Thursday Open Thread | Aretha Franklin Week

More from The Queen of Soul:

Aretha Franklin

Later years

In 1980, Franklin signed with Clive Davis’ Arista Records and that same year, gave a command performance at the Royal Albert Hall in front of Queen Elizabeth. Aretha also made an acclaimed guest role as a waitress in the comedy musical, The Blues Brothers. Franklin’s first Arista album, Aretha, featured the #3 R&B hit, “United Together” and her Grammy-nominated cover of Otis Redding’s “I Can’t Turn You Loose”. The follow-up, 1981’s Love All the Hurt Away, included her famed duet of the title track with George Benson while the album also included her Grammy-winning cover of Sam & Dave’s “Hold On, I’m Comin'”. Franklin returned to the Gold standard – for the first time in seven years – with the album, Jump to It. Its title track was her first top 40 single on the pop charts in six years.

This is my all -time favorite song of Ms. Franklin. About a third of the way in this song, it’s like, I’m in church, and she’s preaching and the spirit hits.


In 1985, inspired by her desire to have a “younger sound” in her music, her fourth Arista album, Who’s Zoomin’ Who, became her first album to be certified platinum, after selling well over a million copies, thanks to the hits, “Freeway of Love”, the title track and “Sisters Are Doing It for Themselves”.[25] The following year’s Aretha album nearly matched this success with the hit singles “Jumpin’ Jack Flash”, “Jimmy Lee” and “I Knew You Were Waiting for Me”, her international number-one duet with George Michael. During that period, Aretha provided vocals to the theme songs of the shows, A Different World and Together.[26] In 1987, she issued her third gospel album, One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism, which was recorded at her late father’s New Bethel church, followed by Through the Storm in 1989. Franklin’s 1991 album, What You See is What You Sweat flopped on the charts. Franklin returned to the charts in 1993 with the dance song, “A Deeper Love” and returned to the top 40 with the song, “Willing to Forgive” in 1994.


In 1998, Franklin returned to the top 40 with the Lauryn Hill-produced song, “A Rose Is Still a Rose”, later issuing the album of the same name, which went gold. That same year, Franklin earned international acclaim for her performance of “Nessun Dorma” at the Grammy Awards. Her final Arista album, So Damn Happy, was released in 2003 and featured the Grammy-winning song, “Wonderful”. In 2004, Franklin announced that she was leaving Arista after over 20 years with the label. To complete her Arista obligations, Aretha issued the duets compilation album, Jewels in the Crown: All-Star Duets with the Queen, in 2007. The following year, she issued the holiday album, This Christmas, Aretha, on DMI Records. In January 2009, Franklin again made international headlines for performing “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” at President Barack Obama’s inaugural ceremony with her church hat becoming a popular topic online. In 2010, Franklin accepted an honorary degree from Yale University.[27] In 2011, under her own label, Aretha’s Records, she issued the album, Aretha: A Woman Falling Out Of Love. As of 2013, Franklin is now signed under RCA Records and is currently working again with Clive Davis. A new album is in the works with producers Babyface and Danger Mouse planning to work with Franklin.[28]






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84 Responses to Thursday Open Thread | Aretha Franklin Week

  1. Eric Holder Prepares to Make a Move on Racial Profiling

    There are many people who continue to spew ignorant statements like, “Barack Obama and Eric Holder ain’t did shit for black people.” Sadly, many who are of this opinion that I’ve encountered, are black.

    Never mind all the lawsuits brought by the DOJ against states who have sought to make it harder for minorities to vote. Yes, never mind the recent policy shift as it applies to federal mandatory sentencing in non-violent drug crimes. Oh, and never mind the announcement of new guidelines given by Holder in conjunction with the Department Of Education that’s aimed at the decriminalization of children in public schools. These are children who end up with criminal records for infractions like truancy, failure to do homework, and wearing saggy pants while at school.

    Yep, those “zero tolerance” policies in schools have been feeding the school-to-prison pipeline that has had a negative effect on minorities. Yes, let’s forget about all those positive policy changes while we continue to espouse dumb shit, just to be doing it. Now, according to NPR’s Code Switch, Holder is about to announce more of that nothing in a few weeks:

  2. Whites Used Black Babies as Alligator Bait

    Black Babies used for ALLIGATOR BAIT in florida

    Two movies in 1900 “Alligator Bait” and “Gator and the Pickaninny.” both showed and proved this practice.There were many advertisements and postcards in the South that proved this was real.

    In 1923 Time magazine carried this story:

    Alligator Bait

    Alligator Bait1

  3. rikyrah says:

    Dinesh D’Souza indicted for violating U.S. election law
    By Jonathan Stempel
    NEW YORK Thu Jan 23, 2014 6:04pm EST

    (Reuters) – Dinesh D’Souza, a conservative commentator and best-selling author, has been indicted by a federal grand jury for arranging excessive campaign contributions to a candidate for the U.S. Senate.

    According to an indictment made public on Thursday in federal court in Manhattan, D’Souza around August 2012 reimbursed people who he had directed to contribute $20,000 to the candidate’s campaign. The candidate was not named in the indictment.

    Attempts to reach D’Souza and a lawyer representing him were unsuccessful.

    D’Souza was charged in the indictment with one count of making illegal
    contributions in the names of others, and one count of causing false
    statements to be made.

    Federal law in 2012 limited primary and general election campaign contributions to $2,500 each, for a total of $5,000, from any individual to any one candidate.

    “As we have long said, this Office and the FBI take a zero tolerance approach to corruption of the electoral process,” the U.S. Attorney for Manhattan, Preet Bharara, said in a statement released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Bharara is an Obama appointee.

  4. Dang! It’s getting cold here. Wind blowing hard. Ugh!

    myspace graphics

  5. Black ass, brown nosing, buck-dancing, boot licking, conniving, trifling hanky-head

    Fla. GOP Candidate Who Called for Obama’s Hanging Compares President to George Zimmerman

    Despite the fact that Florida Republicans have distanced themselves from Joshua Black—a GOP hopeful to represent District 68 in the Florida House of Representatives—Black is refusing to back down from his claims that Obama is a criminal and ought to be executed, Raw Story reports.

    In fact, the only backtracking the taxi driver-hoping-to-turn-politician has done since sending out the fateful tweet in which he called for the president to be hanged is over the method of execution.

    “I know that we don’t use hanging as a method of execution here in the U.S. anymore, so be it,” Black told Tampa’s Fox Channel 13 during an interview in a Wal-Mart parking lot. “Whatever method is applicable for the situation, I just want justice to be served.”

    The aspiring politician, who tags Obama as a war criminal, believes that the president is responsible in the drone killings of alleged al-Qaida leader Anwar al-Awlaki and his teenage son, comparing it to George Zimmerman’s slaying of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin.

    “When George Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin, he got a trial. And whatever was going to happen came out of that trial. President Obama kills a 15-year-old, somebody else’s teenage son, and gets no trial,” he said.

    Chris Latvala, who is running in the nearby 67th District, called Black an “embarrassment” and the “loser of the week.”

  6. Yahtc says:

    Part 1 of 2: GA Disability Denied Moody AFB Worker After 36 years

  7. rikyrah says:

    Elections have consequences in Virginia
    01/23/14 11:14 AM
    By Steve Benen

    Democratic candidate for Attorney General, State Sen. Mark Herring, center, gesturing as Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Terry McAuliffe, left, and Lt. Governor candidate, State Sen. Ralph Notrham, right, look on during a breakfast appearance in Richmond, Va., June 12, 2013.
    Upon becoming Virginia’s attorney general four years ago, Republican Ken Cuccinelli quickly got to work as one of the nation’s preeminent culture warriors. He added a modesty shield to Virginia’s great seal; he targeted climate scientists; and among other things, he quickly rescinded legal protections for gays at Virginia universities.

    What a difference an election makes. Newly elected Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) has already issued an executive order prohibiting discrimination against gay state employees, and as Jane Timm noted this morning, Cuccinelli’s successor, state Attorney General Mark Herring (D), has announced that Virginia’s gay-marriage ban is unconstitutional and his office will not defend it against federal lawsuits.

  8. rikyrah says:

    Fox News contributor: Angry blacks to blame for rise in ‘American Anglo-Saxon’ racism
    By Travis Gettys
    Thursday, January 23, 2014 12:47 EST

    A Christian radio host insisted last week that white people were no longer racist, and even if they were, it’s the fault of racist black people.

    Sandy Rios, of American Family Radio, was offended when a listener suggested she was racist toward black people, who she blamed for inciting white racism.

    “I think the racist garbage coming from the — uh, a lot of blacks right now who are just filled with bitterness and rage is just amazing to me,” Rios said. “It is racism, I am seeing it constantly here in D.C., you know, I think — and it’s causing white citizens to become more racist than they ever were.”

  9. rikyrah says:

    Maddow befuddled that GOP continues to ‘shoot themselves in the foot’ on abortion
    By David Ferguson
    Thursday, January 23, 2014 9:55 EST

    On Wednesday night, Rachel Maddow devoted a segment of her show to examining the Republican Party’s decision to double down on its anti-choice stance, in spite of the fact that it appears to be driving women away from the party and worsening Republicans’ gender gap.

    She began by explaining what buffer zones are, areas beyond which it is unlawful to protest. There are buffer zones in polling places to keep people from harassing voters. There are now buffer zones at military funerals thanks to parishioners of the Westboro Baptist Church, who harass mourners in the name of God.

    There are also buffer zones around clinics that provide abortions. In 1994, a black clad gunman walked into two women’s clinics in Brookline, Massachusetts and opened fire, killing two clinic workers and injuring others. Women’s clinics have been bombed, broken into and burned.

    The law establishing buffer zones around Massachusetts clinics is currently in the hands of the Supreme Court.

  10. rikyrah says:

    Ted Nugent: ‘Subhuman mongrel’ Obama should get ‘just due punishment’ for treason
    By David Edwards
    Wednesday, January 22, 2014 9:30 EST

    Conservative rocker Ted Nugent said recently that he wouldn’t rest until President Barack Obama — who he called a “subhuman mongrel” — and of the all “liberal Democrats” had gotten the “just due punishment” that they deserved for treason.

    In an interview with last week, Nugent said that him winning the presidency in 2016 would be “the perfect ballet of freedom.”

    Nugent, who is a National Rifle Association (NRA) board member and a spokesperson for the Outdoor Channel, opined that he would be the best candidate because “our politicians check their scrotums at the door. Even Hillary. But Obviously, she has spare scrotums.”

  11. rikyrah says:

    Report: Prosecutors Demand Documents From Christie Campaign And NJ GOP

    Hunter Walker – January 23, 2014, 2:43 PM EST

    Federal prosecutors in New Jersey have demanded to see documents from Gov. Chris Christie’s (R) re-election campaign and the state Republican Party in the investigation into the bridge scandal, the Newark Star-Ledger newspaper reported Thursday..

    Mark Sheridan, an attorney with the law firm of Patton Boggs, told Politico on Thursday he is representing both groups that were subpoenaed and they “intend to cooperate.”

    Rebekah Carmichael, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s office, told TPM, “Our office can neither confirm nor deny any specific investigative actions.” Sheridan did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

    Christie’s re-election campaign has also been subpoenaed by a committee in the state legislature that is investigating the closures and other “concerns about abuse of government power.” Documents subpoenaed by the state Assembly committee last month indicating Christie’s former campaign manager, Bill Stepien, may have been involved in the closures. Christie subsequently asked Stepien to remove his name from the running to be chair of the state Republican Party.

    Some Democrats have alleged the closures were ordered by Christie’s allies to retaliate against a mayor who declined to endorse him. On Saturday, the mayor of Hoboken, N.J. claimed Christie administration officials threatened to withhold Hurricane Sandy aid from her city unless she approved a real estate project.

  12. It’s on & poppin…

  13. rikyrah says:

    Poll: Number Of Uninsured Drops By Millions As Obamacare Takes Effect
    DYLAN SCOTT – JANUARY 23, 2014, 11:58 AM EST

    The U.S. uninsured rate tumbled more than a percentage point from December 2013 to January 2014, according to a new Gallup poll, indicating that millions of Americans became covered at the same time that Obamacare coverage took full effect this month.

    The percentage of uninsured Americans fell from 17.3 percent in December to 16.1 percent in January, Gallup found. Among different subsets, the biggest drop was among the unemployed: 6.7 percent.

    As the Associated Press reported, the falling uninsured rate would correspond with two to three million people becoming insured. The Obama administration has reported that 2.2 million people had signed up for private coverage through the health care reform law as of Dec. 28. More than 6 million people have also been enrolled in Medicaid since October, and among those, people covered by the program’s expansion under Obamacare would have had their coverage start on Jan. 1

    Gallup cautioned that it’s unclear if the drop is directly correlated with Obamacare’s implementation.

  14. Liza says:

    Haven’t seen this before. I’m a longtime Keb Mo fan already, but this is beautiful…

  15. rikyrah says:

    Good Luck With That

    by BooMan
    Thu Jan 23rd, 2014 at 11:30:08 AM EST

    First Read really doesn’t get it. Obviously, the Republican leadership in Congress does not want to have another fight over the debt ceiling. Yet, to a man, they all argue that they will not raise the debt ceiling unless they can get some kind of concession to give to their base. They aren’t making that argument as some kind of rhetorical device; they are making it because they can’t get the votes to raise the debt ceiling otherwise, unless they go to Nancy Pelosi with their hat in their hand and beg for her votes.
    They don’t want to do that, so they keep insisting on some kind of face-saving gesture from the administration. But the administration not only has zero interest in reinforcing the idea that raising the debt ceiling is a transactional event, but they actually want the Republicans to hold the debt hostage because it infuriates the Republicans’ donors and pisses off the public.

    So, no, there is no chance that the administration will help the Republican leadership save face, and the Republican leadership will have to decide whether they are willing to stand up to their rank-and-file or not.

    It’s not the Democrats’ problem.

  16. There’s a rose in black at Spanish Harlem….A rose in black at Spanish Harlem

    What chu saaaay?!

  17. Chris Christie being accused of shutting down urban DMV office 4 political revenge

    Governor Chris Christie has been accused of exacting still more political revenge after his administration shut down the DMV office in a large New Jersey city three years ago – and Democratic politicians say it was because they opposed his tax policies and worked for his Election Day opponent.

    ‘He shut it down, plain and simple, and of course this was political,’ New Jersey state Assemblyman Joe Cryan told MailOnline of the Motor Vehicle Commission office in Elizabeth, the fourth-largest city in New Jersey. ‘This was complete retribution. … There was no other possible explanation for it.’

    Cryan’s district includes Elizabeth. He was former Gov. John Corzine’s state Democratic chairman when he ran for re-election in 2009, unsuccessfully, against Christie.

    Ray Lesniak, Cryan’s state Senate counterpart representing the city, had been a top Corzine strategist since the future Democratic governor was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2000.

    And Elizabeth’s longtime mayor, Chris Bollwage, got under Christie’s skin soon after he took Corzine’s job, joining Cryan and Lesniak to publicly oppose what they called a ‘flawed’ plan to cap the rate of annual property tax increases in New Jersey.

    The three Democrats now say closing the motor vehicle bureau in Elizabeth was a way for Christie to crush three political adversaries with a single stroke of his pen.

    Christie and his insiders, Bollwage told MailOnline, ‘are used to getting their way no matter the consequence to constituents and families.’

  18. Lawd, the media has gone crazy with Justin Bieber’s arrest.

    No 16 yr old black kid would survive refusing to take his hands out of pocket & being confrontational to police at 4am. He’d be shot dead in 3-2-1.

  19. rikyrah says:

    Ralph Lauren Unveils Interesting Looking Team USA Uniforms

    January 23, 2014 by Clutch

    Team USA’s opening ceremony uniforms for the Sochi Olympics are a patchwork of American “symbolism”. No one seems to know what the people at Ralph Lauren were thinking when it comes to the design, but unlike the China made uniforms from 2 years ago, these were at least made in ‘Murica.

    “We’ve learned a lot,” concedes David Lauren, Ralph’s son and the company’s executive vice president of global advertising, marketing and communications. “This is an important issue for many Americans and one we have fully embraced, and we want to continue to lead the way and find all kinds of vendors who can produce amazing products made in America.”

    I’m not even sure if Bill Cosby would approve of those sweaters.

  20. Yahtc says:

    “Finally, There’s Reason for Optimism on Voting Laws”
    Recommendations from the Presidential Commission on Election Administration present a bipartisan blueprint for ensuring fair access at the polls.

  21. rikyrah says:

    GOP threatens new debt-ceiling crisis
    01/23/14 10:31 AM—Updated 01/23/14 10:51 AM
    By Steve Benen

    If given a choice, would you rather think about another debt-ceiling crisis or perform oral surgery on yourself? Or how about sleep on a bed of thumbtacks? Or maybe drop an anvil on your foot?

    Well, like it or not, I’m afraid it’s time to consider the latest chapter in a remarkably, painfully stupid story. The debt ceiling is back, and however tempting it may be to ignore it, time is of the essence.

    Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew formally alerted Congress yesterday that lawmakers will have to extend the nation’s borrowing authority by late February – roughly five weeks from now. As has been the case, the White House will not negotiate on this, telling Congress that there can be no negotiations on the full faith and credit of the United States. Either lawmakers raise the debt limit or Congress will push the nation into default.

    The response from congressional Republicans was not at all encouraging.

  22. Yahtc says:

    History maker revisits campus

    She walked Baylor’s campus during the tumultuous civil rights era and made history in 1967 as the first African-American woman to graduate from a once whites-only college.

    But before she did all of this, Barbara Walker was like everyone else in her Red Bird, Okla., town, working in the fields since she was 10 for 50 cents a day and fighting to contradict the expectation that she would never be more than a laborer for white farmers.

    More than 50 years after forging the way for African-American women at Baylor, Walker is now a retired clinical social worker. She visited campus Wednesday as the keynote speaker for a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. luncheon hosted by the multicultural affairs department.

    Walker told her story to a room of more than 400 students and Waco residents. She chronicled her love for education from the time she was in a segregated kindergarten classroom to her integration into Baylor life while Dr. King’s national presence was a driving force through those difficult and frightening times.

  23. Yahtc says:

    Overseer recommends selling Pa. black arts center

  24. Yahtc says:

    ‘The Whipping Man’ Is Emblematic Of Curious’ Approach To Theater

  25. rikyrah says:

    Anti-gay measure advances in Indiana
    01/23/14 09:52 AM
    By Steve Benen

    When it comes to culture-war issues, the right has started prioritizing some issues above others. As Rachel noted on the show last night, for example, efforts to restrict reproductive rights have become a singularly unifying policy for the entire Republican Party at every level.

    But what about the GOP’s opposition to gay rights, a staple of the conservative movement for years? Anti-gay animus remains common on the right, though it doesn’t seem to be a front-burner issue the way abortion is. (Much of this is because the fight has shifted to courts after the success of conservative efforts during the Bush/Cheney era.)

    That said, while marriage equality makes strides from coast to coast, and states continue to expand civil rights for same-sex couples, there are exceptions.

    Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R), for example, recently used his State of the State address to urge lawmakers to approve a constitutional amendment banning marriage equality. The proposal didn’t seem to be going anywhere, though as Amanda Terkel reported, that changed this week.

  26. rikyrah says: @TheObamaDiary
    #Obamacare will DESTROY this President & his party!!!!!
    Oh …. wait …. Obama’s approval up 9 pts since November.

    8:53 AM – 23 Jan 2014

  27. FBI questions Hoboken mayor’s aides.

    FBI agents have begun questioning witnesses in the investigation into whether New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s aides threatened to cut off Hurricane Sandy relief money to Hoboken unless the city’s mayor backed a billion-dollar development project, three sources with direct knowledge of the probe told NBC News on Wednesday.

    Federal prosecutors and agents have also instructed key witnesses to preserve all documents and emails relating to the allegations by Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer, these sources said.

    After Zimmer gave her account of the alleged threat to federal prosecutors on Sunday, federal agents questioned Dan Bryan, Zimmer’s chief of staff, and Juan Melli, her communications director, the sources said.

    The two Zimmer aides are among at least five witnesses who Zimmer told the FBI could confirm that she had previously told them about the conversation she says she had with Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno last May. Zimmer has alleged that during that conversation in a parking lot, the lieutenant governor linked Sandy funding to backing of the development project.


  28. rikyrah says:

    Gay Marriages Confront Catholic School Rules
    JAN. 22, 2014

    — Eastside Catholic prides itself on teaching acceptance. At the end of Crusader Way, by the school’s entrance, banners hang celebrating “relationships” and exhorting passers-by to “remember to take care of each other.” Students use a sign-language gesture to remind one another of the school’s emphasis on unconditional love.

    But now the school is unexpectedly grappling with how it defines both love and acceptance. Last month, a well-regarded vice principal was forced to leave his job as soon as administrators became aware that he had married a man; in the weeks since, the suburban Seattle school has been roiled, first by protests in support of the vice principal, and then by the resignations of those who sought his departure. The chairman of the school’s board resigned last month, and on Tuesday, Eastside, a middle and high school with about 900 students, announced the resignation of its president.

    The ouster of Mr. Z, as the former vice principal, Mark Zmuda, is known, comes amid a wave of firings and forced resignations of gay men and lesbians from Roman Catholic institutions across the country, in most cases prompted not directly by the employees’ sexuality, but by their decisions to marry as same-sex marriage becomes legal in an increasing number of states.

  29. rikyrah says:

    Wendy Davis is being Swift-boated
    By Margaret Carlson

    Published: 22 January 2014 02:47 PM

    Updated: 22 January 2014 06:03 PM

    In politics, lying is the new sex. Even the lesser sin, exaggeration, is grounds for questions about your suitability to run for office. Americans may be becoming more like the French in tolerating peccadilloes (just ask Rep. Mark Sanford of South Carolina or Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana about surviving a sex scandal), but get a detail wrong about whether you divorced at 21 or at 19, and woe unto you.

    That’s what happened to Wendy Davis over the weekend.

    You may know her as the Texas state senator in pink sneakers who delivered an 11-hour filibuster against abortion restrictions in June. The onetime teenage single mother who lived in a trailer park and graduated from Harvard Law School was so well-spoken, impassioned and appealing that she is running for governor less than a year later.

    But now she’s being Swift-boated. The story of the courageous, articulate and inspiring lawyer has become the tale of a fabulist who can’t be trusted after the Dallas Morning News raised a swirl of questions about her personal history, some provided by her ex-husband. She says the allegations came from her would-be Republican opponent in the gubernatorial race, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott. The attacks won’t work, she says, “because my story is the story of millions of Texas women who know the strength it takes when you’re young, alone and a mother.”

    Nonetheless, Republicans fact-checked her life story and found the timeline wanting. Davis herself acknowledged that “my language should be tighter” when it comes to the details of her biography and promised to be “more focused on the detail.”

    I may be soft on anyone who takes a good story and makes it better. I grew up in an Irish family where Sunday dinner would have been no more than well-done roast beef and mashed potatoes had it not been for uncles outdoing one another about the size of the fish they’d caught and the poker pot they’d won. And what is journalism but organizing facts into a compelling narrative.

    Davis has the bad luck to have a second ex-husband giving his side of the rags-to-riches story (he says he supplied the riches). Yes, she and her daughter lived in a mobile home, but only for a few months before moving into an apartment, and she worked two jobs. Enter the second husband, an older lawyer with whom she had a second daughter. They divorced in 2005 but not before, he says, he paid for her last two years at Texas Christian University and for Harvard Law, and kept her two daughters while she was there. Davis said that she and her husband cashed in a 401(k) and took out loans to pay for her tuition and that she split time between Massachusetts and Texas. When they divorced, he asked for and got custody of the two girls, and Davis was doing well enough by then to pay child support.

  30. rikyrah says:

    Greg Sargent ✔ @ThePlumLineGS
    Also from Pew: Only Rs beileve economic system is generally fair. Everyone else thinks it favors rich:

    8:32 AM – 23 Jan 2014

  31. rikyrah says:

    Why Wendy Davis Terrifies The GOP

    By Jason Sattler


    State Senator Wendy Davis (D-Fort Worth) rose to speak for 14 hours against laws that were clearly designed to close as many clinics as possible, making an abortion far more difficult to obtain, and then ban the procedure earlier than the Supreme Court had previously ruled was Constitutional.

    Imagine if you couldn’t purchase a gun in 87 percent of the country. Imagine if nearly every day in some state a new piece of legislation was being considered that didn’t close gun shops but made it impossible for them to operate, forcing buyers into the black market. Gun owners may not mind that because buying a gun from a private individual is less of a hassle. But the industry, which finances the NRA, would never let that happen.


  32. rikyrah says:

    “Company says 2nd toxin in West Virginia spill”

  33. rikyrah says:

    The Volokh Conspiracy And Washington Post’s Move To The Right

    Blog ››› January 22, 2014 4:30 PM EST ››› JUSTIN BERRIER

    The announcement that The Washington Post is partnering with and hosting the conservative and libertarian-leaning blog The Volokh Conspiracy is evidence that the Post may be moving to the right in the wake of the paper’s acquisition by Jeff Bezos.

    On January 21, The Washington Post announced that it had entered into a partnership with The Volokh Conspiracy, a blog that has operated since 2002 and largely focuses on legal issues but has strayed into other areas, including climate denialism. The Post praised the blog in its announcement of the agreement, calling it a “must-read source [that] will be a great addition to the Post’s coverage of law, politics and policy.” In his first official post, the blog’s founder, Eugene Volokh, revealed that the Post granted him “full editorial control.”

    The move was celebrated by right-wing media outlets such as the American Spectator, which praised Washington Post owner and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos for highlighting a blog that provides legal commentary “from a [generally] libertarian or conservative perspective,” writing, “Perhaps it should stand to reason that a man who made a fortune offering people choices, should offer the same alternatives to his readership. What a novel concept in today’s news atmosphere.” TownHall editor Conn Carroll cited the acquisition as evidence that Bezos was “clearly moving” the Post “in a libertarian direction.”’s John Nolte also cheered the decision to host The Volokh Conspiracy, writing that it will “give the Post the sorely needed voices of legitimate conservatives, but unlike Klein the Volokh Conspiracy won’t attempt to hide their ideology.”

    Even before the addition of a conservative-libertarian legal blog, the Post has come under scrutiny for years for leaning to the right. Editorial page editor Fred Hiatt has been heavily criticized for promoting climate denialism, for supporting cuts to Social Security and Medicare, and for leading the Post’s support for the Iraq War. The opinion pages regularly feature conservative columnists such as Charles Krauthammer, George Will, and Jennifer Rubin, who used her prominent blog to repackage presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s messaging during the 2012 general election as part of her patently dishonest campaign to aid his candidacy.

    In August of 2013, after the announcement that Bezos had bought The Washington Post, Fortune magazine senior editor at large Allan Sloan reacted to rumors that Bezos was libertarian by writing a column asking Bezos to reveal his political ideology. Sloan wrote “No matter what Bezos says now, once his purchase of The Post closes, scheduled for the fall, he’s almost certain to begin imposing his standards and beliefs on The Post, or at least on its opinion pages.” If the addition of The Volokh Conspiracy is evidence that Sloan’s prediction is coming true, it doesn’t bode well for the future of The Washington Post under Bezos.

  34. rikyrah says:

    Jim Stuart: Our Transformational President

    Have you read David Remnick’s article in the current New Yorker? If not, do. Soon. Remnick listens to Obama without apparent lenses. He even discards the almost always present lens of “Are you succeeding or failing?” Healthcare is hardly mentioned. The article almost seems to me to exist without apparent intention or angle. We are invited to experience the President, through his own words, almost in slow motion, as he answers Remnick’s many thoughtful questions. Obama (to my view) neither lectures nor sells. He expresses himself, sometimes taking a long moment before beginning. Remnick notes this characteristic of the President, not as judgment, but rather so we can experience this too. The words. And the space between the words.

    A brilliant piece. The first one I’ve found where the author isn’t trying to figure Obama out, and where we are gently told not to bring all our judgments to the reading, but to relax, sit back, simply experience the man.

    Remnick does not say that Obama is a transformational leader. That’s my conclusion …. Let me move to my evidence…

    • Yahtc says:

      My husband spent about an hour reading Remnick’s article last night and then gave it to me to read, which I plan to do soon.

  35. rikyrah says:

    Poll Shows Most Republicans Think People Are Poor Because They Don’t Work Hard Enough
    Tom Kludt – January 23, 2014, 7:31 AM EST

    Whether you’re rich or poor, Republicans believe that’s on you.

    Findings released Thursday by Pew showed that most Republicans think rich people are largely responsible for their socioeconomic status. They also feel the same way about poor people.

    Fifty-seven percent of GOP voters said that a person is rich because “he or she worked harder than others,” while just 32 percent attribute it to advantages they enjoyed. The results are almost completely flipped among Democrats.

    Overall, 51 percent of Americans said that people are wealthy due to advantages in life, while 38 percent said it had more to do with hard work.

    Pew also found that 51 percent of Republicans believe that people are poor due to a lack of hard work, compared with just 32 percent who attribute it to circumstances beyond their control.

    Those results also put Republicans out of step with the rest of the country.

  36. rikyrah says:

    6 Million People Have Enrolled In Medicaid Since Obamacare Launched
    Dylan Scott – January 22, 2014, 4:13 PM EST5593

    Some 6.3 million people have enrolled in Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program since Oct. 1, when and its state counterparts went live, according to a new report from the Obama administration. The report covers Medicaid enrollments through the end of December.

    That figures includes people who are newly eligible for Medicaid because their state expanded the program under the health care reform law, people who were already eligible but not enrolled and, in some states, people who were renewing their eligibility.

    Thirteen states included renewals in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services report, though their exact number out of the 6.3 million could not be determined.

    States that expanded Medicaid saw a boom in enrollments in December, corresponding with a similar surge in private coverage enrollees through the insurance marketplaces. Medicaid enrollments were up 73 percent in those states last month compared to the pre-Obamacare monthly average. In states that didn’t expand Medicaid, enrollment was up 3 percent in December.

  37. rikyrah says:

    The Daily Beast: The GOP’s Birth-Control Trojan Horse

    The right wants to use religion as an excuse to legally discriminate against gays and unmarried women—and, ultimately, anyone who doesn’t share their Christian faith.

    Ever since the Obama administration included contraception in the list of services that insurers must cover for clients without a copay, conservatives have been on the attack. As far as most right-wing media is concerned—and definitely as far as the average conservative on the ground is concerned—the problem with the mandate is that it supposedly forces others to “pay for” a woman’s “lifestyle” choice.

    Even though the insurance policies in question actually belong to the women, who usually earned them as part of their compensation packages at work or who paid for directly with premiums, conservatives routinely portray women who use their own insurance to pay for their own medicine as layabouts forcing other people pay for their birth control. Some conservatives even go so far as to erroneously claim that taxpayers are footing the bill for insurance companies to cover contraception.

  38. rikyrah says:

    ThinkProgress: Mitch McConnell Boasts About Supporting Government Sponsored Health Care In New Campaign Ad

    Sen. Mitch McConnell is out with a new campaign ad touting his success in securing free preventive health care services for Kentuckians. The spot, titled “Cares,” tries to paint the Senate Minority Leader as a compassionate Republican who carries a moral obligation to provide sick people with access to government-sponsored health care.

    It’s a message you wouldn’t expect from a Republican senate leader who has voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act and continues to oppose its implementation in Kentucky. But the minute-long ad, featuring Robert Pierce, an energy worker and throat cancer survivor, highlights the Republican Senate leader’s effort to secure “cancer screening programs” for Kentuckians and provide them with government compensation.

    The assistance is the result of an entitlement McConnell secured for former employees of a plant in Paducah, Kentucky who were exposed to high levels of uranium throughout the 1950s and 1960s, and who now suffer from cancer or other ailments …. McConnell had initially “kept the plant’s doors open” to guarantee jobs for his constitutes, even as “the plant’s toxins had spread through the air and into the ground, slowly killing its own workers and tainting the surrounding area.”

  39. rikyrah says:

    6 million have signed up for Medicaid since October AKA the greatest victory for the middle class since Medicare.

    3:35 PM – 22 Jan 2014

  40. rikyrah says:

    Freedom Industries: other chemical is ‘proprietary’
    01/22/14 04:50 PM
    By Steve Benen

    About two weeks ago, a coal-processing chemical leaked into the Elk River, leaving 300,000 residents in West Virginia’s Kanawha Valley without water service. Freedom Industries owns the ruptured storage tank that leaked the chemical, known as MCHM, which is used to wash coal, and which can be dangerous if consumed.

    The emergency has unfolded in painful ways ever since – including contradictory messages as to who can drink water and when – but yesterday, the story took a turn for the worse. Investigators learned that another chemical was also in ruptured storage tank just upstream from West Virginia American Water’s regional drinking water intake.

    And what, pray tell, was this other chemical. It appears Freedom Industries doesn’t want to say too much about it.

    Freedom Industries disclosed the information to state and federal regulators on Tuesday morning, but health impacts of the chemical remain unclear, and Freedom Industries has claimed the exact identity of the substance is “proprietary.” […]

    Richard Denison, a senior scientist with the Environmental Defense Fund, noted that Freedom Industries withheld the specific chemical identity of the “PPH, stripped.” The MSDS provided by the company lists the key “chemical abstract service” identification number as “proprietary.”

    “All this means yet more questions and more uncertainty for West Virginia residents,” Denison wrote on his group’s blog

    Wait, what?

    Let me see if I’ve got this straight. Freedom Industries – the company’s actual name – accidentally leaked a coal-washing chemical into the into the Elk River, creating a health hazard for hundreds of thousands of people. Two weeks later, Freedom Industries let officials know that, by the way, the coal-washing chemical wasn’t the only thing that leaked.

  41. rikyrah says:

    Engel: Sherman offers no apologies for outburst … nor should he


    For me, it is “bitch.’’

    For Richard Sherman, it is “thug.’’

    For you, well, only you know what your word is.

    But there is a word that society calls each of us when it wants to put us in our place, when it wants to shut us up, when we have been too loud, too big, too opinionated, too successful, too far beyond what is considered acceptable for whatever group we fall into.

    Society says this to make us play smaller, or mostly to cram us into boxes its feels comfortable with. Boxes like: Pretty-little-girl columnist. Or non-threatening successful black male athlete.

    Or in the case of the Seahawks cornerback: Respectful, smiling, PC postgame interviewee.

    Instead, after making a big-time play that sent his team to the Super Bowl, Sherman dropped the choke sign on Colin Kaepernick and then unleashed a passionate and angry postgame interview in which he word-whipped 49ers wideout Michael Crabtree.

  42. rikyrah says:

    Christie admin scandal draws FBI scrutiny
    01/23/14 08:00 AM—Updated 01/23/14 08:06 AM
    By Steve Benen

    Gov. Chris Christie’s bridge scandal remains an ongoing problem for the New Jersey Republican, but it’s his administration’s other controversy that’s drawn the attention of federal law enforcement.

    Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer (D) alleged over the weekend that two top officials in the Christie administration, including Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno (R), threatened post-Sandy relief funds unless the mayor approved a private land-development project in her city. As Rachel noted on the show last night, Michael Isikoff reports that FBI agents have questioning witnesses as part of an investigation into the matter.

  43. rikyrah says:

    People Got What They Deserved

    by BooMan
    Wed Jan 22nd, 2014 at 10:30:21 PM EST

    Former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell began his higher education in an admirable way. He received a B.B.A. in management from Notre Dame University and an M.B.A. from Boston University. In between he worked in the Army. Something went a little screwy, however, when he sought a joint M.A./J.D. degree from the Christian Broadcasting Network University. That school is now known as Regent University. It became a feeder school for the Bush administration, with predictably disastrous results. You can probably blame Kay Coles James or, I don’t know, her pal Duke Cunningham.
    But, I digress. We were talking about Bob McDonnell and his Regent University law degree. How is that tied to the other Republican governor who was elected in 2009?

    Regent University School of Law, founded by televangelist Pat Robertson to provide “Christian leadership to change the world,” has worked hard in its two-decade history to upgrade its reputation, fighting past years when a majority of its graduates couldn’t pass the bar exam and leading up to recent victories over Ivy League teams in national law student competitions.
    But even in its darker days, Regent has had no better friend than the Bush administration. Graduates of the law school have been among the most influential of the more than 150 Regent University alumni hired to federal government positions since President Bush took office in 2001, according to a university website.

    One of those graduates is Monica Goodling , the former top aide to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales who is at the center of the storm over the firing of US attorneys. Goodling, who resigned on Friday, has become the face of Regent overnight — and drawn a harsh spotlight to the administration’s hiring of officials educated at smaller, conservative schools with sometimes marginal academic reputations.

    Documents show that Goodling, who has asserted her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination to avoid testifying before Congress, was one of a handful of officials overseeing the firings. She helped install Timothy Griffin , the Karl Rove aide and her former boss at the Republican National Committee, as a replacement US attorney in Arkansas.

    Because Goodling graduated from Regent in 1999 and has scant prosecutorial experience, her qualifications to evaluate the performance of US attorneys have come under fire.

  44. rikyrah says:

    Wednesday, Jan 22, 2014 06:44 AM CST
    The real problem with the American right: Aging, white radicals

    Everyone knows the GOP has been unable to moderate its image or agenda. But less understood is the true reason why
    Brian Beutler

    The Republican Party’s total failure to make even cosmetic changes to its image and policy agenda last year has at this point become the kind of cliché-cum-running joke that often attaches itself to accepted truisms in American politics. Like chucking about Bill Clinton’s inability to contain himself in the company of women, or noting that Dick Cheney actually ran the show during George W. Bush’s first term, observing that Republicans have failed to moderate or reinvent themselves after losing badly in 2012 is the kind of thing even sympathetic political wise men can say to signal that they get it. That in what was a tough year for President Obama, Republicans screwed up too.

    But the observation of these symptoms is less crucial than the diagnosis. Why are Republicans so stuck?

    When it became clear about a year ago that Republican leaders would have a much harder time advancing immigration reform than they realized — that GOP activists and conservatives were livid about the idea that Republicans were going to help illegal immigrants gain citizenship — it started to look like the party had an insoluble problem on its hands. Watching Republicans attempt to broaden their appeal to growing, traditionally Democratic constituencies has been like watching someone try to cover a bedroom floor with a poorly cut carpet, fastening it into one corner but pulling it out of the others in the process.

    They can’t connect with traditionally Democratic constituencies without breaking connection with their reliable supporters. They can tug in every possible direction, but at some point they need to acknowledge that the carpet’s too small.

    For a long time now, people have argued that the solution to the GOP’s problems will resemble the slow, painful, but steady moderation process Democrats went through in the 1980s and through the Clinton presidency. The adherents to this theory include Barack Obama himself, as he told the New Yorker’s David Remnick during an interview for a new profile:

  45. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

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