Friday Open Thread | Black Child Prodigies Week |Maya Penn

Happy Friday, Everyone! Hope you’re enjoying the weekend with family and friends.

Today, we give you Ms. Maya Penn.




Maya Penn’s small business-success story has appeared in Forbes, Black Enterprise, Ebony, Huffington Post, Rebook and Atlanta’s Fox 5 News. Now 12 years old, she started out crafting ribbon headbands for family friends at age 8. Though she works on the business just part time, Maya’s ideas are on track to bring in about $55,000 in sales this year. She also vows to give away 10 percent of her profits to Atlanta-area charities. Penn, whose company is profitable, has donated $4,000 along with many volunteer hours. source: – See more here.




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52 Responses to Friday Open Thread | Black Child Prodigies Week |Maya Penn

  1. rikyrah says:

    Your Head Might Explode When You Watch the Trailer for the ‘Black Dynamite’ Musical on Police Brutality

    Photo of Tambay A. Obenson
    By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act
    January 9, 2015 at 11:36AM

    Here’s the trailer for the “Black Dynamite” musical special that will tackle a topic of the day – police brutality. It airs tomorrow, Saturday, January 10, at 10:30 PM.

    Titled “The Wizard of Watts,” the episode will follow Black Dynamite as he attempts to take a vacation, when the police start patrolling the streets, and a riot breaks out. Black Dynamite is then hit in the head with a brick, which causes him to hallucinate, taking him into the “Magical Land of Oz-Watts,” where he is called on to defend the community, against the police.

    It’ll be an hour long (episodes are typically 30 minutes), and will feature guest appearances by Erykah Badu, Tyler, The Creator, Tim Blake Nelson and J.B. Smoove.

  2. rikyrah says:

    Jennifer Hudson to Make Broadway Debut as Shug in ‘Color Purple’ Musical Revival Produced by Oprah Winfrey

    Photo of Tambay A. Obenson
    By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act
    January 9, 2015 at 11:04AM

    UPDATE: Theater journalist/critic shared the following on Twitter moments ago, correcting the New York Post story that said Hudson has signed up to play Celie. As Mandell’s tweet states, Hudson will actually be playing Shug, which, quite frankly, makes more sense to me. Here’s Mandell’s tweet:

  3. #IAmNotCharlie Satire my arse. Bigoted racism masked as satire is bigoted racism.

  4. rikyrah says:

    PA Gov Tom Wolf continues diversity push with appointments
    Posted: Friday, January 9, 2015 12:00 am

    Gov.–elect Tom Wolf announced several key appointments on Thursday, including that of Denise Smyler, who lead the office of general counsel.Wolf also tapped Pedro A. Cortes to be secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of State.

    Smyler is the founding attorney and owner of the Philadelphia-based Smyler Firm, which joined with Wadud Ahmad and Joseph Zaffarese to form Ahmad, Zaffarese and Smyler, LLC in September 2013. Smyler specialized in municipal finance and civil defense litigation.

    This is Cortes second tour in Harrisburg. He served as secretary from 2003 to 2010 under former Gov. Ed Rendell.

  5. rikyrah says:

    The Last Word 01/08/15

    ‘Selma’: History, Film and Truth

    In the Rewrite, Lawrence shares his view of “Selma” and the public debate about the film’s portrayal of President Lyndon B. Johnson.–history–film-and-truth-381941315520

  6. rikyrah says:

    part 1 from desertflower over at POU:

    January 8, 2015 at 10:23 pm

    Ok people! I am FINALLY here! Eating dinner, but I have to get this started as promised:) Today was surreal. Everything went like clockwork, so smooth and organized, just like this man runs govt. Smooth and organized. I woke at 4:30 this morning…cat napped all last night because I couldn’t turn off my excitement and was so afraid I’d miss the alarm, I suppose. Dropped my son at work at 7am, stopped for gas, which, by the way, I paid $ 1.69/gal for!! Made my way to the freeway and down to the parking lot at a large church that we were about to park our cars and be shuttled to the venue.

    Everyone, and I mean everyone, from the security in the parking lot, to the bus drivers, were thrilled and honored to be doing what they did today because the President was here. I spoke to everyone ( that’s what I do!) and they all were just filled with pride. Nice to see when all you normally hear from AZ is nuts and crazies. These were good people…regular folks, just thrilled that the President took time to come to our town.

    When I got on the bus that would shuttle us to the high school, everyone was in such a good mood! Wonder why:) Lines were outrageously long, but moved very quickly and orderly….they broke the line into 2 as we got closer to the school….gold tickets in one line, red and green in another. My ticket was green. I have no idea what that meant, nor did I really care….I was going to see this man speak come hell or high water! Well, as hundreds of people are standing in line, my green ticket allowed me to just keep walking past all those other people that were standing in line! Everytime I came to another group of volunteers, I’d show them my ticket and they kept moving me along, all the way up to security…it was like the airport with the xray machines and body wands….Secret Service was there, Phx. police, canines, it was crazy…but boy, did I feel SAFE!

    Naturally, I met people in line that I sat close to…one of them met up with a friend that actually got the ticket for her and she went to sit with him…It was at this time that I saw an older woman sitting on the bleachers beside me that was struggling to be comfortable on those bleachers with no back. I asked her if she wanted to sit in the chair beside me..oh, yes! She was a wonderful woman…here from Georgia to visit her daughter and granddaughter….she was 85 years old and was in rehab after breaking her leg in a fall. She was good company and I helped her stand to see the President, as she was fragile on her legs. Her family was happy that I was there helping her be safe as she stood and moved her so she could view the President that she probably wasn’t sure she’s see in her lifetime. As I tended to mom, they took the pictures that they PROMISED me they would email to me!!

    Their phones took MUCH better pictures than mine did…we even took a pic with all of us together, so if it comes out…well…we’ll see:)

    Everyone was so excited. I had no idea of the time…I just wanted to sit and soak in all the sounds and sights and smells…just thinking like maybe if I was still and took it all in, that I would be able to recall this experience up when I needed to smile and remember…It was an intimate feel. Right there in a regular basketball court. The bleachers were filled on my side, but not on the other and have have no idea why. There were over 200 people that had tickets, but didn’t get in…I felt so badly for them. Have no idea why that was….bleachers were free. Maybe fire code or something because there was some SRO.

    We seemed to wait a long time. People were all very patient and just chatting and taking it in. The high school kids there were wonderful..they should be so proud. The people in this room, looked like America looks. Every kind of different person imaginable and it was great to see the diversity that was represented in just that gym.

    You all saw the video of this event by now….the man that came out first was amazing! The mayor of Phoenix is a great man and an excellent mayor. A Democrat, by the way. By the time Julian Castro came out, you could tell that people were anxious to see the President….and almost seemed a little disappointed that they had to listen to someone other than PBO:)

    When they put the Presidential Seal on the podium…omg. Closer.and closer to HIM!

    I was about 40 or 50 ft away from his podium and had a perfect view right through the crowd of heads in front of me. I didn’t see him come out, but I knew when he did by the way the crowd reacted around me. IT WAS ELECTRIC! :) That is really when I thought of all of you…those that have seen him before and those that I wish could feel this feeling….it was surreal. I remembered meta’s words telling me that I would be amazed, be surprised by how thin he was, and look at his strong, beautiful hands….

    I tried to take pictures, and I haven’t looked, but I really suck at taking pics…I was watching him and making sure that my new friend sitting beside me, was alright…

    He talked about things I was familiar with, things that helped me and my family keep our home and roots down and stability in a terrifying time for us. I was able to take advantage of money from the Hardest Hit Fund and save my home. This meant the world to me…and it all happened for my family, and so many others, because this man cared enough to find a way to help every day Americans that were struggling through no fault of their own. I wished I could have wrapped my arms around him and told him personally how this helped my family. He will never know how grateful so many of us are. I owe so much to him, and it was an honor and a privilege to be in that room with him today. Kind of a closure to that terrifying part of my life.

    I’m going to post this first part before I do something stupid and lose it all…Part Two coming up! Yes…there’s more!!

  7. rikyrah says:

    Most Underreported Stories of 2014

    December 22, 2014

    Which stories didn’t get the attention they deserved in 2014? Below editors, journalists and friends of provide answers.

    The Attack on Voting Rights in the Midterm Elections
    Ari Berman, contributing writer, The Nation

    I called the Supreme Court’s gutting of the Voting Rights Act the most under-reported story of 2013. And the attack on voting rights is again my pick for 2014. That’s because efforts to restrict the right to vote became even more widespread after the Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby County v. Holder. The 2014 election was the first in nearly 50 years held without the full protections of the VRA, and voters in 14 states faced new restrictions at the ballot box for the first time. The Supreme Court once again failed to protect voting rights, declining to block a flurry of new voting restrictions on the eve of the election. As a consequence, longtime voters were turned away from the polls in states like Texas, North Carolina and Kansas for no good reason. Yet few reporters covered the impact of these voting changes or pointed out that the number of disenfranchised voters far exceeded the rare instances of voter fraud, the purported rationale for making it harder to vote.

  8. rikyrah says:

    Civil Rights ✔ @civilrightsorg
    The most underreported story of 2014? According to @AriBerman, it was the attack on voting rights in the midterms:
    1:22 PM – 5 Jan 2015

  9. rikyrah says:

    Updated: Possible successors to California Sen. Barbara Boxer
    By Alexei Koseff and Christopher Cadelago –
    01/08/2015 10:15 AM

    California Sen. Barbara Boxer’s announcement today not to seek a fifth term has unleashed a long-expected wave of speculation about who will challenge for the seat.

    Democrats have a supremely deep bench of possible successors, along with some dark horses. The 2016 race also will be a test for whether Republicans can regain a Senate seat in the Golden State, which has eluded them since 1992.

    Here’s a quick look at some of the possibilities:

    Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom: Newsom has the portfolio to compete for Boxer’s seat. But the former San Francisco mayor, who rose to prominence after legalizing gay marriage in the city in 2004, is viewed as more likely to run for governor in 2018.

    Attorney General Kamala Harris: Another leading contender, Harris has recently been making the rounds in Washington and building her national profile, perhaps indicating a greater interest in the U.S. Senate than a potential gubernatorial run. She could benefit from an expected Hillary Clinton presidential campaign in 2016.

    Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa: The former Assembly Speaker has a huge political base, and changing demographics could benefit a Latino candidate. But Villaraigosa has said he enjoys being a chief executive, suggesting he may hold off until the governorship opens up.

    Climate change activist Tom Steyer: The billionaire hedge fund manager spent $74 million, mostly unsuccessfully, trying to elect more environmentally friendly candidates in 2014. Will Steyer finally make his own run for office? He can afford it.

    Secretary of State Alex Padilla: While he’s the only Latino currently holding a statewide office in California, Padilla’s jump to a Senate campaign would come awfully quickly after his recent election to California secretary of state.

    Treasurer John Chiang: After nearly two decades in statewide politics, Chiang could have enough name recognition to make a run at Boxer’s seat. He is also one of the most visible Asian Americans in a state where the rapidly growing population segment is increasingly flexing its political power.

    Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones: Like Chiang, Jones was just re-elected in 2014 and would have a free ride at a long-shot bid for Boxer’s seat. His career has shown he’s not afraid to take up liberal causes.

    California Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León: One of the most prominent Latinos in California politics, de León has only recently begun to lead the Senate.

    Former Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg: Following a successful 14-year run in the state Legislature, Steinberg is looking for a re-entry into political office. Though well-respected, the Sacramentan’s influence may be confined to the Capitol bubble.

    Read more here:

  10. rikyrah says:

    Queen Latifah on Inhabiting Bessie Smith for HBO (Pics)
    Jan 8, 15 by Cherie Saunders

    From the sizzle reel, Latifah appears to put her foot in this role, holding her own against a dream cast of supporting actors – many of whom are known for stealing scenes – Michael K. Williams as Bessie’s husband Jack, Khandi Alexander as her older sister Viola, Mike Epps as Bessie’s bootlegger and sidepiece Richard, Tika Sumpter as her other sidepiece Lucille and Oscar winner Mo’Nique as Bessie’s mentor and fellow blues legend Ma Rainey.

  11. rikyrah says:



    Here’s more:

    Total Black Unemployment Rate DROPPED from 11% to 10.4%
    Black male UER dropped from 11.2% to 11%
    Black women UER dropped from 9.5% to 8.2%
    Black teen UER rose from 28.2% to 33.2%

    The media has moved the goalposts saying there’s no growth in wages.

  12. rikyrah says:

    Devin @devbost
    Mitt Romney said unlike Obama, he had a plan to create 12 million jobs. Obama is now roughly on pace for 12 million 2nd term jobs.
    9:14 AM – 9 Jan 2015

  13. Ametia says:

    The Kouachi brothers have been killed in an operation by security forces, the mayor of Othis, France, Bernard Corneille, told CNN. Police have said Cherif Kouachi, 32, and Said Kouachi, 34, were suspects in Wednesday’s Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris.

  14. rikyrah says:

    TimKarr @TimKarr
    Gov Christie pushed Port Authority to give lucrative contract to firm part-owned by Cowboys owner Jerry Jones: … #High5
    11:50 AM – 6 Jan 2015

    • Ametia says:

      Lard man hasn’t a snowball’s chance in hell of ever becoming POTUS.
      He has a better chance of becoming a crispy fried chicken wing!

  15. rikyrah says:

    Construction Work Is Getting More Deadly, But Only For Latinos

    Data analyzed by BuzzFeed News shows the construction industry is a different and more dangerous world if you’re a Latino worker. More likely to be undocumented and work for smaller, less regulated employers, Latinos are dying in ever-larger numbers even as the industry grows safer for everyone else.
    posted on Jan. 6, 2015, at 10:55 p.m.

    David Noriega
    BuzzFeed News Reporter

  16. rikyrah says:

    Harold Itzkowitz @HaroldItz
    If the right wing can pin the cop murders on Al Sharpton, I can pin the #NAACPbombing on Sean Hannity, right?
    10:24 PM – 6 Jan 2015

  17. rikyrah says:

    JRehling @JRehling
    Did you know a white supremacist tried to bomb the 2011 Martin Luther King parade in Spokane? The media downplayed that, too.
    1:33 AM – 7 Jan 2015

  18. rikyrah says:

    Jeff Fecke @jkfecke
    I love that the racists trolling #NAACPBombing are arguing that hey, the bomb didn’t hurt anyone. Yo, racists: Neither did Eric Garner.
    1:09 AM – 7 Jan 2015

  19. rikyrah says:

    John Fugelsang ✔ @JohnFugelsang
    And now, America’s media asks why moderate conservatives won’t apologize for the #NAACPBombing. Just kidding; that only applies to Muslims.
    12:34 PM – 7 Jan 2015

  20. rikyrah says:

    deray mckesson @deray
    So, get this — @CNN covers #NAACPBombing almost a day late and doesn’t mention that the suspect is a white 40ish man. Y’all.
    12:24 AM – 7 Jan 2015

  21. rikyrah says:

    Paul Krugman: Those who blamed Obama for US economic ills now look like fools

    Stimulus programme and protection of Fed independence key presidential achievements

    Suddenly, or so it seems, the US economy is looking better. Things have been looking up for a while, but at this point the signs of improvement – job gains, rapidly growing GDP, rising public confidence – are unmistakable.

    The improving economy is one factor in President Barack Obama’s rising approval rating.

    And there’s a palpable sense of panic among Republicans despite their victory in the midterms. They expected to run in 2016 against a record of failure; what do they do if the economy is looking good? Well, that’s their problem.

  22. rikyrah says:

    JRehling @JRehling
    #AllLivesMatter until a white terrorist tries to kill blacks and then it’s not on the national news that he’s on the loose. #NAACPBombing
    12:25 AM – 7 Jan 2015

  23. rikyrah says:

    Davon Magwood @davonmagwood
    Anyone else pissed they found out about the #NAACPBombing on twitter. And not from.ANY of the 24 news outlets?
    11:28 AM – 7 Jan 2015

  24. rikyrah says:

    Alycee @jazziz2
    Secretary Of State Simon Chokes Up Over Voting Rights via @theuptake
    12:38 AM – 8 Jan 2015

  25. rikyrah says:

    Joy Reid ✔ @JoyAnnReid
    New Video Of Tamir Rice Shooting Shows Police Arresting Sister, Delaying First Aid: via @HuffPostCrime
    12:22 PM – 8 Jan 2015

  26. rikyrah says:

    The White House ✔ @WhiteHouse
    BREAKING: Watch President Obama announce his #FreeCommunityCollege proposal →
    5:06 PM – 8 Jan 2015

  27. rikyrah says:

    REPORT from desertflower at the TOD on seeing the President


    January 9, 2015 at 8:32 am

    Morning everyone…Part Two:)

    Good Friday morning everyone. Finally feel fairly rested and back to my own reality:) To continue with the rest of desertflower’s excellent Presidential Adventure!

    I think I left off talking about how honored and touched I was to be there when he spoke about something I knew about because it touched my family so deeply. This Hardest Hit Fund money allowed us to keep our home as my husband was underemployed at the time after losing a couple of different jobs. What worked just fine when he was employed, wasn’t fine when he had a smaller paycheck. Needless to say, it was a godsend that I will be forever grateful for. We are in our same home and thankfully, been able to make our payments each month. We also benefited from HAMP even BEFORE the Hardest Hit Fund became available…so that was a godsend as well. I think that maybe I was meant to be there to hear him speak…it really did seem to me like a bookend on an awful chapter, a terrifying chapter, in my life. In the end, I guess a sense of peacefulness washed over me and I felt empowered again to move on stronger than before, with a new sense of purpose. I felt liberated from that piece of my life, and hopeful for others that want to claim that piece of the middle class and beyond, by becoming homeowners. Your own private space to call your own and the sense of pride and accomplishment that comes with it.

    I sat with my new friends after he had left the gym and all the “beaming with pride” folks made their way out of the gym. Rather like waiting on an airplane when you’re stuck in the back…no sense getting up and moving because you’re not “going” anywhere. We watched the people file out and talked among ourselves. The daughter of the woman thanked me profusely for caring for her frail mom and being attentive to her…making sure that she could share in the joy of being able to actually see the President, not just hear him. I could tell that this meant the world to her, being here listening to this brilliant AA President. She was an AA woman herself, living in the south and 85 years old. She had history. I could tell as I watched over her that this moment was nearly spiritual for her. I was comforted by that and held on to her arm, I thought at the time to balance her…but now, maybe it was a little of both.

    I gave her my email and hope that she’ll send me her photos of the President. If I get them, I will pass them along to all of you.

    I said my goodbyes and made my way out, all the excited people long gone now. I walked out into the warm air and just smiled. I raised my arms to the sky and smiled and thanked the powers that be for this opportunity. The warm air felt like a blanket, the bird’s seemed to sing sweeter, the smiles were still on lips, the mood changed from excited to serene.

    I was walking to where the bus’ were parked to take me back to my car in the church lot, a little smile and a spring in my step, and a woman walked toward me with a smile and a clipboard. She came up and asked if I had just come from the gym and had seen the President. Could I beam any more? Of course I saw the President and it was amazing!

    She told me that she was a student at ASU and worked for one of their student papers or online news…I can’t remember exactly what she said. Once again, I got to tell why being able to see him speak about housing and his plans to help others was so important to me…I explained how is policies had an actually effect on my family. It was a sign to me that I was meant to be there to tell my story.

    This was my day with the President. One I will cherish until my time here is up. If you’re reading this, know that we have to care about each and every person that we meet each day. That when we do for others and care about what happens to them, we help ourselves, too. Do right by everyone and don’t get cynical and hard..there is joy in the world and we have to live life to our best potential, each and every day….just like he does. I don’t believe that I’m the same person I was when I went in that gym, I’m better and stronger and move with a renewed sense of purpose and urgency. So much to be done for many. Yes…I actually DID get all this from that 15 minutes with President Obama yesterday! He changed a room. Now it’s my turn, our turn, to go out and change the world. One person at a time.

  28. rikyrah says:

    WHO thought it would be good to re-do ROOTS??!?!?!?


    Allen Hughes Will Direct ‘Roots’ Reboot for the History Channel

    By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act

    January 8, 2015 at 6:02PM

    I’d actually forgotten about this reboot, which was announced in late 2013. Clearly, it’s still very much alive, with news today that the History channel, over a year after it initially acquired rights to the series, has tapped Allen Hughes to direct and executive produce the project, which is being fast-tracked.

    Likely inspired by the success other slave narratives have seen on the big screen in the last couple of years (“12 Years A Slave,” “Django Unchained,” and “Lincoln” notably), as well as all the conversation/debate/discussion that each film inspired, and wanting to take its own bite out of that seemingly *financially delicious* apple, in November 2013, History channel acquired rights to the 1977 TV miniseries “Roots: The Saga Of An American Family,” from Mark Wolper, son of “Roots” executive producer, the late David L. Wolper, as well as rights to the book the miniseries was based on, penned by the late Alex Haley, from the author’s estate.

    Plans were, and still are for an all-new 8-hour mini-series.

    Also worth noting, the FX network was also planning its own “Roots” reboot, and when the History network learned of this, they wasted no time in securing all necessary rights to the original series, as well as the book.

    “We would like to revive that cultural icon for a new audience,” said History EVP and GM Dirk Hoogstra, in 2013.

    Or that new audience could simply watch the original series…

  29. rikyrah says:

    TV News: Condola Rashad, David Alan Grier, Lil Rel Book Roles + 1st Woman NBA Ref in Focus

    By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act
    January 8, 2015 at 3:12PM

    Some TV casting news you can use…

    First, Condola Rashad has been cast opposite Paul Giamatti in the Showtime Wall Street-set drama pilot “Billions,” from Brian Koppelman, David Levien and Andrew Ross Sorkin. The story follows 2 industry titans (Giamatti and “Homelan’s” Damian Lewis), and their impending clash. Rashad will play a character named Kate, who is described as a smart, ambitious, young professional working for Giamatti’s character, the U.S. Attorney General.

    Second, David Alan Grier has booked a co-starring role in NBC’s Jerrod Carmichael sitcom, “Go Jerrod Go,” which is inspired by material from Carmichael’s stand-up routine. It centers on a young couple (played by Carmichael and Amber West), who decide to move in together. Grier will play Carmichael’s father, alongside Loretta Devine as his mother.

  30. rikyrah says:

    Obama unveils plan for free community college
    01/09/15 08:00 AM—UPDATED 01/09/15 08:07 AM
    By Steve Benen
    When the White House said President Obama would make some public appearances in January to preview his State of the Union address, I more or less assumed he’d celebrate the improved economic recovery and talk up his usual priorities

    But as it turns out, Obama still has a few fresh ideas to share. Yesterday afternoon, the president unveiled a plan to offer eligible students two years of community college for free.
    “Put simply, what I’d like to do is to see the first two years of community college free for everyone who’s willing to work for it,” Obama said in a video announcement on Facebook. The president will officially unveil the program at a community college in Knoxville, Tennessee, on Friday.

    To qualify for the program, “students must attend community college at least half-time, maintain a 2.5 GPA, and make steady progress toward completing their program,” the White House said. The administration estimates that the program would help about 9 million students, saving the average full-time student about $3,800 per year.
    Yesterday’s announcement was more of a rough sketch than a detailed blueprint, but under the White House’s general vision, federal funds would cover 75% of tuition costs, while states would cover the remaining 25%. What’s more, as Suzy Khimm’s report noted, “To be part of the program, the community colleges will be required to offer credits that can transfer to public four-year colleges or workforce training programs with high graduation rates.”

    This is not the sort of policy that the administration can pursue through executive action. In other words, Obama’s community college plan would need approval from the Republican Congress – aka, The Place Good Ideas Go To Die.

  31. rikyrah says:

    Boehner nixes fix on ‘crumbling infrastructure’
    01/08/15 03:21 PM—UPDATED 01/08/15 03:53 PM
    By Steve Benen
    The Highway Trust Fund, which plays a central role in financing U.S. infrastructure projects, is financed through a federal gas tax. It’s been a pretty effective system, at least up until recently – the current tax hasn’t changed in more than two decades, and as a result, American investment in infrastructure has fallen to its lowest point since 1947. Making matters slightly worse, the Highway Trust Fund is on track to run out of money in May.

    The simple, efficient, and painfully obvious solution is to approve an overdue increase to the gas tax – with prices at the pump already having plummeted, this is an ideal time – which would bolster the fund, boost investments, and help both the economy and our infrastructure, which even Republicans concede is currently “on life support.”

    Indeed, while Democratic support for an overdue gas-tax increase comes as no surprise, some conservative GOP lawmakers also agree that we don’t have much of a choice.

    House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) nevertheless killed the idea at a Capitol Hill press conference this morning:
    Q: Gas taxes are historically low… Is this the right time to consider increasing the gas tax?

    BOEHNER: I’ve never voted to raise the gas tax. Funding a highway bill is critically important. It’s a priority for this year. How we’ll fund it, we’re going to have to work our way through this. […]

    Q: You just said you never voted for an increase in the gas tax, but it doesn’t sound like you’re ruling out the possibility of including it in a tax reform deal.

    BOEHNER: I’ll just say this. When the Democrats had total control of the Congress, they couldn’t find the votes to raise the gas tax. It’s doubtful that the votes are here to raise the gas tax again.
    Asked for further clarification, Boehner spokesman Michael Steel told Greg Sargent, “The Speaker doesn’t support a gas tax hike. Period.”

    The United States used to be the world leader on infrastructure, and as Reagan’s support for higher gas taxes makes clear, this used to be a bipartisan issue.

    Those days are over.

  32. rikyrah says:

    they couldn’t make it a week as a poor person


    Most of America’s rich think the poor have it easy

    By Roberto A. Ferdman January 8 at 1:20 PM

    There is little empathy at the top.

    Most of America’s richest think poor people have it easy in this country, according to a new report released by the Pew Research Center. The center surveyed a nationally representative group of people this past fall, and found that the majority of the country’s most financially secure citizens (54 percent at the very top, and 57 percent just below) believe the “poor have it easy because they can get government benefits without doing anything in return.” America’s least financially secure, meanwhile, vehemently disagree — nearly 70 percent say the poor have hard lives because the benefits “don’t go far enough.” Nationally, the population is almost evenly split.

  33. rikyrah says:

    people are going nuts


    Armed man takes hostage in kosher grocery in Paris: source

    Agence France-Presse (AFP)

    Fresh shooting broke out in eastern Paris on Friday, with reports that an armed man had taken a hostage at a kosher grocery store, a source told AFP.

    The gunman was suspected of being the same man who killed a policewoman in southern Paris on Thursday, who is thought to have links to the assailants who stormed satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo on Wednesday.

  34. rikyrah says:

    U.S. Economy Added 252,000 Jobs in December; Unemployment Rate at 5.6%
    Capping the best year for the job market since the recession began eight years ago, employers added 252,000 jobs in December, the Labor Department reported Friday, and unemployment fell to 5.6 percent.Analysts expected the creation of 240,000 jobs, according to a survey by Bloomberg, and for the unemployment rate to tick down to 5.7 percent, from 5.8 percent in November.

  35. rikyrah says:

    This series has rocked!!

    Thank you for this…

  36. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone!

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