Friday Open Thread | Tony! Toni! Tone! | Throwback Week

tony-toni-tone1Tony! Toni! Toné! is an American soul/R&B group from Oakland, California, popular during the late 1980s and early to mid-1990s. During the band’s heyday, it was composed of Dwayne Wiggins on lead vocals and guitar, his brother Raphael Saadiq (born Charles Ray Wiggins) on lead vocals and bass, and their cousin Timothy Christian Riley on drums and keyboards. Other members were Elijah Baker, Carl Wheeler, Randall Wiggins, and Amar Khalil, who is the current lead singer of the group, and Antron Haile.

Originally, the band went by “Tony, Toni, Tone” as a joke, until they realized it had a nice ring to it.

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.
This entry was posted in Current Events, Music, News, Open Thread, Politics and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

65 Responses to Friday Open Thread | Tony! Toni! Tone! | Throwback Week

  1. rikyrah says:

    The Ultimate Ranking Of The Hottest Superman Stars

    In general, being Superman means that you’re also super duper hot. Can you guess who number one is?!

  2. rikyrah says:

    Alvin Ailey at Lincoln Center, first time in 13 years
    by Jocelyn Noveck, Associated Press | June 14, 2013 at 6:12 PM

    When Robert Battle first arrived at New York’s Lincoln Center years ago, he was a dance student with a scholarship to Juilliard. On his first day, he walked up to the building he thought was the school. It turned out to be the Metropolitan Opera House.

    This past week, Battle arrived at Lincoln Center in a far different capacity — as artistic director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, one of the most-loved dance companies in the world. He was bringing the company to its first engagement at Lincoln Center — one of the premier dance addresses in the world — in 13 years.

    “This time I’m pretty sure I’m in the right place,” Battle, always ready with a smile and a quip, told the opening-night audience Wednesday at the David H. Koch Theater. “I saw my name on the poster outside.”

    Battle, appointed two years ago, has the tricky job of projecting the gravitas needed to follow his famous predecessor, Judith Jamison, who held the job for more than two decades and carved a place in dance history, and at the same time injecting fresh life into the company, via new works and ideas.

    One of those new works had its world premiere Wednesday evening, a dance with strong African influences called “Four Corners” by choreographer Ronald K. Brown, set largely to music by Carl Hancock Rux. (The title refers to four angels standing on four corners of the Earth.) Battle says Brown’s longstanding ties with the company made him a natural choice to launch a new work for theLincoln Center gig; coming off a long national tour, the dancers had just three weeks to learn it.

    “Because of Ron’s relationship with the company and the amount of time we had, it made sense not to be starting the conversation fresh (with someone else),” Battle said in an interview this week. “His work is so deep and soulful and grounded. It sits well with the dancers’ style, and there’s also something about his spirit — soothing, energizing, intelligent and warm. But there’s also a smoldering tension in his work.”

    Standouts in the cast were two Ailey veterans: the deeply expressive Matthew Rushing, who began the piece alone, his arms undulating with striking force, and Linda Celeste Sims, in an African head wrap. Both dancers were clad in deep, vibrant purple. Nine dancers joined them, and the ensemble broke into oft-changing groupings.

  3. rikyrah says:

    A Rising Tide Lifts All Yachts

    Why class-based social policy doesn’t address African Americans’ problems

    Ta-Nehisi CoatesJun 14 2013, 9:55 AM ET


    To understand the profound consequences of segregation, consider this study by sociologist Patrick Sharkey — “Neighborhoods and The Mobility Gap” — which looks at how children fare when exposed to poverty. The answer, of course, is not well. Instead of trying to do a one-to-one match of African Americans and whites via income or wealth, the study considers African Americans and whites within the neighborhoods in which they live. The conclusions are generally not surprising:

    Among children born from 1955 through 1970, only 4 percent of whites were raised in neighborhoods with at least 20 percent poverty, compared to 62 percent of blacks. Three out of four white children were raised in neighborhoods with less than 10 percent poverty, compared to just 9 percent of blacks. Even more astonishingly, essentially no white children were raised in neighborhoods with at least 30 percent poverty, but three in ten blacks were.

    And more shockingly still, almost half (49 percent) of black children with family income in the top three quintiles lived in neighborhoods with at least 20 percent poverty, compared to only one percent of white children in those quintiles. These figures reveal that black children born from the mid 1950s to 1970 were surrounded by poverty to a degree that was virtually nonexistent for whites.

    This degree of racial inequality is not a remnant of the past. Two out of three black children born from 1985 through 2000 have been raised in neighborhoods with at least 20 percent poverty, compared to just 6 percent of whites. Only one out of ten blacks in the current generation has been raised in a neighborhood with less than 10 percent poverty, compared to six out of ten whites. Even today, thirty percent of black children experience a level of neighborhood poverty — a rate of 30 percent or more — unknown among white children

    When you take an even more holistic look at poverty, it gets much worse:

    Previous research has used a measure of neighborhood disadvantage that incorporates not only poverty rates, but unemployment rates, rates of welfare receipt and families headed by a single mother, levels of racial segregation, and the age distribution in the neighborhood to capture the multiple dimensions of disadvantage that may characterize a neighborhood.

    Figure 2 shows that using this more comprehensive measure broken down into categories representing low, medium, and high disadvantage, 84 percent of black children born from 1955 through 1970 were raised in “high” disadvantage neighborhoods, compared to just 5 percent of whites. Only 2 percent of blacks were raised in “low” disadvantage neighborhoods, compared to 45 percent of whites. The figures for contemporary children are similar.
    By this broader measure, blacks and whites inhabit such different neighborhoods that it is not possible to compare the economic outcomes of black and white children who grow up in similarly disadvantaged neighborhoods. However, there is enough overlap in the childhood neighborhood poverty rates of blacks and whites to consider the effect of concentrated poverty on economic mobility.

  4. rikyrah says:

    Frustrated `gang of eight’ senators give Marco Rubio an earful

    By Greg Sargent, Published: June 14, 2013 at 2:18 pmE-mail the writer

    submit to reddit

    Republican and Democratic senators in the “gang of eight” immigration reform group gave Marco Rubio an earful at a private meeting this week, telling him they were frustrated with his public embrace of overly conservative border security measures and his failure to adequately communicate with them over strategy, which they said was putting reform at risk, I’m told.

    The details of the private meeting on Wednesday – which were shared with me by a source familiar with the episode — shed new light on the delicate behind the scenes strategic calculations the gang of eight is making as it seeks to navigate its proposal past conservative opposition through the Senate. The meeting hints at the true nature of the collective kabuki that the gang of eight is engaged in as it seeks to create just enough space to the right for Republicans to embrace the bill — without moving it so far to the right that it alienates Democrats.

    Publicly, Senators have mostly remained mum as Rubio has flirted with conservative demands for more border security. But in the private meeting, Republican and Democratic senators in the gang of eight expressed “frustration” with Rubio over the manner in which he publicly embraced the John Cornyn amendment, which mandates hard border security “triggers” as a precondition for citizenship in a manner Dems find unacceptable, the source tells me.

    In particular, they complained that Rubio’s manner of endorsing the Cornyn plan had made it easier for other GOP Senators whose support is deemed gettable on the gang of eight compromise to instead latch on to something far more conservative (the Cornyn plan) that the rest of the gang will not support. As feared, uncommitted Republican Senators are beginning to clamber aboard the Cornyn “hard trigger” express.

  5. rikyrah says:

    Memo to conservatives: There is no `Hastert Rule’

    By Greg Sargent, Published: June 14, 2013 at 11:52 amE-mail the writer

    submit to reddit

    With immigration reform looming in the House, Roll Call reports that House conservatives are increasing pressure on Speaker John Boehner to not allow anything to pass the lower chamber if it requires a lot of Democratic votes to do so:

    An insurgent group of House Republicans is pushing to codify the “Hastert rule” to only allow bills with majority GOP support to come to the floor. [..]

    “Normally, the Hastert Rule is not that critical of a thing, but in this case, with something so important as immigration, it’s important that you have the people’s will reflected,” Rep. John Fleming, R-La., said. “And the Hastert rule would do a greater job to achieve that.”

    Rep. Matt Salmon, R-Ariz., is helping to lead the effort, circulating a petition among GOP lawmakers.

    “This is an effort led by a growing group of members in our Republican conference that want to ensure we fight for policies that the majority of our conference supports,” he said in a statement. “Codifying the Hastert Rule reinforces our resolve to consider legislation that doesn’t grow government and doesn’t cede legislative power to the minority party. I believe this will actually strengthen the hands of our Republican leadership by fostering a unified voice among our conference.”

    But guess what: There is no “Hastert Rule.” I know this because the author of the speech that gave rise to the idea of the ”Hastert Rule” told me so himself in a recent interview.

    GOP strategist John Feehery was a top aide to former Speaker Dennis Hastert. He wrote a 2004 speech for Hastert in which he detailed some of the key things he’d learned as Speaker. One of these was the desirability of moving on legislation that is supported by a “majority of the majority.” Over time, this evolved — no one knows exactly how – into the “Hastert Rule.”

    But Feehery told me in that interview that this was never the intention.

    “I never used the phrase `Hastert Rule,’” Feehery said. “I don’t know where it came from. This was always meant to be situational advice, never a hard-and-fast rule.”

  6. Ametia says:

    Rare formal review ordered for federal judge
    By Lise Olsen | June 12, 2013 | Updated: June 12, 2013 11:58pm

    Chief Justice John Roberts of the U.S. Supreme Court formally ordered on Wednesday that a rare public judicial misconduct complaint against 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Edith Jones be reviewed by officials in a different circuit — one based in the nation’s capital.
    “I have selected the Judicial Council of the District of Columbia Circuit to accept the transfer and to exercise the powers of a judicial council with respect to the identified complaint and any pending or new complaints relating to the same subject matter,” Roberts said in a letter addressed to the D.C. circuit’s chief judge that was posted on the 5th Circuit’s website.
    It is only one of a handful of times in U.S. history that a federal circuit judge has been the subject of a public judicial misconduct complaint and a formal disciplinary review. Normally such matters are secret under federal law.
    “This is a hopeful sign that (federal judges) are taking this seriously,” says a lawyer who signed the complaint, James C. Harrington of the Texas Civil Rights Project.

  7. rikyrah says:

    ohn miller @deaconmill

    It becomes more and more obvious that Snowden’s whole agenda is to damage US’s security, nothing to do with protecting rights.

    1:14 PM – 14 Jun 2013

  8. rikyrah says:

    PETER MAER ✔ @petermaercbs

    Michelle Obama & Sasha & Malia will visit Dublin next week. They’ll tour #Ireland’s Trinity College and see a River Dance performance.

    11:53 AM – 14 Jun 2013

  9. rikyrah says:





  10. rikyrah says:



    Goldenstar posted this in the earlier thread and I just had to repost! If THIS shit ain’t white privilege then I dont know what is. DAMN…how the HELL you just lie and never get caught? Let damn Terrell Jenkins try and get put on at McDonald’s just putting the wrong degree TITLE on his management application and see if he’s not told “sorry”….but this mofo can effin lie for a NATIONAL SECURITY GIG?!?!?!

    A source told ABC News Snowden also said he attended classes at Johns Hopkins on a campus in Columbia, Maryland. A spokeswoman for Johns Hopkins University said they have “no record” of Edward Snowden taking classes there.

    Instead, the Maryland Higher Education Commission said that someone named Ed Snowden actually took “MS Windows 2000 Systems Engineer w/ Exchange” at a for-profit entity known as Advanced Career Technologies from February 2002 to May 2002. The school offered career training in Columbia, Maryland, under the name “Computer Career Institute at Johns Hopkins University.” Hopkins ended its relationship with the company in 2009 and it shut down in 2012.

    In addition, Snowden did work towards a Master’s Degree at the University of Liverpool, taking an online Computer Security class in 2011.

    Kate Mizen, head of public relations for the University of Liverpool, said he studied there, but “he is not active in his studies and has not completed the program.”

    Snowden told people his studies had also taken him to Tokyo with the University of Maryland, according to an informed source, who provided information on the condition he not be identified. ABC News confirmed a student named Edward Snowden attended one term in the Asia Program at the University of Maryland University College, in the summer of 2009.–abc-news-topstories.html

  11. Ametia says:

    LOL Lil Sebastian driving the wingnuts crazy! Go boy!!!

  12. rikyrah says:

    Ken @Kennymack1971

    GOP House blocks Gitmo transfers… And the “left” ain’t gonna do shit but blame the President.

    11:44 AM – 14 Jun 2013

  13. rikyrah says:

    WARNING Libertarians: Civil Rights heroes r NOT discount coupons for media hogs who know zilch abt discrimination @ChrisLHayes @Alexwagner

  14. rikyrah says:

    john miller @deaconmill

    The GOP is a genuine threat to the general welfare of this country, but they wouldn’t be in a position to do harm if the media did its job.

    11:22 AM – 14 Jun 2013

  15. rikyrah says:

    Bobfr @Our4thEstate

    You repealed #GlassSteagall, failed at health care reform, passed #DADT & were impeached @BillClinton. We remember ->

    11:13 AM – 14 Jun 2013

  16. rikyrah says:

    Snowden and Greenwald Beginning to Self-Destruct; ‘The Nation’ and ‘Mother Jones’ Raise Questions

    By Bob Cesca · June 14,2013

    It’s now been more than a week since Glenn Greenwald reported that the National Security Agency attained “direct access” to servers owned by the various tech giants, Google, Facebook, Apple and so forth. And it’s been almost a week since other sites, now including Mother Jones, The Nation and Andrew Sullivan’s The Dish, began to notice significant issues with his reporting about PRISM.

    I should underscore once again how consequential the “direct access” line happens to be. The implication of “direct access” is clearly that, unbeknownst to the public, the NSA and, apparently, low level IT subcontractors, enjoyed back door access to proprietary server data, horked it at will and, according to Greenwald, did so potentially without a warrant. Rick Perlstein, in a post for The Nation, quoted Mark Jaquith of WordPress who observed that the “direct access” line is “the difference between a bombshell and a yawn of a story.” (I’m sure Perlstein and Jaquith have been inundated with “Obamabot apologist!” accusations for daring to aim an incredulous post in Greenwald’s direction.)

    On his Wednesday podcast, Sam Seder said in support of Greenwald and Snowden, “That guy [Snowden] revealed all of this to us.” But in terms of new news, the “direct access” description is arguably the only aspect of the PRISM item, other than the PRISM PowerPoint and the story of a guy named Edward Snowden who leaked it, that was unknown prior to last week’s reporting. And it’s not holding water under scrutiny. Furthermore, we’ve been aware of the NSA’s eavesdropping efforts, including email, for many years now. In fact, the Obama administration, only three months into its first term weeded out several instances of unwarranted NSA eavesdropping. Kurt Eichenwald covered the NSA’s counter-terrorism efforts in his bestselling book, 500 Days. But this was somehow flushed down the memory hole in lieu of hyperbole and kneejerk mass hysteria over Greenwald and others shouting “fire!” (or “Worse than Bush!”) in a virtual crowded theater.

    Indeed, Greenwald continues to shout “fire!” in the face of mounting concern (see my previous posts) over the veracity of his central scoop. Perlstein also quoted open-source expert Ken Fogel who referred to the use of “direct access” as an “epic botch.” Mother Jones‘ Kevin Drum wrote yesterday, “…the ‘direct access’ claim puzzled me from the start. Even with my modest technical background, I understood immediately that it didn’t make sense.” Wednesday night on Chris Hayes’ MSNBC show, Greenwald weaseled around the questions, saying essentially the same thing he’s said all week: that he summarized the line from the PRISM PowerPoint slide and therefore he’s didn’t botch the story.

  17. rikyrah says:

    Nerdy Wonka @NerdyWonka

    Pres. Obama wants immigration reform because a diverse country is a successful one. Jeb wants it because they’re a crucial source of labor.

    10:38 AM – 14 Jun 2013

  18. rikyrah says:

    Bob Cesca @bobcesca_go

    Just posted a new column about the NSA story and the growing implosion of its main characters.

    11:20 PM – 13 Jun 2013

    Zandar @ZandarVTS

    New #ZVTS Post: Time To Change The Story Again, Glenn?

    2:32 PM – 13 Jun 2013

  19. rikyrah says:

    Brewer’s Medicaid hardball pays off in Arizona
    By Steve Benen
    Fri Jun 14, 2013 9:15 AM EDT.

    In an unexpected turn of events, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) recently became one of the nation’s most enthusiastic proponents of Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, despite opposition from her Republican allies. In an even more unexpected development, her efforts paid off.

    Last month, Brewer was so determined to get her Republican-run state legislature to accept Medicaid expansion, she vowed to veto every bill approved by lawmakers on any subject until they agreed. When they tested her, the governor followed through on the threat.

    As a result, yesterday, Brewer got what she wanted.

  20. rikyrah says:

    Trent Franks laments ‘spin dryer’
    By Steve Benen

    Fri Jun 14, 2013 11:15 AM EDT

    Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) has received quite a bit of attention this week, first for pushing a needlessly punitive anti-abortion bill he knows can’t pass, then again for claiming, “The incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low.”

    What will he do for an encore? A couple of things, actually, starting with a round of self-pity with a group of activists who thrive on a sense of victimization.

    Rep. Trent Franks, the Arizona Republican under fire for saying the incidence of pregnancies resulting from rape is “very low,” rallied with social conservatives Thursday night in the Capitol.

    About 100 of the activists in town for the Faith and Freedom Coalition conference, organized by Ralph Reed, cheered the embattled congressman when he made a surprise, unannounced appearance at a reception in a Senate meeting room.

    “Sometimes we get a little discouraged,” Franks told them. “Believe me, I’ll tell you what, I’ve been through a spin dryer here in the last 48 hours and I wish I hadn’t assisted them so much to that end. But somehow in the long run, truth and time travel the same road. And we are very blessed that the Lord that we serve will prevail in the final analysis no matter what.”

    Yes, apparently we’re supposed to feel sorry for Trent Franks. The poor guy was subjected to the “spin dryer” for a few days, but he’s convinced the “truth” will prevail. (The truth is, Franks has no idea what he’s talking about, and his claims are factually untrue.)

    And when we’re done feeling pity for the Arizona congressman, we’re also supposed to feel compelled to give him some cash.


    Yes, Franks has begun fundraising off his self-inflicted wound.

  21. rikyrah says:

    Texas County Uses Electronic System To File Automatic Criminal Charges For Student Truancy, Complaint Alleges

    In Dallas County, Texas, students as young as 12 face criminal charges and arrest for “truancy” via an electronic system that automatically “pushes” cases to courts based on a student’s attendance record, according to a complaint filed with the Department of Justice. These students are required to represent themselves in these proceedings, and are not permitted the
    assistance of an attorney, advocate, or even their own parents, meaning they are “almost guaranteed a conviction and all the attendant consequences that file,” the complaint says.[….]

    Statewide, Texas changed its policy in 2001 to penalize disciplinary violations like truancy through the adult criminal court system, causing a “host of harms to children,” who are then funneled away from school and into the criminal justice system. But in Dallas County, the harms are particularly acute, as students are regularly charged with “truancy” for mere tardiness, absence due to medical problems, a critically ill parent, and school-imposed suspension. The complaint by several public interest organizations paints a picture of a “byzantine legal process resulting in increasingly punitive measures including arrest, handcuffing, and threats of jail time and detention.” Some of these conditions include:
    •Youth are coerced and cajoled into pleading “guilty,” even when they have valid excuses for school absences.
    •Families already facing economic hardship are assessed high fines and court costs, with additional fees added each month that they are unable to pay in full.
    •Children who miss a truancy court hearing are arrested at school, put into a police car, brought into the courtroom in handcuffs, and then charged an additional $50 to cover the arrest warrant fee.
    •Youth who fail to fully comply with truancy court orders are arrested in court, handcuffed, and transferred without due process to the “Truancy Enforcement Center,” an arm of the county’s juvenile system, where they may face detention.
    •Youth may be jailed once they turn 17 if they have not paid their fines and costs in full.
    •Students are routinely threatened with jail time even before they are old enough under Texas law to be subjected to this punishment.

    Parents and students interviewed by investigative outlet ProPublica said “enforcement of the program has turned school grounds into something like a police state, with guards rounding up students during ‘tardy sweeps,’ suspending them, then marking their absences as unexcused and reporting them to truancy court.”

    Student discipline has been subject to increasing criminalization nationwide, in what is know as the “school-to-prison pipeline,” which is applied disproportionately to minority students, and gives them an early introduction to the criminal justice system. As the complaint describes it, “Students as young as twelve years old are subjected to an adult criminal court process despite being charged with a status offense, a ‘crime’ only by virtue of the fact that it was committed by a child.” In Dallas County, the harm is exacerbated by the utter lack of required due process accompanying these allegations, according to the complaint. Not only are these students deprived of any representation; the county relies upon a computer to file charges without any determination by a human being that there is probable cause to believe these students violated the law.

  22. rikyrah says:

    Obama’s day: Father’s Day and basketball
    6:15 a.m. EDT June 14, 2013

    President Obama spends Friday looking forward to Father’s Day and honoring the champions of women’s pro basketball.

    At mid-day. Obama hosts a Father’s Day luncheon “to celebrate the importance of strong families and mentorship,” says the White House schedule.

    The president “will be joined by fathers and their children as well as students and leaders from the Becoming a Man (BAM) program at Hyde Park Academy in Chicago,” the White House added.

    Obama met members of the program during a visit to Chicago in February.

    Father’s Day is Sunday.

    This afternoon, Obama hosts a ceremony for the Indiana Fever, champions of the Women’s National Basketball Association.

    “This visit will also continue the tradition begun by the President of honoring sports teams for their efforts to give back to communities as part of their trip to Washington,” says the White House.

  23. rikyrah says:

    Michael Falcone ‏@michaelpfalcone30m
    Jeb Bush tells Faith & Freedom audience: “Immigrants are more fertile”

  24. rikyrah says:

    Snowden and Greenwald Beginning to Self-Destruct; ‘The Nation’ and ‘Mother Jones’ Raise Questions… …

    “Stop trying to distract everyone by talking about Snowden, when the real issue is the greatness of Glenn Greenwald!”

  25. rikyrah says:

    Have we reached Peak Greenwald? The tell will be whether MSM run unquestioningly with leaks he’s promising still to come

  26. rikyrah says:

    So #greenwald is using #snowden to scare broader public & make regular folks think gov is reading their email

  27. rikyrah says:

    ANALYSIS: Save Our Black Children From Drowning, Teach Them to Swim

    Jun 13, 2013

    By Michael H. Cottman, Black children are dying at a startling rate, not just by gunfire on the streets – but they are now six times more likely to drown in swimming pools than white children the same age.

    The statistics are deeply disturbing.

    According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s new pool safety report, African American and Hispanic children from five the 14 years old are at greater risk of drowning in a pool.

    Here are a few sobering highlights from CPSC report:

    • Children between the ages of 1 and 3 represented 67 percent of reported fatalities and 64 percent of injuries.
    • African American children between the ages of 5 and 14 are six times more likely to drown in pools than white and Hispanic children that age, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    • Data from USA Swimming indicate that 70 percent of African American children and 62 percent of Hispanic children cannot swim, making them more likely to drown.

    “Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death for children between the ages of 1 and 4 and minority children drown in pools at an alarming rate,” said CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum. “The lives of countless children can be saved this summer. Take simple safety steps today—teach all children to swim, put a fence around all pools, and always watch children in and around the water.”

    In August, CPSC will host a booth for the first time at the Tom Joyner Family Reunion in Orlando, Florida where CPSC representatives will distribute safety information to the community as well as work on safety outreach in the community.

    A few years ago, I wrote a column about black children drowning in pools across the country and I pleaded with black parents to teach their children how to swim. Sadly, the situation seems to be getting worse, more black children are drowning, and I find myself making the same plea again today.

  28. rikyrah says:

    Faces of Hope: Every Girl Needs a Dance with Her Dad

    Jun 13, 2013

    By Patrice Gaines,
    One evening each June, young girls in party dresses and shiny shoes arrive at a Richmond, Va. City jail for a date with their dads. They are escorted inside by the sheriff and met on a red carpet by their fathers, who for the occasion have been allowed to trade in their jumpsuits for suits and ties.

    The fathers, also sporting boutonnieres, place wrist corsages on the girls. There are hugs and kisses, photos, then dinner and finally, dancing. Strong arms embrace tender shoulders and the room is filled with the sense that something very important is taking place.

    The event, called “Dance of Their Own,” is organized by Camp Diva, a group that holds summer and after school programs that teach girls leadership and entrepreneurship and basic life skills. Angela Patton, director and co-founder of Camp Diva, said the girls of the organization came up with the idea for the event.

    As part of the program’s curriculum, girls study the difference between community service and real change and learn to become critical thinkers and leaders.

    “They identify problems and create a project to create the type of change they want to see,” said Patton.

    The girls have worked on issues such as animal rights and bullying. But about six years ago, said Patton, “They saw a lot of the social issues related to them came out of the fact they didn’t have fathers in their life.”

    So the girls created “Date with Dad Dinner and Dance,” which is held annually in March in Richmond.

    “The girls chose March because it’s Women’s History Month. They felt to be productive women, they needed fathers in their lives,” said Patton, who noted that the event started with 20 fathers and daughters and now draws over 500 people.

    In addition to that dinner, the March weekend is full of community activities that brings out fathers and their supporters.

    Darius Johnson has escorted his daughter Phoebe, now eight, to the community “Date with Dad Dinner and Dance” since she was three years old.

    “I like the idea of an event specifically geared to promote a relationship between a father and daughter,” said Johnson. “Being there and seeing the fathers and daughters is a powerful feeling. I always spend time with her, but that’s a special day for her.”

    The event had already become a major community affair when a couple of years ago Patton asked Camp Diva member Franiqua Davis, then 12, if she was going to attend. Franiqua said, “No.” Surprised, Patton asked why.

    Franiqua, now 14, recalls the conversation well.

    “I told her my father was incarcerated and it wouldn’t feel right without him.”

    Patton told her the program had “fill-in” fathers, male mentors from the community who escorted girls without fathers.

    “It wouldn’t feel right knowing I did not have my father with me for that special moment,” the young girl insisted.

    Franiqua, who her mother said was very shy before joining Camp Diva, admits she surprised herself by speaking up about something she used to never talk about. She was also surprised that Angela Patton understood. In fact, inspired by Franiqua, the “Dance of Their Own” event at the jail was created. Patton said since its beginning, she has taken girls ages five through 17 to the jail for the memorable evening.

    The fathers who participate are serving sentences for non-violent crimes like drug possession. The sheriff usually greets the girls and escorts them in, handing them off to their dads. This year the event was held on June 8. Patton said Gov. Bob McDonnell attended, leading the girls in and delivering a “Father’s Day message that was extremely supportive, not judgmental, and talked about giving second chances, co-parenting and re-entry.

    “Dressed in suits, the attitudes of these grown men change,” said Patton. “Then you can hear the girls oooing when they come in and see their fathers, especially those who may have never seen them in anything other than pants hanging below their waists.

    “A radio personality announces each father and daughter. The daughter is on the father’s arm and he pulls out her chair and makes sure she takes her seat.”

    During the night, there are activities aimed at getting father and daughter to talk to one another and to build memories. Each father and daughter receives a journal. The daughter writes on the first page of the father’s book and he writes on the first page of hers. Each gives a video message to the other also and the messages are incorporated in a personalized CD given to each girl and father later as a memento.

    “Leaving is always very emotional, but they leave with a memory and a sense of hope,” Patton said. “We always end in a circle after a Soul Train line.”

  29. Ametia says:

    I saw Bubba Clinton and Mayor “RAM” Emanuel partnering up on “Moaning Hoe” this morning.

  30. rikyrah says:

    Scott Walker’s enemies list
    By Steve Benen
    Fri Jun 14, 2013 10:35 AM EDT.

    Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R), poised to become the new Gov. Ultrasound, recently appointed a college student to the state university system’s board of regents, which ordinarily wouldn’t be especially interesting.

    Except, in this case, Walker withdrew the appointment soon after making it — and that’s proving to be quite interesting, indeed.

    Gov. Scott Walker has withdrawn his appointment of a University of Wisconsin-Platteville student to the UW System’s Board of Regents — a student who signed a petition seeking to remove the governor from office in a recall two years ago.

    “His nomination has been withdrawn,” Walker’s press secretary Tom Evenson confirmed Thursday morning. Evenson did not immediately respond to questions about the reason for the withdrawal.

    It was just Monday when the Republican governor named Joshua Inglett to the UW System Board of Regents, saying in a statement, “I know he will serve the UW System and his fellow students well.” And by all appearances, that confidence made a lot of sense — Inglett is a good student, studying engineering physics at UW-Platteville, and has served as a resident assistant in a dormitory.

    But a few days later, the governor’s office discovered that the student had signed an anti-Walker recall petition two years ago. All of a sudden, the invitation was revoked.

    I suppose it’s possible that Walker had some other hidden reason for rescinding the invitation a few days after announcing it, but on the surface, it certainly looks like the governor is keeping an enemies list

    State Sen. Fred Risser (D) told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “If signing a recall petition disqualifies a person, that means a million citizens are no longer eligible for public service in this administration. Risser added that the Republican governor has created the “most partisan government we’ve ever had in my experience.”

  31. rikyrah says:

    HUD Housing Study Reveals Blacks, Minorities Still Face Discrimination

    Jun 13, 2013

    By D.L. Chandler

    This week, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Urban Institute released data from a study, regarding housing and racial discrimination. The study suggests that African Americans, Hispanics, and Asians are less likely to learn about specialized housing programs than White buyers.

    The study, “Housing Discrimination Against Racial And Ethnic Minorities 2012,” found that real estate and rental housing agents do not display an equal amount of options when compared to Whites. Although HUD officials acknowledge that the discrimination of the past has been in steady decline, the insidious practice of denying Blacks and minorities access to properties is persisting.

    “Fewer minorities today may be getting the door slammed in their faces, but we continue to see evidence of housing discrimination that can limit a family’s housing, economic, and educational opportunities,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan in a press statement. “It’s clear we still have work to do to end housing discrimination once and for all.”

    “The forms of discrimination documented by this study are very difficult for victims to detect,” added Urban Institute’s Margery Turner. “To detect housing discrimination today, HUD and local fair housing organizations need to conduct proactive testing, especially in the sales market, where discrimination appears higher than in the rental market.”

    The Urban Institute conducted the study, using a “paired testing” method to collect data. Simply put, the researchers compared the results of White and minority home buyers in 28 major metropolitan areas, including the Washington Metropolitan region, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Cleveland, Boston, and Atlanta.

    The Institute used trained testers who are White, Black, Asian, and Hispanic to inquire about randomly selected properties in their testing region. The testers in the paired groupings matched in age, gender, family structure, and earnings.

    On paper, these testers were qualified buyers or renters and secretly recorded the treatment they received while in the field.

    It was found that African-American home buyers learned about the existence of 17 percent fewer homes and were shown 18 percent fewer properties. On the renters’ side, 11 percent fewer units were “advertised as available” while they were shown 4 percent less units than Whites.

  32. rikyrah says:

    Senate Democrats discuss need for ‘black agenda’
    Associated PressBy SUZANNE GAMBOA | Associated Press – 15 hrs ago..

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The sole Democratic African-American senator cast doubt on the need for a “black agenda” from the president and on its chances of passage in Congress during a Democratic forum with largely African-American reporters Wednesday.

    Massachusetts Sen. William “Mo” Cowan said the issues that black Americans are concerned about are the same as those causing white Americans concern, although to different degrees.

    “I think he has to stick with the agenda and what he thinks is going to move the country forward,” Cowan said referring to President Barack Obama. Cowan is temporarily filing the seat vacated by John Kerry who is now secretary of state. Republican Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina also is African-American.

    Since his election in 2008 as the first black president, Obama has been hounded by questions about how well his administration has addressed the needs of the black community.

    He has had some vocal detractors but also supporters, like Cowan.

    Cowan and other senators participating in the forum organized by the Democratic Steering Outreach Committee, agreed that if Obama had sent a package of legislation as a “black agenda,” its chance for passage would be slim.

    “It would not be dead on arrival in the Senate. It would be dead on arrival in the House,” said Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich.

    On the other hand, Obama has had some pieces of legislation that could positively impact black Americans, such as the Affordable Care Act intended to provide access to affordable health care, Cowan said.

  33. Ametia says:


    Tell Congress to Support Common Sense Gun Laws

  34. rikyrah says:

    theGrio treats Harlem teens to ‘Man of Steel’ screening

    by theGrio | June 13, 2013 at 5:54 PM

    Warner Brothers’ highly-anticipated superhero epic Man of Steel hits theaters this Friday and the movie studio presented theGrio with 20 tickets to an early screening in New York City.

    To tie into the theme of the latest Superman movie, which tells the story of a one-of-a-kind hero, Warner Bros. asked theGrio to invite deserving members of the local community who aspire to achieve greatness in their everyday lives.

    So theGrio invited students and faculty from Brotherhood/Sister Sol, a Harlem-based youth development organization that provides comprehensive and long-term support services for students ages 8 to 22.

    “We provide rites of passages, intensive environmental work projects, job training and college guidance among many other resources and activities,” Khary Lazarre-White, the organization’s founder, told theGrio.

    The organization — also often referred to as Bro/Sis — was founded in 1995, and has provided valuable resources to students in Harlem, and beyond, who usually come from lower-income families.

    “They’re all so deserving, I love those kids,” says Lorisse Bentine, a chapter leader at Bro/Sis. “I’m truly thankful to Warner Bros for giving us this opportunity. This is a big deal and the students are all very appreciative. This is the type of opportunity that they don’t get all the time from whey they come from.”

    The students arrived to the Times Square movie theater at 7 p.m. and were buzzing with excitement. They were all members of Bro/Sis’ comic and environmental club and had a strong interest in Superman and comic book heroes.

  35. rikyrah says:

    Former CIA chief of staff: Snowden is “delusional” and could be “aiding our enemies”
    By Jonathan Karl, Richard Coolidge, and Jordyn Phelps |

    A former CIA chief of staff says U.S. officials are concerned that NSA leaker Edward Snowden could be “aiding our enemies” by handing over sensitive U.S. intelligence to the Chinese government.

    Jeremy Bash told Politics Confidential that Snowden had access to “very sensitive information” in his job as a government contractor and could do “tremendous damage.” He said the government’s concern goes beyond the documents that were leaked – extending to the knowledge that Snowden still stores in his head.

    “If a foreign government learned everything that was in Edward Snowden’s brain, they would have a good window into the way we collect signals intelligence,” Bash said.

    “He has information in his head, he’s making threats, he’s on the loose,” Bash added. “We don’t know what other documents he copied, and we don’t know who else he’s talking to.”

    While Bash said that Snowden is “very dangerous,” he also describes him as “delusional.”

    Bash said some of Snowden’s allegations are almost certainly wrong, taking particular aim at his claim that he has the names of everyone in the U.S. intelligence community.

    “I didn’t have access to that when I was working for a head of an agency,” Bash said of his time as the chief of staff to then-CIA Director Leon Panetta. “And the head of the agency didn’t have it. It’s highly compartmented for exactly this reason, so that that information cannot fall into the hands of any one single individual.”

    As for Snowden’s claim that he could intercept any ordinary American citizen’s emails, passwords, phone records and credit cards, Bash said it was “totally wrong.”

    “It’s almost impossible for me to contemplate that he could,” Bash said. “The requests have to be documented. You can’t just turn on a switch and start surveilling any American that you want to. You’ve got to go through a lot of legal process.”

    For more of the interview with Bash, and to hear what he had to say about Hollywood’s portrayal of the NSA, check out this episode of Politics Confidential.

  36. rikyrah says:

    Six months after Newtown
    By Steve Benen
    Fri Jun 14, 2013 8:00 AM EDT.

    The massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary happened six months ago today, sparking a spirited national debate about how — and whether — to take steps to reduce gun violence. As Rachel explained on the show last night, the campaign thus far has seen mixed results.

    In Nevada, for example, the state legislature recently approved a proposal to require background checks on gun purchases, including private transactions, closing the gun-show loophole. A recent statewide poll showed 86% of Nevadans supporting the measure, including 78% of self-identified conservatives.

    Perhaps this could be the kind of common-sense measure that Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) could sign into law? Apparently not.

  37. rikyrah says:

    Whither White America?

    Jamelle Bouie

    June 13, 2013

    More thoughts on the future of white people.

    “Majority-minority” is an unusual term—by definition, minorities are no longer such if they’re in the majority—but it’s a convenient shorthand for what most people expect to happen in the United States over the next few decades. A growing population of nonwhites—driven by Asian and Latino immigration—will yield a country where most Americans have nonwhite heritage, thus “majority-minority.”

    The most recent analysis from the Census Bureau seems to bear this out. Last year was the first year that whites were a minority of all newborns, and based on current rates of growth, they’ll become a minority of the under–five set by next year, if not the end of this one. Overall, the government projects that within five years, minorities will compromise a majority of all Americans under the age of eighteen, something to keep in mind when trying to project future political support for both parties.

    There’s more: For the first time in more than a century, the number of deaths among white Americans exceeds the number of births. More than ten percent of the nation’s 3,143 counties are “majority-minority,” and in 13 states and the District of Columbia, the under–five population is already “majority-minority.” By 2043, the Census projects, America’s white majority will be gone.

    One fact stands out in all of this, however. The fastest growing group of Americans—by far—fall under the “multiracial category.” If past research is any indication, these Americans are likely the product of intermarriage betweens whites and Hispanics (the most common interracial pairing) or whites and Asians (the next most common one). While we identify them as nonwhite, we don’t know how they’ll identify themselves in the future.

    My hunch is that—as (certain groups of) Latinos and Asians integrate themselves into American life—a good number will identify themselves as white, with Hispanic or Asian heritage, in the same way that many white Americans point to their Irish or Italian backgrounds.

    Indeed, if there’s anything to take away from the history of white as a racial category, its that it’s flexible; who “counts” as white is fluid, and changes with social and economic circumstances. The only constant to “white” is that it isn’t “black.” Even now, a biracial person of African American heritage is most likely to be identified as simply “black.”

    Which gets to something I’ve argued in the past. While there’s no doubt the United States will become a place where people of Asian and Hispanic heritage are common, that’s not the same as saying it will become a “majority-minority” country. Given our history, and continued assimilation, intermarriage, and upward mobility among Latino and Asian Americans as a whole, there’s a good chance the United States will remain a “white” country, where “white” includes people of Hispanic and Asian heritage

    • Ametia says:

      and thus the GOP’s efforts to control women’s uteruses. (WHITE WOMEN’S) They could give a shit about black, brown or yellow babies dying.

  38. rikyrah says:

    House GOP to Hold ‘Special Conference’ On Immigration
    By Jonathan Strong

    June 13, 2013 4:19 PM

    House leadership just announced a “special conference” on immigration for July 10, offering members a closed-door session to talk about the GOP’s strategy on an issue that is deeply dividing the party.

    The move comes after Steve King had gathered the necessary signatures to force such a session and discussed his strategy on the issue with National Review Online. There has been increasing scrutiny on whether Speaker John Boehner would be willing to pass an immigration bill in violation of the so-called “Hastert rule,” which requires the support of the “majority of the majority.”

    Since successfully coming to agreement on a short-term debt-ceiling strategy at the January House Republican retreat in Williamsburg, Va., House leaders have increasingly sought to give rank-and-file members ample opportunity to provide input in such settings.

    Regarding whether King had forced the session, a leadership aide said the special conference had been in the works for “several weeks.”

  39. rikyrah says:

    Republicans Really, Really Don’t Care About Improving Healthcare
    —By Kevin Drum

    | Thu Jun. 13, 2013 11:29 AM PDT

    Ramesh Ponnuru argues today that Republicans are foolish for hanging their hats on the likelihood that Obamacare will die a fiery death in 2014, sweeping them into control of Congress and then, two years later, into the presidency. That won’t happen, he says. Instead, Obamacare will die a slow, painful, lingering death, and Republicans need to get busy now coming up with a replacement healthcare plan for when that happens. But what should it be?

    Congressional Republicans have not reached agreement on what should replace Obamacare, let alone a strategy for enacting that replacement. The best option for replacing Obamacare would be a plan that made it possible for almost everyone in the country to purchase catastrophic insurance (and possible for most people to buy insurance that goes beyond catastrophic coverage) by removing the obstacles that government policy puts in the way of that goal.

    A plan to do that would involve six key steps….

    I’ll spare you the six steps. It’s all the usual stuff—catastrophic coverage, high-risk pools, tax reform, etc.—and I think Paul Waldman’s response pretty much says what needs to be said:

    The biggest problem with this kind of appeal is that he will never, ever get anything beyond a tiny number of Republicans to invest any effort in coming up with a health-care plan. That would involve understanding a complex topic, weighing competing values and considerations against one another, and eventually getting behind something that will be something of a compromise. And let me say it again: They. Just. Don’t. Care.

    I don’t blame Ponnuru and others for trying to get conservatives to embrace some kind of healthcare plan. I think they’re kind of crazy to think their proposed plan would (a) work, (b) be politically attractive, or (c) be popular, but maybe that’s just my liberal bias talking. What’s not my liberal bias talking, however, is the plain fact that conservatives don’t care about expanding access to healthcare. As Waldman says, the evidence on this score is overwhelming. They opposed Medicare. They opposed CHIP. They’ve opposed every expansion of Medicaid ever. Only brutal strongarm tactics got them to support their own president’s prescription drug plan, despite the sure knowledge that killing it would likely lose them the White House the following year. And of course, they’ve opposed every Democratic attempt to pass universal healthcare legislation in the last century.

    During that same period, Republicans have never shown any interest in a plan of their own. They periodically put on a show whenever Democrats propose something that looks like it might have legs, but it’s purely defensive. When the threat goes away, so does the show. This has happened like clockwork for decades.

    There is no way—repeat: no way—to broaden access to healthcare without spending more money. That’s something Republicans have never been willing to do, and they’re less willing now than ever. Nor is there any way to tap dance around this. You can try, but you’ll get caught pretty quickly. There’s just no way to square this circle.

  40. rikyrah says:

    The line Rubio will not cross
    By Steve Benen

    Thu Jun 13, 2013 3:11 PM EDT

    Sen. Marco Rubio’s (R-Fla.) off-again, on-again support for comprehensive immigration reform is, at least for now, on track. Despite last week’s threats, the conservative Floridian has not betrayed his allies and has not walked away from the legislation he helped write.

    There is, however, one issue that would force the Republican senator to walk away.


    His line in the sand has nothing to do with border security or tax penalties or provisions related to learning English. Rather, Rubio just can’t tolerate gay rights.

    At issue, of course, is a provision from Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Pat Leahy (D-Vt.), who wants to allow U.S. citizens in long-term same-sex relationships to sponsor foreign partners for green cards. The measure was defeated in committee, but Leahy intends to introduce it again on the floor.

    The odds of success are poor — even Democrats who agree with Leahy fear derailing the bill — but Rubio wants to make it clear to his allies on the right that equal treatment for same-sex families would simply be a bridge too far.

    It’s always good to know where a policymaker’s true priorities lie.

  41. rikyrah says:

    Memo to Pres. Clinton: Who are you calling a “wuss”?

    By zizi2


    President Bill Clinton,

    Your recent statements about Pres. Barack Obama regarding military action in Syria have gotten my dander up. And so I break my own rule about only focusing my blogging energies on defeating Republicans.

    Just what is it, Mr. Clinton, about this President, Obama, that makes you hover around his presidency like an insufferable helicopter parent? That last word is what it is, right? You see him as a minor who requires your supervision, no? Just as in 2007/2008 you called him inexperienced , and angrily told the Late Senator Kennedy that in your “days, Obama would be fetching you coffee”, you just can’t give him space to govern in his own right, right? You see yourself as his chaperon? Armchair quarterback ?

    In the first month of the 1st term, as the economy was imploding and Pres Obama was carefully calibrating his words to both provide the unvarnished truth about the dire state of the economy but simultaneously reassure us that we would be able to make it out of the doldrums, you marched onto GMA and other stations to undercut him. You sat there and admonished the President for relaying too gloomy a picture about the economy. You wanted him to lie to us. Sugarcoat the reality of the financial crisis? Why? Because you cynically thought we couldn’t handle the truth?

    You poured cold water on the healthcare law’s chances of being upheld by the Supreme Court last year.

    You wrote a book accusing President Obama of being “weak” in the wake of the debt ceiling debacle in 2011, when he decided to focus like a laser on income inequality. You lambasted him for turning into an “occupy Wall street” class warrior.

    You two-footed Pres Obama’s campaign strategies when you inanely chastised him for pointing out the real life consequences of Bain’s business model on vulnerable working people. Your corporate coddling was bared for us all to see.

    Constructive criticism and suggestions are one thing. Welcome they are. But to endless treat this President as if he had two left feet and no clue how to lace up his shoes, is downright condescending and infantilizing of a man who has cleaned up the bulk of your messes both on the domestic and foreign policy fronts — Dismantling DADT, Weakening DOMA, Passing Financial regulation Dodd-Frank Law, Successful Healthcare law after Hillarycare fail, Rebuilding WINNING Democratic party coalition, NAFTA review & Worker protection rules for all new Trade Agreements, Osama bin Laden capture, National Security oversight,

    I lived through and closely studied your exploits during the disintegration of the former Yugoslavia and your dithering on Bosnia. Yet you have the chutzpah to accuse President Obama of risking becoming a “wuss” if he took a cautious approach to intervention in the Syrian mess?

    We remember your fatal indecisiveness during the Rwandan Genocide, the massacre in Sarajevo, and the delayed intervening in Kosovo. You cannot pull a fast one on us today. The spectacle of you and John McCain prancing around as war hawks on Syria is SICK!

    This is the result of your inaction in Rwanda in 1994

  42. rikyrah says:

    Unanimous court: companies can’t patent human genes
    By Steve Benen
    Thu Jun 13, 2013 2:02 PM EDT.

    One of the year’s most important Supreme Court cases turned out to be an easier than expected.

    The entirety of the ruling in Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics is online here (pdf).

    DNA, the ruling said, is “a product of nature and not patent eligible merely because it has been isolated.” On the other hand, artificial genetic material created in laboratories can be patented.

    NBC News’ Pete Williams and Erin McClam added that patient advocates expect the decision to increase competition and lower the cost of screenings for cancer risk and other genetic tests. Civil libertarians agree, with the ACLU noting that the court ruling has “lifted a major barrier to progress” in treating and preventing diseases

  43. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

Leave a Reply