Thursday Open Thread | LTD & Jeffrey Osborne Week

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Jeffrey Osbourne You Should Be Mine (woo woo song)

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67 Responses to Thursday Open Thread | LTD & Jeffrey Osborne Week

  1. rikyrah says:

    From Balloon Juice:

    gogol’s wife says:
    February 19, 2015 at 12:21 pm
    I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. In our church, starting with the Iraq invasion, we ring bells every Sunday for each U.S. service person who’s been killed that week. Since Obama has been president, first the number of bells went steadily down, and now for weeks we have rung no bells at all (which NEVER happened under Bush). If every American had the visceral experience of hearing those bells every week, maybe they’d appreciate Obama more, and maybe they’d be more resistant to the television propaganda.

  2. rikyrah says:

    More on the that bullshyt King/Obamacare lawsuit


    CATO, interns, King and privilege

    Posted by Richard Mayhew at 5:23 pm


    Scott Lemieux is, correctly, pointing and laughing at Michael Cannon and the Cato Institute for their inability to find sympathetic plaintiffs for their bullshit argument that the Moops invaded Spain and therefore the Spanish now must learn to speak Moopish.

    The fact that former Cato interns wanted no part of the troofer lawsuit;

    The title implying that Politico hacked into Cannon’s email, rather than the massively more likely possibility that the email was provided by one of the recipients, or

    Cannon complaining about the Cato institute being described as “right-leaning.”

    I’d say they’re all winners. Like any great comedy routine, the elements build on each other.

    I was unfortunate enough to have known several CATO, AEI and Heritage Foundation interns during my undergraduate years. At first I was surprised that none of the younger siblings of those gliberterian fantasists would have signed on to the lawsuit, but then I remembered some more facts about the class of people who intern at right wing think tanks for fun and profit.

    Those internships were either poorly paying or not paid at all with a requirement that the interns live in D.C. That means parental support was often needed. One of the interns I was acquainted with had a monthly allowance from her parents that was greater than the a semester’s tuition at a good state school. Furthermore, most interns that CATO was trying to recruit are under the age of 26. All of the interns that I knew had a serious and chronic pre-existing condition of either cranial rectal inversion or gaping rectum syndrome. Finally, they all knew how to cover their own ass.

    PPACA’s provisions and exemptions took away most of the potential intern plaintiff pool. The combination of keeping young adults on their parents’ insurance until age 26, and cheap catastrophic plans for young adults removes most potential sympathetic plaintiffs from the pool.

    A plaintiff for Cannon needed to live in a state and make either more than 100% of Federal Poverty Line (FPL) in non-Expansion states or more than 138% FPL in Medicaid Expansion states, be without insurance, and have a minimally qualified health plan cost more than 8% of their income if there were no subsidies.

    If Mommy and Daddy were picking up most of the cost of the internship for Fluffy and Muffy, F&M’s incomes would not meet thresholds as it would be in-family transfers, so they would be disqualified. If the intern came from a state exchange state, they would be disqualified. If Mommy and Daddy, who had sufficient resources to allow Fluffy and Muffy to be privileged assholes with no connection to reality, had employer sponsored health insurance, then the sprogs were being covered through their parents’ work.

    So if Cannon could find an intern that came from a state that did not expand Medicaid who had an income over 100% FPL and who was not covered by their parents’ coverage, he still faced one more challenge. Individuals under the age of 30 qualified for cheap catastrophic coverage or cheap Bronze plans. An individual at 100% FPL plus a dollar would meet the threshold of 8% of income for unafforability without subsidies. That is a monthly premium of $77.50. I am seeing Catastrophic plans on and in low cost regions for less than that. In mid-cost regions, catastrophic plans are slightly more than the threshold level for someone who makes exactly 100% FPL. For each $150 in annual income over 100% FPL, we add another dollar to the monthly premium threshold.

    The ideal plaintiff for Cannon would have been a 20 year old make 101% of FPL from southwest Georgia who had no coverage from his parents and who was willing to be uninsured in order to prove an ideological point instead of spending $28 per month forenhanced cost-sharing assistance Silver plans or nothing for a Bronze plan and who does not want coverage for his pre-existing chronic condition of cranial rectal inversion.

    Does that person exist? Yes…. he is just highly unlikely to be working at CATO when Cannon went trawling for plaintiffs.

  3. rikyrah says:

    Only4RM @Only4RM
    Meanwhile #MorningJoe is down to blood relatives watching and they get a #SuperBowl tie-in. #SMMFH #WTFmsnbc
    4:37 PM – 19 Feb 2015

  4. rikyrah says:

    imfabulous @imfabulous13
    #ObamaLovesAmerica, he doesn’t send American troops to die for a lie only to further enrich Halliburton & Military-Industrial Complex. #bush
    2:39 PM – 19 Feb 2015

  5. rikyrah says:

    Imani ABL @AngryBlackLady
    If Joy’s ratings were lower than Ronan’s, I would understand it. But they aren’t. This is business as usual. White dudes gonna white dude.
    4:12 PM – 19 Feb 2015

  6. rikyrah says:

    in discussing the crappy treatment of JRW, it was brought up how all the ‘ extra stuff’ that it costs to play baseball eliminates kids from playing


    Athletics as a luxury good….

    Posted by Richard Mayhew at 8:57 am


    My soccer assignor called me last night. The Regional league is starting soon (or it will once temperatures gets back into the 20s), and they need referees. This league has teams driving six or eight hours for a pair of games on Saturday, stay overnight and then play one more on Sunday morning before driving back home. I like to ref this league as the teams are composed of highly skilled players with good coaches, so the games involve a lot of running, but they are predictable. Players put the ball where the ball should go, and they don’t randomly attempt to take out people’s knees. The fouls which occur make sense. The best teams will dress eighteen players of which fifteen or more will get some scholarship money to play in college. Unless I am laid off and go on the elite showcase tournament circuit to referee, this is the best youth soccer that I will see this year.

    That league is overwhelmingly composed of middle and upper middle class white players coming from stable, two income, two parent homes. I know that is not a representative sample of where the US soccer talent pool lies as I’ll see local travel teams that are a whole lot poorer, a whole lot less white, and a whole lot more unstable in their home situations which could run with most of the Regional teams if they could afford to organize bi-monthly bus trips to another state to play. And those kids get forgotten unless they are so unbelievable that one of the Regional teams sponsors the kid to be the best player on the field. One of the local Regional league teams does that with a current high school All-American who has a full ride on offer from half a dozen elite NCAA schools which he may turn down in order to go to a European B-league. If a kid is “just” talented enough to be a solid Division 2 half scholarship player, but can’t afford the $5,000 a year in travelling expenses, they probably aren’t playing on a Regional league team which will help them get that D-2 scholarship.

    Andrew McCutchen of the Pittsburgh Pirates makes the same point on baseball — in the US, it is becoming a middle class sport as the breeding ground of future high level players:

    But all the scraping and saving in the world wasn’t going to be enough for my family to send me an hour north to Lakeland every weekend to play against the best competition. That’s the challenge for families today. It’s not about the $100 bat. It’s about the $100-a-night motel room and the $30 gas money and the $300 tournament fee. There’s a huge financing gap to get a child to that next level where they might be seen.

    I’m complicit in this cost structure as referees aren’t cheap, and refs are incorporated into the tournament fee, but sports at anything more than “here is a ball, chase it” level of play is increasingly a luxury good

    • Kathleen says:

      It saddens me that there is a dearth of African American baseball players in the major leagues. The eight starting players from the Big Red Machine appeared on the field together during Joe Morgan’s Hall of Fame weekend. Two of the starting eight were white (Pete Rose and Johnny Bench). The remaining team members (Joe Morgan, Ken Griffey, Davey Concepcion, Tony Perez, Caesar Geronimo and George Foster) were African American or Hispanic. The Cincinnati Reds are supporting efforts to encourage kids in the urban core to play baseball. They’ve refurbished ball fields and have a program in which kids from the city and the suburbs play ball together. I hope these efforts pay off.

  7. rikyrah says:

    Robin Givens, Columbus Short & Lynn Whitfield Star in New Installment of Horror Anthology ‘Fear Files’ (Trailer)

    Photo of Tambay A. Obenson
    By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act
    February 18, 2015 at 5:32PM

    Like BET, I’m encouraged by the original programming push TV One is seemingly invested in. Nothing great is built overnight, so I’m looking forward to seeing where all this investment leads. I also really appreciate the exploration of other genres, like horror in this specific case.

    Robin Givens, Columbus Short and Lynn Whitfield headline TV One’s next installment of its horror anthology, “Fear Files” (formerly “Fright Night Files”) with 3 new terrifying tales of love, revenge and murder, on Friday, March 13 at 8PM/ET.

    The new trilogy picks up where the first airing left off, by revisiting “For the Love of Lockwood,” with its sequel “For the Love of Lockwood Too,” and introducing 2 new stories, “Mama’s Boy” and “Fire.”

    Shot on location in Atlanta, “Fear Files” represents the second project executive produced by Radio One Founder and Chairperson, Cathy Hughes and Executive Vice President of Special Projects, Susan Banks. Russ Parr also returns to direct and produce via his Up To Parr Productions.

  8. rikyrah says:

    Mo’Nique’s Decision to Not “Play the Industry Game” Gets Her Blacklisted. The Actress Speaks…

    Photo of Tambay A. Obenson
    By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act
    February 19, 2015 at 12:49PM

    In a rather revealing interview she gave to The Hollywood Reporter, which was published this morning, Mo’Nique dishes on the criticism she faced for her role in “Precious,” what life after Oscar has been like, in terms of opportunities and income, and discovering that she’d been blacklisted! Why? The actress herself isn’t entirely certain, based on the interview, but suggests potential reasons based on what others, including her “Precious” director, Lee Daniels, told her.

    To wit: “What I understood was that when I won that Oscar, things would change in all the ways you’re saying: It should come with more respect, more choices and more money. It should, and it normally does […] I got a phone call from Lee Daniels maybe six or seven months ago. And he said to me, “Mo’Nique, you’ve been blackballed.” And I said, “I’ve been blackballed? Why have I been blackballed?” And he said, “Because you didn’t play the game.” And I said, “Well, what game is that?” And he gave me no response. The next thing he said to me was, “Your husband is outbidding you.” But he never asked me what [salary] we were asking for. You know, my husband and I had to change things so we wouldn’t have to depend on [others]. So we do it independently. We’re very proud of taking the independent route, and we have a movie coming out on April 24 called Blackbird.”

    The interviewer digs a little further, asking if she knew what Daniels meant exactly by her being blackballed, and she said: “You know what I learned? Never to think what somebody else was thinking. That’s a question you would have to ask Lee Daniels. There have been people that have said, “Mo’Nique, she can be difficult. Mo’Nique and her husband can be difficult.” They could probably be right. One of the networks said to [Lee] that I was “really difficult to work with.” And I said, “Well, that’s funny, because I’ve never even worked with them, but OK.” Whoever those people are who say, “Mo’Nique is difficult,” those people are either heartless, ruthless or treat people like they’re worthless. And that’s unacceptable. They’re set to say, “Mo’Nique is tactless, she’s tacky.” That’s why I have my beautiful husband, because he’s so full of tact, ’cause I’m a girl from Baltimore. I come from a blue-collar town — and being from that place, you learn not to let anybody take advantage of you. You don’t let people mistreat you. You stand up for what’s right. So I can’t answer why he said I was blackballed. There may be people that feel that way about me. But I respect everyone, from the homeless brother and sister on the street to the executive that sits in the highest office named President Barack Obama. I respect everyone — but we over-respect no one.”

  9. rikyrah says:

    Jill Marie Jones Scores Female Lead Role in Starz Original Series Based on ‘Evil Dead’ Film Franchise

    Photo of Tambay A. Obenson
    By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act
    February 19, 2015 at 1:25PM

    Once again, I ask… are TV networks finally starting to realize the ratings and profit potential In producing content with black women in leading roles?

    Jill Marie Jones has booked the female lead role of Amanda Fisher in the STARZ original series “Ash vs Evil Dead,” the long-awaited serial follow-up to the classic horror film franchise “The Evil Dead,” which will follow disgraced Michigan State Trooper Fisher (played by Jones), after the grisly murder of her partner, as she sets out to find anti-hero Ash and prove his responsibility for the crime. But as she soon learns, Ash and his cohorts may be mankind’s only hope against the plague of “evil dead.”

    Bruce Campbell will be reprising his role as Ash, the stock boy, aging lothario and chainsaw-handed monster hunter who has spent the last 30 years avoiding responsibility, maturity and the terrors of the “Evil Dead.”

    Joining Jones and Campbell in the series are Ray Santiago and Dana DeLorenzo.

    The STARZ Original series “Ash vs Evil Dead” will be 10 half-hour episodes.

  10. rikyrah says:

    Here’s One Reason Why Eddie Murphy’s ‘SNL’ Appearance Was So Awkwardly Brief…

    Photo of Tambay A. Obenson
    By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act
    February 19, 2015 at 4:39P

    Former “Saturday Night Life” cast member, Norm Macdonald, took to Twitter last night, with a lengthy series of tweets, taking readers behind the “SNL” 40th anniversary special curtain, informing the rest of us on what really happened in the much-publicized case of that brief and awkward Eddie Murphy moment during the Sunday night broadcast.

    In short, according to Macdonald’s tweets (which some of you have already read), he tried talking Murphy into playing Bill Cosby during the hilarious “Celebrity Jeopardy” sketch, which included former cast members and some of the show’s most popular hosts and musical guests. But Murphy, initially considering doing it, would eventually pass on the idea.

    Macdonald tweeted, in individual 140 character or less tweets: “He knew the laughs would bring the house down. Eddie Murphy knows what will work on ‘SNL’ better than anyone… Eddie decides the laughs are not worth it. He will not kick a man when he’s down… Eddie Murphy, I realize, is not like the rest of us. Eddie does not need the laughs… Eddie Murphy is the coolest, a rockstar even in a room with actual rockstars.”

    Kenan Thompson instead played Cosby in the sketch.

    So, maybe this helps explain Murphy’s awkward, humorless appearance, after being introduced by Chris Rock (a intro that last about 4 minutes). Assuming that was the only sketch he was considering doing, his reluctance to satirize Cosby may explain some of what looked to me like discomfort on his part.

    Macdonald’s revealed much more during that Twitter session, including more praise for Murphy, even sharing brief details of his time on the show. You can read the entire series of tweets here.

  11. rikyrah says:

    The most powerful politician in Illinois is Speaker of the House Madigan.

    The Dems have veto-proof majorities.

    I’m still waiting for an apology from the Slave Catchers who endorsed Rauner.

    What the hell else did you expect from a man who told you he didn’t believe in the minimum wage, and already said that he would NOT have fully implemented Obamacare as Governor Quinn did.


    Thursday, February 19, 2015
    Second City, First Blood
    Posted by Zandar
    I’ve talked before about Kansas and the massive austerity regime of GOP Gov. Sam Brownback. But Republican governors across the country are looking to austerity and are targeting the poor, college students, and the elderly for the biggest hits, and Illinois GOP Gov. Bruce Rauner is no exception.

    Illinois’ new Republican governor on Wednesday will pitch a plan for fixing the state’s budget mess that includes deep cuts to Medicaid and higher education and a new plan for reducing pension costs, according to three lawmakers with knowledge of the proposal.

    Gov. Bruce Rauner is set to deliver his first budget address since campaigning on a pledge to reduce taxes and get state spending under control and beating a Democratic incumbent.
    The three legislators, briefed on details of the plan discussed in a Tuesday meeting between Rauner and legislative leaders, told The Associated Press that the governor will recommend cutting Medicaid by $1.5 billion and reducing funding for higher education by nearly $400 million, or 31 percent. They said he’ll also propose reducing state aid to local governments and ask lawmakers to approve a new pension reform plan he says will save Illinois $2.2 billion.

    The lawmakers spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to pre-empt Rauner’s budget address. Rauner’s spokesman declined to comment

    Now keep in mind cuts to Illinois’s pension systems have already resulted in the state having the most underfunded pension system in the country, and Illinois having the worst credit rating of all 50 states. The state is in a six billion dollar hole, much like California was in 2008. But cutting education, pensions, and Medicaid isn’t going to make that any better, and the Democrats holding big majorities in the legislature aren’t going to put up with Rauner’s crap for much longer.

  12. rikyrah says:

    Thursday, February 19, 2015
    Jeb Bush: “Holy Schnikes”
    Yesterday afternoon I decided to watch Jeb Bush’s speech on foreign policy. To say I was shocked might be an overstatement. But I was really surprised. That’s because I also watched his speech on domestic issues in San Francisco a few weeks ago and came away impressed…assuming he was going to be the Republican candidate to beat. During that speech, Jeb was polished, articulate and self-confident. But as many people have pointed out, yesterday he was a mess.

    I don’t know what to make of Jeb’s performance yesterday. It could be that he just had a bad day. But it reminded me of something Matt Yglesias wrote in reaction to Jeb’s speech in Detroit: Jeb Bush sounds like he’s running for Mayor of America.
    Launching his not-quite-a-presidential-campaign in Detroit this week, Jeb Bush delivered what I think would be an incredible speech for a job that doesn’t actually exist. Call it “Mayor of America.”

    What Jeb didn’t do was offer a speech that suggests he’d be a good president, or is even aware of what the president’s job is.

    It could be that in his heart of hearts, Jeb is someone who gets into the policy wonkishness of local/state issues, but assumes his family legacy requires that he run for president (the problem with dynasties in a nutshell). That ambivalence was on display at the end of the question-and-answer session when the topic of rouge states acquiring nuclear weapons came up. Here’s Jeb’s response:

    Look, this is a – the more I get into this stuff, there are some things you just go, you know, holy schnikes.

    It’s OK to be overwhelmed by difficult foreign policy issues. It’s just not OK to run for president when you feel that way.

  13. rikyrah says:


    From Selma to Malcolm X, ESSENCE’s Black Women in Hollywood honoree Ruth Carter has been creating masterpieces for over 25 years.

  14. rikyrah says:

    Wednesday, February 18, 2015 | 1:54 PM
    OWN to Air ESSENCE Black Women In Hollywood Special

    TV viewers can now get a peek inside the 2015 ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood Awards, thanks to Oprah Winfrey.
    OWN will air a primetime special on Saturday, February 21, at 10 p.m. ET, featuring highlights and exclusive interviews from ESSENCE’s Oscar-week event celebrating the achievements of Black women in front of and behind the camera.
    Hosted by Tracey Edmonds and Shemar Moore, the OWN special will share special moments from the emotional awards show, this year honoring cast members of Orange Is the New Black, Regina King, Gugu Mbatha-Raw and legendary costume designer Ruth Carter. Presenters include Oprah Winfrey, Lupita Nyong’o, Ava DuVernay, David Oyelowo, Mara Brock Akil and Gina Prince Bythewood. John Legend and Common are slated to perform.

    In advance of the OWN show, make sure you catch the red carpet action on’s live stream, beginning Thursday, February 19, at 2:30 pm ET. Plus, see photos and full coverage right here, and follow all the action on social using #BlackWomenInHollywood.

  15. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    Black History and the teaching of the Civil Rights Movement

    Excerpt from the Daily Kos:

    Does-your-state-get-an-F-for-how-it-teaches-the-civil-rights-movement Do you want to fight racism, bigotry and injustice? Would you like to see our country continue to make progress and move forward in the struggle for equal rights and opportunity?

    If you answer “yes,” much of that will depend on the education our children are receiving because they are our future. Yet contrary to what you might think—since we have a Martin Luther King Day and Black History Month—schools across the U.S. are failing to teach a key segment of our more recent history, the very civil rights movement of which Dr. King is a symbol.

    The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has issued its report card on how states are doing—and most are doing very poorly.


    The highest possible score was 100 percent, which would mean that a state provided out- standing guidance for teaching the civil rights movement in its major documents and support- ing resources. Letter grades were assigned on a scale that recognizes the best efforts.

    Grade F

    Indiana (15%) … Michigan (15%)…Missouri (14%)…Montana (13%)…Hawaii (11%)…Kentucky (10%) …Nebraska (10%)…Wisconsin (10%) …Connecticut (8%) …New Hampshire (8%)…Idaho (4%)…Nevada (4%)… North Dakota (4%)… South Dakota (4%) …Vermont (4%)…Alaska (0%)…Iowa(0%)… Maine (0%)… Oregon (0%)…Wyoming(0%)

    Grade D:

    Arizona (39%)…Pennsylvania (37%)…Utah (33%)…Washington (32%)…Delaware (30%)…Illinois 30%) …Massachusetts (28%)…Ohio (27%)…Minnesota (26%)…New Mexico (26%)…Texas (26%)…Colorado(23%) …New Jersey (21%) …Rhode Island (21%)

    Grade C:

    Tennessee (56%) …Kansas (53%)…Mississippi (52%) …Arkansas (50%) …West Virginia (49%) …District of Columbia (41%)

    Grade B:

    Maryland (78%) …North Carolina (75%)…Alabama (74%)…Virginia (70%)…Oklahoma (70%)… California (68%)…New York (65%)…Florida (60%)

    Grade A:

    South Carolina (97%)…Louisiana (96%)…Georgia (85%)

  16. rikyrah says:



    Ms. Cicely Tyson will be on HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER TONIGHT ON ABC!!

  17. rikyrah says:

    Joy-Ann Reid’s Show Canceled
    By Chris Ariens on Feb. 19, 2015 – 2:20 PM

    As part of broader upcoming changes to MSNBC’s dayside programming, TVNewser has learned Joy Ann-Reid‘s 2pmET show “The Reid Report” will be canceled. Reid joined MSNBC as a contributor in 2011 and was given her own show as the result of the last programming shake-up in early 2014.

    An internal source at MSNBC tells us Reid will stay with the network contributing to TV programs and digital platforms.

  18. rikyrah says:

    Thursday, February 19, 2015
    John Kasich Just Disqualified Himself
    Posted by Zandar
    How ridiculous is Ohio GOP Gov. John Kasich, mentioned as a long-shot candidate for the White House in 2016? Keep in mind these two things:

    1) John Kasich’s main talking point is that he is running on a federal balanced budget amendment.
    2) John Kasich wants to put ground troops back in Iraq and Syria.

    In a sign of his rising interest in a potential 2016 presidential bid, Ohio Gov. John R. Kasich (R) said Tuesday he is studying up on foreign policy and beginning to outline his worldview, which includes support for sending U.S. ground forces to fight the Islamic State.

    “You will not solve this problem with only air power,” Kasich said in a phone interview from his office in Columbus, ahead of a trip to the early-voting state of South Carolina. “There needs to be a coalition of NATO, Arab states, and ultimately some boots on the ground to stop the advancement of that group.”

    Kasich added: “The Western world and the Arab world need to get serious about stopping this kind of radicalism. If not, it will continue to spread and just bombing is imposing the status quo at best.”

    Kasich cautioned, however, that he is recommending targeted and multinational strikes, rather than a drawn-out conflict against the Islamic State militants in Iraq.

    “It is probably something that can be addressed without an extended affair and without nation-building or any of that,” he said.

    The notion that we can invade Iraq again, and possibly Syria, Yemen, and/or Libya with ground forces to battle ISIS is ridiculous. The notion that we can do any of this and balance the federal budget is an absolute joke to the point where Kasich must be laughed off the national stage.

  19. rikyrah says:

    hursday, February 19, 2015
    It’s Getting Ugly Out There
    If you are feeling a bit of “deja vu” all over again, there’s a reason. Six years ago we heard a lot of talk from the right wing about birth certificates, Kenyan socialists, and a presidential candidate who “palled around with terrorists.” You remember all that, don’t you?

    While that kind of talk never really disappeared, it did eventually give way to other forms of hysteria – mostly about jobs, the economy, the federal deficit, the scourge of Obamacare, and unconstitutional executive actions (with a little Ebola thrown in there).

    But lately the whole zeitgeist of right wing talking points has gone back to the more familiar territory of the 2008 election. That’s why yesterday I wrote about Franklin Graham’s outrageous lies about President Obama – summed up by “He only knows Islam.”

    Later in the day, Rudy Giuliani threw this one into the mix:

    I do not believe, and I know this is a horrible thing to say, but I do not believe that the president loves America. He doesn’t love you. And he doesn’t love me. He wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country.

    Of course much of the right wing hysteria over the last couple of days has been directed at State Department Spokesperson Marie Harf for saying that “we can’t kill our way out of this war” – the exact same thing that George W. Bush and Mitt Romney said.

    And finally, that leads us to Bill O’Reilly’s assertion that its time for the “holy war” that President Obama refuses to declare.

    The holy war begins…. The holy war is here. And unfortunately it seems the President of United States will be the last one to acknowledge it…. President Obama needs to lead – needs to lead the world in this holy war

    If you haven’t gotten the picture yet, here’s what it boils down to: “The Islamic extremists are at our doors and President Obama won’t stop them because he’s not one of us – he’s one of them!”

    With all that hysteria lathered up, I figure that it’s a good time to take a step back and think about what has the right wingers in such a state. Scroll back up to my second paragraph and you’ll get a clue. The economic recovery seems to finally be in full swing, the federal deficit is plummeting, and Obamacare is a raging success by almost any measure. Add to that the fact that the new Republican Congress is failing miserably and you start to get the picture.

  20. rikyrah says:

    FlowerInFaith @FlowerInFaith
    @DWStweets Still waiting for Dems to call ACA a job creator. Isn’t messaging your job?
    10:22 AM – 19 Feb 2015

    FlowerInFaith @FlowerInFaith
    @DWStweets Still waiting 4 Dems to call GOP morally reprehensible 4 trying to take health care away from millions. Isn’t messaging your job?
    10:22 AM – 19 Feb 2015

  21. rikyrah says:

    VoteRiders @VoteRiders
    #VoterID bill is dead in #Nebraska this year (but alive in #AR, #IN, #MO, #NV, #NM, #ND and #WV)
    9:00 PM – 18 Feb 2015

  22. rikyrah says:

    Group from Mass. helped shift net neutrality fight
    By Jessica MeyersGLOBE STAFF FEBRUARY 19, 2015

    WORCESTER – From a stuffy attic in this former industrial city, Tiffiniy Cheng and her friends hatched plans to save the Internet.

    Fight for the Future, the name they later bestowed on their group of 30-something idealists, stirred an online advocacy movement that swayed President Obama, influenced the Federal Communications Commission, and helped defeat the telecommunications industry, one of the mightiest lobbying powers in Washington.

    They did so in concert with grassroots organizations, tech startups, and a few deep-pocketed companies such as Netflix to promote net neutrality, the concept that all Internet traffic should be treated equally — with no special treatment for monied interests.

    We tapped into people’s basic moral ideas,’’ said Cheng, who was born in a Macau refugee camp to parents who fled the Vietnam War. She arrived in Worcester as a toddler.

    The coalition insisted that true net neutrality would require the Internet be regulated as a public utility, a position FCC chairman Tom Wheeler officially embraced this month after President Obama sided with supporters like Cheng. The agency will hold a final vote next week.

  23. rikyrah says:

    States eyeing new voting restrictions
    02/19/15 11:24 AM
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    By Steve Benen
    Just a couple of days after the 2014 midterms, I joked that Americans should expect Republican victors to impose even more voting restrictions in light of the results. Not quite two months into the new year, it seems the offhand comment wasn’t funny after all.

    The state of Georgia, for example, has already taken steps to put hurdles between voters and the ballot box, and my colleague Zack Roth reported yesterday that Georgia officials aren’t done just yet – there’s a new push to curtail early voting in the state.
    A legislative committee voted on party lines last week to advance a bill that would shorten Georgia’s early voting period to 12 days, from a current maximum of 21 days. It would also bar counties from offering more than four hours of voting on weekends. The state’s early voting period was already cut dramatically just four years ago.

    The new move comes after a 2014 election in which 44% of voters – disproportionately minorities – cast their ballot early. Many counties, responding to popular demand, offered Sunday voting for the first time.
    Remember, when Republican officials impose voting restrictions, they usually try to defend the constraints by pointing to “voter fraud.” The scourge is largely imaginary, and a thin pretense to keep people from participating in their own democracy, but that’s the talking point and the GOP is sticking to it.

    But defending efforts to narrow the early-voting window is much harder – this is completely unrelated to potential fraud. Rather, Georgia Republicans appear eager to make it harder to get to the polls and cast a ballot, just for the sake of doing so.

  24. Grown ass men whining.. OBAMA doesn’t love me. What I’ma do? Wah Wah Wah. Pathetic ass clown. No one loves YOU, Rudy Giuliani. Didn’t the 08 election teach you anything? Your sorry ass couldn’t make it out of the starting gate. Boo, mofo!

  25. rikyrah says:

    House Republican leader eyes AUMF … for Iran
    02/19/15 11:01 AM—UPDATED 02/19/15 12:17 PM
    By Steve Benen

    For months, members of Congress demanded that the White House write a proposal authorizing military force against ISIS. The demands never really made much sense, in part because the military offensive already started six months ago, and also because the legislative branch was perfectly capable of writing its own legislation. It just didn’t want to.

    President Obama nevertheless agreed to Congress’ demands, presenting lawmakers with a proposed Authorization for the Use of Military Force. Right on cue, many of the Republicans who demanded the draft language condemned the White House, insisting it didn’t go nearly far enough in expanding the powers of the executive.

    Yesterday, however, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.) went just a little further, suggesting on Hugh Hewitt’s conservative radio show that he’s open to an even more expansive AUMF.
    HEWITT: Now Chairman Royce, I am not an expert witness, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn recently, and I did work for Richard Nixon way back in the day on the Real War. And any AUMF that comes out of the Congress ought to be broad and cover every explosion of Islamist extremism, including if Iran goes nuclear. So I want to focus back on that. Do you, personally, I don’t know what the committee will do, but would you support giving the President the explicit authority to strike at the Iranian nuclear capacity if they do not abandon it themselves?

    ROYCE: I think it is a good idea, and I will tell you, Hugh, that there are two jihads going on. One of them is the ISIS jihad, which you and I are familiar with. The other is something that’s not being talked about that much, but that is the jihad that’s coming out of Iran… Point to a region, or an area in the Middle East or North Africa, where Iran is not engaged in exporting revolution and terror. And so we shouldn’t take our eye off of that reality.
    Hewitt called the response “an enormous relief.” I had a different reaction.

    Consider the broader context. One of the principal Republican talking points of late is the assertion that President Obama is a lawless, out-of-control tyrant, hell-bent on grabbing as much power as possible.

    It’s against this backdrop that Republicans are complaining that Obama doesn’t have enough unilateral power over matters of life and death. And it’s against this backdrop that the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee thinks it’s a good idea to authorize Obama to launch an entirely different war the president hasn’t asked to fight.

  26. rikyrah says:

    A failure of substance and style
    02/19/15 10:22 AM
    By Steve Benen

    During Jeb Bush’s speech on foreign policy yesterday, Chris Cillizza was quick to praise the Republican. “What Bush is proving,” the Washington Post reporter said, is that Jeb “doesn’t need much coaching on foreign policy. He knows this stuff cold.”

    That’s one way to look at the former governor’s remarks. There is, however, another.

    We can start with Bush’s clumsy oratory, which was at times legitimately cringe-worthy. Dana Milbank noted the unfortunate family tradition.
    When he addressed the Chicago Council on Global Affairs luncheon at the Fairmont, he combined his father’s awkward oratory with his brother’s mangled syntax and malapropisms.[…]

    “As we grow our presence by growing our ability to produce oil and gas,” Bush went on, “we also make it possible to lessen the dependency that Russia now has on top of Europe.” Russia’s dependency on top of Europe? It was, in addition to being backward, a delightful echo of his brother’s belief that it is hard “to put food on your family.”
    Bush said “Iraq” when he meant “Iran.” He mispronounced the names of leaders, countries, and groups. He clumsily leaned on the most notorious passive-voice phrase in politics. The Republican at one point said ISIS is comprised of “a fighting force of more than 200,000 battle tested men,” which is at odds with all available intelligence on the group, and which even Bush’s staff later said was wrong.

    At another point in the speech, Jeb declared, “Our military is not a discretionary expense.” Military spending is, quite literally, a discretionary expense.

    Ari Fleischer told the New York Times yesterday, “Jeb is very much a policy wonk and comes across that way.” I heard the speech; this praise is wildly misplaced; he comes across as largely the opposite.

  27. rikyrah says:

    Giuliani manages to sink to new depths
    02/19/15 09:23 AM—UPDATED 02/19/15 09:41 AM
    By Steve Benen
    It’s been 18 years since Rudy Giuliani actually won an election, but the former Republican mayor still fancies himself an important political player. Indeed, his self-proclaimed relevance leads him to make all kinds of public appearances, where Giuliani has an unfortunate habit of saying dumb things.

    Take last night, for example.
    Rudy Giuliani went straight for the jugular Wednesday night during a private group dinner here featuring Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker by openly questioning whether President Barack Obama “loves America.”

    The former New York mayor, speaking in front of the 2016 Republican presidential contender and about 60 right-leaning business executives and conservative media types, directly challenged Obama’s patriotism.
    According to the Politico report, Giuliani told the audience, “I do not believe, and I know this is a horrible thing to say, but I do not believe that the president loves America. He doesn’t love you. And he doesn’t love me. He wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country.”

    Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a likely Republican presidential candidate, was ostensibly the featured guest at the event. He was seated near Giuliani during his condemnations of the president, but said nothing.

    On Fox News this morning, Giuliani added, “I’m not questioning his patriotism.”

  28. rikyrah says:

    Eddie Murphy Rejected ‘SNL40’ Bill Cosby Skit: Norm Macdonald

    Eddie Murphy rejected an offer to play Bill Cosby on the 40th anniversary “Saturday Night Live” special, according to former cast member and comedian Norm Macdonald. Macdonald said Murphy turned down a suggestion that he do an impression of comedian Bill Cosby, who has been accused of sexual assault by more than 20 women. Cosby has never been charged and through lawyers has denied the allegations.

    “(Murphy) knew the laughs would bring the house down. Eddie Murphy knows what will work on SNL better than any one (sic),” Macdonald said on Twitter. “Eddie decides the laughs are not worth it. He will not kick a man when he is down.”

    In a statement released to NBC News through a spokesperson, Cosby said: “I am very appreciate of Eddie and I applaud his actions.”

    Macdonald wrote around 100 tweets detailing the writing process leading up to the anniversary show. He said he had met Murphy in his dressing room and tried to persuade the comedian to perform the sketch. “Eddie Murphy, I realize, is not like the rest of us. Eddie does not need the laughs,” Macdonald said.

    In his brief appearance during the televised “SNL40” special, Murphy did not appear as a character or tell jokes. Instead, he talked about what the legendary NBC show meant to him. Murphy joined “Saturday Night Live” in 1981 when he was just 19 years old and left in 1985.

  29. rikyrah says:

    Did South Carolina Sabotage Its Public Historically Black College?
    FEBRUARY 17, 2015 5:01 PM ET

    Last week, South Carolina lawmakers proposed shutting down the state’s only public historically black college for two years.

    “We are looking at a bankrupt institution,” state House Rep. Jim Merrill told reporters. “No one takes any pleasure in recommending this.”

    And indeed, the school is in rough shape. It owes millions, enrollment has plummeted over the past eight years, and only about 14 percent of its students graduate in four years.

    But a group of students and alumni has filed a federal suit blaming state officials for the school’s current woes. They say the state has been illegally discriminating against the black university, first by underfunding it, then by allowing well-heeled nearby colleges, like the University of South Carolina, to offer academic programs very similar to those at S.C. State. That left prospective students with little reason to pass up a tonier school with the same offerings, they say, and enrollment dried up.

    In essence, they say, South Carolina State was set up to fail.

  30. rikyrah says:

    Killing Obamacare would kill Americans
    By Michael A. Cohen FEBRUARY 13, 2015

    REPUBLICANS REALLY hate Obamacare.

    They’ve voted to repeal it, defund it, or change it 67 times in Congress. They’ve raised Supreme Court challenges and blocked efforts on the state level to expand its reach.

    All this is well-known to even the most casual political observer. Less appreciated, however, is the human cost of GOP obstructionism. A five-year effort to kill Obamacare is literally killing Americans.

    Consider, for example, what happened last week in Tennessee and Wyoming. In both states, Republican governors tried to push plans through their GOP-dominated state legislatures to expand Medicaid, a key part of the Affordable Care Act. Under the law, the federal government initially pays for the entire expansion of the program for poor Americans before phasing its share down to 90 percent by 2020. In Tennessee, the state’s hospital association had agreed to pay any costs beyond those covered by the federal government.

    That wasn’t good enough for Republican state legislators. In Tennessee, that means 280,000 residents will not be eligible for coverage under Medicaid. In Wyoming, 17,000 residents will go uncovered.

    The impact will be more severe than simply not being able to see a doctor. According to a 2012 study by Wyoming’s Department of Health, Medicaid expansion could prevent 111 deaths each year. These numbers are based on work done by the Harvard School of Public Health, which found a notable drop in mortality rates in states that expanded their Medicaid programs. The Wyoming study projected that expanding Medicaid would bring an additional $864 million in federal money into the state’s coffers between now and 2020 and put a dent in the nearly $200 million Wyoming hospitals spend each year for uncompensated care.

  31. Rikyrah, check your email

  32. rikyrah says:

    Mr. NFTG @Kennymack1971
    @JohnJHarwood @PragObots They’ve done this for six years and you and your colleagues have treated this like normal political discourse.

  33. rikyrah says:

    GrooveSDC @GrooveSDC
    Eric Holder slams Fox’s ‘radical Islam’ obsession: Without it, ‘they would have nothing else to talk about’ … #p2
    5:34 PM – 17 Feb 2015

  34. rikyrah says:

    Paul Begala ✔ @PaulBegala
    Irony alert: @JebBush declares “I am my own man,” while announcing at least 7 of his for pol advisors are W retreads.
    7:45 AM – 18 Feb 2015

  35. rikyrah says:

    Rebecca Ballhaus ✔ @rebeccaballhaus
    Scoop: The Clinton Foundation dropped ban on taking $ from foreign govts. Saudi Arabia, UAE among donors last year:
    9:49 AM – 18 Feb 2015

  36. rikyrah says:

    Chicago Tribune ✔ @chicagotribune
    With less than a week to go until city election, early voting heads into its final days
    9:53 AM – 18 Feb 2015

  37. rikyrah says:

    Shep Smith’s Brilliant Interview Destroys Conservative Complaints On ISIS Strategy
    By John Amato

    Fox News’ Shepard Smith debated with a former George Bush Ambassador for Special Political Affairs at the United Nations over Conservatives complaints about what the US isn’t doing in its struggle against ISIS. Ambassador Stuart Holliday parroted the conservative line that President Obama’s three-day summit meeting was like calling a fire drill in the middle of a burning house since ISIS has been carrying out brutal actions across the middle east. Shep Smith dismissed that talking point easily and asked him point blank what better solutions he had.

    Holliday, like every other conservative who’s been yelling at US State Department Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf for daring to say that we can’t kill our way out of this war, actually agreed with the administration.

    Well in the long term these issues of jobs and of alienated youth, these are things that are in fact, even President Bush talked about these things….

    Holliday couldn’t come up with anything different that America could be doing to fight ISIS, so Shep called him on it and gave him another shot to answer.

    Smith: The facts seem to suggest that every time you ask someone, if you’re complaining. Well, they’re having a fire drill when there’s a fire going on and yet you have no real suggestions about what they should be doing now that they’re not doing now, it sounds to me like we’re taking a very serious national and international issue and making it political. Suggesting that the president isn’t doing something that you believe he should do yet you and others don’t have any suggestion for what he should do unless I’ve missed it, I’ll give you another shot.

    Holliday praised Egypt’s Sisi and said Egypt is our first line of defense out there and said there are other neighboring partners we should be working with better, but that wasn’t any solution. Until he came back to the same dry line.

    Holliday: There’s got to be more we can do.

    Smith: Like what? Everybody says there ought to be more we can do. Every single solitary American agrees with that political talking point, but no one who has that political talking point except for John McCain and Lindsey Graham and no others that I’ve heard has no other solution except what we’re doing right now, it’s just that they don’t like the talking points.

  38. rikyrah says:

    A passive-voice Bush Family tradition
    02/18/15 04:03 PM—UPDATED 02/18/15 04:24 PM
    By Steve Benen

    n 1986, then-Vice President George H.W. Bush offered an unsatisfying, passive-voice explanation for the Iran-Contra scandal in which the Reagan administration sold weapons to Iran in order to finance an illegal war on Nicaragua.
    “Clearly, mistakes were made,” Bush said.
    In 2004, then-President George W. Bush offered an eerily similar unsatisfying, passive-voice explanation for the Abu Ghraib scandal, in which U.S. officials tortured detainees at an Iraqi prison:
    “It’s also important for the people of Iraq to know that in a democracy, everything is not perfect, that mistakes are made,” Bush said.
    In 2015, former Gov. Jeb Bush offered a practically identical, unsatisfying, passive-voice explanation for his brother’s catastrophic war in Iraq, launched under false pretenses, and bungled every step of the way.
    “Let’s go to Iraq,” Bush said during the Q&A at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. “There were mistakes made in Iraq, for sure.”
    One family, multiple scandals, one phrase.

    I’ll have more on Jeb Bush’s unsuccessful foray into foreign policy later, but for now, it’s important to note why “mistakes were made” is such a ridiculous explanation for failure.

    As long-time readers may recall, the problem with the phrase isn’t just the passivity or the historical repetition; it’s the underlying motivation that makes the passive voice necessary in the first place.

    In active voice, the phrase needs a proper noun. Someone made a mistake, but the Bushes, over the course of three decades, don’t want to say who. They’re willing to acknowledge that a mistake occurred, but they’ll go no farther.

    The phenomenon seems to fit nicely into the way in which modern Republicans use language. Active voice assigns responsibility; passive voice admits errors without assigning blame. It’s an accountability-free approach to governing.

  39. rikyrah says:

    President Obama will announce Thursday that the National Park Service will give all fourth graders and their families free admission to national parks and other federal lands for a full year.

    The Every Kid in a Park initiative is part of an effort to get schoolchildren outdoors and more active. It will start in the school year that begins next fall, which coincides with the 100th anniversary of the National Parks Service in 2016.

    Family admission to national parks usually costs $80 for an annual pass, but fourth graders and their families will be able to get a free pass that will give them admission to national parks, forests, wildlife refuges, and other federal public lands and waters, according to a White House official who spoke on condition of anonymity to allow the president to make the announcement.

  40. rikyrah says:

    Gov. Walker, eyeing a 2016 bid, picks new fight in Wisconsin: Universities

    By Robert Samuels February 16
    MADISON, Wis. — Gov. Scott Walker has cited his experience battling unions here four years ago as proof that voters appreciate a political leader willing to “go big and go bold.”

    So as he woos supporters around the country for a possible presidential bid, Walker (R) is once again picking a fight against a powerful institution at home — public universities.

    Walker’s new budget proposal would slash $300 million from the University of Wisconsin system over the next two years. That’s a 13 percent reduction in state funding.

    The cut, Walker said, is a fair exchange for a two-year tuition freeze and new flexibility long sought by administrators to set pay scales and campus construction priorities. But the plan is drawing angry responses from school officials and students as the state’s Republican-led legislature takes it up.

    Walker drew a direct line between his 2011 battle against his state’s public-sector unions, which sparked mass protests and made him a national GOP star, and his new quest to transform higher education.

    “It’s very much like what we did four years ago,” he said last week during a trip to London, which was billed as a trade mission but was widely seen as a move by Walker to gain some foreign policy expertise.

    It is unusual for a governor pondering a presidential run to take on what could be an all-consuming political brawl at home — and a distraction from the coast-to-coast travel and fundraising required to build a national campaign.

    But the university budget debate has a clear upside for Walker, who is shaping his political brand around the idea that he does not shy away from a fight. Whether or not he succeeds in transforming the universities, the battle itself, coming in the midst of Walker’s effort to rise above a crowded field of prospective Republican presidential candidates, is likely to play well with conservative voters who see universities as elite institutions and hotbeds of left-leaning activism.

    In Wisconsin, university advocates say their schools could be a far more difficult target for Walker, with a broader and deeper base of support than the unions had.

  41. rikyrah says:

    Wednesday, February 18, 2015
    How Dare Obama Do A Thing!
    Posted by Zandar
    I was wondering how long this was going to take. Friday’s BuzzFeed article with President Obama shooting a short viral video in order to get people to sign up for the Affordable Care Act before the February 15 deadline was apparently the worst thing to ever happen to the presidency. WSJ’s Bret Stephens absolutely blows a gasket over this.

    With Barack Obama —you won’t mind, Señor Presidente, if we call you Barry?—it’s another story. Dignity of office? How quaint. In this most self-infatuated of presidencies, the D-word is at best an accessory and more often an impediment to everything Barry has ever wanted to be: Cool. Chill. Connected.

    So it was that, hours after the U.S. confirmed the murder of Kayla Jean Mueller at the hands of Islamic State, Mr. Obama filmed a short video for BuzzFeed, striking poses in a mirror, donning aviator shades, filming himself with a selfie stick and otherwise inhabiting a role that a chaster version of Miley Cyrus might have played had Hannah Montana been stuck in the White House after a sleepover with the Obama girls.

    Ostensibly, the point of the video was to alert BuzzFeed’s audience to the Feb. 15 deadline for ObamaCare enrollment. If communicating with 20-somethings as if they are 11-year-olds is a way to get them to behave like grown-ups, then maybe the White House has at last found a way to make good on its make-believe enrollment numbers.

    But that’s not what the BuzzFeed clip is chiefly about. What it’s about is showing just how totally relatable and adorably authentic and marvelously self-aware is this president of ours. “Can I live?” the president says when caught shooting imaginary hoops in his study by a young visitor. “You do you,” the visitor gamely replies before walking off.

    Yes, you do you, Barry: It’s what your political career has always been about, from your myth-memoir “Dreams From My Father” to your well-nurtured cult of personality to the coterie of flatterers with whom you have surrounded yourself in office to the supine and occasionally complicit news media that have seen you through six years of crisis, failure and scandal.
    “You do you” is the ultimate self-referential slogan for the ultimate self-referential presidency. It’s the “be yourself” piety of our age turned into a political license by Mr. Obama to do as he pleases. It’s what drives his political choices: the immigration amnesty; arbitrary rewrites of the Affordable Care Act; the Environmental Protection Agency’s coal rules; the $128 billion in settlements the administration extorted from six banks convicted of no wrongdoing.

    Stephens goes beyond the usual conservative pundit disrepect for President Obama (not “Barry”, asshole) straight into open, inchoate fury. Once again we’re back to a racist code-word diatribe about how President Obama in particular is ruining the office with his uppity, blackity black self and needs to be put in his place by a white guy who knows better.

    It was tired in 2009, it’s tired in 2015. But most of all it shows that the right has no better arguments against President Obama and never will have any.

  42. rikyrah says:

    Zandar finds good stuff


    Wednesday, February 18, 2015

    Last Call For The Science Of Stupid

    Posted by Zandar

    FOX News once again proves to be why America can’t have nice things, like government or infrastructure or science education.

    A Fox News “Trouble With Schools” segment suggested on Wednesday that U.S. kids were behind in the world because a physics teacher in Seattle had tried to teach a lesson to privileged white students on why there were not more black physicists.

    “This probably wasn’t on the curriculum in your high school physics class,” Fox News host Elisabeth Hasselbeck announced. “A high school physics teacher came up with new six-day curriculum that includes lessons on white privilege. He says it will prepare students for institutional racism and social justice! So, what does that have to with physics exactly?”

    “It’s not an open mic night in these classrooms,” the National Review‘s Katherine Timpf opined. “You don’t get to decide you can talk about anything you want to these students. It has to be about what your class is. Physics class, you talk about physics. Really, it’s that simple.”

    Well gosh, talking about why there aren’t more black physicists seems entirely germane to a physics class, but not if you’re an idiot conservative.

    But in a guest post at the Quantum Progress blog, University Prep school physics teacher Moses Rifkin explained exactly how his lesson was important at a private school where students “weren’t learning about their own privilege (academic and, in most cases, economic and racial).”

    “I’ve found a way to introduce my students to the ideas of racial and gender privilege, to the idea that our society is far from a meritocracy, and to broaden their conception of who (racially, gender-wise, etc.) does science to include a much broader slice of society,” he wrote. “The project revolves, at least initially, around a question: why are there so few black[1] physicists? [..] Physicists therefore make up a small percentage of the U.S. population (0.06%), but that percentage is 3.2 times higher among white Americans than black.”

    So using statistics, in a physics class, to analyze the data and draw conclusions. Wow. That is so totally off base for a science class. Oh, and this is a private prep school. Pretty much thought conservatives were okay with private schools teaching whatever they hell they want, because free market, right?

  43. rikyrah says:

    Could We See a Walker-Bush Ticket?
    by BooMan
    Wed Feb 18th, 2015 at 01:50:18 PM EST

    People often compare Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker to former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty. Geographical proximity probably explains most of this, but the two men are both notoriously lacking in charisma. They look good as presidential candidates on paper, but that doesn’t mean that they have the political touch to connect with voters. Obviously, Pawlenty’s presidential campaign completely flopped, so one can be forgiven for wondering if the same fate awaits Governor Walker.

    I suppose it’s possible, but no matter how hard the establishment media try to fluff Jeb Bush, there seems to be an enormous appetite among the Republican base for someone else.

    In one sense, this seems to happen every time. Poppy Bush had to put up with Pat Buchanan and Ross Perot. The base never got enthusiastic about Bob Dole. By 2008, the base was positively hostile to John McCain whose campaign experienced a near death before rebounding. And pretty much every alternative to Mitt Romney was given a brief road test before all were found wanting. When Rick Santorum was still cleaning Romney’s clock in some states late in the game, that was all you needed to know about the base’s true feelings about Mitt.

    Perhaps this pattern will repeat itself and Jeb will eventually emerge as the nominee. I’ve certainly felt like this was the most likely outcome for almost eight years now. I have never been able to imagine any Republican nominee other than Jeb, simply because no else has the chops.

    But I’m not convinced that Scott Walker can’t pull it off for the simple reason that a two-term governor of a Blue State is a whole lot more plausible as presidential candidate than a disgraced former Speaker of the House (Newt Gingrich) or a backbench member of the House (Ron Paul, Michele Bachmann) or an unpopular former senator (Rick Santorum) or a clueless red state governor (Rick Perry) or a businessman with no political experience and a record of serial sexual harassment (Herman Cain).

    There was another candidate in 2012, and that was former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, Jr. He, more than any other candidate, most closely resembled Jeb Bush. It’s true that he came from a red state, but he was pitching himself as a moderate who was opposed to the emerging Tea Party flavor of the GOP. He was good looking, had a nice family, all the credentials you could want, including serving as ambassador to China (like Poppy Bush) during the Obama administration. But the base wanted no part of Huntsman and the establishment was happy enough with Romney. Huntsman’s campaign went nowhere.

    Jeb isn’t going to go out like Huntsman, but they’re similar enough to make me wonder if Jeb can really beat someone like Walker if the two are matched up one-on-one.

    Despite all their spittle, Republican primary voters have historically placed a very high premium on perceived electability. Every time the Republicans lose (Dole, McCain, Romney), the base complains that it turned out that the “electable” candidate wasn’t so electable after all. But that doesn’t change the historical pattern. If Jeb can convince people that he’s got a shot at beating Hillary and that Walker simply doesn’t, he may be able to win. But if the polls don’t back him on that or show him with any particular advantage, then Bush’s best hope is that there are multiple candidates running strong enough to divide up the opposition to his campaign.

  44. rikyrah says:

    John Harwood ✔ @JohnJHarwood
    say this for Rudy’s dinner comments that Obama doesn’t love America because he was “brought up” differently – that was raw Giuliani

    PragmaticObotsUnite @PragObots
    Giuliani: “What’s wrong w/Obama that he can’t stand up & say there’s a part of Islam that’s sick?” Says the man who married his cousin

    Martin Barna @martinbarna
    @JohnJHarwood But it’s true. Rudy was raised differently. For example, Obama never accidentally married his cousin.

  45. rikyrah says:

    An anti-education push gets more aggressive
    02/18/15 12:58 PM—UPDATED 02/18/15 02:06 PM
    By Steve Benen

    Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) caused a bit of a stir last week when he referred to “the Twitter” and made a series of odd beeping sounds that were intended to mimic online discussion. It suggested the Republican might not be as tech friendly as he likes to believe.

    But Bush’s comments immediately beforehand were largely overlooked. What he said would “light up the Twitter” was his condemnation of public education systems, which he blasted as “government-run, unionized monopolies.”

    We rarely hear this kind of talk about other parts of the public sector. For example, Republicans don’t usually run around chastising police departments or fire departments as “government-run, unionized monopolies.” Conservatives do, however, direct this ire at public education.

    It was a reminder that as Republican politics becomes more radicalized, GOP opposition to public education is becoming more obvious. In Wisconsin, for example, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) already won a brutal union-busting fight directed at school teachers, and he’s now going after higher education.
    [A]s he woos supporters around the country for a possible presidential bid, Walker (R) is once again picking a fight against a powerful institution at home – public universities.

    Walker’s new budget proposal would slash $300 million from the University of Wisconsin system over the next two years. That’s a 13 percent reduction in state funding.

    As Rachel noted on the show earlier this week, “To put it in perspective, the chancellor of the University of Wisconsin at Madison … says that if she just outright eliminates the school of nursing, and the law school, and the business school, and the pharmacy school, and the school of veterinary medicine, if she outright eliminates all of those schools from the Madison campus, that still would not be enough to make up for what Scott Walker wants to make up from that campus.”

  46. Kathleen says:

    Rikyrah – I saw this story at Lawyers, Guns and Money and thought I’d pass it along. Justice Department is preparing to b ring a lawsuit against Ferguson Police Department. If you’ve already covered this, apologies:

  47. rikyrah says:

    Brian Hughes @BrianHughesDC
    Why doesn’t Obama use the phrase “Islamic extremism?” @PressSec says to ask Osama bin Laden .
    1:47 PM – 18 Feb 2015

  48. rikyrah says:

    the woo woo song…LOL

  49. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

  50. Ametia says:

    Happy Thrusday, Everyone! :-)

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