Serendipity SOUL | Friday Open Thread | Fugees & Lauryn Hill Week!

Happy FRY-day, Everyone!

“Doo Wop (That Thing)”

How Many Mics


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31 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Friday Open Thread | Fugees & Lauryn Hill Week!

  1. Wanna work for President Obama? Here is your chance…

    African American Interns Wanted For 2013 White House Internship Program.

  2. Ametia says:

    Shonda Rhimes: How Adoption Changed Me
    a day ago – by Shonda Rhimes

    The creator of ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ and ‘Private Practice’( & SCANDAL-‘SCUSE ME!)on how adopting two babies taught her to let go and just love.

    I am sitting in a parking garage inside a rental car in Detroit, Michigan. The car is not moving, but my hands are gripping the wheel like I’m in a high-speed chase. Mary J. Blige is singing “No More Drama” on the radio, and from now on, whenever anyone mentions Detroit, this song will pop into my head. It is June 2002. At this moment, four floors away, inside an operating room, my daughter is being born.

    I am sitting in my car in Los Angeles, California. My mind is racing, the car sits running but still stuck in rush-hour traffic. Frank Sinatra is singing on the radio, but I don’t notice because I am too busy shouting questions into my cellphone. It is February 2012. At this moment, two states away, my daughter is being born.


  3. rikyrah says:

    does anyone here watch Nashville?

  4. rikyrah says:

    The political perils of Obamacare implementation

    Posted by Jamelle Bouie on April 26, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    Yesterday, a good chunk of Washington was up in arms over a proposal that would — according to early reports — exempt Congress from key provisions of the Affordable Care Act. As reported by Politico, “Congressional leaders in both parties are engaged in high-level, confidential talks about exempting lawmakers and Capitol Hill aides from the insurance exchanges they are mandated to join as part of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul.”

    It soon became clear, however, that this was much ado about nothing. Here’s Wonkblog’s Ezra Klein with the explanation: “[A] Republican amendment meant to embarrass Democrats and a too-clever-by-half Democratic response has possibly created a problem in which the federal government can’t make its normal contribution to the insurance premiums of congressional staffers.”

    In other words, this isn’t a big deal. Still, it feeds into ongoing anxiety over the Affordable Care Act and its implementation. As the New York Times reports, several House and Senate Democrats are worried they will pay a political price if mistakes are made and voters begin to see new costs. Senator Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire notes that small businesses in her state are unsure of how to comply with the law, while Tom Harkin of Iowa is upset with the decision to direct funds away from public health prevention programs and toward efforts to promote the law.

    If the Affordable Care Act had buy-in from Congress as a whole — and not just Democrats — this wouldn’t be a problem. Everyone would worry about the politics of implementation, and to avoid problems, everyone would work to ensure a smooth transition. As it stands, however, Republicans are still looking for ways to undermine and derail the law, hence the failed attempt this week to direct $4 billion from implementation to fund high-risk insurance program that even Republicans admit isn’t particularly good.

  5. rikyrah says:

    Obama: Planned Parenthood is ‘not going anywhere’
    By Steve Benen

    Fri Apr 26, 2013 1:22 PM EDT

    Better late than never, President Obama became the first sitting president ever to address a Planned Parenthood event this morning, speaking at the health care group’s national conference, where he received a warm welcome.

    Obama is a long-time ally of the organization, and made his support for Planned Parenthood a key issue in his 2012 re-election campaign. With that in mind, the president delivered an unflinching message to the group:

    “[N]o matter how great the challenge, no matter how fierce the opposition, if there’s one thing the past few years have shown, it’s that Planned Parenthood is not going anywhere. It’s not going anywhere today. It’s not going anywhere tomorrow.

    “As long as we’ve got to fight to make sure women have access to quality, affordable health care, and as long as we’ve got to fight to protect a woman’s right to make her own choices about her own health, I want you to know that you’ve also got a president who’s going to be right there with you fighting every step of the way.”

    Reflecting on conservative efforts to undermine Planned Parenthood, Obama added, “[T]here’s nothing conservative about the government injecting itself into decisions best made between a woman and her doctor…. When you read about some of these laws, you want to check the calendar; you want to make sure you’re still living in 2013.”

  6. rikyrah says:

    State cuts off money to UNO charter schools over insider deals

    Staff Reporter
    April 25, 2013 2:02PM

    Gov. Pat Quinn’s administration has cut off funding to the state’s largest charter-school operator, the politically influential United Neighborhood Organization, over insider deals it says violated terms of a $98 million state grant, according to a letter obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times.

    The deals involved millions of dollars in state funds that went to companies owned by two brothers of a high-ranking UNO executive, Miguel d’Escoto, that were hired as contractors on state-funded school construction projects in Chicago, according to the letter, which was sent to the organization Thursday from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

    The state agency began investigating UNO in response to reports in the Sun-Times that revealed that d’Escoto Inc. and Reflection Window Co. have been paid a total of $8.5 million out of the state grant. D’Escoto Inc. is owned by Federico “Fred” d’Escoto. Reflection Window is owned by Rodrigo d’Escoto.

  7. rikyrah says:

    another great one from Luvvie:

    Billy Dee Williams’ Denim Slayage: Throwback Thursday

    [ 22 ] April 25, 2013 | Luvvie

    Ladies and gentlegays. Look at Billy. LOOK AT HIM! My dude got on denim on denim on denim, looking like a jean factory exploded and an #alphet fell on him.

    Who gon check smooth ass Billy in all his chambray glory? NO ONE, that’s who! And because he’s sleeker than a water slide with oil, he got one hand in his belt as he leans back and seduces you with his eyes. You see my nigs don’t dance they just pull up they pants and do the rockaway. Lean back, Billy. Lean back.

    But let’s also look at that giant collar of his. The size of that collar must be proportional to the amount of cool. It MUST be. Because no one collar should have all that wideness. But Billy’s can.

    We cannot forget the tie. It’s large, in charge and floral. To add that touch of “I care about you” to the ensemble.

    Last but not least, please pay #amish to Billy Dee’s hair. Look at that roller set. You know whoever LAIDT his coiffure used some pink oil lotion after they washed it and put the rollers in. They sat him under the dryer and then they sprayed it with Pump It Up spritz to make sure it remained in this state for at least 4 days. He musta stepped out that salon and had women passing out in the streets in his wake. Billy made folks just lose their religion and underroos.

  8. rikyrah says:

    Why Ayotte and Toomey are moving in opposite directions

    By Steve Benen
    Fri Apr 26, 2013 11:05 AM EDT.

    Sen. Kelly Ayotte’s (R) standing in New Hampshire has seen better days. A week after she sided with the gun lobby and voted to kill expanded background checks, Public Policy Polling found her approval rating dropping to 44%. Though Ayotte isn’t up for re-election until 2016, the poll found that half of her constituents are less likely to support her in the future because of her vote.

    On the other hand, there’s Sen. Pat Toomey (R) of Pennsylvania, whose approval rating is going up after cosponsoring the background check killed by his own party. Greg Sargent noted this morning:

    Pennsylvania is an interesting test case with broader implications. While it does lean blue, it has a deep gun culture, and it is home to the sort of suburban district — represented by Republicans — where gun reformers still hope to pick up unexpected GOP support.

    Indeed, one notable finding is that Pat Toomey’s approval rating is now at 53 percent among suburban voters — in a state where the Philadelphia suburbs are key to statewide races. Hopefully other Republicans who represent rapidly suburbanizing states (such as Kelly Ayotte) or suburban House districts will take note. Overall, 54 percent in Pennsylvania — and 56 percent of suburbanites — view Toomey more favorably because of his stewardship of the bill. And 61 percent of women — a demographic the GOP needs to improve among – view him more favorably.

  9. rikyrah says:

    John McCain boxes in House GOP on immigration

    Posted by Greg Sargent on April 25, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    At an event this morning, John McCain effectively boxed in House Republicans on immigration by stating flatly that reform is a complete nonstarter unless it includes a path to citizenship.

    Those are tough words for House Republicans, who are currently locked in an internal debate over reform, with some conservatives seemingly still looking for a way out that doesn’t include citizenship. It effectively closes off any escape routes for them.

    Here’s McCain, at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast this morning:

  10. rikyrah says:

    Reinhart and Rogoff need to stop digging

    By Steve Benen
    Fri Apr 26, 2013 10:15 AM EDT

    It’s rare when a series of errors in an economic paper generate national attention. Then again, it’s rare when an economic paper does as much as damage as the report Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff published a few years ago.

    By now, you’re probably familiar with the story. The Reinhardt/Rogoff study effectively made a straightforward observation: there’s not only a relationship between a nation’s debt level and its GDP, there’s also a tipping point. When a nation’s debt climbs above 90% of the nation’s total economy, it necessarily serves as a drag on economic growth.

    The Reinhardt/Rogoff study was immediately embraced by Republican policymaker at the highest levels, and became the intellectual foundation for a destructive austerity agenda.

    The problem, we now know, is that Reinhart and Rogoff made some important errors in their research, including a careless mistake in an Excel spreadsheet. The economic research embraced by conservatives everywhere was faulty, and a national controversy ensued — including a brutal segment on “The Colbert Report.”

    Reinhart and Rogoff, hoping to stem the tide of criticism, published an item last week defending their work. The response was unkind — Paul Krugman described their defense as “really, really bad” and “terrible.”

    So today Reinhart and Rogoff try again, writing an item for the New York Times. The gist of the piece is that their error-laden study was misused by partisan opportunists on the right and therefore not entirely their fault.

  11. rikyrah says:

    From the far-right fringe to the halls of Congress
    By Steve Benen
    Fri Apr 26, 2013 9:42 AM EDT.

    Rachel led the show the other night with a look conspiracy theories, once relegated to the fringes of American politics, now being embraced by growing numbers of conservatives, including elected lawmakers. The segment specifically noted ridiculous theories about the Boston Marathon bombing, spewed by activist Alex Jones, and touted by a GOP lawmaker in New Hampshire.

    As best as I can tell, no member of the U.S. Congress has embraced Jones’ Boston-related nonsense, but it’s clear that many federal lawmakers are taking some of his other ideas seriously.

    The right wing media’s promotion of a widely-debunked Alex Jones conspiracy theory about the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) ammunition acquisitions prompted House Republicans to hold a hearing to investigate. The theory, which assigns some sinister motivation behind the recent ammo purchases, first gained traction on the websites of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones before finding its way to Fox News and Fox Business and finally to the halls of Congress.

    On April 25, Republican Reps. Jim Jordan (OH) and Jason Chaffetz (UT) held a joint hearing “to examine the procurement of ammunition by the Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General.”

    At a distance, if we set aside the bizarre ideology that leads elected officials to believe nonsense, it’s fascinating to watch the trajectory — a fringe activist comes up with an idea, which is then picked up by a more prominent far-right outlet, which is then echoed by Fox News and Fox Business, which is then embraced by some of Congress’ sillier members who are predisposed to believe nonsense, which then leads to a congressional hearing.

  12. rikyrah says:

    A left-right populist alliance against the big banks?

    Posted by Greg Sargent on April 25, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    submit to reddit

    This week, Sens. Sherrod Brown and David Vitter are introducing a bill designed to make failure by the big banks less likely, in order to defend our economic system from another 2008-style meltdown. As the two senators put it, the measure would “ensure that all banks have proper capital reserves to back up their sometimes risky practices — so that taxpayers don’t have to,” while requiring that the largest banks “have the most equity, as they should.”

    The banks are already arguing that this is a bad idea that will hamper economic growth. Matthew Yglesias has a good post explaining why this argument is bogus and why such a measure is indeed needed to safeguard the economy.

    All of which raises a question: Is it possible that a genuine and broad left-right populist alliance can come together against the banks around this legislation?

    In an interview with me, Senator Brown laid out his case for why he believes the conditions for such an alliance against “too big to fail” are ripe right now. Two key reasons: First, there appears to be a rising belief among some conservative opinion leaders that the GOP needs to achieve distance from Wall Street. Second, the Senate Democratic caucus is more liberal and populist than it has been in years.

    “In this new session of Congress, you’ve seen conservative columnists and pundits call on Republicans to break their ties with Wall Street and start fighting for Main Street more,” Brown said, pointing to recent columns by George Will and Peggy Noonan as examples. Meanwhile, Brown noted, the new influx of more liberal Dems into the Senate, such as Tammy Baldwin and Elizabeth Warren, has shifted the caucus to the left.

  13. rikyrah says:

    Senate easily approves fix for flight delays

    By Steve Benen
    Fri Apr 26, 2013 8:00 AM EDT

    The modern Senate has earned its unflattering reputation. As abuses became more common and norms were abandoned, the once-venerated institution became a lumbering, dysfunctional, and inefficient mess.

    But when it really wants to, the Senate can move with lightning speed.

    The Senate moved quickly Thursday evening to help ease the Federal Aviation Administration’s ability to handle automatic spending cuts set forth in the sequester.

    Senators unanimously approved the “Reducing Flight Delays Act of 2013” — a patch to fix the deep cuts that have furloughed air traffic controllers and delayed flights across the country.

    The bill gives the FAA authority to spend up to $253 million of money already in the FAA’s budget — but not allocated to pay for other things — to keep employees on the job and make sure more flights are on time.

    The measure didn’t even face a Republican filibuster — it just passed by unanimous consent. It will now move to the House, where it’s scheduled to be brought to the floor today. It will be considered on something called the “suspension calendar,” which means it’ll need a two-thirds majority to pass, but proponents appear optimistic.

  14. rikyrah says:

    Treasury Department Awards $3.5 Billion In Tax Credits To Distressed Communities

    Apr 25, 2013

    By D.L. Chandler

    In a bid to spark development in low-income and under-served communities, the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced on Wednesday that it will award $3.5 billion in tax credits to several organizations. The New Markets Tax Credit will be distributed among 85 organizations that will channel the credits through 28 states and Washington, D.C. The Treasury Depatment’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI) hopes this credit will assist in President Barack Obama’s commitment to spur economic growth across the United States.

    SEE ALSO: Focusing On Prevention And Neuroscience, President Ends Reagan’s War On Drugs

    From the press release:

    The New Markets Tax Credit addresses one of the most significant obstacles to economic development that low-income communities face: a lack of access to patient, private investment capital,” said Treasury Assistant Secretary for Financial Institutions Cyrus Amir-Mokri.

    The $31 billion worth of tax credits awarded in past years have gone toward preserving hundreds of thousands of jobs and bringing community facilities and new businesses in to neighborhoods that desperately needed them. I expect today’s awardees will continue that trend.

    In fact, over 70 percent of New Markets Tax Credit investments have been made in communities that meet the highest distress criteria, above even the program’s requirements, said CDFI Fund Director Donna J. Gambrell. That result effectively demonstrates how essential the New Markets Tax Credit Program is to spurring economic development in underserved areas.”

    The New Markets Tax Credit was extended as part of the latest “fiscal cliff” deal for the rest of 2013. The credit was established in 2000, and it is provided to individual and corporate taxpayers who invest in what’s called “Community Development Entities.”

    These private-sector entities will receive up to 39 percent in tax credits for developing projects in areas with high poverty rates or lower incomes.

    The complete list of awardees for the 2012 NMTC Program Awards can be found on the CDFI website.

  15. rikyrah says:

    This Man Was Deported From Saudi Arabia For Being Too Sexy

    Omar Borkan Al Gala was kicked out of Saudi Arabia because the government was afraid women wouldn’t be able to control themselves around him.

    posted on April 25, 2013 at 12:13pm EDT

  16. rikyrah says:



    Scandal Left Me in a Glass Case of 752 Emotions for Huck: Episode 219 Recap

    We’ve all been fiending for Scandal because it’s been gone for 3 weeks and the state it left us in was NO good! Last episode had me falling all over the place in anticipation of what’s next. They came back with a BANG that was less about action and more about pulling at our heartstrings. Chile… let’s just get into it!

  17. Ametia says:

    Rikyrah, Scandal FLOORED me last night. Girl, I couldn’t take it,watching Huck come UNDONE. If I’d held my breath any longer for the hour; hubby would’ve had to perform CPR!!!

    Can’t wait to read Luvvie’s recap.

    • rikyrah says:

      all I gotta say about Scandal is..


      last night ripped my Huck loving heart to pieces.

      • rikyrah says:

        That CHARLIE got infinitely more complex last night blew me away.

      • Ametia says:

        Holy Guacamole! Mellie’s finnah take old Fitz down. And Charlie; Shonda’s like the master puppetier. What are we going to do after the season finale? Because you know Shonda’s gonna leave us on the FLOOR!

    • rikyrah says:

      officially …

      I’m scared shytless of Senator Byron after yesterday.

      Before yesterday, he was just some shadowy dude..

      now we know…he’s been doing this shadowy stuff for at least a decade…which should scare you. I didn’t expect it. And, I don’t know what he’s gonna do to Huck when he figures out Huck is Huck.

  18. Ametia says:

    Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings, has been moved from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and is being held at the Bureau of Prisons’ Federal Medical Center Devens at Fort Devens, Massachusetts, according to a statement by the U.S. Marshals Service.

    • Ametia says:

      Boston bombing suspect moved to prison from hospital: officials
      By Scott Malone

      BOSTON | Fri Apr 26, 2013 7:25am EDT

      BOSTON (Reuters) – Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been moved to a prison at Fort Devens, Massachusetts, from the hospital where he had been held since his arrest a week ago, the U.S. Marshals Service said on Friday.

      The 19-year-old ethnic Chechen, who was badly wounded in an overnight shootout last week with police hours after authorities released pictures of him and his older brother, also a suspect, had previously been held at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, where some of the victims were also being treated.

      Tsarnaev’s older brother, 26-year-old Tamerlan, died in the shootout.

      Tsarnaev was charged on Monday with the April 15 bombing, which killed three and wounded 264 at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. If convicted, he faces the possibility of the death penalty.

      “The U.S. Marshals Service confirms that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been transported from the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and is now confined at the Bureau of Prisons facility FMC Devens at Ft. Devens, Mass.,” said U.S. Marshals Service spokesman Drew Wade.

  19. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone. :-) TGIF!!!

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