Sunday Open Thread | Praise & Worship

About SouthernGirl2

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

  1. rikyrah says:

    Wednesday, September 3, 2014
    Compare and Contrast: Froomkin v Giordano
    First of all, here’s what Dan Froomkin has to say about the Obama presidency.

    In a lot of ways, we’re worse off today than we were under George W. Bush…

    There will be no snapping back to a pre-Bush-era respect for basic human dignity and civil rights. Thanks to Obama, it’s going to be a hard, long fight.

    In some cases, Obama has set even darker precedents than his predecessor. Massively invasive bulk surveillance of Americans and others has been expanded, not constrained. This president secretly condemns people to death without any checks or balances, and shrugs as his errant drones massacre innocent civilians. Whistleblowers and journalists who expose national security wrongdoing face unprecedented criminal prosecution…


    There are a lot of inaccuracies in those few paragraphs (i.e., on checks and balances for drone strikes, members of Congress have been briefed on Every.Single.One.), but I’m going to try to look at the big picture rather than focus on the specifics.

    In contrast, take a look at what Al Giordano wrote on the Obama legacy today in an article about potential challengers to Hillary Clinton.

    And maybe it will be a candidate who can spark a “generational election” and have a shot at enough voter turnout in November 2016 to not lose the baby steps of progress – not long or fast enough steps by far, but at least the motion has been forward – that have been made over the past six years in the United States. After all, for its many and grievous faults, the US does finally have health care for so many more of its people, did measurably ratchet down two wars, did change the tone so that people who organized for LGBT rights, nonviolent marijuana and drug users and patients, immigrants and dreamers, grassroots XL pipeline opponents, among others, have finally started making progress on the level of law and policy. These are among the only things governments can do that help, or stop harming, the lives of real people.

    When, in 2007, Obama’s campaign began recruiting volunteers to attend three-day community organizer trainings (called “Camp Obama”) that were designed by United Farmworkers Union organizer Marshall Ganz, it didn’t just built an army with a huge advantage over its rivals. It also trained a new generation in the forgotten skills of how change is really made at the most grassroots level. Many of the aforementioned tens of thousands of new organizers then went on, after the campaign, to organize with non-electoral social movements: LBGT and immigrants rights, drug policy referenda, and stopping climate change mega-projects like the pipeline. (“Activist” complaints that “nothing has changed” under Obama only indicate that the complainer still doesn’t get the profound qualitative difference between organizing and protesting.)

    We can learn two things from these contrasting views:

    While Froomkin is focused on the need for a “radical break” and therefore sees no change, Giordano sees “baby steps of progress” towards forward motion. In a nutshell, this is the difference between what we might call the “purists” and the “pragmatists.”

  2. rikyrah says:

    and the right wing weeps:


    Obama Outperforms Reagan on Jobs, Growth and Investing

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) today issued America’s latest jobs report covering August. And it’s a disappointment. The economy created an additional 142,000 jobs last month. After 6 consecutive months over 200,000, most pundits expected the string to continue, including ADP which just yesterday said 204,000 jobs were created in August.

    One month variation does not change a trend

    Even though the plus-200k monthly string was broken (unless revised
    upward at a future date,) unemployment did continue to decline and is now reported at only 6.1%. Jobless claims were just over 300k; lowest since 2007. Despite the lower than expected August jobs number, America will create about 2.5 million new jobs in 2014.

    And that is great news.

    Back in May, 2013 (15 months ago) the Dow was out of its recession doldrums and hitting new highs. I asked readers if Obama could, economically, be the best modern President?

    Through discussion of that question, the #1 issue raised by readers waswhether the stock market was a good economic barometer for judging “best.” Many complained that the measure they were watching was jobs – and that too many people were still looking for work.

    To put this week’s jobs report in economic perspective I reached out to Bob Deitrick, CEO of Polaris Financial Partners and author of “Bulls, Bears and the Ballot Box” (which I profiled in October, 2012
    just before the election) for some explanation. Since then Polaris’
    investor newsletters have consistently been the best predictor of
    economic performance. Better than all the major investment houses.

    This is the best private sector jobs creation performance in American history.

  3. rikyrah says:

    Sunday, September 7, 2014
    Evaluating President Obama on tough decisions
    A critique we Obamabots often get thrown at us is that we never disagree with the President. The assumption that usually follows is that we revere the man over his positions. I’ve thought long and hard about that one because it is rare that I outright disagree with something President Obama has done. But the reason for that goes MUCH deeper than the idea that I am a “blind supporter.”

    In the past both POTUS and FLOTUS have pointed out that problems with simple (unambiguous) solutions rarely reach the president’s desk. If there is an obvious answer, it is handled long before it gets to him. Therefore, anyone in that office spends their time on complex issues that don’t lend themselves to simple right/wrong options.

    Given that, I am reminded of what Professor Obama taught his law students.

  4. rikyrah says:

    Foreign Powers Buy Influence at Think Tanks


    WASHINGTON — The agreement signed last year by the Norway Ministry of Foreign Affairs was explicit: For $5 million, Norway’s partner in Washington would push top officials at the White House, at the Treasury Department and in Congress to double spending on a United States foreign aid program.

    But the recipient of the cash was not one of the many Beltway lobbying firms that work every year on behalf of foreign governments.

    It was the Center for Global Development, a nonprofit research organization, or think tank, one of many such groups in Washington that lawmakers, government officials and the news media have long relied on to provide independent policy analysis and scholarship.

    More than a dozen prominent Washington research groups have received tens of millions of dollars from foreign governments in recent years while pushing United States government officials to adopt policies that often reflect the donors’ priorities, an investigation by The New York Times has found.

    The money is increasingly transforming the once-staid think-tank world into a muscular arm of foreign governments’ lobbying in Washington. And it has set off troubling questions about intellectual freedom: Some scholars say they have been pressured to reach conclusions friendly to the government financing the research.

  5. rikyrah says:

    Adam Milstein @AdamMilstein

    Foreign Powers, mainly #Qatar $14M funding of Brookings, Buy Washington Think Tanks influence!
    5:37 PM – 7 Sep 2014 Los Angeles, CA, United States

  6. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    I am trying (unsuccessfully) to find a youtube video of a song with the lyrics that follow. Can any of you reading here provide help?

    In the Mississippi River!

    Lord, Lord, Lord, Lord!

    In the Mississippi River!

    Well you can count them one by one!

    It could be your son!

    And you can count them two by two!

    It could be me and you!

    • yahtzeebutterfly says:

      It was just sung in the 3 part documentary “Eyes on the Prize” that I am watching.

      • yahtzeebutterfly says:

        Bless you, Ametia!!!

        THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

      • yahtzeebutterfly says:

        I ache knowing that this has continued and that there are now hateful, racist policemen are doing it in the open. It is so heartbreaking, and I embrace all of you mothers and grandmothers….I never have and never will have to go through the stress and worries.

        Ametia, I realize now, that finding and listening to this song was not easy for you to do. I am sorry for any distress that my request might have caused you.

      • yahtzeebutterfly says:

        Sad, too, the repetition today of “notice” taken when 2 WHITES witnessed Michael Brown
        killed while he had his hands up.

        Back then, would the nation have taken “notice” of Chaney’s murder had not 2 WHITES also been murdered?

      • yahtzeebutterfly says:

        I am not wording this quite right, but I think you know what I mean.

      • yahtzeebutterfly says:

        Dave Dennis address at James Chaney’s funeral that was shown in the documentary:

        Dave Dennis, who lead the Congress of Racial Equality’s (CORE) operations in Mississippi, was asked to speak at CORE worker James Chaney’s funeral. The charismatic and excitable Dennis could very well have been the fourth civil rights worker executed by the Klan on June 21. He had lent his station wagon to the three men, and save for a bad case of bronchitis, the CORE leader might very well have been along to investigate the burning of Mt. Zion Methodist Church in Longdale, Mississippi. Captured on video, Dennis’s unscripted speech is on of the most impassioned and powerful addresses of the entire movement. The speech is also fairly well known because of its inclusion in the civil rights documentary, “Eyes on the Prize.” So inflamed and overwrought was the young Dennis that he collapsed into the arms of the Reverend Edwin King, unable to complete the conclusion. Dennis was led outside where he leaned against a tree and sobbed.
        (p. 774 of “Rhetoric, Religion and the Civil Rights Movement, 1954-1965” ed. by Davis W. Houck)

  7. rikyrah says:

    This guy shutdown the police

    Never Open the Door for the cops, but if you do, never consent to warrantless searches

  8. rikyrah says:

    Questioning the Deaths Dubbed ‘Houdini Handcuff Suicides’

    A legal team led by Benjamin Crump is challenging the official accounts of these puzzling deaths of men while they were in police custody.
    By: Sheryl Huggins Salomon
    Posted: Sept. 5 2014 3:00 AM

    A name has been given to the recently publicized rash of alleged gunshot “suicides” by young men of color who were handcuffed and in police custody: Houdini handcuff suicides. The moniker is an homage to the famed magician Harry Houdini, who staged jail escapes in shackles.

    It also highlights the puzzling circumstances under which Victor White III, Chavis Carter and Jesus Huerta died in separate incidents, in different cities, within the past 26 months. In each case, police had searched the young men for weapons, and none had initially been found. Also, in each case the local coroner said that the victim had taken his own life.

    In the case of 22-year-old White, he was apparently handcuffed behind his back, but a recent Louisiana coroner’s report cites a fatal shot in the chest by his own hands.

    Attorney Benjamin Crump, who is representing the families of White and Carter, began using the term in hopes of drawing attention to the cases. “These Houdini handcuff shootings, it’s just mystifying they are trying to say the cause of death is suicide. It defies all logic, common sense or science,” he said in a joint interview for The Root with another attorney for the White family, Carol Powell-Lexing.

    “What attorney Powell-Lexing and I have been trying to do is to get people to look at this trend and say it’s not just a Louisiana issue, because it happened to Victor White in 2014; it’s not just a North Carolina issue, because it happened to Jesus Huerta in 2013; and it’s not just an Arkansas issue, because it happened to Chavis Carter in 2012. … This is a national issue.”

  9. rikyrah says:

    More of the ‘both sides do it’ bullshyt.

    There is one party objecting to actually governing in this country and it’s the REPUBLICANS.

    EVERY PROBLEM in this country can be traced to REPUBLICAN OBSTINANCE


    Why polarization could persist after Obama
    By Dan Balz September 6

    Many issues will come into play in the 2016 election, but among the most important is whether the next president and the Congress that will convene in January 2017 can break through the partisan polarization that has turned Washington into a gridlocked island.

    The presidential candidates, no doubt, will present themselves as capable of making the system work and being determined to do so — offering a potentially fresh start after the political standoff that has marked the Obama presidency and those before. But there are questions:

    ●Would the inauguration of a new Democratic president change the behavior of recalcitrant hard-liners among the House Republicans, who have sought to block almost every major initiative from President Obama and whose tactics led to last year’s government shutdown?

    ●Would a Republican president be beholden to those hard-liners, or would he or she seize control of the conservative agenda to chart a different governing path?

    ●But above all, will the next president, whether Democrat or Republican, cultivate the kind of productive relationships with opposition-party leaders and others in Congress that Obama has failed to develop? Perhaps. But the reality is that deeper forces are at work that could well frustrate the hopes, aspirations and pledges of those who seek the presidency in 2016.

  10. rikyrah says:

    A safer Detroit means big fines and racial profiling for black residents

    Detroit’s gentrified makeover means more policing of nuisance crimes – but the fines fall disproportionately on black residents
    Rose Hackman, Sunday 7 September 2014 12.00 EDT

    What’s the cost of more police crackdowns in Detroit for “quality of life” issues?

    For Xavier Johnson, a young black businessman in the city, it’s $1,500 in fines that he can’t afford.

    Call it the price of gentrification. Johnson, a rising star in Detroit’s startup community, is one of many residents paying the price for an aggressive style of policing that has overtaken the city as it cleans up its reputation. Current Detroit residents – mostly African-American – face an added cost of living as the city police pile on nuisance fines to crack down on smaller crimes. The effect is to make the city more appealing to successful, and mostly white, middle class professionals – while burdening the city’s poorest with more bills to pay.

    The hotly contested police strategy is called “broken windows”, and Detroit police chief James “Hollywood” Craig has embraced it with fervour. The theory – popularised by New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s police chief William Bratton in the 1990s – means cracking down on smaller nuisance crimes in order to prevent those larger, more violent ones. Think of the crackdown on “squeegee men” who forcibly cleaned drivers’ windows for tips.

    The deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown this summer at the hands of police officers in New York City and Ferguson, Missouri, are also examples of broken windows policing, spun out of control. While Eric Garner was placed in a fatal chokehold after being stopped for selling untaxed cigarettes, current information shows Michael Brown stopped just moments before he was shot for walking in the middle of the road, or jaywalking: both “quality of life” offences.

  11. Ametia says:

    would love a gif of Serena dropping to the ground! LOL

  12. Ametia says:

    Serena Williams wins 3rd US Open in row, 18th Slam

    NEW YORK (AP) — Serena Williams ended a difficult-for-her Grand Slam season in the best way possible, winning her third consecutive U.S. Open title by beating Caroline Wozniacki 6-3, 6-3 on Sunday.

    Williams equaled Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova with 18 major singles titles, the fourth-most in history. Williams also matched Evert’s total of six championships at the U.S. Open and became the first woman to win three in a row since Evert’s four-title run from 1975-78.

    Williams earned a $4 million winner’s check, a record in tennis — $3 million for the title, plus a $1 million bonus for having had the best results during the North American summer hard-court circuit.



  13. rikyrah says:

    Serena gets another $1 million in bonus prize money.

    $ 4 million in checks tonight!!

    Martina and Chris are there to welcome Serena to the 18 Grand Slam Club!

  14. Ametia says:

    Pass the Democracy for All amendment!

    When senators return to Washington on September 8, they will vote on the Democracy for All constitutional amendment to get big, special interest money out of our politics. The vote is already scheduled for that very afternoon.mip

    Now that senators are home for their August vacation, they need to hear from you! If you’re able, consider printing a copy of the letter and hand-delivering it directly to your senator’s state office, too.

    Email your senator and tell them to vote for S.J. Res. 19 – the Democracy for All constitutional amendment!

  15. Ametia says:


  16. rikyrah says:

    They CAN’T be this simple.


    They think there’s a gulf between the President and the Attorney General?


    WATCH: Whose Race Legacy Will Reign Supreme: Obama’s or Holder’s?

    One guy seems to be playing chess, the other checkers, and The Root staff is torn over whose strategy will fare better in the long run.

    By: Diana Ozemebhoya Eromosele

    Posted: Sept. 7 2014 3:00 AM

    Going into the
    final stretch of President Barack Obama’s presidency, as Americans—and
    particularly African Americans—begin to form opinions about his legacy
    on issues of race (that is, what he’s done for black people), they’ll
    look back to a couple of great rhetorical moments and key policy
    successes, but they’ll also remember that he was perhaps too cautious
    when responding to national conversations about race. At the same time,
    Attorney General Eric Holder’s approach on race issues seems to be far more outspoken, and his actions more deliberate.

    As we think about the significance of Obama’s presidency, a question
    may be whether Obama ought to take a page out of Holder’s book when it
    comes to being mindful about his legacy as the first African-American
    president, in the same manner that Holder seems to be mindful of his
    legacy as the country’s first African-American attorney general.

    In The Root TV video below, I fret about Obama’s race legacy, and The Root’s associate editor David Swerdlick tries to reel me back in.

    • Ametia says:

      What the fuck is this TRIPE?

      How unenlightened these folks are to not address the fact that RACISM IS WHITE AMERICA’S LEGACY.

      And they and them alone ar responsible for:

      1. ADMITTING they are the cause of RACISM
      2. They are the ones who ahve to INITIATE the conversation and bring about a resolution of their lie and belief that white is right.

  17. rikyrah says:

    The_Notorious_PhD @NotoriousLLT

    Disappointed in @MHarrisPerry 4 orchestrating that “Hate on POTUS” segment w/o real analysis of what he’s up against in midterms #nerdland
    11:02 AM – 7 Sep 2014

    • rikyrah says:

      Bobfr @Our4thEstate

      @NotoriousLLT Without #MHarrisPerry doing her bash President Obama schtick she’d lose her emotarian, dudebro, blackademic peanut gallery.
      11:54 AM – 7 Sep 2014

    • Ametia says:

      I was getting ready to go out fo r my morning walk and caught the beginning of MHP. Immediately clicked off the tv.

      Just knew this was how the rest of the cble and regular networks were going to spin their hour.. Nothing but HATERATION. Despicable POS, all of them.

  18. rikyrah says:

    Pennsylvania mother who gave daughter abortion pill gets prison

    By David DeKok

    HARRISBURG Pa. Sat Sep 6, 2014 12:24pm EDT

    A Pennsylvania woman has been sentenced to up to 18 months in prison for obtaining so-called abortion pills online and providing them to her teenage daughter to end her pregnancy.

    Jennifer Ann Whalen, 39, of Washingtonville, a single mother who works as a nursing home aide, pleaded guilty in August to obtaining the miscarriage-inducing pills from an online site in Europe for her daughter, 16, who did not want to have the child.

    Whalen was sentenced on Friday by Montour County Court of Common Pleas Judge Gary Norton to serve 12 months to 18 months in prison for violating a state law that requires abortions to be performed by physicians.

    She was also fined $1,000 and ordered to perform 40 hours of community service after her release. The felony offense called for up to seven years in prison and a $15,000 fine.

    Matthew Bingham Banks, Whalen’s lawyer, previously told Reuters criminal prosecutions of this kind were not common.

    Whalen told authorities there was no local clinic available to perform an abortion and her daughter did not have health insurance to cover a hospital abortion, the Press Enterprise newspaper of Bloomsburg reported.

    Her daughter experienced severe cramping and bleeding after taking the pills and Whalen took her to a hospital hear her home for treatment, the newspaper said.

    The closest abortion clinic to Whalen’s home is about 74 miles away in Harrisburg.

  19. rikyrah says:

    Good Afternoon, Everyone :)

  20. Atlanta Hawks Bruce Levenson email

    The email — which addressed the in-game experience at Philips arena — has been released by the Hawks. Excerpts of the sensitive material are below. 4. Regarding game ops, i need to start with some background. for the first couple of years we owned the team, i didn’t much focus on game ops. then one day a light bulb went off. when digging into why our season ticket base is so small, i was told it is because we can’t get 35-55 white males and corporations to buy season tixs and they are the primary demo for season tickets around the league. when i pushed further, folks generally shrugged their shoulders. then i start looking around our arena during games and notice the following: — it’s 70 pct black — the cheerleaders are black — the music is hip hop — at the bars it’s 90 pct black — there are few fathers and sons at the games — we are doing after game concerts to attract more fans and the concerts are either hip hop or gospel. Sports Illustrated

    Atlanta Hawks, Bruce Levenson

    Then i start looking around at other arenas. It is completely different. Even DC with its affluent black community never has more than 15 pct black audience. Before we bought the hawks and for those couple years immediately after in an effort to make the arena look full (at the nba’s urging) thousands and thousands of tickets were being giving away, predominantly in the black community, adding to the overwhelming black audience. My theory is that the black crowd scared away the whites and there are simply not enough affluent black fans to build a signficant season ticket base. Sports Illustrated

    Please dont get me wrong. There was nothing threatening going on in the arean back then. i never felt uncomfortable, but i think southern whites simply were not comfortable being in an arena or at a bar where they were in the minority. On fan sites i would read comments about how dangerous it is around philips yet in our 9 years, i don’t know of a mugging or even a pick pocket incident. This was just racist garbage. When I hear some people saying the arena is in the wrong place I think it is code for there are too many blacks at the games. Sports Illustrated

    Atlanta Hawks, Bruce Levenson

    I have been open with our executive team about these concerns. I have told them I want some white cheerleaders and while i don’t care what the color of the artist is, i want the music to be music familiar to a 40 year old white guy if that’s our season tixs demo. i have also balked when every fan picked out of crowd to shoot shots in some time out contest is black. I have even bitched that the kiss cam is too black. Sports Illustrated

  21. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone! :-)

  22. Beautiful morning inspiration. Thank you and Happy Sunday.

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