Serendipity SOUL | Monday Open Thread| Brothers Johnson Week!

Happy Monday, Everyone! This week we’re featuring the FUNK of the fabulous group The Brothers Johnson



The Brothers Johnson is an American funk and R&B band consisting of American musicians and brothers George aka ‘Lightnin’ Licks’ and Louis E. Johnson aka ‘Thunder Thumbs’. They achieved their greatest success from the mid-1970s to early ’80s, with three singles topping the R&B charts (“I’ll Be Good to You“, “Strawberry Letter 23“, and “Stomp!“).

Guitarist/vocalist George and bassist/vocalist Louis formed the band Johnson Three Plus One with older brother Tommy, and their cousin Alex Weir, while attending school in Los Angeles, California.[1][2] When they became professionals, the band backed such touring R&B acts as Bobby Womack and the Supremes. George and Louis Johnson later joined Billy Preston‘s band, and wrote Music in My Life and The Kids and Me for him before leaving his group in 1973. In 1976, The Brothers covered the Beatles‘ song, Hey Jude, for the ephemeral musical documentary All This and World War II.

More to come!


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69 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Monday Open Thread| Brothers Johnson Week!

  1. vitaminlover says:

    I love Strawberry Letter 23!

  2. rikyrah says:

    First Lady is on C-SPAN2 right now, not C-Span!

  3. rikyrah says:

    Late Media Alert.

    C-SPAN’S First Ladies Series will finally focus on FLOTUS Michelle Obama

    9PM EST

  4. rikyrah says:

    February 10, 2014 at 6:00 pm

    We’ve got some real fun in the GOP race for Gov. in Illinois. The multi-multi millionaire venture capitalist frontrunner Bruce Rauner, who is trying to buy the office, running hourly ads for months now, was going around the state blabbing about wanting to LOWER the minimum wage, which was quite remarkable in its insensitivity, given that he reported an income of $53 million, that’s $204,000 a day. When there was a huge backlash, he said he never said that but of course it was on tape at multiple appearances. Now today we have a top deputy to the state treasurer, who is a runner up to the front runner, filing a lawsuit claiming that the candidate, Dan Rutherford, sexually harassed him and forced him to do political work on state time. The “sexual harassment” part is quite graphic in some of its assertions. And there’s charges that Rauner is behind these charges etc. etc. etc. GOP are a mess in Illinois, as usual.

  5. rikyrah says:

    Republicans threaten to end VW incentives if workers vote for union in Chattanooga (AP story; news releases)

    By Eric Schelzig, Associated Press
    NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Republican lawmakers in Tennessee on Monday threatened that the state could turn off the spigot of incentives for Volkswagen if workers at the German automaker’s plant decide this week to approve union representation.

    State Senate Speaker Pro Tem Bo Watson in a news conference in Chattanooga called the United Auto Workers campaign at the plant “un-American.”

    “Should the workers at Volkswagen choose to be represented by the United Auto Workers, any additional incentives from the citizens of the state of Tennessee for expansion or otherwise will have a very tough time passing the Tennessee Senate,” he said.

  6. Ametia says:

    Health insurance mandate for medium businesses delayed

    The Obama administration announced Monday it would give some employers – those with 50 to 99 workers – an extra year, until 2016, to comply with a requirement that they offer health insurance to full-time employees. Firms with at least 100 employees will have to start offering this coverage in 2015, and firms with less than 50 employees are not required to offer insurance.

    Read more at:

  7. God allowed me to meet a wonderful person online who just happens to be an RN and can help me through this. I am so grateful for Ametia.

  8. rikyrah says:

    Republican Strategy and How to Beat It

    Posted on February 10, 2014 by Milt Shook

    Have you ever noticed that Republicans only talk about Voter ID and attempt to purge Democratic voters during election years? Why is that? I mean, if your actual goal is to reduce the number of opposition voters, it would seem to me the best time to do that is in odd-numbered years, when no one’s paying close attention. The thing is. Republicans don’t pass voter ID laws and take other measures to suppress voters for the reasons you think. How many people in, say, Pennsylvania do you imagine are walking around without identification and have an intention to vote? Perhaps 20-30,000? In a state with nearly 13 million people, that’s not enough to swing an election. BUT…

    What the GOP can count on is a swift, strong, sustained reaction from progressives. We spend so much of our time fighting “voter suppression” that we probably have a net greater negative effect on most elections than Republicans do. Think about it. If hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians are trying to decide whether to take an hour or two off from one of the jobs they need to make ends meet, and they are convinced they’re going to get to the polls and be turned away, many, if not most, will decide not to vote. In other words, we end up helping the right do their dastardly deed, help them keep good people away from the polls, and make it more possible that the people of Pennsylvania, who are 60% Democratic, continue with majority-Republican representation.

    I say this a lot, but progressives absolutely MUST understand this concept; The Republican Party’s number one strategy – quite possibly their only strategy – is to drive down turnout. Their crazy voters will show up in droves – their turnout is commonly around 80-85%, but can top 90% if they’re motivated – so the more people they can get to stay home, the more valuable their voters are for the election. The disgusting and anti-American things they do and say usually aren’t necessarily said because they believe them. It’s often for two reasons. The most obvious reason is, it’ll disgust voters and make them think the system isn’t worth participating in. But the second reason is, they know we’ll react and fight against them on their silliness, and THAT will make people think the system is broken and not worth participating in.

    Again, we are too often complicit in helping them with their main objective, which is to get people to stay home. And unfortunately, we’re really good at it.

    This is not a new concept. I heard about it from my mentor when I first became involved in politics at age 14. Charles “Mac” Mathias was a liberal Republican, before they followed the dodo bird into extinction, and he told me exactly that in 1972. Eight years later, in 1980, right wing pioneer Paul Weyrich confirmed this in a speech. And while Weyrich is less well-known than Saint Reagan, he’s actually held in higher esteem among the far right than even Reagan. He is a co-founder of the Heritage Foundation, and the founder of ALEC.

    In this infamous speech, Weyrich stated the following:

    “Now many of our Christians have what I call the ‘goo-goo syndrome.’ Good government. They want everybody to vote. I don’t want everybody to vote. Elections are not won by a majority of people. They never have been from the beginning of our country, and they are not now. As a matter of fact our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down.”

  9. rikyrah says:

    Classy, Ashley. I’m sure Mirai felt the same way.

    Whether or not you feel Mirai Nagasu got snubbed [raises hand] when Ashley Wagner was picked for the U.S. Olympic figure skating team, you’ll probably find this pretty amusing. Over the weekend, cameras caught Wagner’s unmistakable, brutally honest reaction to her short program score during ladies team competition.

    Ashley Wagner’s “Bullshit” Moment Is The First Meme Of The Sochi Games

    Wagner received a score of 63.10, putting her in fourth place behind Mao Asada of Japan, who actually fell during her routine. It’s clearly apparently she thought she’d do better. Simply put, she thought her score was “bullshit.” Of course, the moment was captured, instantly gif-ed and proliferated throughout the internet. Infamous.

  10. rikyrah says:

    Going all in for the ‘insurance trap’

    02/10/14 12:47 PM—Updated 02/10/14 12:48 PM
    By Steve Benen

    It’s been about a week since a few too many reporters and congressional Republicans misinterpreted a CBO report, but a lingering question continues to draw debate. If the Affordable Care Act will make it easier for Americans to voluntarily leave jobs they don’t want, is that a good thing or a bad thing?

    For the left, freeing Americans of the “insurance trap” is a positive development. The progressive line is that those facing “job lock” – folks who want to quit but can’t because their families need the health coverage – deserve more choices. For the right, this policy goal was widely embraced, right up until opposition to “Obamacare” became paramount, at which point many conservatives decided the “insurance trap” and “job lock” aren’t so bad after all.

    But consider a real-world example that helps drive the larger policy point home. Sandhya Somashekhar reported over the weekend on a woman named Polly Lower, who felt empowered enough by the ACA to quit her job.

    It happened in September, when her boss abruptly changed her job description. She went from doing payroll, which she liked, to working on her boss’s schedule, which she loathed. At another time, she might have had to grit her teeth and accept the new position because she needed the health benefits.

    But with the health-care law soon to take effect, she simply resigned – and hasn’t looked back.

    “It was wonderful. It was very freeing,” said Lower, 56, of Bourbon, Ind., who is now babysitting her 5-year-old granddaughter full time. With the help of federal subsidies that kicked in Jan. 1, she is paying less than $500 a month for health coverage for herself and her husband.

    The Washington Post article went on to note that Lower finds it challenging to adjust to the loss of income, but she nevertheless feels like she made the right choice for her family by walking away from a job she hated.

    And while this is obviously just one person, what the CBO projects is that there will be over 2 million Americans who make similar choices in the coming years thanks health care reform.

    For the left, this is a feature. For the right, it’s a bug.

  11. rikyrah says:

    Marcus Smart is not the problem
    by Nsenga K. Burton, Ph.D. | February 10, 2014 at 8:51 AM

    Marcus Smart is a talented basketball player whose level of college play will eventually lead him to the NBA. The Oklahoma State University sophomore has been harangued by fans, pundits and the blogosphere for his run-in with Texas Tech’s “super fan” Jeff Orr. You may recall that Smart shoved Orr after Orr and a female companion and another older female fan yelled obscenities at Smart while he was going for a ball which landed him near the stands.

    In fact, one of the ladies had a Jan Brewer moment, shoving her finger into Smart’s face, which can be seen before he shoves Orr. Initially it was reported that Orr called Marcus Smart the n-word and told him to go back to Africa.

    Orr admits that he called Smart a “piece of crap,” but did not use a racial slur, as if that is acceptable. I fully believe that Orr called him the n-word because that is a word that would elicit that kind of response from Smart or any other self-respecting person of color being bullied by an aging “super fan” without moral boundaries. NBA basketball player John Lucas, III said that Orr used to say horrible things to him while he was playing college basketball. There’s footage of Orr making an obscene hand gesture at players in 2010. Even Desmond Mason, an 11-year NBA veteran who believes that Smart’s response was wrong, stated that he was called the n-word “every” game he played in Lubbock.

  12. rikyrah says:

    In Kentucky, voters complain about Obama, but take his care
    by Perry Bacon Jr. | February 10, 2014 at 8:48 AM

    HAZARD, Kentucky – She still hates him.

    With her new health care coverage under Medicaid through the Affordable Care Act, Tammy Clark was sitting in the waiting area at Hazard ARH Regional Medical Center, enthusiastically listing all of the benefits she gets now: appointments at the hospital instead of relying on free clinics, care from a doctorinstead of a nurse practitioner, heart screenings and other tests she couldn’t get before because she didn’t have insurance.

    Clark said her health may improve, as she has already visited her new doctor three times over the past month. Her politics, though, will remain exactly the same. Clark, like most people in this town in eastern Kentucky’s coal-mining region, didn’t vote for Barack Obama in 2008, disliked him more by 2012 and wouldn’t support for him today if he were on a ballot.

    “Before, I had to go to the free clinic and get services,” she said, smiling. “Now, I can go to a real doctor. It’s a lot better.”

  13. rikyrah says:

    Christie gets the cold shoulder in Illinois

    02/10/14 11:40 AM—Updated 02/10/14 01:46 PM
    By Steve Benen

    New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) continues to rack up frequent-flier miles in his capacity as chairman of the Republican Governors Association, and will arrive in Chicago for some fundraising tomorrow.

    He may, however, feel a little lonely.

    Embattled New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, struggling to get ahead of the bridge scandal, hits Chicago on Tuesday for Republican Governors Association fundraisers, but the four Republicans running for Illinois governor did not have plans to attend. […]

    Wes Bleed, a spokesman for state Sen. Kirk Dillard R-Hinsdale said, “no, we won’t be attending any Christie events.” Brian Sterling, a spokesman for Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford, said “he knows nothing about the event and is not involved in any way.”

    Dan Egler, a spokesman for state Sen. Bill Brady R-Bloomington, said “right now, no.” Mike Schrimpf, a spokesman for investor Bruce Rauner – and a former RGA spokesman – told me, “We don’t have his schedule completely finalized for next week yet.”

  14. rikyrah says:

    Bridenstine’s townhall gone wrong
    02/10/14 11:15 AM
    By Steve Benen

    Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R) recently hosted an event in his Oklahoma district, where he fielded a noxious question from a constituent. Specifically, an unidentified woman suggested President Obama “should be executed as an enemy combatant.” She added, “This guy is a criminal, nobody’s stopping him.”

    Ordinarily, this would be about the time a member of Congress – or really, anyone concerned with basic decency – would say such talk is inappropriate and an invitation for a chat with the Secret Service. But Bridenstine chose a different course, answering the woman by expressing some sympathy for her views.

    “Look,” the congressman responded, “everybody knows the lawlessness of this president. He picks and chooses which laws he’s going to enforce or not enforce. He does it by decree.” Bridenstine, slipping even deeper into the fever swamp, added that Obama “uses foreign bodies, he uses, you know, the United Nations to change the laws in the United States.”

    For the record, for those living in reality, the president has not used the U.N. or any foreign body to try to change domestic laws.

    Regardless, why is it, exactly, an elected member of Congress seemed wholly unconcerned when confronted by someone who wants to see the president executed? Why couldn’t Bridenstine take a moment to say something, anything, about the recklessness of such comments, before he expressed some sympathy for her perspective?

  15. rikyrah says:

    Hardball tactics emerge in Alaska
    02/10/14 10:33 AM
    By Steve Benen

    At first blush, it looks like a simple, local dispute in the hands of state judges. A community in southern Alaska called Ketchikan Borough filed a lawsuit last month, challenging a discrepancy in state school funding that penalizes larger school districts.

    But as the litigation continues, state government continues to operate normally, and an unrelated effort is underway to divvy up state construction funds. Late last week, Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell (R) made a rather striking effort to connect the two.

  16. Ametia says:

    *sigh* Jonesing for SCANDAL!

  17. rikyrah says:

    February 09, 2014 3:17 PM
    The ACA makes it possible for workers to quit jobs they hate. This is awesome.

    By Kathleen Geier

    There’s a very interesting story in today’s Washington Post about workers who are now able to quit their jobs because of Obamacare. For example, here’s the story of a woman named Polly Lower:

    It happened in September, when her boss abruptly changed her job description. She went from doing payroll, which she liked, to working on her boss’s schedule, which she loathed. At another time, she might have had to grit her teeth and accept the new position because she needed the health benefits.

    But with the health-care law soon to take effect, she simply resigned — and hasn’t looked back.

    “It was wonderful. It was very freeing,” said Lower, 56, of Bourbon, Ind., who is now babysitting her 5-year-old granddaughter full time. With the help of federal subsidies that kicked in Jan. 1, she is paying less than $500 a month for health coverage for herself and her husband

    To recap: Polly Lower was able to quit a job a job that sucked so she could spend time with her granddaughter. She said this was “freeing” and “wonderful.” And the problem is …?

    Of course, this is America, so any policy that improves the lot of workers immediately becomes horribly “controversial.” And right on cue, here we have right-wing economist Douglas Holtz-Eakin for the ritual shrieking and rending of garments:

  18. Ametia says:

    Chris Christie bridge scandal investigators may issue about a dozen new subpoenas
    By Christopher Baxter/The Star-Ledger

    TRENTON — The state legislative committee investigating the George Washington Bridge scandal may issue about a dozen more subpoenas today, The Star-Ledger has learned.

    A source close to the investigation said no decision on the subpoenas would be made until the committee meets today at 2 p.m. The records requested may include helicopter logs of Gov. Chris Christie from the time of the September lane closures.

    The source was not authorized to discuss the investigation and requested anonymity. The panel has already subpoenaed 18 people, including top members of Christie’s administration, as well as the governor’s office and his re-election campaign.

    Two people subpoenaed by the committee — Bridget Anne Kelly, Christie’s former deputy chief of staff whom he fired last month, and Bill Stepien, his two-time campaign manager — have refused to provide records, citing the Fifth Amendment.

    One of the co-chairman of the legislative panel, John Wisniewski (D-Middlesex), said last week that addressing those refusals might be part of today’s meeting.

  19. rikyrah says:

    The Threat Of Defaulting On U.S. Debt And Other Crises Have Cost 750,000 Jobs

    The threat of defaulting on American federal debt thanks to lawmakers bickering over raising the debt ceiling — a situation that has now taken place twice, once in the summer of 2011 and again toward the end of last year — and other instances of governing by crisis increased unemployment by 0.5 percent, or in other words, meant the loss of 750,000 jobs, according to a new report from the Peterson Institute on International Economics.

    Narrowly avoiding default, going over the fiscal cliff, and another year of harmful sequestration cuts combined with last year’s government shutdown sliced 1 percent off of real GDP economic growth, which is the same as losing $150 billion a year, according to the report. That translates into a bit more than half a percentage point increase in unemployment.

    The report also notes that these crises hit close to home, increasing borrowing costs for the average American. The fiscal uncertainty ushered in by governing by crisis since 2010 has increased private borrowing spreads by nearly 40 basis points, and if that were fully reflected in higher mortgage interest rates, it would mean an extra $470 each month for mortgage payments on the median home.

    Any questions?

  20. rikyrah says:

    Peter King’s wholesale reversal on GOP, Sandy
    02/10/14 09:16 AM
    By Steve Benen

    When House Republicans blocked post-Sandy disaster relief a year ago, arguably no member of Congress was as publicly apoplectic as Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.). The lawmaker called described his own party’s position as “an absolute disgrace,” hinted at a possible party switch, and declared, “[A]nyone from New York or New Jersey who contributes one penny to congressional Republicans is out of their minds.”

    And at the time, arguably no member of Congress was as publicly indifferent to Sandy victims as Rep. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.). A year ago next week, the far-right Arkansan gave a speech in which rejected the very idea of offering relief after the natural disaster. “I don’t think Arkansas needs to be bailing out the Northeast,” Cotton said.

    It came as something of a surprise, then, when the New York Daily News discovered that Peter King, to use his words, apparently went out of his mind.

  21. rikyrah says:

    Mother of AOL’s ‘Distressed Baby’ Blasts CEO Tim Armstrong’s Corporate Greed

    By: Sarah Jones more from Sarah Jones

    Sunday, February, 9th, 2014, 2:06 pm

    Deanna Fei, the mother of the “distressed baby” that AOL CEO Tim Armstrong blamed for cutting employee benefits, wrote a moving response on Slate this morning, in which she blasted Armstrong for blaming her daughter for corporate greed.

    Fei’s entire article is a must read, but her description of her family’s personal pain being used as a scapegoat for corporate greed was particularly politically relevant, as Republicans argue that people are not entitled to healthcare. (This is the inherent underpinning to the Republican policy position, or else it’s just “go die.” Neither is a public relations winner and that is why they won’t have a real discussion about healthcare other than to demonize Obamacare.)

    Deanna Fei wrote, “I take issue with how he reduced my daughter to a “distressed baby” who cost the company too much money. How he blamed the saving of her life for his decision to scale back employee benefits. How he exposed the most searing experience of our lives, one that my husband and I still struggle to discuss with anyone but each other, for no other purpose than an absurd justification for corporate cost-cutting.”

    Fei pointed out that on the day that Armstrong, who made $12 million dollars last year, blamed her baby for cutting employee benefits, he also gloated about having the best quarterly earnings in years. “For me and my husband—who have been genuinely grateful for AOL’s benefits, which are actually quite generous—the hardest thing to bear has been the whiff of judgment in Armstrong’s statement, as if we selfishly gobbled up an obscenely large slice of the collective health care pie.”

  22. rikyrah says:

    How will news that Michael Sam is gay affect his NFL draft stock?
    By Pete Thamel and Thayer Evans

    The news that former Missouri defensive end Michael Sam is gay holds significant social and cultural ramifications. But from a purely football perspective, his decision to come out prior to May’s NFL draft will make his path to the league daunting, eight NFL executives and coaches told

    In blunt terms, they project a significant drop in Sam’s draft stock, a publicity circus and an NFL locker room culture not prepared to deal with an openly gay player. Sam, the SEC Defensive Player of the Year, was projected as a mid- to late-round draft pick prior to his announcement.

    While none of the executives overtly condemned Sam’s decision, their opinions illuminated an NFL culture in which an openly gay player — from the draft room to the locker room — faces long odds and a lonely path.
    The executives and coaches were granted anonymity by for their honesty. Their answers were consistently unsparing.

    “I don’t think football is ready for [an openly gay player] just yet,” said an NFL player personnel assistant. “In the coming decade or two, it’s going to be acceptable, but at this point in time it’s still a man’s-man game. To call somebody a [gay slur] is still so commonplace. It’d chemically imbalance an NFL locker room and meeting room.”

    All the NFL personnel members interviewed believed that Sam’s announcement will cause him to drop in the draft. He was projected between the third and seventh rounds prior to the announcement. The question is: How far will he fall?

    “I just know with this going on this is going to drop him down,” said a veteran NFL scout. “There’s no question about it. It’s human nature. Do you want to be the team to quote-unquote ‘break that barrier?'”

    Read More:

  23. rikyrah says:

    another gif for 3CHICS

    the dancing coon – literally

  24. rikyrah says:

    Tracy Reese: Fashion race issues on and off runway
    By LEANNE ITALIE, Associated Press
    Updated 8:35 pm, Sunday, February 9, 2014

    NEW YORK (AP) — Diversity on the runway is only part of the race problem in fashion, said Tracy Reese. There’s plenty to be done behind the scenes as well, she said.

    Reese, a rare black female designer at New York Fashion Week, sees no one solution.

    “There’s so many things that need to change. There are a lot of designers of color but I think there’s just a dearth of designers out front,” she said Sunday as she dashed from runway walk-through to makeup re-touches for one of her models Sunday at a space in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood.

  25. rikyrah says:

    Republicans Get Ready to Cave on the Debt Ceiling, Again

    Thursday, February 06, 2014 | Posted by Spandan Chakrabarti at 1:43 PM

    Part of the reason I have been relatively nonchalant on the Republican dog-and-pony show and threats to want to extract concessions from the president in order to raise the debt ceiling is that I have been convinced for some time that for Republicans, that dog simply won’t hunt. This has become a sad, broken, predictable record now: the debt ceiling gets close, Republicans swoon over themselves with promises to extract concessions from Democrats and the president just to pay America’s bills that Congress has already authorized, then let it be raised without those concessions anyway. And then in a few month’s time, they repeat and promise it’ll be different this time, and then back off again.

    That is what is happening right now. Tomorrow, the Congress-enacted suspension of the borrowing limit expires, and the Treasury Secretary Jack Lew says that extraordinary measures to keep the government from running out of money will last only until the end of this month. After toying once again with demanding the suspension of the Affordable Care Act and/or approving the Keystone XL pipeline, the House Republican leadership is inching ever closer to the white flag.

    Lacking support, top Republicans dropped efforts to link a debt-ceiling boost to a measure revoking an Obamacare insurance provision, said two party leadership aides who sought anonymity yesterday to discuss private talks. A proposal to force approval of the Keystone XL pipeline also was abandoned even though it’s popular among Republicans, the aides said.

    “We’re still looking for the pieces to this puzzle,” House Speaker John Boehner said today, joking that he’d have trouble finding enough Republican votes for a debt ceiling increase even if sainthood for Mother Teresa were attached.

    Then, Boehner said the magic words: “We need Democratic support in order to pass it.” Though technically Boehner was speaking about some sort of a Republican plan that offers the GOP concessions, the very admission for the need of Democratic support may as well be equivalent to waving that white flag. This is not an issue Democrats in Congress will compromise with the Republicans on, and least of all the president. There is no chance that Boehner will get support from the Democrats in Congress or the president in the Republican attempt to take hostages over the debt ceiling, and he knows that. The open plea for Democratic help, therefore, is in truth surrender.

  26. rikyrah says:

    February 09, 2014, 01:00 pm
    Ellison: Obama has ‘done his part’ on immigration

    By Megan R. Wilson

    President Obama has done his part to move on immigration reform and Republicans have dropped the ball, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) said on Sunday.

    As some Republicans have blamed a lack of trust with Obama for not being able to make progress on the issue, Ellison says the president’s track record speaks for itself.

    Obama “has led a government that has been deporting people .. 1,100 a day. … I mean, there’s no doubt the president was told if he works on the border, the Republican caucus will work with him on passing a bill,” Ellison said on ABC’s “This Week” program. “He’s done his part. They’ve failed to do their part.”

    Ellison, the co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) shift on immigration comes from pressure within the party leader’s own flock.

    “It’s obvious the Speaker got a lot of pushback from somebody within his caucus who [he] has to listen to. And so he changed course,” he said. “I don’t think it’s political courage. And I was really disappointed.”

    Read more:
    Follow us: @thehill on Twitter | TheHill on Facebook

  27. rikyrah says:

    An Artistic Makeover for the $100 Bill
    By Cecilie Rohwedder
    June 7, 2013 9:49 p.m. ET

    Brian Thompson’s latest artwork has taken 17 years to create. But when the piece is unveiled this fall, millions will see and touch it.

    Mr. Thompson designs paper money at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in Washington—most recently the new $100 bill, which will start to circulate on Oct. 8.

    The note will still feature Benjamin Franklin on its face and Philadelphia’s Independence Hall on its back. Much of the rest…

    The new sleek $100 bills were released by the U.S. Federal Reserve on October 8, 2013. The design was the creation of 43-year-old African American artist, Brian Thompson. Thompson walks in his father’s footsteps, who served as a cylinder maker at the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing in D.C. His father saw a call for artists and knew his son would fit the bill. The artist has been working at the bureau for 24 years and he can finally call the newly release $100 bill his own design.

  28. rikyrah says:

    We’re not in Kansas anymore
    02/07/14 04:47 PM—Updated 02/07/14 07:33 PM
    By Steve Benen

    There are some common political criticisms that get tossed around anytime a congressional incumbent has been in office for many years. His or her detractors will say the incumbent has become a “Washington insider” who’s “lost touch” with regular folks back home.

    Sometimes the attacks have merit; sometimes they’re just lazy cliches. But as a rule, when incumbents no longer live in the state they represent, they open the door to awkward questions about whether their constituents are actually their neighbors. Today, for example, Jonathan Martin reports on Republican Sen. Pat Roberts, who represents the state of Kansas.

    It is hard to find anyone who has seen Senator Pat Roberts here [in Dodge City, Kansas] at the redbrick house on a golf course that his voter registration lists as his home. Across town at the Inn Pancake House on Wyatt Earp Boulevard, breakfast regulars say the Republican senator is a virtual stranger.

    “He calls it home,” said Jerald Miller, a retiree. “But I’ve been here since ‘77, and I’ve only seen him twice.”

    The 77-year-old senator went to Congress in 1981 and became a fixture: a member of the elite Alfalfa Club and the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, which made him a regular on the Sunday talk shows. His wife became a real estate broker in Alexandria, Va., the suburb where the couple live, boasting of her “extensive knowledge” of the area.

  29. rikyrah says:

    Thursday, February 6, 2014
    Assassination Tango
    Posted by Zandar

    The video of last month’s town hall meeting in Oklahoma for GOP Rep. Jim Brindenstine is making the rounds, and for good reason. Oklahoma is the most anti-Obama state in the nation, the only state where President Obama failed to win a single county in either 2008 or 2012, and the crowd at the town hall near Tulsa proved why over and over again.

    In a video circulating online, supporters of Oklahoma congressman Jim Bridenstine, called for the ‘impeachment’ and ‘execution’ of President Obama in a town hall meeting.

    “Obama is not president, as far as I’m concerned. He should be executed as an enemy combatant,” said an unidentified woman in the video. “I can’t tell you, or I can’t say because we are in a public place, this guy is a criminal.”

    Now, you would think with this being taped for posterity that Brindenstine would have enough sense to try to tamp down these Tea Party lunatics calling for the President’s assassination at one of his events.

    But this is the Republican party we’re talking about here.

    Bridenstine responded to the woman, stating “everybody knows the lawlessness of this president,” however he never said anything about the execution of Obama or agreed with the women on those charges.

    “The only way I see out of this is to overwhelmingly change the senate, so that we can then impeach the SOB,” said another unidentified woman.

    “You know, you look so sweet…” said Bridenstine to the woman

  30. rikyrah says:

    A governor and his rogue operation
    02/10/14 08:00 AM
    By Steve Benen

    Last weekend, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s (R) office went on the offensive, targeting former ally David Wildstein with a leaked attack memo a day after Wildstein’s attorney said “evidence exists” proving the governor lied about the bridge scandal. The move backfired: the memo highlighted, among other things, Wildstein’s high school record, making the pushback appear ridiculous.

    Late on Friday afternoon, as Rachel noted on the show, Christie’s office tried to do damage control on their damage control with another leak.

    The memo from Gov. Chris Christie’s office attacking former appointee David Wildstein’s credibility landed with a thud. It was a striking and deeply personal broadside coming from a chief executive of a state, and even his allies called it a mistake.

    But one important person hadn’t seen the missive ahead of time: the governor himself.

    Christie’s aides did not run the document – which took the extraordinary step of highlighting incidents from Wildstein’s high school days – by the governor before they sent it out, according to two people familiar with the matter. Instead, someone tucked the high school lines into a daily briefing email to the governor’s supporters, and blasted it out earlier than planned

  31. rikyrah says:

    Refusing to take ‘yes’ for an answer
    02/10/14 08:32 AM
    By Steve Benen

    Initially, congressional Republicans told Democrats, “We won’t consider immigration reform unless President Obama starts taking enforcement seriously.” The White House agreed and deportations reached a record high.

    Soon after, congressional Republicans added, “We won’t consider immigration reform unless there’s a bipartisan bill.” Congressional Democrats agreed and a bipartisan compromise agreement took shape and passed the Senate.

    Congressional Republicans then said, “We won’t consider immigration reform unless we can break up the legislation into chunks and approve the provisions piecemeal.” Democrats again agreed.

    Finally, congressional Republicans concluded, “We can’t consider immigration reform because we perceive President Obama as an out-of-control radical who ignores federal laws.” Yesterday, Democrats signaled a willingness to accommodate this concern, too.

    A key Democratic senator proposed to delay implementation of a proposed new law until after President Barack Obama leaves office. The suggestion floated by Sen. Charles Schumer, D- N.Y., was an attempt to mollify Republican concerns about Obama not enforcing the law.

    “Let’s enact the law this year, but simply not let it actually start ‘til 2017 after President Obama’s term is over,” he said on NBC’s Meet the Press.

    Schumer added, “I think the rap against him that he actually won’t enforce the law is false – he’s deported more people than any other president. But you could actually have the law start in 2017 without doing much violence to it.”

    As a substantive matter, Schumer has a point. Indeed, as Jonathan Cohn noted, immigration reform advocates were generally receptive to Schumer’s idea, in part because “they know federal agencies would need at least a year, and probably more time than that, to write the relevant regulations anyway.”

    But right on cue, House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) office rejected Schumer’s offer a few hours later, calling the suggestion “entirely impractical.”

  32. rikyrah says:

    The Turtle In Trouble?
    Posted by Zandar

    The newest Lexington Herald-Leader/WKYT Bluegrass poll for Kentucky’s Senate race this year finds Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes up 4 points over Senate GOP minority leader Mitch McConnell, 46-42%, and the news gets worse for him:

    In an especially troubling sign for McConnell, his job-approval rating was two points below the approval rating poll respondents gave President Barack Obama, who remains deeply unpopular in the state. Only 32 percent approved of McConnell, compared to 34 percent for Obama. Both men won a disapprove rating from 60 percent of those surveyed.

    With women and young voters, McConnell trails Grimes badly, losing the women vote 49 percent to 37 percent and the 18-34 demographic 43 percent to 34 percent.

    Among voters who identified themselves as politically “moderate,” another key demographic, 55 percent said they had an unfavorable view of McConnell, compared to 15 percent for Grimes. In the General Election match-up, Grimes holds a 20-point advantage over McConnell among moderates. “McConnell has the support of conservatives and Grimes has the support of liberals, both of which are to be expected,” according to SurveyUSA’s analysis of the poll. “But Grimes outperforms McConnell five-to-three among moderates, and on this rock she builds her church.”

    As much as this is NOBAMA GO BACK TO KENYA country here in Kentucky, to see the same level of hatred directed at Mitch the Turtle is really, really something. But I wouldn’t put too much stock in McConnell’s terrible approval rating: He’s stomping Matt Bevin, his Tea Party primary challenger, in this poll by 26 points, and given these numbers against Grimes he’s got at least 10% of Kentucky voters willing to vote for him even though they don’t approve of him anymore.

    In other words, Republicans and Obama haters will gladly vote for Mitch again, but this will be a tough, tough race for him.

    If this race is about Mitch McConnell, he loses. If this race is about Barack Obama, Grimes loses.

  33. rikyrah says:

    N.F.L. Prospect Michael Sam Proudly Says What Teammates Knew: He’s Gay

    FEB. 9, 2014
    Coaches at the University of Missouri divided players into small groups at a preseason football practice last year for a team-building exercise. One by one, players were asked to talk about themselves — where they grew up, why they chose Missouri and what others might not know about them.

    As Michael Sam, a defensive lineman, began to speak, he balled up a piece of paper in his hands. “I’m gay,” he said. With that, Mr. Sam set himself on a path to become the first publicly gay player in the National Football League.

    “I looked in their eyes, and they just started shaking their heads — like, finally, he came out,” Mr. Sam said Sunday in an interview with The New York Times, the first time he had spoken publicly about his sexual orientation.

    Mr. Sam, a senior who was listed at 6 feet 2 inches and 260 pounds, had a stellar season as Missouri finished 12-2 and won the Cotton Bowl. He was a first-team all-American and was named the Associated Press defensive player of the year in the Southeastern Conference, widely considered the top league in college football. Teammates voted him Missouri’s most valuable player.

  34. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone! :-)

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