Wednesday Open Thread | Sting Week

Here is more Sting…don’t you love those folks that can be known by one name?




His 1991 album The Soul Cages was dedicated to his recently deceased father and included the Top 10 song “All This Time”, which reached No. 5 on the U.S. Pop chart, and the Grammy-winning title track. The album eventually went Platinum. The following year, he married Trudie Styler and was awarded an honorary doctorate degree in music from Northumbria University. In 1991, Sting appeared on Two Rooms: Celebrating the Songs of Elton John & Bernie Taupin, an album dedicated to the singer/songwriter duo. Sting performed “Come Down in Time”, for the album which also features other popular artists and their renditions of John/Taupin Songs. The album was released on 22 October 1991 by Polydor. Also in 1991, a recording of Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf was made by Deutsche Grammophon, narrated by Sting, and played by Claudio Abbado and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. This was also used as the soundtrack to the television special Peter and the Wolf: A Prokofiev Fantasy.[citation needed]

In 1993, he released the album Ten Summoner’s Tales, which peaked at number two in the UK and US Album Charts, and went triple platinum in just over a year.[17][25] Ten Summoner’s Tales was nominated for the Mercury Prize in 1993 and nominated for the Grammy Award for Album of the Year in 1994. The title is a wordplay on his surname, Sumner, and The Summoner’s Tale, one of The Canterbury Tales. Hit singles on the album include “Fields of Gold” and “If I Ever Lose My Faith in You.”, the latter earning Sting his second Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance at the 36th Grammy Awards.[26] Concurrent video albums were released to support Soul Cages (a live concert) and Ten Summoner’s Tales (recorded during the recording sessions for the album).



In May 1993, he released a cover of his own Police song from the Ghost in the Machine album, “Demolition Man”, for the Demolition Man film. Together with Bryan Adams and Rod Stewart, Sting performed the chart-topping song “All for Love” for the film The Three Musketeers. The song stayed at the top of the U.S. charts for five weeks and went Platinum; it is to date Sting’s only song from his post-Police career to top the U.S. charts. In February, he won two more Grammy Awards and was nominated for three more.[26] The Berklee College of Music gave him his second honorary doctorate of music degree in May. In November, he released a greatest hits compilation called Fields of Gold: The Best of Sting, which eventually was certified Double Platinum. That same year, he was featured in a duet with Vanessa Williams on the song “Sister Moon,” which appeared on her album The Sweetest Days. At the 1994 Brit Awards in London, Sting won the award for Best British Male.[27]

His 1996 album, Mercury Falling debuted strongly with the single “Let Your Soul Be Your Pilot”, but it dropped quickly on the charts. He reached the Top 40 with two singles the same year with “You Still Touch Me” (June) and “I’m So Happy I Can’t Stop Crying” (December) (which became a country music hit the next year in a version recorded with American country singer Toby Keith). During this period, Sting was also recording music for the upcoming Disney film Kingdom of the Sun, which went on to be reworked into The Emperor’s New Groove. The film went through drastic overhauls and plot changes, many of which were documented by Sting’s wife, Trudie Styler. She captured the moment he was called by Disney who then informed him that his songs would not be used in the final film. The story was put into a final product: The Sweatbox, which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival. Disney currently holds the rights to the film and will not grant its release. That same year Sting also released a little-known CD-ROM called All This Time, which provided music, commentary and custom computer features describing Sting and his music from his perspective.

Also in 1996, he provided some vocals for the Tina Turner single “On Silent Wings” as a part of her Wildest Dreams album. In the same year, his performance with the Brazilian composer/artist Tom Jobim in the song “How Insensitive” was featured in the AIDS benefit album Red Hot + Rio produced by the Red Hot Organization. Sting has also cooperated with Greek popular singer George Dalaras, giving a common concert in Athens. “Moonlight”, a rare jazz performance by Sting for the 1995 remake of Sabrina, written by Alan Bergman, Marilyn Bergman and John Williams, was nominated for a 1997 Grammy Award for Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or Television. On 4 September 1997, Sting performed “I’ll Be Missing You” with Puff Daddy at the 1997 MTV Video Music Awards in tribute of the late Notorious B.I.G..[28] On 15 September 1997, Sting appeared at the Music for Montserrat concert at the Royal Albert Hall, London, performing alongside artists such as Phil Collins, Mark Knopfler, Elton John, Eric Clapton and Paul McCartney.[29]


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80 Responses to Wednesday Open Thread | Sting Week

  1. My step son was in class at the time of the shooting. Central Texas College is located near the base. Classes were cancelled and students & faculty were evacuated.

  2. Fort Hood shooter identified as 34-year-old Ivan Lopez. The shooting stemmed from some sort of soldier dispute.

    This hateful ass clown—>

    I am surprised the thug still has a twitter account.

  3. *******************

    My cousin’s husband is on base there! God have mercy upon them all.

  4. Breaking:

    Shooting at Fort Hood Military Base, as Many as Eight Wounded

    A shooting has occurred at Fort Hood, Texas — the same base where a military psychiatrist killed 13 people 4½ years ago — an Army official told NBC News.

    As many as eight people may have been wounded and taken to hospitals, officials told NBC News.

    Officials told NBC News that one person was in custody and that a second possible shooter was being sought.

    The base was locked down, and all personnel on the base were ordered to shelter in place immediately.

    President Obama has been informed about the shooting at Fort Hood and will continue to receive updates, White House spokesman said.

    Waco police told the public to avoid the fort, saying on Twitter that “there is an on-going active shooter.”

  5. rikyrah says:

    Rand Paul: Tax Cheats Are Heroes

    Posted on April 2, 2014 at 2:00 pm by JM Ashby

    An investigation by the Senate investigations subcommittee has found that Caterpillar Inc. avoided paying at least $2.4 billion in taxes since 2000 by transferring money to a shell corporation in Switzerland.

    According to libertarian boy-wonder Rand Paul, Caterpillar deserves an award for screwing average Americans.

    “I think rather than having an inquisition, we should probably bring Caterpillar here and give them an award,” Paul said. “You know, they’ve been in business for over 100 years. It’s not easy to stay in business.” […]

    “It is a requirement that you try to minimize your costs. So rather than chastising Caterpillar we should be complimenting them,” Paul said.

  6. Ametia says:

    Bobby Jindal, with an eye on 2016, unveils plan to replace Obama health-care law

    Meanwhile… Talk about backwards and fucked up

    BATON ROUGE, La. April 2, 2014 (AP
    La. Senator: ‘Chicken Boxing’ Is Not Cockfighting

    A Louisiana senator is opposing a bill that would close loopholes in a state cockfighting ban, saying it threatens the legitimate, less bloody sport of “chicken boxing.”

    The criticism from Republican Sen. Elbert Guillory, of Opelousas, seemed to confuse senate judiciary committee members and stunned New Orleans Sen. J.P. Morrell, a Democrat from New Orleans who proposed the loophole-closing bill.

  7. rikyrah says:

    Stardom Doesn’t Change Where You’re From

    by Richard Sherman

    Stardom Doesn’t Change Where You’re From

    I’m not going to tell you that DeSean Jackson isn’t in a gang, because I can’t say unequivocally that he isn’t. I can’t tell you whether his friends have done the things police have accused them of doing, because I wasn’t there. I can’t tell you what DeSean does with his time, because we play football on opposite ends of the country. I can only tell you that I believe him to be a good person, and if you think, say or write otherwise without knowing the man, you’re in the wrong.

    And if it’s true the Eagles terminated his contract in part because they grew afraid of his alleged “gang ties,” then they did something worse.

    I look at those words—gang ties—and I think about all the players I’ve met in the NFL and all of us who come from inner-city neighborhoods like mine in Los Angeles, and I wonder how many of us could honestly say we’re not friends with guys doing the wrong things.

    I can’t.

    Those men with DeSean in the social pictures and the police reports weren’t his closest friends in childhood, but when his father died and few people were there for him, they were there. When a tragic event like that happens, the people who are around are the people who are around, and they were there for him.

    Was DeSean supposed to then say, “Thanks guys, but now that I’m a millionaire, please leave me alone”? Even if he wanted to, he wouldn’t have. In desperate times for people who come from desperate communities, your friends become your family. I wouldn’t expect DeSean to “distance himself” from anybody, as so many people suggest pro athletes ought to do despite having no understanding of what that means. Going to college and playing in the NFL creates a natural distance, but we can’t push people away just because they’re not as successful as us. I can’t change who I grew up with, but what I can do is try to educate them on the right way of doing things, help them when they need it, and try to keep them out of trouble.

    This offseason they re-signed a player who was caught on video screaming, “I will fight every n—– here.” He was representing the Philadelphia Eagles when he said it, because, of course, everything we do is reflective of the organization. But what did they do to Riley Cooper, who, if he’s not a racist, at least has “ties” to racist activity? They fined him and sent him to counseling. No suspension necessary for Cooper and no punishment from the NFL, despite its new interest in policing our use of the N-word on the field. Riley instead got a few days off from training camp and a nice contract in the offseason, too.

    Commit certain crimes in this league and be a certain color, and you get help, not scorn. Look at the way many in the media wrote about Jim Irsay after his DUI arrest. Nobody suggested the Colts owner had “ties” to drug trafficking, even though he was caught driving with controlled substances (prescription pills) and $29,000 in cash to do who-knows-what with. Instead, poor millionaire Mr. Irsay needs help, some wrote.

    But DeSean Jackson is the menace, right? He’s just as bad as those guys he parties with because he threw up a Crip sign in a picture and he owns a gangsta rap record label. If only all record label owners were held to this standard, somebody might realize that Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg weren’t the bosses behind NWA. Jim Irsay lookalikes in suits were.

  8. rikyrah says:

    YeaYouRite @YeaYouRite Follow

    GREAT IDEA: Democrats in states that didn’t expand Medicaid are now naming gap after Governors: “Perry-Gap,” “Jindal-Gap,” “Scott-Gap,” etc

    1:20 PM – 2 Apr 2014

  9. rikyrah says:

    Why the Anti-Corruption Drive in China Is So Important, and So Potentially Destabilizing

    Is the country moving from “efficient corruption” to something worse?

    James Fallows
    Apr 2 2014, 10:55 AM ET

    Here is a crude but effective classification scheme that I have used in distinguishing different economic systems. It is between “efficient” levels of corruption in government and business, and “inefficient” corruption.

    Through its era of fastest post-war growth, Japan was highly corrupt. Twenty years ago, authorities raided the home of the party boss Shin Kanemaru—and found gold bars and other loot worth something like $50 million. Yet in Japan, and South Korea and Taiwan and even Malaysia, the corruption was efficient. Bridges cost too much and enriched local barons, but they got built. Factories jacked up prices thanks to cartel rules, but they ran and kept people at work. Anybody who has studied the economic/political history of Chicago or Los Angeles will recognize versions of this bargain.

    On the other side were countries like Indonesia under Suharto, or the Philippines under Marcos, or North Korea under the Kims, or a lot of others you can think of, with inefficient corruption. The people who could, looted so much that there was not enough left over to keep the system running.

    Either sort of corruption has a self-reinforcing nature. When an efficient system is running smoothly, officials have a stake in its long-term survival, which allows them to keep taking their cut. Thus they steal but don’t loot. But when an inefficient one is deteriorating, all involved have an incentive to grab everything in sight while they can.

    Through its 30-plus years of economic modernization, China has seemed to stick to efficient levels of corruption. Connected families got very rich, but most families did better than they had before.

    An increasingly important question for Xi Jinping’s time in office, which bears on the even more urgent question of whether China can make progress against its environmental catastrophe, involves the levels and forms of Chinese corruption. Has it begun passing from tolerable to intolerable levels? If so, does Xi Jinping have the time, tools, or incentive to do anything about it? Will exposing high-level malfeasance—like the astonishing recent case of Zhou Yongkang, who appears to have taken more than $14 billion while he held powerful petroleum and national-security roles—encourage the public? Or instead sour and shock them about how bad the problem really is? Is it even possible to run a government and command a party while simultaneously threatening the system that most current power-holders have relied on for power and wealth?

  10. rikyrah says:

    GOP gets ObamaCare angst

    Anxious Senate Republicans are worried party leaders are focusing too much this election year on ObamaCare and not enough on jobs and the economy.

    The concern among GOP centrists comes as President Obama and congressional Democrats are crowing about a surge in late enrollments and claiming the political winds are shifting around the Affordable Care Act.

    A growing rift in the GOP was exposed when a group of Senate Republicans recently struck a bipartisan deal to extend unemployment benefits. Neither Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) nor Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) embraced the agreement.

    Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.), who spearheaded efforts to find a compromise on jobless benefits, said, “It’s my opinion that the Affordable Care Act is going to play in this election, but I don’t think it’s the main issue. I think the main issue is going to be the economy and jobs.

    “If we have solutions and answers on the economy and jobs, I think that the Affordable Care Act will take a back seat to it. If we think we’re going to win or lose the majority based on one single piece of legislation … I think we’re mistaken.”

    The error-plagued ObamaCare rollout and the president’s broken promise that people could keep their healthcare plans has helped put Republicans in a strong position to seize the Senate.

    But some Republicans, including a senator who requested anonymity, fear the issue’s potency could fade following the March 31 enrollment deadline as news media move to other stories.

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

  11. rikyrah says:

    The Supreme Court for Rich People
    by BooMan
    Wed Apr 2nd, 2014 at 12:44:17 PM EST

    The conservative majority on the Supreme Court doesn’t think that it’s possible to corrupt a politician by giving them money. Nor do they see a problem with wealthy individuals buying every politician in the country, as long as they don’t make their demands explicit.

    The Supreme Court pressed ahead on Wednesday with the majority’s constitutional view that more money flowing into politics is a good thing — even if much of it comes from rich donors. By a five-to-four vote, the Court struck down the two-year ceilings that Congress has imposed on donations to presidential and congressional candidates, parties and some — but not all — political action groups.
    The main opinion delivered by Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., said confidently that corruption in politics will be kept in check by caps — left intact — on how much each single donation can be. Removing the ceilings on the total amounts that may given in each election cycle will not undermine those limits, Roberts predicted.

  12. rikyrah says:

    AND in today’s Slave Catching Coon news:

    ADAction @ADAction

    Justice Clarence Thomas wrote that he would liked to have wiped away all campaign contribution limits.

    #SupremelyDisappointed #SCOTUS

  13. rikyrah says:

    Daniel Gross ✔ @grossdm
    The S&P 500 is near 1,900. When Michael Boskin wrote his famous WSJ op-ed, “Obama’s Radicalism is Killing the Dow,” in 3/09, it was at 670.

    10:20 AM – 2 Apr 2014

  14. rikyrah says:

    High deportation figures are misleading

    Immigrants living illegally beyond the border area are less likely to be deported under ‘deporter in chief’ President Obama, contrary to widespread belief.

    By Brian Bennett
    April 1, 2014, 8:55 p.m.

    WASHINGTON — Immigration activists have sharply criticized President Obama for a rising volume of deportations, labeling him the “deporter in chief” and staging large protests that have harmed his standing with some Latinos, a key group of voters for Democrats.

    But the portrait of a steadily increasing number of deportations rests on statistics that conceal almost as much as they disclose. A closer examination shows that immigrants living illegally in most of the continental U.S. are less likely to be deported today than before Obama came to office, according to immigration data.

    Expulsions of people who are settled and working in the United States have fallen steadily since his first year in office, and are down more than 40% since 2009.

    On the other side of the ledger, the number of people deported at or near the border has gone up — primarily as a result of changing who gets counted in the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency’s deportation statistics.

    The vast majority of those border crossers would not have been treated as formal deportations under most previous administrations. If all removals were tallied, the total sent back to Mexico each year would have been far higher under those previous administrations than it is now.,0,3514864.story#ixzz2xkH6dXsu

  15. rikyrah says:

    from TOD:

    Nerdy Wonka
    April 2, 2014 at 10:46 am

    Torn about this new decision from conservatives on SCOTUS. On the one hand, it gives political parties a little bit of freedom from Super PACs that come in and destroy everything. On the other hand, it’s insane and taking us down a dangerous road. When one says elections matter, one means it.


    What’s more, the parties and Congress itself could benefit from the ruling. Since the 2010 Citizens United decision, super-PACs and political nonprofits (and the consultants who run them) have gorged on million-dollar donations because they can raise and spend unlimited cash. Political parties cannot rake in the cash so freely, and they’ve struggled as a result. University of California–Irvine law professor Rick Hasen, who did not support McCutcheon’s cause, nonetheless has argued that the decision could reinvigorate the parties and maybe scale back the gridlock crippling Congress.

    What are critics of the McCutcheon decision saying?

    Campaign finance reformers fear the ruling will lead to more political corruption and more dependence—within Congress and on the campaign trail—on the very wealthiest Americans. They also worry that this is another bad precedent that could lead to the erosion of what’s left of the nation’s campaign finance laws.

    What comes next?

    Although the court’s majority opinion in McCutcheon, written by Roberts, blew up the FEC’s aggregate limits, it did not take a broader swipe at campaign finance restrictions in general. Court-watchers feared a decision in McCutcheon that would open the door to future legal assaults on the bedrock of campaign finance law: direct contribution limits, such as the $2,600 limit to candidates, the $5,000 limit to PACs and party committees, and so on.


  16. rikyrah says:

    Campaign-finance laws suffer another setback
    04/02/14 11:26 AM—Updated 04/02/14 11:40 AM
    By Steve Benen

    In its Citizens United ruling, a narrow Supreme Court majority took a hammer to the nation’s campaign-finance laws. This morning, in McCutcheon v. FEC, the same five conservative justices – Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, Kennedy, and Alito – struck down “a key remaining pillar of campaign finance law,” Zach Roth reports.

    By a 5-4 ruling, the court ruled that aggregate limits on campaign contributions are an unconstitutional violation of the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech. The court’s five conservative justices struck down the limits, while the four liberal justices dissented.

    The court found that the only kind of corruption that the government can legitimately use campaign finance laws to address is quid pro quo corruption, and that the aggregate limits do not further that goal. Instead, wrote Chief Justice John Roberts for the majority, they “intrude without justification on a citizen’s ability to exercise ‘the most fundamental First Amendment activities.’”

    Federal law had barred individuals from contributing, in aggregate, over $46,200 to candidates, and over $70,800 to groups. Shaun McCutcheon, an Alabama businessman, brought the case with heavy backing from the GOP. He had already contributed to 16 Republican candidates, but wanted to give to 12 more, and to give separate $25,000 contributions to three Republican committees. Doing so would have put him over the aggregate limits.


    Ari Berman raised a related point about the disconnect between the court’s campaign-finance rulings and its opposition to the Voting Rights Act: “In the past four years, under the leadership of Chief Justice John Roberts, the Supreme Court has made it far easier to buy an election and far harder to vote in one.”

  17. So, money is now free speech? The country has gone to hell in a handbasket. God help us!

    • Ametia says:

      This is where we’ve been headed since Citizens United.

      Voting will become a thing of the past.

      Only RICH FOLKS will have a say in who RUNS our country, states, counties, towns, etc.

      No more public anything, only PRIVATE. If you don’t have $$$, why you’re just SHIT out of LUCK!

  18. rikyrah says:

    Healthcare goalposts are on the move
    04/02/14 11:00 AM
    By Steve Benen

    For six months, opponents of the Affordable Care Act were absolutely certain that the law had entered a “death spiral.” Enrollment totals would never reach their targets, conservatives said, and the catastrophic collapse of the entire system was imminent.

    Now that we know those predictions were wrong, it’s time to play “Let’s Move The Goalposts.”

    On Fox News yesterday afternoon, for example, one talking point seemed especially popular:

    CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: You’ve got to ask yourself, the price we have paid, the estimate is 1 million to 1.5 million of these people were uninsured before. The whole idea was insuring the uninsured. That’s going to leave about 40 million uninsured. […]

    ERIC BOLLING: There’s still going to be 40 million people – 40 million people still uninsured at the end of the year. […]

    DANA PERINO: [T]here are still 40 million uninsured after basically taking a wrecking ball to the insurers.

    Hmm. The old argument from the right was, “Stop trying to cover the uninsured.” The new argument, apparently, is, “Obamacare isn’t going far enough to cover the uninsured.” Maybe conservatives are suddenly disappointed the ACA isn’t a more ambituous effort to expand coverage? What a pleasant change of pace.

    There are, of course, some factual problems here. First, at least 9.5 million previously uninsured people have gained coverage, not 1.5 million as Krauthammer claimed. Second, no one has taken a wrecking ball to the private insurance industry – they just picked up 7.1 million new customers.

  19. rikyrah says:

    Agriculture groups to GOP: You’re blowing it on immigration reform
    By Greg Sargent
    March 31 at 2:45 pm

    As I’ve been reporting, there’s a rising sense that if House Republicans don’t act by summer on immigration reform, the window for action could close for good. If nothing happens by August recess, the pressure on Obama to act unilaterally could become overwhelming, and any executive action will likely make legislative reform even less likely, perhaps postponing it until at least 2017.

    Now even Republican-aligned constituencies who want reform are concluding the same thing. They are growing increasingly alarmed that they are at risk of getting cut out of the process — and their interests badly damaged — as the best chance to reform the immigration system in years is now in serious danger of slipping away for the foreseeable future.

    Craig Regelbrugge, who co-chairs the Agriculture Coalition for Immigration Reform, says a large majority of his group’s members — which include large and small farming enterprises and growers all around the country — are Republican, and many give to the GOP. But he’s increasingly hearing from members who are so frustrated by the Congressional GOP’s failure to act on reform — which is central to maintaining a workforce in the industry — that they are considering withholding campaign donations.

    “I hear from growers frequently who basically say, `I used to be a loyal check writer when the Republican Party called, but at this point, the checkbook is closed,’” Regelbrugge tells me. “I’m hearing from growers who are no longer writing checks supporting the party.”

  20. rikyrah says:

    Morning Plum: Will Paul Ryan blueprint hurt GOP in 2014?
    By Greg Sargent
    April 2 at 9:19 am

    The two big political news stories of the moment — the new Paul Ryan budget, and the successful attainment of seven million Obamacare signups — have the potential to reshape, at least to some degree, the battle for the Senate.

    By my count, eight House Republicans are currently running for Senate — and will likely have the Ryan budget hanging around their necks, if and when they support it, and if Dems are then able to make it a liability for them.

    The DSCC is hoping to use the Ryan budget to amplify its ongoing effort to tie GOP candidates to the Koch brothers, by labeling the Ryan blueprint the “Koch Budget.” The DSCC will be sending state-targeted releases out today hitting all the GOP Senate candidates for supporting a budget that is “bought and paid for by Charles and David Koch,” and “forces seniors to pay more while providing tax breaks for billionaires like the Kochs.” The release says:

  21. rikyrah says:

    President Obama Opens Can of Whoop-Ass on Opponents of Health Care as Exchanges Enroll 7.1 Million

    Spandan Chakrabarti| April 1, 2014

    Hours ago, a triumphant President Obama opened a can of whoop-ass on opponents of the Affordable Care Act as he announced 7.1 million Americans have already signed up for health insurance through the exchanges – beating even the best estimates of 7 million. The number is likely to inch even higher as individuals who began their application before yesterday’s deadline are allowed to finish their sign-ups. Just months ago, pundits were Very Seriously (TM) postulating that it won’t even cross 5 million.

    The president openly called out Republican governors for obstructing the health care law and keeping millions more who could get health insurance today from getting it (5 million, to be exact, is the number of people GOP governors are denying health care to by refusing a fully federally funded expansion of Medicaid).

    “The debate over repealing the Affordable Care Act is over,” declared a buoyed Obama, to a standing ovation and to the visible excitement of the best Vice President America has ever had, Joe Biden. The president called on opponents of health reform to explain why they thought well over 15 million people should lose their insurance (combined numbers from exchanges, Medicaid enrollments and young adults able to stay on their parents’ plans), more than 100 million Americans should have new benefits like no-copay preventive care taken away from them, and why 8 million seniors should give up $10 billion in savings from the ACA’s Medicare Part D reforms.

    The president has reason to smile. He and his administration fended off unprecedented Right and Left wing ideological opposition to enact the law, had to fight of ramped up opposition and an uncooperative House that seems to have only one order of business: hold ACA repeal votes, and had to come back from a difficult launch of the exchanges. But the president and his team never lost heart, never lost their nerve, and never gave up on behalf of millions of Americans who needed him. The president came through when the least of these, the voiceless needed him to be their voice, their advocate, their president.

  22. rikyrah says:

    3/30/2014 at 3:48 PM
    You’ll Never Guess What Just Happened to Paul Ryan’s Promise to Tackle Poverty
    By Jonathan Chait

    Paul Ryan’s flamboyantly low-key campaign to re-brand himself from an Ayn Rand miser to Jack Kemp-esque lover of the poor was supposed to culminate in the unveiling of a House Republican budget at some as-yet undefined moment later this year. “As a direct counter to President Obama’s recent emphasis on the gap between rich and poor,” the Washington Post reported earlier this month, “the upcoming House Republican budget will focus on welfare reform and recommend a sweeping overhaul of social programs, including Head Start and Medicaid.” At last, Ryan’s much-ballyhooed new ideas for helping the poor would find concrete budgetary expression, because if there’s one thing the world knows about Paul Ryan, it’s that he’s a hard-core wonk with no tolerance for fudging.

    Okay. You know what’s coming next, right? Right:

    But the plan is not likely to contain an explicit, comprehensive welfare overhaul proposal growing out of an anti-poverty report that Ryan issued earlier this month. Ryan wants to introduce some poverty related initiatives later this year.

    That little nugget comes via a subscription-only report on Republican thinking about the budget posted Friday evening in Congressional Quarterly. It’s in the 25th paragraph. This is in keeping with the post-election Republican pattern, in which promises of reform and policy innovation are announced with great fanfare, then withdrawn silently in the dead of night.

  23. rikyrah says:

    Mr. Ryan’s Opus

    By Charles P. Pierce on April 1, 2014

    Paul Ryan, the zombie-eyed granny starver from the state of Wisconsin, and most recent First Runner-Up in our national vice-presidential pageant, has released another “budget,” this one a sham even by his remarkable standards because this is an election year and nobody is going to vote for a budget, even a fake one, unless it includes free money, doughnuts, and oral sex for everyone in the country. Anyway, it’s pretty much what we have come to expect from Ryan. More money for the military, more granny-starving for the rest of us.


    Of course, when it comes to poor people, whose souls Ryan seeks to fill with his deep concern, it will all be for their own good.

    Such an approach “empowers recipients to get off the aid rolls and back on the payrolls,” Mr. Ryan writes.

    Says the guy who went to college on my dime — You’re welcome, dickhead. — and who hasn’t drawn a salary from anywhere except the government for the greater part of his adult life, and whose mansion gets maintained by the National Park Service.

  24. rikyrah says:

    Obamacare is a disaster. But KyNect is awesome!
    By Greg Sargent
    April 1 at 4:39 pm

    The office of Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear just announced that more than 370,000 people have now signed up for Obamacare on KyNect, the state exchange. More than one out of every dozen Kentuckians — 8.6 percent of the state population — now has obtained coverage through the exchange, Beshear’s office said, claiming that a preliminary analysis has established that three out of four enrollees has reported that they were uninsured before signing up.

    Beshear’s office adds that more than 21,000 signed up in the last three days alone.

    But as recently as three days ago, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky was denouncing Obamacare as “disastrous,” lamenting the “catastrophic effects” the law has had on Kentucky families, and insisting that “the pain caused by this terrible law is easy to see.” He claims the law must be uprooted “root and branch.”

    So the question is, Does there come a point at which Alison Lundergan Grimes can more directly target McConnell for wanting to take health coverage and security away from hundreds of thousands of people?

  25. rikyrah says:

    Paycheck Fairness Act generates unexpected GOP fears
    04/02/14 10:18 AM
    By Steve Benen

    Senate Democrats are moving forward with their election-year “Fair Shot” agenda, including popular bills intended to make life a little more difficult for the Senate Republican minority. First up is the Paycheck Fairness Act, which GOP policymakers have already killed twice – once in 2010 and again in 2012.

    For those who may need a refresher, the bill would “enhance the remedies available for victims of gender-based discrimination and require employers to show that wage differences are job-related, not sex-based, and driven by business necessity. The measure would also protect employees from retaliation for sharing salary information, which is important for deterring and challenging discriminatory compensation.”

    The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was an important step forward when it comes to combating discrimination, but it was also narrowly focused to address a specific problem: giving victims of discrimination access to the courts for legal redress. The Paycheck Fairness Act is a broader measure and Dems consider it an important part of their agenda.

    It’s not surprising that Republican opposition will likely kill the bill for a third time, but I am struck by the arguments some in the GOP have come up with.

  26. Ametia says:

    High court voids overall contribution limits
    By Associated Press, Updated: Wednesday, April 2, 9:25 AM

    WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court struck down limits Wednesday in federal law on the overall campaign contributions the biggest individual donors may make to candidates, political parties and political action committees.

    The justices said in a 5-4 vote that Americans have a right to give the legal maximum to candidates for Congress and president, as well as to parties and PACs, without worrying that they will violate the law when they bump up against a limit on all contributions, set at $123,200 for 2013 and 2014. That includes a separate $48,600 cap on contributions to candidates.

  27. rikyrah says:

    More AFP attack ads, more dubious ‘victims’
    04/01/14 11:41 AM—Updated 04/01/14 03:43 PM
    By Steve Benen

    The Koch-financed Americans for Prosperity have invested heavily in a series of anti-healthcare attack ads in recent months, most of which feature alleged “victims” of the Affordable Care Act. As has been well documented, many of these “horror stories” turn out to be far from horrible upon closer scrutiny – AFP has practically created a full-employment program for fact-checkers.

    But even as the American mainstream seems to reject the anti-healthcare message, the far-right activist group isn’t changing strategy. When the story of one ACA “victim” gets debunked, the Koch brothers’ operation finds another. When that evidence is discredited, the group tries again. And again. And again.

    The latest spot from Americans for Prosperity, attacking Sen. Mark Pryor (D) in Arkansas, is fascinating because it seems designed to circumvent the fact-checkers by avoiding actual claims or arguments. Viewers are introduced to an Arkansas man named Jerry, who says he received a letter from his insurer saying his old policy would be cancelled.

    Except, we already know that in Arkansas, “people with non-compliant plans” can stay on them through October 2017.

  28. rikyrah says:

    Tax-avoidance on a ‘brazen’ scale
    04/02/14 09:43 AM
    By Steve Benen

    Caterpillar has a reputation as one of the quintessential all-American companies. We’ve all heard the expression, “How will it play in Peoria?” but in Caterpillar’s case, the equipment manufacturer is literally headquartered in Peoria.

    This week, however, the company’s image took a big hit following allegations that Caterpillar relied on an elaborate scheme to avoid paying its tax bill.

    Caterpillar, the big American maker of heavy construction and mining equipment, used a subsidiary in Switzerland to avoid paying $2.4 billion of income taxes over 13 years, according to a Senate investigative report released on Monday.

    The report said Caterpillar had paid $55 million to its tax consultant and audit firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers, for helping it transfer $8 billion of profits to the Swiss subsidiary from 1999 to 2012. The transfers had no economic substance and were made solely to take advantage of the lower tax rate Caterpillar negotiated with Switzerland, according to Senator Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.

    Levin argued, “It wasn’t a real business transaction. It was a tax deal, pure and simple, to shift profits between related parties.”

  29. rikyrah says:

    Paul Ryan’s April Fool’s joke
    04/01/14 03:15 PM—Updated 04/01/14 04:09 PM
    By Steve Benen

    Unlike most years, there’s no real point to the House and Senate Budget Committees presenting budget blueprints this year. Federal spending levels for this fiscal year and the next were already established in an agreement that was approved months ago.

    But House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) today unveiled a 99-page document (pdf) anyway, not because he had to but because he wanted to. This is a political exercise, intended to make an election-year point. That’s not intended as criticism, per se – political exercises in election years are hardly outrageous – but it’s important to realize this is more of a Republican fantasy. There’s no pretense that this will actually become the nation’s budget.

    As a political matter, this bigger picture, however, still matters a great deal. Indeed, if it’s the GOP’s wish-list, voters should appreciate what the party has in mind, especially given that Republicans are poised to have a great year at the ballot box.

    Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin on Tuesday will lay out a tough, election-year budget that he says will come into balance by 2024, in large part through steep cuts to Medicaid and food stamps and the full repeal of President Obama’s health care law, just as millions begin to see its benefits.

    But even with those cuts, Mr. Ryan, the House Budget Committee chairman, is counting on a boost of economic growth to balance the budget, a boost he says will be gained by reducing the deficit. Many economists believe such dramatic spending cuts – especially those affecting the poor – would have the opposite effect, slowing the economy and lowering tax receipts.

    It is, to be sure, exactly what the political world has come to expect from the Ayn Rand acolyte from Wisconsin. But given just how conservative Ryan’s vision is, I can’t help but wonder who’ll be more excited by this budget plan: Democrats, who’ll be eager to run against it, or Republicans, who may be eager to run from it?

  30. rikyrah says:

    In search of ‘any plausible alternative’
    04/02/14 08:00 AM—Updated 04/02/14 08:24 AM
    By Steve Benen

    When President Obama took a brief victory lap on the South Lawn yesterday afternoon, he included a specific taunt that, by my ear, seemed ad-libbed.

    “[T]his law is doing what it’s supposed to do. It’s working. It’s helping people from coast to coast, all of which makes the lengths to which critics have gone to scare people or undermine the law, or try to repeal the law without offering any plausible alternative so hard to understand. I’ve got to admit, I don’t get it. Why are folks working so hard for people not to have health insurance? Why are they so mad about the idea of folks having health insurance?”

    Note how this turns the Republican line against them. Indeed, Obama’s questions need not be rhetorical – why are so many on the right working so hard to deny Americans access to affordable medical care? Why haven’t the ACA’s critics bothered to present a plausible alternative?

    After months on the offensive, Republican opponents of health care reform suddenly find themselves in an awkward position. Not only have all of their predictions turned out to be wrong – more on that later today – but GOP officials are also confronted with polling data that shows repealing “Obamacare” far less popular than the law itself.

  31. rikyrah says:

    Obamacare Enrollment Is Far From Over
    John Graves and Jonathan Gruber – April 1, 2014, 1:33 PM EDT

    With the recent closure of the initial enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act (ACA), there is enormous jockeying around interpreting the number of enrollees in state and federal exchanges. Proponents and opponents of the law are interpreting the preliminary numbers in the way that best makes their case. But what neither side is emphasizing enough is that enrollment in the ACA is far from over now that March 31st has passed. This is because millions of individuals will lose their insurance during 2014 – and Obamacare will be there to catch them.

    An underappreciated fact about insurance status is that it is very dynamic. Every year, millions of Americans move into and out of insurance coverage. Since most people obtain coverage through an employer, the most common reason for losing coverage is a loss or change in jobs. But as anyone who has applied for COBRA coverage surely knows, the premium requirements to maintain generous employer coverage can be prohibitively expensive, particularly in the months when a job loss triggers a sharp income decline. Moreover, for Americans with any medical history who sought plans on the individual insurance market prior to the ACA, there were few affordable places to turn for protection against medical bankruptcy. In most states, insurers could deny coverage, or could charge sick individuals many multiples of their healthy counterparts to buy insurance.

    The ACA’s state Marketplaces, in contrast, provide a non-discriminatory home for those losing their insurance coverage. In many cases, the loss of insurance coverage is what is known as a “qualifying event” that allows individuals to purchase insurance on their state Marketplace even after the open enrollment deadline. And for those seeing a sharp drop in income due to job loss, the tax credits available through the ACA exchanges can provide a much more affordable option than COBRA; in about half of the states, Medicaid will also be available for those suffering the largest income losses.

  32. rikyrah says:

    Councilwoman Bowser defeats incumbent Gray in D.C. mayoral primary
    By Mike DeBonis and Aaron C. Davis,

    Muriel E. Bowser, a low-key but politically canny District lawmaker, won the Democratic mayoral nomination Tuesday, emerging from a pack of challengers in a low-turnout primary to deny scandal-tarnished incumbent Vincent C. Gray a second term.

    The 41-year-old D.C. Council member triumphed in the latest in a string of District elections to reveal a city unsettled over the shape of its future. Bowser’s win heralds many more months of uncertainty as she faces a substantial general-election challenger while a lame-duck Gray is left to steer the city amid the threat of federal indictment.

    Bowser (D-Ward 4) moved deftly to capitalize on public doubts about Gray’s trustworthiness fueled by the still-unresolved federal corruption investigation into his 2010 campaign. Alone among seven Democratic challengers, she amassed a coalition that crossed demographic and geographic lines allowing her to outpoll Gray’s shrunken but steady base of African American voters.

    The outcome of the race remained in doubt for four hours after the 8 p.m. closing of polling places as elections officials struggled with an unusually late and messy tabulation process.

  33. rikyrah says:

    Mark Kirk ✔ @SenatorKirk

    After 4 yrs of #Obamacare, millions see costs rise, hours cut & plans lost. Share #YourStory:

    amk4obama @amk4obama
    .@SenatorKirk – Hey, government funded gold-plated insurance coverage for me and crappy insurance for you.
    Wake the fuck up, #Illinois.

    7:59 AM – 2 Apr 2014

  34. rikyrah says:

    The Last Word 04/01/14

    GOP panel urges women to get Mrs. degree

    A Heritage Foundation panel says the problem with winning women voters is a “marriage gap.” Nicolle Wallace, Karen Finney and Lawrence O’Donnell weigh in on the pitfalls of the message.

    • Ametia says:

      I heard this last night. These women are out in left field with the get married and stay home bullshit. They seriously want to go back to the days of June Cleaver & wearing pearls in the kitchen.

  35. rikyrah says:

    Tuesday, April 1, 2014
    Last Call For Austerity Hysteria

    And finally tonight, just another reminder of what a GOP takeover of the Senate would mean: the Ryan Budget on President Obama’s desk, facing a “sign it or shut down the government” moment.\

    Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin on Tuesday will lay out a tough, election-year budget that purports to come into balance by 2024, in large part through steep cuts to Medicaid and food stamps and the full repeal of President Obama’s health care law, just as millions begin to see its benefits.

    But even with those cuts, Mr. Ryan, the House Budget Committee chairman, is counting on a boost of economic growth to balance the budget, a boost he says will be gained by reducing the deficit. Many economists believe such dramatic spending cuts — especially those affecting the poor — would have the opposite effect, slowing the economy and lowering tax receipts.

    “This budget stops spending money we don’t have,” writes Mr. Ryan, the Republican party’s vice-presidential nominee in 2012 and a possible presidential contender in 2016. “A balanced budget will foster a healthier economy and help create jobs. This will ensure the next generation inherits a stronger, more prosperous America.

    For now, the Ryan Budget is a cruel April Fools’ joke. But if the GOP gets control of the Senate, there won’t be anything from stopping them from passing his budget next year (assuming they eliminate the filibuster or find enough shell-shocked Democrats to go along) and putting it on the President’s desk.

  36. rikyrah says:

    3 hr ago By Reuters

    MIAMI (Reuters) – A Minnesota couple, who went on the run after being accused of claiming welfare benefits while living on a million-dollar yacht, has been arrested in Florida, authorities said on Tuesday.

    Colin Chisholm III and his wife, Andrea, allegedly received more than $165,000 in food stamps and other public assistance over a seven-year period, a Minnesota prosecutor said.

    Police in the Bahamas spotted the couple on Monday and told them their visas had expired. Authorities then escorted the Chisholms, their son and dog onto a ship bound for Fort Lauderdale.

    The couple was arrested on arrival in Port Everglades, Florida, according to a statement from the office of Mike Freeman, a prosecutor in Hennepin County, Minnesota.

  37. Ametia says:


  38. Ametia says:

    Councilwoman Bowser defeats incumbent Gray in D.C. mayoral primary

    By Mike DeBonis and Aaron C. Davis, Published: April 1 |
    Updated: Wednesday, April 2, 12:15 AM E-mail the writers

    Muriel E. Bowser, a low-key but politically canny District lawmaker, won the Democratic mayoral nomination Tuesday, emerging from a pack of challengers in a low-turnout primary to deny scandal-tarnished incumbent Vincent C. Gray a second term.

    The 41-year-old D.C. Council member triumphed in the latest in a string of District elections to reveal a city unsettled over the shape of its future. Bowser’s win heralds many more months of uncertainty as she faces a substantial general-election challenger while a lame-duck Gray is left to steer the city amid the threat of federal indictment.


  39. Ametia says:

    North Carolina is central to the fight for Senate control

    Voters in North Carolina can be forgiven if they turn off their televisions. In the battle for control of the U.S. Senate, no state has experienced an onslaught of negative advertising as intense as what has been unleashed in the Tar Heel State.

    The barrage is being fueled by wealthy independent groups from both ends of the political spectrum and reflects the importance that both parties place on winning the seat held by freshman Democrat Kay Hagan.

  40. Ametia says:

    Happy HUMP day, Everyone! :-)

    Absolutely LOVING Sting this week.

    I know “Fields of Gold” is coming soon.

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