Serendipity SOUL | Monday Open Thread | David Bowie Week!

Happy Monday, Everyone! Let’s Dance today and the rest of the week with David Bowie.


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David Robert Jones (born 8 January 1947), known by his stage name David Bowie (/ˈboʊ.i/ BOH-ee),[1] is an English musician, singer-songwriter, actor and arranger. Bowie has been a major figure in the world of popular music for over four decades, and is renowned as an innovator, particularly for his work in the 1970s. He is known for his distinctive voice as well as the intellectual depth and eclecticism of his work.

Bowie first caught the eye and ear of the public in July 1969, when his song “Space Oddity” reached the top five of the UK Singles Chart. After a three-year period of experimentation he re-emerged in 1972 during the glam rock era with the flamboyant, androgynous alter ego Ziggy Stardust, spearheaded by the hit single “Starman” and the album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. Bowie’s impact at that time, as described by biographer David Buckley, “challenged the core belief of the rock music of its day” and “created perhaps the biggest cult in popular culture.”[2] The relatively short-lived Ziggy persona proved merely one facet of a career marked by continual reinvention, musical innovation and striking visual presentation.

Let’s Dance

Young American

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71 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Monday Open Thread | David Bowie Week!

  1. vitaminlover says:

    Let’s dance! Let’s sing!

  2. rikyrah says:

    Wanker of the Day: Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III
    by BooMan
    Mon Oct 28th, 2013 at 05:35:36 PM EST

    Sen. Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III is opposed to confirming any of President Obama’s three nominees to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals. When told that Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts supported filling the positions back in April, Sen. Sessions was incredulous:

    Also an advocate of filling the court’s empty slots: Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts. He backed the court keeping all 11 seats in an April 5 report issued by the Judicial Conference of the United States, which is headed by Roberts. Sessions, for one, hadn’t heard about Roberts’ support.

    “I want to see that quote. Where’d he say that?” Sessions asked, jumping out of an elevator he’d just hopped into. When HuffPost cited the April 5 report, Sessions grumbled about Roberts not being a real Republican.

    “He’s always advocating the court. He wants pay raises for staff,” he said. “Otherwise, he’s supposed to be conservative.”

    That’s right. John Roberts isn’t a real conservative because he wants pay raises for judicial staff and thinks judges should serve in slots reserved for judges rather than having multiple vacancies just because Sen. Sessions is a dick.

  3. rikyrah says:

    House to Pass 5-Year Pay Cut For the VA
    Posted on October 28, 2013 at 5:00 pm by JM Ashby

    The House is poised to take time out of their busy schedules to pass a pay cut for employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

    Members will call up H.R. 1405, which includes several different provisions dealing with veterans benefits, but also includes the cut in bonuses or salary awards. The VA currently pays out about $400 million in bonuses to its workers each year, but the bill could cap total annual bonus payments at $345 million through fiscal 2018.

    A report on the bill from the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee noted the growing frustration in Congress with the VA, in particular the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA), under which the backlog of veterans’ disability claims has grown.

    The VA was making solid progress on clearing the backlog of claims prior to the GOP Government Shutdown, and the shutdown jeopardized that progress by eliminating several weeks of overtime that would have been spent clearing the backlog.

  4. rikyrah says:

    Penn State paying $59.7 million to Jerry Sandusky’s victims

    By Nam Le @AGuyNamedNam on Oct 28 2013, 1:49p

    Penn State has reportedly settled with 26 victims of Jerry Sandusky’s, reaching an agreement to pay out $59.7 million between them.

    According to an official release from the school, 23 of those 26 have already signed the agreement, with the last three having agreed in principle. These settlements are reportedly not funded by donations, tuition or taxpayer dollars, but rather, from insurance and interest revenues:

    The University maintains various liability insurance policies, which the University believes cover the settlements and defense of claims brought against Penn State and its officers, employees and trustees. Expenses not covered by insurance are expected to be funded from interest revenues related to loans made by the University to its self-supporting units.

    This may not be the end of it just yet, though — Penn State says that it is still talking to others:

    Penn State has received claims from 32 individuals who were or allege that they were victims of Sandusky. The University has rejected certain of the six remaining claims as being without merit and has engaged others in possible settlement discussions.

    Sandusky, a longtime defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Penn State, was found guilty on 45 of 48 charges regarding child abuse at a trial last year, a long list that includes seven counts of indecent assault, 10 counts of endangering the welfare of children and eight counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse.

    He is currently serving a 30- to 60-year sentence in Pennsylvania.

  5. Yahtc says:

    • Yahtc says:

    • Liza says:

      The location of the store where Jordan Davis was murdered (in the parking lot) is at the intersection of Southside Blvd. and Baymeadows Rd. in south Jax. The house that I grew up in is just 6.5 miles north of that intersection. When I lived there, what is now called “Baymeadows” was mostly vacant land and it was later developed in the 80s and 90s. So most of that area is relatively new and middle class, but I don’t know what the demographics are like now. I know that Jordan Davis attended Wolfson High and it is definitely one of the best schools in Jax. We can probably assume he was a bright, middle class kid with a future.

      My gut feeling about Michael Dunning’s trial is that there is a better chance of a conviction if the trial were to be held without mainstream media attention. I really believe that the media made a significant contribution to George Zimmerman’s acquittal and there are many other lesser known cases where media influenced the outcome. And this seems to be especially true in today’s media where so many of the talking heads and their guests do not differentiate facts from opinions and outright lies.

      • Yahtc says:


        I totally agree that mainstream media, whether intentionally or out of laziness, did NOT present the true facts as revealed by the released evidence in the case.

        They eagerly lapped up everything O’Mara had to say and that Frank Taaffe and Robert Jr. spouted about. It was as if they were more interested in sensationalism over facts just to maintain their ratings to bring in money through their advertisers.

        Sanford being what it is as a nest harboring so much racism, and the problems that we have discussed regarding the jurors have to be factored into why Trayvon and his family were let down.

        I hope that George Zimmerman will have a nervous feeling that Trayvon will always be watching him.
        (by LLMPapa)

      • Yahtc says:

        I pray that the DOJ brings justice for Trayvon.

      • Liza says:

        “Sanford being what it is as a nest harboring so much racism, and the problems that we have discussed regarding the jurors have to be factored into why Trayvon and his family were let down.”

        Agreed. And I would add the prosecution’s incompetence and maybe something worse
        than incompetence on the part of Judge Nelson. I have at times thought that the prosecution, hyped pre-trial as being the best, may actually have been considered to be the best prosecutors until they were scrutinized on a national stage. In other words, prior to Zimmerman’s trial, their exposure was limited and their performance was not judged by better lawyers. As for Judge Nelson, she may have never had a trial like this before but her exclusion of the audio expert witnesses was so questionable that, in my opinion, she should find a different occupation.

      • Liza says:

        “I pray that the DOJ brings justice for Trayvon.”

        Me too. But if that doesn’t happen, George Zimmerman lives as a free man. Even if he cannot sleep or go to bathroom without a loaded gun, it is still better than living in a cell and being institutionalized for the rest of his life. No matter how awful his life may eventually become, it is still better than living in a cell which is where he belongs.

      • Yahtc says:

        As for Judge Nelson, she may have never had a trial like this before but her exclusion of the audio expert witnesses was so questionable that, in my opinion, she should find a different occupation.

        I so agree with you, Liza, that the audio expert witnesses should have been allowed in the trial.
        (by LLMPapa)

      • Yahtc says:

        I really think that the DOJ can use this recording to PROVE that George Zimmerman IS a racist and that he committed a hate crime.

  6. Confronting the Legacies of Slavery.

    DURHAM, North Carolina — Late one afternoon in March, officials unveiled a new monument at the University of the West Indies, in Cave Hill, Barbados. The ceremony featured African drumming, a historian’s lecture, a bishop’s prayer and a song performed by a school choir with the chorus, “We cry for the ancestors!”

    Those ancestors, 295 of whom have their names on the monument, were slaves who once lived where the campus now stands. What today is a university was once a plantation. What is now a nation was once a colony. In Barbados and throughout the Caribbean, slavery remains a vivid and potent metaphor, and a cultivated memory.

    Presiding over the event was Sir Hilary Beckles, the head of the university and a prolific historian. He and his Jamaican colleague Verene Shepherd have spurred on the recent call by the 15-member Caribbean Community for Britain, France and the Netherlands to pay an undefined amount of reparations for slavery and the slave trade. The group plans to file suit in national courts; if that fails, it will go to the International Court of Justice.

  7. rikyrah says:

    For all those that consider Rand Paul a ‘ friend’…

    I bet not one of those emo mofos will speak up on THIS

    see…for all his bullshyt talk about ‘ freedom’..

    it doesn’t extend to him being free to leave my uterus the fuck alone…

    let alone that my family and my ancestors should have been FREE from American Apartheid.


    Rand Paul raises specter of eugenics
    10/28/13 02:12 PM
    By Steve Benen

    U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) waves to the crowd as he makes his way to the stage to speak during the “Exempt America from Obamacare” rally, on Capitol Hill, September 10, 2013 in Washington, DC.
    Election Day in Virginia’s closely watched gubernatorial race is a week from tomorrow, and the major-party candidates are bringing some notable figures to the commonwealth to give their campaigns a boost. On the Democratic side, for example, Terry McAuliffe campaigned with Hillary Clinton last week, and former President Bill Clinton over the weekend.

    On the Republican side, it’s a slightly different story. Ken Cuccinelli recently welcomed Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) to Virginia, but didn’t want any photographs of the two of them together. Today, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) tried to lend a hand.

    Tea party hero Rand Paul warned scientific advancements could lead to eugenics during a Monday visit at Liberty University, looking to boost the political fortunes of fellow Republican Ken Cuccinelli’s bid for governor.

    During a visit to the Christian school founded by Jerry Falwell, Paul looked to energize conservative supporters by warning that people who are short, overweight or less intelligent could be eliminated through abortion. With one week remaining, Cuccinelli is hoping the joint appearance with the U.S. senator from Kentucky will encourage the far-right flank of his party to abandon third-party libertarian spoiler Robert Sarvis.

    According to the AP report, the Kentucky Republican argued, “In your lifetime, much of your potential – or lack thereof – can be known simply by swabbing the inside of your cheek. Are we prepared to select out the imperfect among us?”

    Note, for much of the year, Cuccinelli has hoped to appear more mainstream, downplaying his right-wing positions on culture-war issues fearing a voter backlash in this increasingly “purple” state

  8. rikyrah says:

    James Montgomery III has been a walk-on with the Northwestern basketball team for two years. On Thursday, head coach Chris Collins had a special announcement for James and the team…

  9. rikyrah says:

    I’ve said it a few times..
    one of the things that the right absolutely HATES are the pictures of the President with young people.
    They can SEE how this President is affecting young Black people and young people of color. That he’s lifting their dreams that they didn’t even know they could have.
    But, what also disturbs them to no end is how little White children respond to this President. THAT is the other side of their nightmare.

    Those pics we have in our sidebar….scares them SENSELESS!!!

    How the Obama presidency may be changing young people’s views of race
    BY JOHN SIDES October 28 at 10:12 am

    Decades of political science research show that political attitudes can be strongly affected by the events we experience in adolescence and young adulthood, or what are sometimes referred to as the “impressionable years.” New research shows how this applies to the racial attitudes of young people who came of age politically in the Obama years — people who were born between 1982-92 and thus reached their impressionable years in the 2000s as Obama became a more salient political figure.

    University of Massachusetts political scientist Tatishe Nteta and Brandeis political scientist Jill Greenlee compared the racial attitudes of what they call the the “Obama generation” to the attitudes of six previous generations. Naturally, later generations tend to express more positive views of blacks than earlier generations. But Nteta and Greenlee did not find that each generation has become inexorably more favorable toward blacks. After accounting for other factors, they found that the Obama generation was more favorable to blacks than every previous generation — even the generation that came of age in the 1990s immediately prior to the Obama generation.

  10. rikyrah says:

    How the Obama presidency may be changing young people’s views of race
    BY JOHN SIDES October 28 at 10:12 am

    Decades of political science research show that political attitudes can be strongly affected by the events we experience in adolescence and young adulthood, or what are sometimes referred to as the “impressionable years.” New research shows how this applies to the racial attitudes of young people who came of age politically in the Obama years — people who were born between 1982-92 and thus reached their impressionable years in the 2000s as Obama became a more salient political figure.

    University of Massachusetts political scientist Tatishe Nteta and Brandeis political scientist Jill Greenlee compared the racial attitudes of what they call the the “Obama generation” to the attitudes of six previous generations. Naturally, later generations tend to express more positive views of blacks than earlier generations. But Nteta and Greenlee did not find that each generation has become inexorably more favorable toward blacks. After accounting for other factors, they found that the Obama generation was more favorable to blacks than every previous generation — even the generation that came of age in the 1990s immediately prior to the Obama generation.

  11. rikyrah says:

    Obamacare Rate Shock and Premium Joy: Now It’s Real

    BY JONATHAN COHN @citizencohn

    The conversation about Obamacare shifted a bit over the weekend. Nobody has forgotten about the technical problems with But now critics are also focusing on something else: Reports of sharp premium increases that some individual consumers are facing. In the last few weeks, several hundred thousand Americans have received notices from their health insurance companies, effectively cancelling their existing policies. These consumers can get new policies, of course, but frequently they have to pay more for them.

    The news reports are real—and not at all surprising. Obamacare is transforming one part of the existing health insurance market, in ways that will force some people to pay more than they do now. But that’s only part of the story. Many other people, quite possibly the majority of people in that market, will pay less than they do now. And even those paying more will be getting more comprehensive, more secure insurance.

    If all of this sounds familiar, it should. Health policy experts spent much of the summer arguing about this very point—about the likelihood of both “rate shock” and “premium joy” and which effect matters more. The lesson of that debate (at least to me) was that journalists, politicians, and anybody else talking about this should really provide a full, nuanced picture—noting all the ways Obamacare is affecting premiums and how that will play out for people in different situations.

    But that doesn’t seem to be happening, except at places like Politifact. More typical is a recent study from the Heritage Foundation suggesting that most people will end up paying more. That report continues to reverberate throughout the right wing press, even though it left out half the facts.

    So here’s a quick refresher on what’s really happening:

  12. rikyrah says:

    Ametia, SG2

    this must be added to the 3CHICS cooning gifs collection:

  13. rikyrah says:

    Minnesota’s once-woebegone progressives have quietly crafted a road map for turning state capitols blue.

    —By Andy Kroll

    | September/October 2013 Issue

    It was the Friday before Memorial Day, and nearly 50 of Minnesota’s most powerful businessmen and Republican operatives met for lunch at the Town and Country Club, overlooking the Mississippi River in western St. Paul. They had gathered at the invitation of Tom Rosen, who runs the nation’s fifth-largest beef-processing company, and Stan Hubbard, the billionaire media magnate who pioneered satellite television. Over Caesar salad and tomato-basil soup, Rosen, Hubbard, and their friends bemoaned the direction of their state. As one after another rose to speak, the tone was one of outrage and incredulity: “It’s time we coordinate.” “It’s time we stand up and do something.” “We’re getting chewed up!”

    How far has the GOP fallen from the days when Minnesota was Karl Rove’s prime example for the cascade of blue states poised to turn red and create a permanent Republican majority? A decade ago, Tim Pawlenty was governor, Norm Coleman had replaced the late Paul Wellstone in the US Senate, and Rove was touting Minnesota—which hadn’t voted for a Republican president in 37 years—as a battleground state. Today, Democrats control the state Legislature. They hold both US Senate seats, five of the state’s eight congressional seats, and every constitutional office—governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, and state auditor. In November, they defeated ballot measures to ban same-sex marriage and enact restrictive voter ID rules. And to top it all off, Rep. Michele Bachmann, the tea party torchbearer under investigation for ethics violations, announced in May that she would not seek reelection. “If you look at the history of our party since 1944, we’re at the apex of our political power,” gushes Ken Martin, the chairman of what in Minnesota is known as the Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) Party.

    They’ve not been shy about using that power. Last spring, Gov. Mark Dayton signed bills legalizing gay marriage, creating Minnesota’s Obamacare health insurance exchange, allowing public colleges to freeze tuition, and investing $174 million into pre-K and all-day kindergarten. Dayton and his Democratic colleagues erased a $627 million budget deficit by hiking taxes on smokers, car rentals, and the wealthiest 2 percent of Minnesotans. At the same time, they cut property taxes for middle-class families. It was the most liberal legislative session anyone could remember—and a nightmare for the guests at Rosen and Hubbard’s luncheon. “It was a big wake-up call,” Hubbard told me in June at his St. Paul office, where a framed letter from Ronald Reagan hangs next to a replica of the Declaration of Independence.

    • TyrenM says:

      We SHOULD be able to keep the state dark blue. With us still cleaning up after Pawlenty, Amy Klobuchar ran unopposed, only wingnuts want to run against Al Franken, plus lower unemployment all work in our favor. The worst thing they have is Viking stadium bs. That isn’t outweighing balanced budget, schools getting repaid… people back to work.

  14. rikyrah says:

    Charles Pierce: The Slow, Sad, Yet Oddly Entertaining Decline Of Marco Rubio

    His strength is failing. The shrink-wrap is winning. And Marco Rubio (R-Flashinthepan) continues to flail around like a scarecrow in a windstorm. When our adventure began, young Marco was going to be the smiling face of the rebranding of the Republican party, which was going to habla the daylights out of the ol’ espanol because it finally had concluded that it wasn’t going to win an national election even if it did get the votes of everyone who owns the complete Murder, She Wrote on Blu-Ray. Of course, then Rubio made the mistake of believing that the party was serious about this whole rebranding business, proposed an immigration reform plan that made a little bit of sense, and then found his standing in the party sinking into Middle Earth. Ever since, he has done everything to romance the base save dress up as Angela Lansbury.


  15. rikyrah says:

    Graham pushes new obstructionism based on Benghazi conspiracy theories

    10/28/13 10:11 AM

    By Steve Benen

    When congressional Republicans finally ended their government shutdown two weeks ago, it was only natural for political observers to wonder what GOP lawmakers would tackle next. The most common guesses were obvious: (1) keep trying to undermine the Affordable Care Act; (2) kill immigration reform; and (3) bring back Benghazi conspiracy theories.

    The first is well underway, as is the second, and right on cue, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) is back to the third.

    On Fox News this morning, Graham called for yet another new committee to investigate the same attack that’s already been investigated by several other committees. He added, “I’m going to block every appointment in the United States Senate until the survivors are being made available to the Congress.” He liked the line so much, the Republican senator pushed it on Twitter soon after.

    Hayes Brown documented the series of recent Graham tantrums, of which there are many.

  16. rikyrah says:

    The Morning Plum: Maybe GOP should try governing again
    By Greg Sargent
    October 28 at 9:13 am

    This week, House Republicans will begin taking baby steps towards entering into the normal give and take of governing that they had foresworn for much of the year, in a last-ditch effort to achieve through chaos governing what they could not achieve in the 2012 election. That’s what will happen, hopefully, when lawmakers will enter into the budget negotiations that were mandated by the recent deal to temporarily reopen the government and raise the debt limit, which Republicans agreed to after admitting their scorched earth tactics couldn’t carry the day.

    However, it remains to be seen whether the GOP posture has actually changed.

    This is how Politico sums up the thinking among House Republicans right now:

  17. rikyrah says:

    Wonderful comment from Rhoda:


    Hey everyone,

    I’ve been reading about the Obamacare stuff and saw the Meet The Press interview; I think it’s slowly starting to hit people how big a deal Obamacare is and what it means to America.

    RASMUSSEN has had the President’s approval at 50%-52% This is during the freakout over the healtcare law.

    When we get to this time in 2014; I really believe the story is going to be about what a game changer this is in the lives of many and how it has blessed this country and revitilizated it in many ways. We don’t have to stay stuck somewhere for BENEFITS; we can go out there and make moves based on our work ethic and take risks without fear of catastrophy because we have no insurance. THAT IS HUGE!

    This website problem will be over by the new year; and then the Republicans are going to look around and find they have to have the SAME budget fight and debt ceiling fight and NOTHING to run on or say but cut Medicare and Social Security.

    I really feel like Democrats may take back the House in 2014; and then the President will have a final two years to rival his first two and he’ll be leaving the White House with a country in AWE of him.

    And he’ll only be 55.

  18. rikyrah says:

    Halloween Has a Blackface Issue and It’s a Racism Problem
    October 27, 2013 | Luvvie

    Every year. EVERY GAHTDAMB YEAR, Halloween rolls around and we have to deal with folks who want to paint themselves black and brown for some costume. It is exhausting and enraging and absolutely overwhelming. It’s REALLY hard for me to write about it because I just wanna cuss and fight the air and kick trashcans and throat punch the offenders.

    I’ve never been a fan of Halloween, and it isn’t for any reason besides that I am pretty indifferent about rocking costumes and I’m lazy. That’s it. But, I didn’t mind the holiday because it can be amusing to see what people come up with. Now, I’m ready to place Halloween in the “HATE” box.

    SO. MUCH. BLACKFACE! There are too many pictures floating around of college students, adults, fashion designers, random ingrates who decided that their costumes weren’t complete without the use of black or brown paint to change their skin color. AND MY SOUL IS BOTHERED TO THE CORE.

  19. rikyrah says:

    Liberals go to war with each other over Obamacare
    By Ryan Cooper
    October 25 at 4:08 pm

    The rocky Obamacare rollout have sparked a big, raucous debate within lefty precincts over how far to go in criticizing the problems that have plagued the law. On one side, liberal wonks — like Ezra Klein and Ryan Lizza — have been harshly critical of the rollout and of the administration for making a mess of things.

    On the other side, people like Joan Walsh argue that the criticism has exaggerated the problems and enabled the right’s campaign to destroy the law, while Zerlina Maxwell added that the privilege of Ezra and company — as already-insured Americans, and as men – have distorted their perspective on the law’s problems.

    This discussion matters because it’s a small example of a larger phenomenon on the left and internet culture generally: the tendency for discussion to get swamped by unnecessarily personal argument, when large political battles with big stakes are underway.

    Here’s Zerlina:

    …when you defend your negative reporting about the Obamacare website glitches, as The Washington Post‘s Ezra Klein did last night on MSNBC, having the privilege of analyzing the process from the perspective of someone who is already insured and not in need of coverage allows the core impact of the new program on the health and security of millions of Americans to be missed…while some young men may think they are invincible and don’t need health insurance, preventative care is not something that the majority of women can roll the dice with…unless you are a journalist who has been chronically uninsured, your feigned frustration about website issues reeks of privilege. To me, a few website glitches are a lot less frustrating than having to use the same inhaler for over a year because I can’t afford to go the doctor. Perspective is everything.

  20. rikyrah says:

    Ted Cruz’s Brand of Self-Sufficiency

    by BooMan
    Mon Oct 28th, 2013 at 09:30:40 AM EST

    You may have heard that Senator Ted Cruz is carried on his wife’s Goldman Sachs-provided health insurance policy. What you probably haven’t heard is that the policy cost $40,543 in 2009. Austin Frakt used publicly available data to estimate the size of the tax-subsidy Cruz receives from the federal government for his insurance.

    Plugging and chugging with these numbers (formula here), I compute that the “tax price” of Senator Cruz’s health insurance is about 64%. In other words about 36% of his health insurance premium cost would be government tax revenue if employer-sponsored health insurance were taxed like wages. That’s $14,595.
    A typical, able-bodied, adult Medicaid beneficiary costs government $3,000. In other words, Senator Cruz’s health insurance tax subsidy could fund Medicaid coverage for almost five such adults.

    Sen. Cruz hasn’t done anything to “earn” this tax subsidy beyond agreeing to be married to his spouse. If he were unemployed and had no income, he’d still get the roughly $14,595 in subsidies through lower tax payments for his wife. Because both he and his wife have high six-figure to seven-figure incomes, they don’t really need this tax assistance, but it is particularly galling that Sen. Cruz’s spokeswoman said that his health plan “comes at no cost to the taxpayer.” It actually comes at the expense of paying for five typical adult Medicaid plans.

    And then we can begin calculating the damage Goldman Sachs did to ordinary Americans with their role in the housing bubble and the financial collapse.

  21. Yahtc says:

  22. rikyrah says:

    FreedomWorks Blogger Shocked By Texas Turning Blue Under His Nose

    Author: Egberto Willies October 25, 2013 6:21 pm

    Texas is the sleeping giant in the United States. It turns out that Battleground Texas is starting to scare the hell out of the Right Wing Tea Party Texas Republican Party.

    It turns out that FreedomWorks blogger Shane Wright wrote a blog piece that lays it out pretty well. He says,

    Top-level Democrats and OFA strategist are on the ground all across Texas registering hundreds of new voters every week. Currently Battleground Texas reports that they are on pace to register approximately 600,000 new Democrats by the 2014 midterms. Considering Rick Perry won the gubernatorial race in 2010 by less than 700,000 votes, Texas could be in real trouble. Mathematically speaking, the path to the White House could be lost for an entire generation if Democrats are able to turn Texas.

  23. North Dakota town approves building moratorium; white supremacist says he’s being targeted

    LEITH, N.D. — Leaders in a small North Dakota town have approved a moratorium on new construction in a move a white supremacist says unfairly targets him.

    Craig Cobb has bought a home and 12 other lots in Leith (leeth) and is encouraging others who want to build an Aryan enclave with him to move there and help him take control of the community.

    The Bismarck Tribune reports ( ) that city officials are working on an ordinance that will require Cobb to install water and sewer service in his house, where three other male white supremacists and two children also are living. Another ordinance would prevent tents and campers from being on a city lot for more than 10 consecutive days.

    Cobb calls the proposals “patently unfair.”

  24. rikyrah says:

    Obama blasts ‘rooting for failure’
    10/28/13 08:00 AM
    By Steve Benen

    President Obama, not surprisingly, devoted his weekly address over the weekend to problems with the Affordable Care Act’s website, and vowed, “[I]n the coming weeks, we are going to get it working as smoothly as it’s supposed to. We’ve got people working overtime, 24/7, to boost capacity and address these problems, every single day.” But as part of the same message, Obama added an even more pointed sentiment, directed at the law’s critics on the right.

    “[It’s] interesting to see Republicans in Congress expressing so much concern that people are having trouble buying health insurance through the new website – especially considering they’ve spent the last few years so obsessed with denying those same people access to health insurance that they just shut down the government and threatened default over it.

    “As I’ve said many times before, I’m willing to work with anyone, on any idea, who’s actually willing to make this law perform better. But it’s well past the time for folks to stop rooting for its failure. Because hardworking, middle-class families are rooting for its success.”

    Accusing elected officials of “rooting for failure” has long been a provocative argument, and for good reason – American norms suggest policymakers aren’t supposed to actively, publicly hope that the nation’s fortunes take a turn for the worse. It’s one thing for officials to predict failure; it’s something else entirely when they hope for failure.

  25. rikyrah says:

    Party Crashers

    by Steve Coll
    November 4, 2013

    … Like a guerrilla army, the Tea Party is learning how to influence public opinion even when it loses a conventional battle. The budget caps that Obama conceded in 2011 have already enshrined in law a portion of the movement’s draconian fiscal agenda. And although Cruz and his allies in the House won no additional cuts this time, they managed to spread magical thinking among their followers about a possible future debt default. (The next debt-ceiling deadline arrives early next year.) Cruz and the others systematically promoted the idea—the fantasy—that, if the Treasury Department were prohibited from issuing any new debt to finance interest payments and government operations, the country would do just fine. The global economy, this story goes, far from collapsing into crisis, would prove resilient, and, while some nonessential federal departments might wither for lack of funds, that would only demonstrate how Americans could get by with a much smaller government.

    This campaign has been dismissed by some Wall Street analysts as just a form of coercive bargaining. Washington is a grand opera of phony crises. Congress has raised the debt ceiling more than seventy times since 1960 without forcing an actual default. It’s tempting to believe that even a diva like Cruz, who, after all, holds a law degree from Harvard and evidently aspires to higher office, would never countenance a final default. Yet history is rife with political radicals who have shocked the world by doing just what they always said they would: Confederate secessionists, for example, who seem to inspire so many Tea Partiers today…

    As recently as 2007… it still seemed possible that a modernizing Republican Party might build a formidable political coalition of Latinos, evangelicals, disaffected Catholic Democrats, high-tech entrepreneurs, libertarians, social and educational reformers, and eclectic independents. Instead, as Geoffrey Kabaservice puts it in his history of the Republican decline, “Rule and Ruin,” movement conservatives have “succeeded in silencing, co-opting, repelling, or expelling nearly every competing strain of Republicanism from the party.” Political purges have no logical end point; each newly drawn inner circle of orthodoxy leaves a former respected acolyte suddenly on the outside. That a Tea Party-influenced purification drive now threatens such a loyal opportunist and boardroom favorite as Mitch McConnell seems a marker of the times.

    McConnell’s would-be usurper is Matt Bevin, a businessman who owns a bell company; his campaign slogan is “Let Freedom Ring.” He told Glenn Beck recently, “We have got to wean people from this idea of free lunches.” (He might start with fellow Kentuckians; their state pays sixty-six cents in federal taxes for every dollar of federal spending it takes in.) Bevin pleaded, “What we need to tell the American people is that the party’s over.” Presumably, he didn’t mean the Grand Old Party, but the American people may be forgiven for thinking that he did.

  26. rikyrah says:

    Now when I use the phrase


    doesn’t get more obvious than this…


    The Real Deadbeats
    by BooMan
    Sun Oct 27th, 2013 at 07:13:58 PM EST

    Karen Tumulty has piece in the Washington Post on why West Virginia has moved from a solidly Democratic state to an increasingly Republican state (at least, on the national level). She’s starts out with an anecdote about Pineville, where Jack Kennedy made a famous speech two weeks before winning the West Virginia primary in 1960.

    In late June of this year, another expression of Pineville’s values appeared on the terraced lawn of the old courthouse. There was no fanfare around the installation of the new stone monument, but like that Kennedy rally more than half a century ago, it was a way of saying how the town felt about where the nation is headed.
    The stone is engraved with the Ten Commandments, and it instructs: “They are to be used as a historical reference and model to enrich the knowledge of our citizens to an early origin of law from past generations so that they will serve as a historical guide for future generations to come.”

    The American Civil Liberties Union has complained that this is an encroachment of church on state, and an affront to religious minorities. A headline on the front page of the Charleston Gazette on July 4 asked: “Constitutional showdown in the making?”

    But most here seem to agree with Melissa Mitchell, a stay-at-home mom who was getting things organized for a midsummer church picnic at a park near the courthouse.

    “We love it, and we will fight for it,” she said of the stone marker.

    Why? “Honestly, because everybody in this county hates Barack Obama. That is the biggest reason,” Mitchell said.

    Animosity toward President Obama runs high here. He lost Wyoming County by nearly 56 percentage points last year, despite the fact that registered Democrats outnumber Republicans by 3 to 1.

    One wonders why everybody hates Barack Obama.

    Democrats, and some Republicans, say the right kind of Democrat could still win West Virginia in a presidential election.
    “Bill Clinton would still carry the state, and Hillary Clinton will, if she’s the nominee,” said John Doyle, a Democrat who for two decades represented Harpers Ferry and Shepherdstown in the House of Delegates.

    What makes Bill and Hillary “the right kind of Democrat”?

    According to the article, fully 27% of West Virginians receive some form of government aid, the highest rate in the country. They rank 47th in terms of overall health, which is why only one health insurer has agreed to offer plans in the state’s exchange. Despite this, they profess to dislike the federal government.

  27. rikyrah says:

    In case we didn’t already know..

    Shopping While Black

    is real as a muthafucka.


    Fourth New York shopper, pointing at Macy’s, makes racial profiling allegations

    Art Palmer says four plainclothes cops questioned him three blocks away from the flagship store after he bought $320 worth of Polo dress shirts and ties.The latest accusation echoes those by Trayon Christian and Kayla Phillips against Barneys and by actor Robert Brown against the same Macy’s.

    …When Palmer returned to the store the next day to complain, a Macy’s manager blamed it on the cops and said officers frequently come into the store to monitor surveillance videos without permission, according to Palmer.

  28. rikyrah says:

    NY Times poll shows Bill de Blasio could win the largest margin of victory in an open NYC mayoral race since 1897.… …

    NY Times poll: “The more voters get to know Mr. Lhota [GOP mayoral candidate], the less they like him.”… …

  29. Yahtc says:

    University receives Illinois’ former poet laureate’s literary archives”

    Posted: Monday, October 28, 2013 12:00 am
    By Jacqui Ogrodnik

    The University’s Rare Book & Manuscript Library recently acquired the work of Gwendolyn E. Brooks, who in 1950 became the first African-American to win a Pulitzer Prize. She was also appointed as Illinois’ poet laureate as Carl Sandburg’s successor until her death 32 years later.
    “We’re very excited about this acquisition because Brooks is one of the most important American poets in the 20th century,” said Anna Chen, curator of the Rare Book & Manuscript Library.
    With financial assistance from the President’s and Chancellor’s offices, the library purchased Brooks’ literary archive from her daughter, Nora Brooks Blakely.
    The collection includes 150 boxes of Brooks’ works spanning more than six decades, including poetry and prose she wrote as a teenager, annotated photographs, notes recording her daily life, her thoughts and current events that she had jotted down as well as extensive correspondence with other writers.
    As a great American poet, Gwendolyn Brooks’ archives allow researchers and scholars to get a sense of how she worked and what she thought, said Valerie Hotchkiss, director of the library, in an email.
    “We’ve already had people contacting us who are interested in the collection to see if it’s ready,” said Marten Stromberg, another curator of the library. “It’s a wealth of information about Gwendolyn Brooks. You don’t know what you’ll be able to get out of this collection until you start working with it.”
    The library serves the community of scholars from the University and beyond who are interested in researching a writer’s creative process and the historical context of the periods in which these writers were working.
    “Brooks was very devoted to nurturing young poets,” Chen said. “We are also very interested in involving not just University students but also primary and secondary students who are exploring her poetry and her creative process.”
    Chen said the curators of the library are currently involved as archivists to account for all of Brooks’ materials.
    “We will rehouse and inventory the entire collection so that scholars and students can easily identify items they would like to study further,” Hotchkiss said.
    The curators are working to build an understanding of how the materials fit together while arranging, describing and rehousing them to ensure they will be accessible for researchers.
    “A sense of discovery is one of the most exhilarating products of archival work,” Chen said. “Definitely looking at all the letters, manuscripts, notes, photos and other materials, it’s clear that there are many discoveries to be made with this collection.”
    Archives document and preserve the creative process, making them part of the cultural record.
    “Whether it is the work of a writer or an artist or a political figure or even an institution, it falls to the archivist to be a steward for the memory of that institution or that person,” Chen said.
    Stromberg said the job of an archivist is to bring history to people through the objects that have been preserved.
    “We have the primary resources,” he said. “Without these, you’re just trusting the description in the textbooks about what happened in the past.”
    Because patrons and researchers have access to historical literary works and archives online, Stromberg believes this actually increases the awareness of the material so more people visit and study collections they’ve never seen before.
    He said there are some things a person can learn from the object itself that can’t be learned from a digital image.
    “Something about being in the presence of the object itself, knowing that this thing was held and read by someone 400 years ago, I don’t think is a worthless experience,” Stromberg said. “Inspiration has its own value.

  30. Yahtc says:

    N.O. City Hall cafeteria sit-in marks 50 years

  31. Yahtc says:

    Oldest living Tuskegee Airman Walter Crenshaw celebrates 104th birthday

    Brenda Gazzar
    Posted: 10/27/2013

  32. Yahtc says:

    “Young city council electee an ‘old soul'”

    Posted: Sunday, October 27, 2013 11:59 pm
    By Jim McNally
    When Jarrod Phifer takes his Statesville City Council seat in a little more than a month, it will be among eight colleagues, including Mayor Costi Kutteh, who are all old enough – with years to spare – to be his father. And since he replaces the only female council member currently on the council, Bonita Eisele, there will be no mother figures to speak of.

    Just 26, Phifer is believed to be the youngest person ever elected to a Statesville governing body. He is also only the fourth African American to have a seat at the council dais and the second black person to win the Ward 3 seat.

    The average age of the council that takes its collective seat on Dec. 2 will be 54. He is 17 years younger than current Councilman Flake Huggins was when he took his seat 10 years ago and decades younger than the other two black councilmen: Pete Peterson and Willie Williams Sr.

    And while Phifer is just past the quarter-century mark, all three of the other new members – Michael Schlesinger, William Morgan and Arnold Watt – are around the half-century mark.

    But Phifer said he is possessed of an inner core that has long belied his age.

    “I’ve always been told by teachers and coaches and professors and other people that I have an old soul,” he said. “I’ve never been into the kinds of things that other kids were.”

    He said his journey to the city council began, in an indirect way, when Islamic radicals hijacked airplanes and flew them into buildings 12 years ago.

    “I was in ninth grade and we were watching 9/11 on television,” he said. “I was really affected by it and I decided I was going to be more committed to my education and to become more of class leader. I was never the kind of kid to get in trouble and I always did good in school but after 9/11, it really became important to me to be more of a leader in school.”

    After graduating from Statesville High School, Phifer enrolled in North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro and took a job with a rail line that allowed him to travel to many towns and cities. He said his visits to these mostly urban areas crystallized his belief that a large portion of the population was being overlooked and that some of those people lived in South Statesville neighborhood in which he was raised and still lives.

    “I remember talking to this one woman and thinking that she had kind of lost faith in the system; that she had been ignored by the government and just that someday, I had to do something about it,” he said. “At that time, I just didn’t know when that day would come.”

    When the election results came into the Iredell Board of Elections office on the night of the Oct. 8 election, Phifer was congratulated by, among others, his political mentor, J.D. Williams, and Councilman C.O. “Jap” Johnson.

    It was Williams who convinced the young Phifer that he had the right stuff to be an effective member of the council and that the time to pursue his political career was now.

    “He’s an intelligent young man and I couldn’t be prouder of him,” said Williams, who has akso run for the council.

    Johnson, in many ways, could be viewed as Phifer’s opposite. At 77, he has been the oldest member of the city council for most of his 24 years on the body. He will be 81 when he completes his recently won and unprecedented seventh four-year term.

    Still, Johnson said he is looking forward to working with Phifer.

    “I only met him that night of the election but he seemed to be a very impressive and intelligent young man,” Johnson said. “I think he’s going to a good job and I think we’re going to work well together.”

  33. Yahtc says:

    “Bill de Blasio’s wife Chirlane McCray no stranger to politics, will be ‘activist’ First Lady if he’s elected”
    De Blasio and McCray first met in City Hall, and may return there soon if the Democratic mayoral nominee wins the election.

  34. Yahtc says:

    Attorney Ben Crump flooded with civil rights cases after Trayvon Martin

  35. Yahtc says:

    Bolton: AT&T African American History Calendar an inspiration to youths, many others
    Published: October 28, 2013

  36. Yahtc says:

    Good Morning, Ametia and Everyone!

    Yes! I am ready to dance with David Bowie!

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