Sunday Open Thread

Happy Mother’s Day!!!

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28 Responses to Sunday Open Thread

  1. rikyrah says:

    anyone watching the finale of Once Upon a Time?


  2. Ametia says:

    George Lucas Does Something Likeable For a Change: Revenge on Rich Neighbors
    By Peter Hall May 10, 2012

    George Lucas’ rich neighbors don’t want him building a movie studio in their backyard. His response is the best thing he’s done in years.

    According to the San Francisco Chronicle, for four decades Lucas has owned a large swath of land in Marin County in the North San Francisco Bay and has spent the past few years trying to transform the ranch on it into a massive, nearly 300,000 square foot, state-of-the-art movie studio complete with day care center, restaurant, gym and a 200-car garage. His neighbors, however, have rejected it every step of the way. Despite the promise of bringing $300 million worth of economic activity to the area, the already-well off neighbors are worried about years’ worth of construction activity and the additional foot traffic it will bring into their neighborhood once completed.


    So what is George Lucas going to do with his property now that he’s tired of his rich neighbors putting up a not-in-my-backyard stink? He wants to transform the property into low-income housing, naturally, ending their official statement with this zinger, “If everyone feels that housing is less impactful on the land, then we are hoping that people who need it the most will benefit.”


  3. CareyCarey says:

    Happy Mother’s day to all my 3Chics. Now — since I never know what to say to y’all — I think I’ll defer my expressions of love to a man who is much more knowledgeable than I. I mean, it’s safe to say he simply says it much better than I. I hope this works: [youtube

  4. Ametia says:


    Yogurt-eating mice have larger testicles and “mouse swagger”
    By Xeni Jardin at 4:27 pm Friday, May 4

  5. rikyrah says:

    House Republicans Are Tired of Your “Data”
    Posted on 05/12/2012 at 5:10 pm by JM Ashby

    What better way to manufacture excuses for eliminating social programs than to defund the government agency that tracks local poverty, education, and demographics?

    Republicans in the House inexplicably voted this week to defund the American Community Survey (ACS), the nation’s main source of state and local data on affordable housing, household income, poverty, race, state-to-state migration, immigration, education level of the workforce, types of disabilities of local residents, and scores of other major topics.

    The federal government uses the data to distribute more than $400 billion in federal formula funds each year, and the information helps communities and businesses decide where to build new roads, bridges, schools, homes, and stores. Business groups including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Retail Federation, International Council of Shopping Centers, and National Association of Home Builders consider the data vital.

    The House proposed no alternative to collecting these data.

    And as the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities points out, eliminating the ACS would actually increase the cost of the census because the Census Bureau would have to hire additional staff to make up for it.

    Something in the Republican brain compels them to be as inefficient and foolhardy as possible. It’s a sight to behold.

  6. rikyrah says:

    The Wall Street Journal Would Rather Obama Not Campaign
    By Oliver Willis
    May 12,2012

    The Wall Street Journal‘s Kimberly Strassel is up in arms. Ms. Strassel is just OUTRAGED that the Obama campaign is pointing out the monied interests bankrolling Romney’s presidential campaign and others are looking into their odd behavior. I mean, the nerve of them! Using publicly available campaign finance reports to … wait, what is the concern again?

    We are seeing some mighty unique things this campaign. Republican/mainstream media outrage at the President advocating an agenda, conservatives suddenly concerned that a Democrat just might not roll over and play dead in response to their actions. I mean, Obama is acting like he might want to win this thing. The bastard.

    Ever since campaign finance data was rightly put into the public sphere, campaigns and outside groups have regularly used this data to attack their opponents. That’s why a search for “George Soros” on Fox News’ website yields 1,560 results.

    The right seriously doesn’t like it when liberals play the game they created. They hate it even more when liberals are actually good at it.

  7. Ametia says:

    Politifact reported that the Obama administration was “screening unborn babies as part of its security process” and reported that it was “mostly false.” Mostly??

    Maddow video:

  8. rikyrah says:

    Whooping And Hollering
    By Charles P. Pierce
    at 5:45PM

    Of all the crazy-making stories of the weekend so far, the story about the whooping-cough outbreak in Washington state is the craziest-making because it combines two of the most destructive and misbegotten political phenomena of the age — reckless government austerity and the willingness of people to make decisions based on widely accepted nonsense. (Or, as somebody once put it in an obscure tome, fact is what enough people believe and truth is measured by how firmly they believe it.)

    As to the first, can we at least have something of an agreement that we cannot privatize public health?

    The response to the epidemic has been hampered by the recession, which has left state and local health departments on the front lines of defense weakened by years of sustained budget cuts. Here in Skagit County, about an hour’s drive north of Seattle – the hardest-hit corner of the state, based on pertussis cases per capita – the local Public Health Department has half the staff it did in 2008. Preventive care programs, intended to keep people healthy, are mostly gone.

    (I would quibble by saying that the recession is only about four years old, but the government policies that resulted in Washington state’s being vulnerable to a disease previously thought to be pretty much defeated in this country go back at least to the inauguration of St. Ronnie, who told us that “government was the problem.” I would also point out that those policies are championed by the entire Republican party, including its presumptive nominee for president. That’s the choice this fall, kids, like it or not.)

    As to the second, while having people get sick because we’ve decided we can’t afford the work it takes to keep them healthy is rather a low-level of crazy-making, this part nearly got the laptop hurled into the newly dug blueberry bed.

    The pertussis vaccine is commonly given in childhood, and many states require it for children of school age. But Washington State, according to a federal study last year of kindergarten-age children, had the highest percentage of parents in the nation who voluntarily exempted their children from one or more vaccines, out of fear of side effects or for philosophical reasons.

    As it happens, one of our kids had a bad reaction to the first pertussis injection so we passed on the subsequent ones. But if you think we didn’t hold our breath every time somebody within 100 miles of us was reported with the disease, you’re kidding yourselves. I will make the Toby Ziegler Wager — all the money in my pocket against all the money in your pocket — that most of the people who are declining to have their children vaccinated are doing so not out of personal experience, but because of something they heard on the radio, or read in a chain e-mail passed along by Uncle Fud, or because of the publicity that anti-vaccine hysterics have received over the past four or five years. (I hope there’s a hot place in Dumbass Hell for Jenny McCarthy.) Washington state has been ground zero for this for a while now. And now, austerity and contagious idiocy have combined to produce a serious public health threat. “Philosophical reasons”? Christamighty.

    Read more:

  9. rikyrah says:

    Riffing Off Mitt Romney

    by BooMan
    Sun May 13th, 2012 at 10:12:57 AM EST

    It seems like everyone is riffing off Romney’s high school bullying incident. Edmund White is particularly brutal in the New Yorker, while Georgia Logothetis blisters Romney at Daily Kos. I’m a little impatient with the armchair psychology (“He no longer had the constant support of his tight-knit family. Now he had to win approval from the other boys.”) in White’s piece, but as a gay boy who attended Romney’s high school, he does offer some keen insights. Logothetis uses the occasion of the forcible haircut to talk about the Greek sovereign debt crisis, which also involves forcible haircuts. Now, that’s clever!

    And she ties that all back to Romney’s proposals for America. Both pieces are well-crafted, and it occurs to me that there’s something unusual about these weird stories about Mitt Romney. Whether he’s strapping his dog to the roof of his car, barreling down the freeway for 14 hours at 70 mph, stopping to clean the inevitable dog diarrhea off his vehicle, and then telling us his pooch really enjoyed the ride, or he’s denying that he remembers traumatizing a gay student in high school and calling it ‘hijinks,’ he’s creating a kind of rhythm section for artists to play off. His goofs and gaffes carry more than the usual poignancy. “Corporations are people, my friend.” “I am not concerned about poor people.” “Who let the dogs out? WOOT, WOOT.” Each event seems like an invitation to improvise. As if these concise events are so pregnant with greater meaning that they need to be fleshed out into a full-on jam.

    • Ametia says:

      Remember GW Bush’s DRUNK DRIVING confession? He got off too, but at least he admitted to it. Romney’s behaving even more privileged than DUBYAH.

      Bush acknowledges 1976 DUI charge
      November 02, 2000|From staff and wire reports

      Texas Gov. George W. Bush acknowledged Thursday that in 1976 he was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol near his parents’ home in Kennebunkport, Maine.Bush, who was 30 at the time, pleaded guilty, paid a $150 fine and his driving privileges were temporarily suspended in Maine.

      Late Thursday evening, following a campaign rally in this tightly contested Midwestern state, Bush–with his wife, Laura, at his side — told reporters news accounts of the incident were accurate, that he had been drinking in a bar with Australian tennis pro John Newcombe and others.

      I’m not proud of that. I made some mistakes. I occasionally drank too much, and I did that night. I learned my lesson.” Bush said he was not jailed after the arrest. “I told the guy (the arresting officer) I had been drinking, what do I need to do? He said, ‘here’s the fine.’ I paid the fine.”Bush said the timing of the initial news report, just days before Americans elect a new president, was “interesting.” When asked where the story may have originated, he said, “I’ve got my suspicions.”


      Campaign aides of Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore and officials with the Democratic National Committee both said they first learned of the arrest from news reports Thursday and said it would be inappropriate to comment on the matter.

      Gore spokesman Chris Lehane said the vice president learned of the story while flying from Chicago to a campaign event in El Paso, Texas.

      Kevin Kelly, news director of WPXT, a Fox television affiliate station in Portland, Maine, said his station broke the story after one of its reporters learned of the arrest while covering an unrelated matter at the local courthouse.

      “Somebody made a reference to it,” Kelly said. The reporter followed up with phone calls, including one to the Maine Department of Secretary of State. Kelly said the department responded with a fax that detailed the 1976 arrest. Kelly said the reporter also talked to the arresting officer, who verified the incident.

      Kennebunkport Police told CNN on Thursday night that the charge against Bush — operating under the influence of intoxicating liquor — was a Class D misdemeanor.

      Karen Hughes, Bush’s spokeswomen said the 54-year-old Texas governor, who has been open about his past drinking problems, had not publicly disclosed the arrest because not even his 18-year-old twin daughters were aware of it. He has said he gave up drinking the day after his 40th birthday.

  10. rikyrah says:

    May 11, 2012 5:05 PM
    Walker a Divide-and-Conquerer, Not a Uniter

    By Ed kilgore

    In my earlier post about the video that’s come to light wherein Scott Walker tells a billionaire support who’s urging him to go whole hog to turn Wisconsin into an anti-union “red state,” I emphasized the broader phenomenon of Republicans outside the South beginning to emulate the very worst of southern traditions in how to think about economic growth.

    But as Greg Sargent at WaPo’s Plum Line reminds us, there is a much more immediate and Badger-o-specific consequence for Walker: it very nicely reinforces Democratic talking points in the run-up to the recall election on June 5:

    [T]his is a huge gift for Dems: It is powerful ammo for their argument that Walker is the primary reason Wisconsin is so divided right now. The whole campaign message from Barrett — who was not labor’s choice to take on Walker — is premised on the idea that only by moving beyond Walker’s experiment can the state pull together and address its problems in a unified way.

    It wouldn’t be surprprising if this footage is up on the air in heavy rotation by next week in ads juxtaposing Walker’s vow to “divide and conquer” with Barrett’s promise to reunite Wisconsin and move it forward again.

    We’re all use to the Republican tactic of creating a polarizing atmosphere and then blaming the other side (often with the complicity of the news media) at least equally for all the bad feelings. Nothing quite like video evidence of a long-range plan to “divide and conquer” to undermine that false equivalence.

  11. rikyrah says:

    On Mother’s Day, black women hail Michelle Obama: America’s ‘first mom’

    By Donna M Owens

    8:00 AM on 05/13/2012

    A few days ago at the White House, as military families enjoyed a Mother’s Day celebration in the chandeliered East Room, Michelle Obama offered praise for their sacrifice and service to America.

    And then, scanning the sea of guests, the first lady took a few moments to publicly cheer someone else: her mother, Marian Robinson, seated quietly in the crowd.

    “It wouldn’t be a Mother’s Day tea if I didn’t thank my own mommy. Mommy, there you are,” Mrs. Obama said, amid audience applause.

    Calling her “my rock,” she noted, “She taught me to believe in myself, and more importantly, to pick myself up whenever I stumble. She is always a shoulder to cry on and talk to, and I do that a lot.”

    “She has always inspired me,” the first lady continued, “to push myself to dream even bigger than anything she could ever dream for herself.”

    When Barack Obama made history as the nation’s first black President, Michelle Obama was right beside him. As he campaigns for a second term, she continues to make her mark as the only African-American woman ever to serve as first lady of the United States.

    Since arriving at the White House, the Princeton and Harvard-educated lawyer has launched signature initiatives to tackle childhood obesity, and teamed with Vice President Joe Biden’s wife, Jill Biden, to honor military personnel and their families.

    All this, while juggling roles as a wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend — not to mention official and unofficial duties that run the gamut from meeting the Queen of England, planting fresh veggies in the White House garden, or mentoring youth in the nation’s capitol.

    “What a privilege to have such a smart and powerful first lady,” says Laura Murphy, a lawyer/director with the ACLU in Washington, D.C., who spoke not in her professional capacity, but as an African-American woman, wife and mother.

    “She can do push-ups one day, then regally float into a state dinner in a designer gown,” Murphy said. “I think she’s brave and strong and poised and fierce.”

    That sentiment was echoed by Patrice Gaines, a women’s advocate who runs the Brown Angels Center, a non-profit in Charlotte, North Carolina.

    “When I think of Michelle Obama, the word royalty comes to mind. But there’s a commonality about her,” said Gaines, whose work centers around incarcerated women. “She shows her humanity, her connection to all of us. I respect that she’s not untouchable.”

    Indeed, there’s a certain fascination and admiration that African American women have for the first lady.

    A 2011 survey conducted by The Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation indicated that nationwide, black women personally identified with Mrs. Obama, indicating that she understands them and is “mainstreaming” what women of color are capable of, to the world.

    Black women see their own potential in Michelle Obama

    “Black women look at Michelle Obama and see ourselves; we see our potential, and we see our future,” said Eleanor Hinton Hoytt, president and CEO of the Black Women’s Health Imperative in D.C. and a member of the White House Council on Women and Girls Domestic Violence Workgroup.

  12. rikyrah says:

    Clyburn supports Obama on gay marriage
    By Erik Wasson – 05/12/12 01:29 PM ET

    House Assistant Minority Leader Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) has backed President Obama and come out in favor of gay marriage, according to a Saturday report in the Columbia, S.C., Free Times.

    “I support his position in so far as gay marriage is concerned, but I don’t think it ought to be left up to the states,” Clyburn was quoted as saying. “I think it ought to be national.”

    Clyburn made his remarks at his annual fish fry. His office did not immediately confirm the report.

    As a prominent southern African American politician, Clyburn’s clarified position carries some risk. Gay marriage is less accepted in the black community and doesn’t poll well in South Carolina. Last week, 60 percent of voters in North Carolina voted to ban the practice.

  13. rikyrah says:

    ay 13, 2012 7:57 AM
    Job Sharing as a Partial Remedy for Unemployment
    By Kathleen Geier

    The must-read op-ed in today’s morning papers is this piece in the New York Times, on “The Human Disaster of Unemployment.” Interestingly, it’s co-authored by two economists who normally do not agree on very much: Dean Baker, from the left-wing Center for Economic and Policy Research, and Kevin Hassett, from the right-wing American Enterprise Institute. They call attention to the growing problem of long-term unemployment, which they characterize as “nothing short of a national emergency,” and they usefully summarize some of the grim consequences of unemployment, such as dramatically higher mortality rates for the unemployed; higher rates of cancer, heart disease, and psychiatric illnesses; higher divorce rates; and lower earnings for the children of unemployed workers.

    They advocate for a variety of government interventions to deal with the unemployment program, but the one that intrigues me the most is the idea of job-sharing:

    The recent bill that extended the payroll tax cut included a provision that covered the cost of work-sharing programs in the 23 states that already had them as part of their unemployment insurance systems, and it helped other states start such programs. This should slow job destruction in those states, which will improve chances for all workers seeking employment. From now on, the first line of defense during a recession should be to expand work sharing rather than simply extend unemployment benefits.

    Given the huge psychic and economic traumas caused by unemployment; given the fact that the unemployed worker’s skills tend to erode dramatically during periods of unemployment, especially long-term unemployment; and given the fact that the longer a worker is unemployed, the more remote are the chances that she will ever find a job again, it makes a lot of sense that we as a society do all we can to help workers stay on the job. During economic downturns, job sharing shows much promise as a way to do this. Anything the government can do to promote job sharing and eliminate barriers to implementing job sharing on a mass scale should be strongly encouraged.

    Job sharing also makes a lot of sense for another reason. As Alternet’s Sara Robinson recently pointed out in this excellent piece, a strong body of research suggests that “shorter work hours actually raise productivity and profits — and overtime destroys them.” Job-sharing would entail shorter work weeks which, as Robinson demonstrates, would likely be more economically efficient. Job sharing could be a powerful tool not only for dealing with our severe long-term unemployment problem, but also for reforming dysfunctional workplace cultures that demand long hours from employees, even when those long hours have few if any demonstrated benefits.

  14. rikyrah says:

    JPMorgan’s $2 billion loss could have broad implications for financial industry
    By Brad Plumer, Published: May 11

    The announcement by JPMorgan on Thursday that it had suffered $2 billion in trading losses due to “errors, sloppiness and bad judgment” may not pose an existential threat to America’s largest bank.

    But the losses could have broader implications for the financial industry. The bank’s head, Jamie Dimon, was Wall Street’s most prominent chief executive and one of the most effective opponents against strict financial reforms in Washington. Now his credibility is at stake.

    The loss, Dimon conceded in a conference call Thursday, “plays right into the hands of a whole bunch of pundits out there.”

    As a Chicago Democrat and former supporter of President Obama, Dimon in recent years has made splashy headlines with his disillusionment with the administration’s approach to banking.

    What’s more, JPMorgan emerged from the financial crisis far healthier than other banks and quickly repaid its $25 billion federal bailout, a fact that seemed to give Dimon’s arguments more cachet with many Democrats.

    On Thursday, Dimon held a conference call with analysts to announce that JPMorgan’s chief investment office had lost $2 billion in the first quarter of 2012, with another $1 billion in losses possible in the weeks and months ahead. The trading desk in question, which was designed to manage risk, had been trying to hedge its exposure to corporate bonds.

  15. rikyrah says:

    Mitt Romney’s ‘cruel and nasty’ high school bullying: 5 ways it hurts him
    The story of one mean-spirited act from 50 years ago is causing Team Romney a huge headache. A look at why it could get even worse
    posted on May 11, 2012, at 7:00 AM

    Mitt Romney is struggling to contain a 50-year-old story that has people discussing why it shouldn’t matter almost as much as why it does. On Thursday, The Washington Post ran an article about Romney’s history of pranks at his high school, the tony Cranbrook School in a wealthy Detroit suburb, and one incident stuck out: According to several on-the-record classmates, Romney led a posse of boys to pin down a presumptively gay student, John Lauber, and Romney snipped off his bleached blond hair while Lauber cried and screamed for help. Romney says he doesn’t recall the incident, and that Lauber’s sexual orientation “was the furthest thing from my mind back in the 1960s.” His old classmates disagree. Here are five reasons this “cruel and nasty” incident from high school could haunt Romney’s presidential bid:

    1. It makes him look like a homophobic bully
    The fact that The Post dropped this story the day after President Obama endorsed gay marriage “is a horrendous coincidence of timing for Mitt Romney,” says Jonathan Chait at New York. It’s not really fair to compare “an adolescent Romney, operating under the social mores of the ’60s,” with an adult Obama acting today, but even 50 years ago viciously bullying a gay classmate suggests that Romney is “a man who lacks a natural sense of compassion.” And since the suicide of Rutgers student Tyler Clementi, anti-gay bullying has become “a national, bipartisan issue,” says Andrew Belonsky at Towelroad. “The idea that a potential president initiated such an incident could turn off moderate or wary voters.”

    2. Romney seems like he’s flip-flopping again
    It doesn’t matter what Romney did 50 years ago — it matters what he does today, says Jeremy Longman at Booman Tribune. “And today, he denies any recollection of the event.” That’s either a character flaw, or a lie because “it doesn’t seem like anyone else that was there that day ever forgot it.” Lauber certainly didn’t. Well, first Romney didn’t remember the haircut incident, says Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo, but then he vaguely apologized, then he said he “definitely didn’t know or think the kid they attacked was gay, even though he apparently didn’t remember the attack. None of that really adds up,” which is a problem for a candidate already seen as a habitual flip-flopper.

    3. It also highlights Romney’s other perceived flaws
    This pitiless need to punish someone he perceived as different is damaging because it feeds into a larger narrative about Romney, says Don Hamel at Addicting Info. Someone who would cut the hair of a sobbing classmate is “the kind of person who could thoughtlessly strap an animal to the roof of a car,” or make a fortune “dismantling the businesses and jobs” of thousands of peons. Romney is clearly not “someone who can understand and empathize with the difficulties” most voters face. This story, says Michael J.W. Stickings at The Reaction, “adds an ugly, violent element to the ‘privileged rich douchebag’ narrative” dogging Romney.

    • Ametia says:

      Stay on this MOFO. This morning, MHP & her panel are ripping Romney’s bullying history a new one. He needs to be fully scraped, scoured and VETTED, just like PBO.

  16. rikyrah says:

    NBC’s David Gregory To Headline Conference For Major Republican Advocacy Group

    By Josh Israel on May 12, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), which calls itself “the voice of small business,” is one of the Republican party’s strongest allies. The group spent over $1 million on outside ads in the 2010 campaign — all of it backing Republican House and Senate candidates (and, Bloomberg News reported last month, “another $1.5 million that it kept hidden and said was exempt” from disclosure requirements). The group is the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit against the Obamacare law and bankrolled state governments’ challenges to the law. The NFIB has also taken stances against allowing the EPA to regulate greenhouse gases, opposing regulations on businesses, and supporting curtailing union rights.

    Given the group’s obvious Republican alliance, it comes as little surprise that the NFIB’s three-day 2012 Small Business Summit, which begins Monday, will feature headliners Karl Rove and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH).

    But the first name and photo on the invitation for the $150-per-person event — Tuesday’s “keynote address” speaker — is NBC’s Meet the Press host David Gregory. He is marketed by NBC as an anchor and “trusted journalist.”

    The Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics states:

    Journalists should:
    — Avoid conflicts of interest, real or perceived.
    — Remain free of associations and activities that may compromise integrity or damage credibility.
    — Refuse gifts, favors, fees, free travel and special treatment, and shun secondary employment, political involvement, public office and service in community organizations if they compromise journalistic integrity.

    Regardless of whether Gregory is being paid for this event and of what he says in his keynote, allowing the NFIB to raise money for its political mission using his name, reputation, and celebrity appears to be at odds with journalistic ethics.

    Gregory did not to respond to a ThinkProgress request for comment.

  17. Ametia says:

    Here’s arecap of Romney’s Liberty U address:

  18. Ametia says:

    Looking for FLOTUS’ 5-12 A&T commencement address.

  19. dannie22 says:


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