Monday Open Thread | Ladies of Country Music Week | Patsy Cline

I thought we’d share a little country music this week, focusing on the ladies.

Today’s selection: Patsy Cline.

 
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Virginia Patterson Hensley (September 8, 1932 – March 5, 1963), known professionally as Patsy Cline, was an American country music singer. Part of the early 1960s Nashville sound, Cline successfully “crossed over” to pop music. She died at age 30 at the height of her career in a private plane crash. She was one of the most influential, successful and acclaimed female vocalists of the 20th century.[1][2]

Cline was best known for her rich tone, emotionally expressive and bold contralto voice[3] and her role as a country music industry pioneer. Along with Kitty Wells,[4] she helped pave the way for women as headline performers in the genre. Cline was cited as an inspiration by singers in several genres.[5] Books, movies, documentaries, articles and stage plays document her life and career.

Her hits began in 1957 with Donn Hecht’s “Walkin’ After Midnight”, Harlan Howard’s “I Fall to Pieces”, Hank Cochran’s “She’s Got You”, Willie Nelson’s “Crazy” and ended in 1963 with Don Gibson’s “Sweet Dreams”.

Millions of her records have sold since her death. She won awards and accolades, leading some fans to view her as an icon at the level of Jim Reeves, Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley. Ten years after her death, in 1973, she became the first female solo artist inducted to the Country Music Hall of Fame. In 1999, she was voted number 11 on VH1’s special, The 100 Greatest Women in Rock and Roll, by members and artists of the rock industry.[6] In 2002, country music artists and industry members voted her Number One on CMT’s The 40 Greatest Women of Country Music and ranked 46th in the “100 Greatest Singers of All Time” issue of Rolling Stone magazine. According to her 1973 Country Music Hall of Fame plaque, “Her heritage of timeless recordings is testimony to her artistic capacity.”

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Recording career[edit]

Four Star Records[edit]

Bill Peer, her second manager, gave her the name Patsy, from her middle name and her mother’s maiden name, Patterson. In 1955 he got her a contract at Four Star Records, the label with which he was then affiliated. Four Star was under contract to the Coral subsidiary of Decca Records. Patsy signed with Decca at her first opportunity three years later.

Her first contract allowed her to record compositions only by Four Star writers, which Cline found limiting. Later, she expressed regret over signing with the label, but thinking that nobody else would have her, she took the deal. Her first record for Four Star was “A Church, A Courtroom & Then Good-Bye”, which attracted little attention, although it led to appearances on the Grand Ole Opry. As these performances were not “records” per se, they were not governed by her contract, and she could sing what she wanted, within reason. This somewhat eased her “stifled” feeling.

Between 1955 and 1957, Cline recorded honky tonk material, with songs like “Fingerprints”, “Pick Me Up On Your Way Down”, “Don’t Ever Leave Me Again”, and “A Stranger In My Arms”. Cline cowrote the latter two. None of these songs gained notable success. She experimented with rockabilly.

According to Decca Records producer Owen Bradley, the Four Star compositions only hinted at Patsy’s potential. Bradley thought that her voice was best-suited for pop music, but Cline sided with Peer and the other Four Star producers, insisting that she could only record country songs, as her contract also stated. Every time Bradley tried to get her to sing the torch songs that would become her signature, she would panic, missing her familiar banjo and steel guitar. She recorded 51 songs with Four Star.

Arthur Godfrey and “Walkin’ After Midnight”[edit]

On July 1, 1955 Cline made her network television debut on the short-lived television version of the Grand Ole Opry on ABC-TV. This was followed by an appearance on the network’s Ozark Jubilee later that month,[10]:p.80 before returning to the show in April.[clarification needed]

Later that year, while looking for material for her first album, Patsy Cline, “Walkin’ After Midnight” appeared, written by Donn Hecht and Alan Block. Cline initially did not like the song because it was, according to her, “just a little old pop song.” However, the song’s writers and record label insisted that she record it.

In the late fall of 1956, she auditioned for Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts in New York City, and was accepted to sing on the CBS-TV show on January 21, 1957. Godfrey’s “discovery” of Cline was typical. Her scout, actually her mother, presented Patsy who initially was supposed to sing “A Poor Man’s Roses (Or a Rich Man’s Gold)”, but the show’s producers insisted she sing “Walkin’ After Midnight” instead. Though heralded as a country song, recorded in Nashville, Godfrey’s staff insisted that Cline appear in a cocktail dress rather than in one of her mother’s hand-crafted cowgirl outfits.

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The audience’s enthusiastic ovations pushed the applause meter to its apex, winning the competition for her. After the Godfrey show, listeners began calling their local radio stations to request the song, so she released it as a single. Although Cline had been performing for almost a decade and had appeared on national TV three times, it took Godfrey to make her a star. For a couple of months thereafter, Cline appeared regularly on Godfrey’s radio program. Disagreements over creative control caused her to move on.

“Walkin’ After Midnight” reached No. 2 on the country chart and No. 16 on the pop chart, making Cline one of the first country singers to have a crossover pop hit. The single drove her success for the next year or so. She stayed visible by making personal appearances and performing regularly on Godfrey’s show, as well as performing for several years on Ozark Jubilee (later Jubilee USA). She had no other hits with Four Star.[11]

Cline composed and recorded “A Stranger in My Arms” and “Don’t Ever Leave Me Again” in 1957 under her birth name, Virginia Hensley.

A month after her recording session, she met Charlie Dick, a good-looking ladies man who frequented the local club circuit Cline played on weekends. His charisma and admiration of Cline’s talents captured her attention, and their relationship resulted in a marriage that lasted until her death. Though their love affair was publicized as controversial, Cline regarded Dick as “the love of her life”. After the birth of their daughter, Julie, in 1958, they moved to Nashville, Tennessee.

1961 comeback – “I Fall to Pieces”[edit]

In 1959 Cline met Randy Hughes, a session guitarist and promotion man. Hughes became her manager and helped her change labels. When her Four Star contract expired in 1960, she signed with Decca Records-Nashville, directly under the direction of legendary female-singer country music producer Owen Bradley. He was responsible for much of Cline’s success and positively influenced the careers of both Brenda Lee and Loretta Lynn.

Even though she was still scared of the lush Nashville Sound arrangements, Bradley considered Cline’s voice best-suited for country pop-crossover songs. Bradley’s direction and arrangements helped smooth her voice into the silky, torch song style for which she won fame.

Cline’s first release for Decca was the country pop ballad “I Fall to Pieces” (1961), written by Hank Cochran and Harlan Howard. The song was promoted and won success on both country and pop music stations. On the country charts, the song slowly climbed to the top, garnering her first Number One ranking. In a major feat for country singers at the time, the song hit No. 12 on the pop and No. 6 on the adult contemporary charts, making her a household name and demonstrating that women could achieve as much crossover success as men.

Grand Ole Opry and Nashville scene[edit]

In 1960, Cline realized a lifelong dream when the Grand Ole Opry accepted her request to join the cast, making her the only person to achieve membership in such a fashion. She became one of the Opry’s biggest stars.

Even before that time, believing that there was “room enough for everybody”, and confident of her abilities and appeal, Cline befriended and encouraged women starting out in the country music field at that time, including Loretta Lynn, Dottie West, Jan Howard, sixteen-year-old Brenda Lee and a thirteen-year-old steel-guitar player named Barbara Mandrell with whom Cline once toured, all of whom cited her as a major influence.

According to both Lynn and West, Cline always gave herself to friends, buying them groceries and furniture and even hiring them as wardrobe assistants. On occasion, she paid their rent, enabling them to stay in Nashville and continue pursuing their dreams. Honky-tonk pianist and Opry star Del Wood said, “Even when she didn’t have it, she’d spend it—and not always on herself. She’d give anyone the skirt off her backside if they needed it.”[10]

The Cline[edit]

She cultivated a brash and gruff exterior that allowed her to be considered “one of the boys”. This allowed her to befriend male artists as well, including Roger Miller, Hank Cochran, Faron Young, Ferlin Husky, Harlan Howard and Carl Perkins all of whom she socialized with at famed Nashville establishment Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge, next door to the Opry. In the 1986 documentary The Real Patsy Cline, singer George Riddle said of her, “It wasn’t unusual for her to sit down and have a beer and tell a joke, and she’d never be offended at the guys’ jokes either, because most of the time she’d tell a joke dirtier than you! Patsy was full of life, as I remember.”

Cline used the term of endearment “Hoss” to refer to her friends, both male as well as female, and referred to herself as “The Cline”. Patsy met Elvis Presley in 1962 at a fundraiser for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and they exchanged phone numbers.[10] Having seen him perform during a rare Grand Ole Opry appearance, she admired his music, called him The Big Hoss, and often recorded with his backup group, The Jordanaires.

By this time, Cline controlled her own career, making it clear to all involved that she could stand up to any man, verbally and professionally, and was ready to challenge their rules if they interfered with her. In a time when concert promoters often cheated stars by promising to pay them after the show but skipping out with the money before the concert ended, Cline demanded her money before she took the stage by proclaiming: “No dough, no show”, a practice that became the rule.[citation needed] According to friend Roy Drusky in the The Real Patsy Cline: “Before one concert, we hadn’t been paid. And we were talking about who was going to tell the audience that we couldn’t perform without pay. Patsy said, ‘I’ll tell ’em!’ And she did!” Friend Dottie West stated in amazement some 25 years later in an interview that “It was common knowledge around town that you didn’t mess with ‘The Cline!'”

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76 Responses to Monday Open Thread | Ladies of Country Music Week | Patsy Cline

  1. rikyrah says:

    Michelle Obama Edges Into a Policy Role on Higher Education
    By JENNIFER STEINHAUER
    Published: November 11, 2013

    WASHINGTON — Michelle Obama, after nearly five years of evangelizing exercise and good eating habits, will begin a new initiative on Tuesday that seeks to increase the number of low-income students who pursue a college degree. The goals of the program reflect the first lady’s own life and will immerse her more directly in her husband’s policies.

    “I’m here today because I want you to know that my story can be your story,” Mrs. Obama is to tell students at Bell Multicultural High School in Washington on Tuesday, according to an advance text of her remarks. “The details might be a little different, but so many of the challenges and triumphs will be just the same.”

    The first lady will add that whether students want to be doctors, teachers, mechanics or software designers, “you have got to do whatever it takes to continue your education after high school — whether that’s going to a community college, or getting a technical certificate, or completing a training opportunity, or heading off to a four-year college.”

    Aides in Mrs. Obama’s office said she would visit other schools around the country and use social media to appeal to students, conveying the message that higher education is a door to a wider world. Mrs. Obama, the daughter of a pump worker at the City of Chicago Waterworks, graduated from Princeton University and Harvard Law School.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/12/us/michelle-obama-edges-into-a-policy-role-on-higher-education.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&smid=tw-nytimes&_r=0

  2. rikyrah says:

    ‘I didn’t expect to win’
    11/11/13 12:02 PM
    By Steve Benen

    It seemed odd last week when a conservative white Republican named Dave Wilson was elected in an African-American district to the Houston Community College board in Texas. “I’d always said it was a long shot,” Wilson told the local CBS affiliate. “No, I didn’t expect to win.”

    But he did win, ousting a 24-year incumbent, not because of the strength of his ideas, but because Wilson led local voters to believe he’s black (thanks to my colleague Tricia McKinney for the tip).

    Wilson, a gleeful political troublemaker, printed direct mail pieces strongly implying that he’s black. His fliers were decorated with photographs of smiling African-American faces – which he readily admits he just lifted off websites – and captioned with the words “Please vote for our friend and neighbor Dave Wilson.”

    One of his mailers said he was “Endorsed by Ron Wilson,” which longtime Houston voters might easily interpret as a statement of support from a former state representative of the same name who’s also African-American. Fine print beneath the headline says “Ron Wilson and Dave Wilson are cousins,” a reference to one of Wilson’s relatives living in Iowa.

    http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/i-didnt-expect-win

  3. rikyrah says:

    93-year-old testifies against Wisconsin voter ID law

    by Carrie Healey | November 11, 2013 at 4:38 PM

    The civil rights organization Advancement Project filed a federal lawsuit, challenging the sate of Wisconsin’s voter ID law.

    Lorene Hutchins was among witnesses who have taken the stand to testify.

    “I feel there is a strategy to keep minorities and older people from voting,” the 93-year-old said, according to court transcripts. “Most of us who migrated to Northern states do not have birth certificates, a prerequisite for obtaining the photo ID required to vote. I’ve been voting since the 1940′s when I voted for Franklin Delano Roosevelt. It would be devastating to lose the right to vote now, after all these years.”

    Hutchins was born at home in Mississippi because hospitals at that time did not accept black patients, and she did not receive a birth certificate.

    Katherine Clark, Hutchins’ daughter, spent over $2,000 and several years to obtain birth certificates for both herself and her mother.

    http://thegrio.com/2013/11/11/93-year-old-testifies-against-wisconsin-voter-id-law/

  4. First Lady Michelle Obama arrives at a ceremony to honor veterans at Arlington National Cemetery, November 11, 2013.

    Arlington National Cemetery

  5. rikyrah says:

    Another ObamaCare Liar
    by BooMan
    Mon Nov 11th, 2013 at 10:58:18 AM EST

    I hate to have to keep doing this, but Lisa Gottlieb is complaining about ObamaCare in the pages of the New York Times. She claims that her health insurance carrier dropped her coverage and that she will have to pay $5,400 more annually than she was paying in order to get a new policy. From the article, I learned that she is 46 years old, a single mom, and a self-employed psychotherapist.

    To try to get an idea of how much she will need to pay for insurance, I had to make a few assumptions. I assumed that she lives in Los Angeles County (since she used a Los Angeles byline), although she might not. And I don’t know how many children she has, so I gave her two. Psychotherapists generally make a good living, but Ms. Gottlieb suggested that she narrowly exceeded the cut-off to be eligible for a subsidy. The cut-off for a family of three is $76,360 so I decided to be generous and assume she makes $80,000 a year. Using the Covered California shop and compare tool, the cheapest Bronze plan Ms. Gottlieb is eligible for will cost $426/mo (L.A. Care Covered Bronze 60). That’s an annual cost of $5,112. How does that square with this claim?

    http://www.boomantribune.com/story/2013/11/11/105818/73

  6. rikyrah says:

    As New York City’s new first lady, Chirlane McCray offers hope in battling stereotypes

    by Alexis Garrett Stodghill | November 11, 2013 at 12:00 PM

    It’s been quite a struggle to live the life that I’ve lived,” Chirlane McCray, 58, said during a recent interview with HuffPost Live. “I think it does give me a certain sensitivity to many people, and I should use that in a positive way.”

    As the incoming first lady of New York City, many are excited for what she may accomplish and how her experiences as a black woman will inform her decisions.

    “I think having Chirlane McCray as the new first lady of New York City is tremendous,” Kara Stevens, founder of the personal finance and lifestyle blog Fabulous N’ Frugal, told theGrio. “She has access to the ear of one of the most politically powerful people in New York City — her husband [Mayor-elect] Bill de Blasio — and with such access, can play a significant role in affecting change in a real way for black folk, the economically marginalized, and the LGBT communities in the city.”

    Stevens, a first-generation native New Yorker of Caribbean and African ancestry, is also pleased for person reasons.

    Like many other black women, she hopes McCray will help defy negative stereotypes of African-American women in a manner similar to first lady Michelle Obama.

    http://thegrio.com/2013/11/11/as-new-yorks-new-first-lady-chirlane-mccray-offers-hope-in-battling-stereotypes-of-black-women/

  7. rikyrah says:

    White privilege is a helluva thing

    ……………

    Daring to Complain About Obamacare

    By LORI GOTTLIEB

    Published: November 10, 2013

    LOS ANGELES — THE Anthem Blue Cross representative who answered my call told me that there was a silver lining in the cancellation of my individual P.P.O. policy and the $5,400 annual increase that I would have to pay for the Affordable Care Act-compliant option: now if I have Stage 4 cancer or need a sex-change operation, I’d be covered regardless of pre-existing conditions. Never mind that the new provider network would eliminate coverage for my and my son’s long-term doctors and hospitals.

    The Anthem rep cheerily explained that despite the company’s — I paraphrase — draconian rates and limited network, my benefits, which also include maternity coverage (handy for a 46-year-old), would “be actually much richer.”

    I, of course, would be actually much poorer. And it was this aspect of the bum deal that, to my surprise, turned out to be a very unpopular thing to gripe about.

    “Obamacare or Kafkacare?” I posted on Facebook as soon as I hung up with Anthem. I vented about the call and wrote that the president should be protecting the middle class, not making our lives substantially harder. For extra sympathy, I may have thrown in the fact that I’m a single mom. (O.K., I did.)

    Then I sat back and waited for the love to pour in. Or at least the “like.” Lots of likes. After all, I have 1,037 Facebook friends. Surely, they’d commiserate.

    Except that they didn’t.

    Instead, aside from my friend David, who attempted to cheer me up with, “My dad, who never turns down a bargain, would take the sex change just because it’s free,” my respondents implied — in posts that, to my annoyance, kept getting more “likes” — that it was beyond uncool to be whining about myself when the less fortunate would finally have insurance.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/11/opinion/daring-to-complain-about-obamacare.html?ref=opinion&_r=0

  8. rikyrah says:

    The Huge Obamacare Story You Aren’t Reading

    BY JONATHAN COHN

    Today it’s a few hundred thousand people. By next year, it will be at least a few million. Their health insurance status is changing dramatically: What they have in 2014 and beyond will look nothing like what they had in 2013 and before. For many of these people, the difference will be hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year. In a few cases, it may be the difference between life and death.

    You probably think I’m talking about the people getting cancellation notices about their private insurance policies. I’m not. I’m talking about the people getting Medicaid. Both stories are consequences of the Affordable Care Act. But one is getting way, way more attention than the other.

    It’s no mystery why. Stories of people losing something are more compelling than stories of people gaining something. The policy cancellation story is also newsier, because fewer people expected it to happen. Obamacare’s expansion of Medicaid was something the advocates of reform advertised. Reform’s effect on people with skimpy or medically underwritten insurance policies they liked was something that few advocates, including the president, even acknowledged. Had Obama pointed out, all along, that some people might lose existing plans or pay more for coverage in 2014, it would seem a lot less shocking.

    But there is also a class element to the way this debate has evolved. By and large, the people receiving those cancellation notices and facing large premium increases are at least reasonably affluent. They’re not necessarily rich, particularly if they live in higher cost areas of the country. Many of them sweat monthly bills just like most of the country does. But, by definition, they don’t qualify for huge subsidies that would offset premium increases mostly or completely. By contrast, the people getting Medicaid are poor. They have to be, because it’s the only way to sign up for the program. And as political scientists have shown, the poor don’t command the same kind of attention from politicians that the middle class—and particularly the upper middle class—does.

    And this fact, I suspect, is also magnifying the impact of those cancellation letters. The best estimates suggest that 12 to 15 million people currently buy coverage on their own—i.e, in what’s known as the non-group market. It appears that only a fraction of them will get to keep their current policies. The rest will end up having to get new coverage, or updated versions of their old coverage, that offers greater benefits and/or is available to everybody, regardless of pre-existing condition. That will drive up the price of insurance.

    But when you take into account the subsidies, which for many people will knock the price of insurance right back down, and the number of people who would gladly pay more for insurance that offers real protection from financial shock, the number of people who truly end up feeling worse off ends up a lot smaller than 12 or 15 million. And even those people will end up with good health insurance, though they’ll be paying more for it and may not want it.

    http://www.newrepublic.com/article/115542/obamacare-plan-cancellations-medicaid-expansion-and-media

  9. rikyrah says:

    New Book Claims Obama Disses Congressional Blacks
    By: Keli Goff

    …His public closeness with the likes of Jay Z makes his so-called
    “contempt for” members of the Congressional Black Caucus even more
    bizarre.

    As I have written consistently since President Obama took office, I
    understand, as all Americans should, that he was elected to be the
    president of the United States of America, not of black America. But if
    the president could point to a significant list of accomplishments from
    his administration that have benefited the black community, then perhaps he would be in position to dismiss the Congressional Black Caucus as an unnecessary irritant.

    But considering that the first black president has made few strides on
    issues like unemployment within the African-American community, it seems a bit rich for him to refer to any members of the Congressional Black Caucus striving to hold him accountable as hacks. If anything, perhaps he, and black Americans, would be better served if President Obama spent more time with African-American members of Congress and less time with black celebrities like his buddy Jay Z.

    http://www.theroot.com/blogs/blogging_the_beltway/2013/11/obama_disses_congressional_blacks_claims_new_book.html

    • rikyrah says:

      A comment left at the root:

      Ms Goff continues to condemn the president’s failure to address Blackunemployment, and has done so for awhile, yet offers no solution at all. Like “what should Obama do for unemployed Blacks that he isn’t doing for unemployed Whites?” She even ignores the historical social problems Blacks have faced for decades, cast them as Obama’s failures, but not as the failure of these “leaders” she’s so keen to esteem?

      It’s as if she’s no idea of the political climate of the last four and a half years; or no concept of the United States Congress sharing in the economic decisions of the country or of their obstructionist stances on everything. It’s as if 2008 never happened and that many Blacks unemployed now have been habitually unemployed for nearly a decade. State employees, many of whom are Black, have been cut nationwide due to strained state budgets and lower tax collection.

      But she gladly offers her strained psychological assessments as to why Jay-Z is Obama’s go-to Black guy, not because he might like the guy or that he’s resource rich, but because Obama’s mommy was Irish-American and that he doesn’t suffer the fools of the CBC, who have acted no differently and self-interest as the tBggrz. She does this in service to her Elite Black masters, the people she calls “leaders”, when at the very least, those in the CBC at least are supposed to be serving Blacks and not pining to lead anything.

      At no time does she hold them accountable as the “leaders” they, and she, claims to be. She doesn’t ask why in “leader” rich Chicago (Farrakhan and Jackson included) are so damn many Black children and young people are slaughtered on its’ street? Why hasn’t she questioned “Leader” Jackson’s four decades failure and eventual blame casting of the president of violent street crime? Nor does she hold Chicago’s own, Rep. Bobby Rush, who has rejected most attempt to really crack down on violent gangs and their possibly more dangerous remnant for an unexplained and knee-jerk obstruction? At no time does she or any NABJ member hold “Black Leaders” responsible, but she freely psychoanalyze the president.

      • rikyrah says:

        FedUp_Mom ‏@Fedup_Mom40m
        What @keligoff won’t tell you is that while JayZ is an admitted drug dealer he has a thinner folder at the FBI than at least 4 CBC members.

      • rikyrah says:

        jds09
        I think there is a Black version of the Zombie DLC/Clinton clan fighting to stay alive. Over 20 years ago, a former boss of mine told me “Black folks don’t have elections, they have coronations” meaning once you’re in office, just being there is enough for most of us. That’s the CBC.
        Now, we have an example of a powerfully symbolic Black leader who gets shit done. He gets shit done and feels no need to stick the word black in front of it. That’s a whole new paradigm shift.
        Members of the CBC are dinosaurs and will go the way of the dinosaurs. The ground has changed beneath their feet as well.

    • Ametia says:

      I can’t, I JUST.CAN’T.WITH.THESE.NEGROES, TODAY.

  10. rikyrah says:

    Dr. Ruth Westheimer ‏@AskDrRuth26m
    As a former sniper in Israeli underground army, I salute all veterans today.

  11. ****************
    Anyone know anything about this? What did he say?

  12. Ametia says:

    Were Your Dental Crowns, Retainers, and Dentures Made in Someone’s Dirty Cellar?

    Like you’d ever know. When it comes to regulating the labs that produce dental devices, it’s the Wild West out there.

    —By Kiera Butler| Mon Nov. 11, 2013 3:00 AM PST

    Earlier this month, the ABC News affiliate in Columbus, Ohio, aired a strange story: Police in Springfield had received a call-in report that a man was standing on a street corner and “shooting a gun off all day.” After a five-hour standoff, they arrested the man and searched his house. They found guns, knives, swords, and in the basement, hot plates, pots and pans, and boxes of teeth. Perplexed, they investigated further and discovered that the man’s brother had been running a dental lab out of the home for about a year, supplying devices such as dentures to local dentists’ offices. The photos of the basement lab are sickening: paint peeling off the walls, dust everywhere, lots of clutter. Not exactly the kind of pristine environment you’d imagine for the manufacture of something that goes in your mouth.

    http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2013/11/unregulated-dental-labs

  13. rikyrah says:

    Amazon to deliver on Sundays using Postal Service fleet
    By Cecilia Kang, Published: November 10

    The Internet has been blamed for the death of the mail, but now it’s offering hope to the beleaguered U.S. Postal Service.

    Amazon announced Monday that it will begin Sunday deliveries using the government agency’s fleet of foot soldiers, office workers and truck drivers to bring packages to homes seven days a week.

    To accommodate the online retailing giant, the Postal Service said it will for the first time deliver packages at regular rates on Sundays. Previously, a shipper had to use its pricey Express Mail service and pay an extra fee for Sunday delivery.

    The initiative will begin immediately in Los Angeles and New York and spread to the Washington area and much of the rest of the nation next year, Postal Service officials said. The partnership should help the turnaround effort underway at the financially strapped Postal Service, they said.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/technology/amazon-to-deliver-on-sundays-using-postal-service-fleet/2013/11/10/e3f5b770-48c1-11e3-a196-3544a03c2351_story.html

  14. rikyrah says:

    Media Alert:

    Veterans of Color Documentary

    Today on TVONE, 1 pm EST

  15. rikyrah says:

    A thinner-than-thin margin in Virginia
    11/11/13 09:09 AM
    By Steve Benen

    Democratic candidates fared quite well in the commonwealth of Virginia last week, winning the races for governor and lieutenant governor. But about the remarkably close race for state attorney general? As of this morning, it’s the kind of nail-biter we don’t see often.

    As the dust settled on election night, a few things seemed clear about the race for Virginia attorney general: It was too close to call, the numbers would change during a statewide canvass and the loser would probably ask for a recount.

    What was then a standard-issue tight contest between state Sens. Mark D. Obenshain (R-Harrisonburg) and Mark R. Herring (D-Loudoun) has turned into something more dramatic and uncertain. A frenetic weekend search for the right numbers – much of it taking place at the Fairfax County Government Center – produced thousands of uncounted votes and an even closer race.

    Unless the tallies have changed over the last couple of hours, Obenshain’s lead is 17 votes – out of over 2.2 million votes cast in the race. It suggests a recount is all but inevitable and we won’t know the final outcome before December.

    http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/thinner-thin-margin-virginia

  16. rikyrah says:

    Georgia governor gets paid through secret PAC to obstruct Obamacare
    By David Ferguson
    Tuesday, September 3, 2013 10:01 EST

    Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal (R)’s family and business partner have been receiving payments from a secret Political Action Committee called Real PAC. Half a million dollars of the money donated to the PAC has come from corporate health care interests which — like the governor and Georgia state Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens — oppose the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as “Obamacare.”

    According to investigative reporter Jim Walls of Atlanta Unfiltered, the PAC hasn’t filed taxes or the required financial disclosures in two years, and the information it did file for 2011 was incorrect.

    Contributors to Real PAC include Aetna, Humana, Blue Cross, United Health care and other interests that want to keep health insurance premiums and other costs as high as possible. Bryan Long of activist group Better Georgia told Raw Story that the list of donors shows who Gov. Deal really works for.

    He goes out and he does their bidding,” Long said, “He’s working for them instead of working for the 650,000 Georgians who don’t have insurance at all or access to the Medicaid expansion.”

    “What’s remarkable about this isn’t that there’s money in politics,” he continued. “We all know there’s money in politics. He knew that this was so wrong that he didn’t want to tell anyone. He tried to keep it a secret for two years.”

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/09/03/georgia-governor-gets-paid-through-secret-pac-to-obstruct-obamacare/

  17. rikyrah says:

    Watching Ro Ro’s show on TVOne right now. He opened with a discussion of the Renisha McBride murder, with the family’s attorney on.

  18. rikyrah says:

    Rachel Maddow MSNBC ✔ @maddow
    Follow
    The amazing MLK comic that we profiled last night on the show is about to be pub’d in Arabic and Farsi: http://goo.gl/M4euMd

    2:51 PM – 8 Nov 2013

  19. rikyrah says:

    What matters, and what doesn’t, with Obama’s sliding approval numbers
    By Jonathan Bernstein
    November 8 at 3:35 pm

    Everyone is talking about Barack Obama’s falling numbers this week, with a new Pew Poll out today showing him at 41 percent approval, and a slide in Gallup to a post-election low earlier this week. Any careful look should go to the aggregators; the latest HuffPollster average has Obama’s approval at 43%, with a steady slide since a post-election peak back in late December.

    Of course, Obama is never going to appear on a ballot again. But his popularity still matters. In some ways, and not in others.

    What’s hurting the president? A week of high-coverage negative publicity on the Obamacare rollout can’t help, and in fact his approval rating from Pew on health care is down to 37 percent. On the other hand, that’s only down eight points since January, compared with an 11 point overall drop.

    It’s not likely Obama is getting dragged down just by health care. It’s probably a combination of things — a large part of it likely from the dramatic drop in Gallup’s economic confidence index since May, which is about when sequestration started kicking in and the deficit started shrinking rapidly.

    Here’s where Obama’s approval numbers do not matter: The future of the health law.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2013/11/08/what-matters-and-what-doesnt-with-obamas-sliding-approval-numbers/

  20. rikyrah says:

    House GOP scuttles immigration push
    11/11/13 08:00 AM
    By Steve Benen

    As of a couple of weeks ago, comprehensive immigration reform faced long odds, but the bipartisan effort still had a pulse. The legislation, pending in the House after clearing the Senate in the early summer, was picking up GOP supporters, and a “business-conservative alliance” was moving forward with a “lobbying blitz” in the lower chamber.

    President Obama openly mocked the very idea of failure: “Obviously, just because something is smart and fair and good for the economy and fiscally responsible and supported by business and labor and the evangelical community and many Democrats and many Republicans – that does not mean that it will actually get done. This is Washington after all.”

    Indeed, it is. As Rachel noted on Friday night’s show, late on Friday afternoon the House GOP leadership confirmed that the chamber wouldn’t even try to work on the bill for the rest of the year.

    The third-ranking House Republican told immigration advocates that lawmakers won’t vote this year on the issue, confirming what many had long assumed.

    California Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the majority whip, said in a meeting with immigration proponents that there weren’t enough days left for the House to act and he was committed to addressing overhaul of the nation’s immigration system next year. The congressman’s office confirmed what he said.

    McCarthy comments confirmed what Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) said a few days prior – the House could tackle immigration reform before the end of the year, but is choosing not to.

    It’s important to note that the “not enough time” defense is wholly without merit. House Republicans have had four months to work on immigration since the Senate easily approved its bipartisan bill, but they sat on their hands, working instead on their government shutdown and debt-ceiling threats. Even now, if House GOP leaders chose to make this issue a priority, there’s ample time to bring a bill to the floor.

    But therein lies the point: this is not an issue of a problematic calendar; it’s an issue of political will. House Republicans don’t want to approve a bipartisan reform package, so they won’t. It’s that simple.

    http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/house-gop-scuttles-immigration-push

  21. rikyrah says:

    The effects of a discredited Benghazi report
    11/11/13 08:36 AM
    Steve Benen

    Two weeks after airing a lengthy report on last year’s attack in Benghazi, CBS’s “60 Minutes” acknowledged late last week that its segment – celebrated by a far-right conspiracy theorists – was wrong. Last night, Lara Logan appeared on the program and offered a 90-second apology.

    It almost certainly won’t end the controversy. As the New York Times noted, the apology was not only brief, it “revealed nothing new” about why CBS managed to get the story so very wrong. Complicating matters, “60 Minutes” launched an expansive recovery effort after getting a 2004 story about George W. Bush’s military record wrong, but the show apparently has no intention of responding in kind now – a CBS spokesman “indicated that the program was going to let its televised apology be its last word on the issue.”

    There are a wide variety of pressing questions about this discredited report, but at least for now, CBS doesn’t intend to answer them.

    But let’s not forget that this isn’t just a media story. After the “60 Minutes” report aired, leading Republican policymakers seized on the segment as proof of the need for further congressional action. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said two weeks ago, “How can I explain the people in my home state, and for that, for the country, that the story [Obama administration officials] told us about Benghazi holds water after the ‘60 Minutes’ story?”

    Graham announced soon after that he would block the entirety of the Senate confirmation process because of his Benghazi questions. The question then becomes, now that Graham’s new “evidence” has been discredited, will he be more responsible? Apparently not.

    http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/the-effects-discredited-benghazi-report

  22. rikyrah says:

    USA TODAY ✔ @USATODAY
    Follow
    Richard Overton, 107, the oldest living WWII vet will meet with President Obama today: http://usat.ly/1aA9Nya

    7:15 AM – 11 Nov 2013

  23. rikyrah says:

    Hillary’s Nightmare? A Democratic Party That Realizes Its Soul Lies With Elizabeth Warren
    BY NOAM SCHEIBER @noamscheiber

    We’re three years from the next presidential election, and Hillary Clinton is, once again, the inevitable Democratic nominee. Congressional Republicans have spent months investigating her like she already resides in the White House. The New York Times has its own dedicated Clinton correspondent, whose job it is to chronicle everything from Hillary’s summer accommodations (“CLINTONS FIND A NEW PLACE TO VACATION IN THE HAMPTONS”) to her distinct style of buckraking (“IN CLINTON FUNDRAISING, EXPECT A FULL EMBRACE”). There is a feature-length Hillary biopic in the works, and a well-funded super PAC—“Ready for Hillary”—bent on easing her way into the race. And then there is Clinton herself, who sounds increasingly candidential. Since leaving the State Department, Clinton has already delivered meaty, headline-grabbing orations on voting rights and Syria.

    Yet for all the astrophysical force of these developments, anyone who lived through 2008 knows that inevitable candidates have a way of becoming distinctly evitable. With the Clintons’ penchant for melodrama and their checkered cast of hangers-on—one shudders to consider the embarrassments that will attend the Terry McAuliffe administration in Virginia—Clinton-era nostalgia is always a news cycle away from curdling into Clinton fatigue. Sometimes, all it takes is a single issue and a fresh face to bring the bad memories flooding back.

    The last time Clinton ran, of course, the issue was Iraq and the gleaming new mug was Barack Obama’s. This time the debate will be about the power of America’s wealthiest. And, far more than with foreign policy, which most Democrats agreed on by 2008, this disagreement will cut to the very core of the party: what it stands for and who it represents.

    On one side is a majority of Democratic voters, who are angrier, more disaffected, and altogether more populist than they’ve been in years. They are more attuned to income inequality than before the Obama presidency and more supportive of Social Security and Medicare.1 They’ve grown fonder of regulation and more skeptical of big business.2 A recent Pew poll showed that voters under 30—who skew overwhelmingly Democratic—view socialism more favorably than capitalism. Above all, Democrats are increasingly hostile to Wall Street and believe the government should rein it in.

    On the other side is a group of Democratic elites associated with the Clinton era who, though they may have moved somewhat leftward in response to the recession—happily supporting economic stimulus and generous unemployment benefits—still fundamentally believe the economy functions best with a large, powerful, highly complex financial sector. Many members of this group have either made or raised enormous amounts of cash on Wall Street. They were deeply influential in limiting the reach of Dodd-Frank, the financial reform measure Obama signed in July of 2010.

    …………………….

    Judging from recent events, the populists are likely to win. In September, New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, running on a platform of taming inequality, routed his Democratic mayoral rival, Christine Quinn, known for her ties to Michael Bloomberg’s finance-friendly administration. The following week, Larry Summers, Obama’s first choice to succeed Ben Bernanke as Federal Reserve chairman, withdrew his name from consideration after months in which Senate Democrats signaled their annoyance with his previous support for deregulation. Not 48 hours later, Bill Daley, the former Obama chief of staff and JP Morgan executive, ended his primary campaign for governor of Illinois after internal polls showed him trailing his populist opponent.

    All of this is deeply problematic for Hillary Clinton. As a student of public opinion, she clearly understands the direction her party is headed. As the head of an enterprise known as Clinton Inc. that requires vast sums of capital to function, she also realizes there are limits to how much she can alienate the lords of finance. For that matter, it’s not even clear Clinton would want to. “Many of her best friends, her intellectual brain trust [on economics], all come out of that world,” says a longtime Democratic operative who worked on Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign and then for Hillary in the White House. “She doesn’t have a problem on the fighting-for-working-class-folks side”—protecting Medicare and Social Security—“but it will be hard, really wrenching for her to be that populist on [finance] issues.”

    Which brings us to the probable face of the insurgency. In addition to being strongly identified with the party’s populist wing, any candidate who challenged Clinton would need several key assets. The candidate would almost certainly have to be a woman, given Democrats’ desire to make history again. She would have to amass huge piles of money with relatively little effort. Above all, she would have to awaken in Democratic voters an almost evangelical passion. As it happens, there is precisely such a person. Her name is Elizabeth Warren.

    http://www.newrepublic.com/article/115509/elizabeth-warren-hillary-clintons-nightmare

  24. rikyrah says:

    Kevin Grussing @KevDGrussing
    Follow
    I’ll never forgive Mainstream Media for forcing the President of the United States to confirm that he was born in the United States. Never.

    8:03 PM – 10 Nov 2013

  25. rikyrah says:

    Nerdy Wonka @NerdyWonka
    Follow
    Journalism 101: Check facts before running a story

    Lara Logan and @60Minutes School of Journalism: If it maligns Pres. Obama, run with it

    7:54 PM – 10 Nov 2013

  26. rikyrah says:

    Eric Boehlert @EricBoehlert
    Follow
    CBS National Guard story: 4 fired producers, 1 demoted anchor, 1 canceled TV show (60 Mins II). Benghazi story? a 90 section ‘correction’

    7:46 PM – 10 Nov 2013

  27. rikyrah says:

    zizi2 @zizii2
    Follow
    ACTION: we must call @60Minutes send email & snail mail, not just rant Twitter abt #Benghazihoax #retractionFAIL.

    8:01 PM – 10 Nov 2013

  28. rikyrah says:

    Russell Schaffer @RussOnPolitics
    Follow
    I am saying a prayer for the Philippines and proud that the U.S. military is leading efforts to help typhoon victims rebuild.

    5:37 PM – 10 Nov 2013

  29. rikyrah says:

    ONE ✔ @ONECampaign
    Follow
    Our thoughts are with everyone affected by typhoon Haiyan. Useful list of aid agencies you can support http://ow.ly/qGXKr via @CNN

    6:40 AM – 11 Nov 2013

  30. rikyrah says:

    Happy Veteran’s Day

    In this week’s address, President Obama commemorates Veterans Day Weekend by thanking the brave men and women who have worn this country’s uniform. The President says he is proud of their service and will do everything possible to ensure America always has their back and always honors their sacrifice

    http://youtu.be/Vd7aR5PMpuQ

  31. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

  32. vitaminlover says:

    So many female country singers were/are such strong women.

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