Serendipity SOUL | Sunday Open Thread

Happy Sunday, Everyone. We hope you’re enjoying your weekend.

Today’s song of praise is STEAL AWAY with Nat King Cole and Ms. Mahalia Jackson.

nat & mahalia

From the Wiki: “Steal Away” (“Steal Away To Jesus”) is an American Negro spiritual. The song is well known by variations of the chorus:
Steal away, steal away, steal away to Jesus! Steal away, steal away home, I hain’t got long to stay here.[1]
Many [2] [3] say that songs such as “Steal Away to Jesus”, and “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot”, “Wade in the Water” and the “Gospel Train” are secret codes, not only about having faith in God, but containing hidden messages for slaves to run away on their own, or with the Underground Railroad.[citation needed]

“Steal Away” was composed by Wallace Willis, Choctaw freedman in the old Indian Territory, sometime before 1862.[4]

Alexander Reid, a minister at a Choctaw boarding school, heard Willis singing the songs and transcribed the words and melodies. He sent the music to the Jubilee Singers of Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee.[5] The Jubilee Singers then popularized the songs during a tour of the United States and Europe.

“Steal Away” is a standard Gospel song, and is found in the hymnals of many Protestant denominations. It has been recorded many times by many artists.

Some history on slavey & Negro spirituals:

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58 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Sunday Open Thread

  1. Ametia says:

    Jennifer Lawrence won a SAG best actress for Silver Linings Playbook Saw this with my oldest daughter…just BRILLIANT. Daniel Day Lewis fotr Lincoln.

  2. rikyrah says:

    Downton Abbey….


    I had been spoiled and knew what was going to happen..

    still didn’t stop it from being hard.

    I was ok until the Dowager Countess….that walk away from Carson made it seem like she had aged a decade in a short walk.

    • Ametia says:

      Just finished watching Downton. That walk was heart rending to watch.
      Damn; they killed off Sybil. O’Brien’s setting up Thomas for a great FALL.

  3. rikyrah says:


    how’d you like Too Big To Fail?

    • Ametia says:

      Fast-paced; and the movie really captured the effort of the parties involved to rescue the banks at all cost. Paulson knew DAMNED well the banks weren’t going to readily loan the very Americans money whose taxed dollars were taken to BAIL them out for their scams against America!

  4. rikyrah says:

    Conservatives offend brown people, progressives ignore them

    Its pretty easy these days to point out the racism on the right. Between the election/re-election of Barack Hussein Obama and the changing demographics, those folks have put down the dog whistles and picked up the fog horns.

    Racism tends to look a little different on the left side of the political isle. But today I found a pretty good example of how it plays out. That’s a link to an article on the front page of Daily Kos. The author pulls up lots of statistics in an attempt to make the point that recent elections demonstrate that Democrats can now appeal to their liberal base and win.

    What’s interesting is that nowhere in the entire article does the author attempt to define “base.” It is taken for granted (as is shown in the comments) that he means those who dominate the discussion on Daily Kos – white highly educated upper income progressives.

    People like that always ignore statistics like the one where President Obama only got 39% of the white vote in 2012. Conversely, he got 93% of the African American vote, 71% of the Latino vote and 73% of the Asian vote. You wanna re-think that idea about who represents the “base” of the Democratic Party?

    The author points out that more and more voters are embracing the label of “liberal.” And that is the sole basis for his belief that Democrats can now run on appealing to the liberal base and eschew their attempts to win over moderate voters.

  5. rikyrah says:

    Steve Clemons @SCClemons
    Denis McDonough will score as Obama WH CoS. He is generous to all but owned by none. He’s blunt, strategic, focused on the goal, patient
    12:22 AM – 28 Jan 13

  6. Janiya Penny reacts after meeting President Barack Obama as he welcomes her family to the Oval Office

    Janiya Penny reacts after meeting President Barack Obama as he welcomes her family to the Oval Office Aug. 8, 2012.

    • Mythe says: It gives me goose bumps to see this little girl 150 years later, standing under the portrait of Abraham Lincoln, who gave his life, for this child to stand INSIDE a White House, built by her forefathers, and meet a President of the United States of America and she just by chance landed in tears under the very 2nd Amendment President…this is a powerful image to say the least.

      This is such a powerful image to me in sooo many ways that makes the fight for the 8 years of this presidency sooo worth the effort and the difference it will make for sooo many children. The little girl in tears at meeting a President who looks like her. Lincoln’s picture in the background on this day 150 years later makes the Civil War and Emancipation Proclamation all worthwhile. WE THE PEOPLE, in order to form a more perfect Union….!!

  7. rikyrah says:

    An Interview With President Obama

    Posted on 01/27/2013 at 6:29 pm by Mr. Brink

    President Obama sat down for an interview with The New Republic recently and broke the mold for Presidential honesty, holding court on the current state of affairs, from guns and skeet shooting at Camp David to college football, Syria, and hopes and dreams for America finally cutting the crap before the we run out of Earth to scorch, but notably, he had this to say about the idea that “both sides” are equally to blame for the gridlock and dysfunction:

    FF: When you talk about Washington, oftentimes you use it as a way to describe this type of dysfunction. But it’s a very broad brush. It can seem as if you’re apportioning blame not just to one party, but to both parties—

    Well, no, let me be clear. There’s not a—there’s no equivalence there. In fact, that’s one of the biggest problems we’ve got in how folks report about Washington right now, because I think journalists rightly value the appearance of impartiality and objectivity. And so the default position for reporting is to say, “A plague on both their houses.” On almost every issue, it’s, “Well, Democrats and Republicans can’t agree”—as opposed to looking at why is it that they can’t agree. Who exactly is preventing us from agreeing?

    And I want to be very clear here that Democrats, we’ve got a lot of warts, and some of the bad habits here in Washington when it comes to lobbyists and money and access really goes to the political system generally. It’s not unique to one party. But when it comes to certain positions on issues, when it comes to trying to do what’s best for the country, when it comes to really trying to make decisions based on fact as opposed to ideology, when it comes to being willing to compromise, the Democrats, not just here in this White House, but I would say in Congress also, have shown themselves consistently to be willing to do tough things even when it’s not convenient, because it’s the right thing to do. And we haven’t seen that same kind of attitude on the other side.

    Until Republicans feel that there’s a real price to pay for them just saying no and being obstructionist, you’ll probably see at least a number of them arguing that we should keep on doing it. It worked for them in the 2010 election cycle, and I think there are those who believe that it can work again. I disagree with them, and I think the cost to the country has been enormous.

  8. rikyrah says:

    Republicans Decide the Solution to Their Problems is to Screw America with a Smile

    By: Rmuse
    Jan. 27th, 2013

    Most people would be inclined to agree that being assaulted by a criminal with a smile on their face is still being assaulted, especially if the assailant has a history of attacking them at every opportunity. Whether an attacker is smiling or scowling, the damage they inflict is still painful, and even semi-intelligent human beings would avoid any situation that might give the assailant another chance to inflict harm on them or their loved ones. Politicians learn early on to smile regardless if they are proposing legislation that helps or harms their constituents, and it does not take long for the public to learn that it is the politician’s record and position on issues that matters and not whether they present themselves and their agenda in a friendly manner or with a smile on their face. Republicans have not proposed one idea over the past decade, or longer, that benefits the population, and in fact have been purveyors of pain and suffering for Americans far removed from the wealthiest 1% of income earners and fundamentalist Christian fanatics. After three days of meeting to plot strategies to continue inflicting damage on the American people, the Republican National Committee decided that if they present detrimental legislation with a smile on the faces, their harmful agenda will be embraced by Americans.

    The message coming from the 2013 RNC Winter meeting in Charlotte this week is that substantive policy changes are not the answer to garner support from voters because Republican leaders insist there was nothing wrong with their message that lost them the 2012 election, it was how and who delivered the messages of doom. The consensus among GOP leaders is that Americans want to be assaulted by Republicans; they just want them to smile as they implement Draconian spending cuts, lower taxes for the rich, anti-women legislation, and religious edicts straight out of the Old Testament. Republican leadership is so out of touch with the American people, and so stuck on their ideologically backward agenda, that one member said “We can stand by our timeless principles and articulate them in ways that are modern, relevant to our time and relatable to the majority of voters.” They then unanimously approved a resolution by voice vote calling on Congress to defund Planned Parenthood despite a majority of Americans oppose defunding the organization.

    There are myriad problems endemic to Republican policies, but primarily they do not comprehend that their agenda and policies are contrary to the will of the people, and they are only interested in serving voters who agree with their platform. New Hampshire chairman Wayne MacDonald said party leaders need to be firm and assertive without being mean-spirited, and asserted that no-one thinks the Republican Party has to change any platform planks because “this party wants to serve everybody that believes in our principles,” and it informs what pundits and political observers have known for some time; Republicans do not want, or intend, to serve all Americans; only those who agree with their policies.

  9. rikyrah says:

    House GOP Congresswoman Argues Guns Have Nothing to Do With School Shootings

    By: Jason EasleyJan. 27th, 2013

    House Republican Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn claimed that guns aren’t part of the root problem of school shootings. Rep. Blackburn tried to argue that guns have nothing to do with school shootings.


    Bob Schieffer brought up the completely rational point that the shooter in Newtown would have done a lot less damage with a baseball bat, and was met with the rare combination of insanity and NRA talking points that can only come from a House tea partier. From the point of view of the paid through campaign contributions NRA congressional stooge, the problem with school shootings isn’t the gun, or even easy access to guns. The problem is mental illness. It’s not the gun’s fault that people are crazy. Why are we blaming the poor innocent gun for SHOOTINGS? This is part of the Republican talking point that we need to meet in the middle, and have a discussion about keeping our children safe. However, guns have nothing to do with the problem. This type of absolutism mixed with irrationality is why this nation can’t have a sensible conversation about the role of guns in gun violence.

    No one wants to take guns away from anyone, but the moment guns are brought up the far right immediately refuses to discuss the role that access to guns plays in our culture of violence. Video games and television shows don’t kill people, but mentally ill individuals who have easy access to guns and hear politicians fearmongering about threats to their Second Amendment rights might.

  10. rikyrah says:

    While Lying about Everything, Paul Ryan Accuses Obama of Dishonesty

    By: Sarah JonesJan. 27th, 2013

    Paul Ryan (R-WI) spread what can only be seen as Glenn Beck logic this morning on Meet the Press. Ryan spent an entire clip impugning President Obama’s motives and then wrapped it up by lecturing that we can’t move forward by impugning people’s motives.

    If only Paul Ryan would listen to Paul Ryan.

    More advice from failed Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan to his party, because if anyone knows how to beat Obama, it’s the ticket that just lost to him.

    Paul Ryan gave a speech Saturday to the National Review Institute in Washington, in which he warned the Republicans to pick their fights with the President. He echoed Speaker Boehner’s paranoia that the President will try to “divide” Republicans.

    But Ryan says GOP lawmakers “can’t get rattled” and shouldn’t “play the villain in his morality plays.”

    It’s a little late for that warning, isn’t it?

    Catholic Paul Ryan might not be the best person to lecture the Republicans on how not to be the villain in anyone’s morality play, especially given that his budget was called immoral by the Nuns on the Bus.

    It’s hard not to be the villain in a morality play when your policies are the villain to most Americans. If your party has been co-opted by corporate interests to such a degree that you preach austerity for the poor, sick and dying while defending corporate subsidies and corporate tax breaks, you are setting yourself up as the villain.

  11. rikyrah says:

    Behind The Scenes At Inauguration 2013 [MINI MOVIE]
    Jan 25, 2013

    By Smokey D. Fontaine

    I missed the first one. When Barack Hussein Obama was sworn in as our first African-American president with an agenda that I believed passionately in, I watched history unfold on a flat screen.

    I was not going to miss the second time around. In fact, to make sure I gave myself the most memorable of experiences, I chose to go to the Capitol as part of a radio broadcast team, giving me the kind of 20-feet away access that laypersons – and even fellow journalists – would only dream of.

    We arrived in the middle of the night and I honestly did not know what to expect. Would this be the moment of a lifetime? Or would this be, as all the pundits were claiming, a disappointing repeat with less people and less enthusiasm and less meaning?

    Let me say this: Folks turned up to be a part of the 2nd inauguration of Barack Hussein Obama with hope in their hearts and a dream in their eyes. America was alive that day in Washington, what makes us great pulsed through the men & women, boys & girls, young & old who had to be exactly where they were in that moment. Exactly where he was.

    “We the people,” the President proclaimed over and over, not just as a patriotic turn of phrase, but as a unifying call-to-arms that, still, a few days later, I can’t shake the promise of.

    “With the Bush inaugural we were the 1%,” an African-American Secret Service veteran remarked to me. Staring at the wonderful plurality of the crowd in front of us both, with proud black and brown faces everywhere, he did not want anyone to underestimate how special that was. His 4th inaugural, he clearly remembers looking at the nearly all-white crowd that showed up not that long ago.

    “And it probably would’ve gone back to exactly that if Romney won…”

    His voice trailed off, but the thought didn’t linger, because our President, our own Black Shining President, just emerged to take his Oath in front of us all…

  12. rikyrah says:

    Kasai @Kahsai
    @chucktodd You’re no longer a journalist..when u agree 2 disenfranchise voters.Consider yourself an accessory 2 voter fraud #ToddHustedGate

  13. Jon Husted and Chuck Todd MSNBC -Twitter Damage Control.

    Jan. 27, 2013 After an entire year when the Secretary of State of Ohio attempted to rig the vote in favor of republicans by voter suppression ID laws Jon Husted continues on his goal to rig the 2014 and 2016 Elections.

    Even after a federal judge blasted Jon Husted in 17 pages ripping him for a concerted violation of federal and state election laws, Husted continued to dismiss provisional ballots by not counting votes.

    District Judge Alegenon Marbley said this:

    “The surreptitious manner in which the secretary went about implementing this last minute change to the election rules casts serious doubt on his protestations of good faith” end quote.

    But it didn’t take long after losing the 2012 Election to Democrat President Barack Obama for Husted to get to work on an other scheme to disenfranchise voters. Ohio voters would expect the very minimal in Husted abiding by General Assembly laws but instead he gave orders to poll workers not to count provisional ballots, most of which went to Obama.

    Yesterday, January 26, 2012 – Jon Husted tweeted that he had a private (unknown who attended) luncheon with NBC reporter Chuck Todd and said this:


    Note He said: “Reform needs to happen and Chuck Todd agreed with that” in the terminology Husted said Chuck Todd agreed that the entire state and the entire country needs “redistricting reform”.

    Presumably because republicans lost the election and the Ohio Secretary of State (and they) aim to fix that problem.

    But Ohio voters know better, that given the opportunity Jon Husted once again will rig the vote in Ohio.

    On the basis of his reputation in 2012 Husted’s so called innocent statement at a luncheon with a top level MSNBC reporter has deeper consequences.

  14. Jeff Gauvin‏@JeffersonObama

    Jon Husted: The Most Powerful Man in Ohio’s GOP Election Voter Theft Plans

  15. rikyrah says:

    ALEC’s Fingerprints Are All Over the Electoral College Rigging Efforts in Blue States

    By: RmuseJan. 26th, 2013

    One of the benefits of living in a democracy is knowing, with relative certainty, that the people choose a representative to lead the country through the electoral process, and although not every voter is pleased with the results of an election, they can rest easy the leader was chosen by the people and not appointed by special interests. Republicans hate democracy and fair elections, and to ensure future presidents are chosen by conservative fascist committee, they have been on a two-and-a-half year crusade to rig the electoral process to guarantee a Republican will win the White House with fewer votes than their opponent. In the last election, although Democrats garnered 1.4 million more votes than Republicans, redistricting and gerrymandering enabled the GOP to hang on to the House of Representatives. Republicans are notorious for using revolting tactics to win elections, and the current coup d’état by electoral college rigging is a travesty, but like every dirty trick Republicans use to steal elections, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is behind Electoral College rigging efforts in Republican-controlled states that overwhelmingly voted for President Obama.

    The current Republican assault on the democratic process began during the 2010 midterm elections when dark money groups helped Republicans pick up 675 legislative seats and gain complete control of 12 state legislatures, and the result was the GOP redrawing lines for four times as many congressional districts as Democrats. In early 2010, Karl Rove laid out the Republican approach to redistricting in a Wall Street Journal article titled, “He who controls redistricting can control Congress” and his words were prophetic as Republicans held the House of Representatives despite earning 1.4 million fewer votes than Democrats. Once Republicans controlled state legislatures, they had free rein to begin redistricting to tilt elections in Republicans’ favor, and it was ALEC that provided Republican governors and state legislators with the redistricting tactic to rig Electoral College votes and guarantee a Republican will always be president.

    The corporate-controlled ALEC was instrumental in pushing redistricting tactics spearheaded by a former national Republican Party lawyer, Mark Brayden, who gave a presentation on redistricting to members of ALEC’s Public Safety and Elections Task Force in December 2010. Wisconsin Senate majority leader, Scott Fitzgerald, a member of that Task Force and former ALEC state chair, received an email invitation in January 2011 for an ALEC “special” conference call with other Wisconsin Republicans to discuss the legality of redistricting; Fitzgerald led the redistricting effort in Wisconsin, and no Democrats were invited to the secret ALEC conference call. Despite being sharply criticized by a court for developing redistricting maps in Wisconsin under a “veil of secrecy,” the new maps have taken effect and the majority of Congressional districts are now out-of-step with statewide voting patterns.

  16. rikyrah says:

    8 Unusual Uses For Antiseptic Mouthwash

    by Mrs. Fixit

    Antiseptic mouthwash is designed to kill germs in your mouth and keep your teeth clean. It’s those very properties that make mouthwash a perfect cleaner and disinfectant for other surfaces in your home too. So grab a bottle of Listerine and try these eight unusual ideas for yourself!

    Tip: All of these tactics should only be attempted with a sugar-free, alcohol-based antiseptic mouthwash. At a few bucks a bottle, you can’t go wrong!

    View the slideshow above for more unusual uses for mouthwash.

    the slideshow will make you go…HUH?

  17. rikyrah says:

    The Testimony of Myrlie Evers-Williams

    by massappeal
    Sat Jan 26th, 2013 at 08:34:01 PM EST

    I know this is a few days old, but I just read it (something I should do more often – read our diarists) and it seemed an appropriate post to promote to our front page. I hope you agree – Steven D
    Myrlie Evers-Williams has come in for some criticism for her invocation at President Obama’s inauguration on Monday. Some is from those who think religion has no place in the public rituals of a republic whose constitution forbids the establishment of religion. Some is from Christians of varying political persuasions who objected on theological or liturgical grounds to the content of the prayer offered by the first woman (and the first lay person) in U. S. history to deliver an inaugural invocation.

    In the spirit of Sen. Lamar Alexander (a phrase never before used on this blog)—who, citing Tennessee author Alex Haley, said at the inauguration, “Find the good, and praise it”—here are some additional thoughts about Ms. Myrlie Evers-Williams’ invocation:

    1.Ms. Evers-Williams will celebrate her 80th birthday in a few weeks. Anyone who looks that good after eight decades on this earth has something to say that’s worth hearing.

    2.If it’s true that “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice”, then any American citizen interested enough in politics to pay attention to a presidential inauguration should also be aware that the Evers family was the fulcrum around and by which that arc was bent in Mississippi (and thus, across the United States) in 1963. Decades after his assassination, Medgar Evers’ blood still stained the driveway of the family’s home. Any American citizen interested enough in politics to pay attention to a presidential inauguration has, dare I say, a civic and moral obligation to listen to—and take seriously—pretty much anything Myrlie Evers-Williams chooses to say on such an occasion.

    3.More to the point, anyone who grew up in Jim Crow Mississippi, worked with her husband when they more-or-less were the civil rights movement in Mississippi in the 1950s and early 1960s, continued working for the next 30 years to bring his killer, Byron de la Beckwith Jr., to account under law, and (this is the important part) survived whole in body, mind and spirit as Myrlie Evers-William did, has wisdom worth learning from.

  18. DeMint rants about ‘unborn children’ when asked about Republican ‘racist comments’

    Former Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) on Sunday turned the subject to abortion and “unborn children” after being asked about “racist comments” that hurt the Republican Party brand.

    During a panel segment on NBC’s Meet the Press, host David Gregory asked DeMint to respond to former Secretary of State Colin Powell’s charge that there was a “dark vein of intolerance” in the Republican Party because people like former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin had accused President Barack Obama of “shucking and jiving.”

    “Spending more than we’re bringing in and this debt is a moral argument that we need to connect with the American people,” the incoming Heritage Foundation president explained. “The reason that I left Congress is because I don’t believe the politicians are going to solve our problems unless the American people force them to. They’re going to keep spending and borrowing in Washington, they’re going to keep implementing policies… that hurt minorities. They’re worse off.”

  19. rikyrah says:

    Bearing Arms

    Selling a New Generation on Guns


    Published: January 26, 2013

    Threatened by long-term declining participation in shooting sports, the firearms industry has poured millions of dollars into a broad campaign to ensure its future by getting guns into the hands of more, and younger, children.

    The industry’s strategies include giving firearms, ammunition and cash to youth groups; weakening state restrictions on hunting by young children; marketing an affordable military-style rifle for “junior shooters” and sponsoring semiautomatic-handgun competitions for youths; and developing a target-shooting video game that promotes brand-name weapons, with links to the Web sites of their makers.

    The pages of Junior Shooters, an industry-supported magazine that seeks to get children involved in the recreational use of firearms, once featured a smiling 15-year-old girl clutching a semiautomatic rifle. At the end of an accompanying article that extolled target shooting with a Bushmaster AR-15 — an advertisement elsewhere in the magazine directed readers to a coupon for buying one — the author encouraged youngsters to share the article with a parent.

    “Who knows?” it said. “Maybe you’ll find a Bushmaster AR-15 under your tree some frosty Christmas morning!”

  20. jordan duncan‏@FoL2009

    @Politicolnews: Official luncheon was on thus 1/24. Husted’s tweet about “lunch today” with Todd was on 1/26.

  21. rikyrah says:

    Ada Bryant and Robert Haire


    Published: January 27, 2013

    Ada Laurie Bryant and Robert Mitchell Haire were married Saturday in Hockessin, Del. Robert L. Bryant, a Universal Life minister and a son of the bride, officiated at his home.

    The bride, 97, is keeping her name. She graduated from Lesley College in Cambridge, Mass.

    She is the daughter of the late Ada Lee Laurie and the late Richard Laurie, who lived in Hingham, Mass.

    The groom, 86, a chemical engineer, retired as a manager of labor relations from E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Company in Wilmington, Del. He graduated from Vanderbilt University and received a master’s degree in history from the University of Delaware.

  22. rikyrah says:

    Did Harry Reid Choose to Lose a Battle to Win the War?

    Saturday, January 26, 2013 | Posted by Deaniac83 at 1:56 PM

    Yesterday, I wrote a piece criticizing Harry Reid and senate institutionalists who went for protecting the silent, call-in filibuster. That criticism, with all my distaste for the instituionalists’ pursuit of extraordinary power, stands. But. And there’s always a but, isn’t there. For all the explanations of the deal I read yesterday, I kept coming back to this: Harry Reid wouldn’t do this if he didn’t want the Republicans to use the filibuster. Well, does he? I think he might, as a trap. What if Harry Reid here chose to lose a battle in order to win a war? The war would be the 2014 election, and more broadly, breaking the back of the current Republican intransigence. Harry Reid is after all a boxer. He’s been known to whoop Republicans with political strategy before. So, I think this is worth another look.

    For all the disappointment of the reformers, including myself, let’s consider what Harry Reid actually did by preserving the easy filibuster while limiting it on motions to proceed. Basically, 8 senators from each side, including the majority and minority leaders, can bypass a filibuster to move a bill to the floor, or the majority leader can do it by himself, as long as he allows votes on two amendments from the minority.

    So? So, by preserving the silent filibuster on actual votes but essentially eliminating it on bringing the bills to the floor in the first place, Harry Reid ensures that Republicans can easily filibuster bills, but only after they are brought to the floor. The silent filibuster is also preserved for actual votes on cabinet-level nominees. In fact, Reid may be daring the Republicans do exactly that on wildly popular parts of the president’s agenda, like immigration reform, gun safety legislation, and education reform. Reid is also daring the Republicans to filibuster nominees like Chuck Hagel.

  23. rikyrah says:

    Avoiding Wall St. shuffle’s perils

    By ELIZABETH WARREN | 1/24/13 9:24 PM EST

    It’s that time again when jobs open up across Washington and the big shuffle starts: People on Wall Street angle for key economic policymaking jobs, and people in key economic policymaking jobs angle for jobs on Wall Street.

    This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. People with Washington experience bring expertise to Wall Street — often a sense of public service — and people with Wall Street experience bring expertise to government.

    When I worked to set up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, we hired a number of people with industry experience. We built a team that had diverse expertise and different worldviews because that meant smarter, more effective policies. It’s pretty clear that you can’t write good rules or effectively enforce the law if you don’t know how the game is played.

    But as past experiences have shown, there is also real peril in this Wall Street shuffle. Big business orthodoxy against rules and regulations can seep into the bones, including the bones of new policymakers who are charged with protecting consumers and strengthening markets. Industry groupthink and overconfidence can prevent clear and evenhanded analysis of problems. The result can be a group of decision makers who are self-confident in the extreme and who end up clearing the path toward the sort of recklessness and excessive greed that have already broken the economy once.

    Read more:

  24. rikyrah says:

    Michigan Republican Says That Electoral Vote-Rigging Was Only Nixed in 2012 Because It Might Have Hurt Romney

    Posted Friday, Jan. 25, 2013, at 10:47 AM ET

    The attempts in various states to skew the Electoral College vote toward Republians is so brazen, so outside of accepted partisan norms, that the larger political media has been slow to cover it. There’s a practical reason. These bills come up, in some form, in lots of legislatures. They go nowhere. A backlash stopped the GOP in Pennsylvania from passing an electoral vote-split plan in 2011. Maybe a backlash will stop it this time. Why cover it?

    It’s just the strangest question. Lots of political stories end with the proposal being blocked or altered. The media’s coverage helps determine this. Media outlets spent millions of dollars in 2012 covering the campaign of Mitt Romney, who didn’t end up being elected president, and who’s quickly become a nonentity. Should they refund their expenses because the Romney presidency never happened?

    This brings me to the belated, high-placed local media coverage of the Republican elector-rigging bills in Michigan and Virginia. The Detroit News gives it a long lead feature. The balance-seeking reporter grapples with the plan.

    The switch would have given Mitt Romney a majority of Michigan’s 16 electoral votes last year, even though Obama beat him by a nearly 450,000 popular vote margin here, according to Michigan Democratic Party Chairman Mark Brewer,

  25. rikyrah says:

    January 25, 2013 1:22 PM
    Stupid Is As Stupid Does

    By Ed Kilgore

    It’s not taking anyone much time to figure out exactly what Bobby Jindal was talking about in his Great Big Defining Speech at an RNC meeting last night when he said Republicans should “stop being the stupid party” and referenced “bizarre and offensive comments” being made by unnamed candidates. Slate’s Dave Weigel is all over it:

    Jindal’s Sermon on Gaffes assumes that the audience still blames Mitt Romney’s “47 percent” tape for his defeat, and blames Todd Akin’s “legitimate rape” comment for blowing the key Senate races. Sure: Both were huge, inarticulate mistakes. Romney’s spitballing about makers and takers was in line with contemporary Republican theories about the tax code and the entitlement state, and Jindal doesn’t back off from them, either. “Where do you go if you want a handout?” he asks. “Government. This must stop.” He doesn’t mention entitlement spending except to call for “re-thinking nearly every social program in Washington.”

    Akin’s gaffe was even more explicable. He believes that life starts at conception, and he’s against abortion in cases of rape. Jindal doesn’t talk about abortion at all, except to accuse liberals of “supporting abortion on demand without apology.” But in practice, he’s signed restrictions on abortion, requiring women to see ultrasounds and hear fetal heartbeats before they terminate their pregnancies. Following a 2012 law signed by Jindal, a woman can only opt out of the ultrasound results if she affirms in writing that she was raped or the victim of incest. But Jindal doesn’t go around talking about it

    Bingo. Saying “bizarre and offensive” things can often be just a matter of poorly articulating bizarre and offensive policies. And if they are so bizarre and offensive that they can’t be made attractive, then the idea is to follow Kellyanne Conway’s advice and just refuse to talk about it, which seems to be the brave “reformer” Bobby Jindal’s guidance as well. If you can’t avoid stupid policies, then at least have the good sense to STFU about them.

  26. rikyrah says:

    The Ice Is Breaking

    By Joe Klein Monday, Feb. 04, 2013

    I came to political consciousness with John F. Kennedy’s magnificent 1961 Inaugural Address. It seemed the start of something fresh and exciting, and it was. “The torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans,” said Kennedy, the first member of the Greatest Generation to hold the office. It was a moment of high idealism, the beginning of a decade that would see the birth of Medicare and Medicaid, the passage of monumental civil rights legislation and a new style of populist protest: the civil rights and antiwar marches, which presaged the struggles for gay and women’s rights.

    Fifty-two years later, Barack Obama’s second Inaugural seemed a bookend to the Kennedy speech. It announced the final ratification of the progressive agenda launched by Kennedy and enacted by Lyndon Johnson, and the moral agenda proclaimed by Martin Luther King Jr. It closed the era of neo-imperial wars that began with Vietnam and ended with Iraq and Afghanistan. The turmoil that followed the terrorist attacks of 2001 and the economic crash of 2008 is on the wane as well. Indeed, the speech seemed more the end of something than a new beginning.

    There was unanimity, for once, among the Washington commentariat that it was a liberal speech–but, with the exception of climate change, this was not an agenda-setting address. It was a proclamation that the Reagan reaction to the events of the 1960s had come to an end. The welfare state would not be repealed. And while the fate of some social issues, like abortion rights and affirmative action, remains in doubt, equality has now been woven into the national fabric. The speech confirmed the November results: that a political party tethered to a white, regional, rural base no longer has the electoral firepower to govern the country.

    It was a confident speech. It marked a new reality in Washington: the ice is breaking. The President has demonstrated in recent weeks that he now has a working majority in the House of Representatives for many of his initiatives. Tax rates have been increased with Republican votes, for the first time in 20 years. Hurricane relief for the Northeast was passed with a majority of Democrats and a minority of Republicans. The debt-ceiling gimmick has been postponed, and perhaps shelved, by Republican leaders who see the handwriting on the wall. Gun control will be a difficult achievement, as the National Rifle Association sways a great many Democratic legislators, but immigration reform is likely to pass with a similar bipartisan majority–Democrats plus a wise minority of Republicans–as the tax increases did.,9171,2134496,00.html

  27. Ametia says:

    Lil Eddie M.’s crawled back out of the woodworks.

  28. rikyrah says:

    1 dead after West Side shooting | Mother mourns loss of fourth child to gun violence

    Saturday, January 26, 2013

    A shooting early Saturday morning in Chicago’s Lawndale neighborhood claimed the life of one man and wounded another.

    The slain victim is the son of a woman who has now lost all of her children to gun violence.

    Shirley Chambers, mother of four, grieved again on Saturday.

    “Right now, I’m totally lost because Ronnie was my only surviving son,” Chambers said.

    Ronnie Chambers, 34, died when he was shot as he sat in a parked car in the 1100-block of South Mozart at 2:30 a.m. Another man, 21, was also in the car and was wounded.

    “He was trying to change… He would do anything for you. He would give you the shirt off his back,” his mother said.

    Ronnie was the last of her children to die of gunshots.

    In 1995, her 18-year-old son Carlos was shot to death by a fellow student at Jones Metropolitan High School while he walked along State Street in the South Loop.

    After that, her 15-year-old daughter Latoya was shot in the head and killed, allegedly at the hands of a 13-year-old boy.

    Then, in July of 2000, her son Jerome was gunned down just feet away from where his sister was killed.

    Now, the mother of four deceased children is asking questions.

    “What did I do wrong? I was there for them. We didn’t have everything we wanted but we had what we needed,” she said.

    Despite her pain, Chambers remains graceful. She says she is not bitter or angry as she struggles to cope with accepting the tragic news.

    “They took my only child. I have nobody right now. That’s my only baby,” she said.

    According to officials, the shooter is still on the loose.

  29. rikyrah says:

    Tennessee state senator: Reduce welfare payments to families if children don’t do well in school

    6:52 pm January 25, 2013, by Maureen Downey

    A Tennessee state senator has come up with what I believe is a first: Republican State Sen. Stacey Campfield of Knoxville proposes to cut welfare benefits to parents whose children don’t make “satisfactory academic progress” in school.

    Campfield believes that his bill would compel parents to work harder to ensure their kids excel in school. As you might imagine, his Senate Bill 1312 is triggering a lot of comment

  30. rikyrah says:

    Attack on family in Compton latest incident in wave of anti-black violence

    A Latino gang is intimidating blacks into leaving the city that was once an African American enclave. It’s part of a violent trend seen in other parts of the L.A. area.

    By Sam Quinones, Richard Winton and Joe Mozingo
    January 25, 2013, 6:46 p.m.

    The trouble began soon after they arrived.

    The black family—a mother, three teenage children and a 10-year-old boy—moved into a little yellow home in Compton over Christmas vacation.

    When a friend came to visit, four men in a black SUV pulled up and called him a “nigger,” saying black people were barred from the neighborhood, according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies. They jumped out, drew a gun on him and beat him with metal pipes.

    It was just the beginning of what detectives said was a campaign by a Latino street gang to force an African American family to leave.

    The attacks on the family are the latest in a series of violent incidents in which Latino gangs targeted blacks in parts of greater Los Angeles over the last decade.

    Compton, with a population of about 97,000, was predominantly black for many years. It is now 65% Latino and 33% black, according to the 2010 U.S. census. But it’s not only historically black areas that have been targeted.

    Federal authorities have alleged in several indictments in the last decade that the Mexican Mafia prison gang has ordered street gangs under its control to attack African Americans. Leaders of the Azusa 13 gang were sentenced to lengthy prison terms earlier this month for leading a policy of attacking African American residents and expelling them from the town.

    Similar attacks have taken place in Harbor Gateway, Highland Park, Pacoima, San Bernardino, Canoga Park and Wilmington, among other places. In the Compton case, sheriff’s officials say the gang appears to have been acting on its own initiative.,0,977110.story

  31. Ametia says:

    A Brazilian nightclub where hundreds died in a fire Sunday was about 1,000 people over capacity at the time of the blaze, a fire official said.

    “When I arrived, we analyzed the preliminary scene and saw that there was a 1,000 maximum capacity but we understood there were about 2,000 there,” said Guido de Melo, a fire official.

    The fire killed at least 245 people, many of whom apparently died from smoke inhalation, police said.

  32. Thousands March On Washington for Gun Control

  33. Ametia says:

    Barack Obama is Not Pleased The president on his enemies, the media, and the future of football


    That morning’s event included parents of the Sandy Hook dead. And as Obama walked with us along the colonnade to the Oval Office, he initially seemed a bit drained. But he perked up as he asked us in granular detail about the health of the media business.1 He bemoaned his own difficulty accessing newspapers and magazines on his ultra-secure presidential iPad, which doesn’t allow him to enter required subscriber information. (Chris Hughes worked on his 2008 presidential campaign and has donated money to him since.)

    As he sunk into his leather chair and began to answer our questions, he spoke in his characteristic languid pace, often allowing seconds to elapse between words.2 Although he hardly sounded angry, he voiced an impatience with Republicans and the media (and college football) that he once carefully reserved for private conversations. What follows is a lightly edited transcript of our conversation.


  34. Ametia says:

    Godd Morning, Everyone! :-))

  35. Chuck Todd Meets With Jon Husted- Rigging Election 2014

    Jan. 26, 2013 A certain news announcer, part-time election fixer Chuck Todd had lunch apparently with the Secretary of the State of Ohio, to discuss how to rig the next election in 2014, or how to break voters rights for the people of Ohio.

    After all the voter suppression with last minute 2012 voter ID laws and the failed computer voting machine hacking of 2004 Ohio still wants to break some laws and rig the vote against Democrats.

    The conversation opens with Jon Husted’s Tweet:

    “Enjoyed having lunch today with NBC’s @ChuckTodd – he and I agree Redistricting Reform needs to happen in OH and across the US”.

    Followed by a barrage of tweets of these two conspiring to rig national elections.

    Heads Should Roll …at MSNBC. I mean isn’t it illegal to Conspire to rig an election by whatever means these two have cooked up? Really isn’t that against the law especially in broadcasting regulations? Where is the FCC when you need em?

    Chuck Todd could not be reached for comment.

    • Ametia says:

      Chuck Todd is a parisan HACK.

      Funny how Husted and Chuckie T. agree redistricting should happen now that the GOP are LOSING elections. What would this redistricting look like?

  36. Judge Who Ruled Against Recess Appointments Is A Wingnut

    Just thought I’d point out the long-time wingnuttery and judicial activism of D.C. District Judge David Sentelle, the Reagan-appointee circuit judge and Jesse Helms protegee — the man who appointed Kenneth Starr — who just invalidated Obama’s NLRB appointments, thus kicking off a whole potential mess o’legal chaos!

    The D.C. district is second only to the Supreme Court in its importance, and of course it has three (soon to be four) vacancies, which Republicans refuse to allow Obama to fill. Gee, real filibuster reform would have been nice, wouldn’t it?

    This Daily Kos post from 2010 sums it up pretty well:

    Back to Sentelle, the lead judge of this circuit court, and a reminder that this is someone who, when he gets a chance, puts his right wing, authoritarian political beliefs over and above the principle of justice. Is it any wonder that the reason he became a judge is that he was appointed by Ronald Reagan, a man who also whenever he got a chance, also put his own right wing, authoritarian political beliefs over and above the principle of justice.

    This is, for example, the same partisan hack who voted to overturn the convictions of Oliver North and John Poindexter, for their Iran Contra crimes.

    This is, for example, the same partisan hack who appointed his fellow partisan hack Kenneth Starr for his witchhunt of the Clintons

    This is, for example, the same partisan hack who enthusiastically supported the “Military Commissions Act” and its destruction of habeas corpus for enemy combatants; if you are David Sentelle and the government accuses you of a crime, you are guilty until you can prove innocence, rather than the other way around, and the government can throw up all sorts of roadblocks to prove your innocence. Unless, of course, you are someone like Ollie North. Then, of course, your innocence is fully presumed.

    The man has no business wearing a judge’s robe, and is a disgrace to our supposed rule of law.

  37. Oh looky here folks..


  38. Tennessee Legislator: Cut Food Assistance to Kids With Bad Report Cards.

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