Friday Open Thread | Josh Turner | Country Music Week

Josh TurnerJoshua Otis “Josh” Turner (born November 20, 1977) is an American bass country music singer and actor who signed to MCA Nashville Records in 2003. His latest single is “Time Is Love” off his new album, ‘Punching Bag’. In 2003, Long Black Train, his title track, was his breakthrough single release. 2005’s Your Man accounted for his first two number one hits: “Your Man” and “Would You Go with Me,” while 2007’s Everything Is Fine included a No. 2 in “Firecracker.” Haywire, released in 2010, produced his biggest hit, the No. 1 “Why Don’t We Just Dance” and another number one in “All Over Me“. It was followed by Punching Bag (2012), whose lead-off single “Time Is Love” was the biggest hit of 2012 according to Billboard Year-End.

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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33 Responses to Friday Open Thread | Josh Turner | Country Music Week

  1. rikyrah says:

    The Obama Way: The Long Game and Common Sense/Pragmatism

    Its been a busy week so I didn’t have time to listen to President Obama’s speech on the economy at Knox College until this morning. But now that I have, I want to say that if you have any curiosity left about who this man is that we elected as our President back in 2008, you’ll find your answers there. I’d like to summarize the things that stood out to me.

    The Long Game

    I’ve always said that President Obama plays the long game. One way we see that is that he’s still prioritizing the same things he did eight years ago (the last time he gave a speech at Knox College). There are people on both the right and left who critiqued this speech because he didn’t offer anything “new.” If you haven’t already, you should read Ed Kilgore’s response to that criticism.

    I first noticed this pattern of consistency a few weeks after the 2008 election when I took some time to read and write about Obama’s previous gig as president (of the Harvard Law Review). He has always taken the time to review the big picture and set his sights on a North Star. Here’s what he said about that back in 2010.

    So, my job is to make sure that we have a North Star out there, what is helping people live out their lives; what is giving them more opportunity; what is growing the economy; what is making us more competitive. At any given juncture there are going to be times that my preferred option, what I am absolutely, positively sure is right, I can’t get done. And so then, my question is, does it make sense for me to tack a little bit this way or that way because I am keeping my eye on the long-term and the long fight. Not my day-to-day news cycle, but where am I going over the long-term.

    http://immasmartypants.blogspot.com/2013/07/the-obama-way-long-game-and-common.html

  2. rikyrah says:

    26 July 2013

    ‘I Guess You Really Ain’t Sh*t, Questlove’
    White feminist Kim Foster challenges the musician’s tale of racial profiling and personal pain. Our feminist Jamilah Lemieux claps back

    Sigh. I am aware that there are certain White people who are hypersensitive about how their behavior (which is, at times, actual racism) may be perceived as racism by Black people, even when said Whites don’t see their own racism for themselves. And if we briefly remove the racial element (aka “everything that makes this story a story”) and focus solely on gender, I can attest to having walked a delicate line between protecting myself and profiling men as potential rapists or robbers.

    But unlike Foster, I am also aware that there is a time and place to discuss the very real concerns about feminine safety in the presence of strangers and that time, nor place, is hooked to the murder of a Black teen who was killed because someone looked at him and made assumptions. That conversation should not be hooked to the words of someone who looks like every scary Black n*gger fear you can conjure in your heart bearing his soul and saying ‘This is what it feels like to be a problem, even when I know that I’m not a problem at all.’

    Kim Foster’s piece is emblematic of the reason that many Black people roll their eyes at me when I say that I’m a feminist. Because to them, “feminist” means “a White woman who sees White women’s problems as the most important problems of all the problems in the world and she’ll use your plight and your movement as a stepping stone to put a spotlight on said problems.” Or something to that affect. This essay is, once again, a reminder how different the intersectional nature of Black feminism—the double-conciousness and need to understand the specific pain of our men—is from the “I, me, my, mine” that many cis-gendred White feminists speak to when talking gender and race.

    Foster’s piece says quite plainly, “No, Questlove, you really ain’t shit.” And I’m appalled. More:

    “See, women almost always look out for others. We are taught as girls that we are inherently caretakers, mothers to everyone. We are taught to placate, be nice, share. We don’t want people mad at us.”

    Kim, you couldn’t even look out for Dead Trayvon and let us reflect upon how racial profiling, which led to his death, hurts Black men who are still living. Let’s talk more about your problems instead, amirite?

    http://www.ebony.com/news-views/i-guess-you-really-aint-sht-questlove-303/2#ixzz2aBkDqPaK

  3. rikyrah says:

    Thursday Ratings: MSNBC’s Sharpton #1 In Demo, Second In Total Viewers
    by Mediaite Staff | 6:46 pm, July 26th, 2013

    Thursday evening during the 6pm hour, MSNBC’s PoliticsNation with Al Sharpton was #1 in the 25-54 demo with with 219K viewers. Fox’s Bret Baier was #2 in the demo with 197K.

    In total viewers, Baier’s 1.754M more than doubled Sharpton’s 737K. In both cases, CNN’s The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer came in third with 112K in the demo and 465K total viewers.

    http://www.mediaite.com/tv/thursday-ratings-msnbcs-sharpton-1-in-demo-second-in-total-viewers/

    Chris Hayes’ show comes on twice, even though he’s struggling in the ratings.

  4. rikyrah says:

    The Red-Blue Health Care Gap After Obamacare

    From the beginning, the defining irony of the never-ending debate over Obamacare has been this: health care is worst in those states where Republicans poll best. That is, the map of the states with the worst health care systems largely mirrors GOP strongholds in the Electoral College. Red state residents are generally the unhealthiest and more likely than their blue state cousins to be uninsured.

    The sad corollary is that the red states rejecting the Affordable Care Act’s expansion of Medicaid are the ones that need it most.
    Now, a new analysis has a state-by-state body count of the millions of Americans Republican governors and state legislatures will leave without health insurance.[….]

    http://www.perrspectives.com/blog/archives/002793.htm

  5. rikyrah says:

    I posted a few days ago from Balloon Juice – one of the FP’ers there thought it would be good to call up GOP Congressmen and Senators to see if they were deliberately sabotaging constituent services when it comes to Obamacare implementation.

    Well, I found this in the comments today:

    p says:

    July 26, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    I just called my rep Barbara Lee, Democrat and asked as an individual do I need to purchase health insurance if I’m a. unemployed or b. it’s not offered through my work. The Washington office directed me to the district office (in Oakland), who directed me to http://www.healthcare.gov. The district office also said to call the number at the website if I had any more questions. Neither person had an attitude or seemed disapproving, but they sure as shit weren’t helpful.

    Maybe we all, if we’re represented by members of the CBC to call their offices and see how they are doing with regards to this…considering no community stands to gain more from Obamacare than ours.

    • Ametia says:

      I’m REALLY not surprised by this comment. Black folks had better wake the fuck up, if they think the CBC or any other leader is looking out for their best interest. PBO’s doing his job, and if they keep listening to these folks who some of know are not thrilled with PBO coming in and snuffing out their game, they will loose out big time.

  6. rikyrah says:

    The Morning Plum: Even Republicans are openly worried about GOP’s sabotage governing

    By Greg Sargent, Published: July 26 at 8:57

    The notion that GOP sabotage governing tactics could ultimately prove counter-productive and self defeating for the Republican Party is now being increasingly voiced by Republicans themselves.

    They don’t call it “sabotage governing,” of course. But with Republicans hurtling towards another set of crises over the debt limit and funding the government — with the Quixotic quest to defund Obamacare at the center of the headlong rush forward — they are openly nervous about the GOP’s continued embrace of its intransigent scorched earth governing posture. A couple even suggest Republicans are flirting with an outcome that could cost Republicans the House in 2014.

    Here’s GOP Rep. Tom Cole, an ally of the GOP leadership:

    “The only two things that really risk the Republican majority in 2014 would be if we shut down the government or if we defaulted on the debt.”

    Here’s Brock McCleary, a GOP pollster and former deputy executive director of the NRCC, which is in charge of winning House races for Republicans:

    “If you ask me what is the one thing that could reshuffle the deck on an otherwise stable mid-term environment in 2014, the answer is a government shutdown. Convincing voters that the other side is to blame would become a game of high-stakes politics.”

    Here’s GOP Senator Richard Burr:

    “Defunding the Affordable Care Act is not achievable by shutting down the federal government. At some point, you’re going to open the federal government back up, and Barack Obama is going to be president.”

    This comes after GOP Senator Roy Blunt declared that the GOP drive to hold the debt limit hostage over Obamacare was a bad idea, and after Senator John McCain said the American people would not stand for another round of GOP debt limit and Obamacare “shenanigans.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2013/07/26/the-morning-plum-even-republicans-are-openly-worried-about-gops-sabotage-governing/

  7. rikyrah says:

    The kind of logic only Rubio could love

    By Steve Benen

    Fri Jul 26, 2013 2:00 PM EDT.

    Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) is one of the ringleaders of a fairly radical move: he and his allies are demanding that Democrats take away health care benefits from millions of families by defunding the Affordable Care Act. If Dems balk, Rubio wants to shut down the federal government until the far-right gets its way.

    Yesterday, the Florida Republican offered his own unique spin on his threats.

    The president and his allies — and even some Republicans — will accuse us of threatening to shut down the government. In fact, it is President Obama who insists on shutting down the government unless it funds his failed ObamaCare experiment.

    From time to time, the Beltway establishment and Republican Party leaders argue, sincerely and with a straight face, that Marco Rubio is a serious person. So serious, in fact, that when they talk about Rubio running for president sometime soon, they consider it inappropriate for folks like me to ask, “President of what?”

    But take another look at that quote and tell me why in the world anyone should perceive the right-wing senator as a credible voice on public policy. Rubio seriously believes President Obama “insists on shutting down the government” if the White House expects to fund existing federal health care law. Rubio is threatening to shut down the government unless he gets his way, but he doesn’t want to blamed if he feels compelled to follow through on this own threats.

    If a child made this argument, it’d be laughable. When an ambitious U.S. senator makes this argument, it’s just sad.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/07/26/19700479-the-kind-of-logic-only-rubio-could-love?lite

  8. rikyrah says:

    Fiscal Armageddon could remake Hill in 2014 elections
    By ALEX ISENSTADT | 7/26/13 5:00 AM EDT

    Not again.

    That’s the message several national GOP strategists and some lawmakers have for Republicans hell bent on waging another fiscal fight this fall.

    The 2014 midterm season is about to heat up – and President Barack Obama and his Democratic allies are eager to tag the GOP as the root cause of Washington dysfunction. The Republicans say they can ill afford another game of high-stakes brinksmanship in the looming negotiations over raising the debt ceiling and funding the government.

    “The only way Republicans will lose the House is to shut down the government or default on the debt,” said Oklahoma Rep. Tom Cole, a former National Republican Congressional Committee chairman. “Shutting down the government is not in the best interests of the American people and it makes you look politically irresponsible.”

    “I’m not inclined to jeopardize the crown jewel,” Cole added, “and the House of Representatives is the crown jewel in this election cycle.”

    Capitol Hill has been immersed in debate over immigration and the farm bill, but that will change once Congress returns from its August recess. There’s an Oct. 1 due date for passing a continuing resolution to keep the government funded, and the nation is expected to hit its borrowing limit sometime between October and the end of the year.

    Congressional Republicans are just beginning to put together a debt ceiling and government funding strategy, and there’s growing division within the party over what path to take.

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/07/debt-ceiling-continuing-resolution-fiscal-armageddon-congress-94785.html#ixzz2aB34gI6U

  9. rikyrah says:

    What ‘conservatives gone wild’ looks like in North Carolina

    By Steve Benen
    Fri Jul 26, 2013 8:00 AM EDT

    Guest host Ezra Klein noted on the show last night that some key legislative fights were “down to the wire” in North Carolina, as the state legislative session neared its adjournment. After the show aired, there were some important developments, so let’s take a moment to recap — and explain why this matters in the larger context.

    First up are the most sweeping voter-suppression efforts seen anywhere in the United States in generations, which, much to the disappointment of voting-rights advocates, garnered the support of literally every member of the Republican majority in both chambers, who voted to keep more North Carolinians from being able to participate in their own democracy.

    As lawmakers rushed to adjourn for the summer, lawmakers gave final approval Thursday to drastic changes in how voting will be conducted in future elections in North Carolina.

    After more than two-and-a-half hours of debate, the House voted 73-41 on party lines late Thursday to agree with dozens of changes made by Senate Republicans to a bill that originally simply required voters to show photo identification at the polls. It was approved by the Senate earlier Thursday, 33-14, also on party lines.

    As we’ve discussed, the proposal is remarkable in its scope, including a needlessly discriminatory voter-ID provision, new limits on early voting, blocks on voter-registration drive, restrictions on extended voting times to ease long lines, an end to same-day registration, new efforts to discourage youth voting, and expanded opportunities for “vigilante poll-watchers to challenge eligible voters.”

    How many North Carolina Republican lawmakers supported these suppression tactics for no apparent reason? Each and every one of them.

    State Rep. Mickey Michaux (D-N.C.), who fought for voting rights in the 1960s, told the GOP majority, “I want you to understand what this bill means to people. We have fought for, died for and struggled for our right to vote. You can take these 57 pages of abomination and confine them to the streets of hell for all eternity.”

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/07/26/19696172-what-conservatives-gone-wild-looks-like-in-north-carolina?lite

  10. Ametia says:

    Trayvon Martin’s mother in Philadelphia: ‘Use my broken heart’

    Sybrina-9186306_448x252

    PHILADELPHIA – July 26, 2013 (WPVI) — The mother of slain teenager Trayvon Martin is telling a National Urban League gathering in Philadelphia to use her story, tragedy and broken heart to stop the same thing from happening to anybody else’s child.

  11. rikyrah says:

    Reality Check

    Jul 24 2013 @ 12:40pm

    Nate Cohn believes that “the wave of new polls showing a decline in President Barack Obama’s approval rating are potentially important:”

    It’s not that these polls show Republicans poised to take back the White House by 2016, or something. That’s way too far away. Instead, the polls give us an idea of which voters Obama White Working Classare peeling away from Obama and, therefore, might be most receptive to switching sides if the GOP could craft a message for them. Trying to win over the voters sticking with Obama would presumably be more difficult.

    Today’s Pew Research poll paints a clear picture of the Obama defectors. They’re almost exclusively white voters without a college degree. Obama’s standing among minorities, college educated whites, and affluent whites has actually improved since the final Pew Research poll before last November’s presidential election. Instead, Obama’s support among white working-class voters has taken a huge hit, opening an unprecedented 41 point education gap among white voters. Incredibly, the poll now even shows Obama with a stronger approval rating among affluent whites than downscale whites—something that’s never happened for a Democrat in a presidential election.

    http://dish.andrewsullivan.com/page/8/

  12. Ametia says:

    Inside Groundswell: Read the Memos of the New Right-Wing Strategy Group Planning a “30 Front War”

    Ginni Thomas, Allen West, and a crew of conservative activists and journalists have formed a hush-hush coalition to battle progressives—and Karl Rove.
    —By David Corn | Thu Jul. 25, 2013 9:53 AM PDT

    Believing they are losing the messaging war with progressives, a group of prominent conservatives in Washington—including the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and journalists from Breitbart News and the Washington Examiner—has been meeting privately since early this year to concoct talking points, coordinate messaging, and hatch plans for “a 30 front war seeking to fundamentally transform the nation,” according to documents obtained by Mother Jones.

    Dubbed Groundswell, this coalition convenes weekly in the offices of Judicial Watch, the conservative legal watchdog group. During these hush-hush sessions and through a Google group, the members of Groundswell—including aides to congressional Republicans—cook up battle plans for their ongoing fights against the Obama administration, congressional Democrats, progressive outfits, and the Republican establishment and “clueless” GOP congressional leaders. They devise strategies for killing immigration reform, hyping the Benghazi controversy, and countering the impression that the GOP exploits racism. And the Groundswell gang is mounting a behind-the-scenes organized effort to eradicate the outsize influence of GOP über-strategist/pundit Karl Rove within Republican and conservative ranks. (For more on Groundswell’s “two front war” against Rove—a major clash on the right—click here.)

    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/07/groundswell-rightwing-group-ginni-thomas

  13. Ametia says:

    OH DEER!

    OH DEAR-Barack+Obama+President+Obama+Departs+White+8U2sAAriU_vl

    A bronze cast statue of a deer stands in the bushes as U.S. President Barack Obama departs the White House for Camp David July 26, 2013 in Washington, DC. Obama invited all the members of his cabinet and their families to spend the day at the presidential enclave, 62 miles away from the capital

  14. rikyrah says:

    Vandals And Saboteurs, Ctd

    Jul 25 2013 @ 3:25pm

    Norm Ornstein, about as moderate a figure as AEI could tolerate, tells the truth about the unprecedented nihilism behind the GOP’s current campaign to nullify a presidency and sabotage a duly-enacted law. His comparison with Medicare D under Bush is brilliant. So are these two paragraphs

    When a law is enacted, representatives who opposed it have some choices (which are not mutually exclusive). They can try to repeal it, which is perfectly acceptable—unless it becomes an effort at grandstanding so overdone that it detracts from other basic responsibilities of governing. They can try to amend it to make it 173293592-SD-600x400work better—not just perfectly acceptable but desirable, if the goal is to improve a cumbersome law to work better for the betterment of the society and its people. They can strive to make sure that the law does the most for Americans it is intended to serve, including their own constituents, while doing the least damage to the society and the economy. Or they can step aside and leave the burden of implementation to those who supported the law and got it enacted in the first place.

    But to do everything possible to undercut and destroy its implementation—which in this case means finding ways to deny coverage to many who lack any health insurance; to keep millions who might be able to get better and cheaper coverage in the dark about their new options; to create disruption for the health providers who are trying to implement the law, including insurers, hospitals, and physicians; to threaten the even greater disruption via a government shutdown or breach of the debt limit in order to blackmail the president into abandoning the law; and to hope to benefit politically from all the resulting turmoil—is simply unacceptable, even contemptible. One might expect this kind of behavior from a few grenade-throwing firebrands. That the effort is spearheaded by the Republican leaders of the House and Senate—even if Speaker John Boehner is motivated by fear of his caucus, and McConnell and Cornyn by fear of Kentucky and Texas Republican activists—takes one’s breath away.

    http://dish.andrewsullivan.com/2013/07/25/vandals-and-saboteurs-ctd-2/

  15. rikyrah says:

    TPM Editor’s Blog

    Undeniable Sabotage

    In my experience, Obamacare opponents are equally adamant about two things: that the law should and will fail; and that nobody should ever say anything mean about them.

    They bristle visibly when you note — as Norm Ornstein just did — that the implementation hurdles they’ve erected amount to “sabotage.”

    If Obamacare were workable, they say, it would be impossible to undermine: The exchanges wouldn’t be vulnerable to the exigencies of state politics, the expansion measures wouldn’t have been vulnerable to a Supreme Court ruling that set back its coverage goals, it wouldn’t require bureaucratic confirmations or additional implementation funding — and Republicans aren’t obligated to help Democrats overcome any of these challenges.

    Semantics I guess. If you’re competing for a promotion with someone in your office who can’t complete her TPS report unless you submit your Initech Quality Assurance data, and you just don’t do it, I’d say you’re sabotaging her. But that’s me.

    Anyhow, I think we’ve reached the point at which even passive saboteurs have to either admit their allies have gone too far, or drop the Eddie Haskell routine and cop to their mischief.

    “With the Obama administration poised for a huge public education campaign on healthcare reform, Republicans and their allies are mobilizing a counter-offensive including town hall meetings, protests and media promotions to dissuade uninsured Americans from obtaining health coverage,” Reuters reports. “‘We’re trying to make it socially acceptable to skip the exchange,’ said Dean Clancy, vice president for public policy at FreedomWorks, which boasts 6 million supporters.”

    Emphasis mine. It’s bad enough to just not care all that much if the U.S. has a large uninsured population. But if there’s an excuse for encouraging people who have the means to remain uninsured, I can’t fathom it.

    It almost goes without saying that this effort is being undertaken to keep younger, healthier people out of the exchanges, and send the individual insurance market into an adverse-selection “death spiral.” That would ruin the system for people who want the help Obamacare offers them. And so the campaign effectively amounts to asking people to continue putting their well-being and livelihoods at risk for the good of the cause of keeping health care for sick people unaffordable.

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/2013/07/undeniable_sabotage.php

  16. rikyrah says:

    FreedomWorks Plans Push to Persuade People Not to Get Health Insurance

    —By Kevin Drum

    | Thu Jul. 25, 2013 8:18 AM PDT

    Here’s the latest conservative brainstorm to make Obamacare fail:

    With the Obama administration poised for a huge public education campaign on healthcare reform, Republicans and their allies are mobilizing a counter-offensive including town hall meetings, protests and media promotions to dissuade uninsured Americans from obtaining health coverage.

    .

    …”We’re trying to make it socially acceptable to skip the exchange,” said Dean Clancy, vice president for public policy at FreedomWorks, which boasts 6 million supporters. The group is designing a symbolic “Obamacare card” that college students can burn during campus protests.

    “Socially acceptable” indeed. So not only are they going to be encouraging people to break the law, they’re literally going to be encouraging people not to buy health insurance. Nice. I wonder if FreedomWorks plans to help out the first person who takes them up on this and then contracts leukemia? I’m guessing probably not.

    What’s next? A campaign to get people to skip wearing seat belts? To skip using baby seats in cars? To skip vaccinations for their kids? It’s times like this that words fail those of us with a few remaining vestiges of human decency.

    http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2013/07/freedomworks-plans-push-persuade-people-not-get-health-insurance

    • Ametia says:

      Here’s what the media should be REPORTING. The complete and utter destruction of our American way of life by the GOP. But nope; it’s Anthony Weiner’s dick!

  17. rikyrah says:

    Watch out, Republicans! You’re helping Obamacare succeed.

    By Sarah Kliff, Published: July 25 at 10:46 am

    Republican opposition to Obamacare is, Norm Ornstein writes this morning, “spinning out of control.”

    “What is going on now to sabotage Obamacare is not treasonous — just sharply beneath any reasonable standards of elected officials with the fiduciary responsibility of governing,” he writes in National Journal, of Republicans’ new threat to defund Obamacare or shut down the federal government.

    “One might expect this kind of behavior from a few grenade-throwing firebrands. That the effort is spearheaded by the Republican leaders of the House and Senate…takes one’s breath away.”

    Republicans have taken no shortage of pride in their success at blocking the Affordable Care Act. Even with President Obama in office and the Supreme Court upholding the law, the party has arguably succeeded in hampering the Affordable Care Act

    Twenty-one governors have opted out of the Medicaid expansion, even more refused to set up a health insurance marketplace. Obamacare will undoubtedly expand health insurance to fewer Americans as a direct byproduct of Republican resistance.

    But there’s something else Republicans have been doing that, in a weird way, will likely help the Affordable Care Act. Namely, they have predicted the law’s complete and utter implosion when it launches on Oct. 1.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/07/25/watch-out-republicans-youre-helping-obamacare-succeed/

  18. rikyrah says:

    Republican Health Care Panic

    By PAUL KRUGMAN

    Published: July 25, 2013

    Leading Republicans appear to be nerving themselves up for another round of attempted fiscal blackmail. With the end of the fiscal year looming, they aren’t offering the kinds of compromises that might produce a deal and avoid a government shutdown; instead, they’re drafting extremist legislation — bills that would, for example, cut clean-water grants by 83 percent — that has no chance of becoming law. Furthermore, they’re threatening, once again, to block any rise in the debt ceiling, a move that would damage the U.S. economy and possibly provoke a world financial crisis.

    Yet even as Republican politicians seem ready to go on the offensive, there’s a palpable sense of anxiety, even despair, among conservative pundits and analysts. Better-informed people on the right seem, finally, to be facing up to a horrible truth: Health care reform, President Obama’s signature policy achievement, is probably going to work.

    And the good news about Obamacare is, I’d argue, what’s driving the Republican Party’s intensified extremism. Successful health reform wouldn’t just be a victory for a president conservatives loathe, it would be an object demonstration of the falseness of right-wing ideology. So Republicans are being driven into a last, desperate effort to head this thing off at the pass.

    Some background: Although you’d never know it from all the fulminations, with prominent Republicans routinely comparing Obamacare to slavery, the Affordable Care Act is based on three simple ideas. First, all Americans should have access to affordable insurance, even if they have pre-existing medical problems. Second, people should be induced or required to buy insurance even if they’re currently healthy, so that the risk pool remains reasonably favorable. Third, to prevent the insurance “mandate” from being too onerous, there should be subsidies to hold premiums down as a share of income.

    Is such a system workable? For a while, Republicans convinced themselves that it was doomed to failure, and that they could profit politically from the inevitable “train wreck.” But a system along exactly these lines has been operating in Massachusetts since 2006, where it was introduced by a Republican governor. What was his name? Mitt Somethingorother? And no trains have been wrecked so far.

    The question is whether the Massachusetts success story can be replicated in other states, especially big states like California and New York with large numbers of uninsured residents. The answer to this question depends, in the first place, on whether insurance companies are willing to offer coverage at reasonable rates. And the answer, so far, is a clear “yes.” In California, insurers came in with bids running significantly below expectations; in New York, it appears that premiums will be cut roughly in half.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/26/opinion/krugman-republican-health-care-panic.html?_r=0

  19. rikyrah says:

    The Grantland Channel presents the story of how the sport of cricket and the formation of the Compton Cricket Club has changed lives in Compton, California.

    http://youtu.be/z37NtqlQvJ4

  20. rikyrah says:

    The Answer is Simple

    by BooMan
    Thu Jul 25th, 2013 at 05:28:05 PM EST

    In answer to Jonathan Cohn, the explanation is that the Republicans got high on their own supply. This is mainly a new phenomenon. In the past, the right surely exaggerated the threat of communism, but who would honestly want to live in a communist country? It might sound good on paper, but it never worked well in practice. So, even if the right did convince itself that there were fifth column communists hiding under every desk, they had a point about the lack of freedom and opportunity in communist systems.
    What we’re seeing now is different. Whether it’s climate science denialism, anti-Keynesian lunacy, irrational hatred of ObamaCare, the obsession with fake scandals like Fast & Furious, Solyndra, and Benghazi, or the birth certificate fascination, the right is sending out a hydrant of bullshit to their base and then consuming it themselves and actually internalizing it as the truth and then going ahead and believing it.

    They opposed ObamaCare, but they would have happily voted for it if Romney had won the 2008 primary and election. They decided to oppose everything Obama wanted to do before he was even inaugurated, and that necessitated that they turn RomneyCare into the second coming of the Bolshevik Revolution. It was a grand exercise in self-delusion, and now they are full and truly deluded. They are basically clinically insane at this point, and they drove themselves crazy.

    Look no farther than the debt ceiling for proof of this. If the Republican Party were a person, it would have to be put on a ventilator because it is too brain-damaged to operate its lungs. It literally has lost the ability to make the basic decisions needed to keep this country alive.

    http://www.boomantribune.com/story/2013/7/25/17285/7015

  21. rikyrah says:

    Small Hands, Big Heart: Joshua Williams is on a Mission to End Hunger
    Jul 25, 2013
    By Patrice Gaines, BlackAmericaWeb.com

    Joshua Williams was four and a half years old when he figured out his life’s calling. He discovered it by listening to his heart.

    “My grandmother gave me $20. I saw a homeless man. I felt really bad. I gave him the $20. I felt good, but I wanted to do more,” said Joshua, now 12 and a Miami Beach resident recently honored by BET with a Shine A Light Award by for his work with his nonprofit Joshua’s Heart Foundation.

    Joshua begged his two aunts to help him start a program to help feed the hungry.

    “They didn’t do anything. I fired them,” he recalled. Then Joshua asked his mom, who was used to his persistence and his new ideas.

    “After a while, she saw I was really serious,” he said.

    He and his family (grandmother, mom and aunts) started giving cooked meals to homeless people every Saturday. His grandmother cooked and he, his mom and aunts helped package the food in containers to take to downtown Miami to feed the homeless.

    Soon, there was a line of 150 people waiting for them weekly. But a city ordinance stopped them from continuing their distribution there. Joshua was not about to give up though. They moved their operation to his grandmother’s church.

    “We would help families at the church or in the North Miami community at first,” said Claudia McLean, Joshua’s mother. “He said, ‘We can’t just give them a bag of rice and vegetables. Each time, he demanded more.”

    Joshua explains. “We started small. It is easier now because we have volunteers. There’s a bigger demand, more people need help. We try to keep up. I do my best.”

    http://blackamericaweb.com/150504/small-hands-big-heart-joshua-williams-is-on-a-mission-to-end-hunger/

  22. rikyrah says:

    Why Cornel West Fears the Obama Coalition

    Thursday, July 25, 2013 | Posted by Spandan C at 6:32 PM

    When I read Cornel West’s comments on Democracy Now early this week, to say that it made my blood boil would be a gross understatement.

    In his interview in the so-called “news” outlet, West unloaded on President Obama, calling him “the global Zimmerman” for drone attacks against terrorist targets, calling the president’s administration the “Obama plantation,” accusing the president of not being as interested in justice for Trayvon Martin’s killing as he is in prosecuting national security leakers like Ed Snowden and Bradley Manning, and “reniggerizing” black folk by … well, I’m not exactly sure what action from the president precipitated that word choice. Best I can make out, it’s the fact that there exists an Obama administration at all.

    I see he’s been up to his trick more than once this week.

    Look. I am sick and tired of having to explain the difference between prosecuting a war and hunting down and killing an innocent child after someone racially profiles him. I am sick and tired of having to explain that the primary responsibility to prosecute murder within the United States lies with the states whereas the sole responsibility to prosecute federal crimes like espionage lies with the federal government. I am sick and tired of explaining President Obama is in possession of an Oval Office, not a magic wand.

    But what I’m really sick and tired of are people like Cornel West pretending to represent the progressive movement while launching personal attacks Rush Limbaugh could only dream of on the most progressive president in history. I am really sick and tired of people like Cornel West pretending to represent African Americans and people of color, and especially, poor people of color in this country while running around the country doing “poverty tours” to sell books and a radio show. I am beyond sick and tired of Cornel West and Tavis Smiley and their partners pimping outrageous statements to the media to generate controversy, and I am sick and tired people like Amy Goodman accepting such pretense without question.

    If you want a litany of what this president has done for the economically downtrodden, read my article from this past weekend. If you want an in-depth analysis of the president’s policies and how they have benefited – one by one – people of color who disproportionately fall victim to economic ups and downs and market manipulators, do a search. But I’m keeping this specific post on Cornel West’s poverty pimping.

    http://www.thepeoplesview.net/2013/07/why-cornel-west-is-threatened-by-obama.html

  23. rikyrah says:

    Voting rights challenge in Texas opens up new Obama-GOP fight

    By Sam Baker – 07/25/13 05:06 PM ET

    Attorney General Eric Holder’s surprise decision to challenge Texas’s voting laws triggers a huge new fight between the federal government and Southern states dominated by the Republican Party.

    Legal experts said the decision to seek a court order requiring Texas to obtain federal clearance before changing its voting laws lays the groundwork for an aggressive push to restore as much federal oversight as possible over state voting laws.

    I think they’re going to try this wherever they think they have a shot,” Richard Hasen, a law professor at the University of California, Irvine, who specializes in election law, said of the Justice Department.



    Holder’s move is in response to the Supreme Court’s decision last month to toss out a central part of the 1965 Voting Rights Act that determined which states required preclearance from the federal government before changing their voting laws.

    The ruling stripped away power the federal government used even in 2012 to block last-minute restrictions on early voting and changes to voter-ID requirements. Obama and Holder had vowed to address voting problems such as long lines and last-minute changes and said the court’s ruling could make those issues worse.

    “Although mandated by the Constitution, voting rights are not always guaranteed – in practice – without robust enforcement,” Holder said Thursday in a speech to the National Urban League.

    Texas officials and lawmakers reacted with anger to the Justice Department move, signaling a long fight ahead.

    Read more: http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/313583-dojs-texas-challenge-likely-for-other-states-#ixzz2a9hw6Twc
    Follow us: @thehill on Twitter | TheHill on Facebook

  24. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

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