October 18, 2017

Wednesday Open Thread: Black Firsts, Scientists and Inventors

It’s hump day. POU Family and lurkers. Continiung with the open thread theme, I am highlighting Henry Blair, John Albert Burr, and George Carruthers.



Henry Blair (1807–1860) was the second African American inventor to receive a patent.

He was born in Glen Ross, Maryland, United States in 1807. His first invention was the Seed-Planter,  patented October 14, 1834, which allowed farmers to plant more corn using less labor in a smaller amount of time. On August 31, 1836  he obtained a second patent for a cotton planter. This invention worked by splitting the ground with two shovel-like blades which were pulled along by a horse. A wheel-driven cylinder followed behind which dropped the seed into the newly plowed ground.  Blair had been a successful farmer for years and developed the inventions as a means of increasing efficiency in farming.

SeedPlanter-BlairX8447-1In the patent records, Blair is listed as a “colored man”; making this identification the only one of its kind in early patent records. Blair was illiterate, therefore he signed his patents with an “x”. It is not known if Blair was a freedman or not. At the time that his patents were granted United States patent law allowed both freed and enslaved people to obtain patents. In 1857 this law was challenged by a slave-owner who claimed that he owned “all the fruits of the slave’s labor” including his slave’s inventions. This resulted in the change of the law in 1858 which stated that slaves were not citizens and therefore could not hold patents. After the American Civil War, in 1871, the law was changed to grant all men (but not women) patent rights. He died in 1860.

John Albert Burr

On May 9, 1899, John Albert Burr patented an improved rotary blade lawn mower. Burr designed a lawn mower with traction wheels and a rotary blade that was designed to not easily get plugged up from lawn clippings. John Albert Burr also improved the design of lawn mowers by making it possible to mow closer to building and wall edges. You can view U.S. patent 624,749 issued to John Albert Burr below.




carruthersGeorge Robert Carruthers ( born October 1, 1939 in Cincinnati, Ohio) is an African American inventor, physicist, and space scientist. He has lived most of his life in Washington, DC.

From a young age he showed an interest in science and astronomy. He grew up in the South Side of Chicago where at the age of 10 he built his first telescope. Despite his natural aptitude, he did not perform well in school at a young age, earning poor grades in math and physics. Despite his poor grades he won three separate science fair awards during this time.

After graduating from Englewood High School he went on to get a bachelors in aeronautical engineering from the University of Illinois in 1961, a master’s degree in nuclear engineering in 1962, and a doctorate in aeronautical and astronautical engineering in 1964. He now works with NRL’s community outreach organization, and as such helps support several educational activities in the sciences in theWashington D.C. area.

His work on ultraviolet spectrums and other types of astronautical tools helped him earn the Black Engineer of the Year award, of which he was one of the first 100 people to receive. His work has also been used by NASA, and in 1972 he was one of two naval research laboratory persons whose work culminated in the camera/spectrograph which was put on the moon in April, 1972.

He is perhaps best known for his work with the spectrograph that showed incontrovertible proof that molecular hydrogen exists in theinterstellar medium.

In 1957, he earned his high school diploma from Englewood High School. This was the same year that the Russians launched the first Sputnik. After high school he entered to the College of Engineering at the University of Illinois, getting his bachelor’s of science degree in aeronautical engineering in the year of 1961. He also did his graduate work at the University of Illinois earning his masters degree in nuclear engineering in 1962 and his Ph.D. in aeronautical and astronomical engineering in 1964. While conducting his graduate studies, Carruthers worked as researcher and teaching assistant studying plasma and gases.

By 1964, Carruthers began employment for the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C. where his work focused on far ultraviolet astronomy. 1969 was the year he received a patent for his invention, the “Image Converter,” which detected electromagnetic radiation in short wavelengths,  and in 1970, he made the first examination of molecular hydrogen in space. Two years later, Carruthers invented the first moon-based observatory, the Far Ultraviolet Camera/ Spectrograph, which was used in the Apollo 16 mission.  During the 1980s, Carruthers helped create a program called the Science & Engineers Apprentice Program, which allows high school students to spend a summer working with scientists at the Naval Research Laboratory. Later on in 1986, one of Carruthers’ inventions captured an ultraviolet image of Halley’s Comet. In 1991, he invented a camera that was used in the Space Shuttle Mission. During the summers of 1996 and 1997 he taught a course in Earth and Space Science for D.C. Public Schools Science teachers. He also helped develop a series of videotapes on Earth and Space science for high school students.

Since 1983 he has been Chairman of the Editing and Review Committee and Editor, Journal of the National Technical Association.

Since 2002, Carruthers has been teaching a two-semester course in Earth and Space Science at Howard University sponsored by a NASA Aerospace Workforce Development Grant.

On February 12, 2009, Dr. George Carruthers was honored as a Distinguished Lecturer at the Office of Naval Research for his achievements in the field of space science.

He is a member of the American Astronomical Society, the American Geophysical Union, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.


***Information courtesy of Wikipedia.org and About.com***

  • isonprize

    At the time that his patents were granted United States patent law allowed both freed and enslaved people to obtain patents. In 1857 this law was challenged by a slave-owner who claimed that he owned “all the fruits of the slave’s labor” including his slave’s inventions. This resulted in the change of the law in 1858 which stated that slaves were not citizens and therefore could not hold patents. After the American Civil War, in 1871, the law was changed to grant all men (but not women) patent rights.


    or to quote TJMS “Damn, white people!”

    • GN

      And never one thin dime in reparations.

    • GreenLadyHere

      Good MornTin’ isonprize. —***BIG HUG*** :>) —

      – – – -STORY of OUR LIVES –UNDER THOSE – DREADED –CHAINS!! — — – — Annnd YET – – – -SOME people today NEED 2 FREE their MINDS! —

      Good 2 C U isonprize :>) [PA RAWKS♥]–

    • rikyrah

      this is who they are. who they’ve always been.

    • Rhoda


      Slaves built this country and African Americans have contributed their culture, their wisdom, and their inventions and we still have the bullshit to deal with like the bell curve if AAs can be as smart as whites.

      Ask the slave holders who were stealing patents mofos; ask them how smart their slaves were. You’ll probably get the same answer you have now; no they just got lucky with this invention.

    • PBomb

      There is a period of time in American History nicknamed the Nadir of Racial Relations. It occurred roughly between 1870-1920?. During this period of time, there was tons of growth within the black community. Blacks were highly educated, had tons of inventions, owned banks, lived in nice neighborhoods, and were fairly successful.

      If you noticed, most of the factoids that I post are centered around that era and onward. Some of the first college degrees that blacks achieved were in the time frame.

      Then all of sudden, things changed. There are two reasons that “Real” historians give about what happened. They are Jim Crow and the envy of whites.

      Whites had to create laws to stifle black ingenuity and success. They were shocked that about how successful these supposed “savages” were after being freed.

      In a book that I recently read, the author discusses how today, we feel that America in the past was so archaic and that we as a country have moved forward. But in 1872, there was a wealthy white Senator from a small county in Mississippi who was married to an educated black woman, and he got reelected twice. There are many cases of this.

      How did go from being prosperous to living in a shanty below poverty level?

      How did we go from marrying and completely integrating into society to the Loving Case and Brown vs. the Board of Education?

      We really haven’t moved that much further along. The first thing that need to change is how we teach our history. We are lie to as a nation.

      • JojoRaze

        A big truth that needs to be acknowledged during this period, IMHO, was the 1877 election, where the Repubs threw us under the bus for the Presidency. That election was real close and the first since lincoln when the Repubs weren’t gonna have the presidency. That’s when Jim Crow got a foothold because in exchange for giving northern Repubs the presidency, the South got federal troops out the south, which was what was guaranteeing the 13-15 Amendments.

  • GreenLadyHere

    GOOD WEDNESDAY MORNTIN’ PBOMB/POU FAM♥. ***BIG HUG*** :>) –REAL FAST: – – -Whhhhhhhyyyy???–

    — — –Yankees star A-Rod implicated in new doping probe — –
    – – — The Miami New Times said Tuesday that the three-time American League most valuable player bought human growth hormone and other performance-enhancing substances during the 2009-12 period from Biogenesis of America LLC, a now-closed anti-aging clinic in Coral Cables, Fla., near New York Yankees third baseman Rodriguez’s offseason home.

    Rodriguez’s name appears 16 times in the documents New Times received, the paper said, as “Alex Rodriguez”; as ‘’Alex Rod”; or under the nickname “Cacique,” referring to a pre-Columbian Caribbean chief.

    The public relations firm for Rodriguez issued a statement denying the allegations, according to the Associated Press.

    Rodriguez admitted four years ago that he used PEDs from 2001 to 2003.

    USA Today reported that a high-ranking Yankees executive told the paper the club would explore the possibility of voiding Rodriguez’s contract in light of this latest scandal. See full report at USA Today .

    • MsKitty

      I wish Little Boss would just cut this guy loose already. I hate that A-Roid has been stinking up my team all these years with his half-ass play and off-field dramas.

      • jziglar

        I’m a Yankee fan as well and I agree with what you said. I heard they are trying to void his contract.

      • GreenLadyHere

        MsKitty – —***fist bump** — –That talk is happening — -E’EN AS WE SPEAK! – – —

    • Kennymack1971

      A Rod is done.

      • GreenLadyHere

        Good MornTin’ Kennymack1971. ***BIG HUG*** :>)

        – —***fist bump*** ABSOLUTELY!! – —THEY trynta VOID the CONTRACT ad LEGALLY as POSSIBLE. – —

        WHAT R these playa – — thinkin’??- —

        They gon —GET – — -CAUGHT!! – –geesh. – –

        Good 2 C U Kennymack1971. :>) – –

    • If true he needs to get his money back because it sure never helped him in the playoffs. Unless they were specifically designed to make an overpaid athlete choke when his team needed him the most.

  • rikyrah

    Good Morning, Everyone 🙂

  • rikyrah

    One week after attending inaugural, teen fatally shot

    BY MITCH DUDEK Staff Reporter mdudek@suntimes.com January 29, 2013 10:08PM

    Updated: January 30, 2013 7:30AM

    A week after attending presidential inauguration festivities in the nation’s capital and with dreams of a summer trip to Paris swirling in her 15-year-old imagination, Hadiya Pendleton was shot and killed Tuesday afternoon in the South Side’s Kenwood neighborhood.

    Police say Hadiya was shot in the back at a neighborhood park about 2:30 p.m. in the 4500 block of South Oakenwald. A teen boy was shot in the leg and taken to Comer’s Children’s Hospital in serious condition.
    “As usual, the bad guy aims, but he never hits the other bad guy . . . He hits the one that hurts the most to lose,” said Chicago Police Officer Damon Stewart, 36, Hadiya ’s godfather. “I changed her diapers, I played with her growing up. My heart is broken.”


    • edp4bho

      Morning POU. This is just damn sad. Tears here.

    • MsKitty

      Damn. So heartbreaking.

      And a special fuck you to all the article commenters who couldn’t take a second out of their usual liberal/conservative shouting match to mourn this child’s loss.

      • crazycanuck

        I know, I was like what is wrong with these people, a child is dead.

      • edp4bho

        She’s not fair enough !!

      • Don’t be surprised if the Sole Patrol use this child’s death as a weapon against PBO.

      • GreenLadyHere

        – –***fist bump*** – -MsKitty. ***BIG HUG*** :>) – –

        Joinin ALL in ***TEARS*** :>) – —


        Good 2 C U – -MsKitty. :>)

      • Camille


    • GN

      OMG. No words.

    • Just a thought/observation…

      EmoProgs/PLs are up in arms about drones because they kill and maim innocent people. Yet they say nothing about innocent Americans who are killed and maimed by stray bullets.

      • PBomb

        That has always been my argument in regards to “drone killings”.

        Lupe Fiasco is going on about drones and other shit, when young people in his own hometown are getting gunned down.

        They complain constantly about all the innocent brown children getting killed over there, but nobody talks about the innocent black and brown children getting killed everyday over here. I guess it would bring up other issues, like how the remnants of Jim Crow laws have affected our communities.

        The shit that happens here is more complicated than “we are at war”. Class and Race play a huge component and whites have to acknowledge their responsibility in it. We have been at war with our on country for centuries.

        • QOakaJP

          When they talk about things going on “over there,” it’s easier to make human lives into abstract intellectual arguments and/or pet causes. When it happens right here, there’s too much risk of having to take personal responsibility for our communities/cities/history/society to want to get involved. Too uncomfortable for a lot of folk.

      • jziglar

        Also they act like the people who are attacked by drones are all innocent when the majority of them are not. Yes in warfare there are mistakes but the drone attacks have been precise in going after terrorists / insurgents.

        And like I’ve been saying they need to pay more attention to the gun violence in our neighborhoods.

      • rikyrah

        well…you know the reason for that…

    • Daltex82

      SMH. So sad, this madness has got to stop.

    • Camille

      This is tragic.

  • rikyrah

    In an era of diminished expectations

    By Steve Benen
    Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:34 AM EST.

    The first state to seriously consider changing its electoral-vote distribution method to rig future presidential elections was also the first start to formally reject the idea.

    A [Virginia state] Senate panel voted Tuesday to kill a GOP plan to change the way Virginia allocates electoral college votes.

    The Senate Committee on Privileges and Elections voted to bypass the bill indefinitely….The measure appeared headed for defeat after Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R) came out against it Friday, as did two GOP senators who sit on the committee that would decide the bill’s fate.

    The committee vote was 11 to 4. In other words, it wasn’t close.

    What’s more, the vote came against a backdrop of a larger campaign that appears to be imploding. Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R), who had expressed some tepid support for the scheme a few days ago, is now moving in the other direction, as is the state Senate’s president. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) started balking yesterday, and a few hours later, the idea effectively died in Ohio.


  • rikyrah

    The Seniors’ Network

    By mistermix January 30th, 2013

    Fox ratings are down across the board in the key 25-54 demographic:

    Fox News was down -6% in total viewers and -22% in the key adults 25-54 demo in total day in January, the lowest demo numbers since July 2008. In primetime, the network was down -17% in total viewers and -40% in the demo, posting its lowest demo numbers since May 2006. It is worth noting that January 2012 was a big one in the Republican primary race and FNC hosted two primary debates, but this month was no slouch either, with the inauguration and a number of big political stories.


  • rikyrah

    Obstacle: Conservative Judiciary Committee

    by BooMan
    Tue Jan 29th, 2013 at 10:35:38 PM EST

    Because the Senate Judiciary Committee has the responsibility to vet nominees for federal judgeships, both parties are normally careful to put only the most ideologically reliable members on the panel. When they don’t, as when the pro-choice Arlen Specter assumed the chair of Judiciary, it can cause a lot of heartburn. Arlen was kept in line with constant threats, but who needs that kind of hassle? I don’t think we’ll ever see an anti-choice Democrat on the committee. It’s all part of the politicization of the courts.

    Because there are no moderate Republicans on the Judiciary Committee, it makes it harder for the rest of the Republicans to agree to anything. Whether we’re talking about guns or immigration, it’s unlikely that more than a couple of the Republicans who will be marking up the bills in Judiciary hearings will be voting for the legislation once it is done.


    If I’ve learned anything over the years, it’s not to trust committee chairs like Max Baucus, and that goes double for Ranking Members like Chuck Grassley.


  • GreenLadyHere

    – —

    – – – -☻ Dan Pfeiffer ✔ @pfeiffer44
    RT @lacasablanca: President Obama will interview with @Univision & @Telemundo on #ImmigrationReform tomorrow. Tune in at 6:30pm ET

    — – ☻Yet another election season is poised to begin in the Commonwealth Wednesday as Governor Deval L. Patrick ’78 is expected to appoint an interim Senator to replace John F. Kerry, who resigned from his post Tuesday after easily winning Senate confirmation to become the next Secretary of State.

    While multiple individuals, including former Patrick chief of staff William Cowan and Victoria R. Kennedy, the wife of the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy ’54-’56, have been rumored as front runners for the appointment, Patrick has gone out of his way to suggest that he will appoint either a woman or a person of color to the post. Former Congressman Barnett “Barney” Frank ’61-’62 also has expressed interest in the post. – – -WATCHIN’ – – –

    – — -☻REPORT: – -The PRIVATE SECTOR ADDED 192,000 JOBS! – – –JOBS! – – -JOBS! – -in January! Woo! Hoo!

    – — -☻OUR INVENTORS 2-day have SHOWN GR8 STRENGTH as THEY WORK in the midst of –SOCIAL ADVERSITY. – – -WE R Sooo -PROUD of THEM.-

    — –ENJOY YOUR -TREAT [Brrrr. :>)] — –

    – – B BLESSED 2-DAY. :>)

  • MsKitty

    I really enjoy all the series you guys put together, but I think this one will be one of my favorites.

  • GN

    I’m reading newsone which has that unfortunate Washington Times story which spun Ben Jealous’ sort of mealy-mouthed remarks into a slam on the POTUS.

    This caught my eye:
    While vocal Obama critics, Tavis Smiley and Dr. Cornel West, have often been accused of being egoistical, attention seekers who “hate on” the POTUS when they insist that Black voters put pressure on him, Rev. Al Sharpton and the National Urban League are now following their lead, pushing for President Obama to present an urban jobs plan at his State of the Union address on Feb. 12.

    “following their lead”???? lmao, GTFOH! Asking the POTUS to include an urban jobs plan in a speech =/= the petty, hyperbolic, untruthful attacks launched by West and Smiley for the past four plus years. Why are some in the black media so desperate to rehabilitate these two and have them seen as credible black leaders? That ship has sailed.

    • MsKitty

      I wrote off Newsone months ago. When they propped up “Bitter” Boyce Watkins as their go-to columnist and all round media guy, that told me everything I needed to know about their slant.

      • Camille

        The video of that Newsone woman during the 2008 campaign denigrating the president while extolling Hillary on CNN, lives on permanently not just in their archives, butin our memories.

        And even though she switched at some point, told me everything I needed to know.

    • edp4bho

      Yep, and my local “only” black-owned radio station in Philly insists on giving these clowns air time, which is why the station will not get my financial assistance.

    • jziglar

      This is so annoying. All I hear is “Obama do this”, “Obama do that” but they never told any president before him to address urban policy. Now I agree that more needs to be done and the president has done more to address improvements in federal investments in cities than the previous administrations but the president is not a dictator. A republican congress is not going to agree to any proposals that strictly benefit urban areas.

      • GN

        I dunno, I personally don’t mind Rev Al and National Urban League advocating for us to POTUS during term two so long as they keep it positive and constructive, and Rev Al especially is very good with that. Whether President Obama decides to include the plan or not, no harm in just asking. I have full confidence that Rev Al won’t ever cosign the negative, toxic attacks on President Obama or misrepresent all of the good which PBO has already done for the black community.

        I agree with you that President Obama is not a dictator, and some of these solutions are going to have to come at a state, local, and community level.

        • jziglar

          Oh don’t get me wrong I have no issue with Al Sharpton and other groups pushing the president to include this in a budget or plan. I have an issue with the media putting corny west and crabis smiley on a pedestal and legitimizing there baseless attacks on the president.

          • GN

            Seriously, there is not a stadium big enough to contain all of the seats those two need to have!

        • some of these solutions are going to have to come at a state, local, and community level.

          This cannot be said enough! What’s the point of PBO talking about or implementing an urban jobs plan if our local politicians won’t carry it out. Hell, one of our council people is too busy trying to bully someone into not running for mayor, and another wasted money on a freaking Black history coloring book that was full of errors!

          “All politics are local” is the truth.

      • Where were they when he proposed a 447 billion dollar jobs package? Crickets if I remember correctly. That and black unemployment has been declining.

    • Rev and Morial have been talking to the WH about an urban jobs plan since 2009, so this individual needs to have a seat.

      • GN

        Thank you for citing fact. So random that West and Smiley were even inserted into this story; it has nothing to do with either of them.

  • GreenLadyHere

    PBOMB – — -The “REVOLUTION” [of sorts :>)] – — WILL B TELEVISED – – –

    —–WATCH: Senate Hearing On Gun Violence Prevention Live Stream – —

    – – – – –On Wednesday, January 30th beginning at 10am EST, the Senate Judiciary Committee will conduct the first congressional hearing on guns since President Obama announced his 23 executive actions to curb gun violence.

    Among those expected to testify are Mark Kelly, husband of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and Wayne LaPierre, chief executive officer of the NRA.

    Watch live stream below when it becomes available:

    – -BLESS U “GABBY”/[Mark Kelly] – – -AMEN. :>) —

  • GN

    One thing I’ve noticed is that when immigration reform is on the table, there tend to be stories in the media pitting black against brown. Right now, there is a story getting a lot of play about a gang which harassed a black family in California, beating one of the kids and making threats until the family moved. Obviously this gang (which is openly racist towards black people) are low lives and sewer rats, enough said about them. But not buying at all into the attempt to paint an entire community with a broad brush, or claim that the issues which black people face have to do with brown people.

    • Miranda

      That’s how they do GN. Rev Al spoke on this for his commentary on the TJMS this morning.

      • GN

        Not surprised; Rev Al is always so on point. I just read about this story at newsone and have seen it at plenty of other places, including gossip blogs, as well. I hope that people don’t fall for the okey doke.

    • Black vs Brown except for the part about these two groups coming together along with the Asian community to give the Black guy his largest voting majorities. I don’t know how to tell them this but the connections between Blacks and Latinos runs longer and deeper than they can comprehend.

  • jds09

    I think there is a very real fear about the black/brown coalition. It’s real and I saw it in my local OFA office and I’m seeing it in local San Diego politics.

    Disquis is trippin’ ….this was a reply to GN.

    • jziglar

      This is very true ! I have seen this coalition develop as well. They are so desperate that they will try to destroy this coalition.

      You can tell that after the 2012 election they are really fearful of the Obama / Emerging majority coalition. And they were fearful of the black/ brown coalition even before Obama was president.

    • conlakappa

      Real and dates back decades. The Civil Rights Movement had some long coattails with other groups gaining access and using some of the same tactics.

  • Rhoda

    Morning, POU!

    So Gov. Patrick didn’t appoint Barney Frank; he’s instead gone with his close friend/confidant Mo Cowan who will be one of two African Americans in the senate.

    Go DEVAL! I like this choice; and I doubt anyone will say boo. It was smart; and it’s someone loyal to HIM.


    • Miranda

      Go Deval!!!!

    • GreenLadyHere

      Good MornTin’ Rhoda – — -***BIG HUG*** :>)

      –Whoo! Hoo! — — -COULDN’T BULLY HIM! —-WAYTA GO

      — GOV. Duval Patrick!! — — —



      THANK U 4 YOUR BOLDNESS!! :>) PROUD of U. :>)

      THANK U Rhoda. :>) – – –

    • PBomb

      Good on Deval. He didn’t let the bullies get to him. He made his own choice. Love it!!

    • GN

      That’s fantastic!

    • Daltex82

      Good Morning everyone!

      Congrats to Mr. Cowan.

      I was more than turned off by Barney Frank’s grandstanding. He thought he would go to the media and bully Gov. Patrick into appointing him to Sen. Kerry’s seat. I’m glad Frank and those in the media (yes I’m looking at you Lawrence O’Donnell) were basically told to have a stadium full of seats by Gov. Patrick.

    • GOOD! I didn’t like the way Barney Frank and his supporters were trying to bully Patrick into choosing him. Lawrence O’Donnell was poppin’ isht last night, but I bet he won’t say anything now.

      • Daltex82


    • TresL

      Frank and his sycophants were completely out of line. For all they knew Patrick might have already made his pick well before Frank began his public lobbying and was just waiting to announce it after Kerry’s confirmation. If that were the case was he supposed to rescind the offer to accommodate Frank’s ego? I think not! I had always thought he was pretty mild mannered but after his DNC speech I felt this dude is nobody’s chump.

      • Camille

        I completely agree.

    • Camille

      I’m so glad he did this. Passed over Barney Frank but more importantly appointed a solid counter to that clown from South Carolina.

  • GreenLadyHere

    PBOMB – – –FIRST: – –COMMENT: – – –Glenn Higgins
    The conversation about gun regulation has been dominated by zealots acting from blind faith and raw emotion. They are behaving like religious fanatics. Accordingly, I have been calling them the Followers of the Holy Gun, and the Crusaders Against Satan’s Arsenal. For too long their endless shouting match has drowned out any reasonable, rational, effective conversation.

    – –NOW: – – –The Five Things You Have To Know Before Today’s Gun Policy Hearing

    – – – At 10 AM on Wednesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold its first hearings on new legislation to reduce gun violence in the United States. Here are the five things that’ll help you make sense of the policy and politics at play in today’s hearing.

    1. America has a gun problem. Study after study after study has found that the spread of guns in the United States has led to more people being killed by guns. The old “more guns, less crime” theory has been conclusively debunked. The question now is how to limit the spread of guns, particularly by better mechanisms to prevent people who would commit murder and other gun crimes from getting them.

    2. The National Rifle Association is not interested in real measures to address it.
    – – – -SNIP – –
    3. There’s real evidence that gun regulation can work.

    – – -4. This debate isn’t about the Second Amendment.

    – – -5. This is the best chance for Congressional action on guns since 1994. The massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary has galvanized American public opinion on guns in a way unlike any other event in recent memory, with public opinion firmly behind new regulations — 90 percent of Americans, for example, support expanded background checks.

    – – —GABBY GIFFORD IS TESTIFYING — -NOW [cnn/msnbc]

    • morphus

      What’s so freaking sacred about the 2nd? The country watched the 40 yr “war on drugs” which systematically stripped a significant portion of the AA community’s 1st, 2d, 5th, 6th, and 13th Amendment rights. What gives?

    • morphus

      What’s so freaking sacred about the 2nd? The country watched the 40 yr “war on drugs” which systematically stripped a significant portion of the AA community’s 1st, 2d, 5th, 6th, and 13th Amendment rights. What gives?

  • Miranda

    My God! They are NOW just getting financial assistance???

    9/11 Fund Makes 1st Payments to Sick Responders
    Jan 29, 2013 By DAVID B. CARUSO,Associated Press

    NEW YORK (AP) — A special fund set up by Congress to compensate people who got sick after being exposed to toxic World Trade Center dust following Sept. 11 is making its first round of payments, with the initial payouts going to a group of 15 first responders with respiratory problems.
    The administrator who oversees the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund, Sheila Birnbaum, announced Tuesday that the fund was finally poised to process payouts, after a deliberate start in which officials figured out how the program would work and lawyers pieced together documentation for at least 16,000 applications.
    The first round of payments, most of which have been offered to firefighters, range from $10,000 to a high of $1.5 million.

    more here

  • crazycanuck

    Gomer Pyle, USMC’ star Jim Nabors marries male partner in Seattle

    Posted by Seattle Times staff

    “Gomer Pyle, USMC” star Jim Nabors (Associated Press photo)
    “Gomer Pyle, USMC” star Jim Nabors married his longtime male partner at Seattle’s Fairmont Olympic Hotel earlier this month, according to Hawaii News Now.

    Nabors, a Hawaii resident, had never publicly come out. But his relationship with Stan Cadwallader wasn’t a secret before they decided to take advantage of Washington’s new same-sex marriage law, he told the news station.

    “I’m 82, and he’s in his 60s, and so we’ve been together for 38 years, and I’m not ashamed of people knowing, it’s just that it was such a personal thing, I didn’t tell anybody,” Nabors he told the station.

    “I’m very happy that I’ve had a partner of 38 years and I feel very blessed. And, what can I tell you, I’m just very happy.”


    • Well, sur-prise, sur-prise!

      • Miranda


      • Rhoda

        LOL, Congrats to them.

      • GreenLadyHere

        Good MornTin’ Sepia. ***BIG HUG*** :>)

        – – -***Waitin’ 4 da PARAMEDICS. .*** — -LOL — – F’REAL! – –

        Good 2 C U Sepia. :>)

        • Hey GLH! *waves*

          • GreenLadyHere

            – -***smilin’ atchu- –*** :>)

      • No pulse. None.

    • Admiral_Komack


    • Alma98

      This no surprise to me. I mean who didn’t know the man was gay?

  • GreenLadyHere

    PBOMB – – -ONLY — supportin’ the CALL! –OUT! – —

    – – —Rachel Maddow Calls Out Sen.Ted Cruz, ‘That’s Some Brass, Senator’ – —

    – —-Rachel Maddow called out the “brass” of Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz for claiming that decorated veterans Senator John Kerry (R-MA) and former Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) don’t support the military. Why? Because Senator Cruz has never served in the military.

    Watch here:
    – –SNIP – — –

    Cruz hasn’t let his freshman status stop him from making a tea fool of himself. Fresh in the Senate, Cruz accused gun safety advocates of exploiting the Connecticut school massacre. This, of course, endeared him to tea partiers who can’t stop talking about what a great presidential candidate he’d be. The only problem is that he might not be eligible — that is, if we go by tea party standards, since he was born in Canada and his father is Cuban. When Politico pointed this out, Fox News claimed Politico had gone “birther” on Cruz.

    – — -GOOD! —-CALL! OUT! —-on THIS — -STOOPID – — RE-THUCKER!! – –

    • Daltex82

      This nutty dude’s attitude comes as no surprise. While running for the Senate his often stated position was he would not compromise on anything with Dems and would oppose anything Dem or President Obama related. His idea of compromise is Democrats doing what Rethuglicans say. Even the Dallas Morning News (whose editorial board rarely finds a rethuglican candidate they cannot support) refused to endorse him. Unfortunately the fire breathing nuts here love his kind of rhetoric.

  • No Date for Return of T.J. Holmes’ “Don’t Sleep”

    T.J. Holmes’ “Don’t Sleep,” initially touted as a late-night “Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert-type show” for an African American audience, hasn’t filmed an episode since Dec. 19 and a date for its return is “not yet determined,” BET spokeswoman Jeanine Liburd told Journal-isms on Sunday.

    BET announced in November that it was scaling back the vehicle created for the former CNN anchor from half an hour Monday through Thursday to an hour once a week.

    “The viewers have spoken and due to the overwhelming demand, DON’T SLEEP! will now be expanded to a one hour weekly format allowing for a more comprehensive discussion of the issues and events affecting the African-American community,” a BET announcement began.

    During the hiatus, meanwhile, Holmes worked as a fill-in anchor on MSNBC on the last weekend of the year and again last weekend, and became a father. BET turned its promotional energies to “Real Husbands of Hollywood,” a new mock-reality series with Kevin Hart, J.B. Smoove, Boris Kodjoe, Nick Cannon and Robin Thicke.

    MORE: http://mije.org/richardprince/obama-sees-media-role-ending-gridlock#Holmes


    BET blew an opportunity to revitalize their news division. But it’s not too late! Soledad O’Brien finna get the boot from CNN. They can scoop her up, try to get Mark Whitaker and bring back TJ and start over.

    • Miranda

      Don’t bet on it. BET simply refuses to be serious about creating a relevant news division.

      • MsKitty

        I miss Ed Gordon.

        • Miranda

          Heck, I even miss Ananda Lewis.

          • JojoRaze

            Teen Summit was my jam. Informative and fun in that order.

    • Admiral_Komack

      They put it to sleep.

  • Louisiana Will Eliminate Health Benefits For HIV Patients, Poor Children, And First Time Moms This Week

    By Sy Mukherjee on Jan 29, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    Last week, Louisiana’s poor and terminally ill residents won a surprising victory when Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) announced that his state would not stop providing hospice care to its Medicaid beneficiaries. Unfortunately, that’s about the only piece of good news for low-income Louisianans’ health coverage, as the state is still set to implement massive cuts for Medicaid programs that “provide behavioral health services for at-risk children, offer case management visits for low-income HIV patients and pay for at-home visits by nurses who teach poor, first-time mothers how to care for their newborns” this Friday.

    While Jindal administration officials argue that the cuts could be mitigated by Medicare and private managed care programs, the reality is that many of these specialty services are simply unavailable — or unaffordable — outside of Medicaid:

    MORE: http://thinkprogress.org/health/2013/01/29/1510161/louisiana-will-eliminate-benefits-for-hiv-patients-poor-children-and-first-time-moms-this-week/

    • Miranda

      Damn this is so evil.

    • Daltex82

      There has to be a special place in hell for these folks. To think that Jindal and his ilk can be so heartless, so callous is disgusting.

    • rikyrah

      lowlife mofos

    • JojoRaze

      This is some homies with Pol Pot and Stalin level of evil. I love it when right-to-lifers oppose nurses and other public health people going to young welfare mothers homes to teach them how to care for their kids. They never fail to cut stuff like that. I’m an evangelical, but I have increasingly come to see the pro-life movement has nothing more than a ‘We need more white women to have babies’ movement.

  • Rhoda

    So, the economy shrank in the fourth quarter to .01% growth and will likely be revised downward.

    What do you think?

    I think in the State of the Union POTUS is going to put forth a second jobs plan and the Democrats in the House and Senate will embrace it; making it hard for Republicans NOT to pass something or else they will have to run in 2014 in a Britain type recession.


    SO GRATEFUL all this mess was pushed back to after the re-elect, which makes me feel bad to post but really this is ALL the Republicans fault. In 2011 POTUS put for the Jobs Act and it went nowhere and really; DEMS didn’t make a bigger stink over it waiting for POTUS to pull them across the line.

    • GN

      Also remember when POTUS was trying to promote the Jobs Act to the country, the media was falling all over themselves to cover Occupy Wall Street. And ows was very invested in floating a “narrative” that neither party cares about average Americans, and that bullshit drowned out what President Obama was doing. I remember that keenly; it’s why it is so dishonest of ows to claim to have “forced” President Obama to care about average Americans or claim to have “changed the national conversation” from the rich to the needs of average people.

      • Miranda

        I remember that too GN. Quite vividly.

      • conlakappa

        You know my feelings about those people and the stank camps they set up. Working-class people had to clean up after them but blah, blah, blah, the message is the thing. /eyeroll in extremis

        • isonprize

          When I found out Philadelphiaeknowingly allowed them to hook up electricity from City Hall, I was pissed.

          I gotta pay my damn electric bill.

          • conlakappa

            Remember too in Philly the construction project on City Hall that was delayed because these fools plopped themselves right in the middle? And people having to walk around them to get to work? I think Philly was also the place where a couple met and got married at the occupying site after just 21 days of knowing each other.

      • I still hate ows. They could have camped out on Mitch McConnell’s doorstep and maybe gotten him and Boehner to pass a jobs bill although I doubt they really cared one way or another since it was never about jobs. Making a “statement” and taking a summer vacation come more to mind.

        Instead they purposely go to democratic cities and trash them accomplishing nothing. POU called it from jump. Drum circles, internet cafes, meeting at the Deutsche Bank, throwing paper airplanes at the Goldman Sachs building and all the while blaming PBO for forcing them to do all of this.

        • conlakappa

          Don’t forget the blogging and tweeting about it! And some were sleepers while others went home to their comfortable existences every night. Others asked fro furniture and had sympathetic people (I all but called one an all-day sucker) doing their laundry. Yeah, that’s a movement.

          • TyrenM

            CTFU @ all day sucker!

        • Tafr

          Thank you! what pisses me off is when the unicorn left tries to compare OWS with the civil rights movement. OWS was a hipster play date not a movement.

          • MsKitty

            hipster play date

            Best description of OWS yet.

        • Camille

          I concur.

    • Yeah I’ve been feeling PBO wasn’t going to let this go.

    • rikyrah

      with the American Jobs Act, the Unemployment Rate would be AT LEAST TWO POINTS LOWER.

      yes, the GOP committed ECONOMIC TREASON against this country.

  • GreenLadyHere

    PBOMB – – — Ohhhhh – — MY SHE-ro! :>) – –MISSED THIS YESTERDAY :>) —

    Ohio state senator Nina Turner unveils new Voter Protection Act – –

    — —-Ohio, one of the biggest battleground states during this past presidential election, may be getting an update on the state’s voting regulations.

    The Voter Protection Act, a new election reform submitted by state senator Nina Turner of Ohio, will make it easier for eligible Ohioans to vote.

    The bill is said to “promote and facilitate ballot access, preventing arbitrary disenfranchisement of voters, and encouraging county election boards to make bipartisan adjustments to meet the needs of their communities.” Some of the provisions in the bill include the creation of an online voter registration system, expanding time windows for ballot casting, increasing the number of registered Ohioan voters and even shorten long lines to voting polls.

    In a press conference, early this morning Senator Turner emphasized the myriad of problem withing Ohio’s voting system:

    “Last year’s elections were plagued by lots of confusion,” she said. “Ohio in 2012, like 2004, was once again the epicenter of election controversy.”

    The Democratic senator also openly criticized her Republican colleague, Secretary of State Jon Husted, for the long lines at the polls and also for spending “tax dollars to hire lawyers to pursue frivolous lawsuits while shutting down chances to vote.”

    She also noted that he went to court to attempt to block early voters just three before the November 6th election.
    THERE IS MORE. – —

    – —Wish SHE WOULD RUN 4 PREZ!! – -LOL – —

    [Gotta “bounce”. – -MISSIN’ U/CARRIN’ U — IN MY ♥] —

  • This heffa right here:

    We should abolish this appointing of Senators/Mo Cowan Senate: Patrick Names Former Chief Of Staff To Replace Kerry huff.to/129ucvk— Katrina vandenHeuvel (@KatrinaNation) January 30, 2013

    But look at what she tweeted on Jan. 10th:

    For Barney Frank as MA Senator / thenation.com/blog/172088/wa…— Katrina vandenHeuvel (@KatrinaNation) January 10, 2013

    The second tweet links to an article by John Nichols making the case for Gov. Patrick to appoint Barney Frank as interim U.S. senator.

    But now that Gov. Patrick chooses Mo Cowan, a Black man, over Barney Frank to hold Kerry’s seat, this heffa wants to do away with governors picking replacements???

    Remember POU Fam: All WE have is US.

    • MsKitty

      They stay moving those goalposts, don’t they?

    • jziglar

      I love it when the PL are pissed. I’m so glad Gov. Patrick stuck to his guns and ignored those losers.

    • Rhoda

      I don’t recall her saying this after Gov. Haley appointed Sen. Scott.

      • Tafr

        Since the year 2000 there have been 17 appointed senators, with not a peep from this so called journalist. She can have a room full of seats.

      • Tafr

        Since the year 2000 there have been 17 appointed senators, with not a peep from this so called journalist. She can have a room full of seats.

    • Daltex82

      The fact that she and her ilk are pissed makes the choice even sweeter.

      • jds09

        Again we see when white folks don’t get what they want their knee-jerk reaction is to change the rules. Absolutely totally predictable.

        • BoomerGal

          When they don’t get what they want or see somebody get what they don’t want them to have the goal post is suddenly moved.

      • Camille

        So true.

    • dannie22

      im starting to really like deval patrick. he said he’s gonna go back to the public sector after his term is up. i hope he runs for higher office in the future

    • Camille

      They keep showing their arses.

  • Miranda

    Katharine Q. Seelye‏@kseelye
    The new senator from Mass, Mo Cowan, with his family. pic.twitter.com/gKDBlXay


    • GN

      Gorgeous family!

    • conlakappa

      I felt that I was officially old because everyone seems to look 12 now. I saw the Boston Herald article and his accompanying picture and thought he looked young. Now seeing his family, his wife looks even younger! Would someone crochet me an afghan, please, I am headed to a rocking chair!

      I kid [mostly]. Today is my grandmother’s 101st birthday! She is still all spit and vinegar and has such a wonderful laugh–more of a clucking chuckle at this point. I guess part of one’s second childhood is laughing with the same joy that one did in the first childhood.

    • Daltex82

      Nice looking family.

    • isonprize

      LOVE IT!!

  • Miranda

    Who Is Mo Cowan?

    William “Mo” Cowan, 43, is a native of Yadkinville, N.C. In a 2010 profile of Cowan, the Globe took a closer look at his early life:

    He grew up in a largely segregated tobacco town in rural North Carolina, the son of a machinist and a seamstress. As a boy, he watched the Ku Klux Klan burn a cross in town, march on his high school, and hand out literature on Main Street.

    full article here:

  • BOOM!

    The Toast ‏@TheToast2013
    I see people whining for Barney Frank not being appointed Sen. from MA. If Barney Frank wants the job, he can run for it like errybody else.

    • Miranda

      They’re whining on dailykos. LMAO, I had to go over there and check out the anger. Its hilarious.

      • conlakappa

        While tying it to the President and his clear homophobia, I am sure. If those folks didn’t whine, I don’t know what they would do with themselves.

  • jds09

    I’m watching the Senate Committee meeting regarding gun violence…..these fools have decided to go after Holder. This will not end well for them.

  • Miranda

    BlackBerry Appoints Alicia Keys Global Creative Director

    During its BlackBerry 10 launch event, CEO Thorsten Heins announced a new Global Creative Director for the company: Alicia Keys.

    “I’m fascinated by technology. I’ve always wanted to work directly with a technology company,” said Keys. “I wanted to do something where I could grow professionally and personally.”

    Keys says she is going to be working directly with developers and carriers on the platform, as well as with other artists. Previously a BlackBerry user, she spoke on stage about experimenting with other smartphone platforms over the past few years — she talked about being an ‘iPhone Junkie’ on Google+ just over a year ago — but now that BlackBerry has been “working out” she’s excited to get back together.

    more here

  • conlakappa

    The VoteVets put out a call to action for the Hagel confirmation hearing. Banding military folks as a progressive electorate is another thing that coincided with the Obama Administration.

    This is it. Tomorrow, President Obama’s choice for Secretary of Defense, former Senator and Vietnam Veteran Chuck Hagel, has his confirmation hearing in the Senate. It’s time for us to stand up.

    Right now, conservative groups are spending millions of dollars on television and organizing, trying to scare Senators into opposing him. It’s urgent that you fight back.

    Let’s be clear on why conservatives are working against Senator Hagel. He was one of the first Republicans to stand up to the Bush Administration on Iraq, and has long believed that the use of the military is a last resort. That goes against neocon philosophy, which is to invade any nation whose regime they don’t like.

    They fear that Chuck Hagel will finally shut them out, and return to an era of responsibility in military policy.

    That’s exactly why we need to support him.


    Chuck Hagel loves our military. He volunteered for combat in Vietnam and was awarded two Purple Hearts. As the first enlisted man to lead the Pentagon, Chuck Hagel will always have our troops’ best interests at heart. He’s made for this job, but won’t get there unless we stand up. Please take a moment to click the link above, and support him, now.

    Thanks for your support.


    Rick Hegdahl
    Iraq War Veteran
    National Field Director, VoteVets.org

    • Miranda

      Love it.

  • rikyrah

    so much truth. thank you

  • Alma98

    Good morning everyone! And congrats to Mr. Cowan!
    Also too, I knew some Carruthers growing up and they favored Mr. Carruthers heavily I wonder if he’s related to them.

  • jds09

    Someone please do a GIF on this woman Trotter (gun nut), she straight up gave Leahy the crazy look. I think it startled him.

  • Miranda

    Afternoon thread is up!

  • conlakappa

    Disqus, disqus, why are you misbehaving so?

  • Alma98

    Well since disqus won’t let me comment in the afternoon thread I’ll put this here. Teapublicans are losing their effing minds, this is just crazy.