Friday Open Thread | Willie Hutch Week

Willie HutchWhen an act called Sisters Love were offered a cameo in the blaxploitation film The Mack, their manager suggested that Willie Hutch do the soundtrack. It came to be one of the great ’70s film scores, including a pair of classic funk tunes, “Brothers Gonna Work It Out” and the title cut. The results proved to be another soundtrack that far surpassed the quality of its film.

Hutch was hired as a Motown writer-producer and for the next 20 years would work with the likes of Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Junior Walker, the Four Tops and Aretha Franklin. “Writing lyrics and setting them to music was a freedom no one could take away from me,” said Hutch on what inspired him to write songs. “Writing gave me a freedom to go everywhere I wanted to go.”

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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57 Responses to Friday Open Thread | Willie Hutch Week

  1. Ametia says:

    Saturday, February 7, 2015
    The Fundamental Difference

    President Obama certainly stirred up an interesting conversation about religion and faith at this week’s National Prayer Breakfast. I think its an important discussion to have – given the way that the separation of church and state has been called into question over these last few years.

    Some of the controversy has focused on his remarks about the Crusades, the Inquisition, slavery in the United States and Jim Crow. But those who challenge what he said are merely trying to whitewash (literally) history. The fact that some Christians used their faith to justify horrible deeds is simply a matter of fact.

  2. rikyrah says:

    uh huh

    uh huh


    GOP Legislators Kill Medicaid Expansion In Wyoming

    ByDylan ScottPublishedFebruary 6, 2015, 3:41 PM EST

    Republican lawmakers in the Wyoming Senate voted Friday to block the state from expanding Medicaid under Obamacare as Gov. Matt Mead (R) proposed.

    The Senate, which has 26 Republicans and four Democrats, voted 19 to 11 against the proposal, according to the Casper Star Tribune. A House committee that was scheduled to hold a hearing on an expansion bill pulled the legislation just minutes later, the newspaper reported.

    The news comes the day after GOP legislators in Tennessee voted to block Medicaid expansion in that state, despite the Republican governor reaching an agreement with the Obama administration on an alternative expansion plan.

    In both cases, the state legislature had to sign off on Medicaid expansion, and they didn’t.

    Mead’s plan would have required Medicaid enrollees to make small co-payments and those above the poverty line would have had to make monthly premiums. He had forcefully urged the legislature to expand Medicaid, despite their objections to Obamacare as a whole.

  3. rikyrah says:

    Why Cotton’s Guantanamo harangue matters
    02/06/15 12:00 PM—UPDATED 02/06/15 12:08 PM
    By Steve Benen
    After less than one term in Congress, Arkansas Tom Cotton (R) said some pretty ridiculous things en route to the U.S. Senate. At one point, he was even caught brazenly lying, which Cotton responded to by saying he didn’t care. When Norm Ornstein pointed to evidence of extremist Senate candidates, the Arkansas Republican was at the top of the list.

    It wasn’t too big a surprise, then, when Cotton launched into a bizarre tirade yesterday about the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, which military leaders and the White House want to close, but which Congress refuses to consider.
    Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) on Thursday rebutted the Obama administration’s argument that the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay is a propaganda tool for Islamic militants. […]

    [During a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, the] freshman senator grilled Brian McKeon, principal deputy undersecretary of Defense for policy, on how many detainees were in the prison during national security incidents over the last few decades, ranging from the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to the 1979 capture of the U.S. Embassy in Iran.
    As the freshman senator sees it, terrorist groups recruited terrorists before Guantanamo, ergo, there’s no reason to deny terrorists a recruiting tool now. Zack Beauchamp’s response rings true: “Cotton’s argument – because terrorism existed before Guantanamo Bay, therefore Guantanamo cannot help terrorists recruit new fighters – is a logical nightmare. Clearly it’s possible for terrorists to recruit on more than one thing. Indeed, there’s overwhelming evidence that Guantanamo – as a symbol of the American torture regime – helps al-Qaeda recruit.”

  4. Ametia says:

    LOL Marla Gibbs was hilarious last night on Scandal with that line. Where’s the Black Lady?

    Where’s The Black Lady?: Scandal Episode 411 Recap

  5. rikyrah says:

    Why a Mississippi Republican is now a Democrat
    02/06/15 10:55 AM
    By Steve Benen
    Lately, Republicans leaving their party to become a Democrat is rare. When it happens in the South, it’s even rarer. When it happens in in Mississippi, it’s practically unheard of.

    And when it happens because of “Obamacare,” one can hardly believe their eyes. But my colleague Laura Conaway flagged this piece from the Clarion Ledger this week, and the story is absolutely real.
    Former Republican state Sen. Tim Johnson on Wednesday announced he’s switching parties and challenging incumbent Republican Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves this year.

    But the noted Elvis impersonator said he won’t be appearing as the King on the campaign trail.
    According to the local report, Johnson held a press conference at the state Capitol and reportedly told supporters, “Why join the Democratic Party and run for lieutenant governor? I’ll tell you: We are all Mississippians first. Elected officials should be in the business of helping all Mississippians, not picking out who to hurt.

    “The Republican Party leaders’ actions against supporting Medicaid expansion and threatening our local hospitals was the final, deciding factor for me.”

    I was tempted to compare this to a blue moon, but c’mon – blue moons are practically common compared to stories like these.

  6. rikyrah says:

    Collins’ Homeland Security ‘compromise’ is going nowhere fast
    02/06/15 10:20 AM
    By Steve Benen
    Congress’ effort to fund the Department of Homeland Security isn’t going well. With an end-of-the-month deadline looming, the Republican-led House insists it won’t fund DHS unless Congress destroys President Obama’s immigration policy. The Republican-led Senate can’t pass the right-wing House bill – even if it did, a White House veto awaits – and a partial shutdown is a distinct possibility.

    There is, of course, an obvious solution: Congress can simply fund the Department of Homeland Security at the spending levels both parties have already agreed to. GOP lawmakers, however, don’t like this solution.

    Enter Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who yesterday unveiled what she described as a “compromise” to resolve the impasse.
    The Maine centrist Republican filed an amendment Wednesday that would allow Obama’s 2012 executive action to stand. That executive action set up the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which offers safe harbor to hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants who came to the country as children and have maintained a clean record.

    The Collins proposal would repeal Obama’s executive action from November that would grant de facto legal status to the immediate family of U.S. citizens and permanent residents, which would affect up to 5 million immigrants.
    By some accounts, this is an approach Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said he could support – and nothing says “sound, bipartisan policymaking” like a Ted Cruz endorsement.

  7. rikyrah says:

    Justin Wolfers @JustinWolfers
    January payrolls +257k
    December revised from +252k to +329k
    November revised from +353k to $423k
    Extraordinary rate of employment growth.
    7:34 AM – 6 Feb 2015

  8. rikyrah says:

    Features » January 21, 2015

    How To Sell Off a City

    Welcome to Rahm Emanuel’s Chicago, the privatized metropolis of the future.
    BY Rick Perlstein

    Most privatization deals fail every public policy test. There’s little record of successful competition between concessionaires to deliver services more efficiently.

    In June of 2013, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel made a new appointment to the city’s seven-member school board to replace billionaire heiress Penny Pritzker, who’d decamped to run President Barack Obama’s Department of Commerce. The appointee, Deborah H. Quazzo, is a founder of an investment firm called GSV Advisors, a business whose goal—her cofounder has been paraphrased by Reuters as saying—is to drum up venture capital for “an education revolution in which public schools outsource to private vendors such critical tasks as teaching math, educating disabled students, even writing report cards.”

    GSV Advisors has a sister firm, GSV Capital, that holds ownership stakes in education technology companies like “Knewton,” which sells software that replaces the functions of flesh-and-blood teachers. Since joining the school board, Quazzo has invested her own money in companies that sell curricular materials to public schools in 11 states on a subscription basis.

    In other words, a key decision-maker for Chicago’s public schools makes money when school boards decide to sell off the functions of public schools.

    She’s not alone. For over a decade now, Chicago has been the epicenter of the fashionable trend of “privatization”—the transfer of the ownership or operation of resources that belong to all of us, like schools, roads and government services, to companies that use them to turn a profit. Chicago’s privatization mania began during Mayor Richard M. Daley’s administration, which ran from 1989 to 2011. Under his successor, Rahm Emanuel, the trend has continued apace. For Rahm’s investment banker buddies, the trend has been a boon. For citizens? Not so much.

    They say that the first person in any political argument who stoops to invoking Nazi Germany automatically loses. But you can look it up: According to a 2006 article in the Journal of Economic Perspectives, the English word “privatization” derives from a coinage, Reprivatisierung, formulated in the 1930s to describe the Third Reich’s policy of winning businessmen’s loyalty by handing over state property to them. In the American context, the idea also began on the Right (to be fair, entirely independent of the Nazis)—and promptly went nowhere for decades. In 1963, when Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater mused “I think we ought to sell the TVA”—referring to the Tennessee Valley Authority, the giant complex of New Deal dams that delivered electricity for the first time to vast swaths of the rural Southeast—it helped seal his campaign’s doom. Things only really took off after Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s sale of U.K. state assets like British Petroleum and Rolls Royce in the 1980s made the idea fashionable among elites—including a rightward tending Democratic Party.

  9. Ametia says:

    Bibi—-> Boehner


    Israeli official suggests Boehner misled Netanyahu on Congress speech
    By Dan Williams
    JERUSALEM Fri Feb 6, 2015 7:35am EST

    (Reuters) – A senior Israeli official suggested on Friday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had been misled into thinking an invitation to address the U.S. Congress on Iran next month was fully supported by the Democrats.

    Netanyahu was invited by the Republican speaker of the house, John Boehner, to address Congress on March 3, an invitation Boehner originally described as bipartisan.


  10. Ametia says:


    Sony Pictures co-chair Amy Pascal steps down

    Amy Pascal’s improbable career in Hollywood began when she responded to a classified ad for someone to answer calls for a TV producer. She got the job and spent the next three decades climbing her way to become one of most powerful executives in the industry. Read full article »

  11. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    Now until April 19 at the NYC Historical Society:

    New-York Historical Society: ‘Freedom Journey 1965: Photographs of the Selma to Montgomery March by Stephen Somerstein’ (through April 19)

    Almost 50 years ago, the picture editor of a campus newspaper at City College of New York assigned himself a breaking story: coverage of what promised to be a massive march in Alabama, led by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., to demand free-and-clear voting rights for African-Americans.

    On short notice the editor, Stephen Somerstein, grabbed his cameras, climbed on a bus, and headed south.

    The 55 pictures of black leaders and everyday people in this show, installed in a hallway and small gallery, are some that he shot that day. The image of Dr. King’s head seen in monumental silhouette that has become a virtual logo of the film “Selma” is based on a Somerstein original.
    170 Central Park West, at 77th Street, 212-873-3400, (Cotter)

  12. rikyrah says:

    New investigation dogs Chris Christie
    02/06/15 08:01 AM
    By Steve Benen
    New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s (R) career has reached a curious stage. On the one hand, he’s gearing up for a presidential campaign. On the other hand, when we see headlines such as, “Christie’s Administration Facing New Criminal Investigation,” we have to pause to ask ourselves, “Which one of the governor’s many scandals is this about?”

    Does the new criminal investigation relate to Christie’s bridge scandal? No, not that one. The Hoboken controversy? No, not that one. The pay-to-play allegations? No, not that one.

    The latest developments deal with the other controversy.
    The International Business Times reported that Bennett Barlyn, a former Hunterdon County prosecutor, met with federal investigators on Wednesday and was questioned about his past allegations that he was fired because wouldn’t drop a case against Christie supporter, Hunterdon County Sheriff Deborah Trout. He had brought forth a whistle blower lawsuit in 2012, while the governor has insisted he had nothing to do with Barlyn losing his job.
    If this sounds familiar, there’s a good reason – we discussed in some detail about a year ago why Ben Barlyn’s allegations matter. The editorial board of the Star-Ledger highlighted what the controversy is all about a while back:
    [W]e are reminded of the accusations of Ben Barlyn, a former Hunterdon County prosecutor who says he was fired because he refused to drop a case against a Christie ally. For the past year, he’s been striving to prove his story, paying through the nose for a civil lawsuit against the state while telling it to anyone who will listen.

    Barlyn says that after he secured an indictment in 2010 against Hunterdon County Sheriff Deborah Trout, a Republican with political ties to Christie, he was fired and the case hastily killed by Christie’s appointed attorney general at the time, Paula Dow. The real story isn’t the mundane crimes that were alleged: hiring without proper background checks, making employees sign loyalty oaths, threatening critics and producing fake police badges for a prominent Christie donor. It’s the possible abuse of power by the administration’s head prosecutor.

    Barlyn is now trying to compel the state Attorney General’s Office to release the grand jury transcripts to prove his case had legs. He’s not the only one who says so: Four grand jurors and other dismissed prosecutors have come forward to agree.

  13. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    Peeling Back the Layers of Black Indie Film
    ‘Tell It Like It Is,’ a Chapter of New York From 1968 to ’86


    To watch Kathleen Collins’s “Losing Ground” — a 1982 film making its long-awaited theatrical debut at Lincoln Center on Friday as part of “Tell It Like It Is,” a sprawling survey of black independent film of New York from 1968 to 1986 — is to experience a curious blend of nostalgia and novelty.

    The clothes the characters wear, how they talk and what they talk about, the grainy texture of the images and the weariness of the world they capture — all of these emerge from a time capsule devoted to an era that doesn’t quite have a name.

    But partly because those images have remained unseen for so long, and partly because Ms. Collins, who died in 1988, was such a bold and idiosyncratic filmmaker, “Losing Ground” also feels like news, like a bulletin from a vital and as-yet-unexplored dimension of reality.

  14. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    “External review of African studies department to wrap up this semester”


    The University is conducting the first external review of its kind into the Department of African, African American and Diaspora Studies.

    “What (UNC is) trying to do is just to make sure that, going forward, in light of everything that’s happened, that the department is strong, that it’s sustainable, that it has the resources that are necessary in order to flourish as a department,” said Jim Dean, executive vice chancellor and provost.

  15. Ametia says:

    The story of the U.S. measles outbreak, as the rest of the world might see it

    If the foreign press covered the U.S. measles outbreak the way the American press covered the Ebola crisis . . .

  16. rikyrah says:

    Matt O’Brien ✔ @ObsoleteDogma
    WOW: +257,000 in January, +147,000 in revisions, participation rate up 0.2 percentage points, wages up 2.2% on the year now.
    7:32 AM – 6 Feb 2015

  17. rikyrah says:

    GOP Actions have consequences. What say you PIYUSH?

    too busy boot licking the GOP Establishment to care about the people he has harmed.


    Baton Rouge General Medical Center-Mid City will close its emergency room within the next 60 days, a victim of continuing red ink and the Jindal administration withdrawing the financial support that kept it open….

    The closest emergency rooms from Baton Rouge General’s Mid City campus is Lane Regional Medical Center, 30 minutes to the north in Zachary, and Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center, 30 minutes to the south on Essen Lane. Mid-City’s ER recorded 45,000 patient visits last year…..

    More and more poor and uninsured patients from the low-income neighborhoods of north Baton Rouge ended up at the Mid City hospital, which was the next-closest facility.

    Mid City hospital reported losses of $1 million a month as more and more patients who could not pay arrived…. Officials projected losses would grow larger, reaching $25 million to $30 million in 2015.

  18. rikyrah says:

    Gugu Mbatha-Raw Will Confound the Rules of Segregated Mississippi with Matthew McConaughey in ‘Free State of Jones’

    By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act
    February 5, 2015 at 4:44PM

    This news is actually about a month old, but we just missed it when it initially broke.

    Gugu Mbatha-Raw will star alongside Matthew McConaughey in the feature film “Free State of Jones,” which is based on a true story of the relationship between Newton Knight (McConaughey) and a slave, Rachel (Mbatha-Raw), exploring the impact Rachel had on Knight’s life and the Civil War-set rebellion he led against the Confederacy.

    There’s a book by author Victoria E. Bynum titled “The Free State of Jones: Mississippi’s Longest Civil War,” which gives more detail on the story as follows: “Between late 1863 and mid-1864, an armed band of Confederate deserters battled Confederate cavalry in the Piney Woods region of Jones County, Mississippi. Calling themselves the Knight Company after their captain, Newton Knight, they set up headquarters in the swamps of the Leaf River, where, legend has it, they declared the Free State of Jones. The story of the Jones County rebellion is well known among Mississippians, and debate over whether the county actually seceded from the state during the war has smoldered for more than a century. Adding further controversy to the legend is the story of Newt Knight’s interracial romance with his wartime accomplice, Rachel, a slave. From their relationship there developed a mixed-race community that endured long after the Civil War had ended, and the ambiguous racial identity of their descendants confounded the rules of segregated Mississippi well into the twentieth century.”

    • eliihass says:

      And watch how many Oscars this movie receives..

    • Ametia says:

      Even thought these occurances of interracial relationships are a reality, thi ssmovie feels like another white man to the rescue to me. Good ole Matthew Mcconaughhey will get the nod-and the nomination.

      Gugu, she’s get a nod too, because she played the mulatto who was came to his rescue too.

  19. rikyrah says:

    How ‘Empire’ Takes Hip-Hop and Black Respectability to Task
    By Shannon M. Houston | Shadow and Act
    February 5, 2015 at 1:41PM

    Every once in a while, a television show comes along and actually lives up to its hype. It has a star-studded cast, a few big names in the credits, and it has everyone, everywhere buzzing about it, before anyone even bears witness to a single episode. When it premieres, audiences and critics go wild with delight. The performances, the script, and the tone are all pitch-perfect and powerful. We watch it, and we simply cannot wait to experience it again, and again in the following weeks.

    This is not the way Empire is unfolding. Although the series has broken major TV ratings records, many of us tuned in to the premiere, prepared to do some light-to-heavy eye-rolling, and, suffice it to say, got what we came for.

    But some of us who continued to watch, despite a problematic first episode, and the trope-heavy plot and characters we met, have found a few compelling reasons to keep hope alive. Underneath all of the leopard print, the ridiculously long, soapy stares and line deliveries—underneath Terrence Howard playing his favorite character (Terrence Howard), and those Timbaland beats that remind all of us 30-somethings that it ain’t 1997 anymore—beneath all that lies Empire, a smart, complex drama that critiques hip-hop music and culture, as well as the black respectability politics that inform the viewing experience for some of us. Right now, in its infancy, FOX’s Empire is a series that is far more important than it is good.

    While many are unwilling to peel back those layers (indeed, it is a lot of leopard print, and there’s a Naomi Campbell scene d’amour that will haunt your dreams), there are elements of this show that are asking to be unpacked by thoughtful viewers. One interesting issue that wasn’t clear in the pilot, is that Empire is a hip-hop show, that manages to embrace and elevate the music, while poking fun at and problematizing many of its inhabitants and the industry (or capitalistic empire) built around it.

    When we meet Hakeem Lyon (played by Bryshere Y. Gray) he’s lazy, privileged, and too busy partying to make a decent-sounding rap song in the studio. He’s the exact kind of rapper famed voice coach Dionne Osborne described in an interview about why rappers desperately need vocal coaching: “They sound like some random dude in a basement screaming along to their own songs.” That is to say, Hakeem is the perfect reflection of many of today’s popular rap acts—so much swag, so little lyrical content. Because Empire is somewhat flawed in its presentation of characters, it may seem like we’re supposed to take Hakeem seriously as a rising star, possible heir apparent to his father Lucious Lyon’s throne. But within a few episodes it becomes clear that Hakeem is a bit of a joke. He’s one of those 20 year-olds who refers to himself as “an original rap gangster,”—we know that we’re supposed to laugh at him. And he’s not the only rapper Empire takes to task. Another hip-hop star compares himself to Gandhi in the same episode where his fans let shots ring out in a mall. Obviously, his name is Kid .44. Now, is it trope-ish to present these kinds of characters in a hip-hop show? Sure. But those tropes get complicated by the other characters in the series, like Taraji P. Henson’s Cookie, and Jussie Smollett’s Jamal.

    One of the best critiques of Hakeem comes from his mother, Cookie, who is quick to remind him that he’s made a budding career of putting on a front—his street image is inauthentic because Hakeem comes from money. While his father Lucious may have started from the bottom, Hakeem started from the upper class, and it shows in his obnoxiously spoiled demeanor. So whether you like the series or not, I guarantee you will take great pleasure in watching Cookie lean over and whisper in her son’s ear (rather loudly, of course, in a room full of people), “You need to stop rapping like you from the streets, ‘cause you not ‘bout that life.”

    • Ametia says:

      HUH? I’ll bet white writers didn’t write this tripe about the these other night time soaps Dallas, Falcon Crest, Knots Landing, Dynasty.

      Empire in a nutshell is a night time soap, and while it portrays black folks in hip hop land, it still portrays black folks in all it’s complexities.

      No need to keep “Whitesplain’ these characters.

      In other words, no apologies.

      We see you Ms. Shannon

  20. rikyrah says:

    Courtney B. Vance Will Play Johnny Cochran in Ryan Murphy’s “American Crime” Franchise

    By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act
    February 5, 2015 at 7:39PM

    Joining Cuba Gooding Jr.and Sarah Paulson, who already booked lead roles as O.J. Simpson and prosecutor Marcia Clark, in prolific, award-winning producer Ryan Murphy’s “American Crime Story,” is Courtney B. Vance, who has been cast to play Johnny Cochran.

    Recall a previous report that said Samuel L. Jackson was wanted for the part.

    The new franchise has been ordered by FX, also home to Murhpy’s “American Horror Story” series.

    The 10-episode first season, “American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson,” will be based on the book “The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson” by Jeffrey Toobin, which will provide audiences with a look at the O.J. Simpson trial told from the perspective of the lawyers that explored the chaotic behind-the-scenes dealings and maneuvering on both sides of the court, and how a combination of prosecution confidence, defense wiliness, and the LAPD’s history with the city’s black community gave a jury what it needed: reasonable doubt.

  21. rikyrah says:

    One Party Support for Israel
    by BooMan
    Thu Feb 5th, 2015 at 10:00:16 PM EST

    Over in Israel, the media are trying to figure out the safest way for Bibi Netanyahu to back out of his planned speech before a Joint Session of Congress. Here at home, the prime minister’s emissaries appear to be completely incapable of putting out the fire they’ve created. Yesterday, Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer and Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein spent their day on Capitol Hill trying and failing to appease outraged Jewish lawmakers and Democratic Party leaders.

    The results were laughable. Nancy Pelosi gave a lesson in passive aggression:

    And yet, calls grow louder for Netanyahu to call the whole thing off. Naturally, his political opponents at home were the first to attack the prime minister, accusing him of turning American support for Israel into partisan issue. Leading members of the Democratic party soon joined the chorus, with Nancy Pelosi, the minority leader of the House of Representatives, openly calling on Netanyahu to cancel.

    “Things happen in people’s schedules. You just never know,” Pelosi said, hinting that some Congressmen from her party might not find the time to attend Netanyahu’s speech if he insists on delivering it.

    That’s the old, “It would be a shame if something happened to…” threat.

    In this case, the threat is that Netanyahu might make a speech and the only news coverage it would get would be related to the fact that most of the Democrats didn’t even bother to show up. And one of the those missing Democrats could be Vice-President Biden. In fact, the White House couldn’t be clearer that they don’t want Dems attending Bibi’s speech:

  22. rikyrah says:

    U.S. gains 257,000 jobs in January; unemployment 5.7%
    Published: Feb 6, 2015 8:30 a.m. ET

    WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) – The U.S. added 257,000 jobs in January and hiring in the final two months of 2014 was even stronger than previously reported, reflecting by far the strongest pace of job creation since a recovery began more than five years ago. Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected a gain of 230,000 nonfarm jobs. The unemployment rate, meanwhile, edged up to 5.7% from 5.6% as more people entered the labor force in search of work, the Labor Department said Friday. In a good sign, average hourly wages jumped 0.5% in January to $24.75 after declining in December. That put the 12-month increase at 2.2%, close to a post-recession high. The amount of time people worked each week also remained at a postrecession high of 34.6 hours. The economy has now added at least 200,000 jobs for 12 straight months, a feat last accomplished in 1994-1995, and hiring shows little sign of slowing down despite weaker economic growth around the world. In November, the number of jobs created even topped 400,000 for the first time since the end of the recession excluding the temporary hiring of Census workers in 2010. November’s job gain was revised up to 423,000 from 353,000. The government also raised the number of jobs created in December to 329,000 from 252,000. The labor-force participation rate rose several ticks to 62.9%.

  23. rikyrah says:

    stop whining


    Critics pounce after Obama talks Crusades, slavery at prayer breakfast The Washington Post

    Juliet Eilperin11 hrs ago

    President Obama has never been one to go easy on America.

    As a new president, he dismissed the idea of American exceptionalism, noting that Greeks think their country is special, too. He labeled the Bush-era interrogation practices, euphemistically called “harsh” for years, as torture. America, he has suggested, has much to answer given its history in Latin America and the Middle East.

    His latest challenge came Thursday at the National Prayer Breakfast. At a time of global anxiety over Islamist terrorism, Obama noted pointedly that his fellow Christians, who make up a vast majority of Americans, should perhaps not be the ones who cast the first stone.

    “Humanity has been grappling with these questions throughout human history,” he told the group, speaking of the tension between the compassionate and murderous acts religion can inspire. “And lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ. In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.”

    Some Republicans were outraged. “The president’s comments this morning at the prayer breakfast are the most offensive I’ve ever heard a president make in my lifetime,” said former Virginia governor Jim Gilmore (R). “He has offended every believing Christian in the United States. This goes further to the point that Mr. Obama does not believe in America or the values we all share.”

    Obama’s remarks spoke to his unsparing, sometimes controversial, view of the United States — where triumphalism is often overshadowed by a harsh assessment of where Americans must try harder to live up to their own self-image. Only by admitting these shortcomings, he has argued, can we fix problems and move beyond them.

    “There is a tendency in us, a sinful tendency, that can pervert and distort our faith,” he said at the breakfast.

  24. rikyrah says:

    Schock aide resigns following racially charged messages
    02/05/15 03:49 PM—UPDATED 02/05/15 04:47 PM
    By Steve Benen
    By congressional standards, it started like a rather anodyne controversy: Rep. Aaron Schock’s (R-Ill.) office was decorated in a lavish, “Downton Abbey”-inspired way, thanks to an interior decorator who was not paid for her work. Facing a possible ethics flap, the Illinois Republican agreed to pay for the work, effectively bringing the matter to a close.

    But as one problem ended, another one arose.
    A top adviser to Illinois Rep. Aaron Schock has resigned after controversial posts were found on his Facebook page.

    Benjamin Cole, a senior adviser to Schock, told POLITICO he resigned and that Schock, a Republican, accepted his resignation. The posts had Cole likening black people to animals and said a mosque should be built on the White House grounds for President Barack Obama.
    That description of Cole’s racially charged, online missives may sound like an exaggeration. It’s really not.

    ThinkProgress got the ball rolling this morning, publishing Facebook posts from the congressional aide mocking two African Americans outside his D.C. apartment. In the messages, Cole compared the people with escaped zoo animals, adding the hashtag “#gentrifytoday.”

    BuzzFeed uncovered additional materials, including messages from Cole calling for a mosque to be built on the White House grounds for the president, and a vow that Cole was doing his “absolute best” to put “as many Black Criminals who live and loiter on my street behind bars.”

  25. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning Everyone

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