Monday Open Thread | Reggae | Michael Rose

michael_roseFor over 25 years, Michael Rose has been recording and performing his brand of militant, hardcore Jamaican music to the delight of reggae fans around the world. As a solo artist, with Black Uhuru, and back as a solo artist, the “Ruff” Rose has achieved great success throughout his career, even as different Jamaican musical styles have phased in and out of popularity.

Perhaps the highest profile recognition came in 1984, when Michael Rose and the other Black Uhuru members (Duckie Simpson, Puma Jones, Sly Dunbar, and Robbie Shakespeare) won reggae’s first Grammy award for the album, Anthem. But the story doesn’t begin with Black Uhuru. In 1976, Michael Rose was already a seasoned performer, having honed his skills by performing on Jamaica’s hotel circuit.

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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86 Responses to Monday Open Thread | Reggae | Michael Rose

  1. President Obama: Vote for Cory.

  2. Stand Strong, Mr. President! Rock Steady!

    Rock Steady Mr President!

  3. rikyrah says:

    john miller @deaconmill

    The people who say, “Our hatred of Obama isn’t racism, b/c he is half white” are same type of people who developed “one drop rule”.
    1:55 PM – 14 Oct 2013

  4. rikyrah says:

    Re: “Are Republicans Stupid?” (none / 1)

    I posted this comment on Booman’s early story on “The Real Problem” where I thought he didn’t get to the REAL problem. It also seems relevant here…


    Booman Tribune ~ The Real Problem

    The root cause of our country’s political problems is that the base of the Republican Party has gone stark-raving mad. Period.

    But there shouldn’t be a period there, because that is where it gets interesting. We can argue about how many crazies there are at any on time, or the degree to which their craziness is amplified and mainstreamed by the plutocrats. But what actually makes them crazy?

    American Capitalism has created a system of systemic insecurity. Unless you are wealthy you are in fear of losing your job, your benefits, your healthcare, your health, and the respect of your family and community which you derive from being a provider. Your status is perceived as being relative to your peers and other communities.

    The rise of knowledge based capitalism has created an underclass of relatively unqualified, insecure, unappreciated workers and unemployed. This is nothing new to minorities who are used to being at the bottom of the pile.

    But the rise of a black and Hispanic middle class has moved relatively unskilled working class whites further down the pecking order, and they don’t like it one little bit. So they try to sabotage the educational system and other “entitlements” which they perceive as enabling the rise of minorities against them (as they see it) or more objectively, relative to them. Their kids can’t get good jobs because better educated minorities are getting them.

    So the answer is to try to destroy the political system they see as enabling this – be it public education, public healthcare, anything which they see as benefiting minorities. It doesn’t even have to be an affirmative action program because even a program which helps all equally puts them at a disadvantage to abler or better educated minorities.

    President Obama is the very embodiment of this problem. It doesn’t matter that he is abler or better educated than most of his white competitors, he represents a defeat for racial solidarity within the white tribe. And those librul whites who have sided with him are the most hated of all, for they are traitors to their race.

    So there is nothing irrational about less able whites feeling betrayed by their white establishment and hating on Obama. His success symbolizes their failure and their fall from grace. They hate the education, the science, the religion and the government programs that got him there, and they would rather tear it all down than see him succeed.

    Fascist movements the world over – be they white South African Apartheid supporters, German working class ravaged by unemployment and hyperinflation and needing someone (the Jews) to scapegoat for their misfortune, or Spanish landed elites worried by the rise of industrial workers – have responded with extreme xenophobia and violence whenever their prior status and place in the pecking order was challenged.

    And these fearful and insecure people are easy meat ripe for manipulation by the plutocrats of their time. But as the German elite found out to their cost in the 1930’s, you may think you control the little Hitlers of the world, but in the end they can devour you.

    The US plutocrats who thought they could control the Tea Party to their own benefit may be in for a nasty surprise: Once weaponized, they can bring the whole house down on everyone.

    by Frank Schnittger (Frankschnittger at hotmail dotty communists) on Mon Oct 14th, 2013 at 05:32:27 PM EST

    http://www.boomantribune.com/story/2013/10/14/163633/64

  5. rikyrah says:

    Will House Republicans allow a retreat?

    By Jonathan Bernstein
    October 14 at 3:50 pm

    New Washington Post/ABC polling confirms everything that we’ve been hearing: the Republican shutdown/debt limit strategy is a total disaster for them, at least as far as immediate public reaction is concerned. The survey finds a massive 21/74 percent approval/disapproval split on Republican handling of the budget negotiations; Barack Obama, on the other hand, has a negative but fairly mild 42/53 split on the budget.

    All of this has sparked what appears to be, pending details, a clear retreat by Republicans in the upper chamber. As of this hour, the Senate appears to be very close to an agreement, along the lines that Greg Sargent discussed earlier, to get the government open and the debt limit raised. If Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell agree, then the Senate will surely support it, easily overcoming any last-ditch filibuster from radical Republicans. When the Senate gaveled in earlier this afternoon, both Reid and McConnell said they were optimistic — and in an even more encouraging sign, neither of them trotted out their usual talking points to bash the other side.

    Even a 100-0 vote in the Senate, however, doesn’t open the government back up. The House will still have to act. We still haven’t heard any reaction from House Republicans, but reports have John Boehner meeting briefly with Mitch McConnell.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2013/10/14/will-house-republicans-allow-a-retreat/

  6. rikyrah says:

    Dems dare GOP to provoke another hostage crisis during 2014 elections

    By Greg Sargent
    October 14 at 12:59 pm

    Politico reports that Senate Democratic leaders have offered Republicans a budget compromise:

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has privately offered Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell a deal that would reopen the government until mid-to-late December while extending the U.S. debt ceiling until next year, according to several sources familiar with the talks.

    The proposal would set up a framework for larger budget negotiations with the House over the automatic sequestration spending cuts and other major deficit issues, the sources said. Moreover, Senate Democrats are open to delaying Obamacare’s medical device tax and a requirement that those receiving Obamacare subsidies be subject to income verification — but they would have to get something from Republicans in return, sources said. […]

    Under Reid’s proposal, the debt ceiling would be extended for six to nine months, and the government would be funded at $986 billion until some point in December. Doing so would punt the fight over whether to lock in 2014 sequestration levels at $967 billion until December. And by extending the debt ceiling until the middle of next year, it would put the issue in the center of the heated 2014 midterm elections.

    A Senate Democratic aide confirms to me that this is roughly accurate, but adds some important additional points. For one thing, the aide tells me, Dems will demand a genuine concession in exchange for a medical device tax delay, such as the closing of loopholes on the rich and corporations. Democrats don’t expect Republicans to agree to any real concession, so they don’t expect the medical device tax to be part of the final deal.

    Second, and arguably more important, is Dem thinking on the debt limit.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2013/10/14/dems-dare-gop-to-provoke-another-hostage-crisis-during-2014-elections/

  7. rikyrah says:

    Why that crazy tea party rally matters. A lot.

    By Ryan Cooper
    October 14 at 11:53 am

    With the debt limit deadline only days away and negotiations over resolving the crisis stalled in the Senate, the tea party this weekend staged perhaps the most brazenly ridiculous rally in its short history. While it was of little significance in and of itself, it is starkly indicative of the depth of the GOP breakdown we’re currently witnessing.

    The rally was also a reminder that it’s time to start thinking seriously about reforms that would make minimal governance possible in our current predicament.

    So here’s what happened. Yesterday morning, a smallish rally of tea party conservatives descended on the World War II memorial on the National Mall, bashed through the barriers that the Park Service had put up, and proceeded to wallow in nuttiness. Their primary grievance appeared to be that Obama had closed down the national parks. So they marched down to the White House and piled up the barriers. CNN reported:

    “I call upon all of you to wage a second American nonviolent revolution, to use civil disobedience, and to demand that this president leave town, to get up, to put the Quran down, to get up off his knees, and to figuratively come out with his hands up,” said Larry Klayman of Freedom Watch, a conservative political advocacy group.

    Sarah Palin, as well as Senators Ted Cruz and Mike Lee were in attendance. At least one large Confederate flag made an appearance. Some Republicans actually imagined that this rally was somehow a game changer.

    The incoherence on display was truly astonishing, even by tea party standards. Recall that this shutdown/debt limit extortion crisis was the explicit plan of House Republicans. Republicans have openly admitted that such a crisis must be used to get rid of Obamacare precisely because their loss in the last election leaves them no alternative. As Paul Ryan said last month: “The reason this debt limit fight is different is, we don’t have an election around the corner where we feel we are going to win and fix it ourselves…we are stuck with this government another three years.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2013/10/14/why-that-crazy-tea-party-rally-matters-a-lot/

  8. Hey 3CP!

    We can like a comment now! Yay!

  9. rikyrah says:

    Panic In the GOP: Disapproval of the Republican Party Hits A New Record High of 74%

    By: Jason Easley
    Monday, October 14th, 2013, 4:14 pm

    A new ABC News/Washington Post is putting more pressure on Republicans to surrender. The poll found that disapproval of the Republican handing of the crisis has reached a record high of 74%.

    If last week’s finding that a record 70% of Americans disapproved of the Republican Party’s handing of the government shutdown/debt ceiling scared Republicans, this week’s numbers explain why Mitch McConnell is running to Harry Reid to make a deal. In two weeks, disapproval of the Republican handling of the situation has gone from 60%-74%. A whopping 54% strongly disapprove of the way Republicans are handling the government shutdown and the debt ceiling. Congressional Democrats have a 61% disapproval rating on the handling of the shutdown and debt ceiling, but they are in a much better position than the Republican colleagues.

    The Republican Party’s plan to blame all of this on President Obama has failed miserably. It doesn’t matter how many times Republicans refer to “Obama’s shutdown.” The president’s polling remains virtually unchanged. Fifty percent disapproved of the president’s handling of the crisis last week. This week that number has risen three points to 53%. The American people are blaming all of Washington, but they are blaming Obama a whole lot less.

    http://www.politicususa.com/2013/10/14/panic-gop-disapproval-republican-party-hits-record-high-74.html

  10. rikyrah says:

    House Republicans Want To Use Default As a Reason to Impeach President Obama

    By: Jason Easley
    Monday, October 14th, 2013, 11:56 am

    With their backs against the wall, House Republicans are threatening to impeach President Obama if the nation falls victim to the default that they caused.

    Here is Rep. Louie Gohmert saying that default is an impeachable offense:

    The problem is who Gohmert wants to impeach for this.

    Lauren Windsor, a reporter for The Young Turks asked Rep. Gohmert if he would support any deal to raise the debt ceiling. He answered, “It just depends on what it is,” he replied. “The word ‘deal’ concerns me… if it’s good for America.” She followed up by asking, “Would you allow us to default on our debt?” Gohmert replied, “No, that would be an impeachable offense by the president.”

    Republicans failed to win the presidency in 2012. All of their legislative efforts to repeal the ACA have failed. The Supreme Court upheld the ACA as constitutional. Their attempts to destroy the healthcare reform law through a government shutdown and threats of default have crashed and burned, so some House Republicans have moved towards the pushing the big red button of impeachment.

    Republicans have wanted to impeach this president since the moment that he took office. They have claimed that everything that this president has done is an impeachable offense, but even the most basic understanding of the constitutional separation of powers makes it clear that President Obama can’t be impeached for default. Article I Sec.8 of the Constitution gives the power of the purse to Congress. This means if Congress does not pay our bills, that will be violating the Constitution.

    If President Obama tried to raise taxes or borrow money on his own to pay our debts, he would be violating the Constitution. Congress has to pay the bills. What Rep. Gohmert is suggesting is that President Obama should be impeached because House Republicans have violated the Constitution.

    As Lloyd Carter wrote, House Republicans are trying to pull a backdoor impeachment, “The dance over the debt ceiling and the fight over the government shutdown are nothing less than impeachment on the cheap: a chance to negate the will of the majority by ostensibly placating the letter of the law. Unable to win the last two presidential elections or to persuade a Supreme Court majority that the Affordable Care Act was unconstitutional, House Republicans have arrived at a point where default and closure are the next best things. This combustible brew of race, class, and economic anxieties bubbles all too closely to the surface.”

    http://www.politicususa.com/2013/10/14/house-republicans-default-reason-impeach-president-obama.html

  11. rikyrah says:

    Proposed Senate Debt Ceiling Deal Is a Complete Crushing of the Republican Party

    By: Jason Easley
    Monday, October 14th, 2013, 3:24 pm

    Do you want to know what Republicans get out of the proposed Senate debt ceiling deal? Nothing, but a crushing surrender.

    Republicans will get no changes to Obamacare. They will get no further spending cuts. The government will be funded until mid-late December, and here’s the kicker according to Greg Sargent, “According to the Democratic aide, Dems are likely to demand a debt limit extension into early summer — nine months, rather than six – with the idea being that the closer to the 2014 elections we get, the harder it will be for Republicans to stage another debt ceiling hostage crisis. Democrats don’t want such a crisis. They would prefer that Republicans simply agree to extend the debt limit cleanly. But by pushing this so deep into the 2014 election season, they are giving themselves a kind of insurance policy that guarantees that if Republicans do stage another debt limit crisis, Republicans will pay a serious political price for it.”

    If Republicans want the medical device tax repealed Democrats are going to demand that tax loopholes be closed for the wealthy and corporations, and Senate Democrats are even going to finally get the budget conference that they have asked the House Republicans for 18 times.

    http://www.politicususa.com/2013/10/14/proposed-senate-debt-ceiling-deal-complete-crushing-republican-party.html

  12. Ametia says:

    No shit Sherlock

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2uLTy3y9X0

    Freudian slip Republicans have “OVER-RICHED.”

  13. rikyrah says:

    During the Obama Presidency Republicans Have Not Made a Single Concession to Help People

    By: Rmuse
    Monday, October 14th, 2013, 10:57 am

    The inordinate desire to possess goods, or objects of abstract value with the intention to keep it all for one’s self beyond the dictates of basic comfort is greed, and it also applies to the desire for, and a pursuit of, wealth and power. Republicans exhibit inordinate greed for power over the government, and it explains their four-and-a-half year drive to take everything they can get their greedy hands on from the American people to give to their wealthy corporate and millionaire supporters.

    It can hardly be disputed that throughout Barack Obama’s tenure as President, Republicans have not made one concession or presented one piece of legislation to benefit the people, and they have blocked every single attempt by the President and Democrats to help Americans with jobs and sustaining social programs. Despite that Democrats have not asked for, or won, any concessions from the GOP to help the people, a Republican Senator accused Democrats of being greedy for not paying a ransom for Republicans to do the jobs they were sent to Washington to do; fund the government and pay the nation’s debts.

    Yesterday, Kentucky Senator and teabag hero Rand Paul accused President Obama and Senate Democrats of not negotiating to open the government or raise the debt limit because they were “getting greedy about this whole thing.” Paul was referring to Democratic demands that Republicans pass a clean continuing resolution to open the government and raise the debt limit unconditionally. It was a typical conservative ploy to project on Democrats and the President what Republicans are doing in holding the government and borrowing limit hostage in their war to control the government.

    http://www.politicususa.com/2013/10/14/obama-presidency-republicans-single-concession-people.html

  14. rikyrah says:

    Corker: Republicans are ‘in a bad place’
    By Jonathan Easley – 10/14/13 07:44 AM ET

    Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) on Monday acknowledged that Republicans had taken a severe political hit from the government shutdown, saying the GOP was “in a bad place,” but getting closer to righting the ship.

    “Look, we’re in a bad place,” Corker said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “Let’s face it, we all know that the House Republican strategy — that came from a few Senate Republicans, was the strategy that took us to where we are.”

    A rash of Republican infighting has boiled over because of the shutdown, as establishment Republicans have stood up to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and other members of the Tea Party, blaming them for instigating the showdown without a defined endgame.

    Read more: http://thehill.com/video/in-the-news/328289-corker-were-in-a-bad-place#ixzz2hjCdHK5e
    Follow us: @thehill on Twitter | TheHill on Facebook

  15. Ametia says:

    Source: CNN

    A meeting between President Barack Obama and congressional leaders planned for Monday afternoon has been postponed, the White House announced, saying the delay would allow Senate leaders time to continue negotiating a compromise to end the partial government shutdown and avoid a U.S. default as soon as Thursday.

    Negotiations heated up Monday on a Senate compromise to end the partial government shutdown and avoid a possible U.S. default, with congressional leaders heading to the White House after talks cited as progress toward a deal.

    Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2013/10/14/politics/shutdown-showdown/index.html

  16. Waving a confederate flag in front of the home where our BLACK First Family lives is considered an act of aggression.These mofos want a fight.

  17. Larry Klayman said President Obama is President of HIS people and this is who Ted Cruz shares the stage with. It’s reprehensible! Racists thugs!

  18. Yahtc says:

    OCTOBER 14, 2013
    “Confederate flag at a tea party rally? Perfect”

    That took real genius, to wave that noxious symbol of racial oppression at a building occupied by the nation’s most prominent Black family.

    Yeah I know, it was only one flag – but how noteworthy it was that nobody in the crowd demanded that the guy furl it and remove it. Nope, the flag stayed front and center.

    And what better way to remind mainstream Americans that the Republican base has become a last-ditch refuge for angry white people?

    http://www.newsworks.org/index.php/national-interest/item/60825-confederate-flag-at-a-tea-party-rally-perfect-

  19. Yahtc says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=cDsKNx0kiQw

    Published on Mar 12, 2013 by Tim Estiloz
    Feature reporter Tim Estiloz profiles famed artist Paul Goodnight. Goodnight’s artistry and images of African and African-American themes and culture… has made his art famous world-wide. His art hangs in the Smithsonian… and in the homes of numerous celebrities such as Maya Angelou and actor Samuel L. Jackson.

    His work has also been featured in many TV shows and films such as “The Cosby Show”, “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air”… and the recent film, “Gone Baby Gone”.
    This unique interview profiles Paul Goodnight’s influences… and his approach to creating his masterpieces. It also features a rare glimpse of the artist at work in his studio. This is a fascinating study of an equally fascinating artist.

  20. Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? Natty Dreadlocks!

    I’m soo crushing on Michael Rose! :)

    • Liza says:

      Really sad. Makes you wonder what is next for these people, but they can always find a new low.

    • vitaminlover says:

      This is a joke, right?

    • vitaminlover says:

      How sick!

      • Sarah Palin is all up in it when it comes to pushing racism. I despise that bottom feeding trash.

        • vitaminlover says:

          I am with you! I totally despise her! From what I have heard of this witch she supposedly ‘got busy’ with a b-ball player who is of the black persuasion. Also she lost out in a beauty pageant to a young lady who is of the black persuasion. I think that she is extremely obsessed with President Obama and she does not want to see any black success at a high level. Her bread definitely isn’t done. Look at those glazed over eyes. I am soooooo glad that God is protecting My President and his family. They (Palin and company) are in major trouble with Him because the President is one of His Anointed and He said “Touch NOT My Anointed”. Palin is beyond ignorant and her ship will sink!

      • I agree. I hate to bring this up but I remember in 08 Stephanie Tubbs Jones coming on MSNBC and mocking then Senator Obama and actually called him a foreigner…saying I have no shame with people looking at Barack Obama in the clothing of his country. And right before he sealed the Democratic Nomination..she was dead.

      • Ametia says:

        @SGS Karma ALWAYS collect what’s owed her!

  21. Yahtc says:

    “JOE MINTER’S YARD”

    Joe Minter is a visionary artist who has created a sculpture park of American history in his backyard. Using lumber, dolls, lawn ornaments, doors, and other found materials that he shapes, paints, assembles, and writes on, Minter has created a walk through “African Village in America,” as he sometimes call it, a “reclaiming of the telling of history.” The sculptures are like exhibits in a museum, each telling a different part of a historical story about civil rights, compassion, and historical and current events, nationally and locally. There is the unbuilt bridge at Gee’s Bend, and the famous built bridge at Selma; a memorial to the 2004 tsunami victims; and a commentary on the 9/11 attacks. Minter usually greets visitors if he can, and helps to make his park come alive. His place is the last house on the block, and abuts one of the main historic black graveyards in the city, where hundreds of tombs buckle with neglect.

    http://clui.org/ludb/site/joe-minters-yard

  22. Yahtc says:

    South Africa: Biko and the Quest for Black Power Today

    http://allafrica.com/stories/201310140317.html

    • Yahtc says:

      I have read most of Peter Abrahams books.

      I recommend “Tell Freedom…Memories of Africa” and “Return to Goli”.

      From Wikipedia:

      Biography

      Peter Abrahams (born 3 March 1919) — South African novelist, journalist and political commentator.

      Abrahams’ father was from Ethiopia and his mother was classified by South Africa as a mixed-race person, a “Kleurling” or Coloured. He was born in Vrededorp, a suburb of Johannesburg, but left South Africa in 1939. He worked first as a sailor, and then as a journalist in London.

      Hoping to make his way as a writer, he faced considerable challenges as a South African, as Carol Polsgrove has shown in her history, Ending British Rule: Writers in a Common Cause (2009). Despite a manuscript reader’s recommendation against publication, in 1942 Allen and Unwin brought out his Dark Testament, made up mostly of pieces he had carried with him from South Africa. Publisher Dorothy Crisp published his novels Song of the City (1945) and Mine Boy (1946). According to Nigerian scholar Kolawole Ogungbesan, Mine Boy became “the first African novel written in English to attract international attention.” More books followed with publication in Britain and the United States: two novels –The Path of Thunder (1948) and Wild Conquest (1950); a journalistic account of a return journey to Africa, Return to Goli (1953); and a memoir, Tell Freedom (1954).

      While in London, Abrahams lived with his wife Daphne at Loughton. He met several important black leaders and writers, including George Padmore, a leading figure in the Pan-African community there, Kwame Nkrumah of the Gold Coast and Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya, both later heads of state of their respective countries. In 1956, Abrahams published a roman à clef about the political community of which he had been a part in London: A Wreath for Udomo. His main character, “Michael Udomo”, who returns from London to his African country to preside over its transformation into an independent, industrial nation, appeared to be modeled chiefly on Nkrumah with a hint of Kenyatta. Other identifiable fictionalized figures included George Padmore. The novel concluded with Udomo’s murder. Published the year before Nkrumah took the reins of independent Ghana, A Wreath for Udomo was not an optimistic forecast of Africa’s future.

      Abrahams settled in Jamaica in 1956.

      One of South Africa’s most prominent writers, his work deals with political and social issues, especially with racism. His novel Mine Boy (1946), one of the first works to bring him to critical attention, and his memoir Tell Freedom (1954) deal in part with apartheid. His other works include the story collection Dark Testament (1942) and the novels The Path of Thunder (1948), A Wreath for Udomo (1956), A Night of Their Own (1965), the Jamaica-set This Island Now (1966, the only one of his novels not set in Africa) and The View from Coyaba (1985). He also wrote This Island Now, which speaks to the ways power and money can change most people’s perspectives.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Abrahams

  23. Yahtc says:

    ‘Tree’ captures voice of a complex hero
    Solo show at Playhouse explores singer-actor Paul Robeson’s legacy with insight, candor

    http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/oct/13/tallest-tree-forest-daniel-beaty-playhouse-review/

  24. rikyrah says:

    The sudden importance of the ‘s’ word
    By Steve Benen

    Mon Oct 14, 2013 9:49 AM EDT

    Over the weekend, there was quite a bit of attention focused on competing plans to end the crises in Washington. Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) and Sen. Susan Collins’ (R-Maine) plans were both rejected because they called on Democrats to make concessions in exchange for nothing. But what about Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) plan?

    It didn’t generate as much chatter, but McConnell, who began talks with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Saturday, quietly floated a deal of his own: Republicans would agree to end the shutdown and raise the debt ceiling, if only Democrats agreed to accept sequestration-level spending for a long while. Dems balked.

    It’s an issue that’s been on the periphery lately, but right now, the dreaded “sequester” matters a great deal.

    With a possible default on government obligations just days away, Senate Democratic leaders — believing they have a political advantage in the continuing fiscal impasse — refused Sunday to sign on to any deal that reopens the government but locks in budget cuts for next year.

    The disagreement extended the stalemate that has kept much of the government shuttered for two weeks and threatens to force a federal default.

    The core of the dispute is about spending, and how long a stopgap measure that would reopen the government should last. Democrats want the across-the-board cuts known as sequestration to last only through mid-November; Republicans want them to last as long as possible.

    Exactly. It’s been an open secret, but congressional Democrats have long planned to quickly make a transition — as soon as the government is open and the debt ceiling is raised, Dems want to use bipartisan talks to replace the sequestration policy, or at least mitigate its effects. It’s why there’s been some debate about the calendar — House Republicans originally planned to fund the government through mid-December, while Senate Democrats pushed for mid-November. The latter doesn’t want to keep the deliberately painful sequestration policy around any longer than absolutely necessary.

    And in the process, a new front in the larger fight has taken shape.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/10/14/20959836-the-sudden-importance-of-the-s-word?lite

  25. rikyrah says:

    2 University of Chicago professors share Nobel Prize in economics

    BY STEFANO ESPOSITO Staff Reporter October 14, 2013 7:08AM

    During his five decades at the University of Chicago, Eugene Fama’s name had often come up as someone in the running for the Nobel prize for economics.

    But the Famas thought perhaps it would never happen.

    People have talked about it for a long time, but so many people can win it,” Fama, 74, said Monday morning, after the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced Fama and fellow U. of C. professor Lars Peter Hansen had won this year’s prize , along with Robert Shiller, a Yale University professor. “You put a low probability on it. So when it happens, it’s a surprise.”

    Fama described himself as “thrilled,” particularly since he’s sharing the honor with his colleague at the U. of C.

    He said had probably received 100 phone calls early Monday morning. He initially couldn’t talk to a Chicago Sun-Times reporter because he’d taken a moment to brush his teeth.

    “We called all our kids and all our relatives and all our friends,” said Fama’s wife, Sallyanna Fama. “It’s just a big shock for us. It’s been years that we expected to win and haven’t — and we gave up.”

    …………………….

    In addition to Hansen and Fama, the U. of C. has four current faculty members who have won the Nobel prize for economics. Twenty-eight people associated with U. of C. have now won the economics prize.

    http://www.suntimes.com/23141049-761/2-university-of-chicago-professors-share-nobel-prize-in-economics.html

  26. rikyrah says:

    A way out of the crisis

    By Greg Sargent
    October 14 at 9:06 am

    With the debt limit deadline only days away, negotiations are stalled in the Senate over what looks to be the only way out of the crisis. The current plan that is the focus of talks would reopen the government at sequester spending levels until at least January 15th, lift the debt limit until January 31st, delay the medical device tax, and require both sides to enter formal budget talks. Dems are insisting on replacing the sequester with higher spending levels. But Republicans are balking.

    So here’s what Dems should do. If Republicans refuse to budge off their insistence on lower spending levels, Dems should call their bluff by demanding a permanent disabling of the debt limit as an extortion tool as part of any short-term compromise. (Yes, Republicans will say No. But bear with me.)

    If, somehow, a deal is reached this week in the Senate that involves Republicans giving ground on spending levels, Dems should make the push for a permanent disabling of the debt limit a key goal in the next round of formal, long term negotiations.

    In the short term, if Dems accept sequester level spending into early next year in exchange for permanent disabling of the debt limit, it would not be an awful outcome. (Right now they’re prepared to accept sequester spending into late November.) Indeed, Norman Ornstein, a Congressional scholar who regularly decries the impact debt limit extortion has on our system, tells me he sees this as an “excellent deal.”

    Such a permanent disabling could be accomplished via the previously-floated McConnell Provision, which would transfer authority over the debt limit to the president, while giving Congress a symbolic way to vote to disapprove of any hikes.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2013/10/14/a-way-out-of-the-crisis/

  27. rikyrah says:

    Monday, Oct 14, 2013 06:45 AM CST
    Debt limit defeat turns conservatives into neo-Confederate fantasists
    A deal is close and the contours are clear. The Tea Party has been routed: So why are true believers delusional?
    By Brian Beutler

    There are apparently two ways to interpret the debt limit fight, now in its waning hours. One, based on the comically small zone of disagreement between principals, suggests the entire stand off has been a bunch of sound and fury signifying nothing.

    Another, based on the sensational fantasies of movement conservatives, re-imagines the drama as a Battle of Gettysburg for the 21st century.

    There’s an inverse relationship between these two perspectives. With the deadline approaching, it’s natural that the parties are now haggling over relatively minor details. But the proximity of a resolution is making dead-enders desperate and thus prone to delusion.

    Here’s what they’re telling National Review’s Robert Costa.

    This is a big story; House conservatives tell me it’s a “game-changer,” gives Right new momentum ahead of this week http://t.co/QRzlHrjOcf
    — Robert Costa (@robertcostaNRO) October 13, 2013

    The article is by the Associated Press, but the picture above it really tells the whole story. Conservatives see Sarah Palin and Ted Cruz and imagine a national groundswell is forming. They do not perceive two widely loathed politicians who bespeak the House GOP’s total isolation so exquisitely. They believe the latest small crowd of white conservatives protesting the closure of war monuments (which would be open had they not shut down the government) will upend the whole debate and reverse the tide of public opinion against them.

    Or at least they believed it.

    http://www.salon.com/2013/10/14/debt_limit_defeat_turns_conservative_into_neo_confederate_fantasists/

  28. rikyrah says:

    Mostly what we did was pray and sing.”
    Posted by Kay at 9:05 am
    Oct 142013

    The Moral Monday protestors who were arrested were offered a deal, which many of them didn’t take:

    Although I have never met Wake County District Attorney Colon Willoughby, according to news reports he has kindly offered me a deal. To avoid Wake County’s mounting court costs, he wants me to forgo my court date Monday and instead perform 25 hours of community service at an agency of my choice. Then my record would be wiped clean.
    You see, on May 6, I was arrested in front of the appropriately colored golden doors of the N.C. General Assembly chambers. I was charged with three misdemeanors: failing to disperse when ordered to by the chief of the Capitol Police, illegally assembling with three or more people and singing, shouting and waving a placard. More than 900 other people decided to join me in the pokey. If all of us Moral Monday arrestees go to trial, the Wake County Courthouse will be a very busy place for the next several years.
    I am not going to accept his nice offer as I did nothing wrong. I did not resist arrest, and the legislature continued its sessions without interruption. All that we protesters did was shine a light in the darkness of the actions of Gov. Pat McCrory, Speaker Thom Tillis and Senate President Phil Berger.

    It’s good they didn’t take the deal, because the testimony at trial has been interesting:

    http://www.balloon-juice.com/2013/10/14/mostly-what-we-did-was-pray-and-sing/#comment-4663629

  29. rikyrah says:

    The Inevitable Republican Collapse That Will End the Shutdown The grim, angry, loopy, and predetermined conclusion to Washington’s crisis

    BY NOAM SCHEIBER

    Setting aside the hourly thrust and parry between Democrats and Republicans, here’s how the shutdown is likely to end: Senate Majority Harry Reid is going to strike a deal with his Republican counterpart Mitch McConnell at some point in the next few days. The deal will reopen the government for a medium length of time—possibly till January 15, when the next round of sequester cuts kick in—giving the two sides time to replace the sequester with something more appealing. The deal will also raise the debt ceiling—maybe for as little as a few months, maybe until after the 2014 election. Reid will give up almost no concessions in return for any of this, with the exception of one or two symbolic items, and he’ll probably get some higher-than-sequester level of government funding (a top Democratic priority) for a month or two starting later this year. Pretty much every Democrat in the Senate will vote for the deal, along with at least five and maybe as many as 20 Republicans.

    As the minutes tick away toward default this Thursday, the Reid-McConnell arrangement will be the only deal in town. With no alternative to avoiding a default, House Speaker John Boehner will add some small face-saving alteration and bring it to the floor, where it will pass with several dozen Republican votes and a large majority of Democrats. In doing so, Boehner will reprise the same formula he deployed in resolving last year’s fiscal cliff fight. I know this because it’s how the GOP has gotten out of pretty much every self-inflicted PR disaster of the Obama era, and it’s where the best reporting available suggests we’re headed today.

    Of course, I could be wrong on the details. If Reid plays his hand especially well, he may do a bit better—erasing more of the sequester now rather than deferring that task till later. If McConnell plays his hand especially well, he may get some slightly bigger concessions, like a delay or repeal of the tax on medical devices that was enacted under Obamacare. But those are the basic contours of what a deal will look like, and they’re notable for what they almost certainly won’t include: anything that has more than a trivial effect on Obamacare, any cuts to entitlements as the price of reopening the government or raising the debt ceiling (though Democrats may give a bit on entitlements in exchange for ending the sequester and some new revenue). Which is to say, the deal will include none the key demands the Republicans were hoping to achieve by shutting down the government.

    http://www.newrepublic.com/article/115171/shutdown-2013-deal-will-end-it

  30. rikyrah says:

    Contraception restrictions remain a top Republican priority
    By Steve Benen

    Mon Oct 14, 2013 9:12 AM EDT

    Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), arguably the last moderate Republican in Congress, thought she’d offered Democrats a credible solution to the ongoing crises. The Maine senator told reporters yesterday she “bent over backwards” to try to work something out, before Democrats rejected her idea.

    There were, however, two problems. The first is that Collins’ plan called on Democrats to make concessions in exchange for nothing — her idea would reopen the government for six months, raise the debt ceiling for a year, and require Democrats to accept sequestration levels and throw in a two-year delay of the medical-device tax in the Affordable Care Act. It was a one-sided deal — Democrats would make some concessions, while Republicans made none.

    The second problem is that even if Senate Democrats took Collins’ slanted deal, it wouldn’t have made a difference since House Republicans said they’d refuse to even bring the bill to the floor. And why’s that? Because House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) is thinking ahead.

    This defiance was fed by Ryan, who stood up and railed against the Collins proposal, saying the House could not accept either a debt-limit bill or a government-funding measure that would delay the next fight until the new year.

    According to two Republicans familiar with the exchange, Ryan argued that the House would need those deadlines as “leverage” for delaying the health-care law’s individual mandate and adding a “conscience clause” — allowing employers and insurers to opt out of birth-control coverage if they find it objectionable on moral or religious grounds — and mentioned tax and entitlement goals Ryan had focused on in a recent op-ed in the Wall Street Journal.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/10/14/20959509-contraception-restrictions-remain-a-top-republican-priority?lite

  31. rikyrah says:

    GOP turns to Palin, Cruz on shutdown
    By Steve Benen

    Mon Oct 14, 2013 8:35 AM EDT

    The government shutdown hasn’t gone quite the way Republicans had hoped. The party’s national support has cratered; the public holds them responsible for a wildly unpopular crisis; and it’s going to take a while for the GOP to recover from a self-inflicted wound this severe.

    But no one should assume they’ve hit rock bottom. Yesterday’s theatrics in Washington were a reminder that the Republican Party’s far-right wing can still make matters worse

    Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) attended a rally protesting the closure of the World War II Memorial, according to reports.

    The lawmakers and the former governor — and 2008 GOP vice-presidential nominee — joined a crowd that removed barricades at the memorial and chanted “tear down these walls,” according to Washington, D.C., radio station WTOP.

    Cruz told the crowd that President Obama is using military veterans as “pawns” to draw support for his argument in the budget impasse, which has resulted in the two-week closure of the federal government and the memorial.

    Brilliant. Flailing Republicans lack leaders and direction, but they’ll certainly get back on track now that the former half-term governor of Alaska is stepping out in front.

    I’m not sure who was more delighted to see Palin and Cruz whining at a memorial Republicans closed when they shut down the government: far-right activists or the Democratic National Committee.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/10/14/20959227-gop-turns-to-palin-cruz-on-shutdown?lite

  32. rikyrah says:

    Obamacare: The Rest of the Story
    By BILL KELLER
    Published: October 13, 2013

    Unless you’ve been bamboozled by the frantic fictions of the right wing, you know that the Affordable Care Act, familiarly known as Obamacare, has begun to accomplish its first goal: enrolling millions of uninsured Americans, many of whom have been living one medical emergency away from the poorhouse. You realize those computer failures that have hampered sign-ups in the early days — to the smug delight of the critics — confirm that there is enormous popular demand. You have probably figured out that the real mission of the Republican extortionists and their big-money backers was to scuttle the law before most Americans recognized it as a godsend and rendered it politically untouchable.

    What you may not know is that the Affordable Care Act is also beginning, with little fanfare, to accomplish its second great goal: to promote reforms to our overpriced, underperforming health care system. Irony of ironies, the people who ought to be most vigorously applauding this success story are Republicans, because it is being done not by government decree but almost entirely with market incentives.

    Using mainly the marketplace clout of Medicare and some seed money, the new law has spurred innovation and efficiency. And while those new insurance exchanges that are now lurching into business will touch roughly 1 in 10 Americans (the rest of us are already covered by private employer plans or by government programs like Medicare), these systemic reforms potentially touch every patient, every taxpayer.

    “This is the 90 percent of the story that doesn’t make the headlines,” said Sam Glick, who follows health care reform for the Oliver Wyman consulting firm.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/14/opinion/keller-obamacare-the-rest-of-the-story.html?_r=2&

  33. rikyrah says:

    Our experience with Obamacare
    Posted on September 26, 2013 by mwolske

    The following is a letter sent to Representative Rodney Davis, Senators Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk, and President Obama, as well as to the editorial section of the News Gazette.

    —————————————–

    This past Monday while driving his motorcycle back to Champaign from Makanda, IL, our 23-year-old son, Eric, was hit by a minivan. His left femur was broken and the ankle and foot were shattered. But he had no trauma to his head, spine, or other appendages. He remained alert as he was moved to an ambulance, and subsequently to a helicopter. He was flown from Effingham, where the accident happened, to St. John’s hospital in Springfield. His femur has been repaired and will recover, but he will loose his lower leg below his knee. With prosthesis, he will likely be able to do almost everything he had been doing as an active young man.

    While in the emergency room awaiting the surgery to repair the femur and assess the rest of the leg, he asked how much this all would cost. Fortunately, this accident happened after the portion of Obamacare took effect that allows children to remain on their parent’s plan until they are 26. I grew up rural poor and did not have insurance. But I’ve been fortunate to be part of the upwardly mobile in the U.S. and now have good insurance through my position as a senior research scientist at the University of Illinois. When I cut my finger to the bone in an accident as a child, I had my uncle, who had been a medic in Korea, wrap it at home. Now, my son can receive world-class care from the doctors, nurses, and therapists here at St. John’s without having the stress of long-term financial debt looming.

    My work through the University has brought me into engagement with many community members who will be benefiting from Obamacare. This week, our family personally saw benefits of the plan. The traumatic event of the accident will be life changing but ultimately will not keep our son from achieving his dreams of becoming a leader within a community helping to build a more sustainable approach to agriculture. Trying to piecemeal together funds to cover the costs of the hospital stay, surgeries, prosthesis, and extended therapy from his vehicle insurance, federal programs, and bank loans, would have been crippling. Obamacare is not perfect and needs modifications to become better. It needs participants from both sides of the isle to come together with a critical eye to strengthen good components, add missing aspects, and remove unworkable pieces. What it does not need is to be defunded. All of us benefit when people, not just vehicles and homes, have quality insurance.

    Martin and Angie Wolske

    http://mwolske.wordpress.com/2013/09/26/our-experience-with-obamacare/

  34. rikyrah says:

    Overall, Obama Has Done More For Veterans Than Any President In the Past 30 Years.

    Republicans and conservatives have spent 4 years spreading the lie that President Obama hasn’t done anything for veterans. They have repeated it 100x per day for all 4 years and spent millions promoting their lies. The thing about records is that they are recorded. So let’s set the record straight.

    Quick Overview:

    Initiated a new policy to promote federal hiring of military spouses. ref, ref
    Improved benefits for veterans. ref, ref, ref, ref
    Interagency Task Force on Veterans Small Business Development . ref
    Worked to clear the backlog of veterans claims and streamline benefits to those who served. ref
    Provided for the expenses of families of to be at Dover AFB when fallen soldiers arrive.ref
    Donated 250K of Nobel prize money to Fisher House. ref
    Veterans Health Care Budget Reform and Transparency Act of 2009. ref
    Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2009. ref
    Medal of Honor Commemorative Coin Act of 2009. ref
    Promoted a bill to award a Congressional Gold Medal to the Women Airforce Service Pilots (“WASP”). ref
    Ended media blackout on war casualties; reporting full information. ref , ref, ref , ref
    Military Spouses Residency Relief Act. ref
    Improved basic housing allowance for military personnel. ref
    Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010. ref
    Provided minimum essential health care coverage by Veteran’s Affairs. ref
    Authorized construction/opening of additional health centers to care for veterans. ref
    Korean War Veterans Recognition Act. ref
    Blinded Veterans Association. ref
    Major Charles R. Soltes, Jr., O.D. Department of Veterans Affairs Blind Rehabilitation Center. ref
    Improved access for Veterans to receive PTSD treatment. ref
    Green Vet Initiative to promote environmental jobs for veterans. ref

    http://exposingreligionblog.tumblr.com/post/34790853235

  35. rikyrah says:

    The Dixiecrat Solution
    By PAUL KRUGMAN
    Published: October 13, 2013

    So you have this neighbor who has been making your life hell. First he tied you up with a spurious lawsuit; you’re both suffering from huge legal bills. Then he threatened bodily harm to your family. Now, however, he says he’s willing to compromise: He’ll call off the lawsuit, which is to his advantage as well as yours. But in return you must give him your car. Oh, and he’ll stop threatening your family — but only for a week, after which the threats will resume.

    Not much of an offer, is it? But here’s the kicker: Your neighbor’s relatives, who have been egging him on, are furious that he didn’t also demand that you kill your dog.

    And now you understand the current state of budget negotiations.

    Stocks surged last Friday in the belief that House Republicans were getting ready to back down on their ransom demands over the government shutdown and the debt ceiling. But what Republicans were actually offering, it seems, was the “compromise” Paul Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee, laid out in a Wall Street Journal op-ed article: rolling back some of the “sequester” budget cuts — which both parties dislike; cuts in Medicare, but with no quid pro quo in the form of higher revenue; and only a temporary fix on the debt ceiling, so that we would soon find ourselves in crisis again.

    I do not think that word “compromise” means what Mr. Ryan thinks it means. Above all, he failed to offer the one thing the White House won’t, can’t bend on: an end to extortion over the debt ceiling. Yet even this ludicrously unbalanced offer was too much for conservative activists, who lambasted Mr. Ryan for basically leaving health reform intact.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/14/opinion/krugman-the-dixiecrat-solution.html?hp&_r=0

  36. Yahtc says:

    Sam Doyle (1906-1985) was a Gullah folk artist born on Saint Helena Island, South Carolina. He painted on scraps of wood and metal, documenting both St. Helena firsts and prominent members of the island community. The highly personal nature of his work is further enhanced by the words and abbreviated phrases which often adorned his paintings.[1]
    He was born the eighth of nine children and attended the Penn School, the first established in the south for free blacks, up through the ninth grade. One of his teachers there noted his talent for drawing and encouraged him to travel north to study art. He did not want to leave St. Helena; instead, he found work as a store clerk, a porter, and a laundry worker. He married in 1932 and had three children; his wife and children would later move up to New York and leave him in St. Helena.
    After retirement, Doyle resumed his childhood activity of painting in 1968, using house paint on large wooden boards and pieces of corrugated roofing tin. His yard became a makeshift museum of his work, and has received much attention from the mainstream art world after his death in 1985.

    from Wikipedia

    You can see his art at this link:

    http://www.riccomaresca.com/portfolio/sam-doyle/

  37. Yahtc says:

    October 13, 2013 8:00 AM
    “Delivery costs, declining readership buffet African-American newspapers”

    http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20131013/NEWS/310139946/delivery-costs-declining-readership-buffet-african-american

  38. Yahtc says:

    At Yale

    “Inflammatory graffiti found in African American Studies department”

    >Last week, the words “Race War Now” appeared on a wall in the African American Studies department.

    Thursday afternoon, Lisa Monroe, senior administrator of the African American Studies department, received a complaint about graffiti discovered in a second floor bathroom of the department’s building at 81 Wall St. Yale Police began an investigation, and department chair Jonathan Holloway GRD ’95 issued a statement to the department explaining the situation and reassuring professors and staff that the offense was likely a “one-time act of stupidity.” Students interviewed said the incident serves as a reminder to the Yale community that issues of racial prejudice are far from resolved.

    “This is important. This is a real thing, [but] we want to keep it in scale,” Holloway told the News on Saturday. “This was a stupid and small act, [not a] stupid and big act.”

    Yale Police did not respond to requests for comment about the status of the investigation.

    On Friday morning, University President Salovey and Holloway sent a joint email to the department condemning the act, especially in the context of the upcoming inauguration festivities, which they said aimed to celebrate “all of Yale in its great diversity.”

    http://yaledailynews.com/blog/2013/10/14/inflammatory-graffiti-found/

  39. Yahtc says:

    California African American Museum Honors Carmen de Lavallade

    http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/california-african-american-museum-honors-648125

  40. Yahtc says:

    Scientific American Writer Called An ‘Urban Whore’ For Refusing To Work For Free

    http://www.opposingviews.com/i/society/scientific-american-writer-called-urban-whore-refusing-work-free-video

  41. Ametia says:

    National News Alert

    Three Americans win Nobel Prize in economicsAmericans Eugene Fama, Lars Peter Hansen and Robert Shiller have won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences.

    The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences on Monday announced the final 2013 Nobel Prize, honoring the three “for their empirical analysis of asset prices.”

    Read more at:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/3-americans-win-economics-nobel-for-analysis-of-asset-prices/2013/10/14/c487efbc-34c0-11e3-89db-8002ba99b894_story.html

  42. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone! :-)))

  43. Lisa says:

    This Week in God
    By Steve Benen – Sat Oct 12, 2013 9:55 AM EDT
    281

    Associated Press

    First up from the God Machine this week is a special kind of elected member of Congress who is convinced that President Obama may be ushering in a Biblical apocalypse. You get one guess as to which member of Congress is espousing this theory.

    If you said, “Hey, that sounds like the sort of madness we might hear from Michele Bachmann,” give yourself a prize.

    In an interview with Understanding the Times host Jan Markell on Saturday, Rep. Michele Bachmann accused President Obama of giving aid to Al Qaeda, which she said is proof that we are living in the Last Days. Of course, on the same day Bachmann gave the interview, a Delta Force operation approved by Obama nabbed a key Al Qaeda figure in Libya.

    But according to Bachmann, Obama is now championing the terrorist group.

    The Minnesota congresswoman referred to a decision by the Obama administration to allow vetted Syrian rebels not affiliated with terrorist organizations to help them resist chemical weapons attacks, which was spurred by the Syrian regime’s use of chemical weapons on civilians.

    The right-wing Minnesotan said the president unilaterally “waived a ban on arming terrorists” — a development that did not occur in this reality — in order to “give arms” to al Qaeda, which also did not occur. Based on these imaginary events, which Bachmann perceives as real, the congresswoman openly speculated about the End of Days.

    “[W]hat this says to me, I’m a believer in Jesus Christ, as I look at the End Times scripture, this says to me that the leaf is on the fig tree and we are to understand the signs of the times, which is your ministry, we are to understand where we are in God’s end times history,” Bachmann said. “Rather than seeing this as a negative, we need to rejoice, Maranatha Come Lord Jesus, His day is at hand. When we see up is down and right is called wrong, when this is happening, we were told this; these days would be as the days of Noah.”

    It’s worth noting that House Republican leaders gave Bachmann a position on the House Intelligence Committee, giving her access to the nation’s most sensitive and highly classified materials, despite her apparent instabilities.

    Indeed, as tempting as it may be to chuckle at Bachmann’s more fanciful delusions, let’s not forget that she’s an elected federal lawmakers who, for a brief while, was considered a competitive Republican presidential candidate.

    Also from the God Machine this week:

    * As Salon’s Katie McDonough noted the other day, Internet TV host Glenn Beck told his audience this week that parents should use verbal abuse and physical intimidation to teach their children that their rights “come from God” by getting “in their face” and making them cry. That sounds delightful and inspirational, doesn’t it?

    * I don’t even know where to start with this story out of New Jersey: “In a bizarre case involving threats of kidnapping, beatings and physical torture — including the use of an electric cattle prod — two rabbis were charged in New Jersey on Wednesday in a scheme to force men to grant their wives religious divorces. Two others were also charged in the case, which grew out of an undercover sting operation involving a female FBI agent who posed as a member of the Orthodox community seeking a divorce” (thanks to reader R.P. for the tip).

    * And radical TV preacher Pat Robertson told his viewers this week that they may unknowingly have demonic household items that will cause headaches. “What is important is: were these objects actually used in some kind of Satanic ritual? Some occult practice? If that’s the case, then there might be some demonic force that attaches to that which was used in pagan worship,” Robertson said. Good to know.

  44. Lisa says:

    In the midst of crises, chaos grips Congress
    By Steve Benen – Sun Oct 13, 2013 11:17 AM EDT
    142

    Associated Press

    I’d thought about creating some kind of flow chart to capture ongoing developments in Capitol Hill, but quickly gave up. As Jonathan Cohn noted, it would have simply been too messy.

    By my count, no less than four separate conversations are taking place right now: The White House is talking to House Republicans and, separately, it to Senate Republicans. In the Senate, moderate Republicans are talking to the Democratic leadership. In the House, Republicans from the party’s extreme wing are talking to Republicans from the not-so-extreme wing, all under the watchful eye of the caucus leaders.

    And that’s just the official dialogue. Staff and outside interest groups are talking amongst themselves. The subject of these talks include myriad variations on how to write a bill reopening the government and giving it new borrowing authority, for different durations of time and under different conditions — or no conditions at all.

    That ought to clear things up, right?

    It’s been nearly two weeks since congressional Republicans shut down the government, and we’re just days from a debt-ceiling calamity, suggesting policymakers should theoretically be working towards some kind of resolution. But while there was a flurry of activity yesterday, it was largely a lot of sound and fury signifying nothing.

    House Republicans, for example, thought they’d presented the White House with a credible offer: Congress would temporarily raise the debt ceiling, the government would remain closed, Democrats would accept Medicare and/or Social Security cuts, and the severity of the sequestration cuts that neither party likes would be eased. President Obama declared this a joke, told House GOP leaders he could probably get a better offer from Senate Republicans, and so dejected House members promptly left Capitol Hill yesterday.

    Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), meanwhile, thought she too had come up with a solution: Congress would reopen the government for six months and raise the debt limit for a year. Democrats would have to accept sequestration levels and throw in a two-year delay of the medical-device tax in the Affordable Care Act, and in exchange, Republicans would concede nothing. Yesterday, Democrats rejected this as wholly unacceptable, too.

    And as a practical matter, it doesn’t much matter that Dems didn’t like it, since House Republicans said they’d refuse to even vote on the Collins plan — a plan in which Republicans give up nothing except temporary hold on some hostages — even if the Senate approved it and even if House GOP leaders could tolerate it.

    So what happens now?

    With House members having given up, at least for now, talks are now underway between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). What, if anything, they can expect to accomplish is unclear.

    And even if they reached some sort of resolution, it may not matter, since House Republicans still appear to be in a sociopathic mood, and may simply reject anything that emerges from the upper chamber, no matter the consequences.

    The anxiety levels are exceedingly high.

    For what it’s worth, I remain fond of the “Congress does its job” plan. It goes like this: the government needs to be funded, and since the parties already agree on funding levels, Congress should do its job and reopen the government — neither side makes demands, neither side takes a hostage, neither side asks for concessions from the other, and neither side relies on extortion.

    Similarly, the nation needs to pay its bills, and since the parties already agree that default would be catastrophic, Congress should do its job and extend the Treasury’s borrowing authority — neither side makes demands, neither side takes a hostage, neither side asks for concessions from the other, and neither side relies on extortion.

    For reasons that only make sense to them, Republicans consider the “Congress does its job” plan to be wildly offensive and a proposal so outrageous, they’d rather hurt Americans on purpose than vote for it.

    Tick tock.

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