Thursday Open Thread

Christmas Candles 48Ray Charles Robinson (September 23, 1930 – June 10, 2004), better known by his shortened stage name Ray Charles, was an American musician. Ray was a pioneer in the genre of soul music during the 1950s by fusing rhythm & blues, gospel, and blues styles into his early recordings with Atlantic Records.[1][2][3] He also helped racially integrate country and pop music during the 1960s with his crossover success on ABC Records, most notably with his Modern Sounds albums.[4][5][6] While with ABC, Charles became one of the first African-American musicians to be given artistic control by a mainstream record company.

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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63 Responses to Thursday Open Thread

  1. rikyrah says:

    Mama Pope rocks the coat too!!

    And is outside the WHITE HOUSE!!

  2. rikyrah says:

    Yeah….James and Cyrus have a deal!!

  3. rikyrah says:

    Mellie and Sally…

    I mean, she took that pearl handled shiv and was all up and down Sally’s back and did it with a smile on her face and didn’t raise her voice one bit.

  4. rikyrah says:

    Cyrus: I’m still the man you married, but never noticed the 666 on my forehead..


  5. Ametia says:

    Papa Pope just READ Fitz. ‘YOU’RE A BOY!”

  6. Ametia says:

    The Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 today to consider lifting its ban on in-flight cell phone use.

    The FCC has banned in-flight calls for technical reasons. But new technology has made that ban obsolete, the commission says, and there’s no reason to continue it.

  7. Ametia says:

    15 Golden Globe Snubs and Surprises: No Oprah, No Jon Hamm, and More

    Where’s the love for Oprah in The Butler? And only one nod for Orange Is the New Black? See the Golden Globe nominations—and what this all means for the Oscars.

    We’ll have to wait one more month to see pals Tina Fey and Amy Poehler tear up the Beverly Hilton Hotel, but Olivia Wilde, Zoe Saldana, and Aziz Ansari announced the nominees for the 2014 Golden Globe Awards early Thursday morning at 5:15 am PT.

  8. rikyrah says:

    They Had to Treat You Like Children

    by BooMan
    Thu Dec 12th, 2013 at 11:13:45 AM EST

    Nebraska Senators Mike Johanns and Deb Fischer just used up all the Republicans’ debating time on the nomination of Elizabeth Wolford to serve on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York. They were complaining that Harry Reid has changed the rules to allow judges to be confirmed with a majority of the senators’ votes rather than having to attain a supermajority of sixty. They talked up Nebraska’s unique unicameral legislature which is officially non-partisan. They talked about their inability, in some instances, to offer amendments to bills. They took great offense at the idea that they and their colleagues are “obstructionists.”
    The most interesting part of the hour was when Sen. Johanns recalled how he felt on Christmas Eve 2009 when the Democrats passed the Affordable Care Act in the Senate. He complained that he felt like the Democrats were telling him to “sit down and shut up” and that his objections counted for nothing. He said that he felt the same way today as he watched the Democrats confirming one nominee after another.

    Let me start with something simple. The Affordable Care Act was passed with 60 votes, meaning not only that it had a lot of support, but that it legitimately overcame a filibuster under the old rules and the rules as they exist today for legislation. Sen. Johanns might have disliked the sense of powerless he felt when ObamaCare passed, but he has no legitimate complaint about how is passed.

    The second thing is that Johanns offered his critique during the debate over the nomination of a judge who was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee on a voice vote. What that means is that no one on the committee objected to her becoming a district judge. I’d like to point out that Ted Cruz and Mike Lee serve on the Judiciary Committee. Jeff Sessions and John Cornyn serve on the Judiciary Committee. None of them objected to Ms. Wolford’s nomination. But the entire Republican caucus (save Susan Collins of Maine) filibustered her cloture vote this morning and they are (right now) voting en masse against her confirmation. I can understand the cloture vote as a form of protest against the procedure used, but I cannot understand why they are voting against a judge that even Ted Cruz and Jeff Sessions approved of in committee.

    It was almost touching to watch Sens. Fischer and Johanns lament their inability to obstruct the president’s nominations. They reminded me of a kid who gets his ball taken away after repeatedly being warned not to throw it in the house.

    But they are the kids who will look you straight in the face and tell you that they never threw the ball in the house. Never mind that broken vase.

  9. rikyrah says:

    This is one of my all-time favorite Barack Obama art pieces, because it cracks me up. When we joke about Barack Obama being put on black velvet, this is what I was thinking of:

  10. rikyrah says:

    Tuesday, December 10, 2013
    For Republicans, a Homeless 11-Year-Old Black Girl Named Dasani is a “Useless Eater” Who Should Just Die

    Al Sharpton did some great work on Monday’s PoliticsNation where he further exposed the politics of cruelty that have possessed the Republican Party.

    Republicans want to cut food stamps, believe that kicking people off of unemployment insurance who cannot find a job in an economy where there are 3 people for every available position, and that a particularly evil and twisted version of “Christian faith” justifies punishing and hurting poor people as righteous deeds and acts that mark conservatives as “the elect” who are destined for heaven.

    I am not a “Christian”. But my understanding of the “historical” Jesus was that he was a man who died fighting State tyranny and would do anything to help the poor, the weak, and the vulnerable. The Tea Party GOP’s bastardization of Jesus Christ remakes him into a figure who puts his foot on the throats of the hungry, weak, the vulnerable, and the needy, in order to motivate them into self-sufficiency–or alternatively die from a lack of breath.

    For the Tea Party GOP, either outcome is acceptable.

    The panoply of Right-wing hypocrites that Al Sharpton calls out, what is a rogues gallery of the cruel and the heartless, are wealthy people who have not taken to heart basic principles such as how noblesse oblige may actually create the social stability necessary to protect the rich while advancing their long-term interests.

  11. rikyrah says:


    Best motion picture, drama

    “12 Years a Slave”

    “Captain Phillips”




    Best motion picture, musical or comedy

    “American Hustle”


    “Inside Llewyn Davis”


    “The Wolf of Wall Street”

    Best Actress in a motion picture, drama

    Cate Blanchett “Blue Jasmine”

    Sandra Bullock – “Gravity”

    Judi Dench – “Philomena

    Emma Thompson – “Saving Mr. Banks”

    Kate Winslet – “Labor Day”

    Best Actor in a motion picture, drama

    Chiwetel Ejiofor – “12 Years a Slave”

    Idris Elba – “Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom”

    Tom Hanks – “Captain Phillips”

    Matthew McConaughey – “Dallas Buyers Club”

    Robert Redford – “All Is Lost”

    Best Actress in a motion picture, musical or comedy

    Amy Adams – “American Hustle”

    Julie Delpy – “Before Midnight”

    Greta Gerwig – “Frances Ha”

    Julia Louis-Dreyfus – “Enough Said”

    Meryl Streep – “August: Osage County”

    Best Actor in a motion picture, musical or comedy

    Christian Bale – “American Hustle”

    Bruce Dern – “Nebraska”

    Leonardo DiCaprio – “The Wolf Of Wall Street”

    Oscar Isaac – “Inside Llewyn Davis”

    Joaquin Phoenix – “Her”

    Best supporting Actress in a motion picture

    Sally Hawkins – “Blue Jasmine”

    Jennifer Lawrence – “American Hustle”

    Lupita Nyong’o – “12 Years a Slave”

    Julia Roberts – “August: Osage County”

    June Squibb – “Nebraska”

    Best supporting Actor in a motion picture

    Barkhad Abdi – “Captain Phillips”

    Daniel Brühl – “Rush”

    Bradley Cooper – “American Hustle”

    Michael Fassbender – “12 Years a Slave”

    Jared Leto – “Dallas Buyers Club”

    Best Director – motion picture

    Alfonso Cuarón – “Gravity”

    Paul Greengrass – “Captain Phillips”

    Steve McQueen – “12 Years a Slave”

    Alexander Payne – “Nebraska”

    David O. Russell – “American Hustle”

    Best Screenplay – motion picture

    Spike Jonze – “Her”

    Bob Nelson – “Nebraska”

    Jeff Pope and Steve Coogan – “Philomena”

    John Ridley – “12 Years a Slave”

    Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell – “American Hustle”

    Best Foreign Language Film

    “Blue is the Warmest Color”

    “The Great Beauty”

    “The Hunt”

    “The Past”

    “The Wind Rises”

    Best Animated Feature film

    “The Croods”

    “Despicable Me 2”


    Best TV series, drama

    “Breaking Bad”

    “Downton Abbey”

    “The Goodwife”

    “House of Cards”

    “Masters of Sex”

    Best TV Series, Comedy

    “The Big Bang Theory”

    “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”


    “Modern Family”

    “Parks and Recreation”

    Best TV movie or mini-series

    “American Horror Story: Coven”

    “Behind the Candelabra”

    “Dancing on the Edge”

    “Top of the Lake”

    “The White Queen”

    Best Actress in a TV series, drama

    Julianna Margulies – “The Good Wife”

    Tatiana Maslany – “Orphan Black”

    Taylor Schilling – “Orange is the New Black”

    Kerry Washington – “Scandal”

    Robin Wright – “House of Cards”

    Best Actor in a TV series, drama

    Bryan Cranston – “Breaking Bad”

    Liev Schreiber – “Ray Donovan”

    Michael Sheen – “Masters of Sex”

    Kevin Spacey – “House of Cards”

    James Spader – “The Blacklist”

    Best Actress in a TV Series, Comedy

    Zooey Deschanel – “New Girl”

    Lena Dunham – “Girls”

    Edie Falco – “Nurse Jackie”

    Julia Louis-Dreyfus – “Veep”

    Amy Poehler – “Parks and Recreation”

    Best Actor, TV Series Comedy

    Jason Bateman – “Arrested Development”

    Don Cheadle – “House of Lies”

    Michael J. Fox – “The Michael J. Fox Show”

    Jim Parsons – “The Big Bang Theory”

    Andy Samberg – “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”

    Best Actress in a mini-series or TV movie

    Helena Bonham Carter – “Burton and Taylor”

    Rebecca Ferguson – “White Queen”

    Jessica Lange – “American Horror Story: Coven”

    Helen Mirren – “Phil Spector”

    Elisabeth Moss – “Top of the Lake”

    Best Actor in a mini-series or TV movie

    Matt Damon – “Behind the Candelabra”

    Michael Douglas – “Behind the Candelabra”

    Chiwetel Ejiofor – “Dancing on the Edge”

    Idris Elba – “Luther”

    Al Pacino – “Phil Spector”

    Best Supporting Actress in a series, mini-series, or TV movie

    Jacqueline Bisset – “Dancing on the Edge”

    Janet McTeer – “White Queen”

    Hayden Panettiere – “Nashville”

    Monica potter – “Parenthood”

    Sofia Vergara – “Modern family”

    Best Supporting Actor in a series, mini-series or TV movie

    Josh Charles – “The Good Wife”

    Rob Lowe- “Behind the Candelabra”

    Aaron Paul – “Breaking Bad”

    Corey Stoll – “House of Cards”

    Jon Voight -” Ray Donovan”

    • TyrenM says:

      Damn. idris & Chiwetel across each other TWICE. No Scandal for Best Drama? Voting on this show is gonna piss me off like all other awards shows so far.

  12. rikyrah says:

    Boehner boils over

    By Greg Sargent

    December 12 at 2:04 pm

    At a presser today, John Boehner finally went Bulworth on the conservative groups that have been making his life miserable for so long:

    “Frankly I think they’re misleading their followers. I think they’re pushing our members in places where they want to be. And frankly I just think they’ve lost all credibility,” he told reporters at his weekly press conference Thursday. “There comes a point when people step over the line. When you criticize something and you have no idea what you’re criticizing, it undermines your credibility.” […]

    “You know, they pushed us into this fight to defund Obamacare and shut down the government,” he said. “It wasn’t exactly the strategy I had in mind. But if you recall, the day before the government re-opened, one of the people at one of these groups stood up and said, ‘well we never really thought it would work.’ Are you kidding me?”

    Asked if he thinks the groups should “stand down,” Boehner said, “I don’t care what they do.”

  13. rikyrah says:

    Morning Plum: Top pollster advises Dems to go on offense on Obamacare
    By Greg Sargent
    December 12 at 9:19 am

    The GOP narrative for 2014 rests on the idea that Dem lawmakers and candidates are scurrying away from Obama and his signature domestic achievement. The goal: To create an atmosphere of panic and chaos around Obamacare, to discourage enrollment in hopes of making the law fail and to bait Dems into abandoning it, boosting its unpopularity and making it more of an albatross.

    But now top Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg – having just done extensive polling in 86 competitive House districts — is advising Dems they should go on offense over the Affordable Care Act. The key finding: Even though voters in the battlegrounds have extreme doubts about the law, they still prefer implementing it to the GOP stance of repeal. And after a month of crushingly awful press for Obamacare, opinions on this matter in the battlegrounds have barely budged since October.

    Dem pollster Stan Greenberg will roll out the new polling on a conference call with reporters later this morning. The poll — sponsored by Women’s Voices Women Vote Action Fund and Democracy Corps – was conducted in 50 GOP-held districts and 36 Dem-held districts from December 3-8, right after the administration announced its fix to the website. The key findings:

    * Offered a straight choice between “implementing and fixing” the health law and “repealing and replacing” it, voters in these 86 districts prefer “implementing and fixing” by five points, 49-44. That’s only a slight difference from October, when implement and fix led by seven, 51-44.

  14. rikyrah says:

    Lupita Nyongo at the Parist Premiere of 12 Years A Slave

  15. rikyrah says:

    How to tell which Republicans care about their constituents’ health

    A new moral dilemma: Now that is working, some Republicans have a moral quandary to consider
    Brian Beutler

    “We do look forward to having you back in December to get an update on where we are,” Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, admonished Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, at the end of a three and a half hour grilling before his panel. “I want you to know we’re going to want real numbers — you’ll have them by then — in terms of the signup.”

    That was Oct. 30, the nadir of an Obamacare rollout that never really poked its head above sea level. For Sebelius, autumn was marked by “Kangaroo court” appearances on Capitol Hill, during which Republicans alternately relished’s failure and chastised her for allowing it to fail.

    Upton’s warning was suffused with an anticipation that Sebelius would return to his committee in early December with only more bad news to share.

    Well, kind of a lot’s happened since then. is now working well enough to sign up tens of thousands of people a day. The improvement is both anecdotal and rooted in data. The administration, its allies, and insurance companies are now stepping up enrollment campaigns that were put on ice in October and November. Thousands of people whose insurers canceled their coverage, or who got stuck on last month, are now relieved to find reasonable options available on the federal exchange ahead of the Dec. 23 deadline to sign up for coverage that begins Jan. 1.

    All of which is to say Republicans won’t be able to replay the attack on Sebelius that they mounted in October. (Perhaps, like Speaker Boehner, they will pivot from pretending to care that the website didn’t work to complaining that the administration spent money to fix it.)

  16. Ametia says:

    As Usual, Liberals Attacking Budget Deal Miss the Long Game
    Wednesday, December 11, 2013 |Posted by Spandan C at 3:29 PM

    Yesterday, Paul Ryan and Patty Murray announced a budget deal that eases up on the dumb sequestration, meets the House and Senate budget numbers in the middle, raises minimal revenue and avoids another government shutdown. And right on cue, ideologues on the Right and Left have begun to pounce at any hint of compromise.

    John Boehner is taking flack from – and lashing out at – the right wing of activists who are incensed at the fact that House Republicans would strike any deal at all that could win President Obama’s blessing, even a qualified one. Groups like Heritage Action and Americans for Prosperity (hmm… they seem to have a funding source in common) are lobbying Republicans to scuttle the deal, crying foul at the GOP’s agreement of $45 billion in higher spending than their previous position.

  17. rikyrah says:

    Special Investigation: How Insurers Are Hiding Obamacare Benefits From Customers
    ylan Scott – November 4, 2013, 5:13 AM EST318901

    Donna received the letter canceling her insurance plan on Sept. 16. Her insurance company, LifeWise of Washington, told her that they’d identified a new plan for her. If she did nothing, she’d be covered.

    A 56-year-old Seattle resident with a 57-year-old husband and 15-year-old daughter, Donna had been looking forward to the savings that the Affordable Care Act had to offer.

    But that’s not what she found. Instead, she’d be paying an additional $300 a month for coverage. The letter made no mention of the health insurance marketplace that would soon open in Washington, where she could shop for competitive plans, and only an oblique reference to financial help that she might qualify for, if she made the effort to call and find out.

  18. rikyrah says:

    Tuesday, December 10, 2013
    Dasani and the Tea Party GOP’s War on the Poor Continued: What do Republicans See When They Look at This Photo of a Homeless 11-Year-Old Girl’s and Her Family’s Room?

    The above image from the NY Times story “Invisible Child” about the life of an 11-year-old girl named Dasani and her family is rich with meaning and context.

    Earlier, we talked about how the Right-wing in the United States wants to kill and eliminate poor people and the working classes because they are “useless eaters” and “takers” who are drains on the body politic.

    Conservatives and the Right-wing media are naked in how they link stereotypes about race, class, and gender together in a narrative that leverages white racial resentment to advance an agenda which hurts the middle and working classes.

  19. rikyrah says:

    I’m gonna say it..

    Bitch, please.

    Have an entire stadium of seats.

    Flirty Obama owes us an apology
    By Andrea Peyser

    Maybe he went into sugar shock over a Danish pastry.

    The president of the United States, leader of the free world, standard-bearer for everything upright, good and wholesome about the nation he leads, lost his morality, his dignity and his mind, using the solemn occasion of Nelson Mandela’s memorial service Tuesday to act like a hormone-ravaged frat boy on a road trip to a strip bar.

    In front of 91 world leaders, the mourning nation of South Africa and Obama’s clearly furious wife, Michelle, the president flirted, giggled, whispered like a recalcitrant child and made a damn fool of himself at first sight of Denmark’s voluptuously curvy and married prime minister, Helle Thorning-Schmidt.

    Not to be outdone by the president’s bad behavior, the Danish hellcat hiked up her skirt to expose long Scandinavian legs covered by nothing more substantial than sheer black stockings.

    With Michelle glowering, the world judging and mental fidelity floating into the abyss, the president leaned into the air space of the cross-legged Danish cupcake, who is known in Copenhagen as a fan of America’s randy TV show “Sex and the City.’’ It was the memorial equivalent of a bodice-ripper.

  20. rikyrah says:

    The Budget Deal Is a Win for Democrats And the GOP doesn’t know it yet

    If you’re a liberal, your view of the just-brokered budget deal hinges on whether or not you think the sequester fight was lost before Patty Murray and Paul Ryan ever broke bread together. If you think the sequester was somehow repeal-able, then you’re going to hate this deal, since it leaves over 90 percent of the cuts in place. If you’d already resigned yourself to the sequester’s crude budget-hacking, then undoing six or eight percent of the carnage may be about the best you could hope for, especially since the cuts the deal voids were among the most painful.

    I happen to be in the latter camp—I think Democrats surrendered their last best source of leverage when they caved on the sequester’s FAA cuts back in April, allowing business travelers to breathe a little easier and saving the GOP enormous angst. The Murray-Ryan deal isn’t really about the sequester. It’s a two-year truce on fiscal self-sabotage—and, more to the point, a bet on who benefits from such a truce.

    That is, Republicans believe the Obama administration (and really the entire Democratic Party) will collapse under the weight of its irredeemable health care law if we just get through the next two years without a political catastrophe like the recent government shutdown. Democrats believe the economy will pick up momentum and solve a lot of their political problems, not to mention a good chunk of the deficit, if we can just put an end to gratuitous spending cuts while the recovery is still fragile.

    So the question becomes: who got the better side of this bet? And that answer to that, I think, is Democrats. For one thing, Republicans are way over-estimating the extent to which Obamacare will be a liability for Democrats. They assume the problems of the first two months will extend indefinitely into the future—that they’re structural (flawed conceit) rather than mechanical (flawed website)—when the evidence suggests implementation is improving by the day. By contrast, the state of the economy is typically the biggest driver of the public mood. If the economy is humming along next fall, the Democrats’ prospects (and those of incumbents generally) could look pretty damn good.

  21. Ametia says:

    I’m looking forward to seeing “Out of the Furnace.”

    Making A List of Rustbelt America Movies: Reflecting on the Race, Class, and Gender Politics of the New Film “Out of the Furnace”

    I do not shill for movies. As readers of WARN know, I tend to write longer critical essays than straight reviews and endorsements of a movie or TV show. I will have to break with that habit here. Several days ago I was very lucky to see the movie Out of the Furnace. It is one of the best, of the many movies, I have seen this year.

    Read more here:

  22. rikyrah says:

    Elle Jay ‏@ellejay5112m
    #proofthatmegynkellyisrightaboutJesusbeingwhite Jesus can’t dance.

    Cletis Stump ‏@CletisStump30m
    #ProofThatMegynKellyIsRightAboutJesusBeingWhite There was not a chicken breast nor one single slice of watermelon at the last supper …

    Elle Jay ‏@ellejay517m
    #proofthatmegynkellyisrightaboutJesusbeingwhite Jesus wore socks with his sandals

    Cletis Stump ‏@CletisStump34m
    #ProofThatMegynKellyIsRightAboutJesusBeingWhite Jesus had a vertical jump of three inches

    Cletis Stump ‏@CletisStump32m
    #ProofThatMegynKellyIsRightAboutJesusBeingWhite He never once referred to his apostles as his posse …

  23. Ametia says:

    Wonder who is lurking in Malia’s B-day thread.

  24. rikyrah says:

    Republican campaign for Va. attorney general raises new questions about Fairfax ballots
    By Laura Vozzella and Ben Pershing

    RICHMOND — Republican Mark D. Obenshain’s campaign for attorney general raised new questions Wednesday about how Fairfax County ballots were handled while also dismissing the idea that he has already decided to ask the General Assembly to step into the race.

    Earlier this week, Obenshain’s attorney raised the possibility that after next week’s recount, the closest statewide election in Virginia history might wind up before the legislature, which has the power to decide elections or call a new one under a little-known law

    Contesting the election through the General Assembly would be an extraordinary step, one that political observers said has never been taken in a statewide race, at least not in modern Virginia history.

    It is something that Obenshain, of Harrisonburg, is unlikely to try unless his campaign can make a case for massive irregularities in the election process. The option would be even less appealing for Democrat Mark R. Herring given the GOP’s dominance in the legislature. In the race between the two state senators, Herring, of Loudoun County, was declared the winner by 165 votes out of more than 2.2 million cast.

    “It depends entirely on the narrative you put out,” said Bob Roberts, a James Madison University political scientist. “Clearly the Obenshain campaign is trying to create this narrative that somehow the election is entirely flawed. If you can sell that to the voters, that somehow all these registrars have messed up, then you’ve got a case you can take to the legislature.”

  25. rikyrah says:

    Bridge and Tunnel
    Posted by dpm (dread pirate mistermix) at 8:13 am .

    If you buy DougJ’s theory that Northeastern politicians are too abrasive for general consumption, and I do, isn’t the New Jersey bridge closing the perfect torpedo to sink Chris Christie’s battleship? In case you missed it, one of his toadies shut down two of the three inbound lanes on the George Washington bridge to punish Fort Lee, NJ for voting Democratic:

    Mr. Christie laughed off the idea that he had been involved in a matter as small as closing bridge lanes, and his chief appointee at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which oversees the bridge, insisted that the lane closings were simply part of a traffic study.

    But on Friday, the man who ordered the closings — a high school friend of the governor’s who was a small-town mayor and the founder of an anonymous political blog before Mr. Christie’s appointee created a job for him at the Port Authority — resigned, saying the issue had become “a distraction.”

    And testifying under subpoena in Trenton on Monday, bridge workers described Mr. Christie’s associates’ ordering the closings, and called the different maneuvers “unprecedented,” “odd” and “wrong.” There was, they said, no study.

  26. rikyrah says:

    Downton Abbey Fans:

    If you can’t wait for Season 4, and don’t mind spoilers,

    AfterBuzzTV has a recap program and they’ve been following Season 4 already.

    Listening to the webcasts have only made me want to see the new season of Downton Abbey even more.

  27. rikyrah says:

    Nelson Mandela Demanded Justice Before Forgiving White South Africans
    By Peter Beinart
    December 9th 20135:45 am

    Why, in the days since the South African leader’s death, has the American media been so obsessed with his capacity for forgiveness? Instead let’s remember his insistence on truth first.

    If all you knew about Nelson Mandela came from watching American media coverage of his death, you might think his greatest accomplishment was his willingness to forgive. “Capacity to forgive made South African leader extraordinary,” declared Juan Williams on Fox News. “Nelson Mandela was a stranger to hate,” claimed Secretary of State John Kerry. “He rejected recrimination in favor of reconciliation and knew the future demands we move beyond the past.” Added George H.W. Bush, “I watched in wonder as Nelson Mandela had the remarkable capacity to forgive his jailers.”

    These statements aren’t wrong. Mandela’s refusal to seek revenge was extraordinary, and it helped South Africa find peace. But for Americans, it’s also the least challenging part of his legacy. Obsessing about Mandela’s capacity for forgiveness while ignoring his criticism of America’s lawless, quasi-imperial foreign policy is like fixating on Martin Luther King Jr.’s commitment to integration and nonviolence while forgetting his “Poor People’s Campaign,” which in 1968 sought to physically disrupt the federal government until Washington agreed to spend $30 billion helping America’s poor.

    Besides, Mandela didn’t reconcile with white South Africans out of some kind of Christlike purity. He always insisted on something in return. In 1985, then South African president P.W. Botha offered to let Mandela out of prison if he renounced violence. It was the sixth time an apartheid leader had offered Mandela a conditional release from jail. And for the sixth time, Mandela refused, insisting that black South Africans would not lay down their arms until the country’s white government did the same. “Let him renounce violence,” Mandela declared, through his daughter. “I cannot sell my birthright, nor am I prepared to sell the birthright of the people to be free.” The African National Congress did not suspend the armed struggle for another six years, until Mandela had been unconditionally released from prison and the ANC unbanned.

    In the early 1990s, when Botha’s successor, F.W. de Klerk, proposed creating an interim government in which whites would retain a veto, Mandela refused and for a time withdrew the ANC from negotiations in protest against the white government’s complicity in a massacre against ANC supporters.

    And perhaps most important of all, Mandela refused to grant legal absolution to the perpetrators of apartheid’s crimes until they publicly confessed their guilt. In the run-up to South Africa’s first free elections, de Klerk granted clemency to 4,000 members of the South African police and security services. But after winning those elections, the ANC overturned de Klerk’s action and created the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which required detailed, public confessions by anyone seeking amnesty. In the words of Mandela ally Bishop Desmond Tutu, who ran the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, “True reconciliation exposes the awfulness, the abuse, the hurt, the truth…because in the end only an honest confrontation with reality can bring real healing. Superficial reconciliation can bring only superficial healing.”

    Why, in recent days, has the American media focused so much more on Mandela’s capacity for reconciliation than his demand for truth? Perhaps it’s because, all too often, America wants reconciliation without truth itself. Americans want Iran to give up its nuclear weapons program, halt its support for terrorism, and embrace democracy, but when President Obama acknowledged America’s role in subverting Iranian democracy during the Cold War, conservatives flayed him for apologizing for America. In 1995, the Smithsonian was forced to cancel an exhibit on the bombing of Hiroshima when politicians and veterans’ groups called it unpatriotic. In 2010, Obama slipped an apology to Native Americans into that year’s Defense Appropriations Act but didn’t hold a public event to announce it or even issue a press release, presumably because he feared the political consequences of being accused of running down America again.

  28. rikyrah says:

    To be WHITE in America.

    You wanna know what White Privilege looks like?

    Here you go.


    Judge gives probation to teen who killed four in DWI crash citing ‘affluenza’



    Posted on December 10, 2013 at 5:42 PM

    Updated yesterday at 2:39 PM


    See all 3 photos »

    FORT WORTH, Texas — A juvenile court judge sentenced 16-year-old Ethan Couch to 10 years’ probation Tuesday for the drunk driving crash that killed four people.

    Judge Jean Boyd could have sentenced Couch to 20 years behind bars.

    Youth pastor Brian Jennings; mother and daughter Hollie and Shelby Boyles; and 24-year-old Breanna Mitchell died in the June 15 accident.

    Boyd told the teen that he is responsible for what happened, but didn’t believe he would receive the necessary therapy in jail.

    Loved ones of victims left through a back door. They spent the afternoon speaking directly to Couch about how the crash changed their lives. They wanted him to serve some jail time.

    The widow of one of the victims looked at the defendant and said, “Ethan, we forgive you.”

    Couch swallowed hard and appeared to tear up a little bit in the courtroom upon hearing those words.

    Prior to sentencing, a psychologist called by the defense, Dr. G. Dick Miller, testified that Couch’s life could be salvaged with one to two years’ treatment and no contact with his parents.

    Investigators said Couch was driving a pickup truck between 68 and 70 miles-per-hour in a 40 mph zone. The four who died were standing on the side of the road outside their vehicle. Nine others were hurt.

    Miller said Couch’s parents gave him “freedoms no young person should have.” He called Couch a product of “affluenza,” where his family felt that wealth bought privilege and there was no rational link between behavior and consequences.

    He said Couch got whatever he wanted. As an example, Miller said Couch’s parents gave no punishment after police ticketed the then-15-year-old when he was found in a parked pickup with a passed out, undressed 14-year-old girl.

    Miller also pointed out that Couch was allowed to drive at 13. He said the teen was emotionally flat and needed years of therapy. At the time of the fatal wreck, Couch had a blood alcohol content of .24, said Tarrant County Sheriff Dee Anderson. It is illegal for a minor to drive with any amount of alcohol in his or her system.

    Judge Boyd could have sentenced Couch to up to 20 years.

    • Ametia says:

      And this comment says it ALL:

      “I could only wonder what the sentence would’ve been had the defendant were a black teenager who killed 4 whites while intoxicated???”

      And the response to his/her comment was- YOU’RE A BIGOT. SMGDH That behavior says it all doesn’t it?

  29. rikyrah says:

    African-Americans Drew Strength from Mandela to Fight Racism in U.S

    With formal memorial ceremonies underway in South Africa this week, African-Americans from all walks of life continued to recall the monumental legacy of former President Nelson Mandela. In interviews, many credited him for their strength amidst U. S. racial struggles.

    “The more I learned about Mr. Mandela, the more determined I became to fight lingering injustice here at home,” said attorney Janice Mathis of Atlanta. “As a young lawyer I became more active. I worked for the ERA, registered voters, was elected as a delegate to the DNC. It was during the anti-apartheid campaign that I learned the importance of corporate social responsibility. Today I am more conscious of the global implications of public policy because of the ANC liberation movement. We must be careful to heed Mr. Mandela’s edict that the liberation of South Africa came as the result of decades of struggle by thousands of committed people.”

    Just up from the civil rights movement and still pushing for the complete dismantling of the vestiges of racial segregation, Blacks across the U. S. demonstrated in the streets, pushing municipal governments and the U. S. Congress to divest funds and cease to do business with the South African government until Nelson Mandela was freed from prison and apartheid was dismantled.

    “Although I didn’t experience first-hand the inhumane ways of the Apartheid, It still deeply affected me because of my racial ties to Africa,” said Labert Davis, 49, a pharmaceutical sales representative of Farmington, Mich. He endured many years of imprisonment to stand up for his people. It has inspired me and encouraged me to continue to stand up for things I feel are right. And his movement reminded me that there was still hope for change.”

    Kim Burrell, 50, a bank teller in New York, said Mandela’s 27-year imprisonment made her more conscious of inequities here at home.

    “It opened my eyes to the continuous struggles we face as people of color; it made me very much aware of [the] difference one individual is capable of making,” she said. “Most importantly, as an African-American, it made me so very proud to be able to claim Mr. Mandela’s successes and victories as successes and victories for me and my African-American brothers and sisters worldwide.”

    The Congressional Black Caucus led the national anti-apartheid fight by applying economic pressure. CBC members sponsored 15 bills over 14 years, said a statement released this week.

    “In 1985, CBC Member Representative William H. Gray (D-PA), chairman of the Committee on Budget, introduced H.R. 1460, a bill that prohibited loans and new investment in South Africa and enforced sanctions on imports and exports with the nation,” said the statement from CBC Chair Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio), who was set to lead a CBC delegation to the official memorial this week. “Congress approved this legislation one year later, and it became known as the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986. This legislation called for a trade embargo against South Africa and the immediate divestment of American corporations.”

    Pressures that ultimately led to the freedom of President Mandela and the first Democratic election on Feb. 2, 1990, came from around the world. U. S. media attention also played a significant role in dismantling apartheid and solidifying the legacy of Mandela.

  30. rikyrah says:

    Virginia Republican Leader Tries to Incite Assassination Attempt On President Obama
    By: Rmuse
    Wednesday, December, 11th, 2013, 8:21 pm

    Most states in America have a tourism board that uses appealing slogans to attract visitors that represent their pleasing climate, a physical characteristic, or the mindset of its population that vacationers find too tempting to pass up. Virginia’s tourism board appeals to romantic inclinations in all human beings and claim the state is for lovers. However, over the past couple of years it is becoming abundantly clear that the state is rampant with haters; especially in the Republican Party. Whether it is the outgoing governor’s hatred of disclosure laws, or the soon-to-be former attorney general’s hatred of gays and women, Virginia’s Republican leaders belie the state’s slogan and it starts with the leadership of the Republican Party of Virginia (RPV). It is no secret that Virginia Republicans hate Americans for twice electing an African American man as President, but their hatred for the democratic process pales in comparison to their hatred for the President.

    Last year, a Virginia county Republican Committee issued a warning that if President Obama won re-election in November there would be an armed rebellion that revealed their hatred of voters and the electoral process. The letter from the Republican county party chairman calling for armed rebellion is replete with a Christian bible verse on its logo that reads, “If you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one” (Luke 22:36), and it said Republicans need candidates who were “intelligent and courageous and cut from the same cloth as (revolutionary hero) Patrick Henry and our attorney general and soon to be governor Ken Cuccinelli.” Fortunately for Virginians, the “soon to be governor Ken Cuccinelli” lost his bid to be governor, and when about 450 members of the Republican Party of Virginia (RPV) met to lick their collective wounds at a former Confederate War hospital, the party chairman took the warning of “armed rebellion” a step farther.

    The annual Virginia Republican retreat, “Advance,” was supposed to be a time for introspection to assess why Democrats swept three statewide elections and won the governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general’s offices, but instead the state party chairman accused the media for the losses. He also took aim at governor-elect Terry McCauliffe and President Obama and said, “Obama’s so close to death that Terry McAuliffe is about to buy a life insurance on him, I’m looking forward to taking the gloves off!” The head Republican in Virginia, RPV Chairman Pat Mullins, is yet another in a long string of extremist conservatives to incite an assassination attempt against the President of the United States. However, Mullins is not just another rabid teabagger inciting or threatening violence against the President; he is, like the letter calling for armed rebellion against the government, a high-ranking representative of the Republican Party.

  31. rikyrah says:

    Like it or not, inequality is a huge issue for Democratic voters
    By Greg Sargent
    December 11 at 2:42 pm

    You’ve probably noticed that there’s a big argument raging (joined most prominently by Elizabeth Warren and the “centrist” group Third Way) over how aggressively, and in what manner, Democrats should campaign against inequality.

    Here’s a point that keeps getting lost, however: Inequality is already a disproportionally huge issue among Democratic base voters, and they believe overwhelmingly that government can — and should — do something about it. So it’s probably inevitable that inequality and the need for a serious policy response to it will figure prominently in Democratic Party politics going forward.

    A new poll captures this nicely. The Bloomberg survey found that huge majorities of Americans say the U.S. no longer offers everyone an equal shot, and that the gap between the rich and the rest is getting bigger.

    But the poll also finds only 45 percent say government should implement policies to shrink that gap, while 46 percent say government should let the market operate freely.

    Strikingly, however, Democratic voters overwhelmingly see a government role in combatting inequality. According to Bloomberg’s partisan breakdown:

    When asked if all Americans have an equal shot at getting ahead, 75 percent of Democrats said they don’t, compared with 51 percent of Republicans and 63 percent among independents…To narrow the income gap, 71 percent of Democrats said new government policies are needed, while 68 percent of Republicans said it would be better to let the marker operate freely. Among independents, 50 percent favored a free-market approach, while 40 percent support government changes.

  32. rikyrah says:

    A K.I.N.D. miracle from Alabama

    Lawrence O’Donnell traveled to the Sixth Avenue Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama to accept a donation to the K.I.N.D fund for over $18,000 from the church’s Cub Scout Pack #3415

  33. rikyrah says:

    Republicans will face intense pressure over unemployment benefits
    By Greg Sargent
    December 11 at 12:24 pm

    On the morning after lawmakers reached a budget deal that doesn’t include an extension in unemployment benefits, chief GOP budget architect Paul Ryan awoke to a raft of home-state headlines that were all about the nearly 100,000 Wisconsinites who stand to get cut off.

    “99,000 unemployed Wisconsinites face cuts,” blared one front page. “Jobless benefits at risk for 99K in Wisconsin,” blared another. “99,000 state residents to lose benefits,” blared a third. You can see those and a lot more at this compilation of front pages put together by Dems on the Ways and Means Committee.

    The imminent expiration of the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program for 1.3 million Americans is mostly being treated as a fait accompli in Washington. But it looks to be turning into a very resonant issue in local media in states where many thousands of residents will be directly impacted by it. (Dems have created an interactive map showing how many people in each state stand to lose benefits.)

    This fact is central to the emerging Dem strategy to increase pressure on Republicans to agree to an extension. House Dems are working to drum up as much local press coverage of the issue as possible, because local coverage can focus directly on how many constituents in a lawmaker’s state stand to be hurt – making it hit home in a way Beltway media coverage can’t.

    For instance, articles like this one in the Las Vegas Review-Journal dramatize the plight of a family set to lose benefits, after the mother was laid off last year from her job as a store manager. Headline: “With benefits on block, jobless Nevadans face uncertainty.” Dems hope such coverage pressures Republicans they deem getable, such as Nevada Senator Dean Heller and Rep. Joe Heck.

  34. Ametia says:

    O’Malley, back from a trade mission, plans to provide update on health insurance rollout
    By John Wagner, Published: December 11

    Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D), who recently returned from a trade mission to Brazil and El Salvador, plans to brief the media on Thursday regarding the status of the state’s online health insurance exchange, an aide said.

    O’Malley’s expected appearance comes just two days after Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown (D) addressed reporters on the same subject and declined to say whether the state would meet a mid-December target set by O’Malley to fix the major glitches that have hindered enrollments in private insurance plans

  35. rikyrah says:


    The temperature this morning was -2 degrees.

    The temperature….

    I won’t even get into the windchill.

    Had to add the longjohns today.

    Please give me a large cup of hot chocolate.

  36. Ametia says:

    Gooooood Morning, 3 Chics, friends, and LURKERS! :-)

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