Serenfdipity SOUL | Tuesday Open Thread | Fleetwood Mac Week!

4 T

Today’s featured Fleetwood Mac tune…



And so is this precious moment from the Inauguration yesterday…

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90 Responses to Serenfdipity SOUL | Tuesday Open Thread | Fleetwood Mac Week!

  1. rikyrah says:

    Open Thread

    By John Cole January 21st, 2013

    Kind of busy today- had to return the rental car, had a bunch of work, and then the festivities of the inauguration.

    It’s kind of weird in that four years ago, this day was such a big day for me, and this time around, it’s just a sense of relief that we as a nation had the good sense to send a good man back to the White House. And while everyone was spending time talking about Michelle’s attire (I loved her jacket), what really hit me was looking at the kids. They were just middle school kids in 2008, but now you can see them both blossoming into beautiful adults. Malia is going to be supermodel beautiful, and reminds me of Hermione in Harry Potter when you just knew she would grow up to be beautiful. Sasha is the one I love, though, and you just know she is the ornery one. Every time the camera was on her she was fidgeting or giggling or pulling at her clothes- just adorable.

    At one point, after they walked the parade route, the entire Obama family was under the heated review pavilion, and the whole family was sitting in a row under the watchful view of the cameras, and it just cracked me up because they are the most normal damned family ever. The girls were giggling and taking pictures of mom on the cellphone, mom was just doting on the kids and making sure they behaved in public, and dad was paying attention to his blackberry and occasionally look up and would smile when they pestered him enough. This is the face of America. The only thing missing was Bo taking an untimely dump on the promenade, and it could have been any family in America.

    And it brought a tear to the jaded eye of this grumpy old man.

    BTW- every time I see Jill Biden I know why crazy uncle Joe smiles so much.

  2. rikyrah says:

    found this in the comments at Balloon Juice:

    Gemina13 Says:

    @General Stuck:

    I’ve been frustrated with PBO many times, but I have a great affection for him, Michelle, and the girls. You can’t underestimate the effect a loving pair of parents have on children; when kids know their parents love and respect each other as well as themselves, they try to emulate and achieve it. Malia and Sasha are happy girls, and that’s part of why they’re so beautiful as well.

    I think this is also what pisses off so many on the Right. When they think of black families, they think of stereotypes, and the Obamas are just a normal, loving, upper-middle-class family. Look at how they howled when Malia put her hair in braids, and I swear, if I’d heard anyone in my immediate circle refer to that sweet child as a “ghetto whore,” as many did on RedState, I’d have cut me a prime asshole from neck to groin.

    We’ve got a long way to go, folks, and it’s just begun with Obama’s second term. But the fact that a black man is now a second-term President can’t be ignored. It signals the death of the far right–it’s up to them whether it’s a slow death or a quick one.

  3. Ametia says:


    Keys, who changed the lyrics to her hit song Girl on Fire to “Obama’s on Fire” for her performance at the Inaugural Balls, today tweeted the Instagram above of herself with the Obamas and her husband Beatz, backstage at the Convention Center.

  4. rikyrah says:

    Rebranded Obama campaign group causes frustration for DNC

    By Cameron Joseph – 01/22/13 07:59 PM ET

    Several members of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) expressed fear Tuesday that the new outside group Organizing for Action — a retooled version of President Obama’s campaign machine — could hurt the national party’s fundraising and drain its resources.

    “I don’t know how splitting things apart is conducive to progress. When you start looking at competitive interests that are trying to move in the same direction, why wouldn’t you all be on the same page?” Krystal Thrailkill, a DNC committee member from Arkansas, told The Hill at the committee’s annual winter meeting.

    DNC members said they were caught off guard when the leaders of the president’s reelection team announced Obama for America was morphing into Organizing for Action (OFA), a nonprofit group that can take unlimited “soft money” donations.

    The group will be spearheaded by former Obama campaign manager Jim Messina and advocate for Obama’s policies by mobilizing the millions-strong list of grassroots supporters built by the campaign.

    While the new group will seek to go toe to toe with GOP outside groups like Crossroads GPS, some Democrats aren’t pleased that Obama didn’t fold his powerful grassroots operation back into the DNC.

    Thrailkill said she understood that OFA’s ability to raise unlimited contributions and keep Obama voters engaged could be a help to Democrats. But she suggested the new entity could confuse the party’s messaging and would compete with the DNC for money and manpower.

    “You can get a lot of money and that’s helpful. Still, when you start asking for money, who are you asking from? That’s really the question,” she said. “I’m not sure how adding another layer is helpful.”

    Read more:
    Follow us: @thehill on Twitter | TheHill on Facebook

    • Ametia says:

      BULLSHIT! The DNC needs to get real, come clean, and move out of the ENTRENCHED agenda that has stiffled the Democratic Party, before PBO rode into town. This is a cry for business as usual. Step it up mofos or die. We’re not going backwards


  5. rikyrah says:

    President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama wave to people as they ride in the inaugural parade in Washington, D.C., Jan. 21, 2013.
    —-Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

  6. rikyrah says:

    eclecticbrotha @eclecticbrotha

    Imagine you’re Joe Biden, its 2008 and a skinny black guy with a funny name said “I’m gonna make history and I want you to ride shotgun.”
    1:36 AM – 23 Jan 13

  7. Ametia says:

    Violence Against Women Act re-introduced to Senate

    By Eric W. Dolan
    Tuesday, January 22, 2013 17:54 EST

    Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Mike Crapo (R-ID) introduced legislation on Tuesday to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).

    “This life-saving legislation should be a top priority of the new 113th Congress,” Leahy said in a statement. “It is our hope that the Senate will act quickly to pass this strong, bipartisan bill to help all victims of domestic and sexual violence.”

    The VAWA, first passed in 1994, seeks to aid women who are the victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking.

    Raw Story (

  8. Harry Reid: The Senate will reform the filibuster within the next day and a half — whether Republicans go along or not.

  9. Ametia says:

    here’s the supposed scoop on FLOTUS eyeroll

    Report: Boehner’s inauguration smoke joke had first lady’s eyes rolling

    Larry Wenig, a lip-reading expert, tells “Inside Edition” that his analysis shows the Ohio Republican asked President Obama if he had a cigarette before the Monday luncheon.

    While Obama quit smoking in 2010, Boehner still lights up. Obama has called giving up the habit for good “hard.”

    According to Wenig, Boehner was referring to Michelle when he quipped to the commander in chief, “Somebody won’t let you do it.”

    A silent video of the exchange shows the first lady then rolling her eyes.<b.

  10. rikyrah says:

    13 heartwarming images of President Obama delivering hugs

    Today is National Hug Day. And President Obama is delivering his second inaugural address. So without further ado…

    By Lauren Hansen and Elena Scotti | January 21, 2013

  11. Ametia says:

    Exit polls: Netanyahu wins Israeli election

    Exit polls show that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud
    Party and his hard-line allies have won a narrow majority in parliamentary
    elections, the Associated Press reports.

    Read more at:

  12. rikyrah says:

    Paul Ryan vs. Paul Ryan
    By Steve Benen
    Tue Jan 22, 2013 2:25 PM EST.

    President Obama included a line in his inaugural address yesterday that seemed to be a direct rebuke to the ideology he defeated during the last election. “The commitments we make to each other through Medicare and Medicaid and Social Security, these things do not sap our initiative, they strengthen us,” he said. “They do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great.”

    House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), not surprisingly, took notice and defended his ideology today, arguing that the president was attacking a “straw man.”

  13. rikyrah says:

    Will Immigration Reform Hurt African-Americans?

    Seeing Red AZ questions the Democratic coalition:

    [W]hy would black American citizens, who have disproportionately high rates of unemployment both locally and nationally, be among those encouraging more illegals to be given legal status — allowing them to compete for jobs these citizens need and should have? … The Business Insider reported that while the overall employment rate remains weak, job reports show that minorities are still getting hit much harder by the job crisis — with African Americans suffering the highest unemployment. The Bureau of Labor Statistics show the unemployment rate for black Americans jumped to 14.0 percent last month, from 13.2 percent the previous month. Hispanic unemployment was unchanged at 11 percent, while 184,000 more black Americans went jobless.

    Mark Krikorian recently made a similar point:

    Mass immigration isn’t the only cause of the deep employment problems of less-skilled black workers. It’s not even the main cause. But it’s the easiest one to remedy

    Such conclusions are bolstered by a 2006 paper [pdf] by George Borjas, Jeffrey Grogger and Gordon Hanson for the National Bureau of Economic Research:

    Using data drawn from the 1960-2000 U.S. Censuses, we find a strong correlation between immigration, black wages, black employment rates, and black incarceration rates. As immigrants disproportionately increased the supply of workers in a particular skill group, the wage of black workers in that group fell, the employment rate declined, and the incarceration rate rose. Our analysis suggests that a 10-percent immigrant-induced increase in the supply of a particular skill group reduced the black wage by 4.0 percent, lowered the employment rate of black men by 3.5 percentage points, and increased the incarceration rate of blacks by almost a full percentage point

    A reader chimes in:

    Regardless of how illegal immigration may help the 1% and even the 20%, you better hope the research on this is wrong, else we’re potentially setting up the irony of the first African-American president passing the single most harmful piece of legislation to African-Americans in 25 years

  14. rikyrah says:

    Red state Dems squeamish about gun background checks
    Posted by Greg Sargent on January 22, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    In one sense, it’s understandable that some Senators up for reelection in 2014 — particularly those from red or purple states — are reluctant to take a position on Obama’s proposed assault weapons ban. There is no actual bill yet, and there are legitimate questions around how to define an “assault” weapon and around whether the law can be effective, given the loopholes that badly undermined the 1994 version.

    But the assault weapons ban is not even the centerpiece of Obama’s proposal. Universal background checks are, and if Obama gets that it will be a major achievement in its own right. Given that huge majorities — including of Republicans and gun owners — favor universal background checks, you’d think Dems up for reelection could support them. Right?

    The picture is mixed. Thus far, only two Dems up for reelection next year are supportive of background checks, while the others either won’t say yet or have not responded to my questions. Here is the state of play, based on outreach to their offices:

    * Senator Mark Warner of Virginia: He is supportive. Warner spokesman Kevin Hall tells me: “Senator Warner is supportive of the effort to broaden the background check system. But he wants to make sure it’s done in a reasonable and effective way.” That’s a significant step forward.

    * Senator Tim Johnson of South Dakota: The Senator’s office confirms to me that he believes background checks should be in the mix. That means he’s very likely to support Obama’s final background check proposal — also a step forward, because he represents a red state, and because he recently signaled discomfort with government action on guns.

    * Senator Mark Begich of Alaska: His spokesman, Devon Kearns, tells me he does not support new laws to expand the background check system. That’s a strike against reform.

  15. rikyrah says:

    The Morning Plum: What Obama’s Inaugural tells us about the next four years
    Posted by Greg Sargent on January 22, 2013 at 9:17 am

    Yesterday, President Obama used his Inaugural Address to lay out an expansive case for progressive governance, one rooted in the country’s founding, history and identity, vowing action on everything from climate change to immigration to voting reform to gun control to expanded civil rights for women and gays.

    What knits all these specifics together, however, is the speech’s implicit recognition that in order to accomplish any of these goals, he will have to defeat the opposition, rather than win it over. Indeed, one of the most significant things that happened yesterday is that Obama signaled recognition of the true nature of the implacable opposition he faced during his first term and will inevitably face for the duration of his second one. This means a second term in which Obama, rather than forever chase after the illusory notion that he can secure bipartisan cooperation through outreach and charm — not to mention adopting Republican ideas outright — will resort more directly to executive actions and to mobilizing the public to force cooperation wherever possible.

    Fewer than 24 hours have passed since Obama’s speech, and we’re already reminded of the governing realities he faces. It appears likely that Harry Reid will announce to Senate Dems today that he favors watered down filibuster reforms that he has negotiated with Mitch McConnell. This all but ensures more unprecedented levels of obstruction from Senate Republicans. Meanwhile, it isn’t even clear that the GOP-controlled House can pass a temporary debt limit increase to avert default, thanks to House conservatives who would sooner flirt with economic Armageddon than cooperate with Obama and Democrats.

    Indeed, yesterday’s speech appeared to be premised on the recognition that the GOP has essentially ceased to play the role of a functional opposition party. This was by design, according to Politico’s Glenn Thrush, who writes: “Obama, armed with an approval rating in the 50s, has decided the only way he can defeat Hill Republicans is to muster public opinion against them.”

  16. rikyrah says:

    The politics of crowd size

    By Steve Benen
    Tue Jan 22, 2013 8:00 AM EST.

    Many of President Obama’s detractors seemed pleased yesterday morning when reports pointed to diminished turnout for his second inaugural. After historic crowds four years ago, most estimates said the 2013 audience would be less than half as big, and Obama’s critics took saw that as meaningful evidence of … something.

    But as Inauguration Day wrapped up, the right’s talking point started to look far less compelling.

    At least one million people attended the president’s swearing-in on Monday, an inaugural official said.

    That far surpassed projections of between half a million and 700,000 attendees provided by inaugural planners before the event. But despite the healthy turnout, the crowd size was far below the president’s first inauguration, where an estimated 1.8 million flooded the National Mall.

    In a case like this, context is everything. Looking back through recent history, Bill Clinton’s first inaugural drew about 800,000 people in 1993, which was considered an enormous crowd. In contrast, about 300,000 came to see George W. Bush’s first inaugural, and 400,000 saw his second.

    It’s true that Obama’s crowd yesterday wasn’t nearly as big as the audience from 2009, but the 1 million people who showed up was significantly more than Bush’s two inaugural crowds combined — a detail some on the right chose to overlook when making a fuss yesterday morning

    • Ametia says:

      We know this numbers bullshit is all to diminish the TRUTH about how much Americans LOVE this president and came out over 1 million STRONG. Our eyes don’t lie.


  17. rikyrah says:

    The discomfort with an unapologetic president

    By Steve Benen
    Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:04 AM EST.

    It didn’t take long for congressional Republicans to start complaining about President Obama’s second inaugural. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said, “I didn’t hear any conciliatory remarks,” as if it’s incumbent on a re-elected president to pacify those who tried to defeat him. Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), and John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) all made similar comments.

    And wouldn’t you know it, a variety of pundits from the D.C. establishment soon followed in the same vein. National Journal’s Ron Fournier said Obama had been “fiercely partisan” and paid no mind to the “delicate art of compromise.” Michael Gerson, perhaps listening to a different speech altogether, heard a president argue “even the most commonplace policy disagreements indicate the bad faith of his opponents.”

    Dana Milbank seems terribly disappointed that the president could have presented a “unifying” message, but didn’t.

    What followed was less an inaugural address for the ages than a leftover campaign speech combined with an early draft of the State of the Union address. Obama used the most visible platform any president has to decry global-warming skeptics who “still deny the overwhelming judgment of science.” He quarreled with Republicans who say entitlement programs “make us a nation of takers.” He condemned the foreign policy of his predecessor by saying that “enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war.”

    “We cannot mistake absolutism for principle or substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate,” the president informed his opponents.

    For some reason, Milbank even complained about Obama having “mocked” the song “America the Beautiful” in an ad last July — though that’s not what happened.

    Taken together, it seems many pundits and Republicans agree: Obama should be nice and bipartisan, reaching out to the right at all times, careful not to upset delicate sensibilities. Since his inaugural address didn’t do this, it somehow came up short.

    • Ametia says:

      Dana Milbank & nem can go straight to HELL. Put your big boy panties on and do your jobs GOP. You’re being shown up as the trifling, whtie priviledged, do nothing cowards that you behave like.

  18. rikyrah says:

    Virginia Republicans move for permanent majority

    By Laura Conaway
    Mon Jan 21, 2013 9:18 PM EST

    Kudos to Benjamin Tribbett today for breaking the news out of Virginia. By his count, the map approved by Virginia state Senate Republicans could leave Democrats with as few as 13 winnable seats in that chamber, which currently stands at 20-20.

    The sudden redistricting passed 20-19, because a lone Democratic senator had gone to Washington for the day, for the Inauguration. Senator Henry Marsh is 79, a Civil Rights hero in Virginia, and he wanted to see this inauguration, on Martin Luther King, Jr., day, and while he was gone, Republicans redrew the state for their own advantage. Republicans justified this by saying they had created a new majority black district — by carving off part of Senator Marsh’s district.

    This session in Virginia, Senate Republicans have also been pushing a bill to change the rules for picking a president. We have been documenting Republican ambitions to do that in Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania, along with talk of them doing it in Florida. Had those plans been in place for the November election, Barack Obama would still have won the popular vote by several million, but he might still have lost in the electoral college.

    At the national level, Republicans have celebrated their success in punching above their electoral weight in Congress and in state legislators. After the jump, a reprint of our links kit so you can follow the story yourself.

  19. rikyrah says:

    Team Mentality

    by BooMan
    Tue Jan 22nd, 2013 at 09:16:36 AM EST

    When it comes to polls, I am the most skeptical about them when they measure public opinion on issues rather than candidates. We will probably never have an election to decide whether or not to overturn Roe v. Wade, so we’ll never know if a poll saying that people support overturning the ruling was accurate or wildly off the mark. We learned that Gallup and Rasmussen were smoking crack all last year only because we had an actual election for president that proved that their models were as flawed as they looked. So, grain of salt and all that.
    A new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll shows support for abortion rights and Roe v. Wade to be at an all-time high. And it shows most of the movement is coming from blacks, Latinos, and women without college degrees.

    If their findings are accurate, it seems to be an example of people adopting the values of the home team. The president is pro-choice and blacks are fiercely loyal to the president. Therefore, it isn’t surprising that public opinion in the black community is moving to reflect the president’s values. We saw a large uptick in black support for gay marriage after the president came out in favor of it, despite the fact that a backlash was predicted.

    Latinos and blue collar women aren’t so much loyal to the president as completely alienated by the Republicans’ rhetoric about immigration and/or contraception, rape, fair pay, reproductive rights, etc. As large numbers in these groups have moved into Obama’s coalition, they are beginning to adopt the values of that coalition. It probably isn’t limited to abortion rights. They are probably becoming better disposed to unions. They may be growing more environmentally conscious.

    The flip side could be seen in the amazing rapidity with which the Republican base embraced climate change denialism once Al Gore made it his signature issue.

    This isn’t so much an argument that people don’t have free agency to make moral decisions for themselves as it is a demonstration that leadership can change people’s minds. Bad leadership can turn people into opponents of science and logic. Good leadership can lead people to embrace more enlightened positions.

    But, yeah, if you can rope someone into the party on one issue, there is a good chance that before long they will be with you on many issues. It’s the team mentality.

  20. rikyrah says:

    Michael Gerson: Concern Troll

    by BooMan
    Tue Jan 22nd, 2013 at 11:54:21 AM EST

    Former Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson didn’t care for the tone of President Obama’s Second Inaugural Address:


    Mr. Gerson doesn’t address the accuracy of Obama’s claims. As Jane Mayer points out, the “nation of takers” rhetoric has been increasingly prevalent on the right. The Republicans have consistently opposed equal pay for equal work. Republican governors from Ohio to Virginia to Florida did all they could to assure long lines at the polls. Who could argue against the idea that the Norquist anti-tax pledge puts absolutism over principle or that Fox News and Rush Limbaugh substitute spectacle for politics? What kind of reasoned debate involves questioning the president’s birth certificate and calling him a Muslim or a Stalinist or a Nazi? What does Gerson think happens to the elderly and parents with special needs kids when you slash Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security and other health programs? Three in ten conservative Republicans express a belief in climate change. And the neo-conservatives explicitly call for perpetual war.

    The president told the truth. Who cares if the right doesn’t like it?

    Gerson thinks that the president created a problem for himself by hurting the Republicans’ feelings. There are two words for that kind of analysis: concern troll

  21. Ametia says:


    Gov. McDonnell Condemns Virginia Senate GOP Move As Bad Way To Do Business

    After first distancing himself from the new legislative lines the Virginia Senate GOP forced through Monday, Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) condemned his party’s political gamesmanship Tuesday.

    “I certainly don’t think that’s a good way to do business,” McDonnell told reporters in Richmond, according to the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star.

    Republicans took advantage of the absence of a Democratic state senator (and civil rights leader) to push their surprise legislative redistricting through what is usually an evenly divided state Senate. State Sen. Henry Marsh’s (D) trip to the inauguration of President Obama briefly made the Senate makeup 20-19 in favor of the GOP, letting Republicans launch their surprise attack.

    In a statement to TPM Monday night, McDonnell’s office distanced itself from the move. The governor has put forward an ambitious legislative agenda for his final year in office, and Democrats say the state Senate GOP action Monday puts McDonnell’s plans in jeopardy.

  22. rikyrah says:

    POTUS AND FLOTUS surprise those getting White House Tours.

  23. rikyrah says:

    Why So Surprised?

    by BooMan
    Tue Jan 22nd, 2013 at 01:14:53 AM EST

    After the inauguration speech, I didn’t really feel like writing…just watching. What surprises me about the speech is that so many liberals found it surprising. I didn’t really ever think any differently about Obama’s personal politics. You don’t grow up multiracial in Hawai’i smoking the pakalolo and surfing, go to Occidental and Columbia on the Upper West Side, do Harvard Law, become a community organizer on the South Side of Chicago, and hang out in Jeremiah Wright’s congregation without having some fairly predictable and progressive views on things. That’s just how it is.
    All that crap the right said about Obama being a secret Muslim and a socialist was bullshit. But his progressive values are obvious. It just happens that he is smart and ambitious enough to do what it takes to win over control of the Democratic Party and the White House. The only thing that surprised me about his speech was his reference to Stonewall.

    But, as I said before, until he calls for a rethinking of the War on Drugs and major prison reform, I’ll see him as an urban, sophisticated, Ivy-educated liberal who wants a progressive country but will only push so far. That’s fine by me. I’d govern the country the same way.

  24. UPDATE: Authorities reportedly searching wooded area north of campus for a second suspect on the loose

  25. Lone Star College has been evacuated and police are looking for the suspect who has fled

  26. Live Coverage of reported shooting at Lone Star College in North Houston, via affiliate @KPRCLocal2

  27. Piers Morgan‏@piersmorgan

    Students running away with their hands up above their heads, SWAT teams moving in – this looks like an ongoing situation.

  28. Breaking news: Multiple people shot at a Texas College in Houston Texas!

  29. Powell: Republican leaders should stop ‘idiot presentations’ from Palin and birthers

    Former Secretary of State Colin Powell is calling on fellow Republicans to and speak against “idiot presentations” by people like former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and the so-called birthers who insist that President Barack Obama is not a U.S. citizen.

    As Monday’s inaugural ceremonies got underway, Powell told ABC’s Diane Sawyer and George Stephanopoulos that Republicans needed to “look in the mirror” instead of attacking him after he recently called out Palin and former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu for using “slave terms” like “shucking and jiving” to describe President Barack Obama.

    “The Republicans have to stop buying into things that demonize the president,” he explained. “I mean, why aren’t Republican leaders shouting out about all this birther nonsense and all these other things? They’re silent. We should speak out.”

    “This is the kind of intolerance that I’ve been talking about, where these idiot presentations continue to be made and you don’t see the senior leadership of the party saying, ‘No, that’s wrong,’” Powell continued. “In fact, they sometimes by not speaking out, they’re encouraging it. And the base keeps buying the stuff. And it’s killing the base of the party. I mean, 26 percent favorability rating for the party right now. It ought to be telling them something, you know?”

    SNAP! Colin Powell is put out with that wasilla trash.

  30. Ametia says:


  31. Mythe is on The Chew. I’m watching now but I haven’t seen her yet.

  32. Ametia says:

    JCrew belt that FLOTUS wore yesterday is SOLD OUT!

  33. Ametia says:

    House Republicans plan to keep debt limit but suspend it until May
    By Lori Montgomery,
    Jan 22, 2013 04:20 PM EST

    The Washington Post Updated: Tuesday, January 22, 10:20 AM

    Forget about raising the federal debt limit. House Republicans are proposing to ignore it altogether — at least until May 18.

    The House plans to vote Wednesday on a measure that would leave the $16.4 trillion debt limit intact but declare that it “shall not apply” from the date the measure passes until mid-May.

  34. Inauguration Turnout Exceeds Expectations

    WASHINGTON — An inauguration planning official says turnout was “definitely above 800,000” and possibly up to one million people.

    Chris Geldart, who directs the District of Columbia’s homeland security and emergency management agency, says early and unofficial estimates of the number of people on the National Mall indicate a turnout higher than 800,000. That’s based on aerial views of how the crowd filled sections of the mall.

    Officials initially anticipated as many as 800,000 visitors, but lowered the projections to 500,000 to 700,000, based partly on an updated number of charter buses and restaurant and hotel reservations.
    Uh huh

  35. McConnell warns gun owners: Obama and Democrats have you ‘literally surrounded’

    In an email sent to his supporters on Sunday night, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) warned that the President and his Democratic allies were planning to take Americans’ guns away.

    “You and I are literally surrounded,” McConnell’s campaign manager Jesse Benton wrote. “The gun-grabbers in the Senate are about to launch an all-out-assault on the Second Amendment.”

    The email falsely claimed President Barack Obama planned to issue 23 executive orders “to get your guns.” Obama plans to nominate a director for the ATF and direct the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes of gun violence, among other executive actions. None of the executive orders he outlined last week involve anything remotely like gun confiscation.

  36. Ametia says:

    Poll: On Roe v. Wade anniversary, majority think abortion should be legal
    Posted by Rachel Weiner on January 22, 2013 at 8:48 am

    A new NBC/WSJ poll finds that, on the 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision, 70 percent of Americans want the landmark abortion rights ruling to stay. Only 24 percent would like Roe v. Wade to be overturned.

    In the same Pew poll, 54 percent think abortion should be always legal or legal most of the time. Another 35 percent think abortion should be illegal but with exceptions; only 9 percent think it should be illegal with no exceptions.

  37. Ametia says:

    The National Cathedral will livestream the prayer service on its website… at 1045am/ET.

  38. Ametia says:

    Netanyahu seeks re-election as Israel goes to polls
    22 January 2013 Last updated at 07:35 ET Share this pageEmail Print

    Israelis are voting in a general election, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expected to be returned to office with a reduced majority.

    Polls suggest Mr Netanyahu’s Likud-Beitenu alliance has lost ground to a new right-wing rival, Habayit Hayehudi.

    However, the ultra-nationalist party is still likely to join a coalition led by Mr Netanyahu.

    First results are expected overnight, although the process of forming a government may take several weeks.

    Unlike in previous elections, the parties’ campaigns have focused largely on social and economic issues, rather than the prospects for a permanent peace agreement with the Palestinians.

    There have been unprecedented protests against the rising cost of living and a recent report said nearly one in four Israelis lived in poverty.

  39. Ametia says:

    WORLD — January 21, 2013 at 5:50 PM EDT

    Israeli Election Primer – What You Should Know

    How Do Israelis Elect Their Leaders?

    Israelis 18 years and older will vote in elections for the Knesset, the 120-seat unicameral legislative body, on Tuesday. Ballots are cast not for candidates but for political parties, whose members receive seats on a proportional basis and serve for up to four-year terms. It is rare that an Israeli government makes it through all four years. A party must receive at least 2 percent of the vote to receive seats.

  40. Ametia says:

    Opinion: Roe vs. Wade 40th anniversary marks decades of supporting women’s health

    By Times of Trenton guest opinion column
    on January 22, 2013 at 6:41 AM, updated January 22, 2013 at 6:42 AM

    By Jennifer R. Miller

    Today marks the 40th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that decriminalized abortion in the United States. This decision confirmed that the constitutionally protected right to privacy includes every woman’s right to make her own personal medical decisions without the interference of politicians. Four decades later, a majority of Americans still agree with the court that personal health-care decisions should be left up to a woman herself.

    As the leading women’s health-care provider, Planned Parenthood works every day to reduce unintended pregnancies and keep women healthy. We also recognize the need for continued access to safe and legal abortion for a woman if and when she needs to consider it. Indeed, many working in abortion care are compelled by conscience to provide this vital service. A recent New England Journal of Medicine article speaks to the moral drive that many providers experience, as well as the “ongoing false dichotomization of abortion and conscience.” Planned Parenthood recognizes that abortion is a deeply personal and often complex decision for a woman and ultimately, decisions about whether to choose adoption, end a pregnancy or raise a child must be left to a woman, her family and her faith, with the counsel of her doctor or health-care provider.

  41. Ametia says:

    *12 Ways Obama Smacked Down the Tea Party and the Right in Inauguration Speech


    1. Reminding the nation who won the Civil War. On the eve of Obama’s second inauguration, civil rights leader Julian Bond addressed a crowd of progressives gathered in Washington, D.C., at the Peace Ball convened by the activist restauranter Andy Shallal, Amy Goodman of Democracy Now!, and a host of progressive entities. Bond spelled out the statistics of Obama’s 2012 victory for the crowd, noting that Mitt Romney’s voters were almost entirely white, and that the only states won by the Republican presidential candidate belonged to the old Confederacy.


    2. Reminding the nation of the history of the civil rights movement. The significance of the president’s first musical selection could easily be dismissed, had it not been for the fact of how it was bookended: on the front end, the invocation by Myrlie Evers-Williams, widow of the slain civil rights leader, Medgar Evers, and afterward by the president’s own speech, in which he acknowledged the nation’s history of slavery. From the invocation by Evers-Williams:

    One hundred-fifty years after the Emancipation Proclamation and 50 years after the March on Washington, we celebrate the spirit of our ancestors, which has allowed us to move from a nation of unborn hopes and a history of disenfranchised votes, to today’s expression of a more perfect union.


    3. Reclaiming the founding documents for liberalism. The president didn’t waste any time plucking the heartstrings of the Tea Party movement, citing both the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence in the opening paragraph of his inaugural address. It was from the latter that he got the most mileage, beginning with his recitation of the Declaration’s opening strains:

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”

  42. rikyrah says:

    First lady Michelle Obama serves as fashion icon
    By Robin Givhan,
    Jan 22, 2013 03:22 AM EST

    The Washington Post Published: January 21
    First lady Michelle Obama stood on the steps of the U.S. Capitol during President Obama’s second-term swearing-in, holding the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s black leather Bible in her magenta-gloved hands. The smaller Lincoln Bible rested atop it. Michelle Obama said nothing during the hour-long inaugural ceremony. But in the sea of black topcoats and C-SPAN stodginess, she stood out — statuesque bearing, new bangs accentuating her cheekbones, and grooming attuned to both the history books and high-definition TV.

    After rallying the country to fight childhood obesity, speaking about the value of mentoring and championing the contributions of military families, she was once again in the spot where she had stood four years ago: A silent symbol of an administration’s mood and manner, a template of patriotism, a standard-bearer for femininity.

    Wearing a navy Thom Browne coat cut from custom-made jacquard and a coordinating dress, she was a more subdued, more reserved presence than in 2009. She had traded in the bright, idealistic sheen of the lemongrass Isabel Toledo ensemble for one that was structured, relatively spare and unadorned except for the black, bejeweled J. Crew belt she added after the morning’s prayer service.

    And for the evening’s two inaugural balls, she chose a patriotic red chiffon and velvet gown that highlighted her shoulders with its spare neckline. It was created by Jason Wu, the same young New York-based designer she catapulted from near anonymity into a household name when he crafted her first inaugural gown.

    It was a stately choice, thanks to its classic first lady hue. But it had sophisticated sex appeal and was a far cry from the idealistic sweetness exuded by Wu’s first gown, the ivory, embroidered dress now in the National Museum of American History.

  43. rikyrah says:

    Obama girls to hit teen milestones in White House

    by Connie Cass, Associate Press | January 21, 2013 at 5:41 PM

    That‘s how it goes with kids. You hardly notice how fast they’re growing up, then suddenly big sis is nearly as tall as Mom and the little one is a tween, gently sassing Dad.

    On the inaugural platform again four years later, a more mature Malia Obama, 14, and Sasha, 11, smiled, sometimes giggled, and chatted with their cousin Avery Robinson as they awaited their father’s arrival. Sasha bounced on her feet a bit as if chilly in temperatures hovering around 40 degrees, and later huddled in her seat. Malia, looking poised in calf-high black boots, rivaled her mother’s 5 feet 11 inches. Like any girls their age, they whipped out their smartphones in the parade reviewing stand to take photos.

    Both daughters appeared relaxed and oblivious to their global TV audience, unaffected by their rare status, unfazed by the fuss over their father.

    Meanwhile, fashion-watchers were tweeting about the girls’ coats in vibrant shades of purple. For the record: Malia wore a J. Crew ensemble, Sasha’s was Kate Spade, and first lady Michelle Obama was in a Thom Browne coat with a navy print like a man’s silk tie.

    Such attention to the Obamas’ clothes, their Hawaiian vacations, their hair — Michelle lit up Twitter last week by adding bangs — will continue as they charge into a time of turbulence for so many American families: the teen years.

    In the second term Sasha, who arrived in the White House as a second-grader, moves on to high school. She expressed her pre-teen spirit Sunday, when Barack Obama took his official, nonpublic oath of office. After giving Dad a “Good job!” she added a reminder of his flubbed words four years ago. “You didn’t mess up,” Sasha teased the commander in chief.

  44. Ametia says:


  45. Ametia says:

    By Eugene Robinson,
    Jan 21, 2013 07:03 PM EST

    The Washington Post Published: January 21

    President Barack Hussein Obama’s second inauguration was every bit as historic as his first — not because it said so much about the nation’s long, bitter, unfinished struggle with issues of race, as was the case four years ago, but because it said so little about the subject.

    Reflect for a moment: A black man stood on the Capitol steps and took the oath of office as president of the United States. For the second time. Meaning that not only did voters elect him once — which could be a fluke, a blip, an aberration, a cosmic accident — but then turned around and did it again.

  46. Ametia says:

    Va. Republicans push re-drawn district map through Senate
    By Laura Vozzella,
    Jan 22, 2013 02:30 AM EST

    The Washington Post Published: January 21

    RICHMOND — Senate Republicans pushed a re-drawn state political map past flabbergasted Democrats on Monday, pulling off what would amount to a mid-decade redistricting of Senate lines if the plan gets approval from the House and governor and stands up to anticipated legal challenges.

    The bill, approved 20 to 19, would revamp the Senate map to concentrate minority voters in a new Southside district and would change most, if not all, existing district lines. Democrats, still scrambling Monday night to figure out the impact, said they thought that the new map would make at least five districts held by Democrats heavily Republican. The map puts two sitting senators, R. Creigh Deeds (D-Bath) and Emmett W. Hanger Jr. (R-Augusta), into a single district.

  47. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone! :-)

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