Serendipity SOUL-Wednesday Open Thread

John Stephens (born December 28, 1978), better known by his stage name John Legend, is an American recording artist, musician and actor. He is the recipient of six Grammy Awards, and in 2007, he received the special Starlight award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame.[1]

Prior to the release of his debut album, Stephens’ career gained momentum through a series of successful collaborations with multiple established artists. Stephens added his voice to those of other artists, assisting in them reaching chart-topper hits. He lent his voice to that of Kanye West, on Slum Village‘s “Selfish”, and Dilated Peoples‘ “This Way”. Other artists included Jay-Z‘s “Encore“, and sang backing vocals on Alicia Keys’ 2003 song “You Don’t Know My Name” and Fort Minor‘s “High Road.” Stephens played piano on Lauryn Hill‘s “Everything Is Everything.”

Happy HUMP day, Everybody!  Take it slow and easy.

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56 Responses to Serendipity SOUL-Wednesday Open Thread

  1. Hey 3 Chics, Friends & Lurkers!

    Please go look at the bullsh*t photo Huffington Post has accompanying this article. It makes you want to break something. AOL must have taken over. It’s a fking outrage!

    College Board Releases National Report, Low Scores Among Minorities

    • Ametia says:

      I don’t need to click on the link to know that that photo is depicting blacks in a negative, lazy light. It’s what that coniving hussy does to get the clicks.

      • The photo is of black students with their heads down on the desk sleeping. HP is feeding into a got damn stereotype. They’re driving home a message with that photo that blacks are lazy and don’t care about their studies and it’s despicable. Mofos!

  2. TheGrio’s 100: La’Shanda Holmes, first black female Coast Guard copter pilot flying high

    Lt. JG La’Shanda Holmes’ claim that she “didn’t grow up with a silver spoon” is an incredible understatement. Raised in foster care with more than 12 siblings after her mother’s suicide, the ambitious aviator is rising above all expectations as the pilot of MH-65 Dolphins, making Holmes the first black female helicopter pilot in U.S. Coast Guard history.

    La’Shanda Holmes is making history … soaring through glass ceilings, out over open oceans. Of the 1,200 pilots in the U.S. Coast Guard, only 85 are female, but these odds didn’t slow Holmes’s ascension to her wings. After two years of aviation, La’Shanda Holmes was pinned with her set of aviator wings, on April 9, 2010, by her mentor Lt. Jeanine Menze, who holds the distinction of being the U.S. Coast Guard’s first African-American female aviator.

  3. ‘Forcible Rape’ Language Remains In Bill To Restrict Abortion Funding

    WASHINGTON — After significant public blowback, House Republicans last week promised to drop a controversial provision in their high-priority No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act that would redefine rape. But almost a week later, that language is still in the bill.

    Last week, a spokesman for the bill’s principal sponsor, Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), said, “The word forcible will be replaced with the original language from the Hyde Amendment.” The Hyde Amendment bans taxpayer dollars from being used for abortions, except in cases of incest and rape — not just “forcible rape,” as the Smith bill, H.R. 3, would have it.

    But as The New York Times first noted on Wednesday, the “forcible rape” language remains. Ilan Kayatsky, a spokesman for New York Rep. Jerrold Nadler, the top-ranking Democrat on the House judiciary subcommittee focusing on constitutional issues, told The Huffington Post that while Nadler hopes the bill will soon be changed, they have been treating it as it’s written.

    “So the fact remains: more than 150 Republicans lent their name to this bill, as drafted, which includes the forcible-rape provision,” the Nadler spokesman said. Several conservative Democrats also signed on as cosponsors of Smith’s bill.

    This is fking maddening! Who are the Democrats that signed on as co-sponsors of this bill. They need to be taken to the woodshed!

  4. Ametia says:

    John King Confirms: “We At CNN Have What I’ll Call ‘The Fox Problem’”
    by Mark Joyella | 1:11 pm, February 8th, 2011

    CNN’s John King made it clear last night on John King, USA that his network has a bit of a “Fox problem” as it gears up for the 2012 campaign. “When it comes to covering the early maneuverings of the 2012 presidential race, we at CNN have what I’ll call ‘The Fox problem.’” That problem, he says, is that many of the likely candidates in the Republican primary are tied to Fox News, and don’t make themselves available to CNN for interviews.

    By way of introducing an interview with Newt Gingrich, King told viewers he “jumped at the chance” to ask Gingrich a few questions, since it was a rare opportunity to get a potential GOP candidate in front of a CNN camera:

    “Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich – all possible candidates, all contractual contributors to Fox News — so they’re not supposed to sit down for interviews with CNN.”

  5. Alabama State Lawmaker Makes Controversial Remarks, Attempts To Do Damage Control

    Alabama state Sen. Scott Beason, a Republican, reportedly made eyebrow-raising remarks over the weekend, calling on members of his party to “empty the clip and do what has to be done” in order to address illegal immigration, which he regarded as a problem.

    According to the Cullman Times, Beason concluded a fiery speech on the issue with the extreme language at a Republican party breakfast. His comments come in the wake of the tragic shooting in Tucson, Arizona.

    Beason accused Democrats in his home state of intentionally neglecting to tackle the immigration issue. He alleged his colleagues on the other side of the aisle were motivated by a belief that “when more illegal immigrants move into an area, when their children grow up and get the chance to vote, they vote for Democrats.”

    Later in his speech, the Alabama Republican warned that failing to confront illegal immigration could “destroy” local communities in the state.

    In a phone interview with the Gadsden Times on Monday, Beason said that his “empty the clip” reference was taken out of context. The Alabama-based outlet reports:

    He said he had told his audience an Internet-circulated joke about how you can tell the political beliefs of a liberal, a conservative, and an armed Southerner who are confronted by a mugger in New York City.

    • Ametia says:

      WE know these MOFOs don’t want more Hispanics in America, because they will VOTE and VOTE democratic. Despicable! And some of these folks will vote for the a-holes

  6. Ametia says:

    – Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, recovering from shooting, regains ability to speak — asks for toast, aide says.

  7. Ametia says:

    Checking Up On Michelle Obama’s Anti-Obesity Effort

    First lady Michelle Obama is spending the week promoting the first anniversary of her Let’s Move! initiative. Her goal is to solve the problem of childhood obesity within a generation.

    he has partners from Major League Baseball to Wal-Mart, and no other first lady initiative that I can think of had that kind of support from the corporate world.”

    Last month, the first lady said she was “thrilled” as she joined Wal-Mart executives to announce that the grocery chain will reduce sugar, sodium and trans fats in thousands of its products. The month before that, she persuaded Congress to pass a $4.5 billion child nutrition bill.

    At the signing ceremony, the president credited his wife with giving the bill the urgency it needed to become a law.

  8. Ametia says:

    Republican Rep. Sue Wallis, WY Takes On Anti-Choice Nonsense In Her “House”
    In Right Wingery on February 8, 2011 at 10:47 pm

    Rachel Maddow had a story on her program tonight about two Wyoming Republican State Representatives who took a bold stand against a new (read: same old) restrictive anti-abortion bill.

    The bill, like others making their way through many other states and on the national level, seeks to impose a 24 hour waiting period on women seeking an abortion, the medically disingenuous “fetal pain” argument and other typical far right anti-abortion language.
    Rep. Sue Wallis and Rep. Lisa Shepperson not only pulled out the “little c” conservative argument – “keep government out of the doctor’s office (insert your libertarian ideal)” – but Wallis went a step further and shared her experience of having an abortion. From the AP:
    Rep. Sue Wallis, R-Recluse, was the first person to testify against the bill, her voice rising with emotion as she condemned it. “I’m going to tell you a couple of things that are none of your damned business, and none of the business of the people that are standing behind my back,” Wallis said as she addressed the committee.
    Wallis said she’s been pregnant five times and has given birth to three children. She said she lost one baby two weeks before it was due to be born and once underwent an abortion, something she said she had never before revealed in public.
    Wallis said proceeding with the abortion was the best decision she ever made. She said she has spent time counseling young women and said they already know what the implications of abortion are when they visit a doctor.
    More and more Republican women must stand up to the insanity brought on by the onslaught of these bills. They are are an incredible and unallowable invasion of privacy, an affront to the intelligence of women and a tried and true political rallying cry for the right-wing base

  9. Prince to Kim Kardashian: ‘GET OFF THE STAGE!’ [HD]

  10. Ametia says:

    Breaking News Alert: Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) to announce he won’t seek reelection, sources say
    February 9, 2011 11:36:16 AM

    Sen. James Webb (D-Va.) is expected to announce as early as Wednesday that he will not run for reelection in 2012, according to two Democratic sources who requested anonymity because the decision has not yet been made public.

    • Edward Lazarus says:

      Get ready, ladies and gents!
      Jim Webb….more or less a (shaky) democrat! Wants only ONE term!
      Here comes George
      Brush off the bigotry!

  11. Hatch Panders To Tea Party While Lugar Refuses To ‘Kowtow’ To Them

    Sens. Richard Lugar (R-IN) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) are similar in many ways — they are the two most senior Republicans in the Senate, both are well-liked by colleagues of both parties, and both have shown a willingness to work across the aisle, much to the chagrin of conservative purists. Because of their relative moderation, both are also sure to face tea party-driven primary challenges in 2012, yet their reactions to this threat could not be more different.

    Hatch, acutely aware of the fate that befell former Utah GOP senator Bob Bennett (he lost his seat to a tea party challenger last year), has jumped head first into the tea party movement in recent weeks in an attempt to pass himself off as one of their own. He even appears to have invited himself to a Tea Party Express town hall last night in Washington featuring right-wing favorites like Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN). At the event, which ThinkProgress attended, Hatch took every opportunity possible to pander to the tea party:

    – “I’ve been watching what the Tea Party does. I’m very impressed,” Hatch said.

    – “I’m often accused of having been a tea partier before there even was such as term, and I’m okay with that.”

    – “It’s time for America to take back America and the Tea Party will play a role in that.”

    Lugar, on the other hand, has stood firm by his record and values, defending the need for bipartisanship and making it clear that he won’t be pushed around by the tea party or “kowtow” to their special interests:

    – Lugar refuses to “kowtow” to the tea party: “A lot of conservatives believe you have to kowtow to the Tea Party. We reject that premise,” Lugar spokesperson Mark Helmke told the New York Times last week.

    – Lugar told the tea party to “get real”: “I’ve got to say ‘Get real’ [when] I hear Tea Party or other people talking about they were against START,” Lugar told a local TV station.

    It’s time for America to take back America

    Translation: It’s time for white people(real Americans) to take back the country from the black guy!

  12. Jim Webb will not run for re-election.

  13. Ametia says:

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  16. Ametia says:

    • Ametia says:

      Matt Lauer knows damn well FLOTUS isn’t going to discussthe PTOUS’ policy with him. She’s a class act, our First Lady.

      • Matt Lauer wants FLOTUS to discuss policy so he can runteldat. Stupid ass clown.

      • Ametia says:

        Those were the stupidest questions. hair color, smoking? Gawd, FLOTUS is a gem for sitting there with this assclown.

        She and PBO, are both class acts, and are REALLY showing America what TRUE grace, intelligence, and poise looks like. Matt Lauer, you don’t have it.

  17. Ametia says:

    Posted at 12:20 PM ET, 02/ 8/2011
    House rejects measure that would extend key Patriot Act provisions through December
    By Felicia Sonmez
    Updated: 7:15 p.m.

    A measure to extend key provisions of the Patriot Act counterterrorism surveillance law through December failed the House Tuesday night, with more than two-dozen Republicans bucking their party to oppose the measure.

    The House measure, which was sponsored by Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) and required a two-thirds majority for passage, failed on a 277-to-148 vote. Twenty-six Republicans voted with 122 Democrats to oppose the measure, while 67 Democrats voted with 210 Republicans to back it. Ten members did not vote.

    The measure would have extended three key provisions of the Patriot Act that are set to expire on Monday, Feb. 28, unless Congress moves to reauthorize them. One of the provisions authorizes the FBI to continue using roving wiretaps on surveillance targets; the second allows the government to access “any tangible items,” such as library records, in the course of surveillance; and the third is a “lone wolf” provision of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorist Prevention Act that allows for the surveillance of targets who are not connected to an identified terrorist group.

    The vote came as several tea party-aligned members of the new freshman class had been expressing doubts about the measure.

    Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul, who highlighted his opposition to the law during his upstart 2010 Senate campaign, signaled Monday that he may vote ultimately vote against an extension when the measure comes up in the Senate, likely later this month.

    “I’ve had a lot of reservations about the Patriot Act,” Paul said when asked whether he’s leaning toward voting for an extension. “We’re reviewing it and we’re going over it, and we will have something out probably in the next couple of days,” he added. “We won’t be shy about it when it comes out.”

    Paul’s father, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), was among the trio of Republican lawmakers who opposed the Patriot Act when the House approved it in October 2001.

    Some young conservative lawmakers, including Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), had not yet decided how they would vote ahead of Tuesday night; Chaffetz later said in an interview after the vote that he had indeed decided to support the measure. A spokesperson for Chaffetz’s Utah colleague, conservative freshman Sen. Mike Lee (R), did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

    Meanwhile, one of the Senate’s newly-elected moderate Republicans, Sen. Mark Kirk (Ill.), said Monday that he’s likely to vote in favor of extending the Patriot Act provisions, adding that “it would be smart” for the Senate to back a three-year extension.

    “Having it disappear is not the right answer,” Kirk said.

    Some Democrats opposed to the Patriot Act had seized on Tuesday’s vote as an opportunity to question tea-party-backed lawmakers’ reverence for the Constitution.

    Ohio Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich, who voted against the measure in 2001, released a statement Monday calling Tuesday’s House vote “the tea party’s first test.”

    “The 112th Congress began with a historic reading of the U.S. Constitution,” Kucinich said. “Will anyone subscribe to the First and Fourth Amendments tomorrow when the PATRIOT Act is up for a vote? I am hopeful that members of the Tea Party who came to Congress to defend the Constitution will join me in challenging the reauthorization.”

    The Patriot Act has long been an issue that has not divided neatly along party lines. Former Wisconsin Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold was the only senator to originally vote against the measure in 2001 and was among the law’s most outspoken opponents. But as portions of the law have come up for reauthorization over the years, its opponents have often included both Republican and Democratic members.

    The White House on Tuesday said in a statement that it “does not object” to extending the three Patriot Act provisions until December 2011 although it “would strongly prefer” an extension until December 2013, noting that the longer timeline “provides the necessary certainty and predictability” that law enforcement agencies require while at the same time ensuring congressional oversight by maintaining a sunset.

    In addition to the House legislation, the Senate is considering three competing timelines, including proposals that would permanently extend the three provisions or extend them through 2013. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), both of whom have introduced competing proposals, said Monday that committee members continue to work toward an agreement but declined to speculate as to the end result.

    “We’re working on that this week,” Leahy said. “It’s got to be done. … I don’t want it to be a situation where none of them go through.”

  18. Ametia says:

    PEJ News Coverage Index: January 31 – February 6, 2011
    Events in Egypt Trigger Record Coverage
    Last week’s turmoil in the Middle East registered as the biggest international story in the past four years—surpassing any coverage of the Iraq war, the Haiti earthquake and the conflict in Afghanistan.

    From January 31-February 6, the Mideast saga, driven by televised images of the protests and power struggle in Egypt, filled 56% of the newshole studied by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism. Not only was that easily the biggest overseas story in a single week since PEJ began its News Coverage Index in January 2007. It registered as the fourth-biggest story of any kind—trailing only two weeks in the 2008 presidential campaign and the aftermath of the January 8, 2011 Tucson shooting spree.

    Until now, the biggest international story of any single week (43%) was the Iraq war from September 9-14, 2007. And most of that was driven by the domestic policy debate over the war—including General David Petraeus’ progress report to Congress and a speech by President George W. Bush. The Haiti earthquake that killed as many as an estimated quarter million people filled 41% of the newshole from January 11-17, 2010.

  19. No Facebook friends for Obama girls

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Michelle Obama says her daughters aren’t on Facebook, and that’s the way she likes it.

    The first lady says her girls, Sasha, 9, and Malia, 12, have certain restrictions that other children don’t have because of Secret Service security issues. But she also said during an interview on NBC’s “Today Show” on Wednesday that she’s “not a big fan of young kids having Facebook.”

    Even if the girls weren’t living in the White House, Mrs. Obama says Facebook is “not something they need.” Maybe when they get older, she added.

  20. Ametia says:

  21. Ametia says:

    Michelle Obama’s unfolding legacy
    By Nia-Malika Henderson
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Tuesday, February 8, 2011; 10:41 PM

    In the first and second weeks of January, Michelle Obama gathered her senior staff in her office for a series of three-hour planning meetings that would kick off her third – and busiest – year in the East Wing.

    What she saw was a staff in transition and remade at the top levels, a shuffling that mirrored the changes just down the hall in the West Wing.

    Susan Sher, her mentor and outgoing chief of staff, sat in on the meetings, but she was heading back to Chicago and handing off her duties to Tina Tchen, another Windy City pal, who had been a top Obama campaign fundraiser in 2008.

    Kristina Schake, new to the White House but not to politics, had been on the job for a little over a month, taking over as communications director. The East Wing, she was finding, was inundated with requests and coming off of a two-year run of glossy magazine covers that solidified Michelle the brand.

    Read on, if you dare.

  22. Ametia says:

    Arianna Huffington’s ideological transformation
    By Dana Milbank
    Wednesday, February 9, 2011

    Did Arianna Huffington just sell out her fellow progressives?

    In the literal sense, she undoubtedly has: The sale of Huffington Post to AOL for $315 million (including a large pile of cash going to Huffington herself) means this powerful liberal voice is formally joining the “corporate media” its writers have long disparaged.

    There are also some indications that she has sold out in the ideological sense and committed the Huffington Post to joining the mainstream media – the evil “MSM” of “HuffPo” blogger ire. Announcing the deal, she and her new boss went out of their way to say that the new Huffington Post would emphasize things other than the liberal politics on which the brand was built.

    AOL Chairman Tim Armstrong said he thinks “Arianna has the same interest we do, which is serving consumers’ needs and going beyond the just straight political needs of people.” Huffington agreed, boasting that only 15 percent of her eponymous site’s traffic is for politics (that’s down from 50 percent a couple of years ago), and she emphasized that politics is just one of two dozen “sections,” including a new one devoted to covering divorces.

    “It’s time for all of us in journalism to move beyond left and right,” Huffington said Monday on PBS’s “NewsHour.” “Truly, it is an obsolete way of looking at the problems America is facing.”

  23. dannie22 says:

    Good morning all!

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