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

Today’s featured Girls Group, The RONETTES

ronettes-2 ronettes-3-tumblr_lp9dk33k181qh2wszo1_500 ronettes-4-1964-65-ronettes-1-lge-330 ronettesstudio-1

The Ronettes were an American 1960s girl group from New York City. One of the most popular groups from that period, they placed more than eight songs on the Billboard Hot 100, five of which became top forty hits.

The trio from Washington Heights, Manhattan [1] consisted of lead singer Veronica Bennett (later known as Ronnie Spector), her older sister Estelle Bennett, and their cousin Nedra Talley. The girls had sung together since they were teenagers, when they were known as “The Darling Sisters.” Signed first by Colpix Records in 1961, they moved to Spector’s, Philles Records in March 1963.

Some of The Ronettes most famous songs include, “Be My Baby“, “Baby, I Love You“, “(The Best Part Of) Breakin’ Up“, and “Walking in the Rain,” all of which charted on the Billboard Hot 100. “Walking in the Rain” won a Grammy Award in 1965, and “Be My Baby” was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999.[2]

In the late 1964, the group released their only studio album, Presenting the Fabulous Ronettes Featuring Veronica, which entered the Billboard charts at #96. Rolling Stone ranked it number 422 on its list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.[3] In 2007, The Ronettes were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2004. The Ronettes were the only girl group that toured with The Beatles.

The early years (1950–1961) [edit]

The Ronettes began as a family act where the girls grew up in Washington Heights, Manhattan. According to Nedra Talley, the girls started singing during their childhood visits to their grandmother’s home.[4] “Estelle and Veronica are sisters,” she said in a later interview.[4] “I’m their cousin. Our mothers are sisters. We came out of a family that, on Saturday nights, home for us was at our grandmother’s, entertaining each other.”[4]

The Bennetts’ mother was African-American and Cherokee; their father was Irish-American. Their cousin, Nedra Talley, is African-American and Puerto Rican.[5]

“By the time I was eight, I was already working up whole numbers for our family’s little weekend shows,” Ronnie Spector later recalled.[6] “Then Estelle would get up onstage and do a song, or she’d join Nedra or my cousin Elaine and me in a number we’d worked out in three-part harmony.”[7]

Furthering their interest in show business, Estelle was enrolled at Startime, a popular dancing school in the 1950s,[7] while Ronnie became fascinated with Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers.

In 1957, Ronnie formed the group which would later become known as The Ronettes.[8] Composed of Ronnie, her sister Estelle, and their cousins Nedra, Diane, and Elaine, the five girls learned how to perfect their harmonies first at their grandmother’s house, and they became proficient in songs such as “Goodnight Sweetheart” and “Red Red Robin”.[8] Emulating Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers, the girls added their male cousin Ira to the group, and were signed up for a Wednesday-night amateur show at the Apollo Theatre by a friend of Ronnie and Estelle’s mother.[8] The show started out as a disaster; when the house band started playing Frankie Lymon’s “Why Do Fools Fall in Love,” Ira didn’t sing a word, so Ronnie took over.[9] “I strutted out across the stage, singing as loud as I could,” Ronnie later recalled.[9] “When I finally heard a few hands of scattered applause, I sang even louder. That brought a little more applause, which was all I needed.”[9]

Be My Baby

Walking in the Rain

When I Saw You

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101 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Thursday Open Thread | Girl Groups of the 60s Week!

  1. It’s Official: Those Bogus Email Leaks Came From Republicans

    It’s not as if we didn’t know this already, but today Major Garrett made it official: the leaks that misquoted the Benghazi emails came directly from Republicans. Here’s the report on the CBS Evening News:

    On Friday, Republicans leaked what they said was a quote from Rhodes: “We must make sure that the talking points reflect all agency equities, including those of the State Department, and we don’t want to undermine the FBI investigation. But it turns out that in the actual email, Rhodes did not mention the State Department.

    ….Republicans also provided what they said was a quote from an email written by State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland. The Republican version quotes Nuland discussing, “The penultimate point is a paragraph talking about all the previous warnings provided by the Agency (CIA) about al-Qaeda’s presence and activities of al-Qaeda.” The actual email from Nuland says: “The penultimate point could be abused by members to beat the State Department for not paying attention to Agency warnings.”

    The CIA agreed with the concerns raised by the State Department and revised the talking points to make them less specific than the CIA’s original version, eliminating references to al Qaeda and affiliates and earlier security warnings. There is no evidence that the White House orchestrated the changes.

    • Republicans, you are sorry pathetic losers who resort to lies & edited emails to drum up a fake scandal. But the black Potus is much too smart for you!

  2. Ametia says:

    AW HELL Cyrus had a heart attack.

  3. Republicans altered Benghazi emails, report claims

    One day after The White House released 100 pages of Benghazi emails, a report has surfaced alleging that Republicans released a set with altered text.

    CBS News reported Thursday that leaked versions sent out by the GOP last Friday had visible differences than Wednesday’s official batch. Two correspondences that were singled out in the report came from National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes and State Department Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland.

    The GOP version of Rhodes’ comment, according to CBS News: “We must make sure that the talking points reflect all agency equities, including those of the State Department, and we don’t want to undermine the FBI investigation.”

    The White House email: “We need to resolve this in a way that respects all of the relevant equities, particularly the investigation.”

    The GOP version of Nuland’s comment, according to CBS News: The penultimate point is a paragraph talking about all the previous warnings provided by the Agency (CIA) about al-Qaeda’s presence and activities of al-Qaeda.”

    The White House email: “The penultimate point could be abused by members to beat the State Department for not paying attention to Agency warnings.”

  4. Ametia says:


  5. Ametia says:

    Grey’s Anatomy’sale is riveting! Next up; SCANDAL. Rhimes OWNS Thursday nights.

  6. rikyrah says:

    Heritage letter to Republicans on Capitol Hill: don’t legislate, just scandalize Obama
    by Joy-Ann Reid | May 16, 2013 at 6:34pm

    Finally, we have something out of the Heritage Foundation that is entirely accurate.

    In a letter to members of Congress, which was obtained by NBC News, Heritage Action for America, the lobbying arm of the Heritage Foundation (which recently found itself in hot water over the racial IQ theories of the co-author of their widely panned immigration reform study, Jason Richwine, who resigned from the think tank last Friday), urged Republicans on Capitol Hill not to govern, and instead, to focus on the would-be “scandals” plaguing the Obama administration.

    The letter, which is addressed to House Speaker John Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, trumpets the negative media buzz surrounding the White House, saying that, “for the first time, the activities of the Obama administration are receiving a sustained public vetting. Americans’ outrage over Benghazi is amplified by the Internal Revenue Service’s intimidation of conservative grassroots organizations and a cascade of negative headlines. There is the real sense the Obama administration has been less than forthright with the American people, the press and lawmakers.”

  7. rikyrah says:

    aspirational12 @aspirational12

    #ObamaCareInThreeWords Peace of Mind.
    5:33 PM – 16 May 2013

  8. rikyrah says:

    LiberalPhenom @LiberalPhenom

    @ReignOfApril RT @theGrio: Heritage letter to Republicans on Capitol Hill: don’t legislate, just scandalize Obama
    5:47 PM – 16 May 2013

  9. rikyrah says:


    Joy Ann Reid stomped down Ron Christie on Martin Bashir’s show today

  10. rikyrah says:

    Randi Rhodes ‏@randiradio2h
    Even covers Republicans. #ObamaCareInThreeWords

    Greg Sargent ‏@ThePlumLineGS3h
    GOP’s white whale. #ObamacareInThreeWords

    Tom Colicchio ‏@tomcolicchio
    Fair and balanced #ObamaCareInThreeWords

    ObamaCareInThreeWords Please Proceed, GOP.

    oh dear……………I think THIS might be the top tweet!

    @eclecticbrotha: #ObamaCareinThreeWords Could’ve saved Breitbar

  11. Ametia says:

    New selection process for Kennedy Center Honors is announced
    By Katherine Boyle
    Updated: Thursday, May 16, 2:00 PME-mail the writer

    The Kennedy Center announced today revisions to the selection process for the annual Kennedy Center Honors after a seven-month internal review of how artists are chosen for the annual awards ceremony. The Kennedy Center hopes to bring greater transparency to a selection process that has been largely opaque in past years. Last year, some national Hispanic advocacy groups criticized the Honors selection process after noting that only two of the 186 honorees since 1978 were of Hispanic origin.

    To make the process more transparent, the Kennedy Center has created a six-person advisory committee that will make recommendations to the Kennedy Center chairman, president and the producers of the annual televised broadcast. The center is also allowing the general public to nominate individuals via its Web site, which will be considered along with the recommendations made by the Artists Committee, a group of approximately seventy individuals who make recommendations via ballot each year.

    • Ametia says:

      Says ‘page not found.” What’s it about, and I’ll see if I can find it and get SG2 to dowload for us.

      • rikyrah says:

        San Francisco students to hear Obama’s speech at Morehouse
        Lyanne Melendez

        Nearly 50 years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his iconic “I Have A Dream” speech. Now a small group of middle school students from San Francisco will travel to King’s alma mater, Morehouse College, to mark the anniversary and to listen to President Barack Obama deliver the commencement address at that all-male, predominantly black university.

        They are only in eighth grade, but Charles Ransom and Trevor Richard are thinking about their future. In two days, they will travel to Morehouse College in Atlanta to witness 500 young black men graduate.

        “Obviously, if you are going to college or Morehouse, any type of college, it has to take commitment,” said Ransom.

  12. rikyrah says:

    Contra Digby and Emptywheel

    by BooMan
    Thu May 16th, 2013 at 03:00:25 PM EST

    I’ve long admired the work Marcy Wheeler does, but she is not writing Gospel and she has a conspiratorial bent that is usually informed but not the same thing as the truth. When it comes to the case of Undiebomb 2.0, as she likes to call it, she is suggesting very strongly that the subpoenas of the Associated Press are a cover for something larger. She’s also convincing a lot of people that she’s right. But I don’t think she is.
    For starters, I think it is a fundamental error of analysis to focus on the publication of the Associated Press article. And that leads to further mistakes, like blaming John Brennan for doing the damage the leaker actually caused and thinking the administration had signed off on making the information public because they planned to announce it the next day.

    The focus should be on the moment the Associated Press confronted the administration with the information that they had acquired about the foiled bomb plot. That happened on May 2nd, 2012.

    The news service was prepared to publish its scoop on May 2, 2012. But in discussions with government officials, the CIA stressed to AP that publishing anything about the operation to obtain the bomb and thwart the plot would create grave national security dangers and compromise a “sensitive intelligence operation.”
    Michael J. Morell, the CIA’s deputy director, gave AP reporters some additional background information to persuade them to hold off, [former White House national security spokesman Tommy] Vietor said. The agency needed several days more to protect what it had in the works.

    The same informant who acquired the undiebomb and gave it to the CIA also helped the CIA track down and kill Fahd al-Quso on May 6th. On May 7th, the CIA informed the Associated Press that their pressing national security concerns had been resolved and began negotiating with the AP over the timing of their publication.

    In the interim period between finding out that someone had leaked the operation to the AP and beginning negotiations with the AP over publication, the American Intelligence Community had the unhappy responsibility of informing the British and Saudi Intelligence Communities that the cover of their informant was about to be blown. This was especially troublesome for the UK because they have laws against assassination, which meant the plan to eliminate Fahd al-Quso could come back to bite them if it went ahead (and it did go ahead).

    I admit that there is something funny with the story about how the informant delivered a bomb to the CIA without blowing his own cover, but that’s what we’re being told.

  13. rikyrah says:

    Nelly B @psddluva4evah

    HEALTHCARE.FOR.ALL #ObamaCareInThreeWords

    3:00 PM – 16 May 2013

  14. rikyrah says:

    Kurt Eichenwald @kurteichenwald

    GOP cant repeal. #ObamaCareInThreeWords

    2:50 PM – 16 May 2013

    Kurt Eichenwald @kurteichenwald

    Thank you, God. #ObamaCareInThreeWords

    2:48 PM – 16 May 2013

    Kurt Eichenwald @kurteichenwald

    End of selfishness? #ObamaCareInThreeWords

    2:47 PM – 16 May 2013

  15. rikyrah says:

    Nerdy Wonka @NerdyWonka

    #ObamaCareInThreeWords Preexisting Conditions Covered

    2:10 PM – 16 May 2013

  16. rikyrah says:

    The White House ✔ @whitehouse

    It’s. The. Law. #ObamaCareInThreeWords,

    1:47 PM – 16 May 2013

  17. rikyrah says:

    Imani ABL @AngryBlackLady

    Black voter turnout exceeded white voter turnout in November. Just something to keep in mind as you call for AG Holder to be fired. #sideeye

    10:42 AM – 14 May 2013

    30 Retweets 9 favorites

  18. rikyrah says:

    Joy Reid @TheReidReport

    You know what’s messed up? When CNN is correcting your reporting… #whoopsABC #whoopsWeeklyStandard #BenghaziShambles

    2:15 PM – 14 May 2013

  19. rikyrah says:

    jason easley with a good take on what’s going down, which is similar to ideas of many folks here:

    “They were hoping that Obama would take a defensive tone. They were dreaming that the president would act like his administration was hiding something, but he has done the exact opposite.

    By adopting the position that he is the problem solver within the government, President Obama is taking away one of the key contentions that Republicans have been basing all of their scandal investigations on. House Republicans claim that they want to solve problems to make sure that these sorts of things never happen again. President Obama challenged them to prove it.

    The White House is trying to out the partisan motives of the scandal chasing Republican led House. The president has also painted the Republicans into a corner. Either they have to work with Obama and his administration in a high profile way, or they will spin their wheels inventing another dead end conspiracy that most of America will reject.”

  20. rikyrah says:

    Nerdy Wonka @NerdyWonka

    Pres. Obama says he has complete confidence in Eric Holder as AG. “He does a great job and I suspect he’ll continue to do so.”

    12:22 PM – 16 May 2013

    Nerdy Wonka @NerdyWonka

    Pres. Obama: “I have complete confidence in Eric Holder as Attorney General. He’s an outstanding Attorney General.”

    12:21 PM – 16 May 2013

  21. White House Mocks GOP’s Obamacare Hashtag

    When Republicans on Thursday sought to highlight their latest repeal effort by encouraging Twitter followers to describe “Obamacare” in three words, the White House decided to get in on the action.

    With the GOP-promoted hashtag included, the White House’s official Twitter account posted a reminder that the Affordable Care Act still carries the force of law:


  22. rikyrah says:

    POTUS on AP subpoena: Says national security leaks can put people at risk. Says he makes no apologies for national security investigations.

    12:18 PM – 16 May 2013

  23. rikyrah says:

    I know there needs to be improvement in public education, but I honestly believe 90+ percent of this ‘school choice’ is NOTHING BUT A GRIFT.


    Some Louisiana students getting registered for courses without their knowledge

    Southwood High School junior Randall Gunn is a straight-A student.

    So when the school’s principal saw his name come up as registering to retake several courses online, it immediately raised a red flag. Gunn was called into a counselor’s office and told he was enrolled in three Course Choice classes — all of which he already had passed standardized tests with exceptional scores.

    “I had no clue what was going on,” Gunn said. “I have no reason to take these classes and still don’t know who signed me up.”

    More than 1,100 Caddo and Webster students have signed up to participate in what some say are questionable Course Choice programs. According to parents, students, and Webster and Caddo education officials, FastPath Learning is signing up some students it shouldn’t — in many cases without parent or student knowledge.

    A free tablet computer is offered to those who enroll, and some educators believe that’s all the potential enrollees hear. Money to pay for the courses comes from each school district’s state-provided Minimum Foundation Program funding.

    Half of the money — courses range from $700 to $1,275 each — must be paid to FastPath and other providers up front. Neither students nor their parents are responsible for the tablet devices if they are lost or stolen. And they can keep them even if they don’t pass the course.


    If Course Choice moves forward and all of the 104 students participate, that would take more than $250,000 from the district’s MFP funding. Continuing to deduct from the district’s allocation ultimately will put a strain on the ability to keep teachers in the classrooms, Busby said.

  24. rikyrah says:

    What We Mean When We Say ‘Race Is a Social Construct’

    In a world where Kevin Garnett, Harold Ford, and Halle Berry all check “black” on the census, even the argument that racial labels refer to natural differences in physical traits doesn’t hold up.

    Ta-Nehisi CoatesMay 15 2013, 12:55 PM ET

    Andrew Sullivan and Freddie Deboer have two pieces up worth checking out. I disagree with Andrew’s (though I detect some movement in his position.) Freddie’s piece is entitled “Precisely How Not to Argue About Race and IQ.” He writes:

    The problem with people who argue for inherent racial inferiority is not that they lie about the results of IQ tests, but that they are credulous about those tests and others like them when they shouldn’t be; that they misunderstand the implications of what those tests would indicate even if they were credible; and that they fail to find the moral, analytic, and political response to questions of race and intelligence

    think this is a good point, but I want to expand it. Most of the honest writing I’ve seen on “race and intelligence” focuses on critiquing the idea of “intelligence.” So there’s lot of good literature on whether it can be measured, its relevance in modern society, whether intelligence changes across generations, whether it changes with environment, and what we mean when we say IQ. As Freddie mentions here, I had a mathematician stop past to tell me I needed to stop studying French, and immediately start studying statistics — otherwise I can’t possibly understand this debate.

    It’s a fair critique. My response is that he should stop studying math and start studying history.

    I am not being flip or coy. If you tell me that you plan to study “race and intelligence” then it is only fair that I ask you, “What do you mean by race?” It’s true I don’t always do math so well, but I understand the need to define the terms of your study. If you’re a math guy, perhaps your instinct is to point out the problems in the interpretation of the data. My instinct is to point out that your entire experiment proceeds from a basic flaw — no coherent, fixed definition of race actually exists.


    Our notion of what constitutes “white” and what constitutes “black” is a product of social context. It is utterly impossible to look at the delineation of a “Southern race” and not see the Civil War, the creation of an “Irish race” and not think of Cromwell’s ethnic cleansing, the creation of a “Jewish race” and not see anti-Semitism. There is no fixed sense of “whiteness” or “blackness,” not even today. It is quite common for whites to point out that Barack Obama isn’t really “black” but “half-white.” One wonders if they would say this if Barack Obama were a notorious drug-lord.

    When the liberal says “race is a social construct,” he is not being a soft-headed dolt; he is speaking an historical truth. We do not go around testing the “Irish race” for intelligence or the “Southern race” for “hot-headedness.” These reasons are social. It is no more legitimate to ask “Is the black race dumber than then white race?” than it is to ask “Is the Jewish race thriftier than the Arab race?”

    The strongest argument for “race” is that people who trace their ancestry back to Europe, and people who trace most of their ancestry back to sub-Saharan Africa, and people who trace most of their ancestry back to Asia, and people who trace their ancestry back to the early Americas, lived isolated from each other for long periods and have evolved different physical traits (curly hair, lighter skin, etc.)

    But this theoretical definition (already fuzzy) wilts under human agency, in a real world where Kevin Garnett, Harold Ford, and Halle Berry all check “black” on the census. (Same deal for “Hispanic.”) The reasons for that take us right back to fact of race as a social construct. And an American-centered social construct. Are the Ainu of Japan a race? Should we delineate darker South Asians from lighter South Asians on the basis of race? Did the Japanese who invaded China consider the Chinese the same “race?”

  25. Ametia says:

    NAACP Releases Information on IRS Audit

    Nonprofit Speech Rights, Protecting Nonprofit Rights, Government Matters
    Seven Republican members of Congress filed complaints with the IRS in 2004, claiming the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) engaged in partisan electioneering, leading to an IRS probe, according to agency documents released to the NAACP under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The NAACP has asked the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) to review the IRS’s failure to fully respond to its FOIA requests.

    The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) launched an examination of the NAACP on Oct. 8, 2004, claiming a speech Chairman Julian Bond made during the organization’s annual convention that criticized President George Bush’s education and foreign policies crossed the line from issue advocacy to partisan electioneering. On May 17, the NAACP publicly released over 500 pages of documents the IRS has gathered since it began the audit. The documents (all 85 megabytes worth) are available at the NAACP’s website.

    The documents include letters sent from members of Congress on behalf of their constituents, including Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Susan Collins (R-ME), Rep. Jo Ann Davis (R-VA), the late Senator Strom Thurmond (R-SC), and former Reps. Larry Combest (R-TX), Joe Scarborough (R-FL) and Robert Ehrlich (R-MD).

  26. rikyrah says:

    May 16, 2013 10:40 AM
    Weaponizing the IRS: Conservatives Threw the First Stone

    By Anne Kim

    Conservatives are gleefully crying foul in the mounting scandal over the IRS’s recent admission that it may have improperly singled out for extra scrutiny non-profits linked to the Tea Party or other conservative causes.

    Americans for Tax Reform’s Grover Norquist called President Obama “worse than Richard Nixon” and accused the Obama Administration of using the IRS as a hit squad against its enemies: “The Internal Revenue Service now admits what it denied for two years: that it targeted political groups that opposed President Obama’s tax-and-spend policies.”

    But in accusing the Administration of “weaponizing” the IRS for political purposes, conservatives hardly have clean hands themselves. In fact, conservatives for years have spent enormous energy using the IRS to target social welfare programs they oppose—in particular the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).

    For more than a decade, conservatives have worked to undermine the EITC, a refundable tax credit for working poor families that now helps lift more than 9 million people out of poverty every year. The expansion of the EITC was a signature accomplishment of the Clinton administration, and an asset in making welfare reform work, as well as a substantive and political victory for progressives that conservatives have yet to forgive.

    Because the EITC’s clear connection to rewarding work—you have to have earnings to claim the credit—has made it difficult for conservatives to attack the EITC as a mere giveaway that promotes “dependency,” conservatives have instead sought to undermine the EITC on the grounds that it promotes fraud. Typical is this letter from Republican Congressmen Dave Camp and Charles Boustany to IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman, which called the EITC “responsible for the second-highest amount of improper payments of any federal program, behind only Medicaid.”

    Over the years, Republican committee chairmen have held numerous hearings specifically on EITC compliance, and in 2002, Congress began requiring the IRS to provide annual reports on the estimated amount of improper payments under the EITC. (Congress does not, however, require separate reports on other groups, such as small business owners, who are actually responsible for the biggest chunk of underreported income and unpaid taxes (the so-called “tax gap”)). At the same time, conservatives have refused to support EITC simplification efforts that could reduce the error rate, which progressives will readily concede is too high, though as a result of complexity, not fraud.

    As a result of this sustained assault, being poor is much more likely to get you the attention of the IRS than being conservative.

    Poor people claiming the EITC are five times more likely to be audited than middle-class taxpayers not claiming the credit, and they are more than twice as likely to be audited than a tax-exempt non-profit. (According to the 2012 IRS Data Book, the IRS audited just 1% of the 798,903 returns filed by tax-exempt organizations in 2011.) In its reporting, the Data Book in fact categorizes returns based solely on whether the taxpayer files for an EITC or not. Given how many tax breaks and loopholes are in the code, it’s as bizarre a distinction as categorizing returns based on whether a taxpayer is filing for the home mortgage interest tax deduction or not

  27. rikyrah says:

    Senate Republicans show up to oppose EPA nominee
    By Steve Benen
    Thu May 16, 2013 2:23 PM EDT

    Last week, Republicans on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee thought of a way to derail, at least temporarily, Gina McCarthy’s nomination to head the Environmental Protection Agency: they wouldn’t show up for her confirmation vote. Today, that changed.

    The original GOP plan was to prevent the committee from having the necessary quorum. Democrats had a way around that — if every Dem member of the committee shows up, the Republican boycott becomes irrelevant — but couldn’t execute that strategy because Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) is 89 years old and is in poor health.

    Today offered everyone another chance, with Lautenberg arriving in a wheelchair. Committee Republicans were given a choice: show up or don’t, but either way, McCarthy is going to advance. So, they showed up.

  28. rikyrah says:

    Seven Howlers from Michael Kinsley’s Very Misguided War Against Paul Krugman

    Screenshot 5 16 13 8 46 AM

    Why oh why can’t we have a better press corps?

    Michael Kinsley is really confused:

    People who favor austerity are “austerians,” a clever Krugman coinage that makes adherents sound like aliens from another planet…

    Ummm… If you Google “first use of austerian” Google tells you about first uses of “Australian”. If you Google “first use of austerian -Australian” Google tries to send you to first uses of “Austrian” that do not contain “Australian”. If you tell Google you are serious, it sends you to WordSpy, which says:

    “Remember, the political idea being expressed a year ago was that because the GOP interpreted its 1994 mandate as a call to budget-balancing austerity, the electorate would never give the White House to the GOP if its nominee was also a root-canal austerian.” —Jude Wanniski, “Reminder from Forbes… Crossroads for Dole,” The Washington Times, March 20, 1996.

    So not Paul Krugman. Jude Wanninski. Howler #1.

    Kinsley goes on:

    It’s easier to describe what the anti-austerians believe than the austerians themselves. Anti-austerians believe that governments around the world need to stop worrying about their debts for a while and continue pouring money into the economy until the threat of recession or worse is well and truly over. Austerians want the opposite. But what is the opposite? Is President Barack Obama, for example, an austerian? To Republicans and conservatives, yes…

    These two howlers–ascription of “austerian” to Krugman instead of Wanninski, and “yes” where he means “no”, indicate that this is a first draft: neither checking-of-facts nor reading the ms. aloud to be sure that there are no “yeses” where there should be “noes”.Which raises the question of what value is being added by the New Republic’s editorial staff here, but I digress…

    On to substance, rather than fact-checking and proofreading:

    “Austerians” have been those advocating “Austerian” policies: that even the most credit-worthy sovereigns need to shift policy, starting right now, to:
    •cut their spending,
    •raise their tax rates
    •even though economies are depressed
    •even though interest rates–and thus the costs of carrying debt–are extraordinarily low as far into the future as the eye can see.

    Supporters of these “Austerian” policies believe that such policies are:
    •the best road to boosting employment and production now (Alesina-Ardagna);
    •the best road to avoiding a very large drag on growth even with very low interest rates should debt-to-annual-GDP exceed the magic 90% threshold (Reinhart-Rogoff); and
    •necessary lest the United States, Britain, Germany, and Japan “turn into Greece” (Ryan).

    There is no puzzle here: these are the policies that have been labeled “Austerian”. “Austerians” support these policies. They are the opposite of what people like Paul Krugman, Larry Summers, Ben Bernanke, Olivier Blanchard, me, and many others believe: that as long as interest rates stay low and economies stay depressed, more government spending now will produce a healthier economy in the short run and is highly likely to produce a lower long-term debt burden in the long run, for the debt-to-annual-GDP ratio has a denominator as well as a numerator.

    Kinsley professes to be one of the few remaining people who is puzzled about what “Austerian” policies are. That is howler #3: if you have done your homework, no puzzlement can arise.

  29. rikyrah says:

    ♡Neek♡ ‏@NeekVsNika1m
    7hrs and 30mins till the final of #Scandal so at 10:01 I’ll be taking
    some kinda pills bc I don’t wont a headache or a baby heart attack

    Tameka Monique ‏@tamekamonique1m
    Dear @shondarhimes have purchased 2 packs of cigarettes a bottle of wine and called a priest. Cause #greys and #scandal not gon kill me 2day

    Jessi-Ann♥ ‏@ooh_itsJESSICA5m
    yall know it is thursday. after the finale just take me to rehab I am already weak #scandal…

    Bobby J. ‏@BobbyJComedy2m
    Side Chicks paying they Cable Bill on time now only because #SCANDAL is on!

  30. rikyrah says:

    May 16, 2013 12:16 PM
    Worst and Best of Politico

    By Ed Kilgore

    But you know what? Sometimes the snail sees things we need to know about. Anna Palmer offers a piece today about the “Benghazi Lobby” that was both interesting and valuable:

    Behind the scenes, a loose network of conservative groups and activists have been lobbying House and Senate Republicans for months to investigate the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on a U.S. diplomatic outpost in Libya, urging members of Congress in meetings, letters and in social media to keep the heat on President Barack Obama. The strategy kept the issue alive, so when a whistleblower stepped forward last week, it was primed for primetime.

    Rep. Frank Wolf told POLITICO the outside groups, especially those with retired military and special forces members, were instrumental to raising the issue’s national profile….

    The outside group’s pressure campaign has been a multi-pronged offensive with ex-military officials rallying the grassroots base while Washington operatives at American Crossroads, Citizens United and others have mounted an inside-the-Beltway campaign with online videos, letters to Congress and Twitter activity

    Palmer emphasizes the role of a shadowy group calling itself OPSEC (using a military acronym for Operational Security), supposedly composed of former Special Ops personnel, along with a similar group called Special Operations Speaks, in keeping up the pressure. But more familiar groups were definitely lending more than a hand, particularly in pushing House Republicans to cosponsor Wolf’s resolution calling for a Benghazi! select committee to give the whole ‘investigation” a Watergate air:

    Other groups have also joined the fight. In April, conservative leaders like David Bossie of Citizens United, William Boykin of Family Research Council, Brent Bozell of ForAmerica and others signed onto a letter urging lawmakers to sign on.

    American Crossroads has run six videos over the last several months, trying to keep the spotlight on Benghazi, most recently featuring former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

    American Crossroads’ Jonathan Collegio said the Benghazi is a complex issue spanning disparate elements, agencies and people.

    “There has been a real demand for succinct video products to educate average people on what happened, who said what and why,” Collegio said. “The Crossroads Benghazi videos have generated nearly 800,000 views online and millions more on television, which demonstrates the real demand for succinct explanations as to what happened.

    Ah, yes, one of the proud fathers of a phony “scandal” hands out cigars.

  31. rikyrah says:

    How to apply (or not) for tax-exempt status
    By Steve Benen
    Thu May 16, 2013 12:56 PM
    There’s been an interesting trajectory to the IRS controversy over the last several days. Initially, the condemnations were just about universal — no one was prepared to defend a policy in which the tax agency treated some groups unfairly based solely on ideological grounds. The IRS has to be neutral and even-handed at all times, and anything short of that standard is scandalous.

    But yesterday, I started noticing some pushback from credible observers wondering whether the story isn’t quite what it appeared to be at first blush. Jeffrey Toobin, for example, asked whether the IRS actually did anything wrong.

    How can anyone still wonder about that, given the apparent consensus? Noam Scheiber raised an interesting point I hadn’t seen elsewhere.

    It turns out that the applications the conservative groups submitted to the IRS — the ones the agency subsequently combed over, provoking nonstop howling — were unnecessary. The IRS doesn’t require so-called 501c4 organizations to apply for tax-exempt status. If anyone wants to start a social welfare group, they can just do it, then submit the corresponding tax return (form 990) at the end of the year. To be sure, the IRS certainly allows groups to apply for tax-exempt status if they want to make their status official. But the application is completely voluntary, making it a strange basis for an alleged witch hunt.

    So why would so many Tea Party groups subject themselves to a lengthy and needless application process? Mostly it had to do with anxiety — the fear that they could run afoul of the law once they started raising and spending money. “Our business experience was that we had to pay taxes once there was money coming through here,” says Tom Zawistowski, the recent president of the Ohio Liberty Coalition, which tangled with the IRS over its tax status. “We felt we were under a microscope. … We were on pins and needles at all times.” In other words, the groups submitted their applications because they perceived themselves to be persecuted, not because they actually were.

    Jamelle Bouie added, “This helps explain why the IRS decided to apply scrutiny at all. Applications are unusual, and when you receive a large number of them from a particular set of right-leaning groups, it’s bound to raise suspicion. As Scheiber notes, ‘The IRS was unexpectedly flooded by dodgy 501(c)4 applications and was at a loss over how to manage them.'”

  32. rikyrah says:

    USS Williamsburg, Truman’s Yacht, Rusts In Italy As Retiree Looks For Help Saving Historic Ship (VIDEO)

    The Huffington Post | By Meredith Bennett-Smith
    Posted: 05/15/2013 5:23 pm EDT | Updated: 05/15/2013 5:24 pm EDT

    A once proud yacht that sailed the world as a World War II gunboat — and then served as the impressive presidential nautical quarters of Harry S. Truman — is now almost forgotten, left to rust like junk in Italy.

    In four or five years, the USS Williamsburg may simply fall apart from disrepair, unless the efforts of an Italian retiree manage to save the ship and restore it to its former glory, according to NBC News.

    Gianfranco Oddone is a retired ship repairman who has made it his mission to find an American buyer for the USS Williamsburg before it’s too late.

    “The style of ship, I think it’s a fine piece of naval architecture,” Oddone told NBC News during a video interview.

    He holds out hope that maybe a wealthy businessman — or a group of businessmen — will ultimately come to the noble vessel’s aid.

    “You have a certain number of millionaires, of billionaires,” he said. “If they would donate 25 euros each, you would raise a lot of money.”

    The USS Williamsburg was the sixth in a line of presidential yachts used to ply the seas, according to Time Magazine. After serving during World War II, the ship was recommissioned for Truman in 1945, the outlet noted.

    Winston Churchill was hosted there, as were other dignitaries debating foreign diplomacy with the president, according to The Los Angeles Times.

  33. Obama: ‘No Apologies’ For Investigating Leaks Of Classified Information


    Note to the AP

  34. Marines summoned to hold umbrellas over Pres Obama & PM Erdogan

    Marines summoned to hold umbrellas over President Obama & Prime Minister Erdogan

  35. rikyrah says:

    Gomez unclear on some aspects of abortion
    By Stephanie Ebbert
    | Globe Staff
    May 16, 2013

    Throughout the Republican US Senate primary, Gabriel E. Gomez described himself as “personally prolife,” but said he would not try to change abortion law, a nuanced position that has fanned some confusion on both sides of the abortion divide.

    In a recent interview scheduled with the Globe specifically to explore his views on abortion rights, Gomez said that he favors parental consent for both abortion and the morning-­after pill and that he opposes late-term abortion ­unless it is necessary to protect the life and health of the mother.

    But he refused to take a stand on two of the most heated women’s health issues of ­recent years — congressional amendments that nearly derailed the health care overhaul and fueled allegations of a ­Republican “war against women” — because he said he remains unfamiliar with the ­details.

    “Honestly, I haven’t read the Blunt Amendment, so it’s hard for me to go yea or nay without reading the full Blunt Amendment,” Gomez said last week, regarding a 2012 proposal that would have allowed employers to deny workers birth control coverage based on moral beliefs. “That’s part of the reason why these guys and women down there should read these whole things. . . . I’m happy to look at it.”

  36. rikyrah says:

    Perez nomination advances
    By Steve Benen
    Thu May 16, 2013 11:39 AM EDT.

    Ordinarily, committee votes on cabinet nominees wouldn’t be especially interesting, but this one was a little more important than most.

    President Obama’s pick for labor secretary cleared a minor hurdle in the confirmation process Thursday as a Senate committee voted to clear the nomination of Thomas Perez for consideration by the full Senate.

    Members of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee voted 12-10 along party lines, with all Republicans opposing the nomination while the Democrats supported it.

    If you’re looking at your watch, thinking it’s a little early for a committee vote on a cabinet nominee, you’re correct — the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee scheduled this vote early on purpose, so as to circumvent Republican obstructionist tactics.

    Last week, when the committee wanted to approve the Perez nomination, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) used a procedural motion on the Senate floor to block the vote. Committee Democrats scheduled this morning’s vote extra early so GOP senators couldn’t get in the way.

    It may seem silly and childish, but then again, so is Congress.

    What’s more, let’s also not forget that the objections Republicans have raised about Perez are, as Adam Serwer has reported several times, partisan nonsense.

    The next question, of course, is what happens next. Perez has cleared committee, but what happens when his nomination is brought to the floor?

  37. rikyrah says:

    May 15, 2013 9:32 AM
    D.C. To Obama: Don’t Mess With “This Town”

    By Ed Kilgore

    Well, it doesn’t get much more official than this: an VandeHei/Allen “Behind the Curtain” column announcing that D.C. (“the town”) is “turning on” Barack Obama, and there will be nothing but venom coming from any direction for the foreseeable future:

    Republicans have waited five years for the moment to put the screws to Obama — and they have one-third of all congressional committees on the case now. Establishment Democrats, never big fans of this president to begin with, are starting to speak out. And reporters are tripping over themselves to condemn lies, bullying and shadiness in the Obama administration.

    Buy-in from all three D.C. stakeholders is an essential ingredient for a good old-fashioned Washington pile-on — so get ready for bad stories and public scolding to pile up

    Too bad, voters, and all those who have an interest in their federal government doing something constructive; Obama has to have his spanking from “D.C. stakeholders,” so enjoy it or look the other way.

    What amazes me the most about this column is the forthright announcement that the MSM are going to make explicit common cause with the GOP:

    Obama’s aloof mien and holier-than-thou rhetoric have left him with little reservoir of good will, even among Democrats. And the press, after years of being accused of being soft on Obama while being berated by West Wing aides on matters big and small, now has every incentive to be as ruthless as can be.

    This open partisanship is excused by the fact that in “this town” (among the “Establishment Democrats” who are a “D.C. Stakeholder”) Democrats aren’t bothering to defend Obama. Which Democrats are we talking about here? Here you go:

    • Ametia says:

      Seriously, PBO’s been on to the Beltway gang and members of the DIM-O-CRATIC Pary from jump. Either you come along with me, cause I’m going along with the voters.

  38. rikyrah says:

    Because the GOP never gave a rat’s ass about the unemployment numbers…if they did, they wouldn’t have been committing ECONOMIC TREASON against this country since January 2009.


    Congress has tackled the deficit — at the cost of the economy
    By Jamelle Bouie, Published: May 16, 2013 at 11:34 am

    This morning, Eric Rosengren, chief executive of the Boston Federal Reserve, cautioned lawmakers against further fiscal retrenchment, lest they slow the recovery. As he said at the Global Interdependence Center’s Central Banking Conference in Italy: “Given the economic realities I would urge policymakers to consider scenarios where some elements of fiscal rebalancing take effect only after the economy has more fully improved.”

    He’s right, in large part because Congress has already done a fair amount of deficit reduction. Beginning in 2011, with unemployment still high and the economy on a long, slow climb out of recession, Congress — led by a new Republican majority in the House of Representatives — moved to make big cuts in medium-term discretionary spending. It slashed $1 trillion with the Budget Control Act of 2011, and followed that with hundreds of billions more in spending cuts and tax increases with the fiscal cliff deal and sequester.

    Now, as a result of this deficit reduction, the Congressional Budget Office projects a $642 billion budget deficit for fiscal year 2013, down $200 billion from its projection at the beginning of the year, and the lowest level of deficit spending since President Obama entered office. The near-term deficit projection also shows improvement; the CBO estimates a 2015 deficit of $378 billion. For Washington’s deficit hawks, this is cause for celebration. It’s a sign the federal government is on its way to a more sustainable debt load.

    But this rapid deficit reduction is far less of a boon for most Americans, who have to live in an economy that’s been largely stalled by Congressional inaction. At 7.5 percent, unemployment is still too high, and there’s little sign of rapid improvement. According to most projections, joblessness won’t reach pre-recession levels for another three years.

  39. rikyrah says:

    Welcome to the three-ring circus
    By Steve Benen
    Thu May 16, 2013 10:48 AM EDT
    A Jon Chait piece the other day reminded me of the GSA controversy from a while back. Remember that one? We learned last year that the General Services Administration had misused public funds, spent excessively on several training conferences, and a legitimate mess ensued. There were congressional hearings, several officials resigned, and the GSA was forced to clean up its act in a hurry.

    If this doesn’t ring a bell, or if you never heard about it in the first place, that’s because most of the political world didn’t much care. There was some coverage, but it was seen as an intra-agency fiasco that was dealt with fairly quickly. One could argue that the GSA is part of the executive branch, and the executive branch is led by President Obama, so the buck may ultimately stop with him, but no one seriously suggested the president was to blame for this, and it certainly wasn’t characterized as a “White House scandal.”

    I mention this because the political world’s standards appear to have changed in a hurry.

    The IRS story, for example, is a legitimate controversy, just as the GSA story was, but it too is an intra-agency fiasco — confused bureaucrats struggled with ambiguous tax standards, in the midst of breakdowns in communication between staff and management. They screwed up in a big way, and the agency will have to clean up its act. But does this have anything to do with the president or the White House? Based on everything we now know, not even a little. And yet, everyone from Jon Stewart to Rush Limbaugh is blaming Obama anyway.

    There are different explanations for this, but the political world’s preoccupation with “narratives” seems to have quite a bit to do with it. And right now, the preferred narrative has to do with White House scandals and a presidency in crisis, even if that doesn’t really make sense.

    E.J. Dionne summarized the issue nicely this morning:

    I know, I know: This “confluence” of “scandals” spells “trouble” for the Obama administration. Well, sure, this has been hell week for the president. But what spells trouble for our country is our apparent eagerness to avoid debate about discrete problems by sacrificing the particulars and the facts to the idol of political narrative. It’s a false god.

  40. President Obama and Prime Minister Erdogan Hold a Joint Press Conference

    Now Streaming…

  41. rikyrah says:

    The Morning Plum: Will 2014 turn out to be 2006, or 1998?
    By Greg Sargent, Published: May 16, 2013 at 8:58 am

    Last night’s release of the Benghazi emails has pretty much doused whatever smoldering embers remained from the Benghazi ”scandal,” but the scandal “narrative” will live on, fed by serious lingering questions about IRS and Justice Department conduct. So naturally the talk has turned to how scandal-mania will impact the midterm elections.

    Will they resemble 2006, when mounting Iraq casualties and Katrina eroded confidence in George W. Bush’s leadership, leading to major Dem gains? Or will they turn out more like 1998, when GOP confidence amid the Monica Lewinsky revelations led to overreach and backlash? This morning, National Journal’s Reid Wilson makes the case that 2014 will look more like 2006:

    The beginning of Bush’s second term bears the most resemblance to the current predicament in which Obama finds himself. The war in Iraq had grown unpopular during 2005, and the government’s bungling of the recovery from Hurricane Katrina gave voters the sense that Washington was inept. […]

    The mishandling of Hurricane Katrina and the various troubles Obama is answering for now are completely different types of scandals. But the message they send to voters about the aptitude of governing is remarkably similar. Once voters lost confidence in Bush’s ability to manage government, the Republican brand began to suffer…If voters begin to believe that Obama is similarly ill-equipped to govern, it will be the Democrats in Congress who bear the brunt of the political punishment.

    But Chris Cillizza makes the case that Republicans risk a rerun of 1998. Note in the admission from former GOP Rep. Tom Davis, a respected party strategist:

    [T]here are real concerns within the Republican establishment that their party won’t look before they leap when it comes to the right strategic path forward, taking a major political opportunity and blowing it ala the impeachment of President Clinton in the late 1990s.

    “Republicans need only remember 1998 when they overplayed Monica Lewinsky and turned a promising midterm into almost losing the House,” said former Virginia congressman Tom Davis. “The Republicans have a political buffet in front of them. No need to gorge themselves….[they] need to pace themselves.”

  42. rikyrah says:

    Scandal Season 2 Finale Sneak Peeks: How Will OPA Get the Cytron Card Back?

    Written By Shilo Adams+ on May 15th, 2013 at 9:25 am


  43. rikyrah says:

    check out the playing cards…LOL


    Join Me and Chescaleigh for Scandal Bingo During the Finale!

    [ 22 ] May 15, 2013 | Luvvie

    Tomorrow is the finale of Scandal’s season 2. Everywhere at 10:01 pm CST, people will be hitting the most epic of *wall slides*. Besides the fact that Shonda Rhimes and her writing, we’re gonna be lamenting an entire summer without our gooning gladiators. It’s gon be ROUGH!

    Anywho, Chescaleigh and I collaborated to bring you a game you can play wherever you are as you watch the finale. We’ve brought you:


    We’ve put a bunch of things that happen a lot on Scandal, or some that we think might happen during the finale. Because we’re stans addicts knowledgeable fans. Download the bingo cards below and take it to the viewing party you’re going to or just your couch as you watch it. It’ll be fun.

    And use the hashtag #ScandalBingo when you get 5 squares in a row! :-D I would say take a shot to celebrate but you might be too drunk to focus at the end.

    So, are you gonna play or nah?

    I’m SO EXCITED FOR THIS FINALE!! I’m having a small viewing party (read: 30 people) in Chicago and it sold out in 20 minutes. And number 1 rule folks were told to understand and agree to is NO talking during the show. Only during the commercials.

    Wax your walls for easy sliding, wear kneepads for when you stop drop and roll on the ground. And wear deodorant so your right guard won’t turn left. SCANDAL IS SERIOUS BUSINESS! ARE YOU READY?!?

    • Ametia says:

      LOL The square titles are hilarious. I’ll be watchin and playin.

      So glad I watched teh entire season 1 last week. I know it gave me more insights, but tonight’s finale’s gonna blow all that out the window. LOL

  44. rikyrah says:

    When the Village turns on a President
    By Greg Sargent, Published: May 15, 2013 at 4:23pm

    781Comments More submit to reddit A lot of liberal bloggers have harshly criticized Politico’s big, much-discussed piece today reporting that “the town is turning on President Obama — and this is very bad news for this White House.” If Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei claim this to be the case, then it’s self evidently true, though it’s unclear that the consequences of this will be quite as bad as VandeAllen suggest they might.

    It turns out that “the town,” as a term describing Washington’s political and media elite, actually has a history that goes back to elite Washington’s disdain for Bill Clinton. That history is well explained here by Digby, who ultimately coined the phrase “the Village” as a catch-all description of Washington’s insular ways.

    In that context, I’d argue that the Politico piece is actually quite useful, in the sense that it’s very candid about how certain aspects of “the town” actually work. This nugget from the VandeAllen piece is particularly instructive:

    Obama’s aloof mien and holier-than-thou rhetoric have left him with little reservoir of good will, even among Democrats. And the press, after years of being accused of being soft on Obama while being berated by West Wing aides on matters big and small, now has every incentive to be as ruthless as can be.

    We should take this seriously. As Ed Kilgore puts it: “make no mistake: this is a declaration of war by elements of the Beltway Media who are determined to show us all they still have the power to `bring down a president,’ as they arrogantly used to say about Watergate.”

    The claim that the press now has “every incentive” to be “ruthless” is fascinating, and worth unpacking. Why, exactly, is it more in reporters’ interests to be more aggressive in its coverage of Obama right now than it was before? Easy. Now that ”the town” has turned on Obama, being as aggressive as possible in going after him will lead to accolades among media colleagues and ingratiate you with sources, including even Congressional Democrats who will presumably now distance themselves from the White House, in the knowledge that ”the town” has decided the President is in political trouble. It’s hard to interpret this any other way. This is not a particularly flattering description of the proper role of the press, and few reporters would cop to it or accept it. But there’s no reason to doubt VandeAllen’s candid suggestion that this is how parts of the Beltway media genuinely function.

    • Ametia says:

      The beltway media are full of shit. Like I’ve been saying, among other folks, WE THE PEOPLE re-elected President Obama, and that’s why they’re MAD! Just can’t stand it that he really does not giving a flying fuck about them and he will not kiss their white hinies.

  45. rikyrah says:

    The Tea Party is Not a Social Welfare Org

    by BooMan
    Thu May 16th, 2013 at 09:41:25 AM EST

    I have been part of a nascent political awakening. It was the liberal response in Philadelphia to George W. Bush’s decision to invade Iraq. The people who opposed the war found each other first online and then in person. From there, we founded blogs and formed organizations. It was completely organic. We had no corporate money. We had no hidden donors. None of us, as far as I know, asked the IRS for 501(c)(4) tax-exempt status.
    This is not what happened with the Tea Party. The Tea Party arose during the late summer of 2009, ostensibly in reaction to the stimulus but, in reality, more as an effort to defeat ObamaCare. On January 21st, 2010, the Supreme Court made its egregious ruling in the Citizens United case, and the IRS was immediately flooded with requests from Tea Party groups seeking 501(c)(4) tax-exempt status. I am sure that there was a lot of spontaneous and genuine political opposition to what the Obama administration and the Democrats were doing in Congress in 2009, but someone was behind this concerted effort to organize the opposition into tax-exempt groups. That doesn’t happen without resources and guidance. I don’t think it even occurred to any of us that we could pretend to be a social welfare group and raise money without being subject to taxation. That’s because we aren’t criminals.

    I am infuriated by these stories about Tea Party groups who are complaining that seeking tax-exempt status was like having a proctology exam. While I acknowledge that the IRS made unreasonable requests and caused unreasonable delays, I am even more outraged that they did not deny tax-exempt status to even one Tea Party group. Not one.

    There isn’t a single Tea Party group in the country that isn’t primarily concerned with political matters. None of them should have qualified for tax-exempt status. None.

    If they have tax-exempt status then so, too, should Atrios and Chris Bowers and Susie Madrak, and any other Philly bloggers who founded or joined blogs to oppose the war. Opposing disastrous war serves the public welfare even better than opposing historically-low tax rates.

    Where’s our refund?

    • Ametia says:

      We got it. The IRS were doing their job in response to CITIZEN UNITED. There were more TEA PARTY groups than liberal, so what did they expect.

  46. Ametia says:

    Thursday, May 16, 2013
    The real scandal is the state of our news media
    The AP & Benghazi stories are more abt media scandals than PBO
    — Smartypants (@Smartypants32) May 15, 2013

    That’s what I tweeted yesterday morning. I’d like to unpack that a bit with how some in the media have disgraced themselves over the last few days. What’s really been going on with all of this scandal-fest is a conflation of right wing media, leftist extremists and the village idiots in Washington D.C.

    Let’s take the whole Benghazi thing for a moment. This morning, Steve Benen rightly suggests that its time to put a fork in that one. But note the evolution of how this story reached the level of “scandal” in the first place.

    …note that most sensible people realized the right’s conspiracy theories were wrong, which is why the so-called “controversy” was relegated to Republican media, until last Friday’s report from ABC News pushed the story into the mainstream. That ABC News report, we now know, was wrong.
    As Benen said, for months this “controversy” was relegated to right wing media sites. Weeks ago the White House had provided Congress with administration emails circulated just after the attack that discussed the talking points that could be shared with politicians and the media. None of the members of Congress expressed concern about what they saw.

    Read the rest here:

    Yep, and this is why the cable network RATINGS are plunging into the ceaspool where they belong.

  47. Ametia says:

    Cannes: Standing O? No. ‘Great Gatsby’ Opens Fest to Lukewarm Applause

    At Wednesday’s evening gala, Baz Luhrmann’s 3D film received a reception warmer than 2006’s “Da Vinci Code,” but nothing like 2001’s “Moulin Rouge!”

    Baz Luhrmann’s razzmatazz The Great Gatsby opened the 66th Cannes Film Festival Wednesday night, where the film was billed as Gatsby le Magnifique.

    But the response from the bejeweled, black-tie audience didn’t quite live up to all those superlatives — whether in French or English. In fact, instead of a de riguer standing ovation, the 3D movie’s conclusion was met with polite but muted applause.

  48. Ametia says:

    May 16, 2013

    Republicans Agree to Stop Using Word “Scandal” in Every Sentence If Obama Resigns
    Posted by Andy Borowitz
    WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Arguing that the American people are sick and tired of hearing the word “scandal,” a growing chorus of Republican lawmakers said they would stop using the word “scandal” in every sentence if President Obama resigns from office immediately.

    “Mr. President, for the past week, the American people have heard nothing but scandal,” said Rep. Darrell Issa (R-California). “Scandal, scandal, scandal, and more scandal.” “You have called for investigations to get to the bottom of these scandals,” he added. “But the American thing to do is to quit.”

    Agreeing that America was suffering from “scandal fatigue,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R.-S. Carolina) said, “If even one of these scandals turns out to be real, it will be bigger than the creation of the universe,” adding that he and his fellow Republican senators were prepared to take turns standing in the well of the Senate chanting the word “scandal” until President Obama steps down.

    “Rand Paul has personally offered to say the word ‘scandal’ for eleven hours,” he said.

  49. rikyrah says:

    WH Emails Debunk ABC Misreporting, Undercut Seething, ‘Scandal Hungry’ GOP

  50. rikyrah says:

    Tea-Party AUDIT: The Real Scandal at The IRS

  51. rikyrah says:

    In defense of a ‘firewall’
    By Steve Benen
    Thu May 16, 2013 9:07 AM EDT

    When it comes to the mess surrounding the Justice Department’s subpoenas of Associated Press phone records, the White House has a relatively straightforward response: neither President Obama nor anyone in the West Wing had anything to do with this. The Justice Department oversees investigations, and the White House doesn’t interfere.

    The defense isn’t altogether satisfying — the president could denounce such subpoenas, even if they’re legal — but Obama and his team can at least argue, accurately, that DOJ decisions are made at the DOJ, as they should be.

    With this in mind, it was interesting to see Wendell Goler, Fox News’ White House correspondent question the “firewall” between the West Wing and the way in which the Justice Department conducts a federal investigation.

    For those who can’t watch clips online, Goler noted that President Obama sat next to Attorney General Eric Holder at an event yesterday at the Police Officers Memorial, and asked whether the AP investigation came up in conversation. Press Secretary Jay Carney said, “You can be sure that the firewall that we maintain is always maintained.”

    It led to this exchange:

    Q: Walk me through why it’s necessary to maintain that firewall.

    CARNEY: Seriously? So it is entirely appropriate that criminal investigations conducted by the Department of Justice be independent of the White House, of any White House. And in a case like this when, according again to the Attorney General, that this is an investigation that has to do with an egregious leak of classified information, it would be doubly inappropriate for other components of the administration to cross that line and to communicate with the Justice Department about that ongoing investigation. So we do not.

  52. rikyrah says:

    The AP’s being investigated by a grand jury for who they coordinated with in Congress over the leak

    There’s a reason the AP is squalling like a cat on a hot tin roof over these subpoenas.

    It’s because the ‘letter’ they got from the government informing them of these subpoenas probably came from the grand jury investigating the Yemen leak. Note–The AP has not released this ‘letter.’

    Now, ask yourselves something. The AP writes a letter denouncing the subpoenas. But they don’t release the ‘letter’ from the government.

    The subpoenas, according to the AP, covered the “more than 20 lines associated with the agency. Among those were phones in the Associated Press offices, personal lines for reporters, and the AP’s phone in the House of Representatives press gallery.” Link

    Now, why would a major news organization not release a ‘letter’ from the government? Because it isn’t a ‘letter.’ It’s from the grand jury, and I believe is covered under the DC circuit’s secrecy rules–you can’t publish a subpoena or summons to the grand jury, but you can describe it. And I don’t think it’s just about the subpoenas. I think some reporters got called to the grand jury.

    So the investigation of who leaked info about a CIA operative on the ground (who had to move his family to safety) has moved to a grand jury.

    What if the leak came from Congress? What if it was coordinated by a member of Congress, or their staff? That might explain why the AP phone records from the House of Reps gallery were subpoenaed.

    It might explain why Republicans are suddenly quite quiet on ‘investigating’ the AP scandal. It also might explain why Senator Leahy called for an investigation, (’cause if I were a Democratic Senator, I might want that investigation, too..) and it might explain why Eric Holder had to recuse himself, since he might know the targets.

    I want the AP to release the letter they got. Maybe some investigative journalist on this board might ask the AP for me?

    I know this much–if a grand jury is involved, and a news organization isn’t releasing certain info, then I’m gonna start asking more questions before I start bashing this administration. I might remember Ms. Judith Miller, and Scooter Libby. And I might wonder who in the House of Reps might have wanted to leak this info, and then blame the President for leaking the info–right before an election?

  53. rikyrah says:

    Cyn @Wary12

    MSNBC LOSING viewers even Maddow The Scoreboard: Tuesday, May 14 … via @tvnewser

    7:41 AM – 16 May 2013

    • Ametia says:

      TEE HEE HEE… All of these cables stations are getting exactly what they DESERVE for their shoddy reporting and HAIR-ON-FIRE shenanigans.

  54. rikyrah says:


    First on CNN: Pickering, Mullen challenge Issa to let them testify in public

    By CNN’s Jake Tapper and Alison Harding


    In a letter to Rep. Darrell Issa exclusively obtained by CNN, the co-chairmen behind an independent review of September’s deadly attack in Benghazi, Libya, expressed irritation over the House Oversight Committee chairman’s portrayal of their work and requested he call a public hearing at which they can testify.

    “The public deserves to hear your questions and our answers,” wrote former Ambassador Thomas Pickering and former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen, co-chairmen of the Accountability Review Board that was convened to investigate the September 11th attack.

  55. rikyrah says:

    Steve Weinstein @steveweinstein

    GOP had WH emails on Benghazi for months, yet let lies about them go on & on. And media wonders why President doesn’t schmooze with them

    10:59 PM – 15 May 2013

  56. rikyrah says:

    From ZIZI

    May 15, 2013 at 11:15 pm

    I repeat a comment I made near end of last thread:

    President Obama IS the PEOPLE’S president. WE ELECTED & RE-ELECTED him by the sweat of our brow. They can’t take him down. We worked hard for him and nothing’s gonna shake our resolve to beat back the evil reach of the plutocrats. Wingnut congress should not to try these “scandal” tricks. Not gonna fly!!!

  57. rikyrah says:

    Watching a ‘scandal’ evaporate before our very eyes
    By Steve Benen
    Thu May 16, 2013 8:00 AM EDT

    Rachel noted on the show last night that the controversy surrounding Benghazi effectively “went away” yesterday, and given the latest information, it’s hard to imagine how any serious person could disagree.

    The White House yesterday afternoon released the inter-agency communications that went into crafting the “talking points” requested by Congress last September. Lawmakers already saw these materials months ago — they found nothing controversial at the time — but Republicans and the media decided it was time to see them again.

    So, the administration, eager to put the matter to rest, released the documents. In turn, we learned what we already knew: there was no cover-up; State and the CIA engaged in a predictable bureaucratic “tug of war”; and this:

    The internal debate did not include political interference from the White House, according to the e-mails, which were provided to congressional intelligence committees several months ago.

    And with that, everything Republican conspiracy theorists desperately wanted Americans to believe — there’s a scandal; there’s a cover-up; there’s evidence the White House manipulated and lied about a crisis for political ends — suddenly evaporated before our very eyes.

  58. rikyrah says:

    Candice last night

    I swear to you , I have never seen an episode of AI…but, I go look for this girl’s videos on youtube

    • Ametia says:

      Been watching this season BECAUSE of Candice. She’s by far the quintesential signer/performer this season. But you know how fickle America is.

  59. rikyrah says:

    In Two Hours Obama Destroys the GOP’s Benghazi and IRS Scandals

    By: Jason Easley
    May. 15th, 2013

    Just as Republicans and their media lackeys were getting their Obama scandal machine fired up, President Obama killed both the Benghazi and IRS “scandals” in a couple of hours.

    The president put a stake through the heart of the GOP’s attempts to revive Benghazi by releasing 100 pages of emails. (Now, the world can see how badly Jon Karl and ABC News got played when they used the summaries of someone else’s notes.) The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent published an email from Tommy Vietor, who until recently was the spokesperson for the National Security Council. Vietor wrote, “Regarding the talking points, it’s not surprising that the entire government would want the chance to look at and edit that language. This was a dynamic situation and new information was constantly flowing in, and different agencies had important concerns that had to be addressed – the State Department had security concerns, the FBI was worried about its investigation, and the CIA had a major, yet still undisclosed, role.”

    Republicans are putting out vague statements about contradictions, but Benghazi is pretty much finished as a scandal. It is difficult to accuse the White House of a cover up, when they’ve released all the emails.

    The second part of the one-two punch was Obama speaking about the IRS scandal.

    Republicans are going to hold more hearings about this IRS mess, but they are going to have a difficult time getting anyone to believe that this is an Obama scandal if the president himself is outraged by it, and is taking steps to fix the problem.

    In roughly two hours, President Obama put on a textbook display of how a president should handle those who are trying to create scandals to use against him.

  60. rikyrah says:

    Scandalous vs. Scandal Lust


    I have watched in recent days as a parade of conservatives have used specific and real governmental missteps to justify their wide-ranging paranoia and irrational hostilities. “Aha!”

    You have to take their glee in sorrow with a grain of salt. For them this is more about their scandal lust than what’s scandalous. These people have been searching for a scandal — Kenyan birth certificates and a Michelle Obama “whitey” tape — for years. The fact that they now have something solid and not made of sand is going to make sad souls happy. That’s to be expected.

    What’s not to be expected — but has become depressingly predictable — is to watch liberals rending their garments and gnashing their teeth in woe-is-us doom chanting. The overreaction is exhausting and embarrassing.

    Let’s say what this confluence of missteps is and what it is not — at least as the evidence now suggests.

    First, the three issues — Benghazi, the targeting of conservative groups by the I.R.S. and the Department of Justice’s monitoring of Associated Press journalists — appear to be completely unrelated, try as politicians and pundits may to connect them. Second, the president does not appear to have had any direct involvement in any of the episodes. Third, their weight and resonances differ greatly, although all could be diminished by their emerging concurrently.

  61. rikyrah says:



    I gotta bring this article from last night’s thread. h/t lamh

    What Black People Can Learn From the LGBT Community

    When a group organizes, they can move mountains. This can certainly be said of the recent actions of America’s LGBT community and the success that it has achieved in changing American attitudes toward marriage equality. As we watch the aggressive and highly organized efforts brought forth by the LGBT community, I hope that African Americans have been paying close attention to their success and will be more motivated to adopt new attitudes and strategies to bring about change in our beleaguered communities.


    This is an almost purely regressive piece. But it’s also the natural consequence to allowing a privileged, majority white group to appropriate the political, moral, and cultural capital of the civil rights movement from black people (with the help of black men like the dude who wrote the above article) and style themselves as “the new black.” They get the reparations without having suffered any of the intergenerational harm. And similar to any and every example of a colonization under the sun, the natives are pathologized, resource is stolen, then the natives are told that cultural inferiority is responsible for their plight. Kids today are being taught that (a) black people went through nothing much worse than the marginalization that gay people faced {which is completely untrue}; and thus (b) if black people were simply smarter/better/more organized/less ratchet we too could be on par with a majority white group (which unlike African Americans and like most majority white groups, is generally discussed in heroic terms rather than constantly chided for the group’s issues and follies). The regressive nature of “the new black” and “the new civil rights” memes and how they work to further demoralize and ultimately harm black people, is real.

  62. rikyrah says:

    from Kay over at Balloon Juice:

    Kay says:

    May 15, 2013 at 8:29 am

    Establishment Democrats, never big fans of this president to begin with,

    I think this is helpful, actually, because it’s true. Obama has opposition from liberals. That is true. But there has also been a low level, simmering struggle for power within the Democratic Party from “establishment Democrats” since he was elected. It is absolutely true and openly discussed in the Ohio Democratic Party.

    Political parties are large organizations, and relationships matter in large organizations. In that sense he is something of an outsider, still. Just my observation. I think the cracks were bound to appear under stress, and in a second term, because the question going forward is “which version of the Democratic Party are we?”. I do not know what the policy differences are, but I think I know what the campaign differences are.

    There’s something else that’s true, IMO, and this is the political end, the campaign end. We spend a lot of time making fun of Republicans for their grifters. In my observation, the Democratic Party was headed for exactly the same fate after 2004. The fact is the 2004 Presidential election was such a mess because it was full to bursting with grifters on the payroll. I think there were 9 or 10 different groups operating in Ohio. Obama cut that off. He made it really lean and really centralized. They had one message because they had one campaign. There was resentment about that, because Democrats had developed their own “campaign industrial complex” and they weren’t brought in. He didn’t hire them. As far as campaigns, I think he was right to do it and if he hadn’t have done it, we’d look just like the Romney campaign looked.

    I do not actually know what the policy differences are between “establishment Democrats” and Obama. I haven’t been able to discern any. There ARE campaign and political approach differences, though, and I think it’s probably healthy if we’re going to admit that.

  63. rikyrah says:

    about Candice from American Idol:

    Melinda Doolittle ‏@mdoolittle
    Candice. Flipping. Glover. Sing. Heffa. Shoes. Thrown. Food. Thrown. Sweet. Baby. Jesus.

  64. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

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