Wednesday Open Thread | Otis Redding Jr. Week

Happy HUMP day!

These Arms of Mine
“They are wanting, wanting to hold you…And if you would let them hold you, oh how grateful I will be.”


I Got Dreams to Remember



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47 Responses to Wednesday Open Thread | Otis Redding Jr. Week

  1. rikyrah says:

    Morning Plum: Republicans worry religious freedom fight will damage party for 2016

    The national battle over Indiana’s new religious freedom law will continue to rage today, as the state’s legislators meet to produce the “clarification” of the law that Governor Mike Pence asked for at a press conference yesterday.

    The Post quotes several Republican strategists who worry that the battle is drawing the 2016 GOP presidential hopefuls into a culture war posture that risks putting them — and the party overall — out of step with a “growing national consensus on gay rights,” and more broadly, with a culture that is rapidly shifting in favor of more tolerance and inclusion. The GOP candidates have offered varying degrees of support for the law.

    “Some Republicans,” the Post reports, “fear that Indiana is only the first in a series of brush fires that could engulf the party as it struggles to adapt to the nation’s rapidly changing demographics and social mores.” At the same time, though, socially conservative influentials in the states that matter in GOP presidential primaries are demanding No Surrender to secular liberal bullying:

    As Steve Deace, a conservative talk-radio host in Iowa, put it: “This is the first litmus test of the race. Everyone in the party is watching to see how the candidates respond. For evangelicals, this is the fundamental front of culture issues.”

    And one Republican even suggests that this battle is a good thing for Republicans, because it could awaken the “sleeping giant” of evangelical voters. The best take on this comes from Jonathan Bernstein, who notes that the national outcry is actually doing the 2016 GOP hopefuls a favor by reminding them of national political realities that exist outside the Conservative Entertainment Complex:

    • eliihass says:

      Forgive me but that this woman has a show and a following, is precisely one of the many reasons we’re in big trouble. Vicious gossip that hurts others, shared as fact with the low-info audience lapping it up.

      Sad that so many celebrities now go on that show to promote stuff. But the woman is miserable, with some serious issues. And when I’m not focused on how much damage she does with her show, I feel sorry for her because I realize that something really terrible must have happened to make her this cruel, hollow and incredibly messy person she is.

  2. rikyrah says:

    Review: ‘Little White Lie’ Is an Engrossing Look Into One Family’s Silence, Secrets & Denial of Race
    By Nijla Mumin | Shadow and ActApril 1, 2015 at 3:36PM

    This question is thoroughly explored in Lacey Schwartz’s feature documentary “Little White Lie,” which follows her journey to uncover her family’s silence and secrets surrounding her half-black parentage. Raised in a proud white, Jewish home in the almost equally white Woodstock New York, Schwartz’s early questions about her “different” look were answered with explanations of her father’s distant Sicilian ancestor whose dark features she supposedly inherited. But her family’s lies start to become more apparent when she enters high school and is met with confused looks of black girls who ask her what she’s mixed with, to which she responds, “Nothing. I’m white.”


    “Little White Lie” operates both on the level of personal portrait, utilizing endless film footage of Schwartz and her family in their everyday life, and at Bat Mitzahs, and also as an examination of whiteness and its supposed invisibility- the ways it isn’t questioned or disputed as a system of power and privilege, but Schwartz, with her tan skin and tight curls, isn’t afforded this privilege even if she believed she was white.

    When she finally confronts her mother, she uncovers the truth of her identity- that her biological father was a black man from Brooklyn whom her mother had an affair with- and while it’s shocking and painful for her, it also reveals a betrayal of her father that explains his divorce from her mother years earlier. Aside from its obvious examination of race, the film is a sobering look at how silence and secrecy can eat away at the core of a family and its ability to function and communicate. So, while Lacey knows the truth, she is unable to talk openly about it in her family, lest she risk losing her bond to her already vulnerable father. So begins another journey of trying to foster dialogue around a secret that shattered her family, but that enabled her existence. That is, in itself, a weighty and difficult task and Schwartz documents her therapy sessions, discussions with friends, and the tense conversations with her father that may lead to closure.

    I saw this film in a packed theater of mostly black people. They responded heavily to Lacey’s struggle in the film, sometimes as if they were watching a really meaty soap opera. And this is not a flaw of the film as much as it’s a strength. The film packs all the elements of high drama- betrayal, lies and the uncovering of those lies, and secrets, but manages to also comment on the idea and belief of whiteness, and the “difference” that sometimes defines blackness and biracial identity. Sometimes stories like this tend to err more on the side of personal release than cinematic function, but Schwartz, after what seems like years of filming this project, finds a nice balance.

  3. rikyrah says:

    smartypants tells it again


    April 1, 2015
    Democrats and Dog Whistles

    Ever since the Republicans adopted a Southern Strategy to gain political momentum after the successes of the Civil Rights Movement, African Americans have become highly attuned to racist “dog whistles” in politics. And so for example, when Ronald Reagan announced his candidacy for president in Philadelphia, Mississippi (where 3 civil rights workers were murdered in 1964) and focused his speech on defending “states rights,” he sent a message that was both loud and clear to both Southern racists and African Americans without ever having to be explicit.

    As we fast forward to 2008 and the election of this country’s first African American president, those dog whistles from conservatives weren’t so hidden when a group of tea partiers rose up to challenge his place of birth. But in addition to the more blatant racism, there were plenty of dog whistles too. Here’s a reader at TPM explaining what s/he saw in 2011 when Speaker Boehner had some issues with scheduling a joint address to Congress by President Obama over the jobs crisis.


    Those same sensitivities were triggered a few times by the Clinton campaign in 2008 – like when Bill Clinton dismissed Obama’s win in South Carolina or when Geraldine Ferraro suggested that Obama wouldn’t be winning if he was a white man.

    Any Democratic candidate for president in 2016 who wants to maintain the Obama coalition should be careful about sending out these kinds of dog whistles. Even African Americans who have occasionally disagreed with President Obama will be tuned in to any disrespect shown to our 44th president. There are many who firmly believe that it was the strategy of too many Democrats in the 2014 midterms to distance themselves from him that led to major losses…rightly or wrongly.

    Obviously this is not something previous presidential candidates have had to pay attention to because we’ve never had an African American president before. But this is exactly the kind of change that is needed from both our party and the country as a whole. As I’ve said so often before, David Simon nailed it.

  4. Hey Chicas!

    The haters can’t contain their hatred. Look at this ish. Petty ass mofos.

    The 15 smartest US presidents of all time

  5. It took Hillary 19 days to speak out about Ferguson

    • Ametia says:

      Wwll Bubba’s an Arkansan, and since Hill’s runnin for POTUS she and Bubba gotta speak out against that bill, cause WHAT WOULD THE FOLKS AT GLADD SAY, after they awarded Bubba Clinton for his gay rights efforts.

      Yeah right. DADT AND DOMA? Didn’t he sign these bills when he was POTUS?

    • eliihass says:

      Not just Hillary. It astounds how everyone goes silent when it comes to black kids been murdered in cold blood by police and others; But everyone is jostling hard for a prime spot on t.v and going out of their way to show solidarity with the gay community.

      That victimized black people, murdered black kids and their families had as much monetary power and political clout to compel such awesome support. And if only more Republicans would have their children come out as black, perhaps they’d all find their empathy for black causes too.

  6. Obama’s Next Move May Be Lifting U.S. Protection of Israel at UN

    (Bloomberg) — While the world remains fixated on the negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program, the Obama administration is facing another foreign policy showdown in the United Nations Security Council.

    The administration has signaled that it might abandon the decades-long U.S. policy of protecting Israel at the UN and back a Security Council resolution laying out terms for a two-state solution to the almost 67-year-old dispute between the Jewish state and the Palestinians.

    Robert Malley, the Middle East director for President Barack Obama’s National Security Council, told at least one European nation two weeks ago that the administration is more willing than it has ever been to work on a Security Council resolution defining the parameters for a Mideast peace agreement, according to a report on the conversation to superiors by a Washington-based European diplomat. A copy of the report was viewed by Bloomberg News.

  7. rikyrah says:

    Charged with same crime, Iowa paper shows black suspects’ mug shots but whites get yearbook pics

    In Iowa newspaper is accused of pro-white bias after it handled the same alleged crime between two different sets of suspects in radically different ways.

    Blogger Rafi D’Angelo at pointed out that in reports filed on successive days, the The Gazette in Cedar Rapids printed mug shot photos of black burglary suspects and yearbook photos for white burglary suspects.

    On March 23, the Gazette‘s Lee Hermiston reported that three University of Iowa wrestlers were arrested after being caught in possession of several items that had been stolen from local homes in Marion, Iowa. The three suspects — Ross Lembeck, Seth Gross and Logan Ryan, all 19 and all white — were shown in the Gazette‘s pages in the their freshman yearbook pictures, wearing matching coats and ties.

    According to the Gazette, “The three wrestlers were charged with possessing alcohol under the legal age. Lembeck was charged with drunken driving. Gross was charged with interference with official acts because he fought with officers, police said. Ryan was cited and released.”

  8. Obama congratulates Nigeria on election

    President Obama is praising Nigeria for an election that is producing a peaceful transfer of power, the nation’s first.

    “The last few days have shown the world the strength of Nigeria’s commitment to democratic principles,” Obama said in a statement Wednesday. “By turning out in large numbers and sometimes waiting all day to cast their votes, Nigerians came together to decide the future of their country peacefully.”

    President Goodluck Jonathan has conceded the election to challenger Muhammadu Buhari. It’s the first democratic change of power in Africa’s most populous nation, one that has seen six military coups and much political violence since achieving independence in 1960.

    “I urge President-Elect Buhari and President Jonathan to repeat their calls to their supporters to continue to respect the election outcomes, focus on unifying the country, and together lead Nigeria through a peaceful transition,” Obama said.

    The president added:

    “Looking ahead to the gubernatorial elections on April 11, it is imperative that national attention turn to ensuring isolated logistical challenges are overcome and peace is protected, even in the most hotly contested races.

    On behalf of the American people, I extend congratulations to the people of Nigeria and to President-Elect Buhari and look forward to continuing to work with the newly-elected government on our many shared priorities.”

    • eliihass says:

      President Obama’s muted and carefully worded message supports the caution necessary as it pertains to Nigeria and the incoming leadership.

  9. rikyrah says:

    Faith in Values: State Religious Freedom Restoration Acts Threaten True Religious Liberty
    By Sally Steenland | Wednesday, April 1, 2015

    There’s an important debate going on in our country that lots of folks aren’t paying much attention to. I can’t say that I blame them. After all, with work, kids, bills, errands, and more—how much energy is left over to think about religious freedom?

    But here’s the thing: The current debate about religious freedom is already shaping laws and policies that will affect each one of us. Many of these laws and policies are harmful and will have far-reaching consequences that affect the everyday details of our lives—from our ability to shop at certain businesses to the cost of our health care—that even the supporters of these laws are likely to regret.

    That’s because the laws and policies in question go too far. They promote a kind of religious freedom on steroids, a muscular bullying that aims to get its way regardless of the harm or cost it may inflict on others.

    But one can support religious freedom and oppose that kind of harm at the same time.

    Take a look at the law passed in Indiana last week. It’s called the Religious Freedom Restoration Act—also known as RFRA—and is modeled on the federal RFRA, which was the basis for last year’s Hobby Lobby case before the Supreme Court.

    The impetus for the Indiana RFRA was a 2014 court ruling in favor of marriage equality in the state. A few months after the ruling, conservatives in the Indiana Legislature introduced the bill, which would allow any business, corporation, or individual to claim their religious belief as a defense if sued by a private party. In other words, a baker, florist, photographer, jeweler, hotel owner—the list goes on—could refuse to serve lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, or LGBT, people and cite his or her religion as a valid defense in court.

    A number of other states, including Georgia and Michigan, are considering their own RFRA bills. In each state, conservative opponents to marriage equality are hurrying to lock in religious exemptions as a way to opt out of civil rights laws. They know that time is running out, politically and socially, as support for such refusals declines.

  10. rikyrah says:

    Pennsylvania college expels 3 for racist radio broadcast

    MARK SCOLFORO, The Associated Press
    Posted: Tuesday, March 31, 2015, 2:14 PM

    HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – A private Pennsylvania college expelled three students over a campus radio broadcast in which they made racist comments and used a slur.

    Bucknell University president John Bravman met with about
    1,000 students and staff about the matter on Tuesday, a day after
    sending a late-night email revealing the expulsions.

    “Their conduct is an affront to our values, damaging to our community and in clear violation of our community standards,” he wrote to students, faculty and staff on Monday.

    Bravman did not identify the students but shared their comments from a March 20 WVBU-FM broadcast in “the interest of transparency and candor.”

    He said one of the students used the N-word, a second said “black people should be dead” and the third said “lynch ’em.”

    Bucknell spokesman Andy Hirsch said an inmate a nearby prison heard the comments and reported them to a prisoner advocacy group, the Lewisburg Prison Project. The group then contacted a university faculty member, who alerted the radio station’s adviser.

  11. rikyrah says:

    WHAT DA PHUQ??????


    Indiana Sentences Purvi Patel to 20 Years for Feticide

    By Jennifer Chowdhury

    On Monday, the state of Indiana sentenced 33-year-old Purvi Patel to 20 years in prison on charges of feticide
    – an act that causes the death of a fetus – and neglect of a dependent. She received a 30-year-sentence on the felony neglect charge, 10 of which were suspended. A six-year sentence for feticide will be served concurrently.

    Patel is the first woman in the U.S. to be charged, convicted and sentenced on a feticide charge. Reproductive rights activists are outraged.

    “What this conviction means is that anti-abortion laws will be used to punish pregnant woman,” says Lynn Paltrow, Executive Director for National Advocates for Pregnant Women.

  12. rikyrah says:

    Driving While Black is very real


  13. rikyrah says:

    Indiana law backs GOP hopefuls into a corner

    By Katie Glueck and Adam B. Lerner

    3/31/15 9:58 PM EDT

    Mike Pence just lobbed a grenade into the Republican presidential field.

    The Indiana governor’s religious freedom law has ignited yet another controversial culture war debate that has Republican contenders juggling awkward questions about issues they would just as soon not touch.

    This time around, the policy issue isn’t same-sex marriage — it’s about nondiscrimination laws and whether they should accompany Religious Freedom Restoration Acts like the one just passed in Indiana.

    Read more:

  14. rikyrah says:

    Following in Indiana’s footsteps?
    04/01/15 08:00 AM
    By Steve Benen
    Republican policymakers in Indiana, led by Gov. Mike Pence (R), were warned that approval of a right-to-discriminate bill would spark a civil-rights backlash against the Hoosier State. Pence and his allies didn’t listen. They should have.

    Condemnations of Indiana’s new anti-gay measure have been fierce and widespread, and the GOP governor finds himself under intense fire from the private, public, and non-profit sectors. Pence is now open to making some changes, but while we wait, the damage has already been considerable.

    And yet, 600 miles to the South, another group of Republican policymakers are watching this fiasco unfold, and they’re effectively asking themselves, “How can we bring a similar firestorm of criticism to our state?”
    Arkansas’ Republican-controlled House of Representatives gave its final stamp of approval Tuesday to House Bill 1228, otherwise known as the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), according to KARK. It now heads to the desk of the state’s Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who said last week that he would sign the bill. […]

    Arkansas’ legislation is nearly identical to Indiana’s RFRA, which has become the subject of widespread condemnation from businesses, organizations, celebrities and politicians.
    As Emma Margolin’s msnbc report noted, Wal-Mart, a retail behemoth headquartered in Bentonville, Arkansas, yesterday announced its opposition to the measure and urged the governor to veto it.

  15. rikyrah says:

    Showtime Renews ‘House of Lies’ for 5th Season

    By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act
    March 31, 2015 at 5:18PM

    A couple days after wrapping its 4th season, Showtime has announced that the network has renewed “House of Lies” for a 5th season, set to air in 2016, consisting of 10 episodes (the previous four years each had the standard 12 episodes, so a slight decline).

    “When you have a gifted acting ensemble led by Don Cheadle and smart, acerbic writing led by showrunner Matthew Carnahan you expect something special, and House of Lies delivers for us each season,” said Gary Levine, executive VP of original programming, Showtime Networks.

    “House Of Lies” currently airs on Sunday nights starting at 10 pm..

  16. rikyrah says:

    Tuesday, March 31, 2015

    Giving Them The Iran Around

    Posted by Zandar

    Americans want a nuclear deal with Iran, they just don’t trust Iran to hold up their end of the bargain.

    By a nearly 2 to 1 margin, Americans support the notion of striking a deal with Iran that restricts the nation’s nuclear program in exchange for loosening sanctions, a new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds.

    But the survey — released hours before Tuesday’s negotiating deadline — also finds few Americans are hopeful that such an agreement will be effective. Nearly six in 10 say they are not confident that a deal will prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, unchanged from 15 months ago, when the United States, France, Britain, Germany, China and Russia reached an interim agreement with Iran aimed at sealing a long-term deal.

    Naturally, party affiliation plays a big role here.

    Popular sentiment among Republicans is more in line with GOP lawmakers on the issue of whether Congress should be required to authorize any deal with Iran. A Pew Research Center survey released Monday found 62 percent of the public believes Congress, not President Obama, should have final authority over approving a nuclear agreement with Iran.

    Republican Sen. Bob Corker (Tenn.), the Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman, and other lawmakers are building bipartisan supportfor a bill that would require Obama to submit an Iran agreement for congressional approval blocking the removal of sanctions on the Islamic republic for 60 days. The bill would require a veto-proof majority to force Obama’s hand.

    Americans’ views on Iran have been shaped by deep worry over the prospect that it could develop nuclear weapons but also a hesitance to employ military force in an attempt to prevent that outcome. A February Gallup poll found more than three-quarters of the public thinks the development of nuclear weapons by Iran would pose a “critical threat” to the United States over the next 10 years. Yet fewer than three in 10 said Iran’s nuclear program — which it insists is for peaceful purposes — requires military action now in a CBS News poll last week; more than four in 10 said the threat can be contained for now and just under two in 10 said Iran is not currently a threat.

  17. rikyrah says:

    Sneed exclusive: Urban League CEO Andrea Zopp urged to run for Kirk’s seat

    Posted: 03/31/2015, 07:05pm | Michael Sneed

    Getting Zopped?

    Sneed has learned that Urban League President and CEO Andrea Zopp, whose resume reads like a corporate bible, is being urged to run for the U.S. Senate and is mulling it over.

    Sneed also hears former White House chief of staff William Daley, the brother and son of former Chicago mayors — and others — have talked to the uber-credentialed Zopp about being a potential candidate against GOP U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk.

    “Yes, I have talked to her about it and have enormous respect for her, consider her my friend, and think she would be great in government and politics — but I can’t push anybody — anyone to run,” Daley tells Sneed.

    Sneed hears that a cadre of top Dem leaders are very concerned about an absence of persons of color on the Illinois Dem ticket, besides perennial Dem candidate Jesse White, whose latest incarnation is secretary of state.

    “A lot of people in the African-American community are still shaking their heads they have no mayoral candidate this time around,” a top Dem party source said. “Barack Obama will not be on the next ticket, which will be the first time since 2004. And Zopp would be an exciting candidate!”

  18. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

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