Wednesday Open Thread | Diana Ross Week

Good Morning. Let’s reflect some more on Diana Ross.


Film career: 1972–1999

Main articles: Lady Sings the Blues (film), Mahogany (film), The Wiz (film), Out of Darkness, and Double Platinum

In 1971, Diana Ross began working on her first film, Lady Sings the Blues, which was a loosely based biography on music legend Billie Holiday. Some critics lambasted the idea of the singer playing Holiday considering how “miles apart” their styles were. At one point, Ross began talking with several of Holiday’s acquaintances and listened to her recordings to get into character. During an audition to acquire the role, Ross would act on cue to the film’s producers’s commands, helping Ross to win her part. When Berry Gordy heard Ross perform covers of Holiday’s material, he felt Ross had put “a little too much” Holiday in her vocal range, advising Ross to “put a little Diana back into it.”

Ross also talked with doctors at drug clinics in research of the film, as Holiday had been a known drug addict. Ross would later make a crucial decision when it came to interpreting Holiday’s music: instead of flatly imitating Holiday, she only focused on Holiday’s vocal phrasing. “Lady Sings the Blues” opened in theaters in October 1972, becoming a major success in Ross’s career. Jazz critic Leonard Feather, a friend of Billie Holiday, praised Ross for “expertly capturing the essence of Lady Day.” Ross’s role in the film won her Golden Globe Award and Academy Award nominations for Best Actress. Alongside Cicely Tyson, who was nominated for her role in the film, Sounder, they were the first Black actresses to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress since Dorothy Dandridge. The soundtrack to “Lady Sings the Blues” became just as successful, reaching #1 on the Billboard 200 staying there for two weeks and breaking then-industry records by shipping 300,000 copies during the first eight days of its release. At nearly two million in sales, it is one of Ross’s best-selling albums to date.

lady sings the blues-1

After the film, Ross returned to her music career, reemerging with another film in 1975 with Mahogany, her second film, in which she starred alongside Billy Dee Williams and whose costumes she designed. The story of an aspiring fashion designer who becomes a runway model and the toast of the industry, Mahogany was a troubled production from its inception. The film’s original director, Tony Richardson, was fired during production, and Berry Gordy assumed the director’s chair himself. In addition, Gordy and Ross clashed during filming, with Ross leaving the production before shooting was completed, forcing Gordy to use secretary Edna Anderson as a body double for Ross. While a box office success, the film was not well received by the critics: Time magazine’s review of the film chastised Gordy for “squandering one of America’s most natural resources: Diana Ross.”[11]

In 1977, Motown acquired the film rights to the Broadway play The Wiz, an African-American reinterpretation of L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. The film initially was to include the stage actors who had performed on the play. However, the role of Dorothy, which had been performed onstage by Stephanie Mills, would be given to Ross after she convinced film producer Rob Cohen to cast her in the role of Dorothy. This decision eventually led to a change in the film’s script in which Dorothy went from a schoolgirl to a schoolteacher. The role of the Scarecrow, also performed by someone else onstage, was eventually given to Ross’s former Motown label mate, Michael Jackson. The film adaptation of The Wiz had been a $24 million production, but upon its October 1978 release, it earned only $21,049,053 at the box office.[12][13][14] Though pre-release television broadcast rights had been sold to CBS for over $10 million, the film produced a net loss of $10.4 million for Motown and Universal.[13][14] At the time, it was the most expensive film musical ever made.[15] The film’s failure ended Ross’s short career on the big screen and contributed to the Hollywood studios’s reluctance to produce the all-black film projects which had become popular during the blaxploitation era of the early-to-mid 1970s for several years.[16][17][18] The Wiz was Ross’s final film for Motown.

Ross had success with movie-themed songs. While her version of Holiday’s “Good Morning Heartache” only performed modestly well in early 1973, her recording of “Theme from Mahogany (Do You Know Where You’re Going To)” gave Ross her third number-one hit, in late 1975. Three years later, Ross and Michael Jackson had a modest dance hit with their recording of “Ease on Down the Road.” Their second duet, actually as part of the ensemble of The Wiz, “Brand New Day,” found some success overseas. Ross scored a Top 10 hit in late 1980 with the theme song to the 1980 film It’s My Turn. The following year, she collaborated with former Commodores singer-songwriter Lionel Richie on the theme song for the film Endless Love. The Academy Award-nominated title single became her final hit on Motown Records, and the number one record of the year. Several years later, in 1988, Ross recorded the theme song to The Land Before Time. “If We Hold On Together” became an international hit, reaching number-one in Japan.



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mahogany diana ross poster recipe favorite food cooking lifestyle

the wiz

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61 Responses to Wednesday Open Thread | Diana Ross Week

  1. Ametia says:

    Stephanie Cutter’s gonna be on Big Ed tonight.

  2. Ametia says:

    Waiting for Chris Matthews and nem to devote their shows to the ANGRY WHITE MEN & THE CHILDREN & OTHER PEEPS THEY SLAUGHTER.

    * NOPE; just checked in; it’s Obama has a woman in his admin problem* Fuck you Matthews!

  3. rikyrah says:

    Lots of smart Republicans are terrified of the debt ceiling

    Posted by Ezra Klein on January 16, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    One dimension of the debt-ceiling debate that hasn’t gotten enough attention is how split Republicans are on the idea. While the working assumption in Washington is that the GOP will try to hold the debt-ceiling hostage in return for some (heretofore unspecified) spending cuts, quite a few influential Republicans are begging and pleading with the party to find another strategy, warning that it’s a hostage Republicans can’t shoot and that the two possible outcomes are 1) an embarrassing cave or 2) an economic disaster that the public blames on the GOP. A partial list:

    Newt Gingrich: “They’ve got to find, in the House, a totally new strategy. Everybody’s now talking about, ‘Oh, here comes the debt ceiling.’ I think that’s, frankly, a dead loser. Because in the end, you know it’s gonna happen. The whole national financial system is going to come in to Washington and on television, and say: ‘Oh my God, this will be a gigantic heart attack, the entire economy of the world will collapse. You guys will be held responsible.’ And they’ll cave.”

    Rep. Scott Rigell (R-Va.): “Say, ‘Okay, let’s just walk through that.’ What we’re basically saying, then, is that we’re going to balance the federal budget not over time, but in a moment; in a day. So the next morning, what are we going to pay? Do you think we ought to pay the troops? Most people would say, ‘Oh, gosh, absolutely.’ Well, what about those receiving Medicare? ‘Well yeah, that needs to — we need to do that. They’re dependent on that.’ What about Social Security? ‘Well certainly, we earned that. We paid into that.’ And you just go down the line. Most folks, if you really walk through it, it’s not a good scenario.”

    Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) “Senator Collins recognizes that the debt ceiling is going to have to be raised because the U.S. cannot default on its obligations to pay for spending that has already occurred.”

  4. rikyrah says:

    From the comments at POU;


    How did I miss this? Just reported on Rev Al:

    Valerie Jarrett recalling moment during ACA battle: “We’re sitting in the Oval Office, and the president asked [the legislative director] Phil Schiliro—who always could figure out what’s that third way—“Phil, what’s the third way?” Phil said, “Mr. President, unless you’re feeling lucky, I don’t know what the third way is.” And so the president gets up from his chair and he walks over and he looks out the window, and he says, “Phil, where are you?” Phil says, “I’m in the Oval Office.” He goes, “What’s my name?” Phil says, “President Obama.” He goes, “Of course I’m feeling lucky.”

  5. Ametia says:

    Interior Secretary Salazar to leave in March
    Posted by Aaron Blake and Juliet Eilperin on January 16, 2013 at 8:00 am

    Interior Secretary Ken Salazar will soon leave his post, the White House has confirmed.
    Salazar will depart in March, according to an official at the Interior Department and a senior administration official, both who were granted anonymity to provide additional details.

    alazar, a former Colorado senator whose family is of Hispanic descent, has served at Interior for President Obama’s entire first term.
    “I want to thank Ken for his hard work and leadership on behalf of the American people,” President Obama said in a statement. “As the Secretary of the Interior, Ken has helped usher in a new era of conservation for our nation’s land, water, and wildlife.”
    His exit means that Obama’s cabinet, which has already come under some fire for lacking diversity in its recent nominees, will lose a little bit more diversity — at least temporarily.
    Another Latino cabinet member, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, resigned last week, and two other top women — Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Environmental Protection Agency head Lisa Jackson — are both on their way out.

  6. Ametia says:

    Fox hires KEEBLER ELF

    Fox hires Dennis Kucinich as analyst
    53 min ago – NEW YORK (AP) — Former Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich has signed on as a regular contributor to Fox News Channel. The former Ohio congressman unsuccessfully ran for president in 2004 and 2008, and recently ended his congressional .

  7. Ametia says:

    Does our POTUS have Cojones or what?

  8. Ametia says:

    Netanyahu Hits Back At Obama: I Know What’s Best For Israel

    Source: Jerusalem Post

    A day after US columnist Jeffrey Goldberg quoted US President Barack Obama as saying that Israel under Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu does not know what is in its own best interest, Netanyahu visited the Gaza border Wednesday, was told that December was the quietest month in the last 12 years, and essentially replied to Obama: “Yes I do.”

    “I think everyone understands that only Israel’s citizens will be the ones to determine who faithfully represents Israel’s vital interests,” Netanyahu said on a visit to an army base near Gaza in his first direct response to Obama’s reported criticism. “Over the last four years we stood up against strong pressure, and I will continue to do so for Israel’s security.

    Senior Likud officials had already accused Obama on Tuesday of leaking sharp criticism Netanyahu’s leadership in order to sway voters in next Tuesday’s election.

    Sources close to Netanyahu responded carefully, saying that the prime minister would continue to protect the country’s vital national security interests in the coming government that he would lead. The sources noted that Obama had said Israeli-US defense and security cooperation were at unprecedented levels, which was evident in US support for Israeli missile defense systems and diplomatic backing during Operation Pillar of Defense.

    Read more:

  9. rikyrah says:

    The NRA as ‘insurgent outlier’
    Posted by Greg Sargent on January 16, 2013 at 11:41 am

    As noted below, the NRA has released a new Web video labeling President Obama an “elitist hypocrite” because his daughters are protected by armed guards, even as he suggests more guns in schools are not the best way to protect our children.

    “Are the president’s kids more important than yours?” a narrator intones. “Then why is he skeptical about putting armed security in our schools, when his kids are protected by armed guards at their school?”

    MSNBC’s First Read crew makes a great point about this:

    Over the past 30 days since the Newtown shootings, the NRA has brought a sledgehammer to the debate, not even attempting nuance or persuasion. First the combative Wayne LaPierre press conference at the National Press Club. Then LaPierre’s uncompromising appearance on “Meet the Press.” And now this web video.

    The NRA is acting as if this were 2001 — after beating Al Gore and facing a cowed Democratic Party. Instead, this is 2013 — after the NRA was unable to beat Obama and after Democrats expanded their majority in the U.S. Senate. The danger the NRA is facing, especially after releasing this new video, is that it’s potentially alienating the handful of Democratic allies it has. The Harry Reids, the Joe Manchins, the Jon Testers

    While the NRA has always had a deeper reach within the Republican Party, what has made it particularly powerful is its influence inside both parties (a la AIPAC). But how the NRA has reacted to Newtown may very well have reduced its influence to just one political party. And if they decide to keep their attacks focused on the president, they will end up alienating the rest of the Democratic Party.

  10. rikyrah says:

    When the GOP loses the Koch brothers…

    By Steve Benen
    Wed Jan 16, 2013 11:10 AM EST.

    How far off the rails has the Republican debt-ceiling hostage strategy gone? The Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity wants the GOP to change direction. The Financial Times reported yesterday:
    A conservative activist group backed by the industrialist Koch brothers is urging Republicans to show restraint during US debt ceiling negotiations, representing a shift in position by the usually hardline Americans for Prosperity.

    The move by the influential group underscores concern that a political stand-off over extending the US’s borrowing limit, which many Republicans are pushing for at the end of February, would diminish public support for sharp cuts in government spending, AFP’s stated goal.


    Let’s pause for a moment to appreciate the fact that when congressional Republicans have lost the Koch brothers’ group, the party has a real problem on its hands.

    The AFP’s advice coincides with a new Washington Post/ABC News poll that found a clear majority of the American public (and even 45% of self-identified Republicans) believes the fight over spending cuts and the fight over the debt ceiling should be separate — which is the exact opposite of the GOP plan.

  11. rikyrah says:

    The Unbearable Invisibility of White Masculinity: Innocence In the Age of White Male Mass Shootings

    David J. Leonard

    I have been profiled my entire life as innocent. When disruptive in class, I was told that I was eccentric, that I needed to work on my focus. Growing up, I looked for fights and conflicts yet I never fit the profile of a juvenile delinquent. The chip on my shoulder never signified a thug; I was just a kid with a bad temper who needed to mature and grow out of it.

    When I was pulled over in Emeryville, CA for speeding for several miles and asked multiple times by the police officer if there was a reason for my speeding, I told him the truth. “Officer, my ice cream is melting.”

    No stop and frisk. No pretext stop. No humiliating search. No fear of how to hold my hands. No ticket. I, like Adam Lanza and James Holmes, the two most notorious mass shooters of the past year, am white male privilege personified. We are humanized and given voice and innocence over and over again.


    The most recent shooting in Newtown highlights whiteness and the ways it has been rendered invisible after every mass shooting. Described as a “nerd,” who “still wears a pocket protector,” Adam Lanza has been reimagined as a character straight out of The Revenge of the Nerds series and not a cold-blood killer. He carried a brief case, not a gun; he read The Catcher in the Rye and Of Mice and Men, not Guns and Ammo; he wore button down polos, not fatigues. His life was not extraordinary but was that of an average kid. From the reading list to the sartorial choices we have been sold a Normal Rockwell painting. The Associated Press painted a picture of Adam that imaged him as a character ripped out of a Brady Bunch script: “He was an honors student who lived in a prosperous neighborhood with his mother, a well-liked woman who enjoyed hosting dice games and decorating the house for the holidays.”

    While identified as “reclusive,” and “shy,” as “quiet and reserved,” as “weird” and a “loner” outcast, Lanza has been consistently described as an average kid who had problems and difficulties. At worst, he was odd and painfully shy. “He didn’t have any friends, but he was a nice kid if you got to know him,” said Kyle Kromberg. “He didn’t fit in with the other kids. He was very, very shy.” Yet, the constant quest to figure out what caused him to snap, to speculate about the effects of his parents’ divorce or medications, all refashions Lanza as a good kid, a victim of sorts. He just snapped so there must have been a reason. Yes, he was strange, but do good (white, suburban, upper-middle class) kids shoot up an elementary school? Thus, reports the New York Post: “Bloodthirsty child killer Adam Lanza might have snapped, and carried out his unspeakable atrocities after learning that his mom wanted him thrown in the loony bin, according to published reports today.”

  12. rikyrah says:

    The Unbearable Invisibility of White Masculinity: Innocence In the Age of White Male Mass Shootings

    David J. Leonard

    Dana Milbank joins the fantasy-based faction of the press corps that’s still convinced President Obama could get more done if only he’d schmooze with Republican members of Congress a little more:

    Arguably, Obama’s no-more-Mr.-Nice-Guy approach is good politics. His first-term experience made clear that he gained nothing from Republicans when he took a passive approach. Yet…it’s tempting to wonder whether Obama could achieve more if he could establish personal connections with Republicans on Capitol Hill. But Obama disparaged the notion behind Calmes’s question—that a better bedside manner could help his agenda.

    “I like a good party,” the president informed her after attesting to his “friendly guy” status. “Really what’s gone on in terms of some of the paralysis here in Washington, or difficulties in negotiations, just have to do with some very stark differences in terms of policy.”

    That may be true, but until recent years, sharp disagreements were smoothed by personal ties. On Monday, by contrast, Obama showed unrelenting hostility toward the opposition, accompanying his remarks with dismissive shrugs and skeptical frowns.

    I continue to wonder what it will take to put a stake through the heart of this hoary Beltway meme. It’s true that Obama isn’t the schmooziest president in history, but how much evidence do you need to convince yourself that schmooziness simply isn’t the problem here? We know for a fact that Republicans constructed their strategy of total opposition before he was even sworn in. Eight days after his inauguration, House Republicans voted against the stimulus bill unanimously. In the Senate, Republicans embarked on a strategy of total opposition to everything from Day 1, filibustering every bill, every appointment, and every judge. Senate Democrats spent months negotiating over health care reform—without Obama playing a role—and eventually learned that Republicans never had the slightest intention of agreeing to anything. After winning control of the House in 2010, the GOP’s top priority was to engineer a hostage crisis over the debt ceiling. This isn’t arcane knowledge or ancient history. It’s common knowledge.

  13. rikyrah says:

    Obama portrait: Picture of a young man in Chicago

    By Lynn Sweet on January 15, 2013 4:46 PM|

    By Miriam Di Nunzio

    The Chicago Public Library today unveiled artist Steve Musgrave’s new portrait of President Obama to celebrate the upcoming inauguration. The event took place at the West Pullman Branch on West 119th Street.

    According to a statement, the portrait reflects Obama’s efforts as a community organizer in the South Side Chicago neighborhood prior to seeking public office.

    In addition to the likeness of Obama, who is depicted holding a copy of his memoir, “Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance,” the portrait features images of people who have influenced the president’s life including his First Lady Michelle Obama and daughters Sasha and Malia, his mother and grandmother, Martin Luther King Jr., Frederick Douglass, Rosa Parks, Harold Washington, David Axelrod and Valerie Jarrett, among others.

  14. rikyrah says:

    Mornings With Mo

    By Charles P. Pierce

    at 10:00AM

    Maureen Dowd, New York Times columnist, reinventor of political journalism, sprawler across staircases, has reopened the clown show for the president’s second term and has done so by doing a vigorous set of her greatest hits.

    The president is President Standoffish. No, wait, he’s Lonely Guy. Or, maybe, he’s underwhelming, with a Bridget Jones Strategy to which “some Democrats” say we will all have to become accustomed. There is a nod of the red-to-the-roots melon towards the fact that the president is facing a uniquely well-disciplined, and a uniquely unhinged, political opposition. But then we have a return to the notion that the president would be doing an awful lot better if he made nicey-nice to Eric Cantor.


    After all, Dowd herself makes use of a little tidbit from Tiger Beat On The Potomac that illustrates quite clearly what the reaction has been even to this president’s gentler style of negotiation.

    (Even if Republicans see him, as Politico’s Glenn Thrush wrote, as “a pedantic, hectoring fuss-budget.”)

    Which is yet another polite way of saying “uppity.”

    They have to run out sooner or later, don’t they?

    This is the silliest goddamn meme in the history of silly goddamn memes. There is nothing this president can do to move the Republican opposition toward reason. (You can lead the whores to water…). They don’t like Democratic presidents. They particularly don’t like this one. They don’t think Democratic presidents are elected legitimately. The particularly don’t think this one was, twice. They are insulated in safe districts. They are the occupants of a self-sustaining universe of think-tanks, sugar daddies, talk-radio cowboys, and ideological chop shops. This simple fact is not going to change even if the president were magically to become a combination of Cary Grant and Sidney Poitier over the soup course. He could sprawl across a staircase, and it wouldn’t matter.

    Read more: Maureen Dowd Greatest Hits – Mornings With Mo – Esquire

  15. rikyrah says:

    A Black man as President.

    A Black man as Attorney General

    Here is B.Todd Jones – President Obama’s choice to head the ATF.

  16. rikyrah says:

    Obama unveils sweeping gun reforms, 23 executive actions

    By Steve Benen
    Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:32 PM EST

    Pundits who predicted a month ago that President Obama wouldn’t have the political courage to take on the gun lobby and try to change the politics surrounding the status quo were mistaken.

    President Barack Obama unveiled sweeping new policies Wednesday aimed at limiting gun violence, teeing up a political showdown that will pit the broad public popularity for many gun control measures against Congress’s tepid appetite for approving the most stringent restrictions on gun ownership.

    “While there is no law or set of laws that can prevent every senseless act of violence completely, no piece of legislation that will prevent every tragedy, every act of evil,” Obama said at a mid-day announcement at the White House, “if there’s even one thing we can do to reduce this violence, if there’s even one life that can be saved, then we have an obligation to try it.”

    The list of proposals from Vice President Biden’s task force on gun violence is not short, but it includes universal background checks, a ban on “military-style” assault weapons, limiting ammunition magazines to 10 rounds, and strengthening existing penalties for gun trafficking.

    The president also took 23 executive actions — which will not require congressional approval — though nearly all are fairly modest in scope. They include providing gun dealers providing guidance on how to run background checks for private sellers, nominating an ATF director (the Senate has refused to confirm an ATF director for six years), informing state health officials about the scope of mental health services that Medicaid plans must cover, and launching “a national dialogue … on mental health.”

    Obama conceded that the bulk of the reforms must be approved by lawmakers and challenged them to act.

  17. rikyrah says:

    Why Rubio’s immigration agenda sounds familiar

    By Steve Benen

    Wed Jan 16, 2013 9:41 AM EST

    Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) has not yet unveiled a detailed immigration-reform bill, but he did sit down with the Wall Street Journal the other day to sketch out the blueprint of a plan he intends to unveil. In an interesting twist, the White House is delighted with Rubio’s vision.

    White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters yesterday that Rubio’s proposals “bode well for a productive, bipartisan debate,” and may very well signal “a change in the Republican approach to this issue.”

    Why would President Obama and his team be encouraged by a right-wing senator who badly bungled his own immigration push last summer? Because as Adam Serwer explained, Rubio is basically copying and pasting from the immigration-reform plan Obama presented nearly two years ago.

    [C]onservative pundits have showered Rubio with praise. The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin called Rubio’s proposal “bold,” and the Daily Caller’s Matt Lewis writes that “although there is opportunity here, this is still an act of political courage.” Rubio also drew approval from 2012 GOP vice-presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), who wrote on Facebook that “I support the principles he’s outlined.”

    Conservatives hailing Rubio may not realize how close to President Barack Obama he has moved on immigration, but opponents of reform, such as the Center for Immigration Studies’ Mark Krikorian, certainly noticed. “There’s nothing substantive in Rubio’s proposal that wouldn’t immediately be agreed to by President Obama,” Krikorian says. “This is the Rubio-Obama immigration plan.”

  18. rikyrah says:

    Winning Public Opinion

    by BooMan
    Wed Jan 16th, 2013 at 11:35:04 AM EST

    You may have noted over the years that I very rarely link to or discuss polls about issues or job approval numbers or even elections. In the presidential race, I mainly linked to Nate Silver’s analysis of polls rather than to any individual polling outfit. Part of the reason I am not prone to discussing polls is that I don’t trust them. And part of it is that they are often meaningless. Do I believe Rasmussen when they issue a poll on gay marriage or reproductive rights? No. Do I care what the April polls say about a November election? Not really.

    One poll I do pay attention to is congressional approval, but that is because I am waiting for the day that the House Republicans actually score lower than gonorrhea. It won’t be long now. A new Washington Post-ABC News poll out today shows that the president has succeeded in winning over public opinion on the budget and the debt ceiling. It also shows that people hate Congress, and the Republicans in particular. It even shows a growing group of conservative Republicans who think that the party leaders are not doing enough to strike compromises with Obama.

    The GOP congressional leadership also takes flak for a perceived unwillingness to work with Obama on important issues: 67 percent of all Americans see them as doing “too little” to compromise with the president. Far fewer, 48 percent, say so about Obama’s willingness to compromise with the GOP.
    The percentage of Americans seeing the Republican leadership as overly intransigent is up 13 percentage points since December 2010, just after the GOP reclaimed control of the House of Representatives. The biggest increases since that time have been among Republicans and conservatives, with roughly 20-point jumps in blaming their party’s leaders for not doing enough to strike deals with the president. Half of all Republicans say the GOP leadership is not doing enough to compromise.

    Republicans in the poll have also led the revival in Obama’s “strong leader” number. Overall, 61 percent see the president as a strong leader, up from 51 percent a year ago. Since then, there has been a 17-point increase among Republicans, from 18 to 35 percent.

  19. Ametia says:

    Austin Measures Fallout From Lance Armstrong Scandal
    January 16, 2013 4:00 AM

    Listen here:

  20. Ametia says:

    Chuck Hagel nomination hearing set for Jan. 31

    4 min ago – The Senate Armed Services Committee will hold a confirmation hearing for Defense Secretary nominee Chuck Hagel at 9:30 a.m. on Jan. 31

  21. Ametia says:

    Love the Flickr photos, SG2.

  22. Ametia says:

    White House calls NRA video referencing president’s daughters ‘repugnant and cowardly’

    By Associated Press,

    WASHINGTON — White House calls NRA video referencing president’s daughters ‘repugnant and cowardly’

    This is why these cowards feel they need all those guns to hide behind.

  23. Too precious

    Can they be anymore cute? Too Precious!

  24. Ametia says:

    3 more husbands? Seriously?


  25. High powered waters hoses, dogs & billy clubs didn’t intimidate us. What makes the @nra think an ad will intimidate us. GTFOOH @nra!

  26. Oregon sheriff writes to Biden to tell him he won’t enforce any new gun laws:


    There are consequences for that too. The gall of these clowns.

  27. Jay is in school this morning. He was crying on the way to school.

  28. Robert Gibbs: NRA No Match For Obama Campaign Apparatus

    Former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs on Wednesday said the leftover campaign apparatus from President Barack Obama’s re-election bid is more than capable of overpowering the lobbying efforts of the National Rifle Association.

    Gibbs said the president may have to return to campaign mode in order to push for new gun policies, suggesting that Obama should barnstorm the country to promote the proposals that the White House will unveil on Wednesday.

    “He’s got to get out of the White House and travel the country,” Gibbs said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “He’s got to make his case directly to the people.”

    Gibbs said Obama’s ultra-sophisticated campaign operation could serve as a vital asset in making that case, arguing that the grassroots infrastructure that secured the president two terms can trump any effort by the NRA — despite the pro-gun lobby’s claims of a spike in membership since last month’s massacre in Newtown, Conn. Vice President Joe Biden reportedly told House Democrats earlier this week that the White House intended to deploy campaign resources to ramp up support for its gun control proposals.

    “The president has the most exciting campaign apparatus ever built. It’s time to turn that loose,” Gibbs said. “It’s time to turn that loose for something more than just an election. If the NRA’s got a list, then Obama for America has a bigger list.”

    BAM! That’s what I’m talking ’bout! Lets turn it loose!

  29. Family Members Of Newtown Victims To Attend Obama Gun Announcement

    Family members of some of the Newtown, Conn., massacre victims will attend President Obama’s gun control announcement Wednesday, the Hartford Courant reported.

    Obama is expected to unveil proposals to reduce gun violence in the wake of the mass shooting at 11:55 a.m. ET at the South Court Auditorium in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.

    According to CNN, the President will propose universal background checks, an assault weapons ban and a ban on high-capacity magazines.

  30. rikyrah says:

    The Morning Plum: The increasingly isolated GOP
    Posted by Greg Sargent on January 16, 2013 at 9:22 am

    The Republican Party continues to stage a big, dramatic showdown ostensibly designed to save the republic from Obama’s reckless overspending. It turns out, though, that it’s a showdown that nobody — except for a small minority of Americans — really wants.

    Today’s Washington Post poll finds that a whopping 67 percent of Americans say Congressional Republicans are doing “too little” to cooperate with President Obama, while only 27 percent say the GOP is doing the right amount or too much. Among independents, those numbers are 68-26. By contrast, 48 percent say Obama’s doing too little to cooperate with Republicans, while the same amount — 48 percent — say he’s doing the right amount or too much.

    More to the point: 58 percent of Americans — and 58 percent of independents — say the debate about raising the debt ceiling should be separate from efforts to cut spending. Even 45 percent of Republicans say this. Only 36 percent of Americans want the debt ceiling to be tied to spending cuts.

    In other words, this poll suggests the public overwhelmingly rejects the GOP leadership’s case that raising the debt ceiling must be tied to spending cuts of comparable size. But it gets worse. The Post poll also asked whether people favor default or a partial government shutdown if no compromise is reached. Only 22 percent of Americans support that course of action. Only 36 percent of Republicans support it.

    TPM has a good roundup of all the GOP-aligned groups and officials and commentators who are calling for the GOP to stand down. Yet the House GOP continues hurtling down its current course.

  31. rikyrah says:

    Another GOP Senator recognizes the inevitable
    Posted by Greg Sargent on January 15, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    Reality seems to be enjoying a sudden burst of momentum this afternoon, as more Republicans and conservatives are coming out and acknowledging the debt ceiling will have to be raised. The latest: GOP Senator Susan Collins.

    Collins spokesman Kevin Kelley emails me:

    Senator Collins recognizes that the debt ceiling is going to have to be raised because the U.S. cannot default on its obligations to pay for spending that has already occurred.

    But she is frustrated that the Administration, time and time again, keeps putting off the hard decisions on spending that our country must confront.

    Collins’ statement is key, in part because she’s accurately noting that not raising the debt ceiling will do nothing more than cause the country to default on obligations Congress has already incurred, and in part because she’s conspicuously not tying the need for a debt ceiling hike to the spending cuts she says we need.

  32. rikyrah says:

    The GOP’s ‘REDMAP’ memo
    By Laura Conaway
    Tue Jan 15, 2013 9:01 PM EST.

    In November, Democratic candidates for Congress collectively got 1.1 million more votes than their Republican opponents, but the House speaker is a Republican, with a 33-seat Republican majority. That’s not just us calculating it. That’s the Republican State Leadership Committee touting the effects of its Redistricting Majority Project, or REDMAP. They write:

    President Obama won reelection in 2012 by nearly 3 points nationally, and banked 126 more electoral votes than Governor Mitt Romney. Democratic candidates for the U.S. House won 1.1 million more votes than their Republican opponents. But the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives is a Republican and presides over a 33-seat House Republican majority during the 113th Congress. How? One needs to look no farther than four states that voted Democratic on a statewide level in 2012, yet elected a strong Republican delegation to represent them in Congress: Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

    [T]he Republican firewall at the state legislative and congressional level held.

    Last month ProPublica detailed exactly how REDMAP worked, with special emphasis on redistricting in North Carolina. If the REDMAP memo sounds like a sales pitch to donors, consider that the project raised $30 million in 2010.

  33. rikyrah says:

    House Dems object to wasting money on a DOMA defense

    By Steve Benen
    Wed Jan 16, 2013 9:04 AM EST.

    It appears the Defense of Marriage Act’s days are numbered. Two separate federal appeals courts have already struck down the discriminatory law as unconstitutional, and the Obama administration declared two years ago that it not only rejects DOMA, it will also no longer defend it against ongoing legal challenges.

    And yet, as Andrew Rosenthal noted, congressional Republicans don’t object to “throwing away money” on a pointless DOMA defense.

  34. rikyrah says:

    Sandy aid passes House, ‘Hastert Rule’ in trouble
    By Steve Benen
    Wed Jan 16, 2013 8:00 AM EST.

    The post-Sandy disaster relief is long overdue, but the victims and affected areas can take some solace in knowing that help is on the way.

    After fierce lobbying by political leaders in states across the Northeast, the House of Representatives on Tuesday night approved a long-awaited $50.7 billion emergency bill to provide help to victims of Hurricane Sandy.

    The aid package passed 241 to 180, with 49 Republicans joining 192 Democrats. The Senate is expected to pass the measure, and President Obama has expressed support for it

    That’s certainly good news for communities that are still struggling two months after the storm slammed East coast. But stepping back and looking at the larger political context, yesterday’s developments in the House may reverberate for a while.

    Note, for example, that while the aid package passed the chamber with relative ease, 179 House Republicans opposed Sandy disaster relief. For a party that’s often perceived as callous towards those who need assistance, more concerned with tax breaks for millionaires than anything else, the roll call only reinforces the worst suspicions of today’s GOP.

  35. rikyrah says:

    GOP’s debt-ceiling fissures are getting worse, not better

    By Steve Benen
    Wed Jan 16, 2013 8:36 AM EST

    The six-word headline in the Wall Street Journal gets it just right: “Republicans Split on Debt-Ceiling Approach.” That wasn’t the case in 2011, when literally zero GOP lawmakers publicly denounced their party’s hostage strategy, but it’s certainly true now.

    We talked yesterday about Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), who became the first Republican lawmaker to declare, out loud and on the record, that the debt-ceiling shouldn’t be held hostage for political leverage. The next question, of course, is whether she would stand alone.

  36. rikyrah says:

    16 Jan 2013 08:00 AM

    A Good Fit For A King?

    In Morocco, Michael J. Totten investigates whether a monarchy, rather than brutal theocracy or unstable democracy, is the best shot for progress in the Arab world:

    Nadia Bernoussi, the law professor who helped draft the new constitution, grumbled a bit about how some foreigners see Morocco’s democratic reforms as a sham. “Well,” I said. “The king wasn’t elected.”

    She was taken aback by my bluntness, and I felt slightly rude saying it, but it’s true and every single Westerner in the world who looks at Morocco’s political system notices that and takes it into account. It is the most salient feature of her country’s government from our point of view.

    “It’s true that the king isn’t elected,” she said, “but he has a different kind of legitimacy. He has national, historic, and Islamic legitimacy.”

    This isn’t the sort of political sentiment Americans like me can relate to, but I did hear something I could understand and appreciate easily. When I asked uncovered Moroccan women if they fear the Islamists, they all said they did not. (In Tunisia and Egypt the uncovered women I know absolutely fear the Islamists.) But even the feminists in Morocco aren’t afraid of the Islamists. And when I asked why, all of them said “because of the king.”

  37. Ametia says:


    Obama to use D.C. ‘taxation without representation’ license plates
    By Tim Craig-WaPo

    President Obama announced Tuesday that the District’s politically charged “taxation without representation” license plates will be placed on all presidential limousines this weekend, a move city leaders have been waiting on for four years.

    In a statement, White House officials said Obama will use the protest license plate because after living in the city for four years, he has seen “first-hand how patently unfair it is for working families in D.C. to work hard, raise children and pay taxes, without having a vote in Congress.”

  38. Billy Dee! Billy Dee! …With your fine self!

  39. This is awesome, Rikyrah! I’m so loving it!

    Beautiful. Diana.!

  40. Good morning, everyone!

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