Friday Open Thread

Anita Baker (born January 26, 1958 in Toledo, Ohio and raised in Detroit, Michigan)[1] is an American R&B/soul jazz singer-songwriter. To date, Baker has won eight Grammy Awards, and has four platinum albums and two gold albums to her credit.

In 1975, Baker (Contralto) joined the Detroit-based band, Chapter 8, which featured Michael J. Powell, who would later produce her solo works. The band eventually got a record deal with Ariola, and their self-titled debut Chapter 8 came out in Fall 1979. Two singles hit the R&B charts: “Ready for Your Love,” a duet between Baker and group member Gerald Lyles; and the Baker-led “I Just Wanna Be Your Girl.”

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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73 Responses to Friday Open Thread

  1. Despite the fact that Republicans have so far have spent $6million in air time in Ohio, nearly $4million of it spent on behalf of Romney:

  2. Which might be why the latest polls have Romney Trailing behind Santorum in the State:


    Obama for America Deputy Campaign Manager Stephanie Cutter released a memo today: Mitt Romney: Wrong for Ohio

    “As Mitt Romney moves through the Republican primary contests, it’s clear that the more voters see of him, the less they like him…. There are many reasons for this deep dissatisfaction. First, Romney has run to the far right of his party, pandering to the Tea Party and adopting positions out of the mainstream of this country, including supporting a bill that gives employers control over female employees’ health care… Second, he has outlined an economic vision that is utterly out of touch with middle-class America. Romney has disparaged the auto and manufacturing jobs that Ohioans rely on and that are leading America’s recovery. He’s also proposed a tax plan that includes $5 trillion in tax giveaways, primarily for corporations, billionaires and millionaires. Finally, Romney hasn’t won a single primary contest by laying out a positive vision for where he wants to take America. He’s won by severely outspending and carpet-bombing his opponents….On the issues most important to Ohioans – manufacturing jobs, workers’ rights and the economic security of the middle class – Romney has consistently abandoned the middle class and working families.”

  4. President Obama is also encouraging supporters to join him in calling for an end to oil subsidies:

    “@BarackObama: Oil companies don’t need tax subsidies—they make billions from your trips to the pump. Tell Congress to end them: OFA.BO/aU5kcg”


    President Obama yesterday called for an end to oil subsidies:

  6. This morning, Good Morning America aired previously-unseen footage in which Governor Romney boasts about his ability to get money from Washington for special projects, something he continuously criticizes his opponents for.

    “’I have learned from my Olympic experience that if you have people who really understand how Washington works and have personal associations there you can get money to help build economic development opportunities,’ Romney says.”

  7. Romney’s Earmarks

  8. [wpvideo LDW0Yma1]

  9. rikyrah says:

    Friday, March 2, 2012
    Another Milepost On The Road To Oblivion
    Posted by Zandar
    Oh, and speaking of the broken wasteland Breitbart left behind, there’s now this:

    On his program Thursday, Fox News’ Sean Hannity spoke with Steve Bannon (producer of The Undefeated, among various other films) about a series of tapes Andrew Breitbart claimed to have about Barack Obama. Breitbart mentioned the tapes during his recent CPAC speech, sharing that “[w]e are going to vet [Barack Obama] from his college days to show you why racial division and class warfare are central to what hope and change was sold in 2008.”

    Bannon confirmed that there exists a series of tapes taken during Obama’s time at Harvard, which will be publicly released “in a week or two.” Breitbart has been “very systematic about going through this thing,” Bannon added.

    This “Obama is the other” circus, including the endless Birther controversy, was gearing up for months of brutal, racist attacks on the President. It’s the only way the GOP can win in 2012 and they know it. They don’t want to talk about the issues. They want to talk about how America has fallen into such an awful state that one of them is now running for re-election. That’s why we’re re-fighting affirmative action, birth control, voter suppression and whether or not government should exist: because if America can elect one of them President, then the society that allowed such a sin clearly must be dismantled to the point it can never happen again.

    Those who allowed Barack Obama to become President must be punished. All those people. That’s why the GOP is no longer talking about jobs and the economy.

    “What do we really know about that one?” is the new, old dog whistle. Breitbart and his ilk thrived in that fecal matter. His legacy is the 2012 election season. Because after all, it’s not like anyone ever really looked into President Obama’s past, right?

  10. rikyrah says:

    March 02, 2012 3:32 PM
    Bad Day for the Bully
    By Ed Kilgore

    You never know with these things, but there are signs aborning that Rush Limbaugh’s two-day tirade against Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke may have been a very serious mistake. When the President of the United States goes to the trouble of personally calling the victim of a media bully to comfort her, the bully is getting into the kind of danger zone usually reserved for nasty tinpot dictators and perpetrators of heinous crimes. And when the Speaker of the House representing the party you have lorded it over for many years finds it necessary to denounce your behavior, you might want to consider a vacation of a trip to rehab.

    Limbaugh has already lost one major sponsor (Sleep Train), and there’s quite a campaign underway to gather petitions to all his sponsors suggesting that might find a better use of their advertising dollars. So far all Rush has been able to muster is some spluttering at Obama for his Super-PACs accepting a big contribution from Bill Maher, and a half-hearted effort to play the victim himself, a role for which he is singularly ill-equipped.

    Probably the worst sign for Rush is that the right-wing blogosphere is not (so far) exactly springing to his defense. There’s a lot more stuff up on conservative sites continuing the mourning period for Andrew Breitbart than there is about Limbaugh, which gives you a sense of how far Rush has strayed over the line. Worse yet for him, the incident will give the whole wide world a fresh opportunity to reacquaint themselves with his overall corpus of work.

    So at least until such time as he’s driven to his knees in abject humiliation, it’s a moment to savor. There’s nothing much more appealing to Americans’ old-fashioned sense of rough justice than watching a bully get pummeled.

  11. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 03:31 PM ET, 03/02/2012
    What’s at stake on Super Tuesday
    By Jonathan Bernstein

    Even if you believe that Mitt Romney is almost certain to be the nominee — as I do — there’s still plenty at stake in the Washington caucuses tomorrow and the 10 Super Tuesday states on March 6th. Can end the hotly contested phases of the nomination contest now, and pivot to general election themes and unifying his party? Or will he have to spend many more weeks attacking Republicans and worrying about offending conservatives?

    I’ll take the upcoming contests in three batches.

    First Tier: Romney’s strongest states. These are Massachusetts, Vermont, the Idaho caucuses, and Virginia. This is the group that’s going to give Romney a good day, no matter what else happens. He’s going to win most or all of the delegates in these states, giving him a large lead on the day that the remainder of the contests probably won’t erase no matter how poorly he does in them. Something would have to go very wrong for him in these particular states to really put his eventual nomination in doubt.

    Second tier: Romney’s toss-up states. Ohio on Super Tuesday and the Washington caucuses tomorrow will disproportionately dominate the headlines. Both are heavily contested, with Romney leading the polls in Washington while Rick Santorum has a small edge so far in Ohio.

    If Romney can win both, it’s possible it would be enough to push currently neutral party leaders to declare the race over, but it’s not certain they would do that. If Romney loses in Ohio, there is going to be renewed panic among Republicans — who need the state in November — about his electability in a general election.

    It’s not clear that there’s a relationship between primary outcomes and general elections, but enough doubts would be raised by an Ohio loss to ensure that contested primaries will continue at least through the end of March, and probably longer.

    Third tier: Romney’s toughest states. In these southern states — Georgia, Tennessee and Oklahoma — Romney benefits from low expectations. If he wins Ohio and does well in these states, then the better the chance that the race will end right here. But the better that Santorum or Gingrich does in these three states, the better their chances to continue fighting on and raising the resources necessary to get the press to take them seriously.

    Right now, Gingrich leads in Georgia, with Santorum leading the polls in the other two and Romney in second in all three. But there’s very little post-Michigan/Arizona polling, and Romney has been gaining rapidly in national polls, so it’s too early to know what’s going to happen in these states.

    Oh, there is a fourth tier, too: caucuses in North Dakota and Alaska. No one is going to pay much attention to them and there’s no polling I know of; my guess is that Romney and Ron Paul do well.

    As of now, Romney has a large delegate lead, which will most likely be even larger after Tuesday. What will really matter is whether the party and the press agree that it’s essentially over. This will be the first night since South Carolina where, if things go well for Romney, we could reach that point. But if he has yet another setback, the wait will go on

  12. rikyrah says:

    Nick Cannon: Lupus-Like Disease to Blame for Recent Health Scares

    Nick Cannon is finally on the mend after suffering from both kidney failure and blood clots during the past few months, AOL Music reports. For many, the stars health woes came as quite the surprise. Besides appearing physically fit, Cannon is only 31 years old, with no history of these types of ailments.

    So what triggered Nick’s recent health scares? According to Cannon, an undiagnosed condition similar to Lupus. In an interview with PEOPLE Magazine, the star reveals his kidney failure was a result of an “autoimmune disease that [doctors] found in my system.” Subsequently, the blood clots that formed were directly connected to his kidney infection.

    “It’s a lot of stuff,” Cannon tells PEOPLE. “But it’s all in order now. They kind of say [my] autoimmune [disease] is … like a Lupus type of thing, but no one else in my family has it.”

    For Cannon, discovering the root of his health problems is the final key to changing his life. Now, Nick is focused on the well-being of his body, mind and soul. “The blood clot thing was probably the scariest because … I’ve known people who have passed away from that,” he says. “I’m just trying to make sure I put my health first.”

    Despite the fact that Cannon’s new condition is “something I’m going to be living with all my life,” the star is focusing on the positive. “I feel blessed to be alive,” Nick shares. “If it wasn’t discovered, I don’t know [what would have happened].”

  13. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 02:09 PM ET, 03/02/2012
    Assignment desk
    By Greg Sargent

    So the news is breaking now that President Obama personally called Sandra Fluke to offer support in the wake of the controversy that erupted after Rush Limbaugh called her a “slut” in front of millions of listeners

    Fluke was set to go on MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports when the president rang her on her phone. She took the call while waiting in the green room.

    “He encouraged me and supported me and thanked me for speaking out about the concerns of American women,” she told Mitchell, who received permission from the White House to discuss the exchange between Fluke and Obama. “What was really personal for me was that he said to tell my parents that they should be proud. And that meant a lot because Rush Limbaugh questioned whether or not my family would be proud of me. So I just appreciated that very much.”

    Fluke appeared to be choking up a bit while recalling the conversation. But she composed herself and went to discuss how surreal her experience has been…

    “He did express his concern for me and wanted to make sure that I was ok, which I am,” she said. “I’m ok.”

    A number of people on the Twitters are pointing out that this elevates the issue considerably. And that’s true. In fact, reporters now have just the hook they need to ask Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum for comment on Rush’s remarks. Indeed, Rush is apparently doubling down on them today — and the fact that this is now a full-fledged national controversy means it’s time to hear from the GOP candidates about it.

    So let’s do this! Seems likely their answers will make news.

  14. rikyrah says:

    2 Mar 2012 01:31 PM
    Electoral Tribalism, Ctd

    A reader writes:

    It should be noted that in the article you cite as evidence of Obama’s electoral advantage among black voters that Clinton originally held the lead among African-Americans. Indeed, in early January 2008, Obama’s gains among black voters were seen as noteworthy:

    In a national survey by CNN/Opinion Research Corp., 59 percent of black Democrats backed Obama, an Illinois Democrat, for their party’s presidential nomination, with 31 percent supporting Clinton, the senator from New York. “The 28 point lead for Obama is a major reversal from October, when Clinton held a 24 point lead among black Democrats.

    The related poll [pdf] tracks the fall of Clinton and the rise of Obama among African-Americans from October to January: black men supported Obama over Clinton 46% to 43% in October, which shifted to 74% to 21% in January; black women supported Clinton over Obama 68% to 25% in October, which shifted to Obama over Clinton 49% to 38% in January.

    What happened between October and January? Iowa.

    But Obama’s increased viability was also combined with race-based attacks from the Clinton camp that continued throughout the primaries. Certainly excitement over Obama as the first viable black presidential candidate was part of his appeal (among black and white voters), but it was also a failure on the part of Clinton to maintain her connection with black voters. Simple electoral tribalism doesn’t explain the ebb and flow of the Clinton-Obama campaign.

    Another reader points to a lesser known contest:

    In the 2010 Democratic primary for Alabama governor, Congressman Artur Davis, who is black, ran against State Agriculture Commissioner Ron Sparks, who is white. Davis had taken a more conservative voting record in hopes of appealing to white voters in Alabama. He was, for instance, the only Black Democrat in Congress to vote against the health care bill. Black voters in Alabama overwhelmingly turned against him and gave Sparks the nomination. An example that blacks will indeed vote white over black if they feel it is in their better interest.

    More details on the Davis-Sparks race:

    During the primary campaign, Davis downplayed matters of race and emphasized his independence from Democratic party orthodoxy. He caused controversy, including within his heavily minority congressional district, by voting against President Barack Obama’s new health-care law—the only black Democrat in Congress to do so. He also refused to sit for the endorsement screenings of Alabama’s black political groups, drawing criticism from some that he was an opportunist in search of white votes.[15] As a result, he became described as “the first African-American candidate in a statewide Alabama race to lose the black vote.”[16]

    An even better example of anti-tribalism is the continued success of Steve Cohen, a white Jewish US congressman representing the predominantly black 9th district in Memphis. From the 2008 primary:

    The campaign quickly turned ugly, with [opponent Nikki Tinker, an African-American lawyer] putting together a raft of negative ads. One attacked Cohen for voting against a proposal that would have removed a statue and the remains of Nathan Bedford Forrest, a Confederate lieutenant-general who was involved in the founding of the Ku Klux Klan,[20] from the Medical Center park. The ad falsely implied that Cohen had ties to the Klan by juxtaposing Cohen with a white-clad Klansman.[21] Another ad accused Cohen of “praying in our churches” [22]

    Cohen crushed Tinker at the polls, 79 – 19. The following cycle:

    Former Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton announced that he would challenge Cohen in the 2010 Democratic primary for the seat. In a guest column in the Memphis Commercial Appeal, Herenton wrote that while he hoped the campaign would focus on issues rather than race or religion, that “it remains a fact that the 9th Congressional District provides the only real opportunity to elect a qualified African-American to the all-white 11-member delegation representing Tennessee in Washington.” In September 2009, Herenton drew controversy when he stated in a radio interview that Cohen “really does not think very much of African-Americans” and that “[Cohen]’s played the black community well.”

    79 – 21.

  15. rikyrah says:

    Whitewashing Gay History
    Liberals applaud themselves for championing gay marriage. But there are ghosts at the weddings.
    .By Frank Rich
    Published Feb 26, 2012

    When the news came last June that the New York State Senate had voted to legalize same-sex marriage, I was at a dinner party that felt like New Year’s Eve, only with genuine emotions. Everyone at the table—straight, gay, young, old—was elated. Later, as my wife and I headed home past an Empire State Building ablaze in the rainbow colors of Pride Week, we were still euphoric at having witnessed one of those rare nights when history is made. Same-sex-marriage adversaries constantly proclaim that gay unions threaten “traditional” marriage. But in truth, it’s a boon to discover that a right you’ve taken for granted is so treasured by others that they’ll fight to get their fair share of its rewards—and its trials.

    Fran Lebowitz is correct to remind us that not all gay people (any more than all straight people) are beating down the doors to what she calls “the two most confining institutions on the planet, marriage and the military.” But for those who have been, the dawning of marital equality and the demise of “don’t ask, don’t tell” are twin peaks in the checkered cavalcade of American social justice.

    Since that night, the good news on gay civil rights has kept coming. This month alone, legislative and judicial actions have made same-sex marriage the law in Washington State and Maryland and nudged it closer to reality in California and, Chris Christie notwithstanding, New Jersey. A Valentine’s week New York Times–CBS News poll, echoing others over the past year, found that Americans now favor marriage over separate-and-unequal civil unions as the legal option for gay couples; less than a third of the public believes that gay families should be denied both. Each day the gay-rights bandwagon attracts unexpected recruits in the vein of the legal odd couple of Ted Olson and David Boies. No less a pitchman than Lloyd Blankfein is making public-service ads for same-sex marriage. Bill O’Reilly is defending Ellen ­DeGeneres from American Family Association vigilantes demanding that JCPenney ditch her as a spokesperson. Being in with the gays, it’s clear, has become a savvy (if not necessarily selfless) way to attach a halo to almost any troubled brand, from Goldman Sachs to some precincts of the Rupert Murdoch empire (though not the New York Post or Wall Street Journal, the only major dailies in the state that disdained large front-page headlines after the Albany victory).

    Compared with the other civil-rights battles in America, especially the epic struggle over race that has stained and hobbled the nation since its birth, the fight over gay equality is remarkable for its relative ease, compact chronology, and the happiness of its pending resolution. There’s no happier ending to any plot than a wedding. But, as last June’s celebration has gradually given way to morning-after sobriety, it’s also clear that something is wrong with this cheery picture. Two things, actually.

    The first is obvious: Full equality for gay Americans is nowhere near at hand. One of America’s two major political parties is still hell-bent on thwarting and even rolling back gay rights much as Goldwater Republicans and Dixie Democrats (on their way to joining the GOP) resisted civil-rights legislation and enforcement in the sixties. In most states, sexual orientation can still be used to deny not only marriage but also jobs and housing, as well as to curtail adoption rights. America’s dominant religions remain largely hostile to homosexuality, and America’s most cherished secular pastime, professional sports, is essentially a no-gay zone. The bullying of gay and transgendered children remains a national crisis. While Nielsen tells us that gay concerns and characters are “the new mainstream” of television—figuring in 24 percent of broadcast prime-time programming last season—we do not yet live in the United States of Glee.


    It’s this atmosphere that explains why another woman of Miss America fame—Bess Myerson, who, unlike Anita Bryant, had won the crown—was dragged into a New York mayoral contest between two liberals. Koch was a Greenwich Village bachelor, at the time a scarlet letter of assumed homosexuality second only to being a hairdresser. Myerson was drafted as his steady campaign companion—if not a girlfriend, exactly, a hand-holding BFF—to stave off the accusation that dare not speak its name except in below-the-radar whispers. The Cuomo campaign did what it could to encourage those whispers by running ads trumpeting its candidate as a “family man.” As Election Day approached, posters of mysterious provenance reading VOTE FOR CUOMO, NOT THE HOMO appeared in Brooklyn and Queens.

    Both Cuomos have long denied having anything to do with those posters. They could not, however, deny their ostentatious playing of the “family man” card. Whatever went down in 1977 was enough to move Andrew Cuomo to later apologize privately to Koch for the tone of the race. Asked in a recent Times interview if he believed the younger Cuomo was blameless for the homophobic posters, Koch said: “I honestly don’t know. I’d like to believe it. But I don’t know.”


    What we do know is that Andrew Cuomo deserves every bit of credit he has received for making same-sex marriage a top priority of his young governorship and for moving heaven and earth—deep-pocketed donors, recalcitrant Albany politicians, and sometimes-disorganized gay activists—to get the job done. If that feat of governance, among others, makes Cuomo a likely presidential prospect for the post-Obama Democratic Party, it’s well earned. But it doesn’t obliterate the record of what came before, including his standoffish relationship to gay-civil-rights battles for much of his preceding three-decade public career. He followed rather than led on marriage equality, not endorsing it until he ran for attorney general in 2006, years behind Eliot Spitzer (who did so in 1998) and David Paterson (1994). By the time Cuomo could act as governor, the issue was a win-win for him in Democratic politics, locally and nationally, the path having been paved by other fighters before him and by fast-moving polls confirming an ever more gay-friendly America. Yet even the preeminent gay magazine The Advocate failed to confront him on his record in its worshipful cover story marking New York’s marriage law; that past was journalistically Photoshopped out of existence. At a time when the most powerful Democrat in the nation still cynically purports to be “evolving” on same-sex marriage, the cautionary tale of Andrew Cuomo’s tardy evolution, particularly if told openly by Cuomo himself, might move hearts and minds in the White House much as his example helped sway once-hostile lawmakers in Albany.

    Bill Clinton has also worked hard to spin and skate away from his history on gay issues. His presidential record looks good only when contrasted with the literally lethal passivity of Ronald Reagan, who didn’t think AIDS warranted a speech until 1987, six years into the epidemic and his presidency. Reagan is a very low bar, and that lets Clinton off the hook for a legacy that’s had a far more lasting and egregious impact than any failings, youthful or otherwise, of Andrew Cuomo. Clinton knows it, too. In his thousand-page memoir, My Life, he somehow didn’t find the space to so much as mention the Defense of Marriage Act. While “don’t ask, don’t tell” can be rationalized (by some) as a bungled rookie effort at compromise during his early months in office, DOMA is indefensible. Though now deemed unconstitutional by the Obama Justice Department—and, last week, by a Bush-­appointed federal judge in California—it is still in full force.

    The bill was strictly a right-wing political ploy cooked up for the year of Clinton’s re-election campaign. It had no other justification. In the spring of 1996, same-sex marriage wasn’t legal anywhere in the country or a top-tier cause for many gay leaders; it was solely in play in a slow-moving court case in Hawaii. But fear and demonization of gay men was off the charts: In 1995, a record 50,877 Americans with AIDS died—a one-year count rivaling the 58,000 Americans lost in the entire Vietnam War. The Christian Coalition, under the Machiavellian guidance of the yet-to-be-disgraced Ralph Reed, saw an opening to exploit homophobia to galvanize a Republican base unenthusiastic about Bob Dole. In a consummate display of bad taste, Clinton announced that he would sign DOMA that spring just two days after the Supreme Court, in a rare national victory for gay rights, struck down a Colorado constitutional amendment that had barred anti-discrimination laws benefiting gay men and lesbians. In the months to come, Clinton’s stand on DOMA gave political permission to many nominally liberal Democrats to join Rick Santorum, Jesse Helms, and Larry Craig in voting for the bill that September—among them Charles Schumer (then in the House) and the senators Joe Biden, Tom Harkin, Frank Lautenberg, Patrick Leahy, Joe ­Lieberman, Carl Levin, Barbara Mikulski, Patty Murray, and Harry Reid. Only fourteen senators, also Democrats, had the courage to vote against it.

  16. rikyrah says:

    Stopping Obama, one way or another
    by George F. Will, Updated: Friday, March 2, 8:49 AM

    “The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord. The next and most urgent counsel is to take stock of reality.”

    William F. Buckley, Sept. 11, 1964

    On that evening 48 years ago — it was still summer, early in the presidential campaign — Buckley, whose National Review magazine had given vital assistance to Barry Goldwater’s improbable capture of the Republican nomination, addressed the national convention of the conservative Young Americans for Freedom. Buckley told his fervent acolytes that “when we permit ourselves to peek up over the euphoria” of Goldwater’s nomination, we see that it occurred “before we had time properly to prepare the ground.”

    He then sobered his boisterous audience: “I speak of course about the impending defeat of Barry Goldwater.” He urged “the necessity of guarding against the utter disarray that sometimes follows a stunning defeat.” Goldwater’s doomed campaign should, Buckley said, be supported because it plants “seeds of hope, which will flower on a great November day in the future.” They did, 16 Novembers later.

    Buckley understood the possibility of constructive defeat. He also understood the need to economize conservatism’s energies.

    Today, conservatives dismayed about the Republican presidential spectacle may write a codicil to what is called the Buckley Rule. He said that in any election, conservatives should vote for the most electable conservative. The codicil might be: Unless the nomination or election of a particular conservative would mean a net long-term subtraction from conservatism’s strength.

    If nominated, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum might not cause such subtraction. Both are conservatives, although of strikingly different stripes. Neither, however, seems likely to be elected. Neither has demonstrated, or seems likely to develop, an aptitude for energizing a national coalition that translates into 270 electoral votes.

    If either is nominated, conservatives should vote for him. But suppose the accumulation of evidence eventually suggests that the nomination of either would subtract from the long-term project of making conservatism intellectually coherent and politically palatable. If so, there would come a point when, taking stock of reality, conservatives turn their energies to a goal much more attainable than, and not much less important than, electing Romney or Santorum president. It is the goal of retaining control of the House and winning control of the Senate.

    Several possible Supreme Court nominations and the staffing of the regulatory state are among the important reasons conservatives should try to elect whomever the GOP nominates. But conservatives this year should have as their primary goal making sure Republicans wield all the gavels in Congress in 2013.

    If Republicans do, their committee majorities will serve as fine-mesh filters, removing President Obama’s initiatives from the stream of legislation. Then Republicans can concentrate on what should be the essential conservative project of restoring something like constitutional equipoise between the legislative and executive branches.

  17. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 12:34 PM ET, 03/02/2012
    Pelosi: Ryan-Wyden Medicare plan is `lipstick on a pig’
    By Greg Sargent

    In the interview with Nancy Pelosi I wrote about below, she also talked about the role that Medicare and campaign finance reform would play in this fall’s House elections. Though she said she thinks Dems are in a “strong position,” she declined to predict that Dems would take back the lower chamber.

    Republicans have argued that the new Medicare plan embraced by both Paul Ryan and Dem Senator Ron Wyden will blunt Dem attacks over Medicare, because the plan now has “bipartisan cover.” Some Dems have privately worried about this, too.

    But Pelosi scoffed at the idea, arguing that Ryan-Wyden still would ultimately end Medicare as we know it, as we know it, and that this is a case Dems can take to the American people.

    “What they’re trying to do is put lipstick on a pig — that would be Ryan — and call it Monique — that would be Wyden,” Pelosi said. “But it’s still a pig.”

    The Ryan-Wyden plan would offer seniors quasi-vouchers to pay for private health insurance but would also preserve traditional Medicare as an option. Pelosi argued that this still ensures that Medicare will “wither on the vine,” adding: “The Republican plan would break the Medicare guarantee.”

    Asked to respond to the Republican argument that Dems are imperiling Medicare by not offering a plan of their own to shore up its finances, Pelosi said: “They want to break the Medicare guarantee. Period. It’s about them. They’re in power in the House. They want to break the guarantee. The public doesn’t support that.”

    In 2005, Pelosi helped engineer the defeat of George W. Bush’s Social Security plan by insisting that Dems not offer a plan of their own. Speaking about the Dem Medicare message, she advised: “Keep it simple.”

  18. rikyrah says:

    Pelosi rips Limbaugh over `slut’ comment, calls on House GOP to repudiate it
    By Greg Sargent
    Congressional Democrats who have vowed to make the birth control controversy central to this year’s elections have been handed a gift in the form of one of the leading voices in the GOP: Rush Limbaugh.

    In an interview with me, Nancy Pelosi considerably upped the stakes in this fight, ripping Limbaugh’s recent comments about women who use contraception as “obnoxious,” and calling on House GOP and other Republican leaders to publicly repudiate them.

    Limbaugh recently derided Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown student who testified at a House contaception hearing, as a “slut,” adding that “all the women at Georgetown University” should put “as much aspirin…between their knees as possible.”

    Pelosi said she was surprised that Republican leaders had yet to condemn the comment, but said GOPers would not be able to escape it. “They won’t disassociate themselves from it. They’re tattooed with that,” she said. “I wouldn’t want those words repeated in my office.”

    In another sign of how Dems will press this case this year, Pelosi also escalated her attack on GOP priorities, arguing that Republicans favor government intrusion on individual liberty only when it comes to matters of sex.

    “They don’t believe in a government role except when it comes to women exercising her conscience on an issue like that,” Pelosi said. “People who choose to marry and find comfort with each other — they decide that government should step in there. But clean air, clean water, food safety, public safety, public education, public health, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security — they want to end the government role.”

    Pelosi’s broadside shows that Dems are eager to make this fight central in the elections by framing it around women’s health issues, and health care in general — a way to relitigate health reform on turf favorable to them. Republicans want it to be about religious liberty — meaning they want it fought on culture war turf.

    Almost no Republicans have condemned Rush’s comments. NRSC chair Carly Fiorina just came out and said they were “insulting,”while a spokesman for John Boehner has now called them “inappropriate.” But Dems will almost certainly demand more.

    This morning, Luke Russert noted that the relative silence of GOP leaders about Rush’s comments shows the power of the “conservative media machine.” But if Dems keep up the pressure, and more Republicans do condemn Rush, it may soon become clear that he’s finally gone so far that even that power can’t hold back GOP criticism any longer.

  19. rikyrah says:


    the ladies featured this week are top knotch.

    I love Anita. Always have.

  20. rikyrah says:

    Spectacular Irish hotel, massive discount price

    It’s as much as a small, two-bedroom apartment might cost on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. But in Ireland, Paul Diver has purchased a spectacular 55 bedroom hotel overlooking the Donegal coastline for a mere $860,000, down from the $6 million price the original owners sought for the Sandhouse Hotel three years ago.

    Diver, who managed the Sandhouse Hotel in Rosnowlagh for 20 years, was delighted to secure the 50 staff members their jobs. He told on Friday that he had been willing to go “a bit higher” when the hotel was auctioned this week in Dublin, but was delighted when his reserve-price bid was accepted by the auctioneers.

    The 50-year-old hotel went into liquidation in 2009 after the previous owners failed to sell it during the dramatic skid in the country’s economy.

    Overall, Irish real estate prices have crashed since 2007-08, when the so-called “Celtic Tiger” economy collapsed. Home values have fallen more than 60 percent below their peak five years ago, and commercial properties have suffered similar declines.

  21. rikyrah says:

    WTF?! Interview With Senate Candidate And 5 Year-Old Son From Ad Is Creepiest Thing Ever
    videoby Jon Bershad | 5:44 pm, March 1st, 2012

    I don’t say this too often but, seriously, you might not want to watch this video if you don’t want to have nightmares. This is honestly the weirdest video I’ve seen in 2012. And I watch some weeeeeeeeird stuff during my non-work hours.

    This morning, the Internet was going gaga for an adorable campaign ad for Republican Senate candidate from Rhode Island, Barry Hinckley, in which his five-year-old son Hudson explained economic problems to the camera. Sure, it might be a little weird to use a kid for political gain like that and, sure, Hudson was obviously scripted and, sure, those posters he was showing were obviously written by an adult pretending to have “kid” handwriting, but the ad was just so darn cute. However, the interview Hinckley and his son just did with Neil Cavuto wasn’t cute. It was just…unsettling.

    Look, I don’t even need to talk about the uncomfortable, Balloon Boy-esque moment where Cavuto asks Hudson if he actually cares about the economy, the boy replies “no,” and Hinckley looks furious. That’s weird enough. But the only thing I can see during this segment is the fact that, every time Hudson talks, Hinckley MOUTHS EVERY WORD HE IS SAYING SIMULTANEOUSLY.


    There are a few possible explanations.

    1.That the boy has a earphone in and his dad is telling what to say and, for some reason, thinks he’s a much better ventriloquist than he actually is.
    2.That Hudson’s responses were all scripted and Hinckley can’t help but mouth his brilliant dialogue.
    3.Hudson is actually some kind of AI-style android that is being controlled by its “father.”
    Either way, this video is absolutely insane. I need to go wash my eyes out.

  22. Obama to Iran and Israel: ‘As President of the United States, I Don’t Bluff’ – Atlantic Mobile

  23. Ametia says:

    From Motley news

    The Invisible War | Rape in the Military
    THE INVISIBLE WAR is a groundbreaking investigative documentary about one of our country’s most shameful and best kept secrets: the epidemic of rape within our US military. Today, a female soldier in Iraq and Afghanistan is more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire with the number of assaults in the last decade alone in the hundreds of thousands.

    Focusing on the powerfully emotional stories of several young women, the film reveals the systemic cover up of the crimes against them and follows their struggles to rebuild their lives and fight for justice. THE INVISIBLE WAR features hard-hitting interviews with high-ranking military officials and members of Congress that reveal the perfect storm conditions that exist for rape in the military, its history of cover-up, and what can be done to bring about much needed change. A couple facts shown in the trailer below

  24. Ametia says:

    Religion is Like A Penis…

    Religion is like a penis…
    It is fine to have one.
    It is fine to be proud of it.
    But please do not whip it out in public and start waving it around

  25. BREAKING: Boehner spokesperson says Limbaugh’s sexist attacks on Sandra Fluke are “inappropriate” (via @jaketapper)

  26. rikyrah says:

    Are You Serious? Really?
    by BooMan
    Fri Mar 2nd, 2012 at 09:40:11 AM EST

    I know for a fact that Assrocket lived through the Bush years and yet he writes this:

    Have we ever had an administration like Barack Obama’s? An administration that tries to benefit from pitting Americans against one another? An administration that uses its billion-dollar slush fund, not to mention the resources of the Executive Branch, to demonize private citizens who disagree with its policies? An administration that uses hate as an instrument of domestic politics? I don’t believe that there is any precedent in American history for the mean-spiritedness that now emanates from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.”

    Does anyone else remember Joe Wilson? Does anyone remember Karl Rove’s election strategy for the 2002 and 2004 elections? Didn’t that have something to do with demonizing private citizens who disagreed with the war in Iraq and using hate as an instrument of domestic politics? The Obama administration picks on two rich billionaires (the Koch brothers) who, more than anyone else, are responsible for destroying the public’s awareness of the seriousness of climate change, and this is in any way comparable to questioning the patriotism of a hundred million people?

    Meanwhile, Rush Limbaugh is picking on one lonely Georgetown law student for speaking her mind about birth control and women’s health. He calls he a slut and a prostitute and asks her to post videos of her sexual encounters on the internet so he can watch them. Rush Limbaugh may not be the president, but he is the leader of the Republican Party. And this is what the right always does to private citizens who speak up. Remember the granite countertops?

    • Ametia says:

      booman left out that slug GROVER NORQUIST. A few White, privilege, older, rich men are DESTROYING America with their HATE. We don’t have it twisted.

  27. 75 members of Congress call on @JohnBoehner to repudiate Rush Limbaugh’s sexist, ad hominem attacks on Sandra Fluke

  28. 18 Year Old Birthday Blues


  29. rikyrah says:

    Ignoring the ‘acceptable bounds of civil discourse’
    By Steve Benen – Fri Mar 2, 2012 8:00 AM EST.

    When it comes to the “war on women,” the culture-war crusade isn’t limited to a single front. As we’ve seen of late, there are anti-contraception efforts underway on Capitol Hill, which run parallel to measures such as forced ultrasounds in the states.

    But as Rush Limbaugh is helping demonstrate, there’s a rhetorical front to the war, too.

    This week, the right-wing host targeted Sandra Fluke, a Georgetown law student, who Republicans rejected as a witness at a recent hearing on contraception access. Fluke wanted to tell the story of a classmate of her lost an ovary due to an ailment that could have been treated with birth control, but Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) blocked her testimony. For his part, Limbaugh compared the young woman to a prostitute, and threw around the word “slut.”

    When this generated criticism, Limbaugh, reveling in the attention, decided to go much further.

    He offered what he said was a “compromise” to contraception coverage: purchasing “all the women at Georgetown University as much aspirin to put between their knees as possible.” […]

    Limbaugh later questioned why insurance should cover contraception and played a portion of Fluke’s testimony laying out the problems many college-age women face paying for contraception. He asked, “Ms. Fluke, have you ever heard of not having sex? Have you ever heard of not having sex so often?”

    After saying that the Washington, D.C., Department of Health “will send you free condoms and lube,” Limbaugh said: “So, Ms. Fluke and the rest of you feminazis, here’s the deal. If we are going to pay for your contraceptives, and thus pay for you to have sex, we want something for it, and I’ll tell you what it is. We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch.”

    He went on to describe Fluke as “a woman who is happily presenting herself as an immoral, baseless, no-purpose-to-her life woman. She wants all the sex in the world whenever she wants it, all the time, no consequences. No responsibility for her behavior.”

    Behold, the most influential voice in Republican politics.

    Fluke weighed in directly yesterday, issuing a statement noting the “commentators” who have “gone far beyond the acceptable bounds of civil discourse,” and adding, “No woman deserves to be disrespected in this manner. This language is an attack on all women, and has been used throughout history to silence our voices.” She also appeared on MSNBC last night, discussing Limbaugh’s attacks with Ed Schultz.

    Congressional Democrats, meanwhile, are also engaged on the issue, and more than 75 Democratic lawmakers yesterday called on House Republican leaders to condemn Limbaugh’s invective. Around the same time, Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) blasted the verbal attack on Fluke during the floor debate over the Blunt Amendment.

  30. Ametia says:

    Hat tip Field Negro


  31. Ametia says:

    The Countdown Begins! Women in the World 2012 Summit
    by The Daily BeastMar 2, 2012 7:27 AM EST

    Next week, inspiring women from around the globe will convene in New York City for Newsweek & The Daily Beast’s third annual Women in the World Summit. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is the newest leader to announce her participation—she will join recently-minted Oscar-winner Meryl Streep for a special on-stage finale to the three-day event. Also in the lineup: Nobel winner Leymah Gbowee, Angelina Jolie, Madeleine K. Albright, IMF chief Christine Lagarde, and many more. Buy tickets to the March 8–10 event.

  32. rikyrah says:

    March 02, 2012 8:33 AM
    Slut-Shaming To Become Official GOP Talking Point?
    By Ed Kilgore

    When I mocked a droolingly ignorant column by CNS’ Craig Bannister suggesting women supporting a contraception coverage mandate were having too much sex, I felt a little cheap. Clearly, Bannister was some marginal antediluvian crank who only existed as link-bait for hard-pressed progressive bloggers who needed a easy post now and then.

    Little did I know Rush Limbaugh would pick up the same bizarre line of attack and repeat it—nay, raise it to even higher levels of toxic absurdity—for (at least) two days. Given Rush’s status as He Who Must Be Obeyed on the right (remember then-Chairman of the RNC, Michael Steele, having to apologize to Limbaugh for daring diss him back in 2009?), we’re getting dangerously close to a moment when the “subsidizing sluts” argument for opposing the contraception mandate will become mandatory for the GOP presidential field.

    Atlanta Journal-Constitution columnist Jay Bookman summed up the current state of the controversy:

    If Limbaugh hasn’t gone too far this time, then “too far” no longer exists. Those Republican politicians who have genuflected to Limbaugh in the past — do any of them have daughters? Wives? Sisters? Mothers?

    Will any of them dare to raise their voice in protest or disgust? Because again, if this is not going too far, what is?

    What bothers me most is that Rush’s regular listeners must love this stuff, or he wouldn’t keep it up. And don’t tell me it’s all a shuck: anyone who finds this sort of crap hilarious probably enjoys tormenting small children and stray animals.

  33. rikyrah says:

    folks, this was brought up at another blog, and I agree with it.

    When discussing the GOP, and their anti-women’s policies…let’s make it clear, and spread the phrase:


    it IS a war

  34. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 08:27 AM ET, 03/02/2012
    The Morning Plum
    By Greg Sargent

    * Romney’s love-hate relationship with Washington: The scoop of the morning comes from ABC News, which has uncovered 2002 video of Romney boasting about his connections in Washington and about his sucessful bid for federal money to help fund the Salt Lake City Olympics.

    Key quote: “I am a big believer in getting money where the money is. The money is in Washington.”

    Romney also brags about having hauled in more federal money than any previous Olympics: “We actually received over $410 million from the federal government for the Olympic games. That is a huge increase over anything ever done before and we did that by going after every agency of government.”

    The larger context: Romney frequently derides federal policies designed to help private sector projects succeed as picking “winners and losers.” But he happily reached out for government help with the Olympics, which he now touts as evidence of his turnaround wizardry. It remains to be seen whether this will prove a problem for Romney. But if it does, it will be another case in which a perfectly sensible attitude towards government become a vulnerability amid the anti-government fundamentalism that defines GOP primary politics.

  35. rikyrah says:

    Anti-Obama judge to face misconduct review
    By Steve Benen – Fri Mar 2, 2012 8:40 AM EST.

    U.S. District Chief Judge Richard Cebull, Montana’s chief federal judge, admitted this week he sent a racist email attacking President Obama and his mother from his courthouse chambers. Yesterday, the story took an even more serious turn.

    The Judicial Council of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals opened a misconduct review of Montana’s chief federal District Court judge for forwarding a racially charged email about President Obama from his courthouse computer.

    Judge Richard F. Cebull asked for the review as calls mounted Thursday for his immediate resignation. Legal ethics experts predicted the incident would result in a public admonishment.

    The judge also sent a letter to the president, saying, “I sincerely and profusely apologize to you and your family for the email I forwarded…. Please forgive me.”

    The next question is whether this will be sufficient.

    On Capitol Hill, Rep. Charles Gonzalez (D-Texas), chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, called on Cebull to resign. Gonzalez, along with the chairs of the Congressional Black Caucus and Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, issued a joint statement condemning the judge for the incident.

    Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.), the chair of the CBC, added, “An apology alone is not acceptable.”

    What’s more, Common Cause, which filed a formal complaint with the 9th Circuit, has called for Cebull’s ouster, and the Montana Human Rights Network has begun collecting signatures urging the judge to resign.

  36. rikyrah says:

    Does Romney Have a Puncher’s Chance?
    by BooMan
    Thu Mar 1st, 2012 at 11:40:25 PM EST

    I’m modestly disappointed that Obama is only polling slightly better against Romney than he actually did against McCain. A dead heat in Arizona is about what I would expect, considering that McCain carried more votes in his home state than Romney will. Arizona and Missouri are the two McCain-carried states most likely to flip into the blue column this November. But this is the starting point. Obama’s car is fueled up and ready to blast out of the gate. Romney’s is loaded down with baggage, including that damned dog on the damn roof. It’s like Christie Brinkley vs. the Griswolds (the family from Vacation or the Supreme Court ruling).
    I think it will take events outside of anyone’s control to prevent this race from steadily widening in Obama’s favor as the spring arrives and turns into summer. Arizona is even now. In two months, I expect it to be leaning-Dem. Obama has a seven-point national lead today. I expect it to be double-digits by June. This should be a very decisive election. The damage the Republicans have done with women is not something that can be repaired. Romney has completely alienated the Latino vote. The punditry of the country is appalled. Republican leaders are shocked.

    And the Republicans may not even have a nominee for months. They could actually arrive at their convention without a nominee.

    The economic news has been good, not great, lately. The stock market is at a high point. Things are going really well. I just wish I could relax. It’s like a heavyweight fight. No matter how badly the fighters are mismatched, men that large can deliver a surprise knockout blow. That’s what Romney’s fighting for now. He just wants a puncher’s chance. The thing is, presidential elections always go to the judge’s cards. Yeah, maybe that judge will be Antoniin Scalia, but I don’t think so. Not this time.

  37. rikyrah says:

    Barack Obama, Human

    First he’s hot, then he’s cool:

    Jesse Singal watches the above clip while thinking about Romney:

    Sure, Obama doesn’t quite come across as Just Some Guy, but have you ever seen Romney look anywhere close to this natural? Does he ever come across as someone who is simply shooting the breeze about a subject he enjoys? No, and it matters in an election, because of course there’s something to all the old dumb Bush cowboy stuff, in the sense that voters need to feel a sense of connection to a candidate.

    A reader adds:

    I think Obama is having fun these days. After Santorum calls him a snob and Romney tries to boost his Average Joe sportsfan cred by talking about his NASCAR owner friends, Obama brings in a sports journalist known as the Sportsguy (can’t make this up) and enthusiastically and effortlessly talks about the three major American sports, while dropping names and lingo and playfully bragging about his own game (like the cross-over he did on Chris Paul). Obama the sportsfan is nothing new, but still – he is absolutely toying with his opponents here.

  38. rikyrah says:

    and these are the people who have the nerve to be yelling about ‘ voter fraud’.
    doesn’t make me wonder……they wanted to cook the contests for Willard


    March 01, 2012

    Why So Sloppy?
    The Republican presidential campaign has been one of the sloppiest in memory.

    Mitt Romney was declared the winner in Iowa until several days later miscounted votes were “found” which put Rick Santorum ahead. Romney was named the victor in Maine without all caucus votes counted because they were “lost” in someone’s email. Now, the Michigan delegate count was changed two days after the primary either due to sloppiness, ambiguity in the rules or a backroom power play.

    It sure makes you wonder.

  39. rikyrah says:

    1 Mar 2012 08:41 PM
    Romney’s Favorability Ditch

    David A. Graham thinks he can climb out of it. Andrew Rugg doesn’t:

    Romney’s current 17-point gap between his unfavorable and favorable rating spells trouble. Americans aren’t likely to vote for someone they don’t like personally. But can Mitt Romney change his fortunes and make himself more likable? All the TV ads in the world aren’t likely to do the trick. George W. Bush in 2000 was the most successful in increasing his favorability. He gained five points between March 2000 (57 percent) and late October 2000 (62 percent) in Pew’s polling. The largest overall change occurred in 1992, when George H.W. Bush lost 14 points between March and October. Even if Mitt was able to “pull a George W. Bush” he would end the general election with a favorable rating of 37 percent. Based on the historical data alone, it seems highly unlikely that he could get elected with those numbers

  40. rikyrah says:

    “It’s Just Not Right”: The Failures of Alabama’s Self-Deportation Experiment
    What happens when outside agitators work with state politicians to pass the nation’s most draconian anti-immigrant law yet? The Cotton State learned the hard way.

    Smith’s problem, which he spelled out in a deep, marbled drawl, is textbook by now: There simply aren’t enough people in the United States legally who are willing or able or geographically situated to do the backbreaking work most farms have to offer, a truth that has become increasingly clear as farmers—first in Georgia, where legislation similar to HB 56 passed last year, and now in Alabama—have scrambled to fill the vacuum left by a labor force that evaporated overnight. Agriculture is a grueling, $5 billion industry in Alabama: $3.4 billion comes from poultry; the rest is from farms and nurseries that produce everything from cattle to cotton, peanuts to azaleas. One of every five jobs in Alabama is connected to agriculture. Most are paid as piecework—75 cents a bucket of potatoes, say, or a couple bucks per thousand chickens—and most of that piecework is mercilessly physical.

    Poultry catchers are expected to gather some 2,000 birds in an hour, while for pickers it’s a matter of packing, say, 300 25-pound crates between sunrise and sunset. For the farmer, it’s a necessity to keep skilled, reliable workers close at hand when profits are made or lost in the brief window of the harvest. This pressure bears down on the men and women willing to stoop and kneel and pick and haul and bleed in order to perform grueling tasks with awesome efficiency—and then, for many, to move on to where the seasons lead them next. And while anti-immigration arguments hang on the idea that if illegal workers were barred from these jobs Americans would eagerly fill them, Smith and other farmers say this doesn’t square with reality. Cullman County is 93 percent white. Of the locals Smith has hired to replace the workers who fled, most lasted only a couple of hours he says, before they quit.

    more here

  41. rikyrah says:

    The choices this week to spotlight have been nothing short of wonderful. thank you.

  42. Women of America: We cannot allow Rush to get away with this. If we don’t speak up now, who will he call a slut next? Will it be you, your daughter, mother, sister, grandmother? Do you want this as the norm? Hell to the No. We CANNOT & WILL NOT tolerate it…. ever.

    Rush Limbaugh has to go! Boycott his advertisers!

    Century 21, Legal Zoom, Quicken Loans, & Sleep Number!

  43. :)

    Anita rocks! I love her music.

  44. Sandra Fluke Interview on Ed Show

    [wpvideo Hrw03U6s]

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