Friday Open Thread | Black Opera Singers Week | Othalie Graham

Happy Friday, Everyone! Todays featured artist is Othalie Graham .

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Wiki:Othalie Graham is a Canadian dramatic soprano, whose operatic roles to date include the title roles of Puccini‘s Turandot, Verdi‘s Aida, StraussElektra and Leonora in Verdi‘s Il trovatore as well as a role in Tosca and the role of Odabella in Attila. She is a protégé of the legendary soprano Lois McDonall and began her professional opera career in October 2004.

Othalie Graham was born in Brampton, Ontario, Canada.[1] Her father, a Jamaican born Canadian, instilled in Graham a strong identification with Jamaican music and culture.[1] When Graham was young, her father sparked her interest in opera by taking her to see a Leontyne Price recital.[1] Her passion in opera grew while attending high school at the Etobicoke School of the Arts. While in Canada, Graham was awarded first place in the Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyriques Competition and received the coveted Jean Chalmers prize in the Canadian Music Competition.[2]

Canadian-American Soprano Othalie Graham is critically acclaimed throughout North America. As Turandot, the Boston Globe says her “timbre and power were thrilling – steely ring from top to bottom – and her path from imperiousness to passion was convincing.” Of a recent performance as Tosca, the San Francisco Chronicle praised her “high-powered blend of musical assurance and theatrical temperament. Singing the role for the first time, Graham displayed a potent and secure soprano that soared effortlessly through the role. Most impressive was her blend of delicacy and sheer muscle, which often combined forces within the space of a single phrase…her rendition of ‘Vissi d’arte’ was a heartbreaker.”

Emerging into the Wagnerian repertoire, Ms. Graham’s notable roles include Senta in Der Fliegender Holländer, Isolde in Tristan und Isolde, Brünnhilde and Sieglinde in Die Walküre, and Elisabeth in Tannhäuser. Other prominent roles include the title role in Elektra, Lady Macbeth in Macbeth, Leonora in Fidelio, Amelia in Un Ballo in Maschera, Leonora in La Forza del Destino, Ariane in Ariane et Barbe-Bleue, Serena in Porgy and Bess, and Santuzza in Cavalleria Rusticana.

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31 Responses to Friday Open Thread | Black Opera Singers Week | Othalie Graham

  1. rikyrah says:

    June 26, 2013 2:28 PM
    Housing Boom a Bust for First-Time Buyers

    By Anne Kim

    Three years ago, Matt Morgan launched his own interior design firm in Washington, D.C. At age 32, his business is thriving, with a roster of high-end homeowners among his clients, many of whom live in Washington’s toniest suburbs.

    Morgan himself, however, rents.

    He pays $2,500 a month for an apartment in D.C., has a credit score of 800, but still can’t qualify for a mortgage. His net income as a small business owner is deemed too low by lenders for the size of mortgage he would need in D.C’s white-hot housing market, where some one-bedroom condos are selling for upwards of $500,000. “Maybe some day when I’m married and have a double income I’ll start thinking about buying,” he says.

    Morgan is not alone among frustrated would-be homebuyers who are finding themselves shut out of the nascent housing recovery.

    While home sales, home prices and home construction are surging nationwide – existing home sales are at their highest level since November 2009 – first-time homebuyers are the one group that’s missing in action.

    First-time homebuyers accounted for just 28 percent of home sales in May, according to the National Association of Realtors – down from 34 percent in May 2012 and a historical average of about 40 percent. Moreover, says the Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies in a new report, the homeownership rate among 25 to 54 year olds is at its lowest since 1976.

    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/ten-miles-square/2013/06/housing_boom_a_bust_for_firstt045524.php

  2. rikyrah says:

    Michael Bloomberg: Police stop minorities ‘too little’, whites ‘too much’
    by Associated Press | June 28, 2013 at 3:33 PM

    NEW YORK (AP) — Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s remark that police “disproportionately stop whites too much and minorities too little,” as compared with suspects’ descriptions, is prompting criticism from police reform advocates and some mayoral candidates.

    Bloomberg made the comment Friday on WOR-AM. City lawmakers voted Thursday to make it easier to bring racial profiling claims against police.

    Eighty-seven percent of the hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers stopped, questioned and sometimes frisked in recent years were black or Hispanic. These groups comprise 54 percent of the city population.

    http://thegrio.com/2013/06/28/michael-bloomberg-police-stop-minorities-too-little-whites-too-much/

  3. rikyrah says:

    All #PaulaDeen merchandise now 3/5 off! #WhiteSale
    — allanbrauer (@allanbrauer) June 28, 2013

  4. rikyrah says:

    Take the Impossible “Literacy” Test Louisiana Gave Black Voters in the 1960s
    By Rebecca Onion
    Posted Friday, June 28, 2013, at 12:30 PM

    This week’s Supreme Court decision in Shelby County v. Holder overturned Section 4(b) of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which mandated federal oversight of changes in voting procedure in jurisdictions that have a history of using a “test or device” to impede enfranchisement. Here is one example of such a test, used in Louisiana in 1964.

    After the end of the Civil War, would-be black voters in the South faced an array of disproportionate barriers to enfranchisement. The literacy test—supposedly applicable to both white and black prospective voters who couldn’t prove a certain level of education but in actuality disproportionately administered to black voters—was a classic example of one of these barriers.

    The website of the Civil Rights Movement Veterans, which collects materials related to civil rights, hosts a few samples of actual literacy tests used in Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi during the 1950s and 1960s. In many cases, people working within the movement collected these in order to use them in voter education, which is how we ended up with this documentary evidence.

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_vault/2013/06/28/voting_rights_and_the_supreme_court_the_impossible_literacy_test_louisiana.html

  5. rikyrah says:

    Prosecutors Move To Seize Jesse Jackson, Jr.’s Homes

    Federal prosecutors asked for permission Friday to seize the homes of former Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL) and his wife, former Chicago Ald. Sandi Jackson, in addition to an IRA of Jackson’s with an almost $80,000 balance, the Chicago Tribune reported.

    According to the Tribune, prosecutors asked a judge in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to let them seize the Jacksons’ homes in both Chicago and Washington, D.C.’s DuPont Circle.

    Prosecutors also pointed out that Jackson had returned only 12 out of 24 items worth a total of $61,910, including furs and celebrity memorabilia, that he agreed to forfeit because they were purchased with campaign funds.

    Jackson Jr. pleaded guilty in February to misuing hundreds of thousands of dollars from his campaign accounts, while his wife pleaded guilty to filing false tax returns. The couple is scheduled to face sentencing next Wednesday.

    http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entry/prosecutors-move-to-seize-jesse-jackson-jr-s

  6. rikyrah says:

    LOVED this opera series.

    appreciated you highlighting these talented and beautiful Black women.

  7. rikyrah says:

    North Carolina Becomes First State To Eliminate Unemployment Benefits

    EMERY P. DALESIO- June 28, 2013, 10:54 AM

    RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — With changes to its unemployment law taking effect this weekend, North Carolina not only is cutting benefits for those who file new claims, it will become the first state disqualified from a federal compensation program for the long-term jobless.

    State officials adopted the package of benefit cuts and increased taxes for businesses in February, a plan designed to accelerate repayment of a $2.5 billion federal debt. Like many states, North Carolina had racked up the debt by borrowing from Washington after its unemployment fund was drained by jobless benefits during the Great Recession.

    The changes go into effect Sunday for North Carolina, which has the country’s fifth-worst jobless rate. The cuts on those who make unemployment claims on or after that day will disqualify the state from receiving federally funded Emergency Unemployment Compensation. That money kicks in after the state’s period of unemployment compensation — now shortened from up to six months to no more than five — runs out. The EUC program is available to long-term jobless in all states. But keeping the money flowing includes a requirement that states can’t cut average weekly benefits.

    Because North Carolina leaders cut average weekly benefits for new claims, about 170,000 workers whose state benefits expire this year will lose more than $700 million in EUC payments, the U.S. Labor Department said.

    Lee Creighton, 45, of Cary, said he’s been unemployed since October, and this is the last week for which he’ll get nearly $500 in unemployment aid. He said he was laid off from a position managing statisticians and writers amid the recession’s worst days in 2009 and has landed and lost a series of government and teaching jobs since then — work that paid less half as much. His parents help him buy groceries to get by.

    “I’m just not sure what I’m going to do,” said Creighton, who has a doctorate. “What are we to do? Is the state prepared to have this many people with no source of income?”

    With the changes to North Carolina law, state benefits will last three to five months — at the longer end when unemployment rates are higher. Qualifying for benefits becomes more difficult. Weekly payments for those collecting the current maximum benefit of $535 drop to $350, falling from the highest in the Southeast to comparable with neighboring states.

    Republican leaders who control the General Assembly sought an exception to the federal law two months before voting to change unemployment benefits. Congress last year allowed Pennsylvania, Indiana, Arkansas and Rhode Island to proceed with cuts to weekly benefits that their legislatures had approved for after the expected expiration of federal benefits, which later were extended.

    North Carolina’s request was never acted on.

    Other states this year cut unemployment benefits and restricted eligibility, but none included drops in weekly benefits, said George Wentworth of the National Employment Law Project, a worker-advocacy group.

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/north-carolina-becomes-first-state-to-eliminate-unemployment-benefits.php

  8. rikyrah says:

    La Noonan Just Won’t Let It Go
    By Charles P. Pierce
    at 12:15pm

    Our Lady Of The Dolphins has a death grip on the IRS dumbassery like it’s a glass containing the last Grey Goose in all of Christendom. She’s back at again, listening to the tiny cartoon canaries that flitter in and out of her ears, and flogging the deadest horse in all of Washington while onlookers gaze in horror and somebody sends for the Jaws Of Life and a Thorazine tablet the size of Seattle Slew.

    http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/peggy-noonan-cant-give-up-on-irs-scandal-062813?src=rss

  9. rikyrah says:

    How Immigration Reform Can Pass
    By Jonathan Chait

    The Senate just passed comprehensive immigration reform by a wide 68–32 margin. Now the bill heads to the House, or possibly nowhere. The only way to pass a bill is with Democrats supplying most of the votes. But John Boehner has promised conservatives he won’t let any bill lacking support from most Republicans come to a vote — which, if kept, would doom immigration reform. That’s what everybody, including me, has been saying.

    But it’s not completely true.

    There’s a way around this problem: the discharge petition. If 218 members of the House sign one, then it automatically comes to the House floor for a vote. Last December, Democrats in the House threatened a discharge petition to bring up a Senate bill extending the Bush tax cuts on income under $250,000 a year.

    House Democrats would have to do it again with the Senate immigration bill. Democrats only have 201 votes, so they’d need seventeen Republicans to join them, plus one for every Democrat who defects.

    Could it work? Well, discharge petitions are rare. But the circumstances here are rare, too. For the majority party, signing a discharge is an act of disloyalty against the leadership. It undermines the Speaker’s ability to control what comes to a vote.

    But Boehner gave every indication of wanting immigration reform to pass (as most GOP elites do). Now conservatives have pressured him into promising to keep the bill off the floor. But if Boehner wants the bill to pass, he wouldn’t want to punish the handful of Republicans who sign a petition.

    So then the question would be, could Democrats find seventeen House Republicans willing to endure the wrath of conservatives to sign a discharge petition? The threat would come from primary challenges from conservatives. On the other hand, there is a lot of pro-immigration money out there available to support any Republican facing such a challenge. And the other big advantage of a discharge petition is that Republicans wouldn’t need to save bipartisan face by rounding up a respectable number of their own party to support it. Just the bare minimum would do.

    Indeed, the House wouldn’t have to legislate at all — it could (and would have to) simply photocopy the Senate bill. No hearings, no negotiations — and since the House is bad at all those things, that’s another plus.

    Immigration reform is a very unusual circumstance. There’s a natural majority for it in the House, and the House leadership privately wants it to pass but is being hemmed in by activists. Right now, the discharge petition — normally a wild long shot — looks like the straightest line to a signed bill.

    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2013/06/how-immigration-reform-can-pass.html

  10. rikyrah says:

    The Senate’s Disappointing Immigration Vote Is 2006 All Over Again

    BY NATE COHN

    Today, the Senate voted for immigration reform by a seemingly overwhelming margin: 68-32. That might seem like a “B.F.D.” It’s not. We’ve been here before: In 2006, the Senate voted for immigration reform by a 62-32 margin. The House killed it.

    Today’s vote appears more impressive than the 2006 Senate vote. But back then, there were only 39 Democratic “yes” votes, compared to 52 today (independents excluded). As that implies, there was less Republican support for today’s bill than there was in 2006: Only 30 percent of Senate Republicans voted for today’s immigration bill, compared to 42 percent in 2006. Much of that decline is due to the loss of blue state Senate Republicans who were defeated in 2006 and 2008. But over the last seven years, just two Senate Republicans—Lamar Alexander and Orin Hatch—switched from “no” to “yes.”

    Today’s vote shows congressional support for immigration reform breaking along roughly the same lines as 2006, when it failed to attract a majority of Republicans in the House—despite the backing of a Republican president. And unlike the Senate, the House hasn’t become more Democratic since 2006. In fact, it’s gotten more conservative.

    http://www.newrepublic.com/article/113674/immigration-reform-2012-republicans-remain-opposed#

  11. rikyrah says:

    Dems have more questions for IRS audit author Russell George

    By Greg Sargent, Published: June 27, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    Congressional Democrats have sent a letter to House Republicans formally demanding that they call the author of the now-infamous audit on IRS targeting of conservative groups to come back to the Hill and testify under oath — where he’ll be pressed to explain why the audit failed to detail that progressive groups had also been targeted.

    The letter signed by every Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee – which was sent over by a source — ratchets up the stakes in the battle over the direction of the probe into IRS targeting, at a time when news outlets have cast doubt on claims that the targeting of conservative groups was politically motivated or had any ties to the White House.

    The letter — which was addressed to GOP Rep. Dave Camp, the chairman of Ways and Means — is designed to put pressure on Republicans to allow the author of the audit, Treasury Inspector General Russell George, to submit to more direct questioning from Dems in light of new revelations about the “Be On the Lookout” document, or BOLO, that indicates progressive groups seeking tax exempt status were also examined by the IRS. It reads:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2013/06/27/dems-have-more-questions-for-irs-audit-author-russell-george/

  12. rikyrah says:

    June 26, 2013 3:05 PM
    Doubling Down on the White Man’s Party

    By Ed Kilgore

    Many political observers from both sides of the partisan barricades are genuinely puzzled that so many congressional Republicans seem willing, even eager, to court “demographic disaster” by opposing comprehensive immigration reform and thus reinforcing their party’s unsavory image among Latinos and Asian-Americans, who have been trending Democratic heavily even as they make up a steadily increasing percentage of the electorate. It’s common to argue they are being willfully irrational, under pressure from their “base,” or are privately scheming to find some way to let immigration reform be enacted even if they don’t vote for it themselves.

    But it’s important to recognize that a lot of Republicans in and out of Congress don’t buy the basic premise that improved performance among minority voters is the best and only path to majority status. And a lot of them are reading, or are being influenced indirectly by, Sean Trende’s series of analytical columns at RealClearPolitics suggesting that the more obvious route to a Republican majority, at least over the next couple of decades, is to intensify the GOP’s appeal to white voters (see this Phyllis Schlafly comment last month for an example of the meme).

    Immediately after the 2012 elections, Trende began arguing that the big story in the Obama/Romney contest was a major drop-off in white voting:

    If we build in an estimate for the growth of the various voting-age populations over the past four years and assume 55 percent voter turnout, we find ourselves with about 8 million fewer white voters than we would expect given turnout in the 2008 elections and population growth.

    Had the same number of white voters cast ballots in 2012 as did in 2008, the 2012 electorate would have been about 74 percent white, 12 percent black, and 9 percent Latino (the same result occurs if you build in expectations for population growth among all these groups). In other words, the reason this electorate looked so different from the 2008 electorate is almost entirely attributable to white voters staying home. The other groups increased their vote, but by less than we would have expected simply from population growth

    Trende quickly threw water on the idea—to which a lot of conservative readers might have immediately gone—that these “missing white voters” were southern evangelicals “discouraged” by Romney’s alleged moderation or his obvious Mormonism. In a subsequent article, published late last week, he was much more specific:

    The drop in turnout occurs in a rough diagonal, stretching from northern Maine, across upstate New York (perhaps surprisingly, turnout in post-Sandy New York City dropped off relatively little), and down into New Mexico. Michigan and the non-swing state, non-Mormon Mountain West also stand out. Note also that turnout is surprisingly stable in the Deep South; Romney’s problem was not with the Republican base or evangelicals (who constituted a larger share of the electorate than they did in 2004).

    For those with long memories, this stands out as the heart of the “Perot coalition.” That coalition was strongest with secular, blue-collar, often rural voters who were turned off by Bill Clinton’s perceived liberalism and George H.W. Bush’s elitism. They were largely concentrated in the North and Mountain West: Perot’s worst 10 national showings occurred in Southern and border states. His best showings? Maine, Alaska, Utah, Idaho, Kansas, Nevada, Montana, Wyoming, Oregon and Minnesota.

    This profile of the “missing white voters” of 2012—which is suggestive rather than definitive, since the Perot “coalition” Trende’s talking about arose a full two decades ago—will smell like catnip to those proposing some sort of conservative “populist” makeover for the GOP. And it would also reinforce the idea that being opposed to immigration reform might (a) not really cost the GOP votes they had no realistic chance of winning anyway, and (b) appeal in a positive way to the “missing white voters” who are reflexively nativist.

    In his latest piece in the series, Trende tries to put his numbers together into a future scenario, as part of an argument that winning a higher percentage of Latino voters isn’t the exclusive GOP survival strategy it’s cracked up to be.

    I’m not in a position at this point to challenge Trende’s projections for the different elements of the electorate, and do think he makes some dubious assumptions (e.g., that African-American turnout drops in 2009 and 2010 mean lower black turnout numbers in future presidential elections when Barack Obama isn’t on the ballot). But since I’m less interested in Trende’s data than in the meme that may emerge from over-simplistic repetition of his bottom line by conservative gabbers with a big ax to grind, the important thing is that he projects Republicans could win presidential elections from 2016 through 2040 by gradually increasing its percentage of the white vote (which of course will have to turn out to an extent that it did not in 2012) even if minority voters tilt even more heavily to the Democrats than they do today.

    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/political-animal-a/2013_06/doubling_down_on_the_white_man045491.php

  13. rikyrah says:

    Wendy Davis and the new resistance against anti-abortion laws

    By Jamelle Bouie, Published: June 27, 2013 at 11:36 am

    In just eleven hours — the length of her filibuster on the floor of the Texas Senate — Wendy Davis went from obscurity as a Texas lawmaker to national fame as the symbol of resistance to harsh anti-abortion laws. A Democrat from Fort Worth, Davis killed a proposal that would place new restrictions on abortion clinics and ban the practice after 20 weeks.

    Her 11-hour filibuster — which lasted through Tuesday night — was one of the more exciting instances of legislative activity in recent memory. Under the rules of the chamber, Davis wasn’t allowed to sit, drink, use the bathroom, or lean against any furniture as she spoke. What’s more, she was required to speak on topics germane to the topic at hand — the Texas Senate does not allow lawmakers to simply read from a phonebook (though, if the bill in question dealt with phonebooks, it’s hard to see who would argue).

    Ultimately, Texas Republicans were able to end her filibuster with a series of procedural challenges, two hours before the midnight deadline to pass the bill. But a series of parliamentary questions from Democrats — as well as a rush of activity from protesters — managed to delay the legislative session long enough for the bill to die.

    The odds of it staying dead, however, are low. Governor Rick Perry has already called a new special legislative session to pass the abortion bill, and women’s rights groups — as well as Texas Democrats — are gearing up to oppose this effort as well. Davis herself has expressed interest in running statewide — and possibly challenging Republicans for control of the governorship. The timing is fortuitous; her seat is in danger of being gerrymandered away, thanks to the Supreme Court’s decision to gut the pre-clearance formula of the Voting Rights Act.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2013/06/27/wendy-davis-and-the-new-resistance-against-anti-abortion-laws/

  14. rikyrah says:

    No one notices the contrast of white on white
    By Steve Benen
    Fri Jun 28, 2013 11:55 AM EDT

    After the Senate approved comprehensive immigration reform yesterday, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) was asked whether his party could recover, electorally, if Republicans kill the legislation. McCain took a deep breath, shook his head, and said, “No.”

    It’s a fair assessment. The Republican Party’s base is older and overwhelmingly white in a country that’s growing more racially and ethnically diverse. The fastest growing segment of the voting population are Latinos, who are moving quickly and deliberately away from the GOP. “This is,” Rachel noted on the show last night, “an un-survivable situation for a national party.”

    At least, that’s what common sense would seem to suggest, though quite a few Republican voices disagree. None other than Karl Rove noted in his Wall Street Journal column today, “Some observers, including Phyllis Schlafly, Pat Buchanan and the Center for Immigration Studies, argue that if Republicans want to win back the White House, they should focus on white voters.”

    They’re not alone. As Ed Kilgore explained this week, Sean Trende has become the go-to conservative voice on the subject, writing piece after piece after piece arguing that the premise is flawed — if Republicans can increase their share of the white vote to, say, 70% or so, the party can remain electorally viable for a few more decades.

    How would the Republican Party increase its share of the white vote to 70%? I don’t know. In fact, the more I think about it, I’m not sure I want to know. But for Trende, that’s not really the point — if the GOP pulls that off, the demographic time bomb is put off until around 2040.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/06/28/19190525-no-one-notices-the-contrast-of-white-on-white?lite

  15. rikyrah says:

    The Morning Plum: GOP doesn’t need no stinkin’ makeover

    By Greg Sargent, Published: June 27, 2013 at 9:04 am

    In that much ballyhooed autopsy, Republican National Committee analysts repeatedly stressed the party’s need to develop a more tolerant and inclusive aura. It noted the GOP must strive to “expand and diversify the base of the Republican Party, both locally and nationally,” and must develop a “welcoming, inclusive message” to better appeal to younger voters and to remain competitive in national elections.

    But the emerging GOP response to the trio of major issues at the top of the news this morning — immigration, gay rights, and African American enfranchisement — suggests that in practice, most Republicans don’t really see the need for any such makeover.

    * On immigration, the RNC autopsy said that “if Hispanic Americans hear that the GOP doesn’t want them in the United States, they won’t pay attention to our next sentence.” But right now a counter argument of sorts is now gaining steam among Republican-aligned commentators — that it would be better politically for the GOP to sink immigration reform. See Sean Trende’s much discussed piece questioning the need to improve its performance among Latinos to remain competitive in presidential elections. Also see Bill Kristol’s piece this morning, which argues that Republicans must kill the Senate immigration bill, because the alternative “would divide and demoralize potential Republican voters” in 2014.

    * On gay rights, the RNC autopsy said that “for many younger voters,” issues involving “the treatment and the rights of gays” are a “gateway into whether the party is a place they want to be.” But while Republicans are unlikely to make gay marriage an issue in the 2014 elections, many are criticizing the Supreme Court decision and openly calling on states to hold the line against marriage equality, and some are even reintroducing the constitutional ban against gay marriage.

    Meanwhile, as the Fix team notes today, despite shifts in national opinion on marriage equality, no 2016 Republican candidate will dare being pro-gay marriage, because social and religious conservatives in the GOP primary electorate wouldn’t stand for it.

    * On African-American enfranchisement, the RNC autopsy said the GOP must build a “lasting relationship within the African American community.” But in the wake of the SCOTUS decision gutting a key provision in the Voting Rights Act that outraged many African Americans, many Republicans are privately admitting nothing will get done to fix the law in the GOP-controlled House. As Noah Rothman details, getting it wrong on the Voting Rights Act could damage the GOP further with minorities long term even as the Voting Rights decision will likely galvanize the Dem base.

    Politico surmises that all of this shows that the GOP “can’t seem to outrun the culture wars.” In other words, Republicans keep getting drawn back into battles over the preoccupations of the nativists, social and religious conservatives, and others who populate the base, preventing the party from evolving. But here’s my question: Are those pushing back on the makeover talk right? Does the GOP actually need to develop a more tolerant and inclusive aura? Or are the underlying structural facts about our politics such that none of this matters, particularly in the short term?

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2013/06/27/the-morning-plum-gop-doesnt-need-no-stinkin-makeover/

  16. rikyrah says:

    Activist: Paula Deen allegations just the tip of the iceberg

    Channel 2 Action News has learned about some new explosive allegations from an Atlanta civil rights activist against embattled celebrity chef Paula Deen.

    Marcus Coleman told Channel 2’s Tony Thomas workers in Deen’s restaurants are preparing another lawsuit claiming race and equality issues.

    This comes as more companies cut ties with the Georgia-based cook.

    Atlanta-based Home Depot, which sold Deen’s cookware online, pulled the merchandise off its website Thursday.

    Coleman said the initial allegations against Deen are just the tip of the iceberg.

    “It’s sad to see people fearful when they are truly being treated unfairly,” Coleman said.

    Coleman said he’s been meeting with as many as 20 current and former Paula Deen employees for 15 months.

    “(It’s) a rainbow of employees, many of them Caucasian,” he said.

    Coleman said they kept silent all this time waiting for a former manager’s lawsuit to begin. That lawsuit is what’s prompted the recent firestorm.

    The workers are still reportedly too scared to talk on camera but allowed Coleman to speak on their behalf. He said they complain of being passed over for promotions, pay inequities and other racial issues.

    “We’re talking about qualified workers with tenure that have been skipped over management positions because of their race,” Coleman said.

    Paula Deen has repeatedly apologized for using racist words and her sons back her up.

    http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/local/activist-paula-deen-allegations-just-tip-iceberg/nYYDW/

  17. Ametia says:

    Winnie Mandela thanking the media and the country for their interest and support.

  18. rikyrah says:

    If Barney Frank Could Have Settled One Case, He’d Have Taken Up VRA, Not Prop 8

    Former Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) said Thursday that if he had been empowered to decide one Supreme Court decision this week, he would have taken up the case on the 1965 Voting Rights Act and not the case on California’s statewide ban on same-sex marriage…

    Frank, who was the first sitting member of Congress to voluntarily come out of the closet, indicated that the “terrible decision killing the Voting Rights Act” carries more urgency than the marriage equality case.

    “Racial discrimination has been much worse [than discrimination against gays and lesbians] in this country and if I could have frankly picked one decision this week, I’ll be honest, it wouldn’t have been the gay marriage one,” Frank said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “I wish I could have reversed that terrible decision killing the Voting Rights Act because I think there are still serious issues there in democracy.”..

    http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entry/barney-frank-if-i-could-have-settled-one

  19. Ametia says:

    Seriously, I’m no trying to watch a movie titled “White House Down.”

  20. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

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