Wednesday Open Thread

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   Ametia                  Rikyrah                      SG2

christmas candles31Sleigh Ride” is a popular light orchestral piece composed by Leroy Anderson. The composer had the original idea for the piece during a heat wave in July 1946; he finished the work in February 1948. Lyrics, about a person who would like to ride in a sleigh on a winter’s day with another person, were written by Mitchell Parish in 1950. The orchestral version was first recorded in 1949 by Arthur Fiedler and The Boston Pops Orchestra. The song was a hit record on RCA Victor Red Seal 49-0515 (45 rpm) / 10-1484 (78 rpm), and has become the equivalent of a signature song for the orchestra. The 45 rpm version was originally issued on red vinyl. This original mono version has never been available on CD, although the later 1959 re-recording is available in stereo. The orchestra has also recorded the song with John Williams, their conductor from 1979 to 1995, and Keith Lockhart, their current conductor.

About SouthernGirl2

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

  1. rikyrah says:

    Fast Talking Dyson was at the White House

  2. Yahtc says:

    December 4, 2013
    Work Inspired by Trayvon Martin Case to Have Premiere on Thursday

    A free showcase of short plays and a folk opera about race in the United States, inspired by debates over the Trayvon Martin case, will have its premiere on Thursday at the City University of New York Graduate Center. Called “Facing Our Truth: 10-Minute Plays on Trayvon, Race and Privilege,” the project comes from the New Black Fest, which supports innovative plays by and about black people.

    The work by artists from a variety of cultural backgrounds begins at 6:30 p.m. in the graduate center’s Martin E. Segal Theater. It will be followed by a post-show discussion.

    The five plays and a folk opera to be featured are: “Some Other Kid” by A. Rey Pamatmat, “Night Vision” by Dominique Morisseau, “Colored” by Winter Miller, “The Ballad of George Zimmerman” by Dan O’Brien in a collaboration with the musician Quetzal Flores, “No More Monsters Here” by Marcus Gardley and “Dressing,” by Mona Mansour and Tala Manassah.

    New Black Fest commissioned the playwrights to take on the project after the protests and discussions following George Zimmerman’s July 13 acquittal in the killing of Mr. Martin, an unarmed black teenager. Mr. Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer in Sanford, Fla., said he was acting in self-defense.

    “The hoodie seems to find its way into most of the plays,” Keith Josef Adkins, a co-founder and the artistic director of the New Black Fest said in an email on Wednesday. “The subject matter ranges from a satire about racial misconceptions to black on black racial misunderstandings to the underbelly of white privilege to a mother’s desire to have control over her son’s clothing.”

    After the Thursday premiere the work will be presented in other places and cities. The Alliance Theater in Atlanta, the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, the Goodman Theater in Chicago, Center Stage in Baltimore, the Woolly Mammoth in Washington and the Public Theater and the National Black Theater in New York are among those that have agreed to support or present the work, according to Mr. Adkins.

  3. TURN MSNBC OFF! Hit them where it hurts. They have no respect for real journalism. For crying out loud they report what Limbaugh says as news.

  4. Yahtc says:

  5. Yahtc says:

  6. Ametia says:

    Rikyrah, where are you?!! LAWDHAMERCY


  7. Ametia says:

    Martin Bashir Resigns From MSNBC

    Martin Bashir has resigned from MSNBC following weeks of controversy over his incendiary comments about Sarah Palin, he announced in an email posted by Mediaite on Wednesday.

    “Upon further reflection, and after meeting with the president of MSNBC, I have tendered my resignation,” the email read in part. “It is my sincere hope that all of my colleagues, at this special network, will be allowed to focus on the issues that matter without the distraction of myself or my ill-judged comments.”

    In a statement, MSNBC president Phil Griffin paid tribute to Bashir:

    “Martin Bashir resigned today, effective immediately. I understand his decision and I thank him for three great years with MSNBC. Martin is a good man and respected colleague – we wish him only the best.”

    Bashir had been a host on the network since 2011, and had frequently raised eyebrows with his hyperbolic commentary. But his comments in November in response to remarks about slavery by Palin touched off a firestorm. Among other things, Bashir said that someone should defecate and urinate in Palin’s mouth, a punishment delivered to some slaves. He apologized, but the comments continued to haunt him.

  8. Ametia says:

    ‘Inequality is ‘the defining issue of our time’
    By Greg Sargent
    December 4 at 2:01 pm

    The speech on inequality that President Obama delivered just now will mostly pass unnoticed by the political world, with Republicans dismissing it as “class warfare” and an effort to distract from Obamacare, and pundits describing it more delicately as a ”pivot” away from the law.

    But experts who see inequality as one of the most urgent moral, political and economic long term challenges facing the country will see it as one of the most important speeches of the Obama presidency – more ambitious than his similar 2011 speech in Kansas.

    “This is a major speech on a topic that American presidents normally stay away from,” Tim Smeeding, an expert on inequality at the University of Wisconsin, tells me, adding that it compares in some ways to Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s addresses. “The fact that a sitting president faced with a crowded agenda had the courage to discuss this overarching problem is historic.”

  9. Ametia says:

    Martin Bashir Resigns From MSNBC

    27 min ago – Martin Bashir Resigns From MSNBC Jack Mirkinson The Huffington PostDec 04, 2013 Martin Bashir has resigned from MSNBC, he announced in an email posted by Mediaite on Wednesday. Bashir had been under fire for weeks after making highly incendiary comment.

  10. rikyrah says:

    Yesterday at 3:43 PM
    Politico Stonewalls Mike Allen Payola Scandal
    By Jonathan Chait

    In the fifties, a bunch of rock stations got caught taking money from music producers to give their artists airtime. The “Payola” scam, as it was called, was sufficiently outrageous to become a major national scandal. Last month, Washington Post reporter Erik Wemple reported that Politico’s Mike Allen is running a similar scam — accepting lucrative payments from advertisers and lending his editorial voice to hyping, and sometimes parroting, their agenda. Given the relative importance of national politics vis-à-vis rock music, this struck me as a potentially career-ending revelation. Instead, Politico has ignored the report and carried on as if nothing at all were amiss.

    But Politico couldn’t avoid all interviews forever, and in the course of appearing on “The Brian Lehrer Show” to hype Politico’s new Capital New York venture, CEO, former editor, and Allen co-author Jim VandeHei was asked about the payola allegations. His reply is a comical stream of evasive tripe:

    Yeah, I thought the piece was nonsense, which is why we didn’t play ball with him on it. I mean, Mike Allen has written Playbook now 365 days a year for six years. We’ve done, what, thousands of Playbooks, which has had hundreds of thousands of items. I’m sure he could find any pattern he wants to if he wanted to dissect all the Playbook entries that we’ve had over seven years. Mike Allen is one of the best reporters that I’ve known in Washington, one of the fairest, has the sort of highest ideals of anybody I know. So the product is rock-solid, it’s silly to insinuate that — like, why would we do that? There’s no business interest to do it. Mike would have no business interest to do it.

    VandeHei begins by calling the report “nonsense” without explicitly denying it. He asserts that a reporter “could find any pattern he wants to” in Allen’s prodigious output. Really? Any pattern? A pattern of support for Russian strongmen? A pattern of furtive endorsements of anarcho-syndicalism? Even if this were true, it misses the point altogether. One might analyze the patterns of a particular disk jockey and discover all sorts of peculiar preferences, but the only pattern that really matters is a pattern of giving favorable coverage to interests that are paying him. VandeiHei does not deny that Allen has done that.

    Now, one possible defense of Allen is that what appears to be simple payola is actually a more sociologically complex phenomenon. Allen, as Wemple reports, has personal friendships with many of his sponsors, uses them as sources, and generally shares their point of view on most issues even while failing to acknowledge he has a point of view at all. This is less a defense than a concession that Allen is so hopelessly embedded within the Establishment that he can’t cover it in a remotely fair way. (This is exactly the argument I made.)

    VandeHei’s final defense verges on parody: Allen, he argues, has “no business interest” in giving favorable treatment to advertisers. There is the fact that advertisers pay him $35,000 a week, or up to $1.8 million a year. If those clients realize that their paid advertisements also buy them favorable coverage in Playbook, that would make them dramatically more interested in paying Allen’s exorbitant rates.

  11. rikyrah says:


    Hey POU!

    Love the week w/Stevie, first off. Second, I am LMAO that Robert Gibbs is going on and on apparently about how POTUS must fire someone for the health care rollout.

    There is a reason that while his deputy Bill Burton and another Obama aide walked out of the White House and got the keys to Priorites USA to support the 2012 campaign Robert Gibbs was basically a pundit. He is not longer in the inner circle and after spilling his bile to Jodi Kantor and apparently disrespecting the First Lady (which apparently he apologized for) and Ms. Jarrett (which he has not) he was shown the door.

    That clearly kills him. But Kathleen Sellibus is an obot through and through; she was there for POTUS from jump and while this was a messed up roll out and I’m getting a vibe with the new senate rules she’ll likely leave after the New Year; she’s not getting thrown under the bus.

    No matter how much Gibbs wants blood spilt.

    I swear, the jealousy on display since Barack Obama took office is going to be a fascinating disertation for some psychology Ph.D discussing white privillege on the right AND left.

  12. Yahtc says:

    People who are doing the “Knock-out Game” punches are little, sissy pee-wee s.

  13. rikyrah says:

    Stories of Poverty
    by BooMan
    Wed Dec 4th, 2013 at 09:41:45 AM EST

    I was greeted by two stories on page 5 of this morning’s Philadelphia Daily News. The first story is about a 92 year-old woman who perished in her Strawberry Mansion rowhouse yesterday when her kerosene heater caused a house fire. An elderly man who lived with her narrowly escaped the blaze.

    We were here yesterday. I told them. I told them it was dangerous,” the survivor’s daughter cried out after learning about the fatal fire.
    The woman said she’d come to let the man know she had taken care of a gas bill, that he and [Martha] Frazier wouldn’t have to use a kerosene heater any longer…

    …Frazier lived on Stanley Street, near James G. Blaine Elementary School, for more than 50 years, and neighbors referred to her as “Mom” but said she didn’t come out all that often. Frazier had at least one son who had died, a niece said, and neighbors believed that Frazier also had a grandson.

    “I don’t think she had too much family left,” said George Glover, 88.

    Fire Chief Richard Davison said firefighters got the blaze under control by 9:10 a.m. and investigators had not determined the fire’s cause. Numerous people who gathered on the street said the home had no heat and that Frazier and her housemate were using a kerosene heater to keep warm.

    “I know she was having a real hard time with the cold,” Harley said.

    Two things about this. First, this is why we need to pay for heating assistance in the winter. Second, this is why the goddamned utility companies are not supposed to cut off your heat in the winter months.

    The second story is about a 21 year-old man who was murdered over his pair of $300 Beats by Dr. Dre headphones. He was killed on Saturday, but his corpse remains in the morgue because his family cannot afford to pay the $2,200-$2,700 it will take to pay for a funeral home. Even worse, potential witnesses refuse to cooperate with the police.

    [Christian] Massey’s cousin, Pebble Hill, echoed her aunt’s sentiment that residents of the neighborhood where the young man was slain have been uncooperative in helping to track down his killer.
    “My cousin was a beautiful person. He was like a brother to me, and right now, my family can use all the support they can get,” she said. “This has been a great strain on our family emotionally, financially. We love all the outpouring that my family’s received.”

    Even though Christian Massey was 21, he only graduated from high school in June. He had started high school at a special-needs facility that is part of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, but he was able to transfer into the Marple Newtown school district where he participated in basketball and football. His football coach is trying to raise money for his burial, and you can help by calling the Marple Newtown School at (610) 359-4215.

    These are stories of poverty, and you can react to them with empathy and compassion or dismiss these people as deserving of their fate and not your problem. It’s your choice.

  14. rikyrah says:

    The ‘unemployment cliff’ looms large
    12/04/13 11:00 AM—Updated 12/04/13 12:13 PM
    By Steve Benen

    In just 24 days, federal emergency unemployment benefits will expire for a whole lot of struggling Americans. Suzy Khimm calls it the “unemployment cliff.”

    Since the beginning of the recession, seven states have cut their unemployment benefits to less than 26 weeks – the prevailing standard since the 1950s. So far, emergency federal benefits have cushioned the blow of most of these cuts, kicking in after state benefits expire. But at the end of December, those federal benefits are scheduled to disappear as well, cutting off unemployment checks to 1.3 million jobless Americans and delivering a double whammy to states that have already reduced their benefit weeks to historic lows.

    In addition to the 1.3 million who would lose their benefits immediately, the expiration of federal benefits would affect 3.5 million more jobless Americans by the end of 2014. That’s how many unemployed workers are still expected to be job-hunting after their state benefits expire, according to the Obama administration, which is pressing to continue the emergency federal aid as part of a year-end budget deal.

    For congressional Democrats, the solution is fairly obvious: the parties are already engaged in budget talks, which have picked up a little steam of late, and there’s no reason lawmakers can’t boost the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program before the deadline.

    The problem, of course, is that congressional Republicans don’t want to. They’re not even trying to mask their intentions.

    Republicans controlling the House oppose a drive by Democrats to renew jobless benefits averaging less than $300 a week nationwide for the long-term unemployed, a senior GOP lawmaker said Tuesday.

    “I don’t see much appetite on our side for continuing this extension of benefits,” said Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla. “I just don’t.”

    Keep in mind, this isn’t just about the fate of struggling Americans looking for work in a time of high unemployment, though the effects on them would be severe. This is also about the economy overall – the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office reported yesterday that failing to extend benefits will cost the U.S. economy 200,000 jobs in 2014 (thanks to my colleague Robert Lyon for the heads-up).

    Why would the job losses be so significant? Because as we’ve discussed many times, unemployment benefits are stimulative – the jobless don’t stick the funds in the bank; they spend the money. Take away the benefits, and the economy overall takes a hit.

  15. rikyrah says:

    Cantor’s incomplete vision
    12/04/13 01:00 PM
    By Steve Benen

    House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) doesn’t have much in the way of a legislative record, but he’s invested an enormous amount of time and energy into “rebranding” campaigns, launching four initiatives in four years. They haven’t gone well, but the Virginia Republican keeps at it anyway.

    A closer look at Cantor’s rebranding efforts reveals a consistent theme: the Majority Leader believes he and his party have credible solutions to existing problems, and should the GOP must make more of an effort to emphasize the party’s pragmatism. This came up the other day when Cantor sat down the Richmond Times Dispatch.

    Republicans, he said, need to change the perception that they don’t care about everyday Americans, a task made tougher by Democrats perpetually promising bigger handouts and more government mandates, as if there are no costs in life. […]

    The GOP, Cantor said, needs to be able to answer a basic question: “How do we address the fundamental problems that people have?”

    In an extended era of flat wages and anemic job growth, he said his party should focus on “upward mobility and opportunity,” with an emphasis on practical matters that can stretch the family budget and juice the U.S. economy, such as increased domestic energy production, online education, college affordability and low taxes.

  16. Arctic invasion: Brutal weather system threatens most of US with snow, ice, wind

    An enormous, brutal mass of arctic air is shoving south over most of the United States — threatening 32 million people for the rest of the week with snow, ice, wind and extraordinary drops in the temperature.

    Some of the country’s biggest cities are being hit: Ice threatens to knock out power in Dallas, Denver could get almost a foot of snow, and Chicago could plunge from the mid-50s on Wednesday to the low teens by Friday night.

    “This cold air is going to overtake just about the entire country,” said Carl Parker, a meteorologist for The Weather Channel.

    In Duluth, Minn., more than 2 feet of snow fell Tuesday, and at least another foot is expected Wednesday. Many streets are already impassable, and police reported dozens of crashes on snowy roads. By Friday, the temperature there could be minus 22.

    A winter storm has brought heavy snowfall to Idaho, Wyoming, Montana and North Dakota among other states in the region. In the West, parts of Oregon were hit with more than 9 inches of snow and the foothills near Sparks, Nev., saw 8.5 inches. Weather Channel’s Mike Seidel reports from Duluth, Minn.

    The heavy snow in Minnesota is expected to be compounded by wind as strong as 40 mph. Because the snow is relatively light in weight, not the soggy, clumpy variety, it could cause “ground blizzard” conditions there, Parker said.


    Smiley cold

  17. rikyrah says:

    Consumer Reports on healthcare site: ‘It’s terrific’
    12/03/13 04:15 PM—Updated 12/04/13 09:21 AM
    By Steve Benen

    Over the last month or so, opponents of the Affordable Care Act have eagerly touted Consumer Reports’ “opposition” to – for the right, if the independent, consumer-friendly outlet disapproves of the administration’s exchange marketplace, it proves … Obamacare is bad.

    In reality, Consumer Reports’ position has always been more nuanced than conservative activists and lawmakers would have us believe. The consumer advocates, for example, defended the Obama administration from criticism on canceled plans through the individual market, rejecting Republican talking points altogether. Consumer Reports also played a role in debunking some of the ACA horror stories that the right has been so invested in.

    That said, the consumer advocates did warn the public about the problems plaguing, urging Americans to wait until the site improved before creating accounts and selecting insurance (though Consumer Reports pushed back against far-right efforts to exploit the position). Today, however, it reversed course and changed its verdict.

    After advising consumers to steer clear of in October, Consumer Reports health care expert Nancy Metcalf told MSNBC’s Chuck Todd Tuesday morning that the federal health care exchange website was improved enough following the Obama administration’s frantic month of repairs that users could confidently use it. […]

    “Now we’re saying, ‘it’s time,’” Metcalf said, in particular praising the new window-shopping function, in which users can peruse health plans without registering with the site. The requirement to make an account before viewing options was considered one of the main causes for the site’s initial traffic bottleneck. “It’s terrific, I’ve tried it, it was working yesterday through the busiest times,” Metcalf said.

  18. rikyrah says:

    Chris Christie’s immigration problem
    12/04/13 09:00 AM
    By Steve Benen

    Shortly after his landslide re-election victory, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) hit the Sunday shows, where he was asked for his opinion on comprehensive immigration reform. The Republican governor, who’s cultivated a reputation as a fearless straight-talker, ducked – Christie, who’d already endorsed the policy in years past, suddenly refused to speak his mind.

    It was an unsettling display of cowardice, but it was also a reminder that Christie has no idea what to do with this issue. On the one hand, the New Jersey chief executive wants to appeal to Latino voters and the American mainstream. On the other, he has national ambitions and realizes his party’s radicalized base has no tolerance for bipartisan immigration solutions.

    This week, the tension is playing out in an awkward way. Christie already endorsed a “tuition equality” policy that would offer in-state tuition to New Jersey students, even if they entered the country illegally. But when lawmakers moved forward on a bill that would do exactly that, the governor balked, threatened a veto, and insisted this doesn’t count as a flip-flop.

    The editorial board of the Star Ledger, the state’s largest newspaper, is unimpressed.

  19. rikyrah says:

    Terrified and Trying to Dodge the IRS, ALEC Hides Under Shadow Group
    By: Sarah Jones more from Sarah Jones
    Wednesday, December, 4th, 2013, 11:19 am

    ALEC begins their 3 day nationwide meeting today, Wednesday the 4th. All of the big deals in the GOP will be there — including former VP candidate Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senator Ted Shutdown Cruz (R-TX).

    The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which claims it does not lobby even though it creates model legislation that its Republican legislative members like John Boehner and Paul Ryan then implement, is concerned about being investigated by the IRS for their charitable tax status claims, according to internal documents from ALEC published by The Guardian.

  20. Ametia says:

    3 Chics will be live-blogging the WH Youth Summit. Hope to see you there Luvvie.

  21. Ametia says:

    President delivers remarks on the economy happening now

  22. Ametia says:

    LOL Mine doesn’t quite fit in the stocking


  23. rikyrah says:

    Medicaid expansion becomes weapon against GOP governors
    By Greg Sargent
    December 3 at 3:28 pm

    It’s widely accepted as an article of faith that Obamacare will be uniformly bad politics for Dems in 2014. After all, the rollout is a disaster and majorities disapprove of the law, so how could it possibly be any other way, right?

    Here’s something that counter-programs that narrative a bit: Democrats are currently using a major pillar of the health law — the Medicaid expansion — as a weapon against Republican Governors in multiple 2014 races. Many of these Governors opted out of the expansion or have advanced their own replacement solutions, and many are facing serious challenges.

    In Florida, Democrat Charlie Crist has excoriated GOP Governor Rick Scott for dragging his feet on the Medicaid expansion, claiming a “million” Floridians “will not get health care” as a result. In Wisconsin, Democrat Mary Burke is campaigning on a pledge to reverse GOP Governor Scott Walker’s decision to turn down $119 million in federal money to expand Medicaid to more low-income Wisconsinites.

    In Pennsylvania, multiple Dems looking to run for governor are attacking GOP Governor Tom Corbett for subbing in his own plan to expand Medicaid, arguing it’s a ploy to defuse the issue. In Maine, Dem Rep. Mike Michaud is attacking GOP Governor Paul LePage for refusing to opt in.

    Some Dems running for governor in red states, such as South Carolina, may not embrace the Medicaid expansion debate as directly. But the fact that it’s emerging as an issue in some high profile races is a reminder that it’s still good politics for Dems to campaign on components of the Affordable Care Act that directly impact many of the constituents these GOP governors represent. Terry McAuliffe was just elected governor of purple Virginia partly on the Medicaid expansion.

  24. Yahtc says:

    This is one of my absolutely FAVORITE videos. (I have been trying to relocated it since last June!)


  25. rikyrah says:

    Paul Krugman: Unacceptable Realities

    …. The hysteria over Obamacare is being well documented … what I see a lot in my inbox (and in my reading): the furious insistence that nothing resembling a government guarantee of health insurance can possibly work.

    That’s a curious belief to hold, given the fact that every other advanced country has such a guarantee …. but nothing makes these people as angry as the suggestion that Obamacare might actually prove workable.

    And it’s going to get worse. For two months, thanks to the botched rollout, their delusions seemed confirmed by reality. Now that things are getting better, however, you can already see the rage building….

    …. what you have to conclude is that there are a large number of people who find reality — the reality that governments are actually pretty good at providing health insurance…— just unacceptable…

    • Ametia says:

      I personally don’t need to read thousands of words to understand and know why a small segment of America is driving the “government is BAD” meme.

  26. Yahtc says:

    ‘Best Man Holiday’ Resonates Across Racial Lines

  27. Yahtc says:

    Meet Carl Hart, the Scientist Debunking America’s Myths About Drugs

  28. Yahtc says:

    NYPA Aid Nixed by AG Cuomo Reinstated by Governor Cuomo

  29. rikyrah says:

    igorvolsky @igorvolsky
    Very high traffic numbers for since fix:

    Monday: 1 million visits (~18,000 signed up)
    Tuesday: 950,000 visits

    6:38 AM – 4 Dec 2013

  30. Yahtc says:

    “Mother & Daughter Literary Team Fuse Psychology, Science Fiction & African American Identity in Compelling New Series”

  31. rikyrah says:

    Business Insider ✔ @businessinsider
    HUGE BEAT: 215,000 NEW JOBS (Est. +170,000)

    7:15 AM – 4 Dec 2013

  32. Yahtc says:

    “Obama Offers Second Chance For Missouri Court Nominee”

    President Obama has made it a priority to choose federal judges who are diverse in terms of race or gender. But for the most part, he’s avoided controversy for those lifetime appointments.

    That’s why the nomination of a Missouri lawyer named Ronnie White has raised the eyebrows of experts who’ve been around Washington for a while. Old hands remember that White was rejected for a federal judgeship back in 1999 after a party line vote by Senate Republicans.

    Now, in what experts say could be an unprecedented step, he’s getting another chance.

    White has already made history, in more ways than one. The Democratic lawyer served three terms in the Missouri House of Representatives. He became the first African-American to sit on the state Supreme Court, sworn in at a courthouse where slaves were once sold on the steps. And 14 years ago, White suffered a rare defeat on the U.S. Senate floor in his bid to become a federal judge.

    “We rarely ever see floor votes rejecting a nomination,” says Sarah Binder, a political scientist and senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. “That’s what is so unusual and why I think almost everybody who’s followed judicial nominations remembers the Ronnie White case.”

    Binder and other experts who study nominations say they can’t remember a time when a judge who’s been voted down in the Senate has been renominated.

    “There may be a case way back when in the early 19th century but for all intents and purposes this is unprecedented for a president to come back and renominate someone,” Binder adds.

    White is unusual for another reason: He took the opportunity to defend himself and his record by testifying against his chief antagonist, former Missouri GOP Sen. John Ashcroft, during Ashcroft’s own confirmation hearing to become attorney general in the George W. Bush years. White told the Senate back in early 2001 that he once thought he had a clear path to become a judge.

    “And then I learned that Sen. Ashcroft was opposing me,” White recalled. “I was very surprised to hear that he had gone to the Senate floor and called me ‘pro-criminal,’ with a tremendous bent toward criminal activity. That he told his colleagues that I was against prosecutors and the culture in terms of maintaining order.”

    White told lawmakers that Ashcroft had distorted his record: “I deeply resent those baseless misreputations. In fact, and I want to say this as clearly as I can, my record belies those accusations.”

    Sen. Richard Durbin, a Democrat from Illinois, followed up with Ashcroft himself.

    “Sen. Ashcroft, did you treat Ronnie White fairly?” Durbin asked.

    “I believe that I acted properly in carrying out my duties as a member of the committee and as a member of the Senate in relation to Judge Ronnie White,” Ashcroft replied.

    Ashcroft said he was bothered by White’s record in death penalty cases and that the judge went out of his way to support defendants’ rights, even in violent crimes. Anger from minority groups in Missouri ultimately helped cost Ashcroft his Senate seat, but it didn’t stop his bid to become U.S. attorney general.

    And White — now 60 years old — may yet have a second act too.

    A spokesman for Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Democrat from Missouri, told NPR the past criticism of the judge is “completely unfounded” and said she “looks forward to supporting his nomination.”

    Sen. Roy Blunt, a Republican from Missouri, told reporters he won’t block White’s bid for a Senate vote either.

    Conservative groups who follow judicial candidates are digging through his record. Carrie Severino of the Judicial Crisis Network says given the recent change in Senate rules, she thinks White will get through this time.

    “It’s definitely clear that with the new 51-vote threshold it’s going to be very difficult to stop his nomination,” Severino says. “So I think they’re hoping to get through now some of these more extreme nominees that before would have required a bipartisan consensus to move on.”

    The White House didn’t respond to questions about why it renominated White for a federal judgeship. But White may have offered an answer, in his Senate testimony a dozen years ago.

    “There was a lot of outrage about my nomination being rejected and particularly in the African-American community,” White said. “And the reason for that outrage I believe, is when you have an African-American judge, African-Americans see that as one more step toward true equality.”

    For President Obama, who’s made diversifying the bench a top priority, that may be reason enough to revisit the case of Ronnie White.

  33. rikyrah says:

    Bobfr @Our4thEstate
    Imagine insulting a Pope because he cares for the hungry, homeless & sick. Imagine denying food, shelter & care to MILLIONS. That’s the @GOP

    1:09 AM – 4 Dec 2013

  34. rikyrah says:

    Kasai™ @Kahsai
    During the last 40 years there have been five budget surpluses, all five were under Democratic Presidents:
    1969, 1998, 1999, 2000- 2001.

    11:34 PM – 3 Dec 2013

  35. rikyrah says:

    12 Years a Slave and the Obama Era
    By Jonathan Chait

    This last weekend, I finally saw 12 Years a Slave. It was the most powerful movie I’ve ever seen in my life, an event so gripping and terrifying that, when I went to bed ten hours later — it was a morning matinee — I lay awake for five hours turning it over in my mind before I could fall asleep. I understand it not merely as the greatest film about slavery ever made, as it has been widely hailed, but a film more broadly about race. Its sublimated themes, as I understand them, identify the core social and political fissures that define the American racial divide to this day. To identify 12 Years a Slave as merely a story about slavery is to miss what makes race the furious and often pathological subtext of American politics in the Obama era.

    While its depiction of physical torture has commanded the most attention, I found the psychological torture more disturbing. To make a person a slave requires making them complicit in their own subservience, through rituals of degradation, such as forcing them to clap their hands to mocking songs, dancing for their masters, or being stripped, or compared to animals. The one time Northrup tries to escape, he wanders immediately onto a lynch party, which underscores the threat of violence lurking invisibly everywhere. (And the threat of the noose survived in the South a century past the threat of the lash.)

    Notably, the most horrific torture depicted in 12 Years a Slave is set in motion when the protagonist, Solomon Northrup, offers up to his master engineering knowledge he acquired as a free man, thereby showing up his enraged white overseer. It was precisely Northrup’s calm, dignified competence in the scene that so enraged his oppressor. The social system embedded within slavery as depicted in the film is one that survived long past the Emancipation Proclamation – the one that resulted in the murder of Emmett Till a century after Northrup published his autobiography. It’s a system in which the most unforgivable crime was for an African-American to presume himself an equal to — or, heaven forbid, better than — a white person.

    • Ametia says:

      This is why many white folks don’t want to see the movie, as well as many blacks.

      Some Whites can’t accept that they’ve been fed a LIE about their superiority, and some Blacks can’t accept their own DIVINITY and greatness because they too bought into the white supremacy lie

  36. rikyrah says:

    John Fugelsang ✔ @JohnFugelsang
    Nice to see certain GOP members take a break from worrying about the Latino vote to smear the 1st Latin American Pope.

    9:18 PM – 3 Dec 2013

  37. rikyrah says:

    Another ACA horror story fades away
    12/03/13 09:15 AM—Updated 12/03/13 06:32 PM
    By Steve Benen

    House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) was pretty aggressive yesterday in pushing the latest Affordable Care Act horror story, this time about a New York father who was reportedly told his 18-month-old daughter couldn’t be included on the family’s plan. Boehner promoted the story on his site and Twitter feed to help get the word out.

    And since we’re talking about the nation’s most powerful lawmaker, and not some random conservative activist, perhaps this one deserves to be taken seriously? Actually, no – Boehner was pushing the latest bogus tale.

    On Sunday morning, the New York Post published the story of Cornelius Kelly, who was dismayed to learn that the New York State health insurance plans could cover his wife and three older children, but that he would have to buy a separate plan for his 18-month-old daughter.

    Fox News ran with the story on Monday morning, and had Kelly on to retell the tale. Within hours, the story had spread.

    The problem is, Kelly appears to have been given some bad information. Family plans in New York cover the whole family. No baby has to wait until its second birthday to join a family plan, as the article described Kelly being told.

    “It was 100 percent false,” said Bill Schwarz, a spokesman for the state’s Department of Health. “Of course, everyone is covered in the family policy.”

  38. rikyrah says:

    GOP House Decides 2nd Amendment Has Limits, Approves Gun Control Measure
    By: Keith Brekhus more from Keith Brekhus
    Tuesday, December, 3rd, 2013, 10:34 pm

    Second Amendment absolutists might be disappointed today upon discovering that the Republican controlled US House approved an extension of a gun ban. On a unanimous voice vote, the US House agreed to extend the Undetectable Firearms Act, continuing a 25-year-old prohibition against guns that can evade metal detectors and X-ray machines. The law was first put into effect in 1988, and signed into law by President Reagan. The House bill requires that any plastic gun have some piece of metal in it or on it so that it cannot be used to evade a metal detector.

    This decision of course illustrates that even Republicans in the US House think there are limits to the 2nd Amendment. Even though they are fond of arguing that criminals do not obey laws apparently they are convinced that this particular law may be an exception. Of course, metal detectors are most often used in places like airports and courthouses, and perhaps Republicans think that these are locations where criminals and terrorists are not likely to enter anyway. Or maybe, just maybe, even Republican lawmakers are a little concerned that undetectable firearms do not really belong inside a crowded courtroom or a busy airport.

  39. Ametia says:

    hope you’ll join us for live blogging 12-29-13!!!

    Martina Arroyo, Herbie Hancock, Billy Joel, Shirley MacLaine & Carlos Santana
    Will Receive 36th Annual Kennedy Center Honors

    America to Celebrate the Careers of Five Extraordinary Artists Sunday, December 8, 2013

    Gala will be broadcast on CBS on December 29, 2013 at 9:00-11:00 p.m., ET/PT

  40. rikyrah says:

    At de Blasio’s City Hall, Expect an Outsize Role for His Wife
    Published: December 3, 2013

    Bill de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray, was fed up. An ad for her
    husband’s political opponent was running on her favorite radio station,
    and she wanted the de Blasio campaign to respond.

    “How much money do I have to raise this week to deal with this affront?” she wrote in a blunt email to her husband’s top aides in 2009,
    mischievously warning that if the ad interrupted a cherished R & B
    show, “I might get road rage.”

    Such interventions from Ms. McCray were not unusual: Mr. de Blasio urged his political team to heed her words. In an email of his own, he shared his wife’s suggestions for how best to disseminate a campaign brochure in the race for public advocate that featured the diverse de Blasio family. (One idea: “Give it out at beauty salons.”)

    The email’s subject line was telling: “This is the word of Chirlane.”

  41. rikyrah says:

    DAVID ‏@intenseCA 5m
    BREAKING: Two million stolen passwords from Facebook and Yahoo are found online at a Russian site
    Retweeted by Jeff Gauvin

  42. rikyrah says:

    igorvolsky @igorvolsky
    Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) admits on @Morning_Joe that there will be “millions of winners” under Obamacare.

    6:15 AM – 4 Dec 2013

  43. Ametia says:

    I know my stocking’s gonna be filled with GOODIES. I’ve been a good 3 Chic. LOL

    • Ametia says:

      This proves the media is DEAD. They can’t even report an OBVIOUS FACT. Just fluff and scandal about POTUS and obsucre folks who we don’t give a rat’s ass about.

  44. rikyrah says:

    The Obama Recovery, The Pope, and the Collective Right Wing Freakout

    Tuesday, December 03, 2013 | Posted by Spandan C at 4:05 PM

    Despite Republican efforts to slow down, halt, and throw monkey wrenches into the economic recovery at every possible turn, the Obama recovery insists on continuing. Yesterday, two important indicators of growth happened for the economy: US manufacturing growth reached its strongest point in two-and-a-half years, and consumer demand blew the lid off of online sales, growing by as much as 20% year-over-year on Cyber Monday (with online retail giant growing sales by a whopping 44%).

    All that is looking to usher in another month with job growth at around 200,000. And like putting salt on the Obamacare naysayers’ wound, just as the website was getting fixed, small businesses added jobs for the first time in four months. Oh, and Obamacare is going to cost less than projected.

    America is making things again. Small businesses are hiring. Consumers are buying. Obamacare is signing people up while costing less. Syria is disarming. Iran is giving up its nuclear ambitions. Therefore, of course, Republicans are losing their sh*t, now this close to arguing that the Pope, just like Obama, is a Marxist who hates Catholics!

    What does the recent good economic and foreign policy news and desperate Republican attempts to undermine the economy and manipulate the media have to do with Rush Limbaugh’s crackle with the pontiff, you ask? Everything. The right wing panic of the moment and the Republican obstructionism of President Obama throughout his presidency have the same root: they are afraid that the pragmatic, progressive approach to governance embodied by President Obama will work. And if it works, no amount of Fox News bobbleheading or playing the refs on the rest of the media will end up having lasting effect.

  45. rikyrah says:


    Winding Down the Year, Going to the White House and on Vacation!
    December 3, 2013 | Luvvie

    My peoples! It’s the last month of 2013 and I’m amazed at how fast this year went by. Time ain’t playing no bald-headed games. I plan on spending this month taking it slower than usual. Well, after this week that is.

    Today, I’m headed to Washington DC until Thursday because I was invited to the White House Youth Summit!

    The Youth Summit is tomorrow (December 4) and 150 young leaders from around the country will be at the White House to discuss the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and other pressing issues concerning us. Senior officials will be present and it’s going to last 4 hours.

    They’re inviting people to watch the the Summit live starting at 2:00 pm ET on and they’ll be taking questions through Twitter, using the #WHYouthSummit hashtag. So you can join the conversation wherever you are for that first hour!

    WHOOT! I’m so excited and I’m honored to have been chosen to be a part of this. I’m representing The Red Pump Project (@RedPumpProj) and the work we do in HIV/AIDS advocacy, so of course I’ll be rocking fierce red pumps! But why was my outfit the first thing I thought about when I got my invite email a month ago? I was all “WHAT AM I GON’ WEAR TO BARACK AND MICHELLE’S HOUSE?!?” And no, I won’t be dressing like Olivia Pope. My gals have approved my ALPHET so I’ma strut in there looking like a bag of professional money. OWWWWWW! I’ll post my ensemble on Instagram (@Luvvie), so follow me there!

    I will also be at the White House holiday tour on Thursday. They’re gonna see my face in the building TWICE. I promise to at least do one solid jig while I’m on premises. And if I see First Lady, I’ma tell her she’s everything!

    • Ametia says:

      CONGRATULATIONS, Luvvie! Yes; lady, you certainly deserve the trip to the WH.

      And when you do meet the First Lady, your telling her she’s “EVERYTHING” will also be our message too. So thank you, Luvvie. <3

  46. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

    Totally enjoying this Christmas music…you’re getting me in the spirit, SG2!

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