Serendipity SOUL | Monday Open Thread | Bee Gees Week!

Happy Mun-dane; Everyone! This week’s featured artists, THE BEE GEES.


From the Wiki:  The Bee Gees were a musical group founded in 1958. The group’s line-up consisted of brothers Barry, Robin, and Maurice Gibb. The trio were successful for most of their decades of recording music, but they had two distinct periods of exceptional success: as a pop act in the late 1960s/early 1970s, and as prominent performers of the disco music era in the late 1970s. The group sang three-part tight harmonies that were instantly recognisable; Robin’s clear vibrato lead was a hallmark of their earlier hits, while Barry’s R&B falsetto became their signature sound during the late 1970s and 1980s. The brothers wrote all of their own hits, as well as writing and producing several major hits for other artists.

Born in the Isle of Man to English parents, the Gibb brothers lived their first few years in Chorlton, Manchester, England, then moved in the late 1950s to Redcliffe, Queensland, Australia, where they began their music careers.[1] After achieving their first chart success in Australia with “Spicks and Specks” (their 12th single), they returned to the United Kingdom in January 1967 where producer Robert Stigwood began promoting them to a worldwide audience.

The Bee Gees’ career record sales total more than 220 million[2] ranking them among the best-selling music artists of all time. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997;[3] the presenter of the award to “Britain’s first family of harmony” was Brian Wilson, historical leader of the Beach Boys, a “family act” also featuring three harmonising brothers.[4] The Bee Gees’ Hall of Fame citation says “Only Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Michael Jackson, Garth Brooks and Paul McCartney have outsold the Bee Gees.”[3]

Three of my favorites…

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55 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Monday Open Thread | Bee Gees Week!

  1. rikyrah says:

    Condola Rashad cast in lead role in interracial ‘Romeo and Juliet’
    by Mark Kennedy, Associated Press | April 1, 2013 at 11:25 AM

    rlando Bloom and Condola Rashad will star on Broadway this fall in a modern take on William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” a revival that will add an intriguing element of racial contrast to the classic tale of two star-crossed lovers.

    “The last thing we wanted to do was to do a sort of pompous, classic version of ‘Romeo and Juliet,’” said director David Leveaux, a five-time Tony Award nominee. “I’m just taking away all the wallpaper and mantelpieces, all the kind of pompous stuff we associate with grand Shakespeare productions, and try to go as simple as possible.”

    Producers said Monday that previews at the Richard Rodgers Theatre will begin Aug. 24 with an opening night set for Sept. 19. Tickets will go on sale to the general public on April 8.

    The production will also star two-time Tony Award nominee Jayne Houdyshell as the Nurse and Tony nominee Joe Morton as Lord Capulet. The Capulets will be played by black actors and the Montagues by white actors.

    Leveaux stressed that the idea of exploring the racial difference between the two feuding Italian families came organically after the casting of the lead actor and actress.

    “I did not set out to create some conceptual frame,” he said. “At the end of the day, if you’re sitting in Row E in a Broadway theater, you either believe that these two people are in love and are invested in them or the play doesn’t work.”

    Leveaux said Bloom came aboard first several years ago, thirsty to try his hand at the work despite the director saying there were easier ways to make his Broadway debut. Years ago, Bloom had wanted to join the Royal Shakespeare Company but was persuaded to film “The Lord of the Rings” instead.

    “I was just so fascinated by his passion and his absolute boyish love of this language that I thought, ‘Yep, that feels like our Romeo,” Leveaux said.

  2. Chris Matthews is determined to put Hillary in that White House. Nevermind she has to get the votes…Chris thinks she’s earned it. I am so sick of the mofo media!

    • Ametia says:

      LOL Looks like it started on Politics Nation with Ed Rusty Rendell. they’re drooling and having wet dreams over that woman. Bill and Hillary are nothing but bullies who think they are entitled to push folks out of the running for POTUS.

      Tell you what; I’ll campaign my ass off for any Democratic other than a CLINTON!!!

  3. Ametia says:

    LMBAO OMG I foundt it Scandal recap

    There’s a Snake in the Garden: Scandal Episode 17 Recap
    [ 73 ] March 29, 2013 | Luvvie

  4. Ametia says:

    Pennsylvania’s Casey joins the marriage bandwagon
    By Steve Benen – Mon Apr 1, 2013 3:56 PM EDT

    There are 55 members of the Senate Democratic caucus, and of this morning, 47 of them have now publicly declared their support for marriage equality. The latest is Pennsylvania’s Bob Casey.

    Sen. Bob Casey told The Morning Call on Monday he now supports same-sex marriage. […]

    In a statement Casey said he wrote over several days, the senator asks, “If two people of the same sex fall in love and want to marry, why would our government stand in their way? At a time when many Americans lament a lack of commitment in our society between married men and women, why would we want less commitment and fewer strong marriages?”

    As we talked about last week, with each similar announcement, the pressure rises on the remaining eight Senate Democrats who have not yet endorsed marriage equality: Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Bill Nelson of Florida, Tom Carper of Delaware, Tim Johnson of South Dakota, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, and Joe Donnelly of Indiana.

    Of those nine, Tom Carper is the only Democrat from a reliably “blue” state who remains on the fence.

  5. Ametia says:

    This takedown of Ben Carson by Toure is a thing of beauty- REPOST

  6. Ametia says:

    What kind of state is North Carolina? Democrats and GOP make high-stakes bets
    Posted by Mary C. Curtis on April 1, 2013 at 9:21 am

    Democrats and Republicans in North Carolina are in an ideological standoff, with future elections in the balance.
    That explains why Kay Hagan, a Democratic senator facing a tough 2014 reelection race, endorsed same-sex marriage, and Republicans in control of the statehouse made moves to tighten voting restrictions – all in one week.

    North Carolina can be hard to figure out, reliably presidentially red in the years since Jimmy Carter, then trending purple with a narrow Barack Obama win in 2008 before returning Republicans to office in 2012. Mitt Romney’s narrow victory margin was not nearly as impressive as the GOP’s new control in the statehouse, with wins in the governor’s race and a veto-proof majority in the legislature.
    Yet some actions coming out of the capital in Raleigh would seem at odds with Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus’s prescription to rebrand the party as more inclusive. The party has made a lot of folks mad in North Carolina, citizens who the national GOP wants to attract.

  7. Ametia says:

    Posted at 08:00 AM ET, 04/01/2013
    Caroline Kennedy to be ambassador to Japan
    By Emily Heil

    Looks like there will be a Camelot East — make that Far East: Caroline Kennedy is heading to Tokyo to be the U.S. ambassador. Kennedy, whose support for President Obama during his 2008 campaign was seen as crucial, had been widely talked about as a candidate for the plum diplomatic post, but now things have apparently been firmed up.

    The move, which her office did not return a call about, is almost certain to thrill the Japanese, who like their American ambassadors to be superstars. Kennedy’s predecessors include luminaries like legendary Senate majority leader Mike Mansfield, former vice president Walter Mondale, former House speaker Tom Foley, and former Senate majority leader Howard Baker.

    We hear that her husband Edwin Schlossberg, who owns a New York-based design firm, won’t be joining her full-time in Tokyo.

  8. Ametia says:


    • Ametia says:

      Brown: “I’m humbled after losing everything.” WTH did he lose? skin off his knuckles from punching Rhianna in the face? WUH?

  9. rikyrah says:

    For the GOP, social conservatives aren’t the only problem

    Posted by Jamelle Bouie on April 1, 2013 at 11:24 am

    Given the prominence of libertarian-minded Republicans like Paul Ryan and Rand Paul, it’s easy to think that the GOP has moved away from social issues as a major concern. But that’s far from true. Social conservatives remain a large and powerful part of the Republican coalition. They provide donors and volunteers, and they are the driving push behind the GOP’s nationwide effort to pass state-level abortion restrictions like the recent one in North Dakota. The leadership of the Republican Party is aligned with social conservatives on almost every issue, including abortion and same-sex marriage.

    It’s this fact that has placed social conservatives on the bad side of GOP reformers, who see them — and their pull during the Republican primaries—as a key factor in the party’s 2012 loss. As the RNC put it in its reform report, while explaining the need to reach out to younger voters: “We do need to make sure young people do not see the party as totally intolerant of alternative points of view.”

    But, as Politico points out in a story this morning, social conservatives have a powerful rejoinder — the American public is clearly dissatisfied with the GOP’s economic priorities, and that’s what drives the party’s unpopularity:

    “If we gave our voters an accurate portrayal of our ideas, that we want to cut the rate of growth on Social Security, give tax cuts to billionaires and then the values issues, the values issues would be more popular than the economic agenda of the current Republican Party,” said [Gary] Bauer, citing particularly those Mass-attending Roman Catholics who have fled the Democrats.

    Bauer added, “I would caution the donor wing of the Republican Party that is driving a lot of this: If they think social conservatives are the only thing preventing Republicans from winning, they’ll learn that their economic agenda will go down the tubes along with the Republican Party’s prospects.”

  10. rikyrah says:

    Pioneering WVON celebrates 50th year on air
    10:18PM CDT, March 29, 2013
    A look at the legacy of WVON-AM, Chicago’s first all-African-American radio station, which debuted on the radio in 1963. Once the country’s premier top 40 R&B station, WVON-AM is now an all-talk station located on Chicago’s South Side.

  11. rikyrah says:

    Racial bias feeds the school-to-prison pipeline

    By The Christian Science Monitor
    Monday, April 1, 2013 0:54 EDT

    Two students set off fire alarms in the same school district. One of them, an African-American kindergartner, is suspended for five days; the other, a white ninth-grader, is suspended for one day.

    An African-American high-schooler is suspended for a day for using a cellphone and an iPod in class. In the same school, a white student with a similar disciplinary history gets detention for using headphones.

    •Two middle-schoolers push each other; the white student receives a three-day, in-school suspension, while the native American student is arrested and suspended, out of school, for 10 days.

    Civil rights groups have been saying for years that school discipline is not meted out fairly, citing examples like these reported last year from around the country by the US Department of Education.

    High rates of suspensions and expulsions for certain groups – particularly African-Americans, Hispanics, and those with disabilities – are evident in data gathered nationally by the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR).

    Data from 72,000 American public schools in the 2009-10 school year, for example, show that while African-Americans make up 18 percent of the students in this large sample, they account for 46 percent of students suspended more than once, 39 percent of students expelled, and 36 percent of students arrested on campus.

    White students, by contrast, represent 29 percent of multiple suspensions and 33 percent of expulsions – but 51 percent of the students.

  12. Ametia says:

    Rik, I’ve been out of the TV loop since Wednesday. Did you see Scandal? what’s up?

  13. rikyrah says:

    White men have much to discuss about mass shootings

    By Charlotte Childress and Harriet Childress,

    Published: March 29

    Imagine if African American men and boys were committing mass shootings month after month, year after year. Articles and interviews would flood the media, and we’d have political debates demanding that African Americans be “held accountable.” Then, if an atrocity such as the Newtown, Conn., shootings took place and African American male leaders held a news conference to offer solutions, their credibility would be questionable. The public would tell these leaders that they need to focus on problems in their own culture and communities.

    But when the criminals and leaders are white men, race and gender become the elephant in the room.

    Nearly all of the mass shootings in this country in recent years — not just Newtown, Aurora, Fort Hood, Tucson and Columbine — have been committed by white men and boys. Yet when the National Rifle Association (NRA), led by white men, held a news conference after the Newtown massacre to advise Americans on how to reduce gun violence, its leaders’ opinions were widely discussed.

    Unlike other groups, white men are not used to being singled out. So we expect that many of them will protest it is unfair if we talk about them. But our nation must correctly define their contribution to our problem of gun violence if it is to be solved.

    When white men try to divert attention from gun control by talking about mental health issues, many people buy into the idea that the United States has a national mental health problem, or flawed systems with which to address those problems, and they think that is what produces mass shootings.

    But women and girls with mental health issues are not picking up semiautomatic weapons and shooting schoolchildren. Immigrants with mental health issues are not committing mass shootings in malls and movie theaters. Latinos with mental health issues are not continually killing groups of strangers.

  14. rikyrah says:

    Stop Shedding Tears for Roland Martin

    I got into a back-and-forth on Twitter this past weekend with someone who is a fan of soon-to-be former CNN political analyst Roland Martin. The writer took umbrage with some of my tweets regarding Martin’s departure from the network. My position? Let’s resist the urge to make Roland Martin out to be some wrongly aggrieved talking head. He is a marginally knowledgeable loudmouth who was more sizzle than steak. No academic training politics and government. No significant campaign experience. No experience as a political reporter at a major media outlet (He wrote opinion pieces at CNN). He is lucky to have had his turn. So to those who are shedding tears following the announcement of his departure from CNN: Your time would be better spent applying pressure to the cable networks to put minorities on who actually know something about politics and government.

    America’s public discourse on politics and government is infested with too many people with thin or nonexistent credentials. They are on television and radio because there are either well connected, telegenic, or otherwise project the image the network wants you to see; expertise is not at the top of the list of traits. Their exposure gives them a level of popularity that legitimizes their analysis while, concurrently, inoculates them from criticism of their inanity (“they’re on X network, so they must know what they’re talking about”). While Roland Martin is the subject here, he is not the only person I’m thinking about. There are many experts on television, but in political media, those who know are almost outnumbered by those who don’t.

    I wonder why we accept this. We wouldn’t listen to a science and technology analyst with no academic or employment history in the fields in which he or she is commenting. We wouldn’t listen to a Wall Street analyst with no academic training in corporate finance or employment as a stock and bond trader. We wouldn’t listen to a medical analyst with no academic medical training or employment. So why should we listen to a political analyst with a similarly thin background? We deserve better from our media. We deserve a political discourse that includes real experts, not just well practiced-talking heads.

    Roland Martin is an overrated political analyst. But because there are so few political analysts of color getting serious run on cable news networks, we accepted his inane, somewhat self-promotional pundit routine. And were happy to see a brother on CNN. I hope as we continue to debate where CNN is going after reducing the role of talented people like Soledad O’Brien or not renewing Roland Martin’s contract that we also include discussions about the kinds of backgrounds we want in our political analysts. I also hope the conclusion results in our demanding more of an emphasis on expertise. We can have expertise and personality. We will all be better for it.

    And if you’re interested, there is a long list of Black political scientist professors who actually know politics and government. Let me recommend a few (although I could easily give you 50 more names): Michael Leo Owens, Khalilah Brown Dean, Pearl Ford Dowe, Sekou Franklin, Wilmer Leon, Keesha Middlemass, Audra Gillespie, Mark Sawyer, Lester Spence, James Lance Taylor, and David Wilson.

    I know it may not come through here, but I’m actually proud of Martin. Never before has a Black man gotten so far in political media knowing so little about politics.

  15. CBS News‏@CBSNews18m

    BREAKING NEWS: Colorado prosecutors will seek death penalty against movie theater shooting suspect James Holmes

  16. Ametia says:


    Fox News contributor: ‘It gets a little comfortable to be in poverty’
    By Stephen C. Webster
    Sunday, March 31, 2013 21:10 EDT

    ppearing Saturday on Fox News’s “Cavuto on Business,” contributor Charles Payne insisted that he knows firsthand how “it gets to be a little comfortable to be in poverty” in the United States.

    “There’s this idea that between the food stamps and the welfare and the earned income tax credit and the child tax credit and the local programs, you know, it gets a little comfortable to be in poverty,” he said. “Listen, I’ve lived it first hand. I’ve seen when people don’t go to work because they get everything paid for them. The incentive is not there.”

    Payne, one of the network’s more vocal critics of assisting the poor and under employed, expanded on his theory about the laziness of poor people during a broadcast last Thursday, explaining that he’s disappointed so many Americans — over 47 million, according to the latest official numbers — are on food stamps. “What we actually have ended up doing is created a wall, a giant barrier, where people don’t move out of poverty into the middle class because in that initial transition they actually lose money and lose benefits,” he said.

  17. adept2u‏@adept2u28m

    TPM reporting Judd got pushed out of the race by a small group of “Democrats” spreading lies. Been here before and done it, Clinton.

  18. rikyrah says:

    if these teens know what I know…they’d know that Rahm ain’t about to be letting these folks mess with them ‘good White folks’ shopping downtown. if they continue this, somebody’s gonna end up on the other side of a policeman’s bullet.


    Hundreds of teens mob pedestrians on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile
    By Alexandria Fisher,
    Several teens were arrested after dozens of mob groups began attacking pedestrians on Chicago’s downtown Magnificent Mile area on Saturday night.

    Police responded to reports of disturbances near Michigan and Chicago Avenues.

    Police said 28 teens were arrested during the incident and no serious injuries were reported.

    The teens charged with misdemeanor reckless conduct and battery and later released, according to News Affairs Officer Perkus.

    Eleven other teens were charged with the same misdemeanor charges after they attacked a group of women on the CTA Red Line, police said.

    “You have over three to four hundred teenagers with mob action, jumping on individuals that are downtown,” said community activist Andrew Holmes. “Multiple people have been arrested and I caution those parents that get this call about your child being arrested — maybe you need to check your child.”

    Officers began breaking up the attacks by ushering teens to the Red Line. Chaos continued underground but many attackers reportedly left the area.

    “I just saw a cluster run down to the Red Line,” said Red Line passenger Amanda Dobson. “I didn’t know what was going on. I just kind of stepped back and let the police do what they needed to do.”

    Police continued to patrol the area on bikes, horses and on foot as smaller groups wandered around the Loop.

  19. Old Newspapers Shed New Light On Emmett Till Murder

    Officers stand by in 1955 as religious leaders from Chicago demonstrate outside the White House in Washington over the murder of 14-year-old Emmett Till.

    New details about one of Mississippi’s most infamous murders are coming to light — more than a half-century later. The death of Emmett Till, a 14-year-old black boy who allegedly whistled at a white woman, helped spark the civil rights movement.

    Till lived in Chicago, and was visiting his relatives in the Mississippi Delta when he was murdered. His body was mutilated and dumped into a river. The accused were the woman’s husband and her half-brother, and their trial drew reporters from both the white and black press.

    Researchers have long studied the court proceedings. Among them, Davis Houck, a professor at Florida State University and co-author of a book about the media’s coverage of the trial.

    It wasn’t until a few years ago, however, that Houck learned another black paper — the St. Louis Argus — also had journalists there. But the paper’s archive from that time had gone missing.

    So he began working with his students to track down the Argus. It was one frustrating dead end after another, as microfilms from that time didn’t contain the trial coverage. Then, just a few days ago, they caught a break. Houck and his students figured out the missing issues were in a state historical archive in Missouri.

    “This is just going to be another layer for us to process,” he says. “Another layer of what it was like to be black in the Jim Crow South covering this case.”

    Houck says he still has to go through the documents to see if the paper scored an exclusive interview with anyone or if it offers any new piece of evidence at all.

    The discovery is already a treasure trove, however, with never-before-seen pictures of the NAACP’s Medgar Evers as well as articles written during the trial and long forgotten. Houck says he’s savoring the find and taking his time to read through the new discovery. His search, though, is not done yet.

  20. Ametia says:

    Colorado. massacre suspect to learn if faces execution- JAMES HOLMES
    DAN ELLIOTT | April 1, 2013 08:00 AM EST

    CENTENNIAL, Colo. — After a week of legal twists and turns, James Holmes will find out Monday if he could face execution if convicted in the Colorado theater attack that killed 12 people.

    Behind-the-scenes maneuvering erupted into a public quarrel between prosecutors and the defense over Holmes’ public offer to plead guilty, but the two sides could still come to an agreement that would spare Holmes’s life in exchange for spending the rest of his life in prison.

    “Even if they give notice on Monday that they are seeking the death penalty, they can come off that and enter into a plea bargain any time,” said attorney Dan Recht, a past president of the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar.

    As the tangled and bloody case returns to court, survivors and families of the victims are uncertain about what happens next.

    If the case goes to trial, “all of us victims would be dragged along potentially for years,” said Pierce O’Farrill, who was shot three times.

    “It could be 10 or 15 years before he’s executed. I would be in my 40s and I’m planning to have a family, and the thought of having to look back and reliving everything at that point in my life, it would be difficult,” he said.

    • rikyrah says:

      if he were Black, this wouldn’t even be up for discussion

      • Ametia says:

        Prosecutors said today they will seek the death penalty for Colorado movie theater shooting suspect James Holmes.

        Holmes had offered to plead guilty and spend the rest of his life behind bars in exchange for avoiding the death penalty.

        Holmes is accused of opening fire in an Aurora, Colorado, movie theater on July 20, 2012, killing 12 people and injuring 58. By the time he had finished, a police officer has testified, there was so much blood the theater floor had become slippery. Bodies were left with horrific injuries and there was the eerie sound of cell phones ringing, over and over again, Officer Justin Grizzle said at a hearing in January.

  21. Ametia says:

    Hope’s opening day
    By E.J. Dionne Jr., Published: March 31

    The obligations of religious toleration and pluralism require all who care not a bit about baseball to accept that opening day is more than the beginning of a sports season. It is a great religious festival.

    It can’t be an accident that baseball always starts around the time of both Easter and Passover and, thus, “elicits a sense of renewal.” For the faithful, it means that “the long dark nights of winter are over” and “the slate is clean.” All teams, the exalted and lowly alike, “are tied at zero wins and zero losses.” This, in turn, means that the fervent cry “Wait’ll next year” becomes “prologue, replaced by hope.”

  22. rikyrah says:

    Wonkbook: Can Marco Rubio really walk away from immigration reform?

    Posted by Evan Soltas on April 1, 2013 at 8:22 am

    Sen. Marco Rubio has, in recent weeks, built himself a very clear escape hatch on immigration reform. If, at any point, he needs to abandon the process, he can just say Democrats rushed it, or didn’t allow enough amendments.

    “We will need a healthy public debate that includes committee hearings and the opportunity for other senators to improve our legislation with their own amendments,” he said on Sunday. “Excessive haste in the pursuit of a lasting solution is perhaps even more dangerous to the goals many of us share,” he said on Saturday.

    So that’s it, then. If Rubio ever needs to bolt, you can already see the reason he’ll give. It was Sen. Harry Reid, in the cloakroom, with the calendar.

    This is a tricky game Rubio is playing. He’s trying to assure conservatives that he’s skeptical of this process and could walk away at any moment. But it would be disastrous for him to actually walk away at any moment.

    The point of many of Rubio’s moves in recent months has been to capture the credit for leading immigration reform. But that ups the stakes if Rubio walks and the effort fails. There’s no particular shame in being a first-term senator with little involvement in yet another failed attempt to remake the immigration system. But Rubio has made himself into the key emissary to conservatives on the issue. The flip side to the credit Rubio will reap if immigration reform succeeds is that he’ll take much of the blame if it fails.

    That would leave Rubio in a very awkward place. If conservatives end up turning on immigration, they’ll be angry he let it get as far as it did. But those who wanted to see immigration reform will, in large part, blame Rubio for its demise. It would be the worst of both worlds, and given that this is Rubio’s only major legislative initiative to date, it’s hard to see a successful 2016 presidential campaign rising atop that foundation.

  23. rikyrah says:

    As Views Shift on Guns, Reid Corrals Senate


    Published: March 31, 2013

    It was, Senator Harry Reid of Nevada ebulliently proclaimed, a “happy day for me” as he stood with Wayne LaPierre, the head of the National Rifle Association, in 2010 at a new shooting range in Las Vegas made possible by federal money secured by Mr. Reid. “People who criticize this probably would criticize baseball,” Mr. Reid said before firing off a few rounds.


    With guns, as with gay rights and immigration, Washington has observed in Mr. Reid an evolution — less flip-flops than slow dances to the left — that reflects shifting attitudes not only in his Democratic conference but also in Nevada, where Democrats have gained an edge in the last decade. Voter registration in the state has become increasingly Democratic as its population has swelled, and Barack Obama won the state twice, the only Democrat besides Bill Clinton to win the state in the last 40 years.

    “Harry Reid is the most calculating individual I have ever covered in politics,” said Jon Ralston, editor of Ralston Reports, who has covered Nevada politics for three decades. “If he is making the right move for his members, he is making the right move for himself.”


    Since 2006, as larger-than-life Democrats like Senators Robert C. Byrd, Edward M. Kennedy and Daniel K. Inouye have died, Democrats have had a big influx of members pressing Mr. Reid toward a more aggressive and often liberal stance.

  24. rikyrah says:

    Grace and beauty under fire

    Over the last 4 years I’ve tried to chronicle the achievements of this historic presidency. But there are times that I also need to remind myself that this is the family that currently occupies the White House.

    Being “the first” brings its own kind of special pressure. But I have to marvel at how beautiful and graceful they’ve all managed to be no matter what kind of hate/vitriol is thrown their way.

    We know that no family is perfect. And yet these four people have had to live their lives as close to perfection as possible because THE MINUTE they lose their cool or make a mistake it will be magnified millions-fold.

    In the long-term scheme of things we must never forget that – aside from all of his many accomplishments – the one that President Obama is pulling off along with Michelle, Malia and Sasha might just be one of the most significant.

  25. rikyrah says:

    The Morning Plum: Will the GOP base ever allow the party to evolve?

    Posted by Greg Sargent on April 1, 2013 at 9:04 am

    Fresh signs emerged over the weekend that the bipartisan group negotiating over immigration reform is gaining real momentum towards a deal. So the spotlight will again shine on whether Congressional Republicans can bring themselves to embrace a path to citizenship and whether that will help repair the GOP’s relations with Latinos.

    But the Los Angeles Times reports in a must read that there’s another major obstacle to the GOP’s Latino outreach: The continued drive to repeal Obamacare.

    Latinos, who have the lowest rates of health coverage in the country, are among the strongest backers of President Obama‘s healthcare law. In a recent national poll, supporters outnumbered detractors by more than 2 to 1. Latinos also overwhelmingly see guaranteeing healthcare as a core government responsibility, surveys show.

    Yet congressional Republicans continue to make repeal of the 2010 Affordable Care Act a top agenda item and have renewed calls for deep cuts in health programs such as Medicaid, which are very popular with Latinos.

    Latinos support Obamamacare by more than two to one. Meanwhile, Republican voters overwhelmingly want the whole law scrapped. A New York Times/CBS poll in January found that 33 percent of Americans want to “repeal the entire law.” I asked CBS for a partisan breakdown, and guess what: 62 percent of Republicans want the entire law repealed.

    In other words, many Republican voters still hold out hope for Obamacare to receive its grand reckoning. This may explain why leading GOP officials continue to feed the Obamacare repeal fantasy by introducing myriad repeal proposals (which in turn also may explain why the repeal dream retains its grip on GOP voters). But this runs counter to what most Latinos want.

    Indeed, more broadly, polling has shown that Latinos disagree with the GOP on core ideological questions about the proper scope and role of government. A Pew poll last year that 75 percent of Latinos want a “bigger government providing more services.” And a Univision poll found that 55 percent of Latinos think the best way to help the economy grow is for government to “invest resources in federal projects to stimulate the economy,” while only 31 percent favor lowering taxes. Yet the GOP remains ideologically tethered to the Paul Ryan fiscal blueprint, which would not only repeal Obamacare but would also deeply cut spending, dramatically rolling back the safety net and other government programs.

    Beyond health care, immigration, and the role of government in health care and the economy, the views of rank and file Republican voters may be impeding the party’s evolution on social issues, too. As Politico reports this morning, leading social conservatives are aggressively challenging the notion — widely advanced by party officials — that the party needs to moderate on issues such as gay marriage to keep pace with cultural and social change. A recent Post poll found that Republicans oppose marriage equality by 59-34. But it also found support for it is very widespread among the groups the GOP needs to improve its standing among: Voters aged 18-29 support it by 81-15; nonwhites by 61-32. Quinnipiac recently found that Latinos support gay marriage by 63-32.

    Perhaps some of this explains why pollster Andrew Kohut recently asserted in a devastating piece about the GOP that the “outsize influence of hard-line elements in the party base” are “radicalizing its image and standing in the way of its revitalization.”

  26. rikyrah says:

    Never is a long time
    By Steve Benen
    Mon Apr 1, 2013 9:05 AM EDT.

    On Fox News yesterday, Chris Wallace reminded Republican strategist and former RNC Chief Ed Gillespie that the pendulum is swinging against his party when it comes to marriage equality. Gillespie replied, “I don’t see the Republican Party or most Republicans, obviously, changing in terms of believing that marriage is between one man and one woman.”

    The host pressed further, asking, “But looking at the polls, and, particularly, looking at where younger people are going, would you have any problems in 2016, with a Republican Party platform saying that marriage is between a man and a woman?” Gillespie noted that the platform currently calls for a federal constitutional amendment to ban marriage equality, and going forward, “there may be a debate about that.”

    I suppose this is what qualifies as social progress for today’s GOP.

    But before the discussion moved on Gillespie added this:

    “I don’t think you would ever see the Republican Party platform saying we are in favor of same sex marriage.”

    Never? Gillespie may well be right, but I’d remind the Republican establishment that forever is a long time. Republicans can resist the American mainstream for now, if they intend to keep this up indefinitely, they’re asking for trouble.

  27. rikyrah says:

    As Rubio goes wobbly, immigration deal nears

    By Steve Benen
    Mon Apr 1, 2013 8:00 AM EDT.

    For proponents of comprehensive immigration reform, it was a very good weekend. Perhaps most notably, a dispute between labor and business groups over the provisions of a guest-worker program, which threatened to scuttle the larger agreement, was resolved.

    The nation’s top business and labor groups have reached an agreement on a guest worker program for low-skilled immigrants, a person with knowledge of the negotiations said on Saturday. The deal clears the path for broad immigration legislation to be introduced when Congress returns from its two-week recess in mid-April.

    Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, convened a conference call on Friday night with Thomas J. Donohue, the president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and Richard L. Trumka, the president of the A.F.L.-C.I.O., the nation’s main federation of labor unions, in which they agreed in principle on a guest worker program for low-skilled, year-round temporary workers

    This was, as the New York Times added, “the last major sticking point on a broad immigration package.”

    With this agreement in place, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told CNN, “[C]onceptually, we have an agreement between business and labor, between ourselves.” On “Meet the Press,” Schumer added that “every major policy issue has been resolved,” and said he expects a bill to be unveiled as early as next week.

    For those hoping to see legislative progress, this is all quite encouraging, right? Clearly, yes. Pay levels for low-income workers threatened to derail a deal, and with the AFL-CIO and the Chamber on board with a compromise, it’s time to actually write a comprehensive bill that enjoys the support of the bipartisan “Gang of 8” in the Senate, labor leaders, business leaders, and the White House. All of the pieces finally appear to be in place.

    All, that is, except Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), a “Gang of 8” member who’s getting wobbly.

  28. rikyrah says:

    GOP sees background checks as ‘a bridge too far’
    By Steve Benen
    Mon Apr 1, 2013 8:40 AM EDT.

    Before the Senate left for their spring recess, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) made clear what he and his party expect of legislation to reduce gun violence. While he said several key provisions are negotiable, “[I]n order to be effective, any bill that passes the Senate must include background checks.”

    At least on the surface, it would seem to be the most difficult provision to oppose. Expanded background checks enjoy extraordinary levels of public support, even among gun owners, and there are no constitutional concerns to speak of. Critics of the idea have generally been reduced to making up nonsense and conspiracy theories, unable to think of any substantive arguments.

    It would seem, then, that expanded background checks would be the kind of measure that might actually pass. And yet, on the Sunday shows, Republican senators rejected the popular idea out of hand.

    In this clip, Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) said closing the gun-show loophole is “a bridge too far” for most Senate Republicans. He added that the “paperwork requirements alone would be significant.”

    The nation would like to reduce mass murders, but for some federal lawmakers, “paperwork requirements” have to take precedence?


    Similarly, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) was asked whether expanded background checks can survive in the Senate. “I don’t think so,” he said. “I don’t think it makes any sense. The current system is broken. Fix the current system.”

  29. rikyrah says:

    Report: Barack Obama, RG III chat

    A man with a personal security detail knows a thing or two about protection, and that’s exactly what President Barack Obama talked about with Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III when the two crossed paths in Washington, D.C., on Saturday.

    According to The Washington Times, Griffin said Obama talked to him about “protecting myself” as the two men met at Verizon Center, where both were watching Syracuse’s win against Marquette in an Elite Eight matchup in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.

    “Good conversation with @BarackObama Wise words, & much appreciated,” Griffin tweeted Sunday

  30. rikyrah says:

    The BeeGees!!

    Good times.

    SG2, where’s that dancing graphic?

  31. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone at 3CHICS!

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