Friday Open Thread | Michael Rose | Reggae Week

Michael Rose5The singer took to the road in 1996, as part of Heartbeat’s Culture Splash Tour. He continued touring during 1997, and live appearances from this period were featured on the Party in Session — Live album, released later that year. It was a busy time, and a new studio album in 1997, the Mafia & Fluxy-produced Dance Wicked, accompanied by its dub companion Dub Wicked, soon appeared. Meanwhile, British fans were treated to Selassie I Showcase, overseen by Frenchie and Fashion, and rounding up Rose’s Maximum Sound hits including “Rush on the Tonic” and “Jah Is my Shepherd,” featuring DJ Cutty Ranks. Of course, this wasn’t the first time Rose had joined forces with a DJ, he also had a huge hit paired with Shabba Ranks on a new version of the Uhuru classic “Shine Eye Gal,” while “Burn Down Rome” united Rose with his Black Uhuru replacement Junior Reid. Later, the singer also cut a new version of “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” with African artist Dr. Alban, retitled “Karolina.”

About SouthernGirl2

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

  1. Ametia says:

    Seth Meyers going late-night
    Last Updated: 9:21 AM, March 22, 2013
    Posted: 12:16 AM, March 22, 2013

    While NBC executives plot to replace Jay Leno with Jimmy Fallon as host of “The Tonight Show,” we’re told that “Saturday Night Live” head writer and “Weekend Update” host Seth Meyers will move into Fallon’s late-night slot. A source told us, “Lorne Michaels wants Seth to take over from Fallon. It would be perfect for him. Tina Fey’s name had also come up, but she has said she was too busy to do it.” Work is already under way to bring “The Tonight Show” from Los Angeles to New York, and NBC is building a state-of-the-art studio for Fallon at 30 Rock. The network is trying to get Leno, 62, to bow out gracefully from the hosting job so it can unveil Fallon at its presentation to advertisers in May.

  2. rikyrah says:

    Boehner subtly gives the game away

    By Steve Benen
    Fri Mar 22, 2013 11:14 AM EDT

    For months, there’s been a general understanding about the fiscal fight between Democrats and Republicans — the parties could reach a compromise if Dems accepted concessions on social-insurance programs like Medicare and Social Security, and the GOP accepted concessions on tax revenue. The former has been willing to compromise, the latter hasn’t, so nothing has happened.

    But this general framework has always suffered from a minor flaw. Republicans have been told, repeatedly, that if they expect to get entitlement “reforms,” they’re going to have to give a little and reach an agreement with Democrats. But GOP officials have consistently rejected the premise, not because they consider entitlement cuts impossible, but because they had a Plan B.

    The back-up option, of course, is the debt ceiling. In effect, the Republican strategy, though unstated, has been made quite clear: “To get entitlement cuts, we don’t need to accept new revenue, we simply need to hold the country hostage again and threaten to hurt Americans on purpose. Democrats will have no choice but to give us what we want, and we won’t have to accept any concessions at all.”

    Over the last week or so, this strategy has begun to take shape in earnest. It’s not yet clear exactly when the debt ceiling will need to be raised — estimates vary from May to July — but Republicans are becoming increasingly explicit in their threats. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) argued on Fox Business last night that he expects a debt-ceiling increase to be tied to entitlement cuts, and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said the same thing to reporters yesterday.

    “Dollar for dollar is the plan,” Boehner said, suggesting for every dollar the debt limit is raised, he expects a comparable amount of cuts to social-insurance programs. How’d he come up with this standard? Arbitrarily and for no particular reason.

    But if you watch the above clip, pay particular attention to the last few seconds. Boehner demands that we need to eliminate the deficit within 10 years — why he thinks this is still a mystery — and insists that he will not accept so much as a penny in new tax revenue.

    And then he says something else: “I’m not going to risk the full faith and credit of the federal government.”

    Those are the 14 most important words Boehner has said in a long while.


    Look, it’s clear congressional Republicans are eager to launch another crisis. The government shutdown option was taken off the table early on, but a debt-ceiling hostage strategy is a crisis GOP members find frighteningly appealing. They know how damaging the debate is, they know even having the conversation does real harm to the economy, and they see all of this as a plus — if you rough up the hostages before threatening to pull the trigger, your threats are more likely to be taken seriously.

    Those just outside the caucus are offering words of caution — John Feehery told Greg Sargent yesterday his party “could squander a lot of their good PR if they create a crisis” — but by all accounts, rank-and-file Republican lawmakers just don’t care. They want their entitlement cuts, and if threatening to do deliberate harm to the country is what it takes, that’s what they’ll do.

  3. rikyrah says:

    The 39th time was not the charm on Obamacare repeal

    By Steve Benen
    Fri Mar 22, 2013 12:29 PM EDT.

    Remember when the 2012 presidential election ended the debate over repealing the Affordable Care Act? To a degree that is truly comical, congressional Republicans didn’t get the memo.

    The Senate on Friday rejected another GOP attempt to repeal President Obama’s healthcare law.

    An amendment to the Senate budget resolution from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) failed on a 45-54 vote on Friday. Cruz’s amendment would have repealed the Affordable Care Act and encouraged patient-centered reforms to reduce costs

    Senate Republicans knew Cruz’s amendment was pointless, and knew it wouldn’t pass, but literally every GOP senator voted for it anyway — just because.

    At this point, some of you may be wondering, “Exactly how many Obamacare repeal votes are we up to now?” By one estimate, the new total is 39 times.

  4. rikyrah says:

    Daily Caller faces new allegations

    By Steve Benen
    Fri Mar 22, 2013 2:39 PM EDT.

    Well, this would be quite a development, wouldn’t it?


    To briefly recap for those who haven’t been following this story, the Daily Caller reported shortly before the 2012 elections that Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) allegedly paid for sex in the Dominican Republic. The article appeared to be based on largely non-existent evidence, and it wasn’t long before the allegations unraveled completely — three Dominican escorts recently admitted they were paid to lie.

    It has not been clear who, exactly, paid the escorts for the falsehoods, but according to Dominican lawyer Melanio Figueroa, it was the Daily Caller itself financing — and then publishing — the deliberate falsehoods.

    If true, it would be a genuine media scandal from which there is no recovery. It’s difficult to even imagine a more serious breach of journalistic ethics and standards than a news outlet publishing a bogus smear that the outlet itself paid prostitutes to manufacture. Menendez would probably even have a credible libel case to pursue.

  5. rikyrah says:

    The importance of Netanyahu’s surprising apology

    By Steve Benen
    Fri Mar 22, 2013 1:54 PM EDT.

    President Obama’s trip to the Middle East appears to have already produced a significant diplomatic breakthrough that few saw coming.

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel on Friday apologized in a personal phone call to Turkey’s prime minister for a deadly commando raid on a Turkish ship in 2010, in a sudden reconciliation between the two countries that was partly brokered by President Obama during his visit to Israel this week, according to Israeli, Turkish and American officials.

    In the call, Mr. Netanyahu expressed regret for the raid, which took place as Israeli troops were enforcing an aid embargo on Gaza, and offered compensation, Turkish and Israeli officials said. And after years of holding out for a public apology for the deaths, the Turkish prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, accepted Israel’s gesture in the phone call.

    As a result of the phone conversation, which President Obama reportedly participated in, diplomatic relations between Israel and Turkey have been fully restored and that ambassadors would be reinstated.

  6. rikyrah says:

    A bait and switch on immigration reform

    Posted by Greg Sargent on March 22, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    Here’s something to keep an eye out for: Republicans who favor immigration reform carefully laying the groundwork to blame someone other than themselves — unions, Obama, etc. — if the heat from the right gets too intense and forces Republican officials to bail on reaching a reform compromise.

    Buzzfeed and Politico both report that Republicans are criticizing unions for insisting on various worker protections as part of the guest worker program that is expected to be a key part of of any immigration reform compromise. Business groups and Republicans are claiming that unions are asking for too much and are on the verge of killing the whole effort. “I don’t think it’s any secret that in the past, unions killed immigration reform,” says Marco Rubio, referencing disagreements over the failed reform effort in 2007 (which actually was primarily killed by conservative Republican opposition).

    I”m not buying it. My guess is that what’s really going on here is that Republicans need to be able to say they were not to blame if the right ultimately doesn’t allow them to reach a deal with Democrats on the real core issue — the path to citizenship.

    This isn’t to say there aren’t genuine sticking points over the guest worker program. There are. As Buzzfeed documents, there are a range of proposals demanded by labor that some Republicans — particularly in the House — may balk at, such as an annual cap on low wage work visas; barring work visas for much of the construction industry, and a trigger that would only allow work visas once unemployment here fell below a certain level. Another sticking point is that the AFL-CIO and other unions want assurances that employers who bring workers in through the program will have to pay above median salary for the industry.

    But the big picture here is what really matters. And the big picture is this: Congressional Republicans know they are going to have to embrace comprehensive immigration reform, including a path to citizenship, if they are going to blunt the destructive impact that ongoing demographic shifts are already having on the party. All the other sticking points are essentially sideshows. The main question that is central to the hopes of any deal is whether Republicans will be able to cross the path-to-citizenship Rubicon.

  7. rikyrah says:

    Phony deficit hawks

    Posted by Jamelle Bouie on March 22, 2013 at 11:27 am

    For the first time in weeks, Congress moved to take bipartisan action. But this wasn’t a move to satisfy Washington’s desire for a “grand bargain. Rather, it was an effort in the opposite direction. By a 79 to 20 vote, the Senate passed an amendment to the GOP budget that would repeal the tax on medical devices — a key part of President Obama’s health care law. It’s a symbolic move — there’s no chance the GOP budget will pass the Democratic-controlled Senate — but it says a lot about the actual priorities of our lawmakers, and in particular, the deficit hawks.

    The excise tax was enacted to help pay for the expansion of health care coverage under Obamacare. In fact, it’s one of several taxes imposed on various elements of the health care industry. The rationale, beyond raising revenue, is straightforward. By rooting health care reform within the private sector, the Affordable Care Act is something of a huge subsidy to hospitals, health insurance companies, pharmaceuticals, and device manufacturers.

    In expanding health coverage to 27 million more Americans, Obamacare will generate new demand for medical services, and increase revenue for most stakeholders, including device manufacturers. The excise tax is meant to capture some of that value, and direct it to new services. Over the next ten years, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the excise tax will raise $29 billion. If Congress hews to pay-as-you-go procedures, repealing the tax will require lawmakers to increase other taxes or reduce benefits for recipients. If it doesn’t, then repealing the tax will increase the deficit.

  8. rikyrah says:

    Because of Obamacare, Republicans are doomed on entitlements

    Steven Benen noted this morning that Republicans seem geared up to try their hostage-taking strategy one more time in demanding serious cuts to entitlement programs in exchange for raising the debt limit sometime this spring/summer. He rightly notes that that train left the station a while ago and its unlikely anyone is going to take their threats seriously if they try it again.

    I’m still not sure WTH is up with the Republican leadership. What I do know is that their lunatic base is still all fired up about things that are sure to doom them as a party.

    But here’s one thing that I DO know. If the Randians in their ranks really are serious about privatizing the big three – Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security – their window of opportunity is getting smaller by the day.

    That’s because the one thing they’ve used to convince the lunatic base to screw themselves over with these programs is to scare the shit out of them by saying they are going broke and need “reform.” Since doing that with Social Security went nowhere for Bush (and was further doomed with the economic collapse of 2008), they’ve focused mostly on Medicare and Medicaid. But as I’ve been saying here…that is looking like a bridge too far as well.

  9. rikyrah says:

    Keep speaking up!
    The volume of articles I’ve posted lately has gone down. But there have been some stories in the last week or so that I thought were important enough for me to spend some time researching and writing about because they weren’t getting much attention. That means I’ve been off the bandwagon on the really big stories lately. But then I figure you get enough of those stories elsewhere.

    This morning I found a few others writing about some of the things I’ve been spending my time talking about lately. So consider this a bit of an update.

    First of all, Adam Serwer has written a great article about the case the racists are making against Thomas Perez – President Obama’s nominee as Secretary of Labor. If you’ll remember, I wrote about Perez’s efforts to uphold the principle of “disparate impact” in cases of civil rights violations. Serwer points out why that principle is so important to maintain.

    Civil rights advocates were worried that if this case reached the Supreme Court, Chief Justice John Roberts, who as part of the Reagan Justice Department in the early 1980s, had opposed using a disparate impact standard to enforcing the Voting Rights Act, would have another chance to unravel another hard-won civil rights law…

    The deal Perez helped cut likely prevented a landmark civil rights law from being struck down by the Roberts court. Perez’s civil rights division later used this law to secure record financial settlements against banks that discriminated against minority borrowers during the financial crisis. And Republicans were very angry about it.
    We don’t know yet whether or not the Robert’s Court will uphold the tenants of the Voting Rights Act. But because of what Perez did as head of DOJ’s Civil Rights Division, the precedent for considering disparate impact is maintained. In addition, it has been used to settle discrimination cases on behalf of minority borrowers against banks.

    It’s clear to me that Thomas Perez has been fighting the good fight on our behalf at DOJ and now its time for us to inform ourselves and have his back in the battle for his confirmation as Secretary of Labor.

  10. rikyrah says:

    March 22, 2013

    An insufferable read that’ll leaving you begging for more

    Ron Fournier’s “grand bargain” analysis is a masterful serving of Beltway mumbo-jumbo, seasoned with hocus-pocus, liberally sprinkled with conservative abracadabra and all of it marinated in utter hogwash.

    It’s a true must-read, if you can get it down.

    “[F]inally,” writes Fournier in the National Journal, “there may be shared will to compromise.” And that will would come from Republicans, right? No. According to Fournier, it would come from Democrats, because you see “President Obama needs fiscal peace to stop his slide in polls” and “Liberal commentators, who for months cheered the White House’s no-surrender stance with House Republicans, are now signaling retreat or retrenchment.”

    Fournier then stands a Greg Sargent piece on its head by arguing that Sargent is one of those liberal commentators “signaling retreat or retrenchment”; Sargent isn’t, he didn’t, and Fournier should have either his reading comprehension tested or his integrity-levels checked.

    Fournier then unwittingly proceeds to blow up the entire rationale of his own piece–in a nutshell, that “bargaining with the House GOP may be Obama’s smartest path”–by observing that “even token reforms by Obama in 2013, opens the door to deeper entitlement changes in the future”–that is, an out-and-out GOP triumph.

    You haven’t had enough, you say? You want more abuse? More deception? More insidious hogwash? Then you’re in luck:

  11. rikyrah says:

    Dominican official links Daily Caller to alleged lies about Menendez

    By Carol D. Leonnig and Luz Lazo,

    Friday, March 22, 11:35 AM

    A top Dominican law enforcement official said Friday that a local lawyer has reported being paid by someone claiming to work for the conservative Web site the Daily Caller to find prostitutes who would lie and say they had sex for money with Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.).

    The local lawyer told Dominican investigators that a foreign man, who identified himself as “Carlos,” had offered him $5,000 to find and pay women in the Caribbean nation willing to make the claims about Menendez, according to Jose Antonio Polanco, district attorney for the La Romana region, where the investigation is being conducted.

    The videotaped claims of two women, made with their faces obscured, were posted last fall on the Daily Caller. The site reported that “the two women said they met Menendez around Easter at Casa de Campo, an expensive 7,000-acre resort in the Dominican Republic. . . . They claimed Menendez agreed to pay them $500 for sex acts, but in the end they each received only $100.”

    The Daily Caller issued a statement Friday saying that the information allegedly provided by the Dominican lawyer, Melanio Figueroa, was false.

    The Daily Caller said: “At no point did any money change hands between The Daily Caller and any sources or individuals connected with this investigation, nor did anyone named Carlos travel to the Dominican Republic on behalf of The Daily Caller. As recently as two weeks ago, Figueroa was on record with another news outlet as saying the women he represented were telling the truth about their initial allegations against Senator Mendendez.”

    Tucker Carlson, who runs the Web site, said in a statement provided through his spokesman that the Daily Caller “never paid anyone, was never asked to pay anyone and of course never would pay anyone for this story.

  12. rikyrah says:

    Barbs of racism, anti-Semitism in NY school clash

    by Jim Fitzgerald, Associated Press | March 21, 2013 at 5:53 PM

    School board meetings descend into shouting matches. Accusations of racism and anti-Semitism fly. Angry parents turn their backs on board members in a symbolic stand of disrespect.

    Tension in a suburban New York school district is rooted in an unusual dynamic: The families who send their children to public schools are mostly Hispanic and African-American. The school board is almost entirely made up of ultra-Orthodox Jews who send their children to private schools and are bent on keeping taxes low.

    “It’s as if the board of directors of Coke only owned stock in Pepsi,” said Steven White, an activist for the public schools.

    Public-school parents accuse the board of the 9,000-student East Ramapo Central School District of cutting teachers, guidance counselors, art programs, all-day kindergarten and the high school marching band, while diverting public resources to favored Orthodox institutions.

    Peggy Hatton, who co-hosts a radio program that features school issues, said, “It’s just becoming impossible for our students to apply to colleges when the advanced placement classes are cut, the extracurriculars are cut.”

    How a public school district that’s 57 percent black, including Haitian, and 29 percent Hispanic, came to be governed by ultra-Orthodox Jews is a case study in changing demographics and the power of democracy.

    The district, 25 miles north of New York City in Rockland County, has been settled rapidly in recent years by Jews from the Hasidic and other sects who came from their traditional strongholds of Brooklyn. They quickly built their own schools, or yeshivas, raised large families and became a powerful voting bloc. Though not a majority of the population, they have organized to defeat school budgets that increase taxes and to elect members of their own communities to the board.

    At the same time, public-school supporters are less organized; many are believed to be non-citizens who don’t vote. And the area’s older residents have also tended to vote against school budget increases.

    At least seven of the nine board members are ultra-Orthodox Jewish men. A man and a woman who represented the public-school community resigned from the board in January, alleging intimidation by the rest of the board. Two men, one black and one Jewish, were appointed to replace them.

    The stark division has led to a flurry of lawsuits and petitions, and New York State has intervened, blocking the sale of a public school building to a Jewish congregation and warning the board to change the way it uses public special education money for private schools.

    While state law provides for a school district to pay some private school expenses, for transportation, textbooks and special education, the state alleges that East Ramapo has been too quick to move children — mostly Jewish children — from the public schools into special education schools run by the Orthodox. Each case funnels thousands of taxpayer dollars to the private schools.

    The state is also insisting that the district balance its budget, which has an estimated $8 million deficit this school year. At a meeting Tuesday night, the board approved borrowing $7.5 million.

    That meeting illustrated the apparent disdain each side has for the other. There seemed little in common between the board members, most in yarmulkes and black coats, and the onlookers, mostly from racial minorities.

  13. rikyrah says:

    Naomi in Shock After Black Model (Devyn) Says She’s Not a Black Model

    March 22, 2013 by Brittney M. Walker

    *“The Face” contestant Devyn put a stamp on shame in the modeling industry for Black women when she told Wendy Williams, who was a guest judge, that she doesn’t consider herself a Black model.

    It was awkward just witnessing the exchange between the Black women in the room with this 21-year-old brown skinned chick.

    In an attempt to relate to the girl, Wendy asked her about the level of difficulty being a Black model.

    To her surprise, and Naomi’s, she said, “I don’t really consider myself as a Black girl model. I know what my ethnicity is, but I’m fair-skinned and I feel like I have an international look.”

    Say what? What does that have to do with anything?

    Namoi was totally appalled by the commentary.

    “What the f*ck does she mean? That’s a disgrace! She’s a Black girl.”

    It sounds like that Black girl needs some therapy.

  14. rikyrah says:

    March 21, 2013 11:23 AM
    South End of a North-Bound Brontosaurus

    By Ed Kilgore

    There’s a Manu Raju piece at Politico today on the growing gap between opinion on same-sex marriage between Congress (mainly among Republicans, but also among many red-state Democrats) and the country. Most conservative pols are mouthing the same platitudes on “traditional marriage” that worked for them a decade or two decades ago. But public opinion continues to move rapidly, notably as measured in the recent WaPo poll that shows Americans favoring legalized same-sex marriage by a 58-36 margin, with an astonishing 81% of those under 30 favoring same-sex marriage.

    So Republicans in particular are being caught in a whirlwind on this issue, since their own rank-and-file still opposes marriage equality by a 59-34 margin (indies, by contrast, support it by a 62-32 margin, even though for a host of reasons they tend to tilt Republican these days). Meanwhile, Democrats taking their old and previously safe position of supporting every equality measure short of marriage are not only bucking overall public opinion, but no longer have much of a platform of Democratic public opinion on which to stand, with the Democratic rank-and-file now favoring legalized same-sex marriage by a 72-23 margin.

    As Raju illustrates, congressional Republicans are mostly keeping their mouths shut on the issue unless pressed. A few, like retiring Sen. Saxby Chambliss, feel free to make the old bigoted jokes: “I’m not gay, so I’m not going to marry one.” Good one, Saxby; it ranks right down there with the old Christian Right knee-slapper, “God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve,” which I heard as recently as last summer at a big Christian Right clambake in Iowa attended by a host of big-time national Republican pols.

    But the favorite dodge, particularly beloved of that “libertarian” folk hero Rand Paul, is simply to insist it’s a “state issue” and then change the subject. This may not work to keep the Christian Right happy too much longer if states continue to legalize same-sex marriage. It is, however, probably the best politicians can do when they realize they are the south end of a north-bound brontosaurus hurtling towards a choice between evolution or extinction.

  15. rikyrah says:

    Nigeria: Prof Chinua Achebe is Dead
    By Idris Akinbajo, 22 March 2013

    Nigeria’s literary icon and publisher of several novels, Chinua Achebe, is dead.

    Mr. Achebe, 82, died in the United States where he was said to have suffered from an undisclosed ailment.

    PREMIUM TIMES learnt he died last night in a hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, United States.

    A source close to the family said the professor had been ill for a while and was hospitalised in an undisclosed hospital in Boston.

    The source declined to provide further details, saying the family would issue a statement on the development later today.

    Contacted, spokesperson for Brown University, where Mr. Achebe worked until he took ill, Darlene Trewcrist, is yet to respond to our enquiries on the professor’s condition.

    Until his death, the renowned author of Things Fall Apart was the David and Marianna Fisher University Professor and Professor of Africana Studies at Brown.

    The University described him as “known the world over for having played a seminal role in the founding and development of African literature.”

  16. rikyrah says:

    March 21, 2013 5:25 PM
    Simple Plan

    Of all the vast literature on the current plight of the Republican Party, this fairly simple statement from Rich Lowry makes the most sense to me:

    [S]o much depends on substance. No “rebranding” will make a difference if Republican policy is not relevant to people’s lives. What the party desperately needs more than different marketing or new political consultants are a few Jack Kemps, political entrepreneurs willing to ignore orthodoxies and evangelize for new ideas.

    Kemp did his most important work as a backbencher in the House. Where is his equivalent today? It’s too bad John Boehner, Eric Cantor and Kevin McCarthy don’t tell some promising member to spend the next three months coming up with 10 ideas for promoting work in America, or for a new welfare reform agenda, or for replacing Obamacare, or for making college affordable. Instead, it’s all federal debt, all the time

    Now to be sure, Jack Kemp’s reputation as an idea man is being considerably inflated by Lowry. But it’s the right idea. Unfortunately, when you start trying to come up with “new ideas” on a broad array of issues, it tends to bring you directly into conflict with ideological shibboleths, the most important being the conservative conviction that government can’t do much of anything competently other than blowing things up and rewarding the already rewarded. Coming up with an actual way of “replacing Obamacare” that doesn’t exacerbate the worst features of the pre-reform status quo ante (e.g., the favorite Republican prescription of interstate insurance sales) isn’t a day’s work but that of years spent trying to overcome or subvert the conservative hostility to any real public sector role in health care, and to the very risk-spreading idea of health insurance itself.

  17. rikyrah says:

    March 22, 2013 10:11 AM
    The Four-Headed Beast of Obamacare Implementation

    Today is the third anniversary of the final House vote on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. And the main noise you hear about that is from excited conservatives who are happily anticipating the “failure” of Obamacare, and think a campaign to repeal can become a fruitful partisan issue in 2014 or 2016.

    A lot of this, of course, is just the usual hype. The negative public opinion findings about Obamacare have always been suspect in conservative hands, since a big chunk of those disapproving of the legislation actually favor a more aggressive government role in health care, and another big chunk just don’t like the sound of the individual mandate and actually support the key individual provisions of the law. And the inveterate Obamacare-haters are unwilling to acknowledge the positive things about the law’s implementation, particularly a sudden downward trend in health care inflation.

    But health reform supporters should cut through the doom-saying and acknowledge three big problems with Obamacare implementation that are quite real.

    The first and most obvious is the patchwork pattern of cooperation and obstruction—not to mention plain old politics and bureaucracy—being exhibited by the states. Aside from the hard-core conservative states that have decided to torpedo the Medicaid expansion that is a big part of Obamacare’s design, and their concomitant refusal to assist in the establishment of exchanges for the purchase of private insurance policies, there is the ongoing set of negotiations that could in a number of states result in the privatization of Medicaid insurance services, which in turn could boost costs.

  18. rikyrah says:

    Iowa GOP Chairman: “So-Called Same Sex Marriage is an Irreconcilable Difference with the Republican Party’s Largest Constituency.”
    By David Weigel

    So, how’s the GOP’s Bold New Thinking on Gay Marriage playing outside D.C.? Not well. The Iowa GOP, which will play host to Rand Paul in May, is currently run by a 32-year old named A.J. Spiker. He got into high-level GOP politics via his work in the Paul movement. And he’s not sounding like Rand when it comes to gay marriage. In an interview with radio host Steve Deace, Spiker agreed that a fading Republican focus on marriage and immigration would hurt the party. “We’re already at a point now where people are saying, I’m done voting for these people,” said Deace.

    After the interview, Spiker said this email to fellow Republicans.

    While inclusion is important, elected Republicans (we all know the most recent example) and National/State Party leaders who embrace so-called same sex marriage are doing grave harm to our Party and the whole of society. Lets not forget, so-called same sex marriage is an irreconcilable difference with the Republican Party’s largest constituency… Committed Christians.

    So on the eternal question — can the party shift left on some issues wthout alienating base voters? — put Spiker in the “no” camp.

  19. rikyrah says:

    March 21, 2013 12:23 PM
    The 50-Year March

    By Ed Kilgore

    I’m glad there’s a renewed interest in reassessing the Iraq War thanks to this week’s Tenth Anniversary of its formal initiation. But there’s another anniversary this year that bears recognition and discussion: the 50th anniversary of the public launching of the Draft Goldwater effort of 1963.

    You can read Rick Perlstein’s fine 2001 book, Before the Storm: Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American Consensus, for the background and details. But its basic theme is that the Goldwater campaign unleashed cultural furies and empowered within the Republican Party previously marginal ideological points of view that together would haunt conservative and national politics for a long, long time. How long? It’s not at all over, despite repeated burials.

    This matters right now not just for an accurate understanding of American history, but because the connection between the first attempted conquest of the GOP by the conservative movement Goldwater led and its all-but-consummated triumph much more recently is so often missed. Here’s the lede from a new “Behind the Curtain” column by those avatars of the snail’s-eye view of politics, Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen, heralding the rise of the “Rubio and Rand Party:”

    Forget John Boehner. Ignore Karl Rove. The real action in the GOP is coming from the newest wing of the party, the one born in the spring of 2009 — the offspring of tea party activists who almost single-handedly propelled Republicans to control of the House

    If there’s a better example of reaching the right short-term conclusion without understanding the long-term reasons for it, I’ve never seen it. Put aside the highly debatable hypothesis that the “tea party activists” made the GOP takeover of the House possible (more accurately, the “tea party activists” took charge of the GOP and then inherited power when Republicans won a big victory for reasons that had little or nothing to do with Tea Folk ideology or activism). The idea that this movement was “born” in 2009 is laughable when you consider the vast overlap of its tenets and its composition with the militants who spearheaded Goldwater’s campaign and then uneasily co-existed with other Republicans until a shrinking party and a radicalized electoral base broke through in the runup to 2010.

    Is there any element of the Tea Ideology that wasn’t present within the Goldwater movement, often not in embryo but in full? There was the frank rejection of the New Deal legacy that “establishment” Republicans had long accepted (supplemented by the Tea Folk by rejection of the Great Society legacy Goldwater’s calamitous defeat help usher in). There was the hatred of “bicoastal elites,” expressed often via conspiracy theories. There was the packaging of reactionary cultural and economic impulses in constitutional originalism and state’s rights theories. And of course, the Goldwater Movement spearheaded the regional realignment that eventually made the South the preeminent Republican base region and the GOP the “White Man’s Party.” Moreover, Barry’s activists were characterized by a tight fusion of libertarian, social-traditionalist and anti-communist ideologies in the conservative movement that viewed the “three legs of the stool” not as a transfactional coalition but as a new creed in which all these old points of view became mutually reinforcing.

    • Ametia says:

      The comments are straight from the pits of HELL. These lunatics actually believe that the WH and that negro Obama planned the Newtown shootings and it’s all a HOAX. FUCKING UNREAL!

  20. Ametia says:

    Colorado Law Allows Same-Sex Civil Unions in ‘Hate State’
    By Jennifer Oldham – Mar 21, 2013 11:01 PM CT

    Governor John Hickenlooper made same-sex civil unions legal in Colorado, where two decades ago voters passed a constitutional amendment banning local ordinances to protect gay rights.
    The Colorado Civil Union Act, which the Democrat-controlled legislature moved to Hickenlooper earlier this month, provides gays with rights similar to those of married couples. Applications for the licenses can be filed starting May 1.

  21. Ametia says:

    Harry Reid’s surrender

    By Eugene Robinson, Published: March 21

    Shame on Harry Reid for killing any prospect of an assault weapons ban. I understand why he did it, but that doesn’t make it right.

    In his State of the Union address last month, President Obama spoke with fiery eloquence about the cost of gun violence in shattered lives. “They deserve a vote,” the president said of the victims, challenging Congress to take a stand on reasonable legislation to keep deadly weapons out of the hands of killers.

  22. Ametia says:

    The GOP Wants to Use This Bizarre Case to Scuttle Obama’s Most Progressive Cabinet Nominee
    Inside the case that made conservatives hate Thomas Perez.

    —By Adam Serwer | Fri Mar. 22, 2013 3:00 AM PDT

    Republicans are expected to fiercely oppose President Barack Obama’s nomination of Thomas Perez, the assistant attorney general for civil rights and one of the more prominent progressives in his administration, to head the Labor Department. Already, Perez’s GOP foes have accused him of corruption concerning a deal he helped forge in the Justice Department. This agreement prevented an unusual Minnesota housing discrimination case from going to the Supreme Court, and the full backstory—which Perez’ critics haven’t acknowledged—is a bizarre tale of legal complexities in which landlords tried to use a major civil rights law to protect themselves from city regulations meant to improve living conditions for low-income residents.

    Read on:

    THIS: If Republicans block Perez over his actions in the St. Paul case, it won’t be because of corruption or ethics. It will be because he rescued a civil rights law they oppose from almost certain death at the hands of the Roberts court. “

  23. rikyrah says:

    Debunking 2 Myths: GOP Won’t Raise Taxes and Budget Deal Is Dead

    Republicans are open to tax hikes as part of a narrow path to bargain with the White House.
    By Ron Fournier

    The Republican Party’s tactical victory on sequestration spending cuts has created a narrow opening for a budget deal that could loosen Washington gridlock to the benefit of both the White House and the GOP. The outlines of an agreement have long been clear.

    Now, finally, there may be shared will to compromise.

    President Obama needs fiscal peace to stop his slide in polls, which suggest that voters blame both parties for dysfunction in Washington. After winning re-election, overconfident White House aides assumed that Obama was immune from fallout.

    Persistent budget fights also threaten the president’s domestic agenda, including immigration, gun safety and climate change, according to Democratic operatives inside and outside the White House.

    Liberal commentators, who for months cheered the White House’s no-surrender stance with House Republicans, are now signaling retreat or retrenchment. Greg Sargent of the Washington Post, one of the keenest observers of the budget process, wrote Wednesday that Obama’s allies face a tough question: “Which is worse, indefinite sequestration or a grand bargain that includes serious entitlement cuts?”

    Liberal activists and Senate Democrats have had little stomach for the type of entitlement reform that House Republicans are demanding. They had hoped that sequestration would be extraordinarily unpopular, forcing the GOP to replace it with a package combining new taxes and targeted spending cuts that didn’t touch the runaway spending for Medicare or Social Security.

    The outrage has not come. Instead, as Brian Beutler reported for the left-leaning Talking Points Memo, “lawmakers have reacted to the bad news with a collective shrug.” Sequestration, Beutler writes, may be the new normal.

    Back to Sargent: “That means that at some point, liberals may well be faced with a choice – should they accept the grand bargain that includes Chained CPI and Medicare cuts, and join the push for that, or essentially declare the sequester a less awful alternative, and instead insist that we live with that?”

    And there you have it — a point of view, shared by some in the White House, that bargaining with the House GOP may be Obama’s smartest path.

  24. rikyrah says:

    The Morning Plum: No, the Ryan vision is not a winner for the GOP

    Posted by Greg Sargent on March 22, 2013 at 9:13 am

    Now that House Republicans have voted almost unanimously for the Paul Ryan budget — committing themselves irrevocably to the radical fiscal agenda that voters rejected last year — the battle is underway over how it will be defined, or redefined, in the public mind. Republicans insist they have hit on a new way to talk about the Ryan plan that will prove a winner in 2014.

    Here’s a preview of what the GOP messaging will look like. The Congressional Leadership Fund, a group with ties to John Boehner, is running new ads slamming two House Dems (Joe Garcia of Florida and Sean Maloney of New York) for voting against the Ryan budget. It features a mom worried about family finances, and says:

    Families make tough decisions to balance their budget. Why can’t Washington? Congressman Joe Garcia just voted against balancing Washington’s budget. Garcia backs policies to put America more in debt.

    Putting aside the absurdity of comparing family and government budgets, the ads send a revealing signal, telegraphing the Republican strategy for converting the Ryan vision from a negative into a positive. Rather than try to repackage the Ryan plan’s voucherizing of Medicare — which is deeply unpopular — as a positive, Republicans will instead draw a contrast with Dems by focusing solely on its goal of balancing the budget. Ryan himself has signaled this, claiming that his plan “clarifies the divide between us.” Ryan sums up the difference this way: “We want to balance the budget. They don’t. We want to restrain spending. They want to spend more.”

  25. rikyrah says:

    Reactions in Israel

    by BooMan
    Thu Mar 21st, 2013 at 09:39:59 PM EST


    Sometimes it takes someone from the outside, like U.S. President Barack Obama, to show up and tell it like it is to the Israelis: You’ve got a wonderful country, you’re wise and just, you suffered and you deserve a state, and as long as the United States exists you’ll never stand alone – but for God’s sake, enough! Stop the settlements, stop the occupation, stop the deportations, stop the ongoing abuse of the Palestinians, and stop the settlers’ violence. Enough.

    That’s how the left interpreted Obama’s speech in Israel. The right yawned and said that the Arabs aren’t interested in peace.

    • Ametia says:

      PBO spoke to the hearts and minds of the YOUNG. He knows they’re not full of narrow-minded hate. He knows they are the FUTURE.

  26. rikyrah says:

    Welcome to Sequestration Nation

    Posted by Greg Sargent on March 21, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    For all the obsessing and chortling over White House tours, it really is true — as others have pointed out — that the sequester cuts are beginning to take hold around the country. There are examples like this one from Sam Stein, in which a Head Start program in Arkansas is closing its doors 13 days in advance, as well as many other examples culled from newscasts around the country earlier this week.

    It remains unpredictable how the politics of this will play out — it certainly holds real political peril for Obama, but it still remains possible that it could ultimately force Republicans back to the table to deal. It’s premature to rule out that outcome entirely. Just look at these headlines, which were sent over by a Democrat who is trying to demonstrate that this really could snowball over time:

    * Detroit Free Press (Michigan): “State warns workers of potential layoffs as massive federal cuts trickle down”

    * Daily Tribune: “Army workers protest pay cuts”

    * The Oneida Daily Dispatch (New York): “Sequestration budget cuts hit local area hard”

    * Dayton Daily News (Ohio): “Furlough notices to go out Friday”

    * Columbus Dispatch: “Sequester hits small airports”

    * Sioux City Journal (Iowa): “Iowa inspector says furloughs could lead to bootleg meat”

    * The Hawk Eye: “Head Start among groups expecting sequestration cuts”

    * The Des Moines Register: “Federal budget cuts creep into Iowa”

    * The Shreveport Times (Louisiana): “Budget cuts mean fewer state troopers”

    * San Diego Union Tribune (California): “Federal workers rally against furloughs”

    * Albuquerque Journal (New Mexico): “Kirkland furlough notices going out”

    * Santa Fe New Mexican: “Sequestration cuts force Bandelier to furlough staff”

    One wonders if this really could end up getting people to rethink the relationship between government spending and economic well being and recovery.

    Despite all this, the focus in Washington remains on the White House tours. Yesterday the Senate actually held a vote on GOP Senator Tom Coburn’s measure to restore funding for them. It seems possible that the GOP strategy of attacking the White House for cancelling tours and egg rolls (which turned out to be bogus) will begin to look out of touch if the damage gets worse. I continue to think this is shaping up as a long game

  27. rikyrah says:

    Senate roundly rejects radical Ryan budget

    By Steve Benen
    Fri Mar 22, 2013 8:00 AM EDT

    After the House passed Paul Ryan’s far-right budget plan, the blueprint was sent to the Senate, where it obviously had no chance of success. Indeed, for the last two weeks, plenty of Republicans in the upper chamber publicly said they saw no point in even bothering with it.

    Of course, their concern was not about wasting time, but rather, being forced to vote up or down on a proposal that ends Medicare, slashes social investments, and gives millionaires another massive tax break. It’s why, when the Ryan plan reached the Senate floor last night, it wasn’t Republicans championing their own party’s vision, it was Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-Wash.) demanding her colleagues go on the record, either supporting or opposing the House plan.

    In the end, it wasn’t close — the Ryan budget failed in the Senate on a 40-59 vote.

    GOP Sens. Susan Collins (Maine), Dean Heller (Nev.), Mike Lee (Utah), Rand Paul (Ky.) and Ted Cruz (Texas) voted with Democrats against Ryan’s plan. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), a prospective 2016 GOP presidential nominee, voted for Ryan’s budget.

    “Enough is enough. Republicans received a vote on their extreme proposal; now that it has failed once more, it’s time for Republicans to work with Democrats to enact a budget that reflects our values of fairness and opportunity for all,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said after the vote.

  28. rikyrah says:

    Those who forget their own policy positions

    By Steve Benen
    Fri Mar 22, 2013 8:35 AM EDT

    We talked yesterday about House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), who briefly endorsed universal background checks on firearm purchases, before remembering that he actually believes the opposite. It turns out, as Rachel noted on the show last night, he’s not the only forgetful Ohio Republican.

    Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) was asked in an interview about his views on marriage equality. The Republican, predictably, said he opposes allowing same-sex couples to get married, but supports civil unions.

    “You know, if people want to have civil unions and have some way to transfer their resources, I’m for that. I just think marriage is between a man and woman. But if you want to have a civil union, that’s fine with me

    It fell to the governor’s spokesperson to tell reporters that when Kasich said he’s for civil unions, that did not mean he’s for civil unions. In fact, the governor’s office said, Kasich continues to oppose civil unions, which remain illegal in Ohio, despite what he said in the interview.

    Why did the governor say the opposite? His spokesperson added that Kasich was using the words “loosely.”

    Given how frequently Republicans seem to endorse one position, only to quickly walk it back and adopt the opposite position, Rachel asked a good question last night: “How does the other party — or country at large — argue policy with a party that so often does not seem to know what their policy positions are let alone actually believe in them?” Rachel raised the possibility of “post-policy” Republicans.

  29. rikyrah says:

    Top of the Hour Almost Ruined Me: Scandal Episode 16 Recap
    March 22, 2013 | Luvvie

    FOUR WEEKS! It’s been four GOOD weeks without Scandal. I was the most thirsty I’d ever been for this show. It’s like someone dropped me off in a desert at high noon and said “find your way.” I needed Shonda an’ em to come back into my life and last night, they did.

    *Spoilers begin here*

    In case you missed it or forgot about where they left off, Jake figured out that his assignment with Fitz is personal, Prez Ghost is failing because of the American citizes being held hostage in Kashfar, Huck is perturbed and not showering and Albatross is CIA dude! So let’s jump right into it!

    Press Not Pizza – A family (the Stanners) is sitting in their kitchen waiting on dinner and the doorbell rings. Their young daughter (Annie) hops up because the food they ordered must be here. She opens the door and instead of the pizza guy, there’s plenty of press with mics and cameras. They’re all shooting out questions about some affair and she screams for her parents. Uh oh! The mother calls her lawyer, who tells her that Olivia Pope will get on the job.

    Liv Got Juice – Olivia is in Jake’s office waiting for them to go to dinner when her phone rings. She has to go, but before she leaves, she asks him about the hostage situation and hands him an envelope with the information on Albatross. He wonders why she isn’t taking it to the White House, asking “Aren’t you hooked up pretty good…?” Clearly, he knows President Ghost got feels for her.

    Gladiators Goon In – Liv, Harrison and Abby roll into the Stanner house, with that hard walk I’m always here for. When they ring the doorbell, and the mom lets them in, and says she’s expecting Olivia Pope. She looks at Abby, and Liv says SHE’S Olivia. Sarah needed to pick her face up from the floor because that was clearly not what she was expecting.

    The Gladiators spring to action, telling the Stanners to bring in any of their garbage because folks will rifle through it and Liv wants to know everything! Sarah’s hubby Phil says they’re just a normal family but Pope points at that normal is gone. Once you’re accused of having an affair with a major political figure, normal gets punted through the goalposts of life. Liv asks her what her relationship with the judge is and why could be suspected to have had an affair with him. Sarah replies with “It’s all true.” CHILE, I had to hold on to my wig cuz… WHOOO!

    And I can’t go on without giving a shoutout to that white jacket with the origami bottom that Olivia had on. It was LAIDT like justice and courage!

    Spying 101 with Huck – Huck and Quinn are trailing on the CIA Director, since he is Albatross. Huck says the director has a shadow who follows him everywhere and tells him what to eat. His security detail is like Weight Watchers with guns. She says “You’re good at this. Stalking people.” And he tells her “You’ll get there.” HUCKLEBERRY QUINN FOR THE WIN!

    Competing for Attention – Cyrus is trying to go see President Ghost but his secretary isn’t letting him in. Then Mellie shows up with “America’s Baby.” When Fitz is told they’re both there, he picks Cyrus to see him first. Ouch. He tells Cyrus to fix the affair thing because it involves the person he wants to nominate to the Supreme Court. He basically scolded Cy and dismisses him. Then, he opens his door and grabs the baby from Mellie. As she tries to talk to him and enter, he slams it in her face.

    • Ametia says:

      LMBAO Luvvie’s back!

      I loved this scene right chere: “Gladiators Goon In – Liv, Harrison and Abby roll into the Stanner house, with that hard walk I’m always here for. When they ring the doorbell, and the mom lets them in, and says she’s expecting Olivia Pope. She looks at Abby, and Liv says SHE’S Olivia. Sarah needed to pick her face up from the floor because that was clearly not what she was expecting.”

  30. Ametia says:

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

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