Thursday Open Thread | Boyz II Men Week

Good Morning. Enjoy the music of Boyz II Men.

Boyz II Men-6

1997-1998: Evolution and label conflicts

Motown issued The Remix Collection, a compilation of remixes of various Boyz II Men songs from Cooleyhighharmony and II. The group itself had opposed the release of the collection, because they felt the compilation did not represent Boyz II Men’s best work. After the label released the album without their permission, there was a dispute between the company and the group. Boyz II Men initiated their own recording company Stonecreek (which released material by artists such as Uncle Sam), and they arranged for Stonecreek’s distribution by Epic Records, not Motown.

Boyz II Men’s third studio album, Evolution, was released during 1997 to mixed reviews and sold three million copies, far below the stratospheric success of II’s (12 million copies) and Cooleyhighharmony (9 million). Only one of Evolution’s singles, the Jam/Lewis-penned “Four Seasons of Loneliness”, reached number 1 on the Hot 100 chart. The second single, the Babyface-helmed “A Song for Mama” (the theme song to the Babyface-produced film Soul Food) was a Top 10 success, but the follow-up “Can’t Let Her Go” underperformed.

The global tour began in 1997 to promote Evolution was very successful in terms of ticket sales, but behind the scenes, Boyz II Men was wracked by conflicts with their record label and internal conflicts among the members of the group. Making matters worse, health problems began to take their toll on the group as well. While on tour to support the Evolution album, Wanya Morris developed a polyp on his vocal cords, and the group was forced to postpone part of the tour until he recovered. McCary’s scoliosis meant that he was unable to participate in most of the group’s dance routines.

Boyz II Men were nominated for 2 Grammys in 1998: Best R&B Album for Evolution and Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group for “A Song for Mama”.

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91 Responses to Thursday Open Thread | Boyz II Men Week

  1. rikyrah says:

    admclark Scandal just got designated the newest national black holiday! It’s Kwanzaa, Juneteenth and Scandal #scandal #scandalabc #gladiators #fb

  2. rikyrah says:

    Shonda Rhimes….

    Shonda Rhimes…..

    uh uh uh

  3. rikyrah says:

    Exclusive: The RNC Benghazi Attack Ad that Never Ran

    It was the Benghazi attack ad the Republican National Committee created but never aired.

    ABC News has obtained an ad the RNC made last fall and approved to air in the final weeks of the presidential campaign. The ad begins with a replay of Hillary Clinton’s famous “3 a.m. phone call” commercial from the 2008 campaign and then cuts to video of the burning U.S. consulate in Benghazi Libya.

    Over the images of the attack–in which four Americans were killed–words appear on the screen:

    “The Call Came … On September 12, 2012.” As the screen goes black, the words continue: “Security Requests Denied. Four Americans Dead. And an Administration whose story is still changing. The Call Came.”

    The video of the Benghazi attack used in the ad includes the sound of gunfire and what appear to be voices of people speaking a foreign language as flames engulf the consulate.

    A source familiar with the creation of the ad says the RNC leadership approved the ad but it was scrapped at the last minute because of objections from the Romney campaign, which was concerned the ad would distract from Romney’s efforts to focus on the economy.

    While the ad borrows from Hillary Clinton’s efforts to raise questions in 2008 about Barack Obama’s ability to lead the country through a crisis, Republicans are now pointing to the Benghazi attack and the way it was handled to raise questions about the leadership of Hillary Clinton, who was secretary of state at the time of the attack.

    Democrats will likely point to the un-aired commercial as evidence that Republicans are raising concerns about the Benghazi attack to score political points.

    http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2013/05/exclusive-the-rnc-benghazi-attack-ad-that-never-ran/

  4. rikyrah says:

    Media Assumes Best of Police and Worst of Low-Income Neighbors in Cleveland Kidnapping
    by Rania Khalek on May 9, 2013

    The harrowing story of three Cleveland women—Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight—held captive by Ariel Castro for a decade seems to reach new levels of horror with each emerging detail. But one of the most disturbing developments of all—that Cleveland police potentially ignored repeated calls from Castro’s neighbors about violence against women at and around his home—was quickly buried and dismissed after police vehemently denied the allegations.

    USA Today spoke with neighbors who say they witnessed troubling scenes over the years around Castro’s home and called to alert police several times:

    Elsie Cintron, who lives three houses away, said her daughter once saw a naked woman crawling on her hands and knees in the backyard several years ago and called police. “But they didn’t take it seriously,” she said.

    Another neighbor, Israel Lugo, said he heard pounding on some of the doors of Castro’s house, which had plastic bags on the windows, in November 2011. Lugo said officers knocked on the front door, but no one answered. “They walked to the side of the house and then left,” he said.

    Neighbors also said they would sometimes see Ariel Castro walking a little girl to a neighborhood playground. And Cintron said she once saw a little girl looking out of the house’s attic window.

    Israel Lugo said he, his family and neighbors called police three times between 2011 and 2012 after seeing disturbing things at the home of Ariel Castro. Lugo lives two houses down from Castro and grew suspicious after neighbors reported seeing naked women on leashes crawling on all fours behind Castro’s house.

    Reuters reported similar allegations by neighbors. However, the authorities immediately denied that they received reports of abuse at the Castro home. Though Cleveland Police Sgt. Sammy Morris admitted on Tuesday that Cleveland police contacted Ariel Castro twice during the women’s captivity, he insisted they were unrelated to reports about domestic abuse. Also, the Mayor claimed that authorities had searched police records and found no indication that they were contacted by anyone about bizarre sightings at Castro’s house. Never mind that these denials were made just 24 hours after the women escaped, hardly enough time for investigators to scour through a decade of police reports, especially given the likely chaos and scattered resources in the aftermath of their rescue.

    Even more upsetting is the media’s failure to follow-up on these allegations, as though Cleveland authorities have no incentive to lie about a potential epic screw up. I was most shocked to see feminist blogger Amanda Marcotte chalk this up to neighbors “inadvertently creating false memories“:

    My guess is that Castro’s neighbors probably saw some weird stuff, but did what most of us tend to do in these circumstances, which is ignore it and figure it’s somebody else’s problem. Now, I’d wager they’re recalling those memories, but they’re unintentionally distorting them to make them more dramatic. Or they are misremembering because they wish to feel more proactive than they really were.

    At least Marcotte blames mistaken lies whereas Plain Dealer columnist Mark Naymik paints all the neighbors as malicious fabricators out to get their 15 minutes of fame.

    Naymik makes it seem as though police critics expected cops to raid Castro’s home over unkempt windows.

    “If broken windows, sheets and always darkened windows are signs of crime, cops will have to raid homes all over the city. It’s a wild stretch to suggest such a thing.” I agree, but as far as I can tell, no one is claiming to have called police about suspicious windows, unless female captives banging for help on windows and naked women on leashes qualify as such. Naymik eventually addressed the naked women on leashes sighting:

    Among the most salacious claims is that police failed to respond to a report that a naked woman on a leash was seen in Castro’s backyard.

    Police say they have no records to support that such calls were made, and it’s hard to imagine that any cop would ignore reports of a naked woman on leash.

    You see? Police said it never happened so that means it never happened; end of story; nothing more to see here.

    I hate to be the first to smash your fairy-tale view of law enforcement, but the reality is that police lie. Mayors lie. District Attorneys lie. And they lie about all kinds of things when the truth makes them or their department look really really bad. To be clear, I’m not generalizing about all police officers, political figures (well maybe just a little here) and attorneys. But a fact is a fact and when it comes to misconduct, both purposeful and accidental, it’s quite common for lies to be told, even under oath.

    Both Naymin and Marcotte are assuming the best of police and the worst of nearby residents, who just happen to be low-income and mostly of color. Perhaps I’m making something out of nothing, but it’s difficult to imagine such claims being so quickly dismissed had they come from upper-class white (and therefore “credible”) Americans.

    http://raniakhalek.com/2013/05/09/media-assumes-best-of-police-and-worst-of-low-income-neighbors-in-cleveland-kidnapping/

  5. rikyrah says:

    this is a really good segment from Rev. Al about Mr. Ramsey and those who would mock him. totally on point

    http://www.nbcnews.com/id/45755884/#51836200

  6. rikyrah says:

    Tony-Award Nominated ‘Trip to Bountiful’ Extends Broadway Run Through Summer
    Posted in Entertainment, Theater, Videos by goodblacknews

    The new Broadway production of Horton Foote’s “The Trip to Bountiful,” featuring Emmy-winning stage and screen star Cicely Tyson, has extended its run at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre. The production, which officially opened April 23, had been scheduled for a 14-week limited engagement through July 7. It has now extended an additional eight weeks and will continue through Sept. 1. ”Bountiful” was recently nominated for four Tony Awards, including Best Actress in a Play (Tyson), Best Featured Actress in a Play (Condola Rashad), Best Sound Design for a Play (John Gromada) and Best Revival of a Play.

    The cast also includes Academy Award winner Cuba Gooding Jr. (“Jerry Maguire,” “Red Tails”), Emmy Award nominee Vanessa Williams (“Ugly Betty,” “Desperate Housewives”), Rashad (Lifetime’s “Steel Magnolias,” Broadway’s Stick Fly), Tom Wopat, Devon Abner, Curtis Billings, Pat Bowie, Leon Addison Brown, Arthur French, Susan Heyward, Bill Kux, Linda Powell and Charles Turner. Michael Wilson directs.

    http://goodblacknews.org/2013/05/08/tony-award-nominated-trip-to-bountiful-extends-broadway-run-through-summer/

  7. rikyrah says:

    Detroit Resident To City, State Officials: If You Can’t Do The Job, Get Y’all As*es Out Of Office!

    May 9, 2013
    By NewsOne Staff

    It’s not hard to find a Detroit resident who’s willing to go on camera and complain about the city and the politicians elected to run it. But Melinda Brown Duncan did more than complain. She went H.A.M

    Melinda doesn’t need much of an introduction, but well give you a preview what she told a Fox 2 News reporter recently.

    (Mayor) Dave Bing and the Governor, ya’ll problem is you all just sitting up there and collecting a check. If ya’ll really wanna run the city of Detroit, come around here in every block in the city of Detroit and look through these houses. If they ain’t no good, tear they a*ses down so people can stop filing dead relatives in these damn houses. And pay these damn Detroit muthafu*kin’ cops what they suppose to earn for being out here protecting the citizens of Detroit

    http://newsone.com/2444337/melinda-brown-duncan-detroit/

  8. rikyrah says:

    What Darrell Issa really wants out of Benghazi hearing

    I worked on the GOP lawmaker’s House oversight committee. He wasn’t exactly known for his zest for oversight
    By Anthony Clark

    How seriously should Americans take Issa’s hearing and claims?

    For almost four years, I worked in close proximity to him, first on the Democratic staff of the Oversight Committee (when he was ranking member) and then as legislative director for a senior member of the committee, when he was chairman. Here’s what I learned: If Darrell Issa says something – based on the record, his statements and my personal observations of him up-close – there is a strong likelihood it will be baseless and easily disproven.

    Others have covered many aspects of his story. They have written about his alleged misdeeds, before and after he entered Congress. They have ably discussed Issa’s illegal disclosure of wiretaps; his irresponsible release of sensitive unredacted State Department documents; his political misuse of official funds; his use of his public office for personal gain; his inability to be honest about his own military service record; his treatment of his private business partners; his youthful (and not-so-youthful) experimentations with borrowing other people’s cars without permission; his failed attempt to recall and succeed Gray Davis as governor of California (and his Boehner-esque acceptance of his failure); his characterization of the Sept. 11 attacks as “simply a plane crash”; and his disregard for tradition, House rules and plain decency in the selection of Democratic Minority witnesses.

    Sure, these and other issues call into serious question Issa’s integrity, or fitness to serve in the United States Congress, much less chair a House committee vested with personal subpoena power.

    But I’d like to look instead at Darrell Issa, Oversight chairman. More so than most Republicans who’ve held that post – particularly in opposition to the party controlling the White House – he is exceedingly unsuccessful. (Full disclosure: Right after I started on the Oversight Committee, Issa protested my appointment because I had been critical of the Reagan Foundation’s efforts at political hagiography; nonetheless, I remained on the job.)

    Observing him, it quickly became clear that, like all bullies, Issa is not prepared to fight. He counts on his opponents to back down. His M.O. is to make outrageous, unsubstantiated claims, follow them with a lot of bluster, and then quietly fold at the first sign of being challenged. And here’s his “tell”: The more bombastic he is, the more he hungrily seeks out the cameras, the more he promises “explosive revelations,” the less he actually has. Bullies don’t win fights; they win defaults. Push back just the tiniest bit, and it’s all over.

    Even before Republicans took over the House after the 2010 elections, Issa made bold, empty assertions. He called President Obama “one of the most corrupt presidents in modern times.” He boasted that he would hold “seven hearings a week, times 40 weeks” (that would be 560 hearings in just one Congress). He claimed he would save taxpayers $200 billion by rooting out waste, fraud and abuse. He said that he planned hundreds of investigations (he even promised to go after George W. Bush – which, not surprisingly, he has yet to do).

    More than two years later, Issa hasn’t met any of his goals. Almost immediately, he was forced to walk back his baseless “corruption” charge. In the 112th Congress, he didn’t call as many hearings as Henry Waxman, Democratic chairman, held during the last two years of the Bush administration. Now, with Benghazi, he says he really has something solid. Just like he did with Solyndra. And “job-killing” regulations. And Fast and Furious. The list goes on.

    The effectiveness of any committee is measured first by its legislative output and second by the quality and success, or failure, of its investigations. In the first instance, it’s about those bills that pass through the committee and become law, not the bills that are introduced and referred to the committee (thousands are introduced each session of Congress). And it’s not about the bills that the committee sends to the floor but that never pass. It’s about the laws that are enacted. In the second instance, it’s about how you investigate as much as it is about what or whom. On both measures, Issa’s record speaks for itself.

    His committee not only has jurisdiction to investigate the federal government, but is the authorizing body for a wide range of federal agencies and programs. So has he successfully shepherded bills to root out waste, fraud and abuse? To make the government more efficient? To create more jobs? To save taxpayers money? His first, and what I guess must be called his most significant legislative accomplishment to date, was extending the charter for the Ronald Reagan Centennial Commission.

    That’s right. Despite his extravagant claims and his loud calls for accountability, after six months of empty threats, by June 2011 the only bill from his committee to be enacted into law was H.R. 1308, to extend the commission’s termination date. Well, that, and one bill renaming a post office.

    http://www.salon.com/2013/05/09/darrell_issa_the_man_behind_the_benghazi_hearings/

  9. rikyrah says:

    Nerdy Wonka @NerdyWonka

    FLOTUS: “My mom has taught me to listen, to be patient, to be open-minded. It’s my honor to recognize my mummy, Marian Robinson” #MothersDay

    3:09 PM – 9 May 2013

  10. rikyrah says:

    john miller @deaconmill

    Wow, conservative AEI predicts budget surplus in 2015 even with no further cuts. Obama just another tax and spender,.http://www.alan.com/2013/05/09/conservative-aei-whoa-is-the-us-on-the-verge-of-running-a-budget-surplus/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+liberaland+%28Alan+Colmes+Liberaland%29

    3:08 PM – 9 May 2013

  11. rikyrah says:

    Little Girl Warned that She Could Face Criminal Charges for HopScotch Drawings on the Sidewalk

    What is the world coming to when little girls are no longer able to play hopscotch without fear of prosecution? A 10-year old girl in England was told by police that playing hopscotch in front of her house could lead to criminal charges for drawing on the sidewalk. Now, keep in mind that the drawings wash away in the rain, but police insisted upon letting the girl know that if she didn’t cease her activities, she might be needing to save her allowance money for an attorney.

    Lilly Allen was playing away when she said that she saw the cops roll up on her, ready to shake her down for her devious activities.

    “Two policemen in a car drove up to her and said it was illegal to draw on the floor as it was criminal damage,” her father Bob told The Sun.

    “I am absolutely seething they have done this.”

    Defending his young daughter from persecution, Lilly’s dad filed a complaint with the Kent police for their behavior. He also wrote about the incident on social media, getting a huge outrageous response and international media attention. Police are investigating and admit that maybe the officers went too far. Uhhh, you think so?

    A police spokesman said: “We are trying to trace the officers who are reported to have made this comment. From the circumstances described, it would not appear to have been necessary to advise the young girl that chalking a hopscotch grid may be criminal damage and illegal.”

    http://www.techyville.com/2013/05/social-media/little-girl-warned-that-she-could-face-criminal-charges-for-hopscotch-drawings-on-the-sidewalk/

  12. Ametia says:

    Sg2; did you know that PBO’s in TEXAS?

  13. rikyrah says:

    History of Mistrust In Medical Research Hurts African-Americans

    There have been a number of shocking revelations regarding the medical industry and the African-American community, in which African-Americans have often been revered as guinea pigs to undergo testing for medical research without their knowledge and consent. These studies have led to an astonishing number of deaths and a permanent stamp of the mistrust African-Americans have in the medical research field.

    Dr. Wesley McNeese, executive assistant to the dean for diversity and multicultural and minority affairs at the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, said African-Americans are reluctant to participate in medical research because of a lack of health care and education about diseases. He also said a large number of African-Americans don’t trust researchers. “There’s this history of mistrust in the African-American community so we have to convince them that situation is no longer the same and when they come into these kind of research projects that they’re going to be treated well,” he said. The mistrust in medical research is causing more harm against the Black community than anything else. Dr. McNeese encourages people to get involved to keep research balanced. “If someone comes up with some cure or treatment for cancer and they use only white subjects to come up with answers, then they may come up with answers which are not relevant to us African-American people,” he said.

    According to Stephen Hunt, regional director of health initiatives for the American Cancer Society, African-Americans have the highest rates of prostate and breast cancer in the country. It is believed that in 2013, more than 94,500 African-American men and more than 82,000 African-American women will be diagnosed with cancer.

    http://www.blackbluedog.com/2013/05/news/history-of-mistrust-in-medical-research-hurts-african-americans/

  14. rikyrah says:

    Fastest Growing African-American TV Network to Debut Its Non-Scripted Series

    May 9, 2013 | Filed under: News | Posted by: Maria Lloyd

    The African-American targeted TV network Bounce TV will premiere its first original non-scripted series,”Forever Jones” presented by Walmart in June. The new reality series will delve deeper into the daily lives and challenges of the close-knit, faith-based family and gospel group foreverJONES. The series, set in the family’s hometown of Shreveport, LA, will run original episodes over a six-week-period.

    “Every family faces challenges, but Forever Jones spotlights a dynamic, highly relatable, loving and positive-energy family, who also happen to be a well-known band striving for success,” said Billy Hall, EVP of Programming and Production for Bounce TV. “This series will provide real-world positive role models that our viewers hunger for, and is a perfect fit for our brand.” The show chronicles each band member as they aim to stay united while simultaneously attempting to separate and balance their own personal dreams and aspirations. The issues that the family tackles in the inaugural season include dealing with one of the children heading off to college and the possibility of launching a solo career. Their goal is to weave their way back onto the music charts, while keeping their family together through the trials and struggles that come along with the business.

    The announcement comes after the TV network acquired a distribution deal with Univision to expand its reach. Through the distribution deal, Bounce TV was able to expand to San Francisco, Miami, Denver, Sacramento, Boston, Raleigh, N.C., and Tampa. “This unique agreement brings together the leading over-the-air broadcaster targeting the Hispanic viewer and the only over-the-air network targeting African-Americans,” said Jeffrey Wolf, Bounce TV exec VP-president of distribution.

    http://www.blackbluedog.com/2013/05/news/fastest-growing-african-american-tv-network-to-debut-its-non-scripted-series/

  15. rikyrah says:

    Rise Above Emotional Clutter and Spring Into Action

    Ladies! Spring is here and I don’t know about you but this is the time of year where things begin to feel different. We begin to feel the warm breezes. The sunroofs are open and the music and vibes are ablaze in the universe. Spring is the best time of year to rise above the emotional clutter that has consumed and plagued our spirits throughout the wintery months. The truth of the matter is, there is no single source of energy that can bring us closer to self-revelations. However; you can find great combination of sources below.

    Whether married, single, divorced, dating, mating or any other category that we may find ourselves attached to – find your inner happy with these 4 feel good moments.

    No worries! We got ya covered below.

    Create a fun and flirty theme

    Being blessed to see another year allows us the opportunity to create a new adventure. One of the things that makes me feel “real grown up”, is on my birthday, creating a theme that I embrace. The theme represents what my year will look like and how I plan to approach most situations. You’ve seen them: 40 and fabulous, 30 is the new 20, black girls rock and more. These themes are some of the more common themes that we see and actually embrace as our own. Become creative, put some thought into it and come up with what works well for what you are trying to do or be. It’s easy to do, get creative, get flirty, and have fun with it.

    Workout

    One of the biggest stress relievers that I have read about to date is that in which we call the workout. I am the first one to admit that being motivated to start the workout is not the easiest thing to accomplish. This task is especially true and so, if you don’t have an athletic bone in your body. This article is not suggesting that you start working out today and then you become Jackie Joyner Kersey overnight. However there are quite a few gains to working out. Find what type of workout you enjoy the most. More importantly diversify the workout as often and as much as possible. Try these for starters: run, swim, a zumba class, or get a trial membership to a boxing gym. Whatever you do, get to moving because every step forward; helps with the process.

    http://www.blacklifecoaches.net/2013/05/08/rise-above-emotional-clutter-and-spring-into-action/

  16. Ametia says:

    Minnesota’s House has approved marriage equality after three hours of debate in a vote of 75-59!

    The bill now goes to the state Senate for consideration. Minnesota is poised to be the FIRST midwestern legislature to approve marriage equality! Iowa’s marriage equality law was ushered in by the state Supreme Court.

    It’s rather an insane turn of events for a state which just six months ago was waging a furious (and successful) campaign to amend the state’s constitution to ban same-sex marriage.

    The Star Tribune reports:

    Debate in the House got underway in the early afternoon, as thousands of supporters and opponents gathered outside the chamber. House Democratic leaders and the bill’s supporters were confident it would pass. If it passes Monday in the Senate, Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton could be sign it into law by early next week and make Minnesota the 12th U.S. state to legalize gay marriage.

    “My family knew firsthand that same sex couples pay our taxes, we vote, we serve in the military, we take care of our kids and our elders and we run businesses in Minnesota,” said the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Karen Clark, a Minneapolis Democrat who is gay. “… Same-sex couples should be treated fairly under the law, including the freedom to marry the person we love.”

    Opponents argued the bill would alter a centuries-old conception of marriage and leave those people opposed for religious reasons tarred as bigots.

    Read more: http://www.towleroad.com/2013/05/minnesota-house-passes-marriage-equality.html#ixzz2SpTxuZNX

  17. Ametia says:

    Live now; FLOTUS & DR. JILL WH MOTHER’S DAY TEA

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/live

  18. Ametia says:

    YouTube paid channels officially launchBy Hayley Tsukayama,
    Updated: Thursday, May 9, 2:35 PM

    YouTube announced Thursday that it will allow video creators to charge a monthly subscription fee for the videos they post online.

    The company said that the new feature will allow its partners to generate more revenue from their content. Subscriptions will start at 99 cents a month; each channel will have a 14-day free trial. Some channels, YouTube said, will offer discounted rates for an annual subscription.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/technology/youtube-paid-channels-officially-launch/2013/05/09/4de0b506-b8d8-11e2-b94c-b684dda07add_story.html?wpisrc=nl_tech_b

  19. rikyrah says:

    Teen retailer Abercrombie & Fitch doesn’t stock XL or XXL sizes in women’s clothing because they don’t want overweight women wearing their brand.

    They want the “cool kids,” and they don’t consider plus-sized women as being a part of that group.

    Abercrombie is sticking to its guns of conventional beauty, even as that standard becomes outdated.

    Contrast Abercrombie with H&M, another favorite with the teen set, who just subtly introduced a plus-sized model in its latest swimwear collection.

    H&M has a plus-sized line. American Eagle, Abercrombie’s biggest competitor, offers up to size XXL for men and women.

    Abercrombie doesn’t even list women’s XL or XXL on its size chart. Its largest women’s pants are a size 10, while H&M’s standard line goes up to a size 16, and American Eagle offers up to 18.

    It’s not surprising that Abercrombie excludes plus-sized women considering the attitude of CEO Mike Jeffries, said Robin Lewis, co-author of The New Rules of Retail and CEO of newsletter The Robin Report.

    “He doesn’t want larger people shopping in his store, he wants thin and beautiful people,” Lewis told Business Insider. “He doesn’t want his core customers to see people who aren’t as hot as them wearing his clothing. People who wear his clothing should feel like they’re one of the ‘cool kids.'”

    The only reason Abercrombie offers XL and XXL men’s sizes is probably to appeal to beefy football players and wrestlers, Lewis said.

    We asked the company why it doesn’t offer larger sizes for women. A spokeswoman told us that Abercrombie wasn’t available to provide a comment.

    In a 2006 interview with Salon, Jeffries himself said that his business was built around sex appeal.

    “It’s almost everything. That’s why we hire good-looking people in our stores. Because good-looking people attract other good-looking people, and we want to market to cool, good-looking people. We don’t market to anyone other than that,” Jeffries said.

    Jeffries also told Salon that he wasn’t bothered by excluding some customers.

    “In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids,” he told the site. “Candidly, we go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely.”

    Jeffries said he thinks that including everyone would make his business boring.

    “Those companies that are in trouble are trying to target everybody: young, old, fat, skinny. But then you become totally vanilla. You don’t alienate anybody, but you don’t excite anybody, either,” he told Salon.

    While a specialty retailer like Abercrombie can’t be expected to appeal to everyone, the brand’s standard of beauty is quickly becoming stale.

    Plus-sized is no longer a niche market: 67 percent of the apparel purchasing population fit that label, and the number is growing all the time.

    For too long, this sizable and growing segment has been ignored,” writes Margaret Bogenrief at ACM Partners. “Treated shabbily, ostracized by the “pro-skinny fashion world,” and seemingly discarded by designers, department stores, and retailers alike, plus-size fashion consumers, critics, and bloggers are taking back their spending and sartorial power and, in turn, changing both the e-commerce and retailing landscapes.”

    Ignoring this “revolution” could be costly for businesses, Bogenrief writes.

    More brands are featuring curvy, “real-sized,” models.

    In addition to H&M’s Jennie Runk, Dove’s wildly popular “Real Beauty” campaign highlights women who aren’t as thin as traditional models.

    But it’s unlikely that Abercrombie will ever sway from its image, Lewis told us.

    “Abercrombie is only interested in people with washboard stomachs who look like they’re about to jump on a surfboard,” Lewis said.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/abercrombie-wants-thin-customers-2013-5

  20. rikyrah says:

    May 09, 2013 3:04 PMBusting the Green Lantern Myth Once and For All

    By Ed Kilgore

    Facebook Twitter Digg Reddit StumbleUpon Delicious

    If there was any doubt left that the spasm of punditry about Obama’s inability to “work his will” on Congress like his predecessors was fundamentally lazy, the American Enterprise Institute’s very authoritative Norm Ornstein pretty much lays the subject to rest in a column at National Journal:

    [A]t nearly every speech I give, someone asks about President Obama’s failure to lead. Of course, that question has been driven largely by the media, perhaps most by Bob Woodward. When Woodward speaks, Washington listens, and he has pushed the idea that Obama has failed in his fundamental leadership task—not building relationships with key congressional leaders the way Bill Clinton did, and not “working his will” the way LBJ or Ronald Reagan did.

    Now, after the failure to get the background-check bill through the Senate, other reporters and columnists have picked up on the same theme, and I have grown increasingly frustrated with how the mythology of leadership has been spread in recent weeks. I have yelled at the television set, “Didn’t any of you ever read Richard Neustadt’s classic Presidential Leadership? Haven’t any of you taken Politics 101 and read about the limits of presidential power in a separation-of-powers system?”

    But the issue goes beyond that, to a willful ignorance of history. No one schmoozed more or better with legislators in both parties than Clinton. How many Republican votes did it get him on his signature initial priority, an economic plan? Zero in both houses. And it took eight months to get enough Democrats to limp over the finish line. How did things work out on his health care plan? How about his impeachment in the House?

    No one knew Congress, or the buttons to push with every key lawmaker, better than LBJ. It worked like a charm in his famous 89th, Great Society Congress, largely because he had overwhelming majorities of his own party in both houses. But after the awful midterms in 1966, when those swollen majorities receded, LBJ’s mastery of Congress didn’t mean squat.

    No one defined the agenda or negotiated more brilliantly than Reagan. Did he “work his will”? On almost every major issue, he had to make major compromises with Democrats, including five straight years with significant tax increases. But he was able to do it—as he was able to achieve a breakthrough on tax reform—because he had key Democrats willing to work with him and find those compromises.

    All the “successful” presidents had either overwhelming margins in Congress or oppositions willing to work with them. Obama had the first for two years, and managed to get quite a bit done. He’s never, even for a moment, had the second, a problem that has been greatly exacerbated by the unprecedented phenomenon of a de facto 60 vote requirement for passage of major legislation in the Senate.

    And so, says Ornstein:

    [I]t is past time to abandon selective history and wishful thinking, and realize the inherent limits of presidential power, and the very different tribal politics that Obama faces compared with his predecessors.

    Got that, Woodward? Hear what he says, MoDo? Are you listening, Mr. Brooks? OK: cut out the crap and stop expecting this or any other president to be a super-hero.

    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/political-animal-a/2013_05/busting_the_green_lantern_myth044654.php

  21. rikyrah says:

    Cullerton, Madigan appear headed for pension showdown

    By Ray Long, Chicago Tribune reporter
    7:17 a.m. CDT, May 9, 2013

    The pension deal cut by Senate President John Cullerton and state employee unions moved a step closer Wednesday to a collision course with a proposal backed by House Speaker Michael Madigan.

    Cullerton’s Democratic majority delivered a 10-5, party-line committee vote that set up a Thursday debate in the full Senate. The plan advanced despite the protests of a retired teacher group that declared it unconstitutional because it would reduce benefits and Republican complaints that the deal doesn’t save enough money. The Senate plan is projected to save about a third of the House plan’s estimated $150 billion.

    At the heart of the legal debate is how to get around what has long been seen as a state constitutional guarantee that pensions cannot be impaired or diminished. But it’s the political debate that ultimately may make the difference between what, if any, measure goes to Gov. Pat Quinn to overhaul the pensions of rank-and-file state workers, downstate and suburban teachers, lawmakers and university employees.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-senate-panel-advances-pension-reform-20130508,0,6823561.story

  22. rikyrah says:

    Emanuel’s approval slips, especially among black voters

    Mayor’s negatives rise, though most respondents still consider him to be trustworthy

    By Rick Pearson, Chicago Tribune reporter
    7:44 a.m. CDT, May 9, 2013

    Mayor Rahm Emanuel faces growing voter disenchantment, particularly among African-Americans, even as the overall number approving of his job performance holds steady at the halfway point of his first term, a new Tribune/WGN-TV poll shows.

    The survey showed 50 percent approve of the job Emanuel is doing, roughly the same as a year ago. But those disapproving of his job performance stand at 40 percent — up from 29 percent a year before.

    Compared with last year, Emanuel’s negatives are up significantly among African-Americans. Now, more black voters disapprove than approve of his handling of the mayor’s office. That’s turned around from a year ago. Though Emanuel’s approval rating among white voters is similar to last May, the number of those who disapprove also is growing.

    ……………………..

    More African-American voters disapprove of Emanuel’s job performance than approve, 48 percent to 40 percent. That’s a sharp turnaround from a year ago, when 44 percent of black voters approved of Emanuel’s job as mayor while only one-third disapproved.

    Emanuel convincingly won election without a runoff in 2011 on the strength of carrying every majority-black ward in Chicago. He earned credibility as President Barack Obama’s first White House chief of staff.

    Several potential factors may be driving the change in attitude among African-American voters.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-rahm-emanuel-0509-20130509,0,3833206.story

    • Ametia says:

      You’re in Chi-town, what’s your take on Emanuel’s performance so far? Check your e-mail You’re good to go, Lady!

  23. rikyrah says:

    A One-Woman Death Panel

    by BooMan
    Thu May 9th, 2013 at 01:47:06 PM EST

    John Boehner and Mitch McConnell are refusing to make any recommendations for the Death Panels:

    The top two Republicans in Congress informed President Obama on Thursday that they will refuse to fulfill their duty under the Affordable Care Act to recommend members of a new board with the power to contain Medicare spending.
    It’s a dramatic power-play driven by the explosive partisan politics of Obamacare and with potentially important implications for federal health care policy.

    In a letter to President Obama, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) noted their original opposition to Obamacare, reiterated their intent to repeal it entirely, and declared that they would not make any appointments to the Independent Payment Advisory Board.

    Under the law, the Secretary of Health & Human Services is authorized to make the cost containment decisions if the IPAB isn’t established, so this won’t stop the implementation of ObamaCare. Ironically, it simply cedes more power to the Obama administration.

    It will allow the Republicans to politicize any cost-cutting decisions but it also points out their hypocrisy. They claim that Medicare is too expensive and needs to be voucherized, but they are opposed to a board that would make Medicare more affordable.

    The Republicans are already refusing to confirm members to the Federal Election Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and the National Labor Relations Board.

    Maybe this is how the Confederates should have behaved instead of seceding. They could have just broken the federal government with obstruction and a refusal to confirm anyone to serve in it.

    In any case, Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will now have full responsibility for the Death Panels.

    http://www.boomantribune.com/story/2013/5/9/13476/85574

  24. rikyrah says:

    May 09, 2013 12:02 PM
    Fish or Cut Bait Time

    By Ed Kilgore

    I’ve been struggling all morning to figure out what if anything to say about yesterday’s House GOP hearings on Benghazi!. Conservatives are for the most part very excited because the first fingers have been pointed directly at Hillary Clinton, while enough evidence of early internal warnings the attacks were al Qaeda-orchestrated has arisen to lift the central claim of a “coverup” from pure fantasy to an argument over the meaning of the term. More importantly for the case for treating Benghazi! as anything other than a right-wing fever dream, Republicans finally have witnesses from outside their own camp to support at least some of their contentions.

    But reaction to yesterday’s events from outside the conservative movement and the GOP have been almost uniformly “meh.” Kevin Drum deployed one of my favorite terms for a sound and fury signifying little, “nothingburger.” The National Journal’s Michael Hirsh probably spoke for many observers in saying the hearings scored a few technical points about administration incompetence, but were missing their intended goal almost entirely:

    [T]he obvious Republican effort to turn this inquiry into the Democratic (Obama) version of the Iraq intelligence scandal that has tarred the GOP since the George W. Bush years — led by that least-credible of champions, the almost-always-wrong Darrell Issa — is just not going to amount to much.

    But my favorite non-abrasive comment (I’m sure by day’s end I’ll read a lot of fine abrasive comments) is from Andrew Sabl at The Reality-Based Community, who simply begs Republicans to make up their minds what they are actually pursuing here:

    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/political-animal-a/2013_05/fish_or_cut_bait_time044650.php

  25. rikyrah says:

    The toughest gig in political punditry

    The biggest challenge for political pundits these days is to try to explain the Republican position on the federal budget. If you’re willing to hang in with me a while, I’ll show you why.

    Back in January the big thing Republicans were concerned about was something called “regular order.” That meant that what they wanted was for both the Senate and the House to pass a budget and then go to conference to iron out the differences between the two. They were so very serious about all this that they passed legislation that tied Congressional salaries to its implementation.

    Under the bill, Republicans will seek to raise the debt limit to allow government borrowing through mid-April — long enough, they say, to give both chambers time to pass a budget for the next fiscal year. If either chamber failed to adopt a budget by April 15, that chamber’s members would then have their congressional pay withheld.
    So here we are in May and both Houses have passed budgets. But now all of the sudden, the Republicans are blocking “regular order” by being unwilling to appoint members to a conference committee.

    What changed between January and now? Other than Democrats calling their bluff on the whole thing about “regular order” being a total smoke screen, deficit reduction as the primary end goal for Republicans has slipped right out from under them – so much so that the debt ceiling won’t need to be raised again until October.

    Yesterday Rep. Paul Ryan came right out and said that Republicans won’t come to the table to negotiate on the budget without creating a hostage crisis over the debt limit.

    Without that leverage, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said Tuesday, there is no point in opening formal budget negotiations between the House and the Senate, because Democrats have no reason to consider the kind of far-reaching changes to Medicare and the U.S. tax code that Republicans see as fundamental building blocks of a deal.

    “The debt limit is the backstop,” Ryan said before taking the stage at a debt summit organized by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation in Washington.
    Think about that for a moment…what Ryan is saying is that their political hand on these negotiations is so weak that they don’t have a prayer of prevailing unless they hold the entire global economy hostage.

    But even on that one Greg Sargent suggests that they are sending mixed messages.

    Republicans are not willing to enter into fiscal negotiations without being able to wield the threat of crashing the economy to get their way — even as they have already revealed they are not willing to actually crash the economy to get their way. We already know Republicans are not willing to allow default. As you’ll recall, they caved during the last debt ceiling fight. More recently, John Boehner flatly admitted: “I’m not going to risk the full faith and credit of the federal government.”
    In the end though, you have to ask what is the Republican goal for the hostage crisis they are pretending to want to create. The fact is…they don’t know.

    The GOP conference will meet May 15 to discuss the idea of linking tax reform to the debt limit, but early indications suggest that would be a tough sell with many in the party’s rank and file.

    Some Republicans say that framework is insufficient and that they’ll need spending cuts as well as tax reform to raise the debt ceiling. Others in the conference say that only the full enactment of tax reform will be enough to raise the nation’s borrowing limit and that incremental progress toward completing tax reform is not enough.
    In other words, Republicans can’t figure out if they want to grow the deficit with tax reform or shrink the deficit with more spending cuts.

    So if you’re a political reporter who’s job it is to explain the Republican position on the budget to the voting public, how in hell do you do that? My suggestion would be that you join those of us who are calling the Republican position post-policy. That might be the kindest thing we can say about it.

    Posted by Smartypants at 9:13 AM

    http://immasmartypants.blogspot.com/2013/05/the-toughest-gig-in-political-punditry.html

  26. rikyrah says:

    What is the case against immigration reform?

    Today the Senate starts committee hearings on immigration reform. I will guarantee you that lots of people will be blowing smoke about this one. But is there any actual fire? Lets look at the facts.

    The Social Security Administration said that immigration reform will be a net gain for the trust fund. And studies show that granting legal status and citizenship to undocumented workers will grow the economy, create jobs and increase tax revenue.

    BUT – say the Republicans – “we have to secure our borders!” Notice that this always refers to securing our southern border with Mexico. Not even the lunatic Republican caucus is suggesting that we need a fence along our border with Canada.

    The truth is that over the last few years, net migration from Mexico has been zero.

    So if there really aren’t any hordes rushing to cross the border and granting citizenship to those that are already here would boost our economy – then what’s the fuss all about?

    Same thing it always is…fear of “the brown” and opposition to anything that black guy in the White House supports.

    Posted by Smartypants at 7:57 AM

    http://immasmartypants.blogspot.com/2013/05/what-is-case-against-immigration-reform.html

  27. rikyrah says:

    Taking the politics of extortion past the breaking point
    By Steve Benen
    Thu May 9, 2013 10:50 AM EDT.

    With the House and Senate both having passed budget resolutions, the next step in the process should be a conference committee, which Republican leaders said they wanted. Recently, however, they changed their mind and now refuse to allow the process to proceed.

    Why? I’ve worked under the assumption this is the result of GOP lawmakers feeling apprehension about their unpopular ideas and fearing a public backlash. But the Washington Post reports there may be a little more to it.

    [The shrinking deficit] might seem like good news, but it is unraveling Republican plans to force a budget deal before Congress takes its August break. Instead, the fiscal fight appears certain to bleed into the fall, when policymakers will face another multi-pronged crisis that pairs the need for a higher debt limit and the fresh risk of default with the threat of a full-scale government shutdown, which is also looming Oct. 1.

    In the meantime, Republicans face a listless summer, with little appetite for compromise but no leverage to shape an agreement. Without that leverage, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said Tuesday, there is no point in opening formal budget negotiations between the House and the Senate, because Democrats have no reason to consider the kind of far-reaching changes to Medicare and the U.S. tax code that Republicans see as fundamental building blocks of a deal.

    “The debt limit is the backstop,” Ryan said before taking the stage at a debt summit organized by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation in Washington.

    I realize talking about budgets, conference committees, and debt ceilings is dry. This no doubt strikes some readers as inside baseball, of little interest to anyone other than political junkies and wonks.

    But I hope folks will take a moment to consider what Ryan and his colleagues are saying here. They’re admitting, publicly and without shame, that they can’t engage in budget negotiations unless they can also threaten to deliberately crash the economy.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/05/09/18148087-taking-the-politics-of-extortion-past-the-breaking-point

    E-C-O-N-O-M-I-C T-R-E-A-S-O-N

  28. rikyrah says:

    Warren puts student loans in spotlight
    By Steve Benen
    Thu May 9, 2013 9:15 AM EDT.

    There was an interesting political fight last summer over student loans that the White House took very seriously. At issue was a 2007 law, that was set to expire, which kept the interest rate for federal Direct Stafford Loans at 3.4%. Without intervention, the rate would have doubled, affecting more than 7.4 million students, who would have faced, on average, an additional $1,000 in debt.

    Eventually, policymakers worked out a deal, and the lower rate remained in place, but it was temporary — on July 1 of this year, the rates are set to double again.

    http://youtu.be/P-4FhsyvJdM

    . For those who can’t watch clips online, here’s what Warren said when introducing her “Bank on Students Loan Fairness Act.”

    “Some people say that we can’t afford to help our kids through school by keeping
    student loan interest rates low. But right now, as I speak, the federal government offers far lower interest rates on loans, every single day — they just don’t do it for everyone.

    “Right now, a big bank can get a loan through the Federal Reserve discount window at a rate of about 0.75%. But this summer a student who is trying to get a loan to go to college will pay almost 7%.

    “In other words, the federal government is going to charge students interest rates that are nine times higher than the rates for the biggest banks — the same banks that destroyed millions of jobs and nearly broke this economy.”

    Warren proposes allowing eligible students to borrow at the same rate that big banks get through the Federal Reserve discount window. She added, “For one year, the Federal Reserve would make funds available to the Department of Education to make loans to students at the same low rate offered to the big banks. This will give students relief from high interest rates while giving Congress time to find a long-term solution.”

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/05/09/18146560-warren-puts-student-loans-in-spotlight?lite

  29. rikyrah says:

    Asked and answered

    By Steve Benen

    Thu May 9, 2013 11:25 AM EDT

    It’s been over two months since President Obama introduced Gina McCarthy, an expert on federal air quality law, as his choice to lead the Environmental Protection Agency. Given the severity of the climate crisis and the scope of the administration’s policy options, McCarthy is arguably Obama’s “most significant” second-term nominee.

    She just can’t get out of committee.

    For the second time in as many days, Senate Republicans are using the rules to delay action on one of President Barack Obama’s nominations. This time, it’s Gina McCarthy, the president’s choice to become administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.

    Senate EPW ranking member David Vitter, R-La., announced in a letter to Chairwoman Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., this morning that the panel’s Republican members would not be attending. GOP members of the panel met Wednesday evening in the Capitol’s Strom Thurmond Room to discuss strategy on the nomination, but they were coy with reporters after the meeting about what the plan might be. The senators deferred most questions to Vitter, and he generally does not talk to members of the media in the Capitol’s corridors.

    But now, Vitter’s announced the plan, saying the EPW markup of McCarthy’s nomination should be delayed while further questions are answered.

    Ah yes, the unanswered questions. In theory, this might even be a legitimate complaint — senators routinely ask important nominees a series of questions, and if they refuse to answer, it stands to reason the lawmakers will push back.

    But in this case, the complaints are hard to take seriously. BuzzFeed ran an interesting report last night on the number of questions Senate Republicans have asked McCarthy as part of her confirmation process, and to appreciate how ridiculous it’s been, consider this: combine all of the questions submitted for the record by Senate Republicans for the three previous EPA directors. Then double that number. Then double that number again. It still doesn’t come close to the 1,079 questions the Senate GOP has submitted to Gina McCarthy.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/05/09/18148537-asked-and-answered?lite

  30. rikyrah says:

    Gomez took $281,500 home tax deduction
    By Frank Phillips
    | Globe Staff
    May 09, 2013

    Republican US Senate nominee Gabriel E. Gomez claimed a $281,500 income tax deduction in 2005 for pledging not to make any visible changes to the facade of his 112-year-old Cohasset home, a concession so valuable that it is classified as a charitable contribution under a federal law designed to protect historic homes.

    But Gomez and his wife, Sarah, were already barred from making any changes to the exterior of their home under the bylaws of the local Historical Commission, raising the question as to whether their donation — the price of which is based on the loss of value in their real estate — had any monetary worth.

    The Gomezes, whose 59 Highland Ave. home is located within the Cohasset Common Historic District, gave the historical easement to the National Architectural Trust, a Washington-based organization whose marketing of tax-deductible easements to homeowners has been targeted by the US Department of Justice.

    Five weeks after the Gomezes claimed the deduction, the Internal Revenue Service listed programs such as this — that involve the “contribution of a historic facade easement to a tax-exempt conservation organization” — as one of its “Dirty Dozen tax scams.”

    http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2013/05/08/gomez-claimed-controversial-tax-deduction-home/skZgaV3aBoGflKtR03ZEEJ/story.html?camp=newsletter

  31. rikyrah says:

    Network TV Is Broken. So How Does Shonda Rhimes Keep Making Hits?

    By WILLA PASKIN

    Published: May 9, 2013

    “I love that the gay White House chief of staff is threatening to pretend the first lady is a closeted lesbian,” Shonda Rhimes said to a roomful of writers. “It is so wrong. In the best way.” Ten of the writers — seven men, three women, five plaid button-down shirts and two pairs of outsize hipster glasses frames — were sitting in her bright Hollywood office, pens in hand, scripts in laps, going through notes for the 20th episode of “Scandal,” Rhimes’s gonzo political melodrama, which is about to finish its second season on ABC.

    When “Scandal,” which is based very, very loosely on the life of the Washington crisis manager Judy Smith, had its debut last spring, it appeared to be a standard soapy procedural with a fizzy twist: the main character, the fierce Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington), was having a torrid interracial affair with the president of the United States, a Republican named Fitzgerald Grant (Tony Goldwyn). By the end of the first season, however, when the chief of staff was hiring an assassin to kill a former intern who slept with the president, the show had revealed itself to be much wilder than it initially seemed, a brash, addictive mixture of Douglas Sirk and realpolitik, and TV’s most outrageous spectacle.

    In the second season, there has been a waterboarding, an assassination attempt and a mail bomb. Three women, a gay man and a sleazy oil baron successfully stole a presidential election. The president personally murdered a Supreme Court justice. One of Olivia’s staff members, a C.I.A.-trained assassin and torturer, sits in on A.A. meetings because he has an addiction to killing people.

    As the audacity of “Scandal” has increased, so have its ratings. The series now averages an especially impassioned eight million viewers a week, making it the No. 1 drama at 10 p.m. on any night, on any network, among the most desired demographic, adults 18 to 49. It has also become a highly “social” show: on Thursday nights, Twitter becomes a giant “Scandal” chat room, fans of the show dispatching more than 190,000 tweets per episode, a good portion of which contain at least one “OMG.”

    ………………………………………..

    As part of her Shondaland production company, Rhimes oversees some 550 actors, writers, crew members and producers, and her days are optimized to do so. In the morning, she gets her older daughter, Harper, who is 10, off to school and then contends with whatever is most urgent: writing, giving notes on a script and watching casting videos. The televisions in her office and home are connected to a system that allows her to watch real-time editing by her editors. Both of her daughters have rooms across the hall from her office at work. The younger, a perfectly chubby-cheeked 1-year-old named Emerson, comes in every day, clambering onto Rhimes’s lap during meetings.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/12/magazine/shonda-rhimes.html?pagewanted=1&_r=2&smid=tw-share&

  32. rikyrah says:

    how more Christian can you get than the story of fall and redemption?

    ………………………………….

    Lesson Learned! Charles Ramsey Says He’s A “Better Person” After Domestic Violence Arrests (DETAILS)
    by Christina Coleman for Global Grind Staff

    This is truly Charles Ramsey’s redemption story.

    After news broke yesterday that Cleveland hero Charles Ramsey was involved in a handful of domestic violence arrests involving his ex-wife, he now tells TMZ that those same incidents changed his life for the better.

    Charles Ramsey — the hero who helped free Amanda Berry and 2 other women in Ohio — tells TMZ … he’s not ashamed that media outlets have uncovered the domestic violence arrests in his past, claiming he used the incidents to grow into a better person.

    After Ramsey exploded into viral superstardom thanks to his heroic actions (and follow-up interviews), several websites posted the details from 3 separate domestic violence arrests involving an ex-wife that all took place between 1997 and 2003.

    We spoke to Ramsey, who told us … “I’ve made amends with the people involved and we’ve all moved on and grown up.”

    Ramsey adds, “Those incidents helped me become the man I am today and are the reason why I try to help the community as much as I can … Including those women.”

    “If I had so much hatred for women, I would have minded my own business this week and walked away instead of risking my life to save someone else.”

    Read more: http://globalgrind.com/news/charles-ramsey-better-person-after-domestic-violence-arrests-details#ixzz2SoY4Ucnl

  33. rikyrah says:

    GOP culture war threatens immigration reform

    By Steve Benen

    Thu May 9, 2013 10:20 AM EDT

    It was just a couple of months ago when the Republican National Committee launched a multifaceted rebranding campaign, which included a rhetorical (if not a substantive) shift on culture-war issues. Reince Priebus said he wants to “welcome” gay-rights supporters. The party will adhere to its platform, the RNC chair added, “but it doesn’t mean that we divide and subtract people from our party…. I don’t believe we need to act like Old Testament heretics.”

    Less than two months later, Republican opposition to gay rights is so strong, it threatens the future of immigration reform.

    The Senate Gang of Eight, which crafted the immigration legislation, pledged to fight off “poison pill” amendments that would derail the bill. But one controversial proposal has already divided the group.

    An amendment sponsored by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) would allow U.S. citizens in long-term same-sex relationships to sponsor foreign partners for green cards…. Republican members of the Gang of Eight have stated bluntly to their Democratic partners that this will sink the bill if adopted during the committee’s deliberations.

    Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), a “gang” member, told The Hill, “If that’s in the bill, that will kill the bill. This bill has got to get broad support to have a chance in the House, and with that provision it will not have broad support. A lot of the coalitions that are behind it will go away, and so I think that’s pretty much understood.”

    Scuttlebutt on Capitol Hill suggests Democrats will have no choice but to cave on this, and perhaps renew the fight in the next Congress. They want comprehensive immigration reform too much, and if pushing this gay-rights provision threatens the entire initiative, they’ll have to back down.

    But I’m not sure if Democrats fully appreciate the extent to which they have the upper hand. Try to imagine Republicans spending the next year and a half arguing, “We had no choice but to kill immigration reform — because we really don’t like gay people.”

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/05/09/18147588-gop-culture-war-threatens-immigration-reform?lite

  34. rikyrah says:

    May 08, 2013 9:16 AM
    Low Country Boils Over

    By Ed Kilgore

    So Mark Sanford is returning to Congress after a very convincing (54/45) win over Elizabeth Colbert Busch in the special election to fill a vacancy in the first district of South Carolina. Turnout (32%) was actually a bit higher than most observers expected. For all the fireworks and the April polling showing Busch with a solid lead, the district’s Republican character (Romney carried it by 18 points in a presidential year, when Democratic turnout is at its peak) prevailed.

    In terms of the campaign itself, Sanford did exactly what most of us thought he would do from the git-go: seek maximum partisan and ideological polarization of the race so that Republicans unhappy with him would eventually find a duty to vote against the Democrat. There was a moment when the revelation of a trespassing complaint against Sanford by his famous and popular ex-wife, Jenny, which in turn helped produce a withdrawal of his support from the national GOP campaign committee, looked to cook Mark’s goose. But the moment passed, and as WaPo’s Chris Cillizza and Sean Sullivan observed today, late endorsements of Sanford by Tim Scott, Lindsey Graham and Nikki Haley, along with such national right-wing validators as Rand Paul and FreedomWorks, were enough to make the hold-your-nose-and-vote-against-the-godless-liberal message effective. It may have been a stupid stunt, but when Sanford “debated” a cardboard cutout of Nancy Pelosi, it did reinforce the only real message he had—or needed.

    For Democrats, the results are obviously discouraging, but the results just showed that party and ideology can trump a scandal in a district like this, and that non-presidential contests continue to produce pro-Republican turnout patterns. The seat would have been very difficult to hold in November in any event.

    I will say that Busch’s defeat shows once again that the old southern white Democratic formula of moving as far to the right as possible and hoping to win a personality contest just doesn’t much work anymore, which is why the ranks of the Blue Dog southern white Democrats in the House from the Deep South have dwindled to near nothingness (there’s still John Barrow of Georgia, who announced yesterday he would not run for the Senate in 2014, but that’s about it). At a minimum, any southern Democratic revival is going to depend on candidates who can get reliable Democratic voters enthused enough to turn out when the presidency is not at stake.

    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/political-animal-a/2013_05/low_country_boils_over044625.php

  35. rikyrah says:

    MoveOn, Sierra Club, and Daily Kos Spike Facebook Ads to Protest Mark Zuckerberg’s Dark-Money Group

    —By Andy Kroll

    | Tue May. 7, 2013 8:43 AM PDT

    Nine big-name progressive groups, including MoveOn.org, the Sierra Club, and Daily Kos, announced Tuesday morning that they will yank their current paid advertisements on Facebook or cancel future ad buys in protest of FWD.us, the dark-money nonprofit that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg cofounded.

    Zuckerberg and fellow tech entrepreneur Joe Green launched FWD.us last month in order to give Silicon Valley a greater political presence in Washington on issues that affect the tech industry. A bipartisan, bicoastal team of political strategists and organizers is running the operation, and the group’s public supporters include the CEO of Dropbox, the cofounder of LinkedIn, a smattering of rock-star tech investors, and some guy named Bill Gates. The group has reportedly raised $25 million already, and while it lists its “major contributors” online, it does not say how much they contributed. FWD.us chose immigration reform as its first big cause, and it has lobbied Congress to expand the number of visas available to foreign engineers and other high-skilled workers that Silicon Valley firms would like to recruit.

    As part of its immigration strategy, FWD.us ran a week’s worth of ads praising Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) for supporting more drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve (ANWR) and featuring Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) criticizing Obamacare and President Obama’s stance on the Keystone XL pipeline. FWD.us ran the ads ostensibly to buy Begich and Graham some political cover to take a more moderate tack on immigration reform.

    The ads are no longer on the air, but progressives are nonetheless fuming over FWD.us’ tactics. Protesters recently demonstrated outside of Facebook’s Menlo Park, California, headquarters, chanting, “Keystone, take a hike. Facebook dislike.” CREDO Mobile, the progressive phone company*, distributed signs for that protest and also tried to run an ad on Facebook urging Zuckerberg to kill the pro-Keystone ads. Facebook rejected the ad, saying it violated company policy because it prominently used Zuckerberg’s image.

    http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/05/moveon-sierra-club-facebook-fwd-mark-zuckerberg

  36. rikyrah says:

    The 5 Most Ridiculous GOP Immigration Reform Amendments

    —By Adam Serwer

    | Wed May. 8, 2013 7:42 AM PDT

    Defying expectations, Congress is poised to take a serious shot at immigration reform. A bipartisan group of eight Senators has agreed on a bill. One of the GOP’s brightest young stars, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), has linked his political future to passage of the bill, and so far managed to wade through a flood of harsh criticism from the right. When the Heritage Foundation, the most influential think-tank in the conservative movement, released a dubious study Monday alleging immigration reform would cost trillions of dollars, it was attacked by not only liberals but also conservatives who are supporting the immigration effort.

    The Senate Judiciary Committee will be taking its first crack at the bill Thursday. Republicans opposed to reform have now turned to a time honored tradition of oppositional behavior in the Senate: Offering a whole bunch of amendments to slow down the process and. If they’re lucky, they’ll be able to slip in a poison pill amendment—a change so noxious that it makes the entire bill harder to pass.

    How many amendments? Well, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is currently leading the pack with seventy-seven. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) has proposed 49, and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) is bringing up the rear with 24.

    Here are some of the worst and most random amendments proposed:

    ………………..

    But who can I underpay to cut my grass or drive my limo?

    It’s apparently really hard to find good (cheap) help these days, so Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) has a modest proposal: Let’s allow unauthorized immigrants to work—but only if they’re doing low-paid domestic service jobs. Lee’s amendment would exempt “services performed by cooks, waiters, butlers, housekeepers, governessess, maids, valets, baby sitters, janitors, laundresses, furnacemen, care-takers, handymen, gardeners, footmen, grooms, and chauffeurs of automobiles for family use” from “prohibitions on unlawful employment of unauthorized aliens.” Next: An amendment that would allow employers to feed said domestic workers stale cake.

    http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/05/republicans-flood-immigration-bill-dumb-amendments

  37. rikyrah says:

    The New Census Data That Should Terrify Republicans
    Obama’s coalition may only grow stronger after he leaves office

    BY NATE COHN

    After President Obama’s relatively easy reelection, analysts and commentators wondered whether his young and diverse coalition would outlive his presidency. Many believe, based mainly on their intuition, that 2008 and 2012 were the anomalous results of a historic candidacy. On the other hand, the country is getting more and more diverse with each passing year. Recently, one prominent demographer at the Brookings Institute used the exit polls to argue that Obama would have lost if turnout rates returned to ’04 levels. But his effort was misguided and premature.

    Today, the Census released the November 2012 Current Population Survey (CPS) Voting and Registration Supplement, which is based on interviews with hundreds of thousands of residents. The CPS asks Americans whether they participated in the last election. The CPS is imperfect like any survey, but it is considered the gold standard for analyzing turnout. It demonstrates that, in the debate about the GOP’s future in an increasingly diverse America, both sides are right, to a certain extent. On the one hand, Obama’s historic candidacy led to historic black turnout. On the other hand, the Obama coalition is the product of irreversible demographic changes. If Republicans hope to win presidential elections, they will need to broaden their appeal—not just count on lower minority turnout in the post-Obama era.

    Unsurprisingly, the CPS found that the 2012 electorate was more diverse than any in history. Whites represented just 73.7 percent of the electorate, down from 76.3 in 2008 and 79.2 percent in 2004. In comparison, the exit polls found that whites represented 72 percent of the electorate in 2012, compared to 74 percent in 2008 and 77 percent in 2004. For the first time, the CPS found that black turnout rates exceed white turnout rates, with 66.2 percent of voting age blacks turning out, compared to 64.1 percent of whites. Many expected that black turnout would decline in 2012, but the CPS actually found that black turnout was even higher in 2012 than it was in 2008, increasing from 64.7 to 66.2 percent.

    http://www.newrepublic.com/article/113160/november-2012-census-data-obamas-coalition-will-hold-together

  38. rikyrah says:

    Ametia,

    can you put this in a postable video format for me?

    We must spread this good news.

    http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/local/spelman-identical-twins-make-history-schools-co-va/nXk3K/

    The post is ready…all it needs is the video.

  39. rikyrah says:

    Told you that I birdwatch the Cornell Birds nesting…they got one on video.

    D3 has made it out of the shell! Welcome to our new nestling!
    Thanks to our wonderful cam operator, we have the greatest close ups of this phenomenal event!

    http://youtu.be/h1l8sB5BKlw

  40. rikyrah says:

    Tue May 07, 2013 at 12:43 PM PDT.

    We are governed by outright morons

    byHunter

    We are governed by outright morons:

    On Tuesday, WIBW, a local CBS affiliate in Topeka, Kansas, aired a segment on how the 5-percent cut in Head Start operations was forcing officials with the organization to make dramatic choices. One program, the station reported, was considering closing a preschool class, in addition to eliminating 20 enrollment spots.

    “None of those cuts have to be made there,” Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-Kansas) told the station. “That is a choice by the administration, so we are going to continue to put pressure on the administration. The whole purpose of making a 2-percent cut is for you to carve out waste.”

    You gigantic dumbass. Sorry; there’s just no other way to put it. The entire purpose of “sequestration” was to be cuts enforced without choice. The mechanism was meant to be so abominable that not even the human clusterf–ks that are our current Congress could stomach them; they were meant to be such a severe and absurdist outcome that surely, surely o surely, some group of non-imbicilic representatives would look around in horror, surgically remove the talking points from their lower intestines, and for one brief shining budgetary moment have a negotiation on how government will be funded in the coming few years that was not predicated on simply burning the whole thing down and calling it Freedum. That was the point. No “choice” was involved, or allowed; all the very important government programs would be cut exactly equally, and that would, of necessity, mean that the government would be doing exactly N percent less by definition. This was apparent even to a schoolchild. It was apparent even to media pundits, a class which generally understands slightly less than the average schoolchild. It was apparent even to that groundhog that predicts the weather, and that groundhog wrote his senior thesis on exactly this point—expect publication in the June edition of S–t Even Large Rodents Know Quarterly.

    We see now the reason why sequestration was allowed to take place; to people like the esteemed and honorable dumbass from Kansas, it never entered their heads that a cut of N percent in a program for children would result in a cut of N percent of children being served, or an N percent cut in the services being given to those children, or in fact would result in any actual change at all. The notion that government spends that money on Doing Actual Things For Actual People is, apparently, a new f–king revelation—something akin to the discovery of fire. Surely, thought Representative Dumbass, vast and sweeping cuts to government would only result in “waste” being eliminated, where “waste” is always invisible, indefensible nonsense that some other person wants cut?

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/05/07/1207545/-We-are-governed-by-outright-morons

  41. Ametia says:

    Sista got pipes

  42. rikyrah says:

    And what would the unemployment rate look like if:
    1. The American Jobs Act had been passed
    2. The GOP Governors hadn’t of cut all those public sector jobs hadn’t of been cut.

    ………………………

    The Morning Plum: One party is threatening the recovery far more than the other is

    Posted by Greg Sargent on May 9, 2013 at 8:51 am

    It’s been widely pointed out by liberals that much of the discussion of fiscal issues conducted by supposedly “neutral” reporters actually does take sides in a pernicious way. It often treats it as a given that near term deficit reduction is a good thing — sometimes even cheerleading for that outcome – when in fact there is an actual policy dispute over this point, with many arguing that immediate deficit reduction is destructive to the recovery, and that dealing with the deficit should be deferred until the economy is stronger.

    And that’s why today’s big New York Times piece quoting a range of economists arguing that Washington’s deficit obsession has proven a drag on the recovery is so important and welcome. The piece states clearly and unequivocally that the consensus view among economists is actually the one that’s often marginalized — i.e., that short term deficit reduction and spending cuts hurt the economy:

    The nation’s unemployment rate would probably be nearly a point lower, roughly 6.5 percent, and economic growth almost two points higher this year if Washington had not cut spending and raised taxes as it has since 2011, according to private-sector and government economists.

    After two years in which President Obama and Republicans in Congress have fought to a draw over their clashing approaches to job creation and budget deficits, the consensus about the result is clear: Immediate deficit reduction is a drag on full economic recovery.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2013/05/09/the-morning-plum-one-party-is-threatening-the-recovery-far-more-than-the-other-is/

  43. rikyrah says:

    More GOP lawmakers balk at chained CPI
    By Steve Benen

    Wed May 8, 2013 4:38 PM EDT

    At least officially, the White House’s offer for some kind of grand debt-reduction deal is still on the table. To the chagrin of the left, President Obama is prepared to accept the “reforms” Republicans asked for in social-insurance programs, in exchange for concessions on tax revenue.

    GOP lawmakers, true to form, continue to reject the idea of compromise, and to date, have not pointed to any concessions they’re willing to even entertain. House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) acknowledged yesterday what everyone already knew — there will be no deal.

    But of particular interest is the growing Republican opposition to the one thing they said they really wanted as part of a possible compromise.

    Two House Republicans have told constituents they oppose proposed cuts to Social Security and veterans benefits by reducing the cost of living adjustment, according to letters they sent to constituents. President Barack Obama included the plan, known as chained CPI, in his annual budget, but specified that he was only offering it as a concession to entice Republicans into a compromise. For Reps. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.) and Sean Duffy (R-Wis.), however, the concession is itself objectionable

    ……………………………………………..

    Let’s be clear about the chain of events:

    1. Congressional Republicans demand that the White House put chained CPI on the table as part of budget talks.

    2. President Obama reluctantly agrees to put chained CPI on the table as part of budget talks.

    3. Congressional Republicans criticize the chained CPI policy they said they wanted.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/05/08/18129068-more-gop-lawmakers-balk-at-chained-cpi?lite

  44. rikyrah says:

    Chris Christie Way Too Jersey for Republicans
    By Jonathan Chait

    One of the things standing between Chris Christie and the Republican nomination, aside from his handful of ideological deviations and high-profile embrace of President Obama last fall, is that he’s from New Jersey. And not just from New Jersey in the sense that, I don’t know, Bruce Springsteen is from New Jersey, but from New Jersey in the way Tony Soprano is from New Jersey. Philip Klein of the conservative Washington Examiner points out:

    one thing I kept running into among voters in early states when covering the campaign was that his background as a New Yorker was a real turnoff and made voters view him as rude and somehow shady. As somebody who grew up in the New York/New Jersey area, I underestimated how repellant it could be.

    I think the Northeastern-based news media has always underestimated this problem for Christie. We’re aware that people in the Northeast hate the Republican Party, but much less aware that it works the other way around, too.

    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2013/05/chris-christie-way-too-jersey-for-republicans.html

  45. rikyrah says:

    Marco Rubio Is the Key to Democratic Dreams
    By Francis Wilkinson May 8, 2013 1:25 PM CT

    Gallup has a new survey showing American adults largely in agreement on the nation’s top priorities: more jobs and a growing economy. At the same time, the poll exposes how partisanship colors the way Americans interpret even basic questions of public policy.

    For example, asked to rate how high a priority “reducing gun violence” is, 73 percent of Democrats rated it a top/high priority while only 40 percent of Republicans said the same. Likewise, 83 percent of Democrats cited “improving access to health care” as a top/high priority while only 47 percent of Republicans did.

    There may be a few gun nuts on the fringe who genuinely don’t care much about reducing gun violence, or an equally small number of hard-core libertarians who don’t care about improving access to health care. It seems unlikely, however, that a majority of Republicans — 60 percent and 53 percent respectively, according to Gallup — don’t consider either issue a high priority.

    More likely, Republicans associate “gun violence” with President Barack Obama’s efforts to increase gun regulation, and “access to health care” with Obamacare. Consistent with the Ramones Theory of Republican Politics, if Obama is for something, large numbers of Republicans instinctively are against it.

    Poll respondents (there were 1,021 of them) didn’t rate “reforming immigration” as a top priority either. But the partisan pattern is curiously different. Only 44 percent of Democrats considered it a top/high priority while 55 percent of Republicans did.

    ……………………………

    It’s also true that Obama has ceded much of the spotlight on immigration to Republican Senator Marco Rubio, who has been actively trying to sell immigration reform to the conservative base. Among Republicans, and perhaps among Democrats, too, it’s possible immigration reform is now more identified with Rubio than with Obama. (That might explain both heightened Republican interest and limited Democratic support.)

    If that’s so, it’s an example of the “permission structure” at work. As Greg Sargent says here, Republican Senator Pat Toomey basically endorsed the concept, made famous by Obama, that U.S. politics is so partisan and dysfunctional that the White House has to construct a political “permission structure” to make it feasible for Republicans to support goals that Obama also supports.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-05-08/marco-rubio-is-the-key-to-democratic-dreams.html

  46. rikyrah says:

    Democrats say there’s a reason they’re not selling Obamacare yet

    Posted by Sarah Kliff on May 8, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    Months before the law’s main components roll out, Republicans are reviving their campaign against Obamacare. Among health law supporters and journalists, the question now is: Why isn’t the Obama administration doing more to fight back?

    “I don’t see any possible response to the Republican attacks except for Democrats except to get out of their crouch and start selling Obamacare like their lives depended on it,” Kevin Drum wrote in Mother Jones on Tuesday. “A moderate response just won’t do any good here.”

    Jill Lawrence at the National Journal said the same about a month ago, right when the health law hit its third anniversary but still wasn’t gaining in popularity.

    “They’ve got to uncurb their enthusiasm,” Lawrence wrote of Obamacare supporters, “and keep it out front for months if they want the public to warm to this law and the people who made it happen.”

    The law includes a lot of provisions that actually are popular, such as ending the practice of turning down applicants for preexisting conditions and subsidizing health insurance coverage. Why doesn’t the administration have an ad campaign celebrating those?

    I’ve put this question to top administration officials and advocates, and the answer tends to be this: If we start selling Obamacare now, we’re going to be raving about a product that doesn’t yet exist. That would, in turn, undermine the sales pitch they want to make in October, when enrollment in the new health plans opens.

    “We’ve done a lot of research on that,” Medicare administrator Marilyn Tavenner said when I asked about the outreach strategy. “Our research has shown if you go too early, you don’t have anything to offer, and people lose interest. It will be intense, but the timing is important.”

    Enroll America, a new nonprofit that will focus on Obamacare outreach, has also considered the timing of a public information blitz

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/05/08/democrats-say-theres-a-reason-theyre-not-selling-obamacare-yet/

  47. rikyrah says:

    13 Benghazis That Occurred on Bush’s Watch Without a Peep from Fox News

    By Bob Cesca · May 08,2013

    The Republican inquisition over the attacks against Americans in Benghazi has never really gone away, but it appears as though in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing and the House Oversight Committee’s Benghazi hearings this week there’s renewed psycho-histrionics over Benghazi.

    Lindsey Graham and Fox News Channel in particular are each crapping their cages over new allegations from an alleged whistleblower, while they continue to deal in previously debunked falsehoods about the sequence of events during and following the attacks. Fox News is predictably helming the biggest raft of hooey on the situation — turning its attention to Hillary Clinton in an abundantly obvious early move to stymie her presidential run before it even begins.

    So I thought I’d revisit some territory I covered back in October as a bit of a refresher — especially since it appears as if no one, including and especially the traditional press, intends to ask any of these obnoxious, opportunistic liars about why they’re so obsessed by this one attack yet they entirely ignored the dozen-plus consulate/embassy attacks that occurred when George W. Bush and Dick Cheney were allegedly “keeping us safe.”

    http://thedailybanter.com/2013/05/13-benghazis-that-occurred-on-bushs-watch-without-a-peep-from-fox-news/

  48. rikyrah says:

    Matthews: Why ‘Empty’ Republicans Keep Digging into The Benghazi Attacks

    http://youtu.be/mHAWyezHwd4

  49. rikyrah says:

    Michael Hargrove @MichaelHargrov1

    If you are Dem and gonna run away from Pres O when campaigning, expect me to run away from you when election day comes.

    8:48 PM – 8 May 2013

  50. rikyrah says:

    Heritage Foundation: ‘Low IQ’ Immigrants are Parasites & Their ‘Unborn’ Children ……fill in the blank…

    http://youtu.be/V4ShkdfvFC8

  51. rikyrah says:

    I keep on saying it.

    The GOP is committing ECONOMIC TREASON against this country.

    …………………………..

    Chaos governing
    Posted by Greg Sargent on May 8, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    In today’s exercise in Fiscal Fraudulence, Republicans are making it clear they’ve decided they don’t want to enter into budget negotiations with Democrats until the debt ceiling deadline gets a good deal closer. ”The debt limit is the backstop,” Paul Ryan says. “I’d like to go through regular order and get something done sooner rather than later. But we need to get a down payment on the debt. We need entitlement reform.”

    In other words, Republicans know they don’t have the leverage to force spending cuts or tax reform right now — in standard budget negotiations – without agreeing to the increased revenues from the rich Obama and Democrats will insist on as conditions for any deficit reduction deal. So they would rather do nothing and wait until they can use the threat of default to game the process in their favor.

    This is the GOP strategy, explicitly and openly. Brian Beutler aptly sums up the dynamic:

    It really all comes down to the fact that Republicans can’t negotiate budget policy without the threat of a debt default looming over the whole process…Republicans don’t want to go to conference unconditionally because they’re concerned their position won’t hold politically and they’ll ultimately be forced to swallow a compromise that includes tax increases — unless the whole process gets swallowed by another debt limit fight.

    Kevin Drum has similar thoughts:

    Republicans are flatly refusing to even start budget negotiations until they can threaten default on the national debt if they don’t get their way. Apparently this is literally the only way they’re now willing to do business

    It’s actually even crazier than Beutler and Drum say. Republicans are not willing to enter into fiscal negotiations without being able to wield the threat of crashing the economy to get their way — even as they have already revealed they are not willing to actually crash the economy to get their way.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2013/05/08/chaos-governing/

  52. rikyrah says:

    The `you didn’t build that’ argument makes a comeback

    Posted by Greg Sargent on May 8, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    The battle over Obama’s “you didn’t build that” speech was central to the 2012 election, embodying a larger clash of ideas between Obama and Mitt Romney over the proper role of government in facilitating economic growth and over the true nature of individual achievement. Whether or not this particular argument was decisive, Obama won the election by a solid margin, suggesting Romney’s attack — that it showed Obama is hostile to private sector innovation and success — didn’t really carry much weight.

    Now a new form of this argument has made a comeback — in the Massachusetts Senate race. It all started with this new ad from longtime Democratic Congressman Ed Markey, in which he touts his work passing a bill overhauling federal tele-communications laws, which a Boston Globe editorial credited with “the creation of millions of jobs — including many in Massachusetts.” Here’s the spot:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2013/05/08/the-you-didnt-build-that-argument-makes-a-comeback/

  53. rikyrah says:

    With a whimper

    By Steve Benen
    Thu May 9, 2013 7:48 AM EDT

    One of the key challenges for House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and his congressional Republican colleagues yesterday was expectations. There have already been multiple hearings and reports on the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, and Americans already know what happened. For those willing to look past silly and unsubstantiated conspiracy theories, there really aren’t any remaining unanswered questions.

    But wait, Issa and his friends said, this hearing will be different. Now we have whistleblowers. This is will be The Day Everything Changes. This was a hearing so significant, so monumental, that Republican staffers on Capitol Hill felt the need to make movie posters to help promote it.

    Issa over-promised and under-delivered. The dramatic hearing that Republicans and Fox News hoped to use to bring down the Obama presidency and permanently derail Hillary Clinton’s still-unknown ambitions did neither — there’s still no conspiracy; there’s still no cover-up; there’s still no political scandal.

    This is not to say we learned nothing from the hearing. When I read through transcripts and watched the back and forth betweeen lawmakers and witnesses last night, it was clear that Gregory Hicks, the former U.S. diplomat in Libya and Issa’s star witness, offered details of the attack itself that were riveting and previously unreported. That said, in terms of the larger story, the details may have been fascinating, but they didn’t break new ground. Indeed, conservative allegations that Hicks’ perspective had been deliberately suppressed as part of a cover-up is absurd — he’d already spoken at length to the independent panel that investigated the attack.

    So what was the point of yesterday’s theatrics, beyond giving far-right activists a morale boost and giving Fox News a ratings boost? What do we know now that we didn’t know 24 hours ago? Eight months after the attack itself, I know Republicans think there’s been a cover-up, but I haven’t the foggiest idea what it is they think has been covered up. For all the talk of a political “scandal,” no one seems capable of pointing to anything specific that’s scandalous. For all the conspiracy theories, there’s no underlying conspiracy to be found.

    Marc Ambinder noted last night, “There are plenty of intelligent criticisms of Obama’s foreign policy. Today’s Benghazi debate is the classic example of an unintelligent, fairly easy way out of actually engaging.”

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/05/09/18145168-with-a-whimper?lite

  54. rikyrah says:

    Boehner Accidentally Explains Why His Deficit Position Is Phony

    Yesterday, in an interview with Bloomberg Television, House Speaker John Boehner warned that the U.S. government must balance its budget. After all, he said:

    We have spent more than what we have brought into this government for 55 of the last 60 years. There’s no business in America that could survive like this. No household in America that could do this. And this government can’t do this.

    It’s hard to think of better evidence for the sustainability of budget deficits than the fact that we have run them for 55 of the last 60 years. If our fiscal practices haven’t caught up to us after 60 years, when will they? Or does Boehner take a David Stockman-like position that the last several decades of American advancement have in fact been a ghastly failure?

    Of course, budget deficits work because the government is different from a household. A government does not have a life cycle, does not ever expect to stop generating income to support itself, and, therefore, does not ever have to retire its debt. It must keep its debts at a manageable size relative to the economy, which the U.S. has done over that 60 year period. If the economy is growing over the long term, that means the government can run a deficit and grow the debt every year — sustainably.

    Boehner is right that no household could keep borrowing like that. He’s not quite right about a business though. Look at the accompanying chart. The orange bars show the net debts of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. They have soared — up 5,760 percent since 1987. By comparison, the roughly 600 percent rise in the U.S. public debt over the same period looks restrained. Is Wal-Mart mad? How long can it go on just borrowing and borrowing and borrowing?

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-05-08/boehner-accidentally-explains-why-his-deficit-position-is-phony.html

  55. Ametia says:

    Video Hat tip THE OBAMA DIARY. Thanks, Chips!

  56. rikyrah says:

    Killing Our Credit Rating

    by BooMan
    Thu May 9th, 2013 at 09:27:16 AM EST

    Today, the House will vote on a bill that would authorize the Treasury Department to prioritize debt payments in the event that the debt limit is exceeded. The bill has no chance in the Senate and would be vetoed by the president in the unlikely event that it landed on his desk. So, the bill is a 100% ass-covering exercise. But will it really cover their ass? It seems to me that the mere discussion of prioritizing debt payments might be enough to warrant another downgrade in our credit rating.
    Just imagine if you loaned money to someone and then overheard them talking about how they couldn’t pay off all their debts. You’d like to know that your loan is a high priority, but how willing would you be to make another loan?

    The credit rating agencies operate with the same logic. Any discussion of partial default is ample reason to downgrade our rating.

    http://www.boomantribune.com/comments/2013/5/9/92716/97419/0/post#here

  57. rikyrah says:

    Karen Heller: Tiny church unintimidated by hate message

    By Karen Heller, Inquirer Columnist
    Posted: May 08, 2013

    The sign adjacent to historic Mount Zion A.M.E. Church in Woolwich Township, a one-story white frame building, usually reads, “All Are Welcome.”

    But on Sunday, parishioners discovered vandals had scrambled the letters to produce “No Nigers Welcome.”

    So the hoodlums were racist and stupid.

    But they were meddling with the wrong church.

    All 11 congregants.

    “I thought people had gotten past that,” said the Rev. Myrtle Daniels, who was a Freedom Rider in Mississippi in the 1960s before moving north for school and a more tolerant racial climate. “I am incensed. It’s not something that I intend to let die on the vine.”

    Mount Zion has survived plenty.

    The church was founded in 1799. The building was consecrated in 1834 when the area was known as Small Gloucester, a community of black farmers who walked to worship.

    Mount Zion, yards from the tracks, became an important stop on the Underground Railroad’s Greenwich Line operated by Harriet Tubman. Runaway slaves hid in the dank crawl space below a trapdoor in the vestibule.

    Over the decades, the neighborhood changed from peach orchards to subdivisions, from predominantly black to mostly white.

    The cemetery, its headstones worn and listing in a marshy copse, is the final resting spot for 200 worshipers, including freed slaves and members of the U.S. Colored Troops who fought in the Civil War.

    Both church and cemetery, the latter now incongruously surrounded by luxury homes, are on the National Register of Historic Places and the state’s list of most endangered historic sites.

    This is not the first hate crime against Mount Zion.

    http://articles.philly.com/2013-05-08/news/39117975_1_mount-zion-historic-places-baptist-church

  58. rikyrah says:

    Matt Murphy @MattMurph24

    Jason Chaffetz and Darrell Issa are the new leaders of Bullshit Mountain. #benghazihearing

    10:09 PM – 8 May 2013

  59. rikyrah says:

    Why Do They Hate the FLOTUS?

    by Steven D
    Thu May 9th, 2013 at 08:13:29 AM EST

    Check out the comments to the screenshots of these photo tweets by Michelle Obama and Pro Football sensation, Colin Kaepernick posted at this San Francisco 49er Fan Blog. Compared to some comments I’ve seen regarding her, these are actually pretty tame, but still the nastiness is raw and palpable. She’s called a hag, fat, a vampire, classless, and one person suggests she is flashing gang signs. The way they talk you’d think she killed a former boyfriend and got away without even a slap on the wrist. Oh wait, that was someone entirely different who was greatly esteemed while her husband held office. You know, the guy who had to call off a trip to Europe for fear of being arrested as a war criminal.

    I simply don’t know what Michele Obama did that is deserving of such animosity. Do you (yes, that’s a rhetorical question folks)?

    http://www.boomantribune.com/story/2013/5/9/81329/65431#2

  60. rikyrah says:

    AAmom @AVD911

    boom!Poll: Ed Markey leads Gabriel Gomez by 17 points in MA Senate special election | http://masslive.com http://www.masslive.com/politics/index.ssf/2013/05/poll_ed_markey_leads_gabriel_g.html

    10:13 PM – 8 May 2013

  61. Ametia says:

    Cleveland kidnappings suspect Ariel Castro held on $8M bond

    The Cleveland man accused of kidnapping three young women and holding them captive for about a decade was ordered held Thursday morning on $8 million bond.

    Ariel Castro, 52, is charged with kidnapping Gina DeJesus, Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry and a six-year-old girl whom Berry gave birth to six years ago. He is also charged with raping DeJesus, Knight and Berry.

    Bail was calculated at $2 million per victim.

    Read more at:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/ariel-castro-held-on-8-million-bond/2013/05/09/d696e8ae-b8a4-11e2-b94c-b684dda07add_story.html

  62. rikyrah says:

    House Republican Compares President Obama to Convicted Murderer Jodi Arias

    By: Jason Easley
    May. 8th, 2013

    After the Jodi Arias verdict, Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX) wrote one of the most tasteless tweets that you will ever read. Stockman compared President Obama to Jodi Arias.

    Rep. Steve Stockman @SteveWorks4You

    Right now Jodi Arias is regretting not killing an ambassador or Philadelphia infant.

    3:28 PM – 8 May 2013

    Wow, this tweet was repulsive in so many ways. Here is a House Republican who whined that the media would rather cover a murder than a fake conspiracy theory that Republicans can’t prove. House Republicans are under the belief that if they just keep screaming Benghazi enough, people will begin to believe their bogus claims.

    While the media should have better things to do than cover a murder trial, the Jodi Arias coverage was more justified than listening to Republicans repeat their tired Benghazi talking points again.

    This most disgusting element of Stockman’s tweet is that he believes that President Obama and a woman who gruesomely murdered her ex-boyfriend are at the same level. What Jodi Arias did to Travis Alexander was a crime. Unlike what House Republicans have been doing with Benghazi, prosecutors proved to a jury that Arias was guilty of committing a crime. President Obama has committed no crime. The evidence shows that there was no crime committed by President Obama relating to Benghazi. Obama did not murder Amb. Stevens and the three other Americans who died in the attack on the embassy.

    http://www.politicususa.com/house-republican-compares-president-obama-convicted-murderer-jodi-arias.html

  63. rikyrah says:

    May 08, 2013

    Why Republicans are in Trouble
    Pew Research finds that Mitt Romney received just 17% of the non-white vote in last year’s presidential election.

    “Non-whites were 26.3% of all voters in the 2012 election, a record high share. But they compose an even higher share of all U.S. adults age 18 and older — 33.9%. By 2020 this share will rise to 37.2%, and by 2060 it will be 54.8%, according to Census Bureau projections. If the racial voting patterns from the 2012 election persist, the electoral playing field for future Republican presidential candidates will become increasingly difficult.”

    http://politicalwire.com/archives/2013/05/08/why_republicans_are_in_trouble.html

  64. CNN says there are “questions” about who the hero is in rescuing the kidnapped women. See,CNN is going to keep looking until they find the white hero who rescued those young women. Black heroism is much too much for them.

  65. Black unarmed Trayvon Martin was gunned down for walking while black and what did Sanford Police do? Drug tested him and sent the murderer home.

    Charles Ramsey helps rescue women held captive for 10 freaking years & what did the white media do? They looked in his past. But did ANY of you hear about the media digging into the past of the man who reported the Boston bomber inside his boat? Of course not. Silly goose. He’s white. Only white people have the honor of hero status.

  66. Good morning, 3Chics!

    Just a reminder… You’d better not be black in America and labeled a hero. CNN/ white media will let you know that honor belongs to non black folks. Got it?

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