Saturday Open Thread

Happy Saturday, Everyone! Hope you’re enjoying your weekend with family and friends.

Hat tip Rikyrah
first couple parade magazine 62014
President Obama & First Lady Michelle Obama in Parade Magazine

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55 Responses to Saturday Open Thread

  1. vitaminlover says:

    When is our First Family going to do a new Presidential Family Portrait?

  2. rikyrah says:

    just finished the new About Last Night.

    I liked it.

  3. Ametia says:

    Just got through watching this movie

  4. rikyrah says:

    An old article about Malia and tennis…I had never seen it. I’m shocked at the number of pictures

    Her parents WILL be proud! Malia Obama continues the First Family’s love for sport as she plays tennis with high school friends

    By Lydia Warren

    Published: 12:13 EST, 10 October 2012 | Updated: 17:02 EST, 10 October 2012

    Read more:
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

  5. rikyrah says:

    My Brother’s Keeper: Stop Writing Letters, Just Do the Work

    Your Take: Dillard University’s president talks about what should be done to focus on both black boys and girls without waiting for the president’s initiative.

    By: Walter M. Kimbrough
    Posted: June 21 2014 3:00 AM

    Over the past few days my Twitter feed has buzzed about the letter signed by 1,000 women and girls urging President Barack Obama to broaden his My Brother’s Keeper initiative. The letter and subsequent commentaries attack the president, accusing him of any number of sins for not including women and girls in this program. Yes, the issues facing women and girls of color are significant, and while ignored in research and programming as the letter states, they do deserve attention and focus.

    And that’s my problem with the letter. In short, would this letter have been written if this initiative had never been announced? I mean, the hash tag #WhyWeCantWait is problematic because people have been waiting for years. When it comes to waiting, #YesWeCan! And did.

    There wasn’t even a sense of urgency to ask for inclusion. This letter comes almost four months after My Brother’s Keeper was announced, and weeks after 200 men wrote to support inclusion of women and girls.

    Black folks even waited to complain.

    Simply stated, many are mad that the first black president has not been our messiah, righting every structural wrong in six years. Hosanna in 2008. Crucify him today.

  6. rikyrah says:

    Greg Sargent ✔ @ThePlumLineGS

    Oy. Apparently Green Lanternite @hardball_chris has never heard of this phenomenon known as “divided government”
    10:11 AM – 21 Jun 2014

  7. rikyrah says:

    Oil Odyssey Offers Glimpse of Kurdish Independence in Iraq
    By Selcan Hacaoglu, Jack Fairweather and Nayla Razzouk Jun 19, 2014 1:02 PM CT

    A tanker containing a million barrels of crude oil is floating around the Mediterranean, and any buyer will be helping Iraq’s Kurds to win greater independence.

    The oil aboard is available at half-price, an official involved in the trade told Bloomberg, an assertion denied by the Kurdish administration. It’s at the center of a fight over ownership between the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan, which pumped and shipped the crude from its territory in northern Iraq, and the central government in Baghdad, which claims the rights to all oil revenue.

    Kurdish Peshmerga armed forces took control of northern Iraq’s key oil hub, Kirkuk, after militant Islamists routed the Baghdad government’s army last week. The oil dispute has raised the possibility of the Kurdish region achieving financial self-sufficiency to go with the expanding territory.

    “If that tanker docks, Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government will take an important step toward independence,” Nihat Ali Ozcan, an analyst at the Economic Policy Research Foundation in Ankara, said by phone on June 13.

  8. Hey Chicas

    A wonderful fellow blogger, Rippa, has some serious eye problems & need help. He’s going blind & needs surgery. Please help him out and donate. If you don’t have a lot, donate what you can. If you can’t give, share this link with others so they may give. God bless Rippa to receive the much needed finances to have this surgery. We need his voice!

    Click on the link below and you’ll see how to donate & who has donated to this worthy cause.

    PS: I had a brother who went blind at 6 years old. I so wanted him to be able to see but he never did.

    • Ametia says:

      Thanks for the heads up and the link, SG2.

    • rikyrah says:

      thank you for the link, SG2

    • Liza says:


      But why in America would someone be allowed to go blind because they hadn’t money to put up front for surgery to save their sight? This is just wrong.

      • Greed. If you have a serious illness and no money or insurance…you die.

      • @Liza

        I have a soft heart for the blind or people facing blindness. My brother never complained about his blindness and he never allowed a disability to stop him. I would drive up to read his mail for him and then take him shopping. We’d go down each aisle and I’d tell him what I saw and he’d buy it if he wanted. The best brother a sis could have. He died in 2002.

      • Liza says:

        Your brother was lucky to have you too, SG2.

        I read Rippa’s page on gofundme and it sounds as though he has glaucoma related to diabetes. He needs surgery right away in one eye or the optic nerve will be damaged. The other eye is almost blind, 90% vision gone. It seems to me that anyone with this condition should qualify for immediate attention regardless of ability to pay. THAT is what is wrong with this country, among many other things that always return to greed, as you say.

        I had some recent eye problems myself, and I am very distressed about a person not being able to receive treatment. I am okay, my problem is resolving itself, and no surgery was needed, but I definitely needed to see a doctor. I cannot imagine having a much worse condition and being denied treatment until I could pay up front. This is so wrong.

      • I’m sorry this is happening. What in the hell is STILL wrong in the United States that hospitals are asking for cash up front before they will perform operations? Why no “insurance” that will cover this? If I had the money, I’d pay for your operation myself.

        posted by Francis L Holland 2 hours ago

      • Liza says:

        He reached his goal, so maybe this is enough money for the surgery to relieve the pressure in his eye. I certainly hope so.

        I suspect there are many diabetics out there having problems with their eyes because they were/are uninsured and couldn’t properly manage their diabetes. It is truly apalling when such preventable disabilities like this occur that are so severe.

        • Thank God for good people stepping forward to help him. Diabetes and Glaucoma don’t care who it affects. I have seen folks limbs cut off, lose their eyesight or die. The illness can be a monster if not treated and will kill you.

      • Liza says:

        It is a terrible disease. My brother died from heart failure related to diabetes in 2003. They were getting close to amputating his leg, but he died before that happened.

        Just recently I contacted a woman I used to work with. She developed diabetes with kidney disease about 15 years ago. She’s on dialysis and can’t walk anymore because her neuropathy is so bad, and her eyesight isn’t good enough to drive.

        People don’t realize how devastating this disease can be.

        But I hope things work out for this young man. These stories really show how our health care “system” has gone so far off the rails we will be years getting it fixed. And the GOP keeps obstructing, making it even longer. But no GOP congressperson is in danger of losing his eyesight because of not having access to treatment, so for them it isn’t an issue.

  9. rikyrah says:

    Only part of a Commencement Speech by FLOTUS:

    Remarks by the First Lady at DC-CAP Graduation Celebration

    Wardman Park Mariott
    Washington, D.C.

    6:15 P.M. EDT

    MRS. OBAMA: Well, hello! (Applause.) How is everybody doing? You all rest yourselves.

    Well, I am beyond thrilled to be here tonight because we are celebrating these outstanding DC-CAP graduates from the class of 2014. I told you all this when we took — I am so proud of you all. I am so proud.

    And I want to start by thanking Jonathan — yes — (applause) — for that wonderful introduction. And thank you for your service to our country. I’m proud of you. (Applause.) Yes, indeed.

    I also want to recognize the CEO of DC-CAP, Argelia Rodriguez. (Applause.) And I know her mom is here, so I’m going to recognize Mom, as well. She told me she’s keeping an eye on her. (Applause.) Yes, indeed. I told her I have one of these at home too — (laughter) — keeping an eye on me. I also want to recognize the Board Chairman, Donald Graham. (Applause.) Yes, indeed. And I want to thank them both, as well as the staff and the entire board for all of your outstanding leadership, the wonderful work that you have done to help these young people thrive and succeed. You all are an amazing group of people.

    And of course, I want to give a huge shoutout to all of the families here tonight. (Applause.) Yes, the folks who pushed you, who prayed for you, who believed in you every step of the way. Tonight is your night too. Right, graduates? (Applause.) Yes, indeed.

    And finally, to our graduates.

    (Baby cries.)

    MRS. OBAMA: Oh, yes. (Laughter.) That’s soon to be. Soon to be. (Laughter.) But congratulations to you all. I know you all have worked so hard. You have journeyed so far and overcome so much to earn your degrees.

    Remember how you first felt when you first left home and set foot on that college campus? I know for many of you, being the first from your family or maybe even from your whole neighborhood to attend college must have been pretty unsettling at times.

    Maybe there were times when you were overwhelmed in some of your classes, or felt uneasy around your new classmates. Maybe there were months when you ran low on cash and worried about paying for those books or food even — you can give me an Amen! (Applause.) Maybe you were homesick and desperately missed your family and friends. And maybe there were nights when you lay awake wondering whether you really belonged, or if they had made some terrible mistake by letting you in. (Laughter.)

    But here’s the thing, graduates: You didn’t give in to your panic. You didn’t give in to your doubt or despair. Instead, you swallowed your pride and you asked for help. You opened your heart and you made new friends. You patched together scholarships and jobs to make ends meet. And you studied like your life depended on it, because you knew that it did.

    And after pushing yourself so hard for so long, you made it. You achieved the dream that has driven you for so many years — you all are now college graduates. Yes, indeed. (Applause.) And today, you are the pride of your families and communities. And let me tell you something, you are the pride of your President and your First Lady too. (Applause.)

    More importantly, you all are role models for young people across this country, especially the DC-CAP high school graduates who are here tonight who are going to follow in your footsteps. So I hope that you all will truly savor this moment. Take a second to sit back and relax. Celebrate a little bit with your friends. Sleep late — (laughter) — because you’ve earned it.

    I want you to enjoy these moments of calm and satisfaction because, as you will learn, they are rare. For just as you close one chapter, you realize that it’s time to start another. And figuring out your next steps can stir up all those old feelings of anxiety and doubt.

    Some of you may not know what’s next. Maybe you don’t have a job yet; maybe you’re worried about finding one. And if you do have a job, maybe you’re wondering whether you’ll succeed at that job. Maybe you’re thinking about graduate school, but you don’t know how you’re ever going to pay for it.

    So just when you thought you had it all figured out, you are now faced with a whole new set of challenges. And you’re once again wondering how you’re ever going to make it. Sound familiar?

    AUDIENCE: Yes.

    MRS. OBAMA: Well, I’m here today, graduates, just to assure you that you are going to be just fine, because you have everything you need right here and right now to succeed beyond your wildest dreams.

    You see, during your time in college, you weren’t just learning business or biology or sociology, you were learning how to survive and thrive no matter what life throws your way. And that’s what I want to talk with you about today. I want to talk about how the lessons you’ve learned in college have prepared you to succeed out here in the real world. And I want to start with a lesson that you all have been learning your entire lives, and that is to never, ever stop struggling — because that’s how you got to college in the first place. You struggled for it. And when you got there, you struggled even more.

    Maybe you failed your first test. Maybe you got a bad grade on your first paper. But you didn’t just throw up your hands and say, well, I must be stupid, I quit. No, no, you buckled down. You went to those professor’s office hours. You stayed up late solving those problems, writing and rewriting those papers, right? And soon, you mastered that material. Soon, your grades started to improve.

    And believe it or not, that all happened because the sheer act of struggling made you smarter. No, I’m serious. This is really important, because there are there are scientific studies that prove this. Science actually shows that when you’re struggling to solve a problem or to understand a concept, you’re forming new pathways and connections in your brain.

    So struggling isn’t a bad thing. It is not a sign of weakness — in fact, it’s a sign of growth. It’s a sign that you’re expanding your capacity to handle the hard challenges that you will inevitably face throughout your entire life. So don’t ever, ever shy away from a good struggle. Instead, I want you to seek it out and dive in head first, because that’s what truly successful people do.

    Take my husband, for example. You know the guy. (Laughter.) Barack Obama wasn’t born as President of the United States. He struggled for years to make it to the White House. And then, once he got there, he struggled even harder — (laughter and applause) — to create jobs, to get people health care, to help young people like you go to college. See, and here’s the thing — in a few years, when it’s his time to leave office, he’s going to start all over again with a whole new set of challenges.

    See, graduates, that’s what life is. It is an endless process of struggle and success, struggle and success. And in the coming months, as you’re out there looking for a job, you might have to do five or 10 or 20 interviews before you finally get an offer. You might get rejected from dozens of graduate schools before you finally get accepted to one.

    But remember, just like in college, that struggle is making you stronger and smarter and more resilient. So no matter how tough it gets, no matter how frustrated you are, I want you all to just keep moving forward. And here’s the thing — don’t ever let your doubts, or anyone else’s doubts about you, distract you from your path.

    And that brings me to the second lesson that I want to discuss today, which is to never, ever listen to the doubters, no matter how convincing they might sound. (Applause.) Indeed. And I know that at some point in college, all of you faced a doubter or two. Maybe it was that professor who took one look at you and made a snap judgment that you wouldn’t succeed. Maybe it was the classmate who heard about where you came from and gave you that look of pity that made you feel like you didn’t belong. Trust me, I know what that’s like. You see, as Jonathan said, I grew up just like many of you. My family didn’t have a lot of money. My parents never went to college. And there were plenty of folks who doubted whether a kid like me had what it took to reach my goals.

    I remember one of those doubters in particular. He was a wonderful professor whose class I took at Princeton. Now, let me say this, I aced his class. I blew it out of the water. (Applause.) So at the end of the semester, I asked the professor if I could work with him on a research project and he said yes. Now, I did this in part because I knew that I’d be applying to law school, and between the A that I’d gotten in the class and the research we’d be doing together, I was confident that this man would write me an excellent letter of recommendation.

    So we’re working together over a course of months, and eventually I asked him if he would write me that letter. And he said, “Sure, I’ll do it. But really, you’re not the hottest thing I’ve seen coming out of the gate.” Oh, yes. (Laughter.) I was stunned. Now, in hindsight, I appreciated the honesty, but it really felt like he punched me right in my stomach.

    But in that moment, I made a decision. I decided that I was going to do everything in my power to make that man regret those words. (Applause.) And at a point, I didn’t even care about the letter anymore. I knew that it was my responsibility to show my professor how wrong he was about me.

    So for the rest of my time with him, I worked my butt off for this man. I was in his office every day. I was sitting side by side with him, analyzing data like no one had analyzed it before. And I didn’t say a word about the letter. And then, one day, the professor asked me, well, what are your plans for next year? And I told him — I said, I applied to law school. And, he said, oh, did I write you a letter for that? And I said, yes, as a matter of fact, you did. He then got very quiet. And, he said, well, how are things going? And I told him that I’d gotten accepted everywhere I’d applied except for Harvard Law, where I’d been waitlisted. He paused for a moment, and then he said, I’m going to write you another letter.

    See, at that point, I knew I had won. Whether or not I got into Harvard didn’t even matter. I had shown not just my professor, but myself what I was capable of achieving.

    So graduates, when you encounter those doubters — that boss who doesn’t think you deserve a promotion, that grad school advisor who thinks you’re nothing special — don’t get angry. Don’t get anxious or insecure. Get better. Work harder. Let your light shine so bright that it blinds the doubters. Because trust me, in the end, success is always your best revenge. And not just because it feels so good — (laughter) — because even if you never change those doubters’ minds, at least you’ll have improved yourself while you’re working to prove them wrong. And that’s an investment in yourself that no one can ever take away from you.

    Which brings me to the final lesson I want to discuss today: Investing in yourself, no matter what else is going on in your life. So here is what I mean — I know that for many of you, going away to college meant leaving behind important responsibilities at home. In some of your families, you were the rock. You were the shoulder to cry on, the one who took care of your brothers and sisters when your mom was working, or maybe you worked a job yourself to help pay the bills.

    And when you went away to school, some of you may have felt guilty, constantly torn between the needs of your family and your dreams for yourself. And graduates, the truth is, the tug of home won’t go away now that you have that degree. In fact, as you start your career and start earning a paycheck, you might get even more of those late-night phone calls about how someone is sick or someone needs money, can you come home and help.

    Now, there is nothing, nothing more important than family. And there will be plenty of times when you need to answer those calls and take care of the people you love. But I can tell you that, ultimately, the best way for you to help your family is to keep investing in yourself. And that’s a hard thing for you to swallow. I know that. (Applause.) I know that’s a tough one. But I’ve dealt with this myself.

    You see, back when I was getting my education and starting my career, my parents were no strangers to struggle. They were facing health challenges and any number of other problems. But here is the thing — no matter what was happening at home, whenever I called to see how my parents were doing, I always got the same answer: Everything is fine, baby, just take care of yourself.

    You see, my parents couldn’t offer me a lot in the way of tangible support. They couldn’t give me advice about what classes to take or what jobs to apply for. They didn’t have networks. But what they could do was keep me from getting sucked into their problems. They knew — amen, and I want the families to hear this as well. (Applause.) They knew that I had enough stress in my life on my own, and they were determined not to add any more stress from their lives. And because my parents gave me the space I needed to succeed, I was able to focus on getting good grades and a good job and earning some money. And before long, I was able to start helping my parents out. And today, my mother never has to worry about money again because my brother and I can afford to take care of her for the rest of our lives. (Applause.)

    So graduates, by continuing to focus on your own success, you will ensure that you can keep giving back — not just to the people you love, but to the communities you come from. And by the way, that last part isn’t a suggestion; it’s an obligation that folks like us share. (Applause.) The obligation to reach back and give others the same chances we’ve had to succeed. And I know that some of you might be thinking to yourselves, well, I’ve dealt with so much on my own, how could I possibly have the time or energy to worry about anyone else? Or maybe you don’t ever want to think about where you came from again. Maybe you just want to walk away and never look back.

    But, graduates, you all are here today because a lot of people chose not to walk away from you. And there are so many kids just like you in communities across this country, kids like the DC-CAP high school grads here today, kids who need to meet you. They need to see that your story can be their story.

    read the entire thing here:

  10. rikyrah says:

    Had to say AMEN to this letter

  11. I’m tired of black people making excuses for these athletes. In the 60’s black people didn’t have ISH. They continued to march until blisters formed on their feet. They got right back up and continued the struggle for their equal rights.

  12. If Civil Rights leaders/supporters would have accepted whites saying ‘It’s just not the time’ black people would STILL be at the back of the bus. Imagine if an NFL team had a name slurring AA’s?

    Robert Griffin

    Robert Griffin III on Redskins name issue: ‘It’s just not the time’

    Robert Griffin III is the face of the Washington Redskins..

    The team is embroiled in a controversy over its name, which many feel is demeaning to Native Americans.

    One word from the popular quarterback on either side of the topic might carry a lot of weight for a lot of Redskins fans.

    Griffin was given such an opportunity during a recent interview on 106.7 FM The Fan.

    He did not seize the moment.

    Asked by hosts Chad Dukes and Lavar Arrington whether or not he feels pressure to become “the Muhammad Ali of his generation,” Griffin simply stated that now is not the time for taking a stand on the topic.

    “When it comes to those conversations, it’s just not the time,” Griffin said. “And I understand, trust me, I’m African American, I’ve grown up being African American my entire life and I understand oppression and all the things that come with it. But for us, like I said, as players, we have to focus on what we can control right now, and right now that’s the football season.

    • It’s not HIS time to take a stand. During the Civil Rights Movement some black people didn’t take a stand either and refused to support Dr King. They didn’t want to stir up “trouble”. For all those folks saying this is about the dude playing football, black people didn’t want to die for their rights but they stood anyway.

    • Ametia says:

      WTF RG III? I’m sure if Jim Brown and Arthur Ashe, Jesse Owens, etc, had said it


      You, RG III might not be playing for the NFL today.

      • I’ll bet you can’t tell some negroes that. I had an ass clown defending Griffin saying he’s not a civil rights leader, he’s a football player. Asinine ignorance to the 10th power.

    • Ametia says:

      What i find interesting, yet NOT surprising is that of all the players on that team, they get the NEGRO RG III to speak on the use of ‘REDSKINS”


  13. Jesus paid it all. How to make a debt collector hang up on you.

    Too funny!

  14. rikyrah says:

    Good MOrning, Everyone.

    Off to swim and run errands.

  15. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone.. Finally stopped raining here with plenty of sunshine for the day! .

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