Saturday Open Thread

Miriam Makeba (4 March 1932 – 10 November 2008), nicknamed Mama Africa, was a Grammy Award winning South African singer and civil rights activist.

In the 1960s she was the first artist from Africa to popularize African music in the U.S. and around the world. She is best known for the song “Pata Pata“, first recorded in 1957 and released in the U.S. in 1967. She recorded and toured with many popular artists, such as Harry Belafonte, Paul Simon, and her former husband Hugh Masekela.

She actively campaigned against the South African system of apartheid. As a result, the South African government revoked her citizenship and right of return. After the end of apartheid she returned home. She died on 10 November 2008 after performing in a concert organized to support writer Roberto Saviano in his stand against the Camorra, a mafia-like organisation local to the Region of Campania.

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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59 Responses to Saturday Open Thread

  1. Washington Post – Michele Bachmann too big for House so likely to retire

    “First, Bachmann is now a national figure who doesn’t appear to have much to gain by staying the House.

    She has always been shunned by the House GOP leadership and didn’t have much success spearheading the tea party caucus when she tried in 2010. She could certainly use her failed presidential campaign to try and expand her voice in Congress, but it’s not clear how successful such a strategy might be.

    Second, the money dried up.”

    Plus she has a redistricting problem.

    They also say she is likely to follow Sarah as a media pundit.

  2. Santorum Overstates Obama Reaction To 2009 Iranian Elections

    Former Pennsylvania Rick Santorum said President Obama essentially supported the results of the 2009 Iranian election, which many charged was rampent with fraud. Obama “..stood silently by, as thousands were killed on the streets. And did nothing. Did nothing. In fact, he tacitly supported the results of the election,” said Santorum at the Republican presidential debate in New Hampshire on Saturday night.

    The assertion by Santorum is that Obama didn’t side with the Green Revolution by outwardly declaring the whole Iran election a sham. Of course, that probably wouldn’t be a good idea considering the already frayed diplomatic relationship, and the fact that the US and its allies want to peaceably prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

    From The Guardian in 2009:

    Barack Obama, in his first comments since the Iranian elections, said he was “deeply troubled” by the post-election violence. But the president held back from publicly criticising Iran, anxious to avoid accusations from Tehran of interference in internal elections, and derailing Washington’s diplomatic overtures to Tehran. Obama, adopting a softly-softly approach, said it was up to Iran to determine its leaders. But he added: “I am deeply troubled by the violence that I’ve been seeing on television.”

  3. Steele Isn’t Impressed

    Former RNC Chair Michael Steele tweets:

    What the hell kind of debate are we having right now? The Obamas are starting to order the china pattern for the second term.

  4. Hey, 3 Chics!

    Rick Perry: ‘I would send troops back into Iraq’

  5. Ametia says:

    Oh dear God, Ron Paull has become BLACK folks’ new BFF. NOT! He’s deflecting and claiming he’s the #1 authority on race amongst the other clowns on the panel. DISGUSTING!

  6. rikyrah says:

    found this over at The Obama Diary about FLOTUS and Kantor’s ‘book’:

    January 7, 2012 at 9:14 pm
    re: The PL and Repug attack of Miche.

    So after reading that ridiculous article, excerpt, whatever, that Kantor wrote, I have come to the conclusion that yes they are trying to damage Miche in order to lower PBO’s re-election chances, but, most importantly, I’ve concluded that it won’t work. The comparison is being made to Hillary Clinton, but in truth, there is no comparison. Though I was too young to remember, I know from history that from the outset of Billy Boy’s presidency, he and his wife presented a united presidential front, a front that made clear that there was little daylight between the East and West Wings. One got the sense that Hillary likely had her nose stuck in almost everything that crossed Bill’O-The- Clown’s desk as president. Even Billy Boy said while campaigning that voters would get “two for the price of one.” So Hillary’s reputation as a hard nosed, overly involved First Lady had been set from the get go, so it was quite easy for repugs to really give it to her because there was clear evidence that she was too overly involved in the office of the presidency i.e.: Hillarycare.

    Michelle Obama however, from the get go, has largely avoided Hillary’s fate as First Lady by defining her role as, first and foremost: ‘Mom-In-Chief.’ Infact, if you read most of the articles about her and see some of the clips about her, she is referred to as just that: First Lady Michelle Obama, America’s Mom-In-Chief. This was likely one of the most brilliant things Miche did at the outset of PBO’s presidency. Mom-In-Chief. It’s relatable, it’s comforting, it’s sweet, it’s non-threatening and it is absolutely genius. It allows her to bridge gaps that are inherent in America’s and American’s political divides. Which repug mom can’t understand what it’s like raising young children? The joy in their children’s successes, the anxiety as they approach that horrible time of storm and stress aka: teenagedom? Even more brilliantly, Miche chose as her main focus two very important and patriotic components of the American ideal: our children and their health and our military men and women and their families.

    At no time has Miche presented herself as a co-president. Instead, she presents herself as a wife and mother whose top priority are the health and wellbeing of her children. She presents as a woman who trusts and supports her husband and who will defend him till the very end. People like Miche despite the fact that she is PBO’s wife because she presents as genuine, kind, sweet and giving. Even when they hate her husband, most people (with the exception of Limpballs, Batshit, The Quitta and the extreme rightwing nutballs) have kind things to say about Miche.

    When I read the article, I found the person portrayed on the pages of Kantor’s excerpt to be someone I didn’t know. One line talked about how Miche told staffers that she wanted things to be elegant aka expensive, because people were waiting for the first black first lady to mess up. And only, by the grace of St. Gibbs, did Miche squash her Marie Antoinette-like urge to spend, spend, spend.–What absolute bullshit. What utter tripe! Who the fuck was Kantor writing about? Michelle Obama? Our Michelle Obama? Little girl from the Southside of Chicago who worked her ass off to make a damned good living, Michelle Obama? What?!

    Who was that petty person portrayed on those pages? Who on the one hand was pissed of at PBO’s staff for not being more competitive and thus allowing us to lose so much to repugs in 2010, but was spiteful enough to refuse to campaign for one of those very seats she was so ticked off at losing? Kantor is obviously a hack and a fame whore. She is a liar and a fool. No matter what she wrote in her stupid, gossipy little book, that isn’t even worthy enough to wipe my ass, it will in no way impact Miche’s approval ratings in any statistically significant way. The image Kantor paints of Miche is so strange and far off the mark of what we know of her, the image that Miche has built over the last three years, that Kantor’s trash will go nowhere. Yes, it will be like shit for the pigs at FAUX to roll in and guzzle, but it will not impact the folks who are the ones who give Miche such high approval ratings. She is no Hillary,who for all the good she tried to do, was really more interested in being co-president of these United States. Instead, Miche is just a nice lady who loves her kids, her husband and this country.

  7. rikyrah says:

    if you’re interested in the GOP Clown Car for tonight, this guy from the Guardian is always funny with his live blogging of it:

  8. Ametia says:


  9. rikyrah says:

    Friday, January 6, 2012President Obama: Legislator, Negotiator, Fighter
    I find it amusing watching pundits and bloggers trying to capture a meme about President Obama at any given moment over the last few years. You’d think that eventually they would see that human beings can rarely be captured by a soundbite and instead are much more complex in both their strengths and foibles. President Obama is no exception.

    Of course the latest meme to surface is that the President has somehow turned over a new leaf and become a populist fighter against the intransigent Republicans instead of being an accommodationist believer in bi-partisanship. A couple of weeks ago I challenged the idea that populism is somehow new to this President by showing how he’s been saying the same things all along.

    What I’ve seen over the years is that every time President Obama comes out swinging, there are a host of people who suggest that he has “finally” abandoned the idea of bi-partisanship. Many heard that in his speech in Ohio where he took on the Republicans for their obstruction and made the recess appointment of Richard Cordray to the CFPA. But take a listen to what he actually said (most people have quoted the second paragraph while leaving out the first).

    So I’ve said before that I want to look for every possible opportunity to work with Congress to move this country forward and create jobs. I’m going to look for every opportunity to try to bridge the partisan divide and get things done — because that’s what the American people need right now…

    But when Congress refuses to act, and as a result, hurts our economy and puts our people at risk, then I have an obligation as President to do what I can without them. I’ve got an obligation to act on behalf of the American people. And I’m not going to stand by while a minority in the Senate puts party ideology ahead of the people that we were elected to serve. Not with so much at stake, not at this make-or-break moment for middle-class Americans. We’re not going to let that happen.
    (Emphasis mine)

    You see what he did there? He left the door open.

    So to those who think bi-partisanship is the enemy of liberal politics, pay attention. This is a President who is playing a long game guided by his North Star. He’ll employ the tactics dictated by the situation to reach that goal. That means that when he has a large majority in both Houses of Congress – he’ll engage in the legislative battle of getting the best stimulus, health care reform, Wall Street reform, etc. he can. And when Republicans have a House majority and are holding the world economy hostage to their extremist agenda, he’ll outsmart them in terms of negotiations. And when its time to take on Osama bin Laden or Republicans who are just being plain stupid in ways that pose a threat to the American people, he’ll take them on as the steely fighter.

    If some day – either through the demise of the Republican Party as we now know it today or through a process where they finally come to their senses – the possibility of joining together in a bi-partisan way to solve the country’s great challenges presents itself, he’ll be ready to play that role as well.

    I suspect that history will be more capable of assessing the different facets of this President than our current react-in-the-moment news media. But perhaps by taking a broader look ourselves we can calm the tides of reaction that well up. In doing so, we’ll learn more about what he means when he talks about being able to see the long game.
    Posted by Smartypants at 9:51 AM

  10. rikyrah says:

    Rick Santorum Is ‘Outraged’ At President Obama’s ‘Snobbery’ In Claiming ‘Every Student Should Go To College’

    Rick Santorum is out in New Hampshire today campaign and attempting to court the working class vote, and in an event at St. Anselm College. This he did by attacking the idea that it is a generally positive thing for people to go to college as “snobbery,” and declared his “outrage” at the President for suggesting that “every student should go to college.”

    The Wall Street Journal notes that Santorum attributed the idea that going to college was a good thing for everyone to “snobbery,” and instead boasted that he would be proud if his children did not do so:

    “We are leaving so many children behind,” Mr. Santorum said at a forum sponsored by the Atlantic, the National Journal and Saint Anselm College. “They’re not ready to go to [college.] They don’t want to go to college. They don’t need to go to college. I was so outraged that the President of the United States [said] every student should go to college.”

    “Who are you to say that every child in America goes” to college, he continued. “I have seven kids. Maybe they’ll all go to college. But if one of my kids wants to go and be an auto mechanic, good for him! That’s a good-paying job.”

    He went on to explain that auto mechanics spend time “using your hands, using your mind,” while previously also citing “the hubris of this President to think that he knows what’s best.” He then, hilarious, calls for Americans to “wise up,” though it’s unclear how they are to do that without education (Santorum himself “wised up” by going to several universities and holds a doctorate in law).

    Rick Santorum is not the first nor the last politician to suggest that knowledge is not an inherently good asset to have, or that formal education is not necessarily a good way to acquire knowledge (it is important to note that formal education and knowledge are two different things, and that a minority of people do discipline themselves to give themselves the equivalent of formal education without an institution). But to suggest that there is an arrogance in the idea that higher education is something children should aspire to is a dangerous premise that can quickly lead down the slippery “anti-elitist” slope that glorifies ignorance and fears knowledge and discipline, a world where “Joe the Plumber” has a rightful place in American politics but President Obama is somehow an usurper. And whether Santorum was innocently trying to appear folksy or otherwise, the subtexts in his language are unavoidable, and the hypocrisy in his statement that higher education is necessarily problematic when he himself has benefited from it far worse than the myriad distractions those on the left try to pin on him.

  11. fivethirtyeight:

    We have fresh word that Iowa GOP will NOT change caucus result from disputed vote count.

  12. Arian Foster!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Touchdown!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Doing it up for the Texans

    We’re rockin & rollin…

    Go, Texans!

  13. Whoo Hoo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Andre Johnson, baby! That’s what I’m talking ’bout!

    Go, Texans!

    Texans 24- Bengals 10

    cool myspace layouts

  14. Why I’m leaving the Republican Party…and Endorsing President Obama

    I’m leaving the Republican Party. No longer can I say with a clear conscience that the Republican Party is focused on solving problems will benefit average Americans.

    Solving problems is about pragmatically viewing data to decide upon the most effective public policy solutions. Many times, problem solving is the complete opposite of adhering to a rigid political ideology that dictates policy regardless of consequences. Our public servants need to be looking at what has worked, what has not worked, and using those judgments to form policy moving forward. The Republican Party refuses to look at what works and what doesn’t — they simply base policy on whether it fits into a rigid anti-government philosophy, whether it is good policy or not. Essentially, the effectiveness of policy is completely and totally irrelevant to Republicans. Additionally, the Republican Party believes more strongly in obstructing anything that President Obama proposes than in real solutions that would create jobs and help the average American.

    Additionally, I have specific grievances with the current “know-nothing” incarnation of the Republican Party:


  15. Perry Names Controversial Arizona Sheriff to Campaign

    AUSTIN, Texas — In a move to reassure conservatives who think he’s soft on illegal immigration, Gov. Rick Perry announced on Friday that controversial Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio will chair his campaign in Arizona.

    Although admired by conservatives for his get-tough approach to controlling illegal immigration in his Southern Arizona county, Arpaio is facing allegations by the U.S. Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division on a wide range of issues, including claims of practicing a pattern of racial profiling and discrimination against Hispanics and carrying out heavy-handed immigration patrols based on racially charged citizen complaints.

    Arpaio endorsed Perry in the Republican primary before the federal investigation surfaced, and he campaigned for Perry in both Iowa and New Hampshire.

  16. rikyrah says:

    Wednesday, January 4, 2012
    Iowa and Beyond: For the Tea Party GOP “Common Sense” Racism is the Road to the White House

    The 2012 Republican presidential field, a hydra which self-destructively feeds on itself, had one more battle royale in Iowa. Fighting to a standstill, Romney, Gingrich, Santorum, and Paul bloodied each other. While the Tea Party GOP is still a house divided, their leading candidates share a common, uniting, go to issue: hating on the blacks makes for good politics; it pays substantial political dividends.

    As Iowa demonstrated, be it Gingrich’s yearning to have lazy black and brown kids pick up mops and brooms as janitors in work houses, Romney’s nativist Klan inspired opines to keep “America America,” Santorum’s appeals to a belief that African Americans find sustenance by stealing from hardworking white people, or Ron Paul’s assertion that the Civil Rights Act (with its bringing down of Jim and Jane Crow) was an unfair intrusion on white people’s “liberty” and “freedom,” the Tea Party GOP remains addicted to the crack rock of dog whistle politics.

    Decades after the founding of the Southern Strategy in the 1960s, the old school remains the true school. Ultimately for conservatives, demagoguing the negroes can still help stir up support among the white populist faithful.

    Precision matters here. Research on public opinion and political behavior has demonstrated that not all conservatives are racist. However, racists are much more likely to be conservative–and to identify as Republicans.

    Social scientists, historians, psychologists and others have developed an extensive vocabulary to talk about the lived politics of the color line. These terms include such notable phrases as symbolic racism, white racial resentment, the white racial frame, in-group and out-group anxiety, ethnocentrism, prejudice, realistic group conflict, colorblind racism, systems of structured inequality, racial formation, and front stage vs. backstage racism.

    In thinking through the politics of race at work in the white conservative political imagination, this seemingly disparate terminology is connected by a common thread. Race and racial ideologies are ways of seeing the world, of locating people and individuals relative to one another, and are a cognitive map for making sense of social relationships. While shocking to outsiders, the type of racism played with so casually by Gingrich, Romney, Santorum, Paul and other conservatives is a type of “common sense” for their public.

    For example, the audiences that cheer Romney’s speeches about a country that is lost, one led by an anti-American usurper, are not necessarily “bad people.” They are motivated by a sense of belonging, and made to feel special by virtue of being “real Americans,” part of a special tribe anointed with unique insight and wisdom by their oracles.

    Likewise, those who embrace Gingrich’s habit of stereotyping “inner city blacks” as lazy, unmotivated, and criminal, probably identify as “compassionate conservatives,” or “good Christians.” There is no intended malice on their part. To them, “everyone knows” that these observations about black and brown people are “true.”

  17. rikyrah says:

    Sat Jan 07, 2012 at 03:51 AM PST.

    Wherein I come back into the Obama fold

    I wrote a diary several months ago in which I essentially bashed the President and said that I would absolutely not vote for his reelection. At that time, during the debt crisis, I truly felt that I was at the end of my limits for what I could let go. We all stomached the extension of the Bush tax cuts for the rich. After that and the debt limit cave, I wasn’t able to take anymore. A lot has happened since then. I realized shortly after and now that that was written at a point of extreme anger and what I felt to be betrayal. I knew in my heart and in my mind that that position was untenable. The year 2008 was the first year I was eligible to vote for President of the United States. My vote was proudly cast for Barack Obama in the general election. Make no mistake, I strongly believed in him as just a young 21 year old who ultimately wanted to see George W. Bush leave office for good. With that said, I realize that I was wrong in posting my thoughts back a few months ago. I did really feel the way I did back then, but I do believe that times change when approaching a general election versus a policy fight. In our political system, we are faced with two competing visions every four years. As a strong liberal Democrat, I will be choosing one of those visions come November 6th, 2012.

    My disagreement with President Obama has been from the left. I have wanted a stronger fighter and someone who would fight for progressive values. For some reason, the disappointments always stuck more than the triumphs, of which we have had plenty of both. I’ve never wanted to see the President lose, despite what I said before. I’ve always been rooting for the least electable Republican to win the nomination. I don’t know who that necessarily is or was, probably someone along the lines of Michele Bachmann or Newt Gingrich (neither of which will ever become POTUS, thankfully).

    Ultimately, I feel that I really must come back into the fold that strongly supports the President, lest that title fall to someone entirely despicable. I totally realize that legislation passed under his Presidency has affected me positively. I thank him for signing the healthcare law that has enabled me to have great healthcare until at least age 26 (note that I am just 24). My position on so-called “Obamacare” is that it did not go far enough. A public option would have been one thing; I think single-payer would have been perfection. I refuse to ever cede ground on what we, as a nation, have accomplished with healthcare reform. I want to continue the fight to full and outright single-payer healthcare. That will never happen under a Republican Administration, among so many other economic and social advancements. If anyone looks at what are to be the options in November, I do not see how anyone that supports progress can support but one option this year, that is supporting the reelection of President Obama.

    We will have a choice between two vastly different visions of America. Right now, I would assume the used car salesman Mitt Romney is the President’s opponent at this point. If that is the case, we will have a choice to vote against the one-percent personified. We can vote against the ultimate flip-flopper. We can vote for someone who fundamentally supports the working class over the rich. We can vote against someone who lusts only for power and greed. As progressives, we can continue the progress we have made since the disastrous Presidency of George W. Bush. We can support judicial nominations that support economic prosperity and social liberties and freedoms. Despite my disagreements, I do fundamentally support the same goals for America that President Obama believes.

    If Mitt Romney becomes the Republican nominee, we are facing a truly despicable person. We face someone who lusts only for power and greed. He is one of the most abhorrent people to reach this point of the nominating process. This is someone who eliminates jobs in support of more wealth. He is someone who actually wants to become a career politician, despite the voters’ distaste and disagreement. I have to say that Romney evokes a disgust in me that none of the other Republican nominees produce and I can see why they refuse to accept him (imagine accepting Joe Lieberman in 2004). To be honest, I do not see how any American can choose to elect Mitt Romney as President. Every time I see him or hear him speak, I think “used car salesman”. That is not a compliment in any sense of the word. I find him thoroughly unlikable in every sense of the word. He supports the rich over the working class in every instance. He has no convictions whatsoever other than to obtain power and reward greed. Romney is no moderate at all. He supports greed and the rich at the expense of all else. We have the option to continue job growth and lowering unemployment or to revert back to the final years of the Bush Administration of increasing unemployment and massive job losses. Despite my disappointments, I know that President Obama’s heart is in the right place. That is what will earn him my vote for a second term and where I say… 4 more years!

    I will definitely be voting straight-ticket Democratic from top to bottom this year without hesitation. That is coming from both a support (for the President) and an opposition standpoint (of Mitt Romney). We simply cannot go back to what we had before. If someone so antithetical to work and economic progress is ever elected to the highest office in the land, we have truly lost. That cannot be allowed to ever happen. The greatest threat to the American middle and working classes must be stopped at all costs. We do have class warfare happening, where the rich has been waging war against the rest of the population. It appears that that choice will be President Obama fighting for the 99% or Mitt Romney fighting for him and his buddies in the top 1%. That choice is a no-brainer.

  18. rikyrah says:

    New Anti-Romney Video Attacks Bain Capital Work
    by Peter J. Boyer Jan 6, 2012 9:39 PM EST

    An ex-Romney adviser is unleashing a half-hour attack video blasting Mitt’s work at Bain Capital. A pro-Gingrich super PAC just scooped it up. Peter J. Boyer reports.

    The effort to derail Mitt Romney’s presidential quest heightened dramatically on Friday when a super PAC associated with Newt Gingrich outbid all comers for the rights to a scathing 30-minute attack video depicting Romney as a greedy, job-killing corporate raider “more ruthless than Wall Street.”

    In a season filled with negative ads and rhetorical crossfire, the striking feature of the film, aside from its mini-documentary length, is its authorship. The film was made by Jason Killian Meath, a former associate of Romney’s top strategists, Stuart Stevens and Russ Schriefer. Meath had worked for the Romney campaign in 2008, creating much of the ad content for that failed effort. He left Stevens and Schriefer’s firm, SSG, in 2010. Meath declined to comment on his project, referring inquiries to the pro-Gingrich PAC Winning Our Future.

    We’re going to release a short, 27-minute film that is well-documented, and tells the real story of Mitt Romney at Bain Capital—and it’s not a pretty story,” says Rick Tyler, an adviser to the Gingrich-supporting PAC.

    The video, called When Mitt Romney Came to Town, is a slick production focusing on Romney’s tenure as CEO of Bain Capital, a private investment firm.

  19. rikyrah says:

    January 07, 2012
    The Pseudoconservative Shuffle
    George Will:

    [Liberal] government constantly expands under the unending, indeed intensifying, pressures to correct what it disapproves of — the distribution of wealth produced by consensual market activities.

    Thus barks the monumentally flawed premise of the Willean worldview: that society’s assorted rankings of wealth arise from “consensual market activities.” If you’re born into a dilapidated home and attend dilapidated schools and you then inexorably enter the workforce woefully unprepared in comparison to the fellow who is born into a gated community and attends private prep schools and receives a first-class legacy university education, you aren’t underprivileged or disadvantaged. No. You may not be aware of it, and you likely don’t recall having signed the agreement, but you are mostly the product of “consensual market activities.”

    Feel better?

    Now, it may occur as manifestly true that wealth feeds on itself, just as the lack of it is self-starving; your dilapidated school, for example, was starved of adequate funds because of wretched property values generated by low-income parents who attended dilapidated schools because of wretched property values — flip the whole scenario for the well off. But Mr. Will has a bang-up response to that: Liberal government efforts to help you, or, say, your school, in reality only benefit the already rich and powerful! Now, under generally right-wing, market-friendly administrations of the past 30 years, which Will has generally supported, we’ve witnessed “the average real after-tax household income for the 1 percent of the population with the highest incomes [rise] 275 percent … [while] it rose just 18 percent for the bottom 20 percent.” You may ask yourself, Did not the rich get richer largely because government was actively succoring the rich through intentionally imbalanced policies, rather than “consensual market activities”? At which point Mr. Will happily discards his “markets” argument and delightedly agrees: Yes, “[government] becomes a magnet for factions muscular enough, in money or numbers or both, to bend government to their advantage” — therefore, you see, to all who enter there, that way, abandon hope.

    Got it?

    It’s the old one-two punch. Right-wing pols are telling the middle class that they’re getting hammered because government is sending all the money to you — you there among the poor — while right-wing “intellectuals” are telling the middle class that they’re getting hammered because government is sending all the money to the rich and powerful. Either way, government is the bad guy.

    Perhaps, though, George Will is but an ephemeral phenomenon of the conservative worldview. I say this because of something I read the other night, from a real mossback conservative, of 1925 … G.K. Chesterton:

    The intellectuals in [the 19th-century’s classical economics] epoch taught definitely and dogmatically that if only men would buy and sell freely, lend or borrow freely, sweat or sack freely, and in practise, steal or swindle freely, humanity would be happy. The Common Man soon found out how happy; in the Slums where they left him and in the Slump to which they led him

    That of course is Mr. Will’s fictitious — or factitious — “consensual market activities” worldview, which, in the United States and indeed throughout the globe, was, four years hence, to take a massive hit. The conservatives of tomorrow may yet revert to the quainter, Chestertonian, We-are-community view.

  20. rikyrah says:

    Friday, January 6, 2012
    A Chappelle Skit in Real Life: Introducing Robert Traynham, Self-Hating Black, Gay, Former Aide to Rick Santorum

    Where do they find these people?

    Here, we have a gay man who defends Rick Santorum, a man that is an open homophobe, theocrat, and bigot who compares gay and lesbian Americans to sex deviants that have intercourse with animals.

    Here, we have an African American who defends Rick Santorum, a man that is a race-baiter who suggests that blacks are lazy parasites on White America.

    Fanon would have so much fun with Robert Traynham.

    Question: are folks like him just professional mercenaries who will take any position because it pays well? Or, and these questions may not be exclusive of one another, is Traynham just self-hating, working for a political agenda that devalues his personhood in a neat act of self-flagellating guilt?

    In all, the human capacity for self-delusion boggles the mind. I do not know if Robert Tranyham is loathsome, tragic, or both.

  21. rikyrah says:

    January 07, 2012 11:15 AM

    Does flip-flopping matter?
    By Steve Benen

    When it comes to the Democratic strategy against Mitt Romney in 2012, the party has a few themes to choose from.

    The first is that Romney is a far-right ideologue who intends to give millionaires tax breaks, end Medicare, privatize Social Security, give Wall Street free rein, and screw over the middle class on everything from health care to taxes. A vote for Romney, this argument goes, is a vote to take the country backwards, thanks to his Bush-on-steroids-style agenda.

    The second is that Romney is an out-of-touch plutocrat who got rich laying off American workers. With so many still struggling and feeling the effects of the Great Recession, the argument goes, there’s no point in electing the champion of the 1%, a man who doesn’t even know what the middle class is, and a candidate even Republicans see as being “in the hip pocket of Wall Street.”

    And then, of course, there’s the flip-flopper. No politician in modern American life has ever changed so many positions on so many issues. It’s almost impossible to find an issue on which Romney hasn’t taken both sides, and in nearly every instance, the reversals have been insincere, unprincipled, and politically motivated — Romney bases his beliefs on whatever way the winds are blowing at the time.

    The question then becomes whether this third avenue would be an effective choice for Romney’s opponents.

    Matt Yglesias argued the other day that it would not: “Flip-flopper argument against Romney will be bizarre in a general election. ‘Beware of Mitt, he’s more reasonable than he sounds!’”

    The New York Times ran a piece raising a similar point, arguing that the flip-flopper charge carries risks for Dems, because it would remind voters that Romney used to be moderate and mainstream — qualities that many voters might find appealing.

    Kevin Drum this week was thinking along similar lines:

    My guess: the flip-flopper charge probably won’t get much traction. It’s mostly a problem for conservatives, who don’t fully trust that Romney is one of them, but by the time summer rolls around they’re going to be his most fire-breathing supporters. They’ll have long since decided to forgive and forget, and independents won’t care that much in the first place as long as Romney seems halfway reasonable in his current incarnation.

    It’s possible that Obama can do both — Romney is a flip-flopper and a right-wing nutcase! — but if he has to choose, my guess is that he should forget about the flip-flopping and simply do everything he can to force Romney into the wingnut conservative camp. That’ll be his big weakness when Labor Day rolls around.

    I’m torn on this. The argument against the flip-flopper charge is fairly compelling, and as a stand-along charge — “Don’t vote for Romney because he flip-flops” — the attack feels thin, regardless of accuracy.

    But I’m also not inclined to dismiss it just yet. The point, I’d argue, is to incorporate the criticism into a larger critique: Americans just can’t trust Mitt Romney. It’s a broader charge, but a single theme: the flip-flops, the lies, the cowardly dodges, the poll-tested non-answers are all evidence of someone lacking in a fundamental integrity, too eager to say anything to anyone to advance his ambitions.

    David Axelrod said this week, “Taking two positions on every issue, one on the left and one on the far right, doesn’t make you a centrist. It makes you a charlatan.” It’s not about Romney’s policy reversals; it’s about his lack of character.

    I often think about the interview Romney did in late November with Fox News’ Bret Baier, in which the reporter asked, “How can voters trust what they hear from you today is what you will believe if you win the White House?” Romney struggled with the answer.

    And therein lies the potency of the criticism. “Flip-flopper” may not be the most compelling attack, but once a candidate has been deemed “untrustworthy” by the American mainstream, it’s tough to win an election.

    But I’ll concede it’s a judgment call, so let’s open this up to some discussion. Is the flip-flopper charge ultimately a losing argument against Romney, or is this something Romney’s detractors should embrace in the coming months?

  22. Barack Obama:

    Yesterday, President Obama proposed a change to our immigration rules to help keep American families together: http://OFA.BO/D13Lr9

  23. JeffersonObama:

    President Obama’s base of support remains solid heading into 2012

  24. Ametia says:


    RuPaul Is ‘Campaigning’ In New Hampshire To Spread Awareness That He Is Not Ron Paul
    by Frances Martel | 10:01 am, January 7th, 2012

    It is difficult at this juncture in the political process to imagine that the 2012 Republican primaries can get more outrageous than they have been for the past year, and yet every day brings a new, unexpected twist to the drama. This morning comes the news that fashion icon/legendary drag queen RuPaul is getting in on the action in New Hampshire. Sick of being confused for Rep. Ron Paul, apparently, RuPaul is “campaigning” in a New Hampshire diner this morning (in Ferragamo!) to distinguish himself from the libertarian top-tier candidate.

  25. Ametia says:


  26. Ametia says:

    Tucson Gun Show Held On Anniversary Of Giffords Shooting
    By Ian Millhiser posted from ThinkProgress Justice on Jan 7, 2012 at 11:00 am

    One year ago Sunday, Jared Lee Loughner arrived at a Tucson, Arizona gathering with Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) intending to assassinate the congresswoman. Miraculously, Giffords survived the bullet to her head, but six of her constituents — including a sitting federal judge and a nine year-old child — were not so lucky. In addition to the six people slain by Loughner’s gun, more than a dozen were injured.

    So it is more than a little puzzling why the Crossroads of the West gun show picked the anniversary of this horrific mass killing to hold one of their shows in the very same town where the Tucson massacre occurred.

    To their credit, this gun show at least admits that they are selling an inherently dangerous product. At the same time that gun lobbyists are trying to impose the country’s laxest concealed carry laws on the rest of America, Crossroads of the West is warning its attendees not to bring loaded concealed weapons because they endanger the gun show’s attendees:

  27. Ametia says:

    Op-Ed Columnist
    The G.O.P.’s ‘Black People’ PlatformBy CHARLES M. BLOW
    Published: January 6, 2012

    That didn’t take long.

    As we’ve gotten around to casting votes to select a Republican presidential nominee, the antiblack rhetoric has taken center stage.

    You just have to love (and despise) this kind of predictability.

    On Sunday, Rick “The Rooster” Santorum, campaigning in Iowa, said what sounded like “I don’t want to make black people’s lives better by giving them somebody else’s money. I want to give them the opportunity to go out and earn the money.” At first, he offered a nondenial that suggested that the comment might have been out of context. Now he’s saying that he didn’t say “black people” at all but that he “started to say a word” and then “sort of mumbled it and changed my thought.”

  28. Here is why the haters are mad. They can’t touch this. It’s rock solid.

  29. ThinkProgress:

    FACT: Private sector job creation under Obama in 2011 was larger than 7 out of the 8 years Bush was president

  30. rikyrah says:

    Fri Jan 06, 2012 at 05:44 AM PST.

    Barack Obama: Best President Ever. (Updated with Caveats)
    *by Troubadour

    As deeply as I can look into history, and as much as I can penetrate the logic of human society, my conclusions on this are not the least bit tentative or lacking in confidence: Barack Obama is either the best President we’ve ever had, or more humbly, equal to the best Presidents we’ve ever had (and thereby one of their number). A more detailed breakdown of these conclusions follows.

    First, I want to make clear that some degree of situational relativism is unavoidable – you cannot judge anything meaningfully in a vacuum. Otherwise you might as well unfavorably compare a Mercedes to a Daewoo because you tested the former by driving it up a volcano and the latter on a suburban street.

    We all know how great a Democratic President can be when Congress does whatever it’s told (e.g., FDR) and has a highly disciplined, motivated public; and how diabolical a Democratic President can be under the same Congressional climate with a divided public (LBJ); but what about a Democratic President who is literally tested in every way: What about a Congress so hostile they question your very legitimacy as an American on a daily basis, threaten impeachment as many times as there are hours in the day, and obstruct every single appointee and piece of legislation on your agenda as a matter of course even if they had previously supported it? What about managing to endure and thrive in the glare of a deranged, lying media controlled by an oligarchy of your enemies that spreads 24/7 propaganda against your administration and party? What about an opposition that has unlimited, unregulated funding not only from corporations that have accepted trillions of dollars in no-strings-attached public bailouts, but from hostile foreign countries (e.g., China and Saudi Arabia) that have a vested interest in controlling American politics through Republican corruption?

    Without meaning to belittle the past, frankly Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan, and the Soviet Union don’t seem nearly as insurmountable in comparison – at least from the perspective of the White House. When taken in the context of political hyper-corruption, the transmogrification of the GOP into an ultra-malignant, treasonous crime syndicate, the disfigurement of news media into an engine of lunatic partisan propaganda, and the total domination of petty corporate tyranny over every aspect of our lives, the problems we confront today come to seem like the greatest challenges this nation has ever faced. I’m sure a G.I. storming Omaha Beach would disagree about the relative hardships, but as an overall republic, we at least had each other – we had a rational faith that The Enemy was Over There, not surrounding us and poisoning our children’s food and minds while stealing their future. The closest President to have faced comparable conditions to Obama would be Lincoln, and frankly Lincoln had it easier.

    The Confederacy, despite its agricultural wealth, was not rich by any stretch of the imagination – it had a very backward industrial capacity, and was at best looked upon positively by international financial interests as a source of simple commodities like cotton and tobacco: Not at all a keystone to any economy beyond its own. In fact, apart from its share of America’s enduring frontier appeal as a land of rugged adventure, nobody outside the South liked the South. Despite the genteel trappings of its plantation aristocracy, they were seen rightly as pretentious bumpkins playing at nobility by the real deal in Europe. Nobody liked slavery who wasn’t already acculturated to it, and even those who were dismissive of the issue found the Southerner’s fanatical devotion to the institution puzzling if not viscerally disturbing. To be perfectly blunt, nobody liked the Confederacy. Nobody.

    Plenty of other countries were willing to cynically profit from the Civil War – Lincoln had to warn Britain not to try running the Union naval blockade to acquire cotton shipments from the South – but nobody actually wanted to help the Confederates, and the Confederate view of the outside world was sufficiently solipsistic that they never made any serious attempt to seek it. Their society was more of a blurred window into medieval feudalism than anything resembling American society, let alone the highly educated, meritocratic ideals sweeping European civilization at the time. It basically had nothing going for it but endemic hatred of the black man (after all, “we hate those whom we wrong”) and Yankees who were constantly earning their ire by being better-educated and more prosperous without slaves than the South was able to be with them and vast agricultural resources.

  31. Republicans Press Justice Department On Legality Of Recess Appointments

    WASHINGTON — House and Senate Republicans fired off letters to the Justice Department on Friday demanding to know what role the agency played, if any, in advising President Barack Obama ahead of this week’s controversial recess appointments.

    Eight Senate Republicans submitted a laundry list of questions to Attorney General Eric Holder, pressing him on what the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel may have told Obama before he made four recess appointments at a time when Congress may not have technically been in recess. The senators ask Holder if he stands by what the agency has “clearly” said in the past about a recess technically needing to be longer than three days for the president to have the authority to make appointments. They also ask whether he thinks Obama’s appointments this week were constitutional, despite Congress never having officially adjourned.

  32. Santorum’s Excuse: I didn’t say “black” people, I said “blah” people!

    Frothing his way to irrelevance.
    So remember how Rick Santorum made a dumbass racist statement about black people being on welfare? Sure you do. I wrote about it here. Well, he appeared on Fox News with Bill O’Reilly today, and when asked about his comments, rather than say, “Hey, I shouldn’t have said that, and in fact, more white folks are on welfare than black folks, so oops my bad!” Santorum flailed around and claimed that he didn’t say “black people,” but rather said, “blah” people.

    Listen here, Frothman, no one is buying this load fecal matter:

    Shorter Rick: I would never make a statement about black people on welfare. I gave a commencement address at an HBCU once! (HBCU, for those who don’t know, stands for “Historically Blah Colleges and Universities.”) Just talking about them makes me feel all… blah.

    So we’ve got Newt telling blahs to get a job, and Frothman lying about whether he made comments about blah people being on welfare, and all of it makes me feel pretty BLARGH. I mean, come on! It’s far too early for this kind of dumbassery! Pace yourselves, people. Don’t let all the stupid out before you hit the primary.

    And by the way, where do these mythical blah people come from? Blahfrica? The Blah Sea? And does that make me Angry Blah Lady now? Suddenly I’m filled with crushing ennui.

    • rikyrah says:

      pardon my French, but W-T-F are BLAH people?

      what country do they live?

      if they’re Americans, what states do I visit to see BLAH people?

      • Ametia says:

        As SG2 posted from Twitter yesterday BLAH=





        Santorum, Gingrich and the rest of the crackas, can’t hide who they are. The desperation for being irrelevant and in the minority is driving them crazier.

    • dannie22 says:

      Santorum said he meant to say something else. He meant to say “nigger” but caught himself and decided to say black people instead.

  33. I can’t express in words what I feel when hearing this song, this music. All I know is it touches my soul to the core. I get lost in it.

  34. Tennessee Tea Party disbands

    NASHVILLE, TN – (AP) – The Tennessee Tea Party, one of several tea party groups in the state, is disbanding after three years.

    In a letter to members, leaders Tami and Robert Kilmarx say they have realized the tea party is not a vehicle that will move the United States to what they call “a healthy relationship with God,” according to WPLN-FM.

    “The issues confronting our country are only symptoms of our rebellion against God and His will for us,” the letter states, while acknowledging that “some of you may feel that the tea party movement has no place to include God and religion in it.”

    The letter states that the husband and wife had hoped to turn the leadership of the organization over to someone else, but “God appears to have other plans.”

    The couple says they have founded a new endeavor called the Black Robe Regiment, which, according to its website, is a forum for church leaders and pastors “to discuss the issues of the day in safety and in peace.”

    The Tennessee Tea Party drew criticism last month after a derogatory comment on Twitter about retiring Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank, who is gay. Tami Kilmarx apologized for the post that called Frank a pervert, while saying “inwardly I may agree with the commentary.”

  35. Habari za asubuhi, Ametia, Rikyrah, 3Chics, Friends & Visitors!

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