Monday Open Thread | Black Dancers Week : Katherine Dunham

This week, we will look at the artistry of Black Dancers.

Katherine Dunham-10

Anthropologist, Ethnologue, Choreographer, Dancer, creator of the Dunham Technique, author, Scholar, activist and humanist

Katherine DunhamLegendary dancer, choreographer and anthropologist, Katherine Dunham was born on June 22,1909 in Chicago, to an African American father and a French Canadian mother. She sang in her local Methodist Church in Joliet; but for a financial crisis at her church, she might never have sung anything but gospel songs. At age eight, she amazed and scandalized the elders of her church by doing a performance of decidedly non-religious songs at a cabaret party, in order to raise money. She never thought about a career in dance. Instead, she consented to her family’s wish that she become a teacher and followed her brother, Albert Dunham Jr. to the University of Chicago, where she became one of the first African American women to attend this University and earned bachelor, masters and doctoral degrees in anthropology.

At the same time she became a student of Ludmilla Speranzeva, formerly of the Moscow Theater, Mark Turbyfill and Ruth Page. Following graduation, she founded the Negro Dance Group. They performed at the Chicago Beaux Arts Theater in ‘A Negro Rhapsody’, dancing with the Chicago Opera Company, and one of the performances was attended by Mrs. Alfred Rosenwald Stern, who was sufficiently impressed to arrange an invitation for Dunham to appear before the Rosenwald Foundation, which offered to finance any study contributing toward her dance career that she cared to name. Thus armed with foundation money, Dunham spent most of the next two years in the Caribbean studying all aspects of dance and the motivations behind dance. Although she traveled throughout the region, including Trinidad and Jamaica, it was in Haiti that she found special personal and artistic resonances. She wrote some scholarly essays during her trip and sold lighter magazine articles about the Caribbean under the name of K. Dunn.

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Katherine Dunham revolutionized American dance in the 1930’s by going to the roots of black dance and rituals transforming them into significant artistic choreography that speaks to all. She was a pioneer in the use of folk and ethnic choreography and one of the founders of the anthropological dance movement. She showed the world that African American heritage is beautiful. She completed groundbreaking work on Caribbean and Brazilian dance anthropology as a new academic discipline. She is credited for bringing these Caribbean and African influences to a European-dominated dance world.

She returned to the United States informed by new methods of movement and expression. Her presentation included photos, films, writings and her own demonstration which was an innovation in itself. She then created the Dunham Technique that transformed the world of dance.

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In 1931, Miss Dunham met one of America’s most highly regarded theatrical designers, John Pratt, forming a powerful personal and creative team that lasted until his death in the 1986. They married in 1949 to adopt their daughter, Marie-Christine, an 18 month-old French child.

Dunham’s first school was in Chicago. In 1944 she rented Caravan Hall, Isadora Duncan’s studio in New York, and opened the K.D. school of Arts and Research. In 1945 she opened the famous Dunham School at 220 W 43rd Street in New York where such artists as Marlon Brando and James Dean took classes.

Dunham’s big breakthrough to popular recognition took place after she moved to New York in 1939 where, in February, she opened at the Windsor Theater in a program called ‘Tropics’ and le ‘Jazz Hot’. It was supposed to be a one-night event but demand was such that Dunham ended up doing 13 weeks, and followed with her own Tropical Revue, which was a hit not only in the United States but also in Canada. She appeared at the Martin Beck Theatre in October of 1940 as Georgia Brown in Cabin in the Sky, which she also choreographed with George Balanchine.

Katherine Dunham-4

She then founded the Katherine Dunham Dance group – which later developed into the famous Katherine Dunham Company – devoted to African-American and Afro-Caribbean dance. Miss Dunham worked as a director in the Federal Theater Project, the government-sponsored relief program for artists that also nurtured such talents as Orson Welles and John Houseman. She co-directed and danced in Carib Song at the Adelphi Theater in New York in 1945, and was producer, director, and star of Bal Nègre at the Belasco Theater in New York in 1946.

Katherine Dunham is credited for developing one of the most important pedagogues for teaching dance that is still used throughout the world. Called the “Matriarch of Black Dance,” her groundbreaking repertoire combined innovative interpretations of Caribbean dances, traditional ballet, African rituals and African American rhythms to create the Dunham Technique. Her dance troupe in venues around the world performed many of her original works which include: Batucada, L’ag’ya, Shango, Veracruzana , Nanigo, Choros, Rite de Passage, Los Indios, and many more.

The Dunham Company toured for two decades, stirring audiences around the globe in 57 countries, with their dynamic and highly theatrical performances. Their first appearance in London was at the Prince of Wales Theatre in June 1948, in Caribbean Rhapsody, which was already a success in the United States, and with which she was to tour Europe. It was the first time Europe had seen black dance as an art form, and also the first time that the special elements of American modern dance appeared outside America.

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112 Responses to Monday Open Thread | Black Dancers Week : Katherine Dunham

  1. eliihass says:

    Oscar Pistorius has been released from prison after serving barely a year of his 5 year sentence for murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp..

    The unfair advantage of money and celebrity..

  2. Ametia says:
  3. eliihass says:

    I don’t know if this posts, but it’s so sweet…

  4. Ametia says:


  5. rikyrah says:

    Conservative, Not Progressive, Is the Dirty Word
    by BooMan
    Mon Oct 19th, 2015 at 01:06:56 PM EST

    I imagine that former Sen. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire fancies himself a deep thinker. And, in today’s Republican circles, he probably qualifies. But, as he does his utmost to sully the word “progressive,” he ought to stop and consider what is happening to the word “conservative.”

    It’s quickly becoming shorthand for dysfunction and radicalism and intraparty cannibalism. For a while, we distinguished between conservatives and Tea Party folks, but those days are in our rearview windows now.

    Since it’s primary season and some people are slow learners, we still see the presidential candidates clamoring to assert their conservative bona fides, but it won’t be long before we see folks shying away from the term with the same gun-shyness that Blue Dogs once had for the “liberal” label.

    Some people I know and respect think that the word “progressive” has been so co-opted and misused that it simply isn’t worth anything anymore. I’d prefer to fight for the term, which means something a little different than “liberal” and isn’t quite synonymous with Gregg’s definition:

    Folks who want to define themselves as being further to the left than orthodox liberals now use the term “progressive.” If this were Denmark, they would be calling themselves socialist. But only Bernie has the courage and integrity to do that, so they refer to themselves as progressives.
    It should be remembered that we had a Progressive Movement that preceded and then existed alongside Franklin Roosevelt’s liberal revolution. The movement had roots that were at least as strong in the Republican Party as in the Democratic one. It gave us things like a popularly elected Senate, a national income tax, women’s suffrage, campaign finance reform, the beginnings of environmental consciousness, energy for the Civil Rights movement, banking regulation, and trustbusting.

    It also gave us Prohibition, which is a cautionary tale for modern day Progressives who might sometimes let their desire to improve the world go too far in trying to legislate about personal behavior and healthy lifestyle choices.

    Still, this is a strain of political thought that is both older than FDR’s liberalism and less partisan.

  6. rikyrah says:

    No, He Can’t

    Bernie Sanders is an inspirational candidate, but his theory of change doesn’t have a chance.

    By Jamelle Bouie

  7. rikyrah says:

    Muslim woman attacked at Indiana café by drunken Bernie Sanders fan yelling ‘white power’
    Travis Gettys
    19 Oct 2015 at 08:29 ET

    An Indiana University student was arrested on numerous charges after police said he attacked a Muslim woman at a restaurant.

    Police said the 47-year-old woman was eating about 7:30 p.m. Saturday with her daughter at Sofra Café in Bloomington when a man started shouting ethnic slurs and other derogatory phrases, reported WTTV-TV.

  8. rikyrah says:

    IG: tonylcaldwell @tonycaldwell
    Sandra Bland can’t smoke a cigarette. Eric Garner can’t sell a cigarette. Trayvon can’t have skittles. #CoreyJones can’t have a flat tire…

    Keegan Stephan @KeeganNYC
    Cops in FL shot & killed church musician #CoreyJones after his car broke down on Sunday: …

  9. rikyrah says:

    so, you mean that Texas’ investigation came up different than all the rest of those states’ investigations?
    oh….it didn’t…

    well now….



    State to drop Planned Parenthood from Medicaid over videos

    AUSTIN — Texas health officials have decided to cut Planned Parenthood out of the state Medicaid program entirely because of issues revealed in a controversial undercover video, the Houston Chronicle has learned.

    …Officials plan to inform the women’s health organization of their decision Monday.

    “The State has determined that you and your Planned Parenthood affiliates are no longer capable of performing medical services in a professionally competent, safe, legal and ethical manner,” inspector general Stuart Bowen wrote in a letter to be sent to the organization

  10. rikyrah says:

    Can’t have a car that breaks down – add that to the list of things Black people can’t do.


    Family of victim killed by Palm Beach Gardens officer stunned
    UPDATED 2:15 PM EDT Oct 19, 2015

    PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. —One day after a Palm Beach Gardens police officer fatally shot Corey Jones, 31, his family says they can’t understand what happened.1 dead in officer-involved shooting

    According to family members, Jones, who worked for the Delray Beach Housing Authority and played in the band Future Prezidents as a drummer, was on his way home from a performance when his Hyundai Santa Fe broke down on the southbound exit ramp of I-95 and PGA Boulevard around 2:30 a.m.

    Jones called his brother and asked him to call for a tow truck.

    “Eight minutes later my husband called him back, and there was no answer,” said Denise Jones. “So we figured he got the tow truck and my husband went to bed. At 3 p.m. in the afternoon, a sheriff’s deputy came to the house and said there had been an altercation between Corey and an officer, and he was shot and killed.”

    The Palm Beach Gardens Police Department said officer Nouman Raja was on duty in plain clothes and in an unmarked police car when he stopped to investigate what he believed to be an abandoned vehicle on the exit ramp. As he exited his vehicle, he was suddenly confronted by an armed subject.

    As a result of the confrontation, the officer discharged his weapon, killing Jones, a release said.

    Raja is on paid leave while the Sheriff’s Office investigates the shooting.

    A source in the department said the officer involved in the shooting is a rookie officer.

    “He was just a quiet guy who, when he wasn’t working or playing drums, was sleeping,” said a tearful Jones. “We just can’t understand how this could have happened.”

    • rikyrah says:

      And, of course, to justify this man’s MURDER…

      we’ll get the story that, after the car broke down, and he asked for the tow truck, he decided to something criminal, because he didn’t have anything better to do.

      and, of course, a Black man, sitting in his car, waiting for a tow truck, is a threat.

  11. rikyrah says:

    Ava DuVernay ‏@AVAETC 3h3 hours ago

    David Oyelowo to play OTHELLO on Broadway! One would think NYT would lead w/ the actor who plays the lead. But nah.

  12. rikyrah says:

    anyone send tweets to the Blackademics (MHP, Marc Lamont Hill, etc) about Hillary’s White Girl Bus?

  13. rikyrah says:

    Allan Brauer @allanbrauer
    I see the people who loved Joe Biden until this year are working overtime to trash him, showing how much they fear him.

  14. eliihass says:

    You know, this psychological ganging up and techno-bullying V.P Joe by the media in collaboration with the Clinton campaign, is disgusting..

    ‘Winning’ a largely rigged debate against a very weak field that was essentially ‘allowed’ last minute but only as ‘sparring partners’ for preparing Hillary for the general, and in an attempt to create the illusion of a primary for disgruntled Democrats, while trying to keep out other viable candidates including the sitting V.P, is not winning – and certainly not the basis for deciding that ‘it’s too late’ and ‘unnecessary’ for any and all other viable candidates to enter the race..

    This is crazy..and if they’re looking to be taken seriously and to be respected as equal to the men as they’ve been insisting they are – this is certainly not how they want to ‘elect’ the first woman president – by lowering every standard, and by rigging the game in every way possible to not only give her untold advantage, but to literally clear the field and undeservedly walk her into the oval office…

    And, LOL at taking bits of obligatory statements made by the President during an obligatory/forced joint exit interview to boost herself in an ad…

    Still not voting for you Hillary…

    And as much as I respect and adore her, not even my supremely glorious black FLOTUS can make me..

  15. rikyrah says:

    Because, nothing says self -made than someone who inherited $20 million.

    I don’t even like Uncle Ben, but he did come from a welfare-getting illiterate mother from the Projects. THAT is self-made.And, he did it with the help of many a Government program.


    Anthony Mackie endorses Donald Trump for president: ‘He worked his way up from nothing’
    October 19, 2015 at 12:06 PM

    Anthony Mackie was doing recently doing an interview with BET promoting his new film Our Brand Is Crisis when he was asked which candidate he would endorse for the 2016 presidential run. In response, Mackie threw his support behind Donald Trump.

    “In the film, you play a consultant or campaign manager to a presidential candidate. You prepare him for a level of public scrutiny that most people will never experience,” said the interviewer, who then compared that level of public scrutiny to celebrities and asked Mackie if he felt he would do well in politics.

    “I don’t think I would be able to hack it in politics,” he replied. He added, “If you question me, or you say something about my family, I’m coming at you, so I would definitely lose every presidential race.”

    Mackie was then asked about the current presidential race, and he voiced his support for the current Republican frontrunner, Donald Trump.

    • Liza says:

      Anthony Mackie just broke my heart. Well, I’ve always said it’s better for me to know nothing about the personal lives and opinions of actors because it affects how I feel about their work.

      • eliihass says:

        I did share earlier on about this Ethiopian-American guy who did some absolutely amazing work for OFA who told me when I bumped into him a while back, that he was voting for Trump..

        Quite a few of the celebrity types are supporting Trump…and even Ben Carson…

        That’s what we get for being force-fed Hillary –

        I watched some informal focus group that watched the debate – consisting of female CEO’s at Fortune’s most powerful women event…And most of the women in the group were obviously underwhelmed by what they saw – Some even commented that the slate was disappointing…lacking.. And this was Hillary’s constituency no less. Her good friend the horrid Ann Marie Slaughter, was even part of this focus group – and even she couldn’t sway the women with her unconvincing ‘Hillary is good fun and intelligent and thoughtful’ when the world isn’t watching’ crap…

  16. Liza says:

    An opportunity to hear James Baldwin speak. I didn’t listen to the whole debate which is an hour long. James Baldwin starts at 13:58, and his speech is still relevant.

  17. yahtzeebutterfly says:


    Thanks for bringing us Ms.Durham and her talent today.

    I am looking forward to you Black Dancers Week!

  18. rikyrah says:


    Scenes from a Changing Detroit

    When you talk to Detroiters about the city’s much-publicized rise and fall then another rise, they describe a longtime focus on recovery that has come in fits and starts. This is not the first time optimism has been in the air, they say. But what’s different today is the coalition of local, regional, and national partners behind this latest promise of a new Detroit.

  19. rikyrah says:

    This is prime example A,B,C of CLINGING TO THE WHITENESS.

  20. rikyrah says:

    Come on, folks…..

    you can tell rikyrah…..

    anyone else have an issue with this picture?

      • eliihass says:

        Perusing the twitter timeline, one sees imediately that @LiberalPhenom is no Hillary fan – and the Hillary folks aren’t happy about it obviously..

    • yahtzeebutterfly says:

      Oh, yeah, I sure do have a problem with that group that lack diversity!

      That photo says so much!

    • eliihass says:


      Good morning Rikyrah, fam…Hope everyone had a lovely weekend..

      That’s her constituency…white women who have been suckered into believing that one self-serving, entitled woman’s all-consuming obsession with being the first female president, is about their ‘shared’ white feminist beliefs and goals – and that this is for them –

      So they are determined that this ‘someone’ who looks like them – and purports to represent them and acting on their behalf – will not only occupy the White House, but will be the first woman to..

      By hook or by crook..

      • rikyrah says:

        the thing is……they can depend on them if they want to.

        those White women they are depending on won’t show up. They didn’t show up for Wendy Davis. They didn’t show up for McAuliffe.

        How many times does it need to be said that the gender gap in recent elections because of NON-WHITE WOMEN.

        If it were up to White women, we would have President Romney, Governor Cuccinelli, and we already have Governor Abbott.

    • Liza says:

      Spot on, eliihass, these women have been plucked from the cult of Hillary worshipers to serve the until Hillary’s coronation. Afterwards, I’m sure they expect to reap some reward.

    • eliihass says:

      But Rikyrah, the ‘white feminist’/’progressive’ believe their own hype…They live in their big bubble and they screech-ily and smugly believe that their perspective, their standard, their candidate is the be all and end all.

      And then they demand you comply and conform and declare that you are on their side – or else…Hence, Joy Reid..

      But they always forget their sisters on the right – who only join in if and only if – or when -they’re looking to topple the Obamas, or spite the mouthy Donald Trump who dissed them and their hubbies – à la Ann Romney etc. – then and only then do they begin to extol the ‘greatness’ of Hillary Clinton…LOL.

    • Ametia says:

      And Ms. Greenspan’s practically front & center. Where are my shades, soooo MUCH WHITENESS.

  21. rikyrah says:

    Because they could not prove that service would be provided otherwise.


    Federal judge orders Louisiana to fund Planned Parenthood clinics
    19 Oct 2015 at 11:13 ET

    A federal judge has blocked Louisiana’s efforts to defund Planned Parenthood clinics in the state, finding that more than 5,000 low-income patients would have their healthcare disrupted by a move he ruled likely ran afoul of the law.

    U.S. District Judge John deGravelles issued a temporary restraining order late on Sunday requiring Louisiana to continue providing Medicaid funding to the reproductive health organization’s clinics for the next two weeks as the legal fight over the payments continues.

    The judge said Planned Parenthood and its patients would likely suffer irreparable harm if funding for medical services such as cancer screenings and other preventative healthcare was suspended

  22. rikyrah says:

    Monday, October 19, 2015

    The Bushes & Clintons Need to Stop Acting as if the Presidency is a Hand-Me-Down

    I had only one sibling, a right wing brother named Patrick (but that’s a tale for another day in American Zen’s sequel). And the only thing that spared me the pain of having to wear his hand-me-downs was his utter selfishness. Oh, dear, I was forever denied the honor and privilege of wearing painfully starched and pleated khaki pants and Izod polo shirts with the stunted reptiles on them. But I did see other kids wearing their siblings’ leftovers and sometimes they didn’t respect them as they would’ve if they’d been given to them brand new.

    I reckon the presidency’s the same way. I’d imagine that if one knew their spouse or father or brother sat behind the Resolute Desk, they’d tend to see it as a family heirloom given to them by fiat. And perhaps an heir wouldn’t feel the awe and sheer weight of history your average visitor would feel on briefly entering the Oval Office let alone working in it every day for at least four years.

    And the Clintons, especially the Bushes, need to stop treating this venerable and unimaginably powerful office as if it was owed to them by dint of an accident of birth or the secular institution of marriage.

    Even if all three Bush/Clinton administrations (five terms, 20 years or exactly 7300 days in all, minus Leap Year days) were models of governance, it would hardly make a compelling and convincing argument that common genetics or a marriage license would be a guarantee of further model governance. If any one family puts that myth to rest, it would be the Bushes

    • eliihass says:

      It’s sickening..

      America with all the smart, capable, talented people we have, and we keep defaulting to mediocre career political families…

      One that did nothing for Arkansas and the other that destroyed Florida and Texas..

      But let’s trust America to them because they did such a wonderful job in Arkansas, Florida and Texas..

      Because if you couldn’t even put in place a successful and functioning literacy/education system in small state Arkansas, we totally trust you to magically pull it off on a national scale..

  23. rikyrah says:

    Cruz sees GOP leaders as ‘effective Democrat leaders’
    10/19/15 10:50 AM
    By Steve Benen
    Over the summer, Senate Republican leaders put together a package of materials for their colleagues, filled with evidence that the GOP majority is succeeding. On NBC’s “Meet the Press” yesterday, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) highlighted his habit of telling voters the exact opposite.

    “I asked folks, ‘Okay. We have Republican majorities in both houses for ten months now. What on Earth have they accomplished?’ Every town hall you do that, the answer is always, ‘Absolutely nothing,’” Cruz argued yesterday.

    But the GOP presidential candidate quickly explained that from his perspective, his party’s majority is actually even worse than his party’s base fears.
    “In fact, what the Republican majorities have done, we came back right after the last election, passed a trillion dollars cromnibus bill, filled with corporate welfare report. Then Republican leadership and – and leadership joined with Harry Reid and the Democrats to do that.

    “Then leadership voted to fund Obamacare. Then they voted to fund amnesty. Then they voted to fund Planned Parenthood. And then Republican leadership took the lead confirming Loretta Lynch as Attorney General. Now Chuck, which one of those decisions is one iota different than what would happened under Harry Reid and the Democrats? The truth of the matter is Republican leadership are the most effective Democrat leaders we’ve ever seen. They’ve passed more Democratic priorities than Harry Reid ever could.”

    The grammar is a bit of a mess – the poor guy just can’t bring himself to use the word “Democratic” – but the sentiment couldn’t be clearer. As far as Ted Cruz is concerned, the Republican leaders in the House and Senate are, as a practical matter, effectively Democrats.

  24. rikyrah says:

    Who’s winning the 2016 money race?
    10/19/15 10:00 AM—UPDATED 10/19/15 10:10 AM
    By Steve Benen

    We can look at a variety of metrics to see who’s doing well in the presidential race – polls, endorsements, etc. – but as nearly everyone in campaign politics will confess, successful candidates need resources to compete.

    With this in mind, who’s winning the 2016 money race? The answer may be unsatisfying, but the truth is, it depends on how you look at the numbers.

    I’ve updated the chart we looked at three months ago, showing how the most competitive candidates are doing based on the most recent filings with the Federal Election Commission. I’ve omitted candidates who are less competitive, arbitrarily choosing a $10 million cutoff.

    Note, the lighter colors – red for Republicans, blue for Democrats – show how much money the candidates have raised through their actual campaigns, while the darker colors show how much has been raised by the candidates’ allied entities, most of which are super PACs.

    Looking at the chart, a few things jump out right away. For example, the top two contenders for the Democratic nomination – Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders – are also the top two candidates overall when it comes to taking in contributions directly to their respective campaigns (so called “hard money”).

    Similarly, though it may not look like Ben Carson and Ted Cruz are dominating the money race among GOP candidates, these two have fared the best among Republicans when super PACs are excluded from the picture.

    Jeb Bush, meanwhile, looks like the financial powerhouse of the entire cycle, but the money coming in directly to his campaign is hardly overwhelming – it’s far short of Bernie Sanders’ total, for example – and the former governor is obviously heavily dependent on his Right to Rise operation, which is supposed to function independently of his campaign.

  25. Ametia says:

    Maryland My Maryland!

    Maryland is Third State to Ban Confederate Flag from License Plates

    Four months after Dylann Storm Roof killed nine parishioners at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston and put the Confederate battle flag back in the spotlight, a third state has banished the image from its license plates.

    U.S. District Court of Maryland judge Marvin J. Garbis ruled that Maryland can begin phasing out its Sons of Confederate Veterans plates on November 17. Garbis’ order lifts a 18-year-old injunction that prevented the state from recalling the tags on the grounds of free speech. But in June, the Supreme Court said in Walker v. Texas Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans that the government has the right to reject specialty plate designs, making Texas the first state to eliminate them. Virginia followed in August.

    The latest reconsideration came at the request of Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh. “I look forward to the day when these plates are no longer on the road,” Frosh said in a statement. “This flag is a painful symbol that divides us, conjuring images of hate and subjugation. It has no place in any contemporary government use.”

    The plates currently on the road will be recalled and they will no longer be produced.

  26. rikyrah says:

    Trump and Bush wage the most unexpected GOP debate of 2015
    10/19/15 08:40 AM
    By Steve Benen
    When looking for comparable situations to the deadly 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya, the most obvious example came 30 years ago in Beirut. Both crises featured a terrorist attack on a U.S. outpost in the Middle East, American deaths, and a congressional inquiry.

    By practically every metric, the attack on a U.S. Marine compound in Beirut was far more devastating – it killed 241 American servicemen, which came just six months after militants had bombed the U.S. embassy in Beirut, killing 63 people, including 17 Americans. Six months after the attack, militants struck American officials in Beirut again, killing the CIA’s station chief. And six months after that, terrorists bombed a U.S. government outpost in Beirut once more – in the middle of Reagan’s re-election campaign.

    In recent years, the obvious question has largely gone unanswered: if Democrats didn’t blame the deadly attacks in Beirut on President Reagan, why should Republicans blame President Obama for the four Americans killed in Benghazi?

    Over the weekend, however, a new area of inquiry emerged. CNN’s Jake Tapper asked Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush a question that hasn’t come up much in recent years.
    TAPPER: Obviously, al Qaeda was responsible for the terrorist attack of 9/11.

    BUSH: Yes.

    TAPPER: But how do you respond to critics who ask, if your brother and his administration bear no responsibility at all, at all, how do you then make the jump that President Obama and Secretary Clinton are responsible for what happened at Benghazi?

    BUSH: Well, I – it’s – the question on then Benghazi, which is – hopefully we’ll now finally get the truth to, is, was that – was the – was the place secure? They had a responsibility, the Department of State, to have proper security.
    Tapper carefully reminded the GOP candidate, “Well, that’s kind of proving the point of the critics I was just asking about, because you don’t want to have your brother bear responsibility for 9/11.”

    It wasn’t a question Bush seemed well prepared for, and that’s probably because the entire line of inquiry is quite new.

    • TyrenM says:

      Tapper huh? Color me surprised lol.

    • eliihass says:

      Jeb was so flustered –

      For someone who’s previously run for and held political office, Jeb flusters way too easily – He was so pink in the face as if he were a mili-second away from bursting into tears and calling for mother – and/or throwing a massive tantrum..

      Trump meanwhile can’t make tears, and can’t decide what it is exactly he wants to be or do – as long as the attention stays on him – In much the same way a man like Boehner can’t stop crying, a man who hasn’t shed a tear since he was a baby, is a man with a lot of serious issues..

      Something happened to these people as children…They’re all really, really strange – Jeb, Trump, Mitt, Ted, Rand, both Ricks, Mike, Jim, Chris, John, Piyush, Marco – and frankly, even black Ben..

      Carly and Hillary both suffer too from their own mirror-image afflictions..

  27. Ametia says:

    First Lady Aims to Get More Students to Continue Education

    WASHINGTON — Michelle Obama is unveiling a new phase of her initiative encouraging students to continue education after high school, a public awareness campaign and matching website to provide practical information and space to share stories, backed by more than 20 media, business and nonprofit groups.

  28. Ametia says:

    Ms Dunham and Misty Copeland have similar facial features. They are STUNNING.

  29. rikyrah says:

    Wesley Lowery ✔ @WesleyLowery
    More outstanding @attackerman reporting: Homan Square revealed – how Chicago police ‘disappeared’ 7,000 people

  30. rikyrah says:

    Da Bearded Fat Boy @5EarthQUakE
    Y’all do realize the Clintons are partly responsible for locking so many black people up right??

    • eliihass says:

      If Bernie Sanders had that same record, the Clintonistas would have whipped up such a hate frenzy, Bernie Sanders and his family couldn’t show their face in public – least of all run for office…

  31. rikyrah says:

    How the Republican Obsession With ‘Free Stuff’ Could Backfire
    Some Republican strategists are urging the party’s presidential candidates to dial back the rhetoric.
    October 19, 2015 — 4:00 AM CDT

    It has become a familiar Republican refrain. Senator Marco Rubio on Wednesday called the first Democratic debate a contest over “who was going to give away the most free stuff.” New Jersey Governor Chris Christie quipped Friday in New Hampshire, “There’s gonna be more free stuff for more people than you can even imagine sitting and listening to Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton and the rest of the crew up there.”

    Last month, Jeb Bush characterized Democrats’ message to African-American voters as “get in line and we’ll take care of you with free stuff.” A few days earlier, Senator Rand Paul mockingly accused Sanders of promising voters “free stuff.” In 2012, Republican presidential nominee-in-waiting Mitt Romney told a voter, “If you’re looking for more free stuff, vote for the other guy.”
    These aren’t rhetorical coincidences—the language reflects the strongly held beliefs held by many in the GOP base that spending on safety-net programs should be slashed, and that the Democratic Party is powered by minority and immigrant voters who leech off the government.

    “I think people need to tread carefully when it comes to that kind of language. We’ve had a long track record of Republican candidates characterizing the Democratic Party as offering voters free stuff. … It hasn’t seemed thus far to end well,” Republican strategist Patrick Ruffini said, citing Romney’s “47 percent” comment to donors in 2012 and his later attribution of defeat to President Barack Obama as a result of the Democrat offering “gifts” to blacks, Hispanics, and young voters.
    Ruffini argues that linking Democrats with free stuff “certainly will be a popular line in the Republican primary,” but doing so risks alienating minority voters, whom he said the language tends to be associated with, and with whom the GOP needs to improve its performance in order to win a general election. “You do kind of run the risk of slighting those groups of voters by saying they’re only voting Democrat because they’re being bribed,” Ruffini said. “So I think that aspect of it is not necessarily the most productive.”

    Michael Steele, a former chairman of the Republican National Committee, said the GOP needs to be “less careless in our rhetoric” when it comes to low-income Americans.
    “If you are a member of the working poor who’s barely making ends meet and need some assistance—maybe food stamps, maybe child care—they don’t consider that free stuff. They consider that necessary stuff so their family isn’t broken up, so they’re not sleeping in cars and park benches,” Steele said. “Be smart and careful about how you describe the plight of others, because there but for the grace of God go you. To judge their existence and how they’re living their lives—we need to get out of that business and get in the business of offering self-empowerment and opportunities.”

    • TyrenM says:

      Their free stuff don’t count huh? Tax Increment Financing. Uncontested contracts. Carried interest deductions. I could go on but um…yeah.

      • Ametia says:

        TELL IT! It’s a distraction and bed of lies they push, to take the focus off their money-grubbing shenanigans. Attack the poor.

        Ever wonder why folks are poor? Because the very folks who make these tax laws and draw up these CONTRACTS are the ones who benefit from them the most.

  32. rikyrah says:

    The secret surveillance of ‘suspicious’ blacks in one of the nation’s poshest neighborhoods

    By Terrence McCoy October 13

    It was nearing closing time in March last year when a manager at Boffi Georgetown dispatched a series of alarmed messages. Observing two men yelling outside the luxury kitchen and bath showroom, Julia Walter reached for her phone and accessed a private messaging application that hundreds of residents, retailers and police in this overwhelmingly
    white, wealthy neighborhood use to discuss people they deem suspicious.

    “2 black males screaming at each other in alley,” Walter wrote. “. . . Help needed.”

    One minute later, a District police officer posted he would check it out, and Walter felt relieved. But as weeks gave way to months and the private group spawned hundreds of messages, Walter’s relief turned to unease. The overwhelming majority of the people the app’s users cited were black. Was the chatroom reducing crime along the high-end retail
    strip? Was it making people feel safer? Or was it racial profiling?

    These are questions being asked across the country as people experiment with services that bill themselves as a way to prevent crime, but also expose latent biases. The application “SketchFactor,” which invited users to report “sketchy” people, faced allegations of racism in both the District and New York. Another social network roiled Oakland, Calif.,
    when white residents used to cite “suspicious activity” about black neighbors. Taking it even further was, which asked users to rate neighborhoods based on whether they thought they were “safe” or a “ghetto.”

    Now “Operation GroupMe” is stirring controversy in Georgetown. In February of last year, the Georgetown Business Improvement District partnered with District police to launch the effort, which they call a “real-time mobile-based group-messaging app that connects Georgetown businesses, police officers and community members.” Since then, the app has attracted nearly 380 users who surreptitiously report on — and photograph — shoppers in an attempt to deter crime.

    The correspondence has provided an unvarnished glimpse into Georgetown retailers’ latest effort to stop their oldest scourge: shoplifting. But while the goal is admirable, the result, critics say, has been less so, laying bare the racial fault lines that still define this cobblestoned enclave of tony boutiques and historic rowhouses that is home to many of Washington’s elite.

  33. rikyrah says:

    3 Reasons Why Biden Should Get In

    by BooMan
    Fri Oct 16th, 2015 at 02:39:34 PM EST

    I don’t know. Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like our vice-president doesn’t always get the kind of respect he deserves.

    [Barbara] Boxer, who was a colleague of Biden’s during his long years in the Senate, told Politico on Wednesday that there was no reason for him to run. She was speaking after a televised debate on Tuesday among the Democrats who have announced they are running.

    “I just don’t think there’s a rationale for his campaign,” the California senator said. “I think he should endorse Hillary and go out that way.”

    When I see stuff like that it makes me want to explain possible rationales for a Biden campaign for the presidency.

    I’ve been meaning to get to that, but it’s been one thing or another getting in my way and it just hasn’t happened.

    While I’m dithering, I keep seeing shots across Biden’s bow. I mean, if you have to bring up Anita Hill to bash the man, I think you’re living in amber.

    I don’t know if Clinton disingenuously came out against the Trans-Pacific Partnership to differentiate herself from Sanders or from Biden (as the BBC suggests), but everyone knows who was in charge of pushing that agreement in Obama’s first term, and it wasn’t the vice-president.

    All I know is that it looks at least as likely that he will get in than that he will not, and the window is closing so we’ll hear soon enough.

    Unfortunately, I still haven’t carved out enough time to thoroughly explain a rationale for Biden’s candidacy, but I will give you three things to research and discuss:

    1. Character matters- politicians accumulate voting records that reflect their unique constituencies. Sanders represents a state that is skeptical of gun control. Clinton represented Wall Street. Biden represented that corporate tax haven of Delaware. You want to hold these things against them, go ahead. But they don’t mean shit, really. No matter who wins they Democratic nomination, they will face implacable congressional opposition to anything they want to do legislatively. We choose parties by ideology, but we ought to pick presidents by character. I like Biden’s character and I have more trust in his heart than I do the hearts of his most likely opponents.

    2. Foreign Policy matters- whenever Biden and Clinton have disagreed on foreign policy in the last decade, I’ve found myself in Biden’s camp, or closer to it anyway.

    3. Electability matters- it’s just my opinion and my opinion can certainly be wrong, but I think that between Biden, Clinton, and Sanders, it’s Biden who is acceptable to the greatest number of people. It could be that he’s too undisciplined, too much of a gaffe-machine, to take advantage of the good will people have towards him, but almost no one hates Joe Biden and even fewer people fear him.

  34. rikyrah says:

    What da phuq?

    2 Shot During ‘Old West’ Gunfight Reenactment In Tombstone, Arizona

    Incident happened during the city’s annual “Helldorado Days.”

    Ed Mazza
    Overnight Editor, The Huffington Post

    Two people were shot in Tombstone, Arizona, during a gunfight reenactment when one of the actors allegedly used real bullets.

    One of the actors, Tom Carter, was late to the performance and his weapon wasn’t checked, according to News 4 Tucson. During the shootout, he allegedly hit actor Ken Curtis with a real bullet.

  35. rikyrah says:

    You Heard It Here First

    by BooMan
    Sun Oct 18th, 2015 at 10:27:53 AM EST

    Back on September 8th, I foresaw the the downfall of John Boehner. Here’s how I summed up the situation as it stood then:

    Speaker Boehner is in a no-win situation primarily because his party is in the process of coming apart at the seams. He can put on a production or refuse to waste everyone’s time, but he can’t get around the Planned Parenthood issue or the debt ceiling issue or the highway infrastructure issue or the Export-Import Bank issue. He’s going to be swept away by the same winds that are sweeping away the Establishment’s control of the presidential nominating process.

    He’ll never survive, nor should he want to.

    By September 23rd, I was sounding a louder alarm bell, telling you that Boehner was going to succumb, and possibly sooner than anyone thought was possible at the time.
    Boehner announced his intention to resign two days later, and I wrote:

    The rumor is that Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California will replace Boehner but I will begin to believe that when I see it. There’s basically nothing about McCarthy that would alter the impasse between the sane people and the lunatics. It would certainly represent an empty victory for the conservative nut-jobs who forced Boehner out, and either McCarthy would have to run things much differently or he’d be in Boehner’s shoes within weeks.

    Now, if there is someone else out there who has been this far ahead of the curve on this, maybe you should listen to them, but I’m also the one who began talking quite early on about the logic of a coalition power-sharing arrangement in the House.

    I revisited that idea a few times about a week ago. The reason that things have been proceeding in the way that I projected isn’t because I have any kind of unique insight into how Republicans think or are likely to behave. It’s because the country absolutely has to pay its bills and the House Republicans, as a governing caucus, are getting ready to default on our debts by failing to give the Treasury Department the borrowing authority that they need. They’re also getting ready to shut down the government, although that’s more of an internal feud and looming political disaster than an existential crisis for the nation and possibly the health of the global economy.

  36. rikyrah says:

    Uncle Ben’s not ready to be Commander-In-Chief.

    CARSON: I would probably ask him what he meant by that. I seriously doubt that he’s saying that — that George W. Bush is to blame for it. And — but beyond that, I would ask him.

    STEPHANOPOULOS: You’re the only Republican…

    CARSON: I certainly — I certainly don’t think so.

    STEPHANOPOULOS: You are the only Republican, the only major candidate who opposed President Bush’s decision to invade Afghanistan after 9/11.

    And I want to show what you said at the debate.


    CARSON: Declare that within five to 10 years, we will become petroleum independent. The moderate Arab states would have been so concerned about that, they would have turned over Osama bin Laden and anybody else you wanted on a silver platter within two weeks.


    STEPHANOPOULOS: That’s what you said he should have done.

    But how would that have worked?

    How would you have gotten the moderate Arab governments to turn over Osama bin Laden in two weeks?

    He’d already been expelled by Saudi Arabia. He was already an enemy of those moderate governments.

    CARSON: Well, I think they would have been extremely concerned if we had declared — and we were serious about it — that we were going to become petroleum independent, because it would have had a major impact on their finances.

    And I think that probably would have trumped any loyalty that they had to — to people like Osama bin Laden.

    STEPHANOPOULOS: But they didn’t have any loyalty to Osama bin Laden. The Saudis kicked him out. He was their enemy.

    CARSON: Well, you may not think that they had any loyalty to him, but I believe otherwise.

    STEPHANOPOULOS: So you believe that had President Bush simply declared energy independence, they would have turned over Osama bin Laden.

    How would they have gotten him out of the tribal areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan?

    CARSON: I think they would have known where he was. You know, there were indications, for instance, during the Clinton administration that — that they knew exactly where he was but didn’t necessarily pull the trigger.

    If — if we could tell where he was, I’m certain that they knew where he was.

    STEPHANOPOULOS: But at that point, we had some idea, but we didn’t know for sure.

    I simply don’t understand how you think this would have worked.

    CARSON: Well — well, here’s the point — here — here’s my point. My point is, we have — we had other ways that we could have done things. I personally don’t believe that invading Iraq was an existential threat to us. I don’t think Saddam Hussein was an existential threat to us.

    It’s a very different situation right now.

    Now, we have global jihadists who want to destroy us and our way of life.

    STEPHANOPOULOS: But sir, I wasn’t…

    CARSON: And that is a completely different situation.

    STEPHANOPOULOS: I wasn’t asking about invading Iraq, I was asking about invading Afghanistan, which had been harboring Osama bin Laden.

    CARSON: Well, I was primarily talking about Iraq. You know, I wasn’t particularly interested in going into Afghanistan but I do think that we should have taken aggressive action. And I think, you know, creating a base that did not require tens of thousands of our troops, that required a — a group.

    And I think we probably have that number pretty close to right now, about 10,000 or so, and being able to use our drones and being able to use our intelligence and things of that nature, I think that’s probably all that was necessary in Afghanistan.

    STEPHANOPOULOS: But, sir, when we look back at 9/11, 3,000 people dead on that day. We knew Afghanistan was harboring Osama bin Laden. Ninety percent of the American public supported taking military action, every member of Congress but one.

    If that is not a case where you would order retaliation, what is?

    CARSON: Well, I just said, I do believe that we should have taken aggressive action. I just don’t think necessarily putting tens of thousands of our troops was the correct way to do it.

    But, you know, we’re talking about things that are in the past. We will never know the answer to that.

    And we really need to be concentrating on what are we going to do now to deal with the global jihad threat.

      • eliihass says:


        I don’t even think Ben knows why he’s in this race…besides loving the spotlight and the cash, the fake admiration of the self-loathing, hateful, crazy-eyed special Filipino girl, and that extra-special white man pat on the back extolling him and Candy as so much better than the first black First Couple resting cozy in the White House…

        It’s like Armstrong Williams and them cooked up some scam and enlisted ‘christians’ Ben and Candy as the face of this pyramid scheme of sorts..

  37. rikyrah says:

    Faced with Commander-in-Chief test, Ben Carson flunks
    10/19/15 08:00 AM
    By Steve Benen
    There’s been quite a bit of drama in recent days between Donald Trump and Jeb Bush on matters of national security, and their debate is an important one when it comes to defining the Republican Party’s future. But while their feud continues to unfold, it’s Ben Carson who’s blazing a trail in a completely different direction.

    At the most recent debate for the GOP presidential candidates, Carson stood out as the major only candidate – in either party – to express skepticism of the Bush/Cheney administration’s invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. As Carson argued at the event, instead of launching a war, George W. Bush could have declared that the United States would “become petroleum independent” in the next 5 to 10 years. “The moderate Arab states would have been so concerned about that,” he said at the debate, “they would have turned over Osama bin Laden and anybody else you wanted on a silver platter within two weeks.”

    ABC’s George Stephanopoulos followed up on this point yesterday, asking Carson how in the world this would have worked, since moderate governments in the Middle East already considered the al Qaeda leader an enemy.
    CARSON: Well, I think they would have been extremely concerned if we had declared – and we were serious about it – that we were going to become petroleum independent, because it would have had a major impact on their finances. And I think that probably would have trumped any loyalty that they had to – to people like Osama bin Laden.

    STEPHANOPOULOS: But they didn’t have any loyalty to Osama bin Laden. The Saudis kicked him out. He was their enemy.

    CARSON: Uh, well, you may not think that they had any loyalty to him, but I believe otherwise.
    These kinds of exchanges keep coming up. Carson makes a bizarre claim that’s at odds with the facts; someone gently tries to remind of him of what reality looks like; and the retired right-wing neurosurgeon effectively responds, “I prefer my own made-up reality, thank you very much.”

    And then somehow, it actually got a little worse.

  38. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

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