Serendipity SOUL | Thursday Open Thread | Bob Marley Week!


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35 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Thursday Open Thread | Bob Marley Week!

  1. Ametia says:

    Your GOP HARD at work with their continued WAR on AMERICANS

    To Protect Military Budget, House GOP Plans To Cut 25 Percent From Programs ‘Directly Benefiting The Poor’

    By Ben Armbruster on May 7, 2012 at 11:40 am

    The House Budget Committee is set to meet today on a new GOP plan to stave off further cuts in military spending that are mandated by the Budget Control Act’s sequestration trigger. The Pentagon will be required to trim $55 billion from its budget next year and House Republicans think they’ve figured out a way to prevent that: cut programs for the poor, the AP reports:

    The Republicans who control the House are using cuts to food aid, health care and social services like Meals on Wheels to protect the Pentagon from a wave of budget cuts come January. […]

    Fully one-fourth of the House GOP spending cuts come from programs directly benefiting the poor, such as Medicaid, food stamps, the Social Services Block Grant, and a child tax credit claimed by working immigrants.

    As CAP’s Melissa Boteach, Lawrence Korb and Max Hoffman noted in a report last month, with the cuts they are calling for, House Republicans will be protecting “largely useless” weapons systems, preserving funding for unnecessary programs like the V-22 Osprey, and adding two nuclear submarines to the U.S. military’s already “overwhelming preponderance of sea power.”

    At the same time, the GOP plan would, for example, cut food stamps for 2 million people and reduce the same benefits for 44 million others. Nearly 300,000 school children would lose free school meals and hundreds of thousands could lose their Medicaid or CHIP coverage.

    The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops last month criticized the GOP’s cuts to food stamps, tax credits for immigrant families, and other safety net programs as “unjustified and wrong.”

  2. Ametia says:

    Paul Ryan Defends Cutting Food Stamps For The Poor: ‘You Have To Get Savings In Some Of These Areas’

    Food stamps were a hot topic at his town hall meetings that ThinkProgress attended last week. At nearly every stop, Ryan noted that one in six Americans currently live in poverty.

    With the number of people in need increasing, the sensible takeaway is that we as a society need to ensure enough funding so those in poverty are getting enough to eat. But Ryan has a far different take. The rise in poverty levels, due in large part to the financial collapse and Great Recession, has instead led him to believe that programs designed to help those in need like food stamps are no longer working.

    It is with this mindset that Ryan justified cutting food stamps by $134 billion in his proposed budget. The House Budget Chairman downplayed the significance of his budget’s cuts in an interview with ThinkProgress, dismissing his proposed 10 percentage point drop in funding as a necessary “fix.”

    RYAN: We want to have people go from welfare back to work. That’s why we conjoined in our budget the job training programs, consolidate the 47 different job training programs spread across 9 different agencies to scholarships to go to people so they can get new training.

    KEYES: But with something like food stamps isn’t that kind of a necessary thing, to eat in order to work?

    RYAN: Right, so under the bill we’re moving right now through Congress, food stamps will have increased something like 260 percent over the last decade instead of 270 percent. You will still have seen a massive increase in food stamps, but we think you have to get savings in some of these areas where you’ve had a huge increase in spending. We have prisoners getting food stamps in Wisconsin. We have people that are becoming eligible for food stamps because of other factors that aren’t eligible food stamps in and of themselves. So we think we need to fix the fact that some of these programs have grown at such unsustainable rates.

    KEYES: I think fraud was actually at a record low though in 2010.

    RYAN: [Silence] Anybody else? All right, thanks everybody.

    Watch it:

  3. Ametia says:

    Pretty Yellow birds….

  4. Ametia says:

    George Clooney’s Obama fundraiser uses star power with a twist

    Clooney’s Obama fundraiser is expected to raise $15 million, mostly from general public donations for a chance to attend. It comes as fundraising changes.

    By Rebecca Keegan, Los Angeles Times
    May 10, 2012
    As political fundraisers go, it’s set to be an “Avengers”-sized blockbuster: One hundred and fifty wealthy Democrats will dine with President Obama at George Clooney’s Studio City home Thursday night, at a party that organizers expect to gross $15 million for the president’s re-election campaign — the highest amount ever raised at such an event.

    High-profile guests including Robert Downey Jr., Tobey Maguire, Barbra Streisand, director-producer J.J. Abrams, producer Nina Jacobson, Creative Artists Agency partner Bryan Lourd and ICM President Chris Silbermann are attending the dinner, which was organized by DreamWorks Animation Chief Executive Jeffrey Katzenberg and his political advisor, Andy Spahn.

    But the Hollywood VIPs paying $40,000 a ticket will account for just over one-third of Obama’s haul Thursday night; the rest is coming from members of the general public lured by an online contest that has astutely leveraged Clooney and Obama’s joint star power. Tens of thousands of Americans have contributed donations averaging $23 each for a chance to win a ticket to the soiree. Two winners and their guests will attend the party, where the president is expected to discuss policy in the low-key environment of Clooney’s canyon home over a dinner catered by Wolfgang Puck.

    Recognizing the dual appeal of Obama and Clooney, the campaign pitched the contest to potential contributors in emails with subjects like “Clooney and me,” “A little fun” and “We’ll take care of airfare.” A random drawing narrowed the pool of finalists down to 50, and the campaign then planned to do background checks on those 50 before notifying the two winners, whose identities will be revealed Thursday.

    “It’s a stunning turnout of support, and what’s really interesting to me is that almost two-thirds of the money is coming from grass-roots support, from the 99%,” Katzenberg said. The full-ticket-price guests will come from a number of industries in Los Angeles, he said, including movies, TV, music, finance, law and healthcare.

    Though the dinner will help fill Obama’s coffers, it’s not entirely without risk. The lucrative, starry affair is bringing attention to Obama’s show business ties just as his campaign is fending off criticism that he’s more pop culture hotshot than effective statesman. A recent ad from the pro-GOP super PAC American Crossroads mocked Obama as a “celebrity president,” cutting together clips of him appearing on “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” and singing Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together” with dreary statistics on unemployment and student loan debt.,0,5149825.story

  5. Ametia says:

    PBO will deliver remarks live at the Paramount Theater in Seattle 5:15 p.m. EST.

    Watch it live here:

  6. Ametia says:

    Obama not summering on Martha’s Vineyard this year

    President Barack Obama and his family will not be spending their summer vacation on Martha’s Vineyard this year, The Boston Globe reported today.

    Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and daughters Sasha and Malia have spent summer vacations on the exclusive island since 2009.

    The past two years, the first family stayed at the Blue Heron Farm in Chilmark, a 28-acre compound which includes a basketball court, swimming pool and a single-hole golf course. However, the property was sold last year to British architect Lord Norman Foster for $22 million, the paper reported.

  7. Ametia says:

    Come with it now, AG Holder!

    Justice sues Ariz. sheriff Joe Arpaio, saying he violated Hispanics’ rights
    By Sari Horwitz, Updated: Thursday, May 10, 12:15 PM

    It’s been a classic old-West showdown: the self-acclaimed “America’s toughest sheriff” vs. the Feds.

    For years, the Justice Department has investigated Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Arizona. In December, the department accused Arpaio of violating the civil rights of Hispanics for unlawfully stopping, detaining and arresting them. Then, for months, Justice officials tried to negotiate a settlement. In April, when negotiations fell through, the department threatened to sue.
    Through it all, Arpaio, known for forcing inmates to dress in pink underwear and work on chain gangs, remained defiant: “I absolutely refuse to surrender my responsibility to the federal government,” the sheriff said in April. “This will not happen on my watch.”

    The Justice Department announced Thursday that it has sued Arpaio, his office and Maricopa County for civil rights violations, including what it says is the long-standing racial profiling of Latinos.

    “At its core, this is an abuse of power case involving Sheriff Arpaio and a sheriff’s office that disregarded the Constitution, ignored sound police practices and did not hesitate to retaliate against perceived critics in a variety of unlawful ways,” said Thomas E. Perez, assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division, at a press conference in Phoenix where the lawsuit was filed.

  8. rikyrah says:

    .President Obama, Michelle Obama Receive Highest Award In Homeless Veteran Advocacy

    For their determination to put an end to veterans living on the streets, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will receive the highest honor given to homeless advocates.

    The Obamas were chosen to get this year’s Jerald Washington Memorial Founders’ Award, according to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans (NCHV), and Barack Obama is the first person — in history — to receive the award more than once.

    Barack Obama is tackling the issue with his “Opening Doors: Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness,” an initiative that aims to end chronic and veteran homelessness by 2015. He’s working to meet this goal by mainstreaming housing, health, education and human service programs.

    On any given night last January, 67,495 homeless veterans were sleeping on the streets, a 56 percent decline since the president took office, according to the Annual Homelessness Assessment Report to Congress.

    “Under the leadership of President Obama, we are witnessing unprecedented national unity in the campaign to end and prevent veteran homelessness,” Patrick Ryan, Chairman of the NCHV Board of Directors, said in a press release. “The progress we have seen from the federal agencies, the Congress, the community partners NCHV represents, and the American people in just the last three years give rise to the expectation that this campaign will succeed.”

    Michelle Obama has been doing her part to address the range of issues veteran face, including homelessness, with the one-year-old initiative, Joining Forces, which she founded with Jill Biden.

  9. Ametia says:


  10. Ametia says:

    Adn meanwhile, we’re MOVING……

  11. Ametia says:


  12. rikyrah says:

    Justice Kennedy Is Watching
    Jon Rauch, as perceptive as ever:

    The courts, as Obama, the former law professor, must be well aware, will take notice. Two big gay-rights cases–one challenging California’s revocation of gay marriage, the other challenging the Defense of Marriage Act–are on their way toward the Supreme Court. With his switch from ambivalence to advocacy, Obama is sending a signal to the courts that the country is ready for gay marriage, giving them more cover to uphold it. Courts may not go by poll results, but they do like to stay within the mainstream. And Obama has just moved it.

  13. rikyrah says:

    Obama hits Romney with “Etch-A-Sketch”: During the ABC News interview, Obama had this to say about Romney’s claim that he deserves credit for the auto industry’s recovery:

    I think this is one of his Etch-a-Sketch moments. I don’t think anybody takes that seriously. People remember his position, which was, “Let’s let Detroit go bankrupt” and his opposition to government involvement in making sure that GM and Chrysler didn’t go under.

    This suggests Obama himself will be using the Etch-A-Sketch image to define Romney, mockingly, throughout the campaign. As for the substance of this, no amount of obfuscation can change the fact that Romney opposed the government loans that bailed out the industry — which goes right to the heart of the ideological argument over government that will drive this campaign

  14. rikyrah says:

    found this in the comments at BJ about Willard:

    EconWatcher Says:

    The Mittster has never had to please anyone, and it shows. Even when he was working his way up in business, it sounds as if his supervisors were out to please him, rather than the other way around, partly because of his dad’s political juice, but also because his pedigree in the Mormon aristocracy gave him unique access to some particularly flush investors. (What had he done in his life, to earn a risk-free guarantee from his boss when he agreed to start Bain Capital?)

    I thought W projected a sense of entitlement, but he was a piker compared to the Mittster.

  15. rikyrah says:

    Mitt Loses His Shit
    By mistermix May 10th, 2012

    At about 2:10 in this video, this Colorado TV reporter asks about medical marijuana, an issue in that state, after having asked about gay marriage and in-state college tuition for children of illegal immigrants, and Mitt says:

    Aren’t there issues of significance you want to talk about—the economy, the growth of jobs, the need to put people back to work, the challenges of Iran?

    This is grade-school stuff. She wasn’t asking him about the finalists on Dancing with the Stars—those are all legitimate issues. After years of running for President, Mitt can’t even do a stand up with a local market TV reporter without his inner asshole showing. To her credit, the reporter makes him answer the question.

  16. Ametia says:

    PBO’s attending a $40.000.00 George Clooney fundraiser in Hollywood tonight.

  17. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 02:21 PM ET, 05/09/2012 TheWashingtonPost Scott Walker’s extreme hypocrisy on Milwaukee jobs
    By Greg Sargent

    One of Scott Walker’s primary arguments in the recall battle against Dem opponent Tom Barrett is that as Mayor of Milwaukee, Barrett presided over job losses there that prove he would drag down the economy of the whole state of Wisconsin. He and his national Republican allies have amplified this attack line in ads, and will continue to do so.

    But it turns out that back in 2011, when Milwaukee was adding jobs along with the rest of the state, the Walker adminstration took credit for it and chalked it up to his gubernatorial leadership.

    Walker is currently up on the air with a spot that shows footage of newscasts proclaming Milwaukee’s economy in dire straights — and blaming it on tax hikes. “Tom Barrett has failed in Milwaukee for eight years,” the ad says. “Don’t let him take Wisconsin backwards.” A recent ad from the Republican Governors Association made a similar point.

    But in the first half of 2011, just after Walker took office, Milwaukee was adding jobs, along with the rest of the state — and the Walker administration rushed to take full credit for it.

    “With four straight months of job growth in 2011, metro Milwaukee is reaping the economic benefits of Governor Walker’s successful efforts to improve Wisconsin’s business climate, and make job creation a top priority,” blared a Walker administration press release in May of 2011.

    In other words, when Milwaukee was adding jobs early in Walker’s term, his policies deserved all the credit. When it began to lose jobs, it was the fault only of his opponent’s policies — even though the rest of the state lost jobs, too.

    This goes to the core of what this recall fight will be all about. Though Wisconsin’s unemployment rate is at its lowest in four years, Wisconsin has had the worst job growth in the country, at a time when the rest of the country is recovering. Since Walker argued that his controversial policies were necessary to jump-start job growth, his recall election will be largely all about the economy, and Wisconsin’s lag behind the rest of the country. Polls show it’s a top issue for Wisconsin voters.

    So one of Walker’s main pushbacks will be to argue that his opponent’s policies — and Milwaukee’s role in dragging down the rest of the state — are what’s really to blame. Dems and labor will counter that Walker was all too happy to take all the credit when Milwaukee was doing well, before his controversial reforms were even law.

  18. rikyrah says:

    College degree isn’t necessary, Mandel says

    Bring back shop class.

    So says Republican state Treasurer Josh Mandel, who in his campaign to unseat U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown says it is “my mission right now to tell every school administrator they’ve got to put shop class back in high school.”

    “I am sick and tired of young people in this country being told they need to get some four-year, liberal-arts degree in order to be successful,” Mandel said yesterday in a wide-ranging interview with The Dispatch. “The reality is, you can be a lot more successful and happy in life with a vocational degree.”

    So how did Mandel, who has taken heat in this campaign for refusing to take positions on current legislation in the Senate, including bills introduced by Brown, find himself issuing such a passionate plea for schools to reinstitute industrial-technology education in their buildings?

    Is the Democrat Brown against shop class?

    “This has nothing to do with Sherrod Brown,” said Mandel, who got onto the topic of shop class while discussing his endorsement yesterday by the National Federation of Independent Businesses.

  19. Ametia says:

    Jobless claims fall marginally last week

    WASHINGTON | Thu May 10, 2012 8:35am EDT

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – New claims for unemployment benefits edged down last week, according to government data on Thursday that could ease concerns the labor market was deteriorating after April’s weak employment growth.

    Initial claims for state unemployment benefits slipped 1,000 to a seasonally adjusted 367,000, the Labor Department said. The prior week’s figure was revised up to 368,000 from the previously reported 365,000.

    Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims inching up to 369,000 last week. The four-week moving average for new claims, considered a better measure of labor market trends, fell 5,250 to 379,000.

    Coming on the heels of April’s sluggish employment gains, the claims data could calm fears the labor market was stagnating.

    Companies added a meager 115,000 new jobs to their payrolls in April, the fewest in six months, the government reported last Friday.

    Most economists have viewed the pull-back in job creation as payback after the weather-induced gains in the previous months and believe the underlying pace of payrolls growth is around 175,000 – the monthly average for the past three months.

  20. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone! :-)

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