Sunday Open Thread

Happy Sunday, Everyone! Serving up some Yolanda Adams this morning. Have a Blessed day.

THROUGH THE STORM

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56 Responses to Sunday Open Thread

  1. Breaking:

    A 6.9 earthquake strikes off of Northern California coast, according to USGS.

    http://ktla.com/2014/03/09/6-9-quake-rocks-northern-california/#axzz2vXHK138l

    An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.9 struck off of the Northern California coast Sunday night, according to the U.S. Geological Survey

    The quake struck about 10:18 p.m. and was centered about 50 miles west of Eureka, the USGS reported.

    There were no immediate reports of damages or injuries.

  2. Ametia says:

    OOPS!
    The Evening Quote
    March 9, 2014 tengrain
    “I am out of politics — and based on the ratings, so is CNN.”

    –SECRETARY OF STATE JOHN KERRY at the Gridiron Club Dinner, answering the question, “Will you run for President again?”

    http://mockpaperscissors.com/

  3. Caribbean nations prepare demand for slavery reparations

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/09/caribbean-nations-demand-slavery-reparations

    Heads of state of 15 Caribbean nations will gather in St Vincent on Monday to unveil a plan demanding reparations from Europe for the enduring suffering inflicted by the Atlantic slave trade.

    In an interview with the Guardian, Sir Hilary Beckles, who chairs the reparations task force charged with framing the 10 demands, said the plan would set out areas of dialogue with former slave-trading nations including the UK, France, Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Denmark. He dismissed claims that the Caribbean nations were attempting to extract vast sums from European taxpayers, insisting that money was not the main objective.

    “The British media has been obsessed with suggesting that we expect billions of dollars to be extracted from European states,” he said. “Contrary to the British media, we are not exclusively concerned with financial transactions, we are concerned more with justice for the people who continue to suffer harm at so many levels of social life.”

    Beckles also tried to assuage fears that “this is opening up a can of worms leading to litigation”. “That is not our aim at all,” he said. “Our aim is to open up a dialogue with European states.”

    The 10-point plan will be unveiled on Monday at the heads of government meeting of Caricom, the regional political and economic body. Given the head of steam behind the reparations movement in the Caribbean, the blueprint is expected to be approved. It will then go forward for discussion with European governments.

    The claims are being channeled through the United Nations convention on the elimination of racial discrimination, and processed with the help of the London law firm Leigh Day.

    Among the demands made on European former slave trade nations are that they:

    • provide diplomatic help to persuade countries such as Ghana and Ethiopia to offer citizenship to the children of people from the Caribbean who “return” to Africa. Some 30,000 have made such a journey to Africa and have been offered generous settlement packages, but lack of citizenship rights for their children is causing difficulties;

    • devise a development strategy to help improve the lives of poor communities in the Caribbean still devastated by the after-effects of slavery;

    • support cultural exchanges between the Caribbean and west Africa to help Caribbean people of African descent rebuild their sense of history and identity;

    • back literacy drives designed to improve education levels that are still dire in many Caribbean communities;

    • provide medical assistance to the region that is struggling from high levels of chronic diseases such as hypertension and type 2 diabetes that the Caricom reparations commission links to the fallout from slavery.

    One of the most important, and most contentious, demands will be for European countries to issue an unqualified apology for what they did in shipping millions of men, women and children from Africa to the Caribbean and America in the 17th and 18th centuries. Beckles was scathing of European leaders who have issued statements of regret about slavery, including Tony Blair who in 2007, as UK prime minister, said the slave trade was a matter of “deep sorrow and regret” .

    “It was disgraceful to speak of regret rather than to apologise,” Beckles said. “That was a disrespectful act on Blair’s part as it implied that nothing can be done about it – ‘Take our expression of regret and go away’.”

  4. rikyrah says:

    The Wolf of Sesame Street: Revealing the secret corruption inside PBS’s news division
    By David Sirota
    On February 12, 2014

    [Update 14th Feb 2014: Following Pando’s exposé, PBS has announced it will return John Arnold’s $3.5m donation.]

    On December 18th, the Public Broadcasting Service’s flagship station WNET issued a press release announcing the launch of a new two-year news series entitled “The Pension Peril.” The series, promoting cuts to public employee pensions, is airing on hundreds of PBS outlets all over the nation. It has been presented as objective news on major PBS programs including the PBS News Hour.

    However, neither the WNET press release nor the broadcasted segments explicitly disclosed who is financing the series. Pando has exclusively confirmed that “The Pension Peril” is secretly funded by former Enron trader John Arnold, a billionaire political powerbroker who is actively trying to shape the very pension policy that the series claims to be dispassionately covering.

    The Wolf of Sesame Street

    In recent years, Arnold has been using massive contributions to politicians, Super PACs, ballot initiative efforts, think tanks and local front groups to finance a nationwide political campaign aimed at slashing public employees’ retirement benefits. His foundation which backs his efforts employs top Republican political operatives, including the former chief of staff to GOP House Majority Leader Dick Armey (TX). According to its own promotional materials, the Arnold Foundation is pushing lawmakers in states across the country “to stop promising a (retirement) benefit” to public employees.

    http://pando.com/2014/02/12/the-wolf-of-sesame-street-revealing-the-secret-corruption-inside-pbss-news-division/

  5. rikyrah says:

    How Black Parents Would React If We Sued for Child Support

    We bet the reaction would be very different from the one Rachel Canning received.

    By: The Root Staff
    Posted: March 5 2014 4:49 PM

    New Jersey teenager Rachel Canning, 18, lost a lawsuit asking her parents to pay her child support. Canning, however, is still hoping that the judge will order them to pay for her college education. We think black parents would have handled the situation a little differently. We took a survey of The Root staff to find out how our parents would have reacted, and this is what we found:

    “I would get ‘the look’ and just know to stop talking and move on my way.”

    “I would have gotten the Papa Pope smackdown.”

    “I wouldn’t have made it out of the house because both of my legs would have been broken.”

    “My parents would have said, ‘I brought you into this world and I can take you out. Then I can make another one just like you.’ ”

    http://www.theroot.com/blogs/the_grapevine/2014/03/how_black_parents_would_react_if_we_sued_for_child_support.html

  6. rikyrah says:

    Obama to Black People: I’m Showing You the Money

    From support for HBCUs to efforts to reduce disparities in juvenile justice, the White House is making the case that the president used his 2015 budget to make African-American families a priority.

    By: Jenée Desmond-Harris
    Posted: March 6 2014 2:00 AM

    President Obama released his fiscal year 2015 budget this week, telling reporters that the document “is about choices, it’s about our values.” And the White House is making the case that those values have everything to do with creating a better life for black people in America.

    Of course, you’ll find little of the controversial race-specific “black and Latino” language that characterized the recent launch of the My Brother’s Keeper initiative in the budget. But a related fact sheet released by the White House, titled “Opportunity for All: Supporting African American Families” (pdf), encourages Americans to read between the lines with an eye to where the president is looking out for black people.

    While the document largely reflects Obama’s long-held “the most important thing I can do for the African-American community is the same thing I can do for the American community, period … ” stance—trumpeting general, national priorities from “Supporting the implementation of the Affordable Care Act” to “Spurring Economic Growth and Job Creation by Providing Access to Capital”—it does get more specific at times when it comes to fostering racial equality.

    Some budget highlights from the fact sheet:

    On support for minority businesses (pdf): “The budget includes $28 million for the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) to provide counseling, training, and technical assistance to minority business owners.”

    On protecting Civil Rights (pdf): “The budget supports activities at the Department of Justice to ensure the protection of civil rights, including enforcing Federal prohibitions against racial and ethnic discrimination. In addition, the Budget provides resources to prevent and remedy discrimination in the workplace by maintaining strong support for the Equal Opportunity Commission and the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs.”

    http://www.theroot.com/articles/politics/2014/03/president_obama_s_2015_budget_what_s_in_it_for_black_people.html

  7. rikyrah says:

    London’s Laundry Business

    By BEN JUDAH
    MARCH 7, 2014

    THE city has changed. The buses are still dirty, the people are still passive-aggressive, but something about London has changed. You can see signs of it everywhere. The townhouses in the capital’s poshest districts are empty; they have been sold to Russian oligarchs and Qatari princes.

    England’s establishment is not what it was; the old imperial elite has become crude and mercenary. On Monday, a British civil servant was photographed arriving in Downing Street for a national security council meeting with an open document in his hand. We could read for ourselves lines from a confidential report on how Prime Minister David Cameron’s government should respond to the Crimea crisis. It recommended that Britain should “not support, for now, trade sanctions,” nor should it “close London’s financial center to Russians.”
    Continue reading the main story
    Related Coverage

    The White House has imposed visa restrictions on some Russian officials, and President Obama has issued an executive order enabling further sanctions. But Britain has already undermined any unified action by putting profit first.

    It boils down to this: Britain is ready to betray the United States to protect the City of London’s hold on dirty Russian money. And forget about Ukraine.

    Britain, open for business, no longer has a “mission.” Any moralizing remnant of the British Empire is gone; it has turned back to the pirate England of Sir Walter Raleigh. Britain’s ruling class has decayed to the point where its first priority is protecting its cut of Russian money — even as Russian armored personnel carriers rumble around the streets of Sevastopol. But the establishment understands that, in the 21st century, what matters are banks, not tanks.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/08/opinion/londons-laundry-business.html?smid=tw-share&_r=0

  8. Ametia says:

    THE LIBERTARIAN SCOURGE: HOW CONSERVATIVES SOLD AND LIBERALS BOUGHT THE IDEA OF GOVERNMENT AS THE ENEMY OF LIBERTY

    Spandan Chakrabarti March 7, 2014

    In some quarters, the liberal devotion to libertarianism – most often “civil libertarianism” – is religious. What many liberals don’t understand is that libertarianism is nothing more than the conservative ideology of government sold in a new packaging. A packaging that liberals are evidently falling all over themselves to lap up. But the ideological dogmatism of government as the enemy of freedom is detrimental to liberal values and only serves to do the conservatives’ dirty work for them.

    http://www.thepeoplesview.net/main/2014/3/6/the-libertarian-scourge-how-conservatives-sold-and-liberals-bought-the-idea-of-government-as-the-enemy-of-liberty

  9. rikyrah says:

    Kasim Reed ✔ @KasimReed
    Follow
    Help me spread the word and encourage everyone to #GetCovered at http://healthcare.org . Get access to affordable healthcare options now.

    12:54 PM – 9 Mar 2014

  10. Who are the Uyghurs? Islamic militants in China who could be linked to missing Malaysia Airlines flight

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/missing-malaysia-airlines-flight-who-3222758

    As the search for clues begins, Chinese authorities look to Islam militants who were also blamed for the recent train station stabbing spree

    Islam militant group the Uyghurs could be linked with the missing Malaysia Airlines flight.

    Just last week the group was blamed for a violent attack at a Chinese train station.

    On Saturday flight MH370 disappeared around 100 miles north of the Malaysian coast carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew.

    The plane is presumed to have crashed off the Vietnamese coast after losing contact with air traffic controllers.

    The plane was last detected on radar at 5.30pm UK time on Friday.

    An airline tracking website suggested it plunged 650ft and changed direction before it vanished.

    Who are the Uighurs?

    The northwestern region on Xinjiang, which borders central Asia is home to the Uighurs, an ethnic Muslim minority.

    The region was brought under Chinese control in 1949 and since then the Uighurs have battled for independence.

    The minority group – who have known terrorist links – are again being looked at as the hunt for clues on the missing Malaysia Airlines flight begins.

  11. Flight MH370 can be seen progressing towards the South China Sea before suddenly turning red and disappearing.


  12. rikyrah says:

    Libertarians Move In To Make A Small N.H. Town Even Smaller
    by Jack Rodolico

    March 09, 2014 8:00 AM

    Maureen O’Reilly beams with pride as she shows a visitor around Grafton, N.H., a town so small it doesn’t even have a traffic light.

    “Have a look at this,” O’Reilly says, pointing to a postcard view of hilly rural New England. “How beautiful is this? It’s really pretty in the fall, really, really pretty.”

    But behind the beautiful view, locals are dividing into opposing camps. About 50 Libertarians have moved into Grafton from around the country, splitting the town over their push to shrink its government.

    Grafton has an annual meeting called Deliberative Session. It’s a big day for local politics. About 100 people cram into the firehouse, town officials sitting up front.

    The goal is to debate the budget before it goes to a town-wide vote. But after the Pledge of Allegiance, things break down.

    People argue over how to conduct the meeting. The moderator loses control. Police remove a man. After an hour, Skip Gorman is fed up.

    “It’s still a wonderful town and there’s lots of camaraderie,” Gorman says. “But there’s a group of people who have moved here for the sole purpose of being obstructionist.”

    “I’m not here to obstruct anything,” counters John Connell. “I will vote in favor of liberty and justice at every opportunity.”

    How did Grafton come to this? About 15 years ago, a prominent Libertarian hatched the idea of moving Libertarians to New Hampshire, with the hope of having a big impact in a small state. They called it the Free State Project, and a handful of Free Staters settled in Grafton.

    O’Reilly was surprised by how quickly Free Staters started pushing their agenda.

    “Almost seems as if they walked in the door and started running for office and hold positions,” she says. “It’s not the typical way someone who’s a New Englander does things.”

    Free Staters say Grafton should withdraw from the school district, cut the $1 million budget by 30 percent over three years, and carve Grafton out as a “U.N.-free zone.”

    http://www.npr.org/2014/03/09/288069880/libertarians-move-in-to-make-a-small-n-h-town-even-smaller

    • Ametia says:

      Sending PRAYERS to the families of the passengers on that airline. I can’t imagine the HELL they’re going through, not knowing what happen or where their loved ones are.

  13. rikyrah says:

    Chelsea Handler’s offensive Oscar tweets are tip of the iceberg

    Opinion

    by Demetria Irwin | March 4, 2014 at 9:09 AM

    Chelsea Handler is not funny and she’s offensive on top of that. Her stale jokes about Lupita Nyong’o, Sidney Poitier, and the late Nelson Mandela during her Oscars takeover of the Huffington Post Twitter account are just the latest testaments to her mountain of non-funniness

    The Oscar tweets in question reference Angelina Jolie wanting to adopt Nyong’o and Poitier; Handler made another joke that fell flat about Mandela being resurrected. Good jokes about Jolie’s adoptions expired about five years ago and laughs at the expense of Mandela’s recent death are just tacky.

    It’s quite possible for non-black comedians to talk about race and specifically about black people without being racist or racially insensitive. Louis CK is a good example of that and Bill Maher hits the right note most of the time, but Handler has not yet figured out how to talk about race without coming across as racist.

    Her brand of humor often centers on black male rappers and the prevailing stereotypes about them. When she hosted the MTV Video Music Awards, she started the show by being patted on the butt and otherwise sexually harassed by a slew of black men (she eventually straddled Rick Ross) and during her monologue she referred to Kanye West as the big black elephant in the room. On her show, Chelsea Lately, Handler regularly interviews black men (again, lots of rappers) and peppers them with “edgy” questions filled with stereotypes.

    http://thegrio.com/2014/03/04/chelsea-handlers-offensive-oscar-tweets-are-tip-of-the-iceberg/

  14. rikyrah says:

    HBO: It’s not TV, it’s the lack of diversity

    Opinion

    by Demetria Irwin | March 7, 2014 at 10:30 AM

    HBO is known for its critically acclaimed dramas, but why are so many of those shows lacking diversity

    A recent Huffington Post article delved deep into the numbers to detail just how white and male HBO is when it comes to the creators of its hour-long dramas. One daunting statistic notes that from 1975 to present day, white men were 34 of the 38 people who created hour-long dramas and mini series for the cable giant. The remaining four people consisted of three white women and one black man (Michael Henry Brown, co-writer for 1993’s Laurel Avenue).

    More recent numbers are even bleaker. Since 2008, not one woman or person of color has been at the creative helm for an hour-long drama or mini-series. Girls, the breakout hit by creator Lena Dunham, is a comedy and the brilliant dramatic series The Wire and the New Orleans based drama Treme had majority black casts, but both shows were created by a white man, David Simon

    …………………….

    HBO and other networks have to do a better job with green-lighting projects created by women and people of color. The result would inevitably be representations of women and people of color that are deeper, more layered and more nuanced. HBO has engaging new shows like True Detective, which features amazing performances by Woody Harrelson and Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey. But the depictions of women and black people on that show are flat and leave much to be desired.

    I’m not advocating for successful shows like True Detective to pile on more substantive black characters just for the sake of having them. True Detective can stay just like it is, flaws and all. I’d rather see new projects from women and people of color. How about a few shows by women of color!? A zany notion, I know.

    Imagine a Boardwalk-Empire-type show that focused on the numbers racket in Harlem during that same time period. Imagine a dramatic series (none of the schmaltz of Sex and the City) that centered on the lives of 30-something-year-old black women in a major city. Imagine a series about gentrifying and decaying neighborhoods in Detroit that was just as well-acted and written as The Wire. There are so many stories yet to be told in the masterful way in which HBO’s dramas are presented and hopefully, that will change in the near future.

    http://thegrio.com/2014/03/07/hbo-its-not-tv-its-the-lack-of-diversity/

  15. rikyrah says:

    Marissa Alexander retrial another black mark on the record of Angela Corey
    Opinion
    by Zerlina Maxwell | March 4, 2014 at 10:45 AM

    State’s Attorney Angela Corey is having a very bad year.

    ………………….

    But to Alexander’s supporters who have followed all of the high-profile cases prosecuted by Corey’s office that have made national news, Corey appears to have a vendetta against Alexander. While Corey’s office is arguing that they are following state precedent, it’s also true that prosecutors have a huge amount of discretion and power. If Corey wanted to, she could easily conclude that three years behind bars for defending yourself from your abuser is enough and send Alexander home after this ugly ordeal and grave injustice.

    Surprisingly the gun rights supporters who spoke up in support of “Stand Your Ground” laws during the George Zimmerman trial remain silent. Second amendment supporters who have encouraged women to get guns to protect themselves from domestic violence and sexual assault are no where to be found in Alexander’s defense. Many who praised Zimmerman’s actions and those that believed his self-defense claims should theoretically support Alexander, but her treatment throughout the legal process shows that only certain people are able to stand their ground.

    Corey’s office seems to be spurned by Alexander’s refusal to accept a plea deal before her first trial. Alexander refused to plead guilty in the case and chose to go to trial, as is the right of every American. When she was confronted by Congresswoman Corrine Brown (D-FL) about the harsh treatment of Alexander, Corey said she gave Alexander “mercy” and she referred to the plea deal.

    Alexander’s supporters Free Marissa put out a statement saying, that Corey’s insistence on moving forward with the trial and now with the maximum possible penalty is a “stunning abuse of power…[And that] [d]espite Corey’s scare and smear tactics, the national Free Marissa Now Mobilization Campaign is resolved to fight for Marissa Alexander’s freedom, and for the lives and freedom of all victims of domestic violence. The campaign calls on the Florida legislature to repeal all mandatory minimum laws, and ensure that judges have discretion over whether sentences can be served consecutively or concurrently.”

    A life sentence for a warning shot that injured no one is a miscarriage of justice. Twenty years behind bars for a warning shot that killed no one is a miscarriage of justice as well. Alexander spent nearly three years in prison before she was finally reunited with her family for the holidays late last year. It’s time Corey to drop the charges so that her office can put more energy and attention into the retrial of Michael Dunn who they couldn’t convict and who actually killed someone.

    http://thegrio.com/2014/03/04/marissa-alexander-retrial-another-black-mark-on-the-record-of-angela-corey/

  16. rikyrah says:

    Cicely Tyson moved to tears discussing ‘Roots’ and ’12 Years a Slave’

    by Chris Witherspoon | March 7, 2014 at 1:20 PM

    Last year legendary TV and film star Cicely Tyson received her first Tony Award ever for her role in the critically acclaimed Broadway production of Trip to Bountiful.

    The 80-year-old actress better make room in her trophy case, because based on early reviews of Lifetime’s TV adaptation of Trip to Bountiful, Tyson might soon take home an Emmy.

    Tyson appears alongside Vanessa Williams, Blair Underwood, and Keke Palmer in a film about an elderly woman, whose fondest wish is to revisit the small Texas town of Bountiful, where she spent her childhood and still refers to as “home.”

    During an interview with theGrio’s Chris Witherspoon, the cast opened up about the importance of young people seeing Trip to Bountiful.

    “I think it’s extremely important for young people. That’s who I hope get a chance to see it most,” Tyson said. “I think it gives them a greater understanding and respect for elders, which I think is missing in youth today. They don’t want to hear what you have to say, and they certainly don’t do what you direct them to do.”

    Throughout her illustrious career, spanning several decades, Tyson has played a slave numerous times. One of her most famous roles was Binta, the mother of Kunta Kinte, in the groundbreaking 1977 slave epic Roots.

    Now more than 35 years later, Tyson opened up about her role in Roots and discussed how the miniseries paved a way for the Oscar-winning film 12 Years a Slave.

    http://thegrio.com/2014/03/07/cicely-tyson-moved-to-tears-discussing-roots-and-12-years-a-slave/#54606816

    • Ametia says:

      Thanks for this.
      Ms. Tyson hit the nail on the head about these films being HISTORY lessons, because they’re not being taught in schools.

      and folks can complain all they like about “not another movie about slaves.” Our history will not be buried like dirty little secrets. THEY WILL B e TOLD.

  17. rikyrah says:

    Jacque Reid: What hasn’t been said about style at the Oscars

    by Jacque Reed | March 7, 2014 at 6:02 PM

    his year’s Oscar night was a particularly emotional one for myself, and the rest of America, as we saw a woman of color revel in what was undoubtedly her “Cinderella moment.”

    Not only did Lupita Nyong’o’s speech bring the down the house (not to mention a tear or two), but she transcended the stereotypical image of “America’s Sweetheart.” Nothing was more symbolic of this than her red carpet look, which only reinforced her ability to challenge the fashion norms and draw us into her fairytale story.

    A lot has been said about that night, about how she broke traditions and shattered perceptions.

    Watch as I sit down with celebrity fashion stylist and lifestyle trend expert Pamela Watson to talk about what hasn’t been said about how Hollywood’s latest “It Girl” change the game!

    http://thegrio.com/2014/03/07/jacque-reid-what-hasnt-been-said-about-style-at-the-oscars/#54610779

  18. rikyrah says:

    News anchor Pam McKelvy removes wig and debuts her natural hair on TV

    by Lilly Workneh | March 4, 2014 at 1:02 PM

    emphis-area news anchor Pam McKelvy shared an emotional moment with viewers last week while discussing her journey as a breast cancer survivor and the personal bouts she faced with hair loss.

    McKelvy was diagnosed with breast cancer in February 2012 and underwent chemotherapy and a double mastectomy, which eventually eradicated the cancer.

    However, throughout her battle, she suffered extreme hair loss and opted to wear a wig every day since last March – until she appeared on WMCTV last Wednesday.

    http://youtu.be/buTg0uDdhxo

    http://thegrio.com/2014/03/04/news-anchor-pam-mckelvy-removes-wig-and-debuts-her-natural-hair-on-tv/

  19. rikyrah says:

    Republicans have been trying to disrupt the work of the Civil Rights Division at DOJ for a long time now

    That’s when I declared that I’d have Attorney General Holder’s back and started the tab up above titled “DOJ Watch.” As I kept track of things, it became clear that a central role in all this was being played by Thomas Perez, then the Director of DOJ’s Civil Rights Division. Together he and AG Holder tackled things like police brutality, reverse redlining, going after Arizona’s Sheriff Arpaio, the school-to-prison pipeline and voting rights.

    And then President Obama nominated Perez to be Secretary of Labor. Yesterday, with an assist from 6 Democrats, the Republicans defeated the nomination of Debo Adegbile to replace him at DOJ. For the moment I’ll leave it to others to explain the racist reasons that were trumped up by his opponents to defeat his nomination because I want to focus on putting this one in historical context. That’s why I started this off with that 2011 quote from the NYT.

    But before we even get there, Sam Kleiner has done a good job of going back to the Clinton administration to demonstrate the Republican’s attempts to neuter enforcement of the Civil Rights Act by the DOJ. Remember the firestorm about Lani Guinier back in 1993? Or how about Bill Lann Lee in 1997? Yep, they were both nominated to the same position. Kleiner also points out that under the Bush II administration, the Civil Rights Division at DOJ was stacked with political appointees and re-calibrated to focus on cases of so-called “reverse racism.”

    It is in that context that we should see the powerful work that Holder and Perez did to refocus the efforts of this department back to its original function. Too many liberals missed that story in their zeal to castigate Holder. It was a BFD!

    And so now the Republicans have once again ramped up their efforts against the enforcement of civil rights by going after yet another nominee. As I said on twitter yesterday, I am loath to give President Obama advice or predict what he will/will not do (he’s demonstrated that he’s MUCH better at this than I am). However…I really hope that he recess appoints Adegbile to lead the Civil Rights Division at DOJ. But regardless of who is in charge – the work must go on!

    http://immasmartypants.blogspot.com/2014/03/republicans-have-been-trying-to-disrupt.html

  20. rikyrah says:

    21st Century Obama vs 19th/20th Century Putin

    When President Obama gave his speech in Cairo in 2009, I knew it was a seminal moment in U.S. foreign policy. He talked in detail about most of the issues facing the Middle East. But two paragraphs summed up his overall perspective. In them he rejected both the neo-con dream of unipolar domination and the isolation of libertarians.

    For we have learned from recent experience that when a financial system weakens in one country, prosperity is hurt everywhere. When a new flu infects one human being, all are at risk. When one nation pursues a nuclear weapon, the risk of nuclear attack rises for all nations. When violent extremists operate in one stretch of mountains, people are endangered across an ocean. When innocents in Bosnia and Darfur are slaughtered, that is a stain on our collective conscience. That is what it means to share this world in the 21st century. That is the responsibility we have to one another as human beings.

    And this is a difficult responsibility to embrace. For human history has often been a record of nations and tribes — and, yes, religions — subjugating one another in pursuit of their own interests. Yet in this new age, such attitudes are self-defeating. Given our interdependence, any world order that elevates one nation or group of people over another will inevitably fail. So whatever we think of the past, we must not be prisoners to it. Our problems must be dealt with through partnership; our progress must be shared.
    I thought of those words when I read George Condon’s article about the leverage President Obama has over Putin.

    President Obama is not the first American president to be confronted by provocations and military actions from Moscow. All 12 presidents since World War II have faced such challenges. But Obama is one of the first to have a broad range of potentially biting nonmilitary responses to employ—a measure of how much Russia has been integrated into the world’s financial system since the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War.

    It is why American policymakers are so convinced that Russian President Vladimir Putin has miscalculated by dispatching troops to Crimea. And why you hear over and over again from the White House and State Department that Putin does not seem to understand the interconnectedness of the 21st-century world.

    “What we see here are distinctly 19th- and 20th-century decisions made by President Putin to address problems, deploying military forces rather than negotiating,” says a senior administration official, speaking on background. “But what he needs to understand is that in terms of his economy, he lives in the 21st-century world, an interdependent world.”

    http://immasmartypants.blogspot.com/2014/03/21st-century-obama-vs-19th20th-century.html

  21. rikyrah says:

    HBO Uses Hip Hop To Lure Black Audiences To ‘Game Of Thrones’

    11:30 AM

    If you are not already familiar with the term #DemThrones on Twitter, it is the hashtag used by many Black nerds or Blerds (pick your preference) in social media when they elect to live tweet or share content about the hit HBO series Game of Thrones based on George R. R. Martin’s medieval series A Song of Ice and Fire.

    An article that recently came out from The Wall Street Journal, about HBO hiring 10 hip-hop and Latin-music artists to rap about the TV series, which the network hopes will encourage more rap fans to watch the show. The article states the following:

    Over the years, rappers have influenced the buying habits and brand preferences of urban audiences just by mentioning the items in a song, helping to drive sales of everything from Dom Pérignon champagne to Nike basketball shoes.

    The network was inspired by hip hop star Wale, who performed at a New York City studio and completed a rap song using descriptive lyrics of various characters like Khaleesi, the Mother of Dragons.

    http://www.blackgirlnerds.com/2014/03/hbo-uses-hip-hop-to-lure-black.html#.Uxx6ROMo670

  22. rikyrah says:

    Thursday, February 27, 2014
    Thoughts about #Scandal now that #Olitzwithdrawal Season is over

    It should come as no surprise to anyone who is even an infrequent visitor (as I’m an infrequent poster these days) of this blog that I’m a fan of the hit TV show Scandal. It seems like an entire lifetime has gone by since the last new episode aired and though there was some definite #OlitzWithdrawal on Thursday nights; I have to admit the break gave me some perspective (and oxygen). I stepped back and learned a few things:

    1. There are some other really, really good shows on TV. Truly, if I had the time, I would DVR all of it and just sit zombie-like all day. One such show is House of Cards on Netflix. But having powered my way through, I’m confused as to why people keep comparing it to Scandal. Yes they both take place in Washington and yes they both have plenty of jaw-dropping oh-no-they-didntness but the similarities end there. There are no characters on House of Cards that I care to be friends with, sleep with or counsel. I wish psychologists and jail time upon most of their twisted heads. If Scandal is a sledgehammer, House of Cards is a nuclear bomb.

    2. I like Scandal more when my own life is together. Really, it’s hard to watch Livvy’s man struggles and Quinn’s “who am I this week” struggles and Mellie’s “I want it all and then some more” struggles with any degree of patience when your personal dramas are swirling all around you. Hot mess escapist fiction is only fun when I can feel superior to the characters on it. Holla if you hear me.

    3. I figured out why some guys get all up in their feelings about Scandal. I sat in a restaurant and blatantly eavesdropped a few of the brethren going in on the show. Basically, those women on the show are not being properly controlled by their men. O__o… Mellie, Abby, Quinn and Liv are not fitting into the norms that make some men feel uber-manly so the show is a bad influence. Like Oprah was when women started listening to her. I kid you not, these words were uttered. Wow. Fellas, don’t be that guy. Ever.

    http://www.blacknbougie.com/2014/02/thoughts-about-scandal-now-that.html

  23. rikyrah says:

    Rand Paul Wins CPAC Presidential Preference Straw Poll
    By: Hrafnkell Haraldsson
    Sunday, March, 9th, 2014, 8:06 am

    If you want to know who the most popular fascist is at CPAC’s “little rebellion on the battlefield of ideas,” as Texas Gov. Rick Perry put it, it is Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), who won with 31 percent of the vote, repeating, and improving slightly upon, last year’s CPAC victory of 25 percent. Apparently, his irrational objection to a black man being elected twice to the highest office in the land, and obeying and upholding the Constitution, resonated with the audience.

    Paul’s words were jingoistic if not factual, just the sort of thing a CPAC crowd loves: “He’s got a pen, he’s got a phone, he doesn’t care what the law is,” Paul said. “A tyranny will ensue, and we must stop this President.”

    Will ensue, has ensued…they can’t make up their mind and don’t know what a tyranny is anyway, but what the heck, it makes an ignorant audience angry, and that’s the point

    http://www.politicususa.com/2014/03/09/rand-paul-wins-cpac-presidential-preference-straw-poll.html

  24. rikyrah says:

    ‘Idea Man’ Paul Ryan Reveals His Empty Headed Hatred Of The Poor
    By: Rmuse
    Friday, March, 7th, 2014, 12:07 pm

    The defining characteristic of conservatives is their aversion to change and desire to preserve things as they are, or returning things the way they were thirty years ago. The concept of a Republican with big and bold new ideas is as counterintuitive to preserving the status quo as compassion is to conservatism, but the Republican establishment has nonetheless assigned both labels to Paul Ryan. This past week Ryan belied Republicans’ assertion he is compassionate towards any American who is not in the richest 1% of income earners, as well as failed as the GOP’s “big ideas guy.” Between Ryan’s incredibly disingenuous and negative criticism of America’s anti-poverty programs released Monday, and the speech he gave at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) yesterday, it is glaringly obvious that Ryan’s profound antipathy and blatant contempt for poor Americans is only matched by his lack of any idea, bold or otherwise, Republicans have not proffered and enacted over the past thirty years.

    Ryan’s “bold new ideas” in his CPAC speech were a reiteration of Republican talking points and agendas over the past three years that are as stale as his five-year-old criticisms of President Obama’s agenda. No Republican speech would be conservative enough without criticizing the left for talking about the devastating income inequality crushing the life out of 98% of the population, pushing school vouchers to “let every parent choose where their child goes to school,” or assert that Americans should be able to pick their own healthcare insurance plan. Ryan trotted out the tired GOP meme that under the Affordable Care Act, Washington assigns Americans government healthcare that must have surprised millions of Americans who chose a health insurance policy that met their needs through market-based exchanges. The big ideas guy also endorsed Eric Cantor’s year-old legislation abolishing overtime pay, and promoted Reagan’s trickle down economic theory that demonstrated his compassion is reserved for the rich and their corporations.

    Ryan really belied his “big ideas guy” label when he parroted Romney-Ryan campaign rhetoric that Democrats did not believe in incentivizing work and were more concerned that hungry Americans in poverty-wage jobs “had a full stomach” which is the definition of compassion. Ryan said liberals promoted the idea that Americans should not work and claimed they only offer Americans “an empty soul” whatever that means. He said, “We believe in this country, it should always pay to work; we believe in the dignity of work.” That line may have played well to conservatives at CPAC, but to any American with memory of the past three-and-a-half years it was sheer invention.

    http://www.politicususa.com/2014/03/07/idea-man-paul-ryan-reveals-empty-headed-hatred-poor.html

  25. rikyrah says:

    While Trying to Avoid Prison Michele Bachmann Calls Obama a Threat To America’s Survival
    By: Jason Easley
    Saturday, March, 8th, 2014, 3:18 pm

    As she is facing numerous federal investigations that could land her in prison, Rep. Michele Bachmann is claiming that President Obama is a threat to America’s survival.

    Bachmann said,

    You see, our movement at its core, is an intellectual movement. We are based on the greatest ideas that have ever been conceived in the minds of man. I would put those magnificent ideas up against any other idea for freedom in the world. Because the Constitution, limited government, free enterprise, strong families, these are the principles that have passed the test of time. Nothing in our constitution says government is supposed to be a charity.

    Government is not the family. It is not the church, and certainly, it should never be our doctor’s office. And you know as well as I do that America hasn’t survived for more than two hundred years because of Washington bureaucracy. It has survived because it has been preserved by the millions of men and women who have risen to the challenge, and made our country great, and we will survive Barack Obama too.

    http://www.politicususa.com/2014/03/08/avoid-prison-michele-bachmann-calls-obama-threat-americas-survivial.html

  26. rikyrah says:

    Republican Double Standard In Louisiana as Bobby Jindal Shreds The First Amendment

    By: Rmuse
    Saturday, March, 8th, 2014, 5:26 pm

    Although there are similarities between hypocrisy and double standards, most Americans understand that the type of person, or group, practicing either one indicates a fundamentally flawed character. For Americans paying attention to Republican rhetoric and activities over the past month, it is obvious the party, and the conservative movement in general, is lacking any semblance of morality or respect for the United States Constitution or their own ideals. In fact, what is becoming a defining trait among Republicans, so-called true conservatives, and particularly the religious right is that their distorted view of the Constitution is only applicable and true when it fits their decidedly anti-American agenda; an agenda they claim is protected by the nation’s founding document. However, Republicans have exceeding just applying constitutional protections and standards in a one-sided manner, and have exhibited blatant hypocrisy and double standards that belie their own strongly-held advocacy for positions on foreign policy, business and free market capitalism, religious freedom, and now the 1st Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of speech.

    Over the past month, Republicans disregarded their contention that it is a mortal sin to interfere with a private corporation’s business when they intervened in a Tennessee Volkswagen plant’s union representation vote, as well as attempting to dictate to technology giant Apple who and how they could do business with. After protestors drove Ukraine’s president out of the country prompting Russian president Vladimir Putin to send troops into Crimea, Republicans demanded that President Obama confront Putin militarily for intervening in a sovereign nation’s internal affairs despite giving undying support to George W. Bush when he pre-emptively invaded Iraq and Afghanistan. Across America, Republicans defend evangelical fundamentalists’ contention that the Constitution affords them the right to abridge other Americans religious liberty, and now Louisiana Republicans are attempting to deny private Americans their 1st Amendment freedom of speech.

    This week, MoveOn, an organization with more than 8 million members received a letter from Louisiana Republican Lieutenant Governor Jay Dardenne ordering the organization to cease and desist exercising their right to free speech. Earlier in the week MoveOn purchased ad space on billboards in Republican-controlled states criticizing Republican and teabagger governors for rejecting free federal funding to expand Medicaid to prevent hundreds-of-thousands of poor Americans from receiving healthcare. Republicans in Louisiana are furious that a non-right wing organization has the temerity to criticize Governor Bobby Jindal and lied by claiming their objection to the billboard is that it used Louisiana’s slogan, “Pick Your Passion.” The full text of the billboard is; “Louisiana – Pick your passion! But hope you don’t love your health. Gov. Jindal’s denying Medicaid to 242,000 people.”

    http://www.politicususa.com/2014/03/08/republican-fascism-full-display-louisana-bobby-jindal-shreds-amendment.html

  27. rikyrah says:

    Thank God She Lost: Bitter Sarah Palin Calls for the Nuking of Russia ASAP
    By: Sarah Jones
    Saturday, March, 8th, 2014, 7:40 pm

    Sarah Palin was in rare form tonight at CPAC. The crowd loved her, more than any other speaker. She said if she doesn’t run for President, she loves Ted Cruz and Rand Paul.

    Though she gave a rousing rendition of a rage-filled Green Eggs and Ham riff, proving that she is still the Queen of mean girl spite, Palin predictably tripped over reality when she was instructing President Obama on foreign policy. “Mr. President,” she spat, “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a nuke is a good guy with a nuke.”

    Translation: Nuke Russia now or else it’s green eggs for you, Mr President! Neener-neener!

    http://www.politicususa.com/2014/03/08/palin.html

  28. rikyrah says:

    Mitch McConnell’s Musket Stunt Backfires as He Gets Busted For Not Owning A Gun
    By: Jason Easley more from Jason Easley
    Saturday, March, 8th, 2014, 8:37 pm

    The wheels are falling off of Mitch McConnell’s Senate reelection campaign faster than you can say, not from my cold dead hands. It turns out that McConnell looked so uncomfortable waving that musket around at CPAC because he doesn’t even own a gun.

    According to the Courier-Journal:

    Whatever the case, McConnell just didn’t look comfortable waving the flintlock musket above his head.

    Instead of recalling images of Charlton Heston at NRA conventions, where the late actor incited the crowd by raising a similar gun, McConnell looked a bit more like Michael Dukakis riding in a tank or President Barack Obama shooting skeet at Camp David, or Jimmy Carter doing much of anything.

    It shouldn’t surprise anyone that he didn’t look natural. A search of Courier-Journal archives and the Internet found no other photos of McConnell holding a gun and despite his constant support of gun rights, McConnell has never cultivated the image of a hunter — unless his prey is that of a political sort.

    His campaign refused to say if McConnell hunts, shoots targets or even owns a gun and last fall when Grimes challenged McConnell to a shootout at a gun range, he ignored a reporter who asked if he would take her up on her offer and walked away.

    http://www.politicususa.com/2014/03/08/mitch-mcconnells-musket-stunt-backfires-busted-owning-gun.html

  29. rikyrah says:

    La. Police Claim Man Shot And Killed Himself While Handcuffed
    Mar 8, 2014
    By NewsOne Staff

    Louisiana state police are investigating the death Victor White, III, 22, who allegedly shot and killed himself while handcuffed in the back of a patrol car, reports The Advocate.

    White was allegedly involved in an altercation and when deputies responded to the call they claim to have found illegal drugs on him which lead to his arrest.

    White was in handcuffs with his hands behind his back when he was killed, allegedly by his own gun — which conveniently wasn’t found during the search that led to his arrest.

    Read more below from The Advocate:

    http://newsone.com/2953674/victor-white-iii-killed-in-handcuffs/

  30. rikyrah says:

    Hope everyone remember to spring forward last night.

  31. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

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