Tuesday Open Thread | The Baby Makers Week: Marvin Gaye

Marvin Gaye-1

Today’s romancer is Marvin Gaye.


Marvin Gaye (/ɡeɪ/;[2] born Marvin Pentz Gay Jr.; April 2, 1939 – April 1, 1984)[1] was an American singer-songwriter and musician. Gaye helped to shape the sound of Motown Records, first as an in house session player in the 1960s and later as a solo artist with a string of hits, including How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) and I Heard It Through the Grapevine, and duet recordings with Mary Wells, Kim Weston and Tammi Terrell, later earning the titles Prince of Motown and Prince of Soul.

During the 1970s, he recorded the concept albums What’s Going On and Let’s Get It On and became one of the first artists in Motown to break away from the reins of his production company.

Gaye’s later recordings influenced several R&B subgenres, such as quiet storm and neo-soul.[3] Following a period in Europe as a tax exile in the early 1980s, Gaye released the 1982 Grammy Award-winning hit Sexual Healing and the Midnight Love album.

On April 1, 1984, Gaye’s father, Marvin Gay Sr., fatally shot him at their house in the West Adams district of Los Angeles.[4][5] Since his death, many institutions have posthumously bestowed Gaye with awards and other honors—including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, the Rhythm and Blues Music Hall of Fame, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.[6]

soul request 120209

Early career[edit]

Following his return, Gaye and good friend Reese Palmer formed the vocal quartet The Marquees.[25][26] The group performed in the D.C. area and soon began working with Bo Diddley, who assigned the group to Columbia subsidiary OKeh Records after failure to get the group signed to his own label, Chess.[26] The group’s sole single, Wyatt Earp, failed to chart and the group was soon dropped from the label.[27] Gaye began composing music during this period.[27]

Moonglows co-founder Harvey Fuqua later hired The Marquees as employees.[28] Under Fuqua’s direction, the group changed its name to Harvey and the New Moonglows, and relocated to Chicago.[29] The group recorded several sides for Chess in 1959, including the song Mama Loocie, which was Gaye’s first lead vocal recording. The group found work as session singers for established acts such as Chuck Berry, singing on the hits Back in the U.S.A. and Almost Grown.

In 1960, the group disbanded. Gaye relocated to Detroit with Fuqua where he signed with Tri-Phi Records as a session musician, playing drums on several Tri-Phi releases. Gaye performed at Motown president Berry Gordy’s house during the holiday season in 1960. Impressed by the singer, Gordy sought Fuqua on his contract with Gaye. Fuqua agreed to sell part of his interest in his contract with Gaye.[30] Shortly afterwards, Gaye signed with Motown subsidiary Tamla.

When Gaye signed with Tamla, he pursued a career as a performer of jazz music and standards, having no desire to become an R&B performer.[20] Before the release of his first single, Gaye was teased about his surname, with some jokingly asking, “Is Marvin Gay?”[31] Gaye changed his surname by adding an e, in the same way as did Sam Cooke. Author David Ritz wrote that Gaye did this to silence rumours of his sexuality, and to put more distance between Gaye and his father.[31]

Gaye released his first single, “Let Your Conscience Be Your Guide,” in May 1961, with the album The Soulful Moods of Marvin Gaye, following a month later. Gaye’s initial recordings failed commercially. Gaye spent most of 1961 performing session work as a drummer for artists such as The Miracles and The Marvelettes, and was paid $5 (US$39 in 2015 dollars[32]) a week to play drums for the Miracles and blues artist Jimmy Reed.[33][34] While Gaye took some advice on performing with his eyes open (having been accused of appearing as though he were sleeping), he refused to attend grooming school courses at the John Roberts Powers School for Social Grace in Detroit because of his unwillingness to comply with its orders, something he later regretted.[35][36]

Marvin Gaye-2

Initial success[edit]
In 1962, Gaye found success as co-writer of the Marvelettes hit, Beechwood 4-5789. His first solo hit, Stubborn Kind of Fellow, was later released that September, reaching number 8 on the R&B chart and number 46 on the Billboard Hot 100. Gaye reached the top 50 with the dance song, Hitch Hike,[37] peaking at number 30 on the Hot 100. Pride and Joy became Gaye’s first top ten single after its release in 1963.

The three singles and songs from the 1962 sessions were included on Gaye’s second album, That Stubborn Kinda Fellow. Starting in October of the year, Gaye performed as part of the Motortown Revue, a series of concert tours headlined at the north and south eastern coasts of the United States as part of the chitlin’ circuit. A filmed performance of Gaye at the Apollo Theater took place in June 1963. Later that October, Tamla issued the live album, Marvin Gaye Recorded Live on Stage. Can I Get a Witness became one of Gaye’s early international hits.

In 1964, Gaye recorded a successful duet album with singer Mary Wells titled Together, which reached 42 on the pop album chart. The album’s two-sided single, including Once Upon a Time and What’s the Matter With You Baby, each reach the top 20. Gaye’s next solo hit, How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You), which Holland-Dozier-Holland wrote for him, reached number 6 on the Hot 100 and reached the top 50 in the UK. Gaye started getting TV exposure around this time, on shows such as American Bandstand. Also in 1964, he appeared in the concert film, The T.A.M.I. Show. Gaye had two number one R&B singles in 1965 with the Miracles-composed I’ll Be Doggone and Ain’t That Peculiar. Both songs became million-sellers.

After scoring a hit duet, It Takes Two with Kim Weston, Gaye began working with Tammi Terrell on a series of duets, mostly composed by Ashford & Simpson, including Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, Your Precious Love, Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing, and You’re All I Need to Get By.

Marvin Gaye-4

“I Heard It through the Grapevine” was recorded by Gaye in April 1967, several months before Gladys Knight and the Pips recorded it. The song features a horror-based Wurlitzer piano solo, percussion, and horns. Gaye’s recording of it paved the way for what later became “psychedelic soul”.
Problems playing this file? See media help.

In October 1967, Terrell collapsed in Gaye’s arms during a performance in Farmville, Virginia.[38] Terrell was subsequently rushed to Farmville’s Southside Community Hospital, where doctors discovered she had a malignant tumour in her brain.[38] The diagnosis ended Terrell’s career as a live performer, though she continued to record music under careful supervision. Despite the presence of hit singles such as Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing and You’re All I Need to Get By, Terrell’s illness caused problems with recording, and led to multiple operations to remove the tumor. Gaye was reportedly devastated by Terrell’s sickness and became disillusioned with the record business.

In late 1968, Gaye’s recording of I Heard It Through the Grapevine became Gaye’s first to reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100. It also reached the top of the charts in other countries, selling over four million copies.[39] However, Gaye felt the success was something he “didn’t deserve” and that he “felt like a puppet—Berry’s puppet, Anna’s puppet….”[40][41][42] Gaye followed it up with Too Busy Thinking About My Baby and That’s the Way Love Is, which reached the top ten on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1969. That year, his album M.P.G. became his first number one R&B album. Gaye produced and co-wrote two hits for The Originals during this period, including Baby I’m For Real and The Bells.

On March 16, 1970, Tammi Terrell died from brain cancer, and Gaye attended her funeral.[43] Following this, he went into prolonged seclusion from the music business. After a period of depression, Gaye sought out a position on a professional football team, the Detroit Lions, where he later befriended Mel Farr and Lem Barney.[44] It was eventually decided that Gaye would not be allowed to try out owing to fears of possible injuries that could have affected his music career.[45][46]

What’s Going On and subsequent success[edit]
Main articles: What’s Going On (Marvin Gaye album) and Let’s Get It On
On June 1, 1970, Gaye returned to Hitsville U.S.A., where he recorded his new composition What’s Going On, inspired by an idea from Renaldo “Obie” Benson of the Four Tops after he witnessed an act of police brutality at an anti-war rally in Berkeley.[47] Upon hearing the song, Berry Gordy refused its release due to his feelings of the song being “too political” for radio.[48] Gaye responded by going on strike from recording until the label released the song.[48] Released in 1971, it reached number one on the R&B charts within a month, staying there for five weeks. It also reached the top spot on Cashbox’s pop chart for a week and reached number two on the Hot 100 and the Record World chart, selling over two million copies.[49][50]

After giving an ultimatum to record a full album to win creative control from Motown, Gaye spent ten days recording the What’s Going On album that March.[51] Motown issued the album that May after Gaye remixed portions of the album in Hollywood.[48] The album became Gaye’s first million-selling album launching two more top ten singles, Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology) and Inner City Blues. One of Motown’s first autonomous works, its theme and segue flow brought the concept album format to rhythm and blues. An AllMusic writer later cited it as “…the most important and passionate record to come out of soul music, delivered by one of its finest voices.”[52] For the album, Gaye received two Grammy Award nominations and several NAACP Image Awards.[53] The album also topped Rolling Stone’s year-end list as its album of the year. Billboard magazine named Gaye Trendsetter of the Year following the album’s success.

In 1971, Gaye signed a new deal with Motown worth $1 million (US$5,823,336 in 2015 dollars[32]), making it the most lucrative deal by a black recording artist at the time.[54] Gaye first responded to the new contract with the soundtrack and subsequent score, Trouble Man, released in late 1972.

In 1973, Gaye released the Let’s Get It On album. Its title track became Gaye’s second number one single on the Hot 100. The album subsequently stayed on the charts for two years and sold over three million copies. The album was later hailed as “a record unparalleled in its sheer sensuality and carnal energy.”[55] Other singles from the album included Come Get to This, which recalled Gaye’s early Motown soul sound of the previous decade, while the suggestive You Sure Love to Ball reached modest success but received tepid promotion due to the song’s sexually explicit content.[56]

Marvin’s final duet project, Diana & Marvin, with Diana Ross, garnered international success. Responding to demand from fans and Motown, Gaye started his first tour in four years at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on January 4, 1974.[57] The performance received critical acclaim and resulted in the release of the live album, Marvin Gaye Live! and its single, a live version of Distant Lover, an album track from Let’s Get It On.

The tour helped to increase Gaye’s reputation as a live performer.[57] For a time, he was earning $10,000 a night (US$47,821 in 2015 dollars[32]) for performances.[58] Gaye toured throughout 1974 and 1975. A renewed contract with Motown allowed Gaye to build his own custom-made recording studio.

In October 1975, Gaye gave a performance at a UNESCO benefit concert at New York’s Radio City Music Hall to support UNESCO’s African literacy drive, resulting in him being commended at the United Nations by then-Ambassador to Ghana Shirley Temple Black and Kurt Waldheim.[59][60] Gaye’s next studio album, I Want You, followed in 1976 with the title track becoming a number-one R&B hit. That summer, Gaye embarked on his first European tour in a decade, starting off in England. In early 1977, Gaye issued the live album, Live at the London Palladium, which sold over two million copies thanks to the success of its studio song, Got to Give It Up, which became a number one hit.

Marvin Gaye-5

Main article: Death of Marvin Gaye
At around 11:38 am (PST) on April 1, 1984, as Marvin was seated on his bed talking to his mother, Gaye’s father shot Marvin twice. The elder Gaye had been having a heated dispute with his wife, and Marvin had intervened on his mother’s behalf. The first shot, which entered the right side of Gaye’s chest, was fatal, having perforated his vital organs. Gaye was taken to the emergency room of the California Hospital Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead on arrival at 1:01 pm (PST).[80][81] The gun Marvin Gaye Sr. used to shoot his son had been given to him by Gaye, as a Christmas present, to keep Gaye Sr. safe from intruders.[82]

Following his funeral, Marvin was cremated, with part of his ashes spread near the Pacific Ocean. Gaye did not leave behind a will or an insurance policy at the time of his death.[83] Gaye’s father pleaded no contest to a voluntary manslaughter charge and was sentenced to probation. He died of pneumonia in 1998.[81] Marvin’s fans have held vigils for the singer at the final residence to celebrate the day of his birth.[5]

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82 Responses to Tuesday Open Thread | The Baby Makers Week: Marvin Gaye

  1. If your song is missing let me know. I had to fix some. Just point it out. Thanks!

  2. The Inka Spirit Drum beat is off the chain. Number 7 on the playlist. The sound is so good. This Chica loves it. I’m checking each song to see if it plays. If it doesn’t, I’ll fix it or replace with another video of the same.

  3. Dreadlocks! Dreadlocks!

    Dennis and Josh 35

  4. Hey everyone!

    I’m trying to get our playlist sorted out. Country with country, rock with rock, etc. It may take a while but I’ll get it together. If I miss something, point it out to me. Our playlist is large and I might miss something. Hope you’re enjoying the music.

  5. Ametia says:

    Ted Cruz is going on Obamacare.

    The newly announced Republican presidential candidate told CNN’s Dana Bash that he will sign

    up for health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act — a law he has been on a crusade to kill.

    The news comes one day after CNN first reported that the senator would no longer have access to health benefits through his wife’s employer, Goldman Sachs.


  6. President Obama: PM #Netanyahu stated a Palestinian State wld not occur while he was Prime Minister. I took him at his word.


  7. rikyrah says:

    HBO Orders Steve McQueen’s ‘Codes of Conduct’ to 6-Episode Limited Series

    By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act
    March 20, 2015 at 2:55PM

    Newcomer Devon Terrell stars in Steve McQueen’s somewhat secretive HBO project, titled “Codes of Conduct,” which, announced today, HBO has moved beyond the pilot stage (meaning, they must have liked what they’ve seen of it thus far), and has given just a 6-episode series order to. Not many, but it may be a one-time mini-series, 6 hours long in total, and not an ongoing annual show.

    Although, I would assume that if it’s a huge success for the network, there just might be a second series, similar to how HBO handled “True Detective,” which was initially ordered to just an 8-episode series.

    We’ve read the script for “Codes of Conduct,” but just can’t review it here, because doing so would mean having to give much of it away.

    An exploration of a young African American man’s experience entering New York high society, with a past that may not be what it seems, Terrell will play a character named Beverly Snow – a talented, confident young man from Queens, NY, who, with a chameleon-like ability, breaks into the social circles of Manhattan’s elite, testing the boundaries of social mobility.


  8. rikyrah says:

    can’t wait to see this


    Ava DuVernay, Jada Pinkett Smith, Cicely Tyson, Erykah Badu to Be 2015 Black Girls Rock!’ Honorees

    By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act
    March 20, 2015 at 7:03PM

    BET Networks has revealed this year’s “BLACK GIRLS ROCK!” 2015 celebrants. They are:

    – Cicely Tyson, Living Legend Award

    – Ava DuVernay, Shot Caller Award

    – Dr. Helene D. Gayle, Social Humanitarian Award

    – Erykah Badu, Rock Star Award

    – Nadia Lopez, Change Agent Award

    – Jada Pinkett Smith, Star Power Award


  9. rikyrah says:

    Indiana’s Coats exits stage right
    03/24/15 01:03 PM—UPDATED 03/24/15 01:11 PM
    By Steve Benen
    Arguably the most interesting thing about Sen. Dan Coats (R-Ind.) is his highly unusual career trajectory, which has no real rival in modern times. The trajectory will apparently end next year, however, when Coats retires from Congress (for the second time).
    “Today I am announcing that I will not seek re-election to the United States Senate. This was not an easy decision,” Coats said in a statement, “While I believe I am well-positioned to run a successful campaign for another six-year term, I have concluded that the time has come to pass this demanding job to the next generation of leaders.”
    The Republican Hoosier will remain in office through the end of his term. The announcement was just made this morning, so it’s tough to start looking ahead to the open-seat race, though Indiana is arguably the reddest state in the Midwest and Republicans will probably be confident about keeping the seat. Keep an eye on former Sen. Evan Bayh (D) and former Rep. Brad Ellsworth (D), though.

    But what I’ve always liked about the Coats story is the way in which his career has played out in a unique way.

    The Republican lawmaker served in the U.S. House throughout the 1980s, before replacing Dan Quayle in the Senate once Quayle became vice president. Coats won a term of his own in 1992 then retired in 1998. He added a four-year stint as the Bush/Cheney ambassador to Germany before doing exactly what everyone in his position does – Coats moved back to the D.C. area and became a very well paid corporate lobbyist.

    And that’s where Coats’ career took an odd turn.

    In 2010, in the midst of the Tea Party takeover of Republican politics, Coats decided he’d already spent several years on K Street and it was time for a comeback bid. It was a curious move under the circumstances – this was a year in which right-wing economic populism was ascendant and the notion of Republicans electing a corporate lobbyist for the banking industry seemed like a bizarre choice.

    Complicating matters, Coats didn’t actually own a home in Indiana – he’d moved out of the state in the ’90s – and wasn’t even registered to vote in the state. It seemed like an odd pitch to Hoosiers: vote for the D.C. insider and corporate lobbyist who left Indiana more than a decade ago and never came back.


  10. rikyrah says:

    The truth is out there….

    before the crazy became normal, there was the X Files


    X-Files Revival Officially Ordered at Fox, David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson Back for 6 New Episodes

    By Michael Ausiello / March 24 2015, 9:30 AM PDT

    The truth is out there right here: The X-Files is indeed returning to Fox, with original stars David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson reprising their respective roles as Fox Mulder and Dana Scully.

    Fox has officially ordered a six-episode continuation of its phenomenally successful supernatural drama, to shoot this summer and (presumably) air at some point next season. (An official airdate remains TBD.)

    “I think of it as a 13-year commercial break,” said X-Files creator Chris Carter, who will oversee the new episodes. “The good news is the world has only gotten that much stranger, a perfect time to tell these six stories.”

    The X-Files ended its nine-season run on Fox in May 2002, but the franchise was resurrected on the big screen in 2008’s The X-Files: I Want to Believe, a follow-up to 1998’s The X-Files: Fight the Future. When last we saw Mulder and Scully in Believe, they were grudgingly helping the FBI find some missing women/bust up a bizarre, Frankenstein-like operation in Virginia. Also important to know: The bureau had pardoned Mulder for going on the lam (at the end of the series’ run), Scully had returned to her medical career, and the partners were still romantically entangled and living together.


  11. rikyrah says:

    good for him..making things happen on his own terms


    Tyler Perry Studios Forms Film, TV & Infrastructure Alliance w/ 4 Other Major Atlanta Studios

    By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act

    March 23, 2015 at 12:19PM

    It’s not called Hollywood of the South for nothing, as more and more filmmakers I know continue to move to the state – specifically, Atlanta.

    Last week, the Georgia Studio & Infrastructure Alliance (GSIA) announced the members of a new film and television studio and infrastructure association for Georgia: Tyler Perry Studios, Eagle Rock Studios Atlanta, EUE/Screen Gems Studios Atlanta, Mailing Avenue Stageworks, and Triple Horse Studios.

    Due in part to Georgia’s Entertainment Industry Investment Act (also called the Georgia film and television credit), these 5 large Georgia-based studios have come together to serve as a legislative and educational advocacy group for studio and production support businesses in the Georgia film and television industry. Education of the crew members and development of talent needed to keep clients returning to Georgia will be another key focus.

    Ozzie Areu, President of Tyler Perry Studios said, “Tyler Perry Studios is pleased to become a part of the Georgia Studio and Infrastructure Alliance. We believe that it is important for those investing in making this a long-term business in the state of Georgia speak with one voice. TPS is fully committed to working with state and city officials along with the other members of the Alliance to make the TV and film production business a permanent fixture in Georgia’s vibrant economic success story.”

    Georgia Film, Music & Digital Entertainment Office Deputy Commissioner Lee Thomas points to the combination of the sound stages and the film tax credit making it possible to attract projects that directly and indirectly employ more than 77,900 people in the state. “Being able to provide productions with state-of-the-art infrastructure, a trained workforce and deep network of support services is essential to the sustainability of this industry,” she says.


  12. rikyrah says:

    when I was younger, this was on my bucket list, but now?



    Doc on 1st African American Expedition to Tackle North America’s Highest Peak Makes its NYC Premiere This Friday! Tickets on Sale Now!

    Filmed 2 summers ago, and previously titled “Expedition Denali,” the now-titled “An American Ascent” follows 9 mountaineers who attempted to become the first all-African-American team to climb Denali (a.k.a. Mount McKinley) in Alaska, which rises to 20,320 feet above sea level.

    The short version of the story goes… In the summer of 2013, the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) brought together a group of men and women who made history as the first team of African Americans to blaze a trail up America’s highest peak – Denali – in part to mark the 100th anniversary of the peak’s first ascent, but also to build a legacy by paving a way for young people of color to get outside, get active, get healthy, become passionate about America’s wild places, and chase their own Denali-sized dreams.


  13. rikyrah says:

    Congress Sent Another Letter Barging Into Obama’s Nuclear Negotiations With Iran
     By Kayla Ruble
    March 23, 2015 | 10:55 am

    Two weeks after 47 US senators sent a letter to Iran warning that any nuclear deal could be revoked “with the stroke of a pen” after President Barack Obama leaves office, 367 House of Representatives members from both parties delivered another message — this time addressed to Obama himself — regarding the ongoing negotiations.

    The March 20 letter, made public Monday by the House Foreign Affairs Committee, highlights the “grave and urgent issues” that have come up regarding the continued talks with Iran that are nearing their deadline this week. The representatives stressed that finding a solution to the “nuclear crisis” with Iran is of great importance to the country’s security.

    “Should an agreement with Iran be reached, permanent sanctions relief from congressionally-mandated sanctions would require new legislation,” the letter states. “In reviewing such an agreement, Congress must be convinced that its terms foreclose any pathway to a bomb, and only then will Congress be able to consider permanent sanctions relief.”


  14. rikyrah says:

    TV One’s First Quarter Ratings on Track for Historic Best for the Network Thanks to Original Movies & Series

    By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act
    March 20, 2015 at 2:27PM

    TV One today announced that the network is on track to achieve what it calls an historic first quarter ratings record this year, for both prime time and total day, thanks to strong reception of original scripted projects in, “Fear Files” and “Hear No Evil,” which pulled in a combined 3.3 Million total viewers across their premiere and encore airings.

    Both movies aired the weekend of 03/13-03/15.

    Also contributing to the network’s Q1 ratings success were the premieres of the 46th NAACP Image Awards, a sneak peek of new summer comedy “Born Again Virgin,” the Original Movie “White Water,” and returning series “Unsung Hollywood” and “R&B Divas LA.”

    Additional highlights via press release from the network:

    – “Hear No Evil” was the #1 Movie on Cable last weekend, and the #2 Non-Sports Telecast on TV in its premiere night among Black Adults 25-54 and Black Females 25-54.


  15. rikyrah says:



    Ferguson and Benghazi’s troubling parallels

    By Richard Cohen Opinion writer March 23 at 7:40 PM 

    Ferguson has become the liberal Benghazi. It is more of a cause than a place, more of an ideological statement than an incident. Ferguson was not the racist murder it was thought to be, and Benghazi was not an incident in which the Obama administration’s incompetence or timidity allowed four Americans to die. The facts argue otherwise.

    Both events tell us something about the passions of our times. It was quickly apparent what had happened at Ferguson. Michael Brown was not on his knees, hands up, when he was shot. He was rushing at the police officer.

    Did he deserve to die? No. But did Darren Wilson shoot him for no reason? Again, no. Did the Justice Department later find that Ferguson’s police force was a cesspool of racism, incompetence and corruption? Yes. But did any of that mean that Wilson killed Brown in cold blood or that Brown was shot because he was black? No and no.

    A grand jury studied what happened and did not indict Wilson. Eric Holder’s Justice Department reached the same conclusion. Let me offer another conclusion: If Brown was not criminally shot because he was black, then possibly the cop was accused because he was white. Who was the stereotyped individual here?


  16. I’m so loving the playlist on the sidebar. Just click and awww :)

    • Liza says:

      It’s really hard to listen to Hillary speak. She is boring beyond comprehension while trying to be funny, and she isn’t funny. I am already dreading the 2016 election.

    • Ametia says:

      She is COMPLETELY SCRITPTED. and that doesn’t mean she is the only one that reads her notes. But without them, I don’t think she has a message that holds any weight on their own.

    • Liza says:

      It’s going to be interesting when we learn what Hillary stands for in 2016 given that she is too afraid to stand for much of anything.

  17. rikyrah says:

    uh huh

    uh huh



    Pro-Rahm stunt just makes Chuy’s point

    Posted: 03/20/2015, 04:10pm | Carol Marin

    Three aldermen and City Clerk Susana Mendoza put on a dog-and-pony show at City Hall Thursday, rolling out dollies loaded with big black binders full of “audits.”

    The goal of this show and tell?

    To defend Mayor Rahm Emanuel and to attack his challenger, Jesus “Chuy” Garcia.

    Except, if you look closely, you’ll find they were actually making Garcia’s point.

    Garcia has been arguing that he can’t advance a plan to solve the city’s terrible finances until there have been comprehensive performance audits of critical city departments like police and fire. Something that, he argues, hasn’t been done.

    “Baloney!” cry Mendoza and aldermen Brendan Reilly (42), Michele Smith (43), and Ameya Pawar (47), pointing to the piles of audit books stacked in front of the cameras.

    Let’s have a look.

    Most of the audits, done by outside accounting firms, are little more than a balancing of government’s checkbooks. “These are financial audits that make sure the numbers add up, not whether the budgets are viable or the departments are performing well,” said 32nd Ward Ald. Scott Waguespack.

    Waguespack wasn’t invited to the dog-and-pony show because he’s one of the few aldermen knowledgeable enough and brave enough to speak truth to power in Chicago. And he’s a Garcia supporter.

    Amazingly, Mendoza and trio invoked an unlikely guardian angel for verification of their claims. They solemnly declared that Inspector General Joseph Ferguson, the watchdog the regulars love to hate, had done “25 performance and program audits . . . since 2011.”

    Well, yeah.

    But Ferguson’s audits were done often in spite of, not because of, the Emanuel administration. And if you read his reports closely, you’ll notice certain city departments simply ignore his recommendations.

    Not noted in those audit books is that the mayor’s office has allowed all-powerful Ald. Ed Burke (14th) to keep the workers comp system locked behind Burke’s Finance Committee fortress walls, even though the mayor’s own people know there are millions of dollars to be saved there.

    Not noted in those audit books are the repeated requests by a few independent aldermen for an administration-initiated accounting of $100 million a year in police overtime.

    Inspector general spokesperson Rachel Leven on Thursday confirmed, “We are not aware of any (CPD or CFD timekeeping audits) having been done.” But the IG’s 2015 audit plan makes clear timekeeping and payroll in those departments are “key risk areas.”

    So, Garcia is correct.

    We have not been allowed to see inside the numbers to judge what efficiencies might save us cash and spare us taxes.


  18. rikyrah says:

    More about Chuy Garcia


    What Has Jesus “Chuy” Garcia Actually Accomplished in Office? A Lot, It Turns Out.

    It’s not just that Rahm Emanuel has devastated Chicago through privatization and corruption—Chuy Garcia has a strong record of smart progressive governance.

    BY Rick Perlstein

    It’s week three of the most historic mayoral election in Chicago in decades, and new indictments of the incumbent (on top of the prodigious number of old ones) have been rolling over a largely undecided electorate in waves:

    • Last Tuesday, the International Business Times reported how Rahm Emanuel’s top congressional aide was hired as a lobbyist for the company from which Chicago bought $44 million worth of red light cameras; the relationship was cunningly hidden from disclosure requirements.

    • On Wednesday, Emanuel allegedly snapped Tony Soprano-style to a woman who lost her son to gun violence, “You’re gonna respect me!” after she pressed him for an explanation about why he closed the city mental health clinic that had treated her for post-traumatic stress disorder.

    • Thursday, public radio station WBEZ and the education magazine Catalyst Chicago documented how one of Emanuel’s appointed school board members, Deborah Quazzo, might have profited off the $60 million Chicago Public Schools has poured into sketchy, unaccountable, online “alternative schools” which do more to artificially inflate the graduation rates than they do to actually help at-risk kids.

    That’s on top of one of the most politically damaging developments of all: the fifth downgrading of Chicago’s bond rating since Emanuel’s inauguration, this time to just two notches above “junk.” “Rahm Emanuel’s Chicago Nears Fiscal Free Fall,” Investor’s Business Daily headlined that news.

    To the majority who voted against Emanuel in the first round of the mayoral elections on February 24, this probably came as welcome enough confirmation of their judgement. Others, though, are asking the reasonable question: What’s Rahm’s opponent Jesus “Chuy” Garcia done to prove he’s up to the job of governing the third largest city in the nation?

    Actually, it’s not a hard case to make—and the heart of it is that very financial free-fall. When the Chicago Tribune endorsed Emanuel for reelection, their argument was almost entirely fiscal: “He has kept spending in check”; “He has balanced the budget four years in a row”; “He passed reforms in Springfield to the municipal and laborers pension funds.”

    The Chicago Sun-Times argued similarly: “For months, Rahm Emanuel has kept his feet flat on the ground, addressing Chicago’s very real problems despite the political fallout, while his opponent in the April 7 mayoral runoff election, Jesus ‘Chuy’ Garcia, has floated above reality.”

    Leave aside how Moody’s, which specified the irresponsibility of Emanuel’s alleged pension fix as a key justification for their move, has just humiliated those claims. Let’s talk about Chuy—and how talk like this betokens the Chicago establishment’s own flight from reality.

    As the savvy and level-headed Curtis Black explained in the Chicago Reporter, “The reality is, Emanuel has a record of fiscal recklessness, and Garcia has been a key member of the two most fiscally responsible administration in recent history.” It was the mayoral administration of Harold Washington’s, with Garcia as a key aldermanic ally, that trimmed the city’s patronage-inflated workforce by 15 percent and, a year before his decisive 1987 reelection, raised property taxes taxes by double digits. (Emanuel, the guy the Trib and Sun-Times claim has the courage to support tough decisions, used that 1986 city council by Garcia vote as a political attack.) More recently, Chuy has been floor leader for Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, when she balanced the county budget for the first time in years while also lowering taxes.


  19. rikyrah says:


    Three College Swimmers Make
    History At NCAA Championship

    By Chris

    African-American swimmers took the top three finishes in a single event at the Women’s Division 1 NCAA Championship this weekend, a feat recognized by the national governing body of swimming in the United States with a celebratory tweet.

    Freshman phenom Simone Manuel of Stanford set an NCAA, American, U.S. Open, Championship and Pool record when she clocked a time of 46.09 in the women’s 100 yard freestyle.

    Manuel’s Stanford teammate Lia Neal came in second place with a time of 47.13. (Fans may recall that Neal won a bronze medal in the 4×100 free relay at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.)

    The University of Florida’s Natalie Hinds swam a time of 47.24. Hinds reset her own-school record in the event during competition.

    Teammates Manuel and Neal spoke to Swimming World magazine about their game plan before winning 400 yard freestyle relay, Neal revealing her exhaustion. “We were talking about it before the relay, we were gonna go until it hurt. If it hurt that meant that we were doing something right,” she said.

    Neal led the first leg of the race and Manuel anchored it, breaking the
    American record in the relay by 2 seconds and the US Open/NCAA Record by a full second.


    • eliihass says:

      Exactly! The attempt to blame the First Lady for the rotten mess some of these schools churn out, is nuts.

      If the school districts do a better job of training lunch ladies and also utilizing less greedy, honest suppliers who care more about our kids health and less about their bottom line, there’s absolutely no reason why the First Lady’s push for healthier, tastier meals for kids at school should be contentious. It’s a wonderful effort and the corrupt school district supervisors and their dubious partners in crime – the deceptively named School Nutrition Association, need to stop being greedy and get with the program and stop working against our children.

  20. rikyrah says:

    Monday, March 23, 2015

    Voter Suppression Now Official In Wisconsin

    Posted byZandar

    It’s now tougher to register to vote and to vote in the Badger State after the Supreme Court passed on dealing with Wisconsin’s Voter ID law, meaning permanently lower turnout, which is exactly what Republicans want.

    The Supreme Court refused Monday to hear a major challenge to Wisconsin’s voter ID law, delivering a victory to Republicans who favor tougher election laws.

    The decision is a setback for civil rights groups that contend the law could disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of residents who lack proper ID — particularly racial minorities, seniors, students and people with disabilities.

    And it turns both sides’ sights on Texas, where a similar statute is pending before a federal appeals court. Eventually, the justices are considered likely to resolve the festering issue.

    New election laws in both states, along with Ohio and North Carolina, forced the high court to settle last-minute disputes before the 2014 elections. The justices generally tried not to change procedures just as voters were set to go to the polls, but they did not rule on the broader issue: what types of state restrictions are constitutional.

    Wisconsin’s law was passed in 2011 and used in low-turnout primaries before being blocked from further use by a state court. Last year, a federal district judge declared it unconstitutional because it disproportionately affected black and Hispanic residents.

    A three-judge panel of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed that decision in September, in part because of last-minute changes made by state officials to ease the burden on those lacking proper ID. The full appeals court deadlocked 5-5 on the issue, leaving the panel’s decision in place. But the Supreme Court blocked the law from taking effect in November.

    All four cases are part of a broader national challenge by groups aligned with Democrats and minorities against laws tightening voting procedures passed by Republican legislatures to combat alleged voter fraud.

    If the Supremes punt on all four states, 2016 is going to be a lot harder for Democrats to prevail in. Republicans know it, because that’s the goal: the fewer people vote, the better the GOP does. 2014 proved that beyond a doubt.

    We’re losing more and more rights to vote, and if the Supreme Court won’t act on such blatant and obvious voter suppression against Democrats, then we’re in a lot of trouble.


  21. rikyrah says:

    UH HUH

    UH HUH


    Israel Spied on Iran Nuclear Talks With U.S.

    Ally’s snooping upset White House because information was used to lobby Congress to try to sink a deal

    Soon after the U.S. and other major powers entered negotiations last year to curtail Iran’s nuclear program, senior White House officials learned Israel was spying on the closed-door talks.

    The spying operation was part of a broader campaign by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government to penetrate the negotiations and then help build a case against the emerging terms of the deal, current and former U.S. officials said. In addition to eavesdropping, Israel acquired information from confidential U.S. briefings, informants and diplomatic contacts in Europe, the officials said.

    The espionage didn’t upset the White House as much as Israel’s sharing of inside information with U.S. lawmakers and others to drain support from a high-stakes deal intended to limit Iran’s nuclear program, current and former officials said.

    “It is one thing for the U.S. and Israel to spy on each other. It is
    another thing for Israel to steal U.S. secrets and play them back to U.S. legislators to undermine U.S. diplomacy,” said a senior U.S. official briefed on the matter.

    The U.S. and Israel, longtime allies who routinely swap information on security threats, sometimes operate behind the scenes like spy-versus-spy rivals. The White House has largely tolerated Israeli snooping on U.S. policy makers—a posture Israel takes when the tables are turned.

    The White House discovered the operation, in fact, when U.S. intelligence agencies spying on Israel intercepted communications among Israeli officials that carried details the U.S. believed could have come only from access to the confidential talks, officials briefed on the matter said.


  22. rikyrah says:

    Senate GOP delaying Lynch nomination (again)
    03/24/15 08:00 AM
    By Steve Benen
    The White House’s frustration over Senate Republicans’ handling of Loretta Lynch’s nomination is becoming more obvious. President Obama used his latest weekly address to urge senators to be responsible towards the highly qualified Attorney General nominee, and in an interview Friday with Sam Stein, the president said, “You don’t hold attorney general nominees hostage for other issues. This is our top law enforcement office.”

    The Senate’s GOP majority evidently feels differently. Bloomberg News reported last night:
    U.S. attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch probably won’t get a Senate confirmation vote until at least mid-April, five months after she was nominated, because the chamber plans to spend this week debating its budget proposal.

    “Budget all week,” Don Stewart, a spokesman for Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, said in an e-mail Monday when asked whether the Senate would vote on Lynch before taking a two-week spring break until April 13.
    White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters yesterday, “The continued delay is unconscionable.”

    Note, the problem is not that Republicans have imposed a blanket blockade on all confirmation votes. On the contrary, since Lynch was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee with bipartisan support on Feb. 26, the GOP majority has confirmed four Obama administration nominees, including one yesterday. Republicans have also allowed Defense Secretary Ashton Carter’s nomination to reach the floor, despite the fact that Carter was nominated after Lynch.

    But the A.G. nominee, for reasons Republicans have struggled to explain, is being denied an up-or-down vote, even though Lynch appears to have the votes necessary for confirmation.


  23. rikyrah says:

    Good MOrning, Everyone :)

  24. Ametia says:


    A German passenger plane has crashed in the Alps and French President Francois Hollande says there are believed to be no survivors. The Airbus A320 carried 142 passengers, two pilots and four crewmembers. The flight originated in Barcelona and was headed for Dusseldorf. The flight was reportedly descending at about 3,000-4,000 feet per minute, “which is quite standard for an airport approach.” A distress call was sent before the flight disappeared from radar.


  25. Ametia says:

    Marvin… YASSSS!

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