Tuesday Open Thread | Sacred Spirit Drums |Prayer for the Four Directions

Beginning in 1994 with Sacred Earth Drums, David & Steve Gordon branched out into world fusion music, adding African, Middle Eastern and Native American drums and percussion plus Native American flute and Incan pan pipes to the mix, along with acoustic and electric guitars, synthesizers, and continuing their use of sounds of nature as musical elements.[3][5] The song titles and liner notes portrayed the story of a mythical shaman who journeys to the spirit world to find healing for his people and for the Earth.[6] Sacred Earth Drums became the top-selling drumming album in the New Age market for both 1994 and 1995[2] and by 2002 had sold over 300,000 units.

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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101 Responses to Tuesday Open Thread | Sacred Spirit Drums |Prayer for the Four Directions

  1. eliihass says:

    Funny how President and Mrs Obama have been subjected to multiple daily death threats for over 6 years, and even when those making these threats (including law enforcement officers) are blatant about it, and actually make attempts, it is all poo-poo’d and even encouraged.

    But John Boehner gets one threat from a mentally ill bartender, and the man is immediately fired from his job and thrown in jail.

  2. rikyrah says:

    What would happen if the Supreme Court dismembers Obamacare
    By Stephen Stromberg
    January 9

    If you think Obamacare is bad, just wait until the Supreme Court dismembers it.

    The Urban Institute has gamed out what would happen if the justices ended health insurance subsidies for people in 34 states, a plausible result from the court’s current term. Urban’s results, released Thursday, predict a national policy disaster.

    The court will decide by June whether the the Affordable Care Act, as (poorly) written, bars the federal government from helping people buy health insurance if they live in one of the 34 states that haven’t created ACA insurance marketplaces. Federal subsidies are critical, because they underlie one of the basic deals the law struck in order to expand coverage: Everyone who doesn’t get insurance from their employer or directly from a government program such as Medicaid must buy individual insurance — but the federal government will help you buy it if you can’t afford it.

    Urban found that if the Supreme Court ruled against the Obama administration, it would force the federal government to withdraw subsidies worth $28.8 billion from 9.3 million people in 34 states in 2016. Because individual insurance plans would be significantly less affordable to many, healthier people would drop coverage. With sicker people left in the individual market, premiums would have to rise to cover their costs. Urban figures that this would raise individual market premiums by 35 percent. The number of uninsured people in those 34 states would rapidly spike by 8.2 million people, a 44 percent increase from the number of people who would be uninsured in these states if the court left the policy alone. And many people would end up paying a lot out-of-pocket for worse coverage, with possibly very high deductibles on top of high premiums.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2015/01/09/what-would-happen-if-the-supreme-court-dismembers-obamacare/

  3. rikyrah says:

    The Genius of Obama’s Two-Year College Proposal
    The plan’s potential to promote socioeconomic and racial integration is critical to advancing higher education.

    On Friday, President Obama traveled to Tennessee to propose that community college be free for all Americans willing to work hard—just as elementary and secondary schooling has long been universally free to students. In today’s economy, a high school degree no longer guarantees a middle-class income, so Obama properly wants to update the country’s social contract to make two years of college, not just high school, something students receive at public expense. “This proposal would make two years of college the norm in the way that high school was the norm in the last century,” White House domestic policy advisor Cecilia Munoz explained.

    Most commentators have focused on scrutinizing the plan’s strategy, questioning its feasibility and its failure to address the root problems plaguing higher education. But they’re overlooking the truly revolutionary possibility that it would make two-year institutions more economically and racially integrated—something that should be applauded.

    Community colleges, which educate nearly half of the nation’s 24 million college students, are already far more affordable than public four-year institutions. The annual tuition at public community colleges is $3,260, less than half the $8,890 average in-state tuition at public four- year institutions. Obama’s initiative would reduce community-college tuition costs to zero for students across the economic spectrum—a plan that would cost the federal government $60 billion over 10 years. (It is possible, though not confirmed, that Obama will reserve Pell Grant money to offset other costs, such as books, transportation, food, and housing.)

    Under the new program, the federal government would chip in three-quarters of the costs, while states would cover the balance. Students would be required to attend classes at least half-time and maintain at least a 2.5 GPA, or roughly a C+ average. Meanwhile, community colleges would have to “strengthen their programs and increase the number of students who graduate,” according to a White House fact sheet.

    No sooner was the proposal announced than the knives came out. One Republican aid argued that Obama shouldn’t “federalize” a policy that begins at the state level, an odd complaint in a system that has long supported such programs, from the GI Bill to Pell Grants. Others suggested that the plan would never make it through the Republican House and Senate, although Obama noted that his program was modeled after one designed by Tennessee Republican Governor Bill Haslam.

    Some liberals even joined in the criticism. Because the program is not limited to low-income students, middle-income and even wealthy community-college students could benefit. Donald Heller, dean of Michigan State University’s College of Education, told Politico, “Should we really be giving those kids free tuition when their families can pay?” And the Institute for College Access and Success called the proposal “a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing,” arguing that “making tuition free for all students regardless of their income is a missed opportunity to focus resources on the students who need aid the most.”

    This concern about targeting resources is understandable, but the genius of the Obama proposal lies in its universality. In Tennessee, almost 90 percent of graduating high school seniors have signed up for its new universal community-college program (though officials expect that the actual number of students who will eventually participate will be substantially lower).

    http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2015/01/the-genius-of-obamas-two-year-college-proposal/384429/

  4. rikyrah says:

    Elections have consequences
    ……………..

    Tom Price hopes to reform Social Security in House budget
    January 12, 2015 | Filed in: Tom Price.

    WASHINGTON — Roswell Republican U.S. Rep. Tom Price intends to tackle big-ticket entitlement programs as the new chairman of the House Budget Committee — including Social Security.

    In a speech at the Heritage Action for America “Conservative Policy Summit” on Monday, Price said he was excited to work with a GOP-led Senate to end the “muddled mess” of the last few years.

    Under his predecessor, Paul Ryan, the House Budget included controversial changes to Medicare and Medicaid, but did not touch Social Security. Price hopes to change that this year:

    “On the issue of Social Security, it has indeed been the third rail as Tim [Chapman, COO for Heritage Action] mentioned, and what I’m hopeful is what the Budget Committee will be able do is to is begin to normalize the discussion and debate about Social Security. This is a program that right now on its current course will not be able to provide 75 or 80 percent of the benefits that individuals have paid into in a relatively short period of time. That’s not a responsible position to say, ‘You don’t need to do anything to do it.’

    “So all the kinds of things you know about – whether it’s means testing, whether it’s increasing the age of eligibility. The kind of choices — whether it’s providing much greater choices for individuals to voluntarily select the kind of manner in which they believe they ought to be able to invest their working dollars as they go through their lifetime. All those things ought to be on the table and discussed.”

    Price consistently framed entitlement changes as Republican desires to “save, secure and strengthen” the programs, given their rising costs that are a big driver of future deficit projections. Price pointed out that the Social Security disability program is scheduled to run out of cash next year.

    He said Republicans should not fear the politics of such changes — pointing out that the Romney-Ryan ticket won seniors in 2012, despite Democrats’ “Mediscare” tactics around the Ryan proposal for a voucher-like premium support program for Medicare.

    Price also pressed the case for a full replacement bill for Obamacare. His own bill has gone nowhere in the past few years, as Republicans were unable to reach a consensus on a health care plan.

    http://politics.blog.ajc.com/2015/01/12/tom-price-hopes-to-reform-social-security-in-house-budget/

  5. rikyrah says:

    Our National Affairs columnist:
    HISTORY WILL BE VERY KIND
    And if it’s not, it will be for a highly ironic reason.

    Ten and a half years ago, at the Democratic convention in Boston, Barack Hussein Obama was introduced to America as a youthful, magnetic man who had burst suddenly and somewhat mysteriously onto the scene. This characterization — superficially appealing yet weightless, more symbolic than substantive — followed him throughout his presidential campaign, when Hillary Clinton cast him as an inspirational speechmaker like Martin Luther King Jr., as opposed to a viable contender for president, and John McCain’s campaign scathingly labeled him a “celebrity,” attractive but vacuous.

    The lived reality of Obama’s presidency has unfolded as almost the precise opposite of this trope. He has amassed a record of policy accomplishment far deeper than even many of his supporters give him credit for. He has also survived a dismal, and frequently terrifying, 72 months when at every moment, to go by the day-to-day media, a crisis has threatened to rock his presidency to its core. The episodes have been all-consuming: the BP oil spill, swine flu, the Christmas underwear bomber, the IRS scandal, the healthcare.org launch, the border crisis, Benghazi. Depending on how you count, upwards of 19 events have been described as “Obama’s Katrina.”

    Obama’s response to these crises—or, you could say, his method of leadership — has been surprisingly consistent. He has a legendarily, almost fanatically placid temperament. He has now spent eight years, counting from the start of his first presidential campaign, keeping his head while others were losing theirs, and avoiding rhetorical overreach at the risk of underreach. A few months ago, the crisis was the Ebola outbreak, and Obama faced a familiar criticism: He had botched the putatively crucial “performative” aspects of his job. “Six years in,” BusinessWeek reported, “it’s clear that Obama’s presidency is largely about adhering to intellectual rigor — regardless of the public’s emotional needs.”

    By year’s end, the death count of those who contracted Ebola in the United States was zero, and the panic appears as unlikely to define Obama’s presidency as most of the other crises that have come and gone. But there have been other times when Obama’s uninterest in engaging in the more public aspects of his job — communicating his reasoning and vision, soothing our anxieties with lofty rhetoric, infusing his administration with the sense of purpose that electrified his supporters during the 2008 campaign — has clearly harmed him. “If there’s one thing that I regret this year,” he admitted in 2010, “it is that we were so busy just getting stuff done and dealing with the immediate crises that were in front of us that I think we lost some of that sense of speaking directly to the American people about what their core values are.”

    The president’s infuriating serenity, his inclination to play Spock even when the country wants a Captain Kirk, makes him an unusual kind of leader. But it is obvious why Obama behaves this way: He is very confident in his idea of how history works and how, once the dust settles, he will be judged. For Obama, the long run has been a source of comfort from the outset. He has quoted King’s dictum about the arc of the moral universe eventually bending toward justice, and he has said that “at the end of the day, we’re part of a long-running story. We just try to get our paragraph right.” To his critics, Obama is unable to attend to the theatrical duties of his office because he lacks a bedrock emotional connection with America. It seems more likely that he is simply unwilling to: that he is conducting his presidency on the assumption that his place in historical memory will be defined by a tabulation of his successes minus his failures. And that tomorrow’s historians will be more rational and forgiving than today’s political commentators.

    It is my view that history will be very generous with Barack Obama, who has compiled a broad record of accomplishment through three-quarters of his presidency. But if it isn’t, it will be for a highly ironic reason: Our historical memory tends to romance, too. Franklin D. Roosevelt’s fatherly reassurance, a youthful Kennedy tossing footballs on the White House lawn, Reagan on horseback — the craving for emotional sustenance and satisfying drama runs deep. Though the parade of Obama’s Katrinas will all be (and mostly already have been) consigned to the forgotten afterlife of cable-news ephemera, it is not yet certain whether this president can bind his achievements into any heroic narrative.

    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2015/01/obamas-legacy-chait.html

  6. rikyrah says:

    Paul Krugman – New York Times Blog

    JANUARY 13, 2015 9:19 AM

    House Republicans have passed a measure demanding that the Congressional Budget Office use “dynamic scoring” in its revenue projections — taking into account the supposed positive growth effects of tax cuts. It remains to be seen how much damage this rule will actually cause. The reality is that there is no evidence for the large effects that are central to right-wing ideology, so the question is whether CBO will be forced to accept supply-side fantasies.

    Meanwhile, one thing is fairly certain: CBO won’t be applying dynamic scoring to the positive effects of government spending, even though there’s a lot of evidence for such effects.

    A good piece in yesterday’s Upshot reports on a recent study of the effects of Medicaid for children; it shows that children who received the aid were not just healthier but more productive as adults, and as a result paid more taxes. So Medicaid for kids may largely if not completely pay for itself. It’s a good guess that the Affordable Care Act, by expanding Medicaid and in general by ensuring that more families have adequate health care, will similarly generate significant extra growth and revenue in the long run. Do you think the GOP will be interested in revising down estimates of the cost of Obamacare to reflect these effects?

    And what about the damage to potential output caused by cutting spending in a depressed economy? The evidence that austerity reduces output and raises unemployment is overwhelming — and there’s now pretty good evidence that sustained high unemployment inflicts long-term damage on the economy’s potential. So will CBO now be instructed to include these effects in its estimates?

    The point is that we’re not just looking at a possible mandate for using voodoo in budget estimates, we’re talking about selective voodoo, which incorporates some supposed dynamic effects while ignoring others for which there is if anything stronger evidence. Tax cuts for the rich: good! Spending that makes ordinary workers more productive? Bad!

    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com//2015/01/13/selective-voodoo/

  7. rikyrah says:

    Republicans’ tellingly ‘scary’ first week in Congress
    By James Downie January 13 at 8:30 AM

    Before officially becoming Senate majority leader, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told The Post’s Paul Kane that he had a request for the new GOP majority: “Don’t be ‘scary.’ “ “I want the American people to be comfortable with the fact that the Republican House and Senate is a responsible, right-of-center, governing majority,” he said. Across Capitol Hill, the office of House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) put out a press release the day before the new Congress began, promising that “House Republicans have pledged to continue making the American people’s priorities – jobs and the economy – our priorities and are wasting no time getting started.” Seven days later, the bills that House and Senate Republicans have proposed in their first week paint quite a different picture — one of the same old “scary” Republican Party.

    Perhaps we should have seen the dearth of new ideas after looking at the three bills touted in Boehner’s press release. The “Hire More Heroes” Act would let businesses hire veterans already covered by Defense Department health-care plans without having them count toward the Affordable Care Act’s rule that businesses with 50 or more employees must offer health insurance. The bill is a fine gesture, but targets a vanishingly small portion of the population. The second — approving the Keystone XL oil pipeline — can be debated on the environmental and energy merits, but studies have found that at most, the pipeline will create only 42,000 short-term jobs (a small percentage of healthy growth over the course of a year) and 50 (yes, fifty) long-term jobs.

    The third — changing the ACA’s definition of full-time work from 30 hours to 40 hours — is the farthest-reaching and the most destructive. Even conservative policy maven Yuval Levin (who opposes the individual mandate) says “employers are less likely to reduce a worker’s load by 10 hours than by just 1 or 2 to avoid the mandate … So by setting the definition lower, Obamacare’s architects were trying to mitigate the damaging effects of the employer mandate some, and by setting it higher Republicans would be worsening those effects.”

    And when we look at the more than 200 bills Republican senators and representatives proposed in the first week of the new Congress, an even more depressingly familiar picture of the party emerges. Republicans’ priorities are clear: They want to deregulate the environment, repeal Obamacare and derail the president’s immigration plans. Those were the three most common topics of the bills introduced, along with bills or resolutions to cut spending, force a balanced budget or restrict Obama’s options the next time the United States hits a debt ceiling crisis. Economic packages were almost entirely absent, relegated to secondary reasons for deregulating the environment or repealing Obamacare.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2015/01/13/republicans-tellingly-scary-first-week-in-congress/

  8. rikyrah says:

    Morning Plum: Some welcome GOP candor on Obamacare
    By Greg Sargent January 12

    The possibility that the Supreme Court could gut Obamacare subsidies to millions of people in three dozen states on the federal exchange is — kinda sorta, anyway — forcing a debate among Republicans over whether they should be prepared to respond with policy alternatives. Some argue having an alternative or a “fix” ready will make it easier for SCOTUS to strike down the law, while other conservatives genuinely want GOP lawmakers to get serious about hashing out their own health reform ideas.

    One can even imagine that debate spilling over into the 2016 GOP presidential primary — and, more broadly, into the general election.

    Conservative writer Philip Klein is out with a new book in which he discusses this quandary and what Republicans should do about it. Klein reports on a meeting between conservatives and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal — a potential 2016 presidential candidate — in which Jindal offers usefully revealing quotes that nicely preview this debate:

    “I don’t think conservative health care reform is about, we’re going to compete with [the left] in terms of how many people we see have an [insurance] care,” he said. “That not the ultimate goal.”

    He later elaborated, “If we start with the premise that we’ve gotta give every single person a card, and that’s the only way we can be successful, we’re done. We’ve adopted their metric of success…if the metric of success is gonna be which plan can say ‘we’ve given people more cards,’ they always win. Because they will always spend more, they will always disrupt more.”…

    He also put it this way: “I do think it’s a mistake if we argue we can’t take back what Obama has already given.”

    Points for candor are due. As this blog tediously documented, Republicans have long played a very clever game on the Affordable Care Act. They have regularly claimed that of course they are for repealing that hated thing they call “Obamacare.” But the same time, they’ve carefully left the impression that even if Republicans get their way, people will somehow be able to keep components of it they like, such as the coverage guarantee — an impression they’ve created by openly supporting the law’s key goals or dangling the possibility of some phantom GOP alternative that would do the same thing. Jindal, refreshingly, suggests Republicans should be willing to admit they support “taking back what Obama has already given.”

    Republicans have long been able to fulminate in favor of eliminating Obamacare, secure in the knowledge that its benefits aren’t going to be taken away from people and that they’d remain insulated from the political consequences of such an outcome. (Even some right-leaning writers have criticized this dodge.)

    A SCOTUS decision against the law could upend that dynamic. At that point, the decisions of GOP lawmakers on how to proceed could suddenly have practical consequences for millions. GOP state legislators could set up their own exchanges to keep subsidies flowing, or the GOP Congress could agree to a simple fix. By contrast, not doing those things could mean millions lose coverage and other major disruptions.

    If SCOTUS guts the subsidies, we might see a fight between Republicans who want to agree to fix the problem to avoid a backlash, and others — such as Jindal — arguing that Republicans shouldn’t fear the politics of supporting an alternative (whatever that turns out to be) that doesn’t even bother competing with Obamacare’s coverage expansion. All this might suddenly figure in the 2016 presidential race, with GOP candidates (and Dems) positioning themselves around the question of how (or whether) to fix the law or embrace some alternative that would re-expand coverage in the wake of whatever the decision does to the law.

    Alternatively, keep an eye on another possibility: For some Republicans the talk of being ready to go with a “fix” or an alternative may simply prove a ruse designed to make the consequences of a SCOTUS decision against the law appear less dire – making such a decision more likely.

    Some conservatives clearly want such a decision and the debate over alternatives that might result. But how many GOP lawmakers actually want that debate? How many would prefer SCOTUS not force them into it? That question brings us to our next item.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2015/01/12/morning-plum-some-welcome-gop-candor-on-obamacare/

  9. rikyrah says:

    Monday, January 12, 2015
    Last Call For The Mask Slips
    Posted by Zandar
    …And Republicans tell the truth about their plan to punish a generation of Democratic voters. Todays contestant is Louisiana GOP Gov. Bobby Jindal, who admits that Republicans want to take affordable health care away from millions.

    “I don’t think conservative health care reform is about, we’re going to compete with [the left] in terms of how many people we see have an [insurance] care,” he said. “That not the ultimate goal.”

    He later elaborated, “If we start with the premise that we’ve gotta give every single person a card, and that’s the only way we can be successful, we’re done. We’ve adopted their metric of success…if the metric of success is gonna be which plan can say ‘we’ve given people more cards,’ they always win. Because they will always spend more, they will always disrupt more.”…

    He also put it this way: “I do think it’s a mistake if we argue we can’t take back what Obama has already given.”

    So there you have it. Jindal is a sitting Governor who actively admit the plan is to punish his own constituents for the criminal act of being poor in a state like Louisiana. And as long as Republican voters are convinced that Obamacare is a costly handout from a black President to those people then he’s right: what political damage will any Republican candidate incur by saying “I promise to hurt poor minorities”?

    The second Republican buy into the notion that government should help the people instead of the one percent, they lose.

    And they know it. Better to keep the people angry, poor, and unhealthy. After all, without affordable health care, if they die, they’re no longer Bobby Jindal’s problem, are they? And millions will go along because they figure there’s no way Republicans like Jindal would ever take away their government benefits and health care.

    They’re wrong of course. But it’s more fun to punish others, because Americans are mean, awful people who vote with the intent of being mean, awful people. The rest of us gave up some time ago. You have to look no further than last November to prove that.

    http://zandarvts.blogspot.com/2015/01/last-call-for-mask-slips.html

  10. rikyrah says:

    Tuesday, January 13, 2015
    Putting On A Clinic
    Posted by Zandar
    While Republicans are busy trying to fight Obamacare battles from 2010, the retail world and American health consumers are both moving on toward making affordable health care more available with the rise of retail, in-store clinics in drugstores, grocery stores, and Wal-Marts.

    Patients suffering everyday complaints like chest colds or ankle sprains have long faced the lamentable choice between waiting days to see their family doctors or enduring time-sucking, unpleasant and expensive visits to hospital emergency rooms, especially at night and on weekends when physicians typically aren’t open for business. It’s one of the most annoying aspects of the way medical care is provided in the United States.

    Big chains like CVS, Walgreens and Walmart are stepping in to try to correct this market failure. These and other retailers are opening hundreds of new walk-in clinics, staffed by medical professionals such as nurse practitioners and physician assistants. They’re betting that Americans craving speed, convenience and easy-to-understand prices will be willing to break their habit of expecting a doctor to handle all of their medical issues.

    “People are demanding health care to react similarly to other service industries, where people have a need and they want it relatively easy,” said Nancy Gagliano, a primary care physician and chief medical officer for CVS Health’s MinuteClinic. “The traditional health care system really is not adequate to support the need.”

    Although still vastly outnumbered by doctors’ offices and hospitals, retail clinics are spreading rapidly: There currently are almost 1,900 across the U.S., up more than sevenfold since 2007, according to data compiled by Merchant Medicine, a consulting firm that tracks the sector.

    http://zandarvts.blogspot.com/2015/01/putting-on-clinic.html

  11. rikyrah says:

    My money’s on Pope Francis
    …………….

    The Republican Party’s war with Pope Francis has finally started
    Damon Linker

    It looks like 2015 is shaping up to be the year when Catholic conservatives declare war on Pope Francis.

    We heard the first rumblings last fall, when the preliminary draft of a statement produced by the extraordinary Synod on the Family inspired New York Times columnist Ross Douthat to warn ominously about the possibility of a schism in the church if the Vatican loosens doctrinal strictures against divorced (and remarried) lay people receiving the sacrament of Communion.

    But most Catholic conservatives have held their tongues, working to put a positive spin on papal pronouncements that many of them find increasingly alarming. (Sure the pope’s denunciations of capitalism are galling, but listen to his passionate attacks on abortion! Yes, Francis is far too nice to gays, but he gave such an inspiring speech on the last day of the Synod!)

    So far, the tactic has worked — at least until now.

    http://theweek.com/articles/532784/republican-partys-warwith-pope-francishas-finally-started?utm_source=links&utm_medium=website&utm_campaign=facebook

  12. rikyrah says:

    Post Politics ✔ @postpolitics
    Follow
    Americans are spending over $2 billion less a week on gas than this time last year http://wapo.st/14XUBAa
    5:00 PM – 13 Jan 2015

  13. rikyrah says:

    Why Romney Wants to Run

    He genuinely believes the third time could be the charm.

    By John Dickerson

    When Jeb Bush formed his leadership PAC, he said he wanted it to encourage other like-minded candidates. It worked. He encouraged Mitt Romney. The two-time presidential candidate is now seriously considering another run. “It’s real,” says a veteran of the last go-around. “He’s probably going to run.” When I asked another veteran of the Romney campaign, who spoke to the candidate this weekend, he explained why Romney had moved into high gear: “Bush stepped on the gas.”

    For months, Romney has been contemplating another presidential candidacy. He has told donors that he would be interested in running, but left them with the impression that his interest was conditional. He told one that he wouldn’t run if Jeb Bush ran. A number of his backers told him that he could wait to get in—let the other candidates splash around and look amateurish and then swoop in. He had the fundraising network and staffers who could build a campaign quickly.

    But then Bush rushed headlong into the race and started asking for commitments from donors. He also started hiring staffers. That kicked off Romney’s more aggressive posture. He could no longer wait—as he once thought he might be able to—because his old edifice was being eaten away. Last Friday in a meeting with donors, Romney wanted to send a signal to stop the commitments to Bush and buy himself some time. Some of his donors had already participated in fundraisers for Bush. One donor I spoke to on Monday has already switched his allegiance to Team Bush. He attended one of Bush’s New York stops last week, and came away impressed by the former Florida governor’s authenticity, his forceful articulation of his positions, and his plan for running a different kind of race.

    Accounts differ on whether Romney intended to light up the phone bank as much as he has. His message intended to freeze donors also created pressure to move. Romney supporters say they have received a very positive response and the once and future candidate is now trying to capitalize on that. The 67-year-old Romney has called supporters and staffers from his last campaign in key states such as New Hampshire and Iowa to see how many have defected to Bush and to see if he could rebuild the machinery to run again. Those who have talked to him say a decision could come within 30 days.

    His argument to his former supporters, says one who spoke with him, is that he came very close in the last election against an incumbent president with a good economy. He wouldn’t face an opponent with those kinds of advantages again. (Romney ran against Obama arguing that the economy was terrible; now its health in 2012 is part of the case why he should run again.) He also feels, says one supporter who has spoken with him recently, that he would be crazy to pass up a chance to challenge a “beatable candidate” like Hillary Clinton and let someone like Sen. Rand Paul have a shot at it.

    http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2015/01/mitt_romney_s_reasons_to_run_the_former_republican_presidential_candidate.html

  14. rikyrah says:

    Nancy LeTourneau @Smartypants60
    Follow
    Romney says that in ’12 he came close against an incumbent w/ a good economy. Really…you can’t make this shit up LOL
    http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2015/01/mitt_romney_s_reasons_to_run_the_former_republican_presidential_candidate.html

  15. rikyrah says:

    PragmaticObotsUnite @PragObots
    VH1 cancels “Sorority Sisters” http://radiotvtalk.blog.ajc.com/2015/01/13/vh1-buries-rest-of-sorority-sisters-episodes-friday-january-16/ … #BlackTwitter

  16. eliihass says:

    I hope Congresswoman Karen Bass runs for Barbara Boxer’s Senate seat, and I hope California Democrats do the right thing and rally for her. She’s so deserving.

    I’m kinda sick of the Cory Booker, Kamala Harris crowd who are really just all about primarily advancing themselves. Please someone tell me what exactly Cory Booker has accomplished in the Senate besides striking up dubious partnerships with the likes of Rand Paul in his bid to boost his bi-partisanship bonafides for a potential run for president?

    Karen Bass is that true public servant and true progressive who has been steadfast and unafraid in articulating and pushing important issues for all the right reasons for the voiceless and downtrodden. She does it too with grace, dignity and integrity. And when few were on President Obama’s side, she’s always stood with him and never for quid quo pro, or to advance her own agenda and political career.

    She’s a natural fit for the Southern California seat being vacated by Barbara Boxer: She’s a native Angeleno, former Speaker of the California House and has easily won her Congressional seat in a mixed white, black, Asian, hispanic district with 86% of the votes both times. She didn’t even have a challenger last time.

    It’s time for Democrats to start investing in people who actually care about the issues that matter the Democratic base and the constituents who they’re supposed to be working on behalf of, instead of those who just want to rise politically.

  17. LOL @ mofos who were butt hurt Potus didn’t go march in Paris. They wanted it to be seen that black lives don’t matter. Got tricked biatch!

  18. rikyrah says:

    From A Citizen @CuestionMarque
    Follow
    Dynamic Scoring is a new GOP scheme to hide the ill effects of taxBreaks for the rich by pretending that a minus in math is actually a plus.
    3:20 PM – 13 Jan 2015

  19. rikyrah says:

    Supreme Court Backs Borrowers’ Right to Rescind Certain Mortgages

    Unanimous Decision Says Borrowers Have Up to Three Years to Rescind, if Loan Disclosures Unmet

    By
    Brent Kendall

    WASHINGTON—The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday adopted a borrower-friendly interpretation of a federal law that gives consumers the right in some circumstances to unwind certain mortgage loans.

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/supreme-court-backs-borrowers-right-to-rescind-mortgages-1421169619?mod=rss_Politics_And_Policy&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Politics&utm_source=twitterfeed

  20. rikyrah says:

    Hollywood Forgives Woody Allen. Dammit.
    Not even a year after sexual abuse allegations against Woody Allen turned the star into a pariah, he’s back on top with a lucrative TV deal. Why do we continue to ignore predators?
    Amazon’s fledgling original content studio—fresh off its Golden Globe wins on Sunday night—just made the biggest deal in its short history. And it’s so freaking depressing.

    Woody Allen is heading to Amazon. Goddammit.

    It was just about a year ago that Buzzfeed’s Kate Aurthur asked, “Will Hollywood ignore Woody Allen’s daughter’s sexual abuse allegation again?” News that Amazon will be partnering with Allen on the Oscar winner’s first-ever TV series confirms that, at least in Tinseltown, all is forgiven.

    It seems now the question instead should’ve been two-fold: “How long until Hollywood ignores the allegations?” and “Why would we be surprised when it does?”

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/01/13/hollywood-forgives-woody-allen-the-despicable-hypocrisy-of-his-amazon-tv-deal.html

  21. rikyrah says:

    Chris Cillizza ✔@TheFix

    Democrats have lost 913 state legislative seats in 2010, 2012 and 2014. Wow.

    aspirational12 @aspirational12
    Follow
    @TheFix Nothing to gloat about. Voter suppression, GOP/MSM working in tandem to brainwash public..all signs of a failed democratic process.
    11:38 AM – 13 Jan 2015

  22. rikyrah says:

    The RNC’s racially charged ‘elephant in the room’
    01/13/15 10:40 AM—UPDATED 01/13/15 11:22 AM
    By Steve Benen
    In light of the recent controversy surrounding House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), the last thing Republican officials want right now is a racially charged incident involving a Republican National Committee member.

    But as National Journal reported, that’s exactly what the party has ended up with – just in time for the RNC’s winter meeting.
    There’s an elephant in the room as the Republican National Committee prepares for its annual winter meeting in San Diego this week – one that could undercut the group’s minority outreach message and instead saddle the GOP with another racially-charged crisis.

    Dave Agema, Michigan’s RNC Committeeman, has a well-documented history of making inflammatory statements…. In a recent Facebook post, Agema re-published an essay from American Renaissance, a white-supremacist newsletter. The article, which Agema said he found “very enlightening,” argued that “blacks are different by almost any measure to all other people. They cannot reason as well. They cannot communicate as well. They cannot control their impulses as well. They are a threat to all who cross their paths, black and non-black alike.”
    Yes, just two weeks after the public learned that a House Republican leader spoke at a white-supremacist gathering, the new story is about an RNC member who expressed support for a piece from a white-supremacist newsletter.

    Agema ended up deleting the offending Facebook post, but he has not apologized, and he still reportedly intends to attend the RNC’s winter meeting in San Diego this week, the controversy notwithstanding.

    http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/the-rncs-racially-charged-elephant-the-room

  23. rikyrah says:

    The pre-primary narrowing gets underway
    01/13/15 10:05 AM—UPDATED 01/13/15 10:12 AM
    By Steve Benen
    It’s generally been assumed that the Republican presidential field in 2016 wouldn’t just be competitive – it’d be enormous. The Huffington Post’s Pollster chart ranking the GOP presidential hopefuls by poll support shows literally 15 candidates.

    The prospect of these 15 people sharing a ballot is daunting; the prospect of them sharing a debate stage is almost comical.

    But at this very early stage, one of the under-appreciated questions is not who’ll throw their hat in the ring, but rather, who’ll take themselves out of the running early on. The fact remains that before the primary phase gets underway in earnest, possible contenders have to work their way through the pre-primary narrowing, and that phase is arguably underway now.

    Ed Rogers, a Washington Post conservative, raised a fair point last week:
    [I]t is still early, and a lot will happen in the next few weeks, but I think the shrinking of the 2016 Republican field has already begun.
    He published this several days before Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) announced he’ll skip the 2016 race.

    This actually happens with some regularity. In advance of the 2012 election, former Gov. Haley Barbour (R) had not only expressed an interest in the race, but he’d begun traveling to states with early contests and assembling a staff. He then took a long, cold look at his odds and passed on the cycle. The same year, Mitch Daniels, Mike Huckabee, Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, and others thought about jumping in, and received quite a bit of attention, but ultimately withdrew from consideration. Others, like Tim Pawlenty, launched a campaign, but quit long before a single voter had even cast a ballot.

    http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/the-pre-primary-narrowing-gets-underway

  24. rikyrah says:

    Young killer nears prison release, seeks fresh start

    John A. Torres, Florida Today 8:17 a.m. EST
    January 13, 2015

    HOMESTEAD, Fla. — The majority of Catherine Jones’ 29 years have been spent in prison. Before that, they were spent languishing in the hell of sexual abuse at the hands of a family member.

    Catherine was only 13 when she plotted — with her 12-year-old brother Curtis — to kill their abuser as well as their father and his girlfriend, Nicole Speights, whom they thought were allowing it to continue.

    They became the youngest children in the country’s history to be charged as adults for first-degree murder.

    The siblings started by shooting Speights with their father’s handgun, hitting her four times out of nine bullets fired.

    They immediately realized their tragic blunder, tried to cover up the crime and ran to a neighbor’s house to say it was an accident. They eventually fled to a wooded area where they hid for the night before Brevard County Sheriff’s investigators found them near their Port St. John home on the chilly morning of Jan. 7, 1999.

    Facing the prospect of life in prison, they plead guilty to second-degree murder and were sentenced to 18 years in prison followed by probation for life.

    There was no trial. There was no testimony. There was no opportunity to present the documentation from the agency later renamed the Department of Children and Families that showed welfare investigators found signs on more than one occasion that the siblings were being abused by a family member. That same family member had already been convicted of sexually assaulting his girlfriend’s daughter in 1993.

    So agency officials never had to explain how they could have so utterly failed a pair of young children. Children who felt so trapped, so alone and so victimized that they thought their only way out was through blood.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2015/01/12/young-killer-catherine-jones-release-date-nears/21636259/

  25. rikyrah says:

    Romney Promises It Will Be Different This Time
    January 12, 2015

    In meetings with and individual calls to donors, supporters and former staffers, Mitt Romney “is making it clear that he is likely to run, putting his time frame for a decision at ‘weeks, not months,’” Politico reports.

    “Romney, who made a fortune in the financial sector and was cast by Democrats in 2012 as a heartless businessman, wants to make tackling poverty — a key issue for his 2012 vice-presidential running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan — one of the three pillars of his campaign. The former Massachusetts governor also says he’ll have a different communications staff and hopes to show voters a version of himself they didn’t get to see last time. (There’s even a Netflix documentary he can point to.)

    http://politicalwire.com/2015/01/12/romney-promises-it-will-be-different-this-time/

  26. rikyrah says:

    The person going to these CC’s aren’t remotely thinking about HBCU’s. They weren’t thinking about HBCU’s at all.
    Do you know that the person who gets the two year ‘ helper’ degree with Occupational Therapy can make $16/hour?
    I can go through numerous programs, 2 years or less, where the pay will be a decent increase.
    There are a number of these programs where you can use them as a side hustle.

    ……………………………………………

    Is Obama Trying to Kill Black Colleges?
    Tuesday, 13 January 2015 06:17

    Is Barack Obama, the nation’s first African American president, trying to kill Historically Black Colleges and Universities?

    If he’s not, he’s going to have a difficult time convincing HBCU presidents, trustees and alumni. Surprisingly, Obama has become their worst nightmare.

    Neither Obama, the First Lady, the Secretary of Education or the president’s closest advisers attended an HBCU and, consequently, are tone death in recognizing what is broadly viewed as sound policy can inadvertently harm our nation’s HBCUs.

    http://www.blackvoicenews.com/commentary/george-curry/50053-is-obama-trying-to-kill-black-colleges.html

    • Ametia says:

      “Is Obama Trying to Kill Black Colleges?”

      HELL NO! HBCU ARE DOING A GOOD JOB OF THAT, ALL BY THEMSELVES

      Koch Brothers Donation to HBCUs: A Hot Political Mess

      With Historically Black Colleges and Universities literally hurting for money, survival instincts cut in: who wouldn’t take a $25 million check to stop the hemorrhaging? That question got a bit more complicated when the nefarious Koch Brothers – typically caricatured as ultra-conservative evil twins on a world domination binge – dropped that stunning amount on a hungry United Negro College Fund desperate for a save.

      The UNCF, a longtime reliable fundraising funnel for HBCUs, definitely grit its teeth when accepting the Koch donation, but ends justify the means. As they apparently did when the Los Angeles-area NAACP was called out for accepting annual donations from the notorious Donald Sterling.

      http://uptownmagazine.com/2014/07/koch-brothers-donation-to-hbcus-a-hot-political-mess/

  27. rikyrah says:

    TV One Is Adding Original Films to Its Lineup, Starting w/ Projects Starring Sharon Leal, Larenz Tate, Jill Marie Jones, Richard T. Jones

    By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act
    January 12, 2015 at 3:44PM

    Over the weekend, at the Television Critics Association’s Winter Press Tour, TV One announced the expansion of its programming with the introduction of monthly original films throughout the year, beginning in February.

    The first 2 of this new original movie lineup will be: “White Water” and “Hear No Evil.”

    “White Water,” airing Saturday, February 7th at 8PM/ET, is described as a riveting and culturally relevant film exploring the complex experience of a child’s first encounter with racial tension during the civil rights era. Directed by Rusty Cundieff, it stars Sharon Leal, Larenz Tate and more.

    Meanwhile, “Hear No Evil,” which premieres on Saturday, March 14, at 8PM/ET, captures the journey of a hearing-impaired teenage girl, who when impacted by two phenomena, begins to challenge the world that she came to rely on and shocks every person she encounters. The film is directed by Russ Parr, and stars Jill Marie Jones, Richard T. Jones and others.

    This new original movie programming comes on the heels of what the network says was a strong 2014 that ended with the series premiere of “Hollywood Divas,” and the original movie premiere of “Second Chance Christmas,” as the network continues to maintain its position as one of cable’s top 10 networks among Black Women 25-54.

    http://blogs.indiewire.com/shadowandact/tv-one-is-adding-original-films-to-its-lineup-starting-w-projects-starring-sharon-leal-larenz-tate-jill-marie-jones-richard-t-jones-20150112

  28. rikyrah says:

    From POU:

    Miranda

    Reading this story about the QB for Ohio State choked me all the way up this morning. What if these caring people hadn’t been around him? He’d probably be in prison or a grave.

    Story about the Ohio State QB.

    excerpt:
    Along the way, Cardale starred in basketball and football, starting his gridiron career wearing number 99 and playing left tackle and defensive line. Ginn saw Cardale play when he was eight and knew he would be a quarterback. Cardale went to the academy to work with Ginn both academically and athletically. The coach understood the complexity of Cardale’s background and what caused outbursts like the two-finger salute. One of Ginn’s sayings is that his kids shouldn’t be labeled “at risk,” as the only risk is that they won’t reach their potential.

    “You can’t see where you’re going if you’re dealing with what you’re going through,” Ginn says. “That was Cardale.”

    The first time Michelle Nash ducked away to avoid crying in front of Cardale Jones was on the day they met, in fall 2008. Ginn had realized that the then 15-year-old Cardale needed one-on-one attention. Nash had run a day-care facility, Little Blessings, for 12 years before moving to the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court Corrections Office, where she works with 18- to 21-year-olds who’ve committed violent crimes. She had been recommended by a parent of one of Ginn’s former players, Rams defensive back Christian Bryant.

    Cardale and Nash got together after practice one day, and as they went to get something to eat, Nash couldn’t get over the sight of Cardale’s giant feet spilling over the ends of his flip-flops and hitting the pavement. After stopping at Subway, she took him, against her better judgment, to Foot Locker. “I know you shouldn’t do this when you first start mentoring,” she says, “but I couldn’t let him walk around like that.”

    She let Jones pick out what he wanted, and he chose one of the least expensive options: a $69.99 pair of simple white Nike hightops. When the attendant asked his shoe size, Cardale told him 10. The guy laughed skeptically and measured Cardale’s feet: 12. Cardale turned to Nash and flashed that smile; he couldn’t remember the last time he got a new pair of shoes. That was it for Nash. She bolted from the store just before she began sobbing. “I’m a little emotional,” she says, “but it hurt my heart so bad.”

    She continued to build a relationship with Cardale and even bought him a cellphone so they could stay in touch. (“He acted like I’d given him a million dollars,” she says.) About a month after they met he called her at 2 a.m., saying, “Ms. Michelle, will you come get me? I don’t want to live like this no more.”

    http://www.si.com/college-football/2014/12/22/cardale-jones-ohio-state-buckeyes

    • Kathleen says:

      Yes, white people’s “celebrations” do tend to “get out of hand”. Local news anchors this morning wore their “boys will be boys” smirks while footage of the “celebration” with the words “30 fires” superimposed scrolled below the screen. I ranted to my fellow Y members this morning that had the film featured African Americans we would have seen frownie faces and heard reports of “rioting”. I’m so sick of this crap..

  29. rikyrah says:

    KTLA ✔@KTLA

    #BREAKING: California Atty. Gen. @KamalaHarris to announce run for U.S. Senate http://ktlane.ws/1C0ItZy pic.twitter.com/aimoQSLgcj

  30. rikyrah says:

    Little recourse seen for Democrats on Social Security rule change
    By David Lawder

    …The new legislative rule, pushed through with little notice last week,
    would prohibit a routine transfer to the Social Security Disability
    Trust Fund, which is expected to be depleted by late 2016.

    Without an injection from the main Social Security retirement fund, the disability program would have to cut benefits by some 20 percent, only paying out what it can collect from payroll taxes.

    Congress approved the last such “reallocation” transfer in 1994 after several in the 1980s under President Ronald Reagan.

    Republicans say they passed the rule change to force reforms to the disability program, which they claim is rife with fraud and mismanagement. Democrats, unable to stop the shift, have called it a “stealth” move to cut benefits.

    http://news.yahoo.com/little-recourse-seen-democrats-social-security-rule-change-233948421–business.html

  31. rikyrah says:

    Watch Exclusive Clip from New PBS Doc ‘Klansville U.S.A.’ (Premieres January 13)

    By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act
    January 12, 2015 at 6:10PM

    The short version of the story goes…

    As the civil rights movement grew in the 1960s, the long dormant Ku Klux Klan gained momentum as well, having re-emerged after the 1954 Supreme Court Brown v. Board of Education decision.

    That the Klan would rise once again wasn’t surprising, but where the reincarnation took place was.

    North Carolina, long considered the most progressive southern state and one whose image was being burnished by the enormously popular “The Andy Griffith Show,” saw a boom in Klan membership under the leadership of Bob Jones, the most successful Grand Dragon in the country. In just three years, he grew the North Carolina Klan from a handful of friends to some 10,000 members – more than the Klans of all other Southern states combined. In the process, Jones helped give the Tarheel State a new nickname: “Klansville, USA.”

    Produced and directed by Callie T. Wiser, “Klansville U.S.A.” – which provides audiences with a critical history of why the Klan thrived during the Civil Rights era – premieres on AMERICAN EXPERIENCE on PBS, tomorrow, Tuesday, January 13, 2015, at 9pm ET (check your local listings).

    http://blogs.indiewire.com/shadowandact/watch-exclusive-clip-from-new-pbs-doc-klansville-usa-premieres-january-13-20150112

  32. rikyrah says:

    Forest Whitaker ✔ @ForestWhitaker
    Follow
    My heart breaks at the massacre in Nigeria. I send my prayers to those whose family & friends were lost. Let’s stand against violence!
    7:34 AM – 12 Jan 2015

  33. rikyrah says:

    More Black Leaders Join in Effort to Raise Funds to Bring ‘Selma’ to Students for Free Nationwide
    By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act
    January 12, 2015 at 1:41PM

    Collective power… If we can do something like this together successfully, imagine what else we could do, if we combined resources.

    In an unprecedented effort led by a team of African American business leaders in New York, organizations across the U.S. coordinated a massive national campaign to find African American business leaders to underwrite free admission to the Golden Globe-nominated film “Selma” for students around the country.

    New cities Boston, Nashville, New Jersey, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Sarasota, FL, and Westchester have come together to create funds that will allow students in these locations to see “Selma” for free at participating theaters.

    The efforts are inspired by the success of the program in New York City, in which 27 African American business leaders created a fund for 27,000 of the city’s 7th, 8th and 9th grade students to see the film for free. Due to the overwhelming demand, the New York City effort sold out in the very first weekend and was expanded to 75,000 tickets.

    “Our goal was to educate as many children as we could about the historical importance and contemporary relevance of the march in Selma,” said Bill Lewis, Co-Chairman of Investment Banking, Lazard. “Seeing so many business leaders in other cities join this spontaneous initiative is a wonderful outcome for the children and for our country.”

    http://blogs.indiewire.com/shadowandact/more-black-leaders-across-america-join-new-york-leaders-in-raising-funds-to-bring-selma-to-students-for-free-20150112

  34. rikyrah says:

    Supreme Court rejects new challenge to Obamacare law
    By Lawrence Hurley5 hours ago

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to take up another broad challenge to President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law.

    The court rejected an appeal filed by the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons and the Alliance for Natural Health USA. The groups had challenged various aspects of the law known as Obamacare including the so-called individual mandate that requires people to obtain health insurance or pay a tax.

    In March 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled in favor of the Obama administration. In 2012, a district court judge also ruled against the challengers.

    The 2010 healthcare law has been subjected to numerous legal challenges, including a key 2012 case in which the Supreme Court upheld the bulk of the law on a 5-4 vote.

    http://news.yahoo.com/u-top-court-rejects-challenge-obamacare-law-151523397.html

    • Ametia says:

      SCOTUS don’t want MILLIONS of Americans rolling up on the grounds of the SCOTUS.

      Trying to to take away healthcare coverage from folks who didn’t have it before is like giving a blind man his sight back, and then taking it away again.

  35. rikyrah says:

    Keith Boykin @keithboykin

    If all lives mattered, world leaders would have also marched about last week’s terror attacks in Nigeria. #BlackLivesMatter @AntheaButler

  36. rikyrah says:

    Veteran suicide bill gets second chance in Congress

    Rachel Maddow reports that the Cay Hunt Act, designed to help reduce the number of veteran suicides, has again passed the House and is heading to the Senate, where is will no longer face the obstruction of former Senator Tom Coburn.

    http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/watch/veteran-suicide-bill-gets-second-chance-383519811832

  37. rikyrah says:

    zellie @zellieimani
    Follow
    Lack of media coverage of #NAACPBombing or Boko Haram massacre isn’t oversight. It’s lack of value for Black lives. It’s anti-Blackness.
    3:17 PM – 12 Jan 2015

  38. rikyrah says:

    Jeffrey Wright ✔ @jfreewright
    Follow
    Paris killings are nauseating & US media’s comparative non-coverage of 2000 Nigerians killed by extremists is why #BlackLivesMatter matters.
    8:53 AM – 12 Jan 2015

  39. rikyrah says:

    Romney moves to reassemble campaign apparatus for 2016
    Washington Post January 12 at 4:08 PM

    Mitt Romney is moving quickly to reassemble his national political network, spending the weekend and Monday calling former aides, donors and other supporters — as well as onetime foes such as Newt Gingrich.

    Romney’s message was that he is serious about making a 2016 presidential bid. He told one senior Republican he “almost certainly will” run in what would be his third campaign for the White House, this person said.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/romney-moves-to-reassemble-campaign-apparatus-for-2016/2015/01/12/d968592e-9a88-11e4-96cc-e858eba91ced_story.html

  40. rikyrah says:

    not one ounce of sympathy for those in Kansas. You had the chance to get rid of him and you didn’t.

    too bad for you

    ………..

    Kansas lawmakers open session amid massive budget shortfalls
    THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
    01/12/2015 9:23 AM

    TOPEKA – Kansas legislators open a critical annual session Monday that will require them to wade through massive budget shortfalls and deal with a court mandate to boost spending on public schools.

    The shortfalls, totaling more than $710 million in the current budget and the budget for the fiscal year beginning in July, arose after aggressive personal income tax cuts were enacted at Gov. Sam Brownback’s urging.

    The budget situation was further complicated when a Shawnee County District Court panel declared last month that the current level of education funding is “inadequate from any rational perspective of the evidence.” The decision, which could lead to funding increases of more than $550 million a year, is expected to be appealed to the Kansas Supreme Court.

    But even if the GOP-dominated Legislature isn’t forced to address education this session because of the appeals process, several Republican leaders said lawmakers must make significant spending cuts to shrink the shortfalls. Key senators said they want to avoid measures – such as reversing cuts in income tax rates or raising the sales tax rate – that clearly can be labeled as tax increases.

    http://www.kansascity.com/news/government-politics/article6060393.html#

  41. rikyrah says:

    Monday, January 12, 2015

    The Long Game on Climate Policy

    From the beginning, President Obama articulated an “all of the above” energy plan – something that angered both environmentalists and the fossil fuel industry. But it was a systemic approach that took into account not only the issue of climate change, but also this country’s economic recovery and a foreign policy that was too often influenced by our dependence on foreign oil.

    Michael Grunwald was the first to see the seeds of major change on climate policy that were included in President Obama’s 2009 stimulus plan (the American Recovery Act).

    …the battle over the Recovery Act’s short-term rescue has obscured its more enduring mission: a long-term push to change the country. It was about jobs, sure, but also about fighting oil addiction and global warming, transforming health care and education, and building a competitive 21st century economy. Some Republicans have called it an under-the-radar scramble to advance Obama’s agenda — and they’ve got a point.

    For starters, the Recovery Act is the most ambitious energy legislation in history, converting the Energy Department into the world’s largest venture-capital fund. It’s pouring $90 billion into clean energy, including unprecedented investments in a smart grid; energy efficiency; electric cars; renewable power from the sun, wind and earth; cleaner coal; advanced biofuels; and factories to manufacture green stuff in the U.S. The act will also triple the number of smart electric meters in our homes, quadruple the number of hybrids in the federal auto fleet and finance far-out energy research through a new government incubator modeled after the Pentagon agency that fathered the Internet.

    The only stimulus energy program that’s gotten much attention so far — chiefly because it got off to a slow start — is a $5 billion effort to weatherize homes. But the Recovery Act’s line items represent the first steps to a low-carbon economy. “It will leverage a very different energy future,” says Kristin Mayes, the Republican chair of Arizona’s utility commission. “It really moves us toward a tipping point.”
    The goal was for the government to ignite investments in clean energy that were seen as too risky for the private sector. And as President Obama said to NPR’s Steve Inskeep a few weeks ago, “a lot of the work that we’ve done is beginning to bear fruit.” Jonathan Chait summarized some of that in his article about this President’s legacy:

    http://immasmartypants.blogspot.com/2015/01/the-long-game-on-climate-policy.html

  42. rikyrah says:

    2 Tuskegee Airmen die in Los Angeles at 91 on the same day

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Two members of the Tuskegee Airmen — the famed all-black squadron that flew in World War II — died on the same day. The men, lifelong friends who enlisted together, were 91.

    Clarence E. Huntley Jr. and Joseph Shambrey died on Jan. 5 in their Los Angeles homes, relatives said Sunday.

    Huntley and Shambrey enlisted in 1942. They were shipped overseas to Italy in 1944 with the 100th Fighter Squadron of the Army Air Force’s 332nd Fighter Group. As mechanics, they kept the combat planes flying.

    Huntley serviced P-39, P-47 and P-51 aircraft, and as crew chief was responsible for the plane of the squadron commander, Capt. Andrew D. Turner, said Huntley’s nephew, Craig Huntly of Inglewood. “The life of his pilot was in his hands, and he took that very seriously,” his nephew said.

    His concern led Turner to nickname him “Mother,” Huntly said.

    In addition to facing danger, the Tuskegee Airmen faced racism.

    Shambrey’s son, Tim Shambrey of Altadena, said his father recalled getting off a train in Alabama where a hospitality station was welcoming returning white troops with handshakes and free coffee.

    “When he and his buddies came off, dressed in their uniforms, of course they didn’t get any congratulations” and were asked to pay for their coffee, Shambrey said.

    They did so.

    “The thing about those men is that they were very proud” and decided not to make a fuss, Shambrey said. “They were already used to so much discrimination.”

    In later life, Shambrey didn’t talk much about his war service but he held barbecues that sometimes drew 150 people, including a lot of his old Army buddies, his son said.

    Huntley also didn’t talk much with his family about the war, said his daughter, Shelia McGee of Los Angeles.

    He told them: “I was doing what I was supposed to do, and that was to serve my country,” she said.

    Shambrey was a National Guard combat engineer during the Korean War and later spent his career with the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation, his son said.

    Huntley was a skycap for more than 60 years at airports in Burbank and Los Angeles, his daughter said.

    http://bigstory.ap.org/article/d56f7ae312fc49cf9a1808cf2fa4d03c/2-tuskegee-airmen-die-los-angeles-91

  43. rikyrah says:

    An interesting backstory:

    The Uninvited Guest

    An interesting backstory to Benjamin Netanyahu’s very prominent presence at the solidarity rally in Paris over the weekend. It turns out that President Hollande initially sent a back channel message asking Netanyahu not to attend. And, to my surprise, Netanyahu complied. The Shin Bet wasn’t crazy, it seems, about the security challenges in any case. So Netanyahu agreed. At least at first.

    Why would Hollande want Netanyahu not to attend? It’s a request that’s easy to demagogue. But it is neither surprising nor unreasonable. The French government is trying to keep the Middle East conflict off the streets of France. And Netanyahu’s presence visibly reinjects it into the mix. Netanyahu is also in the midst of an election battle for his political life. So whether he wants to or not, everything he does tied to the kosher grocery massacre is inherently political, inherently part of his campaign. It’s unavoidable.

    More complex is Netanyahu’s and the Israeli government’s relationship to French Jewry – atopic I discussed on Friday.

    read the rest:

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/the-uninvited-guest

  44. rikyrah says:

    George Wallace Jr. to Oprah: ‘Selma’ portrayal of my father is ‘pure, unadulterated fiction’ http://s.al.com/caIs27a via @aldotcom

  45. rikyrah says:

    Best explanation for the photo-op foolishness today:
    April‏@ReignOfApril
    Apparently “journalists” think POTUS is Jay-Z: “Just fire up the jet, let’s head to Paris for an hour or 2.”

  46. rikyrah says:

    UK’s Cameron calls Fox pundit a ‘complete idiot’
    01/13/15 08:40 AM—UPDATED 01/13/15 08:56 AM
    By Steve Benen
    It’s not every day that a foreign leader feels the need to publicly criticize an American pundit, but under the circumstances, British Prime Minister David Cameron was on firm ground yesterday.
    British Prime Minister David Cameron had harsh words for the Fox News guest who on Sunday said the British city of Birmingham was “totally Muslim.”

    During an interview on Monday with ITV News, Cameron called Fox News “terrorism expert” Steven Emerson a “complete idiot” over the comments.
    Specifically, the British prime minister said, “When I heard this, frankly, I choked on my porridge and I thought it must be April Fool’s Day,” adding, “[T]his guy is clearly a complete idiot.”

    In a separate interview, Gisela Stuart, who represents Birmingham in the House of Commons, added, “I checked whether this was some kind of early April Fool spoof, and then I thought he was talking about Birmingham, Alabama. But then I realized he was just utterly and completely wrong.”

    http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/uks-cameron-calls-fox-pundit-complete-idiot

  47. rikyrah says:

    Paul Ryan bows out of 2016 consideration
    01/12/15 05:08 PM
    By Steve Benen
    Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) first bid for national office didn’t work out as well as he would have liked: he was Mitt Romney’s running mate two years ago.

    But the national platform raised the congressman’s visibility and the far-right Wisconsinite made no secret of the fact that he was considering a presidential race of his own in 2016.

    As of this afternoon, however, those flirtations are now over.
    Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, the Republican Party’s vice presidential nominee in 2012, told NBC News in an interview Monday that he will not seek the presidency in 2016.

    “I have decided that I am not going to run for president in 2016,” Ryan said in a phone interview, noting that he is “at peace” with the decision he made “weeks ago” to forgo a bid for the White House.
    In the interview, the nine-term congressman went on to say, “It is amazing the amount of encouragement I have gotten from people – from friends and supporters – but I feel like I am in a position to make a big difference where I am and I want to do that.”

    Ryan will, of course, remain in Congress, where he recently left his role as chairman of the House Budget Committee, instead becoming the new chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee.

    For a guy who probably couldn’t win the White House anyway, that’s not a bad consolation prize.

    http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/paul-ryan-bows-out-2016-consideration

  48. rikyrah says:

    House Republicans set to move on anti-immigration plan
    01/13/15 08:00 AM—UPDATED 01/13/15 08:09 AM
    By Steve Benen
    Remember when congressional Republicans got worked up about President Obama’s immigration policy? GOP lawmakers threatened a government shutdown over their new favorite phrase – “executive amnesty” – and vowed to force an ugly confrontation in the new year.

    Well, the new year is here, and as early as today, the House Republicans’ legislative strategy is poised to move forward. As Benjy Sarlin explained, the basic idea is to fight over funding for the Department of Homeland Security – either the White House scraps its relief for millions of immigrants or GOP lawmakers will cut off funding for the agency by the end of February.
    The new iteration [of the Republican plan] would not only block the [entire White House] program, but [would also] stop new applications for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which grants relief to undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children, and reverse a 2011 memo ordering immigration authorities to prioritize deporting criminals.

    “Only three words describe the Republican approach to immigrants: deportation, deportation, deportation,” Democratic Rep. Luis Gutierrez of Illinois said in a statement.
    House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (R-Texas) told reporters last week about his party’s policy, “Essentially what it says is the president cannot fund an activity that is unconstitutional and illegal.”

    For the record, few seriously believe the president’s policy is “unconstitutional and illegal” – no one in either party made this argument when Obama’s predecessors took very similar actions – and there are no court rulings to bolster the dubious Republican assertions.

    http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/house-republicans-set-move-anti-immigration-plan

  49. rikyrah says:

    I’m asking for prayers for a friend.

    Her daughter’s cancer has re-occurred- at the age of 25.

    She almost made it to the five year mark.

    So, prayers in the universe are welcome.

  50. rikyrah says:

    Devon Still on daughter Leah’s test results: ‘We are going to keep faith’

    Kevin Goheen

    Bengals defensive tackle Devon Still announced over social media Sunday the cancer treatment his daughter Leah has been undergoing has not fully worked. Still revealed on his Instagram account that the family received test results showing cancer cells remained in his 4-year-old daughter.

    “I wanted to hear so bad that my daughter’s cancer was gone and when I didn’t it hurt me bad,” wrote Still on his Instagram account. “I couldn’t even bring myself to tell my family the results without breaking down. I honestly just wanted to shut down from every one. But I understand that blessing don’t happen when I want them to, they happen when they’re suppose to. So we are going to keep faith and keep fighting no matter what.”

    Leah Still was diagnosed with Stage IV neuroplastoma last June. She has undergone surgery and treatments in Philadelphia since. Her story became of national interest when it was revealed that the Bengals had been allowing Still extra time away from the team to tend to Leah’s needs during offseason workouts and training camp.

    http://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/nfl/devon-still-on-daughter-leahs-test-results-we-are-going-to-keep-faith/ar-AA85ubJ?ocid=HPCDHP

  51. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone:)

  52. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone. :-)

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