Monday Open Thread | Boyz II Men Week

Good Morning, Everyone.

This week, we’re going to be treated with music from Boyz II Men.

Boyz II Men-4

Boyz II Men is an American R&B vocal group best known for emotional ballads and a cappella harmonies. Currently the group is a trio, featuring baritone Nathan Morris alongside tenors Wanya Morris and Shawn Stockman. In the 1990s, Boyz II Men found fame on Motown Records as a quartet, but original member and bass singer Michael McCary left the group in 2003 due to health issues.[1]

In the 1990s, Boyz II Men gained international celebrity behind unprecedented success on the pop charts. The group’s first single to reach Number 1, 1992’s “End of the Road” reached the top of charts across the globe.[2] “End of the Road” would set a new record for longevity, staying at number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 13 weeks, breaking a decades-old record held by Elvis Presley. Boyz II Men would exceed even that record later in the decade with hits “I’ll Make Love to You” and “One Sweet Day” (with Mariah Carey), which each set new records for the longest period of time a single remained at number 1. As of 2012, “One Sweet Day” still holds the all-time record with 16 weeks at the top of the Hot 100. In short, Boyz II Men ranks at the top of the list three times – at the number one, three, and four spots – for the longest running Number 1 singles in Billboard history.[3] Furthermore, when “On Bended Knee” took the number 1 spot away from “I’ll Make Love To You,” Boyz II Men became only the third artist ever (after The Beatles and Presley) to replace themselves at the top of the Billboard Hot 100.[4] Boyz II Men are among a select group of artists that have held at the number one spot for at least 50 weeks cumulatively, placing them just fourth on that list behind Elvis Presley, The Beatles, and Mariah Carey. These achievements were enough to earn Boyz II Men recognition as Billboard Magazine′s fourth most successful musical group of the 1990s.[5]

Boyz II Men continues to perform in concert to audiences around the world. Their most recent studio album, Twenty, was released in 2011.



Boyz II Men-2

1985-1990: Beginnings

The group, known originally as Unique Attraction, started by friends Nathan Morris and Marc Nelson at the Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania along with fellow schoolmates George Baldi, Jon Shoats. & Marguerite Walker in 1985. Wanya Morris who sang in the school’s choir along with the members of Unique Attraction joined the group b 1987 and became a permanent member since he was only a freshman. In 1988 Baldi, Shoats, and Walker all left the group due to graduation. They then recruited Shawn Stockman after seeing him perform a solo in the school’s choir. One day the Nate, Shawn, Wanya, and Marc were practicing their harmonies in a school bathroom & in walked Michael McCary who started singing along with the group eventually would become the group’s new bass singer. Now with a permanent lineup of members the group would rehearse in the high school’s bathrooms, due to the excellent acoustics, and on the corners of their schools and local hangouts. They found inspiration in New Edition’s harmonies and routines, and eventually renamed the group “Boyz II Men”, after one of New Edition’s songs. After performing at a Valentine’s Day party at school in 1989 they got their big break when they sneaked backstage at a concert in their hometown to sing for New Edition member Michael Bivins who along with fellow groupmates Ricky Bell and Ronnie DeVoe just announced they were forming a New Edition spin-off trio Bell Biv DeVoe. After they sang New Edition’s Can You Stand The Rain for him, Bivins and everyone in attendance including other celebrities were impressed. He gave the group his number and told them to give him a call. Nate eventually called Bivins, and he agreed to manage and helped produce the group.

The delay before recording their own material and reported personality conflicts led founding member Marc Nelson to leave the group, making Boyz II Men into the quartet that would find international fame: Michael McCary, Nathan Morris, Wanya Morris, and Shawn Stockman.

Boyz II Men-5

1991: Cooleyhighharmony

Boyz II Men’s first album, Cooleyhighharmony, was released on Motown in 1991 and was produced by Michael Bivins. Cooleyhighharmony’s drum-heavy new jack swing sound and multi-layered sampled backdrops were similar to that of Bell Biv DeVoe’s own work, but featured classic-soul styled vocals in place of BBD’s rapping and brassier singing. This style was dubbed “hip hop doo-wop” by the group and Bivins, who presented Boyz II Men and adolescent R&B group Another Bad Creation to the public as BBD’s protégés.

From the beginning, Boyz II Men featured all four members as leads, avoiding the usual R&B group arrangement of one or two lead singers and a team of background singers. The multiple-lead arrangement became a Boyz II Men trademark, and it became typical to hear Wanya Morris’ vibrato-heavy tenor, Shawn Stockman’s tenor voice, Nathan Morris’ baritone, and Michael McCary’s bass (often used in spoken-word sections of many Boyz II Men hits) trading bars in each song.

The album’s liner notes identified unique nicknames for each member of the group. These nicknames were devised in collaboration with Bivins in an attempt at marketing. Wanya was “Squirt”, Shawn was “Slim”, Michael was simply “Bass”, and Nathan assumed the name “Alex Vanderpool”, after a soap opera character who brandished a nerdy style.[6]

Boyz II Men’s first single, the Dallas Austin-produced “Motownphilly” featured a rap cameo by Michael Bivins that gives the story of how he met Boyz II Men. The single’s release was accompanied with a music video that presented the group in hip hop style. (The video also included cameos from fellow Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts alumni Black Thought and Questlove of The Roots.) Cooleyhighharmony’s second single was an a capella cover of a classic Motown tune, G.C. Cameron’s “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday” from the 1975 film Cooley High, while “Uhh Ahh” served as the third single.

Cooleyhighharmony achieved major success, eventually selling over nine million copies and winning the Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals at the 1992 Grammy Awards. Boyz II Men were also nominated for Best New Artist, alongside with British singer-songwriter Seal, fellow R&B group Color Me Badd, as well as dance group C+C Music Factory, but the Grammy was awarded to singer-songwriter Marc Cohn. “Motownphilly” and “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday” were number 1 R&B hits and top five U.S. pop hits.

In 1992, Boyz II Men joined MC Hammer’s high-profile 2 Legit 2 Quit tour as an opening act. While traveling the country, their tour manager Khalil Roundtree was murdered in Chicago, and the group’s future performances of “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday” were dedicated to him. As a result of this unfortunate experience, the song would prove to help advance their success.[7]

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57 Responses to Monday Open Thread | Boyz II Men Week

  1. rikyrah says:

    lamh36 • 5 minutes ago

    The Black guy who rescued the kidnapped girls (now women) in Cleveland said the following when asked by a reporter, when he knew something was up:

    “I knew something was wrong when a little pretty white girl ran into a black man’s arms. Something is wrong here. Dead giveaway.”

  2. rikyrah says:

    did you see this shyt?

    Fox News host asks: ‘Is Malia Obama going to go on birth control?’
    by Adam Howard | May 3, 2013 at 3:51 PM

    The families, and especially the children, of the commander-in-chief are almost always considered off-limits by the media and the political opposition, and yet, some conservatives can’t seem to help themselves when it comes to Malia Obama.

    In the wake of President Obama’s statement that he would support the selling of Plan B, a birth control product, to girls as young as 15, Fox News host Andrea Tantaros speculated about the sex life of the president’s 14-year-old daughter.

    “Are they gonna put her on birth control? Because he’s very concerned with contraceptives and pharmaceuticals that are going in the mouths of everybody else’s 15-year-old daughter,” she said, according to Media Matters.

    Tantaros also lashed out at the Obama administration: “They consider 15-year-olds to be women. They want to tell grown women what to do. They know how grown women feel. They have no idea how women feel. They should stop talking about it, because they have no clue.”

    A history of mocking Malia

    This is not the first time that the president’s eldest daughter has become a political punching bag for the right.

  3. rikyrah says:

    Republicans Seek Alternative To Overtime Pay
    SAM HANANEL May 6, 2013, 6:40 AM

    WASHINGTON (AP) — It seems like a simple proposition: give employees who work more than 40 hours a week the option of taking paid time off instead of overtime pay.

    The choice already exists in the public sector. Federal and state workers can save earned time off and use it weeks or even months later to attend a parent-teacher conference, care for an elderly parent or deal with home repairs.

    Republicans in Congress are pushing legislation that would extend that option to the private sector. They say that would bring more flexibility to the workplace and help workers better balance family and career.

    The push is part of a broader Republican agenda undertaken by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., to expand the party’s political appeal to working families. The House is expected to vote on the measure this week, but the Democratic-controlled Senate isn’t likely to take it up.

    “For some people, time is more valuable than the cash that would be accrued in overtime,” said Rep. Martha Roby, R-Ala., the bill’s chief sponsor. “Why should public-sector employees be given a benefit and the private sector be left out?”

    But the idea Republicans promote as “pro-worker” is vigorously opposed by worker advocacy groups, labor unions and most Democrats. These opponents claim it’s really a backdoor way for businesses to skimp on overtime pay.

    Judith Lichtman, senior adviser to the National Partnership for Women and Families, contends the measure would open the door for employers to pressure workers into taking compensatory time off instead of overtime pay.

    The program was created in the public sector in 1985 to save federal, state and local governments money, not to give workers greater flexibility, Lichtman said. Many workers in federal and state government are unionized or have civil service protections that give them more leverage in dealing with supervisors, she added. Those safeguards don’t always exist in the private sector, where only about 6.6 percent of employees are union members.

    Phil Jones, 29, an emergency medical technician in Santa Clara, Calif., said he’s wary of how the measure would be enforced.

  4. rikyrah says:

    Remember the FL teen possibly facing felony charges for a science experiment? Her lawyer joins us tonight for an EXCLUSIVE interview #inners

  5. Ametia says:

    This BISH right here:

    Didn’t lift a finger? We got your finger, Cokie:


  6. rikyrah says:

    Filling in the blanks on the debt-ceiling hostage note
    By Steve Benen
    Mon May 6, 2013 2:12 PM EDT

    The very first sentence in the Politico article on congressional Republicans’ debt-ceiling strategy is incorrect: “It’s never been easy for House Republicans to raise the debt limit.”

    Actually, it used to be quite easy, indeed. Between 1939, when the debt-ceiling law was originally passed, and 2010, Congress raised the debt limit without incident 89 times. Most of those increases came under a Republican president, under Republican control of at least part of Congress, or both. It suddenly stopped being “easy” for the GOP after President Obama took office.

    That said, it’s apparently no longer easy for the party, and Republican leaders now find themselves in an awkward spot. On the one hand, GOP policymakers have convinced themselves they deserve a reward for doing what they must do anyway, and believe they’re entitled to hold the debt ceiling hostage until Democrats give them something in return. On the other hand, Republican leaders also seem to realize that a replay of the 2011 fiasco, when they undermined the economy deliberately as part of a self-imposed crisis, is a blisteringly stupid idea.

    The question, then, is what the party intends to write on the ransom note: “Congressional Republicans promise to crash the economy on purpose unless Democrats give us _________.”

    Some wanted cuts to Social Security and Medicare, though this has apparently fallen out of favor. Others want an agreement on a budget plan that eliminates the deficit within 10 years. The leading contender, at least for now, is a demand for tax reforms.

  7. rikyrah says:

    The Push For War

    by BooMan
    Mon May 6th, 2013 at 02:31:12 PM EST

    It stands to reason that anyone who wants to topple the Assad regime in Syria would have an incentive to implicate the regime in the use of chemical weapons. Establishing a casus belli for American, Israeli, or European intervention may require such a stunt.

    The United Nations independent commission of inquiry on Syria has not yet seen evidence of government forces having used chemical weapons, which are banned under international law, said commission member Carla Del Ponte.
    “Our investigators have been in neighboring countries interviewing victims, doctors and field hospitals and, according to their report of last week which I have seen, there are strong, concrete suspicions but not yet incontrovertible proof of the use of sarin gas, from the way the victims were treated,” Del Ponte said in an interview with Swiss-Italian television.

    “This was use on the part of the opposition, the rebels, not by the government authorities,” she added, speaking in Italian.

    Where did the rebels get their sarin gas? That is anybody’s guess.

    But once sarin gas was used it wasn’t long before the usual suspects began clamoring for war. When Obama stated that the use of chemical weapons would cross a red line, he was trying to deter the Assad regime from using them, but he invited a false flag operation that would make him look weak or hypocritical if he didn’t act on it. As recently as yesterday, David Sanger was nailing the administration for fecklessness in the pages of the New York Times.

    In fact that debate has begun to shift in favor of more action, administration officials say. Mr. Obama’s legalistic parsing of whether his “red line” for intervention was crossed when evidence arose of a limited use of sarin gas has prompted many of his allies — led by Israeli officials — to question the credibility of his warnings.
    One administration official acknowledged late last week that the critique had “begun to sting,” but said that Mr. Obama was determined to go slowly, awaiting a definitive intelligence report on who was responsible for the presence of sarin before deciding on a next step.

    Maybe the president should get credit for smelling a rat. People have been pushing him to war with increasing fervor.

    So far among the most reluctant members of the administration to intervene heavily in Syria has been Mr. Obama himself. He declined to arm the rebels last fall, despite urging from Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and the C.I.A. director at the time, David H. Petraeus.
    On Sunday, Senator Patrick J. Leahy, Democrat of Vermont, said he believed the administration was getting closer to a decision. “The idea of getting weapons in — if we know the right people to get them, my guess is we will give them to them,” Mr. Leahy said on “Meet the Press.” Last week, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said that arming the rebels was under consideration.

    Now that it appears that the rebels committed war crimes and used sarin gas, do any of these war hawks conclude that international action should be taken against them? Do any of them consider how they were tricked? No and no.

    These people serve the dark masters of war. They are not bound by humanitarian concerns or laws or the quest for the truth. They would have us fight a war to avoid the very appearance of weakness, irrespective of how weak we would look once we were bogged down in a regional proxy war between Sunnis and Shiites, Israelis and Hizbollah, and Saudis and Iranians. They would leap to commit our troops at the mere rumor of chemical weapons use by the Assad regime, but will simply ignore their use by the rebels.

    Even relatively peace-minded people like Sen. Patrick Leahy think we can find “the right people” to deliver arms to. But the small sliver of pro-Americans on the rebel side will never be big enough to control the outcome or the aftermath of this war. And that’s being generous, because I don’t think there are any pro-American forces.

    Meanwhile, Israel is blasting away at Syria. Shells suddenly land in the Golan Heights. The regional players know only how to inflame the situation, not how to cool it down.

    Syria has been a repressive dictatorship for decades, but it was an ecumenical society where people of different ethnicities and religious beliefs got along quite harmoniously. It does not appear that that condition can be restored to Syria, and it is a great shame. But we should be under no illusions that any of the possible winners of this civil war will be positively disposed towards the United States or to Israel. In that regard, it won’t make a bit of difference if Saudi-backed Sunnis win or Iranian-backed Shiites and Alawites win. And the winners will instigate a program of ethnic-cleansing, wherein Arabs are separated from Kurds, Alawites are separated from Sunnis, and Christians run for cover. If the Assad regime falls to Saudi-backed Sunnis, the war will continue as Shiites in Iraq, Iran, and Lebanon back an ongoing rebellion against the new regime. Do we want to be a party to genocide? Where does our tiny phalanx of “the right people” fit into this nightmare?

    We would all like to put Humpty Dumpty back together again and restore to Syria its previous harmonious conditions with a coalition government willing to have representation from all factions. But, just as it has turned out to be in Iraq, this is a pipe dream. The international community should certainly try, but military intervention by the United States isn’t going to perform a miracle.

    The only person in a position of responsibility who seems to have his or her head screwed on right is the president, but he is under a lot of pressure to succumb to the forces of darkness.

  8. rikyrah says:

    What Really Made The South Republican? Ctd

    Geez, Trende has discovered something that students of Southern politics have known for a long time: that Republicanism was gaining in the postwar South, at least in the “Rim South.” But he seems unaware of why. Yes, Eisenhower sent the 101st into Little Rock, but he was constitutionally required to uphold federal authority. It was well known that Eisenhower was at best a reluctant supporter of Brown and federal civil rights legislation.

    More to the point, the big story in Southern politics after 1948 was the widening gulf between Southern Democrats and the National Party. Not only did you have the short-lived Dixiecrat movement in 1948, but its successors increasingly played footsie with the Republicans without formally leaving the party. Increasingly homeless and unable to make the traditional case that voting Democratic was the best means of maintaining white supremacy, it’s hardly surprising that Southern conservatives who had never especially liked the New Deal would move toward the Republicans. To be sure, Republicans for a long time drew their votes from the urban and suburban middle class; working-class whites remained Democrats, often out of gratitude for the New Deal (I remember sitting in a barber shop in Upstate SC around 1970 hearing an old white guy say, “Don’t tell me about the Republicans; I lived through the Hoover time!”), partly out of hostility to the “country club” set, but in any case because they didn’t have to choose between local Democrats and Republicans on race.

    But as long as I’ve been politically aware (and I’m 65, and a lifelong South-watcher), Republicans were openly competing in the South for the anti-civil rights vote, arguing that the real threat to the “Southern way of life” were those traitorous Yankee New Dealers. The first serious statewide run by a Republican in South Carolina was W. D. Workman’s Senate bid in 1962; Workman was a journalist best known for being the author of a segregationist screed titled The Case for the South. This was the face of Republicanism in my home state.

    But, again, there was no real difference on race between them and the Democratic establishment in the South until after 1965, when the Democrats executed one of the great pivots in American political history and reinvented themselves as a biracial party. It still took the Republicans some time to supplant the Democrats as the “white” party, though, because of that lingering “country club” stigma; they did so by increasingly openly identifying with white southern culture – Confederacy, NASCAR, Southern Baptist religiosity, the “culture wars” generally.

    Yes, it’s a complicated story; but Southern Republicans have exploited, if not racism per se, opposition to government solutions to racial discrimination, for as long as I’ve been alive.

  9. rikyrah says:

    On immigration, it’s Heritage vs. the GOP

    By Steve Benen
    Mon May 6, 2013 12:41 PM EDT

    For many years, the Heritage Foundation has partnered with the Republican Party on, well, just about everything. When Republican policymakers need aides, they often hire Heritage staffers. When Republican policymakers want to give a speech to raise their visibility, they schedule an event at Heritage. When reporters call GOP offices, asking for evidence to bolster one of the party’s policy arguments, Republican staffers routinely send over Heritage materials.

    But on immigration, the party and its favorite think tank are at odds. In fact, they’re practically enemies.

    The Heritage Foundation held a press conference this morning to unveil its new condemnation of comprehensive immigration reform, arguing that it will cost at least $6.3 trillion — $9.4 trillion in government benefits, minus $3.1 trillion in tax revenue.

    As a substantive matter, independent estimates, including research from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, make clear that Heritage’s numbers are literally unbelievable.

    As a political matter, though, I couldn’t help but notice Republicans run to Politico to trash Heritage’s work before the report was released.

  10. rikyrah says:

    National Rifle Association Bans Bleeding “Obama” Target, Others Remain

    Beyond the pale at the NRA convention. “They thought it looked too much like President Obama,” says a worker.

    The National Rifle Association has asked a vendor at its convention to remove a target that resembles Obama from its booth, a worker told BuzzFeed.

    The company, Zombie Industries, sells a range of three-dimensional “life sized” targets that “bleed when you shoot them.” The Obama likeness has been on display for two days, but was notably absent on Sunday.

    “Someone from the NRA came by and asked us to remove it” a Zombie Industries booth worker told BuzzFeed in hushed tones. “They thought it looked too much like President Obama.”

    When asked if the Obama likeness was intentional the worker said, “Let’s just say I gave my Republican father one for Christmas.”

    “They are just scared some liberal reporter will come by and start bitching” another booth worker said to men gathered around the booth. “But ya know, he does look very familiar.”

    The model, named “Rocky” is still available for purchase at the booth but is hidden from sight, leaving a gap among the targets on display which range from Osama bin Laden to a Nazi soldier.

  11. Ametia says:

    FBI: Raid of Minn. home disrupted ‘localized terror attack’ believed to be in planning stages

    By AMY FORLITI Associated Press
    First Posted: May 06, 2013 – 12:32 pm
    Last Updated: May 06, 2013 – 12:35 pm

    MINNEAPOLIS — The FBI believes authorities disrupted “a localized terror attack” in its planning stages when they arrested a man after converging on a western Minnesota mobile home that contained Molotov cocktails, suspected pipe bombs and firearms, the agency said Monday.

    Buford Rogers, 24, of Montevideo, was arrested Friday and charged with one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. He remained in federal custody Monday and it was not clear if he had an attorney.

    “The FBI believed there was a terror attack in its planning stages, and we believe there would have been a localized terror attack, and that’s why law enforcement moved quickly to execute the search warrant on Friday to arrest Mr. Rogers,” FBI spokesman Kyle Loven said Monday.

    Loven declined to elaborate about the location of the alleged target, other than to say it was believed to be in Montevideo, a city of about 5,000 people about 130 miles west of Minneapolis. He also declined to say whether Rogers was believed to be acting alone or as part of a group, or if other arrests were expected.

    “This is a very active investigation,” he said.

    In a news release Monday, the FBI said it believed “the lives of several local residents were potentially saved” by the search and arrest, and said “several guns and explosive devices were discovered.” The agency said the alleged terror plot was discovered through analysis of intelligence gathered by local, state and federal authorities.

  12. rikyrah says:

    From utaustinliberal
    May 6, 2013 at 11:33 am

    If you get the chance, you must, must, must watch Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s appearance on The View today. She is a force to be reckoned with and her sense of obligation, the way she approaches her role on the SCOTUS is an awesome sight to behold. She doesn’t take it lightly and she treats it with the honor and respect that we so longingly hope other Justices do as well.

    Her appearance has aired in some markets in the country and it hasn’t in others. Later today, The View will upload her appearance on the website. Watch it if you can. She’s that good.

  13. rikyrah says:

    Here’s Joe Madison’s interview with Larry D. Hardaway, attorney for Kiera Wilmot:

  14. richstarinc says:

    Reblogged this on richstarinc and commented:

  15. rikyrah says:

    Obama hopes to keep economy in national spotlight
    By Steve Benen
    Mon May 6, 2013 11:44 AM EDT

    Remember when political leaders would occasionally talk about the economy as an important national issue? Sure, it’s been a while, but the White House announced yesterday President Obama hopes to remind folks about the economy with “a campaign-style tour to promote middle-class economic growth with a series of events,” starting this week in Austin.

    “The President’s trip will be similar to previous ‘White House to Main Street’ events that directly engage the American people and effectively pushed Congress to act,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said in a statement. “Things are getting better, but our economic recovery is not as strong as it could be and far too many middle class families are still struggling. The question is, will Congress will join with the President to make sure the middle class is strong and secure.” […]

    In his statement, Earnest took a preemptive swipe at Republican critics, saying “even though some in Congress are determined to create more self-inflicted economic wounds, there are things Washington could be doing right now to help American businesses, schools and workers.”

    A White House aide added yesterday, “There’s a lot on Congress’s plate. We also want to make sure part of the discussion includes a conversation about the economy.”

    Imagine that.

  16. rikyrah says:

    Comment from austinliberal at TOD about the President and the Environment:

    May 6, 2013 at 10:28 am

    Great round-up Chiparoo.

    Loved this comment under the Chait article. Pres. Obama really is a champion of the environment.

    “I’m surprised this article doesn’t mention the Global Change Research Program which was signed into law in 1990 by G.H.W. Bush and lay dormant for 15 yrs until Obama revived the program and began to quietly implement it (raising the question as to why Clinton/Gore didn’t implement it given Gore’s recent criticism of Obama). And it was implemented long before any of the other proposals, initiatives and recent State of the Union Address mentioned in the article.

    Obama’s Task Force recommended that federal agencies begin producing the climate risk-assessment studies mandated back in 1990. The first batch of these studies was made available for public comment in February. Consequently, my local environmental group has been meeting with the Forest Service in order to identify climate change vulnerabilities as well as adaptation and mitigation strategies. At least 13 Federal agencies are working on it. In effect, it is a major reshaping of the Federal bureaucracy to take climate change into account when issuing regs.

    This has all been done quietly under the radar to the point that most environmental groups know nothing about the program nor, it would seem, the author of this article. I suspect it has been done without fanfare because Repubs would obstruct if they were aware of it. This program alone will solidify Obama’s reputation as an environmental President long after he’s left office.”

  17. Gun Protesters Plan March On Washington With Loaded Rifles To ‘Put The Government On Notice’

    Almost 900 people are RSVPed for a July 4th march on Washington, D.C. where protesters plan to carry loaded rifles. In D.C., openly carrying guns is against the law. But the organizer of the event, libertarian radio host Adam Kokesh, says the march is an act of “civil disobedience” that attempts to prove gun advocates’ point in the “SUBTLEST way possible.”

    The event’s Facebook invitation describes the march as a nonviolent demonstration, “unless the government chooses to make it violent”:

    This is an act of civil disobedience, not a permitted event. We will march with rifles loaded & slung across our backs to put the government on notice that we will not be intimidated & cower in submission to tyranny. We are marching to mark the high water mark of government & to turn the tide. This will be a non-violent event, unless the government chooses to make it violent. Should we meet physical resistance, we will peacefully turn back, having shown that free people are not welcome in Washington, & returning with the resolve that the politicians, bureaucrats, & enforcers of the federal government will not be welcome in the land of the free.

    There’s a remote chance that there will be violence as there has been from government before, and I think it should be clear that if anyone involved in this event is approached respectfully by agents of the state, they will submit to arrest without resisting. We are truly saying in the SUBTLEST way possible that we would rather die on our feet than live on our knees.


    Imagine what would happen if a group of Muslims or blacks decided to march on Washington with loaded rifles to ‘put the Government on notice’?!!!

  18. rikyrah says:

    The Chutzpah Caucus


    Published: May 5, 2013

    At this point the economic case for austerity — for slashing government spending even in the face of a weak economy — has collapsed. Claims that spending cuts would actually boost employment by promoting confidence have fallen apart. Claims that there is some kind of red line of debt that countries dare not cross have turned out to rest on fuzzy and to some extent just plain erroneous math. Predictions of fiscal crisis keep not coming true; predictions of disaster from harsh austerity policies have proved all too accurate.

    Yet calls for a reversal of the destructive turn toward austerity are still having a hard time getting through. Partly that reflects vested interests, for austerity policies serve the interests of wealthy creditors; partly it reflects the unwillingness of influential people to admit being wrong. But there is, I believe, a further obstacle to change: widespread, deep-seated cynicism about the ability of democratic governments, once engaged in stimulus, to change course in the future.

    So now seems like a good time to point out that this cynicism, which sounds realistic and worldly-wise, is actually sheer fantasy. Ending stimulus has never been a problem — in fact, the historical record shows that it almost always ends too soon. And in America, at least, we have a pretty good record for behaving in a fiscally responsible fashion, with one exception — namely, the fiscal irresponsibility that prevails when, and only when, hard-line conservatives are in power.

  19. rikyrah says:

    An Argument for Repealing or Clarifying the Second Amendment

    Posted on May 6, 2013 at 7:06 am by Bob Cesca

    My Monday column begins the week with some fireworks:

    Before I begin, I hasten to underline that the chances of this happening are pretty much zero: there’s simply no way the Second Amendment will be repealed or clarified. But it should be, and I’m open to either possibility. But I think it makes sense, in the broader gun debate, to debate the validity and applicability of the Second Amendment in our modern context. What’s its purpose? Why is it still necessary? Why acquiesce the points of its loudest supporters?

    The only legitimate reason it exists in 2013 is to provide a disproportionately sacrosanct, nearly biblical cover for the corporate, for-profit gun manufacturing industry. There’s simply no other use for it, especially within a document filled with timeless and fully legitimate human rights.

    Put another way: the Second Amendment is no longer a necessary means of self-preservation, as perhaps it might’ve been in a rural, agrarian, semi-hostile, slave-holding, post-colonial America. Absent the hazards of the late 18th Century, it’s strictly become a means of protecting the availability of a retail product. Hardware. A hobby. Guns are a product which we don’t really need, and which is statistically bad for you, that is unless you’re a beneficiary of the corporate success of the businesses marketing and selling these products.

    Therefore, I have no hesitation declaring the original intention of the Second Amendment to be dead

  20. rikyrah says:

    There Are No ‘Absolute’ Rights
    by Michael Tomasky May 5, 2013 4:45 AM EDT

    Nearly every idea in the Bill of Rights comes with restrictions and limitations. To think that the Second Amendment should be any different is absurd, writes Michael Tomasky.

    Every time I write a column on guns, the howl arises that I am talking about a right that is enshrined in the Constitution, buddy, and I better watch myself. The howl then transmutes into an extended harangue that this right is absolute, and no libtard fascist, whether me or the Satanesque Dianne Feinstein, is going to limit the right in any way. The first soldier to charge across this rhetorical veld is followed by hundreds harrumphing their assent. The only problem is that it’s an ahistorical, afactual, and barbaric argument. No right is absolute. In fact, the Second Amendment arguably has fewer restrictions on it these days than many of the other first ten, and there is and should be no guarantee that things are going to stay that way. In fact, if we’re ever going to be serious about trying to stop this mass butchery that we endure every few months, they cannot.

    Let’s begin by going down the list and reviewing various limits placed on nearly all the amendments of the Bill of Rights (I thank Doug Kendall of the Constitutional Accountability Center for helping me out here). The First Amendment, of course, guarantees the right to free speech and assembly, and to worship as one pleases. There haven’t been that many restrictions placed on the freedom to worship in the United States, although there is a steady stream of cases involving some local government or school board preventing someone from wearing religious clothing or facial hair or what have you. Sometimes a Christian school or church is denied a zoning permit; but more often it’s the freedom to worship of a minority (Muslim, Sikh, etc) that is threatened.

    As for free speech, of course it is restricted. Over the past 50 or so years in a series of cases, courts have placed a number of “time, place, and manner” restrictions on free speech. To restrict speech in general, the government must meet four tests. But this is always being revised and negotiated. Here’s one restriction on the Bill of Rights that I’d wager most conservatives would happily approve of. In 1988, the HHS under Reagan promulgated rules prohibiting a family-planning professional at a clinic that received federal dollars from “promoting” (i.e. telling a woman about) abortion. This was challenged partially on free-speech grounds. In Rust v. Sullivan (1991), the Supreme Court held that these rules did not violate the clinicians’ free-speech rights. So far as I can see, this is still law. It’s just one example from many free-speech restrictions that have been imposed over the years, as you can see here.

  21. Ametia says:

    YouTube to charge for watching videos: Monthly subscription channels set to launch this week to take on TV broadcasters

    Subscriptions could cost £1.28 ($1.99 a month) per channel

    Between 25 and 50 channels are expected to be made subscription-only when the service launches

    You may soon have to pay to watch videos on YouTube.

    The video site, owned by Google, is set to launch a paid-for subscription service later this week that will charge users to access content on some of its specialist channels.

    According to reports in the Financial Times, a single-channel subscription is expected to cost £1.28 ($1.99) a month and will apply to as many as 50 YouTube channels

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

  22. Kiera Wilmot’s Attorney Larry Hardaway on the Joe Madison Show.

    Atty. Larry D. Hardaway joins Joe Madison, “The Black Eagle”, to clear the air regarding 16 year-old Florida high school student Kiera Wilmot and the charges brought against her last week. On the Madison Show Monday morning, Attorney Hardaway criticizes the media’s coverage of Ms. Wilmot’s case, also giving information about her defense and where her future lies.

  23. rikyrah says:

    Things Go Horribly Wrong For Fox News When They Ask GOP Congressman for Benghazi Evidence

    Fox News tried to push their Benghazi conspiracy theory today, but things went horribly wrong when they asked Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz for evidence and he couldn’t provide any.


    Notice that Chris Wallace provided Chaffetz with the perfect setup. He let him weave the conspiracy theory. Wallace never stopped him, or challenged him. But when it came time for Rep. Chaffetz to deliver the money shot, he threw up all over his own shirt.

    Ever since it was revealed that Boston bombings weren’t carried out by an overseas terrorist group, Fox News has gone back to relentlessly pushing Benghazi conspiracies. It has been subtle, but you can see it in Chaffetz’s remarks, the focus of the Benghazi conspiracy has shifted away from Obama and to the State Department.

    Their conspiracy theory focus has shifted because the runaway favorite for the 2016 Democratic nomination just so happens to be the same woman who used to be Secretary of State. Fox News is only the propaganda arm. Chris Wallace did his job, but the Republican/Fox News plan to bring down Hillary Clinton with Benghazi fell flat on its face when Rep. Chaffetz has zero evidence to back up his charges.

  24. rikyrah says:

    Kansas, Justice Department on nullification collision course
    By Steve Benen

    Mon May 6, 2013 10:39 AM EDT

    few weeks ago, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (R) signed into law a measure called the “Second Amendment Protection Act,” which states that, “Any act, law, treaty, order, rule or regulation of the government of the United States which violates the second amendment to the constitution of the United States is null, void and unenforceable in the state of Kansas.”

    At the time, a far-right activist and nullification enthusiast told a local paper, “The Kansas Second Amendment Protection Act, in my opinion, is potentially the most important state level bill passed in modern American history.”

    Clearly, that was hyperbolic, but there is a burgeoning legal fight underway that’s worth following closely.

  25. rikyrah says:

    How to break the budget process

    By Steve Benen
    Mon May 6, 2013 10:11 AM EDT

    For about three years, congressional Republicans had a talking point they were quite fond of: they wanted Congress to pass a budget through “regular order,” but Senate Democrats have made that impossible by failing to pass a budget. In an interesting twist, GOP lawmakers have abandoned their own talking points — and Democrats have picked them up.

    I realize talking about the federal budget seems a little dry and wonky, but stick with me; it gets interest.

    First, let’s back up and explain what “regular order” is. The budget process is supposed to follow a certain trajectory: the House approves its budget blueprint, then the Senate does the same, and a conference committee featuring members from both chambers get together to work out the differences. There are no secret deals, no shutdowns, and no stopgap measures — just good ol’ fashioned policymaking through a process that’s been in place for many decades.

    And it’s this “regular order” that Republicans insisted they liked. It was a perfectly defensible position so long as GOP leaders assumed Senate Democrats wouldn’t actually pass a budget, but then a funny thing happened: Senate Democrats actually passed a budget and said they too wanted regular order.

    At which point Republicans dropped their talking points and said they now want the exact opposite. Indeed, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has, on multiple occasions, tried to appoint Senate members to the budget conference committee — just as Republicans said they wanted — only to find the Senate GOP blocking his efforts. House GOP leaders won’t agree to appoint conference members at all.

    It’s quickly becoming farcical.

  26. rikyrah says:

    Teen Moms For Everyone: Fox News Touts The Upside of Teen Pregnancy

    By: Jason Easley
    May. 5th, 2013

    Fox News thinks that the “answer” to the abortion question is to celebrate teenage girls who get pregnant, and have their babies.

    Transcript via Fox News Sunday:

    WALLACE: President Obama and a spokesperson for Concerned Women for America disagreeing over what age girls should be able to buy the Plan B contraceptive. And we’re back now with our panel. Nina, the Obama administration, had as a policy making the Plan B morning-after pill available for,-you know, they say women, girls, women, 17 and over. They have now changed that to 15 and older. And a federal judge has ruled it should be made available to people of all ages. It’s kind of a tough spot for the administration.

    NINA EASTON, FORTUNE MAGAZINE: It’s a tough spot. I just think there’s a case to be made for conservatives or anybody who cares about the rate of abortions in this country, to deregulate birth control more, there’s a case we made all the way — I although understand a need for parents to be involved. One of the things that — of all of these news, and including the president’s speech to Planned Parenthood in his Gosnell case with murdering babies, is we’re looking at a culture that produces 1.2 million abortions a year. We’re losing sight of that fact. And I would say that in addition to deregulating birth control, another thing we need to do is celebrate young women who bring a baby to term and find an adoptive parent. There’s such a stigma today to being an adoptive birth mom, that you’re more willing to admit that you’ve had an abortion than that you’re delivering a healthy newborn to a loving family. What’s wrong with that? What’s wrong with our culture that that’s where we are today? So, I would encourage viewers, there’s a new campaign out by the National Council for Adoption, it’s called And I would say, on the eve of Mother’s Day next week, that we should all check that out and start celebrating these young women who choose life for their babies.

  27. rikyrah says:

    Mark Sanford Comes Unglued and Runs Around SC Asking Women if They Hate Him

    By: Jason Easley
    May. 5th, 2013

    It’s looking like Mark Sanford has some issues. In order to prove to the media that women don’t hate him, Sanford walked up to random women in Summerville, SC, and asked them if they hated him.

    NBC reported on the House candidate’s latest burst of bizarre behavior,

    On Saturday, after answering several questions about whether he thought a trespassing charge at his ex-wife’s home might compromise his standing with female voters, Sanford led reporters on a foray in downtown Summerville, S.C., stopping women to ask them their opinion of him, specifically referring to the question posed by a reporter for NBC News.

    Sanford then walked across the street to begin his meet-and-greet, flanked by two campaign staffers and three reporters, telling the reporter who asked the questions about his status with women that he rejected the “premise” that women wouldn’t vote for him because of his personal life.

    He then indicated he wanted to seek out women who “hated” him.

    “Let’s go to this woman – does she look biased?” he asked as he crossed the street, the NBC reporter walking next to him.

    As a car whizzed by, he told the reporter, “Watch out, I don’t want you to get run over. Actually I kind of do, but that’s a different story.”

    Wow, Mark Sanford is batsh*t crazy.

  28. rikyrah says:

    House Republicans Are Planning to Eliminate Food Assistance for 13 Million Americans

    By: Rmuse
    May. 6th, 2013
    It is safe to say that all human beings have at one time or another experienced a compelling desire for food, and in extreme cases, hunger produces a painful sensations or a state of weakness caused by the lack of food that most Americans assume is not a problem in the richest nation in the history of the world. It is also safe to say that any American who deliberately withheld food from other Americans when they had resources to feed them would epitomize profound immorality or in the Christian biblical sense, sheer evil. There is an epidemic of evil in America characterized by Republicans who are intent on withholding food from Americans knowing full well that nearly 25% of children living in poverty and one out of six American adults experience hunger on a daily basis, and as part of the conservative agenda are on an active crusade to increase those numbers to enrich the wealthy.

    In the waning months of the 112th Congress, House Republicans failed to pass a farm bill because they could not agree on steep enough cuts to the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP, food stamps) even after the Senate that Speaker John Boehner said had to “get off their asses” and get to work passed a bipartisan agreement cutting food stamps by $4.5 billion over the next decade. The Senate cuts were predicated on projections that as unemployment dropped, fewer Americans would require food assistance, but it was not nearly harsh enough for House Republicans. Since they failed to pass a bill in the last Congress, both the Senate and the House have to begin anew coming up with a new round of cuts to increase hunger among the working poor, children, and seniors who experience hunger every day of their lives. The issue for Republicans in the House last years was their proposed food stamp cuts of $16.5 billion that eliminated over 3 million recipients was not enough for fiscal hawks who determined that until they could reach Paul Ryan’s Path to Prosperity food stamp cuts of $125 billion over five years, they would let the farm bill languish and wait until this year to create despair for the working poor, farmers, and the economy.

    In the new Congress, House Republicans are proposing that a new farm bill mandate at least $20 billion over five years in (SNAP) cuts as a temporary fix until they can convince Democrats and President Obama to accept the Ryan plan and cut $125 billion over five years as a starting point of a ten year plan and eliminate food assistance for 13 million more hungry working Americans and seniors in their version of common sense cuts. The good news for Republicans is that not only will their proposal increase hunger for Americans primarily in Republican states, but they can claim victory in creating harm for farmers and the American economy they have been yearning to deal a death knell to so they can portray President Obama as a failure for driving America into another recession. The Republican sequester will do enough damage to the economy and raise unemployment, but that is just the opening salvo in their drive to send the nation into deeper recession than their 8-year assault during the Bush administration.

  29. rikyrah says:

    Obama Might Actually Be the Environmental President

    His climate-change policy has been an abject failure, says Al Gore and just about everyone else. They’re wrong. Here’s why.
    . By Jonathan Chait
    Published May 5, 2013

    State of the Union addresses are wearying rituals, in which stitched-together lists of never-gonna-happen goals are woven into idealistic catchphrases, analyzed as rhetoric by an unqualified panel of poetry-critic-for-a-night political reporters, quickly followed by a hapless opposition-party response, and then, in almost every case, forgotten. This year, plunked into the midst of the tedium was a gigantic revelation, almost surely the most momentous news of President Obama’s second term. “I will direct my Cabinet,” he announced, “to come up with executive actions we can take now and in the future to reduce pollution, prepare our communities for the consequences of climate change, and speed the transition to more sustainable sources of energy.”

    Here was a genuine bombshell. It sounded a little vague, and the president did not explain precisely what he intended to do or how he would pull it off. But a handful of environmental wonks had a fairly strong grasp of the project he had committed himself to, and they understood that it was very, very real and very, very doable. If they were to have summarized the news, the headline would have been OBAMA TO SAVE PLANET.

    Few outside the green community grasped the meaning of the revelation, and it sank beneath the surface with barely a ripple as bored reporters quickly turned to other matters. Several elements of the Obama agenda—immigration reform, gun control, the budget wars—have since churned busily away in plain view, while his climate pledge has generated no visible action. (Which, as we’ll see, may be just how the administration wants it.)

    More than anything, though, Obama’s announcement was shrouded in the pervasive miasma of failure, the stench of too little, too late, that has surrounded his climate agenda. Obama’s election “was accompanied by intense hope that many things in need of change would change,” lamented Al Gore in a 2011 Rolling Stone essay. “Some things have, but others have not. Climate policy, unfortunately, is in the second category.” Matters appear only to have gotten worse since then, especially as climate activists chain themselves to the White House gate to protest the president’s likely approval of the Keystone pipeline. Obama himself has taken an apologetic tone, telling green-minded donors that the politics “are tough,” as people “struggling to get by” care more about providing for their immediate needs than forestalling long-term environmental degradation and climate change.

    The New Yorker’s Nicholas Lemann recently wrote a eulogy for the environmental movement, using the 2010 disintegration of cap-and-trade legislation in Congress as the culmination of failure. “The movement had poured years of effort into the bill, which involved a complicated system for limiting carbon emissions. Now it was dead, and there has been no significant environmental legislation since,” he wrote. “Indeed, one could argue that there has been no major environmental legislation since 1990 … What went wrong?”

    The pervasive “what went wrong?” narrative contains a series of assumptions: that Obama can prevail only by winning over public opinion and Congress, that the fate of his climate policy hinged on the cap-and-trade bill, and that the primary question hanging over his environmental record is how to apportion blame. None of these assumptions is correct.

  30. rikyrah says:

    Behind the Scenes at Fox
    By BRIAN STELTER Published: May 5, 2013

    A few days before the presidential election last November, Roger Ailes,
    the chief executive of Fox News, ordered that Geraldo Rivera’s
    microphone be cut off after Mr. Rivera angrily defended the Obama
    administration against charges levied by others on Fox. So says a
    forthcoming book about the 2012 campaign by Jonathan Alter, a columnist for Bloomberg View and a contributor to MSNBC, a Fox competitor.

  31. rikyrah says:

    From Miranda at POU:

    Kiera Wilmot’s lawyer Larry D. Hardaway was on Joe Madison’s show this morning.

    He said she hasn’t been expelled; she had a 10 day suspension. The state has not formally filed felony charges, and he doesn’t think they will. She’s presently in an alternative school.

    Attorney said she received a 4 page doc from her bio teacher that said (and I’m paraphrasing) that the student have to come up with an experiment on their own to present to the class. Her classmates suggested this particular experiment. She was going to present this experiment to the class, but her friends said she should try it outside first.

    She did not run away when the principal and assistant principal came.

    It wasn’t an explosion; principal said it sounded like a firecracker.

    State attorney has NOT filed charges.

    They’re setting up a defense fund. Madison he will post the info on his Facebook page.

    If you have SiriusXM, Madison’s show repeats at 8pm EST.

  32. rikyrah says:

    Anyone want to be a senator?

    By Steve Benen
    Mon May 6, 2013 9:07 AM EDT

    In early January, Vice President Biden, fulfilling his duties as the president of the Senate, swore in the newly elected senator and posed for family photos. Because Biden is Biden, he appeared to be having a terrific time, which the VP didn’t want to end. Towards the end, during a lull, Biden jokingly asked the people on hand for the event, “Anybody else want to be sworn in as a senator today?”

    Looking back, part of me wonders how many folks might have seriously replied, “No.”

    Regular readers know I’ve been fascinated of late by the recent exodus of sitting senators from the chamber. All told, the World’s Most Deliberative Body is poised to lose at least 42 of its members since 2009 — and 25 of those 42 are voluntary retirements. What’s more, most of those 25 were members who could have won re-election with relative ease, but just didn’t want to be there anymore.

    But there’s another angle to this. Sitting senators are suddenly eager to do something else, which has created a slew of vacancies. Clearly, that creates exciting opportunities for ambitious politicians, right? Actually, not so much.

  33. rikyrah says:

    Florida GOP puts politics over people
    By Steve Benen
    Mon May 6, 2013 8:25 AM EDT

    It seemed like a breakthrough moment. In late February, Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R), who had made hating “Obamacare” his raison d’etre, announced his support for the Medicaid expansion policy in the Affordable Care Act. The Republican governor said at the time, “I cannot, in good conscience, deny the uninsured access to care.”

    It was an open question whether Scott’s principal concerns were with the uninsured or the state hospitals he’s been friendly with in the past, it was nevertheless welcome news for health care advocates. Florida’s governor, an unlikely ally, had cleared the way for bringing health care access to 1.3 million Americans, expanding the reach of Obamacare to new heights.

    At least, we thought so at the time. What was unexpected was Rick Scott’s own legislative allies ignoring the governor’s wishes and punishing Florida on purpose.

    Scott wouldn’t be the one to “deny Floridians” a part of the health care law — but the Florida legislature had other plans. Lawmakers adjourned Friday after passing a budget that does not include funding for a Medicaid expansion. Unless the Republican-controlled legislature comes back for a special session later this year — which some Democrats are calling for — Florida will not expand Medicaid in 2014.

    In Florida, where one in five non-elderly residents lack insurance coverage, the consequences are especially large: An estimated 1.3 million Floridians were expected to gain coverage through the Medicaid expansion. About a quarter of those people — Floridians earning between 100 and 133 percent of the Federal Poverty Line — would still be eligible for tax subsidies on the health insurance exchange.

    As we talked about in March, Scott isn’t the only Republican governor in this boat. In Ohio and Arizona, GOP state lawmakers remain reluctant to accept Medicaid expansion, regardless of its benefits, and regardless of the wishes of their Republican partner in the governor’s office.

  34. rikyrah says:

    Paige Johnson, daughter of BET co-founders, weds Dudley Payne in the Bahamas

    Posted by The Reliable Source on May 6, 2013 at 6:00 am

    submit to reddit

    There’s one less heiress on the market: Paige Johnson got married Saturday.

    The gorgeous daughter of BET founders Bob and Sheila Johnson wed Dudley Payne III in a sunset ceremony at the Ocean Club in the Bahamas. The bride and groom picked the site because they’re fans of the James Bond movie “Casino Royale,” which was set at the famed luxury resort.

    Bob Johnson walks his daughter Paige down the aisle at the Ocean Club in the Bahamas on Saturday. (Matt Blum)
    Bob Johnson walks his daughter Paige down the aisle at the Ocean Club in the Bahamas on Saturday. (Matt Blum)

    More than 200 guests attended the lavish four-day celebration, which kicked off with a rehearsal dinner Thursday. A beach party on Friday got hit with some rain, but we’re told there was perfect weather for the ceremony and reception Saturday, where Grammy-winning R&B star Ne-Yo sang Elton John’s “Your Song” for the couple’s first dance. There was also entertainment by in-demand DJ Cassidy — who has spun discs at the White House as well as at Jay-Z’s house — and a Motown band. Guests trickled out after a farewell brunch Sunday.

    Dudley Payne III and Paige Johnson on their wedding day. (Matt Blum)
    Dudley Payne III and Paige Johnson on their wedding day. (Matt Blum)

    This is the first marriage for Johnson, a champion equestrian based in Middleburg, as well as for Payne, an insurance broker from Warrenton. The two were introduced by a mutual friend seven years ago and have been dating ever since.

    “This guy is the perfect guy for Paige,” Bob Johnson told us last week. “He’s a true gentleman.” Before proposing last year, Payne took the old-fashioned step of inviting the multi-millionaire to Café Milano to ask for his only daughter’s hand in marriage.

    Their courtship and engagement stayed under the radar because the two have been so busy with other pursuits. Johnson, 27, who walked the aisle in a Monique Lhullier gown, has been a competitive equestrian rider since she was 5, training in Virginia and Florida, and traveling to competitions around the world. She was included in a 2012 Town & Country cover story on heiresses of the horse world, alongside fellow riders Jessica Springsteen and Georgina Bloomberg. Payne, 30, has an insurance brokage business but his real passion is golf; he competes at serious amateur tournaments almost every weekend.

    “They’re both intensively competitive in their chosen fields,” said her dad.

  35. rikyrah says:

    Happy Hour Roundup: New report confirms GOP obstructionism is unprecedented

    Posted by Jonathan Bernstein on May 3, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    The nonpartisan Congressional Research Service has released an important new report that details Barack Obama’s record on nominating judges during his first term. It’s no surprise: Republican obstruction against his selections was unprecedented. For example:

    President Obama is the only one of the five most recent Presidents for whom, during his first term, both the average and median waiting time from nomination to confirmation for circuit and district court nominees was greater than half a calendar year (i.e., more than 182 days).

    A quick look at the report’s summary confirms that Obama’s nominees have been treated more roughly than those of Presidents Reagan, Bush, Clinton, and the other Bush.

    That’s only half the story. George H.W. Bush had to deal with an opposition party Senate for his entire first term, and Bill Clinton and George W. Bush had that during about half of their first terms. It’s at least plausibly legitimate for opposite party Senators, when they have the majority, to argue that they should have a larger role in filling judicial vacancies, and to act accordingly. At the very least, if they simply oppose some of those nominees, they will defeat them in “up or down” votes.

    But Obama, like Ronald Reagan, had a same-party Senate majority during his first term. He should have had among the best results over any recent president, all things being equal.

    What changed when Obama took office, however, was the extension of the filibuster to cover every single nominee. Republicans didn’t always vote against cloture (or even demand cloture votes), but they did demand 60 votes for every nominee. That’s brand new. It’s true that Democrats filibustered selected judicial nominations during the George W. Bush presidency, but only at the circuit court level, and not every single one.

  36. rikyrah says:


    The Time Marion Barry Live-Tweeted Scandal

    Posted by Jonathan L. Fischer on May. 3, 2013 at 9:11 am

  37. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone! YEAH Boys II Men! :-)

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