Sunday Open Thread

Good Morning. Hope you are enjoying this weekend with family and friends.

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87 Responses to Sunday Open Thread

  1. rikyrah says:

    Virginia Democratic senator Puckett to resign, possibly dooming push to expand Medicaid

    By Laura Vozzella June 8 at 7:58 PM

    RICHMOND — Republicans appear to have outmaneuvered Gov. Terry McAuliffe in a state budget standoff by persuading a Democratic senator to resign his seat, at least temporarily giving the GOP control of the chamber and possibly dooming the governor’s push to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

    Sen. Phillip P. Puckett (D-Russell) will announce his resignation Monday, effective immediately, paving the way to appoint his daughter to a judgeship and Puckett to the job of deputy director of the state tobacco commission, three people familiar with the plan said Sunday. They spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter.

    The news prompted outrage among Democrats — and accusations that Republicans were trying to buy the Senate with job offers in order to thwart McAuliffe’s proposal to expand health coverage to 400,000 low-income Virginians.

    Del. Scott A. Surovell (D-Fairfax) said Republicans were unable to win the policy argument about Medicaid expansion, so they have resorted to other means.

    “It’s astounding to me. The House Republican caucus will do anything and everything to prevent low-income Virginians from getting health care. . . . They figure the only way they could win was to give a job to a state senator,” Surovell said. “At least they can’t offer Terry McAuliffe a job. I hope Terry continues to stand up to these bullies.”

    Puckett, a senator since 1998, did not respond to calls seeking comment. Other Republicans denied that Puckett was offered the jobs in exchange for his resignation.

    http://m.washingtonpost.com/local/virginia-politics/2014/06/08/901edf8e-ef54-11e3-914c-1fbd0614e2d4_story.html

  2. rikyrah says:

    Jonathan Mandell @NewYorkTheater

    I’m standing on Lena Horne’s shoulders, on Maya Angelou, on Diane Carroll and Ruby Dee and most of all Billie Holidays.-A McDonald

    …………………………………….

    Ja’Dell Davis @MsJaDell

    These award shows reinforce cultural differences in how we see our own accomplishments-“My work” vs. “The shoulders on which I stand”.

  3. rikyrah says:

    LL Cool J and TI at the Tonys?

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    Audra McDonald Makes Tony Award History With Win
    NEW YORK June 9, 2014 (AP)
    By MARK KENNEDY AP Drama Writer
    Associated Press

    Audra McDonald has become the Tony Awards’ most decorated actress.

    The singer and actress on Sunday won her sixth Tony for portraying Billie Holiday in “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill,” putting her ahead of five-time winners Angela Lansbury and the late Julie Harris for the most competitive wins by an actress.

    The latest win — for best lead actress in a play — also makes McDonald the first grand-slam performance winner. She previously won as best featured actress in a play (“A Raisin in the Sun” and “Master Class”), best lead actress in a musical (“The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess”) and best featured actress in a musical (“Ragtime” and “Carousel”). She also has two Grammys.

    She beat Tyne Daly, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Cherry Jones and Estelle Parsons

    http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/wireStory/audra-mcdonald-makes-tony-award-history-win-24051071

  6. rikyrah says:

    Deal Could Almost Double Number of Black-Owned Television Stations

    In what is being hailed as a major boost for black-TV station ownership, Nexstar Broadcasting Group, Inc. said Friday it has agreed to sell three stations to black media entrepreneur Pluria Marshall Jr.

    By: Richard Prince
    Posted: June 8 2014 5:27 PM

    Nexstar Broadcasting Group, Inc., said Friday that it had agreed to sell three television stations to black media entrepreneur Pluria Marshall Jr. in a deal that, if approved, would nearly double the tiny number of full-powered African American-owned commercial television stations.

    The deal would require a waiver from the Federal Communications Commission, which voted 3-2 in March to bar so-called ” shared services agreements,” in which one station provides services, such as selling advertising, for another.

    Nexstar, which said it would guarantee the loans necessary for Marshall to meet the $58.5 million sale price, is proposing such an agreement. However, when the FCC passed its ban on these arrangements, it added language designed to encourage waivers for joint sales agreements that encourage diversity in media ownership.

    Marshall has owned radio stations and newspaper properties and is the son of Pluria Marshall, photographer, co-founder of the National Association of Black Journalists and activist who challenged broadcast licenses as chairman of the National Black Media Coalition in the 1970s.

    In their announcement, Nexstar and Marshall emphasized that their desire for broadcast diversity drove the deal.

    http://www.theroot.com/blogs/journalisms/2014/06/nexstar_broadcasting_group_deal_with_pluria_marshall_jr_could_double_number.html?wpisrc=obinsite

  7. rikyrah says:

    Shotgun Behind the Door: How Armed Black Southerners Helped Fight for Civil Rights

    Charles Cobb’s new book, This Nonviolent Stuff’ll Get You Killed, tells the story of black Southerners who fought to exercise their 14th, 15th—and Second—amendment constitutional rights.

    By: Blair L.M. Kelley
    Posted: June 5 2014 3:01 AM

    Most history students never learn that even Martin Luther King Jr.—arguably history’s greatest spokesperson on behalf of nonviolence—had armed guards stationed outside of his home and a pistol tucked in his sofa in 1955 when he emerged as the leader of the bus boycott in Montgomery, Ala.

    But he did.

    As time went on, he came to trust in the philosophy of nonviolence in his personal life as much as he believed in its power politically, and eventually got rid of both the guards and guns. At some point, though, we glossed over this complexity and began to think of nonviolence as preordained and as a natural outgrowth of the movement.

    We don’t teach our children about the training civil rights activists had to endure in order to prepare their minds and bodies for nonviolent protests. And we don’t often think about how the movement functioned in rural places, far from the glare of the spotlights of network news cameras. Outside of the national gaze, what might check the violence of white segregationists who resisted every attempt by black citizens to assert their right to vote and to organize politically? How did the movement work in the face of the violence in rural Union County, N.C.; Lowndes County, Ala.; or Sunflower County, Miss.?

    That’s the story masterfully told by Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee field secretary and now journalist Charles Cobb in his challenging and important new narrative, This Nonviolent Stuff’ll Get You Killed: How Guns Made the Civil Rights Movement Possible, which adds to a growing list of important histories that expand what we know about the way organizing had to work in rural communities.

    http://www.theroot.com/articles/history/2014/06/_fighting_for_rights_with_faith_and_faith_in_self_defense.html?wpisrc=newsletter_jcr:content&mc_cid=7662a0965d&mc_eid=1e0cf17cc4

  8. rikyrah says:

    BREAKING: Obamas Purchased House in Asheville, NC for Post-Presidency
    Anthea Mitchell
    June 07, 2014

    Sources have confirmed the Obamas purchased real estate in Asheville, NC. The White House has not yet confirmed.

    It seems all the bookmakers sending the Obamas to New York City or back to Chicago after the end of the President’s second term are wrong by a few thousand miles.

    A source close to Wall St. Cheat Sheet has confirmed that the Obama family have purchased property in the city of Asheville in North Carolina as a post-Presidency residence. A call to get an official confirmation from the White House wasn’t immediately returned.

    The President discussed retirement there last year during his trip to North Carolina during a speech in Asheville. “Love coming to Asheville,” said Obama. “Michelle and I always talk about how after this whole presidency thing, we’re looking for a little spot to –” here an audience member said, “Come on down” — “Come on down? Play a little golf, do a little hiking, fishing, barbecue,” said Obama. “There’s two things that keep bringing me back here. Number one is I really like the people. And number two is 12 Bones, which I will be stopping on the way back to the airport.” On the one hand, a smaller city like Asheville doesn’t offer the same enormous population to lose oneself in as does New York or Chicago. On the other, the president and his wife clearly like the area.

    “The president first visited the Asheville area during the campaign, and he liked it so much that he vowed to take his family there. The president and first lady are planning to spend a quiet weekend enjoying some of the many things this beautiful part of the country has to offer,” reported the White House. This, of course, led to a great deal of “vacation like the president” slogans from the city’s tourism industry. “Find out for yourself what makes the Asheville area a vacation destination worthy of a president!” reads an Asheville Chamber of Commerce posting.

    http://wallstcheatsheet.com/politics/where-will-obama-go-after-the-white-house.html

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  11. rikyrah says:

    A Walk in President Obama’s Shoes
    By zizi2

    ………………………..

    In the run-up to the 2008 election, when so much hyperbole and thrills were running up some media legs (nothing sincere except to milk the rising African American political whiz for ratings gold), Candidate Obama modestly saw himself as a “transitional leader”. What did he mean? Few paid attention at the time, yet the clues lie in his book “Audacity of Hope” in which he described America reaching critical crossroads at which she either soars or fragments. To set this country soaring, Obama believed the toxic gunk that had trapped our nation in a thicket of policy, structural, and ideological dysfunction needed to be cleaned out. His Mama had taught him that when you see a problem you tackle it and not wait for someone else to solve it.

    In essence he saw himself as a plumber who takes on the unglamorous yet necessary task of unclogging the drains, septic tanks, draining swamps, and the like. He summed it up in his election night victory speech and even more soberly in his first Inauguration address. At the time many thought both speeches were Debbie downers and not commensurate with the public euphoria attending his election as First African American President. His own eye was NEVER off the ball. These were serious times demanding unvarnished grit and stamina to see the necessary task through to the end.

    http://theobamadiary.com/2014/06/08/a-walk-in-president-obamas-shoes/

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  16. Yahtc says:

    “At last, Brevet Maj. Ripley A. Arnold receives fitting tribute”

    http://www.star-telegram.com/2014/06/06/5880693/dedication-of-statue-honors-fort.html

  17. Yahtc says:

    “Chess grand master Maurice Ashley gives students tips for life”

    http://articles.philly.com/2014-06-07/news/50407035_1_maurice-ashley-jowel-ammons-chess-teams

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  20. rikyrah says:

    The President is an Elitist Theme

    by BooMan
    Sun Jun 8th, 2014 at 11:55:40 AM EST

    It has always struck me as inherently unconvincing to argue that President Obama is an elitist, considering that he grew up as a mixed-race kid raised largely by his grandparents in a home of unextraordinary wealth. It’s true that he managed to get himself a couple of Ivy League degrees, but you could say the same thing about most presidents, even brush-clearing George W. Bush. In fact, Dubya, despite his down-home affectations, fits the bill of an elitist in nearly archetypical fashion. The son of a president and grandson of a senator, he was, as Ann Richards famously put it, “born on third base and thought he’d hit a triple.” Barack Obama was born in the on-deck circle and hit an actual home run.

    But, whatever, the difference is that very few people ever took a look at George Bush and came away thinking that he was smarter than they are, so he didn’t elicit the visceral “he’s thinks he’s better than you” response that Obama sometimes does. Some folks don’t like people who are contemplative. So it goes.

    Matthew Continetti wants to riff on this elitist thing, so he seizes on an anecdote from a long Obama profile Carrie Budoff Brown and Jennifer Epstein did for Politico about a dinner the president had in March while visiting Italy. Obama had asked the U.S. ambassador to assemble some interesting dinner guests. Here’s a partial list of things about this dinner that Continetti objects to, presumably because they demonstrate that the president is not a man of the people:

    The dinner was held at the Villa Taverna, which has a history that “goes as far back as the tenth century” and has an art collection that “includes Roman sarcophagi and centuries-old imperial busts.”
    The food and wine were too good: “The menu that evening included a variety of pastas, and wines from Tuscany and the regions around Venice.”
    The president was rude and talked for too long: “Dinner lasted four hours.”
    The president was “at home” in this “sumptuous and Baroque setting, amid these beautiful artifacts of long-gone civilizations.”
    The guests were too rich and smart: “The interesting Italians surrounding him included a particle physicist, two heirs to the Fiat auto fortune, and the postmodern architect Renzo Piano.”
    The conversation was too intellectual: “The dinner conversation…touched on architecture, on art, on science, and on urban planning.”
    The president had too good of a time: “The next morning, during a briefing, the president—whose office holds a burden of responsibility matched only by its power—regretted that his job involved duties other than pretentious conversation with extremely wealthy famous people.”

    http://www.boomantribune.com/story/2014/6/8/115541/0965

  21. rikyrah says:

    Bob Berghdal’s Compassion And Deep Thoughts Confound The GOP
    Author: Julie Driscoll June 7, 2014 2:40 pm

    Bob Bergdahl, the father of rescued POW, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, may just be a little too intelligent and a little too understated and not nearly enough of an angry white dude to satisfy the GOP’s blood lust.

    Mr. Bergdahl is an interesting character. Unfortunately, it’s his character that’s being slandered by the right, mainly because the GOP hasn’t a clue what to do with a guy who is soft-spoken and not hell-raising, has compassion for his son’s captors, is a deep thinker, appears to have the ability to walk in others’ shoes, and – most importantly – isn’t an ass-kicking, gun-wielding red-faced blowhard. All of this is very novel – strange, scary, therefore bad – for their very narrow mindsets and sliver-thin world views.

    http://www.addictinginfo.org/2014/06/07/bob-bergdhal-intelligent/

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  25. rikyrah says:

    Considering Mariah Carey’s New Album
    Wednesday 3:45pm

    Last week, Mariah Carey released her 14th studio album, Me. I Am Mariah…The Elusive Chanteuse. Here are some things to consider when considering Mariah Carey, especially at this juncture in her 24-year career.

    Over the last several years, it’s become harder to sell music. In the first quarter of this year, CD sales were down 20 percent compared to the first quarter of 2013. Digital sales had slid by 13.3 percent.

    Over an individual artist’s career, it’s also become harder for individual artists—especially women—to sell music. Our culture’s obsession with youth only has intensified. It’s insane to look back on the ’80s and see people like Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, and Patti LaBelle churning out mainstream hits while they were in their 40s. That just doesn’t happen today.

    The oldest woman to hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 was Cher, who was 51 when “Believe” dominated the chart in 1999.

    Mariah Carey is 44 or 45 (sources differ).

    Mariah Carey has not had a hit in a while. Her last two albums, 2009’s Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel, and 2010’s Merry Christmas II You, have sold less in the U.S. than any others that came before (just a little over 500,000 a piece). The former spawned just one hit single (“Obsessed,” No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100).

    Over the course of her 24-year career, Mariah Carey has notched 18 No. 1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100, and is routinely introduced as the “biggest selling female artist of all time.” A discussion of commercial performance is essential to her work, because for so long it defined her persona. She is not merely a singer, not merely a songwriter, but a hit-maker, someone whose genius lay in her ability to speak to the masses. Though through her first five albums, she was the type of sure-bet artist whose every release was obviously going to be a hit (Katy Perry, sadly, is this type of artist today; Lady Gaga was a few years ago), the effort involved was plain to see. She was a workhorse—1996 was the only year of the ’90s that did not see a major release from her (I’m including her MTV Unplugged EP and hits compilation #1’s in this tally, as they both spawned hit singles). She would rerecord singles—sometimes multiple times—for remixes spanning various musical genres.

    This seemingly indefatigable work ethic paired well with Mariah Carey’s craft. Though her lungs seemed to have unlimited capacity, and her voice capable of reaching octaves beyond our ability to hear, her delivery has always felt fraught, calculated. Carey always has been an active singer. No matter how easy the notes came, you were still aware of the push behind them (as opposed to, say, Whitney Houston, who at her peak just flowed; Aretha Franklin gushed). Effort has always been this woman’s aesthetic.

    So closely does Carey identify herself with obscene success that she sometimes sings about it. She sang to her deceased father Alfred Roy Carey in 2008’s “Bye Bye”: “You never got to see me back at No. 1.” That’s a reference to her chart renaissance via 2005’s blockbuster The Emancipation of Mimi album. (Alfred Roy died in 2002, during Carey’s nadir in popularity between her disastrous Glitter project and hit-free Charmbracelet album.) On Me. I Am Mariah’s “Dedicated,” she wraps herself in nostalgia and reflects upon hip-hop history, at one point invoking: “Remix of a ‘Fantasy’ / I hear ‘em singing back to me.” Halcyon is when you would release a single and it would sit at No. 1 for eight weeks. Reality is that four songs were released to launch Me. I Am Mariah… (2012’s “Triumphant” didn’t even make the final cut, not that anyone but diehards know that song, anyway), and only one of them cracked the Top 20, last year’s terrific duet with Miguel, “#Beautiful.”

    Here’s the contradiction: Mariah Carey became Mariah Carey through unthinkable success, but Mariah Carey only became a deliciously unmissable persona through failure. Up till Glitter, she had never really released a flop (save a single here and there toward the end of the ’90s). She wasn’t relatable, wasn’t even really recognizable as human. She would try to project vulnerability in her songs and end up sounding like titanium. All of a sudden, it was real. The world was less controllable than she thought. She was an underdog, in all of that designation’s endearing glory. I never read anything suggesting this, but I always thought that part of her pre-Glitter meltdown had to do with her early detection that she had a flop on her hands. I don’t doubt that she was exhausted, as she claimed, but the desperation was palpable. What do you do when so much of who you are is defined by popular opinion, and the opinion turns negative? You whisper through a subdued album of hip-hop soul (Charmbracelet) and then you come back and sing runs in the faces of all who ever doubted you (The Emancipation of Mimi).

    http://gawker.com/considering-mariah-careys-new-album-1585132670

  26. rikyrah says:

    Gran Gran Dani @itsdanielletbh · Jun 5

    @TriniTrent this RT @donlemon: Are We To Blame For Justin Bieber’s Use Of The N-Word? @tjmshow @cnn http://blackamericaweb.com/2014/06/05/don-lemon-are-we-to-blame-for-justin-biebers-use-of-the-n-word/#.U5BlE0WZ0tI.twitter

    Trini Trent @TriniTrent · Jun 5

    . @donlemon Oh. So it’s black people’s fault that Justin Bieber uses the word nigger as a joke and sings racist tunes about killing us?

    Trini Trent @TriniTrent · Jun 5

    Don Lemon has been in massa’s house too long. He forgot he’s a nigger too.

    • Ametia says:

      The #1 sign of slave-catching coonery is mouthing off fin FAVOR or the white folk’s behavior, instead of holding them RESPONSIBLE for said racist behavior.

      RUN & TWEET that, Lemon.

  27. rikyrah says:

    Trini Trent ‏@TriniTrent

    To say that no other black woman has had the commercial and cultural impact as Beyonce shows complete ignorance.

    Trini Trent @TriniTrent · 18h

    Particularly Janet Jackson. It’s as if (white) America is determined to erase her legacy and replace her name with that of Beyonce.

    Replied to 0 times

    Trini Trent @TriniTrent · 19h

    Are we to assume that Diana Ross, Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey all never existed (and weren’t all bigger than Beyonce)?

    • Ametia says:

      There’s room for all these talented women.

      This nonsense is a divisive tactic.

      NONE of these women can be erased, unless we fall for “white America” doing the erasing.

  28. rikyrah says:

    Trini Trent @TriniTrent · 18h

    Janet Jackson didn’t just define an era of popular culture. She rivalled (and outperformed) even Madonna for over a decade.

  29. rikyrah says:

    Trini Trent @TriniTrent · 18h

    We’re to pretend that all never happened. Janet, Mariah and Whitney all never existed. Beyonce is the only black woman of note since Aretha.

  30. rikyrah says:

    backdoordraft @boycotkochbros

    Feinstein’s husband stands to make Billions on USPS properties…….She is pushing ISSA to do the sale…Obama will not allow sale of USPS

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    Why Democrats Are Losing the Voter-ID Message War

    Democrats have yet to counteract the Republicans’ voter-ID narrative—or their polling—even though most African Americans oppose new voter-ID laws when they catch on to what they are.
    By: Charles D. Ellison
    Posted: June 5 2014 4:49 PM

    Voter-ID laws must not be all that bad if black folks like them, right?

    That’s the new political wolf ticket that the Republican rank and file want you to buy. Conservative activists, as jumpy as So You Think You Can Dance contestants, have hit the media trail with their latest talking point: Black folks heart voter ID, courtesy of freshly baked polling numbers, courtesy of Fox News—the king of unapologetically biased networks.

    Per Fox, 51 percent of African Americans are down with voter ID when they’re asked: “Supporters of these laws say they are necessary to stop ineligible people from voting illegally. Opponents say these laws are unnecessary and mostly discourage legal voters from voting. What do you think?”

    And Republicans are, predictably, elated with the results, produced by this feat of leading questions and survey chicanery. Polls, after all, validate political narratives—if you word your question right, folks will tell you the sky is red. Flacks use them to raise money and win elections.

    Polls won’t, however, point you in the direction of that other poll showing that way fewer whites feel the Voting Rights Act is necessary. Nor will they show the North Carolina PPP poll (pdf) that showed 72 percent of African Americans strongly oppose voter-ID laws—in a state that’s 25 percent black.

    The Fox poll offers a dangerously legit-looking way to give mostly Republican state legislators ammunition for an amazingly misleading “we told you so” on voter ID. The message, beyond the numbers, suggests there’s nothing wrong with rigging, complicating and corrupting a relatively decent voting system that’s precariously fragile from years of abuse.

    http://www.theroot.com/articles/politics/2014/06/dems_need_a_new_plan_on_voter_id_asap.html

  34. rikyrah says:

    Gah Damn Pam!!! Tichina Arnold Puts French Montana On Blast For Making Fun Of Her Struggly Photo

    Posted on June 8th, 2014 – By Bossip Staff

    Tichina Arnold Blasts French Montana On Instagram, Asks “Who Are You????”

    Pam from “Martin” Tichina Arnold is apparently ALLLLL the way fed up with French Montana and delivered a lengthy read to the rapper via Instagram.

    The beef between the two is apparently due to a photo that Montana posted on Instagram of Tichina looking struggly that was captioned, “I wish Martin could see this right now.”

    http://bossip.com/976749/gah-damn-pam-tichina-arnold-reads-french-montana-for-filth-for-not-doing-isht-for-the-community/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+bossiprss+%28Bossip.com%29#sthash.U2SF5fMx.dpuf

  35. Ametia says:

    Rafael Nadal of Spain claims his ninth French Open title by defeating Novak Djokovic of Serbia in four sets.

  36. Ametia says:

    CNN RIGHT WING MEDIA TALKING POINTS

  37. Ametia says:

    FBI Investigates Threats Against Bergdahl Family
    ASSOCIATED PRESS – JUNE 7, 2014, 10:37 PM EDT

    Threats against the family of former Taliban prisoner Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl are being investigated by federal, state and local authorities.

    William Facer, a spokesman for the FBI’s Salt Lake City division, said Saturday in a statement: “The FBI continues to monitor the situation in Hailey, Idaho. We are working jointly with our state and local partners and taking each threat seriously.”

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/fbi-investigates-threats-against-bergdahl-family

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  40. Ametia says:

    Now Gladd can give Bill Clinton all the awards they want, but we know which PRESIDENT is truly supportive of ALL Americans.

    For Immediate Release May 30, 2014
    Presidential Proclamation — Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month, 2014

    LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, AND TRANSGENDER PRIDE MONTH, 2014

    – – – – – – –

    BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

    A PROCLAMATION

    As progress spreads from State to State, as justice is delivered in the courtroom, and as more of our fellow Americans are treated with dignity and respect — our Nation becomes not only more accepting, but more equal as well. During Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month, we celebrate victories that have affirmed freedom and fairness, and we recommit ourselves to completing the work that remains.

    Last year, supporters of equality celebrated the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down a key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act, a ruling which, at long last, gave loving, committed families the respect and legal protections they deserve. In keeping with this decision, my Administration is extending family and spousal benefits — from immigration benefits to military family benefits — to legally married same-sex couples.

    My Administration proudly stands alongside all those who fight for LGBT rights. Here at home, we have strengthened laws against violence toward LGBT Americans, taken action to prevent bullying and harassment, and prohibited discrimination in housing and hospitals. Despite this progress, LGBT workers in too many States can be fired just because of their sexual orientation or gender identity; I continue to call on the Congress to correct this injustice by passing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. And in the years ahead, we will remain dedicated to addressing health disparities within the LGBT community by implementing the Affordable Care Act and the National HIV/AIDS Strategy — which focuses on improving care while decreasing HIV transmission rates among communities most at risk.

    Our commitment to advancing equality for the LGBT community extends far beyond our borders. In many places around the globe, LGBT people face persecution, arrest, or even state-sponsored execution. This is unacceptable. The United States calls on every nation to join us in defending the universal human rights of our LGBT brothers and sisters.

    This month, as we mark 45 years since the patrons of the Stonewall Inn defied an unjust policy and awakened a nascent movement, let us honor every brave leader who stood up, sat in, and came out, as well as the allies who supported them along the way. Following their example, let each of us speak for tolerance, justice, and dignity — because if hearts and minds continue to change over time, laws will too.

    NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2014 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month. I call upon the people of the United States to eliminate prejudice everywhere it exists, and to celebrate the great diversity of the American people.

    IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirtieth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand fourteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-eighth.

    BARACK OBAMA

  41. Ametia says:

    Go SG2, GO!!! Hope you’re having FUN this weekend in the water.

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  42. Ametia says:

    Usher Defends Justin Bieber: He’s ‘Unequivocally Not a Racist’
    by Josh Feldman | 2:35 pm, June 7th, 2014

    Usher, the man who arguably made Justin Bieber‘s career, weighed in on the n-word scandal Bieber’s been engulfed in all week, and he defended Bieber from critics calling him a racist with a lengthy Instagram post defending Bieber.

    A few videos were leaked this week of Bieber making jokes using the n-word, and despite Bieber issuing an apology, controversy continues to swirl around him.

    Usher took to Instagram Saturday morning to fire back at Bieber’s critics and clear the air, saying that he knows Bieber well and he does not believe Bieber is anything close to racist.

    http://www.mediaite.com/online/usher-defends-justin-bieber-hes-unequivocally-not-a-racist/

  43. Yahtc says:

    “Descendants of slaves look back at emancipation”

    http://hamptonroads.com/2014/06/descendants-slaves-look-back-emancipation

  44. Yahtc says:

    “Springettsbury Twp. woman’s family history quest reveals much more than black and white”

    http://www.ydr.com/local/ci_25911622/springettsbury-twp-womans-family-history-quest-reveals-much

  45. rikyrah says:

    James Clyburn Warns of Those Who Are Turning Back the Clock on Racial Progress

    In a Q&A with The Root the congressional leader shares stories from his memoir, Blessed Experiences: Genuinely Southern, Proudly Black.

    There is victory in perseverance. It is the fable about the tortoise’s slow pace being just the pace he needs. It is the religious doctrine that heralds, what comes doesn’t always come when you want it but when you need it. James Clyburn knows this well, having been a child in school during the slow churn of the segregated South, during Brown v. Board of Education, right up to the four attempts it took him, at age 52, to land in Congress.

    With an extraordinary capacity for vivid recall, this son of South Carolina lays out his path to political leadership in his memoir, Blessed Experiences: Genuinely Southern, Proudly Black, taking readers behind the scenes of some memorable events.

    http://www.theroot.com/articles/politics/2014/06/james_clyburn_warns_of_turning_back_the_clock_on_racial_progress.html?wpisrc=newstories

    • Yahtc says:

      “Blessed Experiences:Genuinely Southern, Proudly Black”
      James E. Clyburn

      Book Description: University of South Carolina Press, United States, 2014.
      “From his humble beginnings in Sumter, South Carolina, to his prominence on the Washington, D.C., political scene as the third highest-ranking Democrat in the House of Representatives, U.S. Congressman James E. Clyburn has led an extraordinary life.

      “In Blessed Experiences, Clyburn tells in his own inspirational words how an African American boy from the Jim Crow-era South was able to beat the odds to achieve great success and become, as President Barack Obama describes him, one of a handful of people who, when they speak, the entire Congress listens.

      “Born in 1940 to a civic-minded beautician and a fundamentalist minister, Clyburn began his ascent to leadership at the age of twelve, when he was elected president of his National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) youth chapter. He broke barriers through peaceful protests and steadfast beliefs in equality and justice. Of his success Clyburn says he was blessed with nurturing parents, a supportive family, and loyal friends.

      “But, he added, my life was not just about knocking down doors and lowering barriers. I spent some time marching in the streets and occupying the inside of South Carolina jails. As a civil rights leader at South Carolina State College, as human affairs commissioner under John C. West and three subsequent governors, and as South Carolina s first African American congressman since 1897, Clyburn has established a long and impressive record of public leadership and advocacy for human rights, education, historic preservation, and economic development.

      “Clyburn was elected to Congress in 1992. Serving as copresident of his freshman class, he rose quickly through the ranks and was elected chair of the Congressional Black Caucus in 1999 and House Democratic Caucus vice chair in 2002. Three years later he was unanimously elected chair of the Democratic Caucus. When Democrats regained the House majority in 2006, Clyburn was elected House majority whip.

      “Now as assistant Democratic leader in the 112th Congress, Clyburn, a self-described independent, prides himself on working to overcome barriers and destroy myths without becoming too predictable. I have worked across party lines to further legislative causes, and on occasion publicly differed with some of my allies in the civil rights community, says Clyburn.

      “My experiences have not always been pleasant, but I have considered all of them blessings.”

      “Blessed Experiences includes a foreword from Emmy Award-winning actress and the congressman s longtime friend Alfre Woodard.”

  46. rikyrah says:

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  47. rikyrah says:

    Sex offender tries to kidnap 6-year-girl in Seattle, gets beaten instead

    Jesse Brisbin asks little girl to leave park with him. She says no, he grabs her hand and drags her from park. Her father and others chase man, beat him.
    BY DEBORAH HASTINGS
    NEW YORK DAILY NEWS June 7, 2014, 3:46 PM

    A young girl playing in a Seattle park was dragged away by convicted sex offender Thursday evening. But her father and others ran after the man, tackled him and beat him until police arrived.

    A twice-convicted child molester got a beat-down after he tried to kidnap a young girl playing in a public park, authorities said.

    The child was playing with her siblings at Benefit Park when Jesse Brisbin, 30, asked her to leave with him, KOMO Newsreported.

    She refused, but Brisbin grabbed her hand and began dragging her out of the park. But she managed to break free and make a run for it, police said.

    Meanwhile, her father, his friends and others chased Brisbin, tackled him and beat him. Then the dad made Brisbin call 911 on his own cell phone and report what he’d done,KIRO-TVreported.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/seattle-sex-offender-kidnap-girl-beaten-article-1.1820965#ixzz343jQGGED

  48. rikyrah says:

    How VA Outsourcing Hurts Veterans

    By Phillip Longman

    On Thursday, Sen. Bernie Sanders, chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, announced that he had reached a compromise with John McCain and other Senate Republicans on how to fix whatever it is that needs fixing at the VA. The legislation contains some good ideas, like providing for the hiring of more doctors and nurses where they are needed. But the bill also contains one provision that is a significant concession to Republican enemies of government. If enacted, it would lower the quality of health care received by veterans while setting back the movement for health care delivery system reform generally.

    This is the provision in the draft legislation that would, according to a Senate Veterans Committee press release, “allow veterans living more than 40 miles from a VA hospital or clinic to access more convenient private care.” Given all the headlines about excessive wait times and backlogs at the VA, that might sound smart at first hearing, but in practice it could well lead to a disaster.

    To begin with, as most people in this debate don’t seem to know or care to remember, the VA already engages in extensive outsourcing of medical services. For example, under the Bush Administration, the VA began contracting with Humana to provide care to veterans in rural areas, a program that continues under the Access Received Closer to Home project. In 2009, the Senate Veterans Affairs committee determined that the VA was already outsourcing some $3 billion year to private providers.

    By 2012, the Obama administration had continued the trend to the point that the public employee unions that represent VA employees were screaming. “Contract physicians and nurses lack the specialized skills and best practices of clinicians who dedicate their lives to serving the veteran population as VA employees,” complained Alma Lee, National VA Council President for the American Federation of Government Employees. “Excessive contracting out has put many medical centers in the red, without benefitting the patient.”

    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/political-animal-a/2014_06/how_va_outsourcing_hurts_veter050680.php

  49. rikyrah says:

    What Happened After Fla. Teen Was Charged With 2 Felonies for a Science Experiment

    Kiera Wilmot, now 17, is trying to move on as she preps for college after graduating from high school, but one thing still hangs over her: an arrest record

    excerpt:
    With tensions still high on her return to Bartow High after a 10-day suspension, it was recommended at that point that she not finish the remainder of her junior year, even though there were only five weeks left. To be sure that she could keep up academically, she was sent to an alternative school with children who had discipline problems for the remainder of the school year. She would be allowed to return to Bartow High, and attend classes with her sister again, for her senior year.

    Her sister, Kayla, told The Root how lonely it was at Bartow High without Kiera and how harsh people were after the incident. The girls were often mistaken for each other, so Kayla was called a terrorist (something Kiera also had to deal with). Sometimes, even knowing that Kayla was not Kiera, peers would still taunt the older twin, saying that they “deserved what they got” and “should be in jail.”

    “They made me not want to go to school at that time. Everything was going on; it was just way too much stress,” Kiera said about her eventual return to Bartow High. “Some people are still a little mean about it. Some have forgotten about it. I’m hoping everybody forgets about it.”

    That’s not the only impact the incident has had on her. During her suspension, the A and B student saw her grades drop to D’s and F’s. Although she managed to bring them back up to par at the alternative school, she was still denied the right to graduate with honors like her sister because of the circumstances: her troubles at the school, the drop in her grades one semester, and the fact that she broke her attendance at the school to attend the alternative school.

    http://www.theroot.com/articles/culture/2014/06/what_happened_after_florida_teen_was_charged_with_two_felonies_for_a_science.html?wpisrc=mostpopular

  50. rikyrah says:

    Blacks and Asians Denied Entry to Dallas Bar, Ex-Employee Charges

    Former employee claims reports of racism at Kung Fu Saloon accurate
    by CARLA WADE June 6, 2014 at 8:17 PM

    DALLAS — Kung Fu Saloon in Uptown Dallas is accused of racist business practices, like using its dress code to deny entrance to minority customers and not applying the code to white customers.

    “I never saw any white people getting turned away,” said Stephanie Guidry, a former employee.

    Guidry was an event coordinator at the bar from September of 2012 to January of 2013. She said managers told employees to screen customers, not only when people came to the bar in person, but over the phone.

    “I would have to call them up on the phone and speak to them on the phone,” she said. “And listen to their accent — listen to see if they sounded ghetto or too Asian.”

    “Ghetto,” she said, was a code word for black. In those instances, she was supposed to say the bar was booked.

    http://www.wfaa.com/news/local/Former-employee-claims-reports-of-racism-at-Kung-Fu-Saloon-accurate-262191921.html

  51. rikyrah says:

    What the D-Day Veteran Told Obama at the 70th Anniversary Commemoration

    After the president delivered his long speech and before he finally talked to Putin in Normandy, he was stopped on live television by a bent old soldier who gave Obama a piece of his mind.
    06.06.14

    COLLEVILLE-SUR-MER, France — After the speeches were over at the American cemetery above the Normandy beaches on Friday morning, U.S. President Barack Obama and French President François Hollande walked in front of the scores of surviving American D-Day veterans to lay a wreath. But one of them—pale and bent beneath his baseball cap as if it weighed him down—stepped forward and took Obama’s hand, and would not let him go until he had said his piece.

    Was the infirm old soldier, perhaps, taking Obama to task for the scandals in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs? Was he telling the president that American policy needed more spine? An old survivor has a kind of license to say whatever he wants, even to the president of the United States. Obama smiled warmly. But then, in front of the crowd and the world’s television cameras, he would. None of us in the crowd could hear.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/06/06/what-the-d-day-veteran-told-obama-at-the-70th-anniversary-commemoration.html

    • Liza says:

      Nice ending to the story about the old veteran. There are excellent documentaries now, but D-Day in Normandy, in fact the whole invasion, is still incomprehensible. But I suppose the same could be said of all of WWII. Of all the terrible things that have happened on this planet, WWII must rank as the highest, because it happened in the 20th century when we were supposed to be civilized. Seventy million perished, probably more.

  52. rikyrah says:

    photo/1

  53. rikyrah says:

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  54. rikyrah says:

    Obamacrat44 ‏@pinkbunny70 1h

    Disgusting to see MSM pretending they have no responsibility for “traitor” narrative, resulting in death threats for #Bergdahl @jaketapper

  55. rikyrah says:

    joshuafoust @joshuafoust

    As more details emerge about Bergdahl, the attempted smear of him by the right looks more and more despicable

  56. rikyrah says:

    Skeptical Brotha’s back posting
    ……………………

    Hillary isn’t a sure thing

    Betting against Barack Obama is always a losing proposition, but he’s in a race against history that no Democratic president has won in 74 years. Only twice in American history has there ever been three or more consecutive Democratic Administrations. Both occurrences happened about century apart. Fourteen years into the 21st Century, no party has held the White House for three consecutive terms and the odds are against it happening in 2016. Presidential elections in this country turn on one thing and one thing only: presidential performance. Barack Obama must accomplish something significant in a second term if Hillary Clinton is to have a second bite of the apple. If he doesn’t, the likelihood of her winning the presidency diminishes significantly and the permanence of health reform is jeopardized.

    http://skepticalbrotha.wordpress.com/2014/04/22/hillary-isnt-a-sure-thing/

  57. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

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