Serendipity SOUL | Monday Open Thread | Girl Groups of the 60s Week

Happy Monday, Everyone. this week 3 Chics is featuring Girl Groups of the Sixties. Today’s group is the Shirelles.




Wiki: The Shirelles were an African American girl group that achieved popularity in the early 1960s. They consisted of schoolmates Shirley Owens (later Shirley Alston-Reeves), Doris Coley (later Doris Kenner-Jackson), Addie “Micki” Harris (later Addie Harris McPherson), and Beverly Lee. They have been described as either the first African-American girl group to top the Billboard Hot 100, or the first girl group overall, with the song “Will You Love Me Tomorrow.”

Founded in 1957 for a talent show at their high school, they were signed by Florence Greenberg of Tiara Records. Their first single, “I Met Him on a Sunday”, was released by Tiara and licensed by Decca Records in 1958. After a brief and unsuccessful period with Decca, they went with Greenberg to her newly formed company, Scepter Records. Working with Luther Dixon, the group rose to fame with “Tonight’s the Night”. After a successful period of collaboration with Dixon and promotion by Scepter, with seven top 20 hits, The Shirelles left Scepter in 1966. Afterwards, they were unable to maintain their previous popularity.

The Shirelles have been described as having a “naive schoolgirl sound” that contrasted with the sexual themes of many of their songs. Several of their hits used strings and baião-style music. They have been credited with launching the girl group genre, with much of their music reflecting the genre’s essence. Their acceptance by both white and black audiences, predating that of the Motown acts, has been noted as reflecting the early success of the African-American Civil Rights Movement. They have received numerous honors, including the Pioneer Award from the Rhythm and Blues Foundation, as well as being accepted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996, and named one of the 100 best acts of all time by Rolling Stone in 2004. Two of their songs, “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” and “Tonight’s the Night”, were selected by Rolling Stone on its list of the greatest songs of all time.


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70 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Monday Open Thread | Girl Groups of the 60s Week

  1. rikyrah says:

    Heads up Scandal fans. The cast from Scandal will be on The View tomorrow and I think Good Morning America as well. Set your DVR.

  2. rikyrah says:

    The ‘diction’ debates

    By Steve Benen
    Mon May 13, 2013 4:40 PM EDT.

    Marc Ambinder explained this morning that Benghazi is “a debate about post-tragedy diction.” That’s certainly bolstered by recent Republican arguments, nearly all of which have to do with the timing of various choices of words.

    If you’re thinking that genuine political controversies are supposed to deal with more meaningful issues than diction, you and I are on the same page, though congressional Republicans and much of the political world are on a very different page.

    Take Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), for example. On Sept. 12, 2012, President Obama described the Benghazi attack as an act of terror. McCain yesterday insisted that those comments don’t count: “The president didn’t call it an ‘act of terror.’ … He condemned ‘acts of terrorism.'”

    What matters, in Republicans’ minds, is the diction. House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) was thinking along the same lines today on Fox News.

    “The president sent a letter to the president of Libya were he didn’t call it a terrorist attack even when in real time the president of Libya was calling this a pre-planned Sept. 11 terrorist attack,” Issa said. He added, “An act of terror is different than a terrorist attack.”

    This amusing, in a pathetic sort of way, and not just because of Issa’s rhetorical framework. It’s also striking because it’s shining a light on what Republicans consider truly important about this story: which officials used the words Republicans like and when.


    Ambinder added, “The Diction Debates aren’t real because the opponent insists he/she knows about the motivation for using/ not using certain key words.” That’s also true — McCain, Issa and others are quite animated over which official used the word “terror” on which day.

    But all of this serves to remind us that the political world has defined “scandal” down to a meaningless level. Watergate dealt with crimes committed by a president. Iran-Contra dealt with a White House that sold arms to a sworn enemy to finance an illegal war. The Plame Affair, the U.S. Attorney purge, and illegal warrantless wiretaps dealt with systemic wrongdoing at the highest levels.

    In 2013, though, we’re apparently stuck with, “An act of terror is different than a terrorist attack.

  3. rikyrah says:

    Obama laments political ‘sideshow’
    By Steve Benen
    Mon May 13, 2013 3:25 PM EDT.

    President Obama hosted another White House press conference this morning, this time standing alongside Prime Minister David Cameron, and addressed the stories that seem to be dominating the political world’s attention.

    On the IRS matter, for example, the president joined the bipartisan chorus, insisting that those responsible must be held “fully accountable.” Obama added, “If in fact IRS personnel engaged in the kind of practices that have been reported on and were intentionally targeting conservative groups, then that’s outrageous and there’s no place for it…. I’ve got no patience with it. I will not tolerate it and we will make sure that we find out exactly what happened on this.”

    But it was the president’s comments on Benghazi that were of particular interest.

    Obama appeared eager to resolve the matter once and for all. This is a little long, but it’s worth your time:

    “The whole issue of talking points, frankly, throughout this process has been a sideshow….[T]he emails that you allude to were provided by us to congressional committees. They reviewed them several months ago, concluded that in fact there was nothing afoul in terms of the process that we had used. And suddenly, three days ago, this gets spun up as if there’s something new to the story. There’s no ‘there’ there.

    “Keep in mind, by the way, these so-called talking points that were prepared for Susan Rice five, six days after the event occurred, pretty much matched the assessments that I was receiving at that time in my presidential daily briefing. And keep in mind that two to three days after Susan Rice appeared on the Sunday shows using these talking points, which have been the source of all this controversy, I sent up the head of our National Counterterrorism Center, Matt Olsen, up to Capitol Hill, and specifically said it was an act of terrorism and that extremist elements inside of Libya had been involved in it.

    “So if this was some effort on our part to try to downplay what had happened or tamp it down, that would be a pretty odd thing that three days later we end up putting out all the information that in fact has now served as the basis for everybody recognizing that this was a terrorist attack and that it may have included elements that were planned by extremists inside of Libya.

    “Who executes some sort of cover-up or effort to tamp things down for three days? So the whole thing defies logic. And the fact that this keeps on getting churned out, frankly, has a lot to do with political motivations…. They’ve used it for fund-raising.”

    These arguments have the added benefit of being true.


    If you go through every lingering argument from the right on Benghazi, what we’re left with is one thing: the multiple drafts of the talking points. That’s it. That’s the “scandal.”

  4. rikyrah says:

    First They Came for Common Usage…

    by BooMan
    Mon May 13th, 2013 at 03:12:27 PM EST

    Before he made a fortune in the car alarm business, Darrell Issa was a car thief. He denies it, of course. See, he doesn’t call it car thieving. He calls it an “act of theft,” which is his way of covering up his misdeeds. So, when he says he committed “an act of theft,” that doesn’t mean he stole some cars. That means he didn’t. It’s exactly the same with the president and Benghazi. In repeatedly calling the Benghazi attack an “act of terror” the president was trying to deny that it was a terrorist attack. “Oh, no, it wasn’t a terrorist attack. It was merely an act of terror.”
    See, as Darrell Issa said, “a terrorist attack is different than an act of terror.” Just like an act of acting is different than acting, and an act of punching someone in the face is different from battery.

    You can try this with anything, particularly if you have committed a crime. “I didn’t murder anyone, I merely committed an act of murder, which isn’t the same as killing someone.”

    Except that, it is.

  5. rikyrah says:

    May 13, 2013 11:17 AM
    527, 501(c)(4), Whatever

    By Ed Kilgore

    One of the issues the IRS “scandal” over 501(c)(4) scrutiny is already running into head-on is massive confusion about the relationship between these entities, which to an extent unimaginable just a few years ago are engaged in heavy electoral campaign activities, and the so-called 527 “Super-PAC” organizations. The former don’t have to disclose donor identities, but cannot “primarily” be involved in “political activity,” and also can’t explictly promote candidacies. The latter do have to disclose donors, but have no limits on election activities and can also explicitly promote or oppose candidates so long as they don’t “coordinate” efforts with an actual campaign.

    The confusion is nicely illustrated by a new ad running right now on the “scandal” that is competing for oxygen with the IRS issue, Benghazi!. Here’s John Avlon’s report at the Daily Beast:

    Less than five months after Barack Obama began his second term, the 2016 presidential campaign kicked off this weekend with a Benghazi-themed attack ad that takes direct aim at Hillary Clinton.

    The 90-second web ad, called “Benghazi”, was issued by the Karl Rove-founded American Crossroads, which spent more than $21 million in the last election cycle. It is the freshest evidence that hyperpartisan super-PAC slush funds are now a core part of the permanent campaign.

    This American Crossroads ad matters because of its unsubtle purpose: a preemptive strike against a potential Clinton presidential campaign in 2016. Remember that through 2008, Clinton was widely considered the most polarizing figure in American politics. The days of Hillary as Republicans’ favorite member of the Obama cabinet are over. This dynamic was unlikely to the point of absurdity—a case of political amnesia brought on by a combination of her voting record in the Senate and the ’08 campaign-era conviction that the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

    Now it seems this ad is the product of the American Crossroads 527, though there is nothing about it that would prohibit its distribution by the American Crossroads GPS 501(c)(4), assuming it didn’t exceed that group’s budget for “political activity,” an exceptionally hazy concept to begin with. But it’s hard to distinguish the two groups: Steven J. Law heads both of them, and both were established by Karl Rove. It’s a token of the confusion, BTW, that Avlon seems shocked that American Crossroads spent “$21 million” in the last election cycle. He was actually looking at the 2010 numbers; in 2012, American Crossroads (the 527) actually spent $104 million, while Crossroads GPS spent another $70 million.

    Do you think any of these fine distinctions are going to be commonly understood in the brouhaha over the “IRS scandal?” Fat chance of that. Most rank-and-file Republicans are going to be given the impression that we are talking about IRS auditors hassling and intimidating them. It could not be further from the truth, but I doubt seriously the GOP and the conservative movement—including such “innocent parties” as American Crossroads and American Crossroads GPS—are going to be interested in conducting a national seminar on tax and campaign finance laws.

  6. rikyrah says:

    May 13, 2013 12:49 PM
    Death Rattle of the Rebranding Project

    By Ed Kilgore

    I predicted on Friday that we would soon hear Republicans complaining that had Benghazi! Benghazi! been fully “vetted” before last November, Mitt Romney would be president today and we’d be surveying the devastation being wrought by rapid passage of the Ryan Budget. Now that the “IRS Scandal” talk is already reaching a fever-pitch, we’ll hear much more of this kind of revisionist history, and it’s appropriate that we are hearing it first from that fine statesman Donald Trump (per Politico’s Kevin Cirilli):

    Donald Trump said Monday that if the details surrounding the IRS targeting tea party groups and last week’s Benghazi hearing had come out last fall, President Barack Obama might not have won reelection.

    “This is a big, big story that is probably going to get a lot bigger,” Trump said of the IRS scandal on Fox News. “This is a terrible thing. It’s just not supposed to happen. They have laws against it. If this were somebody else, this would be the biggest story.”

    Trump continued: “I’ve been watching it for the last four days getting bigger and bigger and even some of our liberal friends are sort of saying this is really bad. Between this and Benghazi, Benghazi — had this come out like this before the election, you could have had a different result.

    Yes, he actually said “Benghazi” twice, like an incantation, much as I’ve been mockingly doing myself off and on for months.

    Before long, I betcha, two strands of thought on the Right will converge: the notion that Romney lost because “discouraged” conservative white voters stayed home, and a revival of the same argument we heard after 2008 that the GOP candidate failed to exploit Obama’s vulnerabilities aggressively enough (you know, William Ayers and Jeremiah Wright in 2008, Benghazi! and now the IRS in 2012).

    The bigger picture here is that we are hearing the death rattle of the brief and often insincere GOP “rebranding” project. Who needs Latinos or better GOTV or a less savage image? All the Republican Party needs is more vetting of the opposition, and ruthless pols willing to take the fight to the enemy without inhibition. So much for the “fever” breaking.

  7. Ametia says:

    Keep the pressure on, folks. Don’t let the GOP keep distracting us from the REAL ISSUES in this country.

  8. rikyrah says:

    What Oregon Really Told Us About Medicaid
    A reason to rethink health care, not rethink Obamacare


    More than a week after some very smart health economists released findings from a study of Medicaid in Oregon, policy experts, politicians, and pundits are still arguing over exactly what the study showed—and how, if at all, it should change what we think about making health insurance more available to the poor.

    That’s good. The study should force all of us, on the left and the right, to think more carefully about how we write and talk about health care reform. And I’ve read plenty of writers doing just that.1 But the idea that this study all but blows away the case for the Medicaid expansion, as some Obamacare critics have suggested, still strikes me as wrong-headed.2 And that’s because these critics make two unfair claims: that the study “proves” Medicaid doesn’t improve health and that financial security, which Medicaid clearly provided its Oregon beneficiaries, was an afterthought in the health care reform debate.

    A refresher, for those of you who decided not to read the wonky set over the last ten days or so: A few years ago, when Oregon officials had to allocate 10,000 Medicaid slots from among about 90,000 applicants, they decided to use a lottery. That created two groups, randomly selected: One with an opportunity to enroll in Medicaid, one without the opportunity. Past studies of Medicaid suffered because those studies didn’t have such random assortment between people who were on the program and those who were not. People who enrolled on Medicaid tended to be poorer and sicker; researchers would adjust for that fact, but the adjustments might not have been correct. The Oregon Medicaid lottery made it possible for researchers to make a cleaner comparison of the two groups.

    The headline from the study (at least on the right) is that the Medicaid beneficiaries didn’t see statistically significant improvements in physical health. That’s true. But it’s important to understand what exactly that means. The folks on Medicaid appeared more likely to have lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and (among diabetics) blood sugar levels. But the improvement was smaller than the researchers had expected to see. And the researchers couldn’t even be sure that improvement was real, because the sample size wouldn’t allow them to pinpoint differences in health of that magnitude. Instead, they could give only a range of possibilities. At best, the Medicaid recipients had “clinically significant” improvements in physical health. At worst, they had no improvement at all, or perhaps even ended up in worse health.

    What should we make of that? It’s hard to know precisely without knowing what the researchers really should have expected in the first place. Katherine Baicker, a Harvard economist and a lead author of the paper, has said the Oregon experiment didn’t produce the kind of physical health improvements researchers had found in previous studies, including the famous RAND health insurance experiment and some studies of MediCal (California’s Medicaid program) during the 1980s. Aaron Carroll, a pediatrician and health care services researcher at Indiana University, thinks the comparison is flawed—that, in effect, the researchers were looking for a level of improvement that prior studies haven’t really showed. I spent much of the weekend trying to sort out the particulars of this argument, via some lengthy e-mail exchanges with several of the researchers as well as some outside researchers. And I’m still not sure who’s right. Maybe they’ll settle it soon.

    In the meantime, there’s a point on which all the researchers agree. The Oregon study can’t disprove that Medicaid produced physical health benefits, because it can’t pinpoint the results with enough precision. Meanwhile, lots of other studies (not to mention intuition) suggest that people on Medicaid do end up healthier. Given this evidence, I would say the best bet is that Medicaid has at least some positive effect on health. If the authors are right about the expectations—and, for the sake of argument, let’s assume they are—then the Oregon findings should make us less optimistic about the magnitude of improvement or less confident that the improvement is real. But we should still think that, all else equal, people who go onto Medicaid will end up healthier. The question would be how much.

  9. rikyrah says:

    How Colleges Are Selling Out the Poor to Court the Rich

    A new report finds hundreds of schools are charging low-income students obscene prices, even while lavishing tuition discounts on their wealthier classmates.

    Jordan Weissmann
    May 12 2013, 9:00 AM ET

    Neat fact: If the federal government were to take all of the money it pours into various forms of financial aid each year, it could go ahead and make tuition free, or close to it, for every student at every public college in the country.

    Will it ever happen? Ha. Not unless Bernie Sanders somehow leads a Latin American-style coup down Pennsylvania Avenue. But one of the reasons I argued for the idea a couple of months back was that it would allow us to finally stop burning money subsidizing obscenely expensive tuition at dubiously worthwhile private institutions. At the time, I singled out the for-profit college industry, which has been rightfully savaged for devouring federal aid dollars while charging poor students backbreaking prices.

    Today, though, I’d like to apologize to the University of Phoenix and its kin. It seems there are plenty of traditional, non-profit colleges leeching off the system as well.

    For proof, see the demoralizing report released this week by Stephen Burd of the New America Foundation on the state of financial aid in higher ed. It documents the obscene prices some of the poorest undergraduates are asked to pay at hundreds of educational institutions across the country, even as these same schools lavish discounts on the children of wealthier families in order to lure them onto campus.

    And here’s the key bit: Many colleges, he argues, appear to be playing an “elaborate shell game,” relying on federal grants to cover the costs of needy students while using their own resources to furnish aid to richer undergrads.

    “With their relentless pursuit of prestige and revenue,” Burd writes, “the nation’s public and private four-year colleges and universities are in danger of shutting down what has long been a pathway to the middle class for low-income and working-class students.”

    Give to the Rich, Overcharge the Poor
    Burd’s paper isn’t an indictment of the entire higher ed establishment — just a startlingly large portion of it. Many of the worst offenders he identifies are small, private colleges with meager financial resources, or public schools concentrated in a handful of states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina that have moved to what’s called a “high tuition, high aid,” model. The theory was that, in a time of tight state budgets, charging wealthy students exorbitantly would allow them to charge poorer students reasonably.

    It hasn’t worked out that way. Unlike twenty years ago, Burd explains, it is now more common for colleges to hand out aid packages based on “merit” rather than financial need. And “merit” is often a rather nebulous concept.

  10. rikyrah says:

    The Dark Art of Racecraft

    Jason Richwine’s place in the long history of research on race and IQ

    Ta-Nehisi CoatesMay 13 2013, 10:39 AM ET

    Dave Weigel is one of my favorite reporters, but I think this piece on Jason Richwine, intelligence research, and “race” deserves a closer look:

    Academics aren’t so concerned with the politics. But they know all too well the risks that come with research connecting IQ and race. At the start of his dissertation, Richwine thanked his three advisers — George Borjas, Christopher Jenks, and Richard Zeckhauser — for being so helpful and so bold. Borjas “helped me navigate the minefield of early graduate school,” he wrote. “Richard Zeckhauser, never someone to shy away from controversial ideas, immediately embraced my work. …”

    Anyone who works in Washington and wants to explore the dark arts of race and IQ research is in the right place. The city’s a bit like a college campus, where investigating “taboo” topics is rewarded, especially on the right. A liberal squeals “racism,” and they hear the political-correctness cops (most often, the Southern Poverty Law Center) reporting a thought crime.

    It is almost as though the “dark arts of race and IQ” were an untapped field of potential knowledge, not one of the most discredited fields of study in modern history. We should first be clear that there is nothing mysterious or forbidden about purporting to study race and intelligence. Indeed, despite an inability to define “race” or “intelligence,” such studies are one of the dominant intellectual strains in Western history. We forget this because its convient to believe that history begins with the Watts riots. But it’s important to remember the particular tradition that Charles Murray and Jason Richwine are working in. A brief reminder seems in order.

    Here is antebellum “race realist” Josiah Clark Nott writing in 1854 to justify slavery:

  11. rikyrah says:

    Slimmy Trimmy Mo’Nique Drops 82 Pounds, Talks Open Matrimony-dom And Charles Ramsey And Says She Doesn’t Want Iyanla Vanzant’s Spot![Video]


  12. rikyrah says:

    igorvolsky @igorvolsky

    Issa explains the Benghazi cover-up on Fox: “an act of terror is different than a terrorist attack.”

    12:20 PM – 13 May 2013

  13. rikyrah says:

    President Obama on Benghazi

  14. rikyrah says:

    SD Senate Update
    By mistermix May 13th, 2013

    Breathe a sigh of relief, Blue Dog haters: Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin will not run for the South Dakota Senate seat. This leaves Rick Weiland as the lone Democrat in the race after Brendan Johnson, US Attorney and son of Senator Tim Johnson, signaled no interest in the race. Weiland is viewed as being “more liberal” but the last time he was in a statewide race was 1996, when he lost to John Thune in the House election, so who knows how he’s going to position himself in this race. Weiland also lost the primary to Herseth-Sandlin in 2002.

    The good news is that Weiland ran Daschle’s state offices, and Daschle had an excellent field operation, so he has what it takes to run a good campaign. And with Herseth-Sandlin out, there won’t be a primary. The bad news is that he’s got a solid opponent in former governor Mike Rounds. This race isn’t like Montana or North Dakota in 2012, where Tester and Heitkamp faced weak, unlikable, incompetents Denny Rehberg and Rick Berg. If you want to see a similar contest, look at the 2010 election in North Dakota for Byron Dorgan’s open seat, which was won by popular governor John Hoeven, who crushed Tracy Potter.

    To give you a flavor for just how hard it is for Democrats in those states, Potter was replaced in the North Dakota Senate by single-issue abortion nutcase Margaret Sitte, who thinks life begins as the sperm swims towards the egg, and wants that enshrined in law. Potter won a seat in a district that elected this crazy lady, so he was probably at least an OK candidate, but he got no national support, raising a pathetic $117K to Hoeven’s $3.4 million. Weiland has the political connections necessary to at least raise some money, so maybe he can make this a real race instead of a 76/22 Tracy Potter death march.

  15. rikyrah says:

    It Has Become Ridiculous

    by BooMan
    Mon May 13th, 2013 at 01:31:38 PM EST

    Regardless of what the Republicans say, they are the ones creating a dangerous precedent with their obstruction. Their treatment of EPA nominee Gina McCarthy is simply ridiculous. First, they loaded her down with 1,100 written questions. Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana submitted 600 of those questions. Then they seized on five of those questions which they said had been inadequately addressed, including a request “That all private email accounts of Regina McCarthy are exhaustively reviewed.” That sounds more like a demand than a question, don’t you think? And it’s not exactly a reasonable demand. Next, they boycotted the Enivironment & Public Works Committee hearing on McCarthy’s confirmation, and they only gave Chairwoman Barbara Boxer thirty-minutes notice. Because the Senate rules normally require at least two members of the minority to be president to have a committee quorum, the Democrats had to delay a vote on McCarthy’s confirmation. There is a loophole that Boxer intends to use, but it requires all of the Democrats to be present, and that’s a problem because Sen. Frank Lautenberg is battling cancer, is confined to a wheelchair, and has been at home in New Jersey in recent weeks. He will now head to Washington so that the committee can get McCarthy’s nomination to the floor of the Senate. You’d think someone on the Republican side would have the courtesy to say that Sen. Lautenberg’s trip is unnecessary, but no one has stepped forward, yet, to do the only decent thing under the circumstances.
    Instead, we get this:

    Republicans warn that Ms. Boxer would be setting a dangerous standard by disregarding the concerns of the minority party, and they point to the likelihood that the same tactic could be used in reverse if Republicans gain control of the Senate.

    The Senate Republicans are also blocking the confirmation vote for Thomas Perez as Labor Secretary. Last week, they objected to allowing committees to meet while the Senate is in full session, which is almost never done. So, now the HELP committee has to meet early in the morning before the Senate convenes to get around their stonewalling.

    It’s unclear to me whether they are using these tactics to avoid filibustering or merely as a supplement to filibustering. Or, perhaps, they are setting things up so that the Democrats’ maneuvers to get around their stonewalling become the casus belli to filibuster since the nominees themselves are unobjectionable.

    I’m getting close to point of recommending that we just take up arms against each other. My patience for this crap is nearly exhausted.

  16. rikyrah says:

    Obstructionist tactics lead to procedural games
    By Steve Benen
    Mon May 13, 2013 12:45 PM EDT.

    The Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee was going to hold a confirmation hearing last week for Gina McCarthy, President Obama’s choice to lead the Environmental Protection Agency. That didn’t happen when Senate Republicans boycotted the hearing, insisting McCarthy had been “unresponsive” to their ploy to bury her in paperwork.

    And so, Senate Democrats feel the need to get creative.

    The partisan acrimony has led both sides to make unusually shrewd use of the Senate’s esoteric rules. Because Ms. Boxer’s committee was unable to hold a vote on Ms. McCarthy’s nomination — its rules state that at least two members of the minority party must be present for a quorum — she says she will use her own procedural trick.

    It works like this: even if every member of the minority party is absent, committees can hold votes if all members of the majority are present. This has been a problem for Democrats because one committee member in their party, Frank R. Lautenberg of New Jersey, is ill and has not been in Washington in recent weeks.

    So Mr. Lautenberg plans to travel to Washington on Thursday to give Democrats the quorum they need to force a vote that pushes Ms. McCarthy’s nomination to the Senate floor.

    Keep in mind, Lautenberg is 89 years old and currently confined to a wheelchair. Senate Republicans shouldn’t force him from his home just to overcome a GOP obstructionist tantrum, but that’s what they’re doing anyway.

  17. rikyrah says:

    john miller @deaconmill

    The biggest threat to democracy in US is not GOP (although a threat) but the MSM which does the GOP’s bidding instead of informing public.

    11:15 AM – 13 May 2013

  18. rikyrah says: @TheObamaDiary

    Contrast between British/US media in press conference: Brits asking serious questions re serious issues; Americans parroting Drudge, etc.

    11:12 AM – 13 May 2013

  19. rikyrah says:

    An odd choice for Grand Inquisitor
    By Steve Benen
    Mon May 13, 2013 1:40 PM EDT.

    House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) receives quite a bit of attention for his unique roll on Capitol Hill. In short, he’s the guy whose job it is to create political controversies for Obama White House, whether they have merit or not.

    So, when House Republicans investigated Solyndra’s loan guarantees, it was Issa leading the hearings. When House Republicans tried to turn “Fast and Furious” into a scandal, it was Issa yelling at Justice Department officials. And when House Republicans decided to turn last September’s attacks in Benghazi into a political story, it was Issa who adopted the role of Grand Inquisitor.

    But every time I see the California Republican, I think of this Ryan Lizza piece in the New Yorker from a couple of years ago, detailing Issa’s rather remarkable background, and his rise to wealth and power despite several “troubles.”

  20. rikyrah says:

    Nerdy Wonka @NerdyWonka

    BBC journalist asks about Syria, Russia, U.K. and the EU. American press asks about GOP talking points on Benghazi. Stay stupid U.S. media.

    11:07 AM – 13 May 2013

  21. rikyrah says:

    Obama administration briefed Republicans on Benghazi talking points in March

    By Greg Sargent, Published: May 13, 2013 at 11:54 am

    ABC News reports that John Boehner’s staff was already briefed by the White House on the now-controversial Benghazi emails and talking points back in March, but judging by their lack of public statements about them, saw nothing amiss:

    News of the Obama Administration’s role in the extensive editing of CIA talking points on Benghazi rocked the political world last week and prompted a demand from Speaker of the House John Boehner for the release of all related White House emails, but it should not have been a revelation to the Speaker.

    The White House first briefed the House leadership on the talking point revisions on March 19. The briefing was given to the House Intelligence Committee, but the White House also invited Speaker Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to attend or to send a senior staff member. Boehner did not attend, but he did send staff, according to the Speaker’s office. Those attending the closed briefing were permitted to view the emails, but not to copy them.

    The Speaker made no public reference to the emails — or the news of the State Department’s role in removing references to terror warnings in Benghazi — until the story became public last week.

    If anything, that understates what may have happened. Asked for clarification of this briefing, a senior administration official emails me this:

  22. rikyrah says:

    LAUSD board could ban suspensions for ‘willful defiance’

    Backers of the resolution say ‘zero tolerance’ is harming kids. ‘Instead of punishing students, we’re going to engage them,’ says one supporter.

    By Teresa Watanabe, Los Angeles Times
    May 12, 2013, 5:26 p.m.

    Damien Valentine knows painfully well about a national phenomenon that is imperiling the academic achievement of minority students, particularly African Americans like himself: the pervasive and disproportionate use of suspensions from school for mouthing off and other acts of defiance.

    The Manual Arts Senior High School sophomore has been suspended several times beginning in seventh grade, when he was sent home for a day and a half for refusing to change his seat because he was talking. He said the suspensions never helped him learn to control his behavior but only made him fall further behind.

    “Getting suspended doesn’t solve anything,” Valentine said. “It just ruins the rest of the day and keeps you behind.”

    But Valentine, who likes chemistry and wants to be a doctor, is determined to change school discipline practices. He has joined a Los Angeles County-wide effort to push a landmark proposal by school board President Monica Garcia that would make L.A. Unified the first school district in California to ban suspensions for willful defiance.

    That offense is now widely criticized as an arbitrary catchall for any behavior a teacher finds objectionable, such as repeatedly tapping feet on the floor, refusing to remove a hat or failing to wear the school uniform. It accounted for 48% of 710,000 suspensions issued in California in 2011-12, prompting both state and local efforts to restrict its use in disciplinary actions.,0,1402738.story

  23. rikyrah says:

    A rosier economic outlook now colors political picture for Obama

    By Peter Schroeder and Erik Wasson – 05/13/13 05:00 AM ET

    Recent glimmers of hope that the economy is gaining strength are both helping and hindering the prospects for President Obama’s second-term agenda.

    A strong April jobs report headed off fears of another “spring swoon.” Renewed optimism may help efforts to enact immigration reform, but it could also make it harder for Republicans and Democrats to strike a broad fiscal deal.


    Read more:
    Follow us: @thehill on Twitter | TheHill on Facebook

  24. rikyrah says:

    The Assault on Black Radio: It is a Question of Leadership

    We are witnessing the very serious decline of Black radio in general and Black owned radio in particular. This is happening at a time when Blacks can ill afford to be without voice in the marketplace of ideas.

    With the hateful indifference to Blacks that dominates so much of what is considered mainstream media, Blacks must have access to social, political, esthetic and cultural expressions that are born of the Black experience in the world.

    It is important to take into account the factors that have made Black radio so vulnerable. Two Major contributing factors to the demise of Black owned radio are the 1990 Bill Clinton telecommunications ACT, and the bias inherent in the radio ratings system, a system whose incorrect information has consistently deprived Black radio of a fair share of
    advertising revenue, leading to the financial demise of a number of Black owned radio stations throughout the nation.


    It is Congress however, that has oversight over the FCC, and it is Congress that must restructure the Commission, and since it is the Black community that has so much at stake, on Dec. 6, 2012 in our capacity as representatives of a putative class of African American citizens, Bob Law, Betty Dobson, Michael North and New York City Councilman Charles Barron appealed to the Congressional Black Caucus to place the FCC on the congressional agenda for 2013. We went directly to the then chair of the caucus, Emanuel Cleaver, with an open letter to the CBC office in Washington D.C. and as instructed by his Chief of staff, an email of the same letter to his district office in Kansas City.


    Our efforts to engage the CBC were freely dismissed. We also emailed the letter to the New York congressional delegation, Charles Rangel, Yvette Clark, and Gregory Meeks, all of whom ignored us. The letter was hand delivered to Congresswoman Barbra Jackson Lee, of Houston Texas. To date the CBC has ignored this request coming from respected members of the Black community.

    On the occasion of Martin Luther King’s birthday, Marcia L. Fudge, the new chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, announced that in the spirit of Dr. King, the CBC must commit itself to the fight for the rights of all people. This interpretation of Martin King comes at a very strange time.

  25. rikyrah says:

    Issa goes after Petraeus in a serious way
    By Steve Benen
    Mon May 13, 2013 11:25 AM EDT

    Shortly after the 2012 elections, David Petraeus announced his resignation as director of the CIA, which led to a series of new conservative conspiracy theories, including the assertion that he stepped down to avoid congressional testimony on Benghazi — a claim that was quickly debunked.

    And as it turned out, Petraeus disappointed Republicans for reasons that had nothing to do with his personal misconduct. When he testified in congressional hearings, Petraeus told GOP lawmakers what they didn’t want to hear: the Benghazi talking points weren’t dictated by politics, the White House didn’t have a political agenda, and no one politicized the process.

    Six months later, the new Republican line is that Petraeus is no longer trustworthy. Consider this exchange on “Meet the Press” yesterday between David Gregory and House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.).


    Right. So in November, the Republican line was, “We need to hear to hear from David Petraeus, whom we trust to tell us the truth.” In May, the Republican line is, “Er, never mind, David Petraeus isn’t that trustworthy after all.”

    Indeed, let’s be clear about what Issa told a national television audience yesterday: the former director of the CIA gave sworn testimony, which is no longer credible because Issa believes he was covering for the Obama administration.

    To bolster the serious allegation, Issa pointed to … nothing in particular.

  26. rikyrah says:

    john miller @deaconmill

    GOP never demands accountability from Republicans. Funny, neither does MSM.
    Coincidence? I think not.

    10:46 AM – 13 May 2013

  27. Ametia says:

    Raw: O.J. Simpson back in Las Vegas court


  28. rikyrah says:


    May 13, 2013 at 11:26 am

    I am looking forward to the joint press conference between president Obama and prime minister Cameron. I think it will be epic to watch the president school these idiots without mercy. What time is the presser?

    I’ve read on this site and some other democratic sites where people questioned why we don’t often see democrats on TV defending this president or his policies. Well, based on my observations, there are a lot of people in the democratic party that are extremely jealous of PBO and his accomplishments. When then Senator Obama decided to run for president, some democrats were okay with him running but they never thought he had much of a chance against Hillary Clinton to win the nomination. Only a handful of democrats in congress believed that he could do it, and they mostly consisted of Dick Durbin, Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, Bob Casey, Claire McCaskill, Jack Reed, Ken Salazer, Sherrod Brown, Sheldon Whitehouse, Jesse Jackson Jr., Jan Schakowsky, Neil Abercrombie, and a few more whose names skip my mind at the moment,

    Some democrats in congress were okay with then Senator Obama as long as they could use his popularity to bring out voters in congressional election in 2006. Barack Obama was so useful to democrats running for elections and re-elections in 2006 that he was constantly asked to travel from places to places to campaign for them. They were okay with him being the face of the democratic party as long as he knew his place and understood that he had to wait his turn. Senator Dick Durbin was one of the first to encourage him to run for president. Durbin believed then that it was his time to do it and not to wait for another election cycle. Only a handful actually believed he had a shot. The rest probably thought he was in over his head. They knew Barack Obama was popular amongst the youth, and they thought they could use his popularity to help turn out votes for the democratic party as a whole. They thought all he needed was to stay competitive with Hillary but they never wanted or expected him to beat Hillary. They were as shocked as Hillary was when he not only won Iowa, but ended up winning all the Caucus states with Nevada being the exception. There was a lot to be gained by these people if Hillary had won the nomination and the presidency. Go back and research the attitudes of some members of the democratic congressional caucus during the 2007-2008 campaign even when it was evident that Hillary could never overcome the number of delegates that Barack Obama had accumulated. The only thing she had going for her were the number of supergelegates she had in her corner at the time. Instead of putting their foot down by being frank with Hillary, they didn’t and allowed the contest to continued knowing full well that Hillary had no chance of ever overtaking Obama. If the situation had been reversed, there was no way they would have allowed Barack Obama to continued to stay on in the campaign like that. I remembered what some of those idiots said at the time. And these are your democrats.

    There is no doubt in my mind that there is deep jealousy and maybe even some hatred towards PBO among some members of his own party. The jealousy stemmed from the fact that they never felt that he paid his dues. Some could never fathom how a relatively unknown just a few years ago could rise to the top of the political enchelon so fast without money, power, or political dynasty behind him. The fact that he owed them nothing to get to the top irks a lot of them. He not only did it his way, he did it the right way. He did it in a way that will forever be remembered in the history book. The Obama Campaign model will be studied and implemented by political operatives to help their clients in future political campaigns. Don’t be fooled by the smiling faces during SOTU. There are people jealous of him from the progressive caucus, the congressional black caucus, the fictional blue dog caucus, the Hillary should’ve been president caucus, and just about every democratic caucus out there. I don’t blame President Obama for not trusting many of these people. They are vultures that would like nothing more than to see his downfall. The thing is PBO doesn’t need them in his corner, he already has us. We the People will always have his back.

    Sorry for the long post.

  29. rikyrah says:

    The Morning Plum: Time for caution in scandal coverage

    By Greg Sargent, Published: May 13, 2013 at 9:22 am

    The Sunday shows left no doubt that we’re now headed for another season of Beltway scandal feasting. Republican officials hammered the Obama administration over its handling of Benghazi and the burgeoning IRS scandal, and with multiple hearings on both fronts set for the near future, we’re looking at a rerun of the 1990s.

    The IRS story is serious business, and I fully support a complete investigation to get to the bottom of it. However, on Benghazi, it’s clear that basic facts are being submerged and that journalistic shorthand risks conveying a too-simplistic picture to the public. Case in point: Ron Fournier’s piece today, which is sure to get some attention. Fournier argues that Benghazi and the IRS are creating a “perfect storm” that is “threatening Obama’s credibility.” Fournier describes the Benghazi story this way:

    On Benghazi, the president’s U.N. ambassador said five days after the Libya attack that the incident grew out of a street protest rather than a terrorist attack. Caught fudging the facts in the middle of a presidential campaign, a race in which Obama’s anti-terrorism record was a major selling point, the White House blamed Ambassador Susan Rice’s statement on “talking points” concocted by the CIA in virtual isolation.

    Obama’s team stuck with that story until the truth was exposed amid a GOP congressional investigation. Emails leaked to news organizations last week show that both the White House and State Department were directly involved in scrubbing the CIA talking points of any mention of past threats and al-Qaida involvement. That is the exact opposite of what the Obama White House had claimed. Inexplicably, White House spokesman Jay Carney refused late Friday to acknowledge the contradiction.

    For all I know, Fournier is right that the White House may suffer a severe credibility blow amid these stories. But his characterization of Benghazi goes too far, and doesn’t make a clear enough distinction between what is known and what isn’t. By claiming that the White House and State Department “were directly involved in scrubbing the CIA talking points of any mention of past threats and al-Qaida involvement,” Fournier is implicitly giving weight to one side of the argument (the GOP’s), failing to adequately represent the administration’s position, and submerging important facts about this whole drama.

  30. Ametia says:

    U.S. Supreme Court
    Ginsburg: Court should have avoided broad-based decision in Roe v. Wade
    Posted May 13, 2013 9:20 AM CDT
    By Allen Pusey

    In a broad-ranging discussion on the subject of abortion, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Saturday reiterated and expanded her continuing disenchantment with the legacy of Roe v. Wade.

    Speaking to several hundred students Saturday at the University of Chicago School of Law, Ginsburg said the sheer sweep of the controversial 1972 decision short-circuited the development of a political groundswell that was building at the state and local level—not only on the issue of abortion—but on all phases of women’s rights.

    “Roe seemed to have stopped the momentum,” said Ginsburg, who described what she had hoped would be a more evolutionary process. “It mattered that Roe went as far as it did.” Ginsburg, now 80, appeared as the featured guest at the school for a program titled: “Roe v. Wade at 40.” In the discussion moderated by constitutional scholar Geoffrey Stone, Ginsburg said the court could have, and should have, avoided a broad-based decision.

    Rather than rule narrowly against a Texas law that was one of the most onerous abortion statutes in the nation, the court swept away even the least restrictive state abortion laws of the time. And by focusing on issues of privacy, rather than a woman’s right to make her own life decisions, the court made itself a convenient political target for the anti-abortion.

  31. rikyrah says:

    Comment on Greg Sargent this morning:

    7:48 AM MST
    `If groups operating under section 501(c)(4) are supposed
    to be, by definition, non-political social welfare groups, then
    political activity by them is illegal. So how can conservatives complain
    that they are being targeted for political reasons? Aren’t they
    implicitly agreeing that these groups are in fact political
    organizations hiding under the rubric of social welfare organizations?.

    • Ametia says:

      Which is why these MOFOs will SHUT DOWN this foolishness with the quickness, once the lazy MEDIA gets their asses taken to the woodshed by TWITTERITES for not reporting the OBVIOUS!

  32. rikyrah says:

    Jeff Gauvin @JeffersonObama

    Yes We Klan #GOP2016Slogans

    6:27 PM – 12 May 2013

  33. rikyrah says:

    Sebelius forced to get creative
    By Steve Benen
    Mon May 13, 2013 10:45 AM EDT’

    The Obama administration, not surprisingly, would like additional resources from Congress to help in implementing the Affordable Care Act. Congressional Republicans, not surprisingly, are refusing to accommodate the requests because they hope to sabotage the entirety of the health care law and see the rejection of implementation funds as key to their efforts.

    As a consequence, as Sarah Kliff reported on Friday, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has been forced to get creative, going to private-sector health executives and non-profit organizations, asking for financial support. Specifically, HHS hopes to raise funds from stakeholders for groups that are already working to enroll uninsured Americans and increase awareness of the law.

    It’s a sensible goal — without greater public awareness, not only will Americans lack access to benefits they’re entitled to, but the law itself depends on greater participation to help keep costs down. It appears Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) doesn’t quite see it that way.

    Alexander compared the fundraising to the Iran-Contra scandal. “Secretary Sebelius’s fundraising for and coordinating with private entities helping to implement the new health care law may be illegal, should cease immediately and should be fully investigated by Congress,” Alexander said in a statement. […]

    “If the Department of Health and Human Services closely coordinates with Enroll America and with other such entities, then the legal analogy with Iran-Contra is strong,” Alexander said.

    Um, no.

    In the Iran-Contra scandal, the Reagan administration illegally sold weapons to a sworn enemy of the United States, in order to acquire funds to finance an illegal war in Nicaragua. Much of Reagan’s national security team, including his Secretary of Defense, was indicted, and it was a minor miracle Reagan himself wasn’t impeached.

    In the contemporary case, the HHS secretary hopes to find outside resources to implement the health care law — a law that was approved by Congress and cleared by the Supreme Court. Circumventing and implementing federal law are not the same thing.

  34. rikyrah says:

    Minority businesses explore oil, gas opportunities

    …B&G is just one of the many companies in Ohio looking to make money
    from the surge in oil and natural gas exploration underway in the eastern part of the state.

    Chambers of commerce, labor unions and other groups across the Utica Shale region have been investigating the possibilities. That includes more than 40 members of the Stark County Minority Business Association, of which Barton, who is black, is a member.

    “This is kind of new,” Association President Leonard Stevens said of the oil and gas business. “We’re not quite sure, and we want to talk about how we can get a piece of the pie and do business with them.”

  35. rikyrah says:

    I’m with Alexander on this



    (Mellowing? No. Maxine hit the jackpot!)

    The Mellowing of Maxine Waters
    New York Times
    May 11, 2012

    The New Maxine was born in part from Ms. Waters’s ascension, in January,on the House Financial Services Committee. .The influential Financial Services Committee oversees community banks and Wall Street alike. And Ms. Waters has softened somewhat, not just toward local bankers in her district who might expect her ear, but also toward the Wall Street C.E.O.’s she formerly reviled.

    In recent months, she dined with John Stumpf, the C.E.O. of Wells Fargo and met Wall Street chief executives like Michael L. Corbat of
    Citigroup and Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase. It’s what she called “an open-door policy.”

    Most notably, given her penchant for railing against Wall Street abuses, she recently pushed regulators to delay certain rule changes on high-stakes derivatives trading. The regulators ultimately agreed.

  36. rikyrah says:

    click on the link and take a look at the pic of the Imam


    In life and words, Muslim leader bridges cultures

    By Lisa Wangsness
    | Globe Staff
    May 12, 2013

    On a rainy afternoon in early April at Boston’s largest mosque, the sheikh in the seersucker suit was in his office, offering comfort and advice.

    To a young student wondering if he should get engaged: “Aw, man, just go for it!”

    To a middle-aged man agonizing over how to care for his dying father: “You should preserve life as best you can.”

    To a sobbing young woman who told him about problems at home: “I have someone who can help you, a Muslim counselor. . . . Let’s talk about fixing it.”

    Days later, bombs exploded on Boylston Street. And the unlikely face of the Muslim community in its time of crisis became this 6-foot-5-inch, blond-haired, blue-eyed former hip-hop DJ whose grandfather was a fundamentalist Christian preacher.

    William Suhaib Webb, imam of the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center in Roxbury, has been a target of conservative Muslims on the Internet, who call him a sellout, and of other critics who say he is an extremist.

    He has tried, for better or for worse, to respond to all of it — in his sermons, on CNN, on Twitter. At the same time, he has endeavored to improve the mosque’s relationships with Jewish and Christian leaders in Boston.

    “I’m just exhausted,” the 40-year-old Webb said, sipping a flask of coffee in his book-lined office overlooking the busy intersection of Tremont Street and Malcolm X Boulevard. “I don’t have days anymore. I just have . . . smears.”

    Webb, who memorized the Koran while living with his parents in Oklahoma and became an advanced Islamic legal scholar after years of study in Cairo, has in recent years become among the most famous imams in America.

    He has 34,000 Twitter followers and a “virtual mosque” website that gets some 13,000 page views a day. In his sermons and in social media, Webb — many followers call him “sheikh,” an honorific for a respected teacher — toggles effortlessly between English and Arabic, dropping words like “baller” and references to “The Walking Dead,” a television show about zombies, into exegeses of Sufi poetry.

    When he came to the cultural center 18 months ago, he faced significant challenges. He had to connect with immigrants from all over the world, as well as their US-born children and converts from other faiths. He also had to be a bridge to the city’s other faith communities, someone who could help the city move beyond concerns, particularly among some Jewish leaders, that the mosque’s leadership had extremist ties.

    Webb, for his part, had his own big plan — to establish one of the first Muslim seminaries in the country. He wanted to nurture a new generation of American imams and Muslim women scholars — orthodox, but culturally conversant and civically involved — and to educate more casual students about their faith.

    The Marathon bombings cast Webb and his mission into a crucible. In the media, Islam was on trial again, and Webb was, too.

  37. rikyrah says:

    In entire Supreme Court term, justices see 1 black lawyer

    May 12, 2013

    MARK SHERMAN, Associated Press

    WASHINGTON (AP) — In roughly 75 hours of arguments at the Supreme Court since October, only one African-American lawyer appeared before the justices, and for just over 11 minutes.

    The numbers were marginally better for Hispanic lawyers. Four of them argued for a total of 1 hour, 45 minutes.

    Women were better represented, accounting for just over 17 percent of the arguments before the justices.

    In an era when three women, a Hispanic and an African-American sit on the court and white men constitute a bare majority of the nine justices, the court is more diverse than the lawyers who argue before it.

    The arguments that took place from October to April were presented overwhelmingly by white men. Women and minority lawyers whose clients’ cases were heard by the court were far more likely to represent governments or be part of public-interest law firms than in private practice, where paychecks are much larger.

    The numbers generally reflect the largely white and male upper reaches of the biggest and richest private law firms, where there have been small gains by women and minorities in the past 20 years. A recent survey by the Association for Legal Career Professionals found that more than 93 percent of partners in law firms are white and nearly 80 percent are men.

    The statistics from the court term, though, also reveal a lack of African-American and Hispanic lawyers in the elite Justice Department unit that represents the federal government at the Supreme Court.

    The top supervisory positions in the Office of the Solicitor General all are held by men, though there are six women in the office who argued high court cases this term.

    The office serves as a pipeline to the big firms that dominate the argument calendar at the court. Lawyers in the office make several arguments a term and acquire the experience and ease of standing before the justices that make them attractive to private firms.

  38. rikyrah says:

    Rove’s super PAC promised IRS it would spend ‘limited’ money on election

    Political insiders and campaign-finance watchdogs have long questioned how Crossroads, the brainchild of GOP strategist Karl Rove, had characterized its intentions to the IRS.

    Now, for the first time, ProPublica has obtained the group’s application for recognition of tax-exempt status, filed in September 2010. The IRS has not yet recognized Crossroads GPS as exempt, causing some tax experts to speculate that the agency is giving the application extra scrutiny. If Crossroads GPS is ultimately not recognized, it could be forced to reveal the identities of its donors.

    The tax code allows groups like Crossroads to spend money on political campaigns u2014 and to keep their donors private u2014 as long as their primary purpose is enhancing social welfare.

  39. rikyrah says:

    Will McAvoy ‏@WillMcAvoyACN5m
    Marco Rubio had called for the resignation of the IRS commissioner, perhaps not realizing that office is currently vacant.

    Will McAvoy ‏@WillMcAvoyACN4m
    Steven T. Miller, the acting IRS commissioner, was appointed in November of 2012, long after the targeting of political groups ended.

    Will McAvoy ‏@WillMcAvoyACN4m
    The IRS commissioner during the so-called Tea Party targeting was
    Douglas Shulman, a George W. Bush appointee.

  40. rikyrah says:

    Fruitvale Station (originally titled Fruitvale)was one of the most acclaimed films to emerge from this year’s Sundance
    Film Festival. And now its official trailer is available online.

    The movie, which stars Michael B. Jordan and Oscar winner Octavia Spencer and is directed by Ryan Coogler, won the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award for U.S. dramatic film.
    It dramatizes the last hours in the life of Oscar Grant, a real life black youth who was shot and killed by an Oakland transit cop early on New Year’s Day in 2009.

  41. Things go Badly for Darrell Issa When David Gregory Fails to Be a GOP Shill

    Darrell Issa (R-CA) made a fool of himself on “Meet the Press” Sunday as he tried to defend his Benghazi conspiracy. David Gregory (R-TV) pushed back hard, even bringing up the GOP’s defunding of security.

    Issa even accused General David Petraeus of lying for the administration. As soon as Gregory would call Issa on one thing, he’d say he was investigating something else. Issa accused Tom Pickering of refusing to testify when in fact, Issa had not invited him to speak and Pickering was told that the Republican majority did not want him there. Issa ended up backtracking on that one, too, and it was super awkward when it came out that Issa never asked for him to appear.

    • Ametia says:

      The airwaves were FULL of this nonsense Sunday. I LOATHE these MOFOs.

    • Ametia says:

      Anyone with a BRAIN knows the GOP clowns are trying to DELEGITAMIZE PBO’s PRESIDENCY, with this nonsense about the IRS & this Benghazi crap. NOT.GONNA.HAPPEN. ASK the GOP WINGERS about their DESTROYING ACRON. *CRICKETS* Fuck these dirty bastards.

  42. Ametia says:

    Can Democrats rebuild Obama’s winning coalition?
    By Chris Cillizza,

    Published: May 12

    Everyone knows that Barack Obama can put together a winning coalition in a presidential election. He did it twice.

    What’s less clear is whether the Democratic Party and its 2016 presidential nominee will be able to build a coalition that resembles the one Obama assembled in 2008 and masterfully re-created four years later.

  43. rikyrah says:

    Gates laments ‘cartoonish impression of military capabilities’
    By Steve Benen
    Mon May 13, 2013 8:30 AM EDT

    A variety of White House critics remain wedded to the idea that the military should have launched some kind of post-attack mission in Benghazi last September, and it remains key to the larger Republican conspiracy theory. Indeed, even Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) continued to push the argument yesterday.

    It must have been disappointing, then, to see former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates defend the way in which the Obama administration and the military handled the response.

    “Frankly, had I been in the job at the time, I think my decisions would have been just as theirs were,” said Gates, now the chancellor of the College of William and Mary. “We don’t have a ready force standing by in the Middle East, and so getting somebody there in a timely way would have been very difficult, if not impossible.” he explained. […]

    Another suggestion posed by some critics of the administration, to, as Gates said, “send some small number of special forces or other troops in without knowing what the environment is, without knowing what the threat is, without having any intelligence in terms of what is actually going on on the ground, would have been very dangerous.”

    “It’s sort of a cartoonish impression of military capabilities and military forces,” he said. “The one thing that our forces are noted for is planning and preparation before we send people in harm’s way, and there just wasn’t time to do that.”

    Gates went on to defend Hillary Clinton and reject far-right allegations of the State Department orchestrating a cover-up.

    And in the larger context, it seems interesting that Republicans pushing the Benghazi story keep running into other veterans of Republican administrations pushing in the opposite direction.

  44. rikyrah says:

    Antiwar Sermon Brings IRS Warning
    November 07, 2005 |Patricia Ward Biederman and Jason Felch | Times Staff Writers

    The Internal Revenue Service has warned one of Southern California’s largest and most liberal churches that it is at risk of losing its tax-exempt status because of an antiwar sermon two days before the 2004 presidential election.

    Rector J. Edwin Bacon of All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena told many congregants during morning services Sunday that a guest sermon by the church’s former rector, the Rev. George F. Regas, on Oct. 31, 2004, had prompted a letter from the IRS.

    In his sermon, Regas, who from the pulpit opposed both the Vietnam War and 1991’s Gulf War, imagined Jesus participating in a political debate with then-candidates George W. Bush and John Kerry. Regas said that “good people of profound faith” could vote for either man, and did not tell parishioners whom to support.

    But he criticized the war in Iraq, saying that Jesus would have told Bush, “Mr. President, your doctrine of preemptive war is a failed doctrine. Forcibly changing the regime of an enemy that posed no imminent threat has led to disaster.”

    On June 9, the church received a letter from the IRS stating that “a
    reasonable belief exists that you may not be tax-exempt as a church … ” The federal tax code prohibits tax-exempt organizations, including churches, from intervening in political campaigns and elections.

  45. rikyrah says:

    ‘We don’t want to have some sort of a stage show’
    By Steve Benen
    Mon May 13, 2013 8:00 AM EDT

    There were several oddities about the House Oversight Committee’s Benghazi hearing last week, but one of the unanswered questions related to Chairman Darrell Issa’s (R-Calif.) choice of witnesses. Yesterday, on “Meet the Press,” this grew even more problematic.

    The hearing was supposed to be about the committee getting more answers about the attack, but Issa chose not to invite former Ambassador Thomas Pickering, a veteran diplomat from the Reagan and Bush administrations, who helped oversee the independent investigation into the events in Benghazi. If the goal was to get more information, why not ask Pickering to appear?

    Issa said yesterday, “Ambassador Pickering, his people and he refused to come before our committee.” Pickering, who was seated next to Issa at the time, said the far-right congressman was lying. “I said the day before the hearings, I was willing to appear to come to the very hearings that he excluded me from.”

    So it would appear that Mr. Issa said something he knew to be untrue. I mention this, of course, because we’ve been told that saying something untrue on a Sunday show — deliberately or not — is deeply scandalous, and reason to keep someone from positions of power and authority. So why the congressman say Pickering “refused to come before our committee” when that’s the opposite of the truth?

    Issa’s response was even more amusing:

    “The fact is, we don’t want to have some sort of a stage show. We had fact witnesses. They testified. We have the Ambassador and Admiral Mullen who conducted and oversaw the [independent review]. We’re inviting them on Monday. We’ll go through, not in front of the public, but in a nonpartisan way.”

    Oh, really. Issa was so excited by the prospect of last week’s hearing that his staff made movie posters to help promote it, and made sure it received all kinds of media coverage and live feeds for the public. But when it comes to getting information from the two respected officials — with experience in Republican administrations — who oversaw an independent investigation of the crisis Issa is interested in, the committee chairman doesn’t want “a stage show’ and doesn’t want the public to see the testimony.

    If Republicans want Americans to take their Benghazi conspiracy theories seriously, maybe they shouldn’t have Issa leading the crusade.

  46. rikyrah says:

    Why the GOP keeps trying to destroy Obamacare

    By Jamelle Bouie, Published: May 10, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    This afternoon, President Obama will hold an event at the White House where he will discuss the benefits his health care law, the Affordable Care Act, has for women. In particular, he will ask mothers to encourage their children to take advantage of the law and sign up for coverage through the health exchanges. This is key; the exchanges only work to control costs if a large number of healthy young people sign up. Otherwise, they become a dumping ground for sick and older Americans, who have much higher health costs.

    This is part of the White House’s general push for implementation, which has emerged as a key political issue. Republicans are convinced the law will be a disaster, and Democrats are worried they’re right. Of course, as Greg pointed out the other day, for Democrats, nervousness is a good thing — it helps them stay careful and cautious as they move forward with the law, which can help them avoid implementation mistakes. Republicans, on the other hand, see the potential hazards of implementation as another reason to repeal the law. Earlier this week, in fact, House Republicans announced another bill to repeal Obamacare, and Senate Republicans have opted to ignore a provision that requires them to pick someone for the Medicare cost review board.

    Attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act didn’t pay off politically last year, but it’s not hard to understand why Republicans continue with the effort. Even if implementation is full of problems — and it will have its challenges — it’s still true that when all the parts go online, millions of Americans will receive health insurance when they didn’t have it, and millions more will be able to afford new, more comprehensive insurance. Real people will receive real benefits, which they won’t want to give up. Eventually, if things progress on the current path, Republicans will be left in a position where they long opposed an entitlement their own voters have come to rely on. At this point, their only hope is to stop the law from going into effect.

    It should be said that Republicans had a chance to prevent this outcome. During the fight for health care reform, Democrats were desperate for bipartisan cover. It’s not a stretch to think that Republicans could have dramatically watered-down the health care law if just a few agreed to support it. Instead, by opposing it completely, they kept it a purely Democratic bill, and thus a much more liberal law than it might have been. And so, if the GOP finds itself stuck with a comprehensive overhaul of the health care system — one that they can claim zero credit for — they only have themselves to blame.

  47. rikyrah says:

    Clintons freeze out Weiner
    Last Updated: 12:17 AM, May 13, 2013
    Posted: 12:14 AM, May 13, 2013

    Bill and Hillary Clinton will not support Anthony Weiner in his dream of becoming mayor even though they love his wife, Huma Abedin, sources say. “The Clintons wish Weiner would just disappear. Every time he pops up, it’s a reminder of Bill’s scandal with Monica Lewinsky, and it isn’t helpful to Hillary’s hopes for 2016,” one Democrat told Page Six. Abedin has worked for the former US senator and secretary of state for many years, and traveled with her as her “body woman,” her closest aide. It is believed that Abedin is still on the Clintons’ payroll although she isn’t working at the Clinton Foundation. Abedin will no doubt be one of Hillary’s first hires for her presidential campaign team. “The Clintons love Huma. She has a job for life, no matter how much of an embarrassment her husband is,” said our source. “Hillary considers her to be another daughter.” Bill flew to Los Angeles last month to campaign for Wendy Greuel, who is up against Eric Garcetti in the May 21 election for mayor. But he is not expected to endorse any of the New York mayoral candidates.

  48. rikyrah says:

    You’re Screwed Either Way

    by BooMan
    Sun May 12th, 2013 at 09:16:29 PM EST

    Pat Buchanan poses an either/or question.

    From these Census figures, white folks are losing interest in politics and voting. Yet, whites still constitute three-fourths of the electorate and nine in 10 Republican votes.
    Query: Is the way to increase the enthusiasm and turnout among this three-fourths of the electorate for the GOP to embrace amnesty and a path to citizenship for 12 million illegal foreign aliens?

    Or is it to demand the sealing of America’s borders against any and all intruders?

    Just asking.

    Here’s the problem. The answer is neither. It doesn’t matter what they do; they’re screwed either way.

    Because we have winner-take-all elections, we can really only sustain two parties over any length of time. It’s possible for one party to be essentially replaced by another, but it’s basically a binary system. The Republican Party can survive just fine, but conservatives cannot. They are either going to drive the GOP into oblivion, in which case some other party will replace them that can actually win elections, or they are going to be purged themselves.

    There’s a third possibility, but it isn’t very attractive. The third possibility is that the Republicans will endure a very long period of sustained losing as they did in congressional elections for roughly sixty years between 1933 and 1994.

    I don’t think that is imminent, however. What is already here is an Electoral College map that is pretty near impossible for the Republicans. And it is going to get worse every four years for as far as the eye can see.

    I don’t blame conservatives for having principles. But the GOP cannot win with those principles on the national level. Insofar as the principles are malleable, the party can adjust and run on issues that have broader appeal. But they will find, increasingly, that it’s the conservative principles that have to be jettisoned, or at least shrouded, if they are going to prevail.

    They ask the question: “How can we win without changing?”

    The answer is that you can’t.

    You can restrict access to the ballot but that just resulted in record black turnout. You can bash Latinos, but that could mobilize a sleeping giant that has a lot of uncast votes lying around. You can gerrymander districts, but that won’t win you the presidency. You can destroy campaign finance laws and try to have corporations buy elections, but Obama just crushed that effort.

    It’s conservatism that is in its last throes. Whether the GOP will die with them is a separate issue.

    So, support immigration reform or oppose it. It really doesn’t matter.

  49. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone at 3CHICS!!!

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