Sunday Open Thread | Gospel Music | Johnny Cash Week

Today, our gospel music comes from Johnny Cash.

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45 Responses to Sunday Open Thread | Gospel Music | Johnny Cash Week

  1. rikyrah says:

    Mother Gets 12-Years Prison for Sending Child to the “Wrong” School

    by Dr. Boyce Watkins

    If you’re looking for a strange brand of justice, you might have found it. Tanya McDowell, a Connecticut mother who was accused of sending her child to a school that is outside her home district, has been sentenced to 12-years in prison. The mother pleaded guilty to fraudulently enrolling her young son in a school in the Norwalk district and stealing $15,000 worth of educational services in the process.

    The mother was sentenced to 12-years total, suspended after five and has to pay back $6,200 in restitution to the city of Norwalk. The sentence also includes four counts of drug possession and distribution.

    At the time of the incident, McDowell was homeless. Police claim that she was using her baby sitter’s address to keep her child enrolled at a Kindergarten in Norwalk, when she was supposed to be using the schools in Bridgeport, which are of far lower quality.

    Darnel Crosland, McDowell’s attorney, says that the biggest loser in all of this is McDowell’s son, who no longer has his mother around to raise him.

    “That’s the sad part. He’s with his grandmother and she’s doing the best to raise him,” Crosland said. “I think you should measure her not by the fact that she was arrested for selling drugs but what has she done for her child.”

  2. rikyrah says:

    Eric L. Wattree: Tap Dancing for the Klan
    March 9, 2013 by EurPublisher 4 Comments

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    obama & west

    President and one time supporter – now adversary – Dr. Cornel West

    *I’m not here to defend President Obama, because as I pointed out in previous articles, I have an issue or two with some of his policies myself, just like I’ve had with EVERY White president. But I think we owe this brother the benefit of the doubt. He’s plagued with enough problems in having to deal with world affairs and our domestic crisis, while at the same time, having to fight off racist Republicans and envious, self-serving turncoats like Tavis Smiley and Cornel West. So we shouldn’t add yet another problem to his plate by forcing him to have to worry about whether he has the support of his own people.
    To be quite frank, I think there are only two kinds of people in this world – good people, and bad people. In addition, I believe the battle over race was a part of the last war. Those who are enlightened recognize that the current battle is over class, because the current powers that be don’t care any more about poor and middle-class White folks than they do Black people. Most White people recognize that fact. That’s why Obama is president. So while I often write about what’s in the best interest of the Black community as a whole, I rarely make race a part of my personal political calculations.
    But I consider the presidency of Barack Obama a unique situation, and what we’ve been watching with respect to many Black Obama critics should be regarded as a teaching moment, because it represents a cultural dysfunction that’s been played out thousands of times over the past four hundred years. Many of us have heard stories about Black self-hatred all of our lives, but due to President Obama’s high profile we now have the opportunity, as an entire culture, to see it being played out in all of its ugliness for the very first time.
    But of course, there are going to be a few of Obama’s critics who are going to ask, “What are you saying, that Obama should be above criticism just because he’s Black?” Of course not, and the people who pose such a ridiculous question know that’s not what I’m saying before they even ask it. But just asking such a disingenuous question should also serve as a teaching moment – it shows the extraordinary lengths that such people will go to mask their“bligotry.”
    Questioning President Obama’s policies is not the problem – it’s the mean-spirited way in which it’s being done. In fact, Black haters are not merely questioning Obama’s policies at all. More often than not these people are simply using policy differences as a pretext for making slanderous assertions about the president’s character as a whole – he’s a “war criminal,” “a black mascot of Wall Street oligarchs and a black puppet of corporate plutocrats,” “a Rockefeller Republican in Blackface,” and even, “He has a certainrootlessness, a deracination” [WHAT!!!?]. Notice that three out of the four slanders are racial in nature, and these quotes are from just one man – Cornel West.
    None of the criticisms above were legitimate attempts to address the president’s public policies. They were racial slanders, clear and simple. That clearly demonstrates that many Black Obama-haters are not nearly as interested in addressing public policy as they are in attacking the man himself. These slanders also demonstrate that their allegation that people who object to their criticism are merely Obama cheerleaders. That’s not true – what we’re against is what we’ve always been against – racist attacks.
    But even those haters who have the good sense to refrain from blatant, racist attacks often make themselves known by going over the top in their allegations regarding policy. They’ll often say things like, “Obama is a part of the machine.” But since we’re not privy to the information that Obama is basing his decisions upon, nor his motives for making any given decision, any allegation being made about him being a part of any “machine” are wholly without supporting substantiation at best. Critics who suggest this are merely commenting on what things LOOK like to their jaundiced eye – or what they’re trying to convince you tothink they look like – without having a shred of evidence to support their views. Their allegations have no more basis in fact than that of the birthers.
    The reality is, being the first Black President of the United States, Obama can’t approach the nation’s problems in the same way that they were approached by his White predecessors. In many cases he has to take a circuitous approach to addressing issues in order to prevent the GOP from mischaracterizing his efforts with their very special kind of malevolent spin. Thus, the way that things may look, may not always be what they seem. So anyone who would lend comfort to the most steadfast enemies of the Black community by helping to drag this Black man through the mud is on what my good friend, Playthell Benjamin, would call, a fool’s errand.
    There were people in the Tea Party who were consistently calling Obama a terrorist sympathizer, right up until he brought Osama Bin Laden’s head home in a bag. Bush spent nearly eight years and close to a trillion dollars trying to pull that off with no success, but Obama did it with three helicopters and a handful of courageous men, without busting a sweat bubble – and he did it while America thought he was just kickin’ it.
    So this brother ain’t no punk, and he’s not the kind of person we should second guess without very good cause. So yes, I think everyone in the Black community should get behind this brother – period. If we have a comment on policy, we should voice our concern, but we should do it politely, and very respectfully. Because while Obama is, and should be, the president of ALL of America, he is also the most high profile representative of the Black community in the entire world. So to be disrespectful of him, is to be disrespectful of us; and his success, is our success.
    With regard to Cornel West, I can only say this – any Black man who tries to publicly engage in the Dozens against the first Black President of the United States cannot be regarded as a serious intellectual. He deserves very close scrutiny, because his behavior is not only disrespectful of the president, but it betrays a gross disdain for the Black community as a whole. So he can say whatever he likes about his motives, but his behavior lends comfort to the most dedicated enemies of the Black community. Thus, the issue is not even debatable – the stupidity he’s engaged in amounts to tap dancing for the Klan

  3. rikyrah says:

    I just finished watching last week’s The Following.

    That end scene creeped me out to no end. Goosebumps, put chills up and down your spine kind of creepy.

    The show has to turn around. That boy being in the hands of his serial killer father.

    this has to be the darkest before the dawn, cause last week was bleak as hell.

  4. rikyrah says:

    Flip Flop Flip Now Total

    Josh Marshall March 10, 2013, 9:12 AM 635

    It looks like Jeb Bush’s abandonment of his newfound opposition to a ‘pathway to citizenship’ is now complete. See our complete Jeb Flip Timeline here. This from his interview this morning on This Week …

    During an interview for “This Week,” former Florida governor Jeb Bush told me that he was “in sync” with South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham on the issue of immigration reform. Graham, a key member of the bipartisan group of senators pushing for immigration reform, took Bush to task after the former Florida governor said Monday that he did not support a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants, which is a key component of the plan being pushed by the Senate group. Bush subsequently reversed course and said he could in fact support a plan that included a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants already living in the United States. “Senator Graham and I talked. He was responding to concerns that were expressed before the book was actually published,” Bush said. “I told him that I support his efforts and I applaud what he’s doing. And he concluded, after he heard what the thesis of the book is that we’re in sync. We’re on the same — on the same path.” “The basic premise needs to be that coming to the country legally should be easier with less cost than coming to the country illegally. And if you can create a system like that as is being discussed in the Senate and in the House- through a path to citizenship, that’s fine,” Bush said. “But my guess is that will take a long, long time to achieve. In the interim, it’s important to take people out from the shadows to allow them to have- the dignity of being- having legal status.”

    Here’s the rest of ABCNews’ write-up. This all comes after Bush stunned immigration reformers by pulling his support for what it widely considered the lynch pin of comprehensive immigration reform — a so-called ‘pathway to citizenship’. Later Bush conceded that he staked out this position when it was still the de facto GOP position before the November election but couldn’t change because his book announcing his new position had already gone to press before the GOP decided to get on board with reform.

  5. rikyrah says:

    How the Iraq war hurt Republicans

    By Phillip Carter,

    Published: March 8

    Phillip Carter, an Iraq veteran, is a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security in Washington.

    Beyond the thousands of casualties incurred, the millions of troops and civilians deployed, and the trillions of dollars committed, the most enduring legacy of the Iraq war will be the political movements it triggered in this country: It shattered Republicans’ monopoly on national security and eroded service members’ allegiance to the GOP.

    The Republicans’ mismanagement of the war allowed Democrats to reclaim an issue lost to them since the Truman administration. Suddenly, the GOP wasn’t viewed as unquestionably strong on national security. It’s a shift that, since 2006, has profoundly affected elections and arguably contributed more than any other factor — save the economy — to Barack Obama’s 2008 victory.

    We now know that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction on March 19, 2003, when U.S. troops invaded. This false casus belli alone would have been enough to tarnish the Republican brand. However, the Bush administration compounded that error with its failure to admit the existence of the insurgency, let alone plan for it, and its failure to provide adequate resources — until the troop surge of January 2007.

    Senior administration officials made matters worse with their arrogant statements about the war and the troops’ plight — such as when then-Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz casually dismissed then-Gen. Eric Shinseki’s troop predictions as “wildly off the mark.” Or when Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld glibly told troops scavenging for vehicle armor in Kuwait that “you go to war with the army you have.”

    To those serving in Iraq at the time or preparing to go, like I was, these statements suggested that our Republican leaders cared little about the people they were sending into harm’s way.

  6. rikyrah says:

    Spoons For Sale

    Mar 9 2013 @ 9:14pm

    At the Snuggery in Rochester, New York, clients can pay for non-sexual physical affection. Rose Surnow isn’t surprised to hear “nearly 50 percent of her male clients get boners”:

    Here at the Snuggery, clothes stay on. There are strict boundaries and no genital touch is allowed. “Jacqueline established the Snuggery because she believes in the healing power of touch,” the website for her business explains. “She aims to make the world a gentler place, one snuggle at a time.” As a graduate student in social work, she just sees her latest venture as a different way to help people.

    The clientele that visits the Snuggery is overwhelmingly male, and ranges in age from about 21 to 85. One or two women have come in since the place opened, but “they mostly just wanted to chat” — oh, women — and that’s not really the point. Though touching genitals isn’t allowed, I was surprised to learn that clients are allowed to caress their designated snuggler’s face, hair, and arms. They are also allowed to intertwine legs and play footsie. As long as it doesn’t involve lady parts, it’s basically fair game. It almost seems like men are paying to get blue balls. I had a hard time understanding what, exactly, they’re getting from the experience.

    “A lot of people come in when they’re going through a divorce or breakup,” [owner Jacqueline Samuels] explains. “Because they don’t want to get into another relationship but they miss being touched.”

  7. How the ‘Billie Jean’ video changed MTV

    Way back when, MTV didn’t embrace black pop music. Exactly 30 years ago, that stopped being an option.

    (The Root) — “Billie Jean,” who was not Michael Jackson’s lover, is turning 30 — or at least her video is, and it’s an important anniversary in the evolution of both black music’s visual expression and America’s iconic music network. On March 10, 1983, MTV played “Billie Jean” for the first time and forever changed the course of its music programming in the process.

    “MTV’s playlist was 99 percent white until Michael Jackson forced his way on the air by making the best music videos anyone had ever seen,” Rob Tannenbaum, co-author of I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution, told The Root. “Compared to Michael, MTV staples like REO Speedwagon and Journey suddenly looked even more boring. And when Michael’s videos created higher ratings for MTV, network executives claimed they’d ‘learned a lesson’ and tentatively embraced the softer side of black pop music, especially Lionel Richie.”

  8. rikyrah says:

    Is Jeb Bush running for president?


    The newest parlor game in Washington media and political circles is called: “What’s Jeb Up To?” The sudden rash of TV appearances, the new book, and most notably, the about-face on immigration reform — all raise the irresistible proposition that John Ellis Bush is running for president.

    Jeb has long worn his ambitions on his sleeve. You needn’t have read the Kitty Kelly unauthorized biography of the Bushes to suspect that Jeb is the one who had the real desire to be president — though he was usurped by his less competent, less articulate, more suggestible older brother.

    Of course, the neocons turned George W’s presidency into an Iraq piñata. And his two terms were book-ended by the Supreme Court’s election meddling, a disappearing surplus, “Bin Laden determined to attack inside the United States,” Hurricane Katrina and the biggest financial crash since Hoovervilles. So it would seem all but impossible that a third Bush could have a shot at the White House.

    And yet, a Jeb Bush campaign-in-waiting seems to make perfect sense. The Republican Party veered so far to the right in response to Barack Obama’s emergence they could no longer keep their rape pregnancy theorists and birther kooks quiet. Crazy became so much the currency of the party, the confusion coughed up the worst of all worlds: Willard Mitt Romney.

    Jeb could simply swoop in and save the GOP from itself. He was a popular governor (except among those who oppose education by test, or thought affirmative action was a good idea). He knows how to handle a hurricane (sorry, George.) And he is a Spanish-speaker with a wife born in Mexico and an actual relationship with black and brown people in politics.

    But then, the media and the politicos got distracted by a shiny penny, partly of Jeb’s minting: Marco Rubio. And the obsession with the Cuban-American Ronald Reagan who could somehow save the party with mostly non-Cuban-American Latinos was in full bloom.

    Far be it from Jeb to cede the stage to his junior partner, so out comes his book, Immigration Wars, co-authored with Clint Bolick, a Phoenix-based attorney and supporter of Jeb’s pet cause: channeling federal tax dollars to private schools through vouchers, and pushing “school choice” referenda to benefit charter schools.

  9. rikyrah says:

    Republicans want the sequester
    February 20, 2013

    They have always wanted the sequester. How can I prove it? Easy.

    1. They voted for it. Overwhelmingly. And I’m talking about in the House, where the more ideological wing of the party resides. Look: here’s the House roll call. The entire leadership voted for it. Paul Ryan voted for it. In all, 174 Republicans voted for it versus just 66 who voted no, while the Democrats in the House split 95-95. In the Senate, the vote was 74-26, and the Republicans like Rand Paul and James Imhofe who voted no did so because THE CUTS WERE TOO SMALL…

    2. Their leader in the House, John Boehner, said they wanted it, and he did so contemporaneously, when he thought the politics were different. After the Senate passed its version of it (“it” being the Budget Control Act of 2011) on August 2, 2011 – One Day before the U.S. would have defaulted on our sovereign debt Speaker Boehner said he’d gotten 98 percent of what he wanted in the sequester bill, and he was “pretty happy.”

    Boehner is now trying to walk, no, run, back on that happy, even seeking to pawn the whole sequester thing off on President Obama. Ad of course he’s getting help from unabashedly dishonest righties like the often smart, but also crass and dishonest Erick Erickson and his equally crass and dishonest friends.

    But isn’t what Boehner really hates about the sequester the things he and his GOP friends somehow managed to leave out? You know, the way they got snookered into exempting the things they really want to cut? Byron York explains:


    See that’s the thing. Republicans are mad because the sequester hits military spending hard, but doesn’t touch “entitlements.” But again, they let that happen… by voting for it.

    Which brings me to the third way I know Republicans really want the sequester to happen:

    3. The money and “ideas” wings of their party say they want it.
    More York:

    In addition, Boehner calls the cuts “deep,” when most conservatives emphasize that for the next year they amount to about $85 billion out of a $3,600 billion budget. Which leads to another question: Why would Boehner adopt the Democratic description of the cuts as “deep” when they would touch such a relatively small part of federal spending?

    See, York doesn’t think these cuts are draconian at all. Like Rand Paul, he thinks they’re a drop in a austerity bucket. And he’s not alone.


    Kudlow speaks for the Mitt Romney wing of the GOP – the grandees who pay the bills while tea partiers burble at John McCain’s immigration town halls. He speaks for the Wall Streeters who are the real inventors of the tea party anyway. And he LOVES the sequester.

    There’s one more way to tell that Republicans want the “austerity with less fingerprints” that is the sequester, to happen: they’re not doing much to stop it.

  10. rikyrah says:

    Sunday, March 10, 2013
    Thomas Perez – civil rights champion
    Reports are that President Obama will choose Thomas Perez – who currently heads the DOJ Civil Rights Division – to be his next Secretary of Labor.

    Back in early 2011, I started paying particular attention to the activities of the DOJ. That’s because I saw Attorney General Eric Holder under attack from both the left and right. It seemed to me that most of the Department’s accomplishments were going unnoticed with all the flurry over everything from Fast and Furious to the lack of frog-marches by bank executives.

    As I kept an eye out for those accomplishments, I noted that almost all of them had to do with the work of Thomas Perez and the Civil Rights Division. So I’d like to summarize what this man has accomplished in less than 4 years.

    Its important to keep in mind the havoc in the Civil Rights Division that was the legacy left by the Bush administration. Here’s a bit of that story from 2006:

    The Bush administration is quietly remaking the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, filling the permanent ranks with lawyers who have strong conservative credentials but little experience in civil rights, according to job application materials obtained by the Globe.

    Perez’ first order of business was to get qualified people hired in the Division. And boy…did he accomplish that! If you want to take a look at the results – check this out.

    Pretty quickly, the Civil Rights Division took over prosecution of the New Orleans police officer shootings/cover-up in the aftermath of Katrina. That led to an overall investigation of police brutality in the department and consent decree about the changes that were necessary. In subsequent years, the Civil Rights Division has investigated 17 police and sheriff’s departments for police brutality – the most in the Division’s 54 year history.

    Speaking of sheriffs, it was Perez who brought suit against the infamous Joe Arpaio after he refused to cooperate with an investigation of racial profiling.

    Perez has also gone after banks for reverse redlining and when foreclosure fraud involved the targeting of African Americans and Latinos.

    In something that I am particularly passionate about, it was Perez’ Civil Rights Division that sued Meridian, Mississippi for perhaps the first-of-its-kind civil rights violation known as the school to prison pipeline.

    Finally, it was the Civil Rights Division that sued the states of Texas and South Carolina for their voter ID laws.

    Overall I’d say that’s a pretty astounding record for 4 years. There is a part of me that will be sad to see Perez leave DOJ’s Civil Rights Division. But I’m sure he’ll be replaced by someone equally as committed and this nomination is GREAT news for labor. Perez’ last position was as Secretary of Maryland’s Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. Take a look at what his bio says about that job.

  11. rikyrah says:

    Rand Paul Progressives and the Poutrage Over Obama’s Executive Powers
    Thursday, March 07, 2013 | Posted by Spandan C at 9:42 AM

    When Attorney General Eric Holder responded to Sen. Rand Paul’s question about whether the president had the power to direct the military to use lethal force on American soil, he called Paul’s question “entirely hypothetical” and pointed out that the US government neither has used nor plans to use such lethal force on US soil. But of course, Holder’s response caused a total freakout among the Rand Paul Progressives simply because Holder contemplated hypothetical emergencies in which it may be necessary for the president to order the military to use lethal force against an American on US soil, such as Pearl Harbor and 9/11.

    It is possible, I suppose, to imagine an extraordinary circumstance in which it would be necessary and appropriate under the Constitution and applicable laws of the United States for the President to authorize the military to use lethal force within the territory of the United States. For example, the President could conceivably have no choice but to authorize the military to use such force if necessary to protect the homeland in circumstances of a catastrophic attack like the ones suffered on December 7, 1941 and September 11, 2001.

    Oh. My. God. Set your hair on fire! The administration thinks that the president can kill American citizens on American soil!!! He’s a dictator! Everybody freak out and like, totally have a cow over how Obama is making Bush look like a civil libertarian. Run up and down hallway and stomp your feet and draw some blood from the black dude in the White House.

    If you are currently engaged in one of the above-mentioned activities, I can’t help you. But if you are a dweller of reality, I would like to speak to you. Many liberals have correctly critiqued the Bush administration for its abject security failure on September 11, 2001. They have wondered how it was that aircrafts were allowed to veer off their scheduled flight plans without being pursued by NORAD in what is supposed to be the most secure airspace in the world. So what would these same liberals have a US military aircraft do, if one or more did pursue one of the flights on 9/11? Ultimately, if they weren’t successful in getting the planes to change course and they were headed to the Pentagon and the Twin Towers and the White House, what do liberals believe would have been an appropriate action of the military?

  12. rikyrah says:

    Meanwhile, In A Macon, Ga. Underground Bunker …
    DateFriday, March 8, 2013 at 7:00AM

    Macon, Ga. secret home of underground organization “The Secret Council of American Negroes.” (Photo via Wikipedia)

    SETTING: The underground office of the mysterious HNIC, the enigmatic leader of legendary, underground pro-black organization, The Secret Council of American Negroes, aka “SCAN.” Founded by Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman in 1865, SCAN is a secret organization that is actually behind ever black advancement in the history of America. Voting Rights Act of 1964? That was SCAN. Michael Jackson? SCAN engineered him in their research labs. Black man in space? SCAN. Oprah? SCAN. The Jolie-Pitts moving to New Orleans to build houses after Katrina? We got a kid on that. Operation Real David Palmer, aka “The Election of Barack Obama.” Who do you think? Halle Berry’s Oscar for “Monster’s Ball.” C’mon. She’s not that good. SCAN, baby. SCAN. We’re everywhere. We’re the organization your white friends keep asking about. We set the standard. Expect us, baby. EXPECT US.

    Right after we wake up from this nap …

    * * *

    Somewhere in an underground bunker in SCAN’s Macon, Ga. headquarters …

    [Recording starts]

    [Snoring in background … a knock at the door, a door opening and then footsteps.]

    No. #1: HNIC? HNIC?

    HNIC: Wah? What?

    No. #1: We need a new master plan.

    HNIC: What’s that now?

    No. #1: I said, we need a new master plan.

    HNIC: Oh. Huh. Yes. Yes, we do. We do …

    [Music begins to play]

    In 2008, the Secret Council of American Negroes achieved its highest goal, an agent in the White House when SCAN Special Agent Michelle Obama helped get her husband, Barack, elected to the highest office in the land – President of the United States. It was a great achievement. Afterwards SCAN took was historians will one day call, “The Great CP Time.” Yes, the HNIC, the agents, the foot soldiers, the heroes took some much deserved time off to relax, take a chill pill and have some fun. Brother Al got himself a TV show and we finally let him join as an official member. Secret Double Agent Mittens took a dive in the most recent presidential election to ensure SCAN’s primary directive would go undisturbed. Even the greatest agent to ever rock a onesie, Sallie Selassie, grew out of her onesie and took time off to help the Aniston find a man and finally stop sending drones to attack her homefront.

    But CP Time is over and SCAN needs a new plan. What will it be?

    President Special Agent Michelle Obama? Operation Hollyhood: Taking Over Hollywood to Work for SCAN? Get Boehner: The SCAN Plan to Weaken Crappy Congress Critters By Recruiting Them? SCAN International: Fighting Battles Overseas So We Don’t Have to Fight Them At Home? Or SCAN Homefront: Infiltrating Historic Black Organizations and Secretly Fixing Them While Their Boards Are Sleeping? Black President, the Sequel: The Road to 2016?

    Aw, shit.

    Let’s do ‘em, all!

  13. rikyrah says:

    On politics by temper tantrum
    Friday, March 08, 2013 | Posted by Liberal Librarian at 11:40 AM


    This week we were treated to something I don’t recall seeing in my political lifetime: an actual, honest to goodness talking filibuster.

    Senator Rand Paul, who never met a vaginal probe he didn’t like, suddenly was up in arms over Americans’ civil liberties. The Obama Administration’s legal finding that under extraordinary circumstances a president had the authority to use weaponized drones within the borders of the US inflamed Senator Paul to fantasize of missiles flying into Jane Fonda’s window. (An event which, I’m sure, Mr. Paul would not mind.) He carried out his talking filibuster for 13 hours, upon which when assured by Attorney General Eric Holder that no, the President didn’t have the authority to randomly kill people from the air without an imminent threat to the nation, he ended his opportunistic stunt principled stand, and allowed a vote on approving the new CIA director.

    Rand Paul’s filibuster provided an object lesson in politics by tantrum. More than a few on the “left” were taken in by his “principled stand” on drones. Many on the “right”, who would be fine with drones shooting at people all over blue states if Mitt Romney were president, cheered him on for striking yet again at the Kenyan usurper.

    The loudest voices in our political culture believe that throwing tantrums is the way to move the ball down the field. The loudest on the left have decided that Obama is even worse than George W. Bush, as he purports to be “liberal”, but is not in fact so—at least not according to their definition of “liberal”. The loudest on the right, after losing consistently to Obama and his allies, rail that more purity is needed. The country is ready to accept a reactionary rightist, just as long as the GOP doesn’t dilute the message.

    This cacophony is magnified by the news media. There was a time when network news operations were run as a public trust. They were shielded from having to make money for their networks. With the advent of cable news and media consolidation, that’s no longer true. The yelling classes bring in ratings, so their screams are broadcast by the national media.

    Now, post-Rand Paul (who admitted on CNN that he was, in fact, for the drone program, thus trolling his new-found leftist supporters), the latest irruption on the Left, via Ed Schultz, is that Obama will gut social programs, as proven by his dinner with GOP senators. On the right, the civil war progresses, as its luminaries lambasted McCain and Graham for eviscerating Paul’s filibuster stunt.

    Again, Obama proves that governing by strategy is far more effective than governing by tantrum.

    By meeting with select senators—ones with whom agreement can be reached on resolving the country’s fiscal dilemma—he is quite simply dividing and conquering. Even if no workable solutions are agreed, the fact that any Republican would meet amicably with the President sows more discord in the caucus. If he in fact manages to split GOP senators and representatives for a “common sense caucus”, the GOP will descend into fratricidal warfare. And any “sane caucus” will be operating based on Obama’s priorities.

    This politics by temper tantrum has been building for decades, and has reached a crescendo under Obama. When Ronald Reagan fully embraced the “Southern strategy”, and brought the Religious Right into the GOP tent, the new blood’s ire fueled Republican politics, and set the tone for national politics for decades. Some on the left, given to yelling as a strategy, saw the success of the Right and thought that emulating its tactics would likewise bring it to power.

    Obama doesn’t operate in that manner, and it infuriates his foes both on the left and right. They can’t drag him into the mud with them. No, he’s not Mr. Spock, absolutely cold and logical. But he knows that passion has to be tied to an effective strategy for it to be effective. Passion has to be the engine, not the driver. Someone has to be in control, channeling all that pent up power so that it doesn’t blow up uncontrollably. Both the extreme right and left are spinning wildly, and can’t understand why no one listens to them.

    Is there an easy solution to this political peevishness? Of course not, because politics are based on human frailties. But when self-described liberals join conservatives in ending their tweets with #standwithrand, I wonder if they also stand with him in voting against VAWA, wanting to gut the VRA, and being in favor of stand your ground laws? And now that he’s admitted to being, in general, in favor of the drone program, do they still stand with him?

    If the liberal era which Obama is trying to midwife is not to be stillborn, those who screech loudest on the left have to embrace the fact that progress is not smooth and straight. And adding your name in support of a reactionary like Rand Paul because for 13 hours he assumed the mantle of one of the extreme left’s pet peeves (except that he didn’t believe a word of it) is not a way to further goals you claim to support.

    The Right is imploding, and it’s a delight to see. Let’s not have the same happen on the Left.

  14. rikyrah says:

    Being Loudly Wrong to Get Attention

    by BooMan
    Sun Mar 10th, 2013 at 10:31:19 AM EST
    Last week, we were blessed with two solid examples of how the right-wing brain works. In the first, which garnered the most attention, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky spoke for thirteen hours on the Senate floor about a totally tangential issue. After having been assured that the president did not have the authority to launch missiles at U.S. citizens on U.S. soil, he complained about how difficult it was to get the administration to offer the assurance. Many longtime critics of the government’s drone program were happy to have some support from the Republican side of the aisle, but Senator Paul was focused on the wrong issue. The concern is, and had been, about U.S. citizens abroad, and about the effectiveness, morality and implications of the drone program in general.

    The other example occurred on the Fox News program The O’Reilly Factor, when host Bill O’Reilly exploded in rage at his guest Alan Colmes, calling him a liar. He has since offered a halfhearted apology. The confrontation began when O’Reilly falsely accused the Obama administration of failing to offer cuts to specific programs as a way to entice the Republicans to make a budget deal. When Colmes pointed out that the administration had offered cuts to both Social Security and Medicare, O’Reilly said, “Not entitlements, one program!”

    O’Reilly was confused. We do indeed have things we call “government programs.” The school lunch program is one example. But Medicare and Social Security are also government programs. They are, in fact, very big government programs. This fact is so undeniable that O’Reilly was compelled to apologize, but, in doing so, he rationalized his performance.

  15. rikyrah says:

    While Boehner Takes Millions in Illegal Donations, Republicans Accuse Obama of Selling Access

    By: Jason Easley
    Mar. 8th, 2013

    This has not been a good week for Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), but you wouldn’t know it from the lack of media coverage. Earlier this week, an FEC complaint was filed against the Boehner connected super PAC, the Congressional Leadership Fund by Public Citizen and others for taking $2.5 million in illegal campaign contributions.

    Then came from former Rep. Bob Ney’s (R-OH) new book. The congressman who did time in prison for his role in the Abramoff scandal, confirmed what has long been known about Boehner. The National Journal reported Ney’s very unflattering characterization of the Speaker, ‘Boehner “spent almost all of his time on fundraising, not policy.’ He ‘golfed, drank constantly, and took the easy way legislatively.’ Ney recalled Boehner handing out checks on the House floor and said his ties with a tobacco company were so tight that lawmakers could get free cigarettes from Boehner’s office. His golfing, Ney said, was ‘nonstop’ and ‘paid for by lobbyists.’ Ney wrote: ‘If the Justice Department were ever to make John produce receipts for his addiction to golf just for the years from 1995 to 2004, he would be hard-pressed to comply. John got away with more than any other Member on the Hill.’”

    The complaint and the book paint a picture of a politician that deserves to be investigated by the media, but instead the our hapless corporate media has chosen to focus on the Republican Party’s claim that President Obama is selling access to the White House through the grassroots group Organizing For Action.

    Here is Charlie Rose and Norah O’Donnell asking OFA’s Jim Messina questions that were completely based on Republican allegations:

    After Messina assured Rose that there would be no White House access for donors to OFA, the interview reached the height of absurdity when O’Donnell asked, “Isn’t this exactly a double standard? I mean, you ran a whole campaign about Mitt Romney’s secrecy and access to special interests, and now you’ve got people who can contribute unlimited amounts of money, and the president’s going to go talk to them.”

    The problem with this is that O’Donnell’s claims of secrecy and a double standard were undone by a graphic shown during the exact same interview.

  16. rikyrah says:

    It Turns Out Rand Paul’s Filibuster Was a Pre-Planned Scam for Cash

    By: Jason Easley
    Mar. 8th, 2013

    It turns out Rand Paul’s filibuster was big scam. Sen. Paul has wasted little time implementing the second part of his planned filibuster. He is now trying to cash in with a fundraising letter.

    The true story behind Rand Paul’s filibuster is starting to come out. According to the National Journal, Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans knew the filibuster was coming, “But the day wasn’t entirely unplanned. Paul, often accused of being a lone wolf on Capitol Hill, had laid some of the groundwork to win over the GOP establishment. McConnell and Co. knew the filibuster was coming, even if they did not know when precisely or what exactly it would look like.”

    This fact contradicts the myth that Paul floated that he decided to come to the Senate floor and start speaking. Sen. Paul has been suggesting that everybody just showed up, “We probably had 15 congressmen come over to the Senate floor,” he said this morning in a radio interview with Glenn Beck. Paul pointed out that House members are allowed to come to the Senate floor but are barred from speaking or coming forward, so they were presumably there just to lend support with their presence. “I’ve never seen that happen before. And they came spontaneously. Nobody called them. They just showed up.”

  17. rikyrah says:

    The Koch Brothers Are Spending Millions to Deny Poor Americans Healthcare

    By: Rmuse
    Mar. 8th, 2013

    One should be wary of assigning the word evil to another human being because it means they are profoundly immoral and guilty of not conforming to conduct established as consistent with principles of personal and social ethics. Evil, or immoral, people would likely cause pain, suffering, and even death to another human being for pleasure, or withhold assistance to a person in distress regardless it would be of no consequence or cost to them. Unfortunately, America is home to two of the most evil men on the planet. It is difficult to imagine any American spending their money to deny medical care to an infirm American they have no connection to or personal hatred for, but Charles and David Koch are spending money to deny poor Americans healthcare for no readily apparent reason except the Kochs are genuinely evil, immoral men devoid of personal or social ethics.


    Regardless there is no cost to Arizona until at least 2017, and no cost to Charles and David Koch ever, they instructed their front group, Americans for Prosperity, to organize a campaign to oppose Brewer’s attempt at Medicaid expansion. Apparently, the Kochs are not amused when their Republican surrogates oppose their agenda, and especially when they have spent millions to eliminate the ACA and defeat its main proponent, President Obama. The Kochs’ front group Americans for Prosperity organized a campaign to enlist Arizona citizens to fight against their own self-interests to defeat Medicaid expansion, which is also underway in Pennsylvania and Florida courtesy of Americans for Prosperity. In Pennsylvania, for example, AFP intends to deny 542,000 uninsured and poor residents health care coverage, and in Florida, AFP convinced a Republican subcommittee to block Governor Rick Scott’s decision to expand Medicaid leaving Scott with a decision to either obey the Koch brothers, or provide poor Floridians with healthcare using his veto power.

    Americans for Prosperity supplied Arizona residents with a typical screed decrying the benefits of providing healthcare to the poor such as “Governor Brewer and powerful lobbyists are pushing Arizona to impose statewide taxes to fund an expansion of Medicaid (AHCCCS) under ObamaCare. It is vitally important for Arizona to stop the proposed Medicaid expansion, because the human and fiscal costs of that expansion would be enormous;” the cost to Arizona is zero for three years and only 10% after 2020. The letter also cited the human costs they claim will “railroad at least 250,000 Arizonans into a low-quality, government-managed health insurance system. Medicaid patients not only have worse medical outcomes than patients with private insurance, but often have worse medical outcomes than low-income persons without insurance.” So, according to Americans for Prosperity, a poor person with no healthcare insurance has better outcomes than patients with medical coverage, and Arizonans who can afford private healthcare insurance will be “railroaded” into Medicaid coverage? These are the same scare tactics opponents of the Affordable Care Act have parroted since 2009, and they are as illogical and false in 2013, as they were nearly four years ago.

    A prescient question is; what benefit do the Koch brothers get from preventing Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Florida (among others) from participating in the Medicaid expansion program? Poor people cannot afford private healthcare insurance, so the insurance industry is not losing potential policy holders, and people with private coverage will not qualify for Medicaid coverage so they will not abandon their private policies for no coverage. With no apparent profit motive, it is possible the Kochs are nervous that another government program like Social Security and Medicare will be popular with the people making their “government is a failure” propaganda hard to sell to voters, but it is most likely the Koch brothers are just sheer evil; and greedy. The Koch philosophy is that if government spends any money at all, it should be to enrich the wealthy whether it is in the form of tax breaks for the one-percent, or direct payments to Koch Industries.

  18. rikyrah says:

    Mayor Dave Bing Says Detroit May as Well Get Used to Being Screwed

    By: Black Liberal Boomer
    Mar. 8th, 2013

    So although Detroit Mayor Dave Bing has said he doesn’t necessarily, not quite, well not really all the way sorta wholeheartedly believe (is it OK to say believe?) that the idea of an Emergency Manager is a good thing for Detroit, the Democracy Thief in Chief, Gov. Rick Snyder, has indicated this is what he wants to do (screw us until we bleed) so, well, gee fellas. Might as well roll over/bend over because rape doesn’t hurt as much when you smile.

    Specifically, Bing said in the Mar. 6 edition of the Detroit Free Press that “It’s time to stop BS-ing ourselves” and cooperate with the state to move the city forward.

    So for that bold leadership, Mayor Bing, Detroit wishes to thank you so much. Because, after all, what sense does it make to stand up for what’s right (as in protecting the vote of the citizens who used that vote to elect you to office and vigorously represent their best interests at times like this) if the other guy is bigger than you? When has that ever accomplished anything?

    When in doubt, and your opponent appears threatening, spread those cheeks and smile until it hurts.

    Not quite willing to accept that course of action, a majority of Detroit City Council members have decided to move forward and challenge Snyder’s actions without Bing and without his blessings. Council President Pro Tem Gary Brown says he will also not challenge Snyder’s decision because a challenge without Bing is worthless, but other council members seem to feel that, well, maybe it’s Bing that’s kinda worthless at this point.

    Stay tuned. It ain’t over ’til it’s over.

  19. rikyrah says:

    Senate Republicans Plan to Shut Down the Government Unless Obamacare is Defunded

    By: Rmuse
    Mar. 9th, 2013

    In the recording industry it is fairly common knowledge that regardless which artist, producer, arranger or record label puts out a bad song, it
    was destined to fail because it was a bad idea. A highly-regarded, big-name artist can re-record the song, use a different arrangement, and record label, but they will not have any more success than the original artist because the song itself was a bad idea. In 2008, then-Senator Barack Obama likened John McCain’s alleged “change” to the same failed Bush-Republican ideas and said “You can put lipstick on a pig. It’s still a pig,” and the same principle applies to Republicans today who claim they are a changed party after their defeat in November, but are still adhering to the same bad ideas and strategies with enhancements that make them worse.

    For four years, Republicans obstructed and attempted to block every effort by the Obama Administration and Democrats to jumpstart the economy, and held recovery hostage to achieve more tax cuts for the rich, eviscerate the public sector workforce, and slash spending to keep the private sector in a perpetual hiring slump. However, President Obama and Democrats foiled Republican’s strategy with the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (stimulus) and payroll tax reduction that bore fruit the economy is still benefitting from. Republicans began the 113th Congress with the same agenda and tactics they used throughout the last session, and their goal is the same; halt recovery, kill jobs, and resort to hostage taking to fulfill their anti-government austerity mission as the economy is improving.

    The GOP message coming out of their post-election defeat was a friendlier group not beholden to the richest one-percent of income earners, and strong advocates for the middle class, but regardless cosmetic changes, they are the same Republicans. Thus far, instead of growing the economy and creating jobs, John Boehner pledged the GOP’s primary mission in 2013 is ending abortion, Senate Republicans plan to withhold funding to keep the government running as hostage for a ransom of defunding the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare), and House Republicans for ending the contraception coverage mandate to satisfy religious extremists promoting theocracy. Paul Ryan is expected to reveal a House budget proposal that gives the wealthy tax cuts, privatizes Medicare, and enacts severe austerity measures to impact hiring and create deeper poverty among already struggling Americans. Last week, Republicans celebrated the Koch brothers’ sequestration cuts that guarantee to slow growth, kill jobs, and take food out of the mouths of children, seniors, and the working poor that repeats the entire agenda of the 112th Republican Congress.

    There was good news yesterday when the government reported that unemployment fell to a four-year low of 7.7% with better-than-expected gains in the private sector courtesy of the President’s stimulus, payroll tax reduction, and low tax rates for businesses that Republicans opposed because they knew consumer’s having additional money to spend would spur private sector hiring and create new jobs. The report also put to rest the absurd Republican notion that the only way to create jobs was through deep spending cuts that takes money out of the economy. However, the good news was tempered with a warning that the improved jobs numbers would be short-lived because the Republican sequester cuts will impact hiring and kill anywhere from 400,000 to one million jobs later in the year as a result of the abridged first year of sequestration. The next nine years of sequester cuts will increase by approximately 20% and have a profound effect on jobs and economic growth.

    Economists expect the sequestration’s effects to begin in the April jobs report as businesses will be discouraged from hiring in expectation of reduced consumer spending, and warn that the full effects of reduced hiring will be manifest later in the year once austerity cuts have had time to contract economic growth, but Republicans were well aware that enacting austerity during a tepid recovery would kill jobs and retard growth.

    The report was good news for the private sector, but public jobs are still decreasing as Republicans have cut federal and state government middle class jobs that drive real economic prosperity and growth. In fact, if public sector jobs like teachers, law enforcement, and federal employees were maintained at the same levels as at the end of 2008, last month’s jobless rate would be 7.2 percent. The public sector workforce has been ravaged over the past four years, and last month 10,000 more jobs were eliminated as spending declined in the never-ending debt and deficit reduction crusade to cut the government.

    In the Senate, teabagger hero Ted Cruz promised to shut down the government unless the Affordable Care Act is defunded, and Republican savior Marco Rubio concurred with Cruz that unless the health law is eliminated by defunding, he too will vote against any continuing resolution to keep the government running. House Republicans have their own ransom to keep the government operational to satisfy evangelicals desperate to end contraception coverage in conjunction with Paul Ryan’s Sanctity for Human Life Act that grants personhood to a single-celled organism. It is the same Republican agenda that Americans suffered through for the past two years and it is predicated on wasting time on issues unrelated to growing the economy and creating jobs, and shutting down the government unless the healthcare law and contraception are eliminated.

  20. rikyrah says:

    Bill Maher: If Seeing Michelle Obama on TV Fills You With Rage, Get Help

    By: Jason Easley
    Mar. 9th, 2013

    Bill Maher used the frothing with anger of the right at the very sight of Michelle Obama to tell people who have to politicize everything to get help.

    Here is the video:

    Maher said,

    If seeing this nice lady on TV saying she likes the movies, or nutrition, or exercise fills you with rage, get help. The appropriate response to seeing Michelle Obama on TV isn’t who does she think she is? Being on TV is for people who have done something with their lives like ice road truckers, the Amish mafia, or swamp people. You think because your husband is the leader of the free world it makes you all that? Come back when he run a pawn shop.

    But look, I’m not here to talk about the First Lady. I’m trying to get to a bigger point, and that is, since when does everything in America have to be political? It’s exhausting. Eating a corn dog used to just be a guilty pleasure. Now it is a blow for freedom against the radical Obama nutrition agenda. I will exercise my God given right to pump our children full of salt and corn syrup until we can’t even tell which part to put the sneakers on. Not everything has to be seen through the lens of politics. If you hate Obamacare, you eat at Papa Johns. If you hate gay marriage, you love Chick-Fil-A. Big portions, conservative. Knowing where your food comes from, liberal. It’s exhausting.

  21. rikyrah says:

    The GOP’s Multi-Pronged War On Women Meets International Women’s Day

    By: Adalia Woodbury
    Mar. 9th, 2013

    March 8th was International Women’s Day – which is about recognizing and celebrating the advances women have made to be full members of society. Most notably this year, we can celebrate the official recognition of the right to serve on the front lines has finally come. We can celebrate that we’re getting closer to earning equal pay for doing the same work as our male counterparts.

    If it seems like the list of things to celebrate is short, it’s because the steps backward are far greater. Our representation in positions of leadership is just one indicator of the many glass ceilings that have yet to be broken. The list of states in which womens’ access to abortions are either difficult or non-existent is growing. The list of laws that seek to reduce women to reproductive mechanisms controlled by the state is also growing.

    We can’t overlook the GOPs’ multi-pronged war on women that not only seeks to place our rights as persons under the constitution below that of corporations and zygotes; but also seeks to increase poverty among women. We saw it in the GOP’s sequester, and we’re seeing more of the same in the “negotiations” to avoid another government shutdown.

    Terry O’Neil, President of NOW put the situation succinctly in a statement :

    “In both the U.S. and many European countries, women make up the majority of employees in the public sector, and women also rely disproportionately on social service programs. Cuts to government spending invariably target these areas for a number of shameful reasons. First and foremost, women, people of color, people with disabilities and all of those struggling to get by are underrepresented in the halls of power and therefore easy scapegoats. Second, the proponents of such cuts are often beholden to big business, the wealthy and the military industrial complex, so those money-hoarders are off the hook. And third, shredding the safety net is already at the top of these guys’ agenda, so they’re only too happy to use government debt as an excuse to slash even deeper.”

  22. rikyrah says:

    Jeb Covers Up The Family Legacy of Economic Destruction With a Bushel of Obama Lies

    By: Jason EasleyMar. 10th, 2013

    On ABC’s This Week, Jeb Bush lied about Obama’s record on the debt to cover up his family history of destroying the American economy.

    Here is the video

    When asked about the debt, former Gov. Bush said that Obama has not been serious about deficit reduction,

    I haven’t seen the seriousness of the president’s efforts. I’d love to see a specific plan that really did reform- bend the cost curve for Medicare and the entitlement system. I haven’t seen it, so if there is through these talks, some kind of consensus that emerged, I don’t think you should say, ‘no, no, no’ about anything.’

    Frankly, there was already been one of the largest tax increases in American history a month ago. And frankly, we ought to be focused on sustained economic growth, which grows more revenue for people and for government than any tax increase that’s been suggested, so there are a lot of things that could be done to create a real grand bargain. And let the process work. I’m hopeful that the president’s sincere about this.

    Jeb Bush was completely lying about both Obama’s seriousness about reducing the national debt, and the drivers of our debt. It is stunning that Bush would so openly try to fool the American people into forgetting his brother’s role in creating our current debt problem. Bush repeated the Great Republican Lie that entitlement spending is responsible for the debt. (Bush also ignored the fact that President Obama has put entitlement reform on the table numerous times during his presidency.)

    If you look at the impact of the policies of George W. Bush and Barack Obama, it becomes clear who was/is not taking the debt seriously. President Obama’s policies will only add $983 billion to the debt over the course of his eight years in office, while George W. Bush’s policies added $5.1 trillion to the debt during his presidency.

    The other debt on Obama’s record was caused by the collapse of the economy, and we all know who is responsible for The Great Recession:

  23. rikyrah says:

    Black women running race for their lives
    Sunday, 10 March 2013 02:

    Fitness treks salute freedom fighter Harriet Tubman

    PHILADELPHIA – Harriet Tubman led hundreds to freedom during the height of slavery and contemporary black women hope her inspiration will lead tens of thousands to physical freedom of another sort, starting this Sunday.

    With obesity and its related ailments – from hypertension to diabetes – striking black women at alarming rates, an organic movement to reclaim health and heritage arose in time to honor the 100th anniversary of Tubman’s death.

    It’s all part of a national “moving tribute” to a woman who exemplified more than bravery and grace under fire, but also strength and fortitude.

    In her honor, black women will be swapping out their Sunday best for sweats and sneaks and hitting asphalt, treadmills or park grounds to participate in a themed Tubman walk, in this city and others like it, be it Wilmington or Baltimore, Charlotte or Detroit, Dallas or Oakland.

    With organizations like Girl Trek and Black Girls RUN! in the mix, the array of events range from organized walk-run festivities to organic clusters of fellow walkers to simple solitary commitments to walk for 100 minutes on Sunday.

    To keep it accessible, many are free.

    “Harriet Tubman found it so important to go back and save others,” said Vanessa Garrison, co-founder of Girl Trek. “She is the perfect analogy for where we are for health. It’s one thing for me to walk and cerate health and wellness in my life.

  24. Ametia says:

    MUST READ- Looking out for a VIDEO~

    Remarks by the President at the Gridiron Dinner
    Washington Renaissance Hotel
    Washington, DC

    10:03 P.M. EST

    THE PRESIDENT: Before I begin, I know some of you have noticed that I’m dressed a little differently from the other gentlemen. Because of sequester, they cut my tails. (Laughter.) My joke writers have been placed on furlough. (Laughter.) I know a lot of you reported that no one will feel any immediate impact because of the sequester. Well, you’re about to find out how wrong you are. (Laughter.)

    Of course, there’s one thing in Washington that didn’t get cut — the length of this dinner. (Laughter.) Yet more proof that the sequester makes no sense. (Laughter.)

    As you know, I last attended the Gridiron dinner two years ago. Back then, I addressed a number of topics — a dysfunctional Congress, a looming budget crisis, complaints that I don’t spend enough time with the press. It’s funny, it seems like it was just yesterday. (Laughter.)

    We noticed that some folks couldn’t make it this evening. It’s been noted that Bob Woodward sends his regrets, which Gene Sperling predicted. (Laughter.) I have to admit this whole brouhaha had me a little surprised. Who knew Gene could be so intimidating? (Laughter.) Or let me phrase it differently — who knew anybody named Gene could be this intimidating? (Laughter.)

    More here

    • Ametia says:

      Bwa ha ha ha

      “I also want to recognize David Corn. He’s here from Mother Jones magazine. He brought his iPhone. So Bobby Jindal, if you thought your remarks were off the record, ask Mitt Romney about that.” (Applause.)

      • Ametia says:

        PBO: “Now I’m sure that you’ve noticed that there’s somebody very special in my life who is missing tonight, somebody who has always got my back, stands with me no matter what and gives me hope no matter how dark things seem. So tonight, I want to publicly thank my rock, my foundation — thank you, Nate Silver.” (Laughter.)

  25. rikyrah says:

    Could blacks shift the N.J. vote again in November?
    By Sherrie Preische and Mark Matzen

    …The highly publicized take-away from several recent New Jersey polls is that Gov. Chris Christie has “sky-high” approvals. And indeed the Quinnipiac University poll Feb. 20 showed white voters say they will favor the governor in a head-to-head match, 72 percent to 17 percent for Sen. Barbara Buono (D-Middlesex), the presumptive Democratic candidate. But when black voters are asked, they give the governor 24 percent to 50 percent for Buono. Numbers are not reported for other minority voters.

    That’s quite a difference. But let’s take a closer look at these polls. All three of the recent polls, including Eagleton (Rutgers University) and Monmouth University, say that when reporting their combined results for all New Jerseyans, they are assuming black voters represent 12 percent of all New Jersey voters. African-American turnout, however, has not been that low since 2006.

    But these polls are geared to primarily report an average response of all New Jerseyans, so they don’t end up talking to very many African-American voters or other minority voters. They are not getting an accurate picture of what these voters think. Quinnipiac is the only one to report margins of error for minority responses. They report a 10.45 percent error for black voters and a 12.16 percent error for Hispanic voters. (That means the 24 percent vote that black voters might give the governor in the poll could actually be 14 percent or 34 percent.)

    In 2012, one-third of all New Jersey voters were minorities, yet our polls are not very accurately reporting their opinions. Mainstream pollsters regularly report having more difficulty polling these populations for a variety of reasons, including high cell-phone-only use and language barriers. The best way to address this would be to use specialists to do minority-only polling where pollsters can talk with more voters and get a more accurate response.

  26. Ametia says:

    GOP Meltdown: Paul Ryan Doubles Down On His Losing Southern Strategy
    Mar 10, 2013 4:45 AM EDT

    Paul Ryan’s mistaken plan to cut benefits for older Americans will alienate one of the last groups that’s stayed loyal to his party, writes Lloyd Green.

    Yet some things don’t change. As the sputtering economy tries to get into gear, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan keeps talking about depriving hard working-taxpaying Americans of their retirement benefits, while offering nothing in return. This is the strategy that failed Mitt Romney and Ryan in November, and that alienates not just senior citizens, but voters over 45 — one of the few groups that’s so far remained reliably right-leaning as Asians, Hispanics, upscale Episcopalians, graduate degree holders and others have abandoned the shrinking GOP tent.

  27. Ametia says:


    Think Porgress-Igor Volsky

    Iowa state Rep. Pat Grassley (R) — the grandson of Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) — introduced a bill earlier this week that increases the amount of instruction in government and “the tenets of American citizenship” in the state’s high school social studies curriculum, but specifically eliminates “the high school social studies requirement to teach voting procedures.”

    Under the measure, public high school students in Iowa would learn about “national, state, county, and local governments” without receiving instruction in voting procedures or methods:

    This bill increases the amount of instruction in government required as part of the state’s high school social studies curriculum from one-half unit to one unit. The bill adds instruction in the federal system of government; the overlapping features and responsibilities of the national, state, county, and local governments; and the tenets of American citizenship to the subjects required in the instruction in government. The bill adds the principles of American citizenship to the required subjects for assessment as part of the instruction in government.

    The bill strikes requirements that high school students receive instruction in voting statutes and procedures, voter registration requirements, the use of paper ballots and voting systems in the election process, and the method of acquiring and casting an absentee ballot.

    As Progress Iowa’s Matt Sinovic put it, “If [Grassley] doesn’t think voting is a principle of American citizenship, then what is? Nothing is more fundamental to being American or Iowan than exercising our right to vote.” The organization has launched a petition against the measure.

  28. Ametia says:


    Paul Ryan ‘Never Really Had A Conversation’ With Obama Until Last Week

    Paul Ryan expressed a positive outcome on Fox News Sunday about his conversation with President Barack Obama last week.


  29. Ametia says:

    Don’t get it twisted, folks. PBO’s not kissing any one’s ass.

  30. Ametia says:

    MoS Diary: Adele lands her biggest ever gig at Michelle Obama’s 50th birthday party
    By Charlotte Griffiths

    Having picked up an Oscar, Adele might have thought her incredible US adventure couldn’t get much better.

    But now I can reveal the Skyfall singer has landed the biggest gig of next year – singing for Michelle Obama during her 50th birthday party at the White House.
    The 24-year-old star will join Beyonce at the bash on January 17 – proof she has been given the ultimate seal of approval in the US.

    America’s First Lady will be holding a huge celebrity-packed party for her birthday at the White House next year and, as she adores Adele and Beyonce, she has asked them both to sing,’ says a source.

    Read more:
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

    Read more:
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

  31. ThinkProgress‏@thinkprogress

    On Sunday talk shows, Jeb Bush reaffirms that he is both for and against a path to citizenship

  32. Paul Ryan: Obama And I ‘Never Really Had A Conversation’ Until Last Week

    WASHINGTON — Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) said Sunday that he’s “never really had a conversation” with President Barack Obama until last week, when the president invited him to lunch.

    During an appearance on “Fox News Sunday,” Ryan said he has appreciated Obama’s recent charm offensive toward Republicans, though only time will tell whether it’s sincere. After all, he said, his meeting with Obama and Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) last Thursday was the first time the two have ever really talked.

    “This is the first time I ever had a conversation with the president lasting more than, say, two minutes, or televised exchanges,” Ryan said of the lunch, where fiscal matters were a central topic. “I never really had a conversation with him on these issues before. I am excited that we had the conversation.”

  33. Good morning, everyone!

    Romans 15:4

    For whatever was written was given to us for our learning, that through patience and comfort of the scriptures we might have hope.

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