Saturday Open Thread

To all of our commenters, readers, followers, friends and guests, I hope you enjoy your weekend with friends and family. Stay safe!

About SouthernGirl2

A Native Texan who adores baby kittens, loves horses, rodeos, pomegranates, & collect Eagles. Enjoys politics, games shows, & dancing to all types of music. Loves discussing and learning about different cultures. A Phi Theta Kappa lifetime member with a passion for Social & Civil Justice.
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38 Responses to Saturday Open Thread

  1. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    How North Carolinians Are Bracing For The Nation’s Worst Voter Suppression Law
    September 5, 2014

    • yahtzeebutterfly says:

      “Rev. Dr. William Barber II on North Carolina’s Fight for Democracy”
      August 29, 2014

      Barber also described the legislature’s attempt to shift $10 million earmarked for public schools to voucher programs that could only be used to pay for private schools. In shifting these public funds into private hands, said Barber, the legislature refused to require that private schools benefiting from the vouchers maintain the same non-discrimination standards that public schools must uphold, meaning that private schools receiving voucher funds would have been allowed to restrict enrollment however they chose. A Superior Court judge declared on Aug. 21 that the state’s school voucher program is unconstitutional, citing the lack of accountability inherent in the program, and issued a permanent injunction stopping the voucher program from going forward.

      [Conservative mega-donor] Art Pope and the tea party aren’t just alienating teachers and progressives, says Barber. They are also alienating Republicans across the state. Barber says that the legislature and McCrory never made clear, even to their own constituents, what they were planning to do once they achieved a supermajority in the statehouse and won the governorship. “They did not run saying, ‘Elect me, I’m going to take your health care, cut your public education, and strip you of your unemployment even if you lost your job at no fault of your own,’” says Barber. “So, we’ve had a Republican unemployed person stand on the stage [at a Moral March] and say, ‘I’m a Republican, but I’m unemployed — I didn’t vote for this.’”

      Even Republicans holding public office are objecting to the legislature’s actions. Adam O’Neal, a self-described conservative Republican mayor from Belhaven, NC, began a one-man march of 273 miles to Washington DC on July 14 to dramatize the impact of Gov. McCrory’s and [House Speaker Thom] Tillis’ refusal to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. O’Neal explained that the lack of Medicaid funds had forced the only hospital in his coastal community to close, creating a “medical desert” that would certainly cost lives. O’Neal also lamented the potential economic impact of the hospital closing; he told NPR, “How many people go retire somewhere where it doesn’t even have a hospital?”

      I asked Barber what he believes is the neoliberals’ vision for North Carolina. “They believe that the way to a great North Carolina is to deny necessary funds and access to public education. Attack teachers. Deny unemployment. Deny earned income tax credit and other safeguards for the working poor. Deny affordable healthcare and access to healthcare, even if it allows people to die. Deny labor rights, LGBT rights, women’s rights, immigrant rights… And then, if you really want a great America after you’ve done all these things, then suppress the right to vote and attempt to use your power to stay in office. And then, after you’ve done all of that to create all this tension, ensure that everyone has access to guns easier than they have access to the polls. Now, that sounds crude and sinister, but those are their policies.”

  2. rikyrah says:

    The War on Obamacare Has Become a War on Minorities and the Poor
    By Brian Beutler

    Like many eleventh-hour strategies, the right’s final offensive against the Affordable Care Act has a last-gasp quality to it. Where better-laid plans to defeat the ACA in Congress and via Constitutional challenge were fraught with ideological purpose, the challengers in Halbig v. Burwell are engaged in something much smaller. Their argument is merely that if you read a poorly drafted section of the statute out of context, it appears that the law doesn’t contemplate subsidies in states that availed themselves of the federal government’s backstop, Millions of people would lose their health insurance in service of teaching Congress a lesson about the importance of legislative draftsmanship.

    That’s not a very becoming political argument, though, so the Halbig supporters have stapled a grandiose claim to their core challenge. Because many of the people who would lose their insurance would also qualify for an exemption from the law’s insurance coverage mandate, they frame it as a principled campaign for liberty.

    But many is not all. It’s probably not even most. As University of Michigan law professor Nicholas Bagley noted on Tuesday, a conservative victory in Halbig would eliminate subsidies for everyone, but the hardship exemption would only apply to a subset. Many, many people—those above about 180 percent of the federal poverty level—would still be required to purchase insurance. It would just become more expensive for them. The exemption—the escape hatch to freedom—would only be available to those whose coverage costs more than eight percent of income: the poor, and near-poor. These are the people whose liberty conservatives claim to be fighting for—the people who were only able to purchase insurance because the subsidies made it affordable. The people who, as Bagley writes, would “be free to decline coverage that, without tax credits, they can’t afford anyhow.”


    Tennessee was a genuine surprise, in that it isn’t lily white, and has fairly high rates of poverty. But the GOP-controlled states that have expanded Medicaid, or are considering Medicaid expansion, are pretty white relative to GOP-controlled states where expansion is out of the question. Deep Southern states, where poverty is most concentrated and black population rates approach 30 percent, aren’t calling up the Department of Health and Human Services in Washington to negotiate a conservative Medicaid expansion compromise. To the contrary, that’s probably where resistance to the expansion runs strongest.

    The story won’t be much different if conservatives get their way and ACA subsidies disappear in states. If you haven’t caught on by now, the conspicuous thing about the Medicaid freedmen and those who would be freed from the individual mandate is that they’re disproportionately black and poor. ACA rejectionism isn’t enhancing their liberty at all.

    But there’s something conspicuous about the Obamacare opponents posing as tribunes for liberty, too. They’re nearly all affluent white people, who take their own health insurance for granted and probably wouldn’t consider themselves liberated if a court or legislature took aim at it for any reason. And though their rhetoric suggests otherwise, they’re waging the final Obamacare battles against poor people and minorities, not on their behalf.

  3. vitaminlover says:

    Roll Tide!/War Eagle!

  4. rikyrah says:

    Matt Murphy @MattMurph24

    PBO risked his entire Presidency to pass the ACA in order to save people’s lives. My mom is one of them.
    12:32 PM – 6 Sep 2014

  5. rikyrah says:

    Yes, I bought this week’s People because of the Brangelina wedding. And, the pictures were so cute. The kids have grown!!

  6. rikyrah says:

    I am a confessed tv addict. I watch a podcasts for several shows here. And, they decided to do a Fall 2014 TV Preview.

  7. rikyrah says:

    If I recall right…

    This is the woman accused of stalking by not one, but TWO exes!


    Koch Machine Pulls The Plug In Oregon

    By karoli September 6, 2014 10:00 am – 17 Comments

    Senator Jeff Merkley’s challenger doesn’t seem to be
    bringing the deliverables to justify big October ad buys.

    Welp. It seems that the Koch machine isn’t feeling too confident
    about their chances in Oregon, so they’ve pulled the plug on a big ad
    buy there for the month of October.

    The Register-Guard reports:

    Freedom Partners’ super PAC, the Virginia-based group
    affiliated with oil and gas magnates Charles and David Koch, confirmed
    today that it has canceled all the television ad time it had reserved in October to influence Oregon’s U.S. Senate race.

    Freedom Partners’ non-profit affiliate has strongly criticized incumbent
    Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley in TV ads throughout August, providing a
    big outside boost to the campaign of GOP challenger Monica Wehby.

    Freedom Partners spokesman Bill Riggs declined to provide the exact
    size of the October airtime reservation it was canceling, but it was
    expected to total at least $1 million.

    Riggs also declined to provide a specific reason for the pullback. He
    said Freedom Partners, which is spending money on a number of other
    congressional races, is “constantly re-evaluating” its expenditures and
    could ultimately get buy back into the race in October. Doing so then
    would be more expensive for them, however, as early reservations for
    television ad buys come at discounted rates.

    Riggs added that “other groups could jump in” the race in Freedom Partners’ place.

  8. rikyrah says:

    Saturday, September 6, 2014
    The Real Immigration Villain Remains The GOP
    Posted by Zandar
    It’s important to remember the above post title when reading this:

    President Obama will delay taking executive action on immigration until after the midterm elections, bowing to pressure from fellow Democrats who feared that acting now could doom his party’s chances this fall, White House officials said on Saturday.

    The decision is a reversal of Mr. Obama’s vow to issue broad directives to overhaul the immigration system soon after summer’s end, and sparked swift anger from immigration advocates. The president made the promise on June 30, standing in the Rose Garden, where he angrily denounced Republican obstruction and said he would use the power of his office to protect immigrant families from the threat of deportation.

    So, two things: First, Republicans have successfully politicized immigration to the point where immigration activists are now ready to destroy President Obama, and second, Senate Democrats are going to find out that there’s zero advantage to stabbing the President in the back here.

    Cristina Jimenez, the managing director for United We Dream, an immigration advocacy group, accused Mr. Obama of “playing politics” with the lives of immigrant families and said “the president’s latest broken promise is another slap to the face of the Latino and immigrant community.”

    If Jiminez was honest, she’d be going after John Boehner for refusing to hold a vote on the Senate immigration bill that already passed. But it’s easier to attack President Obama, because kicking him in the face will certainly bring about the immigration reform she wants, right?

    Of course, reform isn’t the issue. Fundraising and attention are. And attacking President Obama from the left is a tried and true method for getting both. I don’t blame her, she knows how this game works as much as Obama does.

    And no, if Senate Democrats come up to President Obama and say “We will not support your executive action and we will side with the GOP to stop you” then his hands are tied.

    On the other side, Republicans voted to immediately deport every single undocumented immigrant in the US. But you’re going to go after Obama.

    And the GOP wins again. Great job.

  9. rikyrah says:

    Rand Paul Flip-Flops Again on ISIS, Now Says Iraq and Turkey Should Do All the Fighting

    Bob Cesca on September 04, 2014

    Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) is a national joke and anyone who thinks he’d make a swell president needs to pay a little more attention to the, you know, news. Yesterday, we reported the freshman senator’s latest in a bottomless cup of flip-flops in which he said, on the record, that he’d intervene militarily against the Islamic State, aka ISIS. Prior to being obviously hawkish, Paul condemned Hillary Clinton for being a hawk on the Middle East. Now he’s backpedaling on his flirtation with intervention. Surprise, surprise. Let’s review.

    We’re all familiar with his attempt to outflank Hillary Clinton to her left by characterizing her as a hawk, both on Meet the Press, August 24, and in The Wall Street Journal, August 28.

    Back in June, Rand Paul had serious reservations about air-strikes against ISIS forces in Iraq.

    What would airstrikes accomplish? We know that Iran is aiding the Iraqi government against ISIS. Do we want to, in effect, become Iran’s air force? What’s in this for Iran? Why should we choose a side, and if we do, who are we really helping?

    But on Tuesday, after news broke about a second beheading of an American journalist by ISIS terrorists, Rand Paul said:

    In an emailed comment… Paul elaborated by saying: “If I were President, I would call a joint session of Congress. I would lay out the reasoning of why ISIS is a threat to our national security and seek congressional authorization to destroy ISIS militarily.”

  10. Oh, won’t you stay with me?
    ..Cause you’re… all I need.

  11. Ametia says:

    President Barack Obama will not take any executive actions on immigration until after November’s elections, an administration official confirmed to CNN today.

    The decision to postpone means any political repercussions for such action would come after the congressional midterm contests.

    Obama has been weighing ways to change the immigration system on his own after congressional action on the issue stalled.

    He decided to delay any move so that candidates can’t use it to score points, the administration official said

    • rikyrah says:

      T @truthrose1

      Just an observation but some Black people more upset about immigration than they are abt #VRA being gutted and voter Id laws “blankstare

      oh. @amakaxo

      @truthrose1 blacks are always carrying water for others groups and their issues.

      T @truthrose1

      @amakaxo Yes Black people upset cause people who are not citizens are not able to get the citizenship Black people have been denied forever

      • Ametia says:

        I’m so feeling you, trose. These mofos would drown first, before they grabbed a life raft for themelves. It’s that “Massa, is we sick?” slave mentality.

  12. Ametia says:

    Bending toward justice in the war against Islamic State
    By Colbert I. King September 5 at 8:54 PM

    In August 1968, many of us in the U.S. Embassy in Bonn, West Germany, read reports with disgust and sadness as Soviet troops with tanks and artillery rolled into Czechoslovakia, closing exit routes and brutally destroying the budding season of freedom that reformers in that country called the Prague Spring.

    It took a while, but with the courage and extraordinary leadership of Nelson Mandela, the moral arc finally bent toward justice in apartheid South Africa. It took militancy, legal action and sacrifice to break through the prejudice that legally manacled blacks in this country. But justice prevailed over Jim Crow.

    The Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia and East Germany are no more.

    As it was with the Third Reich, so it will be with the Islamic State.

    Justice will come.

  13. Ametia says:

    Replace short-term medical missions with long-term local investment
    By Jennifer Whitfield Bellows September 5 at 10:22 PM

    The writer is global health track director at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.
    “Doctora. Una consulta, por favor.”

    I was in rural Peru, mentoring a group of U.S. medical students who were conducting training in basic public health to lay health-care providers. Word had gotten out that I was a doctor, and several of the lay providers came to me seeking medical advice.

    The soft-spoken Peruvian man requesting this “consulta” explained that a year ago, a group of doctors from the United States had briefly set up a makeshift clinic in his village. He went to them because he was experiencing abdominal pain and weight loss, and he was given a bottle of pills and a piece of paper with instructions (in English) for taking them. The pills were methimazole, which should be given only to patients after laboratory confirmation of high thyroid levels and who are carefully monitored by a specialist. Methimazole can induce liver failure, suppress the immune system and cause birth defects if taken by pregnant women.

    This man was a victim of an increasingly common phenomenon: the short-term medical mission. Because of the ease of modern travel, increasing awareness of dire shortages of health care in developing countries and ubiquitous access to volunteer opportunities, participation in short-term medical missions has risen exponentially in the past 20 years. Organizations providing these missions abound on the Internet, and the American College of Medical Schools reports that over 30 percent of graduating medical students in 2013 took an overseas medical elective prior to graduation, compared with 6 percent in 1984. Such missions generally last one to four weeks and consist of nurses and physicians from wealthy parts of the world setting up a temporary clinic to provide free medical services in a developing country.

  14. Ametia says:

    Thank you for the beautiful, graceful & SOULFUL, “Stay With Me,” SG2.

  15. rikyrah says:

    GOOD morning Everyone

  16. sunshine616 says:
    Have u ladies seen this ??? Omg, it’s too damn much!! No wonder the Feds are down there. Oh and lookie there, mr. Roorda the fundraising extraordinaire, defending yet another horrible excuse for a human being

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