Serendipity SOUL | Friday Open Thread | Jazz Week!

Happy Friday, Everyone! Hope you’re enjoying Jazz week. Today’s featured artists are David Sanborn and Bob James.

Robert McElhiney James (born December 25, 1939) is a jazz keyboardist, arranger and producer.  During the 1970s, Bob James played a major role in establishing the smooth jazz genre. “Angela”, the instrumental theme from the sitcom Taxi, is probably Bob James’ most well-known work to date. He is also well known for the smooth jazz classics “Nautilus” and “Westchester Lady”, the latter from the album Bob James Three.

For their first joint album release, One on One, Earl Klugh and Bob James received a Grammy award for Best Pop Instrumental Performance of 1981. James is the founding member of contemporary jazz supergroup Fourplay and is a Yamaha Artist.

James also received a Grammy award for his collaboration with David Sanborn on the 1986 album “Double Vision”[1][2]

Wiki:  David Sanborn (born July 30, 1945) is an American alto saxophonist. Though Sanborn has worked in many genres, his solo recordings typically blend jazz with instrumental pop and R&B.[1] He released his first solo album Taking Off in 1975, but has been playing the saxophone since before he was in high school.[2] Sanborn has also worked extensively as a session musician, notably on David Bowie’s Young Americans (1975).

One of the most commercially successful American saxophonists to earn prominence since the 1980s, Sanborn is described by critic Scott Yannow[3] as “the most influential saxophonist on pop, R&B, and crossover players of the past 20 years.” Sanborn is often identified with radio-friendly smooth jazz However, Sanborn has expressed a disinclination for both the genre itself and his association with it.[1

Double Vision is a 1986 album by Bob James and David Sanborn. The album was a successful smooth jazz release receiving frequent airplay. The album spent 63 weeks on the Billboard charts, topping out at #50 on the Billboard 200.[1]


Since I Fell For You- Featuring Al Jarreau

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47 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Friday Open Thread | Jazz Week!

  1. Ametia says:

    SUV circling the Romney bus. See Mittens, folks are on to your antics and can outplay you.

  2. Ametia says:


  3. Ametia says:

    Fri Jun 15, 2012 at 06:18 AM PDT.
    This isn’t a matter of opinion
    by Jed LewisonFollow .

    Dear media:
    This paragraph from today’s New York Times editorial isn’t opinion, it’s fact…

    Mr. Romney’s entire campaign rests on a foundation of short, utterly false sound bites. The stimulus failed. (Three million employed people beg to differ.) The auto bailout was a mistake. (Another million jobs.) Spending is out of control. (Spending growth is actually lower than under all modern Republican presidents.) He says these kinds of things so often that millions of Americans believe them to be the truth.
    …and it’s okay for journalists to report on Romney’s lies as if they were news.

  4. Ametia says:

    Romney Spokeswoman caught lying in a video:


  5. Ametia says:

    Thursday, June 14, 2012
    DNC Announces “Romney Economics: The Middle Class Under the Bus” Tour

    The DNC today announced a bus tour following the route Mitt Romney will travel over the coming days through New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa and Michigan. The “Romney Economics: The Middle Class Under the Bus” tour will begin in Exeter, NH, TOMORROW, Friday, June 15, at 8:50 AM EDT and visit all of the states on Romney’s bus tour through the weekend and into early next week.

  6. Ametia says:

    Yesterday President Obama laid out the clear choice in this election:TWO VISIONS, TWO PATHS: President Obama Will Move Us Forward and Mitt Romney Would Take Us Backward; The American People Will Choose Where We Go From Here.

    Read some of the highlights:

  7. rikyrah says:

    June 15, 2012 10:11 AM

    Speech and Message

    By Ed Kilgore

    Perhaps it was because it was a long speech delivered in the middle of a mid-week afternoon, with no prepared remarks distributed in advance (and no transcription available for quite some time). Maybe the White House overhyped it as a big turning point. Almost certainly the MSM, having manufactured a crisis in the Obama campaign over the last week, expected some dramatic departure or new catch-phrase. The speech did get a bit draggy in the sections on education and energy policy. And obviously anyone who doesn’t like Obama could easily find something to diss (several of my progressive acquaintances just completely lose it every time Obama refers to deficit reduction, ever).

    But I’m still a little surprised by the generally negative reaction to Obama’s remarks in Cleveland yesterday, which provided his clearest-ever effort to frame the election as a choice not a referendum, with the path ahead offered by Mitt Romney not representing his “ideas” or his “experience” or his “skills” but a very old philosophy that in current circumstances woud have a savage effect on the people of the United States.

    Whether or not the speech is rated a success, the message it contained is the right one. Mitt Romney will go to extraordinary lengths to talk about anything other than the actual agenda he has embraced at the demand of a conservative movement that would have otherwise found a way to deny him the nomination. He’s not going to point out for us that 90% of his economic talking points are identical to those of George W. Bush, or that the 10% variation involves issues on which he is distinctly to the right of W. He’s not going to wrap himself in the Ryan Budget—the enormous, disastrous package of legislation that would be enacted within a few months if Romney becomes president and Republicans control Congress—and won’t be honest about its content or implications when it does come up. And in general he won’t repeat much of anything he was talking about incessantly during the primaries, other than his alleged hatred of ObamaCare.

    So the president is going to have to present both sides of the debate the election is actually about, even as Romney tries to pretend he’s just this mild-mannered patriotic technocrat who’s willing to “fix” the economy and then go back to his virtuous life. The Cleveland speech was a good start. But it will have to be repeated many times over until its essential points can be rattled off succinctly by surrogates and even, at some point, understood by the MSM.

    • Ametia says:

      The press are attacking the speech because, the PRESS are NOT & HAVER NOT BEEN DOING THEIR JOBS in reporting the facts about this PRESIDENT’S RECORD.

      THIS: “But it will have to be repeated many times over until its essential points can be rattled off succinctly by surrogates and even, at some point, understood by the MSM.”

  8. rikyrah says:

    Content Section
    How Mitt Romney’s Success With Wall Street Could Sink Him
    by Matt Latimer Jun 15, 2012 4:45 AM EDT

    It’s great that Mitt raised more money than Obama from venture capitalists. But there’s a downside. Matt Latimer on why being the candidate of Wall Street could sink the GOP.

    Republicans in Washington are feeling pretty confident. This is always a bad sign. Right now, things do seem to be going the GOP’s way. President Obama continues to suffer dismal re-election numbers, and the economy remains as sluggish as Facebook stock.


    Mitt Romney is not the guy who hangs around our local bowling alley gorging on pizza. Romney is the guy who gives nice tips to his caddies every Christmas, wears crisp and colorful shirts with ponies on them, and always remembers to say please when asking Jeeves to bring one of the cars around. Miraculously, Romney might even make Barack Obama, the Harvard-trained multimillionaire who sniffs at Middle American gun-and-God-clingers, look like Fred Flintstone.

    Romney isn’t going to win the election by being the guy with whom America wants to share a beverage. Romney wins the election if he can convince the country that, though he may be an awkward milquetoast guy, he knows how to save the economy. Voters tends to like the idea of a president with business experience—see Lee Iacocca, Ross Perot, Donald Trump—until, that is, those business leaders turn out to be inexperienced, nutty, or oily (see Iacocca, Perot, and Trump). To that end, Romney’s association with venture capitalists on Wall Street is going to be a problem.

    During the Republican primary, questions about Romney’s tenure at Bain Capital tended to backfire, as Republicans took to talk radio and Fox to express umbrage at people daring to offer the slightest criticism of America’s capitalist system. You know, people like left-wing radical Sarah Palin, who complains about “crony capitalism,” and noted Marxist George W. Bush, who said “Wall Street got drunk” during the financial crisis. This week members of Congress from both parties went after Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JP Morgan Chase, who admitted to blowing $2 billion during the financial crisis. The general reaction to that hearing was not that members of Congress were too tough on the guy, but that Congress wasn’t tough enough.

    Mitt Romney slams Obama’s economic policies

    The Romney campaign may believe it can wrap the American flag around his Wall Street associations in the general election. If so, they are probably in for a surprise. Most Americans, struggling to pay their bills and find jobs, aren’t likely to equate anyone with a Harvard MBA with our Founding Fathers

  9. rikyrah says:

    ..Romney Strategist Addresses Transparency Complaints
    By Emily Friedman | ABC OTUS News – 2 hrs 19 mins ago..

    A senior Romney strategist offered no apologies this morning on behalf of the candidate who often holds closed-to-press meetings with voters as well as meetings with congressional leaders with which the traveling press is unaware until their conclusion.

    Asked why the roundtable conversations Romney has prior to most of his public events with middle-class families or business owners are not open to the media, senior strategist Russ Schriefer responded bluntly, “Because they’re private.”

    “I beg my forgiveness but having the media there doesn’t really make it an open and honest conversation,” said Schriefer, who held a briefing for the press at the campaign’s Boston headquarters before the launch of a five-day, six-state bus tour across the battleground states.

    Romney has started weaving the stories of those individuals he meets behind closed doors into his stump speech.

    Pressed further on why Romney’s meetings in the past few weeks with Speaker of the House John Boehner and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell were kept from the press until the politicians’ offices on the Hill released details, Schriefer was similarly unapologetic.

    “Gov. Romney is going to have a private meeting from time to time,” Schriefer, adding that Boehner will join Romney Sunday for burgers at an Ohio campaign stop.–abc-news-politics.html

  10. Ametia says:

    Here it is, folks
    JUNE 14, 2012

    MORGAN: America’s Choice 2012. And as you just heard, the president’s already looking forward to a second term. We heard from the Romney campaign. Now let’s hear from the other side. Stephanie Cutter is the deputy campaign manager for President Obama. Stephanie, welcome.

    STEPHANIE CUTTER, DEPUTY CAMPAIGN MANAGER, OBAMA CAMPAIGN: Thank you, thanks for having me. MORGAN: It’s pretty clear now what the battleground is. You guys are going to say, look, we inherited the mother of all economic disasters, and we’ve done OK but could do better. So we deserve to be re-elected. And Mitt Romney’s going to say, hang on a second, nobody cares about what happened before you guys came into power. It’s actually the last 3.5 years you should be judged on. On that criteria alone, you failed.

    CUTTER: Well, I guess, Piers, I would disagree slightly on a couple of things. I think the American people have a good understanding of what the economy was like when we came into office, that we were losing 800,000 jobs a month. And the president took some quick, tough action to stem the crisis, prevent the economy from falling into a depression. And we’ve been on a road to recovery.

    Over the last 27 months, we have created 4.3 million private sector jobs. That’s seven times more private sector jobs than were created in the last recovery under George Bush.

    MORGAN: You have, you have —

    CUTTER: But that —

    MORGAN: Let me just jump in on that because consumer confidence is down. Everyone accepts that. You can see if in the high streets. GDP is slowing. Just today, unemployment claims rose to 386,000, up 6,000 from the week before. So you’ve definitely hit a bit of a wall at a very difficult time for you with the campaign, haven’t you?

    CUTTER: Well, Piers, what I was going to say, if I were able to finish what I was about to say, was that the president has continuously said, well, we’ve made progress. We’re not there yet. There’s a lot more that we need to do. And we need to keep our foot on the pedal, which is why he put out a jobs act. It’s been sitting in Congress for almost 10 months.

    As he said today in his speech in Ohio, that’s a million jobs sitting on the table there. We could have a million more people back to work and a lower unemployment rate and a stronger economy if Republicans in Congress just broke their intransigence and, you know, came together with everybody else, with the majority of the American people, and agreed that to get this stuff done, to grow our economy, to make the investments that we need to grow, then we’re going to have to ask everybody to pay their fair share.

    We know what works. But we also know what doesn’t work. That’s ultimately about what — what the speech was about today.

    MORGAN: Eric Fehrnstrom said earlier that if any employer was confronted with an employee that said I know I haven’t been doing great, but it’s all the fault of the guy before me 3.5 years ago, he would be laughed out of the room. What is different about politics? Do you accept that it’s been disappointing? Do you accept that the economy is still in a very bad condition?

    What are the admissions that you’re prepared to make to the American public as we head towards the election?

    CUTTER: Well, it’s not about whether we need to grow our economy. It’s about how we grow our economy in the right way, how we grow the economy from the middle out, instead of the top down. We know what not to do, which is the prescriptions that Republicans in Congress are putting forward, which are the prescriptions that Mitt Romney is putting forward.

    You know, the fundamental difference in vision is basically Republicans and Mitt Romney think that if we just get rid of all regulations and cut taxes for the very wealthy, then the private sector will take over and we’ll do just fine. We know that doesn’t work.

    MORGAN: How unhelpful is it that President Clinton has come out and basically endorsed Mitt Romney’s record at Bain as being exemplary when this was obviously going to be one of your main assault weapons, that he had been terrible.

    CUTTER: Well, because you’re misunderstanding what that Bain record is all about. Mitt Romney has made grand promises that his business would turn the economy around. And our point is well, he’s made those promises before. He made those promises when he was running for governor of Massachusetts, which is a key part of his resume.

    MORGAN: What am I misunderstanding?


    CUTTER: It’s not about private equity. It’s not about whether private equity is good or bad. People can run their businesses how they see fit. It’s about whether or not it qualifies you to be the president of the United States. And we disagree. It doesn’t. It doesn’t qualify you to be the president of the United States because you’ve taken over companies, loaded them up with debt and bankrupted them, and left middle class workers without jobs, benefits and health care.

    As the president said in describing and laying out our message on Mitt Romney’s record at Bain Capital, if you’re the president of the United States, you’re the president of everybody.

    MORGAN: It’s not me that was questioning President Obama’s view of Romney’s record at Bain. It was President Clinton, who you would have expected to be supporting President Obama in his number one assault weapon, which you’ve just articulated so passionately. So how did you guys feel when President Clinton comes out and says the complete opposite?

    CUTTER: I think that if you look at what Clinton said, Piers, he said there’s two different ways that you can conduct business. You can invest in companies and help them grow, or you could go in, take over companies, bankrupt them and take your profit out. Mitt Romney was engaging in the latter part of that exercise and bankrupting companies. Bill Clinton also said that ultimately this election is going to come down to two very competing visions. And the policies that Romney has laid out won’t work, and we know that. That’s what Bill Clinton said. And how did we feel about that? We agreed with him. Mitt Romney’s policies won’t work. We’ve tried them before and they failed. Why would we try them again?

    They led to the crash of our financial system, deterioration of our middle class. And that’s what Bill Clinton was saying. And he continues to say that, as President Clinton and President Obama campaigned together, as President Clinton continues to put his support behind the re-election of President Obama.

    MORGAN: Finally, give me a word answer tot his, do you feel more comfort now winning the election than you did, say, a month ago or less confident?

    CUTTER: Neither. We knew that this was going to be a tough election. We knew that we would be in this place. We’re exactly where we knew we would be. This is going to be a very close election up until election day. And we’re not taking anything for granted.

    And Piers, I think that as we move through the next five months and as the American people come to understand these two different competing visions of whether to grow the economy from the middle out or to grow the economy from the top down, as Mitt Romney wants to do, or moving forward in rebuilding an economy that’s really meant to last, or going back to the policies that crashed our economy and deteriorated the middle class, that this election is going to come down to that fundamental choice.

    It’s not about two different candidates or two different parties. It’s about that choice, about which direction the American people want to go.

    MORGAN: OK. Stephanie Cutter, thank you very much.

    CUTTER: Thank you, Piers.

  11. rikyrah says:

    While I understand what the President did with regards to the DREAM ACT, I hope folks get the words out that it’s not what he wanted to do. This President has liked to change LAW, because LAW, is not subject to the WHIM of whomever is in the Oval Office. So, my Latino friends, spread the word that this could last as long as January 20, 2013.

    Because, if Willard Romney is elected President, it will be UNDONE.

  12. rikyrah says:

    BREAKING: Obama To Stop Deporting DREAM-Eligible Youth, Protecting 1 Million Undocumented Students
    By Amanda Peterson Beadle on Jun 15, 2012 at 9:26 am

    President Obama will announce a new immigration policy this morning that will allow some undocumented students to avoid deportation and receive work authorization.

    Under the “deferred action” policy, a Department of Homeland Security directive, students in the U.S. who are already in deportation proceedings or those who qualify for the DREAM Act and have yet to come forward to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials, will not be deported and will be allowed to work in the United States.

    An estimated 1 million young people could benefit from the deferral. To be eligible, applicants have to be between 15 and 30 years old, live in the U.S. for five years, and maintain continuous U.S. residency. People who have one felony, one serious misdemeanor, or three minor misdemeanors will be ineligible to apply. “Deferred action” will last for two years and can be renewed.

    Obama is expected to speak about this new policy later today.

    Republicans blocked the DREAM Act in 2010, and this year, House Judiciary Committee Chair Lamar Smith (R-TX) has already said he would not hold a hearing on the DREAM Act in his committee.

    Obama’s announcement will create a smart policy to help protect young adults at risk of deportation who have spent years establishing their homes in the United States while boosting the U.S. economy.

  13. rikyrah says:

    The Department of Homeland Security said that, effective immediately, the government would no longer seek the deportation of illegal immigrants who were brought to the United States as children, and would allow them to apply for work permits if they meet certain criteria.

    “Our nation’s immigration laws must be enforced in a firm and sensible manner,” said Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano in a statement Friday.

    A senior administration official said in a conference call with reporters that as many as 800,000 undocumented immigrants stand to benefit from this change. Napolitano said that the shift represented neither immunity nor amnesty—buzzwords for conservatives who oppose illegal immigration—but instead represented an instance of “prosecutorial discretion” in which the government had re-evaluated its priorities in enforcing the law.

  14. Ametia says:

    Chanel Iman and Solange Knowles (left) and Georgina Chapman (right) leave the Obama fundraiser. (Johns PKI/Splash News)

  15. rikyrah says:

    Following Obama’s Move, How Will Mitt Romney Break His Silent Treatment Of Immigration?

    Evan McMorris-Santoro- June 15, 2012, 11:07 AM 1886President Obama pushed the immigration debate back into the campaign spotlight Friday when he announced an executive order that appears to be modeled on the DREAM Act. The move means big, sweeping changes for millions of children of illegal immigrants — and it effectively puts Mitt Romney in a box.

    Romney has pledged to veto the version of the DREAM Act passed by the House and killed by conservatives in the Senate in 2010, and has drawn the ire of Hispanic activists by packing his primary campaign full of advisers and supporters hailing from the anti-immigration right.

    In recent days, Romney’s stepped up his outreach efforts to Hispanics, a demographic that’s still largely uninterested in his candidacy. But he’s done it by avoiding any discussion of immigration at all costs — and has declined to tailor a campaign message specifically to the Hispanic community. When he spoke to the conservative Latino Coalition last month, he didn’t bring up immigration. He keeps his message to Hispanics focused solely on the economy.

    But Obama’s mini-DREAM Act move will almost certainly force Romney’s hand.

    Some Republican consultants weighed in to TPM on how Romney should begin a discussion about a hot-button issue he has expressly avoided.

  16. rikyrah says:

    10:47 AM EDT, Friday June 15, 2012
    RNC Takes Down Latino Outreach Site

    The RNC has taken down its Latino outreach site,, instead redirecting to a volunteer sign up page on the RNC’s main website. The barebones had been plagued by a series of embarassing missteps that the GOP blamed on the “outside vendor” who crafted it. They included the use of a picture of Asian children for the site’s banner image, a poll asking users whether they were disappointed in President Obama (they responded they weren’t), a blog page dominated by spam for handbags and headphones, and a “Who Are We?” section left entirely blank. On Thursday night, the RNC took down portions of the site, including its banner and blog section, but the entire page was down as of Friday morning.

  17. rikyrah says:

    Is it Conservatism or Lack of Pragmatism?
    by BooMan
    Fri Jun 15th, 2012 at 08:40:45 AM EST

    If you’ve been surfing the intertubes lately, you’ve probably read something about Jeb Bush criticizing the Republican Party. But what, exactly, is he saying? In Michael Gerson’s column today, he has an interesting quote from the Jebster.

    This failure of pragmatism is Bush’s chief criticism of politics in the capital, a case he thinks the press has distorted. “The general thinking among liberal media is that the Republican Party is too conservative. That’s not my point. We have a time of great national need, but we’re lacking the ability to find common ground.”
    Bush, who was a decidedly conservative, tax-cutting governor, is not calling for ideological moderation in the tradition of Nelson Rockefeller. He is defending the possibility that conservatives and liberals might find productive compromise on the debt crisis. Cooperation to avoid disaster is not the same thing as spinelessness.

    I think this opens an interesting avenue for debate. If Jeb has hit on a real distinction, we might get somewhere. If he’s created a distinction that doesn’t actually exist, then we’re hopelessly stuck with gridlock.

    It is possible for both parties to be extremely ideological and diametrically opposed to each other on virtually every issue under the Sun, and to still have government function even in times of shared power. But there has to be a consensus on the idea that the party of the presidency ultimately has to frame the budget.

    When we elect a president for a four-year term, we expect them to lay out a vision and try to implement it. If they try to do something really big like enact a major overhaul of our health care system or privatize Social Security, they can and should expect to meet strong resistance. But if they want to spend more money on education or shift money to clean energy projects or give new benefits to veterans or spend a little more on Indian affairs, there should be great deference in those areas.

    What the Republicans have done since Obama became president violates this consensus. In particular, their behavior since they won back control of the House of Representatives has been at odds with how our government should work. Through their total unwillingness to support any aspect of the president’s vision and their total opposition to any compromise on a budget deal, they are trying to radically change the form and structure of our government when they only control one half of one-third of our government. This is wrong on at least two levels. It’s wrong because they are not showing a due deference and respect for the office of the president, and it’s wrong because they don’t have the power to do what they’re attempting to do. By acting as if they do have that much power, they simply grind the gears of Congress to a halt, making it impossible to solve problems and doing grave damage to the reputation and credit rating of our country.

    The question is, are they doing this because they’re too conservative, or are they doing this for unrelated reasons? Can you remain a staunch conservative in terms of where you stand on the issues, and yet still recognize that the president should have some room to govern and try out solutions to the problems that crop during his term in office?

    Personally, I think the Republican Party has become so ideological that you can’t make Jeb’s distinction. Refusing to compromise is just as important to the modern GOP as opposing abortion rights.

    In a very basic sense, the GOP’s current stance vis-a-vis the president is irrational. They took a pledge never to raise taxes and they are insisting on deep spending cuts to address the budget deficit. As a result, they are attempting to get a Democratic president to oversee the radical downsizing of the federal government. Why should they think that their grand vision would be endorsed and enacted by a Democrat? If Obama agreed to their demands, he’d be a better conservative than Ronald Reagan ever dreamed of being. By behaving in this irrational manner, they’re doing real damage to our institutions, our economy, and our country. Jeb Bush sees this, and it’s nice that he’s speaking out. I just don’t know that he is justified in saying that the problem isn’t the conservatism but the lack of pragmatism. I think those two things go together hand in glove.

  18. rikyrah says:

    How will demographic changes impact Romney’s chances? Ron Brownstein notes a fascinating change: Non-college whites have dropped from 61 percent of the electorate in 1984, when Ronald Reagan won landslide reelection, to only 34 percent today.

    To win, Romney may need to make inroads among not just minorities, but also among upscale whites, a growing demographic that is increasingly important to the Dem coalition. As Brownstein notes, economic discontent makes that very possible, but it’s also possible that Obama’s support among the growing minority and college educated white vote share means he can hold on despite Rust Belt lsses.

  19. rikyrah says:

    Detroit May Send No Black Representatives to Congress
    By Chris Christoff – Jun 13, 2012 11:01 PM CT

    Detroit’s population loss may leave Michigan without a black representative in Congress for the first time since 1955, a shift that would punctuate the erosion of African-American power in a region with a history of racial friction.

    New boundaries pushed Detroit’s two congressional districts deeper into the suburbs because the city of 713,000 lost one- quarter of its population since 2000. As a result, U.S. representatives John Conyers Jr. and Hansen Clarke may be ousted by white Democratic challengers in districts where blacks are a smaller majority than before.

    It’s a more than 50 percent likelihood it will happen,” said Eric Foster, 40, a political consultant in Troy, Michigan, whose clients are mostly Democrats. He said many black voters who moved from Detroit to suburbs care more about economic issues than about keeping blacks in office.

    A city that in 1973 elected Coleman Young as its first black mayor amid simmering anger after a devastating 1967 race riot — and that has had black mayors ever since — is losing its place as Michigan’s center of African-American influence, Foster said.

    Eighty-three percent of Detroit’s population is black compared with 14 percent of Michigan’s, according to the 2010 U.S. Census. While Detroit’s population dropped, black populations increased in most communities near the city, according to data from the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments.

  20. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 08:30 AM ET, 06/15/2012 \
    The Morning Plum: The GOP plan to replace Obamacare with …
    By Greg Sargent

    With a ruling set for as soon as next week on Obamacare, both sides are busily preparing for the ferocious spin war that will erupt in the wake of the decision. I’m not one who believes there’s any silver lining for Dems in a decision against the law — it could help reinforce the narrative that Obama allowed himself to get distracted from the economy with nothing to show for it.

    But it’s still fair to ask whether such a decision would also put more pressure on Republicans to explain what, exactly, they would replace health reform with, and what they’d do for those who’d be stranded if the law is voided. And so this nugget buried in today’s New York Times piece on the coming public relations battle is pretty interesting:

    After a repeal vote, Republicans plan to first let the dust settle. Then … they would move forward incrementally with bills to allow the purchase of insurance across state lines, to loosen restrictions on consumers wishing to change insurers, and to bolster tax-preferred health savings accounts. When several Republican lawmakers suggested popular parts of the health care law would be maintained, conservatives loudly revolted….
    A senior Republican House aide said it was up to the White House, not Republicans, to produce a contingency plan for those left behind by a court invalidation, like the thousands of sick people or consumers with pre-existing conditions in new federally backed high-risk pools.
    This obviously is not great sourcing, and could definitely use some more reporting. But if Republicans have decided that their argument will be that it’s all on the White House to come up with another plan for the sick and for those with preexisting conditions, that seems pretty newsworthy. After all, Mitt Romney’s campaign has now gone on record admitting something similar: His plan would only guarantee coverage to people with preexisting conditions if they’ve had constant, continuous coverage in the past.

    Again, a decision against the health law — which seems very possible, or even likely — would be terrible for Dems. But the provision barring discrimination against those with preexisting conditions is very popular. And if it becomes clear that the GOP sees no obligation to replace that provision, it could clarify the choice this fall in new ways and play unpredictably during the campaign

  21. Ametia says:

    June 15, 2012
    David Brooks’ betrayal
    PM Carpenter

    Today David Brooks attempts to reframe and thereby legitimize Republicans’ extremist ideology as a mere “viewpoint.” In so doing, Brooks demolishes his previous and persistent claims of a personal, “progressive conservatism”; his present, deliberate conflation of–his blurring of the vividly demarcated lines between–Burkean change and what is nothing short of a revolutionary system is simply appalling.

    He begins by flatly denying that Republicans have morphed into mania, fever and madness, notwithstanding all the accumulated evidence, from Sarah Palin’s unhinged rants to Mitch McConnell’s seething objectives to Allen West’s raging paranoia to John Boehner’s conceded anarchy to Joe Walsh’s spooky psychosis to Eric Cantor’s self-evident malevolence to Grover Norquist’s despotic terrorism to more generalized madnesses such as more and more tax cuts and more and more defense spending to balance the budget.

    Read on:

  22. Ametia says:

    June 14, 2012
    Media Groups Ask Supreme Court to Allow Live Broadcast Coverage of Health Care Ruling

    A coalition of news organizations is asking the Supreme Court to permit live broadcast coverage of the upcoming announcement of its historic health care decisions.

    In a letter to Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. dated today, the group wrote, “There is a strong interest nationwide in the Court’s opinion and any comments by a member of the Court that may accompany its announcement. Such access would allow the public to be informed of the Court’s ruling in a timely manner.”

    The letter points out that the concerns expressed by some justices about broadcasting oral arguments — such as changing the dynamics between lawyers and justices — would not be at issue in broadcasting the mere announcement by justices of a summary of their own opinions.

    The author of the letter is Lucy Dalglish, executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. Among the media organizations joining in the appeal are ALM Media, publisher of The National Law Journal and this blog, as well as C-SPAN, CNN, The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA TODAY, NPR, ABC, CBS and NBC.

  23. Ametia says:

    Friday, June 15, 2012
    Three possible surprise rulings on the Affordable Care Act

    Supporters of the Affordable Care Act would regard a Supreme Court ruling that the individual mandate is unconstitutional as a chaos-inducing disaster; a strike-down of the entire law as a catastrophe; and an unconditional upholding as an unlikely consummation devoutly to be wished. There are, however, more ambiguous possibilities — each unlikely in itself, but taken together, representing a reasonable chance of not-entirely-awful surprise. Here are three.

    1. Kick the can. The first question the justices considered in oral argument is whether the constitutionality of the mandate can be challenged before anyone is subject to the mandate, which won’t happen until the exchanges open in 2014. The case that they cannot rests on the Anti-Injunction Act, which bars challenges to a tax until the tax has been assessed. Both the government and the plaintiffs argued that the Anti-Injunction Act does not apply in this case; the Court appointed an outside attorney (Richard Long) to argue that it does. The arguments were arcane — a plain-English summary is available on Scotusblog — and most observers did not think that the justices seemed to seriously entertain the notion that the AIA applies in this case.

    But a punt remains a legally viable option if five justices can’t coalesce in a coherent decision to strike all or part of the law. What if, say, two justices want to strike the whole thing, and three want to strike the mandate alone, or in some way reshape it (see below), and they can’t agree on instructions to give Congress if they leave a law on the books while destroying or reshaping a part that affects the whole? Mightn’t they decide to defer decision until the mandate (and the exchanges) are actually operating?

    2. Limit the mandate. As I have noted repeatedly, the emotional basis of the plaintiff’s case is a claim that the mandate will force many Americans (mostly young, healthy) ones to buy more insurance than they need. Never mind that this argument is bogus — several justices seemed to buy it, and voiced various aspects of it in oral argument.

    Justice Kennedy cast the mandate as a troubling impingement on individual freedom while also acknowledging that “the young person who is uninsured is uniquely proximately very close to affecting the rates of insurance and the costs of providing medical care in a way that is not true in other industries” (March 27 oral argument, p. 104). It would seem, then, that Kennedy might be receptive to a ‘minimally invasive’ mandate. Notwithstanding that 1) the ACA provides a purely catastrophic coverage option for adults under 30 and others who can show financial hardship or are otherwise exempt from the mandate, and 2) the cheapest plans offered to all in the insurance exchanges do offer coverage that can reasonably be called catastrophic, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation and other experts, it’s conceivable that Kennedy could lead a decision that would limit the mandate to more purely catastrophic coverage for all. Marty Lederman, former deputy assistant attorney general in the Obama administration’s OLC, has raised this possibility.

    3. Get creative. In his reply brief to the plaintiffs’ argument against the mandate, Solicitor General Donald Verrilli pointed out that no one questions the states’ right to impose a mandate, e.g., no one has challenged the Massachusetts insurance reform law in court. Moreover, “States may opt out of the minimum coverage provision if they establish an alternative means of affordably providing comprehensive coverage to a comparable number of residents. 42 U.S.C.A. 18052 (reply brief, p. 12). Further, Obama has proposed moving up the opt-out date from 2017 to 2014. The justices could conceivably order that it be left up to the states whether to impose the mandate.

    The key word here is “conceivably.” I made that option up. I honestly don’t know the extent to which judicial decisions can or do mandate specific legislative changes. But I do think there’s a chance that the justices will surprise us on the ACA ruling.

  24. Ametia says:

    Administration plan could spare hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants from deportation
    By Associated Press, Updated: Friday, June 15, 9:23 AM

    WASHINGTON — The Obama administration will stop deporting and begin granting work permits to younger illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children and have since led law-abiding lives. The election-year initiative addresses a top priority of an influential Latino electorate that has been vocal in its opposition to administration deportation policies.

    The policy change, described to The Associated Press by two senior administration officials, will affect as many as 800,000 immigrants who have lived in fear of deportation. It also bypasses Congress and partially achieves the goals of the so-called DREAM Act, a long-sought but never enacted plan to establish a path toward citizenship for young people who came to the United States illegally but who have attended college or served in the military.

  25. Ametia says:

    Pelosi on CBS Morning: OBSTRUCTION IS THE GOP

  26. rikyrah says:

    The Root of Romney’s Comfort with Lying

    Psychiatrist DR. Justin Frank – The same man who Analyzed Presidents Bush and Obama – has analyzed Mitt Romney – and says Romney is comfortable lying, in part, because of the way he was raised in his Mormon faith. But could the reason why Romney can’t tell the truth be something much more simple – and does it make him unfit to be President.

  27. rikyrah says:

    Lawrence O’Donnell did another terrific piece on Willard’s draft dodging last night in the ‘ Rewrite’.

  28. Ametia says:

    White House, lawmakers prepare for Supreme Court ruling on Obama’s health-care law

    By Sandhya Somashekhar and N.C. Aizenman, Published: June 14

    In this city of rumors and leaks, it has been an excruciating lead-up to the Supreme Court ruling on President Obama’s health-care law. The decision is just days away, but virtually no one knows precisely when it will come or what it will say.

    Each day brings a new wave of speculation via Twitter and Washington gossip channels. And behind the scenes, Republicans and Democrats are strategizing about what to do in the moments and days after the most consequential high court decision in a generation — a ruling that will reverberate politically and in the lives of everyday Americans.

  29. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

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