Tuesday Open Thread | The Movies of John Hughes

Today, we continue to remember the films of the late John Hughes.

Today – The Breakfast Club.


The Breakfast Club is a 1985 American coming of age comedy-drama film written and directed by John Hughes and starring Emilio Estevez, Anthony Michael Hall, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald, and Ally Sheedy. The storyline follows five teenagers (each a member of a different high school clique) as they spend a Saturday in detention together and come to realize that they are all deeper than their respective stereotypes.

Critically, it is considered to be one of the greatest high school films of all time, as well as one of Hughes’ most memorable and recognizable works. The media referred to the film’s five stars as members of a group called the “Brat Pack”.

Dear Mr. Vernon,
we accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole saturday in detention for whatever it is we did wrong, but we think you’re crazy for making us write an essay telling you who we think we are.
You see us as you want to see us, in the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. But what we found out, is that each one of us is a brain,
and an athlete,
and a basketcase,
a princess,
and a criminal.

Does that answer your question?

Sincerely yours,

The Breakfast Club.

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54 Responses to Tuesday Open Thread | The Movies of John Hughes

  1. rikyrah says:

    In 2011 the Texas state legislature cut $111 million from the state’s family-planning budget which was distributed by the Texas Department of State Health Services. The cuts resulted in the closure of over 60 health clinics that primarily serviced low-income women and families.

    The federal government announced yesterday that it would bypass the state government and provide Title X funds directly to the Women’s Health and Family Planning Association of Texas which, according to the Texas Observer, will be used to “distribute to clinics for birth control, wellness exams, STD screenings and other family-planning services.”

    Title X will help pay for family-planning services at these struggling clinics. But the grant provides more than money. Unlike other funding streams, the Title X grant allows providers to cast privacy protection over all of their clients. This is especially important for teens that would otherwise need parental consent to access birth control. The Title X grant also allows clinics to buy pharmaceutical drugs at a steep discount, and gives them the flexibility to invest in staff and infrastructure.

    The Texas Department of State Health Services had sponsored 40 providers through Title X that operated a total of 122 clinics. Beginning next month, Hagerty’s coalition [the Women’s Health and Family Planning Association of Texas] will distribute the Title X money to 34 contractors—including Planned Parenthood—operating 121 clinics across the state.

    This a good example of measures the Obama administration takes on a regular basis to do whatever it can to provide for people that state governments have forsaken or chosen not to care about. It’s also ironic in that malfeasance on the part of the state government has allowed the federal government to assume more control over healthcare in the state.

    The federal government will also be operating the health insurance exchange under Obamacare in the state of Texas because Rick Perry refused to create one.
    Women of Texas…thank your President!


  2. rikyrah says:

    2-Year-Old Bedtime Bandit Caught Red-Handed (VIDEO)

    Our 8-year-old daughter came to us one night and told us our 2-year-old was taking stuff at night out of her room. We told her to … just lock the door. A couple nights later she told us he had opened the lock on his door. We were VERY skeptical so we set up the camera in the hall to see what would happen. Sure enough within a few seconds of closing his door and locking hers he was at the door opening the lock. The rest is on the video. We could not stop laughing afterward and we let him sleep with the pillow pet that night.

  3. Ametia says:

    Exclusive: Obama to appoint first female director of Secret Service

    President Obama will appoint on Tuesday Julia Pierson, a veteran U.S. Secret Service agent and senior official, as the first female director of the agency. Pierson, 53, began her career in the Secret Service as an agent in Miami three decades ago. She now serves as the service’s chief of staff. She does not need Senate confirmation for the post, which White House officials said would be announced later Tuesday afternoon.

  4. rikyrah says:

    The End of Pat Buchanan’s GOP

    by BooMan
    Tue Mar 26th, 2013 at 11:14:27 AM EST

    When Pat Buchanan was finally fired by MSNBC in February 2012, it probably symbolized the end of an era for our culture and, in retrospect, for the Republican Party. Buchanan was the first person Richard Nixon hired when he started his campaign for the presidency in the 1968 election. Buchanan grew up in segregated Washington DC, and he liked it that way. He was one of the first strategists to realize that the Republican Party could make a comeback from its post-1964 nadir by adopting a Southern Strategy based on racism. He’s the living embodiment of the persistence of a Jim Crow mentality in this country and within the modern Republican Party. He survived and prospered in the Washington media despite persistent accusations of anti-Semitism (which is usually fatal) because he carried the torch for that Jim Crow mentality. Buchanan could oppose the Republican party line on trade, on foreign policy, on Israel…but he could appear on cable television from morning until night because his positions on racial matters were mainstream conservative positions. No one lost their job for being anti-black.

    Yet, what ultimately cost him his job wasn’t defending Nazi war criminals or minimizing the impact of the Holocaust. What cost him his job was the publication of his book Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025, which argued that whites had lamentably lost control of America. The following two passages from that book crossed some kind of invisible line that existed by late 2011, when he was initially suspended, but did not exist at any time prior to that.


  5. rikyrah says:

    Cruz dodges question on McCarthy

    By Steve Benen

    Tue Mar 26, 2013 10:19 AM EDT

    The Dallas Morning News’ Todd Gillman interviewed Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) over the weekend and noted that the far-right senator has been “compared to McCarthy by several people.” Cruz responded by saying the criticism “may be a sign that perhaps we’re doing something right.” It led to this interesting exchange.

    GILLMAN: Is McCarthy someone you admire?

    CRUZ: I’m not going to engage in the back and forth and the attacks. Several Democrats have demonstrated a willingness to attack me by name. I’m not going to engage in that argument.

    I’m curious why not.

    As Jed Lewison wrote, “Okay, Ted. Fine. Don’t engage in that. But how hard is it to say “no” when the question is whether you admire Joe McCarthy?”

    It’s hardly an unreasonable question given the circumstances. In February, his first full month as a senator, Cruz railed against Chuck Hagel’s Defense Secretary nomination, suggesting without proof that Hagelmay have received unreported funds from foreign enemies of the United States. It led Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) to note that Cruz’s antics were “reminiscent of a different time and place, when you said, ‘I have here in my pocket a speech you made on such and such a date,’ and, of course, nothing was in the pocket. It was reminiscent of some bad times.”

    A few weeks later we learned Cruz argued that Harvard Law School harbored 12 secret communists — each of whom supported “overthrowing the United States government” — on its faculty during his time as a student there.


    So it seems only fair for a reporter to ask whether Joe McCarthy is someone Cruz admirers. It’s not like it’s a trick question, and I suspect most public officials could give a straight answer.

    In the meantime, others on the far right continue to embrace the legacy of McCarthyism. Townhall.com published an item a month ago arguing, “It’s Time to See Joe McCarthy For the Hero He Was.”


  6. rikyrah says:

    Bandwagon effect kicks in on marriage rights

    By Steve Benen

    Tue Mar 26, 2013 9:31 AM EDT

    Elected policymakers like to do smart and popular things, but they don’t like to be the last one to do a smart and popular thing, which is how bandwagon effects begin — politicians see their colleagues do the right thing, and they hurry to join the club before it’s too late.

    Consider the last week in Democratic politics. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton endorsed marriage equality last Monday, and by the weekend, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) of Missouri was on board, too. Yesterday afternoon, Sen. Mark Warner (D) of Virginia announced on Facebook that he supports marriage equality “because it is the fair and right thing to do.”

    And by the end of the day, the bandwagon had a new member.*

    After remaining mum on the subject when asked about it last week, Sen. Mark Begich’s office issued a statement Monday night from the senator supporting marriage equality.

    “I believe that same sex couples should be able to marry and should have the same rights, privileges and responsibilities as any other married couple,” the Alaskan senator said in what appears to be his first direct statement on the subject.

    “Government should keep out of individuals’ personal lives — if someone wants to marry someone they love, they should be able to. Alaskans are fed up with government intrusion into our private lives, our daily business, and in the way we manage our resources and economy,” he continued.

    That appears to bring the new total of sitting senators who support marriage equality to 44 — 43 Democrats and one Republican.


  7. rikyrah says:

    Among Republicans, a generational divide on gay marriage

    Posted by Greg Sargent on March 26, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    With the Supreme Court hearing gay marriage cases today, the new poll from CBS news on marriage equality is striking, and strongly suggests it’s in the interests of the GOP to evolve on the issue already.

    The poll’s toplines find that support for legalizing gay marriage is at 53-39, with a stunning 33 percent of Americans who support marriage equality claiming they once held the opposite view. That alone underscores how fast the culture is changing on this issue.

    And here’s another key tidbit underscoring cultural movement: There is a sharp generational divide among Republicans on the issue. Overall, 56 percent of Republicans oppose legal gay marriage.

    But I asked the CBS polling team for a breakdown by age, and the result was that among Republicans under 50, a plurality of 49 percent supports legalizing gay marriage, versus only 46 percent who oppose it.

    What’s more, the poll also shows that support for gay marriage is even higher among the voter groups that Democrats are increasingly relying on. For instance, among voters under 30 overall, a stunning 73 percent back marriage equality. And among college educated whites — a key pillar of the Democratic coalition of the future — 68 percent support gay marriage.


  8. rikyrah says:

    Why immigration reform may not help the GOP

    Posted by Jamelle Bouie on March 26, 2013 at 11:18 am

    Even as it works to find support for a new package of gun laws, the administration and its allies are also pivoting back to immigration reform. The Hill notes: “The White House hopes to bolster President Obama’s political standing by shifting attention from the bruising budget battles of the last month to immigration reform and gun control.”

    Yesterday, for example, Obama urged action on immigration reform during a naturalization ceremony in the White House. “We are making progress, but we’ve got to finish the job,” said the president, “We’ve got a lot of white papers and studies. We’ve just got, at this point, to work up the political courage to do what’s required to be done.” What’s more, Organizing for Action — the political group that grew out of Obama’s reelection campaign — has declared an effort to highlight the personal stories of immigrants. And this morning, the Service Employees International Union announced its plan to launch a cable ad campaign urging lawmakers to support immigration reform.

    As for the target of this push, it’s not unreasonable to think it’s the Republican Party, which is still divided between immigration reform advocates — with Florida Senator Marco Rubio at the helm—and reform opponents, who argue against anything that might include a “path to citizenship” for unauthorized immigrants. Opponents are also unsure the GOP will gain anything politically from signing on to immigration reform, and for good reason. The Hill quotes Cal Jillson, a political scientist at Southern Methodist University, who notes that comprehensive immigration reform would be a huge achievement for Obama, having eluded the previous four presidents.

    In other words, even if Republicans do some leading on immigration reform, and even if they provide votes, the political credit — or a large share of it — will accrue to Obama. There’s not much in government the public doesn’t attribute to the president. If immigration reform is passed, then he — and not his Republican partners — will receive most of the praise.


  9. rikyrah says:

    Coates has been in Paris.

    Departures, Cont.
    Mar 25 2013, 10:37 AM ET

    I woke up this morning, wrote, took a long shower and then dressed. I walked to a pâtisserie, ordered a pain au chocolat and a coffee (it’s becoming a ritual) and thought mostly of my wife. I was watching the people come and go. I was watching the children here, lost in their strange freedom unlike anything I’ve ever known. They range the city–embracing, grazing, laughing.

    When I was a kid in West Baltimore the cops called this loitering. Childhood was a suspect class always bordering on the edge of the criminal. You play football on the traffic island and the cops chase you off. Never mind that it’s the only long patch of green in your neighborhood. You fly your kites from the second level of Mondawmin Mall and the les gendarmes are in effect. Go back to watching the Wonder Years and dreaming. You nail a crate to a telephone pole, because all the courts near you have been stripped. The city doesn’t send people to repair the courts, but to tear down your crate.

    Perhaps somewhere in Paris it is the same. But what I have seen is a place with a different sense of the Public, with children loosed in such a way that I have not seen even in wealthy areas. In America you structure the lives of your children, or they will be structured by the hands of all you fear. A child’s mind is naturally devilish, and needs correction even more than safety.

    But I was in the pâtisserie thinking of my wife, who beat me here by seven wise years because she is woman whose vision sends me to sonnage. I have always been a simple man, and left to my devices, my guiding principles would revolve around warm snugglies, Word of Warcraft and intravenous pizza. Except that I have never really walked alone. Instead I’ve been surrounded by people who insisted upon other languages. When I was nine my mother remanded to the tender clutches of a man who taught swimming out in the county in his back yard. On the first day I learned to hold my breath. On the second I floated. On the third I front crawled. On the fourth, I cried as he tossed me into the deep end over and over. And on the fifth, I crawled in the deep end, and it was all I ever wanted.


  10. rikyrah says:

    oh Fat Tony


    Exchange Of The Day

    Mar 26 2013 @ 1:32pm

    From Balkin:

    JUSTICE SCALIA: When did it become unconstitutional to ban same-sex marriage? Was it 1791? 1868?

    TED OLSON: When did it become unconstitutional to ban interracial marriage?

    JUSTICE SCALIA: Don’t try to answer my question with your own question.

  11. rikyrah says:

    Will The Social Cons Rebel?

    Mar 26 2013 @ 1:56pm

    If the GOP supports marriage equality, Huckabee claims that the party is “going to lose a large part of their base because evangelicals will take a walk.” Allahpundit suspects that, if SCOTUS rules in favor of greater equality, that marriage will be an issue during Republican primaries in 2016:

    To keep social conservatives onboard, candidates will be asked to promise (a) that they’ll appoint Supreme Court justices who are committed to overturning any gay-marriage rulings and (b) that they’ll endorse some sort of constitutional amendment that would either ban SSM outright or, at a minimum, return the issue to the states. (The amendment will go nowhere but that’s beside the point here.) Think a prospective nominee won’t do some squirming over whether they should sign on to those propositions, especially given the GOP’s panic over losing young voters? Come 2016, this won’t be just about gay marriage anymore; it’ll be a test of whether social conservatives retain the same influence over the party platform that they’ve had for the last few decades. That’s why Huck’s framing this in apocalyptic “stick with us or we walk” terms. It’s their party, at least on social issues.


  12. rikyrah says:

    Kordell Stewart
    SLASHES Marriage
    to ‘Real Housewives’ Star

    Kordell Stewart — the former Pittsburgh Steelers star — has filed for divorce from his reality star wife Porsha Williams … TMZ has learned.

    According to Fulton County Superior Court in Georgia, the 40-year-old NFL alum — who went by the nickname “Slash” during his playing days — filed for divorce on March 22.

    Stewart and Williams were married on May 21, 2011 — they have no children together. Stewart has a son from a previous relationship.

    Williams currently stars on “Real Housewives of Atlanta.”

    The issue of children came up often on the reality show — Porsha wanted to have kids AND a career in charity work … but Kordell told her she had to choose.

    7:49 AM PT — According to the divorce docs, obtained by TMZ, Kordell says the marriage is “irretrievably broken” … and claims the two are currently separated.

    Read more: http://www.tmz.com/2013/03/26/kordell-stewart-divorce-real-housewives-atlanta-porsha-williams/#ixzz2OfiZQYcG

  13. rikyrah says:

    Video: City Hall Reporters Glibly Joke About Stop & Frisk Using Gangnam Style

    On Saturday night, members of City Hall and the journalists who are paid to maintain an adversarial relationship with City Hall engaged in their annual display of public onanism. As part of the Inner Circle dinner, a video was produced showing members of the City Hall press corps performing a Gangnam Style parody of the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk policy that the city is currently defending in court.

    The skit, if you can sit through more than 10 seconds of it, features the New York Post’s CIty Hall Bureau Chief, David Seifman, being stopped and frisked for drinking a large soda. Here’s the video, with the complete lyrics at bottom:


  14. rikyrah says:

    Republican to Holder: Probe ‘rat’s nest’ in DOJ civil rights shop

    By Jordy Yager – 03/25/13 06:18 PM ET

    Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) on Monday called for an outside independent panel to investigate the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

    Wolf, in a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, said a recent inspector general report raised numerous troubling instances of internal mismanagement that he said indicate the division “has become a rat’s nest of unacceptable and unprofessional actions.”

    “One cannot read the report without concluding that the division has suffered systemic mismanagement,” said Wolf in his letter sent Monday. “It has become a rat’s nest of unacceptable and unprofessional actions, and even outright threats against career attorneys and systemic mismanagement.”

    The DOJ’s inspector general found numerous examples of harassment in the department’s voting rights division, but determined it did not prioritize cases in a partisan manner under President Obama or former President George W. Bush.

    The lengthy report found that the often divisive nature of the voting rights section’s work — including reviews of redistricting cases, voter ID laws and voter registration issues — resulted in instances of harassment within DOJ.


  15. Dwight Yoakam, “A Thousand Miles From Nowhere”

    Dwight Yoakam


    Whoever she was, she apparently did quite a number on ol’ Dwight.

    In “A Thousand Miles from Nowhere,” Dwight Yoakam is a deeply wounded, empty man who has been abused and discarded by someone he may never get over in one of the bleakest heartbreak songs ever. Pretty much everyone experiences the pain of love at some time in their lives, but seldom has the agony of having had one’s soul gutted been communicated in a song the way Yoakam does in this one.

    Girl blowing kiss

  16. Ametia says:

    *Sigh* When are these MOFOs going to get out of our vagina, and leave our bodies alone?!

    North Dakota Governor Approves 6-Week Abortion Ban
    Published: March 26, 2013 at 12:49 PM ET

    BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Gov. Jack Dalrymple signed legislation Tuesday that that would make North Dakota the nation’s most restrictive state on abortion rights, banning the procedure if a fetal heartbeat can be detected — something that can happen as early as six weeks into a pregnancy.
    The Republican governor also signed into law another measure that would makes North Dakota the first to ban abortions based on genetic defects such as Down syndrome, and a measure that requires a doctor who performs abortions to be a physician with hospital-admitting privileges.

    The measures, which would take effect Aug. 1, are fueled in part by an attempt to close the state’s sole abortion clinic in Fargo. Dalrymple, in a statement, said the so-called fetal heartbeat bill is a direct challenge to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion up until a fetus is considered viable, usually at 22 to 24 weeks.


  17. Ametia says:


    Millions of $$$ to stay in our Vaginas.

  18. rikyrah says:

    Monday, March 25, 2013Introducing Ben Carson, the Newest Black Conservative “Political Mandingo” for The Tea Party GOP
    The NY Times’ flattering profile of the very professionally accomplished Dr. Ben Carson is part of a concerted effort to make a compelling news story out of the Republican Party’s search for a viable black presidential candidate.

    The Republican Party’s quest is more of a comedic tragedy than a drama. It is a rerun of bad serialized television. Carson today; Herman Cain yesterday; Allen West before then; Colin Powell years ago. The story always ends the same way, with the masters of the Tea Party GOP going onto the next one in search of a black political messiah who can successfully package and sell a set of policies that are hostile to people of color, and which no black or brown folks with any self-respect or common sense, would support.

    The Tea Party GOP is a racially chauvinistic political organization, one that is quite literally trying to put a black face on its policies and proposals. The union of racism and conservatism in the post-civil rights era deems that these efforts will likely fail. Nevertheless, they will still persist.

    Instead of a bad serialized drama or sitcom, the Republican quest for a black leader who can be a salve for charges of racism–a human deflector shield–and win over non-white voters to the Tea Party GOP, is more akin to the world of XXX film.

    In the United States, there is an underground culture where white men seek out black men to have sex with the former’s wives and partners. These white men are cuckolded. They sit watching as these walking stereotypes of super endowed “impenetrable blackness” ravage the “gift” of white flesh given to them by these “magnanimous” and “generous” white men. All is not as it seems however. The white men who are supposedly submissive are actually enjoying the proceedings. They have power to “surrender” and find bliss and pleasure in watching the socially taboo, the Other, take what is in this sexual context, their white female marital “property.”

    The “Mandingos” at these events feel special and proud. They sell themselves as articulate, smart, professionally accomplished and atypical black men. These men are “exceptional” and “articulate.” The white couples who seek out Mandingo parties are also seeking out the exceptional negro, that “special” one, who can fulfill a fantasy. Ultimately, the personhood of these black men is irrelevant: none of the people involved are really interested in talking. What does matter is that they are black men of a particular type.

    The Republican Party’s search for a Great Black (or even non-white) Hope is driven by the same logic. The “right type” of “accomplished” black guy who can be sold to the White Right in a play of political fantasy is preferable. But, any black person who is a “conservative” will serve their purposes.

    Black conservative Ben Carson is a human prop for the GOP’s 10 million dollar political Mandingo outreach party. As we saw with Herman Cain, the visual of a black man, standing central before a sea of Right-wing Whiteness brings waves of political joy and healing paroxysms to Republicans. Ben Carson should be cautious however, as the Republican Party has a fickle relationship with their political Mandingos. The curiosity is satisfied quite quickly before they return to their old lovers and even older ways. At the Mandingo party/political orgy that are events such as CPAC, Black conservatives can be used for sport or pleasure. But, they are rarely allowed to spend the night.

    Ben Carson is the new best black friend of the Republican Party. But, will they call him the morning after?


  19. Ametia says:

    Crazy Crawfish’s Blog
    Zesty Politics with a Dollop of Louisiana Goodness

    A Confederacy of Reformers
    Posted on March 24, 201


    t’s Okay to segregate our schools by class, race, disability as long as we claim to be doing it “for the children”
    Since desegregation didn’t work, it’s okay to re-segregate our schools. It doesn’t matter how this is accomplished. You can create shadow schools (multiple campuses miles apart that are racially or socio-economically segregated and reported as a single school to disguise that fact), you can create charter schools that through sheer coincidence only enroll white students in a majority minority district, you can split your school district into as many different school boards and zones until you get your preferred racial mix, you can refuse to hire Special education teachers to serve disabled students so they are forced to enroll somewhere else, you can banish all your low performing students or discipline problems to alternative schools (ideally done after the funding date but before the testing date.)
    As a side note, you can say or do anything to anyone as long as you end your suggestion with “for the children.”



  20. rikyrah says:

    Race and ‘The Real World’

    In the show’s prime, cast members like Kevin Powell boldly confronted social issues. So much has changed.
    By: Clay Cane | Posted: March 26, 2013 at 12:46 AM

    This weekend, thanks to MTV’s marathons of retro seasons of The Real World, I accidentally time-warped back to 1992. Remember that year? George H.W. Bush lost the presidency to Bill Clinton, “I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston set musical records and the City of Angels burned with the riots over Rodney King. The year was transformative for American culture — from politics to entertainment to race relations.

    And in the summer of ’92, if you were a young person in the U.S., you were more than likely addicted to MTV’s The Real World. A reality show before the term was coined, The Real World set in New York City was the first and best season of the iconic series. No sex, no punches thrown, no hot tubs — just young people who possessed a passion for art, dropped into the social experiment of “seven strangers” who “stopped being polite.”

    Over the years, the grandmamma of reality shows broke new ground by tackling race, religion, homophobia and politics. During the show’s controversial second season, The Real World: Los Angeles, Tami Roman shocked audiences by getting an abortion. In the third season, The Real World: San Francisco, viewers fell in love with the beautiful Pedro Zamora, a young man living with HIV/AIDS at the height of the epidemic. Zamora died at the age of 22 on Nov. 11, 1994, a day after the last episode of his season aired.

    I was a teenager when The Real World: New York premiered in May of ’92 — and for me, like most youths, the 13-episode series was an eye-opener. More than 20 years later, the staying power of The Real World’s first season was evident on Friday night when the show quickly trended on Twitter as vintage episodes played on MTV.

    Most of the commentary focused on Kevin Powell and his unforgettable handling of race with white housemates Eric Nies, Becky Blasband and Julie Gentry. Twitter users ranted, “Kevin from The Real World New York (season 1) is an idiot. I hope he looks back and realizes how STUPID he sounds,” and “When I was 14 I wanted to punch Kevin in the mouth.. now being 34 I STILL want to punch Kevin in the mouth.”

    Powell, who was 25 at the time of the series, was bombarded with so many messages, he posted a response on Facebook: “[M]y life work is as a bridge-builder, it is a life of service and giving to others, not the things you are talking about from the early 1990s. It is a sad day, indeed, when we do not think people grow, evolve, change, or become the human beings God intended them to be.”

    Whether he was stereotypically angry or not, I vividly remember the impact that Powell, a writer and activist who has run for Congress since his reality-TV stint, left on me. First, I always wanted to be a journalist. At the time, I didn’t know of a young, black writer. I’d heard of Langston Hughes and James Baldwin, but they didn’t feel like real people in my teenage mind.

    Powell wasn’t dancing or rapping; he penned for the New York Times and Rolling Stone — and my own tastes in geeky magazines and love of reading felt validated. In addition, I rarely saw a black man who was comfortable with gay men. But there was Powell on MTV, embracing openly gay Norman Korpi with no hesitation.


  21. rikyrah says:

    Passing the baton
    E.J. Dionne has written an interesting article about San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro. Reading it will explain why it is that President Obama chose him to give the keynote address at the Democratic Convention last year.

    What makes Mayor Castro especially interesting is the interaction of his pragmatism with the early radicalism of his mother Rosie, his first political mentor. She was a founder of La Raza Unida Party — she eventually returned to the Democratic fold — and a poster from his mom’s unsuccessful 1971 city council race hangs proudly in the mayor’s office.

    Between his mother’s past and his own present, Castro embodies the full range of progressive impulses, from the most activist and visionary to the most practical and middle-of-the-road. Castro says it’s not surprising that his approach is different from his mom’s.

    “I had the blessing of opportunity,” he says. As a result, he sees a balance in what is required to achieve change. “You need the folks in the boardroom who have consciences and the people in the streets who can picket at the right time.”

    Then he gets to his own role: “And you need public officials who can listen. I see myself as a bridge-builder who can understand both sides.”

    When I read that I immediately thought of the recent work of Ellis Cose to define the generational differences in the modern movement for civil rights.

    He calls the first generation The Fighters. They would encompass those leaders who – beginning in the 1950’s – fought the legal battles against discrimination. The list is long, but includes people like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, Malcolm X, Rep. John Lewis, Ella Baker, Cesar Chavez and Delores Huerta.

    The next generation were The Dreamers. This is the generation that were the first to walk through the doors opened by the Fighters and continued the struggle for equality within the systems they entered. That generation – of course – includes President Barack Obama. But other public figures include his wife, Michelle Obama, Eric Holder, Sonia Sotomayor, Deval Patrick and Kamala Harris.


  22. rikyrah says:

    Rape is like football, little missy”

    by Steven D
    Tue Mar 26th, 2013 at 07:46:55 AM EST

    Ok, the University of North Carolina did not call a rape victim “little missy.” They did, however, compare rape to a football game, and not in a way that blames the rapist for, you know, raping the victim:

    “She told me rape is like football, and if you look back on the game what would you have done differently in that situation?” said Annie Clark, describing a school administrator’s response to her sexual assault. Clark said she “absolutely” felt like she was being blamed for the crime against her.
    Another student of the university, Andrea Pino, told CNN that school officials accused her of laziness after she reported lasting trauma from being raped.

    Yes, because all rape victims could have done something differently to prevent being raped, and anyone who doesn’t “move on” from the life altering trauma of rape is such a pathetic, lazy-ass loser. Oh, and by the way, the good University also believes that if you file a complaint that you were raped by a fellow student, well that constitutes grounds for expulsion.


  23. rikyrah says:

    Johnson Out

    By Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Cardinal mistermix March 26th, 2013

    Senator Tim Johnson, D-SD, won’t seek re-election. Johnson suffered a brain hemorrhage in 2006 and has been partially paralyzed, with affected speech, since then. He won a landslide victory in 2008 after winning squeakers in his previous two Senate elections, mainly because the Republican didn’t want to get wrapped up in a dirty campaign against a guy in a wheelchair, so they ran a nobody with no money, Joel Dykstra.

    This seat was already in serious play because Mike Rounds, the former governor, has announced his candidacy. Rounds stupidly signed an abortion ban in 2006, which was overturned, but otherwise he’s considered a decent, well-liked governor.

    The only Democrat who has a chance of winning this seat is former Representative Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin, who makes most of you bluer than blue because she’s a Blue Dog who opposed Obamacare. That was stupid and it didn’t help her keep her seat in 2010, but she’s still pretty well-known and well-liked in the state. Being well-liked and “independent” is the only way a Democrat wins in the ultra-red state South Dakota has become. There’s some talk of Johnson’s son Brendan, who’s the US Attorney, running, but he’s not that well known and has never run for office.

    Though this is an off-year election, turnout in South Dakota is way over the national average – 62% turned out in the 2010 race between Herseth-Sandlin and Palinesque Kristi Noem. Mike Rounds is no Rick Berg, the tea party idiot that Heidi Heidekamp beat in 2012′s North Dakota race. Even so, South Dakota is a relatively cheap media market, and money spent on this race goes a long way. Given a choice between Herseth-Sandlin and Rounds, I’d vote for Stephanie once a day and twice on Sundays, even if she’ll end up being a Mary Landrieu or Claire McCaskill once she’s elected.


  24. Ametia says:


    MONDAY, MARCH 25, 2013

    Introducing Ben Carson, the Newest Black Conservative “Political Mandingo” for The Tea Party GOP| MONDAY, MARCH 25, 2013
    Chauncey Devega

    Introducing Ben Carson, the Newest Black Conservative “Political Mandingo” for The Tea Party GOP
    The NY Times’ flattering profile of the very professionally accomplished Dr. Ben Carson is part of a concerted effort to make a compelling news story out of the Republican Party’s search for a viable black presidential candidate.

    The Republican Party’s quest is more of a comedic tragedy than a drama. It is a rerun of bad serialized television. Carson today; Herman Cain yesterday; Allen West before then; Colin Powell years ago. The story always ends the same way, with the masters of the Tea Party GOP going onto the next one in search of a black political messiah who can successfully package and sell a set of policies that are hostile to people of color, and which no black or brown folks with any self-respect or common sense, would support.

    The Tea Party GOP is a racially chauvinistic political organization, one that is quite literally trying to put a black face on its policies and proposals. The union of racism and conservatism in the post-civil rights era deems that these efforts will likely fail. Nevertheless, they will still persist.

    Instead of a bad serialized drama or sitcom, the Republican quest for a black leader who can be a salve for charges of racism–a human deflector shield–and win over non-white voters to the Tea Party GOP, is more akin to the world of XXX film.


  25. Ametia says:


    Customers Flee Wal-Mart Empty Shelves for Target, Costco

    Margaret Hancock has long considered the local Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) superstore her one- stop shopping destination. No longer.

    During recent visits, the retired accountant from Newark, Delaware, says she failed to find more than a dozen basic items, including certain types of face cream, cold medicine, bandages, mouthwash, hangers, lamps and fabrics.
    The cosmetics section “looked like someone raided it,” said Hancock, 63.

    Wal-Mart’s loss was a gain for Kohl’s Corp. (KSS), Safeway Inc. (SWY), Target Corp. (TGT) and Walgreen Co. (WAG) — the chains Hancock hit for the items she couldn’t find at Wal-Mart.
    “If it’s not on the shelf, I can’t buy it,” she said. “You hate to see a company self-destruct, but there are other places to go.”

    Walmart needs to learn a lesson, I feel for the workers, but WALMART needs to GO!


  26. Ametia says:

    Gay marriage and the Supreme Court
    By Eugene Robinson, Published: March 25

    Don’t take anything for granted. The conservative activists on the Supreme Court may not be able to halt the inexorable shift toward acceptance of gay marriage, but we probably should expect them to try.

    The two big cases being argued before the court this week could turn out to be landmarks that confirm the nation’s progress toward marriage equality — or speed bumps that impede it. Either way, the destination is clear: Nearly 60 percent of Americans approve of gay marriage, according to a Post-ABC News poll, including 80 percent of adults under 30. That looks like less a question than a decision.


  27. rikyrah says:

    White House gives up on Halligan nomination
    By Steve Benen
    Mon Mar 25, 2013 4:48 PM EDT.

    It’s a shame this became necessary, but the Senate Republican minority didn’t give the White House much of a choice.
    President Obama has withdrawn the nomination of Caitlin J. Halligan, a prominent New York lawyer, to serve on an important federal appeals court in Washington, blaming Republicans for blocking her confirmation twice.

    The president formally notified the Senate of his decision on Friday, after Ms. Halligan requested that her name be withdrawn from consideration. The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit is widely viewed as the most important federal appellate court because it reviews many cases on the government’s authority.

    In a press statement, Obama said, “I am deeply disappointed that even after nearly two and a half years, a minority of senators continued to block a simple up-or-down vote on her nomination.” As we talked about a few weeks ago, the president is right to feel frustrated. Halligan was clearly qualified, and would have been confirmed if given a vote. But Republicans condemned her work on a New York case against gun manufacturers, and after spending the last decade arguing that judicial filibusters tear at the fabric of American democracy, they filibustered her nomination.

    Note, Halligan was nominated to serve on the D.C. Circuit, widely seen as a first-among-equals at the federal appellate level, and often a stepping stone for the U.S. Supreme Court. Indeed, the specific seat on the federal bench Halligan was nominated to fill used to belong to John Roberts — who left it nearly eight years ago to become the Supreme Court’s chief justice.

    With Republicans having stopped Halligan’s nomination, the President Obama has named a grand total of zero jurists to this top federal bench. What’s more, as Joan McCarter noted, the D.C. circuit still has four vacancies — about a third of the bench — which hampers the ability of the court to do its job.


  28. rikyrah says:

    Arkansas’ Beebe vetoes voter-ID bill

    By Steve Benen
    Tue Mar 26, 2013 9:07 AM EDT.

    Republicans have the majority in Arkansas’ General Assembly for the first time in 139 years, and to show that they’ve earned the public’s trust, they’re hard at work, focusing on jobs, jobs, jobs.

    No, I’m just kidding. The first GOP majority since the 1870s, elected with the generous support of the Koch brothers, is actually busy approving sweeping bans on reproductive rights and imposing new restrictions on Arkansans’ voting rights. Yesterday, Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe (D) used his veto pen to reject the latter.

    The bill, which proposed a requirement that Arkansans show identification when voting in any election. In the release, Beebe said the bill is “an expensive solution in search of a problem”, with the Bureau of Legislative Research estimating the cost of implementing the bill at $300,000 in tax money.

    The statement also added that the Attorney General’s Office could not determine the legal future of the bill, should it become law.

    “At a time when some argue for the reduction of unnecessary bureaucracy and for reduced government spending,” Beebe said. “I find it ironic to be presented with a bill that increases government bureaucracy and increases government expenditures, all to address a need that has not been demonstrated. I cannot approve such an unnecessary measure that would negatively impact one of our most precious rights as citizens.”

    Remember, the problem voter-ID laws hope to address doesn’t exist. The only reason to approve a voter-ID law is if policymakers want to limit voting — in this case, disproportionately punishing seniors, students, the poor, and minority communities.


  29. rikyrah says:

    Murdering Hussy Obsession

    By Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Cardinal mistermix March 26th, 2013

    Amanda Knox, the Seattle student studying abroad in Italy who was convicted, then acquitted, of murdering her roommate, is facing another trial, though it’s unlikely that she’ll be extradited from Italy.

    Knox was last decade’s alleged murderer with sexytimes overtones. Then there was Casey Anthony, who was accused of killing her daughter but convicted only for lying to prosecutors. Now, there’s Jodi Arias, who is on trial for the murder of her boyfriend.

    The strange thing about all these trials is that they occupy hours of television time but it’s possible that you’ve heard very little about them unless someone you know is following the trial. I hadn’t heard about Casey Anthony until I went home for a visit and my cable-watching relatives told me about it. The same is true of Arias, who apparently has spent a couple of weeks testifying on her behalf, but hasn’t been on the front page of the Post, Times or Guardian, at least that I’ve seen.

    Am I the only one who manages to stay almost completely ignorant of these trials? I’m not complaining, mind you, but whenever I find something like this I wonder what else occupies a great deal of people’s time that I know nothing about.


  30. rikyrah says:

    Tim Johnson latest to depart Senate

    By Steve Benen
    Tue Mar 26, 2013 8:35 AM EDT

    Last November, just a couple of weeks after the 2012 elections, Senate Democratic leaders set a key electoral goal: convince Sens. Jay Rockefeller, Tim Johnson, Frank Lautenberg, Tom Harkin, and Carl Levin not to retire.

    As of today, all five are departing the Senate at the end of this Congress.

    South Dakota Sen. Tim Johnson will not seek re-election in 2014, NBC News has confirmed. He is expected to make a formal announcement of his retirement Tuesday.

    Johnson’s decision opens an opportunity for Republicans to take over the seat in a state that favored Mitt Romney over Barack Obama by almost 20 points.

    His departure is no great surprise to operatives on both sides of the aisle. Johnson has been recovering from a brain hemorrhage in 2006 that left him partially paralyzed. (He did, however, run successfully for re-election in 2008.)

    There are a couple of angles to consider in response to the news. The first is electoral — Republicans need a net gain of six seats next year to take back the Senate majority, and Johnson’s retirement clearly makes that task easier. Indeed, the GOP already has a top-tier candidate in the race: former Gov. Mike Rounds. Among South Dakota Democrats, meanwhile, expect former Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin’s phone to be ringing quite a bit today, along with U.S. Attorney Brendan Johnson, the incumbent senator’s son.


  31. rikyrah says:

    Airport Screening by Government Will End If Mica Gets Way
    By Laura Litvan & Jeff Plungis – Mar 25, 2013 11:00 PM

    Representative John Mica, one of the Transportation Security Administration’s most persistent critics, said he’ll propose legislation to return all U.S. airport screening to private companies.

    It would be Mica’s biggest step toward dismantling the U.S. agency formed to take over aviation security after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The Florida Republican, who now leads a panel of the only House committee with unlimited scope and subpoena power, said he’ll announce as many as a half-dozen hearings into TSA operations starting next month.

    I’m telling you, whether you are a Democrat, a Republican or if there are a few independents left, people have had it right up to their eyebrows with TSA,” Mica said in an interview. “It’s not a partisan issue.”

    Mica’s proposal to have private companies do all airport screening, as they did before the Sept. 11 attacks, goes beyond a measure he added to legislation passed last year making it easier for airports to opt out of using government screeners.

    Expanded use of private screeners could benefit Covenant Aviation Security LLC, which has won at least $692 million in contracts since 2002, more than any other screening company, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

    Closely held Covenant maintains offices in Casselberry, Florida, which is in Mica’s district, and provides screening at San Francisco International Airport, the largest U.S. airport with private security.


  32. rikyrah says:

    Rand Paul Stops Pushing IRS Doom as 2016 Campaign Looms
    By John McCormick – Mar 25, 2013 11:01 PM CT

    In recent years, Senator Rand Paul has called for abolishment of the Internal Revenue Service. He’s urged an audit of the Federal Reserve. He’s questioned the constitutionality of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

    He’s even suggested there’s a risk Americans could soon become like Germans of the “Weimar Republic in 1923” and need wheelbarrows full of money to buy groceries because of hyperinflation triggered by excessive debt. Adolf Hitler, Paul warned, gained power as a result.

    “We’re on that road, if we’re not careful,” he said during an April 2010 campaign stop.

    Now that he’s considered a possible Republican candidate for president in 2016, Paul isn’t emphasizing any of that.

    As Paul, 50, seeks to keep open the option of a 2016 bid, he’s either silent on such subjects or more nuanced in answers to questions than three years ago. It’s a typical progression for a potential presidential contender and especially important for Paul, who is known for getting himself into rhetorical controversies.

    “He certainly is thinking about the future and a run for higher office and there has been some lessoning of the direct Tea Party influence,” said David Redlawsk, a political science professor at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. “It might befit his future goals to be a little less of a firebrand and more like someone who might get something done.”


  33. rikyrah says:

    How the Maker of TurboTax Fought Free, Simple Tax Filing
    by Liz Day
    ProPublica, March 26, 2013, 5 a.m

    Imagine filing your income taxes in five minutes — and for free. You’d open up a pre-filled return, see what the government thinks you owe, make any needed changes and be done. The miserable annual IRS shuffle, gone.

    It’s already a reality in Denmark, Sweden and Spain. The government-prepared return would estimate your taxes using information your employer and bank already send it. Advocates say tens of millions of taxpayers could use such a system each year, saving them a collective $2 billion and 225 million hours in prep costs and time, according to one estimate.

    The idea, known as “return-free filing,” would be a voluntary alternative to hiring a tax preparer or using commercial tax software. The concept has been around for decades and has been endorsed by both President Ronald Reagan and a campaigning President Obama.

    “This is not some pie-in-the-sky that’s never been done before,” said William Gale, co-director of the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center. “It’s doable, feasible, implementable, and at a relatively low cost.”

    So why hasn’t it become a reality?

    Well, for one thing, it doesn’t help that it’s been opposed for years by the company behind the most popular consumer tax software — Intuit, maker of TurboTax. Conservative tax activist Grover Norquist and an influential computer industry group also have fought return-free filing.

    Intuit has spent about $11.5 million on federal lobbying in the past five years — more than Apple or Amazon. Although the lobbying spans a range of issues, Intuit’s disclosures pointedly note that the company “opposes IRS government tax preparation.”

    The disclosures show that Intuit as recently as 2011 lobbied on two bills, both of which died, that would have allowed many taxpayers to file pre-filled returns for free. The company also lobbied on bills in 2007 and 2011 that would have barred the Treasury Department, which includes the IRS, from initiating return-free filing.

    Intuit argues that allowing the IRS to act as a tax preparer could result in taxpayers paying more money. It is also a member of the Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA), which sponsors a “STOP IRS TAKEOVER” campaign and a website calling return-free filing a “massive expansion of the U.S. government through a big government program.”

    In an emailed statement, Intuit spokeswoman Julie Miller said, “Like many other companies, Intuit actively participates in the political process.” Return-free programs curtail citizen participation in the tax process, she said, and also have “implications for accuracy and fairness in taxation.” (Here is Intuit’s full statement.)


  34. Ametia says:

    An America that is losing faith with religion
    By Michael Gerson,
    Published: March 25

    There is a close relationship between culture and cult — between the shared attitudes and values of a people and their religious views and practices. American culture is increasingly shaped by men and women who would rather sleep in or play golf on a Sunday morning.

    The nation’s religious composition — as revealed in a recent presentation by Luis Lugo of the Pew Research Center — is changing. In 2012, America ceased to be a majority Protestant country — the result, mainly, of a decline in the numbers of mainline Protestants (though there have been smaller losses among white evangelicals as well). Catholicism is holding its own with a stable 22 percent of the public, but its ethnic composition has shifted dramatically — about half of all Catholics younger than 40 are Latino.


  35. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone! :-)

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