Serendipity SOUL | Friday Open Thread | Neo SOUL Week!

Happy FRY-day, folks! Hope you’re enjoying this week’s musical guests. Today we’re featuring Erykah Badu.

erykahbadu

EB-images (2)

EB2-images (2)

Wiki: Erica Abi Wright (born February 26, 1971),[1] better known by her stage name Erykah Badu /ˈɛrɨkə bɑːˈduː/, is a Grammy Award-winning American singer-songwriter, record producer, activist and actress. Her work includes elements from R&B, hip hop and jazz.[1] She is best known for her role in the rise of the neo soul sub-genre. She is known as the “First Lady of Neo-Soul” or the “Queen of Neo-Soul”.

Early in her career, Badu was recognizable for wearing very large and colorful headwraps. For her musical sensibilities, she has often been compared[by whom?] to jazz great Billie Holiday.[citation needed] She was a core member of the Soulquarians, and is also an actress having appeared in a number of films playing a range of supporting roles in movies such as Blues Brothers 2000, The Cider House Rules and House of D. She also speaks at length in the documentaries Before the Music Dies and “The Black Power Mixtapes”.

Born Erica Abi Wright in Dallas, Texas on February 26, 1971. Her mother raised her, her brother (Jabbada), and her sister (Nayrok) alone after their father, William Wright Jr., deserted the family early in their lives. To provide for her family, the children’s grandmother often helped looking after them while Erykah’s mother, Kolleen Maria Gipson (Wright), performed as an actress in theatrical productions. Influenced by her mother, Erykah had her first taste of show business at the age of 4, singing and dancing with her mother at the Dallas Theatre Centre. Erykah Badu was the owner of Focal point in Dallas, Texas.[citation needed]

By the age of 14, Erykah was free-styling for a local radio station alongside such talent as Roy Hargrove. In her early youth, she decided to change the spelling of her name from Erica to Erykah, as she firmly believed her original name to be her slave name. The term ‘kah’ signifies the inner self. Badu is her favorite jazz scat sound and is also an African name for the 10th born child used for the Akan people in Ghana.[2]

Upon graduating from Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Badu went on to study theater at the historically black college Grambling State University. Concentrating on music full-time, she left the university in 1993 before graduating and took on several minimum wage jobs to support herself. She taught drama and dance to children at the South Dallas Cultural Center. Working and touring with her cousin, Robert “Free” Bradford, she recorded a 19-song demo, Country Cousins, which attracted the attention of Kedar Massenburg, who set Badu up to record a duet with D’Angelo, “Your Precious Love,” and eventually signed her to a record deal with Universal Records.

LMBAO “But you can’t use my phone.”

House Democrats Optimistic After Meeting With President Obama

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51 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Friday Open Thread | Neo SOUL Week!

  1. Ametia says:

    LOL it’s all about gays and drones on Maddow.

  2. rikyrah says:

    Veronica Mars Kickstarter Breaks Records, Raises Over $2M in 12 Hours

    By Graeme McMillan
    03.14.13
    6:52 PM

    The Kickstarter for Veronica Mars set all manner of records yesterday. It became the fastest Kickstarter to reach both $1 million and $2 million, and the highest goal to be met yet, all in its first 12 hours of existence. It’s clear that the campaign was a game-changer, but a day later it’s still not entirely clear just what game actually ended up being changed.

    Reaction to the campaign’s success has been almost as swift as the campaign’s funding, with many online arguing over whether Warner Bros really needed the two million dollars to make a Veronica Mars movie, if fans Kickstartering a studio movie was something to be ashamed of, and whether the very idea of crowdfunding the arts was a bad idea at the best of times (Not to mention those who believed that those watching the money coming into the Mars campaign was tantamount to “the world changing“). But let’s put some things in perspective.

    While it’s true that Warners could have easily footed the bill for a Veronica Mars movie if it wanted to, it’s also true that — to be quite blunt — it didn’t want to. WB had six years prior to the Kickstarter to fund a movie, and it didn’t do so for any number of reasons, although they likely included the reasonable doubt that a show cancelled for low ratings would make it as a successful movie franchise.

    Also, it’s very unlikely that Warners would have only spent $2 million on a Veronica movie, had it gone ahead with the project; even a couple of years ago, two million dollars was the budget of an hour-long television drama, with movies costing significantly more. (For some comparison, Safe Haven, this year’s relatively “low budget” romance movie from earlier this year, had a budget of $28 million. Even something like last year’s Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Witness Protection cost $20 million.)

    What the Kickstarter has more likely done is prove to Warners that there is enough interest/excitement in Veronica Mars as a concept and franchise to consider future exploitation, and taken some of the edge off the bottom line for the studio in terms of costs for the movie.

    http://www.wired.com/underwire/2013/03/veronica-mars-kickstarter-record/

  3. rikyrah says:

    Charles Pierce on Portman:

    If Will hadn’t come out, or if he’d been as straight as Nebraska highway, Portman wouldn’t have cared about the sons and daughters and brothers and sisters of all the other Dads who love them and want them to have the same opportunities? It’s not just the implied notion that discrimination is OK unless it inconveniences Sunday dinner with the Portmans. It’s also the relentless banality through which even “decent” Republicans struggle to come to simple humanity. Does any group of people have dark nights of the soul that are so endlessly boring and transparently insincere? It’s like listening to Kierkegaard sell flatware. I’m glad there’s another vote for marriage equality here. I’m also glad I didn’t have to listen to the full explanation behind it.

  4. rikyrah says:

    AdamSerwer‏@AdamSerwer
    @GrahamBlog Should POTUS be able to poison, shoot, or otherwise kill a suspected terrorist on US soil without trying to arrest them first?

    Anthony Young‏@AnthonyGig
    @AdamSerwer @GrahamBlog You Guys R mixing things up. But Not surprized. The only people being killed in US WithOut Warrants R black youths

    • Ametia says:

      And is anyone tweeting that ninconpoop, Chris Hayes. In for Maddow tonight, and the first item on his agenda? fucking DRONES. That MSNBC line up is going down. I’ll watch LO every now and then. Catch Maddow on videos. NOT.GETTING MY TIME. Oh and Rev. Al, when I can.

  5. rikyrah says:

    WHAT-THE-FUCK!!!!

    ……………………………….

    CPAC Event On Racial Tolerance Turns To Chaos As ‘Disenfranchised’ Whites Arrive

    Benjy Sarlin March 15, 2013, 5:11 PM 41582

    A CPAC session sponsored by Tea Party Patriots and billed as a primer on teaching activists how to court black voters devolved into a shouting match as some attendees demanded justice for white voters and others shouted down a black woman who reacted in horror.

    The session, entitled “Trump The Race Card: Are You Sick And Tired Of Being Called A Racist When You Know You’re Not One?” was led by K. Carl Smith, a black conservative who mostly urged attendees to deflect racism charges by calling themselves “Frederick Douglass Republicans.”

    Disruptions began when he began accusing Democrats of still being the party of the Confederacy — a common talking point on the right.

    “I don’t care how much the KKK improved,” he said. “I’m not going to join the KKK. The Democratic Party founded the KKK.”

    Lines like that drew shouts of praise from some attendees and murmurs of disapproval from one non-conservative black attendee, Kim Brown, a radio host and producer with Voice of Russia, a broadcasting service of the Russian government.

    But then questions and answers began. And things went off the rails.

    Scott Terry of North Carolina, accompanied by a Confederate-flag-clad attendee, Matthew Heimbach, rose to say he took offense to the event’s take on slavery. (Heimbach founded the White Students Union at Towson University and is described as a “white nationalist” by the Southern Poverty Law Center.)

    “It seems to be that you’re reaching out to voters at the expense of young white Southern males,” Terry said, adding he “came to love my people and culture” who were “being systematically disenfranchised.”

    Smith responded that Douglass forgave his slavemaster.

    “For giving him food? And shelter?” Terry said.

    http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2013/03/tea-party-event-on-racial-tolerance-turns-to-chaos-as-white-supremacists-arrive.php

  6. Ametia says:

    a_560x375
    Photos of Donald Trump Delivering His Self-Aggrandizing CPAC Speech to a Half-Empty Ballroom

    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2013/03/donald-trump-cpac-speech-empty-seat-photos.html?mid=google

  7. Ametia says:

    The crazies gave this CLOWN 15 minutes

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fX4wkOGqSic&feature=player_embedded

    And here’s the future of the GOP. And we thought Bob Transvaggie Ultrasound was EXTREME…Nope; he didn’t even get an invite to this freakshow.

    • Ametia says:

      Love this comment:

      Jaymz5555 26 minutes ago

      “This 2nd amendment argument doesn’t really make sense…Abortion is also protected by the constitution, as decided in Roe vs Wade. Yet conservatives constantly try to undermine it.

      So it isn’t about abiding by the law. It’s about what suits me.”

  8. Ametia says:

    Mr. 47% at the CRAZY CPAC CIRCUS

  9. rikyrah says:

    side eye at the ‘ both sides do it’, nonsense..

    …………………….

    Walling Themselves In

    by BooMan
    Fri Mar 15th, 2013 at 01:38:01 PM EST
    An interesting set of observations from Charlie Cook:

    After Republicans won only 48 percent of all votes cast for the House in 2012 but 54 percent of the seats, it’s no secret that the party enjoys the huge built-in structural advantages in the chamber that Democrats had going for them decades ago. In a January memo, veteran GOP pollster Bill McInturff observed, “If you began your career as a Republican trying to win the House in the 1970s and 1980s, you would adopt, as I do, the borrowed adage, ‘There’s no crying in redistricting.’ ” The current unprecedented geographic concentration of Democratic voters was compounded by the 2010 wave election that gave Republicans unprecedented power in state legislatures to redraw political boundaries. Combined, these two demographic developments cast doubt on whether even a 2006-size wave would enable Democrats to win control of the House at any point this decade.

    But could the Republicans’ arguably rigged House majority actually be a curse disguised as a blessing? It’s an interesting question. They clearly did everything they could to purge Democratic voters from their districts ahead of 2012, no matter whether those voters were white, black, Hispanic, left-handed, or right-minded—just as Democrats would have done had the roles been reversed. But in the process of quarantining Democrats, Republicans effectively purged millions of minority voters from their own districts, and that should raise a warning flag. By drawing themselves into safe, lily-white strongholds, have Republicans inadvertently boxed themselves into an alternate universe that bears little resemblance to the rest of the country.

    It kind of like the whole party has decided to retreat behind the walls of a gated-community. They are retreating everywhere. Home-schooling is exploding. Gun sales are off the charts. And reality and facts are increasingly dispensed with.

    http://www.boomantribune.com/story/2013/3/15/13381/1445

  10. rikyrah says:

    The Catholic church in America
    Earthly concerns
    The Catholic church is as big as any company in America. Bankruptcy cases have shed some light on its finances and their mismanagement
    Aug 18th 2012 | BOSTON, NEW YORK AND SAN DIEGO |

    OF ALL the organisations that serve America’s poor, few do more good work than the Catholic church: its schools and hospitals provide a lifeline for millions. Yet even taking these virtues into account, the finances of the Catholic church in America are an unholy mess. The sins involved in its book-keeping are not as vivid or grotesque as those on display in the various sexual-abuse cases that have cost the American church more than $3 billion so far; but the financial mismanagement and questionable business practices would have seen widespread resignations at the top of any other public institution.

    The sexual-abuse scandals of the past 20 years have brought shame to the church around the world. In America they have also brought financial strains. By studying court documents in bankruptcy cases, examining public records, requesting documents from local, state and federal governments, as well as talking to priests and bishops confidentially, The Economist has sought to quantify the damage.

    The picture that emerges is not flattering. The church’s finances look poorly co-ordinated considering (or perhaps because of) their complexity. The management of money is often sloppy. And some parts of the church have indulged in ungainly financial contortions in some cases—it is alleged—both to divert funds away from uses intended by donors and to frustrate creditors with legitimate claims, including its own nuns and priests. The dioceses that have filed for bankruptcy may not be typical of the church as a whole. But given the overall lack of openness there is no way of knowing to what extent they are outliers

    http://www.economist.com/node/21560536

  11. Ametia says:

    *sigh*

    U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is expected to announce Friday afternoon that the Pentagon is enhancing the nation’s ability to defend itself from a nuclear missile attack by North Korea, a U.S. Defense official told CNN.

    Hagel will announce that the U.S. will be deploying up to 14 additional ground-based interceptors on the West Coast, according to the official.

    Some of those will come from reopening a missile field in Fort Greely, Alaska, and others will be based in California, the official said. It will take up to two years for all of them to come on line, the official said, and will cost more than $200 million.

  12. rikyrah says:

    Paul Ryan’s ‘gifts’
    By Steve Benen

    Fri Mar 15, 2013 12:40 PM EDT

    One of the driving criticisms of Paul Ryan’s House Republican Budget is a familiar refrain: his numbers don’t add up. But the criticism almost gives Ryan too much credit — it assumes there are enough numbers in the far-right plan to evaluate whether it adds up, when there really aren’t.

    Take the biggest question mark hanging over Ryan’s blueprint: his plan for massive tax breaks, lowering the top rate from 39.6% to 25%, to be paid for with “tax reform.” How would the former latter pay for the former? The Wisconsin congressman doesn’t say, but there’s an even more pressing question: how much would these enormous tax cuts cost?

    The non-partisan Tax Policy Center ran the numbers that provided a figure Ryan didn’t want to include in his own budget: “The Tax Policy Center estimates that cutting individual rates to 10 percent and 25 percent, repealing the Alternative Minimum Tax and the tax increases included in the Affordable Care Act, and cutting the corporate rate from 35 percent to 25 percent would add $5.7 trillion to the deficit over the next decade.”

    Let’s be clear about the fiscal implications. Ryan wants to cut taxes by $5.7 trillion over the next 10 years, which means he’d need to find another $5.7 trillion — somewhere, somehow — just to break even. In other words, all of this would have to work out before Republicans could even try to bring down the deficit by so much as a penny.

    What’s more, it’s important to consider the winners and losers under such a plan. The Tax Policy Center showed the impact by public quintile, and wouldn’t you know it, the rich benefit far more than the poor — and this doesn’t even consider the impact felt by Ryan’s intentions to slash public benefits that benefit working families most.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/03/15/17327270-paul-ryans-gifts?lite

  13. rikyrah says:

    When it Happened to Me…

    by BooMan
    Fri Mar 15th, 2013 at 09:23:18 AM EST
    Duncan and I used to talk about this phenomenon back when we made it a habit to meet with friends for drinks every Tuesday night. It’s the tendency of conservatives (including Darth Cheney) to drop their opposition to something (or learn to support something) the second it affects them personally.

    So, for example, abortion is the equivalent of Auschwitz until your daughter hands you her acceptance letter to Harvard and announces that her deadbeat boyfriend got her pregnant so she can’t go and she’ll raise the baby herself. Funding for special education is a boondoggle until your kid turns out to have Asperger’s Syndrome. Global warming is a myth until a superstorm destroys your Jersey Shore vacation home. Unemployment insurance is a giveaway to people who lack initiative until you lose your job and can’t find another one. And homosexuality is a sinful lifestyle choice until your 19 year old son announces that he’s gay.

    I applaud Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio’s announcement that he now supports gay marriage, but I don’t like that he feels it necessary to use his son as an excuse. I mean, okay, your experience with your son is what changed your mind, but you don’t have to share that with everyone. The key is that you have a principled position that has changed. All you have to do is explain your new position.

    Let me give an example of why this matters. Dick Cheney’s daughter Mary is a lesbian. The former vice-president explicitly endorsed gay marriage four years ago, shortly after he left office, and he claims that he supported gay marriage even back in 2000 but didn’t say so because he thought it would sink Bush’s chance to get elected. Now, Dick Cheney is the most hard-core conservative figure of the last decade, and it should have been a very significant event when he endorsed gay marriage. But it wasn’t really seen as a big deal because it was understood that he was really just supporting his daughter.

    Sometimes I feel like a Republican who wants to support gay marriage needs to get one of their kids to fake being gay so that they can have permission to buck the party line.

    http://www.boomantribune.com/story/2013/3/15/92318/8586#13

  14. rikyrah says:

    Sequestration continues to take its toll
    By Steve Benen
    Fri Mar 15, 2013 11:24 AM EDT

    Inside the Beltway, there’s an assumption that the sequester was a dud and that President Obama “cried wolf” when warned of damaging consequences. Outside the Beltway, the sequestration policy continues to take a real toll on the lives of real people.

    At least two Indiana Head Start programs have resorted to a random drawing to determine which three-dozen preschool students will be removed from the education program for low-income families, a move officials said was necessary to limit the impact of mandatory across-the-board federal spending cuts.

    Programs in Columbus and Franklin are losing two classrooms, meaning 36 children won’t be able to return after Friday.

    This may not be as endlessly fascinating as the (cue scary music) cancelation of White House tours, but for those kids and their families, the argument that “no one noticed” the effects of sequestration clearly isn’t true.

    And before anyone says, “But it’s just three dozen kids,” let’s not forget, it’s not just three dozen kids. As we talked about yesterday, the sequester will also force furloughs for those who help keep Americans’ food supply safe, will deny tuition assistance to military veterans, will cause real hardship on low-income Americans who rely on housing assistance, and on and on.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/03/15/17326667-sequestration-continues-to-take-its-toll?lite

  15. rikyrah says:

    Jindal’s enthusiastic embrace of anti-populism
    By Steve Benen

    Fri Mar 15, 2013 10:46 AM EDT

    Louisiana’s Republican state Treasurer recently complained about the budget plans of Louisiana’s Republican governor, Bobby Jindal, calling them “unrealistic and unbalanced.”

    That’s true, but Jindal’s working on it. We talked two months ago about the ambitious governor’s plan to eliminate Louisiana’s income taxes and corporate taxes, replacing them with a hefty new sales tax. Jindal promised, at the time, that he’d keep this new sales tax “as low and flat as possible.”

    What, specifically, does that mean? Now we know.

    Gov. Bobby Jindal on Thursday proposed a hefty jump in the state’s sales tax rate and $1 billion in new taxes charged on services to help offset the cost of his push to eliminate Louisiana’s income taxes.

    The Republican governor and his leader on the tax code revamp, Tim Barfield, outlined the first specifics of Jindal’s proposal to rewrite Louisiana’s tax code.

    Jindal wants to boost state sales taxes from 4 percent to 5.88 percent; increase cigarette taxes from 36 cents per pack to $1.41; and assess sales taxes on a wide range of services not currently taxed.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/03/15/17326360-jindals-enthusiastic-embrace-of-anti-populism?lite

  16. rikyrah says:

    It is good politics to oppose the black guy in the White House’
    By Steve Benen

    Thu Mar 14, 2013 4:59 PM EDT

    There’s a growing number of Republican-run states accepting Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, at least at the gubernatorial level, but South Carolina isn’t one of them. Gov. Nikki Haley (R) ruled out the possibility months ago, despite the pleas of South Carolina hospital administrators and public-health officials.

    In fact, physicians in South Carolina are still hoping to change the state’s policy against Medicaid expansion, lobbying legislators this week on a White Coat Day organized by the South Carolina Hospital Association. Will it succeed? Consider the take of one insider.

    Rep. Kris Crawford, a Republican from Florence and also an emergency room doctor, supports the expansion but expects the Republican caucus to vote as a block against the Medicaid expansion.

    “The politics are going to overwhelm the policy. It is good politics to oppose the black guy in the White House right now, especially for the Republican Party,” Crawford said.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/03/14/17315099-it-is-good-politics-to-oppose-the-black-guy-in-the-white-house?lite

  17. Ametia says:

    Thanks for this video, SG2!

    [wpvideo LHTvaaJ1]

    Governor Synder needs to be HORSE-WHIPPED.

  18. rikyrah says:

    Numbers trip up Alabama’s Sessions again
    By Steve Benen

    Fri Mar 15, 2013 10:20 AM EDT

    Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) is known to struggle in several key areas of public policy, but budgeting seems to be one of his more conspicuous weaknesses. This wouldn’t be quite as serious a problem were it not for the fact that he’s the ranking member on the Senate Budget Committee.

    Two years ago, after he assumed the role, even some Republicans worried Sessions wasn’t quite up to the job. “He’s not really a legislator,” one Republican aide said. “That’s the thing.”

    But the Alabama senator keeps trying. The last we checked in with Sessions, he was badly mischaracterizing the results of a GAO report on the fiscal impact of the Affordable Care Act. Yesterday, the Republican was still stumbling, this time on a different issue.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/03/15/17326051-numbers-trip-up-alabamas-sessions-again?lite

  19. rikyrah says:

    ‘Not a home for everybody’
    By Steve Benen

    Fri Mar 15, 2013 8:00 AM EDT

    Al Cardenas, chairman of the American Conservative Union, helped launch this year’s CPAC — the Conservative Political Action Conference — and the headline on the Associated Press article about his message to Republicans struck an unexpected note: “Conservative leader says GOP must broaden appeal.”

    But as it turns out, the AP’s headline didn’t match the AP’s article (thanks to my colleague Nazanin Rafsanjani for catching this).

    “I’m a firm believer that if the Republican Party is going to have some success, it’s going to do so by being a conservative party and not a home for everybody. That’s how you grow,” Al Cardenas, chairman of the American Conservative Union, told reporters Thursday morning as the conference began at Maryland’s National Harbor, just south of Washington.

    He continued: “You grow your tent by convincing others, persuading others that yours is the way. And you build your tent by reaching out to the new demographics of America, not with a watered down version of who we ought to be,” he said.

    Ah, I see. When a prominent conservative leader urged the GOP to broaden its appeal, he meant the GOP needs to keep pushing a right-wing message the American mainstream disagrees with, and wait for voters to discover the wisdom of the far-right agenda.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/03/15/17324717-not-a-home-for-everybody?lite

  20. Ametia says:

    BWA HA HA HA@”GLASS MONKEY CAGE”

    APOV: Old enough to have seen the ‘good,’ ‘bad’ and ‘ugly’
    Posted: Thursday, March 14, 2013 1:17 pm
    By Esther Kohlhagen

    SNIP
    Rush, you’re so brave!
    You’re so brave, as you daily hide in your little “glass monkey-cage,” surrounded by your obedient caretakers who throw you your very nutritious crumbs of malicious gossip to brazenly deliver to the public. Then when your daily stint is over you seem to disappear until the next day. Where do you go? No one sees you leaving your guarded studio. No one sees you driving your car. No one sees you playing golf with your golfing buddies. (By the way, who are they anyway? Do we know them?) And then no one ever sees pictures of the cozy little moments with wife No. 4. All this makes one wonder again— do you have well-guarded and patrolled underground tunnels and burrows that allow you to safely and secretly transport your body from one place to another? When do you come up for air and mingle with the public? Are you afraid?

    Bullies are like that — and Rush, there is no one better to claim this title than you do.

    SNIP
    http://thedailynewsonline.com/opinion/article_12e36b62-8ccb-11e2-bd9c-0019bb2963f4.html

  21. rikyrah says:

    Senators ‘quietly’ do NRA’s bidding in spending bill
    By Steve Benen

    Fri Mar 15, 2013 9:22 AM EDT

    Most lawmakers in both parties believe there will not be a government shutdown in two weeks, but to avoid one, Congress will need to pass something called a continuing resolution. It’s temporary spending bill that will keep the government’s lights on through the end of the fiscal year. The House has already passed its version and the Senate is advancing its alternative.

    Ordinarily, you might think the partisan disputes over the stopgap bill would be over spending levels and possible cuts, but as it turns out, the most contentious issue might be, of all things, gun policy. The New York Times reports that some unnamed lawmakers “quietly” added some “temporary gun-rights provisions largely favored by Republicans” to the CR.

    …………………………………….

    Keep in mind, it’s pretty tough to defend the provisions in question. What’s wrong, for example, with having gun dealers conduct inventories to make sure firearms haven’t been lost or stolen? I don’t know, but under a Republican measure in the temporary spending bill, the ATF would be prohibited from enforcing this basic regulation.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/03/15/17325581-senators-quietly-do-nras-bidding-in-spending-bill?lite

  22. rikyrah says:

    The Congressional Progressive Caucus Budget: A Serious Budget That the Serious People Won’t Take Seriously

    Written by Dean Baker
    Wednesday, 13 March 2013 15:47

    For those upset that the budget debate is getting ever further removed from the real world problems of an economy that is suffering from a deficit of 9 million jobs, there is good news. The Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) has produced a budget that is intended to make the unemployment situation better rather than worse.

    The story of course is that we are still in a situation where we need the government as a source of demand in the economy. This is independent of how much we like the government or the private sector. The private sector does not expand and create jobs just because governments want it to, as is being discovered now by leaders in the United Kingdom, Greece, Italy, Spain and everywhere else where deficit reduction is now in vogue. In the current economic situation, loss of demand from the government is a loss of demand to the economy. That is why recent steps to reduce the deficit, such as the ending of the payroll tax cut (which put money in consumers’ pockets) and the sequester, will lead to slower growth and higher unemployment.

    The CPC decided to produce a budget that recognized this reality. It provides for a mix of short-term measures aimed at immediate job creation, such as jobs programs and additional money to defray state and local government revenue shortfalls, along with an ambitious long-term infrastructure agenda. According to estimates from the Economic Policy Institute this agenda would create 6.9 million additional jobs by the end of next year compared to the CBO baseline scenario.

    The CPC also include measures that should make any serious deficit hawk happy. On the spending side they want savings from cutting the military budget, reducing payments to drug companies under Medicare, and establishing a public option in the health care exchanges that will go into place next year under the Affordable Care Act.

    http://www.cepr.net/index.php/blogs/cepr-blog/the-congressional-progressive-caucus-budget-a-serious-budget-that-the-serious-people-wont-take-seriously

  23. rikyrah says:

    The Press Has Turned on Paul Ryan His budget made the big mistake of betraying his cynicism

    The rollout of Paul Ryan’s new budget this week was not one of the congressman’s better moments. In addition to the entirely apt uproar on the left about the cruelty of his cuts and the dodginess of his reasoning, Ryan took an unusual amount of flak from the right. The Heritage Foundation grumbled that Ryan had preserved Obama’s tax increases, while Larry Kudlow, CNBC’s resident supply-side evangelist, used an interview with Ryan to highlight his accounting gimmicks.

    But the unkindest cut of all came from the mainstream political press, which, even after Ryan’s failed vice presidential bid, was still touting him as the Republican Party’s intellectual leader, and very likely its future. Alas, the reverence was distinctly lacking on Tuesday. The New York Times’ lead story on Ryan framed his budget as an exercise in cynicism, pointing out up high that it would cut the deficit “largely by rolling back President Obama’s legislative accomplishments while also taking advantage of the savings they created.” 1 NBC’s Chuck Todd, the dean of White House political analysts, came right out and dropped the c-word explicitly: “[Ryan] cynically assumes ObamaCare’s $716 billion in Medicare cuts as a way to balance the budget in 10 years (despite Ryan saying he and Romney would restore those cuts during the campaign).” Todd went on to block-quote a now-embarrassing riff from Ryan’s convention speech.

    Which is to say, in one fell swoop, Ryan has done to himself what he never accomplished through years of fiscal lunacy (this is his third high-profile budget; none has lingered for very long on planet Earth) and months of campaign-trail dishonesty (Ryan’s convention speech contained lie after lie after lie): He’s made it hard for political reporters to take him seriously. What the hell happened?

    http://www.newrepublic.com/article/112654/paul-ryan-budget-2013-dc-press-corps-has-turned-him

  24. Ametia says:

    OH OH!

    Lawsuit says Judge Judy conspired to buy $500,000 worth of jointly owned china and flatware for a pittance to hurt a co-worker’s estranged wife

    Get a job, the notoriously sharp jurist, whose real name is Judy Sheindlin, says in her counterblast to Patrice Jones. ‘I don’t owe this lady a cent.’ Jones is embroiled in a divorce battle with of one of the judge’s top producers, Randy Douthit.

    Judge Judy’s sterling image is under attack in a bizarre lawsuit involving the ugly divorce of one of her show’s top producers and a half-million dollars’ worth of bone china and flatware.
    The famous jurist, whose real name is Judy Sheindlin, stands accused paying just $50,815 to purchase $514,421 worth of Christofle china and flatware from producer Randy Douthit, even though she knew his divorcing wife had equal ownership of the property.

    Douthit’s estranged wife, Patrice Jones, filed the lawsuit in Los Angeles on Tuesday, saying Sheindlin knew about the couple’s “acrimonious” split and conspired with Douthit to deprive her of her $4,985 fish serving knife, $2,700 sauce boat and other items.
    The couple filed for divorce in July 2007, but the divorce has yet to be finalized. Jones said in a deposition that she learned of the deeply discounted sale in 2011.
    Not one to back down, the tart-tongued TV personality gave an aggressive defense.

    Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/gossip/lawsuit-turns-tables-judge-judy-article-1.1286836#ixzz2NcGYbg3y

  25. Ametia says:

    Wow, The cruise ships are literally livingup to the name “CARNIVAL.” More like freakshow!

    CBS/AP/ March 15, 2013, 5:01 AM
    Mechanical woes hit two more Carnival cruise ships

    Carnival Cruise Lines says two more of its ships had mechanical problems Thursday. One cruise was cut short and the second had one land stop canceled.

    This, after an engine fire last month crippled the Carnival Triumph, leaving 4,200 people stranded for five days without working toilets or power.

    In a statement late Thursday, the world’s largest cruise line said the Carnival Legend was experiencing a technical issue with one of the ship’s Azipod units, which affects the vessel’s sailing speed.

    Another Carnival cruise halted by equipment failure
    Class action status sought for lawsuit after nightmare cruise
    Cruise ship fire caused by fuel line leak, Coast Guard says
    Carnival reports the ship’s safety systems and hotel services are all functioning normally.

    The vessel made its scheduled call Thursday in Mahogany Bay, Roatan, in addition to visiting Cozumel and Costa Maya earlier in the week, Carnival says.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57574490/mechanical-woes-hit-two-more-carnival-cruise-ships/?tag=nl.e875&s_cid=e875&ttag=e875

  26. rikyrah says:

    The Morning Plum: The GOP’s self-defeating strategy in fiscal fight

    Posted by Greg Sargent on March 15, 2013 at 9:20 am

    For all the continued chatter this morning about the sincerity and limits of presidential schmoozing, the real reason for the fiscal impasse is hiding right there in plain sight, and it can be summed up in two sentences:

    1) Obama can’t sell entitlement cuts to his base, or indeed Democrats in general, without Republicans agreeing to new revenues, and has offered them a straightforward compromise — one that would anger the base on both sides — based on the premise that total victory for the GOP is not an acceptable or realistic outcome.

    2) Republican leaders can’t even begin to acknowledge that Obama has offered them a real compromise, because they can’t sell their base on the idea that the President is being flexible, let alone get them to seriously entertain accepting any compromise with him, because the base sees total victory over Obama as the only acceptable outcome.

    In essence, a variety of political constraints prevent Republican leaders from acknowledging the reality of the situation. That makes any reality-based dialog impossible. The press has largely failed to reckon with this basic disconnect, which is why the discussion continues to spin its wheels around irrelevant questions, such as whether the president’s outreach is “sincere” enough, as if hurt feelings have anything at all to do with the stalemate, or whether Democrats have gone quite far enough with their offer to Republicans, when the latter won’t even say whether there’s any compromise they could accept.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2013/03/15/the-morning-plum-the-gops-self-defeating-strategy-in-fiscal-fight/

  27. rikyrah says:

    Why compromise with Republicans on taxes is impossible, in one vote

    Posted by Greg Sargent on March 14, 2013 at 5:16 pm

    This afternoon, Senate Republicans on the Senate Budget Committee cast a vote that underscores the genuine nature of the differences between Republicans and Democrats on taxes in a fresh way. They voted unanimously against an amendment — to the Dem budget — that would seek to close loopholes that enable profitable corporations to pay nothing in taxes.

    The amendment, introduced by Senator Bernie Sanders, is described this way by a Budget Committee summary:

    This amendment would establish a deficit reduction reserve fund that would seek to ensure that large profitable corporations cannot use loopholes to entirely avoid income tax, and direct savings recovered from closing such loopholes to deficit reduction.

    Citizens For Tax Justice has found that as of last spring, over two dozen major corporations “remained in the no-federal-income-tax category over the 2008-2011 period.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2013/03/14/why-compromise-with-republicans-on-taxes-is-impossible-in-one-vote/

  28. rikyrah says:

    Do Congressional liberals have the only “Serious” budget in Washington?

    Posted by Jamelle Bouie on March 14, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    Overlooked in the coverage of Paul Ryan’s budget and the budget released by Senate Democrats was the one crafted and presented by members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Called the “Back to Work” budget, it’s focused on solving the country’s actual fiscal crisis — mass unemployment. And for good reason; not only is it the right thing to do, but without growth and lower unemployment, debt reduction requires pain for a large number of Americans. As such, congressional progressives have taken a Keynesian approach to the debt: Spend money now — taking advantage of low interest rates on Treasury bonds — and position the United States for long-term debt reduction.

    Overall, the Back to Work budget increases spending by more than $2.2 trillion over the next ten years. This includes more than $156 billion for clean energy efforts, over $230 billion for education, training and social services, $312 billion for income security programs like the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), another $156 billion for health care programs, and $1 trillion in new infrastructure spending, meant to repair old structures (roads, pipes, bridges) and build new ones.

    To pay for this, House Progressives propose a full overhaul of the federal tax code, with a new set of tax increases on the wealthiest Americans. For income over $250,000, taxes would revert to Bush-era rates (the Progressive Caucus maintains Bush rates for the remaining 98 percent of taxpayers).

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2013/03/14/do-congressional-liberals-have-the-only-serious-budget-in-washington/

  29. rikyrah says:

    Ohio’s Portman flips, backs marriage equality
    By Steve Benen
    Fri Mar 15, 2013 8:41 AM EDT

    As recently as 2004, Sen. Rob Portman voted to change the U.S. Constitution to permanently prohibit marriage equality. Now, however, the Ohio Republican has changed his mind.

    Senator Rob Portman, the Ohio Republican, has switched his stand on gay marriage, saying he now supports it after his son told him he is gay.

    Mr. Portman, who had been considered one of the leading candidates to be Mitt Romney’s running mate in 2012, told Ohio newspapers that his son Will told him and his wife, Jane, in 2011 of his sexual orientation.

    “It allowed me to think of this issue from a new perspective, and that’s of a Dad who loves his son a lot and wants him to have the same opportunities that his brother and sister would have — to have a relationship like Jane and I have had for over 26 years,” Mr. Portman was quoted by Cleveland.com as telling reporters in an interview in his Washington office.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/03/15/17325161-ohios-portman-flips-backs-marriage-equality?lite

  30. rikyrah says:

    @ArrogantDemon
    If Barack Obama took over Miss. or LA for their shitty finances like Snyder did with Detroit, all hell & opened armed rebellion would break

  31. Ametia says:

    10 Crazy Gun Laws Introduced Since Newtown
    By Gavin Aronsen and Deanna Pan
    | Fri Mar. 15, 2013 3:00 AM PDT

    In the wake of the Newtown massacre in December, lawmakers in nearly every state in the nation have introduced gun legislation, either to strengthen gun controls or push back against them. There has also been a flurry of activity in local jurisdictions. Some of the proposals fall into the category of reasonable policy ideas, while others just seem to fire wildly, in both political directions. Here are 10 of them:

    Glocks and gimlets: Allowing guns in bars has become something of a trend lately. A bill introduced in South Carolina would legalize concealed carry in bars and void the current law punishing the same with a fine of up to $2,000 or three years in jail. Gun owners would be required to remain sober, but the prospect of patrons packing heat in places where alcohol and attitudes mix remains worrisome, especially as self-defense laws grow increasingly lax. Another bill awaiting approval from the state senate in Georgia would allow guns in bars and churches.

    http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/03/crazy-gun-laws-newtown

  32. Ametia says:

    This is how the RETHUGS operate. It’s fine with them, when it HITS HOME. SCREW HIM

    Gay Couples also deserve chance to get married
    OP Ed By Rob Portman
    March 15, 2013

    I have come to believe that if two people are prepared to make a lifetime commitment to love and care for each other in good times and in bad, the government shouldn’t deny them the opportunity to get married.

    That isn’t how I’ve always felt. As a congressman, and more recently as a senator, I opposed marriage for same-sex couples. Then something happened that led me to think through my position in a much deeper way.

    Two years ago, my son Will, then a college freshman, told my wife, Jane, and me that he is gay. He said he’d known for some time, and that his sexual orientation wasn’t something he chose; it was simply a part of who he is. Jane and I were proud of him for his honesty and courage. We were surprised to learn he is gay but knew he was still the same person he’d always been. The only difference was that now we had a more complete picture of the son we love.

    http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/editorials/2013/03/15/gay-couples-also-deserve-chance-to-get-married.html

    • rikyrah says:

      So Senator Rob Portman announced that he now supports gay marriage because his son told him he’s gay. With his complexion for protection, he’s the new cause celebre for the emo/fauxgressive/hipster set.

      @ArrogantDemon
      Congrats for loving your son, you want a cookie?

      @ArrogantDemon
      @ReignOfApril you know what’s messed up, I see the emos giving this fool more credit than they did PBO…..why do i see that coming?

      @TheScottFinley
      @ArrogantDemon @ReignOfApril It’s because @robportman is melanin-challenged. Emos will always give the white man a pass

  33. 3ChicsPolitico – A video tribute for “Change” in honor of Trayvon Martin

  34. Good morning, everyone!

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