Monday Open Thread | Old School Week | The O’Jays

O'Jays4The O’Jays are an American R&B group from Canton, Ohio, formed in 1958 and originally consisting of Eddie Levert (born June 16, 1942), Walter Williams (born August 25, 1943), William Powell (January 20, 1942 – May 26, 1977), Bobby Massey and Bill Isles. The O’Jays made their first chart appearance with “Lonely Drifter” in 1963, but reached their greatest level of success once Gamble & Huff, a team of producers and songwriters, signed them to their Philadelphia International label in 1972. With Gamble & Huff, the O’Jays (now a trio after the departure of Isles and Massey) emerged at the forefront of Philadelphia soul with “Back Stabbers” (1972), and topped the Billboard Hot 100 the following year with “Love Train“. Numerous other hits followed through the 1970s and into the 80s and 90s, and The O’Jays were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2004, and The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005.

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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46 Responses to Monday Open Thread | Old School Week | The O’Jays

  1. Ametia says:

    Updated: 10:18 p.m. Monday, April 29, 2013 | Posted: 10:17 p.m. Monday, April 29, 2013
    Sanford, Colbert Busch trade jabs in SC debate
    The Associated Press

    Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, trying to revive his political career, and Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch traded verbal jabs on his past indiscretions and her liberal political supporters during a spirited debate Monday night — their only scheduled meeting in the race for the state’s vacant 1st Congressional District seat.

    With eight days to go before the May 7 special election, Sanford stressed his efforts to rein in spending as a three-term member of Congress and as a two-term governor. The Republican noted that he was the first governor in the nation to turn back economic stimulus funds.

    But Colbert Busch reminded Sanford that he once used taxpayer funds to “leave the country for a personal purpose” — referring to the extramarital affair with an Argentine woman he had while governor. Sanford said he didn’t hear the response and asked to have the question repeated.

    “Answer the question,” Colbert Busch chimed in.

  2. rikyrah says:

    Conservatives Try to Rewrite Civil Rights History (Again)

    Jamelle Bouie

    April 29, 2013

    On the right’s revisionist history of the GOP and civil rights

    Rand Paul’s unsuccessful speech at Howard University—where he tried, and failed, to paint the Republican Party as the true home for African American voters—didn’t happen in a vacuum. It drew from a heavily revisionist history of American politics, in which the GOP never wavered in its commitment to black rights, and the Democratic Party embraced its role as a haven for segregationists. In this telling of history, black support for Democrats is a function of liberal demagoguery and crude identity politics. If African Americans truly understood their interests, the argument goes, they’d have never left the Republican Party.

    Conservative writer Kevin Williamson offered a version of this history in a large feature for the National Review last year, and this week, he’s back with a smaller take—highlighting Barry Goldwater’s contributions to a local civil rights fight in Arizona—that comes to the same conclusion: Democrats were never on the right side of civil rights. Here’s Williamson (please forgive the long blockquote, it’s necessary):

    Barry Goldwater was not the most important opponent of racial segregation in Arizona, nor was he the most important champion of desegregating the public schools. What he was was on the right side: He put his money, his political clout, his business connections, and his reputation at the service of a cause that was right and just. While he was doing all that, his eventual nemesis, Lyndon Baines Johnson, a low-rent practitioner of the most crass sort of racist politics, was gutting anti-lynching laws and assuring Democrats that he would offer those “uppity Negroes” “just enough to quiet them down, not enough to make a difference.”

    For more than a century, the Republican party had been the party of civil rights, of abolition, of emancipation, the party of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. Barry Goldwater of Arizona and the NAACP did not represent a break from that tradition, but a continuation of it.

    It was a masterpiece of politics that allowed the Democrats to convince the electorate that they were the party of civil rights, that they had not until the day before yesterday been the party of lynching — even as that very same cabal of segregationist Democrats that had tried to block or gut every single significant piece of civil-rights legislation for decades, still led by a member of the Ku Klux Klan, remained comfortably entrenched in the Senate.

    The core of what Williamson wants you to believe is that neither party saw substantive change in its position on civil rights. But there’s almost no evidence for that view. The Republican Party that championed civil rights in the mid-to-late 19th century all but abandoned the cause in the beginning of the 20th, as white America turned away from blacks, and left them to suffer at the hands of segregationists and lynch mobs. Key GOP politicians (like President Taft) embarked on a campaign to wash the Republican Party of its connection to blacks, in order to expand its constituency in the white South.

    Likewise, the same Democratic Party that advanced white supremacy throughout the same period—and into the New Deal—began to shift in the opposite direction. First as a result of Roosevelt’s domestic programs—which gave Democrats a black constituency for the first time in history—and then as an attempt to win votes in Northern industrial cities, where blacks were migrating in large numbers. That’s not to discount principle—figures like Hubert Humphrey were genuine supporters of black rights, and successfully pushed the Democratic Party to adopt a civil rights plank at the 1948 convention (thus sparking a segregationist revolt).

    “The masterpiece of politics” that Williamson derides was actually just an attempt—primarily by Democrats—to deliver benefits to black voters, in the form of political protection and domestic programs. It’s for that reason that Democrats began winning greater and greater shares of the black vote throughout the 1940s and 50s.

    Williamson dismisses the Civil Rights Act of 1964—and Goldwater’s opposition to it—as a minor variable, something that shouldn’t discount the GOP’s history on civil rights. But the fact of the matter is that the Act was a transformative piece of legislation, and a necessary step on the long road to racial equality. It is arguably the most important piece of civil rights legislation ever passed, and Goldwater’s opposition is correctly seen as a blemish on his legacy. Indeed, it’s correctly seen as a blemish on Williamson’s own magazine, which opposed the civil-rights movement and voiced solidarity with segregationists.

  3. Ametia says:


    O’Connor: Maybe Supreme Court shouldn’t have taken Bush v. Gore
    Posted by Rachel Weiner on April 29, 2013 at 10:20 am

    Maybe the court should have said, ‘We’re not going to take it, goodbye,’” O’Connor told the Chicago Tribune editorial board, in reference to the controversial Bush v. Gore decision resolving a dispute over the 2000 election in George W. Bush’s favor. “It turned out the election authorities in Florida hadn’t done a real good job there and kind of messed it up. And probably the Supreme Court added to the problem at the end of the day

  4. rikyrah says:

    Obama’s Amazing Speech (and Why You Probably Missed It)

    Lost amid the laughter, Obama’s closing remarks at the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner indict failed elites.

    By Ron Fournier

    Updated: April 29, 2013 | 10:10 a.m.
    April 29, 2013 | 9:10 a.m.

  5. Ametia says:

    Bye, Bye!

    Jets waive Tim Tebow after one season

    Tim Tebow couldn’t get any playing time last season when the New York Jets had three quarterbacks on the roster. Following the selection of Geno Smith last week, they had six.

    Well, now they have five.

    Tebow was informed Monday morning when he arrived at the team’s facility he’ll be waived, and the team put out a statement:

    “We have a great deal of respect for Tim Tebow,” said Jets head coach Rex Ryan. “Unfortunately, things did not work out the way we all had hoped. Tim is an extremely hard worker, evident by the shape he came back in this offseason (losing weight). We wish him the best moving forward.”

    Tebow will now have to pass through waivers. Teams will have until 4 p.m. ET Tuesday to put in claims for him.

  6. rikyrah says:

    S.E.C. Is Asked to Require Disclosure of Donations


    Published: April 23, 2013

    A loose coalition of Democratic elected officials, shareholder activists and pension funds has flooded the Securities and Exchange Commission with calls to require publicly traded corporations to disclose to shareholders all of their political donations, a move that could transform the growing world of secret campaign spending.

    S.E.C. officials have indicated that they could propose a new disclosure rule by the end of April, setting up a major battle with business groups that oppose the proposal and are preparing for a fierce counterattack if the agency’s staff moves ahead. Two S.E.C. commissioners have taken the unusual step of weighing in already, with Daniel Gallagher, a Republican, saying in a speech that the commission had been “led astray” by “politically charged issues.”

    A petition to the S.E.C. asking it to issue the rule has already garnered close to half a million comments, far more than any petition or rule in the agency’s history, with the vast majority in favor of it. While relatively few petitions result in action by the S.E.C., the commission staff filed a notice late last year indicating that it was considering recommending a rule.

    In response to the growing pressure, House Republicans introduced legislation last Thursday that would make it illegal for the commission to issue any political disclosure regulations applying to companies under its jurisdiction. Earlier this month, the leaders of three of Washington’s most powerful trade associations — the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers and the Business Roundtable — issued a rare joint letter to the chief executives of Fortune 200 companies, encouraging them to stand against proxy resolutions and other proposals from shareholder activists demanding more disclosure of political spending.

    Tax-exempt groups and trade associations spent hundreds of millions of dollars on political advertising during 2012 elections, but they are not required to disclose their donors. Evidence has mounted that a significant portion of the money came from companies seeking to intervene in campaigns without fear of offending their customers, their shareholders — or the lawmakers they target for defeat.

  7. rikyrah says:

    next thing you’ll be telling me is that water is wet.


    Karzai Acknowledges Cash Deliveries by C.I.A.


    Published: April 29, 2013

    President Hamid Karzai acknowledged on Monday that the Central Intelligence Agency has been dropping off bags of cash at his office for a decade, saying the money was used for “various purposes” and expressing gratitude to the United States for making the payments

    Mr. Karzai described the sums delivered by the C.I.A. as a “small amount,” though he offered few other details. But former and current advisers of the Afghan leader have said the C.I.A. cash deliveries have totaled tens of millions of dollars over the past decade and have been used to pay off warlords, lawmakers and others whose support the Afghan leader depends upon.

    The payments are not universally supported in the United States government. American diplomats and soldiers expressed dismay on Monday about the C.I.A.’s cash deliveries, which some said fueled corruption. They spoke privately because the C.I.A. effort is classified.

    Others were not so restrained. “We’ve all suspected it,” said Representative Jason Chaffetz, Republican of Utah and a critic of the war effort in Afghanistan. “But for President Karzai to admit it out loud brings us into a bizarro world.”

  8. rikyrah says:

    Betsy Fischer Martin ✔ @BetsyMTP

    Nominee for Trans Sec, Anthony Foxx – has his grandmother in audience. She once worked at the White House during the Truman administration!

    1:24 PM – 29 Apr 2013

  9. rikyrah says:

    this is a punk ass move


    Frank Luntz Withdraws University of Pennsylvania Scholarship Over Secret Tape

    Following Mother Jones’ publication of remarks GOP message man Frank Luntz made to University of Pennsylvania students about conservative talk radio, Luntz has decided to withdraw funding for a university scholarship named after his father that sends students to Washington, DC, according to the Daily Pennsylvanian, an independent student newspaper at the school.
    While Luntz is scheduled to speak on a panel at the University
    during graduation weekend, he said that he would never return to speak
    after this incident, and would discourage others from speaking here.

  10. rikyrah says:

    A small victory against anti-tax conservatives

    Posted by Jamelle Bouie on April 29, 2013 at 11:36 am

    submit to reddit

    As a policy measure, there’s nothing complicated about the online sales tax. Because they exist on the internet, and not in any particular state, digital retailers have never felt compelled to collect taxes for the sales they make. The result has been billions in lost revenue for states and localities across the country. In a growing economy, this is a problem, but not a huge one — with economic expansion, states often have the tax revenue they need.

    Under contractionary conditions, however states need as much revenue as they can muster, lest they cut services, fire workers, and exacerbate the economic problems in their state. Implementation won’t be easy — retailers will have to collect separate taxes for every customer, depending on where they reside — but online sales taxes are a sensible solution to the problem. And indeed, it’s good to think of this as an enforcement mechanism for existing laws. Online buyers are already required to pay sales tax on purchases, they just rarely do.

    Predictably, the tax has inspired real opposition from online retailers like Amazon, who depend on the quasi-tax free environment of internet commerce for sales and revenue. What’s interesting about the political fight, however, is how it’s exposed fissures in the Republican Party. As the New York Times describes, the Marketplace Fairness Act has significant GOP support— GOP Reps. Scott Rigell, Steve Womack and others back the bill in the House of Representatives, as do Senators Ron Johnson, John Thune, and Roy Blunt. Overall, the bill is expected to pass the Senate with wide support — a procedural measure won 63 votes in favor, and the final tally may show even stronger support.

    Supporters are looking out for the interests of brick-and-mortar businesses in their states:

  11. rikyrah says:

    Let’s Have 33 Votes on Background Checks

    by BooMan
    Mon Apr 29th, 2013 at 11:32:50 AM EST

    It turns out that cowering before the NRA’s Board of Directors is not a wise political move. Public Policy Polling is finding substantial erosion in the approval rating of several senators who opposed universal background checks for gun purchases. Perhaps doing nothing about gun violence in the aftermath of the Newtown massacre was not quite in tune with the sentiments and values of the American people. It sure looks that way.

    -After just 3 months in office Jeff Flake has already become one of the most unpopular Senators in the country. Just 32% of voters approve of him to 51% who disapprove and that -19 net approval rating makes him the most unpopular sitting Senator we’ve polled on, taking that label from Mitch McConnell.
    70% of Arizona voters support background checks to only 26% who are opposed to them. That includes 92/6 favor from Democrats, 71/24 from independents, and 50/44 from Republicans. 52% of voters say they’re less likely to support Flake in a future election because of this vote, compared to only 19% who say they’re more likely to. Additionally voters say by a 21 point margin, 45/24, that they trust senior colleague John McCain more than Flake when it comes to gun issues.

    -When we polled Alaska in February Lisa Murkowski was one of the most popular Senators in the country with a 54% approval rating and only 33% of voters disapproving of her. She’s seen a precipitous decline in the wake of her background checks vote though. Her approval is down a net 16 points from that +21 standing to +5 with 46% of voters approving and 41% now disapproving of her. Murkowski has lost most of her appeal to Democrats in the wake of her vote, with her numbers with them going from 59/25 to 44/44. And the vote hasn’t increased her credibility with Republican either- she was at 51/38 with them in February and she’s at 50/39 now.

    Mark Begich is down following his no vote as well. He was at 49/39 in February and now he’s at 41/37. His popularity has declined with Democrats (from 76/17 to 59/24) and with independents (from 54/32 to 43/35), and there has been no corresponding improvement with Republicans. He had a 24% approval rating with them two months ago and he has a 24% approval rating with them now.

    60% of Alaska voters support background checks to just 35% opposed, including a 62/33 spread with independents. 39% of voters say they’re less likely to vote for each of Begich and Murkowski in their next elections based on this vote, while only 22% and 26% say they’re more likely to vote for Begich and Murkowski respectively because of this.

    -We saw serious improvement in Rob Portman’s poll numbers in the second half of 2012 following his consideration as the Republican Vice Presidential candidate, but he’s taken a nose dive in 2013. Portman’s approval has dropped a net 18 points over the last 6 months from +10 (35/25) in October to now -8 (26/34) in April. Portman’s popularity decline has come across the board with Democrats (from 15/39 to 8/50), Republicans (62/11 to 46/19), and independents (28/23 to 24/32) alike.

  12. rikyrah says:

    Christie: Obama ‘kept every promise’ on Sandy storm aid
    By Wayne Parry
    Associated Press

    New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Monday that President Barack Obama “has kept every promise he’s made” about helping the state recover from Superstorm Sandy.

    Speaking on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program on the 6-month anniversary of the deadly storm, the Republican governor said presidential politics were the last thing on his mind as he toured storm-devastated areas with Obama last fall.

    “The president has kept every promise he’s made,” said Christie, widely considered a potential candidate for the republican presidential nomination in 2016. “I think he’s done a good job. He kept his word.”

    Christie’s warm embrace of Obama after the storm angered some Republicans, who said it helped tip a close presidential election to the Democrat and away from Mitt Romney, who Christie endorsed and for whom he campaigned last fall.

    Christie says he and Obama have fundamentally different views on governing. But he said the two men did what needed to be done for a devastated region.

    “I’ve got a job to do,” he said. “You wake up and 7 million of your 8.8 million citizens are out of power, you’re not thinking about presidential politics. Put yourself in my shoes: If you’re a responsible political official, you’ll do nothing differently.

    “I have a 95 percent level of disagreement with Barack Obama,” Christie said. “We saw suffering together. Everything the president promised me they’d do, they’ve done. I don’t have any complaint this morning on the issue of disaster relief.”

    From The Detroit News:

  13. rikyrah says:

    GOP eyes new abortion restrictions for DC
    By Steve Benen
    Mon Apr 29, 2013 11:36 AM EDT

    There are more than 600,000 taxpaying Americans living in the District of Columbia, but they have no voice in Congress — the people of the nation’s capital city have a non-voting member and a congressional committee that sets limits and restrictions on the decisions of locally elected officials.

    The arrangement is sometime awkward. For example, Rep. John Mica, a Florida Republican, rejected the city’s push for expanded authority over its own budget in a rather offensive way: “When my kids were young — teenagers — they wanted budget autonomy, too. You allow them to go their own way. When they get out of line, according to the Constitution, the Congress has the right to step in.”

    For one thing, it’s not okay to compare hundreds of thousands of D.C. residents — most of whom are African American — to children. For another, the “parental” relationship between the city and Congress is ridiculous — there’s no other city in the United States in which Congress can “step in” and override the budget decisions of local officials elected by voters.

    Making matters, it’s not just the budget that’s at issue.

  14. rikyrah says:

    The Morning Plum: How conservatives will try to kill immigration reform

    Posted by Greg Sargent on April 29, 2013 at 9:04 am

    submit to reddit

    Leading Republican officials who are advocating for real immigration reform are now all in. There’s no more hedging from the likes of Marco Rubio. The sense is unmistakable that there’s no going back. And with Members of Congress on recess this week, conservative foes of reform are gearing up for their last stand.

    With the Senate’s “Gang of Eight” compromise introduced, Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee have already signaled that they will introduce immigration reform in pieces. The ostensible purpose of this legislative strategy is to move slowly, to make it easier to eventually win over House conservatives and get them to back a path to citizenship. But it remains unclear how citizenship would figure into that piecemeal approach, or why moving reform pieces would make it any more likely that those opposed to citizenship would come around to it. Indeed, the strategy may be designed to scuttle reform, rather than make it more likely. The Post editorial board explains the real game plan:

    That strategy gives conservatives a chance to say they were for immigration reform before they were against it. They may vote for bills that would tighten border security, provide a steady source of migrant farm workers and expand a program that companies may use to verify the immigration status of employees. Then, decrying “amnesty,” they can shoot down measures that would extend legal status and eventual citizenship to most of the undocumented.

    As the editorial puts it, “opponents of reform are banking on derailing the measure with a strategy of delay and dismemberment.”

    And that’s why I continue to believe comments from John McCain last week were so important. McCain flatly stated that immigration reform without any path to citizenship is a non-starter. “There’s no way of getting this job done without giving people a path to citizenship,” he said, adding that the sub-citizenship legal status favored by some Republicans “offends fundamental principles of fairness in our society.”

    In other words, this is all on House Republicans. They can hatch all the legislative trickery they want, but if reform fails, it will be for one simple reason: House Republicans were unable to embrace citizenship. Nothing short of citizenship will do. And by the way, there is no political outcome that could be worse for the GOP — and its efforts to begin repairing relations with Latinos — than having far right Republicans in the House kill immigration reform.

  15. rikyrah says:

    A ridiculous new debt-ceiling strategy takes shape

    By Steve Benen
    Mon Apr 29, 2013 10:17 AM EDT

    It’s not exactly clear when the next debt-ceiling increase will be necessary, but thanks to a series of favorable factors, including increased tax receipts, Congress may not have to act until October, which would provide quite a bit of breathing room between now and the next Republican hostage crisis.

    In the meantime, Republicans still intend to carefully write up their ransom note, threatening to hurt Americans on purpose unless President Obama and congressional Democrats give the GOP … something. Like what? The new plan is apparently to demand tax reform.

    With another fight over the national debt brewing this summer, congressional Republicans are de-emphasizing their demand for politically painful cuts to retirement programs and focusing on a more popular prize: a thorough rewrite of the U.S. tax code.

    Reining in spending on Social Security and Medicare remains an important policy goal for the GOP. But House leaders launched a series of meetings last week aimed at convincing rank-and-file lawmakers that tax reform is both wise policy and good politics and should be their top priority heading into talks with Democrats over the need to raise the federal debt limit.

    This is kind of hilarious, in a pathetic, post-policy sort of way.

    First, Democrats actually want tax reforms, so there’s no real need for a hostage strategy in which Republicans threaten to deliberately harm the nation. Policymakers could, you know, just begin policy work. Not everything has to be manufactured, self-imposed crisis — grown-up officials, even Republicans, should at least consider the possibility of basic American governance from time to time.

    Second, and arguably more important, is the fact that entitlement cuts — the one policy Republicans said they wanted more than any other — have now been deemed insufficiently “popular.”

  16. LIVE STREAMING NOW: First Lady Michelle Obama unveils a Military Licensing and Credentialing Program

  17. rikyrah says:

    Sequestration reclaims the national spotlight

    By Steve Benen
    Mon Apr 29, 2013 8:34 AM EDT.

    FAA furloughs caused by the sequester were resolved late last week, after Congress leapt to action to stop flight delays nationwide, but that didn’t stop the Republican Party from using its weekly address to condemn the Obama administration’s handling of the issue anyway.

    It was an odd message, accusing the White House of engaging in a conspiracy — President Obama, it said, wanted to “inflict pain” on the public on purpose — and lying about the policy’s origins. The GOP message also suggested the Republicans’ Twitter hashtag helped resolve the problem, which is a pretty silly argument.

    But the fact that the party’s weekly message was devoted to sequestration in the first place reinforces a larger point: the policy is back in the national spotlight. Indeed, President Obama devoted his weekly address to the same topic.

  18. rikyrah says:

    Mitchell: Message “42” delivers — love conquers hate every time

    BY MARY MITCHELL April 26, 2013 10:04PM

    I did not rush to see “42,” even though the film pays homage to Jackie Robinson, the first black man to play in Major League Baseball in the modern era.


    My dad loved baseball, and he didn’t miss an opportunity to remind his children about the racism Robinson faced when he was signed to the Dodgers in 1947.

    Still, last Thursday it was mainly out of curiosity that I went to a screening of “42” at an event hosted by the Chicago White Sox for about 200 Simeon High School students.

    I let the seats fill up around me. Needless to say, I was a little apprehensive.


    I hate watching racist movies,” a young woman whispered to a friend. “I get so angry.”

    But interestingly, it wasn’t the racist scenes or the good-looking Chadwick Boseman (playing the baseball great) who elicited the strongest reaction.

    It was Nicole Behaire’s role as Rachel “Rae” Robinson, Jackie’s wife.

    Fighting stereotypes

    From Rachel’s girlish gush when Jackie proposed marriage, to the proud swing of her hips as she pushed the couple’s son, Jackie Jr., in a carriage, the movie captured the joys of a loving relationship.

    “42” may be about baseball and bigotry — but it is also a beautiful love story.

    Behaire, who brought a fresh face to the role, played Jackie’s wife with the right balance of sizzle and class.

    “She’s beautiful,” one young woman marveled.

    A collective awe swept across the darkened theater during the scene where the couple walked hand-in-hand — Rae in an elegant white dress and Jackie in his tux — about to start their life as husband and wife.

    Between the vitriol the Robinsons were forced to endure because of Jackie’s integration of the major leagues , the movie highlighted the strong affection that bound this couple together and kept them from being buried by the hate.

    That powerful lesson wasn’t lost on the teens.

    “I really liked the way his wife supported him,” said one female, as others around her signaled agreement during a Q&A after the movie.

    The depiction of this kind of positive romantic relationship between a black man and a black woman in the media is rare. Worse yet, reality TV shows such as “Basketball Wives” have fostered extremely negative stereotypes of women who are romantically linked to athletes.

    “42” presents a stark contrast to those stereotypes.

    Kept negativity outside her home

    For that reason alone, the movie is worth the cost of admission and a box of popcorn.

    Rachel and Jackie were together for five years before they married — and Rachel didn’t accept until Jackie landed a job.

    “Despite the fact that she was a supportive wife, Rachel Robinson was incredibly smart and was going to college at a time when a lot of black women weren’t,” said Allison Davis, director of communications for the Jackie Robinson Foundation, also noting that Rachel earned a master’s from UCLA.

    “A lot of black women gave up on their hopes and dreams once they had children, but she wanted to be a vital partner in this marriage,” Davis said.

  19. rikyrah says:

    As someone else pointed out on another blog, take away 20 years, and replace ‘inner city’ with West Virginia town and ‘CRACK’ for Oxycontin, and we’ve seen this movie.

    Funny how it’s movie worthy now that it’s not ‘inner city’ folks.


    At the Tribeca Film Festival: A message to you from a West Virginia town ruined by Oxycontin

    Nothing here but Oxy and coal,” says one of the subjects of Sean Dunne’s mournful documentary Oxyana. The “here” is Oceana, a once-bustling mining town in West Virginia, now decimated by Oxycontin addiction to the point where the media have rebranded it “Oxyana.”

    An entire generation has been wiped out, and addiction touches everyone’s lives. One guy interviewed says, “I’m 23. Half my graduating class is dead.” The destruction is almost unbelievable, although it is no secret that painkiller addiction, and Oxy in particular, is a huge problem in America. But Oxyana zooms in on one community, and the result is a powerful documentary, covering well-trodden ground perhaps, but filmed in a way that feels like an elegy. An elegy for a more innocent time when kids just drank beer and smoked a little pot, but also an elegy for an entire way of life, disappearing in the fog that descends on the mountains around Oceana. Oxyana is devastating.

    The statistics are overwhelming. West Virginia leads the country in prescription overdoses. A doctor at Raleigh General Hospital says that half of the babies in the nursery are on methadone. A recent book, Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt, by Chris Hedges and Joe Sacco, describes the situation in West Virginia: “A decade ago only about 5% of those seeking treatment in West Virginia needed help with opiate addiction. Today that number has ballooned to 26%. It recorded 91 overdose deaths in 2001. By 2008 that number had risen to 390.” The people interviewed in Sean Dunne’s documentary, all participants in the epidemic (either as helpless bystanders or addicts themselves), seem blindsided by how quickly Oxy took over. It’s not just the addicts, it’s the dealers who keep it going, and, as one interview subject observes, “Drugs created an economy in the town.”

    In a matter of 15 years, a normal community where people felt safe raising their kids has become a town where it is common for teenage girls to prostitute themselves for money. Oceana was a place where you didn’t feel the need to lock your doors. Now, it is tortured by violence. One of the most unforgettable people we meet in Oxyana is an Oxy dealer (and addict) who says bluntly, “It’s an epidemic around here.”

  20. rikyrah says:

    King, Ellison spar over profiling
    By Steve Benen
    Mon Apr 29, 2013 8:00 AM EDT

    On “Meet the Press” yesterday, Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) repeated his call for law enforcement officials to profile Muslim Americans as possible terrorist suspects, arguing, “Most Muslims are outstanding people but the threat is coming from the Muslim community.” I found Rep. Keith Ellison’s (D-Minn.) response pretty compelling.

    “I’m an American, and I’m concerned about national safety, public safety, just like everyone is. But I think it’s ineffective law enforcement to go after a particular community. I think what we need to do is look at behavior and follow those leads where they would lead. So, like if Tamerlan Tsarnaev is evidencing dangerous behavior, by all means, go after him. But once you start saying we’re going to dragnet or surveil a community, what you do is you ignore dangerous threats that are not in that community and you go after people who don’t have anything to do with it. […]

    “[T]his ricin attack, for example, that’s an act of terrorism, that doesn’t come out of the Muslim community. We don’t have enough law enforcement resources to just go after one community.”

    The ricin letters strike me as an especially persuasive point — the suspect, who was arrested and taken into federal custody over the weekend, isn’t a Muslim. Profiling wouldn’t have done any good, and working from the assumption that the attempted terrorism had something to do with Islam would have sent law enforcement searching in the wrong direction.

  21. rikyrah says:

    Push to Require Online Sales Tax Divides the G.O.P.


    Published: April 28, 2013

    Legislation that would force Internet retailers to collect sales taxes from their customers has put antitax and small-government activists like Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform and the Heritage Foundation in an unusual position: they’re losing.

    For years, conservative Republican lawmakers have been influenced heavily by the antitax activists in Washington, who have dictated outcomes and become the arbiters of what is and is not a tax increase. But on the question of Internet taxation, their voices have begun to be drowned out by the pleas of struggling retailers back home who complain that their online competitors enjoy an unfair price advantage.

    Representative Scott Rigell, Republican of Virginia, calls them “the hardworking men and women who have mortgaged their homes to buy or to rent a little brick-and-mortar shop.”

    And each time Mr. Norquist and others in the antitax lobby take a loss, they start to seem more vulnerable, Republican lawmakers acknowledge, with ramifications for the continuing fights on the deficit and the shape of the tax code.

    “I have a lot of constituents saying to me, ‘Grover Norquist did not elect you,’ ” said Representative Steve Womack, Republican of Arkansas and the author of the Internet tax bill in the House. “Members that come to Washington and kowtow to special interests end up contributing to this very polarized government. These are tough decisions we have to make up here.”

    The legislation cleared its final procedural hurdle Thursday evening on a bipartisan Senate vote, 63 to 30. Final Senate passage is scheduled for May 6, and that tally is likely to be even more strongly in favor. Earlier test votes won as many as 75 yeses. And House action, once seemingly unthinkable, may be unstoppable.

  22. rikyrah says:

    Wealth Gap Among Races Widened Since Recession


    Published: April 28, 2013

    Millions of Americans suffered a loss of wealth during the recession and the sluggish recovery that followed. But the last half-decade has proved far worse for black and Hispanic families than for white families, starkly widening the already large gulf in wealth between non-Hispanic white Americans and most minority groups, according to a new study from the Urban Institute.

    It was already dismal,” Darrick Hamilton, a professor at the New School in New York, said of the wealth gap between black and white households. “It got even worse.”

    Given the dynamics of the housing recovery and the rebound in the stock market, the wealth gap might still be growing, experts said, further dimming the prospects for economic advancement for current and future generations of Americans from minority groups.

    The Urban Institute study found that the racial wealth gap yawned during the recession, even as the income gap between white Americans and nonwhite Americans remained stable. As of 2010, white families, on average, earned about $2 for every $1 that black and Hispanic families earned, a ratio that has remained roughly constant for the last 30 years. But when it comes to wealth — as measured by assets, like cash savings, homes and retirement accounts, minus debts, like mortgages and credit card balances — white families have far outpaced black and Hispanic ones. Before the recession, non-Hispanic white families, on average, were about four times as wealthy as nonwhite families, according to the Urban Institute’s analysis of Federal Reserve data. By 2010, whites were about six times as wealthy.

    The dollar value of that gap has grown, as well. By the most recent data, the average white family had about $632,000 in wealth, versus $98,000 for black families and $110,000 for Hispanic families.

    “The racial wealth gap is deeply rooted in our society,” said Caroline Ratcliffe, one of the authors of the Urban Institute study. “It’s here, it’s not going away, and we need to care about it.”

    Many experts consider the wealth gap to be more pernicious than the income gap, as it perpetuates from generation to generation and has a powerful effect on economic security and mobility. Young black people are much less likely than young white people to receive a large sum from their parents or other relatives to pay for college, start a business or make a down payment on a home, for instance. That, in turn, makes their wealth-building prospects shakier as they move into adulthood.

  23. rikyrah says:

    No Rich Child Left Behind


    Here’s a fact that may not surprise you: the children of the rich perform better in school, on average, than children from middle-class or poor families. Students growing up in richer families have better grades and higher standardized test scores, on average, than poorer students; they also have higher rates of participation in extracurricular activities and school leadership positions, higher graduation rates and higher rates of college enrollment and completion.

    Whether you think it deeply unjust, lamentable but inevitable, or obvious and unproblematic, this is hardly news. It is true in most societies and has been true in the United States for at least as long as we have thought to ask the question and had sufficient data to verify the answer.

    What is news is that in the United States over the last few decades these differences in educational success between high- and lower-income students have grown substantially.

    One way to see this is to look at the scores of rich and poor students on standardized math and reading tests over the last 50 years. When I did this using information from a dozen large national studies conducted between 1960 and 2010, I found that the rich-poor gap in test scores is about 40 percent larger now than it was 30 years ago.

    To make this trend concrete, consider two children, one from a family with income of $165,000 and one from a family with income of $15,000. These incomes are at the 90th and 10th percentiles of the income distribution nationally, meaning that 10 percent of children today grow up in families with incomes below $15,000 and 10 percent grow up in families with incomes above $165,000.

    In the 1980s, on an 800-point SAT-type test scale, the average difference in test scores between two such children would have been about 90 points; today it is 125 points. This is almost twice as large as the 70-point test score gap between white and black children. Family income is now a better predictor of children’s success in school than race.

  24. rikyrah says:

    Michael Jordan, Yvette Prieto married in lavish Fla. ceremony

    April 27, 2013 6:52PM

    Michael Jordan has finally married Yvette Prieto after applying for a marriage license in March.

    The all-time Bulls great, 50, and Prieto, 35, got married Saturday afternoon in Palm Beach, Fla., at the Bethesda-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church, “a massive Gothic revival building in the heart of the ritzy island,” The Miami Herald reported.

    About 2,000 guests attended the Jordan service — with singer Usher performing — and 1,500 attended a reception at the Bears Club, a Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course in Jupiter, Fla, where Jordan has built a $20 million, 37,000-plus-square-foot home, Radaronline reported. Other reports said a mere 500 guests were at the church service.

    “They’ve been planning for months and months,” quoted a source as saying. “He wanted to give Yvette everything she’s ever wanted.”

  25. rikyrah says:

    Illinois Lottery war puts state official under a microscope

    April 29, 2013 12:06AM

    Illinois Lottery Supt. Michael J. Jones | John H. White~Sun-Times

    A s the top state official overseeing the Illinois Lottery, records show, Michael J. Jones has:

    ◆ Tried to get the private company that runs the lottery to hire his daughter’s ballet company for a promotion.

    Hired a consultant who got more than $115,000 for four months of work assisting with Internet lottery sales — even though the private lottery manager oversees those sales. The same consultant made another $46,000 in that time working for Illinois Senate President John J. Cullerton (D-Chicago), who met her through Jones.

    ◆ Found himself facing questions raised by the lottery manager’s lawyer over free tickets to professional basketball, baseball and hockey games that he and other state employees got.

  26. rikyrah says:

    Just gonna say this…there are some schools, in some areas, that I would have said, um, ok, if the Payton parents hadn’t of wanted to go there. Wouldn’t have liked it, but woulda shrugged and said ok.

    Where Brooks is wouldn’t have given me any of those concerns. It has unique geography. A beautiful school with a sprawling campus that exists with only a handful of schools in the entire Chicago system. You can’t ‘just run into ‘ gangs on the Brooks campus. They’d actually have to drive up on the campus, and the police surrounding it wouldn’t have let that happen.

    So, I’m totally on the Brooks’ coach side on this.


    Brooks coach puts Payton on his do-not-play list

    April 28, 2013 12:54PM

    Brooks College Prep’s baseball coach said Sunday he doesn’t want to play Payton College Prep ever again after a group of Payton parents refused to send their kids to the Far South Side school for a night non-conference game, citing safety concerns.

    If Payton parents had just visited Brooks’ baseball field — or looked at an emailed photo of it that he sent to Payton’s coach — they would have seen that it sits within a safe, pastoral, 40-acre, fenced-in site, Brooks coach Bryan Street said Sunday

    Instead, eight parents from Payton who refused to let their kids travel to Brooks for a 7 p.m. Saturday night game “didn’t give us a chance,’’ Street told the Chicago Sun-Times on Sunday.

    “That’s what hurt me. . . . So we’re done with them. . . . I’ll never play them again,’’ Street said. “There’s plenty of teams out there who want to have night games with us. How many schools have fields with lights?

    “The only thing I’d say to parents is, `What are you teaching your kids when you sit down to the dinner table and Johnny says, `Why can’t we play at Brooks?’ “ Street said.

    The two teams are in different conferences, but both coaches agreed to put the game on their schedules about three months ago, Street said. At least one parent of every Brooks player was in the stands Saturday for the kickoff of the school’s night season when they got word that Payton was forfeiting, Street said.


    The Rev. Michael Pfleger of St. Sabina Church on Sunday noted that Brooks, like Payton, is an elite college prep high school that bases admissions on test scores. He called the action of the eight parents at Payton, in the city’s posh Gold Coast area, “shameful.’’

    “Parents should be embarrassed to take this stand. The saddest part of this is what they are teaching their children. This is how prejudice and bigotry and fear get planted,’’ Pfleger said.

  27. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone; It’s Time to Get Down! :-)

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