Serendipity SOUL | Thursday Open Thread | Michael Jackson Week!


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37 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Thursday Open Thread | Michael Jackson Week!

  1. rikyrah says:

    Text of Michelle Obama’s Nashville Speech

    From the White House Communications Office:
    Remarks by the First Lady at the African Methodist Episcopal Church Conference at Gaylord Opryland Resort, Nashville, Tenn., on Thursday, June 27, 2012:

    11:05 A.M. CDT
    MRS. OBAMA: Oh, my, my, my. (Applause.) Please, you all rest yourselves. Thank you so much. Let me tell you, it is such a pleasure and an honor to join you today in Nashville for your 2012 General Conference.

    I want to start by thanking Bishop McKenzie for her introduction. And I want to honor her for the history she’s made —


    MRS. OBAMA: Absolutely. (Applause.) For the example she has set and for her inspired leadership in this church.

    I also want to thank Mayor Dean for his service to this city and for taking the time to join us here today.

    And finally, I want to thank all of the bishops, pastors, and lay leaders in AME churches here in America and around the world. (Applause.)

    You all are part of a proud tradition, one that dates back to the founding of that first AME Church and the founding of this nation and has shaped its history every day since. You all know the story — how back in the late 1700s, a man named Richard Allen bought his freedom from slavery — (applause) — became a minister, and eventually founded a Methodist church called Bethel Church – or “Mother Bethel” as we know it today. That first AME church was located in a blacksmith’s shop, and that first congregation had just a few dozen members.

    But there’s a reason why one pastor called Bethel’s founding “a Liberty bell for black folks.” (Applause.) There’s a reason why W.E.B. Dubois said that Bethel Church “belongs to the history of the nation rather than to any one city.”

    But there’s a reason why one pastor called Bethel’s founding “a Liberty bell for black folks.” (Applause.) There’s a reason why W.E.B. Dubois said that Bethel Church “belongs to the history of the nation rather than to any one city.”

    You see, before long, that little church had grown to 1,000 members, and soon, AME Churches were cropping up all across this country. Over the years, these churches served as stops on the Underground Railroad. (Applause.) They founded universities that educated generations of black leaders. They hosted civil rights marches, meetings and rallies, even under the threat of being vandalized, bombed or burned to the ground. Icons like Frederick Douglas and Rosa Parks, leaders like Jim Clyburn, trailblazers like Oliver Brown of Brown v. Board of Education, Ernest Green of the Little Rock Nine — they all worshipped at AME churches. (Applause.)

    So did many of the quiet heroes who never made the headlines — the maids walking home in Montgomery, the young people riding those buses in Jackson, the men and women who stood up and sat-in because they wanted something better for their children.

    I know that I am here today because of those heroes. (Applause.) My husband is in the White House today because of them. (Applause.) Because of those heroes, today my daughters and all our children and grandchildren can grow up dreaming of being doctors and lawyers, CEOs and senators, and yes, maybe even the President of the United States of America. (Applause.)

    That is the legacy of the AME church — and of African American churches and denominations across the country. But let’s be clear, a legacy is not an end unto itself. (Applause.) As another pioneering AME woman, Dr. Jamye Coleman Williams, once said — (applause) — she said, “You do the best you can and try to leave a legacy, but somebody has to carry it on.” (Applause.)

    And that’s what I want to talk with you about today. I want to talk about how we carry on the legacy that is our inheritance as Americans, as African Americans, and as members of the AME church. I want to talk about what we can learn from our history about the power of being an active, engaged citizen in our democracy.

    Now, back when Frederick Douglas was still working on a plantation, back when Rosa Parks was still riding that segregated bus, the injustices we faced were written in big, bold letters on the face of our laws. And while we may have had our differences over strategy, the battles we needed to fight were very clear. We knew that to end slavery, we needed a proclamation from our President, an amendment to our Constitution. To end segregation, we needed the Supreme Court to overturn the lie of “separate but equal”. To reach the ballot box, we needed Congress to pass the Voting Rights Act.

    So yes, we moved forward and we won those battles, and we made progress that our parents and grandparents could never have imagined. But today, while there are no more “whites only” signs keeping us out, no one barring our children from the schoolhouse door, we know our journey is far from finished. (Applause.)

    But in many ways, the path forward for this next generation is far less clear. I mean, what exactly do you do about children who are languishing in crumbling schools, graduating from high school unprepared for college or a job? And what about the 40 percent of black children who are overweight or obese, or the nearly one in two who are on track to develop diabetes in their lifetimes? What about all those kids growing up in neighborhoods where they don’t feel safe; kids who never have opportunities worthy of their promise? What court case do we bring on their behalf? What laws do we pass for them?

    You see, today, the connection between our laws and our lives isn’t always as clear as it was 50 years or 150 years ago. And as a result, it’s sometimes easy to assume that the battles in our courts and legislatures have all been won. It’s tempting to turn our focus to what’s going on in our own lives and with our own families, and just leave it at that.

    And make no mistake about it, change absolutely starts at home. (Applause.) Change absolutely starts with each of us, as individuals, taking responsibility for ourselves and our families because we know that our kids won’t grow up healthy until our families start eating right and exercising more. That’s on us. (Applause.) We know that we won’t close that education gap until we turn off the TV, and supervise homework, attend those parent-teacher conferences, and serve as good role models for our own children. That’s on us.

    But while we certainly need to start at home, we all know that we cannot stop there because the fact is that our laws still matter. Much like they did 50 years ago, or 150 years ago, our laws still shape so many aspects of our lives: Whether folks are paying their fair [share of]* taxes, or not; whether we invest in roads and schools, and the jobs that come with them, or not; whether our sons and our daughters who wear our country’s uniform get the support and benefits they’ve earned, or not. You see, those decisions are made by the folks sitting in Congress and in our White House. They’re made by the folks in our state legislatures and city halls. And we all know who’s supposed to select those folks, don’t we? We know who’s supposed to tell those folks what to do, right? We are. That’s our job. That is our most fundamental right and our most solemn obligation — to cast our ballots and have our say in the laws that shape our lives.

    Dr. King knew that. That’s why back in 1965, he came to Brown Chapel AME Church in Selma and declared — (applause) — he said, “When we get the right to vote, we will send to the statehouse not just men who will stand in the doorways of our universities…but men who will uphold the cause of justice.”

    John Lewis understood the importance of that right. That’s why, just months after Dr. King’s speech, he faced down a row of billy clubs on the Edmund Pettus Bridge, risking his life so that we could one day cast our ballots. (Applause.)

    But today, how many folks do we know who act like that right doesn’t even matter? How many of us have asked someone whether they’re going to vote, and tell us, “No, I voted last time,” or “Is there really an election going on? Really?”, or “Nah, nah, it’s not like my vote’s gonna make a difference.” How many times have we heard that? After so many folks sacrificed so much so that we could make our voices heard, so many of us just can’t be bothered.

    But let’s be very clear, while we’re tuning out and staying home on Election Day, other folks are tuning in. (Applause.) Other folks are taking politics very seriously. And they’re engaged on every level. They’re raising money. They’re making their voices heard — and their issues known — from City Hall to Washington, DC. And I know that in the face of all of that money and influence, it can start to feel like ordinary citizens just can’t get a seat at the table. And that can make you feel helpless and hopeless. It can make you feel or think that you’re powerless.

    But I’m here today because that’s simply not true. We are not helpless or hopeless. (Applause.) Time and again, history has shown us that there is nothing — nothing — more powerful than ordinary citizens coming together for a just cause. (Applause.) And that is particularly true of folks in the AME church. And I’m not just talking about the big speeches and protests that we all remember. I’m talking about everything that happens between the marches, when the speeches are over and the cameras were off. I’m talking about the thousands of hours that folks like Roy Wilkins and Daisy Bates spent strategizing in cramped offices late at night. I’m talking about the folks in Montgomery who organized carpools and gave thousands of rides to perfect strangers. I’m talking about the volunteers who set up drinking fountains and first aid stations on the Washington Mall and made 80,000 bags of lunches for folks who marched on that August day. I’m talking about the tireless, the thankless, relentless work of making change — (applause) — you know, the phone-calling, letter-writing, door-knocking, meeting-planning kind of work. (Applause.) That is the real work of democracy — what happens during those quiet moments between the marches.

    It’s kind of like church. Our faith journey isn’t just about showing up on Sunday for a good sermon and good music and a good meal. It’s about what we do Monday through Saturday as well — (applause) — especially in those quiet moments, when the spotlight’s not on us, and we’re making those daily choices about how to live our lives.

    We see that in the life of Jesus Christ. Jesus didn’t limit his ministry to the four walls of the church. We know that. He was out there fighting injustice and speaking truth to power every single day. He was out there spreading a message of grace and redemption to the least, the last, and the lost. And our charge is to find Him everywhere, every day by how we live our lives.


    MRS. OBAMA: That is how we practice our faith. You see, living out our eternal salvation is not a once-a-week kind of deal. (Applause.) And in a more literal sense, neither is citizenship. Democracy is also an everyday activity. And being an engaged citizen should once again be a daily part of our lives. That is how we carry on that precious legacy we’ve inherited — by recommitting ourselves to that day-to-day, vitally important work that has always paved the way for change in this country.

    What does that mean? That means being informed. It means following the news, and learning about who’s representing us, and how our governments work. It means showing up to vote — and not just every four years, but every year in every election. (Applause.) It means engaging with the folks we elect, following how they vote and how they spend our hard-earned tax dollars. And if you don’t like what you see, then let them know, or better yet, run for a seat at the table yourself. (Applause.)

    And I know I am preaching to the choir here. I know that many of you have been active and engaged for decades. And I’m here today to urge you to continue that work and bring others along with you. Because we know that the only way to be heard above all the noise is to lift our voices up together.

    So I want you to talk to your friends and your family, your neighbors. Talk to them. Talk to folks in the beauty salons, the barbershops, the parking lot at church. Tell them what’s happening on the city council and out in Washington. Let them know. Find that nephew who has never voted — get him registered. (Applause.) Start an email list or a Facebook group. Send people articles about issues you care about, and then call them to make sure they’ve read them.

    And to anyone who says that church is no place to talk about these issues, you tell them there is no place better — no place better. (Applause.) Because ultimately, these are not just political issues — they are moral issues. They’re issues that have to do with human dignity and human potential, and the future we want for our kids and our grandkids. And the work of inspiring and empowering folks, the work of lifting up families and communities — that has always been the work of the AME Church. (Applause.) That’s what you all do best.

    Think about it for a minute. Folks just don’t turn to all of you in times of spiritual crises. They come to you with financial crises and health crises and family crises of all kinds. That’s why AME churches are taking on issues from HIV/AIDS to childhood obesity to financial literacy. Every day, you all are giving folks the tools they need to take control of their lives and get back on their feet.

    And if you’re not already doing this, I’m here to ask you to take that work to the next level. So the next time you organize that food drive, pair it with a meeting at city hall and ask what they’re doing to fight hunger in your community. If you’ve got an exercise ministry or a health ministry, maybe they can work with your town council to clear out a walk-in trailer, clean up a local park. Keep on doing that great work with your youth groups, but start showing up at those school board meetings and make sure those kids are getting the education they deserve. (Applause.) Take it to the next level.

    In the end, I think that Bishop McKenzie put it best when she said — and this is her quote — she says, “It’s a tragedy when you fail to climb the mountain of opportunity after your season of preparation.” She says, “It’s a tragedy when you fail to try to exercise the gifts that God has given you, even in the face of difficulty. It’s a tragedy.” And God has given us so many blessings and gifts, and such a long season of preparation. And after so many years of toil and struggle, it is time to climb that mountain of opportunity. It’s time. (Applause.) It is time.

    And I know that mountain may seem high. I know there are days when you just want to come home and put up your feet, kick back with the kids. I know that sometimes the problems we face seem so entrenched, so overwhelming that solving them seems nearly impossible. But during those dark moments, I want you to remember that doing the impossible is the root of our faith. It is the history of our people, and the lifeblood of this nation. (Applause.)

    Because if a young shepherd could defeat a giant — (applause) — if a man could lead a band of former slaves against the most powerful city in the land until its walls tumbled down, if a simple fisherman could become the rock upon which Christ built his church — (applause) — then surely, we can do our part to be more active citizens.

    If Ernest Green could face down an angry mob to get an education, if Rosa Parks could sit unmoved on that bus, if Richard Allen could transform a blacksmith’s shop into a church that changed history, then surely — surely — we can get our communities more engaged in our democracy. If so many people could sacrifice so much for so long to leave this magnificent legacy for us, then surely we can find a way to carry it forward for our children and our grandchildren.

    And when you grow weary in this work — and you will — when you think about giving up — and you will — I want you to think about a photo that hangs today in the West Wing of the White House.

    It is a picture of a young black family visiting the President in the Oval Office. The father was a member of the White House staff, and he brought his wife and two young sons to meet my husband. In the photo, Barack is bent over at the waist — way over. And one of the sons, a little boy just 5 years old, is reaching out his tiny hand to touch my husband’s head. And it turns out that upon meeting Barack, this little boy gazed up at him longingly and said, “I want to know if my hair is like yours.” (Applause.) And my husband replied, “Well, why don’t you touch it and see for yourself.” So he bent way over so the little boy could feel his hair, and after touching my husband’s head, the boy exclaimed, he said, “Yeah, it does feel the same.” (Applause.)

    And every couple of weeks, the White House photographers change out all the photos that hang in the West Wing — except for that one. See, that one, and that one alone, has hung on that wall for more than three years.

    So if you ever wonder whether change is possible in this country, I want you to think about that little black boy in the Oval Office of the White House touching the head of the first black President. (Applause.) And I want you to think about how children who see that photo today think nothing of it because that is all they’ve ever known, because they have grown up taking for granted that an African American can be President of the United States. (Applause.)

    And I want you to think of the stories in the Bible about folks like Abel and Noah; folks like Abraham and Sarah, and the verse in Hebrews that says, “All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised. They only saw them and welcomed them from a distance.” (Applause.) Through so many heartbreaks and trials, those who came before us kept the faith. They could only see that promised land from a distance, but they never let it out of their sight.

    And today, if we’re once again willing to work for it, if we’re once again willing to sacrifice for it, then I know — I know — we can carry that legacy forward. I know we can meet our obligations to continue that struggle. I know we can continue the work of those heroes whose shoulders we all stand on. And I know we can finish the journey they started and finally fulfill the promise of our democracy for all our children.

    Thank you, and God bless. (Applause.)

  2. rikyrah says:

    I just wanna thank Nancy Smash this evening. When Scott Brown was elected, and Democrats began to despair, she told them to buckle up and gird those loins and helped the President drag the ACA over the finish line.

    thank you, Nancy Smash.

  3. rikyrah says:

    Comment I saw over at TPM.

    I bet a nickel starting this afternoon Romney and The Bone Drone never call it Obamacare again. It will be the ACA or something now that its a wild sucess.

  4. rikyrah says:

    Candidate Blank


    I’m not sure I’ve ever seen anything like this.

    If this is the Etch A Sketch phase of Mitt Romney’s campaign, he seems to want to freeze it the moment after you shake the toy, before you turn the knobs again: blank.

    Mitt Romney wants to run as the generic candidate, the every man and any man, undefined, nonspecific, the other guy, anybody but Obama.

    Romney inserts “economy” into every sentence but recoils from specificity like a slug from salt.

    The Romney message is that he is the amorphous economic messiah come to save us all from the flailing of the inexperienced and ineffectual president. He can create jobs and make the economy grow, somehow. He can cut government spending and cut taxes, somehow. He can fix immigration and education, somehow. He can do a better job of dealing with the healthcare system and our entitlement programs, somehow.

    But how, specifically? Just make him president and all will be revealed, too late for voters to rebel, leaving time only for regret. That is the Romney strategy: Obfuscate and delay. Stay loose and elusive. Hide in the fog until the search party passes.

  5. rikyrah says:

    WATCH: Congressional Black Caucus Leads Democrats In Walk Out Of Attorney General Contempt Vote

    By Annie-Rose Strasser on Jun 28, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), who has been leading the investigation
    House Democrats stormed out of a Congressional vote to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress today.

    Led by members of the Congressional Black Caucus, who originally planned a walk-out yesterday, most Democrats exited the chamber instead of voting to hold the Attorney General in contempt. Both House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) called for the walkout.

  6. Ametia says:

    I’m going to love watching the Olympics this summer

    Black Gymnast Is Top Olympic Contender
    By: Jenée Desmond-Harris | Posted: June 28, 2012 at 1:04 PM

    According to an informal survey, 90% of African Americans in their 20s and 30s today were in awe of or in love with Dominique Dawes around the time she competed in three Olympic Games in the 1990s. Today, with what the Associated Press calls “cover girl looks, a personality that leaps through the TV set and a nickname [the Flying Squirrel] you won’t soon forget,” 16-year-old gymnast Gabby Douglas – who’s expected to be chosen for this year’s Olympic team — might just follow in her footsteps as one of gymnastics’ next big stars, not to mention the black community’s next collective athletic crush.

    When Gabby Douglas flashes that dazzling smile and saunters across the arena floor as if she owns the place, the concept seems downright impossible.

    This bubbly 16-year-old was once … shy?

    “I used to be sooo shy,” she said with a giggle. “Now I’m like, ‘Lah, lah, lah. Lah, lah, lah. … I’m just ready to go out there and perform. I’m so ready to take on this journey.”

    It’s going to be quite a trip.

  7. Ametia says:

    The House of Representatives voted to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in criminal contempt for refusing to turn over documents tied to the Fast and Furious gun-running sting.

    The 255-67 vote marked the first time in American history that the head of the Justice Department has been held in contempt by Congress.

    Almost every House Republican backed the measure, along with nearly 20 Democrats.

    House members are also expected to pass a civil contempt measure later in the day.

    This ought to make these MOFOs bust a nut,MAJOR FAIL

  8. Ametia says:


  9. rikyrah says:

    People Hate Romney’s Medicare Plan

    by BooMan
    Thu Jun 28th, 2012 at 02:05:31 PM EST

    Here’s some more good news for Mitt Romney on health care:

    Democracy for America commissioned a poll late last week asking 900 registered voters from across the country their views on healthcare and the Republican voucher program. The poll responses are listed below [the margin of error is +- 3.5%.]
    Do you support or oppose turning Medicare into a voucher program?

    Support 15%
    Oppose 57%
    Not sure 28%

    Do you support or oppose Rep. Paul Ryan’s plan to reform Medicare for seniors?

    Support 26%
    Oppose 33%
    Not sure 41%

    Do you support or oppose privatizing Medicare?

    Support 25%
    Oppose 53%
    Not sure 22%

    If Mitt Romney endorsed a plan that turned Medicare into a voucher program, would you be more or less likely to vote for him, or would it not make a difference?

    More likely 13%
    Less likely 42%
    No difference 42%
    Not sure 2%

    The only one winning more than Charlie Sheen is Mitt Romney.

  10. rikyrah says:

    Four Reasons Why The Court’s Decision To Uphold Obamacare Is Good News For The Economy

    By Travis Waldron on Jun 28, 2012 at 10:37 am

    The Supreme Court today upheld the Affordable Care Act, the health care reform law signed by President Obama in 2010, ruling 5-4 that the law was constitutional. Chief Justice John Roberts joined Justices Sonya Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Elena Kagan on the opinion. The individual mandate, the requirement that all Americans purchase health insurance or pay a fine, was upheld as legal under Congress’ taxing ability.

    Health care reform isn’t important just because it expands access to quality, affordable care, but also because rapidly rising costs and the fact that 30 million Americans don’t have insurance are weighing down the American economy. Here are four reasons why the Court’s decision is good news for the still-struggling economy:

    1) Obamacare will reduce the deficit. The Congressional Budget Office estimated in 2011 that Obamacare will reduce the federal deficit by $210 billion over the next decade. The law is expected to save about $1 trillion over its second decade, according to other CBO analyses. The CBO found that repealing the law, as Republicans attempted to do in 2011, would increase the deficit by $230 billion over the next 10 years.

    2) Health care costs for young Americans won’t skyrocket. More than 3.1 million young Americans have insurance thanks to Obamacare. Without the law, the cost of acquiring an equivalent health care plan would have risen dramatically at a time when young people are still struggling with the effects of the Great Recession.

    3) Millions of jobs will be created. Health reform will help create roughly 4 million jobs over the next decade, according to a 2010 Center for American Progress report, by reducing the cost of health care and making it cheaper for businesses to hire. The law will create between 250,000 and 400,000 jobs a year, and they will be spread across sectors: according to the study, the law will help create more than 200,000 manufacturing and 900,000 in the service sector by 2016.

    4) It will be cheaper for employers to provide health care. American businesses are under tremendous pressure thanks to rising health care costs, and these costs are often passed on to customers (one study estimates that each car sold by General Motors contains $1,200 in built-in health costs). The ACA, however, will make it cheaper for businesses to provide care, and not just by reducing the cost of care. Small businesses are already receiving tax credits contained in the law to help insure their employees, and it has already offered more than $4.7 billion in reinsurance payments to companies that are providing health care to retirees who aren’t yet eligible for Medicare.

  11. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 11:17 AM ET, 06/28/2012
    SCOTUS sides with federal power

    By Greg Sargent

    The Supreme Court’s landmark decision upholding the individual mandate at the heart of Obamacare may be the start of a third great period in which the court has grappled with a question that continues to divide us as deeply as ever: What are the proper limits on federal power, and how far can the government go in protecting citizens from the depredations of the free market and social and technological change?

    The court ruled that the mandate is defensible as a “tax.” In so doing, it supported the administration’s argument that it’s within the proper scope of federal authority to incentivize the purchase of health insurance, in order to expand coverage to millions of Americans who have been left behind by the private market.

    In the broadest possible sense, this can be seen as the start of a third era in which the Court wrestles with questions surrounding the expansion of federal power — each era different from the other, says James O’Hara, a trustee of the Supreme Court Historical Society.

    During the New Deal, Franklin Delano Roosevelt sought to expand the federal government’s management of the economy to cope with the Great Depression. While the court initially dealt Roosevelt plenty of setbacks, the era as a whole can be seen as a ratification of Roosevelt’s broad contention that the crisis merited expansive federal intervension.

    During the Warren Court, a liberal era, questions surrounding federal authority were different — and were more directly concerned with the battle between federal power and states’ rights. The Court frequently upheld the federal government’s authority over states on matters ranging from civil rights to voting to education.

    Today’s decision can be seen as the start of a third such era, O’Hara says.The decision also concerns the battle between federal and state’s rights, as did many of the Warren era battles. But this is the most far reaching decision the court has made to date to reckon with the complexities of today’s economy, of which health care is an increasingly dominant part.

    “We are perhaps entering a third era, in which the court is pragmatically trying to assess the place of the federal government in a world of rapid technological and economic change,” O’Hara said. “The Obama administration has approached health care with broad, sweeping legislation, and the Supreme Court is willing pragmatically to say, `Let’s give it a chance and see how it shakes down Constitutionally.’”

    There are many dimensions to this decision, but the big picture is clear. Today the court declared that the federal government has the right to exercise its authority in order to protect Americans from the depredations of the ever increasing health insurance market. “The Supreme Court extended the power of the federal government to move into areas it has not moved in the past,” O’Hara said. “There has been in the 20th Century an increasing amount of power that has flowed toward the federal government. And that continued today.”

    More soon.

  12. rikyrah says:

    Rand Paul’s situational principle

    By Editorial Board, Published: June 27

    SEN. RAND PAUL (R-Ky.) came to Washington on the wave of the tea party movement to limit big government. “I think a lot of things could be handled locally . . . the more local the better, and the more common sense the decisions are, rather than having a federal government make those decisions,” he said during his 2010 campaign. So how to explain his spoiling a move to give the District autonomy over its own tax dollars by — and this is really rich — injecting the federal government into local affairs?

    We thought we could no longer be surprised by congressional hypocrisy when it comes to the nation’s capital, but Mr. Paul’s willingness to turn his back on his supposed libertarian principles and devotion to local rule is truly stunning.

    A bill that would give D.C. officials the ability to spend local dollars — we repeat, locally collected, locally paid tax dollars — without congressional approval was pulled from consideration this week after Mr. Paul introduced a set of amendments that would dictate to the city policies on guns, abortions and unions. “The last senator I would expect it from,” said Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), telling us that she has never seen so many amendments offered at one time by a single member to restrict D.C. rights. Ironically, Ilir Zherka, head of the advocacy group DC Vote, said that Mr. Paul initially had been seen as a potential ally for the District because of his views on small government.

    Mr. Paul told The Post’s Ben Pershing, “I think it’s a good way to call attention to some issues that have national implications. We don’t have [control] over the states, but we do for D.C.” In other words, “I am doing this because I can” — not exactly the argument one expects to hear from someone who has railed about federal intrusion. As Mr. Zherka pointed out, Mr. Paul’s brief for small government is not whether the federal government has the power but whether it should use it.

    A spokesman for Mr. Paul e-mailed us a reminder that the District is not a state but a federal jurisdiction: “Efforts to change that have failed, and until it is changed it is not only the prerogative but the duty of Congress to have jurisdiction over the Federal District.” What we don’t get is how someone who raises the banner of a movement inspired by a time when Americans were ruled without representation could be so unsympathetic to the rights of D.C. citizens who are in the same position.

  13. rikyrah says:

    GOP-style jobs program

    By Dana Milbank, Published: June 27

    “Here in the House,” Speaker John Boehner announced after meeting with his caucus Wednesday morning, “Republicans are going to continue to stay focused on jobs.”

    It’s true. Technically, House Republicans are focused on jobs: Eric Holder’s and President Obama’s. They want to put both men out of work

    Tying up this administration is Job One for the opposition party, and never more so than this week. Republicans have been awaiting with giddy anticipation a Supreme Court decision Thursday that they expect will overturn Obamacare, the signal achievement of Obama’s presidency. “If the court does not strike down the entire law, the House will move to repeal what’s left of it,” Boehner vowed.

    At the same time, Republicans decided to dedicate Thursday to a spectacle on the House floor: voting to hold Holder, the attorney general, in contempt of Congress for declining to hand over certain documents related to the Operation “Fast and Furious” guns program on the Mexican border.

    Fox News Channel’s Chad Pergram asked Boehner (R-Ohio) whether he thinks “the American public is buying the narrative that you’re here to talk about jobs, when in the next 24 hours . . . everything emanating from the House floor is about contempt of Eric Holder?”

    “We’re going to continue to focus on jobs,” Boehner repeated.

    After that, the next jobs-related activity for House Republicans was to hold a meeting of the Rules Committee to determine procedures for Thursday’s vote on Holder.

    Republicans rushed the contempt citation to the floor — the first time in history that the body has taken such action against a sitting attorney general — under “emergency” procedures. They did so even though Boehner had not yet met with Holder and even though the committee handling the investigation had not allowed a single witness whom Democrats wanted to testify publicly. Had they worked with such alacrity to create jobs, the economy would probably be booming.

  14. Ametia says:


  15. rikyrah says:


    Willard tried the duck and dodge with immigration, because they were gonna go ‘ all in’ with the healthcare ruling, hoping that the immigration case would get lost in the shuffle. So, anyone go ask Team Willard their opinion on this?


  16. Ametia says:

    Your move, Mittens. Are you losing any sleep over BAIN CAPITAL & your TAXES?


  17. rikyrah says:

    Local kids get chance encounter with President Obama

    A canceled trip to the Georgia Aquarium could have been a downer, but for a group of campers from Lenora Academy in Snellville, it turned into an opportunity they’ll never forget.

    The change in plans meant a water day at the Fountain of Rings in Centennial Olympic Park and lunch at the famous Varsity restaurant in Atlanta. Little did they know the President of the United States of America would be joining them.

    “We saw all the activity and (were) wondering what was going on,” said Dawn Washington, assistant director at Lenora Academy.

    Just after noon Tuesday, the excitement began.

    “What’ll you have?” Barack Obama was asked as he walked into The Varsity at the start of the lunch rush.

    He ordered five chili dogs, four hotdogs and a cheeseburger for his traveling staff and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and Reed’s mother Sylvia Reed.

    Washington’s daughter, 11-year-old Armonie, got to shake Obama’s hand after a brief chat and photo opportunity, which included other Lenora Academy campers.

    “It was really cool. I would never expect to meet the president in real life,” Armonie Washington said.

    Washington said some of the campers were crying tears of joy

  18. rikyrah says:

    found this in the comments at BJ:

    dmsilev Says:

    [Biden] continued with an image straight out of a New Yorker cartoon: “I can picture one guy in my old neighborhood standing next to another guy in the unemployment line and saying, ‘Hey John, did you get offshored or outsourced?’”

    That’s pretty much all that needs to be said.

  19. rikyrah says:

    JPMorgan Trading Loss May Reach $9 Billion


    Losses on JPMorgan Chase’s bungled trade could total as much as $9 billion, far exceeding earlier public estimates, according to people who have been briefed on the situation.

    When Jamie Dimon, the bank’s chief executive, announced in May that the bank had lost $2 billion in a bet on credit derivatives, he estimated that losses could double within the next few quarters. But the red ink has been mounting in recent weeks, as the bank has been unwinding its positions, according to interviews with current and former traders and executives at the bank who asked not to be named because of investigations into the bank.

  20. rikyrah says:

    The truth about the Fast and Furious scandal
    June 27, 2012: 5:00 AM ET

    A Fortune investigation reveals that the ATF never intentionally allowed guns to fall into the hands of Mexican drug cartels. How the world came to believe just the opposite is a tale of rivalry, murder, and political bloodlust.

    By Katherine Eban

    In the annals of impossible assignments, Dave Voth’s ranked high. In 2009 the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives promoted Voth to lead Phoenix Group VII, one of seven new ATF groups along the Southwest border tasked with stopping guns from being trafficked into Mexico’s vicious drug war.

    Some call it the “parade of ants”; others the “river of iron.” The Mexican government has estimated that 2,000 weapons are smuggled daily from the U.S. into Mexico. The ATF is hobbled in its effort to stop this flow. No federal statute outlaws firearms trafficking, so agents must build cases using a patchwork of often toothless laws. For six years, due to Beltway politics, the bureau has gone without permanent leadership, neutered in its fight for funding and authority. The National Rifle Association has so successfully opposed a comprehensive electronic database of gun sales that the ATF’s congressional appropriation explicitly prohibits establishing one.

    Voth, 39, was a good choice for a Sisyphean task. Strapping and sandy-haired, the former Marine is cool-headed and punctilious to a fault. In 2009 the ATF named him outstanding law-enforcement employee of the year for dismantling two violent street gangs in Minneapolis. He was the “hardest working federal agent I’ve come across,” says John Biederman, a sergeant with the Minneapolis Police Department. But as Voth left to become the group supervisor of Phoenix Group VII, a friend warned him: “You’re destined to fail.”

    Voth’s mandate was to stop gun traffickers in Arizona, the state ranked by the gun-control advocacy group Legal Community Against Violence as having the nation’s “weakest gun violence prevention laws.” Just 200 miles from Mexico, which prohibits gun sales, the Phoenix area is home to 853 federally licensed firearms dealers. Billboards advertise volume discounts for multiple purchases.

    Customers can legally buy as many weapons as they want in Arizona as long as they’re 18 or older and pass a criminal background check. There are no waiting periods and no need for permits, and buyers are allowed to resell the guns. “In Arizona,” says Voth, “someone buying three guns is like someone buying a sandwich.”

    By 2009 the Sinaloa drug cartel had made Phoenix its gun supermarket and recruited young Americans as its designated shoppers or straw purchasers. Voth and his agents began investigating a group of buyers, some not even old enough to buy beer, whose members were plunking down as much as $20,000 in cash to purchase up to 20 semiautomatics at a time, and then delivering the weapons to others.

  21. Ametia says:


  22. Ametia says:


  23. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone!

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