Monday Open Thread | Keith Urban | Country Music Week

keith urban1Keith Lionel Urban (born 26 October 1967 in Whangarei) is a New Zealand-born and Australian-raised country music singer, songwriter and guitarist. His parents moved the family to Australia when he was 2 years old, later he began his career in Australia at an early age. In 1991, he released a self-titled debut album, and charted four singles in Australia before moving to the United States in 1992. Eventually, Urban found work as a session guitarist before starting a band known as The Ranch, which recorded one studio album on Capitol Records and charted two singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts.

Still signed to Capitol, he made his solo American debut in 1999 with the album Keith Urban. Certified platinum in the U.S., it also produced his first number 1 on Hot Country Songs with “But for the Grace of God“..

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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90 Responses to Monday Open Thread | Keith Urban | Country Music Week

  1. rikyrah says:

    .The Obama administration is tackling some of the most insidious civil rights issues of our time


    Of course Brother West is wrong. I’d like to take some time to document why.

    First, lets go back to the time when Barack Obama was a State Senator in Illinois. It was there that he actually led the fight against racial profiling. But he also spoke out against a state gang database, joined an effort to examine a complete overhaul of the state’s criminal code, supported a moratorium on the death penalty, introduced legislation against zero tolerance policies in schools, and spoke out against mandatory minimum sentences for drug crimes.

    But perhaps the President’s critics will suggest that somehow he has been corrupted since he got to the White House. Let’s remind ourselves that the President’s primary responsibility is administering laws. And so often we forget to look at what he has done in that capacity as opposed to simply focusing on the legislative arena.

    When it comes to civil rights, the most powerful thing the President did was nominate the first African American Attorney General – Eric Holder. And then they nominated Thomas Perez to head up the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division – the one that had been decimated by the Bush administration. What we saw immediately was that the Division started actually hiring lawyers with a background in enforcing civil rights. Just take a look at some of the people they brought on board.

    These folks got to work pretty quickly bringing an unprecedented 17 investigations of police brutality to departments in some of the countries largest urban areas like New Orleans, Seattle, and Newark. Of course the most noted story along these lines was the suit DOJ brought against Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio for civil rights abuses.

    Back in the summer of 2011, the Department of Justice teamed up with the Department of Education to launch the Supporting School Discipline Initiative, which was the opening act for this administration to tackle the school-to-prison pipeline. One outcome of that effort was that DOE’s civil rights office resumed the collection of racial data in school disciplinary activities. That data has led to investigations of racial bias launched in 20 school districts across 14 states. In the most serious case, DOJ filed charges against the town of Meridian, MS – leading to a consent decree to protect students of color.

    Finally, the Obama administration recently issued A Drug Policy for the 21st Century that basically declared the “war on drugs” over.

  2. rikyrah says:

    Conservative Paper Invokes Lynching In Anti-Sharpton Editorial Cartoon

    By Annie-Rose Strasser on Jul 22, 2013 at 10:30 am

    Investors’ Business Daily, a business newspaper widely viewed as having a conservative editorial page, decided to dip its toes into racial politics over the weekend with a political cartoon about the case of Trayvon Martin. But instead of presenting a valid criticism of the negative reactions to George Zimmerman’s not guilty verdict, the publication invoked lynchings — one of the great tragedies committed against Black Americans — to try to make its point.

    In an attempt to level criticism at Al Sharpton, the Black reverend-turned-TV host who has been deeply involved in cases of racial injustice, the cartoonist depicted various incidents in which Sharpton has been active as people being hanged from a tree:

    Conservative magazine National Review Online also ran the piece as its “Cartoon of the Day.”

  3. rikyrah says:

    States push to provide some ex-felons a second chance
    Suzy Khimm, @SuzyKhimm
    12:01 AM on 07/21/2013

    Walter Fortson is a young man with impressive credentials: He graduated with honors from Rutgers University this year and is headed to the University of Cambridge on a prestigious Truman scholarship.

    But on a typical job application, the first thing an employer might notice about Fortson is that he’s an ex-felon.

    Fortson, 28, served two years in prison for dealing crack cocaine: He got out in March 2010 and has been clean since. Though he’s successfully turned his life around, he says discrimination against those with a criminal record is very real.

    “There have been a lot of times that I haven’t been offered an opportunity because of the stigma,” said Fortson, a Philadelphia native. “A lot of companies have a blanket policy that excludes anyone who’s had any contact with the criminal justice system.”

    Fortson is now backing a campaign to make employers remove questions about criminal history from job applications, postponing such queries until a later stage of the hiring process–an initiative widely known as “Ban the Box.”

  4. rikyrah says:

    White privilege and Trayvon Martin
    by United Methodist News Service
    By Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton*

    During a golf outing a few days ago, my playing partner hit a shot that unfortunately sliced out of bounds. After searching for a few minutes I located the ball in someone’s backyard.

    “There’s your ball,” I cried. “It’s in that person’s backyard.”

    “Just leave it,” he replied. “Let’s just go.”

    When I inquired as to why he didn’t want to pick up his errant ball, my playing partner said, “I won’t go into someone’s backyard on a golf course. I have been threatened with stealing and trespassing in the past.”

    It was there, in the peaceful confines of a golf course, that I was confronted with an unbelievably disturbing fact: my golf mate and I had two different perceptions of reality.

    You see, the person I was playing with is African American. I, a tall white male, would have had no hesitation in walking into that backyard, picking up the errant ball, and making my way back onto the course. My African-American golf partner had huge hesitations based on his own experience.

    My experience is called “white privilege.” His experience is called “racism.”

  5. rikyrah says:

    Dying father has last first dance with daughter

    Gabe Gutierrez TODAY

    On a sunny Saturday in July, Rachel Wolf was preparing for the day she always dreamed of, complete with wedding gown, makeup, and guests.

    But there was one thing missing: a groom.

    Instead, the day was about her dad. Rachel’s father, Dr. James Wolf, is dying of pancreatic cancer. He likely has less than three months to live.

    So to make sure that he would be there on her wedding day, Rachel, 25, came up with an unusual idea: she would create and record her own father/daughter dance. The venue, Auburn Recreation Park in Auburn, Calif., the limo and the D.J. were all donated.

    “I just was flabbergasted,” Dr. Wolf told TODAY in an interview that aired Monday.

    “There are a lot of things that I would’ve liked the girls to experience with me being there,” Dr. Wolf said while choking back tears. “And I’m not going to be there.”

    Just hours before the big moment, he was in the hospital. Later, he was so exhausted that he could barely get dressed without help from his wife, Jeanine.

    “I don’t know what to expect,” she said. “I’m hoping that he’s feeling well enough to be able to get that dance in.”

    He was.

    A limo pulled up around 7 p.m., and Rachel stepped out in a white dress that sparkled in the evening sun.

    Dr. Wolf locked eyes with his little girl. “Hi honey!” he yelled. “You look gorgeous!”

    “Thanks Daddy!” she cried.

    Their embrace swallowed any sadness, conquered all worries. This bond was not yet ready to be broken.

    Especially not before one last dance.

  6. rikyrah says:

    Yes, Obama should `pivot’ to jobs

    By Greg Sargent, Published: July 22 at 2:19 pmE-mail the writer

    submit to reddit

    Later this week Obama will deliver a series of speeches designed to push his economic agenda back into the spotlight, part of a renewed effort to point out that the recovery and long term middle class economic security are being imperiled by the Congressional GOP’s refusal to act on jobs. There’s already been a fair amount of mockery on the Twitters and elsewhere of this new push, to the effect that isn’t it just hilarious that Obama is pivoting to jobs yet again.

    And indeed it’s true that there is little to no chance the GOP will agree to support any of Obama’s jobs policies, from the push for more infrastructure spending to more job training. So what’s the point, right?

    In one sense the speeches aren’t really about Obama’s jobs agenda, and are better understood as a set up to other battles that are set for this fall, over the debt ceiling, funding the government, and the sequester. In other words, we’re set for yet another political clash over the desirability of still more austerity amid a fragile recovery. So Obama’s speeches, in this context, will be not just about the need for job creation but also about reframing the national debate (again) over austerity to cast it as a threat to the economy at exactly the wrong time.

  7. Ametia says:


  8. Ametia says:

    Monday, July 22, 2013
    A Trifecta of Boot Licking Uncle Toms Defending George Zimmerman: Who is the Worst One? Larry Elder, Pastor Manning, or Jesse Lee Peterson?

    WARN-Chauncey DeVega

    Black conservatism is a very lucrative business. It takes few resources to begin one’s hustle. There are boosters who will back your play. The risks are minimal. Their public is eager to be grifted–is there no easier scam than taking money from the willing? And the skills that one needs to be successful in the black conservative con game are minimal. It is a real quota, and an internalized projection of what conservatives say “affirmative action” policies produce in the workplace: skin color, a hostility towards African-Americans, and a heartbeat are all that one needs to be a successful black conservative media darling. Ability is welcome but secondary and coincidental to one’s skin color.

    The black garbage pail kids black conservatives only have to sit around until needed, secure in their break in case of emergency bubble that the White Right has them encased within. While sitting there, the checks continue because they are on retainer. Quite a good deal.

    All that is required to be a successful black conservative in the Fox News Tea Party GOP mold is to be a professional contrarian who stands against any position taken by the “civil rights establishment”, a willingness to degrade black Americans for the pleasure of white racists, and to have little or no self-respect. The more self-hating and contemptible a black conservative’s position on a given political issue, the higher the bounty and pay.

    Larry Elder, Pastor Manning, and Jesse Lee Peterson must be cashing some fat checks for supporting the murder of Trayon Martin by George Zimmerman. The level of self-loathing necessary for a black person to support the equivalent of Emmett Till’s murder in post-civil rights America is beyond my ability to comprehend. In all, racism is a mania that poisons white folks in America. Unfortunately, the mania that is white racism poisons the minds of none too few black people as well.

    Read on

  9. Yahtc says:

    “Senate Republicans unveil stricter NC voter ID bill”

    Posted: Thursday, Jul. 18, 2013

    RALEIGH Resurrecting one of the legislative session’s most contentious issues, Senate Republicans unveiled a new voter ID bill Thursday that would further restrict the forms of photo identification accepted at the polls.
    The new measure would require voters to show one of seven types of photo identification issued by the government, such as driver’s licenses, passports, non-driver IDs and military or veteran cards.

    Read more here:

  10. Ametia says:

    Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, has given birth to the first child for her and Prince William.

    The baby will be third in line to the British throne after Prince Charles and Prince William. He is the first grandchild of the late Princess Diana.

    Follow complete coverage of the royal baby on CNN TV, and CNN Mobile.

  11. rikyrah says:

    The Associated Press ‏@AP2m
    BREAKING: Palace: Prince William’s wife, Kate, has given birth to a baby boy.

  12. Yahtc says:

    I just found this great photo from one of the rallies:

  13. rikyrah says:

    By Laissez Passer
    |Published July 22, 2013
    Marketing ‘no-blacks’ apartment buildings in Tel Aviv

    Amid efforts to deport, imprison and segregate African asylum seekers in Israel, real estate agents are now marketing ‘clean’ apartment blocs, meaning no foreign workers or asylum seekers will live there.

    Last week Army Radio reported that real estate agencies in south Tel Aviv are advertising “clean apartments.” According to Army Radio’s web site, a real estate agent said, “we don’t let foreign workers rent the apartments. If there are foreigners, then they’re Nepali or Filipino – normal people.” Whoever listened to the radio broadcast could hear the agent say, “not blacks.” For some unknown reason, those two words were omitted from Army Radio’s report on the web.

    Presumably we won’t hear the prime minister, president, or any senior official condemn this phenomenon. Anyone monitoring what is going on here shouldn’t be surprised. If the State of Israel believes that asylum seekers belong in administrative detention in a hot prison in the desert, why wouldn’t it be legitimate for individuals to declare that they won’t rent apartments to those asylum seekers? If the Interior Ministry insists on a country free of asylum seekers, why shouldn’t real estate agents declare that apartments don’t have “infiltrators.”

    In recent months the State of Israel has been abusing asylum seekers in a manner that makes us miss former interior minister Eli Yishai. Yishai the racist was very vocal in expressing his desire to embitter the lives of asylum seekers. But his replacement, who refrains from making dramatic announcements, and the executive branch are advancing a heretofore unknown policy. The state is working hard to advance weapons deals aimed at convincing dictatorships to rid Israel of the unwanted waste currently in the country.

    The attorney general, his deputy, and several other aides have been drafting new regulations for the Interior Ministry in recent weeks, including a procedure allowing incarceration without trail for an indefinite period of time for individuals suspected of misdemeanors including stealing telephones or bicycles, or a procedure allowing for the “voluntary return” of asylum seekers (complete free will – a choice between endless rotting in an Israeli prison or the threat of persecution in their country of origin). Those people in the Justice Ministry certainly sleep well at night when they tell themselves that they are just small technicians helping implement the decisions of others, as is customary in these parts.

    The notion of clean spaces is not new, and it’s not surprising that it is now being applied to “infiltrators.” One of the candidates for chief rabbi, Shmuel Eliyahu, encouraged people not to rent apartments to Arabs in the past. Even among those who condemned him was someone who already expressed her support for the right of residents of communal settlements to decide that they do not want Arabs living among them, and that municipalities have the right to decide that they do not want children of asylum seekers enrolled in schools within their jurisdiction.

  14. rikyrah says:

    Conservatives prepare to finish off Voting Rights Act

    Zachary Roth, @zackroth
    12:13 PM on 07/19/2013

    Now, voting rights supporters fear a determined push by the right could let the Roberts Court go after the landmark civil right’s law’s other key pillar, Section 2.

    “Section 2 is a ripe target,” Christopher Elmendorf, a law professor at the University of California, Davis, who has written in depth on the provision, told MSNBC.
    If the court were to strike down or substantially weaken Section 2, the Voting Rights Act would technically still exist, and would retain a few historically important functions—its ban on poll taxes and literacy tests, for instance. But, on top of the demise of Section 5, the most successful civil rights law in the nation’s history would be all but a dead letter.

    Unlike Section 5, Section 2—which lets victims of racial discrimination file suit—is an after-the-fact remedy, making it a less effective tool for stopping race bias in voting. Still, it’s the strongest protection that the Voting Rights Act has left, and the weeks since the Supreme Court’s ruling in Shelby County v. Holder have made clear that Section 2 now figures to play a crucial role in legal efforts to defend voting rights, including in cases against voter ID, cutbacks to early voting, and other Republican-backed voting restrictions.

    The argument against Section 2 is that by banning actions with discriminatory results, not just intent, it goes beyond what the Constitution empowers Congress to do.
    “I’d guess that arguments would be made that the statute should be narrowly construed, because to read it more broadly raises serious constitutional questions,” one conservative Washington election lawyer, who asked not to be identified because he isn’t authorized by his firm to speak to the press, told MSNBC, echoing the language of the young John Roberts. “That’s how I see this as playing out.”

    Indeed, the Shelby County ruling, in addition to ending Section 5 in its current form, may also have continued that process, he added. That’s because, with reference to Section 5, the justices ruled that the South’s Jim Crow history wasn’t a sufficient basis to establish ongoing intentional discrimination. That means it likely wouldn’t be sufficient with respect to Section 2 either.
    It’s also noticeable that in Shelby County, the justices’ finding that Section 5 is no longer needed didn’t rely on the ongoing existence of Section 2 as a bulwark against race discrimination in voting—an argument that was the centerpiece of Carvin’s testimony Wednesday. The ruling said nothing of substance about Section 2, which, Roberts wrote, “is not at issue in this case.”
    “If everybody on the court had no problem with Section 2, you would expect them to rely on it,” Baude, the former Roberts clerk, told MSNBC. “So the fact that they don’t suggests there’s at least some question about it.”

  15. rikyrah says:

    A public service announcement

    Posted by Dennis G. at 1:07 pm .


    One of the slimiest keep-to-the-shadow conservative groups is the Conservative Majority Fund. Their main tactic is to pick an area and carpet bomb it with anti-Obama robocalls. The text of the calls change with the times and have moved from a Birther message to an election message to a Benghazi/IRS/Chicago-politics/White folks are doomed message. In all their efforts, they make it clear that the President is a dangerous outsider who must be impeached/stopped/obstructed. Race is the context and the frame for the efforts. I know this firsthand as they have been calling Maryland over the last few days and I just got another call this morning.

    When they first called a few days ago, I went through their phone tree and pushed the buttons to tell them to take my number off their list. It didn’t work. They called again and again.

    So after my call this morning, I looked up their FEC filing. Their address turns out to be a UPS store mail box. Their Treasure is a long-time conservative foot soldier named Scott B. MacKenzie from Northern Virginia.

    The Conservative Majority Fund does their best to hide and make it impossible to contact them. Still, there are Federal forms that must be filed and some require something more than the address of your UPS mail drop box. One of these was their Statement of Organization filed with the FEC on July 9, 2012. This one included a phone number for Scott B. MacKenzie, 703-868-1776.

    So I gave him a call to ask that he stop robocalling my house with his racist nosense. He answered the phone and seemed surprised. He took my name and number and claimed the calls would stopped. It was satisfying to reach one of the nutters behind this type of abuse and tell him to stop.

    As a public service, I offer the phone number they shared with the FEC as a point of contact to reach Scott and the Conservative Majority Fund. Anybody else who is being harassed by their repeated racist robocalls, might want to give Scott a call and ask him to stop. Perhaps if enough folks call Scott, he and his group might decide to change their robocall strategy or at least try to narrow their call list to the ever shrinking group of angry and old white wingnut whackos.

  16. rikyrah says:

    These Men Are Nihilists

    by BooMan
    Mon Jul 22nd, 2013 at 09:26:29 AM EST

    The president will appear on Wednesday at ultra-liberal Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, (which is not the site of the “Don’t Tase Me, Bro” incident) to unveil his economic agenda. This is almost the definition of preaching to the choir, but it is just the beginning of a campaign to prepare for Debt Ceiling Fiasco 2.0.
    The Republicans, particularly in the House, are still behaving as if losing the 2012 presidential election gives them a mandate to radically downsize the federal government. The results have been less than optimal.

    This month, the International Monetary Fund trimmed its forecast for economic growth in the United States to 1.7 percent in 2013 and 2.7 percent in 2014. It reduced both by 0.2 percentage point from its World Economic Outlook forecast in April.
    The I.M.F. said the reductions were in part a response to the automatic spending cuts that resulted from the failure of the White House and Congress to agree on a fiscal deal, which it said had offset healthy private demand.

    In other words, sequestration is an unforced error that is needlessly hurting our economy and causing higher than necessary unemployment.

    There isn’t much the president can do about it in terms of substance, but he can try to make sure that the Republicans are not rewarded politically for their economic malfeasance.

    There are no signs, however, that Speaker Boehner has the wherewithal to avoid destroying our credit rating by refusing to pay for the bills Congress has racked up. The president has to try, but I see no cause for hope.

  17. rikyrah says:

    cooning graphic please


    ‘Put Jesus Above Our Blackness’: Guess Which Pastor Has a Blunt Message Following the Trayvon Martin Outcry

    Pastor Ken Hutcherson’s story both inspires and captivates audiences. The faith leader, who recently participated in Glenn Beck’s “Man in the Moon,” has battled terminal cancer for years — and has had a fascinating journey when it comes to his views on race relations in America. Considering this latter element of his story, Hutcherson is speaking out in the wake of the George Zimmerman verdict.

    After opening a recent op-ed with a Martin Luther King Jr. quote about speaking the truth, he warned readers that what he was about to say wouldn’t be popular, polite or safe — but that it is, in his view, “right.” From there, he dove right in to the tragic Trayvon Martin saga.

    “When you have a young black boy who is killed by what some are calling a white Hispanic, and Jackson and Sharpton (of the PPA or the Poverty Pimps of America), and a liberal media involved, you have the equivalent of nitroglycerin,” Hutcherson wrote. “Oh by the way, I never heard of ‘white Hispanic’ before but I guess this fits the bill in this case. This incident only needed someone to light the fuse. Why is this true because black people are involved?”

    The preacher went on to state his agreement with some of Dr. James Manning’s sentiments surrounding George Zimmerman and the Martin case. As you may recall, Manning delivered a controversial message proclaiming that African Americans are viewing the world — and the Martin case — through their “black eyes” and that they need to start looking, instead, through the “blood of Jesus.”

  18. rikyrah says:

    Actor Dennis Farina dies at 69

    Dennis Farina, star of ‘Law & Order,’ dead at 69

    July 22, 2013, 1:15 PM EST

    NEW YORK (AP) — Dennis Farina, a onetime Chicago cop who as a popular actor played a cop on “Law & Order,” has died.

    Farina died Monday morning in a Scottsdale, Ariz., hospital after suffering a blood clot in his lung, according to his publicist, Lori De Waal. He was 69.

    For three decades, Farina was a character actor who displayed remarkable dexterity, charm and, when called for, toughness, making effective use of his craggy face, steel-gray hair, ivory smile and ample mustache.

    Farina appeared in films including “Get Shorty,” “Saving Private Ryan,” “Midnight Run” and “Out Of Sight.”

    Among his many TV portrayals was Detective Joe Fontana on “Law & Order” during the 2004-06 seasons. He starred in the 1980s cult favorite “Crime Story” and was a regular in the 2011-12 HBO drama “Luck.” He recently completed shooting a comedy, “Lucky Stiff.”

    I loved Crime Story…I was one of the 100 people in America who watched it at the time.

  19. rikyrah says:

    @GN192 @Anti_Intellect @Sesan72 @CornelWest Cornel and Tavis “love” black folk the way a woman beater loves his wife.

  20. rikyrah says:

    Boy Scouts Of America Won’t Allow Obese Scouts To Participate In Popular Summer Program

    Over 30,000 Boy Scouts are attending the National Scouts Jamboree in West Virginia between July 15-24 — but those with a Body Mass Index (BMI) over 40 aren’t among them.[….] Scouts who fall between a BMI of 32 and 39.9 — the range meeting the technical definition of obesity — are able to participate, but must present BSA with a detailed health history, additional medical data, and a recommendation for physical activity signed by a doctor.

    But critics say that BMI — which is a simple ratio of height to weight
    that doesn’t distinguish muscle from fat — isn’t always an accurate
    measure of a person’s health, and that children’s organizations should do all they can to encourage exercise to fight obesity.[….]

  21. Ametia says:

    Can we get this photo on the sidebar, please? THANKS!


  22. rikyrah says:

    For Blacks ‘ Empathy trumps the economy’?


    for real?

    How about Black folks know:

    last time there was full Black employment – it was slavery

    Black unemployment wasn’t created January 20, 2009

    Black folks know that Blacks are more disproportionately in the Public Sector – and they know who has cut those jobs – THE GOP

    Black folks also know that it’s the GOP that has stopped the American Jobs Act


    For blacks, empathy trumps the economy

    By Niall Stanage – 07/22/13 05:00 AM ET

    To African-Americans, President Obama just gets it. [WATCH VIDEO]

    Obama’s notably personal comments on Friday about the verdict in the trial of George Zimmerman, and on race in America, struck a chord. They vividly underlined the fact that, for the first time, the person in the Oval Office has lived an African-American experience.

    To black supporters, that is more important than Obama’s inability to narrow racial inequalities during his four and a half years in office, something that has frustrated members of the Congressional Black Caucus.

    Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), a former head of the black caucus, was in the middle of a phone interview with The Hill when Obama appeared at the White House briefing room podium to address the raw feelings exposed by the “not guilty” verdict on the man who had fatally shot Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager.

    Pausing to listen to an office television for several minutes, Rangel said: “I don’t see how a person not-of-color could possibly do the job that he’s doing.”

    Read more:
    Follow us: @thehill on Twitter | TheHill on Facebook

    • Ametia says:

      Empathy Trumps the economy? That’s code for the NEGROES are soooo EMOTIONAL!

      This nonsense is another way of avoiding the INSTITUTIONALIZED RACISM that exists in AMERICA & GOP OBSTRUCTIONISM.

  23. rikyrah says:

    The news that @univision is the #1 net for July sweeps is a real GOP problem on immigration — the coverage has been brutal for the GOP

  24. rikyrah says:

    What is the SHOP Marketplace?

    The Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) is a new program that simplifies the process of buying health insurance for your small business. The SHOP Marketplace gives you choice and control over health costs. You control the coverage you offer and how much you pay toward employee premiums.

    You can compare health plans online on an apples-to-apples basis,
    which helps you make a decision that’s right for your business. You may qualify for a small business health care tax credit worth up to 50% of your premium costs. You can still deduct from your taxes the rest of your premium costs not covered by the tax credit. Beginning in 2014 it is available only for plans purchased through SHOP.[….]

  25. rikyrah says:

    What sabotage governing looks like
    By Steve Benen

    Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:24 AM EDT.

    I was talking to a friend over the weekend about current events, and when the subject turned to health care, I mentioned Republican efforts to “sabotage” the Affordable Care Act. He asked a fair question: “In real-world terms, what does that mean, exactly?”

    It occurred to me others might be wondering the same thing. While Greg Sargent and I talk about “sabotage governing” quite a bit, it’s easy to lose sight sometimes of just how sweeping the GOP efforts to impair the federal health care law really are. We’ve never seen anything like this — it is literally without precedent — and for millions of Americans, very little matters more.

    So let’s get specific. When we talk about efforts to “sabotage” Obamacare, what are we referring to? Several — by my count, seven — specific efforts.

    First, congressional Republicans are actively trying to undermine the federal health care system by refusing to help their own constituents navigate the system.

    People regularly call their representatives for help with Medicare, Social Security and other government programs. Yet, Republicans believe healthcare reform spells doom for the federal budget, private businesses and the U.S. healthcare system. They’re also enormously frustrated that the law has persevered through two elections and a Supreme Court challenge and believe a botched implementation could help build momentum for the repeal movement.

    Some Republicans indicated to The Hill they will not assist constituents in navigating the law and obtaining benefits. Others said they would tell people to call the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

    Constituent services are the most basic of tasks for congressional offices, but we now have some — not all, but some — congressional Republicans who simply don’t want to help constituents who need a hand with information about federal health care benefits.

    Second, there’s systemic lying to the public.

  26. rikyrah says:

    Lourdes Meluza ‏@lourdesmeluza39m
    For the 1st time in history Univision is the #1 network during July sweeps with both Adults 18-49 AND 18-34, beating ABC NBC CBS & FOX

  27. rikyrah says:

    Zimmerman verdict: 86 percent of African Americans disapprove
    By Jon Cohen, Published: July 22 at 12:00 pm

    African Americans have a mostly shared and sharply negative reaction to the shooting of Trayvon Martin and the not-guilty verdict in the resulting trial, while whites are far more divided, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

    At least eight in 10 African Americans say the shooting of the Florida teenager was unjustified, recoil at the verdict in the trial and want the shooter, George Zimmerman, tried in federal court for violating Martin’s civil rights.

    On the Martin shooting in particular, the racial gaps are extremely wide.

    Among African Americans, 87 percent say the shooting was unjustified; among whites, just 33 percent say so. A slim majority of whites (51 percent) approve of the not-guilty verdict in the Zimmerman trial, while African Americans overwhelmingly and strongly disapprove. Some 86 percent of blacks disagree with the verdict — almost all of them disapproving “strongly.”

  28. rikyrah says:

    Allen West: ‘No one ever followed me in a mall’

    @theGrio @goldietaylor You are so god dam ugly,who would wanna follow you!

  29. rikyrah says:

    So inspirational…click thru to watch the video


    Born Without Arms, NASCAR Auto Engineer Always Does What People Say He Can’t

    NASCAR’s top racing company, Hendrick Motorsports, gave engineer Richie Parker a shot with a 10-week internship, mostly because of his can-do attitude. Born without arms, Parker was so good at his job that he was hired and has been an integral part of the NASCAR team for more than eight years.(WATCH the featured video from ESPN or READ the story in Autoweek)

  30. rikyrah says:

    Virginia Republican Suffers Abortion Backlash From Donors

    Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli has raised less than half as much cash as Democratic opponent Terry McAuliffe, with a prominent list of Republican donors sitting out this year’s most competitive U.S. political contest — and in some cases switching sides. [….] “Mr. Cuccinelli’s very hard stance on some of the social issues is a concern for me,” said Virginia Beach developer Bruce L. Thompson, chief executive officer of Gold Key/PHR Hotels and Resorts, a financial backer of current Republican Governor Bob McDonnell who in May gave McAuliffe $25,000.

    “I believe personally in a woman’s right to choose, but I
    also think from an economic development standpoint, we’re trying
    to attract businesses from other areas of the country, and we’re
    telling women that we’re going to regulate the way that they run
    their life? I just don’t think we can be exclusionary when it
    comes to women” and gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered
    individuals, Thompson said.[….]

  31. rikyrah says:

    @davidsirota : I wonder if all those claiming the Zimmerman/Obama admin comparisons are racist will now call @CornelWest a racist

  32. Yahtc says:

    Part 1 of John Lewis’s new autobiography and history in the art comic drawing style:

  33. rikyrah says:

    “Respect the verdict”

    Conservatives want you to “move on” from #ZimmermanTrial verdict as they continue efforts to repeal #ObamaCare upheld by SCOTUS. #GOP #p2

  34. rikyrah says:

    The End Racial Profiling Act has 15 co-sponsors in the Senate.… …:

  35. rikyrah says:

    @Shugah @itgurl_29 “but drones!”=emo equivalent of the far right citing “black on black crime.” Attempts to change the subject from Trayvon.

  36. rikyrah says:

    Tea Party Senator Concedes Defeat: We Won’t Be Able To Fully Repeal Obamacare

    By Igor Volsky on Jul 22, 2013 at 9:00 am

    As Republicans prepare to hold more votes to undermine the Affordable Care Act, a top Tea Party senator on Monday admitted that the GOP will face political backlash if it tries to undo the popular elements of reform that have already gone into effect.

    Appearing on Fox and Friends, Lee stressed that with no legislative replacement for the law, Republicans are only trying to stop “further enforcement and implementation of Obamacare.” “So we’re not talking about those things [that have gone int effect], we’re talking about those that haven’t kicked in yet,” he stressed, adding that a small group of conservative lawmakers have committed to voting against any additional funding for the law. “We’re talking about the individual mandate, the exchanges, the exchange subsidies and so forth.” Watch it:

    Almost a million young people have become insured by enrolling in their parents’ plans and millions have received rebates from insurers that are now required to spend a greater percentage of enrollee premiums on health care services. Seniors have benefited from the closing of the Medicare prescription drug doughnut hole and others still are taking advantage of preventive health benefits at no additional cost.

    Lee is now admitting (he had urged complete repeal as recently as March) that those benefits are here to stay and that the GOP’s only chance of undoing the measure is to go after the parts of the law that are still outstanding. But with the exchanges set to open up for enrollment on October 1 and coverage to follow in January, that window of opportunity, as the Republicans see it, is closing fast. As one White House official told ThinkProgress during a meeting with progressive reporters earlier this month, as individuals visit the online portals — either because they are uninsured and want to purchase coverage or are merely curious about “Obamacare” — they will likely tune out the political noise and become engaged in a deeply personal consumer experience. By then, the chances of repeal or delay may dwindle even further.

  37. rikyrah says:

    Rand Paul’s ‘Southern Avenger’ departs Capitol Hill

    By Steve Benen
    Mon Jul 22, 2013 10:38 AM EDT

    Even by the standards of Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), it was an unfortunate revelation. Two weeks ago, we learned that the senator had hired Jack Hunter — also known as the “Southern Avenger” — to work in his Senate office, despite Hunter’s past as a neo-Confederate, pro-secessionist activist. Indeed, the staffer used to make public appearances in a Confederate flag wrestling mask and has boasted that he “raise[s] a personal toast every May 10 to celebrate John Wilkes Booth’s birthday.”

    After Paul acknowledged having mixed feelings about Abraham Lincoln, the senator defended Hunter, saying he was just “a youth” when he wrote ridiculous things. (Hunter was 35 when he was still defending the Confederacy in print columns.)

    As of now, the activist’s Capitol Hill career has apparently come to an end — Hunter has resigned from Paul’s Senate office (thanks to my colleague Tricia McKinney for the tip).

  38. Ametia says:

    Keith Urban is a cutie patootie! Love him as a judge on Idol.

  39. Yahtc says:

    The Root article “Is the GOP Trying to Patch the Voting Rights Act?”

    >When Republican members of the House held their first hearing on Thursday to determine what steps to take since the Supreme Court has struck down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act, they didn’t seem interested in doing much of anything, Adam Serwer writes at MSNBC It doesn’t bode well, he writes, since they control the House.

  40. SG2 likes cowboys with big hats, big buckles, big trucks and tight jeans! ;)

    Hey, 3CP!

    I didn’t play my real boyfriend’s music cuz Rikyrah don’t like him. I see her!

  41. rikyrah says:

    Top 12 Conservative Freakouts After Obama’s Race Speech

    By Scott Keyes on Jul 19, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    Conservatives didn’t even wait for President Obama to finish his deeply personal remarks on Trayvon Martin’s killing and the role of race in America to go ballistic, accusing the president of being a “Racist in Chief” who is “trying to tear our country apart.”

    On Twitter, Fox News, and elsewhere, many conservatives took a predictably depressing response, arguing that Obama is the true racist for having the courage to speak about race in our country.

    Here is a roundup of the top conservatives attacking the president’s speech:

    Fox News’ Todd Starnes:

    • Yahtc says:

      Against the rallies and the movement that will not stop, these freakout remarks are the squeaks of mice.

  42. rikyrah says:

    Anarchists of the House

    The Republican Congress is testing a new frontier of radicalism—governmental sabotage.

    Add Comment
    . By Jonathan Chait
    Published Jul 21, 2013

    A few months ago, Eric Cantor was ready to bring his latest brainchild, the “Helping Sick Americans Now” bill, to the House floor. The move was pure Cantor—a smarmy, ultrapartisan ploy. The bill proposed to eliminate funds the Obama administration needs to set up and run the health-care exchanges that are the central mechanism in the health-care law, but then Cantor’s bill would use those funds to help a handful of sick people get health insurance. There was no chance this, or anything like it, would be signed into law, as Obama obviously would not agree to tear down a program to insure millions of Americans in return for insuring a tiny fraction of that number. It was a message vote whose purpose was “embarrassing Obamacare,” as one conservative activist gloated, by forcing Obama to deny immediate aide for the uninsured. As a soulless exercise in disingenuous spin, it was well conceived.

    It failed, however, because a crucial faction of ultraconservative House Republicans threatened to vote against it. The trouble was that Cantor’s bill purported to “fix” Obamacare rather than eliminate it. “Why the hell do we want to fix it?” complained conservative pundit Erick Erickson. “We should want to repeal it.” Since they have already voted 37 times to repeal Obama­care, one might think that the House Republicans’ appraisal of the law’s general merits had been made sufficiently clear. But just the pretense of working to improve the law, even while actually crippling it, offended the right. In the face of unmoved conservative opposition, Cantor had to pull his pet bill from the floor. It wound up embarrassing the House Republicans, not Obama­care.

    Spectacles like this have turned into a regular feature of life in the Republican House. The party leadership draws up a bill that’s far too right-wing to ever become law, but it fails in the House because it isn’t right-wing enough. Sometimes, as with the attempts to repeal Obamacare, the failures don’t matter much, but in other instances the inability to pass legislation poses horrifying dangers. The chaos and dysfunction have set in so deeply that Washington now lurches from crisis to crisis, and once-dull, keep-the-lights-on rituals of government procedure are transformed into white-knuckle dramas that threaten national or even global catastrophe.

    The Republican Party has spent 30 years careering ever more deeply into ideological extremism, but one of the novel developments of the Obama years is its embrace of procedural extremism. The Republican fringe has evolved from being politically shrewd proponents of radical policy changes to a gang of saboteurs who would rather stop government from functioning at all. In this sense, their historical precedents are not so much the Gingrich revolutionaries, or even their tea-party selves of a few years ago; the movement is more like the radical left of the sixties, had it occupied a position of power in Congress. And so the terms we traditionally use to scold bad Congresses—partisanship, obstruction, gridlock—don’t come close to describing this situation. The hard right’s extremism has bent back upon itself, leaving an inscrutable void of paranoia and formless rage and twisting the Republican Party into a band of anarchists.

    And the worst is not behind us.

    Republicans in 2009 made an intellectual breakthrough of sorts when they grasped that the conventional folk wisdom of Washington, which held that they risked public scorn if they refused to cooperate with a popular new president, had it backward. Americans don’t pay much attention to legislative details, Republicans realized. If some of them supported Obama’s proposals, they would only help the proposals seem more sensible. “It was absolutely critical that everybody be together,” Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell later said, “because if the proponents of the bill were able to say it was bipartisan, it tended to convey to the public that this is okay.”

    And so the Republican strategy during Obama’s first two years was almost total gridlock. Republican leaders aggressively pressured their members to withdraw support for any major Obama initiative, even denouncing ideas they themselves had previously endorsed. This obstruction strategy was not a novel invention; it was more of a Moneyball-esque ­refinement—one of those situations in which one team realizes how to play by the rules a little bit better.

    Since the 2010 midterm elections, though, the Republican strategy has transmogrified from a particularly ruthless version of legislative opposition into one in which incidents of reckless behavior—tactics like hostage-taking, say, or economic or political sabotage—become more frequent each passing month. After they won the midterms, giddy Republicans took their victory not just as a check on Obama but as a full abrogation of his presidency. America had snapped out of the trance Obama had briefly cast over it in the haze of the financial crisis. As John Boehner announced the night he won back the House, “The president will find in our new majority the voice of the American people.”

  43. rikyrah says:

    Cries of Betrayal as Detroit Plans to Cut Pensions


    Published: July 21, 2013

    Gloria Killebrew, 73, worked for the City of Detroit for 22 years and now spends her days caring for her husband, J. D., who has had three heart attacks and multiple kidney operations, the last of which left him needing dialysis three times a week at the Henry Ford Medical Center in Dearborn, Mich.

    Now there is a new worry: Detroit wants to cut the pensions it pays retirees like Ms. Killebrew, who now receives about $1,900 a month.

    “It’s been life on a roller coaster,” Ms. Killebrew said, explaining that even if she could find a new job at her age, there would be no one to take care of her husband. “You don’t sleep well. You think about whether you’re going to be able to make it. Right now, you don’t really know.”

    Detroit’s pension shortfall accounts for about $3.5 billion of the $18 billion in debts that led the city to file for bankruptcy last week. How it handles this problem — of not enough money set aside to pay the pensions it has promised its workers — is being closely watched by other cities with fiscal troubles.

    Kevyn D. Orr, the city’s emergency manager, has called for “significant cuts” to the pensions of current retirees. His plan is being fought vigorously by unions that point out that pensions are protected by Michigan’s Constitution, which calls them a contractual obligation that “shall not be diminished or impaired.”

    Gov. Rick Snyder of Michigan, a Republican who appointed Mr. Orr, signed off on the bankruptcy strategy for the once-mighty city, which has seen its tax base and services erode sharply in recent years. But the governor said he worried about Detroit’s 21,000 municipal retirees.

    “You’ve got to have great empathy for them,” Mr. Snyder said in an interview. “These are hard-working people that are in retirement now — they’re on fixed incomes, most of them — and you look at this and say, ‘This is a very difficult situation.’ ”

    On Sunday, Mr. Snyder fended off the notion that the city needed a federal bailout. “It’s not about just putting more money in a situation,” the governor said on “Face the Nation” on CBS. “It’s about better services to citizens again. It’s about accountable government.”

    Many retirees see the plan to cut their pensions as a betrayal, saying that they kept their end of a deal but that the city is now reneging. Retired city workers, police officers and 911 operators said in interviews that the promise of reliable retirement income had helped draw them to work for the City of Detroit in the first place, even if they sometimes had to accept smaller salaries or work nights or weekends.

    “Does Detroit have a problem?” asked William Shine, 76, a retired police sergeant. “Absolutely. Did I create it? I don’t think so. They made me some promises, and I made them some promises. I kept my promises. They’re not going to keep theirs.”

  44. rikyrah says:

    The Morning Plum: John Boehner is the leader of House Republicans. Remember?

    By Greg Sargent, Published: July 22 at 9:19 amE-mail the writer

    submit to reddit

    John Boehner’s appearance on Face the Nation yesterday continues to get attention over the Speaker’s claim that House Republicans “should not be judged by how many new laws we create,” but rather by “how many laws we repeal.” And that is useful confirmation of the true nature of the “post policy” posture of today’s GOP.

    But the more interesting thing in the interview with Boehner was that host Bob Schieffer pressed Boehner directly on a fact that too many commentators continue to ignore: The House Speaker is in control of whether immigration reform happens or whether it dies. And in the exchange, Boehner actually seemed to suggest he is not in control over what gets a vote in the end.

    Asked repeatedly by Schieffer if he would allow a bill to come to a vote that provides a path to citizenship, Boehner hemmed and hawed a bit, but finally replied:

  45. rikyrah says:

    For the past 2 Plus Years Republicans Have Stolen The Rights of People of Color

    By: Rmuse
    Jul. 21st, 2013

    In the middle of the 19th century, an idea took hold in America that special virtues of the American people and their institutions were destined to expand across the continent under divine direction, and to accomplish this wonderful task, Native people were systematically swept aside to make room for white European immigrants. The unspoken “special virtues” of the American people were that they were white Christians destined to reform, re-educate, and dominate Native Americans that was not unique to America, and world history bears out that the alleged superiority of the white race resulted in a concerted effort to subjugate darker races in every country on Earth. The idea that dark-skin is tantamount to inferiority still plagues America, and it is the driving force behind efforts by conservatives to disenfranchise minorities in America regardless they are African American, Native American, Hispanic, Asian, or of Middle Eastern descent. The election of the first African American President exposed the white superiority mindset among many Americans, and it emboldened conservatives to re-assert their belief the white race is destined to dominate what they consider inferior peoples.

    President Obama’s speech and reaction to the racial implications in the Trayvon Martin killing brought up some very prescient points about how many white people view African Americans with suspicion based solely on their skin color. It is an issue that was prominent during the British Empire’s conquest over foreign lands, and led to near extermination of Tazmanian and Australian aboriginal people that Europeans emigrating to America perpetuated, and British and Germans reiterated in Africa in the early 20th century. According to “racial science,” dark-skinned people were genetically inferior to the white race, and their worth was measured by how easily they could be “Christianized” and “subdued” as a compliant workforce for white overlords. Crucial to the Aryan mindset was convincing European populations that dark-skinned people were, by virtue of genetics, prone to laziness, lawlessness, and a clear threat to the white race because they multiplied faster than whites.

    There are Republicans who openly warn the so-called “divine dominion” over America their “European” (read white) ancestors championed is at risk, and it fuels racial bigotry and hate from conservatives convinced white people are destined to dominate America. In his book, State of Emergency, Pat Buchanan wrote that “If we do not get control of our borders, by 2050 Americans of European descent will be a minority in the nation their ancestors created and built.” The idea that European descendants’ divine destiny to control America fuels racial bigotry toward all minorities in America, and it is more rampant among the population than the public is inclined to believe. Recently, at the MLB all-star game, American citizen Marc Anthony, of Puerto Rican descent, sang “God Bless America” that invoked rage and racial slurs by white Americans who were furious a “Mexican sang god bless America at the national pastime.” The white supremacy mindset plaguing America makes no special distinction between African Americans, Mexican Americans, or Asian Americans, because their problem is with non-white Americans.

  46. rikyrah says:

    Obama To Speak At OFA Event Tonight

    President Barack Obama on Monday night is schedulted to speak and answer questions at an event for “Organizing for Action,” the nonprofit group born from his campaign organization. Obama is slated to begin at 8:10 p.m. ET. The event will be held at Mandarin Oriental Hotel-Oriental Ballroom in Washington, D.C.

  47. rikyrah says:

    East NY and the Myth That Nobody is Addressing Black on Black Homicide

    By: Keith Brekhus
    Jul. 21st, 2013

    In the wake of the George Zimmerman verdict, it seems the right-wing has finally discovered the problem of black on black violence. Ben Shapiro, Rush Limbaugh and many other influential conservatives have taken to the airwaves and to social media to argue that African-American leaders ignore black on black homicides while focusing all of their attention on “rare” white on black racially-motivated murders.

    These vocal right-wing commentators argue that violence in African-American communities is being pushed under the rug, because black leaders do not care unless the perpetrator is white . However, nothing could be further from the truth. Community leaders in several inner city neighborhoods all across the country have been trying earnestly to curb the violence, and in some neighborhoods those efforts have paid off. One community that has had tremendous success in reducing black on black homicides is the predominately African-American Brooklyn neighborhood known as East New York.

    Twenty years ago, in 1993, the 75th police precinct that includes East New York recorded 126 homicides. in 2012, the same precinct tallied just eighteen homicides, over an 85 percent drop from the grisly year of 1993. So far through July 7th of this year, the entire precinct has had only six homicides, over a ninety percent decrease over the same period two decades ago during the same dates in 1993. In the area bordered by Linden Boulevard, Ashford Street, Pennsylvania Avenue and Cozine Avenue, an area once notorious for violent crime, a year has passed since the last shooting, thanks in part to community programs designed to curb violence. An organization called Man Up! has intervened to try to encourage peaceful conflict resolution in the neighborhood. The area they work in, which covers a population of about 20,000 residents has been homicide free for a period of 363 days and counting as of July 18, 2013.

    East New York has undergone a remarkable transformation since it earned its reputation in the 1980s and 1990s as New York City’s “killing fields” . The neighborhood is remembered by many as the site of the 1984 Palm Sunday Massacre, when a cocaine user stormed into his drug dealer’s apartment and murdered two adults (one pregnant) and eight children. More people were murdered in East New York in that single day in 1984 than have been killed in the first half of 2013. For over a decade and a half after the massacre, the neighborhood continued to suffer from chronically high rates of homicide which helped solidify its reputation as one of the most dangerous places to live in the country. Even as late as 2011, the 75th precinct’s 33 homicides made it one of the deadliest sections of New York City.

    However, neighborhood programs supported by city resources have turned the tide around and the number of homicides continues to drop precipitously, in this former urban war zone. Yes, crime still exists and poverty continues to be a problem in East New York, but residents are banding together to fight urban violence and to make a difference in the community, and the statistics suggest they are winning that fight.

  48. rikyrah says:


    Putting aside his behavior towards PBO, this is so utterly, completely, and devastatingly disrespectful to Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin:

    “Obama is a global George Zimmerman,” says @CornelWest. “He has little moral authority at this point.”


    oh please Black Twitter…..light this mofo up

  49. rikyrah says:

    President Obama’s Recent Race Speech Colors Purple, A Call for Truth and Reconciliation

    Friday, July 19, 2013 | Posted by adept2u at 2:57 PM

    There’s a scene from The Color Purple that immediately jumped in my mind after hearing President Obama’s most recent discussion on race. The family Suge Avery and her boyfriend are sitting around the table, and Mister insults Miss Celie just one time too often. She grabs a knife, curses him, and declares her independence.

    It Isn’t Miss Celie I’m feeling right now, although President Obama played the role, I’m feeling Ms. Sophia.

    Ms. Sophia had her face scared and her spirit broken from a completely unjust interaction with a racist criminal justice system. Remember it? The White lady wanted to pet her child, and she had the nerve to speak out against it, got attacked defended herself and was beaten down in the street.

    That’s exactly how I and a great many Black people felt in the aftermath of the Zimmerman trial’s verdict.

    President Obama spoke the kind of truth that Black America needed to hear to go forward, and for that I will forever treasure the two votes I cast for him.. Ms. Sophia was able to wake up from the slumber the abuse had placed her. She was able to be herself again.

    I’d like to add a call for action.

  50. rikyrah says:

    it’s Royal Baby Watch time!

  51. rikyrah says:

    Boehner tries to rebrand failure, defend Congress’ ineptitude
    By Steve Benen
    Mon Jul 22, 2013 8:36 AM EDT

    This Congress is generally perceived as failing miserably when it comes to governing, and a few weeks ago, we learned this perception is quantifiably true: the 113th Congress is on track to pass fewer bills than any since the clerk’s office started keeping track in the mid-1940s.

    When a reporter asked House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) late last week about the institution’s “historically unproductive” nature, the Republican balked. “That’s just total nonsense,” he snapped, before the question was even finished.

    Over the weekend, however, Boehner reversed course, deciding that his unproductive tenure isn’t something to be denied; it’s something to be celebrated.

    House Speaker John Boehner says Congress “ought to be judged on how many laws we repeal.”

    The Ohio Republican makes the comments on an interview aired Sunday on CBS “Face the Nation.” He was responding to a question about how little Congress is doing these days.

    Boehner says Congress “should not be judged by how many new laws we create.”

    Let’s appreciate exactly what Boehner is trying to do here. When he and his Republican colleagues sought power, they told the electorate that they would work to find solutions to national problems. After having been unsuccessful, the Speaker of the House has decided to rebrand failure — he wants credit for his record of futility and expects praise for the fact that he and his caucus have made no legislative progress since he took power three years ago.

  52. rikyrah says:

    Cuccinelli and ‘personal challenges’
    By Steve Benen
    Mon Jul 22, 2013 8:00 AM EDT

    In the year’s most closely watched campaign, Virginia gubernatorial hopefuls Ken Cuccinelli (R) and Terry McAuliffe (D) faced off on Saturday in their first debate, with only about three months to go before Election Day. Cuccinelli had been prepped by the Republican Party’s highest-profile debate coach, Brett O’Donnell, who’s also the former director at Liberty University, founded by radical televangelist Jerry Falwell.

    I’m not sure it helped.

    McAuliffe repeatedly attacked Cuccinelli throughout the Virginia Bar Association debate in Hot Springs, VA for his record of demonizing science, women’s health, and LGBT people. Twice, McAuliffe noted that Cuccinelli had called LGBT Virginians “soulless” and “self-destructive” and that his attempts to rescind non-discrimination protections have hurt Virginia’s business climate.

    Cuccinelli consistently ignored the attacks until moderator Judy Woodruff asked him directly about his previous comments. Cuccinelli responded briefly, saying, “My personal beliefs about the personal challenges of homosexuality haven’t changed.”

    Cuccinelli regularly tries to position himself as a mainstream candidate, urging voters to overlook his record as a fierce culture warrior, but the fact remains that social conservatism continues to dominate the state Attorney General’s worldview. He simply can’t turn it off, even when he wants to.

  53. Ametia says:

    After Trayvon, leading with love
    By E.J. Dionne Jr.,
    Published: July 21

    “In the jewelry store, they lock the case when I walk in,” the young African American man wrote. “In the shoe store, they help the white man who walks in after me. In the shopping mall they follow me. . . . Black male: Guilty until proven innocent.”

    “I have lost control of my emotions,” he declared. “Rage, Frustration, Anguish, Despondency, Fatigue, Bitterness, Animosity, Exasperation, Sadness. Emotions once suppressed, emotions once channeled, now are let loose. Why?”

    The words came not in response to the George Zimmerman verdict in the Trayvon Martin killing but rather to the acquittal of the police officers in the Rodney King case. The author of the May 6, 1992, column in the Stanford University student newspaper: Cory Booker, now the nationally celebrated mayor of Newark and the front-runner to be the next senator from New Jersey.

    Booker pointed me toward his angry essay while on a visit to Washington last week. We spoke over a late breakfast the day before President Obama went to the White House briefing room to issue his powerful reminder to Americans that “Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago.”

  54. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone. Happy MUN-dane!:-))))

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