Monday Open Thread | Frankie Beverly & Maze Week

Frankie Beverly & MazeMaze are a soul / quiet storm band, also known alternately as Maze featuring Frankie Beverly and Frankie Beverly and Maze, was established in San Francisco, California in the early 1970s.

The band can be considered as the project formerly known as The Butlers, and later Raw Soul, with member Frankie Beverly being songwriter, record producer, arranger, singer, keyboardist and guitarist.

The Philadelphia born Beverly started the group as Raw Soul in 1970. They recorded a couple of singles on the small Gregar label, but without any major hits. With a few personnel changes, a relocation from Philadelphia to the San Francisco Bay Area in California in 1971, and an introduction to Marvin Gaye, the group became an immediate success. Gaye took the group on the road with him as one of his opening acts, and in 1976, he suggested that they changed their name from Raw Soul to Maze.

About SouthernGirl2

A Native Texan who adores baby kittens, loves horses, rodeos, pomegranates, & collect Eagles. Enjoys politics, games shows, & dancing to all types of music. Loves discussing and learning about different cultures. A Phi Theta Kappa lifetime member with a passion for Social & Civil Justice.
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84 Responses to Monday Open Thread | Frankie Beverly & Maze Week

  1. Prayers to the people of Oklahoma.

  2. POTUS on phone with Oklahoma Gov Mary Fallin

    President Obama on phone with Oklahoma Gov Mary Fallin

  3. Ametia says:

    At least 20 children are among the 51 people killed after a tornado slammed Oklahoma, the office of the state’s chief medical examiner said.

    At least 145 people were hospitalized in the area, said hospital officials.

  4. Oklahoma teacher embraces one of his surviving students pulled from the rubble

    Oklahoma teacher embraces one of his surviving students pulled from the rubble.

    Thank you, Jesus!

    My eyes are so filled with tears. This is LOVE!


  5. Ametia says:


    Oklahoma GOP Sen. Tom Coburn Will Seek To Offset Tornado
    10:05 PM EDT, MONDAY MAY 20, 2013

    Oklahoma Republican Sen. Tom Coburn will seek to offset federal aid to victims of a massive tornado that blasted through Oklahoma City suburbs on Monday with cuts elsewhere in the budget.

    “That’s always been his position [to offset disaster aid],” a spokesman told the Huffington Post Monday night. “He supported offsets to the bill funding the OKC bombing recovery effort.”

    Last year, Coburn joined his fellow Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe (R) in voting to substantially cut a federal package of $60 billion dollars intended to aid reconstruction of much of the East Coast in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.

    And where is Senator Inholfe?

  6. Massive tornado forms over Oklahoma City

  7. Ametia says:

    The Oklahoma state medical examiner’s office said Monday evening that 51 people had so far been confirmed killed in the tornado that tore through the city of Moore.

    The monstrous tornado at least a half-mile wide roared through the Oklahoma City suburbs, flattening entire neighborhoods with winds up to 200 mph.

    Read more at:

  8. Ametia says:

    Thirty-seven people were killed by the storm that hit the Oklahoma City area, the office of the state’s chief medical examiner said.

    Of those killed, seven were children from the Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore, police said.

    President Barack Obama told Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin the federal government “stands ready to provide all available assistance,” a White House statement said.

  9. rikyrah says:

    Meet the Republican who is demanding that the government let poor people starve

    by Justin Doolittle

    Stephen Fincher, a deranged Republican congressman from Tennessee, is very angry that the federal government is committed to preventing poor people from starving to death:

    Republican Congressman Stephen Fincher of Tennessee, who supports cuts to the program, had his own Bible verse from the Book of Thessalonians to quote back to Vargas: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat,” he said.

    The program in question is SNAP, better known as food stamps. Fincher and his ultra-right-wing friends in the House are furious about the fact that the worst economic crisis in 80 years has resulted in more Americans needing food stamps. The whole point of programs like SNAP and other automatic stabilizers, of course, is that they kick in when the economy is struggling and people need help. Fincher is shocked and horrified by this heinous policy of ensuring that poor people and their children don’t starve. Food is to be earned! Sure, this is the richest country in the history in the world, but if we provide our citizens with food to eat, then freedom is obviously dead.

    He fulminates about people who are allegedly “unwilling to work” sucking off the government teat with impunity. This is a patently dishonest representation of the SNAP program. Most people who receive food stamps cannot be dismissed as losers who are “unwilling to work.” Nearly half (47%) of all food stamp recipients are children. Another 8% are 60 years of age or older. The “working poor” – people who live in a household with income from work – represent another 41%. Between children, the elderly, the working poor, and people who want a job but cannot find one – someone should tell Fincher that there are still more than 3 unemployed job seekers for every 1 opening – that leaves very few people who can be accurately described as being “unwilling” to work. It’s also worth noting that the average monthly SNAP benefit is a whopping $287. It takes a deeply disturbed person to crusade against providing this class of people with food to eat, when the economy is this battered, and when the broad economic benefits of the program have been so well established (at least in the reality-based community).

    Now, this would not normally be worthy of mention. Hardly a day goes by without some Republican sadist expressing fury that poor people have it so good. Devising new ways to make the peasants suffer is what makes Republicans wake up in the morning. What’s fascinating about this particular case, though, is Fincher’s background.

    The reason this is even more egregious than the usual Republican class warfare is that Fincher himself is a poster boy for government dependency. It’s not just that he’s benefited here and there from some government help. That sort of low-level hypocrisy is almost to be expected from these types. But Fincher has received millions – $3.2 million as of June 2010 – in federal crop subsidies. The people who refer to themselves as Tea Partiers threatened to derail his candidacy over this, but then they realized that they have no principles, and supported him anyway. He’s now a member of the “Tea Party Caucus,” which, amazingly, is something that actually exists. Fincher’s brother and father also snatched another $6.7 million in subsidies as Stephen geared up to run for Congress on a platform of eliminating “wasteful government spending.” The “wasteful spending” that he had in mind, of course, was that which serves policy aims with which he disagrees, such as keeping poor people alive.

    House Republicans are on a mission to slash the SNAP program by $20 billion over the next decade. A Senate committee, just last week, voted to cut it by “only” $4 billion. If some sort of vicious “compromise” is reached between the sociopaths in the House who are demanding human sacrifice on a massive scale, and the “moderates” in the Senate who are only comfortable with letting some people starve, it will not be pretty. This is not hyperbole, either. SNAP really does keep poor people, including millions of children, from going hungry, and it’s under attack from ultra-right-wing ideologues. This program deserves the support and activism of progressives as much as any government program in existence.

  10. Ametia says:

    Prayers to all OKLAHOMANS. DJ, where are you?

  11. Ametia says:

    The recovery effort has commenced in Oklahoma. At leasst 12 little bodies are being pulled from the rubble. Just heart-wrenching….

  12. rikyrah says:

    May 20, 2013 5:57 PM
    The Growing Conservative Revolt Against Educational Standards

    By Ed Kilgore

    This is a subject that anyone who cares about public education policy should pay some attention to: on the very brink of the implementation phase of the Common Core Standards movement, a bipartisan, non-federal drive for a new and more rigorous system of educational accountability measures spearheaded by the governors (see the extensive coverage of this development in the May/June 2012 issue of the Washington Monthly), conservative grassroots pressure is building rapidly on Republican governors and legislators to bail out altogether.

    One of many growing signs of this revolt occurred over the weekend in Georgia, when only the absence of a quorum at a sparsely attended state GOP convention short-circuited a resolution (favorably reported by the convention’s resolutions committee) that would have upbraided Republican Gov. Nathan Deal for collaborating with Common Core Standards. The language of this resolution, reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Jim Galloway, is instructive:


    All this rhetoric of constitutionalism, localism, and paranoia about data collection is Tea Party boilerplate, obscuring the fact that Common Core Standards was developed by voluntary cooperation of the states. But lurking in the background is a much more basic hostility to public education. The growing use of terms like “government schools” for public schools, and the spread of private school voucher initiatives and proposed subsidies for homeschooling, reflect one of those convergences of libertarian and Christian Right thinking that is the real hallmark of the Tea Party movement, which in turn is just the latest incarnation of the ascendent conservative movement.

    It’s increasingly clear that the Common Core Standards initiative is in a race for its life against crumbling conservative support. It’s not clear at all that it will survive, at least as the kind of national effort it was intended to represent.

  13. rikyrah says:

    Fashion College, for Fun and Profit (and Just for Fun and Profit)
    by Daniel Luzer

    Among the more controversial aspects of young adult training, two things stick out as particularly offensive, and perhaps mutually reinforcing: overpriced schools and the scarcity of good jobs.

    And now, at long last, we’ve got an institution of higher learning that seems to combine both of these things, pretty overtly. From the New York Times comes news of a school, of sorts, that offers really high-priced training that doesn’t seem to train one for anything:

    [Zuzanna] Ciszewska Ciszewska is one of the first 45 students at the Conde Nast College of Fashion and Design, enrolled in a 10-week course meant to introduce them to topics like the fashion calendar, the history of fashion, important designers, fashion journalism, retail, business, marketing and public relations.

    Also offered is the Conde Nast name and the promise of an association with the company responsible for such fashion bibles as Vogue, Glamour, Allure, GQ and Women’s Wear Daily.

    But that’s it, just “the promise of an association.” Conde Nast editor Susie Forbes, who is the college’s principal, explained to the Times that,

    It was important for prospective students to understand that while their tuition bought them a front-row seat in the world of fashion, it would not buy them a job or even an internship at a Conde Nast publication. “We’re not a feeder school for Conde Nast. Our editors and publishers don’t want to feel obliged to take our students,” Ms. Forbes said.

    For a 10-week course CNCFD costs $8,500.

    Farhana Nazir, a blogger for My Fashion Life, wrote that the high tuition (from which the company is totally earning a profit) seemed hard to justify and wondered if the fashion school “further reinforce[d] the idea that a fashion education is only for the privileged?”

    Well of course a fashion education is only for the privileged. This is hardly a debatable point.

    What seems to be particularly troublesome about this one is that the college appears to be fashion education for no specific vocational purpose at all. An education for the privileged is one thing, but even the privileged want real careers.

  14. rikyrah says:

    The Impeachment Option
    Jason Chaffetz raises the prospect.
    By Robert Costa

    Representative Jason Chaffetz, a Utah Republican, says President Barack Obama may face impeachment over his administration’s response to the Benghazi attack

    “They purposefully and willfully misled the American people, and that’s unacceptable,” Chaffetz tells me. “It’s part of a pattern of deception.”

    Behind the scenes, he says, House Republicans are frustrated by the White House’s evasiveness, and the calls for impeachment will likely increase.

    Chaffetz acknowledges that House speaker John Boehner is wary of moving too swiftly against the president, but the brash, 46-year-old conservative is tired of waiting for answers. He’s ready to issue subpoenas and schedule more hearings.

    His chief concern is that the White House, which he says is staffed by “self-preservationists,” seems to be hiding documents related to the attack and the president’s decisions, in order to protect the administration from scrutiny.

  15. rikyrah says:

    How ‘Scandal’ became the biggest drama on television
    by Courtney Garcia | May 17, 2013 at 1:36 PM

    In eight months, Shonda Rhimes broke up the First Family, unleashed a mole into the executive branch of the White House, suppressed a ballot-rigging debacle, killed innocent people, and consequently, made Scandal the top-rated drama on network television.

    While season one of ABC’s Thursday night political thriller earned a modest critical response, round two hit record-highs, even outscoring American Idol in its recent week’s airing. A large part of the show’s new-found success has been the support of a passionate online community, and more specifically, the juggernaut that has become “black Twitter.” Tweets each week keep Scandal trending for days, and it doesn’t hurt that Rhimes and her cast are leading the call to action.

    Lesson learned? If you tweet it, they will come.

    “Deep down, what social media did for Scandal really isn’t any different than what social media does for a new business or one that’s off the beaten path,” Scott Kleinberg, Social Media Editor for the Chicago Tribune, tells theGrio. “So many people are passionate about it – they love the premise, the story, and they love the fact that Shonda Rhimes is behind it. So, one friend talks to another, but in this case friendships are formed in all that chatter. It causes people to become curious and check it out. And then they want to check out the conversation. And then they can’t get enough.”

    “Gladiators” unite through hashtag discussions

    Not only does Scandal’s storyline lend itself to deliberation, the show has purposely produced a social environment conducive to ongoing discussions. Clever hashtags are created to streamline conversations. The entire cast live-tweets with fans, known as “gladiators.” Even customized commercials are broadcast to advertise details of the Twitter party.

    The results of these concerted efforts are evident in the figures alone. Scandal’s social media campaigns have generated more than 2,200 tweets a minute and five worldwide trending topics, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The latest ratings for the soap-style show are up by 23 percent, with 8.9 million viewers tuning into its penultimate airing.

    Rhimes told THR they were willing to do “whatever it takes to make this show work,” and judging by the results, they accomplished a lot. Even church pastors are getting in on the hashtag action, attempting to preach their sermons in 140 characters or less around the immoral incident of the hour.

    “It’s a connected community,” Kleinberg points out. “Though there are so many people tweeting, never does it feel like the tweets are scattered. They all seem connected by fans – it’s like a giant party. The show is exciting in its own right with a storyline that continues from week to week. So in between episodes, these tweeting fans are building excitement toward next week. The social portion never really stops.”

    For some viewers, it can be frustrating, especially if they can’t catch the episode in real time. Suffice it to say, even your best tweets won’t provide spoiler warnings.

    Myles McNutt, TV Critic for Cultural Learnings/The A.V. Club, suggests the Scandal digital strategy makes it necessary to watch the show live, thus, it inherently boosts ratings.

    “ABC’s bullish social media campaigning has been one of the biggest success stories of the past year in the TV industry, based both on the active participation of the show’s stars, and ABC’s use of that involvement to turn each week’s episode into an event,” he notes. “In a culture where live viewing is becoming less and less common, as DVR use and online streaming rise in popularity, Scandal‘s #WhoShotFitz or #WhatTheHuck are ways to turn not watching Scandal live into a risk for those who don’t want to be spoiled.”

    Tapping into the power of “Black Twitter”

    Along with shrewd engagement tactics, Scandal has benefited largely from the participation of its African-American audience, a demographic shown to be predominant online.

    According to TechCrunch, almost twice as many African-Americans use Twitter as whites, and a significant chunk of those users have become the backbone of Scandal’s social sphere.

    As so-called “Black Twitter” becomes more influential, other networks are taking note.

    “We’ve seen all the Scandal wannabes come out, and they’ve all sucked,” remarks Mary Pryor, a social media strategist and content producer who has actively guided the Scandal Twiterrati. “Now you have people that want to get these black eyeballs…It says a lot that African-Americans over-index on Twitter. It says a lot that African-Americans and Latinos are the leading ethno [sic] groups on Instagram. Network television wants to be able to grasp that fire.”

  16. rikyrah says:

    Bright light on Broadway: Trailblazing producer Alia Jones-Harvey is shaking up the Great White Way
    by Suzanne Rust | May 20, 2013 at 2:12 PM

    Alia Jones-Harvey is a talented, young African-American woman who has produced some of the hottest plays on Broadway in recent and current seasons. While I look forward to a day when these particular details won’t warrant any special attention, we’re not there yet.

    Jones-Harvey is part of a small handful of black producers and is the only woman of color currently working as a leading producer on Broadway. This is a major deal — as are many of the productions which have come to life through her creative acumen.

    Jones-Harvey’s critical and commercial hit: The Trip to Bountiful

    Currently, Jones-Harvey and her partner Stephen C. Byrd are helming their well-received revival of Horton Foote’s The Trip to Bountiful, produced through their company, Front Row Productions, in partnership with Foxboro, Inc. This production has garnered Tony nominations for actresses Cicely Tyson and Condola Rashad (daughter of Phylicia Rashad), in addition to nominations for Best Sound Design of a Play, and Best Revival of a Play.

    These nominations are especially significant for two reasons; for Cicely Tyson, one of our grande dames of stage and screen, this is her first Tony Award nomination, after many decades in show business, and a three-decade hiatus from the Great White Way. And, after critics have observed the lackluster recognition black productions have received from the Broadway community in recent years, these nominations for successful shows is especially welcome.

    For Front Row Productions, it’s been quite a run! To borrow a line from another Broadway favorite, the musical Gypsy, it would seem that everything is coming up roses for Jones-Harvey. How did she get her start?

    Going from the business world to Broadway

    “It’s an interesting conversation about the angels that show up in your life and present themselves in different ways,” Jones-Harvey, who has a dual degree from Spelman and Georgia Tech, and an MBA from New York University, told theGrio. “I studied entertainment in business school and took several courses on the economics of entertainment, entertainment law, creating treatments, and so many other aspects of the industry.”

    Although she has always had a love for the arts, she never saw the entertainment business as a career possibility. Jones-Harvey was discouraged by what was happening in the music industry when she got out of business school, and she had no interest in moving to Los Angeles to work in movies. At first did being a Broadway producer did not seem like an option.

    “In my mind I wasn’t someone with substantial wealth to lean on, so I couldn’t see myself in that type of role,” said the Largo, Maryland native.

    When she moved to New York for business school, a friend introduced her to Stephen C. Byrd (who also came from a business and finance background), as someone who could help her make the transition from consumer products to financial services. “I was at Proctor and Gamble in Cincinnati for many years before deciding to go back to school, and so when I moved to New York that was my goal, to go into finance.”

    The makings of the all-black Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

    In 1995, Byrd told her about his aspirations of trying to put up a production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof with Angela Bassett, Laurence Fishburne, and James Earl Jones. “That didn’t happen for many reasons, but he kept the passion.”

    Fast forward to 2006 — Byrd approached Jones-Harvey about working with him this time to bring the play to life.

    She took a chance and said yes.

    “It took two years to get Cat up: Learning the business, pulling the cast together, getting a theater, and of course securing investors, and the right company for the show.” When it all came together, the all-black cast version of Tennessee Williams’ classic, directed by Debbie Allen, and starring Terrence Howard, Phylicia Rashad, Anika Noni Rose and James Earl Jones was one of the most successful Broadway plays of 2008.

    After making a huge mark by generating over $700,000 in ticket sales, the production then headed to London, where it scored an Olivier Award, London’s equivalent of a Tony.

    Next: The super-success of A Streetcar Named Desire

    The company then pulled off a successful 16-week run of Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire, in which Blair Underwood and Nicole Ari Parker sizzled in the first all-black cast to portray the iconic characters of this play on Broadway.

    Being a Broadway producer is not for the faint of heart. In addition to raising a budget that’s anywhere between $2.5 and $4 million for a play (and “into the stratosphere for musicals, $6 or 7 million — and up to Spiderman budgets!” laughed Jones-Harvey), the other challenges are significant.

    “You have to be able to balance both the creative and business sides, and being able to put together a commercially appealing show as well as high quality one,” she further explained. “Then you have to deal with all the different elements of the show: A director who has a certain vision that they are trying to fulfill, while you are trying to ensure that it can fit inside of your budget, the real budget, and convince investors that they have viable opportunity. And then you have to attract talent. One of the challenges is the pool of talent when we do a show with just African-American leads; the list of actors who have commercial draw and stage chops, plus the time and willingness to do a show, is not extensive.”

    Convincing Broadway investors to go “all-black”

    What types of obstacles did she and Byrd face when they presented the concept of an all-black cast to investors? “We heard things like, ‘oh these are gimmicks,’ or ‘is there an audience for this, and will people support this?’ But with Cat on a Hot Tin Roof we kind of dispelled that. It was the biggest grossing play in that season — we did better than several musicals — so we proved that there is an audience for it and an interest. In the beginning it skewed; initially it was more African-American than it was after the reviews, which was interesting. I feel like that spell has been broken because our current production, The Trip to Bountiful has had an extremely diverse audience from day one. Audiences are looking beyond a gimmick to great casting.”

    And the larger drama community is recognizing Front Row’s achievements as well. “We are excited that Cicely is being recognized by the Drama desk, the Drama League, the Outer Critics Circle, and the Tony’s; it speaks to great casting and delivery,” James-Harvey said of her role in The Trip to Bountiful. “It doesn’t matter what color she is, she is excellent.”

    James-Harvey is pleased to be bringing in a new audience for Broadway. “It has to do with people wanting to see themselves on stage and wanting to identify with the stars who are being cast in those roles. We cater to the traditional theatergoer in a certain sense because the titles we have chosen are classic works with strong themes that we all relate to, across different cultures. The casting is all about drawing in new generations, new audiences, who want to see their favorites; or people who are new to theater.”

  17. rikyrah says:

    mindschmootz ‏@mindschmootz32m
    KFOR: Oklahoma teacher lay on top of 6 kids in a bathroom to save them. They are all ok. Teachers, God love ’em.

  18. Ametia says:


    Where’s Senator Colburn? Or is this Tornado Obama’s fault too?

    Areas of metropolitan Oklahoma City appeared to be in shreds after a massive tornado moved through the region.

    “The houses are destroyed … completely leveled,” a helicopter pilot for CNN affiliate KFOR said. A school was apparently among the structures leveled by the twister.

    The tornado was estimated to be at least two miles wide at one point as it moved through Moore, Oklahoma, KFOR reported

    Ask Mitt Romney how Sandy derailed his November 6 win for the Presidency.Chuckie T and Co will blame the Tornado for the dying down of their MANUFACTURED SCANDALS. IN 5,4.3.2..

  19. African Sunset

  20. Ametia says:


    The 2520s are digging their graves and jumping in as I type. LMBAO

  21. Breaking Politics ‏@breakingpol43s
    White House: President Obama, Michelle Obama to travel to Senegal, South Africa, and Tanzania from June 26-July 3

    Whoo Hoo! I can hardly wait!

  22. Ametia says:

    Monday, May 20, 2013The Washington Times Comments Section Offers Up a Potpourri of Anti-Obama Racism Following His Morehouse College Speech

    This is a follow-up to my earlier post on Barack Obama’s speech at Morehouse College.

    As I wrote there, Obama ought to be quite popular with conservatives given his race-blind approach to public policy. Unfortunately, Obama is a black man, and the political points to be scored through continuing their addiction to the politics of white racial resentment far outweigh the merits of an adherence to traditional conservatism from not too many decades ago.

    Obama’s speech at Morehouse was a bone to the “colorblind” conservatives of the Reagan era. The Washington Times took this opportunity and summarized Obama’s speech at Howard with the following links on their site:

    •Obama at Morehouse: Black men cannot use racism as a crutch
    •Obama to black graduates: Don’t use racism as an excuse

  23. rikyrah says:

    Benghazi Bullshit: The Real Scandal is the Media Pretending that Republicans Aren’t Lying

    By: Sarah Jones
    May. 19th, 2013

    Pardon my language, but I’ve had it with this bullshit.

    The real scandal, the only scandal, is that your “free press” is once again pretending as if Republicans are not lying to them. They are pretending that House Republicans did not feed a lie to the press in order to forward their bullshit Benghazi narrative.

    The press is very busy and important moving forward the narrative that there’s a scandal. Oh, you might be impressed at first that they’ve finally found the courage so clearly missing during the Bush years, when they scraped the lies off of the administration’s feet with subservience and deference befitting propaganda outlets.

    But you’d only be impressed if you didn’t look any deeper. You see, there is one consistency here and that is that when Republicans lie to the press, the public, and Congress, from WMD to Benghazi, the press carries their water like the corporate serfs they are.

    They are not doing this to hold the executive branch accountable. They are doing it because this is the only time they have any balls at all, and they must make a show of it. They haven’t the courage to stand up to corporate Republicans in Congress because their corporate bosses need their Republican stooges to deregulate them for the profit. They haven’t the integrity to stand up to Bush’s WMD. But boy oh boy, can they stand up for phony Benghazi bullshit!

    On the Sunday shows this week, you’d have thought that Jake Tapper never busted ABC’s deliberately misleading Benghazi email “exclusive” as the joke it was. Much concern over the trifecta of scandals. Yesterday I was listening to CNN on satellite radio, and they were breathless with the scandals– would Obama ever recover?

  24. rikyrah says:

    Mitch McConnell Crashes and Burns When Pressed for Evidence of Obama Scandal

    By: Jason Easley
    May. 19th, 2013

    When asked for evidence of Obama’s role in the IRS scandal, Mitch McConnell crashed and burned by babbling on about a culture of intimidation with no supporting proof.


    Basically, Sen. McConnell admitted that Republicans don’t have any evidence to back up their IRS allegations. They are investigating an Obama connection to the IRS scandal because they are falsely attributing some beliefs to him that he does not hold.

    McConnell’s culture of intimidation talking point was supposed to act as justification for all of the congressional investigations.

    Minority Leader McConnell never thought that David Gregory would ask him for evidence to back up his accusations. McConnell’s claim about Obamacare was a lie. The directive was sent out because insurance companies were sending their Medicare customers confusing and deceptive mailings designed to whip up opposition to Obamacare. His claim about the FCC was based on an attempt by the commission to require local stations to post online the names of those who purchase television campaign ads. Mitch McConnell views openness and transparency as part of Obama’s culture of intimidation.

    McConnell’s complaint about the SEC also involved Citizens United. The SEC is considering a disclosure rule that would require publicly traded companies report to shareholders all of their political donations. According to McConnell, trying to stop billionaires from secretly buying our government is Obama intimidation.

    Republicans have been screaming about an Obama culture of corruption since the president took office, but when asked to prove their allegations, they offer zilch. Without even realizing it McConnell proved that all of these “Obama scandals” are nothing more than political fishing trips. Congressional Republicans are hoping to find something to confirm their conspiracies about this president.

  25. rikyrah says:

    The Lie Matters: What Did Sen Coburn Know about the Edited Benghazi Email and How Did He Know It

    By: Sarah Jones
    May. 19th, 2013

    Joy Reid dropped a little Benghazi lying leaker bomb yesterday on the Reid Report blog. A trusted source of hers told her to look at the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs. One person who stood out to her was Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK), who was on Morning Joe on May 9th, the day before the now debunked Benghazi email bombshell, claiming that there were “glaring omissions” in what was given to the intelligence committee, but that he couldn’t talk about it yet.

    Senator Coburn appears to be referencing the email that was edited and shopped by “Republicans on Capitol Hill” to media outlets, and picked up by the gullible rube Jonathan Karl at ABC, as well as repeated by The Weekly Standard and a CBS reporter. This suggests that he saw the edited version of the email that was leaked by Republicans.

    The Reid Report detailed on Saturday:

    A very trusted source of mine gave me a cryptic piece of advice yesterday, which was to take a look at the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs. I didn’t know quite what to make of it at the time, but tonight it occurred to me: could someone on that committee also have been on the Select Committee on Intelligence, which is the one that got the email briefing in February?

    Here’s the Republican membership of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee (the Committee is chaired by Democrat Thom Carper of Delaware):
    • Tom Coburn, (OK) Ranking Member
    • John McCain (AZ)
    • Ron Johnson (WI)
    • Rob Portman (OH)
    • Rand Paul (KY)
    • Mike Enzi (WY)
    • Kelly Ayotte (NH)
    Pretty juicy list! Note how stacked the minority side of the committee is with presidential aspirants, potential aspirants, a former aspirant, and some of the most hardcore tea party Senators, including some, like Rand Paul, John McCain and Kelly Ayotte, who have gone after, first Susan Rice, and then Hillary Clinton guns blazing on Benghazi. But only one of those Senators ALSO sits on the Select Committee on Intelligence — which is the one that my administration source says got the February briefing”

    And that person is Tom Coburn.

  26. rikyrah says:

    Republicans Are Using Faux IRS Outrage to Protect Citizens United
    By: Rmuse
    May. 20th, 2013

    Many Americans claim to mistrust the government, but their real focus is not necessarily the government as it is their elected representatives and their practice of pursuing agendas far removed from that which they avow. Republicans are notorious for claiming, for example, their top priority is creating jobs and then giving tax cuts to the rich and eliminating regulations they assert encourages “job creators” to begin hiring. On Thursday House Speaker John Boehner said “Our system requires the bonds of trust between the American people and their government. Those bonds, once broken, are very hard to repair,” and it was a stunning admission from any Republican, but especially a man who has given the American people no reason whatsoever to trust any utterance issuing from his mouth. Boehner was commenting on the alleged scandals Republicans are working to discredit the Obama White House, and particularly the faux outrage over the I.R.S. doing its due diligence in exposing conservative activists’ attempts to circumvent campaign finance laws.

    Republicans know there was no impropriety in I.R.S. personnel scrutinizing 501(c)(4) tax exempt applications for “social welfare” organizations, and despite their faux outrage that teabagger and patriot groups were targeted unfairly, their real concern is protecting groups like Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS and Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity using “social welfare” designations to influence elections without revealing the source of the dark money being injected into American elections. There is a reason the I.R.S. was deluged with thousands of 501(c)(4) applications prior to the 2010 midterm elections and they can be traced back to the conservative Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission that effectively handed the electoral process over to dark money groups that gave corporations unfettered rights to buy candidates and install them in the highest levels of government.

    The I.R.S. is beyond reproach for scrutinizing applications for “social welfare” designation, but Republicans are panting to use the phony scandal to neuter the agency’s ability to bifurcate campaign financing organizations from legitimate organizations performing social welfare. Citizens United gave rise to so-called super PACs (Political Action Committees) that are unencumbered by legal limits of funds they can raise from individuals, corporations, and other groups, provided they are operated correctly, including revealing their donors that is maintained for public scrutiny by the Federal Election Commission. It should come as no surprise, then, that two of the largest organizations pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into the 2010 and 2012 elections for conservative candidates are also designated as 501(c)(4) “social welfare” organizations that are allowed to conceal their donors despite their political activism and direct influence on the electoral process.

    Republicans could not care less about the I.R.S. giving extra scrutiny to small mom-and-pop teabagger groups and patriot militias posing as social welfare organizations because their contributions are not, in and of themselves, election game-changers in the grand scheme of billion dollar elections. However, they are acutely interested in protecting Karl Rove and the Koch brothers’ dark money being used to influence public opinion against Democratic candidates and issues that protect the American people from conservative predators. Both Rove’s Crossroads GPS and the Koch’s Americans for Prosperity applied for, and received, 501(c)(4) designation as tax exempt “social welfare” organizations that allows them to conceal their donors’ millions-of-dollars contributions that Super PACs would be charged with revealing. Only a deluded conservative sycophant would ever believe for a second that Rove and the Koch’s organizations remotely resemble social welfare organizations, and it is obvious that after the I.R.S. came to grips with the fact Rove and the Kochs are not social welfare oriented, they shifted their attention to groups that were obviously political activists and not social welfare organizations.

  27. rikyrah says:

    Poll: Scandals Not Sticking to Obama

    Democratic strategists are increasingly confident that the three high-visibility scandals of the past week won’t do lasting political damage to President Obama. Democratic pollster Geoff Garin told me that the controversies have created a “tempest in a teapot” and predicted there would be no long-term effect on Obama.

    A new CNN/ORC International poll lends credence to these views. It shows that Obama’s approval rating hasn’t changed very much despite all the coverage of the scandals. Fifty-three percent of Americans said they approve of the job Obama is doing, while 45 percent disapprove. This is comparable to his rating in early April, when 51 percent approved and 47 percent disapproved of his job performance.

  28. rikyrah says:

    Obama’s support steady during firestorm
    By Steve Benen

    Mon May 20, 2013 10:53 AM EDT

    I mentioned last week that President Obama’s poll numbers would almost certainly drop in the face of intense criticism. Even if there are no meaningful allegations of wrongdoing involving the White House, when the public hears the words “president” and “scandal” over and over again, it’s likely to take a toll.

    Or perhaps not. CNN released a poll yesterday showing Obama’s approval rating going up, not down, reaching 53%. What’s more, Gallup daily tracking put the president’s standing at 47% a week ago, then reaching 51% on Saturday, before inching to 50% yesterday.

    How is this possible given the media firestorm and the constant talk of a “White House in crisis”? It may have something to do with the fact that there are partisan differences in how the news is being perceived.

    I put together this chart, for example, showing the partisan breakdown responding to this question in the CNN poll: Do you think that what Barack Obama has said in public about [the IRS controversy] has been completely true, mostly true, mostly false, or completely false?” I then combined “true” and “mostly true,” followed by “false” and “completely false.”

    Democrats and independents believe the president’s remarks have been truthful; Republicans do not. This isn’t surprising, of course, but it does help explain the larger political dynamic — those who were already inclined to support Obama continue to do so; those inclined to believe the worst about the president continue to do that, too. Similar results were found in response to Benghazi-related questions.

  29. Breaking Politics ‏@breakingpol

    Myanmar’s President Thein Sein arrives at White House for historic visit.

  30. rikyrah says:

    Hunter lawsuit proves NBA out for rich

    If you care about America and want to understand the times we live in, it would be a huge mistake to ignore the Billy Hunter-Derek Fisher war.

    n it, particularly in the allegations leveled in Hunter’s lawsuit against Fisher and the NBA Players Association, you can clearly see how the rich protect their wealth by screwing the unsuspecting people beneath them.

    It’s difficult for the working man or woman to think he/she has anything in common with a rank-and-file millionaire professional athlete. But in a labor dispute pitting a major corporation against union employees, a career union assembly line worker such as my mother has a lot in common with a nine-year NBA vet such as Nick Collison.

    My mother, now retired except for seasonal work for tax-preparer H&R Block, has always been a proud member of the 99 percent. Despite working overtime at AT&T’s Western Electric and occasionally taking a second job, my mother never earned more than $62,000 annually during her 35-year work career. Collison has averaged about $4.5 million a season. He’s part of the NBA’s 99 percent. He was in the same draft as LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony. Bron and ‘Melo represent the 1 percent; they have averaged about $11 million per season.

    The NBA’s 99 percent and the league’s elite 1 percent had conflicting agendas during the labor dispute.

    In his lawsuit, Hunter contends that he was caught between the two different factions. He also alleges Derek Fisher was not. Hunter says that Fisher was at the end of his playing career and looking to parlay his union post into a management position within the NBA. Fisher would not be the first players’ union employee to do just that. Hunter also says that one of the league’s highest-paid players and his agent called him on Oct. 27, 2011, and informed Hunter that a labor deal had already been struck with ownership, and Hunter should sign off on it.

    In his statement to the media on Thursday, Hunter claimed that Fisher and certain highly compensated players had a strong motivation to give into ownership’s desire to claw back the gains that Hunter had won in his self-described “successful” negotiations in 2005.

    “Each game canceled during the lockout represented income that Fisher would never realize and would be unlikely to recover because his remaining playing career was limited,” Hunter’s lawsuit claims. “For similar reasons, some of the highest-compensated NBA players… and their agents shared Fisher’s sentiment that the lockout must end.”

    Hunter, as I reported on Oct. 29, 2011, says he confronted Fisher regarding concerns that Fisher had weakened the union’s negotiating leverage by assuring representatives of ownership that the players would agree to a 50-50 split of basketball-related income. Under the previous labor agreement, the players received 57 percent of BRI.

    According to all the experts, the NBA labor agreement struck in early 2012 squeezed the league’s middle class. Does that sound familiar? Does that not sound exactly like every labor deal struck in America the past 20 years? The difference in BRI will come out of Nick Collison’s compensation, not LeBron’s or Carmelo’s.

    Now let’s dig deeper. Since Larry Bird and Magic Johnson reinvented the NBA and set the table for Michael Jordan to turn the league into a multi-billion-dollar economic force, let’s take a look at the transformation of the NBA Players Association.

    Here are the names of the player presidents of the union from 1954 to 2001: Bob Cousy, Tom Heinsohn, Oscar Robertson, Paul Silas, Bob Lanier, Junior Bridgeman, Alex English, Isiah Thomas, Buck Williams and Patrick Ewing. This time frame is important because it covers the league’s fight for relevancy and traction and the union’s fight for fair compensation once Magic, Larry and Michael made the league highly relevant and ridiculously profitable. Every player president during this time frame except for Bridgeman was an exceptional, All-Star caliber performer. And Bridgeman was a really good player.

    My point is as the league was on its way up and the players were clawing for authentic wealth, the NBA’s best players were intimately involved in union activities.

    Here are the player presidents since 2001: Michael Curry, Antonio Davis and Derek Fisher. Here are the players who served on the NBPA executive committee during Billy Hunter’s last years as executive director: Derek Fisher, James Jones, Chris Paul, Matt Bonner, Keyon Dooling, Maurice Evans, Roger Mason, Etan Thomas and Theo Ratliff.

    Hunter became executive director in 1996. He spent the overwhelming majority of his tenure working intimately with the NBA’s 99 percent. Once the superstar players financially feasted at the table set by Michael, Larry and Magic, the NBA’s 1 percent lost interest in union activities.

    Kevin Garnett and Kobe Bryant walked straight out of high school into a league built on the backs of Larry, Michael, Magic, Isiah, Doctor J, Sir Charles, the Mailman, the Dream and Ewing. Garnett and Bryant together have earned in excess of $550 million in NBA salaries. Guys making that kind of coin don’t have time to bother themselves with union issues until there is a crisis.

    I’ve been to the NBPA’s summer meetings in the Bahamas. It was attended by the 99 percent. Those are the players Hunter worked with and communicated with on a regular basis. Hunter’s perspective on union issues was shaped by the 99 percent. I don’t say that because I believe Hunter is some sort of righteous union leader. I say it because those were the players he most often engaged with on union activities.

    So Hunter claims that one of the highest-compensated players and his agent called him on Oct. 27, 2011, and said a 50-50 BRI deal had been struck with ownership and Hunter should accept it.

    I am not certain who that player is. I have been told by two different sources it was Kobe Bryant. Bryant and Fisher share the same agent — Rob Pelinka. Bryant and Fisher are close friends; they joined the Lakers the same year. Bryant was the NBA’s highest-paid player in 2011-12, earning $25 million. Bryant spent part of the 2011 offseason in Germany receiving experimental treatment for his arthritic knee. Given his salary, advancing age, health concerns and legendary competitive zeal, no NBA player had more reason to be desperate for an end to the lockout than Bryant.

    On Friday, I made several attempts to speak with Pelinka. We’ve known each other for 20 years. He was a role player on the Michigan “Fab Five” basketball teams that I covered for the Ann Arbor News. We also occasionally run into each other in Los Angeles. I left a message at his office. I left a voicemail on his cell phone. I wrote him a detailed email explaining why I was contacting him. I also sent him a text message that my iPhone confirmed that he read. Pelinka did not respond to my inquiries.

    Whether it was Bryant, Garnett or some other highly compensated veteran player who contacted Hunter on Oct. 27, 2011, doesn’t really matter. (Although a court case and Hunter’s phone records will eventually reveal the callers.) The point is that during the lockout, Hunter was caught between the NBA’s elite and the rank-and-file players who actually worked in the union.

    Fisher could argue he was caught in the same spot. He has never been an NBA elite. He’s played the same number of seasons as Bryant and earned one-fourth of Bryant’s nearly $250 million.

    But the problem with being represented by a marginal player at the end of his career is that the player will be tempted to position himself for his next career. That is not written to cast Fisher as evil. It’s written to convey he’s human, which means he’s flawed, which means he’s vulnerable to the same temptations many players believe seduced Michael Curry when he was player president during a labor dispute.

  31. Ametia says:

    BWA HA HA HA Tell it Gibby Gibbs!

    • rikyrah says:

      Ex-Obama Aide: Maureen Dowd Has Written Same Column For Eight Years (VIDEO)

      The frostiness between President Barack Obama’s circle and Maureen Dowd continued Monday, with former White House press secretary Robert Gibbs needling the New York Times columnist for a lack of originality.

      During an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Gibbs was asked if he happened to read Dowd’s latest column, in which she called Obama “a sad sack” who could use a little bit more John F. Kennedy.

      “I don’t normally read Maureen,” Gibbs said. “I don’t largely because it’s sort of largely the same column for the last eight years

  32. rikyrah says:

    50th anniversary of Medgar Evers’ broadcasting milestone

    …Finally, Evers was granted time to respond, on May 20, 1963. He spoke for 17 minutes, beginning by telling his audience he was as an U.S. Army veteran who fought fascism and Nazism in Europe during World War II. He talked about a 40 percent black city of 150,000 residents that had no black police officers, firefighters, or clerks. He called for a
    black man being able to “register and vote without special handicaps imposed on him” and “more jobs above the menial level in stores where he spends his money.”

    Evers said toward the end: “The two races have lived here together. The Negro has been here in America since
    1619, a total of 344 years. He is not going anywhere else; this country is his home. He wants to do his part to help make his city, state, and nation a better place for everyone, regardless of color and race. Let me appeal to the consciences of many silent, responsible citizens of the white community who know that a victory for democracy in Jackson will be a victory for democracy everywhere.”

    Tape recordings of viewer calls to WLBT, preserved at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History vividly depict the irate reactions of many white viewers who laced their comments with racist epithets.

    “There was support in the white community, but it was very low key and very quiet,” Myrlie Evers said. She believes her husband’s groundbreaking speech made him a more visible target.

  33. rikyrah says:

    [caption id="attachment_45025" align="alignnone" width="427"]President Barack Obama greets members of the audience following a ceremony honoring the 2012 BCS National Champion University of Alabama Crimson Tide football team on their 15th championship, on the South Lawn of the White House, April 15, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) President Barack Obama greets members of the audience following a ceremony honoring the 2012 BCS National Champion University of Alabama Crimson Tide football team on their 15th championship, on the South Lawn of the White House, April 15, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) [/caption]

  34. rikyrah says:

    Getting to know E.W. Jackson
    By Steve Benen

    Mon May 20, 2013 10:11 AM EDT

    When it comes to culture-war politics and candidates for statewide office, it’s tempting to think Virginia’s state attorney general and Republican gubernatorial hopeful, Ken Cuccinelli, represents an extreme wing of his party. But over the weekend, the Virginia GOP officially nominated its slate of statewide candidates, and the man Republicans chose to run for lieutenant governor is arguably even more unhinged.

    It’s time to get to know E.W. Jackson. This guy is not your garden-variety right-wing activist; this guy is special.


    And really is just the tip of a large iceberg. Jackson has accused President Obama of having “Muslim sensibilities” and seeing the world “from a Muslim perspective.” Jackson sees Democrats embracing a policy agenda “worthy of the Antichrist.” He’s argued that the “repeal of the ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ law is a disaster of historic proportions and it must be reinstated.”

    He believes liberals who support gay rights “have done more to kill black folks” than the “Ku Klux Klan.” And speaking of the KKK, Jackson has argued, “The Democrat Party has created an unholy alliance between certain so-called civil rights leaders and Planned Parenthood, which has killed unborn black babies by the tens of millions. Planned Parenthood has been far more lethal to black lives than the KKK ever was.”

  35. rikyrah says:

    I know I shouldn’t let that Politico hit piece bother me, but it does that so many of our folks will fall for the okeydokey every damn time, because some of our people want to find anything ..


    To knock our President over the head with.

    I look at that picture of Leland, and I just want to cry, because the President told us his story, and by all reality, Leland should be a statistic.
    Then there was the story of the father and son who graduated together.
    Then there was the story of Frederick, who finished Morehouse on his THIRD TRY.

    The valedictorian, who is from Ethiopia – I’m sure there’s a story there.
    Then there is the story of Genarlow Wilson. What happened to Genarlow should have finished him, because that was the entire point of his prosecution. But, while Vanderbilt turned its back on him, Morehouse said- come on, young man. We don’t believe you’re finished with your life; we believe you have much to give the world.
    It’s in THIS crucible…

    This crucible of Black Manhood that nurtured MLK, Maynard Jackson, Spike Lee, Samuel L. Jackson and so many others…

    That the President went to yesterday. Coates has often said that he considered Howard to be Black Mecca, and I have always understood what he meant by that. You can find the totality of the Black experience on an HBCU campus. While you have a Leland in that graduating group, I’m sure you also have many legacies in that graduating class – young men whose fathers and grandfathers went to Morehouse. The entire spectrum of Black manhood in America was in that class, and the President respected it. He honored it. And told those young men that they should honor themselves and all who went before them by being the best – in their professional AND personal lives.

    • Ametia says:

      Tell the TRUTH, and SHAME the DEVILS, Rikyrah. I’m feeling you. But you know this POTUS didn’t get into the Oval Office by lying down and taking all those knocks to his head.

      TheNEGRO coonery, buffoonery crowd can’t accept their own greatness. They’re still looking to white folks as their true leaders.

      And SOME of the 2520s, well, they’ll never OWN their shit… the hatred, bigotry,white privilege and racism. It’s too much work for the lazy to de-construct all those webs that connect them to their whiteness. Their game is to project on Black folks and other POC. If we take in their hatred and racism, it will kill us.

      Just hand it back to them. by acknowledging it. WE KNOW WHAT AND WHO YOU ARE, AND NO… WE DON’T ACCEPT YOUR REALITY OF WHO WE ARE.AS A PEOPLE.


    • The entire spectrum of Black manhood in America was in that class, and the President respected it.

      That’s why they’re mad!

  36. Ametia says:

    yes; we’ve got the CRAY CRAY CRAZY here in MN, along with Bachmann.

  37. Ametia says:


  38. Ametia says:

    How Obama Handles Crisis
    by Jon FavreauMay 20, 2013 4:45 AM EDT

    The handwringers and bed wetters in the D.C. punditocracy should know that Barack Obama will never be on their timeline, says his longtime speechwriter Jon Favreau.

    was an exercise in gallows humor, but it lifted our spirits to recall how many times the president had been so mistakenly and definitively counted out over the last eight years. There was the New York Post headline from October 3, 2007, that always hung in Bill Burton’s campaign office: “CLINTON NEARLY READY FOR HER CORONATION.” And who could forget where they were when the news broke about the Reverend Wright or Bittergate scandals that Washington just knew would destroy Obama’s candidacy? In early September 2008, a Politico story even ran the following quote from a Democratic pollster I’ve still never heard of: “A failure to take Sarah Palin seriously will cost the Obama campaign.”

    And all this was before we got to the White House.

  39. Ametia says:

    We Tracked Down Our Biggest Troll…and Kind of Liked Him
    Ever wonder what an internet troll is like in person? We met one in his lair.

    —By James West and Tim McDonnell
    | Mon May. 20, 2013 3:00 AM PDT

    3 part video here:

  40. rikyrah says:

    The secret memo that only Rand Paul understands
    By Steve Benen

    Mon May 20, 2013 9:11 AM EDT

    Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) seems to have an unusual fondness for conspiracy theories. Paul believes, for example, that the administration is conspiring with the United Nations “confiscate and destroy all ‘unauthorized’ civilian firearms.” He believes there was a secret gun-running scheme that shipped weapons from Libya to Turkey. He fears gun-toting meteorologists and is convinced the Obama administration is responsible for problems with his toilet.

    And when it comes to the IRS’s scrutiny of groups applying for tax-exempt status, Paul believes there are secret memos that exist in his imagination that point to a conspiracy that only he understands.

  41. rikyrah says:

    ABC’s Karl expresses ‘regret’ over false Benghazi report
    By Steve Benen

    Mon May 20, 2013 8:00 AM EDT

    We’ve been keeping a close eye on the controversy surrounding ABC News’ Jonathan Karl and his misleading reporting on Benghazi, which played a critical role in moving the controversy out of Republican media and into the mainstream. Yesterday, for the first time, Karl expressed “regret” for his missteps, though his apology was not without flaw.

    To briefly recap, 10 days ago, Karl told the public he had an exclusive report on internal administration emails, which purportedly showed a top White House official pushing to change Benghazi talking points for political reasons. The report was wrong — it mischaracterized the official’s communications; it included fabricated quotes; it told viewers Karl had “obtained” emails that he had not actually seen; and it effectively got the substance of the story backwards.

    Yesterday, Howard Kurtz on CNN shared a statement he’d received from Karl.
    “Clearly, I regret the email was quoted incorrectly and I regret that it’s become a distraction from the story, which still entirely stands. I should have been clearer about the attribution. We updated our story immediately after new information became available.

    The ABC reporter later said on Twitter that he “sincerely” regrets his error, adding that he apologizes for failing to tell viewers that “the reporting was based on a summary provided by a source.”

    It’s tempting to think this should effectively settle the matter, but the closer one looks at Karl’s response — over a week in the making — the more I’m inclined to believe the underlying problems haven’t been resolved.

    The email was “quoted incorrectly”? Well, that’s not quite right. Karl’s original ABC report included a quote that had been made up to advance a partisan attack based on nothing. “Quoted incorrectly” suggests Karl put a quotation mark in the wrong place, or misunderstood the nature of a paraphrase, but that’s not what happened. Karl received bogus information, which he then presented (badly) as accurate information.

  42. rikyrah says:

    The Morning Plum: Presidential scandals, only in the minds of Republicans

    By Greg Sargent,
    Published: May 20, 2013 at 9:11 am

    Over the weekend, CNN released the first extensive national polling on the “scandals” that have gripped Washington, and it got a bit of a bounce yesterday over two key findings. First, Obama’s approval rating is holding steady (53 percent) despite the scandal chatter. Second, majorities don’t believe the GOP has overreached.

    But dig into the internals of the poll and you find something striking. In the case of the IRS and Benghazi stories, the lurid and nefarious view of Obama’s involvement in them being peddled by the right is held only by Republicans — big majorities of them — while most moderates and independents, i.e. the middle of the country, believe the White House’s arguments.

    * The IRS scandal: Among overall Americans, 61 percent say what Obama has said about the matter is mostly or completely true, versus only 35 percent who say it’s mostly or completely false. Among Republicans, 68 percent say what Obama has claimed is false, and among conservatives, 56 percent say this. But independents believe what Obama has said is true by 58-36, and moderates believe this by 71-25.

    Meanwhile, among overall Americans, 55 percent say the IRS acted on its own in targeting conservative groups, while only 37 percent say the White House ordered it. Among Republicans, 62 percent say the White House ordered it, and among conservatives, 54 percent believe this. But independents believe the IRS acted on its own by 53-36, and moderates believe this by 65-29.

    * The Benghazi story: Among overall Americans, 50 percent believe early statements about the attacks by Obama officials reflected what the administration believed at the time, while 44 percent believe they intentionally misled. Among Republicans, 76 percent believe they intentionally misled, and among conservatives, 65 percent believe this. But moderates believe the statements reflected the administration’s beliefs by 60-35. (Among independents this isn’t as pronounced, but still, a plurality sides with the White House, 47-44.)

    These two stories are presidential scandals only in the minds of majorities of Republicans. This helps explain why Obama’s approval is holding.

    Now, it’s true that a large majority believes the Benghazi attacks could have been prevented, 59-36, but that question doesn’t go to motive — it doesn’t ask whether the Obama administration deliberately allowed the attacks. And it’s also true that in both cases, majorities say there are serious matters at stake and that the GOP has not overreached in pursuing them. That’s understandable, since very legitimate questions remain about the security in Benghazi, and the IRS tale still requires a complete accounting. All of this gives Republicans incentives to keep it up.

  43. rikyrah says:

    Frankie Beverly and Maze?


  44. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

  45. CarolMaeWY says:

    The Maze is smooth. . .

  46. CarolMaeWY says:

    Good Morning.

  47. Good morning, 3Chics! It’s gonna be a golden time of day!

    Maze Forever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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