Friday Open Thread | Willie Hutch| Old School Soul

Willie Hutch14When an act called Sisters Love were offered a cameo in the blaxploitation film The Mack, their manager suggested that Willie Hutch do the soundtrack. It came to be one of the great ’70s film scores, including a pair of classic funk tunes, “Brothers Gonna Work It Out” and the title cut. The results proved to be another soundtrack that far surpassed the quality of its film.

Hutch was hired as a Motown writer-producer and for the next 20 years would work with the likes of Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Junior Walker, the Four Tops and Aretha Franklin. “Writing lyrics and setting them to music was a freedom no one could take away from me,” said Hutch on what inspired him to write songs. “Writing gave me a freedom to go everywhere I wanted to go.”

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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49 Responses to Friday Open Thread | Willie Hutch| Old School Soul

  1. rikyrah says:

    Black and White Entrepreneurs

    by BooMan
    Fri Aug 16th, 2013 at 08:37:32 PM EST
    I am not sure how I feel about the way entrepreneurship is defined here but I am not surprised that being a conniving petty criminal as a kid is a good indicator that you’ll be a successful entrepreneur. I have come to think of the entire conservative movement as a club for rule-breaking entrepreneurs. They fucking hate rules. They hate the IRS and the EPA and OSHA and the NLRB. They don’t want anyone telling them what to do and they don’t want to admit that the owe even one penny of their wealth to anything but their hard work and cunning. They are as sociopathic in their individualism as they are in their religious belief, which is all about their personal salvation and not at all about social justice.

    I’ve come to actively dislike this class of people and doubt that they are compatible with a sustainable civilized future. The white privilege aspect of this interests me less than the political implications. But I’ll give my own anecdotal assessment.

    When I worked for ACORN in the North Philly ghetto, the really smart kids were the ones who had figured out a hustle. There weren’t any legitimate jobs that didn’t require a long bus ride, so the name of the game was to work the black market. Some people made and sold bootleg copies of movies. Others counterfeited car registration and inspection stickers. Others jacked t-shirts off trucks. Others ran unlicensed taxis. These kids stood out for a couple of reasons. First, they were smart enough to stay away from gangs and drugs, which would land them quickly in jail or the morgue. Second, they weren’t waiting around for something to happen. They set their alarm clocks, got up early, and went to work on their hustle. They worked hard and didn’t stop until they’d reached their goal. These folks were my best employees. They were good with people. They could follow instructions and carry out complex plans. They were natural leaders. And it was obvious to me that they could succeed at legitimate business if they got a combination of start-up capital and some kind of road-map.

    There were plenty of other kids who were really kind, nice people but who didn’t have the skills or motivation or direction to be successful. They were too meek to gang-bang. They weren’t sure how to figure out a hustle, let alone how to be good at it. They lacked self-confidence and people skills. And they just weren’t good at registering voters or motivating them to get to the polls. Some of my saddest days in the job were when I had to fire these kids. Counseling them was even harder. When I heard about their family life and lack of resources, just trying to get them set up in a vocational school could seem like a Herculean task. What do you tell a kid who comes to you for advice if you can’t figure out any way that they can pull anything legitimate off?

    Now, these people I’ve been talking about were all black. And there’s no doubt that society was itching to lock them up for the slightest infraction. In the suburbs, I see white kids getting away with all manner of crime without having to pay any consequence. I’ve seen white teenagers break into a home and have a little drug party and get off with nothing more than a stern talking-to. I’ve seen serious vandalism result in a small fine. I’ve seen naked kids out of their minds on hallucinogens turned over to their parents without a record being made of it. These white kids aren’t locked up; some of them are setting off for college as I write this. But the black kids I knew in North Philadelphia didn’t get second or third chances. And many of them showed a lot more self-starting motivation and smarts than the white kids I’ve met in the suburbs. If we invested in them, I know they would pay us back many times over.

    Some of them might even become conservative Republicans.

  2. Ametia says:

    Happy FRY-DAY! I’m visiting my grandson!!!!!!!! :-)

  3. rikyrah says:

    Joy Reid @TheReidReport

    Good morning, tweeps, happy Friday! Filling in for @BashirLive at 4 p.m. EST today, and for @mhpshow this weekend. Hope you’ll roll with me!

    8:17 AM – 16 Aug 2013

  4. rikyrah says:

    RNC unanimously approves 2016 debate resolution
    By Steve Benen
    Fri Aug 16, 2013 12:47 PM EDT

    They apparently weren’t kidding.

    The GOP’s governing body approved a resolution on Friday barring NBC News and CNN from partnering with the Republican National Committee in hosting 2016 presidential primary debates.

    Members of the RNC, gathered in Boston for their Summer Meeting voted to bar NBC News and CNN from participating in 2016 debates due to forthcoming projects about Hillary Clinton planned by both network. They approved the resolution by a voice vote.

    The resolution states that the RNC would not “partner with (CNN or NBC) in the 2016 presidential primary debates nor sanction any primary debates they sponsor.”

  5. rikyrah says:

    Going Outside The Bubble

    by BooMan
    Fri Aug 16th, 2013 at 11:18:02 AM EST

    Going back to the idea of having shock jocks and other friendly outlets host the Republican debates, it’s instructive to see what Mr. Limbaugh has to say about it.

    “Put together your own debates with your own moderators, whoever you want, and focus on real Republican issues in these debates rather than whether they’re going to do a Hillary Clinton miniseries or not,” Limbaugh said on his show last week. “In this current modern age, there’s no reason anymore to treat these mainstream media people as mainstream objective and non-aligned reporters.”
    Without offering evidence, he speculated that ABC’s George Stephanopoulos coordinated with the Obama campaign to ask Romney about contraception during a primary debate so they could create “the war on women” narrative.

    “Wherever you go outside of Fox, you are going up against the Democrat Party with people disguised as journalists,” said Limbaugh. “Why do it?”

    Why is it that whenever the Republicans appear anywhere other than on hate radio or Fox News they feel like they’re not getting a fair shake?

    It’s because anything outside of The Bubble feels unfamiliar and unsafe. People don’t nod in agreement when you say crazy, unsubstantiated things. They don’t swallow misleading or inaccurate statistics. They push back against demonstrable lies. They have a different, more accurate version of history. Sometimes, this makes you look dishonest, or even stupid.

    Who wants to look dishonest and stupid? Who wants to feel dishonest and stupid?

    Everything inside The Bubble is protected, padded, safe, and soft. Unlike Democrats, Republican lawmakers don’t have to worry about some Rachel Maddow figure querying them about drone strikes, the NSA, the treatment of Bradley Manning, or the prison at Guantanamo Bay. Adversarial journalism is almost non-existent inside the Bubble, except to enforce adherence to Borg orthodoxy.

  6. rikyrah says:

    Spike Lee’s Kickstarter Project Hits Goal

    Spike Lee’s fundraising effort has topped its $1.25 million goal, four days before the deadline. As of 10 a.m. PDT, Lee’s campaign had received $1.302,891 million from 5,368 pledges for a new film that’s known for now as “The Newest Hottest Spike Lee Joint.”[….]

    About a quarter of the funds have come from 28 pledges of $10,000 in exchange for dinner and a courtside seat with Lee at a New York Knicks game. The campaign also generated $70,000 via 14 pledges of $5,000 in exchange for being named an associate producer and a $5,000 pledge in exchange for Lee flying to the donor’s hometown for a showing of any of his films — selected by the donor.[….]

  7. rikyrah says:

    UH HUH

    UH HUH


    Wikileaks Founder Assange: “I’m a Big Admirer of Ron Paul and Rand Paul”
    Assange also lavishes praise on Matt Drudge and the conservative movement

    Today, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange gave an interview to Campus Reform and revealed that he’s a “big admirer” of the craziest libertarian racists in US politics: Ron and Rand Paul.

    Assange says the far right (represented by these two bigoted kooks) is America’s “only hope.”

    College-aged support for libertarians and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) represents the United States’ “only hope” in politics, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange told Campus Reform early Friday morning.

    “The only hope as far as electoral politics… presently, is the libertarian section of the Republican party,” said Assange, in response to a question about the recent swell of college-aged and youth-based support for libertarianism.

    “The libertarian aspect of the Republican Party is presently the only useful political voice really in the U.S. Congress,” said Assange. “[I] am a big admirer of Ron Paul and Rand Paul for their very principled positions in the U.S. Congress on a number of issues.”

    And he didn’t stop there; Assange also lavished praise on the ugliest race-baiting right wing news aggregator in the US, Matt Drudge:

  8. rikyrah says:

    Rosalind Franklin vs. Watson & Crick – Science History Rap Battle

  9. rikyrah says:

    The Obama family bikes on Martha’s Vineyard.

  10. NEW: Judge clears way for Chicago to close 50 schools by denying some parents request to stop closings

  11. Here you go, Rikyrah

    War on Student Voting- North Carolina Voter Suppression

  12. rikyrah says:


    by Van Le


    A new cable channel, Fusion, is hitting the airwaves this October, and Jorge Ramos is warning Republicans that the new channel will be on their case, all the time, about immigration until reform becomes a reality.

    “We’re going to come out on Oct. 28th, and if the House doesn’t approve immigration reform by then, then there’s going to be a new, very loud voice in Fusion, talking about immigration every single night until immigration reform passes,” Ramos said in an interview with The Huffington Post.

    Fusion will be a joint ABC News-Univision effort that will be programmed in English and aimed at English-speaking Latinos (especially younger Latinos). Ramos–who currently anchors the nightly news program “Noticiero Univision” and hosts the Sunday news show “Al Punto”–will host a primetime segment. Ramos is also a very influential advocate of immigration reform, and his comments that the new channel will “own” the issue upon its launch should worry House Republicans who believe they can stall away the pressure for immigration reform until the pressure to pass a bill dies down.

  13. rikyrah says:

    Ben LaBolt ‏@BenLaBolt2m
    There goes expanded reach … RT @edatpost: Confirmed: #RNC ban on @CNN and @NBCNews extends to @CNNEE and @TelemundoNews. (h/t @dylanbyers)

  14. rikyrah says:

    ‘For a criminal practice, there has to be a gun’
    By Steve Benen
    Fri Aug 16, 2013 11:44 AM EDT.

    Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.) hosted a town-hall event in his district this week, and was asked by a constituent about his position on Glass-Steagall and “Wall Street criminal practices” in general. The congressman’s response was … unusual.

    For those who can’t watch clips online, McClintock told voters, “Well first of all, for a criminal practice, there has to be a gun. It’s pretty simple.”

    Now, McClintock is pretty far out there — he boasts about his memberships in the far-right Republican Study Committee and Tea Party Caucus — but I doubt he means this literally. Car thieves are engaged in a criminal practice, whether or not they carry a gun. Those who sell drugs to children are also engaged in a criminal practice, armed or unarmed.

    But in context, McClintock seems to believe financial industry crimes aren’t terribly serious. Indeed, he specifically referenced predatory loans, apparently unclear what they even are: “When I hear about predatory lending, for example, my first question is, well that’s just terrible. You shouldn’t be allowed to force somebody to take out a loan they don’t want.”

    First, that’s not actually a question. Second, after watching the video a few times, I think he means that unless a loan is accepted at gunpoint, he doesn’t much care.

    In any case, McClintock went on to endorse a largely unregulated financial system: instead of preventing crises, we’ll just “stop bailing out people’s bad decisions.”

    The very idea of financial industry improprieties seems like a foreign concept to the congressman — apparently because industry insiders carry a fountain pen instead of a literal firearm.

  15. rikyrah says:

    Dems Defy Obama on Mortgage Protections

    Twelve Democrats in the House and Joe Manchin in the Senate have cosponsored bills that would gut new protections on home loans.

    —By Erika Eichelberger

    | Thu Aug. 15, 2013 3:00 AM PDT

    Last week, President Barack Obama laid out his new housing plan, emphasizing the importance of safe, simple, affordable mortgages. But lawmakers in his own party are working against him, trying to gut historic new safeguards on home loans.

    A new mortgage rule issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) that takes effect January 1 limits fees on new home loans to three percent. The regulation is “one of the most direct and important responses to the mortgage crisis,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) argued in a recent editorial in American Banker. But 12 House Democrats and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) have joined with Republicans to cosponsor bills that would eviscerate the new cap and clear the way for lenders to steer Americans into riskier, higher-cost loans.

    The CFPB’s new mortgage rule is intended to prevent lenders from directing borrowers toward higher-cost loans that earn the lenders more money—a practice that helped lead to the financial crisis. Tens of thousands of borrowers, especially minorities, were sold costly subprime loans even when they qualified for more affordable loans, because those loans were more profitable for lenders and brokers, according to a 2011 investigation by the Justice Department. The three percent fee cap effectively ends that conflict of interest.

    The new mortgage fee cap also says that fees for certain types of title insurance—which protects the value of a homeowner’s property in case of losses due to defects in the property title—have to be included in the 3 percent cap, to avoid another conflict of interest. In most real estate deals, the lender shops for title insurance for the borrower. If the lender’s company also owns a title insurance company, the lender has an incentive to buy expensive title insurance for the homeowner from that company, since it would benefit his business.

    The whole point of the CFPB rule is “to make sure that brokers are more likely to work in the interest of homeowners,” says Alys Cohen, a staff attorney at the National Consumer Law Center (NCLC). The bills—backed by Democratic Reps. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.), William Lacy Clay (D-Mo.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), David Scott (D-Ga.), Mike Quigley (D-Ill.), Bill Owens (D-N.Y.), Sanford Bishop (D-Ga.), Gene Green (D-Texas), Jim Matheson (D-Utah), Filemon Vela (D-Texas), Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-Texas), and David Loebsack (D-Iowa)—could re-create the pre-crisis state of affairs.

  16. rikyrah says:

    Koch brothers thrive on healthcare confusion
    By Steve Benen
    Fri Aug 16, 2013 10:12 AM EDT.

    Earlier this week, Reince Priebus, commenting on the Affordable Care Act, said, “People know what Obamacare is. It’s European, socialist-style type health care.” The quote struck me as fairly hilarious because the second sentence helps debunk the first — anyone who the federal U.S. system is in anyway similar to European, socialist-style type health care clearly has no idea what “Obamacare” is.

    The truth is, most Americans remain confused about the basics, and the Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity apparently hope to make matters much worse on purpose.

    Last month, AFP invested $1 million in support of a remarkably dishonest ad campaign, hoping to mislead Americans about the health care system, and this week, the right-wing group is at it again, making a six-figure ad buy in support of a radio ad.

    The problem, of course, is that the message of the ad is pure garbage. Salon called it the “stupidest anti-Obamacare campaign ever,” and given some of the advertising in recent years, that’s no small claim.

    The spot features a woman voice that tells listeners, “Two years ago, my son Caleb began having seizures … if we can’t pick our own doctor, how do I know my family is going to get the care they need?”

    In reality, there’s simply nothing in the Affordable Care Act that stops consumers from choosing their own doctor. Literally, not one provision. Under a variety of HMOs, there are limits on out-of-network physicians, but that was an American norm long before “Obamacare” came around.

    For that matter, if you’re a parent of a kid with seizures, the Affordable Care Act is perhaps the best friend you’ve ever had — not only does the law protect you and your family’s coverage, but it extends protections to those with pre-existing conditions, and ends annual and lifetime caps. And since treating children with seizures can get a little pricey, that’s important.

    So why are the Koch brothers saying largely the opposite? Because they hope to use deceptions to scare people. It’s as simple as that.

  17. Yahtc says:

    “After Trayvon Martin”
    Updated: Friday, August 16 2013, 07:05 AM EDT

    Asheville Police Department Police Chief William Anderson and Buncombe County Sheriff Van Duncan spoke Thursday night at a community awareness forum called “After Trayvon Martin.”  The city’s top law enforcement leaders spoke to about two hundred people at St. James AME Church downtown.  

    Each gave advice on how to best handle an interaction with an officer. Anderson said if stopped by an officer people always need to “show respect, cooperate, and be honest.”  While the forum was meant to focus on dialogue to move forward from the controversial Florida case, Anderson took the opportunity to publicly give his opinion on the jury’s non-guilty verdict for George Zimmerman. “It was a clear cut case of a police wanna-be, overstepping his authority, and an innocent young man is dead,” said Anderson.

    Sheriff Van Duncan, did not give his opinion on the Zimmerman verdict but said he knew the incident could have happened anywhere.

    “It could happen (here) sure,” said Sheriff Duncan. He gave basic advice on anyone working as a community watch volunteer.

    “Do not follow this person,” said Sheriff Duncan. Be eyes and ears for the police, he said, but being a vigilante is a big mistake and can potentially escalate to a dangerous situation.

    Civil rights attorney, Frank Goldsmith, also was also part of the panel. The most interesting fact raised by Sheriff Duncan was that approximately 4,000 people in Buncombe County have concealed weapon permits.

    By Kimberly King

    Read More at:

    • Liza says:

      Trayvon Martin had no reason to think that George Zimmerman was anything but a potential abductor, rapist, and/or killer on the hunt. And, as it turns out, Zimmerman was a killer on the hunt.

  18. rikyrah says:

    Dems Defy Obama on Mortgage Protections

    [….] The CFPB’s new mortgage rule is intended to prevent lenders from directing borrowers toward higher-cost loans that earn the lenders more money—a practice that helped lead to the financial crisis.[….] The new mortgage fee cap also says that fees for certain types of title insurance—which protects the value of a homeowner’s property in case of losses due to defects in the property title—have to be included in the 3 percent cap, to avoid another conflict of interest.[…]

    The whole point of the CFPB rule is “to make sure that brokers are more likely to work in the interest of homeowners,” says Alys Cohen, a staff attorney at the National Consumer Law Center (NCLC). The bills—backed by Democratic Reps. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.), William Lacy Clay (D-Mo.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), David Scott (D-Ga.), Mike Quigley (D-Ill.), Bill Owens (D-N.Y.), Sanford Bishop (D-Ga.), Gene Green (D-Texas), Jim Matheson (D-Utah), Filemon Vela (D-Texas), Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-Texas), and David Loebsack (D-Iowa)—could re-create the pre-crisis state of affairs.[….]

  19. rikyrah says:

    Got A Buck? Forget The Coffee, Buy A Actual House In Gary, Indiana!

    Author: Deborah Montesano August 16, 2013 10:47 am

    Like Detroit, the city of Gary, Indiana has lost half its population as jobs in the steel industry have vanished. Gary, however, has a plan to retain what’s left of its 80,000 citizens. For $1, a resident can buy one of the 10,000 abandoned homes in the city.

    The homes aren’t all being offered at once, and some will be razed. But for those who meet the requirements, ownership is now a possibility. Those requirements include:
    a residency of at least six months in the city
    a minimum income of $35,250 for one adult or $40,350 for two.
    payment of yearly taxes
    bringing the house up to code within six months
    living in the house for five years before assuming full ownership

    These conditions are designed to keep profiteering investors out of the process and instill pride of ownership instead. Suddenly, the process includes a whole lot of people who might not otherwise have had a prayer.

    Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson announced the program in June. It’s not an entirely new idea. She bought her first home 25 years ago under a similar HUD program–for a dollar. As she tells it:

    It had an overwhelming impact on my living in the city of Gary and contributing to it.

    Read more:

  20. Michelle Obama on Having a Black Family in the White House
    The First Lady said the Obama family in the oval office “changes the bar”

    Having a Black president in the White House may not have brought about the kind of change for African Americans that many anticipated — just yet. But having a Black family in the White House “changes the bar” for every child, regardless of race, sexual orientation or gender, first lady Michelle Obama believes.

    In an interview with Parade Magazine, FLOTUS expressed her views on whether having an African-American family in the White House has moved the needle, noting that her husband’s presidency “expands the scope of opportunity” for children because that’s where change happens. “Children born in the last eight years will only know an African-American man being president of the United States,” she said.

    The first lady also elaborated on her recent description of herself as “a single mother,” touting the president’s involvement as a father to their now-teenage daughters Sasha and Malia. “When you have a husband or a partner who’s either traveling for work or has huge responsibility … and I give my husband credit –- he knows who their friends are, he knows what their schedule is, but he’s not making the calls to the dance studio to figure out what classes they’re taking next year…” she said, acknowledging the pressure that comes with always making the decisions about her kids. “I think it’s important for both parents to shoulder that [responsibility]. I tell my kids, ‘I am thinking about you every other minute of my day.”

  21. Breaking: RNC has passed resolution to not hold their primary debates on CNN and NBC.

  22. rikyrah says:

    North Carolina law takes war on voting rights to a new low

    By Editorial Board, Published: August 15

    IN THE wake of the Supreme Court’s Shelby v. Holder decision, which gutted significant portions of the Voting Rights Act, it’s difficult to say which of the many recently passed voter-suppression bills constitutes the greatest threat to that most sacred of American freedoms: the right to vote. The contest has several leading contenders, but the winner just might be North Carolina’s especially draconian bill, signed into law on Monday.

    The bill includes the usual provisions that have come to characterize the quiet assault on the franchise: a shortened early-voting period, the elimination of the state’s successful same-day registration program and, of course, a strict photo identification requirement despite any evidence of voter fraud in the state.

    What makes this law unique is how much further it goes. It includes no fewer than 12 extra provisions that prohibit such things as counties extending polling hours by one hour in the event of unusual circumstances (such as, say, long lines); provisional voting should someone, say, mistakenly go to the wrong precinct; and pre-registration for 16- and 17-year-olds, who could previously register to vote before they turned 18.

    The bill is a truly abominable piece of anti-democratic legislation, the only likely effect of which will be to make it increasingly difficult — maybe even impossible — for some people who don’t typically support Republicans to be able to vote. Sadly, none of that seemed to bother Gov. Pat McCrory (R), who signed it into law regardless.

    “This new law brings our state in line with a healthy majority of states throughout the country,” the governor said in a statement. “This common sense safeguard is common-place.” Mr. McCrory is correct that laws like the one he signed are increasingly commonplace, but the only thing common about them is their lack of sense.

    States do have a valid interest in ensuring that voters are who they say they are, but the same states that so vehemently defend these laws typically provide little assistance for those who lack the necessary documentation. In fact, if defending the franchise were really the intent, these laws would include positive measures that helped citizens meet new requirements instead of a laundry list of restrictions unrelated to a voter’s identity.

  23. rikyrah says: @TheObamaDiary

    Designer who created Wikileaks store’s Snowden tee also designed dartboard with bullseye on President Obama’s head

    9:47 AM – 16 Aug 2013

  24. rikyrah says:

    Rachel Maddow did a good segment on the new North Carolina Voter Suppression last night….

    will someone put it in a postable video?

  25. Court Clerk fired for helping free wrongfully convicted man

  26. rikyrah says:

    Making sense of chaos

    By Jonathan Bernstein, Published: August 15 at 5:57 pm

    There’s a lot out there to keep track of on what we’re hearing about the GOP government shutdown/debt limit threats right now. So here’s a roundup. Remember: a government shutdown would come without funding bills (in the form of a continuing resolution, or “CR”) passing by the end of September. Later in the fall, the debt limit will be reached and Congress will have to act to prevent a government default or other catastrophe.

    So where are we right now?

    * Some conservatives are really pushing the threat to shut down the government unless the Affordable Care Act is “defunded.”

    * However, Republican congressional leaders have fought back effectively, and many of the rank-and-file are buying the idea that Republicans could lose their majority over it. For example, here’s another House Republican making the case that Obamacare opponents should avoid a government shutdown, and here’s Tea Party Senator Ron Johnson making the same case.

    * Smart and realistic Republican leaders are still looking for an attainable “ask” in budget negotiations.

    * But it’s still possible that Republicans could fail to pass a CR anyway, even without the Obamacare threat.

    * Partially because of a repeating dynamic in which many conservative Members of Congress want to be seen as the “real” conservatives who would run the government if only it wasn’t for squishes and RINOs constantly selling them out.

  27. rikyrah says:

    New Snowden Bombshell Reveals Surveillance Errors Via Internal NSA Oversight

    The Washington Post‘s Bart Gellman was one of the reporters who received stolen classified documents from Edward Snowden and who simultaneously, with Glenn Greenwald, broke the news about the National Security Agency’s PRISM system back in June. Gellman published another Snowden-based article on Thursday, also based on a top secret Snowden document, with the headline: NSA broke privacy rules thousands of times per year, audit finds.

    Gellman’s document contained information about 2,776 errors made by both NSA analysts and computers during three-quarters of 2011 and the first quarter of 2012. The infractions included “operator error,” “computer error,” “typographical errors” and so forth. Inexplicably, Gellman jumped to the unverified conclusion that this occurs “thousands of times each year” even though the document only covers a one-year span, and he mentioned that one official “declined to disclose whether the trend has continued since last year.” So, one year, not multiple years. Interesting usage of Greenwald-style hyperbole right there.

    More importantly, this was an internal audit, which means… oversight! It turns out, yes, obviously, NSA has multiple layers of oversight and exhaustive internal audits of the agency and its analysts as a means of both weeding out problems and then mitigating them. The elephant in the room is that the purpose of Gellman’s document, presumably from NSA’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG), is to keep detailed tabs on the agency. But Gellman never explicitly mentioned the OIG, just that the document is an “audit.” But it’s a fair to reach such a conclusion since internal audits are performed by various OIGs within all government agencies and departments.

  28. rikyrah says:

    The profound cynicism of Obamacare opponents

    By Greg Sargent, Published: August 15 at 3:14 pm

    Here’s a little tale that neatly reveals the real game plan of Obamacare opponents: Spread as much confusion and dishonesty about the law as possible, with the explicit goal of preventing Americans from realizing what benefits it carries for them.

    The conservative group Americans for Prosperity is up with a new radio ad (embedded below) that decries the law as an impending disaster. Yet when you unpack the ad it’s actually more revealing about the strategic game plan behind this sort of political attack than it is about the law itself.

    The ad features a worried mother who says the following: “Two years ago, my son Caleb began having seizures…if we can’t pick our own doctor, how do I know my family is going to get the care they need?” took a look at a previous version of this ad, and pronounced the claim that “we can’t pick our own doctor” under Obamacare to be false. What’s more, the invocation of a preexisting condition is a particularly audacious move in an ad that attacks a law that bans discrimination against people with preexisting conditions.

    But perhaps the most revealing thing of all is the ad’s warning of public confusion about the law. To buttress the impression that the ad is a catastrophe, the ad claims: “ABC News says confusion and doubt are prognosis for Obamcare.”

    And it’s true: The ABC News article in question does bear that headline. But the article actually presents this not as a sign that the law itself is flawed, but as a sign that the public remains ignorant about what’s actually in it. The article is about how many Americans, even those who stand to gain from the law, are not yet aware of its benefits.

  29. rikyrah says:

    What the RNC chair considers ‘horrific’ and ‘racist’

    By Steve Benen

    Fri Aug 16, 2013 8:39 AM EDT

    The Republican National Committee, as part of its summer meeting, held an event in Boston yesterday to highlight the party’s “Rising Stars,” with a clear emphasis on diversity. The party’s base may be older, male, and overwhelmingly white, but when the RNC wanted to feature future stars, they picked four people — including two women, a Latina state lawmaker, and an African-American state lawmaker.

    But perhaps the more interesting aspect of this story was a quote, not from one of the “Rising Stars,” but from the head of the RNC itself. Brett LoGiurato reported:

    In condemning Rep. Steve King’s incendiary comments on immigration, RNC chairman Reince Priebus swept in his party’s presidential nominee, saying that talk of “self-deportation” was “horrific” and even “racist.” […]

    “Using the word ‘self-deportation’ — it’s a horrific comment to make,” Priebus said, in a forceful rebuke. “I don’t think it has anything to do with our party. When someone makes those comments, obviously, it’s racist.”

  30. rikyrah says:

    McConnell digs a hole, falls in
    By Steve Benen
    Thu Aug 15, 2013 3:36 PM EDT

    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) talked to a local reporter this week about the Affordable Care Act, which he described as the “single worst piece of legislation passed in the last 50 years in the country.” The Republican senator restated his position that “we need to get rid of” the law.

    But McConnell also made an off-hand comment that seemed wholly uninteresting at the time: “I mean, there are a handful of things in the 2,700 page bill that probably are OK, but that doesn’t warrant a 2,700 page takeover of all American health care.”

    In 2013, with the right’s hysteria over health care seemingly getting worse, the comments are apparently controversial.

  31. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

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