Friday Open Thread |Quiet Storm Week

Smoky Robinson 25Known as the “King of Motown,” Smokey Robinson founded the R&B group The Miracles, which delivered 37 Top 40 hits for Motown Records.

Born in Detroit, Michigan, on February 19, 1940, Smokey Robinson is second to only Berry Gordy in the founding of Motown. A prolific songwriter, he is credited with 4,000 songs and 37 Top 40 hits, including “Tears of a Clown,” “Tracks of My Tears” and “Love Machine.” Robinson also served as vice president of Motown records, writing and producing hits for groups such as The Temptations (“My Girl”) and Mary Wells (“My Guy”).

Singer, songwriter and record producer Smokey Robinson was born William Robinson Jr. on February 19, 1940, in Detroit, Michigan. Growing up in a rough neighborhood, Robinson started out singing in local groups. In the early 1950s, he formed the Matadors, which later became the world-famous group The Miracles. A chance meeting with record producer Berry Gordy Jr. led to a contract with Motown Records as well as an important working relationship.

The Miracles scored their first big hit with “Shop Around” (1960) and developed quite a following with their energetic R&B sound. The group has numerous hits, including “You Really Got a Hold on Me” (1962) and “I Second That Emotion” (1967).

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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110 Responses to Friday Open Thread |Quiet Storm Week

  1. Ametia says:

    Rikyrah, where are you?

    Meeks pulls about-face, backs Emanuel
    march 20, 2015

    Four years ago, controversial Rev. James Meeks skewered mayoral candidate Rahm Emanuel, saying he wasn’t out for the best interests of black voters.


    “Ask any African-American leaders about that. They will tell you he had a role in keeping African-Americans out of the White House. All of the sudden, he sails into town, into African-American communities with all of this great stuff he’s going to do for us,” Meeks said during a talk show on WVON-AM 1690 at the time. “Your proof is in your track record. If he’s never done anything for African-Americans, wake up people. What would make us think he’s going to sail into town and start doing things for us now?”

  2. Ametia says:

    Federal Eye: ATF Director B. Todd Jones to step down this month
    By Josh Hicks

    The head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives plans to step down at the end of the month after more than three years of leading the agency, according to an official announcement on Friday.

    Read full article »

  3. eliihass says:

    Shouldn’t disgraced David Petraeus be in some jail someplace where he can’t do any more damage than he already has? Why is he still allowed to chime in on anything, and especially the ongoing high stakes negotiations with Iran? Something’s terribly wrong with this picture.

    • Ametia says:

      Bring IT, elliihas! DAVID *BE-TRAYED-US* & Cheney, the BOTTOM-FEEDERS of America get carte blanche to speak out on America’s foreign policy, when they BOTH should be in JAIL, especially Cheney for WAR CRIMES.

      Just GO AWAY Petraeus! bGTFOH

    • rikyrah says:

      Kennan Oliphant @TVNewsGuru

      Breaking Update: Autopsy still underway. No cause of death of #OtisByrd. Not sure how long body was in woods. 30+ FBI agents on scene.

  4. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    You know, the internet can be like a museum experience. I thought I would study up on the art from the sixties and early seventies.

    I found 3 nifty artworks (by searching for “Afro-American”) from a history site. I will post the first in this comment, and then the other 2 as replies.

  5. rikyrah says:

    Michigan’s electoral-vote scheme just won’t die
    03/20/15 11:42 AM
    By Steve Benen
    “There are some potentially helpful electoral college reform ideas that deserve further consideration and analysis,” the Washington Post’s editorial board noted yesterday. “The Michigan proposal, based on raw partisanship, is not one of them.”

    And which Michigan proposal would that be? As Dave Weigel reported the other day, it’s the scheme to rig the state’s electoral votes, which apparently won’t go away.
    In 2011, that state’s Republicans joined Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin in considering legislation to split up the state’s electoral votes by congressional districts. While Democratic gubernatorial wins in Pennsylvania and Virginia have ended the push in those states, last week saw an electoral vote-splitting bill come back to the Michigan legislature.

    House Bill 4310 would assign one presidential elector to the winner of each district and two to the winner of the state. Had this system been in place in 2012, Mitt Romney would have lost Michigan by nearly 450,000 of 4.7 million votes, but walked away with nine of the state’s 16 electoral votes.
    To be sure, this is not the first time GOP lawmakers in Michigan have toyed with the idea, and in each previous instance, the scheme died, in part due to public revulsion.

    But Michigan Republicans are not only keeping the plan alive, they’ve also come to believe that public revulsion is overrated – as Weigel noted, Gov. Rick Snyder (R), as a candidate, assured voters he didn’t intend to sign right-to-work legislation. He then took office, did the opposite, faced criticism, and won re-election anyway. The “lesson of 2014,” Dave noted, “was that Republicans can get away with plenty and not worry about being unseated by the left.”

  6. rikyrah says:

    jennifer bendery @jbendery 15 minutes ago
    Q: Why not take Netanyahu on his word on two-state solution? WH spox Earnest: “Which one?”

  7. rikyrah says:

    Boehner to visit Israel on Iran deadline
    March 20, 2015, 09:12 am

    House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) will lead a group of Republican lawmakers on a visit to Israel to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on March 31 — the deadline for an Iranian nuclear deal.

    An Israeli government official confirmed the trip to CNN and the Israeli newspaper Haaretzreports that the lawmakers will arrive on March 31, although the visit had been planned before the election.

  8. rikyrah says:

    The House voted Thursday to scrap a rule from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that would speed up union elections.

    A resolution doing away with what Republicans refer to as the “ambush election” rule passed the House in a 232-186 vote, sending the measure to President Obama’s desk. The White House has promised Obama will veto it.

    The GOP turned to the Congressional Review Act to roll back the election rule, which they have denounced as an attempt to help labor unions surprise employers with organizing drives.

    …Under the seldom-used Congressional Review Act, lawmakers can block any regulation they disapprove of from going into effect.

    Going forward, Republicans could use the process to target other controversial regulations from the Obama administration, Roe said.

    Other Republicans have suggested they may use the Congressional Review Act to go after controversial regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), such as a rule that critics say would put coal power plants out of business…

  9. Folks wanna know…Who is Liza? Why? Because she rocks, dammit!

  10. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    The Associated Press @AP · 36m 36 minutes ago
    U.S. schools forced to tap administrators, divide classes to cope with substitute teacher shortage nationwide:

  11. Liza says:

    5 Hallmarks of the New American Order

    A new kind of governance is being born right before our eyes. Stop pretending it’s not happening.
    Tom Engelhardt
    March 19, 2015

    Have you ever undertaken some task you felt less than qualified for, but knew that someone needed to do? Consider this piece my version of that, and let me put what I do understand about it in a nutshell: based on developments in our post-9/11 world, we could be watching the birth of a new American political system and way of governing for which, as yet, we have no name.

    And here’s what I find strange: the evidence of this, however inchoate, is all around us and yet it’s as if we can’t bear to take it in or make sense of it or even say that it might be so.

    Let me make my case, however minimally, based on five areas in which at least the faint outlines of that new system seem to be emerging: political campaigns and elections; the privatization of Washington through the marriage of the corporation and the state; the de-legitimization of our traditional system of governance; the empowerment of the national security state as an untouchable fourth branch of government; and the demobilization of “we the people.”

    Whatever this may add up to, it seems to be based, at least in part, on the increasing concentration of wealth and power in a new plutocratic class and in that ever-expanding national security state. Certainly, something out of the ordinary is underway, and yet its birth pangs, while widely reported, are generally categorized as aspects of an exceedingly familiar American system somewhat in disarray.

    Read more…

  12. Ametia says:

    The red carpet is rolled out. The stars — and one superhero — are here. The films are ready to roll.

    It’s premiere day at the 2015 White House Film Festival and you’ll want to be in on the action.

    For the past few months, K-12 students have been putting the finishing touches on short films about this year’s theme: The Impact of Giving Back. We received more than 1,500 submissions from around the world and, today, we’re showing our 15 Official Selections.

  13. rikyrah says:

    McConnell increases pressure on states to ignore EPA
    03/20/15 10:18 AM
    By Steve Benen
    Last summer, President Obama unveiled an aggressive plan to reduce carbon pollution from existing power plants, setting a goal of cutting emissions 30% by 2030. As part of the administration’s agenda, states would have some flexibility in how they reach the target.

    It was just two weeks ago, however, that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) wrote an op-ed with some specific advice for states: ignore the White House altogether. In effect, the Republican leader doesn’t just want state officials to pretend the climate doesn’t exist, he also wants states to ignore the EPA and federal regulations. McConnell said the courts might derail the administration’s policy, so in the meantime, state officials can and should do nothing.

    None other than Christine Todd Whitman, the head of the EPA under the Bush/Cheney administration, responded to McConnell with an op-ed of her own. “I was brought up to believe that following the law isn’t optional,” she wrote. McConnell, Whitman added, “can rail against EPA, cut its budget, do all that he has the power to do within the law if he must, but he cannot and should not call on others to ignore a law.”

    As it turns out, the New York Times reports today that McConnell was just getting started.
    Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky has begun an aggressive campaign to block President Obama’s climate change agenda in statehouses and courtrooms across the country, arenas far beyond Mr. McConnell’s official reach and authority. […]

    Since Mr. McConnell is limited in how he can use his role in the Senate to block regulations, he has taken the unusual step of reaching out to governors with a legal blueprint for them to follow to stop the rules in their states. Mr. McConnell’s Senate staff, led by his longtime senior energy adviser, Neil Chatterjee, is coordinating with lawyers and lobbying firms to try to ensure that the state plans are tangled up in legal delays.
    We’re well past the strange op-ed stage; McConnell yesterday “sent a detailed letter to every governor in the United States laying out a carefully researched legal argument as to why states should not comply with Mr. Obama’s regulations.”

  14. Liza says:

    Yeah, we know. And his ID wasn’t fake.

    • Ametia says:

      I want to vomit, every time I see photos of how this young man was beaten to a bloody pulp by HATER COPS!

      • Not Intoxicated! No fake ID. So what’s the reason for the brutality?
        Racist rabid dogs!

      • Liza says:

        It really makes you wonder what kind of people are being recruited and hired to be cops. We aren’t talking about the few bad apples who slip through the cracks. This is a nationwide, systemic problem that is seeing the light of day because of camera phones and social media. We have no choice but to conclude that these “bad” cops are not aberrant, they are there because someone higher up the chain wants them there.

    • Ametia says:

      Of course these racist, hater cops are planted in these police departments DELIBERATELY. it’s all part of their MILITARIZATION.

      They mofos are too Cowardly to enlist in the armed forces, so they sign on to become cops, so that gives them license to kill us at their leisure. SICK

      • Liza says:

        It reminds me of the Catholic Church and their pedophile priests except that the Church did not actively recruit pedophiles. But what happened is that pedophiles knew there was a safe haven within the Church because they would not be punished. Worst case is that they would be transferred to another parish. And, they had access to all of those children.

        I believe that these cops who want to kill and maim are the worst kind of cowards. Take away their guns, clubs, tasers, and blue uniforms and you are most often left with a racist, ignorant, uneducated wanna-be bully who would be digging ditches or washing cars if the police departments weren’t there to give them a job.

    • yahtzeebutterfly says:

      Horrific and frightening!

  15. rikyrah says:

    Trillion Dollar Fraudsters

    MARCH 20, 2015

    Paul Krugman

    By now it’s a Republican Party tradition: Every year the party produces a budget that allegedly slashes deficits, but which turns out to contain a trillion-dollar “magic asterisk” — a line that promises huge spending cuts and/or revenue increases, but without explaining where the money is supposed to come from.

    But the just-released budgets from the House and Senate majorities break new ground. Each contains not one but two trillion-dollar magic asterisks: one on spending, one on revenue. And that’s actually an understatement. If either budget were to become law, it would leave the federal government several trillion dollars deeper in debt than claimed, and that’s just in the first decade.

    You might be tempted to shrug this off, since these budgets will not, in fact, become law. Or you might say that this is what all politicians do. But it isn’t. The modern G.O.P.’s raw fiscal dishonesty is something new in American politics. And that’s telling us something important about what has happened to half of our political spectrum.

    So, about those budgets: both claim drastic reductions in federal spending. Some of those spending reductions are specified: There would be savage cuts in food stamps, similarly savage cuts in Medicaid over and above reversing the recent expansion, and an end to Obamacare’s health insurance subsidies. Rough estimates suggest that either plan would roughly double the number of Americans without health insurance. But both also claim more than a trillion dollars in further cuts to mandatory spending, which would almost surely have to come out of Medicare or Social Security. What form would these further cuts take? We get no hint.

    Meanwhile, both budgets call for repeal of the Affordable Care Act, including the taxes that pay for the insurance subsidies. That’s $1 trillion of revenue. Yet both claim to have no effect on tax receipts; somehow, the federal government is supposed to make up for the lost Obamacare revenue. How, exactly? We are, again, given no hint.

    And there’s more: The budgets also claim large reductions in spending on other programs. How would these be achieved? You know the answer.

    It’s very important to realize that this isn’t normal political behavior. The George W. Bush administration was no slouch when it came to deceptive presentation of tax plans, but it was never this blatant. And the Obama administration has been remarkably scrupulous in its fiscal pronouncements.

  16. rikyrah says:

    Senate Republicans break promise on Lynch vote
    03/20/15 08:01 AM
    By Steve Benen

    At first blush, it seemed like progress yesterday when senators argued about Loretta Lynch’s pending nomination as the next Attorney General, but the headway was illusory – they were debating the wrong thing.

    Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) argued that the Republican majority was asking the first African-American woman ever nominated for A.G. for “sit in the back of the bus,” which led to a bitter dispute. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who expressed support for Lynch before changing his mind without explanation, took offense to the Rosa Parks analogy.

    Away from the drama, however, a different realization was setting in: the Senate wrapped up its work for the week late yesterday. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) gave his word that the Lynch nomination would receive a vote this week, and with the announcement that there would be no more roll-call votes until next week, we now know McConnell broke his vow, making a promise he chose not to keep.

    In theory, that might seem problematic, and Senate Democrats are understandably furious. But as Politico reported overnight, the Republican majority has made clear that it just doesn’t care.
    “Zero,” Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) said when asked how much pressure his party is feeling to confirm [Lynch] to the Justice Department position.

    Why not? “Because there’s zero,” he reiterated.
    Lynch was nominated 132 days ago. The first African-American woman ever considered for this post has waited longer for a vote than any A.G. nominee in history, and longer than the last five A.G. nominees combined. Even her fiercest critics have struggled to raise substantive objections to her qualifications, background, temperament, or judgment.

    But the GOP line is, Lynch will simply be ignored, indefinitely, unless Democrats vote for an unrelated bill with anti-abortion language in it.

  17. rikyrah says:

    NC State fraternity placed on interim suspension after ’embarrassing, scary’ book found
    Posted 9:54 p.m. yesterday

    RALEIGH, N.C. — Pi Kappa Phi has placed its North Carolina State University chapter on interim suspension pending the outcome of an investigation into the contents of a book that was found at a restaurant near campus, the fraternity announced Friday morning.

    The little, green book, filled with handwritten comments, included racially and sexually charged language and derogatory comments about women and children.

    Calls to NC State’s Tau Chapter of Pi Kappa Phi Thursday night went unreturned. No one answered at the fraternity’s national headquarters in Charlotte, either, but the fraternity posted on its website overnight about the interim suspension.

    “The written comments and quotes reported earlier this evening are offensive and unacceptable,” Pi Kappa Phi Chief Executive Officer Mark E. Timmes said in a statement. “These statements are inconsistent with the values of Pi Kappa Phi and will not be tolerated. We have instructed our students to cooperate fully with all investigation efforts.”

    An interim suspension means that the fraternity can not hold meetings or participate in philanthropic events during the investigation.

    Fred Hartman, of NC State’s community relations department, issued this statement:

    “NC State was made aware tonight of these disturbing allegations and immediately began investigating.”

    Katie Perry, a senior, at State, told WRAL News that her co-workers found what appears to be a fraternity pledge book at a restaurant near campus.

  18. rikyrah says:

    Kenny Leon Will Direct Tonya Pinkins, Anika Noni Rose, & Wood Harris in Lynn Nottage’s ‘Fabulation, or the Re-Education of Undine’

    By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and ActMarch 19, 2015 at 6:46PM

    Tonya Pinkins and Anika Noni Rose, who previously worked together on stage in the “Caroline, or Change,” will reunite for a one-night-only benefit presentation of Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lynn Nottage’s “Fabulation, or the Re-Education of Undine,” which will be directed by Kenny Leon (“A Raisin in the Sun,” “Fences”).

    Wood Harris and Michael Mastro will join Pinkins and Rose on stage, with showtime set for April 21, at 6:30 PM, at New World Stages in Manhattan NYC.

    The benefit is for the non-profit arts education organization Opening Act

  19. rikyrah says:

    Thursday, March 19, 2015
    New Black City
    Posted by Zandar

    I know I give the notion of “black respectability politics” (the theory that African-Americans have largely brought the problems of socioeconomic disaster upon themselves by accepting government programs and not simply choosing to be wealthy, productive members of society by reaching out to white America more often) a wide berth, and battle the nonsense surrounding this from both the left and right.

    But Wall Street Journal pundit and author Jason Riley really does need his own category of impressively wrong on this, as he breaks down recent events involving race in Oklahoma and Missouri.

    We don’t have to use our imagination because we can look at black history, which shows the rate at which blacks were entering the skilled professions during periods when labor-market discrimination was open, rampant and legal. Between 1940 and 1970, the percentage of black white-collar workers in the U.S. quadrupled. “There was a substantial black middle-class already in existence by the end of the 1960s,” write Stephan and Abigail Thernstrom in their book “America in Black and White.” “In the years since, it has continued to grow, but not at a more rapid pace than in the preceding three decades, despite a common impression to the contrary.”

    History shows that faster black progress was occurring at a time when whites were still lynching blacks, not merely singing about it. Liberals want blacks to ignore the lessons of this pre-Civil Rights era, which threaten the current relevance of groups like the NAACP and call into question the Democratic Party’s belief that there is a federal solution to every black problem.

    Moreover, this history reveals that what we see today in black America is not lack of progress due to white racism but retrogression due in large part to post-Civil Rights era social pathology and misguided government interventions. The problem isn’t the attitudes and behaviors of the boys on the bus so much as those of the boys in the ’hood.

    Black elites are eager to blame bad black outcomes on bigotry and quick to denounce or mock anyone who offers an alternative explanation. But we should be thankful that black leaders of yore didn’t pretend that racism must be vanquished from America before blacks could be held primarily responsible for their socioeconomic circumstances. “We know that there are many things wrong in the white world, but there are many things wrong in the black world, too,” Martin Luther King Jr. told a congregation in St. Louis. “We can’t keep on blaming the white man. There are things we must do for ourselves.”

    I mentioned that King quote, which comes from a 1961 profile of him in Harper’s Magazine, in a column for this newspaper several years ago. Some readers accused me of fabricating it. In the era of Al Sharpton, apparently it is hard for people to believe that leading civil-rights leaders used to speak so frankly about black self-help and personal responsibility. Which may be all you need to know about the quality of those black leaders today—and the commentators who carry water for them.

    Yes, that’s his argument: because in the struggles of Jim Crow-era America, black people were more involved in trying to better themselves, we were better off then. In fact, the Civil Rights era was a huge mistake because it made us soft and reliant on the government.

    We were better off fighting for rights than securing legislation to actually have those rights. That seems odd until you recall that Riley’s overarching theme is that any government action to try to resolve racism is always detrimental.

    And Riley’s argument about the black middle class would have actually meant something if that didn’t include a faltering middle class since 1970 for all Americans, not just African-Americans. Real wages for all workers — men, women, black, Asian, Latino and everyone else — have been stagnant in this country since (you guessed it) 1970 or so and for the poorest Americans they have gotten worse.

    From WWII to 1972 or so, the time period Riley highlights, black workers were still well behind their white counterparts in wages earned. When the 70’s and 80’s came around it was the people on the bottom that got burned, and that happened again in the Great Recession in 2008.

    Riley’s theory only makes sense if you’re somehow blaming the Civil Rights era for the decline of the entire economy for all Americans.

    Which he is. Nice how that works, eh?

  20. rikyrah says:

    Add Damon Gupton to the Cast of NBC’s ‘Endgame’ with Wesley Snipes

    By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act
    March 19, 2015 at 8:25PM

    New Mexico Film Office Director Nick Maniatis announced today that NBC and Sony Pictures Television / Topanga Productions, Inc., will begin principal photography on “Endgame” this week through the end of March in Albuquerque.

    Starring Philip Winchester and Wesley Snipes, and directed by Bharat Nalluri (“Spooks: The Greater Good,” “Tsunami: The Aftermath,” “Life on Mars”) and produced by Danielle Weinstock (“Mad Dogs,” “Salem”), “Endgame” is the story of ex-FBI agent Alex King (Winchester) who joins a century-old secret investigative organization tasked with protecting innocent people from dangers which regular law enforcement can’t predict. In his first case, teamed with a brilliant data analyst and a mysterious benefactor (played by Wesley Snipes), he rescues the kidnapped daughter of a visiting dignitary in order to ensure a negotiation vital to American security.

    Snipes’ character is named Johnson, who is described as the highly intelligent, analytical, and unflappable “pit boss” of the game that Winchester’s character is caught up in.

    Also co-starring, which I didn’t know until today, is Damon Gupton, who we last saw on the small screen in the WEtv Legal Thriller “The Divide,” which was canceled after 1 season last year. He also appeared in 4 episodes of Fox’s “Empire,” playing a Detective Calvin Walker. On the big screen, the award-winning “Whiplash” is his most recent credit.

  21. rikyrah says:

    Shadow And Act @shadowandact

    “Happy first day of spring muhfugghas” – Samuel L. Jackson

  22. rikyrah says:

    LA teacher told students Lincoln was a ‘n****r-lover’ and Michael Brown ‘got what he deserved’: lawsuit

    Parent Sues LAUSD After Teacher Reportedly Used Racially Charged Comments In Class
    March 19, 2015 8:32 PM

    LOS ANGELES ( — A Brentwood parent is suing the school district, charging that a male teacher made offensive and racially charged comments in his class in front of and focused on his biracial daughter.

    The parent accused the teacher of using the N-word, said “black people were not smart,” as well as suggesting teen Michael Brown, shot to death by a police officer in Ferguson, Mo., “got what he deserved.”

    Court papers obtained by City News Service show the complaint was filed by a parent identified only as Shawn B. for the benefit of his daughter, Maggie B., a student at Paul Revere Charter Middle School and Magnet Center in Brentwood.

    The suit alleges civil-rights violations and seeks unspecified damages as well as a court order directing that the Los Angeles Unified School District provide accommodations to students “free from prohibited discrimination.”

  23. rikyrah says:

    Hill Harper Books Co-Starring Role in CBS’ TV Pilot Adaptation of ‘Limitless’

    By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act
    March 19, 2015 at 11:09AM

    Hill Harper has booked a co-starring role opposite Jake McDorman and Jennifer Carpenter in CBS’ drama pilot, “Limitless,” which is based on the 2011 feature that starred Bradley Cooper, itself based on the novel, “The Dark Fields,” by Alan Glynn.

    The film told the story of a struggling writer who becomes a financial wizard, with the help of a mysterious pill that enables the user to access 100 percent of their brain abilities; but it also thrusts him into a dangerous new world.

    The TV pilot adaptation, which will be executive produced by Bradley Cooper, follows a similar narrative, except the lead character will use his newfound drug-enhanced abilities to solve weekly cases for the FBI.

    Hill Harper has signed up to play a character named Boyle, who is a former military officer, now an FBI asset with experience testing the effects of NZT on FBI Special Agents.

  24. rikyrah says:

    I like this idea.


    Selma is Re-released with Two-for-One Ticket Offer

    If you didn’t get to see the movie during its first run, see it today and bring a friend.

    By: Yesha Callahan

    Posted: March 20 2015 7:53 AM

    Paramount is making sure everyone has a chance to experience Selma and is re-releasing the historical film with an added incentive. Today, Selma will play in 702 theaters in honor of the March on Washington and as an added bonus, tickets will be two-for-one.

    Selma, which was released on Dec. 25, has grossed $51.4 million to date. Although the movie did not win for best picture at the Oscars, he movie won an Oscar and Golden Globe for best original song for John Legend and Common’s “Glory.”

    Tickets are on sale today online and at theater box offices. For a list of participating theaters and to purchase tickets, visit

  25. rikyrah says:

    Martese Johnson: My Wounds Will Heal, but the Trauma Will Stay Forever

    The University of Virginia student whose violent and bloody arrest was captured on cell phone video says he was shocked when Alcoholic Beverage Control agents slammed his head on the pavement.

    By: Stephen A. Crockett Jr.

    Posted: March 20 2015 7:33 AM

    Martese Johnson, the University of Virginia honor student, whose prone body and bloody face went viral after he was reportedly beaten and arrested by authorities Wednesday morning, did not try and use a fake ID to enter a bar, according to his lawyer Daniel Watkins at a press conference Thursday evening in Charlottesville, Va.

    Early reports noted that the third year student had tried to use a fake ID to gain entry to the Trinity Irish Pub, a popular off-campus hangout. Johnson’s attorney gave a detailed account of the events and noted that the ID was valid and that the issue began over the zip code, according to the Cavalier Daily.

    “Martese presented a valid Illinois state identification card, issued in 2011,” Watkins told those gathered, the Cavalier Daily reports.

    “The employee then asked Martese for a zip code and he recited his mothers Chicago city zip code at her current address, which is different from the Chicago city zip code on the identification card, which was nearly four years old.”

    The incident began after Johnson was denied entry around 12:45 a.m. Wednesday. Officers with the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control approached Johnson and while authorities have been tight-lipped about their version of events, cell phone video captured of the incident, clearly shows a bloodied Johnson being held down and handcuffed.

    Johnson was charged with public intoxication and obstruction of justice, and a court date was set for March 26, according to NBC News.

    “We intend to fight the criminal charges against him with the utmost vigor,” Watkins said at the press conference, the Cavalier Daily reports.

  26. rikyrah says:

    because she doesn’t have the sense God gave a gnat


    Raven-Symoné Says She’s Not Going to Back Down From Comments Made on The View

    The actress felt the wrath of people on social media, but she’s not changing her stance that some people look like animals, including apes.

    By: Yesha Callahan

    Posted: March 19 2015 6:00 AM

    Raven-Symoné’s week on The View has been an interesting one. Earlier this week, during a segment discussing Rodner Figueroa’s firing from Univision for comparing Michelle Obama to something from Planet of the Apes, Symoné made comments that seemed to defend the Univision host.

    As Rosie Perez was attempting to explain racism within the Latino community, Symoné raised eyebrows with her comments.

    “But was he saying it racist-like? Because he said he voted for her later. And I don’t think he was saying it racist,” Symoné said.

    Even though Perez insisted that the comment was racist, Symoné still challenged it.

    “Not Michelle Obama. Michelle, don’t fire me from this right now, but some people do look like animals,” Symoné joked.

    “So can I be mad if someone called me Toucan Sam?” Symoné said.

    Now Symoné is attempting to clarify what she meant.

  27. rikyrah says:

    Ratings for Empire’s Season Finale Break Record

    Wednesday’s heart-pounding two-hour episode brought season 1 to a close with a big bang

    By: Breanna Edwards

    Posted: March 19 2015 4:12 PM

    Empire, the new “it” show on Fox, has succeeded in reeling in more viewers from week to week.

    For Wednesday night’s two-hour season 1 finale, the show broke all prior records, scoring on average some 16.7 million viewers, a rise of 12 percent from the 14.9 million watching last week’s episode, USA Today reported.

    According to the news site, Empire now ranks as the top-rated network series among those ages 18 to 49. Fox boasted that Wednesday represented the highest-rated night for entertainment programming among this age group since January 2012’s American Idol premiere.

    The hit show will return to screens next fall with 18 or so episodes, according to USA Today

  28. rikyrah says:

    President Obama Waimanalo: Barack And Michelle Obama Eyeing Multi-Million Dollar Estate In Hawaii?

    Is President Obama moving to Waimanalo, Hawaii, after his presidency? According to KITV, a multi-million dollar home in the area was recently sold, and some are wondering if the Obamas were connected to the sale. The home was purchased by Seth Madorsky, a Chicago attorney who reportedly “has ties” to the president. The estate was then sold again to a limited liability corporation in Colorado. Many residents in the area are now wondering just who will be moving into town — and when.


  29. rikyrah says:

    “Not true and they knew it”: What Rahm Emanuel’s Wall Street craze cost Chicago

    Chicago’s struggling public school system had a golden chance to reap billions. Here’s where it went wrong (Update)

    The city of Chicago and its public school system could recoup potentially billions of dollars in overpayments from complicated, unjust deals inked with Wall Street banks, if they pursued legal action or demanded enforcement from federal regulators. But Rahm Emanuel, the current mayor, has refused to chase this opportunity, despite the city’s drastic fiscal outlook and the effect on citizens. By contrast, his opponent in the April 7 mayoral run-off election, Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, appears far more likely to take action against a powerful financial sector Emanuel has relied on for campaign contributions.

    Beginning over a decade ago, Wall Street banks sold municipalities, school districts, water systems and public hospitals across the country on obscure financial instruments, pitching them as a way to borrow more cheaply than plain-vanilla municipal bonds. But just as homeowners were swindled into loans they couldn’t afford during the housing bubble, local governments suffered a similar fate.

    For example, cities issued variable-rate bonds called auction-rate securities, which reset interest rates, sometimes on a weekly basis, based on the lowest rate investors accept for the bonds at auction. After the financial crisis, these municipal debt auctions collapsed, triggering penalty interest rates as high as 20 percent. Though many borrowers had insurance, the crisis wiped out the bond insurers as well, offering no relief.

    Banks offered an escape hatch from volatility, selling cities on derivatives called interest rate swap agreements. Investment banks would trade payments with cities, paying an indexed floating rate while cities paid a fixed rate. But when interest rates crashed, cities ended up with far higher fixed payments. The swaps locked borrowers into overpayments for up to 35 years, just as they felt severe financial distress from the Great Recession.

    A growing group of public interest activists, lawyers and experts believe that Wall Street violated securities laws by failing to disclose risks on these instruments. “The banks made a fundamental representation, that it was a cheaper way to borrow,” said Brad Miller, a former Congressman and Of Counsel at Grais and Ellsworth, who has focused on these deals. “That was not true and they knew it.””_what_rahm_emanuels_wall_street_craze_cost_chicago/

  30. rikyrah says:

    that entire blog is full of good information.


    There’s money in charter schools, Waltons say

    Posted By Max Brantley on Wed, Mar 18, 2015 at 4:07 PM

    Funny. I was asked this morning whether the Waltons had a profit motive in seeking privatization of public schools in Arkansas. I said some had made that suggestion, but it wasn’t the reason for my objection to their effort to privatize the Little Rock School District.

    Then somebody sent me this link from Daily Kos.

    The “charitable” foundation of the Walmart heirs got together with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation last week to help hedge funds figure out how to profit off of charter schools. Seriously. The event was called “Bonds and Blackboards: Investing in Charter Schools.

    With the explicit intent of helping investors “Learn and understand the value of investing in charter schools and best practices for assessing their credit,” the event featured experts on charter school investing from Standard & Poor’s, Piper Jaffray, Bank of America, and Wells Capital Management, among others. […]

    “It’s a very stable business, very recession resistant, it’s a high demand product. There are 400,000 kids on waiting lists for charter schools … the industry is growing about 12-14% a year,” David Brain, former President and CEO at EPR Properties, told CNBC in 2012.

    “It’s a public payer, the state is the payer on this category,” he added in support of the highly safe investing opportunities in charter schools.
    The writer of this item thinks the big push isn’t about civil rights or kids but pushing millions of dollars into private corporations that run charter schools.

  31. rikyrah says:

    School privatization bill pulled for this session

    Posted By Max Brantley on Tue, Mar 17, 2015 at 7:04 PM

    Jim Ross, a former Little Rock School Board member active in the fight just told me that Rep. Bruce Cozart had pulled House Bill 1733 to allow privatization of, among others, the Little Rock School District.

    Moments later, I saw a report from AP confirming that directly from Cozart himself. I’d attempted to contact Cozart but he didn’t return my e-mails.

    This is how AP reported it:

    Republican Rep. Bruce Cozart told The Associated Press Tuesday that he has deferred the bill and that it won’t come up again this session. Cozart says he couldn’t get the cooperation needed from proponents and opponents to advance the proposal.

    The major force behind the bill were lobbyists financially tied to the Walton Family Foundation, which supports expansion of charter schools and has backed several enterprises that have harmed Little Rock School District desegregation efforts. The attention on Walton ties to the bill — a group that supports their aims took Cozart and other education committee members on a junket to Washington last summer, I reported over the weekend — had grown nationally, with prominent mention on Diane Ravitch’s widely read blog among others.

    UPDATE: I got a limited response from Cozart, though not answers to all questions I’d asked:

    Sorry I am just getting a chance to read my mail.

    1733 has been place on the house ed committee deferred calebndar, and will stay there till session has ended.

    UPDATE II: Cozart called. We talked about his decision. If I may summarize, the input of school boards and administrators around the state made a big difference. The superintendent of the district where Cozart was a school board member for 10 years opposed the bill.

    He said Scott Smith of the Walton-financed Arkansas Public School Research Council had brought him the bill. He said the “writers” of the bill wouldn’t agree to amendments he had in mind and neither would opponents. He said he’d filed the bill without much thought, but soon learned of complications. He said many superintendents were concerned that it could cover whole districts when only a single school might be in academic distress.

    “I’m a public school guy,” he said. He said he wanted a bill that was more “school pointed” than district pointed. He also said that while he understood why charter schools might like not to follow the Fair Dismissal Act, he wasn’t ready to give it up completely. “We still need a process,” he said.

    He said “the governor wanted something like this.” But he also emphasized, “This was not his bill.” He said he’d received assurances from many parties, including school administrators, that they’d sit down and talk about ways to address his desire to do something about schools that aren’t achieving.

    “It’s all about the kids,” he said.

    He said he wouldn’t send the bill to interim study because “it needs a complete rewrite.”

    Opponents of the bill say Cozart, in defeat, is being disingenuous. They say he’d have run the bill had he had adequate support, but had failed to bring some Republicans to the cause. They also said he refused amendments offered by several groups.

    The rally in opposition to the bill at the Capitol tonight turned into a victory party. Cheers erupted when the news was announced to a crowd of about 400.

    Here’s Ross’ take on the decision: “We hear there was pressure from the Walton family who are tired of the bad press.”

    • Ametia says:

      Arkansas Politics / Charter schools / Education House approves bill to give regular school districts same waivers charters get

      Posted By Max Brantley on Fri, Mar 13, 2015 at 12:56 PM

      The House today voted 58-18 to approve HB 1377 by Rep. Reginald Murdock to allow a school district to get the same waivers of law that open-enrollment charter schools receive when they draw students from a school district.

      Murdock is from Marianna in the Delta and he had support from Helena-West Helena residents who have chafed at the expansion of open enrollment KIPP schools that don’t have to meet the same rules on teacher certification and many other requirements that they must meet.


      Rep. John Walker gave an extended speech against the bill, apologizing for parting from some black legislative colleagues and friends. But he said the bill amounted to a retreat from the Lake View school decision and its promise of equal and sufficient education, accountable equally across the state. He said anything KIPP does can be done in a public school and had been done in incentive schools in Little Rock before school district leaders reneged on promises to give extra attention to students in all-black schools in poor neighborhoods. He urged the House, too, not to move toward watering down the teacher fair dismissal law.

      “You cannot have different rules for poor people and rich people, the haves and have nots,” Walker said

  32. vitaminlover says:

    I love Smokey’s voice. Whoooooo!

  33. Good morning, good folks!

    We’re going to cruise on into the weekend with his Fine-Ness Smokey Robinson

    Baybee, let’s cruise…. aaaaaway…. from heeeere

    couple dancing

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