Monday Open Thread | Holiday Spirit

holiday candle 10Sleigh Ride” is a popular light orchestral piece composed by Leroy Anderson. The composer had the original idea for the piece during a heat wave in July 1946; he finished the work in February 1948. Lyrics, about a person who would like to ride in a sleigh on a winter’s day with another person, were written by Mitchell Parish in 1950. The orchestral version was first recorded in 1949 by Arthur Fiedler and The Boston Pops Orchestra. The song was a hit record on RCA Victor Red Seal 49-0515 (45 rpm) / 10-1484 (78 rpm), and has become the equivalent of a signature song for the orchestra. The 45 rpm version was originally issued on red vinyl. This original mono version has never been available on CD, although the later 1959 re-recording is available in stereo. The orchestra has also recorded the song with John Williams, their conductor from 1979 to 1995, and Keith Lockhart, their current conductor.

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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47 Responses to Monday Open Thread | Holiday Spirit

  1. rikyrah says:

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  2. rikyrah says:

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  3. rikyrah says:

    GrooveSDC @GrooveSDC
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    You don’t know hate until someone dismisses your outrage not only over the death of unarmed Black men but their killers going unpunished.

    GrooveSDC @GrooveSDC
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    Not only do they deny you justice. But they mock your outrage. That’s pure hatred right there. That’s what my community faces.
    1:23 PM – 15 Dec 2014 Bakersfield, CA, United States

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  4. rikyrah says:

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  5. rikyrah says:

    Propane Jane @docrocktex26
    That awkward moment when a military trained assassin proves that the 2009 DHS report re: loan wolves was spot on. http://abcnews.go.com/US/dead-montgomery-county-pennsylvania-shootings-sources/story?id=27606093

    Propane Jane @docrocktex26
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    I swear if they apprehend this fugitive shooter alive, I don’t wanna hear one more fucking peep from the lethal force was required crowd.
    2:26 PM – 15 Dec 2014

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  6. rikyrah says:

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  7. rikyrah says:

    Part of Ride-or-Die Joe’s Speech on Domestic Violence

    … Look, let me just say it straight: violence against women is a stain on the moral character of a society, in any society in which it occurs. It’s an obligation of all societies, particularly the men in society, to stand up and do all in their power eradicate that stain. And it is a stain on the conscience of a country. This is an issue, that has been made repeatedly tonight, of basic human rights.

    My dad said it differently. He said, ‘Everyone is entitled to be treated with dignity.’ That was my dad’s favorite word, the one we heard most often. We should be attacking this virus, this stain, with a profound sense of urgency. Urgency. For as I speak, there are thousands of women around the world being brutalized. Mutilated. Killed at the hands of those who allegedly love them and care about them…

    This notion that women are chattels is a central part of our culture, inherited from our Anglo-Saxon ancestry, but also in many other cultures, and our law. I asked my staff, when I started to write the law, two men and four brilliant women, one of whom is here today, and went on to be a distinguished professor of law for ten or twelve years, I asked her to come back and be my council. And I asked them to go out and do a survey of the laws on the books in the states to determine where and whether or not, this implicit bias that somehow it’s the woman’s fault, somehow it’s a man’s right, are written in the laws.

    They wrote a paper, and I’m happy to send it to any of you who are interested, because you may be. It’s over 23 years old. We listed in almost every state in the nation, the application of law was different. In the State of Delaware, my home state, if you consented to go out with me, if you were a voluntary partner, no matter what I did to you, no matter how brutally I raped you, I could not be convicted of first-degree rape. If I jumped out of an alley and brutally raped you, I could be convicted of first-degree rape.

    Think of the premise: you must have done something. You must have somehow, inexplicably consented somehow, to something. I could not be convicted of first-degree rape…

    And indeed, when I began to draft the Violence Against Women legislation, the reason why it didn’t work out at first, I physically drafted it myself, because no one wanted to be part of it. There are a lot of you out there who are working like the devil to do something, but getting nowhere. Because of the incredibly talented staff I had, we put together the Violence Against Women Act. And when we did, our opponents said that what Biden was doing – I could give you all the quotes – was ‘undermining the solidarity of the family.’ Seriously. That it would impact on the cohesion, bring about the disintegration of the American family. When we championed, and [they] now exist, women’s shelters, and housing, and transitional housing, they were characterized ‘as indoctrination centers for runaway wives.’ This is 1989. 1990. 1991. 1992.

    Senator Birch Bayh, you may remember from Indiana, back in the early ‘80s introduced in the Judiciary Committee, and got a law passed saying that a man, a husband, could be convicted for raping his wife. In the markup of that bill, the deceased Senator from Alabama said on the record in frustration, ‘My young friend just doesn’t understand, sometimes a man has to use force with his wife.’ On the record.

    Even some in this audience did not support the Violence Against Women Act in the beginning, to tell the truth. No women’s organization stepped forward and supported it, until Ellie Smeal spoke about it. It was characterized as ‘this is just a fad on Biden’s part.’ That was the phrase used. Others said that it was important, but did not deserve the national response….

    I’ve now traveled a million miles as Vice President, and so many more as chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee. And those of you who are involved know there’s not a country I go in I do not raise this issue. Not a single country I go in. But I’m told: it’s a family affair, or you don’t understand our culture, you don’t understand our religious practices, you don’t understand we’re different. You have no right to trespass on our culture. Let me make something absolutely clear to everyone here: there is NEVER, never, a religious, a cultural, a societal, justification for inhumanity. Period. Never. Never. And don’t be intimidated when you are told that you don’t understand our culture. You’re right, I don’t understand it. They’re wrong. They’re simply wrong…

    Full speech here:

    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2014/12/bidens-speech-on-combatting-domestic-violence.html

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  8. rikyrah says:

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  9. rikyrah says:

    CNN Politics ✔ @CNNPolitics
    President Obama applauds Senate for confirming Murthy as Surgeon General, stresses his focus on Ebola fight pic.twitter.com/H8rZ4hQ5dH

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  10. rikyrah says:

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  11. rikyrah says:

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  12. rikyrah says:

    Jeff Gauvin @JeffersonObama
    Follow
    Russian economy is spiraling down. 17% key rate.., 40% stockmarket collapse. Ruble collapse…Putin owned Obama.

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  13. rikyrah says:

    “To Protect You… From Me.”
    ByJosh Marshall
    PublishedDecember 15, 2014, 5:10 PM EST

         

    A sobering, intense email from TPM Reader AJ …

    Josh…

    As one 70 year old Black man who was born and raised in “segregated America” and raised my son in the new and improved “post-racial” America, please let me help you out.

    You wrote…

    “What interests me about these confrontation is this: I think people who are part of or sympathetic to the movement tied to Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice and others sometimes miss just what deep wells of support and trust police have in the population. Police officers are consistently among the most trusted professions in the country, as attested in numerous public opinion surveys. That said, respect and trust and deference to police is heavily tied to public perceptions of the threats they protect us from. And as we’ve discussed, crime rates have been falling rapidly for two decades. “

    We supporters don’t “miss” the “deep wells of support and trust” police have in the majority population. They have always had such support and trust. It just doesn’t matter here. What you seem to miss is that the reason that such support and trust exists is due to the fact that what they are protecting the majority population from, in the minds of far too many in that population, is us! From the Slave patrollers to the rural sheriffs, to the modern police forces, the threat perceived most vividly by the population they “protect and serve” is that of the (violent) black person. Even a cursory look at the history and culture of this nation will reveal that in popular culture for many decades the majority culture was told to be scared of people of color. The result of this villainization of Black, Brown, Red and Yellow skin is a populace that believes, at least subconsciously, that any stranger with a dark skin is a potential threat. Thus the differing rates of charging and conviction between white and minority populations. It is that perception that drives a lot of the injustice minorities complain about.

    I worked for over 30 years in the legal system of this country as an “officer of the court”. I have seen the disparity in criminal charges and sentencing up close and personal. I have seen the biased perceptions of our police result in imprisonment, beatings, mistreatment and yes, even death. But it is not only the overt physical violence that minorities are subjected to, it is the presumption of guilt that we confront on a daily basis. It is the cop who pulls you over for a “routine” check because to him or her you look suspicious. It is the clerk who keeps a close eye on you when you step into the shop, because “you know those people steal”. It is the assumption that you will never be able to repay the loan you apply for, or afford the car you walk in to look at. It is the surprise you see in the eyes of someone who has just been told you are a judge, not a bailiff. It is the fear you see in the eyes of an elderly White person who you pass on the street in the twilight hours.

    I could regale you with many stories, experiences and scenarios that I, my family and friends have experienced. Not episodes of racism or racist acts in the common understanding of the terms, but just folks reacting based on unfamiliarity, lack of knowledge and cultural stereotypes. But the bottom line is that this reaction is a widely shared one in the majority population. And it can be deadly. They want their police to protect them from the black person in the mugshot on the front page of the news paper. They don’t question his or her guilt. And they don’t question whatever actions the police take to apprehend them. And they don’t question whether I am any different.

    But listen to the defenders of the police in these latest cases… do you really want to live in the world they are promoting? One where you must immediately acquiesce to any request/order give by anyone in a uniform, without question or complaint… under penalty of death if you don’t comply, or comply too slowly for them? Do you really mean to give people in uniform the power to kill, maim, imprison any person simply because they questioned why they were being confronted or resisted rough treatment? Is the uniformed officers word to be deemed absolute, without recourse… and his/her power to punish to be deemed limitless?

    I can tell you from experience that police officers are just like everybody else – they are not all the benevolent guardians of small children, grannies and fluffy puppies. They do over use their authority, they do have bad days and they do lie, cheat and steal. But just as importantly, they do mostly try to do what they are asked to do. And what they are too often asked to do is… to protect you… from me.

    Not from the educated, lawyer/judge me, or the granddad me, or the mentor teacher me… but from the Black menace me. The problem is that for too many of our citizens and our police they are one in the same!

    So, we don’t miss the support and trust police have in the majority population… t’was always thus… we just don’t care to let that support and trust kill more of our sons and daughters. We are tired of letting their subjective “fears” be reason enough to make us bury another child.

    The injustices being protested in this instance do not stand in isolation, apart from the larger fabric of this society. They are woven into the warp and weave of it’s fabric. From the movie houses to the churches to the neighborhoods, to the schools, to the Whitehouse and Congress. And to the courtrooms and prisons. Unfortunately Black people can’t change how White people perceive them. That is something they must do. But, we can fight to change how we are treated… and that is something we must do.

    Stay well…

    AJ

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/to-protect-you-from-me

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  14. rikyrah says:

    DOES SHONDA LOVE US ENOUGH FOR THIS?

    ……..

    How to Get Away With Murder Books Cicely Tyson for Mystery Role

    Earlier this year, she took The Trip to Bountiful. In early 2015, Cicley Tyson will pay a visit to Murder-ville.

    The Emmy-winning and Oscar-nominated actress will guest star on an upcoming episode of ABC’s Thursday night hit How to Get Away With Murder, TVLine has learned.

    As of now, Tyson is only booked for one episode — and the network remained tight-lipped regarding details about her character. (Could she be the mother of Viola Davis’ hard-charging defense attorney Annalise Keating? We can but hope!)

    Tyson’s casting is yet another high-caliber get for the freshman drama. Last month, TVLine reported that Oscar winner Marcia Gay Hardern will board the series in a recurring role when it returns from its winter break.

    How to Get Away With Murder returns Thursday, January 29 with the last six episodes of its Season 1 run.

    https://tvline.com/2014/12/15/how-to-get-away-with-murder-htgawm-cast-cicely-tyson/#

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  15. rikyrah says:

    Nik @harlemchik

    some of these ferguson protestors really think NYC hasn’t been marching against brutality for years

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  16. rikyrah says:

    GEEZY @GRYKING

    .@GovJayNixon is a racist. Bob McCullogh is a racist. @clairecmc doesn’t give a fuck. Handle your bizness, Ferguson Celebrities.

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  17. rikyrah says:

    he is SEVENTEEN

    she is THIRTY-TWO

    Ummmmm

    …………….

    Report: NC Teen’s Relationship With White, Crack-Addict Girlfriend May Have Led to Hanging

    There are many questions surrounding the death of 17-year-old Lennon Lacy, but his family and friends tell reporters that the 32-year-old woman he was seeing may know what happened.

    By: Stephen A. Crockett Jr.

    Posted: Dec. 15 2014 3:11 PM

    http://www.theroot.com/articles/culture/2014/12/lennon_lacy_s_family_believes_teen_s_relationship_with_32_year_old_white.html?wpisrc=burger?wpisrc=mostpopular

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  18. rikyrah says:

    Portrait of a Black Servant in Eastern Europe

    Image of the Week: In accounts of the history of Africans in Europe, it is mostly the Western regions that receive the most attention. But an engraving hints at how the Diaspora also spread to the East during the Age of Enlightenment.

    By: Image of the Black Archive & Library

    Posted: Dec. 2 2014 3:00 AM

    http://www.theroot.com/articles/history/2014/12/blacks_in_western_art_portrait_of_a_black_servant_in_eastern_europe.html

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  19. rikyrah says:

    Top Five Might Be Chris Rock’s Best Film Ever

    The new film has everything we ever loved about the comedian and more.
    By: The Shadow League

    Posted: Dec. 9 2014 2:30 AM

    What does it look like when you finally accomplish a thing that is more indicative of the total sum of your talents than anything you have done before in your life? For Chris Rock, it would look something like his new film, Top Five, which he stars in, directs and co-wrote along with Scott Rudin.

    Just as life often affords us multiple opportunities to right wrongs, Rock has afforded himself the opportunity to direct, write and star in a comedy that might be a hit. Though he has attempted to do so in the past with such offerings as I Think I Love My Wife and Head of State, we believe Top Five, which opens Friday, is the most quintessentially Chris Rock film of all time. Yes, we’re aware that’s saying a lot, but perhaps that hyperbole will give you some sort of an idea as to the content, scope and comic sensibilities of the movie.

    Featuring an all-star class of elite black comedians, the likes of whom have not been seen since Eddie Murphy’s Boomerang and Harlem Nights, Top Five stars Rock, JB Smoove, Tracy Morgan, Michael Che, Cedric the Entertainer, Kevin Hart, Sherri Shepherd, Gabrielle Union, Leslie Jones and Rosario Dawson. This modern comedy is smart, funny, full of wit and delicious ribaldry.

    Rock plays a standup comic named Andre Allen who made it big by portraying a man in a bear suit named Hammy, but now he wishes to move beyond that character and try to make a name for himself in dramatic roles. But things aren’t going so well because the media and his fans simply won’t take his career shift seriously and insist that he play a character he’s grown tired of.

    Rock portrays Allen as intelligent, thoughtful, introspective and vulnerable to his addictions. In fact, he is a recovering alcoholic who has been sober for five years when the movie begins. At a press conference last month in New York City featuring the film’s stars, Union spoke of her own addictions.

    http://www.theroot.com/articles/culture/2014/12/_top_five_might_be_chris_rock_s_best_film_ever.html

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  20. rikyrah says:

    VH1 Announces the Premiere of Sorority Sisters

    I see a lot of hate watching in this show’s future.

    By: Yesha Callahan

    Posted: Dec. 12 2014 12:46 PM

    A petition couldn’t stop them. Angry members of the Divine 9 couldn’t stop them. So it looks as if VH1’s Sorority Sisters will either have people hating the new show, which premieres Dec. 15, or loving it. Or maybe hate-loving it.

    Sorority Sisters, from VH1 and Mona Scott (the mastermind behind the Love & Hip Hop franchise), roused the ire of thousands when the announcement was made that it was in development. So much so, a petition was created to have the show stopped. Even with more than 46,000 signatures, however, the petition apparently fell on deaf ears.

    Sorority Sisters highlights the lives of a several Atlanta women who attended HBCUs and pledged various black sororities. What do you expect from VH1 and Scott? They weren’t scouring the campuses of, let’s say, UMass looking for a bunch of white women who pledged. HBCU plus black women apparently equals must-see, drama-filled reality TV.

    http://www.theroot.com/blogs/the_grapevine/2014/12/vh1_announces_the_premiere_of_sorority_sisters.html

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  21. rikyrah says:

    The Least Celebrated, but Most Successful, Colleges for Graduating Low-Income Black Students

    We name 23 schools that have shown great success at graduating more than 50 percent of their black students without a lot of fanfare or high-priced tuitions.

    By: Ivory A. Toldson, Ph.D.

    Posted: Dec. 15 2014 3:00 AM

    Analyses that evaluate the success of HBCUs by observing their six-year graduation rates often miss the mark. On the surface, graduation rates tell us little about a college’s or university’s ability to educate a racially and economically diverse student body.

    HBCUs have garnered well-deserved praise for successfully educating a cross section of black students; however, they are often chided for having low graduation rates. The average graduation rate for students across all HBCUs is 42 percent, slightly above the graduation rate for black students at all institutions, but less than half the rate of the predominately white institutions that have the highest graduation rates for black students.

    Institutions like Spelman College, Howard University and Hampton University are often touted as model HBCUs because their graduation rates exceed 60 percent. However, each of these institutions also reject applicants at a higher rate; have tuition and fees that exceed $20,000, more than twice the HBCU average of $9,701; and have less than 50 percent of their freshman classes eligible for the federal Pell grant. Only students from families with economic need are eligible for the Pell grant; however, the colleges and universities that serve Pell-eligible students best are rarely portrayed as having model programs.

    ………..

    This is the list of the 23 schools, of more than 2,100 evaluated, that fit my criteria. I call them the 50-50 club for serving more than 50 percent Pell-eligible students and graduating more than 50 percent of their black students:

    Institution, State: (Black Undergraduate Population): Percent Black

    * Talladega College, Ala.*: (867): 85 percent
    * Agnes Scott College, Ga.: (309): 32 percent
    * Apex School of Theology, N.C.: (609): 81 percent
    * University of California-Riverside, Calif.: (1,170): 5 percent
    * University of California-Santa Cruz, Calif.: (335): 2 percent
    * William Carey University, Miss.: (1,025): 30 percent
    * Adventist University of Health Sciences, Fla.: (530): 17 percent
    * Georgia State University, Ga.: (11,343): 35 percent
    * Shorter University-College of Adult & Professional Programs, Ga.: (1,077): 66 percent
    * William Peace University, N.C.: (358): 36 percent
    * Berea College, Ky.: (250): 14 percent
    * Bethune-Cookman University, Fla.*: (3,071): 78 percent
    * Morehouse College, Ga.*: (2,411): 96 percent
    * University of California-Merced, Calif.: (372): 6 percent
    * CUNY Hunter College, N.Y.: (2,273): 11 percent
    * Johnson & Wales University-North Miami, Fla.: (531): 24 percent
    * Fisk University, Tenn.*: (513): 84 percent
    * CUNY Brooklyn College, N.Y.: (4,295): 25 percent
    * Tougaloo College, Miss.*: (1,026): 97 percent
    * Union Institute & University, Ohio: (399): 22 percent
    * Everglades University, Fla.: (256): 16 percent
    * Saint Peter’s University, N.J.: (612): 21 percent
    * Bluefield College, Va.: (254): 23 percent

    * after state name denotes an HBCU

    http://www.theroot.com/articles/culture/2014/12/the_most_successful_colleges_for_graduating_low_income_black_students.html

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  22. rikyrah says:

    Ohio Requires Religious Partner For School Mentoring Program Funds

    ByCaitlin MacNeal
    PublishedDecember 15, 2014, 1:46 PM EST

    Under a new Ohio law, Gov. John Kasich (R) will require schools to partner with a religious group in order to receive state funding for mentoring programs.

    The state legislature passed a measure that would direct $10 million in casino revenue toward a mentorship program. The original language did not require schools to work with religious organizations, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

    But now the state requires schools to work with both a faith-based group and a nonprofit set up by a business in order to receive funding.

    Buddy Harris, a senior police analyst for the Ohio Department of Education, told the audience at a Thursday information session about the requirement.

    “The faith-based organization is clearly at the heart of the vision of the governor,” he said after the session, according to the Plain Dealer.

    “We do not forsee any proseletyzing happening between mentors and students,” Harris added. “That’s not really what we’re seeking.”

    The program was always meant to include religious groups, but their participation was not originally required in order for schools to qualify for the funding.

    “Eligible school districts shall partner with members of the business community, civic organizations, or the faith-based community to provide sustainable career advising and mentoring services,” the original law reads.

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/ohio-mentoring-program-religious-groups

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  23. rikyrah says:

    How Brownback Is Relying On O-Care To Close Kansas’ Huge Budget Hole

    ByDylan Scott
    PublishedDecember 15, 2014, 6:00 AM EST

    Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (R) is calling all hands on deck to fix his state’s huge self-imposed budget crisis, which nearly cost him re-election this year, and the staunch conservative is now receiving an assist from an unlikely source: Obamacare.

    The state’s well-documented budget troubles came after Brownback’s dramatic reductions in taxes since taking office in 2011. With its revenue drying up and cash reserves depleted, Kansas is staring at a $280 million hole in its $6.4 billion FY 2015 budget, which ends in June.

    Brownback offered his proposal for closing that hole last week, a mixture of spending cuts and transferring funds from other parts of the budget to fill it. And second biggest of those transfers is $55 million in revenue from a Medicaid drug rebate program that was bolstered under the Affordable Care Act.

    The short version then is this: Obamacare is helping Kansas address its fiscal crisis — even if Brownback’s administration seems loath to admit it.

    “In the simple version, it would be like with your own bank account, you are transferring money from your savings account to your checking account,” Duane Goossen, former Republican state legislator and state budget director who now blogs independently, told TPM in a phone interview on Friday.

    The Kansas Health Institute first outlined what was happening in a story last week. They noted that Kansas Budget Director Shawn Sullivan didn’t credit the federal law when explaining why the state would be able to use that money to close the gap.

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/kansas-budget-hole-brownback-obamacare

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  24. rikyrah says:

    TIME.com ✔ @TIME

    Lupita Nyong’o and David Oyelowo will star in film adaptation of “Americanah” http://ti.me/16ovEP6

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  25. rikyrah says:

    Tyler Perry opens up on being a new dad, reveals baby’s name

    by Chris Witherspoon | December 15, 2014 at 2:04 PM

    Tyler Perry was all smiles as he walked the red carpet Sunday night for the premiere of the Martin Luther King Jr. inspired film, Selma.

    The Madea director has a reason to celebrate, as he recently became a father for the first time.

    The actor and director, 45, and his longtime girlfriend, model and activist Gelila Bekele, welcomed their first child in late November.

    Perry opened up about fatherhood in an interview with theGrio.com.

    “I wish I could say that I’m up all night, but [Gelila] is doing alot of work,” Perry said. “She’s a great mother who just wants to be there for the baby. We have no nannies, we have no help. She wants to do it all. So we’re doing it all. I’m getting a little sleep, but she’s not getting any.”

    Perry later revealed that his son’s name is Aman.

    http://thegrio.com/2014/12/15/tyler-perry-son/

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  26. rikyrah says:

    Questlove is right, hip-hop is too silent on Ferguson and Garner
    by Demetria Irwin | December 4, 2014 at 4:11 PM

    in the wake of numerous well-publicized incidents of black men dying at the hands of police officers, one would think that hip hop artists would be at the forefront of creative and activist endeavors in response to those tragic events.

    After all, hip hop brought the world passionate and justifiably angry protest tracks such as Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power” and NWA’s “F*ck tha Police.” A couple rappers have released songs directly related to these killings. J. Cole’s “Be Free” is an emotional ode to Michael Brown and all of the Michael Browns of the world. The track even includes quotes from Dorian Wilson, Brown’s friend and also witness to his death. J. Cole has also been at numerous protests regarding Brown.

    Kendrick Lamar’s “i” is not explicitly about the recent volatile situations in the news, but the lyrics and tone of the danceable track are very much in line with the sentiment of the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag that appeared in social media after Darren Wilson was not indicted for the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. It’s a song about loving yourself and each other and understanding that all of us matter.

    http://thegrio.com/2014/12/04/questlove-hip-hop-protest-song/

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  27. rikyrah says:

    Listening to Rev. Al. He’s like, for all the talk of him and others being ‘too old’, how come White Progressives aren’t calling Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders too old? How come it’s only the Black folks that are suddenly ‘ too old’ to lead?

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  28. rikyrah says:

    itgurl @itgurl_29

    So, so sad. RIP Titi Branch, co-founder of Miss Jessie’s natural hair care line, dead at 45 http://wapo.st/12SRF6A

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  29. rikyrah says:

    Another domino falls: Medicaid expansion advances in Tennessee

    By Steve Benen
    12/15/14 12:02PM

    The more red-state governors embrace Medicaid expansion through the Affordable Care Act, the harder it is for the dead-enders to rationalize their obstinacy.

    Take Tennessee, for example, where the Commercial Appeal in Memphis reports this morning on another step forward for the policy.

    Gov. Bill Haslam plans to introduce his Insure Tennessee plan, an alternative to expanding the state’s Medicaid program, at a special session of the legislature in January.

    Monday, the governor’s administration described a two-year pilot program that “rewards healthy behaviors, prepares members to transition to private coverage, promotes personal responsibility and incentivizes choosing preventative and routine care instead of unnecessary use of emergency rooms.”

    Haslam, who recently took over as the chair of the Republican Governors Association, will reportedly call a special session of Tennessee’s legislature to consider the package he’s worked out with the Obama administration

    http://www.msnbc.com/maddowblog

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  30. rikyrah says:

    Agence France-Presse ✔ @AFP
    Follow
    #BREAKING: Russian ruble falls by 8% in one day, trading at over 63 to the dollar
    10:16 AM – 15 Dec 2014

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  31. rikyrah says:

    Congratulations to Zoe Saldana! The Guardians of the Galaxy star has just given birth to twins.

    The two bouncing baby boy bundles are just the first in what Saldana hopes will be a big family. When asked about her plans for family, she said she wanted “two or three” kids but then added, “Or four or five! I don’t care. They’re just so delicious. I love the anxiety, the pressure of the loud room full of yapping kids. But I’m a kid myself. I get along very well with animals and children. I dig them. I get them. They make perfect sense to me. A child speaks more sense than an adult half of the time.”

    http://thegrio.com/2014/12/13/zoe-saldana-welcomes-twins/

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  32. rikyrah says:

    Sunday, December 14, 2014
    Last Call For Uber Uber Alles
    Posted by Zandar

    Ride share bad boy Uber is flipping the country’s taxi services upside down, proving that when you combine the ambush tactics of the Tea Party right and the pitiless analysis of Silicon Valley’s left, there’s very few local and state legislatures and regulators you can’t curbstomp.

    On a Thursday in June, bureaucrats from Virginia’s Department of Motor Vehicles made their move against Uber Technologies. The fast-growing ride-for-hire company was told that its popular service was, in fact, illegal and that the firm needed to immediately cease all operations in the state.

    Far from being intimidated, Uber was ready to fight back. The company immediately called on one of its most potent weapons: its ­ever-growing list of smartphone-wielding customers. A notice sent to Uber users in Virginia included the e-mail address and phone number of the ordinarily low-profile official in charge of the decision. The notice instructed the company’s supporters to demand that the DMV “stand up for you.”

    Hundreds of them did and, by Sunday, Commissioner Richard Holcomb’s inbox was flooded. Holcomb did his best to respond — working through the weekend, even crafting e-mails to irate Uber customers as he lay in bed at home.

    The poor guy never had a chance.

    …….

    Uber’s approach is brash and, so far, highly effective: It launches in local markets regardless of existing laws or regulations. It aims to build a large customer base as quickly as possible. When challenged, Uber rallies its users to pressure government officials, while unleashing its well-connected lobbyists to influence lawmakers.

    Why bother with lobbyist organizations like ALEC when you can cut out the middleman, aggressively leverage the internet and your own customers, and crush any and all regulatory opposition? Just roll through and take over before anyone can react. Yes, the article does point out that Uber has screwed up so far on more than a few occasions, and maybe people are starting to wise up to what’s going on.

    http://zandarvts.blogspot.com/2014/12/last-call-for-uber-uber-alles.html

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  33. rikyrah says:

    Sunday, December 14, 2014
    Cruz Uncontrolled Con’t
    Posted by Zandar

    So Sen. Ted Cruz’s plan to force the Senate to stay through the weekend and vote on every single nomination the Dems wanted in order to pass this year’s spending bill to stop a shutdown was a disaster.

    For Ted Cruz.

    Democrats called his bluff

    While Republican senators were fuming at Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) for holding up a $1.1 trillion spending bill aimed at preventing a government shutdown, Democrats saw a silver lining: the move by Cruz and Lee gave Democrats an opening to move a number of President Barack Obama’s nominees for federal judgeships and the executive branch.

    What happened was that when Cruz and Lee scuttled a deal between Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) that would have allowed lawmakers to leave Washington D.C. for the weekend and come back Monday they gave Democrats a chance to advance Obama’s presidential appointees by having to stay in D.C. to deal with the spending bill.

    The extra time over the weekend gave Reid the opportunity to, through the Senate’s executive session, file cloture on the nominations and move them sooner than they would have under the deal Reid and McConnell had planned on and that Cruz and Lee blocked. Under the original deal Reid would have had to schedule votes on the nominees later in the upcoming week, when Democrats may not have wanted to stick around to vote.

    “It allows us to speed up the time when we could get going on these noms, rather than waiting until next week,” a top Senate Democratic aide told TPM on Saturday evening. “It gets harder to get them all done when you’re running up on the end of the Congress.”

    http://zandarvts.blogspot.com/2014/12/cruz-uncontrolled-cont.html

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  34. rikyrah says:

    Oprah lets loose on Ferguson and Eric Garner: ‘People are awake’

    Oprah Winfrey is speaking out about the untimely deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown and other black men who were killed by police.

    Oprah joined her castmates for the New York City premiere of the Martin Luther King Jr. inspired film, Selma.

    “Even if we didn’t know about a Ferguson, or an Eric Garner or a Michael Brown … they were going on,” Oprah told theGrio.com. “The fact that they may have now become newsworthy or made national or international news doesn’t mean there haven’t been nameless Michael Browns or Eric Garners before.”

    “My feeling is everything is always happening exactly as it should and on time. There’s no coincidence that this is happening now, but because it’s happening now, people are paying more attention.”

    http://thegrio.com/2014/12/14/oprah-ferguson-eric-garner-protests/

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    • Liza says:

      “My feeling is everything is always happening exactly as it should and on time. There’s no coincidence that this is happening now, but because it’s happening now, people are paying more attention.”

      Well, make no mistake, Ms. Winfrey’s support is welcome. She commands a huge audience. I know that a lot of folks think this way, that things happen when they should happen and so forth. But IMHO, too many black lives have been stolen in so many ways from outright murder, outrageously harsh punishment in the criminal justice system, wrongful conviction of the innocent, and the murder, excessive punishment, and harsh treatment of black children.

      So, whether or not all of this is right on time is debatable. But it is finally happening, and that’s good. Young folks need to be watchful and aware and engaged in the 21st century. It is, after all, their world now.

      Like

  35. rikyrah says:

    Forced To Seat Blacks, Ala. Restaurant Complied With History

    December 13, 2014 9:42 AM ET
    Andrew Yeager

    “Most people going to say the heart of the matter was the rights of black people,” he says. “The real heart of the matter was, now wait a minute, the federal government can’t come in and tell us what to do. We’re a local business.”

    http://www.npr.org/2014/12/13/370470745/forced-to-seat-blacks-ala-restaurant-complied-with-history

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  36. rikyrah says:

    Liked by 1 person

  37. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

    Like

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