Friday Open Thread | Native American Music & Chants

Native American -American Indians  traditionally used ceremonial music to connect to a spiritual realm and summon aid from supernatural  powers. In addition to its sacredness, American Indian music has evolved to  become “an essential expression of American Indian identity,” according to Gary  S. Fields, an American Indian flute player. Although American Indian music  varies from one region to another, it embodies a style that is distinct from  music of other cultures.

Unlike most cultures, American Indian ceremonial songs do not have a title.  Instead, they are identified more by the celebration or ceremony for which they  were created and the location of that ceremony, such as “Montana Grass Dance”  song, “Mountain Spirit” song or “Plains War Dance” song.

Most American Indian ceremonial music  is played on various drums and rhythm instruments, such as shakers or rattles. The percussion instruments are usually made from natural materials, including animal hide for drums and shells, animal hooves and pebbles for rattles. Many tribal dancers wear rattles on their ankles to enhance the trance-like rhythm of the ceremonial music. Drum hides often are painted with spiritual symbols.

The Sun Dance  is a religious ceremony practiced by a number of Native American and First Nations Peoples, primarily those of the Plains Nations. Each tribe has its own distinct practices and ceremonial protocols. Many of the ceremonies have features in common, such as specific dances and songs passed down through many generations, the use of a traditional drum, praying with the pipe, offerings, fasting, and in some cases the ceremonial piercing of skin.

Although not all Sun Dance ceremonies include dancers being ritually pierced, the object of the Sun Dance is to offer personal sacrifice as a prayer for the benefit of one’s family and community.

This week let 3 Chics take you on a journey with our tribute to “FIRST NATIONS” people and Native American music. Through chants, drums, percussion, and dance, the music tells of their history of courtships, healings, meditation and spiritual rituals. With a mix of traditional, inter-tribal, and subgenre the transformative sounds and chants will definitely lift your spirits.

If you are of Native American heritage and would like to share lyrics, videos or chants, please feel free to do so. We love learning about artists, their instruments, and the contributions they’ve made to their tribes and our nation.

About SouthernGirl2

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

  1. rikyrah says:

    Is ‘Teach For America’ Profiting From the Use of Poor Kids?

    By Ben Cohen · March 01,2013

    Mark Naison, a professor of African American Studies and History at Fordham University does not believe the highly respected ‘Teach For America’ organization is living up to its own ideal about educational equality. ‘Teach For America’ recruits new college graduates, gives them a short, intensive training, then places them in some of America’s toughest schools, with only a two-year commitment. Naison penned an article (written over a year ago and republished in the Washington Post) that highlights the hypocrisy in the organization that has a remarkably low acceptance rate for non-ivy league schools, and often acts as a training tool to go into much higher paying careers afterwards. Writes Naison:

    I did a little research and found that Teach For America had accepted only four of the nearly 100 Fordham students who applied. I become even angrier when I read in The New York Times that TFA had accepted 44 of 100 applicants from Yale that year….Several years ago, a TFA recruiter plastered the Fordham campus with flyers that said “Learn how joining TFA can help you gain admission to Stanford Business School.” The message of that flyer was: “use teaching in high-poverty areas as a stepping stone to a career in business.” It was not only disrespectful to every person who chooses to commit their life to the teaching profession, it effectively advocated using students in high-poverty areas as guinea pigs for an experiment in “resume-padding” for ambitious young people.

    There are many truthful elements to Naison’s assertions. A cousin of mine worked for the British equivalent, ‘Teach First’ and spoke to me about how it was marketed to him. He told me that many of the other participants on the course were looking to go straight to the city after doing the mandatory two years. Banks look for people able to withstand incredible pressure, and working in some of the country’s toughest schools is seen as good preparation for the furnace of the financial industry. There is of course another side to the story – my cousin stayed for several years in the tragically failing school he was sent to, doing what he could to raise standards and provide the kids with a first rate education. He remains in teaching to this day, and will, I’m sure, remain an educator for the rest of his professional life.

    But while some poor kids may benefit from being taught by ambitious go-getters, ultimately many are left behind when the lure of serious money takes 50% of their teachers away. This troubling fact reminded me of the time I taught English in Ghana when I left high school aged 19. Looking back, it was an experience I feel was actually pretty disingenuous and not particularly helpful to anyone other than myself. I taught in a small school in Accra, with no training and no instructions. I was told to come up with some lessons plans for the kids (aged from 6 – 14), and went through some of the student’s workbooks to see what some of the previous volunteers had been doing with them. I was shocked by what I found. There were random assignments with no particular purpose (mostly patronizing questions on books they had the children read) and completely arbitrary grading. Mostly, it appeared the volunteers before me had given the kids high grades for everything they had turned in. Flipping through the books, I’d see comments like, “Wonderful work Falila! 20/20!” and “Great job Kwame. 55/55!! Keep up the fantastic work!!” over and over again. This was coupled with gold stars the volunteers had bought back in England to stick all over their student’s books. It wasn’t that all the work was bad (like any class full of kids, it was mixed) it was just meaningless. Typically, some of the kids had plagiarized each other, yet they still had gold stars plastered all over their work and words of sickly sweet encouragement. It was completely condescending and utterly pointless. While the volunteers got to tell everyone they ‘taught kids in Africa’ the kids themselves hadn’t actually learnt anything.

    • jamalA says:

      It takes a certain amount of honesty to admit something you actually had a passion for is just a meaningless _”stepping stone”_ .

  2. rikyrah says:

    Michelle Obama reflects on the appeal of a young black family in the White House

    by Joy-Ann Reid | March 1, 2013 at 12:09 PM

    On her swing through her hometown of Chicago to kick off a new school program related to her “Let’s Move” fitness campaign, Michelle Obama spoke frankly about her role as the first black first lady, and her value as a role model to kids from struggling communities.

    Asked by reporters during a small round table, that included theGrio, how she responds to the instant sensation created by everything from her wardrobe choices to her hair, Mrs. Obama said anyone in her position would face that spotlight. But she said she also recognized that she and President Obama are different.

    “I think we’re first and we’re new in this modern-day culture because we’re a young couple. We have young kids. We grew up with limited means,” Mrs. Obama said. “Our stories are the stories of so many kind of voiceless, faceless people — families just like mine whose parents went to work and told them to do well in school. And they went to college, and they’re making a good life for themselves. And they’re black.

    “My life isn’t new,” she continued, “but it’s new to a lot of people who have never seen this up and close, personal. So, yes, I’m fully aware of that.”

    The first lady said she doesn’t “dwell in it because I’ve got to get work done. I’ve got to figure out how to reach kids.”

    But she continued to press the power of her personal story, and her similarity to the thousands of kids from the Chicago area who packed McCormack Place on Thursday to see her and a cast of sports celebrities for a “Let’s Move” pep rally.

    “I can tell you that growing up, my family didn’t have a lot of money. We live in a little bitty apartment on the South Side of Chicago,” she told the assembled crowd of 6,000 mostly middle schoolers, to loud applause. “And for most of my life growing up, I shared a tiny bedroom with my big brother. And some nights, let me tell you, it was hard to get my homework done because it was so noisy that I could barely think. And I know some of you know what that’s like, right?”

    Mrs. Obama’s personal biography makes her a powerful and unique figure in American politics, and she used that background to press her message to the kids in her hometown.

    “So it was hard,” she continued. “So there were times when I started to doubt myself. In fact, a lot of us up on this stage grew up being told by others that we weren’t good enough or smart enough to achieve our dreams. We all heard that, right?

    “So if you guys remember just one thing from our time today, it’s this: Although I am the first lady of the United States of America — listen to this, because this is the truth — I am no different from you.”

    • rikyrah says:

      fabulous comment by Camille:


      I just love and respect her so much Sis.

      She remains for me the unsung hero in all of this especially knowing as we all do, that this was not her dream – and unlike most wives of politicians, she balked at her husband pursuing what she warned was not a noble endeavor. She has sacrificed a lot. That is love.

      You couldn’t pay me to play her part. Wife, mother, daughter, woman, role model, human being, First Lady – juggling it all so brilliantly and holding it together – and looking fabulous doing it too. But she not only does it all, she thrives and effortlessly excels even in the midst of unprecedented hostility and insanity.

      In this unpaid and thankless role as First Lady, she’s expected to cater to everyone – even those who without reason or provocation, hate her and her husband. And even those within her husband’s circle who seek to increase their influence while diminishing her’s.

      She’s subjected to the most dehumanizing set-ups that find every idiot with a pen, computer, microphone, twitter account, blog – exploiting, analyzing and deconstructing her very being – demanding, instructing attacking, proffering on the most ridiculous and most mundane like she were a child or their slave.

      A lesser being would have wilted under this very harsh spotlight which as the unelected half you haven’t asked for – but which still finds you at the receiving end of, and a prime target for all those who seek to attack, spite, hurt, demean, diminish, dehumanize, belittle, disparage and destroy you, your loved ones and all you hold dear.

      Like so many, I remain in complete awe of her.

    • Ametia says:

      Love FLOTUS, just love her. She’s the woman for our times.

  3. Ametia says:

    Mr. 47% just crawled out his cave.

    • Ametia says:

      Good grief, and we should give a good shit about what this turd thinks. His VP mate lil Eddie Munster Ryan was ALL GONG HO for SEQUESTRATION.

  4. Ametia says:

    Justices tout civics learning as key to democracy

    By Laura Ernde
    Staff Writer

    SACRAMENTO – Sandra Day O’Connor confessed that she hated taking civics education classes when she was in school.
    “I found them tiresome and boring,” she told a group of several hundred educators, students, lawmakers, lawyers and judges who gathered Feb. 28 for “Civic Learning California Summit: Making Democracy Work.”

  5. Ametia says:

    Anybody watch Top Chef?

  6. rikyrah says:

    Our deeply unbalanced fiscal debate

    Posted by Greg Sargent on March 1, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    At a presser today, President Obama was peppered with questions from reporters who demanded to know if there is anything he can do to dislodge Republicans from their no-compromise stance. One suggested locking Republicans in a room until a deal is reached. Obama responded that he is “not a dictator.”

    This is already being met with skepticism (see Ron Fournier, a determined advocate for the “GOP is uncompromising but the president must lead” point of view).

    Let’s put aside the question of whether there is more that Obama could do to lead the GOP out of its intransigence. It’s becoming apparent that many simply don’t appreciate the true nature of the actual GOP position in this debate. So here’s a thought experiment designed to drive it home.

    Imagine that Mitt Romney had been elected president last November with 51 percent of the vote. Obama’s platform — a mix of tax hikes and spending cuts, including cuts to entitlements — was soundly rejected, ending his presidency. Instead, voters chose Romney’s vision — we must get our fiscal problems under control only with deep spending cuts.

    In that context, imagine if the lead article of the New York Times this morning had said this (warning: this is not a real article):

  7. Ametia says:

    First Lady Michelle Obama Visits A Walmart In Springfield
    By Chase Snider
    CREATED FEB. 28, 2013

    First Lady Michelle Obama made a stop in the Ozarks Thursday as part of her “Let’s Move” campaign. She spoke for about a half-hour at the Walmart Neighborhood Market at Glenstone and Bennett in Springfield.

    The event wasn’t open to the public but a few dozen selected guest including Councilwomen Cindy Rushefsky and Councilman Jeff Seifried got to here the speech.

    The First Lady took a quick tour of the store and then praised Walmart for their efforts to not only inform customers about the healthier choices, but also make them more affordable.


  8. rikyrah says:

    Republicans will own economic damage done by sequester

    Posted by Greg Sargent on March 1, 2013 at 11:56 am

    The message of the day from House Republicans is that the onset of the sequester is a big win for them. As the New York Times details in a big story, John Boehner is leaving town continuing to refuse to agree to any new revenues, and many Republicans are cheering. Rep. Steve Scalise, chairman of the Republican Study Committee, claims that the onset of cuts will be a “big victory” for “conservative principles.” Boehner aides appear to agree:

    Republican aides say privately that Mr. Boehner sees no need to negotiate; Republicans are in a good place, they argue, because they want spending cuts and those cuts are happening.

    The curious thing about this is that just this week, the National Republican Congressional Committee — which is tasked with winning House races for Republicans — warned darkly that the sequester cuts risk devastating the economy. From the NRSC’s release:

    As we rapidly approach Obama’s sequester, the president and his appointees are choosing to cut devastating segments of our economy, instead of the billions in documented waste. […] It’s time for Obama to stop playing politics with his devastating sequester and finally put forth a responsible plan to avoid harming our economy.

    See the problem here? House Republicans are cheering the sequester as a good thing — or at least, as a better thing than compromising to avert it — even though the committee in charge of expanding their majority is on record acknowledging that they will damage the economy. It’s another indication of just how muddled the GOP’s messaging on the sequester has become.

  9. rikyrah says:

    Boehner will accept only a 100%-0% deal

    By Steve Benen

    Fri Mar 1, 2013 12:47 PM EST

    President Obama met with congressional leaders from both parties and both chambers at the White House this morning about the latest in a series of self-inflicted, easily-avoided wounds. There were no realistic hopes that the policymakers would somehow reach an agreement to replace the sequestration cuts, and expectations were met: the group spoke for about an hour and then quit, resolving nothing.

    House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) left the meeting and spoke for about a minute to reporters without taking questions. For those who can’t watch clips online, he argued:

    “Let’s make it clear, the president got his tax hike on January 1st. The discussion about revenue, in my view, is over. It’s about taking on the spending problem here in Washington.”

    I’m trying to think of a way to explain this in a way Boehner will understand. As the Speaker sees it, the very idea of a balanced compromise is ridiculous — a compromise would necessarily include revenue, Democrats already got new revenue, so it’s outrageous for anyone to even raise the possibility.

    Let’s put this as plainly as possible: in the summer of 2011, both sides accepted a debt-reduction deal that cut spending by over $1.2 trillion without any additional revenue — a win for Republicans. In late 2012, both sides accepted another deal that raised about $600 billion in revenue without any additional cuts — a win for Democrats.

  10. rikyrah says:

    March 01, 2013 9:25 AM
    The Happiest Man in Washington

    By Ed Kilgore

    Today marks the beginning of hard times for a lot of people who are going to be laid off or furloughed, or who won’t be able to do their jobs effectively. But at least one person is very happy: John Boehner. Ashley Parker of the New York Times explains how Boehner’s decision to tie his own hands and refuse to even look at ways out of the drooling idiocy of sequestration has given him back the most precious asset a Republican “leader” can have these days: the admiration of “true conservatives:”

    Speaker John A. Boehner, the man who spent significant portions of the last Congress shuttling to and from the White House for fiscal talks with President Obama that ultimately failed twice to produce a grand bargain, has come around to the idea that the best negotiations are no negotiations.

    As the president and Congressional Democrats have tried to force Mr. Boehner back to the table for talks to head off the automatic budget cuts set to take effect on Friday, Mr. Boehner has instead dug in deeper, refusing to even discuss an increase in revenue and insisting in his typical colorful language that it was time for the Senate to produce a measure aimed at the cuts.

    “The revenue issue is now closed,” Mr. Boehner said Thursday, before the House left town for the weekend without acting on the cuts and a Senate attempt to avert them died. Mr. Boehner said the dispute with Democrats amounted to a question of “how much more money do we want to steal from the American people to fund more government.”

    “I’m for no more,” he said.

    While the frustrations of Congressional Democrats and Mr. Obama with Mr. Boehner are reaching a fever pitch, House Republicans could not be more pleased with their leader.

    Boehner has finally figured out there’s nothing like wallowing in mindless destructive inactivity to get your groove back. So as others deplore the sequester as the ultimate product of his party’s inability to do anything other than obstruct, he’ll bellow his atavistic intransigence proudly, since the only people on this earth he cares about are applauding.

  11. rikyrah says:

    The Morning Plum: Happy Sequester Day! We’re still stuck in the wrong conversation.

    Posted by Greg Sargent on March 1, 2013 at 9:13 am

    In a way, it’s fitting that the flap over the White House email to Bob Woodward continues to rage on the same day that sequestration is set to kick in. Both are a reminder that we’re stuck in the wrong conversation, as Steve Benen has put it. They’re a reminder that we’ve been stuck in the wrong conversation since 2011.

    The Woodward flap is superficially an argument about the meaning of Gene Sperling’s email, but as Jonathan Cohn details this morning, this is just a distraction from the broader, far more consequential argument over who is to blame for the creation of sequestration. The answer, of course, is that both sides are to blame for creating it — though one side is far more to blame for the failure to avert it — thanks to the deficit mania that gripped Washington in 2011, at precisely the time we should have been focused on unemployment and economic growth.

    Meanwhile, the fact that sequestration is set to hit is a concrete reminder that we’re still stuck with the consequences of that misguided 2011 mindset. Indeed, the continuing argument over how to avert sequestration — whether to replace it with a mix of spending cuts and new revenues, or with just spending cuts — is itself a sign of the continuing power of elite consensus deficit-obsession. After all, the battle is still being fought on deficit/austerity turf, at a time of near-zero growth and mass unemployment, rather than over what government should be doing to boost the economy and alleviate widespread economic suffering. As Atrios has put it, we’re not debating whether to implement more austerity; we’re debating over how much austerity to implement.

  12. rikyrah says:

    Charles Pierce: So Sequestration Day is here …. And it seems that the House Republicans are dancing in the streets of Pottersville…..

    …. The country’s going to hell, but the Republicans now have a fully functioning marionette in the Speaker’s chair. They want him to be a vandal. He’s a vandal. They want him to be butch. He’ll be butch. If they told him to sprawl across a sofa in the Rotunda dressed as Scarlett O’Hara, well, who the hell knows? Maybe he’s got the legs for it. At least he can sleep with both eyes closed for a while.

  13. rikyrah says:

    no better for her stupid ass. period. get in bed with vermin..don’t be surprised at what you catch.


    The Trials of Nadia Naffe

    She could have been the Republican party’s future. Instead, she was abandoned, insulted, abused, and ridiculed by the GOP and its partisans
    By CHRIS FARAONE | February 28, 2013

    Young, attractive, ambitious, conservative, and black, Nadia Naffe should have been a right-wing operative’s dream.

    For a time, she was. Naffe served as a campaign coordinator in Florida for George W. Bush’s re-election effort, hobnobbed with conservative superstars like Andrew Breitbart, and joined the production team of James O’Keefe, the shock-videographer whose pranks humiliated NPR and made ACORN a dirty word.

    A divorced businesswoman whose politics veered from those of her Democratic parents, Naffe was concerned about the future of her country. She was idealistic and, by her own admission, naïve — qualities that made her an exemplary undercover agent for O’Keefe’s clandestine operations.

    Within weeks of meeting each other, O’Keefe and Naffe were teaming up to ambush progressive politicians and academics from coast to coast — raising gobs of money from some of the conservative movement’s biggest donors.

    And then, in a single night nearly two years after they first met, Naffe’s life became a nightmare. She says O’Keefe took her to a barn and drugged her, then turned on her — setting off a campaign of intense harassment. For bloggers like Breitbart and his followers, hounding Naffe became a crusade. “RUIN HER,” wrote one commenter on a right-wing blog, in just a small example of the flames fanned at Naffe over the past year and a half. “Burn her f*cking world to the ground, and salt the earth as you leave. Make the wasteland a memorial to all who would consider pulling that kind of bullsh*t.” Indeed, Breitbart hounded Naffe to the end of his life. On the day of his death, one year ago this week, his final tweet was a snide jab aimed directly at her.

    That one evening in O’Keefe’s barn kicked off a chain reaction in the tightly knit — and tightly wound — conservative blogosphere. When we think of America’s ideological battle between left and right, we often imagine a deadlocked Congress — or Fox News versus MSNBC. But Naffe’s story shines a spotlight on an even uglier crossfire: the one between the slanderous sewer of right-wing smear culture and its doppelganger, a reactionary band of left-wingers that’s equally willing to kick below the belt. Located just beneath the surface of our polarized political system, this unceasing, underhanded war — encompassing dozens of lawsuits and hundreds of petty feuds, fought by hackers and journalists, wingnuts and activists, lawmen and billionaires, attorneys and ex-cons — serves as a proxy, simultaneously feeding on and fueling the circus that passes for our civic life. Even for mature web pedestrians who are acquainted with the barbaric buffoonery of online discourse, the depravity that’s been on display during Naffe’s ordeal is enough to turn an iron stomach. In the belly of this beast, the traditional lines of right and left are grossly distorted, as are the boundaries between right and wrong.

    Nadia Naffe could have been a part of the Republican party’s future, symbolizing the appeal of conservative values to new constituencies. Instead, at every turn, she was insulted, abused, abandoned, and ridiculed. This is her story.

    Read more:

  14. rikyrah says:

    Carney mocks Ed Henry over golf game

    White House press secretary Jay Carney mocked Fox News’ Ed Henry at Thursday’s press briefing for complaining about the lack of access to President Obama by remarking that the looming sequester is “not as important as, you know, who he’s playing golf with.”

    Henry — who as White House Correspondents Association president had complained about the press’s lack of access to Obama during his golfing vacation — kicked off the exchange by asking Carney why TV cameras and the press pool wasn’t allowed into Treasury Secretary Jack Lew’s swearing-in ceremony.

    “Well, it was a private ceremony with members of his family, including grandchildren,” Carney replied. As you know, now-Secretary Lew has served President Obama in four positions, this is his fourth. And he and the president have become close through their service together and the president wanted to have this ceremony for Secretary Lew in the Oval Office because of that relationship.”

  15. rikyrah says:

    Fix this, Mr. Peterson

    By Kay March 1st, 2013

    After the 2004 presidential election loss, two of us here started a local political group. We were in the newspaper. Shortly thereafter we were contacted by the then-CEO of this candy company.I don’t remember how he contacted us, probably an email. If I had known what I know now I would have recognized that as a threat and that might have been the end of it, but we were all naïve about email back then. We didn’t look for subtext or malicious, secret intent. He congratulated us on our new organization and wished us luck in the next election. It wasn’t partisan. It was more like this: “Democracy! Don’t give up, please. Thank you.”

    So time passes and then we’re at the 2008 primary, and I’m involved as an Obama delegate from this congressional district. I attend a couple of Ohio Obama organizing events prior to the 2008 state primary and he’s there, and we chat a bit about the Democratic Party primary process and Democrats, generally, process and psychology. What’s a super delegate, how does Ohio’s primary process relate to pledged delegates, why are Democrats such a huge pain, those sorts of things. I feel as if I’m explaining “Democrats” to him, an organizational culture he’s unfamiliar with but studying. So Obama’s the nominee and he periodically checks in with us. We win in 2008, and I don’t see the now-retired CEO again until 2012, when we invite him to the county Party dinner and he attends. He again checks in periodically, and we go on to win in 2012.

    This is a link to an interview he gave with Bloomberg immediately prior to the 2012 election. I don’t know if he considers himself “a Democrat”, now, I would bet not. He says his company has core beliefs that are not exclusively geared to short-term profit. He says he could move production to Canada 120 miles away and make a lot more money (the US has sugar price supports that hurt domestic candy producers) but his employees are a huge asset so he doesn’t. He says with great pride that 25% of his employees have been working there 25 years or more.

    I was struck by his response when he’s asked about the political climate in Ohio, and how it relates to the economy. His entire focus is on what we went through, in the Great Recession. He doesn’t mention it here but his employees are union, they’re Teamsters, so he has to actually negotiate with them which may be why he knows what they went through. He talks about the fear and uncertainty he saw “on the faces of our people every day” and that what he refers to as The Great Recession was “very real, very painful.” He tells them unemployment was at 17% and probably at 25% in underemployment and people were terrified. We saw that here, too. We saw some really alarming behavior in this office, people just stressed to the breaking point, losing their temper or crying or (the worst) just shuffling in with foreclosure papers or a notice of hearing on a collection action and showing no affect at all. They had the safety net; unemployment insurance, food stamps, school lunch subsidies, heating aid, Medicaid for some, but far from Paul Ryan’s impression that they were all lolling about in Obama’s statist hammocks, they weren’t sleeping at all. We heard that again and again, how no one was sleeping well. He says that he remembers his mother lecturing him on the Great Depression and that he now has “some sense” of what she meant. He also says that “working people in particular have experienced trickle down for 30 years and they’re pretty skeptical about what’s trickling down”. Whoa, there, Marxist. Who let this 1%-impersonator on the Bloomberg set!

    I was so pleased he focused on what happened, The Great Recession, because I feel as if I don’t want that to go on by without more attention paid to what just happened to all of us. It seems as if the entire focus going forward has been on whether markets and managers are sufficiently confident and that, to me, is the wrong question. I think we should be asking if people are confident in markets and management. Knowing that, knowing how terrible that time was, how does constantly threatening to push us all off a cliff help with our confidence levels? What about the seemingly deliberate and needlessly dramatic depiction of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid as “bankrupt”? Those things are the safety net, SAFETY being the key word there. Wouldn’t intangibles like “certainty” and “the ability to plan for next month” be most important to people who have the fewest tangible assets to fall back on?

    Did what we’re all witnessing now happen after the Great Depression? Did a big herd of wealthy people descend and immediately start delivering threats and stern lectures to the people “out here” who just survived something like the Great Recession? Is there any precedent for a group like, oh, Fix The Debt, after an economic collapse?

  16. rikyrah says:

    From Smartypants:

    It’s what Woodward represents that matters

    Jonathan Chait does a good job of reminding us that perhaps Woodward is not the god of journalism we’ve often assumed him to be.

    To reconcile Woodward’s journalistic reputation with the weird pettiness of his current role, one has to grasp the distinction between his abilities as a reporter and his abilities as an analyst. Woodward was, and remains, an elite gatherer of facts. But anybody who has seen him commit acts of political commentary on television has witnessed a painful spectacle. As an analyst, Woodward is a particular kind of awful — a Georgetown Wise Man reliably and almost invariably mouthing the conventional wisdom of the Washington Establishment.
    I agree, I’ve seen Woodward on television doing political commentary. And “Washington Establishment” pretty much nails it…the very bubble President Obama does everything he can to avoid.

    That’s why what Woodward is doing matters. And Noam Scheiber nailed it.

    There is a body of respectable Washington opinion that considers Obama unworthy of the presidency: he hadn’t put in his time before running, didn’t grasp the majesty of the office, evinced no respect for the way things were done. He not only won without courting the city’s elders, he had the bad manners to keep his distance even after winning. This is the view Woodward distills.

    Scheiber didn’t say it but I will…the black guy didn’t pay his proper respects to the white good-ole-boys club.

  17. rikyrah says:

    Some People’s Obsessions

    “Oh bother,” as Winnie The Pooh used to say. It seems that some people in the Right Blogosphere have gotten their knickers in a twist. The subject, the FLOTUS, First Lady Michelle Obama. The offense, daring to show up at the Oscars.

    Sweet Baby Jesus On A Pogo Stick! Can one week go by without some right-wing twerp denigrating the FLOTUS. I ask you, for the love of Mike, give it a rest. This is the most traditional, most straight down the middle FLOTUS we have had since Mimi Eisenhower.

    No, seriously, take a look at her four years in the position. What was her first agenda item? Military Families. Now separate the two words and drill down a bit. Who is exactly against our men and women in uniform? Other than the last dregs of the Radical Left mouldering away in some Ivory Tower padded cell because, tenure, no one says a discoursing word about the troops these days. And who is exactly against families? No, again, seriously, who? The arguments we have about family is what the definition of family is. Liberals like to propose a more flexible and more inclusive model while conservative are just fine with old-school patriarchy mixed with large helping of misogyny. But every one is for families of one sort or another. So being for Military Families is about as mom and apple pie as you can get.

    The next agenda item of Ms Obama, healthy diet. Again, seriously, how more mom can you get than “eat your veggies, they’re good for you?” Yet the yammering yahoos that infest Conservative Talk Radio went berserk and insisted that to be a true, full-blooded, American it was your civic duty to shove triple cheeseburgers down your gullet like there was no tomorrow. Weeks of precious airtime was devoted to unleashing this five-year-old temper tantrum.

    Linked with vegetables was Ms. Obama’s next big crusade, getting kids active. Um, exactly when did it become a Communist plot when your mom told you to get out of the house and play? I kinda missed that. But once more the Oxycontin Blimp went into full alert. It was now you patriotic duty to consume those bi-pass burgers whilst encrusting your comfy chair. Real Americans proved their worth by being inert blobs shoveling junk food into there craw for God and Country.

    The reelection of the Obamas has seemed to only increase the amount of spittle flying in from stage right. You know, its a shame that all that fluid can’t be redirected to Kansas and other drought struck states. Be that as it may, Conservative have not been able to get pass the anger stage of the Kübler-Ross model. Hell, many have still not got passed denial.

    Michelle Obama has been an incredibly competent FLOTUS. She has been a 21st Century First Lady living in the land of Stepford Wife Washington. It has been a very long time since we have had such a down-to-earth, no-nonsense, comfortable-in-her-own-skin, powerful woman backing up her man. She is the very acme of a striving Middle Class Woman who made it on her own grit and determination. That she did this as a woman of color is damn near epic.

  18. Ametia says:


  19. rikyrah says:

    How the GOP Cookie Crumbles

    by BooMan
    Thu Feb 28th, 2013 at 09:58:00 PM EST

    According to reporting by Katrina Trinko of National Review, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor told one member during a closed-door conference yesterday that they had to allow a vote on the Senate version of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) or they would cause a “civil war” within the Republican caucus. It is quite possible that Cantor was correct. South Jersey Congressman Jon Runyan (formerly a red cape for Michael Strahan when he played offensive tackle for the Philadelphia Eagles), led a bloc of 19 Republicans who insisted on a vote on the Senate version. The Republican majority is currently 232-200, which means that 19 defections would put the Democrats in the majority on this issue at 219-213. The way the rules of the House work, whatever a majority wants to do, they can do. If a bipartisan majority wants something that the House leadership opposes, they can create a discharge petition. The way a discharge works is hard to explain but what it boils down to is that if a majority of the total membership of the House signs the petition then they can force a vote on a bill.
    What Rep. Runyan demonstrated was that he had the votes to prevail on a discharge petition. Signing a discharge petition when you are serving in the majority is deeply disloyal and is almost never done. But Runyan didn’t have to sign one because his ordinary petition conveyed the message adequately.

    Cantor was chosen to send this message to the pro-rape caucus because he was the leader of the pro-rape cause. Cantor still wound up voting against the VAWA reauthorization, but he recognized that his side was defeated and he didn’t want his defeat to become a huge story.

    If you are wondering how Boehner could lose his speakership, this is basically how it would happen. It would probably be a coup from the middle rather than a coup from the right. In this case, Boehner caved in because he wanted to cave in. But he could easily face a different issue where he decides to stand with the wingnuts. And then some bloc of about 20 moderate Republicans (mostly from the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest) could cut a deal with the Democrats to elect a new Speaker.

    If you think it can’t happen, take a look at comments from Mid-Atlantic Republicans Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania and Pete King of Long Island, New York. Patience is definitely wearing thin since the vast majority of the Republican caucus voted against relief for victims of Superstorm Sandy.

    The thing is, if this cookie crumbles, it won’t crumble just for Boehner. If the caucus splits apart in the way I’ve described, it will pretty much be the end of the GOP as a national party.

    Update [2013-2-28 22:56:39 by BooMan]: I see from some of the initial responses to this piece that I have left too much unsaid and therefore too much left to the imagination. So, let me expand on this a little to make clear what different scenarios would look like.

    Scenario One: Right-wing Republicans grow frustrated with Speaker Boehner repeatedly violating the Hastert Rule and passing bills that the majority of Republicans oppose. They want to replace Boehner with someone more conservative who won’t violate the Hastert Rule. The problem is that the Speaker is elected by a vote of the entire House, and they must receive an absolute majority. This ensures that a Democrat cannot win unless some Republicans vote for a Democrat, but it also means that moderate Republicans can threaten to do just that. A split in the conference would result in Pelosi winning a plurality and that would force a second vote. It would be on that second vote, or possibly a subsequent vote, that the Speaker would actually be chosen, and it is unlikely that the result would be a more conservative speaker.

    Scenario Two: Moderate Republicans get fed up with gridlock and inaction, and decide to cut a deal with the Democrats. All the Democrats will agree to vote for a moderate alternative to Boehner in return for certain concessions. The concessions would probably take the form of ratios on committees, but could conceivably involve changes in the House rules or power-sharing arrangements. It’s hard to say, since this kind of haggling ordinarily occurs only in parliamentary systems.

    Scenario Three: Pro-Defense Republicans get fed up with the Sequester and make a deal similar in many respects with Scenario Two. The problem here is that it would require a simultaneous split in the Democratic Party, and this is unlikely to occur, especially in the numbers required for success.

    It’s really only Scenario Two that has any chance of happening, and it won’t happen unless and until things deteriorate significantly from where things stand today. However, the template for such a split was seen in the Superstorm Sandy vote and the VAWA reauthorization vote, both of which caused almost unprecedented strain within the GOP caucus with strong regional differences.

    – See more at:

  20. rikyrah says:

    Bad Argument

    by BooMan
    Fri Mar 1st, 2013 at 12:24:51 PM EST

    It seems to me that Matt Yglesias is trying to be too clever by half. His argument appears to boil down to the idea that the spin was better when we argued that we could live with the Sequester rather than that it would be a disaster. Whether that is true or not, is says nothing about the merits. Is the Sequester better than nothing? Obviously, it is not. The economy is on the mend and starting to gather strength. The Sequester will slow economic growth, create chaos, and needlessly ruin hundreds of thousands of people’s lives. As long as it persists, it is evidence that our political system is dysfunctional on a grand scale. If Yglesias is trying to head-fake the Republicans with some kind of double reverse psychological jujitsu, he’s isn’t taking into account that the new Republican Party doesn’t care as much about military spending as the old one. Not only are they willing to slash Pentagon spending in a stupid and irresponsible way, but they are likely to agree to future cutting done in a sane and responsible way. If Yglesias is actually serious that we can live with the Sequester and that it is preferable to simple repeal, he should be stripped of his job, his health insurance, and his housing, and be forced to live in a box for a month.

    – See more at:

  21. rikyrah says:

    The ‘code’ that only Woodward can break

    By Steve Benen

    Fri Mar 1, 2013 9:01 AM EST.

    Since I mentioned Bob Woodward’s increasingly erratic behavior yesterday, it’s only fair to close the loop and note his comments last night on Fox News. (Woodward was the opening act for Ann Coulter on Sean Hannity’s show. Insert joke about “how the mighty have fallen” here.)

    For those who can’t watch clips online, there was some good news and some bad news in the interview. On the former, Woodward initially appeared to backpedal a bit on the nature of his complaint against Gene Sperling, telling Hannity, “[Y[ou know, people have said, well, this was a threat or I was saying it was a threat. I haven’t used that language.”

    Woodward made clear to Politico and CNN that he saw Sperling’s email as a veiled threat, but if he’s now prepared to move away from the claim, I’m glad.

    But by the end of the interview, the Washington Post reporter couldn’t leave well enough alone. He argued on Fox News:

    “[Sperling] says, I’m going to ‘regret,’ you know, that’s — that goes into the coded, you know, ‘you better watch out.'”

    Oh for crying out loud.

  22. Ametia says:

    No progress in White House talks on automatic budget cuts

    Congressional leaders met with President Obama at the White House on Friday to discuss ways to avoid the steep budget cuts known as the sequester, but the meeting ended about an hour later with no sign of a breakthrough. Afterward, President Obama said in a press conference that “many middle class families will have their lives disrupted in significant ways” by the budget cuts. “The pain will be real.” He predicted again that the cuts will cost 750,000 jobs and slow growth, and vowed to reach out to senators and representatives in the weeks to come.

  23. rikyrah says:

    A poll only Fox News would commission
    By Steve Benen
    Fri Mar 1, 2013 11:57 AM EST.

    Professional news organizations put a great deal of care into how they word polling questions. To get reliable results that accurately reflect public attitudes, surveys have to be careful not to guide respondents or skew their answers.

    But Fox News polls tend to be a little different.


    And here’s Fox News’ latest gem, in a national poll published this morning:

    “Former President George W. Bush stopped golfing after the start of the Iraq war. Do you think President Barack Obama should stop golfing until the unemployment rate improves and the economy is doing better?”

    Oh my

  24. Ametia says:

    President Obama says “dumb, arbitrary” forced spending cuts that take effect today are unnecessary and inexcusable. “Let’s be clear. None of this is necessary. It’s happening because of a choice that Republicans in Congress have made,” he said.

    The president and Vice President Biden met with leaders of the House and Senate to discuss the cuts earlier in the day.

    The cuts of $85 billion kick in today and are expected to lead to long lines at airports, furloughs of federal workers, reduced access to Head Start programs for young students, and scaled back food inspection and border security programs.

    Insiders expect the cuts to be about 9% for nondefense programs and 13% for defense accounts.

  25. rikyrah says:

    Axelrod Presses Woodward On Whether He Felt Threatened (VIDEO)
    David Taintor 9:04 AM EST, Friday March 1, 2013

    Former White House adviser and current MSNBC analyst David Axelrod on Friday pressed Bob Woodward on whether he really felt threatened by Obama administration official Gene Sperling.

    “The headline in the Washington Post, your newspaper, was Woodward says that he was threatened by the White House,” Axelrod said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

    “But I never have. Come on. You know that. No,” Woodward said.

    (The headline on the Washington Post actually read: “Woodward vs. White House: Washington at its weirdest.”)

    “They got the impression, from what you said, that you felt you were being threatened,” Axelrod continued. “And you just read to the Politico one line from that email. And when the full emails came out they were as cordial as can be. His email was cordial, and your response was cordial. So if you felt threatened, why didn’t you say to Gene, don’t threaten me?

  26. Ametia says:

    PBO to Jessica Yelin: “I’m not a DICTATOR, I’M THE PRESIDENT.

    Yelin suggested PBO lock congress in a fucking room, SMGDH

  27. rikyrah says:

    Who’s ‘creating havoc’?
    By Steve Benen
    Fri Mar 1, 2013 10:00 AM EST

    Here’s House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), arguing that sequestration cuts are dangerous:

    “The sequester will harm important domestic priorities such as education, medical research, law enforcement, national security, and jobs.”


    I know Cantor often struggles with the basics of public policy, but no one is saying food inspections and border patrol will simply cease to be. Rather, the point is, Republican budget cuts are going to force reductions — there will be fewer food inspectors and border-patrol agents doing their jobs because their budgets were indiscriminately slashed.

    But even putting that aside, Cantor’s contradiction reinforces a larger point: the GOP has absolutely no idea what it wants to say about sequestration. The Majority Leader offers an extreme example — few have gone quite as far as Cantor to say the sequester is both dangerous and not dangerous at the same time — but he’s not the only one struggling with coherence.

    As best as I can tell, the latest Republican message is this: the sequester is a terrible idea, which President Obama came up with, which will slash key investments, which is a great idea, which Republicans have championed. The policy will both help and hurt the economy, strengthen and weaken national defense, and hurt domestic priorities while leaving them unaffected.

    • Ametia says:

      This is the kind of shit Bob Woodward should be INVESTIGATING and reporting, instead he’s JUMPED on the Fox Hannity bandwagon and encouraging reporters to question the President about Bill Ayers. ABSOFUCKINGLUTELY INSANE.

  28. rikyrah says:

    If Gov. Ultrasound is a RINO…

    By Steve Benen
    Fri Mar 1, 2013 10:44 AM EST.

    When it comes to Republicans’ intra-party fissures, some conflicts are easier to understand than others. I can appreciate, for example, why the right is sometimes frustrated with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R). I understood why folks like Charlie Crist and Arlen Specter drove the GOP’s base batty before they gave up and became Democrats.

    But if Virginia Gov. Bob “Ultrasound” McDonnell (R) is the new poster child for Republicans In Name Only, the party is even further gone than I’d realized

  29. rikyrah says:

    Bob Woodward Agrees With Hannity: Journalists Should Ask Obama About Bill Ayers

    By Igor Volsky on Feb 28, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    The Washington Post’s Bob Woodward appeared on Fox News’ Hannity on Thursday evening to complain about National Economic Council director Gene Sperling’s email disputing his characterization of the White House’s role in shaping the mechanism known as the sequester — the automatic across-the-board budget cuts that will go into effect on Friday.

    Over the weekend Woodward claimed that the White House was trying “to move the goalposts” by replacing sequestration with a deficit reduction package that includes new revenues, a notion Sperling disputed in emails with the famed Watergate journalist. “I do truly believe you should rethink your comment about saying saying that Potus asking for revenues is moving the goal post,” Sperling wrote to Woodward. “I know you may not believe this, but as a friend, I think you will regret staking out that claim.”

    During his interview with Sean Hannity, Woodward claimed that he had been “roughed up” by Sperling and agreed with the host’s characterization of the Washington journalists as liberals who are disinterested in challenging the president with Bill Ayers, an education advocate who was part of the group the Weather Underground:

    HANNITY: The fact that the president was never asked a lot about the 6 trillion in debt that he accumulated prior to this election, in this first election wasn’t asked about his association with Bill Ayers was troublesome to me, I think we’ve got a media that’s not as critical as perhaps it once was in, for example, the days of Watergate.

    WOODWARD: Well, I agree with that. We need to be very aggressive and it’s one of the judges that said democracies die in darkness and I really think that’s true.

  30. rikyrah says:

    Massachusetts 1, John Roberts 0
    By Steve Benen
    Fri Mar 1, 2013 11:27 AM EST.

    Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts has long opposed the Voting Rights Act, so it didn’t surprise anyone when he was outwardly hostile towards the law during oral arguments this week. Indeed, the jurist seemed well prepared with talking points he delivered with great authority.

    “Do you know which state has the worst ratio of white voter turnout to African-American voter turnout?” Roberts asked Solicitor General Don Verrilli. When Verrilli said he did not know, Roberts answered the question for him: “Massachusetts.” Moments later, the chief justice did it again, asking, “Which state has the greatest disparity in registration between white and
    African American?” Again the solicitor general did not know, and again Roberts said, “Massachusetts.”

    James Carter took a closer look at the latest information on voting and registration from the U.S. Census Bureau and found that Roberts appeared to be completely wrong. What’s more, the Boston Globe talked to Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin, who’s eager to explain just how mistaken the conservative justice is. “I’m calling him out,” Galvin said

    • Ametia says:

      Disgraceful SCOTUS performance

      Of course Roberts just spewed the state of MA off the top off his head. He was trying to shift the focus off the SOUTHERN RACISM and those states with extreme history of voter suppression. We know that racism is EVERYWHERE.

  31. Ametia says:

    VIDEO here:

    Rachel Maddow sat down with Jon Stewart to talk about her experience sitting in the Supreme Court this week during hearings over the Voting Rights Act. Maddow shared details of what it’s like to be in the court to hear the arguments, telling Stewart that Justice Antonin Scalia loves to “troll” with his deliberately provocative statements, and Justice Sonia Sotomayor subtly pushes back against him when she gets the chance. -sn

  32. rikyrah says:

    First lady: Not surprised by reaction to Oscars

    CHICAGO (AP) — Michelle Obama says it was “absolutely not surprising” to her that her satellite appearance at the Academy Awards ceremony provoked a national conversation about whether it was appropriate, after some conservative critics accused her of selfishly crashing the event in an attempt to upstage it.

    She attributed the chatter to a culture shift that has spawned legions of bloggers, tweeters and others who talk about anything and everything all the time.

    “Shoot, my bangs set off a national conversation. My shoes can set off a national conversation. That’s just sort of where we are. We’ve got a lot of talking going on,” the first lady said only somewhat jokingly Thursday before an appearance in Chicago, her hometown. “It’s like everybody’s kitchen-table conversation is now accessible to everybody else so there’s a national conversation about anything.”

  33. Ametia says:

    Here we go with more smear

  34. rikyrah says:

    Another big, bold stroke for gay rights

    Posted by Greg Sargent on February 28, 2013 at 7:22 pm

    As expected, the Obama administration has submitted a friend of the court brief in the case challenging Proposition 8 before the Supreme Court. Just as gay rights advocates had hoped, Obama’s Solicitor General has made a sweeping case against Proposition 8 as unconstitutional, which is a bold move and makes it more likely that the Supreme Court will strike down the law with a similarly sweeping argument. This in turn could set a precedent for challenging the constitutionality of other state laws banning gay marriage — potentially leading to full equality across the country.

    In short, in this brief, the United States government has put the force of a fully fleshed out legal argument behind Obama’s historic words during his Inaugural Address: “Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law — for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.”

    The key to the brief is that it makes two arguments. The first is that it agrees with the ruling of a lower court — which found Prop 8 unconstitutional — that challenges to the constitutionality of such laws should require that they are subjected to “heightened scrutiny.” That means the court should hold their rationale for discriminating to an extremely high standard, and strike them down if they fail to have a credible justification. The brief does that here, in a reference to previous Supreme Court ruling in cases involving challenges to discriminatory laws:

  35. rikyrah says:

    We’re headed for the sequester — but it won’t even do much to reduce the deficit.

    Posted by Jamelle Bouie on February 28, 2013 at 4:43 pm

    This afternoon, the alternatives to the sequester advanced in the Senate by Democrats and Republicans were both defeated. This means that as of now, the sequester is going to happen. Beginning tomorrow, the administration will have to implement across-the-board cuts, affecting all areas of the federal government, including defense and social services.

    The inevitability of the sequester has inspired some analysts and lawmakers to wonder if this is as bad as it looks. “People focus on the upfront cost and they don’t think through the whole timeline,” Tyler Cowen, a George Mason University economist, told by the New York Times, “You have to cut spending within the next 10 years anyway. It may be time to take some lumps.”

    Likewise, just a few days ago, the Post’s Chris Cillizza argued a similar point, “it’s uniquely possible that only through crisis…will people come to grips with the fundamental paradox at the center of their thinking of what the federal government should or shouldn’t do.” And of course, Republicans have been somewhat sanguine about sequestration (at least, when they’re not trying to blame Obama for the policy). “I think I can safely say,” said Mitch McConnell in a press conference on Tuesday, “that Senate Republicans do not believe that it’s a good idea to walk away from that commitment to cut spending.”

    Sequestration might be bad policy, the argument goes, but at least it helps with deficit reduction. But there’s a big problem here — that’s not even true. A recent analysis from Reuters makes the case

  36. rikyrah says:

    Pelosi: When Dems communicate their values clearly, they win

    Posted by Greg Sargent on February 28, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    “When Democrats are united, especially around not just an issue but around our values — not discriminating against anybody — we will succeed.”

    That’s Nancy Pelosi, speaking about Republicans in the wake of the successful passage of reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. This is a big win for Pelosi — the President gave her a shout out in his statement — and she sought to cast the outcome as another sign that Dems can force Republicans to act on their priorities when they do a good enough job of clarifying the choice the two parties are offering the American people. “I hope there’s a realization that when the public has clarity on the decision that is being made here, eventually they’re going to have to come around,” she told me.

    Pelosi suggested that the Dem victory bodes well for the coming battle over the sequester, which she said is similar to the one over the Violence Against Women Act, in the sense that the public would side with the Dem vision. “It’s again about making it clear to the public what the decision is,” she said. “Every time we’ve done that, Republicans have folded

    The problem for Democrats, though, is that the sequester fight is far less clear cut than the battle over the Violence Against Women Act was — even the name suggests the Dem message was an easy one to communicate. The sequester fight is a mess — there’s no telling how long it will take for the public to feel the pain and who will feel it, and the sequester is difficult to explain to the American people. Pressed on this point, Pelosi acknowledged that the messaging would be a “challenge” and that it would be “much more difficult.”

  37. Ametia says:


  38. rikyrah says:

    VAWA victory shows that House GOP needs Democrats

    Posted by Greg Sargent on February 28, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    After a protracted battle that ended in a victory for Obama and Democrats, the House finally passed the Violence Against Women Act by a comfortable margin, 286-138. The bill passed with unanimous support from House Democrats, combined with backing from 87 Republicans. More Republicans — 138 members — voted against the bill than for it, but it passed, anyway.

    This is the third major bill in recent months that required a lot of Democratic support to pass the House. As such, it’s a win for Nancy Pelosi, one that confirms an emerging dynamic: House Republicans seem to need the support of House Democrats to get major legislation passed — and to get out of political jams of their own making.

    Consider: The fiscal cliff deal, the aid to Hurricane Sandy victims, and now the Violence Against Women Act all passed with Dem support, with sizable GOP defections against all the measures. In these cases, the House GOP was unable to unify behind a solution of its own; the politics of failing to act were growing increasingly untenable for Republicans; and allowing Obama to win a victory by passing something with Dem support was their least bad remaining option.

    In the last Congress, Republicans had opposed the Senate version of the bill, but since then, Republicans lost an election in which their support among women had deteriorated. In this Congress, House GOP leaders had hoped to pass their own version of the measure — one that substantially weakened the bill’s protections for certain categories — but it emerged that there was not enough support in the GOP caucus for Republicans to pass it alone. After that, the House agreed to pass the Senate version — with Dem support — again confirming the same pattern on the other bills. In the other cases, continued opposition was fast evaporating as a political option; in this case, continuing to oppose passage of a bill designed to combat violence against women was a sure political loser.

  39. Ametia says:


  40. Ametia says:

    Marco McMillian

    Authorities said 34-year-old Mississippi mayoral candidate Marco McMillian was found dead on the Mississippi River levee on Feb. 27, 2013. McMillian was running for mayor of Clarksdale, a Blues hub where actor and Mississippi native Morgan Freeman co-owns a blues club. His campaign said he may have been the first openly gay man to be a viable candidate for public office in Mississippi. His death is now being investigated as a homicide and the sheriff’s office said a person of interest is in custody.

  41. Native American Culture

    Perhaps no other group of people has quite the rich and storied culture as those of the Native Americans. They have a history rich in struggle, strife, and triumph. So many aspects of our modern life were adapted from the old Indian cultures practiced centuries ago. Many familiar symbols that we take for granted were originated by Native Americans.

    The teepee, totem pole, peace pipe, and moccasins are just a few examples, but each of these symbols were actually integral pieces of a larger picture that wove together the tapestry of Native American life. Everything from native plants and animals to housing to the weather became a part of the culture in Indian life. The animals were revered as spirits, and although they were hunted and killed, their skins and hides were used as clothing and drums, their meat was never wasted, and their spirits lived on in the mind of the tribes. Plants were cultivated and harvested, and used for various things such as dyes for blankets. The rain and sun were considered to be Gods, giving a sign to the Indians as the seasons changed.

    • Destroying the Native American Cultures

      When European settlers arrived on the North American continent at the end of the fifteenth century, they encountered diverse Native American cultures—as many as 900,000 inhabitants with over 300 different languages. These people, whose ancestors crossed the land bridge from Asia in what may be considered the first North American immigration, were virtually destroyed by the subsequent immigration that created the United States. This tragedy is the direct result of treaties, written and broken by foreign governments, of warfare, and of forced assimilation.

      Today, people see the policies of the past with 21st century eyes. One might wonder how the nation’s indigenous population became “inferior” cultures in their own land, or how a nation could have committed such atrocities in the name of “progress”. One might question whether it is acceptable to make national decisions without involving in the decision making process those who will be most drastically affected.

      In 1786, the United States established its first Native American reservation and approached each tribe as an independent nation. This policy remained intact for more than one hundred years. But as President James Monroe noted in his second inaugural address in 1821, treating Native Americans this way “flattered their pride, retarded their improvement, and in many instances paved the way to their destruction.”

      In addition, Monroe observed that America’s westward growth “has constantly driven them back, with almost the total sacrifice of the lands which they have been compelled to abandon. They have claims on the magnanimity and . . . on the justice of this nation which we must all feel.” Despite Monroe’s concern for the plight of Native Americans, his administration successfully removed them from states north of the Ohio River.

      • One might wonder how the nation’s indigenous population became “inferior” cultures in their own land, or how a nation could have committed such atrocities in the name of “progress”.

        There is nothing to wonder or question whether the actions to commit such atrocities were acceptable. The actions to destroy the cultures of others as if they didn’t matter is horrendous.

      • Removing Native Americans from their Land

        President Andrew Jackson offered similar rhetoric in his first inaugural address in 1829, when he emphasized his desire “to observe toward the Indian tribes within our limits a just and liberal policy, and to give that humane and considerate attention to their rights and their wants which is consistent with the habits of our Government and the feelings of our people.” Yet, only fourteen months later, Jackson prompted Congress to pass the Removal Act, a bill that forced Native Americans to leave the United States and settle in the Indian Territory west of the Mississippi River.

        Many Cherokee tribes banded together as an independent nation, and challenged this legislation in U.S. courts. In 1832, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Cherokees, but some tribes still signed treaties giving the federal government the legal authority to “assist” them in their move to the Indian Territory.

        In 1838, as the deadline for removal approached, thousands of federal soldiers and Georgia volunteers entered the territory and forcibly relocated the Cherokees. Americans hunted, imprisoned, raped, and murdered Native Americans. Cherokees surviving the onslaught were forced on a 1,000-mile march to the established Indian Territory with few provisions. Approximately 4,000 Cherokees died on this “Trail of Tears.”

      • Ametia says:

        The Europeans were and some STILL are BARARIANS. PERIOD

    • All the music, art work, paintings, pictures and portraits of the Native Americans is absolutely stunning and a treasure for sure. These articles are fantastic, fascinating and a tremendous tribute.

  42. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

  43. Ametia says:

    Gun bill emerges in Minnesota House: better checks, no bans
    Source: Pioneer Press

    Bans on assault-style weapons and high-capacity magazines are virtually off the table in the gun control debate at the Minnesota Legislature.

    Rep. Michael Paymar, DFL-St. Paul, on Thursday, Feb. 28, unveiled his gun-violence prevention bill, calling for expanded background checks for buyers, tougher penalties for those who sell to disqualified people and better prosecution of gun crimes.

    Earlier this month, Paymar, chairman of the Public Safety Finance and Policy Committee, presided over three days of hearings on nearly a dozen bills proposing changes to Minnesota gun laws.

    Paymar, whose hearings drew hundreds of spectators to the Capitol, said he wanted to focus on keeping guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them and that would attract broad consensus

    Read more:

  44. Ametia says:

    A grieving father’s plea for a gun ban
    By Eugene Robinson,
    Published: February 28

    Most of our top elected officials probably didn’t notice — they were too busy making fools of themselves over an idiotic budget “crisis” of their own making — but something worth remembering happened in Washington this week: A grieving parent pleaded softly for a ban on military-style weapons such as the one used to kill his son.

    Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee could not help but be transfixed by the witness who sat before them Wednesday, opening his presentation with a heartbreaking introduction.

    “My name is Neil Heslin,” his prepared testimony began. “Jesse Lewis was my son. He was a boy that loved life and lived it to the fullest. He was my best friend. On December 14, he lost his life at Sandy Hook Elementary because of a gun that nobody needs and nobody should have a right to have. I’m here to tell his story. I know what I am doing here today won’t bring my son back, but I hope that maybe if you listen to what I say today and you do something about it — maybe nobody else will have to experience what I have experienced

  45. Ametia says:

    The Sequester Explained
    —By Kevin Drum
    | Fri Mar. 1, 2013 3:06 AM PST

    Today is Sequestration Day! To celebrate, all of your most burning sequestration questions are answered right here. Enjoy.

    Where did the whole idea of sequestration originate?

    It goes back to 1985. The tax cuts of Ronald’s Reagan early years, combined with his aggressive defense buildup, produced a growing budget deficit that eventually prompted passage of the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act. GRH set out a series of ambitious deficit reduction targets, and to put teeth into them it specified that if the targets weren’t met, money would automatically be “sequestered,” or held back, by the Treasury Department from the agencies to which it was originally appropriated. The act was declared unconstitutional in 1986, and a new version was passed in 1987.

    Sequestration never really worked, though, and it was repealed in 1990 and replaced by a new budget deal. After that, it disappeared down the Washington, DC, memory hole for the next 20 years.

    Read on here:

  46. Ametia says:

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

  47. I love this so much. It is beautiful and rich with sacredness. Thanks for sharing. Hugs, Barbara

    • Morning, Barbara!

      It blesses my soul and brings tears to my eyes . I know that it is worship. I don’t understand the words but I can feel the holiness of it all. I just know my soul rejoices as I listen to the music. It’s most beautiful.

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