Tuesday Open Thread |Quiet Storm Week

Kool and The GangKool & The Gang has sold over 70 million albums worldwide and influenced the music of three generations. Thanks to songs like Celebration, Cherish, Jungle Boogie, Summer Madness and Open Sesame, they’ve earned two Grammy Awards, seven American Music Awards, 25 Top Ten R&B hits, nine Top Ten Pop hits, and 31 gold and platinum albums. Kool & The Gang has performed continuously for the past 45 years, longer than any R&B group in history. Their bulletproof funk and tough, jazzy arrangements have also made them the most sampled band of all time.

In 1964 Khalis Bayyan (AKA Ronald Bell) and his brother, Robert “Kool” Bell, joined Jersey City neighborhood friends Robert “Spike” Mickens, Dennis “Dee Tee” Thomas, Ricky Westfield, George Brown, and Charles Smith to create a unique musical blend of jazz, soul and funk. At first calling themselves the Jazziacs, they went through various names – The New Dimensions, The Soul Town Band, Kool & The Flames – before settling on their moniker. Over the next several years, they solidified their musical chemistry on the rough-and-tumble East Coast music scene, supporting acts like Bill Cosby, Ritchie Havens and Richard Pryor. Their self-titled 1969 debut album introduced their signature instrumental sound and fierce horn arrangements, and spawned their first Billboard R&B charted single, Kool and the Gang.

In 1969 Kool & The Gang released their self-titled debut album. It was the introduction to a theme, music is the message, that Kool & The Gang stands by today. The instrumental album was an expression of their deep love of music. It was also an introduction to their signature sound and the fierce horn arrangements created by Khalis, Dee Tee, and Spike. Their debut album spawned their first Billboard R&B charted single Kool and the Gang and later Let The Music Take Your Mind.

About SouthernGirl2

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

  1. rikyrah says:

    Watching the Too Darn Hot Party over at OWN.

  2. rikyrah says:


    check my pics for sidebar post.

  3. Ametia says:

    Just listen to this NEGRO right HERE:

    Hands Up, Don’t Shoot’ Movement Built On False Rumors, Columnist Says

    NPR’s Melissa Block interviews Washington Post opinion writer Jonathan Capehart about his column, ” ‘Hands Up, Don’t Shoot’ Was Built On A Lie.” Capehart says he regrets the building of a movement on the false rumors that Michael Brown was shot in Ferguson, Mo., while putting up his hands in surrender.

    AUDIO: http://ktep.org/post/hands-dont-shoot-movement-built-false-rumors-columnist-says

    Of course, it was uncomfortable for you to write. Of course no one else on the WaPo staff could write this and make the radio rounds, but YOU, right Jonathan?


  4. rikyrah says:

    Black lawmaker cites race in delayed vote for AG nominee

    By Tim Devaney – 03/17/15 11:55 AM EDT

    The chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus suggested Tuesday that the Senate may be delaying the confirmation of Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch because of her race.

    “I think race certainly can be considered a major factor in the delay,” Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.), the chairman, told reporters on a press call.

    Lynch would become the first African-American woman to serve as attorney general, but her nomination has been awaiting Senate confirmation for 130 days.

    Current Attorney General Eric Holder is also black.

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said over the weekend that he would hold up Lynch’s nomination until lawmakers come to an agreement on a human trafficking bill now pending before Congress.

    But Democrats and civil rights leaders say it is unfair for McConnell to hold Lynch’s nomination “hostage.”

    Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) called McConnell’s move “petty and mean-spirited,” during the press call organized by the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.


  5. Israeli polls close and the race is too close to call http://bit.ly/1F0eNRN

  6. rikyrah says:

    PragmaticObotsUnite @PragObots

    .@common I see u didn’t tell John Stewart to extend a hand in love to anti-Semites, or that Jews should forget the past and move on. *sips

  7. Breaking: Israeli TV Exit Poll: Election is too close to call. #Netanyahu

  8. Ametia says:

    WELL, WELL, WELL… Nothing but gangstas and CROOKS!

    Rep. Aaron Schock announces resignation in wake of spending probe

    Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.) will resign from Congress in the wake of allegations that he misused campaign funds.

    Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.), who in a matter of weeks went from a fast track to national prominence to beset by numerous reports of spending misdeeds, announced his resignation from Congress on Tuesday.

    Schock, 33, had endured weeks of headlines about the manner in which he has spent from his taxpayer-funded account for official expenses.

    The Office of Congressional Ethics had commenced a review of his spending, The Washington Post reported Monday, after reports that started with a $40,000 tab on decorating his Capitol Hill office in the manner of the PBS show “Downton Abbey” and continued into personal finances and travel expenditures.

    [Feb. 2: Rep. Schock has a “Downton Abbey”-inspired office, but he does not want to talk about it]

    An OCE probe is considered a first step in addressing misdeeds. It lacks subpoena power but makes recommendations to the House Ethics Committee, which serves as the formal investigator and can issue punishment to lawmakers.

    Schock’s office did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday.


  9. rikyrah says:

    Tuesday, March 17, 2015

    The People Who Want to Take our Country Back

    Jeff Horwitt has an interesting take from the latest WSJ/NBC News poll.

    Ninety-five percent of self-identified Republican primary voters are white. That’s among the findings of the latest Wall Street Journal-NBC News poll, as well as that 74% of all Americans age 18 and older are white, a figure that tracks with census data. This means that heading into 2016, the Republican primary electorate is dramatically less diverse than the country overall. The GOP primary electorate is even less diverse than the country was in 1916, when 91% of the voting-age population was white, according to historical census data.

    Nominating a candidate for president from an electorate that is less diverse than America was a century ago, when voting rights were limited to men ages 21 and over, is not good for the Republican Party or its eventual nominee.
    Ya think?!!!

    He then goes on to provide data about how out of touch these white Republican primary voters are with the rest of the country when it comes to current issues – like Obamacare, taxes and immigration reform.

    And yet this is the group that will not only decide who the next Republican presidential nominee will be, they are the ones the Republicans in Congress are pandering to. Here’s how President Obama explained it in his interview with VICE News.


  10. rikyrah says:

    Because this is who they are


    The Republican Plan To Sabotage The Food Stamp Program

    by Alan Pyke Posted on March 17, 2015 at 8:00 am

    Updated: March 17, 2015 at 9:00 am

    House Republicans are set to unveil a budget on Tuesday morning that will reportedly slice over a hundred billion dollars out of the food stamps program over the coming decade.

    Such cuts would amount to about 15 percent of the program’s projected spending over those years. The cost of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is already declining naturally as the economy recovers and fewer families need the safety net, and Congress has already cut billions of dollars from the program in recent years. But whereas those previous, smaller cuts came from highly technical tweaks to program rules — and were therefore subject to a sort of informal veto by governors in several states — the new GOP budget documents coming from both sides of Capitol Hill this week seek a sweeping overhaul of the program.

    For ground-level hunger activists like New York City Coalition Against Hunger executive director Joel Berg, the attacks on food spending are baffling. “They should be loving SNAP,” said Berg, who is also a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress. “It’s a voucher program that’s not spent in other government entities and not even spent in non-profits. It’s spent in private enterprises, private stores. It helps keep families at work and it helps keep families together.”

    The kinds of charitable organizations Berg represents are already under serious duress. New York City’s food banks started running out of food and turning away needy people last winter after a far smaller cut than the one being proposed this year. One in six food banks and food kitchens nationwide is worried about running out of resources and having to close the doors, according to a survey last summer by the national food charity network Feeding America.

    Such charitable groups have already been outspoken in opposing Republican food stamp cuts dating back to the 2013 fight over cuts in the farm bill. Back when Democrats still held the Senate, the GOP campaign to cut about $40 billion from SNAP went badly awry. Ultimately, the GOP settled for a roughly $8 billion cut that both the Obama White House and Democratic congressional leaders signed off on reluctantly. That cut compounded the effects of separate, automatic benefits cuts that came into effect during the political fracas, and charitable groups had protested each round of trimming. It’s hard to believe their message will penetrate in 2015 with people who have ignored it since 2013.


  11. Rikyrah, can you size these two photos up side by side? I want to show the injuries vs non injuries

    Darren Wilson sustained no injuries from Mike Brown

    Jeffrey Williams

  12. rikyrah says:

    Residents of Chicago housing program to make pleas in face of cuts

    Barbara Hailey, a resident at Mercy Housing Lakefront, said March 12, 2015, that the supportive housing program helped her get her “peace of mind back.”

    Barbara Hailey plans to be there Monday at the Illinois Senate hearing on proposed cuts to the budget of the Department of Health and Human Services. So do Annie Johnson, Darrow Alexander and Jim Moore.

    And a whole contingent of residents at Mercy Housing Lakefront’s supportive housing around the city, most of whom will be taking the CTA downtown to attend the hearing at the Bilandic Building.

    It may be crowded. The hearing is an opportunity for the department to explain the cuts, and for social service agencies whose budgets would be slashed as a result to object to them. A number of the agencies, which will include the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, Illinois Action for Children, the Ounce of Prevention Fund and Access Living, will also be bringing clients.

    Mercy Housing Lakefront provides permanent supportive housing for low-income people, many of whom have physical or mental disabilities. It is the supportive help, the work by caseworkers and staff, that is imperiled by the budget cuts, said Mercy Housing President Mark Angelini.


  13. rikyrah says:

    The St. Patrick’s Day Mass-Schock-er
    Posted by Zandar at 2:22 pm Mar 172015

    And Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Downton Abbey) is resigning from the House.

    The 33-year-old Republican has been dogged by questions about his spending of taxpayer and campaign dollars. On Monday afternoon, POLITICO posed a lengthy set of questions about charging the government and his campaign tens of thousands of dollars in questionable mileage reimbursements.

    “Today, I am announcing my resignation as a Member of the United States House of Representatives effective March 31,” Schock said in a statement. “I do this with a heavy heart. Serving the people of the 18th District is the highest and greatest honor I have had in my life. I thank them for their faith in electing me and letting me represent their interests in Washington. I have given them my all over the last six years. I have traveled to all corners of the District to meet with the people I’ve been fortunate to be able to call my friends and neighbors.”

    “But the constant questions over the last six weeks have proven a great distraction that has made it too difficultfor me to serve the people of the 18th District with the high standards that they deserve and which I have set for myself. I have always sought to do what’s best for my constituents and I thank them for the opportunity to serve,” he said in a statement.


  14. rikyrah says:

    Billionaire Ken Griffin throws in another $500,000 for Rahm re-election
    Posted: 03/16/2015, 04:46pm | Natasha Korecki

    Billionaire Citadel hedge-fund founder Ken Griffin sank another $500,000 into supporting Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s re-election, giving the sizable contribution to the pro-Emanuel political action committee Chicago Forward.

    The donation, which was reported on Friday, was on top of the $250,000 Griffin just donated directly to Emanuel’s campaign fund after the mayor failed to win the Feb. 24 first-round election.

    Chicago Forward last week launched an attack ad against Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, asking: ““What do we really know about Chuy Garcia?” It then answers the rhetorical question by saying, “He’s an old-style, Chicago politician who’s looked out for himself — not you.”

    Griffin has given nearly $1 million to pro-Emanuel campaign committees over the last year, including $750,000 since March 2. Griffin was similarly a major financial force in the campaign of Gov. Bruce Rauner, the Republican’s largest donor outside of Rauner himself. Griffin’s support included a massive $8 million, post-election gift that helped boost Rauner’s campaign fund past $20 million in preparation for battle with the Illinois Legislature.


    • majiir says:

      I hope this ish backfires on Rahm next month. He and Griffin need to be taught the lesson that voters are not as stupid as they think they are and will not fall for these lying political ads. There have been real, measurable consequences for Rahm’s policies. People have been hurt by them and aren’t likely to forget about the red light cameras, the closing of their neighborhood schools, Rahm selling off Chicago’s public properties and services, etc. Republicans tried the same thing in the 2012 presidential election, and Romney is still not POTUS.

      • Ametia says:

        It’s what folks do when they can win an election on PRINCIPLE. Rahm didn’t do PBO any favors either when he was C.O.S. Good riddance to this MOFO!

  15. rikyrah says:

    Poll: Iran negotiations popular

    …Direct diplomatic negotiations with Iran are broadly popular, 68% favor them, while 29% oppose them. That support cuts across party lines, with 77% of Democrats, 65% of Republicans and 64% of independents in favor of diplomacy between the U.S. and Iran in an attempt to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

    …Americans have greater confidence in President Barack Obama than the Republicans in Congress in dealing with major issues, whether those are domestic or related to foreign policy. Just about half said they have faith in Obama on major issues and major foreign policy issues, while 4-in-10 have greater confidence in the GOP. About 1-in-10 say they trust neither side on the big issues.


  16. rikyrah says:

    Missouri leader blames Obama, Holder for Ferguson
    03/17/15 11:37 AM
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    By Steve Benen
    Following up on our previous coverage, the Justice Department’s reports on local government in Ferguson, Missouri, were, in many instances, heartbreaking. The documented evidence was hard to ignore – we were confronted with a picture of systemic, institutional racism on the part of members of the local police and municipal court officials.

    There are a variety of ways to respond to the revelations, though Andrew Kaczynski yesterday highlighted one of the more discouraging reactions I’ve seen.
    The lieutenant governor of Missouri says “there is more racism in the Justice Department” than in the St. Louis area, pointing the finger at President Obama and the Justice Department who, he says, often incited “the mob” in the wake of the shooting of Michael Brown back in August of 2014.
    The comments came by way of Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, who told NewsMaxTV’s Steve Malzberg that the Justice Department is “staffed with radical, hard-left radical, leftists lawyers.”

    After condemning Attorney General Eric Holder as being “unlike any previous attorney general,” Kinder added that “many” DOJ officials “have spent most of their careers defending Black Panthers and other violent radicals.”

    Kinder also argued that Obama and Holder were directly responsible for “inciting” a mob and “encouraging disorder in Ferguson and distributing the peaceable going-about of our lives in the greater St. Louis region.” The lieutenant governor went on to argue that there’s “more racism in the Justice Department than there is any, uh, yes, anywhere that I see in the St. Louis area.”

    According to the BuzzFeed piece, Kinder argued, “It is the left. It is the Eric Holder and Obama-left and their minions who are obsessed with race. The rest of us are moving on beyond it.”

    There’s nothing to suggest the Republican official was kidding.

    It’s not unusual in some conservative circles to run into “the real racists” meme. There are others who can speak to this in greater detail, and with far more authority, than I can, but the gist of the phenomenon is the right arguing that those who focus their energies on combating racism tend to be “the real racists.” Why? Because, the argument goes, it’s those who confront and address racism who stoking the flames of division.


    • Ametia says:


    • majiir says:

      I think the problem of people like this is that they cannot stand the thought that some of us are smarter than they are, have accomplished more in the face of overwhelming odds than they have, and don’t fit the stereotypes they have in their minds about us. Don’t hate us because we’ve done for ourselves what they’ve failed to accomplish, even though they have the advantage of ‘white privilege’ in this society. It’s not our fault that they have failed to achieve anything in their lives. Sorry butts.

      • Ametia says:


        These folks go into complete & utter SHOCK @the incongruent reality of BLACK GREATNESS as it stares them right in the eye.

  17. Ametia says:



    So PBO got that second term, and Mitch, the Turtle McConnell & GOP’s priority still remains the same.

  18. Ametia says:

    So Starbucks is looking to CAPITALIZE on “RACISM” by making “Race Together’ on the side of their cups.

    This ought to make those white progressives very giddy, knowing they’re doing their part to STOMP OUT RACISM.

    Ya’ll know damn well the majority of Starbuck customers are white, rich-middle class. Who the fuck else can afford a $3-$5 cup of coffee or Frappacino, or whatever they call those frilly drinks!

  19. Hey, everyone!

    Haley says,

    Granny, we only get to sleep in at your house b/c at our house we get up early for school and super early on Sundays to go to church.


  20. rikyrah says:

    Oregon eases voter registration, reversing national tide
    03/17/15 09:20 AM—UPDATED 03/17/15 09:34 AM
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    By Steve Benen
    One of the most discouraging facets of Republican governance in recent years is the aggressive new restrictions on voting rights, unlike anything Americans have seen since the Jim Crow era.

    Between the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Voting Rights Act and the coordinated GOP campaign, half the nation’s states “have adopted measures making it harder to vote” since 2011. Ari Berman recently added that from 2011 to 2015, “395 new voting restrictions have been introduced” in 49 states.

    But while the national tide is moving in a regressive direction when it comes to voting rights, some states are doing the opposite. David Ingram reported yesterday on a breakthrough policy taking root in Oregon.
    New legislation signed into law [on Monday] in Oregon paves the way for the state to one day have close to 100% voter registration. The new law takes the federal “motor voter” law to new levels and registers a person to vote when they obtain or renew a state driver’s license or ID – and it’s partially retroactive.

    The law dictates that once residents interact with the state DMV – whether to get a license or ID for the first time, or renew an existing one – they’ll become registered to vote if they aren’t already. The registration will be provisional for 21 days, during which time applicants will be notified of their new status and be given a chance to become affiliated with a political party or to opt-out of the voting process altogether.
    That opt-out provision is key. In recent years, whenever ideas like these have come up, conservatives have argued that it’s unconstitutional to force eligible Americans to register to vote if they don’t want to. In effect, Americans have a right to forgo the benefits of citizenship if they want to.

    Oregon is acknowledging this by giving the public a choice: eligible residents will be included in the system, but those who want to withdraw voluntarily are free to do so.

    It’s flipping the traditional model on its head. Currently, in all states, the burden is on the individual – if you’re eligible to vote, it’s up to you to take the affirmative steps needed to register. There are groups committed to helping people do that, though in recent years GOP policymakers in states like Florida have made these voter-registration efforts more difficult, too.


  21. rikyrah says:

    Justice official asks: ‘What kind of police department do Ferguson residents want?’
    Sari Horwitz March 16 at 8:39 PM 

    A team of Justice Department civil rights lawyers is planning to travel to Ferguson, Mo., in the coming weeks to meet with residents and help decide whether to reform the police department or disband it and replace it with a regional force, according to the head of the department’s civil rights division.

    In her first wide-ranging interview since taking over the civil rights division last fall, acting Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta said that her lawyers want to ensure that the systemic racial bias and constitutional violations identified in the scathing Justice report on the Ferguson Police Department “don’t continue for a day longer than they should.”

    “What kind of police department do Ferguson residents want?” said Gupta, a longtime civil rights lawyer and former deputy legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union. “All of the options are on the table. And now, we’re going to roll up our sleeves and figure out, ‘what does this look like?’ Some of what has happened in the last week really demonstrates the urgency of putting together an agreement.”

    Last week, Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson said he will resign Thursday. The announcement came a day after Ferguson’s city manager resigned and two days after the city’s top municipal court judge also stepped aside. Shortly after Ferguson’s mayor announced Jackson’s resignation, two police officers were shot outside the police department.

    Jeffrey Williams, 20, was arrested late Saturday and charged in the shooting. During a brief public appearance Monday at the St. Louis county courthouse, Williams told the judge he would seek private counsel and not use a public defender, according to Stephen Reynolds, who is the chief public defender in St. Louis County.


  22. Ametia says:

    Ferguson P.D.: A Horde of RAcists

  23. rikyrah says:

    Holder goes out swinging

    Attorney General Eric Holder is speaking his mind in his final days in office, swiping at GOP antagonists and leaving the Department of Justice on his own terms.

    Holder has ridiculed Senate Republicans for delaying the nomination of his successor, Loretta Lynch, arguing it is only keeping a man that the House in 2012 held in contempt of Congress in office longer.

    “You would actually think that her process would be sped up given their desire to see me out of office,” he said at the National Press Club last month. “Be that as it may, logic has never been necessarily a guide up there.”

    Holder has pushed back forcefully against critics who claim he operated the department as a political appendage for President Obama.

    “I think it’s a little irresponsible for people on the Hill to say that policy differences that we have with them or decisions that we have made that are not consistent with the way they view the world can be characterized as political,” he said at a news conference last month. “There is no politicization of this Justice Department. I’m proud of the work that we’ve done over the past six years, the historic things that we have done.”

    Observers have noticed Holder’s bolder than ever approach and suggest the attorney general is free to speak his mind now that he’s on the way out and Obama won’t face voters again.

    “Now that he is free of the political requirements of his job and he doesn’t have to worry about maintaining any relationships that exist, he is absolutely enjoying having fun poking and prodding and jabbing Republicans,” said John Hudak, a fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution.

    Holder has become more outspoken on the issue of race as he prepares to leave behind several legacy projects addressing racial profiling and patterns of bias at local police departments.

    In one of several exit interviews he’s given over the past six weeks, Holder said he thinks race has been a motivating factor behind Republican criticism of his record.

    “There have been times when I thought that’s at least a piece of it,” Holder told Politico.


  24. rikyrah says:

    Found this at POU:


    Fam, I’m asking you to lift POUer Dannie and her family up in prayer.

    Dannie’s Mom had a stroke and she’s being placed in hospice. She asked for prayers for a peaceful transition for her mom.

  25. rikyrah says:

    The worst excuse yet for the Senate Republicans’ Iran letter
    03/17/15 08:40 AM—UPDATED 03/17/15 09:09 AM
    By Steve Benen

    As last week progressed, and the scope of the fiasco surrounding the Senate Republicans’ letter to Iran became more obvious, many GOP officials on Capitol Hill furiously tried to think of excuses. The scramble was understandable: Republicans had tried to sabotage American foreign policy, and the stunt hadn’t gone well.

    Over the course of three days, congressional Republicans came up with at least four different excuses, including Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) blaming a D.C.-area snowstorm the week before. None of the arguments was particularly persuasive.

    But National Review’s Deroy Murdock yesterday presented the most amazing excuse yet: the 47 Senate Republicans shouldn’t be criticized for sending a letter to Iran since they didn’t literally, physically “send” anything.
    Before U.S. Senator Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) and 46 of his GOP colleagues are frog-marched to the gallows and hanged for treason, one vital point of confusion must be cleared up. Say what you will about the Republicans’ open letter “to the leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran.” The Cotton/GOP letter regarding Tehran’s atom-bomb talks with Obama was not sent to the ayatollahs.

    Had Cotton & Co. actually delivered their communique to Iran’s mullahs – perhaps via a Swiss diplomatic pouch or something even more cloak and dagger – their critics would be on less swampy ground in calling them “traitors,” as the New York Daily News screamed.
    The National Review piece added that “the Cotton Club” – Tom Cotton and his 46 GOP cohorts – “did not send its letter anywhere.” Murdock added, “Cotton & Co. never even dropped an envelope in the mail.”

    How do we know for sure this is an unpersuasive argument? Because Tom Cotton himself says so.

    The National Review argument emphasizes the fact that the Republicans message was an “open letter,” published online. As such, if we parse the meaning of the word “send” in the most charitable way possible, then maybe the GOP senators didn’t actually communicate with Iranian officials, at least not directly, during sensitive international talks.

    Indeed, the National Review piece said those who claim the Republicans “sent” a letter are guilty of spreading a “gross inaccuracy.”

    Does the argument have merit? Actually, no, it doesn’t. Tom Cotton himself, presumably well positioned to speak on behalf of the “Cotton Club” given his role as ringleader, specifically said he and his Republican partners “sent a letter to Iranian leaders.”


  26. Ametia says:


  27. rikyrah says:

    Conservatives scramble to downplay ACA news
    03/17/15 08:00 AM—UPDATED 03/17/15 08:23 AM
    By Steve Benen
    Americans learned yesterday that the Affordable Care Act has extended health care coverage to 16.4 million people, slashing the nation’s uninsured rate by over a third, against the backdrop of related system-wide good news. This puts “Obamacare” critics in an unenviable position: trying to characterize a law that’s working as a horrible failure, all evidence to the contrary notwithstanding.

    Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), who’s struggled in this area before despite being the Senate GOP’s point person on health care, gave it his best shot. “Millions of people have lost coverage they liked,” the far-right senator told the New York Times, repeating a dubious claim unsupported by the evidence. He added that extending coverage to millions through Medicaid expansion is “hardly worth celebrating.”

    He didn’t say why, exactly, he finds it discouraging when low-income families receive coverage through Medicaid.

    But the funnier reaction came by way of a Wall Street Journal piece.
    Edmund Haislmaier, senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative research group, said the report also doesn’t include essential information on how many people who signed up on exchanges were previously uninsured.

    “It’s premature to say it’s ACA-related,” Mr. Haislmaier said.

    The number of uninsured historically also has been closely aligned with the economy, with numbers rising during recessions and falling as conditions improve.
    Oh my.

    The economic argument is itself politically tricky for ACA detractors, because it leaves Republicans in a position of arguing, “Let’s not credit Obama’s health care policies for the good news; let’s instead credit Obama’s economic policies.”


  28. rikyrah says:

    Cynthia Erivo Will Play Celie in Oprah Winfrey-Backed Revival of ‘The Color Purple’ (Jennifer Hudson Is Shug)

    By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act
    March 16, 2015 at 2:04PM

    Cynthia Erivo has been cast to play Celie in this fall’s Oprah Winfrey-produced Broadway revival of “The Color Purple,” which is currently set for a December 3 open at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre.

    Erivo, a British actress making her New York stage debut, will reprise the role she played to glowing reviews at the Menier Chocolate Factory in London.

    She joins the previously-cast Jennifer Hudson, also making her Broadway debut, as Shug, in the musical revival, which Oprah Winfrey will return to produce, and back, with her theatrical business partner Scott Sanders.

    John Doyle is directing.


  29. rikyrah says:

    Monday, March 16, 2015
    And Iran, Iran So Far Away
    Posted by Zandar
    Got to get away.

    Though several Democratic senators told POLITICO they were offended by the missive authored by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), none of them said it would cause them to drop their support for bills to impose new sanctions on Iran or give Congress review power over a nuclear deal.

    That presents another complication for the administration ahead of a rough deadline of March 24 to reach a nuclear agreement with the country.

    “The letter’s incredibly unfortunate and inappropriate,” said Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, a centrist Democrat who voted for the sanctions bill in committee and is a sponsor of the congressional approval legislation. “That doesn’t diminish my support for the legislation that we introduced.”

    The president’s challenge in Congress on the issue isn’t limited to the 47 Republican senators who signed last week’s missive arguing that a nuclear agreement could be revoked by the next U.S. president. In a letter released Saturday, White House chief of staff Denis McDonough implored Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) not to push for a vote on his bill that would give Congress 60 days to reject or approve of any deal.

    McDonough argued that Corker’s measure, which has nearly a dozen Democratic supporters, “goes well beyond ensuring that Congress has a role to play in any deal with Iran.” And he asked Corker, who’s sought to maintain a cordial relationship with the White House, to let the administration finish its negotiations with Iran, indicating it may take until the end of June. A framework is expected by the end of this month.

    Corker shrugged off the request in response. And in an interview late last week, he said he hasn’t lost the support of any Democrats despite the turbulent atmosphere surrounding Iran politics.

    “Let a couple days go by. We think there’s going to be really ignited momentum,” Corker, who did not sign the Cotton letter, said on Thursday. “Nobody’s dropping out. We’ve had reaffirmed commitment” from Democrats.

    Indeed, a day after the controversy over Cotton’s letter erupted, Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado co-sponsored Corker’s congressional review bill, the 11th Democrat to signal support.

    Democrats in Congress still haven’t figured out that running away from President Obama in 2010 and 2014 cost them the House and now Senate respectively. Instead of using Cotton’s letter to rally the party and show a united front, Democrats are actively boasting about how they will stab the President in the back, even the ones not up for re-election in 2016, like Heitkamp.

    Whatever. With Hillary, Jim Webb, Martin O’Malley, and even Liz Warren all pretending Obama was as hated in his last two years as Dubya, don’t expect too much form the Dems in 2016 at this rate.


  30. rikyrah says:

    Political games in Congress deepen Americans’ disdain for government

    Rachel Maddow points out the results of a recent survey finding many Americans unhappy with how the government is performing, and talks with Senator Chuck Schumer about why the nomination of Loretta Lynch is being held hostage for an unrelated bill.


  31. rikyrah says:

    this is a little scary


    What Diet Soda Does to Belly FatTime

    Mandy Oaklander

    5 hrs ago

    A new study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found that people who drank diet soda gained almost triple the abdominal fat over nine years as those who didn’t drink diet soda. The study analyzed data from 749 people ages 65 and older who were asked, every couple of years, how many cans of soda they drank a day, and how many of those sodas were diet or regular.

    Those answers ended up being extremely predictive of abdominal-fat gain, even after the researchers adjusted for factors like diabetes, smoking and levels of physical activity. People who didn’t drink diet soda gained about 0.8 in. around their waists over the study period, but people who drank diet soda daily gained 3.2 in. Those who fell in the middle — occasional drinkers of diet soda — gained about 1.8 in.

    That change in waist circumference is especially concerning because it highlights an unfortunate truth about weight distribution: the belly is a bad place for extra pounds. The kind that pads the abs from the inside, called visceral fat, is associated with increased cardiovascular disease, inflammation and Type 2 diabetes.


  32. rikyrah says:

    Obama butters up labor — because they’re about to lose on trade
    Unions aren’t happy the president is going to cut a deal with Republicans on fast-track authority.
    By DAVID NATHER 3/17/15 5:37 AM EDT Updated 3/17/15 5:37 AM EDT
    If you think President Barack Obama has been going out of his way recently to say nice things about unions, you’re not wrong.
    The timing isn’t a coincidence: He’s about to have a fight with them over trade, which the labor groups are going to lose.

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2015/03/obama-butters-up-labor-because-theyre-about-to-lose-on-trade-116121.html#ixzz3UdyMY6af

  33. rikyrah says:

    gotta do what you think will keep you healthy

    SF’s Borland quits over safety issues
    Updated: March 17, 2015, 7:29 AM ET
    By Mark Fainaru-Wada and Steve Fainaru | ESPN.com

    BERKELEY, Calif. — San Francisco 49ers linebacker Chris Borland, one of the NFL’s top rookies the past season, told “Outside the Lines” on Monday that he is retiring because of concerns about the long-term effects of repetitive head trauma.

    Borland, 24, said he notified the 49ers on Friday. He said he made his decision after consulting with family members, concussion researchers, friends and current and former teammates, as well as studying what is known about the relationship between football and neurodegenerative disease.

    “I just honestly want to do what’s best for my health,” Borland told “Outside the Lines.” “From what I’ve researched and what I’ve experienced, I don’t think it’s worth the risk.”


    • Liza says:

      That’s really interesting. But, because of the money, there will be a steady stream of players who want to be in the NFL. With what is known at this point, you have to figure they are playing the odds, hoping that it won’t happen to them.

  34. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

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