Serendipity SOUL | Wednesday Open Thread | Dionne Warwick Week

Happy HUMP day. Hope you’re enjoying Dionne Warwick week!

Walk on By

Anyone Who Had a Heart

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122 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Wednesday Open Thread | Dionne Warwick Week

  1. rikyrah says:

    Oprah & Lupita GET FAB For W Magazine Covers + Lady O & The Presidential Lady O Chill Together In Hawaii

    The belles of Award season are covering two of the multiple covers W magazine has for their big movie issue. Check out Oprah and Lupita Nyong’o inside…

    While the acting world is on the road to the Oscars, YBF chicks like Oprah and Lupita are soaking up all of the much deserved attention. Oscars nods aren’t in until January 16th, but for now, The Butler star and the 12 Years A Slave star are putting their fabness on display for the new issue of W magazine.

  2. rikyrah says:

    this pic made me smile for all sorts of reasons

  3. rikyrah says:

    Boehner eyes jobless as leverage
    01/08/14 08:00 AM—Updated 01/08/14 08:12 AM
    By Steve Benen

    Shortly after the Senate advanced a measure to extend federal unemployment benefits, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), unprompted, issued a statement intended to throw cold water on the idea.

    One month ago I personally told the White House that another extension of temporary emergency unemployment benefits should not only be paid for but include something to help put people back to work. To date, the president has offered no such plan.”

    There’s quite a bit wrong with this. For example, Boehner knows jobless Americans need these benefits and knows cutting off aid will hurt the economy, but insists on spending cuts to offset the costs. Why? He didn’t say. What needs to get cut? He didn’t say. Why have Republicans supported previous extensions without offsetting cuts, only to change course now? He didn’t say.

    For that matter, note that Boehner believes President Obama offered no plan to “help put people back to work.” Actually, that’s the opposite of the truth – Obama unveiled the American Jobs Act in 2011. The Speaker might remember this; he was sitting behind the president when it was presented to the public. Indeed, Boehner might also remember killing the legislation – which independent estimates projected would have created over 1 million jobs – while offering no alternative bill to boost job creation.

    But the larger takeaway from the statement is that the Speaker of the House sees the Senate moving on unemployment benefits and wants to make it perfectly clear that he has certain expectations. While some see this as an emergency for struggling families and a key economic issue, Boehner senses an opportunity – the plight of jobless Americans can be exploited to advance Republican priorities.

  4. rikyrah says:

    Russell Schaffer @RussOnPolitics
    The Chris Christie administration lied, and people died.

    4:38 PM – 8 Jan 2014

  5. rikyrah says:

    Rubio: War on Poverty has been lost
    By Jackie Kucinich
    January 8 at 4:20 pm

    Fifty years after Lyndon B. Johnson declared a “war on poverty” in his State of the Union address, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) declared the war lost.

    Five decades and trillions of dollars after President Johnson waged his War on Poverty, the results of this big-government approach are in,” he said. “We have four million Americans who have been out of work for six months or more.”

    Rubio added that “economic, social, cultural and educational changes and challenges” have caused poverty to get worse and that the federal government was not equipped to fix it.

    Rubio, a potential 2016 contender for the GOP nomination, is one of several top Republicans who have been speaking publicly about poverty in recent days and offering alternative proposals to help middle-class and low-income Americans. The efforts come as an extension of long-term unemployment benefits is being debated in Congress and Democrats attempt to paint Republicans as out of touch with the hardships suffered by lower-income Americans.

    Among the changes to the system Rubio proposed was a plan to consolidate federal funding for anti-poverty programs into the one agency and give those funds to the states. The key to addressing poverty, Rubio emphasized in his high-profile speech, is decentralizing.

    “These Flex Funds would be transferred to the states so they can design and fund creative initiatives that address the factors behind inequality of opportunity” closer to home, Rubio said.

    Rubio said his staff was still working through the details of what would be a part of the “Flex Funds” but said programs like food stamps could potentially be included.

  6. rikyrah says:

    MSNBC’s Ari Melber, Joy Reid To Rotate As Hosts For Noon Hour: TVNewser

    The Huffington Post | By Catherine Taibi
    Posted: 01/08/2014 4:49 pm EST | Updated: 01/08/2014 4:49 pm EST

    MSNBC is shaking up its already-shaken schedule once more.

    Ari Melber, who became a co-host of “The Cycle” in April, will now rotate as a host for the network’s noon hour, TV Newser reported Wednesday.

    The move is the latest in an elaborate game of anchor musical chairs at MSNBC—all brought on thanks to a combination of scandalous resignations (hello, Martin Bashir) and incoming hires. After Bashir resigned in December, current 12 PM host Alex Wagner was tapped to fill his place, leaving a hole at 12 PM.

    Joy Reid, who has also been seen as one of the prime contenders to get a permanent show of her own, will also be one of the 12 PM hosts, TVNewser said.

    There is still a gap left at 11 AM, which will be vacated by Thomas Roberts when he moves to 5:30 AM. Ronan Farrow seems like a leading contender for that slot, though no official announcement has been made.

  7. I’ll bet she’s not smiling now…

    Christie Finger Pointing

  8. rikyrah says:

    Christie Pal Files Last-Minute Lawsuit To Avoid Testifying In Bridge Scandal

  9. Folks going in on Chris Christie!

  10. rikyrah says:


    Report: 91-year-old New Jersey woman died after emergency crews were delayed by Christie aides’ bridge closure.

  11. rikyrah says:

    Ft. Lee mayor on @CNN: city called Port Authority 40-50 times begging lanes be reopened. called it public safety threat.

    @EricBoehlert @GN192 @CNN If a cyber-hacker pulled this stunt he would have been charged with cyber-terrorism.

  12. ********************
    Translation: It wasn’t me! I oin’t know nothing this bridge closing.

  13. The Best of #ChrisChristieFilms

  14. rikyrah says:

    you know I’m with him.

    been saying for awhile that the DNC needs to be camped out in Kentucky right now, making ad after ad with nothing but WHITE working class/poor folks that NOW have healthcare thanks to Obamacare. And they need to play these ads around the clock in every state with a GOP Governor that refuses to expand Medicaid.

    Final statement of the ad:

    WHy do THEY have healthcare and you don’t?

    Because their Governor is a Democrat and yours is a Republican.


    Steve Beshear: Don’t fear the politics of Obamacare, Dems
    By Greg Sargent
    January 8 at 12:11 pm

    The rollout of Obamacare in Kentucky may represent the most interesting experiment in the politics of health care in the country right now. Dem governor Steve Beshear is perhaps the most outspoken defender of the Affordable Care Act in the south. This, in a deep red state where the reform known as “Obamacare” is deeply unpopular; where the leading foe of the President’s agenda is on the ballot this year; and where the need for reform is urgent.

    In an interview today, Beshear offered fellow Dems — red state and otherwise — some startling advice: Stand up for Obamacare because it’s the right thing to do. What’s more, Beshear insists, Republicans are wrong: the health law will be a political positive for Dems next fall.

    “We’re doing the right thing,” Beshear told me. “That’s the most important point here. The people of America, and the people of Kentucky, deserve access to affordable health care. For the first time in the history of this country, we have a tool that allows us to accomplish this goal.”

    Republicans and some pundits will scoff at the idea that Dems — particularly in red states — should stand up for Obamacare. And it’s true that polls show Obamacare — and the president — with a woefully low approval rating in Kentucky. Meanwhile, Republicans are banking on continuing headlines about canceled plans and higher premiums — perhaps followed by other problems.

    Asked to respond, Beshear urged a longer view. “This issue is going to look a lot different in November 2014 than it looks today,” he said. “By November 2014, these exchanges will be working smoothly, and the world will not have come to an end. The ACA doesn’t affect 80 percent. By November of next year, they are going to know that. Right now some are afraid because of misinformation. By November they will know it’s not going to do anything to them. The other 20 percent are going to be happy, for the most part, with what they find.”

    “In general this issue is going to be a winner for Democrats by November of 2014 — whether you’re in a red state or a blue state,” Beshear said.

  15. rikyrah says:

    Father knows best: Photo of multitasking dad goes viral

    Give that parent a round of applause, though he insists he’s done nothing special.

    A Los Angeles dad has become an Internet sensation after posting a photo of himself tenderly combing his 2-year old daughter’s hair before school, while also cradling his baby girl.

    “After 15 minutes of multitasking, the final result was a nice, tight ponytail for big sister and a happily sleeping baby in the carrier. Mission accomplished,” Doyin Richards wrote in a blog post this week titled, “I Have a Dream: That People Will View a Picture Like This and Not Think It’s a Big Deal,” on

    “Little did I know how interesting things were about to become.”

    The picture has since received almost 200,000 “likes” on Facebook and has been shared thousands of times.

    Richards explained in his own blog that the photo was taken on a busy morning in October, when he was on paternity leave to bond with his youngest child. His wife was in a hurry, so he said he’d take care of styling his daughter’s hair.

  16. rikyrah says:

    Utah orders state agencies not to honor same-sex marriages
    By Pete Williams and Tracy Connor, NBC News

    Utah has ordered state offices not do anything that would recognize more than 1,000 same-sex marriages performed in the two weeks before the U.S. Supreme Court put a temporary halt to gay nuptials.

    The state is not declaring those unions void, but said agencies should take no action that would give any legal recognition to them.

    “Please understand this position is not intended to comment on the legal status of those same-sex marriages — that is for the courts to decide,” Derek Miller, chief of staff to Gov. Gary Herbert, wrote in a memo Wednesday.

  17. rikyrah says:

    Son surprises parents with 130-pound weight loss
    Lisa Flam TODAY

    Lucas Irwin surprised his family with a holiday gift they just couldn’t believe: Without mentioning a peep about his determination to lose weight after years of struggle, the 300-pound young man slimmed down to a trim 170.

    Keeping his year-long effort a secret from his family made his big reveal — caught on video now going viral —extra special.

    “I only go home once or twice a year, usually once in the summer, once for Christmas,” Irwin, 25, told TODAY on Wednesday’s show. “And I made up an excuse not to go home over the summer just so they wouldn’t see me.”

    Despite his success, he was feeling the jitters before the family reunion.

    “When I saw my parents for the first time, I was really nervous,” he said. “I was shaking and … it was very surreal.”

  18. rikyrah says:

    Prominent Texas donor McCombs bashes Strong hire
    A billionaire donor to the University of Texas says the hire of new football coach Charlie Strong was like a ”kick in the face.”

    Red McCombs has donated millions to Texas, and his name is on the north side of the football stadium. He publicly lobbied for Texas to hire Jon Gruden.

    Hours after Strong was introduced Monday at a campus news conference, McCombs, the former owner of the Minnesota Vikings and the San Antonio Spurs, complained to KZDC-AM in San Antonio that he was ignored in the coaching search.

    ”I think it is a kick in the face,” McCombs said. ”Beyond the fact of what actually happened. We have boosters that have a lot of knowledge about the game.”

    McCombs said prominent donors had a lot of input when Texas hired Mack Brown in 1997. This time, the coaching search was led by new athletic director Steve Patterson.–ncaaf.html

  19. rikyrah says:

    What It Means to Be a Public Intellectual
    Here is the machinery of racism—the privilege of being oblivious to questions, of never having to grapple with what is around you.
    Ta-Nehisi CoatesJan 8 2014, 10:47 AM ET

    Last night my wife and I went out for dinner. Our server was French, a fact that allowed us to spend a few moments practicing the language. When the server left, my wife said, “It’s everywhere.” Indeed. Some years ago I decided to learn French. It turns out that means more than talking to people, reading books or watching movies. It means understanding the difference between a definite and an indefinite article, the deeper meaning behind “Prêt A Manger” or “Le Pain Quotidien,” or the fact that the language you take as foreign is actually “everywhere”—on the buses and trains, on the lips of mothers remanding children, out the mouths of cab-drivers yelling at each other.

    These are Rumsfeld’s “unknown unknowns”—not simply a lack of answers, but an obliviousness to questions. The awareness of this is humbling and euphoric: If French is “everywhere,” how many other things are “everywhere?” What does “everywhere” even mean? At that moment one realizes that it isn’t the cool facts which wise you up, but the awareness of a yawning, limitless, impossible ignorance.

    Yesterday Dylan Byers, Politico’s media reporter, sent out this tweet:

    Dylan Byers @DylanByers
    Ta-Nehisi Coates’s claim that “Melissa Harris-Perry is America’s foremost public intellectual” sort of undermines his intellectual cred, no?

    10:00 AM – 7 Jan 2014

    He was then asked to offer suggestions of his own. Byers didn’t immediately answer. After being berated for an hour and a half he decided he should:

    Dylan Byers @DylanByers
    Bernard Lewis, Noam Chomsky, Jeffrey Sachs, Paul Krugman (tho not anymore), E.O. Wilson… Obviously Sontag before she died cc @Mattyglesias

    11:28 AM – 7 Jan 2014

    Byers’s contenders were all white men and a white woman disqualified on account of death. This was caricature—a pose not wholly unfamiliar to Byers—and it was greeted with all the mockery which #blacktwitter so often musters. But black people—and #blacktwitter—mostly laugh to keep from crying.

    This began because I claimed that Melissa Harris-Perry is “America’s foremost public intellectual.” I made this claim because of Harris-Perry’s background: Ph.D. from Duke; stints at Princeton and Tulane; the youngest woman to deliver the Du Bois lecture at Harvard; author of two books; trustee at the Century Foundation. I made this claim because of her work: I believe Harris-Perry to be among the sharpest interlocutors of this historic era—the era of the first black president—and none of those interlocutors communicate to a larger public, and in a more original way, than Harris-Perry.

    Now Melissa Harris-Perry neither needs (nor likely much cares about) my endorsement. Regrettably, there’s no cash attached to the “TNC Public Intellectual Prize.” Moreover, other people will make other cases. What sets Byers apart is the idea that considering Harris-Perry an intellectual is somehow evidence of inferior thinking.

  20. rikyrah says:

    The Smartest Nerd in the Room
    Why Melissa Harris-Perry is America’s foremost public intellectual, and what she means
    Ta-Nehisi CoatesJan 6 2014, 3:18 PM ET

    On Saturday, Melissa Harris-Perry apologized on air for segment that made light of the Romney clan’s adoption of a young black boy. On Sunday, Mitt Romney accepted Harris-Perry’s “heartfelt” apology, noting, “I’ve made plenty of mistakes myself.” I’ve watched the offending segment several times now. I can see how a white parent who’d adopted a black child (or vice versa) would find the segment flip and offensive. It would not have surprised me if those concerned about adoption, equality, and racism voiced some protest about the segment. Instead what we got was week of invective driven mostly by a conservative movement with less lofty concerns.

    “Harris-Perry has been a public laughingstock for some time now,” wrote John Nolte. “P.S. The Duck Dynasty family has an adopted black child. Maybe this is why the media hate them so much.” Nolte was writing for the site named for the man who engineered the “Shirley Sherrod is a racist” hoax. There has never been an apology for that and there won’t be one. That is because the conservative movement does not believe that racism is an actual issue to be grappled with, but sees it instead as a hand grenade to be lobbed into an enemy camp. One week we find Sarah Palin defending a man who thought my father was better off living under state-sponsored terrorism. The next we find her arguing that history’s greatest monster is one Melissa Harris-Perry.

    When not attempting to shame their enemies on trumped-up charges of racism, the conservative movement busies itself appealing to actual racists. We are into the sixth year of the era of a black president. In that time the conservative movement has gorged on a steady diet of watermelon jokes, waffle jokes, affirmative-action jokes, monkey jokes, barbecue jokes, terrorist machinations, secret Muslim plots, and dastardly Kenyan conspiracies. Three months ago, the movement reached a new low, waving the flag of slavery in front of the Obama’s home. It is tempting to call this the climax of a long campaign. That would exhibit an unearned optimism at odds with history.

    Mitt Romney is not immune to this trend—he embodies it. On July of 2012, then-candidate Romney spoke to the NAACP (allegedly planting his own supporters). Later that day, he went before a crowd of conservatives and pitched his speech as follows:


    Racism is, among other things, the unearned skepticism of one group of humans joined to the unearned sympathy for another. Mitt Romney was born into a state whose policy was white supremacy, whose policy was to heap “gifts” upon people who looked like him, at the expense of people who looked like Barack Obama. Romney’s familiarity with white supremacy was not passive and distant but direct and tangible. As a child he lived in a neighborhood which, by the employment of compacts, red-lining, and terrorism, was an exclusive white preserve.

    As an adult, Romney worships in a church that as late as 1978 took racism not simply as policy but as the word of God. It is possible the church believes this even to this day.* In 2012, the Washington Post looked at the Mormon church’s racist history. Reporter Jason Horowitz talked to Brigham Young University professor of religion Randy Bott, who explained the church’s take on its past:


    There is a sense that Romney’s grandchild should be off-limits to mockery. That strikes me as fair. It also doesn’t strike me that mocking was what Harris-Perry was doing. The problem was making any kind of light of a fraught subject—a black child being reared by a family whose essential beliefs were directly shaped by white supremacy, whose patriarch sought to lead a movement which derives most its energy from white supremacy. That’s a weighty subtext. But there is no one more worthy, and more capable, of holding that conversation than America’s most foremost public intellectual—Melissa Harris-Perry.

    There may well be intellectuals with more insight. And there are surely public figures with a greater audience. But there is no one who communicates the work of thinking to more people with more rigor and effect than Harris-Perry. Her show brings a broad audience into a classroom without using dead academic language and tortured abstractions. And she does this while awarding humanity on a national stage to a group unaccustomed to such luxury—black women.

    Specifically in this instance, Harris-Perry is a black woman with a white mother. Through her mother, Harris-Perry has a Mormon ancestry that extends back through generations. This is not a fact recently produced to inoculate her against criticism, but a theme that she returns to regularly (h/t Mediaite):

  21. rikyrah says:

    Mofo, please.


    Melissa Harris-Perry Proves Everything Conservatives Have Been Saying About Black Punditry
    By David Weigel

    Mediaite has bottled both of the big examples. Ann Coulter, who’s in her third decade of appearing on TV to say things that will hopefully outrage people, reacted to the story by implying that the MSNBC host was unqualified and hired for her skin color.

    “It’s particularly good having Melissa Harris-Perry, of all people, make fun of the Romney child as a token,” she said on Sean Hannity’s show. “What does she think she is at MSNBC?”

    He might have been acting, but Hannity looked to be taken aback by the derp he’d just heard. “Why would you say that?” he asked. “You’ve got plenty of African-Americans broadcasting on MSNBC.”

    “You do not,” said Coulter.

  22. rikyrah says:

    How do you solve a problem like Armond White? Critic’s attack on ’12 Years a Slave’ backfires
    by Veronica Miller | January 8, 2014 at 9:43 AM

    rmond White has been a problem for a while now.

    The New York movie critic has built a solid and well-wrought reputation as a contrarian critic in the film world. At best, he film criticism is described as “unique,” and at worst… well, any number of unfriendly adjectives have been bandied about.

    The late Roger Ebert once referred to White as a troll — “a smart and knowing one,” Ebert wrote in 2009, “but a troll.” likens White’s reviews to the way a “punk teen picks out clothing: to seem different and piss everybody off.”

    He’s had pubic run-ins with acclaimed movie directors, and has been tagged as America’s “most-hated critic.” And his latest antics do little to deflect those notions.

    During Monday’s New York Film Critics Circle Awards, White was heard heckling 12 Years A Slave director Steve McQueen as the filmmaker accepted the NYFCC’s award for best director. No matter that McQueen was accepting the prestigious award after being introduced by Harry Belafonte; according to reports, White had no use for decorum or even common decency.

    According to Variety, White was allegedly heard calling McQueen “an embarrassing doorman and garbageman,” and yelling, “F**k you, kiss my a**!”


    That White would be upset about McQueen being given a “best director” award is not a surprise — White has long made a career out of slaying cinema’s sacred cows. He panned the otherwise critically-hailed 12 Years, calling it “tragedy porn” and likening it to horror movies such as Saw and Human Centipede.

    But while a critic has a right to expressing his opinion — however profoundly absurd it may be — that liberty doesn’t extend to public nastiness, disrupting events with unsolicited profanity and shouting obscenities and insults at filmmakers as they accept awards.

    In this case, White took the reputation he built with paper and ink and turned it into a scene from a reality show, giving observers yet another clue that this confounding critic might actually buys into what he writes.

  23. rikyrah says:

    January 08, 2014, 10:28 am
    Staff emails link Chris Christie administration to bridge scandal
    By Alexandra Jaffe

    New emails link a top aide to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to lane closures that snarled traffic on the George Washington Bridge last year, the clearest connection between the Republican and a growing scandal that threatens his presidential prospects.

    According to emails obtained by the Bergen County Record, Bridget Anne Kelly, a deputy chief of staff to the governor, instructed a Port Authority official appointed by Christie to create “traffic problems” in Fort Lee, the Democratic mayor of which had declined to endorse Christie for reelection.

    “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee,” she emailed David Wildstein, a high-school friend of the governor.

    Wildstein emailed back: “Got it.”
    The governor faced swift and outspoken outrage from Democrats in the statehouse, some of whom saw the emails as the “smoking gun” tying Christie to the closures, as N.J. Sen. Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, who represents the Fort Lee area, put it.

    She told The Hill that the new revelations concerning the closures were “worse than I imagined.”

  24. rikyrah says:

    Marissa Alexander’s lawyer says she didn’t violate her bail agreement
    Jacksonville : FL : USA | Jan 07, 2014 at 5:23 PM PST

    Lawyer for Marissa Alexander said she did not violate her bail agreement and that the State Attorney’s Office knows it

    Lawyer for Marissa Alexander has responded to Florida State Attorney’s motion to modify or revoke the bail of his client for leaving her home—which violates her bond agreement.

    In the official response filed Tuesday, her defense team, which includes lawyer Bruce A. Zimet, wrote that the “defendant Marissa Danielle Alexander” did not violate her bail agreement and had gotten permission from the court to leave her residence.

    According to the document submitted, Alexander is being “supervised by Correctional Service Counselor April Wilson (Wilson CSC), who has been a Jacksonville Sheriff’s employee for over 17 years.”

    It further stated that Wilson was interviewed by the State Attorney’s Office and provided the following information concerning his client Marissa Alexander’s bond.

  25. rikyrah says:


    Can we start referring to Chris Christie as Mafia Governor Chris Christie?
    “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.”
    The e-mails between his aides sound like east coast sleaze politics, straight out of central casting.

    • Ametia says:

      hee hee Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. Maybe in 2016 the networks will hire Christie as the new Tony Soprano.

      Christie’s 2016 presidential hopes?


  26. rikyrah says:

    DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz To Christie: ‘Time’s Up, Guv’ CATHERINE THOMPSON – JANUARY 8, 2014, 11:52 AM EST

    Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz in a statement Wednesday accused New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) of exacting political retribution on a Democratic mayor who didn’t endorse his re-election bid.

    After documents obtained by several news outlets connected one of Christie’s closest aides to lane closures on the George Washington Bridge that caused traffic mayhem in Fort Lee, N.J., Mayor Mark Sokolich told the Wall Street Journal that he had been the victim of “political payback.”

    Christie repeatedly denied he was involved in the closures, which Schultz said was “clearly untrue given the discovery of emails that came directly from his own top staff.”

  27. rikyrah says:

    Racism, Sexism, And The 50-Year Campaign To Undermine The War On Poverty

    By Igor Volsky on January 8, 2014 at 8:05 am

    It has been 50 years since Lyndon Johnson first declared that the nation could, “for the first time in our history,” conquer and win a war on poverty, pledging a “total commitment by this President, and this Congress, and this nation, to pursue victory over the most ancient of mankind’s enemies.” In the years that followed, lawmakers weaved a social safety net that still endures to this day, providing educational opportunities for low income Americans, retirement and health care security to the low income and elderly, and food assistance to the hungry.

    Through the 1930s and 40s, most national politicians embraced welfare policies, since the federal programs of the New Deal — the 1935 Social Security Act and other initiatives — excluded the black population and were largely seen as acceptable by the white majority. But following World War II and the rise of the Civil Rights movement, welfare programs opened to African Americans, triggering a counterattack from conservatives in both political parties who sought to portray these programs as wasteful, unnecessary, and encouraging government dependence.

    Beginning in 1964 and stretching through today, conservative leaders systematically undermined the programs that shaped Johnson’s War on Poverty, frequently deploying racist and sexist arguments to take away public assistance from the poorest Americans. Their rhetoric didn’t directly undo these social programs, but it chipped away at their foundation and altered Americans’ perceptions about the proper role of government. ThinkProgress spoke to six American historians of the Johnson era about the evolution of racist and sexist attacks against social welfare programs, some of which can still be heard in the debates in Washington today.

  28. rikyrah says:

    Republicans Are Being Taught How To Look Compassionate While Denying Benefits To The Long-Term Unemployed
    By Annie-Rose Strasser on January 8, 2014 at 10:35 am

    First, Republicans were given lessons on how to talk to women while denying them reproductive services. Now, they’re learning how to talk to the long-term unemployed and their families while denying them benefits.

    As members of the Republican Party fight against extending unemployment insurance to those who have been out of work for more than 26 weeks, the party’s leadership is circulating talking points on the best language to use when discussing such opposition, the Washington Post reports. The goal is to show compassion, but some of the talking points come off as tone deaf.

    “Washington has lost its priorities,” reads one, “if it’s more focused on making unemployment easier to tolerate than it is getting people back to work and restoring independence all together.”

    Of course, there’s no reason that “Washington” — or, rather, the politicians therein — needs to choose one or the other: Unemployment benefits can be extended while the legislature works on a more comprehensive solution for getting the economy back on track. Indeed, it’s estimated that extending unemployment benefits would save 240,000 jobs through a combination of increasing consumer spending and keeping people looking for work, something that would be buoy the economy as a whole. Even conservative news outlet National Review recognizes the exceptionally high rate of long-term unemployed and the incentive of asking people to look for work in order to get their benefits is a boon to the economy. Studies show that people on unemployment benefits look harder for work, keeping them in the labor force.

    The memo goes on to give ideas for pushback to common arguments in favor of extending unemployment benefits. Confronted with the fact that studies show any disincentive for finding a new job created by unemployment insurance is minimal at best, Republican lawmakers are instructed to cite North Carolina — a state that “has seen it’s [sic] unemployment rate fall a full percentage point and a half” since it ended its Emergency Unemployment Compensation program.

  29. rikyrah says:

    States Edge Closer to Medicaid Expansion: Who’ll Go First?

    Several GOP governors turned down federal money to expand their states’ insurance for the poor. Now even some hard-core conservatives are about to take the cash.

    When will some states that initially refused federal money to expand Medicaid for their poor citizens pull a flip-flop and accept it? Because it’s inevitable that some will—and as they do, the Republicans’ sabotage of Obamacare will be profoundly undermined, and people’s concomitant opposition to the law will start to vaporize.

    This thought is occasioned by the publication yesterday by Theda Skocpol, the esteemed Harvard sociologist and political scientist and head of the excellent Scholars’ Strategy Network, of an eye-popping chart about how health-care coverage is proceeding so far in various states. Skocpol divides the 50 states into five categories: “full-go,” the 14 states that have accepted the Medicaid expansion and set up their own exchanges; “supporters,” the seven states expanding Medicaid and working within the federal exchange; “exchange partners,” the two states working with the federal exchange but not expanding Medicaid; “Medicaid only,” the four states expanding Medicaid but defaulting on the exchanges; and “just say no,” the 23 states that aren’t accepting Medicaid money or working with the exchanges.

  30. rikyrah says:

    Ensuring Discipline that is Fair and Effective

    [….] Racial discrimination in school discipline is real, and it is a real problem. That’s why today, my office, OCR, in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, released first-ever federal policy guidance aimed at addressing the problem of racial discriminatory discipline practices in elementary and secondary education. We sent our policy guidance, in the form of a Dear Colleague Letter (DCL), to help schools and districts identify and remedy discriminatory discipline practices.[….]

    The DCL also provides concrete examples to help schools and districts understand the potential civil rights violations that may arise when disciplining students. Importantly, the DCL provides a number of recommendations that schools and districts can implement to ensure that discipline is fair and effective. These recommendations align with a set of guiding principles the U.S. Department of Education developed and also released today.[….]

  31. rikyrah says:

    ‘Saturday Night Live’ Adds Two African-American Female Writers (Exclusive)

    9:42 AM PST 1/8/2014 by Lesley Goldberg

    Saturday Night Live is not only adding a new African-American woman to its cast but two to its writers’ room as well.

    LaKendra Tookes and Leslie Jones, who were discovered during the sketch show’s recent auditions, will join SNL’s writers’ room starting Monday, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

    Tookes and Jones were both among the black female comedians who
    auditioned during showcases held in New York and Los Angeles after the
    long-running Lorne Michaels sketch series faced
    widespread criticism that its new cast lacked diversity — specifically
    the inclusion of an African-American woman.

  32. rikyrah says:

    Roger Ailes Wants To Launch A History Channel Because ‘They’re Not Teaching The Kids The Real Stuff’

    TOM KLUDT – JANUARY 8, 2014, 12:01 PM EST

    Fox News chief Roger Ailes wants to take his conservative interpretation of contemporary affairs and apply to history.

    Ailes told The Hollywood Reporter in an interview published Wednesday that he wants Fox’s parent company News Corp to team up with host Bill O’Reilly — author of a series of pop history books detailing the bloody deaths of Lincoln, JFK and, most recently, Jesus — and launch the venture.

    “I would like News Corp to form a history channel and let Bill work with me,” Ailes said. “I’d run it for him because I’d like history done correctly for a change. They’re not teaching the kids the real stuff. I think there is room for another channel, and I would love to do it.”

    • CarolMaeWY says:

      The fact I was taught so very little about real history in elementry and high school was terrible. Hardly any women were mentioned or slavery or the history of Native Americans was not real history. This is what it sounds like Ailes (perfect last name) wants to go back to. Thankfully I was a voracious reader and had other ways of learning. I also questioned everything, driving adults crazy. Look at what the History channel has turned into, Pawn Stars. True, you do learn history from the show, but it’s sporadic. I don’t know what history you learn from swamp things or whatever it’s called and storage wars. My Hubby likes Pawn Stars and I can bear it as long as I have my iPad. I also know that I do not understand all history. Now that I have had my iPad a couple years and finished college later in life, I have learned so much but also have so much more to learn. That includes grammer and spelling. As a mother I’m so embarresed that my sons are terrible spellers and have poor grammer. They are great writers and so is Hubby but oh the grammer and spelling is embarrassing.

      I watched an episode of the Bible or the life of Christ, sorry I can’t remember the title and it skimmed over topics there was no depth to it. In fact I don’t think there is that much depth to the Old Testament and New Testament books of the Bible. The only two that I can name off hand that go into details are Leviticus and Numbers. Craziest laws I’ve ever read.
      I was taught the New Testiment mostly and learned by example from my family and their friends. My Sunday School teachers were the best. I’m a life long United Methodist and I think we were considered liberal compared to what some call fire and brimstone.

      3Chicks is a great place for me to learn what I can never experience. I’m so glad you’ve accepted me here. You have really posted several good articles. Thank you so much to all involved.

      I’m on a learning adventure right now. I got a Mac Book Pro and new iPad Air, both with Retina display. Monday I was finally had time to set aside to open the boxes and get started with set-up. I failed so miserably and thought “I’m so dumb, I’m surprised I’m a Democrat”. ;) Tuesday another day and at least I have the Mac Book open. I move at a snails pace. I’ve always used a PC until I got the iPad. I hated Vista and never really learned its in and outs. So that is why I decided to get an Apple. I don’t ever want to buy another computer. If anyone has a Mac I’d appreciate at tips. I probably won’t be posting or lurking for awhile until I’ve read some manuals.

      Sorry this became much longer than I intended.

    • Yahtc says:

      We have to be careful that conservative Roger Ailes does not revise history to suit the conservative agenda.

  33. rikyrah says:

    I KNOW that 3CHICS has gifs to respond to this nonsense…


    “I Don’t Think It’s Rude, But…” Etiquette Experts Perplexed Over First Lady’s Party Plans
    By Helena Andrews
    January 6 at 6:30 am

    Guests attending Michelle Obama’s 50th birthday party at the White House later this month can look forward to “a little Dougie” but definitely not dinner.

    Word’s out that the lucky VIPs invited to fete Mrs. Obama at a “Snacks & Sips & Dancing & Dessert” party have been advised to dust off their dancing shoes and, more strictly, “to eat before you come.”

    While it’s always nice to give the stiletto sporting crowd a heads-up, the East Wing’s “EBYC” directive has some folks in the party planning business scratching their heads.

    “I don’t think it’s rude, but I do think it’s a little . . . different than what people are used to. How’s that for putting it delicately?” joked Lizzie Post, great-great-granddaughter of Emily Post and co-author of “Great Get-Togethers: Casual Gatherings and Elegant Parties at Home.”

  34. rikyrah says:

    I can’t even tell you how much this makes me smile.

    And THEY can’t stand it that she’s staying back to party with strong, smart BLACK WOMEN


    Michelle Obama and Oprah Are Vacationing Together in Hawaii This Week

    By Julie Miller

    This weekend it was announced that Michelle Obama was staying behind in Hawaii, after a first family vacation in Honolulu, to celebrate her upcoming 50th birthday amongst friends. (And presumably, to give the President a little more time to plan her official party.) Just two days later, it has become apparent just who the First Lady’s friends might be: Oprah Winfrey and Gayle King.

    Thanks to intel from local law enforcement officials, TMZ reports that once the rest of the Obamas flew home, Michelle flew to Maui and was transported directly to Oprah’s 12-bedroom estate on the island. The report is seemingly substantiated by local Maui reports that “police cars and black SUVs are turning traffic around near the Maui estate of Oprah Winfrey.” Furthermore, the manager of Oprah’s local coffee joint, Grandma’s Coffeehouse, tells the Daily Caller that she saw “bomb sniffing dogs and Maui police in the bushes” near Oprah’s property. (The manager says she is no longer fazed by Oprah frequenting her shop but “would die” if the First Lady stopped by.) Additionally, at least one paparazzo has claimed to have captured a photo of the duo with “a very long lens.”

    This should officially put to rest long-simmering right wing rumors of a feud between Oprah and the White House.

    The “girls” getaway,” part of President Obama’s official birthday present to his wife, is also reportedly attended by a few other friends. According to the Daily Caller, CBS This Morning host (and Oprah B.F.F.) Gayle King, White House advisor Valerie Jarrett, and Sharon Malone, wife of Attorney General Eric Holder, are also in attendance.

    Obama’s 50th birthday party is January 17th and her big birthday party, which may very will be attended by Adele and Beyoncé, is scheduled for the day after.

  35. Who likes Stars wars? Here’s The making of ‘Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back’

  36. Ft. Worth Star-Telegram apologizes for Obamacare story

    The Ft. Worth Star-Telegram’s executive editor apologized to readers this week for a story it published in November about the trouble people were having getting affordable insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

    In a column teased on Monday’s front page, Jim Witt said the reporter and editor of the story did not do their due diligence to discover the background of the people profiled in the story, some of whom turned out to have Tea Party connections and were actually able to obtain more affordable coverage through Obamacare.

    “Knowing the background of the person quoted can give readers important clues about someone’s motives, but you didn’t learn that from reading our story, because we neglected to investigate the background of the people we quoted. That’s something you learn to do in Journalism 101. I remember my old professor saying ‘If your mother says she loves you … check it out,'” Witt wrote.

    The apology came after blogger Maggie Mahar wrote a two-part post criticizing the Star-Telegram for doing what she considered a poor job of fact-checking the story before publication.

    Though Witt said he disagrees with Mahar’s claim that the article was meant to make it “appear that we were part of a conspiracy to paint the Affordable Care Act in a negative light,” he conceded that “we did not do our job completely and therefore let our readers down.”

    Witt also cites the myriad of negative stories about Obamacare in the media as a reason to why the story did not seem out of the ordinary.

    “When the story ran, the media were full of stories detailing the myriad problems with the website being used to sign up, so this story didn’t strike the reporter’s editor, Steve Kaskovich, as out of the ordinary,” Witt said. “We didn’t have our radar turned on strong enough to spot the hole.”

  37. *******************
    Well well….

  38. Ta-Nehisi Coates blistered Dylan Byers

    What It Means to Be a Public Intellectual

    Here is the machinery of racism—the privilege of being oblivious to questions, of never having to grapple with the everywhere.

    Melissa Harris Perry

  39. ******************

    Popcorn, anyone?

    Popcorn Smiley

  40. Ametia says:


    WSJ Columnist: MSNBC Has a ‘Pattern’ of ‘Hiring Black Mediocrities’ to ‘Race-Bait’“I think the segment went exactly as planned,” Riley asserted. “Her apology was really about the blowback.”

    “I think there’s a pattern at MSNBC of them hiring black mediocrities like Melissa Harris-Perry, Michael Eric Dyson, Touré, and, of course — the granddaddy of them all — Al Sharpton, simply to race-bait” Riley asserted.

    He added that these and other MSNBC hosts routinely assert that “all of black peoples’ problems are caused by white people, and if you disagree with that, Mary, you’re a racist.”

  41. If you see me walkin’ down the street
    And I start to cry each time we meet
    Walk on by, walk on by…

    I’ve always loved Dionne’s “Walk On By”.

  42. rikyrah says:

    amk4obama @amk4obama
    #ObamaCare updated total signups (Private/Medicaid/Parents’ Plan) nearing 9.8 million.

    7:22 AM – 8 Jan 2014

  43. Yahtc says:

    Gov’t offers new approach to classroom discipline

  44. Yahtc says:

    ‘Arts for Martin’ pays homage to Martin Luther King Jr. for 10th year

  45. Yahtc says:

    Carter G. Woodson African American History Series, 2014 “Then and Now” Black Power, Soul Power, Word Power

  46. rikyrah says:

    Arctic blast compels escaped Kentucky inmate to ask for return to prison
    By Agence France-Presse
    Wednesday, January 8, 2014 7:27 EST

    An Arctic chill kept the United States and Canada in the deep freeze on Tuesday as a record-breaking cold front saw temperatures drop lower than those recorded on the surface of Mars.

    All of Canada and every U.S. state – except tropical Hawaii in the Pacific – recorded temperatures below freezing on Tuesday, even usually warm and sunny Florida and California.

    It was so cold in Chicago that the polar bear at the Lincoln Park zoo was brought inside.

    And an inmate who escaped in Kentucky, one of the usually temperate southern states, asked to be returned to prison after spending the night shivering in an abandoned house.

    Officials said 42-year-old Robert Vick walked into a Lexington motel and asked the clerk to call police.

    Vick, who was serving a five-year term for burglary and a six-year sentence for criminal possession of a forged instrument, was treated at a hospital for frostbite on his toes and fingers

  47. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone! :-)

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