Serendipity SOUL | Wednesday Open Thread | Etta James Week

Happy HUMP day, Everyone! More Etta…


I’d Rather Go Blind


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70 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Wednesday Open Thread | Etta James Week

  1. Ametia says:

    Is New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez the Next Sarah Palin?
    Petty. Vindictive. Weak on policy. And yet she’s being hailed as the Republican Party’s great new hope.

  2. rikyrah says:

    The Lesson of the Bundy/BLM Standoff: The Government Allowed the Armed Right-Wing Assholes to Live
    What the Rude Pundit understands about the just-concluded stand-off between the Bureau of Land Management and rancher Cliven Bundy and his merry band of other ranchers, children, and militia members, most of them armed, can be summed up in two pictures:

    That’s the assorted fucknuts, paranoiacs, and numbskulls gathered to defend Bundy’s cows and their right to graze on protected federal land. (Some of the cows had been taken by the feds and held in pens.) They’re also defending Bundy’s desire not to pay the $1 million in fines he’s been assessed for his 20 years of flouting the law. Bundy’s just a crazed hick asshole, but he’s a crazed hick asshole who hasn’t given a shit about the law, spending more time losing in court than maybe campaigning for politicians who might change the laws (which is the way things are supposed to work). The land was protected to prevent the extinction of some species and to keep the habitat stable for wild horses. Fuck that, though. Bundy’s cows liked free grass – See more at:

  3. rikyrah says:

    Josh Romney has 20 million reasons to write a bitter anger tweet at mean ole Harry Reid
    By TBogg
    Tuesday, April 15, 2014 22:08 EDT

    …The past two presidential cycles have seen a change in 1st runner-up temperament; possibly because both of the rich white guys who lost, lost to a black dude. John McCain immediately went back to being the least popular senator in America, but he still shows up on every Sunday morning show, every Sunday pretending that he is president and that he didn’t give America a raging case of the Sarah Palin STDs.

    Mitt Romney sulked around his beach house compound – yelling at the stoners to get off of his gosh-darned sand – for a spell before coming out and saying that, sure, Barack Obama may have beaten him, but Barrack isn’t half the man that dreamy Vladamir Putin is. Shirtless and on a horse? Hubba hubba.

    On the other hand , Mitt’s wife, perpetual bitter pill Ann Romney, has taken every opportunity to purse her lips and point out that America had a chance to mount Mitt like he was a fancy dancing horse and ride him to prosperity just like she did, but noooooo, America chose poorly and now it must sleep in the bed with the low thread-count sheets that it made. Suck it, America. SUCK. IT. Loooosers. Consuela! Momma needs a Postumtini, stat…

  4. rikyrah says:

    Diaz-Balart: If we don’t move on immigration, Obama will go it alone

    By Greg Sargent
    April 16 at 2:33 pm

    A leading Latino Republican is warning that if the GOP-controlled House does not move on immigration reform by the August recess, Obama will employ executive action to ease deportations on his own — making any legislative reform politically impossible until at least 2017.

    That would mean that if Republicans don’t act on reform by August, they may lose their chance to place their stamp on reform — and begin to repair their Latino problem — before the next presidential election.

    “I’m convinced that if we don’t get it done by the August break, the president, who is feeling a lot of pressure from having not done anything on immigration reform, will feel that he has to act through executive action,” GOP Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida, a leading Republican player on immigration, told me today.

    “If he does that, the window for Republicans and Democrats to negotiate on this issue is closed until the next president,” Diaz-Balart continued.

    Diaz-Balart took pains to stress he does not think reform is dead for the year. He reiterated what he told me recently, that he has legislative language ready to go on a form of legal status for the 11 million that he believes could win substantial Republican and Democratic support, and said he continues to talk to lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. John Boehner has shelved reform, but most people closely following the debate think there’s still an outside shot — a very long one, to be sure – that GOP leaders might decide to allow proposals to move forward after the primaries are over, and before recess.

  5. rikyrah says:

    Morning Plum: Republicans at odds over whether to acknowledge Obamacare beneficiaries

    By Greg Sargent
    April 16 at 8:47 am

    As we’ve already seen (see Mitch McConnell and Americans for Prosperity), some Republicans have adopted a creative response to mounting Obamacare enrollment and other signs that the law is more or less on track as intended: Simply pretend the law’s beneficiaries don’t exist.

    That may be changing, however. Now some Republicans are grappling with how far to go in acknowledging the existence of the law’s beneficiaries, and, since doing so is getting harder to avoid, what to do about it.

    This morning Politico makes the solid point that GOP lawmakers returning to their districts for recess are coming face to face with the reality that the law is actually helping their own constituents. Responses vary. Some are acknowledging a new threshold has been crossed:

    “That’s why Sept. 30, Oct. 1 was a critical time,” said Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina, who led a push for House leadership to defund the law just before sign-ups began last fall. “Now, with some people getting subsidies, it is very difficult to take that away.”

    Others say that Yes, a few are benefitting, but far more are getting hurt:

  6. rikyrah says:

    Eric Cantor Torches Immigration Reform After Call With Obama

    Sahil Kapur – April 16, 2014, 5:30 PM EDT

    Updated 6:00 P.M. EST

    On Wednesday, Eric Cantor strongly suggested immigration reform won’t come up in the House of Representatives after he received a phone call from President Barack Obama.

    “House Republicans do not support Senate Democrats’ immigration bill and amnesty efforts, and it will not be considered in the House,” the Republican majority leader said in a statement after the call. He accused the president of engaging in “partisan messaging” and offered no indication that the House intends to act on the issue. His full statement is below.

  7. rikyrah says:

    The Secret Recordings of Susana Martinez

    The New Mexico governor is caught on tape denigrating teachers and cursing her opponent.
    Recordings published by Mother Jones show New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez has a penchant for punishing political opponents.
    By David Catanese April 16, 2014

    If there is an eventual vice presidential vetting of Gov. Susana Martinez, R-N.M., it will begin here.

    The nation’s first female Hispanic governor has been lauded as a rising Republican star, burnishing a unique profile fit for a national ticket.

    But secret recordings obtained by the liberal magazine Mother Jones threaten to blemish her image before it’s even fully established.

    In candid conversations with her closest political aides that were published Wednesday, Martinez dubs her 2010 Democratic opponent “that little bitch,” complains that teachers “already don’t work … 2 1/2 months out of the year” and exhibits a penchant for punishing political opponents similar to the merciless retribution that landed Gov. Chris Christie’s administration in hot water.

  8. rikyrah says:

    Mother Jones Chief Goes On A Tear Against ‘Low Class’ Former Bush Press Secretary

    Tom Kludt – April 16, 2014, 5:43 PM EDT

    Republican operatives beware: If you come at Mother Jones, you might face the wrath of David Corn.

    Ari Fleischer, the former White House press secretary under George W. Bush, learned that lesson on Wednesday after he spoke dismissively of a tough piece on New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez (R).

    The piece, authored by Andy Kroll of Mother Jones, contained audio recordings, text messages and emails in which Martinez and her staffers made derisive, profane remarks.

    Martinez has already tried to raise money off the piece and conservatives have done their best to discredit Mother Jones. Fleischer took the latter approach in an interview with US News & World Report.

    “Any time Mother Jones attacks, Republicans will rally around the ‘victim.’ It’s hard to imagine a more reviled outlet than Mother Jones,” Fleischer said. “Tell me the worst thing she said – not her aides, but her.”

    Those comments left Corn incensed. The Washington bureau chief for Mother Jones lashed out at Fleischer in a series of tweets, highlighting the former Bush spokesman’s insistence throughout 2002 and 2003 that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.

  9. ***********
    God forgive me for laughing…

  10. rikyrah says:

    Heifer, please.

    I’m sure 3CHICS has a gif for Ms. Parker


    Erasing the race card
    By Kathleen Parker, E-mail the writer

    One approaches the race fray with trepidation, but here we go, tippy-toe.

    The race cards have been flying so fast and furious lately, one can hardly tell the kings from the queens.

    Leading the weird lately has been Democratic Alabama state Rep. Alvin Holmes, who called Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina “Uncle Toms.” Holmes, who also has said that it’s fine by him if men want to marry mules and, while we’re exorcising demons, that white people are only pro-life until their daughter gets pregnant by a black man.

    When Mark Childress wrote “Crazy in Alabama,” he wasn’t just whistling Dixie!

    Holmes is a one-man book of quotes, but a particular statement got him in trouble. Not the Uncle Tom reference, but his offer of $100,000 to anyone who could show him that “a bunch of whites” had adopted black babies in Alabama.

  11. rikyrah says:

    More: Oligarchs United States of America The Telegraph

    Major Study Finds The US Is An Oligarchy
    Zachary Davies Boren, The Telegraph
    Apr. 16, 2014, 8:16 AM

    The U.S. government does not represent the interests of the majority of the country’s citizens, but is instead ruled by those of the rich and powerful, a new study from Princeton and Northwestern Universities has concluded.

    The report, “Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens,” used extensive policy data collected between 1981 and 2002 to empirically determine the state of the U.S. political system.

    After sifting through nearly 1,800 U.S. policies enacted in that period and comparing them to the expressed preferences of average Americans (50th percentile of income), affluent Americans (90th percentile), and large special interests groups, researchers concluded that the U.S. is dominated by its economic elite.

    The peer-reviewed study, which will be taught at these universities in September, says: “The central point that emerges from our research is that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on US government policy, while mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent influence.”

    Researchers concluded that U.S. government policies rarely align with the the preferences of the majority of Americans, but do favour special interests and lobbying organizations: “When a majority of citizens disagrees with economic elites and/or with organized interests, they generally lose. Moreover, because of the strong status quo bias built into the US political system, even when fairly large majorities of Americans favour policy change, they generally do not get it.”

    Read more:

  12. rikyrah says:

    Democratic Congressman Wants Federal Investigation Into ALEC-Backed Laws

    Grijalva cites a recent article in The American Prospect that links ALEC to bills in Utah claiming that federal ownership of Forest Service lands violates state sovereignty, and seeking to expand grazing into areas currently off-limits. Grijalva also notes that Bundy spoke at a committee hearing in March 2013 on an ALEC-backed bill in Nevada that dealt with the transfer of federal lands to state control.

  13. rikyrah says:

    Liberal Librarian @Lib_Librarian
    So, Kochs do the kinder/gentler makeover on prison reform, while still supporting ALEC and all sorts of fuckery. And GG falls for it.

    1:33 PM – 16 Apr 2014

  14. rikyrah says:

    ain’t THIS about a mutha


  15. rikyrah says:

    Steve Marmel @Marmel
    Pointing to actual racism isn’t “race-baiting,” it’s fact-finding.

    If you don’t like the fact, don’t be a racist.

    11:45 AM – 16 Apr 2014

  16. rikyrah says:


    Jamelle Bouie: What If Bundy Ranch Were Owned By A Bunch Of Black People?

    For 20 years the federal government has fined Cliven Bundy for grazing his cattle on protected land. And for 20 years Bundy has refused to pay. Last month this dance came to an end when the Bureau of Land Management sent Bundy a letter informing him that it intended to “impound his trespass cattle” that have been roaming on federal property. It closed off hundreds of thousands of acres, and earlier this month, moved to round up Bundy’s cows. The federal government blinked, and the Bureau of Land Management announced an abrupt end to its cattle roundup, hoping to avoid violence and further confrontations. this entire incident speaks to the continued power of right-wing mythology. For many of the protesters, this isn’t about a rogue rancher as much as it’s a stand against “tyranny” personified in Barack Obama and his administration.

    right-wing media ought to be condemned for their role in fanning the flames of this standoff. After years of decrying Obama’s “lawlessness” and hyperventilating over faux scandals, it’s galling to watch conservatives applaud actual lawbreaking and violent threats to federal officials. I can’t help but wonder how conservatives would react if these were black farmers—or black anyone—defending “their” land against federal officials. Would Fox News applaud black militiamen aiming their guns at white bureaucrats as someone who closely follows the regular incidents of lethal police violence against blacks and Latinos, I also wonder whether law enforcement would be as tepid against a group of armed African-Americans. Judging from past events, I’m not so sure.

  17. rikyrah says:

    Slate ✔ @Slate

    What if Bundy ranch were owned by black people?

    AdamSerwer ✔ @AdamSerwer
    They’d be dead. RT @Slate: What if Bundy ranch were owned by black people?

    6:15 PM – 15 Apr 2014

  18. Ametia says:

    Looks like these folks proved the first sign RIGHT.

  19. Ametia says:


  20. Ametia says:

    A USA TODAY review shows more than 100,000 doctors, nurses, medical technicians and health care aides are abusing or dependent on prescription drugs in a given year, putting patients at risk.

    Anita Bertrand doesn’t remember much about the first time she stole narcotics she was supposed to administer to surgical patients. She doesn’t remember exactly when she installed the intravenous port in her ankle so she could inject the drugs more efficiently. And she doesn’t remember how many patients she may have put at risk before getting into treatment.

    But she remembers how easy it was to get away with it.

  21. rikyrah says:

    In health care, making an effort matters

    04/16/14 10:38 AM—Updated 04/16/14 10:57 AM

    By Steve Benen

    The Affordable Care Act has obviously become a major part of a national health care system, but as is now obvious, the implementation of the policy is hardly uniform nationwide. Some states have made a concerted effort to embrace reforms and implement the ACA as effectively as possible, while others made a deliberate effort to do nothing, regardless of consequences.

    And as it turns out, those consequences matter quite a bit. Gallup reports today:

    The uninsured rate among adults aged 18 and older in the states that have chosen to expand Medicaid and set up their own exchanges in the health insurance marketplace has declined significantly more this year than in the remaining states that have not done so. The uninsured rate, on average, declined 2.5 percentage points in the 21 states (plus the District of Columbia) that have implemented both of these measures, compared with a 0.8-point drop across the 29 states that have taken only one or neither of these actions.

    This is important. It’s not just that states that have made an effort now enjoy a lower uninsured rate, it’s also that these states have done proportionately better at making progress. (Note, in the above chart, lower numbers are better.)

  22. Ametia says:

    Nevada Journalists: Conservative Media Darling Rancher Is Clearly “Breaking The Law”
    Blog ››› 1 hour and 36 minutes ago ››› JOE STRUPP

    Local journalists covering Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy’s case stress he is no victim and is breaking the law, regardless of conservative media’s sympathy for his defiance of government orders to remove cattle from federal land.

    Those reporters and editors — some who have been covering the case for 20 years — spoke with Media Matters and said many of Bundy’s neighbors object to his failure to pay fees to have his cattle graze on the land near Mesquite, NV., when they pay similar fees themselves.

  23. Michelle Obama to meet with Chicago students at Howard University

    WASHINGTON—First lady Michelle Obama plans to meet Chicago high school students in the nation’s capital Thursday when they visit Howard University to gain exposure to college life, White House aides said.

    Bow Wow, a rapper, actor and co-host of BET’s “106 & Park,” will join a campus tour with the first lady and the Chicago Public Schools students and moderate her round-table discussion with them, her aides said.

    The students, juniors and seniors, will be on the first day of a four-day visit to Howard for a program called “Escape to the Mecca.” The program is designed to give talented high school students an immersion into a college campus, aides said.

    Howard has a campus organization called the Chicago People’s Union, or CPU, which aims to increase fellowship among Illinois students and acts as a liaison between prospective students from Illinois and the university, the first lady’s aides said.

    Obama’s visit is part of her higher education initiative, which seeks to increase the number of U.S. students who attend colleges and universities, aides said.

  24. rikyrah says:

    Sun Times: At Howard U, Michelle Obama To Meet Chicago Public H.S. Students

    First Lady Michelle Obama, a graduate of Whitney Young High School, will meet with Chicago high school students visiting Howard University in Washington D.C. on Thursday, juniors and seniors who will take part in a program called “Escape to the Mecca, ” run by Howard’s Chicago Peoples Union and “designed to immerse talented high school students in a college campus environment,” the White House said.

    Background, from the White House: “The First Lady’s visit to Howard is part of her higher education initiative, in particular working to achieve the President’s “North Star” Goal, that by the year 2020, America will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world.

    The First Lady will join the students on a campus tour followed by a roundtable discussion where the students will be joined by their hosts. In the discussion, the First Lady will hear how college tours and similar types of exposure can inspire students to reach higher in their education.

  25. rikyrah says:

    Congressman Tells Low-Income Worker: Higher Minimum Wage Is ‘Not Right’

    By Scott Keyes on April 16, 2014 at 8:29 am

    People like Shaneeka Rainer are often told that they shouldn’t try to get the minimum wage increased because it only really applies to teenagers working entry-level jobs. That indeed may have described Rainer 10 years ago, when he first entered the workforce. But a decade after he got his first job in fast food, Rainer still finds himself working at Arby’s for minimum wage.

    In other words, Rainer has worked an entire decade receiving only one raise: when Congress increased the minimum wage in 2007.

    And so he showed up at his congressman’s public forum on Tuesday to ask Rep. Dennis Ross (R-FL) to finally give him and millions of other low-income Americans a raise.

    Ross, who is seeking a third term representing Tampa’s northwest suburbs, was unmoved by Rainer’s plea. “It’s not right,” the Florida Republican said. “If we are going to make it a living wage, who’s going to pay for it?”

    An audience member declared that he’d gladly pay slightly more for a hamburger in order to increase the minimum wage, prompting applause from the crowd.

    Rainer asked the congressman whether he would be willing to come work at Arby’s with him for one day so he can see how difficult minimum wage work is, but Ross demurred. Instead, he railed against the very notion of a minimum wage and even the concept of labor laws in general. “If the government’s going to tell me how much I can get paid and when I can work and when I can’t work, then we have a serious problem in this country,” Ross said.

  26. Ametia says:

    A white supremacist’s alleged shooting spree in Kansas “revives a long-brewing question … Could extreme racial and ethnic bigotry be a form of mental illness?”,0,1712749.story


  27. Ametia says:

    Rick Perry Dismantled Texas’ Public Integrity Unit. Now He’s Facing a Grand Jury.
    The Texas governor is being investigated after he cut funding for the state’s watchdog agency

    —By Patrick Caldwell
    | Wed Apr. 16, 2014 3:00 AM PDT
    Rick Perry—Republican Texas governor, failed 2012 presidential candidate, and potential 2016 retread contender—is battling legal trouble at home, thanks to his controversial veto that demolished the state office tasked with investigating political scandals. On Monday, a Texas judge convened a grand jury to probe Perry’s decision last year to axe funding for the state’s Public Integrity Unit. The special prosecutor investigating the case, Michael McCrum, has not filed any charges. But earlier this month he said, “I cannot elaborate on what exactly is concerning me, but I can tell you I am very concerned about certain aspects of what happened here.”

    Perry’s troubles started when he attempted to to displace the government official in charge of the Public Integrity Unit, a state-funded watchdog agency that investigates charges of public corruption. The unit is led by whoever is serving as the Travis County district attorney, who is based in Austin. The Current DA is Rosemary Lehmberg, a Democrat. Last April, she was arrested for drunk driving.

  28. rikyrah 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.
    DOUG GLANVILLE APR 14 2014, 1:20 PM ET

    It 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.

  29. rikyrah says:

    Coming this fall in the Senate races: Big fights over Personhood
    By Greg Sargent
    April 15 at 3:27 pm

    The issue isn’t being discussed at all by Washington prognosticators these days. But you can bet that some of the most hard fought Senate races this fall will feature big fights over “Personhood” measures, which have declared that full human rights begin at the moment of fertilization.

    A number of GOP Senate candidates are on record supporting Personhood in some form. Once primary season is over, and the Senate general elections get underway in earnest, you are likely to see Democrats attack Republicans over the issue — broadening the battle for female voters beyond issues such as pay equity to include an emotionally fraught cultural argument that Dems have used to their advantage in the past.

    This has already appeared in the Colorado Senate race, but it will likely become an issue in other races, too. In Colorado, the Republican candidate, GOP Rep. Cory Gardner, renounced his previous support for Personhood after entering the contest, admitting it would “restrict contraception,” but Dems seized on the reversal to argue that Gardner only supports protecting women’s health when politically necessary.

    Gardner co-sponsored the “Life at Conception Act,” which provides for Constitutional protection of the right to life of each “preborn human person,” defined as existing from the “moment of fertilization.” The Pro-Life Alliance describes this as a “Personhood” measure.

    Other GOP Senate candidates are on record in similar fashion. Co-sponsors of the Life at Conception Act include Rep. Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Rep. Steve Daines of Montana, both expected general election candidates. Meanwhile, according to McClatchy, three leading GOP Senate candidates in North Carolina — Thom Tillis, Greg Brannon, and Mark Harris — all favor a “Personhood” constitutional amendment that would “grant legal protections to a fertilized human egg and possibly ban some forms of birth control.”

    In Georgia, three top Senate candidates — Reps. Paul Broun, Phil Gingrey, and Jack Kingston — all co-sponsored the “Sanctity of Human Life Act,” which gives “full human rights to human zygotes from the moment of fertilization,” as Laura Bassett puts it. In Iowa, state senator Joni Ernst — who is running against Dem Bruce Braley — supported a “Personhood” amendment to the state constitution. In Michigan, Terri Lynn Land didn’t mention rape or incest as exceptions to her anti-abortion stance in an interview with Politico. In Louisiana, Rep. Bill Cassidy — who is running against Mary Landrieu — was marked down by the Louisiana Family Forum as opposing abortion in cases of rape and incest (a spokesperson said he is “staunchly pro life”).

  30. rikyrah says:

    ‘Is it constitutional, the Civil Rights Act?’

    04/15/14 04:20 PM
    By Steve Benen

    For the better part of a generation, there was broad agreement within the American mainstream about the legitimacy and utility of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It wasn’t until quite recently that some prominent Republican lawmakers began approaching the landmark law in a very different way.

    Perhaps the most striking example came in 2010, when then Senate candidate Rand Paul (R-Ky.) initially said he disagreed with parts of the Civil Right Act. In one especially memorable exchange, Rachel asked Paul on the air, “Do you think that a private business has the right to say, ‘We don’t serve black people’?” Paul replied, “Yes.”

    Four years later, Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Fla.) wasn’t willing to go quite this far, but Scott Keyes noted that the congressman isn’t convinced the Civil Right Act is legally permissible.

    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 correct answer is, “Of course it is.” Regrettably that’s not what Yoho said.

    “Is it constitutional, the Civil Rights Act?” the Florida Republican replied. “I wish I could answer that 100 percent. I know a lot of things that were passed are not constitutional, but I know it’s the law of the land.”

  31. rikyrah says:

    Oklahoma’s regressive approach to the minimum wage

    04/16/14 08:00 AM
    By Steve Benen

    Several states from coast to coast have given up waiting for Congress to act on the minimum wage and are instead acting on their own. Connecticut, Maryland, and Minnesota each recently approved wage hikes, while Massachusetts, Hawaii, and Vermont are poised to do the same.

    Oklahoma, meanwhile, is also implementing a new statewide law on the minimum wage. But in this case, the Republican-led state is a very different approach. As Ned Resnikoff reported:

    Oklahoma cities are now banned from raising their own minimum wages above the state level, thanks to a law signed by Republican Governor Mary Fallin on Tuesday. The law will also prevent cities in Oklahoma from crafting their own mandatory paid sick day laws.

    Oklahoma’s minimum wage is currently $7.25 per hour, the same as the federal minimum wage. The new law would stymie labor’s attempts to raise the minimum wage in Oklahoma City, where activists have been organizing around a proposed ballot initiative to raise the city-level minimum wage to $10.10 per hour.

    In contemporary conservatism, “local control” is an important principle. The right tends to believe the government that’s closest to the people – literally, geographically – is best able to respond to the public’s needs.

    Except, of course, when local government considers progressive measures Republicans don’t like, at which point it’s time to intervene and snuff local control out.

  32. rikyrah says:

    ‘And then you go, ‘Uh oh”

    04/16/14 08:43 AM—Updated 04/16/14 09:05 AM
    By Steve Benen

    As became clear late last week and over the weekend, Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy has a core group of supporters, many of whom happen to have weapons they’re willing to bring to a protest. Bundy, who’s been ignoring federal laws and court rulings for many years, also has his champions among conservative media personalities.

    But David Nather noted that there seems to be a ceiling on Bundy support among conservatives who ordinarily enjoy railing against “big government,” but who fail to see a “powerful rallying cry” in this story.

    “It’s like, really, Glenn Beck? This is the issue you want to get behind?” said one Nevada conservative activist who has followed the story for years. “People who aren’t in tune with the story just jumped all over it. And then you go back and read the facts of the story, and then you go, ‘Uh oh.’”

    Uh oh, indeed. The new right-wing cause celebre is a man who doesn’t recognize the legitimacy of the United States government, and whose supporters appeared prepared for a confrontation – a potentially violent confrontation – with American law enforcement.

    The Politico report noted that Republicans and Tea Partiers are eager to talk about the Affordable Care Act and the IRS, but took a pass on Bundy: “Officials at the top Republican campaign organizations, the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee, didn’t respond to requests for comment. Top lawmakers were silent. And a spokesman for the Tea Party Patriots said there was no one available to talk about the rancher issue on Tuesday.”

  33. rikyrah says:

    On Jeb and Political Dynasty
    by BooMan
    Tue Apr 15th, 2014 at 06:14:52 PM EST

    Personally, I think Jeb Bush has one shot at being the president of the United States, and that’s if he doesn’t run in 2016, a Democrat wins that election and does very poorly, and then Jeb challenges that Democrat in 2020. Jeb will be 67 in 2020, still young enough to serve two terms. By 2024, he’ll be pushing the limits.

    The former Florida governor may be having his moment, but he has many more reasons not to run in 2016 than he has to make the plunge.

    The most obvious argument against running is that the Democrats are likely to nominate Hillary Clinton who will bring unusual strengths to the contest.

    Longtime readers know that I am not a Clintonista and that I vehemently opposed her winning the nomination in 2008. But this isn’t about me. It’s about Jeb Bush, and what I believe is in Jeb Bush’s interests. In truth, I don’t give a rat’s ass about Jeb Bush’s interests; I’m only interested in the politics.

    Hillary has strengths and weaknesses, but her strengths are not your garden variety. For sheer experience on the international stage, we’ve never had a candidate that can match her: served on the board of Wal-Mart, First Lady of Arkansas, First Lady of the United States, U.S. Senator from New York, and Secretary of State. Jeb Bush’s experiences (in the corporate world, as the son of Poppy Bush, and as governor of Florida) come closer than other Republican, but it’s really not a close comparison.

    Jeb can’t match Hillary on the domestic front, either. Few Americans have more experience or understanding of health care from both a policy issue and a political circus than Hillary. She’s spent the last 21 years engaged in Congress to one degree or another. Jeb has never served in DC.

  34. rikyrah says:

    Media Alert Reminder:

    Orphan Black Season Two premieres Saturday, April 19 at 9/8c on BBC AMERICA.

    You can watch Season One on Amazon Prime right now.

    You will not regret it if you do. Orphan Black is amazing!

  35. rikyrah says:

    Roland Martin trying to whine to Michael Eric Dyson for telling Cornell West to go somewhere and sit down.

    @MichaelEDyson: @rolandsmartin @CornelWest @TJMShow I’ve written 18 books, pastored 3 churches, taught at 8 universities, mentored youth, been arrested for

    @MichaelEDyson: @rolandsmartin @CornelWest @TJMShow civil rights, and appeared in media last 25 yrs. I’m quite focused. I held my tongue while West lashed

    @MichaelEDyson: @rolandsmartin @CornelWest @TJMShow out at me for last several years. You never once spoke against his vitriol. But the moment I make a

    @MichaelEDyson: @rolandsmartin @CornelWest @TJMShow principled defense of myself you have something to say? Not fair my friend. It ain’t equal. I have

    @MichaelEDyson: @rolandsmartin @CornelWest @TJMShow behaved in a principled fashion to express my views. West has utters hateful and personal attacks.

    @MichaelEDyson: @rolandsmartin @CornelWest @TJMShow So it’s not “y’all need to stop it” since I haven’t said a single nasty personal thing about him.

  36. rikyrah says:

    Sebelius Said to Weigh Run for Kansas Senate Seat

    WASHINGTON — In her darkest hour last fall, Kathleen Sebelius suffered one of the deepest cuts from an old family friend who accused her of “gross incompetence” over the rollout of the Affordable Care Act and demanded that she resign as secretary of health and human services. Now she is weighing revenge.

    Ms. Sebelius is considering entreaties from Democrats who want her to run against that old friend, Senator Pat Roberts, Republican of Kansas.

    Several Democrats said this week that Ms. Sebelius had been mentioned with growing frequency as someone who could wage a serious challenge to Mr. Roberts, 77, who is running for a fourth term and is considered vulnerable. One person who spoke directly to Ms. Sebelius said that she was thinking about it, but added that it was too soon to say how seriously she was taking the idea.

  37. rikyrah says:

    Updated: 12:12 p.m. Tuesday, April 15, 2014 | Posted: 10:58 a.m. Tuesday, April 15, 2014

    Atlanta student wins scholarship from radio host Tom Joyner’s foundation
    By Mark Niesse

    Radio host Tom Joyner announced this morning that his annual full-ride scholarship will go to Atlanta student Titus Zeigler, who tutors younger children, participates in Junior ROTC and volunteers at the city food bank.

    Zeigler, a senior at Grady High School in Midtown, will receive a scholarship to attend a historically black college covering full tuition, books for 10 semesters and room and board.

    He plans to attend Florida A&M University as he works to become a trauma surgeon. He’s a battalion commander in Grady’s Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps, and he joined the National Guard when he turned 17 last June.

    “My job is as a medical specialist, so my job is not killing people, but to save them,” Zeigler said.

    Joyner, whose morning show airs in 115 markets and reaches more than 8 million listeners each week, said he was impressed by Zeigler’s focus and determination.

  38. Ametia says:

    n April 5, 1968, soul legend James Brown performed a concert in Boston that many say shielded that city from the kinds of devastating riots that ripped other cities apart after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.

    Farai Chideya talks with David Leaf about his new film, The Night James Brown Saved Boston.

    Streaming video here:

  39. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone! :-)

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