Thursday Open Thread | Sting Week

Hope you are enjoying Sting.

sting-1

2000s

The Emperor’s New Groove soundtrack was released with complete songs from the previous version of the film, which included Rascal Flatts and Shawn Colvin. The final single used to promote the film was “My Funny Friend and Me”. Sting’s September 1999 album Brand New Day included the Top 40 hits “Brand New Day” and “Desert Rose”. The album went Triple Platinum by January 2001. In 2000, he won Grammy Awards for Brand New Day and the song of the same name. At the awards ceremony, he performed “Desert Rose” with his collaborator on the album version, Cheb Mami. For his performance, the Arab-American Institute Foundation gave him the Khalil Gibran Spirit of Humanity Award.[citation needed]

In February 2001, he won another Grammy Award for his rendition of “She Walks This Earth (Soberana Rosa)” on A Love Affair: The Music Of Ivan Lins. His song “After the Rain Has Fallen” made it into the Top 40. His next project was to record a live album at his Tuscan villa in Figline Valdarno, which was to be released as a CD and DVD, as well as being simulcast in its entirety on the internet. The CD and DVD were to be entitled On Such a Night and was intended to feature re-workings of Sting favourites such as “Roxanne” and “If You Love Somebody Set Them Free.” The concert, scheduled for 11 September 2001, was altered in various ways due to the terrorist attacks in America that day. The webcast was shut down after one song (a reworked version of “Fragile”), after which Sting let it be up to the audience whether or not to continue with the show. Eventually they decided to go through with the concert, and the resultant album and DVD was released in November under a different title, …All This Time. Both are dedicated “to all those who lost their lives on that day”. He performed a special arrangement of “Fragile” with Yo-Yo Ma and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir during the opening ceremonies of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah, US.[30]

In 2002, he won a Golden Globe Award for the song “Until…” from the film Kate and Leopold.[26] Written and performed by him, “Until…” was also nominated for Academy Award for Best Song.[26] At the 2002 Brit Awards in February, Sting received the prize for Outstanding Contribution to Music.[27] In June he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. In the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2003 Sting was appointed a Commander of The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire For services to the Music Industry.[31] At the 54th Primetime Emmy Awards in September, Sting won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual Performance In A Variety Or Music Program, for his A&E special, Sting in Tuscany… All This Time.[26]

In 2003, Sting released Sacred Love, a studio album featuring collaborations with hip-hop artist Mary J. Blige and sitar performer Anoushka Shankar. He and Blige won a Grammy for their duet, “Whenever I Say Your Name”. The song is based on Johann Sebastian Bach’s Praeambulum 1 C-Major (BWV 924) from the Klavierbuechlein fuer Wilhelm Friedemann Bach though Sting gave little comment on this adaptation.[32] The album did not have the hit singles like his previous releases. The first single, “Send Your Love” reached only No. 30 and reviews were mixed. However, the album did reach platinum status by January 2004.

His autobiography Broken Music was published in October. He embarked on a Sacred Love tour in 2004 with performances by Annie Lennox. Sting went on the Broken Music tour, touring smaller venues, with a four piece band starting in Los Angeles on 28 March 2005 and ending this “College Tour” on 14 May 2005. Sting appears as a guest on the 2005 Monkey Business CD by American hip-hop group The Black Eyed Peas, adding vocals to the track “Union” which makes heavy use of samples from his Englishman in New York. Continuing with his involvement in Live Aid, he appeared at Live 8 in July 2005. During 2006, Sting collaborated with Roberto Livi in producing a Spanish-language version of his cult classic “Fragile” entitled “Fragilidad” on the album Rhythms Del Mundo by Latino recording legends “The Buena Vista Sound” (previously known as the Buena Vista Social Club) available via apeuk.org.

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During 2006, Sting was guest on the Gregg Kofi Brown album, with the song “Lullaby to an anxious child” produced and arranged by the Italian Lino Nicolosi and Pino Nicolos (Nicolosi productions)[33] the song was written by “Sting and Dominic Miller”.

In October 2006, he released an album, to mixed reviews, entitled Songs from the Labyrinth featuring the music of John Dowland (an Elizabethan-era composer) and accompaniment from Bosnian lute player Edin Karamazov. Sting’s musical interpretation of this English Renaissance composer and his cooperation with Edin Karamazov brought him significant recognition in classical music circles.[34] As a part of the promotion of this album, he appeared on the fifth episode of Studio 60 during which he performed a segment of Dowland’s “Come Again” as well as his own “Fields of Gold” in the arrangement for voice and two archlutes. Reports surfaced in early 2007 that Sting would reunite with his former Police band mates for a 30th anniversary tour. These rumours were confirmed on various other news websites such as De Standaard, Yahoo! etc. In May 2007, Deutsche Grammophon released the opera Welcome to the Voice (composer Steve Nieve), with Sting portraying Dyonisos.

On 11 February 2007, he reunited with the other members of the Police as the introductory act for the 2007 Grammy Awards, singing “Roxanne”, and subsequently announced the Police Reunion Tour, the first concert of which was held in Vancouver on 28 May 2007 for 22,000 fans at one of two nearly sold-out concerts. The Police toured for more than a year, beginning with North America and eventually crossing over to Europe, South America, Australia, New Zealand and Japan. The last concert was at Madison Square Garden on 7 August 2008, during which his three daughters appeared with him onstage. Toronto documentary producer Vanessa Dylyn, who was producing a film called The Musical Brain, featuring neuroscientist Daniel Levitin, approached Sting about participating in the film. Sting was interested in the experience of having his brain scanned by fMRI while different types of music were played to him. The film was financed by CTV in Canada and National Geographic International (broadcast internationally as My Music Brain). Sting was also featured in Levitin’s second book, The World in Six Songs, where several of his songs (including “Russians”) are discussed.

“Brand New Day” was the final song of the night for the Neighborhood Ball, one of ten inaugural balls honouring President Barack Obama on Inauguration Day, 20 January 2009. Sting was joined by Stevie Wonder on harmonica.

According to an article posted on his official website, Sting entered the studio in early February 2009 to begin work on a new album If on a Winter’s Night…,[35] released on October 2009.[36] Initial reviews by fans that had access to early promotional copies were mixed, and some questioned Sting’s artistic direction with this album.[37]

In 2009, Sting appeared at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 25th anniversary concert, playing “Higher Ground” and “Roxanne” with Stevie Wonder.[38][39] Sting himself was inducted in 2003, as a member of The Police.[40][41]

In October 2009, Sting played a concert in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, for an arts and cultural festival. Despite claiming he thought the concert was sponsored by UNICEF, he faced criticism in the press for receiving a payment of between one and two million pounds from Uzbek president, Islam Karimov, for the performance. Karimov is accused by the UN and Amnesty of human rights abuses and UNICEF stated they had no connection with the event.[42][43]

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54 Responses to Thursday Open Thread | Sting Week

  1. Names of six jurors who acquitted George Zimmerman made public.

    http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/trayvon-martin/os-george-zimmerman-juror-names-20140403,0,3685963.story

    The names of the six-member jury panel that acquitted George Zimmerman in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin have been made public for the first time, after a new court order, records show.

    Circuit Judge Debra Nelson, who had previously ordered the jurors’ identifying information be kept confidential, granted access to the names in a ruling March 21.

    Zimmerman’s defense asked the judge in June to keep the names secret until six months after the verdict. The judge set no timeline then, but noted in her new order they have been withheld more than eight months.

    Attempts to reach the jurors by phone and in-person Thursday were unsuccessful.

    In Florida, the names of jurors are typically public and are announced and used by the judge and attorneys during jury selection.

    Nelson’s order follows an inquiry last month by the Sentinel.

    In a letter, Sentinel attorneys asked Nelson for a specific ruling on how long she planned to maintain the jurors’ anonymity, noting it was already “well past the six month ‘cooling off’ period requested by the defense.”

    The defense, in its motion, argued a delay was needed beyond the trial to allow “for any community passions to cool.”

    • Liza says:

      So we’ll have the names of the three most racist women in America along with the three most cowardly and stupid. Well, I just have no words, just thinking of them is too much. Angela Corey and her team of bunglers are nothing but a textbook case in how not to select jurors.

  2. rikyrah says:

    Sabrina Siddiqui ✔ @SabrinaSiddiqui
    Follow
    Networks denied White House request for primetime Obama address on health care enrollment http://bzfd.it/OfNcn1 via @EvanMcSan

    3:31 PM – 3 Apr 2014

  3. rikyrah says:

    Bank of America In Settlement Talks Over Credit Card Practices

    Bank Discussing At Least $800 Million Settlement, Say People Familiar
    April 3, 2014 4:10 p.m. ET

    WASHINGTON–Bank of America Corp. is in discussions to pay more than $800 million to settle allegations by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that the bank pushed customers into signing up for extra credit-card products, according to people familiar with the matter.

    The settlement, which could be announced in the coming days, would be the CFPB’s largest ever with a financial institution. It would mark the agency’s fifth settlement with a credit-card provider over so-called add on products, such as identity-theft…

  4. Hey Chicas!

    My brother dropped in for a visit. He came to tell me the good news. He’s cancer free! Yay!!!!!! When President Obama lifted the ban on stem cell research, it saved my brother’s life. I am so grateful!

  5. rikyrah says:

    The Respectability Politics of Lupita Nyong’o

    Features.
    by Zeba Blay
    March 7, 2014 10:19 AM

    Ahead of last weekend’s Academy Awards, The Hollywood Reporter published a feature on the anonymous comments of Oscar voters who explained with “brutal honesty” the reasons behind some of their picks. Instantly apparent was how many of the observations seemed arbitrary, or petty, or completely off-base. In the Best Supporting Actress category, one voter made the horrifying observation that Lupita Nyong’o had allegedly “brought sexuality” to her role as a victimized slave girl in 12 Year’s A Slave.

    There was another who implied that all the “commotion” over her in recent months was simply because of the amount of “empathy and sympathy” that her character draws out from audiences, as if that effect on the viewer had nothing to do with her skill as an actress and everything to do with the fact that she was playing a slave. All unsurprising estimations from the 94% white, 76% male voting Academy.

    Another voter’s remarks, though, especially stood out, pointing to a thread that has become a large component in Lupita’s meteoric (and ultimately well-deserved) rise from hardworking unknown to A-List it girl. The voter’s assessment was not just of her performance in the film, but her performance off screen. He (or she) commended the actress for “handling herself impeccably” during awards season, adding:

    “She has acted like a movie star: she looks great, she is grateful, there’s no pictures of her drunk at some party. She’s played her part well.”

    It may seem harmless on one level, but the comment is enormously telling. It highlights not only the politics that we are all vaguely aware of when it comes to who does and doesn’t get the Oscar, but the politics of respectability that have, for better or worse, colored so much of Lupita’s attention and success. Because what if Lupita hadn’t played her so-called part so well? What if she had been snapped drunk at a party? What if she wasn’t Ivy-League educated, poised, articulate, calculatedly and well-styled, full of such earnest awe and gratitude? And more importantly, what “part,” exactly, is she expected to play?

    http://blogs.indiewire.com/shadowandact/the-respectability-politics-of-lupita-nyongo

  6. rikyrah says:

    Interview: Filmmaker Kiandra Parks Discusses ‘Black Girl in Paris’, Spike Lee, And Her Feature Film Kickstarter
    by Emmanuel Akitobi
    March 4, 2014 8:57 AM

    S&A recently reached out to filmmaker Kiandra Parks to learn more about her critically-acclaimed short film Black Girl in Paris, her chance encounter with director Spike Lee early in her career, and the current project she’s using Kickstarter to help fund, C’est La Vie, a feature film homage to Lee’s She’s Gotta Have It.

    Black Girl in Paris, a narrative film about a down-on-her-luck writer living in The City of Lights who experiences personal and sexual awakening thanks to a savvy prostitute, is currently available on HBO GO, until March 31. The short film stars Tracey Heggins and Zaraah Abrahams. Written and directed by Parks, Black Girl in Paris is adapted from the Shay Youngblood novel of the same name. At just under 20 minutes-long, Parks’ adaptation is a tantalizing teaser of a film that begs for a full length version.

    But before that ever happens, Parks’ next project, C’est La Vie, will likely already have been funded, completed, and in theaters around the globe, thanks to a Kickstarter campaign for her “romantic comedy about falling in, and out of, love.”

    C’est La Vie is the story of Kiki Pierre, who, on the verge of her 30th birthday, moves to Paris to save her failing relationship.

    http://blogs.indiewire.com/shadowandact/interview-filmmaker-kiandra-parks-on-black-girl-in-paris-spike-lee-and-feature-film-kickstarter

  7. rikyrah says:

    From Sepia

    Oh, so now that two Black kids who were accepted to multiple Ivy League schools, Miss Ann wants everyone to stop talking about Ivy League schools? LOL #WhiteBitterness
    …………………………………..

    Can we stop obsessing on the Ivy League?
    By Valerie Strauss, Published: APRIL 01, 4:32 PM ET

    Have you heard yet about 17-year-old Kwasi Enin of Shirley, N.Y., who applied to all of the eight schools in the Ivy League and got into every single one? If not, you are, by now, the only one.

    The William Floyd High School senior told Newsday that he couldn’t believe it when, one right after the other, the Ivy League schools — Harvard University, Yale University, Princeton University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, the University of Pennsylvania and Brown University — all welcomed him into the class of 2018.

    Congratulations to Kwasi Enin. Now can we stop talking about him?

    We might as well also congratulate Avery Coffey, 17, a senior at D.C.’s Benjamin Banneker Academic High School, who was admitted to all five of the Ivy League schools – Harvard, Princeton, Yale, the University of Pennsylvania, and Brown — to which he applied, according to MyFoxDC.com. Well done. But that’s enough.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2014/04/01/but-did-he-apply-to-stanford/

  8. rikyrah says:

    After the Oscar: Filmmakers Who Could Have a Director-Muse Relationship With Lupita Nyong’o

    For months, there’s been buzz about Lupita Nyong’o’s talent, her style, and the desire for her to have a lengthy career beyond her breakout role in 12 Years A Slave. Now that she’s won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, the big question is what she’s going to do next.

    No doubt, like director Steve McQueen, she must have several offers on the table after last night’s win. But what I’d love to see is for Nyong’o to become a muse to someone, to develop a longstanding relationship with a director on a series of projects that solidify both their careers.

    Actors and directors form these kinds of bonds all the time, which tend to be mutually beneficial, meaning more and higher profile work for both parties. Consider Robert De Niro and Martin Scorcese, Jennifer Lawrence and David O. Russell, Catherine Keener and Nicole Holofcener, Michael Fassbender and Steve McQueen.

    But whether it’s due to a lack of power or a lack of interest, black actors and creatives rarely show that kind of allegiance to each other. Outside of the Spike Lee/Denzel Washington relationship that lasted for many years and films, I can’t recall one as solid.

    Given the lack of opportunities for black actresses in general, it seems Nyong’o would fare best with someone who knows how to use her aesthetically, and who’s consistently making work in which she can shine. Here’s a look at a few directors that may fit the bill.

    http://blogs.indiewire.com/shadowandact/diaspora-directors-who-could-have-a-muse-director-relationship-with-lupita-nyongo

  9. rikyrah says:

    Coming To OWN: Toni Braxton Will Star In Darlene Love Biopic; Octavia Spencer Will Lead In ‘Tulsa’ & More…

    NEWS BY TAMBAY A. OBENSON
    APRIL 3, 2014 11:08 AM

    OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network announced today that singer/actress Toni Braxton is set to star as Darlene Love in the network’s first scripted TV film My Name is Love: The Darlene Love Story.

    Executive produced by Oprah Winfrey and filmmaker Morgan Neville (Twenty Feet From Stardom), My Name is Love: The Darlene Love Story features the story of one of the 1960’s iconic musical voices, Darlene Love. Love began cutting records for producer Phil Spector right out of high school, and went on to work with some of the greatest musical talents in history, including Elvis Presley, Aretha Franklin, Frank Sinatra and Bruce Springsteen. Including her love affair with Bill Medley of The Righteous Brothers, Love’s “dishy and dramatic” story is one of a woman who had it all, lost it all, but never, ever refused to give up.

    Toni Braxton, most recently seen on Broadway in the musical revue After Midnight, will star in the title role.

    But that’s not all!

    In addition, the network also announced that Octavia Spencer will star in a two-night event mini-series, Tulsa (working title), which is currently in development. Tulsa will tell the story of the largest race riot in U.S. history, where over 300 people were believed to have been murdered in Tulsa, Oklahoma – a story that was largely covered up for decades. The mini-series centers on Mattie Clay (Spencer), a journalist from Tulsa, who moved to Chicago with the hopes of getting off the society pages and away from racism. Mattie’s journey eventually brings her back home to Tulsa where she must face the demons of her past and decide where her future lies.

    http://blogs.indiewire.com/shadowandact/coming-to-own-toni-braxton-will-star-in-darlene-love-biopic-octavia-spencer-will-lead-in-tulsa-more?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

  10. rikyrah says:

    Report Finds Hispanics Faring Better Than Blacks

    By TANZINA VEGA
    APRIL 2, 2014

    Hispanics generally fare better than blacks in rankings of inequality in American life, according to a new report by the National Urban League to be released on Thursday.

    The annual report, called the State of Black America, for the first time this year also included a ranking of income inequality and unemployment for 77 American cities that had large black populations and 83 cities that had large Hispanic populations, based on data from the American Community Survey, an annual survey by the Census Bureau.

    “You can’t have a conversation about income inequality without talking about race,” said Marc H. Morial, the president and chief executive of the National Urban League. “Black and brown people are significantly being left behind.”

    Nationwide, black Americans are twice as likely to be unemployed as whites (13.1 percent of blacks versus 6.5 percent of whites, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics). The rate for Hispanics was 9.1 percent. The report also focused on underemployment which includes those who are jobless and not looking or working part-time jobs but desiring full-time work. According to the report, the underemployment rate for black workers was 20.5 percent, compared with 18.4 percent for Hispanic workers and 11.8 percent for white workers.

    …………………………………

    Topping the list with the smallest employment gap was the Augusta-Richmond County area in Georgia, where 13.3 percent of blacks are unemployed compared with 8.5 percent of whites, and blacks in that area are about 1.5 times more likely to be unemployed than whites. Other areas where the gap between black and white unemployment was smaller than the national average included the Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario region in California, the Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville region in Florida, the Las Vegas metro area, and the Chattanooga, Tenn., metro area.

    The biggest employment gap was found in Madison, Wis., where 18.5 percent of blacks are unemployed compared with 4.4 percent of whites. Other cities with gaps that are larger than the national average included Lancaster, Pa.; Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, Wis.; the Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, Minn., metro area; the Des Moines metro area; and Baton Rouge, La.

    There were also differences in income between blacks and whites. The region with the smallest gap in median income between blacks and whites was Riverside, Calif., which also had one of the smallest unemployment gaps between the two groups. In that area, the median household income for blacks was $44,572 a year compared with $57,252 for whites. In the Twin Cities metro area in Minnesota, one of the regions with the highest gap in unemployment between whites and blacks, the median household income for blacks was $28,784 a year compared with $71,376 for whites.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/03/us/report-finds-hispanics-faring-better-than-blacks.html?ref=us&_r=0

  11. rikyrah says:

    Charles Koch Explains Why He Is So Crazy
    By Jonathan Chait

    The Wall Street Journal’s editorial page owns the deluded self-pitying billionaire screed genre, and today, it brings us Charles Koch. From the outside, Koch would appear to have it pretty good. He owns a vast fortune inherited in substantial part from his father. He commands enormous political influence, with hundreds of politicians and other political elites at his beck and call. But Koch’s view of himself is as a kind of ragtag freedom fighter hunted nearly to extinction.

    Here is Koch attempting to explain the major source of his grievance:

    Instead of encouraging free and open debate, collectivists strive to discredit and intimidate opponents. They engage in character assassination. (I should know, as the almost daily target of their attacks.) This is the approach that Arthur Schopenhauer described in the 19th century, that Saul Alinky famously advocated in the 20th, and that so many despots have infamously practiced. Such tactics are the antithesis of what is required for a free society—and a telltale sign that the collectivists do not have good answers.

    So the trouble is that his critics attempt to “discredit” and “intimidate” him and employ “character assassination.” All these terms appear to be Koch synonyms for “saying things about Charles Koch that Charles Koch does not agree with.” In the kind of “free and open” debate he imagines, Koch would continue to use his fortune to wield massive political influence, and nobody would ever say anything about him that makes him unhappy.

    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2014/04/charles-koch-explains-why-he-is-so-crazy.html

  12. rikyrah says:

    Apr 1, 2014 4:45PM ET / Politics

    Why the All-Ivy League Story Stirs Up Tensions Between African Immigrants and Black Americans

    Arit John

    “Not a typical African-American kid” is being read as an allusion to the lazy black American stereotype. The tension comes from the fact that some African immigrants buy into that stereotype, which gets turned into “Africans don’t like black people.” This has almost nothing to do with Enin, who is obviously a remarkable young man, and everything to do with how America perceives and portrays black Americans and African immigrants.

    In January, Luvvie Ajayi, a Nigerian-born immigrant, tried to explain “akata,” a word some Nigerians use to refer to black Americans that translates into wild animal. (Note: A lot of Nigerians use akata to mean “ghetto” as well. My mom once told me I was dressed like an akata girl because I wanted to wear sweatpants in public.) She argued in a series of tweets, collected by Clutch, that the reason some Africans believe black Americans should be doing better is because they don’t know about the history of black Americans but see their own success as a reason blacks should excel as well. “Africans who come to the U.S. are statistically more successful than African Americans and they think ‘if I could do it, why not them?'” she wrote.

    American society holds that same view as well. A 2007 study covered by the Washington Post found that a quarter of black students admitted to elite colleges were African immigrants, though they only represented 13 percent of America’s college-age black population. The study’s authors several theories on why black immigrants do better, including “to white observers black immigrants seem more polite, less hostile, more solicitous and ‘easier to get along with.’ Native blacks are perceived in precisely the opposite fashion.”

    Lani Guinier, a Harvard professor, argued instead that schools were attempting to “resolve historic wrongs against native black Americans by enrolling immigrants who look like them” but had different experiences. “In part, it has to do with coming from a country … where blacks were in the majority and did not experience the stigma that black children did in the United States,” Guinier said. Either explanation creates a divide — as if Africans can only succeed at the expense of black Americans, or vice versa.

    http://www.thewire.com/politics/2014/04/why-the-all-ivy-league-story-stirs-up-tensions-between-african-immigrants-and-black-americans/359978/

  13. rikyrah says:

    Tensions Between Black Americans and African Immigrants Surface
    The Wire reports that the recent stories about Ghanian-American Kwasi Enin — the student accepted to every Ivy league school — stirred some heated conversations

    The story about Kwasi Enin causes tension between Black Americans and recent African immigrants.

    The story of the first-generation Ghanian-American student accepted by all eight Ivy league schools is wonderful, but it also stirs up the tension between Black Americans and recent African immigrants — especially when you describe him as “not a typical African-American kid.” That’s been the reaction to USA Today’s profile on Kwasi Enin, a Long Island high schooler who got into the nation’s most competitive schools through hard work and, according to IvyWise CEO Katherine Cohen, being African (and being male).

    At one point the piece reads: Being a first-generation American from Ghana also helps him stand out, Cohen says. “He’s not a typical African-American kid.”

    “Not a typical African-American kid” is being read as an allusion to the lazy black American stereotype. The tension comes from the fact that some African immigrants buy into that stereotype, which gets turned into “Africans don’t like Black people.” This has almost nothing to do with Enin, who is obviously a remarkable young man, and everything to do with how America perceives and portrays Black Americans and African immigrants.

    Read more at EBONY http://www.ebony.com/black-listed/news-views/tensions-between-black-americans-and-african-immigrants-surface-981#ixzz2xq0q88YJ
    Follow us: @EbonyMag on Twitter | EbonyMag on Facebook

  14. rikyrah says:

    Scott Walker signs bill allowing election observers close to voters

    Madison — Election observers could stand a few feet from voters and poll workers, under one of a series of election bills Gov. Scott Walker signed in private Wednesday.

    The law would allow observers to stand 3 to 8 feet from the table where voters announce their names and addresses and are issued voter numbers, or from the table where people register to vote. Walker’s office said that the law will safeguard the fairness of elections by ensuring observers can see how they are being conducted.

    In recent debate in the Senate, Democrats argued the bill could lead to longer lines at polling places and voter harassment, with Sen. Tim Carpenter (D-Milwaukee) saying observers would be “breathing down the necks of poll workers.” GOP lawmakers approved the measure in votes that largely broke along party lines.

    Another measure signed by Walker requires that, when practical, poll workers of opposite political parties perform certain duties together.

    Under existing law, clerks are to choose poll workers from lists submitted by the major political parties, putting similar numbers from each party at each polling location. The legislation signed Wednesday specifies that when two or more poll workers must perform a task, they should be of opposite parties.

    The measure passed the Legislature on party-line votes with Republicans backing it and Democrats in opposition.

    Walker also signed a new requirement that elections officials must record the type of document submitted by voters to prove residency, along with the name of the issuing entity and part of any number on the document used by the issuer to identify the voter. That measure also passed both houses of the Legislature along largely partisan lines.

    Read more from Journal Sentinel: http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/scott-walker-signs-bill-allowing-election-observers-close-to-voters-b99238940z1-253573081.html#ixzz2xq0GUTfT
    Follow us: @JournalSentinel on Twitter

  15. rikyrah says:

    Cancer-Stricken Dad Walks 11-Year-Old Down The ‘Aisle’ Because He Won’t Be There For The Real Thing
    The Huffington Post | by Cavan Sieczkowski
    Posted: 04/01/2014 5:33 pm EDT Updated: 04/02/2014 1:59 pm EDT

    Josie Zetz’s father won’t be there to walk her down the aisle on her wedding day. But thanks to California photographer Lindsey Villatoro, the 11-year-old was able to experience what it might be like anyway.

    Her father, Jim, 62, had already been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer when he and his wife, Grace, hired Villatoro — a mother, photographer and founder of Love Song Photography based in Menifee, Calif. Two years ago, Villatoro began offering photography sessions for terminal clients or clients with serious illnesses to document their journeys and was referred to the Zetz family.

    “I try to really showcase the person for who they are and not the illness,” she told The Huffington Post during a phone conversation Tuesday afternoon.

    Villatoro went to Jim and Grace’s home for a shoot and offered to do one with their young daughter, Josie. After she left, she posted about the family on her website to get gift donations for the girl to help make her last birthday with her father a memorable one. But she decided to take the surprise one step further and dreamed up the idea of a wedding for the girl — complete with flowers, desserts, a promise ring and a dress from L.A. Fashion Week — so that her father could walk her down the aisle.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/01/wedding-girl-father-cancer_n_5071465.html?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular

  16. rikyrah says:

    UPS Fires Hundreds Of Workers Who Defended Fired Colleague
    The Huffington Post | by Kevin Short

    Posted: 04/02/2014 4:38 pm EDT Updated: 04/02/2014 5:59 pm EDT

    UPS, one of the world’s largest shipping and logistics companies, has decided to fire 250 workers who staged a 90-minute protest in February. The protest was organized after a long-time employee was fired over an hours dispute.

    Twenty of the workers were notified of their dismissal on Monday. The remaining 230 were told they would be fired as soon as replacements are trained.

    The workers, who are based in Queens, N.Y., walked off the job when Jairo Reyes, a 24-year company veteran and union activist, got in a dispute with the company over the number of hours senior staff could work, according to the New York Daily News.

    Reyes was fired on February 14 — “that was my Valentine’s Day gift from UPS,” Reyes told the Queens Courrier — and the ensuing protest occurred February 26.

    A UPS spokesperson confirmed the firing to the Huffington Post, referring to the protest as “an unauthorized work stoppage.”

    “We simply cannot allow employee misconduct that jeopardizes our ability to reliably serve our customers and maintain order in our delivery operations,” UPS spokesperson Steve Gaut wrote in an email to HuffPost. “For this reason, the company is releasing employees involved in the work stoppage.”

    The Queens workers are represented by the local branch of the Teamsters union. In a statement on their website, they describe the firings as “arbitrary discipline.”

    “UPS’s actions this week were a heartless attack on drivers and their families,” the Teamsters Local 804 wrote.

    Local officials and union representatives have demanded that UPS rehire the workers and that the city revoke the millions in New York government contracts currently awarded to the company.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/02/ups-queens-firing_n_5078776.html

  17. rikyrah says:

    AFRICAN CONNECTION]
    ‘An African City’ Gives Ghana Its Own ‘Girlfriends’

    Nicole Amarteifio and Millie Monyo, creators of the web series ‘An African City,’ discuss the challenges of doing a ‘Sex and the City’-style show set in Accra

    A new Internet series has made a splash, and it’s frequently described as Africa’s answer to Sex and the City. An African City is set in the Ghanaian capital of Accra, and follows the lives and loves of five successful African females who return to the continent after spending much of their adult life abroad in the U.S. and U.K.

    Created by Nicole Amarteifio and Millie Monyo, the duo have utilized millennial methods as well as traditional means to get the world buzzing about their boundary pushing show. Alongside director Dickson Dzakpasu, the trio are focused on entertaining the masses, changing public perceptions on how Africans are viewed, and fostering a discussion-inducing look at relationships within the continent.

    http://www.ebony.com/entertainment-culture/african-connection-an-african-city-gives-ghana-its-own-girlfriends-777#axzz2xpyPyBZ7

  18. rikyrah says:

    How capitalism enriches the few rather than the many
    By Harold Meyerson,
    Published: April 2

    Michael Lewis’s “Flash Boys,” his takedown of high-speed stock trading, may be making headlines this week, but it’s just one of two books on our economic dysfunctions that are flying off the shelves. While “Flash Boys” explains how the fastest-growing form of trading enriches the few at the expense of the many, the other book, Thomas Piketty’s “Capital in the Twenty-First Century,” provides a more fundamental and disquieting explanation: how capitalism itself enriches the few at the expense of the many.

    Piketty, a Paris-based economics professor, is one of a small but growing number of economists who are scanning digitized tax records to discover the distribution of income and wealth in various nations, both today and in the past. Piketty’s work with Emmanuel Saez, an economist at the University of California at Berkeley, has shown that the share of Americans’ income going to the wealthiest 1 percent has risen to the level last seen just before the 1929 crash. In his new book, in which he looks at tax records that in Britain and France date all the way to the late 18th century, Piketty has unearthed the history of income distribution for at least the past hundred years in every major capitalist nation. It makes for fascinating, grim and alarming reading.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/harold-meyerson-how-capitalism-enriches-only-the-few/2014/04/02/f2295a5e-ba95-11e3-9a05-c739f29ccb08_story.html?tid=pm_opinions_pop

  19. rikyrah says:

    Andy Kroll: The Supreme Court Just Gutted Another Campaign Finance Law. Here’s What Happened

    The Supreme Court on Wednesday released its decision in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, the blockbuster money-in-politics case of the current term. The court’s five conservative justices all agreed that the so-called aggregate limit on the amount of money a donor can give to candidates, political action committees, and political parties is unconstitutional. In a separate opinion, conservative justice Clarence Thomas went even further, calling on the court to overrule Buckley v. Valeo, the 1976 decision that concluded it was constitutional to limit contributions to candidates. In their dissent, the court’s four liberal justices called their colleagues’ logic “faulty” and said it “misconstrues the nature of the competing constitutional interests at stake.” The dissent continues, “Taken together with Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, today’s decision eviscerates our Nation’s campaign finance laws, leaving a remnant incapable of dealing with the grave problems of democratic legitimacy that those laws were intended to resolve.”

    How’d this happen? In the 2012 election cycle, a wealthy Alabama businessman named Shaun McCutcheon tried to make donations in the amount of $1,776 to 27 right-leaning congressional candidates. Not so fast, replied the Federal Election Commission (FEC), the nation’s campaign finance watchdog.After this decision, how much can Shaun McCutcheon give? Hypothetically, a single donor can now contribute as much as $3.5 million, to be divvied up between candidates, PACs, and political parties. No single entity could receive any more than the legal limits, and when you add up all the contributions a donor could potentially make without the aggregate limits, you get $3.5 million. (The overall aggregate limit was raised to $123,200 for the 2014 cycle.)University of California-Irvine law professor Rick Hasen, who did not support McCutcheon’s cause, nonetheless has argued that the decision could reinvigorate the parties and maybe scale back the gridlock crippling Congress. What comes next? Although the court’s majority opinion in McCutcheon, written by Roberts, blew up the FEC’s aggregate limits, it did not take a broader swipe at campaign finance restrictions in general. Court watchers feared a decision in McCutcheon that would open the door to future legal assaults on the bedrock of campaign finance law: direct contribution limits, such as the $2,600 limit to candidates, the $5,000 limit to PACs and party committees, and so on.

    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/03/supreme-court-mccutcheon-citizens-united

  20. rikyrah says:

    Harold Itzkowitz @HaroldItz
    Follow
    The Supreme Court protects the right of rich people to donate but not the right of poor people to vote #McCutcheon

    7:26 PM – 2 Apr 2014

  21. rikyrah says:

    The GOP must admit it was wrong on Obamacare
    By E.J. Dionne Jr.,
    Published: April 2

    Is there any accountability in American politics for being completely wrong? Is there any cost to those who say things that turn out not to be true and then, when their fabrications or false predictions are exposed, calmly move on to concocting new claims as if they had never made the old ones?

    The fact that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) hit its original goal this week of signing up more than 7 million people through its insurance exchanges ought to be a moment of truth — literally as well as figuratively. It ought to give everyone, particularly members of the news media, pause over how reckless the opponents of change have been in making instant judgments and outlandish charges.

    When the health-care Web site went haywire last fall, conservatives were absolutely certain this technological failure meant that the entire reform effort was doomed. If you doubt this, try a Google search keyed to that period relating the word “doomed” to the health-care law.

    It should be said that the general public was much wiser. A CNN poll in November that Post blogger Greg Sargent highlighted at the time found a majority (54 percent to 45 percent) saying that the problems facing the law “will eventually be solved.” Political moderates took this view by 55 percent to 43 percent, independents by 50 percent to 48 percent. Only Republicans — by a whopping 72 percent to 27 percent — and conservatives (by 66 percent to 33 percent) thought the law could never be fixed.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/ej-dionne-the-gop-must-admit-it-was-wrong-on-obamacare/2014/04/02/f5635366-ba98-11e3-9a05-c739f29ccb08_story.html?wpisrc=nl_headlines

  22. rikyrah says:

    photo/1

  23. rikyrah says:

    Woman Tired Of Hollywood’s Obsession With Perfection
    Posted: Apr 01, 2014 11:01 AM EDT

    (FOX 11 – Los Angeles) A Los Angeles woman says she’s tired of Hollywood’s obsession with perfection. So, she’s doing something drastic right in the middle of Hollywood Boulevard to show other women that it’s perfectly fine to be large and have good self esteem.

    While you may or may not agree with Amani Terrell’s method, no one can argue with her message of loving yourself at any size. Amani weighs 260 pounds. She knows she has to lose weight. In the meantime, she refuses to be down on herself. She says, “You can not seek validation from other people. This world is very cruel. You must seek validation within yourself and be kind to yourself.”

    http://www.myfoxla.com/story/25129175/woman-shows-good-self-esteem-tops-perfection-obsession#ixzz2xpmBdXrB

  24. rikyrah says:

    Charles Koch presents his defense against ‘collectivists’
    04/03/14 10:13 AM
    By Steve Benen

    Democrats haven’t exactly been subtle in their criticism of Charles and David Koch and the conservative political operation they’ve helped create. For Dems, the Koch brothers have come to symbolize much of what ails the political system: elite billionaires manufacturing movements and buying elections for far-right Republicans, who in turn use the levers of government to help the rich get richer.

    Not surprisingly, Charles Koch, the chairman and CEO of Koch Industries, isn’t pleased with the criticism. He has a new op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, making the case that he’s simply “fighting to restore a free society,” and finds himself outraged by “collectivists” engaging in “character assassination.”

    Much of the piece is fairly predictable – Koch doesn’t seem to care for government or those who “stand for government control of the means of production and how people live their lives” – and it features a spirited defense of Koch Industries’ environmental record. The piece isn’t behind the WSJ paywall, and it’s well worth your time.

    But this was the paragraph that stood out.

    Instead of encouraging free and open debate, collectivists strive to discredit and intimidate opponents. They engage in character assassination. (I should know, as the almost daily target of their attacks.) This is the approach that Arthur Schopenhauer described in the 19th century, that Saul Alinsky famously advocated in the 20th, and that so many despots have infamously practiced. Such tactics are the antithesis of what is required for a free society – and a telltale sign that the collectivists do not have good answers

    Someone should probably let conservatives know that any argument with a Saul Alinsky reference is hard to take seriously.

    Of course, that’s not the real problem with the argument.

    Rather, the underlying issue is one of a failure of self-awareness. The Koch brothers, as has been well documented, aren’t exactly struggling to communicate their ideas with the public. They’ve invested tens of millions of dollars in a massive political operation, including brutal attack ads targeting policymakers who’ve dared to pursue a progressive policy vision.

    http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/charles-koch-presents-his-defense-against

  25. rikyrah says:

    Preview 316: Calling Me

    Andrew wants Mellie to accept a real relationship.

    http://abc.go.com/shows/scandal/video/sneak-peeks/VDKA0_fwwnkc6n

  26. rikyrah says:

    April 1, 2014 12:11 PM PDT
    Exclusive Scandal Sneak Peek: Will Olivia Bargain With the Devil to Save Fitz?

    by Andy Swift

    We hope Olivia knows what she’s doing! In TVLine’s exclusive sneak peek of Thursday’s Scandal (ABC, 10/9c), the Gladiatrix forms an alliance with the only person more terrifying than Sally Langston with a letter opener – but only on one very specific condition.

    “If I’m going to work with you, I need you to promise me something,” Olivia tells Papa Pope in the clip below. “You won’t harm the President.”

    But will Rowan agree to his daughter’s terms? This is the man who said Fitz wouldn’t see his second term, after all.

    http://tvline.com/2014/04/01/scandal-olivia-rowan-video-season-3-episode-16-preview/

  27. rikyrah says:

    How The White House Is Always Outflanking The GOP On Obamacare
    Dylan Scott – April 3, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT8881

    House Republicans will vote on Thursday to repeal yet another piece of Obamacare: the provision that sets 30 hours as the threshold for defining full-time employees, raising it to 40 hours. A company’s compliance with the law’s employer mandate depends on its number of full-time employees, so fewer full-time workers would presumably lighten the mandate’s load on businesses.

    If that seems like small potatoes for the party after its leaders continued to advocate for full repeal this week, here’s why: The Obama administration has outmaneuvered Republicans on Obamacare, and the opposition party doesn’t have many options left in its quest to roll back any part of the law. The administration already made unilateral alterations to unpopular pieces of the law, drawing bewildered reactions even from supporters.

    But by making changes itself, the White House hasn’t let the GOP get in on the game, despite the party’s unending stream of anti-Obamacare bills — therefore denying Republicans the opportunity to extract the high-profile pound of flesh from the law that they’ve been seeking for years.

    On its face, it’s tough to see the policy rationale for this latest attack on the law. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor explained the GOP’s thinking on the chamber floor Wednesday, arguing that Obamacare’s 30-hour rule had encouraged businesses to cut their workers’ hours and that raising the threshold would restore hours and therefore wages.

    The Congressional Budget Office projected, however, that the proposal would lead to 500,000 more uninsured Americans and raise the federal deficit by nearly $74 billion over the next 10 years. The White House has already pledged to veto the bill if it somehow made it through the Senate and to President Barack Obama’s desk, but that’s besides the point.

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/white-house-gop-obamacare-repeal-chess-game

  28. rikyrah says:

    Robert Gibbs: Obamacare’s Employer Mandate Will Not Go Into Effect

    Dylan Scott – April 3, 2014, 10:07 AM EDT96

    Former Obama White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Wednesday that he believed Obamacare’s employer mandate would eventually be repealed.

    BenefitsPro.com flagged Gibbs’s comments, made during a speech at an employee benefits expo in Colorado Springs.

    “I don’t think the employer mandate will go into effect,” he said. “It’s a small part of the law. I think it will be one of the first things to go.”

    The Obama administration has already delayed the mandate for a year and softened it further last month. Other White House allies have told TPM that they would support repealing the mandate if it was paid for. RAND Corp, a non-profit think tank, estimated full repeal would cost $149 billion in federal revenue in the next 10 years.

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/gibbs-obamacare-employer-mandate

  29. rikyrah says:

    Rubio: Spanish Language Networks ‘Have Become All-Out Advocates For Obamacare’

    TOM KLUDT – APRIL 3, 2014, 8:51 AM EDT

    Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) expressed dismay on Wednesday at the major Spanish language outlets for their promotion of the Affordable Care Act.

    Citing a study by the Media Research Center, the conservative media watchdog helmed by Brent Bozell, Rubio told right-wing radio host Hugh Hewitt that Univision and Telemundo have been “all-out advocates” for the law.

    “Both of the major Spanish language networks, but Univision in particular, have basically become all-out advocates for Obamacare, trying to get people signed up,” Rubio said. “I mean, if ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, anybody were doing that, I mean, there would just be an extraordinary amount of criticism.”

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/rubio-telemundo-univision-spanish-lanuage-advocates-obamacare

  30. rikyrah says:

    A comment about race over at BJ:

    It’s hard to face up to the fact that you started life on second base. But you did. I’m a white woman, so I started on first base. Black men are still in the batter’s box. Black women are still in the dugout. But all you can see is that another, richer white guy started off on third base, so therefore you must not have gotten a head start on life at all.

  31. rikyrah says:

    An Insidious Poisoning of the Democratic Presidential Candidate Well
    By: Dennis S
    Tuesday, April, 1st, 2014, 9:33 pm

    I’m not the first pundit to write about this phenomenon, but with the political season in full flower, highlighting a bloom that’s expected to flourish until at least Tuesday, November 8, 2016, it’s worth updating. It’s not just Fox News or the Washington Times or assorted billionaire-funded right-wing “foundations” that relentlessly contribute to this sneaky form of propaganda, mind control, pure blarney and mass hypnosis. There are myriad ways to get the extremist word out and some are downright insidious. I want to address one of the more egregious examples of the latter.

    You, or a member of your family, sees this hate fest of all things (people) progressive at least every week or two. You don’t particularly want to see it, nor do you seek out its presence intentionally, but you can’t miss it. There it is as you wait in the checkout line of your favorite grocery store. It screams out the latest putrid cover headlines, more often than not, aimed at Barack and Michelle Obama, the Clintons and a few well-known Hollywood lefties, like Angelina and Ellen. Oh, they’ll balance out every 20th anti-progressive story or so with a shot at Limbaugh, Palin or Boehner, but politically, the enemy is overwhelmingly liberal, Democrat, black and gay. It’s a tabloid and household name; “the National Enquirer.” Oft-times, sister publication “The Globe” will get in on the action as well.

    We don’t have nearly enough room to review all the vitriol of even the last few months, but here are some sample cover shockers. “Secret book deal exposed. Michelle’s $15 million TELL ALL!” Can’t wait. The Enquirer tells us we’re going to be privy to all of “Obama’s cheating, boozing and drug use.” Then there are the “fights with Hillary Clinton.” That’s in this year’s February 17th edition in case you want to go dumpster-diving. A couple of months later, April 7, to be exact, Michelle’s clearly had enough. “Obamas divorce battle turns ugly.” Michelle’s pictured, mouth (filled with perfect teeth) agape, roaring invectives at a photo-shopped (oops!) depiction of the president’s (or whomever is standing in for him) back. “Michelle storms out!” Prez’s fury over her $150 million wild spending.” For good measure at the top of the cover page “Exposed: Ellen is the Queen of Mean” with, indeed, a photo of the frightful visage of Ellen worthy of a ‘bad guy’ pro wrestler about to tear off his opponent’s head.

    Here’s one more example. This one features the Clintons. Remember, she’s about to run for president. Gotta start poisoning that well, now. This one is recent; March 24th. “Bill caught with two hookers. Hillary goes berserk as Bill DESTROYS her bid to be president.” On the same cover is the revelation of a Denzel Washington CHEATING SCANDAL. I forgot to mention that the Enquirer and Globe also “report” on the vile, immoral behavior of high-profile African-Americans. Obama pal, Oprah, is their favorite target in this realm.

    The accompanying stories are always written so as to just barely avoid libel suits, but not always, as a successful Carol Burnett suit will attest. Still any Obama, Clinton or Oprah lawsuit successes are unlikely, given the public fame of the subject matter. And, after all, the writer simply has to “believe” what is written is true. Plus, it’s a little tough to prove damages seriously impacting the lives of two presidents and a billionaire. Of course, the final goal is not personal damage, it’s political damage.

    At their core, the stories are never what the headlines imply. When you get to the particulars of Michelle’s TELL ALL book, neither the book nor the article TELLS anything. Sure Michelle will write a post-White House memoir, as will her husband. So far, she’s written one book, horribly controversial, by the name of “The Story of the White House Kitchen and Gardens Across America.” Not only do the reporters of the article have no idea what she’ll write; at this point, she probably doesn’t either.

    http://www.politicususa.com/2014/04/01/insidious-poisoning-democratic-presidential-candidate.html

  32. rikyrah says:

    Five Republican Supreme Court Justices Want America Ruled by the One Percent

    By: Keith Brekhus
    Wednesday, April, 2nd, 2014, 3:58 pm

    The McCutcheon v Federal Election Commission ruling which eliminates overall campaign contribution limits, merely confirms what Americans already know. The five Republican appointed Supreme Court justices (Roberts, Alito, Kennedy, Thomas and Scalia) are little more than party operatives for the GOP, intent on putting the country under the control of the uber-wealthy. This was abundantly clear after the landmark Citizens United ruling, and reiterated after the court once again struck a blow against campaign finance laws by lifting the cap on contributions. In the eyes of the five justices appointed by Republican presidents, free speech is anything but free. The person who can buy the most political influence is entitled to the best representation.

    Chief Justice John Roberts sided with Sheldon Adelson, the Koch Brothers and other mega-donors by arguing that:
    ………………..

    Of course in his obtuse argument he pretends that bankrolling a political candidate, since it is not a bribe for specific legislation, is therefore not a form of political corruption. In a blistering dissent, Clinton court appointee Stephen Breyer rejected that naive notion arguing that:

    http://www.politicususa.com/2014/04/02/republican-supreme-court-justices-america-ruled-percent.html

  33. rikyrah says:

    President Obama Calls Mitch McConnell an Old Man Telling Kids To Get Off His Lawn
    By: Jason Easley
    Wednesday, April, 2nd, 2014, 4:51 pm

    President Obama took aim at Senate Minority Leader McConnell today. During his speech on raising the minimum wage today, the president compared McConnell to an old man telling kids to get off of his lawn.

    …………………

    President Obama never mentioned his name, but on the January 26, 2014 edition of Fox News Sunday, Sen. Mitch McConnell said, “Yes. But, of course, the minimum wage is mostly an entry level wage for young people. We have a crisis in employment among young people right now, and generation 18 to 30, people that got out of college, are finding there are no jobs for them. The last thing we want to do is have even fewer jobs for younger people.”

    Without naming names, the president basically called Sen. McConnell a grouchy old man who doesn’t want to help young people. That pretty much sums it up. The Republican members of Congress have no interest in helping people in general, unless they are wealthy.

    The president’s basic argument for raising the minimum wage is a powerful one, and making Mitch McConnell the face of the Republican Party is a brilliant move. McConnell represents everything that the American people don’t like. He has obstructed progress at every turn. He actively works against what the majority of the American people want, and he is completely owned by big money special interests.

    http://www.politicususa.com/2014/04/02/president-obama-shreds-mitch-mcconnell-pretty-telling-kids-lawn.html

  34. rikyrah says:

    Fighting SCOTUS’ Shameful Freedom to Corrupt Ruling

    By: Adalia Woodbury
    Wednesday, April, 2nd, 2014, 7:43 pm

    The Koch Court drove another dagger into democracy today with a ruling that gives greedy old plutocrats license to buy even more Paul Ryan clones than Citizens United made possible. The ruling only cautions them to be creative when it comes to the inevitable corruption this ruling will unleash.

    By Chief Justice Roberts’ “reasoning“, the greedy old plutocrats need only steer clear of the quid pro quo variety of corruption, or the appearance of it. In the spirit of the majority’s simplistic definition of corruption, the court did leave the limit on donations to individual candidates in place. Though, if Clarence Thomas had his way, that would be gone too.

    In collectivity, this Supreme Court’s rulings on campaign finance places shackles on the First Amendment by opening the doors of corruption that we used to associate with third world dictatorships.

    http://www.politicususa.com/2014/04/02/fighting-scotus-freedom-corrupt-ruling.html

  35. rikyrah says:

    What’s the Matter With South Carolina?
    by BooMan
    Thu Apr 3rd, 2014 at 08:14:06 AM EST

    I read about this last week, before the Faculty Senate voted unanimously against the appointment of their new neo-confederate president.

    Members of the College of Charleston community are not happy with the choice of a Republican politician with ties to neo-Confederates to be the next president of the college. Donors are complaining. Students are protesting. And on Tuesday, the Faculty Senate held a unanimous vote expressing no-confidence in the school’s Board of Trustees.
    The college’s board announced late last month that it had voted to offer the president job to Glenn McConnell, the current Republican lieutenant governor of South Carolina. But McConnell’s lack of experience in academia, and his well-publicized enthusiasm for the Confederacy, quickly inspired protests.

    …………………….

    And he’s most famous for his fight to preserve the practice of making public displays of the Confederate Flag.

    By percentage of population that is black, South Carolina ranks 5th in the nation at 28%. Only Mississippi, Louisiana, Georgia, and Maryland rank higher. By contrast, only six percent of the student body at the College of Charleston is black.

    Neither group appreciates being led by a neo-confederate.

    http://www.boomantribune.com/story/2014/4/3/8146/88492

  36. rikyrah says:

    photo/1

  37. rikyrah says:

    photo/1

  38. rikyrah says:

    Wonderful comment about the First Lady:

    Mi

    She’s terrific! I just love how she has this way of honing in — and actually sees these kids; And makes them feel so special.

    There’s nothing counterfeit or contrived about Mrs Obama; She’s no forgery, she’s the real deal; And she’s clear about her mission: to validate these children, and to make sure they understand that they are truly worthy – every last one of them. That the sky is the limit for each of them – that they only have to reach for it.

    Once upon a time, it was tea-time every day at the White House – and only for ladies who lunch; But today, kids who never dreamt of walking through those gates are casually hanging out with the First Lady – and it’s all routine and normal – and not at all out of the ordinary.

    Is there any wonder that the entitled, self-important, envious, self-serving and myopic are determined to break her? —to take her down. She’s shown a new way, carved a different path – and is all sorts of winning and awesome — and all on her own terms.

  39. Ametia says:

    Paul Ryan’s buget is a STANK-BURGER!

  40. Ametia says:

    rad Pitt’s Plan B Acquires Hacker Story ‘Anonymous vs. Steubenville’
    10:57 AM PDT 4/2/2014 by Rebecca Ford, Borys Kit

    The producers of “12 Years a Slave” will adapt a Rolling Stone article about a hacker who exposed the cover-up of a rape and was subsequently jailed for his actions.

    Fresh off their Oscar win for 12 Years a Slave, Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner and their Plan B production company will produce a movie based on a true story about a hacker who helped catch two rapists — and then was jailed for his actions
    .
    http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/brad-pitts-plan-b-acquires-692796

  41. rikyrah says:

    ‘Maturity’?

    Come on, now.

    She’s had work done.

    ………………….

    Alexa Ray Joel looks unrecognizable

    USMagazine, Wednesday, April 2, 2014, 2:25pm (PDT)

    All grown up! Many remember Alexa Ray Joel as Billy Joel and Christie Brinkley’s adorable, grinning little girl, but the now-28-year-old singer looked surprisingly transformed on April 1.

    Performing at Cafe Carlyle in New York, Joel posed in a cleavage-baring, lace-covered corset and long, printed skirt.

    Her angular jawline, flawless skin, and sultry pout were a far cry from the beaming preteen many remember. But that doesn’t mean she’s had work done to look this glamorous. According to her rep, the musician’s new look is simply, well, maturity.

    “Alexa has never had any plastic surgery other than a rhinoplasty, which she has admitted to,” the rep tells Us. “She’s simply matured into a beautiful young woman.”

    http://wonderwall.msn.com/music/alexa-ray-joels-surprising-transformation-see-billy-joel-and-christie-brinkleys-daughter-now-1806134.story

  42. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

  43. Ametia says:

    Yeah! Fields of Gold! Good Morning, Everyone. :-)

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