Serendipity SOUL | Thursday Open Thread | Annie Lennox Week!

Annie Lennox week continues with:

Sweet Dreams


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44 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Thursday Open Thread | Annie Lennox Week!

  1. Ametia says:

    NEWS FLASHCNN! President Obama ain’t got to say shit about Zimmerman. and race.

    Deal with your OWN shit, white folks, DEAL WITH.IT.

  2. rikyrah says:

    Issa to Cummings at testy IRS hearing: You’re acting like a ‘little boy’
    Aliyah Frumin
    2:31 PM on 07/18/2013

    The latest hearing on the Internal Revenue Services’ targeting of conservative groups got ugly on Thursday, with House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa accusing Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings of acting like a “little boy.”

    It started with Cummings criticizing Issa for suggesting the tax agency’s actions were being carried out at the White House. Cummings and Issa have been dueling over the matter all summer.

  3. Ametia says:

    Detroit emergency manager files largest municipal bankruptcy in US historyBy Associated Press, Updated: Thursday, July 18, 3:39 PM

    DETROIT — Detroit on Thursday became the largest city in U.S. history to file for bankruptcy, as the state-appointed emergency manager filed for Chapter 9 protection.

    Kevyn Orr, a bankruptcy expert, was hired by the state in March to lead Detroit out of a fiscal free-fall and made the filing Thursday in federal bankruptcy court.

    A number of factors — most notably steep population and tax base falls — have been blamed on Detroit’s tumble toward insolvency. Detroit lost a quarter-million residents between 2000 and 2010. A population that in the 1950s reached 1.8 million is struggling to stay above 700,000. Much of the middle-class and scores of businesses also have fled Detroit, taking their tax dollars with them.

    In recent months, the city has relied on state-backed bond money to meet payroll for its approximately 10,000 employees.

    Orr was unable to convince a host of creditors, the city’s union and pension boards to take pennies on the dollar to help facilitate the city’s massive financial restructuring. If the bankruptcy filing is approved, city assets could be liquidated to satisfy demands for payment.

    “Only one feasible path offers a way out,” Gov. Rick Snyder said in a letter to Orr and state Treasurer Andy Dillon, approving the bankruptcy.

  4. rikyrah says:

    BREAKING: Detroit emergency manager files largest municipal bankruptcy in US history

  5. Ametia says:

    Zimmerman jury sequestration included steaks, pedicures

    The jurors in the George Zimmerman murder trial were allowed to go bowling, shop at the mall and go to the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! museum

    The sequestration of the jury that ultimately acquitted George Zimmerman cost Florida taxpayers about $33,000 and allowed jurors creature comforts such as dinner at Outback Steakhouse, a bowling excursion and a trip to the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! museum.

    The Seminole County sheriff’s office said in a statement that during the sequestration, “Jurors had individual rooms and convened regularly in a suite for meals and to socialize.”

  6. rikyrah says:

    Just cause….

    Donna Summer…Last Dance

  7. rikyrah says:

    TheDailyEdge The Daily Edge1h
    BREAKING: 50% of the current value of the US stock market was created between 1817 and 2009, 50% under Barack Obama

  8. rikyrah says:

    Senate Confirms Thomas Perez As Secretary Of Labor
    Igor Bobic – 12:44 PM EDT, Thursday July 18, 2013

    The U.S. Senate on Thursday voted to confirm Thomas Perez as the new Secretary of Labor by a vote of 54-46. A long-standing Republican filibuster was broken a day earlier, by the thinnest possible margin of 60-40.

  9. rikyrah says:

    Let’s enact a new Voting Rights Act
    By Norman Ornstein, Published: July 17

    Norman Ornstein is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and co-author of “It’s Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the New Politics of Extremism.”

    Imagine an intersection with a long history of high-speed car crashes, injuries and fatalities. Authorities put up a traffic light and a speed camera — and the accidents and injuries plummet. A few years later, authorities declare “mission accomplished” and remove the light and speed camera. No surprise, the high-speed crashes and fatalities resume almost immediately.

    This is the logic that animated Chief Justice John Roberts’s decision to fillet the Voting Rights Act and that had conservative pundits, including George F. Will, praising the act as they simultaneously exulted in its demise. The predictable result took less than a day: Texas reinstated its racially tilted gerrymandered redistricting plan and moved to implement its highly restrictive voter ID law, under which voters can be required to travel as far as 250 miles to get identification. The real intent, voter suppression, is clear in the legislation’s provision that a concealed-weapon permit can be used to vote but a valid student photo ID cannot.

    North Carolina has moved to follow with its own restrictive voter ID law. Other states and localities surely will do the same. With expensive, slow and complex lawsuits the only real recourse for voter discrimination and voter suppression actions, the floodgates are open to an array of legal efforts designed to suppress or diminish the votes of minorities, students and others.

    As Roberts undoubtedly knew, the chances are slim that our highly polarized Congress can reach agreement on a new formula for the Voting Rights Act (even if lawmakers did, the Roberts court may not accept it). But the decision in Shelby County v. Holder should serve as a springboard to something more ambitious: a drive for a new Voting Rights Act that would go beyond the scope of the original to make voting more universal and accessible to all eligible Americans.

    • Yahtc says:

      Sadly, Norman Ornstein’s assessment is completely correct.

      And, his traffic light analogy is the point I was trying to drive in on a blog back in November.

  10. rikyrah says:

    Sen. Marco Rubio under fire for holding up black judicial nominees
    Alex Leary, Times Washington Bureau Chief
    Wednesday, July 17, 2013 10:09am

    WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio is holding up the confirmations of two African-American judicial candidates, drawing fire from the Congressional Black Caucus, which held a news conference Wednesday blaming him for “negligence and obstruction.”

    “We would like our senator to step up to the plate and put away whatever games he is playing,” said Rep. Corrine Brown, D-Jacksonville.

    But Florida Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson isn’t pressing forward on one of the candidates, William L. Thomas, either. He is awaiting the outcome of a background check by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

    The nominees are Brian Davis, for the U.S. District Court for the Middle District, whom Rubio introduced at his confirmation hearing, and Thomas, for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District, a Miami-Dade Circuit Court judge who is openly gay.

  11. rikyrah says:

    Cheney, Paul, and a proxy fight for the GOP
    By Steve Benen
    Thu Jul 18, 2013 9:44 AM EDT

    Far-right media personality Liz Cheney formally kicked off her Republican U.S. Senate campaign in her home state of Virginia Wyoming yesterday, right around the same time the website for her strange D.C. attack operation was scrubbed. At an announcement press conference, Cheney made relatively clear why she’s running.

    Liz Cheney struck a no-compromises tone Wednesday as she launched her campaign to unseat Wyoming’s senior U.S. senator, Mike Enzi.

    The elder daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney addressed reporters in Casper and Cheyenne a day after announcing her bid to oust Enzi, a three-term incumbent and fellow Republican.

    Speaking in Cheyenne, Cheney said it’s time for Republicans in Congress to stop “cutting deals” with Democrats.

    I see. So Liz Cheney, after living inside the Beltway for nearly her entire life, has come to a firm conclusion about the U.S. Senate: there’s just not enough obstructionism. Sure, voters elected a Democratic majority in each of the last three cycles, but what Republicans should be doing is refusing to work with the majority. When the parties reach agreement, that means the Senate is governing — and that’s what Cheney is against.

  12. rikyrah says:

    Republicans in Disarray

    by BooMan
    Thu Jul 18th, 2013 at 10:32:39 AM EST

    Apparently, there is plenty of butt-hurt to go around in the Senate Republican Caucus, after a rump of moderates and neo-conservatives bonded together to preserve the filibuster, but sold out the conservative effort to permanently weaken the Consumer Financial Protection Agency and the National Labor Relations Board. Most of them are also pissed off that another Latino will head the Labor Department, although they pretend it is about a lack of responsiveness to some House subpoena.

    A meeting of Senate Republicans on Wednesday grew tense as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told his members he could have gotten a better deal on nominations than the one negotiated by rank-and-file Republicans.
    McConnell’s tone, according to multiple sources, implied that he had been kept in the dark about the talks between some in his own ranks and Democrats. However, those same Republicans say they kept McConnell updated throughout their negotiating process.

    Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., got so frustrated with McConnell’s presentation of events, that he called “bullshit” loud enough for the room to hear, nearly a half-dozen sources said.

    Needless to say, the House Republican Caucus, which actually has chairmen on committees, was relying on the Senate’s obstruction on labor and consumer issues, and they will now be forced to deal with a harsher reality

  13. rikyrah says:

    Fox Guest Decries Immigration Reform: Naturalized Immigrants Can’t Be Exploited (Video):

    CUTLER: I had a front-row seat to the ’86 amnesty. If you give lawful status to a bunch of illegal aliens who are being exploited, guess what, they will no longer be willing to be exploited. They will demand to be paid on the books, they will have the right to expect that they will be treated equally as Americans, but more importantly, they will have an equal standing in a labor pool that’s already unable to find work. An alien who is naturalized or given employment authorization legally cannot be discriminated against, so they could get the same jobs that Americans desperately need to avoid losing their homes to foreclose.

  14. rikyrah says:

    Republicans Are Wearing Driving Millions Into Poverty as a Badge of Honor

    By: Rmuse
    Jul. 17th, 2013

    Republicans in Congress should be feeling good about themselves this month as they enjoy the fruits of their labor in cities across the nation, and as is usually the case, anything that gives the GOP reason to celebrate means more indigence for Americans; especially already impoverished Americans. Over the past two years several studies have revealed that America is slipping farther and farther behind the rest of the developed world in every category except military might, and Republicans can take pride that their handiwork guarantees America will continue its downward spiral into a nation of hungry, homeless, and sick Americans. One might be inclined to believe politicians would be repulsed that the richest nation in the history of the world is home to an impoverished underclass due to its failure to take care of its own citizens, but for Republicans, it is a badge of honor and sign of dedication to their libertarian masters in the corporate and financial world.

    Republicans, discouraged that their policies leading to the economic crash in 2008 did not weaken tens-of-millions of Americans who lost their jobs, homes, and financial security enough, began 2011 with a crusade to finish what they started during the Bush years. Now that their precious sequester cuts are starting to bear fruit, Republicans can revel in the increasing number of children, women, seniors, and working-poor Americans who are losing already pathetic safety-net provisions they depend on for basic survival. In communities across the country, Republicans’ favorite victims are feeling the sequester’s damage, and as a value-added bonus middle class Americans employed by the defense industry joined millions of public sector workers plagued with pay cuts courtesy of the sequester’s mandatory furlough days. It is good times for Republicans who made sure every American except the uber-rich get to share the sacrifice of austerity economics that is only in the first year of a decade-long siege on the people.

    Thus far, only 650,000 civilian Department of Defense workers were affected by sequester furlough days, but as they lose a significant percentage of their middle class income, their spending cutbacks will result in downstream job losses in retail, durable good, and service industries in a domino effect the entire economy will feel. Republicans were well aware the sequester would kill between 750,000 to a million jobs in the first year alone, but as Speaker John Boehner said in 2011 after learning GOP cuts would kill over a million jobs, so be it. Apparently a million job losses in the first year of the sequester is part of Republicans’ reward for convincing all Democrats that killing jobs was crucial to solving the fabricated debt and deficit crisis, but their reward does not stop there.

  15. rikyrah says:

    amk4obama @amk4obama

    Arab League backs Kerry’s Israel-Palestinian Peace Plan.

    9:02 AM – 18 Jul 2013

  16. rikyrah says:

    Only 2 Republicans Attended Today’s Voting Rights Act Hearing and Both Left Early
    By: Jason Easley Jul. 17th, 2013

    Today the Senate Judiciary Committee held their first hearing on the post-Supreme Court gutted Voting Rights Act. Only two Republicans attended the hearing, and both of them left early.

    Ari Berman of The Nation reported, “Beyond Sensenbrenner, there wasn’t much enthusiasm among Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee to revise the VRA. Only two Republicans attended the hearing, Senators Grassley and Cruz, neither of whom stayed the full time. Cruz praised the Supreme Court’s decision, while Grassley and witness Michael Carvin, a prominent Republican lawyer at Jones Day, suggested that Section 2 would be an adequate replacement for Sections 4 & 5. (Section 4 determines how states are covered under Section 5, which requires that states with the worst history of voting discrimination clear their voting changes with the federal government.)”

  17. rikyrah says:

    Peru to Provide Free Solar Power to its 2 Million Poorest Citizens

    by Timon Singh, 07/16/13

    The country of Peru is looking to provide free electricity to over 2 million of its poorest citizens by harvesting energy from the sun. Energy and Mining Minister Jorge Merino said that the National Photovoltaic Household Electrification Program will provide electricity to poor households through the installation of photovoltaic panels

    Read more: Peru to Provide Free Solar Power to its 2 Million Poorest Citizens | Inhabitat – Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building

  18. rikyrah says:

    Schools Across The Country Are Considering Education Bills Crafted By Corporate Frontgroup

    School privatization laws crafted by corporate interests have been
    introduced in nearly every state in the first half of 2013, according to
    the Center for Media and Democracy. 43 states and the District of
    Columbia are considering school legislation developed by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the umbrella organization that pushes state laws catered to business interests on a myriad of topics.

    CMD’s report, “Cashing In On Kids,” details 139 separate ALEC-designed bills promoting for-profit education in the states and D.C. this year alone. Three states have considered school voucher programs, and 10 have taken up another ALEC measure that funnels public dollars to private schools via tax credits. Three states
    have considered the “Virtual Schools Act,” which spends taxpayer money on an online education model “few educators think is appropriate for young children.” So-called “Parent Trigger” laws designed by ALEC and the conservative Heartland Institute have come up in 12 states.[….]

  19. rikyrah says:

    Michele Shay Talks About the August Wilson Effect

    July 17, 2013 by Brittney M. Walker

    During a special launch event for the August Wilson American Century Cycle Celebration, hosted by Lincoln Motor Company at New York’s Jerome L. Greene Space, actress and director Michele Shay publicly explored her intimate and spiritual relationship with August Wilson’s work. During the panel discussion and exclusive interview afterward, she described how powerful the playwright’s work has been in her life and for the Black community.

    Find out more information about the project here.

    When you got the call about this project, what was it about this project that you thought was so important? Why did you want to be a part of it?

    Well, first of all, I got to do “Seven Guitars” for two years of my life. That was my anointing. And I was the first person ever to speak the lines for character “Louise” at the O’Neal Center and I was working with the “Piano Lesson” company. And they had been together for three years at that time. And when I heard them speak this language, I was totally intimidated by it. It took me a while to find my way in. And when I found my way in, it was a baptism. Then my next baptism was playing “Aunt Ester” five times.

    So after you play “Aunt Ester,” that changes your life completely. … Doing [it at] the Kennedy

    August Wilson Play Cycle 108Center, where we did all of the plays, the gift of having all of the plays together and being able to hear them, like we’re going to be able to do here, from the beginning in 1904 all the way through “Radio Golf” is a life transforming experience, because then you start to get how gargantuan, how huge, how deep, how profound, how mystical, how August was anointed to bring this material forth and that it is so much bigger than the time we live in. And whatever they used to make Ghandi, or Martin Luther King, or all those people, that’s what made an August Wilson. It’s like, in the company of greatness. And so, therefore, to be honored, to be asked, to be a member for this whole project, there’s nothing more important or profound, or holy or sacred.

    For young people, I just want to add, many of them are terrified of this work. And then once they’ve been anointed into it and they find they’re way through the rhythm, through the music of it, then they locate a place, a cellular memory in them that erases whatever’s been missing for them, that they own a part of themselves as human beings, as artists that they don’t have before and dignity shows up on a different level.

    Which are your two favorite plays?
    I would say “Gem of the Ocean” is my favorite because I feel like there are rules for living a good life in “Gem of the Ocean.” And I found that many of my friends that came to see it, it didn’t matter what color they were, were quoting things from that play all the time. I think all the plays have wonderful things about how to live a good life, and how to have a very interesting love life, as well, I might say. Both of those things are very important. And also you’ve got to be able to tell a good joke, that’s for sure. If you’re going to play August Wilson, you’ve got to be able to set up a joke and tell a good joke. The second one used to be “Joe Turner” and now it might be “Seven Guitars.”

    What is your spiritual connection to August Wilson’s Work?
    I think it happens in a simple and profound way. In the simple way, if you take, as a context, racism as the background out of which every self has to evolve in each one of the plays, you don’t do that just through your ego. There is something that rises up that is beyond you. And I call that spirit. So self-actualization is a very important aspect for human nature. Self-actualizations in his strongest characters, the ones that I call rebels, that push forth that somehow got to wiggle, they can’t just go by the rules. They survive by their spirit. I consider that spiritual.

  20. rikyrah says:

    President Obama makes a statement about the Senate’s vote to confirm Richard Cordray as Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. July 17, 2013.

  21. rikyrah says:

    House GOP again tackles Obamacare vanity exercise
    By Steve Benen
    Thu Jul 18, 2013 8:00 AM EDT

    At a distance, it would seem as if House Republicans have plenty of items on their to-do list. Immigration reform, for example, is pending, as are budget talks. Federal lawmakers could also invest some time in preventing gun violence, combating the climate crisis, or if the country were really lucky, creating some jobs.

    But the House GOP majority, hot on the heels of passing an anti-abortion bill that isn’t going anywhere, turned their attention to gutting the Affordable Care Act yesterday. Yes, again.

    It didn’t work the first 37 times, but that didn’t stop Republicans in the House Wednesday from passing two bills aimed at adjusting key parts of the Affordable Care Act.

    The House of Representatives voted 264-161 to pass a bill that would delay for one year the Affordable Care Act’s provision requiring individuals to purchase health insurance or pay a fine.

  22. rikyrah says:

    McDonnell ‘directly intervened’ to assist scandal-plagued benefactor
    By Steve Benen
    Thu Jul 18, 2013 9:07 AM EDT

    Just when it seemed the ongoing scandal in Virginia couldn’t get worse for Gov. Bob McDonnell (R), another shoe drops.

    Jonnie R. Williams Sr., the wealthy nutritional supplement maker at the center of Gov. Robert F. McDonnell’s gifts scandal, met with Virginia’s health secretary to pitch his product at the recommendation of the governor, according to an e-mail his assistant wrote the day of the November 2010 meeting.

    “This email is to confirm a meeting between Jonnie Williams and Secretary Bill Hazel on Thursday, November 4th at 9:00 am,” Monica Block, McDonnell’s scheduler, wrote to Williams’s assistant in a message two days before he sat down with Hazel, the state’s secretary of health and human resources.

    The e-mails, obtained by The Washington Post under the Freedom of Information Act, are the first indication that McDonnell (R) directly intervened on behalf of Williams, whose gifts of luxury items and five-figure payments and loans to the McDonnell family have triggered state and federal investigations.

    This is, in case you were wondering, separate from the meeting McDonnell’s wife arranged with state health officials in August 2011 — the one at which the governor’s wife recommended Williams buy a Rolex for her husband “moments before” the meeting took place.

  23. rikyrah says:

    PPP pushback falls short again
    By Steve Benen
    Wed Jul 17, 2013 2:54 PM EDT.

    In Virginia, Public Policy Polling found state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) trailing Terry McAuliffe (D) by 4 points in results released yesterday. The Republican gubernatorial campaign didn’t take the news well:

    “According to the latest RRR Poll, Ken Cuccinelli leads his opponent Terry McAuliffe by 13.3 points, up from 12 points from RRR’s inaugural Poll released May 30th…. There is no margin of error, since RRR only produces error free surveys — and unlike PPP or DDD — we poll those actually voting (as we think that’s important).”

    This is, of course, an attempt at humor. There is no “RRR Poll”; it’s something Cuccinelli made up in the hopes of mocking PPP and dismissing the legitimacy of the results.

    Public Policy Polling can certainly defend itself however it sees fit, but I’m curious how long Republicans intend to keep this up. In Kentucky, PPP told Republicans what they didn’t want to hear, so the party said the results didn’t count. In Arizona, it happened again.

  24. rikyrah says:

    BREAKING: Weekly US unemployment benefit applications fall to 334K, a sign of an improving job market.

  25. rikyrah says:

    Emmy Nominations:

    Lead actress in a drama series
    Connie Britton, Nashville

    Claire Danes, Homeland

    Michele Dockery, Downton Abbey

    Vera Farmiga, Bates Hotel

    Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men

    Kerry Washington, Scandal

    Robin Wright, House of Cards

  26. rikyrah says:

    Tina Turner Marries Decades-Long Beau Erwin Bach

    By Kathy Ehrich Dowd

    07/17/2013 at 01:15 PM EDT

    What’s love got to do with it? Apparently everything to Tina Turner, who has finally married her decades-long beau, Erwin Bach.

    Turner, 73, tied the knot with the German producer in a civil ceremony in Switzerland, says Reuters.

    The pair have been together for the past 27 years – and they’ve lived together in Zurich, Switzerland, for more than 15 years. They plan to have a Buddhist celebration at their home on the banks of Lake Zurich on Sunday, according to the report.

    This will be a second marriage for the “Proud Mary” singer, who was wed to the notorious Ike Turner from 1962 until her divorce filing in 1976. The singing icon revealed his spousal abuse in her 1986 memoir, I, Tina. (Ike died in 2007 of a cocaine overdose.),,20717291,00.html

  27. rikyrah says:

    Statement by the President and Mrs. Obama on Nelson Mandela International Day

    On behalf of our family and the people of the United States, Michelle and I extend our warmest wishes and prayers to Nelson Mandela on the occasion of his 95th birthday, as well as to Graça Machel, the Mandela family, and the government and people of South Africa as they mark the fifth annual Nelson Mandela International Day. Our family was deeply moved by our visit to Madiba’s former cell on Robben Island during our recent trip to South Africa, and we will forever draw strength and inspiration from his extraordinary example of moral courage, kindness, and humility.

    On Nelson Mandela International Day, people everywhere have the opportunity to honor Madiba through individual and collective acts of service. Through our own lives, by heeding his example, we can honor the man who showed his own people – and the world – the path to justice, equality, and freedom. May Nelson Mandela’s life of service to others and his unwavering commitment to equality, reconciliation, and human dignity continue to be a beacon for each future generation seeking a more just and prosperous world.

  28. rikyrah says:

    Haven’t thanked you yet for Annie Lennox Week- been loving it :)

  29. rikyrah says:

    Published on Jul 16, 2013

    July 15th, 2013 – 92 year-old Moral Monday arrestee and Civil Rights Veteran Rosa Nell Eaton speaks at the 11th Wave Moral Monday rally at the North Carolina General Assembly.

    • Yahtc says:

      Love it: “Fed up and fired up!”

      I love Rosa Nell Eaton.

      I can see already that I am going to enjoy you site as I read news and videos I would be missing were it not for you three!

  30. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone! :-)

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