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32 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Tuesday Open Thread | Kenny G Week

  1. eliihass says:

    It seems like it’s ok to be consistently rude, mean, insulting, demeaning and disrespectful to the black FLOTUS. You’re still guaranteed to get loads of tributes calling you ‘kind’ and ‘gracious’. Just ask Joan Rivers and Oscar de la Renta.
    Black women don’t matter. Black women’s feelings don’t matter. Every day they make it absolutely clear, and for some reason we pretend not to notice. Or we hope we’ll be the exception!!!

  2. Hollaring—>People just can’t stop being nosy

  3. rikyrah says:

    Monday, October 20, 2014

    Last Call For Surgin’ In General

    Posted by Zandar

    Bob Cesca notes that we’re in the middle of a public health “crisis” and the GOP has blocked Surgeon General nominee Dr. Vivek Murthy for a year now, and will happily continue to block him now:

    Sen. Tex Cruz (R-Tex.) appeared on CNN with Candy Crowley on Sunday and was perfectly clear about why his buddy from Kentucky, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), blocked Dr. Murthy.

    Of course we should have a surgeon general in place. And we don’t have one because President Obama, instead of nominating a health professional, he nominated someone who is an anti-gun activist.

    He’s not a what? This is how badly corrupted the GOP has become. Murthy graduated from Harvard, magna cum laude with a degree in Biochemical Sciences. He earned his MD from Yale, and served his residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. In addition to running a cloud-based clinical trial program, he’s also an attending physician at Harvard Medical School. But because he tweeted, “Guns are a health care issue,” back in 2012 — just a couple of months before Adam Lanza used an AR15 to mow down 25 kindergarteners and teachers at Sandy Hook — he was disqualified from becoming surgeon general.

    To recap, Senate Republicans like Cruz and Paul shut down the government ten months ago but nobody seems to care. Much easier to say BOTH SIDES DO IT and just absolve yourself of the blame when the middle class continues to be annihilated by the right, you know?

    So let’s turn over the Senate to the anti-science party because we’re scared about Ebola, which has killed one person, and not scared about guns, which kill tens of thousands a year.

  4. rikyrah says:

    Morning Plum: Republican accidentally tells the truth about Obamacare

    By Greg Sargent October 21 at 9:04 AM 

    Ohio Governor John Kasich, who has accepted the Medicaid expansion his state, recently suffered from an outbreak of accidental candor, making these remarks about the Medicaid expansion and the prospects for repealing Obamacare:

    “That’s not gonna happen,” Kasich told The Associated Press during a recent re-election campaign swing. “The opposition to it was really either political or ideological,” the Republican governor added. “I don’t think that holds water against real flesh and blood, and real improvements in people’s lives.”

    Now, perhaps recognizing how lethal this is to his hopes in upcoming GOP presidential primaries, Kasich has rushed to clean up the mess:

    “I don’t back Obamacare. I never have. I want it to be repealed,” he told The Washington Post in a telephone interview. “If the House and the Senate [are Republican-controlled] and we have a Republican president, Obamacare will be repealed flat out. Flat out. And it will be replaced.”

    But the truly revealing thing about Kasich’s comments was not his suggestion that Obamacare won’t be repealed. We already know that. It was that he admitted the law has made “real improvements in people’s lives.” And even in his effort to clean up his comments, he again implicitly admitted this to be the case, claiming he supports Obamacare’s general goals but not the ACA itself:

  5. rikyrah says:

    Morning Plum: It’s not over yet, but Democrats have their backs to the wall

    By Greg Sargent October 20 

    I’ve been saying for months that Republicans are marginally favored to take the Senate. With the major forecasts shifting a bit more towards the GOP, Republicans have improved their position and are probably more-than-marginally favored to take control.

    Democrats do still have paths to retaining control. But they are increasingly narrow.

    Look at the map this way. If Democrats can hold on in just one of the four following toss-up states in which they are currently trailing — Colorado, Iowa, Arkansas, or Alaska — their hopes of holding the Senate remain alive. That is plausible. But a lot has to go their way after that.

    Let’s give Republicans West Virgina, Montana, and South Dakota up front, while giving Democrats North Carolina, New Hampshire, and Michigan — outcomes that are consistent with the polling averages. If Dems can limit Republicans to wins in three of these four (CO, IA, AR, AK), that puts the GOP at 51 seats.

    That would probably send us into overtime, with Louisiana and Georgia likely to head to run-offs due to election rules. To keep the Senate at a 50-50 split, Democrats would then have to win one of those run-offs (so they cancel one-another out) and Greg Orman would have to win in Kansas and he would have to caucus with Dems. Without Kansas, Democrats would have to win both those runoffs. This is not entirely impossible. As Harry Enten has explained, recent history doesn’t tell us much about how these runoffs will go, and high African American turnout could scramble them. But it’s a very tall order, partly because the outcome of these red state run-offs would decide which party controls the Senate.

  6. rikyrah says:

    Alabama Republican Mike Hubbard arrested on 23 felony counts

    10/20/14 09:36 PM—Updated 10/21/14 09:53 AM
    By Joy Y. Wang

    Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard was arrested Monday on nearly two dozen felony ethics charges. The prominent Republican turned himself in to Montgomery, Alabama, authorities after being indicted on 23 felony counts, including the misuse of his public office for personal gain.

    Hubbard, whose book “Storming the Statehouse” details the 2010 Republican takeover of the state’s legislature, which had been led by Democrats for 136 years, was indicted as part of an ongoing investigation in Alabama.

    RELATED: Money can’t buy the GOP voter fraud

    Eleven of the charges against the politician allege that he solicited or received items of value “from a lobbyist or principal.” Hubbard was also charged with using his office as Alabama Republican Party chairman for personal gain, voting for legislation despite a conflict of interest, and collecting a fee in exchange for his lobbying services.

    If convicted, Hubbard, 52, could face between two and 20 years in prison, and fines of as much as $30,000 for each of the 23 counts.

    The indictment alleges that Hubbard solicited favors from former Alabama Governor Bob Riley, as well as from numerous prominent businessmen and political operatives.

  7. rikyrah says:

    Indiana Plans To Cut Tens Of Thousands Off Food Stamps

    by Alan Pyke
    Posted on October 20, 2014 at 9:35 am Updated: October 20, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    Indiana will cut tens of thousands of its poorest people off of the food stamps roles beginning next spring, the state announced. Gov. Mike Pence (R) has decided to join seven other states in reinstating work requirements for food stamps despite being eligible for a federal waiver from those rules for the coming fiscal year.

    Federal rules require able-bodied, childless people who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits for more than three months a year to demonstrate that they are working or attending a job training program for at least 20 hours a week. But those rules can be waived during times of high economic strain when the work requirements cannot reasonably be fulfilled. Nearly every state requested and received such a waiver during the Great Recession. But a growing number of states have begun reinstating the work rules even though the Department of Agriculture has said their unemployment rates are still high enough to justify waiving the rules.

    The state estimates that 65,000 people will be affected by Pence’s change, according to the Indianapolis Star. Previous similar moves in Kansas, New Mexico, Maine, and other states have left tens of thousands of people without access to food stamps. The network of food charities that picks up the slack when hungry people are underserved by government programs is already overstretched around the country, according to the people who run those charities.

  8. rikyrah says:

    I’m a Black Journalist. I’m Quitting Because I’m Tired of Newsroom Racism.
    By Rebecca Carroll

    My first job in media was as a television producer. I was 28 years old, eager and brimming with ideas, some of which I’m sure were good and others of which I’m sure were not. Not long after starting the job, I asked to produce a segment with a well-known black actor whose work I had long followed. As the only black producer there, I knew from experience that when walking into an entirely white environment, it always felt good to be greeted by another brown face.

    My white male coworker, who produced a lot of the entertainment segments and clearly wanted to meet this actor himself, said to me, in front of the entire staff: “Just because you’re black doesn’t mean you get to produce all the black guests.”

    This producer had a point: He may have known just as much about film and this man’s career as I did, and being black doesn’t necessarily make me better qualified to do a segment about a black person. But his response was so hostile and pointed that there was no doubting his intentions: He was making clear that he wasn’t afraid to mention my race aloud, lest I thought it was my personal ace in the hole. His assumption seemed to be that I’d use my race as a cudgel to get good assignments. His strategy, in turn, was to use it as a cudgel right back.

    That incident over 15 years ago wasn’t an outlier. It was an initiation into a career fraught with similar experiences. And now I’ve had enough—I’m quitting the mainstream media.

    It’s a strange and incredibly demoralizing time to be a black person in American media. The words “racist and “racism” have cynically become clickbait, all while various newsrooms are claiming that they want to hire more writers and reporters and editors of color, but don’t. What it feels like you are hearing is: We’re not really trying to diversify our newsrooms, because we don’t actually have to.

    Among the challenges that make racism so difficult to fix, and so odiously constant, is that white people often don’t even recognize when they’re saying or doing something that cuts their black colleagues to the bone. Or worse, they do recognize when they’re being racially insensitive, but then demonstrate some semblance of regret and move on unscathed. If we can’t say anything about this kind of behavior—or don’t—then who will? What’s more, if we do speak up, particularly if we are among the chosen few who are granted a voice in mainstream media, at what cost?

  9. rikyrah says:

    NABJ boss says CNN essentially called him a liar in dispute over diversity

    By Erik Wemple October 20 at 4:24 PM 

    Bob Butler, the president of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) is unhappy with CNN. Just last Friday, Butler and NABJ issued a press release indicating that CNN had “withdrawn support of NABJ for the 2015 Convention & Career Fair.” Founded in 1975, NABJ is the largest group of journalists of color in the U.S., and their annual convention serves to help black media professionals with professional development and networking opportunities.

    CNN responded with a statement of its own: “Following NABJ’s recent comments about CNN, we informed them we were reconsidering our relationship, but we were clear that we had not made a final decision. It’s surprising to us that they would choose to make such a statement.”

    So: Butler says that the network had definitively withdrawn support; CNN says not quite. “They’re basically calling me a liar,” said Butler in a chat with the Erik Wemple Blog. “That’s very disturbing.”

    The roots of this unpleasantness date back to last month, when Butler visited CNN’s New York offices to talk about partnering on the 2015 NABJ 40th Annual Convention and Career Fair, which will take place August 5-9 in Minneapolis. As the meeting concluded, CNN asked NABJ for a “request for support” outlining what they’d like to see from CNN at the convention. All fine and dandy!

  10. rikyrah says:

    Adding the right to vote to the Constitution
    10/21/14 10:28 AM
    facebook twitter 1 save share group 16
    By Steve Benen
    The Bill of Rights, as the name implies, lists a wide variety of privileges of citizenship that cannot be taken from Americans without due process. You have the right to free speech, you have the right to bear arms, you have the right to a fair trial, etc. The right to vote, however, isn’t mentioned.

    In fact, though the Constitution offers some relatively detailed instructions on voting for president through the Electoral College, the document has far less to say about the right of Americans to cast a ballot in their own democracy. There are amendments extending voting rights to freed slaves, women, and 18-year-olds, and poll taxes are prohibited, but there’s no additional clarity in the text about Americans’ franchise.

    Up until fairly recently, that wasn’t considered much of a problem – at least since the Jim Crow era, there was no systemic national campaign underway to undermine voting rights. But in the Obama era, the Republican campaign to suppress the vote has included restrictions without modern precedent, which in turn has started a new conversation about changing the Constitution to guarantee what is arguably the most fundamental of all democratic rights.

    Matt Yglesias had a good piece on this yesterday.
    When the constitution was enacted it did not include a right to vote for the simple reason that the Founders didn’t think most people should vote. Voting laws, at the time, mostly favored white, male property-holders, and the rules varied sharply from state to state. But over the first half of the nineteenth century, the idea of popular democracy took root across the land. Property qualifications were universally abolished, and the franchise became the key marker of white male political equality. Subsequent activists sought to further expand the franchise, by barring discrimination on the basis of race (the 15th Amendment) and gender (the 19th) — establishing the norm that all citizens should have the right to vote.

    But this norm is just a norm. There is no actual constitutional provision stating that all citizens have the right to vote, only that voting rights cannot be dispensed on the basis of race or gender discrimination. A law requiring you to cut your hair short before voting, or dye it blue, or say “pretty please let me vote,” all might pass muster. And so might a voter ID requirement.

    The legality of these kinds of laws hinge on whether they violate the Constitution’s protections against race and gender discrimination, not on whether they prevent citizens from voting. As Harvard Law professor Lani Guinier has written, this “leaves one of the fundamental elements of democratic citizenship tethered to the whims of local officials.”
    All of which leads to the question about a constitutional amendmenT

  11. rikyrah says:

    Marco Rubio vs. scientists, Round III
    10/21/14 08:00 AM—UPDATED 10/21/14 08:16 AM
    By Steve Benen
    A couple of years ago, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) was asked how old he thinks the planet is. The senator replied, “I’m not a scientist, man.” Earlier this year, the Florida Republican said he rejects the way “scientists are portraying” the climate crisis.

    And this week, Rubio has found a new way to thumb his nose at scientists.
    Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) announced on Monday he will introduce legislation banning travel to the U.S. for nationals of Ebola-stricken African countries once Congress returns the week after the Nov. 4 elections.

    The bill would immediately ban U.S. visas for nationals of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, to be lifted once the Centers for Disease Control certify that the outbreak has been contained. It would also subject other countries where the Ebola outbreak reaches “significant levels,” Rubio’s office said.
    Once introduced, this will be the first Senate legislation mandating a West African travel ban, though a related bill has been announced for the House.

    In a statement, the conservative senator said he was merely calling for “common sense restrictions on travel” – though in this case, actual scientific experts are practically unanimous in their belief that travel restrictions would be counterproductive. Rubio is no doubt aware that scientists are urging policymakers to reject his preferred approach, but the Florida Republican apparently doesn’t much care.

  12. This is too funny! I’m still laughing…

    Chicago Man Tells Obama: “Don’t Touch My Girlfriend”

    Mike Jones- Mr President, don't touch my girlfriend

    Mike Jones- Potus- I really wasn't planning on it

    Mike Jones- Aia Cooper-I am so sorry, please excuse him

    Mike Jones- There's an example of a brother just embarrassing me for no reason

  13. rikyrah says:

    I Hope Begich’s Ground Game Wins Out
    by BooMan
    Mon Oct 20th, 2014 at 05:11:38 PM EST

    I am going to have to more to say about Senator Mark Begich’s campaign when I have a little time to write, but I just want to note that I absolutely love the way they’ve gone about their ground game and I want them to be rewarded for it with a win on November 4th.

    Actually, though, if this strategy works, it’s most likely that it will look like he lost when the election returns come in on election night. It won’t be until after all the votes come in from remote islands and remote Arctic villages that Begich will move into the lead.

    I’m now more vested in this campaign than any other.

  14. rikyrah says:

    Texas’ Abbott balks at question on interracial marriage
    10/20/14 03:18 PM
    By Steve Benen

    The Wisconsin attorney general’s race was recently roiled by some unexpected comments: Republican Brad Schimel said “he would have reluctantly defended a ban on interracial marriage had he been attorney general in the 1950s.”

    It’s not that Schimel supports prohibition against interracial marriage, it’s just that he believes a state A.G. has to fight to uphold all state laws, whether the laws have merit or not. “It might be distasteful to me … but I’ve got to stay consistent with that,” he said. “As the state’s lawyer, it’s not my job to pick and choose.”

    Democrats blasted Schimel, though it appears the Republicans’ gubernatorial nominee in Texas missed the story entirely.
    Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott, who is vigorously defending Texas’ same-sex marriage ban in court, says he’s unsure whether he would have defended a similar prohibition on interracial marriage had he been in office 50 years ago.

    “Right now, if there was a ban on interracial marriage, that’s already been ruled unconstitutional,” Abbott told the San Antonio Express-News editorial board. ”And all I can do is deal with the issues that are before me … The job of an attorney general is to represent and defend in court the laws of their client, which is the state Legislature, unless and until a court strikes it down.”
    Political reporter Peggy Fikac, added, “When I said I wasn’t clear if he [Abbott] was saying he would have defended a ban on interracial marriage, he said, ‘Actually, the reason why you’re uncertain about it is because I didn’t answer the question. And I can’t go back and answer some hypothetical question like that.’”

  15. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone!

  16. rikyrah says:

    Greg Carr @AfricanaCarr

    #OscarPistorius sentence: 5 years,could do as few as 10 months, for killing somebody. Du Bois right again: “The color line belts the world.”
    Retweeted by PragmaticObotsUnite

    • Ametia says:

      Memo to women hanging out with murderer Oscar Pistorius:

      Don’t lock yourselves in bathrooms when he’s around.

      • eliihass says:

        Just watch Ametia, some of these women will be back flocking to him in no time, if they ever left. Money and celebrity can be intoxicating, and some women will do just about anything to be around it, killer or not.

  17. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

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