Wednesday Open Thread | Frankie Beverly & Maze Week

Frankie BeverlyThe group released Can’t Stop the Love in March 1985, which featured the group’s first number one R&B hit “Back In Stride”. The Top 5 follow-up, “Too Many Games”, was part of that recording.

In 1989, they signed with Warner Bros. and released the hit album Silky Soul, plus Back to Basics in 1993, and released the live DVD recording at London‘s Hammersmith Odeon in 1994. The two albums also attained gold disc status. They had another number one R&B success with “Can’t Get Over You”.

In October 2004, “Twilight” appeared in the video game, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, playing on funk radio station, Bounce FM .

In 2009, a tribute to the hits of Maze was released. Called Silky Soul Music: An All Star Tribute to Maze Featuring Frankie Beverly, it included modern stars performing Maze’s biggest hits with Maze acting as the backing band.[2]

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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67 Responses to Wednesday Open Thread | Frankie Beverly & Maze Week

  1. rikyrah says:

    Why USC and not a black college, Dr. Dre?
    His huge gift to the school is commendable, but why couldn’t it have gone to a needy black college?

    By Walter M. Kimbrough

    May 21, 2013

    I was in Detroit preparing to give a speech last week when the news came across my Twitter feed: “Dr. Dre and music producer Jimmy Iovine donate $70 million to USC to create new degree.” As one of the first university presidents from the hip-hop generation, I had to stop and read the story immediately.

    The two music moguls and co-founders of Beats Electronics — recognizing that they needed a new type of creative talent for their growing music technology business — are funding a four-year program that blends liberal arts, graphic and product design, business and technology.

    I understood their need to build a pool of skilled talent. But why at USC? Iovine’s daughter is an alum, sure. And he just gave its commencement address. Andre Young — before he was Dr. Dre — grew up in nearby Compton, where he rose to fame as part of the rap group N.W.A. The Beats headquarters are on L.A.’s Westside.

    Still, what if Dre had given $35 million — his half of the USC gift and about 10% of his wealth, according to a Forbes estimate — to an institution that enrolls the very people who supported his career from the beginning? An institution where the majority of students are low-income? A place where $35 million would represent a truly transformational gift?

    Why didn’t Dr. Dre give it to a black college?

    Make no mistake: This donation is historic. It appears to be the largest gift by a black man to any college or university, comparable to the gift Bill Cosby and his wife, Camille, gave to Spelman College in 1988. Some 25 years later, their $20-million gift (about $39 million in inflation-adjusted dollars) is still the largest-ever private gift to a historically black college. Dre gave USC almost triple the amount Oprah Winfrey has given Morehouse College over the years. Sean “Diddy” Combs gave $500,000 to Howard University in 1999, which he attended before launching a successful career.

    A hip-hop icon is now the new black higher-ed philanthropy king. We’ve never seen a donation to rival this from any black celebrity — musician, athlete or actor — and that fact must be celebrated.

    But as the president of a black college, it pains me as well. I can’t help but wish that Dre’s wealth, generated as it was by his largely black hip-hop fans, was coming back to support that community.

    USC is a great institution, no question. But it has a $3.5-billion endowment, the 21st largest in the nation and much more than every black college — combined. Less than 20% of USC’s student body qualifies for federal Pell Grants, given to students from low-income families, compared with two-thirds of those enrolled at black colleges. USC has also seen a steady decrease in black student enrollment, which is now below 5%.

    http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-kimbrough-usc-dre-20130521,0,4154084.story

  2. Ametia says:

    I swear the NEANDERTHALS living in America. Just utter, ignorant, blatant racist STUPIDITY.

    White Father Accused of Kidnapping his Biracial Children
    May 21, 2013 by Evette Dionne

    VIDEO: http://www.myfoxdc.com/story/22286875/va-father-says-he-was-suspected-of-kidnapping-his-kids-by-walmart-security-due-to-his-children-being-mixed#axzz2TpweLkZl

    Script: http://www.clutchmagonline.com/2013/05/white-father-accused-of-kidnapping-his-biracial-children/comment-page-1/

  3. rikyrah says:

    Janet Jackson Joins The Billionaire Club + 5 Of The World’s Richest Black People
    May 22, 2013
    By Myeisha Essex

    Janet Jackson’s fortune is growing and growing, and with her multi-million dollar husband by her side it doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon.

    According to reports, the 47-year-old has just entered the billionaire club. Her combined bank balances with hubby, retail entrepreneur Wissam Al Mana, have topped $1 billion.

    Sources say she’s earned $458 million from touring, $260 million in album sales, $81.5 from sponsorships and licensing fees, and another $81 million from book publishing and music royalties.

    Her acting career has brought in the big buck as well. She’s banked over $300 million from her roles in 2000′s The Nutty Professor II: The Klumps, 1993′s Poetic Justice and 2010′s For Colored Girls.

    All we can say it “Go, girl!”

    http://hellobeautiful.com/2644153/janet-jackson-joins-the-billionaire-club-5-of-the-worlds-richest-black-people/?omcamp=es-hb-nl

    • rikyrah says:

      1. Jay-Z and Beyonce Carter
      Last month Bey and Jay hit a hip-hop and R&B millstone, becoming music’s first billionaire couple. According to the International Business Times, the couple’s album sales, endorsement deals and touring revenue have pushed their combined earnings well over the billion dollar mark.

      2. Isabel Dos Santos
      This businesswoman is Africa’s richest woman and Angola’s first billionaire. Even as the oldest daughter of Angolan president Jose Eduardo dos Santos, sources say Isabel’s holding are all self made. She made a fortune as an investor, with several stakes in Angolan and Portuguese companies.

      3. Aliko Dangote
      Aliko is Africa’s richest man with a fortune of over $4.9 billion. He became a billionaire by controlling stakes in Nigerian sugar, cement and flour companies.

      4. Oprah Winfrey
      With a net worth of $2.8 billion, this media modal was the only African-American billionaire in the world until Janet entered the mix. She runs a school in South Africa, operates her own network, stars in numerous television shows and heads a national magazine.

      5. Mo Ibrahim
      British businessman Mo Ibrahim came up after selling his mobile phone company Celtel for $3.4 billion, pocketing $1.4 billion. The communications entrepreneur is of Sudanese decent.

  4. RIKYRAH

    BREAKING: Chicago school board votes to close 49 elementary schools

    http://media.apps.chicagotribune.com/layercake/uploads/chinews-chicago-school-closings-201305221459/index.html

    The board voted 4-2 to close Von Humboldt Elementary, then voted on the rest of the closings together.

    That vote passed unanimously, so the board all together voted to close 49 elementary schools and one high school program.

  5. rikyrah says:

    Why the nominating fights are on hold (but not for long)
    By Steve Benen
    Wed May 22, 2013 12:36 PM EDT.

    A week ago, it looked like the Senate was gearing up for some major nominating fights. Richard Cordray’s nomination to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was ready to be brought the floor, as were Thomas Perez’s Labor Secretary nomination and Gina McCarthy’s EPA nomination. The result would some knock-down-drag-out fights that could dictate the future of how the chamber deals with administration nominees.

    And then … nothing. Even Cordray’s nomination, which was slated for tomorrow, was pulled from the schedule. What happened? Brian Beutler reports this morning

    Cordray will now most likely get his chance after immigration reform legislation clears the Senate. And not because Reid is giving up on Cordray’s nomination, but because he wants to turn Cordray and a handful of other nominees into a test of the GOP’s vows to filibuster top Obama picks, including two designated cabinet secretaries.

    The move serves two purposes: First, it removes one of the largest pretexts Republicans will have to walk away from immigration reform. Second, it puts Republicans on the spot in an exquisite — and in Reid’s mind necessary — way, thus providing the nominees their best chance at confirmation, and leaving Democrats little choice, if the GOP blocks them, but to change the rules to immunize executive and judicial nominees from filibuster.

    A senior Democratic aide told Brian the idea is to set up “back-to-back-to-back confirmation votes” on Cordray, Perez, and McCarthy. My sources have suggested President Obama’s nominees to lead the ATF and sit on the NLRB may also in the mix as part of the same effort.

    If the Senate is allowed to exercise its advise-and-consent role, fine — these nominees will be confirmed and the chamber will move on to other business. If the Republican minority blocks some or all of these nominees, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) will, in theory, be able to credibly argue that the GOP has given him no other choice but to pursue the “nuclear option.”

    Why not do this sooner rather than later? Two reasons.

    ——————————————————————————–

    First, Reid and Senate Dems see immigration as so important, they’re inclined to push everything off until the reform bill has cleared the chamber. Once it’s done, Democrats will feel freer to use hardball tactics to combat Republican obstructionism — knowing that forcing the confrontation now would almost certainly derail the bipartisan legislation.

    Second, if Reid is serious about the “nuclear option,” he’s going to need at least 51 votes to pull it off. That may sound easy given that the Senate Democratic caucus has 55 members, but let’s not forget that plenty of those 55 have proven to be very reluctant when it comes to changing how the Senate operates. If they were uncomfortable with filibuster reform in January, the “nuclear option” is likely to be a tough sell, too.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/05/22/18423610-why-the-nominating-fights-are-on-hold-but-not-for-long?lite

  6. rikyrah says:

    ‘Sickening and barbaric’: Man killed in suspected London terror attack
    By Alastair Jamieson and F. Brinley Bruton, NBC News

    A man, reported to be a British soldier, was attacked and killed by knife-wielding assailants on a London street in broad daylight Wednesday in what is being investigated as an ideologically motivated terror attack.

    Eyewitnesses told ITV News that two attackers were later shot by officers.

    A witness identified as James told local radio station LBC that he saw two suspects attack the young victim with knives, including a meat cleaver.

    “They were hacking at this poor guy, literally,” he told the station. “They were hacking at him, chopping him, cutting him.”

    Prime Minister David Cameron, on a trip to Paris, said the early indications were that it was a terror attack.

    Local lawmaker Nick Raynsford said the dead man was a soldier serving at a nearby barracks, but the Ministry of Defence could not immediately confirm this.

    Multiple witnesses said the victim was wearing a T-shirt bearing the logo of the veterans charity Help for Heroes.

    http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/05/22/18423701-sickening-and-barbaric-man-killed-in-suspected-london-terror-attack?lite

  7. rikyrah says:

    The Impossibility of Being Barack Obama
    Every now and then we see how hard his balancing act is.
    James Fallows
    May 21 2013, 12:29 AM ET

    half-heard the President’s commencement address at Morehouse when coming back to DC this weekend. I saw a clip of it again late last night and thought: this is another sample and reminder of Barack Obama’s reserves of rhetorical strength. Like his other big, punctuating speeches (as I have discussed previously here, here, here and elsewhere), this one appealed to both the mind and the heart; it built an argument over a span of paragraphs rather than in isolated phrases; and it grew from Obama’s position as a man part of, but also apart from, America’s normal racial classifications.

    Before I had a chance to write anything about the speech, I read two other reactions. One was from my former colleague Andrew Sullivan, who was defending the speech against idiotic accusations that it was “race-baiting” and too black. The other was from my current Atlantic colleague Ta-Nehisi Coates, who criticized the speech for being too hectoring of Obama’s Morehouse audience in a way he wouldn’t have been at Dartmouth or Stanford:

    Barack Obama is, indeed, the president of “all America,” but he also is singularly the scold of “black America.”

    As I told Ta-Nehisi by phone this evening, I naturally cut Obama more slack on this point than he does. (And of course I hear the speech differently too.) We all take a different tone in setting expectations for “our own.” I can hold Americans overseas to a different standard than I would Russians or Japanese; I can harangue (and have!) my colleagues in the press about why we should do better; I expect something from myself and my kids I wouldn’t expect from you and your kids, and so on. The challenge for Obama, exactly as Ta-Nehisi pointed out, is that he is simultaneously addressing all Americans as his own (apart from those who consider him alien) while also in this speech addressing as his own the most historically distinct subset of our population.

    So, I was glad to see Andrew Sullivan’s defense; and I understood the logic of Ta-Nehisi Coates’s frustrated criticism. Which led me to the main conclusion: about the near-impossibility of the tightrope act Barack Obama is attempting as America’s first non-white president, and the unusual combination of virtuosity (as with this speech) and unflappability (as with criticism of the speech) with which he has mainly carried it off.

    I increasingly think of Obama as walking a tiny, little rope suspended across a Grand Canyon. Through four and a half years he has mainly kept his footing, in a way that becomes cumulatively surprising — and I say that even while disagreeing with many of his policies, notably including the recent security-state extensions. Every now and then, as with this speech, we see how hard what he is doing is.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/05/the-impossibility-of-being-barack-obama/276065/

  8. rikyrah says:

    Obama At Morehouse, Ctd

    May 22 2013 @ 12:39pm

    A reader writes:

    As an African-American, I respect your point about the value of Obama’s speech at Morehouse, but ultimately, I completely agree with TNC’s critique. Why? Because I am tired. It seems that every time Obama comes to the black community to address us, he lectures us; he does not simply speak to us. He gives us a lesson about personal responsibility; he preaches to black men about responsible fatherhood; etc. These are crucial topics, and matters that we, as a community must solve and address, but must he talk about them every goddamned time he comes into the community?

    This is especially galling when he refuses to address in explicit terms the specific policy needs of the black community (and they do exist).

    I understand that he is the President of ALL of America, but would it kill the man to fight for at least a few policy initiatives that would specifically benefit low-income African-Americans, in particular? God knows we fought for him when we stood in lines across this country, often times for hours, in the face of relentless Republican efforts to disenfranchise us, simply so that he could put up with those boneheads for another four miserable years. If he is going to be our constant scold, it would ease the sting if he was occasionally more than our symbolic benefactor.

    I will close on one last note, and I want you, in particular, to be mindful of this. Some of the best and brightest young African-American men in the country attend Morehouse, and many of those men grew up in middle and upper middle-class families (a number of which are likely still intact). I would not be surprised if there are at least 1-2 men in each class who turn down Harvard, and a handful more who turn down other Ivy League schools, in order to attend Morehouse. It has a storied history, and the men who attend that institution graduate, attend exceptionally fine graduate institutions, and often lead wonderfully productive lives.

    Of all the groups of young men in the world who needed to hear the lecture that the President gave, they should not have been high on that list. He should have treated them like he would have treated the graduating class at Harvard: like bright young people with a world of possibilities in front of them, who had the right to pretend on just one day that a legacy of pain and the assumption of inadequacy did not accompany their every step.

    http://dish.andrewsullivan.com/2013/05/22/obama-at-morehouse-ctd-2/

  9. rikyrah says:

    David’s Bookclub: The Warmth of Other Suns
    by David Frum May 20, 2013 6:15 AM EDT

    The achievement of Isabel Wilkerson’s amazing The Warmth of Other Suns is to transmute sociology into memoir.

    …………………………………

    The Warmth of Other Suns is a big book in every sense, and it inspires many thoughts. For here and now, just two of my own to accompany all the many accolades the book has won.

    1) Many of us on the right would like to tell a story of the post-Civil War South that indicts segregation as a product of government regulation only. Wilkerson’s quashes that illusion. The oppressive actions of the Southern state presupposed the oppressive organization of Southern society and the Southern economy. It was no act of government that imposed the rule that a black customer in a shop must wait until all the white customers had been served. Store owners did not worry that mistreating black customers would cost them business, because the post-1865 settlement had failed to compensate ex-slaves in any way for their unpaid labor, meaning that even in freedom they remained nearly as landless and poor as ever. The stark divide between economic wealth and political power that matters so much to libertarian theory does not describe reality in the South of 1915.

    In the North, the migrants encountered discrimination. No matter how much wealth they accumulated – and some accumulated a great deal – they could not gain the highest degree of status. But in the South, the utter lack of status had prevented black Southerners from accumulating wealth in the first place. To transform the South into something more like a market economy, open to all participants, would require the forceful application of federal government power in the years after World War II.

    2) Although Isabel Wilkerson analogizes the Great Migration to other immigrations to the United States, that comparison is only an analogy. The Southern migrants were American citizens, moving as of right within their own country. Yet there is a way that the comparison is apt. Unlike, say, the northern Americans who moved into the Sunbelt in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, the Southern black migrants arrived in the cities of the North as basically unskilled labor. As the story of Dr. Foster reminds us, there were exceptions to that norm – but the norm was the norm.

    This encounter between Southern peasant labor and Northern industrial cities caused a social convulsion to which we are still adjusting. The convulsion was made worse because the Southern migrants arrived in their largest numbers after World War II – at exactly the same moment that Northern factories were beginning a long wave of automation that hugely reduced their need for the kind of labor the Southern migrants could do. (From a left-of-center perspective, Thomas Sugrue’s study of the migration into Detroit, Origins of the Urban Crisis, details the swift pace of labor up-skilling and down-sizing in the years after World War II.)

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/05/20/david-s-bookclub-the-warmth-of-other-sons.html

  10. rikyrah says:

    Heller tries to have it both ways

    By Steve Benen
    Wed May 22, 2013 2:04 PM EDT.

    In competitive states, we’re seeing two kinds of politicians: those who support new measures intended to reduce gun violence and those who pretend to support new measures intended to reduce gun violence.

    In New Hampshire, Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R), shortly after voting to kill the bipartisan bill to expand background checks, benefited from new ads claiming she voted for “a bipartisan plan to make background checks more effective.” In Arizona, Sen. Jeff Flake (R), who voted the way the NRA demanded last month, this month is telling anyone who’ll listen how much he loves “to strengthen background checks.”

    And in Nevada, as Jon Ralston noted today, Sen. Dean Heller (R) is sending out interesting correspondence to his constituents.

    “Knowing your interest in gun control, I wanted to give you an update on legislation I have cosponsored and supported recently.”

    Imagine how Nevadans felt when they received a letter that began that way from none other than Sen. Dean Heller, who voted against the Manchin-Toomey bill, saying he feared a creation of a gun registry despite his general support for the concepts in the measure. He was hailed by NRA types and blistered by gun control advocates.

    I wonder how many folks who received that missive fell for the having-it-both-ways Heller approach.

    Probably quite a few. That’s the point — politicians who do unpopular things have to cynically hope they can mislead voters, not by explicitly lying, but by taking advantage of public confusion over details.

    In this case, Heller’s letter (pdf) makes him sound like quite the reformer, boasting of his support for background checks, keeping firearms from the mentally ill, endorsing an amendment sponsored by a Democrat, and cosponsoring “bipartisan” legislation.

    The typical person, who may not follow the news closely, would probably have no idea that Heller helped filibuster the bipartisan measure on background checks, and helped kill the entire bill on gun reforms.

    But therein lies the point: the Nevada Republican is embarrassed enough to try to give people the wrong impression, and that level of embarrassment tells us something important.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/05/22/18424847-heller-tries-to-have-it-both-ways?lite

  11. rikyrah says:

    This is the bank vault that saved 24 people during Oklahoma tornado

    It’s a testament to … something. Awesome vault construction? The human will to survive? Either way, the fact that 24 people took shelter in this vault at the Tinker Federal Credit Union branch during the Oklahoma tornado, and the fact that it’s still standing amid the rubble of the utterly destroyed building are both very impressive. The bank manager’s dedication is admirable as well, remaining with the safe even after being rescued until it could be locked up and secured again. Two dozen people have been confirmed killed in the EF5 tornado (the highest grade), and its 17-mile path resulted in at least $1 billion in damage. [Source]

    http://now.msn.com/bank-vault-shelters-24-people-during-tornado

  12. rikyrah says:

    Furthermore! – Disasters, Communities, and Race

    May 22, 2013

    Does civilization break down after natural disasters, with looting in the streets? Or do communities pull together to help each other? The answer depends on race … or so the media would have us believe. (More)

    We all remember what happened after Hurricane Sandy, as looters and chaos ruled the streets. It was almost as bad as the days after Katrina, when the Superdome was a virtual house of horrors plagued by rapes and murders. Civilization breaks down after natural disasters, and our worst instincts emerge. At least that’s what happens when disaster strikes a major urban center.

    Contrast that with the wonderful sense of community so evident yesterday in the wreckage of Moore, Oklahoma:

    MSNBC’s Martin Bashir summarized the comments of former Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating, who described the good people of Oklahoma coming together in times of tragedy. Milissa Rehberger, who worked in Oklahoma City during the horrific 1999 tornado, agreed:

    It’s the whole state. Yes, they’re very strong, resilient people. We keep using the word resilient. It’s very, very true. These are salt of the earth, hardworking people who value family, God, and community. They’re a community already. They don’t need a tragedy to pull them together. They treat each other well in general. And in general, the state, you know, when I was living there they asked me where do I worship? Would you like to come? They enjoy getting to know people. It’s a very tight community. And I know that we say that in times of trouble, but this is true of Oklahoma, basically all the time. The governor was absolutely right.

    In the earlier interview, unavailable at MSNBC, Gov. Keating emphasized that there was no looting after the Moore tornado, because these were “people of faith.” Maybe that’s why Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) could be so confident that disaster relief for his state would not be like the “slush fund” for Sandy.

    But as it happens, most of the looting charges after Sandy were dismissed, and communities there did come together to help each other. Just as the rapes and murders in the Superdome after Katrina were myths spread by a gullible media eager for sensationalistic headlines.

    Oh, and there was looting in Moore after the tornado.

    The difference, of course, is race. Most of the New Orleanians huddling in the Superdome were black. So are many people in New York City, especially in the areas where looting dominated the news coverage. But Moore is an upscale, largely white suburb. Joplin, Missouri is an even whiter community, and the stories of neighbors helping each other after that disaster became a documentary movie. The stories of civil breakdown, including looting by Missouri National Guard troops and even a Joplin firefighter, didn’t make national headlines.

    http://bpicampus.com/2013/05/22/furthermore-disasters-communities-and-race/

  13. rikyrah says:

    Congressman Who Gets Millions In Farm Subsidies Denounces Food Stamps As Stealing ‘Other People’s Money’

    While Fincher interprets food assistance for the needy as “stealing,” he has not similarly condemned the Farm Bill’s massive agricultural subsidies. In fact, he supported a proposal to expand crop insurance by $9 billion over the next 10 years. Fincher has a great personal stake in maintaining these particular government handouts, as the second most heavily subsidized farmer in Congress and one of the largest subsidy recipients in Tennessee history:

    USDA data collected in EWG’s 2013 farm subsidy database update — going live tomorrow –shows that Fincher collected a staggering $3.48 million in “our” money from 1999 to 2012. In 2012 alone, the congressman was cut a government check for a $70,000 direct payment. Direct payments are issued automatically, regardless of need, and go predominantly to the largest, most profitable farm operations in the country.

    Fincher’s $70,000 farm subsidy haul in 2012 dwarfs the average 2012 SNAP benefit in Tennessee of $1,586.40, and it is nearly double of Tennessee’s median household income. After voting to cut SNAP by more than $20 billion, Fincher joined his colleagues to support a proposal to expand crop insurance subsidies by $9 billion over the next 10 years.

    http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2013/05/21/2042831/congressman-who-gets-millions-in-farm-subsidies-denounces-food-stamps-as-stealing-other-peoples-money/

  14. rikyrah says:

    Billboard Music Awards Red Carpet Rundown
    Posted on May 21, 2013 in Fashion

    Darlings, there’s no way in hell we can get to all the tackiness that infested the Billboard Awards red carpet this year. Let’s just run through the highlights and yell out our bitchy thoughts together, like a family. Of bitches.

    http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/2013/05/billboard-music-awards-red-carpet-rundown.html

  15. rikyrah says:

    BREAKING: Obama has now created more stock market wealth than all Presidents since 1817–COMBINED #markets #news twitter.com/TheDailyEdge/s…— The Daily Edge (@TheDailyEdge) May 21, 2013

  16. rikyrah says:

    Fight Over Obama’s Fannie Mae Pick Watt Risks Housing Deal
    By Cheyenne Hopkins & Clea Benson – May 22, 2013 10:09 AM CT

    As a North Carolina congressman, Mel Watt has tried to arm struggling homeowners with a legal “sledgehammer” against lenders and expand the ranks of people eligible to cut their mortgage principal.

    Those positions help explain why President Barack Obama has nominated Watt, a Democrat, to oversee Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (FMCC), the mortgage companies seized by the government in 2008. They also underscore Watt’s uphill climb to gain support from the Senate Republicans he’ll need to win confirmation.

    ………………………………

    The political fight that’s going to be necessary to push this through the committee is going to so sour relationships, that you are just not going to be able to reach across the aisle on a housing finance bill,” said Jaret Seiberg, an analyst at Guggenheim Securities LLC’s Washington Research Group.

    Partisan wrangling over Watt could “grind everything to a halt,” Seiberg said.

    Republicans aren’t in a hurry to see Watt replace Edward J. DeMarco, the current head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the independent regulator with oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. DeMarco has resisted pressure from the Obama administration and consumer advocates to allow the two companies to cut the principal balance on troubled loans, saying that would hurt taxpayers more than it would help homeowners.

    First Choice
    Obama’s first choice to replace DeMarco was former North Carolina banking commissioner Joseph Smith, 63. Smith withdrew in 2011 amid strong Republican opposition to his candidacy. Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama, then the top Republican on the Banking Committee, said Smith would be “a tool” of the White House on mortgage policy.

    “It would be a shame if principal reduction turned into a litmus test for FHFA the way Roe v. Wade is for Supreme Court nominees,” said Julia Gordon, director for housing finance and policy at the Center for American Progress, an advocacy group with ties to the Democratic Party.

    Republicans who are poring through records of Watt’s history in Congress are questioning his qualifications as well as his politics. “This is a job that requires a very knowledgeable technocrat,” said Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee, also a Banking Committee member. “This is no job for a politician.”

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-05-22/obama-s-fannie-mae-pick-watt-faces-fight-imperiling-housing-deal.html

  17. rikyrah says:

    John Fugelsang ✔ @JohnFugelsang

    Lib group Emerge America: targeted by #IRS, lost tax-exempt status, had to disclose donors. This happened to zero Tea Party groups. #p2

    10:02 AM – 22 May 2013

  18. Hey Chicas!

    Little Jay said…”granny, look up”. ..”look down”…”look all around”. I did all those things and I asked him what now? Jay said….”nothing, that’s it”! LMBO!

  19. First Lady Michelle Obama makes the top 10 list of the world’s most powerful women!

    http://www.forbes.com/power-women/list/

  20. rikyrah says:

    To this, I use one of my favorites from this administration:

    Jackal in the Press: Mr. President. The Republicans have accused you of appeasement.

    POTUS: Ask Osama Bin Laden if I’m an appeaser. Ask Al Qeda. Whoever’s left.

    ……………………..

    May 21, 2013 11:14 AM
    Benghazi and Abbottabad

    By Ed Kilgore

    In case you don’t really want to spend a lot of time following the Benghazi! investigation by House Republicans, but want to get an idea where it is headed, here’s the word from someone who passionately cares about Benghazi!, conservative journalist Byron York of the Washington Examiner:

    Until now, most press coverage of the Benghazi matter has focused on the administration’s misleading talking points explaining the attack on the U.S. facility in Libya. But just beneath the surface is the investigation into a potentially more explosive part of the Benghazi story: Whether the U.S. government did everything it could to save Americans whose lives were at risk in the chaotic hours of Sept. 11, 2012

    Translation: the “talking points” saga turned out to be a dry hole (embarassing, indeed, to Republicans once it became clear doctored quotes from emails were at the source of the “press coverage” York is talking about). So it’s time to look elsewhere for Benghazi! oxygen.

    York then goes on to discuss today’s House Armed Services Committee meeting (closed to the media) with Pentagon officials aimed, it is clear, at finding holes in the administration’s claim that nothing much could have been done to prevent the killings in Benghazi. Since it’s “whistleblower” Gregory Hicks who’s kept the “scandal” alive, his obvious feeling that a rescue mission could have been launched—or could have been launched if the appropriate security precautions had been in place—is now driving the investigations.

    But York’s explanation contains a line of inquiry that shows the underpinnings of this stage of the long-running Benghazi! show even more clearly:

    ……………………….

    York doesn’t completely connect the dots for us, but it’s obvious the idea here is to contrast Obama’s allegedly indifferent behavior during Benghazi! with his high level of personal engagement during the operation to kill Osama bin Laden in Abbotabad, Pakistan. And so the grainy details of the Benghazi! investigation are beginning to converge with its political aim: to neutralize the perceptions of Barack Obama as a tough commander-in-chief who can be trusted to protect our national security, and return to the pre-Abbotabad conservative portrait of the 44th president as a weak and ignorant Muslim-lover who plays politics while Americans are threatened and killed.

    And so “The Vetting” of Barack Obama, well into its fifth year, continues.

    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/political-animal-a/2013_05/benghazi_and_abbottabad044856.php

  21. rikyrah says:

    The GOP Has Stopped Making Sense

    by BooMan
    Wed May 22nd, 2013 at 10:09:21 AM EST

    If I understand it correctly, the last time we had to raise the debt ceiling, the Republicans balked and decided to merely suspend the requirement that we operate with a debt ceiling. That suspension has sunsetted as of May 19th. Treasury Secretary Lew announced that he would implement the “standard set of extraordinary measures” to avoid defaulting on our debt.

    On Friday, the Treasury stopped issuing State and Local Government Series securities (SLGS). State and local governments buy the securities as they work to refund municipal bond deals. Issuing those securities takes up space under the debt limit.
    The Treasury also has the power to halt new investments in federal employee retirement funds, which would be reimbursed once the limit is hiked. It also can stop reinvesting in its Exchange Stabilization Fund used to buy and sell foreign currencies. All these moves can free up billions of dollars the government can use to meet critical bills, and give Washington time to strike a debt-limit compromise.

    This is just how we operate now, like a Banana Republic. However, there has been a little wrinkle in the Republicans’ plans. They thought we’d be out of money this summer and they would be able to force another hostage crisis over the debt ceiling to extract concessions on the budget. But then we ran a $113 billion surplus in April, and now Secretary Lew assures Congress that we can make it past Labor Day without defaulting on our debts.

    With their hostage-taking plans in ruins, Republican senators began cannibalizing each other on the Senate floor yesterday. To understand what was going on requires some explanation.

    The way the budget process is supposed to work is that both the House and the Senate pass a budget in the spring. They reconcile their two budgets into one budget. Then the responsible committees figure out how they are going to spend the money they have been allotted. Appropriations bills are drafted in the late summer and early fall. And then those bills are passed in each house, and reconciled with each other and passed again. That’s how it is supposed to work, but it’s been a while since things actually worked out that way.

    Strictly speaking, there is no requirement that Congress pass a budget, and they haven’t agreed to one in recent years. While the House has passed a serious of Paul Ryan budgets, the Senate hasn’t bothered to pass anything or make any attempt to reconcile their priorities with Ryan’s.

    The Senate’s failure to pass a budget became a rallying cry for conservatives who kept complaining that the Democrats were not using “regular order” to work on the budget. So, this year, the Senate Democrats finally decided that they would pass a budget. They accomplished that 59 days ago.

    The next step is supposed to be the selection of conferees to serve on a Conference Committee. That’s what is called “regular order.” The House and Senate select their conferees, and then the Conference Committee hammers out a compromise. Yet, it appears that in passing a budget, the Senate Democrats have called some kind of bluff, because the Republicans absolutely refuse to allow the selection of conferees.

    Senator Ted Cruz of Texas has a conspiracy theory that the Democrats will use the Conference Committee to get rid of the debt ceiling. John McCain thinks he is an idiot.

    On the other side, Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine.) questioned that argument, noting that Democrats couldn’t do anything in conference without the approval of the House — which, McCain said, “happens to be a majority of our party.”
    “So we don’t trust the majority party on the other side of the [Capitol] to come to conference and not hold to the fiscal discipline that we want to see happen? Isn’t that a little bit bizarre?” McCain said.

    McCain and Collins also argued that the stall tactics look ridiculous after months of GOP complaints about the refusal by Senate Democrats to adopt a budget. The first Senate budget in three years won approval 59 days ago, and Republicans have been dragging their feet every since.

    “What are we on my side of the aisle doing?” demanded McCain.

    Since the budget is really nothing more than a blueprint for making appropriations decisions, it’s a worthless document if it isn’t passed in the spring because the fiscal year ends on September 30th. The Republicans can’t get concessions on the budget by refusing to lift the debt ceiling if the debt ceiling won’t become a crisis until early September.

    What’s actually happening is a freak-out on the conservative side because circumstances have conspired against them.

    No one expects budget negotiations to go smoothly. House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has said he views the debt limit deadline as critical to forcing an agreement. But that deadline has now been pushed to well after Labor Day.
    In recent conversations with reporters, Collins has called the stall tactics “absurd;” McCain called them “insane” and “incomprehensible.”

    Here’s how Steve Benen describes the situation:

    Congressional Republicans made a series of assumptions, all of which have turned out to be wrong. They assumed Senate Democrats couldn’t pass a budget. They assumed Democrats wouldn’t want a budget process considered under regular order. And they assumed the budget talks, if they occurred, would happen around the same time as the need for a debt-ceiling increase.
    GOP lawmakers were terribly disappointed, then, to see Senate Democrats do exactly what they were asked to do, and the economy improved quickly enough to push off the debt-limit deadline until fall.

    But with their plans foiled, Republicans are stuck with no Plan B, no leverage, and no credible threat.

    Part of the problem involves the House rules. If the Conference Committee were to convene, and if it were unable to come to an agreement after 20 days, then members of the House (including Democrats) could begin initiating votes on “instructing the conferees.” And that would spell the end of any semblance of leadership control over the budget process.

    Another part of the problem is that having a public conference committee would force the Republicans to show their intransigence on taxing the wealthy and their insistence on slashing popular programs and entitlements. Their positions have a surface level of support with a large segment of the public, but that support evaporates when it becomes concrete. To get the kind of cuts they want, they need a Grand Bargain because they need to be able to blame the Democrats for complicity in the unpopular parts of the budget. They won’t be able to do that if they use regular order.

    So, here we are. The Republicans don’t know what to do. They are fighting each other. The conservatives have stopped making sense even to John McCain.

    http://www.boomantribune.com/story/2013/5/22/10921/3455

  22. rikyrah says:

    TRUTH sometimes…

    is stranger than fiction.

    ……………………….

    May 22, 2013 at 8:21 am
    McCree says he ‘lusted after’ woman in his court
    Oralandar Brand-Williams
    The Detroit News

    Embattled Wayne County Circuit Judge Wade McCree testified Tuesday that his extramarital affair with a woman who had a case before him “surprised and thrilled him.”

    “I lusted after this woman,” he said of Geniene La’Shay Mott, a litigant in a child support case assigned to him. “I’m in my middle 50s and she’s a double dozen years my junior.”

    But, the judge said, their relationship was “volatile” and Mott “had problems with boundaries.”

    “Miss Mott is passionate,” he testified. “She would be at the apex of euphoria and the abyss of homicidal anger.”

    The judge’s testimony came during the second day of hearings brought by the Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission, which has charged him with judicial misconduct over the way he handled the case.

    McCree said he ended the six-month affair in November 2012 when he could no longer meet Mott’s demands for his time and money. He said after they broke up, she announced she was pregnant and demanded he get a divorce and give her $10,000 to cover expenses including an abortion.

    When he failed to come up with the money, he said she told him she was pregnant with twins and was experiencing both an ectopic pregnancy and a normal pregnancy. She threatened to tell his wife and the media about their affair.

    “She wanted to become Mrs. McCree,” the judge said. “She said ‘Wade, I’ve made up my mind that you are the man for me.’ ”

    Earlier Tuesday, LaVerne McCree, who has been married to the judge for 25 years, said her husband told her of the affair on Oct. 31 after she overheard him talking on the phone to a woman she later learned was Mott.

    LaVerne McCree said the next day her husband told her Mott informed him she was pregnant. He also told his wife that he filed for divorce to appease Mott. LaVerne McCree testified that she and her husband later hatched a plan to make Mott think they really were going to divorce so she would terminate the pregnancy. The judge later withdrew the divorce papers.

    There were also concerns, LaVerne McCree said, that if Mott did not have an abortion, her husband could be liable for child support and the child could have a claim on the inheritance his mother left him.

    At the heart of the tenure commission’s case against McCree is his handling of Mott’s child support case while they were in a relationship.

    The investigation includes text messages McCree and Mott exchanged in which the judge discussed the case and whether the father of Mott’s young daughter would go to jail if he didn’t pay back child support.

    When McCree was asked by his attorney, Brian Einhorn, why he had not recused himself from the case, the judge said he blundered in keeping the case, calling the move a “major oversight.”

    McCree said he went by the book when he ordered Robert King, the defendant in the case, to wear a tether for not being in compliance with his child-support payments that were $15,000 in arrears.

    “I wasn’t keeping the case for illicit purposes,” McCree said. “Not to help out or hurt anyone.”

    The judge is also accused of sending inappropriate and sexually explicit text messages to Mott while court was in session.

    In one of the messages, McCree made offensive remarks about litigants in his courtroom, describing them as “tatted up, overweight, half-ass English speaking gap-tooth skank hoes.”

    McCree said he uses “colorful language” and “Afro-centric colloquialisms” in private conversations among friends and family.

    “(Colorful speech) is something I use in private,” McCree said. “But I wouldn’t use them on the bench.”

    From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130522/METRO01/305220353#ixzz2U2VK4RDV

  23. rikyrah says:

    ‘The opposite of a cover-up’
    By Steve Benen
    Wed May 22, 2013 10:58 AM EDT

    When it comes to the IRS controversy, I’m starting to get the impression that the goalposts have moved rather quickly.

    The initial allegation raised by the right and other White House critics is that President Obama’s White House, if not the president himself, may have been directly involved. As this story goes, Team Obama sent word to an IRS office in Cincinnati to apply extra scrutiny to conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status.

    When every shred of evidence suggested this allegation is baseless, the charges shifted from “Obama did too much!” to “Obama did too little!”

    For example, ABC’s Jonathan Karl, who’s had a rough go of it lately, said yesterday of the IRS’s missteps: “How was this allowed to go on? … There were public reports that this stuff was going on almost a year before the presidential election…. Is there any responsibility from the administration of saying, ‘Hey, IRS, we don’t treat groups differently based on politics [instead of waiting] for the report after the election to make a comment?'”

    In other words, we’ve reached the point in the controversy at which critics are raising the opposite of their original charges. “Why did the White House intervene?” has become “Why didn’t the White House intervene?”

    Jeffrey Toobin’s take yesterday rings true.

    When you can’t prove that the White House did anything wrong, and you can’t prove that the White House knew that someone else was doing something wrong, what do you try to prove? That the White House knew there was an investigation into whether someone else was doing something wrong! That may sound scandalous, but, in fact, it’s perfectly appropriate. […]

    White House officials seem to have engaged in the opposite of a cover-up. They let the investigation proceed, and let the Inspector General do his job. They let the process play out. They played by the rules, which is what lawyers are supposed to do.

    I’d note that congressional Republicans learned about the IG’s inquiry last summer — to use Karl’s words, they knew “this stuff was going on almost a year before the presidential election” — and they too let the process play out, as they should have

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/05/22/18422020-the-opposite-of-a-cover-up?lite

  24. rikyrah says:

    Lois Lerner has to go

    By Greg Sargent, Published: May 22, 2013 at 11:46 am

    The big piece of IRS news today is that Lois Lerner, the head of the exempt organizations division — the IRS unit at the center of the scandal involving the targeting of conservative groups — has pleaded the Fifth at today’s hearing:

    Lois G. Lerner told the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in an opening statement that members of the panel have already accused her of providing false information to Congress.

    “I have not done anything wrong,” she said. “I have not broken any laws. I have not violated any IRS regulations. And I have not provided false information to this or any other committee.” But on the advice of counsel, she said, she would not answer questions or testify before the committee.

    In a letter to committee chairman Darrell Issa, Lerner’s lawyer claimed she “has no choice” but to plead the Fifth, given that the Justice Department has launched a criminal investigation. But I agree with Josh Marshall: while this may be the right path for Lerner herself, given the circumstances, it also means she must be removed from her position, even if this is bureaucratically difficult.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2013/05/22/lois-lerner-has-to-go/

  25. rikyrah says:

    The Morning Plum: As conservatives celebrate scandal-mania, immigration reform marches forward

    By Greg Sargent, Published: May 22, 2013 at 9:24 am

    The celebratory tone among Republicans and conservatives caught up in Beltway scandal-mania continues this morning. But the real story is that behind all the hoopla, immigration reform continues to march forward, with conservatives suffering one defeat after another in their efforts to derail it. And that means the day is fast approaching when House Republicans will have to decide whether they are going to pass reform and suffer the consequences from their base, or take the blame for killing it.

    Late yesterday the Senate Judiciary Committee passed the Senate Gang of Eight compromise, which would create a path to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants, on a 13 to 5 vote. This is a big, big deal. It means the most ambitious effort at immigration reform in years is heading to the full Senate.

    This caps a period in which far right Republican Senators introduced amendment after amendment designed to undermine the core of reform, efforts that were slapped down by a bipartisan group of Senators, demonstrating that the coalition behind real reform seems to be holding.

    Senator Orrin Hatch voted with the majority to advance reform, and the importance of that should not be understated. Hatch is from Utah, where the Tea Party claimed one of its earliest scalps in the person of former longtime Senator Bob Bennett, partly over his support for immigration reform. Hatch is exactly the sort of Senator reformers need if they are going to get very broad bipartisan support for the final Senate vote.

    If that happens, and it’s looking increasingly likely that it will, that will very much intensify the pressure on the House to act. The prospects for passing the bill out of the House are uncertain, to put it mildly. But some Dems think all the scandal mania actually improves the prospects for immigration reform. As one Dem remarked to me, by sucking up all the right’s energy and attention, it could distract conservatives just enough to sneak immigration reform past them.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2013/05/22/the-morning-plum-as-conservatives-celebrate-scandal-mania-immigration-reform-marches-forward/

  26. rikyrah says:

    Immigration choice looms for House Republicans

    By Jonathan Bernstein, Published: May 21, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    It’s increasingly looking like House Republicans will eventually face a clear choice on immigration: bring up and pass the Senate bill, mostly with Democratic votes, or take the blame for killing comprehensive immigration reform.

    That’s been the most likely outcome for some time, but the diverging paths of the House and Senate bipartisan efforts show that it is playing out exactly that way.

    On the Senate side, the main theme of the markup of the bill in the Judiciary Committee has been that the bipartisan coalition has stuck together, meaning that the original bill has survived largely intact, with potentially divisive amendments from both sides defeated and deals on tough issues reached. The result is a real bipartisan bill that should emerge from committee this week and which may wind up winning the votes of most Democrats and many mainstream conservative Republicans.

    On the House side … well, the best the House bipartisan group can do on key issues is to agree to disagree for now. Meanwhile, Democratic leaders have backed away from the House bipartisan effort because it is too conservative for them, while Republicans still haven’t committed to moving any full comprehensive bill — and with conservative outside groups adding to the pressure, the math of the House will require leaders of both parties to be on board for any House-authored bill to succeed.

    In other words, it still appears that the only bill that could win in the House would be something passed by a strong bipartisan vote in the Senate.

    As I’ve said before, then the key players will be mainstream House conservatives, who will have to decide who to offend: anti-immigrant voters in Republican primaries, or Latino and other voters who want reform. Many of those conservatives will vote against the Senate bill if John Boehner brings it up, but he won’t do that without their (private) support.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2013/05/21/immigration-choice-looms-for-house-republicans/

  27. rikyrah says:

    Steering clear of another disaster-relief fight
    By Steve Benen
    Wed May 22, 2013 9:15 AM EDT

    In the last Congress, the fight over federal disaster relief for Hurricane Sandy victims was ugly, divisive, and for quite a while, unresolved — Republican opposition was so widespread, the last Congress ended before an aid package could be approved. It eventually passed in late January, but even then, most GOP lawmakers balked at the emergency funding.

    Will we see a replay of the same fight when it comes to helping Oklahoma? Probably not.

    Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) took the first step towards creating a controversy on Monday, arguing just hours after the tornado’s destruction that he expects any additional federal aid to be financed by spending cuts elsewhere. By late yesterday, however, his was a minority view.

    ………………………………………….

    Many prominent Republicans sounded downright Democratic yesterday. Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), who opposed Sandy relief, said, “Finding some way to offset is not the priority. Meeting the known and immediate needs as quickly as possible is the priority.” House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) added, “I really don’t think disasters of this type should be offset. We have an obligation to help those people. We’ll worry about our budgetary items back here, but the aid has to be there.”

    Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) said, “I think they should get every penny they need. I’ve been through this. We can do the political games later on, the important thing is to get them the aid as quickly as they need it and not to make a political issue out of it.” Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) added, “[A]t the end of the day my objective here is to make sure the people here get the help they need in a timely fashion.”

    ——————————————————————————–

    It’s worth emphasizing that there may not be a fight over disaster relief because a congressional bill may ultimately be unnecessary — FEMA has not yet exhausted its reserves.

    But if a funding bill is necessary, there appears to be little appetite for another political fight like the last one.

    Here’s hoping we’ll see a return to traditional American norms when it comes to post-disaster aid. For generations, Congress didn’t fight over offsets in the wake of a crisis, it simply moved to help American communities in their time of need. That changed after Republicans took control of the House in 2010, but given GOP reactions yesterday, we may be seeing the first signs that the party is rethinking the utility of its posture.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/05/22/18420020-steering-clear-of-another-disaster-relief-fight?lite

  28. Ametia says:

    IRS official Lois Lerner: ‘I have not done anything wrong’

    Lois G. Lerner, the official who revealed that the IRS improperly targeted conservative groups, broke her silence Wednesday before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, insisting she did nothing wrong, but declining to answer the panel’s questions. “I have not done anything wrong,” Lerner said in an opening statement. “I have not broken any laws, I have not violated any IRS rules or regulations and I have not provided false information to this or any other congressional committee. And while I would very much like to answer the committee’s questions today, I have been advised by my counsel not to.”

    Read more at:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2013/05/22/the-houses-irs-hearing-live-updates/#liveblog-entry-42592

  29. rikyrah says:

    The Dog Whistler An Obama supporter’s Pavlovian reaction to one of her own pet phrases.

    By JAMES TARANTO
    Salon’s Joan Walsh is spoiling for a catfight with our colleagues Kim Strassel and Peggy Noonan. What has Walsh’s back up is their observation that whether or not President Obama directly ordered the Internal Revenue Service and other government agencies to persecute dissenters, he encouraged them to do so with his unpresidential public pronouncements. As Strassel put it in her Wall Street Journal column last Friday:

    Mr. Obama didn’t need to pick up the phone. All he needed to do was exactly what he did do, in full view, for three years: Publicly suggest that conservative political groups were engaged in nefarious deeds; publicly call out by name political opponents whom he’d like to see harassed; and publicly have his party pressure the IRS to take action.
    Walsh doesn’t mention Time’s Mark Halperin, who made essentially the same point in a friendly May 2012 report on the Obama campaign last May: “Any right-wing plutocrat who exercises a First Amendment right to try to stop another Obama term will have his or her ties to Big Oil, Wall Street or some similarly well-heeled bogeyman filleted in a reply ad.”

    But what really gets Walsh’s goat is the phrase Noonan used to sum up Strassel’s observation in a “Meet the Press” roundtable moderated by unofficial White House spokesman David Gregory. Noonan referred to Obama’s smearing of private citizens as a “dog whistle.” As we explained last August: “In politics, a dog whistle is a rhetorical device–an oral expression susceptible to two interpretations, one straightforward and one, metaphorically speaking, at a higher frequency.”

    Noonan’s use of the metaphor was entirely apt. Jaded political observers listened to Candidate Obama and heard (depending on their leanings) either a viciously desperate politician or a feisty fighter. Agents of the government heard President Obama, their ultimate boss, urging them to turn their attention toward evildoers.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324787004578497244169461344.html

  30. rikyrah says:

    Farrakhan And His Plan for Detroit’s Resurrection

    By: Black Liberal Boomer
    May. 21st, 2013

    My wife said, “The Minister is speaking at the Chapel on Friday.”

    In Detroit, where the Nation of Islam got its start more than a half century ago, where the labor movement got its start, and where radical politics has always felt more or less at home, there really wasn’t any need to ask who The Minister was. It was Farrakhan. And just like every other time I went to hear what he had to say (I first saw him speak in Chicago more than 30 years ago, then later in Los Angeles at the Forum, at both Million Man March events, and three times here in Detroit including last night at Fellowship Chapel) the place was overflowing. My wife and I got there 45 minutes before the event was supposed to begin and already we had to park three blocks away – and Fellowship has a HUGE parking lot. Then, once we got inside, we had to be steered to the overflow room called ‘the Village Dome’ because all seats in the main hall (also huge) were already taken. But believe it or not, this was a piece of cake compared to previous experiences. When I saw Farrakhan at the L.A. Forum back in the mid-80s the line to see him was wrapped around the building twice, and if you have ever seen the size of the Forum you can just imagine. It took me and a friend three hours before we even got inside.

    Those who hate Farrakhan and who wear themselves out trying to discredit him simply cannot understand the attraction. Given some of the admittedly shocking things he has said over the years, why don’t black people disavow the man? Well, for one thing because most black people, unlike Barack Obama, are not running for public office so they don’t have to disavow Farrakhan just because certain media outlets say that’s what ‘responsible’ folk should do. After all, in the eyes of the black community these are the same media outlets that can’t seem to get enough of portraying black folks in a negative light – or of attacking our first black President of the United States for obviously and transparently racist reasons. So f— them.

    But the other reason, quite frankly, is because Farrakhan is the only big-time black leader on the scene who we know to a certainty has not been bought off in some form or another, which means we know he doesn’t have to bite his tongue for fear some major corporate contributor will pull the plug. He has an autonomy and a freedom to speak his mind that is usually reserved only for white figures of his stature, and believe me when I tell you that matters to black people. A hell of a lot. Because most of our leaders have either been bought or shot. That doesn’t mean we have no use for those who had to compromise, because if that were the case we would have written off President Obama before he ever got started. I think most of us accept the fact that he was going to have to watch his step because of where he is. But when we can listen to someone spew fire unfettered, well, that’s a good thing to a lot of black folks because it’s so damned rare.

    http://www.politicususa.com/farrakhan-plan-detroits-resurrection.html

  31. Ametia says:

    The mayor of tornado-ravaged Moore, Oklahoma says he’ll try to get an ordinance passed requiring storm shelters or safe rooms in new housing projects. “I have six councilmen and I need four votes to get it passed,” Mayor Glenn Lewis told CNN today.

    The mammoth EF5 tornado hit the town Monday, killing 24 people, including 9 children, and wrecking 2,400 homes. Very few residents had access to a storm shelter.
    “Probably less than one tenth of one percent” of the houses in Moore are built with basements, said Mike Hancock, president of Basement Contractors in Edmond, Oklahoma. But Hancock and other experts say affordable shelters are feasible.

    An above-ground shelter runs $8,000 to $10,000; a small basement would cost $15,000 to $20,000; and a concrete cellar built during new-house construction would cost as little as $2,200, said Mike Barnett, a custom homebuilder in the area for 37 years.

  32. rikyrah says:

    The GOP: They’re Sneaky, Greedy and They Represent a Handful of People

    By: Dennis S
    May. 21st, 2013

    Hey average dudes and dudettes, you’re being chewed up and spit out daily and don’t even know it. The poor and middle-class are carrying 100% of the burden of perpetuating the status of the privileged few squeezed into the top 1 or 2% of the U.S. population. Mr. and Mrs. Mainstream make virtually all the financial and service sacrifices at the altar of the political derangement that is today’s Republican Party.

    The headline examples are obvious. Huge tax breaks for the hugely wealthy. Every multinational corporate incentive perk imaginable, relentless Republican attempts to destroy Obamacare under the aegis of insurance interests and pharmas, low wages getting lower for the have-nots and the use of God, Guns and Gays (and now fairy tale scandals) to keep red state voters in line. But there’s a lot more in the cynical and self-serving hopper of privilege embracing the sweet life of fancy cars, enormous homes and oceans of cash until death do ye part.

    Let’s go for a ride on the scamola train. We’ll make a few stops at the more egregious of sneaky ways to pick your pocket without you being aware that you’re a major contributor to a huge multinational or the victim of unhinged politics. I recently attended an Upstate South Carolina meeting that featured speakers from the publicly owed, Commission of Pubic Works (CPW), a local city water and sewer system entity that also serves the county. CPW arbitrarily decided to change the formula for paying the city a “dividend” each year out of monies collected for water and sewer services. That dust-up blew the cover off of information that, while supposedly public, was sometimes hidden deep in the small print.

    CPW has raised rates for the past 5 years. Their latest proposal is a 13.9% increase for in-city residential customers or about $35 annually. City commercial rates would be 14.7% higher and $188 per annum. For county customers those number rise to 14.2% for residents ($61.00) and 14.9% commercial or $328. In-city industrial customers get socked for a $64,053 increase, while the county industries, including some giant multinationals kick in $112,029. As for the latter, ROTFLMAO!!!

    I asked the speaker the obvious question. In getting the giants to grace your small, right to work, anti-union, desperate for jobs county, don’t you and your butt-kissing economic development partners, make water negotiations a major part of your incentive packages? Well, ‘er, yes, we do sometimes negotiate rates. I further asked how long some of these contracts are? “Well, ‘er, 30 years!” So, for the highly misleading suggestion that the multinationals are going to have their rates raised by some loathsome percentage, file that under pure bulls**t. Their much lower rates are contracted for decades.

    http://www.politicususa.com/gop-sneaky-greedy-represent-handful-people.html

  33. Ametia says:

    Rep. Tom Cole talks hometown devastation in Moore, Okla., lack of school safe rooms

    (CBS News) Plaza Towers Elementary School was unrecognizable to longtime resident Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., when he recently visited the building, demolished in the EF-5 tornado. Cole, a resident of Moore, Okla., for 53 years, took care of the grounds while he was in college and visited the school — a polling place — often.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505263_162-57585639/rep-tom-cole-talks-hometown-devastation-in-moore-okla-lack-of-school-safe-rooms/?tag=nl.e875&s_cid=e875&ttag=e875

  34. rikyrah says:

    POLL: Americans In The Deep South Strongly Support Medicaid Expansion, Despite Governors’ Opposition

    By Tara Culp-Ressler on May 22, 2013 at 9:00 am

    Over 60 percent of the Americans living in the Deep South support Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion, according to the results from a new poll that surveyed a broad sample of people in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina.

    The poll, conducted between March and April by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, found that support for Medicaid expansion is somewhat divided along partisan lines. Nevertheless, a solid majority of residents in each of the five Deep South states favor expanding the public insurance program to extend coverage to additional uninsured Americans:

    That public support stands in sharp contrast to the five states’ political leaders, who have resisted cooperating with health care reform at any cost. The GOP governors in each of those Southern states — Govs. Robert Bentley (R-AL), Nathan Deal (R-GA), Bobby Jindal (R-LA), Phil Bryant (R-MS), and Nikki Haley (R-SC) — have refused to expand their Medicaid programs.

    “This survey clearly shows that governors and state legislators in the South who are resisting the Medicaid expansion are out-of-step with their constituents,” Brian D. Smedley, the director of the Joint Center’s Health Policy Institute, pointed out.

    The broad public support for Medicaid expansion in this region makes sense. Low-income Americans in the South who don’t currently qualify for their state’s Medicaid program are being forced to simply skip out on medical care, and expanding Medicaid’s eligibility levels would ensure that they can access the health treatment they need. Deeply red Southern states also tend to have worse health outcomes compared to Democratic-controlled states on the coasts, and expanding Medicaid could help lessen some of those disparities.

    But political resistance to Obamacare, even in the states that stand to benefit the most from it, remains strong. The governors in highly uninsured states are still refusing to consider cooperating with the Medicaid provision of the health reform law. And even when Republican governors reluctantly agree that Medicaid expansion is the right decision for their constituents, GOP-controlled legislatures in their states continue to block it.

    http://thinkprogress.org/health/2013/05/22/2046191/americans-deep-south-medicaid/?mobile=nc

  35. Ametia says:

    The mayor of tornado-ravaged Moore, Oklahoma says he’ll try to get an ordinance passed requiring storm shelters or safe rooms in new housing projects. “I have six councilmen and I need four votes to get it passed,” Mayor Glenn Lewis told CNN today.

    The mammoth EF5 tornado hit the town Monday, killing 24 people, including 9 children, and wrecking 2,400 homes. Very few residents had access to a storm shelter.

    “Probably less than one tenth of one percent” of the houses in Moore are built with basements, said Mike Hancock, president of Basement Contractors in Edmond, Oklahoma. But Hancock and other experts say affordable shelters are feasible.

    An above-ground shelter runs $8,000 to $10,000; a small basement would cost $15,000 to $20,000; and a concrete cellar built during new-house construction would cost as little as $2,200, said Mike Barnett, a custom homebuilder in the area for 37 years.

  36. rikyrah says:

    Autism Speaks launches new campaign to reach Latino, black parents

    by Maria Eugenia Alcón, @nbcnewsalcon
    5:22 pm on 05/21/2013

    Jesse Mojica didn’t know what autism was 13 years ago; all he knew is that his precious son Adam, at 18 months, had stopped saying words and his beautiful smile had disappeared. The sparkle in his eyes was gone, he says, replaced by a blank stare to nowhere.

    “It’s tough to encapsulate in words how difficult is to see your child slipping away from you,” says Mojica, the executive director for Family and Community Engagement in the city Department of Education in New York City. “You feel like you don’t have the power to hold on to them, he was slipping into a world you could not reach him,” he adds.

    After 6 months of tests, and switching doctors, Jesse and Ana Mojica finally found out the truth — their son Adam was autistic. That’s why Mojica is supporting Austism Speaks’ new ad campaign “Maybe” aimed at helping Latino and African-American families recognize the signs their child may be autistic.

    “We went through a lot of the maybes, may be Adam is losing his hearing, may be Adam is shy like me, we went through all the maybes and never thought he had autism,” explains Mojica.

    Liz Feld, president of Autism Speaks, says the reason they are aiming to reach Hispanic and African-American parents with the campaign is because the age of diagnosis is higher among these groups than anyone else.

    “Earlier diagnosis are so important because if we can get a child by 2 years old, in most cases, with help that child can go to regular kindergarten,” says Feld, “the window between 2-5 years old is the most important time to deal with treatment.”

    Besides partnering up with the Ad Council to create English and Spanish ads, Autism Speaks will also work with churches, local community groups and federal and local partners to spread the message to parents. The group is also using text-messaging by having parents text “may be” so parents can answer 6 questions about their child privately to see if there are any signs of autism.

    Most importantly, says Feld, they want to make sure to erase cultural barriers with this campaign and eradicate the sense of shame and stigma some parents may feel about having an autistic child.

    “Sometimes mothers feel such blame if something is wrong and might not want to speak to their husbands about it, so the text message campaign not only saves having to spend $90 on a checkup but also allows the parent to ask questions privately,” describes Feld.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1 in 88 children in the United States has an autism spectrum disorder, being most common among boys (1 in 54). A recent CDC study pointed to the largest increase in the number of children diagnosed with autism to be Hispanic and African-American children.

    http://nbclatino.com/2013/05/21/autism-speaks-launches-new-campaign-to-reach-latino-black-parents/

  37. rikyrah says:

    Conservative Okla. lawmakers face dilemma: Will they support tornado relief funding?
    By David A. Fahrenthold and Paul Kane,
    Published: May 21

    Oklahoma has one of the most conservative congressional delegations of any state: seven Republican men, including fierce advocates for cutting federal spending.

    Five of those seven voted no in January on a bill to provide $50 billion in disaster funding for states hit by Hurricane Sandy.

    On Tuesday, the disaster was Oklahoma’s instead, a deadly tornado that swept through the town of Moore on Monday afternoon. So those representing Oklahoma all faced the same question: Would they support an influx of new funding — if necessary — for disaster relief efforts in Oklahoma?

    Sen. Tom Coburn (R) said he hadn’t changed his mind.

    In past disasters, including the 1995 bombing at the Oklahoma City federal building, Coburn has said that any extra federal spending for disasters should be offset by cuts elsewhere. A spokesman said Coburn would stick to that demand.

    More money for Oklahoma must mean less money for some other federal program. If not, Coburn wouldn’t vote for it.

    “If the choice is between borrowing [to pay for disaster funding] and reducing spending on largess,” Coburn spokesman John Hart said by e-mail, “we should divert funds from largess to victims.”

    The state’s other senator, James M. Inhofe (R), also voted against the Sandy relief bill. But on Tuesday, Inhofe seemed open to supporting a bill to provide extra funding for Oklahoma.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/conservative-okla-lawmakers-face-dilemma-will-they-support-tornado-relief-funding/2013/05/21/e47b0468-c22d-11e2-9fe2-6ee52d0eb7c1_story.html?hpid=z2

  38. rikyrah says:

    Conservative Nonprofits That Received Tax Exempt Status Outspent Liberals by 34-to-1

    By: Sarah Jones
    May. 22nd, 2013

    The real scandal about the IRS is that they’ve been overwhelmed with dark money groups claiming nonprofit status since the passing of Citizens United, and conservative groups have outspent liberal groups on political spending by 34-1, according to a Center for Responsive Politics analysis of the IRS and FEC records.

    Open Secrets reported, “Conservative nonprofits that received tax-exempt status since the beginning of 2010 and also filed election spending reports with the Federal Election Commission overwhelmed liberal groups in terms of money spent on politics, an analysis of Internal Revenue Service and FEC records shows.”

    Furthermore, their analysis showed, “Of the 21 organizations that received rulings from the IRS after January 1, 2010, and filed FEC reports in 2010 or 2012, 13 were conservative. They outspent the liberal groups in that category by a factor of nearly 34-to-1.”

    American Action Network spent $30.6 million in 2010 and 2012 comprises 94% of the conservative total. But Open Secrets notes, “(E)ven without American Action Network, spending by conservative groups approved after 2010 was nearly quadruple that of liberal groups receiving exempt status in the same period.”

    Karl Rove’s Crossroads is the biggest spender, reporting spending more than $87.9 million since 2010, but it’s still waiting to be officially approved as tax exempt. Gee, do you think the IRS will be able to be objective when it comes to Crossroads’ overtly political purpose, or will they feel pressured to rubber stamp Karl so as not to cause offense?

    Bear in mind that all of these numbers only represent the amount disclosed.

    http://www.politicususa.com/conservative-nonprofits-received-tax-exempt-status-outspent-liberals-34-to-1.html

  39. rikyrah says:

    Jamelle Bouie @jbouie

    I actually don’t even know how to respond to Sullivan’s stuff on race and IQ anymore.

    Jamelle Bouie @jbouie

    You know what, how about black folks agree that sure, we’re dumdums, and Sullivan stops writing about it.

    9:51 PM – 21 May 2013 from Washington, DC, United States

  40. rikyrah says:

    And The Clowns Run Around

    Posted by mistermix at 8:32 am .

    May22, 2013
    .

    I don’t want to blame the victim, but it’s pretty clear that James Rosen, the Fox News reporter under investigation by the Justice Department for his role in publishing classified data, is a bumbling fool. Not only did he communicate with his source in a way that was almost guaranteed to get both caught, but he announced to the world that the US had a source in the North Korean government for no good reason.

    And, no Sharyl Attkinson, the Obama Administration is not hacking your computer because you’re investigating Fast and Furious, Solyndra or whatever other scandal CPAC will give you an award for. Take it to the Geek Squad.

    I don’t have any deep issue with the concept of shield laws, but if we are going to have them I want to be damn sure that they cover non-traditional news organizations. Bill Keller might not like Julian Assange’s body odor, and there are a lot of dirty hippie bloggers whose kids don’t attend Sidwell Friends, but if they’re not covered by the same shield law as Rosen and Attkinson because they’re not members of the club, I’m not supporting them.

    http://www.balloon-juice.com/2013/05/22/and-the-clowns-run-around/

  41. rikyrah says:

    Why Virginia Republicans are ‘panicking’
    By Steve Benen
    Tue May 21, 2013 10:52 AM EDT.

    Jamelle Bouie summarized the issue perfectly yesterday: “The Virginia GOP has essentially posed an experiment: Can we win off-year elections regardless of who we run?”

    That’s funny, but it’s not hyperbolic. Virginia is no longer the Republican stronghold it once was, and at least on a statewide level, is competitive Democratic territory. President Obama carried the state twice; the commonwealth has two Democratic U.S. senators, and Democrats have won two of the last three gubernatorial races.

    But it’s an off-year cycle, and Republicans are optimistic about their chances this November. At least, they were — in the wake of the party’s convention over the weekend, the state GOP is suddenly “panicking,” largely because this guy is their candidate for lieutenant governor.

    http://youtu.be/B9cvSSe1Suk

    …………………………….

    The GOP’s slate is, by any fair measure, jarring. The Virginia Republicans’ gubernatorial candidate is one of the fiercest culture warriors of any officeholder in the country. The Virginia Republicans’ candidate for lieutenant governor is almost comically extreme on social issues. The Virginia Republicans’ candidate for attorney general once advocated requiring women to report miscarriages to the police — or face jail time.

    It’s almost as if the state GOP went out of its way to think of a scheme to motivate the listless Democratic base, alienate as many women as possible, and drive moderate voters away from Republicans in droves.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/05/21/18399281-why-virginia-republicans-are-panicking?lite

  42. rikyrah says:

    ‘You’ve got to be on Mars to come up with some of this stuff’
    By Steve Benen
    Tue May 21, 2013 3:38 PM EDT.

    How do you know when congressional Republicans have gone around the bend on Benghazi? When their own staffers — usually a hyper-loyal bunch — are mocking GOP colleagues for pushing nonsense.

    In particular, these aides say key staffers have been overly consumed with chasing down or addressing inaccurate or unfounded accusations emerging from the inquiry.

    “We have got to get past that and figure out what are we going to do going forward,” a GOP aide stressed. “Some of the accusations, I mean you wouldn’t believe some of this stuff. It’s just — I mean, you’ve got to be on Mars to come up with some of this stuff.”

    Remember, this is a House Republican staffer talking about conspiratorial nonsense coming from other House Republican offices.

    Senior GOP aides pointed out that many of the accusations involving security and military forces turned out to be unfounded. One recent example involved a supposed whistle-blower who reported that an armed Predator drone was operating in the area, but was not called upon to respond to the Benghazi attack, an assertion labeled erroneous by Pentagon officials and Hill staffers.

    “There are some real issues there and then there is just some crazy stuff,” the senior House GOP aide said. “The crazy stuff is, you know, the airman in Ramstein [Air Base, Germany,] that knew that the Predator [drone] was armed. There are no armed Predators in the region there. The [status of forces agreement] does not allow us to fly them armed, and everybody knows it.”

    It’s against this backdrop that other GOP lawmakers are starting to back away from their own party’s unhinged and conspiratorial accusations.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/05/21/18402653-youve-got-to-be-on-mars-to-come-up-with-some-of-this-stuff?lite

  43. rikyrah says:

    Reaching the ‘weather weapon’ stage
    By Steve Benen
    Tue May 21, 2013 5:06 PM EDT

    Ordinarily, with a story like this, I’d just shake my head in disgust and move on, but given recent events, I’m inclined to give it a little more attention.

    Conspiracy theorist radio host Alex Jones explained to his audience today how the government could have been behind the devastating May 20 tornado in Oklahoma.

    On the May 21 edition of The Alex Jones Show, a caller asked Jones whether he was planning to cover how government technology may be behind a recent spate of sinkholes. After laying out how insurance companies use weather modification to avoid having to pay ski resorts for lack of snow, Jones said that “of course there’s weather weapon stuff going on — we had floods in Texas like 15 years ago, killed 30-something people in one night. Turned out it was the Air Force.”

    Following a long tangent, Jones returned to the caller’s subject. While he explained that “natural tornadoes” do exist and that he’s not sure if a government “weather weapon” was involved in the Oklahoma disaster, Jones warned nonetheless that the government “can create and steer groups of tornadoes.”

    How can tornado truthers know for sure whether the Obama administration was responsible for yesterday’s devastation in Oklahoma? According to Jones, we need to know whether locals saw helicopters and small aircraft “in and around the clouds, spraying and doing things.” He added, “[I]f you saw that, you better bet your bottom dollar they did this.” Jones, ever cautious, went on to say he does not yet know whether yesterday was a natural disaster or not. How reassuring.

    Now, I realize that fringe figures are going to share nutty ideas all the time, and it was probably inevitable that some nonsensical allegations about the Oklahoma tornado would pop up. I didn’t realize “weather weapons” would be part of the story, but there’s probably no reason to be surprised.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/05/21/18403447-reaching-the-weather-weapon-stage?lite

  44. rikyrah says:

    .

    Immigration reform advances with bipartisan backing

    By Steve Benen

    Wed May 22, 2013 8:00 AM EDT

    The question isn’t whether comprehensive immigration reform will pass the Senate; the question is when and by what margin.

    A sweeping bill to overhaul the nation’s immigration system cleared its first major hurdle late Tuesday night, with the 18-member committee charged with completing a first round of legislative edits voting to advance the amended bill to the full Senate.
    The vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee was 13-5.

    Three Republicans – Sens. Jeff Flake of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Orrin Hatch of Utah — joined the panel’s 10 Democrats to vote in favor of the bill.

    The floor debate will begin shortly after Memorial Day, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told reporters yesterday the Republican leadership will not use procedural tactics to try to block the legislation. It raises the possibility of an extraordinarily rare sight: major legislation receiving an up-or-down vote on the Senate floor without a GOP filibuster.

    That said, yesterday’s success was not easy, and it came at a cost. Most notably, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Pat Leahy (D-Vt.) pushed for an amendment to allow U.S. citizens to apply for permanent resident status on behalf of their same-sex partners. Republicans threatened to kill the entire reform package if Democrats approved Leahy’s measure, and while Democrats supported the amendment, they weren’t willing to derail the entire bill over this provision. Left with no good options, Leahy grudgingly pulled his amendment, rather than force his Democratic colleagues to vote against the measure they liked.

    It was a reminder that the bipartisan reform bill, despite its strengths, is “imperfect.”

    So, what happens now?

    ——————————————————————————–

    The “Gang of Eight” bill is expected to remain intact and appears to be on track for passage. Whether there’s a Republican filibuster or not, the votes are in place, and “Gang of Eight” members continue to lobby their on-the-fence colleagues in the hopes of creating an even larger majority.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/05/22/18418751-immigration-reform-advances-with-bipartisan-backing?lite

  45. rikyrah says:

    Study Finds Election Officials Biased Against Latino Voters

    A new Harvard study contacted over 7,000 election administrators in 28 states and found they provide different information about voter ID requirements to voters of different ethnicities.

    “Emails sent from Latino aliases are signi cantly less likely to receive any response from local election officials than non-Latino white aliases and receive responses of lower quality. This raises concerns about the e ect of voter ID laws on access to the franchise and about bias in the provision of information by local bureaucrats more generally.”

    Dylan Matthews: “The finding holds up when you drop certain regions, when you drop small towns, and when you control for whether officials are elected or appointed. What’s more, they find that there are actually statistically significant differences in the quality of response from officials, depending on what kind of name is used

    http://politicalwire.com/archives/2013/05/21/study_finds_election_officials_biased_against_latino_voters.html

  46. rikyrah says:

    FRIED CHICKEN?

    that’s the best you can do?

    …………………………………

    Tiger and Sergio feud turns ugly with ‘fried chicken’ remark
    Sergio Garcia’s shocking words about Tiger Woods.

    The ongoing feud between Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia, which started during the third roundof The Players Championship, has taken an ugly twist. On Monday, Garcia told reporters in England that Woods hasn’t been honest in 15 years. Garcia was on stage at the European Tour awards dinner Tuesday, where he was asked by Steve Sands of the Golf Channel, in jest, if he would be inviting Woods over for dinner during the U.S. Open. Garcia’s reply was shocking.

    Via The Guardian:

    “We will have him round every night. We will serve fried chicken.”

    Garcia later apologized in a statement released by the European Tour, saying that he did not mean the remark to be racist.

    http://ftw.usatoday.com/2013/05/tiger-and-sergio-feud-turns-ugly-with-fried-chicken-remark/

  47. rikyrah says:

    The GOP’s black ‘mad men’: Why the party can’t find its own Barack Obama

    Opinion

    by Joy-Ann Reid | May 21, 2013 at 5:11 PM

    Rev. E.W. Jackson, who narrowly won the right to run as the Republican Party’s standard-bearer for lieutenant governor in the upcoming Virginia election, is the latest black Republican to distinguish himself more for his outrageous statements than his ability to broaden the party’s base among minority voters. It’s the latest setback for a party that dearly wants to find its own version of Barack Obama

    Jackson, who won on the fourth ballot at the party’s convention, and will run alongside far right Virginia Attorney General Ken Cucinelli, is being compared to Herman Cain, the failed Republican presidential candidate known for his wacky pronouncements about foreign policy (remember “Uzbekibekibekistan?”) and his “9-9-9″ economic policy, which he never could actually explain.

    In Jackson, who holds very strong anti-gay views, Virginia conservatives found someone who wouldn’t water down his — and their — beliefs. But the national GOP is cringing at the thought of Jackson turning off centrist voters in the increasingly purple state.

    Following in the footsteps of other far-right firebrands like former Florida congressman Allen West (who will soon join Fox News as a contributor, and who made a name for himself saying he “can’t stand” president Obama, telling his tea party supporters to “gather their muskets” and march on the tyrannical White House, and calling 87 House Democrats “communists,” while claiming to be the Harriet Tubman who would lead black voters off the “Democratic plantation” — a mission he seems to have failed at, spectacularly…) Jackson is making news for his rhetoric. He has said President Obama harbors “Muslim sensibilities,” whatever that means, and has compared Planned Parenthood to the Ku Klux Klan. He also has said that there is basically no difference between homosexuality and pedophilia, and that gays’ secret agenda is to “sexualize our children at an early age.”

    Not exactly fodder for winning over independents.

    Broadening the tent, but at what cost?

    It’s clear that the GOP, still reeling from Mitt Romney’s totally expected (though not by them) loss to Barack Obama in 2012, would like to broaden its tent. The party has been aggressive about promoting its non-white stars: from embattled South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, both of whom are Indian-American, to their Hispanic stars, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and fiery Texas Senator Ted Cruz. But why does the Republican Party seem to have such a hard time attracting mainstream black candidates?

    Recently, the GOP has seized on potential African-American conservative stars like famed Johns Hopkins surgeon Dr. Ben Carson, only to have them go up in a ball of rhetorical flames. For Carson, like Jackson, it was his extreme views of gays, in an age when acceptance of same-sex marriage has reached majority status, that ended his meteoric rise in conservative media circles. Are Cain, and West and Carson and Jackson and … remember Alan Keyes (who tried to take the “birther” cause to the Supreme Court, only to be turned away by none other than Clarence Thomas?) … the best the party of Lincoln can do?

    Former RNC chairman Michael Steele, now an MSNBC political analyst, says he doesn’t believe the Republican Party has a “black man” problem.

    “There’s a difference between a convention of a few thousand people selecting the nominee for whatever office, and the entire Republican Party selecting a nominee through a primary process,” Steele says, referring to Jackson. “Keep in mind, this gentleman ran statewide for the Senate in 2012 and got less than five percent of the vote in the primary.”

    http://thegrio.com/2013/05/21/why-the-gop-cant-find-their-own-obama/

  48. rikyrah says:

    From The Maddow Blog:

    ‘A little bit bizarre’
    By Steve Benen
    Wed May 22, 2013 8:30 AM EDT

    Congressional Republicans have created quite a mess when it comes to the federal budget. The fiasco has become so ridiculous that yesterday on the Senate floor, Republican Sens. John McCain and Susan Collins blasted their own party’s incoherence.

    http://youtu.be/ByeTmBCD28E

    Without digging too deeply into the budget weeds, the story is relatively straightforward: the House and Senate both passed competing budget resolutions, which means it’s time for a conference committee to work on a possible compromise. This was the process Republicans insisted upon.

    But when Senate Democrats agreed and passed a budget plan of their own, GOP officials did a 180-degree turn, insisting on behind-closed-doors talks to negotiate what could be included in the negotiations. Specifically, Republicans are afraid the budget talks might include a debt-ceiling increase, which the far-right refuses to consider — they still hope to hold the debt-ceiling increase hostage later this year, threatening to hurt the country on purpose unless Democrats accept concessions.

    Even McCain finds all of this absurd. “What [do] we on my side of the aisle keep doing?” he argued on the Senate floor yesterday. “We don’t want a budget unless — unless — we put requirements on the conferees that are absolutely out of line and unprecedented.”

    McCain added that the Republican position on budget talks is “a little bit bizarre.”

    Taking the other side was a familiar right-wing trio — Republican Sens. Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and Mike Lee — which presented an argument that was truly amazing, even for them.

    ——————————————————————————–

    Dave Weigel reported yesterday:

    What Ted Cruz and Rand Paul and Mike Lee want — and have wanted — is a guarantee that a debt limit increase cannot be included in the budget agreement that comes out of the House and Senate conference. It only takes 51 votes to pass a budget. Cruz, on the floor, has asked the Senate to preserve the “traditional 60-vote threshold” for raising the debt limit.

    This is a strange definition of “tradition

  49. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone. Happy HUMP day!

    Happy FEELINGS…..<3 Frankie Beverly & Maze.

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