Sunday Open Thread

Good Morning. Hope you are enjoying this weekend with family and friends.


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103 Responses to Sunday Open Thread

  1. Ametia says:

    It’s a Market on a Bus

    Affordable. Convenient. Fresh.
    Twin Cities Mobile Market offers a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy products and staples like rice and dried beans. Thanks to our food supplier partners we will operate year round and offer as much local, in-season produce as possible.

    We bring healthy food options into neighborhoods in Saint Paul five days a week at 17 locations. We maintain a routine schedule so families can rely on Twin Cities Mobile Market for their weekly food shopping.

  2. rikyrah says:

    Opinion: Presto, Gov. Christie shifts blame for pension hole

    By Barry Chalofsky

    Magicians use misdirection to distract the audience from noticing the real trick. Likewise, politicians use misdirection to distract voters from the real issues.

    For months, Gov. Christie, a master of misdirection, has been telling the public that New Jersey public employees receive exorbitant pension benefits that are destroying the pension funds: “You cannot raise taxes enough in New Jersey to pay for the pension hole that’s been dug over the period of time that these exorbitant benefits that have been promised to people.” But a new study by New Jersey Policy Perspective disputes the governor’s use of the term “exorbitant.” According to the study, New Jersey’s public employee pensions are not exorbitant, at least not compared with other plans across the country.

    According to the NJPP, New Jersey’s pension plans rank 95th out of the 100 largest pension plans in the nation. “I think it’s crucial that we not be misguided by inflammatory statements that depict New Jersey’s retirement benefits in a light that is inaccurate,” said Gordon MacInnes, NJPP president, referring to Christie’s statements suggesting that New Jersey’s pension benefits are overly generous. “This is a very complicated issue. Facts matter.”

    The reality is that New Jersey’s public employees don’t benefit as much from their pensions as almost all other public employees around the country. “New Jersey public employees face a triple whammy that gives them among the worst pensions in the country: They contribute heavily to their own pensions, receive only modest pension increases with each additional year of service, and get no inflation protection at all in their benefits,” said Stephen Herzenberg, director of Keystone Research Group.

    Recently, the trustees of New Jersey’s pension funds filed a lawsuit against the governor for failing to pay his legally obligated full payment to the pension fund. Earlier in 2014, the governor claimed he couldn’t honor the FY 2014 pension payment due to a “fiscal emergency.” Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson agreed that the fiscal emergency precluded the governor from paying his committed payment only because the payment was delayed until the end of the year and there was not enough money in the budget.

    Now, all three of the trustee boards, the Public Employees’ Retirement System, the Police and Fire Retirement System and the Teachers’ Pension and Annuity Fund, have filed a suit to require the governor to pay the full share of the FY 2015 contribution of $2.5 billion.

    What’s important to note is that these boards are not composed of political opponents to the governor. The trustees, independent individuals who are responsible for overseeing the pension funds, are either elected by public employees or appointed by the governor. They serve without pay and are tasked with ensuring that the pension is run in a responsible manner. “The funding problems of the pension funds are, to quote the governor himself, the fault of prior administrations,” said the chairmen of the pension boards. “And now, by scrapping his own promises while demanding sacrifices from public workers, the governor has claimed this breach of faith as his and his alone. The governor’s sins of political expediency have now been visited on the active and retired employees and their families, who seek only the deferred compensation earned through a lifetime of loyal service.”

    • majiir says:

      It’s the “Christie Way” to lie about everything and blame others for his own failures. I remember that Christie lied on PBO and the officials at the Dept. of Education back in 2009 when NJ failed to get as many “Race to the Top” funds as he was expecting. When U.S. Educ. Dept. officials showed up in NJ to meet with NJ education officials, some of the information was missing. Educ. Dept. officials gave them time to find it, but they never did because they didn’t have it. Christie’s top education official eventually resigned because he disagreed with Christie’s plan to blame PBO and Dept. of Educ. officials for NJ’s failure to provide all necessary documents. He’s a liar, and he knows he’s a liar, but it doesn’t matter to him because he’s used his lies and bullying tactics successfully thus far. I’m glad to see someone at calling him out for his lies about the NJ pension system. What Christie plans to do is cut benefits even more and blame “greedy” public employees/retirees for his violating a bill he signed into law. The law was supposed to increase the amount the state paid into the fund, but when the NJ budget fell short, Christie unilaterally decided to void the law, and a NJ judge refused to hold him responsible for doing it. Dude is a real thug, but many on the right see him as a law-abiding citizen of the first order and condemn PBO for everything he does, even if it is within his constitutional power to do them.

    • Ametia says:

      this TUB OF LARD has got to go.

  3. rikyrah says:

    mofo, please

    PragmaticObotsUnite @PragObots

    “@GOPMommy: Remember back in the good old days pre-2008 when race relations were so much better than they are now? #blackbrunchnyc”

  4. rikyrah says:



    Texas Judge resigns after being caught texting instructions to prosecutors to help win convictions

    Texas district Judge Elizabeth E. Coker is stepping down from the bench after being caught engaging in a massive perversion of justice. A whistleblower revealed that Corker was sending text messages to prosecutors with suggestions on questions to ask in court in order to secure a conviction.

    from Houston Chronicle:

    State District Judge Elizabeth E. Coker—who sits on the bench over Trinity, Polk and San Jacinto counties—has resigned under fire in a texting controversy, according to a voluntary agreement with the State Commission on Judicial Conduct.

    It stems from complaints and media stories alleging that Coker “had engaged in improper ex parte text communications with Polk County Assistant District Attorney Kaycee Jones while Judge Coker presided” over a criminal trial in August of 2012.

    With those complaints, “the commission commenced an investigation into allegations that Judge Coker used Assistant District Attorney Jones to privately communicate information” about the case “to suggest questions for the prosecutor to ask during the trial” among other issues.

    The agreement also said the commission looked into other complaints that Coker allegedy engaged in other improper communications and meetings with Jones, other members of the Polk County prosecutor’s office, the San Jacinto County District Attorney and certain defense attorneys.

    The agreement goes on to say “the parties agree that the allegations of judicial misconduct, if found to be true, could result in disciplinary action against Judge Coker.” As a result, the parties sought to resolve the matter “without the time and expense of further disciplinary proceedings.”

    Coker did not admit any guilt or fault.

  5. Ametia says:

    check emails ladies, please! Thanks

  6. rikyrah says:

    Published on Dec 30, 2014
    Welcome to this special, year-end edition of West Wing Week. We know you all are busy with the holidays, so we’ll keep it short. We here at West Wing Week have a word we use to describe the funny bit we put at the end of each episode, and that word is: Sting. So, for the end of the year, we thought we’d string together a little entertaining compilation of stings, for those of you who might not have made it to the very end of every single episode. Enjoy, and see you next year

  7. rikyrah says:

    Pope Francis names 20 new cardinals, a majority of them from Africa, Asia and Latin America

    Pope names 20 cardinals, emphasising non-Europeans
    2 hours ago

    Vatican City (AFP) – Pope Francis on Sunday named 20 new cardinals, a majority of them from Africa, Asia and Latin America, increasingly key areas as the Roman Catholic Church’s support shifts from its traditional European stronghold.

    Fifteen of the new cardinals — considered “princes of the church” — are under the age of 80, meaning they are eligible to join the conclave which will elect the pope’s successor.

    In announcing the new voting cardinals, Pope Francis said they come “from 14 countries from every continent (and) manifest the indissoluble links between the Church of Rome” and churches around the world.

    The list of newly named cardinals includes three from Africa, five from Latin America as well as a combined total of five from Asia and the Pacific.

    With the naming of Bishop Soane Patita Paini Mafi of Tonga, he becomes the first cardinal from the Polynesian archipelago. At 53, he will also be the youngest.;_ylt=AwrBJR77kqlUQXoA.qTQtDMD

  8. rikyrah says:

    Boo-Ya: How Stuart Scott Taught ESPN That Black Culture Matters

    In a media world largely devoid of both African-American faces and, especially, African-American vernacular, Scott’s iconic catchphrases — “Boo-Yeah!”, “Cool as the other side of the pillow,” and “Can I get a witness?” chief among them — brought a style that had been absent from sports and media programming straight to ESPN’s most-watched program and, by virtue, to the living rooms of white and black families alike.

    Scott’s popularity, and the appeal of his brand of style, made him an icon for other aspiring African-American broadcasters who hadn’t seen anything like him on TV before.

    “He was a trailblazer not only because he was black — obviously black — but because of his style, his demeanor, his presentation,” ESPN anchor Stan Verrett, also black, told ABC News for Scott’s obituary. “He did not shy away from the fact that he was a black man, and that allowed the rest of us who came along to just be ourselves.”

    “Yes, he brought hip-hop into the conversation,” Jay Harris, another SportsCenter anchor who followed in Scott’s footsteps, said. “But I would go further than that. He brought in the barber shop, the church, R&B, soul music. Soul period.”

    He changed ESPN too. Scott’s style wasn’t immediately popular with ESPN’s audience or even its top brass. According to the ABC obituary, Scott and ESPN received regular hate mail over his “hip-hop style,” and at times, ESPN officials asked him to consider dialing it back. Scott refused, and over time that unwillingness to relent proved right.

    While ESPN has been criticized, sometimes rightfully, for cultivating the personalities of its “talent,” its embrace of Scott and a style that hadn’t been welcome on such big-time programming before helped it reach a demographic — young people in general but particularly black males who rarely see themselves and their culture or style represented in the sports media — that it hadn’t connected with before….

  9. rikyrah says:

    Downton Abbey tonight!!!

  10. My Josh says..

    R.I.P. Stuart Scott..he set the bar high for all sports don’t know ESPN if u don’t know him..‪#‎respect

  11. rikyrah says:

    G.O.P. Turns to the Courts to Aid Agenda
    By MICHAEL D. SHEAR JAN. 3, 2015

    WASHINGTON — As Republicans prepare to take full control of Congress on Tuesday, the party’s leaders are counting on judges, not their newly elected majority on Capitol Hill, to roll back President Obama’s aggressive second-term agenda and block his executive actions on health care, climate change and immigration.

    On health care, Republicans in Washington have sued the president and joined state lawsuits urging the Supreme Court to declare major parts of the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional. On climate change, state attorneys general and coal industry groups are urging federal courts to block the president’s plan to regulate power plants. And on immigration, conservative lawmakers and state officials have demanded that federal judges overturn Mr. Obama’s plan to prevent millions of deportations.

    Democrats say the legal moves reflect a convenient turnabout for the Republican Party and a newfound willingness to seek an active role for the judiciary when it benefits conservative policy goals.

  12. rikyrah says:

    water is wet news


    Racial Bias, Even When We Have Good Intentions
    JAN. 3, 2015

    Other studies have also examined race and employment. In a 2009 study, Devah Pager, Bruce Western and Bart Bonikowski, all now sociologists at Harvard, sent actual people to apply for low-wage jobs. They were given identical résumés and similar interview training. Their sobering finding was that African-American applicants with no criminal record were offered jobs at a rate as low as white applicants who had criminal records.

    These kinds of methods have been used in a variety of research, especially in the last 20 years. Here are just some of the general findings:

    ■ When doctors were shown patient histories and asked to make judgments about heart disease, they were much less likely to recommend cardiac catheterization (a helpful procedure) to black patients — even when their medical files were statistically identical to those of white patients.

    ■ When whites and blacks were sent to bargain for a used car, blacks were offered initial prices roughly $700 higher, and they received far smaller concessions.

    ■ Several studies found that sending emails with stereotypically black names in response to apartment-rental ads on Craigslist elicited fewer responses than sending ones with white names. A regularly repeated study by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development sent African-Americans and whites to look at apartments and found that African-Americans were shown fewer apartments to rent and houses for sale.

    ■ White state legislators were found to be less likely to respond to constituents with African-American names. This was true of legislators in both political parties.

    • Ametia says:

      Nothing to see here folk, move along!

    • vitaminlover says:

      One thing about doctors…the only reason I would truly go to one would be to fix a broken limb or something. In my opinion (it’s just my opinion) they can help with prescribing something or fixing something but most of them are so overworked and overwhelmed. It’s hard sometimes for people in the medical profession. I was going to be a physician until I realized what they go through to get there. Also,it is always good to get a second opinion. I am rambling…..

      • Ametia says:

        As a retired nurse, I can tell you that there are good and bad doctors and nurses. Some get into the field just to make $$. For the most part, their intentions are to help folks. Just like any other field, folks let GREED take over.

      • vitaminlover says:

        I also read that the average lifespan of a physician is 58 years! This shows me how stressful this profession is. Ametia, did you like being a nurse?

  13. rikyrah says:

    Mayor eulogizes officer as cops outside turn backs
    Jan. 4, 2015 11:44 AM EST

    NEW YORK (AP) — Thousands of city police officers turned their backs Sunday as they watched Mayor Bill de Blasio eulogize an officer shot dead with his partner, repeating a stinging display of scorn for the mayor despite entreaties from the police commissioner not to do so.

    The show of disrespect came outside the funeral home where Officer Wenjian Liu was remembered as an incarnation of the American dream: a man who had immigrated at age 12 and devoted himself to helping others in his adopted country. The gesture, among officers watching the mayor’s speech on a screen, added to tensions between the mayor and rank-and-file police even as he sought to quiet them.

    “As we start a new year, a year we’re entering with hearts that are doubly heavy” from the loss of Officer Liu and his partner, Officer Rafael Ramos, de Blasio said. “Let us rededicate ourselves to those great New York traditions of mutual understanding and living in harmony. Let us move forward by strengthening the bonds that unite us, and let us work together to attain peace.”

    Police convened from around the country to mourn Liu, who was killed Dec. 20. Officer Lucas Grant of the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office in Augusta, Georgia, said he came to Liu’s funeral with about six other officers from neighboring departments “to support our family.”

  14. rikyrah says:


    Oprah Prime – Celebrating Dr. King and the Selma Matches 50 years later.
    Tonight, 9pm EST on OWN
    Oprah’s Master Class- Stories from the Civil Rights Era from following:
    Dr. Maya Angelou, Cicely Tyson, Diahann Carroll, Lionel Richie, Berry Gordy and others
    Tonight, 10 PM EST on OWN

  15. rikyrah says:

    Brian Stelter ✔ @brianstelter
    Here is the 15-minute Stuart Scott obituary that was just shown on @ESPN:
    9:17 AM – 4 Jan 2015

  16. rikyrah says:

    obamacare: the single most important anti-smoking initiative

    by Desertflower
    Did you know that the Affordable Care Act may be the single most important anti-smoking initiative in the country?

    Of course not. That’s because Obamacare’s supposed friends, the Democrats, have been too craven to talk about its benefits, while its enemies, the Republicans, want only to depict it as a “disaster” without addressing its many provisions.

    “If the ACA’s tobacco-cessation provisions are fully implemented, they could turn out to be one of its greatest legacies.”

    – Tim McAfee, et al, New England Journal of Medicine

    But the New England Journal of Medicine in its latest issue sets the record straight. The authors, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the University of Wisconsin, point out that the poor uptake of smoking cessation programs has much to do with their expense and the only spotty coverage by health insurance plans. They say ACA makes this coverage mandatory, without co-pays, cost sharing, or the requirement that doctors get prior authorization from insurers before prescribing. (See accompanying graphic.)

    The anti-smoking initiative is just one of many provisions of the ACA that are little-known but likely to have a significant impact on Americans’ health. That underscores the fatuousness of much of the anti-Obamacare campaign. When Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., expresses glee at the prospect that the Supreme Court may yet “take down” the law because he doesn’t like anything that has President Obama’s name on it, these are the babies he’s willing to throw out with the bathwater.

    Under the ACA, the NEJM authors write, smoking cessation must be treated as one of the preventive services that private health plans are required to cover without cost-sharing or prior authorization.

    THIS INFURIATES ME!! Not this wonderful provision, but the glee at which people like McConnell and other Republicans hope that this signature and historic achievement for the American people, gets gutted! FOLLOW THE FUCKING MONEY….these RWNJ’s care nothing about people. they never did. Never will. They care about money and access and greed…and sucking every last breath from ordinary people just so they can have even MORE! Because to them, this is a win/lose game. If you win, THEY LOSE…and we can’t have that now, can we? Rather than we all want the best for ALL Americans, they don’t subscribe to this. Not even close.

  17. rikyrah says:

    The First Family arrives home after Christmas Vacation

    US President Obama and first family arrive at Joint Base Andrews Maryland after holiday vacation in Hawaii

    Obama arrives with his family via Marine One helicopter to the South Lawn of the White House

    FIrst Family Home from Christmas Vacation 2015-3

    FIrst Family Home from Christmas Vacation 2015-4

  18. They’re acting like a silly goose.

    Herman and Josh Rockets game

  19. rikyrah says:

    The First Couple leaves Hawaii, after completing their Christmas Vacation

    Barack Obama, Michelle Obama

    Barack Obama, Michelle Obama

    Barack Obama, Michelle Obama

    FIrst Family Home from Christmas Vacation 2015-8

  20. rikyrah says:

    this mofo can’t be serious:

    OVOJosh @OVOJoshFollow

    I don’t know who Paul McCartney is, but Kanye is going to give this man a career w/ this new song!!

    9:27 PM – 1 Jan 2015

  21. rikyrah says:

    say it with me, boys and girls…


    where is the dancing raccoon and every coon gif we have.


    Mia Love defends Scalise
    By Kevin Cirilli January 04, 2015, 10:40 am

    Rep.-elect Mia Love (R-Utah) on Sunday defended House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) and said he should remain in House leadership despite having spoken to a racist group in 2002.

    Love, who is the first African American Republican woman elected to the House, denounced the racist groups on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.”

    “I believe he should stay in leadership,” Love said.

  22. rikyrah says:

    Ron Flatter @ronflatter
    Story untold about @StuartScott: He let his checks pile up for his @ESPNRadio commentaries. When he was told, he had them sent to a charity.
    11:46 AM – 4 Jan 2015

  23. rikyrah says:

    Newark to participate in President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper program
    By Naomi Nix | NJ Advance Media for
    on January 03, 2015 at 7:00 AM, updated January 03, 2015 at 7:14 AM

    NEWARK — Newark will participate in the White House’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative which addresses the social-economic barriers facing minority boys, city officials confirmed.

    Earlier this year President Barack Obama announced the launch of “My Brother’s Keeper,” which brings private foundations and companies to support programs across the country aimed at helping young minority men develop grade-level reading skills, become prepared for college and careers among other goals.

    The city’s program will be directed by Rev. David Jefferson Jr., the son of David Jefferson Sr, pastor of Metropolitan Baptist Church in Newark, city officials confirmed.

    It’s unclear what the scope and funding of the program will be in Newark, but the goals will include preparing youth to attend school, community garden and beautification projects, youth summits and leadership retreats, the city said in a statement.

    …As part of the initiative, the city is planning to host a forum on Tuesday about men of color and law enforcement which will feature Jackson Jr., Newark mayor Ras Baraka, police director Eugene Venable, YouthBuild Executive Director Rob Clark, Ebony Magazine writer Keith Reed and New Yorker Magazine writer Jelani Cobb, the city said in a statement.

  24. rikyrah says:

    Ok, I’m back from shoveling and salting – the first snow of the winter. And because I live on a Main Street, of course, just as I was ending, here comes Streets and Sanitation, shoveling snow onto my driveway. Oh well.

  25. rikyrah says:

    I don’t watch as much ESPN as I did when Mama was alive, and I know this news would have broken her heart, because she loved him. Thought he was ‘just a cutiepie’.

  26. rikyrah says:

    Sally Goldenberg @SallyGold
    “Today is the saddest day in my life. My only son left me,” said #OfficerLiu mother, who then thanks @BarackObama @BilldeBlasio and others

  27. rikyrah says:

    lawhawk @lawhawk
    Without irony, Gov Christie now embraces cross-Hudson capacity increase via Gateway, years after canceling ARC tunnel

  28. rikyrah says:

    βąɓų Ģįŗɭ ❤ @num1_fan
    If the Ferguson protesters displayed this type of behavior the NYPD would claim they’re anti-police. NYPD is anti-#BlackLivesMatter.
    Retweeted by PragmaticObotsUnite

  29. rikyrah says:

    rootless @root_e
    Dear #NYPD: Really, nobody cares if you quit the job.

  30. rikyrah says:

    Delonte @mettawordlife83
    @CNN tries to cover for #NYPD by saying it wasn’t a majority turning their backs on the mayor. But ALL protestors are rioters/looters right?

  31. Mayor @deBlasioNYC is probably the first white man to state publicly on “the talk” he had with his son that black people across America have everyday with their young black boys when it comes to the police.

  32. My boys hanging out at the Rockets game.

    Herman and Josh Rockets game.

    • Liza says:

      What a great kid. He deserves so much better than the obstacles he is somehow supposed to overcome. Nice of PBO to offer encouragement, sounds as though that will make a difference for this kid.

  33. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

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