Friday Open Thread | Gospel Music Week: Rev. Shirley Caesar

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We continue this week’s Gospel Music with the Rev. Shirley Caesar.

Shirley Ann Caesar-Williams, known professionally as Shirley Caesar (born October 13, 1938, Durham, North Carolina) is an American Gospel music singer, songwriter and recording artist whose career has spanned over six decades. A multi-award winning artist, with eleven Grammy Awards and seven Dove Awards to her credit, she was known as “First Lady of Gospel Music” and now the “Queen of Gospel Music” now since the death of the late Queen Albertina Walker.

Beginning recording at the age of 13 in 1951,[1] Shirley Caesar has released over forty albums, exploring her gift and spreading messages of faith. She has participated in over 16 compilations and three gospel musicals, Mama I Want to Sing, Sing: Mama 2 and Born to Sing: Mama 3.

Her credits also include a series of commercials for MCI Communications and several awards for her recordings. She has won or received 11 Grammy Awards, 13 Stellar Awards, 18 Doves, 1 RIAA gold certification, an Essence Award, McDonald’s Golden Circle Lifetime Achievement Award, NAACP Achievement Award, SESAC Lifetime Achievement Award, as well as induction into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame. According to Soundscan, she has sold 2.2 million albums since 1991.[2] Pastor Shirley has made several notable appearances including the televised Live from Disney World Night of Joy, the Gospel According to VH1, a White House performance for George Bush, and a speech on the Evolution of Gospel Music to the US Treasury Department [3]

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Musical career
Early years

Caesar first began singing and performing for family and friends. They loved her and knew she was going to be great. She first began recording in 1949, at age 11. Her professional adult ‘career’ began when she was 18, when she approached Albertina Walker about joining The Caravans, one of the most popular gospel groups at that time.

She sang with the legendary late Queen of Gospel Dr. Albertina Walker, Cassietta George, Dorothy Norwood, Inez Andrews, Delores Washington and James Cleveland while in the Caravans. She recorded and performed with The Caravans from 1958 until 1966. Thereafter she began pursuing a solo career and making a name for herself in the gospel music circuit, making guest appearances on the Bobby Jones gospel show and other popular television shows. Caesar credits Albertina Walker as her mentor and “Queen of Gospel Music”.

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Between 1981 and 1995, she received seven Dove Awards for Black Gospel Album of the Year for Live at the G.M.W.A., Celebration, Christmasing, Sailin‘, Live … In Chicago, Go and Rejoice. She received two Black Gospel Song of the Year Awards for “He’s Working It Out for You” and “Hold My Mule”. She has performed with such performers as Patti LaBelle, Whitney Houston, Dorothy Norwood, Faith Evans, Dottie Peoples, Arnold Houston, Kim Burrell, John P. Kee, Kirk Franklin and Tonex, Tye Tribbett among others. Shirley Caesar is also an actress. She acted in Fighting Temptations with Beyonce Knowles and Cuba Gooding Jr.

Caesar was inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame in 2010.[4]

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72 Responses to Friday Open Thread | Gospel Music Week: Rev. Shirley Caesar

  1. Yahtc says:

    Speeding Star Gives Universe Bright Red ‘Shock’; Phenomenon Captured In Stunning Image

  2. rikyrah says:


    Genius Girl Scout sells cookies outside pot club
    Posted on February 20, 2014 | By (Vivian Ho)

    It all boils down to one of the first rules of business: know your customer.

    Girl Scout Danielle Lei, 13, knew exactly what her customers wanted when she set up her cookie table outside of the Green Cross, a medical marijuana dispensary in San Francisco’s Excelsior neighborhood.

    “They get very hungry after!” she told the East Bay Express.

    Very hungry indeed. Within 45 minutes, Danielle sold out of cookies.

  3. Ametia says:

    Obama to award Medal of Honor to 19 overlooked minority soldiers

    President Obama will correct a historical act of discrimination next month when he awards the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest commendation for combat valor, to 19 Jewish, Hispanic, and African-American veterans overlooked previously because of their backgrounds. The unusual presentation will culminate a 12-year Pentagon review ordered by Congress into past discrimination in the ranks, and will hold a particular poignancy hosted by the nation’s first African-American president.

    Read more at:

  4. rikyrah says:

    Authorities Close To Bringing Charges Against Three Freshmen In Ole Miss Noose Case
    Tom Kludt – February 21, 2014, 11:12 AM EST

    Three 19-year-old freshmen at the University of Mississippi are wanted for questioning in the racially charged vandalism that took place last weekend at the school, according to University Police Chief Calvin Sellers.

    According to a statement released Friday from the university, Sellers and investigators had gathered enough evidence by Wednesday night to bring charges against two of the students.

    Sellers said the names of the three students, all white males, had figured prominently in the investigation into the defacement of a campus statue honoring James Meredith, the school’s first black student. A noose and a flag showing the “stars and bars” of the Confederacy were draped over the statue early Sunday morning.

    University police were stymied in their efforts to question the three students on Thursday night when attorneys representing the young men declined to make them available without a search warrant.

    Sellers said he believes there’s enough evidence to bring criminal charges against the three suspects and vowed to maintain cooperation with state and federal authorities. The FBI announced on Tuesday that it had joined the inquiry.

    Sellers was not available when TPM reached out for comment on Friday.

    • Ametia says:

      Who else would they be but white males? BLACK sure holds a lot of POWER over these folks, otherwise why are they so fearful and hell bent on destroying any one who is BLACK?

  5. rikyrah says:

    Catch of the Day: Republicans Fire, and Miss, at Obamacare

    By Jonathan Bernstein
    Feb 20, 2014 2:16 PM CT

    Kevin Drum at Mother Jones asks the obvious question about yet another overinflated or inaccurate Obamacare sob story from Republicans, in this case, from an advertisement produced by Americans for Prosperity :

    So here’s my question: if this is the best AFP can do, does that mean that no one is truly being harmed by Obamacare? Hell, I’m a diehard defender of Obamacare, and even I concede that there ought to be at least hundreds of thousands of people who are truly worse off than they were with their old plans. But if that’s the case, why is it that every single hard luck story like this falls apart under the barest scrutiny? Why can’t AFP find someone whose premiums really have doubled and who really did lose her doctor and who really is having a hard time getting the care she used to get?

    If this is happening to a lot of people, finding a dozen or so of them shouldn’t be hard. But apparently it is. So maybe it’s not actually happening to very many people at all?

    For the details about this particular story, see Glenn Kessler’s column in the Washington Post. See also a good item on testimonial ads from Bloomberg View’s Francis Wilkinson. Seriously: It’s not as if the occasional Obamacare horror story turns out to be exaggerated; every single one propagated by Republicans has fallen apart under scrutiny.

  6. rikyrah says:

    Michael Tomasky: Obamacare Wins on Specifics

    If Republicans can keep discussion around the Affordable Care Act vague, they’ll win in the midterms. The party of health care should collect stories of success and confront the party of no.

    The big electoral question hanging over Democrats, of course, is what to do about Obamacare this fall. The pundits say: It’s death! The Democrats are gonna get killed. The Democratic consultants advise their candidates to be as mealy-mouthed as they can possibly get away with being and change the topic as quickly as possible.

    The pundits might end up being right after all the votes are counted. But I say the quickest way for Democrats to guarantee that the pundits end up being right is to take their consultants’ advice and pussy-foot around the issue. Democrats who do that will be hoping they sound “reasonable,” but what they’ll really be sounding, and everyone will hear it, is timorous, callow, and totally without conviction. If Democrats are going to say they support the ACA at all—and most of them are going to have to—they might as well do it in a full-throttle and in-your-face way. And they can. The material is there if they just have the onions to use it.

  7. rikyrah says:

    A different kind of ‘achievement’ for women

    02/21/14 11:46 AM

    By Steve Benen

    Protesters rally before the start of a special session of the Legislature in Austin, July 1, 2013.
    Photo by Mike Stone/Reuters

    Protesters rally before the start of a special session of the Legislature in Austin, July 1, 2013.
    When it comes to policymakers imposing new restrictions on reproductive rights, a fierce national push has been underway since 2011, but arguably no state has gone further than Texas.

    As Katie McDonough explained yesterday, the status of reproductive healthcare in Texas “had been dire long before conservative lawmakers passed the omnibus measure to shutter reproductive health clinics, restrict safe abortion services and leave thousands of women without access to necessary care,” but it’s certainly worse now than a few years ago, thanks to sweeping new laws and budget cuts.

    It’s against this backdrop that Texas officials decided to host a hearing yesterday to recognize their own “achievements” in the area of women’s health. Tara Culp-Ressler noted:

    On Thursday, a panel of Texas lawmakers convened a hearing to discuss how to build on the state’s “previous legislative achievements in women’s healthcare.” The Senate committee invited two men — the executive commissioner of Texas Health and Human Services and the commissioner of the Department of State Health Services — to testify about women’s access to preventative health services.
    State Sen. Jane Nelson (R), who chairs the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, told the Texas Tribune that the hearing is intended to discuss the “progress” in running the new Texas Women’s Health Program.

    The new “program” was the result of Texas’ policy defunding Planned Parenthood.

  8. rikyrah says:

    Issa starts scraping the bottom of the barrel
    02/21/14 12:58 PM—Updated 02/21/14 01:01 PM
    By Steve Benen

    House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) spoke at a Republican fundraising event this week and told a rather brazen falsehood.

    “We need to have an answer of when the Secretary of Defense had assets that he could have begun spinning up. Why there was not one order given to turn on one Department of Defense asset? I have my suspicions, which is Secretary Clinton told Leon [Panetta] to stand down, and we all heard about the stand down order for two military personnel. That order is undeniable.

    “They were told not to get on – get off the airplane and kind of standby – and they’re going to characterize it wasn’t stand down. But when we’re done with Benghazi, the real question is, was there a stand down order to Leon Panetta or did he just not do his job? Was there a stand down order from the President who said he told them to use their resources and they didn’t use them? Those questions have to be answered.”

    When it comes to rhetorical excesses, Issa is known as a politician who’s comfortable taking liberties with reality, but this Benghazi rhetoric is spectacularly wrong. Indeed, it’s insultingly wrong – for the California Republican to repeat such as outlandish fictions in public suggests a certain contempt for one’s audience. Issa, in this case, just didn’t seem to respect the Republican donors at this fundraiser enough to be honest with them.

  9. rikyrah says:

    Media Finally Catches On and Busts Darrell Issa’s Clinton/Obama Smear

    By: Sarah Jones
    Friday, February, 21st, 2014, 10:56 am

    You’ve probably been told by outraged Republicans that President Obama and/or Hillary Clinton issued a “stand down” order in Benghazi. That allegation belongs to Republican Representative Darrell Issa of California, who seems unable to discern fact from GOP wish-fiction these days.

    This allegation earned four Pinocchios for Issa.

    Fact checker Glenn Kessler at the Washington Post has reported on domestic and foreign policy for more than three decades. He is not impressed with Darrell Issa’s latest Benghazi smears against Hillary Clinton and President Obama.

    During a fundraising dinner in New Hampshire, Tony Schinella, an editor at the Patch, reported that Rep. Darrell Issa said “he suspected that either Clinton or Obama told Panetta to stand down and not act or Panetta was told to do something and just didn’t do his job.”

  10. rikyrah says:

    Republican VW Union Busting Victory Turns Into a Major Defeat For The GOP

    By: Rmuse more from Rmuse

    Thursday, February, 20th, 2014, 11:05 am

    When Republicans campaigned for the 2010 midterm elections, their rallying cry was focusing on jobs, jobs, jobs, and after winning control of the House began the 112th Congress on a job-killing spree that has not abated one iota. In fact, when told the Republican House’s first round of austerity cuts would kill about a million jobs, new Speaker John Boehner said, “So be it;” decimating jobs has been their sole priority and achievement over the past three years. Boehner and Republicans claim that their job-creation strategy is “getting government out of the way” that they assure Americans is what businesses want to begin a hiring spree unlike any seen in decades, but they belied their own strategy over the past few weeks and killed more good-paying manufacturing jobs because they “got in the way” of a business planning to expand.

    Last week workers at a Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga Tennessee voted against union representation after a Republican Senator, Republican governor, Grover Norquist, and Republicans in the state legislature as well as an anti-worker organization used fear and threats targeting Volkswagen to affect the outcome of the vote. Republicans celebrated their handiwork that Matt Patterson of the Center for Worker Freedom, an anti-labor group, compared to the Confederate army beating back an “invading union force from the North.” However, what they accomplished was raising the ire of Volkswagen’s Wolfsburg-based (Germany) works council that reacted negatively to the Republicans’ interference and said the 20-member works council will block further investments by the German carmaker in the southern United States if its workers there are not unionized.

    The Germans were undeterred by last Friday’s vote and said Volkswagen’s works council will press on with efforts to set up labor representation at the Chattanooga plant that builds the Passat sedan. The head of Volkswagen’s works council and powerful supervisory board, Bernd Osterloh, was blunt when he said, “If co-determination isn’t guaranteed in the first place, we as workers will hardly be able to vote in favor of potentially building another plant in the U.S. south. I can imagine fairly well another VW factory in the United States, but it does not necessarily have to be assigned to the south again.”

  11. Ametia says:

    If You Build It’ movie review: More than just a chicken coop

    Can a chicken coop make you cry?

    The answer is a definite yes in “If You Build It,” a bracing, quietly exhilarating documentary about a group of high school students who discover their inner architects over the course of an academic year. Under the tutelage of an idealistic couple of committed design-builders, these teenagers — whose tiny hometown of Windsor, N.C., is quickly succumbing to brain drain and rural blight — start small and end big, stopping along the way to come up with whimsical, colorful and utterly gobsmacking ways to house a common farm fowl.

  12. CarolMaeWY says:

    Good Mountain time morning. I’m going to listen to these videos while trying to sort through what I need and what to give or throw away. I don’t need all this stuff! Everyone have a great day.

  13. Ametia says:

    Trying to play the good Gov now. I heard he blames PBO for Sandy relief efforts. GTFOH

  14. rikyrah says:

    You Won’t Believe What It’s Taken To Save Obamacare In Arkansas

    Dylan Scott – February 21, 2014, 6:00 AM EST10322

    Less than a month ago, the prospects for Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion in Arkansas looked dire. The state had already expanded the program this year, but the legislature needed to approve its funding again. Conservatives confidently predicted that they had enough votes to block next year’s funding. Insurance for more than 80,000 people hung in the balance, creating the real possibility that people could actually lose coverage that they had gained under the law.

    But, after a week of political horse-trading and inexplicable posturing, the program — and that coverage for low-income Arkansans — is on the verge of being saved.

    The Arkansas Senate, where conservatives had pledged to make their stand, approved the funding Thursday by the 75-percent majority necessary under state law to keep federal money flowing for the program.

    The House is expected to vote Friday, and most local observers anticipate it will pass. Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe is sure to sign it once it clears that chamber.

    But it took a helluva lot to get here.

    The Arkansas Times tracked the madness over the last three days. It started Tuesday as the House prepared to take the initial vote.

    First, Democratic lawmakers threatened to hold out their votes unless a major insurance company pledged to increase reimbursement rates for specialist doctors. The insurer gave, resulting in a raise for specialists and a small cut for primary physicians.

    They came around on that initial vote, but a number of Republican lawmakers held out and the funding bill failed Tuesday. To pick up some of those critical votes, a few provisions — including one that blocked state spending for outreach to help Obamacare enrollment — had been added to the bill.

  15. rikyrah says:

    Musical Chairs in the Senate

    by BooMan
    Thu Feb 20th, 2014 at 03:15:28 PM EST

    When President Obama nominated Senator Max Baucus of Montana to be the ambassador to China, he created a game of musical committee chairs in the U.S. Senate. Some of the changes are pretty significant. Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana handed her Small Business Committee gavel to Maria Cantwell of Washington who handed her Indian Affairs gavel to Jon Tester of Montana. Landrieu took over the Energy & Natural Resources Committee, which is not a positive development if you care about carbon in the atmosphere. The Energy & Natural Resources chairmanship opened up because Ron Wyden of Oregon took over the Finance Committee from Baucus, and that could be the real game-changer here.

    The Senate Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over taxes and the big federal entitlement programs, just might be the most powerful committee in Congress. And in modern times its chairman has been relatively conservative, even when the Democrats were in charge. Is that about to change?
    From 1987 to 1993, the chairman was “Loophole Lloyd” Bentsen—so named because of his skill at delivering tax breaks for Wall Street and oil friends in Texas. His successor, from 1993 to 1995, was New York Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan—an intellectual and committed progressive on some issues, but one who famously helped kill President Bill Clinton’s health care plan by declaring “there is no health care crisis in this country.” The next Democrat to take over Finance was Max Baucus, who broke ranks to help President George W. Bush pass huge tax cuts and the Medicare drug benefit.

    But with Baucus on his way to China, to serve as ambassador, Finance has a new chairman: Ron Wyden of Oregon. And things are going to be a little different—particularly if Democrats win enough seats in November to hold the majority. By any reasonable standard, Wyden is a bona fide liberal—a staunch believer in universal health insurance, a more progressive tax code, and greater public investment. And unlike most of his predecessors, he’s not in the pocket of Wall Street. In 2012, Americans for Democratic Action and the Service Employees International Union each gave Wyden a rating of 95 percent. The conservative group FreedomWorks gave him a zero.

    This is only a hope, but it could be that one of the most progressive accomplishments of Obama’s second term was made possible by simply sending Max Baucus to China. Sen. Wyden can’t perform miracles, and we may not like his willingness and ability to work with Republicans, but he is not Max Baucus, or even anything like Max Baucus. Wyden isn’t stuck on orthodoxy, but he won’t sell us out, either.

    Meanwhile, Landrieu’s new perch should please the business community in Louisiana which now has a very powerful ally in a very important position. That advantage would all be lost if they got behind some freshman Republican in November. But, for people who want some kind action on the climate, a Louisiana Democrat isn’t any better than a Kentucky Republican. Unless Landrieu can do some kind of Nixon-to-China kind of solution, she is effectively a permanent block on climate efforts in the Senate.

    I’ll be keeping my eye on how Sen. Tester does at Indian Affairs. It’s a huge asset to a Montanan Democrat because they need good turnout from Native Americans to win statewide elections.

    One other thing I noticed is that Sen. Ed Markey grabbed Baucus’s slot on the Environment & Public Works Committee. Not to beat on Sen. Barbara Boxer, but she hasn’t been able to do a thing with her gavel on that committee because the Republicans have become climate denialists and anti-infrastructure deficit scolds. Still, having a lifelong committed environmentalist like Markey on the Environment committee is better than a corporate stooge like Baucus.

  16. rikyrah says:

    What could save Georgia’s closing hospitals
    02/20/14 11:26 AM—Updated 02/20/14 11:44 AM
    By Steve Benen

    For the fourth time in two years, a rural hospital in Georgia is permanently closing its doors. The latest is Lower Oconee Community Hospital in southeast Georgia, which had financial problems it could not overcome.

    The 25-bed “critical access” hospital in Glenwood, in Wheeler County, is looking to restructure, its CEO said in a statement. […]

    Jimmy Lewis of HomeTown Health, an organization of rural hospitals in Georgia, said Thursday that Lower Oconee suffered from high rates of unemployed and uninsured patients, coupled with heavy demands on staff time to handle claims processing from multiple insurance programs.

    If local residents face a medical emergency, they’ll now have to travel an additional 30 miles for care.

    The Macon Telegraph noted some of the possible solutions to the problem, including the most obvious: Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, which would “help rural hospitals by turning many of their uninsured patients into paying patients.”

    Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal (R) and the state legislature’s Republican majority have ruled out the possibility, “citing the cost to the state.” Indeed, just this week, GOP policymakers took steps to make approval of Medicaid expansion even more difficult, just in case Deal loses his re-election bid.

  17. Ametia says:

    Inside the Conservative Campaign to Launch “Jim Crow-Style” Bills Against Gay Americans

    “In this new up-is-down world, anti-gay religious folks are ‘practicing their faith’ when they’re baking cakes or renting out hotel rooms to travelers.”

    —By Dana Liebelson| Thu Feb. 20, 2014 3:00 AM GMT

    Kansas set off a national firestorm last week when the GOP-controlled House passed a bill that would have allowed anyone to refuse to do business with same-sex couples by citing religious beliefs. The bill, which covered both private businesses and individuals, including government employees, would have barred same-sex couples from suing anyone who denies them food service, hotel rooms, social services, adoption rights, or employment—as long as the person denying the service said he or she had a religious objection to homosexuality. As of this week, the legislation was dead in the Senate. But the Kansas bill is not a one-off effort.

    Republicans lawmakers and a network of conservative religious groups has been pushing similar bills in other states, essentially forging a national campaign that, critics say, would legalize discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Republicans in Idaho, Oregon, South Dakota, and Tennessee recently introduced provisions that mimic the Kansas legislation. And Arizona, Hawaii, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Mississippi have introduced broader “religious freedom” bills with a unique provision that would also allow people to deny services or employment to LGBT Americans, legal experts say.

  18. Africland: Tswana traditional dance./ Loves it!— 3ChicsPolitico (@3ChicsPolitico) February 21, 2014

  19. rikyrah says:

    A closer look at latest ACA ‘horror story’

    02/20/14 12:22 PM—Updated 02/20/14 12:26 PM
    By Steve Benen

    It’s hard to miss the pattern: the right identifies an “Obamacare victim,” who receives a fair amount of attention and finds themselves featured in a misleading attack ad. Soon after, reality sets in – the ACA “horror story” draws closer scrutiny and the story turns out to be quite different than the one first presented to the public.

    I tried to keep up with all of them for a while, but I’ve literally lost count of how many times this has happened.

    The new one is an attack ad in Michigan’s U.S. Senate race, sponsored by the Koch-financed Americans for Prosperity, featuring a woman named Julia Boonstra. She tells viewers:

    “I was diagnosed with leukemia. I found out I only have a 20 percent chance of surviving. I found this wonderful doctor and a great health care plan. I was doing fairly well fighting the cancer, fighting the leukemia, and then I received a letter. My insurance was canceled because of Obamacare.

    “Now, the out-of-pocket costs are so high, it’s unaffordable. If I do not receive my medication, I will die. I believed the president. I believed I could keep my health insurance plan. I feel lied to. It’s heartbreaking for me. Congressman Peters, your decision to vote Obamacare jeopardized my health.”

    If she looks familiar, Boonstra was also featured in a Republican National Committee event a few weeks ago and was a Republican guest at this year’s State of the Union address.

    It’s also worth noting that unlike some of the other figures featured in the AFP’s anti-healthcare ads, Boonstra is a real person, not an actor. What’s more, she actually lives in the state she claims to live in, giving the commercial an added boost.

    But the claims in the attack ad are, like so many of its predecessors, problematic.

    For example, in the ad, Boonstra says she found a “wonderful doctor” after her diagnosis. What the commercial doesn’t mention is that Boonstra now has coverage under Blue Cross Blue Shield – coverage that can’t be taken away if her health deteriorates, and which there are no annual or lifetime caps – in which she’s still able to see the exact same physician.

  20. rikyrah says:

    An ‘affront to democracy’ in Ohio
    02/20/14 01:00 PM
    By Steve Benen

    About a month ago, President Obama’s non-partisan commission on voting issued a detailed report, urging state and local election officials to make it easier for Americans to access their own democracy.

    It appears Ohio Republicans didn’t get the message. Zachary Roth reports:

    On party lines, the [Ohio state] House voted 59-37 to approve a GOP bill that would cut six days from the state’s early voting period. More importantly, it would end the so-called “Golden Week,” when Ohioans can register and vote on the same day. Same-day registration is among the most effective ways for bringing new voters into the process, election experts say.

    The House also voted by 60-38 to approve a bill that would effectively end the state’s successful program of mailing absentee ballots to all registered voters. Under the bill, the secretary of state would need approval from lawmakers to mail absentee ballots, and individual counties could not do so at all. Nearly 1.3 million Ohioans voted absentee in 2012. The bill also would make it easier to reject absentee ballots for missing information.

    The Senate quickly approved minor changes to both bills and sent them to the desk of Gov. John Kasich, a Republican, who is expected to sign them.

    At the same time, Ohio Democrats spearheaded a new “Voters’ Bill of Rights,” intended to expand early voting and make it harder to disqualify ballots, among other things. Proponents hoped to put the measure on the ballot as a proposed constitutional amendment, but state Attorney General Mike DeWine (R) announced this week that he’s blocking the effort, citing what he called “misrepresentations” in the text of the proposed amendment.

  21. rikyrah says:

    Fracking-caused quakes in Oklahoma?
    02/20/14 04:36 PM
    By Steve Benen

    As Rachel noted on the show the other day, it’s not unusual for Oklahoma to experience some seismic activity. Looking back over the last several years, the state has seen between 40 and 100 meaningful earthquakes – quakes with a magnitude of 2.5 or more – per year. Last year, that figure more than doubled to over 200 earthquakes.

    And this year, as of Tuesday, there have already been 103 quakes with a magnitude of 2.5 or more, putting Oklahoma on track to reach more than 780 significant earthquakes this calendar year – and that total doesn’t include the small ones of lower magnitude.

    This has not gone unnoticed in the Sooner State, where many are beginning to wonder whether the seismic activity is more than just a random fluke. Public Radio Tulsa had this report yesterday.

    Geologists are increasingly looking at waste water disposal wells as the cause of earthquakes linked to oil drilling.

    A report from the National Academy of Sciences says injection wells are the likely cause of earthquakes linked to oil production, including in Oklahoma.

    Yep, the question at hand is whether fracking is causing an extraordinary spike in the frequency of significant earthquakes. And it’s not just Oklahoma that wants an answer.

  22. rikyrah says:

    Meet McCrory’s top environmental official
    02/21/14 08:00 AM
    By Steve Benen

    For creationists, fossil fuels tend to pose a tricky dilemma. On the one hand, they want to believe the Earth is between 6,000 and 10,000 years old. On the other hand, fossil fuels are millions of years old. You see the problem.

    To solve the riddle, some on the far-right fringe have come up with some pretty creative theories. World Net Daily’s Jerome Corsi, for example, has argued that Nazis discovered that oil is an infinite natural resource; the Soviet Union learned this; but some nefarious officials in the U.S. hid the truth from the public.

    Now, there’s nothing especially surprising about fringe people adopting fringe ideas. In fact, it’s largely inconsequential – World Net Daily occasionally influences politicians like Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), but in general, most sensible folks have some rudimentary understanding of where oil comes from. Weird extremists have a very limited ability to influence public policy.

    But consider this recent exchange between WRAL’s Laura Leslie in North Carolina and John Skvarla:


    And who, exactly, is John Skvarla? He’s the guy North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) chose to lead the Department of Environment & Natural Resources.

    In other words, John Skvarla thinks fossil fuels may be an infinite natural resource, and North Carolina’s Republican governor put him in charge of environmental policy in the state.

    Rachel’s segment on this last night is well worth your time – really, watch it – and it’s worth emphasizing that we called Skvarla’s office in the hopes that he could shed some light on his rather creative views. So far, we haven’t heard back.

    While we wait, note that Skvarla isn’t just fuzzy on fossil fuels; North Carolina’s top environmental official also isn’t sure climate change is real. Gov. McCrory is apparently equally unsure.

  23. rikyrah says:

    Scott Walker ‘needs to talk’
    02/21/14 08:44 AM
    By Steve Benen

    What does Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) have to say about this week’s revelations, stemming from the release of documents unsealed in the case of a convicted former aide? So far, not a whole lot.

    His spokesperson told reporters yesterday that the governor hasn’t scheduled any media availability to answer questions about this or any other subject. In fact, Walker is actually leaving town – the Wisconsin Republican is headed to D.C. for a National Governors Association event. He’ll return on Monday, five days after the release of the materials.

    The editorial board of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the state’s largest newspaper, doesn’t see this as a sustainable position, arguing that Walker “must” answer questions.

  24. rikyrah says:

    Published on Feb 21, 2014

    AFTERBUZZ TV — Scandal is a weekly “after show” for fans of ABC’s Scandal. In this show, host Emile Ennis Jr, Sofia Stanley, Bamm Ericsen, and Kennelia Stradwick answer fan questions, take phone calls, and discuss their predictions. It’s Scandal’s “Fan Show — February 20th, 2014″ podcast!

  25. rikyrah says:

    The Hollywood Reporter: Michelle Obama To Host Lifetime’s ‘Trip To Bountiful’ Screening

    Officials announced Thursday that the First Lady Michelle Obama will host the special event on Monday, Feb. 24, at 4 p.m. ET, in the Eisenhower Office Building’s South Court Auditorium. The Eisenhower Office Building houses adjoins the White House’s West Wing and provides office space for most of the executive mansion’s staff. Obama will deliver personal remarks at the screening for the TV adaptation of the Broadway revival of Horton Foote‘s play. The Trip to Bountiful, which premieres Saturday, March 8, on the cabler, is set during the final years of the Jim Crow South. The Broadway production was nominated for four Tony Awards, winning best actress in a play for Cicely Tyson.

  26. rikyrah says:

    White privilege: Embracing the lie

    At least Ross Kaminsky acknowledges that Michael Dunn (the man who murdered Jordan Davis) is a racist.

    He seems to use the word “thug” as a synonym for “young black male.” In a letter he wrote from jail to his grandmother, Dunn said, “The Jail is full of blacks and they all act like thugs. This may sound a bit radical but if more people would arm themselves and kill these (expletive) idiots when they’re threatening you, eventually they may take the hint and change their behavior.”

    In my opinion, stipulating that my information is limited, Dunn seems to be an angry racist who was looking for trouble.


    For Kaminsky, this reference to a few examples from our history is a dangerous and twisted view of the United States. Of course, he’s the one doing the twisting when he says that Coates claims that Jefferson’s treatment of Sally Hemmings is more important than his writing of “the single most important political document in human history.” That’s not what Coates said…he said the latter is “no more important” than the former. This might sound like I’m nit picking. But exaggerating someone’s point is a typical tool used to try to discredit them.

    Normally I’d try to avoid Godwin’s Law in a situation like this. But Kaminsky goes there.


    At this point I’m scratching my head trying to figure this one out. Nowhere does Coates address the issue of forgiveness. So I’m not sure how Kaminsky got there. But his analogy fails on a more important level. Conflating his ability to forgive individual Germans for the Holocaust to the African American experience of racism fails to take into consideration that most Americans don’t even know the history Coates is referring to (lets have a contest to see how many people know about Oney Judge or how blacks were excluded from the benefits of the G.I. Bill). We’ve simply whitewashed it all. I have to wonder how much forgiveness Kaminsky would feel when confronting a German Holocaust denier?

    But for Coates to simply try to remind us of a few episodes from that history, Kaminsky calls him “a race hustler of the first order” and “dangerous, bordering on evil.” In other words, its not slavery and Jim Crow that were evil, but Coates insistence that we face that part of our history.

    When Paula Deen wants to have a “plantation-themed” wedding reception, Republicans keep suggesting that African Americans were better off during slavery, a Duck Dynasty star says he never saw an “unhappy Negro” during the Jim Crow era and even a Supreme Court Justice suggests that things were better for black people prior to the Civil Rights Movement, its clear that too many Americans are clueless about our history. And so I’d suggest to Mr. Kaminsky that when we can finally face all that – perhaps THEN we can start talking about forgiveness. Until that happens, he’s just asking us to continue embracing the lie.

  27. rikyrah says:

    The current GOP battle is between those who are telling the lie and those who believe it

    Nothing that has happened over the last few years illustrates the vacuity of the current Republican Party better than the recent vote on raising the debt ceiling. As you might know, it passed the House primarily with Democratic votes and then went to the Senate. Minority Leader McConnell’s plan was to allow it to pass there with only Democratic votes – giving Republicans the cover of claiming that they did not support it. But Sen. Cruz threw a monkey wrench in those plans by insisting on a super majority of 60 votes for passage. That forced McConnell and a few others to actually vote FOR raising the debt ceiling in order to avoid a global economic crisis.


    I was reminded of how David Roberts talked about the post-truth politics of the Republican Party.

    In short, Republicans have mastered post-truth politics. They’ve realized that their rhetoric doesn’t have to bear any connection to their policy agenda. They can go through different slogans, different rationales, different fights, depending on the political landscape of the moment. They need not feel bound by previous slogans, rationales, or fights. They’ve realized that policy is policy and politics is politics and they can push for the former while waging the latter battle on its own terms. The two have become entirely unmoored.

  28. rikyrah says:

    Meet a ‘young invincible’ who got covered under Obamacare for $20 a month

    By Amy Lynn Smith on February 6, 2014

    At age 31, he already knows how much it costs to go without health insurance.

    Eddie Mulak couldn’t wait to get covered. He is among the millions of Americans who went from being uninsured to having health insurance on January 1, 2014. And it’s only costing him $20 a month.

    Unlike many of his fellow young Americans, who are expected to sign up for coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) right before the 2014 enrollment deadline on March 31, Mulak signed up in December. He knew the initial glitches at would be worked out — and they were. By the time he used the site to enroll he says it was “easy breezy.”

    But why would a healthy 31-year-old be in a hurry to buy health insurance? Especially when the naysayers insist young people won’t get covered at all? Because it’s the smart, responsible thing to do, Mulak says.

    The last time I had insurance was more than 10 years ago. There is nothing positive about not having insurance. The couple of times I had a fever or the flu, my only access to healthcare was the emergency room. I used it, but I’m stuck with $5,000 in bills that are sitting on my credit report. Now I have the peace of mind knowing I can go to the doctor without worrying about what it will cost.

  29. rikyrah says:

    Detroiter gets health insurance for just 22 cents a month

    By Amy Lynn Smith on February 21, 2014

    Elsie Brown of Detroit spent nearly 30 years of her life working hard, but when she was laid off she lost her health insurance. After her COBRA ran out, she went nearly two years without health insurance — a risky proposition for someone with high blood pressure and diabetes, both of which require ongoing care to prevent complications like stroke or vision loss.

    “Without insurance, it was $100 just to see the doctor,” she says. “There were times I skipped going to the doctor, and even if I went I wouldn’t have blood work.” For people with diabetes, routine blood testing is essential.

    Brown admits she was a little skeptical about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) at first. After all, there was plenty of negative press about the ACA, or Obamacare, when the marketplace had its rocky rollout. The site is working smoothly now, but instead of waiting Brown worked with a phone representative.

    He quoted her a few different plans and explained her options, and Brown chose a Silver plan with a monthly premium in the $400 range. But because her Social Security income is only $1,600 a month, Brown qualified for tax subsidies that brought her premium payment down to 22 cents a month.

  30. rikyrah says:

    President Obama’s Position on Chained CPI Hasn’t Changed, and Click-Whoring Headlines Aren’t Helping

    Thursday, February 20, 2014 | Posted by Spandan Chakrabarti at 2:42 PM

    If you read the news at all, you woke up today to liberal outlets pushing the headline: BIG NEWS: Obama drops chained CPI.” Lots of outlets on the ideological Left have declared victory – because, you know, they forced Obama to drop his support for Chained CPI – a more accurate way of calculating Social Security cost of living adjustments as a way to curb long-term funding challenges that Social Security faces.

    There is only one problem with the click-whoring headlines and the celebratory trampoline-jumping: it’s not true. The president’s position on Chained CPI has not changed. Like, at all. The only thing that has happened is that the budget the president will be presenting to Congress does not include the Chained CPI.

    To understand why, one must understand why the president offered Chained CPI as part of the last budget in the first place: it was then, and always has been, a compromise as a part of a broader proposal to address the country’s long-term debt, which would include, crucially and as a precondition to Chained CPI, greater tax revenue collected from the nation’s richest. Since Republicans have decided to slap the hand that the president extended and work on a good-faith compromise position, the president has now withdrawn his offer. But, should Republicans come to their senses and drop their religious opposition to raising taxes on the super-wealthy, the president is willing to negotiate on Chained CPI.

  31. rikyrah says:

    Speaking of the family business, Denzel Washington’s eldest son is getting in on it. John David Washington, 29, has landed his first starring role in the HBO series Ballers. The half-hour dramedy, starringDwayne “The Rock” Johnson, centers on the happenings of retired athletes living in Miami. Washington, who goes by J.D., will play Ricky, a competitive and highly spiritual jock. The role is tailor-made for the former athlete, who had a brief stint in the NFL before an injury sent him looking for a new line of work. Looks like he’s found it

  32. rikyrah says:

    Watch Lupita Nyong’o’s Interview on the Late Show with David Letterman
    Posted on Thursday, February 20th, 2014 at 4:15 PM

    Presently, it’s Lupita Nyong’o‘s world and we all are just living in it.

  33. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

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