Thursday Open Thread | The Beatles Week

We continue our week with The Beatles.

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1966–70: controversy, studio years and break-up
Events leading up to final tour

In June 1966, Yesterday and Today—one of the compilation albums created by Capitol Records for the US market—caused an uproar with its cover, which portrayed the grinning Beatles dressed in butcher’s overalls, accompanied by raw meat and mutilated plastic baby dolls. It has been suggested that this was meant as a satirical response to the way Capitol had “butchered” the US versions of their albums.[132] Thousands of copies of the album had a new cover pasted over the original; an unpeeled “first-state” copy fetched $10,500 at a December 2005 auction.[133] In England, meanwhile, Harrison met sitar maestro Ravi Shankar, who agreed to train him on the instrument.[134]

During a tour of the Philippines the month after the Yesterday and Today furore, the Beatles unintentionally snubbed the nation’s first lady, Imelda Marcos, who had expected them to attend a breakfast reception at the Presidential Palace.[135] When presented with the invitation, Epstein politely declined on the band members’ behalf, as it had never been his policy to accept such official invitations.[136] They soon found that the Marcos regime was unaccustomed to taking no for an answer. The resulting riots endangered the group and they escaped the country with difficulty.[137] Immediately afterward, the band members visited India for the first time.[138]

Almost as soon as they returned home, they faced a fierce backlash from US religious and social conservatives (as well as the Ku Klux Klan) over a comment Lennon had made in a March interview with British reporter Maureen Cleave:[139] “Christianity will go,” Lennon said. “It will vanish and shrink. I needn’t argue about that; I’m right and I will be proved right. We’re more popular than Jesus now; I don’t know which will go first, rock ‘n’ roll or Christianity. Jesus was alright but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It’s them twisting it that ruins it for me.”[140] The comment went virtually unnoticed in England, but when US teenage fan magazine Datebook printed it five months later—on the eve of the group’s August US tour—it sparked a controversy with Christians in the American “Bible Belt”.[139] The Vatican issued a protest, and bans on Beatles’ records were imposed by Spanish and Dutch stations and South Africa’s national broadcasting service.[141] Epstein accused Datebook of having taken Lennon’s words out of context; at a press conference Lennon pointed out, “If I’d said television was more popular than Jesus, I might have got away with it.”[142] Lennon claimed he was referring to how other people viewed their success, but at the prompting of reporters, he concluded, “If you want me to apologize, if that will make you happy, then okay, I’m sorry.”[142]

As preparations were made for the US tour, the Beatles knew that their music would hardly be heard. Having originally used Vox AC30 amplifiers, they later acquired more powerful 100-watt amplifiers, specially designed by Vox for them as they moved into larger venues in 1964, but these were still inadequate. Struggling to compete with the volume of sound generated by screaming fans, the band had grown increasingly bored with the routine of performing live.[143] Recognizing that their shows were no longer about the music, they decided to make the August tour their last.[144]

Revolver and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

Rubber Soul had marked a major step forward; Revolver, released in August 1966 a week before the Beatles’ final tour, marked another.[145] Pitchfork’s Scott Plagenhoef identifies it as “the sound of a band growing into supreme confidence” and “redefining what was expected from popular music.”[146] Revolver featured sophisticated songwriting, studio experimentation, and a greatly expanded repertoire of musical styles ranging from innovative classical string arrangements to psychedelic rock.[145] Abandoning the customary group photograph, its cover—designed by Klaus Voormann, a friend of the band since their Hamburg days—”was a stark, arty, black-and-white collage that caricatured the Beatles in a pen-and-ink style beholden to Aubrey Beardsley”, in Gould’s description.[145] The album was preceded by the single “Paperback Writer”, backed by “Rain”.[147] Short promotional films were made for both songs, described by cultural historian Saul Austerlitz as “among the first true music videos”,[148] they aired on The Ed Sullivan Show and Top of the Pops in June 1966.[149]

Among Revolver’s experimental songs was “Tomorrow Never Knows”, for whose lyrics Lennon drew from Timothy Leary’s The Psychedelic Experience: A Manual Based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead. Its creation involved eight tape decks distributed about the EMI building, each manned by an engineer or band member, who randomly varied the movement of a tape loop while Martin created a composite recording by sampling the incoming data.[150] McCartney’s “Eleanor Rigby” made prominent use of a string octet; Gould describes it as “a true hybrid, conforming to no recognizable style or genre of song.”[151] Harrison was developing as a songwriter, and three of his compositions earned a place on the record.[152] In 2003, Rolling Stone ranked Revolver as the third greatest album of all time.[131] During the US tour that followed its release, however, the band performed none of its songs.[153] As Chris Ingham explains, they were very much “studio creations … and there was no way a four-piece rock ‘n’ roll group could do them justice, particularly through the desensitising wall of the fans’ screams. ‘Live Beatles’ and ‘Studio Beatles’ had become entirely different beasts.”[154] The final show, at San Francisco’s Candlestick Park on 29 August, was their last commercial concert.[155] It marked the end of a four-year period dominated by touring that included over 1,400 concert appearances internationally.[156]

Freed from the burden of touring, the Beatles embraced an increasingly experimental approach as they recorded Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, beginning in late November 1966.[157] According to engineer Geoff Emerick, the album’s recording took over seven hundred hours.[158] He recalled the band’s insistence “that everything on Sgt. Pepper had to be different. We had microphones right down in the bells of brass instruments and headphones turned into microphones attached to violins. We used giant primitive oscillators to vary the speed of instruments and vocals and we had tapes chopped to pieces and stuck together upside down and the wrong way around.”[159] Parts of “A Day in the Life” featured a forty-piece orchestra.[159] The sessions initially yielded the non-album double A-side single “Strawberry Fields Forever”/”Penny Lane” in February 1967;[160] the Sgt. Pepper LP followed in June.[161]

The musical complexity of the records, created using relatively primitive four-track recording technology, astounded contemporary artists.[162] For Beach Boys leader Brian Wilson, in the midst of a personal crisis and struggling to complete the ambitious Smile, hearing “Strawberry Fields” was a crushing blow and he soon abandoned all attempts to compete with his friendly rivals.[163][164] Among music critics, acclaim for the album was virtually universal.[165] Gould:

The overwhelming consensus is that the Beatles had created a popular masterpiece: a rich, sustained, and overflowing work of collaborative genius whose bold ambition and startling originality dramatically enlarged the possibilities and raised the expectations of what the experience of listening to popular music on record could be. On the basis of this perception, Sgt. Pepper became the catalyst for an explosion of mass enthusiasm for album-formatted rock that would revolutionize both the aesthetics and the economics of the record business in ways that far outstripped the earlier pop explosions triggered by the Elvis phenomenon of 1956 and the Beatlemania phenomenon of 1963.[166]

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Sgt. Pepper was the first major pop/rock LP to include its complete lyrics, which appeared on the back cover.[167][168] Those lyrics were the subject of critical analysis; for instance, in late 1967 the album was the subject of a scholarly inquiry by American literary critic and professor of English Richard Poirier, who observed that his students were “listening to the group’s music with a degree of engagement that he, as a teacher of literature, could only envy.”[169] Poirier identified what he termed its “mixed allusiveness”: “It’s unwise ever to assume that they’re doing only one thing or expressing themselves in only one style … one kind of feeling about a subject isn’t enough … any single induced feeling must often exist within the context of seemingly contradictory alternatives.”[169] McCartney said at the time, “We write songs. We know what we mean by them. But in a week someone else says something about it, and you can’t deny it. … You put your own meaning at your own level to our songs”.[169] In 2003, Rolling Stone ranked it number one on its list of the “500 Greatest Albums of All Time”.[131]

Sgt. Pepper’s elaborate cover also attracted great interest and study:[170] a collage designed by pop artists Peter Blake and Jann Haworth, it depicted the group as the fictional band referred to in the album’s title track[171] standing in front of a crowd of famous people.[172] The heavy moustaches worn by the group reflected the growing influence of hippie style,[173] while cultural historian Jonathan Harris describes their “brightly coloured parodies of military uniforms” as a knowingly “anti-authoritarian and anti-establishment” display.[174]

On 25 June, the Beatles performed their forthcoming single, “All You Need Is Love”, to an estimated 350 million viewers on Our World, the first live global television link.[175] Released a week later during the Summer of Love, the song was adopted as a flower power anthem.[176] Two months later the group suffered a loss that threw their career into turmoil. Having been introduced to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi only the previous night in London, on 25 August they travelled to Bangor for his Transcendental Meditation retreat. Two days later, their manager’s assistant Peter Brown phoned to inform them that Epstein had died.[177] The coroner ruled the death an accidental carbitol overdose, though it was widely rumoured a suicide.[178] Epstein had been in a fragile emotional state, stressed by personal issues and concern that the band might not renew his management contract, due to expire in October, over discontent with his supervision of business matters, particularly regarding Seltaeb, the company that handled their US merchandising rights.[179] His death left the group disorientated and fearful about the future. Lennon recalled, “We collapsed. I knew that we were in trouble then. I didn’t really have any misconceptions about our ability to do anything other than play music, and I was scared. I thought, We’ve had it now.”[180]

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Magical Mystery Tour, White Album and Yellow Submarine

Magical Mystery Tour; the soundtrack to a forthcoming Beatles television film, was released in the UK as a six-track double extended play disc (EP) in early December 1967.[71][181] In the United States, the six songs were issued on an identically titled LP that also included five tracks from the band’s recent singles.[89] Unterberger says of the US Magical Mystery Tour, “the psychedelic sound is very much in the vein of Sgt. Pepper, and even spacier in parts (especially the sound collages of ‘I Am the Walrus’)”, and calls its five songs culled from the band’s 1967 singles “huge, glorious, and innovative”.[182] In its first three weeks, it set a record for the highest initial sales of any Capitol LP, and it is the only Capitol compilation later to be adopted in the band’s official canon of studio albums.[183] First aired on Boxing Day, the Magical Mystery Tour film, largely directed by McCartney, brought the group their first major negative UK press. It was dismissed as “blatant rubbish” by the Daily Express, the Daily Mail called it “a colossal conceit” and The Guardian labelled it “a kind of fantasy morality play about the grossness and warmth and stupidity of the audience”.[184] Gould describes it as “a great deal of raw footage showing a group of people getting on, getting off, and riding on a bus”.[184] Although the viewership figures were respectable, its slating in the press led US television networks to lose interest in broadcasting it.[185]

In January, the Beatles filmed a cameo for the animated movie Yellow Submarine, which featured cartoon versions of the band members and a soundtrack with eleven of their songs, including four unreleased studio recordings which made their debut in the film.[186] Released in June 1968, it was praised by critics for its music, humour, and innovative visual style.[187] It would be seven months, however, before the film’s soundtrack album appeared.

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In the interim came The Beatles, a double LP commonly known as the White Album for its virtually featureless cover.[190] Creative inspiration for the album came from a new direction: without Epstein’s guiding presence, the group had briefly turned to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi as their guru.[191] At his ashram in Rishikesh, India, a “Guide Course” scheduled for three months marked one of their most prolific periods, yielding numerous songs including a majority of the thirty included on the album.[192] However, Starr left after only ten days, likening it to Butlins, and McCartney eventually grew bored and departed a month later.[193] For Lennon and Harrison, creativity turned to questioning when an electronics technician known as Magic Alex suggested that the Maharishi was attempting to manipulate them.[191] When he alleged that the Maharishi had made sexual advances to women attendees, a persuaded Lennon left abruptly just two months into the course, bringing an unconvinced Harrison and the remainder of the group’s entourage with him.[193] In anger Lennon wrote a scathing song titled “Maharishi”, renamed “Sexy Sadie” to avoid potential legal issues. McCartney said, “We made a mistake. We thought there was more to him than there was.”[191]

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During recording sessions for the album, which stretched from late May to mid-October 1968, relations between the Beatles grew openly divisive.[194] Starr quit for two weeks, and McCartney took over the drum kit for “Back in the U.S.S.R.” (on which Harrison and Lennon drummed as well) and “Dear Prudence”.[195] Lennon had lost interest in collaborating with McCartney,[196] whose contribution “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” he scorned as “granny music shit.”[197] Tensions were further aggravated by Lennon’s romantic preoccupation with avant-garde artist Yoko Ono, whom he insisted on bringing to the sessions despite the group’s well-established understanding that girlfriends were not allowed in the studio.[198] Describing the White Album, Lennon said, “Every track is an individual track; there isn’t any Beatle music on it. [It’s] John and the band, Paul and the band, George and the band.”[199] McCartney recalled that the album “wasn’t a pleasant one to make.”[200] Both he and Lennon identified the sessions as the start of the band’s break-up.[201][202]

Issued in November, the White Album was the band’s first Apple Records album release, though EMI continued to own their recordings.[204] The new label was a subsidiary of Apple Corps, formed as part of Epstein’s plan to create a tax-effective business structure.[205] The record attracted more than two million advance orders, selling nearly four million copies in the US in little over a month, and its tracks dominated the playlists of American radio stations.[206] Despite its popularity, it did not receive flattering reviews at the time. According to Gould,

The critical response … ranged from mixed to flat. In marked contrast to Sgt. Pepper, which had helped to establish an entire genre of literate rock criticism, the White Album inspired no critical writing of any note. Even the most sympathetic reviewers … clearly didn’t know what to make of this shapeless outpouring of songs. Newsweek’s Hubert Saal, citing the high proportion of parodies, accused the group of getting their tongues caught in their cheeks.[206]

General critical opinion eventually turned in favour of the White Album, and in 2003 Rolling Stone ranked it as the tenth greatest album of all time.[131] Pitchfork’s Mark Richardson describes it as “large and sprawling, overflowing with ideas but also with indulgences, and filled with a hugely variable array of material … its failings are as essential to its character as its triumphs.”[207] Erlewine comments, “The [band’s] two main songwriting forces were no longer on the same page, but neither were George and Ringo”, yet “Lennon turns in two of his best ballads”, McCartney’s songs are “stunning”, Harrison had become “a songwriter who deserved wider exposure” and Starr’s composition was “a delight”.[208]

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The Yellow Submarine LP, issued in January 1969, contained only the four previously unreleased songs that had debuted in the film, along with the title track (already issued on Revolver), “All You Need Is Love” (already issued as a single and on the US Magical Mystery Tour LP) and seven instrumental pieces composed by Martin.[188] Because of the paucity of new Beatles music, Allmusic’s Unterberger and Bruce Eder suggest the album might be “inessential” but for Harrison’s “It’s All Too Much”: “the jewel of the new songs … resplendent in swirling Mellotron, larger-than-life percussion, and tidal waves of feedback guitar … a virtuoso excursion into otherwise hazy psychedelia”.[209]

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45 Responses to Thursday Open Thread | The Beatles Week

  1. rikyrah says:

    Anatomy of a Fail

    by BooMan
    Thu Jun 20th, 2013 at 03:38:08 PM EST
    Take a look at the roll call of today’s House vote on the Farm Bill.

    That’s twenty-three votes shy of passing. That’s not even close. That’s a rout. And they wouldn’t have brought the bill up for a vote if they didn’t think it would pass.

    The final tally was delayed for several minutes as GOP leaders held the vote open, while Democrats called for the vote to close.

    Totally blindsided.

    Immediately after the vote, Republicans were apoplectic at what they characterized as a betrayal by Democratic leaders, who did not deliver the votes they promised. “The Democrats walked away from this,” Boehner, who cast a rare vote in favor of the bill, told The Hill as he walked off the House floor.

    If they wanted Democratic support for the bill, they shouldn’t have cut $20 billion from the nutrition assistance program and added a drug test requirement. Why would Democrats vote for that?

  2. rikyrah says:

    Brazilian presidential building is on fire! Protesters forced their way in! @ABCWorldNews @DavidMQuinlan

  3. rikyrah says:

    House kills its own farm bill

    By Steve Benen

    Thu Jun 20, 2013 3:16 PM EDT

    It was widely assumed that the House would pass its version of the farm bill this afternoon. In fact, it was such a foregone conclusion, most of the speculation was what was likely to happen when the House and Senate versions went to conference.

    But to the surprise of nearly everyone, the lower chamber rejected its farm bill.

    The House failed to pass a major farm bill on Thursday after most Democrats joined with a handful of conservatives to scuttle the nearly $1 trillion legislation.

    The House voted 195-234 to defeat the bill, which had been expected to pass. The Senate has already passed its own farm legislation.

    Democrats, who were angry about the legislation’s cuts to food stamp programs, largely opposed the measure. Conservative groups like the Club for Growth and the Koch Brothers-linked Americans for Prosperity had meanwhile ratcheted up pressure on Republican lawmakers to oppose the legislation.

    Update: here’s the roll call of today’s vote.

    From a progressive perspective, it’s hard to shed tears over the bill’s demise — this was an awful, needlessly punitive piece of legislation. Its GOP proponents, without so much as a hint of shame, were a little too eager to redistribute wealth in the wrong direction — punishing poor families and rewarding wealthy agricultural interests — and their efforts to slash funds for food stamps bordered on cruel.

    To be sure, even if the House had passed its bill, it wasn’t going far in light of Senate opposition and an unambiguous veto threat from the Obama White House.

    But the real takeaway here is that the House Republican leadership, once again, failed miserably: “The House defeated the farm bill resoundingly … dealing another blow to Speaker John A. Boehner as he continues to struggle to move legislation opposed by conservative interest groups.”

  4. rikyrah says:

    Sam Taylor-Johnson to direct ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ movie

    Sam Taylor-Johnson, whose previous directorial roles include 2009’s ‘Nowhere Boy,’ has been chosen to direct the best-selling EL James erotic novel ‘Fifty Shades of Grey,’ as speculation about which leading man and lady will take up its main roles, as Joel Flynn reports.

  5. rikyrah says:

    Mr. Clinton’s Regrets

    By Charles P. Pierce

    at 9:00AM

    As haunted as he may be by it now, Bill Clinton made a considered political decision not to intervene in Rwanda because the domestic politics of the time made it impossible for him to do so. It was a cold bit of triangulated calculation, and it was far from his first or last. He understands better than most the dilemma that Syria presents to the current president. He really should have done this president the favor of not taking his own regrets out for such a public walk.It was then that I was struck with the thought that Barack Obama has spent five years in office undoing the legacy of a previous president, but just not the legacy of the president everybody supposed that he would have to unravel.

    Consider: this president has eliminated the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy regarding gays in the military, which was a classic Clintonian triangulated compromise that bailed him out of a campaign promise that Clinton found he couldn’t keep. This president has declined to have his Justice Department enforce the Defense Of Marriage Act, which Clinton signed for purely political reasons in the middle of the homestretch of the 1996 campaign, leaving DOMA gasping on life support before the Supreme Court even as we speak. During the past campaign, this president granted waivers to the states — as he was perfectly entitled to by law — to the welfare reform act, which Clinton had signed into law about a month before he signed DOMA. (The 1996 Democratic presidential campaign was a marvelous environment for coincidence.) For this, he was pilloried by the Republicans for having “gutted” that signature “bipartisan” achievement of the Clinton presidency. (And, not for nothing, in the long run, and especially since the economy crashed in 2008, that law has proven to be not a little destructive.) Even this president’s current entanglement with the complexities of the surveillance state involves a surveillance state that has many of its roots not only in the war on drugs, but also in Bill Clinton’s Antiterrorism And Effective Death Penalty Act, also of that banner year for dubious legislation, 1996. This law took the biggest whack at habeas corpus since Lincoln and established in the law and the society the notion that almost anything would be acceptable as long as it could be said to be fighting “terrorism.”

    Clinton did what he had to do to survive politically. Nobody doubts that, just as nobody doubts the deftness with which he largely managed to outmaneuver the Republicans who sought to destroy him from the second his hand came off the Bible. But the fact remains that this maneuvering came at a considerable human cost in the country, and a considerable political cost to progressive Democratic politics. (From that standpoint, the welfare-reform act was a real bag of horrors.) This was, after all, the president who willingly invited Dick Morris back into his inner circle in order to get re-elected in 1996, and Morris’s fingerprints are all over a lot of the positions that Clinton took because he thought they would help him get re-elected. OK, all’s fair and all that, but it left a lot of Democrats defending policies that would have revolted them four years earlier, and that problem only worsened when the Democrats had to rally around Clinton when the impeachment insanity hit high tide.

    It is significant, I think, that, during the eight years of the Avignon Presidency, that administration was perfectly willing to live with all of these policies passed into law by the previous president who, otherwise, was the Antichrist to the base to which Karl Rove so truckled his entire career. Came then Barack Obama. Everybody thought his main job would be to disenthrall the country from the policies of George W. Bush. It has turned out that his main job has been to disenthrall — haltingly, slowly, maddeningly discursively — the country from the policies of the last previous Democratic president, and if there’s been a more towering irony in American politics over the past several decades, I don’t know what it is.

  6. rikyrah says:


    I’m putting this picture in my PICS FOR THE SIDEBAR POST…It’ll be the first one.

    This has to go on the sidebar


  7. rikyrah says:

    The Chamber of Commerce’s war on Social Security

    By Jamelle Bouie, Published: June 20, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    There are two things you need to know about the federal government’s current budget situation. First, if you’re concerned with deficits and federal debt, things are getting better. The combination of spending cuts, tax increases, and modest economic growth has significantly decreased the government’s annual deficit, and if current projections hold, it will continue its downward slide.

    Second, health care costs — the main driver of future federal spending — are decreasing. And this is not an artifact of bad economic conditions either. “National health spending grew by 3.9 percent each year from 2009 to 2011, the lowest rate of growth since the federal government began keeping such statistics in 1960,” noted the Kaiser Family Foundation in a recent report.

    All of which makes it particularly odd that the Chamber of Commerce has rededicated itself to an effort to slash Social Security. In a speech to the Chamber of Commerce board of directors yesterday, Bruce Josten, their executive vice president for government affairs, outlined “ten truths about America’s entitlement programs.” If you’re familiar with arguments for cutting social insurance, you will recognize these claims: That entitlement programs are “large and expensive,” that their costs are growing, that financial solvency for said programs would cost trillions of dollars over the next five decades, and that the biggest threat to Social Security and Medicare is doing “nothing at all.”

    You could lift all of these claims from Republican campaign rhetoric, nearly verbatim. And they’re overstated or inaccurate. Social Security costs, for example, are stable. And with small adjustments — higher taxes, for instance — the program will be able to pay out full benefits for the foreseeable future.

    Likewise, when the Chamber says that “the cost to make these programs financially solvent for the next 75 years is almost $40 trillion,” it ignores the extent to which long range projections are unhelpful. We have no idea what the fiscal picture will look like in 2088, how technology will have changed, how society will have changed, or anything else. To make decisions in the early 21st century based on projections into the late 21st century is ludicrous.

    The simple fact is this: The Chamber of Commerce wants to do as much as possible to cut retirement programs, regardless of whether its necessary to deal with the country’s fiscal situation. And in that, they have the support of the Republican Party, which continues to push for massive spending cuts to all areas of government, regardless of need or necessity.

  8. rikyrah says:

    The GOP is Too Racist to Get to Yes

    by BooMan
    Thu Jun 20th, 2013 at 09:47:48 AM EST

    Betty Woodruff doesn’t make any judgment on what she reports, so there is no way to know how she feels about the continuing influence of the Tea Party on Republican politics. Does she approve of signs that say, “NEXT TIME . . . ELECT AN AMERICAN”?
    As Republican senators continue to work on achieving an agreement on immigration reform, there remains a strong element within the party that opposes any bill whatsoever, regardless of what provisions might be contained within it.

    I actually watched a few minutes of Sean Hannity’s show on Fox News last night. Hannity knows that his boss, Rupert Murdoch, supports comprehensive immigration reform, and he has been open-minded about the issue since shortly after the election in November. But his guest, Michelle Malkin, was completely dismissive of reform no matter how strong the border enforcement elements in the bill might be.

    Malkin is an Asian-American most famous for her support of Japanese internment camps during World War Two, so she could be dismissed as a crank. But the episode is illustrative of the problem the Republicans will have getting to ‘yes.’

  9. rikyrah says:

    Another setback in the GOP’s outreach efforts
    By Steve Benen
    Thu Jun 20, 2013 2:05 PM EDT

    There are a few odd political stories in the news today, but this one has to be one of the more offensive

    A county Republican Party chairman in central Illinois called a black female congressional candidate the “love child” of the Democratic party; a “street walker” whose “pimps” are party leaders; and suggested that after the election, she will be “working for some law firm that needs to meet their quota for minority hires.”

    And it’s a Republican candidate he’s talking about.

    Rep. Rodney Davis (R) already represents Illinois’ 13th congressional district, which is generally pretty friendly to Republicans. That said, Davis won the election by the skin of his teeth — he won by literally just 1,002 votes — and Democrats see this district as a key 2014 pick-up opportunity.

    Enter Erika Harold, a former Miss America and Harvard Law grad, who hopes to challenge Davis for the Republican nod next year.

    To be sure, these kinds of intra-party disputes often get contentious, but Montgomery County GOP Chairman Jim Allen has taken this to an unfortunate level. Consider exactly what he said in print about the likely candidate: “Rodney Davis will win and the love child of the D.N.C. will be back in S—cago [Expletive deleted] by May of 2014 working for some law firm that needs to meet their quota for minority hires…. Miss queen is being used like a street walker and her pimps are the DEMOCRAT PARTY and RINO REPUBLICANS.”

    I can appreciate why some ugly rant from an obscure country GOP official may seem forgettable, but there’s something about this tirade that summarizes a larger problem for some elements of the right. What Allen said is racist and misogynistic and deliberately alienating towards moderates, all at the same time.

  10. rikyrah says:

    Casual Observation

    by BooMan
    Thu Jun 20th, 2013 at 01:40:21 PM EST

    Wait until the Republicans realize that their breakthrough deal on immigration reform will create 20,000 government jobs! Amazing how that works. Never mind that they will be roaming around in the desert along the border with Mexico, they will be employed.
    But the government doesn’t create jobs.

  11. rikyrah says:

    Ametia, SG2,

    got a gif for this tweet?


    Republicans: “Obama disrespects founding fathers.” Well that’s good, they were slave owners & he is 1st black president. See the conflict?

  12. rikyrah says:

    Black to the land: Project explores connections between race and place

    By Andrea Appleton

    Gastronomically enlightened Grist reader that you are, you’ve probably participated in a CSA, or at least heard of them. Community-supported agriculture is so common that in many circles the acronym needs no explanation. (Sorry, mini football helmet collectors, we’re talking about farmers who sell “shares” of their seasonal fruits and veggies, then deliver them to members when they’re ripe.) But a pint of locally sourced strawberries says you didn’t know a black man came up with the idea.

    Beginning in the early 1970s, an Alabama horticulturist and Tuskegee University professor named Booker T. Whatley started promoting direct marketing as a tool for small farmers. This took the form of what he called “clientele membership clubs,” as well as pick-your-own farms. Whatley traveled widely, giving as many as 50 seminars a year, and produced a small-farms newsletter with 20,000-some subscribers. Here’s how he described the membership clubs in a 1982 Mother Earth News interview:

    The farmer has to seek out people — city folks, mostly — to be members of the club … The clientele membership club is the lifeblood of the whole setup. It enables the farmer to plan production, anticipate demand, and, of course, have a guaranteed market.

    Not to mention find good homes for Jerusalem artichokes and other ostracized vegetables.
    Mistinguette SmithMistinguette Smith.
    The story of Booker T. Whatley is one of dozens that Mistinguette Smith, founder of a national organization called The Black/Land Project, has unearthed. “People are completely stunned when I tell them that the model [for CSAs and ‘U-Pick’] comes out of black history,” says Smith, a poet, playwright, and nonprofit consultant raised in the 1960s South.

    The mission of The Black/Land Project is to find and share stories like Whatley’s as a way of helping black people transcend what Smith calls “historical trauma.” In this country, race has always been intrinsically tied to land. The laws surrounding black land ownership — from the early 1600s up through the modern practice of redlining — are part of that history, as, of course, is the experience of forced agricultural labor during slavery.

  13. rikyrah says:

    The House Farm Bill is DEFEATED, 195-234. NO CUTS TO FOOD STAMPS!

  14. rikyrah says:

    The Whole Barrel is Rotten

    by BooMan
    Wed Jun 19th, 2013 at 02:19:49 PM EST

    Alexander Burns and Jake Sherman of Politico have a piece up about how hard it is for the Republican leadership to deal with their clueless caucus. How can you stay on message when you have a constant parade of morons making idiotic statements about rape and terror babies and masturbating fetuses?
    Now, Politico insists that they are a non-partisan outfit, so you know that they have to find counterexamples from the Democratic side of the aisle. They need to make a list of crazy or hateful remarks from Democrats that can at least approach the questioning of the president’s birth certificate or calling migrant workers “wetbacks,” or worrying about the imposition of Sharia Law. So, what did Burns and Sherman come up with?

    It’s not that Democrats don’t have people in their ranks who say stupid stuff. It’s just that they’re never going to upstage a sitting president the way a congressman who sets himself on fire (rhetorically speaking) can upstage House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean calling the Benghazi uproar a “laughable joke,” or coulda-been Senate candidate Ashley Judd comparing mountaintop removal mining to rape, just doesn’t send the same ripples when Barack Obama’s the unquestioned spokesman for the party

    I think they meant “figuratively speaking,” but whatever. Neither Howard Dean nor Ashley Judd are officeholders. Neither has any current official role in the Democratic Party. Ashley Judd merely thought about running for office. Howard Dean’s comment, taken in context, wasn’t even remotely crazy. It was a simple statement of fact. The Republicans have been mercilessly exploiting the Benghazi tragedy and have set themselves on fire over the issue countless times.

    As long as we’re not restricting ourselves to current lawmakers or officials, I don’t see why they couldn’t have dug up some 9/11 Truther stuff from Cynthia McKinney or raised the issue of Dennis Kucinich’s interest in Chemtrails and his encounter with a UFO. The truth of the matter is that Democrats simply don’t say crazy, nutty stuff on a regular basis that the party leadership has to condemn or tolerate through gritted teeth. Even Ashley Judd’s comment seems reasonable to me, if you acknowledge that it is possible to “rape” the environment by removing mountaintops and pouring toxic sludge into our rivers and streams. What Dean and Judd are guilty of, if they are guilty of anything, is of saying something truthful that can be exploited if taken out of context.

    That is not remotely similar to what Todd Akin did. Louie Gohmert, Steve King, Michele Bachmann, Paul Broun, Trent Franks, Phil Gingrey, and E.W. Jackson are insane. This is no corollary caucus of nutcase buffoons on the Democratic side. At worst, there is a caucus of progressives who have unrealistic expectations about what is politically possible and who hold some political opinions that are not in the mainstream of American politics. Some of them may be a little idealistic or a little ignorant, but they aren’t crazy and they don’t say crazy things. It’s even rare that any of them say anything that the Democratic leadership feels compelled to respond to.

    According to Progressive Punch, the five House Democrats with the most liberal lifetime voting records are Yvette Clark, Raul Grijalva, Jan Schakowsky, Keith Ellison, and Linda Sanchez. Can you remember any of them ever saying anything that defies logic and the natural laws of the universe?

  15. Ametia says:

    Howard Kurtz Joining Fox News To Anchor New Version Of Fox News Watch

    by Andrew Kirell
    Beginning July 1st, the network said in a press statement, Kurtz will anchor a version of what is now called Fox News Watch, which airs Saturdays on the network. He will also serve as an on-air analyst for the network throughout the week, in addition to writing a regular column for

    Read More »

  16. rikyrah says:

    GOP and Tea Partiers: it’s like deja vu all over again
    By Steve Benen
    Thu Jun 20, 2013 7:48 AM EDT

    There was a certain irony to the timing. Yesterday, the House Republican leadership began a new outreach effort to leaders of the Latino community, trying to repair years of damage. And during their discussions, and assurances about the GOP’s sincerity, a far-right rally was underway on the national mall featuring anti-immigrant speeches from one Republican after another.

    As Kate Nocera reported, Rep. Steve King’s (R-Iowa) “was prepared to talk about immigration for six hours all by himself if he had to,” but it didn’t come to that.


    To help underscore the larger problem, consider the fact that Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) appeared at the event, spoke briefly in Spanish, and was heckled.

    It’s true that immigration wasn’t the only subject discussed yesterday — the legion of far-right lawmakers were also eager to talk about the IRS. Imagine that.

    But the point of the gathering was to condemn the bipartisan immigration legislation pending in the Senate: “Protesters wore T-shirts emblazoned with American flags and tea party slogans, and they waved homemade signs that read, ‘John Boehner: no amnesty, get a backbone,’ ‘Boehner: go home,’ ‘exporting illegals = importing jobs for Americans, stop socialism,’ and ‘if we lose rule of law we become Mexico.'”

    And for a moment, if you lost track of the calendar, you might even think it was 2010, which isn’t exactly the Republican Party’s goal right now.


    Indeed, consider yesterday’s event in the larger context: what have Republicans shown the nation lately? There was a Tea Party rally this week, which followed a big fight over an anti-abortion bill that can’t pass. In the states, we see a focus on culture-war issues, including state-mandated, medically-unnecessary ultrasounds. On Capitol Hill, most Republican lawmakers are running around talking about “amnesty” and “illegals,” which is every bit as insulting as their rhetoric about women.

    Yesterday, we even heard talk about “takers,” as if the “47 percent” video never happened.

    And on the horizon, many in the GOP are already planning another debt-ceiling crisis.

  17. rikyrah says:

    Wyeth Ruthven @wyethwire

    Good luck with SCOTUS everybody. This straight white male whose civil rights will be exactly the same 2 hours from now is pulling for you.
    7:26 AM – 20 Jun 2013

    Wyeth Ruthven @wyethwire

    Privilege means never having to wonder if your Constitutional rights are about to change in the next 30 minutes
    8:50 AM – 20 Jun 2013

  18. rikyrah says:

    From Middle Class To Peasant Class: How Republicans Made America A Top Poverty Creator

    National exceptionalism is when citizens perceive that their home country is extraordinary, special, and the best place on the planet to live, and in many Americans’ minds is based on absolutist ideology and gross lack of knowledge of comparative circumstances. There may have been a time that America was exceptional over thirty years ago when white people had the opportunity to attain the American dream of a middle class income through hard work and perseverance, and could live out their golden years with the knowledge their children would at least accomplish as much as their parents. However, about thirty years ago a b-movie actor ushered in the era of America’s decline when his directors gave him a script to convince ignorant Americans that handing over the nation’s wealth and assets to the rich and their corporations was the key to success and the results have been that America is no longer exceptional, or even mediocre, and is rapidly deteriorating into inferior and second-rate status compared to the rest of the developed world.

    It is true that America is the richest nation on Earth, has the most powerful military in the world, and is home to the most millionaires and billionaires of any country on the planet, but that is where the exceptionalism ends. In just about every other category, America is inferior and that is being extremely generous. However, there are millions of ignorant Americans arming themselves to maintain the status quo and prove their belief that the United States is number one and it is down to their ignorance and acceptance that if it is American, it is the best. Many Americans are led to believe the country’s storied “great middle class” is proof positive the nation is exceptional, but according to the “Global Wealth Databook 2012″ the great middle class ranks 27th in the developed world behind poorer nations such as Spain, Ireland, France, and Cyprus. Even in countries struggling with double and triple-dip recessions, the middle class holds four times the wealth as the average middle class American who is watching what little they have left transferred to the richest one-percent due to thirty years of Republican policies.

    Just a few of Republicans’ favorite policies that are creating a second-rate nation and a population of peasants are weak labor laws that give corporations and big business the ability to pay poverty wages without any benefits. In fact, the woefully inadequate poverty level minimum wage is 13th among developed nations, and in nearly every industrialized country, every job provides at least a month of guaranteed paid vacation and as many paid sick days as one needs to recover from illness or injury. Republicans are busy passing laws making it illegal to provide paid sick leave, suggest eliminating worker compensation rules for on-the-job injuries, and panting to abolish the pitiful minimum wage to put American labor on par with peasants in Communist China. The Republican House of Representative just passed legislation eliminating overtime pay, and ALEC’s Republican right-to-work states have more poverty-level residents while the states’ corporations haul in record profits.

    America has the worst healthcare system in the world because few can afford it, and even if they can this country’s people have the worst health outcomes of “all other industrialized countries” on Earth. In the event of a serious health issue or injury, Americans are guaranteed to join the poverty ranks and it makes Republican and health insurance industry’s drive to destroy the Affordable Care Act all the more Draconian and informs keeping Americans sick and impoverished is their ultimate goal. In many Republican states, at the behest of the Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity, Medicaid expansion is out of the question and the GOP is desperate to make senior citizens’ Medicare a thing of the past regardless they paid into it their entire working lives.

    In nearly every country on Earth a college education is virtually tuition-free and yet in America, Republicans decry spending on any education and are driving college students into life-long unsustainable debt to enrich the banking industry. In most Republican states, ALEC templates are diverting public school funds to the private religious schools to enrich corporations and create the next generation of ignorant Americans claiming the nation is exceptional as they reject established science to assist their precious oil industry decimate the environment.

  19. rikyrah says:

    San Fernando Valley school named after Michelle Obama

    School board members voted unanimously on Tuesday to rename a year-old San Fernando Valley elementary school after Michelle Obama.

    The Los Angeles Unified board approved the plan to rename Valley Region Elementary School No. 13 in honor of the first lady and her “Let’s Move!” campaign, CBS Los Angeles reported. The $23 million elementary opened last August to relieve overcrowding at nearby schools.

    “This name was selected by the school-site council because Michelle Obama supports active living and eating healthy, and the school models itself on that,” said LAUSD board member Nury Martinez, the Pasadena Star-News reported.

    West Valley board member Tamar Galatzan said that while she admires Mrs. Obama, district policy rules say that schools should be named only for someone who has died, although that policy has been broken several times in recent years, the Pasadena Star-News reported.

    “We do have rules about naming schools,” she said. “Over the summer I will be looking at that policy.”

    Read more:
    Follow us: @washtimes on Twitter

  20. rikyrah says:

    Rental Car Co. Run by Teenagers Undercuts Hertz, Avis
    ABC NewsBy ALAN FARNHAM | ABC News – Tue, Jun 18, 2013 4:24 PM EDT

    Said three teenagers to themselves last year: “Yeah, sure, we could go to college. But wouldn’t it be more fun to up-end the airport rental car business?”

    They opted for the latter.

    So positive were they that they had happened on a better business model than Hertz or Avis, that they turned their backs, respectively, on Harvard, Princeton and MIT — the three institutions to which they had gained (or been offered) admission.

    The idea was this: At every major airport, acres of cars sit idle, left parked by owners who have jetted off. Why couldn’t these same cars be rented to arriving travelers? Rates could be dramatically cheaper than those charged by traditional car rental companies, since, under this model, the rental company wouldn’t have to pay for or maintain the fleet.

    Owners would have a fourfold incentive to participate: free parking, a free car wash, a cut of the rental fee and a guarantee their car would be waiting for them when they returned.

    With financing from angel investors, FlightCar, the trio’s brainchild, began renting cars in February to passengers arriving at San Francisco International Airport (SFO), for rates start as low as $21 a day, depending on the make and model of the car.

  21. rikyrah says:

    GM Passes Toyota for First Time in J.D. Power Quality Survey
    By Susanna Kim | ABC News Blogs

    General Motors passed Toyota Motor Corp. to lead J.D. Power & Associates’ Initial Quality Study for the first time since the survey started 27 years ago.

    J.D. Power’s survey of new vehicles was redesigned for 2013 to measure the quality and problems related to new technologies, the marketing information services company said.

    Read More About How New Fuel Standards May Affect You

    GM’s four American brands, Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac, ranked above average in its study this year. GM’s truck brand GMC ranked second, the highest it has ever ranked, and Chevrolet was fifth while the Toyota brand ranked seventh.

    GMC and Chevrolet both jumped considerably from last year’s rankings. Last year, GMC ranked 12th while Chevrolet was 15th and Toyota was eighth.

    General Motors as a corporation had eight model-level segment awards, five of which were for Chevrolet.;_ylt=ArC4odAO0KzdFasEH3HJibrLn.R_;_ylu=X3oDMTR1Z2QzNnI3BGNjb2RlA2N0LmMEbWl0A01vc3QgUG9wdWxhciBNb25leQRwa2cDOGY3ZTY2MjktMjFiMC0zY2I3LTk1YzYtNWQ1Y2MwNmYyZjhjBHBvcwMzBHNlYwNNZWRpYUJMaXN0TWl4ZWRNb3N0UG9wdWxhckNBVGVtcAR2ZXIDYTU0MjkyNzItZDkyZi0xMWUyLWJiZmYtN2YzNzQwYjgwMjM4;_ylg=X3oDMTM4YmJvZXFrBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDZDVjZTVkOTEtOTVjMi0zNzg2LTk2ODItZjFlM2U2OGVhMDNmBHBzdGNhdANtb25leXxwZXJzb25hbGZpbmFuY2UEcHQDc3RvcnlwYWdl;_ylv=3

  22. rikyrah says:

    Back to the rhetorical drawing board
    By Steve Benen
    Thu Jun 20, 2013 9:50 AM EDT

    OK, Republicans, you now know that the pending immigration-reform bill drastically reduces the deficit without raising taxes, boost economic growth, improve the finances of the Social Security and Medicare systems, help private-sector employers, and begin to repair the damage between the GOP and Latino voters — the fastest growing segment of the American electorate. Every argument you’ve floated thus far has been discredited, and you’re out of excuses.

    And yet, many of you still intend to kill the popular, bipartisan legislation.

    The trick, at this point, is the difficulty in explaining why. “Because we hate immigrants” probably won’t cut it. “Because our base hates immigrants” isn’t any better. Your challenge is to come up with new talking points, and to do so quickly. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), maybe you have an idea on how to counter the fact that immigration reform will boost economic growth?

    “This increased GDP will be at the expense of poor and working-class Americans. The benefit will go to the business owners while the wages of U.S. workers — which should be growing — will instead decline.”

    Right. So, according to Sessions, who has never expressed the slightest interest in looking out for low-income Americans, immigration reform will do too much to benefit the folks Republicans like to describe as “job creators.” Business owners, he says, will benefit — and for the first time in Sessions’ adult life, he thinks that’s a bad th

  23. rikyrah says:

    Wednesday, June 19, 2013

    Hillary Clinton has some work to do

    President Obama won re-election by mobilizing the coalition of the ascendant…people of color and young voters. Everyone knows that the Republicans are toast unless/until they find a way to connect with the changing face of America.

    I don’t know yet if Hillary Clinton plans to run in 2016 – at this point I’d give it slightly better than even odds. But if she does, the one thing I’ll be watching is whether or not she is able to match President Obama’s appeal to that winning coalition.

    The truth is that due to some of the tension that arose during the 2008 primary, the Clintons have some bridges to rebuild with the rank and file in the African American community (a major player in that coalition). My word of advice to her right now would be that this is a good time to start doing that.

    I know that many in the black intelligentsia (ie, the Wests and Smiley’s of the world) feel perfectly comfortable in criticizing the President. But based on what I’m hearing, the folks on the ground are having none of that. And so when Bill Clinton suggests that President Obama is a “wuss” if he doesn’t intervene in Syria – he might be speaking his mind but he’s doing his wife’s potential political aspirations no favors. Running against Obama and the coalition he built is definitely not going to work – for the Clintons or anyone else.

    Hillary Clinton already has the white baby boomer women’s vote all locked up. If she wants to go for it, she needs to get out beyond that demographic NOW – before the spotlight of a campaign begins to shine – and start mending some fences. And she probably needs her husband to STFU when it comes to critiquing President Obama’s policies.

    Clinton isn’t going to win with a majority of white votes any more than the Republicans are. So far I haven’t seen that she or her political supporters have recognized that. If she wants to run – she’s got some work to do.

  24. rikyrah says:

    Eric Boehlert @EricBoehlert

    can you even *imagine* NYT pundit writing a column in 2005 bemoaning fact W. Bush hadn’t made lots of trips to VT?

    Donna NoShock @NoShock

    @EricBoehlert It’s pure and simple ODS (Obama Derangement Syndrome) #MoreMediaFail

    6:49 AM – 20 Jun 2013

  25. rikyrah says:

    ok, Ametia, SG2…

    I need that cooning graphic.


    E.W. Jackson just can’t help himself
    By Steve Benen
    Thu Jun 20, 2013 9:10 AM EDT.

    Shortly after E.W. Jackson was chosen as the Republican Party’s candidate for lieutenant governor in Virginia, the far-right activist tried to dismiss questions about his extraordinary rhetorical record. His controversial comments on a wide range of issues, he said, “were spoken in my role as a minister, not as a candidate.”

    In other words, Jackson’s record apparently doesn’t count. But what about the absurd arguments he continues to make as a candidate for statewide office?

    For those who can’t watch clips online, here’s what Jackson told voters at an event yesterday

    “My great grandparents, Gabriel and Elijah Jackson were slaves and sharecroppers in Orange County, Virginia. I am a direct decedent of slaves. My grandfather was born there, to a father and a mother who had been slaves. And by the way, their family was more intact than the black family is today and I’m telling you that slavery did not destroy the black family even though it certainly was an attack on the black family, it made it difficult. But I’ll tell you that the programs that began in the ’60s, the programs that began to tell women that you don’t need a man in the home, the government will take care of you, that and began to tell men, you don’t need to be in the home, the government will take care of this woman and take care of these children. That’s when the black family began to deteriorate.

    “In 1960, most black children were raised in two parent, monogamous families. By now, by this time, we have only 20% of black children being raised in a two parent, monogamous families with the married man and woman raising those children. It wasn’t slavery that did that, it was government that did that. It tried to solve problems that only god can solve and that only we as human beings can solve.”

    Got that? Slavery was bad for families, but not as bad as the Great Society programs that reduced poverty nationwide.

  26. rikyrah says:

    Ohio Republican does not care if state probes your ladyparts
    By Laura Conaway
    Wed Jun 19, 2013 6:00 PM EDT

    Ohio Republicans would like to get in on state-mandated, medically unnecessary ultrasound craze. A new bill sponsored by Republican state Representative Ron Hood — and co-sponsored by more than half the majority Republican caucus — would require women seeking an abortion to get an ultrasound as a condition of exercising that constitutionally protected right.

    At a legislative hearing today, Democratic state Representative Dan Ramos remembered the time in 2011 when his Republican colleagues had a fetus “testify” by means of ultrasound. It took a while, Ramos remembered.

    Representative Ramos: She took quite a long time to find the fetus, approximately a half hour, 45 minutes … because she was relatively early on in her pregnancy and they said, the person performing the ultrasound said, that for even earlier times in gestation, the only real way to find the fetus in an ultrasound is not through a surface ultrasound but through a transvaginal ultrasound — basically a machine that is inserted into a woman to detect whether or not there is a fetus in there.

    There’s no, um, exemption in this bill for if nothing can be found in a surface ultrasound. Is it your intention that we require transvaginal ultrasounds if that’s the only way that can be done to find the fetus, in this bill? Because my understanding of medicine is at very early stages of gestation, that’s basically the only way of finding or detecting by ultrasound.

    Representative Hood: You know, Mr. Chairman, Representative, the bill does not specify what type of ultrasound would be used. It just specifies that there is an ultrasound to where the baby can be seen.

    In other words, under his bill, those state-mandated ultrasounds could be transvaginal. Hood has not written his bill to make that explicit. Neither will he explicitly rule it out. It would appear not matter to him much.

  27. rikyrah says:

    How many times does this have to be said..



    the entire lot of them.

    and fuck every person that voted for these muthafuckas and put them in the position where they could hurt people like this.


    They Don’t Do Empathy

    by BooMan
    Wed Jun 19th, 2013 at 09:48:57 PM EST

    By happenstance, I know a young couple who had a child at a very young age. The father is in his early twenties and underemployed. The mother is probably 19, has a job, but isn’t exactly well paid. The baby is two. The couple isn’t really a couple, though, because they split up about a year ago. The father has primary custody despite his basic unemployment because the mother really wasn’t interested in having the responsibility. It’s not that she doesn’t love her baby, but she tends to drop him off early when she has visitation because her new boyfriend is more interesting, if you know what I mean.
    The father hasn’t touched a drug in years. The mother? She might be high right now.

    So, let’s think about how this law would impact these parents and their two year-old boy.

    The House late Wednesday voted to give states the authority to conduct drug testing on people applying for food stamps under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
    By voice vote, members approved the idea as an amendment to the farm bill that was proposed by Rep. Richard Hudson (R-N.C.). Hudson said the proposal would help ensure SNAP benefits go to needy families and children.

    “If adopted, this amendment would join a list of good-government reforms contained in the farm bill to save taxpayer money and ensure integrity and accountability within our nutrition system,” Hudson said.

    They get SNAP money because they are living in poverty. Under this new law, would they both have to go piss in a cup every time they wanted to feed their kid? Because that might not work out too well. The mother might not show up. And she might fail the test if she did. Maybe the father could argue that he has primary custody so only his pee should count. But she’s the one who receives the benefit because she’s the one who applied for it. I’d hope their child wouldn’t go hungry while they sorted that out.

    But let’s think about this some more. Does the mother’s disinterest and occasional pot habit make her child less needy? You might think that the drug test would dissuade her from getting high and that, thereby, she’d become a better parent. But this young woman can’t even be counted on to spend 20 hours a week with her child because she has things she’d rather be doing.

    You might argue that the state should intervene and take the baby away, but he’s in the caring hands of his father, who only lacks the resources to make ends meet on his own. There is no reason to take the baby away, and it would actually be quite harmful to everyone involved.

    SNAP is a supplemental nutrition program set up to assure that children don’t suffer from malnutrition or a detrimentally poor diet. The idea that you might take this nutrition away because one parent likes to smoke a joint now and then and isn’t particularly responsible, seems beyond cruel. It’s self-defeating.

    • Ametia says:

      These same sociopaths who got elected; are they being asked to piss in a cup, before they’re handed their paychecks. Elections DO have consequences. But who suffers the most? the innocent children.

  28. rikyrah says:

    two good comments about Paula Deen



    What’s really sad is knowing the number of people that simply took Paula Deen’s bullshit because they needed the job. They had families to take care of and just took it. Just think, its one woman that had enough and came forward. Reminds me when I was in college, I worked for the lead attorney on the Shoney’s class-action lawsuit. The abuse imposed on black employees was nothing short of complete maniacal torture. It was corporate practice and employees at Shoney’s, Captain D’s, Big Boy – were treated like less than stray dogs. But they took it because they were limited in education and had families to feed. The abuse was staggering. It took one young woman, a college student…who didn’t even get hired, but discovered her application in the trash can before she could leave the restaurant….she stepped forward and the ensuing investigation led to racism that would blow your mind. It was so awful that the other lady that worked with me to input the depositions and claims, just started crying one day from reading one of the claim forms….and this was a woman who was born and bred in rural north Florida (which is really south Georgia) – she was as redneck as they came – she just cried.

    Just think about that…there are black people enduring that kind of racism at their job and feel they have no choice but to take it….in 2013, just have to take it.

    And a response:


    This is exactly why this stop being funny to me. Decent people need to petition Food Network to get this hillbilly off the air. I tell you I cringed when Oprah did that interview with this bitch. I’m sorry to keep saying this but my black spidey senses told me this bitch was as racist as they come; I have never like Paula Deen. It just amazes me how many black people did not pick up on that especially Oprah being from the South and all.

    At any rate yea I have been there with racist bosses and co-workers. I got some stories from my military days that would make you sick. I honestly believe black folks encounter the most racism in the workplace. Damn shame we cannot even make a living without dealing with racism. I think most black people just want to be left the hell alone.

  29. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

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