Saturday Open Thread: Ashford & Simpson Week

Good Morning. I hope you enjoy this weekend with family and friends. I also hope you have enjoyed this week with the music of Ashford and Simpson.

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44 Responses to Saturday Open Thread: Ashford & Simpson Week

  1. rikyrah says:

    South Shore residents should stop begging for a Mariano’s: Mitchell

    By MARY MITCHELL May 16, 2014 10:26PM

    Updated: June 23, 2014 11:39AM

    At a meeting in a South Shore church a couple of months ago, nearly 100 residents turned out to vent their frustrations over the departure of Dominick’s grocery store from Jeffery Plaza.

    Ald. Leslie Hairston, who was leaning on crutches, listened patiently for nearly three hours as speaker after speaker complained about the vacant 62,000 square-feet of space.

    They were clear.

    They didn’t want a discount grocery store or a dollar store. They already had that. They wanted an upscale grocery store like the Mariano’s in South Loop or the Treasure Island in Hyde Park.

    While Hairston didn’t make any promises, she did advise her constituents that she would be working with the mayor and the realtors representing the mall’s owner, to make sure the empty hulk wouldn’t remain that way for long.

    So, I understand why Hairston went off on Wednesday when Emanuel and Roundy’s CEO Bob Mariano announced the grocery chain would build a new store at 39th and King Drive in the Bronzeville neighborhood.

    Her constituents wanted to know why?

    “Bob Mariano needs to meet with my constituents face-to-face and tell us why we’re not good enough for their company to consider moving to our ward,” Hairston said, as reported by the Early & Often Sun-Times political portal.

    “I feel like I’m living in a part of the city that’s been cordoned off,” Hairston said.

    I reached out to Mariano for a response to Hairston’s invitation, but was unable to reach him. But a spokesman pointed out in a written statement that “Mariano’s is continuing to grow in Chicago and in the suburbs.”

  2. rikyrah says:

    Study highlights gap in wealth, assets among racial groups

    By MARY MITCHELL June 2, 2014 7:34PM

    Updated: June 3, 2014 2:20AM

    What’s in that designer handbag?

    If you are black or brown, chances are there’s not much money.

    A recent report by the Center for Global Policy Solutions concludes that African-Americans are “beyond broke,” with just $200 in median wealth compared to $23,000 held by whites, and $19,500 held by Asians.

    I know what broke is.

    But “beyond broke” means you’re likely to leave here with someone having to take up a collection.

    When it comes to liquid wealth — financial assets that can quickly be turned into cash — whites have more than 100 times that of blacks and more than 65 times that held by Latinos, the study found.

    “When retirement savings are taken out of the analysis, blacks are found to hold a mere $25 and Latinos just $100 in liquid wealth, compared to $3,000 held by the typical white household. And African-Americans and Latinos are over twice as likely as whites to hold no financial assets at all, and to have no or negative net worth,” according to the report.

    It’s a sad situation that is highlighted by the passing of the generation of African-Americans that migrated from the South.

    For instance, an uncle recently died after a lengthy illness and I was shocked to learn he was uninsured and penniless.

    I knew he didn’t have much, but here’s a man that came to Chicago from the cotton fields of Clarksdale, Miss., in the 1950s with a few dollars in his pocket.

    He worked manual labor jobs all his life, but when he was laid to rest at 86 years old, my uncle didn’t have two cents in a bank account.

    It was heartbreaking.

    Worst yet, his penniless death meant no financial assets would be passed on — not even a $1 — to descendants who are struggling financially.

  3. rikyrah says:

    Darrell Williams, jock whose rape conviction was overturned, has advice for young men

    June 11, 2014 6:56PM

    Darrell Williams, the former Oklahoma State University basketball star who saw his college career end in 2012 when he was convicted of sexual assault — but has had the case overturned — has some good advice for college-bound jocks.

    “Watch your surroundings and be careful because this could happen to anybody,” Williams, 23, told me in a telephone interview.

    A jury that included 11 whites and one Asian convicted Williams, who is black, of forcefully putting his hand inside the pants of two white girls at an off-campus party and of dragging one of them into a yard.

    Williams maintained his accusers had misidentified him as their attacker. The rape case sparked protests in Chicago and in Stillwater, Okla., where the university is located.

    Acting on an appeal from Williams’ mother, the Rev. Jesse Jackson led a rally in Stillwater, where a lot of students, including Williams’ college basketball coach, believed he was innocent.

    Williams had been convicted on two counts of rape by instrumentation and one count of sexual battery. The judge gave him a suspended sentence, which included probation, and allowed him to return to Chicago.

    But Williams’ jock days were over.

    He was mandated to register as a sex offender, a requirement that severely limited his ability to return to college or find a job. The conviction appeared to put him on a downward spiral.

  4. rikyrah says:

    South Side transitional housing complex faces troubling conditions: Mitchell

    When Brand New Beginnings opened the doors to its transitional housing seven years ago, several elected officials and civic leaders were on hand.

    Ald. Willie Cochran (20th), a fresh face in City Council, stood tall as former Mayor Richard M. Daley cut the ribbon and delivered a speech.

    Della Mitchell (no relation), the founder of Brand New Beginnings, gushed about the opening of Harriet Tubman Apartments at 5759 S. Michigan, and pointed out that such a facility was desperately needed in the Washington Park neighborhood.

    But apparent mismanagement and a series of problems has turned a blessing into a curse for formerly homeless families.

    Residents complain they are now living in deplorable conditions that include uncollected garbage and backed up sewage.

    “It’s not fair and it’s not right. These women need help and they need it immediately,” said Kelly Nichols, who lives across the street from the Harriet Tubman Apartments.

    The city has apparently posted notices of looming water shut-off due to unpaid bills, as has the gas company. The backed up sewer in the basement has rendered some units unfit for habitation.

    “For the last four or five months, it’s been crazy. We don’t know what to do. There are at least 50 kids in this building. I am really disheartened,” said LaShaunda Harris, 33, who has lived in the building with her two children for seven years.

    The Harriet Tubman Apartments provided housing for two different programs: Shelter Plus Care, a federally funded program that provides rental assistance for homeless families, and the Chicago Housing Authority’s Section 8 voucher program.

    Of the 28 units in the building, 14 were supposed to be funded by the Shelter Plus Care program. But Brand New Beginnings lost that contract when it was late getting its application to the agency that facilitates the funding process.

  5. rikyrah says:

    Mike Madigan wins court battle against referendums

    Fri, 06/27/2014 – 12:22pm

    Dan Mihalopoulos

    @dmihalopoulos | Email

    The $3 million attempt to change the way Illinois redraws legislative district boundaries ended Friday, marking a big victory for Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan and his state Democratic Party.

    With heavy financial support from former New York Mayor Michael
    Bloomberg and some of the richest people in Illinois, the Yes for
    Independent Maps group had hoped to create a new process for devising Illinois legislative maps after each census.

    In doing so, they took aim at a key lever that Madigan — the longtime state Democratic boss from the Southwest Side — has used to perpetuate and enhance his party’s control over the state Capitol.

    But a Cook County judge ruled Friday in favor of a lawsuit filed by
    Madigan’s lawyer, saying it was unconstitutional for ballot initiatives on redistricting reform as well as term limits to go before the state’s voters in November.

    Proponents of term limits — led by Bruce Rauner, the Republican nominee for governor in the November election — promised to appeal Cook County Judge Mary Mikva’s ruling.

    A few hours after the judge released her decision, though, Yes for Independent Maps issued a statement announcing that it had halted its campaign.

    The group had reported receiving
    nearly $3 million in campaign contributions, according to a Chicago Sun-Times review of state records. There was a $500,000 contribution from Bloomberg in March and large amounts from many well-known business leaders in the state, including Kenneth and Anne Griffin ($350,000), Lester Crown ($105,000), former
    U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson ($100,000), Joe Mansueto
    ($100,000), Sam Zell ($100,000), J.B. Pritzker ($50,000) and Chicago Cubs owner Tom Ricketts ($50,000).

  6. Hey,

    We’re getting ready to head out in about 30 minutes. Josh is taking all of us out to eat to celebrate my birthday. I still don’t know where we’re going. He knows my favorite place is Pappadeaux. :)

  7. rikyrah says:

    Morning Plum: Boehner scratches GOP base’s impeachment itch

    By Greg Sargent June 26

    So House Republicans will introduce legislation next month paving the way for a lawsuit designed to declare President Obama’s executive actions as an unconstitutional power grab. Speaker John Boehner’s memo says the lawsuit will “compel the president to follow his oath of office and faithfully execute the laws of our country.”

    Jonathan Capehart explains the legal argument that would give the House standing to sue, and argues that this is a prelude to impeachment. Dana Milbank notes that the accumulation of executive power is a real and long running problem, but suggests that Obama’s actions in particular come in response to the House GOP refusal, or inability, to participate in the basic give and take of governing.

    Indeed, at a certain point, Boehner’s own lawsuit — putting its legal merits aside — will neatly reveal that to be the real problem here.

    Paul Kane puts his finger on the nub of the matter: “Boehner declined to spell out which specific actions would be addressed in the suit.”

    The lawsuit, Kane suggests, will at some point have to specify which executive actions by the president constitute a failure to “faithfully execute the laws of our country,” justifying this dramatic step by Republicans. Yet the raising of any specifics will only serve as a reminder of the fronts on which Republicans have refused to legislate.

    Will the lawsuit cite Obama’s de-prioritization of deportations of DREAM kids? House Republicans have already voted to end that policy. But bringing it up again could help underscore that for all practical purposes, the GOP’s primary policy response to the immigration crisis has been to implicitly demand the deportation of as many kids and other low-level offenders from the interior as possible. Will the lawsuit cite Obama’s new EPA rules as evidence of flouting Congress, as Kane suggests? That could help underscore that Republicans refuse to legislate in the face of climate change, a reminder that the GOP remains the anti-science party.

  8. rikyrah says:

    June/July/August 2014
    The Unkindest Cut

    The visionary guidance counselor in a poor urban high school discovers why some top colleges don’t want even his best students: money.

    By Elias Vlanton

    Hold Fast to Dreams: A College Guidance Counselor, His Students, and the Vision of a Life Beyond Poverty
    by Joshua Steckel and Beth Zasloff
    New Press, 320 pp.

    It sometimes feels like low-income students are to our K-12 education system what cadavers are to hospitals. Often teachers secure their first jobs in challenging schools in poorer districts, where the turnover rate is high. Here, they hone their teaching skills, and in a few years they trade up to districts with higher salaries and better working conditions. Poor students are left behind to train the next crop of educators.

    Joshua Steckel, coauthor of Hold Fast to Dreams: A College Guidance Counselor, His Students, and the Vision of a Life Beyond Poverty, intentionally went the other way. After four years at Birch Wathen Lenox, an expensive private school on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, Steckel became a college counselor (and sometime teacher) at an overwhelmingly poor, black, and Latino public school in Brooklyn, the Secondary School for Research (now called Park Slope Collegiate). Once there, he used the skills and connections he had developed at Lenox to help get his new charges admitted to some of the country’s more selective colleges.

    Along with his wife and coauthor, Beth Zasloff, Steckel chronicles his relationship with ten of his students, from their senior year of high school into young adulthood. The stories are invaluable both to educators who deal with children from similar backgrounds and to non-educators, who often don’t appreciate the overwhelming odds stacked against poor children. The first chapters cover the students’ past and Steckel’s experiences with them in high school; subsequent chapters cover post-high school struggles; the final chapters talk about the students in their early twenties. Each chapter is satisfying on its own, but the reader is eager to find out what happens next in these students’ lives.

    I have taught for more than fifteen years in a Maryland public high school that has demographics similar to those at the Secondary School, and a colleague and I similarly shepherded promising students to selective residential colleges. Steckel’s stories remind me of my own. Hold Fast neither exaggerates nor minimizes what these kids are faced with. Steckel and Zasloff write about the rawness and trauma of the working poor, the family life constantly disrupted by parents’ late-night shifts, long hours at work, and unstable employment. Some of Steckel’s students move frequently (including in and out of homeless shelters), work part-time to contribute to the family budget, babysit younger siblings, and protect them from getting caught up in life on the street. While some dream of going to college, living at the social bottom makes that goal seem beyond reach; others see higher education as so remote that they don’t bother dreaming about it.

    It is here that Steckel takes his stand. Many educators who endure at these schools are sustained by a social vision of helping needy children lead happy and productive lives, and Steckel is no exception. While a 2004 Century Foundation study found that the most selective colleges drew 74 percent of their students from the richest quartile and only 3 percent from the poorest, Steckel tells his students at the start of school that his aim is to get them into these competitive colleges—the kind of schools where future leaders are born. “[T]hese colleges [are] training the country’s future leaders,” Steckel told his classes, “and it wasn’t right that they should be filled with rich kids.”

    As part-time teacher, part-time college adviser, and full-time mentor, Steckel slowly gains the trust and confidence of students who have been let down by adults so often. He must be able to nurture their fragile self-confidence while pushing them to compete to gain admittance to institutions that will completely change their lives. Hold Fast includes several compelling college application essays that Steckel helped to edit, a process that no doubt encouraged students to share and process past traumas. By the book’s end, some students have graduated from selective residential colleges that would be the envy of any parent, some have graduated from community colleges, and others have not managed to complete any college course work. For all Steckel’s skill and dedication, he cannot overcome all the problems facing his students.


    To succeed, Steckel exploits the handful of national and New York state programs aimed at assisting first-generation students to attend college, and he also markets his students to wealthy selective colleges looking to diversify their student body. Colleges such as Bates (Maine), Muhlenberg (Pennsylvania), and Williams (Massachusetts) want to increase the number of minority students, not only to fulfill their liberal educational missions but also to enhance the educational experiences of all of their students. But a look at the numbers demonstrates that each school can only afford to admit a handful of poor students—so the more Josh Steckels there are, the less successful each will be. The resources of even wealthy colleges are limited. Middlebury College in Vermont has accepted and generously funded several of our Maryland students, for example, yet even with the maximum amount of federal aid available, a low-income student brings $200,000 less over four years to Middlebury than a student who pays full tuition. Even with a commitment to economic diversity, how many low-income students can a college afford to accept?

    This reality undermines a widely publicized conclusion of “The Missing ‘One-Offs’: The Hidden Supply of High-Achieving, Low-Income Students,” the 2012 paper by economists Caroline M. Hoxby and Christopher Avery. The study argues that there is a large, untapped supply of high-achieving, low-income students who should be considered at more competitive schools that can offer them more money. While such schools may be able to accept and fund a few more poor students, even the wealthiest colleges are unable to admit all high-achieving applicants regardless of economic status. Many of Steckel’s students who do not end up at selective residential colleges attend local public colleges, often from fear of social isolation of faraway campuses filled with affluent students, or because they worry about leaving their families in need. But finances are a struggle at public schools, too. A generation ago, strong state university systems offered their residents a high-quality education for any student who could save money from a summer job and was willing to work part-time during the school year. Unfortunately, tuition and fees at these institutions have increased in recent decades, while state aid has dropped. The average cost of tuition at a four-year public university (even with grants and student loans) now runs more than $10,000 a year. Low-income students and their families must either take out loans they cannot afford or lower their academic expectations to fit their budget

  9. rikyrah says:

    The GOP is now officially the party of ‘get the hell out’

    By Greg Sargent June 27

    Exactly one year after the Senate passed an immigration reform bill that built a compromise on an exchange of increased enforcement for legalization for the 11 million, Republicans have now officially abandoned any pretense of a willingness to participate in solving the immigration crisis. Instead, they have committed the party to a course premised on two intertwined notions: There are no apparent circumstances under which they can accept legalization of the 11 million; and as a result, the only broad response to the crisis they can countenance is maximum deportations.

    This means it’s now all in Obama’s hands to decide what he can do unilaterally to ease the pace of deportations and address the current unaccompanied migrant crisis.

    One way to understand what happened here is to trace the evolution of GOP Rep. Bob Goodlatte, chair of the Judiciary Committee and a serious party thinker on the issue. Today Politico has a deep dive into the death of reform, reporting that in 2013, House GOP leaders privately told Hispanic leaders that they would try to embrace reform if the August recess that year went smoothly. This happened:

    At one point, the Rev. Daniel de Leon, a California pastor, asked…Goodlatte about family reunification — a critical issue for religious communities. The normally reserved Virginia Republican…began to cry and choked up completely, two people inside the room recalled.

    About a minute later, Goodlatte regained his composure. Apologizing for the abrupt tears, the former immigration attorney discussed how the issue is a deeply personal one: His wife Maryellen’s parents were first-generation immigrants from Ireland, he explained, and throughout his legal career, Goodlatte helped immigrants from more than 70 nations come to the United States.

    Now fast forward to yesterday. Goodlatte effectively declared immigration reform dead as long as Obama is in office, blaming his decision to defer the deportation of DREAMers for the current crisis of unaccompanied migrants crossing.

    • Yahtc says:

      I admire Fanny Lou Hamer tremendously!

      Fannie Lou Hamer’s speech at the 1964 Democratic Nat’l Convention:

  10. rikyrah says:

    Did Rep. Andy Harris inadvertently legalize marijuana possession in D.C.?

    Shortly after noon Wednesday, the Republicans of the House Appropriations Committee (plus one Democrat) voted to block the District’s recently passed marijuana decriminalization law. Leading the charge was Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.), who said the measure was “bad policy” that would harm children.

    But District lawyers are now exploring whether he might have actually moved to, in effect, legalize marijuana possession instead.

    Two persons familiar with the matter but not authorized to speak to the media said the D.C. attorney general’s office is examining the potential effect of the Harris amendment, which is now part of a spending bill headed to the House floor but will not become law until the Senate approves a companion bill and compromise legislation passes both houses.

    Even if the amendment survives a Senate conference, the decriminalization law converting marijuana possession from a misdemeanor into a $25 civil citation is likely to pass a congressional review period and take effect beforehand, sometime in mid to late July.

    If the amendment — which bars the city from spending any funds to “enact or carry out any law, rule, or regulation to legalize or otherwise reduce penalties associated with the possession, use, or distribution [of marijuana and other drugs] for recreational use” — then takes effect after the decriminalization statute is officially on the books, the city would be in the odd position of having a decriminalization law that it could not enforce.

    Pedro Ribeiro, a spokesman for Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D), acknowledged the matter is under legal review but declined to address the de facto legalization scenario. “This potential unintended consequence only underscores why Congress should not meddle in local D.C. laws,” he said.

  11. rikyrah says:

    A disturbing look at Common Core tests in New York
    By Valerie Strauss June 27

    The promise of new standardized tests aligned to the Common Core State Standards was that they would show which students were ready for college and career and which weren’t. But in New York, a look at the tests shows how the state is failing to meet that promise. This was written by Carol Burris and John Murphy. Murphy, a former English teacher, is the assistant principal of South Side High School in New York, and he coordinates the school’s IB program. Burris, principal of South Side High School, has been chronicling the flawed implementation of school reform and the Common Core State Standards across the state for some time (here, and here and here and here, for example). She was named New York’s 2013 High School Principal of the Year by the School Administrators Association of New York and the National Association of Secondary School Principals, and in 2010, tapped as the 2010 New York State Outstanding Educator by the School Administrators Association of New York State. Her new book is “On The Same Track: How Schools Can Join the Twenty-First-Century Struggle Against Resegregation.”

    By Carol Burris and John Murphy

    Congratulations to the New York State Education Department. Officials there have solved the college remediation problem. Their Common Core graduation tests are so “rigorous” and have a new passing score (for students graduating in 2022) set so high that only about 1 in 4 students will graduate high school. And the elite 25 percent who make it won’t be going to community college, so the colleges with highest remediation rates can close.

    On what basis do we make such a claim? As Brooklyn principal, Liz Phillips, said in The New York Times, “We need to talk about the tests.” Unlike the grades 3-8 tests, which are hidden from the public eye, the new Common Core high school tests can be seen—including the “passing scores” that will determine graduation, both now and in the future. Let’s take a look at the tests, as well as the cut scores, in order to better understand the continuing march of New York’s reformist lemmings right over the cliff of reason.

  12. rikyrah says:

    just dust in my eyes


    Marine surprises mom at her graduation, presents degree
    VIDEO: Marine suprises graduating mom
    A returning Marine presented his mother with her diploma at her graduation.
    By Sharrie Williams
    Tuesday, June 10, 2014
    A West Philadelphia mom got the surprise of a lifetime at her graduation ceremony at the Kimmel Center.

    There was excitement and joy as hundreds of Peirce College students received their hard-earned degrees Monday night.

    Among them was Tondaleya Robinson, a mother of three who went back to school to complete her degree.

    The 43-year-old had no idea that her son, Cpl. Paul Robinson, drove from his Marine Corp base in Virginia to personally present her degree.

    “She’s given to us her whole life; it’s about time I give it back,” Cpl. Robinson told Action News.

    When the moment came, the audience stood to its feet applauding. Mom was overwhelmed with emotion.

    “Her reaction was exactly what I was expecting. I didn’t expect anything less. I know my mom is a big cry baby,” Cpl. Robinson said with a smile.

    Cpl. Robinson was only in town for one night. He wasn’t even sure he’d be able to make it to his mom’s ceremony. He only found out Monday morning.

    “Soon as I went in to work today, my chain of command was like, ‘Hey Robinson, what are you doing here today? Aren’t you supposed to be home with your mom?’ I said, ‘Roger that, sir,'” Cpl. Robinson said.

    “I’m already overjoyed, but this is just overwhelming. Words just cannot express. This is the next best thing to my husband,” Tondaleya said.

    Tondaleya’s husband, Charles Robinson, Jr., died three years ago after battling diabetes.

    Cpl. Robinson told Action News he joined the military to honor his father, who always dreamed of his son serving his country.

    Mother and son have had to be strong for each other since his passing.

    “I put a lot of things that I wanted to do on hold. I raised my children, and I wanted to go to school,” Tondaleya said.

    And now she has her bachelor’s degree in Human Resource Management, with her son by her side.

    “My mom is one of my biggest inspirations,” said Cpl. Robinson. “Throughout the passing of my father, I never saw my mom be so strong. We’re all taller than her now, but we don’t forget who mom is. We know. We’re all proud of her.”

  13. rikyrah says:

    Virginia Republicans find unity elusive

    By Jenna Portnoy June 27 at 8:35 PM

    Ever since Dave Brat dethroned House Majority Leader Eric Cantor this month, the political newcomer has vowed to bring together the warring factions of the Republican Party.

    But a dramatic showdown in a Republican committee meeting in Brat’s congressional district this week shows that Brat — and the party — have a long way to go.

    Cantor loyalists who still sit on the 7th District Committee outmaneuvered Brat supporters to strip the committee of most of its budget — nearly $400,000. In a savvy bit of parliamentary procedure, they voted to send the money to national GOP organizations based in Washington — leaving empty-handed the conservative activists who planned to use the money to build a get-out-the-vote operation to complement Brat’s fledgling campaign.

    The maneuver prompted an angry outcry from Brat’s camp.

    “They just wanted to get the money out of the committee so we wouldn’t have it. It was retribution,” said Robert Stuber, a party leader from Spotsylvania County who supported Brat.

  14. rikyrah says:

    Chris Rock, 2014 BET Awards Host, Says He Got Death Threats Over Gun Control Support—Find Out How He’s Dealing With It

    by Corinne Heller

    ikes! Chris Rock has revealed he once received death threats after voicing support for gun control.

    The 49-year-old comic made his comments on Chelsea Handler’s E! talk show Chelsea Lately in an episode that aired on Thursday. She told Rock she saw him talk about gun control in one of his stand-up shows in Los Angeles several months ago. The comedian has in recent days been making surprise appearances at the city’s comedy clubs as he prepares to host the 2014 BET Awards this Sunday, June 29.

    “You’re pretty passionate about gun control. You love guns?” Handler asked him.

    “Hey, I have guns … I’ve got all kinds of guns, man, fun guns, love guns,” Rock joked.

  15. rikyrah says:

    ‘This man was out to kill’: Family of Georgia woman allegedly hit, killed by Pelham man demands justice

    DOUGLASVILLE, Georgia – The daughters of a Georgia mother and grandmother killed when authorities say a Pelham man rammed her vehicle at a stop light and then intentionally ran her over said they are devastated and outraged.

    “Imagine your mother minding her own business and being killed brutally,” 28-year-old Nakeeta Davis told Friday. “This man was out to kill. He didn’t stop until he got what he was after.”

    Dewey Calhoun Green, 23, is charged with murder, aggravated assault and aggravated battery. He was arrested Wednesday, just after police say he killed 53-year-old Janice Pitts. He had his first court appearance Friday, where a Douglas County Judge denied bond for Green.

    Green is the grandson of W. Cooper Green, who served as mayor of Birmingham from 1940 until 1953 and for many years served as president of the Jefferson County Commission.

    Douglas County Acting District Attorney Brian Fortner told Friday there likely would be additional charges against Green involving the other occupants who were in Pitts’ car. Authorities are still awaiting results of toxicology testing of Green.

    An appointed attorney was with Green in court Friday, but Fortner said the family plans to hire their own attorney.

    Pitts was killed in front of her daughter and 4-year-old grandson, who both were in the family’s SUV. The attack happened Wednesday when Pitts was stopped at a traffic light in the southbound turn lane on Highway 5. She was waiting to turn left onto Douglas Boulevard when police say Green, for no apparent reason, rear-ended Pitts’ vehicle. Green, police said, was driving his expensive, tricked-out pickup truck.

    He backed up and rammed her vehicle again, and then a third time, police said. “My mother thought he was done so she got out and went to check the back window, and check on my nephew,” said Davis, whose sister Iesha was in the car with their mother.

    While Pitts was checking the damage, Davis and police said, Green slammed his truck into Pitts, pinning her between the two vehicles. “He’s holding his foot down on the gas. He has rage in his eyes and he’s looking right at my sister,” Davis said. “He was squeezing my mom. He kept his foot on that gas for almost two minutes.”

  16. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

    Finished my swim, now off to run errands.

  17. Yahtc says:

    “Judge won’t allow teen’s text messages in fatal porch shooting case”
    8:04 PM, June 27, 2014

  18. He stabbed us in the back

    Emails Show Republicans secured a majority after Dem Senator was bribed with a cushy job.

    According to 74 pages of emails obtained under Freedom of Information Act by the Washington Post, the Democratic Senator from Virginia who handed Republicans the majority, was offered a position with state employee benefits, a cell phone and possibly a car, as well as a judgeship for his daughter, before resigning.

    In the midst of a standoff on Medicaid explanation and the state budget, Sen. Phillip P. Puckett handed Republicans the majority on the same day he announced his new job, which from the emails, show a connection between the two and the corrupted Democratic Senator was to write his own job description.

    He was warned that the obvious would look obvious.

    The Washington Post reports:

    The head of the state tobacco commission warned that the panel would create the appearance of “manipulating” power in the Virginia Senate if it announced that it was hiring Sen. Phillip P. Puckett on the same day he gave up his seat, according to e-mails released Thursday.

    Tim Pfohl, interim executive director of the commission, said in a June 5 e-mail to Puckett, a Democrat from rural Russell County, that he had begged Del. Terry G. Kilgore (R-Scott) to delay making it known that Puckett was getting a top staff job with the commission. Kilgore is chairman of the commission.

    “Phillip: Terry spoke to us today about announcing your role w/ the Commission in conjunction with what he said is your intention to announce your Senate plans tomorrow,” Pfohl wrote. “I implored him to ‘decouple’ those announcements for the sake of the appearance of the Commission manipulating the Senate balance of power and starting WW3 w/ the Governor’s administration.”

    “I mention all this so you know what’s being planned on our end to give this the most defensible appearance of due process,” Pfohl added.

    This is a clear case of bribery. Just days after the news broke of the bribe, Puckett withdrew his name for consideration of the job.

  19. Yahtc says:

    “UPDATE: Former Dallas officer who beat handcuffed suspect found guilty of official oppression”

  20. Keeping digging that hole, Hillary.

    Clinton adviser: Independent prosecutor needed for IRS.

    WASHINGTON — A close adviser to Hillary Clinton agrees with Republicans that it’s time for an independent prosecutor to investigate alleged IRS targeting of conservative groups and missing e-mails.

    Lanny Davis — who was a counselor to President Bill Clinton — said the IRS needs intense scrutiny from an outside investigator.

    “There’s no Democrat that I know of that wouldn’t be asking a Republican administration to conduct an independent investigation” if Republicans were in charge, Davis said Friday.

    Davis referenced the disclosure that IRS official Lois Lerner proposed investigating Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) after she received an invitation intended for him. The invite mentioned providing accommodations for Grassley’s wife.

    “Looked like they were inappropriately offering to pay for his wife. Perhaps we should refer to Exam?” Lerner wrote to a colleague in 2012.

    “It was completely almost yucky to read what she wrote,” Davis said. “If that were known by her superiors, she should have been fired.”

  21. Yahtc says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

    Zelda Wynn Valdes was born on this day in 1905. From Wikipedia:

    Zelda Wynn Valdes (June 28, 1905 – September 26, 2001) was an African-American fashion designer and costumer. In 1948, she opened her own shop on Broadway in New York City which was the first in the area to be owned by an African American. Some of her clients included other notable black women of her era, including Dorothy Dandridge and Marian Anderson. She is also most famous for designing the original costumes for the Playboy Bunnies and the Dance Theater of Harlem.

    Here is an illustrated article:

    “Zelda Wynn Valdes first black Fashion designer and costumer to open her own shop”

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