Serendipity SOUL | Friday Open Thread | Minnie Riperton Week!

3 Chics hopes you’ve enjoyed our featured artist Minnie Riperton. “You Take My Breath Away.” You certainly took our breath away, Ms. Riperton. …And “Les Fleur”, because you were the perfect FLOWER.

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65 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Friday Open Thread | Minnie Riperton Week!

  1. Ametia says:


    Sorry nothing, zip, nada.

    None exist because none of these guys spent any time at college.

    From their relevent wikipedia pages;

    “Hannity dropped out of New York University and Adelphi University.”

    “According to his mother, “he (Limbaugh) flunked everything”, and ‘he just didn’t seem interested in anything except radio’.”

    “In 1996, while working for a New Haven area radio station, Beck took a theology class at Yale University, with a written recommendation from Senator Joe Lieberman, a Yale alumnus who was a fan of Beck’s show at the time. Beck enrolled in an “Early Christology” course, but soon withdrew, marking the extent of his post-secondary education”

    As individuals they did however participate in bartending (Hannity), multiple marriages (Limbaugh/Beck), illegal drug use (Limbaugh/Oxycotin/, Beck/various drugs/marijuana) and alcoholism (Beck).

    Quite a juxtaposition between this:

    Put dwn yor drinks, folks!

  2. Ametia says:

    POTUS got TEXANS fired up!

  3. Ametia says:

    Lord have mercy!

    Skittles, the new weapon of choice among young black males.

    That seventeen year old in Florida who was armed to the teeth with Skittles, lost his life because a “color aroused” neighborhood watch captain decided to take the law into his own hands and issue a death sentence. (h/t to Tia for turning me on to the story) We should get used to this, because more citizens are arming themselves in post- racial A-mery-ca. Fear will do that to you. As Negroes continue to take each other’s lives in urban A-merry-ca and white folks read about it or watch it on the local news, their fear intensifies and they believe that they could be next. I suppose that a bag of Skittles could be like a dangerous weapon if it’s in the right Negro’s hands. Poor Trayvon Martin must have seemed like a trained Skittles assassin to that neighborhood watch captain.

    Well, the authorities are investigating; let’s see where this investigation takes us. I don’t want to pass judgment on those fine public officials down in South Florida until I see what they do with the case. Some of you Negroes are already anticipating that there will be no charges. Or, if the Paul Kersey wannabe is charged, it will be for a lesser offense. (Can you say self-defense boys and girls?)

  4. rikyrah says:

    Palin Was Born a Poor Black Child

    by Steve M.
    Fri Mar 9th, 2012 at 11:29:52 AM EST

    I don’t care how much Sarah Palin gushes with approval about the America that emerged after the Civil War, what she says to Sean Hannity about Barack Obama in the clip below is just astonishing (emphasis added):

    SARAH PALIN: … He is bringing us back, Sean, to days that — you can hearken back to days before the Civil War, when, unfortunately, too many Americans mistakenly believed that not all men were created equal, and it was the Civil War that began the codification of the truth that here in America, yes, we are equal and we all have equal opportunities, not based on the color of your skin. You have equal opportunity to work hard and to succeed and to embrace the opportunities, God-given opportunities, to develop resources and work extremely hard and, as I say, to succeed. Now, it has taken all these years for many Americans to understand that gravity, that mistake, that took place before the Civil War, and why the Civil War had to really start changing America. What Barack Obama seems to want to do is go back to before those days, when we were in different classes, based on income, based on color of skin. Why are we allowing our country to move backwards instead of moving forward with that understanding that, as our charters of liberty spell out for us, we are all created equal?

    There’s so much here. I’ll start with a small bit: the Civil War gave all Americans the “God-given” right “to develop resources”? Does Sarah Palin think the Civil War was fought so we could drill in ANWR?

    She also seems to think that it created a classless society — or, at least, a society that was classless until January 20, 2009. (Though I’m rather amazed that she says the Civil War “began the codification of the truth that here in America, yes, we are equal and we all have equal opportunities.” That’s an insult to the Founding Fathers! To the men who wrote the Constitution! Can you imagine what she’d say if someone else — Obama, say — tried to argue that we didn’t begin a move to equality until decades after the time of the Founders?)

    But what’s really going on here is Palin (and Hannity and the audience) all agreeing that they’re becoming America’s oppressed blacks. And, to them, not being able to drill in ANWR really is as bad as slavery and lynching and Jim Crow and the Birmingham church bombing all the way down to a racist drug war and racist stop-and-frisk policies and on and on.

    It’s either that or these people are simply jealous of black people because black people won some white sympathy for their plight. Wingers want the rest of America to feel sorry for them, too! Bill Maher makes fun of them! Sandra Fluke criticizes them! That’s as oppressive as slavery and Jim Crow, right?

  5. rikyrah says:

    False Equivalence Comes Home to Roost
    By James Fallows
    Mar 8 2012, 7:59 PM ET

    I awoke this morning (Friday a.m., on the other side of the Pacific) to find a slew of emails asking whether I had slacked off in proselytizing about my anti-“false equivalence” campaign to other members of the Atlantic’s staff. And apparently I have!

    For those joining us late: in the five-plus years since they lost control of the Senate, Sen. Mitch McConnell and his Republican minority have dramatically ramped up the modern trend of subjecting almost everything the Senate does to the threat of a filibuster. Since it takes 60 votes to break a filibuster, versus only 51 to approve a bill or a nomination in the usual way; since the Democrats enjoyed a 60-vote coalition for only a few months in late 2009 and early 2010*; and since in modern practice the mere threat of a filibuster, rather than the full-blown Mr. Smith Goes to Washington-style speechathon, suffices to prevent a vote, through most of the Obama era the Republicans have been able to block unprecedented numbers of nominations and bills.

    The “false equivalence” problem, as applied to the filibuster, is the media’s acquiescence in and routinization of the process. This happens when news accounts say that it takes 60 votes to “pass” or “approve” or “enact” a bill, rather than that we’re talking about the once- exceptional tool of the filibuster being applied day in and day out. After a while, people forget that it’s not so. The Washington Post has done this; so, occasionally, have NPR and the New York Times.

    And so, today, has the Atlantic Wire. The analysis of a very interesting chart (below), showing the extreme polarization of the Senate, includes this line: “the Senate — with its reliance on supermajority procedural votes — was not designed to be a partisan, majority rules body like the House of Representatives.”

    Nope! The Senate is indeed lumbered these days with supermajority requirements. But it was unambiguously designed to be a majority-rule body. You can look it up! The Constitution lays out a few narrow super-majority requirements: treaties, impeachment, etc. Otherwise, the majority rules, or is supposed to. The clearest evidence is the provision for the vice president to break a tie, if the two sides are “equally divided.”

    What reassures me is knowing that the Republicans and then much of the press will remind us of the sacred importance of majority rule when control of the Senate changes again, as sooner or later it inevitably will. Meanwhile, we at the Atlantic will look, at least for a minute, at the beam in our eye rather than the mote that is anywhere else.

  6. rikyrah says:

    ‘A Hug That The Media Won’t Show’
    By Ta-Nehisi Coates
    Mar 9 2012, 11:00 AM ET on the theories of Derrick Bell:

    Bell was one of the chief proponents of Critical Race Theory, a radical doctrine that holds that American legal institutions–including our civil rights laws–perpetuate white supremacy. Bell’s ideas were not only radical, but bizarre.

    This is only “bizarre” and “radical” to people who are willfully blind to American history. I don’t agree with it, and it’s far too sweeping for what I would argue. But white supremacy is actually in the Constitution, the whole Constitution, not the abbreviated one the Republican party read after taking the House in 2010. The laws of this country, until, the 1960s actively promoted white supremacy.

    Moreover, I suspect that a critical race theorist would argue that the criminal justice laws in the country — post-1960 — have themselves promoted white supremacy. I would not, mostly because I think their implications are much broader. But the point I’m driving at is that making such an argument is not hair tonic.

    “Radical and bizarre” is a political movement which can’t face up to evolution; is campaigning for president while standing in front of a flag of treason; is “Kenyan anti-colonial behavior” and “a secular atheist country, potentially one dominated by radical Islamists,” Asserting that white supremacy haunts our legal institutions is mainstream for anyone with a serious knowledge of our history.

    I will leave it to an actual critical race scholar and someone more familiar with his work to make a full-throated defense. But this definition, even as rendered by Bell’s opponents, is firm ground and should be defended as legitimate.

    One way to address a smear campaign is to attack the allegation of association. We saw this in the 2008 election with Barack Obama was accused of being a Muslim. The reply was, sensibly, “he isn’t a Muslim.” In this case the reply (by me and others) has been to point out that a hug and deeply personal introduction do not constitute an endorsement.

    But it’s more important to address the bombshell itself. The finest portion of Colin Powell’s endorsement of Barack Obama was when he made that not only is Obama not a Muslim, so what if he were? This is important. The “Muslim” claim attempted to smear Obama–but Obama is more than capable of defending himself. But the millions of Muslims who are implictely smeared? Not so much.

    Thus it’s worth noting, in the present business, that Derrick Bell is dead and can’t defend himself. Obama will be fine.

  7. rikyrah says:

    The Vagina Demagogues
    by John Cole

    Excellent work, wingnuts:

    The fragile gains Republicans had been making among female voters have been erased by what in recent weeks has become a national shouting match over reproductive issues, potentially handing President Obama and the Democrats an enormous advantage this fall.

    In the 2010 congressional midterm elections, Republican candidates ran evenly with Democrats among women, a break with long-established trends. That was a major reason the GOP regained control of the House.

    Now, female voters appear to be swinging back to Democrats.

    When the Wall Street Journal/NBC News survey asked last summer which party should control Congress, a slim 46-42 percent plurality of women said it should be the Democrats.

    But in a survey released Monday, compiling polling since the beginning of the year, that figure had widened considerably to a 15-point advantage for the Democrats, according to polling by the team of Democratic pollster Peter Hart and Republican Bill McInturff. Fifty-one percent favored Democratic control; only 36 percent wanted to see the Republicans in charge.

    Both sides have tried to shape the narrative in this battle for and about women. But many Republicans are beginning to wish they had never waded into what has become a heated conversation over contraception, who should have it and what it says about people who use it.

    The best part is, as we have seen with their continued assault on Latinos and the black community, is that the Republicans will not learn:

    When the hysteria peaked with l’affaire Limbaugh last week, there was general bewilderment over whether Rush understood that the birth-control pill is not female Viagra, that a woman takes the same daily dosage of estrogen and progestin regardless of whether she’s going to have sex one time, a thousand times, or zero times (entirely leaving aside the fact that three out of five women take the pill for reasons having nothing to do with sex or pregnancy). Perhaps indeed it’s true that someone previously investigated for an oxycontin addiction would be of the mind-set to think of the pill in these terms; more likely, however—since no clear-headed person ever has called Limbaugh stupid—is that he understands the basics of contraception but wasn’t going to let them get in the way of invoking for his program’s listeners the sexual spectacle of orgiastic women caught on videotape. Thus the Limbaugh comments about Sandra Fluke transparently were not those of a naïf but rather a bully at best and a pervert at worst, with many shades of creep lying between the two. When women of whatever political stripe heard Limbaugh, they heard several millennia of familiar male piggery.

    Just on cravenly political grounds, the response of the right should be more stupefying than it was. John McCain (whose condemnation of Limbaugh has been bracingly unequivocal and dishearteningly rare among conservatives) polled 43 percent of all women voters in 2008. At the rate the Republican Party is going, it will struggle to get 33 percent in 2012, leaving the party to try scaring up seven out of ten men (whom women outvote). That none of this had any apparent impact on Tuesday night’s result, that the candidates showed no more cognizance of what happened these past eight days with the female electorate than they did the Tuesday before or the Tuesday before that, and that Romney’s opportunism was so determinedly unfazed may mean—in terms of Republican prospects in November—that the more things stay the same, the more they change, and not for the better.

    At this point, all I have to say is Onward, Christian Soldiers. Keep up the fight. Leave no contraceptive alone.


  8. rikyrah says:

    Tim Wise on White Resentment in a Multiracial Society
    Friday 2 March 2012
    by: Mark Karlin, Truthout | Interview

    “Dear White America, Letter to a New Minority” is the latest book by Tim Wise, a specialist on white privilege, and the emergence of white resentment as power becomes shared among all citizens of the United States. You can obtain it with a minimum contribution to Truthout. Just click here.

    Truthout Talks With Tim Wise

    Mark Karlin: Isn’t the white “tribal identity” that exists in America an extension of the white European colonization of most of the world at one time or another? The white patronizing notion of “civilizing the savages” is sort of in the historical white bloodline that we inherited from the nation we won our independence from, the once mighty British Empire.

    Tim Wise: Yes, of course, although there is also a bit of a uniquely “American” twist. On the one hand, there is little doubt that an ethno-cultural supremacist mindset drove those early colonists, who saw nothing wrong with conquering the land and bodies of others so as to expand their own power. On the other hand, whiteness – as a specific, fixed, racialized and immutable identity – didn’t really exist in Europe to any real degree.

    The term white was not, in fact, used in the European context to universalize the various European ethnic and national identities:

    after all, those national and ethnic groups had been slaughtering each other for generations. They hardly thought of themselves as members of a single team, let alone family. So while white supremacy has its roots in the class, religious and ethno-national systems of Europe, it took America – this place where the old divisions would need to be put aside so as to subjugate indigenous persons and maintain chattel enslavement of Africans in the name of “the white race” – to really bring racism, as we know it to fruition. Whiteness was really something of a trick, developed for the purpose of uniting otherwise disparate Europeans, first, so as to make the subordination of “non-whites” easier, but also (and importantly), to paper over the otherwise deep class cleavages that had long beset those from Europe. If the elite could make the poor Europeans believe they were members of the same “white” team as the rich Europeans, then the prospects for class-based rebellion would be dampened.

  9. rikyrah says:

    Mitt Romney fights ‘loser’ label

    By JOHN F. HARRIS and JONATHAN MARTIN | 3/9/12 4:57 AM EST
    Updated: 3/9/12 1:03 PM EST
    Many Republican political professionals are worried that Mitt Romney’s public image is now defined by a word never associated with winning presidential campaigns — weakness — and are urging him to take dramatic steps to recast his reputation between now and the fall.

    The advice, echoed in interviews with numerous influential GOP figures, comes as Romney finds himself tormented by a contradiction: With each passing day of the primary season, he is coming closer and closer to being presidential nominee — and seemingly further and further away from being president.

    Romney has the math of a winner, steadily building his lead in delegates against two main rivals, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich, who in the view of most GOP campaign veterans have no plausible path to the nomination.

    Increasingly, however, he is in a variety of ways tangible (polls) and intangible (public hand-wringing among top Republicans) projecting the aura of a loser — someone who over months of campaigning is seen as less commanding in his leadership style, and less plausible as a future occupant of the White House, than he was when he started.

    Read more:

  10. rikyrah says:

    ‘A Platform to Revitalize America’
    By Steve Benen – Fri Mar 9, 2012 12:36 PM EST.

    When Bill Clinton left the White House just 12 years ago, the federal budget deficit was quite literally gone, and the nation was running a surplus for the first time in a generation. After Republicans approved two massive tax breaks, expanded Medicare, put two wars on the national credit card, and crashed the economy, the fiscal mess Clinton had cleaned up was back.

    We’ve seen some modest progress on this front, but even under the most optimistic of scenarios, a balanced budget is nowhere in sight.

    That is, unless we adopt a new plan from three far-right senators, who’ve mapped out a way to get us back to 2001 figures in a hurry.

    Members of the Senate Tea Party Caucus on Thursday announced a plan to balance the budget in five years, cutting spending by nearly $11 trillion compared to President Obama’s budget.

    The plan, dubbed “A Platform to Revitalize America,” is a wish list of conservative policies, none of which have any chance of passing the Democratic-controlled Senate or being signed into law by a liberal Democratic president.

    The ambitious blueprint would achieve a $111 billion surplus in fiscal year 2017.

    “The whole point here is to show we can reasonably balance the budget within a five-year period,” said Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), one of the sponsors of the plan.

    Well, “reasonably” is a subjective term.

    The plan, also endorsed by Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah), would produce a surplus by 2017 by effectively repealing most of the 20th century.

    The “Platform to Revitalize America” has it all figured out: Medicare would be privatized out of existence; Social Security eligibility would be restricted; while Medicaid, the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, food stamps, and child nutrition programs would all be gutted through state block grants.

    The federal departments of Commerce, Education, Energy, and Housing and Urban Development would also all be eliminated. Pentagon spending, by the way, would not be touched.

    See how easy it is to balance the federal budget in hardly any time at all?

  11. Ametia says:

    After a Long, Heated Exchange Gov. Christie Calls Vet an “Idiot”

  12. Ametia says:

    Birth Control and Democracy
    By Mark Bridger, cross-posted at ThatMansScope)

    The 7 – 2 Supreme Court decision Griswold vs. Connecticut (1965) established the right of married people to purchase and use birth control devices. Six years later, Eisenstadt vs. Baird extended this to unmarried couples as well. (I was living in Massachusetts when that happened and remember Bill Baird’s courage and dedication in risking his freedom to make this test case.)

    Given the virtually total acceptance of birth control by Americans — even, or especially among Catholics — it is highly unlikely that this right can be denied. I would venture to say it is less likely than the re-imposition of Prohibition — in spite of ravings from lunatics like Rick Santorum and the hierarchy of the Catholic Church.

    So, despite a lot of hyperbole, the issue these days is mostly: Who pays for it?

    As it stands now, it is the issuers of health insurance, under the Affordable Health Care Act (popularly called “ObamaCare”), that are required to foot the bill. It is important to note, in this context, that it is not the “American Taxpayer” who pays for anyone’s contraception: that’s simply not the way it works, Rush Limbaugh to the contrary (except possibly in the case of Medicaid, which is barely in the controversy here anyway).

    Arguments pro and con involve the following:

    1. The Viagra argument
    2. The Mental Health argument
    3. The Running Shoes argument
    4. The Prescription Drug argument.

    1. Currently, both Viagra and The Pill are covered by ObamaCare, and neither is restricted by marital status or even one’s sex. It is possible to make distinctions, however. Some (mostly men) might claim that sex — for procreation or otherwise — is possible without The Pill, but in many cases is not without Viagra (or its equivalents). If you take the narrow and exceedingly unpopular view that sex is only for procreation, then this argument might have some force, however, medically, one can obtain semen without erection or ejaculation, so the argument from this perspective is not accurate. The many women who are on The Pill would claim that without it sex would be much more encumbered and far less enjoyable (hence less likely to happen). Furthermore, sex without The Pill would almost surely result in more dependence on condoms and other physical contraceptives, hence result in more unintended and unwanted pregnancies. This in turn would result in higher healthcare costs and/or more abortions. Thus, it is hard to make a realistic distinction between coverage of Viagra and coverage of The Pill, and from an economic perspective, paying for The Pill will, statistically, save money in insurance premiums.

  13. Ametia says:


  14. Ametia says:

    3 Chics is sending prayers out to Donna Brazile and her family on the death of her father Lionel.

    May you and your family find comfort in your loss. Rest in peace, Lionel.

    From Donna Brazile ‏ @donnabrazile

    What’s on your menu? After a long battle, my Dad Lionel has peacefully made the journey home. Thanks for your prayers. He’s at peace. Amen!

  15. rikyrah says:

    Romney must solve his stereotype problem
    By Michael Gerson, Published: March 8

    Having decided on their nominee, Republicans seem determined to humiliate him a few more times.

    On Super Tuesday, Mitt Romney secured more convention delegates than all of his opponents combined, making a good case for his mathematical inevitability. Once again, the candidate who looks like a Boy Scout won a political knife fight.

    But Romney also decisively lost Oklahoma and Tennessee to a candidate, Rick Santorum, who lacks organization and message discipline. In Ohio, Romney finished within 0.8 percentage points of renewed speculation on the whereabouts of Mitch Daniels and Jeb Bush. In Virginia, he couldn’t break 60 percent against a candidate, Ron Paul, who wants to slash funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and has appeared on Iranian state television to criticize U.S. foreign policy.


    In response, Romney has repeatedly used the word “conservative” to describe himself — a not very subtle strategy that has done little to allay ideological concerns. Romney at his most conservative is also at his most awkward.

    But this disadvantage fades in the general election. The tea party analysis — greater power through greater purity — is simply wrong. In a nation with a fairly even ideological divide, any successful presidential candidate wins by both motivating his party’s base and appealing to independents. Although Romney has a number of conservative instincts, he is not a product of the conservative movement. He remains an establishment figure with a history of pragmatism. He is more George H.W. Bush than Barry Goldwater, which displeases GOP conservatives but may serve Romney well in November.

    Romney is also not a good regional fit for the GOP primaries. In general, his support declines in the South among every Republican ideological group — liberal, moderate and conservative. Regionalism is alive and well in America. I watched George W. Bush, an evangelical Texan, struggle (unsuccessfully) to appeal to New Hampshire primary voters in the 2000 election. Romney, a Mormon Yankee, has the mirror challenge in Dixie.

    But this disadvantage dissolves in November. Romney’s geographic weakness in the South is nothing compared to Obama’s. Romney may have trouble in the upcoming Mississippi primary. He will not lose Mississippi to Obama in the general election.

    Yet one awkward fit — related to class — becomes more damaging in November. In Ohio, as in Michigan, Romney lost voters making less than $100,000 a year, as well as voters without a college degree. In Oklahoma and Tennessee, Romney’s support was below 25 percent among voters earning less than $50,000 a year.–and-its-a-big-one/2012/03/08/gIQATkX1zR_story.html?tid=pm_opinions_pop

  16. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 10:53 AM ET, 03/09/2012
    Republicans struggle to respond to improving jobs numbers
    By Greg Sargent

    With the economy now showing signs of a true recovery, there’s a common thread running through all the rhetoric Republicans are employing in response: It’s all premised on the hope that the American people have forgotten just how awful an economic crisis Obama inherited when he took office.

    Multiple Republicans have responded to today’s report of 227,000 jobs added in February by attacking Obama’s policies for slowing down what would otherwise be a more robust recovery.

    Here’s one of RNC chair Reince Priebus’s responses to today’s jobs report: “back in 2006 the jobs report was better than it was today and Dems were slamming Bush because of it.”

    Historians will note that there’s a small problem with the parallel Mr. Priebus drew here: In 2006, the economy was not recovering from the worst crisis since the Great Depression.

    Here’s GOP Rep. Tom Price, the chairman of the Republican Study Committee: “The fact remains that at this point in an economic recovery, growth and job creation ought to be far more robust. But under this administration, the federal government remains a barrier to economic growth.”.

    Here’s GOP Rep. Kevin Brady, Vice Chairman of the Joint Economic Committee: “I find it incredible that the Obama administration is attributing this all too slow increase in payroll jobs to its policies…any improvement that we are seeing is the result of the hard work of the American people and the resilience of the American economy, not from the administration’s policies, but in spite of them.”

    No question, far too many people are still struggling; the unemployment rate remains unacceptably high; the economy could dip again; and so on. As Jonathan Cohn notes, it would be far too premature for Obama to take any kind of victory lap.

    But economists do seem to think that for the time being, the recovery appears to be real. This leaves Republicans with little choice other than to argue — as they do above — that, yes, the economy is improving, but only in spite of Obama’s policies, which are actually slowing down the recovery. Romney repeated this line in response to last month’s jobs numbers, and it’s likely he’ll repeat it again today.

    But the idea that the economy would be recovering faster on its own if it weren’t for Obama’s policies requires voters to have forgotton how deep and severe the crisis really was. The current GOP storyline seems to be relying on mass public amnesia about the basic trajectory of what this country has been through in the last five years. Which is why Obama and Dems are already taking steps to remind the American people just how awful the crisis really was — and why getting them to take a long view of this presidency is so important to Obama’s reelection chances.

  17. rikyrah says:

    I’m still waiting for Country Last to apologize to this country for giving us the gift of this ignorant grifter.


    Palin Says Obama Wants To Return To Racial Discrimination ‘That Took Place Before The Civil War’
    By Adam Peck on Mar 9, 2012 at 9:35 am

    Sean Hannity brought Sarah Palin on his Fox News show yesterday to continue his discussion from the night before over the biggest non-story of the week — a video of President Obama from his days at Harvard Law School.

    But during their discussion, Palin opened up a new front in her attack of President Obama, apparently suggesting America’s first black president wants to return to the days “before the Civil War”:

    Now, it has taken all these years for many Americans to understand that that gravity, that mistake, took place before the Civil War and why the Civil War had to really start changing America. What Barack Obama seems to want to do is go back to before those days when we were in different classes based on income, based on color of skin.

    The “different classes” system Palin seems to be referring to is perhaps better known as slavery.

    The entire conversation is based on the mischaracterization of Derrick Bell, a pioneer in legal scholarly work. Bell was the first tenured black professor at Harvard Law School, and the video that Hannity insists is a scandal shows Barack Obama, then a student, speaking at a rally in support of Professor Bell. Students and faculty were protesting to urge Harvard to hire more minority faculty.

    • Ametia says:

      Don’t ever count on McGrampy issuing an apology for dropping that poison on America. He’ll remain silent even after they’ve pulled out his dentures before lowering him in his grave.

  18. rikyrah says:

    South Carolina Lieutenant Governor Resigns After Spending Campaign Money On Playstation, iPads
    Ryan J. Reilly – March 9, 2012, 10:20 AM 6121

    South Carolina Lt. Gov. Ken Ard, who spent campaign money on a Playstation, women’s clothing, iPads and his wife’s cell phone bill, will submit his resignation on Friday morning.

    “During my campaign, it was my responsibility to make sure things were done correctly,” Ard said in a press release, according to The State. “I did not do that.”

    Ard said he “must take full ownership and resign from the Office of Lieutenant Governor … I am deeply sorry and take full responsibility.”

    South Carolina Republican Party Chairman Chad Connelly issued the following statement:

    “Lieutenant Governor Ard has taken responsibility for his actions. His resignation will help our state move past this sad and unfortunate incident. Our thoughts and prayers are with Ken and his family during this time,” said Chairman Connelly.

  19. Palin: Obama Seems To Want To Return To The “Days Before The Civil War” When People Were Not Considered Equal

  20. rikyrah says:

    ‘The wind is coming back’
    By Steve Benen – Fri Mar 9, 2012 10:26 AM EST.

    Obama appears to have good reason to smile.
    Zeke Miller ran a report the other day, arguing that President Obama has gotten “his groove back,” having “regained a bit of the swagger — and the charisma — that seemed to slip away as the exuberance of the campaign was replaced by the complex, draining business of governing.”

    How much have the president’s political fortunes improved? The New York Times’ Jennifer Steinhauer reports today that congressional Democrats actually want to be seen with him in 2012.

    Just six months ago, having their names uttered in the same sentence as President Obama’s was something many Congressional Democrats could have lived without.

    But with the economy slowly crawling back to life, a shift in messaging at the White House and a Republican push on social issues, Democrats are accepting — and in some cases openly embracing — the inevitable yoking of their campaigns to Mr. Obama’s as election-year activities accelerate. On Capitol Hill, Democrats have begun to mention Mr. Obama more often and have gone out of their way to publicly back some of his proposals.

    Democrats say Mr. Obama’s near monophonic campaigning in recent months — highlighting his differences with Republicans on policies affecting the middle class — is far more resonant in their districts and states than defending the health care law or the stimulus package, issues that have dogged Democrats.

    Sen. Tom Carper (D), a centrist from Delaware, said of the prevailing political conditions surrounding Obama, “I think it’s definitely shifting now…. I don’t know that it’s springtime just yet, but the wind is coming back.”

    For their part, congressional Republicans are inadvertently making conditions easier for Obama and his party to strengthen their ties. After all, the GOP is not only running an ugly presidential nominating race, with the American mainstream souring on all of the Republican White House hopefuls, but as was discussed on last night’s show, GOP policymakers are overreaching in Congress and state capitals, putting the party on the extremist side of unpopular culture-war fights.

    Republican radicalism notwithstanding, iIt’d be naive to think every vulnerable Democratic incumbent would welcome Obama to his or her state with open arms this fall. For that matter, the election is still nine months away, and there’s abundant uncertainty surrounding the economy, gas prices, and international developments, all of which quickly could the president’s standing.

    But for now, the fact that Democrats are starting to see Obama as an asset again is no doubt welcome news at the White House.

  21. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 08:37 AM ET, 03/09/2012
    The Morning Plum
    By Greg Sargent

    If you want to gauge the impact the economy is having on Obama’s reelection chances, keep an eye on the behavior of endangered Democratic incumbents and Dem Congressional candidates in difficult districts. There seem to be early signs that more Dems are willing to entertain the possibility that Obama and his record could be an asset, rather than a liability.

    Steny Hoyer is telling reporters that if the recovery continues to accelerate, Obama’s coattails could help Dems win back the House (a long shot, but it’s notable that Hoyer is going further than other Dem leaders in predicting it). Other Democrats believe that the GOP’s shift into social-issues mode, combined with Obama’s efforts to draw a sharper contrast with Republicans on jobs, the economy and fiscal priorities and values will make it easier for Dem candidates to associate themselves more closely with the president and his agenda. While it remains to be seen whether candidates in the most difficult states and districts agree, there’s been a clear shift in the chatter.

    One last data point: The full fledged embrace of the birth control fight by Democrats in states that Republicans believe are populated by swing voters who are more receptive to the GOP framing of the battle as one over religious liberty and governmental overreach.

    • Ametia says:

      I don’t like the sound of riding on PBO’s “coattails” by some of the Dems. Especially those who have been timid, lukewarm in their support of POTUS from day one.

  22. rikyrah says:

    I can say, without hestitation, that this White man has NEVER had a grit in his life.

    Not because White folks don’t eat grits…

    but, it’s a certain kind of White folk.

    and Willard is NOT that kind of White folk.

    And, this is coming from someone who would eat grits everyday for breakfast, if she could.

  23. Ametia says:

    Things Can Only Get Better

  24. rikyrah says:

    Why Super PACs Won’t Even The Playing Field
    Paul Waldman puts Romney’s small donor problem in context:

    [M]oney raised by the Romney super PACs will be less influential than money raised by the campaigns. He will no doubt be able to find plenty of big donors who will give his super PAC a million bucks or so each. When a donor does that, the million bucks gets spent on TV ads and mailers, which is all well and good. But it doesn’t support volunteers (no one is volunteering for a super PAC) who make phone calls and knock on doors, and multiple studies by political scientists in recent years have demonstrated that personal contact is far more persuasive than things like TV ads.

  25. rikyrah says:

    Regina King to be Shirley Chisholm?

    *Regina King knows what it means to speak things into existence.

    The thespian shared publicly in the past that she has a desire to portray a trailblazing legend: the first black New York congresswoman and presidential candidate, Shirley Chisholm.

    Now her dream could be realized.

    In an interview with EURweb’s film guru, Kam Williams, it was actress Kerry Washington who revealed that King will be doing her idol in an upcoming biopic.

    “I just heard that Regina King is doing Shirley Chisholm, perfect casting, which is another story that has to be told,” she said.

    The only other public mention of a Chisholm biopic was back in 2010, when Viola Davis was considered to portray the political leader.

    Nothing is official yet, but maybe Washington has the inside word. We’ll see.

  26. rikyrah says:

    Viola Davis to Produce and Star in Barbara Jordan Biopic
    By The Admin on March 9, 2012

    Director Paris Barclay (Glee) and Oscar-nominated actress Viola Davis (The Help) are looking to lend their talents to a biopic concerning the life of Congresswoman Barbara Jordan. Jordan holds the distinction of being the first African American elected to the Texas Senate and the first Southern black female elected to the United States House of Representatives. The posthumous pic will center on Jordan’s life from her early days in a poor Houston neighborhood to her rise through the political ranks. Davis will star and produce the picture through her and husband Julius Tennon’s JuVee banner, alongside Barclay, Shelly Glasser and Diane Nabatoff. Glasser and Nabatoff had acquired the rights to the biography, “Babara Jordon: American Hero” by Mary Beth Rogers. (

  27. rikyrah says:

    “A Bit Of An Away Game”

    That’s how Romney describes next week’s primaries in Alabama and Mississippi. Scott Galupo notes that Mitt’s “Southern problem” is not necessarily about the South:

    Republican presidential candidates obviously don’t win general elections by winning Dixie alone. They win in swing states like Ohio. And they win in swing states like Ohio by turning out Southern-type voters who live in Ohio—evangelicals and Reagan Democrats. … Romney’s “Southern problem” therefore isn’t that he’s in danger of losing Southern states; it’s that he’s not reaching those demographic chunks of non-Southern states that most resemble the South.

  28. rikyrah says:

    Thu Mar 08, 2012 at 03:12 PM PST.

    Dear President Obama: I’m Sorry
    .by The Troubadour
    for Writing by David Harris Gershon.

    Dear Mr. President,

    I owe you an apology, and I sincerely hope that after reading this letter (if it somehow makes its way to you), you will find it in your heart to forgive me.

    During the 2008 election, you inspired me to a level of unprecedented political engagement in American politics. I canvassed door-to-door and on college campuses – as well as in online political and not-so-political chat rooms (oh, the adventures) – registering voters with one goal in mind: to secure your place in the White House.

    I believed in you, despite my natural-born cynicism and grounded understanding of our political system’s current dysfunction. I believed in you not because of your campaign rhetoric, but because of the deep sincerity I intuited in that rhetoric.

    That sincerity is rare.

    And then something changed after you assumed the presidency. Over time, I became somewhat disillusioned, reverting to my former, cynical self. Over the last three years, I have done little to praise you.

    The truth is, I have mainly critiqued you.

    I critiqued your administration’s reticence to pursue legal action against the Bush administration. I critiqued your signing an Affordable Care Act that didn’t contain a public option. I critiqued your administration’s bailing out of the financial sector, and then critiqued your administration’s reticence to investigate and prosecute those in the financial sector who brought our country to its knees.

    I’ve critiqued your penchant for compromise with those Republicans in our country who do nothing but carry water for the richest among us, and your willingness to work with those in the GOP who would – if given the chance – deny basic civil and human rights to the least among us.

    I’ve critiqued your Israel policy and your actions with regard to the Palestinians. I critiqued your signing of NDAA, and your administration’s killing of Americans abroad in the “war on terror.”

    I have done so much critiquing, Mr. President.

    And while I still stand by some of my critiques, after looking at the socially-prehistoric and dishonest candidates being offered by the GOP, and after looking more closely and honestly at your own presidency, I have come to realize the following:

    Not only must I praise you, but I must praise you
    for being the greatest President of my lifetime.
    More than praise you, what I really must say is thank you.
    + Thank you for preventing drug companies from blocking access to generic drugs so that a loved one can have access to life-preserving medication.

    + Thank you for requiring that health plans cover those with preexisting conditions so my brother can receive cancer treatment if he once again needs it.

    + Thank you for repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

    + Thank you for pushing the Matthew Shepard Act, which expanded sexual orientation into hate crime legislation.

    +Thank you for beginning the removal of our our troops from Iraq.

    + Thank you for expanding Pell Grants for low-income students and for adding protections for student borrowers.

    + Thank you for pushing for funding of The Violence Against Women Act.

    + Thank you for expanding both Early Head Start and Head Start.

    + Thank you for working to expand coverage via the State Children’s Health Insurance Fund (SCHIP).

    + Thank you for creative a ‘Green Vet Initiative’ that seeks to promote environmental jobs for our veterans.

    + Thank you for extending unemployment insurance benefits and child tax credits.

    Thank you, President Obama, for all those things listed and those things I’ve failed to list that you have done.

    I’m sorry I have not given you the proper credit you deserve, and I pledge, from now on, to not just focus on my critiques of you in my writing, but also on those things for which you deserve praise.

    Please forgive me.


    David Harris-Gershon (@David_EHG)

  29. Ametia says:

    LOL Our favorites SENIORS..

    Rush saw his shadow today. Six more weeks of stupidity…
    Posted by: Helen Philpot | March 5, 2012

    Margaret, evidently you and I are sluts, and so are the majority of women who live in this county. Well good for us. I have always said that well-behaved women rarely make history. I have also said that Rush Limbaugh is a big fat pig. Pigs and sluts. Sadly, that’s what this has all boiled down to.

    In 2008, the Democratic Party had a tough decision to make. Would we give America its first female President or would we give American its first African-American President? Would we turn the corner on sexism in this country or racism? Would we finally rise above hate and bigotry and make a statement that we truly are the land of the free? Either way, we would profoundly change the world for the better. And that we did. At the same time, over in the Republican camp, that party was trying to decide if you could see Russia from Sarah Palin’s kitchen window.

    This year the Republicans have another tough decision to make as well. Will they decide that Mormonism is a cult or will they decide that women who use birth control are sluts? It’s a tough call. But either way we will profoundly change the definition of just how stupid is stupid. God Bless America.

    Margaret, evidently you and I are sluts, and so are the majority of women who live in this county. Well good for us. I have always said that well-behaved women rarely make history. I have also said that Rush Limbaugh is a big fat pig. Pigs and sluts. Sadly, that’s what this has all boiled down to.

  30. Ametia says:

    A field of hawks
    By Eugene Robinson, Published: March 8

    Unless Ron Paul somehow wins the nomination, it looks as if a vote for the Republican presidential candidate this fall will be a vote for war with Iran.

    No other conclusion can be drawn from parsing the candidates’ public remarks. Paul, of course, is basically an isolationist who believes it is none of our business if Iran wants to build nuclear weapons. He questions even the use of sanctions, such as those now in force. But Paul has about as much chance of winning the GOP nomination as I do.

  31. rikyrah says:

    March 07, 2012
    For Romney, a tangled web
    This morning, slouched over his breakfast table of Bloody Marys and multicolored amphetamines, Mitt Romney, with his hair looking a fright, is surely pounding said table and angrily demanding: Will no one rid me of these turbulent pricks?

    I sympathize. Mitt paid good money — well, his friends did — to buy this thing fair and square (plus it’s his turn!) only to watch Rick Santorum and the even peskier (prickier?) Newt Gingrich prolong a rather ill-advised siege.

    It’s got so bad, ordinarily prudent analysts such as Ezra Klein have been reduced to asking, “Is Romney stronger than he looks?” and Ross Douthat suggests the preposterous theory that Santorum’s “overall strategy might offer a blueprint for winning a future Republican primary campaign” — the “overall strategy” being one that includes appealing to hootin’-‘n-hollerin’ snake-handlers who look disparagingly on primitive religions like Romney’s.

    In brief answer to Mr. Klein: No. And in response to Douthat: You go out there, Mr. Custer; yes Sir, you go out there and forge ahead with the dying demographic of snarling, dyspeptic, aging bigoted white folk who are culturally isolated and economically ignorant; uh-huh, that’s the ticket for the GOP’s revamped future — a Father Coughlin-George Wallace coalition of medievalist hayseeds who fret less about the GDP and the global economy than gays in uniform, or in wedding tuxedos.

    In somewhat longer answer to Mr. Klein, Politico summarizes Romney’s longest-term weakness: “[H]e continues to have trouble in the South, traditional Republican territory.” That is to say, tea-partying Bible-belters, who are also peppered throughout the West and Midwest and who traditionally have provided the margin of GOP victory in swing states. And this November, how likely are they to creak out of their overstuffed La-Z-Boys and go cast a vote for a Satanic cultist who enslaved the blue but nonetheless good people of Massachusetts with Leninist RomneyCare?

    A tangled web, Mr. Romney. It’s quite the tangled web you’ve got there.

  32. rikyrah says:

    Thursday, March 8, 2012
    The Grand Unifying Theory On Bigotry
    Posted by Zandar
    The word “racism” doesn’t mean whatever the right says it means.

    The winger right has been losing the argument on race for quite some time now, culminating in 2008’s election of Barack Obama as President of the United States. It’s driving them insane, too. ABL talked about the idiotic Derrick Bell “hug-troversy” yesterday, and the right is gleefully pointing to young Harvard Law Review president Barack Obama speaking about diversity and Harvard faculty as proof he’s a “racist”.

    This is because the right loves to reframe the definition of anything bad as “something that applies primarily to liberals.” It goes something like this: “We’re tired of being called racist by you people, so we’re going to define racism as ‘including race in the consideration of anything’ and therefore that means all liberals are racists. We win. What are you going to do about it? You can’t deny that liberals are aware of race in differing points of view and take them into consideration through diversity and inclusiveness. That means you’re defining people by race, and that makes you racists, Q.E.D. Oh, and we’re done talking to you about this, because we don’t talk to racists.”

    Pretty amazing stuff, and yet this perfectly encapsulates the conservative viewpoint on race, where Arizona Republicans have banned Latino Studies classes in school as “indoctrination” and the Supreme Court has to take another look at race in college admissions because consideration of race is in and of itself “racist”. Mention, consideration, attention to race is the new definition of what it means to be racist, and that means liberalism itself is the source of “the real racism in America.”
    As ridiculous as it is, it serves a very real purpose: the wingers use this argument to defuse and dismiss any real criticism of racism. “You can’t accuse us of racism in any way when you support diversity and affirmative action!” they bellow. Such breathtaking false equivalence, literally equating the awareness that race affects social and political fabric of the nation with actual, overt racism, is the key to how the rabid right “wins” arguments.

    It applies to not only race, but virtually all aspects of liberalism’s inclusiveness of viewpoints by definition: gender, socioeconomics and class, religion (or the absence of it), sexual orientation, you name it. And all of it becomes ammunition to use against liberalism itself. Once you accept the first false equivalence that considering sexual orientation is discriminatory against heterosexuals, or that discussing race is in an of itself racist against whites, every other argument you can make to defend that is a loser.

    That’s what makes the media’s acceptance of these “well both sides do it!” frames so absolutely poisonous. If you accept the possibility that Derrick Bell’s call for faculty diversity makes him a racist, there’s nothing you can say that can then “prove the negative” that he’s not one. From there, you can’t “prove the negative” that Barack Obama’s association and introduction of Bell possibly racist views in 1990 didn’t adversely affect the formative views on race for the now President Obama. These folks are literally arguing that because you cannot prove that the President isn’t a racist when he’s talking about race, it’s as bad as him being a racist.

    It’s sophistry on a grand, transformational scale, and yet once again this same level of lunacy is driving our national discourse. It applies to the ongoing Rush Limbaugh misogyny as well: Bill Maher said bad things about women at one point, making him just as bad as Rush and proving that feminists all hate men because they cannot prove liberals’ consideration of gender issues isn’t in turn misandry. Everything then becomes a situation where liberals are “forcing” their views upon conservatives, thus robbing them of their freedoms, bringing us to the recent contraception “controversy” where having employers agree to birth control coverage is in fact an abridgement of their religious liberties, proving liberals are the religious bigots.

    It applies to secular arguments as well, take science, evolution, and global climate change. The false equivalence here is that liberals cannot prove 100% that these theories are absolute fact, so that refusal to accept the “equally valid” theories of creationism and sunspots being responsible is proof that liberals are the closed-minded ones who reject science and the scientific method, never mind that this awesome argument means I can have a theory that the Earth was created by Doozers leaving underneath Fraggle Rock and that rejection of it by Dr. Stephen Hawking means he’s not a real scientist.

    Everything is related here, folks. It all ties together, forming a multi-pronged attack on liberalism itself, the rejection of valid new ideas because they challenge the old, the holding of ridiculous fallacies as proof of victory and that in the end, all conservative ideas are correct because classic liberalism, the creation of new ideas itself, is an inherently evil act precisely because you can’t prevent those new ideas from possibly being evil.

    It’s Dick Cheney’s One Percent Solution taken to the application of pretty much everything. It might be wrong, so it must be wrong. And it must be destroyed. The faster we recognize these false equivalencies for what they are, the more we can point them out to others and say “This argument is terrible and here’s why, and they’re using this argument because they don’t have anything else.” It’s something that we have to keep fighting until we win.

    If we don’t, then we’ll be the “racists, bigots, and haters” forever and it will always be unacceptable to call it out, which is precisely what they want the situation to be.

  33. rikyrah says:

    Friday, March 9, 2012
    Let Them Eat Student Union Cake
    Posted by Zandar
    The Marquis de Mittens doesn’t have any time for your “help more people go to college” nonsense. If you were meant to go to college, you’d be smart enough not to need it, rich, or both. Jon Chait:

    Earlier this week, a pretty interesting and telling exchange took place at a Mitt Romney town hall meeting. A student asked Romney what he would do to make college more affordable for students who struggle to pay for it. Romney’s reply was jarring:

    “It would be popular for me to stand up and say I’m going to give you government money to pay for your college, but I’m not going to promise that,” he said, to sustained applause from the crowd at a high-tech metals assembly factory here. “Don’t just go to one that has the highest price. Go to one that has a little lower price where you can get a good education. And hopefully you’ll find that. And don’t expect the government to forgive the debt that you take on.”
    It’s a brutal response. One reason, of course, is that college is a form of public investment. We have a shared stake in a more educated population, which ultimately produces higher living standards for all. Treating college affordability as a question of simple personal responsibility is an act of collective economic suicide.

    But Romney’s answer, and the enthusiastic reception it triggered, also reveals something important about the Republican coalition. Here were Romney, and his supporters, treating a struggling prospective college student with almost gleeful hostility, like a bum looking for a handout.

    You ever notice that the approved enemies list for Republicans in 2012 consists solely of groups that voted for President Obama in 2008? Minorities, women, poor people and people under 25? Yeah, there’s a reason for that. And Mitt Romney? He’s the opposite of all those groups.

    Funny how that works out. The Kroog weighs in on this too:

    But what about people like Mr. Romney? Don’t they have a stake in America’s future economic success, which is endangered by the crusade against education? Maybe not as much as you think.

    After all, over the past 30 years, there has been a stunning disconnect between huge income gains at the top and the struggles of ordinary workers. You can make the case that the self-interest of America’s elite is best served by making sure that this disconnect continues, which means keeping taxes on high incomes low at all costs, never mind the consequences in terms of poor infrastructure and an undertrained work force.

    And if underfunding public education leaves many children of the less affluent shut out from upward mobility, well, did you really believe that stuff about creating equality of opportunity?

    So whenever you hear Republicans say that they are the party of traditional values, bear in mind that they have actually made a radical break with America’s tradition of valuing education. And they have made this break because they believe that what you don’t know can’t hurt them.

    You don’t say. An ignorant populace is a compliant and controllable populace. Just tell them that the real problem is all those awful union employees who make more money than you do, then destroy them. Sure, it means that we have an increasingly stupid and unskilled workforce, but that’s what India and China are for.

  34. rikyrah says:

    ‘Playing with fire’ on 2013 budget
    By Steve Benen – Fri Mar 9, 2012 8:00 AM EST.

    House GOP leaders are still struggling to lead their caucus.
    Congressional Democrats and Republicans have been expected to have plenty of arguments in 2012, but the budget process was expected to go relatively smoothly. So much for that idea.

    Just seven months ago, the parties agreed to spending levels for the upcoming year, as part of the debt-ceiling negotiations. With those figures already locked in, the most contentious part of the budget was already addressed. After all, as far as everyone was concerned, a deal’s a deal.

    This week, however, we’re finding that rank-and-file House Republicans no longer like that deal, and are pushing GOP leaders to renege on it.

    Conservatives are pressing House Speaker John A. Boehner (Ohio) and other GOP leaders to slash 2013 agency budgets below levels set during last year’s debt-limit showdown, arguing that the deal did too little to curb spending.

    While that move might impress tea party voters, it would put them at odds with Democrats and even Republicans in the Senate, who are eager to get through the summer and fall without another nasty spending fight that could shut down the government five weeks before voters head to the polls.

    Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) had a lengthy meeting behind closed doors yesterday with Republicans on the House Budget Committee, urging them to honor the agreement the parties reached in August. By all accounts, the Cantor-led meeting resolved nothing — GOP members still intend to ignore the bipartisan agreement and submit a budget resolution with spending levels below the agreed-upon levels.

    Sahil Kapur reported yesterday, “[E]ven though Senate Democrats are all but certain to reject those levels, one veteran House conservative indicated that the GOP is indeed prepared to pick the fight anyhow.”

    The result of this is — you guessed it — a possible government shutdown in an election year.


    At this point, the story is arguably still in the “keep an eye on this” phase. Republicans on the Budget Committee are apparently waiting for some baseline estimates from the Congressional Budget Office before deciding how to proceed, and those numbers won’t be available until next week.

    Still, the fact that GOP lawmakers are even thinking about ignoring their party leadership (again) and rejecting the bipartisan budget deal is causing a fair amount of consternation on the Hill.

    Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) told the Washington Post, “If House Republicans walk away from the agreement their own Speaker made less than a year ago, then they will show that a deal with them isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on…. Republicans are playing with fire here, and I urge them to not cave to their most conservative members and to stick to the budget levels we already agreed to last year.”

  35. rikyrah says:

    March 08, 2012 2:30 PM

    Poor Poor Pitiful “Player”
    By Ed Kilgore

    One of the hardy perennials of Beltway journalism is reporting the self-pity of Members of Congress. They work too hard; they can’t get anything done; they have to travel all the time; they have to raise money all the time; they have to deal with constituents all the time; and for the small minority of House members who represent competitive districts, they have to run for re-election all the time.

    I’m not entirely cynical about these complaints. Having once been a congressional staffer, I do know the lives of Members are not remotely as glamorous or remunerative as an awful lot of people imagine, and most are not the corrupt scoundrels they are reputed to be, either. But having once been a congressional staffer, I also know Members have it a lot better than the congressional staffers who do the majority of that tiresome work, with less pay and a whole lot less glory.

    So it was with that background that I read Jonathan Allen’s Politico piece on the current grousing of Members, which begins with the sad plight of Rep. Dan Boren (D-OK), who has announced he is retiring at the end of this term:

    Take Rep. Dan Boren, an Oklahoma Democrat now in his fourth term. In the old days, the moderate Blue Dog would have been a sure bet to bide his time in Congress, win reelection by serving up earmarks to his constituents and, after a couple of decades, grab the prized gavel of the Armed Services Committee….
    “If you go through all the things you have to do to get elected and you feel at the end of the day, you’re not pushing the ball forward, it’s time to go do something else,” he said in a telephone interview as he ate yet another in a long string of lunches at the T.G.I. Friday’s in Terminal C of the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.
    “I’m used to being a player,” Boren said, fondly remembering his days in the state Legislature as he lamented the dim prospects of a moderate moving up the ranks at a time when ideological purity has supplanted seniority as the primary factor in gaining power. “You want to get things done for your constituents. If you can’t ever become speaker or a committee chairman, why are you doing it?”

    This got my attention right away, because it was news to me that House Democrats had abandoned the seniority system. Unlike Republicans, they have not imposed term limits on committee chairs, and leapfrogging the senior member remains a very rare practice. Just last year, the Wall Street Journal’s John Fund did a feature story specifically on the complaints of House Democrats that seniority trumped everything.

    So considering Boren’s particular situation, I looked at the Armed Services Committee roster to see if it was true “ideological purity” ruled its ranks, making it fruitless for Boren to stick around for a few decades. The ranking Democrat is Adam Smith of WA, former chair of the New Democrat Coalition and a well-known centrist. Next up is Silvestre Reyes of TX, not a member of any formal “centrist” group, but nobody’s lefty; in 2010 he scored a 62% liberal, 38% conservative rating from National Journal. Just behind Reyes are two of Boren’s fellow Blue Dogs, Loretta Sanchez of CA and Mike McIntyre of NC. If these guys are examples of “ideological purity,” then today’s Left really is a very big tent, though not, apparently, one in which Boren feels comfortable.

    You have to figure Boren’s real complaint is that he doesn’t get to be a “player” like he was in the Oklahoma legislature, cutting deals and bringing home the bacon and so forth without all that party loyalty stuff. For that he can mainly blame his Republican colleagues, who have adopted as a basic operating principle the desire that it’s better to undercut Democratic “moderates” than it is to attract their votes. But in any event, should we really lament the fact that Dan Boren doesn’t get to be a “player” any more, or that Members don’t necessarily take office expecting to stay there until they are senescent?

    Didn’t take me real long to dry my tears.

    • Ametia says:

      BWA HA HA HA

      Bashir, Corn, & Kornacki were hilarious. they really illustrated the absurdity of the WINGNUTS attempts at painting PBO as a radical for associating with BLACK MEN WHO ARE ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF JUSTICE!

  36. rikyrah says:

    Game Change Director Says McCain Staff Acted Out Palin’s “Mini-Meltdowns” for Him
    By Jennifer Vineyard

    Sarah Palin denies that she became catatonic during campaign prep sessions for her infamous 2008 interview with Katie Couric and then again before a debate with Senator Joe Biden. But at a premiere party last evening at the Four Seasons for his new HBO film Game Change, director Jay Roach told Daily Intel that he went beyond the John Heilemann/Mark Halperin book on which the movie is based to source this key scene. “We checked with a lot of people who were in the room, and we were like, ‘Really? She just shut down? I know you’re saying mini-meltdown, or shut down, but people throw the phrase around. What does it mean?'”

    Roach explained the question was motivated by more than just fact-checking — he needed to know how to direct Julianne Moore to perform those scenes. “So they said, ‘I’ll act it out for you,'” Roach said. “And they would sit, stare at the floor, not respond, you know, eyes at half-mast. And I was so shocked.”

    As to Palin’s version of events, Roach said he understands “why a politician wouldn’t want a weaker moment to come out,” but he believes it makes her “more human.” “She was in such a predicament,” he said. “Her interviews had gone terribly, she didn’t have time to prepare, and people she no longer trusted were in charge of the preparation. Her kids were in all that turmoil, and her son was shipping off to Iraq.” To have to battle Biden, “a guy who’s been debating for decades and knows everything about foreign policy,” was enough to make anyone collapse, the director said. “I would have had to be scraped off the floor before facing that.”

    Now that Roach has tackled the election campaigns of 2000 (in Recount) and 2008, does he see a potential movie taking shape this time around? “I don’t see it yet!” he said. “What’s the 2012 version? I don’t know. But I’ve been enjoying the SNL [satires] — Jason Sudeikis as Romney!”

    • Ametia says:

      Did y’all see Nicole Wallace on The Last Word last night? She told L.O. that she did NOT vote for Palin, which means she didn’t vote for MCAIN either.

  37. Ametia says:

    U.S. employers continued the stronger pace of hiring last month, but the overall job market is not out of the woods yet.

    Employers added 227,000 jobs in February, the U.S. Labor Department reported Friday. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate remained at 8.3%.

    Economists surveyed earlier by CNNMoney had predicted that 210,000 jobs would be added in the month.

    In the last year, the economy has gained about 2 million jobs but still needs about 5.6 million more jobs to return to 2008 levels.

  38. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Jueseppi. Awards season has been very kind to 3 Chics.

    LOL BTW, I never promised anyone that I was a Lady. *grins*

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