Wednesday Open Thread | 1963 March on Washington Heroes: John Lewis

This week is the 50th Anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington for Justice and Jobs. Let’s look back at some of the heroes of the March.

Today’s Hero is John Lewis.


john lewis-2

John Robert Lewis (born February 21, 1940) is an American politician and civil rights leader. He is the U.S. Representative for Georgia’s 5th congressional district, serving since 1987, and is the dean of the Georgia congressional delegation. The district includes the northern three-quarters of Atlanta.

Lewis was one of the “Big Six” leaders in the American Civil Rights Movement and chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), playing a key role in the struggle to end legalized racial discrimination and segregation. A member of the Democratic Party, Lewis is a member of the Democratic leadership of the House of Representatives and has served in the Whip organization since shortly after his first election to the U.S. Congress.

He is Senior Chief Deputy Whip, leading an organization of chief deputy whips and serves as the primary assistant to the Democratic Whip. He has held this position since 1991

john lewis-4

Civil rights activism

John Lewis was chairman of SNCC during its most productive years. During his tenure, SNCC opened Freedom Schools, launched the Mississippi Freedom Summer and is generally recognized as one of the important leaders of the civil rights movement. He was a hard-working young man who overcame poverty and political disenfranchisement to educate himself.

He graduated from the American Baptist Theological Seminary in Nashville and then received a bachelor’s degree in Religion and Philosophy from Fisk University. As a student, Lewis was very dedicated to the civil rights movement. He organized sit-ins at segregated lunch counters in Nashville and took part in many other civil rights activities as part of the Nashville Student Movement. He was instrumental in organizing student sit-ins, bus boycotts and non-violent protests in the fight for voter and racial equality.

In 1960, Lewis joined the Freedom Riders. He was one of the 13 original Freedom Riders. There were seven whites and six blacks who were determined to ride from Washington, DC, to New Orleans in an integrated fashion. At that time, several states of the old Confederacy still enforced laws prohibiting black and white riders from sitting next to each other on public transportation. The Freedom Ride, originated by the Fellowship of Reconciliation and revived by Farmer and CORE, was initiated to pressure the federal government to enforce the Supreme Court decision in Boynton v. Virginia (1960) that declared segregated interstate bus travel to be unconstitutional. In the South, Lewis and other non-violent Freedom Riders were beaten by angry mobs, arrested at times and taken to jail. When CORE gave up on the Freedom Ride because of the violence, Lewis and fellow activist Diane Nash arranged for the Nashville students to take it over and bring it to a successful conclusion.

john lewis-1

In 1963, when Chuck McDew stepped down as SNCC chairman, Lewis, one of the founding members of SNCC, was quickly elected to take over. Lewis’s experience at that point was already widely respected. His courage and his tenacious adherence to the philosophy of reconciliation and non-violence made him emerge as a leader. By this time, he had been arrested 24 times in the non-violent struggle for equal justice. He held the post of chairman until 1966.
Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C. (Leaders of the march)

By 1963, he was recognized as one of the “Big Six” leaders of the Civil Rights Movement, along with Whitney Young, A. Phillip Randolph, James Farmer and Roy Wilkins. In that year, Lewis helped plan the historic March on Washington in August 1963, the occasion of Dr. King’s celebrated “I Have a Dream” speech. Currently, he is the last remaining speaker from the march. Lewis represented SNCC, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, and at 23 was the youngest speaker that day.[3]

In 1964, Lewis coordinated SNCC’s efforts for “Mississippi Freedom Summer,” a campaign to register black voters across the South. The Freedom Summer was an attempt to expose college students from around the country to the perils of African American life in the South. Lewis traveled the country encouraging students to spend their summer break trying to help people in Mississippi, the most recalcitrant state in the union, to register and vote. Lewis became nationally known during his prominent role in the Selma to Montgomery marches. On March 7, 1965 – a day that would become known as “Bloody Sunday” – Lewis and fellow activist Hosea Williams led over 600 marchers across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama. At the end of the bridge, they were met by Alabama State Troopers who ordered them to disperse. When the marchers stopped to pray, the police discharged tear gas and mounted troopers charged the demonstrators, beating them with night sticks. Lewis’s skull was fractured, but he escaped across the bridge, to a church in Selma. Before he could be taken to the hospital, John Lewis appeared before the television cameras calling on President Johnson to intervene in Alabama. On his head, Lewis bears scars that are still visible today.

Historian Howard Zinn wrote: “At the great Washington March of 1963, the chairman of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), John Lewis, speaking to the same enormous crowd that heard Martin Luther King’s I Have a Dream speech, was prepared to ask the right question: ‘Which side is the federal government on?’ That sentence was eliminated from his speech by organizers of the March to avoid offending the Kennedy Administration. But Lewis and his fellow SNCC workers had experienced, again and again, the strange passivity of the national government in the face of Southern violence.”[4]

“John Lewis and SNCC had reason to be angry. At 21 years old, John Lewis was the first of the Freedom Riders to be assaulted while in Rock Hill, South Carolina. He tried to enter a whites-only waiting room and two white men attacked him, injuring his face and kicking him in the ribs. Nevertheless, only two weeks later Lewis joined a Freedom Ride that was bound for Jackson. “We were determined not to let any act of violence keep us from our goal. We knew our lives could be threatened, but we had made up our minds not to turn back,” Lewis said recently in regard to his perseverance following the act of violence.[5]

In an interview with CNN during the 40th anniversary of the Freedom Rides, Lewis recounted the sheer amount of violence he and the 12 other original Freedom Riders endured. In Anniston, Alabama, the bus was fire-bombed after Ku Klux Klan members deflated its tires, forcing it to come to a stop. In Birmingham, the Riders were mercilessly beaten, and in Montgomery, an angry mob met the bus, and Lewis was hit in the head with a wooden crate. “It was very violent. I thought I was going to die. I was left lying at the Greyhound bus station in Montgomery unconscious,” said Lewis, remembering the incident.

The original intent of the Freedom Rides was to test the new law that banned segregation in public transportation. It also exposed the passivity of the government regarding violence against citizens of the country who were simply acting in accordance to the law.[6] The federal government had trusted the notoriously racist Alabama police to protect the Riders, but did nothing itself, except to have FBI agents take notes. The Kennedy Administration then called for a ‘cooling-off period,’ a moratorium on Freedom Rides.[4] Lewis had been imprisoned for forty days in the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Sunflower County, Mississippi, after participating in a Freedom Riders activity in that state.[7]

In February 2009, forty-eight years after he had been bloodied by the Ku Klux Klan during civil rights marches, Lewis received an apology on national television from a white southerner, former Klansman Elwin Wilson.[8][9]

After leaving SNCC in 1966, Lewis worked with community organizations and was named community affairs director for the National Consumer Co-op Bank in Atlanta.

john lewis-3

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75 Responses to Wednesday Open Thread | 1963 March on Washington Heroes: John Lewis

  1. rikyrah says:

    Leroy Bloomberg @bloombergs_son

    My dad likes @ChrisCQuinn. No further comment. #NYC2013 #stopandfrisk
    7:04 PM – 21 Aug 2013

  2. rikyrah says:

    Political Animal
    August 21, 2013 4:45 PM
    Pawlenty Heavy

    By Ed Kilgore

    Politico’s James Hohmann has penned an insider-y piece about the supposed 2016 presidential strategy of WI Gov. Scott Walker, who generally makes the second tier of potential candidates in early handicapping for ‘16. Here’s the big reveal:

    Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s game plan for the next three years is quietly taking shape: Win reelection next year in this purple state without moderating a record that has won many hearts in the conservative base; let the other GOP hopefuls get sullied by the mud pit of Congress and each other; then pounce in 2015.

    Hohmann mentions in passing Walker’s physical proximity to Iowa (and the seven years he spent there during childhood), and quotes IA Gov. Terry Brandstad saying nice things about him. In this as in other respects Walker’s positioning would appear to resemble that of 2012 candidate Tim Pawlenty—the electable conservative with a record not confined to bloviating in Congress.

    The comparison may surprise some readers who think of T-Paw as fatally nice (the guy who couldn’t bring himself to repeat his potentially effective “Obamneycare” quip during the early candidate debates, and who folded his tent quickly at the first adverse event) or of Walker as a nasty piece of work. But in the Republican “base,” Walker’s nasty streak, and the rage his name evokes among Democrats, are obviously assets. Walker also has to get through a re-election campaign (T-Paw had already retired from the governorship after two terms) in which, as Hohmann notes, he does not have the option of “moving to the center,” not that anyone would much believe it if he did.

    So if Walker is re-elected with his right-wing street cred intact, he’d be sort of “Pawlenty Heavy” rather than Lite, which might be just what was missing in the Minnesotan’s campaign.

  3. rikyrah says:

    The Worst Thing In That Maureen Dowd Column Isn’t Actually Her Misquote Of Bill DeBlasio’s Wife

    By Alyssa Rosenberg on August 21, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd is taking a lot of very justified heat for a column about New York City mayoral candidate Bill DeBlasio and his wife Chirlane McCray, in which she appears to have distorted a quotation of McCray’s to imply that McCray is impugning rival Democratic candidate Christine Quinn for being a lesbian. As Mother Jones’ Kevin Drum points out, Dowd quoted McCray as saying of Quinn that “She’s not the kind of person I feel I can go up to and talk to about issues like taking care of children at a young age and paid sick leave.” By contrast, audio of the interview suggests that McCray actually said “Well, I am a woman, and she is not speaking to the issues I care about, and I think a lot of women feel the same way. I don’t see her speaking to the concerns of women who have to take care of children at a young age or send them to school and after school, paid sick days, workplace; she is not speaking to any of those issues. What can I say? And she’s not accessible, she’s not the kind of person that, I feel, that you can go up and talk to and have a conversation with about those things. And I suspect that other women feel the same thing I’m feeling.” Dowd is now suggesting that a noisy coffee shop obscured her audio recording, and she ended up relying on what turn out to have been bad-quality notes for the quotation.

    The responsible thing for Dowd to do might have been to paraphrase, or to ask the DeBlasio campaign if she could check her audio against their duplicate, which one assumes was made with her knowledge and in her presence. It might also be responsible for Dowd to use her column space to focus on the actual issue differences between the candidates, rather than on DeBlasio’s Red Sox fandom, a random mention of Cynthia Nixon, and an attempt to convince readers that the DeBlasio campaign is trying to build a narrative against Quinn that, even with Dowd’s made-up example, doesn’t even reach the requisite three to make a trend. But then, I’m not her editor.

    But I think it’s worth pointing out that as bad as Dowd’s quoting malpractice is, and as frivolous as the overall column is, these problems aren’t actually the worst part of the column.

  4. rikyrah says:

    As I said..

    MODO had been proven to be a liar BEFORE NOON TODAY – look at the time on this…author had to have time to research the piece, and write it…it was posted at 12:15 Quinn knew THIS MORNING for sure that it was bullshyt..


    why the fuck is she mentioning it in a debate?


    Today at 12:15 PM

    Maureen Dowd’s Frankenstein Quote Gave Christine Quinn a Temporary Opening on de Blasio

    By Joe Coscarelli

    Christine Quinn won herself some headlines this morning by expressing outrage at Chirlane McCray, the wife of her suddenly viable mayoral rival Bill de Blasio, for her remarks about families in a Mauren Dowd column. McCray, as quoted, said Quinn is “not accessible … She’s not the kind of person I feel I can go up to and talk to about issues like taking care of children at a young age and paid sick leave,” giving Quinn the opportunity to take umbrage at a perceived slight for being a childless lesbian. “[To] criticize me as not understanding what young families go through because I might not have children is over the line,” she said.

    But if the counterattack already seemed like a stretch, some of the blame can go to Dowd for stitching together McCray’s full quote in a way that left it open to an offensive interpretation.

  5. rikyrah says:

    Charles Pierce on MODO’s lies on Mrs. DeBlasio

    Simple, but on point.

    MoDo Must Go
    By Charles P. Pierce at 4:20PM


    Don’t even think about arguing otherwise.

    Bull. Also, shit.

  6. rikyrah says:

    Ethan Peretz @MperiousRex

    If you love someone, set them free. Or have them unknowingly mule stolen intel across international boundaries for you. Either or really.
    4:10 PM – 21 Aug 2013

  7. rikyrah says:

    Dallas County Joins Federal Voter Identification Lawsuit
    August 20, 2013 5:28 PM

    DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — After a fairly heated discussion, Dallas County commissioners voted 3-2 to join the federal voting rights challenge to Texas’ new voter ID law, which requires voters to present photo identification to vote in person.

    County Judge Clay Jenkins and commissioners Theresa Daniel and John Wiley Price, all Democrats, voted for the measure. Democrat Elba Garcia and Republican Mike Cantrell voted against joining the suit.

    Garcia voiced concerns about the cost and was hoping for more time to review, and Cantrell said the county shouldn’t use county funds for a partisan fight.

    The Justice Department sued Texas in 2011, alleging the law discriminated against minority voters. The ID law wasn’t enforced due to conflicts with the U.S. Voting Rights Act. When the U.S. Supreme Court struck down parts of the act earlier this year, the state reinstated the law.

  8. rikyrah says:

    The Associated Press ✔ @AP

    BREAKING:Police say Georgia school shooting suspect had nearly 500 rounds of ammunition. -MM

    1:05 PM – 21 Aug 2013

  9. rikyrah says:

    Chiara de Blasio introducing her Dad

    ( can’t let Dante have all the fun…LOL)

  10. rikyrah says:

    Democratic Push For Voting Reform In All 50 States Has GOP Frothing At The Mouth

    [….] Last week, a 50-state initiative was rolled out by a new nonprofit organization run by Michael Sargeant, the executive director of the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee. The group takes back language co-opted by conservatives, naming itself American Values First. The intent of the group is to push voting reforms that will make it a whole lot easier for all who are eligible to vote.

    First of all, Democrats will push states to adopt legislation that requires all elections to be conducted by mail.[….] Secondly, Dems will push for states to enact universal registration, putting the responsibility for registration on state governments — for instance, by tying automatic registration of eligible voters to issuing drivers’ licenses. Such a bill failed by just one vote in Oregon last year. Rep. Lew Frederick, D-Portland, will reintroduce it in January, 2014.[….]

  11. rikyrah says:

    Rutgers experiment draws national attention by helping 163 urban kids get to college – Posted 08/04/2013

    Five years ago, Rutgers University began a grand experiment. What would happen if the university put nearly 200 low-income kids in an intensive multiyear program to get them ready for college and offered them free tuition to Rutgers if they stuck with it? The results of the program, called Rutgers Future Scholars, are better than anyone at the university expected.

    Out of the 183 students who started the program as seventh-graders, 163 are headed to college this fall — including 98 to Rutgers on full scholarships, school officials said. Nearly all will be among the first in their families to attend college. “I’m very excited — it even beats the state graduation rate,” said Courtney McAnuff, Rutgers’ vice president for enrollment management. “It’s just been phenomenal.”[….]

  12. rikyrah says:

    Republican insider accuses LePage and legislative Republicans of cover up regarding Obama remarks

    A long-time Maine Republican insider sent this for publication, asking that their identity remain secret; reading it, you can understand why – GW

    The Maine GOP world is out of its mind right now. The state party staff and the House GOP staff has been active making phone calls to people who attended the event to urge them to say they didn’t hear the governor’s remarks. GOP legislative leadership, the governor’s office, and the state party are coordinating a cover up.

    Not only is LePage lying when he denies he made the remarks, but the rest of the GOP leadership team is also lying when they say they didn’t hear it. GOP Chair Rick Bennett was standing behind LePage when he made the remarks. House GOP leader Ken Fredette was right there too. And Alex Willette, CD2 candidate and GOP House whip, was standing right in front and heard every word.

    Now all of these people are working together to suppress the truth about the Governor’s remarks. They are having state-paid staff work the phones, and they are asking everyone who was there to risk their own credibility and lie for the benefit of the governor.

    The background sources that the newspapers have based their stories on are beside themselves now that LePage has denied the statements. LePage’s team operates on a harsh loyalty regimen and they are now trying to track down the dissenters so they can attack them directly. Many important people within the GOP are considering coming out against the Governor and may have to do this sooner than later for fear of being caught as part of the lying cover up once the dam breaks.

    And in the background lurks the possibility that there is a tape. There were enough people at the event that no one knows for certain if it was recorded.

  13. Dallas County commissioners may join fight against Texas voter ID law

    Dallas County commissioners on Tuesday could join a federal challenge to a controversial state law that requires voters to show photo identification.

    Commissioners are expected to vote on whether to hire a law firm to join a federal lawsuit at Tuesday’s regular meeting. The move would pit county leaders against state officials. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said last month he is also taking aim at Texas legislators’ voting laws.

  14. rikyrah says:

    Generous donor pays for shopping spree for more than 90 kids

    More than 90 low-income students from White Center will be able to
    shop for back-to-school clothes because of the generosity of a Seattle
    woman. For a decade, Mrs. Jean Renny has been donating money to the Salvation Army so that kids could buy what they need for the new school year. This year she is giving $20,000 to the Salvation Army for the shopping spree. The kids will receive $200 each to spend at JCPenney Tuesday morning.[….]

  15. rikyrah says:

    This State Is Democrats’ Best Chance to Pick Up a Senate Seat


    Democrats are in danger of getting disappointed in Kentucky, where early poll numbers belie McConnell’s big advantages. If people are really buying Wendy Davis and a “blue Texas,” Democrats might be doubly disappointed. Where Democrats could end up pleasantly surprised is Georgia. The conditions for an upset might be brewing in the Peach State, where Saxby Chambliss is retiring and Democrats have stealthily become close to competing on a more regular basis. It might even be a better bet for Democrats in 2014 than Kentucky.

    I was initially skeptical of whether Democrats could compete in Georgia in 2014. So skeptical that I was initially unsure about whether I even agreed with Harry Enten’s assertion that Georgia was a better pick-up opportunity for Democrats than Kentucky, where I’m unabashedly pessimistic about Grimes. The main source of my pessimism? 2014 is a midterm election, when black turnout would be expected to drop. Consider the difference between the general and run-off Senate elections in 2008, when Chambliss went from a 3 point edge to 15 point rout. Since Georgia’s white vote is pretty “inelastic,” it’s hard to see how a Democratic candidate was going to overcome a 15 point deficit statewide.

    But Georgia’s black turnout wasn’t so bad in 2010, despite a bad national climate and without a competitive federal election. According to the Georgia Secretary of State, the black share of the electorate only declined slightly, from 30 percent in 2008 to 28.3 percent in 2010. The white share of the electorate increased from 64.1 to 66.3 percent. That drop-off might hurt a Democratic candidate by a net-3 points, but that’s not the massive gap suggested by the 2008 run-offs. Part of the explanation: turnout was 20 percent higher in 2010 than the 2008 run-offs.

    Demographic change helps counter some of the drop-off. The state’s non-white population is booming and, as a result, the white share of the electorate dropped from 64.1 percent in 2008 to 61.4 percent in 2012. A similar decline was observed among registered voters. As a result of these demographic changes, we would expect the 2014 midterm electorate to be about as diverse as the 2008 general electorate. If 2014 turnout drops off at the same rate that it did in 2010, we might guesstimate that the electorate would be 63.7 percent white, compared to 64.1 percent in 2008 and 66.3 percent in 2010.

  16. rikyrah says:


    What has happened to Bradley Manning, Edward Snowden, and David Miranda should be a cautionary tale to any idealistic naif considering working with Julian Assange or Glenn Greenwald.

    If someone gets caught holding the bag, it’s going to be you.

  17. rikyrah says:

    Cruz: Americans Could Get “Addicted” to Obamacare
    by Jay Root
    August 19, 2013

    U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz has come home to Texas to promote his long-shot bid to defund “Obamacare,” warning Tea Party activists Monday that they have only a few months to stop the health care reform law before people get “addicted” to it.

    Cruz, who has thrilled his conservative base with his promise to shake up business as usual in Washington, says that once the insurance subsidies kick in at the beginning of 2014, it will be too late to undo the Affordable Care Act.

    He said that is precisely President Obama’s goal.

    “His strategy is to get as many Americans as possible hooked on the subsidies, addicted to the sugar,” Cruz told a Kingwood Tea Party gathering. “If we get to Jan. 1, this thing is here forever.”

  18. rikyrah says:

    Republicans Move to the Center? Nope, They’re Crazier Than Ever

    If you thought the GOP would adopt more moderate positions after its 2012 debacle, you were wrong. From debate threats to defunding Obamacare and even more purges, Michael Tomasky on how the insanity’s only increasing.

    by Michael Tomasky Aug 21, 2013 4:45 AM EDT

    If you’d asked me six months ago whether the Republican Party would manage to find a few ways to sidle back toward the center between now and 2016, I’d have said yes. But today, on the basis of evidence offered so far this year, I’d have to say a big fat no. With every passing month, the party contrives new ways to go crazier. There’s a lot of time between now and 2016, but it’s hard to watch recent events without concluding that the extreme part of the base is gaining more and more internal control.

    Let’s start with this recent party meeting in Boston. As with the previous winter meeting, the Republican National Committee was trying to spin inclusiveness as the theme and goal. But what real news came out of the meeting? Go to the RNC website. Before you even make it to the home page, you’ll be presented with a petition imploring you to “Hold the Liberal Media Accountable!” and “Tell CNN and NBC to drop their planned programming promoting Hillary Clinton or no 2016 debates!” The photo is of She Who Is in Question, smiling all the way to the White House.

    You know, I trust, that the petition augments a position adopted at the meeting in protest of the biopics of Clinton planned by those two networks. As an “issue,” this is totally absurd. How many voters are going to walk into the booth on Election Day 2016, if Clinton is the Democratic nominee, thinking, “Gee whiz, I never cared that much for Hillary until I saw that wonderful biopic about a year ago, which is what sealed it for me!” Ridiculous. Besides, has anyone stopped to wonder whether Clinton herself wants these movies aired? (Actually, Al Hunt has). A decent argument can be made that her interest in seeing Gennifer and Monica and Tammy Wynette and all those unflattering hairstyles dredged up again is slim indeed.

    This is just more symbolic (and shambolic) politics of rage. The driver here is not anger about these Hillary shows. They’re the handy excuse. The driver is hatred of all news organizations that aren’t Fox News, which in turn reflects hatred of reality itself, hatred of the unhappy truth that there are facts in this world that can’t be neatly arranged behind a worldview of rage and racial resentment. Soon enough, the GOPers are going to get themselves to the point where the only debates are on Fox, moderated, as Reince Priebus suggested last week, by the likes of Sean Hannity. The Pravda-ization of the party, a process that’s been under way since Fox first took to the air back in 1996, will be complete. The kinds of questions candidates will likely be asked on Fox, and the kinds of answers they’ll know will be expected of them, will drive the party even further rightward.

  19. rikyrah says:

    Only One in Four Young Adults Know About Obamacare Exchanges

    Dylan Scott- August 21, 2013, 6:00 AM 3350

    Only one in four young American adults are aware of the online health insurance marketplaces that will open on Oct. 1 as part of the federal health care reform law, according to a report released Wednesday.

    In a survey of adults ages 19 to 29 by the non-profit nonpartisan Commonwealth Fund, just 27 percent said they knew they would be able to purchase insurance on the marketplaces, also known as exchanges, starting Oct. 1.

    The young adult population has been the focal point of the Obama administration’s campaign to promote the marketplaces. The White House has said that it wants to enroll 2.7 million people ages 18 to 35 in the exchanges by next year; 7 million people in total are expected to sign up for health coverage.

  20. rikyrah says:

    The Remarkable Slowdown In Health Care Costs Since The Passage Of Obamacare

    By Igor Volsky on August 20, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    A new survey of health care premiums for employer-sponsored health care coverage shows that health care inflation is slowing, further undermining critics’ predictions that costs would skyrocket in the aftermath of the Affordable Care Act.

    The report, conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, estimates that the average annual premium in 2013 is $16,351 for family coverage — an average increase of 4 percent from last year. The rate is the latest indication that growth in health care costs is abating, though premiums are still increasing faster than workers’ wages (1.8 percent from 2012 to 2013) and general inflation (1.1 percent from 2012 to 2013). Employees are now contributing $4,565 on average toward the cost of their coverage.

    “We are in a prolonged period of moderation in premiums, which should create some breathing room for the private sector to try to reduce costs without cutting back benefits for workers,” Kaiser President and CEO Drew Altman, Ph.D., said

  21. rikyrah says:

    ‘The party is acting as if the entire world is a GOP primary’
    By Steve Benen
    Wed Aug 21, 2013 11:46 AM EDT.

    It’s funny to think back to the spring, when Republican leaders seemed cautiously optimistic about the road ahead. Sure, 2012 clearly didn’t work out as planned, but the party had a detailed “autopsy” of what went wrong, a blueprint for getting back on track, a House majority, and a stable of prominent officials eager to claim leadership roles. Talk of “rebranding” was in the air.

    And yet, here we are.

    The party is acting as if the entire world is a GOP primary,” said Mike Murphy, a prominent Republican campaign consultant. “That is a very dangerous way to operate. We have massive image problems with the greater electorate, and the silly antics of the purist wing are making our dire problems even worse.”

    That’s a good quote, and Mike Murphy is a credible observer from within the Republican mainstream, but what I found most interesting about this line is its broad applicability. When he says his party is “acting as if the entire world is a GOP primary,” it’s unclear what he’s referring to specifically, but it doesn’t really matter — he’s likely referring to nearly everything.

  22. rikyrah says:

    Virginia’s First Lady Increasingly At Center Of Gifts Scandal
    Eric Lach- August 21, 2013, 6:00 AM

    The gifts scandal that has rocked the Virginia governor’s mansion has reached a critical juncture. After months of news stories and reports of a federal investigation, the Washington Post recently suggested that if charges are in fact coming against Gov. Bob McDonnell (R), they could come in a matter of days.

    At the same time, the governor’s wife, Maureen McDonnell, has received increasing attention for her role in the scandal, while the governor and his team have taken to drawing bright lines between his actions and hers.

    The scandal, for those unfamiliar, concerns tens of thousands of dollars in gifts and other money that Jonnie Williams, the CEO of a Virginia dietary supplements company, provided to the McDonnells in recent years. Much of the money came in the form of three payments — Bob McDonnell has insisted they were loans — from Williams to the first family. Williams gave Maureen McDonnell $50,000 in 2011. The following year, he gave $70,000 to a real estate business owned jointly by Bob McDonnell and the governor’s sister. Williams also, among other things, paid for a luxury shopping trip in New York City, a $6,500 Rolex watch, and wrote big checks for the weddings of two of the McDonnells’ daughters. In recent weeks, Bob McDonnell announced that the “loans” and all the “tangible” gifts from Williams had been repaid and returned.

  23. rikyrah says:

    Health care hypocrisy with a twist
    By Steve Benen
    Wed Aug 21, 2013 10:47 AM EDT

    Peggy Noonan, a prominent Republican pundit at the Wall Street Journal, ran into a little trouble last week trying to discuss health care policy she mistakenly thinks she understands.

    Indeed, as Ezra Klein explained yesterday, “Noonan’s column is a beautiful example of a writer so intent on criticizing Obamacare that she’s missed the fact that the law is doing precisely the thing she wants done. A reasonable reader of Noonan’s column would end up loathing ‘Obamacare’ and hoping for a replacement that looks like, well, Obamacare.”

    At issue is something called Community First Choice, a new part of Medicaid that expands access to at-home care for the disabled. It’s a major breakthrough, which Noonan thinks she doesn’t like, but when she fleshed out her concerns, it sounded like Nooan was calling for changes that are already in the law.

    Indeed, as it turns out, Community First Choice is all over the news, and Noonan isn’t the only one whose opposition isn’t quite as consistent as previously thought

    Gov. Rick Perry wants to kill Obamacare dead, but Texas health officials are in talks with the Obama administration about accepting an estimated $100 million available through the health law to care for the elderly and disabled, POLITICO has learned.

    Perry health aides are negotiating with the Obama administration on the terms of an optional Obamacare program that would allow Texas to claim stepped-up Medicaid funding for the care of people with disabilities.

    The so-called Community First Choice program aims to enhance the quality of services available to the disabled and elderly in their homes or communities. Similar approaches have had bipartisan support around the country. About 12,000 Texans are expected to benefit in the first year of the program.

  24. rikyrah says:

    gif for today

    we aint studdin you


    Alliance for Justice

    At the 1963 March on Washington, left to right:
    Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Dr. Eugene Carson Blake,
    Walter Reuther and Rabbi Joachim Prinz.

  26. Lord Have Mercy!

    African-American Business Owner’s Surveillance Cam Catch Undercover Police Agent Planting Crack.

  27. Justice Department Planning To Announce Financial Crisis Charges

    U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is preparing to announce new cases related to the economic meltdown in the coming months as the Justice Department nears decisions on a number of probes involving large financial firms, the Wall Street Journal reported.

    “Anybody who’s inflicted damage on our financial markets should not be of the belief that they are out of the woods because of the passage of time,” Holder said in an interview with the Journal on Tuesday.

    He declined to discuss specific cases or say when the cases would be announced, the report said, but added that he wouldn’t leave the job before making major charging decisions on cases stemming from the 2008 financial collapse.


    • Ametia says:

      Everything is in DIVINE order with the Obama administration and the DOJ. It’s the screaming, whining liberals who think they are running the presidential show that need to have a seat.

  28. Florida legislators have rejected a call for a special session to repeal the state’s “stand your ground” law.

    An overwhelming number of Florida legislators have rejected a call for a special session to repeal the state’s “stand your ground” law.

    The Department of State on Tuesday released a final tally. It showed 108 legislators voted against the special session while 47 voted for it. Four legislators didn’t vote.

    The vote was triggered by a written request by 33 legislators for the special session. They were urged to do so by protesters upset with the July verdict in the George Zimmerman case.

    A “yes” vote by three-fifths of the Republican-majority Legislature would have resulted in a special session.

    The vote was split largely along partisan lines. Seven Democrats joined with Republicans in voting no.

    Protesters who pushed for the poll ended their protest at the Florida Capitol last week.

  29. Booker picks up official Obama endorsement

    Cory Booker is already the heavy favorite in the New Jersey Senate race after winning the Democratic nomination last week, but now he officially has President Barack Obama’s stamp of approval in the October special election.

  30. Rick Perry Quietly Lobbies The White House For $100 Million In Obamacare Funding

    Politico reported Tuesday evening that Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s (R) administration is in negotiations with the Obama White House to accept about $100 million in federal money to implement an Obamacare Medicaid program to help elderly and disabled Americans.

    Perry has been a heated opponent of the health law. He refused to accept $100 billion in federal funding to expand Texas’ Medicaid program under Obamacare, which could have helped 1.5 million poor Texans afford basic health benefits. As recently as April, Perry essentially called the expansion a joke. “Seems to me April Fool’s Day is the perfect day to discuss something as foolish as Medicaid expansion, and to remind everyone that Texas will not be held hostage by the Obama administration’s attempt to force us into the fool’s errand of adding more than a million Texans to a broken system,” said Perry.

    Now, Perry is seeking federal dollars for Texas’ Medicaid program anyway.

    The Affordable Care Act grants state funding to expand a program called Community First Choice, which aims to improve the community-based medical services available to disabled and elderly Americans. The wildly popular program is administered through Medicaid and could prevent thousands of disabled and older Americans from being uprooted from their homes and into a long-term care facility for their treatments. Approximately 12,000 Texans could take advantage of it in the first year alone.

    Perry spokespeople emphasized to Politico that the governor’s support for the program — and the Medicaid funds that make it possible — shouldn’t come as a surprise and doesn’t change his position on the Affordable Care Act.

  31. Rikyrah, you’re rockin & rollin!

    Congressman John Lewis!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  32. Ametia says:

    Bradley Manning sentenced to 35 years in prison for leaking classified documents

    Army Pfc. Bradley Manning was sentenced Wednesday to 35 years in prison for leaking hundreds of thousands of classified documents to the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks.

    Manning, 25, was convicted by a military judge last month of multiple charges, including violations of the Espionage Act for copying and disseminating the documents while serving as an intelligence analyst at a forward operating base in Iraq.

    Read more at:

  33. Ametia says:

    SG2, where are you?

    Teen kept off heart transplant list recovers after surgery

    ATLANTA – Fifteen-year-old Anthony Stokes is getting a second chance at life Wednesday. After being kept off of the list for a life-saving heart transplant, Stokes is now recovering after undergoing the five-hour surgery.

    The teen is healing in the ICU at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, FOX 5 Atlanta has learned.

    Earlier in August, in a letter to Stokes’ family, officials at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston said they wouldn’t put Stokes on the transplant wait list because they said he had a history of non-compliance.

    “He didn’t have any medical history. He wouldn’t, you know, make his doctor’s appointments,” his mother, Melencia Hamilton, said.

    She said she son had only been to clinics for check-ups and immunization shots because, until then, he’d never been sick. She believes money played a role in the hospital’s decision.

    “I think that they don’t think that we can pay for the medicine. We probably couldn’t get to the doctor visits because of transportation. I don’t have a car,” Hamilton said.

  34. Ametia says:


  35. rikyrah says:


    Higher percentage of Republicans utilized Obamacare’s option to stay on your parents’ plan than Democrats.

  36. rikyrah says:

    Bentivolio’s idea of a ‘dream come true’

    By Steve Benen
    Wed Aug 21, 2013 9:11 AM EDT.

    We here at The Rachel Maddow Show have been fascinated by Rep. Kerry Bentivolio (R-Mich.) for a while, because even in a Congress filled with colorful characters, the Michigan Republicans stands out as … unique.

    As Rachel noted a couple of weeks ago, Bentivolio was elected to Congress last year in a bit of a fluke — the GOP incumbent in a deep-red district resigned just four months before Election Day, leaving Bentivolio, a wacky perennial candidate, as the only Republican running. Bentivolio’s day job is working as a professional Santa Claus re-enactor and reindeer herder. He also played a doctor in a 9/11 truther movie, and took shirtless photos of himself kissing a reindeer.

    Now Kerry Bentivolio is an actual member of Congress, hosting town-hall meetings like this one earlier this week. As Andrew Kaczynski noted, Bentivolio told his constituents on Monday that he wants to write and submit articles of impeachment against President Obama, which the congressman would consider “a dream come true.”

    He added that after standing near the president for a speech, “I went back to my office and I’ve had lawyers come in. These are lawyers, Ph.Ds in history, and I said, ‘Tell me how I can impeach the President of the United States.'”

    Bentivolio conceded that he’d have to find some “evidence” to avoid becoming “a laughing stock.”

  37. rikyrah says:

    Elementary School Clerk Convinced Gunman to Put His Weapons Down and Surrender

    The school clerk said she tried to keep the assailant calm by asking him his name but, she said, at first he wouldn’t tell it to her.

    Then, he began listening to her tell her life story. She said she told him about how her marriage fell apart after 33 years and the “roller coaster” of opening her own business.

    “I told him, ‘OK, we all have situations in our lives. I went through a tragedy myself,'” she said. “It was going to be OK. If I could recover, he could too.”

    Then Tuff made the request that she said helped end the standoff. She said she asked the suspect to put his weapons down, empty his pockets and backpack and lay on the floor.

    “I told the police he was giving himself up. I just talked him through it,” she said.

    Despite her efforts, Tuff said she’s not the hero.

    “I give it all to God,” she said. “I’m not the hero. I was terrified.”–abc-news-topstories.html

  38. rikyrah says:

    Anti-Obamacare Rage, Once a GOP Hit, Fizzles Despite Town Halls

    Heritage Action may be launching town halls against the health-care law, but the rage that fueled the Tea Party wave has died down—and even Republicans are starting to walk away, says Jamelle Bouie.

    by Jamelle Bouie Aug 20, 2013 4:45 AM EDT

    Tea Party Republicans had a huge hit with their rage against Obamacare. It gave them control of the House of Representatives in 2010, fueled their anti-spending crusade in 2011, inspired the most vocal of the GOP presidential candidates, and elevated a host of right-wing politicians to the Senate, providing a national platform for the crusade against the so-called government takeover of health care.

    Hits aren’t built to last, however, and after a while, this one began to fizzle. Mitt Romney’s constant attacks on Obamacare did little to help his White House campaign, and few Republican Senate candidates gained from their pledge to kill it. Those who did, like Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, were playing to a small audience of devoted fans who just wanted more of the same.

    The magic has fizzled so much that some Republicans have begun to walk away from the project altogether, even as others work to turn Obamacare funding into cause for a government shutdown.

    “Next to impossible,” said Tea Party favorite Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), when asked about the odds of repealing the Affordable Care Act. Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) said much the same thing last month: “Listen, as long as Barack Obama is president, the Affordable Care Act is going to be law.” And even Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), the closest thing to a Tea Party avatar, has voiced skepticism that the law can be stopped. Asked by Fox News’s Sean Hannity about his support for the “defunding” strategy proposed by Senate conservatives, Paul said that while he supports it, he “may not be able to guarantee victory.”

  39. rikyrah says:

    August 20, 2013, 2:40 pm

    They Can’t Handle The Health Care Truth

    Aaron Carroll talks about the Republican health care dilemma, and makes a good point: it runs deeper than the specific fact that Obamacare looks the way it does because it has to. At the most fundamental level, you can’t guarantee adequate health care to everyone unless the people who don’t need help right now — the young, healthy, and affluent — are induced, one way or another, to contribute to the care of those who do need help. You can do this purely with taxes, via a single-payer system (and maybe even by having the government act as provider), or you can do it, Swiss or Massachusetts style, via a combination of regulation, taxes, and subsidies. But some way of corralling the lucky healthy into contributing is necessary.

    For the vast majority of this group, this is still a good deal — as Ezra Klein says, nobody stays young and healthy forever, and only a very small number of people are so rich that they are better off on a lifetime basis with no guarantee of insurance at all. But conservatives balk at the notion of any kind of redistribution, even if it makes almost everyone better off. So they are unable to come up with an alternative.

    What they have are fantasies — claims that somehow unleashing the magic of the marketplace can make health care so cheap that everyone can afford it. There is absolutely no reason to believe that this is true.

    And this also means that their only chance of defeating Obamacare was to stop it before it went into effect. Once it’s in place, most people will see real benefits — and Republicans will have nothing to offer instead.

  40. rikyrah says:

    Terrorism Masquerading as Journalism is Still Terrorism (@Maddow)

    Tuesday, August 20, 2013 | Posted by Spandan C at 2:04 PM

    Last night, Rachel Maddow used the first part of her show on MSNBC to go on an insane rant about Glenn Greenwald’s boyfriend (as well as partner in crime) being detained by the British authorities at London’s Heathrow airport. Maddow incessantly bellyached that Britain was abusing its anti-terrorism law to try to stop journalistic activity by Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras in reporting on NSA activities – which, if Rachel believes is unconstitutional, she needs a crash course in the fourth amendment – disclosed to them by the American fugitive and Russian guest Edward Snowden. “Journalism is not terrorism,” Rachel lamented over and over, in the process chiding the United States for not objecting to Miranda’s interrogation despite having advanced knowledge of it.

    In addition the hilarious juxtaposition of someone who generally despises the US government telling other countries what to do suddenly getting bent out of shape because the Americans didn’t tell Great Britain what to do, in her cult-like worship of Glenn Greenwald, Maddow also decided to patently ignore the essential cornerstone of journalism herself – namely the idea that before going on righteous talk-radio style rants, one ought to wait for all the facts. All the facts about why Miranda may have been detained – that, as I pointed out, his activities of transporting stolen property (US and UK classified documents) may well have been a part of instigation of espionage by his partner and Poitras – and the facts about what terrorism is under UK and US laws.

    Maddow said last night that terrorism is a real thing, immediately thereafter proving that she had no idea what that thing was in law. Let me educate Maddow on this, since she doesn’t seem to either know or care. Under US law, this is how terrorism is defined – 18 USC § 2331:

    (1) the term “international terrorism” means activities that—
    (A) involve violent acts or acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State, or that would be a criminal violation if committed within the jurisdiction of the United States or of any State;
    (B) appear to be intended—
    (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;
    (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or
    (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping;
    Edward Snowden’s revelations – and Glenn Greenwald’s possible instigation of the revelations, which he himself hinted at, before backpedaling furiously – quite likely have caused danger to American lives as it gave away to terrorists our intelligence sources and methods. That’s not all. Greenwald openly threatened the United States, saying that it better hope nothing happens to Snowden, or the things he would reveal would be the “worst nightmare” for the US government. And no one – not even Greenwald, Poitras or Maddow, even claims that these revelations weren’t intended to influence the policy of one or more governments (namely the US and UK governments).

  41. rikyrah says:

    The company Corbett keeps
    By Steve Benen
    Wed Aug 21, 2013 8:35 AM EDT.

    Ordinarily, the staffers chosen by prominent policymakers don’t generate much attention, and are largely invisible to the public. But once in a while — when, say, a senator with a fringe ideology hires a neo-Confederate, pro-secessionist activist to work on Capitol Hill — there are exceptions.

    A classic example emerged this week in Pennsylvania, where Gov. Tom Corbett’s (R) administration hired Ana Puig to prominent post in the state Department of Revenue. The ideological inconsistency was hard to miss — Puig is a prominent right-wing activist and Tea Party spokesperson who made a name for herself railing against government and taxes. Now, as the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Thomas Fitzgerald reported, Puig “not only went to work for state government, she represents the people who collect the taxes to keep the beast purring along.”

    But there’s more to this story than irony. Josh Israel fleshed out some additional details.

    Speaking at numerous rallies, [Puig] became co-chair of and registered lobbyist for a local group called the Kitchen Table Patriots. At a 2009 rally, she argued that Obama was a Communist, in the mold of Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez. […]

    According to Keystone Politics, she defended Nazi memorabilia enthusiast in her organization as “a historian” and “an extremely smart person,” featured a blog promoting birther conspiracy theories and identifying the president as a member of the Muslim Brotherhood on her group’s website, and promoted events warning of the creeping threat of Sharia law in the United States.

  42. rikyrah says:

    Flipping the August script

    By Steve Benen
    Wed Aug 21, 2013 8:00 AM EDT.

    There were some subtle ironies surrounding Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-Texas) anti-healthcare event in Dallas last night. For one thing, it was held in a city where local officials are eager to help citizens participate in “Obamacare” and use the law to get coverage for themselves and their families. For another, the event was hosted by the Heritage Foundation’s activist arm — and the Heritage Foundation helped write the blueprint for the Affordable Care Act just 20 years ago.

    Regardless, how did last night’s event go? It was probably a little rowdier than organizers expected.

    For those who can’t watch clips online, this video shows only a brief excerpt from DeMint’s speech, which was interrupted several times by protesters, some of whom chanted, “You have health care, we should too!”

    The right-wing senator responded by mocking Organizing for America for relying on “fake grassroots” activists to show up at events like this one.

    And with this, the flipping of the script is complete. In 2009, Democrats hosted raucous town-hall meetings on health care; in 2013, Republicans are hosting raucous town-hall meetings on health care. In 2009, conservative activists shouted at politicians, demanding that policymakers make it harder for Americans to get affordable coverage; in 2013, progressive activists are shouting at politicians, demanding that policymakers not take Americans’ affordable coverage away.

    In 2009, the left was outraged that protesters would interrupt public meetings on an important issue; in 2013, the right is outraged that protesters would interrupt public meetings on an important issue. In 2009, Democrats condemned conservatives for using “fake grassroots” to exaggerate their political prowess; in 2013, Republicans are condemning progressives for using “fake grassroots” to exaggerate their political prowess.


    As for Cruz, after one of the interruptions, the Texan told the audience, “I agree with them. They should have health care and Obamacare is causing more and more people struggling to climb the economic ladder to lose their health care.”

    I suppose that’s the one remaining difference between this August and the one four years ago: in 2009, Democratic talking points were rooted in reality; in 2013, Cruz is spouting gibberish.

  43. rikyrah says:

    This one is Cut Your Nose to Spite Your Face-Worthy: Business Community Finally Realizes GOP Screwing Them Over.… …

  44. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone! Happy HUMP day.

    Rep John Lewis is a TRUE AMERICAN HERO. Thank you for this in-depth post, Rikyah.

  45. rikyrah says:

    NEW DETAILS: VP Biden’s son Beau Biden has a mass in his brain, resulting in an overnight stay at a Houston, TX hospital – @KPRCmboyle

  46. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone at 3CHICS!

  47. Yahtc says:

    Another great article post by you, rikyrah!

    I am so glad you posted the video of Danny Glover reading John Lewis’s unedited, original speech! We really cannot understand history without that video. Those courageous SNCC members and community members on the front lines, KNEW from direct experience what it all was about. How tragic that John Lewis was politically silenced and had to edit these important words out of his speech!

  48. CarolMaeWY says:

    Mr. Lewis is looking good for seventy-three. I admire him so much. Good Morning.

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