women president and noted Black economist Dr. Julianne Malveaux, wrote in an October 17 blog entitled: What Does The Occupy Wall Street Movement Want?

    “Banks got bailed out, we got ripped off. Banks were given money to lend and they chose not to lend it. Banks created risky financial instruments -derivatives – and when they couldn’t perform, they whined and leaned on an excuse that they were “too big to fail”. Now they are even bigger, and our government is all the more invested in their nonsense.

    “No wonder they are mad” wrote Malveaux, author of Surviving and Thriving: 365 Facts in Black Economic History. “Heck, I’m mad too, but as I look at their movement, I see a sense of déjà vu. Young folks, mostly white folks, taking it to the street. Protesting, acting out their frustration.”

    “And to what end? OWS does not look like American. There are plenty of unemployed young African Americans and Latinos, but our law enforcement experiences are different from those of whites. While a protest arrest may be seen as a youthful indiscretion for a young white man, it is an employment-ender for a young black man. As the New York police are arresting right and left, I can imagine a brother or a sister deciding that they might just stay home and support OWS in spirit.” Malveaux said.

    “What in the world do these folks want? She explains.

    ”They are protesting because of their pain, but they have to turn pain and protest into power. Protesting income inequality won’t make the playing field level. Protesting greed won’t yield many ends, when the incentives for greed are hard-wired into our system.”

    “First, they must diversify. They must reach out to black, brown, and marginalized communities so that this protest is not a narrow white occasion. And, in reaching out to these folks, they must clearly understand the greater risks involved when people of color take it to the streets.

    They need to be prepared to protect those who are racially targeted by those who sometimes masquerade as law enforcement officers.”

    “We should occupy Wall Street, but to what end. They need to spell it out so that the outrage that has spilled into the streets now spills back upon our legislators. Other than agitation, what does OWS want?”

  10. rikyrah says:

    Lindsey Graham: Obama ‘Failed’ In Iraq

    Igor Bobic October 23, 2011, 10:17 AM 3155 92

    Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on Sunday blasted the Obama administration’s handling of Iraq as a failure and dictated by nothing more than campaign tactics.

    “At a time when we need troops in Iraq to secure the country, we have none,” Graham told Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday.” “It was his job to end this right [and] they failed.”

    Graham, a long-standing critic of the Obama administration’s foreign policy, also scolded the President for letting politics guide his decisions, rather than strategy.

    “I think he’s made some poor decisions on the strategic level. Israel has been thrown under the bus by this President. Iraq and Afghanistan [are] being run by Chicago and not Washington for these past six months.”

    Graham also criticized the administration’s handling of Libya, saying that the toppling of Muammar Qaddafi, Libya’s longtime dictator, should have occurred at a faster pace — and that the months of pro-longed engagement have destabilized the region with now unaccounted-for weapons caches that have largely disappeared.

    “If you go to war, go to win, don’t lead from behind,” Graham said, blaming Obama’s reliance on support from allies such as the British and French for months of delay.

  11. rikyrah says:

    Rick Perry Reaches Out To The Birthers

    We’ve already seen the Rick Perry campaign offer a nod-and-a-wink to conservative Christians who want to make an issue of Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith.

    Now, Perry’s giving birthers a tip of his hat, too.

    In an interview with Parade Magazine out Sunday, Perry said he had “no definitive answer” as to whether or not President Obama’s long-form birth certificate is real.

    Here’s the full exchange, from Parade:

    Governor, do you believe that President Barack Obama was born in the United States?
    I have no reason to think otherwise.

    That’s not a definitive, “Yes, I believe he”—
    Well, I don’t have a definitive answer, because he’s never seen my birth certificate.

    But you’ve seen his.
    I don’t know. Have I?

    You don’t believe what’s been released?
    I don’t know. I had dinner with Donald Trump the other night.

    That came up.

    And he said?
    He doesn’t think it’s real.

    And you said?
    I don’t have any idea. It doesn’t matter. He’s the President of the United States. He’s elected. It’s a distractive issue.

  12. McConnell: Not My Job To Prevent Firefighter, Police Layoffs

    Speaking with Candy Crowley on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-K.Y.) defended his opposition to President Obama’s now dead jobs bill, saying that the federal government should instead focus on decreasing regulations.

    Yet McConnell spun the issue in a different light, telling Crowley that saving emergency responders from unemployment shouldn’t necessarily be a federal responsibility. In essence, it’s the states’ problem.

    “I’m sure Americans do, I certainly do, approve of firefighters and police,” said McConnell. “The question is whether the federal government ought to be raising taxes on 300,000 small businesses in order to send money down to bail out states for whom firefighters and police work. They are local and state employees.”

    But, as Crowley pointed out (and as did Harry Reid on the floor of the Senate last week) polls show that 75 percent of the public supports raising some form of tax on millionaires to pay for aid to teachers, police, and firefighters.

    Senate Republicans, joined by three conservative members of the Democratic caucus, defeated that $35 billion package last week, which aimed to hire or retain teachers and emergency responders. And Democrats will surely trumpet their recalcitrance as we head into 2012.

  13. The Associated Press:

    BREAKING: Transitional government declares Libyan liberation after 8-month civil war.

  14. Deadly Earthquake Rocks Turkey

    CNN reports that a 7.2 earthquake has struck Eastern Turkey, making it the most powerful earthquake to hit the country in ten years.

    The quake was felt in the provinces of Diyarbakir, Erzurum, Siirt, Mus and Agri, according to Bloomberg News.

  15. Good Morning, Ametia, Rikyrah, 3 Chics, Friends & Visitors!

    Happy Sunday!

    • Inspiration for today

      We are able to hold our heads high no matter what happens and know that all is well; for we know how dearly God loves us, and we feel this warm love everywhere within us, because God has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

      Romans 5:5

    • rikyrah says:

      Good Morning, Everyone at 3CHICS!!

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