Serendipity SOUL | Saturday Open Thread | Marvin Gaye Week

Happy Saturday, Everyone. Hope you’re enjoying your weekend. More Marving Gaye for ya…


I Want You

Come Get to This

Mercy, Mercy Me

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43 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Saturday Open Thread | Marvin Gaye Week

  1. rikyrah says:

    Just finished watching this week’s Sleepy Hollow.

    You may have discussed this, but I don’t think the girls’ mother was crazy. I think she’s part of it all. I think that their family, for whatever reason, has been chosen for generations to fight on the side of good.

  2. rikyrah says:

    The pics are hilarious


    ‘Look at Me When I’m Talking to You’
    Olivia Pope’s dad reminds us of black parents’ favorite expressions.

    By: Helena Andrews | Posted: October 10, 2013 at 11:03 AM

    In just the first four minutes of last week’s season premiere of Scandal, giddy gladiators finally got a glimpse of what life must have been like in the Pope residence. And, for anyone who grew up under the thumb of an exacting parent, that scene looked all too familiar.

    As it turns out, someone other than the president of the United States has the power to bring Olivia Pope to her knees — her dad. Arriving just in the nick of time to save Olivia from a swarm of bloodthirsty reporters, Papa Pope (played with filial fervor by Joe Morton) whisks the newly scandalous fixer off to get fixed.

    “Did I not raise you better?” Rowan Pope asks incredulously. “How many times have I told you, ‘You have to be what?’ ”

    An uncharacteristically speechless Olivia tries to whisper, “Twice as good — ” before Rowan, so mad he’s spraying it while saying it, finishes her sentence.

    “Twice as good as them to get half of what they have!”

    The rest of that scene played out like a “Things Black Parents Say” sketch on YouTube, with Rowan literally spitting out classic one-liners in that booming voice any child who’s landed in boiling hot water would instantly recognize.

    And since Liv defied her dear ol’ dad by getting off that plane, there will definitely be plenty more Pope versus Pope showdowns to come. Here’s a list of the top 10 things we expect Rowan — the prototypical demanding dad — to say at least once per episode (plus one that isn’t actually said). Olivia, you’ve been warned.

  3. rikyrah says:

    @samsteinhp 51s
    WH says that of the five Nobel Prize-winning researchers working for the federal govt. four of them are currently furloughed

  4. rikyrah says:

    Jim Acosta ‏@JimAcostaCNN10h
    NYT: At WH, McCain asked GOP senators if reversing parts of Obamacare was achievable. No one raised hand, incl Cruz.

  5. rikyrah says:

    October 12, 2013 12:49 PM
    Who Holds All the Cards?
    By Martin Longman

    In this morning’s weekly address, the president was to the point:

    It’s not supposed to be this way. Manufacturing crises to extract massive concessions isn’t how our democracy works, and we have to stop it. Politics is a battle of ideas, but you advance those ideas through elections and legislation – not extortion.

    Focus on the words: “we have to stop it.”

    Why did the White House outright reject the House’s offer and why did the Senate Democrats reject Sen. Susan Collins’ plan?

    It’s not because the deals were not good enough; it’s because they were deals.

    Because the Republicans (in the leadership, anyway) are not actually willing to default on our debts, the end game here is that time runs out and Congress raises the debt ceiling. Whether they can get some kind of fig leaf to cover their defeat or not, they can stop making demands now because the most important thing to the president is to put an end to these kind of hostage negotiations.

    Just to drive the point home, House Democrats assembled this morning to sign a discharge petition in an effort to force a clean vote on a continuing resolution on Monday. It’s doubtful that enough Republicans will join the effort to make it successful, but there will definitely be enough of them available to avoid a default.

    Admittedly, the Senate Republicans’ filibuster of Harry Reid’s motion to proceed to a vote on extending the debt ceiling will make some people nervous, but there is no reason to be nervous. There is virtually zero chance that the country is going to default. In fact, the Democrats have such an immense advantage right now that they are actually in a position to hold the Republicans hostage. With the clock clicking down, John Boehner will be desperate when he eventually realizes that his options are exhausted and he needs Democratic votes to avoid causing a global economic calamity.

    It will take some restraint from Pelosi to avoid asking for concessions.

  6. rikyrah says:

    Let’s Call The Shutdown What It Is: Secession By Another Means

    Bill Moyers – October 8, 2013, 6:00 AM EDT

    Republicans have now lost three successive elections to control the Senate, and they’ve lost the last two presidential elections. Nonetheless, they fought tooth and nail to kill President Obama’s health care initiative. They lost that fight, but with the corporate wing of Democrats, they managed to bend it toward private interests.

    So, we should be here on this: Obamacare, as it is known, is deeply flawed. Big subsidies to the health insurance industry, a bonanza for lobbyists, no public option and, as the New York Times reported this week, “Millions of Poor Are Left Uncovered by Health Law” — largely because states controlled by Republicans refused to expand Medicaid.


    Despite what they say, Obamacare is only one of their targets. Before they will allow the government to reopen, they demand employers be enabled to deny birth control covera to female employees; they demand Obama cave on the Keystone pipeline; they demand the watchdogs over corporate pollution be muzzled and the big bad regulators of Wall Street sent home. Their ransom list goes on and on. The debt ceiling is next. They would have the government default on its obligations and responsibilities.

    When the president refused to buckle to this extortion, they threw their tantrum. Like the die-hards of the racist South a century and a half ago, who would destroy the union before giving up their slaves, so would these people burn down the place, sink the ship.


    At least, let’s name this for what it is: sabotage of the democratic process. Secession by another means.

  7. rikyrah says:

    anyone seen Gravity?

    I like Clooney and Bullock, but I’m sorta ‘ eh’ on whether I should see the movie.

  8. rikyrah says:

    Dems Hold Firm After GOP Filibuster Of Debt Limit Bill



    The GOP’s unanimous filibuster of the “clean” debt ceiling bill Saturday didn’t shake the resolve of Senate Democratic leaders, who continued to insist that Republicans reopen the government and avert default before budget negotiations.

    “They’re not doing us a favor by re-opening the government,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) told reporters in the Capitol. “They’re not doing us a favor by extending the debt ceiling. That’s part of our jobs.”
    No. 4 Democratic Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) said Republicans “have to stop asking for hostages in order for our country to be OK.”
    Democratic leaders are scheduled to meet Saturday afternon with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office, according to the White House.


  9. rikyrah says:

    Cruzification of the GOP

    By Dana Milbank, Published: October 11

    When a poll came out this week showing that the government shutdown was putting Republican Mike Coffman in danger of losing his Colorado congressional seat, the lawmaker responded with the serenity of martyrs through the ages.

    “Whatever the consequences of doing what’s right,” he told a Denver TV station, “I’m willing to take those consequences.”

    Skeptics warned from the start that it was a suicide mission for Republicans to shut down the federal government in a long-shot attempt to defund Obamacare. Now that such dire predictions have come to pass, the lawmakers who engineered the shutdown are getting the conflagration — and the martyrdom — they sought.

    Call it the Cruzifiction of the GOP.

    At least so far, the standoff has been a political bloodbath for Republicans. And maybe that’s exactly what was needed to right the political system: The effort to gut Obamacare had to crash like this so that Republican leaders and lawmakers would find the courage to stand up to tea party toughs, and so that business leaders would decide to stop funding a small band of right-wing activists whose interests are antithetical to their own.

  10. rikyrah says:

    Matt Murphy @MattMurph24

    Susan Collins tried to be cute with her spending cut provisions. Reid not falling for the banana in the tailpipe.
    1:23 PM – 12 Oct 2013

  11. rikyrah says:

    The Last Days of the GOP We could be witnessing the death throes of the Republican Party


    I once wrote about lobbying, and this week I called some Republicans I used to talk to (and some that they recommended I talk to) about the effect the shutdown is having on the Republican Party in Washington. The response I got was fear of Republican decline and loathing of the Tea Party: One lobbyist and former Hill staffer lamented the “fall of the national party,” another the rise of “suburban revolutionaries,” and another of “people alienated from business, from everything.” There is a growing fear among Washington Republicans that the party, which has lost two national elections in a row, is headed for history’s dustbin. And I believe that they are right to worry.

    The battle over the shutdown has highlighted the cracks and fissures within the party. The party’s leadership has begun to lose control of its members in Congress. The party’s base has become increasingly shrill and is almost as dissatisfied with the Republican leadership in Washington as it is with President Obama. New conservative groups have echoed, and taken advantage of, this sentiment by targeting Republicans identified with the leadership for defeat. And a growing group of Republican politicians, who owe their election to these groups, has carried the battle into the halls of Congress. That is spelling doom for the Republican coalition that has kept the party afloat for the last two decades.

  12. rikyrah says:

    Up Late with Alec Baldwin | October 11, 2013
    DeBlasio opens up to Baldwin
    New York City mayoral candidate Bill Deblasio joins Alec Baldwin to discuss the experience of growing up in a “broken home” and how it affects his policy positions.

  13. rikyrah says:

    A New Showcase for Art From the Diaspora
    The Gallery of African Art is helping to reshape London’s Eurocentric art scene.

    By: Lindsay Johns | Posted: August 16, 2013 at 12:44 AM

    Cork Street in Mayfair, nestling just behind Savile Row and the sartorial panache of its world-famous bespoke tailors, is without a doubt one of London’s most salubrious streets, internationally renowned for its plethora of opulent, high-end art galleries. Thankfully it now has a most welcome recent addition — one that goes a long way toward adding a much-needed touch of color to an otherwise somewhat monochromatic street canvas.

    The Gallery of African Art, the brainchild of owner and director Bendu Cooper, opened last month and is now currently hosting its official launch exhibition, “WordPlay,” by the Ethiopian artist Wosene Worke Kosrof.

    A most refreshing and timely complement to the slightly tedious Eurocentric hegemony that has traditionally governed the London art market, the Gallery of African Art — which aims to showcase the best art from the continent and, equally important, the Diaspora — is already making a name for itself with this superbly engaging and subtly provocative show.

    Wosene’s paintings — liberally made up of his native Amharic script, some black and white, others imbued with gorgeously sensual orange, red and yellow hues — are a powerful and (albeit at times) challenging visual experience, but one that is thought-provoking and ultimately deeply rewarding on many levels.

    Unashamedly rejoicing in the visual beauty of the Amharic script, his paintings connote a clear fascination with languages, their aesthetic potential and the conscious act of cultural translation. “WordPlay” implies that language is a medium of communication but also a tool of immense po

  14. rikyrah says:

    A Black Man’s Role in American Revolution
    Image of the Week: A painting conveys the true extent of the African-American contribution to the cause of freedom.

    By: Image of the Black in Western Art Archive | Posted: September 4, 2013 at 12:38 AM

    This image is part of a weekly series that The Root is presenting in conjunction with the Image of the Black in Western Art Archive at Harvard University’s W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research.

    This striking pair of figures presents one aspect of the role of the black man in the American Revolution. Though painted as an independent work, the oil sketch reproduces only a fraction of a much larger painting of the famous Battle of Bunker Hill, fought on June 17, 1775. It was made by John Trumbull, son of the governor of Connecticut and an aide to George Washington.

    After resigning from the Continental Army, he studied painting in Great Britain with the American expatriate painter Benjamin West. He soon decided to devote his career to documenting the history of the Revolution in pictures, eight of which were to depict the major battles of the war. The Death of General Warren at the Battle of Bunker Hill was painted in London between late 1785 and early 1786.

    In the finished work, Lt. Thomas Grosvenor, the dashing young American officer seen here, stands to the far right. Beside him, a black man holds a musket. Both figures look toward the culmination of the action in the center of the scene. Gen. Joseph Warren, leader of the Revolutionary forces, has just been shot. In the middle ground nearby, British Maj. John Pitcairn, mortally wounded, falls into the arms of his son

  15. rikyrah says:

    About crooked Governor Transvaginal Ultrasound of Virginia


    Star Scientific chief thought McDonnell was helping firm get state funding

    By Rosalind S. Helderman and Carol D. Leonnig, Published: October 11 E-mail the writers

    A wealthy political donor has told federal prosecutors that he believed that Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell was helping his company get state research funding at the same time the executive was providing McDonnell’s family with gifts and money, according to two people familiar with the donor’s account.

    E-mails obtained through the Freedom of Information Act also show that researchers and scientists working with the company thought that McDonnell (R) and his wife, Maureen, wanted the company to receive the funding from the state’s tobacco commission. The researchers were in communication with Star Scientific Inc. officials during the same months that Chief Executive Jonnie R. Williams Sr. said he believed McDonnell was helping, the e-mails show.

  16. rikyrah says:

    At Howard, abrupt resignation reassures few

    By Clinton Yates
    October 3 at 12:02 pm

    On a sunny fall day following Howard University’s abrupt leadership change, much of the campus was still in the dark. While students, faculty and staff members discussed school President Sidney Ribeau’s announcement that he would retire in December, the blackout on specifics made matters worse: Had he been forced out? What was the real reason? And will this really change the core problems facing the school?

    Indeed, Ribeau’s Tuesday afternoon e-mail sent to the school community announcing his departure, was vague at best, confusing at worst. And for many on campus, that lack of transparency and honest discussion of the school’s problems is illustrative of “The Mecca”‘s current struggles.

    “My main thought was, ‘Why?’ I feel like we as a campus didn’t get a clear reason why he did that,” Tyler Brown, a junior from Atlanta said. ”Him being our president, I felt like we should have gotten that.”

    Howard’s history of student disgruntlement is nothing new. But for many students, life at the school has become a tricky balance between maintaining the morale it takes to succeed academically and facing the real-life issues that come with an unresponsive higher-ups.

    “The administration, when you go to the A-building, there’s nothing anybody can do for you,” Ayanna McIntosh, a senior from New York, said, referring to the school’s administration building. “They always send you to somebody else who sends you to somebody else, and it’s a goose chase until you finally say, okay, I don’t want to do this anymore.” Dining at The Cafe, which overlooks McMillian Reservoir, she added: “Howard students love Howard. Administration is the problem, not the morale of the school. That’s it.”

    There’s also the tricky issue of faculty. A few chose not to speak on the record about the situation, out of concern that their positions or programs could be compromised if their comments were seen as negative. That alone is a major red flag: Educators who are reasonably critical of their leadership should be taken seriously, considering they are the ones tasked with the teaching. If they feel threatened, it’s unhealthy for the campus culture.

    Privately, some will tell you that Ribeau was just the latest fall guy for a regime that can’t get its act together and has acted in shadowy self-interest as to not put at risk the federal appropriation the school receives, which is upwards of $200 million.

    “I was shocked, I was surprised,” said one university contractor who asked that his name not be used. He found out after calling a co-worker on personal business, who told him about Ribeau. “I’m hoping some good things happen next. Who the hell ever knows,” he said.

    One who has no problems speaking out is Gregory Jenkins, a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Last month, he started a petition, calling for “open, honest answers from the Administration and [Board of Trustees] about the short and long-term future of the MECCA,” but not specifically the ouster of Ribeau. On Sept. 12, it had received 250 signatures. Last week, at the Opening Convocation, a protest was held. Demonstrators held signs reading: “BOT [Board of Trustees]: Do you really care?” and “Transparency, accountability and responsibility.”

  17. rikyrah says:

    Dad Suggests Laporshia Massey’s Death May Have Been A Result Of Philadelphia School Budget Cuts

    If not for Philadelphia School District budget cuts, one father thinks his child may still be alive.

    Daniel Burch said his daughter, 12-year-old Laporshia Massey, died from asthma complications on Sept. 25, according to local Fox outlet WTXF-TV. While Massey, a sixth-grader at Bryant Elementary School, began to feel sick earlier that day, she did not have the option of visiting a school nurse.

    As a result of district budget cuts, the school can only afford to have a nurse on Thursdays and Fridays. It was a Wednesday.

    Had a school nurse been available, Burch says, he or she would have recognized the seriousness of the situation and made sure Massey got immediate help. Instead, after spending the day at school, Massey died at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia that night, he told Philadelphia City Paper.

    This is the second year Bryant Elementary School has not had a full-time school nurse, the outlet reports.

    Budget cuts over the course of the past few years have left Philadelphia schools starved for support. Over the summer, the district closed 24 schools and laid off 3,783 employees, although fewer than half of those employees have since been re-hired. Schools are currently operating with bigger class sizes but a bare minimum of staff and support.

    Now, Massey’s death has become a rallying point for leaders who believe that Philadelphia schools have become dangerous for children.

  18. rikyrah says:

    Why So Many People Believe Blacks Are America’s Racists
    Posted: 07/07/2013 12:24 pm


    It matters little that every objective study and survey for the past two decades has consistently shown the gaping racial disparities in health care, education spending, the criminal justice system, employment, the wealth gap, and poverty between blacks and whites has either stagnated or widened. Or that blacks are still largely the invisible men and women in executive management spots at the Fortune 500 corporations. It matters even less that the textbook definition of racism explicitly means not just an individual’s thinking or expressing racially skewed bias and animus toward another group, but having the actual power to exert control and dominance through the mechanisms of law, public policy, and economic dominance over that group. This is the defining point between an individual’s personal prejudices, and there are few individuals who don’t harbor some personal prejudice toward another group, and having the actual power to exercise that prejudice against another group that is deliberately missed or distorted in the futile exercise of trying to say who is a racist and what makes them a racist.

    The entrenched notion, however, is that if you’re black, poor, uneducated, or locked in a prison cell, don’t blame social, political or economic iniquities, in short, don’t scream race — blame yourself. This does two things: it provides social and psychic comfort to those individuals who think that they’re bigotry-free, and can finger point blacks as eternal racial crybabies who love to scream racism at every slight or failure. They also pound civil rights leaders for eternally playing the race card on every supposedly imagined or trumped up racial malfeasance.

    But the far more insidious thing than accusing blacks of being America’s top bigots is that it makes it much easier to ignore or outright assail laws, statutes, policies and initiatives that were hard fought over to put on the books to protect rights and eliminate discrimination. This ploy was on full display in the Supreme Court debate over the key provisions of the Voting Rights Act that for decades mandated Justice Department approval to prevent registrars in targeted Southern and Southwestern states from using every tact to damp down black and Hispanic votes. It was on display and in the ancient court and public debate over affirmative action which has long been encased in public thinking, as “reverse discrimination.” The real victims of this supposed discrimination are not blacks, Hispanics or women, but white males. This was amply borne out in a Rasmussen poll in May that found only 25 percent of Americans favored affirmative action as part of college admission policies.

  19. rikyrah says:

    Obamacare is a Triumph for African-Americans

    by Earl Ofari Hutchinson

    Sep 28

    The verdict was in even before the first enrollee inked their signature October 1 on a health care plan under the Affordable Care Act. The law is an unmitigated triumph for the millions of uninsured in America. The triumph is even greater for African-Americans. The checklist of pluses is well known. More than 7 million African-Americans will now have access to a health plan, there will be subsidies for low income persons to offset the costs, a half million children will be covered under their parent’s plans, millions of dollars will be allocated for research and testing, the establishment of more than 1000 new health care facilities in many rural and urban communities, the National Health Service Corps workforce will be tripled and more than 4 million elderly and disabled African-Americans covered under Medicare will have no cost access to health care preventive services. The triumph is even greater because of the grim figures on the health care crisis that has been a national disgrace for so long for African-Americans

    The dismal figures have repeatedly told why. Blacks make up a wildly disproportionate number of the estimated 50 million Americans with absolutely no access to affordable or any health care. The majority of black uninsured are far more likely than the one in four whites who are uninsured to experience problems getting treatment at a hospital or clinic. This has had devastating health and public policy consequences. According to a study by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, blacks are far more likely than whites to suffer higher rates of catastrophic illness and disease, and are much less likely to obtain basic drugs, tests, preventive screenings and surgeries. They are more likely to recover slower from illness, and they die much younger.

    Studies have found that when blacks do receive treatment, the care they receive is more likely to be substandard to that of whites. Reports indicate that even when blacks are enrolled in high quality health plans, the racial gap in the care and quality of medical treatment still remains low. Meanwhile, private insurers have routinely cherry picked the healthiest and most financially secure patients in order to bloat profits and hold down costs. American medical providers spend twice as much per patient than providers in countries with universal health care, and they provide lower quality for the grossly inflated dollars. Patients pay more in higher insurance premiums, co-payments, fees and other hidden health costs.

    It’s been a perfect storm mix of politics, race, and ignorance and fear that has driven the GOP’s mania to dump Obamacare. It’s included every slander, lie, and false flag, countless votes and threats to defund the Act and a crude attempt at blackmail to shut down the whole government over it. The politics is the
    claim that this is big government intrusiveness since it allegedly whipsawed Americans into buying insurance and that it was too costly, too overburdening on businesses, and supposedly too unpopular with a majority of Americans.

    The race part is two-fold. One it was proposed by President Obama, and anything, that’s any program or initiative that’s been proposed by him by him for every moment of the five years he’s been in the White House has been the trigger for GOP knee jerk opposition. The other part is the great fear of GOP health care reform opponents and the health care industry lobby which includes private insurers, and for a time pharmaceuticals and major medical practitioners was that they’d have to treat millions of uninsured, unprofitable, largely unhealthy blacks. That would be a direct threat to their massive profits. The pharmaceuticals eventually dropped their opposition only after getting assurances that they would not have to cut costs of drugs to make way for more generics and drug competition from Canada and that the millions of newly insured recipients will be drug purchasers.

  20. rikyrah says:

    Is It Safe for a Black Male to Dial 911?
    Watch this: In “Cuz He’s Black,” a 4-year-old black boy in fear for his life learns to hide from police.

    By: Javon L. Johnson, Ph.D. | Posted: October 9, 2013 at 4:17 PM

    We were reminded again yesterday that in America, color may still matter as much as character when you’re black and male and you have an encounter with police. And we ask this question: When is coincidence more than coincidence? As The Root reported on Tuesday, Jack Lamar Roberson of Waycross, Ga., somehow died while in police custody after his fiancee called 911 for help, saying that Roberson was suicidal.

    In September, Jonathan Ferrell staggered away from a crushing car crash, only to be gunned down by North Carolina police officers who didn’t recognize him as a victim but who saw him as a threat. We hear stories from our friends and loved ones who tell us they would be afraid to call 911 if they needed help. They must calculate what might occur when the blue light shows up.

    So we are left to wonder, how is a black man supposed to seek the emergency assistance he might deserve when he is seen as a predator, an ominous figure or a criminal?

    Then we remembered the story told by Javon Johnson in his brilliant poem “Cuz He’s Black.” It’s about the chilling conversation Johnson had with his 4-year-old nephew and the little boy’s fear of police. Watch the video below. Then read what Johnson has to say about what he learned when his video went viral.

  21. rikyrah says:

    The People’s View
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    The Vast Right Wing Conspiracy to Scapegoat the Tea Party
    Friday, October 11, 2013 | Posted by Spandan C at 8:03 PM

    Republicans in the House and the Senate are mad. At each other. They’re not talking to each other. Senate Republicans are fed up with the House GOP’s Tea Party strategy (ironically pushed by one of their own) and want the crazy caucus to pipe down. The crazy caucus, i.e. the House GOP, is aware that a complete surrender is the only option, but they don’t want to believe it. How bad is the lovers’ quarrel? It’s bad:

    Each of the conferences is charting its own course to end the saga and evade a debt limit crisis on Oct. 17. But after two weeks of intraparty turmoil, neither side seems to trust the other about what the way out should look like.

    The lines are so crossed that GOP senators asked President Barack Obama during a White House meeting on Friday to fill them in on the House plan, senators attending the meeting said. They simply hadn’t seen it.

    The battle lines are drawn. What looks like a intraparty fight between the two legislative chambers is in reality the first salvo of the Republican establishment against the Tea Party Frankenstein they have themselves created. The House GOP caucus is completely under Tea Party control; the Senate GOP is far less so, primarily because candidates who have to claim that they are “not witches” or talk about “Second Amendment remedies” have a tough time getting elected statewide in states not named Texas.

  22. rikyrah says:

    Abandoning attempts at persuasion, Republicans simply shut down the voters they can’t win over
    Posted by Kay at 8:59 am
    Oct 122013

    We talked about this last week:

    With court action over the state’s proof-of-citizenship voting law looming, Secretary of State Kris Kobach is laying groundwork for a system that would allow some voters to vote in all elections while others could only vote for Congress and presidential tickets.

    Arizona joins Kansas in creating two classes of voters:

    The states are using an opening left in June by the United States Supreme Court when it said that the power of Congress over federal elections was paramount but did not rule on proof of citizenship in state elections. Such proof was required under Arizona’s Proposition 200, which passed in 2004 and is one of the weapons in the border state’s arsenal of laws enacted in its battle against illegal immigration.
    The two states are also jointly suing the federal Election Assistance Commission, arguing that it should change the federal voter registration form for their states to include state citizenship requirements. While the agency has previously denied such requests, the justices said the states could try again and seek judicial review of those decisions.
    The two-tiered system — deemed costly, cumbersome and prone to confusion by many of its opponents, as well as election officials in both states — threatens to derail an effort by Democrats and their allies to increase voter registration and turnout among Latinos and the poor, part of a push by the party to pick up local offices and seats in the states’ legislatures, where policies have been largely dictated by Republicans in recent years.
    Matt Roberts, spokesman for the Arizona secretary of state, Ken Bennett — who, like Mr. Horne, is a Republican — said the small numbers do nothing to lessen the challenge of adding another ballot to a system already full of them, each based on variants like party affiliation, voting precinct, and legislative and Congressional districts.
    “We have a hard enough time already to get people to go to the right voting place,” Mr. Roberts said. “The last thing any poll worker wants is to have to tell someone who might be voting for the first time why they can’t vote for governor.” He said Mr. Bennett supports requiring proof of citizenship but wants it for all elections.

    Sowing chaos and confusion is part of the playbook for any robust voter suppression effort. We can also expect actual incompetence in election administration to play a role, as we saw in Pennsylvania last cycle where the GOP effort to administer the new rules they rushed in was such an absolute mess a court stepped in and halted the whole thing.

    This effort to suppress Latino votes is both a short-term and a long-term strategy for conservatives because ethnic and racial minorities gain political power by winning state and (especially) local elections and developing a “bench” of candidates and a loyal local base of voters. These efforts will stop them before they get started on the path to national office.

    Also, I’d just like to reiterate that Kris Kobach, the Secretary of State of Kansas and the person behind this, is not a fringe figure on the Right. He was Moderate Mitt Romney’s advisor (although Romney denied it) and he’s in the absolute mainstream of the modern GOP. He’s also a regular on the conservative media grifter circuit.

  23. rikyrah says:

    As GOP cries uncle, Obama refuses to bail them out
    Friday, October 11, 2013 | Posted by Spandan C at 3:31 PM

    As the Republican plan to deprive Americans of health care by holding the government’s operations hostage and threatening default has fallen apart in the face of withering public backlash and the strength of a president who has refused to pay ransom for Congress doing its job, some Republicans are still holding out hope that the same president who they hoped to destroy will bail them out from their own quagmire and save their face. Well, I wouldn’t hold my breath.

    Senior Republican sources say Obama is amenable to changes to mandatory and discretionary spending, but needs Republicans to commit to increasing governmental revenue.

    In the mean time, Jay Carney has re-iterated that the president will not pay a ransom simply to reopen government and pay America’s bills.

    What does all this mean? The best I can tell, the president is exactly in the same position he has always been in: Republicans need to end the shutdown, stop threatening default, and then the normal process of budget negotiations can resume. Once it does resume after the GOP ends the crisis they inflicted on America, the framework, as far as the president is concerned, need to include both long term budget savings and increased taxes from those who can afford it.

  24. rikyrah says:

    Black Women Celebrate Fathers in New Book
    In this excerpt, a contributing editor at The Root shares her story of living in the shadow of her father’s memory.

    By: Hillary Crosley | Posted: October 11, 2013 at 12:43 AM

    Bet on Black: African-American Women Celebrate Fatherhood in the Age of Barack Obama is a collection of 20 essays by black women about their father-daughter relationships and the positive influences their dads provided in their lives. Hillary Crosley, a contributing editor to The Root, also participated in this book, which was edited by Kenrya Rankin Naasel and will be released Oct. 11. In this excerpt of her personal essay, Crosley details how she barely remembers her father, who passed away when she was 5, but still lives in his long shadow. You can also contribute to the Bet on Black Kickstarter campaign, which ends Oct. 11 at 6 p.m. and supports the book’s physical and online release.

    The Persistence of Memory

    I don’t remember my father at all. Sometimes it seems my whole life has been shaped by other people’s memories, the stories they’ve told me while eating popcorn on the couch when the movie rental got boring, or while celebrating a good high school report card at Red Lobster. One of my close family friends who’s like a grandmother to me believes my amnesia started as early as my father’s funeral. We were driving away from the church and I looked up at my mother and aunts and asked why everyone was crying. I think that my 5-year-old mind couldn’t take the stress of his departure, so it simply blocked him — his humor, his talent for baking Bert and Ernie-shaped birthday cakes, his love for the daughter he’d begged my mother to have — out of my head.

  25. rikyrah says:

    – –Lee Thompson Young suffered from bipolar disorder before suicide: coroner’s report — –

    – —The star of TNT’s “Rizzoli & Isles” who committed suicide in
    August had a history of bipolar disorder, authorities revealed Tuesday.

    Lee Thompson Young, 29, was taking medication for the condition and also suffered from depression when he shot himself in his right temple while sitting on the couch of his North Hollywood bachelor apartment, a report from the Los Angeles County Coroner said.

    “He was known to take his medications” and “appeared okay” when he last spoke with his doctor on Aug. 14, the report said.

    Lithium capsules and Quetiapine Fumarate tablets were found in his residence, and both drugs were detected in his blood.

    No traces of opiates, alcohol, cocaine or other drugs were found in his system.

  26. rikyrah says:

    Obama makes the Tea Party cry (uncle)
    Friday, October 11, 2013 | Posted by Spandan C at 2:24 PM

    How do you know that a bully is losing? When the bully accuses you of being a big meanie because you dared to stand up to them. The Tea Party came to Washington with one purpose in mind: to destroy Barack Obama and his presidency. But now that they have gone up against the president and lost again, and again, and again, they have sat down on the floor, spread their feet, swelled their lips, and begun to cry (uncle). The National Journal’s Billy House reports:

    “The difference is, I don’t think his predecessors have antagonized the other side,” says Rep. Austin Scott, R-Ga., who was president of the tea-party-packed House Republican freshman class last session.

    “Bill Clinton did not intentionally antagonize Republicans,” Scott said. “And I think that most of those [earlier] presidents would have welcomed the opportunity to negotiate. And if they’re right on their points, then certainly they’d want to negotiate.”

    Wuaaa! The big black man took my candy! Evidently, asking members of Congress to do their job and pay the check on bills they have themselves run up and to keep the government open is “antagonizing” them. But if we must talk about antagonizing, let’s hold a mirror up to the Tea Party, shall we? Tell, Congressman, if you recognize any of the following images:

  27. rikyrah says:

    -Missing: Avonte Oquendo- –

    – – -Avonte Oquendo, age 14, was last seen October 4, 2013 in Queens, NY.
    He was last seen leaving Center Boulevard School in Long Island City around 12:45 p.m. Surveillance video shows Avonte simply running out the door. Avonte has the mind of a 7-year-old and suffers from autism and is mute.

    To read more about Avonte Oquendo, click here.
    Anyone with information can submit a tip to under “Tip Line”. —-

  28. Yahtc says:

  29. Yahtc says:

    “Harvard Law Prof Defends Affirmative Action”
    POSTED OCTOBER 11, 2013


    Harvard Law Professor Randall L. Kennedy spoke in Philadelphia yesterday to support the use of affirmative action in American public life, particularly in regard to increasing opportunities for black Americans.

    “It’s a good thing for public authorities to do what they can to redress the ongoing scars of past discrimination,” Kennedy said to an audience at the city’s central library.

    The professor recently published a book titled “For Discrimination: The Persistence of the Color Line: Racial Politics and the Obama Presidency.” The topic is particularly timely with the U.S. Supreme Court slated to hear arguments Tuesday in Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action over Michigan’s constitutional amendment banning consideration of race in admissions for public institutions of higher education.

    The high court already took a step toward curtailing race-based university admissions last summer in Fisher v. Texas when it ruled that strict scrutiny must be applied when deciding affirmative action cases, stopping short of banning the practice altogether.

    In an era when support for racial preference policies appears to be waning, Kennedy asserted that there is still a place for them. “In America when you talk about discrimination it usually has a negative connotation,” he said in a nod to the controversial title of his book. “I think we can distinguish between malign discrimination and benign discrimination.”

    Costs and Benefits:

    Kennedy readily acknowledged the boost he got from affirmative action in his own life, pointing to a high school scholarship, admission to Yale Law School and recruitment to join the faculty at Harvard as opportunities that he believes his skin color helped open up.

    He also took a shot at Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who is black and claims that he never in his life benefited from affirmative action. Laughing, Kennedy pointed out “there is nobody in the United States of America who has been more of a beneficiary of affirmative action than Clarence Thomas.”

  30. Yahtc says:

    “Michigan Black Chamber of Commerce: Minorities systematically locked out Detroit redevelopment”


    DETROIT, MI – As construction equipment hummed and beeped in the background, African American business and political leaders and others gathered outside the Michigan Black Chamber of Commerce’s headquarters Wednesday in downtown Detroit to call for more inclusion in the city’s redevelopment.

    Tony Stovall, President of the Detroit Black Chamber of Commerce, said that, despite the existence of more than 32,000 black-owned businesses in the city, as “billions of dollars” are being spent on public-private projects many black- and minority-owned businesses are not being given equal opportunities.

  31. Yahtc says:

    “Is FDOT the Enemy of Florida’s Black Businesses?”
    October 10, 2013


    When Jennifer Carroll was Florida’s lieutenant governor, she arranged for me to meet with Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) engineers to talk about lighting.

    I had just gotten into the light-emitting diode (LED) business and wanted to sell FDOT LED streetlights to improve lighting on the Florida Turnpike and on other state roads.

    My lights meet every FDOT LED standard including luminosity, color temperature, price and warranty. I even told FDOT engineers to compare my product with Sylvania, Cree, Westinghouse, General Electric and other lighting biggies.

    After that meeting, you know what happened to Carroll. She quit – and the FDOT split! I never heard a single word from FDOT since.

    Up in Arms:

    Today, many of Florida’s MBE (Minority Business Enterprise) and DBE (Disadvantaged Business Enterprise) owners are up in arms about the way FDOT is using “government magic” to keep qualified Black and other minority businesses from participating in purchasing contracts at the huge state agency with a budget of more than $9 billion.

    What is FDOT doing about this entrepreneurial unrest?

    Well, FDOT doesn’t have much money to spend with Blacks, but they have a ton of dollars to spend setting up a series of “listening sessions” across the state so business people can tell FDOT what DOT already knows: that it is difficult or impossible to get a business contract from FDOT.

    In the two-month statewide series of listening sessions, every other week for two months, FDOT will hold public meetings to “gauge the success and concerns from small business owners” throughout Florida in five different locations across the State.

    FDOT buys all kinds of stuff, just like other agencies. But they want you to think they only contract with road builders and bridge builders. Whatever they buy, there are some Black businesses that can sell it to them.

    If you have something you can sell to FDOT, I encourage you to go to a session. You won’t get any business because FDOT will probably never send someone there that can immediately write a check or sign a purchase order.

    However, you will be able to voice your opinion. The Black press will be in some cities to report on what you said.

    Blacks Disappointed:

    Over 150 professionals attended a recent “listening session” in the Tampa FDOT District 7.

    African-American business owners at the meeting provided comments on their FDOT interaction, including disappointment with both the processes and the opportunities.

    Two prominent African-American organizations provided detailed comments of the experiences of African-Americans dealing with FDOT.

    Paul Curtis, past public relations chair for Southeast Region 3 of the National Society of Black Engineers and current Transportation Research Board appointee on its DBE Committee, and Joe Robinson of the Tampa NAACP, provided extensive and captivating comments.

    Paul Curtis said, “The agency’s failure to conduct an ethnic, race and gender disparity study for more than a decade, has injured African-American businesses and unjustly enriched other
    (Editor’s note: A disparity study involves a statistical analysis to determine if an agency has discriminated against minority and women-owned businesses. A study can be used to legally justify minority set-aside and affirmative action programs and prevent the state from being sued for alleged reverse discrimination.)

    Curtis also warned that a preliminary review demonstrates that FDOT may arbitrarily alter contractor selection criteria from project to project and from district to district.

    “This affects the outcome of the vendor selections. This allows some firms to get repeat no-bid contracts back-to-back. This is the exact opposite of what the federal law dealing with disadvantaged and minority businesses intended. I view this as the same thing as steering a certain contract to a certain firm. What FDOT is doing is the cousin of bid-rigging,” Curtis said.

  32. Yahtc says:

    Good Morning!

    Thank you for bring Marvin Gaye to us, Ametia!

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