Tuesday Open Thread

Today’s trailblazer is Dorothy Dandridge.

dorothy dandridge-1

Dorothy Jean Dandridge (November 9, 1922 – September 8, 1965) was an American actress and singer, and was the first African-American to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress.[3] She performed as a vocalist in venues such as the Cotton Club and the Apollo Theater.

After several minor bit parts in films, Dandridge landed her first noted film role in Tarzan’s Peril (starring Lex Barker), in 1951. Dandridge won her first starring role in 1953, playing a teacher in a low-budget film with a nearly all-black cast, Bright Road, released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

In 1954, she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress and a BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role for Carmen Jones, and in 1959 she was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for Porgy and Bess. In 1999, she was the subject of the HBO biopic Introducing Dorothy Dandridge, starring Halle Berry as Dandridge. She has been recognized on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Dandridge was married and divorced twice, first to dancer and entertainer Harold Nicholas (the father of her daughter, Harolyn Suzanne) and then to Jack Denison. She died at age 42

dorothy dandridge-2

Early career

Dandridge’s first screen appearance was a bit part in an Our Gang comedy, Teacher’s Beau (1935).[10] In 1937, she appeared as one of the many singers in the Marx Brothers’ feature film A Day at the Races.[11] The following year Dandridge, her sister Vivian would make a brief appearance in Going Places. In 1940, Dandridge played a murderer in the race film Four Shall Die — her first credited film role. Though the part was a supporting role and the film was somewhat of a success, Dandridge struggled to find good film roles.

The following year, Dandridge was cast opposite John Wayne in Lady From Louisiana (1941), playing the small part of Felice. That same year she teamed with her future husband Harold Nicholas to film a brief role in Sun Valley Serenade. Dandridge, Nicholas, and Nicholas’s brother Fayard Nicholas, appeared in a part described as “speciality act”. In 1942, Dandridge won another supporting role as Princess Malimi in Drums of the Congo. In her next few films she would play mainly in bit parts, but she managed to get a small and yet good role in Hit Parade of 1943 (1943). In 1944, Dandridge would play two uncredited roles in Since You Went Away and Atlantic City. In the following year of 1945, she would play again a small role in the musical Pillow to Post. Two years later she appeared in a tiny role in Ebony Parade (1947). By the later months 1947, Dandridge’s luck for winning small roles in films had disappeared. She would only rarely appear in nightclubs and wouldn’t make any films.

In 1951, Dandridge was cast as Melmendi, Queen of the Ashuba, in her comeback film, Tarzan’s Peril, starring Lex Barker as Tarzan and Virginia Huston as Jane. Dandridge’s role was somewhat minor, but she would be noticed by many. One night while at a party, she was introduced to music manager Earl Mills. Mills had agreed to get Dandridge a career started as a singer, but Dandridge preferred to focus on the motion picture industry. Despite this disagreement, Dandridge signed Mills as her agent. She would next appear as Ann Carpenter in The Harlem Globetrotters (1951). In this film Dandridge really only makes a co-starring appearance, but receives second billing.

After the release of The Harlem Globetrotters, Dandridge’s film career stalled again. Mills then arranged for Dandridge to make her first appearance at the Mocambo. She continued to perform in nightclubs around the country through most of 1952.

[edit] Bright Road

In December 1952, a Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studio agent noticed Dandridge performing in the Mocambo, and cast her in her first starring role: as Jane Richards in Bright Road, co-starring Philip Hepburn and Harry Belafonte.

The film tells the story of a teacher who reaches out to a troubled student during his time of need. The film contains nearly an all-black cast: a few minor white characters are seen. Bright Road became a box-office flop, but Dandridge was at the top of her game as a nightclub performer.

Bright Road was to showcase Dandridge as a serious leading actress, but the film’s terrible reception didn’t help matters of her being taken seriously; it hurt them more than she knew. The feature was named “the lowest box-office gross of the South”.

After Bright Road, Dandridge would start performing again in nightclubs; and, eventually she won a supporting role as herself in the musical-drama film Remains to Be Seen.

[edit] Carmen Jones

In 1954, Dandridge signed a three movie deal with 20th Century Fox. Soon after director and writer Otto Preminger cast Dandridge along with Harry Belafonte, Pearl Bailey, Brock Peters, Diahann Carroll, Madame Sul-Te-Wan (uncredited), Olga James, and Joe Adams, in his all-black production of Carmen Jones.[12] However, Dandridge’s singing voice was dubbed by opera singer Marilyn Horne.[13]

Upon release in 1954, Carmen Jones grossed $60,000 during its first week and $47,000 in its second week. The film received favorable reviews, and Dandridge was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress, becoming only the third African American to receive a nomination in any Academy Award category (after Hattie McDaniel and Ethel Waters) but the first African-American to be nominated for best actress. Grace Kelly won the award for her performance in The Country Girl. At the awards ceremony, Dandridge presented the Academy Award for Film Editing to Gene Milford for On the Waterfront.

In 1955, 20th Century Fox selected Dandridge to play the supporting role of Tuptim in the film version of the Broadway hit, The King and I, starring Deborah Kerr and Yul Brynner. The character was a slave, which made Dorothy decline the offer. After some convincing from Fox chief, Darryl F. Zanuck, that the role was a good one, Dandridge agreed to take the part. Otto Preminger, however, told her the role was too small, and that she would be better off to wait for a leading role in a big-budget motion picture: Dandridge would again decline the role of Tuptim.

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54 Responses to Tuesday Open Thread

  1. rikyrah says:

    A new explanation for the racial wealth gap

    Posted by Kevin Hartnett January 29, 2013 11:02 AM

    The wealth gap between black and white families is one of the most striking facts of American life: As of 2009, the median wealth of white households was $113,149; for black households, it was $5,677. And more to the point, the wealth gap persists even when you compare households with similar annual incomes.

    Sociologists cite a number of factors to explain why. One is that historical patterns of discrimination have prevented wealth from accumulating in black families over the generations. Another is that, all else being equal, black families tend to live in lower income neighborhoods where home values—a principle source of wealth—don’t appreciate as quickly.

    Princeton graduate student Rourke O’Brien thinks he’s found another reason. In a paper published last month, he argues that middle and upper-income black families don’t accumulate wealth as quickly because rather than investing their money, they give more of it to poor friends and relatives.

    This idea has been around for awhile, but O’Brien’s paper is one of the first to test it quantitatively. Middle-income blacks are more than twice as likely as middle-income whites to have a poor sibling and more than four times as likely to have parents below the poverty line. And because of these relationships, they’re called upon more often to provide financial assistance.

    This chart from O’Brien’s paper shows the magnitude of the difference. Black families earning more than $100,000 a year are about twice as likely to have given money to friends and family compared to white families.

    These transfers of money can have a big impact on wealth accumulation. Money that’s donated to poor friends and family usually goes to meet immediate material needs, rather than accumulating interest, earning dividends, or riding the stock market. Another study, cited by O’Brien, suggests that as much as 27 percent of the black-white wealth gap can be explained by the greater financial claims made on middle-income blacks.

    *UPDATE 1/29/13- After writing this post I went looking for statistics to verify that differences in income do not explain differences in wealth between blacks and whites. Take a look at page 41 of this article by Dalton Conley at NYU, which breaks down net wealth by income and race. As you’ll see, the median net wealth of white families earning $50,000-$75,000 a year is $140,000; black families in that same income range have a median net wealth of $54,000.

  2. Ametia says:

    The farce that is ERIC CANTOR

    WATCH: Eric Cantor Delivers Major Policy Address at AEI

  3. The lovely Plains‏@DaRiverZkind

    Eric Cantor plagiarises President Obama’s Osawatame, Kansas speech on fairness, in attempt to rebrand the Republican’s


  4. Man guilty of making threats against President Obama on Facebook


    An Orlando federal jury on Tuesday found a Melbourne man guilty of making death threats against President Barack Obama on Facebook in November.

    There was never a doubt that Christopher Castillo posted the Facebook comment saying if the president was re-elected he would hunt him down, kill him and “watch the life disappear from his eyes.”

    He admitted to making the comment days before the election, but the jury was left to decide if the comment was a true threat or just empty and idle words.

    Castillo’s attorney, James Smith, made a motion for acquittal Tuesday afternoon. Smith argued that the comment was a part of a “political discussion” protected by the First Amendment.

    Assistant U.S. Attorney Shawn Napier, however, said the comments were not simply political discussion but instead were specific threats against the president.

  5. ‘Mr. Castillo is not an assassin,’ defense says in Obama Facebook-threat case


    Was Christopher Castillo making a serious threat when he posted on Facebook that if President Barack Obama was re-elected he would hunt him down, kill him and “watch the life disappear from his eyes?”

    Or was Castillo a stressed man with a quick tongue responding to a photograph of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks with an accompanying quote from Obama that was taken out of context — and therefore controversial?

    On Tuesday, an Orlando federal jury began to hear the case against Castillo, the Melbourne man charged with making threats against the president on Facebook in November.

    Castillo’s attorney made a motion for acquittal Tuesday afternoon. Federal public defender James Smith argued that the comments made were a “political discussion” and that the comments are protected by the First amendment. But Assistant U.S. Attorney Shawn Napier disagreed.

    Napier said the comments were not simply political discussion but rather, they were specific threats against the president.
    Lock his ass up. It’ll teach him to stfu!

  6. Ametia says:

    Jon Favreau, President Obama’s head speechwriter, is departing

    Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau, who at times lit up social media as well as the president’s addresses, is leaving.

    By Christi Parsons, Washington Bureau
    February 5, 2013, 3:00 a.m.

    WASHINGTON — Jon Favreau’s career took off when, at age 23, he interrupted U.S. Senate candidate Barack Obama during a speech rehearsal to offer some suggestions for improvement.

    That cheeky move led to a seven-year tour as Obama’s lead speechwriter, an assignment that ends March 1 as Favreau considers trying his hand at another form of drama — as a screenwriter, perhaps in Los Angeles.

    The departure subtracts a vivid personality from the president’s operation, defined since the beginning by Obama’s spoken words and the team that wrote them.


  7. Native American to Illegal Immigration Protesters

  8. rikyrah says:

    Why Obama Is Giving Up on Right-Leaning Whites

    For decades, Democrats shaped their policies around fears of the culturally conservative white voters to the GOP. But Obama’s winning coalition has altered that calculus.
    by Ron Brownstein

    With his suddenly aggressive second-term agenda, President Obama is recasting the Democratic Party around the priorities of the growing coalition that reelected him—and, in the process, reshaping the debate with the GOP in ways that will reverberate through 2016 and beyond.

    On issues from gay rights to gun control, immigration reform, and climate change—all of which he highlighted in his ringing Inaugural Address last week—Obama is now unreservedly articulating the preferences of the Democratic “coalition of the ascendant” centered on minorities, the millennial generation, and socially liberal upscale whites, especially women. Across all of these issues, and many others such as the pace of withdrawal from Afghanistan and ending the ban on women in combat, Obama is displaying much less concern than most national Democratic leaders since the 1960s about antagonizing culturally conservative blue-collar, older, and rural whites, many of whom oppose them.

    This pattern may partly reflect the sense of liberation that close allies say Obama feels because he will never have to run for office again. But even more important than the fact of his reelection may be the nature of it. Obama in 2012 faced even larger electoral deficits than he had four years earlier among the culturally conservative white voters whom Democrats have often feared to alienate by moving too far left, particularly on social and foreign policy issues. Yet his strong support from the key groups in his coalition allowed to him to not just win but to win comfortably, capturing 332 Electoral College votes and becoming only the third Democratic president ever to reach at least 51 percent of the popular vote twice.

    In his victory, Obama reshaped the Democratic coalition by both addition and subtraction. Because so many of the blue-collar and older whites who formerly anchored the conservative end of the Democratic base abandoned Obama, and because more-liberal voters took their place, the coalition that reelected him was much more ideologically unified around a left-leaning agenda than has been usual for a Democratic nominee.

    That outcome, insiders acknowledge, gives the president greater confidence to move forward aggressively on these issues without fear of dividing his supporters. Equally important, the fact that Obama’s key groups are all expanding within the electorate has stirred optimism among his advisers that the coalition of the ascendant could provide Democrats a durable advantage in presidential elections.


    • Ametia says:

      Ronnie; your article title should read: Why white folks don’t like the Black Prez. This ain’t go shit to do with PBO giving up on these white folks.

      OWN YOUR SHIT, FOLKS, and stop blaming Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, and anyone else who isn’t white.

  9. rikyrah says:

    Native American Drops Some Much Needed Knowledge on Crowd of Illegal Immigration Protesters

    Neetzan Zimmerman

    After encountering yet another group of illegal immigration protesters spouting off the usual xenophobic, jingoist bromides, a Native American man in Tucson, Arizona, decides to stage a poignant, if somewhat belated, illegal immigration protest of his own.


  10. rikyrah says:

    Well, to each his own.
    I have long given up on folks who’d rather cling to WHITENESS than vote in their own economic best interests.

    Black people just need to get to the polls..once they get there, they vote in their own self-interest.

    No the picture of the ‘voter that votes against their own economic interests’ is one of a blue-collar White voter.

    I know the President is the President of All of America. But to be honest he should just say f ’em.

    They hate him because he’s BLACK. -straight up, no chaser.

    And nothing he can do would convince them otherwise because they cling to that Whiteness.

    And the Democrats have plenty of WORKING CLASS FOLKS.

    Working class BLACK voters.

    Working class LATINO voters.

    Working class ASIAN voters.

    None of which have a problem voting their own economic interests.

    I Haven’t Given Up on White People

    by BooMan
    Mon Feb 4th, 2013 at 09:44:34 PM EST

    I really do not like the headline of Ron Brownstein’s new piece in the National Journal, but I think it is still an outstanding article. The headline says that Obama is giving up on attracting right-leaning white voters. A more accurate headline would say that the Democrats have a governing majority that doesn’t need to pander to right-leaning white voters anymore.
    I encourage you to read Brownstein’s piece, even though it is quite long. I think it is important to familiarize yourself with the facts and statistics that Brownstein has assembled. If I can summarize his piece as concisely as possible, it argues that the Democrats no longer need to have a Blue Dog wing in order to dominate national elections. As a result, the party is more unified, more progressive, and more alienating to the white working class and rural, religious voters than ever before.

    I think that is accurate. But there is a debate about what it means going forward. Some think that Obama had an unnatural and non-replicable appeal to minority voters. A future Democrat won’t be able to win the same percentages or achieve the same turnout, which will force them to find ways to appeal better to right-leaning whites. Others think that this very polarization is only going to become more magnified as the Republicans continue to alienate the ascendent demographics of the electorate.

    I have a different theory, but it’s also a question. I think a successor to Obama who is white will immediately get a hearing from a large chunk of the white electorate who simply won’t consider supporting Obama. I think Obama got elected (the first time around) in large part because his race inspired a lot of people to vote who would have otherwise stayed home. But I think his race has hurt him once in office, at least in terms of his poll ratings. I believe that Obama would poll much better in the South and in much of Appalachia if he were white, even if his policies were identical. In other words, I think likely Democratic candidates for president in 2016 (who all happen to be white) can expect to start off with Obama’s coalition, plus a bunch of other people who don’t like Obama because he’s black. Someone like Hillary Clinton would also add all the PUMAs who dropped out when she lost, and a lot of other women, too. The Clintons used to be popular enough in Appalachia to win. That might not be possible anymore, but Hillary would certainly do much better in Arkansas and West Virginia than Obama did.

    One premise in Brownstein’s piece is that the Democrats are aggravating right-leaning voters by pursuing things like gun control, immigration reform, climate legislation, and gay equality. If he’s right, then the party’s problems in the South and Appalachia are not specific to Obama, and they are growing. I suspect the truth is somewhere in between.

    I think the president’s skin color acts a lot like the moon on our oceans. In some situations, it makes his popularity crest, and in some situations it sucks everything out to sea. Take away the tidal motions created by the president, and you get a clearer picture of where the Democratic Party stands against the Republican Party in their quest for the allegiance of the white working class voter.

    I think the GOP has succeeded in maximizing their share of the white vote by playing on the president’s blackness. I don’t think they can be as effective with that against Clinton or Cuomo or O’Malley or Biden or Mark Warner, or whoever you can think of as a plausible 2016 nominee.

    I think most of Obama’s coalition will turn out for his successor, as long as they feel that his successor is going to continue on the same path.


  11. Ametia says:

    The Legality of Obama’s Lethal Operations
    by Steven D
    Tue Feb 5th, 2013 at 08:25:18 AM EST

    Last night Rachel Maddow had her first segment discuss a white paper that discusses the administration’s legal justification for killing people, including Americans, without trial, by executive fiat, if you will. For while President Obama ended the use of torture on his first day in office, for years the administration hid the legal grounds for suing our military to kill suspected terrorists primarily using automated drones. Last year, Secretary Holder, finally addressed the issue, claiming the President employed a three part test before issuing an order to the military or CIA to “kill a U.S. citizen who poses a terrorist threat.”


  12. Ametia says:

    The president is speaking on delaying automatic spending cuts.

  13. Ametia says:

    PBO’s making a statement 1:15 p.m. today


  14. Ametia says:

    About time someone else puts this in print.

    A Patient’s Guide: How to Stay Safe in a Hospital
    By Blair Hickman

    Propping up a patient’s hospital bed at a 30-degree angle can help prevent hospital-acquired pneumonia. Using alcohol wipes killsstaph bugs, but you need bleach wipes to kill C. diff germs. High-protein snacks canhelp prevent bed sores.

    However, most patients don’t know these things. And doctors and nurses can easily overlook these basic care practices


  15. Black has always been associated with style and elegance. A classic tribute to cool!

    Black has always been associated with style and elegance. A classic tribute to cool!

    CodeBlack Entertainment

  16. Rikyrah, ctfu! Your series rock!

  17. Ametia says:

    Rik, have you seen last Sunday’s Downton Abbey episode?

    • rikyrah says:

      I have….

      the Dowager Countess is a scoundrel. I knew she’d bail out Robert somehow. If I was Cora, my behind would have been on a boat to New York City the minute Sybil was put in the ground.

      • Ametia says:

        I knew she’s bail out Robert too. SMGDH. I have mixed feelings about Sybil’s death and who could have done more to save her. The time period aside; when women deferred to men.
        I’m a mother, and I would have mowed down anyone who got in my way of saving my daughter.
        Dr. Clarkson knew Sybil from birth, how are you going to take a strange Dr.’s word over familiarity because he’s rich?

        That scene broke my heart.

  18. rikyrah says:

    Michelle Obama’s posterior again the subject of a public rant
    By Krissah Thompson,
    Feb 05, 2013 01:40 AM EST

    The Washington Post Published: February 4
    They’re at it again.

    The latest public rant against Michelle Obama’s effort to promote low-calorie school lunches was recently caught on tape in Alabama — the usual protest against the federal government meddling in local business. And then it quickly found its way around to the first lady’s posterior.

    “Fat butt Michelle Obama,” said Bob Grisham, a high school football coach who was surreptitiously recorded by one of his students. “Look at her. She looks like she weighs 185 or 190. She’s overweight.”

    Grisham, who was suspended Monday, is neither the first nor the most high-profile person to feel moved to comment on the first lady’s physique. Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh has repeatedly called her Michelle “My Butt” Obama. And Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner, the Wisconsin Republican, issued an apology after he was caught commenting on her “large posterior.” (Grisham has also said he misspoke.)

    Michelle Obama obviously is not the first first lady to be subjected to criticism for the way she looks. Hillary Clinton was accused of having “cankles” — slang for chubby ankles. One of her predecessors was immortalized in song by the group Mission of Burma: “I’m haunted by the freakish size of Nancy Reagan’s head /No way that thing came with that body.”

    But what is it with Michelle Obama’s critics and the fixation with her derriere?

    “We have a history in this country of white people not showing adequate respect for and devaluing the bodies of black women, and this most definitely falls in line with that,” says Ayana Byrd, the co-editor of the anthology “Naked: Black Women Bare All About Their Skin, Hair, Hips, Lips and Other Parts.” (Grisham, Limbaugh and Sensenbrenner are white men.)

    The focus on this first lady’s posterior has historical antecedents. It reaches back to the imagery of Hottentot Venus, a woman from what is now South Africa whose naked body and pronounced posterior were paraded in shows throughout 19th-century Europe. On to the selling and trading of black women’s bodies through slavery. In modern times, black women’s figures continue to be up for public discussion in ways that are celebratory (see: “Brick House” by The Commodores) and insulting (see above).


    Her presence as first lady challenges the historic view of a black woman’s place and notions of beauty, says Michaela Angela Davis, a fashion expert who has campaigned for more positive images of black women in the media. “Michelle is black from a distance. She’s a real black girl,” Davis says. “A lot of people have tried to make diversity into this weird beige thing. Her presence is just really powerful to interject into the global consciousness.”

    The first lady’s critics “are reacting to the culture in which they’ve grown up or they are using it as a code to racialize Michelle Obama and remind people that she’s black,” says Andra Gillespie, an associate professor of political science at Emory University. “It is unreasonable to expect a nearly 50-year-old woman to have the body of a 25-year-old. She looks great for her age.”


    • Ametia says:

      Disgusting article. And WaPo had a black lady write this shit. Clearly there has always been a sick SEXUAL fixation with Black men and women’s bodies. They can NOT have our bodies, so they have surgeries to mimic it. They can NOT control our bodies, so they try to demonize it.

      What other First Lady has the WaPo given a thumbs up to their writers to talk about the First Lady’s ass. Just DESPICABLE!

  19. Ametia says:

    BTW; Halle Berry should’ve gotten the Best Actress OSCAR for her portrayal here:

  20. Ametia says:

    February 05, 2013 8:59 AM
    Talyor Branch On Why We Must Discuss Race
    By Ed Kilgore

    If you missed attending or watching the January 25 event at the New America Foundation to discuss the January/February issue of the Washington Monthly on “Race, History and Obama’s Second Term,” here is a nugget that should whet your appetite. Pulitzer Prize winning author (and MLK biographer) Taylor Branch talks about how some of today’s conservative rhetoric is deeply rooted in the resistance to the civil rights movement, making discussion of race essential if we are to understand our differences.

    More here:


  21. Ametia says:

    Rosa Parks postage stamp is released
    By Josh Hicks, Published: February 4

    The U.S. Postal Service issued a Rosa Parks “forever” stamp Monday, honoring the civil rights activist on what would have been her 100th birthday.

    The Postal Service unveiled the stamp during a National Day of Courage celebration at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich



  22. rikyrah says:


    where’s Luis Guitierrez screaming from the rooftops about THIS?


    The Morning Plum: Immigration reform in jeopardy?
    Posted by Greg Sargent on February 5, 2013 at 9:15 am

    Today, the GOP-controlled House Judiciary Committee will hold hearings on the bipartisan immigration reform proposal that’s being assembled by a group of House Dems and Republicans. We don’t know what’s in this proposal, since it’s being guarded with extraordinary secrecy, but one thing is becoming quite clear: Unlike the Senate plan, the House proposal won’t contain a path to citizenship.

    It’s another reminder of just how hostile House Republicans are to the idea, casting doubt on the prospects for real reform. GOP Rep. Bob Goodlatte, the chair of the House Judiciary Committee, made this as clear as you could want in an interview:

    Mr. Goodlatte, 60, has established a solid record of opposition to any measures he regarded as amnesty for illegal immigrants. But he said the Judiciary hearings would include scrutiny of proposals to offer legal status to most of the immigrants living illegally in the country.

    Calling legalization of those immigrants “the most difficult side” of the immigration issue, Mr. Goodlatte said the committee would consider options to give “some kind of legal status to bring people out of the shadows,” offering them a chance at “being a fuller part of our society.” He said the committee would examine proposals that would allow most of the 11 million illegal immigrants to become citizens relatively quickly, as well as plans that would only offer limited legal status to far fewer people.

    So what we’re debating here is “some kind of legal status,” and a chance at “being a fuller part of our society.” Translation: Only second class legal status will be acceptable to House Republicans.


  23. rikyrah says:

    There’s that ‘I’ word again

    By Steve Benen
    Tue Feb 5, 2013 8:49 AM EST

    For a while, a variety of voices on the right raised the specter of impeaching President Obama over all sorts of things — immigration policy, czars, recess appointments, DOMA, Benghazi, legislative gridlock, Syria, and job offers, among other things. But in time, the talk faded away, and the right’s attention turned elsewhere.

    It was, alas, a brief reprieve.

    Just over the last few weeks, one Republican congressman talked about possibly impeaching the president over executive orders that don’t exist, another Republican congressman raised impeachment over gun control, and a third Republican congressman wants to make budget deficits an impeachable offense.

    And then there’s Marc Thiessen, one of two George W. Bush speechwriters hired to write Washington Post columns, who hopes to revive interest in leaks surrounding the Stuxnet cyberattack against the Iranian nuclear program. According to Thiessen, “This is big.”

    If the president authorized the disclosure of national security secrets that exposed a covert action and undermined a U.S. ally in an effort to gain a political advantage in his reelection campaign, that would be a scandal of gigantic proportions

    Thiessen seems quite excited, using phrases like “impeachable offense” and “the president … on trial.”

    You may be thinking, “Wasn’t this a two-day story back in June that Republicans pretended to find outrageous?” And if so, you’re correct. But apparently, old habits die hard, and the drive on the part of some Republican to inject the “I” word into the public conversation continues unabated.


  24. rikyrah says:

    The Nullification Crisis, Part Deux

    Jamelle Bouie

    February 4, 2013

    Senate Republicans have gone far beyond offering “advice and consent.”
    From its inception as part of Dodd-Frank financial, Republicans have been opposed to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, an agency meant to protect consumers from predatory financial practices. In a sane political world, Republicans would register through the usual channels, including elections. If you want to change Washington—or even just an agency—the first order of business is winning elections.

    In the world as it exists, however, Republicans have decided to simply block any attempt at enforcing laws they don’t like. For the CFPB, this means blocking confirmation for its director—former Ohio attorney general Richard Cordray—until the administration agrees to gut the agency and leave consumers more vulnerable to predatory financial practices:

    Senate Republicans are renewing their vow to block any nominee to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) unless major changes are made to its structure.

    In a letter sent to President Obama on Friday, 43 Republican senators committed to refusing approval of any nominee to head the consumer watchdog until the bureau underwent significant reform. Lawmakers signing on to the letter included Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), the ranking member of the Senate Banking Committee.

    It’s true the Constitution gives senators the power to offer “advice and consent” to the president when it comes to confirming nominees. But it’s extremely rare for the Senate to deny confirmation—it’s a move reserved for egregious misconduct or “blatant unsuitability.” And for good reason: The executive branch couldn’t function if every nominee were held up by the Senate.


  25. rikyrah says:

    How to Fix Long Lines

    February 4, 2013 |

    By modernizing voter registration, providing more early voting opportunities, and setting minimum national standards for polling place access, America can fix the long lines that plague elections and bring our voting system into the 21st century.


    There were many images typical of Election Day last November 6, including the usual confetti and tears that accompanied the victory and concession speeches at the end of the night. Unfortunately, there was another image that is increasingly common on Election Day, especially during presidential contests: long lines. While it was inspiring to see so many Americans endure hours of standing to exercise their most fundamental right, it was also troubling. We admire the voters in Miami who waited for hours and “refused to leave the line despite fainting.” But should this kind of fortitude be needed to vote?

    Exceptionally long lines were not isolated to a single city or state. One newspaper ran photos of “incredibly long lines,” in polling places nationwide, from Maryland and Minnesota to North and South Carolina. There were similar reports from states as diverse as Indiana, Colorado, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, and Texas. In several polling places in Florida and Virginia, voters were still casting ballots at midnight, long after the presidential election had been called. In Pennsylvania and Ohio, election observers reported that long lines forced people to walk away without voting. And in New York and New Jersey, still reeling from Superstorm Sandy, there were reports of hundreds of voters, standing in lines that barely moved after many hours.

    Long lines have consequences on turnout and election results. A recent analysis by Professor Theodore Allen of Ohio State University estimates that in Florida alone, more than 200,000 voters may have been discouraged from voting because of long lines on Election Day. Studies of lines in other regions, from other elections, have similarly shown that chronic long lines can lead to the loss of tens of thousands of votes.

    Although long lines are a national problem, not all groups are affected equally. For instance, studies of the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections suggest that black and Hispanic voters were more likely to experience long wait times than non-Hispanic whites.

    What Can Be Done?


  26. rikyrah says:

    The three-pronged plan for a GOP revival
    Posted by Greg Sargent on February 4, 2013 at 4:35 pm

    Eric Cantor is set to give a speech tomorrow in which he is supposed to take new rhetorical steps designed to “soften” the GOP’s image. However, Ron Fournier reports that there will be no softening of GOP ideology, only a softening of tone:

    The speech will attempt to cast the House GOP’s traditionally conservative policy agenda in terms that appeal to parents, explaining why school vouchers, tax breaks, repealing the health care law, and other Republican standards would “make life work better.” […]

    Cantor plans to ask Congress to require universities to warn students when their academic majors lack employment opportunities; to repeal the tax on medical devices, a provision of Obama’s health care overhaul; and to shift spending from political sciences to “hard” sciences such as cancer research.

    One thing he won’t do is moderate Republican policies. Cantor is talking about a change in tone, not ideology, which begs the question: With a demographic tide threatening to crush the modern GOP, is it enough to just tweak talking points?


  27. rikyrah says:

    How Obamacare Is Transforming The Way Medical Schools Teach America’s Doctors

    By Sy Mukherjee on Feb 4, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    Obamacare has already begun making big changes to the way that insurers and hospitals do business — and now, it’s changing the very way that medical schools train doctors. As Modern Healthcare reports, medical colleges are expanding programs to teach doctors how to coordinate care with other health care workers, focus on patients’ comprehensive, long-term care, and encouraging more general practitioners and primary care providers in anticipation of a changing medical landscape under Obamacare.

    One of the most significant ways that Obamacare hopes to transform the American medical industry is by shifting it from an expensive system of private practices to a coordinated care model in which hospitals, nurses, general practitioners, and physicians work together to provide centralized and patient-focused care — what some in the industry refer to as a “medical home” — to lower costs and improve health outcomes. But this strategy’s success depends entirely on a medical workforce that understands how to coordinate care and work in teams — and medical colleges understand that:

    Those trends [towards group practices] are gathering speed under Obamacare as government spurs the creation of new health care models like medical homes and accountable-care organizations, which make doctors responsible for soup-to-nuts care and patients’ health over the long term.

    Schools like Weill Cornell are teaching would-be doctors how to work more effectively with other health professionals so that they may lead the changes rather than get swept up in them. They are putting a heavy premium on teamwork among doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners, social workers, health aides and physician assistants. Doctors prescribe the medicine, but it may be the nurse, the social worker or the home health aide who makes sure it gets taken. […]

    “If care is to be transformed, that can’t happen unless we transform the process of training physicians,” said Carol Aschenbrener, chief medical education officer of the American Association of Medical Colleges.

    Teaching hospitals such as NYU Langone are also expanding programs for alternative degrees in public health and hospital administration in an effort to get ahead of the coordinated care curve. Weill Cornell has programs that offer students financial incentives to go into primary care, as well as classes that train doctors to get used to following patients’ treatment regimens and care over the long-term.

    That’s especially good news considering the primary doctor shortage that America is potentially facing, and in light of the fact that wasteful Medicare spending is largely spurred by patients not following their treatment regimens. Coordinated, bundled care that streamlines the fragmented health care system will simplify Americans’ care and help them properly follow their treatments, lead healthier lifestyles, and thereby lower health care spending.


  28. rikyrah says:

    Kasich: Medicaid expansion ‘makes great sense’

    By Steve Benen
    Tue Feb 5, 2013 8:00 AM EST.

    In its decision last year on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, the Supreme Court majority ruled that Medicaid expansion can proceed, but it must be entirely optional for states. Almost immediately, right-wing groups delivered a stern message to Republican governors: to accept expansion would be an outrageous betrayal of conservative principles.

    Some GOP governors are doing it anyway, and yesterday, Ohio’s John Kasich joined the group (video via ThinkProgress).


    I, as all of you know, am not a supporter of Obamacare,” Kasich explained at a press conference. “But I think this makes great sense for the state of Ohio.”

    And in this case, the governor is correct. The way the Affordable Care Act is structured, Medicaid expansion is a great deal for states, and should be a no-brainer for governors who care about lowering health care costs, insuring low-income families, improving state finances, and helping state hospitals.

    The only reasons Republican governors would balk is if (a) they’re afraid of their party’s base; (b) they plan to run for president and don’t want this to be used against them in a primary; and (c) both.

    But Kasich’s decision still came as something of a surprise, largely because he’s considered a darling of the far-right and a model of contemporary fiscal conservatism. Indeed, it’s exactly what makes his decision so problematic for the right.


    The governor is effectively ending the charade — Democrats have been arguing for quite a while that Medicaid expansion is the only fiscally responsible path forward, and now their argument has been endorsed by Kasich, who happens to be a far-right governor, a former chairman of the House Budget Committee, and a former Fox News analyst.


  29. rikyrah says:

    Chicago Woman Helps Minority Girls Access Careers in Science, Math, And Technology

    Feb 4, 2013
    ByJeff Mays

    Jackie Lomax

    Place of residence: Chicago

    Why she is a Game Changer: When Lomax learned that her daughter wanted to be a dentist, she was thrilled. But soon she found the resources weren’t available to help her daughter achieve her dreams. That’s why Lomax started Girls 4 Science in 2009. The nonprofit organization helps minority girls from the ages of 10 to 18 develop an interest in science, math, and education. It is the only all-girls science program in Chicago.

    There is a big gap in underserved communities,” Lomax told ABC. “When we talk about resources, we talk about opportunity as well as the potential to see future role models.”

    There is a persistent gender gap when it comes to careers in science, technology, engineering, and math. Women hold only 24 percent of the jobs in those fields even though they hold 50 percent of the jobs in the country, according to the Commerce Department. Women also hold a disproportionately low amount of degrees in science, technology, engineering and math, especially engineering.

    Even if a woman gains a degree in those fields she is less likely to work in one of them.

    Why does it matter? Women who work in the science, technology, engineering, and math earn 33 percent more than women not in those fields.

    “As a Mom, I worked very hard to create a solution, to create an opportunity that would empower, enrich, and graduate the next scientists out of Chicago,” Lomax said.

    At Girls 4 Science, participants are placed in a non-competitive nurturing environment where they get science literacy, hands-on experiments, mentoring, field trips, and scholarships that points them toward the careers of their choice.


  30. Ametia says:

    Rove’s Move Into Republican Primaries Enrages Tea Party
    By Julie Bykowicz – Feb 4, 2013 11:00 PM CT

    Leaders of the anti-tax Tea Party are fuming about plans by some Republican strategists, including Karl Rove, to tap the party’s wealthy donors and raise money to help “electable” candidates win primary races.

    Jonathan Collegio, a spokesman for Conservative Victory Project, said in an e-mail yesterday that Republicans lost some Senate races last year and in 2010 because of “undisciplined candidates running bad campaigns.” The new group “seeks to help elect the most conservative candidates in Republican primaries who can win in general elections.”


  31. Ametia says:

    Gtood Morning, Everyone! :-) Ah, the Incomparable Ms. Dorothy Dandraige!

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