Friday Open Thread |Lionel Richie Week

We continue with Lionel Richie.


Solo career

Richie’s 1982 self-titled debut contained three hit singles: the U.S. #1 song “Truly”, which launched his career as one of the most successful balladeers of the 1980s, and the top five hits “You Are” and “My Love”. The album hit #3 on the music charts and sold over 4 million copies. His 1983 follow-up album, Can’t Slow Down, sold over twice as many copies and won two Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year, propelling him into the first rank of international superstars. The album contained the #1 hit “All Night Long” a Caribbean-flavored dance number that was promoted by a colorful music video produced by former Monkee Michael Nesmith. In 1984, Richie performed “All Night Long” at the closing ceremony of the XXIII Olympic Games in Los Angeles.


Several more Top 10 hits followed, the most successful of which was the ballad “Hello” (1984), a sentimental love song that showed how far Richie had moved from his R&B roots. Richie had three more top ten hits in 1984, “Stuck on You” (#3), “Running with the Night” (#7) and “Penny Lover” (#8). Now described by one critic as “the black Barry Manilow”, in 1985 Richie wrote and performed a suitably soothing theme song, “Say You, Say Me”, for the film White Nights, winning an Oscar for his efforts as well as reaching #1 on the U.S. charts and staying there for four weeks, making it the #1 song of 1985 according to Billboard’s year-end Hot 100 chart. He also collaborated with Michael Jackson on the charity single “We Are the World” by USA for Africa, another #1 hit.


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39 Responses to Friday Open Thread |Lionel Richie Week

  1. Yahtc says:

    I just finished copying 3 pages from William Still’s book and posted it at this link:

  2. Ametia says:

    N.S.A. Phone Surveillance Is Lawful, Federal Judge Rules

    17 sec ago – N.S.A. Phone Surveillance Is Lawful, Federal Judge Rules By MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT and ADAM LIPTAK Published: December 27, 2013 WASHINGTON — A federal judge in New York on Friday ruled that the National Security Agency’s program that is systematically …

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  7. rikyrah says:

    ObamaCare Won’t Get Popular On Its Own

    by BooMan
    Fri Dec 27th, 2013 at 12:28:34 PM EST

    Before the Affordable Care Act became the law of the land, people had two main attitudes about their health insurance. They either hated it, or they didn’t use it. This idea that there were a lot of people who liked their health insurance and wanted to keep it is largely a myth. At best, the vast majority of people were afraid of change, but that doesn’t mean that they thought they had great insurance or enjoyed the process of trying to get their insurer to pay their bills. In general, people hate paying for insurance and experience hassles when they try to use it. So, once the Democrats decided to push everyone into for-profit insurance, they pretty much took ownership of something most people experience negatively. Add to this that people will always want a bigger subsidy than they’re getting, a bad rollout of the exchanges, and a political opposition uniformly opposed to the bill and determined to highlight every flaw within it, and you have a recipe for a political drubbing. That’s why I think Teacher Ken is wildly optimistic when he declares that the benefits of the law will become clear by next November’s midterm elections. I do not believe that to be the case.
    The only way to make that the case is for Democrats to very thoroughly follow Ryan Cooper’s advice and rally around the health care law in a relentless and single-minded way that can match the Republicans’ opposition.

    I have further advice on this front. The fact that formerly uninsured people are getting insurance is not a very compelling rejoinder for someone who is having a negative experience with their health insurer. What’s compelling is a political party that constantly points to the benefits of the law, like annual caps, keeping your kids on your insurance, protections against having your insurance dropped, and limits on profit-taking. The way to promote this politically is to constantly talk about real people who would have been screwed without the reforms. Trot them out daily to talk about how their lives and livelihoods have been saved.

    Secondly, the Dems should be introducing reforms that address areas where people are experiencing problems. These reforms won’t pass, but they can form a platform of sorts that will partially inoculate the party from criticism. After all, fixing a problem is better than repealing the whole law and having a solution is more appealing than having none.

    If the Democrats do not pursue these two strategies and just rely on people discovering that the law is working, they will be slaughtered. They will be slaughtered because people hate health insurance.

  8. rikyrah says:

    Gabrielle Union, Dwyane Wade & The Boys Snap Their First HOLIDAY Family Photo!

  9. rikyrah says:

    No fools on our ticket’
    12/27/13 08:45 AM—Updated 12/27/13 10:55 AM
    By Steve Benen

    Just over the last few months, we’ve seen reports from the New York Times, Bloomberg News, and the Washington Post on the simmering tensions between Corporate America and Tea Party Republicans, driving a wedge into the GOP coalition. With party primaries looming, talk of a “Republican civil war” abounds.

    Some of the party’s major players are even putting their money where their mouths are. This Wall Street Journal piece yesterday was circulated far and wide in Republican circles.

    Republican leaders and their corporate allies have launched an array of efforts aimed at diminishing the clout of the party’s most conservative activists and promoting legislation instead of confrontation next year. […]

    The U.S. Chamber of Commerce early next year plans to roll out an aggressive effort – expected to cost at least $50 million – to support establishment, business-friendly candidates in primaries and the general election, with an aim of trying to win a Republican Senate majority.

    “Our No. 1 focus is to make sure, when it comes to the Senate, that we have no loser candidates,” said the business group’s top political strategist, Scott Reed. “That will be our mantra: No fools on our ticket.”

    Though Reed did not specify who would qualify as a “fool,” it’s not hard to look back at major Senate races from the last couple of cycles and know exactly the kind of candidates he’s referencing (O’Donnell, Akin, Mourdock, Angle, et al). In other words, when Reed and the Republican Party’s Chamber of Commerce wing talk about “loser candidates” and “fools,” they’re obviously talking about right-wing Tea Party favorites.

  10. rikyrah says:

    Glenn Greenwald’s Heart Cries Out at MSNBC’s Failure to Promote the Republican Agenda

    Thursday, December 26, 2013 |
    Posted by Spandan Chakrabarti at 4:20 PM

    By now, everyone probably has heard of the comments by Glenn Greenwald appearing with Kristen Welker on MSNBC. The most reported parts of his comments deal with his charge that MSNBC is essentially a mouthpiece for the Obama administration – proving, of course, that he doesn’t watch MSNBC, a channel whose agenda, if there is one, is far better aligned with his own – that is to say to undermine the president from the faux Left.

    But here is the part of the his comment that are failing to be highlighted in the coverage: when lashing out MSNBC’s “viewpoint” and “agenda,” Greenwald did not merely beat up on the channel’s perceived partiality to President Obama. In defending his admiration for Snowden’s cowardly acts, Greenwald grieved MSNBC’s perceived lack of promotion for the Republican agenda:

    “I think that’s ludicrous is what I say to that,” Greenwald shot back. “Every journalist has an agenda. We’re on MSNBC now, where close to 24 hours a day the agenda of President Obama and the Democratic Party are promoted, defended, glorified, the agenda of the Republican Party is undermined. That doesn’t mean the people who appear on MSNBC aren’t journalists, they are.”

    That really is where Glenn Greenwal’d heart lies. This shouldn’t be surprising in the least bit, given that his heroes have consistently turned out to be right wing gasbags. One of the key reasons Snowden sought out Glenn Greenwald was because of their mutual admiration for the racist former Texas Congressman Ron Paul. Julian Assange, another partner in crime for Greenwald in his quest for self-aggrandization, lamented a mere four months ago that the libertarian wing of the Republican party – you know, the wing that believes that the Civil Rights Act went too far – is the only hope for America.


    Greenwald’s defenders – and there are no shortage of them on the white-privileged Left – will say that Greenwald was merely making the point that having an agenda of one’s own doesn’t disqualify someone from being a journalist. Although that is his first mistake – letting your political agenda color your coverage of the truth is where journalism begins to diverge from propaganda – it is far from his last. Greenwald’s embrace of Snowden is far more akin to Sarah Palin’s defense of the Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson than to MSNBC’s often unfair and hair-on-fire coverage of the Obama administration.

    But to understand Greenwald’s complete state of mind, one must look at the entire sentence: that a media station exists dedicated to glorify Barack Obama and undermine the conservative one. Where else do you hear this? On Fox News and on every right wing talk show to ever pollute our airwaves. Glenn Greenwald is playing to the same audience with the same language. This is no innocent all-journalists-have-agendas plea. This is an overt attempt to establish the myth of a pro-Obama media and to demand that the Republican agenda be given an even bigger platform – that is, the Republican agenda of ending the social safety net, repealing the Voting Rights Act and probably the Civil Rights Act, and completely dismantling the social safety net.

  11. rikyrah says:

    Senate eyes 3-month extension for jobless
    12/27/13 08:00 AM—Updated 12/27/13 09:30 AM
    By Steve Benen

    Federal emergency unemployment benefits expire tomorrow for 1.3 million jobless Americans. By the summer, another 1.9 million will be affected by the lapsed assistance. But congressional efforts to address the problem are still very much underway and a new Senate vote on benefits may be the first order of business when lawmakers return from their holiday break.

    Sen. Jack Reed, Rhode Island Democrat, announced Thursday that he will introduce a 3-month extension to long-term federal unemployment insurance with a Republican co-sponsor and hopes for a procedural vote as soon as Jan. 6. […]

    Mr. Reed said he plans to introduce the extension with Sen. Dean Heller, Nevada Republican. The short-term extension is not paid for in other parts of the budget because it’s considered an economic emergency, said Rep. Sander Levin, Michigan Democrat. The cost would just be tacked on to the deficit, something Republicans have refused to do in the past.

    On that last part, about Republicans having refused to tack on emergency costs to the deficit “in the past,” this comes by way of the Washington Times, an unabashedly conservative newspaper. The reason the claim stands out, however, is that it happens to be wrong.

    Congressional Republicans, in the recent past, had no problem tacking on the cost of the war in Iraq to the deficit. They also tacked on the cost of the war in Afghanistan to the deficit. They also tacked on two rounds of massive tax cuts, a Wall Street bailout, Medicare expansion, and the cost of No Child Left Behind to the deficit without giving it much thought.

    As Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) once put it, during the Bush/Cheney era, Republicans considered it “standard practice not to pay for things.”

  12. rikyrah says:

    Paul: jobless aid ‘weakens’ U.S.
    12/26/13 12:45 PM—Updated 12/26/13 01:53 PM
    By Steve Benen

    A couple of weeks ago, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) reemphasized his opposition to extended emergency unemployment benefits in a rather startling way. To continue to provide assistance to these jobless Americans, the Republican senator said, would be to “do a disservice to these workers.” He repeated the line a week later.

    In other words, for Rand Paul, cutting off aid to those struggling to find work during a period of high unemployment is actually doing those folks a favor.

    He continues to believe this.

    Paul, who’s openly considering a bid for president in 2016, said in a Friday interview with NBC News that extending unemployment benefits past 26 weeks will hurt workers – and that paying for it without raising taxes weakens America.

    “Does it make sense for our country to borrow money from China to give it to the unemployed in America? That is weakening us as a country,” Paul told NBC News.

    It’s important to understand how misguided his argument really is. For one thing, China owns only a small percentage of U.S. debt. For another, there’s no reason policymakers necessarily have to borrow the funds needed to help the unemployed (though borrowing costs are low and it makes perfect economic sense to do so).

    But the notion that helping the unemployed “is weakening us as a country” is plainly ridiculous. Will the nation be stronger on Sunday when 1.3 million Americans lose their purchasing power, costing the country as many as 300,000 jobs in 2014?

    Indeed, it’s not unreasonable to consider this a binary choice. Under which scenario is the United States better off: helping these 1.3 million jobless or cutting them off? Paul believes the latter, but every shred of evidence points in the opposite direction.

    The senator elaborated on his approach during a recent Fox News interview, arguing, “There was a study that came out a few months ago, and it said, if you have a worker that’s been unemployed for four weeks and on unemployment insurance and one that’s on 99 weeks, which would you hire? Every employer, nearly 100 percent, said they will always hire the person who’s been out of work four weeks.”

  13. rikyrah says:

    No one likes a bully
    12/26/13 11:00 AM—Updated 12/26/13 11:32 AM
    By Steve Benen

    Late Monday, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s (R) top two appointees to the Port Authority, both of whom have since resigned, complied with subpoenas related to the ongoing bridge scandal. Soon after, state Assemblyman John Wisnieswki (D), chairman of the committee investigating the incident, acknowledged soon after that the probe will continue into 2014.

    But while we wait for the process to continue and for the new materials to be scrutinized, one of the overarching questions is whether Christie could possibly be so petty as to cripple a community with paralyzing traffic, just to punish the local mayor for having refused to endorse him.

    The evidence on the bridge controversy is still coming together, but Kate Zernike reported yesterday that Christie’s track record of bullying New Jersey officials for even minor slights is extraordinary.

    In 2010, John F. McKeon, a New Jersey assemblyman, made what he thought was a mild comment on a radio program: Some of the public employees that Gov. Chris Christie was then vilifying had been some of the governor’s biggest supporters.

    He was surprised to receive a handwritten note from Mr. Christie, telling him that he had heard the comments, and that he didn’t like them.

    “I thought it was a joke,” Mr. McKeon recalled. “What governor would take the time to write a personal note over a relatively innocuous comment?”

    But the gesture would come to seem genteel compared with the fate suffered by others in disagreements with Mr. Christie: a former governor who was stripped of police security at public events; a Rutgers professor who lost state financing for cherished programs; a state senator whose candidate for a judgeship suddenly stalled; another senator who was disinvited from an event with the governor in his own district.

    The whole article is worth reading to appreciate just how thin-skinned the governor really is. The piece points to example after example of Christie using the power of his office to punish rivals – even other Republicans – who’ve offended him in minor and inconsequential ways

  14. rikyrah says:

    Disguise Leads To Freedom For Former Slaves

    Say the words “slave revolt” and images of bloody confrontations waged with guns, machetes, and pitchforks come to mind. But the self-liberation of former slaves Ellen and William Craft shows that the route to freedom could also be paved with smarts and guile as opposed to bloodshed.

    Using her light-skinned hue to her advantage, Ellen, a biracial slave born in 1826 in Georgia, figured that the best way to beat the slave holders in her region of the country was to, in a sense, join them.

    So Craft cooked up a plan to to pose as a White slave owner by cutting her hair, adopting a man’s walking gait, and hiding the fact that she couldn’t read. All this with her “slave” in tow.

    The plan allowed the Crafts to travel through the South to Philadelphia, where they arrived in the winter of 1848. They moved to Boston and became influential abolitionist speakers.

    One would think that would be the heartwarming end to the Crafts story of ingenuity and bravery, but one would also be underestimating the brutality of the American slave system.

    In 1850, Congress passed the Fugitive Slave Law, which allowed slave masters to cross in to non-slaveholding areas to retrieve their “property.” The Crafts were forced to run to England but returned to Georgia after the Civil War.

    • Yahtc says:

      Thank you for posting this wonder piece of history, rikyrah!

      Here is the video found in the article you linked:

      William Sill includes them in his 1872 book entitled “The Underground Railroad. A Record of Facts, Authentic Narratives, Letters, etc.” on pages 368 – 377.

      I will see if I can find it on Google Books and then provide a link.

      • Yahtc says:

        I am back. Good news! William Still’s book has been reprinted. Here is a write-up on the book:

        Originally published in 1872 and out of print for many years, this landmark book presents firsthand accounts of slaves escaping north by way of the human support network known as the Underground Railroad.

        The narratives were painstakingly documented by William Still (1821-1902), a son of emancipated slaves who helped guide untold numbers of fugitives to safety as an Underground Railroad “conductor” based in Philadelphia.

        The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 made William Still’s work extremely risky, both personally and for the clandestine operation he supervised for over a decade. Under the law, free northern states were prohibited from harboring so-called runaway slaves, and citizens who provided aid were subject to steep fines, civil penalties, and imprisonment.

        In spite of the risks, Still corresponded with, interviewed, and recorded the stories of hundreds of fugitives, concealing the records in a grave until the day they could safely be made public.William Still’s meticulous record keeping appears to have been unique among high-level Underground Railroad operatives.

        Certainly, no comparable history of the northern slave exodus has survived to this day. In terms of its scope and depth, The Underground Rail Road stands alone in documenting the extraordinary experiences of those who escaped slavery in mid-19th century America.

      • Yahtc says:

        Here is the Google book link where the above quotation is from:

      • Yahtc,

        Thanks for all you do here at 3CP!

      • Yahtc says:

        You are welcome, SG2 :)

        And, thank you for having this blog site.

        I appreciate all that you three Chics do in bringing me the news and updating me on political issues. And, of course, I love being able to listen to all the great music the three of you post!

    • Ametia says:

      Great finds Rikyrah & Yahtc. Thanks!

    • Yahtc says:

      YW, Ametia!

      I just copied the first 3 pages (bottom half of p. 368 to top of p.370 from my copy of the 1st edition of the book.) What follows are William Still’s words:

      “WILLIAM AND ELLEN CRAFT: Female Slave in Male Attire, fleeing as a Planter, with her Husband as Her Body Servant

      “A quarter of a century ago, William and Ellen Craft were slaves in the State of Georgia. With them, a with thousands of others, the desire to be free was very strong. For this jewel they were willing to make any sacrifice, or to endure any amount of suffering. In this state of mind they commenced planning. After thinking of various ways that might be tried, it occurred to William and Ellen, that one might act the part of master and the other the part of servant.

      “Ellen being fair enough to pass for white, of necessity would have to be transformed into a young planter for the time being. All that was needed, however, to make this important change was that she should be dressed elegantly in a fashionable suit of male attire, and have her hair cut in the style usually worn by young planters. Her profusion of dark hair offered a fine opportunity for the change. So far this plan looked very tempting. But it occurred to them that Ellen was beardless. After some mature reflectn, they came to the conclusion that this difficulty could be very readily obviated by having the face muffled up as though the young planter was suffering badly with the face or toothache; thus they got rid of this trouble. Straightway, upon further reflection, several other very serious difficulties stared them in the face. For instance, in traveling, they knew that they would be under the necessity of stopping repeatedly at hotels, and that the custom of registering would have to be conformed to, unless some very good excuse could be given for not doing so.

      “Here they again thought much over matters, and wisely concluded that the young man had better assume the attitude of a gentleman very much in dispensed. He must have his right arm placed carefully in a sling; that would be sufficient excuse for not registering, etc. Then he must be a little lame, with a nice cane in the left hand; he must be very hard of hearing and dependent on his faithful servant (as was no uncommon thing with slave-holders), to look after all his wants.

      “William was just the man to act this part. To begin with, he was very “likely-looking;” smart, active and exceedingly attentive to his young master–indeed he was almost eyes, ears, hands and feet for him. William knew this would please the slave-holders. The young planter would have nothing to do but hold himself subject to his ailments and put on a bold air of superiority; he was not to deign to notice anybody. If, while traveling, gentlemen, either politely or rudely, should venture to scrape acquaintance with the young planter, in his deafness he was to remain mute; the servant was to explain. In every instance when this occurred, as it actually did, the servant was fully equal to the emergency–none dreaming of the disguises in which the Underground Rail Road passengers were traveling.

      “They stopped at a first-class hotel in Charleston, where the young planter and his body servant were treated, as the house was wont to treat the chivalry. They stopped also at a similar hotel in Richmond, and with like results.

      “They knew that they much pass through Baltimore, but they did not know the obstacles that they would have to surmount in the Monumental City They proceeded to the depot in the usual manner, and the servant asked for tickets for his master and self. Of course the master could have a ticket, but “bonds will have to be entered before you can get a ticket,” said the ticket master. “It is a rule of this office to require bonds for all negroes applying for tickets to go North, and none but gentlemen of well-know responsibility will be taken,” further explained the ticket master.

      “The servant replied, that he knew “nothing about that”–that he was “simply traveling with his young mast to take care of him–he being in a very delicate state of health, so much so, that fears were entertained that he might not be able to hold out to reach Philadelphia, where he was hastening for medical treatment,” and ended his reply by saying, “my master can’t be detained.” Without further parley, the ticket master very obligingly waived the old “rule” and furnished the requisite tickets. The mountain being thus removed, the young planter and his faithful servant were safely in the cars for the city of Brotherly Love.

      “Scarcely had they arrived on free soil when the rheumatism departd–the right arm was unslung–the toothache was gone–the beardless face was unmuffled–the deaf heard and spoke–the blind saw–and the slave, the facts of this unparalleled Underground Rail Road feat were fully established by the most unquestionable evidence.

      “The constant strain and pressure on Ellen’s nerves, however, had tried her severely, so much so, that for days afterwards, she was physically much prostrated, although joy and gladness beamed from her eyes, which bespoke inexpressible delight within.

      “Never can the writer forget the impression made by their arrival. Even now, after a lapse of nearly a quarter of a century, it is easy to picture them in a private room, surrounded by a few friends–Ellen in her fine suit of black, with her cloak and high-heeled boots, looking, in every respect, like a young gentleman; in an hour after having dropped her male attire, and assumed the habiliments of her sex the feminine only was visible in every line and feature of her structure.

      “Her husband, William, was thoroughly colored, but was a man of marked natural abilities, of good manners, and full of pluck, and possessed of perceptive faculties very large.

      “It was necessary, however, in those days, that they should seek a permanent residence, where their freedom would be more secure than in Philadelphia; therefore they were advised to to to headquarters, directly to Boston. There they would be safe, it was supposed, as it had then been about a generation since a fugitive had been taken back from the Old Bay State, and through the incessant labors of William Llyod Garrison, the great pioneer, and his faithful coadjutors, it was conceded that another fugitive slave case could never be tolerated on the free soil of Massachusetts. So to Boston they went.”

      Note…on the pages that follow this, Still tells how the Crafts felt safe in Boston for two years, but then the Fugitive Slave Bill was passed and fugitive slaves could no longer feel safe anywhere in the U.S.

  15. rikyrah says:

    First Look: Knight Life with Gladys

    The Empress of Soul is coming to OWN! Grammy® Award winning recording artist Gladys Knight juggles family and fame without missing a beat.

    Tune in for the sneak peak of Knight Life with Gladys on Saturday, December 28 at 10/9c.

    Read more:

  16. Yahtc says:

    Cecil County NAACP membership grows in reaction to KKK meeting

  17. Yahtc says:

    Kwanzaa Kicks Off Today

    December 26, 2013

  18. Yahtc says:

    Black business leaders threaten to boycott San Francisco

    December 26, 2013

  19. Yahtc says:

    Good Morning Everyone :)

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