Thursday Open Thread Grover Washington Jr. Week

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Grover Washington Jr - Soulful Sax

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79 Responses to Thursday Open Thread Grover Washington Jr. Week

  1. Yahtc says:

    I am always asking my kids and grandkids how to operate different gadgets or what to click on my computer various tasks, and so I really laughed at this:

  2. Yahtc says:

    Bam! Bam! Bam! You go, girl!

    63-Year Old Woman Uses Back Scratcher To Fight Off Intruder

  3. rikyrah says:

    GOP Carpetbagger Scott Brown Trails Democratic Incumbent By Double Digits In Senate Race
    By: Justin Baragona more from Justin Baragona
    Thursday, June, 19th, 2014, 5:21 pm

    A new poll released Thursday by Suffolk University and the Boston Herald shows that Republican Scott Brown trails Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) by 10 points in his bid to defeat the incumbent. Brown, formerly a Senator from Massachusetts until Democrat Elizabeth Warren defeated him in 2012, decided to try his luck in New Hampshire rather than face-off against Democrat Ed Markey in Massachusetts in 2014. While the former Senator and pin-up model has tried hard to convince New Hampshire voters that he has always considered New Hampshire just as much his home state as Massachusetts, voters still aren’t buying what he’s selling.

    Shaheen leads Brown 49% to 39% in this recent poll. The poll also shows a relatively small number of undecided voters, with less than 9% of respondents claiming they have yet to make up their mind, with another 2.5% stating that they support Libertarian candidate Gardner Goldsmith. With Shaheen at nearly 50% already, there is precious little wiggle room for Brown to garner additional support from voters. Making matters worse for the Brown campaign, Shaheen’s favorability rating far exceeds that of Brown. 52% of voters hold a favorable view of Shaheen while only 36% see her in a negative light. On the flip side, only 35% of New Hampshire voters like Brown, compared to 46% who have an unfavorable view of him.

  4. rikyrah says:

    GOP senator backs gas-tax increase … with a catch

    06/19/14 08:00 AM


    By Steve Benen

    President Obama recently reminded Congress that the nation’s Highway Trust Fund, which finances nearly all federally-supported transportation infrastructure in the United States, will run out of money entirely this summer unless Congress acts. Even some congressional Republicans concede the looming deadline represents a “crisis.”

    There are competing proposals to address the problem, but as msnbc’s Suzy Khimm reported yesterday, one unexpected solution was unveiled yesterday.

    Together with Sen. Chris Murphy, a Connecticut Democrat, [Republican Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee] unveiled a proposal on Wednesday to hike the federal gas tax by 12 cents over the next two years, raising it by six cents each year. It would then index the gas tax to inflation going forward to close a funding shortfall that’s estimated to grow to $160 billion over the next decade.

    The Murphy-Corker plan is the first bipartisan proposal to the hobbled Highway Trust Fund – and a rare Republican endorsement of higher taxes. The plan would permanently fix what Corker describes as “one of the largest budgeting failures in the federal government.”

    As a policy matter, this sounds quite sensible. As we discussed last week, the Highway Trust Fund is generally supposed to be financed by a federal gas tax, which hasn’t been raised in over two decades. Since Republicans won’t allow an increase, transportation financing has become far more challenging.

    Indeed, because GOP lawmakers have refused to even consider raising the federal gas tax, federal transportation projects will face impossible hurdles for many years to come. Murphy and Corker acknowledged yesterday that the purchasing power of the gas tax “is approximately 63% of what it was in 1993, and continues to decline.”

    So, as of yesterday, a bipartisan proposal is on the table that would address a serious economic problem in the short and long term. Problem solved? Not quite.

    For one thing, the right is already screaming bloody murder. Republicans may be divided, but there’s one unifying belief that nearly every GOP official embraces: taxes should never go up on anyone, by any amount, at any time, for any reason. The Murphy-Corker proposal would struggle to overcome a Republican filibuster in the Senate and likely stands no chance at all in GOP-led House.

    For another, Corker may be the first Republican lawmaker in recent memory to endorse an increase to a federal tax – in an election year, no less – but his support comes at a surprise. The conservative Tennessee senator will support a sensible tax increase in this case, in exchange for more tax cuts elsewhere. From Suzy Khimm’s report:

  5. rikyrah says:

    Tillis finds new constituencies to offend

    06/19/14 09:57 AM—Updated 06/19/14 10:45 AM


    By Steve Benen

    North Carolina State House Speaker Thom Tillis (R), his party’s U.S. Senate candidate this year, ran into a little trouble this week when a video from 2012 surfaced showing him identifying three main voting constituencies: African Americans, Hispanics, and “traditional” voters. In context, it sounded an awful lot like the Republican was referring to white people.

    Yesterday, his opponent, incumbent Sen. Kay Hagan (D), urged Tillis to apologize, though that seems unlikely to happen anytime soon.

    Instead, the GOP state lawmaker seems to be finding new voting constituencies to offend.

    Last week, for example, during a debate on a tax credit for the film industry, Tillis rebuked a Democratic lawmaker over a policy disagreement, saying her position was “born out of emotions.”

    Making matters slightly worse, Tillis’ campaign yesterday responded to negative ads in North Carolina from Emily’s List.

    The Tillis camp dismissed the strategy as an ineffective re-run.

    “The left has been talking about a “war on women” for a couple of cycles now,” said Jordan Shaw, Tillis’ campaign manager. “It’s designed for the media and not grounded in reality and it’s based on scare tactics.”

    Um, no, actually it’s not.

  6. rikyrah says:

    OK Ladies,

    I was given a large thing of mango salsa.

    never had it before.

    what can I eat with it?

  7. Ametia says:



    U.S. President Barack Obama (C) meets with, (L-R) Senate Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Speaker of the House Rep. John Boehner (R-OH), Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) and House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) in the Oval Office of the White House June 18, 2014 in Washington, DC. President Obama met with the congressional leadership to discuss U.S.s options on responding to the actions of Sunni militants in Iraq

  8. Ametia says:


    Prosecutors allege Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker part of ‘criminal scheme’

    Newly released documents show prosecutors are alleging Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker was at the center of a nationwide “criminal scheme” to illegally coordinate with outside conservative groups.

    Prosecutors say Walker, his chief of staff and others who worked for him were discussing illegal coordination with a number of national groups and prominent figures, including GOP strategist Karl Rove.

    Read more at:

  9. Ametia says:

    GRAPHIC, PLEASE! SG2, I know you got a few of’em!!! LOL

    • Ametia says:

      What did I miss?

      • Potus gave a press conference on the situation in Iraq and made it clear…US troops not going back. He says the “United States will not pursue military options that support one sect inside of Iraq at the expense of another.”

        Potus don’t play that!

    • Ametia says:

      That’s my PRESIDENT!
      GOP warmongering fools don’t want POTUS to take any credit for getting the US out of wars the GOP STARTED.

  10. rikyrah says:

    Lupita Nyong’o on Winning the Oscar, Becoming the Face of Lancôme, and Her First Cover of Vogue

    by Hamish Bowles | photographed by Mikael Jansson

    In little more than a year, Lupita Nyong’o has made the leap from serious student to Oscar-winning actress and head-turning fashion star. Hamish Bowles catches up with Hollywood’s newest golden girl.

    Marrakech in May is unseasonably tagine-hot. Hapless tourists are being felled by sunstroke merely from sauntering across the city’s pulsing medina square, which is all but abandoned by the native food and trinket traders, snake-charmers, and storytellers who will throng it in the desert cool of evening.

    But in the oasis sanctuary of the Ksar Char-Bagh, all is balmy dolce far niente. A luxe spa hostelry built in imitation of a castle-like fort in the middle of the Palmeraie, it has crenellated towers that hide a private dipping pool and afford views down to a central marbled courtyard modeled on Granada’s Moorish Alhambra, and across the palm groves to the distant Atlas Mountains. Guests are lounging poolside in the shade of an allée of date palms, seemingly oblivious of the Academy Award–winning deity in their midst, who is the focus of the Vogue cover shoot in full fluster around them.

    Lupita Nyong’o is cucumber-cool, as beautiful and hieratic as an ancient Egyptian statue of a cat goddess, dressed in Prada’s magenta Deco-print dress licked with silver that is dazzling against her luminous skin. Lupita instinctively falls into graceful attitudes; she can’t help herself. “She knows the camera, she knows her angles,” notes an approving Phyllis Posnick, Vogue’s Executive Fashion Editor, who, it should be noted, does not suffer fools gladly but is in some kind of awe of this particular subject.

  11. rikyrah says:

    Harry Reid Blasts Cheney Says All He Wants To Hear From Former VP Is an Apology for Iraq

    By: Jason Easleymore from Jason Easley

    Wednesday, June, 18th, 2014, 3:05 pm

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) took to the Senate floor today to rip into Dick Cheney for pushing more war with Iraq. Reid said, “To be on the wrong side of Dick Cheney is to be on the right side of history.”

    The push back from Majority Leader Harry Reid started with remarks on the Senate floor.

  12. Happy Juneteenth, everyone!

  13. rikyrah says:

    Jobless claims edge lower, average remains low

    06/19/14 08:38 AM—Updated 06/19/14 09:29 AM

    By Steve Benen

    In the late spring and early summer, the Labor Department reports on initial unemployment claims have been surprisingly stable, with minor swings in either direction. Today, for example, showed a slight improvement over last week.

    The number of people who applied for U.S. unemployment benefits in the second week of June fell slightly and returned close to a postrecession low. Initial jobless claims declined by 6,000 to 312,000 in the week ended June 14, the Labor Department said Thursday. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch expected claims to total 310,000 on a seasonally adjusted basis.

    The average of new claims over the past month dropped by 3,750 to 311,750, just a hair above a seven-year low. The monthly figure smooths out the jumpiness in the weekly report and offers a better look at underlying trends in the labor market.

  14. rikyrah says:

    The Neocon Iraqi Lie the Mainstream Media Won’t Let Die

    By: Hrafnkell Haraldssonmore from Hrafnkell Haraldsson

    Thursday, June, 19th, 2014, 7:04 am

    Iraq is in bad shape, being torn apart by sectarian violence, and it is going to get worse before it gets better – if it ever gets better. The sad truth – because we as a nation are culpable – is that there is nothing the United States can do now can make it better. The sad truth is that Iraq is in the shape it is today in because of what America has already done.

    How, we must ask ourselves now, is how will doing again what we did before undo what we did before?

    President George W. Bush’s criminal invasion in 2003 threw Iraq into chaos and his administration had no clear plans beyond toppling Saddam Hussein – unless you count plundering the country for all it was worth. That mission was accomplished very well.

    We did not win there; indeed, we were lucky to get out after a decade of senseless fighting. Our purpose was ignoble from the beginning and the memory of the Iraq War does America no honor. And the Neocons want to go back and do it again- forever, if necessary.

  15. rikyrah says:

    Bob Jones University told rape victims to repent and look for ‘root sin’ that caused their attack

    By Tom Boggioni
    Wednesday, June 18, 2014 19:02 EDT

    According to an investigative report from Al Jazeera America, rape victims searching for help at Bob Jones University in Greenville, S.C., were told to repent and seek out their own “root sin” that caused them to be raped.

    Within the past year BJU has opened its own investigation into sexual abuse and rape, and now former students who were victimized are coming forward to tell their stories about life on a campus where they were shamed and told to keep their stories to themselves.

    Coming from a conservative Mennonite family, Katie Landry, who at age 19 had never even held hands with a boy, was raped multiple times by her supervisor at her summer job. Two years later, haunted by the attacks, and attending Bob Jones University, she sought help from then dean of students, Jim Berg.

  16. rikyrah says:

    African American Woman Compared To Ape in Instagram Photo by Coworkers

    By: Deborah Fostermore from Deborah Foster

    Wednesday, June, 18th, 2014, 8:13 pm

    Lisa Fisher, an African American woman, employed at Mermaid Manor Assisted living facility in Brooklyn, NY, was shocked to find her picture had been put up on Instragram by her coworkers in April 2013. It wasn’t just any picture either. These coworkers had located a picture of Ari (mistakenly referred to in the photo as Cornelius) from the 2001 movie, Planet of the Apes, and they placed her photo next to it. The caption asked if she resembled this ape.

  17. rikyrah says:

    New York Teen Opens World’s First Sneaker Pawn Shop

    While the idea of offering valuables up for an extra bit of cash at the local pawn shop is still pretty common, 16-year-old Chase Reed will be the first ever to apply that concept to high-end and dead-stock sneakers with his venture Sneaker Pawn.

    Starting and running the store with his dad Troy, the idea of a sneaker pawn shop incidentally dawned on the father-son team when Chase asked to borrow another $50 after spending his dad’s money on a new release, for which Troy held the sneakers as collateral. Soon after that, Chase sold off his own collection of around 200 pairs to raise the $30,000 needed to start Sneaker Pawn, which is located at Lenox Avenue and West 120th Street in Harlem.

    The shop operates by first assessing a prospective pair of kicks and offering a certain amount for them. When it comes time to repay the loan, the pawner returns the original amount plus some extra for storing the sneakers at the shop. If someone else makes another offer on the sneakers and they end up selling for more, the pawner is entitled to 80 percent of the profit while the rest goes back to Sneaker Pawn.

    For more on the shop and the business of pawning sneakers, check out the original article over at the New York Post.

  18. rikyrah says:

    Horace Silver, top US jazz musician, dies

    One of the most highly regarded pianists and composers in jazz, Horace Silver, has died aged 85 in the US.

    He was one of the pioneers of a rhythmic jazz style known as hard bop.

    Silver began his career as a tenor saxophonist in clubs in Connecticut. But after he moved to New York in the 1950s, he switched to piano and began performing at the Blue Note Jazz Club.

    Many of his compositions became jazz standards, including Sister Sadie, The Preacher and Filthy McNasty.

    His family came from Cape Verde, and Silver was influenced by the folk music from the Portuguese-speaking islands off of Africa.

  19. rikyrah says:

    Hillary Clinton Pushed Obama to Keep Troops in Iraq

  20. rikyrah says:

    Bozeman Daily Chronicle: Letter To The Editor: Affordable Care Act Feels Like I Won The Lottery

    I must add my so so appreciative voice to all the press about the Affordable Care Act (ACA). I must say it is the best thing that has come along in my lifetime since “sliced bread.” My husband and I paid $14,520 in premiums alone this year for very high deductible policies. The ACA is allowing the premium cost to stay within 9.5 percent of your income if you are in the 400 percent above poverty income range. Our premiums were well above that percentage of our income.

    This high premium stuff with riders and coinsurance has been going on for us since 2007 when we lost our group coverage, with hugely increasing premiums every year. Before we got any help from insurance our out-of-pocket would have been $30,000. Our joined premium per month will be $660 and our maximum out-of-pocket for care will be $3,250 each. I feel like I won the lottery: no riders and no preexisting Blue Cross policies with nationwide providers.

  21. rikyrah says:

    Alex Walsh: Obamacare Side Effect: Alabama Medicaid Enrollment Goes Over 1 Million Due To Awareness, Rule Changes

    Alabama has so far rejected the federal government’s proposal to expand Medicaid. Regardless, the Affordable Care Act still had the effect of increasing the size of Alabama’s Medicaid rolls. Medicaid enrollment in Alabama jumped up noticeably in January 2014, from around 970,000 to just over 1 million. Part of the reason behind the increase was a rule change enacted by the Affordable Care Act. The ACA required the state to transfer about

    23,000 children from ALL Kids (Alabama’s Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP) over to the Medicaid rolls. Health care analysts also say that the roll-out of the Affordable Care Act brought a new wave of attention to health insurance, motivating many Americans to check their eligibility for various existing programs. This effect has been called “wood working” by some organizations, including Kaiser.

  22. rikyrah says:

    Columbus Dispatch: Obamacare Premiums Average $80 A Month

    People who signed up for coverage under President Barack Obama’s health-care law are paying about $80 a month in premiums on average, the administration reported yesterday. The new numbers from the Health and Human Services Department cover only the 36 states where the federal government took the lead in setting up new insurance markets, accounting for about 5.4 million of the 8 million people who signed up nationally. Major states like California and New York were not included, but that might not affect national averages by much. The law limits what people pay for a benchmark plan to a fixed share of their income, regardless of where they live.

    Among the major findings: • Taxpayers are subsidizing 76 percent of the average monthly premium in the 36 federally administered markets. • The average premium is $346 a month, but the typical enrollee pays just $82. Tax credits averaging $264 a month cover the difference. The government pays the subsidy directly to insurers. • After tax credits, Mississippians paid the least for coverage — averaging just $23 a month on average premiums of $438.

  23. rikyrah says:

    An expanding Koch network aims to spend $300 million to shape Senate fight and 2016
    By Matea GoldJune 18 at 6:14 PM

    The political network backed by the Koch brothers, already spending tens of millions of dollars this year to boost Republicans’ chances of retaking the Senate, is expanding its national playbook as part of a long-term strategy designed to strengthen conservatives heading into the 2016 presidential campaign.

    The effort, part of an overall budget that organizers expect to total nearly $300 million this year, includes broadening outreach to veterans, viewed as an energized constituency in the wake of the recent Veterans Affairs scandal, and messages tailored for Latinos and young people, long considered core Democratic constituencies.

    The Koch-backed group Concerned Veterans for America, now in the midst of a 10-city “Defend Freedom Summer Tour,” is mixing music performances with speeches lambasting the Obama administration’s handling of the patient backlog at veterans hospitals.

    With stops in Virginia, Ohio, Nevada, North Carolina, New Mexico and Florida, the tour features performances by the rock band Madison Rising and former “American Idol” contestant Ayla Brown. After each event, the group signs up volunteers to be part of “strike teams” that will hold house parties and staff phone banks.

    “We don’t want to be a flash-in-the-pan type of organization,” said Pete Hegseth, an Iraq war veteran who serves as chief executive. “This tour is part of building a grass-roots movement.”

    The Libre Initiative, based in Mission, Tex., has full-time staff members in eight states working to convince Latinos that the new health-care law and other Democratic policies are harmful to their families. As part of its outreach, the organization has sponsored free financial literacy and citizenship workshops

  24. rikyrah says:

    Washington Post ✔ @washingtonpost
    Political network backed by Koch brothers plans to spend $300M to shape Senate fight and 2016
    4:13 AM – 19 Jun 2014

  25. rikyrah says:

    Brennan Center @BrennanCenter
    From online registration to early voting, 16 states that expanded voting access in 2013 & 2014: #VotingRights
    2:01 PM – 17 Jun 2014

  26. rikyrah says:

    Shutdown Wars Return? GOP Senators Want To Block Obama’s Climate Rules

    Sahil Kapur – June 18, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT

    If early Republican enthusiasm is any indication, the upcoming Sept. 30 deadline to keep the federal government open could turn into an all-out war over President Barack Obama’s executive actions to combat climate change.

    As TPM reported earlier this week, senior House Republicans are considering using appropriations legislation to block the Environmental Protection Agency’s new restrictions on coal-fired power plants, aimed at cutting climate-warming pollution by 30 percent by 2030.

    On Tuesday, numerous Senate Republicans expressed strong support for the idea.

    “I think there’s going to be a lot of support on our side for trying to block that. And I hope with some Democrats too,” Senate Republican Conference Chair John Thune (R-SD) told TPM. “The power of the purse is one power Congress has, and if you want to send a clear message to the administration about a series of regulations that you think are very detrimental, one way to do that would be through the appropriations process.”

    Thune, the No. 3 GOP senator, said his party will support “anything we can do to prevent the administration from going forward with what are really poorly timed, very burdensome, very expensive … regulations.”

    Senate Budget Committee Ranking Member Jeff Sessions (R-AL) said Republicans ought to consider reversing what he described as presidential overreach by Obama on environmental regulations.

  27. rikyrah says:


    Espaillat for Congress

    June 18, 2014

    After a humiliating censure by Congress four years ago for failing to pay taxes and other ethical lapses, Representative Charles Rangel has steadily lost power in Washington. After nearly 44 years in office, it is now time for him to yield to the next generation. In Tuesday’s Democratic primary for New York’s 13th Congressional District, we recommend Adriano Espaillat, a New York State senator, who will be a better representative of this district stretching from Upper Manhattan into parts of the Bronx.

    Mr. Espaillat has been spent his 18 years in the States Legislature, mostly fighting for tenants, day-care staff and farmworkers. He has pushed for in-state tuition at public universities for undocumented children, called for a repeal of exorbitant tax breaks for expensive apartment buildings and has strongly supported immigrants’ rights.

    He fought Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s ill-considered property tax cap that has hobbled poorer school districts in the state. And he was one of the Democrats who marched out of the Senate chamber rather than vote for a scandalous redistricting proposal in 2012 that created district maps designed to keep legislators from losing their seats.

    Another candidate, Rev. Michael Walrond Jr., a Harlem pastor and community activist, is a passionate speaker, but Mr. Espaillat, who nearly won this seat two years ago, has the best chance of replacing Mr. Rangel.

    It’s time for a change, and Democratic voters in the 13th Congressional District should cast their ballot for Adriano Espaillat.

  28. rikyrah says:

    Laura Rozen @lrozen
    Hard to believe accidental both China & Russia dips told journos Iran shd move on enrichment ask to advance deal
    8:10 PM – 18 Jun 2014

  29. rikyrah says:

    Rebecca Berg ✔ @rebeccagberg
    A Dem once (eloquently) explained Brian Schweitzer 2016 to me this way: He has “as good a chance at becoming president as Rob Ford.” FYI.
    8:36 PM – 18 Jun 2014

  30. rikyrah says:

    Sam Stein ✔ @samsteinhp
    Was Brian Schweitzer drunk when he gave this interview?
    9:25 PM – 18 Jun 2014

  31. rikyrah says:

    Charles Johnson @Green_Footballs
    Video: A Glorious Rant by Rachel Maddow on Media Coverage of Benghazi and Iraq
    6:42 PM – 18 Jun 2014

  32. rikyrah says:

    With Atlantic article on reparations, Ta-Nehisi Coates sees payoff for years of struggle
    By Manuel Roig-FranziaJune 18 at 1:01 PM

    He paid to get here. Paid with the skull-rattling pain of a metal trash can clattering down hard onto his head when he was a kid racing from thugs in West Baltimore. Paid with the jobs he lost. Paid with the sandwiches he delivered when no one wanted to pay him to do what he so desperately wanted to do, what he so unwaveringly knew he was supposed to do: to write.

    For Ta-Nehisi Coates, “here” is bigger than a star turn on the stage of the Sixth and I Synagogue, where hundreds lined up down the block to hear him talk last week about his blockbuster Atlantic cover story making the case for slave reparations. No, here is a place of prominence in the stream of American thought, a perch that positions him as an ascendant public intellectual with a voice that stands out in the white noise of a wired and word-flooded era, an object of praise and a target.

    At 38, Coates has already been a trenchant observer of America’s fraught relationship with race, both in his well-read Atlantic blog and in the printed magazine. But his exploration of reparations in this month’s Atlantic — a 16,000-word report that calls for a national “airing of family secrets, a settling with old ghosts” — has supercharged his profile. The piece, titled “The Case for Reparations,” intricately and provocatively traces the history of racism in the United States from slavery to recent examples of housing discrimination.

    “To ignore the fact that one of the oldest republics in the world was erected on a foundation of white supremacy, to pretend that the problems of a dual society are the same as the problems of unregulated capitalism, is to cover the sin of national plunder with the sin of national lying,” Coates writes.

    The much-lauded piece set a single-day traffic record for a magazine article on Atlantic’s Web site, and the attention it has garnered has given Coates a greater forum to wrestle with questions of identity — both blackness and whiteness. The print edition shattered the magazine’s previous best sales figures at Barnes and Noble, where many stores sold out within days.

  33. rikyrah says:

    Back to the idiots who are criticizing My Brother’s Keeper

  34. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

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