Tuesday Open Thread | 3Chics Dance Series

VibrationsThe Watusi /wɑːˈtsi/ is a solo dance that enjoyed brief popularity during the early 1960s.[1] It was the second-most popular dance craze in the 1960s in the United States, after the Twist.

The Orlons, a vocal quartet from Philadelphia, had the biggest hit of their career as recording artists with their recording of “The Wah-Watusi” (Cameo 218), which debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart on June 9, 1962 and remained on the Hot 100 for 14 weeks; it peaked at #2 and held the position for two weeks.

This was not the only version of the song to hit the charts. On Jan 18, 1963, Chubby Checker released his single version of “The Wah-Watusi” (B-side of Cameo 221). Later that year, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles also recorded their own version. Popular covers of the song included Annette Funicello, and The Isley Brothers. The Vibrations had previously released an R&B single in 1961 called “The Watusi” (US #25).

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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70 Responses to Tuesday Open Thread | 3Chics Dance Series

  1. Nelson Mandela’s will leaves money for family and staff but nothing for Winnie.


    Nelson Mandela left money in his will to children and grandchildren, staff and the African National Congress (ANC) but gave nothing to his ex-wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, it emerged on Monday.

    The family of South Africa’s first black president, who died two months ago aged 95, gathered behind closed doors at his foundation in Johannesburg to hear the reading of the will, which carves up an estate estimated at 46m rand (£2.52m).

    The most conspicuous omission was Madikizela-Mandela, his wife of 38 years during the struggle against racial apartheid. They divorced in 1996 but became close again towards the end of his life and, along with his third wife, Graça Machel, she was at his bedside when he died.

    It also emerged that the former president’s daughters, each given $300,000 (£184,000) by him during his lifetime, get no further money now. But Machel’s children and six stepchildren, as well as nine of his staff, all share in his inheritance.

    The publication of the will follows a turbulent year of public rows over his estate involving members of the Mandela family, even as their patriarch lay on his deathbed. While the “provisional inventory” of 46m rand appears relatively modest for a global statesman of such stature, the executors of Mandela’s estate said they could not answer questions regarding the destiny of three trusts, which are believed to hold considerably more wealth.

    A source close to the process said its eventual disbursement could prove “a massive, treacherous area”, adding: “It could still end up in court. The trusts could be dissolved and the funds in them would go to the family members.”

  2. Emmitt Smith gives Wendy Davis committee $10K


    Team Wendy just landed an all-star running back.

    Former Dallas Cowboys running back and NFL MVP Emmitt Smith donated $10,000 to the committee backing Wendy Davis’s campaign for Texas governor last month.

    According to campaign filings, the CEO of EJSmith Enterprises donated the money on Jan. 8 to Texas Victory Committee, a joint effort from Wendy Davis for Governor and Battleground Texas, a group that supports Democrats in the state.

  3. rikyrah says:

    Hard Times at Howard U.
    FEB. 4, 2014

    IT COULD BE SAID that Dr. Wayne A.I. Frederick, acting president of Howard University, was to the manner born. On his birth 42 years ago in Port of Spain, Trinidad, his mother had already determined he would follow in the footsteps of the man she admired most: Eric Williams, who before leading Trinidad and Tobago to independence from Britain had taught at Howard.

    “For her,” Dr. Frederick explained, “Howard was an almost mystical place, which had done so much for our country.”

    Wayne Frederick was afflicted with sickle cell anemia, which is often accompanied by long-term pain and fatigue and can lead to early death. That, too, shaped his path. He was in a race against time. Graduating one year ahead of his high school class, he enrolled at Howard and received both his undergraduate and medical degrees in six years. He remembers mentors like the legendary Dr. LaSalle D. Leffall, who embraced and encouraged him during his surgical residency.

    “My early teaching made me hopeful about the future,” said Dr. Frederick in a barely detectable lilt of Trinidad. “Howard wrapped me in an audacity by believing in me and creating an environment that made me comfortable.”

    Wearing a conservative pinstripe suit, white shirt and dark tie, Dr. Frederick was taking an early-morning break in the boardroom next to the president’s office, recently vacated by Sidney A. Ribeau, who retired suddenly amid trustee unhappiness and friction that had gone public.

    Dr. Frederick, who was provost until this appointment, wants to ensure that Howard remains true to its mission: preparing African-Americans to be leaders. The Mecca, as students refer to this epicenter of black scholarship, has produced more African-American Ph.D.’s, lawyers, engineers and architects than any other institution. But Dr. Frederick must confront a complex of uncomfortable realities, some brought on by the economy, some by financial mismanagement and board infighting, and some by the nation’s diversifying landscape.

    Historically black colleges and universities once held a monopoly. Today, they struggle to compete with elite colleges that have stepped up recruiting for the best and brightest black students. Howard admitted almost 60 percent of applicants last year; among current freshmen, the top 25 percent in SAT math and reading scored 1190 and up; 15 years ago the threshold was 1330.


  4. rikyrah says:

    The cost to attend Bill O’Reilly’s alma mater is $48,390. A full-time minimum wage worker only earns $15,080/year. pic.twitter.com/XuhOAsAnqq

  5. rikyrah says:

    February 03, 2014 3:50 PM
    Medicaid Waiver Door Closing?
    By Ed Kilgore

    As anyone closely watching the battle over Medicaid expansion is aware, HHS has been holding out the lure of granting waivers to states who are willing to expand eligibility in exchange for their own ideas of “reform” of the program. Arkansas was the first in line, basically securing a 100% federal subsidy for privatizing Medicaid’s insurance offerings, making it a “premium support” system similar to the Obamcare exchanges. This wasn’t terribly earth-shaking, since Medicaid had been approving waivers for use of private managed care companies for decades. Then Iowa secured a waiver that allowed for an expansion accompanied by increased cost-sharing for beneficiaries, which is contrary to Medicaid’s history of free services for people who qualify. Pennsylvania has been seeking a similar waiver.

    This trend led some of us to fear that the optional Medicaid expansion could turn into a free-for-all where Republicans get the feds to pay for all their health care policy pet rocks. So I am pleased to be reminded by Stateline’s Michael Ollove that HHS’s waiver capacity is limited:


  6. rikyrah says:

    In a Private Meeting John Boehner Says Helping The Unemployed Would Be a Bad Thing

    By: Jason Easley
    Tuesday, February, 4th, 2014, 1:54 pm

    In a private meeting, John Boehner explained to his fellow Republicans why they should cave on the debt ceiling. Boehner warned House Republicans if they didn’t pass a clean debt ceiling increase something they didn’t like could happen like an extension of unemployment benefits.

    According to Roll Call,

    Just days away from the administration’s deadline to extend the nation’s borrowing authority, Speaker John A. Boehner told House Republicans he sees no reason to pick a fight they cannot win on the issue.

    “There’s no sense picking a fight we can’t win,” the Ohio Republican told members in a private conference meeting, according to sources in the room.

    Leadership has been looking for a plan that could draw Republican support for a debt limit increase, and Boehner urged his members to coalesce around a plan. If they do not, he warned, the Senate could move first and tack a provision to a debt limit hike that is unpopular among Republicans, such as an extension of unemployment insurance benefits.


  7. rikyrah says:

    February 04, 2014 2:50 PM
    Big Farm-a Wins Again
    The final 5-year Farm Bill steaming towards the president’s desk after extended delays killed direct cash payments to farmer, and the SNAP (food stamp) cuts in the bill were limited to the “heat and eat” scenario where states artificially qualified beneficiaries for SNAP by paying them token amounts of low-income heating assistance. Not so bad, eh?

    Not so fast says David Dayen at TNR. Perhaps the SNAP carnage was limited, but the “reform” of farm programs in the bill has been grossly oversold. The shift from direct payments to crop insurance, for example, is less impressive when you realize the extent to which producers are virtually guaranteed public funds to pay for insurance premiums, whether or not they register losses. And the crop insurance program’s costs have been rising even in years when profits are reasonably high.

    On another front, the effort to discourage big public subsidies for large agribusiness concerns, the final bill may have been worse than either of the original House and Senate versions. Notes Dayan:

    Referring to beneficiaries as “farmers” underplays how giant agribusinesses really benefit from subsidized crop insurance. There have traditionally been no limits to premium support, meaning the richest businesses reap the most benefits. A provision from Sen. Tom Coburn to reduce payouts for farmers with over $750,000 in income was stripped from the final bill, despite passing the Senate twice. The Environmental Working Group, a critic of crop insurance, estimates that 10,000 policyholders receive over $100,000 a year in subsidies annually, with some receiving over $1 million, while the bottom 80 percent of farmers, the mom-and-pop operations, collect only $5,000 annually. These are educated guesses, because under current law, the names of individual businesses receiving support are kept secret, a provision maintained in the new farm bill. The House version included a measure that would disclose which members of Congress receive subsidies, but that was dropped.


  8. rikyrah says:

    Nerdy Wonka @NerdyWonka
    Pres. Obama: “Only about 30% of our students have true high speed internet in the classroom. In South Korea, that’s 100%.” #ConnectED

    10:49 AM – 4 Feb 2014

    Nerdy Wonka @NerdyWonka
    POTUS: “In a country where we expect free wifi with our coffee, we should definitely demand it in our schools.” Students applaud #ConnectED

    10:50 AM – 4 Feb 2014

    Nerdy Wonka @NerdyWonka
    POTUS: “Every student here has access to their own iPads. They’re animating movies, creating blogs.” It was made possible by stimulus funds.

    10:51 AM – 4 Feb 2014

    Nerdy Wonka @NerdyWonka
    PBO: The FCC is announcing a downpaymenrt of $2B to connect more than 15K schools & 20M students to high-speed broadband over the next 5yrs

    10:53 AM – 4 Feb 2014

  9. rikyrah says:

    Nerdy Wonka @NerdyWonka
    Pres. Obama: “Each generation has to work hard to make sure the dream of opportunity stays alive for the next generation.” #ConnectED

    10:42 AM – 4 Feb 2014

    Nerdy Wonka @NerdyWonka
    Pres. Obama: “The country invested in me. My parents invested in me, my grandparents invested in me, but my country invested in me.”

    10:43 AM – 4 Feb 2014

    Nerdy Wonka @NerdyWonka
    Pres. Obama on the country investing in students: ” I want every young person in America to have that same chance. I’m betting on you.”

    10:45 AM – 4 Feb 2014

    Nerdy Wonka @NerdyWonka
    Pres. Obama: “We want to do everything we can to make sure no middle-class kid is priced out of a college education” (1/2) #ConnectED

    10:47 AM – 4 Feb 2014

    Nerdy Wonka @NerdyWonka
    Pres. Obama on his goal: “and obviously, no poor kid is priced out of a college education” (2/2) #ConnectED

    10:47 AM – 4 Feb 2014

  10. rikyrah says:

    Medicaid expansion sure is popular
    02/04/14 10:08 AM
    By Steve Benen

    Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act enjoys quite a bit of support from health care experts, hospital administrators, most of the nation’s governors (from both parties), advocates for low-income families, and those with policymakers with access to calculators.

    But it’s worth keeping in mind that voters are on board, too. The Washington Post reports today on a new survey from the Wason Center at Christopher Newport University, which found that 56% of Virginia residents support expansion – a top priority for Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D), who made this a key part of his 2013 platform.

    The poll found that supporters of a federally funded expansion included 55 percent of self-identified Republicans and majorities in every region of the state. […]

    Virginia would initially receive about $2 billion a year from Washington if it expanded Medicaid, which would offer coverage to about 400,000 of the state’s uninsured. A recent estimate from the state Health Department projected that expansion would save Virginia about $1 billion over eight years. Among other factors, Medicaid expansion would move many indigent patients to federally funded care

    And it’s not just Virginia. Two weeks ago, a statewide poll in Kentucky found that 79% of state residents agreed with Gov. Steve Beshear’s decision to expand Medicaid coverage. Even 60% of Kentucky Republicans support the idea, suggesting Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) hasn’t exactly persuaded his own in-state allies on the issue.

    And the week before that, a statewide survey in South Dakota found 63% of state residents are on board with Medicaid expansion.

    It’s one thing for the right’s arguments against Medicaid expansion to fall short in states like Vermont and Hawaii, but these polls suggest the conservative talking points aren’t connecting in Virginia, Kentucky, and South Dakota, either.


  11. rikyrah says:

    Alex Wagner ✔ @alexwagner
    Reports of parents in West Virginia forced to use melted snow to bathe their children. Water still not safe: http://on.wsj.com/LvsUV7

    11:20 AM – 4 Feb 2014

  12. rikyrah says:

    Obama Aides Doubt Clinton Strategy

    “She doesn’t need this,” says Benenson. posted on February 3, 2014 at 10:49pm EST
    Top advisers and former aides to Barack Obama say Hillary Clinton is repeating the mistakes she made in 2008, building a machine in lieu of a message and lumbering toward the Democratic nomination with the same deep vulnerabilities that cost her the nomination eight years earlier.

    The former secretary of state has offered her tacit blessing to a series of Democratic organizations, including a draft group, Ready for Hillary, which was recently taken over by a former Clinton aide, and Priorities USA Action, the Obama super PAC repositioning itself to raise huge sums for Clinton. The moves have been effective in telegraphing to other would-be candidates that they may have a hard time raising money and building an organization, and in establishing the sense of inevitability that was central to her 2008 campaign — a perception that also backfired badly.

    “I just don’t see any strategic value in stories positioning her as inevitable or the preemptive nominee, and I don’t think people who are out there talking about this help her, and I think she should make that clear,” said Joel Benenson, Obama’s chief campaign pollster and now the top White House pollster. “She doesn’t need this. If she decides to run for president, everybody knows she’s going to be able to raise money, everybody knows she’s going to be extremely formidable, that she’s going to have a significant network of supporters around the country — so what’s the value of all this in 2014?”


  13. rikyrah says:

    MLK estate wants his daughter to give up his Nobel
    by Kate Brumback, Associated Press | February 4, 2014

    ATLANTA (AP) — The estate of Martin Luther King Jr. is asking a judge to force the civil rights icon’s daughter to relinquish her father’s Nobel Peace Prize and “traveling” Bible.

    The complaint against Bernice King was filed Friday in an Atlanta court by her father’s estate, which is controlled by her brothers, Martin Luther King III and Dexter King.

    The lawsuit says Martin Luther King Jr.’s heirs in 1995 assigned their rights to property inherited from the civil rights icon to the Estate of Martin Luther King Jr. Inc. The lawsuit says Bernice King has “secreted and sequestered” the medal and Bible in violation of that agreement.

    Bernice King says in a statement that her brothers want to sell the medal and Bible to a private buyer and that she opposes that.


  14. rikyrah says:

    The Company Chris Christie Kept

    The Christie ally who prepped an official before his testimony on the George Washington bridge scandal is now fair game for investigation

    By Scott Raab on February 3, 2014

    In the unlikely event that you labored under the illusion that New Jersey’s soon-to-be former Governor Chris Christie was capable of enjoying the Super Bowl he worked so hard to procure, prepare for disappointment: New Jersey Transit was worse than Peyton Manning. According to some reports, more than 10,000 fans were stranded 90 minutes after game’s end, still awaiting a train. In a state notorious for being notorious, there’s your happy ending, dangling.

    But that was the good news for Drumthwacket’s Il Duce. The Wall Street Journal’s Ted Mann broke the news early this morning that the Port Authority lawyer who helped prepare two Christie thugs to testify to the state legislature about the George Washington Bridge hit was a Christie crewmember himself — one Philip Kwon, a former Assistant U.S. Attorney to Chris Christie and then his assistant attorney general during Christie’s first term as governor. When Christie rewarded Kwon by nominating him to New Jersey’s state Supreme Court, Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee rejected him, and so Christie had Kwon installed at the Port Authority.

    This is bad news because one of the two Christie Port torpedoes Kwon coached — former PA deputy executive director Bill Baroni, who left the job and lawyered up as the Ft. Lee story gained traction — gave unsworn testimony to a state Senate committee that there was nothing to see in Ft. Lee beyond a traffic study. In short, after 4-5 days of prep with Kwon, Baroni sat before a legislative panel and lied through his teeth. As the legislature and the U.S. Attorney investigations grind on, Baroni will be compelled to testify under oath — not just about what really happened in Ft. Lee, but also what Philip Kwon advised him to say about it. And at this point, Kwon himself is fair game for investigators — one more knot in Christie’s homemade noose.


  15. Good morning, everyone!

    My husband is feeling a little better. Still weak tho. I’m making chicken noodle soup for him. He’ll eat the broth. I hope he can keep it down. He hasn’t been able to keep anything down.

  16. rikyrah says:

    Jonathan Capehart: O’Reilly outFoxed by Obama

    The pre-Super Bowl interview with President Obama conducted by Bill O’Reilly was not only notable for the Fox News anchor’s constant interruptions, but also for his harping on old news. The travails of HealthCare.gov, the murderous attacks in Benghazi and the actions taken by the IRS against conservative groups chewed up 9 minutes and 45 seconds of the 10-minute sitdown.

    We all know that those topics are nothing but chum for O’Reilly’s anti-Obama audience. But the president successfully avoided the rhetorical traps set by the ambassador from “fair and balanced.” And he respectfully stood up to the disrespect demanded by said audience by giving as good as he got.

    …. It’s always difficult to tell whether the tail is wagging the dog over there at Fox, but I would argue that the IRS conspiracy theories and others are in large part due to O’Reilly and Fox. Neither the station nor its anchor has shown Obama or his office the respect both deserve. And that 10-minute interview was a perfect illustration of it.


  17. rikyrah says:

    Monday, Feb 3, 2014 12:44 PM CST
    Angry right’s secret revulsion: Why they really dodge minimum wage questions

    Obama’s decision to increase the minimum wage for a small number of federal contractors has drawn out the crazies VIDEO
    Brian Beutler

    It’s no great secret that Republicans oppose increasing the minimum wage. They don’t pretend it’s something they want to do under any circumstances. They don’t even really bother disguising their opposition. They cloak their view in dated and oversimplified economic arguments about labor demand and economic growth when the real impediment is ideological, and so it’s a somewhat better kept secret that many Republicans oppose the minimum wage altogether.

    Opposing the minimum wage isn’t a politically seemly thing to do, though, and thus the great political consequence of President Obama’s decision, announced during his State of the Union address, to institute a $10.10 minimum wage for future federal contracts, will be to draw the extent of this opposition out into the open.

    If there’s one thing conservatives agree upon with respect to Obama’s executive order, it’s that it won’t impact very many people. They’re actually probably correct about that. Yet despite the policy’s marginal impact, some conservatives abruptly turned discovering the means of denying a higher wage to a tiny number of workers into a top priority.

    In the days since Obama’s State of the Union address, they’ve attacked the order itself, encouraged Congress to block it, and scoured federal law for a reason that the courts should throw it out.

    Irrespective of legal questions, the smart political play for Republicans is to let Obama have this one. Assume the order’s validity, note that it’s a fairly marginal change, and then move on. Don’t turn it into an ideological lightning rod.

    House Speaker John Boehner understands this, which is why his reaction to the minimum wage order was fairly subdued.


  18. rikyrah says:

    Morning Plum: No, Republicans have not ruled out citizenship
    By Greg Sargent
    February 4 at 8:22 am

    One central question that will help decide the fate of immigration reform is this: Will Republicans — who recently rolled out principles that support legalization but oppose a ”special path” to citizenship — ultimately insist that their solution must preclude citizenship for the nation’s undocumented immigrants?

    The answer to this is almost certainly No — and this continues to be a poorly understood aspect of the debate.

    In an interview with me, a leading Republican on immigration — Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida — said there is virtually no chance the solution Republicans embrace will rule out citizenship, saying he’d be “beyond surprised” at any such outcome.

    Precluding citizenship would be “frankly unacceptable,” said Diaz-Balart, who is plugged into current discussions among Republicans over what specific policies to adopt. “That’s not something I’ve seen or heard. It would be against everything conservatives stand for. If you have a process where people can earn a way to get right with the law, and then get to the back of any current legal pathways, then if there are some who want to put their hands on their hearts and pledge allegiance to the flag, should we deny those folks?”


  19. rikyrah says:

    Conservatives Have A New Scheme To Strip People Of Obamacare Coverage
    Dylan Scott – February 4, 2014, 6:00 AM EST

    The conventional wisdom has said that once states bought into Obamcare’s Medicaid expansion, half of the law’s two-pronged approach to expanding health insurance coverage, they wouldn’t be able to back out of it. More likely, in fact, was that more and more states — regardless of their ideology — would sign onto the expansion. It’s simply too good a deal to pass up.

    But a group of Arkansas Republicans appear intent on defying those expectations as early as this month. In doing so, they would halt health coverage for more than 85,000 who have signed up for expanded Medicaid in Arkansas so far.

    “ObamaCare is among the worst legislation ever passed,” one newly elected conservative state senator wrote, explaining his opposition to Medicaid expansion. “I do not think that Obamacare is now or ever has been truly about who gets what and how much it will cost. I believe that the real question is if our health care system under ObamaCare will be destroyed in this country for everyone! I think that question only has one answer and it is yes.”

    The revanchist Republicans are setting up their state, one of 25 to expand Medicaid this year under the health care reform law, to be the first to strip Obamacare coverage from people who already have it. Arkansas expanded the program, using a unique privatized model, under the tutelage of Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe and with the support of most GOP leaders in the legislature. But a cohort of conservative lawmakers believe they now have enough votes to block funding for the expansion during the legislative session that starts next week.

    The problem is: Under Arkansas law, the state legislature must vote again this year to accept federal funding for the expansion next year. Expanding Medicaid for 2014 required a 75-percent majority in each chamber, and accepting the 2015 funding does, too. The federal government covers 100 percent of the costs in the first three years and never less than 90 percent after that.

    The expansion plan passed the 35-member Senate with one spare vote last year, but one Democratic state senator who voted in favor of expansion resigned last August amid a campaign scandal — and an anti-expansion conservative, John Cooper, took his place last month after a special election.

    Another Senate Republican, Missy Irvin, who voted in favor of expansion last year, has now said publicly that she will not support the funding for it this year.

    “I had been convinced that the private option might be a first step in the right direction,” she said in a statement to the Arkansas Project, a conservative blog, on Jan. 20. “I now see it is leading us in the wrong direction.”

    Those two changes to the legislature’s makeup would leave the expansion funding without the necessary support in the Senate if nothing else changes, as the alternative newsweekly Arkansas Times reported.

    Rep. Nate Bell, another Republican who opposes the private option, told the Times there was “no question” that conservatives had enough votes to block funding for expansion. “I think anybody in the Capitol building would agree with that,” he said.

    If that came to pass, more than 85,000 Arkansans who have signed up for coverage through the Medicaid expansion would presumably have that coverage stopped in 2015. Arkansas’s alternative Medicaid plan uses Medicaid dollars to pay for low-income residents to purchase private coverage through HealthCare.gov. A select few, those making between 100 and 138 percent of the federal poverty level, would qualify for tax credits to purchase new coverage through HealthCare.gov. But the poorest of them, those below the poverty level, would be left without insurance.


  20. rikyrah says:

    aspirational12 @aspirational12

    This time, the “public option” is now the Keystone pipeline. Democrats, beware of interest groups using that to divide Dem voters. Pt. 2

    8:02 AM – 4 Feb 2014

  21. rikyrah says:

    aspirational12 @aspirational12
    Once again, the Koch-sponsored Libertarian/Naderite groups are gearing up to demoralize Dems for 2014 midterms. Pt. 1

    8:01 AM – 4 Feb 2014

  22. rikyrah says:

    3 Georgia Republican Senate Candidates Say They Would Vote to Impeach President Obama
    By: Sarah Jones
    Monday, February, 3rd, 2014, 1:18 pm

    Wondering why Democratic Senatorial candidate Michelle Nunn is leading the GOP pack in a recent poll? It may be that Georgia Republicans have gone too far into the tinfoil weeds.

    Republicans in Georgia are still catering to the Tea Party fringe, and they look crazy. Of the eight declared Republican candidates running in the Senate primary (Paul Broun, Art Gardner, Phil Gingrey, Derrick E. Grayson, Karen Handel, Jack Kingston, David Perdue, Eugene Yu), three said they would vote to impeach President Barack Obama if they could, according to a video obtained by Talking Points Memo and written up by Daniel Strauss. Not to worry, several Republicans didn’t attend the forum, so it’s not that they aren’t crazy, it’s that they aren’t on video being crazy.

    Watch here courtesy of TPM:



  23. rikyrah says:

    Mitch Ditched: 10 Polls Show McConnell Tied or Trailing Democrat Alison Grimes
    By: Jason Easley
    Monday, February, 3rd, 2014, 4:11 pm

    Mitch McConnell is in serious danger of losing his Senate seat. The Republican leaning Rasmussen poll became the tenth poll to show Mitch McConnell either tied with, or trailing Democrat Alison Grimes.

    A Rasmussen poll released today found that Grimes and McConnell are tied at 42%-42%. A PPP poll a few days earlier revealed a statistical tie, with Mitch McConnell holding a one point 43%-42% lead that was within the poll’s margin of error. The Rasmussen poll is the tenth poll that shows McConnell either trailing or tied with Democrat Alison Grimes.

    The Grimes campaign released a statement which stressed that even though Sen. McConnell spent $300,000 on advertising in the state last week, the race is still tied, “The poll was conducted a full week after McConnell spent nearly $300,000 on air in that week alone; Alison For Kentucky has yet to spend a single dollar on air. This marks the tenth recent poll showing Alison tied or ahead of McConnell – another clear sign that his millions in wasteful spending are not moving his abysmal approval rating with Kentucky voters. It also comes on the heels of news that the Tea Party is starting a new Super PAC to attack Mitch McConnell’s failed record.”


  24. rikyrah says:

    uh huh

    uh huh


    The Hill @thehill
    Greens warn base will sit out election over Keystone XL http://trib.al/KtuhO9v by @ben_goad and @lbarronlopez

    7:30 AM – 4 Feb 2014

  25. rikyrah says:

    The Obamas and the Bidens Pay Tribute to the Late Joan Mondale
    By: Sarah Jones
    Monday, February, 3rd, 2014, 10:39 pm

    President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, along with Vice President and Dr. Jill Biden, issued statements tonight on the sad passing of Joan Mondale. Joan Mondale, wife of 42nd Vice President Walter F. Mondale, passed away today at the age of 83. The wife of the Democratic VP was a high-profile advocate for the arts, often called ‘Joan of Art’.

    The President and First Lady said, “Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to former Vice President Walter Mondale and his family on the passing of Joan Adams Mondale. America first came to know Joan through her husband; she was his devoted partner in public service, from Minnesota to Washington.” They noted that she was a lifelong patron of arts and that as such, she “filled the Vice Presidential mansion with works by dozens of artists, including many unknowns, and later did the same at the U.S. embassy in Japan during her husband’s tenure as ambassador.”

    The Obamas honored her passion for the role of the arts in our nation, “Through her contributions to the Federal Council on the Arts and Humanities and the Kennedy Center, she passionately advocated for the role of art in the life of our nation and the promotion of understanding worldwide. Our thoughts and prayers are with Vice President Mondale and his family today as we remember with gratitude “Joan of Art” and her service to our nation.”


  26. rikyrah says:

    It Begins! A Zimmerman Redux of a Dead Black Teenager and a White Smokng Gun
    By: Dennis S more from Dennis S
    Tuesday, February, 4th, 2014, 8:30 am

    After the Monday post-Super Bowl demolition of the Denver Broncos by the Seattle Seahawks, there looms the prospect of a different kind of contest, but maybe just as one-sided. This time it will probably be racial justice on the losing end for a second time in less than two years.

    The sides chose themselves. A trigger-happy white guy; an angry black kid. The trial will be a redux of the absurd George Zimmerman farce. You remember, the sham effort to bring a cold-blooded killer to justice after the neighborhood watch shadow made up excuses in his own mind to end the life of a just turned 17-year-old African American youngster who dared to glance at residences while heading to his dad’s girlfriend’s house after returning from a convenience store.

    The same case where a gym owner, Adam Pollock, testified in response to a lawyer’s question of whether he would allow Zimmerman to climb into a boxing ring. Pollock, recognizing the necessity as painted by the defense of picturing Zimmerman as a pathetic weakling, responded “Absolutely not, I wouldn’t put him in harm’s way.” Zimmerman, a fame whore as we suspected all along, is currently negotiating a celebrity boxing match for Saturday, March 1st. “I’ll fight anyone, even black people” Zimmerman is quoted as saying. There are at least two mighty tough looking black rappers who have publicly declared that they would welcome the chance.


  27. rikyrah says:

    And then there were five
    02/03/14 04:06 PM—Updated 02/04/14 06:28 AM
    By Steve Benen

    When it comes to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) it’s become something of a challenge to keep up with unfolding developments. “Scandal” has become “scandals.” “Investigation” has become “investigations.” “Round of subpoenas” has become “several round of subpoenas.”

    And as of yesterday afternoon, four resignations has become five.

    A member of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s administration who has been subpoenaed in the investigation of the September bridge lane closures has resigned.

    Christina Genovese Renna – one of 17 people with ties to Christie subpoenaed by a legislative panel – exited the governor’s office Friday, according to a statement provided to NBC News on Sunday by her lawyer, Henry Klingeman.

    According to the official story, Renna has been “considering” a change since early November, but decided to wait until yesterday to step down.

    She’s the fifth Christie administration official related to the bridge scandal to resign or get fired since December, following David Wildstein, Bill Baroni, Bridget Anne Kelly, and Bill Stepien.


  28. rikyrah says:

    GOP pushes bogus workplace bill from 1996

    Republicans’ new plan to help working families is neither new, nor helpful to working families. Oops
    Alex Seitz-Wald

    This week, House Republicans are rolling out a plan they hope will boost the party’s appeal among working families, by giving private sector workers the option of converting overtime pay to paid time off. Pushing the bill, which is expected to get a vote this week, is House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who made it a key item in his big February speech pitching the GOP to working families. The speech was meant to kick off the GOP’s new, softer agenda, but if the party is looking for fresh ideas after their defeat in the 2012 election, this isn’t one.

    Republicans introduced the same idea in 1996, 1997 and 2003, even making it one of the first 10 bills they moved in the Newt Gingrich-era. The talking points haven’t changed much. “To many working men and women, time with their family is just as valuable as extra money,” current House Speaker Boehner said in March of 1997. “In fact, many would prefer to have time rather than money,” then-Rep. Judy Biggert said in 2003. “Time is more precious to [a working father] than the cash payments,” Rep. Martha Roby told the National Review last month.

    But that’s typical Washington, where old ideas get repackaged every year. What labor advocates are more concerned about is that the bill supposedly aimed at helping working families might actually hurt them by undermining the 40-hour work week and “increasing overtime hours for those who don’t want them and cutting pay for those who do,” as Center for Economic and Policy Research economist Eileen Appelbaum wrote. The National Partnership for Women and Families said the “mis-named Working Families Flexibility Act will mean a pay cut for workers without any guaranteed flexibility or time off.”

    The bill didn’t pass Congress in previous years for this very reason. When GOP leaders were courting New York Rep. Peter King to vote for the measure in 1997, he asked if they had spoken with labor groups about the measure. “It was as if I had said, Have you met with somebody from Mars?’” King told the Newsday on March 25 of that year. He voted against the bill.

    Meanwhile, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the business lobby of the country’s largest corporations, supports the bill.

    In Cantor’s “Making Life Work” speech in February, he explained that, “In 1985, Congress passed a law that gave state and municipal employees this flexibility, but today still denies that same privilege to the entire private sector. That’s not right.” But that move was to cut costs for government, not provide workers with more freedom, Judith Lichtman of the National Partnership for Women And Families told the AP. And government employees generally have the protection of both a union and civil service laws.

    And as Ezra Klein noted, if the problem is that working parents don’t have enough free time with their kids, then why not give them more by guaranteeing paid vacation days to employees? The U.S. is the only developed country that doesn’t have a law ensuring all workers get vacations, thanks to fervent opposition from Republicans and corporate interests. “Instead, Cantor is saying that the way to solve the problem of working parents not having enough time with their kids is to give them an incentive to work more overtime,” Klein wrote.

    Almost any bill can be touted as a freedom issue, but it’s telling when the people don’t want the freedom they’re supposedly getting.


  29. rikyrah says:

    A narrow path for ‘common ground’
    02/03/14 04:56 PM—Updated 02/03/14 04:57 PM
    By Steve Benen

    Every Saturday morning, President Obama delivers a weekly address, which is immediately followed by a Republican response, but this week’s GOP address was a little different: it was delivered by four Republicans instead of one. The message: there may be some room for a little “bipartisan common ground.”

    Republicans urged President Obama to find “bipartisan common ground” on policy areas highlighted in his State of the Union address.

    In Saturday’s GOP address, House Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) said the House has introduced bills in four areas that should be ripe for bipartisan support: Bolstering federal research funding, giving workers comp time in lieu of overtime pay, consolidating job training programs and easing natural gas pipeline permitting.

    Before getting into the particulars, it’s striking to realize just how small the “common ground” is. There are all kinds of popular ideas that enjoy broad public support – on job creation, aid to struggling families, immigration, public safety, etc. – but none of them made the cut in the official Republican statement.

    Instead, progress is now possible in just four areas – four narrow areas. For example, GOP lawmakers aren’t talking about increasing investments in education, but they are willing to move forward if Democrats agree to cut job-training programs through consolidation. Republicans won’t approve new federal research grants, but if Dems agree to cut spending elsewhere, these GOP officials are open to directing those savings to medical research. Republicans aren’t prepared to work on a comprehensive energy policy, but if Democrats aren’t too put off by fracking, GOP lawmakers are on board with more natural gas pipelines.

    As far as a national agenda for federal policymaking, this is thinner than thin. That these are literally the only areas congressional Republicans are willing to highlight as areas of “bipartisan common ground” suggests the public should keep their expectations for 2014 very, very low.

    But of particular interest is the GOP plan for “giving workers comp time in lieu of overtime pay.”

    This last came up in May, when the idea was included in House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s (R-Va.) rebranding campaign. And as we discussed at the time, the basic idea is empowering private-sector employers to make a trade with workers – instead of giving employees overtime pay for extra work, businesses can compensate workers with some additional time off.

    If this sounds familiar, it’s because the new Republican idea isn’t new at all – Alex Seitz-Wald noted that House GOP leaders pushed identical measures in 1996, 1997, and 2003, and it was a favorite measure of Newt Gingrich’s.


  30. rikyrah says:

    ‘In God We Trust—but We Have Put Our Faith in Our Guns’

    Florida teenager Jordan Davis was shot by Michael Dunn after an argument over music. His mother, Lucia McBath, talks about losing her son and her fight against Stand Your Ground laws.

    Ta-Nehisi Coates
    Feb 3 2014, 11:12 AM ET

    Jury selection begins today in the trial of Michael Dunn, the man who shot and killed teenager Jordan Davis outside a Florida convenience store in November of 2012. Davis was sitting in a parked SUV outside the Jacksonville store with friends when Dunn, who is white, began complaining about their music. An argument ensued, and then ended, when Dunn fired his 9mm handgun into the vehicle. As the SUV raced off, Dunn stepped out of his car and fired again. Then he and his girlfriend drove to a hotel, checked in, and ordered a pizza. He never called the police and was only arrested because a witness jotted down his license plate. Dunn, who is mounting a Stand Your Ground defense, claimed a passenger in the vehicle had threatened him with shotgun—or a stick. The police found no gun.

    In the wake of Jordan Davis’s death, his mother Lucia McBath has become active in the fight against Stand Your Ground laws. She is currently the national spokesperson for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense In America. I spoke with her recently about the impact of the death of her son.


  31. rikyrah says:

    The hidden costs of bad credit

    Your credit rating impacts many aspects of your everyday life. Here’s how.

    Sure, you know that having bad credit can mean paying more for a car loan or a mortgage. You know that it means you can pay more to use your credit cards. But did you know that people with bad credit also pay more for their car insurance and sometimes even for rent? There are more costs of having bad credit than you might know.

    Increasingly, employers are using credit reports to help make decisions of hiring and firing. Randy Padawer, a consumer advocate with Lexington law states that more than half of all major companies are using background checks as part of a pre-employment screening. “I think it’s unfair,” he says, but quickly adds “it’s something that consumers must remember when they’re doing something as mundane as paying a credit card bill.”

    Gail Cunningham, vice president of membership and public relations for the National Foundation for Credit Counseling points out the reason why credit reports are increasingly used in hiring decisions. “Potential employers might view your credit report as an overall reflection of your responsibility.”

    What’s the cost? Tim Lucas, vice president of mortgage at MyMortgageInsider.com, breaks it down. “Say that you have to take a job that pays $10,000 a year less because you have bad credit,” he says. “That’s $100,000 over ten years.” While the math is obvious, what might not be is that, in the case of employment, you might be losing more than you would because of high interest rates on a mortgage.


  32. rikyrah says:

    The magic of compound interest

    Saving even just a small amount of money every week can eventually turn into a sizable pile of cash over time.

    Patience and financial discipline can pay off. Check the infographic below to see how savings can add up.


  33. rikyrah says:

    Are you experienced?
    Posted by Richard Mayhew at 6:45 am

    Underwriters are the key people in an insurance company. They are the people who look at applicants, apply a system of equations and probability trees and figure out what a reasonably close price for the risk adjusted projected cost of an individual. If the underwriters guess too low, the insurance company won’t collect enough premiums to pay all claims. If they guess too high, customers will leave as they can get better deals elsewhere.

    PPACA has introduced a paradigm shift in underwriting health insurance products. The change has primarily occurred on the very large group and individual markets right now. Small and medium sized employer sponsored group health insurance will be underwritten in a different fashion this summer and next fall as the 2013 policies expire and new business is written.

    There are three different flavors of underwriting for health insurance. PPACA uses modified community rating. Most small and medium sized groups are currently underwritten by either experience or statistical underwriting that incorporates dozens of variables. Before we look at the implications of the underwriting change, let’s understand what these systems do.

    Experience underwriting occurs when an insurance company has been insuring a group for a while and has built out a claims history. The insurance company knows the health conditions of the members in that group. Underwriters can look at claims and make a very good guess at what a person will cost an insurance company over the next year. Underwriters can look at a group and identify the three cancer survivors, or the five heavy smokers with oxygen tanks or the diabetic cluster, or the family with two kids who are on the autism spectrum. At the same time, they can also identify the groups full of twenty-four year old marathoners with “perfect” claims history and interuterine devices (IUDs).

    Statistical underwriting is underwriting based on playing twenty questions (actually more like 90 questions.) It is used when the insurance company does not have a deep claims history on a group or a set of individuals. The insurance company finds out about where people live, what their past medical history looks like and what their recent utilization profiles as far as costs. Statistical underwriting leads to people getting rejected because they are sky divers, or female because women tend to use more than similar age and health men plus they have pregnancy risk.

    The final major underwriting system is community underwriting. Pure community underwriting gives the same rate to everyone within an area irrespective of current or historical health status. A 22 year old male with no medical issues will pay the same rate as a diabetic cancer surviving 64 year old female.

    Obamacare uses modified community underwriting. Insurance companies are allowed to consider three factors in setting rates. The first is age. 64 year old individuals can pay no more than three times the rates of a 21 year old. This is roughly actuarially fair with a minor subsidy up the age ladder. The second factor is smoking status. Smokers can be charged 50% more of the base premium. The final factor is location. Some insurance companies will price adjoining zip codes differently. For instance, a zip code that is traditionally upwind of a lead smelter will probably be cheaper to insure than the zip code downwind. Other companies will price at the city or county level.

    Modified community underwriting is the only form of underwriting on the Exchange and qualified individual market right now. It is the only form of underwriting allowed for any new policy with an effective date of service of January 1st or later. Grandfathered plans and otherwise compliant plans that were written before January 1st can continue to have either statistical or experience underwriting.

    Most small and medium group health insurance policies will need to be renewed at some point in 2014 and their underwriting will change. The implications of this change will be in another post.


  34. rikyrah says:

    In India, a Pilgrimage to a Feast for Thousands
    By GUY TREBAYFEB. 3, 2014

    RAYAVARAM, India — Palaniappa Chettiar has always been goal oriented, and when he turned 97 three years ago, he set himself a new one.

    No one within memory in his family, extended clan or village had reached 100. Determined to get there himself, he cut down on the yolks in the raw eggs he swallows daily for breakfast, took extra care on his daily four-mile walk to the local Hindu temple and started planning for a party the likes of which few here (or anywhere, for that matter) have ever seen.

    Early in January, Mr. Chettiar celebrated his century, and threw open the doors to his pillared ancestral house in this remote village in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu, to what appeared to be every person he had ever met — about 7,500 of them.


  35. rikyrah says:

    6 most affordable, fast-growing US cities
    Looking for a vibrant city but don’t want to pay an arm and a leg to live there? Here are 6 that may fit the bill — hope you like warm weather.

    By Josue Ledesma, Cheapism.com

    No. 6: Raleigh, N.C. (47 points)

    No. 5: Houston (50 points)

    No. 4: Charlotte, N.C. (53 points)

    No. 3: San Antonio (54 points)

    No. 2: Fort Worth, Texas (56 points)

    No. 1: Austin, Texas (57 points)


  36. rikyrah says:

    Joan Mondale, former ‘second lady’ and arts advocate, dies at 83

    By Mila Koumpilova

    Joan Mondale, who wore the moniker “Joan of Art” as America’s second lady, an ambassador’s wife and a fixture of the Twin Cities cultural scene, died Monday. She was 83.

    The wife of former Vice President Walter Mondale was a tireless promoter of the arts and a poised campaigner for her husband. Over the years, she turned the vice presidential mansion into an arts gallery and pushed her St. Paul alma mater to set aside money for public art in each construction project.

    Mondale died surrounded by her husband, two sons and other relatives, according to the Mondales’ longtime pastor.

    The family announced Sunday that she had gone into hospice care but did not reveal the cause of her death.

    “We are grateful for the expressions of love and support we have received,” Walter Mondale said in a statement. “Joan was greatly loved by many. We will miss her dearly.”

    Mondale was born Joan Adams in Eugene, Ore., the daughter of a Presbyterian minister who eventually became chaplain at St. Paul’s Macalester College. She graduated from Macalester in 1952 with a major in history and minors in arts and French. She went on to work at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.

    She married Walter Mondale, a fellow preacher’s kid and Macalester student, in 1955 — 53 days after they met on a blind date arranged by her sister. They had three children: Ted, Eleanor and William.


  37. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone. :-)

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