Wednesday Open Thread |Annie Lennox Week!

Happy Hump day, Everyone. Annie Lennox week continues with:

Make it a great day!

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31 Responses to Wednesday Open Thread |Annie Lennox Week!

  1. Go, Tina! Congrats!

    Tina Turner weds longtime partner in Switzerland

    Tina Turner and Erwin Bach

    Music legend Tina Turner tied the knot with longtime German partner Erwin Bach in Switzerland.

    Reports of the wedding have come from global news agency AFP, as well as Reuters, which received confirmation of the nuptials from Swiss municipal official Hannes Fress.

    Turner, 73, and record executive Bach, 57, held the civil ceremony at their home by Lake Zurich in Kusnacht, in northern Switzerland “a few days ago,” Fress said.

  2. Ametia says:


  3. Ametia says:



  4. rikyrah says:

    Bipartisan group in House closes in on immigration reform compromise

    By Greg Sargent, Published: July 17 at 1:37 pm

    The bipartisan “gang of seven” group of House members negotiating over immigration is closing in on a plan that would include a path to citizenship, but would impose new triggers on citizenship — and new conditions on the initial legal status the undocumented would enjoy — that would put the bill significantly to the right of the Senate effort.

    The details on the emerging plan — which were shared with me by an aide to one of the members of the gang — are important, because the tougher conditions it will impose could give some House Republicans a way to embrace comprehensive reform, at a time when many conservatives are still insisting on a “piecemeal” approach or are opposing any action at all. At the same time, it could conceivably be acceptable to some Dems and immigration advocates, too.

    More broadly, the emerging plan could provide a test case, or an opportunity, for GOP leaders — such as John Boehner and Paul Ryan — to show they are prepared to lead on immigration by putting their weight behind a compromise proposal that has plenty both sides don’t like, and selling it to their caucus. The hope is it could be difficult for Republican leaders to flatly turn down this compromise if leading Latino Democrats — such as Reps. Luis Gutierrez and Xavier Becerra, both members of the gang — are willing to accept something to the right of the Senate bill on their side.

    Here are the details, shared with me by the aide:

  5. rikyrah says:

    Obamacare puts Republicans in a bind

    By Jamelle Bouie, Published: July 17 at 11:53 am

    As Greg noted earlier this morning, House Republicans are — again—holding a series of votes meant to chip away at the Affordable Care Act. By focusing on the employer mandate — recently delayed by the Obama administration—the votes are meant to put Democrats in a bind. The Washington Examiner explains:

    A vote in support of the employer mandate delay could be perceived as admitting the president’s health care plan is flawed. Democrats who vote no will be accused by Republicans of going against the president’s wishes.

    Likewise, Democrats who vote for the employer mandate delay but reject a delay for individuals will be accused by Republicans as favoring big businesses over ordinary working Americans.

    None of these will pass, obviously, but they are meant to emphasize the extent to which Republicans are absolutely committed to ending the president’s health care law.

    The problem for Republicans is that this is happening on the same day it was announced — by New York regulators — that the Affordable Care Act has reduced premiums in the state’s individual health care market. The New York Times reports that premiums are expected to 50 percent lower than what is currently available.

  6. rikyrah says:

    Corbett losing friends fast in Pennsylvania
    By Steve Benen
    Wed Jul 17, 2013 11:10 AM EDT.

    It’s not exactly a secret that Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R) has struggled badly in his first term, but I didn’t realize things had deteriorated to this point.

    Beset by legislative failures and bleak poll numbers, the Republican looks like the country’s most vulnerable governor heading into the 2014 election. And Republicans are questioning whether they should let Corbett face a near-certain defeat when they could find a ready replacement with a much better chance of winning.

    Already, speculation among GOP operatives has shifted to a quartet of candidates the party might turn to, including several Republicans in the state’s congressional delegation. Fearful of alienating a sitting governor, they’ve done little to publicly jockey for the potential opening. But all are said to be keeping a close eye on Corbett.

    The National Journal report said a GOP primary challenge to the sitting governor is unlikely, but speculation about replacing Corbett is “rampant,” and several Pennsylvania Republicans have already been identified by party officials as strong candidates if the governor is convinced he can’t win and needs forgo his re-election bid.

    A GOP source told National Journal, “The problem is, you need a path to victory. I think they have trouble right now with activists and donors showing them a path to victory. If that doesn’t improve in the next couple of months, they’ll close their wallets and shut their front doors, and activists and donors will make up their mind for him.”

  7. rikyrah says:

    A people’s history of Mitch Daniels
    By Steve Benen
    Wed Jul 17, 2013 10:39 AM EDT

    President Obama has been the subject of some pretty kooky criticism from the right over the years, but there’s one aspect of the attacks that’s always struck me as amusing: the nuttiest condemnations never seem to apply to the president, but always seem to apply to prominent Republicans.

    “Obama maintains an enemies list!” No, you’re thinking of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R). “The president believes in crony capitalism!” No, you’re thinking of Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R). “Obama was born on foreign soil!” No, you’re thinking of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (R).

    “The president uses his power to silence his political opponents!” No, you’re thinking of Mitch Daniels (R).

    Former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels pledged to promote academic freedom when he became president of Purdue University in January, but newly released emails show he attempted to eliminate what he considered liberal “propaganda” at Indiana’s public universities while governor.

    Emails obtained by The Associated Press through a Freedom of Information Act request show Daniels requested that historian and anti-war activist Howard Zinn’s writings be banned from classrooms and asked for a “cleanup” of college courses. In another exchange, the Republican talks about cutting funding for a program run by a local university professor who was one of his sharpest critics.

    The success of those efforts remains unclear; Zinn’s book, for example, is still used in some courses for aspiring teachers. But Daniels did launch an expansive push while governor to change what courses those hopeful teachers could take for credit at Indiana colleges.

    Ken Paulson, president of the First Amendment Center, told the AP he could think of no modern examples to rival Daniels’ efforts. “What sets this apart is what appears to be a back-channel effort by the governor to limit access to ideas. Under the First Amendment, the government is prohibited from trying to suppress expression with which it disagrees.”

  8. rikyrah says:

    The House GOP’s futile, poorly timed efforts to gut Obamacare
    By Steve Benen
    Wed Jul 17, 2013 10:09 AM EDT

    House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) timing could be better. Hoping to capitalize on the bad press surrounding delay in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate provision (even though the move was substantively meaningless), House Republicans are set to move on their latest idea: a vote on delaying the individual mandate, too.

    Politically, the move arguably makes some sense. Even though Republicans came up with the idea of the individual mandate, they’ve since turned it into one of the least popular provisions in “Obamacare.” By singling it out for a delay, GOP lawmakers bring attention to a controversial health care policy and put Democrats on the spot for defending it. Their bill won’t become law, of course — Republicans love symbolic, post-policy governing — but they might get a few attack ads out of this.

    But substantively, there’s a problem. In fact, there’s more than one.

    First, by going after the individual mandate, House Republicans are taking a bold stand in support of leaving 13.7 million Americans without any health care coverage at all.

    Second, GOP lawmakers are also simultaneously (and admittedly) positioning themselves in support of a policy that leads to higher premiums and gaps for Americans with pre-existing conditions.

    And third, Republican lawmakers are, for purely political reasons, obsessed with gutting federal health care law at the same time as new-but-inconvenient evidence emerges that the law is working extremely well.

  9. Ametia says:


  10. Ametia says:

    License plate cameras track millions of Americans
    By Craig Timberg, Wednesday, July 17, 9:00 AM

    The spread of cheap, powerful cameras capable of reading license plates has allowed police to build databases on the movements of millions of Americans over months or even years, according to an American Civil Liberties Union report released Wednesday.

    The license-plate readers, which police typically mount along major roadways or on the backs of cruisers, can identify vehicles almost instantly and compare them against “hot lists” of cars that have been stolen or involved in crimes.

    • Ametia says:

      Anyone else find it strange that all these artices about leaks, privacy, and security are more prevalent during the Obama admin?

  11. rikyrah says:

    Liz Cheney’s Fatal Career Move?

    Josh Marshall- July 16, 2013, 9:48 PM 340
    As near as I can tell, besides her father and Erick Erickson, virtually every Republican I can think of came out crapping on Liz Cheney’s decision to carpet bag into Wyoming and trying to unseat resolutely boring sitting Sen. Mike Enzi. And TPM Reader LW thinks Cheney may end up rueing the day …

    FWIW, I think Liz Cheney just made a fatal career move. Having lived in WY for 35 years, I do not believe that Liz can beat Enzi. I think this is going to cause all kinds of hard feelings in Wyoming because this kind of disrespect to a man who has done nothing to deserve being disrespected in this way will simply not sit well. It’s a very east coast kind of move (think Cory Booker) and will only serve to remind people that Liz Cheney has absolutely no real history in Wyoming.

    She also seems to have forgotten a very basic element of the WY electoral process, i.e., we have same day voter registration and Democrats routinely turn into Republicans when they walk into the polling place for the primary and then switch back to Democrat on their way out. Personally, I’ve done this at least 4 or 5 times and I will surely do it again next year. Democrats often do this simply to meddle in the Republican primary, often to vote for the most conservative crazy in the field. But this time, I am sure a lot of Dems will happily switch just for the joy of voting against Liz Cheney.
    Yes, she will have a bundle of money. But Enzi will have enough and money just doesn’t matter much in WY elections. It’s the personal connections because, literally, here you don’t just expect to meet the candidates, you KNOW the candidates. And if you don’t know them, your friends know them. Enzi will have all that — and many years of good will and humble, serious service which are values that Wyomingites appreciate — while Liz will have what? Money? A father? And the carpetbag she brought with her. I’ll be stunned if it works.

    And where does Liz Cheney go after she loses a primary to a man as non-charismatic as Mike Enzi? I’d say that’s pretty much the end of her career. She should have talked to Pete Simpson — Alan’s brother, son of beloved former governor, Milward Simpson. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love Pete Simpson. But when he ran for governor, he lost. Because we’re not big on dynasties here. And we’re not fond of people who think they are entitled to anything.

    So have fun running, Liz. I will definitely enjoy having the unexpected opportunity to vote against you.

  12. rikyrah says:

    Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) discusses the 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on July 12, 2013. Senator Warren introduced the legislation with Senators John McCain (R-AZ), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), and Angus King (I-ME).

  13. rikyrah says:

    Embattled Donor Tied To All Three Past GOP Nominees For Virginia Governor

    Both McDonnell and Cuccinelli, who is currently running for governor, originally reported thousands of dollars in gifts from Williams and his company, only to have further gifts or financial ties come to light later.

    But Williams’ ties to top Virginia Republicans go back further than the current administration. Williams and his company, Star Scientific, gave heavily to the 2005 gubernatorial campaign of Republican Jerry Kilgore. Kilgore, who served as Virginia’s attorney general from 2002 to 2005, lost to Democrat Tim Kaine. Currently a partner at the law firm McGuireWoods, Kilgore now serves as Williams’ attorney, and has acted as his spokesperson during the current scandal.

    In other words, Williams and his company have had financial ties to Virginia’s past three attorneys general, and its past three Republican gubernatorial nominees. And one of those former attorneys general is now his lawyer. (McDonnell served as attorney general from 2006 to 2009.)

  14. rikyrah says:

    Ted Nugent Claims The Obama Presidency Has Caused a Surge In Black Racism

    By: Jason Easley
    Jul. 15th, 2013

    Ted Nugent blamed the death of Trayvon Martin on a surge in black racism that is caused by the Obama presidency.

    Nugent wrote on the conservative website Rare:

    And so it was for a few weeks until the race-baiting industry saw an opportunity to further the racist careers of Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, the Black Panthers. President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder, et al, who then swept down on the Florida community refusing to admit that the 17-year-old dope smoking, racist gangsta wannabe Trayvon Martin was at all responsible for his bad decisions and standard modus operendi of always taking the violent route.

    With an obvious racist chip on his shoulder, referencing the neighborhood watch guy as a “creepy ass cracker” to his fellow racist female friend who admitted under oath that that is how non-blacks are referred to normally in their circles, Trayvon had no reason not to attack, because it was the standard thug thing to do. See Chicago any day of the week.

    With nearly 700 examples of this truism played out in Chicago in 2012 alone, no one can possibly dispute the recent surge in black racism increasing throughout Barack Obama’s presidency. To attempt to claim otherwise is a laughable lie.

    It is interesting that Nugent calls Trayvon Martin a racist while using several racist stereotypes to portray a seventeen year old child. Nugent calls Martin a dope smoking, gangsta, with a chip on his shoulder. The fact that Martin used the term cracker seals the deal for Nugent, because to him cracker has such a long history of prejudice, violence, discrimination and bigotry against white people associated with it. Cracker is the equal to the n-word in Nugent’s mind.

  15. rikyrah says:

    Obama meets with leaders of black sorority

    7/16/13 4:09 PM EDT

    President Barack Obama hosted members of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority at the White House on Tuesday as members of the group gather in Washington for their annual convention.

    White House spokesman Kevin Lewis said the Oval Office meeting marked the 100th anniversary of the African-Amercan sorority and the 51st anniversary of its convention. Obama met with members including the sorority’s president, Cynthia Butler-McIntyre. Given the national dialogue on race since the verdict in the Trayvon Martin case — and Attorney General Eric Holder’s Monday comments to the group about the case — it wouldn’t be unexpected for the conversation to veer in that direction.

    “As parents, as engaged citizens, and as leaders who stand vigilant against violence in communities across the country, the Deltas are deeply, and rightly, concerned about this case,” Holder said Monday. “The Justice Department shares your concern – I share your concern – and, as we first acknowledged last spring, we have opened an investigation into the matter.”

  16. rikyrah says:

    Women Roar and Power Democrat Terry McAuliffe To A 4 Point Lead In VA Governor Race

    By: Sarah Jones
    Jul. 16th, 2013

    In the Virginia gubernatorial race, Terry McAuliffe (D) is leading Ken Cuccinelli(R) by 4, 41-37. Democrats also lead in the down ballot races according to a Public Policy Polling poll released Tuesday, July 16th.

    McAuliffe leads based on his 7 point advantage with women, which is a great victory for women given Cuccinelli’s very Republican, very anti-women stances. This is a great example of when the women vote matters, and why the Republican Party is making a mistake writing off women votes in order to appease the old, white men known as their only reliable base.

    Fringe extremist, female voter alienator and ethics impaired Ken Cuccinelli is viewed in a mostly negative light by the state, with only 32% of the state having a favorable opinion of him, while 47% have an unfavorable opinion — including 57% of independents. This leaves Fringe Ken with a -15 net favorability rating. Oopsie.

  17. rikyrah says:

    How Harry Reid Effectively Neutered Republicans in the Senate

    Tuesday, July 16, 2013 | Posted by Spandan C at 3:33 PM

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has taken a lot of grief (including from yours truly) for not changing the Senate rules to eliminate the forced tyranny of the minority enforced by the Republicans through the use of the silent filibuster. But the old boxer from Searchlight, Nevada pulled it off this time.

    This time, he threatened the use of the “nuclear option” – using a majority to change the rules so that the filibuster couldn’t be used to block executive branch nominees. He held fast on that threat, and in the end, Republicans caved. They caved by agreeing to give the 7 hold-up positions – the heads of the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau and the EPA, and positions on the National Labor Relations Board, – an up-or-down vote, although President Obama will have to send in two new NLRB nominees (whom the Republicans have promised not to filibuster).

    One nominee has already cleared the filibuster hurdle: Richard Cordray, who now seems headed to a Senate confirmation to his job as the Director of the Consumer Protection Bureau.

    Although this specific agreement applies only to the seven hold-out nominations, Harry Reid and the Democrats have effectively neutered the only obstructions Senate Republicans alone are capable of.

    “They’re not sacrificing their right to filibuster and we damn sure aren’t giving up our right to change the rules if necessary,” Reid said.

    What today’s deal proves is that Republicans took Harry Reid’s threat to use the nuclear option seriously. They understood that he was not bluffing. They knew that he had the votes to pull this off. That they took the threat seriously means that the threat remains for the rest of this Congress, ready to be used if Republicans go off the reservations again. That the threat remains real and the fact that Republicans were willing to back off in the face of that threat means that that specific use of the filibuster has been canned for the rest of this Congress.

    Still, it’s only applicable to the executive branch nominees, and even then it only ensures such votes for the next year and a half. Where’s the big victory? To understand that, you have to dig a little deeper on how Washington works. A veteran of Senate rules and maneuvers, Harry Reid knew that there is no point in disturbing the rules of the Senate do anything that requires two chambers of Congress to agree. Anything the Republicans would want to block in the Senate, absent the filibuster, could be blocked in the House, which is Republican controlled. So he wasn’t going to mess with the filibuster when it comes to legislation. He didn’t need to lose political capital doing so, because it would have been ineffective at the end of the day.

  18. rikyrah says:

    Ted Nugent, Rush Limbaugh & Ann Coulter Exploited The Death Of A Child For Partisan Gain

    By: Sarah Jones
    Jul. 16th, 2013

    MSNBC’s Alex Wagner called out the Right on their ‘disgraceful’ abuse of Trayvon Martin’s murder, saying that Nugent, Limbaugh, and Coulter exploited “the death of a child for partisan gain.”

    Wagner went through the Right’s response, from Coulter tweeting, “Hallelujah” immediately after Zimmerman was acquitted of murdering an unarmed teenager, while Geraldo Rivera on Fox News suggested Trayvon Martin got what he deserved, “If you dress like a thug people are going to treat you like a thug.”

    And Rush Limbaugh said the verdict was a win for conservatives, because liberals get everything else. It’s an “interruption in a string of victory after victory”. Alex Wagner said Limbaugh was the first conservative to “put a killer’s acquittal on par with historic progress, including passage of the nation’s first healthcare law and the Supreme Court’s decision on marriage equality.”

    Wagner made an excellent point that Limbaugh demonstrated how to use the verdict as a button to press to create more division, “His killing and Zimmerman’s exoneration have now officially joined the conservative arsenal as weapons to be deployed, buttons to be pressed, in service of division.”

    Ted Nugent, “working from the very same playbook”, used the Zimmerman verdict to fan the flames of division and indict the President. Nugent accused the President of causing a surge of in “black racism”:

  19. rikyrah says:

    San Diego mayor faces calls for resignation
    By Steve Benen
    Wed Jul 17, 2013 9:14 AM EDT.

    After a decade on Capitol Hill as a successful Democratic congressman, Bob Filner was elected mayor of San Diego last year. It was not an easy task — San Diego very rarely elects Democratic mayors, and Filner won with only 51% of the vote.

    But just a half-year into his first term, it’s no longer clear whether the mayor will be able to remain in office much longer.

    Turning up the pressure on Mayor Bob Filner to resign, three former supporters Monday released details of his alleged sexual harassment of women, including the forcible kissing of two constituents and grabbing the buttocks and breast of a staff member.

    In a City Hall elevator, Filner told a female staffer that women employees would do better “if they worked without their panties on,” attorney Marco Gonzalez said at a news conference outside City Hall.

    Filner’s behavior toward women is so egregious that women who work for him call him a “dirty old man” and coined the phrases “the Filner headlock” and “the Filner dance” to describe how he isolates women and then makes unwanted advances, Gonzalez said.

  20. rikyrah says:

    Liz Cheney launching Senate campaign in Wyoming

    By Steve Benen
    Wed Jul 17, 2013 8:34 AM EDT

    In recent years, as Republican politics has shifted to the far right, we’ve seen plenty of primary challenges to sitting GOP officials. In every instance, they follow a fairly predictable pattern: the party base deems a lawmaker to be insufficiently conservative, they’re challenged from the right, and more often than not (Lugar, Bennett, Inglis, et al), they lose.

    However, there are no recent examples of a Republican eyeing a sitting GOP official and effectively arguing, “I have a famous last name and I want your seat, so get out of my way.”

    And yet, there’s Liz Cheney.

    Following up on Rachel’s segment from last night’s show, the far-right Fox News personality confirmed late yesterday that she will, in fact, launch a campaign against Sen. Mike Enzi (R) in Wyoming, a state Cheney moved to just last year. There’s nothing especially wrong with Enzi by Republican standards — he’s a popular incumbent and one of the Senate’s most conservative members — and yesterday, the senator sounded a disappointed note with a phrase that’s become an instant classic.

  21. rikyrah says:

    Complete Eric Holder NAACP Speech After George Zimmerman Verdict

  22. rikyrah says:

    Health Plan Cost for New Yorkers Set to Fall 50%


    Published: July 16, 2013

    Individuals buying health insurance on their own will see their premiums tumble next year in New York State as changes under the federal health care law take effect, state officials are to announce on Wednesday.

    State insurance regulators say they have approved rates for 2014 that are at least 50 percent lower on average than those currently available in New York. Beginning in October, individuals in New York City who now pay $1,000 a month or more for coverage will be able to shop for health insurance for as little as $308 monthly. With federal subsidies, the cost will be even lower.

    Supporters of the new health care law, the Affordable Care Act, credited the drop in rates to the online purchasing exchanges the law created, which they say are spurring competition among insurers that are anticipating an influx of new customers. The law requires that an exchange be started in every state.

    “Health insurance has suddenly become affordable in New York,” said Elisabeth Benjamin, vice president for health initiatives with the Community Service Society of New York. “It’s not bargain-basement prices, but we’re going from Bergdorf’s to Filene’s here.”

  23. Ametia says:

    Good Morning. Everyone! :-)

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