Wednesday Open Thread | Luther Vandross Week

Luther2In the world of contemporary music, there are just a handful of superstars whose first name alone brings instant recognition. Check Aretha, Whitney, Mariah, Diana and Dionne. But when it comes to male vocalists, the list is far shorter.  One name towers above the rest in any discussion of black male singers whose impact and influence has been unparalleled.  Say the name “Luther” and record buyers the world over respond immediately. The fact is, Luther Vandross was, and always will be, the pre-eminent black male vocalist of our time.

In the years since Luther’s passing, one constant has remained to define his life and musical success: the voice.  Like any great singer of the past 100 years, Luther Vandross’ voice and distinct singing style led to not only monumental success, but an instant recognition when you hear him singing–through your stereo, car radio, on TV or in a movie.   Bing. Frank. Billie. Robeson. Aretha. Diana. Dionne. Whitney. Mariah. Michael. Marvin. Luther.  It is rarified company, but indelibly classic and everlasting in the annals of American music and a club in which Luther Vandross’ membership is permanent.

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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71 Responses to Wednesday Open Thread | Luther Vandross Week

  1. rikyrah says:

    The Conservative Black Hope, Cont.
    It is one thing to believe that America must always have the world’s strongest military. It is another to say, “Thank God for slavery.”

    Ta-Nehisi Coates Apr 9 2013, 8:52 AM ET

    The other day I tried to tease out the difference between African Americans with conservative politics, and African Americans who promote themselves at the expense of the community from which they hail. To understand what it once meant to be an African-American conservative, it’s worth checking out this old Washington Post piece on former Rep. J.C. Watts, who represented his beliefs but wanted to be something more than the guy who assured Jesse Helms that he was not racist.

    You can see the other side of this dynamic in the recent panel of “black conservatives” convened by Sean Hannity. Among the participants was Jesse Lee Peterson. If you have a moment I urge you to listen to Peterson’s analysis of slavery. Again, it is one thing to believe that deficit reduction is the most important issue of the day. It is another to imply that the Middle Passage was like “riding on a crowded airplane when you’re not in first class.” It is one thing to believe that America must always have the world’s strongest military. It is another to say, “Thank God for slavery.” It is one thing oppose gun regulation. It is another to say, to “the white man for going there and getting us here, I want to say ‘Thanks.'”

    Martin Luther King Jr. wrote:
    Negroes are human, not superhuman. Like all people, they have differing personalities, diverse financial interests and varied aspirations. There are Negroes who will never fight for freedom. There are Negroes who will seek to profit for themselves alone from the struggle. There are even Negroes who will cooperate with there oppressors. These facts should depress no one. Every minority and every people has its share of opportunists, profiteers, free-loaders, and escapists.

    There’s nothing about being “conservative” that necessarily puts an African American among that group. I would gladly put, say, Kwame Kilpatrick — who fleeced his city, then hid behind the specter of racism — in that category. But the category does exist. When you are thanking “the white man” for slavery, you might be well a contestant for the summer-jam screen.

  2. rikyrah says:

    The Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s daughter indicted

    BY DAVE MCKINNEY Springfield Bureau Chief April 10, 2013 5:49PM

    SPRINGFIELD — The daughter of President Barack Obama’s former pastor was indicted Wednesday on charges of money laundering and lying to the feds.

    Jeri L. Wright, daughter of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, was accused of participating in a fraud scheme allegedly orchestrated by former Country Club Hills Police Chief Regina Evans and her husband involving a $1.25 million state grant.

  3. rikyrah says:

    Miranda on the Rand Paul speech at Howard

    It wasn’t quite the same. I think this was better than Mitt Romney. As in this was funny/clownish while Romney was straight up on purpose being an ass. Rand Paul took questions and displayed what we say everyday…we are invisible. He was genuinely shocked that these students actually know their history. You’re standing in the middle of Howard University…the place where Thurgood Marshall received his law degree…trying to give a lesson on civil rights. The students were amused at this pathetic attempt to SEE black people – because he didn’t see any of us before.

  4. rikyrah says:

    17-Year-Old Rehtaeh Parsons Killed Herself After Her High School Ignored Evidence She Was Raped

    By Andrea Peterson on Apr 10, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    The details of 17-year-old Rehtaeh Parsons’ death shook the internet on Tuesday. Parsons’ mother alleges her daughter was struggling with depression after she was gang-raped by four boys, became the target of intense victim-blaming bullying, and the investigation into her assault was grossly mishandled by law enforcement. Now, new troubling details are emerging about the alleged assault and the culture of the community that turned a blind eye to Parsons’ plight.

    The picture of Parsons’ alleged assault that “spread like wildfire” among students showed one of the assailants giving a “thumbs-up with a big smile.” The school that Parsons attended at the time of the alleged sexual assault was aware of the allegations, but administrators did not probe the incident, even after the photo was seen by “most students” at Parsons’ high school. That left students to piece together the incident on their own — and potentially fueled the high school gossip mill that led many of Parsons’ classmates to place the blame on her, in a classic example of the additional trauma that rape culture can inflict on victims.

    The school reportedly did not even make an announcement Monday or Tuesday about her death. But despite the school’s silence, it appears some students at the school were aware not only of Parsons’ ordeal, but that it wasn’t an isolated incident in the community:

  5. rikyrah says:

    In a different country, kabuki wouldn’t be necessary
    By Liberal Librarian 130 Comments

    President Obama released his 2014 budget today.

    For the past few days, we’ve been treated to an explosion on the Left over proposals for savings in Social Security and Medicare. Pres. Obama has been excoriated as a Democrat In Name Only, wanting to put grandma on cat food, and in at least one blog’s comments as a “gelding”.

    I’m not going to go into the particulars on the budget. You can do a search on Google and find plenty of ammunition to support whichever side you’re on. (I recommend this blog post for a rather thorough explanation on the budget.)

    Pres. Obama’s budget is, in part, a good-faith offer to the GOP. He’s taking John Boehner and Paul Ryan at their words that they don’t want to destroy Social Security and Medicare, but to “reform” them. Obama’s budget does that, while preserving both programs, and even enhancing them by setting a minimum benefit above the poverty line, and upping the benefits for seniors once they reach the age of 85. He achieves savings in Medicare by cutting wasteful payments to providers and drug companies; and, of course, the PPACA has provisions in it which help ensure Medicare’s solvency. If Boehner, Ryan, and Eric Cantor were sincere in their stated purposes to “save” Social Security and Medicare, they would accept Obama’s offer, or at least negotiate based on it.

    Of course, they’re not. Boehner dismissed the budget blueprint after it was leaked as too little, too late. Paul Ryan is on record as saying that there is no room for compromise. The GOP leadership and rank and file is united as a bloc against the budget.

    And small wonder that it is. Yes, Obama has taken heat from the left for his chained CPI proposal. But the budget is loaded with items which should make people on the left happy, from closing tax loopholes for the rich to universal pre-K education funded by cigarette taxes. That the left has launched a jihad against Obama for his heresy against the dogma that there’s no looming danger to Social Security is part of the problem facing this country.

    Pres. Obama had to include social insurance “reform” in his budget. The Serious People ™ would demand nothing less; of course, they, like Boehner, say that Obama still isn’t showing “leadership”.

    But this was aimed at neither the GOP caucus or The Serious People ™. All this infuriating kabuki is aimed at voters, at those who answer poll questions and determine the national debate. Because, despite what the DC media thinks, there is a debate going on in the country irrespective of their analysis.

    Voters are tired of Washington gridlock. They want the two parties to work together for the good of the country. And they are on the verge of severely punishing the people they see as obstructing governance.

    Obama created a firestorm over chained CPI with the megaphone left. But he now has the battle scars to go on the hustings and tell voters: “See, I gave in on something dear to my base. But the GOP against any proposal if it includes extracting extra revenue from their backers.” Obama faced down the leftist lions; Boehner doesn’t have the courage or the power to do likewise with the rightist radicals. The Right demands nothing other than complete surrender on the part of Obama and Democrats. And, despite what the Left has been braying about for days, this budget is far from a surrender. As I said, it’s loaded with proposals which should win praise from the Left. The fact that it isn’t enhances the Kabuki element with the middle-of-the-road voters who will decide the 2014 midterms.

    Pres. Obama proposed a budget which he could sign into law. But he also proposed a budget which he knew the GOP would reject. They would reject it because as the price of their “reform”, Obama would extract spending on needed national improvements, as well as closing tax loopholes. But, mostly, they would reject it because it was offered up by Obama.

    The GOP has no coherent ideology left, other than irrational Obama hatred. There will be no effective governance of the nation until and unless we can unseat the GOP House in 2014. A ten-year budget blueprint is what is needed for stability in the economy; it’s a blueprint which can only come to fruition with a Democratic majority in both houses.

    And so, the Kabuki, to take the voters by the hand and show them step by step the reasonable steps Obama proposes, and the intransigence and wrong-footedness of the GOP opposition

  6. rikyrah says:

    From The Maddow Blog

    Rand Paul tripped up by Civil Rights Act once again
    By Steve Benen

    Wed Apr 10, 2013 2:19 PM EDT

    Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) spoke this morning at Howard University, a traditionally black school in Washington, D.C., and returned to a subject that has caused him great difficulties in the past.

    The Republican senator told his Howard audience, “I’ve never wavered in my support for civil rights or the Civil Rights Act.” He added, “I’ve never been against the Civil Rights Act, ever.”

    I’m afraid Rand Paul is lying, and the evidence is incontrovertible.

    As a candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2010, Paul told the Louisville Courier-Journal he opposed the Civil Rights Act’s ban on discrimination on the basis of race in “places of public accommodation” such as privately owned businesses that are open to the public. He said the same thing on NPR.

    When Paul appeared on “The Rachel Maddow Show,” Rachel asked, as part of a discussion of the Civil Rights Act, “Do you think that a private business has the right to say we don’t serve black people?” Paul replied, “Yes.”

    It was consistent with his approach to federal civil rights law dating back to at least 2002.

    Now, in fairness, I should note that Paul, as a candidate in 2010, eventually reversed course and said the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was necessary and he would have voted for it.

    But notice again what he said at Howard: he’s “never wavered” in his support for the Civil Rights Act and he’s “never been against the Civil Rights Act, ever.”

    There is simply no way in which this is true.

  7. rikyrah says:

    Putting automatic voter registration on the table
    By Steve Benen

    Wed Apr 10, 2013 11:37 AM EDT

    Getty Images

    When we talk about election reforms, we tend to focus on worthwhile proposals to reduce long lines, expand early voting, and ease the voter-registration process.

    But Oregon’s Democratic Secretary of State has an even more ambitious idea, which hasn’t generated as much attention as it deserves (via Rick Hasen).

    Secretary of State Kate Brown has a proposal, based on what Oregon has learned over two decades’ experience with the mail ballot: Getting to vote should be easy, not hard.

    Brown has introduced House Bill 2198, which would allow the state to automatically register any Oregonian when a state agency already has their name, age, address and digital signature. Right now that means Driver and Motor Vehicle Services, but it could extend to other agencies. Following this system in other places achieves registration of more than 90 percent of eligible voters.

    Just using DMV records, Brown estimates that another 500,000 Oregonians would get the power to decide, at the end of October or the beginning of November, that a candidate has finally inspired or annoyed them enough to make them decide to vote.

    It’s a right they should have.

    Of course it is. Politics notwithstanding — Republicans have come to believe their success is dependent on less voter participation and more restrictions — if a state government already has the pertinent information, why not make it easy for folks and register voters automatically? It would still be up to individuals whether to vote or not, but it would be one less barrier

    Jonathan Bernstein added, “There’s absolutely no good reason for such proposals not to be adopted — and not just state-by-state, either. There’s no good reason for the burden of voter registration to be on the voter, instead of on the government.”

    Plenty of modern democracies around the world already have automatic registration. There’s no reason the United States can’t do the same.

    For the record, the Oregon Republican Party has already criticized the idea, saying it shouldn’t be “so easy for people to participate” that they fail to become “an informed voter.” (Don’t ask me to explain this argument; I don’t understand it, either.) Greg Leo, the executive director of the state GOP, added that the act of registering to vote is part of the responsibility of citizenship, so the burden should remain on voters.

  8. rikyrah says:

    A different kind of problem for Gov. Ultrasound
    By Steve Benen

    Wed Apr 10, 2013 10:29 AM EDT

    Getty Images

    Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) is wrapping up his final year in office, and would like to think he’s leaving on a high note, en route to possibly seeking national office in the very near future.

    But it’s safe to say McDonnell will carry some baggage with him as he leaves Richmond. For one thing, of course, he’s stuck with the “Governor Ultrasound” label. For another, there’s a corruption controversy that will probably follow him for the rest of his career.

    If you missed Rachel’s segment on this last week, the Washington Post reported that McDonnell’s daughter was married in 2011, and the governor said the bride and groom paid for the event. In reality, $15,000 came by way of a major McDonnell donor and dietary supplement maker, Jonnie R. Williams Sr., who’s currently under a federal investigation. McDonnell not only lied about the financing, but he somehow forgot to disclose Williams’ generous gift, as he’s legally required to do.

    Complicating matters, shortly before the wedding, McDonnell’s wife attended an event in Florida to endorse Williams’ product, and shortly after the wedding, McDonnell hosted Williams at the governor’s home for a launch party for Williams’ product.

    Yesterday, the story got slightly worse.

  9. rikyrah says:

    What McConnell considers ‘very fair’
    By Steve Benen

    Wed Apr 10, 2013 9:50 AM EDT

    The Senate quietly did something noteworthy yesterday: it confirmed one of President Obama’s judicial nominees to an appellate court. Sure, Senate Republicans opposed the nominee by a roughly 3-to-1 margin for no apparent reason, but Judge Patty Shwartz was nevertheless confirmed with 64 votes.

    It led Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to wonder aloud what Democrats keep complaining about.

    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) vigorously defended his party’s conduct regarding President Barack Obama’s judicial nominees on Tuesday, as the administration and its allies step up criticisms that the GOP obstructs confirmations.

    “We just today confirmed the 10th judicial nomination of President Obama’s second term. Today. The 10th judicial nomination of President Obama’s second term,” said McConnell in a Capitol Hill press conference Tuesday afternoon…. “So we have treated the president’s judicial nominees very, very fairly by any objective standard,” he added

    Hmm. McConnell wants to talk about objective standards and Obama’s judicial nominees? Well, fine, let’s do that.

    By objective standards, Obama’s district court nominees have to wait three times as long as Bush/Cheney nominees before receiving a confirmation vote, and Obama’s circuit court nominees have to wait four times as long as Bush/Cheney nominees.

    By objective standards, one of Obama’s D.C. Circuit nominees was rejected by a filibuster without cause, another D.C. Circuit nominee may soon face the same fate, and Senate Republicans have said they hope to prevent any Obama nominee from reaching this federal bench — at least until there’s a new president in 2017.

    McConnell and his caucus blocked one Obama judicial nominee for 263 days, and then blocked another for 484 days, despite the fact that both enjoyed unanimous support in the Senate, which by “any objective standard” in insane.

  10. rikyrah says:

    The dust settles on McConnell’s furious P.R. push
    By Steve Benen

    Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:41 AM EDT

    There are competing schools of thought in political crisis management, and different methods are applied to different circumstances. Sometimes it’s better to ignore a controversy, deny it oxygen, and wait for it simply wither on the vine. Other times, it’s preferable to use overwhelming force to crush a story on day one, before it spirals and does real damage.

    When David Corn reported yesterday on Mitch McConnell’s opposition-research strategy regarding Ashley Judd, the Kentucky Republican and his aides obviously chose the latter — lashing out wildly, concocting a theory about nefarious liberals bugging the senator’s office. The p.r. push was intended to create a distraction from the story itself, while positioning McConnell as a victimized martyr — whom far-right donors should reward with cash.

    To a large extent, the strategy played out in a predictable way — BuzzFeed applauded Team McConnell’s ability to spin the media — but a day later, there are some lingering questions. Is there any proof at all that McConnell’s office was bugged? Isn’t it possible the recording came from within McConnell’s own team? And do the recordings point to possible ethics lapses?

    Much of the news coverage focused on the McConnell team’s comments about Judd’s religious views and her mental-health history. But the tape might raise ethics questions for McConnell and his staff.

    Senate ethics rules prohibit Senate employees from participating in political activities while on government time. But the tape indicates that several of McConnell’s legislative aides, whose salaries are paid by the taxpayer, were involved with producing the oppo research on Judd that was discussed at the February 2 meeting.

    Mother Jones sought an explanation from McConnell’s team about this, but for some reason, the aides were reluctant to talk about it.

  11. rikyrah says:

    Beat Up the Black Lady

    by BooMan
    Wed Apr 10th, 2013 at 09:43:48 AM EST
    The entertainment wing of the Professional Right has been beating up MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry over one of her “Lean Forward” promos. The promo invited controversy, I guess, because Perry talked about a need for people to think about “our children” and support more funding for education. She said that we should think of children as belonging to the community, not just their parents or families. This obviously did not sit well with the home-schooler audience for Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh. Sarah Palin called it “unflippingbelievable.” It didn’t take long for people to make the connection to Hillary Clinton’s controversial book, It Takes a Village. And then, of course, to Hitler.

    Collectivists throughout history have said that children do and should belong to the state and that if you control the children, you control the future.

    One well-known collectivist echoed such sentiments when he said, “Let me control the textbooks and I will control the state. The state will take youth and give to youth its own education and its own upbringing. Your child belongs to us already… what are you?”

    So said Adolf Hitler, who founded a sate-run youth group that bore his name.

    If you don’t feel like quibbling about Hitler’s collectivist credentials, you should at least object to this deliberate misreading of Harris-Perry’s point. However awkwardly, she was arguing that we, as individuals, not as organs of the state, should look on other people’s children as partly our responsibility. We have a responsibility to support funding for their education. She didn’t mean that we will be driving them to soccer practice, brushing their teeth, or tucking them into bed at night.

    The critique of the promo gets even dumber when we look at it as a matter of government overreach. The law says children need to be in school until they are sixteen. If they are not in school, then they have to be in a state-approved home-school situation. Obviously, the government could not mandate school for kids and then refuse to fund schools. That would by the real tyranny. So, why not fund them adequately?

    And the answer to the adequate funding question is that people are so tax averse that it’s hard to raise the needed funds. The solution, therefore, is at least in part to change people’s attitudes and get them to see education funding as a collective responsibility or obligation.

    It’s not that the children don’t belong to their parents or their families. It’s that they need our help to get a good public education.

    But, yeah, go ahead and pound on the black lady professor. Call her a Nazi and a Communist. Your rebranding effort is going swimmingly.

  12. rikyrah says:

    So, You Freaked Out

    by BooMan
    Wed Apr 10th, 2013 at 06:16:36 PM EST

    The White House has a page on their website that discusses their Chained-CPI proposal. I find it a little confusing, but at least some parts of it are clear. First, the offer is contingent on two things. It will be rescinded if the Republicans do not agree to a “package that includes substantial revenue raised through tax reform.” And it will have to be “coupled with measures to protect the vulnerable and avoid increasing poverty and hardship.”
    You won’t find much about it on Google or the blogs, but the protections for the vulnerable are called “benefit enhancements.” Here’s where things get a bit fuzzy. It appears that people would begin receiving a benefit enhancement at the age of 76 which would max out when they reached 85. Then, if they reach the age of 95, they’d receive another enhancement. Because of these enhancements, the White House claims, “the Budget proposal would not increase the poverty rate for Social Security beneficiaries, and would slightly reduce poverty among the very elderly according to SSA estimates.”

    So, taken on it’s face, the Budget proposal would reduce Social Security benefits overall, but it would not increase the poverty rate. In fact, it would reduce the poverty rate.

    This is only a proposal, obviously, but we should discuss the proposal in a reality-based way. If you start talking about cat food, you probably are listening to the wrong people or you are just fighting a straw man. The administration has no intention of impoverishing anyone.

    There are two remaining critiques of the proposal that have some merit, or are at least debatable. The first is that it is bad politics. This critique can take various forms. Some think it’s stupid to propose slowing the growth of Social Security because the Republicans won’t agree to it and then will run against Democrats who support it. Others think it’s poor negotiating to offer up something the other side wants without getting them to agree to giving something in return. Others think it hurts the party brand or causes needless internal divisions. I can’t anticipate every critique, but one of the dumbest is this idea that the Republicans will get mileage out of accusing the Democrats of attacking Social Security. They will attack us no matter what we do. Besides, every one of their leaders lined up to praise the president (however faintly) for offering Chained CPI. All of that is on tape.

    Chained CPI is in the budget for two reasons. The White House doesn’t want to keep the sequester, and they think Chained CPI is the least painful thing they can give the Republicans on entitlements. If they don’t offer something, the sequester will continue it’s slow-motion destruction of the federal government and all of our most cherished programs for the needy. The second reason it is in the budget is because it is proof that the president is willing to invite the vociferous criticism of his base in order to make a deal. This is something Republican senators told him they didn’t believe he would do. They told him that they would believe he was serious if he put it in his budget. It’s a signal, nothing more.

    The final critique is that this is just stupid and unfair policy. Maybe it won’t impoverish anyone, but why should Social Security recipients be the ones to help balance the budget? Why should they take any kind of haircut? Why not the rich? Why not defense?

    Well, the answer to that is partly that the proposal does insist that the wealthy pay more, and partly that we can’t get the Republicans to do what they don’t want to do. They want this change in the Consumer Price Index. I’d rather give it to them than raise the retirement age. If it were up to me, I’d raise the highest marginal tax rate substantially, rasie the capital gains tax, massively raise the percent of profits corporations pay in taxes, and make more income subject to the Social Security tax. But it’s not up to me. It’s not even up to the president. He has a country to run, and he has to have some Republican cooperation in order to run it.

    I can’t tell how you bored I am by people who throw around terms like “neo-liberal” and whine about the unfairness of it all.

  13. rikyrah says:

    Senator James Inhofe Suggests Newtown Families Can’t Think for Themselves
    By Joe Coscarelli

    As what’s left of the gun-control bill attempts to slowly wind its way through Congress, staunch opponents of new legislation can’t help but be condescending and offensive. According to Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma, President Obama is manipulating the families of Newtown victims into supporting gun control, when it has nothing to do with them in the lawmaker’s own twisted version of reality. “See, I think it’s so unfair of the administration to hurt these families, to make them think this has something to do with them when, in fact, it doesn’t,” Inhofe explained. And if they believe it does, “that’s because they’ve been told that by the president.”

    To be clear, the senator’s crassness is directed at independent, free-thinking adults whose children were brutally murdered by a mentally ill man in possession of a military-style arsenal. People who, as part of their grieving process, have decided that their time is best spent telling their story and offering suggestions that they believe could help prevent similar nightmares. These are not paid consultants, actors, props, or pawns, and their involvement is not political, but personal. Not every Newtown parent agrees, which is fine. But to discount their voices as if they’ve been brainwashed in the name of partisanship is both disgusting and cruel.

    Don’t take our word for it — they’re happy to tell anyone who’s willing to listen:

  14. rikyrah says:

    Over 18 Months, Nation’s First Privately Owned State Prison Has Declined Rapidly

    By Aviva Shen on Apr 10, 2013 at 9:00 am
    In an unprecedented experiment fueled by budget concerns, Ohio sold a state prison to Corrections Corporation of America, one of the largest private prison corporations in the country, in 2011. Within a year, a state audit of Lake Erie Correctional Institute, the nation’s first privately owned state prison, found rampant abuse and abysmal conditions well below state standards. The CCA prison was given another chance to pass, but flunked another inspection four months later. Independent reports continue to illuminate filthy, broken facilities, as well as much higher rates of crime and violence in and around the prison. On Tuesday, the ACLU of Ohio sent Ohio lawmakers a comprehensive timeline of the prison’s decline since CCA took over.

    The Lake Erie prison is now reportedly overcrowded at 130 percent capacity, with single-person cells holding 3 inmates each, according to internal documents obtained by the ACLU. Assaults on guards and other inmates have skyrocketed by 40 percent.

    In fact, on the same day the ACLU released their timeline, the Lake Erie prison had to tamp down a series of inmate fights that lead to the confinement of 500 inmates.

    Private prison companies have been repeatedly caught cutting corners on space, sanitation, and staff in order to maximize their profits. As a result, deadly riots frequently break out at these facilities, sparked by poor food quality, lack of health care access, and unsanitary conditions.

    Despite Lake Erie’s multiple violations of state standards, Ohio has stubbornly maintained its infatuation with private prisons. The state plans to outsource prison food to Aramark, a private vendor already under investigation in Kentucky for multiple contract violations, including serving old food that had not been stored properly and overbilling the state.

    Republican-dominated state legislatures are all too eager to ignore the private prison industry’s dismal record. CCA and other companies like GEO are paying well to maintain their massively profitable government contracts; the industry spent $45 million on lobbying in the past decade. CCA has done especially well for itself, rebounding from near bankruptcy in 2000 to rake in a net income of $162 million in 2011.

  15. rikyrah says:

    From KDubzHU Dude that got hustled out of the Ayn Rand Paul speech at Howard University with a banner that said: “Howard University Doesn’t Support White Supremacy”

  16. rikyrah says:

    From MsKitty:

    For all you Mad Men fans, Tom and Lorenzo are back with their weekly breakdown of the fashions in each episode. Even if you don’t watch the show it’s still really cool to see the way TLo analyze how the outfits not only tell the character’s story, but the story of the era

  17. rikyrah says:

    this is my second favorite version of A House is not a Home. my favorite version is Luther in concert, and he spends the first minute and a half just walking by the microphone singing “oooooh”

  18. rikyrah says:

    Good Evening, Ladies!

  19. Ametia says:


    Against the ‘Conversation on Race’
    ENTERTAINMENTAPR 10 2013, 11:05 AM ET183
    By T Coates

    LL Cool J makes it:

    Martin Luther King says that darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can,” LL Cool J said. “Hate can’t drive out hate, only love can. So what we’re talking about is compassion….”

    “I’m not advising anyone to truly forget slavery, but what I’m saying is forget the slavery mentality,” LL Cool J said. “Forget the bitterness. Don’t get bitter, get better.”
    Brad Paisley backs him up:
    “Let’s not be victims of things that happened so long ago,” Paisley said.
    One of the problems with the idea that America needs a “Conversation On Race” is that it presumes that “America” has something intelligent to say about race. All you need do is look at how American history is taught in this country to realize that that is basically impossible.

  20. Ametia says:

    Rand Paul Is Out To Lunch
    By Charles P. Pierce
    at 2:31pm

    Oh, c’mon. I mean, really, honky, please.
    Here’s is where we enact the Five Minute Rule that the blog applies rigidly to all the political utterances of the Paul family, whether we’re talking about Crazy Uncle Liberty (!) or his sponge-haired spalpeen, Senator Aqua Buddha. Let us give the latter credit for going to Howard University and for making a positive — if completely ahistorical — case for why African Americans should give a serious look at becoming part of the modern Republican party. (Compare Wednesday’s appearance to Willard Romney’s little performance piece about the NAACP in which Romney, because he has the sincerity of a ferret, deliberately set out to get booed so as to appeal to those people for whom getting booed at an NAACP convention is the sweetest of political wet dreams.) OK, good on you, maybe, Aqua Buddha

    Read more: Rand Paul On The Civil Rights Act – Rand Paul Is Out To Lunch – Esquire

  21. Ametia says:

    Howard U to Rand Paul: We Know Our History. And Yours
    By: Jenée Desmond-Harris | Posted: April 10, 2013 at 2:24 PM

    But according to accounts from members of the audience, some of the content of this particular outreach effort didn’t quite click at the historically black university — and some of it wasn’t exactly true. From the Washington Post:

    A protester with a banner using the words “white supremacy” was removed from the speech early on, and the crowd was taken aback during a later question-and-answer session when Paul asked whether they knew that the founders of the NAACP were Republicans.
    “We know our history!” said one student.
    “I don’t mean that to be insulting,” Paul said. “I don’t know how much you know … ”
    Colorlines has collected some of the tweets from the event, including those of Mother Jones’ Adam Serwer, who wrote, “At Howard, Rand Paul falsely claims he never opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964.”

    Greg Carr, chair of Howard’s department of Afro-American studies, tweeted, “Paul just bold face lied about his position in the civil rights act, didn’t address Voting Rights Act at all. He fails a big test. Dishonest.”

    From Serwer’s piece at Mother Jones:

    Read on

  22. Ametia says:

    The Lefties have forgotten where their toilets are located. It’s been Le’t DUMP on PBO all week long.

  23. Ametia says:

    Righteous photo of Howard student and his banner on WHITE SUPREMACY

  24. Ametia says:

    Five Ways Rand Paul Whitesplained Politics At Howard University
    By Zack Beauchamp on Apr 10, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    On Wednesday morning, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) gave an address at the historically-black Howard University designed to convince black voters to support Republicans. While some of his remarks, most notably on harsh drug laws and other civil liberties issues, were well-received, the majority of the speech consisted in Paul condescendingly explaining American racial history to the audience, occasionally incorrectly, and expecting that it would open black voters’ eyes to the real Republican Party. Here are five moments that encapsulated the general problem with Paul’s speech:

    1. The Civil Rights movement is actually the “history of the Republican Party”. The thrust of Paul’s speech was a recapitulation of the history of race and racism and a defense of the Republican record on race (representative line: “The story of emancipation, voting rights and citizenship, from Fredrick Douglass until the modern civil rights era, is in fact the history of the Republican Party.”) The problem was that this speech, ostensibly designed to persuade black voters that the GOP was interested in them, was telling the audience things it already knew. Moreover, the speech didn’t grapple with what happened to make the Democrats the more racially liberal party in the mid-40s or the turn towards racially divisive politics on the Republican right, essentially skipping over the real reason the GOP alienated African-American voters.


  25. Ametia says:

    yes; Rand; samller gubment gave us JIM CROW.

    • Ametia says:

      Paul Stumbles Trying To School Howard Crowd On Black History

      BENJY SARLIN APRIL 10, 2013, 1:24 PM 5277

      As Rand Paul told it, the biggest problem keeping African Americans from voting Republican is that they didn’t know Republicans have long been leaders on abolition and civil rights. As students at Howard University heard it, the problem was that Paul was condescending, misleading, and removed from the issues facing their community.
      Paul devoted almost none of his speech Wednesday at the historically black college in Washington, D.C., to explaining the GOP’s thorny relationship with black voters over the last fifty years, and most of it arguing that “the Republican Party has always been the party of civil rights and voting rights.” His history lecture focused almost entirely on the period before 1964, when the GOP began to champion the states rights arguments of southern whites. Echoing a popular conservative talking point, Paul repeatedly reminded the audience that Democrats passed Jim Crow laws in the south and that Abraham Lincoln was a Republican, as were the first black legislators and the founders of the NAACP.

      “Would everyone know here they were all Republicans?” he said at one point, referring to the NAACP’s founders.

      “Yes!” came the booming response from nearly the entire audience, who appeared offended Paul would even raise the question.

      He drew laughs and jeers at another point for bungling the name of the first popularly elected black senator, Edward Brooke of Massachusetts, whom he called “Edwin

  26. Ametia says:

    The STUPID burns

  27. Ametia says:

    Rand Paul, at Howard University, Pretends He Favored Civil Rights Act
    By Jonathan Chait

    Rand Paul gutsily chose to speak today at Howard University. Inevitably, the uncomfortable subject of the 1964 Civil Rights Act came up, and Paul, non-gutsily, handled the awkwardness by lying: “I have never wavered in my support for civil rights or the civil rights act.”
    Does Paul know what the word wavered means? Just to be sure I wasn’t making some horrible mistake, I looked it up. Because he has definitely wavered. He’s wavered publicly, repeatedly, and at tedious length.

    Owing to the tediousness, I will not cut and paste Paul’s 1964 Civil Rights Act wavering in its Homeric entirety. It begins with a 2010 interview with the Louisville Courier-Journal:
    INTERVIEWER: Would you have voted for the Civil Rights Act of 1964?
    PAUL: I like the Civil Rights Act in the sense that it ended discrimination in all public domains, and I’m all in favor of that.

    PAUL: You had to ask me the “but.” I don’t like the idea of telling private business owners—I abhor racism. I think it’s a bad business decision to exclude anybody from your restaurant—but, at the same time, I do believe in private ownership. But I absolutely think there should be no discrimination in anything that gets any public funding, and that’s most of what I think the Civil Rights Act was about in my mind.

  28. Ametia says:

    Amazing Black Kids You Should Know
    By: Jenée Desmond-Harris | Posted: April 10, 2013 at 11:51 AM

    s a much-needed balance to the daily influx of information about black kids killed by gun violence, funneled into the “school-to-prison pipeline” and targeted by racist stereotypes, Rolling Out has highlighted 10 young people who represent the underreported stories of those who are doing great.

    They’re not sensational or tragic — and we think that’s a good thing. Kudos to those who made this list and all the other happy, high-achieving and inspirational kids like them.

    Autum Ashante
    Raised by a single father, Autum was ridiculed by highly regarded conservatives at the age of 7 for writing a poem that highlighted the travesty of slavery. Autum never wavered and mastered languages such as Arabic, Swahili and Spanish. She scored 149 on the standard IQ test. At age 13, she was accepted into the University of Connecticut.

    Rochelle Ballantyne
    At 17, Rochelle Ballantyne is one of the top chess players in the world. She is currently on the verge of becoming the first black American female to earn the title of chess master.

    Ginger Howard

    Ginger Howard is the youngest black American woman to become a pro golfer. Howard is competing to become the fifth black American woman to join the LPGA Tour.

    Tony Hansberry II
    Tony used failure as inspiration. After he didn’t place in the eighth grade science fair, Tony interned at Shands Hospital and developed a method of reducing the amount of time it takes to perform hysterectomies and potentially reducing the risk of complications after the procedure. He was honored for his contributions …

  29. Ametia says:

    It’s up to you. Call Sen. McConnell at (202) 224-2541, and speak up for the families of Newtown. Here’s a sample script:

    Hi, my name is ______. I am ashamed that a member of the Senate leadership is filibustering a vote on legislation that would reduce gun violence. I call on Senator McConnell to end the filibuster and allow a vote on this important legislation.

  30. Ametia says:

    Rand Paul is changing his tune on seperate but equal and government stance. He’s trying to con the darkies!

  31. Ametia says:

    Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) Speaks to Howard University Students

    Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul speaks to students at Howard University, a historically black university in Washington, D.C., where he addresses the Republican Party’s outreach efforts to young people and minorities.

  32. Ametia says:

    Postal Service cancels plan to end Saturday mail

    The U.S. Postal Service announced Wednesday that it would cancel plans to end Saturday mail delivery this summer, saying the new stopgap budget that Congress recently passed would prohibit the move.

    “The board believes that Congress has left it with no choice but to delay this implementation at this time,” the Postal Service board said in a statement.

    Read more at:

  33. Ametia says:

    Bipartisan deal reached on gun background checks
    Posted by Ed O’Keefe on April 10, 2013 at 8:42 am

    A bipartisan group of senators has struck a deal to expand gun background checks to all commercial sales — whether at gun shows, via the Internet or in any circumstance involving paid advertising, according to Senate aides familiar with the talks.

    The proposed agreement would be more stringent than current law, which requires checks only when purchases are made through a licensed dealer, but less than originally sought by President Obama and congressional Democrats, who were seeking to expand background checks to nearly every kind of sale.
    The agreement should secure enough bipartisan support for the Senate to proceed to debate on an overarching bill that would expand background checks, make gun trafficking a federal crime for the first time and bolster federal funding for school security plans. Senate Democratic leaders have said they will permit senators of both parties to introduce amendments to the measure.

  34. Ametia says:

    Michelle Obama to speak on gun violence, which could mean a more activist role
    By Philip Rucker and Krissah Thompson, Published: April 9

    CHICAGO — When she returns home here Wednesday to deliver a speech on gun violence, first lady Michelle Obama will be making a rare foray into the politics of the day that could presage a more activist role during her husband’s second term.

    Obama is taking what aides described as an intentional step outside her narrow focus on military families and childhood nutrition to confront the dark reality of young people being gunned down on the streets of America’s cities. The remarks come amid a contentious debate on Capitol Hill over stricter gun laws advocated by President Obama.

    Obama will speak at a downtown fundraising luncheon for a new, $50-million public-private initiative to curb youth violence in Chicago’s neighborhoods. Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D), a former White House chief of staff, will introduce her, and an estimated 800 business executives and civic leaders plan to attend.

  35. Ametia says:

    McTurtle, you’re going down. I hope Mother Jones keeps pushing that audio of that snake and his crew mocking the mentally ill.

  36. New video Chicas!

    President Barack Obama-True Colors

  37. Ametia says:

    My favorite slow jam by Luther. THANKS!

  38. US senators reach a deal on gun-law background checks and plan to announce it at 11am ET press conference, sources say – @NBCNews

  39. Sam Stein‏@samsteinhp

    Just In: Families of gun violence victims/survivors will go to Capitol to read names of 3,300 killed from 1 pm today until Thursday’s vote.

  40. Xena says:

    Hello Chics!!! I’m just catching up on this article but wondering, did you know (or have already reported) that Luther sung background for David Bowie? I couldn’t find the video I was looking for where Luther stays on the right of Bowie in the camera, but you can see him in this 1974 video. I miss him, but am ever so happy that we still have his voice recorded.

  41. CarolMaeWY says:

    Sorry Luther, you will have to wait untill the morrow. Big jam at the White House tonight that I’m still savoring ins. ;)

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