Friday Open Thread | Classics Week: Louis Armstrong

Today’s Classic is Louis Armstrong.

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Louis Armstrong (August 4, 1901 – July 6, 1971), nicknamed Satchmo or Pops, was an American jazz trumpeter and singer from New Orleans, Louisiana.

Coming to prominence in the 1920s as an “inventive” trumpet and cornet player, Armstrong was a foundational influence in jazz, shifting the focus of the music from collective improvisation to solo performance. With his instantly-recognizable gravelly voice, Armstrong was also an influential singer, demonstrating great dexterity as an improviser, bending the lyrics and melody of a song for expressive purposes. He was also skilled at scat singing (vocalizing using sounds and syllables instead of actual lyrics).

Renowned for his charismatic stage presence and voice almost as much as for his trumpet-playing, Armstrong’s influence extends well beyond jazz music, and by the end of his career in the 1960s, he was widely regarded as a profound influence on popular music in general. Armstrong was one of the first truly popular African-American entertainers to “cross over”, whose skin-color was secondary to his music in an America that was severely racially divided. He rarely publicly politicized his race, often to the dismay of fellow African-Americans, but took a well-publicized stand for desegregation during the Little Rock Crisis. His artistry and personality allowed him socially acceptable access to the upper echelons of American society that were highly restricted for a black man.

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Career

On March 19, 1918, Louis married Daisy Parker from Gretna, Louisiana. They adopted a 3-year-old boy, Clarence Armstrong, whose mother, Louis’ cousin Flora, died soon after giving birth. Clarence Armstrong was mentally disabled (the result of a head injury at an early age) and Louis would spend the rest of his life taking care of him.[14] Louis’ marriage to Parker failed quickly and they separated. She died shortly after the divorce.

Through all his riverboat experience Armstrong’s musicianship began to mature and expand. At twenty, he could read music and he started to be featured in extended trumpet solos, one of the first jazzmen to do this, injecting his own personality and style into his solo turns. He had learned how to create a unique sound and also started using singing and patter in his performances.[15] In 1922, Armstrong joined the exodus to Chicago, where he had been invited by his mentor, Joe “King” Oliver, to join his Creole Jazz Band and where he could make a sufficient income so that he no longer needed to supplement his music with day labor jobs. It was a boom time in Chicago and though race relations were poor, the “Windy City” was teeming with jobs for black people, who were making good wages in factories and had plenty to spend on entertainment.

Oliver’s band was the best and most influential hot jazz band in Chicago in the early 1920s, at a time when Chicago was the center of the jazz universe. Armstrong lived like a king in Chicago, in his own apartment with his own private bath (his first). Excited as he was to be in Chicago, he began his career-long pastime of writing nostalgic letters to friends in New Orleans. As Armstrong’s reputation grew, he was challenged to “cutting contests” by hornmen trying to displace the new phenom, who could blow two hundred high C’s in a row.[16] Armstrong made his first recordings on the Gennett and Okeh labels (jazz records were starting to boom across the country), including taking some solos and breaks, while playing second cornet in Oliver’s band in 1923. At this time, he met Hoagy Carmichael (with whom he would collaborate later) who was introduced by friend Bix Beiderbecke, who now had his own Chicago band.

Armstrong enjoyed working with Oliver, but Louis’ second wife, pianist Lil Hardin Armstrong, urged him to seek more prominent billing and develop his newer style away from the influence of Oliver. Armstrong took the advice of his wife and left Oliver’s band. For a year Armstrong played in Fletcher Henderson’s band in New York on many recordings. After playing in New York, Armstrong returned to Chicago, playing in large orchestras; there he created his most important early recordings.[17] Lil had her husband play classical music in church concerts to broaden his skill and improve his solo play and she prodded him into wearing more stylish attire to make him look sharp and to better offset his growing girth. Lil’s influence eventually undermined Armstrong’s relationship with his mentor, especially concerning his salary and additional moneys that Oliver held back from Armstrong and other band members. Armstrong and Oliver parted amicably in 1924. Shortly afterward, Armstrong received an invitation to go to New York City to play with the Fletcher Henderson Orchestra, the top African-American band of the day. Armstrong switched to the trumpet to blend in better with the other musicians in his section. His influence upon Henderson’s tenor sax soloist, Coleman Hawkins, can be judged by listening to the records made by the band during this period.

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Armstrong quickly adapted to the more tightly controlled style of Henderson, playing trumpet and even experimenting with the trombone and the other members quickly took up Armstrong’s emotional, expressive pulse. Soon his act included singing and telling tales of New Orleans characters, especially preachers.[18] The Henderson Orchestra was playing in the best venues for white-only patrons, including the famed Roseland Ballroom, featuring the classy arrangements of Don Redman. Duke Ellington’s orchestra would go to Roseland to catch Armstrong’s performances and young hornmen around town tried in vain to outplay him, splitting their lips in their attempts.

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During this time, Armstrong made many recordings on the side, arranged by an old friend from New Orleans, pianist Clarence Williams; these included small jazz band sides with the Williams Blue Five (some of the best pairing Armstrong with one of Armstrong’s few rivals in fiery technique and ideas, Sidney Bechet) and a series of accompaniments with blues singers, including Bessie Smith, Ma Rainey, and Alberta Hunter.

Armstrong returned to Chicago in 1925 due mostly to the urging of his wife, who wanted to pump up Armstrong’s career and income. He was content in New York but later would concede that she was right and that the Henderson Orchestra was limiting his artistic growth. In publicity, much to his chagrin, she billed him as “the World’s Greatest Trumpet Player”. At first, he was actually a member of the Lil Hardin Armstrong Band and working for his wife.[19] He began recording under his own name for Okeh with his famous Hot Five and Hot Seven groups, producing hits such as “Potato Head Blues”, “Muggles”, (a reference to marijuana, for which Armstrong had a lifelong fondness), and “West End Blues”, the music of which set the standard and the agenda for jazz for many years to come.

The group included Kid Ory (trombone), Johnny Dodds (clarinet), Johnny St. Cyr (banjo), wife Lil on piano, and usually no drummer. Armstrong’s bandleading style was easygoing, as St. Cyr noted, “One felt so relaxed working with him, and he was very broad-minded . . . always did his best to feature each individual.”[20] His recordings soon after with pianist Earl “Fatha” Hines (most famously their 1928 Weatherbird duet) and Armstrong’s trumpet introduction to “West End Blues” remain some of the most famous and influential improvisations in jazz history. Armstrong was now free to develop his personal style as he wished, which included a heavy dose of effervescent jive, such as “whip that thing, Miss Lil” and “Mr. Johnny Dodds, Aw, do that clarinet, boy!”[21]

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Armstrong also played with Erskine Tate’s Little Symphony, actually a quintet, which played mostly at the Vendome Theatre. They furnished music for silent movies and live shows, including jazz versions of classical music, such as “Madame Butterfly,” which gave Armstrong experience with longer forms of music and with hosting before a large audience. He began to scat sing (improvised vocal jazz using non-sensical words) and was among the first to record it, on “Heebie Jeebies” in 1926. The recording was so popular that the group became the most famous jazz band in the United States, even though they had not performed live to any great extent. Young musicians across the country, black or white, were turned on by Armstrong’s new type of jazz.[22]

After separating from Lil, Armstrong started to play at the Sunset Café for Al Capone’s associate Joe Glaser in the Carroll Dickerson Orchestra, with Earl Hines on piano, which was soon renamed Louis Armstrong and his Stompers,[23] though Hines was the music director and Glaser managed the orchestra. Hines and Armstrong became fast friends as well as successful collaborators.[24]

Armstrong returned to New York, in 1929, where he played in the pit orchestra of the successful musical Hot Chocolate, an all-black revue written by Andy Razaf and pianist/composer Fats Waller. He also made a cameo appearance as a vocalist, regularly stealing the show with his rendition of “Ain’t Misbehavin'”, his version of the song becoming his biggest selling record to date.[25]

Armstrong started to work at Connie’s Inn in Harlem, chief rival to the Cotton Club, a venue for elaborately staged floor shows,[26] and a front for gangster Dutch Schultz. Armstrong also had considerable success with vocal recordings, including versions of famous songs composed by his old friend Hoagy Carmichael. His 1930s recordings took full advantage of the new RCA ribbon microphone, introduced in 1931, which imparted a characteristic warmth to vocals and immediately became an intrinsic part of the ‘crooning’ sound of artists like Bing Crosby. Armstrong’s famous interpretation of Hoagy Carmichael’s “Stardust” became one of the most successful versions of this song ever recorded, showcasing Armstrong’s unique vocal sound and style and his innovative approach to singing songs that had already become standards.

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Armstrong’s radical re-working of Sidney Arodin and Carmichael’s “Lazy River” (recorded in 1931) encapsulated many features of his groundbreaking approach to melody and phrasing. The song begins with a brief trumpet solo, then the main melody is stated by sobbing horns, memorably punctuated by Armstrong’s growling interjections at the end of each bar: “Yeah! …”Uh-huh” …”Sure” … “Way down, way down.” In the first verse, he ignores the notated melody entirely and sings as if playing a trumpet solo, pitching most of the first line on a single note and using strongly syncopated phrasing. In the second stanza he breaks into an almost fully improvised melody, which then evolves into a classic passage of Armstrong “scat singing”.

As with his trumpet playing, Armstrong’s vocal innovations served as a foundation stone for the art of jazz vocal interpretation. The uniquely gritty coloration of his voice became a musical archetype that was much imitated and endlessly impersonated. His scat singing style was enriched by his matchless experience as a trumpet soloist. His resonant, velvety lower-register tone and bubbling cadences on sides such as “Lazy River” exerted a huge influence on younger white singers such as Bing Crosby.

The Depression of the early Thirties was especially hard on the jazz scene. The Cotton Club closed in 1936 after a long downward spiral, and many musicians stopped playing altogether as club dates evaporated. Bix Beiderbecke died and Fletcher Henderson’s band broke up. King Oliver made a few records but otherwise struggled. Sidney Bechet became a tailor and Kid Ory returned to New Orleans and raised chickens.[27]

Armstrong moved to Los Angeles in 1930 to seek new opportunities. He played at the New Cotton Club in Los Angeles with Lionel Hampton on drums. The band drew the Hollywood crowd, which could still afford a lavish night life, while radio broadcasts from the club connected with younger audiences at home. Bing Crosby and many other celebrities were regulars at the club. In 1931, Armstrong appeared in his first movie, Ex-Flame. Armstrong was convicted of marijuana possession but received a suspended sentence.[28] He returned to Chicago in late 1931 and played in bands more in the Guy Lombardo vein and he recorded more standards. When the mob insisted that he get out of town,[why?] Armstrong visited New Orleans, got a hero’s welcome and saw old friends. He sponsored a local baseball team known as “Armstrong’s Secret Nine” and got a cigar named after himself.[29] But soon he was on the road again and after a tour across the country shadowed by the mob, Armstrong decided to go to Europe to escape.

After returning to the United States, he undertook several exhausting tours. His agent Johnny Collins’ erratic behavior and his own spending ways left Armstrong short of cash. Breach of contract violations plagued him. Finally, he hired Joe Glaser as his new manager, a tough mob-connected wheeler-dealer, who began to straighten out his legal mess, his mob troubles, and his debts. Armstrong also began to experience problems with his fingers and lips, which were aggravated by his unorthodox playing style. As a result he branched out, developing his vocal style and making his first theatrical appearances. He appeared in movies again, including Crosby’s 1936 hit Pennies from Heaven. In 1937, Armstrong substituted for Rudy Vallee on the CBS radio network and became the first African American to host a sponsored, national broadcast.[30] He finally divorced Lil in 1938 and married longtime girlfriend Alpha.

After spending many years on the road, Armstrong settled permanently in Queens, New York in 1943 in contentment with his fourth wife, Lucille. Although subject to the vicissitudes of Tin Pan Alley and the gangster-ridden music business, as well as anti-black prejudice, he continued to develop his playing. He recorded Hoagy Carmichael’s Rockin’ Chair for Okeh Records.

During the subsequent thirty years, Armstrong played more than three hundred gigs a year. Bookings for big bands tapered off during the 1940s due to changes in public tastes: ballrooms closed, and there was competition from television and from other types of music becoming more popular than big band music. It became impossible under such circumstances to support and finance a 16-piece touring band.

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24 Responses to Friday Open Thread | Classics Week: Louis Armstrong

  1. rikyrah says:

    When You Are High On Your Own Supply

    by BooMan
    Fri Aug 2nd, 2013 at 12:25:53 PM EST
    Some House Republicans revolted over austere reductions in Community Development Block Grants in the appropriation bill for the departments of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development (THUD). Keep in mind that this was not a vote that would have become law. Whatever the House appropriates must be reconciled with what the Senate appropriates, and then that reconciled bill must be signed by the president.

    This was just an effort by the House to abide by Paul Ryan’s budget outlines. And they couldn’t do it. Also, keep in mind that this is one of the least controversial appropriations bills. Spending on transportation is pretty popular. Do you remember all the fun we had mocking Republican lawmakers who took credit for transportation spending in the Stimulus bill that they had voted against? It turns out that dramatically cutting spending on popular programs is not politically beneficial. Who could have known? Yet, roads, bridges, and community development block grants are not as politically fraught as education spending or labor policy.

    It won’t get any easier for the House appropriators as they attempt to move the remaining bills through the process. In short, the Ryan Budget is a dead parrot.

    And it never made any sense to force the Republicans to vote for incredibly unpopular cuts that would never become law. It makes sense to vote for things that are popular regardless of whether or not they will become law. But unpopular votes only make sense when you can point to some kind of actual achievement, like improving the balance sheet. Voting to cut people’s Medicare or Social Security in going to be unpopular and makes no sense unless it actually goes into effect.

    But that’s basically the entire strategy of the Ryan Budget. The House is supposed to vote for the most austere budget even though no one thinks it will ever become law. It’s not a surprise that Republican lawmakers are unwilling to go along with this idiotic plan.

    The problem is, the House will not admit its mistake. So, we’re headed to a catastrophe.

    http://www.boomantribune.com/story/2013/8/2/122553/5710

  2. rikyrah says:

    Peep the Black unemployment numbers:

    Overall Black unemployment dropped from 13. 7% to 12.6%

    Black male unemployment dropped from 13% to 12.5%

    Black female unemployment dropped from 12% to 10.5%

    Black teen unemployment dropped from 43.6% to 41.6%

  3. rikyrah says:

    Texas Republicans Want Wendy Davis To Pay For Special Session

    By Joseph Diebold, Guest Blogger on August 1, 2013 at 10:02 am

    After spending their first special session watching State Sen Wendy Davis’ (D) marathon filibuster and their second passing the abortion restrictions Davis was fighting against, the Texas legislature is back for a third session. Now, they need to handle the transportation measure that was the motivation for the original special session, before they got sidetracked with anti-abortion legislation.

    Unfortunately for the state’s taxpayers, the extra time will cost them an additional $2.4 million. But one lawmaker has an idea for who should foot part of that bill: Davis herself.

    State Rep. Giovanni Capriglione told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram he thinks Davis should be on the hook for the cost of the extra lawmaking sessions.

    “I am upset at the cost,” Capriglione said. “I think we need to remember why we are having this extra special session. One state senator, in an effort to capture national attention, forced this special session. I firmly believe that Sen. Wendy Davis should reimburse the taxpayers for the entire cost of the second special session. I am sure that she has raised enough money at her Washington, D.C., fundraiser to cover the cost.”

    http://thinkprogress.org/health/2013/08/01/2395671/wendy-davis-special-session-pay/

  4. rikyrah says:

    New Obamacare Rule Throws Lifeline To Federal Employees

    By Igor Volsky on August 2, 2013 at 8:59 am

    Congressional lawmakers and their staff will be able to afford health care coverage this fall when they begin enrolling in the exchanges established under the Affordable Care Act. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is expected to rule that the federal government can continue contributing to the cost of health care plans purchased through an exchange, putting to end months of intense behind-the-scenes lobbying from members of both parties which culminated in President Obama assuring Democrats that he is personally involved in the issue.

    The conflict arose after Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) authored an amendment requiring Congressional employees, including lawmakers and some of their aides, to drop their existing health care coverage in the Federal Health Benefits Program (FEHB) and enroll in the insurance exchanges at the core of the health law by 2014.

    “My interest in having Members of Congress participate in the exchange is consistent with my long-held view that Congress should live under the same laws it passes for the rest of the country,” Grassley said in a press release at the time, hoping to force Democrats to take a vote of “no confidence” in their own law. But that’s not what happened. Democrats, led by Sen. Chuck Schumer (NY), called Grassley’s bluff and included his amendment in the final Senate bill that eventually passed.

    The measure ended up on page 157 of the final law, but did not specifically mention the role of the employer contribution, leading regulators to raise concerns that the language could prohibit the federal government from contributing to the insurance costs of Congressional employees and leave poorly-paid aides responsible for the full cost of coverage. The federal government currently contributes approximately 75 percent of the tab and aides from both parties were considering leaving the government altogether, threatening a brain drain.

    http://thinkprogress.org/health/2013/08/02/2403801/new-obamacare-rule-throws-lifeline-to-federal-employees/

  5. rikyrah says:

    @TheScottFinley
    To me, “Pressure Cooker” blogger is nothing more than a typical emoprog victim wannabe and attention whore. And the media enabled her.

  6. rikyrah says:

    @mayawiley
    Study shows blacks w/ degrees & no criminal records get fewer jobs than whites WITH criminal records

    http://www.princeton.edu/~pager/pager_ajs.pdf

  7. rikyrah says:

    gn

    Trayvon’s parents are about to speak at the NABJ press conference:

    The gist of this:
    1. People should become engaged with the Trayvon Martin Foundation (linked at POU to the right).
    2. Trayvon’s parents are done talking about Zimmerman, who isn’t worthy of Trayvon’s legacy.
    3. Trayvon’s parents want to pass an amendment to Stand Your Ground (“Trayvon Martin Amendment”) which would prohibit initial aggressors from claiming SYG as a defense.
    4. Trayvon’s parents want his ultimate legacy to be peace and positive change.

    This is real leadership right here. Trayvon’s parents continue to blow my mind. They are assembling parents who have gone through this type of tragedy (they’ve been in touch with Hadiya Pendleton’s parents, Jordan Davis’ and Oscar Grant’s) and are trying to create something positive from these tragedies.

  8. rikyrah says:

    @keithboykin
    We’ve created more private sector jobs in the past 41 months under Obama than under the entire 8 years under Bush.

  9. rikyrah says:

    @keithboykin
    We’ve added more private sector jobs in the past 41 months (7.2M) than during the same period under Reagan (6.6M).

  10. rikyrah says:

    @adept2u
    Charlie Rangel: Tea Party Is ‘Same Group’ Of ‘White Crackers’ Who Fought Civil Rights http://livewire.talkingpointsm… …

  11. rikyrah says:

    Coverage for children’s preventive health services

    All Marketplace health plans and many other plans must cover the following list of preventive services for children without charging you a copayment or coinsurance. This is true even if you haven’t met your yearly deductible.

    >Autism screening for children at 18 and 24 months

    >Behavioral assessments for children at the following ages: 0 to 11 months, 1 to 4 years, 5 to 10 years, 11 to 14 years, 15 to 17 years.

    >Blood Pressure screening for children at the following ages: 0 to 11 months, 1 to 4 years , 5 to 10 years, 11 to 14 years, 15 to 17 years.

    >Cervical Dysplasia screening for sexually active females

    >Depression screening for adolescents

    >Developmental screening for children under age 3

    >Dyslipidemia screening for children at higher risk of lipid disorders at the following ages: 1 to 4 years, 5 to 10 years, 11 to 14 years, 15 to 17 years.

    >Fluoride Chemoprevention supplements for children without fluoride in their water source[….]

  12. rikyrah says:

    @rgoalierob
    MD’s decisions ARE influenced by freebies. Now ObamaCare makes Pharma’s report these gifts. #ACA http://click.mail.medscape.com… …

  13. rikyrah says:

    @goldietaylor
    Liberatarian used to mean maximum freedom, less government. Now, it appears to be a euphemism for ‘leave us white people alone’…

  14. rikyrah says:

    @MichaelSkolnik
    Cop who pulled George Zimmerman over for speeding and then let him go may be in some trouble… http://bit.ly/1b1dNLp

  15. rikyrah says:

    Six Reasons Hipsters Will Bite on Obamacare

    BY JONATHAN COHN

    You’re a 26-year-old single dude, holding down a pair of part-time jobs tending bar and painting houses, and making about $24,000 a year. Thanks to Obamacare, you can finally get decent health insurance, just like people with full-time jobs at large companies do. But when you go online to check out your options, you see that even the cheapest “bronze” plan, which has high deductibles and co-payments, will cost you about $100 a month. Obamacare’s penalty for carrying no insurance next year is less than one-tenth of that. Do you buy the insurance anyway?

    Obamacare critics think it will be a “tough sell,” as Reason’s Peter Suderman puts it. And they make a credible case. To get coverage under Obamacare, many young people will have to pay more than they’d pay for insurance today. That’s because Obamacare prohibits insurers from offering ultra-cheap, bare-bones policies and restricts insurers’ to vary prices based on health status. It’s safe to assume that at least some young, healthy people will look at the numbers, figure Obamacare’s coverage just isn’t worth the price, and pay the penalty instead. A story by Christopher Weaver and Louise Radnofsky in the Wall Street Journal last week profiled several young people from Oregon who were contemplating that very option.

    The danger here isn’t just that these people will remain uninsured, leaving themselves exposed to crushing medical bills if they get sick or injured. If too many young, healthy people opt not to get insurance, then the insurers would be stuck with beneficiaries who are disproportionately older and sicker. The insurers would respond by raising premiums. While the system probably wouldn’t collapse, it would certainly become more expensive—both for the government, which is subsidizing insurance for lower- and middle-income people, and for those people buying individual coverage without government assistance. That’s why so many of the law’s defenders, including me, worry about young people staying away.

    But there good reasons to think the critics are wrong, that young people will sign up for health insurance, and that Obamacare will work as its designers intended. Here are six of those reasons.

    1. The penalty will get bigger than it is next year. It’s true that the penalty for carrying no insurance is just $95 in the first year, which is a lot less than the full price of health insurance. But the penalty actually gets larger in 2015 and 2016, so that’s eventually $695 a year for a single adult, up to $2,085 a year for a family, or 2.5 percent of household income (whichever is greater). That won’t make much difference in the law’s first year, but it will make a difference afterwards—and insurers calculating their premiums can plan based on that increase.

    2. The difference between the penalty and premiums isn’t the only thing that matters. “A simple comparison of premium versus penalty is not the accurate way to look at this,” says Linda Blumberg of the Urban Institute points out. She’s right. Insurance premiums cost a lot more than the penalty, but if you pay those premiums you are also getting something for the money you spend: Financial protection in case of illness or injury.

    Think of it this way. Imagine you go shopping for a car and find one that costs several thousand dollars. If you decide not to get the car, you’ll won’t have to write a check for several thousand dollars—but you also won’t have a car. Whether you buy the car comes down to how much you value it. The same will be true for insurance under Obamacare.

    The real question, then, is how much young people value insurance.

    3. Young people worry about getting sick and paying the bills. Everybody puts a different value on financial security and access to medical care. But two new surveys tell us something about how young people, as a whole, think about insurance.

    One survey, published on Wednesday, came from the online newsletter Morning Consult. The poll measured interest in buying health insurance through Obamacare’s exchanges and, conveniently, the pollsters broke down responses by age. In the survey, about 40 percent of young people said they were “about certain” or “very likely” to buy insurance, while another 40 percent said they were “about 50-50.” Only about a quarter of respondents said they were “not too likely” or “not likely at all” to get insurance.

    http://www.newrepublic.com/article/114103/obamacare-and-hipsters-6-reasons-theyll-proabably-enroll#

  16. rikyrah says:

    Saboteurs in the Potato Salad
    By TIMOTHY EGAN

    Just now, a cell of several hundred people has been dispatched into the American summer, to picnics, town halls, radio stations, hospitals and Little League playing fields, with a mission to derail the economic recovery and drum up support for sabotaging federal law. They’re not terrorists, nor are they agents of a foreign government. This is your United States Congress, the Republican House, on recess for the next five weeks.

    They even have a master plan, a 31-page kit put together by the House Republican Conference, for every member to follow while back home with the folks. It’s called “Fighting Washington for all Americans,” and includes a prototype op-ed piece, with a political version of the line usually reserved for dumping lovers: “This isn’t about me. It’s about you.”

    Here’s a sample suggestion, from Page 28, of how to stage a phony public meeting with business owners:

    “Confirm the theme(s) prior to the event and make sure the participants will be 100 percent on message. (Note: while they do not have to be Republicans, they need to be able to discuss the negative effects of Obamacare on their employees.)”

    And what if I have a child with cancer, and the insurance company plans to dump him if Republicans stop Obamacare in its tracks? Can I attend? Or what if I’m counting on buying into the new health care exchanges in my state, saving hundreds of dollars on my insurance bill?

    The kit has an answer: planting supporters, with prescreened softball questions, will ensure that such things never get asked. More important, this tactic will assure that any meeting with the dreaded public will go “in the direction that is most beneficial to the member,” as the blueprint states.

    I thought this wasn’t about you.

    Oh, and Republicans should be sure to “engage with all demographics,” the memo insists. It’s very specific about what that means: Asians, Latinos and women. Blacks aren’t mentioned. Lost cause. But millennials are included, because nothing works with young people like inauthenticity.

    The planning kit’s instructions on how Republicans are to talk about the economy call to mind old Soviet bromides about record wheat harvests. The most loathed Congress in the history of polling has this message: “We’re working to spur economic growth and create more jobs.”

    They’re not, of course. Not by any measure. Just the opposite. Their brinkmanship on the budget will probably cost 750,000 jobs this year, and about 900,000 next year, by the estimate of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

    http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/08/01/saboteurs-in-the-potato-salad/?_r=0

  17. rikyrah says:

    Riley Cooper Incident Raises Questions

    by BooMan
    Thu Aug 1st, 2013 at 11:59:43 PM EST
    I don’t know who Kenny Chesney is. I have never before even heard or seen the name. The guy’s got 14 gold records. I could give a shit. But if your job is to go to work with 52 other highly-trained athletes, most of whom who are black, you probably shouldn’t get caught on video derisively calling people niggers at a Kenny Chesney concert.

    Now the Philadelphia Eagles have a problem.

    It began when their star wide receiver, Jeremy Maclin, blew out his knee during the first week of training camp. That meant that a little known wide receiver named Riley Cooper was slotted in for a starting role. Then Riley Cooper went to a country music concert and started threatening to beat up niggers. Then the Eagles star running back, LeSean McCoy said he has no respect for Riley Cooper and would no longer consider him his friend.

    The Eagles fined Mr. Cooper and are going to make him take sensitivity training, which just seems like some dotting the ‘i’ waste of time to me. McCoy kind of put his finger on the problem when he said this:

    “I’m thinking like, I think I know him very well and then you do something like that, when you don’t think no cameras are around, you don’t think nobody’s around, everything is in closed doors, you show who you really are,” McCoy said. “I just think I know him a little better than I thought I did.”

    There are a lot of assholes in pro sports, and one guy from the New England Patriots is about to go on trial for murder. So, getting drunk at a concert and letting your inner redneck out a little bit isn’t that big of a deal in the greater scope of things.

    I was watching a segment on this brouhaha on The NFL Network, and one of the commentators who is a retired black NFL player said that he’d go to management and tell them that he didn’t want to play with Riley. He also explained that Cooper’s presence in the locker room would hurt the team’s chemistry and cause problems, which is almost definitely true.

    http://www.boomantribune.com/story/2013/8/1/235943/1326#8

    • Ametia says:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-dEQxO8Yuas

      There are a lot of assholes in pro sports, and one guy from the New England Patriots is about to go on trial for murder. So, getting drunk at a concert and letting your inner redneck out a little bit isn’t that big of a deal in the greater scope of things.<b.

      NAW BOO; SAYING YOU'RE GONNA "FIGHT ALL THE NIGGERS"IN A STADIUM FULL OF WHITE FOLKS IS A BIG FUCKING DEAL.

    • Liza says:

      I agree, Ametia, I think that the Eagles now have a big problem. Apparently, they had high hopes for this kid Riley Cooper and before the season even starts he tells the world that he is a racist a$$hole. Getting drunk doesn’t change who you are, it exposes who you are. Everyone knows that which is why Riley Cooper and the Eagles and the NFL have a problem that isn’t going to be resolved with “sensitivity” training.

  18. rikyrah says:

    @AP
    BREAKING: Number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits drops 19,000 to 326,000 – the lowest since January 2008. -MM

  19. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

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