Friday Open Thread | Midnight Soul

Atlantic Starr 2Atlantic Starr was a 1980s R&B band. Among their biggest hits were “Always” and “Secret Lovers.”

The group was started in 1976, in Greenburgh, New York, by trumpeter Duke Jones (who left the band prior to their first recordings), along with drummer Porter Carroll Jr., bassist Clifford Archer, percussionist and flutist Joseph Phillips, Sheldon Tucker (Guitar; parted ways with the band before the first recordings), and three brothers: David Lewis (vocals/guitar), Wayne Lewis (keyboards and vocals), and Jonathan Lewis (percussion and trombone). The band’s membership eventually stabilized around Carroll, Archer, Phillips, the three Lewis brothers, lead singer Sharon Bryant (who was later replaced by Barbara Weathers), trumpeter William Sudderth, and saxophonist Damon Rentie (who was later replaced by Koran Daniels).

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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51 Responses to Friday Open Thread | Midnight Soul

  1. rikyrah says:

    A comedian’s son put gas in the car. The significance of that accomplishment brought the dad to tears.
    Laura Willard

    Watch the moving moment a dad realizes that his son is going to be just fine.

  2. rikyrah says:

    Paul Kane @pkcapitol
    Scoop: Obama vows to stump in primaries for Ds who back TPA/TPP. “I’ve got your back,” he says.
    W/ @DavidNakamura

  3. rikyrah says:

    Man behind controversial CPS contract allegedly used racist language, sent predatory emails
    Posted: 04/30/2015, 04:24pm |


    Before his principal-training company came under federal criminal scrutiny for its lucrative deal with Chicago Public Schools, Gary Solomon previously faced allegations he used racial slurs in emails sent as a north suburban high school dean, according to documents released Thursday by his former employers.

    Solomon is one of the owners of SUPES Academy, which received a $20.5 million no-bid contract from CPS in 2013. The FBI is investigating the awarding of the contract, and CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett — who once worked for SUPES — has taken a paid leave of absence after the existence of the federal corruption probe became public recently.

    In 2001, Solomon was forced out of Niles West High School after his bosses accused him of “immoral and unprofessional” conduct, including allegations he kissed a female student, covered up students’ drug and alcohol use and sent “sexually suggestive” emails to students, the Chicago Sun-Times has reported.

    Now, newly obtained records from the Niles Township High School District 219 shed additional light on the allegations against Solomon while he was an administrator and social studies teacher there.

  4. Liza says:

    This video is made from a British TV show that aired in the mid-80s. Ben E King had actually rejoined The Drifters for a short time. On his right is another lifetime favorite of mine, Johnny Moore, who passed away in 1998. These guys had the most beautiful voices ever, the most crystalline pipes. Ben E King, thank you for the music, and RIP.

  5. rikyrah says:

    21, 2015 9:29 AM
    What Will the Kochs Do For Scott Walker?

    By Ed Kilgore

    As noted in Monday’s Day’s End post, Nick Confessore had quite the scoop from a private Republican meeting in New York yesterday:

    On Monday, at a fund-raising event in Manhattan for the New York State Republican Party, David Koch told donors that he and his brother, who oversee one of the biggest private political organizations in the country, believed that Mr. Walker would be the Republican nominee.

    “When the primaries are over and Scott Walker gets the nomination,” Mr. Koch told the crowd, the billionaire brothers would support him, according to a spokeswoman. The remark drew laughter and applause from the audience of fellow donors and Republican activists, who had come to hear Mr. Walker speak earlier at the event, held at the Union League Club.

    Here’s where the story gets murky, though:

    Two people who attended the event said they heard Mr. Koch go even further, indicating that Mr. Walker should be the Republican nominee. A spokeswoman disputed that wording, saying that Mr. Koch had pledged to remain officially neutral during the primary campaign.

    But Mr. Koch’s remark left little doubt among attendees of where his heart is, and could effectively end one of the most closely watched contests in the “invisible primary,” a period where candidates crisscross the country seeking not the support of voters but the blessing of their party’s biggest donors and fund-raisers….

    Mr. Koch’s remarks suggested that the political organizations they oversee — which include Americans for Prosperity, a grass-roots organization, and Freedom Partners, a donor trade group with an affiliated “super PAC” — would not intervene in the Republican primary process on behalf of a single candidate.

    But according to the two attendees, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to freely describe the remarks, Mr. Koch suggested that the Koch family might personally offer financial support to Mr. Walker.

    This raises more questions than it answers. Are the Kochs signaling that members of their far-flung “donor network,” which together is reportedly planning on spending roughly $900 million in this cycle, should get behind Walker, even if AFP and other directly Koch-controlled groups keep their powder dry until the general election? And how about that “personal financial support” possibility? Keep in mind that Charles and David Koch are tied for sixth on Forbes’ list of the world’s richest people; each reportedly has a net worth of $42.9 billion. By way of context, that means each of the Bros is worth quite a bit more than Sheldon Adelson, who comes in at a mere 18th on the Forbes list. Their “personal financial support” could be Godzilla-like, if they so wished.

    But whatever it may not mean, it is a pretty clear vote of Kochian confidence in Walker, the man often described by Esquire’s Charles Pierce as “the goggle-eyed homunculus hired by Koch Industries to manage their midwest subsidiary formerly known as the state of Wisconsin.” There had been some earlier speculation that the Bros might smile upon Mike Pence before the governor of Indiana imploded over a clumsy and unpopular “religious liberty” law, pretty much angering everybody in the process. And Marco Rubio supposedly wowed a Koch Donor Network get-together in Palm Springs back in January.

    But looking at the big picture, Walker survived his first test with a boffo performance at the first cattle call of the cycle in Iowa, proving he’s not Tim Pawlenty and arising into the top tier in virtually every poll ever since. And now he’s been publicly blessed by the most powerful financial figures in Republican politics since Mark Hanna. Yes, his poll numbers back home are troubling, and he’s still more than a little rough around the edges on the campaign trail. It still looks like he and Jebbie are the early co-front-runners, particularly if the Kochs are extending what amounts to a bottomless line of credit to their little buddy from Wisconsin.

  6. rikyrah says:

    May 01, 2015 10:59 AM
    You Probably Had a Better April Than Mike Pence

    By Ed Kilgore

    So what seemed (to me at least) like a pretty long April has ended, and if it was a bad month for you, it could be worse: you could be Indiana Gov. Mike Pence. Before he blundered into the blind alley of a “religious liberty” bill in late March, Pence was a frequently discussed dark horse presidential possibility, with the on-paper credentials of being both a governor and a former conservative leader in Congress, plus enjoying a special connection to the wonder-working money of the Koch Brothers.

    But now he’s just political dead meat, as explained by HuffPost’s Amanda Terkel:

    On April 2, Pence signed a revised version of Indiana’s widely denounced “religious freedom” law, closing the door on a controversy that had brought national scorn to his state and cost local economies valuable tourism dollars.

    “It didn’t do our brand any good, for sure. One, it didn’t do the state brand any good. Two, it didn’t do the Indiana Republican Party brand any good. And three, it didn’t do Mike any good. And that’s pretty obvious,” said former Indiana GOP Chair Jim Kittle.

    Since that time, Pence has kept his head down and largely stayed out of the spotlight. But behind the scenes in Indiana, many Republicans are still seething and looking for ways to retake control of the party’s direction. And the results of those discussions are likely to become more public in the coming days, now that the Indiana General Assembly has wrapped up its legislative session.

    One Republican operative in the state, who declined to be named in order to speak openly, said the Religious Freedom Restoration Act controversy brought to the forefront “a simmering disconnect between the [former Gov.] Mitch Daniels-era people and the Mike Pence people.” Others took issue with that description, saying the real divide is broader: between Pence and, essentially, the rest of the state Republican Party.

    Well, either way, and whether Pence recovers at some point in the future, he’s now become an object lesson that Republicans hostile to the Christian Right are going to bring out like a horror movie at every available opportunity: Pence not only screwed up his own political career, but actually lost ground for the cause of “religious liberty,” linking it to homophobic bigotry in a way that won’t be eradicated any time soon.

  7. Ametia says:

    One-time Christie ally pleads guilty in bridge scandal
    By Rosalind S. Helderman

    A one-time political ally and former high school classmate to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie pleaded guilty Friday in connection to his role in an intentional 2013 traffic jam on the George Washington Bridge desigend to punish a Christie political opponent.

    Read full article »

  8. rikyrah says:

    Colorado GOP blocks successful birth-control program
    05/01/15 11:14 AM
    By Steve Benen
    Colorado launched a health initiative a few years ago with a specific target: reducing teen-birth rates. To that end, Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) implemented a program that provided tens of thousands of contraceptive devices at low or no cost.

    The results were amazing: teen-birth rates dropped 40% in just five years. This week, the state even won an award from the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association, celebrating Colorado’s success story.

    Ironically, the award came the same week Colorado Republicans chose to scrap the effective policy.
    Republicans on a Colorado Senate committee Wednesday killed an effort to set aside money for a birth-control program that provides intrauterine devices, or IUDs, to low-income, young women. […]

    The legislation would have provided $5 million to expand the Colorado Family Planning Initiative program that health officials say lowered the teen birth rate in Colorado by an impressive 40 percent.
    As one local report noted, “Opponents of the bill worried that increasing access to birth control would not have a net public health gain because it would increase promiscuity.” One GOP lawmaker accused the policy of “subsidizing sex.” Another said of the program, “Does that allow a lot of young women to go out there and look for love in all the wrong places?”

    The amazing thing to remember here is that Colorado wasn’t talking about experimenting with a new policy measure; state lawmakers were considering whether to keep an existing policy in place. That’s important because, in this case, Colorado already knows the program was working.

    In other words, Republican critics of the idea raised concerns that the policy might fail – which might be a credible point were it not for the fact that the policy has been in place for five years, offering real-world proof that those concerns are unfounded.

    I half expected to find quotes from GOP lawmakers saying, “Sure, the idea works in practice, but does it work in theory?”

    Colorado’s state House has a Democratic majority, while the state Senate has a Republican majority. In this case, both chambers had to approve funding for the birth-control program to continue, and this week, the GOP-led chamber voted it down.

  9. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    I just learned about this:

    “WATCH: Cops tackle black veteran during traffic stop — and now he’s charged with assault”

  10. rikyrah says:

    GOP House Leaders Create ‘Action Group’ To Seize And Sell America’s Public Lands

    by Claire Moser – Guest Contributor Posted on May 1, 2015 at 12:46 pm

    A group of Republican congressmen this week took an aggressive step in a campaign to seize and sell off America’s national forests and other public lands.

    In launching what they are calling the “Federal Land Action Group,” Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT) and Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT) plan to develop a legislative framework for giving states control of America’s public lands. Calling the federal government a “lousy landlord for western states,” Rep. Stewart said “we simply think the states can do it better.”

    Bishop, who is also chair of the House Natural Resources Committee, said that “this group will explore legal and historical background in order to determine the best congressional action needed to return these lands back to the rightful owners.”

    This latest effort to transfer or dispose of national forests and public lands was immediately blasted by Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), the ranking member on the House Natural Resources Committee, as being unwise, unpopular, and illegal.

    “Building on the ideas of extremists like Cliven Bundy, House Republicans have formed a group to explore the idea that if you see a federal resource you like, maybe you can just take it,” said Grijalva in a statement. “There is no legal authority to give these lands away to developers and no chance the American people will support such a scheme.”

    In addition to Bishop and Stewart, the group’s “Congressional team” includes Representatives Mark Amodei (R-NV), Diane Black (R-TN), Jeff Duncan (R-SC), Cresent Hardy (R-NV), and Cynthia Lummis (R-WY). Bishop, who has long advocated for state seizure of America’s national forests and other public lands, has recently found more creative ways of pushing his Cliven Bundy-inspired agenda forward.

  11. rikyrah says:

    from POU:


    We are in the fight of our lives for the HEART AND SOUL OF AMERICA. Seriously, it’s all connected.

    Squash public education. (Looking at you, KANSAS) Can’t have any more Baracks, Michelles, Erics and now Marilyns. You know, them uppity, smart Negras. Test ’em into failure, make $$ from the charter school conversion.

    Crush affordable middle class housing. (Detroit, Baltimore, Wells Fargo – and by extension Travesty Smiling) Leave ’em, black, hispanic, asian and POOR white folks, to live in poverty.

    Close grocery stores. (or stock them with crap, HFCS laden carbs, or GMO foods, Monsanto engineered, never goes bad isht, or not-so-fresh meats. What the hell is ‘processed American Cheese Food Product’? What IS THAT ISHT!!???!!! )

    De-fund repair budgets for infrastructure (Bridges collapsing, streets all potholed up, trains patched together with old parts)

    If that doesn’t work, just kill ’em. Hire young, punk, wanna be soldiers as trigger happy cops. Or old, rich, ‘how-much-can-I-pay-y’all-to-shoot-a-nigga’ reserve deputy officers WHAT THE HELL IS A RESERVE DEPUTY!!!!! ” (RIP – Trayvon, Tamir, Michael, Eddie, y’all know I could go on and on….)

  12. rikyrah says:

    oh Jeb


    Jeb Bush touts Charles Murray’s work
    05/01/15 09:08 AM
    facebook twitter 2 save share group 19
    By Steve Benen
    Republicans are talking about term limits and a balanced-budget amendment. The Clintons are dominating the political conversation. Unemployment is falling

    And in case these 1990s throwbacks weren’t quite enough, suddenly Charles Murray’s name is in the news again.
    Asked to elaborate on his concerns about family formation, [former Gov. Jeb Bush] twice praised author Charles Murray, best known for his highly controversial 1994 book which touches on racial differences in I.Q., for his later research into the rise of single motherhood.

    “My views on this were shaped a lot by Charles Murray’s book,” Bush said.
    The Republican presidential hopeful added, “I like Charles Murray books to be honest with you, which means I’m a total nerd I guess.”

    As it happens, “nerd” isn’t the first word that comes to mind.

    It’s important to emphasize that Bush, while praising Murray, did not applaud “The Bell Curve” specifically. He was probably referring to the controversial author’s other work.

    That said, as Benjy Sarlin noted on Twitter, it’s a tough pitch for a national candidate: “Say, have you read this guy’s book? No not the one about racial IQ’s, the one about white America….”

    TPM’s report added some helpful context:
    Murray is the author of the highly influential 1984 book Losing Ground: American Social Policy, 1950-1980 which argued that social welfare programs of the 1960s and 1970s actually hurt the poor rather than helped. It was and remains a seminal work in the conservative policy canon.

    Ten years later Murray authored the highly controversial The Bell Curve, which he co-authored with Richard Herrnstein. Critics denounced it as racist, saying it essentially argued that African-Americans aren’t as intelligent as white Americans because of genetic differences. In 1994 Bob Herbert, then a columnist at The New York Times, described the book as a “scabrous piece of racial pornography masquerading as serious scholarship.”

  13. sunshine616 says:

    I just cried good tears for the first time in a while.

  14. eliihass says:

    I am so proud of this young state attorney Ms Mosby. She might yet redeem my faith in elected officials. That all State Attorney generals would take note of this young, brave woman! I am so proud of her. Wow!!!

  15. eliihass says:

    I am proud of Ms Mosby.

    • sunshine616 says:

      Really, though??? This gun shit is too much. I’m sure if that kid pointed that gun at Boehner, it would scare the tan right off of him.

  16. rikyrah says:

    oh no.

    RIP, Mr. King


    Ben E King: R&B legend dies at 76

    1 May 2015

    R&B and soul singer Ben E King, best known for the classic song Stand By Me, has died at the age of 76.

    King started his career in the late 1950s with The Drifters, singing on hits including There Goes My Baby and Save The Last Dance For Me.

    After going solo, he hit the US top five with Stand By Me in 1961.

    It returned to the charts in the 1980s, including a three-week spell at number one in the UK, following its use in the film of the same name and a TV advert.

    The song has charted nine times on the US Billboard 100 over the years – King’s version twice and seven times with covers by artists like John Lennon and Spyder Turner.

  17. rikyrah says:

    May 01, 2015 9:32 AMSo Much For Rand Paul’s Minority Outreach

    By Ed Kilgore


    There’s an interesting Eli Stokels piece at Politico up today about Rand Paul’s less-than-sympathetic initial reaction to the trajectory of the Baltimore protests, which Team Paul folk are frantically suggesting was just a “gaffe,” even as most observers believe he’s bending to the inevitable pressures of running for president as a Republican:

    On Tuesday, as Baltimore burned in the wake of the latest episode surrounding the alleged use of deadly excessive force, Paul’s response was notably off-key. “I came through the train on Baltimore last night,” Paul told host Laura Ingraham. “I’m glad the train didn’t stop.”

    The senator’s breezy response came just before he blamed the violent uprising there on “the breakdown of the family structure, the lack of fathers, the lack of sort of a moral code in our society.” He also expressed his sympathy for “the plight of police,” all without speaking to the circumstances surrounding the troubling death of Freddie Gray in the custody of Baltimore Police.

    His camp now acknowledges the lost chance.

    “We recognize how it may have sounded to some people,” said Elroy Sailor, a senior adviser to Paul who has helped orchestrate more than two years of sustained outreach by Paul to the African-American community. “We’re listening and learning every day and we learned from this. We’re also leading this conversation.”

    As if. Sailor’s implying that Paul “owns” the criminal justice reform debate. But even if you buy that, it doesn’t mean Paul is even on the same page as African-Americans when it comes to police reform, a parallel but hardly identical issue.

  18. rikyrah says:

    Indulging the Lunatics on the Right

    By Paul Waldman | Posted April 30, 2015

    Ask a Republican about the elaborate conspiracy theories that are so popular with many on the far right, and she’s likely to respond that, sure, those people are there, but liberals have their wackos, too. But there is a difference, in not just how far to the center of Republican power the wackos get (consider how many Republican members of Congress still aren’t sure that Barack Obama was born in the United States), but in the way the wackos are treated by the rest of the party. Which brings us to Texas:

    Gov. Greg Abbott ordered the Texas Guard to monitor federal military exercises in Texas after some citizens have lit up the Internet saying the maneuvers are actually the prelude to martial law.

    The operation causing rampant suspicions is a new kind of exercise involving elite teams such as the SEALs and Green Berets from four military branches training over several states from July 15 to Sept. 15

    Called Jade Helm 15, the exercise is one of the largest training operations done by the military in response to what it calls the evolving nature of warfare. About 1,200 special operations personnel will be involved and move covertly among the public. They will use military equipment to travel between seven Southwestern states from Texas to California.

    On Monday, command spokesman Lt. Col. Mark Lastoria attended a Bastrop County Commissioners Court meeting to answer community questions and was met with hostile fire. Lastoria, in response to some of the questions from the 150 who attended, sought to dispel fears that foreign fighters from the Islamic State were being brought in or that Texans’ guns would be confiscated, according to a report in the Austin American-Statesman.

    So in response to the fact that some of Texas’s dumbest citizens emerged from their doomsday prepper shelters long enough to harangue a colonel about their belief that martial law is coming to their state, Governor Abbott issued an order to the National Guard to monitor the movements of the U.S. military just to make sure they aren’t herding citizens into re-education camps or dropping Islamic State infiltrators into Galveston. I guess we’re safe from that, for the moment anyway.

  19. rikyrah says:

    Koch brothers make push to court Latinos, alarming many Democrats

    For Republicans, the road to warming the hearts and winning the votes of Latinos may begin at a Las Vegas flea market.

    On a recent morning, inside the Eastern Indoor Swapmeet Las Vegas, a group funded by the billionaire Koch brothers helped 250 Latinos — some of them illegal immigrants — pass the Nevada driver’s test.

    The LIBRE Initiative, an expanding grass-roots organization now operating in nine states, organized the four-hour test prep session to teach the rules of the road in Spanish — no tome y maneje (no drinking and driving), el límite de velocidad es sesenta y cinco millas por hora (the speed limit is 65 miles per hour)…

    Garza said his group is focused on explaining conservative views. For instance, they talk about how a higher minimum wage might not be in the best interest of Latinos because they believe it will hurt businesses and that there are less expensive ways for young Latinos to get health insurance than Obama’s contentious health plan. Garza also said LIBRE advocates getting millions of undocumented workers “out of the shadows” and into the legal system.

    So while the Republican candidates they support are bashing immigrants, the Koch brothers are telling Latinos that the GOP is the party for them. Interesting.

  20. rikyrah says:

    Bernie Sanders’ presidential run really matters. Here’s why.
    By Paul Waldman April 30 at 12:41 PM 

    Vermont senator Bernie Sanders is officially running for president, meaning that there will be at least two contestants in the Democratic race (after what’s been going on in the city where he was mayor for eight years, Martin O’Malley may be reconsidering). I am obligated by law to point out that Sanders’ chances of beating Hillary Clinton are slight, but the question many have already raised is what effect his candidacy will have on Clinton. Will it pull her to the left? Give her room to run to the right? Force her into missteps? It might do any of those things, or none of them.

    But Sanders could actually cause more headaches for the Republicans running for president — if he succeeds on focusing the campaign on his area of interest.

    To understand why, you first have to know that Sanders’ candidacy will be almost entirely about economic issues. Advocacy for the interests of what we might call the non-wealthy has always been at the top of Sanders’ agenda and at the heart of his political identity. That’s the reason he’s finally running now, at the tail end of a long career: the national debate has moved in his direction, with issues like wage stagnation and inequality now being brought up even by some conservatives.

  21. rikyrah says:

    Morning Plum: Inside GOP’s strategy for coming war over Supreme Court’s Obamacare decision

    By Greg Sargent May 1 at 9:07 AM 

    Republicans continue to insist they will have a contingency plan for the millions who might lose health coverage if the Supreme Court guts subsidies. But it looks increasingly like Republicans know their fix isn’t going to happen — and that purporting to offer one is merely about laying the groundwork for the intense political fight that may follow, in hopes of gaining a better political position not only against President Obama, but against Hillary Clinton.

    The Hill reports today that Republicans are showing a whole lot of bravado about the aftermath of a Court ruling against the law. They’ve even drawn up demands they will make in exchange for agreeing to keep subsidies going — which you are meant to see as a willingness to “strike a deal”:

    Republicans believe a Supreme Court ruling against ObamaCare this summer would give them leverage to force President Obama to scrap the healthcare law’s central pillars.

    Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), who is leading the Senate GOP’s response to King v. Burwell, said Republicans will be willing to strike a deal with Obama to ensure that the 7.5 million people who stand to lose their subsidies are protected, at least until the 2016 elections.

 But in return, they would demand that Obama to do something he has long resisted: nix the employer and individual mandates for insurance coverage.

    “Is the president going to say, ‘Tough, I’m going to veto that’?” Barrasso said in an interview in his Dirksen office. “There will be, as part of that [deal], things we want to have happen.”

    That quote is revealing. Yes, Obama probably would veto a bill that kills the individual mandate in exchange for temporarily keeping subsidies going. And I’m going to suggest not only that Barrasso knows this, but that Republicans are building their post-King political strategy around this likely outcome.

    On substance: It’s unclear whether Barrasso’s plan would keep the ban on discrimination against people with pre-existing conditions. But other GOP contingency plans would. According to Larry Levitt, that plus eliminating the individual mandate could drive up premiums, meaning people would either have to pay more or you’d need higher subsidies to make up the difference — more government spending.

  22. rikyrah says:

    GOP picks a bad time to cut urban renewal
    05/01/15 08:00 AM—UPDATED 05/01/15 08:56 AM
    By Steve Benen
    House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) hosted a weekly Capitol Hill press conference and offered his first extended remarks on developments in Baltimore. The Republican leader, true to form, made clear at the outset that he does not believe “more taxpayer money” will help.

    Boehner added that, as far as he’s concerned, “well-intentioned programs designed to help people get out of poverty” are “not working.”

    And with this position in mind, Politico reported yesterday that House Republicans are pushing “new cuts from urban programs this week,” coming against a backdrop of a major American city dealing with an ongoing crisis.
    Caught most in the middle is a $55.3 billion housing and transportation measure that is fast becoming the new ground zero in the appropriations wars this summer and a symbol of Washington’s retreat from public investments in poor urban neighborhoods like Baltimore’s.

    The federal lead-hazard-abatement program? Republicans cut it by a third. Capital funds to maintain public housing? Slashed in half as compared to the Bush/Cheney era. Choice Neighborhood grants? President Obama requested $250 million. House Republicans intend to spend $20 million, which is just a quarter of what Congress approved for the program just last year.
    But, GOP lawmakers will say, they just don’t have much of a choice – there are strict spending caps in place, forcing lawmakers to make deep cuts to domestic priorities.

    As David Rogers’ report makes clear, these are the exact same lawmakers who voted to add tens of billions of dollars in Defense spending by looking for shortcuts around those same arbitrary spending caps: “Most simply, Republicans are proposing two sets of rules, one for defense and the other for domestic appropriations. And the resulting cuts resonate more now given the proximity of the crisis down the road in Baltimore.”

    • sunshine616 says:

      They show their face everyday, but yet u have people that will continue to vote against their own interests. It’s crazy!!

      • Ametia says:

        did you hear the prelude before Mosby’s entrance? They are taking limited questions.

        The only question they need to asked and be answered is WHEN ARE THE COPS GOING TO BE INDICTED?

  23. rikyrah says:

    Taraji P Henson Thanks UK Fans for Illegally Streaming ‘Empire’ Which Led to Its Pickup + UK Reactions to the Show

    By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act
    April 30, 2015 at 8:18PM

    Restating something I’ve said previously on this blog… I imagine a day will come when one will be able to watch any TV network, from anywhere in the world (even subtitled in your own language, if the original program is in a language you don’t speak), 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, all at the click of a button… or two.

    We’re moving in that direction (for example, my cable TV provider sells a package that includes a handful of non-American TV networks, though what’s offered is very limited), but we’re not quite there yet. The “Internet of things” is the anointed term used to describe what that world will be – essentially, a world in which everything is fully connected via the web, all the time, information/data flows uninterrupted, as every device of every kind communicates seamlessly, and there aren’t any barriers preventing one kind of data (content, for example) in one country from being available to connected devices in another. No delays. I think it’s inevitable.

    If we were “there” now, then UK audiences wouldn’t have had to watch pirated episodes of Fox’s hit TV series “Empire,” before it eventually made its way across the pond, premiering there earlier this week (Tuesday) on channel E4, almost 2 months after the end of its USA run. According TorrentFreak, the show was being illegally downloaded more than 250,000 times per episode via BitTorrent, while it aired in the USA; and that figure doesn’t even include the many other ways content can be pirated and distributed all over the world. So it’s anyone’s guess how much higher than 250,000 times the figure actually is.

    But it was maybe thanks to the show’s piracy that it actually did get picked up by a UK network, because it apparently wasn’t even on any station chief’s radar, until audiences in the UK who had pirated it while it aired in the USA, started buzzing about it, which got the attention of TV network decision-makers who decided to act swiftly after the fact, and picked up the series.

    Star of the show, Taraji P. Henson talked about all of this with the BBC earlier this week, as “Empire” was set to premiere in the UK – the full BBC report is embedded below.

  24. sunshine616 says:

    Good morning chicas……I wrote some thoughts on the BPD report that I would love to get your thoughts on.

  25. rikyrah says:

    Cruz tries to blame Obama for 2008 crash
    04/30/15 05:02 PM
    By Steve Benen
    A few years ago, a statewide poll in Louisiana found that nearly a third of Republicans in the Pelican State blamed President Obama for the poor federal response to Hurricane Katrina. The nonsense was almost amusing – Katrina hit in August 2005; Obama was inaugurated in January 2009.

    But Louisiana Republicans aren’t the only ones blaming the president for things that happened before he took office. Philip Bump had this nice catch yesterday:
    Speaking at an event hosted by the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) linked the economic policies of President Obama with those of the much-maligned Jimmy Carter. “Historically, the economy has grown 3.3 percent a year since World War II,” he said. “There are only two four-year periods where growth averaged less than 1 percent: 1978 to 1982, coming out of the Jimmy Carter administration, and 2008 to 2012. Same failed economic policies.”

    If you didn’t catch it, Cruz employed a nifty little bit of rhetorical spin there. What he’s actually comparing isn’t Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama. It’s Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush.
    Exactly right. Cruz is playing a dishonest little game, assuming that his audience isn’t smart enough to notice the con. Indeed, the right-wing senator told the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce that President Carter and President Obama both embraced “out-of-control spending” (which is brazenly wrong), approved higher taxes (Obama has cut middle-class taxes); and produced “stagnation” (which doesn’t accurately describe the Obama era).

    But the real trick is which numbers Cruz chooses as important.

    For one thing, the Republican senator ties Obama to the 2008 crash, which is silly given the fact that Obama took office in 2009. Indeed, for Cruz to blame poor economic conditions in 2009 on the president is equally unfair given that Obama was still rescuing the country from the worst global economic crisis since the Great Depression.

  26. rikyrah says:

    First Lady Michelle Obama on Malia & Sasha – David Letterman

  27. rikyrah says:

    I already know this. But, as with the folks in Kansas who had the chance to correct themselves and didn’t, if this country is that stupid, then they get what they get


    Kansas shows us what could happen if Republicans win in 2016

    By Catherine Rampell Opinion writer April 30 at 8:00 PM 

    No more pencils, no more books. No more teachers’ dirty looks.

    Usually this is an anthem of celebration, of respite from the angst-inducing strictures of K-12 schooling. But this year, across Kansas, the jingle is coming a little sooner than expected, and with mournful undertones.

    At least eight Kansas school districts recently announced that they’re starting summer break early this year, and not because kids have already learned so much that they deserve a few extra days off. It’s because these schools ran out of money, thanks to state leaders’ decision to ax education spending midyear to plug an ever-widening hole in their budget.

    In at least one district, Twin Valley, children are being kicked out two weeks earlier than planned. Haven School District is closing five days early to save an expected $4,000 per day, said Superintendent Rick White, but next year the district will likely shave off 10 days. White told me that members of the school board are also looking for other creative ways to absorb the $750,000 in cuts handed down by the legislature for this year and next. They, and their educators, must continue to find new and innovative ways to do less with less.

    In balancing the budget on the backs of children, Kansas politicians are behaving shamefully. But they may also be doing the rest of the country a favor, by giving us a preview of what might happen if Republicans control the White House and Congress after the 2016 ­election.

    The consequences in Kansas, after all, are a result of fulfilling the great Laffer Curve dream that has Republican presidential hopefuls such as Marco Rubio, Scott Walker and Chris Christie all salivating: dramatic tax cuts, concentrated among those at the top, coupled with the promise that such action will, through trickle-down voodoo, increase tax revenue and boost economic growth.

    In the real world, politicians rarely get to carry out that budget plan in a big way. Then Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (R) came along and, with a Republican legislature on his side, passed sweeping tax cuts in 2012. Despite faith-based forecasts promising bountiful revenue, tax receipts have come in, again and again, hundreds of million dollars below projections. The latest estimates leave the state with a $422 million shortfall for the fiscal year beginning July 1.

    But rather than acknowledging that this tax “experiment,” as it’s been white-washed, has failed and needs to be reversed, Brownback and Republican legislators have mostly doubled down. To make up for the shortfalls, the state has hacked away at core services, from roads to welfare.

    Education turned out to be a particularly plum target. Kansas’s elected officals have a decades-long history of shortchanging students, and the state has been subjected to multiple lawsuits over whether its funding levels violated the state constitution’s requirements for adequate and equitable public education spending. The most recent major case was filed in 2010 — that is, before Brownback took office. And although last year the state’s Supreme Court found school funding levels indeed to be unconstitutional, the state appealed the decision and has since cut funding further.

  28. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

  29. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone! :-))) TGIF

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