Serendipity SOUL | Friday Open Thread

Happy FRY-day, Everybody! 3Chics hopes you enjoyed this weeks music selections featuring “Work/job” in the title/lyrics. Here’s Ms. Donna Summer to take us into the weekend.

Wiki: LaDonna Adrian Gaines (born December 31, 1948),[1] known by her stage name, Donna Summer, is an American singer/songwriter who gained prominence during the disco era of the 1970s. She has a mezzo-soprano vocal range. Summer is a five-time Grammy winner[2][3] and was the first artist to have three consecutive double albums reach number one on the US Billboard chart. She also charted four number-one singles in the United States within a thirteen-month period.

In the late 1960s, Summer was influenced by Janis Joplin after listening to her albums as member of Big Brother and the Holding Company, and joined the psychedelic rock group the Crow as lead singer. Beforehand, Summer dropped out of school convinced that music was her way out of Boston, where she had always felt herself to be an outsider, even among her own family who ridiculed her for her voice and her looks. The group was short-lived, as they split upon their arrival in New York. In 1968, Summer auditioned for a role in the Broadway musical, Hair. She lost the part of Sheila to Melba Moore. When the musical moved to Europe, Summer was offered the role.

Shiidddddddddd! Lady Gaga…NOT EVEN CLOSE.

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64 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Friday Open Thread

  1. Contraception

  2. Ametia says:

    100,000 Gay Kids Secretly Watch Ellen
    Posted by: Helen Philpot
    February 10, 2012


    Margaret, I think that religious freedom means that we have freedom for religion as well as freedom from religion. Now I know you don’t worry about this stuff. You have never questioned your religion and you never worry about the day you will eventually meet your maker. I question my religion regularly and worry all the time. I guess that’s why I have a fat ass and you look like a zipper when you stick your tongue out. Which reminds me, dear, did you check on that cake recipe I sent you? I am not sure about the ingredients and Betty’s daughter is kind of mad at me about that Komen stuff so I can’t ask her right now.

    And speaking of being mad, I watched that sweet Ellen – like I do every day – and discovered that one million mothers are mad at JCPenney and they are trying to get Ellen fired because she is one of those lesbians. That sweet little girl never did anything but make people laugh and dance a little. Every time she comes on the TV I have to get up and do a little step doodle-ditty step with her. I just love her. Who are these million moms anyway? Mothers should know better. Statistically speaking a hundred thousand of those moms are raising a child who secretly watches Ellen and would one day make a fine spokesperson for JCPenney.

    Read on

  3. rikyrah says:

    Politics And Poker: Why The GOP Keeps Getting Backed Into Corners

    Posted by Leo Soderman on 2/09/12 • Categorized as News,Opinion

    I used to run poker rooms in Las Vegas. Even taught beginners how to play, mainly so they could have fun, not lose too much, and maybe make a few bucks. So when I make comparisons to poker, I actually have a bit of experience to back me up.

    The GOP keeps backing into corner after corner of late, trying to make political hay out of non-controversies. And each time they do, it reveals their motives for what they really are – keeping money in the hands of the rich, making life more difficult for the poor, and doing everything they can to get in the way of any progress.

    To be fair, they were able to do it for years. In poker jargon, they were running over the table. They had figured out how to get the other guys at the table to tip their hands or fold early. It didn’t matter how good a hand the Democrats had, the Republicans would simply shove all their chips into the middle of the table, and force the Democrats to call the bluff or fold. Most often, they folded.

    What happened in 2008 was that Republicans ran into a better player.

    One thing you teach a beginning player is to try to read their opponent. You try to figure out what’s in their hand, and see if they have a weakness, like making the same play over and over again. And this is exactly where the GOP has gotten themselves caught in the wringer.

    Their standard play has been to go all in, to make a huge play as a bluff. They never got called before. They would shove their chips in and take the pot. But now, they’ve run into President Obama, who plays the long game very well. Let’s look at some of that game.

    From the get-go, Republicans made it plain that their number one political priority was to make sure the President only served one-term. Not jobs, not fixing the things that were broken in the system. Just getting rid of this new guy. Here is the first problem. It’s like sitting at the poker table, pointing at the guy across the table and saying “I don’t care if me or anyone else loses as long as I take your money”. Sound contradictory? It is. And yet, I’ve seen plenty of real poker players do it. Guess what? It never works against the good players. Why? They now know your motivation, and can use it against you time and again.

    So what was the President’s first big hand to play? Healthcare. But you have to think about why this was such a great hand to start with. First, the President knew he had a fairly good hand, a good chance of winning this battle. He also knew that Republicans would throw a lot of chips onto the table, but didn’t have as good a chance at winning. But what made this a really great hand to start was the long game. It wasn’t just that Republicans stood to lose on this issue. It was that their stated mission was to block this kind of legislation and get rid of the President. For them, losing this issue meant they would have to go deeper into obstruction. They lost, and they shut down. Nothing would pass if they had anything to do with it.

    In poker, patience isn’t just a virtue. It’s critical. The best starting hand in Texas Hold ‘Em is a pair of Aces. The next two are pairs of Kings and pairs of Queens. The combined probability of receiving one of these three hands is about 1 in 40. That’s it. A pair of Aces alone is 1 in 121. That means that you need to pick your hands carefully to have the best chance of winning. Sometimes, you’ll play a lesser hand because you might actually win with it. But most of the time, you’re throwing away your hand before it costs you anything.

    But, you’re not wasting time either. You watch what the other players do, examine their play to see if there are any patterns, so that when you do have a hand, you can maximize your play.

    Fast forward to last year’s debt ceiling battle. Republicans, as usual, overplayed their hand. They demanded heavy cuts, reduction in spending and deficit before they would even vote on a proposal. No proposal put forward by the Democrats was enough. Republicans kept pushing chips into the middle of the table. But another player was in the hand. The President called their bluff, offering a deal that had more spending cuts than the Republicans demanded. The Republicans folded. They tried to offer up smaller deals, but got no traction. Finally, they agreed to a deal that put a time constraint on more cuts. The first hand set up a second hand.

    You see, the Republicans can’t seem to change up their game. They play every hand the same way – all or nothing. So when the debt ceiling deal was announced, folks on the left were up in arms that the Republicans got their way. Instead, they were sucked into a trap play. In poker, you trap another player by misrepresenting your hand, usually soft playing a very strong hand against someone you know will bluff. In this case, it was obvious that the “supercommittee” created would get nowhere, and that additional cuts would become automatic. These included cuts to the defense budget, something the Republicans are generally loathe to do. But they didn’t have the political will to make the cuts necessary to meet the December deadline for the supercommittee. So, the automatic cuts kicked in. Another hand won, with the Republicans looking bad again.

    Next hand? XL Pipeline. The left hates it, the right reveres it. Despite pushes by Republicans, the President makes his play, softly, saying that more time is needed to study. Republicans push all in, again, and force an arbitrary 60-day deadline that can’t possibly be met. They think the President will fold and close the deal. Instead, the President calls their bluff, again, and rejects the deal. Republicans lose their stake again.

    Now, it’s birth control. The President announces enforcement of a policy that has been in existence since the Bush administration. It boils down to this – if a church, Catholic or otherwise, has a business entity that serves the general public (not the church itself or a non-profit), they are required to offer health insurance that provides birth control. Approximately 98% of Catholics use or have used some form of birth control.

    Mind you, this isn’t about making the church force birth control on anyone. If they choose not to use it, no one is going to force them to take it. No, this is about a business entity offering health insurance that includes coverage of birth control. Just like any other business. Again, it doesn’t affect the church itself or any affiliated non-profits. Generally, it affects businesses like hospitals that are operated as for-profit, serve the general public, pay taxes, etc.

    And yup, Republicans have overplayed this hand as well. They are jumping in with the Catholic church, claiming that the President’s administration is attacking freedom of religion by enforcing this statute.

    Sounds like the President miscalculated, right? Nope.

    See, this law is already enforced in 28 states at the state level, not the federal level. It was already on the books at the federal level. There is no real controversy here. So why the announcement, if it’s already a law? Because the Republicans can’t wait to pick a fight. Even a really bad one. The majority of voters believe birth control should be part of health care coverage, regardless of the employer. Of course, women have an even higher percentage than the populace in general. But even a majority of Catholics feel this way. The Republicans are on the wrong side of the table on this, and are playing a vastly weaker hand. And they don’t have the chips to back it up. But they can’t stay away from trying to take on the President, no matter what.

    So, now they’re pushing their chips in on a stone cold, blatantly obvious bluff.

  4. Mitt Romney: Then and Now

  5. Gov. Jan Brewer Recall Papers Filed Today !

    Bye beyotch!!!!!!!!!

  6. HuffPost Politics @HuffPostPol

    Senate Republicans want the long-term unemployed to volunteer 20 hrs a week to get benefits Good idea?

    • At every turn the republicans are trying to stick a knife in the unemployed. Got dammit! These mofos have lost their damn minds. They need to seek help immediately. This derangement can’t be good for their health.

  7. New Navy ship named after Gabrielle Giffords

    The Navy on Friday named its newest combat ship after former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who attended the Pentagon event with the mother of a 9-year-old girl slain in the Tucson shooting rampage that left Giffords gravely wounded.

    The 3,000-ton ship, known as an Independence Variant Littoral, will be built in Mobile, Ala., by Austal shipbuilding, as part of the Navy’s strategy to provide access and dominance in coastal waters, according to NBC News.

  8. Hey Now!

    Springsteen drops video for Obama 2012 song: ‘We Take Care of Our Own’

    A Bruce Springsteen song that’s been selected by President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign now has a sing-a-long video to go with it.

    In the video “We Take Care of Our Own,” Springsteen plays in what looks like a closed down warehouse. Black and white images of economic degradation, people of various ethnicity walking through the streets or focusing on tasks at work scroll by, with the lyrics subtitled across the screen.

  9. Lisa MB says:


    Did ya’ll see this? Your “shuckin’ & buckin'” negro, Cornel West, went after Melissa Harris-Perry. He says, “I have a lot of love for the sister, but she’s a liar, and I hate lying,

    More here at this excellent blog, “What Tami Said”:

  10. rikyrah says:

    Gov. Scott Walker To Use Foreclosure Settlement Money To Balance His Budget, Not Help Homeowners
    By Pat Garofalo on Feb 10, 2012 at 10:45 am

    Yesterday, 49 states joined the federal government in announcing a $26 billion settlement with five of the nation’s biggest banks over the banks’ foreclosure fraud abuses. The money from the settlement is meant to aid homeowners who lost their homes to foreclosure or who find themselves underwater, meaning they owe more on their mortgage than their home is currently worth.

    However, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) — whose high profile assault on workers’ rights has prompted a recall effort against him — isn’t planning to use the money to help homeowners. Under the terms of the settlement, Wisconsin is set to receive $140 million, $31.6 million of which comes directly to the state government. And Walker is planning to use $25.6 million of that money to help balance his state’s budget:

    Of a $31.6 million payment coming directly to the state government, most of that money – $25.6 million – will go to help close a budget shortfall revealed in newly released state projections. [Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen], whose office said he has the legal authority over the money, made the decision in consultation with Walker.

    “Just like communities and individuals have been affected, the foreclosure crisis has had an effect on the state of Wisconsin, in terms of unemployment. … This will offset that damage done to the state of Wisconsin,” Walker said.

    A memo from Wisconsin’s Legislative Fiscal Bureau released yesterday notes “it is anticipated that Wisconsin will receive $31.6 million. Based on discussions between the Attorney General and the administration, of the amounts received by the state, $25.6 million will be deposited to the general fund as GPR-Earned in 2011-12, and the remaining $6 million will be retained by the Department of Justice to be allocated at a later date.”

    Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett (D) criticized Walker’s move, saying “not one dime [of the settlement] should be used to fund the unbalanced state budget.” Adding insult to injury, Walker has previously criticized using one-time settlement money to fill budget holes.

    The settlement money already doesn’t come close to addressing the depths of the nation’s housing problem, though it will provide real relief to the people whom it does reach. But the money was certainly not intended to paper over state budget problems, particularly in a state whose governor assured everybody up and down that busting his state’s public unions was the key to fiscal solvency.

  11. Ametia says:

    LMBAO Get yer magnifying glass out!

  12. rikyrah says:

    * A Rasmussen tracking poll shows Obama up ten points over Mitt. That’s Rasmussen, folks.

    I’ll say it again: if RAS has POTUS up by 10…

    that means he’s up by 15

  13. HuffPost Politics @HuffPostPol

    Romney thinks FL Gov. Rick Scott’s plan to drug test welfare recipients is ‘an excellent idea’

  14. rikyrah says:




    Republicans Retreat on Domestic Violence
    Published: February 9, 2012

    Even in the ultrapolarized atmosphere of Capitol Hill, it should be possible to secure broad bipartisan agreement on reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act, the 1994 law at the center of the nation’s efforts to combat domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking. The law’s renewal has strong backing from law enforcement and groups that work with victims, and earlier reauthorizations of the law, in 2000 and 2005, passed Congress with strong support from both sides of the aisle.

    Yet not a single Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee voted in favor last week when the committee approved a well-crafted reauthorization bill introduced by its chairman, Senator Patrick Leahy, and Senator Michael Crapo, a Republican of Idaho, who is not on the committee.

    The bill includes smart improvements aimed, for example, at encouraging effective enforcement of protective orders and reducing the national backlog of untested rape kits. The Republican opposition seems driven largely by an antigay, anti-immigrant agenda. The main sticking points seemed to be language in the bill to ensure that victims are not denied services because they are gay or transgender and a provision that would modestly expand the availability of special visas for undocumented immigrants who are victims of domestic violence — a necessary step to encourage those victims to come forward.

    Senator Charles Grassley, the committee’s ranking Republican, offered a substitute bill that not only cut out those improvements but called for a huge reduction in authorized financing, and elimination of the Justice Department office devoted to administering the law and coordinating the nation’s response to domestic violence and sexual assaults. His measure was defeated along party lines.

    Mustering the 60 votes needed to get the bill through the full Senate will not be easy, even though previous reauthorizations were approved by unanimous consent. Recalcitrant Republicans should be made to explain to voters why they refuse to get behind the federal fight against domestic violence and sexual assaults.

  15. rikyrah says:

    About What They Deserve
    by BooMan
    Fri Feb 10th, 2012 at 11:44:06 AM EST

    This appears to be exactly the middle finger that the Bishops deserve:

    On a conference call with reporters Friday, a senior administration official announced that the White House will move the onus to provide women free contraceptive services to insurance companies if their religiously-affiliated employers object to providing insurance coverage that covers birth control.

    “All women will still have access to free preventive care that includes contraceptive services,” the official said. “The insurance company will be required to reach out directly and offer her contraceptive coverage free of charge,” if the employer objects to providing that coverage in its benefit package.

    In other words, if you offer your employees a health benefit package, your female employees are going to get free contraceptive coverage regardless of whether or not you directly authorize it. It can be part of your benefits package, or not. The result will be the same.

    Hopefully, this rule will be implemented immediately, obviating the need for a year-long grace period for religious institutions to implement the previous rule. Also, this will hopefully be applied even to the churches that were previously exempted. If so, all the Bishops got for their disingenuous hissy-fit is a lesson in STFU.

  16. rikyrah says:

    ‘Common-sense solution’ on contraception
    By Steve Benen – Fri Feb 10, 2012 11:40 AM EST.

    Word leaked early this morning that the White House was poised to unveil a “compromise” on contraception coverage, and on a conference call at 10:30, two senior administration officials sketched out what they described as a “common-sense solution.”

    The new policy effectively finds a work-around to address the concerns raised by Catholic Bishops: instead of having religiously-affiliated employers cover contraception as part of their insurance plans, the Obama administration will have the insurance companies themselves cover the costs themselves. One official explained:

    “All women will still have access to free preventive care that includes contraceptive services. The insurance company will be required to reach out directly and offer her contraceptive coverage free of charge.”

    It’s a safe bet the Bishops won’t be satisfied, but it’s a pretty straightforward fix: religiously-affiliated employers that don’t want to pay for contraception coverage as part of their benefits packages won’t have to, but these employees will still get the coverage because the White House will instruct insurers to pick up the costs.

    An official on the call described access to this preventive care as the “core principle” that the White House considers “inviolate.” The new announcement, the official added, leaves this principle “unchanged.”

    “All women will still have access to preventive care, and that includes contraceptive services, no matter where they work,” the official said. It will be the same “guaranteed” benefit for these employees as in “any other workplace.”

    The comparison that will be referenced a lot today are the parallels between this and the Hawaii policy, and one of the senior administration officials stressed that while the policies are similar, they’re not identical — the state law offers a separate rider with a fee, while the new Obama administration policy does not.

    While the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops will very likely be unimpressed, several major stakeholders in this fight have already offered praise for the White House move. Planned Parenthood, for example, endorsed the compromise, issuing a statement saying, “In the face of a misleading and outrageous assault on women’s health, the Obama administration has reaffirmed its commitment to ensuring all women will have access to birth control coverage, with no costly co-pays, no additional hurdles, and no matter where they work. We believe the compliance mechanism does not compromise a woman’s ability to access these critical birth control benefits.” Similarly, EMILY’s List said it was “reassured” by the new policy, and NARAL Pro-Choice America’s statement struck a similar note.

    What’s more, Sister Carol Keehan and the Catholic Health Association have also endorsed the administration’s position, which not only offers the White House some political cover, but also further isolates the Bishops. In a statement, Keehan said, “The framework developed has responded to the issues we identified that needed to be fixed.”

    For the White House, having support from both the Catholic Health Association and Planned Parenthood was critical.

    If insurance companies can make the implementation work, it would appear this policy carefully threads a needle. The right’s talking points all week, when not attacking contraception itself, were based on the notion that it’s an “assault on religious liberty” to force religious employers to honor the contraception mandate. They’ve now lost that talking point.

  17. rikyrah says:

    Women’s health as political football: the game goes on without us
    by Kay

    I understand President Obama is going to announce an “accommodation” to the demands of the Catholic Church and media regarding US health care. I’ll wait and see what he says, and if I have time today I’ll try to figure out how this accommodation might affect me and mine. I don’t know that I’ll be around at 11 for the announcement.

    I’m not really surprised he’s compromising. The church planned the political campaign 7 months in advance of the (alleged) “firestorm”, so there was always an end game here.

    I am grateful to him for making the public health argument on my behalf. As far as I’m concerned, he was the only person operating out of a genuine concern for women’s health, rather than treating women’s health as a political football or proxy for some other, unrelated, larger moral or political crusade.

    He did his job, and he acted in good faith, which is more than I can say for the bishops and their multi-millionaire media mouthpieces. On that, I have to say, I haven’t seen the multi-millionaire cable tv stars and media personalities this incensed in years, back since they were selling the invasion of Iraq. Who knew they were so vitally concerned with limiting access to contraception? Eye-opening, to say the least. Do you think we get them on board to lobby this hard to help working people? They’re impressive when they join together and link arms in a campaign like this. I see a lot of potential for good there.

    Here are some facts that might be useful if you are not a bishop or multi-millionare pundit or media personality, and rely on employer-provided health insurance for prescription drugs. Despite misty-eyed and nostalgiac notions of priests toiling in storefront clinics , the Catholic Church plays a huge and growing role in the mulit-billion dollar industry that is US health care. They are the very definition of a large employer that the health care law was intended to regulate.

  18. rikyrah says:

    Whitehall Man Aiming to Remove Obama from PA Ballot
    Letter to the state secretary argues that Obama is not legally allowed to run for president.

    Barack Obama does not have the legal right to be President of the United States.

    Such is the claim of Thomas Barchfeld, a Whitehall Borough resident from Glen Elm Drive and a member of the Whitehall Borough Republican Committee. And Barchfeld says that he has proof.

    The 56-year-old former Democrat—he switched parties in 2011—has been going to the homes of registered Republicans in Whitehall (a Pittsburgh suburb) with a letter that he has written to Pennsylvania Secretary Carol Aichele claiming that Obama’s natural-born citizenry is in serious question.

    In fact, to Barchfeld, there is no doubt.

    While Barchfeld does not directly question Obama’s birthplace—the president was born in Hawaii in 1961—he instead focuses on Obama’s parents. That’s parents with an “s,” and according to Barchfeld, that’s extremely important.

    Barchfeld points out that the U.S. Constitution requires the country’s presidents to be “natural born citizens” (or citizens at the time of the adoption of the constitution) but that the document does not detail exactly what that means. While common understanding has held that those born in the United States qualify to be president, Barchfeld objects, pointing to an 1875 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Minor v. Happersett that has never been overturned in which the court ruled that a natural-born citizen can only be someone born in the United States to citizen parents.

    As text from the Minor v. Happersett decision reads, “The Constitution does not in words say who shall be natural-born citizens. Resort must be had elsewhere to ascertain that. At common law, with the nomenclature of which the framers of the Constitution were familiar, it was never doubted that all children born in a country of parents who were its citizens became themselves, upon their birth, citizens also. These were natives or natural-born citizens, as distinguished from aliens or foreigners.”

    Obama’s mother, Ann Dunham, was born in Kansas, but his father, Barack Obama Sr., who was born in Kenya, was not a U.S. citizen at the time of his son’s birth and never became one.

  19. rikyrah says:

    White House Announces Contraception Accommodation For Religious Orgs

    On a conference call with reporters Friday, a senior administration official announced that the White House will move the onus to provide women free contraceptive services to insurance companies if their religiously-affiliated employers object to providing insurance coverage that covers birth control.

    “All women will still have access to free preventive care that includes contraceptive services,” the official said. “The insurance company will be required to reach out directly and offer her contraceptive coverage free of charge,” if the employer objects to providing that coverage in its benefit package.

  20. rikyrah says:

    An awkward time to ‘reconnect’
    By Steve Benen – Fri Feb 10, 2012 10:11 AM EST.

    It’s late in the game for him to try to “reconnect.”
    A week ago, Mitt Romney and his campaign were right where they wanted to be. The former governor had scored an impressive win in Florida, he was poised to score another victory in Nevada, and the race for the Republican presidential nomination looked to be effectively over.

    There was nary a whisper of internal dissension within the Romney camp. Why would there be? Their guy was the “inevitable” nominee.

    A week, two caucuses, and a non-binding primary later, confidence from Team Romney has suddenly dwindled. The Washington Post reports that party officials are “expressing fresh concerns” about the former governor and are “increasingly anxious” about his candidacy.

    One prominent adviser told the candidate to sharpen his use of conservative code words and create “small pictures” — vivid imagery, in other words — to connect with voters. Another flew to Boston to say that Romney’s message is too businesslike and broad to capture the passion of angry Republican voters. Still others have gone on television and written opinion columns to hammer home what is becoming a common theme this year: that Romney has not been able to ignite a cause when the GOP is primed to become part of one.

    The efforts are themselves interesting, but the larger point is the portrait that’s coming into focus: the campaign is not only scrambling in a damage-control mode, but officials are dishing to reporters about the internal disarray.

    MSNBC’s First Read added this morning, “So we’ve gone from advisers taking credit (in the New York Times) for his turnaround in Florida, to now criticizing him (in the Washington Post) after his defeats on Tuesday. Folks, that isn’t characteristic of a winning presidential campaign.”

    This comes against a backdrop of Republicans pressuring Romney to pick up his game, as well as renewing misguided chatter about finding someone new to jump into the race for the GOP nomination.

    For his part, Romney, as Tricia noted earlier, huddled in D.C. yesterday with “a small gathering of leaders in the conservative movement.” The meeting, which last more than an hour, included “evangelical organizers, conservative writers and Tea Party activists,” and was apparently part of a strategy to help the candidate “reconnect” with the right.

    The outreach may or may not pay dividends, but the question that should matter most to Republicans is simple: why is the ostensible frontrunner still trying to “reconnect” at this stage in the race?

  21. Ametia says:

    Here’s a classic post from 3 Chics, when we first got started. Nothings changed….

    The Only “BUT” Uttered In Journalism Should Be The One You Sit On
    Posted on September 11, 2010by Ametia

    American journalism has gone rogue. Gone are the days of Edward R. Murrow, Cronkite, Ed Bradley, Harry K. Smith, Huntley & Brinkley, & Max Robinson. Please feel free to add to this elite list of REAL time journalist.

    For the most part, the playing field is not level. Corporations rule the day and that includes the media.

  22. Ametia says:

    Family Law
    Guardian for Polo Mogul’s Other Kids Seeks to Reverse Dad’s Adoption of 42-Year-Old Girlfriend
    Posted Feb 10, 2012 7:27 AM CST
    By Martha Neil

    An out-of-state guardian for two minor children of a Florida polo mogul has retained an in-state lawyer to fight John Goodman’s recent adoption of his 42-year-old girlfriend.
    Arguing that the adoption contravenes public policy and that the judge who approved it wasn’t told the full story, attorney Joseph Rebak is asking a Miami-Dade Circuit Court to reverse it, reports the Palm Beach Post.
    The adoption means that assets held in trust for Goodman’s children will now be split three ways instead of two and is expected to give Goodman’s girlfriend, Heather Anne Hutchins, access to $9 million or so.
    And there is now the possibility that another party will have a claim to a significant share of the money, too.

    Goodman is facing both a criminal driving-under-the-influence manslaughter case and a civil wrongful death case in Palm Beach County concerning his alleged role in causing a fatal auto accident nearly two years ago.

    Following the adoption, a judge who is overseeing a wrongful death case against Goodman reversed a previous ruling and held that trust assets can be used to satisfy any judgment that the parents of the dead man are awarded.

    “If Mr. Goodman is bound to Ms. Hutchins, and feels as though he would like to protect her and take care of her financially, the obvious solution would be to marry her—not to make her his child,” wrote Rebak in a Miami legal filing challenging the adoption.

    Goodman hasn’t yet responded to that matter. However, he is asking the judge in the Palm County wrongful death case to put it on hold while the adoption challenge is resolved.

  23. Ametia says:

    HELLO! Just open up the DOOR; I’ll get it myself! WHAT A MESSAGE, HUH?

  24. rikyrah says:

    Obama, Congress moving in different directions
    By Steve Benen – Fri Feb 10, 2012 9:32 AM EST.Since we discussed Congress’ dwindling public support in the latest Gallup poll, it’s only fair to note the same pollster shows an uptick in President Obama’s approval rating.

    In Gallup’s latest tracking poll, Obama’s support has reached 49%. At least for now, the president’s support is no longer “under water” — approval is no longer lower than disapproval — and Obama’s overall standing is now at its highest point since the strike on Osama bin Laden.

    Jonathan Bernstein had a good piece putting the latest results in context.

    There’s no magic number for where approval has to be for him to be assured of re-election, but generally people estimate that 48% or so approval is probably around the break-even mark, and a low 50s rating makes re-election very likely.

    Keeping in mind the caveat that things can always turn around as events change, Obama’s approval pattern looks somewhat similar, if not quite as good, as those of Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, with approval moving into positive territory early in the re-election year. The direction is what counts.

    What’s more, it looks as if Obama is now on the verge of doing better than the two most recent presidents who weren’t reelected — George H.W. Bush and Jimmy Carter — were faring at this point in their first terms.

    I’d add one related thought. When the new Gallup numbers are released daily, I take note of the numbers for Obama and the Republican presidential candidates, but I also pay attention to the “U.S. Economic Confidence Index,” reflecting whether Americans believe the economy is improving or deteriorating. Yesterday’s Gallup report showed this figure reaching its best point in a year.

    The president’s growing support, in other words, isn’t an accident — as Americans’ feelings about the economy improve, this clearly affects their attitudes about the president.

  25. Ametia says:

    Howdy, rikyrah. Chocolate’s on the house this morning, folks!

  26. rikyrah says:

    I Can’t Quite Put My Finger On It, But…
    by Zandar

    MoJo’s Nick Baumann again does us an invaluable service by pointing out the obvious fact that President Obama’s “unprecedented assault on America’s religious freedoms” by requiring church-related hospitals and universities to cover contraception at the federal level has actually been on the books for, oh, about 12 years now.

    In December 2000, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruled that companies that provided prescription drugs to their employees but didn’t provide birth control were in violation of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which prevents discrimination on the basis of sex. That opinion, which the George W. Bush administration did nothing to alter or withdraw when it took office the next month, is still in effect today—and because it relies on Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, it applies to all employers with 15 or more employees. Employers that don’t offer prescription coverage or don’t offer insurance at all are exempt, because they treat men and women equally—but under the EEOC’s interpretation of the law, you can’t offer other preventative care coverage without offering birth control coverage, too.

    “It was, we thought at the time, a fairly straightforward application of Title VII principles,” a top former EEOC official who was involved in the decision told Mother Jones. “All of these plans covered Viagra immediately, without thinking, and they were still declining to cover prescription contraceptives. It’s a little bit jaw-dropping to see what is going on now…There was some press at the time but we issued guidances that were far, far more controversial.”

    After the EEOC opinion was approved in 2000, reproductive rights groups and employees who wanted birth control access sued employers that refused to comply. The next year, in Erickson v. Bartell Drug Co., a federal court agreed with the EEOC’s reasoning. Reproductive rights groups and others used that decision as leverage to force other companies to settle lawsuits and agree to change their insurance plans to include birth control. Some subsequent court decisions echoed Erickson, and some went the other way, but the rule (absent a Supreme Court decision) remained, and over the following decade, the percentage of employer-based plans offering contraceptive coverage tripled to 90 percent.

    This fight has been long settled based on Title VII law. Clinton put it on the books on the way out without controversy, and it was on the books for every single day of the Bush 43 administration without controversy. It was on the books for three years under the Obama administration, without controversy. Nine out of ten businesses in the country, including religiously affiliated hospitals, schools, and charities, provided contraception coverage. 27 states went on to put similar provisions on their books without incident.

    It wasn’t an issue at all until an African-American Democrat in the White House decided during an election year that “Hey, this is a good idea, let’s put this on the books for all 50 states” just after getting yet another monthly unemployment report that showed that his policies were starting to bring the jobs numbers back around, and that his prospects for re-election were improving along with that uptick on what basically everyone agreed up until that millisecond was the most important issue of the day, the economy itself.

    Then, the existing rules of the game for the last dozen years changed literally overnight to fit the theory that the President was “declaring war on Americans’ religious freedoms.” Then the rules immediately changed to create “a firestorm of controversy”. Then the rules changed so that people questioned why Catholics in the Obama administration, including the Vice-President and the Secretary of Defense, hadn’t resigned in protest yet.

    It wasn’t an issue until the GOP started openly asking if they were going to lose big in November and Newt Gingrich had melted into babbling radioactive slag and Rick Santorum became the latest Anti-Romney, revealing the fatal weakness of “the frontrunner”.

    Only now do the god-botherers and the institutional misogynists and the bigots and the pinheads and the weasels have an issue.

    Only now. They are this desperate to defeat President Obama.

  27. rikyrah says:

    Romney distorts his contraception record
    By Steve Benen – Fri Feb 10, 2012 8:43 AM EST.

    Like many of President Obama’s critics, Mitt Romney has invested quite a bit of energy lately going after the administration on contraception coverage. The attacks have been a little awkward for the former governor because, not too long ago, Romney and Obama were largely in agreement on the issue.

    This inconvenient detail has not gone unnoticed, and on Fox News yesterday, Neil Cavuto broached the subject. Romney replied, “Actually the legislation in our state that related to providing contraception and sterilization, those kinds of things in insurance, occurred before I was governor. And my effort as governor was to try and remove those things. I was unsuccessful in removing them — my legislature was 85 percent Democrat — but the White House can’t point to my record because this occurred before I became governor and my effort was to get it out of the legislation going forward.”

    He repeated the line last night, telling Fox News’ Sean Hannity, “When I came into office and we were working on healthcare I fought to remove those mandates from coverages.”

    That’s not what happened.

    It’s true that some of this policy pre-dates Romney’s one term in office. In 2002, then-Gov. Jane Swift (D) signed a measure requiring insurers to cover the cost of contraceptives. Insurance purchased by churches or church-controlled organizations were exempt.

    Four years later, then-Gov. Romney signed a statewide health care reform package into law that solidified the contraception mandate. While he now claims to have “fought to remove” the mandates, these efforts appear to exist only in Romney’s imagination.


    The Democratic National Committee hosted a conference call yesterday with former Massachusetts Secretary for Human Services Phil Johnston and John McDonough, Harvard professor of public health, both of whom are experts on Romney’s state-based health care law, and both of whom explained yesterday that the presidential candidate’s rhetoric is at odds with reality.

    Here’s what Johnson told reporters:

    “Mitt Romney never expressed any concern about the mandate — never mentioned that it would infringe upon religious freedoms. During the four years that Governor Romney served, he was totally silent about that issue. Most notably, his signature issue as Governor, which all of us supported and which we now affectionately refer to as ‘Romneycare’ left the contraception mandate in place.

    “So when he says he opposes the contraception mandate and will repeal it, which apparently he’s been saying the past day or two since this issue has become very public, he’s really not being truthful. He had four years to repeal it or to speak out against it in our state and he didn’t do that. And even more tellingly, his own healthcare plan which he signed into law embraced contraception mandates.”

    And here was McDonough’s take:

    “[Romney] did not, in fact, propose eliminating broader mandated benefits protections for Massachusetts consumers. More importantly, the law that he signed a year later in April 2006 also created the Commonwealth Care program as well as other new insurance programs and that included coverage for all of the existing mandated benefits at the time, including contraception coverage.

    “The record does match a lot of the claims that are being made on it. There was a pretty consistent level of support for contraceptive coverage and mandated benefits throughout the Romney era when he was governor. I have absolutely zero recollection of any reference at any point, as a candidate or as governor, where he attacked or tried to undermine contraceptive coverage.”

    Romney rolled out a new spin yesterday on Fox News, but there’s ample evidence the new line just isn’t true.

  28. rikyrah says:

    Thursday, February 9, 2012
    Rubio Shows The GOP Hand On The War On Women
    Posted by Zandar

    MoJo’s Nick Baumann puts the various GOP birth control freakout stories in perspective as he catches “moderate” Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida dropping this bombshell of a bill: the “Religious Freedom Restoration Act.”

    What does it do? Why, it ends birth control insurance coverage for women, of course.

    Rubio has sold his proposal—introduced Jan. 31 as the “Religious Freedom Restoration Act,” or S. 2043—as a way to counter President Barack Obama’s controversial rule requiring even religiously affiliated schools and universities to offer copay-free birth control to their employees. But health care experts say that its implications could be far broader.
    If passed, the bill would allow any institution or corporation to cut off birth control coverage simply by citing religious grounds. (You can read the bill here or in the DocumentCloud embed below.) It has 26 cosponsors in the Senate; a similar proposal sponsored by Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.) has 148 cosponsors in the House. On Wednesday, Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) vowed to repeal Obama’s rule, and Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) pointed to Rubio’s bill as a potential model for doing so.

    In English, this means that no entity has to cover birth control in a health plan if it can point to a religious reason for not doing so. And the entity itself is not required to have any religious affiliation. It could just be a plain old corporation. That means that if the middle-aged white guy who runs your company is religiously opposed to birth control, he can have it stripped out of your insurance plan—even if his Viagra is still covered. You could wake up the next morning and find you’re paying full price for drugs that you once got for free or at much-reduced prices.

    Endgame. As I said earlier this morning, guess what the price of President Obama’s payroll tax cut extension will be?

    Within about a week, we’ve gone from a measure that Republicans supported in 2004 on birth control to now basically the end of birth control being covered by employee health plans. And I expect this will only be the first of as many poison pill/hostage crises as the Republicans can jam into the Affordable Care Act as they can.

    They were never going to repeal “Obamacare”, they were going to make it so awful that the American people would demand the old broken system back. Getting rid of employee birth control coverage is just the start.

    Oh but here’s the worst part. Rubio is getting backup from Democrats like Sen. Joe Manchin.

    Under our Constitution, religious organizations have the freedom to follow their beliefs, and government should honor that,” Senator Manchin said. “The Obama Administration’s position on this mandate is wrong and just doesn’t make any sense to me. I’m proud to introduce this bipartisan legislation with Senator Rubio, which will ensure that the First Amendment rights of religious employers are afforded the respect they deserve.”

    The Village “firestorm” over the “birth control controversy” is having the desired effect. The Dems that never had the President’s back and never will? Off to the races they go.


  29. rikyrah says:

    Culture of corruption, redux
    By Steve Benen – Fri Feb 10, 2012 8:00 AM EST.

    Mr. Bachus will apparently need a good lawyer.

    Congress’ approval rating has already dropped to near-comical depths; new ethics allegations against a powerful House Republican probably won’t help matters.

    CBS’s “60 Minutes” ran a widely-noticed segment recently on the practice of federal lawmakers making investment decisions based on inside information that the public does not have. It was especially unflattering for Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, who was receiving secret briefings on the imminent collapse of the global economy in 2008, and then making dozens of options trades that would make him wealthy as the economy deteriorated, relying on information that other investors didn’t have.

    As a result, the Office of Congressional Ethics has reportedly launched an investigation into the Alabama Republican’s investments.

    The Office of Congressional Ethics, an independent investigative agency, opened its probe late last year after focusing on numerous suspicious trades on Bachus’s annual financial disclosure forms, the individuals said. OCE investigators have notified Bachus that he is under investigation and that they have found probable cause to believe insider-trading violations have occurred.

    The case is the first of its kind involving a member of Congress. It comes at a time of intense public scrutiny of congressional ethics, with the House passing legislation Thursday to tighten rules against insider trading by lawmakers.

    Those new rules have not yet been approved, but Bachus is apparently facing an ethics probe as a result of existing Securities and Exchange Commission laws.

    As this investigation unfolds, it’s also worth pausing to appreciate a larger point: there sure are a lot of congressional Republicans facing allegations of misconduct right now.


    The Bachus controversy is arguably the highest-profile matter — in part because of the “60 Minutes” report, and in part because of the power of his committee chairmanship — but consider some of the other simmering investigations:

    * This week, congressional ethics investigators concluded there is “substantial reason to believe” that Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.), one of the top Republicans in the House, “violated ethics laws by failing to report his position with a half-dozen firms.”

    * Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) is facing allegations he accepted illegal campaign contributions during his 2010 campaign, aided by a district supporter who’s facing a federal criminal investigation.

    * Reps. Pete Sessions (R-Texas), Buck McKeon (R-Calif.), and Elton Gallegly (R-Calif.) have been accused of receiving special favors through Countrywide’s VIP mortgage program.

    The Hill recently flagged several other pending controversies:

    * Rep. David Rivera (R-Fla.), who is being investigated by the FBI, IRS, Miami-Dade Police Department’s public corruption unit, the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office and Florida Department of Law Enforcement over allegations that he abused his former seat in Florida’s state House of Representatives for personal financial gain and repeatedly lied on financial disclosure forms.

    * Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), who came under fire last year when a New York Times article raised questions of legality around his former company’s dealings.

    * Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.), who is accused of owing $117,000 in child support to his ex-wife, which he did not report on his financial disclosure forms and, if true, would violate House rules.

    All of this only refers to ongoing controversies, and doesn’t include New York Rep. Chris Lee (R) and Nevada Sen. John Ensign (R), both of whom resigned last year in the wake of sex scandals.

    This hasn’t quite reached the “culture of corruption” GOP scandals of 2005 and 2006, but it’s getting there.

  30. Ametia says:

    CPAC welcomes white nationalists
    Three noted white supremacy enthusiasts to host anti-diversity panel at conservative conference

    But! While the Birchers and the open homosexualists are no longer welcome, there is still room for multiple outspoken white nationalists!

    The National Review’s John Derbyshire, a stock “pervert Tory” character from a Martin Amis novel sprung to life and given a sinecure at the National Review, is hosting a panel on “multiculturalism” (boo hiss) featuring two of America’s most detestable sacks of shit: Peter Brimelow, founder of white supremacist site VDARE, and Robert Vandervoort, the director of some sort of “don’t make me press one for English” nativist group and a white nationalist from way back.

    CPAC organizers are like, we didn’t specifically organize this panel ourselves so whatever, but they are not canceling the panel, because the conservative movement has always quietly set a place at the table for their white supremacist allies when they get together for Thanksgiving. And after everyone says grace (and sings “God Bless America” and the national anthem and does the Pledge of Allegiance) comes the ceremonial declaration that liberals are the real racists, for inventing welfare.

    The Derbyshire, Brimelow, and Vandervoort (these names!) panel is called “The Failure of Multiculturalism: How the Pursuit of Diversity Is Weakening the American Identity,” and the fact that these panelists are all well-compensated members in good standing of the conservative movement instead of shrieking their “defense of Western Civilization” nonsense for free from a bench outside a subway station does suggest that something has gone wrong with the American experiment. (I think we let too many racist British people enter the country and steal our right-wing think tank and magazine contributor jobs, personally.)

  31. Ametia says:


  32. Ametia says:

    Repost- POWERFUL

  33. Ametia, I’m loving Donna Summer this morning!

  34. Good Morning, 3 Chics! Happy Friday!

    Like Nobody Watching image

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