Sunday Open Thread

The Mississippi Mass Choir is an American gospel choir based in Jackson, Mississippi.

Serving God Through Song” is the motto and the mission of The Mississippi Mass Choir. Although striving to succeed in the gospel music industry, the choir’s purpose is to help establish the gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the world. Since its formation in 1988, the choir has won numerous honors and awards for its contributions to gospel music. The group has traveled extensively throughout the United States, toured Japan and appeared in Nassau, the Bahamas. When you consider the level of success enjoyed by this relatively novice group of singers, it becomes evident that serving the Lord pays off.

About SouthernGirl2

A Native Texan who adores baby kittens, loves horses, rodeos, pomegranates, & collect Eagles. Enjoys politics, games shows, & dancing to all types of music. Loves discussing and learning about different cultures. A Phi Theta Kappa lifetime member with a passion for Social & Civil Justice.
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40 Responses to Sunday Open Thread

  1. Ted Nugent: Romney Camp ‘Expressed Support’ After Controversial Comments on Obama

  2. rikyrah says:

    Black Women and Fat
    Published: May 5, 2012

    FOUR out of five black women are seriously overweight. One out of four middle-aged black women has diabetes. With $174 billion a year spent on diabetes-related illness in America and obesity quickly overtaking smoking as a cause of cancer deaths, it is past time to try something new.

    What we need is a body-culture revolution in black America. Why? Because too many experts who are involved in the discussion of obesity don’t understand something crucial about black women and fat: many black women are fat because we want to be.

    The black poet Lucille Clifton’s 1987 poem “Homage to My Hips” begins with the boast, “These hips are big hips.” She establishes big black hips as something a woman would want to have and a man would desire. She wasn’t the first or the only one to reflect this community knowledge. Twenty years before, in 1967, Joe Tex, a black Texan, dominated the radio airwaves across black America with a song he wrote and recorded, “Skinny Legs and All.” One of his lines haunts me to this day: “some man, somewhere who’ll take you baby, skinny legs and all.” For me, it still seems almost an impossibility.

    Chemically, in its ability to promote disease, black fat may be the same as white fat. Culturally it is not.

    How many white girls in the ’60s grew up praying for fat thighs? I know I did. I asked God to give me big thighs like my dancing teacher, Diane. There was no way I wanted to look like Twiggy, the white model whose boy-like build was the dream of white girls. Not with Joe Tex ringing in my ears.

    How many middle-aged white women fear their husbands will find them less attractive if their weight drops to less than 200 pounds? I have yet to meet one.

    But I know many black women whose sane, handsome, successful husbands worry when their women start losing weight. My lawyer husband is one.

    Another friend, a woman of color who is a tenured professor, told me that her husband, also a tenured professor and of color, begged her not to lose “the sugar down below” when she embarked on a weight-loss program.

    And it’s not only aesthetics that make black fat different. It’s politics too. To get a quick introduction to the politics of black fat, I recommend Andrea Elizabeth Shaw’s provocative book “The Embodiment of Disobedience: Fat Black Women’s Unruly Political Bodies.” Ms. Shaw argues that the fat black woman’s body “functions as a site of resistance to both gendered and racialized oppression.” By contextualizing fatness within the African diaspora, she invites us to notice that the fat black woman can be a rounded opposite of the fit black slave, that the fatness of black women has often functioned as both explicit political statement and active political resistance.

  3. rikyrah says:

    A Black Studies Critic’s Willful Ignorance
    A blogger’s screed is about politics, not scholarship, says a Princeton professor.

    By: Eddie S. Glaude Jr. | Posted: May 5, 2012 at 12:16 AM

    Ignorance can be so loud and in your face. That much we know; it is a common feature of American public debate these days. Just turn on Fox News or listen to talk radio. But when it is willful ignorance — that is, a deliberate refusal to assess evidence that contradicts ready-at-hand assumptions — it is beyond annoying and irritating. It leaves me angry — especially when crude and harmful views are hiding behind the ignorance.

    Recently, Naomi Schaefer Riley penned a screed about the state of Black Studies. In a rather mindless blog she dismissed the entire field, based on a cursory glance at the dissertation titles of four graduate students mentioned in a recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education. She described the general thrust of their work as “left-wing victimization claptrap,” concluded that the scholarship of Black Studies was stuck in 1963 (a rather arbitrary date) and that its primary mode of analysis, at least as evidenced in the work of these students, was to “blame the white man.” (Perhaps she just finished reading Patrick Buchanan.)

    Obviously, titles aren’t the sole criteria to judge the quality of someone’s work. I suspect, given her commitment to “serious” reflection, that if Riley were to take a close look at some of the titles of the dissertations written, say, in the fields of English and American Studies, she would be quick to dismiss those disciplines as well.

    Maybe not … because behind Riley’s mean-spirited engagement with the work of these aspiring young scholars lies a troublesome racial politics — and Black Studies stands as its proxy.

    For example, she mentions the dissertation of Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor on federal housing policy in the 1970s. Taylor, like many of us, links her historical analysis to contemporary realities. But Riley finds this offensive: that somehow any attempt to think about possible historical continuities and the current housing crisis represents a refusal to recognize the substantive differences between the moments — that Taylor claims that nothing has changed in America since slavery or Jim Crow. And to bring the point home she reminds us (with an added exclamation point) that we have a black president. Matters, obviously, have truly changed!

    I suppose President Obama’s presence in the White House obliterates histories of racism in this country as well as the need for serious contextualization of persistent racial inequality. Apparently, Riley would have us believe, we are better off with accounts that begin with “some fundamental problems in black culture that cannot be blamed on white people” than with practices that short-circuit the life chances of people precisely because of their color.

    I disagree. Black Studies has an extraordinary bibliography, with a wide range of scholarly views that help us understand the complexity of the human endeavor from the vantage point of African-descended people. Its reach is global; its analysis has opened up pathways of inquiry that have changed the very face of American higher education.

    Riley should state up front her conservative politics. She likes black conservatives like Thomas Sowell, John McWhorter, Clarence Thomas and others who talk about race matters in particular ways. And she finds Black Studies wanting because much of the scholarship that animates the field consistently calls such views into question.

    If she disagrees with the substance of what we do, then make the argument. Don’t retreat into a condescending mode of speech about what is legitimate, when you don’t cede legitimacy to the field in the first place. In short, keep your ignorance to yourself.,1

  4. rikyrah says:

    found this at Balloon Juice in the comments:

    David Koch Says:

    Another one bites the dust.
    Obama kills terrorist behind USS Cole bombing.

    Obama is like Michael Corleone, settling family business, one by one. Can’t wait until he has Hyman Roth (Rupert Murdoch) “met at the airport”

  5. rikyrah says:

    Just finished watching POTUS in Ohio…

    he was ON FIRE…

    he truly is an absolutely fabulous candidate.

    he rocks….

    and Willard is so lacking….(yes, I’m being generous)

  6. Merkel coalition loses state election: estimates

    BERLIN — German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s centre-right coalition lost power in the state of Schleswig-Holstein, first estimates showed Sunday, after a vote that could presage national elections next year.

    Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) scored 30.6 percent, according to ARD public television, with her junior partners at the national level, the Free Democrats (FDP), winning 8.3 percent — not enough to retain power in the northern state.

    However, the opposition — combining the centre-left Social Democrats and ecologist Greens — also failed to gain sufficient support to form a government, with 29.9 percent and 13.6 percent respectively.

    This left as a strong possibility a so-called “grand coalition” between the CDU and SPD, which many believe could be the final result of the national elections due in September or October 2013.

    The big winners on the night were the Pirates, an upstart party that has shaken up the staid world of German politics with a campaign based on more transparency in the political process and Internet freedom.

  7. rikyrah says:

    Robert De Niro Eviscerates the Right’s MSM Lap Dogs Who Bash Obama

    Leaning forward in his director’s chair in the World Center Hotel with the rebuilding of the One World Trade Center in the background, Robert De Niro knocked down the Right wing, mainstream media framing of liberals thrown at him by David Gregory on Meet the Press, and he did it with a sardonic look of ease that said “I’m two steps ahead of you, Gregory.”

    When asked the negative question, “Are you as inspired and hopeful and satisfied with what he’s done as president as he stands for re-election?“ De Niro pointed out that it’s very easy to criticize people, but he thinks Obama has done a good job.

    David Gregory: So much is in a political context right now because of campaign, whether it’s Osama bin Laden or the war in Afghanistan. You’re somebody who cares a lot about politics but hasn’t been involved until 2008 when you talked about your inspiration and support for President Obama. Are you as inspired and hopeful and satisfied with what he’s done as president as he stands for re-election?

    Robert De Niro: It’s very easy to criticize people. (Pause for irony.)

    I think he’s done a good job. He’s done other things that maybe he should have been stronger about, people will complain. (Pause for mainstream media to catch its breath and regroup- liberals are not supposed to come out and say “he’s done a good job”. But at least De Niro put the qualifier on it.)

    De Niro continued: It’s not easy to be President of the United States, and he — that was pointed out in the “New York Times” in the last Sunday week in review by Peter Bergen about all the things he did as far as bin Laden and other things that he stepped up being a liberal president, supposedly, that were effective.

    (Oh, no you didn’t Robert! You did not just own national security for a Democrat on MTP! Not allowed!)

    De Niro softly reminded Gregory of the risks Obama took: Not always — you know, there’s all the negative side of that, but he took the chance to do it, and he did it ultimately with bin Laden.

    Gregory was perhaps stunned into silence, so De Niro went on: I give him credit (small dig here—I give him credit, why don’t you?) and I hope he does – I know he’ll do better in the next four years when he doesn’t have to worry about being elected or not.

    I swear I saw David Gregory’s face freeze to avoid an involuntary twitch of shock when De Niro pointed out Obama’s accomplishments, specifically calling out the killing of bin Laden. Gregory was thinking that surely all liberals got the message that it was “unseemly” to take credit for that. Hush up, you Democrats. Show a little respect for the Real Patriots – you know, the ones who never even looked for bin Laden but now want the credit. The ones who never served and whose children never served. Those patriots.

    That pop you just heard was about 4 different right wing frames of Democrats exploding at once.

    • Ametia says:

      Great, simple, clip that spells it out. Romney’s a schemer who made millions off the backs of hard-working Americans, and now he tells students to borrow college tuition from their parents. WTF?!!1 Where are their parents going to get the $$$ from Mittens, YOU?

  8. Ametia says:

    Socialist Francois Hollande wins French presidency

    Socialist Francois Hollande has been elected as France’s new president.

    He got about 52% of votes in Sunday’s run-off, according to early projections, against 48% for centre-right incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy.

    Mr Sarkozy has admitted defeat, saying: “Francois Hollande is the president of France and he must be respected.”

    Analysts say the vote has wide implications for the whole eurozone. Mr Hollande has vowed to rework a deal on government debt in member countries.

    Nicolas Sarkozy says Francois Hollande must be respected as the new president
    Exuberant Hollande supporters have already converged on Place de la Bastille in Paris – a traditional rallying point of the Left – to celebrate.

    Mr Hollande capitalised on France’s economic woes and President Sarkozy’s unpopularity

    Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, and the rest of the GOPBAGGERS, ask Sarkozy how that AUSTERITY thing worked for him.

  9. Team Obama Stays On Offense In Bin Laden Spat

    The Obama re-eelction campaign doesn’t appear fazed by attacks from the right about “politicizing” the killing of Osama bin Laden, and on Sunday remained on offense over what it said was one of the president’s accomplishments.

    “The president hasn’t been spiking the ball,” said President Obama’s senior campaign adviser David Axelrod on ABC’s This Week. “This was the one-year anniversary. It’s part of his record. And it’s certainly a legitimate part of his record to talk about.” Axelrod said Obama followed through with his promise that catching the al-Qaeda leader would be a top priority. “And then he ordered a mission that was — was, frankly, risky, dangerous,” he said. “Bob Gates said it was one of the most courageous, one of the gutsiest decisions he’s ever seen a president make. And it turned out successfully.”

  10. Breaking: Nicolas Sarkozy concedes defeat in French presidential election, says François Hollande’s victory must be …

  11. George Lindsey Dead: ‘Andy Griffith Show’ Actor Goober Pyle Dies At 83

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. — George Lindsey, who spent nearly 30 years as the grinning Goober on “The Andy Griffith Show” and “Hee Haw,” has died. He was 83.

    A press release from Marshall-Donnelly-Combs Funeral Home in Nashville said Lindsay died early Sunday morning after a brief illness. Funeral arrangements were still being made.

    Lindsey was the beanie-wearing Goober on “The Andy Griffith Show” from 1964 to 1968 and its successor, “Mayberry RFD,” from 1968 to 1971. He played the same jovial character – a service station attendant – on “Hee Haw” from 1971 until it went out of production in 1993.

  12. Howard Dean: Women, Latinos “terrified” of GOP (via @FaceTheNation)

  13. rikyrah says:

    Sunday, May 6, 2012
    Media: “This is a close race, dammit!”

    We’ve known for a while now that when it comes to the media, they benefit greatly when the public thinks a presidential election is close. Not only does it swell their coffers with expensive campaign ads, it gets people to tune in to their shouting matches…which are paid for by campaign ads.

    I was reminded of that once again this morning when I took a look at the New York Times electoral map. Contrary to what we see at Huffington Post and right-leaning Real Clear Politics, they’ve found a way to suggest a basic tie with Obama at 217 and Romney at 206.

    The clue as to how they manage to pull that off is up at the top of the page where they say, “A New York Times assessment of how states may vote, based on polling, previous election results and the political geography in each state.”

    As we’ll see, that last one about political geography gives them all the legwork they need to basically “make shit up” in order to reach their narrative of choice…a close race.

    The most obvious cases of making shit up include how they’ve assigned the states of Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and North Carolina.

    If you take their first two measures of polling and previous election results, it makes zero sense to suggest that Pennsylvania and Wisconsin are toss-ups. In both those states polling averages show an Obama lead of about 8. And neither one has gone for a Republican candidate in recent memory.

    On the other hand, they suggest that North Carolina leans Romney. You’d think that the fact that Obama won that state in 2008 and poll averages give him a very slight lead of about 2% would make it the perfect candidate for toss-up.

    But as long as the New York Times can throw in their idea of how political geography flies in the face of actual data – they can call it however they like. In so doing, they distort the current reality of a strong Obama lead in the electoral college and can try to convince us this race is close right now.

    Caveat: I’m not saying this race is over. As I’ve written often, six months is a long time and many things can change between now and election day. I’m merely suggesting that when it comes to reporting current reality, we’re not getting it from the New York Times.
    Posted by Smartypants at 11:07 AM

  14. rikyrah says:

    When Mitt Romney Fired a Gay Staffer, 2004 Edition

    —By Tim Murphy
    | Fri May. 4, 2012 3:00 AM PDT

    Richard Grenell, Mitt Romney’s newly christened foreign policy spokesman, stepped down from the campaign on Tuesday. Grenell, who is gay, had come under fire from social conservative activists who viewed his hiring as a slap in the face. Although a Romney spokesman claimed the campaign had wanted Grenell to stay on, Romney staffers had already begun to shut him out before his resignation, counseling the gay foreign policy spokesman to stay silent during a recent campaign press call on foreign policy.

    The episode is reminiscent of a controversy that occurred when Romney was governor of Massachusetts: The 2004 dismissal of Ardith Wieworka, longtime head of the state’s Office of Child Care Services, who alleged that she had been terminated because of her decision to marry her partner.

    In May of that year, the same month same-sex marriage was legalized in the Bay State, the Northeastern University press office published a story announcing that Wieworka intended to marry her longtime partner, Carol Lyons, who worked at the school as the dean of career services.

    The next month, Romney traveled to Washington, DC, to testify in support of a federal constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. “Marriage is…a fundamental and universal social institution that bears a real and substantial relation to the public health, safety, morals, and general welfare of all the people of Massachusetts,” he told the Senate Judiciary Committee.

    Two weeks later, the Boston Globe reported that Ronald Preston, Romney’s state health and human services commissioner, asked Wieworka to resign.

    A veteran of three previous Republican administrations, Wieworka was at a loss about why she was fired. (She declined to comment for this story.) She told the Boston Globe later that month that, absent any clear motive, she suspected her ouster may have been a result of marriage:

    Earlier this week, Wieworka strongly suggested that her firing was connected to her recent marriage to her lesbian partner. She said yesterday that she was not saying that was the reason, but that she wanted to raise the question in the absence of other credible explanations.

    “When you accuse someone of something, you’ve reached a conclusion,” Wieworka said yesterday. “I want to look into the motivation.”

  15. rikyrah says:

    What Everyone Should Know About The Secretive Group Trying To Swift Boat Barack Obama

    By Judd Legum and Adam Peck on May 6, 2012 at 11:22 am

    A secretive right-wing group, Veterans For A Strong America, is attempting to do to President Obama what the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth did to Sen. John Kerry. And they aren’t shy about it. The group’s leader and sole employee, Joel Arends, told Mother Jones, “Yes, it’s the swift boating of the president.”

    Arends said his goal is to take “what’s percieved to be [Obama’s] greatest strength” — the successful raid on Osama Bin Laden’s Pakistani compound — and make it “his greatest weekend.” The effort started this week with a web video attacking Obama for taking too much credit.

    In an interview with ThinkProgress, Arends refused to discuss any information regarding how the group was financed or its leadership. Arends also declined to provide legal forms he claims to have filed with the IRS. A representative from the IRS told ThinkProgress that the agency does not have any forms from Arends’ group on file.

    Here’s what we do know about Arends and Veterans For A Strong America:

    1. In four days, the first ad by Veterans For A Strong America garnered almost 1 million view on Youtube. It has also been played frequently on TV News. [YouTube, 5/1/12]

    2. Veterans For A Strong America is seeking to recruit Navy SEALS to attack Obama. “In the wake of a warm conservative reception for a web video trashing the president for ‘spiking the football’ on the anniversary of Osama Bin Laden’s death, the conservative group Veterans for a Strong America plans to gather Navy SEALs and Special Forces operators to criticize the White House during the 2012 campaign.” [BuzzFeed, 5/3/12]

    3. Arends also tried to Swift Boat Obama in 2008. Arends, under the auspices of a similar group called “Vets for Freedom,” ran an ad accusing Obama of refusing to meet with wounded soldiers from Illinois. [NPR, 7/5/08]

    4. Arends worked as a consultant for the Koch Brothers’ Americans for Properity. “Though he doesn’t list it on his public resume, around 2006 Arends went to work for Craig Dewey, the state director of Americans for Prosperity, an advocacy outfit that’s Astroturfed everything from the tea party and the Wisconsin union fight to public-school segregation.” The Koch Brothers and their allies have pledged to spend $100 million to defeat Obama. [Mother Jones, 5/4/12; HuffingtonPost, 2/3/12]

    5. In 2008, Arends — posing as a “journalist” — organized and participated in a taxpayer subsidized propaganda trip to Iraq. “American taxpayers are paying for politically slanted, pro-McCain, anti-Obama ‘reporters’ embedded with U.S. troops in Iraq. Vets for Freedom – a pro-war organization that buys attack ads against Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama – assembled a team of eight military veterans with dubious journalistic credentials to report ‘objectively’ on what is occurring in Iraq…Joel Arends, another “reporter,” is VFF’s executive director and was on McCain’s campaign payroll between March 2007 and February 2008.” [Charleston Gazette, 8/28/08]

    6. Arends is coordinating with key Islamophobic figures on the far-right. He regularly appears at events with anti-Islam conspiracy theorist Frank Gaffney, who has been condemned by mainstream conservatives for his intolerant views. He is also alligned with William “Jerry” Boykin, who was found to have violated Pentagon rules by expressing his anti-Muslim views in an official capacity. [ThinkProgress, 2/12/12; For The Common Defense; New York Times, 3/4/05]

    7. Arends helped promote a documentary advocating war with Iran. Arends appeared on a panel in South Dakoa promoting the documentary Iranium, which strongly suggests beginning a war with Iran, in March 2011. [Flier; ThinkProgress, 11/3/11]

    8. Veterans for A Strong American is fully endorsed by Karl Rove. The man known as “Bush’s Brain” tweeted his support of their first web ad. [Twitter, 5/3/12]

  16. rikyrah says:

    found this over at TOD:

    May 6, 2012 at 9:00 am

    UT you are so right about this. Romney is hoping that the media/Koch/Big Oil will elect him into office. That may have worked fine in the primaries when his opponents were a bunch of weak-ass loser clowns. But with a master campaigner like Barack Obama who also has an excellent record to run on, and a feckless media that is increasingly being seen for what it is, Romney’s campaign will need to do a LOT more than simply follow PBO around and try to control the media narrative with a whole lot of FOOLISHNESS.

    Barack Obama is in a league of his own as a campaigner and he campaigns very differently from how he governs because his campaign does not have to rely on Republicans in congress or backstabbing Democrats. Furthermore, the American people largely can relate to President Obama and are more than willing to do the necessary work of registering voters, knocking on doors, making phone calls, tweeting, facebooking, etc..

  17. rikyrah says:

    Desperate Fools

    by BooMan
    Sat May 5th, 2012 at 10:43:12 PM EST

    I just picked a random box score from last season’s Ohio State basketball season. Well, it wasn’t that random. I chose the Michigan game because I figured that was definitely sold-out. Apparently, 18,451 people can watch a basketball game at Ohio State’s Schottenstein Center. But, the thing about basketball games is that there is a court in the middle of the stadium with baskets and benches and a table for scorekeepers and there are cheerleaders. Those people aren’t counted in the official attendance and there’s only ten players and a couple of refs on the court instead of a thousand people or more crammed into folding chairs. That’s why there were several thousand empty seats in the upper decks for Obama’s rally today. Where would you rather sit? On the floor, or behind the stage in the nosebleeds? I swear they are so desperate to try to diminish Obama’s advantage in charisma that they’ll grasp at any straw.

    As for the Richmond appearance, the Washington Post reports that 8,000 people showed up. When Old Dominion played at Virginia Commonwealth University this past season, 7,617 fans attended. Maybe the jackasses at Gateway Pundit will call me when Mitt Romney can outdraw a college basketball game.

    Here’s a Mitt Romney “rally” from last week: (below the fold, because it starts on its own):

    See the difference?

  18. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone! :-)

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