Thursday Open Thread Open Thread |Flamenco dancing

Flamenco12Flamenco originally crystalized among the Gypsies in the 18th century.[4] In its earlier forms, it consisted of the song or cante without any musical instruments for accompaniment, with the exception of a long, dry stick that was held upright and rhythmically tapped on the ground. This is known as á palo seco, a term literally translating to “by means of a dry stick.” Subjects of these songs included various painful and powerful emotions felt by the Gypsies such as lost love, desperation, hardship, imprisonment, and death.[13]

Flamenco music was influenced by Hindu and Arabic music from the beginning, and the melodic song forms known as Arabesques and Melismas are fine examples of Arabic influence upon Flamenco.

About SouthernGirl2

A Native Texan who adores baby kittens, loves horses, rodeos, pomegranates, & collect Eagles. Enjoys politics, games shows, & dancing to all types of music. Loves discussing and learning about different cultures. A Phi Theta Kappa lifetime member with a passion for Social & Civil Justice.
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101 Responses to Thursday Open Thread Open Thread |Flamenco dancing

  1. rikyrah says:

    Kelly O’Donnell ✔ @KellyO

    “Scandal” fans. Pres. Obama nominated TV show creator •Shonda Rhimes for Kennedy Center Board
    5:30 PM – 26 Sep 2013

  2. rikyrah says:

    Just finished watching the finale of Broadchurch…didn’t see it coming. Wow, it packed one helluva emotional punch.

  3. Yahtc says:

  4. rikyrah says:

    What political regression looks like
    By Steve Benen
    Thu Sep 26, 2013 4:02 PM EDT

    In July, when several far-right lawmakers started pushing a government-shutdown scheme in earnest, Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), who isn’t exactly a moderate, had the good sense to reject the idea as silly.

    “I think it’s the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard of,” Burr said at the time. “Listen, as long as Barack Obama is president, the Affordable Care Act is going to be law.”

    I mention this, of course, because the North Carolina Republicans’ reasoned, sensible approach to extortion politics has apparently disappeared over the last two months.

    Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), who dubbed Cruz’s threat to shut down the government over Obamacare the “dumbest idea” he’d ever heard, said Congress shouldn’t give Obama a debt ceiling increase without attaching strings, and the president “is going to pay some price for it, which is a benefit for the American people.”

    “I hope [an Obamacare] delay is either part of the next [continuing resolution] or I hope it’s part of the debt ceiling,” Burr said.

    There are a couple of important angles to this. First, if anyone was inclined to give Burr points for being an adult in July, now is the time to kick yourself. What he’s describing is a dangerous extortion scheme in which radicalized lawmakers threaten to hurt the country on purpose unless Americans start losing health care benefits.

    The fact that Burr didn’t want to threaten a government shutdown was nice, but the fact that he does want to threaten the full faith and credit of the United States is madness — the severity of a sovereign debt crisis is vastly more serious than a shutdown.

  5. rikyrah says:

    Obama’s Real Problem on Capitol Hill? Race

    Calling out the white power bloc that obstructs the president on every issue.
    By: Brian Palmer | Posted: September 25, 2013 at 12:00 AM

    They know we can’t prove it. We can deduce and infer from their actions, statements and policies. But we can’t confirm that congressional Republicans, a bloc of nearly unbroken whiteness, and their media hatchet people are stealthily deploying race — blackness — to obstruct President Barack Obama at every turn.

    But obstructionists seldom give us concrete, irrefutable proof of gutbucket prejudice. When we think we have them cold, they’ll use the I’m-rubber-you’re-glue strategy. You’re playing the race card, they’ll say. In fact, you’re the racists for bringing it up. It’s the “nyah, nyah, nyah” of savvy — or at least well-trained — political machinists. These are men and women who have studied the playbook for Republican race-baiting drafted by party strategist and consigliere Lee Atwater.

    “By 1968 you can’t say ‘nigger’ — that hurts you. Backfires,” said Atwater in 1981, quoted years later by New York Times columnist Bob Herbert. “So you say stuff like forced busing, states’ rights and all that stuff.”

    Right-wing pols continually update the Atwater script. During the president’s first term and the campaign that preceded it, Barack Obama was cast as a Kenyan, Muslim, socialist, Nazi witch doctor. Tea Partiers, Birthers and Republican backbenchers were the nasty tip of the spear of a full-on assault, but the big boys pitched in, too, usually in ways that kept them from getting hit by shrapnel from the vilest attacks.

    Chris Matthews called out congressional Republicans on air, on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 2012, for what he deemed thinly veiled racism. Specifically, he cited Oklahoma’s Tom Coburn’s accusation that “unlawful acts” and “incompetence” by the administration came “perilously close” to “high crimes and misdemeanors” and would warrant the impeachment of the president.

    “They never say their problem with Obama is that he is black, but look at the pattern,” Matthews said to an incredulous co-anchor. “The pattern is rejection of his legitimacy at the first point, saying he is not really here legally.”

  6. rikyrah says:

    Can Rahm Emanuel Win Black Voters Back?

    Critics say the embattled Chicago mayor needs to address education and violence to regain support.
    By: Lynette Holloway | Posted: September 26, 2013 at 12:22 AM

    On Tuesday he was spotted cruising the aisles of a Wal-Mart on Chicago’s South Side, which is predominantly African American. Over the weekend, he and police Superintendent Garry F. McCarthy rode along with police officers in two of the city’s most violent districts on the South Side in the aftermath of the shooting of 13 people at a park, which grabbed national headlines.

    Before that, he announced plans to open a Whole Foods store in Englewood, one of the city’s deadliest neighborhoods, which is also known for its lack of resources. In addition, he apologized for the torture of black suspects by Jon Burge, an infamous former police commander.

    Emanuel also recently announced the renaming of an avenue in honor of Bishop Arthur M. Brazier, a popular African-American pastor and community leader who led the Apostolic Church of God in Woodlawn for almost 50 years.

    While African Americans overwhelmingly supported President Barack Obama’s former White House chief of staff during his first election, a Chicago Tribune poll in May found that midway through Emanuel’s term, nearly half of black voters disapproved of his job performance, an increase from about 30 percent a year earlier.

    Some critics, like Stephanie Gadlin of the Chicago Teachers Union, say that Emanuel lost a lot of support after a record 50 school closings in June. The city said it could no longer afford to keep the schools open because they were low-performing and underutilized.

    Many of the schools were located in predominantly African-American communities and bore the names of black icons like Benjamin Banneker, the self-educated astronomer; gospel singer Mahalia Jackson; and Daniel Hale Williams, the general surgeon.

    “We don’t have many institutions, but we take great pride in our schools,” Gadlin, communications director at the teachers union, told The Root. “Now here comes Mr. Mayor shutting them down, and people are angry. The good news is that he has a black page in his 2015 campaign manual.”

    What does that mean? According to Gadlin and several others, including Illinois state Rep. Monique D. Davis (D-Chicago), he has to do more than spend more time in the black community. He has to reinvest in the community.

  7. rikyrah says:

    Black twitter was hilarious over this story. Blisteringly hilarious towards the woman.


    ‘I’m 124 sandwiches away from an engagement ring’

    By Stephanie Smith

    Since last June, a young woman has attracted attention from culinary world icons such as Emeril Lagasse, Michael White and Ken Friedman with, a beautifully photographed blog that documents her quest to woo her boyfriend with bread-and-meat creations. We now reveal that the woman behind the blog is our very own Page Six senior reporter, STEPHANIE SMITH. Here, she tells her story — and shares some recipes.

    My boyfriend, Eric, is the gourmet cook in our relationship, but he’d always want me to make him a sandwich.

    Each morning, he would ask, “Honey, how long you have been awake?”

    “About 15 minutes,” I’d reply.

    “You’ve been up for 15 minutes and you haven’t made me a sandwich?”

    To him, sandwiches are like kisses or hugs. Or sex. “Sandwiches are love,” he says. “Especially when you make them. You can’t get a sandwich with love from the deli.”

    One lazy summer afternoon just over a year ago, I finally gave in. I assembled turkey and Swiss on toasted wheat bread. I spread Dijon mustard generously on both bread slices, and I made sure the lettuce was perfectly in line with the neatly stacked turkey slices.

    Eric devoured the sandwich as if it were a five-star meal, diving in with large, eager bites. “Babes, this is delicious!” he exclaimed.

    • rikyrah says:

      Black twitter had a ball today with it…then the white feminists got all huffy and serious and ruined it! Check out #300Sandwiches

      • rikyrah says:

        Some COmments:


        This dude looks like the love child of Macauley Culkin and POWDER…..wearing Simon Cowell’s T-shirt. He should be making HER sandwiches……not the other way around.

        This is going to be Crystal Wright in a few years….if not NOW.



        He’s more into that sandwich than he is to her. He looks like he wants to have sex with that sandwich, not her.



        This dude has a fine, leggy black woman making him sammiches everyday when he looks like the sexually ambiguous, white loser serial killer in the movies. This chick needs to do better. Even his body language is all ‘damn, girl, it ain’t even that serious. Why you had to tell the world our business?’ And she’s all ‘look at my boo, isn’t he the best.’ Dude is so gonna break up with her.
        Eau de Desperation doesn’t look good anyone. At best, this is a ploy on her part to shame dude into proposing. At worst she’s delusional.

        Their body language is off. She’s all comfy and settled in hugging dude and looking directly at the camera while he looks like he’s sitting on spikes, so he can’t get too comfortable and he’s staring, not at old girl or the camera, but the sandwich. This relationship will not end well. I’m humming Retha’s R-E-S-P-E-C-T right now b/c old girl needs to have some for herself.



        Where she live at? I’m liable to go there and snatch her from that dude and set her ass straight.

        In all seriousness, no woman, especially in this day and age, should be waiting hand and foot on any man, but ESPECIALLY if she can get any man she wants and dude looks like a fuckin’ loser.



        Hol’ up. Ol’ girl is a cute ass sista making sammiches for that pale mofo? I didn’t look at the pics in the last thread. I figured girl was this ugly chick with low self esteem, not this hotness. LOL, dude looks like John Malkovich from “Making Mr. Right”.



        LOL you telling the truth! This fool don’t even have a promise ring up there making gourmet sandwiches for this clown. The look on his face is priceless because he knows this chick will do anything to keep him. Oh and she looks so proud of herself with is just sad as hell. I wish my husband would say oh you been up for 15 minutes but I don’t have a sandwich. Lord I wish he would.



        Things were moving at a natural pace, but I wondered what it would take for him to propose.

        He’s not proposing to you b/c he can do better than you. The person he will marry will be the 27 year old chick that tells him he better get his ass up and fix his own damn sandwich. In fact, he’ll be fixing HER a sandwich.

        He knows she’s in her mid-30s and desperate to marry & have babies before her uterus dries up. He knows he can dangle the promise of marriage in front of her. He’s not going to marry her because he knows if this chick, who is attractive, accomplished & willing to be in the kitchen is clamoring for him, then some other chick will be clamoring for him too.

      • rikyrah says:

        and here’s Black Twitter:

        Rev Steen @steenfox 12m
        “I’m 300 sandwiches away from a proposal & you’re 4 inches away from an adult sized penis.” That’s how that conversation woulda went down.

        Black Canseco @BlackCanseco 4m
        Let a brutha pull this mess… he’ll get beat with a loaf of sourdough.

        Amber @Miami_Chica18m
        That guy is too fucking ugly to be having so many demands abt the kind of woman he wants to date..

        ETA: The sandwich girl is on Twitter….

        @Vivaciously_Val Does he deduct points if he doesn’t like the sandwich @300sandwiches?

        @300sandwiches @Vivaciously_Val he has tried to! There was one that was only worth a quarter of a ‘wich!

        For. The. Win.

        Desus ‏@desusnice 3h
        Julian Assange out here leaking government secrets & forcing black women to make him sandwiches smh

  8. rikyrah says:

    It all comes down to Obamacare

    I see this morning that a whole crew of village pundits are lighting their hair on fire over the possibility that President Obama’s political fortunes are in trouble these days. Apparently they think the President is in trouble with his “base” or that he’s losing the support of Congressional Democrats.

    Greg Sargent does a good job of dispelling all the nonsense.

    The divisions between Dems and Obama are real, but they are focused on some policy areas and not on others…

    …on the need to keep funding the government and raise the debt limit without giving an inch on Obamacare, there are no signs of any serious disunity — and this is what will likely shape the party’s stance in coming fights.

    You want to talk about someone who’s having trouble with their “base?” Lets take a moment to look at Speaker Boehner. Republicans have been lathering up their constituency’s hatred of Obamacare since 2009. And now they’re paying the price. Two weeks out from a government shutdown, the lunatic caucus in the House has refused to even pass a short-term extension of the current budget unless it defunds Obamacare. Apparently today Boehner is giving in to the lunatics and so the bill the House will take up this week to keep the government operating will include a provision to defund Obamacare. If it passes the House, it will die in the Senate…and then what?

    The interesting thing here is what Sargent pointed out…the unity of the Democrats in defending Obamacare. Those of us who watched all the drama as that bill was underway can’t help but notice how everyone on the left has now rallied around it. If the “kill the bill” folks had any leverage, surely they’d be lining up with the lunatics these days – just as they were trying to do to stop it from passing in the first place. We also remember the concern trolling some in the media were peddling during the 2010 and 2012 elections about how Democrats should distance themselves from Obamacare in their campaigns.

    What changed? Over time it has become obvious to everyone but the lunatics on the right that Obamacare is working (I actually think many of the lunatic leaders also know its working…that’s what they’re so afraid of). And so, for those of us who buy into the President’s commitment to the long game, our trust in those who fought so hard for Obamacare is once again vindicated.

  9. rikyrah says:

    Obama: ‘The affordable care act is here to stay’

  10. rikyrah says:

    Conservatives are having fun with stories like the following:

    Ian Hodge, 62, is one of nearly 13,000 central and eastern Pennsylvanians who will soon need to shop for health insurance because Highmark Inc. is discontinuing their coverage at the end of the year.

    Highmark has announced it is withdrawing five of its insurance plans that don’t comply with the Affordable Care Act, key parts of which take effect Jan. 1.

    The hash-tag #TCOT is flinging poop under the quip “Obama lied, my health plan died”.

    Let’s look at the details as to why Highmark is cancelling these plans:

    The new regulations, for instance, prohibit insurers from denying coverage to applicants who have pre-existing health problems….

    Highmark’s Classic Blue is a guaranteed-issue plan, meaning the Hodges and other customers were not required to inform Highmark of their health status to get coverage. But applicants couldn’t count on coverage for any pre-existing condition for their first 12 months under the plan….

    Under the Affordable Care Act, beginning Jan. 1, all insurers must issue policies regardless of an applicant’s health history.

    The guaranteed issue policies were Pennsylvania’s “solution” to some people with pre-exisiting conditions who fell through the cracks. The individual insurance market in Pennsylvania is segregated (until Jan. 1, 2014) into two broad groups. The first is medically underwritten individual insurance. The risk pool for medically underwritten insurance is younger and healthier than typical. The second group is the guaranteed issue group which has older and sicker individuals in it. Jan. 1, 2014 changes this paradigm as all health insurance written on or after that date will be community rated so this distinction no longer serves any purpose.

    Mr. Hodge from the article was paying $1041.85 per month for him and his wife for Highmark Classic Comprehensive Blue.


    Looking back to yesterday’s data dump from HHS, the lowest Gold plan in Pennsylvania for a 27 year old is $205 per month. Given that rates can not vary by age by more than a factor of 3, that Gold plan for Mr. and Mrs. Hodges can not be more than $615 per month per person. Buying as a family will probably reduce that rate to be equal to what they are paying now. This calculation does not include any tax subsidy. Gold would be a massive improvement in coverage over what they have now.

    Using the Kaiser Family Foundation Zip code specific calculator, Silver plans are available to a family of 2 in a random Lancaster County zip code for $5,070 under the typical case scenario, total costs for the family of two without tax credits would be no more than $10040 before subsidy. That is significantly less than the $13,000 in premiums the Hodges are currently paying. Throw in the fact that the value of coverage has increased dramatically, the Hodges will be significantly better off.

    Stop the oppression by improving the material condition of people….

  11. rikyrah says:

    It Looks Like The Republican Debt Ceiling Demands Came Straight From The Koch Brothers

    By: Rmuse
    Sep. 26th, 2013

    In the criminal justice system recidivism is the act of a person repeating an undesirable (criminal) behavior regardless they may have experienced negative consequences for their criminal act. Despite the negative consequences to the economy and American people after Republicans held the full faith and credit of the United States hostage during the 2011 debt ceiling crisis, they kept their promise to repeat their crime and have listed their ransom demands three weeks before the government hits its debt limit in mid-October. The ransom Republicans demand to do their jobs and pay the debts they incurred for their two wars and tax cuts for the rich are typical conservative faire and inordinately punish nearly every demographic equally; they also reward the GOP’s paymasters in the fossil fuel and banking industry.

    Despite the President, Democrats, and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew telling Republicans they will not negotiate over the Republican rejection of their constitutional mandate to pay bills they put on the nation’s credit card, they proceeded to lay out a list of demands likely written by the Koch brothers and Wall Street CEO’s. In fact, to pay the ransom, President Obama will allow the Republicans to either drastically cut or effectively eliminate federal agencies their campaign donors oppose such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). They also intend on raiding federal employee pensions and making truly Draconian cuts to healthcare and social services for the working poor. Of course, no Republican ransom demand would be complete without an order to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, tax cuts for corporations and the rich, and putting an end to the Affordable Care Act.

    One might ask what Republicans intend to do for the American people, but as usual the answer is punish them because they expect House Republicans to do their jobs. Besides punishing the people, Republicans demand that the President and Democrats let them eliminate nearly all the legislation passed during the first two years of the President Obama’s first term starting with Dodd-Frank financial reform. Wall Street railed against financial reform before, during, and after the legislation passed, and congressional Republicans want authority to slash funding for the CFPB to the tune of “$5 billion in budget savings” they are calling an “overhaul.” The entire annual budget for the CFPB is approximately $450 million so in Republican-speak, overhaul means elimination. Federal regulators have been complaining that GOP budget cuts severely limited their ability to police financial excesses, so the Republican answer is overhaul the agency out of existence. Speaking of overhaul, Republicans will cut federal employees pensions by $84 billion in a scheme they are calling the Federal Employee Retirement System reform.

  12. rikyrah says:

    Boehner can’t let go of brinkmanship
    By Steve Benen
    Thu Sep 26, 2013 12:54 PM EDT

    It looked like there was finally a light at the end of the tunnel. The Senate would pass a “clean” spending bill — it’d be the same as the House version, except it wouldn’t “defund Obamacare” — over the weekend, at which point House Republicans would pass it, send it to the White House, and immediately initiate a debt-ceiling crisis in which the GOP would threaten to destroy the economy on purpose unless its demands are met.

    So, that’s one crisis down, one to go? Not quite.

    Speaker John A. Boehner signaled Thursday that the House would not simply vote on the version of the continuing resolution the Senate sends back, running up against a timeline that could suggest at least a temporary government shutdown.

    Asked if he would now accept a “clean” CR from the Senate to avoid a government shutdown, the Ohio Republican was plain-spoken: “I do not see that happening.”

    No, of course not. That’d be too easy.

    At this point, you might be thinking, “Wait, Boehner won’t have time to play silly games before a shutdown. The deadline is Monday, so House Republicans will have to choose between passing the Senate bill and shutting down the government.”

  13. rikyrah says:

    When a laundry list looks familiar
    By Steve Benen
    Thu Sep 26, 2013 12:01 PM EDT.

    The last time there was a two-term Democratic president, congressional Republicans had an idea on how to respond to voters’ judgment: impeach him. Americans have put Bill Clinton in the White House, but Gingrich, DeLay, and their allies decided it was their job to push him out.

    With this in mind, there are some parallels to contemporary politics, insofar as congressional Republicans are once again eager to replace voters’ judgment with their own.

    We talked earlier about the laundry list of right-wing goodies GOP lawmakers will demand Democrats provide as part of the new Republican debt-ceiling crisis. Reflecting on the wish list, Ezra Klein noted, “John Boehner isn’t even trying to pretend his House of Representatives is a sane place anymore. The House GOP’s debt limit bill — obtained by the National Review — isn’t a serious governing document. It’s not even a plausible opening bid. It’s a cry for help.”

    And while the hopeless insanity of the Republican ransom note certainly matters, Jon Chait noticed something especially interesting about the GOP’s “megalomaniacal ambition

    Does that list sound vaguely familiar? It’s Mitt Romney’s 2012 economic plan. Almost word for word, in fact. […]

    The fact that a major party could even propose anything like this is a display of astonishing contempt for democratic norms. Republicans ran on this plan and lost by 5 million votes. They also lost the Senate and received a million fewer votes in the House but held control owing to favorable district lines. Is there an example in American history of a losing party issuing threats to force the majority party to implement its rejected agenda?

  14. rikyrah says:

    Brett LoGiurato ‏@BrettLoGiurato2m
    Oh man. Jay Carney says he’s surprised there wasn’t a “birther bill” attached to GOP debt ceiling demands.

  15. rikyrah says:

    The Empress of Europe
    Angela Merkel is dull, frumpy, and uncharismatic—and that may be exactly why Germans have re-elected her chancellor for the third time.

    By Anne Applebaum

    If one were writing a guidebook for would-be political leaders, one might well use Angela Merkel as a negative example. She is not media-friendly. She is not charismatic. She is not physically fit or well-dressed. She does not give off an aura of decisiveness and indeed has been known to leave extremely important decisions until it is almost too late. Her political campaigns are boring, her personal life even more so. She sometimes likes to compare her economic policies to those of a “Swabian housewife.”

    Nevertheless, this frumpy, unassuming East German has just been re-elected chancellor of Germany, and therefore leader of Europe, for the third time. Or maybe empress of Europe is the more appropriate title, since Merkel doesn’t really lead: She reigns. She doesn’t tell people what to do, she doesn’t give orders, she isn’t bossy or pushy. She doesn’t throw Germany’s weight around or make demands. She simply sets parameters, and then lets everybody else make “choices” themselves.

    During the Greek euro crisis, she never shouted at Greek politicians or denounced Greek economic policies in public. Although some German tabloids tried to drum up anti-Greek sentiment, she stayed well away from such talk. Instead, she saw to it that European Union bureaucrats went to Athens where they quietly insisted on dull but important things like shortened vacations for the civil service, higher taxes on swimming pools, and lower expenditures on public housing. Over time, the crisis ceased to be a crisis, and Greece drifted off the front pages.

  16. rikyrah says:

    Of Course Jay Carney Wants Health Care
    By Matthew Yglesias

    Ed Henry, White House correspondent for Fox News, must have thought he was being very clever today. Why not ask White House press secretary Jay Carney a simple question—if Obamacare’s so great, would you sign up for it?

    Except as far as “gotcha” questions from hostile reporters go, this one is an incredible softball. Of course a 48-year-old man with a wife and two kids is going to prefer to have an insurance plan than to leave himself and his whole family uncovered. Assume the Carneys are affluent and have a household income of over $94,200 (i.e., 400 percent of the federal poverty level for a family of four) and thus aren’t eligible for any subsidies. According to a Kaiser Family Foundation (PDF) report, a “silver” insurance plan for the whole family in the District of Columbia would cost them $845 a month, or $10,140 a year. That’s a lot of money. But it’s clearly a price the hypothetical Carneys can afford. And if the kids get a broken bone on the playground or Mom gets diagnosed with cancer, they’re going be really glad they had it. Unlike a less affluent family, the uninsured version of the Carneys probably aren’t at risk of someone dying due to a lack of medically necessary care. Instead, they’re at risk of bankruptcy as in the case of major illness or accident the health care industry will take them for every penny they have.

    But either way, signing up for the exchange should be a no-brainer. There really is a smallish class of people out there—primarily affluent single men in their late 20s and early 30s with no chronic ailments—for whom you could try to make the case that signing up is a bad financial move. But asking Carney this question simply serves to underscore that for most uninsured Americans the exchanges are a great deal.

  17. rikyrah says:

    ‘Will White House staff enroll in Obamacare?’
    By Steve Benen
    Thu Sep 26, 2013 11:16 AM EDT.

    There was an odd exchange at the White House press briefing yesterday between Fox News’ Ed Henry and press secretary Jay Carney, after the reporter asked, “Will White House staff enroll in Obamacare? Let’s start with you. Are you going to enroll?”

    At the risk of sounding picky, the question itself is flawed because “Obamacare” isn’t just one thing. If a couple keeps their 24-year-old daughter on their family health plan, have they “enrolled” in the Affordable Care Act? How about if a senior citizen gets a break on prescription-drug costs? Or if a sick child no longer has to worry about lifetime limits? Or if an adult with a preexisting condition can suddenly get affordable coverage?

    But assuming Henry is referring to exchange marketplaces, I get the impression, more than three years after the Affordable Care Act became law, Fox News’ White House correspondent is still struggling with the basics. Here was their back and forth;

    Q: Would you enroll?

    CARNEY: Absolutely.

    Q: It’s a simple question.

    CARNEY: Absolutely.

    Q: Okay. So you are going to enroll?


    The question is still rather bizarre.

    Why wouldn’t Carney want health insurance for his family? Why would he consciously and deliberately ignore affordable coverage?

  18. rikyrah says:

    Rolando Scourge ‏@Kennymack197145m
    Shorter POTUS: “Man can you believe these ignant muhfukkas?”

  19. rikyrah says:

    President Obama Praises Hairstyle of Bill de Blasio’s Son, Dante
    The president said “my Afro was never that good”
    Wednesday, Sep 25, 2013 | Updated 4:40 PM EDT

    President Barack Obama praised the teenage son of Democratic mayoral hopeful Bill de Blasio for his notorious hairstyle at a New York City fundraiser, recalling he had once sported the same look.

    Obama spoke to a crowd of about 250 people at the Waldorf-Astoria event Tuesday night to raise money for the Democratic National Committee.

    He introduced the elder de Blasio and pointed out the mayoral candidate’s son, Dante, saying he has “the same hairdo I had back in 1978.”

    The crowd laughed and applauded, and the president went on.

    “Although I have to confess, my Afro was never that good,” Obama said. “It was a little unbalanced.”

    Dante de Blasio’s hair has become an element of his father’s campaign, and even has its own hashtag, #GoWithTheFro.

  20. rikyrah says:

    Marissa Alexander will get a new trial

    Irin Carmon, @irin
    10:33 AM on 09/26/2013

    Marissa Alexander, the African-American woman who was sentenced to 20 years for discharging a firearm in Florida despite pleading Stand Your Ground against her husband, will get a new trial. Alexander, 32, said she fired a bullet at the ceiling because she was afraid of her husband. No one was injured. It took 12 minutes for the jury to convict her.

    “We reject her contention that the trial court erred in declining to grant her immunity from prosecution under Florida’s Stand Your Ground law,” wrote Judge James H. Daniel, “but we remand for a new trial because the jury instructions on self-defense were erroneous.”

    Alexander, who had given birth the week before, testified that after an altercation regarding texts from her ex-husband, she locked herself in the bathroom. Her husband Rico Gray broke through the door, grabbed her by the neck, and shoved her into the door. She ran to the garage, found she couldn’t get the door open, and returned with a gun. When Gray saw the gun, he said, “Bitch, I’ll kill you.” Alexander testified that firing the gun into the air as a warning shot was “the lesser of two evils.”

  21. rikyrah says:

    To promote ‘Obamacare,’ some advocates leave out the Obama part

    by Perry Bacon Jr. | September 25, 2013 at 9:26 PM

    ATLANTA-“We never mention Obama,” says Riley Wells.

    In Washington, talk of “Obamacare” is constant. Republicans created that term in 2009, looking both to heighten the political divide over the health care reform process and also because they argue the law’s official name, “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” inaccurately depicts a provision Republicans say will eventually increase health costs for millions of Americans. Democrats, including President Obama, accepted the moniker, at first with reluctance and now proudly.

    But not outside of Washington. Many of the officials, most of whom are Democrats, who are trying to implement the Affordable Care Act are eager to avoid the term “Obamacare,” and all of its accumulated baggage. To them, one of the keys to the success of “Obamacare” is that it stops being “Obamacare” and turns into just another part of a broader health care system most Americans use without fully understanding.

    So these officials, particularly in more politically-conservative states, are selling “Obamacare” aggressively, just without the Obama part.

    When Wells’ group, Enroll America, which is touting the law in Georgia and nine other states, comes to someone’s house, they talk about “new health care options,” “subsidies,” “marketplaces,” and other less politicized phrases. They often get blank stares and confused looks, but that’s better to them than the political opinions that might arise if “Obamacare” was invoked.

    In Kentucky, the state’s government has rebranded “Obamacare” as “kynect” (“pronounced “connect”), the entity the state created to run its health insurance program under the law. (Its formal name is the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange). Many in the state don’t know exactly what “kynect” is, but they know Obama, and only 38 percent of voters there backed him in last year’s election. “Your Health Idaho,” the “Obamacare” entity in that state, emphasizes on its website that it is “designed, driven and controlled by Idahoans.”

    The officials are not disguising that they are trying to promote the new health care law. When they are directly asked by residents if they are involved with “Obamacare,” officials say yes. But they are not advertising the president’s role.

    “We make it clear we are not going to argue the politics,” said Carrie Banahan, who is running “kynect” in Kentucky, “We don’t want to make it political.”

  22. rikyrah says:

    Nerdy Wonka ‏@NerdyWonka14s
    POTUS on GOP: “What is it they’re so scared about?” Men in crowd: “YOU!” Audience laughs and applauds. #ObamaCare

  23. rikyrah says:

    How to Conduct a Coup

    by BooMan
    Thu Sep 26th, 2013 at 11:07:21 AM EST

    I think Noam Scheiber’s analysis is very interesting. As he sees it, the only way that John Boehner can emerge from this fiasco with his speakership intact is if he intentionally causes a government shutdown, allows his party to be flayed alive for it, and then convinces them that their only option is to back down on making demands on the debt ceiling. For Mr. Scheiber, the post-shutdown public outcry is a prerequisite to any degree of reasonableness from Boehner’s caucus. And, in any case, since Boehner will have to pass his CR with primarily Democratic votes, he can only hope to be forgiven for it if his caucus comes to see, in a very vivid way, just how politically isolated they have become.
    Maybe Mr. Scheiber has correctly sussed out Boehner’s thinking. But he hasn’t exhausted all of Boehner’s options, nor has he anticipated all the ways that the Democrats can make mischief.

    Let’s walk through this. First, let’s assume that the Democrats are telling the truth and that they will never negotiate on the debt ceiling, nor will they make any concessions on ObamaCare in order to avoid a government shutdown.

    Whether a shutdown happens next Tuesday or is pushed off for a week, Boehner will eventually have to pass a CR that relies mainly on Democratic votes. There is no reason that the Democrats have to accept the clean CR that the Senate is offering. If Boehner needs their votes, the Democrats can attach conditions. Steny Hoyer, who is hardly a liberal firebrand, has already said, “I am not going to vote to continue the sequester. I believe it is inimical to the interests of the United States of America — to our government, to our economy and to our national security.”

    If the House Democrats refused to support the Senate bill, they would have to take partial responsibility for a government shutdown, but the government will have to open some day. And Boehner would have no other option than to meet the Democrats’ demands. Of course, meeting their demands would ensure that Boehner would face a challenge from his right, but the Democrats could offer to join with Boehner’s loyalists and vote for him in any fight for the speakership.

    At that point, Boehner would face three alternatives. He could resign in frustration. He could be ousted as Speaker by his own caucus. Or he could retain his position as the head, not of the Republican Party, but of an ad hoc coalition of mainly Democrats.

  24. Yahtc says:

  25. rikyrah says:

    Pelosi’s prudent promise

    By Steve Benen
    Thu Sep 26, 2013 10:39 AM EDT.

    House Republicans, despite winning 1.4 million fewer votes in the last election, are nevertheless in the majority, and feel justified in holding the debt ceiling hostage until their ridiculous demands are met. But what happens if, in the near future, there’s a Democratic House majority and a Republican White House?

    House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who was Speaker once and may yet become Speaker again, fielded an interesting question on this yesterday.

    TPM asked her during a Capitol Hill press availability if she would categorically rule out threatening default by taking the debt limit hostage, as Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) is doing now.

    “Yes, I would be willing to say, don’t mess with the debt limit. Don’t mess with the debt limit,” Pelosi said. “Whatever luxury you want to be afforded to make your point, get attention — that’s a luxury we can’t afford. So yes, I would say yes to that question.”

    I imagine there are Republicans who heard this and thought to themselves, “Sure, that’s easy for Pelosi to say now, but if the roles were really reversed, she might try the same strategy. It’s easy to make this promise when it’s purely hypothetical.”

    But therein lies the point: it’s not hypothetical at all and we don’t have to struggle to guess whether Pelosi’s promise has merit.

  26. rikyrah says:

    The Next Campaign To Paint Obamacare As A Failure

    By Igor Volsky on September 25, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    Next week, as uninsured Americans begin signing up for coverage in the Affordable Care Act’s health care marketplaces, Republicans will seize on the trickle of early beneficiaries and technical glitches to paint the measure as a failure. But administration officials tasked with implementing President Obama’s signature domestic policy accomplishment are anticipating these attacks and are confident they will win the public debate and meet their enrollment targets over the long term.

    On Tuesday, the nation’s 48 million uninsured will be able to log on to, dial a federal hotline, or visit a community “navigator” and begin enrolling in health care coverage through the law’s state-based exchanges to receive coverage next year. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that 7 million enrollees will participate in the marketplaces in 2014; 9 million will sign up for Medicaid. By 2023, the exchanges will hold 24 million people and the law’s Medicaid expansion will accompany another 13 million.

    But health care experts caution that enrollment may prove to be more of a marathon than a sprint and will work best in states that are actively helping uninsured people sign up for coverage.

    “It just takes time,” Stan Dorn, a Senior Fellow at the Urban Institute’s Health Policy Center, says, pointing to the nation’s experience in encouraging people to sing up for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, a bipartisan Clinton-era initiative that primarily provides health insurance to children in families with incomes too high to qualify for Medicaid. Enacted into law in August of 1997, the plan began enrolling children in 1998, but initially fell short of enrollment goals. Four years later, the Congressional Research Service issued a disappointing report noting that just 60 percent of eligible kids were enrolled in the program. Today, 87 percent of eligible children have coverage in CHIP or Medicaid.

  27. rikyrah says:

    Republicans Will Raise The Debt Ceiling For One Year Only If Obama Becomes A Republican

    By Igor Volsky on September 26, 2013 at 9:25 am

    As the nation moves dangerously close to a government shutdown on Oct. 1, House leaders are shifting their focus to the next big fiscal fight: raising the nation’s $16.7 trillion borrowing limit by one year before Oct. 17. On Wednesday night, Republicans circulated an outline of demands, threatening to push the nation into default unless President Obama and the Democrats in the Senate agree to enact a wish list of Republican priorities.

    Though Obama has repeatedly insisted that he would not negotiate over the must-pass legislation, leadership is hoping to satisfy conservative members by including every “major piece of the Republican agenda” save a “ban on late-term abortions — and some lawmakers who oppose abortion were arguing to add that,” the Washington Post reports. Below is a look at some of their demands:

  28. rikyrah says:

    Evelyn Lowery dies after suffering stroke
    ATLANTA, Ga. —

    Channel 2 Action News has learned Evelyn Lowery has died.

    The condition of Joseph Lowery’s wife was critical since she suffered a
    stroke one week ago. Her family thought she’d be more comfortable at
    home, and brought her back from the hospital on Wednesday.Longtime family friend David Stokes confirmed that she died Thursday morning.


  29. rikyrah says:

    Mayor 1%

    Rahm Emanuel and the Rise of Chicago’s 99%

    How did a city long dominated by a notorious Democratic Machine become a national battleground in the right-wing war against the public sector? In Mayor 1%, veteran journalist Kari Lydersen takes a close look at Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel and his true agenda.

    With deep Wall Street ties from his investment banking years and a combative political style honed in Congress and the Clinton and Obama administrations, Emanuel is among a rising class of rock-star mayors promising to remake American cities.

    But his private-sector approach has sidelined and alienated many who feel they are not part of Emanuel’s vision for a new Chicago—and it has inspired a powerful group of activists and community members to unite in defense of their beloved city.

  30. rikyrah says:

    ‘Essentially, DeMint is declaring a mistrial’
    By Steve Benen

    Thu Sep 26, 2013 10:00 AM EDT

    Remember the 2012 elections? The one in which Republicans ran on a platform of repealing the Affordable Care Act, and then lost?

    If you’re Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint, helping lead the anti-healthcare crusade, the apparent answer is no.

    DeMint thinks the election results don’t accurately reflect national sentiment and therefore can’t be used to argue against his desire to move the party to the right. True conservatism never got a hearing — particularly not in regard to Obamacare, which was, after all, modeled after a Massachusetts law signed by Romney. “Because of Romney and Romneycare, we did not litigate the Obamacare issue,” he says. Essentially, DeMint is declaring a mistrial.


    And they don’t count, he argues, because that darned Republican presidential candidate just didn’t push the health care issue. Sure, if you have the memory of a fruit fly, you might not recall Romney promising in every speech for a year and a half to repeal the health care law, the adds promising the destroy the law on Romney’s first day in office, or the central role the anti-Obamacare message played in the Republican pitch in 2012.

    But for the rest of us, it’s getting increasingly difficult not to just laugh out loud when Jim DeMint starts talking.

  31. Yahtc says:

    “The Skin Quilt Project – Gender and African American Quilters: Male Quilters”

    Fiber artists Wendell George Brown and Michael Cummings discuss the misconceptions of gender in terms of African American quilting and the history of textile arts by males in the African diaspora.

  32. Ametia says:

    It’s all true. I lived in Toronto for 4 years.

    Canadians don’t understand Ted Cruz’s health-care battle
    By Matt Miller

    When you’re being forced to endure another rabid Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) soliloquy on Obamacare’s threat to human freedom, it’s easy to forget how absurd our health-care debate seems to the rest of the civilized world. That’s why it’s bracing to check in with red-blooded, high testosterone capitalists north of the border in Canada — business leaders who love Canada’s single-payer system (a regime far to the “left” of Obamacare) and see it as perfectly consistent with free market capitalism.

    Take David Beatty, a 70-year-old Toronto native who ran food processing giant Weston Foods and a holding company called the Gardiner Group during a career that has included service on more than 30 corporate boards and a recent appointment to the Order of Canada, one of the nation’s highest honors. By temperament and demeanor, Beatty is the kind of tough-minded, suffer-no-fools wealth creator who conservatives typically cheer.


    It’s just “common sense” in Beatty’s view that government takes the lead in assuring basic health security for its citizens. He’s amazed at the contortions of the debate in the United States, and wonders why big U.S. companies “want to be in the business of providing health care anyway” (“that’s a government function,” he says simply). Beatty also marvels at the way the U.S. regime’s dysfunction comes to dominate everyday conversation. He shakes his head recalling how much time and passion American friends devoted one evening to comparing notes on their various supplemental Medicare plans. Talk about your sparkling dinner conversation.

    It’s just “common sense” in Beatty’s view that government takes the lead in assuring basic health security for its citizens. He’s amazed at the contortions of the debate in the United States, and wonders why big U.S. companies “want to be in the business of providing health care anyway” (“that’s a government function,” he says simply). Beatty also marvels at the way the U.S. regime’s dysfunction comes to dominate everyday conversation. He shakes his head recalling how much time and passion American friends devoted one evening to comparing notes on their various supplemental Medicare plans. Talk about your sparkling dinner conversation.


  33. Yahtc says:

  34. rikyrah says:

    Treasury warns government shutdown would be ‘catastrophic’

    The Congress, struggling to avert a government shutdown next week, was warned by the Obama administration that the Treasury was quickly running out of funds to pay government bills and could soon face a debt default if they did not “act immediately.”

    Treasury Secretary Jack Lew pleaded with Congress to raise the $16.7 trillion debt limit and said the government would not be able to borrow funds past Oct. 17. The results would be “catastrophic,” he wrote.

    After that date, only $30 billion would be left in the Treasury’s checking account, putting the country on course to miss crucial debt payments, Lew said.

    Amid Treasury’s dire default warning, lawmakers grappled with another potential crisis: federal agency shutdowns that could begin with the new fiscal year next Tuesday unless Congress comes up with emergency funds.,0,2757198.story

  35. rikyrah says:

    Greg Sargent ‏@ThePlumLineGS 1h


    Story after story fails to explain clearly that Rs are asking for concessions in exchange for not destroying economy.

  36. rikyrah says:

    Nevada Republican accidentally speaks his mind
    By Steve Benen
    Thu Sep 26, 2013 9:23 AM EDT

    Ordinarily, if one asks a prominent elected official about their party’s prospects in the coming elections, you can expect generic optimism. “Our party has great ideas, a great record, and great candidates,” he or she will say, “and I think voters will respond well to our great message.”

    But once in a great while, politicians will slip and accidentally speak their minds. Jon Ralston, for example, caught Nevada Assembly Minority Leader Pat Hickey’s (R) appearance on a conservative radio talk show, and noticed Hickey getting “careless.”

    “Probably where we had a million voters turn out in 2012; we’ll have like 700,000 [in 2014]. A lot of minorities, a lot of younger people will not turn out in a non-presidential year. It’s a great year for Republicans!”

    Dear Nevada Assembly Minority Leader Pat Hickey, your party doesn’t want you to say this out loud.

    If Hickey wants to make the case that 2014 will be “a great year for Republicans” because the party is offering the electorate a better vision for the future, more power to him. But that’s not what he said. Rather, the Nevada GOP leader think it’ll be “a great year for Republicans” because he assumes black, Latino, and younger voters won’t vote on Election Day.

  37. Yahtc says:

    Rare African American Artifacts to be Showcased at Lewis Museum


    Imagine gazing at verses of poetry written in the 18th century by African American poet Phyllis Wheatley.

    Or browsing through an 1832 account of how runaway Harriet Jacobs hid in an attic –for seven years—from vicious slaveholders.
    Or looking at a letter from Malcolm X to biographer Alex Haley two years before the Black Muslim leader was gunned down.
    Such artifacts are to be on display at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture from Nov. 1 through March 4, 2014, thanks to Wells Fargo and the family of Bernard Kinsey, a retired Xerox executive who, along with his wife, has amassed a collection of African American artifacts.
    The Kinsey collection includes:
    • An early draft of the Emancipation Proclamation;
    • Original works by Frederick Douglass
    • a book about Africa-by an African-that dates back to the 17th century;
    • and documentation of how the estimated 38,000 cowboys that helped shape the
    U.S.’s Old West, included about 10,000 Blacks.
    “The Kinsey Collection strives to give our ancestors a voice, name and personality, enabling the viewer to understand the challenges, obstacles, triumphs and extraordinary sacrifice of African Americans who’ve greatly contributed to the success of this country,” says Bernard Kinsey. “We are excited to collaborate with Wells Fargo in developing this special program honoring the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.”

    You can

  38. rikyrah says:

    The Morning Plum: The GOP’s debt limit strategy is insane. People should say so.

    By Greg Sargent, Published: September 26 at 8:55 am

    So here’s the question that is, or should be, central to grasping the true nature of the current fight over the GOP drive to block Obamacare. How, exactly, would Republicans be making any concessions in agreeing to raise the debt limit?

    This morning brings new details about the GOP’s strategy. With the Senate set to send a “clean CR” stripped of Obamacare defunding back to the House, Republicans are close to accepting that the shutdown push will fail. So they will ask for a comical list of concessions in exchange for raising the debt limit – including an Obamacare delay.

    House Republicans will apparently vote on this before voting on funding the government. The game is to mollify conservatives now and get them to accept the need to fund the government with the promise of a bigger fight later. The Post has the latest rundown on what Republicans will ask for in exchange for raising the debt limit, and note the consideration given to the item involving abortion:

  39. rikyrah says:

    Yesterday at 2:38 PM

    Someone Tell Ted Cruz the Obamacare War Is Over
    By Jonathan Chait

    Last week, the Wall Street Journal editorial page compared Ted Cruz and his band of Obamacare defunders to kamikaze pilots. Today, as he neared the end of his long, weird diatribe against Obamacare, Ted Cruz thanked the staffers who “endured this Bataan Death March.” So now Cruz and his critics agree that the most apt comparison to Ted Cruz is the World War II–era Japanese military. The analogy does capture the defunders’ sheer obsessive determination to resist and utter inability to formulate a plausible strategy.

    The Obama administration today released the final numbers on the premiums in the state health exchanges. This is the single most important piece of data we have to gauge the plausibility of the exchanges, which are the crucial mechanism of Obamacare. The premiums are not spin, they are the collective judgment of the marketplace. The conservative judgment of Obamacare has been a ceaseless litany of doom — rate shock, fumbling bureaucracy, unreasonable regulations. If that indictment were true, insurers would be charging higher rates than the administration initially forecast. Instead, the premiums are clearly lower than forecast — 94 percent of customers in the exchanges will have the chance to pay below-forecast premiums.

    In 2010, conservatives were highly confident that the inherent awfulness of Obamacare was such that premiums would rise. James Capretta, writing at National Review, criticized the Congressional Budget Office for issuing “rosy premium scenarios.” Capretta argued “this CBO analysis is terribly optimistic … the premium estimates are based as much on judgment as analytics, and CBO’s judgment is clearly on the optimistic side.” Too optimistic! Clearly! Conn Carroll, then at Heritage, enthusiastically endorsed Capretta’s critique.

    But now we know the CBO’s forecasts of the premiums were not too optimistic but too pessimistic. Surely this might budge their evaluation of Obamacare, even a teeny bit, right? Their response? Total silence.

  40. rikyrah says:

    KSK(africa) @lawalazu

    #MSNBC rating in free fall. But #MSNBC’s privileged folks are obsessed with PBO’s poll numbers. Please Proceed, #MSNBC.

    8:37 AM – 26 Sep 2013

  41. rikyrah says:

    a pic of three of my favorites:

    President Barack Obama
    The Beast
    Air Force One

    doesn’t get any better than this.

    potus the beast_afo

  42. rikyrah says:

    September 25, 2013 3:50 PM
    Clintonism and Obamaism

    By Ed Kilgore

    The relationship between the 42d and 44th presidents of the United States has gotten sufficiently cozy that no one saw anything surprising in this development, as reported by WaPo’s Philip Rucker:

    The pair of presidents settled into their plush armchairs Tuesday, crossed their legs and tried to demystify the new health-care law, which, as President Obama explained, has become “a little political.”

    On this afternoon, on the glistening stage of his annual charitable gathering, former president Bill Clinton asked the questions. And Obama, as is often the case, wasn’t short with his answers.

    The two men who stand as bookends for the modern Democratic Party made a united sales pitch to millions of uninsured Americans to enroll when new insurance marketplaces open Oct. 1.

    “I don’t have pride of authorship for this thing,” Obama said of the law that could determine his legacy. “I just want the thing to work.”


    The incident should serve as a reminder of a couple of big-picture realities that are easy to forget: Clinton and Obama are simply two figures in a long struggle for universal health coverage that dates back to Harry Truman. And Obama, the first since LBJ to succeed in a major step in that direction (though Clinton did make some incremental progress in health care for kids), wound up basing his plan on the very individual mandate that Hillary Clinton embraced in her 2008 primary fight with Obama.

    More generally, as memories of that 2008 fight fade, and as some of the more chiliastic expectations of Obama’s presidency are buried, it’s probably time to suggest that the two men are part of the same political tradition that has dominated the Democratic Party—and to a remarkable extent the country—for a long time.

  43. rikyrah says:

    Republicans ready to trade one hostage for another
    By Steve Benen
    Thu Sep 26, 2013 8:00 AM EDT

    There are just five days remaining for Congress to pass legislation to prevent a government shutdown, and overnight, the odds of some modicum of success appear to have improved. In the Senate, where a spending measure was on track to pass Sunday night, a bipartisan agreement was reached that will “accelerate” the process — the chamber should now wrap up its work on Saturday.

    In theory, this could give House Republicans time to reject the Senate bill, push another far-right alternative, and practically guarantee a shutdown, but all evidence suggests that’s unlikely. As National Journal reported, “Conservative Republicans in the House appear ready to back off their demands that the short-term funding resolution Congress must pass to avoid a government shutdown also defund or delay Obamacare.”

    So, for those hoping congressional Republicans don’t shut down the government, this is good news, right? On the surface, yes. Based on overnight developments, a shutdown appears less likely than it did a few days ago.

    The problem is, as the Washington Post and others are reporting, GOP lawmakers appear eager to trade one hostage for another — and the next hostage crisis will be far more serious.

    With federal agencies set to close their doors in five days, House Republicans began exploring a potential detour on the path to a shutdown: shifting the fight over President Obama’s health-care law to a separate bill that would raise the nation’s debt limit.

    If it works, the strategy could clear the way for the House to approve a simple measure to keep the government open into the new fiscal year, which will begin Tuesday, without hotly contested provisions to defund the Affordable Care Act.

    But it would set the stage for an even more nerve-racking deadline on Oct. 17, with conservatives using the threat of the nation’s first default on its debt to force the president to accept a one-year delay of the health-care law’s mandates, taxes and benefits.

  44. rikyrah says:

    September 25, 2013 5:03 PM
    Voting Down: Hooray!

    By Ed Kilgore

    At some point Republicans are going to figure out that it just doesn’t sound very good when they express joy over people not voting. But that day hasn’t arrived yet, per this statement by a Republican legislative leader in Nevada:

    Veteran Nevada political reporter Jon Ralston comments:

    This is not the last you wiil hear of this: Assembly Minority Leader Pat Hickey, sitting down with a friendly interviewer (Dan Mason) on conservative talk radio, got careless and talked about how great for the GOP that young people and minorities won’t turn out in presidential year numbers in 2014.

    The Democrats had an energize-the-base missive out about it shortly after he said it, saying in part: “Yes, you heard that right — the Republican Party is so out-of-touch with Nevada families they are finally admitting the only way they can win an election is for as few people to vote as possible.”

    How hard is it to talk about “favorable turnout patterns” or something? I guess it’s pretty hard if you are fundamentally wired to think an awful lot of voters—say, 47% of them—aren’t objective enough to vote in the first place.

  45. rikyrah says:

    These young people simply don’t get it. Not only will they be made an example of now that they are ‘guests’ of the criminal justice system, the folks in the know are just laying a trap…letting so many of this incidents happen…so, that when they decide to lower the boom, and the ones that try this nonsense in a bit wind up in the morgue…nobody’s gonna say anything and those that do complain will be dismissed.


    3 girls arrested following South Loop pepper spray attacks

    SUN-TIMES MEDIA WIRE September 26, 2013 7:05AM

    A group of girls shot two women with pepper spray during separate attacks in the South Loop Wednesday night.

    Police said the first attack occurred about 10:30 p.m., when a group of three girls approached a 24-year-old woman on foot and sprayed her as she stood outside in the 1100 block of South State Street. The woman was treated and released from Mercy Hospital, police said.

    Shortly after, a 26-year-old woman was also sprayed in the 1300 block of South State Street. The woman’s injuries were treated on the scene, police said.

    Three female juveniles were in custody for the attacks early Thursday. Charges against them are pending, police said.

    Police could not offer a motive for the attacks.

  46. Yahtc says:

    “York, Black Explorer of the Lewis and Clark Expedition”

    >Published on Jul 16, 2013
    Hasan Davis performing as York, black explorer of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Recorded at the Jayhawk Cafe during the 2013 Region 5 Parent Technical Assistance Center Meeting in Topeka, Kansas.

    • Yahtc says:

      A person who loves today’s travel:

      It’s not every day you hear about an African American traveling around the world climbing mountains and exploring the wild. Today on African American Legends, Dr. Brown sits down with explorer, J. Robert Harris to discuss his travels around the world. Tune in to find out which countries Mr. Harris visited and what he encountered along the way.

    • Yahtc says:

      Here is a woman who reached the North Pole at the age of 75!

      Black in America: Barbara Hillary, Explorer

      Posted on Youtube by Sable Verity

  47. rikyrah says:

    A Malevolent Agenda

    by BooMan
    Thu Sep 26th, 2013 at 08:45:59 AM EST

    A few minutes into his long-winded speech, Sen. Ted Cruz said something that made me want to punch him in his throat.

    “Yet I will tell you, Madam President–you and I have both served in this institution some 9 months, not very long, but in the time we have been here we have spent virtually zero time even talking about jobs and the economy. It doesn’t make the agenda. It apparently is not important enough for this body’s time. We spent 6 weeks talking about guns, talking about taking away law-abiding citizens’ Second Amendment rights, and we spend virtually no time talking about fundamental tax reform, about regulatory reform, about getting the economy going. And politicians wonder why it is that Congress is held in such low esteem. This is unfortunately a bipartisan issue, on both sides.”

    Set aside the idea that we responded to the murder of twenty first-graders and their teachers with an effort to take “away law-abiding citizens’ Second Amendment rights.” What really angered me was the idea that Congress isn’t focused on jobs because it isn’t on the agenda.

    Let’s talk about what is on the Republicans’ agenda. Right now, the leaders in the House are cobbling together a bill that is supposed to pay our debts so we don’t destroy the full faith and credit of the United States of America. Let’s take a look at the goodies that Boehner is attaching to that bill.

    The debt-limit measure, which was still being loaded with new provisions late Wednesday, amounts to a grand conservative wish list. In addition to delaying implementation of the health-care law for one year, the bill would establish a timetable for tax reform, squeeze $120 billion from federal health programs over the next decade — in part by tightening medical malpractice laws — and cut federal civil service pensions.
    The measure also would approve construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline and advance other GOP economic goals, including increasing offshore oil drilling, blocking federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions and restricting most forms of federal industry regulation.

    About the only major piece of the Republican agenda missing from the bill is a ban on late-term abortions — and some lawmakers who oppose abortion were arguing to add that, GOP aides said.

    Quite a “jobs” agenda, isn’t it? Slashing people’s pensions, cutting down on their earned benefits, denying them medical attention, making it harder to sue bad doctors, allowing and enabling people to pollute the environment with impunity…these are supposed to be job-creating policies. And the Senate Democrats and the president are supposed to go along with these policies or we get to default on our debts.

  48. rikyrah says:

    Kerry backs arms treaty; right preps major freak-out

    By Steve Benen
    Wed Sep 25, 2013 4:53 PM EDT.

    Following up on a segment from last night’s show, Secretary of State John Kerry took a sensible step today that the right won’t like at all.

    The United States signed a U.N. Arms Trade Treaty regulating the $70 billion global trade in conventional arms on Wednesday and the Obama administration sought to allay the fears of the powerful U.S. gun lobby which says the pact will violate the constitutional rights of Americans.

    The treaty, which relates only to cross-border trade and aims to keep weapons out of the hands of human rights abusers and criminals, still requires ratification by the U.S. Senate and has been attacked by the influential gun rights group the National Rifle Association (NRA). […]

    The United States, the world’s No. 1 arms exporter, became the 91st country to sign when U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry put pen to paper on the sidelines of the annual gathering of world leaders at the United Nations.

  49. rikyrah says:

    Chris Matthews rips Ted Cruz: ‘He seeks to divide, he seeks to destroy, he seeks to demoralize’
    By Arturo Garcia
    Wednesday, September 25, 2013 23:17 EDT

    MSNBC host Chris Matthews tore into Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) on Wednesday, accusing him of appropriating the legacy of Matthews’ personal hero, former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

    “Cruz is out to make a name [for himself] — not by uniting a country in danger, as Churchill did, not by building up a country’s defenses and morale, as Churchill did,” Matthews argued. “His calling card is just the opposite: He seeks to divide, he seeks to destroy, he seeks to demoralize until the country is so divided, its ability to govern so destroyed, its morale so depressed, that even someone like the freshman senator from Texas starts to look credible.”

    Matthews also criticized Cruz, who completed a 21-hour speech on Wednesday railing against the Affordable Care Act (that included his recitation of a Dr. Seuss story) for then turning around and voting alongside everyone else in the Senate to pass a spending plan that will be eventually include funding for the law, fending off the government shutdown Cruz had called for before passing the buck to House Republicans on the issue.

    “Ted Cruz, whatever else we decide he is or he decides he wants to be, is no Winston Churchill battling Hitler, any more than Snoopy was battling the Red Baron,” Matthews said dismissively.

  50. rikyrah says:

    School board lifts heavily-criticized ban on Ellison’s ‘Invisible Man’
    By Arturo Garcia
    Wednesday, September 25, 2013 20:44 EDT

    The board of education for Randolph County, North Carolina voted on Wednesday to rescind its ban of Ralph Ellison’s book Invisible Man, the Asheboro Courier-Tribune reported.

    The 6-1 vote reverses the board’s Sept. 16 decision to remove the novel from school libraries in the district. The ban was instigated by a parent’s complaint about its content.

    “I didn’t find any literary value,” board member Gary Mason said at the time. “I’m for not allowing it to be available.” The Courier-Tribune reported that he was the only board member on Wednesday who voted to uphold the ban.

    According to the Los Angeles Times, the book’s removal prompted at least two offers of free copies of Invisible Man for students, as well as an increase in orders from the county library. Readers of the Courier-Tribune also voiced their complaints on its website.

    “Yet another reason why the South will never rise,” one reader posted at the time. “The ignorant squeaky wheels hold others back. Invisible Man is an incredibly important book, not just for its historical importance, but for its literary merits. If anyone had suggested sensible gun laws or taxing churches, the same yahoos who wish to ban a book would have been enraged and threatened revolution and/or secession.”

    Both the Times and the Courier-Tribune reported that board members have refused to comment on the initial ban.

  51. rikyrah says:

    McCain: ‘The people spoke’

    By Steve Benen
    Wed Sep 25, 2013 4:21 PM EDT.

    Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) heard Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) argue last night that his critics remind him of Nazi appeasers, and to his credit, the Arizona Republican criticized his right-wing colleague this afternoon, calling Cruz’s comments “a great disservice.”

    But that’s not all McCain said (thanks to my colleague Mike Yarvitz for the heads-up).

    For those who can’t watch clips online, here’s a partial transcript of the senator’s remarks:

    “Many of those who are in opposition right now were not here at the time, and did not take part in the debate and I respect that. But I’d like to remind them that the record is very clear of one of the most hard-fought, fair — in my view — debates that has taken place on the floor of the Senate in the time that I’ve been here.

    “And then I’d remind my colleagues that in the 2012 election, ‘Obamacare,’ as it’s called — and I’ll be more polite, the ACA — was a subject that was a major issue in the campaign. I campaigned all over America for two months, everywhere I could, and in every single campaign rally I said, ‘And we have to repeal and replace Obamacare.’

    “Well, the people spoke. They spoke, much to my dismay, but they spoke and they reelected the president of the United States.”

  52. rikyrah says:

    The Affordable Care Act: a personal experience

    By Liberal Librarian

    The media is swamped with news about the roll-out for the Affordable Care Act, from newspapers and broadcast media outlets and blogs giving primers on the act’s machinery, to Republicans mounting a last ditch and futile effort to derail it. The efforts to derail it are laughable, and veer into Looney Tunes territory; the fact is that the law will be in effect come next Tuesday, and a tsunami wave of information about it is starting to come out detailing its parameters and costs. Politically, this means that the act will be the defining topic for the 2014 elections; once people start applying for coverage, and fully discover all the benefits, they’ll start to appreciate it, and look very askance at any politician who wants to repeal it.

    You can’t swing a dead fly on Twitter without hitting a tweet about Obamacare’s imminent birth. But this one struck me quite strongly:

    Senator Harry Reid ✔ @SenatorReid

    Next year, 129 million with pre-existing conditions can #getcovered. Tell Republicans to stop shutdown threats over health reform.

    4:34 PM – 25 Sep 2013

    Let that sink in. Over 100 million of our fellow citizens have a pre-existing condition. Before Obamacare, if they had insurance from their job, lost that job, and found work with a company which didn’t provide health coverage, they would either be denied coverage on the open market, or only be able to buy expensive and almost useless insurance.

    I’m one of those 129 million people


    When opponents of Obamacare fulminate about repealing it, what they mean is that they want to allow insurance companies to discriminate against people like me and my wife, who have pre-existing conditions. They want to toss 129 million Americans onto the tender mercies of an unregulated market, where the conditions mean that, if they have insurance through employers, they are tied to those employers in a semi-feudal state; if they have no coverage from their workplace, then they’re out of luck.

    “Affordability” takes on many guises in this act. Yes, the premiums people will pay are proving to be even cheaper than first envisioned. But affordability extends to no copays for yearly exams, mammograms, and cancer screenings. Affordability extends to closing the prescription doughnut hole for Medicare recipients. Affordability extends to forcing insurance companies to spend 80% of the money it collects in premiums on health services, not overhead and administration. And affordability means that 129 million Americans with pre-existing conditions will be able to get affordable health coverage, not tied to work, something which was denied to them for decades.

    I have no intention of leaving my job any time soon. I love the work I do. But now many people who would stay with a job they hated solely for the benefits can strike out and try something new—write a novel, start a new business, work for a non-profit—without worrying that they’re one illness away from homelessness. Telling someone that they can’t get health coverage for a condition which is the entire point of getting health coverage is not the mark of a civilized society. That it’s the inferred position of one of the two major political parties is very instructive of their ideology, and how they see the people whom they say they wish to serve.

    • Yahtc says:

      I love this comment by Liberal Librarian:

      The efforts to derail it are laughable, and veer into Looney Tunes territory.

  53. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

  54. Yahtc says:

    Ghana mourns loss of poet killed in Kenya

    >Kofi Awoonor, 78, was a literary icon in his native Ghana, and was known worldwide for his innovative style that translated the rhythms of his Ewe language into English. He also was a veteran diplomat, and top government officials and members of parliament came to the airport.
    Awoonor had been in Kenya with his son to take part in the Storymoja Hay Festival, a four-day literary event, when he was among the more than 60 civilians killed at the Nairobi mall. His son Afetsi, who was wounded in terror attack, returned to Ghana on Wednesday with his father’s body.

    • Yahtc says:

      • Yahtc says:

      • Yahtc says:

        The death of this great poet fills my heart with much sorrow.

        I send my thoughts and prayers to his family and loved ones.

      • Yahtc says:

        “Harlem on a Winter Night”
        by Kofi Awoonor

        Huddled pavements, dark,
        the lonely wail of a police-siren
        moving stealthily across

        grey alleys of anonymity
        asking for food either
        as plasma in hospital jars,
        escaping fires in tenements
        grown cold and bitter,
        or seeking food in community garbage cans
        to escape its eternal nightmare.
        Harlem, the dark dirge of America
        heard at evening
        mean alleyways of poverty,
        dispossession, early death
        in jammed doorways and creaking elevators,
        glaring defeat in the morning
        of this beautiful beautiful America.

      • Yahtc says:

        The weaver bird built in our house
        And laid its eggs on our only tree
        We did not want to send it away

        We watched the building of the nest
        And supervised the egg-laying.
        And the weaver returned in the guise of the owner
        Preaching salvation to us that own the house
        They say it came from the west
        Where the storms at the sea has felled the gulls
        And the fishers dried their nets by the lantern light
        Its sermon is the divination of ourselves
        And over new horizons limit at its nest
        But we cannot join the prayers and the answers of the communicants.
        We look for new homes every day,
        For new altars we strive to rebuild
        The old shrines defiled from the weaver’s excrement.

        — Kofi Awoonor

  55. Yahtc says:

    America is paying its embassy guards in Kenya a dollar an hour.

    Nairobi sits in one of the world’s tougher neighborhoods – that’s clear from the recent attack on the Westgate mall. But the security contractor hired by the State Department to keep Americans there safe may not exactly be world-class. The company protecting the U.S. embassy in Nairobi pays its guards as little as a dollar per hour. In fact, those guards were so poorly compensated by their employer, KK Security, that last summer they went on strike……
    KK Security boasts that it pays Nairobi embassy guards between 25,000 and 150,000 Kenyan shillings per month – the equivalent of $787 to $1,715. That’s roughly $9 to $57 U.S. dollars a day for that potentially deadly job.

    At the low end, it’s roughly the same as what the average Kenyan makes. However, it wasn’t enough to keep KK employees from walking off the job last June in a strike that “disrupted security” at the embassy, according to the African news site The People.
    The People reports that KK guards’ wages were closer to $2 to $4 per day when they went on strike. The firm was also accused of withholding wages that had been agreed to in a labor agreement from the last decade.

    “The company owes the employees more than Sh116 [sic] million for the period running from June 1, 2012 to March 1, 2013 alone. Employees currently earn a gross pay of Sh 5,490 per month per guard and the [2005 collective bargaining agreement] was agreed after a lull of 11 years, meaning they have gone 16 years without a wage increase,” according to The People.

  56. Yahtc says:

    Paul Revere Williams – A Legend in Architecture

    Documentary highlighting the life of Paul Revere Williams, the first certified African American architect west of the Mississippi. “Architect to the Stars”

  57. Yahtc says:

    Good Morning to All!

    SG2, thank you very much for your flamenco articles this week! They have been very educational and entertaining.

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