Wednesday Open Thread | Mariah Carey Week

Enjoying the tunes of Mariah Carey? I hope you are.

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1997–2000: New image and independence, Butterfly, and Rainbow

With her following albums, Carey began to take more initiative and control with her music, and started infusing more genres into her work.[82] During mid-1997, Carey was well underway, writing and recording material for her next album, Butterfly (1997).[83] She sought to work with other producers and writers other than Afanasieff, such as Sean Combs, Kamaal Fareed, Missy Elliott and Jean Claude Oliver and Samuel Barnes from Trackmasters.[83] During the album’s recording, Carey and Mottola separated, with Carey citing it as her way of achieving freedom, and a new lease on life.[84] Aside from the album’s different approach, critics took notice of Carey’s altered style of singing, which she described as breathy vocals.[85] Her new-found style of singing was met with mixed reception; some critics felt this was a sign of maturity, that she did not feel the need to always show off her upper range,[86] while others felt it was a sign of her weakening and waning voice.[87][88] The album’s lead single, “Honey”, and its accompanying music video, introduced a more overtly sexual image than Carey had ever demonstrated, and furthered reports of her freedom from Mottola.[89] Carey stated that Butterfly marked the point when she attained full creative control over her music.[90] However, she added, “I don’t think that it’s that much of a departure from what I’ve done in the past […] It’s not like I went psycho and thought I would be a rapper. Personally, this album is about doing whatever the hell I wanted to do.”[89] Growing creative differences with producer Afanasieff continued, and eventually ended their working relationship, after collaborating on most of Carey’s material.[91] Reviews for Butterfly were generally positive: Rolling Stone wrote, “It’s not as if Carey has totally dispensed with her old saccharine, Houston-style balladry […] but the predominant mood of ‘Butterfly’ is one of coolly erotic reverie. [… Except “Outside” the album sounds] very 1997. […] Carey has spread her wings and she’s ready to fly.”[92] AllMusic editor Stephen Thomas Erlewine described Carey’s vocals as “sultrier and more controlled than ever”, and heralded Butterfly as one of her “best records and illustrates that Carey continues to improve and refine her music, which makes her a rarity among her ’90s peers.'”[93] The album was a commercial success, although not to the degree of her previous three albums.[91]

Mariah Carey-12

Toward the turn of the millennium, Carey began developing other projects.[94] On April 14, 1998, Carey partook in the VH1 Divas benefit concert, where she sang alongside Aretha Franklin, Celine Dion, Shania Twain, Gloria Estefan, and Carole King.[95] Carey had begun developing a film project All That Glitters, later re-titled to simply Glitter,[96][not in citation given] and intended her songwriting to other projects, such as Men in Black (1997) and How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000).[94] After Glitter fell into developmental hell, Carey postponed the project, and began writing material for a new album.[94] The executives at Sony Music, the parent company of Carey’s label Columbia, wanted her to prepare a greatest hits collection in time for the commercially favorable holiday season.[97] However, they disagreed as to what content and singles should constitute the album.[98] Sony wanted to release an album that featured her number one singles in the United States, and her international chart toppers on the European versions, void of any new material, while Carey felt that a compilation album should reflect on her most personal songs, not just her most commercial.[98] She felt that not including any new material would result in cheating her fans, therefore including four new songs that she had recorded.[98] While compromised, Carey often expressed distaste towards the album’s song selection, expressing her disappointment in the omission of her “favorite songs”.[99] The album, titled #1’s (1998), featured a duet with Whitney Houston, “When You Believe”, which was included on the soundtrack for The Prince of Egypt (1998).[98] During the development of All That Glitters, Carey had been introduced to DreamWorks producer Jeffrey Katzenberg, who asked her if she would record the song “When You Believe” for the soundtrack to the animated film The Prince of Egypt.[100] In an interview with Ebony, Houston described working with Carey, as well as their growing friendship: “Mariah and I got along very great. We had never talked and never sang together before. We just had a chance for camaraderie, singer-to-singer, artist-to-artist, that kind of thing. We just laughed and talked and laughed and talked and sang in between that … It’s good to know that two ladies of soul and music can still be friends.”[101] #1’s became a phenomenon in Japan, selling over one million copies in its opening week, and placing as the only international artist to accomplish this feat.[102] When describing Carey’s popularity in Japan throughout the 1990s, author Chris Nickson compared it to Beatlemania in the 1960s.[77] The album sold over 3.25 million copies in Japan after only the first three months, and holds the record as the best-selling album by a non-Asian artist,[102] while amassing global sales of over 17 million copies.[103]

During the spring of 1999, Carey began working on the final album of her record contract with Sony, her ex-husband’s label.[104] During this time, Carey’s strained relationship with Sony affected her work with writing partner Afanasieff, who had worked extensively with Carey throughout the first half of her career.[104] She felt Mottola was trying to separate her from Afanasieff, in hopes of keeping their relationship permanently strained.[105] Due to the pressure and the awkward relationship Carey had now developed with Sony, she completed the album in a period of three months in the summer of 1999, quicker than any of her other albums.[106] The album, titled Rainbow (1999), found Carey once again working with a new array of music producers and songwriters, such as Jay-Z and DJ Clue?.[107] Carey also wrote two ballads with David Foster and Diane Warren, whom she seemingly used to replace Afanasieff.[107] Rainbow was released on November 2, 1999, to the highest first week sales of her career at the time, however debuting at number two on the Billboard 200.[108] Throughout early-2000, Carey’s troubled relationship with Columbia grew, as they halted promotion after the album’s first two singles.[108] They felt Rainbow didn’t have any strong single to be released, whereas Carey wanted a ballad regarding personal and inner strength released.[108] The difference in opinion led to a very public feud, as Carey began posting messages on her webpage in early and mid-2000, telling fans inside information on the dispute, as well as instructing them to request “Can’t Take That Away (Mariah’s Theme)” on radio stations.[109] One of the messages Carey left on her page read: “Basically, a lot of you know the political situation in my professional career is not positive. It’s been really, really hard. I don’t even know if this message is going to get to you because I don’t know if they want you to hear this. I’m getting a lot of negative feedback from certain corporate people. But I am not willing to give up.”[110] Fearing to lose their label’s highest seller, Sony chose to release the song.[110] Carey, initially content with the agreement, soon found out that the song had only been given a very limited and low-promotion release, which made charting extremely difficult and unlikely.[110] Critical reception of Rainbow was generally enthusiastic, with the Sunday Herald saying that the album “sees her impressively tottering between soul ballads and collaborations with R&B heavyweights like Snoop Doggy Dogg and Usher […] It’s a polished collection of pop-soul.”[111] Vibe magazine expressed similar sentiments, writing, “She pulls out all stops […] Rainbow will garner even more adoration”.[112] Though a commercial success, Rainbow became Carey’s lowest selling album to that point in her career.[90]

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58 Responses to Wednesday Open Thread | Mariah Carey Week

  1. Ametia says:

    Shonda is going ALL THE WAY there with Ferguson-like shooting on Scandal tonight!

  2. rikyrah says:

    Urban Prep student slain near home: ‘I ducked and Deonte tried to run’

    It was getting dark and Deonte Hoard was just getting home from Urban Prep high school, but the 17-year-old senior didn’t think twice when a friend suggested a little pickup basketball, a game he loved.

    First, the two had to stop for some milk for the friend’s baby. That was when Hoard was hit and killed by a bullet fired from a black SUV in the 10500 block of South Yates Boulevard on Monday evening, not far from his home in the South Deering neighborhood.


    Hoard’s mother, Ebonie Martin, said her son was to turn 18 next Wednesday and wanted two things out of his young life: Go to college and play basketball.

    That’s about all he talked about, she said. “He was going to be my Derrick Rose.”

    On Tuesday evening, Martin joined dozens of friends and relatives around a makeshift memorial of candles, a Chicago Bulls cap and a basketball.


    Hoard was a senior at Urban Prep, which holds a ceremony each year for those heading on to college, handing them red and gold ties. The school is known for having its entire senior class admitted to colleges.

    Urban Prep founder Tim King said Hoard is the first student to be killed while enrolled in an Urban Prep school.

    “His life was cut short by a senseless act of violence,” King said in a statement. “However, this is not the reason we will remember him. Instead, we will remember a young man, full of promise and potential, well-liked by teachers and friends, and loved by his family.

    “He’d been admitted to several colleges and was scheduled to receive his red and gold striped tie during this week’s On to the Next One Ceremony celebrating our seniors’ admission to college,” King added.

  3. rikyrah says:

    going to the Grand Tetons is on my bucket list

  4. Liza says:

    From Democracy Now…

    TUESDAY, MARCH 3, 2015
    Noam Chomsky on Black Lives Matter: Why Won’t U.S. Own Up to History of Slavery & Racism?

    Racism is a very serious problem in the United States. Take a look at the scholarly work on it, say, George Fredrickson’s study of the white supremacy, comparative study. He concludes, I think plausibly, that the white supremacy in the United States was even more extreme and savage than in South Africa. Just think of our own history. You know, our economy, our wealth, our privilege relies very heavily on a century of horrifying slave labor camps. The cotton—cotton production was not just the fuel of the Industrial Revolution, it was the basis for the financial system, the merchant system, commerce, England, as well. These were bitter, brutal slave labor camps. There’s a recent study by Edward Baptist which comes out with some startling information. It’s called—actually, the title is startling, something like The Half was Never Told [The Half Has Never Been Told], which is more or less true, was never told. But, for example, he shows, pretty convincingly, that in the slave labor camps—the “plantations,” we call them, politely—the productivity increased more rapidly than in industry, with no technological advance, just the bullwhip. Just by driving people harder and harder to the point of survival, they were able to increase productivity and profit. And it’s not just the—he also points out that the word “torture” is not used in discussion of this period. He introduces it should be used. I mean, these are camps that could have impressed the Nazis. And it is a large part of the basis for our wealth and privilege. Is there a slave museum in the United States? Actually, the first one is just being established now by private—some private donor. I mean, this is the core of our history, along with the extermination or expulsion of the native population, but it’s not part of our consciousness.

    • Liza says:

      “…this is the core of our history, along with the extermination or expulsion of the native population, but it’s not part of our consciousness.”

      A profound statement, but one you are not likely to hear too often. Most white Americans choose the revised version, some kind of mythological country that has God on it’s side. We are doomed if we do not own up to what we’ve done, and what we continue to do that is just wrong.

  5. rikyrah says:

    Courtney B. Vance on Scandal tomorrow!!

    Scandal ✔@ScandalABCFollow

    Here’s a peek at a very powerful #Scandal! Get ready for an incredible and emotional journey tomorrow at 9|8c.

    1:44 PM – 4 Mar 2015

  6. rikyrah says:

    tee hee hee

    Breaking News Feed@PzFeedFollow

    BREAKING NEWS: Senate has failed to override the President’s veto of the Keystone XL pipeline.

    1:40 PM – 4 Mar 2015

    • Ametia says:

      But where are these Jewish Americans faces on TV, hmm?

      • eliihass says:

        Mealy-mouthing, straddling fences and quick to pledge their allegiance to Israel while looking the other way while the President and this country are poked in the eye by an opportunistic foreign P.M out for himself and his political future.

  7. rikyrah says:

    Wednesday, March 4, 2015

    Is Democracy Doomed?

    Matt Yglesias has written a provocative article titled simply: American Democracy is Doomed.

    America’s constitutional democracy is going to collapse.

    Some day — not tomorrow, not next year, but probably sometime before runaway climate change forces us to seek a new life in outer-space colonies — there is going to be a collapse of the legal and political order and its replacement by something else. If we’re lucky, it won’t be violent. If we’re very lucky, it will lead us to tackle the underlying problems and result in a better, more robust, political system. If we’re less lucky, well, then, something worse will happen…

    Back when George W. Bush was president and I was working at a liberal magazine, there was a very serious discussion in an editorial meeting about the fact that the United States was now exhibiting 11 of the 13 telltale signs of a fascist dictatorship. The idea that Bush was shredding the Constitution and trampling on congressional prerogatives was commonplace. When Obama took office, the partisan valence of the complaints shifted, but their basic tenor didn’t. Conservative pundits — not the craziest, zaniest ones on talk radio, but the most serious and well-regarded — compare Obama’s immigration moves to the actions of a Latin-American military dictator…

    The breakdown of American constitutional democracy is a contrarian view. But it’s nothing more than the view that rather than everyone being wrong about the state of American politics, maybe everyone is right. Maybe Bush and Obama are dangerously exceeding norms of executive authority. Maybe legislative compromise really has broken down in an alarming way. And maybe the reason these complaints persist across different administrations and congresses led by members of different parties is that American politics is breaking down.

    Not surprisingly, a lot of other pundits are weighing in on this one. Jonathan Chait is right to call Yglesias out for his “both sides do it” assumptions.


    Or as I wrote recently, we must understand the threat of a confederate insurgency. It’s not simply about our first African American President (although that plays a big part). This third time around it’s also about the changing demographics in this country, the rise of women in positions of leadership and the success of the LGBT movement. In other words, its about a dying white male patriarchy. Pundits who miss this as the root cause of our current situation (mostly white males) fail to see the depth of this crisis.

    If Barber is right and we’re in a third reconstruction era, the history of the first two present us with both good news and bad news. The good news is that the forces of freedom and justice prevailed. The bad news is that it all came at great cost.

    Personally I’m not one to predict the future. Beyond that, I’m not sure that history is always a good indicator to rely on when attempting to do so. But what we must do is accurately assess the present.

  8. rikyrah says:

    Walker pushes for new abortion restrictions
    03/04/15 10:40 AM
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    By Steve Benen
    For a candidate who frequently talks about “leadership,” Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) has an unfortunate habit of dodging fair questions.

    In recent weeks, for example, the Republican governor has dodged easy questions about evolution and President Obama. During his re-election campaign last fall, Walker also dodges questions about contraception access, pay equity, and marriage rights.

    And then, of course, there’s abortion. As a candidate for re-election last year, the governor refused to say whether he’d support a 20-week abortion ban, instead making campaign ads saying he supports an abortion policy that “leaves the final decision to a woman and her doctor.”

    Oddly enough, after Walker won re-election and started gearing up for a presidential campaign, he adopted a new posture.
    Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin said Tuesday that he would sign a ban on abortions after 20 weeks, coming out strongly on an issue important to social conservatives that he played down in his re-election campaign last year.

    “As the Wisconsin Legislature moves forward in the coming session, further protections for mother and child are likely to come to my desk in the form of a bill to prohibit abortions after 20 weeks,” he wrote in an open letter. “I will sign that bill when it gets to my desk and support similar legislation on the federal level.”
    It’s a curious brand of leadership that leads a politician to believe he should hide beliefs like these until after voters have cast their ballots.

  9. rikyrah says:

    Jon Swaine ✔ @jonswaine
    City manager John Shaw, a powerful figure in Ferguson, forwarded a racist email about Latinos and then apologised
    12:38 PM – 4 Mar 2015

  10. rikyrah says:

    Brad Woodhouse @woodhouseb
    Romney Admits He Destroyed Government Records To Keep Them From Political Opponents via @thinkprogress
    7:53 AM – 3 Mar 2015

  11. rikyrah says:

    For some, a Supreme Court case is a matter of life or death
    03/04/15 12:40 PM—UPDATED 03/04/15 12:48 PM
    By Steve Benen
    The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in King v. Burwell this morning, and by most accounts, it’s not at all clear how the justices intend to rule. The four center-left justices seemed unmoved by the plaintiffs’ ridiculous argument; Scalia and Alito seemed eager to destroy “Obamacare”; Roberts said almost nothing; and Kennedy hinted he might back the ACA on federalism grounds.

    We probably won’t know for sure until June, when the ruling is issued. But in the interim, it’s worth taking some time to think about families that will experience some sleepless nights between now and then.

    Robert Schlesinger noted yesterday that a far-right ruling would produce “real human misery,” and it’s an important point. We’re not just talking about numbers on a page; this is about whether real-world families have access to medical care.

    Sarah Kliff recently highlighted the story of a woman named Marilyn Schramm, who’s wondering whether King v. Burwell should cause her to move to a blue state.
    She is a 63-year-old retiree who lives in Texas, and since November 2013 she’s purchased health insurance through She has a policy that costs about $800 per month. Schramm, who earns $28,000 from her pension, pays about half the cost, and the federal government covers the rest with a subsidy.

    Schramm has colon cancer. Doctors diagnosed it this fall, after she started feeling stomach pains during an RV trip through Tennessee. Doctors there removed the tumor, and she’s now in Austin receiving chemotherapy, which should continue through this summer.

  12. rikyrah says:

    Obama balks at health care backup plan
    03/04/15 09:20 AM—UPDATED 03/04/15 09:37 AM
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    By Steve Benen
    Last week, Republican Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska acknowledged what is plainly true: if the Supreme Court’s GOP justices gut the Affordable Care Act, the impact on many families’ lives will be devastating: ”Chemotherapy turned off for perhaps 12,000 people, dialysis going dark for 10,000. The horror stories will be real.”

    Naturally, Sasse’s op-ed blames the Obama administration. “Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell claimed in Senate testimony earlier this month that the administration has no plan to help the seven million citizens who could lose their coverage in the weeks following such a ruling,” he complained.

    This is a surprisingly familiar tack. Congressional Republicans are outraged that the White House has not yet unveiled a backup plan on what to do if the Supreme Court takes a sledgehammer to the American health care system. The whining is built on a curious foundation – Republicans used to say, “We’re outraged you reformed the healthcare system.” Now these same Republicans are adding, “We’re also outraged you didn’t create a backup plan for what happens after we tear down the healthcare system.”

    It’s all the more reason to take note of President Obama’s response to the GOP criticisms.
    President Barack Obama on Monday said he thinks there is no “plausible legal basis” for the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down a key plank of Obamacare, defending his administration’s lack of a contingency plan. […]

    “Look, this should be a pretty straightforward case of statutory interpretation,” Obama said.
    In the same Reuters interview, the president added, “There is, in our view, not a plausible legal basis for striking it down. And what if the Supreme Court takes an implausible path?

    “If they rule against us, we’ll have to take a look at what our options are. But I’m not going to anticipate that. I’m not going to anticipate bad law,” Obama told Reuters.

    It’s a perfectly defensible posture. There’s no reason for this president – or any president, really – to craft sweeping policy proposals in anticipation of ridiculous court rulings that defy the law, history, and common sense. Health care reform is extraordinarily difficult; the notion that the White House will just whip together a new plan to cover 7 million consumers, presumably without congressional approval, is plainly silly.

  13. rikyrah says:

    A True Picture of Black Skin

    FEB. 18, 2015

    What comes to mind when we think of photography and the civil rights movement? Direct, viscerally affecting images with familiar subjects: huge rallies, impassioned speakers, people carrying placards (“I Am a Man”), dogs and fire hoses turned on innocent protesters. These photos, as well as the portraits of national leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, are explicit about the subject at hand. They tell us what is happening and make a case for why things must change. Our present moment, a time of vigorous demand for equal treatment, evokes those years of sadness and hope in black American life and renews the relevance of those photos. But there are other, less expected images from the civil rights years that are also worth thinking about: images that are forceful but less illustrative.

    One such image left me short of breath the first time I saw it. It’s of a young woman whose face is at once relaxed and intense. She is apparently in bright sunshine, but both her face and the rest of the picture give off a feeling of modulated darkness; we can see her beautiful features, but they are underlit somehow. Only later did I learn the picture’s title, “Mississippi Freedom Marcher, Washington, D.C., 1963” which helps explain the young woman’s serene and resolute expression. It is an expression suitable for the event she’s attending, the most famous civil rights march of them all. The title also confirms the sense that she’s standing in a great crowd, even though we see only half of one other person’s face (a boy’s, indistinct in the foreground) and, behind the young woman, the barest suggestion of two other bodies.

    • rikyrah says:

      This is why I can’t stand him. He went to school in an era
      where he got EVERYTHING PAID FOR. Because someone thought he had promise. He went FREE. He
      had NO LOANS TO PAY BACK. All that Doctor Money and NO LOANS TO PAY BACK. Think
      on that. And, if he was going to school today, with his ‘troubles’ in high
      school, he’d be in the school to prison pipeline. That’s why I can’t stand him.

    • Liza says:

      SMH. Most folks who have done that well would feel compelled to give something back, not rail on those who have had few if any opportunities OR who were just simply not as gifted as he was. He has a lot to be thankful for and a lot of folks to thank.

  14. rikyrah says:

    Court case reveals exactly how much money Pharrell and Robin Thicke made off ‘Blurred Lines’

    Pamela Chelin, The Wrap

    Mar. 4, 2015, 12:27 AM

    Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke earned over $5 million each; T.I. earned over $700,000; Interscope Records, Universal Music Group, and Williams’ label Star Trak split the remainder.

    Experts in the “Blurred Lines” trial agreed on a dollar figure in excess of $16.6 million in earnings for the song, which is the subject of a copyright dispute between the family of deceased R&B singer Marvin Gaye and singer-songwriters Pharrell Williams, Robin Thicke and Clifford Harris Jr. (professionally known as rapper T.I.).

    Read more:

  15. rikyrah says:

    anyone Black who did this would be in handcuffs

  16. rikyrah says:

    Talking Points Memo ✔ @TPM
    Dem Rep. John Yarmuth says Netanyahu “pulled out the Dick Cheney playbook” during his speech
    1:17 PM – 3 Mar 2015

  17. rikyrah says:

    Senator Harry Reid ✔ @SenatorReid
    Loretta Lynch is the longest pending Attorney General nominee in 4 decades. Another testament to Republicans’ inability to govern.

  18. rikyrah says:

    Neal Boortz ✔@Talkmaster

    So John Lewis is the only Georgia politician boycotting Netanyahu’s speech today. Tells you a lot about John Lewis

    John Lewis ✔ @repjohnlewis
    .@Talkmaster You should be ashamed. The Floor of the House shouldn’t be used as a tool to re-elect a foreign leader.

  19. rikyrah says:

    On Hillary Clinton’s Email Compliance

    Posted by Melissa McEwan at Tuesday, March 03, 2015

    So, there was a big story in the New York Times yesterday reporting how Hillary Clinton “exclusively used a personal email account to conduct government business as secretary of state, State Department officials said, and may have violated federal requirements that officials’ correspondence be retained as part of the agency’s record.”


    This is a very big deal. It is indeed a violation of the Federal Records Act, and there is simply no justification for such a violation.

    In 2007, Joseph Hughes and I collaborated on a piece detailing a similar violation of the Federal Records Act by multiple members of the Bush administration. At the time, not only did very few people care about this violation, and precious few reporters covered it at all, but I found myself having to explain over and over why this was a violation that mattered; why we need to care that public officials use private email for official communications.

    So it will certainly be interesting to watch how this story unfolds, in terms of the amount of coverage it gets and the level of criticism Clinton receives as a result, compared to the administration-wide practice by the Bush administration.

    To be abundantly clear: I’m not arguing that Clinton should not face scrutiny as a result of this disclosure. To the contrary, I believe the Bush administration should have received a great deal more scrutiny than it did.

    And because I so keenly remember the yawning indifference, of the media and of average USians, to the Bush administration email scandal, I will note that, if this turns into a massive story for Clinton, a potentially presidential-derailing story, it is not because people give a shit about compliance with the Federal Records Act, unless people have suddenly developed an inexplicable fondness for it in the intervening eight years.

    What I know for sure is that conservatives will be all over this. And they will have a point. And I honestly cannot fathom why Hillary Clinton would have given them

  20. rikyrah says:

    love this comment from Balloon Juice about Hillary’s Emails:

    Gin & Tonic says:
    March 4, 2015 at 8:50 am
    Christ on a cracker, I’ve maintained separate work and e-mail accounts since before *Bill* Clinton was President. How is this not just common sense?

    It may not have been illegal, and it may have been what other SoS’s did, but that doesn’t make it anything other than mind-bogglingly fucking stupid. And even if she is that fucking stupid, the fact that she doesn’t have anyone around her who is smarter is a real problem.

  21. rikyrah says:

    Just by Reading This, You are a Benghazi Truther and a Bad Democrat
    Posted by John Cole +0 at 8:15 am Mar 042015

    Drip, drip, drip…

    Even if she did nothing illegal, the sheer stupidity of this blows my mind. I mean, she just had to know this would be an issue. And if she didn’t, is she just that insulated from reality by her shield of aides and see-no-evil supporters? I’m a nobody, but I have three separate email accounts- one for work, one for personal/political/this website, and one for finances/online purchases. You segregate stuff, and work stuff stays in work. And it’s for MY protection, most of the time. If someone asks “Did you talk to X about X,” I can do a quick search and have the contents of that conversation at my fingertips. Kind of like the intent of having government emails preserved for posterity.

    I know, I know. I’m just a shill for Trey Gowdy and doncha know the NY Times and Whitewater. Like Israel, HRC’s worst enemy are her most ardent supporters. Why do they not understand that this kind of behavior, even if she did nothing illegal, is going to cause problems? Not recognizing there is just something off and insular and hubristic about this behavior, especially given the context, is not my problem. That’s hers and the HRCis44 crowd.

  22. rikyrah says:

    There’s Really No Plan B on Iran, Is There?
    —By Kevin Drum

    | Tue Mar. 3, 2015 11:08 AM EST

    Yesterday was one of my bad days, but one consequence of that was that I zoned out in front of the TV for long stretches. That allowed me to hear an endless procession of talking heads spend time talking about what we should do about Iran.

    The striking thing was not that there was lots of criticism from conservatives about President Obama’s negotiating strategy. The striking thing was the complete lack of any real alternative from these folks. I listened to interviewer after interviewer ask various people what they’d do instead, and the answers were all the weakest of weak tea. A few mentioned tighter sanctions, but without much conviction since (a) sanctions are already pretty tight and (b) even the hawks seem to understand that mere sanctions are unlikely to stop Iran’s nuclear program anyway. Beyond that there was nothing.

    That is, with the refreshing (?) exception of Rep. Jason Chaffetz, who sounded a bit like Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men after being badgered a bit by Wolf Blitzer. Military action? You’re damn right I want to see military action. Or words to that effect, anyway. But of course, this sentiment was behind the scenes everywhere, even if most of the hawkish talking heads didn’t quite say it so forthrightly. I noticed that even President Obama, in his interview with Reuters, specifically mentioned “military action,” rather than the usual euphemism of “all cards are on the table.”

    In my vague, laymanish way, this sure makes me wonder just how seriously military action really is on the table. I mean, I realize there are no really great options here, but a major war against Iran sure seems like a helluva bad idea—so bad that even the hawks ought to be thinking twice about this. That’s especially true since I’ve heard no one who thinks it would permanently disable Iran’s nuclear program anyway. It would just cause them to redouble their efforts and to do a better job of hiding it.

    I’m not saying anything new here. It only struck me a little harder than usual after watching so many interviews about Iran in the space of just a few hours (and I wasn’t even watching Fox at all). There’s really no Plan B here, and even the hawks are mostly reluctant to explicitly say that we should just up and launch a massive air assault on Iran. It’s a weird, almost ghostly controversy we’re having.

  23. rikyrah says:

    Paul Ryan Thinks We’re Fools
    Mar 3, 2015 12:44 PM EST
    By Jonathan Bernstein

    Just how stupid does Paul Ryan think we are?

    The Wisconsin Republican and two other House committee chairmen claim in an op-ed today that they are just about ready to propose an Obamacare “off-ramp” if the Supreme Court decides in King v. Burwell to destroy the federal health-insurance markets in more than half the states.

    No fooling around. “House Republicans have formed a working group to propose a way out for the affected states if the court rules against the administration.”

    A working group!

    No, I’m not impressed. Remember the pledge Ryan and four House committee chairmen made Jan. 20, 2011, in another op-ed?:

    We will hold hearings in Washington and around the country. We will invite affected individuals and job creators to share their stories and solutions. We will look to the Constitution and common sense to guide legislation.

    Replacing this law is a policy and a moral imperative. We reject the premise that the only way to improve access to quality coverage is to dramatically expand the federal government’s reach into our lives. On the contrary, we are dedicated to solving the underlying problems in health care by prioritizing affordability, improving transparency, and creating a true, functioning marketplace for health insurance.

    The committees we lead will tackle these challenges with the seriousness and steadfastness of purpose they deserve.

    Those hearings never took place. The replacement bill never materialized. The “policy and moral imperative” was limited to frequent efforts to repeal or undermine the health-care system paired with occasional claims that a Republican alternative was just around the corner.

    It isn’t that Republicans can’t generate ideas for reforming health care: Philip Klein has a whole book about them. But any plan requires trade-offs, which would entail considerable political risk. And it would require hard work on policy, something that Republicans in general and House Republicans in particular have shown zero interest in over, say, the last decade or so.

  24. rikyrah says:

    Senate GOP Leaders May Not Have A Health Care Bill By SCOTUS Ruling

    BySahil Kapur
    PublishedMarch 3, 2015, 3:15 PM EST 5447 views

    WASHINGTON — Senate Republican leaders wouldn’t commit Tuesday to having health care legislation ready by June to avert a potential crisis if the Supreme Court wipes out Obamacare subsidies for millions of Americans.

    One day before Supreme Court was scheduled to hear oral arguments in King v. Burwell, TPM asked Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) at his weekly Capitol press conference if the GOP would have bill ready to mitigate the potential health care crisis.

    The short answer: We’re working on it, but won’t commit to anything.

    “Well, we won’t know what the Court is going to decide probably until June,” McConnell said, before turning the mic over to Senate Republican Policy Committee Chair John Barrasso (R-WY), his point person on health care.

    Barrasso said, “We’re working on a temporary transition for people who may end up losing their insurance as the Supreme Court shows that the president has acted illegally. I don’t think anyone really clearly fully anticipated what the Supreme Court was going to do last time. So we have to see exactly what the Supreme Court rules.”

    The justices will meet privately this Friday to cast their votes in the case, and a final ruling is expected by the end of June.

    Barrasso said he hopes the Supreme Court rules for the challengers that the language of the Affordable Care Act only allows subsidies for those enrolled on state-run exchanges and not the federal exchange which serves about three-dozen states.

    The Wyoming Republican, a doctor, pointed to various op-eds written by leading Republicans in the Wall Street Journal and Washington Post sketching out some ideas for a potential “fix” if Obamacare loses, such as protecting those who would lose their coverage and giving states flexibility to opt out of Obamacare.

  25. rikyrah says:

    Maddow gets real on the Clinton e-mails

    Rachel Maddow separates distills what’s important about the Hillary Clinton e-mail story and talks with Ann Gearan, national politics reporter for The Washington Post, about whether Clinton is at a disadvantage for not having more primary competition.

  26. rikyrah says:

    Lizz Winstead ✔ @lizzwinstead
    THIS-> RT @rudepundit: It’d be pretty damn evil if John Roberts saved the ACA just to wreck it once millions of people got insurance.
    7:45 AM – 4 Mar 2015

  27. rikyrah says:

    meta @metaquest
    Make no mistake. A ruling in favor of King is exactly what RWNJs hope for: a return to CHAOS and DISCRIMINATION in our healthcare system.
    7:49 AM – 4 Mar 2015

  28. rikyrah says:

    Mr. Pierce.

    The president embarks on delicate negotiations with the Islamic Republic of Iran. He allows his aides and underlings to do so because he is firm in his belief that in the presidency resides the sole power to conduct the foreign relations of the United States. A year or so earlier, his deputy national security advisor wrote a memo in which he said that the president “was ready to confront the Congress on the constitutional question of who controls foreign policy.” The Office of Legal Counsel in his Department of Justice argues that the president had “far-reaching discretion to act on his own authority in managing the external relations of the country.” When these negotiations are uncovered, this is the primary argument presented by the president and his defenders against the angry opposition of the Congress. The president is Ronald Reagan. The negotiations are regarding the exchange of weapons for American hostages, something the president vowed he never would do, and something he already told the country he hadn’t done. The deal was facilitated in part by Israeli intelligence operatives, which is no surprise. Israel already agreed to sell Iran $40 million in weapons in a deal that had fallen through. Also, in deciding to sell the arms, the president was inspired partly by a book about combatting terrorism put together by an ambitious Israeli politician named Benjamin Netanyahu.

  29. rikyrah says:

    About Petraeus

    It’s nothing but White Privilege. Do you think Colin Powell’s ass wouldn’t be in jail if he had done this? OF COURSE HE WOULD

  30. rikyrah says:

    If You’ve Been Waiting for It to Get There, ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’ Is Now Streaming on Netflix

    By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act
    March 3, 2015 at 10:54AM

  31. rikyrah says:

    Wickham: Netanyahu’s speech insult to blacks

    Israeli prime minister’s end around Obama disrespects not only America’s first black president.
    DeWayne Wickham,7:32 p.m. EST March 2, 2015

    “This is a real in-your-face slap at the president, and black folks know it,” Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., told me. “He (Netanyahu) wouldn’t have done it to any other president.”

    When I asked Clyburn, the third-ranking Democrat and highest-ranking black in the House, why the Israeli prime minister would be so disrespectful of Obama, he responded: “You know why.”

    I think I do. By agreeing to sidestep normal diplomatic channels to address Congress, Netanyahu has become an instrument of a Republican Party that has shown an unbridled, personal disrespect for Obama, his wife and children since this black family moved into the building many Republicans apparently think is literally a white house.

  32. rikyrah says:

    Jails are signing up inmates for Obamacare

    CHICAGO — Each time Randy Nowak was locked up, it was because of his heroin habit: He’d steal whatever he could grab from Home Depot, Menards, or Lowe’s to pay for his next fix.

    But Nowak, 31, doesn’t think he’ll be going back to jail again. He’s now farther along in drug treatment than he’s ever been before, covered by the Obamacare that he signed up for the last time he was in Cook County Jail.

    “I was able to go into a hospital with proper care, it wasn’t some clinic — it was just more professional,” said Nowak, who recently made it past detox for the first time, then completed a month of intensive drug treatment. Insured through Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion, he’s now in a community integration program at Haymarket Center and plans to go back to college this year, having dropped out more than a decade earlier when he first became addicted to heroin.

    Uninsured offenders passing through Cook County Jail intake have an opportunity to take part in CountyCare, which is part of Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion.

    Nowak is among the 10,000 people who’ve gotten health coverage as a result of applications that got started in Cook County Jail — the largest single-site jail in the country. “We believe a majority of individuals who start applications at the jail are able to enroll due to Medicaid expansion, based on the population the jail serves,” said Alexandra Normington, a spokesperson for the Cook County Health & Hospitals System.

  33. rikyrah says:

    ACA faces high court test, security for millions on the line
    03/04/15 08:00 AM—UPDATED 03/04/15 08:08 AM
    By Steve Benen
    About two years ago at this time, the fight over the future of the Affordable Care Act was effectively over. President Obama had won re-election; the Supreme Court had endorsed the law’s constitutionality; Republican leaders were referring to “Obamacare” as “the law of the land”; GOP governors were grudgingly accepting Medicaid expansion; and systemic improvements were taking root.

    For all intents and purposes, the debate over health care reform had been settled. The ACA had won and the nation was benefiting as a result.

    But as it turns out, anti-health care forces had one last Hail Mary pass left to throw, and as Suzy Khimm explained, it lands at the Supreme Court today.
    The Supreme Court will hear a case on Wednesday that could jeopardize the future of Obamacare and imperil insurance coverage for millions of Americans. […]

    If the plaintiffs prevail, more than 7 million Americans in up to 37 states are expected to lose the subsidies they receive to help pay for their insurance coverage they purchases on the federal Obamacare exchanges.
    The case may seem complicated, but the dispute is actually pretty straightforward.

    Under “Obamacare,” insurers compete for consumers’ business, offering a menu of health care plans in a marketplace called an “exchange.” Americans choose the plan that works best for them, and as part of the system, most consumers get a subsidy through the ACA to help make the insurance more affordable. The less someone makes, the bigger the subsidy.

  34. rikyrah says:

    On Homeland Security funding, it’s Obama 1, Boehner 0
    03/03/15 12:50 PM—UPDATED 03/03/15 01:34 PM
    By Steve Benen

    The Republican plan for funding the Department of Homeland Security never really made any sense. As GOP lawmakers saw it, they’d refuse to fund the cabinet agency unless Democrats agreed to destroy President Obama’s immigration policy – but it was painfully obvious all along that Dems would never accept such terms.

    The resolution was always going to be the same: Congress would have to pass a “clean” DHS bill, funding the department, and go after the White House’s immigration policy through the courts. It was only a matter of time before Republicans realized they had no other credible option.
    House Speaker John Boehner told congressional Republicans Tuesday morning that he will bring up a vote to pass a “clean” bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security with no strings attached, according to NBC News.

    With his back up against a wall and funding for the critical government agency set to run dry by Friday at midnight, Boehner alerted the House GOP conference during a closed door session Tuesday that the lower chamber will be voting on the clean bill as early as that afternoon. Boehner’s announcement was met with dead silence from the room, NBC News reported.
    Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), one of Congress’ fiercest anti-immigrant voices, told the AP after the meeting that this resolution is “the signal of capitulation,” a complaint that happens to be true. But again, the question has always been when, not whether, congressional Republicans would fund Homeland Security. They could play games, fight with one another, point fingers, and make all kinds of threats, but sooner or later, a clean bill would clear Capitol Hill and become law.

    Boehner could have saved himself quite a bit of hassle and humiliation if he’d guided his conference in this direction weeks ago – the Speaker knew as well as anyone that this day was inevitable – but he just isn’t in a strong enough position to lead effectively.

    On the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue, meanwhile, there’s President Obama, who’s won another round.

  35. rikyrah says:

    The Heartbreak Hotep @eclecticbrotha

    Zendaya Gone Rogue! Coleman ‘Did Not Consult PR’ Before Slamming Giuliana Rancic … via @radar_online

    The Heartbreak Hotep @eclecticbrotha

    If your PR team gets upset because you responded to an attack on your blackness w/o consulting them, you need a new PR team

  36. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

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