Wednesday Open Thread | African Music & Dance

Miriam Makeba(Musical instruments )Besides using the voice, which has been developed to use various techniques such as complex hard melisma and yodel, a wide array of musical instruments are used. African musical instruments include a wide range of drums, slit gongs, rattles, double bells, in addition to melodic instruments including string instruments ,different types of harps and harp-like instruments such as the Kora as well as fiddles), many kinds of xylophone and lamellophone such as the mbira, and different types of wind instrument like flutes and trumpets.

Drums used in African traditional music include talking drums, bougarabou and djembe in West Africa, water drums in Central and West Africa, and the different types of ngoma drums (or engoma) in Central and Southern Africa. Other percussion instruments include many rattles and shakers, such as the kosika (kashaka), rain stick, bells and wood sticks. Also, Africa has lots of other types of drums, and lots of flutes, and lots of stringed and wind instruments.

Mother AFRICA! There is no other continent on the planet that music and culture has not been derived from it. From chants, drumming, acapella, and tribal dance, join 3 ChicsPolitico as we explore the beauty, wonder, richness and SOUL of African music and dance.

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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52 Responses to Wednesday Open Thread | African Music & Dance

  1. rikyrah says:

    Bob Cesca @bobcesca_go

    Snowden is a Ron Paul libertarian. GG supported Citizens United. No wonder they’re more alarmed by government than corporate data mining.

    3:48 PM – 3 Jul 2013

  2. rikyrah says:

    Obama embraces ‘Africapitalism’: Tony Elumelu emerges as a key ally

    by Lola Adesioye | July 3, 2013 at 3:31 PM

    One of the African businessmen who featured prominently during President Barack Obama’s trip was 50-year-old Nigerian investor, philanthropist and businessman Tony Elumelu.

    Elumelu, who is one of Africa’s most well-known billionaires and part of a new generation of African businessmen with a new way of doing business, has a unique philosophical approach to business which many American CEO’s could do with paying attention to if they are not doing so already. President Barack Obama is certainly listening.

    “Africapitalism,” as he calls it, combines ethics and giving back to society with profits and business growth, emphasizing long-term goals rather than the kind of short-term thinking that gave rise to the economic crisis that the U.S. and Europe have been experiencing for the past few years.

    Elumelu believes that “Africapitalism,” in which the private sector uses its entrepreneurial zeal to create businesses that have a positive impact on society, can – and will — lift Africans out of poverty. He has already done it himself, having built the United Bank for Africa, of which he was CEO for several years, into the leading pan-African bank on the continent, creating many thousands of jobs and contributing to the economies and societies of the countries in which those banks now exist.

    He is also a strong believer in African self-reliance and self-sufficiency and is no fan of what he calls a ‘dependency syndrome’ which has kept Africa from moving forward. It is this type of visionary thinking that has led Elumelu to become one of the African business people that President Obama pays attention to.

    His diverse business interests — which range from agriculture business to medical services — and his philanthropic activities, channeled through his foundation, which focuses on supporting activities that will have a dynamic impact on society rather than just giving out money, have led to him being likened to an African version of Richard Branson.

  3. rikyrah says:

    Kerry Washington Marries Football Player Nnamdi Asomugha
    by Natalie FinnToday 1:33 PM PDT

    Not exactly a Scandal, but this is certainly a surprise!

    Kerry Washington married San Francisco 49ers cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha on June 24 in Blaine County, Idaho, E! News exclusively confirms.

    Because, you know, they were such a high-profile couple…?

    Well, according to sports gossip site, which was first to get wind of the happy news, Asomugha has been dating Vanity Fair’s August 2013 cover girl since last summer.

    The 31-year-old three-time Pro Bowl star played with the Oakland Raiders, who drafted him following his graduation from UC Berkeley in 2003, for eight seasons and the Philadelphia Eagles for two before signing with the 49ers in April. The bookish athlete is no stranger to showbiz, either, having scored acting gigs on The Game, Friday Night Lights and Leveragein recent years.

    Like his bride, Asomugha is also a dedicated activist and philanthropist and he has participated in the Clinton Global Initiative every year since 2009.

  4. Ametia says:

    Egypt’s top military officer announces President Mohamed Morsy is no longer the leader of the country.
    Gen. Abdel-Fatah El-Sisi said the head of the country’s constitutional court will serve as Egypt’s temporary president until a new constitution can be drawn up and new elections can be held.

  5. rikyrah says:

    James Gandolfini’s Will: Actor Leaves Bulk Of His Estate To Son

    07/03/13 09:19 AM ET EDT AP

    James Gandolfini has left the bulk of his estimated $70 million estate to his 13-year-old son and infant daughter.

    The late “Sopranos” star also left millions to his wife and relatives.

    The New York Post ( ) reports that a will dated Dec. 19 was filed Tuesday in Manhattan Surrogate’s Court.

    Gandolfini’s son, Michael, is to get the largest chunk through a trust set aside for him until he turns 21.

    He’ll split his father’s Italian property with his half-sister, 8-month-old Liliana, when she turns 25.

    The newspaper says the remainder of Gandolfini’s estate will be split among his wife, sisters and daughter.

    He left $200,000 each to his personal assistant and secretary.

    The will is the first and primary filing of his estate; more documents are expected to be filed.

    Gandolfini died June 19.

  6. rikyrah says:

    We can fix the problems with the ‘employer mandate,’ but the GOP won’t let it happen

    By Jamelle Bouie, Published: July 3, 2013 at 10:28 am

    Last night, the Obama administration announced that it would delay the “employer mandate” provision of the Affordable Care Act, which requires businesses of 50 employees or more to provide health insurance or face a penalty. The reason for the delay, as Sarah Kliff reports for The Post, is that the administration has heard “significant concerns from employers about the challenges of implementing it.”

    As far as policy is concerned, this isn’t a huge blow to the ACA. “The employer mandate is both weaker and less important than most people realize,” writes Jonathan Cohn for the New Republic. “For the most part, the experts say, employers will decide whether to offer coverage based largely on whether they think it helps retains employees.” It also lowers the deficit by a small amount, though many economists believe it’s harmful to the broader economy. Indeed, there’s a case for repealing the employer mandate altogether, given how little it matters to the full scheme of the law.

  7. rikyrah says:

    Why Delaying the Employer Mandate is Good Policy and Great Politics

    Wednesday, July 03, 2013 | Posted by Spandan C at 8:40 AM

    Yesterday’s White House announcement that the administration would be delaying the enforcement of the employer responsibility provision for a year sent Republicans thumping their chests, and it made the usual suspects on the “Left’s” self-proclaimed representatives on the media quite disappointed. Knew it, they said, of course Obama would sell out to big business.

    For those who refuse to learn, the lesson will always be lost. But Barack Obama doesn’t do things without thinking a hundred steps ahead. The move to delay the employer mandate was made for two reasons: policy and politics. On the policy count, it was the right call – both because of the administration’s effort to cut red tape (the reason they cited), their success at arresting health care costs, and because it serves the policy goal from a progressive standpoint to sever health insurance from employment. On politics, it was brilliant – not simply because it deprived Republicans of examples to pull in the middle of a heated election season but more significantly because the move would give Democrats breathing room to concentrate on the rewards of the law rather than the penalties.

    Warning: If you believe that all business is inherently evil and needs to be slapped with big penalties asap and beat up, then the following explanation won’t work for you. But if what you are looking for is a health care system to really work and for progressive ideas to advance, follow me.

    Let’s discuss policy first.

    The employer responsibility provision is meant to make medium and large businesses either provide quality coverage to their employees (who work at least 30 hours a week). The administration’s effort to cut red tape is sincere. They have already cut down the individual application for health insurance through the exchanges from 21 pages to 3 pages. Now, they want to simplify the rules so that business that already comply with the requirements and do the right thing do not have to go through a process about collecting and submitting information on each employee’s health coverage status. That sounds fair to me. Writes Valerie Jarrett:

    First, we are cutting red tape and simplifying the reporting process. We have heard the concern that the reporting called for under the law about each worker’s access to and enrollment in health insurance requires new data collection systems and coordination. So we plan to re-vamp and simplify the reporting process. Some of this detailed reporting may be unnecessary for businesses that more than meet the minimum standards in the law. We will convene employers, insurers, and experts to propose a smarter system and, in the interim, suspend reporting for 2014.
    Because a new system of reporting is being developed, the implementation of the reporting from January 1, 2014 may be too soon. The US Department of Treasury explains this further:

  8. rikyrah says:

    The Southern Strategy is still alive
    by smartypants

    Here’s how Kevin Phillips described the Southern Strategy in 1970.

    From now on, the Republicans are never going to get more than 10 to 20 percent of the Negro vote and they don’t need any more than that…The more Negroes who register as Democrats in the South, the sooner the Negrophobe whites will quit the Democrats and become Republicans. That’s where the votes are.

    And here’s Brit Hume’s revised version.

    Benjy Sarlin lays it out for us.

    After November’s stunning loss, an array of influential Republicans argued that immigration reform was the party’s best chance to claim Latino voters before they become permanent Democrats. But in a mere eight months, a counter-narrative has taken hold in conservative circles, nurtured by a shrewd group of anti-immigration lobbyists and Tea Party enthusiasts. The new argument sees immigration reform at best as a divisive distraction from the GOP’s real problem of countering “white flight” from the polls.

    And BooMan brings it home.

    What Mr. Sarlin doesn’t broach is the subject of how conservatives might be able to grab a higher percentage of whites and how they might go about driving up white turnout. The most obvious way is to pursue an us vs. them approach that alternatively praises whites as the true, patriotic Americans, and that demonizes non-whites as a drain on the nation’s resources.

    But as BooMan goes on to point out – they’ve already tried this…twice. And it didn’t work. Their fantasy is all based on the 2010 midterms when overall turnout was lower and fueled by the fear the tea party financiers rustled up based on a bad economy and the passage of Obamacare.

    This time they’re trying to gin up the racist/misogynist white vote by going after abortion, voting rights and immigration reform. Its a play based on desperation. I’m hoping it backfires enormously!

  9. rikyrah says:

    Michelle Obama: Sasha & Malia Are Briefed Like the President

    By Sandra Sobieraj Westfall

    07/03/2013 at 10:45 AM EDT

    You asked. She answered.

    After taking questions from PEOPLE readers, Michelle Obama revealed that before she and the First Family traveled to Africa, she prepared briefing books for daughters Sasha, 12, and Malia, 14, so they could get the most out of the international traveling experience.

    “We brief them like I’m briefed and like the President is briefed. They get a little packet of material so they understand the history of the country,” Mrs. Obama says in response to a question from Bernadette in Des Moines, Iowa, about how the First Lady prepares her daughters for what they’ll encounter in impoverished countries. She doesn’t shelter them from harsh realities: “I want my girls to get the entire feel of what it means to be in countries that are not the United States.”

    She adds, “I want my kids to be educated and have as much information as they can about the countries that they’re visiting.”,,20714070,00.html?xid=rss-topheadlines&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&

  10. rikyrah says:

    Koch brothers push GOP officials to sign anti-climate pledge
    By Steve Benen
    Wed Jul 3, 2013 11:45 AM EDT

    The Republican Party is certainly fond of its pledges. Grover Norquist, of course, has his infamous anti-tax pledge that has interfered with federal policymaking in recent decades, and in 2011, GOP presidential candidates were pushed to endorse an anti-gay pledge from the National Organization for Marriage.

    But as it turns out, there’s another pledge that’s taken root in Republican politics that’s received far less attention. The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer reports this week on the “No Climate Tax Pledge” pushed by Charles and David Koch.

    Starting in 2008, a year after the Supreme Court ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency could regulate greenhouse gasses as a form of pollution, accelerating possible Congressional action on climate change, the Koch-funded nonprofit group, Americans for Prosperity, devised the “No Climate Tax” pledge. It has been, according to the study, a component of a remarkably successful campaign to prevent lawmakers from addressing climate change. Two successive efforts to control greenhouse-gas emissions by implementing cap-and-trade energy bills died in the Senate, the latter of which was specifically targeted by A.F.P.’s pledge.

    By now, [411] current office holders nationwide have signed the pledge. Signatories include the entire Republican leadership in the House of Representatives, a third of the members of the House of Representatives as a whole, and a quarter of U.S. senators.

    The pledge, uncovered as part of a two-year study by the Investigative Reporting Workshop at American University, forces policymakers to oppose any legislation relating to climate change unless it is accompanied by an equivalent amount of tax cuts.”

    And what, pray tell, do tax cuts have to do with the climate crisis and effects of global warming? Nothing in particular, but the Koch brothers hope to make it impossible to pass any bills related to carbon emissions, and by demanding tax cuts, they’re effectively eliminating any credible policy options — as Mayer explained, “Since most solutions to the problem of greenhouse-gas emissions require costs to the polluters and the public, the pledge essentially commits those who sign to it to vote against nearly any meaningful bill regarding global warning, and acts as yet another roadblock to action.”

  11. rikyrah says:

    Rubio Plans To Introduce Texas-Style Abortion Ban In The Senate

    By Annie-Rose Strasser on Jul 3, 2013 at 10:20 am

    Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) is planning to introduce a bill in the Senate that would ban abortion after 20 weeks, the Weekly Standard reported on Wednesday. The bill is meant to mirror anti-abortion legislation passed last month by the House of Representatives.

    Under the plan reportedly being proposed by Rubio, a woman would be unable to get an abortion beyond 20 weeks gestation. And though the bill does include exceptions in cases of rape, incest, and if the life of the mother is at risk, it doesn’t appear to make exceptions if a woman’s health is at stake.

    The foundation for this legislation is a scientifically disputed idea that fetuses can feel pain after 20 weeks. It is the same motivation that has driven such bans at the state level. Most recently, Texas has taken the national spotlight for its proposed 20-week ban, and eight other states have passed ‘fetal pain’ laws.

    If Rubio really does move this bill forward, it would be more for the purposes of political showmanship than real policy-making. The bill doesn’t stand a chance of passing through the Democratically-controlled Senate. Additionally, there is a serious question about the constitutionality of a 20-week ban. Three of those eight states that have passed such bans had to put their laws on hold, since courts have contested their constitutionality.

  12. rikyrah says:

    An inner city neighborhood rallies around a long-neglected park

    […] Before Coleman arrived on the scene, the park was piled with nearly 30 feet of rubble that had evidently been hauled in from building and demolition projects elsewhere in the city. The city’s social problems were dropped off there and forgotten too, along with the poor and the homeless: The area that became the playground was known as a place where people would wander off to overdose.

    It was the kids’ idea to turn the little clearing into a playground.
    To get things started, they first had to collect more than 15,000
    hypodermic needles that had been dumped on the grounds, Coleman says. The trash went to legitimate landfills, and workers felled invasive trees. The project then attracted $400,000 in donations from Playworld Systems, Kompan, Playcore, and Surface America.

    Today, in addition to the playground, the park boasts a natural
    amphitheater with a performance stage, providing excellent sightlines for crowds of up to 1,000 people. There’s also a weekend farmers market. Both venues were pioneered by neighborhood children, quietly subverting a dystopian drug bazaar that Coleman said didn’t quite have a response prepared for little kids having fun.[….]

  13. rikyrah says:

    ok…where are the bike stations on the South and West Sides?


    Bikeshare rolls into Chi-Town, spreading transportation bliss

    [….] I rode a Divvy to all 68 of the new docking stations, and witnessed only a few problems, most of them minor. I also spoke to plenty of satisfied customers, and walked away from my 12-hour, 40-mile Odyssey mostly unscathed.[….] Divvy is part of several large-scale sustainable transportation initiatives in the works under Mayor Rahm Emanuel. These include a complete overhaul of the south branch Chicago Transit Authority’s Red Line, bus rapid transit projects, construction of 100 miles of protected and buffered bike lanes, and The Bloomingdale elevated greenway, which promises to put New York City’s High Line to shame.

    Chicago’s bikeshare program will eventually include 400 docking
    stations and 4,000 bikes, clunky-but-comfy three-speeds painted the powder-blue shade of the Chicago flag’s stripes. A $7 daily pass or $75 annual membership entitles users to an unlimited number of half-hour trips. To encourage turnaround, a $2 late fee applies for the next 30 minutes, with charges rising steeply for subsequent half hours. But it’s an open secret that you can keep a bike as long as you like without late fees, as long as you check it into a station every half hour.[….]

  14. rikyrah says:

    BET delves into the drama that is ‘Being Mary Jane’

    Bill Keveney, USA TODAY 6:16 p.m. EDT July 1, 2013

    Tuesday’s 90-minute film will set the stage for an eight-episode series in January.

    Mary Jane Paul is a successful, single black woman, but the woman who created her says there’s something universal about her that everyone will understand.

    “She’s human. That’s what I wanted to show, (that) this woman is a person that we all can relate to,” says Mara Brock Akil, the creator of Being Mary Jane, a BET movie airing Tuesday (10:30 p.m. ET/PT) that will become the cable network’s first original drama series with an eight-episode run due in January.

    Mary Jane (Gabrielle Union), who hosts her own show on the fifth-ranked cable news network, is a smart, beautiful 38-year-old who yearns for more, both professionally and personally.

    The character wants “a husband and a family and more job stability and a bit more freedom that comes with success,” Union says. “She’s flawed. She’s chasing perfection, and she’s falling dramatically short and dealing with the consequences of not having it all in every aspect of her life.”

    Mary Jane has a complicated relationship with her family, which includes a mother who’s ill, a brother who’s dealing pot and a pregnant niece. “She wants more independence for her family so she can go back to just being a daughter and sister as opposed to a caregiver, which changes the familial dynamic,” Union says.

  15. rikyrah says:

    Following legislative ambush, N.C. Senate approves abortion restrictions
    By Steve Benen
    Wed Jul 3, 2013 12:36 PM EDT.

    Last night, Republicans in North Carolina’s state Senate quickly moved to amend a Sharia law proposal with sweeping new limits on reproductive rights in the state, and this morning, they used their majority to pass the bill.

    Senators voted 29-12 to approve House Bill 695, which now returns to the House for a final vote on the changes.

    Shouts of “shame, shame, shame” rained down on the Senate after the vote. Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, who oversees the Senate, ordered police to clear people from the gallery before senators adjourned.

  16. rikyrah says:

    The Good That Is ObamaCare
    By utaustinliberal

    Information is power. ObamaCare works and is here to stay, so go out into the world and educate people. 2014 is around the corner and we have to be our own news and become even more proactive. Don’t let the media, so called progressive experts or the GOP demoralize you. Even if you only inform one person about the fantastic awesomeness that is ObamaCare, you have created a ripple effect because that person will tell another and another and another. Nobody said implementation of ObamaCare would be easy; Medicare and Social Security had a rough ride initially, but now? Try to mess with them negatively and watch the backlash explode. I will keep on providing tools that will help you disseminate facts and stop the lies. :D

  17. rikyrah says:

    Slideshow of the First Family’s trip to Africa – by Pete Souza

    The President And First Lady Travel To Africa

  18. rikyrah says:

    Things Are Going Down in Egypt

    by BooMan
    Wed Jul 3rd, 2013 at 09:19:25 AM EST

    I don’t know what is going to happen in Egypt today, but I suspect that the military is going to dislodge the democratically-elected government because it has lost too much support. It’s hard to say whether that is a good or a bad thing. The potentially good part of it is that the conflict is in large part about constitutional issues, and they need to get the constitution right if they are going to be a functioning democracy. The Muslim Brotherhood-led government tried to have things their way, but they only had the support of a bare-majority of the people. That’s enough to win an election, but not enough to gain a consensus about a constitution.
    The potentially bad part is that there is no guarantee that the democratic process will survive a military coup. And the Muslim Brotherhood feels like their legitimate electoral victory is being stolen from them and a lot of their leaders are calling for martyrdom (suicide) operations. No one wants to see a protracted civil war in Egypt.

    What’s unambiguously a good thing is that the Muslim Brotherhood has lost legitimacy. As an anti-Mubarak organization, it had legitimacy. But once allowed to wield power, the people of Egypt thought that they were too religiously conservative and rejected them. This is a process we would like to see throughout the Muslim world, where Islamism has gained support as the main opposition to tyrannical governments that are often supported by the U.S. government.

    We can benefit in several ways. First, we benefit when the governments we are supporting are democratic in nature. We benefit when the people are focused on their own political battles rather than on our role in denying them political options. We benefit when the more radical religious groups lose legitimacy and support.

    But the situation in Egypt is too fluid and chaotic to make firm predictions about how it will affect our interests.

  19. rikyrah says:

    Hi All.

    I’m asking for you to keep Peanut’s Mother in your prayers. She’s going through some difficult times right now.

  20. Ametia says:

    Brit and Bill’s longing and clinging to white supremacy.

  21. Ametia says:


    ADP National Employment Report Shows 188,000 Jobs Added in June – See more at:

    Private-sector employment increased by 188,000 from May to June, on a seasonally adjusted basis. Highlights Small businesses (1-49 employees) +84,000 Medium businesses (50-499 employees) +55,000 Large businesses (500 or more employees) +49,000 –

  22. Ametia says:

    July 3, 2013, 6:07 AM
    Focus turns to what went wrong in deadly Ariz. blaze

    PRESCOTT, Ariz. Three days after 19 firefighters perished in a wildfire, questions over what exactly went wrong loomed largest.

    Investigators from across the U.S. will be working this week to try to answer that, examining radio logs, the site of the tragedy, and weather reports. They’ll also surely be talking to the sole survivor of the blaze, who warned his fellow firefighters and friends when he saw the wildfire switch directions and head straight for them.

    In the nation’s biggest loss of firefighters since 9/11, violent wind gusts on Sunday turned what was believed to be a relatively manageable lightning-ignited forest fire in the town of Yarnell into a death trap that left no escape for the team of Hotshots, most of them in the prime of their lives.

    Profiles of Arizona’s fallen Hotshots
    Hotshot’s wife: Remember them as heroes
    Fire shelters fail to protect elite firecrew from Ariz. blaze

    Only one member of the crew, identified Tuesday as 21-year-old Brendan McDonough, survived; he was on a hilltop serving as a lookout and warned his crew that the weather was changing rapidly, and that the fire had changed directions because of strong, erratic winds. McDonough made it to safety, while the rest were overtaken by the blaze.

  23. rikyrah says:

    The Darko Ages

    How magical thinking and racism produced the NBA’s most notorious draft bust.
    By Jack Hamilton|Posted Thursday, June 27, 2013, at 8:45 AM

    Ten years ago, a young man destined to transform the sport of basketball was drafted into the NBA. He hadn’t played a single minute in college and had appeared on the cover of a national magazine before turning 18. “He’s going to own the game,” one scout declared.

    Darko Milicic did not own the game. A decade after he was chosen with the No. 2 pick in the 2003 NBA Draft, he’s not even playing in the NBA. The only player drafted above him, LeBron James, is celebrating his fourth league MVP and second NBA title; the three taken after him—Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, and Dwyane Wade—are likely bound for the Hall of Fame. Draft “busts” are a beloved sports talk topic, rich with the schadenfreude that comes when a bunch of people making a lot of money turn out to be terrible at their jobs. The common bust narrative decontextualizes its subject, with the bust seen as an isolated mistake as opposed to what it more often is—the product of widespread and deeply misbegotten consensus. The Detroit Pistons drafted Darko second overall because pretty much everyone would have drafted Darko second overall. In 2003, a scout told Sports Illustrated that one-fifth of NBA teams thought the young Serb would be better than LeBron himself.

  24. rikyrah says:

    The war on voting in a post-VRA world
    By Steve Benen
    Tue Jul 2, 2013 4:18 PM EDT

    In North Carolina, thanks to Republican gains in the 2010 state elections, the congressional district lines already drawn in such a comically gerrymandered way, the state’s delegation bears little resemblance to the actual wishes of voters. In 2012, for example, a majority of North Carolinians voted for Democratic congressional candidates, and yet, only 4 of the state’s 13 members of the U.S. House are Democrats.

    But as the Los Angeles Times reports today, that’s apparently not quite good enough for GOP state policymakers. In a story Rachel has covered on the show, now that the district lines have been gerrymandered to ensure a Republican advantage regardless of voters’ wishes, the next step is to restrict voters’ access to their own democracy.

    The GOP chairman of the state Senate rules committee, Sen. Tom Apodaca, said he would move quickly to pass a voter ID law that Republicans say would bolster the integrity of the balloting process. GOP leaders also began engineering an end to the state’s early voting, Sunday voting and same-day registration provisions, all popular with black voters. Civil rights groups say the moves are designed to restrict poll access by blacks, who vote reliably Democratic

    Up until about a week ago, this would ordinarily be the point at which voting-rights advocates, civil rights activists, and anyone concerned with voter access and election fairness would say, “Whew, it’s a good thing the Voting Rights Act still exists. There’s no way these North Carolina’s measures will pass muster.”

    But all of that changed rather abruptly when five justices on the U.S. Supreme Court gutting the Voting Rights Act and gave GOP policymakers in North Carolina and elsewhere a green light to start restricting Americans’ access to the ballot box. It is open season on voting rights and Republicans throughout the South are seizing the opportunity.

  25. rikyrah says:

    NC Senator Nesbitt busts GOP for sneak attack in war on women
    By Will Femia
    Tue Jul 2, 2013 9:48 PM EDT.

    As Rachel reported tonight, Republicans in the North Carolina are trying to sneak a set of anti-abortion measures into a bill ostensibly about Sharia Law in family courts. Below is North Carolina State Senator Martin Nesbitt’s full reaction to the revelation of what his Republican colleagues are up to. Nesbitt said, in part:

    We have a state full of people out there that don’t even know we’re doing this. And let me tell you what I think you’re doing to them.

    I think the provision having to do with ambulatory care centers is going to do away with health care as we know it for women who need help. And there are going to be more of them, not less of them. When you force these things in the ambulatory surgical centers, planned parenthood has four centers in the state — none of them comply. Out of business. Nobody told us that in committee. I scurried around and got that information myself.

    That crowd that is going to descend on you when you get back down here is going to know it. It is a frontal attack on these facilities that offer women’s health care to women — things they need, mammograms, etc.

  26. rikyrah says:

    Jobless claims improve, exceed expectations
    By Steve Benen
    Wed Jul 3, 2013 9:25 AM EDT.

    Ordinarily, the report on initial unemployment claims is released on Thursday, but given this week’s holiday, the good news came a day early this morning.

    The number of people applying for new unemployment benefits was little changed last week, falling by 5,000 to 343,000. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch expected claims to total 346,000 in the week ended June 29, on a seasonally adjusted basis. The average of new claims over the past month, a more reliable gauge than the volatile weekly number, edged down by 750 to 345,500, the U.S. Labor Department said Wednesday. That’s the lowest level in six weeks.

  27. rikyrah says:

    Key ‘Obamacare’ provision delayed until 2015
    By Steve Benen
    Wed Jul 3, 2013 8:52 AM EDT

    News from the Obama administration about the employer mandate in the Affordable Care Act caused quite a stir last night, but it’s worth pausing to appreciate the extent of the impact.

    In a significant setback for President Obama’s signature domestic initiative, the administration on Tuesday abruptly announced a one-year delay, until 2015, in his health care law’s mandate that larger employers provide coverage for their workers or pay penalties. The decision postpones the effective date beyond next year’s midterm elections. […]

    While the postponement technically does not affect other central provisions of the law — in particular those establishing health insurance marketplaces in the states, known as exchanges, where uninsured Americans can shop for policies — it threatens to throw into disarray the administration’s effort to put those provisions into effect by Jan. 1.

    Well, maybe. Let’s back up and recap what this policy is all about, because I think some of the reactions to the one-year delay have been a little excessive. Maybe it’ll be easier to tackle this in Q&A form.

  28. rikyrah says:

    North Carolina ‘trying to pull a Texas’ on reproductive rights
    By Steve Benen
    Wed Jul 3, 2013 8:00 AM EDT

    Following up on our coverage from last night, developments in North Carolina unfolded quickly and by surprise as state Republican lawmakers launched a new effort to restrict reproductive rights in the state. They did so under highly unusual circumstances.

    The state Senate was poised to consider a foolish measure, predicated on a common far-right conspiracy theory, intended to undermine Sharia law in North Carolina courts. Late in the afternoon, however, Republican state senators launched a legislative ambush, quickly amending the Sharia law bill to include sweeping new anti-abortion measures, intended to close clinics and prevent Planned Parenthood from providing legal abortion services in the state.

    “They’re doing it quietly on Fourth of July weekend because they’ve seen what’s going on in Texas and know that women will turn out,” Melissa Reed, vice president of Public Policy for Planned Parenthood Health Systems said, referring to the protests surrounding a similar bill in Texas. She said Planned Parenthood and other abortion rights advocates had no idea the measure would be taken up Tuesday.

    NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina executive director Suzanne Buckley added, “It seems to me that they’re trying to pass under cover of darkness legislation that would not otherwise be passed. They’re trying to pull a Texas.”

  29. rikyrah says:

    Media Tries to Blame the Color of Obama’s Skin for GOP’s Congressional Failure

    By: Sarah Jones
    Jul. 2nd, 2013

    When explaining why the 113th Congress is an absolute historic fail legislatively, NBC first quoted the very conservative John Samples saying the fail comes from how divided we are, and then proceeded to blame the re-election of the first African-American President for the “divided country”, among other social changes.

    This narrative sounds very Republican, seeing as it lets Republicans off of the hook for doing their job. So, somehow Obama’s skin color is partly responsible for turning Republican lawmakers into inept clowns who might be funny if only they weren’t so dangerously extreme.

    Instead of admitting the reality that Republicans are focusing on investigating Obama for fictional scandals rather than legislating — as they were directed to do by the conservatives at Heritage Action, Republicans blame the lack of action on the “divided country”.

    John Samples of the libertarian Cato Institute instructed NBC, “The country is pretty divided in a lot of different ways, and [Congress] not doing things reflects those divisions.”


    Wait, okay, how does Obama’s skin color play into House Republicans’ refusal to engage in the budget reconciliation process? How did the SCOTUS decision regarding gay marriage, which just happened last week, keep Republicans from passing a jobs bill? How are minorities’ growing numbers keeping Republicans from addressing our crumbling infrastructure? Are jobs and the economy only Democratic, liberal concerns now? Or is NBC admitting that if Republicans can’t impose their cultural problems on the rest of the country, they will refuse to legislate?

    It’s fine to suggest that the “divide” is responsible for a failure on social issues, but in fact, Republicans in the House have excelled in jamming through extreme social issue legislation. The fact that this legislation is so extreme due to the gerrymandering of House districts as to never get passed by the Senate is not the fault of a “divided” nation, but rather, the fault of a party chock full of fringe extremists who are out of touch with the rest of the country.

    No, Congress’ failure can’t reasonably be blamed on the color of Obama’s skin, or minorities, or gay marriage.

    The Republican narrative of a “divided country” is one of their own making. It is Republicans who stirred up racial animosity on purpose as a get out the vote tactic, along with ginning up hatred against gays and immigrants with brown skin. It is Republicans who proposed a record number of bills to steal liberty from women and put a concerted effort into keeping minorities from voting. These actions created a divide; the divide was not inevitable. Republicans are furthering the divide with fake scandals that deliberately and desperately feed into the narrative they need in order to get anyone to vote for them.

    Because you see, the Republican record sucks. If people knew what they were getting when they voted R (15 laws in 6 months, not one of them a jobs bill), they would never do it. But they will vote against the black guy, the gays, etc. They will vote for white supremacy and resentment.

  30. rikyrah says:

    Obama’s Brilliant Move Deals A Blow To The GOP’s 2014 Hopes

    By: Jason Easley
    Jul. 2nd, 2013

    With one brilliant political masterstroke, the Obama administration pulled the rug out from Republicans who were hoping to run against Obamacare in 2014.

    An innocent looking blog post at the Department of the Treasury has turned the GOP’s strategy for the 2014 election on its ear. Mark J. Mazur wrote, “The Administration is announcing that it will provide an additional year before the ACA mandatory employer and insurer reporting requirements begin. This is designed to meet two goals. First, it will allow us to consider ways to simplify the new reporting requirements consistent with the law. Second, it will provide time to adapt health coverage and reporting systems while employers are moving toward making health coverage affordable and accessible for their employees. Within the next week, we will publish formal guidance describing this transition.”

    Republicans have been telegraphing since they lost the 2012 election that they intended to run against the employer mandate. John Boehner mentions Obamacare every week when he meets with the media for a reason. Republicans at both the congressional and state level can’t run on their economic records. They can’t run on their legislative records. Republicans were planning on making 2014 a replay of 2010 by focusing on Obamacare, but the White House kneecapped them with an announcement that nobody expected.

    Republican former CBO director, Douglas Holtz-Eakin explained why this announcement was both a stunner and deviously brilliant, “Democrats no longer face the immediate specter of running against the fallout from a heavy regulatory imposition on employers across the land. Explaining away the mandate was going to be a big political lift; having the White House airbrush it from the landscape is way better. It helps with ObamaCare in other ways as well. The administration was flailing to find high-profile allies (e.g., the National Football League) to advertise the wonders of ObamaCare. In a single masterstroke it has given every company a reason to explain its existence (“don’t worry, you’ll be fine in the exchanges”) and created a de facto advertising campaign of enormous scale and reach. Deviously brilliant.”

  31. rikyrah says:

    An Early Warning About Hernandez
    Before the NFL, a Personality Test .

    Shortly before the 2010 NFL Draft, a scouting service that prepares confidential psychological profiles of players for NFL teams found that Aaron Hernandez enjoyed “living on the edge of acceptable behavior” and cautioned that he could become “a problem” for his team.

    On one personality test, Hernandez, who was arrested last week on murder and weapons charges, received the lowest possible score, 1 out of 10, in the category of “social maturity.”

    The evaluation, which was done before the New England Patriots selected Hernandez in the fourth round of the 2010 draft, was produced by a North Carolina scouting service called Human Resource Tactics.

    The one-page form, reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, includes scores Hernandez received on several tests routinely administered to NFL draft prospects. The results of these tests are kept confidential.

    The Patriots declined to comment on whether they had seen the report before drafting Hernandez. Hernandez’s attorney, Michael Fee, didn’t return messages seeking comment.

  32. rikyrah says:

    Go behind the scenes with President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama as they visit Robben Island. From the 1960s through the 1990s, this Island housed a maximum security prison. Many of the prisoners there were activists who worked to bring down Apartheid, the South African government’s policies that discriminated against people of color including Nelson Mandela and current South African President Jacob Zuma. Narrated by the First Lady, Michelle Obama. June 30, 2013

  33. rikyrah says:

    @BlackEaglePower I think Cornel West children need to come get their daddy.

  34. rikyrah says:

    BREAKING: ADP says U.S. added 188,000 jobs in June

    BREAKING: Weekly applications for US unemployment aid fell to 343K last week, a sign of steady hiring.

  35. rikyrah says:

    Another fabulous comment by Camille about our First Lady:


    If you have a moment, please watch this video from the African First Ladies Summit hosted by the George W. Bush Institute in Tanzania.

    Mrs Obama has been invited into the makeshift den of wolves (Africa edition) and is participating in a chat with Laura Bush moderated by Cokie Roberts.

    (Cherie Blair -the um, liberal wife of the um, liberal Tony Blair, is there in the audience as great friend and supporter of Laura!)

    It’s really interesting to observe Cokie Roberts’ shock at just how easily relaxed and incredibly smart, witty, gracious, kind, genuine, generous, insightful, fun, inclusive and all around amazing, Mrs Obama is — even in the company of some really hostile folks who’ve managed to extend their ideological hate and contempt of her husband to her – and in such a personal way–

    Mrs Obama effortlessly charms and captivates this audience – and with such grace and humility, but certain assuredness–

    She stops to compliment her host often and even compliments and includes the African first ladies present in the audience – making them feel very much a part of the conversation. She chats with them and doesn’t talk down to them – she isn’t condescending or chest-thumping — And she very easily connects with, includes and engages them in the conversation as equals – and in their shared roles and experience as wives, mothers and First Ladies–

    It was also interesting to observe Laura Bush; She came off often as a tad spiteful, insecure and a bit threatened by Mrs Obama — and intent on not being overshadowed or shown up — or maybe that’s just how and who she is and we just never noticed — because we never really bothered or cared to observe-

    Laura kept revising history and indulging in a bit too much self-praise– which to so many of us who were paying attention during those 8 years, was something of a surprise -especially to find out that Laura was according to Laura, a very visible and hands-on first lady — who knew–?!

    And who knew Laura yapped so much?! And so consumed with such absurd self-congratulations too!

    Isn’t the frequent right-wing line of attack on Mrs Obama the idea that she isn’t as quiet, demure, invisible and hands-off as Laura Bush was–?

    LOL. So much for that concept!

    Laura kept talking over Mrs Obama — and Cokie Roberts kept interrupting and cutting Mrs Obama off whenever she started to comment or share wise and insightful observations which kept the audience quite spellbound–

    Cokie and Laura quickly realized that even without trying, Mrs Obama was such a hit and completely stealing what was supposed to be Laura’s thnder and show—

    Never mind that Mrs Obama spent a great deal of time trying to make Laura feel comfortable – very generously giving her compliments and quite a bit of credit for stuff she didn’t even really have to–

    I suspect that in typical fashion, Cokie Roberts and their clique had just as they do with President Obama, spent so much time creating and buying into their convenient caricature of Mrs Obama —

    I suspect they’d invited her – or quite frankly, their caricatured version of her – to participate in this summit hoping to show her up and boost Laura Bush–

    But then the real-life amazing woman that is Michelle Obama shows up — LOL.

    Elegant, sweet, brilliant, gracious, sincere, thoughtful, comfortable in her own skin, confident, warm, unassuming, caring, unaffected, engaging, captivating—

    Someone really should have told Cokie them–

    And even in spite of her grueling, jet-lagged, sleep-deprived, jam-packed schedule, Mrs Obama came, she saw and she effortlessly and thoroughly conquered—

    And in the end Cokie was left deflated — and quite in awe — as she quickly brought the chat to an end—

    Mrs Obama wasn’t supposed to come off looking this good and even without trying—

    Start watching from 34:16 if you don’t want to see the initial parts–

    And I must say just how interesting -and not in a good way – it is to see that the Bush staff who made up a huge part of the audience (only 6 African first ladies showed up by the way), still bear such a grudge and are still too petty to briefly put aside their silly partisanship to applaud Mrs Obama who took time out of her schedule to help boost their event–

    They were still doing that really childish thing of only applauding and cheering exaggeratingly loudly and only for the Bushes exactly as they did at the opening of the Bush library in Dallas. Pitiful –

    Even the African first ladies seemed surprised at how pleasant and generous Mrs Obama was to Laura; you could tell some of them were sort of cowered and thought they had to take sides and play down their excitement at seeing Mrs Obama – for fear of offending or incurring the wrath of the Bushes who were hosting and feteing them–

    But it’s fair to say that none of us would have known about this event had Mrs Obama not participated —

    • rikyrah says:

      Here is Town’s Reply:

      Town >

      Cokie Roberts is the asshole who was mad Obama was vacationing in exotic Hawaii instead of Myrtle Beach or someplace.

      Laura Bush is just mad SHE’S not First Lady anymore, she’s been forgotten & she’s trying to reclaim her shine. She can have a seat in the same corner she sat in when she was First Lady. Nobody will remember Laura Bush as First Lady because she didn’t do anything, she didn’t stand for anything, she didn’t set any trends.

      You’ll remember Michelle Obama for her style & grace.

      You’ll remember Hillary Clinton for the scandals & her political life outside Bill’s tenure.

      You’ll remember Barbara Bush for the big Wilma Flintstone pearls she always wore.

      You’ll remember Nancy Reagan for the WH parties, the astrologers, and Just Say No.

      You’ll remember Rosalyn Carter for wearing sweaters in the WH.

      You’ll remember Betty Ford for the Betty Ford Clinic.

      You’ll remember Pat Nixon just cuz she was married to Richard.

      You’ll remember Lady Bird Johnson because her name was Lady Bird and she also did gardening work.

      You’ll remember Jackie Kennedy b/c of her youth, glamour, fashion style & being the wife of the assassinated president.

      You will NOT remember Laura Bush for anything. You’ll remember George. You’ll remember the drunken twins. You’ll remember the Bush’s DOGS. You will NOT remember anything about Laura Bush.

      And that’s her OWN fault, not Michelle’s, W’s or anyone else’s. She’s the one who chose to fade into the background, she’s the one who chose to sit in the corner for 8 years. She’s an introverted person, so I get it. But don’t be mad/salty/put out because Michelle Obama’s outshining you…….you had your chance to shine and you chose to dim the lights.

  36. rikyrah says:


    can you make videos from Larry O’s show last night about:
    1. The traitor Snowden

    2. Michelle Obama

    And post them in the replies?

  37. rikyrah says:

    Rep. James Clyburn urges national standards in revised Voting Rights Act

    by Perry Bacon Jr. | July 2, 2013 at 4:14 PM

    Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C,), the man House Democrats have tapped to lead their push for revising the Voting Rights Act after last week’s Supreme Court decision gutted the law’s Section 4, urged the creation of national voting standards that would likely replace the special restrictions for a bloc of Southern states under the current law.

    While not ruling out a new kind of “pre-clearance” system, which had required parts or all of 15 states to get federal approval for changing their voting provisions, Clyburn said Democrats were mostly debating a new provision that would mandate every state abide by certain “minimum standards.” Clyburn said such a law, for example, might require every state have at least nine days of early voting. States could chose to have many more days, but could not have fewer than nine, he said.

    Similar federal standards would apply to redistricting and ballot access concerns, such as voter ID laws, although he did not provide details.

    “Section 4 needs to be written in such a way that covers any state law that is designed to yield a specific result outside of fundamental fairness,” Clyburn said in an interview, noting that many of the state voting provisions that he found most problematic were not in states covered under the pre-clearance formula the Court struck down. He added, “every state ought to be subject to some standards.”

    According to Clyburn, with these federal standards, if a state passed a controversial voting law, a voter could file suit citing these federal provisions.

    The comments by Clyburn, the highest-ranking black member of Congress, mirror those made last week by President Obama, who similarly suggested some kind of national voting law could replace Section 4.

  38. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

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