Sunday Open Thread

 Prayers to Trayvon Martin Family
Edwin Hawkins (born 18 August 1943, Oakland, California) is a Grammy Award-winning American gospel and R&B musician, pianist, choir master, composer and arranger. He is one of the originators of the urban contemporary gospel sound. He (and the Edwin Hawkins Singers) are best known for his arrangement of “Oh Happy Day” (1968–69), which was included on the Songs of the Century list. The Edwin Hawkins Singers made a second foray into the charts a year later, backing folk singer Melanie on “Lay Down (Candles in the Rain)“.

At the age of seven Hawkins was already the keyboardist to accompany the family’s gospel choir. Together with Betty Watson, he was the co-founder of the Northern California State Youth Choir of the Church of God in Christ, which included almost fifty members.[1] This ensemble recorded its first album Let Us Go Into the House of the Lord at the Ephesian Church of God in Christ in Berkeley, California, hoping to sell 500 copies. “Oh Happy Day” was just one of the eight songs on the album.

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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60 Responses to Sunday Open Thread

  1. Chicago Original Freestyle Steppin

  2. Chris Matthews Condemns GOP

    [wpvideo gDSxHUgs]

  3. UNBELIEVABLE: Santorum Visits Rush Limbaugh’s Hometown & Compares it to Visiting Mecca

    This is an instance in which I know I’m going to fail to encapsulating the depth of offensiveness and depravity contained in the below statement made today by Santorum during an appearance in Cape Girardeau.

    Standing in a hangar at the Cape Girardeau Regional Airport, this is what Santorum said (emphasis mine):

    “This is my first trip to Cape Girardeau,” Santorum told the crowd. “Jo Ann’s been bragging on you a long time. It’s good to be in the hometown of Rush Limbaugh, which some people see as a trip to Mecca.”

    I don’t care that a lighter-than-expected crowd of only 100 was on hand to hear those words. And I don’t care that he was kind with the crowd after speaking, mingling and taking pictures with everyone afterward. In fact, I don’t care what else he may have said during the campaign stop – what lies he may have told, how he likely slandered Obama with some nonsensical factoid gone awry.

    All I care about is this:

    Using the mealy-mouthed “some people see,” Rick Santorum compared a visit to Rush Limbaugh’s hometown as akin to visiting Mecca.

    Let’s break this down:

    Cape Girardeau is the birthplace of Rush Limbaugh, a man whose latest hobby has been slandering intelligent women as sluts and engaging in disgusting character assassinations.

    Mecca is the birthplace of the Prophet Muhammad, the traditional spot where the Quran was composed and the holiest site in all of Islam.

    So in one fell, analogous swoop, Santorum has managed to not only sing a full-throated endorsement of Limbaugh as a pillar of exemplary conservatism, but he has also managed to deeply offend all Muslims and defame their holiest site with this cheeky remark.

    Santorum, a presidential candidate – and a f*cking asshole.

  4. rikyrah says:

    Game Change and the Last Temptation of Sarah Palin
    By Charles P. Pierce
    at 12:32PM

    Well, the 2008 presidential campaign is still over and there’s nothing left (still) but the bitter recriminations.

    When John Heilemann, and the utterly inexcusable Mark Halperin, published Game Change, their gossipy account of the campaign four years ago, almost every page fairly dripped with flop sweat. Not from the authors, but from the dozens of professional political types, anonymous and not, who saw in the book a chance to rehabilitate their own reputations from the fools, thieves, and mountebanks for whom they’d worked. (And who, it should never be forgotten, they spent two years trying to foist on the rest of us as national leaders.) There was backstabbing befitting the court of a Borgia pope. There was resumé-polishing and brown-nosing that would have embarrassed the Haskell family down four generations. (The most distasteful was the unpardonable slandering of Elizabeth Edwards, something that the authors won’t live down for a while, either.) Generally, you’d have to wait until the Ides of March to watch a group of people sell out their boss that badly. To barber a phrase from the great Dan Jenkins, the book was further proof, as if we needed any, that, if you put 100 political consultants in a barrel and rolled it down a hill, there’d always be a son of a bitch on top.

    Now, the people at HBO, and the writer/director behind Recount, that network’s superb retelling of the machinations in Florida in the aftermath of the 2000 election, have adapted one long portion of that book for a movie that debuts this Saturday, in what can fairly be called The Last Temptation of Sarah Palin. The movie is completely faithful to the spirit of the book in that it shows how some generally sensible people worked night and day to put a pretty obvious dimwit one heartbeat away from the nuclear codes and now feel really, really bad about it. It’s basically the story of Steve Schmidt, the political pro who convinced John McCain that his campaign needed a “game-changing” moment, and that picking Palin as a running mate was what he was looking for. The great arc of the movie shows Woody Harrelson’s Schmidt gradually realizing the catastrophe he has unleashed upon the campaign and, possibly, upon the country itself. It’s Frankenstein with BlackBerries. By the end of it, you half-expect to see Schmidt, who now is one of the best things about MSNBC’s political coverage, chasing Palin across the Arctic pack ice with dogs baying in the distance.

    As with most HBO productions, the movie has an impeccable A-List cast, particularly Julianne Moore, whose performance as Palin takes her from naïve enthusiast, to terrified political naïf, to impossible egomaniac in a fashion that almost makes Princess Dumbass of the Northwoods sympathetic, except that Moore is so very good at that last transition that the sheer terror we all felt during Palin’s off-the-cliff interview with Katie Couric comes back again in all its gorge-rising power. (The movie’s mind-bending meta moments come when we see Moore playing Sarah Palin watching Tina Fey playing Sarah Palin. At these points in the film you wonder quite seriously whether Palin is herself a real person anymore, or just a collection of people playing Sarah Palin, including herself.) What is surprising is that for a long time, until Palin turns into the spotlight-gobbler with whom we have become so familiar, what with all the travelling on buses and its twangy soundtrack, Game Change looks like nothing more than one of those country-and-western biopics, most notably Coal Miner’s Daughter, with Moore’s Palin replacing Sissy Spacek’s Loretta Lynn as the accidental blue-collar hero buffeted this way and that by the cruel demands of fame, wah-dee-doo-dah. Of course, Spacek’s Lynn has her breakdown on stage. For Moore, it comes when, after being put through candidate-preparation boot camp, she ends up curled up on a hotel-room floor, or meeping softly to her handlers how much she misses her kids. There is some genuine pathos in those scenes. And, then, of course, after what the movie’s producers seem to think was a triumphant debate performance, she turns into the biggest backstabber of them all.

    (How could the producers of this film make that debate so central to the plot and not include the famous wink that endeared Palin to many people? It made me wonder if she was on mushrooms.)

    If nothing else, the movie may be the last stand of that thoroughly novelized character, John McCain, Last Honest Man. McCain, ably played by Ed Harris, is an amiably profane buckaroo, forever talking to his staff about how he wants only to serve his country, and how he doesn’t want to run a negative campaign, and the script is so thoroughly steeped in the mythology that McCain carefully spun around himself that he might as well be wearing a toga through most of it. (In the script, “maverick” is used at various times as a noun, an adjective, and a verb.) In this, I suspect the fine hand of executive producer Tom Hanks, the Official Historian of the Great Deeds of White Men. His Play-Tone company produced the movie, and McCain gets the Band of Brothers treatment throughout. This is, of course, something of a crock. To win the nomination in 2008, McCain sold out almost everything people had loved about him in 2000. At one point in the film, urged by his staff to start using Barack Obama’s friendship with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright against the Democratic candidate, McCain refuses to do so, citing the despicable whispering campaign about his adopted daughter that the Bush campaign had used against him in South Carolina in 2000. What the movie doesn’t mention is that McCain hired quite a few guys from that campaign to work for him eight years later. In a great many ways, the difference between the 2000 McCain and the 2008 McCain had a lot in common with the differences between Governor Willard Romney of Massachusetts in 2002 and Republican frontrunner Willard Romney in 2012.

    What’s truly distressing about the production is that, for all its excellence as a film, it really is all about a game. It is a movie about tactics and strategy, not about governing a country, no matter how much Harris’s McCain blathers on about it. We had Sarah Palin as a candidate for vice-president because a lot of smart guys, like Steve Schmidt, thought it was a smooth move that would blunt the momentum Obama had built up. Recount was about tactics, too, but you always got the sense that the people involved in the events of that movie knew the monumental stakes for which they were playing. Game Change is about winning the day, the week, the news cycle. It’s about settling scores and about a singular lack of trust in almost everything about the political process, including the people you ostensibly want to serve. That is how you end up with a Sarah Palin. That is how she never really goes away.

    Read more:

    and Pierce has at the top of the piece – soundtrack provided by The OJays – Backstabbber.


    • Ametia says:

      LMAO Nice summary of the movie. Palin def went ROGUE on McGrampy.

      • Palin sank McCain
        “…few would argue that she cost Senator McCain the election…”

        I disagree. McCain was seen in a relatively favorable light, even by many left-leaning moderates. Palin was so clearly unqualified to be president that even many who shared her policy views were terrified, especially given McCain’s age. The choice of Palin was an enormous mistake, and her election would have put the world at great risk, in my opinion. That McCain made that choice has forever blackened his legacy.

        – Ned, San Francisco

  5. rikyrah says:

    March 11, 2012
    A chilling interview

    I just watched Henry Kissinger on Fareed Zakaria’s “GPS,” and his appearance (transcript here) only compounded my bafflement about this former presidential adviser’s historic stature as a modern Metternich. His brilliance somehow escapes me, just as it did when ending our suicidal involvement in Vietnam’s civil war essentially entailed bombing the bejesus out of North Vietnam until this primitive, stone-aged, third-world country agreed to sign a piece of paper of Kissinger’s imagination which was utterly void of any enduring content.

    At any rate, today Mr. Kissinger assures us, in so many elliptical words, that we may trust that the GOP’s presidential candidates don’t mean so much as one syllable of their foreign policy drivel, drooled daily on the campaign trail. Why, just look at Ronald Reagan’s performances as right-wing candidate and then presidential realist, said Kissinger. What Kissinger omitted from that little history was that Reagan, bowing to pressure from his party’s hard-liners, postponed what we might call a successfully realistic foreign policy, especially vis-a-vis the Soviet Union, until his second term.

    Show of hands. How many believe the influence of the Republican Party’s hard-right, neoconservative wing has declined since 1981? Indeed, is there, any longer, even a legitimate comparison to be made? — between, that is, what Reagan countenanced and what a President Romney would have to cope with?

    For a far more astute analysis of where Republican neocon radicalism may lead us, rather than the Metternichian Kissinger we should look to scholars such as the Kennan-like Peter Beinart, who in Jaunary, following one of the GOP debates, dashed off this insight — “Republicans’ Incoherent Foreign Policy” — for the Daily Beast:

    “Radical Islam” is to American foreign policy today what “communism” was in the 1960s, when American policymakers lumped together the Soviet Union and Mainland China…. It is exactly the kind of analytically incoherent, ideologically overblown concept that produces foreign-policy ends that vastly exceed national means.

    And it is precisely where a Republican president would take us, whether he would actually want to or not. Because the neocon radicals control his party — in fact, the very heart, soul, and zeitgeist of his party.

  6. rikyrah says:

    Saturday, March 10, 2012
    Dead Breitbart Uses the Late Derrick Bell to Smear the Living President Obama

    The conspiranoid thinking of the Tea Party GOP with its Birtherism, Obama derangement syndrome, and other assorted pathologies, is the rank afterbirth of conservatism during the moment that is late capitalism. This madness leads to a propensity to believe in the absurd. For example, the Tea Party GOP Right-wing media’s most recent effort to slander President Barack Obama.

    Breitbart, a Right-wing bomb throwing demagogue and bully who dropped dead because of rage (and likely because of an addiction to pills and cocaine), is reaching from beyond the grave to smear President Obama by virtue of his association with the late, great, Dr. Derrick Bell. In this latest machination, Breitbart’s supplicants are using a two decades old videotape of Obama at Harvard to further their meme that the (now) President of the United States hates white people. This story only has traction on Fox News and in the Right-wing mediasphere–what is more proof of their alternate reality, a sociopolitical life lived in a state of epistemic closure; yet, a reality which is self-sustaining and real for its members.

    If you try to confront madness with reason you will only become frustrated and crazy. I am willing to take that risk. My commitment is that deep.

    For the faux populist Right, and folks such as Rick Santorum and his allies, “higher education” is a refuge of the commies, homos, queers, drug users, elitists, coloreds, hippies, secularists, liberals, and their assorted ilk. Consequently, how can any patriotic God fearing American not oppose such a wicked cabal?

    I smile at this hostility because it grossly exaggerates the power that academics and others have to influence their students, and society as a whole. After watching Fox News or reading World Net Daily, I am made to feel like a member of The Legion of Doom, as opposed to a struggling lecturer. My power is presented as being outsized; rather than that of he who only has power over office supplies, notepads, pins, and yellow Post-It notes. I wish that critical and engaged scholars could change the lives of students in mass. Sadly, that the reach is far shorter than what most imagine it to be.

    At this juncture, I am left wondering is the hostility of conservatives to those who teach for a living a function of a base, centuries old, anti-intellectualism? Some type of misplaced class snobbery? Do they hate Obama primary because he is black? Or could it be that many conservatives hate President Obama because he is an educated black man? And this fact terrifies them? Are the Culture Wars just a carry over from a group of people who lost the Enlightenment and now want to burn witches and kill heretics in the year 2012?

    I offer the following hypothesis. Approximately 30 million or so Americans are functionally illiterate. This includes those who cannot read, those who cannot fully comprehend the meaning of a sentence, and those who cannot read well enough to complete a job application. When coupled with the Right’s assault on public education, the outcome is clear: an uneducated, ill-equipped, and unsophisticated public, one whose ignorance is cultivated, is primed for conservatism and a politics of class and racial resentment.

  7. rikyrah says:

    March 10, 2012
    Romney’s Biggest Problem

    On its main opinion page this week, the Washington Post promoted Michael Gerson’s column with this intriguing tease: “One problem remains after [Romney’s] nomination.” Now, we average bears could easily think of dozens of post-nomination problems for Romney, hence the tantalizing promise of Gerson’s discovered “one” that hauled in the readers, like me.

    So I opened the column page and saw his One Problem, in the column’s actual headline: “Romney must solve his stereotype problem.” Ah, so that’s it. The One and Only Mitt Romney has Only the One Problem of being stereotyped. Got it. But wait. What does that mean? — being stereotyped. Is Romney doing the stereotyping, or are others? And, of course, just what is this wretched stereotype?

    In the column itself we sort of learn the answers

    Romney is stuck in a stereotype. During occasional gaffes, he sounds not just like your boss but like your boss’s boss. The main problem, however, is the message. In addition to talking about reducing taxes and cutting government, Romney needs to present a vision of social mobility and set out the egalitarian appeal of opportunity. He needs to emphasize policies — on education, job skills and wealth accumulation — that encourage aspiration..

    Oops. This seems to be getting out of control. Just like that, we soared from the one problem of class “stereotype” to Romney’s additional, assorted problems of accumulated gaffes and of giving the appearance of some heartless boss from a scalding hell. And Gerson’s not done yet; he goes on to note that Romney lacks a coherent “message,” in that he has no “vision” or inspiring “policies.”

    OK. Surely, Gerson is through, right? I mean, we started with the premise of a One-Problem Romney and suddenly he’s a hydraheaded, message-less nightmare of no political program whatsoever. So Gerson’s done?

    Au contraire. For Romney, you see, also …

    is not a natural fit for the GOP nomination.

    is an ideological mismatch for the current iteration of the GOP.

    is consistently losing very conservative voters.

    [is losing] voters making less than $100,000 a year, as well as voters without a college degree

    Oh my. We’ve gone from One Problem to enumerating problems in the double digits. And we haven’t even got to Romney’s One Really Big Problem, which Gerson just sort of drops in as a kind of filler, or afterthought:

    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.

    Ding-ding-ding! Among the ocean of sprawling problems spilled in Gerson’s column, we finally have a winner — the winner: Mitt Romney’s ultimate and insurmountable predicament. In the general campaign he’ll need to appeal to independents, yet reasonable appeals will cost him support among the unreasonable GOP base; and in the general campaign he’ll need to appeal to the base, yet unreasonable appeals will cost him support among reasonable independents.

    And that’s a big problem.

  8. rikyrah says:

    March 11, 2012
    The Thin Man

    From the NY Times, the anatomy of a Republican Chernobyl:

    I expected him to have the guts to stand up and say what Rush did was wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong in every sense of the word wrong.

    –Mary Russell, Republican, evangelical Christian, and former Romney supporter

    This has really energized me, that I need to get more involved with the Obama campaign.

    –Jessica Lopez, registered independent, voted for George W. Bush

    A lot of my younger friends are Democrats, and it’s hard for them to understand how, as a woman, you can be a member of the Republican Party.

    –Meredith Warren, a Republican strategist for Pete’s sake

    Had Mitt Romney heretofore demonstrated any human capacity for empathy as epiphany, or for pragmatic course correction, or for simply recognizing that any unexamined political campaign is a campaign not worth waging, one might conclude that eight months is more than abundant time for him to turn things around. Yet the man has been presidentially hungering for years — and as a candidate he just keeps getting thinner.

    It’s really quite remarkable. I would say “astonishing,” but that reaction is no longer genuinely possible.

  9. rikyrah says:

    NYC investigators: Nonprofit faked job placements
    By SAMANTHA GROSS — Associated Press
    Posted: 6:41pm on Mar 9, 2012; Modified: 6:46pm on Mar 9, 2012

    A nonprofit organization hired by New York City to help residents find local employment faked 1,400 job placements and possibly many more, investigators said Friday.

    Officials at the local Workforce1 centers run by Seedco – a nonprofit that operates in 14 states and Washington, D.C. – ordered subordinates to collect information on past and present employment from potential and current clients, then used the data to falsely report that they had placed the individuals in jobs, the city Department of Investigation found.

    At times, the organization claimed credit for placing people in jobs they’d lost before seeking help, investigators said. The investigation covered a period from 2010 to 2011, but a city policy permitting the shredding of many documents means that an untold number of additional false claims may never be uncovered.

    The inquiry followed an August New York Times column that detailed the allegations of a whistleblower who was a former deputy director at one of the centers. Bill Harper’s complaints to his managers had earlier led to an internal audit in April that didn’t uncover much of the wrongdoing. Investigators said that audit had examined only inconsistencies with start dates.

    City officials said they didn’t learn of the depth of the allegations until they surfaced in the newspaper, when they quickly referred the matter to city investigators.

    “Seedco was engaged in fraudulent practices, which is completely unacceptable and won’t be tolerated,” Rob Walsh, commissioner of the city Department of Small Business Services, said in a statement. “SBS has taken immediate action to end contracts with Seedco and to strengthen our job placement validation process.”

    The agency’s contracts with the nonprofit – worth $22.2 million – are to be reassigned over the next two months.

    Barbara Dwyer Gunn, president and CEO of Seedco, said in a statement that the organization “deeply regrets” what happened at the local centers.

    “Seedco takes full responsibility for its contractual obligations to the city and in no way tolerates deception by any of its employees,” she said. “Seedco separately conducted a broad review of its operations, removed staff from the Workforce1 program, and implemented significant policy and programmatic changes to ensure that our data is accurate. These measures were designed to ensure that this does not happen again.”

    According to the report, the Department of Small Business Services found 12 false placements by the organization made as recently as February, despite the ongoing investigation. Following that incident, one of Seedco’s employees was fired.

    A number of other Seedco employees mentioned in the investigators’ report have been fired or have left the company.

    Read more here:

  10. rikyrah says:

    The Chinese Bias Against African Americans

    By: Stanley Crouch | Posted: February 23, 2012

    In his Daily News column, Stanley Crouch examines China’s deeply entrenched racial hostilities, especially stereotypes regarding African Americans. He says that such animus within the rising economic power should not be ignored.

    Though Eugene Robinson, Pulitzer-winning columnist for The Washington Post, is a serious and highly sophisticated man, I was disappointed by a recent column in which he compared the United States and China.

    In eloquent terms, Robinson asserted that the Chinese, right now, look more unsentimentally at their problems and are not bluffing the world about taking them on, no matter how large, intimidating and deeply dug in by custom they might be.

    Robinson suggests the Chinese seem to be addressing their most important natural resource, which is their population, as we are not — as proven by the depressingly shallow nature of American political arguments.

    Fair enough, as far as it goes.

    But Robinson does not mention something about China — something that an honest assessment of its strengths and weaknesses should not ignore.

    For at least 20 years, I have heard stories from Americans who speak Mandarin, have traveled to the Asian country and have tales about Chinese bigotry against black Americans and Africans.

    Yet this reality is barely whispered in our diverse media circus.

    I have no doubt there are thousands upon thousands of decent Chinese and Chinese-Americans who, having known the sting of prejudice themselves, harbor no ill will toward African-Americans. But let’s not deny a stubborn cultural problem when it is staring us in the face.

  11. rikyrah says:

    Forbes: 2012’s Black Billionaires
    By: Jenée Desmond-Harris | Posted: March 9, 2012

    Of the 1,226 people who made it to the 2012 Forbes list of the world’s billionaires, only six are black, and only one is a household name in the United States: Oprah Winfrey. With $2.7 billion, she’s still the world’s richest black woman, despite a tough year for her OWN television network and a quite a bit spent on her African Leadership Academy and other charitable endeavors.

    Winfrey joins Mohammed Al-Amoudi (Saudi Arabia, $12.5 million); Aliko Dangote (Nigeria, $11.2 billion); Mike Adenuga (Nigeria, $4.3 billion); Patrice Motsepe (South Africa, $2.7 billion); and Mo Ibrahim (United Kingdom, $1.1 billion) on the list.

  12. rikyrah says:

    Your Take: Free Speech Works Both Ways
    Pat Buchanan is free to be racist, but he’s not exempt from the consequences, says Rashad Robinson.

    By: Rashad Robinson | Posted: March 11, 2012 at 12:21 AM

    As an 8-year-old, I wanted to be a U.S. senator when I grew up. My parents were proud but warned me that it would be an uphill battle; there weren’t any black people in the Senate, and I would have to work extra hard to overcome prejudice. I remember thinking that my parents weren’t up on the times — the world had changed.

    But when David Duke ran for Senate just a few years later, I questioned whether our country had really changed. How could anyone take someone like Duke, the former leader of the Ku Klux Klan, seriously on important political issues? I remember feeling confused and uncertain about my own future.

    My sense of unease about giving racist views a national television platform — and the implication that those views represent a legitimate viewpoint worthy of public discourse — was most recently stirred when Pat Buchanan started his book tour for Suicide of a Superpower with an appearance on the white nationalist radio show The Political Cesspool. The campaign that followed pushed MSNBC to cut its ties with the controversial commentator.

    Late last month, Buchanan appeared on Fox News to repeat his accusation that organizations like the Anti-Defamation League, Human Rights Campaign and my own organization, ColorOfChange, had stifled his right to free speech. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    Freedom of speech allows ColorOfChange to raise the voices of our members — black people and our allies of all races — on the issues we identify as important. The right to free speech is exactly what allows ColorOfChange and other organizations like ours to speak out and organize to hold the government, corporations and public figures accountable. It is what allows us to bring the voices of everyday people forward in important debates so that they can be heard, even as the voices of the wealthy and powerful may attempt to drown them out.

    Buchanan was not just voicing his support for the flat tax or opposition to affirmative action — issues over which we would argue eagerly and passionately. Rather, Buchanan used his public platform to claim that slavery benefited black Americans and that “black folks” have trouble getting taxis in New York City because cab drivers know that they are likely to be murdered if they pick up a person of color at night.

  13. rikyrah says:

    Romney says Washington could learn from Mississippi
    By Michael Newsom

    Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney made his first appearance here Thursday ahead of Mississippi’s Tuesday primary election, and attacked President Barack Obama for not creating jobs or working on the deficit. He said Washington could learn from the Magnolia State on those issues.

    Romney was joined by Gov. Phil Bryant, who endorsed the former Massachusetts governor’s candidacy Thursday at a campaign stop at the Port of Pascagoula.GOP candidates Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum will make appearances in Mississippi over the next few days.

    Romney was met by about 200 supporters there, where he talked job creation, cutting taxes, reducing the deficit and eliminating government waste. He said Obama hasn’t addressed those issues in his first four years in office, but he believes Mississippi has.

    “If the federal government were run more like the government here in Mississippi, the whole country would be a lot better off,” Romney said.

    Romney, who has been criticized as out of touch with the average American because of his wealth, was clad in blue jeans and a white button-down shirt. In recent days on the campaign trial, he has faced some skepticism in the South about whether he’s as conservative as most GOP voters here, and there have been some questions about whether Southern evangelicals would back a candidate of the Mormon faith. But he brushed off those questions Thursday and didn’t take questions from local reporters.

    He spent his 10 minutes at the lectern pounding home the GOP message of smaller government, and talking about improving the economy, while taking shots at Obama.

    He said years ago, his father-in-law made ship parts in Michigan and came to Pascagoula regularly to sell to suppliers in South Mississippi. He said today, many Americans are struggling because of lost jobs, fewer work prospects, poor education and other issues, which he believes the president hasn’t addressed.

    “A lot of people are hurting right now and I look back and wonder how that could be, because when President Obama was candidate Obama, he made a lot of promises,” Romney said. “He said that if we would let him run this country, he’d heal the world and all these wonderful things, and that he was the one we were waiting for. He was going to cut the budget deficit in half. He’s doubled it. When he became president, he wanted $700 billion. He said if he got the money, he would keep unemployment below 8 percent. It hasn’t been below 8 percent since. This guy had a lot of things to say. He hasn’t delivered.”

    He said Obama had run on the promise of creating more jobs and fixing the economy, but hasn’t and rather has blamed congressional Republicans for stalling his agenda. Romney said Obama had a Democrat-controlled Congress for his first two years in office.

    “He could have done anything he wanted to,” Romney said. “He’s out of ideas, he is out of excuses and in 2012, we are going to make sure he is out of office.”

    He believes Obama should change his campaign slogan this year.

    “We’ve gone from ‘yes we can’ (in 2008) to ‘it’s not my fault.’ It’s not my fault is his new campaign slogan,” Romney said.

    The candidate offered several plans. He promised to fight any tax increases, and cut the marginal tax rate “20 percent across the board for all Americans.” He said he would also work on lowering gas prices by promoting pipeline projects, and “start drilling again offshore.” Increased military spending is also on Romney’s agenda, including adding shipbuilding projects, more aircraft, bringing in 100,000 new active-duty personnel and improving veterans’ benefits.

    “I happen to think that a strong America is the best ally peace has ever known,” he said.

    He painted a picture of a country at a crossroads, and tried to rally conservatives to head to the polls to prevent what he said was a country headed toward a more liberal, larger government that spends more.

  14. rikyrah says:

    Romney used private email accounts as governor

    Associated Press

    Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and some of his top aides used private email accounts to conduct state business at times when Romney was governor of Massachusetts, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press. The communications were legal, even though Romney’s own administration warned state agencies against the practice due to cyber security concerns. The state archives in Massachusetts – which learned about Romney’s emails from the AP – now says the private emails should have invoked rules about preserving copies of state records.

    Private email accounts used by public officials to perform their public jobs are effectively off limits to review by citizens, watchdog groups, political opponents and news organizations because they’re often used secretly. Free accounts from commercial providers also are more vulnerable to hackers who exploit easy-to-use features to reset email passwords.

    Romney’s use of a free Microsoft Hotmail account and a private email address linked to his 2008 presidential campaign was revealed in documents the AP obtained under the Massachusetts Public Records Law. The Romney files, which span four months in mid-2006, represent the first substantive emails written by him to surface since he left public office in 2007. When the AP examined dozens of boxes of archived materials last summer in Boston from Romney’s former administration, it found no emails or memos written by or to Romney himself.

    Some of the emails obtained by AP describe Romney’s internal deliberations on his health care policy and the state’s 2006 budget crisis: “I hate appearing as if I am just playing national politics,” Romney wrote in November 2006 during sensitive negotiations on state budget cuts, when he was preparing his 2008 presidential campaign. Romney chose to use his full name as his Hotmail username.

    The emails can be viewed here .

  15. rikyrah says:

    Impoverished black youth publishes novel ‘Nameless’

    By Ashley Michelle Williams

    3:00 PM on 03/09/2012

    The odds of achieving success seem slim to none for minorities with impoverished backgrounds. Having not only been poor, but also homeless, Kyle Chais has had many odds against him throughout his life. Yet, the 20-year-old is showing others that they can also rise above their challenges after releasing his first novel called Nameless.

    Chais was born in Flatbush, Brooklyn into poverty and without a father.

    “My mom and I were really poor,” he told theGrio. “We had to survive on food stamps and we lived in a building that was nicknamed the Castle of Hell. It got its name, because it was shaped like a castle and it had hellish conditions. There were also a lot of drug dealers and gangs that resided there. I often got jumped.”

    Chais continued, “In the middle of the building, there was a courtyard. It was really violent and very uncomfortable. Just stepping outside, I would step into a hallway of smoke, weed, crack, or drug a deal.”

    He told theGrio that he became numb to this lifestyle: “I was just born into it… I was born in that environment.”

    Yet, despite the odds, Chais said he used writing and his imagination to escape the terrible life around him.

    “I was always kind of good at storytelling,” he said. “When I was little I would cover my walls with little sketches of Sonic the Hedgehog, and I would just create stories. I would even go as far as making commercials for my stories.”

    Along with writing, Chais said his strong with relationship with his mother and God greatly helped him overcome his struggles.

    “My father was never a part of my life,” Chais said. “People believe that if you grow up without a father that you will be messed up in the head, but for me, that thought never even came into my mind. My mom told me that all you need is yourself and God. She would tell me, ‘You were born into this world, so now you make the most out of it.’ ”

    Chais’s mother Lydia added: “Well, whether you are poor, or without one or even both parents (not necessarily without fathers, but without supportive parents ), I’ve learned to just stay positive and never give up even when the odds are stacked against you. Always see the humor in things and stay away from negative people. And if you can, build them up too.”

    Indeed, Chais’s mom said she tried to turn the negative situation of living in poverty into a positive one.

    “Disciplining Kyle was certainly important, but I also wanted to expose him to more,” she said. “So I took him to museums, showed him books on famous works of art, the Mona Lisa, the Sistine Chapel, various works by van Gogh, and some of the history about the artist. I even exposed him to wonderful classical music like the ‘1812 Overture,’ Beethoven’s 5th, and the ‘William Tell Overture.'”

    Chais said that his mom always tried to broaden his mind. “People say that if you are born into a certain environment that’s who you are, but my mom proved that idea wrong,” Chais elaborated. “My mom also grew up in a harsh environment, but my mom grew up differently from the rest of my family. While other members in her family made certain choices in life, she chose differently and I did too.”

    His mother emphasized that she wanted to steer her son in the best direction possible, despite the challenges.

  16. Ametia says:

    “It’s not that she doesn’t know the right answer, it’s that she clearly doesn’t understand the question.”–Fareed Zakaria on Sarah Palin during the 2008 Presidential Campaign.

    Game Change Is Not A Movie, It’s A Cautionary Tale
    March 11, 2012
    By David E. Phillips

    There is much to admire about the HBO film, Game Change, made from the book by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann. There is the Palin-channeling performance of Julianne Moore as well as the terrific work by Woody Harrelson as Steve Schmidt, McCain’s Senior Campaign Adviser, Sarah Paulson as fellow McCain adviser, Nicolle Wallace and Ed Harris as McCain himself. The attention to detail and the blending of actual footage with the actors playing the real life characters is impressive and seamless. The no-fat direction and sharp screenplay certainly serve the source material well too.

    • Ametia says:

      THIS: “However, the predominant emotion I felt while watching the movie was not an appreciation for the very fine work on display by all those involved in this first rate production. No. Instead, I was nearly overcome by a nearly complete sense of terror over how close we came to having an incredibly incompetent neophyte politician within one 72 year old man’s bad health outcome of becoming President of the United States. Game Change does not so much resemble a political drama as it is does an 80′s horror flick.

      You know, the ones where the killer is on the loose and the only person to survive is the blonde girl who doesn’t have sex? Well after watching Game Change, I–for the first time in my life–feel like that blonde girl.”

      • rikyrah says:

        this was one of my beefs, especially with the MSM, because they danced around the issue.

        John McCain was a 72 year old man.

        a man who spent years being a POW.

        a man who had already have HOW MANY rounds of cancer?

        the stress of the Presidency wears anybody down.

        and, this man, put, at a heartbeat away….

        this unqualified grifter.

      • John McCain should publicly apologize to the country for putting us at risk with this ignoramus, incompetent, racist, emptyheaded, nothing in the skull but empty fluid being a heartbeat away from the Presidency.

      • Sweet Jesus…

        McCain Reacts To HBO’s Game Change: I Don’t Use That Much Profanity In Real Life

        At the end of his appearance on Fox News Sunday earlier today, Senator John McCain weighed in on the HBO film that aired last night chronicling his 2008 presidential campaign and decision to choose Sarah Palin as his running mate. McCain admitted he did not see the TV movie, but based on everything he’s heard about it, he does not believe it portrays an accurate picture of the campaign. Not only did McCain say that the movie is based on a biased view of the campaign, but Ed Harris‘ portrayal of him was too salty.

        McCain told Chris Wallace that he was watching a Phoenix Coyotes game during the movie last night. From that point he started completely ripping the film. McCain said he finds it remarkable that almost four years later, people are still fixating on Palin’s character. McCain defended his former running mate, saying her nomination “energized our campaign” and the movie is the latest attempt to “disparage and attack her character.”

      • Ametia says:

        John McCain unleashed an EVIL dim-witted loser on America in 2008. He willnot apologize for it publically. He, like Palin are in front of the cameras this week to counter GAME CHANGE.

        All they are doing is REINFORCING the REASON why NEITHER of them are in the WHITE HOUSE TODAY!

    • rikyrah says:

      I still remember that quote by Zakaria….because, while the rest of the media was coddling that ignorant grifter, he was speaking the truth.

  17. Ametia says:

    From Smartypants

    The subtle racism of ascribing success to luck

    For a couple of years now the chattering class has been characterizing President Obama as weak. What’s interesting is that now that his political fortunes are improving, there seems to be a meme developing that he’s lucky.

    From Rolling Stone on the contraception controversy:

    If this were a political mistake, Barack Obama seems impossibly lucky to have stumbled into it. Every repercussion is redounding to his favor.

    Read therest here:

    • Good Post, Smartypants!

      You’re all over it. President Obama is shattering every stereotype out there about black people. His successes are very hard to accept by the media since they’ve been taught all of their lives that black people are dumb, inferior, incompetent, need to be lead by the hand or PBO is out of his league bullsh*t. This is why time after time you read things like President Obama was created by the CIA, he isn’t real. Some comments are so asinine until it’s not worth repeating. But this is who they are. Racist clowns to the 10th power!

    • rikyrah says:

      BRAVO, smartypants.

      • Ametia says:

        SmartyPants hit it outta the park. It is they who are LUCKY to have a true STATESMAN like President Obama as the most powerful man in the FREE WORLD!

  18. rikyrah says:

    Grits and Determination

    by BooMan
    Sun Mar 11th, 2012 at 08:43:32 AM EST
    Newt Gingrich leaves no potential line of attack unexploited. He’s down in Alabama talking cuisine.

    “Gov. Romney indicated yesterday morning that it was the first time he tasted grits,” Mr. Gingrich told a crowd at a Mobile restaurant where the Republican Party in Mobile and Baldwin counties was holding a breakfast meeting. “I just wanted to reassure all of you that I have had some acquaintance in a variety of forms whether it’s with shrimp, with cheese, with gravy, whatever.”

    Mr. Gingrich has played up his Southern background as he tries to surge and win primaries in Alabama and Mississippi on Tuesday. Recent polls show the former Georgia congressman in a dead heat with Mr. Romney and Rick Santorum in both states.

    “If you don’t understand grits, there’s a pretty high likelihood you don’t understand the rest of the South either,” he said to laughs at a campaign event in Mobile on Friday night, before moving to his typical stump speech saying he has a unique ability to draw a stark contrast with President Barack Obama and to beat him in debates.

    It was just a joke, but it shows how Romney tends to lead with his chin. In introducing himself to the Deep Southern voter by saying he was learning to say ‘y’all’ and ‘I like grits,’ he was saying ‘hi, I’m not one of you.’ Romney’s message should have been that compared to the president, he is one of them. He might have pointed out that Rick Santorum has cast many pro-union votes. He might have pointed out that he’s a model family man, unlike the unstable Newt Gingrich. But he led with his weakness.

    That’s just the latest example of Romney’s poor political skills. Whether it’s saying that corporations are people or suggesting that over $300,000/year in speaking fees isn’t very much money, Romney doesn’t know how to shake his image as an elitist or how to make a real connection with average people.

    If Romney loses in Mississippi and Alabama is will be because of this failure. His opponents have their own giant flaws, but they’re easier to overlook than Romney’s.

  19. rikyrah says:

    Wanker of the Day: Charles Krauthammer

    by BooMan
    Sun Mar 11th, 2012 at 10:05:15 AM EST

    We need a new word to describe Charles Krauthammer’s cynicism. No one with any responsibility for America’s national security interests thinks a war or bombing campaign against iran is in our interests. The president has mobilized the world community to put pressure on Iran both to open themselves up for inspections and to discontinue activities that seem designed to give them ability to build a nuclear weapon in the future. Iran now faces tough sanctions and has agreed to new inspections and a new round of negotiations. They are not presently working on an actual weapon. In other words, Obama is successfully preventing them from building a nuclear weapon, and he’s making progress on changing Iran’s behavior. He’s also taking steps that would add legitimacy to any military action in the future, rather than short-circuiting the process and moving to war before all other alternatives have been explored.

    Israel has a different calculation. They want to strike Iran now, before they can put all their facilities so far underground that they are invulnerable to attack. But that’s Israel’s calculus, not ours. Why should the president put Israel’s interests above America’s interests? And hasn’t Krauthammer considered the possibility that Israel is blustering for political advantage but would not be better off if they attacked Iran unilaterally and without America’s support and superior firepower?

    If Krauthammer is trying to win some political points, he’s certainly too willing to politicize national security issues. But if he’s serious, he’s nothing more than a bloodthirsty idiot.

  20. Ametia says:

    Nine children and three women were among 16 Afghan civilians allegedly killed by a U.S. service member in Kandahar province Sunday, President Hamid Karzai said in a statement.

    NATO’s International Security Assistance Force confirmed that a soldier had gone off base and fired on civilians before turning himself in, but did not say how many victims there had been.

  21. Ametia says:

    Angelina Jolie, Hillary Clinton and More Women in the World
    by The Daily Beast VideoMar 10, 2012 8:41 PM EST

    From Nancy Pelosi’s chastising Limbaugh to Meryl Streep’s tribute to Hillary Clinton to the Secretary of State herself, watch the best moments from the Women in the World summit. Plus, watch the full videos here.

    There ae 8 full videos click on this link to view them. You won’t regret it:

  22. dannie22 says:

    good morning

  23. Sarah Palin and the Far Right

  24. Today’s jobs report shows that private sector employers added 233,000 jobs to their payrolls in February. That means the economy has added jobs for 24 consecutive months—that’s two full years of job growth. More than 3.9 million jobs were added during that time.

  25. Melissa Harris-Perry Issues Bold Defense

    [wpvideo HkDK1CKJ]

  26. Prayers to Trayvon Martin Family

    Unarmed 17 year old African-American teenager, Trayvon Martin, was needlessly shot and killed in a gated community in Florida late last month by a white neighborhood watch captain, according to police. But the watch captain, George Zimmerman — a 26-year-old college student who has admitted to police that he shot the young man — still walks free. And Martin’s family is pleading for answers and demanding justice.

    3Chics is calling for justice to be done. Trayvon Martin’s blood cry out for justice.

  27. Good Morning, 3Chics! Happy Sunday!

    Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory!

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