Thursday Open Thread | Blaxploitation Movies Week

Today is Ladies Day.

Can’t talk Blaxploitation and Ladies without talking about Pam Grier and Tamara Dobson.

Pam Grier…Pam Grier…Pam Grier..

Brought it! Was fierce, beautiful, proud, smart, sexy and Black in every movie she made.

She gave us the Coffy.

coffy poster

Coffy is a 1973 blaxploitation film written and directed by American filmmaker Jack Hill. The story is about a black female vigilante played by Pam Grier.

The film’s tagline in advertising was “They call her ‘Coffy’ and she’ll cream you!”[4]

Plot

Nurse “Coffy” Coffin (Pam Grier), seeks revenge for her younger sister’s getting hooked on drugs and having to live in a rehabilitation home, a product of the drug underworld, mob bosses and chain of violence that exists in her city. The film opens with Coffy showing her vigilante nature by killing a drug supplier and dealer. She does this without getting caught by using her sexuality as an attractive and athletic African American woman willing to do anything for a drug fix.

She lures the men to their residences, which gives her the privacy to kill them both. After the killings, Coffy returns to her regular job at a local hospital operating room, but is asked to leave when she is too jumpy when handing tools to the surgeon.

The film introduces Coffy’s African American police friend Carter (William Elliott), who used to date Coffy in their younger years. Carter is portrayed as a straight-shooting officer who is not willing to bend the law for the mob or thugs who have been bribing many officers at his precinct. Coffy doesn’t believe his strong moral resolve until two hooded men break into Carter’s house while she’s there and beat Carter severely, temporarily crippling him. This enrages Coffy, giving her further provocation to continue her work as a vigilante, killing those responsible for harming Carter and her sister.

Coffy’s boyfriend Howard Brunswick (Booker Bradshaw) is a city counselor who appears to be deeply in love with Coffy at the beginning of the film. Coffy admires Brunswick for his body as well as his use of law to solve societal problems. She is very happy when he announces his plan to run for Congress, and his purchase of a night club. The two share a passionate love scene in the first part of the film.

Coffy’s next targets are a pimp named King George (Robert DoQui), who is supposedly one of the largest providers of prostitutes and illegal substances in the city, and Mafia boss Arturo Vitroni (Allan Arbus).

Coffy questions and abuses a former patient of hers who was a known drug user to gain insight into the type of woman King George likes and where he keeps his stash of drugs. This is the first scene where Coffy brutalizes another woman and shows no remorse because the former patient is using drugs again and thus a societal deviant. Coffy quickly goes to a resort posing as a Jamaican woman looking to work for King George.

George is quickly interested in her exotic nature and asks her to come with him back to his house to experience Coffy himself first. One of the prostitutes returns from a far away job and gets disgruntled and jealous when seeing George taking such a liking to Coffy. At a party later that day Coffy and the other prostitutes get into a massive brawl, which entices mob boss Vitroni and he demands that he have her tonight.

Coffy prepares herself to murder Vitroni and just when she is about to shoot, is overtaken by his men. She lies and tells Vitroni that King George ordered her to kill him, which makes Vitroni order George to be murdered. Vitroni’s men kill George by dragging him through the streets by a noose.

Coffy then discovers her clean-cut boyfriend is actually corrupt when she’s shown to him at a meeting of the mob and several police officials. He denies knowing her other than as a prostitute and Coffy is sent to her death. Once again, Coffy uses her sexuality to seduce her would-be killers. They try injecting her with drugs to sedate her, but she had switched these out for sugar earlier. Faking a high, she kills her unsuspecting hitmen with a piece of glass.

Running to avoid capture, Coffy carjacks a vehicle to escape. Coffy drives to Vitroni’s house, murders him, and then goes to Brunswick’s to do the same. He pleads forgiveness and just as she is about to accept, a naked white woman comes out of the bedroom. At this, Coffy shoots Brunswick in the groin. The film then closes with Coffy being satisfied at having avenged her sister and Carter.

Coffy begat the following Pam Grier Blaxploitation flicks: Foxy Brown (1974), Friday Foster, and Sheba, Baby (both 1975).

Foxy-Brown-poster

Foxy Brown is a 1974 blaxploitation film written and directed by Jack Hill. It stars Pam Grier as the title character, described by one character as “a whole lot of woman” who showcases unrelenting sexiness while battling the villains.

Plot

When her government-agent boyfriend is shot down by members of a drug syndicate, Foxy Brown (Pam Grier) seeks revenge. She links her boyfriend’s murderers to a “modeling agency” run by Steve Elias (Peter Brown) and Miss Katherine (Kathryn Loder). Foxy decides to pose as a prostitute to infiltrate the company, and helps save a fellow black woman from a life of drugs and sexual exploitation. This leads Foxy to a variety of revenge-themed setpieces — often violent and sexual — that range from cremating sex slave dealers to castrating a foe and presenting his severed genitals to his girlfriend.

Production

According to director Jack Hill, this was originally intended to be a sequel to his Coffy (1973), also starring Pam Grier, and in fact the working title of the film was “Burn, Coffy, Burn!”. However, American-International Pictures decided at the last minute it did not want to do a sequel, even though Coffy was a huge hit. Therefore, it is never said exactly what kind of job Foxy Brown has — “Coffy” was a nurse and since this was no longer to be a sequel, they could not give Foxy Brown that job and did not have time to rewrite the script to establish just what kind of job she had.

On the audio commentary on the film’s DVD release, Hill also mentioned that he was initially against the outfits that the wardrobe department chose for Foxy Brown. Since Pam Grier had become a star in her prior film Coffy, there was an impetus to present the actress as even more stylish than she had appeared in the previous film. But Hill, by his own account, initially felt that the outfits were too trendy and specific to the time period, and within a few years would cause the film to look dated and obsolete. In the years since the film’s release, however, Hill has reversed his opinion on Foxy’s clothes, particularly in the wake of not only Foxy Brown’s ascent into pop culture icon, but also the ’70s nostalgia movement that started in the mid-1990s.

Hill also mentioned that the character of Foxy Brown became something of a female empowerment symbol that seemed to transcend the time period of the film. As such, Hill believes, Foxy’s 1970s clothes and hairstyles merely add to the charm of the character.


Friday Foster

Friday Foster Poster

Friday Foster is a 1975 blaxploitation film, written and directed by Arthur Marks, and starring Pam Grier in the title role. Yaphet Kotto, Eartha Kitt, Scatman Crothers and Carl Weathers co-starred. It was an adaptation of the 1970-74 eponymous syndicated newspaper comic strip, scripted by Jim Lawrence and illustrated by Jorge Longarón and Gray Morrow. This was Grier’s final film with American International Pictures. The tagline on the film’s poster is “Wham! Bam! Here comes Pam!”
Characters and story

Friday Foster (Grier) is a magazine photographer who refuses to heed her boss’s admonitions against becoming involved in the stories to which she is assigned. After witnessing an assassination attempt on the nation’s wealthiest African American and then seeing her best friend murdered, Friday finds herself targeted for death. She teams up with private detective Colt Hawkins (Kotto) to investigate, and soon the two are hot on the trail of a plot to eliminate the country’s African-American political leadership.

In addition to the standard blaxploitation plot elements, the film also dealt with the themes of the power and importance of African American political unity and the potential threat thereto posed not only by the perceived white power structure, but also by those African-Americans willing to betray that goal in search of reward from that establishment.

 

Sheba Baby

sheba_baby_poster_01

The action movie Sheba, Baby is a 1975 blaxploitation film starring Pam Grier as Sheba Shayne. In the film, Sheba returns to her hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, to confront thugs who are trying to intimidate her father into dissolving or handing over his family business. Austin Stoker plays Sheba’s love interest, Brick Williams.

Tamara Dobson

tamara dobson

Cleopatra Jones is a 1973 blaxploitation action film starring Tamara Dobson.

Cleopatra-Jones-movie-poster

Plot

Cleopatra “Cleo” Jones (Dobson) is an undercover special agent for the United States Government. Overseas modeling, however, is only a cover for her real job. Cleo is a Bond-like heroine with power and influence, her silver and black `73 Corvette Stingray (equipped with automatic weapons), and her martial arts ability. While she evokes the glory of a funk goddess, she remains loyal to her drug-ravaged community and her lover, Reuben Masters, who runs B&S House (a halfway home for recovering drug addicts).[2]

The film opens with Cleo overseeing the destruction of a poppy field in Turkey belonging to the evil drug lord, Mommy (Shelley Winters).[2] Mommy employs an all-male crew and a bevy of beautiful young women catering to her many wants. When she hears about her poppies’ demise, she plots revenge, hiring a corrupt policeman to raid the B&S House.[2]

When Cleo returns to LA to arrest the police responsible for the raid, she continues to take apart Mommy’s underworld drug business, thwarting her minions along the way.[2] Cleo and Mommy face off in a showdown, in which she is trapped by Mommy in a car crusher but is saved by her friends from the B&S House. In the final showdown, Cleo chases Mommy to the top of a magnetic crane where the two women fight. Mommy, despite her weight advantage, proves to be no match for Cleo, who hurls Mommy over the side of the crane to her death, while Cleo’s friends defeat her henchmen. At the end of the film, as Reuben and the members of the community celebrate victory, Cleo departs the scene, off to take on a new mission.

Background

Cleopatra Jones was made by Warner Brothers following the success of the Shaft series and AIP’s films. It opened while the Black Power movement, second-wave feminism, and an increasingly growing black feminism were all prevalent.[4] This social environment created the desire for a black heroine who appealed to women through a combination of alluring femininity, macho strength and combat skill. The film depicts the harsh reality of the black ghetto but portrays a united community whose members help one another. The final scene where Jones, Reuben, and the other B&S members join together to defeat Mommy emphasizes a “coming together” of the black community against white supremacy.[4]

Although Cleopatra Jones contains themes relating to the black and feminist movements, it appeals to the general public and is known to be the “first blaxploitation film to use martial arts as part of its promotion.”[5] It appeals to audiences who enjoy action movies (such as the James Bond series) and has invited comparisons between Jones and Bond. One critic noted “On the surface, Cleopatra Jones is about a black distaff James Bond who drives a fancy car equipped with a submachine gun in the door, wears smart clothes, is a karate expert, and travels all over the world as a United States secret agent, destroying the poppy wherever it is found.”[2] Another critic, Chris Norton, even suggested, “Like Bond, Cleo is not a stealthy character who tries to infiltrate the underworld by losing her identity… Bond seldom tried to hide his identity, often using his real name during introductions, and all Bond films rely on his being recognized as 007.”[2] Likewise, Jones is rarely undercover, and is flashy and flamboyant on the job. Norton continues by saying “Cleo’s outrageous outfits are also analogous with Bond’s dinner jackets and playboy wardrobe. Her three-foot hat brims and flowing fur robes are treated with respect and awe within the film, just as Bond’s refinements are looked upon as the height of good taste… [However,] Cleo is not simply a black James Bond. While the Cleopatra Jones films have co-opted Bond, they avoid a total fusion of her character of Bond.”

Max Julien originally wrote the part of Jones for his then-girlfriend Vonetta McGee but the part was eventually given to Dobson,[2] a fashion model whose height inspired the film’s tag line: “6 feet 2 inches of dynamite.”[4] Although blaxploitation films generally used sex to attract an audience, Cleopatra Jones was comparatively modest, containing no nudity or explicit sex.[5]

Just as her character Cleopatra Jones came from a poor, high-crime neighborhood, Dobson came from humble, working-class roots. She grew up in Baltimore’s inner city; her mother owned a beauty salon and her father worked at a railroad station. After earning a degree from the Baltimore Institute of Art, Dobson moved to New York City to become a model. Her race proved an obstacle until she caught the attention of movie producers searching for a black heroine.[2]
Feminism and sexuality

Cleopatra Jones illustrates the film industry’s progress toward gender equality. While Jones is both feminine and fashionable, at the same time she is talented in combat and driving even more so than the men in the film.[2] She is seen as a strong, assertive, and combative woman who is able to both appeal to men and defeat them physically. On one hand, Jones competitively combats with Mommy’s male henchmen but on the other, she maintains a loving relationship with Reuben. Cleopatra and Reuben’s relationship can be considered a more progressive look at black male and black female relations at the time.[4] Reuben is a strong black man who also cares for recovering kids at the B&S House. However he is also willing to fight as he comes to Jones’s aid and they fight alongside one another.[4] Their relationship emphasizes the equality and mutual respect in a relationship that has both strong female and male counterparts.

Although Jones’ character and relationships are in keeping with feminist principles, the portrayal of Mommy is less groundbreaking. She is presented as a hypersexual lesbian; her character displays many negative traits such as her constant lust and obsession with sex.[2] Mommy exerts tyrannical control over her henchmen and physically and verbally abuses her young female attendants.

Thus, the film’s homophobic treatment of Mommy hints at the film’s anti-feminism in the white feminist sense. During this period, feminism was “often seen as a white woman’s movement; some have seen it as anti-black.” [2] Even Dobson stated that a message she would have liked the film to portray would have been a more centered approach towards racial equality rather than gender. She stated in an interview, “We’re trying to free our men. I believe in equal pay… I don’t want to talk about it, because I don’t think of Cleopatra Jones as being a women’s libber. I see her as a very positive, strong lady who knows what she has to do.” [2]

Therefore, this film indicates a clear distinction between what is seen as white feminism and black feminism. While white feminism is shunned by the community and is mocked through the character Mommy, black feminism is seen as more approachable and harmless, seen in the loving yet equal relationship between Jones and Reuben, as well as Jones’ heroine status. Contrasted together, Mommy’s whiteness, lesbianism, and phallic power highlight Cleopatra Jones’ heterosexual appeal, blackness, and phallic power. Jones’ sophistication emphasizes Mommy’s low-class corruption while Jones’ feminine masculinity highlights Mommy’s “butch” lesbianism.[4]

Cleopatra Jones differs from other blaxploitation films which depict a “phallic heroine.”[4] Dobson herself refused to do nude scenes, striving to separate herself from the hypersexuality of other black heroines of the time.[5] Her opinion that “sex is more interesting when you don’t show everything at once” is clearly indicated by her modesty throughout the film. During a love scene between Jones and Reuben, the two share a long, intimate kiss rather than passionately making love. The scene illustrates love and intimacy rather than the lust often depicted in other popular blaxploitation films.[5] Jones flaunts her sexuality through her appearance, managing to remain an autonomous and strong female protagonist.

cleopatra jones and casino gold poster

Cleopatra Jones and the Casino of Gold is a 1975 action-adventure Blaxploitation movie starring Tamara Dobson as Cleopatra[1]. It is the sequel to the 1973 film Cleopatra Jones.

Plot

The story begins with two government agents — Matthew Johnson and Melvin Johnson — being captured by the Dragon Lady Stella Stevens. Cleopatra Jones then travels to Hong Kong to rescue the agents. Jones pairs up with Tanny (Ni Tien) and ends up in the Dragon Lady’s casino, which in actuality, is the headquarters for her underground drug empire. Jones and Tanny use their combat skills to battle the Dragon Lady’s henchmen and rescues the agents.[2]

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78 Responses to Thursday Open Thread | Blaxploitation Movies Week

  1. rikyrah says:

    Bill Thompson: I’m Staying In Mayor’s Race Until NYC 2013 Primary Votes Are Counted

    BY Celeste Katz

    Bill Thompson said Thursday night that he will not concede the Democratic primary for mayor just yet.

    Updated: Our Erin Durkin reports Thompson emerged from a meeting with top party leaders to say he’ll stay in the game at least until the Board of Elections does a recanvass of the voting machine results from Tuesday’s primary.

    “It continues to become clearer and clearer that there are tens of thousands of votes that are out there. We believe that the votes should be counted. The first step in that is the machine canvass on Friday and Saturday. And then we’ll go from there,” the ex-controller said.

    “But that’s the first step. We believe that the votes should be counted. We believe that people should be heard. That’s it.”

    Thompson pulled 26.16% of the primary night vote to Bill de Blasio’s 40.13%, per unofficial BOE tallies, with more than 78,000 paper ballots still out.

    De Blasio must hold on to more than 40% of the vote to win the primary outright

    http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/dailypolitics/2013/09/bill-thompson-im-staying-in-ny-mayor-race-until-all-nyc-2013-votes-are-counted

  2. Ametia says:

    Bill De Blasio-Rev Al one-one on Politis Nation now.

  3. 8 years after storm, $872M in Katrina money unspent in Mississippi

    http://on.thegrio.com/15Y5r32

  4. Police unions join fight against NYPD monitor

    http://on.thegrio.com/1enRpAX

    NEW YORK (AP) — New York City’s police unions are seeking to stop a federal monitor from overseeing the NYPD.

    The Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association filed motions Thursday in Manhattan federal court on behalf of four police unions, and the Sergeant’s Benevolent Association filed separately.

    They took the first steps to appeal a federal judge’s decision last month on the department’s stop and frisk policy and are asking the court to intervene in the case.

    Police have stopped, questioned and sometimes patted down about 5 million people over the past decade. The judge ruled that the policy violated the civil rights of hundreds of thousands of black and Hispanic men. She ordered a monitor to oversee changes to the policy including officer training, supervision, and paperwork.

    If the motions are granted, they unions say they will allow them to have an active role in the appeal and any changes that come.

    “Police officers, detectives, lieutenants and captains are the boots on the ground in the fight against crime and terrorism,” said Patrick Lynch, president of the patrolmen’s union, the largest in the country. “The establishment of a federal monitor may directly impact our members’ safety, day-to-day responsibilities, and collective bargaining and other rights. So we believe that we should have standing to participate in arguing the appeal in order to protect those rights.”

    The police officers say in court papers that some of the changes proposed by the judge are not feasible for officers, and may lead to hastily-drafted accounts of encounters that could result in omissions and errors. Those problems could affect the officer down the road.

    **************

    Lets see…how can I say this? FUGG THE POLICE

    Animated middle finger

  5. Ametia says:

    IS FLORIDA A PART OF THE UNITED STATES? Just asking?

    Bobby Wingate, Arrested And Tried For Walking On Wrong Side Of Street, Sues Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office

    A Florida man is suing the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office over a violent arrest in December 2012 that the officer was not able to defend in court.

    First Coast News reported on Monday that Bobby Wingate was cited by an officer for “walking down the wrong side of the road” during the stop, then punched in the face. When the officer pulled out his Tazer, Wingate called 911 to protect himself.

    “He said do I really want to fight him?” Wingate can be heard telling the emergency dispatcher. “I haven’t done anything wrong.”

    VIDEO:

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/09/11/florida-man-accused-of-walking-on-wrong-side-of-the-road/

    • Ametia says:

      SG2, where are you?

      THIS: “Bonderud believes that Wingate was targeted simply because of his race. He is African American. The lawsuit also alleges that the state attorney for Florida’s Fourth Judicial District, Angela Corey, has a policy of bringing cases to trail despite lack of evidence simply to get “valuable trial experience” for attorneys in her office’s employ.”

  6. rikyrah says:

    State tells ‘navigators’ to stay away from county health departments

    BY CAROL GENTRY, PATRICIA BORNS AND KATHLEEN McGRORY

    Herald/Times Tallahassee bureau

    The outreach workers known as navigators won’t be allowed to help people sign up for health insurance on the grounds of county health departments, according to a memo from the Florida Department of Health.

    The order from Deputy Health Secretary C. Meade Grigg went out late Monday to the 60 local health department directors across the state.

    Grigg declined to comment on the directive. But health department spokeswoman Ashley Carr said there was a need for “clarity” and “a consistent message” across the agency.

    “Navigators are not acting on behalf of the Department of Health and this program has raised privacy concerns due to the consumer information that will be gathered for use in a federal database,” Carr wrote in a statement.

    Health and Human Services Department spokesman Fabien Levy called the Florida directive “another blatant and shameful attempt to intimidate groups who will be working to inform Americans about their new health insurance options and help them enroll in coverage, just like Medicare counselors have been doing for years.”

    He added that “despite the state’s attempts, we are confident that navigators will still be able to help Floridians enroll” in health insurance plans.

    The move represents the latest hurdle to the new health insurance marketplace, which opens in Florida on Oct. 1. Earlier in the year, state lawmakers declined to expand Medicaid, and passed a proposal prohibiting the state insurance commissioner from regulating insurance premiums.

    State leaders have also been pushing the privacy issue.

    Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/09/11/3621013/state-tells-navigators-to-stay.html#storylink=cpy

  7. rikyrah says:

    Public universities ramp up aid for the wealthy, leaving the poor behind

    State colleges, like their private counterparts, are giving a declining share of grants to low-income students.

    Marian Wang, PROPUBLICA
    Posted: Thursday, September 12, 2013, 5:20 AM

    Shauniqua Epps was the sort of student that so many colleges say they want.

    She was a high achiever, graduating from high school with a 3.8 GPA and ranking among the top students in her class. She served as secretary, then president, of the student government. She played varsity basketball and softball. Her high-school guidance counselor, in a letter of recommendation, wrote that Epps was “an unusual young lady” with “both drive and determination.”

    Epps, 19, was also needy.

    Her family lives in subsidized housing in South Philadelphia, and her father died when she was in third grade. Her mother is on Social Security disability, which provides the family $698 a month, records show. Neither of her parents finished high school.

    Epps, who is African-American, made it her goal to be the first in her family to attend college.

    “I did volunteering. I did internships. I did great in school. I was always good with people,” said Epps, who has a broad smile and a cheerful manner. “I thought everything was going to go my way.”

    At first, it looked that way.

    Epps was admitted to three colleges, all public institutions in Pennsylvania. She was awarded the maximum Pell grant, federal funds intended for needy students. She also qualified for the maximum state grant for needy Pennsylvania students.

    None of the three schools Epps was admitted to gave her a single dollar of aid.

    To attend her dream school, Lincoln University, Epps would have had to come up with about $4,000 per year, after maxing out on federal loans — close to half of what her mother receives from Social Security. It was money her family didn’t have, she said.

    Public colleges and universities were generally founded and funded to give students in their states access to an affordable college education. They have long served as a vital pathway for students from modest means and those who are the first in their families to attend college.

    But many public universities, faced with their own financial shortfalls, are increasingly leaving low-income students behind — including strivers like Epps.

    It’s not just that colleges are continuously pushing up sticker prices. Public universities have also been shifting their aid, giving less to the poorest students and more to the wealthiest.

    Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/education/Public_universities_ramp_up_aid_for_the_wealthy_leaving_the_poor_behind.html#xXK1A3u0Xmu760Rx.99

  8. rikyrah says:

    New Leadership Team for the White House Initiative on HBCUs
    Posted on September 12, 2013 by ejones

    President Obama has named the new leadership team for the White
    House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities
    (HBCUs). Joining the White House Initiative as Executive Director is Dr. George Cooper, with Dr. Ivory Toldson joining as the Deputy Director. Both will start on September 16.

    http://www.ed.gov/edblogs/whhbcu/2013/09/12/new-leadership-team-for-the-white-house-initiative-on-hbcus/

  9. rikyrah says:

    The beneficiary of Cuccinelli’s generosity

    By Steve Benen
    Thu Sep 12, 2013 11:58 AM EDT.

    Virginia gubernatorial hopeful Ken Cuccinelli (R) has been dogged with questions about the $18,000 in gifts he received from Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams. Initially, the far-right state Attorney General said he couldn’t return the money because the gifts weren’t tangible goods — a defense that didn’t make any sense. Then he said he didn’t have $18,000 to spare.

    This week, with just two months to go until Election Day, Cuccinelli announced he had donated the value of the gifts to charity. What’s more, his campaign insisted the candidate would not take a tax deduction on the $18,000 contribution.

    But just to follow up, where’d the money go, exactly?

    The Washington Post noted that Cuccinelli wrote a check to CrossOver Healthcare Ministry, which reportedly “provides free medical care to the homeless and working poor in the Richmond area.”

    That hardly sounds controversial, though ProgressVA noted an unfortunate twist.

    Cuccinelli will donate the money to Crossover Healthcare Ministry, a Richmond-area free clinic. Crossover Ministry emphasizes on their website their clientele are primarily the working poor who are too poor to qualify for Medicaid. Cuccinelli has repeatedly and vocally opposed extending Medicaid coverage under Obamacare to provide affordable and quality health care coverage to low income Virginians.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/09/12/20457503-the-beneficiary-of-cuccinellis-generosity?lite

  10. rikyrah says:

    Welcome to the new Gilded Age

    By Steve Benen
    Thu Sep 12, 2013 12:30 PM EDT.

    Over the last generation or two, Americans have probably come to expect reports that show an increasing concentration of wealth at the very top of the income scale. But this week was nevertheless jarring: we haven’t seen anything like the status quo since the government started keeping track.

    As USA Today reported, “The top 1% of earners in the U.S. pulled in 19.3% of total household income in 2012, which is their biggest slice of total income in more than 100 years, according to a an analysis by economists at the University of California, Berkeley and the Paris School of Economics at Oxford University.” Researchers relied on data from the IRS.

    We haven’t, Stone reported, seen income distribution like this “since the 1920s.”

    Also note, we’re not just talking about the top 10% faring better than everyone else. As Paul Krugman explained this morning, “Of the gains made by the top 10 percent, almost none went to the 90-95 group; in fact, the great bulk went to the top 1 percent. The bulk of the gains of the top 1, in turn, went to the top 0.1; and the bulk of those gains went to the top 0.01. We really are talking about the flourishing of a tiny elite.”

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/09/12/20458133-welcome-to-the-new-gilded-age?lite

  11. rikyrah says:

    ‘We need a hundred more like Jesse Helms in the U.S. Senate’

    By Steve Benen

    Thu Sep 12, 2013 10:00 AM EDT.

    Nearly 11 years ago, then-Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R) noted that his home state of Mississippi supported Strom Thurmond’s presidential candidacy in 1948. “If the rest of the country had followed our lead,” Lott said, “we wouldn’t have had all these problems over all these years either.”

    Given that Thurmond was running on a segregationist platform in 1948, Lott’s remarks were not well received. Indeed, the Bush/Cheney White House quickly abandoned him and Lott was forced to give up his post.

    The incident came to mind yesterday after listening to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas)

    The Texas Republican spoke yesterday at the Heritage Foundation, appearing at an event named after the late Sen. Jesse Helms (R-N.C.), where Cruz was quite effusive in his praise.

    “I’ll tell you something … the very first political contribution I ever made in my life was to Jesse Helms. When I was a kid, I sent $10 to Jesse Helms, ’cause they were beating up on him, they were coming after him hard and I thought it wasn’t right, and at the time my allowance was 50 cents a week,” the Texas Republican said. “I am willing to venture a guess that I may have been Jesse Helms’ single largest donor as a percentage of annual income.”

    Cruz also recalled a story about when a young Helms received a campaign donation check from John Wayne. He explained that, according to the story, Helms figured out how to get in touch with Wayne and called to thank him for the support.

    “Apparently Wayne said, ‘Oh yeah, you’re that guy saying all those crazy things. We need 100 more like you,'” Cruz said. “The willingness to say all those crazy things is a rare, rare characteristic in this town, and you know what? It’s every bit as true now as it was then. We need a hundred more like Jesse Helms in the U.S. Senate.”

    Is that so.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/09/12/20455782-we-need-a-hundred-more-like-jesse-helms-in-the-us-senate?lite

  12. rikyrah says:

    From Russia, with love
    By Steve Benen
    Thu Sep 12, 2013 9:22 AM EDT.

    There were reports last week that Russian officials might do some U.S. lobbying on the Syrian crisis, but I’m not sure anyone expected this to lead to Russian President Vladimir Putin publishing this op-ed in the New York Times.

    Relations between us have passed through different stages. We stood against each other during the cold war. But we were also allies once, and defeated the Nazis together. The universal international organization — the United Nations — was then established to prevent such devastation from ever happening again.

    Hmm. “We were also allies once” makes it sound like Putin’s not sure we’re allies now. For that matter, given Russia’s history, celebrating the United Nations as the bedrock for global stability seems a little ironic. Besides, if Putin wants to protect the relevance and integrity of the U.N., perhaps he should be a little more responsible when it comes to abusing his veto power.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/09/12/20455303-from-russia-with-love?lite

  13. rikyrah says:

    ALEC and the Koch Brothers Show How Far They Are Willing to Go to Subvert Democracy

    By: Rmuse
    Sep. 12th, 2013

    It is a travesty that most Americans are unaware of the despicable machinations Republicans resort to in their drive to advance their special interests’ agendas in the states, and their ignorance and lack of interest is playing a major role in democracy’s demise. The GOP are giving the nation an indication of how far they will go to subvert democracy to protect the real powers behind the conservative movement; the National Rifle Association, the Koch brothers, and the American Legislative Exchange Council. On Tuesday two democratic state legislators in Colorado were recalled in a confluence or lies, voter suppression, and fear-mongering because they supported background checks for gun purchases and renewable energy standards the NRA, Koch brothers, and ALEC would not let go unpunished.

    The two Democrats, State Senate President John Morse and state Senator Angela Giron were recalled after voting for Colorado’s new gun law that imposed universal background checks on gun purchases and limited magazines to 15 rounds. They also voted for renewable energy measures that contributed to the effort to unseat them and elicited an influx of money from the Kochs and their Super PAC Americans for Prosperity. Although the lion’s share of publicity for the recall surrounded background checks, an underlying source of discontent was Koch brothers’ opposition to Colorado’s stronger renewable energy standards. It is noteworthy that in northern Colorado Republicans are working toward seceding to form their own state, and one of the effort’s main proponents said “the whole purpose of doing this is to preserve and protect the energy sector that we feel is very much under assault.”

    However, the face of the recall was NRA-supported opposition to background checks that incited them to spend heavily in the recalls they won, and evidenced by their quickly released statement celebrating its victory. The NRA statement read, “A historic grassroots effort by voters in Colorado’s has resulted in the recall of Colorado Senate President John Morse. The people of Colorado Springs sent a clear message to the Senate leader that his primary job was to defend their rights and freedoms and that he is ultimately accountable his constituents, and not to the dollars or social engineering agendas of anti-gun activists.” It is typical rhetoric from the NRA that conflates background checks for gun purchases with “social engineering,” and that voting for them robbed Coloradans’ of the rights and freedoms.

    http://www.politicususa.com/2013/09/12/alec-koch-brothers-show-subvert-democracy.html

  14. rikyrah says:

    Today at 8:57 AM

    Ahead of the Midterms, GOP Operatives Are Obsessively Studying a Book About the Obama Campaign
    By Steve Friess

    While the media focused on Mark Leibovich’s frothy gossip festival This Town as the Beltway’s favorite summer read, Republican operatives looking ahead to 2014 were finally embracing an extremely wonky book about how the Obama campaign revolutionized the science of modern elections.

    When Sasha Issenberg’s The Victory Lab, an insider’s guide to the pivotal statistical concepts and methods behind the vaunted Obama data machine, first came out at the height of the presidential campaign, many on the right rejected it with an allergic ferocity. Top Romney digital operatives told me on a Boston visit last year that his geek squad was evenly matched technologically with their opponents’. (They weren’t, as the “ORCA” election night debacle proved.) In a typical dismissal, RedState.Com founder Ben Domenech mocked Issenberg as “perpetually amazed” by Obama and doubted that his campaign’s microtargeting would work.

    One year later, after a period of mourning and introspection over how they could have been so blindsided — and egged on by told-ya-so GOP digital operatives — the Republican Party is trying to learn how to stop worrying and love the non-partisan truths of modern campaigning. And they seem to have embraced Issenberg as a spirit guide. A few months ago, he was summoned to meet with Republican House Leader Eric Cantor, who quizzed him about how the Obama campaign played with language to woo Romney voters. Subsequently, Cantor’s office ordered Republican House chiefs of staff to read the book in preparation for a summer digital training session. “[T]he metric-based evaluation methods in this book can be applied to the official side to help your office better communicate with constituents in your district,” Cantor staffer Tim Cameron wrote in an e-mail to the chiefs of staff.

    At the Republican National Committee annual meetings in Boston last month, copies of The Victory Lab were ubiquitous, toted around by GOP strategists and aides in the midst of midterm campaign prep. (“Many of us have read The Victory Lab,” Kirsten Kukowski, a spokeswoman for the RNC, said in an e-mail.) Though he declines all partisan speaking invites, Issenberg has been heavily sought as a speaker at GOP events — including at the Republican Governors Association “tech summit” in Mackinac, Michigan, later this month.

    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2013/09/gop-operatives-are-studying-the-obama-campaign.html

  15. Ametia says:

    Ladies, your thoughts?

    R.Kelly Announces ‘Black Panties’ Release Date
    New album due out this November
    By Erin Coulehan
    September 9, 2013 9:25 AM ET

    R. Kelly is readying his 12th album, Black Panties, due out November 11, reports MissInfo.tv. The singer recently revealed the album’s release date during a listening session in Atlanta with Revolt TV and got candid about the album-making process. R. Kelly Compares Phoenix to the Beatles.

    “Some people are talented, and some people are gifted,” he said. “I’d like to be known as one of those people who is gifted. I took tragedy and somehow turned it into triumph.” He goes on to say that his story is a complicated one involving women, sex, money and clubs, and compares his experience to football. “Much like the guy that catches the football, he runs,” he said.” “I feel like I got that ball in my hands still, I’m still running.”

    R. Kelly has been quite productive over the last year-and-a-half. In 2012, he released Write Me Love, an album inspired by classic soul as well as chapters 23 – 33 of his much beloved Trapped in the Closet series, which debuted on IFC last November. This past summer, he released the first single from Black Panties, “My Story” featuring 2 Chainz

    Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/r-kelly-announces-black-panties-release-date-20130909#ixzz2egfzEZ4s

  16. rikyrah says:

    Miranda

    My brother’s take:

    Assad: We aint got no chemical weapons!

    Putin: Syria aint even got no chemical weapons!

    Obama: yes ya do

    Assad: No we don’t

    Putin: you can’t prove they got any!

    Obama: you got one mo time to lie…ONE

    Assad: *blink* ummmmmm

    Putin: Umm, lemme talk to my boy for a minute

    Obama: you got a week

    Assad: oh…you mean THOSE chemical weapons! See…I had thought you meant something else.

    Putin: yeahhhhhh….ok, here’s what we gonna do

    Obama: you aint gone do shit but give them up, I suggest you get to it..the clock is ticking

    Assad: OK den

    Putin: OK, I’ll go get them and bring them to you

    Obama: Good decision

  17. 2dogsonly says:

    Test…previous comment wouldn’t post

  18. rikyrah says:

    September/ October 2013
    Merit Aid Madness
    How Ohio colleges started a tuition discount war for wealthy students that has now spread across the country.

    By Stephen Burd

    Although she was a gifted child who devoured books, S. Georgia Nugent never thought she’d be able to go to an elite college. The daughter of a racehorse trainer, she figured that even if she got in, the cost would be prohibitive. “Princeton charged about what my dad made in a year,” she remembers.

    But as it turned out, Nugent did get to go to Princeton, graduating cum laude in 1973, because the university offered to cover the full cost of her tuition. That life-changing break launched her on a distinguished academic career that culminated in her serving as president of Kenyon College for ten years before stepping down this past June. And it also helps to explain why Nugent now spends much of her time speaking out against a trend in higher education that is making stories of upward mobility like hers less and less common.

    “Financial aid available to the lowest-income students has plummeted, and financial aid to the highest has soared,” she says. The trend is so powerful that, try as she might, even Nugent herself could not resist it during her presidency at Kenyon. The school found itself engaged in a relentless arms race in which it felt compelled to offer more and more of its financial aid to precisely those students who need it least.

    Today, many leaders in higher education would like to break free of the commercial logic that leads to this perverse result. But it can be difficult to escape, especially for schools that lack deep endowments and have to compete hard for revenue. Either a school offers tuition discounts to students from affluent families, or else those students (and the revenue they could provide) wind up going to other institutions that offer similar or more generous discounts.

    There is now a whole industry of consultants who will gladly explain the math—not that it is very difficult to grasp. After all, if a school offers a single low-income student a full scholarship of $20,000, the school may feel good about itself, but it’s out $20,000. But if it can attract four affluent students to its campus instead, by offering them each a $5,000 discount off full tuition, it can collect the balance in revenue and come out way ahead financially. Such competitive discounting to the affluent may not be equitable, and it may not be sustainable over the long term, but once the cycle starts it can be very difficult for any one institution to resist unless they all do.

    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/magazine/september_october_2013/features/merit_aid_madness046453.php

  19. rikyrah says:

    September 12, 2013 10:20 AM
    Now Back To Your Previously Scheduled Dysfunction

    By Ed Kilgore

    As we all seek to figure out what exactly is going on in the public and private “negotiations” involving Russia, Syria and the United States, one thing is sure: Congress is now basically offline when it comes to making policy in this area, as noted by WaPo’s Ed O’Keefe:

    The Senate is formally dropping consideration of a resolution authorizing U.S. military force in Syria and deferring instead to diplomatic attempts to end the crisis. “We’ve agreed on a way forward based on the president’s speech last night,” Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) announced on the Senate floor Wednesday afternoon.

    While Secretary of State John F. Kerry travels to Geneva on Thursday for talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Reid said the Senate would move on so as “not to tread water” on the Syrian issue and begin debating a bipartisan energy efficiency bill that has been waiting for consideration for months.

    So having fought its way into the Syria debate just days ago, Congress is stepping aside—or perhaps it’s better to say it’s stepping out of one quagmire into another, the partisan fiscal conflict that’s no closer to being resolved now than it has been since 2011. Indeed, the House is about to adjourn for a long weekend, leaving itself just five working days before the end of the fiscal year. At present the GOP leadership doesn’t have the votes to pass a continuing appropriations resolution to keep the government functioning because it can’t find a formula that sufficiently “defunds Obamacare” to satisfy 30 or so conservatives.

    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/political-animal-a/2013_09/now_back_to_your_previously_sc046851.php

  20. rikyrah says:

    The Morning Plum: Senate conservatives stick the knife in House GOP leaders

    By Greg Sargent, Published: September 12 at 9:24 am

    When we last checked in on House GOP leaders, they were struggling to round up support among rank and file GOP lawmakers for their latest scheme to find a way through this fall’s fiscal minefields. They want to pass a measure funding the government temporarily at current levels while also forcing a Senate vote on a measure to defund Obamacare. The latter would go down to defeat; conservatives would get to vote on their defund fantasy; the government would remain open.

    Today Politico reports that Senate conservatives Ted Cruz and Mike Lee are now openly deriding the scheme as a sell-out. Crucially, this is why support is building among House conservatives against the GOP leadership scheme:

    Cruz and Lee have resisted the House approach because the Democratic-controlled Senate would surely vote to keep the government funded and easily defeat the Obamacare defunding component. Cruz called the approach “procedural chicanery” and asserted that the House GOP would be “complicit in the disaster that is Obamacare” if it supported the maneuver.

    “Not a fan,” Lee told POLITICO. “We need the House to pass a [bill] that funds everything else at current levels and contains a defunding provision.”

    That sentiment helped ramp up opposition among the two dozen or so House Republicans that take cues from the two senators, the House GOP aide said.

    One House GOP aide fumed, accurately, to Politico: “They’re screwing us.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2013/09/12/the-morning-plum-senate-conservatives-stick-the-knife-in-house-gop-leaders/

  21. rikyrah says:

    Yesterday at 3:39 PM

    Why the De Blasio Family Matters: Meet the ‘Boring White Guy’ of the Future
    By Maureen O’Connor
    .

    As New York’s final primary votes are counted and analysts examine the campaign that made Bill de Blasio the likely next mayor, it’s clear that race matters — just not in the way some might have expected. Earlier in the week, Mayor Bloomberg had characterized De Blasio as “racist” for “making an appeal using his family,” and his widely condemned comment pointed to an insidious prejudice: the assumption that interracial families, simply by existing in public, are somehow rubbing themselves in everyone’s faces.

    A white man can hug his black wife without “using” her or “making an appeal,” of course. And yet the De Blasios also demonstrate how appealing that simple act can be. An increasingly multicultural America is hungry for public figures who reflect their ideals. The De Blasios understand that — which helps explain how De Blasio’s populist campaign “grabbed at least one-third of every major ethnic group’s vote.”

    http://nymag.com/thecut/2013/09/why-the-de-blasio-family-matters.html?test=true

  22. rikyrah says:

    House Republican Anarchy Update
    By Jonathan Chait

    The House was scheduled to vote yesterday on a continuing resolution, which is a measure to not shut down the government. Ultraconservatives have been demanding that the House refuse to continue funding the government unless President Obama agrees to defund Obamacare. House leaders have pleaded that this approach is doomed. Instead they came up with a plan to keep the government open, attached to a separate bill defunding Obamacare. Or, as Senator Mike Lee succinctly and correctly explains, “It is not a plan to defund Obamacare — it’s a plan to facilitate the passage of a CR [continuing resolution] in a way that allows people to claim that they’re defunding Obamacare without actually doing so.”

    But some ultraconservatives still want to go with the defund-Obamcare-or-shut-down-the-government plan, as opposed to the pretend-to-defund- Obamcare-or-shut-down-the-government plan. It only takes about seventeen of them to defect to dent the Republicans majority, which gives a tiny fringe enormous power. What does the vote delay mean? Three things:

    1. A government shutdown is more likely now. There’s just not much time available. A bill needs to pass by September 30, and Congress has a rigorous vacation schedule to adhere to, giving it precious little time to accomplish the goal of not shutting down the government.

    Some House Republican leaders are trying to put on a brave face. One aide tells National Review’s Jonathan Strong, “Getting anything this big accomplished in 72 hours is always tough and we just need a couple extra days to dot the is and cross the ts.” (Note that the aide defines “anything this big” not as a major reform but as the simple continuation of government functions.)

    More candid appraisals can be found elsewhere. When reporters asked John Boehner if he had any ideas to keep the government open, he replied, “Do you have an idea? They’ll just shoot it down anyway.” One aide privately seethed of the ultraconservatives, “They’re screwing us.” Yet another, when asked for comment, sent reporter Kate Nocera this clip:

    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2013/09/house-republican-anarchy-update.html

  23. Ametia says:

    Vladimir Putin Lectures the US on Morality in the New York Times, Greenwald Co-Signs
    With a boost from the Mighty Greenwald

    Ex-KGB agent Vladimir Putin in the New York Times. Oh, my aching head: A Plea for Caution From Russia.

    And then, to make my headache even worse, this shameless turn-speak propaganda is promoted by …

    http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/

  24. Ametia says:

    Thursday, September 12, 2013-WARN-Chauncy Devega

    Selling War? Obama, and Those Experts Known as “Hedgehogs” and “Foxes”, Lying About the Syria Crisis

    I have little to say about Barack Obama and the developments in Syria. One of the qualifiers for being a professional bloviator and “expert” on television is the capacity and willingness to talk about subjects which you have little expertise on.

    The phone rings. You answer. This ups your brand and exposure. Who cares if a given “expert” actually knows very little about the issue they are speaking about, and in turn, shaping opinion around? That question is the explanation used by so many to explain away and rationalize their pretense to wisdom on subjects which they may actually no little.

    While watching the 24/7 news cycle panelists discussing Obama’s speech on Syria, I offered a simple question on Twitter: What if every panelist had a list of qualifications, a vitae, resume, list of books, articles, or training on a given subject displayed under their names?

    http://www.chaunceydevega.com/2013/09/selling-war-problem-with-expert-opinion.html

  25. rikyrah says:

    GOP lawmakers, cowed by the right, drop pretense of policy sanity

    By Jonathan Bernstein, Published: September 11 at 5:14 pm

    Breaking news this afternoon from the House of Representatives: Republicans have pulled the temporary Continuing Resolution needed to keep the government open for business through the end of the year off of the schedule. Jonathan Strong reports:

    House leadership has decided to delay the vote on a bill funding the government to next week amid a small rebellion from conservatives who want to use the measure for a do-or-die fight on repealing Obamacare.

    The problem? They don’t have the votes:

    A third GOP source says the initial whip count, conducted yesterday, registered just over 200 “yes” votes, meaning there is still work to do to get a Republican-only majority of 218 votes. Though the vast majority of the GOP conference is on board, only a small number of defections – as few as 17 – could imperil the bill.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2013/09/11/gop-lawmakers-cowed-by-the-right-drop-pretense-of-policy-sanity/

  26. Ametia says:

    Dispatches: What Putin didn’t tell the American people
    September 12, 2013

    It’s not what Vladimir Putin’s New York Times op-ed says that’s so worrisome; it’s what it doesn’t say. As a Russian and as someone who has been to Syria multiple times since the beginning of the conflict to investigate war crimes and other violations, I would like to mention a few things Putin overlooked…

    There is not a single mention in Putin’s article, addressed to the American people, of the egregious crimes committed by the Syrian government and extensively documented by the UN Commission of Inquiry, local and international human rights groups, and numerous journalists: deliberate and indiscriminate killings of tens of thousands of civilians, executions, torture, enforced disappearances and arbitrary arrests. His op-ed also makes no mention of Russia’s ongoing transfer of arms to Assad throughout the past two and a half years.

    The Russian president strategically emphasizes the role of Islamic extremists in the Syrian conflict. Yes, many rebel groups have committed abuses and atrocities. Yet Putin fails to mention that it is the Syrian government that is responsible for shooting peaceful protesters (before the conflict even started) and detaining and torturing their leaders – many of whom remain detained – and that the continued failure of the international community to respond to atrocities in Syria allows crimes on all sides to continue unaddressed.

    http://www.hrw.org/news/2013/09/12/dispatches-what-putin-didn-t-tell-american-people

  27. Ametia says:

    Rikyrah, the Blaxploitation threads are soooo OFF DA CHAIN. Loving every word, pic, and video.

    THANKS, Lady, you’re bringing it, as always, so much texture, color, and depth to 3 Chicas!

  28. Ametia says:

    September 12, 2013

    McCain Accuses Obama of Thinking Before Using Force
    Posted by Andy Borowitz

    WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona) was harshly critical today of President Obama’s nationally televised address about Syria this week, telling CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, “The President’s decision to think before attacking another country flies in the face of American foreign policy.”

    “The United States of America has been involved in countless armed conflicts since this great nation was founded,” Mr. McCain said. “Many of those would never have happened if we’d stopped to think about them first. Sadly, the President seems not to have learned this lesson of history.”

    Calling the President “an Ivy League law professor who never met a thought he didn’t like,” Mr. McCain said that he was urging Mr. Obama “to please take thinking off the table.”

    “The stakes for America couldn’t be higher right now,” he said. “Our global reputation for rushing into war with no advance planning is hanging by a thread.”

    Mr. McCain said that he is attempting to schedule a meeting in the Oval Office, where he plans to deliver a “strong and clear” message to Mr. Obama: “Mr. President, what you are doing is playing into the hands of the enemy. Thinking solves nothing.”

    http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/borowitzreport/2013/09/mccain-accuses-obama-of-thinking-before-using-force.html?mbid=nl_Borowitz%20(165)

  29. Ametia says:

    MUST READ!!!

    The Rise of the New New Left
    by Peter BeinartSep 12, 2013 4:45 AM EDT

    Bill de Blasio’s win in New York’s Democratic primary isn’t a local story. It’s part of a vast shift that could upend three decades of American political thinking.

    Maybe Bill de Blasio got lucky. Maybe he only won because he cut a sweet ad featuring his biracial son. Or because his rivals were either spectacularly boring, spectacularly pathological, or running for Michael Bloomberg’s fourth term. But I don’t think so. The deeper you look, the stronger the evidence that de Blasio’s victory is an omen of what may become the defining story of America’s next political era: the challenge, to both parties, from the left. It’s a challenge Hillary Clinton should start worrying about now.

    To understand why that challenge may prove so destabilizing, start with this core truth: For the past two decades, American politics has been largely a contest between Reaganism and Clintonism. In 1981, Ronald Reagan shattered decades of New Deal consensus by seeking to radically scale back government’s role in the economy. In 1993, Bill Clinton brought the Democrats back to power by accepting that they must live in the world Reagan had made. Located somewhere between Reagan’s anti-government conservatism and the pro-government liberalism that preceded it, Clinton articulated an ideological “third way”: Inclined toward market solutions, not government bureaucracy, focused on economic growth, not economic redistribution, and dedicated to equality of opportunity, not equality of outcome. By the end of Clinton’s presidency, government spending as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product was lower than it had been when Reagan left office.

    For a time, small flocks of pre-Reagan Republicans and pre-Clinton Democrats endured, unaware that their species were marked for extinction. Hard as they tried, George H.W. Bush and Bob Dole could never muster much rage against the welfare state. Ted Kennedy never understood why Democrats should declare the era of big government over. But over time, the older generation in both parties passed from the scene and the younger politicians who took their place could scarcely conceive of a Republican Party that did not bear Reagan’s stamp or a Democratic Party that did not bear Clinton’s. These Republican children of Reagan and Democratic children of Clinton comprise America’s reigning political generation.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/09/12/the-rise-of-the-new-new-left.html?utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&utm_campaign=cheatsheet_morning&cid=newsletter%3Bemail%3Bcheatsheet_morning&utm_term=Cheat%20Sheet

  30. Ametia says:

    Fareed Zakaria: Obama on the path to success in Syria
    By Fareed Zakaria, Published: September 11

    Whatever the twisted path, whether by design or accident, the Obama administration has ended up in a better place on Syria than looked possible even days ago. The president was wise to take up and begin to test the Russian offer to remove and possibly destroy Syria’s arsenal of chemical weapons. In fact, the offer has forced some clarity from a sometimes muddled U.S. foreign policy. For the president to turn this situation into a foreign policy success, he will have to maintain that clarity.

    There are three distinct arguments for intervention in Syria, which are sometimes mixed together in calls for action. The first is regime change, which would require policies to help the rebels topple Bashar al-Assad’s government. The second is humanitarian, to do something to stop the enormous sufferingthere. The third is simply to underscore and enforce an international norm against the use of chemical weapons.

    Read on:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/fareed-zakaria-obama-is-on-the-path-to-success-in-syria/2013/09/11/5757f55a-1b06-11e3-a628-7e6dde8f889d_story.html?wpisrc=nl_opinions

  31. rikyrah says:

    “Progressive Hero” Glenn Greenwald Promotes Racist, Anti-Government Hate Group

    Wednesday, September 11, 2013 | Posted by Spandan C at 5:58 PM

    It should come as a surprise to exactly no one who’s been paying attention to Glenn Greenwald’s relentless posturing against the United States and specifically his venom against President Obama that he would do this. To mark the 12th anniversary of 9/11, Greenwald decided to grace is followers on Twitter with a piece in the far-Right Ayn-Randian magazine Reason, and to boot, that article just happens to promote a racist group named the “Oathkeepers.”

    The “Oath Keepers” are an extremist right wing, anti-government militant organization that earned a prominent mention in the Southern Poverty Law Center’s report on militia hate groups in their opening year, and the SPLC reported this year that the Oath Keepers, for their conference, hosted such lovely groups as the John Birch Society and the invitation adorned with conspiracy theories and racist code-words all over itself.

    There will be a workshop on colloidal silver — a substance that many on the radical right believe is a cure for all kinds of ailments that the government has kept secret from the people. In fact, the substance has no known medical use and, if used with the frequency that some radicals do, turns human skin blue.[…]

    There will be representatives from the John Birch Society — a primary proponent of the Agenda 21 conspiracy theory, the idea that fluoridation of water is a Communist plot, and the charge that President Dwight D. Eisenhower was a Communist agent. Also scheduled to attend are Sheriff Richard Mack, a long-time darling of the antigovernment “Patriot” movement who has been encouraging county sheriffs to resist federal gun laws, and Chuck Baldwin, a far-right pastor and “constitutionalist” who moved to Montana several years ago to battle the incursions of the federal government.[…]

    Also featured will be training sessions on hand-to hand combat, nighttime military patrols, survival firearms, and preparation of “bug-out bags” — all of these an obvious reflection of the radical right’s obsessive fear that the government is about to move against the American people, seizing their guns and ending liberty

    Beautiful. Want to hear it in the Oath Keepers’ own words?

    http://www.thepeoplesview.net/2013/09/glenn-greenwald-promotes-racist-anti.html

    • Ametia says:

      I just can’t with these whiney, ignorant, selfish, entitled, white titty babies.

      • 2dogsonly says:

        Do you know how racist your comment is? How would you feel if someone put the word ” black” where you put ” white”? I’m obviously on the wrong blog

        but I will add a movie to the blaxploitation group….”Sweet Swweetback’s Bad Ass Song” done by non actors from Harlem. I think it opens with a couple making love and the female says “Oh, you have a sweet sweet back”

        Why o why would a white granny know this bit of trivia?;-)

      • Ametia says:

        LOL I’m sooo not worried about being called a racist, especially when it comes to white folks. Rik’s covered Sweet Sweetback earlier this week.

      • Yahtc says:

        2dogsonly,

        I am white, and Ametia who is NOT a racist called it correctly!

        There is nothing wrong in telling it like it is. Ametia and SG2 are FED UP and sick of white racism’s effect in their lives, their families’ lives and their ancestors lives.

        Surely, you must be aware of how extremist, racist conservatives have hijacked the Republican party and are controlling that party and its representative. They are trying to turn the clock back to the Jim Crow days.

        I say NO WAY will we EVER sit back and let that happen.

      • Yahtc says:

        Sho’nuff

      • Ametia says:

        LOL Those 2dogs don’t hunt. We’re going to write what we mean, and mean what we say here. Don’t like it; find the door.

      • Yahtc says:

        Post note to my message above:

        Oh, and by the way, I also am a white granny (age 63)………just have ONE dog, though.

  32. rikyrah says:

    Michelle Obama makes 9/11 visit to Virginia USO center

    by Darlene Superville, Associated Press | September 11, 2013 at 4:31 PM

    Michelle Obama drew a pair of construction paper hands for a project with military children during a 9/11 visit to a USO center at the Army’s Fort Belvoir.

    The first lady said she wanted to highlight the organization’s work on behalf of wounded service members and their families.

    The USO Warrior and Family Center opened in February at the Army installation in Virginia, just south of Washington. The USO says it’s the largest ever to support wounded troops, their families and others by providing relaxation, home-cooked meals, kids’ playrooms and other support.

    Mrs. Obama helped children complete banners decorated with cutouts of handprints for a rock concert Wednesday night. She was joined by actor Gary Sinise, a USO supporter whose “Lt. Dan Band” was performing at the event. Sinise played the character “Lt. Dan” in the movie “Forrest Gump.”

    Mrs. Obama also brought along cookies shaped like the family’s new Portuguese water dog, Sunny.

    Afterward, she toured the Intrepid Spirit center, also at Fort Belvoir. The facility was dedicated Wednesday and provides outpatient care to service members and veterans with traumatic brain injuries, post-traumatic stress disorder and related conditions.

    She met privately with wounded service members and their families and participated in a round-table discussion with caregivers.

    Mrs. Obama traveled to Fort Belvoir after observing a moment of silence on the South Lawn of the White House with President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, his wife, Jill, and White House staff members.

    http://thegrio.com/2013/09/11/michelle-obama-makes-911-visit-to-virginia-uso-center/#s:michelle-obama-27

  33. rikyrah says:

    More than 32 million U.S. television viewers watched President Barack Obama outline his policy towardSyria in a speech aired live on 13 broadcast and cable networks, according to Nielsen ratings data on Wednesday.

    The Tuesday night address attracted a smaller audience than the 56 million who tuned in to see the president announce the killing of Osama bin Laden in May 2011.

    It pulled in more viewers than Obama’s March 2011 speech on U.S. military involvement in Libya, which drew 25.6 million viewers, and his August 2010 speech declaring the end of the U.S. combat mission in Iraq, which was watched by 29.2 million.

    Obama’s acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention in September 2012 attracted about 35.7 million people.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/09/11/us-syria-crisis-television-idUSBRE98A19L20130911?feedType=RSS&feedName=politicsNews

  34. rikyrah says:

    Conservatives use Sept. 11 to attack Obama
    By Dana Milbank, Published: September 11

    Here’s a hot new entry in the “Is nothing sacred?” category:

    Conservatives are using Sept. 11, that most somber day for the nation, as yet another occasion to condemn President Obama.

    Rather than join in the bipartisan ceremonies marking the 12th anniversary of the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil, they rallied on the West Lawn of the Capitol, carrying signs that said “Impeach Obama” and, over a cartoon of the president trampling Uncle Sam, “Americans Don’t Support Terrorists or Their Minions.”

    On the other side of the Capitol, conservative leaders joined the eccentric Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tex.) at what was supposed to be a “memorial service for the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001 and 2012.” But the 3,000 who perished in 2001 got just a few passing references at the 35-minute event.

    The “primary purpose” of the gathering, in the words of organizer Jerry Boykin, a retired Army general, was to remember the four men who were killed in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11, 2012, in an attack on a U.S. diplomatic outpost there. More to the point, the conservatives had assembled to blame the Obama administration for the deaths and to demand further investigation of the resulting “scandal.”

    “The blood of our heroes demands an answer,” Gohmert told the TV cameras. “We’re about to the point where we’re just going to have to take it as a fact that the evidence they’re refusing to produce . . . supports the worst of our fears about what this administration failed to do.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/dana-milbank-conservatives-use-sept-11-to-attack-obama/2013/09/11/a6622090-1b32-11e3-82ef-a059e54c49d0_story.html?tid=pm_opinions_pop

  35. rikyrah says:

    Fareed Zakaria: Obama on the path to success in Syria

    By Fareed Zakaria, Published: September 11

    Whatever the twisted path, whether by design or accident, the Obama administration has ended up in a better place on Syria than looked possible even days ago. The president was wise to take up and begin to test the Russian offer to remove and possibly destroy Syria’s arsenal of chemical weapons. In fact, the offer has forced some clarity from a sometimes muddled U.S. foreign policy. For the president to turn this situation into a foreign policy success, he will have to maintain that clarity.

    There are three distinct arguments for intervention in Syria, which are sometimes mixed together in calls for action. The first is regime change, which would require policies to help the rebels topple Bashar al-Assad’s government. The second is humanitarian, to do something to stop the enormous sufferingthere. The third is simply to underscore and enforce an international norm against the use of chemical weapons.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/fareed-zakaria-obama-is-on-the-path-to-success-in-syria/2013/09/11/5757f55a-1b06-11e3-a628-7e6dde8f889d_story.html?tid=pm_opinions_pop

  36. rikyrah says:

    Jobless claims plummet, but there’s a catch
    By Steve Benen

    Thu Sep 12, 2013 8:36 AM EDT

    Occasionally, when economic news is so great that you’re left thinking, “This can’t be right,” it’s wise to trust your instincts. The newly released figures from the Department of Labor on initial unemployment claims offer an example of this.

    The number of new applications for U.S. jobless benefits fell below 300,000 for the first time since 2006, but the government attributed the surprising plunge to computer-related delays instead of a sudden improvement in the labor market. Initial claims sank by 31,000 to 292,000 in the week ended Sept. 7, marking the lowest level since April 2006.

    Yet a Labor Department official on Thursday said two states made changes to their computer systems that resulted in some claims not being processed in time. The Labor Day holiday may have also skewed the report. As a result, initial claims are likely to rise in the following week and probably move closer to their prior range of around 325,000.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/09/12/20454760-jobless-claims-plummet-but-theres-a-catch?lite

  37. rikyrah says:

    Nerdy Wonka @NerdyWonka

    ODS:
    1 Greenwald champions extremist anti-Pres. Obama Oath Keepers militia
    2 @KatrinaNation defends anti-LGBT Putin
    3 Hannity defends Putin

    10:53 PM – 11 Sep 2013

    Nerdy Wonka @NerdyWonka

    That enlightening moment when having a two term African-American POTUS leads “liberals” to praise homophobe Vladimir Putin.

    10:43 PM – 11 Sep 2013

    Nerdy Wonka @NerdyWonka

    Irony: @NYTimes allowing Putin – who invaded Georgia without a UN Security Council vote – to wax poetic about rule of law and democracy.

    10:22 PM – 11 Sep 2013

    Nerdy Wonka @NerdyWonka

    Irony: People praising Putin over his NYT Op-Ed and calling Pres. Obama a tyrant, aren’t packing up their bags to move to Russia.

    9:33 PM – 11 Sep 2013

    • Ametia says:

      I’m thoroughly ENJOYING the implosion of white, self-entitled, prvilieged, whiney, racists, women & men, as they scratch and claw, bark, and chew away on what they thought was truly their world and everyone else is just visiting at their whim.

      SHORT: We’ll take a Russian Communist, dictator President’s word and actions over the BLACK, SMART, INTELLIGENT, GOOD LOOKING, GREAT FATHER, WONDERFUL HUSBAND, PRAGMATIC PRESIDENT.

      Bye fools; because ain’t nobody got time for that!

  38. rikyrah says:

    The standalone, closed-loop, island nation of Texas
    By Kent Jones

    Wed Sep 11, 2013 6:00 PM EDT

    Texas conservatives have long fantasized about secession, (Gov. Rick Perry included), but now the Texas Republican candidate for attorney general, Barry Smitherman, adds his own wrinkle.

    To wit: Texas doesn’t want to leave the union — no, that would be unpatriotic — but since America is clearly on the verge of collapse, isn’t it time our great state made some plans, for, you know, WHEN IT DOES? In an interview with World Net Daily titled, “Texas Official Preparing for Independence” Mr. Smitherman said:

    Generally speaking, we have made great progress in becoming an independent nation, an ‘island nation’ if you will, and I think we want to continue down that path so that if the rest of the country falls apart, Texas can operate as a stand-alone entity with energy, food, water and roads as if we were a closed-loop system

    In the week since that appeared, Mr. Smitherman’s thesis has been warmly embraced by Texas conservatives like David Bellow, who writes:

    We are not talking about pushing for Texas secession. We are just talking about being prepared for anything that might happen if the very volatile and unstable federal government falls apart. This means being prepared for even the possibility of Texas secession, independence, surviving on our own, etc.

    I am not advocating for Texas to become enemies with America or turn our backs on America, and neither is Smitherman, but there is a very real possibility that the U.S. will fall apart and crumble over things like MASSIVE debt. What will we do if the U.S. falls apart? Do we have a plan for Texans to survive on our own? Are we capable of surviving on our own? The State of Texas should not wait until the U.S. fails to simply be prepared and be capable of surviving IF the U.S. fails.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/09/11/20438413-the-standalone-closed-loop-island-nation-of-texas?lite

  39. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

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