November 20, 2017

Tuesday Open Thread: African American Winemakers


We continue our series on African American Winemakers.



Sugarleaf Vineyards
North Garden, Virginia

(Photo by Stephen Katz | The Virginian-Pilot)

From, June 2008:

Lauren and Jerry Bias say they are proud to be African American pioneers in the Virginia wine industry, but they don’t want the distinction to define the winery – Sugarleaf Vineyards – they have established near Charlottesville.

“Excellence is colorless,” Lauren Bias is fond of saying.

The primary descriptive the couple wants the public to associate with Sugarleaf is “premium-class.” It is something like premiere cru classe, the Bordelais term designating the likes of Chateau Lafite and Chateau Margaux.

Although the Biases’ lofty aspirations may take decades to realize, the winery, after only a year in business, has turned out cabernet sauvignons and petit verdots that could be mistaken for the pretty darn good cru bourgeois Bordeaux reds (see story, Page 5). And each premium varietal the winery makes has won at least one medal in a state or national competition. Sugarleaf sales, originally contained in and around Charlottesville, are branching out. Taste Unlimited gourmet shops in Hampton Roads recently decided to stock the label.

Jerry Bias, who has a full-time job as a partner in a New York-based hedge fund firm, says he is a winery owner today because he developed a passion for great wines of the world, such as Brunellos from Tuscany and cult cabernets from Napa.

“What I like about them is that from bottle to bottle, glass to glass, they all have different character, bouquet and balance. That’s our goal at Sugarleaf, to create high-quality wines with character, bouquet and balance that make people say, ‘Wow!’ “

The Sugarleaf story begins with Jerry Bias’ student days at the University of Virginia. He loved the Charlottesville area, and not long after he finished school in 1990 and entered the business world, he returned to buy a 126-acre estate just off U.S. 29 south of Charlottesville to accommodate his still long-off retirement.

Planting vineyards and building a winery, however, were not on his radar right away. It took some encouragement from a friend, and then that friend’s tragic death in the 9/11 attack in New York, to seal the deal.

The friend was Mike Taylor, who also worked in the financial services industry in New York, and was an avid collector of great wines. “As my passion to collect superior quality wine grew, I invited Mike to our property in Virginia,” Bias remembered.

“Once Mike saw the place and its attributes, as we were sitting on the porch drinking a glass of 1997 Bryant Family Cabernet Sauvignon, he blurted out, ‘You love drinking great wine, so why don’t you make some yourself.’

“Initially, I laughed, but then I looked around the property and said, he’s right. Why not? Let’s try it.”

Bias did research. Another U.Va. alum introduced the couple to Felicia Warburg Rogan, the Oakencroft Vineyards owner, who introduced them to Gabriele Rausse, the longtime Virginia winemaker.

Bias said the wine community associated with the Monticello Wine Trail has been very supportive. “Every time we have run into an obstacle, it seems like another angel comes to our rescue.”




 Sugarleaf Vineyards

Horseshoe Estate is home to Sugarleaf Vineyards and its Winery. The breathtaking beauty of the estate inspired a dream, to create a vineyard. Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, Sugarleaf Vineyards rests on 4 acres of the 126 acre estate in the heart of Monticello. This emerging viticultural area is gaining recognition for its excellent growing conditions and ability to produce high quality wines similar to the beginning stages of the production of California wines in the early 1970’s.

Sugarleaf Vineyards was created from the estate’s raw land that benefits from its optimal position in the Monticello Viticultural Area of Virginia. The Vineyard is now home to Sugarleaf’s 2,075 thriving vines, resting at an elevation of approximately 815 feet and surrounded by a mountainous terrain. Sugarleaf Vineyard’s unique combination of climate, elevation, and soil produce the high quality grapes needed in order to produce wine with fully developed and complex flavors. The breeze from the mountains which wisps over the Vineyard cooling the fruit on warm summer days is one of the many characteristics that enhances the quality and uniqueness of the Vineyard’s fruit. The vineyard was planted by hand in April of 2002 and trained to grow in the VSP (Vertical Shoot Positioning) trellis system. All 2,075 vines that are planted at Sugarleaf are nurtured and maintained by hand by our tireless and dedicated crew and vineyard manager.

Since Sugarleaf Vineyards was established in 2001 our primary mission has been: to produce high quality grapes that can produce exquisite varietals of wine that are appealing to the casual wine friendly consumer, and that can be respected by a connoisseur of fine wines. Sugarleaf has rapidly gained a reputation for growing top quality Virginia fruit as a result of our meticulous and consistent work in the vineyard. We focus on producing the highest quality grapes in order to produce superior wine in quality, taste, and aroma. Sugarleaf Vineyards is committed to concentrating on all of the details and factors affecting the ultimate quality and caliber of the Vineyards production.


Here’s a small sampling of awards Sugarleaf Vineyards has won:


3rd Annual Atlantic Seaboard Wine Competition

Silver Medal-  2006 Viognier and 2006 Vidal Blanc 

Bronze Medal – 2006 Chardonnay

Virginia Governor’s Cup Wine Competition

Bronze Medals – 2006 Viognier, 2006 Chardonnay, 2006 Petit Verdot, 2006 Cabernet Franc

15th Annual Town Point Wine Competition

Gold Medal – 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon

Bronze Medal – 2006 Viognier



Virginia Governor’s Cup Wine Competition

Gold – 2008 Petit Verdot

Bronze – 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon, 2007 Neubia

San Francisco Wine Competition

Silver – 2008 Viognier, 2008 Petit Manseng, 2008 Cabernet Franc

Bronze – 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, 2008 Petit Verdot



Atlantic Seaboard Wine Competition

Silver – 2008 Chardonnay, 2009 Vidal Blanc

Bronze – 2009 Viognier

Virginia Governor’s Cup Wine Competition

Silver – 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon (Cuvee Neubig)

Bronze – 2008 Cabernet Franc, 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon

Virginia State Fair

Gold – 2009 Vidal Blanc



Virginia Governor’s Cup Wine Competition

Silver – 2008 Cabernet Franc, 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon, 2008 Chardonnay, 2009 Viognier

Bronze – 2009 Cabernet Franc, 2008 & 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon, 2010 Petit Verdot, 2009 Vidal Blanc

U.S. National Wine Competition

Best of Class – 2010 Petit Verdot

Double Gold – 2010 Petit Verdot

Bronze – 2009 Cabernet Franc, 2009 Viognier, 2009 Vidal Blanc

International Eastern Wine Competition

Silver – 2009 Vidal Blanc


Sugarleaf Vineyard’s 2011 Petit Manseng was served at the White House for the 2009 and 2010 Governors’ Ball!

For more information, check out Sugarleaf Vineyards.



*FUN FACT* Woburn Winery in Clarksville, VA was the first African American winery in the U.S.. It was founded by WWI veteran John “June” Lewis in 1940.

  • QOakaJP

    I’m up early today, so I might as well be the first to say good morning. 😉

    • rikyrah

      Good Morning, everyone 🙂

  • Poll: Obama holds 52 percent approval rating ahead of deficit talks
    By Meghashyam Mali – 11/27/12 07:20 AM ET

    A majority of Americans approve of President Obama’s job performance, according to a new poll released Monday.

    The latest CNN/ORC poll finds Obama with a 52 percent approval rating, and 43 disapproval.

    The poll shows a slight uptick for the president since the last survey taken in early November before his commanding reelection victory. That poll showed Obama with a 51-45 positive split.


    • aleth

      Which means NBC, CBS, CNN, FOX, MSNBC, Emoprogs and righties ideologues are meeting in a room to figure out how to help the GOP and make sure 2014 election is like 2010.

      Pretty much…

      • conlakappa

        My CBS affiliate is trying its level best–the reporter dispatched to the Capitol Building at 0 dark 00 today was talking about the Rs being willing to compromise but Mark Warner probably not having an easy time getting his fellow Ds to “restructure” programs like Social Security. I wanted to jump into the TV.

  • Obama hits ‘fiscal cliff’ campaign trail

    7:04AM EST November 27. 2012 – President Obama is expanding his campaign for a “fiscal cliff” plan that includes higher taxes on wealthier Americans.

    Over the course of this week, Obama will meet with small business owners and middle-class Americans about the possible impact of higher taxes and budget cuts that would kick in next year if the White House and Congress are unable to reach a budget deal.

    So far, the two sides are at an impasse over taxes — hence Obama’s stepped-up schedule of public pressure.

    On Friday, Obama makes a campaign-style appearance at a toy manufacturing plant in Hatfield, Pa. — “a business,” says the White House, “that depends on middle class consumers during the holiday season, and could be impacted if taxes go up on 98% of Americans at the end of the year.”


    • Miranda

      GAME. ON.

      • conlakappa

        More like game.over. I love the smell of mandate in the near midday.

    • GreenLadyHere

      Sepia – – – -YES! HE! IS! – –Movin FORWARD – – ->

      — – TAKIN’ IT 2 DA PEOPLE!! — –

      FROM; – – -The HILL: – – –On Wednesday, the president will also take his message on the road, visiting a business in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania that “depends on middle class consumers during the holiday season, and could be impacted if taxes go up on 98 percent of Americans at the end of the year” on Friday.

      –Woo! Hoo! — B BLESSED – – -MR. PRESIDENT. :>)

  • Gov. Christie has strong support of N.J. voters, new poll shows
    By Matt Friedman/Statehouse Bureau
    on November 27, 2012 at 12:01 AM, updated November 27, 2012 at 2:00 AM

    Just hours after Gov. Chris Christie announced he’s running or re-election, a new poll shows a strong majority of New Jersey voters are behind him.

    The Rutgers-Eagleton poll of 1,108 registered voters shows 59 percent support re-election for Christie while 32 percent oppose.

    The poll also shows Christie dominating all of his potential Democratic opponents. Newark Mayor Cory Booker fares best against Christie in the poll, but the governor still leads him 53 percent to 34 percent. Next closest is state Sen. Richard Codey (D-Essex), who Christie leads 56 percent to 31 percent.


    Christie is having his hurricane honeymoon now, but sooner or later, reality will set in and folks will remember Christie’s ENTIRE record.

    • Camille

      This artificial high poll number the obnoxious bully is enjoying at the moment, partly reflects the openminded, generosity of Democrats who will acknowledge even the slightest good deed – unlike Republicans who will deny President Obama any credit for any of his most amazing and hard won accomplishments.

  • MonieTalks

    Cory Booker and Kamala Harris: How the New Black Politician Will Take on 21st Century

    ….Dixon and Glen Ford, “a veteran New Jersey journalist and co-founder of Black Agenda Report” are not fans of the new black politician. They dismiss Gillespie’s assertion that the new black politician is a “technocrat with access to funding, elite connections and crossover appeal which enables them to get things done that previous generations of black politicians could not.” They believe that what is happening is that black politics is being “hijacked.” They see a gradual shift of black politics from the left to center right on issues.

    They point out that the background and policies of many of the new black politicians like Booker and Reed are noticeably center right. They even believe that Obama has been a center right politician “pursuing wars, prosecuting whistleblowers, shielding ‘banksters’, and using cruise missiles to dispatch suspected terrorists.” In describing Reed, they say he described himself as a “civil rights lawyer”, but “forgot to mention [he was] defending corporations that violate the civil rights of actual persons.” Of Booker, they say he was an asset of the right and a product of their effort to “incubate and raise its own crop of corporate-oriented black Democrats.”

    read more:

    • “They believe that what is happening is that their black political hustle is being “hijacked.” They see a gradual shift of their influence on black politics from the left to non-existent on issues.”

      There. Fixed.

    • PBomb

      The first sentence of this article made my head hurt and eyes glaze over. Anything referencing BAR is completely worthless in my opinion.

      • conlakappa

        Anything that acts like we haven’t already seen the compleat 21st century black politician is going to get side-eye by the cups full from me.

    • Miranda

      Glen Ford and Bruce Dixon huh…..LOL

    • Ebogan63

      No thanks, I will pass on this article.

    • creolechild

      He or she–whatever the case may be–might actually want to engage in conducting research into these issues before poppin’ off about what PBO has done in the past or will do in the future. But since they don’t seem to mind making asses of themselves, by all means…please proceed.

      Obama Signs Bill To Protect Whistle-Blowing Federal Employees

      President Obama on Tuesday signed a bill into law that provides protection for whistle-blowing federal employees. The AP reports: The legislation closes loopholes created by court rulings, which removed protections for federal whistle-blowers. One loophole specified that whistle-blowers were only protected when they were the first to report misconduct.

      H/T David Taintor

  • This Wally The Walrus looking mofo right chere.

    (h/t @morphusbfly)

    Fox Host: People Who Died In Walmart Factory Fire Were Thankful For Their Jobs
    By Zack Beauchamp on Nov 26, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    The 129 Bangladeshis who died in a fire caused by poor fire safety conditions in their garment factory should be thankful for their jobs, according to Fox Business host Charles Payne. Speaking with Neil Cavuto on Fox News this Monday, Payne excused this Sunday’s fire as a rare event and labelled all critics of the unsafe conditions that contributed to the tragedy as anti-Capitalist:

    PAYNE: It is tragic. I don’t think something like this will happen again. Don’t think that the people in Bangladesh who perished didn’t want or need those jobs, as well. I know we like to victimize everyone in this country, particularly when it comes to for-profit motivation, which is being assaulted. But, you know, it is a tragedy but I think it is a stretch, an amazing stretch, to sort of try to pin this on Walmart but, of course, the unions in this country are desperate.


    • rikyrah

      slave catching coon

      • jds09

        Wow just wow. Said it with a straight face no less.

    • JojoRaze

      Yes, people want jobs but they shouldn’t be killed while at them. This is basically Bangladesh’s Triangle Shirtwaist Fire disaster and this nudnick is telling Bangladeshis to “be grateful you have jobs.”

    • Miranda

      heartless, soulless baboon.

    • Kennymack1971

      That’s some ol Toby bullshit right there.

    • GreenLadyHere
    • MsKitty

      If I, for just one day, beat somebody’s ass without threat of jail time…

      Sigh, a girl can dream can’t she?

    • GN


      • conlakappa

        Sociopath. You’d have to wonder how he conducts himself in his everyday life if he lacks a basic level of empathy.

    • conlakappa

      Nuts and a serious shiver down my spine–the day before the fire happened, my husband and I were talking about WalMart slaves in Asia. When news of the fire struck, identifying only what the factory produced, I scoffed that they were probably making goods for WalMart. Remember when that company’s founder used to brag that everything there was “made in the USA?” Yeah, neither do his greedy heirs.

  • (h/t @symmetry11)

    Joe Weisenthal


    Nice beat on durable goods!

    The headline durable goods number was flat, compared to expectations of a 0.7% decline.

    But even more importantly, core durable goods orders rose 1.5%. That was expected to be flat.

    Given the fears of a business slowdown ahead of the cliff, this is a very positive point.

    Read more:

  • MonieTalks

    Huh?….whatchu smoking Warren Buffett?

    Dimon Best to Lead Treasury in Crisis, Buffett Says

    JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon would be the best person to lead the U.S. Treasury Department in a financial crisis, billionaire investor Warren Buffett said.

    “If we did run into problems in markets, I think he would actually be the best person you could have in the job,” Buffett said in response to a question about Dimon from Charlie Rose, according to the transcript of an interview that was scheduled to air yesterday on PBS. “World leaders would have confidence in him.”

    read more:

    • HELL NO!

    • Camille

      Absolutely not!

      Jamie fucking Dimon at Treasury is much the same as having the fox guard the henhouse?! Warren Buffet must be hallucinating. He needs to get back in bed and get a bit more rest and recovery.

      The other day it was Chris Matthews advocating for Michael Bloomberg as Treasury secretary! You can’t make this shit up!

      These ridiculous suggestions are no different from having a Mitt Romney presidency.


  • Bob Cesca breaks down why Pew Research’s study and HuffinPuffin’s Michael Calderone’s article are false:

    I especially enjoyed this smack down of GiGi:

    It shouldn’t come as any surprise that Greenwald echoed typically right-wing attacks against MSNBC, probably because the network doesn’t align with his narrow priorities and view of the Obama presidency — a view that’s obsessively focused on a few specific foreign policy issue areas, namely the aforementioned drones, along with indefinite detention and national security whistle-blowers. Yet Rachel Maddow and Chris Hayes have both covered those stories on their respective shows. Greenwald noted that Maddow only rarely criticizes Democrats anymore. But just because Maddow doesn’t always cover the same three things that Greenwald writes about every day with his exact same ferocity and tenacity doesn’t mean she’s ignored the flaws of the Democratic Party. But of course Greenwald is going to say these things because it’s part of his agenda to shame anyone who dares to report on something — anything — positive about the Obama presidency. And having watched Maddow since she first appeared on MSNBC, I can tell you that she’s the most intellectually honest, the most insightful and the most empirical of any cable news host — possibly ever. If the administration does something wrong, Maddow usually covers it. If the president does something correctly, Maddow covers that, too, with an equal and opposite reaction.

    • Miranda

      People are on to Gigi’s fake ass motives for continously bitching over PBO.

    • Camille

      Glen Greenwald should just jump off a bridge somewhere in Brazil already.

      I’m so sick of this hate-filled, self-absorbed, self-serving, phony racist asshole.

      Like Grover Norquist, Greenwald is losing his hold on the few silly acolytes he managed to con into buying into his obsessive anti-Obama rage which he had for so long managed to conveniently package as some high moral, righteous human rights fight on behalf of terrorists and other dubious types who happen to deserve in his opinion, all the kindness, empathy, respect and humanity Greenwald curiously denies President Obama.

      • GN


    • Tafr

      IMO Maddow and Hayes receive way too much credit on their so called fair criticism of this president. Maddow went out and blamed a entire race for prop 8. I do not know about the rest of y’all but I thought that charge was racist as hell. She basically said we gave you a black president but you still hate the gays. Never mind that entire families in Utah were giving away their life savings to support prop 8. Oh no she focused on the blackety black blacks for the simple fact that BO is black.

      That snarky little asshole Hayes is nothing more than a male version of Maddow. Naw Maddow and Hayes are just as bad as Greenwald. They criticize the president for shit he has not even done. Not only that they criticize the president for not doing things the way they want him to. I guess they feel they know it all while the president is just another black guy that they have to school.

      • MsKitty

        What you said.

      • GN

        It was incredibly racist. I can’t stand Rachel Maddow or any other douchebag who claims that black people have some special obligation to do anything or support anyone other than ourselves.

        • jds09

          What I don’t get about Maddow was her lovefest with Pat Buchanan. A noted white supremacist and culture warrior, I heard her call him “Uncle Pat” while they were sharing a panel once. I thought “but he hates you too.” She thought his racism was cute I guess.

          • Admiral_Komack

            She’ll think it’s cute until Uncle Pat puts a rope around her neck.

          • TyrenM

            Bling, bling. New jewelry.

      • dannie22


  • jds09

    It may be to early in the morning to put my tin foil hat on but….during the campaign I remember that the Obama Campaign released the transcripts of an “off the record” conversation PBO had with the editorial board. In his statements he pretty much outlined the Fiscal Cliff drama that’s going down right now and said it would take about 6 months to work out. I tried to find the transcript this morning but the Des Moines Register has removed it. Crazy.

  • rikyrah

    I don’t drink wine, but wineries are usually in beautiful places to visit , and I’m making note of these places.

  • rikyrah

    Breaking Grover Norquist’s anti-tax pledge
    By Eugene Robinson,
    Nov 27, 2012 12:19 AM EST

    The Washington Post Published: November 26

    Maybe the fever is breaking. Maybe the delirium is lifting. Maybe Republicans are finally asking themselves: What were we thinking when we put an absurdly unrealistic pledge to a Washington lobbyist ahead of our duty to the American people?

    I said maybe. So far, the renunciations of Grover Norquist’s “Taxpayer Protection Pledge” amount to a trickle, not a flood. But we’re seeing the first signs in years that on the question of taxation — one of the fundamental responsibilities of government — the GOP may be starting to recover its senses.

  • rikyrah

    Susan Rice to meet with GOP accusers
    By Steve Benen
    Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:00 AM EST.

    Following up on a story Rachel mentioned at the top of the show last night, Susan Rice will head to Capitol Hill today, where she’s scheduled to meet with the same Republican senators who’ve spent a few weeks trying to destroy her reputation.

    Ms. Rice, the president’s ambassador to the United Nations and a front-runner to be the next secretary of state, will meet with Senator John McCain of Arizona and two other Republican senators who have excoriated her, saying she provided a misleading account of the attack on the diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya.

    Ms. Rice asked for the meeting, according to a government official. Mr. McCain seemed to soften his opposition to her potential nomination on “Fox News Sunday” and said “she deserves the ability and the opportunity to explain herself.” Also attending the meeting will be Senators Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, officials said. Ms. Rice will be accompanied by Michael J. Morell, the acting C.I.A. director.

    In terms of the significance of the meeting, it now appears Rice’s nomination to replace Hillary Clinton at the State Department is practically a foregone conclusion — it’s hard to imagine the White House going to such lengths unless Rice were slated for a promotion. Indeed, she has additional meetings scheduled for tomorrow with Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), soon to be the ranking member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, as well as Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), the ranking member on the Senate Homeland Security Committee.

    • nellcote

      So they came out of the meeting doubling down on their bitchassness but I think they gave the game away by comparing Rice’s nomination to SoS to John Bolton’s.

      • conlakappa

        I hope she did what I’d do when dealing with a racist and stupid suitemate: throw a big word into the conversation and watch her get confused. I’m not even talking $5 words, more like a buck and two bits. The girl was dim. So’s The Mack Daddy.

  • GreenLadyHere
  • MonieTalks

    Israeli Faces ‘Obama’ Blackface Backlash

    One of the Israeli military’s most visible spokesmen is under fire for a photo he posted on his Facebook page captioned “Obama style” in which his face is smeared with mud.

    Sacha Dratwa posted the photo in late September, but since the furor he has restricted access to his account. A screengrab of the original post circulating online showed that it drew mixed reactions, with one commenter saying, “You know this is racist, yeah?”

    In the photo, Dratwa appears to be smeared in mud from the Dead Sea, a popular activity for many visiting and living in Israel. Dratwa responded to a user on Twitter accusing him of racism saying, “I’m not a racist, please stop [spreading] lies about me.” He also posted a response on Facebook saying the firestorm around the photo misrepresents his opinions and is a “cynical use of the information” on his profile.

    read more:

  • rikyrah

    Reid, McConnell face off on Senate reforms
    By Steve Benen
    Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:43 AM EST.

    There is a certain irony to watching Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) argue about filibuster reform. After all, up until fairly recently, Reid was so committed to institutionalism, he opposed even minor changes.

    But as we were reminded yesterday, watching the two leaders face off on the Senate floor, Republicans haven’t given Reid much of a choice.

    What’s striking about McConnell’s defense of obstructionism is how weak his arguments are and how quickly they fall apart after minimal scrutiny. The Republican leader has completely destroyed the way in which the Senate was designed to function — and the way it functioned for two centuries — but nevertheless has the chutzpah to whine that Democrats are pursuing a “naked power grab” that would “poison party relations.”

    Ezra Klein had a good piece yesterday, documenting McConnell’s “biggest whoppers” on filibusters, which suggest the Republican is either confused about the institution, its rules, and its history, or he’s not yet prepared for an honest debate on the merits.

  • GreenLadyHere

    – –GOOD TUESDAY MORNTIN’ Sepia. ***BIG HUG** :>) —

    TRUE 2 FORM- – -GR8 2 WAKE UP 2 this EXCITIN’ SERIES. Woo! Hoo! :>)

    – – – – – -ALRIGHTY!! – — -THEY ONLY SERVE the BEST: – –Sugarleaf Vineyard’s 2011 Petit Manseng was served at the White House for the 2009 and 2010 Governors’ Ball! -:>)

    – – -THIS: –>The primary descriptive the couple wants the public to associate with Sugarleaf is “premium-class.” –:>)

    — –Sooo – – -I BROKE OUT da – -ELEGANT WINE GLASSES! — -CHEERS –POU FAM♥ – – – -LOL



  • rikyrah

    Cantor’s unique definition of ‘serious’
    By Steve Benen
    Mon Nov 26, 2012 3:10 PM EST.

    As fiscal talks resume, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) believes President Obama must show he’s “serious” by putting the Affordable Care Act “on the table.”

    Cantor argued, “There is no question in my mind that [Obamacare] is the largest expansion of government programs that we’ve seen.” He added that he specifically wants to see the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) eliminated.

    My primary concern with Cantor’s argument is that it’s incoherent. Put aside politics, ideology, and the merits of the health care law and we’re left with a simple proposition: the House Majority Leader believes the way to reduce the deficit is to increase the deficit.

    It’s really not complicated. The Affordable Care Act cuts the deficit by over $100 billion over the next decade, and several hundred billion dollars more in the following decade. If the goal is to reduce the deficit and improve the nation’s finances, targeting the law is not an example of being “serious”; it’s the opposite.

    As for IPAB, this is nearly as ridiculous, and Cantor’s comments reinforce the impression that the House Majority Leader simply hasn’t taken the time to read up on the basics.

    • conlakappa

      Cantor is a dumbass who would much prefer to rely on coded language than actually do his homework. If you’re not part of the solution, Hairdo, …

  • rikyrah

    Republican Humor

    by BooMan
    Tue Nov 27th, 2012 at 09:01:42 AM EST

    I don’t get the Republican sense of humor. It’s not just that I am not amused by their jokes. It’s that I can’t really determine where the snark begins and the sarcasm ends. Victor Davis Hanson’s NRO piece on winning the Latino vote is clearly tongue-in-cheek, except when it isn’t. If his intent were to make fun of Republicans’ views on race relations, his piece would actually be kind of clever, but that is not his intent at all. He’s making fun of the very idea of trying to reach out to Latinos.
    My favorite part of his column is the the section that mocks the president for acting black like two times in his first term and then protests all the left’s false accusations of racism.

    The Obama administration’s four-year barrage of “my people,” “punish our enemies,” “a nation of cowards,” the Skip Gates pontification, the Trayvon Martin if-I-had-a-son line, Eric Holder’s charges of racism over the Fast and Furious investigation, the whites-in-Hell slurs from Joseph Lowery, who gave the benediction at Obama’s inauguration in 2008, the hyphenated campaign committees, the executive orders, Sandra Fluke, the constant charges of racism by the liberal media, the weekly outraged Black Caucus — all of that insidiously created a climate of socially acceptable anti-old-white-guy feeling that anyone not of that suspect group could buy into — and anyone of that unfortunate group could buy out of by loudly proclaiming his support for Obama.
    Is this not a model for capturing more of the Latino vote?

    • Miranda

      Victor Davis Hanson was breastfed for far too long.

      • Camille

        Or not at all–

        • conlakappa

          Does it count if it was by a she-wolf?

  • GreenLadyHere

    Sepia – – –HAH! — -‘MEMBER THIS: – –:>)

    – —Rep Marcia Fudge defends UN Ambassador Susan Rice from attacks by Sen McCain – —

    – – – -People should NOT EVA START NONE with da SISTAS!! :>) –HAH! –

    – – –LET’S GO –2 DA – –THRILL UPON da HILL – -Oooowee!

  • rikyrah



    Mr. 47 Percent

    By Steve Benen
    Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:22 AM EST

    Election Day was three weeks ago, but every day, the overall popular-vote totals change just a little as additional results are published. And as of yesterday, we appear to have reached an interesting, albeit largely symbolic, threshold.

    Call it irony or call it coincidence: Mitt Romney’s share of the popular vote in the 2012 presidential race is very likely to be 47 percent.

    Romney’s campaign, of course, was doomed in large part by comments made on a hidden camera in which he suggested that 47 percent of the country was so reliant on government services that those people would never vote for him.

    The words ’47 percent’ came to define what was already evident: that Romney struggled to connect with lower- and middle-income voters and with groups such as Latinos. And in the end, it looks like 47 percent also just happens to be the share of the vote that Romney will get.

  • Miranda

    LOL…shorter Tom Ricks to FoxNews: You’s a DAMN LIE! I didn’t apologize for a damn thang ya punks!

    Fox News Channel is hitting back against a guest whose interview was ended after he accused the network of acting “as a wing of the Republican Party” in covering Benghazi.
    Michael Clemente, executive vp, news editorial at FNC, tells The Hollywood Reporter that Ricks dodged Scott’s question (“When you have four people dead, including the first U.N. ambassador in more than 30 years, how do you call that ‘hype’?”).

    “When Mr. Ricks ignored the anchor’s question, it became clear that his goal was to bring attention to himself — and his book,” Clemente said in an e-mail to THR. “He apologized in our offices afterward but doesn’t have the strength of character to do that publicly.”
    In an email to THR, Ricks also disputes FNC’s claim of a private apology.

    “Please ask Mr. Clemente what the words of my supposed apology were. I’d be interested to know,” he said. “Frankly, I don’t remember any such apology.”

    • Miranda

      LMAO…and now they busted and don’t know WHAT to do.

      Asked about the discrepancy, Clemente referred POLITICO to Fox News communications representative Dana Klinghoffer, who has yet to respond. Ricks also has yet to respond to a request for additional comment.

    • rikyrah

      that segment was so short, it was hilarious. they couldn’t get that man off the tv fast enough.

      • Aquagranny911

        I know! I LMAO when I saw that!

  • Miranda

    This is sooooo good!!


    Anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist on Monday hit back at Rep. Peter King for declaring that he isn’t beholden to Norquist’s no-new-taxes pledge.

    “The pledge is not for life, but everybody who signed the pledge, including Peter King, who tried to weasel out of it. ‘Shame on him,’ as the New York Sun said today. I hope his wife understands that commitments last a little longer than two years or something,” Norquist said on Piers Morgan’s CNN show.

    • Admiral_Komack

      Gee, Grover…are you upset that Rep. King is more faithful to his wife than your tax pledge?

      Why you mad, tho?

      Has Jane Hamsher relegated you to the couch?

  • GreenLadyHere

    Sepia – — -OF COURSE —IT IS!! — — -:>) – –

    – —Report: Obamacare a good deal for states – – –

    – — – A new report says states can receive more than $9 in federal money for every dollar they spend to cover low-income residents under President Barack Obama’s health care law.

    Expanding Medicaid to cover about 20 million more low-income people will cost a total of more than $1 trillion from 2013 to 2022, the report estimates. But states will pay just $76 billion of that, or roughly 7 percent of the cost.

    Two nonpartisan groups, the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Urban Institute, collaborated on the new analysis.

    It also found that a few states might actually spend less than they do now.


    – -[Sorry – -Gotta “bounce” early. MISSIN’ U/CARYIN’ U -iN MY♥ -C U AS SOON AS. :>)] – —

  • Miranda

    The Benghazi narrative spun by Fox now in ruins

    For at least a few conservatives, Election Night opened eyes about the danger of confining yourself to the right-wing information echo chamber. Because out here in the real world, as opposed to ConservaWorld, it turned out that the polls weren’t skewed, Mitt Romney wasn’t surging and a majority of the American people really did want to re-elect Barack Obama as their president.

    Those who had relied on Fox “News” for their information were prepared for none of that.

    To my mind, though, the utter collapse of the Fox narrative regarding the attacks on our consulate in Benghazi should be at least as instructive for those who are willing to see things as they are, rather than how they wish them to be. For more than two months, the network and those in Washington who follow its lead tried to create a firestorm of controversy regarding Benghazi, but time and again, as facts came to light, each right-wing claim about Benghazi was exposed as false and inflammatory.

    Let’s review the litany, shall we?
    more here:

  • November consumer confidence hits more than four-year high
    NEW YORK | Tue Nov 27, 2012 11:00am EST

    (Reuters) – Consumer confidence rose to a four-and-a-half-year high in November as consumers became more optimistic about the outlook for the economy, according to a private sector report released on Tuesday.

    The Conference Board, an industry group, said its index of consumer attitudes rose to 73.7 up from an upwardly revised 73.1 the month before, its highest since February 2008. Economists had expected a reading of 73.0, according to a Reuters poll.


  • GreenLadyHere

    Sepia- – – -Di-ent get a chance to watch the “THRILL on da HILL”.[Iff it was on.]

    – – – –FOUND THIS FROM the RACIST RE-THUGS!!——————– — –GOP Senators Meet with Ambassador Rice– —

    – – —U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice and Acting Director of the CIA Michael Morrell met with Republican members of the Senate Armed Services Committee today on Capitol Hill. Senators John McCain (R-AZ), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) spoke to reporters after the meeting, saying they are “significantly troubled” over responses to their questions regarding the explanation of the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

    – — -I jus’ CAIN’T.!!- – – -THEY LISTENED with RACIST EARS!! — geesh.

  • rikyrah

    Posted at 08:51 AM ET, 11/27/2012
    The Morning Plum: Will taking it to the people work for Obama?
    By Greg Sargent

    Here we go: Obama is getting ready to mount more public pressure on Republicans to pass an extension of just the tax cuts for those under $250,000 — and reach a deal on the fiscal cliff.

    A White House official says Obama will meet today with small business owners. He’ll host another event tomorrow with middle class Americans facing the expiration of the Bush tax cuts. On Friday Obama will tour a toy manufacturing plant in Pennsylvania that may take a hit if middle class taxes go up and holiday consumption drops.

    Will it work? As Jonathan Bernstein has noted, this sort of activity doesn’t necessarily move Republican members of Congress, since many only need to worry about their districts and were elected by safe margins. But such public campaigning is valuable anyway: It may keep the president and his fiscal approach popular — and the overall GOP brand unpopular — heading into the next round of midterm elections. Also: it could keep the Dem activist base engaged, post-election.

    Obama has the leverage here. Yesterday’s CNN poll found that 53 percent have an unfavorable view of the GOP. More would blame Congressional Republicans (45 percent) than Obama (34) if we go over the fiscal cliff. Two-thirds say any fiscal deal should include a mix of spending cuts and tax increases; 56 percent say taxes on the rich should be kept high so government can continue helping low-income people.

    • conlakappa

      If they have to keep asking if it’s going to work for the President, maybe they should just retire/move on to a different profession.

      • Ebogan63

        Thank you! Sargent is really clueless, like the paper he writes for.

        • conlakappa

          Can you imagine this group of people if Watergate happened now? Um, Liddy an’em told us there was no crime so it didn’t happen… now how about Muskie’s wife?! Is Eagleburger nuts or what?!

          • Ebogan63

            Miss that ol’ coot, Ben Bradlee.

          • conlakappa

            Yes but he introduced his flatbacker [or kneepadder, by her own admission], Sally Quinn, to the outside world. That means his legacy was already tarnished–Sally leads the cry of “wah, Barack and Michelle don’t want to party with us in our Georgetown homes!”

  • GreenLadyHere

    Sepia – — –Annnnd — -YOUR TUESDAY DOSE — -of COMEDIC TRUTH :>) –

    – —Cartoons of the Day- The Looming Fiscal “Cliff”– – — – -SLAMMIN’ – – annnd BLAMIN’ da RE-THUCKERS. – -HAH

  • rikyrah

    Why the right’s reaction to Shelley Moore Capito matters
    By Steve Benen – Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:46 AM EST.1
    Getty Images

    In 2010, Republican primary voters ignored the GOP establishment’s wishes and several U.S. Senate races. The result was several winnable contests for Republicans — including Nevada, Delaware, and Colorado — in which Democrats prevailed. In 2012, it happened again in states like Missouri and Indiana.

    Looking ahead, GOP leaders are desperate to prevent similar fiascoes, and the National Republican Senatorial Committee is eyeing a more prominent role in party primaries to prevent unelectable candidates from winning the party’s nomination.

    There is, however, a big problem — far-right activists don’t care what the establishment wants, don’t like the candidates the NRSC supports, and don’t see the problem with the status quo. This is likely to get ugly, and we’re already watching the first proxy fight unfold.

    Rep. Shelley Moore Capito’s (R-W.Va.) candidacy for a West Virginia Senate seat is already signaling that Republicans could face the same intra-party split that plagued them in primaries over the past two cycles.

    On day one of her candidacy, Capito received criticism from two conservative groups known for mounting primary challenges against establishment-backed Republicans: the Club for Growth and the Senate Conservatives Fund, a group founded by Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.).

    Chris Chocola, president of the Club, slammed her as an “establishment candidate,” and Senate Conservatives Fund executive director Matt Hoskins said the group wouldn’t endorse her.

    For the Republican establishment, Capito’s announcement was fantastic news — she’s easily the most popular Republican in West Virginia and her campaign kickoff might pressure incumbent Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D) to retire. With Capito on the ballot in this once-blue-now-red state, the GOP sees this race a big step towards retaking the Senate majority.

  • rikyrah

    The Kids Are Alright
    By Steve Benen – Tue Nov 27, 2012 11:20 AM EST

    There was a fair amount of skepticism going into the presidential election as to whether President Obama could count on younger voters’ support the way he did four years ago. But it’s clear the youth vote once again made a critical difference, as a new Pew Research Center report helped document.

    The divide between young voters and older voters was as stark this year as it was in 2008. While Obama lost ground among voters younger than 30, he still won this age group by 24 points over Mitt Romney (60% to 36%). […]

    In Florida, Ohio, Virginia and Pennsylvania, Obama also failed to win a majority of voters 30 and older. Yet he swept all four battleground states, in part because he won majorities of 60% or more among young voters.

    Just as critically, young people made up as large a share of the overall electorate as they did in 2008, according to the national exit poll (19% in 2012, 18% in 2008). As recently as September, young voters were significantly less engaged in the campaign than they had been four years earlier. But their interest and engagement levels increased in the campaign’s final weeks.

    As a matter of election analysis, this is certainly noteworthy data, which helps explain why the president was able to do as well as he did.

    • conlakappa

      A fair amount of skepticism = media folk who don’t know young folks in any way to appreciate their thoughts and opinions. Being one of Lil Luke Russert’s twitter followers doesn’t count.

  • GreenLadyHere

    Sepia- – – -COPY – – — — —DOGS!!! —-

    – – –House GOP plans public push against tax hikes on businesses– — –

    – – – —President Obama won’t be the only one hitting the campaign trail to push his deficit plan to avert the fiscal cliff.

    House Republicans are planning their own campaign-style events to argue against Obama’s insistence on higher tax rates for the wealthy, Speaker John Boehner’s office said Tuesday.

    As they have repeatedly, Republicans are targeting their message to small businesses, arguing that an increase in the marginal income rate over $250,000 a year will hit small-business owners who file as individuals.

    – — -SNIP —

    – – – Obama on Tuesday is holding an event at the White House with small-business owners to press his plan to extend George W. Bush-era tax rates only for family income up to $250,000, which Democrats say would protect 98 percent of families and 97 percent of small businesses from a tax hike.

    On Thursday, the president will head to Pennsylvania to campaign for his plan at a manufacturing facility.

    – — -C’MON- – -MR. PRESIDENT!!- — :>)- -The MAN 4 the PEOPLE! :>)

    • conlakappa

      Oh, like that will work. More bused-in town hall screamers? They hold people in too much contempt to really listen or care.

    • Aquagranny911

      One of my daughters & her husband have a small business (approximately 25 full & part time employees) They have worked at this for over 12 years & feel successful even during the economic downturn but NEVER have they made a NET income of over $250,000.

      NET here is the operating word. Of course their gross is more but they have to pay employees, mortgage on their business building, equipment costs, supplies, insurance, local taxes, other fees etc. After that what is left is their NET taxable income.

      Most small business people with two brain cells understand how this works. Unfortunately the GOP concept of “small business” is something like Walmart!

      • BoomerGal

        “the GOP concept of small business is Walmart.” Exactly.

  • MonieTalks

    Can someone please tell me why Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte is touted as some foreign policy expert along with with Sweet Lindsay and Bitter McCain. She joined these two on their little sequestration tour pre-election, but where are her military connections or past

    Where did she come from and why is she even “trusted” with getting the truth about anything….especially when she went the way of Mitt and deleted e-mails, and has tried to play stupid ever since.

    • Miranda

      I was wondering the same thing Monie! Who the hell is she? I guess this is her foray into the upper echelon of GOP foolishness.

      • conlakappa

        Now that Kay Bailey is on her way out, they have to prop up whatever dimbulb wears a skirt.

    • Camille

      Ms Lindsey and Bitter McCain had to find a replacement for bland Liebermann. Kelly Ayotte serves multiple purposes: she’s unaware, easy to manipulate for their purposes, provides cover for misogyny and presents minimal interference for the scheming McCain and Graham as all she does is stand and nod.

    • Town

      She’s a token coon, meant to deflect criticism of old white guys beating up on the little black woman.

  • GreenLadyHere

    Sepia- — –OMG!!- – –THIS is – –DISGUSTING!!- —

    – – – –Mississippi County Jails Kids For School Dress Code Violations, Tardiness, DOJ Alleges – –

    – —In Meridian, Miss., it is school officials – not police – who determine who should be arrested. Schools seeking to discipline students call the police, and police policy is to arrest all children referred to the agency, according to a Department of Justice lawsuit. The result is a perverse system that funnels children as young as ten who merely misbehave in class into juvenile detention centers without basic constitutional procedures. The lawsuit, which follows unsuccessful attempts to negotiate with the county, challenges the constitutionality of punishing children “so arbitrarily and severely as to shock the conscience” and alleging that the city’s police department acts as a de facto “taxi service” in shuttling students from school to juvenile detention centers. Colorlines explains:

    Once those children are in the juvenile justice system, they are denied basic constitutional rights. They are handcuffed and incarcerated for days without any hearing and subsequently warehoused without understanding their alleged probation violations.

    – – –SNIP- —

    – —A 2010 study by Russell Skiba, a professor of education policy at Indiana University, looked at four decades of data from 9,000 of the nation’s 16,000 middle schools. It found that black boys were three times as likely to be suspended as white boys and that black girls were four times as likely to be suspended as white girls. It is a serious, endemic issue. […]

    – – – -YES! – – -DOJ!!- – -GET –‘EM!!! – —

  • Miranda

    I saw the tweet and had to check it out:

    Simon Maloy‏@SimonMaloy
    Old Man Yells At Movie


    That was hysterical. Richard Cohen is mad that he doesn’t look like Daniel Craig, therefore this can’t be a good James Bond movie. LOL

  • Can’t say I’m surprised by these Three Stooges. No matter what Amb. Rice says, these jackals weren’t gonna be satisfied.

    GOP Senators: Susan Rice Meeting Left Us ‘More Disturbed’ Than Before
    By Nick Wing

    Republican Sens. John McCain (Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (S.C.) and Kelly Ayotte (N.H.) said on Tuesday that their highly anticipated meeting with U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice about the Sept. 11 anniversary attack in Benghazi, Libya, hadn’t allayed their concerns about either the administration’s explanation of the attack or Rice’s qualifications as a potential secretary of state.

    “Bottom line, I’m more disturbed now than I was before that the 16th of September explanation about how Americans died in Benghazi, Libya, by Ambassador Rice I think does not do justice to the reality at the time and, in hindsight, clearly was completely wrong,” Graham declared at a press conference after the meeting.

    Rice acknowledged in their discussion that she had been incorrect in initially suggesting the attack grew out of a spontaneous protest over an anti-Islam video, Graham said. He then questioned the administration’s decision to roll out Rice as a point person to discuss the attack if she hadn’t known the details.


    • goldenstar

      You are so correct. These 3 are not stooges but creeps with an agenda. They. are. a. detriment. to. society.

    • GN

      They can have a seat.

    • majii

      They shouldn’t blame their pre-existing handicap on Amb. Rice. These nuts were disturbed before they began attacking her.

  • Aquagranny911

    Hola POU!

    This link may have already been posted by someone else but I think it bears repeating:

    This space is meant to continue to utilize the power of the people to support PBO’s agenda of fairness & let Congress know they must do the will of the people & not that of Norquist, Wall Street or the Teapotty.

  • Miranda

    Afternoon thread is up!

  • rikyrah


    […] The minute I heard that Senator Ayotte joined these two knuckleheads in the meeting, I knew what was up. These are the same three that have been screaming the loudest about the $500 billion in cuts to defense spending that are set to kick in on January 1, 2013 as part of the debt ceiling deal.

    All the whoopla about the negotiations related to the so-called “fiscal cliff” has been about taxes and entitlements. But cuts to entitlements are NOT set to kick in on Jan. 1st – thanks to the superior negotiating done by President Obama and the Democrats. On the other hand, what people have been forgetting about are the defense cuts that were included.

    These three are going to use this whole Benghazi nonsense as a justification for holding up the nomination of Ambassador Rice to be Secretary of State. They’ve renewed their commitment to do that when/if President Obama nominates her. And they’ll block her until the defense cuts are restored.

    That’s what all this is about. How Ambassador Rice handled the situation in Benghazi is just a distraction.

  • rikyrah

    Study: Black Nannies Earn the Most
    By: Jenée Desmond-Harris | Posted: November 27, 2012 at 11:10 AM

    The first ever national study of the employment conditions of domestic workers, released today by the National Domestic Workers Alliance, reveals low wages and few benefits for home help employees, but substantial variations in compensation based on ethnicity, immigration status, and whether employees live with their employers.

    Interestingly, while white domestic workers generally earned more than their black, Hispanic and Asian counterparts, the study found that African-American nannies earned slightly more — a median of $12.71 an hour — than white ones ($12.55 an hour).

    But overall, “Home Economics: The Invisible and Unregulated World of Domestic Work,” based on interviews with 2,086 workers in 14 major metropolitan areas to provide an empirically grounded picture of what it means to be a domestic worker in modern America, had somber finding for these workers as a group. Among the surveyed employees, who are excluded from key federal and state labor laws and regulations, researchers uncovered denial of meal and rest breaks, overtime pay, or paid vacations or holidays, and worse: multiple accounts of physical and psychological abuse.

    • isonprize

      Um… a. $.16 differential. SIXTEEN CENTS!?!?!?!

      Black Nannies Earn the Most? Earn the most what?

      STOP PLAYIN’ Author Jenée Desmond-Harris, THAT’S WHAT YOU GOT FROM THAT STUDY???

      Not that most domestic workers don’t have health care benefits? Aren’t allowed sick days? Work much longer than 40 hour weeks with NO OVERTIME?

      You got that black nannies get paid $.16 more?

      Jenée Desmond-Harris, you (and your Root copy editor, if one exists) need to got sit down somewhere. SERIOUSLY.

  • sagittarius

    Good afternoon, Fam!

    Make it a great day!

  • creolechild

    Modern-day Robin Hoods: Stealing construction supplies from the rich to give to the Sandy-hit poor

    Superstorm Sandy not only revealed the massive class divisions in New York City, but also made them worse. As wealthier areas in Manhattan recover, poor and working-class communities in Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island are still struggling. Some New Yorkers have taken a decidedly illegal tack to solving this problem. From their press release:

    Over the past two weeks, a group of concerned New Yorkers has been expropriating thousands of dollars worth of tools and materials from luxury residential developments across Manhattan and delivering them to neighborhoods devastated by Superstorm Sandy.[….]

    Read more:

    H/T Susie Cagle

    • isonprize

      Gotta say I agree with some of the comments on this “Robin Hood” story.

      Building supplies are one thing. Start stealing actual tools, that is seriously FUCKED UP … . it’s not a strike against the “man” but a theft from the working man. They will be the ones who have to go out that morning and replace their personal tools and equipment not the wealthy.

      As my sweet momma was fond of saying “Two wrongs don’t make a right.”

      • Aquagranny911

        Dang! A neighbor of mine who works constructions has had tools stolen from him & it really hurts these guys. Their tools are their own & part of their trade. They take them from job to job. If the tools get lost or stolen it costs them not the bosses.

        This is just wrong!

  • rikyrah

    Jeff Gauvin ‏@JeffersonObama


    GOP has gone after ACORN, Michelle Obama, Shirley Sherrod, Valerie Jarrett, Van Jones, Eric Holder & now Rice….What’s the linkage here?

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