Friday Open Thread | Sting Week

I hope you have enjoyed this week with Sting.




This entry was posted in Music, Open Thread, Politics and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

62 Responses to Friday Open Thread | Sting Week

  1. Ametia says:

    Just got back from the movies. Captain America is ALL.THAT.

  2. rikyrah says:

    Black Boys Go Ivy League: Haters Emerge

    Internet party crashers show up at the celebration over the accomplishments of two young African-American men who are heading to Ivy League universities.
    Posted: April 4 2014 4:38 PM

    Last week it was reported that Avery Coffey, age 17, had received offers to five ivy League schools. And just this week, 17-year-old Kwasi Enin bested that effort by getting accepted at all eight of them.

    These were moments of celebration for two black teens who had worked tirelessly to achieve the elusive goal of Ivy acceptance, and the mainstream media recognized that this accomplishment was rare, especially for African Americans. When The Root posted both stories, they were the highest-trafficked and most shared stories of the day.

    And then Internet users took to the social networking sites, armed with bitterness and virtual picket signs to hate on the teens’ success. One wrote:

    Seriously? My application was almost identical except that I was first in my class out of a top ranked tech academy focusing on a biotechnology program. I listed “white” for my ethnicity because they didn’t have an option for Armenian. F**k affirmative action.

    The posts were repetitive and equally offensive and hurtful.

  3. President Obama, Go Ahead & Dust That Dirt Off Your Shoulders! by Russell Simmons

    World Premiere Of Jay-Z Fade To Black Concert Film

    I’ve always believed that the collective prayer of young people can change the world. From the early days of hip-hop to the emergence of the millenial’s to the power of the Obama presidency, young people have pushed forward a much more progressive agenda than any generation prior. When young people want something, they go get it. No waiting in line, no asking their turn, no seeking permission; their tenacity to achieve the impossible is unmatched.

    A few months ago, it almost seemed impossible that the Obama administration would reach their original goal of enrolling 7 million people into the new affordable health care system. After a bumpy start with the crash of their website, very few people believed that the administration would get to a place where the program would be deemed successful. The President needed at least seven million new people enrolled in ACA in order for the most important program of his presidency to actually work. Republicans had certainly written him off and many Democrats quietly gave up.

    But, what happened in the past few months has been nothing short of extraordinary. The President and his staff reached out to many of their supporters and asked for our help, something we were proud to give. When we got the call, I put my entire staff on the case. Led by my Political Director and President of GlobalGrind, Michael Skolnik, I allocated resources within to make sure that we were able to effectively communicate with millions of young people around the country to educate them about how to enroll. As we continued working, I was incredibly impressed by the staff at The White House, including Heather Foster, Marlon Marshall, Brad Jenkins, Maurice Owens and so many more, who dedicated every waking hour to make sure that all Americans got covered. I was inspired by the commitment of young leaders, including Valeisha Butterfield, Tamika Mallory, Brian Benjamin, Marvin Bing and Michael Blake, who put together an amazing New York City bus tour that enrolled thousands of New Yorkers. And lastly, but certainly, not least, I was in awe of all of the artists, musicians, actors and athletes who used their collective celebrity power for good by promoting this critical initiative.

    Our work certainly is not done, but with over seven million people enrolling in Obamacare, we ought to be very proud of what we have accomplished. The legacy of this great President is growing by the day, as one who leads with compassion, tolerance and generosity with always a focus on equality. I thank him for his resilience for never giving up, even after so many thought he would fail and so many actually wanted him to fail. He led this campaign with incredible determination and this nation will forever be indebted to him for uplifting all Americans and changing our health care system forever. Now, let’s go enroll another 7 million people next year!

    -Russell Simmons


  4. rikyrah says:

    Oakland senior’s mark of success: top college admissions
    Friday, April 4, 2014

    When Akintunde Ahmad walked into the library at Oakland Technical High School to talk to Yale University recruiters making their annual East Bay stop in January, some of the other student hopefuls turned and stared.

    With dreadlocks draping his shoulders, and his 6-foot-1 frame in the sweatpants and T-shirt he had thrown on after baseball practice, it sure may have seemed like this guy was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    But ‘Tunde, as he is called by friends and family, was right where he was supposed to be.

    The 17-year-old Oak Tech senior received an acceptance letter from Yale last week to prove it. He also has offers from Brown, Columbia, Northwestern, the University of Southern California, UCLA, Howard, Chapman, Cal Poly and Cal State East Bay, and has been waitlisted by UC Berkeley and Georgetown.

    “People looking at me funny is so common that it doesn’t stick out for me anymore,” says Akintunde, who has a 5.0 GPA and scored 2100 (out of 2400) on the SAT. “It’s something that I’ve gotten used to.”

    Young and strong, athletic and African American, ‘Tunde describes himself like “any other street dude on 98th Avenue,” the neighborhood where he grew up and lives. Perhaps that’s why he has often been overlooked and underestimated – and left alone to quietly go about his business.

  5. rikyrah says:


    The Fluffer and Mona Lisa of Boom: Scandal Episode 316 Recap

    [ 4 ] April 4, 2014 | Luvvie

    Chile, look. This episode of Scandal was intense! In fact, it was a throwback to season 2 and that I enjoyed. Let’s just get into it.

  6. Hey,

    I have to go pick up Haley and Jay from school. I’ll be back later.

  7. rikyrah says:

    Senator Harry Reid ✔ @SenatorReid
    Watch @JoyAnnReid discuss the Koch Brothers. She tells it like it is.

    11:38 AM – 4 Apr 2014

  8. rikyrah says:

    The Facts About The Koch Brothers

    1. The Kochs want to abolish Social Security.

    “In 1980, David Koch ran in and funded a presidential campaign that called Social Security “The Ultimate Pyramid Scheme” and promised to abolish and replace it.” Read more.

    2. The Kochs want to eliminate minimum wage laws.

    “According to Charles Koch, the U.S. needs to get rid of the minimum wage, which he counts as a major obstacle to economic growth.” Read more.

    3. The Kochs are against extending emergency unemployment benefits.

    “It causes employers to face higher taxes, too, which discourages them from hiring new employees.” Read more.

    4. The Kochs spent $400 million on misleading attack ads in the last election cycle.

  9. rikyrah says:

    Charles Pierce: The Cri De Koch

    …. Anybody who had any doubts about whether or not the Kochs have imbibed fully their father’s devotion to the old Birchite view of things can rest easy, This is something out of the collected works of John Stormer, the stuff that was supposed to have died in conservatism with the end of the Goldwater campaign. None Dare Call It Antiquated. But, if you have more money than God and Solomon, you can bring even the most decomposed ideology back to life, I guess.

    …..Koch: “….. Those in power fail to see that more government means less liberty, and liberty is the essence of what it means to be American. Love of liberty is the American ideal.”

    Says the gentleman who’s poured more millions into voter-suppression efforts all over the country. Again, all done out of altruism and in the name of saving America from the tyranny of clean air and insurance-friendly health-care reform. If I’m Harry Reid, I keep pounding on these guys. The public butthurt is getting quite entertaining.

  10. rikyrah says:

    What To Do Now
    By Liberal Librarian

    Friends, I’ve been feeling down for a couple of weeks.

    As Obamacare was surging to success, I couldn’t quite delight in it. Something niggled at me. That’s why I wrote this piece. The hoops through which Barack Obama has had to go through just to get anything done is without parallel in US political history.

    But then it was revealed that Pres. Obama asked the major networks for primetime space to speak to the nation about ACA reaching its most generous enrollment targets, and what this meant for ordinary Americans, alone among industrialized nations denied the security of access to basic healthcare. The networks denied him.

    Now I’m riled up. This disrespect shown Pres. Obama by the Big 3 networks was the last straw.

    The media went on a jihad after the failed rollout of, loudly trumpeting every failure, every glitch, every frustrated user of the website. The blandishments were endless and incessant. For weeks, newscasts led with the problems faced by the website, as if the website were the totality of the Affordable Care Act. It would feature every detractor of Obamacare on its newscasts, would consign the entire enterprise to dismal doom. As AP so famously put it, it would “take a miracle” for the law to reach its target.

    But reach its target it did. In fact, it has surpassed it, to the consternation not only of the right wing wurlitzer, but of the perspicacious segments of our failed media experiment, the supposed gatekeepers of all that is newsworthy.

    For all the attention which the supposed failure of the law received, it hasn’t received even one tenth of the attention for the success beyond all media imaginings.

    * Seven million people—and counting—have received plans through the federal or state websites.
    * Three million people aged under 26 have been able to stay on their parents’ insurance.
    * Upwards of nine million people have been able to get qualified health plans directly from insurance companies.
    * And four to six million people have been able to access expanded Medicaid.

    These are millions of real people, getting real help, knowing health security for the first time in their lives. And they don’t fit the narrative of failure. They are as nothing to the media.

    The media as it existed in the 60s and 70s no longer does so. It no longer serve the public good, but its corporate paymasters. The idea that US media could be consolidated into 4 or 5 major multinationals and not have it affect coverage has been shown to be a will-o-the-wisp.

    • rikyrah says:

      BOBFR’s response over at TOD:

      Bobfr (@Our4thEstate)
      April 4, 2014 at 12:01 pm

      4 April 2014

      Dear Mr President,

      Have written you many letters. Suffer no illusion you have ever seen one of them.

      In that context, I do hope you see this one. Within this week we’ve witnessed two momentous events in American history – resounding success of the first phase of Obamacare and inescapable, undeniable assault by SCOTUS on the bedrock principle of democracy – one person, one vote.

      Five members of SCOTUS are irrefutably tools of the Kochs and their fellow plutocrats. Anyone with two functioning neurons connected by a spirochete knows that.

      Moreover, those same plutocrats control broadcast TV, radio and cable transmission in the US. Tzar Vlad, among our other very real enemies, could not be more delighted or enabled by that fact. Those same plutocrats, this week, used their respective LICENSES to spectra that the US Government manages on behalf of its citizens (ALL OF THEM) to deny you, the President of the United States of America, prime time broadcast access as to share the momentous news of the fact that truly countless (at this point) Americans now have affordable, non-discriminatory health care. The FIRST TIME in the HISTORY of America that that is reality. You know these facts as well as anyone.

      So, I’ll just offer a few suggested remedies.

      Mobilize your Twitter followers and request that they, to whatever extent possible, donate One Dollar A Day To OFA from now until 4 Nov 2014. Imagine the impact if only 10 or 15 percent of them did just that. It would create a grassroots financial tsunami that overwhelms the plutocrats and, in doing so, affirms that no matter how much money they have they will NEVER OWN America.

      Bring withering attention to the FACT that the majority on SCOTUS serve ONLY the plutocrats. Period.

      Simply – We are truly at war, Sir. The enemy is the most dangerous America has confronted since 1861 – an exceptionally well funded, anti-democratic, rapaciously greedy enemy within.

      Beyond 2008 and 2012, 4 Nov 2014 must be the day that the vast majority of Americans not only reject the servants of the plutocrats (aka GOP), but then persist every day thereafter in the process of eliminating any such threat in the future. Not only does all that the American Promise represent depend on doing so, but also the evolutionary potential of an ever more civilized human species.

      Thank you,

  11. rikyrah says:

    Personhood USA tries to set Gardner straight
    04/04/14 10:52 AM
    By Steve Benen

    Ordinarily, a politician’s flip-flop is simple: he or she takes one position, then decides to take the opposite position, and hopes the blowback isn’t too severe. Rep. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), however, is struggling through an entirely different kind of experience – one in which he tried to flip-flop, but didn’t quite stick the landing.

    Exactly two weeks ago, Gardner, his party’s competitive U.S. Senate candidate this year, announced that he’d changed his mind about a radical anti-abortion policy called “personhood” measures, which would ban, among other things, common forms of birth control. The Republican congressman had championed the idea in recent years, but now that he’s seeking statewide office, Gardner wants Coloradans to know he believes the opposite of what he used to believe.

    How, when, and why did Gardner reverse course? The conservative lawmaker said he didn’t want to talk about it. Rest assured, though, he’s no longer a “personhood” proponent.

    Yesterday, however, Democrats eagerly circulated a statement from Personhood USA’s president, Keith Mason, telling Gardner he didn’t really flip-flop.

  12. rikyrah says:

    Mississippi’s McDaniel has some explaining to do
    04/04/14 08:00 AM—Updated 04/04/14 08:08 AM
    By Steve Benen

    By any sensible standard, Mississippi Senate hopeful Chris McDaniel is considered very conservative. For example, it was the GOP state senator, currently taking on U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran in a primary, who conceded having a role at a neo-Confederate and pro-secessionist conference last summer.

    But as Dave Weigel noted, interest in Cochran’s associations is only intensifying.

    On Wednesday afternoon the conservative blog Y’all Politics posted a kind of scoop. Chris McDaniel, the Republican challenger who has posed a serious threat to Sen. Thad Cochran all year, was scheduled to speak at Firearm Freedom Day in (wait for it) Guntown, Miss. Two other Republican legislators, Melanie Sojourner and (wait for it again) Bubba Carpenter, would be there too. But among the vendors was a group called Pace Confederate Depot.

    This might not have raised hackles with the rest of the press – not in a state whose flag incorporates the stars and bars – but blogger Alan Lange, a donor to Cochran, did some homework

    And what Lange found quickly became a national story: Pace Confederate Depot’s lead proprietor is a racial segregationist, not usually the kind of person a U.S. Senate candidate would choose to hang around with before voters head to the polls

  13. Ametia says:

    Harry Reid: GOP Practically ‘Falling All over Themselves’ to Please the Kochs
    by Josh Feldman | 3:52 pm, April 3rd, 2014

    Today Republican Senator Jerry Moran took to the Senate floor to read the full op-ed submitted to The Wall Street Journal by Charles Koch, and Harry Reid used this to slam the GOP for “falling over themselves” at every turn to do the bidding of the Koch brothers.

    Moran railed against the liberal attacks on the Kochs (Koch Industries is based in Kansas, the state Moran represents), and read the entire op-ed into the congressional record. Later in the day, Reid spoke at a Democratic press conference on increasing the minimum wage, and during the event he took some shots at the Kochs and their Republican allies.

    Reid considered it a badge of honor that he’s “getting under their skin,” and went after not just the “shadow billionaires” but the politicians who support them.

  14. rikyrah says:

    Donovan X. Ramsey @iDXR

    Wait. @RealBenCarson just compared Condoleezza Rice to Trayvon Martin. Used the word “atrocity.” I can’t.. #NewsOneNow

  15. rikyrah says:

    Bernie Sanders Chillingly Lays Out How The Koch Brothers Could Buy the White House

    By: Jason Easley
    Thursday, April, 3rd, 2014, 2:26 pm

    On MSNBC, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) laid out in chilling fashion how much money the Koch brothers are now free to spend to buy the White House.

    If a candidate wins the White House because a wealthy billionaire spent billions on their campaign, it is clear who they will be beholden to. An example of what Koch dollars have been able to buy can be seen in the behavior of the Republican majority in the House of Representatives. House Republicans reject the will of a majority of the American people on a daily basis.

    They don’t care about what the American people want because they answer to the wealthy donors who fund their campaigns. It is impossible to say with a straight face that House Republicans are doing the people’s business, because they have made it clear that they work for the Koch brothers.

    Imagine that behavior transferred to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The Koch brothers are going to double or triple their efforts to buy the White House in 2016. So far, they and Sheldon Adelson have not been able to successfully get a president elected, but their efforts represent the greatest internal threat to our representative democracy since the Civil War.

    Sen. Sanders has made the threat clear, and it is up to the American people to beat back this challenge.

  16. rikyrah says:

    Tuesday, April 1, 2014

    An “Uppity” Black Scientist With a TV Show: Is Racism Playing a Role in the Religious Right’s Hostility to Neil deGrasse Tyson?

    Neil deGrasse Tyson’s willingness to clearly and plainly state on his TV show Cosmos that creationism is a myth has (predictably) upset Christian fundamentalists.

    Moreover, in an era where conservatism is typified by anti-intellectualism, the howls of protest that Neil deGrasse Tyson would be dismissive of the fantastical and facile thinking which often hides under the false cover of “balance” and “fairness” in American political discourse, is another source of umbrage and raw offense for the Christian Right.

    The hostility towards Neil deGrasse Tyson is more than a function of simple anger or rancor towards the scientific facts he deftly and calmly presents on Cosmos.

    Neil deGrasse Tyson is not an empty vessel. Neil deGrasse Tyson is also not a blank slate devoid of identity or form. Neil deGrasse Tyson is a black man. His gender and his race occupy a specific location and context in American society.

    As such, Neil deGrasse Tyson is not racially unmarked.

    Blackness, masculinity, and being gendered as “male”, channel a rich and complicated history of fear, loathing, desire, violence, fascination, disgust, envy, strength, labor, and violence (both as a subject and object), in the American racial imagination.

    Neil deGrasse Tyson, as a black public intellectual and scientist, is located within that history.

  17. rikyrah says:

    Friday, April 4, 2014
    Misery Loves Company

    Gallup has compiled its annual list of America’s Most Miserable Cities, and surprise, the overwhelming majority are in red states.

    The list:

    10. Evansville, Ind.
    9. Mobile, Ala.
    8. Shreveport-Bossier City, La.
    7. Columbus, Ga.
    6. Beaumont-Port Arthur, Tex.
    5. Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton, NC
    4. Spartanburg, SC
    3. Redding, Ca.
    2. Charleston, WV

    and America’s Most Miserable City is:

    1) Huntington-Ashland, WV

  18. rikyrah says:

    Mississippi governor signs controversial religious practices bill

    Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signed a bill Thursday that supporters say will assure unfettered practice of religion without government interference but that opponents worry could lead to state-sanctioned discrimination against gays and lesbians.

    The bill, called the Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act, will become law July 1. It also will add “In God We Trust” to the state seal.

    An early version of the bill, considered weeks ago, was similar to one Arizona’s Republican governor, Jan Brewer, vetoed after business groups said it could hurt that state’s economy. Supporters say the final Mississippi bill bears little resemblance to the failed Arizona measure.

    Outside the state Capitol on Thursday, more than 75 gay-rights supporters protested against the bill. Jeff White of Waveland, a founder of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Lesbian and Gay Community Center, said as someone who is gay and Jewish, he worries such a new law could make him more vulnerable to unfair treatment.

    “It’s the first time in my life that I’ve actually considered moving out of Mississippi,” said White, 32. “It made me physically ill the past few days, realizing what they’re trying to do.”

    Bryant signed the measure within hours of receiving it Thursday, during a private ceremony. The bill says government cannot put a substantial burden on the practice of religion. Though the bill is vaguely worded, supporters said an example of would be a zoning law to limit the location of a church, mosque or synagogue but not limiting the location of a secular business.

  19. rikyrah says:

    $2.32 per person per month
    Posted by Richard Mayhew at 7:56 am Apr 042014

    That is the great “risk corridor” and “death spiral” potential of one major Exchange carrier. Highmark is an insurer for Pennsylvania, Delaware and West Virginia. They did well on the Exchanges this year by picking up over 100,000 new members in Pennsylvania. However their actuaries were off by a little bit

    Highmark Inc. gained 104,000 members through the Affordable Care Act’s online exchange — far more than any other insurer inWestern Pennsylvania.

    But that boost in business has a cost.

    The state’s largest health insurer expects to lose $2.9 million on its exchange business in Pennsylvania from July 1, 2014, to June 30, 2015, according to a filing with the state Department of Insurance.

    The actuaries, flying blind, were able to get within a large cup of coffee. The article states that the major source of error was an underestimation of how much “catch-up” care that previously uninsured individuals were consuming in the first three months of the open enrollment and active policy period. I think that this error will narrow as the last minute surge of healthier and younger people who either signed up last week or are in the process of signing up now through the blue box enrollment period enter the acturial calculations. But even if the revised projection is perfect, and the age/health composition of the Highmark risk pool does not get younger/healthier, their base rates have to increase by the cost of a good cup of coffee.

    So how do we get death spiral stories out of that?

    We don’t.

  20. Ametia says:

    Rikyrah, did you watch “Scandal” last night?

    Why Jake gotta roll up in OPA and put a CHOKE-HOLD on Olivia?

  21. Hey Ametia & Rikyrah

    Here are a few ways ‘Scandal’ has hidden Kerry Washington’s pregnancy. More at the link

    Liv and Cyrus chair block

    Liv chair block

    Liv mug

    Liv purse block

    Liv coffee table

    Liv blue line

    Liv lamp

    Liv and Fitz lamp

  22. Ametia says:

    The U.S. economy added 192,000 jobs in March, according to a Labor Department report released Friday morning. The nation’s unemployment rate remained at 6.7 percent.

    Analysts expected the report to show that the country had added 200,000 jobs last month, and that the unemployment rate had fallen to 6.6 percent.

    Read more at:

  23. Ametia says:

    Love the STING selections this morning,especially the Yo Yo Ma colab.

  24. rikyrah says:

    The March jobs report is in…

    192,000 jobs were added in March. The unemployment rate stayed the same at 6.7%. Economists estimated that 200,000 jobs would be added, so expect the media to deem this a failure.

    Overall Black unemployment increased from 12% to 12.4%.

    Overall Black participation rate increased from 60.8% to 61.1%

    Black male UER dropped from 12.9% to 12.1.

    Black women UER rose from 9.9% to 11%.

    Black teen UER rose from 32.4% to 36.1%

  25. rikyrah says:

    Lancome Taps Lupita Nyong’o as New Face
    NEW YORK April 4, 2014 (AP)

    The fashion and beauty industry’s love affair with Lupita Nyong’o
    continues: The Oscar winner has been named the new face for Lancome.

    The Mexican-born Kenyan will be the first black ambassador for the
    brand, which features Julia Roberts, Kate Winslet, Penelope Cruz and
    Lily Collins as spokeswomen. In a statement Friday, Nyong’o said she was proud to represent Lancome, adding “beauty should not be dictated, but should instead be an expression of a woman’s freedom to be herself.”

    It’s the first major endorsement deal for the 31-year-old, who won the
    best-supporting Oscar for her role in “12 Years a Slave.” Her striking
    beauty and fashion sense made her the It Girl for the Hollywood awards

    Lancome ads featuring Nyong’o will start appearing this summer.

  26. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

    Hope you have enjoyed Sting Week!

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