Tuesday Open Thread- Gladys Knight Week

We continue with Gladys Knight.


Gladys Knight-4

Gladys Knight (1969)

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Gladys Knight-17

This is my all-time favorite Glady Knight song. Beats “Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me” just by a hair. But, I FEEL Gladys in this song…

Gladys Knight-18

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82 Responses to Tuesday Open Thread- Gladys Knight Week

  1. Ametia says:

    Brian Williams has been suspended for six months without pay following revelations that he exaggerated tales from an Iraq War mission in 2003.

    NBC News President Deborah Turness informed staffers of the network’s decision at a meeting shortly after Williams’ fill-in, Lester Holt, finished anchoring Tuesday’s “NBC Nightly News.”

    “The suspension will be without pay and is effective immediately,” Turness wrote. “We let Brian know of our decision earlier today. Lester Holt will continue to substitute Anchor the NBC Nightly News.”

  2. rikyrah says:

    Review: ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ is as Ridiculous as You’d Expect

    By Eric Kohn | IndiewireFebruary 10, 2015 at 1:52PM

    The adaptation of E.L. James’ salacious novel delivers on the source material — but that’s not exactly a compliment.

    The feature-length adaptation of “Fifty Shades of Grey” opens with Annie Lennox’s snazzy cover of “I Put a Spell on You,” a choice obviously meant to convey the ensuing S&M plot between recent college graduate Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) and young billionaire Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan). However, it ultimately speaks to a bigger force at work — namely, the absurd extent to which this unapologetically trashy source material has managed to hold sway over popular culture.

    Lifted from the first of E.L. James’ wildly successful novels, which started as a form of “Twilight” fan fiction, the movie plays strictly by the book — which is hardly a compliment. Directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson from Kelly Marcel’s screenplay, the considerable talent behind the camera and a modicum of considerable performances yield a few undeniable guilty pleasures, but most viewers will be seeking a safe word to escape this two-hour-plus mess of half-baked excess.

    Taylor-Johnson’s previous directorial outing, the John Lennon origin story “Nowhere Boy,” similarly tracked a young character coming to grips with his identity. But while Lennon had real talent and ambition, Anastasia’s only sincere desires involve whether or not she’s willing to sign a contract allowing Grey to turn her into his object of fetishistic abuse. Johnson does her best to give Anastasia’s conundrum a genuine sense of intrigue, and her final bits as she confronts Grey on the nature of his peculiar desires register some modicum of suspense. However, the stilted Dornan doesn’t even meet her halfway. But he can’t be held entirely at fault for the paucity of material he’s given, and the extent to which the movie remains tethered to the book’s limited scope.


  3. rikyrah says:

    Exclusive: UMC Sets Theatrical Date for Patrik-Ian Polk’s ‘Blackbird’ + New Release Poster + Trailer

    By Jai Tiggett | Shadow and Act

    February 10, 2015 at 11:29AM

    UMC – Urban Movie Channel, an RLJ Entertainment brand, created by Robert L. Johnson, founder of Black Entertainment Television (BET), today announced the April 24, 2015, U.S. theatrical release of director Patrik-Ian Polk’s coming-of-age drama “Blackbird,” which is based on the novel by the same name by Larry Duplechan.

    The film stars Academy Award winning actress and comedian Mo’Nique, Isaiah Washington, Terrell Tilford, D. Woods, Gary L. Gray, Torrey Laamar, Kevin Allesee, Nikki Jane and introduces breakthrough talent Julian Walker.

    “I am very excited to bring ‘Blackbird’ to theaters and to UMC,” said Johnson, adding, “’Blackbird’ is in line with my vision for UMC to bring together the African American/urban production and talent community with a distribution channel dedicated to showcasing and supporting their creative works. I have had the pleasure of knowing Mo’Nique since early in her career as a comedian and her appearances on BET, and I know and admire Isaiah’s work as both an actor and a producer.


    With past films like “The Skinny” and “Noah’s Arc: Jumping the Broom,” writer-director Polk has become known for steamy ensemble dramedies about the lives and romantic woes of black gay men. His latest, “Blackbird,” while focused on a younger set of characters with tamer sexual history, has Polk’s imprint all over it, painting a vivid picture of the struggle, shame and awkwardness that comes with growing up black and gay in a tiny Mississippi town.

    Newcomer Julian Walker stars as Randy, a good-natured choirboy with a gorgeous voice and a host of personal issues – his little sister’s disappearance, the separation of his parents (played by Mo’Nique and Isaiah Washington), his strange and unsettling visions, and his repressed attraction to the same sex. Coming of age against a backdrop of blue skies, creeks, and pickup trucks and surrounded by a pack of misfit friends, he is the only one in his life who doesn’t seem to know (or accept) that he’s gay. As he and his classmates work on a controversial school production of “Romeo & Juliet,” all the problems in his life come to a head.


  4. rikyrah says:

    The fashion behind ‘An African City’! Watch Maame Adjei (“Zainab”) interview Aisha Obuobi of Ghana’s leading fashion brand Christie Brown. Learn more about Christie Brown here: http://www.christiebrownonline.com


  5. rikyrah says:

    Fri Feb 06, 2015 at 04:12 PM PST.

    Liberal Racism: 25 Things I Learned After I Wrote About ISIS and White Racism at the Daily Kos

    by chaunceydevega

    Racism is not an opinion. It is a fact.

    White supremacy is one of the most powerful social forces and ideologies in the United States (and the West). As such, it is reflected in our political discourse, and both intentionally (through active racism) and unintentionally (implicit bias) reproduced by individuals.

    Online spaces are a great lens into white supremacy because they are a type of public arena where individuals can drop the mask of social conformity and desirability, revealing their private thoughts and true selves.

    Thus, comment sections are transformed into a space where “backstage racism” can be transformed into direct and public acts.

    I have shared my essays here on the Daily Kos for several years. There are some good and sincere folks here who I have talked to via email and through other mediums. There are likely many “lurkers” who read, give “recs”, and share work they find valuable and useful with their friends, family, colleagues, and others in their personal networks.

    By definition, those individuals who frequently comment on and read political websites are outliers relative to the general population. And while the Daily Kos is a “liberal” or “progressive” website, it still reflects the biases, habits, and beliefs of the individuals who frequent it.

    For example, if a given society is racist, sexist, and homophobic, then its members and culture, to varying degrees, will be a reflection of those values. Some will resist them; others will actively reproduce and support them; most will go about their quotidian lives, a herd or mass public to be directed one way or another as their personal whims and desires pull, and cues from elites direct them.

    White liberals love to point out the racism of conservatives and republicans. This is an easy task in the post civil rights era because the Tea Party GOP is the United States’ de facto White identity party.

    It is far more difficult for white liberals and progressives to look in the proverbial mirror and to take a personal inventory of their own possessive investment in whiteness, and how they reproduce white supremacy as a lived ideology.

    Liberal or “aversive” racism is the counterpart to the “symbolic” and “old fashioned” racism practiced by conservatives and the White Right.

    My most recent posts on the Daily Kos (an essay on Dr. Martin Luther King and White memory; a new piece on ISIS’s barbarism and the lynching of black Americans by white people) have been met with many hundreds of comments. Those essays were also shared many thousands of times on Facebook and other social media


    • eliihass says:

      “..Liberal or “aversive” racism is the counterpart to the “symbolic” and “old fashioned” racism practiced by conservatives and the White Right..”


  6. rikyrah says:

    GOP opposition to net neutrality takes farcical turn
    02/10/15 11:20 AM—UPDATED 02/10/15 12:10 PM
    By Steve Benen
    During his tenure as chairman of the House Oversight Committee, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) made few friends. Democrats found his partisan antics offensive; reporters found his habit of leaking deceptive information infuriating, even Republicans tired of Issa’s ineffectiveness.

    When the gavel was passed to Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), many hoped the transition would be for the better. Those hopes are being dashed.

    Chaffetz and his Senate counterpart, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), are predictably unhappy about the FCC’s newly announced support for net neutrality. But the far-right committee chairmen aren’t just upset about the policy; they’re alleging some kind of White House conspiracy.
    Two congressional committees have launched investigations into whether the White House improperly influenced the net-neutrality proposal released last week by the head of the Federal Communications Commission. […]

    Although the president nominates the chairman and other FCC commissioners, the agency is independent and not supposed to be subject to White House control. [FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler] is a former lobbyist for the cable-TV and wireless industries and was a major fundraiser for Obama, who nominated him to head the FCC in 2013. Republicans have charged that Obama unduly influenced Wheeler’s proposal.
    Chaffetz and Johnson, the L.A. Times report noted, “cited a Wall Street Journal article last week that reported that two White House aides led a ‘secretive effort’ to build support from outside groups for tough net-neutrality regulations.”


  7. rikyrah says:

    Helen Mirren Even Falls Over Elegantly

    Too much grace to handle.
    posted on Feb. 10, 2015, at 5:42 a.m.


  8. rikyrah says:



    Kiss my Black Azz


    FBI monitored and critiqued African American writers for decades
    A new book reveals the extent to which J Edgar Hoover’s bureau kept files on well-known black writers between 1919 and 1972

    Lorraine Hansberry’s play A Raisin in the Sun was one of the many works the FBI reviewed before publication.
    Monday 9 February 2015 10.37 EST

    Newly declassified documents from the FBI reveal how the US federal agency under J Edgar Hoover monitored the activities of dozens of prominent African American writers for decades, devoting thousands of pages to detailing their activities and critiquing their work.

    Academic William Maxwell first stumbled upon the extent of the surveillance when he submitted a freedom of information request for the FBI file of Claude McKay. The Jamaican-born writer was a key figure in the Harlem Renaissance, author of the sonnet If We Must Die, supposedly recited by Winston Churchill, and Maxwell was preparing an edition of his complete poems. When the file came through from the FBI, it stretched to 193 pages and, said Maxwell, revealed “that the bureau had closely read and aggressively chased McKay” – describing him as a “notorious negro revolutionary” – “all across the Atlantic world, and into Moscow”.

    Maxwell, associate professor of English and African American studies at Washington University in St Louis, decided to investigate further, knowing that other scholars had already found files on well-known black writers such as Langston Hughes and James Baldwin. He made 106 freedom of information requests about what he describes as “noteworthy Afro-modernists” to the FBI; 51 of those writers had files, ranging from three to 1,884 pages each.


  9. rikyrah says:

    Little League Probing Chicago Team That Won US Title

    Feb 10, 2015, 12:59 PM ET


    Little League Baseball is meeting to review facts surrounding the eligibility of the Chicago-based team that won the 2014 U.S. championship, amid allegations that the much-celebrated squad may have violated a rule prohibiting the use of players who live outside the geographic area that the team represents.

    Stephen Keener, CEO of Little League Baseball, told ESPN that the findings of a recent review of the matter are complete and being evaluated. He declined to say whether Jackie Robinson West, the first all-African-American team to win the championship, could be stripped of its title, as one of its rivals has called for.

    All I can tell you … is we are meeting tomorrow morning with our Charter Committee to discuss this and the findings from our review, which included meetings a week ago with neighboring leagues in Chicago,” Keener said Monday night by email. “[I’m] not prepared at this time to commit to anything further. We’ll have a statement on the outcome at the appropriate time.”

    Jackie Robinson West drew significant attention as it advanced to the tournament’s title game, where it fell to Seoul, South Korea. In a sport that increasingly struggles to attract African-Americans, the team representing Chicago’s South Side emerged as a force, beating Las Vegas 7-5 in the U.S. title game. The Chicago players were lauded for not just their prowess on the field but also for their sportsmanship, and they later were honored by President Barack Obama at the White House.

    But the squad has been accused of using players from outside its local area by recruiting players from neighboring Little League districts to build what amounts to a superteam.

    Officials and coaches with Jackie Robinson West have denied any wrongdoing.


  10. rikyrah says:



    Roland Martin Will Co-Host Black GOP Luncheon

    The Republican National Committee says it wants to leverage his influence with black voters.
    posted on Feb. 9, 2015, at 11:19 a.m.

    WASHINGTON – Roland Martin, the liberal pundit and host of TV One’s NewsOne Now With Roland Martin will co-host the Republican National Committee’s Black Republican Trailblazer Awards Luncheon in Washington, a source tells BuzzFeed News.

    The luncheon, being held Wednesday afternoon, features some of the biggest names in the GOP, including South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott. The Feb. 11 event will take place at Washington’s historic Howard Theatre.

    The event will honor the late Sen. Edward Brooke III, who died in January at the age of 95. Texas Rep. Will Hurd and Utah Rep. Mia Love, freshman lawmakers widely thought of as new stars in the Republican Party, will be honored alongside Scott.

    Dr. Ben Carson, who is exploring a run for the presidency, will also attend.

    RNC chairman Reince Preibus has been a guest on Martin’s show in recent months. He also has been given a platform on the Tom Joyner Morning Show, on which Martin is a contributor.

    Martin attended the luncheon the first two years, but Wednesday will be his first time hosting. An RNC official told BuzzFeed News that Preibus and Martin are well acquainted, and that part of the RNC’s focus as it concerns reaching out to black voters, is to build relationships with “black media and outlets black voters trust.”


  11. rikyrah says:

    Benjamin Netanyahu takes White House fight to social media
    By KENDALL BREITMAN 2/10/15 10:28 AM EST

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is taking his plight from the House floor to social media.

    On Tuesday, Netanyahu tweeted, “I’m determined to speak before Congress to stop Iran. RETWEET if I have your support.”

    The tweet is paired with a photo image of the prime minister with the quote: “A dangerous agreement with Iran is taking shape in Munich which would risk Israel’s existence. Therefore, I’m determined to travel to Washington and present Israel’s position before Congress and the American people.”

    Unlike many of the prime minister’s tweets, which are written in Hebrew, the tweet was timed for the East Coast’s morning news cycle and written in English. About an hour after the tweet was first published, it had already gained


  12. rikyrah says:

    Leahy to skip Netanyahu’s ‘tawdry and high-handed stunt’
    02/10/15 10:45 AM
    By Steve Benen
    Yesterday, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) became the first senator to announce he will not attend Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address, scheduled for March 3. By last night, however, the senator had some company when his fellow Vermonter, Sen. Pat Leahy (D-Vt.), announced he’ll also skip the event.
    “The unfortunate way that House leaders have unilaterally arranged this, and then heavily politicized it, has demolished the potential constructive value of this joint meeting,” Leahy said in a statement. “They have orchestrated a tawdry and high-handed stunt that has embarrassed not only Israel but the Congress itself.”

    While Sanders was the first senator to say he’ll boycott Netanyahu’s address, Leahy plays a much larger role in U.S. foreign affairs. He chairs the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations.
    Leahy’s statement added, “It has long been an unwritten rule and practice through the decades that when it comes to American foreign policy, we speak and act thoughtfully, with one voice when we can, with the national interests of the United States as our uppermost consideration, and with caution about the unintended consequences of unilateral actions like this. They have diminished that valuable precedent.”


  13. rikyrah says:

    Rand Paul struggles with his signature issues
    02/10/15 09:30 AM—UPDATED 02/10/15 10:17 AM
    By Steve Benen
    Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) was in Iowa late last week for the same reason plenty of other Republican politicians are in the Hawkeye State: he’s laying the groundwork for a presidential campaign. The difference, of course, is that the Kentucky Republican’s message isn’t quite the same as other GOP aspirants.

    Dave Weigel attended an event at “a wine bar packed with Iowa voters,” and noted Rand Paul “delivered eight minutes of remarks on the need to audit the Federal Reserve.”

    That’s not surprising. The GOP senator, like his father, has taken a keen interest in the Fed and made monetary policy a centerpiece of his broader political message. The trouble is, this may be one of those issues Rand Paul cares deeply about, despite not understanding it especially well.

    I haven’t seen a complete transcript of the senator’s remarks in Iowa, but the Wall Street Journal reported on the event. “Once upon a time, your dollar was as good as gold,” Paul reportedly said. “Then for many decades, they said your dollar was backed by the full faith and credit of government. Do you know what it’s backed by now? Used car loans, bad home loans, distressed assets and derivatives.”

    Danny Vinik explained that the argument “makes very little sense.”
    When Paul asks what backs the U.S. dollar now, he’s effectively asking what makes it valuable. When the U.S. used a gold standard, it meant that a dollar was worth a certain amount of gold. Economists overwhelmingly agree that that was a terrible idea, but the connection seemed to explain why dollars had value. The real reason dollars had value is the same today as it was back then: It’s the only currency the government accepts to pay taxes. Businesses and consumers thus have an incentive to carry out transactions using dollars. Paul’s quip about dollars being backed by “used car loans, bad home loans, distressed assets and derivatives” may sound good to Iowa conservatives but it betrays an incredible ignorance about the economy.
    Wait, it gets worse. Paul went on to say the Fed’s liabilities are leveraged 80 to 1 against its assets, which led him to compare the Federal Reserve to Lehman Brothers when it collapsed. As Vinik explained, this is plainly wrong, too.
    Paul apparently can’t read the Fed’s balance sheets, because as of November, its assets were $4.487 trillion and its liabilities were $4.430 trillion. Where did the $57 billion figure come from? That’s its total capital. But as Cullen Roche, the founder of financial services firm Orcam Financial Group, points out, Paul also ignores the fact that the Fed remits most of its profits to the Treasury Department. In 2013, they gave Treasury nearly $80 billion. “The Federal Reserve isn’t just a profitable entity,” Roche writes. “It is perhaps the most profitable entity on the face of the planet.”

    As all this shows, Paul’s views on monetary policy are profoundly misguided. As long as he’s in the Senate, that doesn’t really matter. He can spout his nonsense without having any effect on the Federal Reserve. But if he became president, he would be responsible for choosing the next Fed Chair when Janet Yellen’s term expires in 2018 and for nominating board members to the FOMC….At least on the economy, that makes Rand Paul by far the most dangerous candidate in the 2016 field.


  14. rikyrah says:

    What now in Alabama?
    02/10/15 08:00 AM—UPDATED 02/10/15 08:26 AM
    By Steve Benen
    Yesterday was supposed to be a pretty straightforward day in Alabama. The state’s ban on marriage equality has been deemed unconstitutional by the federal courts, setting the stage for legal same-sex marriages statewide starting yesterday morning. It’s a process that’s unfolded without incident in three dozen other states.

    But there was nothing simple about events in Alabama yesterday. Some counties decided to honor the federal court rulings; most counties followed bizarre instructions issued by state Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore (R); and 12 counties decided to simply stop issuing marriage licenses to everyone. The state Attorney General’s office took the remarkable step of telling local judges to ask their own attorneys how best to proceed.

    So what happens now?

    Gov. Robert Bentley (R) balked at Roy Moore’s request to reject federal court rulings, but the Republican governor isn’t eager to intervene further.
    Gov. Robert Bentley won’t take any action against probate judges who issue licenses for same-sex marriages.

    Bentley issued a statement today after Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore asserted on Sunday night that it would be up to the governor to make sure probate judges are following state law.
    “This issue has created confusion with conflicting direction for probate judges in Alabama,” Bentley said. “Probate judges have a unique responsibility in our state, and I support them. I will not take any action against probate judges, which would only serve to further complicate this issue.

    “We will follow the rule of law in Alabama, and allow the issue of same sex marriage to be worked out through the proper legal channels.”


  15. rikyrah says:

    Prayer Breakfast flap reaches peak nonsense
    02/09/15 05:09 PM—UPDATED 02/09/15 07:02 PM
    By Steve Benen
    The manufactured outrage surrounding President Obama’s remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast last week offered an interesting case study in political nonsense. The misplaced outrage snowballed over the course of a few days before reaching a point of Peak Nonsense over the weekend.

    To briefly recap, Obama noted in his remarks that while many faith communities around the world are “inspiring people to lift up one another,” we also see “faith being twisted and distorted, used as a wedge – or, worse, sometimes used as a weapon.” The president explained that no faith tradition is immune and every religion, including Obama and his fellow Christians, has chapters its adherents are not proud of.

    Everything he said had the benefit of being true, but Republicans, conservative activists, and a few too many Beltway pundits reached for the fainting couch, twisting the president’s remarks into something they’re not. Which led to Over-the-Top Reaction #1:
    Louisiana Republican Rep. John Fleming said President Obama’s speech to the National Prayer Breakfast last week in which he drew a historical comparison between atrocities committed by Islamic State fighters and past “terrible deeds in the name of Christ” were “unpresidential” and actually defended ISIS.
    Followed by Over-the-Top Reaction #2:
    Forget the Inquisition or the Crusades, religious fanatics only kill in the name of Islam – at least according to Fox News’ Eric Bolling. […]

    Bolling claimed the president’s “egregious” comments would “follow him for the rest of his presidency and legacy,” and pushed back on the idea that people murder in the names of other religions. “Reports say radical Muslim jihadists killed thousands of people in the past few months alone,” Bolling said. “And yet when you take Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, whatever, their combined killings in the name of religion – well, that would be zero.”
    Neither Fleming nor Bolling were kidding. This wasn’t satire intended to make conservatives look foolish; the recordings of both of men make clear they were entirely sincere.


  16. rikyrah says:

    4,000 Lynching Victims Named

    From 1877 to 1950, nearly 4,000 blacks were lynched across the South. On Tuesday, their names were finally revealed.

    The Equal Justice Project released an inventory that includes 700 people whose deaths were previously unaccounted for in lynching records. “If you’re trying to make a point that the amount of racial violence is underestimated, well then, there’s no doubt about it,” said Professor E.M. Beck of the University of Georgia, who has worked on researching and revising other lynching records.

    “What people don’t realize here is just how many there were, and how close. Places they drive by every day.” The organization plans to erect markers and memorials across the 16 states where blacks were hung, shot, beaten, stabbed, castrated, and set on fire.


  17. rikyrah says:

    It’s called Take the Money and hide it elsewhere


    Amid Complaints in India, a Real Estate Deal in Manhattan


    Last Sept. 28, a group of retired military officers demonstrated at Jantar Mantar, a historic site in New Delhi. “Though we are old veterans, we still have the strength to challenge your atrocity,” read the placard of one protester, who was leaning on a cane.

    Their animus was directed at one of the New Delhi area’s biggest residential builders, Kabul Chawla. In 2008, nearly 200 military officers had put down deposits on apartments at Park Serene, a high-rise apartment complex Mr. Chawla was developing. In addition to a swimming pool, a community center and special prices for members of India’s military, a big drawing card was the prospect that the officers could live together in retirement.

    More than six years later, the protesters say that Mr. Chawla’s company has collected almost 100 percent of the price of the Park Serene apartments from 400 buyers, payments the protesters estimate at more than $35 million. But the company has not completed the units. “They put their life savings in it,” said Brajesh Kumar, a retired Army major general and spokesman for the protesting officers, who have taken their grievances to a national consumer commission. “They thought that after their retirement they would move in. It’s not a happy situation for a large number of consumers.”

    As complaints mount against Mr. Chawla, developer of two dozen other major residential complexes near New Delhi, many of the veterans are struggling to find a place to live.

    Mr. Chawla does not appear to have that problem. Even when he is more than 7,000 miles away in New York, he enjoys the comforts of a 4,050-square-foot condominium in the Time Warner Center that has five bedrooms, a media/playroom, soaring ceilings and Central Park views.

    Although Mr. Chawla denies owning the apartment, saying that he stays there but that it belongs to his cousin, The New York Times has unearthed correspondence among real estate brokers involved in the apartment’s purchase, as well as other sources, tying the condo to Mr. Chawla.


  18. rikyrah says:

    Jho Low, Well Connected in Malaysia, Has an Appetite for New York

    FEB. 8, 2015

    In early 2010, a young Malaysian financier named Jho Low began making some very expensive real estate deals in the United States.

    First, a shell company connected to Mr. Low, famous back home for partying with the likes of Paris Hilton, purchased a $23.98 million apartment in the Park Laurel condominiums in Manhattan. Three years later, that shell company sold the condo to another shell company, this one controlled by someone even more prominent in Malaysia: the film-producing stepson of the prime minister.

    A similar transaction was playing out on the other side of the country. Mr. Low bought a contemporary mansion in Beverly Hills for $17.5 million, then turned around and sold it, once again to the prime minister’s stepson. (Read a summary of this article in Malay.)

    Mr. Low also went shopping at the Time Warner Center condominiums overlooking Central Park. He toured a 76th-floor penthouse, once home to the celebrity couple Jay Z and Beyoncé, then in early 2011 used yet another shell company to buy it for $30.55 million, one of the highest prices ever in the building.

    At the time, Mr. Low said he represented a group of investors, according to two people with direct knowledge of the transaction. Mr. Low recently told The New York Times that he had not purchased the penthouse for investors, and that it was owned by his family’s trust.

    One thing is clear: As with nearly two-thirds of the apartments at the Time Warner Center, a dark-glass symbol of New York’s luxury condominium boom, the people behind Penthouse 76B cannot be found in any public real estate records. The trail ends with Jho Low.


  19. rikyrah says:

    Stream of Foreign Wealth Flows to Elite New York Real Estate

    FEB. 7, 2015

    On the 74th floor of the Time Warner Center, Condominium 74B was purchased in 2010 for $15.65 million by a secretive entity called 25CC ST74B L.L.C. It traces to the family of Vitaly Malkin, a former Russian senator and banker who was barred from entering Canada because of suspected connections to organized crime.

    Last fall, another shell company bought a condo down the hall for $21.4 million from a Greek businessman named Dimitrios Contominas, who was arrested a year ago as part of a corruption sweep in Greece.

    A few floors down are three condos owned by another shell company, Columbus Skyline L.L.C., which belongs to the family of a Chinese businessman and contractor named Wang Wenliang. His construction company was found housing workers in New Jersey in hazardous, unsanitary conditions.

    Behind the dark glass towers of the Time Warner Center looming over Central Park, a majority of owners have taken steps to keep their identities hidden, registering condos in trusts, limited liability companies or other entities that shield their names. By piercing the secrecy of more than 200 shell companies, The New York Times documented a decade of ownership in this iconic Manhattan way station for global money transforming the city’s real estate market.

    Many of the owners represent a cross-section of American wealth: chief executives and celebrities, doctors and lawyers, technology entrepreneurs and Wall Street traders.

    But The Times also found a growing proportion of wealthy foreigners, at least 16 of whom have been the subject of government inquiries around the world, either personally or as heads of companies. The cases range from housing and environmental violations to financial fraud. Four owners have been arrested, and another four have been the subject of fines or penalties for illegal activities.

    The foreign owners have included government officials and close associates of officials from Russia, Colombia, Malaysia, China, Kazakhstan and Mexico.


  20. rikyrah says:

    Some See Risk in de Blasio’s Bid to Add Housing

    FEB. 3, 2015

    Every month, city planners come to East New York to explain how the city wants to help this corner of Brooklyn, scarred by decades of poverty and violent crime, grow. They will invite developers to build up local streets in exchange for more units of affordable housing. They will invest in new trees and sidewalks. Better services and shops will follow, they say.

    And every month, the grumbling ensues.

    “We see what’s going on around in the city,” said Joyce Scott-Brayboy, 58, a local community board member and retired city worker. “No to that in East New York. No. No.”

    Hers is the first neighborhood Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration has chosen to focus on under his affordable housing strategy, one of his chief policy initiatives, which he made the centerpiece of his State of the City address on Tuesday.

    Ms. Scott-Brayboy is hardly alone in challenging his vision. Around New York, people who have watched luxury buildings and wealthy newcomers remake their streets are balking at the growth Mr. de Blasio envisions, saying the influx of market-rate apartments called for in the city’s plans could gut neighborhoods, not preserve them.


  21. rikyrah says:

    I haven’t heard anything about this…have you?


    Bribery scandal puts Navy admiral moves on hold Christopher P. Cavas, Defense News 1:06 p.m. EST February 9, 2015

    WASHINGTON — During a change of command and retirement ceremony at the U.S. Naval Academy in July, Vice Adm. Mike Miller was ending a four-year tour as academy superintendent and retiring with honors after a 40-year career.

    Except that when the festivities ended, Miller wasn’t allowed to leave the service just yet. Even though his official online biography reads “retired,” he’s still being carried on the Navy’s active-duty rolls — at a reduced two-star level. And although he has no specific job — or billet, in Navy-speak — he counts against the service’s allocated total of 219 admirals.

    Defense officials said Miller is one of an estimated three dozen admirals under federal investigation for potential wrongdoing in the Glenn Defense Marine Asia (GDMA) case, also known as the “Fat Leonard” affair, after the nickname of the company’s leader, Leonard Glenn Francis.

    Francis is in federal custody in San Diego and has admitted to numerous instances of bribery, influence peddling and corruption attempts. A number of naval officers and civilians already have been charged and some convicted, and the investigation, announced in mid-2013, is — by all accounts — showing no signs of slowing down.

    Other admirals known to be caught up in the affair are Vice Adm. Ted Branch, the head of naval intelligence, and Rear Adm. Bruce Loveless, the director of intelligence operations. Both officers were suspended by the Navy on Nov. 8, 2013 — with their security clearances revoked — pending the outcome of the investigations. No outcomes have been announced.

    Until investigations by the Department of Justice and the Navy are concluded, however, none of the officers under scrutiny can move on, either to resume their jobs or take up new ones. Their replacements can’t take over, either.


  22. rikyrah says:

    HumanityCritic @HumanityCritic
    Neighbor: Just so you know, we didn’t vote for Obama.. Me: ..the Confederate flag in your front yard wasn’t a dead fucking giveaway at all.
    12:56 PM – 9 Feb 2015

  23. rikyrah says:

    britni danielle @BritniDWrites
    Prince ain’t got TIME for y’all. “Like books and Black lives, albums still matter.”

    Class dismissed #GRAMMYs

    9:41 PM – 8 Feb 2015

  24. rikyrah says:


    the REAL left shark. @NFLBadwitch

    “Prince couldn’t take my girl, FOH.”

    Prince can take you AND your girl, sir. Have y’all both on the bed at the same time, questioning life.

    • eliihass says:

      Please everyone pick up a copy or two of this issue., besides the fact that this is the first time the cover features a human being (usually features food), the right wingers are raging over FLOTUS being on the cover and are pushing a campaign to have their fellow nutters cancel their subscriptions in droves to punish the magazine and to show their displeasure. You’ve got to get it too as a keepsake for the bit of shade FLOTUS threw at the anti-Obamacare crowd…

      HL: Why did you and your husband decide to make food such a big part of your platforms?

      Mrs. Obama: Because health was at the core of my husband’s key policy goals in this administration. And whether it’s making sure that millions of people have access to affordable insurance so that they can get their preventative care and get their mammograms and take their kids to well-child visits, or whether it’s just making sure people understand that the most powerful thing that they can do for their overall health is feed their bodies good nutritious food — if you don’t like the doctor, if you don’t like government, if you don’t like folks messing with your life, the best thing to do is make sure you’re healthy. Because that’s going to increase your odds for making sure that you don’t have to deal with the system.

      So I’ve always found that the work that we’re doing with Let’s Move! is completely in accord with what my husband’s goals are for improving the overall health of our country and saving us as a nation billions of dollars every single year.
      All these initiatives are going to save us money. They’re going to make us feel better. They’re going to put us in a position to be more productive as a society



  25. rikyrah says:

    PragmaticObotsUnite @PragObots

    .@johnlegend Since you’re clarifying things, explain why u didn’t stand up for @ledisi when @Beyonce approached u to sing “Precious Lord”?

  26. rikyrah says:



    rolandsmartin ✔ @rolandsmartin
    Why can’t we stand with the Koch Brothers on criminal justice reform and kick their butts on voter suppression? This is a serious question.
    8:41 PM – 9 Feb 2015

  27. rikyrah says:

    Blair Underwood Buys Rights to Espionage Best-Seller ‘Camelot’s Cousin’ to Star in & Produce

    By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act
    February 9, 2015 at 6:48PM

    More Berlin/European Film Market news you can use…

    Blair Underwood, via his Intrepid Pictures, along with Little Studio Films, have purchased the film rights to author David R. Stokes’ best-selling book “Camelot’s Cousin: The Spy Who Betrayed Kennedy,” as a starring vehicle for Underwood.

    Asking whether one of President Kennedy’s closest friends was a Soviet mole, the espionage thriller, set against the backdrop of the Cuban Missile Crisis and other famous events during the Kennedy administration, follows Templeton Davis, a scholar and media personality, who becomes lost in an investigation, as he travels far and wide in his quest to unravel one of the 20th century’s greatest mysteries, after the discovery of a long-buried journal suggests that one of President Kennedy’s most trusted friends was actually a Soviet spy.

    Underwood will of course play Templeton Davis.

    “Blair Underwood is a gifted performer and communicator with the right skills and persona to bring Temp to life as a man of deep thought and heroic action. I didn’t have him in mind when I created Temp a few years ago, but I might as well have. It’s uncanny how much this remarkable actor fits the bill,” author David R. Stokes states.


  28. rikyrah says:

    The Winter of Progressive Discontent
    by BooMan
    Mon Feb 9th, 2015 at 11:47:15 PM EST

    Here’s a question for Joan Walsh. If you’re a progressive Democrat who doesn’t support Hillary Clinton, what are you supposed to do? Now, I know that you suggest that progressives get behind Bernie Sanders or Sherrod Brown or Kirsten Gillibrand, but they all suffer from the same basic flaw that you’ve identified with Elizabeth Warren: they haven’t “done anything to build an organization in any of the early primary or caucus states.”

    It’s true that Bernie Sanders has at least indicated a willingness to consider getting in the race, but he’s not exactly as compelling as a potential candidate as Elizabeth Warren. The problem for people who don’t support Hillary isn’t that Warren might not run. The problem is that no one of her stature seems likely to run.

    Sherrod Brown and Kirsten Gillibrand are good alternatives, but they aren’t any more likely to challenge Clinton than Warren. So, why not try to convince the strongest potential challenger to get into it?

    Sure, it can begin to look like a cult of personality, but anyone who is going to have a snowball’s chance in hell against the Clintons is going to need some fanatical supporters.

    I’m willing to listen to alternatives, but what’s going on here is that there is a hunger for someone who can do more than offer a token resistance to Clinton’s nomination.

    The alternative to this is to somehow try to find a way to move Clinton to the left without having a credible threat in the form of an actual challenger. How the hell can that be done?

    There are some other issues here to consider, including the idea that Clinton could position herself in a way that is surprisingly more satisfactory than most progressives expect. I see this as a real possibility on domestic issues, but I truly doubt we’ll see the same in foreign policy.

    Another thing to consider is that Clinton can say all the progressive things in the world but what will really determine how far she goes is what kind of congresses she’ll deal with when she’s the president. Progressives might do better by focusing less on the presidential race, which seems to be a lost cause already, and more on getting likeminded politicians elected to the House and Senate.

    What’s clear, though, is that progressives do not want a third term of Clintonism and they’re getting shut out of the debate before it even begins. For organizations like MoveOn.org and Democracy for America, they can’t just fall in line for a Clinton coronation and maintain their credibility with their members. That doesn’t mean that they will wind up hostile in the end. After all, Howard Dean has already endorsed Clinton, so how oppositional is DFA really going to be?

    So, yeah, the Draft Warren movement is partly about people maintaining their progressive credentials with their members, but that’s because their members aren’t sold on Clinton. Without a vessel for their discontent, the next step is apathy.


  29. rikyrah says:

    Gabrielle Union Says She’s Tired of Black Actresses Having to “Shuck & Jive” in Stereotyped Roles

    By Sergio | Shadow and Act
    February 9, 2015 at 3:47PM

    I love it when black actors say controversial things. Add to that growing list, actress Gabrielle Union.

    On a recent appearance on “The Angie Martinez Show” on Power 105.1 FM in New York, to promote the new season of her BET dramedy series, “Being Mary Jane,” Union said that she was frustrated with the lack of more nuanced quality roles for black actresses in comedies.

    She said that, instead of the “smart comedies” that white actresses get, black actresses are usually offered, more often than not, stereotyped, low brow roles: “They want us shucking and jivin’ and cooning, that’s where they’re most comfortable having a black woman.”

    She went on the say that: “So to get a role like Tina Fey, smart, edgy, more cerebral humor… no, they’re going to get Tiny Fey. They’re going to get Amy Poehler, they going to get Rashida Jones…that crew. So I just got to get invited to Judd Apatow’s house, and I feel like once I get in there, hopefully I’ll make myself at home.”


  30. rikyrah says:

    RanMan @ranman09
    On this day 8 years ago, Senator Barack Obama’s Presidential Announcement: http://youtu.be/gdJ7Ad15WCA via @YouTube
    7:37 AM – 10 Feb 2015

  31. rikyrah says:


    PART 2


    Family asks cops to check on 74-year-old vet after surgery, and they break in and kill him

    David Edwards
    09 Feb 2015 at 10:57 ET

    State officials in North Carolina have launched an investigation after a police officer in Gastonia shot and killed a 74-year-old man while performing a welfare check.

    Gastonia police Chief Robert Helton explained at a press conference on Sunday that a family member had asked officers to check on James Howard Allen on Saturday afternoon, The Charlotte Observer reported.

    Helton said that Allen’s family had asked for the welfare check because the 74-year-old veteran had recently undergone surgery.

    An officer first visited Allen’s home at 10:20 p.m. on Saturday, but there was no answer.

    Gastonia police then contacted the Gastonia Fire Department and Gaston Emergency Medical Services at 11:30 p.m. and a “decision was made to enter the house, concerned that he may be inside in need of emergency assistance,” Helton said


    • eliihass says:

      Don’t even get me started. Here in California, an elderly woman called the cops to help get her elderly husband who had just been discharged earlier in the day, to take some medicine he had to take for his heart condition. The old man said he didn’t like the way the medicine made him feel and refused to take it. Do you know that the police came to their home and tasered the old man who’d just been discharged that day with a heart condition! Terrible.

  32. rikyrah says:

    PART 1

    Mississippi couple asks FBI for help after cops allegedly point guns at autistic 6-year-old son

    Arturo Garcia
    09 Feb 2015 at 20:38 ET

    A Jackson, Mississippi couple is seeking federal help after local police allegedly drew their guns at their 6-year-old autistic son, WBRC-TV reported.

    Angela Thompson Roby said the incident happened while officers from the Ridgeland Police Department were executing a search warrant on Friday against her 23-year-old brother, Carneigio Gray, inside their mother’s home.

    “My son was telling the police officers to stop, to not do that, please don’t hurt his uncle,” she told WBRC. “That’s when the guns were drawn on him and my mother was telling them, ‘Hey please don’t point your gun at my grandbaby. Please don’t do that.’”


  33. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

    • Morning everyone!

      Rikyrah, I had forgotten about the Friendship Train. I haven’t heard it in so long.

      Get on board the Friendship Train

      Everybody shake a hand, shake a hand
      People I’m talking about the Friendship Train
      Everybody, shake a hand, make a friend now

  34. Ametia says:

    Judicial defiance in Alabama: Same-sex marriages begin, but most counties refuse

    MOBILE, Ala. — On the day that same-sex unions became legal in Alabama, local officials in dozens of counties on Monday defied a federal judge’s decision and refused to issue marriage licenses to gay couples, casting the state into judicial chaos.

    Read full article »

  35. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone. Loving Gladys & Pips week, Rikyrah.

    It’s time to get on the “Friendship Train, shake a hand, make a friend.”

    • yahtzeebutterfly says:

      Good Morning, Ametia and Everyone :)

      I LOVE Gladys Knight!!!

      Thanks, rikyrah, for bringing her to us this week!

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