Tuesday Open Thread | Native American Dance

Sun DanceThe sun dance is a religious ceremony practiced by a number of Native American and First Nations Peoples, primarily those of the Plains Nations.

Each tribe that has some type of sun dance ceremony has their own distinct practices and ceremonial protocols. In most cases, the ceremony is held in a private, or even secret, location, and is not open to the public. Most details of the ceremony are kept secret out of great respect for, and the desire for protection of, the traditional ways.

In very general terms, there are features common to the ceremonies of the sun dance cultures, such as dances and songs passed down through many generations, the use of a traditional drum, a sacred fire, praying with a pipe, fasting, and in some cases the ceremonial piercing of skin. Certain native plants are picked and prepared for use during the ceremony. Natural medicines are used for health and well being, as are traditional foods. Wood is harvested for a sacred fire, and a firekeeper must tend the fire that burns for many days and nights.

Typically, the sun dance is an agonizing ordeal for those who participate in it. According to the Oklahoma Historical Society, young men dance around a pole to which they are fastened by “rawhide thongs pegged through the skin of their chests.”

Although not all sun dance ceremonies include dancers being ritually pierced, the object of the sun dance is to offer personal sacrifice as a prayer for the benefit of one’s family and community. The dancers fast for many days, and the ceremony takes place over a four day period. The ceremony is held outside in the summer time, in the open air, not fully sheltered from the wind, sun, or rain. Some groups use the same site each year, while others will move from place to place.

At most ceremonies, family members and friends stay in the surrounding camp and pray and support the dancers. People camp at the site for many days, with some arriving from far away places. In preparation for the sun dance, wood, food, and medicines are gathered in the traditional manner, the site is set up, offerings made, elders consulted, and feast food prepared. There are sweat lodges and other ceremonial preparations. Much time and energy by the entire community is needed for the sun dance to work. Communities plan and organize for at least a year to prepare for the ceremony. Usually there is one leader or a small group of leaders in charge of the ceremony, but many elders help out and advise. A group of helpers do many of the tasks required to prepare for the ceremony.

There is a reluctance to talk about the subject in any great detail. Those that know a lot are not willing to share with someone who might abuse the traditional ways. There are concerns about the ceremony not being passed along in the right ways. The words used at a sun dance are often in the native language and not translated. There is a great attempt to have the utmost respect for the ceremony, and this is often done with speaking few words about it. The detailed way a respected elder talks, teaches, and explains is unique and not easily quoted or intended for publication.

About SouthernGirl2

A Native Texan who adores baby kittens, loves horses, rodeos, pomegranates, & collect Eagles. Enjoys politics, games shows, & dancing to all types of music. Loves discussing and learning about different cultures. A Phi Theta Kappa lifetime member with a passion for Social & Civil Justice.
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119 Responses to Tuesday Open Thread | Native American Dance

  1. Ametia says:

    “You don’t want to go there, BUDDY! I know that’s right, AG Holder! LMBAO

  2. rikyrah says:

    Young Ballerinas Awarded Scholarships

    The 10-year-old twins will attend a prestigious dance program in New York this summer.

    By: Diamond Sharp

    Posted: April 8 2014 4:01 PM

    Canadian twins Nia and Imani Lindsay will join one of the world’s leading ballet training programs this summer.

    The sisters, 10, were awarded scholarships to attend the American Ballet Theatre’s “Young Dancer Summer Workshop” in New York.

    The twins, who began walking at just 8 months old, are also skilled in acrobatics, tap, jazz, hip-hop and contemporary dance styles. If that wasn’t impressive enough, the Lindsay twins are also fluent in Spanish and French.

    You can watch the twins talk about ballet and more with Urban Bush Babes below:


  3. rikyrah says:

    MsRita73 @MsRita73

    @MichaelEDyson Amen, some people think that overt racism is the problem in America, but it’s the covert racism that is woven in the fabric!

  4. I’m so sorry, Mr President!

    Zeituni Onyango, President Obama’s aunt who fought deportation, dies


    Zeituni Onyango, the aunt of President Obama who fought deportation in a controversial courtroom saga in 2008, has died, her immigration lawyer told the Herald.

    Onyango died this morning at a rehabilitation hospital after a lengthy bout with cancer and respiratory ailments, attorney Margaret Wong said.

    “She’s been ill for quite some time. She didn’t like people to know, because she is so strong,” said Wong, who kept in touch with Onyango in recent years and called her “auntie.”

    “I don’t think she accepted she was dying,” said Wong. “She just kept thinking she needs to go on.”

    Onyango, a Kenyan national whose illegal-immigrant status came to light during her nephew’s first presidential bid, was famously defiant in her fight for asylum and insisted she had a right to live in taxpayer-funded housing in South Boston.

    Onyango’s family is making funeral arrangements, which are being complicated because of her estrangement from her husband’s side of the family, Wong said.

  5. rikyrah says:

    ALEC and Paul Ryan Team Up to Convert Pensions Into Tax Cuts for Millionaires

    By: Rmuse
    Tuesday, April, 8th, 2014, 10:24 am

    It may be difficult for those on the wrong end of economic inequality to understand, but there are some conservative economists who claim inequality promotes investment, but the overriding opinion is that too much inequality is destructive and can hinder a nation’s long term growth. In 2011, researchers from the International Monetary Fund published work indicating that income equality increased the duration of countries’ economic growth spells more than free trade, foreign investment, or low foreign debt. Obviously, economic inequality in America is well beyond a social and economic problem, and two noted economists have released preliminary research that revealed Americans have not witnessed economic inequality favoring the richest 1% since the 1920s and it is about to get worse; much, much worse if the Koch brothers’ American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), State Policy Network, and their Republican facilitator Paul Ryan have their way.


    Toward the end of 2013, ALEC joined its Koch-funded sister organization, the State Policy Network, in a campaign to dismantle public pension systems completely as one of its top 2014 legislative priorities that the National Public Pension Coalition (NPPC) representing public sector employees said is a major threat to the financial security of millions of state and local public employees. That wealth public employees depend on in their retirement is just too much for the rich, Republicans, Koch brothers, and Wall Street to pass up and they are actively working to steal it for themselves under the guise of “helping” states and the federal government rein in spending. However, as is always the case with Republicans and their funding mechanism, any “pension” savings is relegated to tax cuts for the rich to increase their wealth. Veterans got a small taste of Paul Ryan’s greed for their pensions in the 2013 budget agreement, and his latest budget proposal expands the great pension robbery even more to partially fund the monumental tax cuts for the rich and corporations.


  6. rikyrah says:

    Wendy Davis’ Opponent Hides From The Press After Controversy Over His White Nationalist Pal

    By: Sarah Jones
    Tuesday, April, 8th, 2014, 2:28 pm

    Texas Republican AG and gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott is hiding from the press again.

    This time, it’s not Abbott’s comments on how we don’t need fair pay laws because they already exist — but oopsie, women in his Attorney General’s office make less for the same job! — that stalked him into a humiliating defeat, but his choice to cite the work of Charles Murray, a white nationalist who hates women as inspiration for his pre-k plan.

    So the press arrived to an empty room in Dallas yesterday for a scheduled press conference with the Republican gubernatorial candidate, only to discover that Greg Abbott had suddenly canceled it, according to the Davis campaign.


  7. Ametia says:

    Here you go, SG2

  8. rikyrah says:

    African Diplomats Shun Black Business Owners
    April 7, 2014
    Jazelle Hunt Op-Ed

    By Raynard Jackson NNPA Columnist

    Last week I attended a very nice reception hosted by two of my friends, Rosa Whitaker and Bernadette Paolo. Rosa is CEO and President of the Whitaker Group, a Washington, D.C.- based consultancy specializing in trade and investment in Africa. She previously served as the first Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Africa in the administrations of Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton. In 2010, Whitaker was named one of Foreign Policy’s Top Global Thinkers.

    Paolo succeeded the former president and Founder of The Africa Society, Leonard H. Robinson, Jr., in 2006, after his untimely death. Prior to assuming her new position, Paolo served as Vice President of The Africa Society and Vice President of The National Summit on Africa.

    At the event promoted as “Reception, Tribute and Discussion for East Africa’s Four New Female Ambassadors to the U.S.” The ambassadors honored were Mathilde Mukantabana of Rwanda, Liberata Mulamula of Tanzania, Oliver Wonekha of Uganda, and Jean Kamau of Kenya.

    Each of these women has a fascinating background and sterling accomplishments.

    For those who are not followers of Africa, it’s important to remember that the continent of Africa is extremely patriarchal. Women are barely beginning to be welcomed into decision making positions in government, business, and politics, etc. In many African countries, women’s roles in society are clearly defined, with most of their roles being relegated to motherhood and the raising of the children.

    In foreign affairs, to be posted as ambassador to the U.S. is like winning the Super Bowl; it is a crowning achievement for any diplomat. So, to have these four women from East Africa posted in the U.S. is a historic development in diplomatic circles.

    Therefore, I want to use this column, to speak directly to these four distinguished ambassadors:


    Madam Ambassadors, each of you stated that you wanted Americans, especially Blacks, to invest in your respective countries. Why should we? What is the business case for such an investment? Most African ambassadors have little engagement with the Black community, especially the businessman. People all over the world tend to do business with people they know.

    There are Black businessmen who have created and run multi-billion dollar companies and have never had an African ambassador come to meet with them. Businessmen are not just going to magically show up in your country and want to invest millions of dollars in your country and you have never found the need to establish a relationship with these successful businessmen.

    When your presidents come to the U.S., they always meet with the same group of White organizations: the Corporate Council on Africa, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, or the U.S. Institute for Peace, etc.

    Madame Ambassadors, why is it that your presidents refuse to meet with these successful Black entrepreneurs when they are in the U.S.?

    These same presidents would miss their own mother’s funeral to meet with Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, or Mark Zuckerberg, but when it comes to meeting the Black owner of a $ 6 billion IT firm, they can’t find time.

    – See more at: http://www.blackpressusa.com/african-diplomats-shun-black-business-owners/#sthash.RVpQteN8.jjmSGDR4.dpuf

  9. rikyrah says:

    An outbreak of candor in the Obamacare debate
    By Greg Sargent
    April 8 at 2:27 pm

    You’ll be startled to hear, via Bloomberg News, that House Republicans have once again put on hold their plans to release their alternative to Obamacare. Bloomberg quotes Republicans claiming they are in the midst of making process-y decisions about how to offer their alternative in legislative terms.

    But it may also be that Republicans are running into the same old problem: There just isn’t any real policy space for an alternative that would meaningfully accomplish what the law accomplishes. Indeed, along these lines, one GOP aide was remarkably candid in an interview with Sahil Kapur:

    One congressional GOP health aide, who was granted anonymity to speak candidly, said his party is as determined as ever to fight Obamacare, and will remain so as long as it exhibits failure. He said devising an alternative is fraught with the difficulty of crafting a new benefits structure that doesn’t look like the Affordable Care Act.

    “If you want to say the further and further this gets down the road, the harder and harder it gets to repeal, that’s absolutely true,” the aide said. “As far as repeal and replace goes, the problem with replace is that if you really want people to have these new benefits, it looks a hell of a lot like the Affordable Care Act…To make something like that work, you have to move in the direction of the ACA. You have to have a participating mechanism, you have to have a mechanism to fund it, you have to have a mechanism to fix parts of the market.”

    You don’t say! This is just one anonymous GOP aide, but when you take these comments alongside what Paul Ryan admitted to the other day, we’re really getting somewhere. Ryan forthrightly claimed that, once Obamacare is repealed, its popular provisions shouldn’t be replaced, because so doing would be too costly.

    Before Obamacare’s benefits kicked in for millions, it was easier for Republicans to resort to “repeal and replace” rhetoric while remaining in a policy-free zone. But now that those benefits are no longer theoretical, it’s becoming harder and harder for Republicans to advocate “repeal and replace,” without getting forced into an uncomfortable choice. Either they offer an alternative that, under scrutiny, would be revealed to accomplish a fraction of what Obamacare would, meaning it would fall far short of the law’s popular goals. Or they can claim to support those goals, but that then invites questions as to whether they are willing to accept the tradeoffs necessary to accomplish them.

    All signs are that House Republicans, if they ever do introduce an alternative, will opt for the former, sticking by tried-and-true GOP ideas like allowing insurance sales across state lines. But some GOP candidates are finding that they feel politically obliged to opt for the latter — indicate support for the law’s general, and expansive, goals. However, this is obliging them to remain vague on the tradeoffs they are willing to support. Hence North Carolina GOP Senate candidate Thom Tillis insists he supports protections for the sick, and Michigan GOP Senate candidate Terri Lynn Land insists she supports extending coverage to the poor, even as neither says how they’d accomplish such things


  10. AG Holder to Louie Gohmert…

  11. rikyrah says:



    Topless Florida Woman Wrecks McDonalds, Pauses to Guzzle Ice Cream
    Jay Hathaway
    Today 12:28pm

    A Florida woman wearing nothing but a thong rampaged through a St. Petersburg McDonald’s Monday, banging her head on the counter and then attempting to take apart the kitchen with her bare hands. Eventually, she chilled out by eating soft-serve straight out of the machine.

    Employees posted the uncensored security footage to LiveLeak later that night, along with their running commentary.


  12. rikyrah says:

    David Johns ‏@MrDavidJohns · Apr 6
    “there are four Black Americas: the elite, the middle class, the newly emergent, and the abandoned minority” Eugene Robinson #AERA14

  13. Hey Chicas!

    Whoa! Did y’all watch the Reid Report? Folks on Twitter said my tweet made it to the Reid Report about cops down in Georgia pulling a gun on the 11 year old kid.

  14. rikyrah says:

    New Poll Shows Voters in Red States Want to Expand Medicaid
    April 8, 2014

    According to new polling by Public Policy Poling conducted for MoveOn, in voters support Medicaid expansion in key states by wide margins: 52 to 35 percent in Kansas, 58 to 33 percent in Florida, 59 to 30 percent in Pennsylvania, 54 to 38 percent in Georgia. All are states where Medicaid expansion has been blocked by Republican politicians. In Virginia, where the GOP has also blocked Medicaid expansion, a previous poll found that even a majority of state Republican voters support extending coverage for the state’s low-income residents. And other polls show that three-out-of-four Americans nationwide, including a majority of Republicans, support Medicaid expansion.

    Nevertheless, Republicans are actively, single-handedly blocking health coverage for 5 million Americans in 24 states.


  15. rikyrah says:

    McConnell: Equal Pay For Women Is ‘The Left’s Latest Bizarre Obsession’
    Sahil Kapur – April 8, 2014, 1:40 PM EDT460

    On Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) dismissed the Democrats’ all-out push for action on gender pay equity as a “bizarre obsession” designed to blow “kisses to their powerful pals on the left.”

    “Instead of focusing on jobs, [Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid] launched into another confusing attack on the left’s latest bizarre obsession,” the Republican leader said on the Senate floor. “Just think about that. The percentage of Americans in the workforce is at an almost four-decade low, and Democrats chose to ignore serious job-creation ideas so they could blow a few kisses to their powerful pals on the left.”

    McConnell said that what working class Americans “need right now are real job-creation solutions, not some tone-deaf blame-deflection rally or some daily bout of shadow boxing here on the Senate floor.” He attacked it as part of Democrats’ “never-ending political road show.”


  16. Ametia says:

    Kerry focuses blame for impasse in talks on Israel
    Source: ToI

    US Secretary of State John Kerry said Tuesday that both Israelis and Palestinians were responsible for the current crisis in peace talks, but appeared to allocate the lion’s share of the blame to Jerusalem.

    At the same time, he expressed hope that the two sides would continue to negotiate, but also warned that there was a “limit” to how much effort the US government could invest in the process if the two parties weren’t serious about negotiating a pact.

    “Both sides wound out in a position of unhelpful moves,” Kerry said at a hearing of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, delineating what he said led to the current impasse.

    “The prisoners were not released by Israel on the day they were supposed to be released and then another day passed and another day, and then 700 units were approved in Jerusalem and then poof — that was sort of the moment,” Kerry said.

    Read more: http://www.timesofisrael.com/kerry-focuses-blame-for-impasse-in-talks-on-israel/

  17. rikyrah says:

    Furious Eric Holder Snaps At GOP Rep: ‘You Don’t Want To Go There, Buddy’ (VIDEO)

    Igor Bobic – April 8, 2014, 1:06 PM EDT9301

    The feud between Attorney General Eric Holder and Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-TX) shows no signs of abating.

    Under questioning by Gohmert at a House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, Holder was again asked for documents related to the Fast and Furious scandal that led to his being held in contempt of Congress two years ago.

    “I’ve read you what your department promised and it is inadequate,” Gohmert said. “And I realize that contempt is not a big deal to our Attorney General but it is important that we have proper oversight.”

    “You don’t want to go there, buddy, alright? You don’t want to go there, ok?” interjected Holder.

    “I don’t want to go there?” responded Gohmert.

    “No. You should not assume that that is not a big deal to me,” a visibly agitated Holder shot back. “I think it was inappropriate, I think it was unjust, but never think that that was just a big deal to me. Don’t ever think that.”


  18. Ametia says:


    • Ametia says:

      This is what America has come to? A half-nitwit, interviewing our Attorney General. sad really, but its time has come to EXPOSE the idiocy of that “white is right” mentality.

      • Liza says:

        A lot of half-nitwits have managed to find their way into Congress, so yes, that is what America has come to.

    • Ametia says:

      Attorney General Eric Holder got into a tense confrontation with Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) during a his appearance before a House Judicial Committee oversight hearing Tuesday. When Gohmert raised the threat of holding the attorney general in contempt of Congress, Holder shot back, “You don’t want to go there, buddy.”

      Gohmert was referencing the 2012 vote by the House of Representatives to hold Holder in contempt for refusing to turn over subpoenaed documents related to Operation Fast and Furious. Raising the specter of another such vote, Gohmert said, “I realize that contempt is not a big deal to our attorney general, but it is important that we have proper oversight.”

      “You don’t want to go there, buddy,” Holder said, interrupting Gohmert. “You don’t want to go there.” When Gohmert questioned what he meant, Holder explained, “You should not assume that that is not a big deal to me.” Pointing his finger at the congressman, he continued, “I think that it was inappropriate and it was unjust, but never think that was not a big deal to me, don’t ever think that.”


  19. Ametia says:

    Monday, April 7, 2014

    Politics is Professional Wrestling: New York Magazine’s Jonathan Chait Reveals White Racist Conservatives Are Now ‘Victims’ of Anti-Racism’s ‘Terrifying Power’ in the Age of Obama

    The much discussed public debate between The Atlantic’s Ta-Nehisi Coates and New York magazine’s Jonathan Chait about the “bad culture” and “pathological” ways of black folks was a very useful and necessary conversation, one stimulated in its most recent incarnation by the bigoted, white supremacist, dishonest, lazy thinking of Paul Ryan, the Republican Party’s wunderkind “big ideas” guy.

    Chait and Coates are so very smart. Their writing is a joy to read. Their debate, has for the most part, been a net gain for a public that has been trained for soundbites as opposed to an extended dialogue and deep thinking about serious public policy matters.


  20. rikyrah says:

    I’m curious about the attacks on Rev. Al. He was snitching on the FUCKING MOB. Not only dangerous, but brave.
    Um, what is the issue here?
    Cause I know I woulda never had the cajones to snitch on THE FREAKING MOB.

    • Ametia says:

      MSNBC will be dropping Politics Nation in 5, 4, 3, 2…..
      ya’ll ought to know by now that this is how they get rid of POWERFUL VOICES on tv.

  21. rikyrah says:

    Black Canseco @BlackCanseco

    #BlackTwitter: What did the Genovese crime family ever do for Blackfolk that we’re mad Al Sharpton snitched em out?

  22. rikyrah says:

    Boehner’s lazy mendacity on immigration

    04/08/14 10:50 AM
    By Steve Benen

    What’s worse, the fact that House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) won’t allow the House to vote on a popular, bipartisan immigration reform bill, or that he’s so brazen in trying to avoid responsibility for his actions?

    House Speaker John Boehner blames President Barack Obama for Congress’s inability to pass an immigration reform bill, saying that it’s a lack of trust in the president that keeps members of the GOP from getting it done.

    “The American people want us to deal with immigration reform,” Boehner said on Fox News’s “Kelly File” on Monday. “I’ve tried to get the House to move on this now for the last 15 or 16 months. But every time the president ignores the law, like the 38 times he has on Obamacare, our members look up and go, ‘Wait a minute: You can’t have immigration reform without strong border security and internal enforcement, how can we trust the president to actually obey the law and enforce the law that we would write?’

    This is a great example of what Jonathan Bernstein calls “lazy mendacity.” Boehner’s comments are demonstrably wrong, but just as important is the fact that the Speaker apparently can’t be bothered to come up with half-way credible falsehoods.


  23. rikyrah says:

    House Republicans to Delay Obamacare Replacement Plan Rollout

    By Derek Wallbank Apr 8, 2014 10:20 AM CT

    House Republicans are delaying by at least a month unveiling their alternative proposal to Obamacare, according to lawmakers and aides involved in the process.

    The issue is one of “policy, trying to get it all together,” House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy said in an interview.

    Republicans had said they would unveil the outlines of their plan to replace the 2010 health-care law over the two-week congressional break in mid-April at town hall meetings with constituents. They are seeking to draft what could be several bills to replace President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act.

    Instead, a Republican leadership aide said the rollout will occur possibly in May or June. Republican leaders are set to meet later this week to discuss the rollout, McCarthy and Conference Chairman Cathy McMorris Rodgers said.

    Republicans have held more than 50 votes to repeal, defund or roll back the law since taking majority control of the U.S. House in 2011. While they’ve yet to present a unified plan to replace the law, several members have introduced legislation that leaders have said will guide their replacement plans.


  24. rikyrah says:


    SPLC demands Alabama school district end discriminatory practices

    It’s a moment that often makes J.T. uncomfortable: The moment someone asks him why he isn’t in school.

    “It makes me feel like I dropped out,” J.T. said. “It’s like I have nothing to accomplish. I just feel worthless.”

    But the 17-year-old Latino didn’t drop out of school. In fact, earlier this year, he twice attempted to enroll in Fort Payne High School in northeast Alabama but was denied entry. He has missed almost an entire semester of school as a result. His plans to join the military this summer have been thrown off course as well.

    “I can’t believe I’m just wasting time,” he said.

    The SPLC demanded today that the superintendent of Fort Payne schools end the discriminatory enrollment practices keeping J.T. out of school.

    In a letter to Superintendent Jim Cunningham, the SPLC described how the student was denied enrollment in violation of federal laws that bar discrimination based on national origin, immigration status or limited English proficiency. The SPLC has demanded that the district enroll J.T. by April 14.

    “Fort Payne school officials have stood in the way of our client getting an education simply because he was born in Mexico,” said Caren Short, SPLC staff attorney. “These discriminatory practices have already cost our client valuable class time. It must stop.”

    J.T. attempted to enroll on Jan. 31 after moving to Alabama. The teen, who came to the United States from Mexico when he was a year old, brought a completed enrollment application, proof of residency in the school district, an immunization record and a Social Security card, according to the letter.

    The principal did not even look at the documents. After J.T. said he had to make up two failed classes from the previous year, the principal said he couldn’t enroll him. This excuse has no basis in district or state education policy. It even violates the nondiscrimination policies of the Alabama Department of Education and the district.


  25. rikyrah says:

    WATCH: Rat Terrorizes Subway During Morning Commute

    A man commuting to Brooklyn shot video of a rat running around inside his downtown A train Monday morning.

    By Jinais Ponnampadikkal Kader


  26. I’m headed to Los Cabos to eat with my daughter. BBL!

  27. rikyrah says:

    Tuesday, Apr 8, 2014 06:44 AM CDT
    Exclusive: Shady double-agent’s Obamacare sabotage: Top “supporter” quietly funded its opposition

    New documents reveal drug lobby’s president posed as law’s savior, then pumped cash to ALEC in effort to kill it
    Eli Clifton

    While proponents of the Affordable Care Act took a victory lap on the April 1 signup deadline, opposition to the state-run marketplaces continues to expand across the country through “Health Care Freedom Acts,” bills that would seek to limit state governments’ cooperation with the Affordable Care Act. But the untold story, until now, is that a key White House ally in passing the Affordable Care Act may have helped lay the groundwork for these very anti-ACA legislations being introduced across the country.

    Billy Tauzin, the president of the pharmaceutical lobby, couldn’t help gloating while delivering a keynote speech at his final PhRMA annual meeting before his 2010 retirement. Reflecting on the industry’s decision to support comprehensive healthcare reform, the mega-lobbyist quipped, “This PhRMA team is a Super Bowl championship team of advocacy.”

    That comparison might be more accurate if the NFL’s championship team had rigged the Super Bowl.

    Publicly, PhRMA had banded together in negotiating its conditional support for the Affordable Care Act, and Tauzin, a former Louisiana congressman-turned-lobbyist, was the man responsible for protecting drug industry profits. In exchange for the industry’s public support of healthcare reform, his organization extracted a series of drug pricing concessions from the White House. But privately, Salon has learned, while the industry was outwardly supporting the Affordable Care Act, it was also quietly funding a nationwide effort to derail its implementation at the state level.

    Tax records show that PhRMA initiated a series of payments to the American Legislative Exchange Council with a $379,192 contribution in 2008. Tauzin’s powerful lobby continued its payments to ALEC throughout its negotiations with the White House. Between 2008 and 2011, those contributions exceeded $1.25 million.


  28. rikyrah says:

    Jamelle Bouie: Jonathan Chait’s Look At Race During The Obama Era Is Missing One Thing: Black Americans

    You should contrast this with Jonathan Chait’s most recent feature for New York magazine, where the story of race in the Obama administration is a story of mutual grievance between Americans on the left and right, with little interest in the lived experiences of racism from black Americans and other people of color. It’s a story, in other words, that treats race as an intellectual exercise—a low-stakes cocktail party argument between white liberals and white conservatives over their respective racial innocence.That might fit the experiences of a mostly white pundit class, but it has nothing to do with race as experienced in the “day-to-day” lives of ordinary people. When a twentysomething black New Yorker talks about race, she isn’t as concerned with the rhetoric of Republicans as she is with the patrol car that trails her teenage brother when he rides his bike to the corner store.

    What’s odd about the argument is that Chait clearly shows the extent to which conservatism—even if it isn’t “racist”—works to entrench racial inequality through “colorblindness” and pointed opposition to the activist state. But rather than take that to its conclusion, he asks us to look away.Of course, it’s not accusing conservatives of “racism” to note that particular policies—say, tax cuts to defund the social safety net, or blocking the Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act—have a disparate impact. That’s just reality. And it’s not tarring your opponents to note that race plays a huge part in building popular support for those policies. Chait finishes his piece with a note (a hope?) that this dynamic of grievance will become irrelevant with time: “The passing from the scene of the nation’s first black president in three years, and the near-certain election of its 45th nonblack one, will likely ease the mutual suspicion. In the long run, generational changes grind inexorably away.” Yes, the Return of the White President will cause this tension to recede, as arguments over racial innocence—“You’re racist!” “You’re a race baiter!”—fade like the elves of Middle-Earth. But that’s only the end of the story if you’re most concerned with partisan fights.


  29. Ametia says:

    Byran Cranston is STILL BREAKING BAD!!!!! LOVE HIM.

    Bryan Cranston of ‘Breaking Bad’ urges Obama to use executive orders to build ‘legacy’

    By Paul Bedard | APRIL 7, 2014 AT 12:19 PM

    Add Bryan Cranston, the star of TV’s recent hit “Breaking Bad” and a new Broadway play about former President Lyndon B. Johnson, to Team Obamacare.

    In an interview with Yahoo News “global anchor” Katie Couric, the actor called Obamacare the highlight of President Obama’s legacy.

    “Now’s the time to stake a claim to leave your legacy,” he encouraged Obama.

    “I personally believe that his health care program is fantastic. Yes, there are problems. Anything worth while is going to go through a growing pains period. But this is his legacy and I think it’s a great one because I don’t think that basic health care should be a privilege of the rich. It should be a right to all,” said the actor.



  30. Ametia says:

    Reposting here

  31. rikyrah says:

    Set up to fail when he was hired, UConn’s Kevin Ollie has instead beat the odds
    By Jeff Eisenberg7 hours ago

    ARLINGTON, Texas. — As Kevin Ollie waded through ankle-high confetti after Monday night’s national title game in search of someone to embrace, one of the Connecticut coach’s friends wrapped him in a bear hug and sung the ubiquitous chorus from Drake’s hit song “Started From The Bottom.”

    They were the ideal lyrics for the moment even if the rapper who sings them was rooting for the other team.

    UConn’s 60-54 upset of Kentucky served as the final step in Ollie’s quest to guide the Huskies through the most challenging period in their program’s recent history. In two seasons at his alma mater, Ollie navigated UConn through a one-year postseason ban, proved to skeptical fans and administrators he deserved the full-time job and emerged from the shadow of his mentor Jim Calhoun by leading the seventh-seeded Huskies on an improbable title run.

    But UConn coach Kevin Ollie, who represents a new breed of young, relatable coaches, thought this was attainable. And his players believed him when he told them they could win a national championship a year after the NCAA blocked the program from the postseason due to APR failures.

    He’s been the motivator, the teacher and the leader all season.

    And now, he’s just the winner.


    • Ametia says:

      UCON had the game from the opening tip off. I’m so happy for Coach Kevin Ollie. There will ALWAYS, always be folks who talk that smack about how others will fail and “CAN NOT” do XYZ.

      Kevin Ollie knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that

      SUCCESS comes in “CANS.”

  32. rikyrah says:

    Jonathan Chait ✔ @jonathanchait

    Favor to ask from leftie critics: I forget what race I am and I have no mirrors so please remind me every five seconds or so. Great, thanks.

    meta @metaquest
    @jonathanchait Being white, such a cross to bear.

    8:17 AM – 8 Apr 2014

  33. rikyrah says:

    Jonathan Chait ‏@jonathanchait · 1h
    Favor to ask from leftie critics: I forget what race I am and I have no mirrors so please remind me every five seconds or so. Great, thanks.

     Follow
    J P‏@histino · @jonathanchait even in a dark room at night, after reading your piece, I could tell you exactly what color you were.

  34. rikyrah says:

    LiberalPhenom @LiberalPhenom

    @TrumpDog1 @ritaag @TheObamaDiary @jonathanchait Chait thinks he can lie & whitewash racism of those in media he works with.

  35. rikyrah says:

    Nerdy Wonka @NerdyWonka Follow

    @JonathanChait’s privilege treats racism as an intellectual exercise over drinks. That is not the experience of Black people. Racism is real

    8:00 AM – 8 Apr 2014

    Nerdy Wonka @NerdyWonka Follow

    @jonathanchait You’ll never be subjected to the horrors of racism yet from your ivory tower you dictate to Black people what racism is/isn’t

    7:39 AM – 8 Apr 2014

    Nerdy Wonka @NerdyWonka Follow

    @jonathanchait You’ll never be stopped & frisked, your citizenship will never be questioned. Your privilege allows you to dismiss AA people.

    7:40 AM – 8 Apr 2014

  36. rikyrah says:

    Carolyn Edgar @carolynedgar
    .@AngryBlackLady I’m pretty sure “what do black people think about racism?”is a question that Jonathan Chait has never thought to ask.

    10:47 PM – 7 Apr 2014

    Syd @Blackamazon
    Why is it so hard to believe you don’t know what it’s like to be and live as a black person if YOU ARE NOT ONE?

    10:38 PM – 7 Apr 2014

    Alison Rose @alisonrose711
    You know who I trust & believe when it comes to bigotry? The targets of said bigotry. Not the perpetrators & not people who are safe from it

    11:11 PM – 7 Apr 2014

  37. rikyrah says:

    Tweets From Patrick @SpringaldJack
    I bet Chait is proud of himself for saying “intellectual stop and frisk” instead of “lynch mob”

    10:27 PM – 7 Apr 2014

    Pretty Foot @PrettyFootWoman
    @NerdyWonka @AngryBlackLady I have grown weary of white folks trying to define racism for the rest of/as if this all began with PBO

    10:41 PM – 7 Apr 2014

  38. rikyrah says:

    TheObamaDiary.com @TheObamaDiary
    . @jonathanchait This President had to show his friggin birth cert. His supporters are “racial paranoiacs”? Screw you

  39. rikyrah says:

    Liberal Librarian @Lib_Librarian
    Ah, yes, I remember when all those white presidents had to prove their citizenship by showing their birth certificates. @jonathanchait

    10:54 PM – 7 Apr 2014

  40. rikyrah says:

    Imani ABL @AngryBlackLady
    White ppl talking about racism like it’s an academic exercise irks me. It’s my LIFE. Not something you write about after a glass of scotch.

    10:37 PM – 7 Apr 2014

  41. rikyrah says:

    Imani ABL @AngryBlackLady
    wtf is a “racial paranoiac”? Racism is a real and profound part of Black Americans’ lives. Oy. https://twitter.com/jonathanchait/status/453156537213521920

    10:22 PM – 7 Apr 2014

    Imani ABL @AngryBlackLady
    I still remember crying when President Obama showed his birth certificate. I will never forget that moment. Never forget feeling unAmerican.

    10:25 PM – 7 Apr 2014

  42. rikyrah says:

    Civil rights 50 years after the Civil Rights Act

    Sherrilyn Ifill and Marc Morial discuss the most important civil rights issues of our time, 50 years after the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, in advance of the National Action Network’s annual convention.


  43. rikyrah says:

    Pretty Foot @PrettyFootWoman
    Jonathan Chait’s Look at Race During the Obama Era Is Missing One Thing: Black Americans http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2014/04/jonathan_chait_race_and_obama_s_presidency_what_about_the_experience_of.html … via @slate

    11:14 PM – 7 Apr 2014

  44. rikyrah says:

    Jamil Smith ✔ @JamilSmith
    This @jonathanchait essay about “race in the Obama era” is one of the worst pieces of racial analysis I’ve ever read. http://nym.ag/1lLmFwP

    9:33 PM – 7 Apr 2014

    Jamil Smith ✔ @JamilSmith
    Chait’s essay is wholly about the white experience of race in the Obama era. Is he planning a second one on how black folks feel about it?

    9:46 PM – 7 Apr 2014

    Jamil Smith ✔ @JamilSmith
    How does any writing about race during Obama’s presidency never even mention the birth certificate? You almost have to try not to do that.

    9:48 PM – 7 Apr 2014

  45. rikyrah says:

    Nigeria passes South Africa to become Africa’s biggest economy

    By Agence France-Presse
    Sunday, April 6, 2014 20:29 EDT

    Nigeria on Sunday became Africa’s biggest economy, leap-frogging South Africa, after the government announced a long-overdue rebasing of the country’s gross domestic product.

    The new calculations take into account changes in production and consumption since the last time the exercise was carried out in 1990, including an added focus on communications and the movie industry.

    The data indicated that the economy grew to $453 billion in 2012, instead of $264 billion as measured by the World Bank for that year


  46. rikyrah says:

    Monday, April 7, 2014
    Jeb Bush Will Never Be President

    Mainly because Jeb Bush will never survive a GOP primary. Not after consecutive losses by McCain and Romney, and certainly not with his record on immigration.

    Former Florida governor Jeb Bush said Sunday that many who illegally come to the United States do so out of an “act of love” for their families and should be treated differently than people who illegally cross U.S. borders or overstay visas.

    This right here has ended his 2016 prospects before they ever began.

    Asked about immigration, Bush started by saying that a bipartisan bill passed by the Senate last year made “a good effort” at proposing ways to ensure that people overstaying visas leave the country.

    “A great country ought to know where those folks are and politely ask them to leave,” he said, adding later that properly targeting people who overstay visas “would restore people’s confidence” in the nation’s immigration system.

    “There are means by which we can control our border better than we have. And there should be penalties for breaking the law,” he added. “But the way I look at this — and I’m going to say this, and it’ll be on tape and so be it. The way I look at this is someone who comes to our country because they couldn’t come legally, they come to our country because their families — the dad who loved their children — was worried that their children didn’t have food on the table. And they wanted to make sure their family was intact, and they crossed the border because they had no other means to work to be able to provide for their family. Yes, they broke the law, but it’s not a felony. It’s an act of love. It’s an act of commitment to your family. I honestly think that that is a different kind of crime that there should be a price paid, but it shouldn’t rile people up that people are actually coming to this country to provide for their families.”


  47. rikyrah says:

    Monday, April 7, 2014
    Last Call For The End Of The Bridge

    And the other shoe drops: if you want to know why Chris Christie is facing a grand jury over Bridgegate and why US attorneys are moving forward, it’s because the aide behind the Port Authority scandal is now talking to the Feds.

    The former Port Authority of New York and New Jersey executive who orchestrated the George Washington Bridge lane closures is cooperating with federal prosecutors investigating the scandal, Esquire reported on Monday.

    According to Esquire’s Scott Raab, sources close to the investigation say that David Wildstein has been cooperating with Paul Fishman, the U.S. attorney in New Jersey. Raab also reported that Fishman has increased the number of investigators working the case, and has been presenting evidence and witnesses to a grand jury. (On Friday, ABC News reported that Michael Drewniak, press secretary to Gov. Chris Christie (R), testified before the grand jury.)

    Esquire isn’t the only outlet to get word of Wildstein’s interactions with prosecutors. On Sunday night, the website Main Justice reported that Wildstein “was camped at the U.S. Attorney’s office” in Newark last week meeting with prosecutors. In January, Wildstein’s attorney, Alan Zegas, said that his client would talk if given “immunity from the relevant entities.”

    Main Justice also reported that Charlie McKenna, former chief counsel to Christie, met with federal investigators in mid-January. Christie announced on Dec. 19 that McKenna was leaving the chief counsel position to become CEO of the New Jersey Schools Development Authority (SDA), a position he was officially elected to by the SDA board of directors on Jan. 2. McKenna could not immediately be reached for comment by TPM on Monday.


  48. rikyrah says:

    Neil deGrasse Tyson Teaches Fox News About Science On SNL
    By: Sarah Jones
    Sunday, April, 6th, 2014, 4:22 pm

    Saturday Night Live took aim at Fox News’ climate change denial by having “Neil deGrasse Tyson” trying to teach the Fox and Friends gang about science.

    The panel welcomes Neil deGrasse Tyson, played by by Kenan Thompson, to discuss a climate change report. It’s the usual experts versus the willfully ignorant as equals game.

    “This report actually represents the consensus of the vast majority of scientists,” explained deGrasse Tyson. “It is an indisputable fact that the earth is getting warmer.”

    Kilmeade counters, “I saw a documentary about a town that was always cold because of a princess.” Even Hasslebeck can’t abide this, so she corrects him, “That was ‘Frozen’.”


  49. rikyrah says:

    Bernie Sanders Sends Republicans Into Cold Sweats With a Truth Bomb About Obamacare
    By: Jason Easley
    Monday, April, 7th, 2014, 8:53 pm

    Bernie Sanders described the Republican Party’s worst nightmare, and likely gave the GOP cold sweats by telling the truth about the success of the ACA.

    Sen Sanders (I-VT) nailed it. Republicans are terrified that more people are going to be able to see a doctor. They are scared that people will realize that the government can make positive things happen, and they hate the ACA because it is an example of the government doing something for someone other than wealthy billionaires.

    Republicans believe that government should only serve the interests of the wealthy. This belief is the basis for their whole job creators mentality. The people who aren’t job creators are “takers” who deserve nothing, and should be left to fend for themselves.

    The ACA shatters this ideology. The Afforable Care Act demonstrates what happens when government acts in the best interests of the majority. Once people figure out that the Republicans were wrong about Obamacare, there is nothing stopping them from demanding that


  50. rikyrah says:

    Maddow reports that the ace Special Prosecutor for New York has joined the investigation against Governor Krispy Kreme. This is big news because the NJ Special Prosecutor was considered a bit ‘soft’

  51. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone:)

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