Saturday Open Thread

Ray Erskine Parker, Jr. (born May 1, 1954), is an American guitarist, songwriter, producer and recording artist. Parker is known for writing and performing the theme song to the motion picture Ghostbusters, for his solo hits, and performing with his band Raydio as well as the late Barry White.

Raydio scored their first big hit, “Jack and Jill”, from their self-titled album in 1978 with Arista Records. The song reached #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, earning a million-selling Gold single in the process.

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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29 Responses to Saturday Open Thread

  1. TyrenM says:

    Graphics hilarious. Re: Ray, I found him with “A Woman Need’s Love.” Nice blast from the past.

  2. rikyrah says:

    2012 race likely to be close, tough, maybe brutal
    Associated Press (CHARLES BABINGTON)
    Posted: 11/05/2011 9:33

    One year to go until Election Day and the Republican presidential field is deeply unsettled, leaving President Barack Obama only to guess who his opponent will be. But the race’s contours are starting to come into view.

    It’s virtually certain that the campaign will be a close, grinding affair, markedly different from the 2008 race. It will play out amid widespread economic anxiety and heightened public resentment of government and politicians.

    Americans who were drawn to the drama of Obama’s barrier-breaking battle with Hillary Rodham Clinton, and the up-and-down fortunes of John McCain and Sarah Palin, are likely to see a more partisan contest this time, with Ohio and Florida playing crucial roles as they did in 2000 and 2004.

    Republicans have their script; they just need to pick the person to deliver it. It will portray Obama as a failed leader who backs away when challenged and who doesn’t understand what it takes to create jobs and spur business investment.

    Obama will highlight his opponent’s ties to the tea party and its priorities. He will say Republicans are obsessed with protecting millionaires’ tax cuts while the federal debt soars and working people struggle.

    On several issues, voters will see a more distinct contrast between the nominees than in 2008. Even the most moderate Republican candidates have staked out more rigidly conservative views on immigration, taxes and spending than did Arizona Sen. McCain.

    Democrats say Obama has little control over the two biggest impediments to his re-election: unemployment and congressional gridlock.

    The jobless rate will stand at levels that have not led to a president’s re-election since the Great Depression. Largely because of that, Obama will run a much more negative campaign, his aides acknowledge, even if it threatens to demoralize some supporters who were inspired by his 2008 message of hope.

    The tea party, one of the modern era’s most intriguing and effective political movements, will play its first role in a presidential race. After helping Republicans win huge victories in last year’s congressional elections, activists may push the GOP presidential contenders so far right that the eventual nominee will struggle to appeal to independents.

    “It’s going to be extremely different, with much more hand-to-hand combat, from one foxhole to another, targeted to key states,” said Chris Lehane, who helped run Democrat Al Gore’s 2000 presidential campaign.

    Republican consultant Terry Holt agreed. “You can expect a very negative campaign,” he said. “In 2008, Barack Obama was peddling hope and change. Now he’s peddling fear and poverty.”

    Obama and his aides reject that characterization, of course. They say the Republican candidates are under the tea party’s spell, noting that all of them said they would reject a deficit-reduction plan even if it included $10 in spending cuts for every dollar in new taxes.

    Both parties agree that jobs will be the main issue. The White House predicts unemployment will hover around 9 percent for at least a year, a frighteningly high level for a president seeking a second term.

    GOP lawmakers, who control the House and have filibuster power in the Senate, have blocked Obama’s job proposals, mainly because they would raise taxes on the wealthy. The candidates, echoing their Republican colleagues in Congress, say new jobs will follow cuts in taxes, regulation and federal spending.

    With the economy struggling and Obama hemmed in legislatively, his advisers sometimes say the election will be a choice between the president and his challenger, rather than a referendum on the administration’s performance.

    “That’s a very genteel way of saying ‘We’re going to rip your face off,'” said Dan Schnur, a former aide to McCain and other Republicans, and now a politics professor at the University of Southern California. Obama has little choice but to try to portray the GOP alternative as worse than his own disappointing record, Schnur said.

    Some Republican candidates would be tougher targets than others. Texas Gov. Rick Perry promotes his state’s significant job growth, leaving Democrats to grouse that he was a lucky bystander rather than the cause.

    Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney says his years in the private sector make him best suited to lead an economic expansion. But Obama’s allies have gathered details of jobs that were eliminated when Bain Capital, a takeover firm that Romney headed, restructured several companies.

    Obama can’t fine-tune his strategy until Republicans pick their nominee, and that may take months. So he’s spending part of this year traveling to some of the most contested states, telling disappointed liberals he still deserves their strong backing and trying to convince centrists that he can revive the economy.

    Obama’s overall job-approval rating was 46 percent in an Associated Press-GfK poll from October. Only 36 percent of adults approved of his handling of the economy, a worrisome number for any incumbent.

    Yet 78 percent said he’s a likeable person, which forces Republicans to be careful. It’s possible Obama will run a more cut-throat campaign than will his challenger. For now, anyway, Romney calls Obama “is a nice guy” who doesn’t know how to lead.

    Republican insiders see Romney as their most plausible nominee. He has run the steadiest and best-financed campaign thus far, relying on lessons and friends picked up in his 2008 bid.

    But the GOP race has been unpredictable, and Romney has struggled to exceed one-fourth of the support in Republican polls. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota emerged as his main challenger last summer, only to be supplanted by Perry. A few halting debate performances hurt Perry, and former pizza company executive Herman Cain replaced him at or near the top of the polls, along with Romney.

    Last week, Cain tried to swat down allegations of sex harassment from the 1990s. Party activists are waiting for the impact. Some, however, think Cain’s lack of political experience and his unorthodox style, which includes largely ignoring Iowa and New Hampshire, are more likely to bring him down.

    Two schools of thought run through Republican circles. One holds that Romney is the logical nominee and will consolidate the party’s somewhat grudging support after conservatives stop flirting with longshots such as Bachmann and Cain. Republicans have a history of nominating the runner-up from previous primaries, and Romney fits that bill.

    The competing theory holds that Americans are angrier at government and the two parties than political pros realize, and the tea party is just the start of a potent, long-lasting movement. Under this scenario, Romney can never placate conservative voters because of his establishment ties and the more liberal positions he once held on abortion, gay rights and gun control.

    If this view is right, the shifting support for Bachmann, Perry and Cain is more than a flirtation, and someone will emerge as the “non-Romney” who wins the nomination.

    Veterans of past presidential campaigns tend to doubt this outcome. But even with Obama’s economic woes, plenty of Republican insiders worry that Romney’s inconsistency on important issues and voters’ doubts about his authenticity could let the president slip away.

    Romney should have put his GOP rivals “in the rear-view mirror” by now, said Mike McKenna, a Republican lobbyist who has tracked focus groups and polls in various states. “The problem is, a huge part of the party views him as a third Bush term.”

    McKenna said pundits don’t realize that the tea party movement was as much a rejection of the high-spending, high-deficit practices of President George W. Bush and Republican lawmakers as it was a reaction against Obama’s health care plan. With his ties to New England and the party establishment, Romney “looks like the lineal descendant of Bush,” McKenna said.

    He said he fears that a lot of conservatives will sit out the 2012 election if Romney is the nominee.

    Plenty of strategists reject that view. They think conservatives’ deep antipathy toward Obama will cause them to overcome their misgivings and fully back Romney.

    David Axelrod, Obama’s top political adviser, points to issues Obama can cite success on, from health care and undermining al-Qaida to reviving the auto industry and ending the Iraq war.

    “We’re going to have a very robust debate,” he said. “The Republicans say if we just cut taxes and spending and regulations, we will grow. And I think the American people understand it’s more complicated than that.

  3. rikyrah says:

    November 05, 2011 9:00 AM
    Maybe the wrong Arizonan is facing impeachment

    By Steve Benen

    When Arizona’s Independent Redistricting Commission came up with a new map, Republicans were apoplectic. GOP officials wanted the post-Census congressional district lines to be drawn in Republicans’ favor, and when the tripartisan panel, created by voters, came up with more balanced lines, the party went into attack mode.

    This week, that attack included impeachment proceedings against the commission’s independent chair, Colleen Coyle Mathis, ousted by Gov. Jan Brewer and state Senate Republicans. And on what grounds did GOP officials impeach this official? Republicans cited “gross misconduct” as a justification.

    Alan Colmes talked to Brewer yesterday on his radio show, asking the far-right governor to explain the rationale for impeachment. The discussion didn’t go well.

    COLMES: What did Colleen do that was inappropriate, Colleen Mathis?

    BREWER: Well she acted, uh, inappropriately. Well it was very, pretty much obvious that she in communications, and doing things, uh, not in the public, and the people of Arizona deserve that —

    COLMES: You mean she was doing things secretly? Like what?

    BREWER: They just simply need to operate in a lawful and open fashion….

    COLMES: I’m trying to understand what she did. What are you accusing her of having done?

    BREWER: Well she wasn’t operating in the proper manner.

    The audio of the exchange really needs to be heard to be fully appreciated; the partial transcript doesn’t capture just how incoherent the Republican governor really was.

    And given the circumstances, this matters. Brewer, as part of an unprecedented power grab, just led an impeachment crusade against an independent government official who’s done nothing wrong. The governor agreed to do this interview to explain the rationale for her decision, and then couldn’t explain the rationale for her decision.

    The problem, of course, is that Brewer couldn’t admit the truth out loud: the redistricting commission didn’t rig the game to favor Republicans, so Republicans are retaliating against the redistricting commission.

    On a related note, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) argued yesterday, “I think Arizonans should consider impeaching Jan Brewer.”

    He has a point. If anyone’s guilty of “gross misconduct” in the Grand Canyon State, it would appear to be its governor.

  4. rikyrah says:

    November 05, 2011 9:55 AM
    Punching down, redux

    By Steve Benen

    The race for the Republican presidential nomination has come a long way since early September, when Rick Perry was the clear frontrunner. In the two months since, the Texas governor has seen his support collapse, both nationally and in key early states, and by some measures, Perry is now running fourth.

    And yet, he’s still the candidate the current frontrunner is most worried about.

    Mitt Romney may be skipping some major G.O.P. events in Iowa this week, but he’s still got his eye on someone who isn’t: his rival Rick Perry.

    According to The Associated Press, Mr. Romney’s campaign on Thursday paid for automated phone messages to Iowans that assert that the Texas governor has fostered illegal immigration.

    The attack message may signal that Mr. Romney still views Mr. Perry, despite his recent slide in the polls, as his main threat in Iowa, which will hold its first-in-the-nation caucuses on Jan. 3

    In these new robocalls, Iowans are told that Perry “opposes a border fence” and “signed the bill to make Texas the first state in the nation to grant in-state tuition discounts to illegal immigrants.” It’s not clear how much money the Romney campaign is investing in these robocalls, but the former governor’s aides have confirmed that the calls are theirs.

    Arguably more interesting than the calls themselves is the strategy behind them — it seems that Perry still has the capacity to worry Romney, and that it’s the Texas governor, and not Herman Cain, that has Team Romney concerned.

    Remember, these new robocalls are just the latest in a series of moves. Two weeks ago, the Romney campaign released a video slamming Perry’s debate performances and suggesting the governor is a bit of a dolt. Soon after, Romney’s team used some pretty harsh language to describe Perry, calling him “a petulant little boy.”

    And now Romney is using anti-Perry robocalls in a state he’s ostensibly not worried about.

    There’s a real risk to this strategy. Sure, Romney’s attacks might weaken Perry’s support even more, but it’s just as likely the moves will backfire. By attacking Perry directly and aggressively — instead of simply ignoring a candidate who appears to be imploding all on his own — the Romney camp isn’t even trying to hide the fact that it considers the Texas governor a serious threat.

    Most campaign observers believe there’s one credible candidate standing between Mitt Romney and the Republican nomination, and that’s Rick Perry. In recent weeks, Romney and his team have dropped the pretense, chosen to ignore Cain, and made clear they accept the conventional wisdom as fact.

    A few weeks ago, Romney’s team was delighted to highlight the Obama campaign’s criticisms of the former governor, and even put together a video, streaming together Democratic criticism of the Republican frontrunner. It came with a one-word title: “Nervous?”

    Given the recent offensive against Perry, one might ask Romney the same question.

  5. Ametia says:

    Ohio firefighters are NOT having it!

  6. Ametia says:

    For Creolechild; miss you and hope you’re doing well. Love you woman.

  7. Bow Chicka Bow Wow! President Hotness!

  8. Herman Cain practical joke

    [wpvideo 3g5EqSzD]

  9. Andy Rooney Dead: Former ’60 Minutes’ Commentator Dies At 92 Years Old

    NEW YORK — Andy Rooney so dreaded the day he had to end his signature “60 Minutes” commentaries about life’s large and small absurdities that he kept going until he was 92 years old.

    Even then, he said he wasn’t retiring. Writers never retire. But his life after the end of “A Few Minutes With Andy Rooney” was short: He died Friday night, according to CBS, only a month after delivering his 1,097th and final televised commentary.

    Rooney had gone to the hospital for an undisclosed surgery, but major complications developed and he never recovered.

    “Andy always said he wanted to work until the day he died, and he managed to do it, save the last few weeks in the hospital,” said his “60 Minutes” colleague, correspondent Steve Kroft.

    • Ametia says:

      RIP Mr. Rooney; your stint on 60 Minutes was a highlight for me and many Americans. You articulated well the musings about the mundane, what many could only dream of saying. May the Blessing Be!

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