Monday Open Thread Open Thread |Flamenco dancing

Flamenco dancerFlamenco (Spanish pronunciation: [flaˈmeŋko]) is a form of Spanish folk music and dance from the region of Andalusia in southern Spain. It includes cante (singing), toque (guitar playing), baile (dance) and palmas (handclaps). First mentioned in literature in 1774, the genre grew out of Andalusian and Romani music and dance styles. Flamenco is often associated with the Romani people of Spain (Gitanos) and a number of famous flamenco artists are of this ethnicity. While flamenco originally crystalized among gypsies in the 18th century,[4] some authors believe that modern flamenco mostly emerged out of late nineteenth-century romanticism.

In recent years flamenco has become popular all over the world and is taught in many countries: in Japan there are more academies than there are in Spain.

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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78 Responses to Monday Open Thread Open Thread |Flamenco dancing

  1. White supremacist town showdown in Leith, N.D

    September 23, 2013 (LEITH, N.D.) — The people of Leith, North Dakota, hoped for a peaceful Sunday night after hundreds came to protest the arrival of white supremacists in the tiny western north Dakota town.

    The big surprise today? A sea of law enforcement officers who locked down the town and stood between those yelling at each other.

    The day started peacefully on the sleepy and Sunday morning in Leith. Farm work ceased hours before any trouble was expected, as the state patrol and deputies from four departments set up a command post and shut down all entrances to Leith. Troopers guarded even the smallest field roads into town.

    The proactive plan worked. Shortly after noon, those protesting the presence of white supremacists in Leith arrived, and the unrest began.

    A strong showing of support for Leith came from North Dakota’s Native Americans, who came there angry and ready to take on Craig Cobb and members of the National Socialist Movement.

    They marched down the main street of Leith, mocking the white supremacists who stood watching from the many lots in town they now own, flags with Nazi swastikas were all over town on land they now own.

    What a day for those who have lived in peace and quiet on these dusty town roads for decades. Confrontations broke out, most of it cussing and racial slurs. But always, a strong line of law enforcement separated those preparing to fight.

    As things heated up with the protestors, the special response team could be seen approaching the unrest, at the ready.

    Bagpiper Jimmy Marr of Oregon, a white supremacist, kicked off the town meeting.

    There were few answers as to what will happen to those white supremacists living in Leith. Some got unruly and were removed. As Cobb and his followers left the town hall meeting, they were heckled and jeered. Then yelling from protestors. Close enough law enforcement moved them all back to avoid more confrontation.

    Finally, the sheriff sent them all home, Bobby Harper, the only black man in Grant County, lives right behind the white power supporters, and said he couldn’t believe the show of support.

    Bagpipes from the white supremacists bid them all farewell, Cobb seeming to enjoy the attention.

    By nightfall, everyone had left Leith, the mayor hopeful of one thing – getting his town back.

  2. Yahtc says:

    ‘Big Brother’ contestants lose jobs due to racist, homophobic remarks.

  3. rikyrah says:

    They’re trying to smear Bill DeBlasio

    The Washington Post editorial board fellated Pinochet’s rotting corpse, but this is news?

    Mr. de Blasio, who studied Latin American politics at Columbia and was conversational in Spanish, grew to be an admirer of Nicaragua’s ruling Sandinista party, thrusting himself into one of the most polarizing issues in American politics at the time. The Reagan administration denounced the Sandinistas as tyrannical and Communist, while their liberal backers argued that after years of dictatorship, they were building a free society with broad access to education, land and health care.

    And this is supposed to make me dislike DeBlasio, because?


    I liked this response at Balloon Juice

    goblue72 says:
    September 23, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    Every one of these “hit” pieces against de Blasio, whether from the New York Establishment crowd, Wall Street or the national right-wing media, just further cements his support amongst New York Dems and the New Yorkers in general who aren’t members of either the 1% or the Archie Bunker Brigade.

    There’s a whole swath of New York that is pretty tired of having its needs and concerns essentially ignored for the past decade while Bloomberg made New York into a playground for the rich at everyone else’s expense.

    Dude lives in Brooklyn and has made it clear the boroughs not named Manhattan deserve a seat at the table? Bring it on.

    Dude is literally married to a black lesbian and has a kid with an Afro? Bring it on.

    Dude used to hang out with lefties protesting the bombing of nuns in Latin America? Bring it on.

    Dude gonna tax the Wall Street crowd so regular New Yorkers can send their kids to preschool? Oh hell yeah bring it on.

    Dude is a Red Sox fan? Bri…OK, waitaminuteholdon…WHAT?!?!?!?!?

  4. rikyrah says:


    Rev. Al did an excellent segment on incarceration being The New Jim Crow.

  5. rikyrah says:

    Conservatives link president to DC shooter: ‘If Obama had a son he’d look like Aaron Alexis’
    by Carrie Healey | September 18, 2013 at 11:29 AM

    Since the tragic shooting spree in the Naval Yard in Washington, D.C., a meme has been circulating around conservative social media, Twitter in particular, of users comparing President Barack Obama’s statements after the death of Trayvon Martin to the events that occurred Monday.


    In the wake of nationwide debate over the case, the president addressed the nation with some prepared remarks in March 2012. During his statement, Obama stated that “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.“

    Conservatives have been seizing onto the president’s words ever since as an example of what they consider his racial bias. Now, with the massacre in D.C., some of Obama’s critics have twisted his famous phrase in reference to Alexis, tweeting: “If Obama had a son he’d look like Aaron Alexis.”

  6. rikyrah says:

    Sleepy Hollow’ star Nicole Beharie: Kerry Washington ripped open ‘hole’ for black actresses
    by Courtney Garcia | September 23, 2013 at 1:20 PM

    “I do tend to be drawn to things that are asking questions,” actress Nicole Beharie observes to theGrio about her new television series. “We are talking about the history of the United States versus modern times. What’s happening now, what’s happening then, the change in demographics and all that stuff without really saying it. It’s there. I feel like it’s happening in subtle ways. We’re still having that conversation while fighting off monsters and the apocalypse.”

    A creative vision of Washington Irving’s classic tale, Fox’s mystery drama series places the very confused Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison), a white, British, 18th-century legionnaire resurrected from his grave, into the current day to ward off the age-old Headless Horseman.

    Except in this adaptation, viewers quickly learn the evil demon is one of the Four Horsemen of Death from the Book of Revelations.

    Beharie plays Abbie Mills, an African-American detective who partners herself with Crane to take on his nemesis despite what initial reserves he has, considering he believes black people are still in chains.

    “It just kind of feels like this dude is crazy,” the 28-year-old actress comments. “I like that the writers are bold enough to take it there and not try to ignore it, and not necessarily make light of it. But to poke at the fact that it’s a part of American history and turn it on its head.”

    Race and social construction rather poignantly slip into the fantastical plot, Beharie comments, and others have taken note as well.


    Beharie may not have been formally introduced to the world yet, but she seems to have stepped onto a promising trajectory.

    From McQueen’s contemporary take on sexuality and addiction, to the Jackie Robinson biopic, her choices test the range of her skill and traverse time, circumstance and collective identity, and all take an interest in social innovation.

    “I’ve been really lucky to be able to do very different things and work with different types of people,” she explains. “I’d never done anything with this texture, with this group of people, so I guess the goal would be that I would continue to be challenged and to have other opportunities.”

    After Kerry Washington rebirthed the black female lead on network television with Scandal, Beharie follows a trend in drama to be all-inclusive, defying expectations for characters of different races, genders, and religions.

    She believes Washington’s accomplishments enabled the prospect for her in this new role.

    “Absolutely, without a doubt,” says Beharie. “She just literally, her and Shonda Rhimes with Scandal, just ripped open that hole…They made it known to the industry that this is possible. I’m really glad and I’m totally rooting for her. I love, love, love her work.”

  7. rikyrah says:

    Aaron Alexis was someone’s son: Our brothers are crying out and nobody’s listening
    by Terrie Williams and Dawn M. Porter | September 19, 2013 at 12:02 PM

    Renowned educator and author Geoffrey Canada put it this way:

    There was a time when we were little that we could tell our mother about the pain, but then our mother, like lots of women raising boys, began to worry that we would be soft, that we wouldn’t grow up to be men, that we had to toughen up. It was rough out there and she couldn’t protect us. She knew one of the first things used to taunt boys is to say, ‘oh, you’re a mama’s boy.’ ‘go tell your mother.’ So after a while, we began to say “oh I can’t tell mommy anything,” and we stopped telling. Once we stopped telling her, it was easier not to tell anybody anything.

    With this, the beginning of the pain and suffering, the mask, and the slow death, began.

    In an environment where we teach our black sons to be strong and self-sufficient, we often forget to teach them how to ask for help. And in an era where stigma continues to shackle African-Americans with mental health issues, we see the tragic aftermath in our homes, our neighborhoods, in our communities and in our world.

    In the African-American community, the perception of weakness is an overwhelming fear that has plagued our existence since slavery. We had to be strong to survive and that message has been passed down from generation to generation.

    Don’t get me wrong, this is not necessarily a black thing it’s an “every living animal thing.” Darwin’s theory of natural selection tells us this. But in the black community it takes on greater meaning, because we know as African-Americans, we have to be twice as strong, twice as fast and twice as smart to even get noticed, so showing any sign of perceived weakness can result in our demise. This was the world that Aaron Alexis was likely raised in. In the beginning of the pain and suffering, the mask and the slow death begins.


    Aaron Alexis is just another example of how our society [the system] is failing our black men. We don’t know much about the “Navy Yard Suspect.” We really don’t know who he was…only what the media wants us to know. But Aaron Alexis was someone’s son…we know this because his mother has spoken out about her sorrow for this tragedy. But did he have any friends who may have noticed a change in his behavior? Was there not a system in place to see the kinks in his armor as his mask began to falter? “Our brothers are crying out…nobody’s listening…” as Ken Braswell, founder of Fathers, Inc. has passionately declared.

    We do know that he had two incidents that involved the police. In 2004, he was reportedly arrested for “malicious mischief” and in again in 2010 for “discharging a firearm into the ceiling of his apartment.” Although the first incident is truly unclear, the second seemingly should have raised some serious red flags. Are we too busy with our own lives to see those around us falling apart or are we too scared to get involved? Or is it simply, we just don’t know what to do or how to help so we stand by feeling helpless and do nothing?

    Aaron Alexis was a man who served his country in the Navy Reserves from 2007 to 2011 and was honorably discharged. As a service member, we do not know what he endured or what challenges he may have faced or feared. All we do know is that he reportedly “held it together at work,” but seemed to fall apart in the evenings—as many of us do.

  8. Yahtc says:

  9. rikyrah says:

    Kerry Washington stuns in Marchesa gown at Emmys
    by Alexis Garrett Stodghill | September 23, 2013 at 1:00 PM

    Kerry Washington might not have won big at the Emmys on Sunday, but she wowed on the red carpet in a gorgeous cream gown by Marchesa.

    A piece from the Spring 2014 collection of the luxury fashion house, it won’t be available to other fashion fans until next year. That did not stop the Scandal star from snagging it right away for her big night.

    “The moment I saw it on the runway, I said, ‘Send it to me,’” she told the press about the piece which recently debuted on New York Fashion Week runways.

    Washington has made fashion news recently by being named the best dressed star by People magazine. She also graces the current issue of Glamour.

  10. rikyrah says:

    Canceled Wedding Feeds the Homeless
    By: Jozen Cummings | Posted: September 23, 2013 at 9:57 AM

    (The Root) — Carol and Willie Fowler had reservations for 200 at the high-end fine-dining Italian restaurant and special-event space Villa Christina in their hometown of Atlanta. The dinner was originally intended to celebrate the wedding of their daughter, Tamara, but 40 days before the planned nuptials, Tamara told them the wedding was off, leaving them with an expensive, four-course meal still on the calendar. But instead of canceling the festivities, the Fowlers turned the wedding into a celebration of a different kind of love: choosing to donate the dinner to a local charity, Hosea Feed the Hungry.

    Elizabeth Omilami, director of Hosea Feed the Hungry, did not believe the Fowlers’ request at first. “We thought it was a prank call,” she told the the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

    In an interview with WBUR, Omilami said they focused the dinner on children, with the purpose of not only feeding them but also teaching them etiquette. “The passed hors d’oeuvres were very interesting because the children were wondering, ‘Could we take the whole tray, or do we just take one off of the tray?’ ” Omilami said. “So this was an educational opportunity as well, because now they all know how to eat at a four-course meal and the etiquette involved in that.” Thirty women from the Mary Hall Freedom House, an Atlanta Treatment Center, were also in attendance.

  11. rikyrah says:

    John McCain ‏@SenJohnMcCain1h
    Must-read from Sen Judd Gregg @TheHill: “Defunders are playing Russian roulette with GOP”… …

  12. Yahtc says:

    Do not approve this comment or the other one……It has my incorrect email

  13. Top Pennsylvania School Officials Accused of Racist Texts: All Blacks’ ‘Last Name Is N*GGER!’

    Two former high-ranking officials in one Pennsylvania school district are facing a criminal investigation over shocking racist and sexists text messages that were found on their work cell phones, authorities confirmed on Sunday.

    In a statement to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Chester County District Attorney Thomas Hogan said that his office launched the probe after it received a transcript of the texts from district personnel.

    An investigation by the Daily Local News found that the cell phone accounts were linked to former Coatesville Area School Superintendent Richard Como and former Director of Athletics and Activities Jim Donato. Both men had unexpectedly resigned during the first week of school in late August.

    A timeline of events from the Daily Local News showed that the text messages were sent in June and a copy was provided to the school board in August after being discovered by the district’s IT department.

    According to the paper, “the school board was made aware of the text messages and was prepared to allow Como and Donato to remain in their positions until the transcripts were leaked to the Chester County District Attorney’s Office, prompting a criminal investigation.”

    In a transcript of the text messages obtained by Daily Local News, one of the men suggests that all African-Americans should have the N-word for their last name.

    “All should have whatever first names they want… then last name is N*GGER!” he wrote. “Leroy N*gger, Preacher N*gger, Night train n*gger, clarence n*gger, Latoya n*gger, Thelma n*gger and so on.”

    “Hahahahahahahahhahahahaha could have a whole homeromms of N*gger!” another message said. “Hahahahahahaha! Will N*gger report to office, pardon the interruption but will N*gger report to nurses office. N*gger to lunch now!”

    One message complained that there was “no f*cking way that ape banged that white piece? WTF is going on with these white pieces taking n*gger cock! Me no understand!”

    The men also apparently used their work phones to have a long, racist and sexist conversation about the Miss USA pageant.

    “OMg! N*gger OUT!” one man wrote when as an African-American contestant was voted off. “WTF SKINNY B*TCH. Give good head! Trumped!”

    Other texts contained slurs about Jews and Arabs.

    • Yahtc says:

      LAST UPDATED: Monday, September 23, 2013, 2:01 AM
      POSTED: Sunday, September 22, 2013, 2:09 PM

      The recently resigned superintendent and an athletic director in the Coatesville Area School District exchanged numerous racist text messages about staff and students in June on school-issued cellphones, according to a published report.

      Chester County District Attorney Thomas Hogan on Sunday confirmed his office was investigating the district and had received texts from school personnel. He would not identify the subjects or the nature of the texts.

      The texts – lewd, sexist, and rife with the “n-word” – were discovered by a district employee transferring data from an old phone to a new device, said the report in the Daily Local News in West Chester.

      One local official said he was shocked, and another said the texts did not reflect Chester County.

      Epithets litter text messages of Coatesville school officials
      School district officials declined to comment because of the investigation. The school board is expected to formally vote Tuesday on the resignations of Richard Como, the superintendent, and Jim Donato, high school director of athletics and activities.

      Neither Como nor Donato could be reached Sunday.

      The president of the Coatesville Area NAACP, Tonya Thames Taylor, is a school board member. She said Sunday the board’s position “is not silence; it’s called responsibility.”

      The Coatesville Area School District is one of the most racially diverse in the Philadelphia suburbs and the most racially diverse in Chester County, with about 42 percent African American students, a school official said.

      Parents had told The Inquirer if an investigation uncovered wrongdoing, the employees should be fired.

      News of the existence of the texts broke on the same day the local NAACP chapter held its 75th anniversary celebration at historic Bethel A.M.E. Church on South First Avenue in South Coatesville to mark its involvement in civil rights.

      About 80 people, mostly African American, sat in the pews to listen to speakers describe the continuing battle against injustice. They included Hogan, a member of the local chapter; State Rep. Vanessa Lowery Brown, a West Philadelphia Democrat; and State Sen. Andrew Dinniman, a Democrat whose district includes much of Chester County. The meeting lasted about two hours.

      Taylor referred to the texts in her speech but did not go into detail. She said in a later interview that she was told about the text messages Aug. 16 and that the superintendent resigned 12 days later. She did not elaborate on how the school board handled the situation.

      Chester County Commissioner Ryan Costello told the group, “This is not a reflection of our character.”

      Downingtown Mayor Josh Maxwell said he was shocked by the reported texts. “We don’t have to read about it in newspapers to know things like that still exist in people’s minds,” he said.

      (The texts were compiled by the West Chester Daily Local and are available online at Warning: the transcript contains racial slurs and extreme language that readers might find offensive.)

      Ronjae Jones, 16, a student athlete at Coatesville High School, was at the NAACP celebration. Afterward, he said he knew the athletic director “very well” and said it was “pretty heartbreaking” to read about the texts.

      “If something like this is happening now, I think the whole district needs to be under investigation,” Jones added.

      Herbert Outzs, 84, who attended Coatesville public schools and who has a granddaughter in the school system, said it made him “feel betrayed.”

      “I never had any idea anything like that was happening in the school district,” Outzs said. He said racism was prevalent in the district decades ago, adding, “I guess it’s still burning there.”

      Hogan said in a statement provided to The Inquirer on Sunday that his office became aware of “certain telephone text messages” from district personnel over the course of an investigation into the school district. Those text messages were turned over to his office, he said, adding that he couldn’t comment further on the matter.

      Their release by the Daily Local News followed several weeks of confusion surrounding the departures of Como and Donato. Como, superintendent since 2005, resigned abruptly just a week into the school year and was followed by Donato.

      School district officials for some time didn’t return calls for comment on the departures – until a school board committee meeting two weeks ago.

      The Coatesville Area NAACP wants to be included in the selection process of hiring the district’s next superintendent, Taylor said.


  14. Yahtc says:

  15. rikyrah says:

    In Mississippi, America’€™s most revolutionary mayor

    by Siddhartha Mitter
    September 19, 2013 | 5:00AM ET

    Mayor Chokwe Lumumba is ‘€˜applying a philosophy against imperialism to the practice of repairing streets’€

    On July 1, Chokwe Lumumba, an attorney with a long record of black radical activism, took office as mayor of Jackson. His inauguration took place in the gleaming convention center that sprang up four years ago in the state capital’s mostly deserted downtown.

    A crowd of 2,500 packed the hall. The city councilors and other dignitaries, most of them African-American — Jackson, a city of 177,000, is 80 percent black — sat on the dais. The local congressman, Bennie Thompson, officiated. The outgoing mayor, Harvey Johnson, the city’s first black mayor, wished his successor well. The Mississippi Mass Choir gave a jubilant performance of “When I Rose This Morning.”

    Finally, Lumumba, 66, approached the podium, pulling the microphone up to suit his tall, lean frame. “Well,” he said, “I want to say, God is good, all the time.”

    The crowd replied. “God is good, all the time!”

    “I want to say hey! And hello!”

    The crowd called back, “Hey! Hello!”

    Then Lumumba smiled and raised his right hand halfway, just a little above the podium, briefly showing the clenched fist of a Black Power salute.

    “And I want to say, free the land!”

    Applause rang out, bells chimed, wooden staffs rose up and people shouted back, “Free the land!” That’s the motto of the Republic of New Afrika (RNA), the movement formed in 1968 that sought to turn the states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina into an independent black nation.

    Jackson’s new mayor is a former vice president of the RNA and a co-founder of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement (MXGM), a national group born in 1993 that seeks self-determination for African-Americans — whom it calls New Afrikans — “by any means necessary.” Like many shaped by the Black Power era, Lumumba long shunned formal politics, until a successful run for City Council in 2009. Now, as mayor, he is seeking to apply the tenets of the black radical tradition to the duties of running a city.

  16. Yahtc says:

    “My Small story name is Rick im from Brooklyn, NY.. born in Jamaica and i am a zoologist herpetologist biologist I work with animals in short. I work with a lot of variations of animals anything from reptiles to large mammals giraffs, zebra, wilderbeast to crocodile. Its different”

    Great conversation on protecting nature , exotic pets, animal collections in Abu Dhabi, how he started, the Bronx zoo, his favorite animal and more.

    See video of conversation at this link:

  17. rikyrah says:

    Congressional Dems weigh options for budget hardball

    By Steve Benen
    Mon Sep 23, 2013 12:42 PM EDT.

    We have a sense of how the budget standoff is supposed to go this week. The Democratic-led Senate will strip the House bill of its “defund Obamacare” provisions, leave the rest of it intact, pass it, and send it back to the lower chamber for an up-or-down vote. If the House passes it, we move on to the next GOP-imposed crisis. If the House rejects it, the government shuts down.

    But there’s another scenario to consider. We talked a bit late on Friday about an alternative scenario in which Democrats play budget hardball, and help the country at the same time. The idea has some notable allies on Capitol Hill.

    Senate Democrats … say Reid should counter the House Republican government funding bill by not only stripping language defunding ObamaCare, but by increasing funding for the rest of the government.

    Democrats say Reid can afford to go on offense against Republicans given their division, and polls that show most voters would blame them if the government shuts down.

    “We’re going to try to get as high a CR level as we can get,” said Sen. Charles Schumer (N.Y.), the third-ranking member of the Democratic caucus, referring to the stop-gap spending measure. “We are not going to be held hostage…. We’re going to negotiate to get as a high a level as possible.”

  18. rikyrah says:

    ‘Meanspirited class warriors’
    By Steve Benen
    Mon Sep 23, 2013 11:40 AM EDT

    Late last week, House Republicans voted to slash public investment in food aid to the poor, cutting $39 billion over the next decade, resulting in lost benefits for about 3.8 million people. The political fallout hasn’t faded just yet.

    One House Republican justified his cruelty by citing a Biblical passage he took out of context. BuzzFeed, meanwhile, ran an item on GOP lawmakers who voted to cut food stamps despite personally having benefited from the farm bill’s subsidies.

    But it was this item from House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s (R-Va.) that stood out for me.

    In this case, Cooper, Cantor’s communications director, was outraged the White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said the Republican cuts will deprive food to hungry Americans. Cooper believes this is “blatantly false.”

    He’s blatantly wrong. GOP officials continue to insist they’re just “reforming” the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), closing loopholes and adding new requirements, but take a look at the policy analysis published by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. The facts are straightforward: “Those who would be thrown off the program include some of the nation’s most destitute adults, as well as many low-income children, seniors, and families that work for low wages.”

    But while Americans come to terms with this, let’s also note why Republicans would deny what they’ve done — as opposed to, say, take credit for sticking it to the poor on purpose.


    In this case of the farm bill, House GOP lawmakers effectively became caricatures of themselves. While the legislation has traditionally helped low-income families put food on the table, while also providing subsidies to the agricultural industry, Republicans this year split the bill into two. GOP officials wanted to ensure agribusinesses weren’t affected, while at the same time, they also wanted to impose the sharpest cuts to food stamps since the program was created.

  19. rikyrah says:

    In Law School, Ted Cruz Refused To Study With People Who Didn’t Go To Harvard, Yale Or Princeton

    Contrary to the new image Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) is currently presenting as the leader of a “grassroots tsunami” calling for a government shutdown if the Affordable Care Act is not defunded, a much younger Ted Cruz was far more reluctant to mingle with the hoi polloi. According to a lengthy profile of Cruz by GQ’s Jason Zengerle, “[a]s a law student at Harvard, he refused to study with anyone who hadn’t been an undergrad at Harvard, Princeton, or Yale. Says Damon Watson, one of Cruz’s law-school roommates: ‘He said he didn’t want anybody from ‘minor Ivies’ like Penn or Brown.’”

  20. Ametia says:


    At 78, Carroll is a legend – not just for having talent and charm to spare but for bursting through TV’s barriers. In 1968, the actress became the first African-American woman to lead her own TV show in a non-stereotypical role with “Julia”. Washington, 36, has accomplished another first with ABC’s “Scandal,” as she’s the first African-American woman to lead a network TV drama since 1974. (Yes, 1974. Let that sink in for a minute.)

    But beyond their pioneering work in TV, both women gave viewers a candid moment that was as inspiring as it was authentic: see both Carroll’s quip about how much more attractive TV’s lead actors have become, and her frank proclamation that Washington “better win” the lead actress in a drama Emmy.


  21. rikyrah says:

    Free to Be Hungry


    Published: September 22, 2013

    The word “freedom” looms large in modern conservative rhetoric. Lobbying groups are given names like FreedomWorks; health reform is denounced not just for its cost but as an assault on, yes, freedom. Oh, and remember when we were supposed to refer to pommes frites as “freedom fries”?

    The right’s definition of freedom, however, isn’t one that, say, F.D.R. would recognize. In particular, the third of his famous Four Freedoms — freedom from want — seems to have been turned on its head. Conservatives seem, in particular, to believe that freedom’s just another word for not enough to eat.

    Hence the war on food stamps, which House Republicans have just voted to cut sharply even while voting to increase farm subsidies.

    In a way, you can see why the food stamp program — or, to use its proper name, the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) — has become a target. Conservatives are deeply committed to the view that the size of government has exploded under President Obama but face the awkward fact that public employment is down sharply, while overall spending has been falling fast as a share of G.D.P. SNAP, however, really has grown a lot, with enrollment rising from 26 million Americans in 2007 to almost 48 million now.

    Conservatives look at this and see what, to their great disappointment, they can’t find elsewhere in the data: runaway, explosive growth in a government program. The rest of us, however, see a safety-net program doing exactly what it’s supposed to do: help more people in a time of widespread economic distress.

  22. Yahtc says:

  23. Yahtc says:

    Germany Gets Its 1st Black Members of Parliament
    BERLIN September 23, 2013 (AP)

  24. rikyrah says:

    Al-Monitor ✔ @AlMonitor

    Big news that Zarif will meet Kerry. Another sign of Iran’s seriousness. Hope US is too. – KP

    9:10 AM – 23 Sep 2013

  25. rikyrah says:

    John Boehner Is Letting GOP Extremists Hold the Government Hostage
    How could he allow the spending bill defunding Obamacare to reach the House floor? He’s not even trying to stand up to the GOP’s hostage takers—and he’s easily the worst speaker in modern history.

    by Michael Tomasky Sep 23, 2013 5:45 AM EDT

    Here are the two questions that really matter this week as we head toward a possible government shutdown. How many Republicans in the House really would consider a shutdown as some kind of victory? And what is John Boehner prepared to do about them? Whatever the answer to the first question, the answer to the second is almost sure to be “not much.” Boehner is easily the worst House speaker in modern history. Far from being the figure of perverse sympathy that some suggest, he embodies exactly what’s wrong with the GOP—mainstream conservatism’s total capitulation to the extremists. He’s a disgrace.

    We’ve come to expect the Big Crazy from these Republicans, so we all kind of accepted the idea Friday that the House attached the defund-Obamacare provisions to its resolution to keep funding the government. But really. Stop and think about it. It’s totally outrageous that a speaker of the House of Representatives would even allow such a measure to get to the floor. The speaker is the second–most important person in the country in terms of making the country work. He’s more important than the Senate leader because spending bills must originate in the House, and the House, which in theory is closer to the people, was always envisioned as the body that would do more to drive the nation’s legislative agenda. It’s not for nothing that the speaker of the House is third in the line of presidential succession. He’s not supposed to agree with the president, but he is supposed to agree that the government should exist and do affirmative things.

    And what do we have? A speaker who has permitted 40 votes repealing a duly passed law and who then agreed to let his extremists hold the operation of the entire government hostage to its fantasies. And fantasies they are. Everyone knows that. Obamacare is not being defunded. Even Ted Cruz knows it deep down.

    Imagine if the Democrats had pulled something similar in recent years. Say, if Nancy Pelosi had threatened a government shutdown over some law that had passed while George W. Bush was president and Denny Hastert was speaker. Oh, the thunderation we’d have heard! The howlers on the right would have relished bringing up nullification, comparing Pelosi and the Democrats with the South Carolinians of the 1830s. They would have loved that chance to compare Democrats with the racist kooks who drove the country to civil war. They would have had the power to create a reality in which most Americans were persuaded that Pelosi was channeling Angela Davis, threatening the FBI with furloughs and the military with deep cuts because she caved in to her caucus’s looney wing trying to refight a battle she lost legislatively when it mattered.

  26. rikyrah says:

    Charles Pierce: The Heavy Price Of Chuck Todd’s Ignorance

    The gang at Media Matters has done a great job demonstrating how a faked-up Fox News “Special Report” on the food stamp program, starring a surfer straight from Moocher Central Casting, is having real-world consequences for the millions of people who depend on the SNAP program to eat everyday.

    …. And this is what is really goddamn dangerous about what my man Chuck Todd said the other day. (Chuck’s feeling a bit put upon these days. Tough.) According to Chuck’s notion of what his job is, when conservative politicians latch onto a phony Fox News story in order to make policy, it is the job of the Democrats – or, perhaps, of the SNAP recipients themselves, who have, as we know, virtually unlimited access to the airwaves – to correct the arrant bullshit. Or, when politicians of both parties latch onto a phony “scandal” in the SSI program, it is the job of the embattled people running the program – or, perhaps, of Marcus Stephens’s parents, both of whom were, of course, important newspaper columnists of the day – to get out the truth. Chuck’s just the messenger. Thus does the oligarchy tell stories to itself.

  27. rikyrah says:

    Miss America fights post-pageant racism with a beauty queen’s poise
    By Maura Judkis, Published: September 22

    Nina Davuluri is halfway out the door of one of the dining rooms at Sequoia in Georgetown on Saturday when the applause begins. She has just finished lunch with members of theUpakar Foundation — an Indian American scholarship foundation, her first nonmedia appearance since taking the Miss America title on Sept. 15 — and since she’s not wearing her crown, it has taken this long for the rest of the room to catch on to who she is.

    “Oh!” she says, laughing uncomfortably. “Thank you!”

  28. Yahtc says:

  29. rikyrah says:


    Where are some of our SIDE EYE gifs?


    The problems with white allies and white privilege

    The anti-racist struggle needs to move beyond ideas of white privilege and white allies, writes scholar.

    Tanya Golash-Boza Last Modified: 20 Sep 2013 10:50

    …In general, I am not in favour of personal attacks on people as these attacks are not productive. Instead, I’d like to focus here on two concepts that I think deserve some reconsideration: “white allies” and “white privilege.” These concepts are at the centre of this debate about the role of whites in anti-racist activism.

    The concepts of “white allies” and “white privilege” are problematic insofar as they rely on an individualist-based notion of how racism works when racism is a structural problem and needs to be addressed as such.

    …You see, I think that calling people out for being racist should not be at the centre of the struggle against racism. I see racism as deeply rooted in structures of power, not in individual white bigots. Racism is structural and has to be fought against from that standpoint. We are not going to win the battle against racism one bigot at a time.

    Furthermore, I don’t fight against racism on behalf of my
    black, Latino, Asian, and Native American brothers and sisters. As Andy Smith pointed out on Twitter yesterday, people of colour are fully capable of fighting on their own behalf. Instead, I fight against racism because I want a better society for all. For me, it is not a privilege to live in a racist society.

    • rikyrah says:

      great response from TOWN:



      I don’t like it when people call me & my ivory tower pals out about white privilege. Let me tell you what “white allies” and “white privilege” really mean.

      Calling me & Tim Wise out for “white privilege” is silly because racism is a system, not an individualistic act so we shouldn’t be held responsible for our privilege.

      Calling out white people for being bigots is wrong. You people should be calling out the system like me & Tim Wise do. Your approach won’t end racism. OURS will.

      Futhermore, I don’t fight against racism to help people of color. They’re on their own. I fight against racism because it’s a cool, hipster thing to do. How can I have white privilege when I’m fighting racism?

      there. fixed.

    • Ametia says:

      “I see racism as deeply rooted in structures of power, not in individual white bigots.”

      DUH! How does this fool think these “Individual white bigots/racists” are who they are?



  30. rikyrah says:

    The Morning Plum: Why won’t the GOP establishment let Ted Cruz defund Obamacare?

    By Greg Sargent, Updated: September 23, 2013

    As we head into the week that will help determine whether House Republicans stick to their crusade to defund or delay Obamacare, which could result in a government shutdown and possibly default after that, Senator Ted Cruz has penned a new op ed piece for Real Clear Politics that provides new clues to where all of this is headed.

    Embedded in Cruz’s op ed is a tacit admission that his scheme may well fail. But never fear — Cruz has figured out a way to keep right on blaming House Republicans, and the GOP establishment, if and when that happens.

    As you know, House Republicans have passed a bill temporarily funding the government at current sequester levels while defunding Obamacare. Senate Dems are likely to amend that bill to strip out the Obamacare defunding and send it back to the House. But Cruz says that doesn’t have to happen. Cruz is calling on Senate Republicans to stand united in filibustering this bill before Reid can pass any changes to it via a simple majority vote:

    The next step is critical. Senate Republicans should demand a 60-vote threshold for any effort that would add Obamacare funding back into the House bill. This is the battle line: Senate Republicans must stop Reid from rejecting the House bill and adding Obamacare funding with merely 51 votes.

    Cruz reiterated this demand on Fox News Sunday. As Jonathan Chait notes, calling on Republicans to filibuster their own defund-Obamacare bill is absurd on its face. It will fail in any case, because a number of Senate Republicans think the defund-Obamacare scheme is bat-bleep insane.

    But Cruz’s strategy gets even more absurd than this. Pay close attention to what Cruz’s op ed says about what should come after that:

    The House should stand its ground, and if Reid kills this Continuing Resolution then the House should pass smaller CRs one at a time, starting with the military. Dare Reid to keep voting to shut down the government.

  31. rikyrah says:

    Sound and Fury, Signifying Nothing

    by BooMan
    Sun Sep 22nd, 2013 at 11:46:42 PM EST

    I don’t really know what to say about Alex MacGillis’s long piece on long-time Clinton right-hand man Doug Band. It’s a great work of journalism. It’s quite interesting. I’m just not sure what it means or quite why it matters.
    I didn’t really get much of a feel for who Mr. Band is as a person. He doesn’t appear to be a liar or a scoundrel. He’s made some enemies, but not particularly dedicated ones, and not for anything particularly deplorable. He’s ambitious, possible more ambitious than is healthy. Maybe he’s walked along some precipitous ethical lines, but he hasn’t wandered right off the cliff. It’s possible that he abused President Clinton’s trust, but that’s between the two of them.

    I’m not sure why so much attention is suddenly being paid to Mr. Band. He also comes up in Joe Hagan’s big Hillary profile in New York magazine. It seems like he’s being set up as the Fall Guy in case anything unseemly comes out of his time running the Clinton Global Initiative. We are to understand that Chelsea is in charge now, and she is none too happy with the mess she’s inherited from Mr. Band.

    Whatever the case, he doesn’t seem like a guy who we should be worried about. I have always been concerned about some of the characters in the Clinton entourage. People like Dick Morris and Lanny Davis don’t inspire confidence. I never liked the Carville/Matalin schtick, and Terry McAuliffe makes my skin crawl. What can we say about characters like Doug Schoen and Mark Penn?

    In comparison, Mr. Band seems somewhat better than average. He can probably take credit for getting Bill Clinton to function at a passable level. The one thing that actually concerns me is that this is just one more example of how much drama comes with the Clinton package. People occasionally try to make the Obama operation dramatic by saying that people were unhappy with Stephanie Cutter or that David Axelrod lacked confidence in Jim Messina, or whatever. But that kind of stuff seems like manufactured drama. It’s like people have to seek it out and amplify it to make it into anything at all. In Clintonworld, the drama is real, and it is everywhere.

    And I am not looking forward to version 4.0, or whatever it is up to by now.

  32. rikyrah says:

    Sometimes, a pox on just one house will do
    By Steve Benen
    Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:54 AM EDT.

    The New York Times reported yesterday on the Sunday shows’ commentary, telling readers, “With eight days left to avert a possible government shutdown, Congressional leaders from both parties on Sunday passed around blame and resorted to name-calling…. Republicans and Democrats accused each other of being responsible for the impasse.”

    Of course, this makes it sound as if the ongoing disputes on Capitol Hill are just the usual partisan bickering, instead of a debate in which one side is being needlessly destructive and extreme.

    Late last week, Joe Gandelman raised a similar argument, saying the political center is “dead in America,” with both parties “veering toward the fringes and refusing to compromise.” For proof, Gandelman noted that the left disapproved of Larry Summers to lead the Federal Reserve, while the right is pushing for a government shutdown and the sabotage of the federal health care law.

    But it was this Washington Post op-ed from Steve LaTourette, a former Republican congressman from Ohio, which pushed the “blame both sides” tack to the breaking point.

  33. rikyrah says:

    That’s not what ‘bipartisan’ means

    By Steve Benen
    Mon Sep 23, 2013 9:14 AM EDT.

    Last week, the House approved a plan to defund the Affordable Care Act as part of a misguided government-shutdown scheme. Immediately thereafter, GOP officials had one adjective in mind.

    House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) boasted, “It wasn’t just a group of Republicans. It was a bipartisan vote.” Soon after, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) hailed the “strong bipartisan majority” that “voted to defund Obamacare.”

    I put together this chart in the hopes of clarifying matters a bit. In all, the spending bill passed with 230 votes — 228 Republicans and 2 conservative Democrats (both of whom voted against the Affordable Care Act three years ago). Meanwhile, 189 House members voted against it — 188 Democrats and one Republican. (On the image, it might look like only two columns, but there are actually four. The cross-over votes barely register.)

    As a technical matter, was support for the bill “bipartisan”? Perhaps, though by the same reasoning, opposition to the bill was also bipartisan.

    That said, if you look at this chart and see a “strong bipartisan majority,” you’re either (a) lying; (b) blind; or (c) so far gone that you no longer know what those words even mean

  34. rikyrah says:

    Ted Cruz’s shutdown scheme takes shape
    By Steve Benen
    Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:34 AM EDT

    Intra-party tensions among congressional Republicans boiled over last week when House Republicans, after embracing a far-right government-shutdown plan, heard Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) declare that the entire effort will almost certainly fail.

    As of now, however, Cruz is moving forward anyway, pushing a shutdown scheme he expects to flop. The right-wing Texan made his case on Fox News yesterday morning, and fleshed out his plan further in an op-ed this morning on a conservative website.

    If Senate Republicans stay strong and hold true to their previous commitments to defund Obamacare, we will force Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to make a choice: keep the government open, or shut it down in the name of funding a glitch-riddled health care takeover that is killing jobs, wages, and health care benefits all across the nation.

    I always worry that writing about legislative procedures is too boring for readers, but in this case, it’s important — and there’s no other way to tell the story — so stick with me for a minute.

    Congress has a week to pass a spending bill before the government shuts down. The House GOP leadership originally wanted to make it easy for the Senate to fund the Affordable Care Act and avoid a crisis, but rank-and-file House Republicans refused to go along. On Friday, the House majority instead approved the exact measure the far-right wanted to see, including the “defund Obamacare” provision

  35. Yahtc says:

    Angela Johnson is a children’s book and poetry author with over 40 books to her credit since beginning her writing career in 1989. Her books for young children are simple yet poetic stories about African American families, friendships, and common childhood experiences such as moving. Her books for older children also revolve around similar themes but also explore deeper issues such as teen pregnancy and divorce. In all, the characters are realistic and the treatment sensitive, positive, and hopeful.

    You can watch an excellent video of her discussing her books at:

  36. Yahtc says:

    What an enterprising 14-year-old children’s book author!

    She begins discussing her book at timestamp 1:22

  37. Yahtc says:

    Minority poetry inspires call to action
    Speakers in Toledo recall heritage seldom taught in school

  38. Yahtc says:

  39. rikyrah says:

    The 2013 Emmy Awards Embodied TV’s White Problem

    [ 4 ] September 23, 2013 | Luvvie

    Last night’s Primetime Emmy Awards taught me two things: that I REALLY need to start watching Homeland and that TV is just REALLY white. Well, no it only taught me one thing because I already knew of TV’s white problem. But at the 2013 Emmys, it jumped off the TV screen and slapped me in the face like never before.

    I think it’s because I’m already in my feelings over the whole Saturday Night Live thing.

    What Saturday Night Live thing? Well I’m glad you didn’t ask. I will tell you. They just hired six new castmembers and they’re 5 white guys and 1 white girl. That’s cool if their cast wasn’t already largely monochromatic, with the exception of Kenan Thompson. He’s there in case they need a skit with someone of color, regardless of gender. Because what the world needs now is more moderately funny Black dudes dressing in drag to play Black women as if we’ve become some endangered species. (-___-)

    In SNL’s 38-year history, only 15 of their fulltime folks have been Black, and only 4 have been women. Lorne Michaels and his team are lazy as hell for this and it’s ridiculous. But really, they’re just another piece in a white ass puzzle we call Hollywood.

    Back to the Emmys though. Neil Patrick Harris was adorable and a suitable host. However, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler should host EVERYTHING! The only time I laughed was when they were onstage or talking.

    Again: LET AMY AND TINA HOST EVERYTHING. Thank you. Also, Jon Hamm CGI. All of it. Whenever wherever whatever. Amen.

    Kerry Washington didn’t win “Best Actress in a Drama” for her role as Olivia Pope, though. And I REALLY wanted her to win because I’m a Gladiator and I love her and she’s my cousin (sharrap and lemme live). So that already made me mad. But I ain’t gon piss on Claire Danes’ parade because I heard Homeland was awesome and I’ve been meaning to catch it. BUT… I really wish Kerry woulda won. And I did want her to make history as the first Black actress to win “Best Lead in a Drama.” But yeah… YOU STILL MY WINNER, ADEKERRY OLUWASHINGTON!!!

    • Ametia says:

      The 2013 Emmy Awards show was a WHITEOUT. SMGDH
      Diahnah Carroll told the audience that Kerry Washington better win. Sorry, Ms. Carrol, the cards had already been counted,

  40. rikyrah says:

    Obama reminds GOP: U.S. is ‘not a deadbeat nation’
    By Steve Benen
    Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:00 AM EDT.

    President Obama’s weekly addresses are generally rather laid back and non-confrontational, so it was all the more striking to see the president use the platform to warn Americans about the looming Republican-imposed crises, while chastising the GOP lawmakers themselves.

    After arguing that the economy continues to find its footing, Obama added, “[A]fter five years spent digging out of crisis, the last thing we need is for Washington to manufacture another. But that’s what will happen in the next few weeks if Congress doesn’t meet two deadlines.”

    The first, obviously, is keeping the government’s lights on, and that deadline is now just one week away. The president marveled that “a faction on the far right of the Republican Party” would “actually plunge this country back into recession — all to deny the basic security of health care to millions of Americans.”

    The second is raising the debt ceiling, which makes it possible for the nation to pay its bills. Note how Obama tried to help the public understand the issue a little better: “This is important: raising the debt ceiling is not the same as approving more spending. It lets us pay for what Congress already spent. It doesn’t cost a dime, or add a penny to our deficit. In fact, right now, our deficits are already falling at the fastest rate since the end of World War II. And by the end of this year, we’ll have cut our deficits by more than half since I took office.”

    And with that, Obama made his position clear:

    The United States of America is not a deadbeat nation. We are a compassionate nation. We are the world’s bedrock investment. And doing anything to threaten that is the height of irresponsibility. That’s why I will not negotiate over the full faith and credit of the United States. I will not allow anyone to harm this country’s reputation, or threaten to inflict economic pain on millions of our own people, just to make an ideological point.

  41. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

  42. Yahtc says:

    Wishing all of you a Good Morning!

  43. Bravo beautiful dance.

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