Friday Open Thread | Midnight Soul

midnight soulBarry White, born Barry Eugene Carter ((1944-09-12)September 12, 1944 – July 4, 2003(2003-07-04)), was an American composer and singer-songwriter.

A two-time Grammy Award-winner known for his distinctive bass voice and romantic image, White’s greatest success came in the 1970s as a solo singer and with the Love Unlimited Orchestra, crafting many enduring soul, funk, and disco songs such as his two biggest hits, “You’re the First, the Last, My Everything” and “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love, Babe.” Along with Isaac Hayes, White is considered by as a pioneer of disco music in the early 1970s.

About SouthernGirl2

A Native Texan who adores baby kittens, loves horses, rodeos, pomegranates, & collect Eagles. Enjoys politics, games shows, & dancing to all types of music. Loves discussing and learning about different cultures. A Phi Theta Kappa lifetime member with a passion for Social & Civil Justice.
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73 Responses to Friday Open Thread | Midnight Soul

  1. thorsaurus says:

    Hope you ladies are enjoying a wonderful new year. Just wanted to stop in and say hi and wish SG2 good luck with her Texans. My Seahawks play Sunday. My fingers will be crossed on both days.

  2. rikyrah says:

    Don’t Have Tickets for the Big Day? Inauguration Dress Rehearsal Offers Alternative

    Were you snubbed by Ticketmaster in your quest for seats to the inaugural ball and the Inauguration Day parade? Are you weary of the throngs of tourists that will descend on the District on Inauguration Day and clog up our already taxed commuting system?

    There’s an answer to your woes.

    On Sunday, the Department of Defense will hold a dress rehearsal of a number of Inauguration Day events, including President Barack Obama’s Capitol departure ceremony, a dry-run of the swearing-in and a run-through of the parade with military musical units, marching bands and color guards.

    The Inauguration Day rehearsal will provide Washingtonians a low-key — albeit unofficial — alternative to the madness of the official Inauguration Day activities.

    Beginning at 8 a.m. and going to 11:30 a.m., a full run-through of the parade will take place, including rehearsals for nonmilitary participants in the parade at the official reviewing stand in front of the White House.

    Later on, from 11:30 a.m. to noon, stand-ins for the president and vice president will hold a mock swearing-in ceremony on the official inauguration platform that has been erected on the West Front of the Capitol.

    “The purpose is to practice large-scale movements of military personnel and resources and finalize any logistical or staffing considerations for Inauguration Day,” according to the Joint Task Force – National Capital Region, which is providing the military support for this year’s Inaugural festivities.

  3. rikyrah says:


    did you see this?

    1911 United Inauguration Dinner Party
    Posted by Owen Ward 45pc on January 10, 2013 · Flag

    Please join us for the 1911 United Inauguration Dinner Party from 6-9PM on January 20, 2013, with special invited guest, The Last Poets.

  4. My poor little Jay! Jay doesn’t want to go to school. He asked his mother if he can stay with granny?


  5. rikyrah says:

    There are some terrific comments over at BooMan about the President boxing in the Republicans.


    The defense cuts in the sequester are massive. The GOP has two choices: back up all the talk and shut down the government, in the process crushing a core sponsor in addition to the business community while owning that outcome politically to an unprecedented degree, or rip itself apart and render the teaparty caucus even more irrelevant by making another deal with Obama.
    All the talk you hear from republicans in the next couple months is just empty boasting. In fact I think the fantastical nature of the talk is inversely proportional to the strength of their position. They are in checkmate.
    by torpid bunnyon Fri Jan 11th, 2013 at 08:20:16 AM ET


    It’s So Easy to Outsmart the GOP (4.00 / 2)

    It’s not that Democrats are “cool with sequestration” – they’re less afraid of it than Republicans. It’s like the old joke about two guys in the woods who get surprised by a grizzly bear. One puts on running shoes and the second asks him if he thinks he can actually outrun the bear. The first replies, “No, I only have to outrun you.” In this race the Democrats may not be fast, but they’re way faster than the Republicans. That’s Booman’s point.
    by Oscar In Louisvilleon Thu Jan 10th, 2013 at 10:43:16 PM ES


    Re: It’s So Easy to Outsmart the GOP (none / 0)

    Plus, there’s racism. I think many Republicans tend to believe the racist side of their own propaganda. They think Obama will be an unintelligent pushover; meanwhile, he runs circles around them. It’s like Obama is sighted while they are blind.
    Maybe also there is for some a general belief that Dems aren’t smart. Dangerous to believe your own disinformation.
    by cantelowon Fri Jan 11th, 2013 at 08:09:57 AM EST


    Re: It’s So Easy to Outsmart the GOP (none / 1)

    Cuts to defense? Let’s call it what it really is, red state military industrial complex welfare. That’s better,no?

    Just a guy made of dots and lines.

    by BobXon Fri Jan 11th, 2013 at 08:52:33 AM EST

    • Ametia says:

      LOL love this one: “Cuts to defense? Let’s call it what it really is, red state military industrial complex welfare. That’s better, no?

  6. rikyrah says:

    Republicans’ new foe: Barack Obama, guerrilla warrior
    January 10, 2013: 1:29 PM ET

    Modern conservatives have long used the imagery of guerrilla war in their pursuit of politics. Now the biggest warrior is in the White House.

    By Nina Easton

    Barack Obama handily won the November election. He cleaned the GOP’s clock in last week’s fiscal-cliff deal, seizing control of a supposedly Republican-controlled House. Now congressional Republicans, with a co-joined L on their foreheads and still leaking public support, can look forward to being out-maneuvered in an unwelcome string of upcoming legislative brawls.

    As President Obama approaches his second inaugural, one thing has become clear: The 2008 peacemaker politician has emerged as a skilled guerrilla warrior. If Bill Clinton’s tactical legacy was disarming his opponents by stealing their ideas — welfare reform, “personal responsibility,” cutting spending — Obama’s may be his skill at dividing to conquer his Republican foes.

    Conservatives were once the reigning champs of honing in and exploiting an opponent’s weakness. Under this President, Lee Atwater’s Sun-Tzu quoting descendants have met their match.

    Republicans are gamely trying to spin the fiscal cliff deal as a victory — 99% of the Bush tax cuts enshrined as permanent! But here’s what Obama got: A pass on entitlement reform (which now recedes to the “unlikely” category even as debt-to-GDP ratios threaten the economy); the public triumph of his election-year narrative that taxes are about “fairness” not economic growth; and a chance to divide Republican ranks between those fearful of being blamed for economic chaos and those fearful of losing conservative supporters.

    The landmines of Obama’s fiscal-cliff victory were planted by likely Treasury Secretary nominee Jack Lew — in the 2011 debt ceiling deal that put taxes and military spending cuts on the table, and left entitlement reform off, thereby ensuring Republicans would be operating on the defense. And that’s where they will be once again as we lurch to the next series of fiscal crises, starting with next month’s debate over raising the nation’s debt ceiling.

  7. rikyrah says:

    It’s So Easy to Outsmart the GOP

    by BooMan
    Thu Jan 10th, 2013 at 10:03:51 PM EST

    The so-called sequester is designed to be highly unattractive to both sides of the aisle. But it is structured in a way that makes it significantly more unattractive to the Republicans. The problem is the cuts to the Defense Department. The Republicans who serve on the Armed Services committees are desperate to avoid those cuts and they are willing to cut a deal favorable to the president to avoid them. The progressives don’t like the across the board cuts to the discretionary budget, which will take a bite out of nearly everything, but they prefer them to making a deal that makes significant cuts to Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid.
    What this means is that the Democrats will probably hold together and let sequestration take effect rather than agree to a deal that the House Republicans can accept. However, the Republicans will split apart, with defense hawks clamoring for concessions.

    The upshot is that Speaker Boehner is in a real bind. He knows his party will lose the support of business leaders if they dick around with the debt ceiling, so his threats there are all bluff. But he’d like to think that he can force concessions on the sequester. He can get a little bit, but not as much as he probably needs to sell it to his caucus.

    Making life even more excruciating for the Speaker, the Democrats in Congress and the White House refuse to offer him any concessions and insist that they will only respond to concrete proposals. But the kinds of cuts that Boehner’s caucus wants (big cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid) are deeply unpopular. Every time Washington thinks about tinkering with these third rails of politics, they propose a commission so that both sides can share the blame. But Boehner is being put in the position of making the Republican Party own ALL the blame. And, worse, he’s in the position of insisting on these cuts or else the Pentagon’s budget is cut beyond what the Defense Secretary thinks is safe for the country. And don’t think that the American people won’t be concerned about many of the other cuts in the sequester, either.

    To put this in plain terms, the GOP is painted into a corner where whatever they do will be incredibly unpopular with the electorate unless they totally capitulate, which would splinter their party to the winds.

    You can call this 11-dimensional chess or just a very nice flanking maneuver, but the Republicans are in a real bind of the president’s making.

    We’ll probably still be debating the president’s negotiating skills 20 years from now, but I want to make a point about the Republicans’ negotiating skills. Their greatest weakness is their ideological inflexibility. It makes then so predictable that the administration is able to plot things out months and years in advance without much fear that they’ll be surprised. It’s a huge weakness to let your opponent know that you can’t take yes for an answer if there is one penny of tax increases. It allows your enemy to offer you anything, no matter how generous or concerning to their own troops, secure in the knowledge that you’ll never take them up on the concession. They look reasonable. They look like they are negotiating in good faith. But it’s your own bad faith that allows them to make good faith offers in bad faith. You enable it. Because all you have to do is surprise them by saying yes when they thought you’d say no, and you’ve put a wedge between them and their base.

    The Republicans were set up by their own predictability. And their predictability is founded on their ideological rigidity. They are getting played like a fiddle.

  8. rikyrah says:

    The Morning Plum: The NRA’s Big Lies
    Posted by Greg Sargent on January 11, 2013 at 9:21 am

    Yesterday Joe Biden met with officials from the National Rifle Association in hopes of finding common ground in the quest to prevent future massacres, such as the one in Newtown, which killed 20 children. Predictably, the NRA put out a statement that was full of lies, accusing the White House’s gun task force of an “agenda to attack the Second Amendment” and of blaming “law-abiding gun owners” for the “acts of criminals and madmen.” As always, the game plan is to stoke resentment and fear among gun owners and to obscure the real goals of sensible gun law reform. This signals that an epic battle lies ahead.

    In this context, you really should read the Huffington Post’s big piece detailing the degree to which the NRA represents, first and foremost, the multibillion dollar gun industry. The piece details the financial ties between the two, and demonstrates a key thing about this debate: The NRA is putting an enormous amount of firepower into defending what can only be described as an extreme worldview, one that encourages resistance to even the most sensible regulatory and public safety efforts, with the apparent goal of ensuring that the country is awash in as many guns as possible.

    From the point of view of gun reform advocates, this was captured perfectly in Wayne La Pierre’s now infamous statement, which accompanied his call for armed guards in schools as the only way to protect our children: “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”

    Left unsaid, of course, is that having “good guys” with guns in no way precludes doing far more to prevent the “bad guy” from getting a gun in the first place. The NRA wants to frame this debate as a false choice — as one between improving front line security for our children (with guns, natch) and doing more to prevent criminals and the mentally ill from getting access to lethal, overwhelming firepower. But these are not mutually exclusive at all. Indeed, the White House is weighing a proposal to make federal funding available for schools that want to hire cops and surveillance equipment to keep guns out of schools, an idea that would be part of its broader package of reforms.

  9. rikyrah says:

    Some congressman just can’t help themselves

    By Steve Benen

    Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:50 AM EST

    National election cycles rarely hinge on one issue, but I think it’s fair to say Republicans would have enjoyed 2012 far more if fewer GOP candidates shared their thoughts on rape. In Indiana and Missouri, for example, Todd Akin’s and Richard Mourdock’s public comments on the issue almost certainly cost them U.S. Senate seats.

    After Election Day, the message to Republicans wasn’t subtle: learn from Akin’s and Mourdock’s mistake and try not to be stupid when it comes to talking about rape. And yet, Amanda Terkel flags this jaw-dropper from Rep. Phil Gingrey (R) of Georgia, who apparently slept through 2012. [Update: video via TPM]

    After suggesting Mourdock was judged unfairly, Gingrey reflected on Akin.

    “[Akin] was asked by a local news source about rape and he said, ‘Look, in a legitimate rape situation’ — and what he meant by legitimate rape was just look, someone can say I was raped: a scared-to-death 15-year-old that becomes impregnated by her boyfriend and then has to tell her parents, that’s pretty tough and might on some occasion say, ‘Hey, I was raped.’ That’s what he meant when he said legitimate rape versus non-legitimate rape. I don’t find anything so horrible about that. But then he went on and said that in a situation of rape, of a legitimate rape, a woman’s body has a way of shutting down so the pregnancy would not occur. He’s partly right on that.”

    Gingrey pointed out that he had been an OB-GYN since 1975.

  10. rikyrah says:

    Business leaders to GOP: No more debt limit hostage taking!
    Posted by Greg Sargent on January 11, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    Another key moment in the debt ceiling fight: On MSNBC this morning, the head of the powerful U.S. Chamber of Commerce called on Republicans to stop using the threat of default to get the spending cuts they want.

    Chamber president Tom Donohue didn’t do this quite as directly as he might have, but the plain meaning was clear. This is significant, because in doing this, he went further than other business leaders, who have merely issued a general call for a hike in the debt ceiling without pointing a finger at Republican debt ceiling hostage taking. Donohue, by contrast, said he wants to see a stop to the tactic of using the debt ceiling as leverage.

    “When you get down to defaulting on the debt, you have a very, very serious question: What will happen to interest rates, what will happen to our relationships around the world?” Donohue said in an interview with Chuck Todd. “It could really hurt the economy.”

    Donohue said he thought mounting debt and entitlements could also damage the economy long term. Then he added: “I think we have to let the folks up on the Hill use the assets they have while at the same time trying to tell them that using the debt is the least desirable of those.”

    This is a key quote. The head of the Chamber, one of the most powerful GOP-aligned interest groups in the country, is essentially saying that using the debt ceiling as leverage to force spending cuts has to stop. This comes after the Financial Services Roundtable, the Business Roundtable, and other business groups all are insisting more generally on a debt ceiling hike.

  11. rikyrah says:

    Jim DeMint Is No Deep Thinker

    by BooMan
    Fri Jan 11th, 2013 at 11:21:39 AM EST

    At least we don’t have to worry that the Heritage Foundation will be empowered by Jim DeMint’s deep thinking. All he’s got is an idea to do some research into how to market tea bagger ideas better in the marketplace. He says, “one lesson I learned in marketing is that, for consumers and voters, perception is reality.” So, really, his plan is to research how to best distort people’s perception so that they accept his alternative reality. He doesn’t plan on using his think tank to come up with new ideas that might appeal to the voters, but, instead, to change what they want.
    Sounds like he’s going to create a soul-crushing environment at the Foundation where actual intellectual activity is discouraged.

  12. rikyrah says:

    Louie Giglio out from Inaugural: Good
    Posted by Jonathan Capehart on January 10, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    Controversy over an anti-gay sermon by Louie Giglio of Passion City Church in Atlanta forced him to withdraw his acceptance of the invitation to deliver the benediction at the presidential inaugural. Good. President Obama should not have to share the stage with him.

    Obama is the most pro-gay person to occupy the Oval Office. He ended the ban on gay men and lesbians serving openly in the military. His administration has stopped defending the so-called Defense of Marriage Act in court. He has expressed his personal support for marriage equality. And in pronouncement and policy, the president and his administration have made bringing dignity, equity and fairness to gay people and their families a priority.

    That’s why it boggled the mind that the Presidential Inaugural Committee would force Obama to share the stage with Giglio. The pastor got on the radar because of his work and leadership against human trafficking. This issue is important to the president, who devoted his entire speech at the Clinton Global Initiative last year. But whatever good works Giglio has done in that arena are marred by his anti-gay statements.

    In a 1990’s sermon, Giglio preached that being gay is a genetic “malfunction.” He also advocated that homosexuality could be cured, saying “[T]he only way out of a homosexual lifestyle, the only way out of a relationship that has been engrained [sic] over years of time, is through the healing power of Jesus….It’s not easy to change, but it is possible to change.”

    Even though those words were delivered years ago, they reflect what many folks still believe. These bigoted beliefs that use religion for cover have done damage to countless people and families for far too long.

    Don’t even attempt to make a parallel between Giglio and Chuck Hagel’s homophobic remarks from the same time period. Hagel has apologized and has promised to continue the president’s inclusive work. Giglio has not, as his statement announcing his withdrawal from the festivities makes clear. That is his right — as it is our right not to have an unrepentant bigot be given such a high honor on Inauguration Day.

    • Ametia says:

      This is why religion and politics DO NOT MIX. I don’t agree with the pastor’s stance on homosexuality, but I do agree he is entitled to his religious beliefs, and good for him in standing up for them.

      This whole thing stinks! Whomever invited Giglio knew exactly where he stood on the issue and where POTUS stood. They wanted the drama and outcry. Sorry, I can not beat the drum for this stupidity.

  13. rikyrah says:

    What feminism isn’t about: Cabinet headcounts.

    Feminism is the radical notion that women are people and as such, have an innate right to the same human and civil rights enjoyed by other people.

    To the extent that we have mostly failed to incorporate that fact into the norms, mores, culture and laws of humanity over the vast sweep of our shared history, it’s good to practice a kind of affirmative action that seeks out and advances women of skill. When conditions beyond your control mean that you start the race a mile behind everyone else, at a certain point, it’s only fair that you be given help in making up the difference.

    But that help is not, unto itself, the realization of feminism, nor is it the only thing necessary to realize feminism in human society.

    I say this because there is a flap being made about the fact that President Obama’s second Cabinet is shaping up to be a very male (and very white, it should be noted) group.

    Some Democrats are behaving as if the President has betrayed us, and some Republicans are suggesting that the whole “Obama is better for women” thing was so much mendacious diversion, because look! It’s a sausage fest up in the Oval Office! Joe Scarborough went so far this morning as to yell the following at his Democratic co-host Mika Brzezinski (and then later snap his fingers at her! [Yes, really! Video below]):

    For Barack Obama and his team to savage Mitt Romney for a month off of an offhanded comment that really meant nothing, and here we are on something that matters. And you’re forgiving him, while you lit into Romney for a month, and the media lit into Romney for a month, and now you all are hypocritically, and I will say it, hypocritically giving this man a pass because he’s a Democrat that you’re cheering for.

    Scarborough’s reference was, of course, to Romney’s “binders full of women” comment, which, had it been an isolated moment of poor phrasing would, in fact have been “an offhanded comment that really meant nothing.”

    But here’s the damn thing, aggrieved progressives and conservatives alike: That comment was neither offhanded nor meaningless, because it reflected the Republican Party’s oft-expressed and acted-upon attitude toward the rights of Americans who happen to be women, and feminism is more than a headcount.

  14. Obama Threat: Michigan Man’s Alleged Remarks Of Assassination Alert Secret Service

    An alleged threat against President Obama has brought the scrutiny of the U.S. Secret Service down on a resident of Clinton Township, Mich. A Comerica Bank employee told local police that he overheard the 57-year-old man tell another customer on Jan. 2 that he wanted the president to be assassinated, reports Clinton Township Patch.

    The source also said he heard the man say that he knew of some people willing to drive him to Washington D.C. to “get the job done,” according to a police report cited by Patch. When questioned about the incident by Clinton Township police, the man denied the allegations and said he was simply voicing his unhappiness with President Obama’s policies. Police notified the Secret Service, who are expected to handle any additional investigation.

    OWN your ish, PUNK! Fucking coward!

  15. rikyrah says:

    Scott Finley‏@TheScottFinley
    @ChristyRidTram @AngryBlackLady @Kyrondo @D_v_E An Ivory Soap liberal is someone who can get 99.44% of what they want and still be pissy

  16. Ametia says:

    January 11, 2013
    PM Carpenter

    Ego time

    Early in Charles Pierce’s pretty much spot-on polemic against deficit hysteria and the activist fraud that calls itself “Fix the Debt” and the coy hypocrisy of one of its steering-committee members who also profits as a board member of tax-avoiding and thus deficit-boosting General Electric, he notes:

    [I]t’s necessary to point out that, among other things, GE owns a big part of liberal cable-teevee network MSNBC. I wanted to get that in because it’s been about 28 minutes since Lawrence O’Donnell reminded me that he went to Harvard, worked in the Senate, and did some time in Hollywood, and I hate to interrupt.

    Ouch. But Pierce has another sharp and equally valid point to make here, even if he doesn’t make it: Hosting a cable-network news program is often an excellent professional route by which otherwise distinguished careers promptly de-professionalize themselves. Hosts are commonly chosen by networks such as MSNBC for their political knowledge and experience, yet their metamorphosis from analytical maven to egotistical buffoon is, frequently, as complete as it is prompt.

    Some are organically hopeless, namely, the hustler Rev. Al and the befuddled Ed Schultz, who are such offensive blights on even a stabbing semblance of network news as to merit simply the averting of one’s eyes and trusting that they’ll soon go away. Others, though, are something of a pity to watch as they professionally deteriorate: O’Donnell’s … emphatically … delivered … diatribes; Bashir’s nearly instantaneous shift from journalist-moderator to schoolyard sarcasm vendor; Maddow’s Hey, look at me, I’m so clever and gosh darnit just morally righteous to a fault–yet what else can the idealistically perfect do?

    There are, and all of you know them, people who should never be given a badge and a uniform, since trinkets and cloaks of authority will go straight to their swelling heads. Network camera-time, too, should be dispensed with discretion.

  17. Ametia says:

    Reprimand for ‘Flatulence’ Withdrawn in Unusual Employee Discipline Case
    Posted Jan 11, 2013 6:30 AM CST
    By Molly McDonough

    After the Smoking Gun called attention to an unusual reprimand letter accusing a Social Security Administration employee of misconduct for continuously passing gas, thus creating a hostile work environment, the agency has seen fit to clear the air and withdraw the action.

    The five-page letter sent in early December accused the 38-year-old Baltimore, Md., worker of “conduct unbecoming a federal officer” for passing gas more than 60 times over a 12-week period. The letter details the dates and times of the alleged flatulence. When the worker offered to turn on a fan, a supervisor responded that a fan would only make matters worse by spreading the odor.

    In a story about the letter being rescinded, the Washington Post noted, “It’s hard to keep a straight face on this one, but it’s worth mentioning as one of the strangest cases of alleged misconduct we’ve seen.”

    Also see:

    Smoking Gun: “Formal Reprimand Issued To Flatulent Federal Worker: Man’s gas blamed for creating “intolerable” workplace”

  18. Ametia says:

    Scandal was INTENSE last night. Have you seen it, Rikyrah? Waterboarding, enhanced intterogation of none other than HUCK! Mel’s up to her neck in some shady shit too. Getting better by the weeks.

  19. Ametia says:

    On Monday, President Obama nominated Chuck Hagel, a decorated war hero and two-term Republican senator from Nebraska, to serve as Secretary of Defense.

    Leading up to Senator Hagel’s confirmation in the Senate, I wanted to make sure you knew exactly why the President nominated him for this important position. Read on, then forward this email to your friends and family to make sure they know the facts, too.

    Senator Hagel enlisted in the Army and volunteered for the war in Vietnam. He served with honor alongside his own brother — both were injured in combat, and Senator Hagel earned two Purple Hearts. To this day, Senator Hagel bears the scars and shrapnel from the battles he fought in our country’s name.

    Because of that, for Senator Hagel, war is not an abstraction — it’s something we only do when it is absolutely necessary. He has been and will continue to be a champion of our troops, military families, and veterans because he’s one of them. Senator Hagel will be the first person of enlisted rank to serve as Secretary of Defense.

    During his time in the Senate, Senator Hagel bucked his party and spoke out against the Iraq war, showing valuable judgment and independence. He’s ready and able to help President Obama carry through on his commitment to end the war in Afghanistan, maintain Israel’s special bond with the United States, and stand strong with our allies around the world.

    At his core, Senator Hagel has always been guided by the principle that when it comes to national security, there are no Democrats or Republicans — only people working for the good of our country.

    President Obama has full confidence in Senator Hagel’s ability to serve as Secretary of Defense and keep our nation safe. Former Secretaries of State Colin Powell and Madeleine Albright and former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates have endorsed the President’s choice, and are encouraging a swift confirmation.

    The public debate is just getting started, so it’s important that people know the facts. Forward this email and make sure your friends and family know why Chuck Hagel is the President’s choice for Secretary of Defense.



    Stephanie Cutter
    Deputy Campaign Manager
    Obama for America


  20. rikyrah says:

    Lew’s detractors struggling with coherence
    By Steve Benen
    Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:58 AM EST.

    Before White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew had even been nominated to President Obama’s cabinet, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), the top Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, said Lew “must never be secretary of Treasury.” Yesterday on CNBC, the far-right Alabama senator went even further

    For those who can’t watch clips online, Sessions specifically said, “I intend to oppose this nomination.” Asked if he would filibuster Lew’s nomination, Sessions added, “We’ll just see what happens.”

    I tend to think most of this is pointless chest-thumping that won’t amount to anything. Even if Sessions were to launch the first-ever filibuster of a Treasury secretary nominee, he’d almost certainly have trouble finding 40 friends to help him prevent an up-or-down vote.

    But let’s not overlook Sessions’ stated rationale: “I don’t think [Lew] brings to — certainly doesn’t bring the gravitas of former New York Fed chairmen like Secretary Geithner and other very prominent people we’ve had as secretary of Treasury.”

    Wait, what? The ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee is preparing to go to political war over a perceived sense of gravitas?


    I suppose this is a subjective matter — Lew strikes me as a rather accomplished and impressive individual, but obviously opinions can vary — but if we’re going to start judging cabinet secretaries based on Jeff Sessions’ ambiguous standards on stature, the confirmation process will soon reach new depths of dysfunction.

    In fact, if this is on the table as an important Washington metric, I might also suggest Sessions lacks the gravitas to have a leading role over who is and isn’t in a presidential cabinet.

    But even putting that aside, Sessions’ incoherent opposition to Lew’s nomination only helps underscore what we discussed yesterday: the Senate’s filibuster rules need to be reformed to prevent these ridiculous antics. Indeed, Dave Weigel reported that Sessions is inadvertently helping his Democratic opponents.

  21. Ametia says:

    Break out the CHARMIN, Folks are “SHOULDING” on PBO again!

    Who would replace LaHood?
    By Al Kamen,

    A “White House official” set off a bit of consternation — okay, maybe panic — in a number of agencies Wednesday when he (or she) apparently confirmed that Attorney General Eric Holder, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, and Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki were staying.

    Some of “The Unlisted,” such as Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, were almost certainly staying, sources said. But others, such as Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, were seen as possible departures. Some were somewhere in between.

  22. rikyrah says:

    From Tyren M


    Karen Finney on LOD floatin trial balloon – Joe lay down for Hillary.
    Karen, I know Hils put u on but you’re losing me…and fast.

    Thank you! Please tell me if HRC is so great, popular and qualified, why are her minions always trying to get other potential opponents to not run against her? Why can’t she compete against all comers and win fair and square? I seem to recall folks like Vernon Jordan trying to get PBO not to run or to wait his turn, whatever the f*ck that meant . I would think the first woman president would want to earn it, just like PBO did as the first AA president, and not expect it to be handed to her.

    Run Joe, run! For your loyalty to PBO, your tireless work on behalf of the American people and because you’re a good guy and a nice person, you have earned my vote and support

  23. rikyrah says:

    Why Biden’s interest in gun research matters

    By Steve Benen

    Fri Jan 11, 2013 8:40 AM EST.

    As Rachel explained last night, Vice President Biden and his task force on gun violence met yesterday with opponents of gun control, including officials from the National Rifle Association, and the meeting was not exactly productive. It appears the Obama administration and the NRA are not on the same page. Try to contain your surprise.

    But that doesn’t mean the day lacked newsworthy developments

    The vice president noted that his panel is moving forward with a series of recommendations, which will be ready ahead of schedule, and if you watch the clip, you’ll notice he referenced a part of the gun debate that’s generally overlooked: federally-funded research.

    In fact, Biden specifically said his Gun Violence Commission is exploring “the ability of any agency to do research on the issue of gun violence.”

    When policymakers look for “common sense” reforms on gun policy that enjoy “consensus” support in the American mainstream, they generally talk about measures like restricting high-capacity clips and background checks to prevent suspected terrorists of purchasing firearms.

    But if policymakers are making a list of no-brainer reforms, I hope research on gun violence is added to the mix — because the status quo is ridiculous.


    To review what we discussed a few weeks ago, the NRA and the rest of the gun lobby hasn’t just fought to kill restrictions on firearm ownership, they’ve also blocked basic data collection. As a result, there’s “no current scientific consensus about guns and violence,” in large part because the NRA “has been able to neutralize empirical cases for control.”

  24. rikyrah says:

    The Only Thing That Stops a Bad Guy With a Gun

    By mistermix January 11th, 2013

    Is a brave teacher:

    A 16-year-old was in critical condition Thursday night after a fellow student interrupted a first-period class at Taft Union High School southwest of Bakersfield, confronted him by name and fired a round from a 12-gauge shotgun into his upper body.

    The assailant, also 16, tried to shoot a second student and missed before a science teacher was able to talk him down, apparently taking the shotgun as the other students fled from the classroom through a door.

    Police officers arrived after the teacher had disarmed the assailant and took the teenager into custody. They seized the shotgun.

    The teacher, Ryan Heber, was struck in the head by a pellet but was not seriously injured and refused treatment, authorities said.

    “If it weren’t for this teacher and his quick response, we don’t know what would have happened,” Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood said.

    Other reports I saw said that the kid had pockets full of shells so who knows how many lives Heber saved.

  25. rikyrah says:

    If Andrew Sullivan Is The Future of Journalism Then Journalism Is Fucked

    Las Vegas, NV: Andrew Sullivan is all over the news after announcing he’s going solo, parting ways with Tina Brown shortly after she put a pillow over Newsweek’s face.

    But in all the media excitement over Sullivan’s decision to rely on the much-maligned subscription model for his revenues (“bold experiment!”… “A thrill!”… “a flag of hope for every writer!”… “a dramatic stand!”…) no one raised the most obvious question of all: Why would subscribers pay to support one of the most colossal serial-failures in American journalism of the past two decades?

    Reports claim that Sullivan has already raised $400,000 from his readers. If Sullivan really has raised this much money, and if his subscription model genuinely succeeds thanks to tens of thousands of subscribers supporting his work, it means we’re witnessing something new and deeply disturbing: “mutualised” unaccountability (to use one of their idiotic neologisms); the democratization of rewarding media failure and fraud.

    Sullivan is getting away with it and profiting from failure thanks to two key elements to his media business model: Blogger cronyism, providing a network of media suckups all too eager to offer free PR to Sullivan’s business in the hope that “Sully” will logroll back at them some day; and the American public’s amnesia.

    I happen to know just how rotten Sullivan is because over at the S.H.A.M.E. Project, we just published a profile on one of the most rancid political figures of our time, Charles Murray — a vicious right-wing sociopath and racial eugenicist who got his start as a counter-insurgency expert during the Vietnam War, using starvation and crop destruction as a means of “behavior control” on restive Thai villages.

    Murray’s fraudulent racial eugenics theories “proving” that blacks and Latinos are genetically inferior gained a foothold in mainstream discourse, thanks to Andrew Sullivan. What’s more disturbing is that even as Sullivan has disavowed some of his far-right causes of the past — like smearing critics of America’s wars as traitors, denouncing “decadent” coastal America, denouncing what he called the “libidinal pathology” of gay sexual culture, smearing anyone not with the Likkud program as anti-Semitic, and so on — the one far-right belief he won’t let go of is racial intelligence, “human biodiversity” and the whole range of rancid Nazi eugenics revived in 1994 by Charles Murray’s discredited book, The Bell Curve.

    The horrible irony is that thanks to our collective amnesia, most people today mistakenly identify Andrew Sullivan’s punditry with intellectual courage — that he turned against Bush’s war earlier than most of his fellow neocon pundits, supposedly at great risk to his reputation and “brand” because he turned on the very same bloodthirsty war mob he’d been organizing and firing up for years — lending him contrarian credibility… despite his record of viciously attacking critics of Bush’s war as traitors, collaborators with terrorism and evil, at a time when being targeted as a national traitor by a major media figure like Sullivan was genuinely dangerous to a critic’s career.

    People are already forgetting the ugly explosion of McCarthyism in this country around the invasion of Iraq and the months afterwards, just as they’ve forgotten the attack dog role that Andrew Sullivan played in all of that, before his allegedly “brave” turn away from Bush and towards a safer weathervane politics of libertarianism and Obama-boosterism.

  26. Ametia says:

    AP/ January 10, 2013, 10:17 PM
    Newtown mom wants voice in gun control discussion

    NEWTOWN, CONN. The family of a boy shot dead in last month’s elementary school massacre said Thursday it has been contacted by the White House regarding its desire to be heard in the discussion over gun control in Washington, D.C.

    Alexis Haller, an uncle of 6-year-old Noah Pozner, said a White House official he met during President Barack Obama’s visit to Newtown after the Dec. 14 shooting encouraged him to reach out if he had any concerns. He said he asked officials earlier this month if victims’ families would be informed of initiatives stemming from the massacre and finally heard back Thursday evening about consultations between the White House and families.

    A White House spokesman said Thursday the Newtown families will have the chance to share their views before Obama makes any decisions.


    “As the mother of a six year old victim of a cold-blooded massacre of school children, I am puzzled and disappointed by the fact that I have had no information or opportunity to be heard regarding the upcoming legislative proposal in Washington,” she said in a statement released earlier by Haller, her brother.

    Haller said the family has ideas it wants to share with the White House and wants to be part of the discussion about the response to the school massacre, in which the gunman also killed six adults before committing suicide.

  27. Interesting. I never thought of barry as a Disco artist. I suppose it isn’t wrong though. He had a great influence on America and as minimal as it may seem; I believe he still does today.

    Barry White was an awriter and performer. I remember hearing his music for the first time. I was a young white child and I thought he was very amusing; with his oh so deep voice and sultry delivery; he made us laugh because it wasn’t what we were used to from our Pop music.

    As we became more accustomed to it; we found we liked it and to this day; i find myself humming or singing one of his songs without realising it.

    Barry was a singer like very few others. Not only did he produce meaningful, powerful music but he became one of a small number of musicians whose work has been used by impressionists and and comedians over the years and to this day if one of them dips his head; lowers his voice and says “Ahh Baby”; you know who he is about to immitate.

    It is almost impossible not to sing along and when done well; fond memories of Barry; and those times come flooding back.

    Barry’s music lent itself to both the serious, romantic mood and the lighthearted parodies that came later. He was a great American musician and I for one will always love his work.

    As I write; I am remembering a routine by a impressionist/comedian from the seventies or early eighties. His name escapes me but many will know him as he played “Rhinehart” on “Barney Miller” A jewish guy with deep character lines.

    This guy had a deep voice and did Barry; like Barry. he would begin with some standard Barry White lines in that deep sultry vioce Barry used when he was talking romantically to his lady and he would just about get you hooked into thinking this was to be a straight impression of Barry when he would say:

    “I love you baby” “You make me sweat” “Come on over here and sit on my face baby” “Let your whole family sit on my face.” “Especially your cousin; Regina”

    When I heard this; I thought I would split my sides. I was young and I don’t know if it would be as funny today but back then it was killer.

    It was just another way Barry’s music spread like wildfire through the American music scene and his style was appreciated for it’s serious tone and the various other uses it could be put to as well.

    Barry was great as proven by the fact that even people who could not really be considered fans of the Soul genre; loved and sang along with Barry. Great music is great music; regardless of the genre it comes from. Music is music and really it is more fair to say; I like or don’t like that song than I like or don’t like that entire genre.

    I remember Barry White. I am not likely to forget him; or his music. Thanks for jogging my memory. *Mark*

  28. rikyrah says:

    Replacing David: Plouffe-by-committee?

    1/10/13 12:29 PM EST

    Obama’s right hand man in the West Wing and campaign consigliere, David Plouffe, has basically left the building, according to several White House sources who say they haven’t seen him around much since the fiscal cliff deal.

    (He did stand up for a light USA Today exit interview recently, and has been helping to frame the inaugural and SOTU. But he isn’t diving into anything new, sources say, and is suffering from a bad case of senioritis).

    So who replaces Obama’s (semi) irreplaceable man?

    In reality, no one. But there are a few emerging clues on staffers who would assume Plouffe’s multiple roles as the top in-house adviser on communications, messaging, political strategy and freelance Obama-whispering. Think Plouffe-by-committee.

    Several administration officials tell me that current Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer (who didn’t comment, and seemed annoyed by the inquiry) is likely to get an enhanced role sometime soon, and would possibly take over the messaging, comms and sounding board role that Plouffe occupied.

    It’s not a stretch for Obama lifer Pfeiffer, who emerged as Plouffe’s right hand man over the past 18 months, and has been privy to many of the strategy meetings attended by Plouffe. What Pfeiffer’s title will be is unclear, but multiple sources tell me that his highly-regarded deputy Jennifer Palmieri, who enjoys strong relationships with the national political press, would be considered the top choice for CD if he’s moved up the line (Palmieri also refused to comment, though in a nicer way than Pfeiffer).

    It’s less clear who will take over the other half of Plouffe’s brief — since Obama shuttered the White House political office halfway through his first term.

  29. rikyrah says:

    Melissa Harris-Perry Defends Obama’s White, Male Cabinet: Clarence Thomas Not Representative Of Black People

    MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry weighed in on the controversy surrounding President Barack Obama’s lack of women and minorities in high ranking positions in his second term Cabinet. She told MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts that, while Obama’s inner circle is dominated by white men, the president is likely to surround himself with people with diverse views and opinions. She justified this by saying that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, for example, does not hold views that are representative of “the vast majority” of African-Americans.

    “I think we want to be careful, because no one wants to assume that any given physical body carries with it a set of political ideas,” Harris-Perry said.

    “You know, Clarence Thomas sitting on the Supreme Court of the United States does not mean that Justice Thomas is representing, necessarily, the positions, the issues, even the Constitutional interpretation that is shared by the vast majority of civil rights organizations and by the vast majority of African-Americans,” she added.

    Harris-Perry said that Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), for example, would not be representative of the issues of concern to most women had she become the Presidnet of the United States.

    Finally, Harris-Perry opined that Congressional Republicans would offer “resistance” to any Cabinet nominee, regardless of their gender or race.

  30. rikyrah says:

  31. rikyrah says:


    YEAH BABY!!!!!!!

  32. Ametia says:

    Obama, Afghan President To Hold Press Conference At 1:15 PM ET


    After a morning of meetings, President Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai will hold a press conference at 1:15 p.m. ET at the White House. Obama and Karzai are scheduled begin meeting at 10 a.m. ET. Vice President Joe Biden will attend the meeting, and the three leaders will also have lunch at the White House.

    Read more:

  33. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone! Happy FRY-day. :-)

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