Monday Open Thread | Arrested Development | Throwback Week

Arrested DevelopmentArrested Development is an American alternative hip hop group, founded by Speech and his then best friend Headliner as a positive, Afrocentric alternative to the gangsta rap popular in the early 1990s.

The group won two Grammy Awards in 1993 for Best New Artist and Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group, and were also named Band of the Year by Rolling Stone magazine. 3 Years, 5 Months & 2 Days in the Life Of… was the number-one album in the Village Voice‘s 1992 Pazz and Jop Critic’s Poll.

A few months later, the group was approached by film director Spike Lee, to compose a song for his upcoming biopic based on the life of Malcolm X.

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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74 Responses to Monday Open Thread | Arrested Development | Throwback Week

  1. rikyrah says:

    The secret of Costco’s success revealed! (hint: no MBAs need apply)

    By Kathleen Geier

    Recently, there’s been a round of news stories focusing on various problems with the nation’s largest retailer, and one of its worst employers, Walmart. These problems range from national and international labor issues, to poor customer service, low-quality produce, empty shelves, and declining sales.

    At the same time, Costco, the nation’s second largest retailer which famously pays its workers good wages and benefits, has been getting some of the best press in its 30-year history. Unlike much of the rest of the retail sector, Costco keeps posting strong sales — according to the most recent quarterly report, sales are up 8% and earnings are up 19% compared to this quarter last year. Costco has also won praise as a socially responsible investment.

    I’ve written about Costco before. I’m a fan of the store as a consumer, and I also like it as a model of capitalism. A retailer that delivers high-quality products at rock-bottom prices, and is philosophically and practically committed to treating its workers well in the bargain — what more can you ask for? Its smashing success proves that the low-road, Walmart way of worker exploitation and selling cheap crap is not the only way to have capitalism in our society. We do have a choice.

    This week, I’m writing about Costco again because of this wonderful article about the company, on the cover of Bloomberg Businessweek. There’s tons of fascinating info packed inside, even stuff that I, who consider myself to be something of a Costco nerd, didn’t know. This hilarious anecdote, about Costco co-founder Sol Price, by itself made it well worth reading the entire bloody thing:

    Price was a liberal Jewish attorney from New York who embraced organized labor. According to Ralph Nader, who met him during Nader’s 1996 presidential run, Price often told a joke about meeting some discount retail executives who reverentially told him, “Sol, you are the father of everything we have inherited.” To which Price replied: “I really wish I had worn a condom.”

    In my earlier piece, I mentioned some of the business strategies that have made Costco a success, investing in their employees being the most fundamental one. But the Businessweek article mentions a few other company policies I did not know about. Most fascinating of all, there is this:

    [Snip] … Costco does not hire business school graduates—thanks to another idiosyncrasy meant to preserve its distinct company culture. It cultivates employees who work the floor in its warehouses and sponsors them through graduate school. Seventy percent of its warehouse managers started at the company by pushing carts and ringing cash registers.

    Those sentences speak volumes. They tell you that Costco is a company that values its own hard-won experience over trendy B-school subjects like management theory and Econ 101 abstractions. They’ve found a formula that works and they’re not going to mess with it. I’ve long found the typical B-school curriculum to be problematic. On the one hand, you have management “theory,” which frequently is not well-supported by rigorous research, and might be characterized as more theological than anything else — Tom Frank has often been insightful about the ideological function served by this kind of business literature.

  2. rikyrah says:

    James Hohmann @jameshohmann

    MT @maggiepolitico: RT @GStephanopoulos: House Speaker John Boehner tells me NSA leaker Edward Snowden is “a traitor.”
    7:07 PM – 10 Jun 2013

  3. rikyrah says:

    BlueTrooth @BlueTrooth

    @ChrisLHayes We are “debating” fantasy scenarios. Exactly like the IRS “targeting” that NEVER OCCURRED. Archive vs Search…think #p2

    Only4RM @Only4RM

    .@BlueTrooth Meantime Black & Latino young men’s Constitutional Rights are ACTUALLY VIOLATED as @chrislhayes enjoys a “perfect” NYC evening.
    7:16 PM – 10 Jun 2013

  4. rikyrah says:

    Nerdy Wonka @NerdyWonka

    Martin Luther King Jr. wrote “Letter From Birmingham Jail” not “Letter From Cushy Hong Kong Hotel With Pillow Forts.” Snowden is not MLK.
    3:04 PM – 10 Jun 2013

  5. rikyrah says:

    and MSNBC wonders why it’s losing viewers


    Nerdy Wonka @NerdyWonka

    Oy. Derp will be strong RT @ZandarVTS: Chris Hayes having Amy Goodman on? That will be some quality Obama hate with some 4-5 syllable words.
    5:49 PM – 10 Jun 2013

  6. rikyrah says:

    David Corn ✔ @DavidCornDC

    Community College Says NSA Whistleblower Edward Snowden Took No “Cyber-Related Classes”
    4:36 PM – 10 Jun 2013

  7. rikyrah says:

    Whoa. RT @KateNocera: Sen. Feinstein just told reporters that she won’t call Snowden a whistleblower. “what he did was an act of treason”

    Retweeted by Jeff Gauvin

  8. rikyrah says:

    WABR Newsdesk ‏@WABR_Newsdesk3m
    Snowden and several others were arrested on a boat off the coast of Oahu headed toward the coast of Ecuador.

    WABR Newsdesk ‏@WABR_Newsdesk11m
    BREAKING NEWS: Several sources telling us NSA whistleblower Snowden has been arrested in Oahu and is en route to Honolulu for questioning.

  9. rikyrah says:

    Signs of the Imminent GOP Crack-Up

    by BooMan
    Mon Jun 10th, 2013 at 03:29:12 PM EST
    The price for gaining Sen. Orrin Hatch’s qualified support for immigration reform was an agreement to double (and eventually triple) the number of H1-B immigration visas for high-tech workers. Meanwhile, Utah’s other senator, Mike Lee, was one of the first to rise in opposition to the bill today. It’s an interesting snapshot into the divisions that are emerging on the right. Dan Balz highlights two other signs of division in the Washington Post. He discusses the political paths of Rand Paul and Chris Christie, both of whom are diverging from the national party in Washington DC. Christie is hoping to maintain his popularity with Democrats and use a resounding reelection as an argument that he can win blue states and capture the Electoral College. Rand Paul is pursuing such unorthodox policies that he appeals to an entirely different subsection of the electorate than a normal Republican. Of the two, Christie is less disruptive to party unity, but he doesn’t seem likely to inspire a revitalization of the party in California, Illinois, or New England.

    Still, for a few decades the Democrats believed that they could only win with a southern nominee, and it was true from 1964 to 2008. Perhaps the Republicans can only win with a northern nominee in the Christie mold. That’s what Christie will argue, anyway.

    That’s one possibility. But the fact that Utah’s two senators could be so diametrically opposed in their approach to immigration reform points to a potential crack-up of the Republican Party. Sen. Hatch is doing the bidding of big business and actually legislating by making his support contingent on something. Sen. Lee is doing the bidding of the know-nothing base of the party that just hates Latinos. These two approaches have been part of the Republican playbook for a long time, but I think we’ve reached the point where nativism is no longer viable. Big business will always be able to find people to represent them in Congress, but I don’t think they will consign themselves to permanent losses by aligning with a party that is too racist to ever win the White House.

    Since it seems more likely that Sen. Lee is the future of the GOP than that Orrin Hatch is the future, I don’t think the Republican Party will long endure as one of our two major parties.

  10. Ametia says:

    Obama administration to reverse course on over-the-counter sales of morning-after pills

    The Department of Justice has notified a U.S. District judge that it will take steps to comply with his order to allow girls of any age to buy emergency contraception without prescriptions.

    The federal government had previously appealed the judge’s April 5 ruling, which ordered some emergency contraceptives to be made available without a prescription, over the counter and without point-of-sale or age restrictions.

    Read more at:

  11. rikyrah says:


    Another gif

  12. CarolMaeWY says:

    Hello, I’m late to this story. I’m trying to understand what has actually been verified. I’ll just post my list and if you can answer great!
    Edward Snowden:
    Was in Army for five months – verified by Army.
    Worked for Booz-Allen for three months – verified by Booz-Allen.
    Was living in an apartment with a girl until May 1 – verified by landlord.

    His age, GED, education, where he is from, his real name, his employment, other background, has any of this been verified?
    Thanks to anyone who can help. :)

  13. rikyrah says:

    Bobfr @Our4thEstate

    Real Scandal: Booz Allen (aka Carlyle Group) incompetence in hiring #Snowden & Congress outsourcing our Security to them. @Lawrence @maddow

    4:03 PM – 10 Jun 2013

  14. rikyrah says:


    here’s your Senator.


    Al Franken: I’m Not Surprised, This Isn’t About Spying on Americans
    Posted on June 10, 2013 at 3:45 pm by JM Ashby

    During an interview with the StarTribune, Senator Al Franken confirmed that the Senate Judiciary Committee is well aware of how the intelligence community conducts itself and he downplayed some of the more hyperbolic implications out there.

    Franken: These are classified briefings. I can only discusses it in limited detail, but because I’m on the Judiciary Committee and because the Judiciary Committee has jurisdiction on NSA, and on FISA, and on the Patriot Act, this is something I availed myself of these briefings so nothing surprised me.And the architecture of these programs is very well aware.

    There are certain things that are appropriate for me to know that’s not appropriate for the bad guys to know. That makes a lot of sense. So anything the American people know the bad guys know

    • Ametia says:

      Senator Franken knows what day it is. Unlike ronnie Ray-gun the actor prez, Franken’s skills as a comedian and his education combined is a WIN-WIN for MN and the USA Senate.

      He ain’t trying to fall for this bullshit.

  15. rikyrah says:

    john miller @deaconmill

    If anything, this whole NSA kerfuffle brings up the issue of privatizing vital intelligence work. Costs US more and has inherent risks.

    3:43 PM – 10 Jun 2013

  16. rikyrah says:

    How come Jim Clyburn can always seem to ‘see it’?


    ABWisdom @adbridgeforth

    “SOMETHING STINKS”! James Clyburn: #NSA Leaks Part Of Effort To “Embarrass” Obama … #Dems #p2 #p2b #ctl #GoodbyeGOP

    3:13 PM – 10 Jun 2013

  17. rikyrah says:

    WELP // RT: @justinjm1: 56% of Americans approve of NSA phone tracking, according to new Pew poll

  18. rikyrah says:

    Fox News Cuts The Mic Of A Liberal Who Tells The Truth About the Obama Scandals

    By: Jason Easley
    Jun. 8th, 2013

    What happens when a liberal tries to discuss the facts of the Obama scandals on Fox News? He gets his mic cut off.

    Watch what happened to Julian Epstein when he insisted on having a discussion centered around the facts of the Obama scandals with Fox exec Neil Cavuto.


    That liberal thing that Cavuto was accusing Epstein of doing is called using facts. Fox News has no interest in the facts relating to these “Obama scandals.” Anyone who persistently tries to inject facts into the Obama scandal fantasy will be shouted down, and have their mic cut off. That’s just how they do it over at fair and balanced Fox News.

    Since these scandals have puttered out due to a lack of evidence, Cavuto was trying to create something that was greater than the sum of its weak parts by trying to tie all of the conspiracies into a pattern of behavior. It should be noted that Cavuto isn’t just a host. He is also a Fox News executive. Apparently, the executive policy of Fox News is to cut the mics of people who try to use facts in their conversations.

    Cavuto’s behavior illustrated why these “scandals” are bad for the Republican Party. The right is obsessing over these scandals. Just like with all of the other Obama conspiracies that they’ve gotten hung up on, they don’t understand that the rest of the country doesn’t care. Obama scandal mania pushes Republicans more to the right, and isolates them from mainstream America.

    Obama scandals have always been the right’s emotional crutch and comfort food. The economy is improving regularly. Many of their beloved tea party governors look to be headed for defeat in 2014. Things are generally looking up for the country. Their plan to ruin the Obama presidency has been a total failure, so these “scandals” are the only thing that Republicans have left to hold on to.

    As if there was ever any doubt, Neil Cavuto has proven once and for all that there is no room for reality on Fox News.

  19. rikyrah says:

    AP advises staff against calling Snowden a “whistleblower”

  20. rikyrah says:

    President Obama’s Leadership on Mental Health Goes Largely Unnoticed

    By: Deborah Foster
    Jun. 8th, 2013

    This has been an extremely difficult year for people with mental illnesses. Many of the gun-toting spree killers who tormented the country showed signs of mental illness. Media figures, politicians, and experts would discuss the obviously disturbed nature of these men, and then sometimes, maybe even often, add the obligatory disclaimer that most people with mental illness aren’t violent. If they were really educated, they added the fact that people with mental illnesses were actually more likely to be victims of violence than perpetrators. In the wake of the high profile shootings, ubiquitous discussions of gun safety and gun control inevitably focused on keeping guns out of the hands of disturbed people. This is important, of course. However, the side effect of this discussion was two-fold: 1) people were quick to decide that the civil liberties or privacy rights of people with mental illnesses do not matter, and 2) the conversations inevitably took on very stigmatizing overtones. First, there were proposals to set up national databases with the names of every single person receiving treatment for a mental illness. It seemed that very few people except those with mental illnesses and their loved ones were properly aghast at the implications. Understandably, people don’t want their private mental health (health) status stored in a national criminal database. The need to keep guns out of the hands of people who are dangerous, both to others and themselves, is critical. However, any membership on a list of people prohibited from gun ownership should be triggered by the concerns of professionals, and not simply by the status of having a mental illness. Then, there were the conversations themselves. It was difficult not to wince when hearing vast numbers of people make stereotypical, inaccurate statements about people with mental illnesses. The myths were rampant.

    But, the agony of this year doesn’t end with heightened stigma stimulated by the actions of a handful of dangerous madmen. This year, like the past few years, marks yet another time when states have underfunded mental health services, doing no less than putting people’s lives at risk. In March 2011, the National Alliance on Mental Illness released a report, “State Mental Health Cuts: A National Crisis.” Last year, they released a second report, “State Mental Health Cuts: The Continuing Crisis,” further lamenting the trend toward defunding services. This year, the sequester threw another punch at people with serious mental illnesses. Beginning April 1st, over 373,000 adults and children with serious mental health disorders saw their services cut. Another 9,000 homeless and mentally ill people will no longer receive the services of the PATH program which attempts to help this group get transitioned into permanent housing.

    In the midst of all of this hardship, there was one piece of good news to come out over the past few years: the passage of the Affordable Care Act. Indeed, Obamacare, will have the same substantial benefits for people with mental illnesses that it does for people with physical illnesses. People with mental illnesses will not be denied insurance because of a pre-existing condition; substantially more people will receive insurance, thereby allowing more people with mental illnesses to access treatment; the incentives in Obamacare for providers to care for people across the continuum of care will improve quality of care; and psychiatric medications will be covered as the Medicare coverage gap is filled. Obamacare will work perfectly in tandem with one of the few useful laws that George W. Bush ever signed, The Mental Health and Addiction Parity Act of 2008, which requires insurers to pay for just as much mental health care as they would physical health care.

    So then, during this past week, packed with so much political news, one of the President’s initiatives on mental health went largely unnoticed. On Monday, President Obama held the White House Conference on Mental Health, carrying on a tradition started by President Clinton in 1999. Mr. Obama gave a heartfelt speech about the need to end stigma and stop forcing people with mental illnesses to live in the shadows. The President has previously taken steps before to address mental health needs such as issuing an executive order in 2012 aimed at providing greater mental health assistance to the military and to veterans. At this White House Mental Health Conference, Mr. Obama was able to announce that the VA has met its goal of hiring an additional 1,600 mental health professionals and 300 trained peer-to-peer specialists, per his executive order. Given the tragic, and remarkably high, rates of suicide among veterans, this was a critical step to take. The exciting new initiative the President announced this past Monday is a $130 million investment in: 1) a program that will train teachers and other adults to recognize the signs of mental illness in students so that they can refer these youth to mental health services, 2) innovative state-based programs that serve youth ages 16-25, and 3) training of 5000 additional professionals to work with youth who need mental health care. The reason this initiative is particularly well-targeted is that research consistently shows that early intervention with youth just experiencing symptoms of mental illness for the first time helps reduce the severity of the illness, prevents a whole host of negative impacts of the illness (e.g. dropping out of school), and ends up costing less money for services in the long run. In addition, the government will also now have a website,, which will become a clearinghouse of resources citizens can visit for more information.

  21. rikyrah says:

    Paul Krugman Smacks Down Republican Whining That Obama Hasn’t Reached Out To Them

    By: Jason Easley
    Jun. 9th, 2013

    Paul Krugman smacked down the Republican lie that Obama hasn’t reached out to them by pointing out that every time the president tries to reach out, he gets his fingers ripped off.

    Dowd was using the standard Republican talking point that Obama hasn’t reached across the aisle to Republicans. After four plus years of Republicans rejecting their own ideas when presented to them by this president, it is clear that what Republicans really mean when they say reach across the aisle is, “do exactly what I want.” Krugman was correct. Obama spent years reaching out to Republicans, only to be rejected each time.

    The president eventually realized that Republicans were trying to run out the clock on his presidency by saying no, so he is working around them by doing things like naming Susan Rice to a White House position. Sure, Obama was sending a political message by appointing Rice. What Republicans fail to acknowledge is that they forced Obama to behave this way by refusing to work with him on anything.

    Krugman’s statement was something that is rarely heard in the mainstream media. It was an actual acknowledgement of the real dynamic in Washington. The dysfunction in Washington was caused and is being perpetuated by the Republican Party.

    President Obama has done his best, but reaching out to the other side will get you nothing if they refuse to say yes. This fact is often overlooked by a mainstream media that has happily swallowed the Republican narrative of a broken Washington hook, line, and sinker.

  22. rikyrah says:

    Darrell Issa Won’t Release IRS Transcripts Because They Prove Him Wrong

    By: Sarah Jones
    Jun. 10th, 2013

    Darrell Issa (R-CA) is going to ignore facts once again, and forge ahead, even though he was called out Sunday by Representative Elijah Cummings (D-MD), the top Democrat on the House of Representatives Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

    Cummings released a partial official interview transcript to Candy Crowley on CNN’s State of the Union Sunday, and it was revealed that the IRS manager behind the extra review of Tea Party groups described himself as a conservative Republican during the interviews.

    This fact kills Darrell Issa’s entire premise that there was a political agenda behind the reviews. But Issa said in a statement released to the press that the IRS manager’s comments “did not provide anything enlightening or contradict other witness accounts.” No? They sure contradict Issa’s accounts to the press.

    Issa’s office released a statement in which Issa danced quickly to avoid commenting on the actual fact that a conservative Republican was behind the “targeting”, “I strongly disagree with Ranking Member Cummings’ assertion that we know everything we need to know about inappropriate targeting of Tea Party groups by the IRS and the case is, in his word, ‘solved,’. His extreme and reckless assertions are a signal that his true motivation is stopping needed Congressional oversight and he has no genuine interest in working, on a bipartisan basis, to expose the full truth.

  23. rikyrah says:

    Is Cory Booker really a shoo-in for Frank Lautenberg’s Senate seat?

    By Jamelle Bouie, Published: June 10, 2013 at 11:34 am

    Last week, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie scheduled the election to replace the late-Senator Frank Lautenberg for October, which — under state law — means that both parties must hold their primaries in August. So far, four Democrats have announced their bids for the vacant seat: Reps. Rush Holt and Frank Pallone, New Jersey Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver, and Newark Mayor Cory Booker.

    It doesn’t come as a surprise, given his huge name recognition, but early polls show Booker as the favorite for the nomination. According to a Quinnipiac survey released this morning, 53 percent of New Jersey Democrats support Booker for the nomination, compared to 10 percent for Holt and 9 percent for Pallone. Oliver wasn’t included in the poll — she announced over the weekend — but 23 percent remain undecided.

    Even better for Booker is his high favorability rating. Fifty-seven percent say they like the Newark Mayor, while just a quarter say they don’t know enough to make a decision. Booker doesn’t have much room to grow with regards to favorability, but given his high ratings, he doesn’t need it.

    All of this is good news for Booker, but it doesn’t mean he’s safe. Buzzfeed’s Ruby Cramer highlights the extent to which Booker isn’t loved in the New Jersey political establishment. The New Jersey Democrats who have lined up against Booker believe that he’s a showhorse — someone who hasn’t devoted the necessary effort to his job as Newark mayor, and instead has worked to build a national profile for himself, independent of his actual performance:

  24. rikyrah says:

    The Morning Plum: Dems must stand firm against right’s push to kill immigration reform

    By Greg Sargent, Published: June 10, 2013 at 9:14 am

    This week, it’s show time in the Senate on immigration reform, and we’ll find out a lot in the coming days about whether genuine reform stands a chance of becoming law this year. The Senate “gang of eight” compromise is headed for full Senate debate, where Senate conservatives will mount a last stand of sorts designed to sink the proposal by attacking it with amendments and other procedural weapons.

    Here’s one reason for optimism: Over the weekend, Harry Reid confirmed on the record that the latest conservative effort to derail reform — an amendment pushed by John Cornyn that would require onerous enforcement triggers to be met before any path to citizenship kicks in — is a nonstarter for Dems. He made the claim in an interview with Univision, per a transcript provided by his office:

  25. rikyrah says:

    Privatizing Security is a Bad Idea

    by BooMan
    Mon Jun 10th, 2013 at 10:22:56 AM EST

    For more than a decade I have regarded Booz Allen Hamilton as indistinguishable from the Central Intelligence Agency. However, I did not realize the degree to which they were flourishing.

    The company employs about 25,000 people, almost half of whom hold top secret security clearances, providing “access to information that would cause ‘exceptionally grave damage’ to national security if disclosed to the public,” according to a company securities filing.
    In January, Booz Allen announced that it was starting work on a new contract worth perhaps as much as $5.6 billion over five years to provide intelligence analysis services to the Defense Department. Under the deal, Booz Allen employees are being assigned to help military and national security policy makers, the company said…

    The company, based in Virginia, is primarily a technology contractor. It reported revenues of $5.76 billion for the fiscal year ended in March and was No. 436 on Fortune’s list of the 500 largest public companies. The government provided 98 percent of that revenue, the company said.

    We could save a lot of money by reverting to the old system of paying government employees to do intelligence work. It’s a lie that it’s cheaper to farm this work out to the private sector. It’s also clear that privatizing intelligence work is a security risk.

    In the end, I’d rather deal with public employee unions than independent contractor lobbyists, too. In my mind, the best result of the recent NSA revelations would be if Booz Allen Hamilton and its investors went bankrupt.

  26. rikyrah says:

    Republican Deficit Hawks Go Silent After S&P Upgrades America’s Credit Outlook

    By: Ray
    Jun. 10th, 2013

    Remember back when every conservative ran to their mother hen media outlet, Fox News to attack President Obama and progressives when the United States’ credit rating was downgraded. Well, S & P (Standard and Poor’s) issued their latest outlook for America and stated they are upgrading America’s credit outlook from negative to stable. So where are the conservatives applauding this? Nowhere! You would think that being the patriotic politicians and people they are they would view this would be great news for our country.

    According to the report by Reuters,
    Standard & Poor’s on Monday revised its credit outlook on the United States government to stable from negative, citing Congress’s avoidance of the year-end 2012 “fiscal cliff” and the higher-than-expected tax receipts that followed.

    Additionally, the ratings agency, the only one to have cut the United States from the coveted AAA status, said it does not expect the debate later in 2013 regarding a raising of the debt ceiling to result in “a sudden unplanned contraction in current spending – which could be disruptive – let along debt service.”

    The latter part of the paragraph above regarding contraction of spending is particularly interesting, and may be why conservatives don’t want to talk about this news. S&P doesn’t want austerity spending contraction because it would have a negative effect of the economy which is steadily growing and in turn increasing tax revenue.

  27. rikyrah says:

    Cummings on IRS story: ‘The case is solved’
    By Steve Benen
    Mon Jun 10, 2013 9:10 AM EDT

    On “Fox News Sunday,” Bill Kristol and Mary Matalin urged their Republican allies to keep their eye on the ball: the right shouldn’t complain about the NSA revelations, they said, but should instead remain focused on the IRS controversy.

    There is, however, one serious problem with this advice: the IRS controversy is quickly unraveling.

    A self-described conservative Republican who is a manager in the Internal Revenue Service office that targeted tea party groups told investigators that he, not the White House, set the review in motion, the top Democrat on the House watchdog committee said Sunday.

    Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., released a partial transcript of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform interview with the unnamed manager in the IRS’ Cincinnati office. In it, the employee said the extra scrutiny for tea party groups’ tax exempt status was an effort to be consistent in reviewing applications and not driven by politics.

    “He is a conservative Republican working for the IRS. I think this interview and these statements go a long way to what’s showing that the White House was not involved in this,” Cummings said.

    Cummings, the top Democrat on the Oversight Committee, added, “Based upon everything I’ve seen, the case is solved. And if it were me, I would wrap this case up and move on, to be frank with you.”

    You’ll recall that Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) released carefully edited partial transcripts of interviews with IRS employees, in the hopes keeping interest in the story alive. Asked to release full transcripts, so the public could see the context of the exchanges, Issa refused.

    And now we’re starting to get a batter sense as to why Issa preferred to keep all of the facts out of the public light.

  28. rikyrah says:

    Over the past Month State Level Republicans Have Taken Steps To Privatize Schools

    By: Rmuse
    Jun. 10th, 2013

    There is nothing as terrifying, and threatening, to fascists as an educated populace that is unlikely to fall victim to lies and misinformation meant to sway an ignorant population’s opinion that being set upon by tyrants is in their best interest. One tactic to control a population is prohibiting education for the masses by either restricting access to education altogether, or devising a means of controlling curriculum and instruction through private and religious institutions paid for with public funds that, in America, has long been a goal of conservative-movement fascists and actively pursued by corporate Republicans and their legislative arm the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Over the past month, while Republicans have kept stupid Americans mesmerized with phony scandals and outrage that the African American President is somehow imposing on their freedoms, state-level Republicans have quietly and with little exposure taken steps to privatize school systems, restrict education to white wealthy children, and ensure that education is steeped in religious and conservative propaganda.

    Last year during the general election campaign, Rick Santorum opined that “smart people will never vote for Republicans” and it may be the first true utterance from the religious sycophant’s mouth. It also informed just one of the reasons Republicans are ramping up efforts to privatize America’s public education system, shutter schools in poorer neighborhoods, and shifting public school funding to charter schools owned and operated by conservative and religious crusaders. There were three specific stories that went unnoticed by the public at large that portend Americans’ tax dollars are being funneled to private education, the prison system, and into wealthy neighborhoods while poorer communities’ schools are closed and sold to corporate-controlled private charter schools.

    In Wisconsin, at the specific direction of the American Legislative Exchange Council, Governor Scott Walker inserted a provision into the state’s budget that means school privatization will be enacted without public input, discussion, or debate. One of the provisions in Walker’s ALEC budget creates what they labeled a “Charter School Oversight Board” that approves entities as independent charter school authorizers following ALEC’s Next Generation Charter Schools Act. According to Julie Mead, chair of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the ALEC measure “wrests control from school boards, and likewise from the community that elects those school boards,” because according to ALEC’s law, if a charter school proposal is rejected by the community and school board, an ALEC-installed authorizer would become “a defacto appellate mechanism” and the private charter school operator could move on to the unelected independent authorizer for approval. Wisconsin voters rejected a similar proposal in 2011, so ALEC instructed Walker to insert the measure into the state’s budget that also expands the school voucher program to divert taxpayer dollars away from public schools to subsidize private and for-profit schools.

    The proposal also creates a new teaching license for individuals with no formal education background to teach in the charter schools that is ALEC’s Alternative Certification Act. It is ALEC’s attempt to reduce requirements for becoming a teacher to produce failing schools, push more privatization, kill unions, and allow publicly-funded ideological religious curriculum to slip unnoticed and unaccounted for in charter schools that are immune from public oversight. As it is now, Wisconsin taxpayers will have sent an estimated $1.8 billion of public school funding to private and religious schools by 2014-15 as a result of privatization interests spending well over $10 million on Republican candidates with Walker receiving $2.35 million to push ALEC’s privatization efforts.

    In Philadelphia where the city is so cash-strapped the Pennsylvania School Reform commission approved a budget closing 23 public schools (10% of the city’s schools), the Republican-controlled House passed a corporate tax cut costing the state between $600-800 million annually, and then approved a $400 million prison. The penitentiary is “the second-most expensive state project ever,” and construction began days after cutting education spending that wipes out the 23 public schools. The school closings will “disproportionately affect youths of color,” but with little education they will likely be funneled directly into the brand new $400 million prison. The state intends to sell the shutter schools to private charter authorities in a continued push to privatize education, control curriculum and instruction, and create a population indoctrinated in religious and conservative ideology.

  29. rikyrah says:

    RNC boosts evangelical outreach
    By Steve Benen
    Mon Jun 10, 2013 11:01 AM EDT.

    In the wake of the party’s election setbacks last year, the Republican National Committee has focused on outreach to a variety of constituencies that have been turning towards Democrats: Latinos, African Americans, younger voters, women, etc.

    But it’s against this backdrop that we also see the RNC boosting its outreach efforts to a group of voters that ostensibly represents the party’s existing base.

    The Republican National Committee has brought on a director of evangelical outreach to massage the party’s complicated relationship with religious conservatives, GOP sources told CNN on Saturday.

    The party organization has hired Chad Connelly, a consultant and motivational speaker who, until this weekend, was the chairman of the South Carolina Republican Party.

    Connelly resigned from that job Saturday and informed members of the state party’s executive committee that he will be taking a job at the RNC…. Connelly, a Baptist, has told multiple South Carolina Republicans that he will be steering the national party’s outreach to faith-based groups.

  30. rikyrah says:

    When politicians ponder ‘optics’ and ‘atmosphere’

    By Steve Benen
    Mon Jun 10, 2013 11:36 AM EDT

    House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) appeared yesterday on “Face the Nation” and seemed wholly unconcerned about the scope of the NSA surveillance programs. Indeed, like many of his congressional colleagues, McCaul expressed far more concern with prosecuting Edward Snowden for leaking the information than scaling back intelligence-gathering operations.

    But notice how the Republican Texan chose to use the story to criticize President Obama anyway.

    “The optics are terrible in this case when you consider the recent scandals,” said McCaul on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

    Ah, yes, the “optics.” McCaul has no problem with the NSA’s expansive surveillance programs, and has no intention of criticizing the efforts or voting for new restrictions, but he nevertheless sees a political problem for the White House — because of the “optics.”

  31. rikyrah says:

    Oh nice, Adam Green & his group is gonna “raise money” for Snowden…….. Grifting is gonna get out of control

  32. rikyrah says:

    McDonnell’s case before a grand jury

    By Steve Benen
    Mon Jun 10, 2013 2:04 PM EDT

    As his term in office nears its end, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) hoped to invest time and energy talking to his aides about his future political ambitions. Right about now, however, the governor is probably investing invest time and energy talking to his lawyers.

    A Virginia state delegate has confirmed that he’s been called to appear next month as a witness before a federal grand jury as part of an investigation related to Gov. Robert F. McDonnell.

    Del. David Ramadan (R-Loudoun) declined to comment further, saying that the federal subpoena prohibits him from disclosing its details, which might reveal what authorities are seeking from the first-term legislator.

    It’s not at all clear why Ramadan has been called — he attended the governor’s daughter’s wedding, with a gift, though that’s not legally problematic — but according to the Washington Post’s reporting, the fact that the state lawmaker was subpoenaed at all “is the first public indication of the impaneling of a grand jury to review evidence in the McDonnells’ case — a significant escalation in the investigation.”

  33. rikyrah says:

    Penn. governor’s strategy of budget cuts and voter ID not working out so great
    By Zachary Roth
    Fri Jun 7, 2013 3:56 PM EDT

    There’s a new poll out from Quinnipiac confirming that Pennsylvania governor Tom Corbett is in deep trouble as he gets set to face re-election next year. Corbett trails the two leading Democrats in the race by ten and eight points. Fifty-two percent of respondents said Corbett doesn’t deserve re-election.

    I asked Terry Madonna, a political science professor at Franklin & Marshall College, who knows the state’s politics better than just about anyone, why Corbett is struggling so badly. Madonna, who runs F&M’s own polling operation, said one major factor is the series of cuts to popular programs—higher education, school districts, and social services in particular—that Corbett pushed. He did so, Madonna explained, because he had to balance the budget and had taken Grover Norquist’s pledge not to raise taxes.

    Corbett, you may remember, was a strong backer of the state’s voter ID law, which, in an embarrassment for his administration, was blocked by a Republican judge weeks before the election last fall, after studies showed that over 750,000 Pennsylvanians lacked the required photo ID. At a press conference before the ruling, Corbett couldn’t remember the types of ID that voters were supposed to have. (The law is still scheduled to take effect next time around.)

    That episode, too, contributed to Corbett’s woes, according to Madonna. “I think the voter ID thing hurt,” he said. “The Democrats really used it, no doubt about it.”

  34. rikyrah says:

    Before we anoint him “hero” status, there are a few questions I have about Edward Snowden (updated)

    Now that we know that the guy who leaked the information about NSA is 29 year-old Edward Snowden and we’ve heard what Glenn Greenwald wants us to know about him, there are a few questions that real journalists should pursue about this story. On twitter I ran across a potential candidate: Jan Crawford with CBS News.

    I would add to that things like wondering if it is a coincidence that this information was leaked just prior to President Obama’s meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping and the leaker chose Hong Kong as his hiding place.

    We also know that Snowden made some outlandish claims – like the idea that he personally could wiretap the president and that he chose Hong Kong because “they have a spirited commitment to free speech and the right of political dissent.”

    And we know that he supported Ron Paul’s presidential candidacy but enlisted in the U.S. Army in 2003 because, as he said, “I wanted to fight in the Iraq war because I felt like I had an obligation as a human being to help free people from oppression.”

    So there’s a lot to this story that doesn’t add up. Most of that is related to the fact that Snowden chose Glenn Greenwald as the person to tell it. Bob Cesca explains:

    In the context of this story, Greenwald ought to be serving in the capacity of a hard news reporter. But what sets off a red flag in my head is how his reporting and his tweets totally blur the line between an agenda-driven opinion blogger and reporter. I know this isn’t exclusive to Greenwald, but it’s a problem that’s getting worse. If you’re going to be an opinion/agenda journalist, be that, and be clear about it. If you’re going to be a hard news reporter, be that, and be clear about

    In other words, Glenn is approaching this as a litigator rather than a reporter. He’s got a position and he’s presenting evidence to prove it. To be fair – that’s how a lot of journalism is done these days and its why we have a Crossfire-like atmosphere amongst most news outlets.

    But in a story this important – we need better than that. I’m hoping that a few more like Jan Crawford emerge to help us get some answers.

    UPDATE: We also know that Glenn Greenwald lies exaggerates. From the transcript of his appearance on ABC:

  35. rikyrah says:

    China is like…
    Naw son, you gots TO GO!!


    Edward Snowden Told To Leave Hong Kong Or Face Extradition Back To The US

    Source: The Independent (U.K.)

    A senior figure in Hong Kong law enforcement has suggested NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden should leave the city.

    Regina Ip, a pro-Beijing legislator who was previously the city’s top security official, said Hong Kong was “obliged to comply with the terms of agreements” with the US government, which included the extradition of fugitives.

    She added that, after he leaked the largest amount of classified information in the history of the US National Security Agency, she strongly recommends Snowden depart the semi-autonomous Chinese territory.

    Ms Ip said: “It’s actually in his best interest to leave Hong Kong”, adding that although she didn’t know if local administration had received an extradition request, she doubts it will happen soon.

    Read more:

  36. rikyrah says:

    Glenn Greenwald is deciding what’s in our national security interests

    I just read this from Glenn Greenwald at Buzzfeed and it seemed pertinent.

    “We’re applying the standard judgment test that journalists apply every day: first, is it newsworthy and relevant, ie, is there public interest in knowing this?” Greenwald told BuzzFeed. “If so: is there genuine harm that comes from publication? And if there is harm, does the public value outweigh/justify the harm?”

    He said he didn’t think there was “even a conceivable argument that anything we’ve published thus far causes any harm.

    appreciate very much that Glenn is owning responsibility. I think that is important. But once again, the question comes back to trust. What he’s suggesting is that we should trust him to calibrate the potential for harm from this information being leaked. He evaluates that and then decides on the balance between public value and harm.

    I think that’s why this story has grabbed me so strongly. The level of harm this particular leak might/might not have caused is not self-evident to me. But of all people on the planet I want to see making decisions about something like that, Glenn Greenwald is near the bottom of my list. I fear this is dangerous territory we’ve entered when ideologues like Greenwald and Rosen are the arbiters of our national security.

    If you wonder why the Obama administration is so aggressively pursuing leakers – perhaps there’s your answer.

    • Ametia says:

      Smartypants has been on it. GG’s wanting shine for this foolishnes, and he certainly going to be under scrutinty for ALL the fuckery that insues.

  37. rikyrah says:

    I am far more interested in why White men with no education and a traitors personality get jobs over Black ones loyal with PH.Ds

  38. rikyrah says:

    Booz Allen Hamilton shares down 4.5%. QUOTE: $BAH”

  39. rikyrah says:

    Greenwald: NSA leak doesn’t jeopardize national security
    By Jonathan Easley – 06/10/13 07:45 AM ET

    Greenwald accused the government of trying to “scare the American public.”

    Glenn Greenwald, The Guardian reporter who broke the story about the National Security Agency’s phone and internet surveillance programs, on Monday disputed claims that the leaks threatened national security.

    “In every single case over the past four to five decades, when there are revelations of wrongdoing that is done in secret, what the strategy of the U.S. government is is to try and come out and scare the American public into saying, these people have jeopardized you, there’s going to be a terrorist attack,” Greenwald said Monday on NBC’s “Today.” “There’s not a single revelation that we’ve provided to the world that even remotely jeopardizes national security.”

  40. rikyrah says:

    Records show Army discharged Edward Snowden after 5 months
    The self-proclaimed leaker joined the Army Reserve in 2004, records show.
    By STEPHANIE GASKELL | 6/10/13 8:24 AM EDT

    The former CIA computer technician who leaked last week’s explosive details about American classified surveillance programs spent just five months in the Army Reserve before he was discharged, records show.

    Edward Snowden, the self-proclaimed whistleblower who sent the information to The Guardian and The Washington Post, joined up in 2004, but separated just five months later, an Army official told Politico.

    “His records indicate he enlisted in the Army Reserve as a Special Forces Recruit (18X) on 7 May 2004 but was discharged 28 September 2004. He did not complete any training or receive any awards,” the spokesman said

  41. rikyrah says:

    The twitter fam is going HAM on emos for trying to use Civil Rights imagery as a crutch against people questioning their attempt to depict Snowden as a hero.

    Rosa Parks earned $200,000/year as a federal contractor. #thingsIlearnfromprogressives

  42. Ametia says:

    Loved this interview with the “WISE LATINA.”

  43. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone! :-)

  44. rikyrah says:

    Michael Tomasky: Here’s something I’ll certainly be keeping one eye fixed on as the Edward Snowden story advances: the degree to which the American right takes him up as a cause célèbre. They’re up a tree either way. If they do, then they’re obviously guilty of the rankest hypocrisy imaginable, because we all know that if Snowden had come forward during George W. Bush’s presidency, the right-wing media would by now have sniffed out every unsavory fact about his life (and a hefty mountain of fiction) in an effort to tar him. If they don’t, then they’ve lost an opportunity to sully Barack Obama. Since they like smearing Obama a lot more than they care about hypocrisy, my guess is that they will lionize him, as some already are. But in the long run, doing that will only expose how deep the rifts are between the national-security right and the libertarian right, and this issue will only extend and intensify those disagreements.

    …. The war caucus still dominates inside the GOP. But what really dominates the Republican Party mindset, what conquers everything, is the thermogenic desire to see Barack Obama have a bad day at the office, whatever it takes. So to the extent that Snowden proves useful to them in the coming days and weeks, they will use him. And liberals should say: let them.

  45. rikyrah says:

    if you’ve done nothing wrong…then why is your traitorous ass hiding out in HONG KONG?


    Snowden: ‘I know I have done nothing wrong’
    By Steve Benen

    Mon Jun 10, 2013 8:00 AM EDT

    the Snowden story is quite fascinating for a variety of reasons. Indeed, consider the statement released yesterday afternoon by his employer….. the part that jumped out at me was the “employee of our firm for less than 3 months” line.

    Booz Allen, in other words, which happens to rely overwhelmingly on government contracts for its very existence, provides detailed information on highly classified NSA programs to employees who’ve been around less than three months?

    …. Also note, Snowden is currently in Hong Kong, which he believes has “a spirited commitment to free speech.” That’s … odd. There’s certainly ample room for criticism of the U.S. system, but China not only has a vast surveillance state, it also relies on heavy-handed censorship of speech, press, and online communications…

    • Ametia says:

      Watching the Current this morning with Bill Press. He’s hailing Snowden as a HERO. *sigh* I loathe these folks, really, I do.

  46. rikyrah says:

    Goldie Taylor @goldietaylor

    My 2nd question goes to timing: Booz confirms Snowden was in their employ for 3mos., ending in May. Am I right abt this?
    7:29 AM – 10 Jun 2013

    Goldie Taylor @goldietaylor

    According GG, he’s been working with Snowden since February (or roughly just prior to or around the start of his employ at Booz)…
    7:31 AM – 10 Jun 2013

    Goldie Taylor @goldietaylor

    So, then Question 2: Was the source acting under the material direction of the columnist during his employ at Booz?
    7:33 AM – 10 Jun 2013

    Goldie Taylor @goldietaylor

    If so, how significant was that material direction? I ask about coordinated activity b/c, I believe it shreds the shield of free press…
    7:35 AM – 10 Jun 2013

    Goldie Taylor @goldietaylor

    … and opens questions about the culpability of the columnist.
    7:36 AM – 10 Jun 2013

    Goldie Taylor @goldietaylor

    Did Snowden accept or proactively position himself for the assignment with any material direction?
    7:37 AM – 10 Jun 2013

  47. rikyrah says:

    Matt Yglesias ✔ @mattyglesias

    Edward Snowden’s view that Hong Kong has “a spirited commitment to free speech” raises some doubts about the quality of US intelligence.
    2:04 PM – 9 Jun 2013

  48. rikyrah says:

    Josh Marshall ✔ @joshtpm

    Some of Greenwald’s statements sound more like threats than telling a story … via @tomkludt
    7:22 AM – 10 Jun 2013

  49. rikyrah says:

    Greg Mitchell @GregMitch

    Gellman: WashPost only published 4 of 41 slides that Snowden wanted published, and delayed, so he went to Greenwald.
    10:18 PM – 9 Jun 2013

  50. rikyrah says:

    Zandar @ZandarVTS

    So literally just as the Benghazi, DoJ and now IRS scandals were getting crushed, we get Snowden’s Game
    1:29 AM – 10 Jun 2013

    Zandar @ZandarVTS

    And if you were trying to desperately stamp out immigration reform, well the last five weeks are a textbook case on how to do it.
    5:56 PM – 9 Jun 2013

    Zandar @ZandarVTS

    Bonus: let’s split the Obama coalition over Bush-era programs heading into 2014.
    5:58 PM – 9 Jun 2013

  51. rikyrah says:

    Joseph Nobles @BoloBoffin

    February: Greenwald starts working with Snowden. March 6: Rand Paul filibusters about drones. Late March: Snowden starts at Booz. #tinfoil
    7:00 AM – 10 Jun 2013 from Dallas, TX, United States

  52. rikyrah says:

    GStuedler @GStuedler

    I damn sure don’t want some traitor who runs away like the little chickenshit he is deciding what is good for my country.
    6:03 AM – 10 Jun 2013

  53. rikyrah says:

    Steven Rattner @SteveRattner

    Is every govt employee w/top secret clearance supposed to be able to unilaterally decide which secrets need airing?
    9:19 PM – 9 Jun 2013

  54. rikyrah says:

    Linda Kyambadde @globalcitizenln

    A very high stakes game is being played in shadows; concerns about civil liberties r exploited 2 prevent analysis of REAL TARGET (PBO) #NSA
    4:53 AM – 10 Jun 2013

  55. rikyrah says:

    Bobfr @Our4thEstate

    Summary: A traitor is hired by NSA contractor Booz Allen. He peddles LIES to GWB sycophant Greenwald & Cheney sycophant Gellman. @Pfeiffer44
    1:06 AM – 10 Jun 2013

  56. rikyrah says:

    @Wolfrum So GG has admitted being in contact with Snowden in Feb, BEFORE him starting at Booz Allen. Is it a reach to ask if GG influenced.

    Wait-Greenwald has been working with this joker since February? That means Greenwald broke the law.

    @Xultar @ggreenwald that’s not a leaker that’s a spy.

    Remember everyone! These #RWNJ ‘s calling #snowden a hero called anyone speaking out against BUSH a traitor!

    Man this story stinks!

  57. rikyrah says:

    1 more thing: Greenwald did that video to make a hero of Snowden & inadvertently changed the story from govt snooping to Booz Allen & China.

    NYT: Leaker’s Employer Became Wealthy by Maintaining Government Secrets Booz Allen Hamilton @Morning_Joe

  58. rikyrah says:

    Whistleblowers report wrongdoing. #Snowden broke very serious laws telling us something that was legal and already known #p2

    Like his credibility and ability to reason. RT @GRASSGURU: I know @ggreenwald mentions are in shambles….”

  59. rikyrah says:

    I Lost Weight: After Stern Words From Her Doctor, Susan Anderson Lost 140 Pounds

    Posted: 06/07/2013 8:43 am EDT

    Name: Susan Anderson
    Age: 41
    Height: 5’7″
    Before Weight: 320 pounds

    How I Gained It: I was always heavy. My mother was a great cook, and I took full advantage of that. As a child I was the heaviest kid in class and was teased relentlessly. I learned how to use food as a coping mechanism after my parents divorced. It became my comfort when I was ignored and teased in grade school. By the time I went to high school, I was well on my way to 300 pounds. My addiction to food continued into my 20s and 30s. I went through two divorces and was left with low self-esteem. I hated who I saw in the mirror. I was suicidal and felt ugly, hopeless and unwanted by anybody. The cycle of self-soothing with food continued. I ate whenever I was not occupied by something else, even in the middle of the night. I would wake up and go to McDonald’s in my nightgown and hide in the car to eat. Eating the food would feel euphoric at first, then deep depression would set in afterwards.

    Breaking Point: My journey started in my doctor’s office. He basically told me I was in a life-or-death situation: “If you don’t do something about your weight, you are going to die very soon.” At 34 years old and a mother of three daughters, I was a borderline diabetic, on various blood pressure meds to control my extreme hypertension and very depressed. I was indeed headed toward an early grave. I will forever be grateful for his stern words that jumpstarted my life.

    How I Lost It: The words from my doctor served as my lightbulb moment. Shortly after, I joined a gym, and began to walk into a new season of my life. I did a complete overhaul of my diet, exchanging fried food for veggies and soda for water.

    I had not been used to moving my body at all really. I was winded when I would walk up a flight of stairs, or walk to my parked car. I started going to a women’s gym called Curves. The trainer there really helped me out of my embarrassment of working out in front of people. For the first month or so I could only work out for about 15 minutes at a time, then slowly as my endurance increased I found I could do about 25 minutes. It was painful, but little did I know then, through that physical pain, progress within my body was taking place!

    I began educating myself about the foods that had made me so overweight over the years. The more I learned, the more determined I was to change my body — and my mind began to change, too. Instead of feeling powerless, I began to feel empowered! I realized then I had to capacity to change my life.

  60. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

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