September 16, 2014

Thursday Open Thread: African American Car Designers

Good Morning!

Today’s featured designer made like Lazarus and bought the Ford Taurus back from the dead.

Meet Earl Lucas!

From ebony.com:

Like President Barack Obama, who decided to raise his hand and take on the daunting task that only a few wanted (or really knew they had the wits that were needed to save America from another Great Depression), Earl Lucas, Ford’s highest-ranking African American designer, found himself in a similar situation. While Lucas wasn’t trying to save America, he did step-up to the plate to revive an American icon, the Ford Taurus.

Lucas’ design colleagues wanted nothing to do with the Taurus, which at the time was known as the Ford Five Hundred. The vehicle had gone through a name change and was just quite boring to say the least. Lucas, like our President, decided he was the right man for the task. He knew that he could put the sizzle in this big family sedan and restore the Taurus name. His friend and classmate from design school, Ralph Gilles, the brother behind the 300, had done it a few years earlier, adding swag to Chrysler’s line of family sedans (and wagons).  Lucas knew he could do the same and that he needed to come with his A-game. 

Indeed he did. When the 2010 Taurus hit the market, it was no longer the vehicle that should have been built strictly for the rental car agencies. It was once again the vehicle that everyone wanted to own due to its sex appeal. Lucas, like Gilles, had hit a sweet spot with the big family sedan.

So not only did the Taurus ring-up sales and cash for Ford, it earned Lucas an overseas assignment like his design colleagues Crystal Windham, the interior designer at GM, and Andre Hudson, the brother responsible for the Hyundai Sonata.

 

Recently, we caught up with Lucas. Unfortunately, we were unable to conduct a video interview with him due to his international assignment. Nevertheless, we believe that you’ll still find our two-part interview with Lucas to be just as inspiring as the other designers.

So Earl, did the success of the Taurus have any influence over your current international assignment? If so, how?

EL: The success of the Taurus had a great influence on the company deciding to offer me an international assignment. Since Ford is a global company, they are pushing hard to get all their employees an international experience. So, the more I understand about how places like Germany, the United Kingdom, and China works, it places me in a better position to make products that our global customer wants. I am thankful for the assignment.

How long is your international assignment?                                                                     

EL:The international assignment is for 3 years. I have completed a year of the assignment.

Can you tell us what vehicles are you working on?

EL: I wish I could, but you know I can’t talk about the programs I am working on. All I can say that it is totally different than the Taurus. That’s the beauty in working for Ford. The company has a large range of products and they all have their own particular challenges. In the past, I have worked on (Ford) F-150, (Ford) Edge, (Ford) Flex, (Ford) Taurus and (Lincoln) MKS. Working on products in Europe and the rest of the world is the next logical step for my career.

How has your current assignment shaped your ‘eye’ for car designs?

EL: My current assignment in Europe has not really changed my eye for car design, but more so by diversifying my life experiences. Anytime a designer can see and experience other cultures and environments ….they will grow and become better designers. All of life is reference and the best teacher.

What do you mean by life is reference and the best teacher?

EL: When we look at our lives or the things around us, you notice how shapes work together for the greater good (or they should work toward this goal). Being in a different environment makes you question everything. Which solution works better? But more importantly, why it is better? All colors and textures can work together but it is the proportion of elements that makes one product better or more noticeable. Designers have the task of using the ordinary things around us and make them extraordinary by learning from the heritage of the past and moving forward to the present. All of this is done for the sole purpose of creating products that connect with the customer on a much deeper level than simply style.

In the future, there may be a need for me to call upon my trips to Paris when designing the next front-end of a new car or I may have you refer to a graphic that I witnessed while walking the streets of London. So as you can see, my eye for design is based upon seeing and comparing what I believe as a designer. Every designer has a certain view of the world, a certain perspective on how things should work.  Europe is simply giving me a deeper database to pull from and making me consider other possibilities of what can be done as it relates to designing.

Both of your design colleagues, Andre Hudson, who designs for Hyundai, and Crystal Windham, who designs for GM, had overseas assignments, before taking on high-profile assignments. However, you just completed a high-profile assignment. So, why do you think it was beneficial to your career to uproot your comfortable lifestyle in Detroit and move overseas?

EL: Well, let me start by saying that both Andre and Crystal are great designers! Crystal and I were classmates at CCS (the design school in Detroit) and graduated the same year. Living overseas is truly an experience that is beneficial to me as a human being regardless of the significance of the program. I love Detroit, but getting the chance to see the world was too good to pass up. My wife and kids are dealing well with the move; however, we still get homesick from time-to-time. I believe that I no longer have anything to prove as a designer in terms of completing major or minor program because I have done both. For me, work is evolving into sharing my experience with younger designers, creating an environment conducive to design and themes that get to the heart of the customer – regardless of the customer profile. If the company decides to let me handle another high profile assignment, then I will show my superiors again that I am capable and deliver a shape that puts Ford Motor Company in a fashionable light.

Based upon what Earl Lucas did with the Taurus, we can only assume that Ford more high-profile assignments in the pipeline. Look out for continuation of this interview. Unlike the other designers, this international assignment has Lucas working on another soon-to-be release project ….. which is outside of the auto industry.

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  • rikyrah

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

  • Miranda

    #TapperQuestions

    JOBoomr‏@JOBoomr
    Mr. President: We were promised death panels under Obamacare. Still nothing. Where were you on this? #TapperQuestions

    aspirational12‏@aspirational12
    Mr. President do you know the subway rats in NYC were rendered homeless after the storm? Where have you been? #TapperQuestions

    Jeff Gauvin‏@JeffersonObama
    Why do you have black friends Mr. President? Do you hate Beltway types like me? #TapperQuestions

    RealEstateStan‏@realestatestan
    It took me 4 days to hang my Christmas lights, where were you? #TapperQuestions

    Arrogant Demon‏@ArrogantDemon
    How come you didnt serve in Vietnam, I dont care if you were 6, where have you been? #TapperQuestions

    Jeff Gauvin‏@JeffersonObama
    How can you live with yourself for beating Romney, a man who served his Temple with honor, unlike you. Where have you been? #TapperQuestions

    Jonathan Jewel‏@JonathanJewel
    Why didn’t you save Kennedy when he was visitng Dallas in 1963? #TapperQuestions

    SheSheGo‏@SheSheGo
    #TapperQuestions Mr. President, do you think everyone can see through the fact that I am FAKING my concern about gun control?

    @JeffersonObama Mr. President, eagles are snatching babies out there. Where have you been? #TapperQuestions

    Leo Santos‏@_leosantos
    Mr. President, Instagram is trying to sell people’s breakfast photos. Where have you been? #TapperQuestions

    • http://pragmaticobotsunite.blogspot.com/ Sepia

      LMBAO! He deserves all of this!

    • GreenLadyHere

      Good Morntin’ miranda. ***BIG HUG** – –:>)

      LUVIN’ THIS!! LOL – — Has anyone seen him since his – -STOOPID – -INSENSITIVE – -YEAH – RACIST — FAUX-question!! – – –

      Guess he’s seein’ – –KARMA is a MUTHA! – – -HAH! —

      Well deserved! — -annnd MORE!! — – – LOL – – –

      Good 2 C U. :>)

    • PBomb

      Awesome!

  • rikyrah

    Charles Pierce: Following the announcement by Cerberus, the capital management firm that said yesterday that it was getting out of the firearms business, it appears that the notion of divestment is starting to catch on around the country:

    The $150.1 billion New York State Common Retirement Fund is reviewing its investments in firearm manufacturers, a spokesman for New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said on Tuesday. New York City’s pension funds are also reviewing investments and may sell nearly $18 million worth of stock in four companies that manufacture guns and ammunition, a spokesman said on Tuesday….

    …. If you’re wondering why the NRA is extending what Joe Scarborough called “the olive branch” this time, there’s your reason … These clowns didn’t grow a conscience over the weekend. Their sugar daddies are losing money, and that’s all that ever has mattered.

    http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/more-companies-pull-out-of-gun-investments-121912

    • nellcote

      I wonder if Bloomberg has any investments in gun companies.

      Last night Maddow did a piece on massive gun buy backs recently. Bloomberg should take some of his millions and buy back guns if he wants to do something useful.

      • rikyrah

        actually, I think taking the divestment idea and applying it to gun manufacturers would be a good thing. how many teacher pension funds have investment in guns? it’d be interesting to find out

  • rikyrah

    Does anyone really think that the WH didn’t know about Patraeus and the neo-cons?

    Really?

    I think POTUS and ‘ em let him put enough rope around his neck to hang him.

    • sagittarius

      Morning, rikyrah!

      I believe POTUS knew – that’s why he gave him the CIA position in the first place – to remove him from the mix in Afghanistan – and feed him all the rope he needed when he returned home. The old adage – hold your friends close and your enemies closer.

      • GreenLadyHere

        Good Morntin’ sagittarius. ***BIG HUG** :>)

        THIS – -The old adage – hold your friends close and your enemies closer.

        FROM -MR. PRESIDENT:- – – -Last Sunday, President Obama said that he “strengthens our hand” by reaching out to enemies of the United States and making sure that the nation is a leader, not a lecturer, of democracy. He will learn more from his enemies than he will from his supporters.

        He virtually neva shyed away from the “enemies”. After all – -U gotta KEEP an EYE on ‘em. HE KNOWS!! :>)

        Good 2 c U sagittarius. — THANK U 4 your KIND thoughts.♥ –

    • aleth

      what happened?

      • rikyrah

        came out in a Post article that Patraeus was meeting with and all involved with a few neo-cons.

        so, while working for a President who is winding down the Iraq War…Patraeus is all up close and personal of the architects of said war.

  • rikyrah

    When Sandy Hook commentary reaches rock bottom
    By Steve Benen
    Thu Dec 20, 2012 8:00 AM EST.

    It struck me as unfortunate this week when Megan McArdle published a piece on the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, which, among other things, said unarmed “young people” should be taught to suppress their self-preservation instincts and “instantly run at” well-armed madmen. What I didn’t appreciate was how much worse the commentary surrounding the tragedy could get.

    National Review, a leading conservative magazine, published an item yesterday by Charlotte Allen, which offered observations that are nothing short of stunning

    There was not a single adult male on the school premises when the shooting occurred. In this school of 450 students, a sizeable number of whom were undoubtedly 11- and 12-year-old boys (it was a K–6 school), all the personnel — the teachers, the principal, the assistant principal, the school psychologist, the “reading specialist” — were female. There didn’t even seem to be a male janitor to heave his bucket at Adam Lanza’s knees.

    Women and small children are sitting ducks for mass-murderers…. [A] feminized setting is a setting in which helpless passivity is the norm.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2012/12/20/16041002-when-sandy-hook-commentary-reaches-rock-bottom?lite

    • conlakappa

      Wow. Love how reading specialist is in quotes. I guess that person’s role is too nebulous for the Review, which is probably also wants to know if our children is learning. [sic] But, hey, if the editorial board is starting a recruitment effort for male teachers, have at it. It’s a great idea and might lead to people who down the profession giving it its due. /eyeroll

      • Ebogan63

        Love for them to get a fucking stroke and have to see a ‘speech specialist’ like I had to! Fucking idiot!

    • JojoRaze

      Teachers have been largely female in this country for 200 years. It was a cheap way to educate children–before unions–while allowing unmarried white women to not be in thrall to men.

      The right just needs to admit that they don’t care that 20 babies died–they want their guns now and forever.

      These “solutions” to gun violence that the right are proposing are so stupid and insensitive, I wonder how these people wake up daily and manage to walk upright. There are 300 million privately held guns in this country. Reducing that amount by half, especially the assault weapons, is not going to lead to a decrease of liberty.

    • jds09

      These people do not understanding the difference between fantasy and reality. They really believe life works like an action movie.

      Seriously, “husky 12 year olds rushing the shooter” (the brave hero) and “feminized settings…hapless passivity” (aka the pretty white helpless feminine heroine) demonstrates a fundamental fantasy-based worldview.

      When my son was a kid (around 6 or 7) his Dad took him to a violent action movie (against my wishes). I was flipped out and sure he was damaged. While I attempted to talk to him about it, he looked at me and said, “Mom, it was pretend.”

      The Megan McArdles of the world need some maturity and some real life critical thinking skills, not just a big vocabulary.

  • rikyrah

    Their Defenses Will Not Hold

    by BooMan
    Wed Dec 19th, 2012 at 09:56:21 PM EST

    By any reasonable historical standard, the Republicans should control the House of Representatives for the remainder of the decade. The districts are gerrymandered six ways to Sunday. The Democrats just won the national popular vote in House races by well more than a half a million votes and still came up 17 seats shy of taking control. Very few of the races the Democrats lost were even remotely close, meaning that there is little hope of winning more than a handful of those seats in the near future.
    Add to this that the party of a two-term president is normally not just beaten in the sixth-year of his presidency, but completely decimated. It happened to Truman, Eisenhower, LBJ, Nixon (Ford), Reagan, and the Lesser Bush. The only exception was Clinton, and that is explained by the public’s backlash against the impeachment proceedings that were underway at the time. The Democrats should expect nothing better than disaster in November 2014.

    But the Republicans are probably going to screw it up.

    http://www.boomantribune.com/story/2012/12/19/215621/10

  • rikyrah

    Big Picture

    by BooMan
    Thu Dec 20th, 2012 at 08:45:38 AM EST

    Here is why we have to break the back of the Republicans now, in preparation for Obama’s second term:

    The president, in an interview for TIME’s Person of the Year award, said the economy, immigration, climate change and energy would be at the top of his agenda for the next four years.

    The interview took place before the Newtown Massacre, so you can add gun control to the president’s top priorities.

    The Republicans oppose Keynesian economics, which means that they won’t vote for any stimulus spending.

    The Republicans hate brown people, so they won’t vote for any kind of immigration reform.

    http://www.boomantribune.com/story/2012/12/20/84538/157

  • sagittarius

    Good morning, Fam!

    May you have a wonderful day!

    Aqauagranny, enjoy your holiday road trip to CO!
    GLH, you remain in my prayers!

    • GreenLadyHere

      Sagittarius♥ — -Thank U. :>) Very much needed. :>)

  • rikyrah

    Economic growth revised up, exceeds expectations

    By Steve Benen

    Thu Dec 20, 2012 8:49 AM EST

    The initial estimate on economic growth in the third quarter — July, August, and September — was an underwhelming 2 percent. Since then, the numbers have been revised up, and then revised up again.

    The U.S. economy grew more quickly than previously stated in the July-to-September quarter due to stronger trade, faster health-care spending and increased local government construction, the Commerce Department estimated Thursday. The Commerce Department said third-quarter gross domestic product grew at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.1% in the third quarter…. Economists polled by MarketWatch had anticipated a 2.9% reading in the third and final estimate.

    For context, note that the 3.1 percent GDP figure is the best since the end of 2011, and the second best quarter of the last three years. It’s short of what most would consider a “robust” recovery, but it’s nevertheless heartening.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2012/12/20/16041780-economic-growth-revised-up-exceeds-expectations?lite

  • sagittarius

    So, Fam, last night I had an opportunity to attend a music experience with recent Kennedy Center award winner Buddy Guy. His latest CD was released Monday and it is primarily a live album, with most of the recording taking place at his club in Chicago, Legends. It was an interesting, fascinating and delightful evening – and he signed my CD!

    • conlakappa

      Good for you! He has such a good vibe about him.

      • sagittarius

        The tales he could tell about the music business and the Chicago recording industry back in the day…. chile…!

    • GreenLadyHere

      WOW&1/2!! – – – -Sagittarius. – – – — -GOOD on U! :>) HOW EXCITING!! – — —

      THANK U 4 SHARIN’ :>)

  • rikyrah

    Another coach for change on guns
    by Laura Conway

    Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:54 PM EST

    Last night on the show, we played tape of Syracuse basketball coach Jim Boeheim using the occasion of his 900th win to talk about the Newtown shooting and gun reform. Tonight while we were prepping the show, Rachel sent over another news story — this one about Winthrop University coach Pat Kelsey. From AP columnist Jim Litke:

    “The last thing I want to say,” Kelsey began, as reporters scrambled to turn their tape recorders back on Tuesday night, “is I’m really, really lucky, because I’m going to get on an eight-hour bus ride, and I’m going to arrive in Rock Hill, South Carolina, and I’m going to walk into my house, and I’m going to walk upstairs, and I’m going to walk into two pink rooms with a 5-year-old and a 4-year-old laying in that pink room, with a bunch of teddy bears laying in that room.

    “And I’m going to give them the biggest hug and the biggest kiss I’ve ever given them. And there’s 20 families in Newtown, Conn., that are walking into a pink room with a bunch of teddy bears with nobody laying in those beds,” he said. “And it’s tragic.”

    No one in the room knew that was coming, nor the call to action that came next. The only thing that was certain was that Kelsey’s voice grew stronger the longer he went on.

    “I know this microphone is powerful right now because we’re playing the (seventh)-best team in the country. I’m not going to have a microphone like this the rest of the year, maybe the rest of my life. And I’m going to be an agent of change with the 13 young men I get to coach every day and the two little girls that I get to raise. …

    “But,” he said, “we’ve got to change

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2012/12/19/16027355-another-coach-for-change-on-guns?lite

  • rikyrah

    Dear Liberals, Chained CPI is NOT a “Cut” to Social Security. Get Over It.

    Wednesday, December 19, 2012 | Posted by Deaniac83 at 5:08 PM

    There is a big freakout over a possible fiscal cliff deal including the use of something called “chained CPI” to calculate increases in Social Security benefits. Go to Huffington Post, Daily Kos or another “liberal” blog and you will see people who never supported the president in the first place but nonetheless claim to be his “base” lamenting over what a backstabber he is.

    The president, as part of the fiscal cliff negotiation offers and counteroffers, has apparently opened the possibility of slightly adjusting the way cost of living increases are calculated for Social Security, by tying it (and all other government accounting) to a “chained CPI” model, a more accurate measure of inflation that accounts for the idea (and fact) that consumers often replace an item with increasing prices with a less expensive substitute. Apparently, this set off more alarm bells on the Left’s media than Pearl Harbor. But as with most hair-on-fire freakouts, there is less here than meets the eye.

    What is this Chained CPI thing?

    Let me begin by restating something I explained almost a year and a half ago, in the wake of the debt limit negotiations of 2011, on this exact subject:

    http://www.thepeoplesview.net/2012/12/dear-liberals-chained-cpi-is-not-cut-to.html

    • Alma98

      It seems this post brought out all the dkos trolls lol.

  • rikyrah

    John Boehner, scourge of the wealthy, ctd.

    Posted by Greg Sargent on December 19, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center has just completed a new analysis of John Boehner’s “plan B” fiscal proposal, which would raise taxes only on income over $1 million. The analysis makes it pretty clear just how ludicrous it is for House Republicans to be expecting Obama to agree to it.

    The new analysis sheds fresh light on just how tiny a slice of taxpayers would see a tax hike under Boehner’s plan. It also reveals in new detail just how many households that are very wealthy (but make under $1 million) would actually see their taxes go slightly down.

    The basic findings: Nearly half of households in the top one percent would see a small tax cut under Boehner’s plan. Meanwhile, lower and middle income households would see a tax increase under his plan (more on this later).

    The key table you want to look at is right here. It shows that 48.3 percent of households in the top one percent would see their taxes go down by an average of $240. Those are people who make between $521,000 and $1 million. Only 28 percent of those in the top one percent (the ones with the highest incomes) would see a tax hike, of around $97,000.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2012/12/19/john-boehner-scourge-of-the-wealthy-ctd/

  • rikyrah

    The Morning Plum: White House should let Boehner keep twisting in the wind

    Posted by Greg Sargent on December 20, 2012 at 9:14 am

    , the House will vote on John Boehner’s alternate fiscal cliff proposal, which would raise taxes only on income over $1 million. It’s unclear whether it will pass. Boehner can only afford around two dozen defections, The Hill’s whip count shows that 11 Republicans will likely vote No and more than a dozen more are undecided. If “plan B” fails, Boehner will be badly weakened, and perhaps left unable to broker any kind of compromise with Obama in January if we go over the cliff. It’s unclear how that would play out.

    But what if “plan B” does pass? How do the White House and Dems respond? There are some on the right who think that if Boehner gets the bill through, it will put pressure on Senate Democrats to take it up or take the blame for going over the cliff.

    I don’t see it. The more likely outcome is that Democrats will just let Boehner continue to twist in the wind. As Politico puts it:

    Senate Democrats haven’t settled on a final strategy, but the most likely option is they don’t even take the House bill up — if it passes — and pound the speaker for refusing to cut a deal with Obama

    Good. There is no reason for Dems to sweat the House bill. A new poll from CNN explains why: The GOP’s brand is in terrible shape and Republicans are poised to take the blame for any failure to reach a deal. Fifty three percent of Americans see GOP policies as too extreme. Fewer than a third trust the Congressional GOP more than Obama to deal with the nation’s most pressing problems. Obama’s approval rating is at 52 percent. Forty eight percent will blame the GOP if we go over the cliff; only 37 percent will blame the President

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2012/12/20/the-morning-plum-white-house-should-let-boehner-keep-twisting-in-the-wind/

  • GreenLadyHere

    – -GOOD THURSDAY MORNTIN’ miranda/POU FAM♥. ***BIG HUG*** :>) – -WOW& 1/2!! – –WHAT am EXCITING ENTRY! – –He WENT STR8 2 the TOP! Woo! Hoo! :>) – -FROM the WHITE HOUSE: – PLANNING MEETINGS. :>) –Part of the PROCESS 4 ACTION! :>) – –

    – – – -☻ -THIS — – >-Earl Lucas, Ford’s highest-ranking African American designer, –PROUD of HIM!! :>)

    – – -☻ – -Obama will attend meetings at the White House. Press secretary Jay Carney will brief at 12:30.

    Vice President Joe Biden will convene the first meeting of the group tasked with coming up with proposals to combat gun violence.

    – –☻-5 Ways the Obama Administration Revived the Auto Industry by Reducing Oil Use – —THANK U – — MR. PRESIDENT. – —

    THANK U 4 this series miranda. :>) – -Learning sooo much. NOW I appreciate my CAR even more. :>)

    – – – -ENJOY YOUR CHRISTMAS TREAT. :>) – –

    – –B BLESSED 2-DAY. :>)

  • rikyrah

    Boehner struggles, scrambles to pass tax gambit

    By Steve Benen

    Thu Dec 20, 2012 9:37 AM EST

    On Monday, House Speaker John Boehner was very close to reaching a fiscal deal with President Obama. On Wednesday, Boehner was moving away from his own negotiations, presenting a transparent p.r. stunt as an alternative, and finding that his own Republican colleagues have very little interest in following his lead.

    In his extremely brief press statement yesterday afternoon, Boehner boasted in passing that the House “will pass” his plainly ridiculous “Plan B.” The bravado was misplaced — the Speaker proceeded to spend the day pleading with House Republicans to do as he asked, and was even forced to add new spending cuts to his doomed proposal in the hopes of enticing his own GOP caucus to help bail him out of the jam Boehner put himself into.

    Making matters slightly worse, Boehner was forced to scrap a scheduled vote on Obama’s original offer — tax breaks on all income up to $250,000, higher marginal rates for higher income — in part because it might pass (which would undermine the Speaker’s leverage) and in part because he couldn’t risk it failing (if all else fails, he might need to pass it before Dec. 31).

    And in case these troubles weren’t quite enough, an analysis of “Plan B” from the non-partisan Tax Policy Center concluded that “nearly half of households in the top one percent would see a small tax cut under Boehner’s plan,” thanks to cuts in taxes on capital gains, estates, and dividends, while “lower and middle income households would see a tax increase under his plan,” thanks to the elimination of existing tax policies designed to help working families.

    John Boehner, in other words, isn’t having a great week.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2012/12/20/16042474-boehner-struggles-scrambles-to-pass-tax-gambit?lite

  • GreenLadyHere

    miranda – – -MR. PRESIDENT ALWAYS has a COGENT PLAN: – – – –

    – – -What exactly Obama is proposing on gun control – –

    – — President Barack Obama says the massacre of schoolchildren in Newtown, Conn., obligates the nation to finally act to reduce gun violence. He’s outlined only a broad plan so far, leaving specific proposals until next month.

    < – -A look at Obama’s call for action Wednesday:

    -☻ -FIRST PROPOSALS

    Obama urged the new Congress that convenes Jan. 3 to vote rapidly on measures that he says a majority of Americans support:

    —Ban the sale of military-style assault weapons.

    —Ban the sale of high-capacity ammunition clips.

    —Require criminal background checks for all gun buyers by removing loopholes that cover some sales, such as at gun shows.

    —Confirm his nominee to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms after years of delay.

    _☻_OTHER IDEAS

    Obama assigned Vice President Joe Biden to lead an effort to come up with other concrete proposals, due no later than January. In addition to gun restrictions, Obama said Biden would consider how to:

    — Improve access to mental health care.

    — Protect schools.

    — Change an American culture that glorifies guns and violence.

    – ☻–BEYOND NEWTOWN: – -
    THERE IS MORE.

    HAH! 2 THOSE who “challenged” him 2 develop a PLAN of ACTION! – -HAH!
    He’s -“got your plan!!” – -Annd will have MORE when VP Joe finishes his work.!

    NOW – -HATAS – – -WHAT did U have in mind??! – –HAH!
    What has CONGRESS DONE? – -ABSOLUTELY –N-O-T-H-I-N-G!!!

    THANK U 4 your –LEADERSHIP – -MR. PRESIDENT!! :>)

    • Admiral_Komack

      Why, it’s only the first step in his plan of world domination (that, and the widespread use of the phase “Happy Holidays”)!
      BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

      • GreenLadyHere

        LOL – – –Ohhhh Admiral! :>) – – — i can hear U –ALL da way from da – –“BAD LOUNGE”. LOL. – –

        – -GOOD 1!! LOL – – –

        REALLY – – -It’s GOOD 2 C U. :>) – – -

      • GreenLadyHere

        LOL – – –Ohhhh Admiral! :>) – – — i can hear U –ALL da way from da – –“BAD LOUNGE”. LOL. – –

        – -GOOD 1!! LOL – – –

        REALLY – – -It’s GOOD 2 C U. :>) – – -

  • GreenLadyHere

    miranda – – -***sigh*** – -Who woulda thought that THIS would B needed? – —

    – –Bulletproof Backpack Sales Soar After Elementary School Shooting – –

    – – – -Guns aren’t the only product flying off the shelves in the wake of the Connecticut elementary school shooting that killed 20 children and 7 adults. Parents hoping to shield their children from the terrible fate that befell the kids of Newtown are purchasing armored backpack, meant to protect fragile bodies from bullet fire.

    Sadly, this seemingly drastic attempt to steel children to the whims of firearms might not even be enough to save their lives; the AP reports that “the armor is designed to stop bullets from handguns, not assault weapons like the one used in the shooting at the Newtown, Conn., school.” And Psychiatrists worry about the emotional implications, too, of arming children:

    Anne Marie Albano, psychiatry director at Columbia University’s Clinic for Anxiety and Related Disorders, said parents should convey calmness, not anxiety.

    ‘‘This is not serving to keep children safe,’’ she said. ‘‘This is serving to increase their fear and their suspicion of their peers.’’
    THERE IS MORE

    – – -Soo SAD that this hadta B created. – – —

    CONTINUING 2 PRAY 4 the FAMILIES of NEWTOWN. AMEN.

    • conlakappa

      Are they really effective though? Sounds like something slapdash that was thrown together. I’m reminded of that hustler who was selling “chemical weapons detectors” in the Middle East, making millions and they were just repurposed credit cards.

      • GreenLadyHere

        Good MornTin’ conlakappa ***BIG HUG*** :>)

        – –SADLY —as the areticle reports – -NOT against HIGH POWERASSULT WEAPONS. – —

        Annnnd tell me how one “trains” – -the “wee one” 2 properly use them.! – – – -Hmmmm. . .

        – —YEP! – – -People R makin’ bank!! – – -SAD!

        Good 2 C U conlakappa. :>) —

  • rikyrah

    Republicans Are Still the Same Old Republicans
    —By Kevin Drum

    | Wed Dec. 19, 2012 12:22 PM PST

    John Boehner’s “Plan B” is obviously just political theater. Hell, it’s not even good political theater. Sure, it allows the the top marginal rate for millionaires to increase to its fiscal cliff level (i.e., the level it will be at if we do nothing), but capital gains rates would go down, dividend rates would go down, and estate tax rates would go down. “Pease” limits on itemized deductions are eliminated, and the planned phaseout of the personal exemption goes away too. On net, millionaires do pretty well for themselves. At the same time, tax rates on the poor and middle class would go up.

    This is just a bad joke. But the negotiations of the past few weeks have made clear that nothing has changed in Republican-land. Boehner just flatly doesn’t have the support of his caucus for a real deal. So he makes up weird stuff about interest expenditures “not counting” as a pretense to reject Obama’s latest offer, and then tosses out a plainly unserious plan as a way (he hopes) of creating a land mine for Democrats.

    This is grade school stuff. Apparently, there’s simply no way to make a deal with House Republicans. Boehner is doing his best to mask that uncomfortable fact, but that’s where we’re at. The lunatics are still running the asylum.

    http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2012/12/republicans-are-still-same-old-republicans

  • GreenLadyHere

    miranda – – -YEP! Still have my — **POLL -side-eye*** on. LOL.

    BUT — — THIS is somewhat POSITIVE. :>) – –

    – – -CNN Poll: Are GOP policies too extreme? — [YES!!]

    -Just over half the public says that the GOP should give up more than the Democrats in any bipartisan solution to the country’s problems, according to a new national survey.

    And a CNN/ORC International poll also indicates that a slight majority of Americans sees the Republican party’s policies and views as too extreme, a first for the GOP, and fewer than a third say they trust congressional Republicans more than President Barack Obama to deal with the major issues facing the nation.
    – – – SNIP- —
    Fifty-three percent of those surveyed say they view the policies of the GOP as too extreme, up 17 points from two years ago. Only 37% say they view the polices of the Democratic Party as too extreme. – –

    – — –It probably doesn’t help that House Speaker John Boehner, who’s leading GOP fiscal cliff negotiations with the president, is held in fairly low regard, particularly in comparison to Obama. According to the poll, 34% of the public approves of how the top Republican in the House handling his job. By contrast, the president’s approval rating stands at 52%.
    THERE IS MORE

    – – -COMMENT: –Marie MD
    The party of he!! no and the tea trolls talk about big government out of my life but they want to control women, gays, Latinos, seniors, the young, veterans, people with disabilities, to name a few, all in the name of their congressional job and rich people.
    Is there is a word was past and beyond extreme let’s start using that word for the quickly disappearing party of the gop.

    – – – -MOST of the COMMENTS —required – – -BAND AIDS. LOL

    • conlakappa

      How are Johnny Orange’s personal numbers so high when the Congress itself had been regarded around 21%? Yes, your side-eye is extremely warranted.

      • GreenLadyHere

        conlakappa – – – -***fist bump*** — – -:>)

      • jds09

        Serious side-eye. Calling Nate Silver and Sam Wang! WTF?!

  • GreenLadyHere

    miranda – – –‘CAUSE of the “STORM” – –NOW —

    — -Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims at 361,000

    — – The DOL reports:

    In the week ending December 15, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 361,000, an increase of 17,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 344,000. The 4-week moving average was 367,750, a decrease of 13,750 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 381,500.

    The previous week was revised up from 343,000.

    The following graph shows the 4-week moving average of weekly claims since January 2000.
    -SNIP – –

    – –THIS – – ->The recent spike in the 4 week average was due to Hurricane Sandy as claims increased significantly in NY, NJ and other impacted areas. Now, as expected, the 4-week average is back to the pre-storm level.

    — – -Sooo – –the NEWS is steady. :>) – – –

    Found nothing on a move from – -7.7% – -:>)

  • http://pragmaticobotsunite.blogspot.com/ Sepia

    Heh..

    In the New Year lets call out the nonsense and name names. Too much is at stake for folks to play games to further their own self interest.— Eddie S. Glaude Jr. (@esglaude) December 20, 2012

    • PBomb

      I hope that means he will be calling out himself….

      Pot meet kettle…

      • JojoRaze

        When ivory tower, position paper pundits like Eddie Glaude are calling the PL out, you know you wrong.

  • http://pragmaticobotsunite.blogspot.com/ Sepia

    Third-quarter GDP revised up to 3.1% rate
    By Steve Goldstein

    WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) – The U.S. economy grew more quickly than previously stated in the July-to-September quarter due to stronger trade, faster health-care spending and increased local government construction, the Commerce Department estimated Thursday. The Commerce Department said third-quarter gross domestic product grew at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.1% in the third quarter, which is the fastest rate of growth since the 4.1% pickup in the final quarter of 2011. The GDP numbers were well ahead of the government’s initial estimate of 2% growth or even its most recent tally of 2.7%. Economists polled by MarketWatch had anticipated a 2.9% reading in the third and final estimate.

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/third-quarter-gdp-revised-up-to-31-rate-2012-12-20?mod=wsj_share_tweet

  • http://pragmaticobotsunite.blogspot.com/ Sepia

    Booker’s staying in Newark; will explore a run for Senate in 2014: http://www.corybooker.com/

  • GreenLadyHere

    miranda — – -How KOOL is THIS?- – – :>) – —

    – —-Man Behind “47 Percent” Video Opens His Own Research Firm- —

    – – –The freelance researcher who became a minor campaign celebrity after unearthing the now-infamous video of Mitt Romney railing against 47 percent of Americans at a private fundraiser has used his political fame to start his own opposition research firm.

    When the researcher, James Carter IV, first saw the secretly recorded footage of Romney in August, he immediately identified it as a bombshell, and sent it to David Corn, a Mother Jones reporter with whom he had worked in the past. When the magazine published the scoop — headline: SECRET VIDEO: Romney Tells Millionaire Donors What He REALLY Thinks of Obama Voters” — Corn received a solo byline, with Carter getting a modest mention at the foot of the post: “Research assistance: James Carter.”
    – – -SNIP- —
    “[Corn] got a lot of the credit for it, and that’s fine — that’s the way it had always worked,” Carter told BuzzFeed, adding, “I was perfectly fine with it. I’m the research guy, and he was the reporter and publicist.”

    – — -SNIP – —
    So he decided to start his own opposition research firm instead. He didn’t know how to start a business, but his cousin lawyer helped him file the papers, and on Oct. 15, he officially opened Carter Research, LLC for business.

    The firm operates from Carter’s home in Atlanta, where he and his wife work together side-by-side. “She’s the writer, and does some researcher too, but she mainly puts it in a form that’s presentable to the client,” he said.

    – –FROM NOW ON – – –RE-THUCKERS – –I BETTA – -WATCH OUT. :>)- –

  • GreenLadyHere

    miranda – –Wheeeee! – – – WHAT A SURPRISE!! —:>) – —

    – – -Obama To Visit Wounded Veterans At Walter Reed- –

    – —President Obama will travel to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Washington on Thursday to visit with Wounded Warriors and their families, the White House announced.

    ***tears*** annnnd —**smiles*** — -BLESS U SIR. :>)

  • GreenLadyHere

    NEWS ALERT: – – -AG HOLDER HEADED 2 NEWTOWN 2 CONFER WITH LAW ENFORCEMENT. – —

    —Mr. PRESIDENT is GATHERING his OWN FACTS. Part of HIS PLAN. :>) -

  • GreenLadyHere

    miranda – — –WHEW LAWD! – —-***lookin’ BEYOND –side-eye – -while dialin’ — -911*** – — -HE IS — TWISTED!!! – –geesh!! – – –

    – —-David Barton Says We’ve Got to Have the Same Guns the Government Has – – –

    – – – –I know you were all waiting for this: in the wake of the tragedy at Sandy Hook, David Barton’s answer to the question, What Would the Founding Fathers Do?

    Appearing on The Glenn Beck Program on BlazeTV, right-wing revisionist David Barton visited with guest host Tim Ballard to talk about guns and religion in America – you know, the thing President Obama is not allowed to talk about.

    As a matter of reference, the Second Amendment reads, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” With that in mind, listen to Barton’s take.

    Watch the video courtesy of Right Wing Watch:

    – — SNIP —-
    – — -Barton, who thinks the American Revolution was an act of “biblical rebellion,” claims that the Founding Fathers did not refer to the Second Amendment as the “right to keep and bear arms” even though it is quite explicitly stated in those exact terms.

    – — -SNIP – —

    —You begin to get a picture of what conservatism’s fantasy America would look like, and it would not be anything we would recognize. David Barton, reprehensible as he is, is only the tip of the iceberg, a disease but also a symptom afflicting the body politic.
    THERE IS MORE. – — — – – — -CRAY CRAY!! – – -LOL – —

    • conlakappa

      The Founding Fathers would have their slaves, indentured servants, and mercenaries take care of it.

      • GreenLadyHere

        conlakappa – –***fist bump*** SPEAK TRUTH!! LOL – –

  • GreenLadyHere

    miranda – – -MUSIN’ — – – –:>) — -A PIC of a –“2nd AMENDMENT “SUPPORTER – —

    – – – –<a href="http://cdn01.cdn.justjared.com/wp-content/uploads/headlines/2012/07/michelle-obama-rallies-for-obama-campaign-in-florida.jpg&quot;WHO HAS the RIGHT annnd RESPONSIBILITY 2 – DO SO- -:>) – – —

    —–-WE LOVE♥ -U –:> )

  • GreenLadyHere

    miranda – – —TERRIBLE NEWS – –AFFECTING CHILDREN!!! – – –

    — -Officials: 31 fired in Myer day care scandal – —

    – – – At least 31 people were fired from two Army day care centers at Fort Myer, Va., last week after officials scrutinized their backgrounds and found criminal convictions ranging from fourth-degree sexual assault and drug use to other assaults, a defense official said Wednesday.

    The escalating scandal surrounding the Fort Myer Child Development Center has triggered a review of hiring procedures, angered defense leaders and prompted a late-night telephone call Tuesday from President Obama to the Army secretary to express concern, and urge a speedy and thorough investigation.

    Details of the scandal emerged this week, nearly three months after the arrests of two day care workers on charges of assaulting children at the Fort Myer center. The slow pace of public revelations enraged Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who on Tuesday ordered a worldwide review of hiring practices at all military child care centers, schools, youth centers and other facilities that involve children.

    According to a defense official, 10 of the 31 dismissed workers were involved in minor criminal offenses, 13 were involved assaults, six were involved in drug use and two were involved fourth-degree sexual assault. The official noted that neither person with sex assault charges ever ended up on a national registry of sex offenders. In some cases, sexual assaults can involve people over the age of 18 who are having consensual relationships with someone under the age of 18.
    THERE IS MORE.

    – –BEYOND!– SHAMEFUL!!! – – — -PRAYING 4 the CHILDREN. AMEN. – – –

  • dannie22

    http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/12/20/images-of-emancipation/?smid=tw-share hello everyone! saw these photos of emancipated slaves.

  • Alma98

    Afternoon POU!

  • GreenLadyHere

    miranda – — -HAH! – – — -KARMA – –GOT da – –“W”! – –

    — – -Olive Garden, Red Lobster See Sharp Drop In Profits After Anti-Obamacare Campaign Backfires – —

    – – -Ever since Darden Restaurants — the owner of the Olive Garden and Red Lobster chains — first announced its anti-Obamacare campaign, the company has had a tough couple of months. Darden admitted as much when it revised its predictions for latest quarterly earnings down in December, attributing the drop to “recent negative media coverage on Darden [...] and how we might accommodate healthcare reform.”

    The negative press led the company to reverse course on its threat to shift employees to part-time status to avoid covering them under Obamacare. The latest report on Darden’s earnings prove that was a good move, since the restaurants did take a turn for the worse as a result of their bad publicity. Its net income fell 37 percent:
    – — -SNIP – — –

    But the company said revenue at U.S. restaurants open at least a year fell 2.7 percent for its three biggest chains during the quarter; it fell 3.2 percent at Olive Garden, 2.7 percent at Red Lobster and 0.8 percent at LongHorn Steakhouse. The figure is a key metric because it strips out the impact of newly opened and closed locations.
    THERE IS MORE.

    – –COMMENT: – – -Joyce Lang
    To me this has shown how the men running these corporations are out of touch with average Americans. Their histrionics over providing health care has revealed emotional greedy men who could care less about their employees.
    – – -TRUTH!
    – – –[SORRY that Brutha Clarence is the CEO. ]

    • Alma98

      You reap what you sow, deal with it.

      • GreenLadyHere

        HEEY Alma98. ***BIG HUG*** :>)

        —***fist bump*** – – -TRUTH!! — – – — –

        – – -Wish he would speak 2 da press. :>) – –

        Good 2 C U Alma. :>)

        • Alma98

          Holidays ***HUGS*** GLH!! Good to see you too I hope the family is doing alright.

          • GreenLadyHere

            Thank U Alma98. :>) My “care-takin’ situation” -has its UPS annnd DOWNS. – –Prayers welcomed. :>)

          • Alma98

            Sending healing light to you and your family GLH. ***HUGS***

    • conlakappa

      Another company underestimating black dollars, their impact, and who eats at those places.

      • GreenLadyHere

        conlakappa – – – -***fist bump*** YEP!! – –Hadta make “believers” outa them!! – -HAH! – –

        DONE!! – — -Feels like da “Montgomery Bus BOYCOTT!”- –HAH – -

  • GreenLadyHere

    miranda – – –HEEEEERE’s Mr. HARRY – – -LOL – —

    – – -Leader Reid rules out Senate vote on ‘Plan B’ – –

    – – – -Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Thursday the Senate will not vote on Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) “Plan B” to extend tax rates for family income below $1 million.

    The Democratic leader blasted Boehner for wasting time on “fiscal cliff” legislation that will not see floor time in the upper chamber.

    – -“We’re not picking up any of the things they’re working on over there now,” Reid told reporters. “It’s very unfortunate Republicans are wasting an entire week on a number of pointless political stunts.”

    Reid said Boehner should schedule a House vote on the Senate-passed bill to extend the Bush-era tax rates for family income below $250,000.

    “The Senate bill is the only one that will be signed into law. We can protect middle-class families tomorrow. The Speaker refuses to bring our bill to the floor because it would pass,” Reid said.
    THERE IS MORE.

    — -Uhhhh — -Did he do THIS?? – –***slams desk*** — LOL —

    Here R the BAND AIDS! LOL – – — – He is FIERCE. LOL

    • Kennymack1971

      John Boehner is pitiful. So scared of the Tea Party nuts that he is wasting time on a Plan B that’s DOA in the Senate. Truly the Worst. Speaker. Ever.

      • GreenLadyHere

        HEEY Kennymack1971. ***BIG HUG*** :>)

        – — – -***BIG fist bump*** —HE annd his “LITTLE BAND of RE-THUGS!!” – –R – – –COLLECTIVELY – — -STOOPID!! —

        TELL ‘EM — -Antoine! – – -LOL –

        Good 2 C U Kennymack1971. :>) — -

  • http://pragmaticobotsunite.blogspot.com/ Sepia

    DAYUM!

    BREAK TIME FOR JOYNER, RICHARDSON

    Tom Joyner, host of the nationally syndicated radio show “The Tom Joyner Morning Show,” and his wife, ESPN sports commentator Donna Richardson, are headed for divorce after 12 years. The duo split weeks ago in what was a “mutual but not exactly amicable” situation involving other parties, a source tells Confidenti@l’s Marianne Garvey. A rep for Joyner did not get back to us by deadline.

    Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/gossip/confidential/katie-holmes-play-dates-article-1.1223967?pgno=1#ixzz2FcV48oxA

    • GreenLadyHere

      Sepia —-THIS saddens me. – – -geesh! – —

    • rikyrah

      mutual but not exactly amicable”?

      uh uh uh

    • Alma98

      Other parties involved Hmmm…

  • http://pragmaticobotsunite.blogspot.com/ Sepia

    Is Lil Luke calling his father a GOP water-carrying hack?

    @LukeRussert: . @jaketapper comes in with the Tim Russert question: Mr. President re gun violence over last 4 yrs, where u been?

    • dannie22

      luke: hey jake! your a loser just like my dad!!
      jake: gee thanks luke!!!

    • conlakappa

      Showing off his entitlement, per usual. I don’t think his grandfather would encourage that kind of disrespect.

  • Alma98

    Hey POU fam I just found out my cousin had a book published in July of this year. I’m so proud of her, she sent copies out as Christmas presents.
    http://www.amazon.com/About-Fred-Ghost-Dad-Stalker/dp/1434989747/ref=sr_1_7?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1356031424&sr=1-7&keywords=elizabeth+rudolph

  • GreenLadyHere

    miranda – – -VP Joe – -in an OFFICIAL DUTY: – —

    – – -At arrival ceremony, Biden says Inouye ‘made me proud to be a senator’ — –

    – – –Vice President Biden praised the late Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) as “the quintessential American” at an arrival ceremony for the senator’s body at the Capitol Rotunda on Thursday.

    Inouye, a nine-term senator and the second-longest-serving member in Senate history, will lie in state in the Capitol and become just the 31st person to receive the honor. The list has included presidents, civil rights leader Rosa Parks and two Capitol Police officers killed in the line of duty.

    “Each and every American who has been granted the honor accorded to Danny today, they have been granted it because they possessed a particular quality that we view as uniquely American,” Biden said.

    The vice president went on to praise Inouye, who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his service during World War II, saying he was consistently amazed by the senator’s disposition, despite the harsh injuries he suffered in battle. He also noted the prejudice that Inouye, the nation’s first Japanese-American senator, faced with determination.
    THERE IS MORE.

    – —RIHEP – – -SEN. DANIEL INOUYE — -WITH THANKS. AMEN- —

    Well done — Mr. Vice President. :>) —

  • GreenLadyHere

    POU FAM♥ – — -JUST
    – – — — – – – – – – —-WATCHED
    – – – – – — – – – —- – – – – –MR. PRESIDENT —

    – – – — – — —— – — – – ——— — “-SWAGGA STROLL”

    – – – — – — – – —- – – – – – – – – – – — – – – — – – – -ACROSS the

    – — – – – — – – – – — – — – – — – — — – — – – – – – — — WHITE HOUSE LAWN!

    – — —PLEASE — Gimme a MINUTE!! – – –LOL – —

    Uhhh — – could U hand me –THIS! – -LOL – – – – -Ooookaaay. J/K :>)

  • rikyrah

    While emos shriek, Obama gives Boehner the shiv

    bit of analysis from Josh Marshall:

    But the real issue here probably comes down to Boehner’s weakness, institutional and personal. It’s a question the White House has had from the beginning and suspects the worst on — that John Boehner can’t actually deliver any deal, almost no matter what’s included in it. Someone on Twitter just called him the rodeo clown of conservative politics, which about captures it.
    We’ve been treated to a full meltdown among our True Progressive (TM) friends for the past two days—while the nation is still raw over the Newtown massacre—over the reports leaking out that President Obama is going to “cave” to Boehner and give him the Keys to the Kingdom, turning Social Security over to the corporatists and making you wait until you’re on your deathbed to qualify for Medicare. It’s predictable, and really not worth going over in too much detail. Much like the bomb throwers on the Right, those on the Left have a preternatural hatred of this president, distrusting him as much as denizens of Red State do, and look at any action and statement from him or his Administration as prelude to a betrayal. This is merely another milestone in the infantilization of our political culture, where total defeat is to be preferred to messy compromise in which you achieve at least some of your aims.

    So, as with Mr. Marshall, let’s focus on what Obama has been able to accomplish in the short few weeks since negotiations began in earnest.

    ………………………………………………………..

    The reason for this is very simple: any resolution will be seen as a victory for Obama. If he and Boehner come to an agreement, the public will see it as due mostly to the President’s efforts. If we go off the cliff, the public has already made it clear that it will blame Boehner and his party, and demand that it follow the President’s and Democrats’ lead.

    http://www.thepeoplesview.net/2012/12/while-emos-shriek-obama-gives-boehner.html#.UNNBtDgC8Uc.twitter

  • GreenLadyHere

    Moved. :>)