Sunday Open Thread

Happy Sunday, Everyone.

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27 Responses to Sunday Open Thread

  1. rikyrah says:

    Rula Jebreal Corners Geraldo: ‘How Many People at Fox Are of Arab Descent?’
    by Evan McMurry

    Former MSNBC contributor, Rula Jebreal took a break Saturday night from putting 30 Rock hosts against the wall to corner Geraldo Rivera during a segment on media treatment of the Israel-Hamas conflict. Jebreal argued that diversity in coverage came from diversity of viewpoints at media outlets.

    For instance: “How many people here on Fox News are of Arab descent?” she asked Geraldo, who appeared initially to think it was a rhetorical question.

    “I don’t know,” he answered.

    “I’ll tell you: zero,” she replied. “This is what we are lacking. This is the narrative that has never been told: the story of people who have lived for forty-five years under military occupation and have one dream, to have a sovereign state or to live with dignity. …If we don’t manage to solve that issue and their aspirations, we will leave them in the hands of extremists. If we don’t questions policies, extremists win.”

    Fox doesn’t employ any Arab hosts or anchors, but does have two Arab contributors, Lisa Daftari and Walid Phares.

  2. rikyrah says:

    How Harry Reid Might End Up Saving Obamacare

    Brett LoGiurato

    Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid might have saved Obamacare by going “nuclear.”

    Last November, Reid pushed the button on the so-called “nuclear option,” dramatically changing Senate filibuster rules to get more of President Barack Obama’s judicial and executive nominees approved. Reid’s rule change allowed Obama’s nominees to be approved by a simple majority vote rather than with the support of 60% of senators, which prevented the Republican minority from blocking the president’s picks.

    And it turns out, Reid’s maneuvering might become the White House’s most effective weapon as it faces the most serious legal challenge to the Affordable Care Act in more than two years.

    “It’s the first big case where the effects of the nuclear option could be felt,” one Senate Democratic aide told Business Insider last week.

    Here’s how Reid’s senatorial nuke could theoretically save Obamacare. Last week, a three-judge panel on the D.C. Circuit Court ruled that a 2012 IRS regulation that implements key subsidies under the law is invalid, in the case of Halbig v. Burwell. The decision has the potential to affect more than five million people who have been given tax credits when purchasing health insurance through the federal exchange.

    But the Department of Justice is appealing the panel’s decision, requesting an “en banc” review by the full D.C. Circuit Court. The math for the Obama administration is better in this situation — the court splits 7-4 in favor of Democratically appointed judges, because of Reid’s rule change. Because of this breakdown, legal experts believe the D.C. court will reverse the Halbig decision if it grants the en banc review.

    Reid’s decision to go nuclear came after Obama mounted an unusual public campaign to get three of his judicial nominees appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. After months of threats, Reid responded to the president’s push by instituting the rules change. Those three D.C. Circuit Court judges have since been confirmed — and they’re the reason there’s a Democratic majority on the court that would most likely reverse the Halbig decision in the en banc review.

    “Adding Democratically appointed judges who are less enamored of a literalist approach to statutory interpretation makes it much more likely that the court will take the case en banc,” Nicholas Bagley, a law professor at the University of Michigan and contributor to The Incidental Economist, told Business Insider, adding, “The nuclear option thus matters a great deal for the moment.”

    The D.C. Circuit Court, considered the second-most powerful court in the nation after the Supreme Court, is of particular importance to Obama’s second-term agenda — and his legacy. The court has a vast jurisdiction over the federal government and thousands of regulations, rules, and executive actions from more than 400 administrative agencies. The Halbig case is viewed as the most significant case yet to potentially come before the new D.C. Circuit Court’s split.

    In fact, some opponents of the president’s signature healthcare law believe Reid’s decision to go nuclear was specifically designed to protect Obamacare from legal challenges.

    “There has been speculation they did that because of Halbig,” Michael Cannon, the director of health policy at the Cato Institute and one of the key architects of the Halbig lawsuit, told Business Insider in an interview on Friday.

  3. rikyrah says:

    Just got back from GET ON UP!!
    PLEASE go see it.

    I loved it.

    I don’t think they glossed over James Brown’s demons in the least.

    But, this was about the music. And, how that music was part of the soundtrack of America.

    I was so moved by the end. They did a good job.

    • Ametia says:

      Agree, I saw it last night. No glossing over JB’s dark side. Everyone’s got it.

      Totally about the music. What I found fascinating was how brilliantly the movie depicted the enormous courage and ego, yes I said EGO it takes to be a leader.

      JB had it, He got that courage, drive, work ethic, and belief in himself through “Aunt Honey,” Octavia Spencer’s character. Though the work she did might be questionable to some, it showed JB that he could make it in life, but he had to earn his OWN way.

      Often folks want to grill down deep into an artist psyche. It takes a lot for them to create the art that we enjoy. So I’m very careful about judging. Some of us know what the times were like back in the day.

      Get on Up is a MUST see! Thoroughly enjoyed it!

  4. Ametia says:

    Ms. Cicely Tyson’s on Oprah’s Master Class tonight at 9 CT.

  5. rikyrah says:

    From Real Housewives to Love & Hip-Hop, Now Reality TV Takes on BAPs

    Lifetime tackles BAPs in its newest reality-TV show.

    Ask yourself this question? Is there any more room on television for another reality-TV show featuring black people? Well according to Lifetime there is. This show isn’t aiming to be the stereotypical reality show featuring hip-hop love triangles and sex tapes. Nor will it feature NBA groupies turned baby mommas, turned housewives, turned whatever else TV is known to throw at you.

    What will it feature?


    No, it’s not a remake of that awful Halle Berry movie, that she probably regrets ever doing. According to Lifetime, “BAPs pulls back the curtain on an exclusive, privileged and affluent group of African-American friends from St. Louis who self-identify as ‘BAPs’—Black American Princesses and Princes.”

    After watching the short trailer for the series, I was left with a lot of “meh.” First, I thought I’d ask a few friends from the area, who I always thought of as “upper crust,” if they’d ever heard of any of these people on the show. And everyone followed up with, “Who are these people?”

  6. rikyrah says:

    Bruce Rauner channeled part of fortune to Cayman Islands
    Fri, 08/01/2014 – 6:43pm
    Dave McKinney

    SPRINGFIELD — Multimillionaire Republican Bruce Rauner has channeled at least part of his fortune into the Cayman Islands, a Caribbean paradise long criticized as a tax haven for American investors, the Chicago Sun-Times has confirmed.

    A Rauner spokesman insisted that the former private equity investor has met his legal tax obligations and properly disclosed to the federal government information regarding at least five investments by him or his firm in a country that has no income tax and a financial system cloaked in secrecy.

    Rauner’s campaign has refused so far to release a full set of his most recent tax returns to corroborate that and perhaps show the extent and value of those investments in offshore companies. No one has suggested Rauner has done anything illegal. In fact, offshore investments among the wealthy have been a common practice in recent years.

  7. rikyrah says:

    See, this is why some Black folks make me mad.

    What is 1 million for a goddamn BILLIONAIRE?

    And the deposit will happen ‘ within the next 30 days?’


    Not an INVESTMENT into the Credit Union -just a deposit- that is nothing but pennies to him – and will be removed once the election is over.

    But, at least we know how much these folks are being paid to be a sellout.


    Bruce Rauner promises $1M to South Side credit union

    Thursday, July 31, 2014
    Is it a multimillionaire stepping up to help a community, or is it a political candidate trying to buy votes? ABC7 Eyewitness News has learned Bruce Rauner has promised to give a South Side credit union $1 million.

    Nothing like this has ever happened in Illinois politics: A candidate for governor promised $1 million of his own money to help the audience at a campaign event.

    “I understand what he understands, and that’s money,” said Otis Monroe, Monroe Foundation.

    Monroe was among the African American activists who greeted Bruce Rauner this week at the National Black Wall Street office. After the doors closed to the news media, Monroe says he asked the wealthy Republican to deposit $1 million in the South Side Community Federal Credit Union for loans to small businesses.

    “He said he would commit not just a million dollars, but more than a million dollars to this institution,” said Monroe.

    “(You heard him say that?) Yes I did, and so did 60 other people,” said Mark Allen, National Black Wall Street.$1m-to-south-side-credit-union-/231631/

  8. rikyrah says:

    Sunday, Aug 3, 2014 09:00 AM CST
    The raging contradiction at the heart of the conservative “reform” movement
    Republicans are desperate for a facelift, but their new effort to appear compassionate collapses under scrutiny
    Sean McElwee

    The rise of “reform conservatives” has drawn an increasing amount of attention. The wonky right has been treated most recently to a lauding article in the New York Times, following a critical take by E.J. Dionne in Democracy. Some writers have gone as far as declaring Republicans the party of ideas. But reform conservatism fails to reach the holy grail of modern conservatism, wedding support of the family with adoration for the free market.

    Cracks have already formed in the reformicon facade. There is little willingness to challenge the insanity of the Republican Party, so environmental issues have gone entirely ignored. Attempts to bend a fundamentally flawed theory of poverty into wonky centrist plans have collapsed under the weight of their own absurdity. When foreign policy is broached, and it rarely is, the result is embarrassing. (Conservative writer Scott McConnell worries, “it is more than a little disconcerting to see neoconservatism be welcomed back into the public square under the false flag of Burkean moderation.” The reformicons, if they care about immigration (it didn’t garner a mention in their famous “Room to Grow” plan), did nothing to halt recent Republican self-destruction on immigration. The most substantive challenge they appear willing to make toward the party’s right-most wing is banalities about inflation.

    Instead, reform conservatism sticks to “wonky” economics plans, where attempts to distinguish themselves from centrist Democrats fall away. Had the Obama administration chosen to push for a more progressive plan (which likely would have failed to pass), then the reformicons may well have proposed something very much like the Affordable Care Act. Obama instead chose the conservative route: expand already existing programs and keep the private insurance system broadly in place. The fact that Obama’s plan was drawn from Heritage documents and implemented previously by Republicans is inconsequential — the important point is that it is philosophically conservative. That is, it prefers market mechanisms when possible and expands old bureaucracies (Medicaid) rather than create new ones.

    In fact, the Obama administration has shown a consistent preference for conservative policy proposals — ones that don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater but rather leave already existing structures in place, but reform them subtly. His administration has preferred, where possible, to delegate power to the states and to use market mechanisms rather than government decree to reach policy goals. (Witness his recent plan for curbing global warming, which relies on federalism, innovation and market mechanisms, rather than command and control.) His foreign policy has been restrained compared to the naive sentimentality of the previous administration and he has shied away from crusading on social issues, preferring to silently advance transgender rights.

    Because of Obama’s conservatism, the “reformers” have been forced to take on an increasingly reactionary tone. Yuval Levin, for instance, according to the generous Sam Tanenhaus, sounds rather more reactionary than reformist:

    For all [Levin’s] temperateness of tone, and for all the meticulously reasoned arguments that he has shepherded into the pages of National Affairs, Levin justly says his ideas are radical. He envisions not just a shrinking or scaling-back of government, but an entire re-imagining of it.

    This longing to roll back time and go to a long-gone utopia is not a conservative impulse, but rather a reactionary one. We see this impulse when Ramesh Ponnuru seeks to obliterate the conservative Affordable Care Act on the basis of a radical (and almost entirely unsupported) reading of a single sentence. This is not the attitude of someone who, as Burke might suggest, attends to “the faults of the state as to the wounds of a father, with pious awe and trembling solicitude.” Instead Ponnuru resembles the impetuous “children of their country, who are prompt rashly to hack that aged parent in pieces, and put him into the kettle of magicians, in hopes that by their poisonous weeds, and wild incantations, they may regenerate the paternal constitution, and renovate their father’s life.”

  9. rikyrah says:

    KSK(africa) @lawalazu

    What is Dangerous @DouthatNYT is your Wholesale pretense that GOP did not come in asking to Impeach this president.
    10:37 AM – 3 Aug 2014

  10. rikyrah says:

    Obamacare loses some of its campaign punch for Republicans
    By Michael A. Memoli, Lisa Mascaro

    Six months ago, a House Republican campaign official listed the top three issues that would propel the party’s candidates to victory in the midterm election: “Obamacare, Obamacare, Obamacare.”

    It was a strategy that worked well in 2010, when GOP electoral gains were fueled primarily by a high-profile campaign to repeal the newly passed Affordable Care Act.

    But now, months removed from the political storm that resulted from the botched rollout of the law and as more Americans begin receiving healthcare under the program, many Republicans have a more nuanced view of its importance.

    House Republicans are broadening their once-singular focus on the healthcare law and headed into an extended summer break without delivering on their promise to advance an alternative.

    For much of the summer, in fact, the issue has receded as both a topic of daily assaults in Congress and on the campaign trail. The once-common House votes to repeal Obamacare have been replaced by a probe into improper Internal Revenue Service targeting, hearings into treatment delays for veterans and a Republican push to sue or even impeach President Obama on allegations of overstepping his constitutional bounds.

    Republicans “are not finding as much traction” on Obamacare as they’d like among voters, according to Democratic strategist Stanley Greenberg. New polling from his firm found that voters in the states that will determine control of the Senate were evenly split between whether to implement and fix the health law or repeal and replace it.

    Perhaps the most obvious sign of the shift has been what is seen, or not, in television advertising in key states. The percentage of broadcast television ads focused on Obamacare dipped in the spring, according to a study conducted by Kantar Media/CMAG, a nonpartisan media-tracking firm, for the Cook Political Report. The study found, however, that the percentage of Obamacare ads rose again in July.

  11. rikyrah says:

    You don’t have to ‘ run as a liberal’.

    You cut the uninsured by FORTY PERCENT in your state, and you don’t know how to hang this around Turtle’s neck and choke him with it?

    This is why I say Grimes is a lousy candidate.


    Senate Rivals Exchange Barbs at Kentucky Picnic


    AUG. 2, 2014

    Ms. Grimes has shown no inclination to run as a liberal, though. She has dodged questions of whether she supports the Affordable Care Act, and was similarly evasive when asked recently if she supported Mr. Obama’s request for funds to ease the border immigration crisis.

    Both candidates are running essentially a one-note campaign.

    Ms. Grimes’s campaign has focused narrowly on the theme that Mr. McConnell has lost touch with Kentucky in his 30 years in Washington. “One of us represents the past, one of us represents the future,” Ms. Grimes shouted, pointing a finger behind her at Mr. McConnell.

    The senator is running an equally narrow and safe campaign. He is doing his best to join Ms. Grimes to the hip of the unpopular president. His supporters in the boisterous crowd twirled signs with Mr. Obama’s face on one side and Ms. Grimes’s on the other. Others wore masks of Senator Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada, the majority leader.

  12. rikyrah says:

    In a Subprime Bubble for Used Cars, Borrowers Pay Sky-High Rates
    July 19, 2014 12:36 pm

    Rodney Durham stopped working in 1991, declared bankruptcy and lives on Social Security. Nonetheless, Wells Fargo lent him $15,197 to buy a used Mitsubishi sedan.

    “I am not sure how I got the loan,” Mr. Durham, age 60, said.

    Mr. Durham’s application said that he made $35,000 as a technician at Lourdes Hospital in Binghamton, N.Y., according to a copy of the loan document. But he says he told the dealer he hadn’t worked at the hospital for more than three decades. Now, after months of Wells Fargo pressing him over missed payments, the bank has repossessed his car.

    This is the face of the new subprime boom. Mr. Durham is one of millions of Americans with shoddy credit who are easily obtaining auto loans from used-car dealers, including some who fabricate or ignore borrowers’ abilities to repay. The loans often come with terms that take advantage of the most desperate, least financially sophisticated customers. The surge in lending and the lack of caution resemble the frenzied subprime mortgage market before its implosion set off the 2008 financial crisis.

    Auto loans to people with tarnished credit have risen more than 130 percent in the five years since the immediate aftermath of the financial crisis, with roughly one in four new auto loans last year going to borrowers considered subprime — people with credit scores at or below 640.

    The explosive growth is being driven by some of the same dynamics that were at work in subprime mortgages. A wave of money is pouring into subprime autos, as the high rates and steady profits of the loans attract investors. Just as Wall Street stoked the boom in mortgages, some of the nation’s biggest banks and private equity firms are feeding the growth in subprime auto loans by investing in lenders and making money available for loans.

    And, like subprime mortgages before the financial crisis, many subprime auto loans are bundled into complex bonds and sold as securities by banks to insurance companies, mutual funds and public pension funds — a process that creates ever-greater demand for loans.

    The New York Times examined more than 100 bankruptcy court cases, dozens of civil lawsuits against lenders and hundreds of loan documents and found that subprime auto loans can come with interest rates that can exceed 23 percent. The loans were typically at least twice the size of the value of the used cars purchased, including dozens of battered vehicles with mechanical defects hidden from borrowers. Such loans can thrust already vulnerable borrowers further into debt, even propelling some into bankruptcy, according to the court records, as well as interviews with borrowers and lawyers in 19 states.

    In another echo of the mortgage boom, The Times investigation also found dozens of loans that included incorrect information about borrowers’ income and employment, leading people who had lost their jobs, were in bankruptcy or were living on Social Security to qualify for loans that they could never afford.

  13. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

  14. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone!

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