Serendipity SOUL | Tuesday Open Thread | Etta James Week

Etta James Week continues with…

ETTA-etta-james-30694003-1500-1159

Early life and career: 1938–1959
Jamesetta Hawkins was born on January 25, 1938, in Los Angeles, California, to Dorothy Hawkins, who was only 14 at the time. Her father has never been identified.James speculated that he was the pool player Rudolf “Minnesota Fats” Wanderone, and met him briefly in 1987.[7] Due to her mother’s frequent absences from their Watts apartment conducting relationships with various men, James lived with a series of foster parents, most notably “Sarge” and “Mama” Lu. James referred to her mother as “the Mystery Lady.”

James received her first professional vocal training at the age of five from James Earle Hines, musical director of the Echoes of Eden choir, at the St. Paul Baptist Church in south central Los Angeles. She became a popular singing attraction there, and Sarge tried to pressure the church into paying him for her singing but they refused. During drunken poker games at home, he would often wake James up in the early hours of the morning and force her through beatings to sing for his friends. As she was a bed-wetter, and often soaked with her own urine on these occasions, the trauma of being forced to sing meant she had a lifelong reluctance to sing on demand.

Something’s Got A Hold On Me

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82 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Tuesday Open Thread | Etta James Week

  1. Ametia says:

    Chris Christie is “MYSTIFIED” what happen to close down the GWB.

  2. Harry Reid throws down the gauntlet on Bundy Ranch

    • Ametia says:

      Carlos López-Cantera was in the middle of dissing Charlie Crist for the television cameras, when lo and behold who should walk up behind him but Crist himself.

      Charlie is willing to say whatever you want to hear to get elected but when it comes down to the facts, the record, when it was time to stand up and make a difference, he left,” said López-Cantera .

      Just then Crist walked up to him.

      “Carlos, Carlos, good to see you, how are you, everything well,” Crist asked a visibly stunned López-Cantera as he patted him on the back and shook his hand.

      As Crist walked away he told López-Cantera to “Save your cameras for me.”

      When asked by reporters how he felt about López-Cantera remarks that he lied, Crist dismissed the lt. governor and said “Give me Scott.”

      Jujubee 02

    • rikyrah says:

      Charlie Crist is a human Oil Slick.

      But, he’s a perfect foil for Governor Voldemort.

  3. Ametia says:

    Morgan Freeman recalls iconic roles in ‘Lean on Me’ and ‘Glory’ 25 years later
    by Lilly Workneh | April 15, 2014 at 2:45 PM

    organ Freeman is starring in a new sci-fi thriller that gives viewers a glimpse into the future.

    The film, Transcendence, hits theaters Friday and it explores the endless — and wild — possibilities of what could happen when a terminally ill scientist (played by Johnny Depp) uploads his mind to a computer.

    In an interview with theGrio, Freeman shared his own thoughts on what the future may hold. Meanwhile, he also reflected on his past work in Hollywood, as this year marks the 25-year anniversary of two of his iconic films: Glory and Lean On Me.

    http://thegrio.com/2014/04/15/morgan-freeman-recalls-iconic-roles-in-lean-on-me-and-glory-25-years-later/

  4. Ametia says:

    Meet the Black Female Judge Who Will Decide Oscar Pistorius’ Fate

    Thokozile Matilda Masipa is a former social worker turned journalist turned lawyer turned superior court judge. She’s “eloquent” and highly respected by her peers, but perpetrators should tread lightly.

    http://www.theroot.com/articles/culture/2014/04/_7_facts_about_thokozile_matilda_masipa_the_black_judge_who_will_decide.html

  5. Ametia says:

    Stop Disrespecting My President tour bus parked outside Hbg city hall. pic.twitter.com/mmRtHVwE95

    BLXDa3sCEAEDJ7W

  6. Liza says:

    For Mad Men fans, Mad Men as Blaxploitation:

  7. Ametia says:

    THIS MOFO RIGHT HERE

  8. rikyrah says:

    Above All Else, the Cause of Most Republican Ignorance Stems From This One Thing

    Allen Clifton getting to the heart of the matter:

    I’ve had more debates with Republicans than I can even recall. I’ve talked to sensible Republicans who give me the slightest of hope for the GOP and I’ve talked to such radical, right-wing fanatics that it’s actually terrifying how these people are among us — free to do as they please.

    But there’s still a trait I recognize within all of them, and I honestly believe it’s the root of the vast majority of what makes many of them so hopelessly ignorant about the world around them.

    Conservatives simply lack the ability to see the world through any vantage point other than their own.

    They can’t grasp what it’s like to be someone else. They don’t get that just because they were raised a certain way, that doesn’t mean everyone should follow that same set of rules. They don’t understand that just because they are capable of something, doesn’t mean everyone else is

    http://littlegreenfootballs.com/page/307404_Above_All_Else_the_Cause_of_Mo#ilcX8gw0GwGEcmjT.99

    • Ametia says:

      SHORT: WHITE MALE PRIVILEGE.

    • Liza says:

      “Conservatives simply lack the ability to see the world through any vantage point other than their own.”

      This is interesting. Coincidentally, I’ve been thinking about this lately and I’m not sure that I agree with that as the single source of Republican ignorance. I actually believe that Republican ignorance is intrinsically related to a strong desire to not have to think. Republicans do not want to think, they want to be told what to think. And the plutocrats and oligarchs who run their party are more than willing to do just that.

      • Ametia says:

        I concur with your thoughts , Liza. Part of them not wanting to or having to think, ties into their self-entitled mindset too. Just look at the Hillbillies who have infiltrated our government. When did not being educated become an option, when it comes to politicians?

      • Liza says:

        They revel in their ignorance, Ametia, they wear it like a badge of honor, along with their sense of entitlement and white privilege. It is only fitting that they elect representatives who mirror their simplistic beliefs and world view.

        We have to vote, that’s about all we can do. We outnumber them.

  9. rikyrah says:

    Morning Plum: On Obamacare, the conversation is changing
    By Greg Sargent
    April 15 at 9:03 am


    Republicans remain gung-ho for repeal, and continue to insist Obamacare is destroying the lives of millions, if not American freedom itself. And yet, Republican Senate candidates are increasingly sounding like Obamacare’s most ardent supporters in one key way: they are rhetorically embracing the imperative of expanding affordable health coverage to those who need it.

    Republicans may still win the Senate in part by campaigning against Obamacare, which remains generally unpopular in red states, where the map dictates Senate control will be decided. But some GOP candidates are now embracing the general language of universal health coverage. It’s often observed advocating for repeal, with no replacement, is a loser. But there’s more to the story: Opposing Obamacare’s goals is becoming politically complicated.

    The latest: GOP Rep. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, who is running against Dem Senator Mark Pryor. The Arkansas Times reports that Cotton is refusing to take a position on the state’s version of the Medicaid expansion. Cotton supports repeal and replace (though the Times reports he is unable to detail what replacement would accomplish what Obamcare does). But note the specific language Cotton uses:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2014/04/15/morning-plum-on-obamacare-the-conversation-is-changing/

  10. ‘Soul Train’ may boogie onto Broadway

    http://thegrio.com/2014/04/15/soul-train-may-boogie-onto-broadway/

    NEW YORK (AP) — The groundbreaking song-and-dance show “Soul Train” is chugging toward Broadway.

    Stage and film producer Matthew Weaver, who helped create “Rock of Ages,” has acquired the theatrical stage rights to the TV show and said Tuesday he’s hoping to repeat his success by turning “Soul Train” into a show that attracts both die-hard Broadway fans and those who usually avoid Times Square.

    “I’m nervous and I’m humbled and I’m excited,” said Weaver, who heads the production company MediaWeaver Entertainment. “I do think we’re the right people to do it because I think it’s got to have that spirit of ‘Rock of Ages,’ which is part old-fashioned musical but also part party.”

    “Soul Train,” with its trademark animated train opening, provided a national, weekly showcase for R&B artists, black culture and fashion, and gave advertisers an entree to the black consumer market. It later had to compete with video shows on BET that broadcast black artists, and eventually MTV and VH-1.
    ******************

  11. rikyrah says:

    GOP’s Cotton endorses affordable care for ‘every American’

    04/15/14 10:02 AM
    By Steve Benen
    The Affordable Care Act is proving to be quite important nationwide, but it’s been especially significant in Arkansas, where Medicaid expansion has brought coverage to more than 100,000 low-income Arkansans. Republicans in the state nearly blocked the policy, but there a compromise was reached: under the “private option,” beneficiaries buying private coverage with Medicaid funds.

    Because it’s making such a difference in the lives of so many, the policy has left Arkansas Republicans in an awkward position: to oppose the private option and Medicaid expansion is to endorse taking coverage away from more than 100,000 Arkansans who need it. Or more to the point, to repeal “Obamacare” is to cut these struggling families off at the knees.

    With this in mind, the Arkansas Times’ David Ramsey asked U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton (R), currently a competitive U.S. Senate candidate, about his intention to destroy the Affordable Care Act in its entirety.

    “We would repeal Obamacare and replace it entirely with many reforms for our health care program,” Cotton said. I asked whether he had a specific replacement plan which would cover all the folks who would lose their coverage if Cotton succeeded in repealing the law. He trotted out some tried-and-true Republican talking points which would do no such thing, such as allowing insurance to be sold across state lines. “We want every Arkansan, we want every American, to have quality, affordable access to health care,” Cotton said.

    Really? Because if so, that’s an interesting position for a Republican to lock himself into. In fact, GOP candidates and policymakers have generally avoided endorsing such a progressive goal because they realize guaranteeing affordable access to health care for “every American” is difficult – and Republican proposals, when they exist, invariably fall short.

    So, if Cotton supports giving everyone in the country access to medical care they can afford, why doesn’t he support his own state’s Medicaid expansion policy?

    http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/gops-cotton-endorses-affordable-care

    • Ametia says:

      The racist genie has long since left the proverbial bottle. They can’t contain the hate any longer, and when called on it, they become even more hateful, racist, and vile.

  12. rikyrah says:

    ThinkProgress Econ @TPEconomy
    Follow
    Prominent Republican: Women need to be paid less so they can find husbands http://thkpr.gs/1n8ZXz3

    10:36 AM – 15 Apr 2014

  13. rikyrah says:

    Governor Bans Minimum Wage Increases And Paid Sick Leave Laws

    By Bryce Covert on April 15, 2014 at 9:41 am

    At a time when many states and cities are working passing minimum wage increases, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) has gone in the opposite direction and signed a law banning cities from passing higher wages. The bill also bans them from enacting paid sick days or vacation requirements.

    The law will stymie the efforts of activists in Oklahoma City, where a labor federation has led the push on a petition to raise the city’s minimum wage to $10.10 per hour. The state’s current minimum has been set at the federal level of $7.25. In 2012, 64,000 workers in the state earned $7.25 an hour or less, making up 7.2 percent of all hourly workers, a larger share than the 4.7 percent figure for the country as a whole.

    Fallin said she signed the bill out of the worry that higher local minimum wages “would drive businesses to other communities and states, and would raise prices for consumers.” She also argued that “most minimum wage workers are young, single people working part-time or entry level jobs” and that “many are high school or college students living with their parents in middle-class families.” She warned that increasing the minimum wage “would require businesses to fire many of those part-time workers” and harm job creation.

    But that’s not what the typical American minimum wage worker looks like. Nearly 90 percent of workers who would be impacted by an increase in the wage are older than 20, while the average age is 35. More than a quarter have children to support. More than half work full time, and 44 percent have at least some college education, while half a million minimum wage workers are college graduates.

    http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2014/04/15/3426716/oklahoma-ban-minimum-wage-paid-sick-leave/

  14. rikyrah says:

    WATCH: Congressman Tells Black Constituent He’s Not Sure The Civil Rights Act Is Constitutional
    By Scott Keyes on April 15, 2014 at 9:22 am

    GAINESVILLE, Florida — Last week, former presidents and dignitaries celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, which bans many forms of employment discrimination and whites-only lunch counters, among other things. This week, a Republican congressman declared that he’s not sure if the Civil Rights Act is even constitutional.

    Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL), a freshman congressman aligned with the Tea Party, held a town hall Monday evening in Gainesville where he fielded a wide range of questions from constituents. One such voter was Melvin Flournoy, a 57-year-old African American from Gainesville, who asked Yoho whether he believes the Civil Rights Act is constitutional.

    The easy answer in this case — “yes” — has the benefit of also being correct. But Yoho found the question surprisingly difficult.

    “Is it constitutional, the Civil Rights Act?” Yoho repeated before giving his reply: “I wish I could answer that 100 percent.” The Florida Republican then went on to strongly imply it may be unconstitutional: “I know a lot of things that were passed are not constitutional, but I know it’s the law of the land.”

    http://youtu.be/k5Do7mZrefc

    http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2014/04/15/3426672/ted-yoho-civil-rights-act/

    • Ametia says:

      These are the imbreds who a segment of society has voted into office to serve their greater interests. White privileged, ignorant slavery DENIERS

  15. rikyrah says:

    RiPPa @RippDemUp
    Follow
    Black farmers still waiting on $$ from Pigford I & II and I’m ‘posed to ride w/ y’all on this Bundy shit? Man, get the fuck outta here!

    5:39 PM – 14 Apr 2014

  16. rikyrah says:

    Laura Rozen @lrozen

    Baffling local police seemed so blase about Miller. they had been involved in fatal shootout with his son, who shot a policeman, 6 yrs ago

    aspirational12 @aspirational12
    Follow
    @lrozen Not baffling to me. If Miller & son were “Black Panthers” the local police wouldn’t be so “blase” about them. Let’s be honest here.

    9:28 AM – 15 Apr 2014

  17. rikyrah says:

    Chicago’s Urban Prep Does It Again: 100 Percent College Acceptance

    For the fifth straight year, Urban Prep Academies’ entire graduating class has been accepted into four-year colleges and universities.
    By: Stephen A. Crockett Jr.
    Posted: April 11 2014 3:28 PM

    From the time they enter Chicago’s Urban Prep Academies, the young men are asked to wear red ties. They may change these ties only once: after they have been admitted into college. During this year’s graduation ceremony, students who had achieved the honor were given new yellow ties with red stripes, a gesture to symbolize the hard work and dedication displayed in not only graduating from high school but also continuing to pursue education in one of the nation’s toughest cities.

    For the fifth year in a row, all of the graduating students at Urban Prep Academies’ three campuses (pdf)—240, to be exact—donned new ties as the graduating class has again achieved a 100 percent acceptance rate into four-year colleges and universities.

    “The tie represents, to me, moving on from a boy to becoming a young man and actually doing something with my life,” graduating senior Dumar Harris told NBC Chicago.

    Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel spoke at the graduation Tuesday, and NBA star and Chicago native Dwyane Wade donated $10,000 through his foundation to help pay for the prom, NBC Chicago reports.

    “I got into a lot of different schools, but right now I’m thinking about four different choices,” student Keshawn Cathery told NBC Chicago.

    “I got into Georgetown University, which I will be attending in the fall,” student Derrick Little said.

    The 2010 class, the first to graduate from the Chicago school, is on course to graduate from college.

    http://www.theroot.com/articles/culture/2014/04/chicago_s_urban_prep_does_it_again_100_percent_college_acceptance.html

  18. Ametia says:

    You’re going to be just thrilled with the “SPLAININ”

    Co-Screenwriter of ‘Noah’ Explains Why There Are No Black People Or POC In The Film

    O.K. let’s see if this makes sense.

    No doubt, one of the most talked about films so far this year is Darren Aronofsky’s Noah. The film has gotten its share of rave reviews, though there are those who have major problems with it. However, one cannot deny that it is truly an ambitious, unique and original film – the kind of risk-taking movie you wish Hollywood would make more of, like they used to.

    However, there is that one thing; That one thing that stuck out in my mind when I saw the film: “Hey, where are the black folks or people or color in the film?”

    http://blogs.indiewire.com/shadowandact/co-screenwriter-of-noah-explains-why-there-are-no-black-people-or-poc-in-the-film

    • Ametia says:

      My head hurts.

      “You either try to put everything in there, which just calls attention to it, or you just say, “Let’s make that not a factor, because we’re trying to deal with everyman.” Looking at this story through that kind of lens is the same as saying, “Would the ark float and is it big enough to get all the species in there?” That’s irrelevant to the questions because the questions are operating on a different plane than that; they’re operating on the mythical plane.”

  19. rikyrah says:

    Donna NoShock @NoShock
    Follow
    Devastating New Poll: GOP In Danger Of Losing House In November http://shar.es/TtFqr via @sharethis

    8:14 AM – 15 Apr 2014

  20. Ametia says:

    Former Watchdogs Accuse Christie Of Interfering With State Ethics Agency
    Salvador Rizzo/The Star-Ledger ‎4‎/‎13‎/‎2014‎ ‎6‎:‎20‎:‎00‎ ‎AM

    TRENTON — At first it was only about a bunch of stray cats.

    A complaint filed with the State Ethics Commission alleged that a member of Gov. Chris Christie’s staff used her state email account to influence her county health department to handle some feral felines on her property in Bordentown. A minor matter, it seemed.

    http://crooksandliars.com/2014/04/former-watchdogs-accuse-christie

  21. Ametia says:

    And this vid NEVER, EVER gets old

  22. Ametia says:

    Obamacare’s victory lap

    By Eugene Robinson, Published: April 14
    It’s all over but the shouting: Obamacare is working.

    All the naysaying in the world can’t drown out mounting evidence that the Affordable Care Act, President Obama’s signature domestic achievement, is a real success. Republican candidates running this fall on an anti-Obamacare platform will have to divert voters’ attention from the facts, which tell an increasingly positive story.

    A new report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that, despite all the problems with the HealthCare.gov Web site launch, 12 million people who previously lacked insurance will obtain coverage this year. By 2017, the year Obama leaves office, the CBO predicts that an additional 14 million uninsured will have managed to get coverage .

    Why was the Affordable Care Act so desperately needed? Because without it, 54 million Americans would currently have no health insurance. Within three years, according to the CBO, Obamacare will have slashed the problem nearly in half.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/eugene-robinson-obamacares-victory-lap/2014/04/14/d3e802d4-c40e-11e3-b195-dd0c1174052c_story.html?wpisrc=nl_opinions

  23. Ametia says:

    The militia groups and Bundy in NEVADA, ya’ll can go straight to HELL. Here’s what 3 Chics covers when it comes to LAND IN AMERICA.

    1. Senator Tom Coburn Blocks $1.5 Billion Settlement For Black Farmers
    Posted on October 7, 2010 by Ametia

    Senator Denies Justice to Black Farmers
    October 5, 2010

    After three weeks of driving his tractor, “Justice,” around Capitol Hill, John Boyd, president of the National Black Farmers Association, has been denied for the ninth time.

    Justice has been once again delayed for thousands of black farmers across our country thanks to the rogue actions of one US Senator, Tom Coburn (R-OK). The landmark settlement that would right decades of discrimination against black farmers by the US Department of Agriculture had been a rare point of bipartisan agreement. After negotiations between leading Democrats and Republicans, it was set to be passed by unanimous consent, which requires all senators to support the measure

    Read more here:
    http://3chicspolitico.com/2010/10/07/senator-tom-coburn-blocks-1-5-billion-settlement-for-black-farmers/

    2. President Obama Signs The Claims Resolution Act
    Posted on December 8, 2010 by Ametia

    Whelp! the POTUS signs another historical piece of legislation, and the networks?….. BLACKOUT

    It wouldn’t have anything to do with that 4.6 BILLION DOLLARS going to Blacks & Native Americans now would it y’all?

    The Black Farmers finally get the funds they have earned.

    Black farmer settlement signed into law – More than a decade after a settlement was reached, President Obama will sign the Claims Resolution Act of 2010 into law. The measure authorizes billions of dollars in payments to settle claims against African-American farmers.

    Read more here:
    http://3chicspolitico.com/2010/12/08/president-obama-signs-the-claims-resolution-act/

    3. Pigford Farmers Settlement & The New York Times Article Paints Black Farmers as “Frauds & Welfare” Recipients”
    Posted on May 4, 2013 by Ametia

    So many distraction, so little TRUTH… A $1.5 BILLON settlement has gotten a few folks fangs hanging longer than a 1960s Midi skirt and sharper than a sword. We just can’t have billions of dollars handed to all those negroes, now can we? Funny how Black folks are still being labeled as frauds, welfare/handout recipients. And because President Obama signs the settlement bill for Black Farmers, well you know, he’s buying out BLACKS for their votes. Nothing about what Ronald Reagan did to destroy Black Americans rights to basic survival. Or Bill Clinton dismantling welfare all together.

    After all the hate and discrimination that not only Black farmers but Hispanics and Native Americans have gone through to win a rightful suit to claim the funds that white farmers received for decades, the NYT joins in and publishes a HIT PIECE, painting them as not deserving of their rightful claims and as frauds. WE CAN READ BETWEEN THE LINES.

    Read more here:
    http://3chicspolitico.com/2013/05/04/pigford-farmers-settlement-the-new-york-times-article-paints-black-farmers-as-frauds-welfare-recipients/

  24. rikyrah says:

    Barack Obama’s Challenge to American Morality

    His address on voter-suppression efforts is one of the most significant and morally grounded speeches of his presidency.

    Ta-Nehisi Coates
    Apr 14 2014, 3:08 PM ET

    If you haven’t yet, it’s work checking out Barack Obama’s address before the National Action Network, last week. I think it’s one of the most significant and morally grounded speeches of his presidency. I think we will eventually regard this current effort to suppress the vote through voter-ID laws, ending early voting, restricting voting hours, etc., in the same way we regard literacy tests and poll taxes. (It’s worth recalling this piece for the magazine by Mariah Blake which helps historicize voter suppression.)

    I believe in judging Barack Obama’s rhetoric and policies not as though he were the president of black America, but of the United States of America. On that count his speech soared. There aren’t many topics more important than the security of our democracy. The president did not attack that topic gingerly, but forcefully, directly and without hedge.

    It’s an important speech.

    As an aside, I’ll add that I still can’t get over seeing a black dude, who is the president, standing in front of Garvey’s red, black, and green. Strange days, I tell you. Strange days, indeed. No one knows where this is going

    http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2014/04/barack-obamas-challenge-to-american-morality/360643/

  25. rikyrah says:

    AP: Donors return to Crossroads, give $5m in March

    After a stretch of anemic fundraising, the Karl Rove-backed American Crossroads super PAC raised more cash in March than it did during the previous 14 months combined, according to summaries of campaign filings released Monday.

    The GOP establishment’s favorite super PAC raised almost $5.2 million last month and had more than $6.3 million in the bank as of March 31, according to the report summary. That cash will be used as the outside group tries to help Republicans pick up the six seats they need to win control of the Senate. American Crossroads has been running ads supporting establishment GOP candidates in Alaska and North Carolina and is expected to support former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown in his bid to unseat Democrat Jeanne Shaheen in New Hampshire.

    http://bigstory.ap.org/article/rove-backed-crossroads-sitting-6m-bank

  26. rikyrah says:

    MilkFoundation.org: USPS Harvey Milk Forever Stamp White House Ceremony

    Following the announcement that the United States Postal Service first-day-of-issue dedication ceremony of the Harvey Milk Forever Stamp will take place at the White House on May 22, Harvey Milk’s nephew and co-founder of the Harvey Milk Foundation Stuart Milk released the following statement:

    “A stamp dedication ceremony on May 22 at the White House comes with incredibly special significance for both place and date. President Obama and his administration have provided the nation with steadfast and trend setting leadership in support of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community in the US and abroad….

    “The Milk family thanks President Obama and other allies and champions of LGBT inclusive diversity as exemplified by Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, all of the LGBT leaders who have stood on uncle Harvey’s shoulders to run for and serve openly in public office, and each and every LGBT individual who go about their daily life with authenticity, refusing to hide who they are and who they love. Together, all of us, continue to move humanity forward, bending that arc of the moral universe ever closer to justice.”

    http://milkfoundation.org/about/harvey-stamp-campaign/usps-harvey-milk-forever-stamp-white-house-ceremony-press-release/

    • Ametia says:

      Nice stamp. I like it, and good on the Milk family for acknowledging who has REALLY done the work to bring about justice for the LGBT community.

  27. rikyrah says:

    Charles Pierce: Revisiting Homeland Security’s 2009 Domestic Terrorism Report

    I think this is a particularly good day to look back to, say, April of 2009, when the Department of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano presiding, put out a nine-page report in which the DHS pointed out that veterans were being recruited by rightwing terrorist groups around the country. (This was about when people started noticing that the real crazy had come out of the jar when this particular president had been sworn in.) Oh, the fuss that this raised.

    John Boehner said of Napolitano that he wanted an “explanation for why she has abandoned using the term ‘terrorist’ to describe those, such as al Qaeda, who are plotting overseas to kill innocent Americans, while her own Department is using the same term to describe American citizens who disagree with the direction Washington Democrats are taking our nation.”

    http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/Flashback_Monday

  28. rikyrah says:

    ThinkProgress: The Budget Deficit In March Was The Smallest Since 2000

    The federal budget deficit for the first half of this year was $413 billion, a decline of $187 billion compared to the same time last year, according to the Treasury Department.

    The deficit for the month of March stood at $37 billion, down from $107 billion last year. That figure was the smallest deficit for the month of March since 2000. The deficit is expected to be a about 4.1 percent of gross domestic product this year, a drop from almost 10 percent in 2009. Those falling numbers continue a trend, as the deficit fell faster in 2013 than in any year since the end of World War II, dropping from $1.1 trillion in 2012 to $680 billion.

    http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2014/04/14/3426247/budget-deficit-march-2014/

  29. rikyrah says:

    In New York, Hard Choices on Health Exchange Spell Success

    By ANEMONA HARTOCOLLIS
    APRIL 13, 2014

    In contrast with the early stumbles in most of the country, New York State, almost from the start, has provided a textbook lesson in how to make the Affordable Care Act work. But it has done so by making some tough decisions.

    New York has signed up more than 900,000 people for commercial or government plans, lured 16 insurance companies onto its exchange, provided subsidies for most customers and reduced premiums across the board.

    “I have to say that on the whole this is a very savvy bunch of people they have operating the exchange,” Mark P. Scherzer, a lawyer and consumer advocate, said. “It really is a story of something that government could actually do right.”

    The state’s success was no accident. It began with a receptive customer base and the benefit of experience, since New York already had some of the country’s most generous insurance coverage for the poor and sick. Resistance to the health exchange among Republicans in the state may, oddly enough, have helped make it more successful.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/14/nyregion/in-new-york-hard-choices-on-health-exchange-spell-success.html?_r=2

  30. rikyrah says:

    TheObamaDiary.com @TheObamaDiary

    Fixed that for you @TheFix:
    “Is Barack Obama ‘black’ now that #Obamacare is a roaring success?”

    Only4RM @Only4RM
    Follow
    .@TheObamaDiary @TheFix By Jan. 2017, POTUS is going to be #EcruOrBust! Maybe even #Linen if Kerry can score a MidEast peace deal.

    5:19 PM – 14 Apr 2014

  31. rikyrah says:

    The problem with single payer

    When President Obama was asked about why, during the debate about health care reform, he said “If you like your insurance you can keep it,” he had an interesting response. He pointed out the fact that the status quo prior to reform was unacceptable, but that calls for things like single payer would be too disruptive. He took a middle ground that didn’t upend the way all Americans get their health insurance – just those who’s only choice was to buy it on the individual market.

    You often hear the opposite when you talk to the proponents of single payer. Their claim is that the current system of private insurers is the problem and the least disruptive option would have been to insure everyone via something like Medicare for all.

    Who’s right? We’re about to have a test case on that question. The entire country is in the midst of adjusting to Obamacare, so we’re experiencing how disruptive that change will be. But there’s one exception. The state of Vermont is currently working on putting together a single payer system. As Sarah Kliff recently wrote, its not as simple as it sounds.

    In 2011, the Vermont legislature passed a law committing the state to single payer. But they left out one thing.

    Now comes the big challenge: paying for it. Act 48 required Vermont to create a single-payer system by 2017. But the state hasn’t drafted a bill that spells out how to raise the approximately $2 billion a year Vermont needs to run the system. The state collects only $2.7 billion in tax revenue each year, so an additional $2 billion is a vexingly large sum to scrape together.

    Its important to keep in mind that the $2 billion is already being spent for health insurance in Vermont. So its not necessarily “new” money that is needed for health care. Its that the government needs to find a way for the people spending it to send it to the state for single payer. That’s the rub.

    http://immasmartypants.blogspot.com/2014/04/the-problem-with-single-payer.html

  32. Ametia says:

    I Was Racially Profiled in My Own Driveway

    A retired Major League Baseball player explains how he’s trying to turn an upsetting encounter with the police into an opportunity for dialogue.

    was an otherwise ordinary snow day in Hartford, Connecticut, and I was laughing as I headed outside to shovel my driveway. I’d spent the morning scrambling around, trying to stay ahead of my three children’s rising housebound energy, and once my shovel hit the snow, I thought about how my wife had been urging me to buy a snowblower. I hadn’t felt an urgent need. Whenever it got ridiculously blizzard-like, I hired a snow removal service. And on many occasions, I came outside to find that our next door neighbor had already cleared my driveway for me.

    Never mind that our neighbor was an empty-nester in his late 60s with a replaced hip, and I was a former professional ballplayer in his early 40s. I kept telling myself I had to permanently flip the script and clear his driveway. But not today. I had to focus on making sure we could get our car out for school the next morning. My wife was at a Black History Month event with our older two kids. The snow had finally stopped coming down and this was my mid-afternoon window of opportunity.

    Just as I was good-naturedly turning all this over in my mind, my smile disappeared.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2014/04/i-was-racially-profiled-in-my-own-driveway/360615/

  33. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone! :-)

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