Serendipity SOUL | Friday Open Thread | Cyndi Lauper Week

Happy Friday, Hope you’ve been enjoying the music of Ms. Cyndi Lauper.


All Through the Night


April 1, 1984 – Apr 1, 2014 – The 30th Anniversary album is available in a solo CD, vinyl & 2-CD


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65 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Friday Open Thread | Cyndi Lauper Week

  1. rikyrah says:

    Exclusive: The Daily Banter’s Investigation Helps Catch
    Sandy Hook Memorial Thief

    This morning, police in Herndon, Va. recovered the two signs that had been stolen from the memorial playgrounds honoring Grace McDonnell and Chase Kowalski, victims of the Sandy Hook massacre. Police have told us that The Daily Banter‘s reporting on the story was instrumental in catching 28-year-old Andrew David Truelove and bringing the case to a close.

    As we reported here last week, someone claiming to have stolen the signs contacted me and e-mailed pictures of the missing panels, boasting that he had taken them and then called the families of both McDonnell and Kowalski to taunt them by saying that their children had never actually existed. I passed along all the information this person had sent me to the police department in Stonington, Conn., which was working the case. I’ve been in contact with detectives there several times since.

    It turns out the photos that we received were loaded with metadata, including geotags, which led Stonington to contact Herndon, where many of the pictures were apparently taken. Police there tracked the geotags to the home seen in the photos we posted last week, which was actually a small unit rented by someone named Alan J. Truelove. They obtained a warrant and this morning arrested Truelove, the father of the man suspected of being the actual sign thief, Andrew David Truelove. While the elder Truelove hasn’t been charged with anything yet, since he denies knowing the signs in his home were stolen, while being arrested he apparently asked the police how they could be sure the Sandy Hook massacre had really happened.

  2. rikyrah says:

    Obama reveals daughter Malia attended first prom
    by Associated Press | May 30, 2014 at 2:55 PM

    A teenage rite of passage has come to the White House, with President Barack Obama revealing that his daughter Malia recently attended her first prom.

    Obama wouldn’t say whether his older daughter had a date or went with friends. He joked it’s “classified information” during an interview airing Friday on the talk show “Live! With Kelly and Michael.”

    But the president said he doesn’t think he’s been too intimidating for any boy who might roll up to the White House to pick Malia up.

    Obama said it was “a little bit jarring” to see his 15-year-old 10th grader in heels for the first time. He said Malia looked beautiful.

  3. rikyrah says:

    ❤EgyptianPrincess❤ @MIMI_DIOR_NYC

    CONGRATS! Rachel Jeantel graduated HS today! You’ve made us proud.You’ve made Trayvon proud! Keep up the great work!”
    3:41 PM – 30 May 2014

  4. rikyrah says:

    I-Team: Bronx Building Turns Away Black Tenants, Lawsuit Charges
    By Ann Givens and Chris Glorioso
    NBC 4 New York

    A Bronx landlord discriminates against black people, telling prospective tenants who are black that there are no vacancies in their buildings just moments after telling white people that the building has available apartments, according to a lawsuit filed after secret recordings were made by undercover testers. Chris Glorioso reports

    A Bronx landlord is accused of discriminating against prospective black tenants, telling them there are no vacancies available moments after telling white applicants that the building has open apartments, according to a lawsuit filed after secret recordings were made by undercover testers.

    This week, the housing testers for New York’s Fair Housing Justice Center took the I-Team with them behind the scenes of one investigation, sharing recordings captured by hidden microphones, that they say reveals blatant discrimination by one Bronx landlord.

    “Today, housing discrimination is like a revolving door where people are politely and courteously escorted in, out of, and ultimately away from the desired housing so there’s no way they would even know they’re being discriminated against,” said Fred Freiberg, executive director of the Fair Justice Center, the nonprofit organization that employs the testers.–260177541.html

  5. rikyrah says:

    Lupita Nyong’o Optioned Film Rights to Chimamanda Adichie’s Americanah. WIN!

    If you all need me, I’ll be laid out at the altar because my heart just couldn’t take the awesomeness. IndieWire confirmed that my main boo Lupita Nyong’o optioned the film rights for my other boo and Naija sisthren Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s book Americanah!

  6. rikyrah says:

    Science is Their Enemy
    by BooMan
    Fri May 30th, 2014 at 03:07:36 PM EST

    We all know that unlike, say, Rep. Rush Holt of New Jersey, Senator Marco Rubio, Governor Rick Scott, and Speaker John Boehner are not scientists. They don’t claim to be scientists. But we wish that they had at least stayed in a Holiday Inn Express last night. That way, perhaps they would be able to come to grips with the fact that 97% of scientists agree that human activity is causing climate change that will have far more economically-negative consequences down the road than the cost of addressing the problem would have now.

    Jonathan Chait wants to know why it is suddenly so popular for Republicans to tell the public that they are not scientists and therefore are unqualified to have an opinion about whether or not climate change is actually occurring. It’s because they lack even an iota of moral courage. It’s because they are paid liars. This is not complicated and it shouldn’t even be debatable. Outside of a very small handful of genuine dunces who actually managed to get elected despite having personal beliefs about science that would make John Calvin blush, every single Republican who is either denying climate change or saying that they can’t make up their mind about it is actually just being dishonest. For money and career.

    It outrageous and deplorable behavior that ought to be met with the same derision and scorn we reserve for scam-artists and thieves. These are people whose basic character is so diminished that you would not leave them with your children. These are the kind of people who sell get-rich-quick pamphlets and try to convince you that you can lose your belly fat through a series of small, electric shocks administered by an ill-fitting belt. What they are lacking is any moral scruples about film-flamming people. It’s like the Glenn Beckification of the Party of Lincoln is now complete. Science is the enemy because scientists don’t fall for their deceitful pitches for fraudulent products. It’s the party of gold-bugs and unskewed polls.

    Karl Rove on election night is the face of the modern GOP. And if we listen to these clowns on climate change or let them continue to have a share of power, we’ll be just as bewildered as Rove was that night when the climate begins to really turn for the worse.

  7. rikyrah says:

    A dozen problems with charter schools – Washington Post, May 20

    School reformers keep talking about charter schools as if they were the answer to public education’s problems, when there is a great deal of evidence that shows big problems with the charter sector.

    For example, a report on Pennsylvania’s charter schools recently released by a state legislator found that only one in six of the state’s charter schools is”high-performing” and it notes that none of the online charters is “high-performing.”


    These charter schools also serve significantly fewer special education students than traditional students. Only two of these 28 high performing charter schools have a special education student population greater than the 15% average of traditional public schools. Further, as noted in the 2013 Special Education Funding Commission report, charter school enroll significantly less special education students with severe disabilities than traditional public schools.

  8. rikyrah says:

    meta @metaquest
    And make no mistake, the MSM has NEVER reported on @GOP that constantly reneges on their duty to care for vets. @ABC @CBSNews @NBCNews @CNN
    11:38 AM – 30 May 2014

  9. rikyrah says:

    Nerdy Wonka @NerdyWonka
    @SenJohnMcCain: Sec. Shinseki must resign!

    Reality: McCain voted 28 times against healthcare funding for the VA.
    11:27 AM – 30 May 2014

  10. rikyrah says:



    DOC SHORTAGE Doc Cited in VA Delays An acute shortage of primary care doctors is behind delays at some hospitals and clinics run by the Department of Veterans Affairs. “The problem facing the VA in terms of not having the number of primary care doctors and nurses it needs is part of a national crisis,” Sen. Bernard Sanders, the Senate veterans committee chairman, told The New York Times. He will offer legislation to let VA patients who can’t get appointments go to community health centers, military hospitals or private doctors. He also wants to provide medical school scholarships and loan forgiveness as incentives to attract more physicians and nurses to careers at the VA.

    VA HEALTH CENTERS Veterans returning from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are overwhelming underfunded VA facilities in the Southwest and South, Sen. Sanders told The New York Times. VA has set a goal of seeing patients within 14 days. “Do we have the staffing to achieve that goal?” Sanders asked. “In some parts of the country, clearly we do not.” As part of the solution, Sanders’ bill also would fund construction of 27 new VA health facilities, The Hill reported.


  11. rikyrah says:

    Tony Fisher @tonyrayfisher
    Dear @BarackObama offer newly graduating doctors a deal: work 5 years for VA and #government will pay off school loans. #VA #POTUS #Hillary
    10:40 AM – 30 May 2014Delaware, USA, United States

  12. rikyrah says:

    Princess Charlene and Prince Albert of Monaco expecting first child
    Eun Kyung Kim

    Monaco’s Prince Albert II and his wife, Princess Charlene, are expecting their first child, the nation’s palace announced Friday through a brief statement.

    “Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene of Monaco have the immense joy of announcing they are expecting a happy event. The baby is due at the end of the year,” according to the statement.

    Albert, 56, is the son of Prince Rainier and the late Princess Grace. Charlene is a former Olympic swimmer from South Africa. They couple married in 2011.

    Albert has two other children from previous relationships.

  13. rikyrah says:



    Why Black Men Need More White Women
    May 26, 2014

    By Raynard Jackson
    NNPA Columnist

    Black women constantly complain about the dearth of “eligible” Black men to date and marry. Noted sociologist William Julius Wilson has argued that “the increasing levels of non-marriage and female-headed households is a manifestation of the high levels of economic dislocation experienced by lower-class Black men in recent decades.”

    He further argued that, “When joblessness is combined with high rates of incarceration and premature mortality among Black men; it becomes clearer that there are fewer marriageable black men relative to black women who are able to provide the economic support needed to sustain a family.”

    Then you add in the unfortunate increase in homosexuality within the Black community and you have a recipe for disaster.

    This is why Black men need more White women like Ann Coulter and Laura Ingraham. Even though they are conservative media personalities, they have done more to promote the well-being of Black males than many of the very women who stridently complain about the lack of “eligible” Black men.

    Coulter is a friend and I find her comments regarding the Black community very insightful. Look at what she said two years ago on “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.” She said, “Groups on the left, from feminists to gay rights groups to those defending immigrants, have commandeered the Black civil rights experience.”

    She continued, “I think what – the way liberals have treated Blacks like children and many of their policies have been harmful to Blacks, at least they got the beneficiary group right. There is the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow laws. We don’t owe the homeless. We don’t owe feminists. We don’t owe women who are desirous of having abortions, but that’s — or — or gays who want to get married to one another. That’s what civil rights has become for much of the left.”

    Stephanopoulos asked, “Immigrant rights are not civil rights?” Coulter responded, “Civil rights are for Blacks…what have we done to immigrants? We owe Black people something…We have a legacy of slavery. Immigrants haven’t even been in this country.”

    Earlier this year, she said, “I mean my whole life I’ve heard Republicans hate Black people, I’ve never seen any evidence of it until I read Marco Rubio’s amnesty bill. We are the party that has always stood up for African-Americans. Who gets hurt the most by amnesty, by continuing these immigration policies it is low-wage workers, it is Hispanics, it is Blacks.”

    I don’t know Ingraham personally, but I like what she had to say last month about Democrats and Blacks.

    “[Congressman] Steve Israel is reprehensible in what he said [on alleged racism in the Republican Party]…Nancy Pelosi, throw her into the ring [for similar comments]…I say this is a race to the bottom…The Democrats have failed the Black youth in this country with their terrible economic approach. Do we call that racist?

    “…They turn their heads away from the millions upon millions of Black babies slaughtered in the womb over 10 years… Is that racist?…Is it racist that they allow inner cities to continue to crumble as families decay across the board in America – especially hard hit is African-American families…It is reprehensible and it’s all about November…This is not about ‘They care about Black people.’ They care about their majority eroding away.”

    So, let me make sure I understand. Black women complain about the state of “eligible” Black males to date and marry, yet they support the policies of a president who is going to make the problem much worse.

    – See more at:

  14. Ametia says:

    Jay Carney is stepping down as White House press secretary, President Barack Obama announced today. Carney said he’d leave in mid June.

    He is Obama’s second press secretary.

    “It’s been an amazing experience,” Carney said from the White House briefing room. Obama said that Carney deputy Josh Earnest will step into the role.

  15. rikyrah says:

    This school is the whitest HBCU in America

    April Taylor

    It seems like a common sense conclusion to assume that the student bodies at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) mainly consist of African American students. However there are some HBCU’s where African Americans comprise a minority of the student population. NPR recently reported on one such school, Bluefield State College.

    Shockingly, Bluefield State College’s student body is 90 percent white. Located in Bluefield, West Virginia, the school is part of West Virginia’s public education system and was founded in 1895 as Bluefield Colored Institute. At that time, the school served as a black high school. Many of the student’s parents migrated to West Virginia to work in the coal industry.

    In the 1920′s the school became known as Bluefield Institute. The school became a launching pad in the creation of the region’s black middle class. Bluefield became fully accredited in 1954. After the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision, Bluefield’s student population began to change because black students were able to choose from a wider range of options for their education.

    The mining industry in the area also began to evolve with the introduction of new technology which caused many families to look for work elsewhere. This coupled with the return of white veterans from the Korean War who were able to use the GI Bill to attend school instigated a transformation of the racial make up of the school’s students.

    The 60s brought many changes. The student population at Bluefield was now nearly half white, and in 1966, the state chose the school’s first white president, Wendell G. Hardaway. Hardaway soon hired 23 new faculty members who were all white, and the school’s dedicated faculty dropped to just 30 percent black by 1967.

  16. rikyrah says:

    Right-Wing Trolls Go Out Of Their Way To Offend Liberals By Trashing Maya Angelou

    By: Justin Baragona
    Thursday, May, 29th, 2014, 3:45 pm

    We lost a great and wonderful woman on Wednesday when Maya Angelou passed away at the age of 86. Angelou, who was renown not only for her groundbreaking autobiography ‘I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings,’ but also for her lovely poetry and activism. She was the quintessential American success story. She was a woman who came from pretty much nothing. She fought both racism and sexism and built herself up into one of the most respected poets and authors in the world. This was a woman who recited her own poetry at not one, but TWO, Presidential inaugurations. Her impact will be felt for decades to come.

    Well, apparently because she was seen as a hero by minorities, women and liberals, some conservative writers decided to use the opportunity of her passing to take a big, giant crap on her legacy. Essentially, they felt that her death was the perfect time to troll. One blogger in particular went out of her way to be as offensive as possible. That would be Debbie Schlussel, professional hate-monger who has made it her mission to spew inflammatory rhetoric, especially when it comes to blacks and Muslims.

    In a blog that she posted to her personal site on Wednesday, Schlussel called Angelou a “Racist, US-hating, Anti-Semitic Nutjob.” And that was just in the title! Schlussel spent the majority of her post pointing out that Angelou was not only an awful writer, but that she was an anti-Semite for associating with the Nation of Islam and that she was a “madam and a prostitute” who fled to Africa because she hated America. Per Schlussel, she only returned to help Malcolm X build the Nation of Islam. Schlussel also points out that Angelou never contributed anything positive in her entire life

  17. rikyrah says:

    by the Governor of Kentucky. Hope he sent a copy to Grimes.


    The Affordable Care Act in Kentucky: It’s Working

    For months, critics of the Affordable Care Act boldly vowed to eradicate what they insisted was a failed health reform plan — vows they repeated even as thousands, then tens of thousands and now hundreds of thousands of Kentuckians began accessing insurance and coverage via the health benefit exchange that we call “kynect.”

    Now comes Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell’s amended election-year promise, delivered as he’s fighting for his political life: To rid the state of the ACA even while keeping all the good that “kynect” does.

    At best, of course, his promise represents a fundamental misunderstanding of the ironclad link between the ACA and “kynect.” At worst, it’s a blatant attempt to mislead Kentucky families for his political benefit.

    While that is fun to ponder, the salient point is this: Even critics are acknowledging that the ACA is bringing health care to those who desperately need it. In short, it’s working.

    I see the ACA’s positive impact first-hand in my home state, a place whose collective poor health has long been jeopardizing the lives and financial security of hard-working families who can’t seem to get ahead.

    Recently I was cornered by a Kentucky radio talk-show host with a large and rabid following. He didn’t want to discuss politics or sports. Rather, he began telling me about a pre-existing health condition that for years had prevented him from obtaining health insurance. But thanks to “kynect,” he now had coverage.

    I wasn’t surprised.

    No matter where I go, I’m greeted by people who have used “kynect” to access good health, peace of mind and financial security.

    A young, self-employed woman who, a month after getting coverage, was rushed to the hospital for an emergency appendectomy.

    A widow with three children whose employer didn’t offer insurance.

    A woman with multiple health issues who had been going without medicine while caring for a disabled adult child and four grandchildren, all of whom had insurance but her.

    And a diabetic who had been unable to afford the insurance his employer offered and thus couldn’t treat or monitor his condition.

  18. rikyrah says:

    Nancy Youssef, نانسى @nancyayoussef
    A groan emerged from a bevy of troops, vets, employeess at the Pentagon as Obama announced he accepted Shinseki’s resignation.
    10:21 AM – 30 May 2014

  19. rikyrah says:

    john miller @deaconmill
    One of the greatest advocates for veterans in this country has been hounded out of office by media and unworthy politicians. It is a sad day
    10:47 AM – 30 May 2014

  20. rikyrah says:


    donna dem 4 obama
    May 30, 2014 at 11:43 am

    I’ve watched, read and listened with trepidation while this entire VA mess has unfolded over the last few weeks. This incident gives the cable pundits, the Republicans and the MSM the so-called scandal that they have been clamoring to have for well over a year against this administration. There is no sugar-coating what the inspector general found in his investigation. This is bad. Plain and simple our Vets should not ever have to be treated this way. The problem that I think most of us have is that this problem didn’t start yesterday or last year or on January 20, 2009. The VA as we all know has had a systemic bureaucratic problem since its inception.

    As a mother and aunt of three young beautiful men that served this Nation gallantly even under false pretenses in that gawd-awful Iraq War I want them and all our Vets to always have access to the best care possible when needed. They have earned that right. Whatever resources are needed have to be used to do whatever it takes to fix these problems and fix them now.

    With that said, this incident highlights everything that is wrong with the way the cable pundits, the Republicans and the MSM handle these situations. No one is seeking a solution to the problems. All they care about is who is to blame and what political fallout it will have on this administration. This is why they are all demanding that the President fire Shinseki. It gives them another opportunity to question (falsely) President Obama’s leadership style. They’re like a wild mob looking for someone to sacrifice so they can then write the story about how the President threw Shinseki under the bus for all the problems at the VA. We all know by now how these games are played. He’ll be damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t.

    Our President is a results driven person. He has put people in place in his cabinet to run their perspective departments with the highest expectations. He doesn’t fire someone just because the media, Republicans and mealy-mouthed Dems suggest he does so. He waits until he has all the facts and then he takes action.

    As a manager myself I experienced something similar (on a much smaller scale) this week. One on my staff made an error that she had been counseled about and she knew better than to make. I, as her manager took a thumping from my superiors because of her neglect. She is normally a very competent and dependable employee. In fact, I consider her a superstar. Yet, she neglected something that had a profound impact. The next day I discussed the situation with her and requested that she come back to me within one hour with a procedure that would ensure that this error could never happen again. She was standing in my door 20 minutes later with a written procedure that blew me away that would solve the problem and ensure that this could essentially never happen again.

    I took it to my superiors and they were so impressed that she received a personal email from the CFO of the company. She and I experienced a rough patch this week but because the focus was on solving the problem this nightmare came to a positive resolution and made each of us better professionals.

    No administration in that big bureaucracy known as the federal government is without fault but just imagine if those brilliant minds could be allowed the opportunity to fix and resolve problems without the glow of “it’s a scandal” or the mob circling the wagons for someone’s scalp. I trust that President Obama felt it was necessary to accept Sec. Shinseki’s resignation but he did it on his terms when he thought it was appropriate. No one forced him into it and the silver-lining in all of this is that the VA will be fixed because even though this may have been lost in all the noise, that’s what’s really at issue here.

    Thank God PBO is in charge!

  21. rikyrah says:

    Dorothy Evon Davis @embryo101
    @Dudette9t9 @maritzasolito @DeptVetAffairs The GOP finally got the General, who went against Bush, Cheney & Rumsfeld, over Iraq
    10:41 AM – 30 May 2014

  22. BREAKING – President Barack Obama accepts Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki’s resignation.‏

  23. rikyrah says:

    Free Market’ Republicans Give the Koch Brothers and ALEC a Monopoly Over Ohio’s Energy
    By: Rmuse

    Friday, May, 30th, 2014, 10:14 am

    Monopolies exist when a specific person or enterprise is the only supplier of a particular commodity, and are thus characterized by a lack of economic competition to produce the commodity coupled with a lack of a viable substitute. The most terrifying thing on Earth to a person or enterprise controlling the only supply of a commodity is when a viable substitute is discovered that forces the enterprise into economic competition that, in part, is the nature of free market capitalism. Republicans and their conservative donors are staunch defenders of free market capitalism; that is until they see a viable competitor. It explains their drive to restrict Democratic voters during elections, and new energy sources that threaten the dirty energy industry’s monopoly on supplying power.


    The manufacturers’ association was not exaggerating because since Ohio adopted the RES, nearly unanimously in 2008, Ohio’s clean energy sector created over 25,000 jobs, over $1 billion in private sector investment, and cut electricity rates by 1.4% (over $230 million in savings). However, that was before the Kochs bought the Ohio legislature and installed an ALEC alumnus in the governor’s office.

    Sadly, Ohio is just the first, but certainly not the last, state the Koch brothers, ALEC, Americans for Prosperity, and the Heartland Institute are working to prohibit access to the wind and Sun’s power source. According to the New York Times, in just the past year more than a dozen states have embraced ALEC proposals to eliminate green and renewable energy mandates and incentives due to intervention from “libertarian policy and advocacy groups.” It is noteworthy that libertarians and their staunch devotion to letting “free market capitalism” drive the economy does not apply if it cuts into the libertarian Koch brothers’ monopoly on energy and profits.

  24. rikyrah says:

    Michael Cohen @speechboy71
    Guys steals 1.7 million documents. Forgets to print out e-mails he exchanged w/NSA officials expressing concerns abt NSA programs #oops
    8:21 PM – 29 May 2014

  25. rikyrah says:

    john miller @deaconmill
    Why is it that most of the people calling for Shinseki’s head have never had to deal with VA, while those that have dealt with VA aren’t?
    8:57 PM – 29 May 2014

  26. rikyrah says:

    Huge standing ovation and applause for VASec Shinseki at the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans here at the Hyatt. These guys love him

  27. rikyrah says:

    Bob Krause‏@KrauseForIowa·
    Ex #Bush #VA Secty #Principi wants 2 gut #veterans #disability system. Same guy kicked 600K #Nam vets out of VA. (#Shinseki reinstated them)

  28. rikyrah says:

    Democrat Turns The Tables and Blasts House Republican for Voting Against VA Funding

    By: Sarah Jones
    Thursday, May, 29th, 2014, 7:27 pm

    Former Speaker of the Colorado House and Democratic candidate for Colorado’s 6th Congressional District Andrew Romanoff knows how to run for office. He turned the tables on Republicans, and is using the VA scandal against a vulnerable Republican incumbent.

    Romanoff’s office sent out a clipping from a local paper which pointed out that Romanaff’s Republican opponent incumbent Congressman Mike Coffman, “one of the loudest critics of the VA” who called for Secretary of the VA Gen. Eric Shinseki to be fired, voted as recently as January against a bill that included $100 million to reduce the growing backlog of veterans waiting for care.

    It gets worse. He also voted against two bills that included funding for the Aurora, Colorado VA hospital. Per the Aurora Sentinel:

  29. rikyrah says:

    President Obama’s West Point speech reads like a takedown of Rand Paul
    By Chris Cillizza May 28 at 3:15 pm

    Read one way, President Obama’s big-think speech on foreign policy delivered at West Point on Wednesday amounts to a point-by-point takedown of the worldview espoused by Kentucky Sen. (and all-but-announced 2016 presidential candidate) Rand Paul.

    Obama never mentions Paul by name. But Paul’s views — described as isolationist by his detractors and non-interventionist by his allies — repeatedly function as a rhetorical device against which Obama argues, and which he clearly means to reject as part of his broad vision of the post-Iraq/Afghanistan/Sept. 11 world and the United State’s role in it.

    Let’s go through a few particularly Paul-y passages from Obama.

    * “At least since George Washington served as commander-in-chief, there have been those who warned against foreign entanglements that do not touch directly on our security or economic well-being. Today, according to self-described realists, conflicts in Syria or Ukraine or the Central African Republic are not ours to solve. Not surprisingly, after costly wars and continuing challenges at home, that view is shared by many Americans.”

    Obama, like many — Democrats and Republicans — who reject the Paul view of the U.S. in the world, uses the idea that this isolationist tendency is nothing new and, since it has failed to catch on fully in the past, argue that it won’t catch on this time either. Maybe so, but as Obama acknowledges, the Paul view is one held by a major chunk of the American populace. This chart — courtesy of an NBC-Wall Street Journal poll conducted late last month — tells that story powerfully.

    • Ametia says:

      Don’t flatter yourself or Rand Paul, Chris C..

      PBO’s speech to West Point was at TAKE DOWN of anything resembling the GOP NEOCONS and WAR MONGERS.

      There, I fixed it for you Cilliza!

  30. rikyrah says:

    Hillary Clinton has a new problem on the left: The legacy of the 1990s economy

    By Zachary A. Goldfarb, Published: May 29

    In a video released Wednesday to promote her upcoming book, Hillary Rodham Clinton warned that the nation must “deal with the cancer of inequality.” Days earlier, she said the country is facing another “Gilded Age of the robber barons” and rattled off statistics about the financial gap between rich and poor.

    The comments mark a new populist emphasis for Clinton, who is seeking to tamp down growing criticism from the left about her husband’s economic policies in the 1990s. The issue could become a serious political headache for Clinton as she considers a presidential run in 2016, raising the possibility of a challenge from the left on free trade, bank regulation and other populist causes.

    How Clinton navigates economic issues could help determine how successful she would be as a candidate, particularly given her fraught history with the left wing of the Democratic Party. Her Senate vote in 2002 to authorize the Iraq war caused an irreparable rift with liberals in her 2008 presidential bid — one that was exploited by her up-and-coming Democratic primary rival, Barack Obama.

    During her first White House bid, the booming Clinton economy of the 1990s was considered a political asset. But many liberals have since soured on parts of that record, arguing that Clinton administration policies contributed to the 2008 financial crash, the Great Recession and the economic malaise that followed.

    Critics say Bill Clinton’s support for free trade agreements destroyed millions of middle-class manufacturing jobs, while his hands-off approach to financial regulation laid the groundwork for the financial crisis. Economic inequality soared during the 1990s, exacerbated by Clinton’s support of tax cuts on investment income.

    Since then, Bill and Hillary Clinton and their advisers have maintained close ties to Wall Street — another major point of tension with progressives.–the-legacy-of-the-1990s-economy/2014/05/29/90527b94-db92-11e3-b745-87d39690c5c0_story.html?tid=ts_carousel

  31. rikyrah says:

    Why Are Indian Kids So Good at Spelling?

    Because they have their own minor-league spelling bee circuit.

    By Ben Paynter

    Today marks the 87th Scripps National Spelling Bee. One year ago, Arvind Mahankali, whose family is originally from Hyderabad, India, became the sixth consecutive Indian-American winner of the Spelling Bee and the 11th in the past 15 years. In honor of his victory, Slate revisits Ben Paynter’s story, originally published in 2010, about Indian-Americans’ shocking prowess in spelling competitions. It is reprinted below

    This April’s North South Foundation bee in Shawnee, Kan., might seem like an obscure place to find the spelling world’s two biggest stars. Mostly, it looked like the sort of geeky local bee I might have attended as a kid—except everyone there was Indian. Inside Shawnee’s Hindu Temple and Cultural Center, 23 awkward kids took turns passing a microphone back and forth in a hushed beige auditorium. No spotlights, no podium, just cringe-inducing feedback on the P.A. system. And for the record, the spelling was a-t-r-o-c-i-o-u-s. Just three of the first 10 contestants spelled their words correctly. At one point, a poor kid paced in circles and clutched his crotch before misspelling beleaguered and sprinting off to the restroom

    Amid it all, 13-year-old Kavya Shivashankar pronounced words from a fold-out judging table as her father, Mirle, emceed in a sharp dark suit. Kavya, the 2009 Scripps National Spelling Bee champion, is a spelling superstar complete with signature move: She air-writes each word across her palm before speaking it. Kavya and Mirle—her innovative, ever-enthusiastic coach—were at the small-time competition to pay homage. Over the past two decades, tournaments like this one—a regional qualifier for the North South Foundation’s spelling league—have become a breeding ground for Scripps contenders. These minor-league competitions help kids as young as 6 years old work out the spelling kinks at an early age. The result has been an Indian-American dynasty at the National Spelling Bee.

    Consider the facts: Indian-Americans make up about 1 percent of the U.S. population; this year, an estimated 30 NSF-ers will compete at Scripps, 11 percent of the 273-kid field. Recent winners include Sai R. Gunturi from Dallas, who nonchalantly reassembled pococurante for a national title in 2003. Sameer Mishra from West Lafayette, Ind., nailed guerdon in 2008. And four-time finalist Shivashankar made it back-to-back titles for North South Foundation competitors last year, air-writing Laodicean for the win. If Shivashankar hadn’t come through, it’s possible another North South graduate would have: Four other NSF kids cracked the top 10 behind her.

    The NSF circuit consists of 75 chapters run by close to 1,000 volunteers. The competitions, which began in 1993, function as a nerd Olympiad for Indian-Americans—there are separate divisions for math, science, vocab, geography, essay writing, and even public speaking—and a way to raise money for college scholarships for underprivileged students in India. There is little financial reward for winners (just a few thousand dollars in college scholarships) compared with the $40,000 winning purse handed out each year by Scripps. Still, more than 3,000 kids participated in NSF’s spelling events this year due in part to what NSF founder Ratnam Chitturi calls a sort of Kavya Effect. “Most American kids look up to sports figures,” he says. “Indian kids are more interested in education, and they finally have a role model.”

  32. rikyrah says:

    JOBoomr @JOBoomr
    From Oct 2008 – McCain’s Non-Support for Troops and Veterans: The Master List via @HuffPostPol
    11:38 PM – 29 May 2014

  33. rikyrah says:

    Obama’s leadership is right for today

    By Fareed Zakaria,
    Published: May 29

    “Because of his unsure and indecisive leadership in the field of foreign policy, questions are being raised on all sides,” the writer declared, adding that the administration was “plagued by a Hamlet-like psychosis which seems to paralyze it every time decisive action is required.” Is the writer one of the many recent critics of Barack Obama’s foreign policy? Actually, it’s Richard Nixon, writing in 1961 about President John F. Kennedy. Criticizing presidents for weakness is a standard practice in Washington because the world is a messy place and, when bad things happen, Washington can be blamed for them. But to determine what the United States — and Obama — should be doing, we have to first understand the nature of the world and the dangers within it.

    From 1947 until 1990, the United States faced a mortal threat, an enemy that was strategic, political, military and ideological. Washington had to keep together an alliance that faced up to the foe and persuaded countries in the middle not to give in. This meant that concerns about resolve and credibility were paramount. In this context, presidents had to continually reassure allies. This is why Dean Acheson is said to have remarked in exasperation about Europe’s persistent doubts about America’s resolve, “NATO is an alliance, not a psychiatrist’s couch!”


    In this context, what is needed from Washington is not a heroic exertion of American military power but rather a sustained effort to engage with allies, isolate enemies, support free markets and democratic values and push these positive trends forward. The Obama administration is, in fact, deeply internationalist — building on alliances in Europe and Asia, working with institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and the United Nations, isolating adversaries and strengthening the global order that has proved so beneficial to the United States and the world since 1945.

    The administration has fought al-Qaeda and its allies ferociously. But it has been disciplined about the use of force, and understandably so. An America that exaggerates threats, overreacts to problems and intervenes unilaterally would produce the very damage to its credibility that people are worried about. After all, just six years ago, the United States’ closest allies were distancing themselves from Washington because it was seen as aggressive, expansionist and militaristic. Iran was popular in the Middle East in 2006 because it was seen as standing up to an imperialist America that had invaded and occupied an Arab country. And nothing damaged U.S. credibility in the Cold War more than Vietnam.

  34. rikyrah says:

    Despite Critics, Obama’s Defense Policy Is Popular With the Public



    Despite withering criticism from political opponents and much of the Washington pundit crowd, the administration’s policy on Ukraine is looking better these days. “We don’t know how the situation will play out and there will remain grave challenges ahead,” Obama told the cadets, “but standing with our allies on behalf of international order, working with international institutions, has given a chance for the Ukrainian people to choose their future without us firing a shot.” 

    The public seems to agree. Although it will never be reflected on the Sunday talk shows or the editorial pages of The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post, when asked to choose between the policies of John McCain and John Bolton and those of Barack Obama, there is no question what Americans want.

    They want the plan from the man at West Point.


  35. rikyrah says:

    America Demands Black Guy Clean Up Big Mess

    God, I’m so over this shit. Are we seriously pretending problems with the VA like wait lists and cover-ups are something new? Something novel under the Obama Administration? When we all know the VA has been plagued with issues as far back as anyone can remember? Jesus, we have World War II vets still trying to get benefits after they’re deceased.


  36. rikyrah says:

    These muthafuckas have lost their damn minds.


    Gun Activists With Assault Rifles Harass Marine Veteran on Memorial Day

    “Are you gonna cry? Sounds like you’re about to cry.” Watch armed men pursue a vet through downtown Fort Worth.

    —By Mark Follman

    | Fri May 30, 2014 6:00 AM EDT

    On Memorial Day this week, a former Marine in Texas named James got a couple calls from friends who’d spotted an unusual gathering in downtown Fort Worth: Roughly a dozen people, mostly men, were hanging out in the middle of the city’s cultural district, armed with semi-automatic rifles. James quickly knew what his friends were describing, having recently encountered an open-carry demonstration himself in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. An independent TV commercial producer who sometimes films live events, James headed downtown with his camera to get some footage.

    What he saw there struck him as especially provocative. Not only had the open-carry activists come to a typically relaxed, family friendly part of town, they were displaying intimidating firearms just three days after a major gun massacre in southern California. What he didn’t anticipate was that they would soon be pursuing him for several city blocks with cameras of their own, harassing him and later posting the footage online, where they would also level homophobic slurs and violent threats against him.

    Women who speak out have been the primary target for gun activists, as I detailed in a recent investigation. But now, on a day meant to honor fallen service members, a military vet would make the hit list.

  37. rikyrah says:

    The songs of summer

    Memorial Day Weekend fills us with restless anticipation of how we will spend the long, hot days ahead, but it also brings fond memories of summers past, each one marked by a ubiquitous song that still has the power to bring us back to that time.
    Travel through the last 100 years to discover which summer songs were either released or peaked in popularity during the summer of their respective years. Some are about the summer or the stuff of summer: parties, picnics, fleeting love, nostalgia or fun. Some have that summer feeling in sound alone. Many are relevant to their times. Some have become standards. Some annoy, like a sticky day with too many mosquitoes. Others slow down time, like an unexpected breeze one hopes will never stop.

  38. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone! :-)))

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