Thursday Open Thread | Classic Blues Week! | Big Mama Thronton

Everybody got a ‘Big Mama.’   Today’s featured Blues artist is “Big Mama Thornton.” You might be highly familiar with a few of these blues songs, co-opted by Elvis Presley, Janis Joplin, and The Rolling Stones. These songs were re-recorded by white artists, played on white-owned radio stations, and became popular and known as the originals by their listening audiences. And of course they profited off the creative genius of these Black musicians.


Gonna Leave You


Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton (December 11, 1926 – July 25, 1984) was an American rhythm and blues singer and songwriter. She was the first to record Leiber and Stoller’s “Hound Dog” in 1952,[1] which became her biggest hit. It spent seven weeks at number one on the Billboard R&B charts in 1953[2] and sold almost two million copies.[3] However, her success was overshadowed three years later, when Elvis Presley recorded his more popular rendition of “Hound Dog”.[4] Similarly, Thornton’s “Ball ‘n’ Chain” (written in 1961 but not released until 1968) had a bigger impact when performed and recorded by Janis Joplin in the late 1960s.

Thornton’s performances were characterized by her deep, powerful voice and strong sense of self. Many collaborators described her with words such as monstrous, intimidating, formidable, and menacing.[citation needed] She was given her nickname, “Big Mama,” by Frank Schiffman, manager of Harlem’s Apollo Theater, due to her big voice, size, and personality. Thornton specialized in playing drums and harmonica as well as singing, and she taught herself how to play these instruments simply by watching other musicians perform. Her style was heavily influenced by the gospel music that she witnessed growing up in the home of a preacher, though her genre could be described as blues.[5]

Thornton was famous for her transgressive gender expression. She often dressed as a man in her performances, wearing items such as work shirts and slacks. This led to many rumors about her sexuality, though none confirmed. Her improvisation was a notable part of her performance. She often enters call-and-response exchanges with her band, inserting confident and notably subversive remarks. Her play with gender and sexuality set the stage for later rock ‘n’ roll artists’ own plays with sexuality.[5]

Feminist scholars such as Maureen Mahon often praise Thornton for subverting traditional roles of African American women.[5] She added a female voice to a field that was dominated by white males, and her strong personality transgressed patriarchal and white supremacist stereotypes of what an African American woman should be. This transgression was an integral part of her performance and stage persona.[6]

Early life

Thornton’s birth certificate states that she was born in Ariton, Alabama,[7] but in an interview with Chris Strachwitz she claims Montgomery, Alabama as her birthplace, probably because Montgomery, Alabama was a better known place than Ariton, Alabama.[8] Her introduction to music started in a Baptist church, where her father was a minister and her mother a church singer. She and her six siblings began to sing at very early ages. [9] Her mother died early and Willie Mae Thornton left school and got a job washing and cleaning spittoons in the local tavern. In 1940 Willie Mae Thornton left home and, with the help of Diamond Teeth Mary, joined Sammy Greens Hot Harlem Revue and was soon billed as the “New Bessie Smith”.[8] Although her introduction to music started within the church, Thornton’s musical education came through pure observation of Rhythm and Blues artists Bessie Smith and Memphis Minnie, whom she admired deeply.[10]


With the change that Rhythm and Blues was experiencing in the late 1940s, Thornton’s career began to take off when she moved to Houston in 1948. “A new kind of popular blues was coming out of the clubs in Texas and Los Angeles, full of brass horns, jumpy rhythms, and wisecracking lyrics.”[11] She signed a recording contract with Peacock Records in 1951 and performed at the Apollo Theater in 1952. Also in 1952, she recorded “Hound Dog” while working with another Peacock artist, Johnny Otis. Songwriters Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller[4] were present at the recording, with Leiber demonstrating the song in the vocal style they had envisioned.[12][13] The record was produced by Leiber and Stoller as Otis had to play drums after it was found that the original drummer couldn’t play an adequate part. It was the first time Leiber and Stoller produced a recording, which went to number one on the R&B chart.[14] Although the record made her a star, she saw little of the profits.[15] Thornton continued to record for Peacock until 1957 and performed in R&B package tours with Junior Parker and Esther Phillips. Thornton originally recorded her song “Ball and Chain” for Bay-Tone Records in the early 1960s, “and though the label chose not to release the song…they did hold on to the copyright—which meant that Thornton missed out on the publishing royalties when Janis Joplin recorded the song later in the decade.”[10]



Big Mama Thornton (circa 1950s)

During her career, Thornton was nominated for the Blues Music Awards six times.[5] In 1984, she was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame. In addition to “Ball ‘n’ Chain” and “They Call Me Big Mama,” Thornton wrote twenty other blues songs.[19] Her “Ball ‘n’ Chain” is included in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame list of the “500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll”.[20]

Big Mama


In 2004, the non-profit Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls—named for Thornton—was founded to offer a musical education to girls from ages eight to eighteen.[5]

The first full-length biography of Thornton “Big Mama Thornton: The Life and Music” written by Michael Spörke has been published in 2014.[8]

The one and only ORIGNAL ‘HOUND DOG’

images images.jpg-bmt

Ball and Chain


Little Red Rooster

This entry was posted in Current Events, Media, Music, News, Open Thread, Politics and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

91 Responses to Thursday Open Thread | Classic Blues Week! | Big Mama Thronton

  1. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    “NAACP holding voting rights rally in Shelby County on June 19-21”


    The Rev. Kenneth Dukes, president of the Shelby County chapter of the NAACP, envisions a massive rally next month in Columbiana to call on Congress to restore protections removed from the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by a U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

    “Our goal is about 5,000 people lining up in the streets and in front of the courthouse,” Dukes said at a press conference this morning in front of the Columbiana institution.

    “The nation is ready to respond to that ruling,” he said, referring to the Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling in 2013 in the case challenging the historic legislation filed on behalf of Shelby County. “We are going to be here in Shelby County where it all started.”

    The Alabama State Conference of the NAACP is hosting the June 19-21 rally with the message of restoring voting rights in the United States. The rally’s title is “From Selma to Shelby County: The Struggle Continues.”

  2. rikyrah says:

    Right-to-work goes down in flames in Illinois House with zero yes votes
    Posted: 05/14/2015, 04:17pm | Natasha Korecki

    Gov. Bruce Rauner’s desires to have right-to-work in Illinois went down in flames in the House on Thursday gaining zero yes votes in a fiery debate Democrats aimed squarely at the governor.

    The vote tally was 0 yes votes, 72 no votes and 37 voting present, offering a blistering rebuke to Rauner’s anti-union agenda. A handful of Republicans went for a walk during the vote, not publicly falling on one side or another.

    Republicans dismissed the vote as political theater even as Democrats pit workers’ rights against corporate greed and called Rauner “divisive” for touring the state and essentially asking local towns to kick unions out.

    “Don’t be afraid, stay with us, vote no!” state Rep. Jay Hoffman, D-Belleville, said.

    Illinois House Republican Leader Jim Durkin, R-Western Springs, lambasted Democrats for moving what he said amounted to “sham bills” in the House. The legislation voted on Thursday was not drafted by the governor’s office. Last week, Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan had urged Rauner to give him language for a bill, needling Rauner that he had talked about right-to-work for 100 days.

  3. rikyrah says:


    PragmaticObotsUnite @PragObots
    PBO: “The issue between myself and Elizabeth has never been personal…” #PresidentialShade

  4. eliihass says:

    Did you ladies see? Rasmussen polled Hillary vs FLOTUS for president. Lol. Yeah, not the already declared Carly Fiorina vs Hillary, but the sitting 2nd term FLOTUS who’s made it clear she has no political aspirations in more ways than one.

    So, why exactly is Rasmussen polling Hillary vs FLOTUS for president..? Lol. They scared…

    These folks are just too obvious.

    And tis very true that Hillary and her people have a serious bee in their bonnet about FLOTUS.

    They are and continue to be an active part of the demean, discredit and destroy Mrs Obama movement to forestall and kill even the remotest of considerations. Can’t have her or her supporters even entertaining the idea that she could be president. Nip it quickly in the bud by disparaging and dismissing her, questioning and trivializing her Ivy League degrees, calling to question her abilities and grasp of policy and ‘seriousness’ of actions as FLOTUS – never mind that they’d be first to query her arrogance and presumptions that she too was elected President alongside her husband.

    Because you know, only the Clintons could ever be a ‘twofer’.. Hillary was ‘bold, serious, a policy wonk’ when she carved an office for herself in the West Wing, but Mrs Obama is too ‘domineering’ like black women tend to be, if she even remotely voiced an opinion about policy or how poorly her husband is being served by his advisors – or strayed too far from the East Wing and stepped foot in the general area of the West Wing. And how dare she feel disrespected when Jennifer Palmieri White House Communications Director, plots behind her back to take away Mrs Obama’s one ‘decent’ staff Communications Director Kristina Schake to the West Wing, even after they’d gossiped about and mocked the East Wing’s ‘unseriousness’ and Mrs Obama’s early decision to do no harm, and to only focus on what effectively supports and reinforces her husband’s agenda.

    Jennifer Palmieri and Kristina Schake now work together as Communications Director and Deputy Communications Director respectively, for Hillary Clinton. Kristina Schake is the self-described ‘image guru’ who purportedly ‘rescued’ Mrs Obama. Never mind that Ms Schake only came to work for Mrs Obama in 2011 (and for 2 years only), after working for Maria Shriver during her time as California’s first lady.

    And we all know for a fact that by 2011, Mrs Obama was as consistently and recognizably herself as she was in 2009 when she first arrived at the White House. And only in the best and most wonderful of ways – with her poll numbers sky high too. So someone please help me with this image guru claim.

    It is said though that it is Ms Schake who pushed for Mrs Obama to do the shopping at Target and announcing the Oscar win from the White House and other stuff like that. And people like me would then argue that Ms Schake was indeed an active part of singular-focused trivializing a supremely intelligent and capable woman whose brilliant appearances on Larry King in 2008, 2009 and 2010 – were very much part of her very powerful and endearing elevation and effective and successful rallying on behalf of her husband, the President. (I will find and post videos of the various pre- Ms Schake Larry King interviews.)

    But don’t you just love it when you hear some patronizingly say: oh yes, I’d love to see Mrs Obama run for president – but only after Hillary. Lol.

    These people.

    • rikyrah says:

      Michelle Obama has no interest in public office.

      But, if she did.

      She’d wipe the floor with Hillary.

      you think Barack Obama-stans are something else…

      you ain’t seen nothing, until you’ve seen the Michelle Obama brigade.

    • Ametia says:

      LOL Image guru. there is no way in HELL that any woman, especailly a white woman could EVER roll up on Frist Lady Michelle Obama and mess with her AUTHENTICITY, SOULFULNESS. No need to go on.


  5. rikyrah says:

    wonder if NOW will say anything about THIS?


    Sean Hannity Calls First Lady A Racist In The Most Racist Way Possible (VIDEO)

    Author: Elisabeth Parker May 12, 2015 3:36 pm

    What is it about white privilege that Fox’s Sean Hannity doesn’t get? After everything we’ve seen in the news, Hannity watched Michelle Obama’s searing graduation speech at Tuskegee University in Alabama, and can’t understand why she’s so angry and so black.

    Actually, Obama didn’t even come across as particularly angry, Hannity just doesn’t like to hear the truth about how horribly White America treats black people. It’s much easier for him to portray our first lady as a reverse racist. Ellen Brodsky from NewsHounds (they watch Fox so you don’t have to) caught Hannity on the air weighing in on Michelle Obama’s speech, and called it “shocking.”

    “But first, tonight, shocking comments from Michelle Obama while giving the commencement speech at Tuskegee University in Alabama this weekend. Now, he used the opportunity to express her own views on racism and discrimination in America. Take a listen, and look at this.”

    Cue selective clips that bolster Hannity’s appalling views of Obama as a racist. Like the part where our first lady talks to the 2015 graduating class at this historic black university about the “sting of those daily slights” they will encounter as they launch their careers in White America.

    • eliihass says:

      “..wonder if NOW will say anything about THIS?..” Nope.

      After 7 years of crickets Terri O’Neill and the rest of them are too busy weighing in on just how sexist and disrespectful POTUS was to Elizabeth.

  6. rikyrah says:

    House GOP makes time for abortion ban
    05/14/15 10:00 AM—UPDATED 05/14/15 10:08 AM
    By Steve Benen

    It’s an unusually busy week on Capitol Hill. Lawmakers are tackling several pressing issues, many of which can’t wait, on everything from NSA surveillance to trade, infrastructure to Guantanamo Bay.

    But despite all of this, House Republicans yesterday made time for one of their top legislative priorities: a culture-war bill they know won’t become law. The Associated Press reported:
    Republicans finally won House approval Wednesday for a late-term abortion ban after dropping rape provisions that provoked a rebellion by female GOP lawmakers, forcing party leaders into an embarrassing retreat.

    The near party-line 242-184 vote marked a victory for anti-abortion lawmakers and organizations….House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, called the bill “the most pro-life legislation to ever come before this body,” adding, “We should all be proud to take this stand today.”
    Well, that’s one way to look at it.

    The final roll call on the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act” is online here. Note that aside from four Democrats who voted for it, and four Republicans who voted against it, the chamber was divided along party lines.

    As we talked about the other day, this is largely the same bill House GOP leaders wanted to pass in January, but failed when Republicans couldn’t agree among themselves about how rape victims should be treated.

  7. Breaking News: Man detained for trying to fly drone at the White House

  8. Chicas

    Thank you all for your concern for me.

  9. rikyrah says:

    just imagine what our unemployment rate would be if we were spending this kind of money on infrastructure

  10. rikyrah says:

    May 13, 2015 3:20 PM

    “Democrats in Disarray,” Part II

    By Ed Kilgore

    Facebook Twitter Digg Reddit StumbleUpon Delicious

    I complained this morning about the permanent audience for “Democrats in Disarray” stories like Robert Draper’s piece turning the Maryland Senate primary into a microcosm of a party torn apart by dissension between dirty hippies and centrist pragmatists. But I allowed as how Draper was either very smart or very lucky to time the release of his piece to a moment when perceptions of a Battle for the Ages between Democrats over trade policy might make his argument more credible than it would otherwise seem.

    As if to prove my point, Politico’s Manu Raju posted an insider take on the fast-track conflict bearing the mild-mannered title: “Scenes From the Democratic Meltdown.” If you read it, you will notice a rather large planted axiom that in deciding to revolt against Mitch McConnell’s decisions on which side-issues to move along with fast-track in a package and which to deep-six, fast-track co-sponsor Ron Wyden was turning his coat and turning his back on Barack Obama. There is little evidence (other than Republican complaints and blind quotes from “pro-trade forces”) for the former assertion and no evidence for the latter. Here’s what Wyden’s saying:

    Wyden strongly denied moving the goalposts in the talks, saying that Democrats expected all along that a strong package of enforcement measures would be paired with the trade bill, in order to ensure they become law as well.

    Emerging from a private meeting with about 14 pro-trade Democrats before a full caucus lunch Tuesday, Wyden said his party would remain opposed until additional demands were met. He bemoaned how candy makers wanted to preserve a loophole allowing them to import African cocoa harvested by child labor.

    “The group is concerned about the lack of a commitment to trade enforcement, which is specifically the customs bill,” Wyden said. “Until there is a path, where all four bills passed — these are the bills that are passed by the Senate Finance Committee, bipartisan bills — we will certainly, certainly most of us have to vote no.”

    This is a contingent position, not an abandonment of TPA, and Wyden was acting in concert with other “pro-trade Democrats,” not leaping across some imaginary fence into the arms of Elizabeth Warren and Sherrod Brown while thumbing his nose at the White House. The tell-tale sign that Raju doesn’t have much to work with in making the case of a definitive party-wide split among Democrats is that the last third of his piece is about the earlier arguments over the back-and-forth sniping between Warren and Obama. So he’s got Claire McCaskill defending Obama on that front even as McCaskill is voting with Wyden on the front the story is supposed to be covering.

    • Ametia says:

      Now years down the road we’d love to hear this from you Jeb

      I would not have gone into Washington D.C. WHITE HOUSE… 7 glad I didn’t get the opportunity to do so!

  11. rikyrah says:

    Ain’t seen nobody walk away from that kind of money since Dave Chappelle.


    Harry Shearer turns down $14 million and walks away from The Simpsons.

    With him go the voices of:

    Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, Mr. Burns, Mr. Smithers, Lenny, Dr. Hibbert, Rev. Lovejoy, and Rainier Wolfcastle.

  12. eliihass says:

    This Philadelphia Amtrak accident is just another reminder of how fragile and fleeting life is. It’s incredibly sad. Families in shock and hurting.

    • eliihass says:

      Surely everyone remembers when Donald Trump was disrespecting and haranguing POTUS about his birth certificate and Bill Clinton was interviewed about it. Bill talked about what a great friend Trump was to him and Hillary, how kind and generous Trump always was to them, and how he really enjoyed playing golf with Trump. That was it.

      Then Trump came on Letterman and told how he and the Clintons had been having these chats about “the ungrateful blacks”. How after all they’d done for ‘the blacks’, how they’d betrayed them for the black guy. Said never again. That ‘the blacks’ would be punished.

      • Ametia says:

        eliihass, the very thought of the Clintons aligning with that rat-headed Trump makes my skin crawl. The Clintons, like the majority of Dems think they’re doing ‘the blacks’ a tremendous favor by serving us, aside from their ‘white’ constituents. I have absolutely NO USE for ‘the Clintons,’ NONE WHATSOEVER.

      • eliihass says:

        But they’ve long been aligning with him Ametia. It’s not a secret.

    • eliihass says:

      But where did George get $50,000 loose change to throw away? And what exactly is in it for Mr Stephanopoulos.

      We always knew about their dalliances with Rupert.

      It always amazed me how incredibly close and chummy the Clintons remained to those who demonized, attacked and disrespected POTUS the most.

    • rikyrah says:

      uh huh

      uh huh

      but, the GOP talks about Maria, Rosa and Lupe crossing the Rio Grande.


      Chinese Maternity Tourists and the Business of Being Born American

      Inside the Homeland Security crackdown on deluxe services helping Chinese women have American babies

      iona He gave birth to her second child, a boy, on Jan. 24, 2015, at Pomona Valley Hospital in Southern California. The staff was friendly, the delivery uncomplicated, and the baby healthy. He, a citizen of China, left the hospital confident she had made the right decision to come to America to have her baby.

      She’d arrived in November as a customer of USA Happy Baby, one of an increasing number of agencies that bring pregnant Chinese women to the States. Like most of them, Happy Baby is a deluxe service that ushers the women through the visa process and cares for them before and after delivery.

      There are many reasons to have a baby in the U.S. The air is cleaner, the doctors generally are better, and pain medication is dispensed more readily. Couples can evade China’s one-child policy, because they don’t have to register the birth with local authorities. The main appeal of being a “birth tourist,” though, is that the newborn goes home with a U.S. passport. The 14th Amendment decrees that almost any child born on U.S. soil is automatically a citizen; the only exception is a child born to diplomats. He and her husband paid USA Happy Baby $50,000 to have an American son. If they had to, she says, they’d have paid more.

      After the birth, He observed yuezi, the traditional month of recovery for new mothers. She, her mother, and her 2-year-old daughter stayed in Rancho Cucamonga, a city about 40 miles east of Los Angeles. Her apartment, in a complex with a pool, fitness center, and mountain views, was rented by USA Happy Baby. Her nanny was supplied by USA Happy Baby. She ate kidney soup and pork chops with green papaya prepared by a USA Happy Baby cook. She secured her son’s U.S. birth certificate, passport, and Social Security card with USA Happy Baby’s assistance.

      He’s daughter was born in America as well. He and her husband, educated in Britain and from prosperous families, hoped to send their children to an international school in Shanghai that admits only foreign students. When the kids turn 21 they can petition for green cards for their parents, too.

  13. rikyrah says:

    muthaphuckas please


    …Instead, Obama’s rhetoric — he said his critics were “just wrong” in an interview with Yahoo published Saturday — seems to have exacerbated tensions between Democrats and the White House, which could make it tougher to move one of the president’s top legislative priorities through Congress this year.

    “You and I can disagree about policy, but I can’t call you a bad person or impugn your motives or anything else — except at great risk,” Rep. Jim McDermott (Wash.), a liberal Democrat who’s undecided but leaning against the trade bill, said Wednesday.

    “Civility in this business is important, because tomorrow I have to work with you, tomorrow I may need you badly,” he added. “A lot of people are standing around saying, ‘You know something, this is getting to be a personal thing, and that’s not the way we want to go here.’ … He went quite a ways with her and I think probably he won’t go that far again.”

    Appearing Wednesday on C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal” program, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) offered a similar critique, saying he was “disappointed” that Obama adopted an “insulting” tone toward Warren, while “acting like she has no legitimate point of view.”

    “If I was trying to persuade a friend, I wouldn’t start out by saying how deficient they were,” said Ellison, a long-time opponent of trade deals who heads the Congressional Progressive Caucus. “If you want your friends to go for something, meet their concerns as opposed to putting them down.”

    The tensions underlying the trade debate have highlighted a long-standing problem for the president: namely, his penchant for negotiating legislation in ways that leave even his closest allies on Capitol Hill feeling excluded
    from the process.

    “We’re the children at the kids’ table during the negotiations,” Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), an opponent of the trade legislation, said Wednesday.

    “We’ve had the president’s back over and over and over again — and I can disagree with the president and still have his back — [but] it’d be nice if the approach was reciprocal,” Pocan added. “Elizabeth Warren agrees with Barack Obama on 98-99 percent of issues, and to decide to take her to task on the 1 percent is just a very ineffective way to gain friends.”

  14. rikyrah says:

    May 07, 2015 1:12 PM

    The Never-Ending Debate Over John Oliver’s Testing Segment
    By Alexander Russo

    Nearly five days after it first ran, this 18-minute “Last Week with John Oliver” segment on testing, Pearson, and all the rest continues to generate attention on social media and elsewhere:

  15. rikyrah says:

    Reagan, Bush, and the Search for a Usable Republican Past
    By Jonathan Chait

    Yesterday, Chris Moody asked several Republican presidential candidates one of the most revealing questions of the presidential campaign so far: Who is the greatest president alive today? Bobby Jindal, Ted Cruz, and Donald Trump all named Ronald Reagan, notwithstanding the fact that Reagan, at least according to the liberal media, is no longer alive. And if you’re going to cheat a “greatest living president” question by naming a dead one, you could just as easily go ahead and name Lincoln or Washington. But that would amount to a form of blasphemy.

    What makes the question so devilish is that the ranks of the living presidents offer no answer to the question that can square with conservative doctrine. Two of the living ex-presidents (Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton) are eliminated off the bat on account of party affiliation. The other two, George Bush and George W. Bush, have been excommunicated for committing real or imagined ideological heresy. The Reagan answer was not a mistake — it was the reflection of a party lacking a usable past.

    • Ametia says:

      instead of the Republican party searching for a ‘USABLE PAST,’ they need to create a viable present, so they can have a viable future.

      but that’s not in the cards for them, because they, like some of the Democrats want things


  16. rikyrah says:

    May 13, 2015 4:51 PM
    For Jeb Bush, the Future Lies Ahead
    By Ed Kilgore

    I don’t know if this was the product of a decision by the entire Bush Brain Trust, including the family, of course, but also the vast if shadowy denizens of the Republican Establishment. But if so, it’s underwhelming (per a report from MSNBC’s Carrie Dann):

    Jeb Bush says that he does not want to engage in “hypotheticals” about the Iraq war because it is a “disservice” to individuals who lost their lives during the conflict.

    Asked by an audience member during a Nevada town hall about his interview on the subject with FOX News’ Megyn Kelly, Bush reiterated his claim that he misheard her question about whether he would have authorized the invasion of Iraq. But he disputed the questioner’s premise in asking “Don’t you think running for president is hypothetical?”

    “If we’re going to get back into hypotheticals, I think it does a disservice to a lot of people who sacrificed a lot,” Bush said.

    On Tuesday, Bush also said that he misheard Kelly’s question but added that he is unsure whether or not he would have made the same decision as his brother to go to war in Iraq.

    “I don’t know what that decision would have been, that’s a hypothetical. But the simple fact is that mistakes were made,” he said.

    Speaking to reporters after the Nevada event on Wednesday, he said “to delve into [the past] and not focus on the future is where I need to draw the line.”

    The whole can’t-criticize-the-war-without-criticizing-the-troops thing is hackneyed, cowardly, and also, like his entire rap here, kind of undermined by the fact that his brother the former president of the United State who supervised the war has been able to say flatly it was a mistake. And at least lately, W. did not, as Jeb incredibly did again today, retreat into the passive construction dodge of saying “mistakes were made.”

    But more broadly, the idea that revisiting the past is something he’s just not going to do anymore because it inconveniences him is just astonishing. Does this mean he won’t second-guess the past actions of Bill or Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama? Does the present pass into the past instantly the moment he lives it, making this whole inquiry into his treatment of the past another thing from the past he won’t talk about? Hard to say

    • Ametia says:

      Your brother created ‘ISIS’ Jeb!

      • Ametia says:

        HA HA HA HA GET HIM, GIRL! You don’t need to be pedantic to me sir! Jeb prolly don’t even know what the word is/

        “It was when 30,000 individuals who were part of the Iraqi military were forced out — they had no employment, they had no income, and they were left with access to all of the same arms and weapons,” Ms. Ziedrich said.

        She added: “Your brother created ISIS.”

        Mr. Bush interjected. “All right. Is that a question?”

        Ms. Ziedrich was not finished. “You don’t need to be pedantic to me, sir.”

        “Pedantic? Wow,” Mr. Bush replied.

        Then Ms. Ziedrich asked: “Why are you saying that ISIS was created by us not having a presence in the Middle East when it’s pointless wars where we send young American men to die for the idea of American exceptionalism? Why are you spouting nationalist rhetoric to get us involved in more wars?”

        Mr. Bush replied: “We respectfully disagree. We have a disagreement. When we left Iraq, security had been arranged, Al Qaeda had been taken out. There was a fragile system that could have been brought up to eliminate the sectarian violence.”

        He added: “And we had an agreement that the president could have signed that would have kept 10,000 troops, less than we have in Korea, could have created the stability that would have allowed for Iraq to progress. The result was the opposite occurred. Immediately, that void was filled.”

        He concluded: “Look, you can rewrite history all you want. But the simple fact is that we are in a much more unstable place because American pulled back.”

        Mr. Bush turned away. The conversation was over.


  17. rikyrah says:

    School director fired after racial graduation comment
    By 11Alive May 14, 2015 7:23 am

    STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. — The private school principal who gained
    national attention for a racially charged comment she made during a
    graduation ceremony has been fired.

    Dr. Heidi Anderson, chair of the board of directors at TNT Academy,
    wrote in a letter sent to the Gwinnett County NAACP that the board voted to dismiss school director Nancy Gordeuk:

    In light of recent events, the board of directors of TNT Academy has moved to dismiss Nancy Gordeuk as principal. During the coming transition, we will continue to prioritize support for our most recent graduates. Moreover, we will continue our commitment to providing
    students with the best educational classes, transcription services, and academic credit recovery possible.

  18. Ametia says:


  19. rikyrah says:

    rootless @root_e

    It’s funny how TNC is too afraid to confront @jonathanchait directly on avoiding race so he blames President Obama.

    rootless @root_e

    these people have never tired of hearing discourse on the on the failings of the black president – fixed your sentence @tanehisicoates

    rootless @root_e

    these people have never tired of hearing discourse on the on the failings of the black president – fixed your sentence @tanehisicoates

    rootless @root_e

    So @jonathanchait writes that Paul Ryan’s invocations of Bell Curve are policy proposals that must be taken serious and @tanehisicoates 1/2

    rootless @root_e

    complains about President Obama AGAIN @jonathanchait @tanehisicoates 2/2

    rootless @root_e

    I don’t blame @coates, look what happened to @VerbDC when he violated the code.

    Sabrina @Charmed86

    @tanehisicoates but how many panels of all black people have spoke about poverty with no white people or hispanics?

  20. rikyrah says:

    JET magazine @GetJETmag
    Raven-Symone adds another puzzling statement to her growing list with these comments about Harriet Tubman:

    • sunshine616 says:

      This girl, and the many like her that have these views, have some form of Stockholm syndrome. Being so in love with the ones who enslave you with the chains of greed. Shame on u, girl!

    • sunshine616 says:

      And she really needs to stfu!! She sounds so unintelligent.

  21. rikyrah says:

    Man Exonerated After Decade In Prison Set To Graduate From Loyola Law School

    May 13, 2015 6:36 PM

    (CBS) — He went to prison as a teenager for a crime he didn’t commit. Now, 34-year-old Jarrett Adams is set to graduate from law school.

    In this Original Report, Jim Williams tells us it took a lot of perseverance for Adams to make it this far.

    It’s an extraordinary accomplishment, to go from inmate to attorney.

    Jarrett Adams says he couldn’t have imagined this day while he was in a prison cell, but to his professors and mentors at Loyola Law School, his outlook today is just as impressive.

    “I can’t say that if that had happened to me, I’d have the same outlook on life that Jarrett does so it must be something in the core of his being that I would love to be able to bottle,” said Michael Kaufman, associate dean for the Loyola University Law School.

    “He did not allow his past to define him,” said Josie Gough, director of experiential learning at Loyola.

  22. rikyrah says:


    if you have the time and are feeling ok,

    if you could tweet some of eliihass’s excellent comments about the First Lady, I would appreciate it.

    There are some real gems in Tuesday’s Open Thread, as well as the threads about Tuskegee and FLOTUS.

    • I sure will.

    • eliihass says:

      Thank you so much lovely ladies for deeming my scattered thoughts worthy. It’s nice to be part of a blog that also respects, appreciates and understands FLOTUS and her sacrifice.

      I’ve found out the hard way that this isn’t always the case. That a blog effusively supports POTUS does not automatically mean they support or regard FLOTUS too. Put up a picture of POTUS and there’s loads of positive commentary. Put up a picture of POTUS with FLOTUS, and half the commenters disappear. Hmmmmm…It’s something to behold. The mysterious case of the disappearing supporters I call it…

  23. rikyrah says:

    Post 2 from Mayhew about a Republican Proposal


    Analyzing the Price plan Part 1

    Posted by Richard Mayhew at 8:34 am
    May14, 2015

    Time to start reading through Republican healthcare policy plans again as they are coming out in droves. These plans have massive distributional, operational, financial and moral implications. I’ll start looking at Rep. Tom Price’s plan HR 2300. Today, I’ll describe the basic workings. I’ll look at the distributional impact of the subsidies compared to current baseline tomorrow.

    Price’s plan first repeals everything associated with the medical side of Obamacare, so the student loan reform stays in place. This means a full repeal of the three legged stool of community rating, subsidies and mandate, it means re-allowing insurers to discriminate based on health status, it means the rates for a medically underwritten 64 year old could be a dozen times higher than the rates for a medically underwritten 19 year old male. Medicaid expansion disappears. It is a reversion to 2009 status quo.

    So how does he “solve” the health insurance problem? Why with tax deferred savings vehicles — they do everything but solve the actual problem.

    The next chunk is a refundable tax credit that varies on age as he contends age is a simpler criteria than income. This has interesting distributional effects. In the name of Freedumb, he allows people who have Medicare, VA, Tricare or other government health care to decline that high actuarial value care to shop for their own individual coverage with their inadequate tax credits.

    Everyone then gets a $1,000 one time deposit to a new HSA. HSAs are further enhanced within the tax code and high deductible health plans are renamed HSA eligible health plans (a critical policy achievement here). HSA contribution limits are increased to IRA contribution limits.

  24. rikyrah says:

    Richard Mayhew over at BJ has two posts up about the ACA. I have learned more about healthcare from him than I ever did from the MSM.



    Rebuilding the stool
    Posted by Richard Mayhew at 7:34 am .
    May 14, 2015

    PPACA is said to be a three legged stool. The first leg is expanding coverage by restricting underwriting to be limited by age, geography and smoking status. Insurance companies can not turn people away due to their medical history or projected future medical cost risk. This leg of the stool makes insurance available to everyone. It also makes insurance more expensive.

    The next two legs of the stool address the cost problem. The next leg is subsidies to enable people to afford the more expansive and thus more expensive insurance. This allows relatively healthy people to look at their post-subsidy costs and believe that they are getting a good deal from a personal finance point of view. The other leg of the stool is the mandate penalty which does two things. The first it encourages the marginal deciders who are on average healthy and low cost users to buy a policy as the net cost savings of not having a policy won’t be too large. Secondly, the mandate penalty/tax funds some of the emergency care that people who opt-out will use over the course of the year. It eliminates some of the free rider problem.

    The mandate is not perfect in eliminating free riders nor moving all people onto the Exchanges as there are numerous exemptions and a number of special snowflakes who don’t think they’ll ever get sick until they do. The recent South Carolina handyman going blind is a good example of such a special snowflake. Shit happens, and insurance helps clean up. As long as the mandate moves enough people who are relatively healthy and relatively reluctant to buy an ACA policy without the final kick in the pants of paying something for nothing instead of something for something, it will work to keep the risk pools healthy enough to keep net premiums down.

    The analogy is right but the details are wrong on the last part. That last leg has to be a participation enforcement mechanism that gets healthy people into the pool. An individual mandate is a type of participation enforcement mechanism but it is not the only one. If there is a negative ruling in King v Burwel giving up the individual mandate and replacing it with two or three year contracts with very limited open enrollment.

  25. Ametia says:

    New video released of TNT Academy graduation, principal’s remarks

    THE DEVIL MADE HER (Nancy Gordeuk ) DO IT

  26. rikyrah says:

    Michael Cohen @speechboy71 · 3h3 hours ago
    If a jihadist derailed that Amtrak train DC’s response would be overwhelming. But more $ for modernizing transportation infrastructure. Meh

  27. rikyrah says:

    black twitter for the win.

    I literally am LMAO


    Naserati ‏@Nazzy91 2m2 minutes ago
    Ben Carson’s teeth fell out trying to eat grits. 😭😭 A black man got rejected by a plate of grits… The ancestors have spoken.

    @Natural_OneDurr Ben Carson’s teeth decided they wanna be separate but equal to his mouth on this fine Wednesday

    @MatthewACherry: Ben Carson lost his teeth in a plate of grits. First Zimmerman than this. Karma is on a roll this week boy I tell you.

    Bruschetta Jenner ‏@singerboi3890
    Ben Carson’s own teeth couldn’t even handle the nonsense that was coming out of his mouth.

    I am Solo. ‏@SoloExMachina
    Ben Carson’s teeth need to pull themselves up by their bootstraps smh

  28. rikyrah says:

    lamh’s comment hits home to me



    Wait one minute…is his toofus really missing?

    Ya know what…a one point this man was revered in the Black community. If you were Black and wanted to be a Doctor or a surgeon, Ben Carson was a name you knew and respected. As someone who once wanted to be a doctor, this one hits me hard.

    Now I consider him a freakin’ joke, no better than Herman Cain or Allen West. How the mighty have fallen.

    It’s a sad day for my community…SMDH.

    • eliihass says:

      There’s a reason Hillary is in hiding. If she were out and about and being scrutinized like Jeb, Ben and the rest of them, she’d be as vulnerable to similar missteps. Her book tour was a real eye-opener and a heads up to her folks.

      But all this goes to show is that even though the Obamas make it look easy interacting so effortlessly with the public under the media glare, it really isn’t.

  29. rikyrah says:

    just dust in my eyes…

    just dust…yeah, that’s it.

    Elderly Man Called 911 for Food Because He Couldn’t Move

    May 13, 2015, 11:35 AM ET

    via Good Morning America

    An elderly man who’d just returned home after months in the hospital said he was hungry, had no food and no one to turn to for help. So he dialed 911.

    “I can’t do anything. I can’t go anywhere. I can’t get out of my damn chair.” Clarence Blackmon, 81, of Fayetteville, North Carolina, told the 911 operator, according to ABC station WTVD in Durham.

    “I said, ‘I’m not broken, I’m not bleeding, and I’m not in crisis. I just want somebody to help me buy some food,'” he told ABC News.

    What the 911 operator did next will melt your heart.

    “He was hungry,” 911 operator Marilyn Hinson told WTVD. “I’ve been hungry. A lot of people can’t say that, but I can, and I can’t stand for anyone to be hungry.”

    An hour and a half later, Hinson showed up at Blackmon’s door, carrying a box of groceries, Blackmon told ABC News. She had all his favorites: a head of cabbage, green beans, pickled beets and Pepsi. And then she stayed and made him a few ham sandwiches.

    “I was overwhelmed,” Blackmon said.

    Blackmon had a stroke about a year and a half ago and said 911 operators saved his life, he said. He spent the past six months in a rehabilitation facility. He told WTVD he’s also battling cancer.

    Hinson gave him her number and told him to call if he needs anything.

    “She is such a delightful lady,” Blackmon said. “It’s amazing. Us little people need a helping hand every once in a while. Most of the time, we get overlooked. We’re still here

  30. rikyrah says:

    Jeb Bush sheds his ‘aura of competence’
    05/14/15 08:00 AM
    By Steve Benen
    The presidential campaign has already cycled through some unexpected litmus-test questions for the large Republican field, on issues ranging from Iran to vaccinations to the right to discriminate in Indiana. This week, however, brought the easiest question in the world: if you knew in 2003 what we know now, would you have launched the war in Iraq?

    So far this week, Ted Cruz, Chris Christie, John Kasich, Marco Rubio, and Rand Paul all answered the question in roughly the same way: of course, not.

    And then there’s Jeb Bush.

    On Monday, the former Florida governor said he would’ve invaded Iraq in 2003, even if he knew then what he knows now. On Tuesday, the unannounced Republican candidate changed direction, saying he doesn’t know what he would have done and he “interpreted the question wrong” the day before. Yesterday, as msnbc’s Carrie Dann reported, Jeb Bush tried to clarify his clarification.
    Jeb Bush says that he does not want to engage in “hypotheticals” about the Iraq war because it is a “disservice” to individuals who lost their lives during the conflict. […]

    “If we’re going to get back into hypotheticals, I think it does a disservice to a lot of people who sacrificed a lot,” Bush said.
    Whether he realizes it not, Bush is doing real damage to his presidential prospects with rhetoric like this.

    To suggest that dodging easy, obvious questions is some kind of patriotic exercise, intended to honor American troops, is so patently ridiculous that Bush ought to be embarrassed. Answers like these were knee-jerk reactions throughout much of the Bush/Cheney era, and the fact that the former governor is reading from the same script reinforces the worst fears about his candidacy.

  31. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

Leave a Reply