Serendipity SOUL | Monday Open Thread | Wes Montgomery Week|

Happy Monday, Everyone! This week’s featured artist is jazz guitarist Wes Montgomery.  Genius, SHEER GENIUS…




John Leslie “Wes” Montgomery (March 6, 1923 – June 15, 1968)[1] was an American jazz guitarist. He is widely considered one of the major jazz guitarists, emerging after such seminal figures as Django Reinhardt and Charlie Christian and influencing countless others, including George Benson, Kenny Burrell, Royce Campbell,Grant Green, Jimi Hendrix, Steve Howe, Russell Malone, Pat Martino, Pat Metheny, Lee Ritenour, Randy Napoleon, and Emily Remler.

Montgomery was born in Indianapolis, Indiana. According to NPR Jazz Profiles “The Life and Music Of Wes Montgomery,” the nickname “Wes” was a child’s abbreviation of his middle name, Leslie.[2] He came from a musical family; his brothers, Monk (string bass and electric bass) and Buddy (vibraphone and piano), were jazz performers. The brothers released a number of albums together as the Montgomery Brothers. Although he was not skilled at reading music, he could learn complex melodies and riffs by ear. Montgomery started learning the six string guitar at the relatively late age of 20 by listening to and learning the recordings of his idol, guitarist Charlie Christian, however he had played a four string tenor guitar since age twelve. He was known for his ability to play Christian’s solos note for note and was hired by Lionel Hampton for this ability.[1]

California Dreamin’

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102 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Monday Open Thread | Wes Montgomery Week|

  1. Ametia says:

    A Trio of Leadership In 2013

    Posted on January 16, 2013by Ametia

    (Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives)

  2. Ametia says:

    Mississippi Man Indicted in Poisoned Letters Case
    Published: June 3, 2013 at 5:48 PM ET

    JACKSON, Miss. — A federal grand jury has indicted a Mississippi man suspected of sending poison-laced letters to President Barack Obama and other officials, according to an indictment made public Monday.

    The 5-count indictment charges 41-year-old James Everett Dutschke (pronounced DUHS’-kee) with developing, producing and stockpiling the poison ricin, threatening the president and others and attempting to impede the investigation.

    If convicted on the charges, he could face life in prison and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines.

    Dutschke was arrested April 27 at his home in Tupelo. He is suspected of mailing ricin-laced letters on April 8 to Obama, U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi and Lee County Justice Court Judge Sadie Holland.

    Dutschke has denied any involvement.

    George Lucas, an attorney for Dutschke, said he had not yet seen the indictment and had no immediate comment.

  3. Ametia says:

    Al Sharpton’s Gotta Go
    Al Sharpton’s Long Bill of Goods, From Tawana Brawley to Primetime
    by Stuart StevensJun 3, 2013 5:00 AM EDT

    As a New York Times documentary revives one of the many ugly incidents from the reverend’s past, it’s time NBC accounted for its decision to rehabilitate and promote him, writes Stuart Stevens.

    The Tawana Brawley case that captivated New York in the late eighties is a shocking reminder of the toxic mix racial exploitation and personal ambition can produce. The New York Times and have just released a new 15-minute documentary on the despicable hoax, which should be required viewing for the NBC News executives who are heavily invested in rehabilitating a key culprit of this loathsome episode: the Rev. Al Sharpton.

    Just in time for the George Zimmerman trial; I SMELL FISH & IT AIN’T FRIDAY. What say you ladies?

    • rikyrah says:

      mofos don’t fool me

      I’ve been Black in America longer than 3 days

      • Ametia says:

        MSNBC got better sense than to let Rev. Al go; they’re already; their ratings are already CIRCLING the drain.

        Daryl Issa? Where’s the writeup on this mofo, Sutart Stevens?

      • Ametia says:

        LOL You know B Todd Jones’ Director of AFT hearing was scheduled for tomorrow, but Senator Chuck Grassely said they don’t have enough information to start the hearings, so guess what; it’s scheduled for next Tuesday.

        IT’S MUCH TO MUCH BLACKNESS & MALENESS for them. Can’t stand all that POWER in the hands of Black men.

        I loathe these MOFOs. Delaying, obstructing, lying, stalling, rinse, repeat….

  4. rikyrah says:

    Avik Roy and the wonk gap

    By Steve Benen

    Mon Jun 3, 2013 4:31 PM EDT

    Among conservatives who care about substance and policy detail — not just everyday pundits and columnists, but genuine, grade-A wonks — Avik Roy has a reputation for being a pretty serious guy. He advised Mitt Romney on health care policy, for example, and has written extensively on the subject for a conservative think tank.

    With this in mind, note that Roy was on “All In with Chris Hayes” last week, and as Kevin Drum noted, Roy “offered up a criticism of Social Security’s disability program that was so misleading that Michael Astrue, a former commissioner of the Social Security Administration appointed by George Bush, nearly had a heart attack on the air.”

    Shortly thereafter, Roy weighed in on the latest report on California’s exchanges under the Affordable Care Act. While most of us saw the news from the Golden State as excellent news and proof that “Obamacare” implementation is proceeding apace, Roy published a remarkably dishonest piece arguing the opposite, deliberately omitting relevant details.

    The always-mild-mannered Jonathan Cohn explained in detail why Roy is plainly, demonstrably wrong, but added an important point about the larger issue.

    If you want to know why we can’t have an honest debate about Obamacare, all you have to do is pay attention to some recent news from California — and the way a highly distorted version of it, by one irresponsible writer, has rippled through the conservative press

  5. rikyrah says:

    Michigan’s Education Achievement Authority Lights the Way Toward Abolishing Public Education

    By: Black Liberal Boomer
    Jun. 3rd, 2013

    It was just a little over one week ago when we got the news here in Michigan that Gov. Snyder’s prized Education Achievement Authority, which has been created for the sole purpose of establishing a workable model demonstrating how to destroy the nation’s public education system – and the unions along with it – was apparently found guilty of telling a few lies to get some money from the federal government. Once those lies were discovered, the EAA didn’t get the money they were planning on, which put them in the hole for millions of dollars. So what did they do? They took out a ‘loan’ from Detroit Public Schools to cover for that shortfall in funds, but they took out the loan without telling the Detroit Public School Board or even the board for the EAA. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, who is a full-blown supporter of the EAA regardless of, well, anything, said that he isn’t particularly troubled by any of this. Why President Obama wants this man representing him in the fight to improve our schools I will never, ever understand. Arne Duncan is a bagman for corporate interests trying to privatize public education, and as someone who received as much support from unions as he did, I would hope that the President would be bothered by this even if his Cabinet appointee is not.

    Anyway, that’s the short version. For the full length version you can go here to the story as it was reported in the Detroit News. Here’s the part I find particularly interesting:


    OK, so there’s that. But then fast forward to this week’s annual Mackinac Policy Conference, where all of Michigan’s high and mighty power brokers get together every year to do what high and mighty power brokers normally do when they get together all in one spot; they pile it on higher and deeper. But occasionally something notable happens, and this year something did; a private foundation (The Michigan Education Achievement Foundation set up by none other than Snyder himself) made the announcement that they have raised close to $60 million to help Gov. Snyder perpetuate his elaborate fraud against the citizens of Michigan by financially supporting his effort to steal the public school system from them via the EAA just as he stole their voting rights under cover of darkness last December during a lame duck session and overruled the people’s vote to dismantle the Emergency Manager Law.

    But Snyder’s little foundation wasn’t the only group coming to throw oil on the fire consuming public education. From MLive:

    Bloomberg Philanthropies, founded by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, run by the noted philanthropists who both graduated from Detroit Public Schools, have each pledged $10 million in the form of challenge grants.

    The stated goal of Snyder is to raise $100 million to achieve his goal. I, for one, find it interesting that the announcement of all this money pouring in to assist Snyder’s broad daylight theft of public education came within a week after the Detroit News ran its story. Looks kinda like somebody got scared that the truth was starting to leak out so they’re trying to put it out with money.

    But then that would be wrong.

  6. rikyrah says:

    What say those Bradley Manning defenders now??

    Manning released the names & contact info of 74,000 U.S. servicemen & women in Iraq, which our Navy Seals recovered when they got OBL. Wow!

  7. rikyrah says:

    Writers Guild Names 101 Best-Written Shows Ever: What Made the List? What Got Snubbed?

    The Writers Guild of America unveiled its picks for the 101 best-written TV series of all time over the weekend, and The Sopranos whacked the competition.

    HBO’s seminal mob drama snagged the top spot on the highly subjective and sure-to-be-picked-apart list (Sex and the City ahead of Game of Thrones? Dexter ahead of The Shield? Bupkis for The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson?)

    1. The Sopranos
    2. Seinfeld
    3. The Twilight Zone
    4. All in the Family
    5. M*A*S*H
    6. The Mary Tyler Moore Show
    7. Mad Men
    8. Cheers
    9. The Wire
    10. The West Wing
    11. The Simpsons
    12. I Love Lucy
    13. Breaking Bad
    14. The Dick Van Dyke Show
    15. Hill Street Blues
    16. Arrested Development
    17. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
    18. Six Feet Under
    19. Taxi
    20. The Larry Sanders Show
    21. 30 Rock
    22. Friday Night Lights
    23. Frasier
    24. Friends
    25. Saturday Night Live
    26. The X-Files
    27. Lost
    28. ER
    29. The Cosby Show
    30. Curb Your Enthusiasm
    31. The Honeymooners
    32. Deadwood
    33. Star Trek
    34. Modern Family
    35. Twin Peaks
    36. NYPD Blue
    37. The Carol Burnett Show
    38. Battlestar Galactica (2005)
    39. Sex & The City
    40. Game of Thrones
    41. The Bob Newhart Show and Your Show of Shows (tie)
    43. Downton Abbey, Law & Order and Thirtysomething (tie)
    46. Homicide: Life on the Street and St. Elsewhere (tie)
    48. Homeland
    49. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
    50. The Colbert Report, The Good Wife and the UK Office (tie)

    • Ametia says:

      Quite the list here. I own DVDs of the entire series on at least a half dozen of these.

    • Ametia says:

      Not in agreement with the order of the top 50 above, but The Wire, Cheers, The Cosby Show, Mash, Hill Street Blues,NYPD Blue, and Taxi some of myall time FAVORITES.

  8. rikyrah says:

    Justin Elliot: In a marked shift from the Bush administration, President Obama’s Justice Department is aggressively investigating several big urban police departments for systematic civil rights abuses such as harassment of racial minorities, false arrests, and excessive use of force.

    In just the past few months, the Civil Rights Division has announced “pattern and practice” investigations in Newark, New Jersey and Seattle. It’s also conducting a preliminary investigation of the Denver Police Department, and all this is on top of a high-profile push to reform the notorious New Orleans Police Department — as well as criminal prosecutions of several New Orleans officers…

    “The primary victims of police misconduct are African-Americans and Latinos. The Bush administration simply wasn’t interested in this,” Walker says. “The Obama-Holder DOJ puts a very high priority on this.”

  9. rikyrah says:

    Krebscycle: In Meridian Mississippi, where 4 of every 10 kids lives below the poverty line the public schools have been routinely jailing black children for offenses like: wrong color socks. In Meridian, when schools want to discipline children, they do much more than just send them to the principal’s office. They call the police, who show up to arrest children who are as young as 10 years old. Arrests, the Department of Justice says, happen automatically, regardless of whether the police officer knows exactly what kind of offense the child has committed or whether that offense is even worthy of an arrest. The police department’s policy is to arrest all children referred to the agency.

    The Department of Justice sued the school district, the police, and the local courts. The schools caved first and in March signed a consent order. But the heavy handed Feds are not going to stop at little Meridian. They are going to prevent school districts from jailing 10 year olds all over the place as Colorines reports.

  10. rikyrah says:

    Replacing Lautenberg

    by BooMan
    Mon Jun 3rd, 2013 at 12:09:52 PM EST

    With the unfortunate passing of Senator Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey, Republican Governor Chris Christie will be allowed to appoint a replacement and set the date for a special election. Since it is widely believed that Christie intends to be a presidential candidate in 2016, his choices could have significant political ramifications. He also faces reelection this year, so he has to consider that, too.
    It is not uncommon for governors who are deliberating Senate appointments to come under pressure to select someone who will not actually seek to run for the seat in the special election. For example, Massachusetts Governor Duval Patrick chose William Cohan, who promised not to be a candidate, to replace John Kerry when he was confirmed to be Secretary of State. Before that, Gov. Patrick appointed Paul Kirk to replace Teddy Kennedy. Kirk also declined to run in the special election. One reason governors do this is to avoid favoritism if more than one member of their party intends to contend for the seat.

    On the other hand, there are advantages to incumbency and also the advantage of seniority within the Senate that come with appointing someone who will contend for the seat. Lautenberg had already announced his retirement and Newark Mayor Cory Booker and Rep. Frank Pallone were already gearing up to run for the Democratic nomination to replace him. Either one would probably be favored to beat any conceivable Republican, so getting the advantage of incumbency is an important consideration for the GOP.

    Christie has conflicting priorities. He doesn’t want to alienate moderates who voted both for him and for Obama because he needs them to win reelection. Yet, he doesn’t want to alienate the conservative base of the party by appointing someone who will go to Washington and vote with the Democrats because he has presidential aspirations and wants to win the Republican nomination.

    He could choose a placeholder like former governor and co-chair of the 9/11 Commission Tom Kean, or former governor and chairwoman of the Environmental Protection Agency Christie Todd Whitman. He could pick someone from the congressional delegation, although they’d be less likely to want to give up their seat for a short-lived career in the Senate. Maybe there is someone close to Christie, on his staff perhaps, who he’d like to see in the position. Or, he could pick some conservative hero to gain credibility with the base.

    Finally, he could decide that he will pick sides and select someone who does intend to run in the special election. This, quite possibly, would cause some dissension within the New Jersey Republican Party, which is not something that would be particularly helpful to Christie’s reelection efforts. But, assuming Christie wins reelection, the legacy of his pick would be based primarily on whether they were able to retain the seat for the Republicans.

    His safest bet is probably Tom Kean. Kean is 78 and I don’t know what his energy-level is, but hardly anyone would complain if he were a placeholder candidate.

  11. rikyrah says:

    The Morning Plum: Is GOP hyping of scandals prompting a media backlash?

    By Greg Sargent, Published: June 3, 2013 at 9:26 amE-mail the writer

    submit to reddit

    The most important quote from the Sunday shows yesterday is this one on Meet the Press from Rep. Mike Rogers, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and one of scandal-palooza’s most aggressive ringleaders on Capitol Hill:

    “This pattern of deception administration wide is starting to become concerning. You know, when you look at the IRS and you look at the Benghazi issue and you look at the AP issue, I think the trouble here isn’t even the individual specific scandals, it’s this broader notion that there’s a pattern of this activity. I think that’s what concerns people because what you don’t want to have happened is Americans lose faith and trust in their institutions. That, I think, is what’s at risk here and we better get this back in the box so Americans can rest easy at night knowing we’re working for them and not against them.”

    This is a critical moment of candor. The most important thing here is not the individual scandals; it’s the sense of a “pattern” of activity that creates the risk (so worries Rogers, in a moment of fine concern trolling) that Americans will lose “trust” in their “institutions.” Those who remember the 1990s well (see Digby on this) will recall that this is a time tested tactic. The goal is to create an overarching atmosphere of scandal, because this intensifies pressure on news orgs and reporters to hype individual revelations within that framework with little regard to the actual importance or significance of each new piece of information.

    Perhaps I’m overly optimistic, but I have to say that I’m seeing the stirrings of a media backlash to the GOP overhyping of all of these scandals. Things seem significantly better than they were in the 1990s.

    It’s true that some news orgs have been way too quick to inflate the importance of this or that detail of what the White House knew and when about the timing of the impending inspector general’s report on the IRS scandal. But we’re also seeing a very serious effort in many cases to separate the scandal wheat from the chaff. The Washington Post has done great work detailing, contextualizing, and demythologizing what those emails concerning the Benghazi talking points really told us. The New York Times has done deeply reported, nuanced work on what really drove the IRS targeting of conservatives.

  12. rikyrah says:

    LiberalPhenom @LiberalPhenom

    Dare Chris Hayes & Maddow to try and defend Manning now.

    aspirational12 @aspirational12

    @LiberalPhenom Yup. If they can’t defend him, they’ll remain deafeningly silent about the whole thing.

    1:34 PM – 3 Jun 2013

  13. rikyrah says:

    The Zombie Ideology

    by BooMan
    Mon Jun 3rd, 2013 at 10:53:21 AM EST

    The College Republican National Committee commissioned a report to try to understand how the party stands with voters under thirty. What they discovered was that their policies are almost universally rejected by young voters. Typical terms used to describe the GOP were: “closed-minded, racist, rigid, old-fashioned.” Only three percent of young voters thought taxes should be reduced on the rich, while 54% thought taxes for the rich should go up. After perusing the results of several polls and focus groups, the CRNC implored the national party to moderate their position on gay marriage, to stop attacking Planned Parenthood and contraception, to police the rape-defenders and anti-abortion extremists, to develop a completely different economic message, and to recognize “the difference between legal and illegal immigrants and to also differentiate illegal immigrants from the children of illegal immigrants.”

    Young voters felt that the GOP’s economic policies only benefit the wealthy.

  14. rikyrah says:


    Have we supported AG HOlder today on twitter?

    LiberalPhenom @LiberalPhenom

    #wesupportAGHolder #wesupportAGHolder

    11:52 AM – 3 Jun 2013

  15. rikyrah says:

    Jason Easley @politicususa

    Unbelievable. MSNBC says it doesn’t do breaking news, denies Chris Hayes is a problem even though he’s lost 30% of audience. #p2 #p2b #ctl

    12:09 PM – 3 Jun 2013

  16. rikyrah says:

    Michael Hastings ✔ @mmhastings

    @NerdyWonka @AVD911 holder should resign & in normal DC politics, he wld have. his close relationship to POTUS protects him.

    Nerdy Wonka @NerdyWonka

    @mmhastings @AVD911 You live in your lily white world while minorities face institutional discrimination everyday. That’s why we need Holder

    12:10 PM – 3 Jun 2013

    • rikyrah says:

      Michael Hastings ✔ @mmhastings

      @NerdyWonka @AVD911 holder should resign & in normal DC politics, he wld have. his close relationship to POTUS protects him.

      Nerdy Wonka @NerdyWonka

      @mmhastings @AVD911 You live in your whiny emoprog world while minorities face discrimination at the polls. That’s why we need AG Holder.

      12:09 PM – 3 Jun 2013

  17. rikyrah says:

    Michael Hastings ✔ @mmhastings

    @NerdyWonka @AVD911 holder authorized large spread surveillance of journos. how can any liberal who cares about civil liberties ignore that?

    Nerdy Wonka @NerdyWonka

    @mmhastings @AVD911 Where were you when people with disabilities were being discriminated against? AG Holder fought for them.

    12:12 PM – 3 Jun 2013

    • rikyrah says:

      Michael Hastings ✔ @mmhastings

      @NerdyWonka @AVD911 holder authorized large spread surveillance of journos. how can any liberal who cares about civil liberties ignore that?

      Nerdy Wonka @NerdyWonka

      @mmhastings @AVD911 Where were you when 10 year old Black children were being jailed with no due process? AG Holder fought for them.

      12:12 PM – 3 Jun 2013

  18. rikyrah says:

    When was the last time you actually used your library card, anyway? Then no vote for you!

    Posted by Kay at 12:56 pm .


    I thought I’d take you through the newest school reform industry experiment on public schools they don’t use in places they don’t live. This latest quick-fix, miracle gimmick is branded The Parent Trigger and it comes with a movie, although not action figures or a Happy Meal toy.

    Media who blindly climbed aboard this train wreck are now having second thoughts. I’ll allow them to explain why they shouldn’t have backed Parent Trigger like star-struck morons

    From the start, the most serious problem with California’s promising but sloppily written “parent trigger” law has been its failure to require an open, public process. That’s especially troubling when the law’s power is considered closely. If half or more of parents at an underperforming public school sign a petition, they can force dramatic change in how the school is run — they can turn it into a charter school, for example, or require that the principal or the entire faculty be fired.

    But that means these documents aren’t so much petitions as they are votes. Through majority rule, parents don’t request reform; they require a governmental agency — the school district — to take action.

    Yet these petition drives differ from most elections. There is no public balloting place and no mechanism to ensure that all of those eligible to “vote” — i.e., the parents of the school’s students — are notified. No public forums or debates are held to guarantee that parents hear both sides of the issue. This process does a disservice to parents, some of whom miss out on opportunities to become more informed about their options — or in some cases even to know that a petition drive is underway — before nearly irreversible decisions have been made. Yet neither the Legislature nor the state Board of Education has moved to fix these problems.
    The most recent trigger petition, at Weigand Avenue Elementary School in Watts, makes the need for revamping the law more obvious than ever. A petition requiring the removal of the principal, Irma Cobian, was signed by 53% of the parents. According to organizers, the parents didn’t want a charter school and wanted to keep all the teachers. But they apparently weren’t aware that many of those teachers thought highly of Cobian. After the petition was accepted by the district, 21 of the school’s 22 teachers indicated in writing that they would seek to transfer from Weigand, and some parents expressed regret over signing the petition.

  19. rikyrah says:

    A generation of voters with no use for the GOP
    By Steve Benen

    Mon Jun 3, 2013 2:05 PM EDT

    When political observers talk about the Republican Party’s demographic challenges, we tend to focus on the GOP’s difficulties in earning support from Latino voters, women, African Americans, and other racial and ethnic minorities, each of which tends to prefer Democrats.

    But let’s not overlook the Republican Party’s generational challenges, either — today’s GOP isn’t just overwhelmingly white in an increasingly diverse nation, it’s also dependent on older voters.

    And according to College Republicans, it’s a problem that’s getting considerably worse. Sahil Kapur reports today:

    The Republican Party’s troubles with young voters are well known. But a new internal report virtually elevates the threat level to apocalyptic, declaring that the GOP needs a “fundamental re-thinking” of its approach in order to remain viable with the younger generation.

    The 95-page report by the College National Republican Committee, based on in-depth research by the Winston Group on voters aged 18-29 nationwide, illustrates the daunting challenges facing the party — including its policies — when it comes to Millennial voters.

    This is the sort of document that’s likely to keep party leaders up at night. “In the focus group research conducted in January 2013,” the report said, “the young ‘winnable’ Obama voters were asked to say what words came to mind when they heard ‘Republican Party.’ The responses were brutal: closed-minded, racist, rigid, old-fashioned.”

  20. rikyrah says:

    Defense has known about bicycle fight video for 9 months

    4 Votes


    Monday, June 3, 2013

    Check this out.

    It’s a copy of a discovery-demand letter from Don West to Bernie de la Rionda that establishes that the defense knew about bicycle video clip on Trayvon Martin’s phone for at least nine months. The letter is dated September 19, 2012.

    West says:

    You mentioned that you had seen a video connected to him [Trayvon Martin] in some way regarding a bicycle. We were previously unaware of anything like that, but later saw a clip taken from his cell phone SIM card that may have been what you were referencing.

    Since the defense has known about this video clip for at least 9 months, I cannot imagine how Mark O’Mara could innocently have mistaken it for a video of two of Trayvon’s friends beating up a homeless person.

    Mark O’Mara has some ‘splainin’ to do and the third person apology on his website ain’t gonna git ‘r done.

    While he is explaining his way out of that mess, he should also explain why the defense is now seeking sanctions on the ground that this video was not disclosed to them.

  21. rikyrah says:

    Michael Hastings ✔ @mmhastings

    @NerdyWonka @AVD911 holder authorized large spread surveillance of journos. how can any liberal who cares about civil liberties ignore that?

    Nerdy Wonka @NerdyWonka

    @mmhastings @AVD911 Where were you when women were being turned away from abortion clinics? AG Holder fought for them. Go have seat.

    12:13 PM – 3 Jun 2013

  22. rikyrah says:

    Attorney General Eric Holder: Champion Of The People

    There are fools on the left, center, and right who have no clue what Attorney General Eric Holder does everyday. There are fools on the left, center, and right whose lives will never be affected by racism, sexism, injustice, poverty, discrimination and therefore do not understand or willfully choose not to understand why we need an Eric Holder. There are fools on the left, center, and right who call for this fighter of the downtrodden to be fired. Why are they fools? This is why.


    Impartial Review: Eric Holder’s Justice Department has successfully brought a large number of discrimination cases against banks. In most of these cases, the banks were alleged to have charged Hispanics and African-Americans with the same financial credentials thousands more for the same loan. In addition, minorities were targeted for risky sub-prime loans.

    Morgan Stanely settled a race discrimination charge against Hispanics last week. The settlement established a $16 million fund, of which $14 million will be divided among class members who submitted claims. Under the settlement, Morgan Stanley will spend approximately $7.5 million on diversity programs, including programs aimed at training and recruiting African-American and Hispanic financial advisors and trainees over the next five years.

    Bank of America has been the hardest hit by Department of Justice lawsuits due to their purchase of Countrywide. Bank of America agreed to pay $335 million (see video above) to resolve allegations that it engaged in a widespread pattern of discrimination against qualified African-American and Hispanic borrowers. In addition, two race bias lawsuits were filed against the company in July.

  23. rikyrah says:

    The transcripts Issa doesn’t want to share
    By Steve Benen
    Mon Jun 3, 2013 12:45 PM EDT.

    Still hoping to uncover an elusive White House scandal, House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) has scheduled more IRS-related hearings for Thursday, and published an interesting press release late yesterday afternoon.

    House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) revealed new testimony from IRS employees in Cincinnati involved with the IRS’s political targeting today on CNN’s State of the Union.

    The Committee released excerpts from bipartisan transcribed interviews between Committee Investigators and Cincinnati IRS employees. In these interviews Cincinnati IRS employees reject the White House’s claim that the targeting was merely work of “rogue” agents and say targeting of conservative political groups came from Washington, D.C.

    “As late as last week, the administration was still trying to say the [IRS targeting scandal] was from a few rogue agents in Cincinnati, when in fact the indication is that they were directly being ordered from Washington,” Issa told CNN.

    In theory, this could be a noteworthy development. There are transcriptions between Issa’s hand-picked investigators and the IRS employees in Cincinnati, and according to the committee chairman, they point to “Washington” involvement. In what capacity? We don’t know, but the point is to pique one’s interest.

    OK, but what did the IRS employees say, exactly? Well, we don’t know that, either — Issa has seen the full transcripts, but he’s only willing to release portions that he and his staff have edited and excerpted. If Issa had the goods, why wouldn’t he drop the political bomb and reap the benefits? I suspect he would.

    Indeed, if you read through the published excerpts, you’ll see plenty of exchanges between Republican investigators and IRS employees. What you won’t see are the exchanges between Democratic investigators and the same IRS employees — Q&A that seems quite relevant in providing context.

    We’ve seen this schtick before, and it’s never turned out well for Issa.

  24. rikyrah says:

    How not to connect the IRS dots

    By Steve Benen
    Mon Jun 3, 2013 10:57 AM EDT.

    Last week, the Daily Caller and Fox News thought they’d identified a “smoking gun” in the IRS controversy — relying on publicly available visitors logs, the outlets reported late last week that former IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman visited the White House 157 times between 2009 and 2012. This was clear evidence of … something.

    Except, it wasn’t. Not only was the total uninteresting, it was also wrong — The Atlantic’s Garance Franke-Ruta found that Shulman had been cleared for a series of routine White House gatherings, but only attended 11 events. The Daily Caller and Fox News got Politico to bite, but everyone else quickly realized this story was a dud.

    But that’s the funny thing about Republican media chasing bogus stories: there’s always another one right around the corner.

  25. rikyrah says:

    Exclusive: Lorraine Hansberry Biopic In Development (Taye Hansberry, Numa Perrier, Issa Rae)

    Shadow & Act has learned that what will be an unconventional biopic based on the life of playwright, author, activist Lorraine Hansberry (A Raisin in the Sun), is in development, with long time collaborators Taye Hansberry (grand niece of Lorraine Hansberry and author of, and Numa Perrier (The Couple) penning the script to a film that will star Taye in the title role, and will be directed by Perrier.

    Issa Rae is set to play Nina Simone, who was a close friend of Lorraine until her death.

    And Jaleel White will play James Baldwin, Hansberry’s close friend and confidant.

    Will Stewart (Casting Director for Scandal) is casting the project, with additional announcements to come.

    Production is slated to begin in early fall, with the project now heading into the pre-production stage.

    Living quite an involved life, Hansberry was the first black playwright and the youngest American to win a New York Critics’ Circle award. She’s likely most-known for her seminal play about a struggling black family in Chicago, A Raisin in the Sun (a line taken from a Langston Hughes poem).

    It was the first play produced on Broadway by an African American woman. It opened at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre on March 11, 1959, and was a great success.

    The film version of A Raisin in the Sun was completed in 1961, starring Sidney Poitier.

    Throughout her life, she was heavily involved in civil rights, and died very young at just 34 of pancreatic cancer.

    There’s obviously a lot more to know about Hansberry’s life – some of it, public information; some of it not; much of it unfolding on screen, in this upcoming project.

    The film won’t be a traditional biopic, as already noted, which this writer is excited to hear; and given what I know of Perrier’s past artistic endeavors over the years (engaged in almost all forms of media), I’d expect something bold here.

    Stay tuned…

    In the meantime, here’s a photo of Taye Hansberry as Lorraine Hansberry:

  26. Ametia says:

    Can’t stand “Carbo” Crowley

  27. Ametia says:

    Smack those asses, Plouffe, SMACK’EM!

  28. Ametia says:

    Breaking: The First Female Navy SEAL, Kristin Beck
    by Brandon Webb · June 3, 2013 · Posted In: SOF News

    This just in, and yes it’s true. I first met Chris when she was at SEAL Team One. While Chris was always a little different I had no idea what was lying under the surface, as I’m sure a lot of people will have the same experience. I do know that Chris went on to serve out a full retirement, and finished his twenty years of service as an E-8 at US SOCOM, and a tour of the recently scandal-clad ST-6.

    Read more:

  29. Shady_Grady says:

    I am a Wes Montgomery fan though I am still learning more about his music. My Dad had many of his albums.

    • Ametia says:

      Hi Shady; good to see you, and happy to know you’re a fan of Wes M. I’m so Old School, when it comes to jazz, bordering on snobbery. LOL

      Any favorite pieces by Mr. Montgomery? happy to post this week.

  30. Ametia says:

    GOP governors’ endorsements of Medicaid expansion deepen rifts within party
    By Sandhya Somashekhar,
    Published: June 2

    Republican fissures over the expansion of Medicaid, a critical piece of the 2010 health-care law designed to provide coverage to millions of uninsured Americans, continue to deepen, with battles in Arizona and elsewhere showing just how bitter the divisions have become.

    Despite expressing distaste for the new law, some GOP governors have endorsed an expansion of Medicaid, and three — Jan Brewer of Arizona, John Kasich of Ohio and Rick Snyder of Michigan — are trying to persuade their Republican-controlled legislatures to go along. The governors are unwilling to turn down Washington’s offer to spend millions, if not billions, in their states to add people to the state-federal program for the poor. But they face staunch opposition from many GOP legislators who oppose the health-care law and worry that their states will be stuck with the cost of adding Medicaid recipients.

  31. rikyrah says:

    Blackburn’s unique views on pay equity
    By Steve Benen

    Mon Jun 3, 2013 9:45 AM EDT

    On “Meet the Press” yesterday, host David Gregory brought up the latest Pew Research Center report, which found that women are now the sole or primary source of family income in 40% of U.S. households with children. It led to an interesting roundtable discussion about the larger social dynamic, including the difficulties the Republican Party often has reaching out to women voters.

    But for those who can’t watch clips online, there was an exchange between David Axelrod and Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) that was especially noteworthy.

    BLACKBURN: I’d say we need to be the great opportunity party. That’s what GOP needs.

    AXELROD: How about pay equity laws to ensure that women are treated fairly in the workplace?

    BLACKBURN: I think that more important than that it is making certain that women are recognized by those companies. You know, I’ve always said I wasn’t — I didn’t want to be given a job because I was a female. I wanted it because I was the most well-qualified person for the job. And making certain that companies are going to move forward in that vein, that is what women want. They don’t want the decisions made in Washington. They want to be able to have the power and the control and the ability to make those decisions themselves.

    I’m at a bit of a loss trying to make sense of this. She wants women to vote Republican, but she also wants Republicans to oppose proposals to ensure equality in the workplace for women. Why? Because as Blackburn sees it, women don’t even want such protections against discrimination.

    But this is absurd. Women want “the power and the control and the ability to make those decisions themselves”? Which decisions? The decision to receive equal pay for equal work? If women could simply create pay equity through sheer force of will, this wouldn’t already be a national problem. But since it’s employers with “the power and the control and the ability to make those decisions,” it’s important to have laws to prevent unfair treatment.

  32. Ametia says:

    Why I still have AG Holder’s back

    If you look up at the top of this blog, you’ll see a tab titled DOJ Watch. I started that one back in January 2011 for many reasons. But it was triggered by this article in the New York Times that reflected on what would change as a result of the 2010 midterm election with control of the House going to the Republicans.

    When the Obama administration wakes up next month to a divided capital, no cabinet member will be facing a more miserable prospect of oversight hearings and subpoenas than Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.

    Mr. Holder is a particularly juicy target because he presides over issues that have served as recurrent fodder for political controversy — including using the criminal justice system for terrorism cases, and federal enforcement of civil rights and immigration laws.

  33. rikyrah says:

    jds09 •

    What do you call it when a parent kidnaps their child from a cult, takes them to a hotel room and tries to re-orient them? Deprogramming! Is it just me, or did Rev. Al attempt that with MHP? Just watched Friday’s clip on TOD, he was subtly redirecting her on the GOP obstruction, showing her how to phrase it pragmatically not in emo speak. And when did the President get to declare war? That’s congress’ job. MHP is running with a bad crowd.

  34. Just In: US Supreme Court rules police can take DNA from persons arrested for serious offenses without a warrant

  35. rikyrah says:

    Senator Lautenberg has died.

  36. rikyrah says:

    Power Sick: Scandal Obsessed GOP Ignores ‘Obama Economic Recovery’

  37. rikyrah says:

    Plouffe Smacks Issa

    by BooMan
    Mon Jun 3rd, 2013 at 09:19:38 AM EST

    Darrell Issa understandably likes to hide behind the fact that he has never actually been prosecuted for his alleged criminal activities, but that doesn’t mean that the allegations haven’t been made.

    Former White House senior adviser David Pollute took to Twitter to question Rep. Darrell Issa’s ethics after the California Republican trashed press secretary Jay Carney.
    “Strong words from Mr Grand Theft Auto and suspected arsonist/insurance swindler. And loose ethically today,” Plouffe tweeted on Sunday, linking to a video of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman on CNN’s “State of the Union” calling Carney a “paid liar” who was “making things up” about the IRS scandal.

    His business partner thought he lit their building on fire and Issa blamed his brother for the car thefts. One of the things I like about David Plouffe is that he doesn’t let stuff like that go. If Issa wants to make unfounded accusations about the administration then he’s going to get brushed back.

  38. MSNBC president: “We’re not the place” for breaking news:

  39. rikyrah says:

    New Zogby Poll: Scandal Chatter Isn’t Hurting Obama

    At least for the time being, the scandals currently being investigated by Congress are not damaging the President of the United States. A new poll by Zogby Analytics shows President Barack Obama actually regaining lost ground in his job approval. His approval rating now stands at 53% — the exact percentage he had when he won re-election last November and up 2 points over his rating in early May. His disapproval rating remained at 46%. The poll of 887 likely voters was taken online May 29 and 30.

    His approval is up 5 points among Republicans (from 17% to 22%) and 3 points among conservatives (from 22% to 25%), while it has stayed about the same among Democrats (86%) and independents (42%). Mr. Obama is up among all age groups, particularly among the youngest voters (from 53% to 59%) and the oldest voters (from 24% to 34%).

    Hispanics remained at 79% and African Americans went up 10 points (from 84% to 94%). Men are up 6 points to 54%, while women are down 3 points to 51%.

  40. rikyrah says:

    GOP Survey Of Young People Reveals They Support Progressive Policies
    By Igor Volsky on Jun 3, 2013 at 9:17 am

    (Source: PolicyMic)The College Republican National Committee released a report on Monday outlining the major challenges facing the GOP as it seeks to rebrand and redefine itself in the aftermath of the 2012 election. The survey criticizes the party’s singular focus on “big government” and “tax cuts” and calls on Republicans to become more tolerant and open on issues like same-sex marriage and women’s reproductive health.

    But a close reading of the 90-page report finds that young people have strong disagreements with Republican policies — including large parts of former candidate’s Mitt Romney’s platform — and are far more likely to support progressive positions. Here are 11 examples:

  41. rikyrah says:

    GOP sets its sights on Holder
    By Steve Benen
    Mon Jun 3, 2013 8:44 AM EDT

    Watching the Sunday shows, it was hard not to notice the contempt congressional Republicans have for Attorney General Eric Holder. It’s probably worth pausing to appreciate why.

    Indeed, it’s easy to forget at times exactly why Holder has been held in such low regard by the GOP effectively since his first day on the job. For a while, Republicans wanted Holder’s ouster over “Fast & Furious,” though that didn’t pan out well. So what is driving the current push among Republicans to force the A.G. from office?

    This is.


    For its part, the Justice Department has said, “The attorney general’s testimony concerning the potential prosecution of a member of the press was accurate and consistent with the facts [of the leak case]. At no time during the leak case … before or after the FBI sought the search warrant, have prosecutors sought approval to bring criminal charges against the reporter.”

    What’s more, Holder still has Democratic allies. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) insisted yesterday on “Meet the Press” that Holder has done nothing wrong, he’s “continued to do his job well,” and Schumer hasn’t seen “anything that would prevent him from continuing to do his job.”

    Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) also said there was no contradiction in Holder’s testimony because the A.G. was not involved in the “near prosecution” of journalists and Rosen had not been prosecuted. “It is often the practice in cases where you have investigations that you target somebody for the purpose of gathering information with never having any intention of prosecuting them,” Van Hollen said.

    But the loudest voices on the Sunday shows came from Republicans on the attack

  42. rikyrah says:

    The one question McCain wasn’t asked
    By Steve Benen
    Mon Jun 3, 2013 9:13 AM EDT

    It was discouraging to see Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) make yet another Sunday show appearance — we’re 22 weeks into 2013, and he’s already been a guest 12 times — but in this case, I saw a possible upside. The senator was reportedly photographed last weekend with suspected Syrian kidnappers Mohamed Nour and Abu Ibrahim, and I’ve been eager to hear McCain’s response to questions surrounding the encounter.

    Indeed, it’s no trivial matter. While no one could seriously accuse the senator of sympathizing with the accused kidnappers, McCain has repeatedly argued he knows the difference between “good” Syrian rebels and “bad” Syrian rebels — and this incident offers powerful evidence to the contrary. The senator’s office has been cagey on the matter, saying only that it would be “regrettable” if McCain unknowingly visited with Nour and Ibrahim.

    So, during his fourth appearance this year on “Face the Nation,” how did McCain respond to Bob Schieffer’s questions about the controversy, which continues to draw international scrutiny? He didn’t — despite a discussion about developments in Syria, Schieffer didn’t ask any questions about the one controversy McCain was involved with this week.

    It appears the story has already slipped down the memory hole.

  43. rikyrah says:

    Mitt Romney Inc.: The White House That Never Was

    By Zeke J MillerJune 02, 2013

    In the months before the 2012 election, a group of high-powered consultants and political operatives prepared a secret report for candidate Mitt Romney, explaining how he should take over and restructure the federal government should he win the presidency.

    “The White House staff is similar to a holding company” read one PowerPoint slide, which would have been presented to President-elect Romney as part of an expansive briefing on the morning after Election Day. It went on to list three main divisions of the metaphorical firm: “Care & Feeding Offices,” like speechwriting, “Policy Offices,” like the National Security Council, and “Packaging & Selling Offices,” like the office of the press secretary. This was the view of the Presidency Romney would have brought with him to Washington, a glimpse of the White House that never was — and plan that never saw the light of day.

    But now the secret is out. On May 29, the Romney Readiness Project, the Republican candidate’s transition organization known as R2P, published a 138-page report detailing how it prepared for a potential Romney victory. It is the product of a team of nearly 500, who labored in Washington and around the country to be ready to help Romney assume the reins of power on January 20th, 2013, in accordance with the Pre-Election Presidential Transition Act of 2010.


    The non-profit R2P, Inc., chaired by former Utah Gov. Michael Leavitt and run by former General Motors chief financial officer Christopher Liddell, benefited from free rent and other federal support, and drew heavily from the business and consulting community Romney, a former consultant and private equity executive, knew so well.

    Among the recommendations for the Romney administration:
    •Corporate-style training seminars were planned for appointees and nominees before the inauguration to teach management skills.
    •A plan to restructure White House operations to suit Romney’s corporate management style, with clear deliverables.
    •Detailed flow charts delineating how information and decisions were disseminated through the administration to achieve “unity.”
    •Plans to evaluate Cabinet secretaries’s performance by “systematically assessing the efforts of their departments in contributing to [Romney’s] priorities and objectives, perhaps by a newly created ”deputy chief of staff for Cabinet oversight.”

    More than 100 detailed one-page project management sheets were in circulation at R2P headquarters by Election Day, charting the organization’s progress and preparing for the run-up to inauguration. Movements for Romney, his wife Ann, and Vice President-elect Paul Ryan were heavily choreographed for the days following the election, and many campaign staffers were told to prepare to assume roles on the transition immediately following a victory. (All were guaranteed a job on either the transition or the inaugural committee.) A painstakingly prepared seating chart and floor plan was developed for Romney, his aides, and transition staff across three floors of the Mary E. Switzer Building in downtown Washington, ready for the rapid post-election expansion

    Read more:

  44. rikyrah says:

    ‘Mr. Grand Theft Auto’ gets a brush-back pitch
    By Steve Benen

    Mon Jun 3, 2013 8:00 AM EDT

    House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), no doubt frustrated his efforts to manufacture White House scandals have faltered, started to lose his composure on CNN yesterday. Perhaps more interesting was the response from a close ally to President Obama.

    After lashing out at White House Press Secretary Jay Carney as a “paid liar” — an attack seemingly based on nothing — the California Republican argued without proof that top Obama administration officials were responsible for the IRS controversy. Under scrutiny, however, Issa’s argument quickly crumbled, relying on out-of-context quotes.


    It was, however, this reaction from David Plouffe that caught my eye. In President Obama’s inner circle, few are as influential as Plouffe, who ran the Obama campaign in 2008 and served as a White House Senior Adviser to the president up until late January of this year. So when he’s calling the chairman on the House Oversight Committee “Mr. Grand Theft Auto” and a “suspected arsonist/insurance swindler,” it reflects a striking escalation.

    Unlike Issa’s rhetorical jabs, Plouffe’s brush-back pitch at least has the benefit of accuracy. As we discussed a few weeks ago, Issa, the man Republicans have tasked with leading investigations into alleged administration misdeeds, really has spent a fair amount of his adult life as a suspected criminal. This Ryan Lizza piece in the New Yorker from a couple of years ago remains relevant.

  45. rikyrah says:

    First Orange Julius, now Country Last…..

    Guess who’s coming to dinner?



    Senator John McCain’s Son Jack McCain Marries Renee Swift: Picture

    Celebrity News June 2, 2013 AT 7:30PM By Brittany Galla .

    An All-American wedding! Arizona Senator John McCain’s son, Jack McCain, wed Renee Swift on Saturday, June 1 in San Francisco, Calif., a spokesperson for the senator confirms to Us Weekly.

    Jack, 27, is a Navy lieutenant and helicopter pilot. His bride, 29-year-old Swift, is a San Francisco Bay Area native and a captain in the United States Air Force Reserve.

    Swift looked stunning on her special day, wearing a white sweetheart neckline wedding dress with narrow cap sleeves and a natural waistline. She completed her look with a simple necklace and put her hair in sleek undo.

    Following their wedding festivities, it’s back to work for the newlyweds.

    “Jack will return to Guam for another deployment after their honeymoon in Africa,” the spokesperson reveals.

    Read more:
    Follow us: @usweekly on Twitter | usweekly on Facebook

  46. President Obama Speaks at the Mental Health Conference
    9:40 AM EDT

  47. rikyrah says:

    Published on May 16, 2013

    May 16, 2013
    MSNBC host Ari Melber joins Martin Bashir to delve into some suspicious past of Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif. — head of the House Oversight Committee — and why it’s an excellent guide for the approach he takes to the job.

  48. rikyrah says:

    1911 United teamed up with the Tuskegee Airmen to give children in the Gary/Chicago area an experience of a lifetime!

  49. Ametia says:

    Please proceed GOP

  50. Ametia says:

    John Mccain is on Moaning JOKE pushing war.

  51. Ametia says:

    Obama to deliver remarks on mental health issues
    By Sandhya Somashekhar,
    Monday, June 3, 5:10 AM

    President Obama is scheduled to deliver remarks Monday on the issue of mental health, raising it in connection with the sweeping gun-control agenda he unveiled earlier this year.

    The morning address will open what the White House has dubbed a National Conference on Mental Health, a gathering of advocates, elected officials, faith leaders and others aimed at increasing awareness of mental illness and highlighting ways that the mentally ill can seek help. Actress Glenn Close and Vice President Joe Biden are slated to speak at the event.

  52. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone! :-)

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