Monday Open Thread | Macy Gray Week!

Happy Monday, Everyone. This Week’s featured artist is Macy Gray.



Macy Gray (born Natalie Renée McIntyre; September 6, 1967)[4] is an American R&B, jazz and soul singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, and actress, known for her distinctive raspy voice, and a singing style heavily influenced by Billie Holiday.

Gray has released six studio albums, and received five Grammy Award nominations, winning one. She has appeared in a number of films, including Training Day, Spider-Man, Scary Movie 3, Lackawanna Blues, Idlewild and For Colored Girls. Gray is best known for her international hit single “I Try”, taken from her multi-platinum debut album On How Life Is.


Macy Gray was born in Canton, Ohio, to Laura McIntyre, a math teacher, and Otis Jones.  While studying scriptwriting at the University of Southern California, she agreed to write songs for a friend, and a demo session was scheduled for the songs to be recorded by another singer. When the vocalist failed to turn up, Gray recorded them herself. She then met writer/producer Joe Solo while working as a cashier in Beverly Hills. Together, they wrote a large collection of songs and recorded them in Solo’s studio.

The demo tape landed Gray the opportunity to sing at jazz cafés in Los Angeles. Despite Gray’s dislike of her own voice, Atlantic Records signed her. She began recording her debut record but was dropped from the label upon the departure of her A&R man Tom Carolan, who signed her to the label.  Macy returned to Ohio but in 1997 Los Angeles based Zomba Publishing Sr. VP A&R man Jeff Blue, convinced her to return to music and signed her to a development deal, recording new songs based on her life experiences, with a new sound, and began shopping her to record labels.  In 1998, she landed a record deal with Epic Records.  She was on one of the songs from the Black Eyed Peas’ debut album, “Love Won’t Wait. ‘

On How Life Is (1999–2001)
Gray worked on her debut album in 1999 with producer Darryl Swann. Released in the summer of 1999, On How Life Is became a worldwide smash.  Despite the first single “Do Something” stalling on the charts, the release of the second single “I Try” made the album a success for Gray.  “I Try” (which was originally featured in Love Jones and the Jennifer Aniston-starring vehicle, romantic-comedy Picture Perfect in 1997) was one of the biggest singles of 1999, and subsequent singles “Still” and “Why Didn’t You Call Me” ensured the album becoming triple platinum in the US, quadruple platinum in the UK, and triple platinum in Canada.

In 2001, Gray won the Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for “I Try”, which was also nominated for “Song of the Year” and “Record of the Year” She then collaborated with Fatboy Slim, the Black Eyed Peas, and Slick Rick (on the song “The World Is Yours”, from the Rush Hour 2 soundtrack), as well as acting for the first time in the thriller Training Day. In August 2001, Gray was booed off the field at the Pro Football Hall of Fame exhibition game after forgetting the lyrics to the American national anthem.

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69 Responses to Monday Open Thread | Macy Gray Week!

  1. rikyrah says:

    I consider this water is wet news.


    November/December 2015
    The Second Racial Wealth Gap
    White Millennials can often rely on their parents for financial assistance. For many black and Hispanic Millennials it’s the other way around.
    By Mel Jones


    My father’s passing was unexpected. And so was the financial burden that came with it.

    For many Millennials of color, these sorts of trade-offs aren’t an anomaly. During key times in their lives when they should be building assets, they’re spending money on basic necessities and often helping out family. Their financial future is a rocky one, and much of it comes down to how much—or how little—assistance they receive.

    A seminal study published in the Journal of Economic Perspectives on wealth accumulation estimates that as much as 20 percent of wealth can be attributed to formal and informal gifts from family members, especially parents. And it starts early. In college, black and Hispanic Millennials are more likely to have to work one or two jobs to get through, missing out on opportunities to connect with classmates who have time to tinker around in dorm rooms and go on to found multibillion-dollar companies together. Many of them take on higher levels of student debt than their white peers, often to pay for routine expenses, like textbooks, that their parents are less likely to subsidize.

    “Student debt is the biggest millstone around Millennials, period, and an even larger and heavier one around the necks of black Millennials,” said Tom Shapiro, director of the Institute on Assets and Social Policy. “It really hits those doing the right thing. [They’re] going through all the hoops.” He explained that, unlike in previous decades, when college tuition was drastically lower, the risks of educational costs are now passed down to the individual.

    • rikyrah says:

      Ironically, even though black and Hispanic Millennials are less likely to receive financial support from parents, their parents are more likely than white parents to expect their kids to help financially support them later on. According to the Clark poll, upward of 80 percent of black parents and 70 percent of Hispanic parents expect to be supported. And most studies show that a primary reason why people of color are unable to save as adults is because they give financial support to close family. This is important because when life emergencies happen, many Millennials won’t have the reserve money to cover it.

      A Millennial who gets regular financial gifts and support from parents will either have the money to cover an emergency themselves, or (more likely) have a parent or grandparent cover it so there’s no damage to their credit. They won’t have to borrow from predatory lending institutions, move into unsafe neighborhoods to save on rent, or start from financial scratch each time.

      It doesn’t even have to be a life emergency. If you have to decide between paying for a professional networking event or a cell phone bill, the latter is likely to win out. It should come as no surprise that Millennials who are free to choose career development activities over routine expenses are likely to benefit more in the long run. When this happens once or twice on a small scale, it’s not a big deal. It’s the collective impact of a series of decisions that matters, the result of which is displayed among ethnic and class lines and grounded in historical privilege.

  2. rikyrah says:

    Been saying this for awhile. There was a ME country behind 9-11. And, it WAS NOT IRAQ.

    It was the country that fully funded the schools where they teach




     To Defeat ISIS, We Must Call Both Western and Muslim Leaders to Account

    And that includes the Saudi kings whose funding of Wahhabi doctrine gave rise to the scourge of Islamic extremism.


    Laila LalamiTwitter

    ¿We must call to account the Saudi kings—Salman, Abdullah, and Fahd—whose funding of Wahhabi doctrine gave rise to the scourge of Islamic extremism.

    When I was a child in Morocco, no clerics told me what to do, what to read or not read, what to believe, what to wear. And if they did, I was free not to listen. Faith was more than its conspicuous manifestations. But things began to change in the 1980s. It was the height of the Cold War and Arab tyrants saw an opportunity: They could hold on to power indefinitely by repressing the dissidents in their midst—most of them secular leftists—and by encouraging the religious right wing, with tacit or overt approval from the United States and other Western allies. Into the void created by the decimation of the Arab world’s secular left, the Wahhabis stepped in, with almost unlimited financial resources. Wahhabi ideas spread throughout the region not because they have any merit—they don’t—but because they were and remain well funded. We cannot defeat ISIS without defeating the Wahhabi theology that birthed it. And to do so would require spending as much effort and money in defending liberal ideas….

     The beheadings, the crucifixions, the destruction of cultural heritage that ISIS practices—none of these are new. They all happened, and continue to happen, in Saudi Arabia too. The government of Saudi Arabia has beheaded more people this year than ISIS. It persecutes Shias and atheists. It has slowly destroyed sites of cultural and religious significance around Mecca and Medina. To almost universal indifference, it has been bombing Yemen for seven months. Yet whenever terror strikes, it escapes notice and evades responsibility. In this, it is aided and abetted by Western governments, who buy oil from tyrants and sell them weapons, while paying lip service to human rights.

  3. rikyrah says:

    Obama defends American values, pushes back against GOP
    11/16/15 12:40 PM

    By Steve Benen

    In the wake of Friday night’s terrorism in Paris, Republican policymakers and candidates have settled on a very specific policy demand: blocking ISIS’s victims from seeking refugee status in the United States.

    Initially, it was GOP presidential hopefuls exploiting fear to advance their own ambitions, but soon after, Republican governors began scurrying to announce their “No Syrian Refugees Here” plans.

    President Obama could have stuck his finger in the wind, but speaking from the G-20 Summit this morning, he took a stand in support of the United States doing the right thing.
    “Slamming the doors in [refugees’] faces would be a betrayal of our values,” Obama said. Syrian “refugees are the victims of terrorism.”

    “The people who are fleeing Syria are the most harmed by terrorism … they are parents, they are children, they are orphans.” Obama said. “It is very important that we do not close our hearts to these victims of such violence and somehow start equating the issue of refugees with the issue of terrorism.”
    Given his remarks, the president has clearly heard some of the new Republican talking points, and he’s not impressed.

    “When I hear folks say that well maybe we should just admit the Christians but not the Muslims, when I hear political leaders suggesting that there would be a religious test for which person who’s fleeing from a war torn country is admitted,” Obama said. “When some of those folks themselves come from families who benefited from protection when they were fleeing political persecution, that’s shameful. That’s not American, that’s not who we are.”

    “We don’t have religious tests to our compassion,” Obama added, warning U.S. politicians not to “feed that dark impulse inside of us.”

    • Ametia says:

      They want PBO to compensate for their SMALL, IMPOTENT PENISES.

      • Kathleen says:

        Good Evening, Ladies. You totally nailed it here, Ametia. Someone needs to start a “Will someone please have sex with these people?” campaign. Evidently the kitten kisses from Chuck Todd and his appendage challenged media friends just aren’t cutting it for the Rethugs.

    • Ametia says:

      Any one of us BLACK FOLKS could saunter in to work on any given day, and fear for our safety, especially in workplace where there are a majority of white men. They could look like Dylan Roof, Adam Lanza,


  4. rikyrah says:

    Parents fume at Cherry Hill Mall’s pricey Santa

    LAST UPDATED: Monday, November 16, 2015, 1:08 AM
    POSTED: Sunday, November 15, 2015, 7:07 PM

    You better not cry. You better not pout. And, if you want to see Santa at the Cherry Hill Mall, you better have at least $35.

    I’m telling you why:

    To enter the mall’s Adventure to Santa holiday display, visitors must choose packages which range in price from $35 to $50 (marked down from $75), according to the mall’s website, and include photos or, for the pricier option, video of the visit with Santa. But there’s no sitting on Santa’s lap without first paying the entrance fee.

    That’s left some parents and children surprised and disappointed. So much so that they’ve taken to Facebook to complain.

    The elaborate North Pole headquarters built in a large atrium in the center of the mall features bright, cheery digital panels for walls – but no windows. Children can’t even steal a peek at the legendary elf.

    “He’s locked up in his castle,” complained Elsa Anzideo, a Voorhees mother of two daughters. “You can’t even see Santa.”

    The exhibit is unique, the mall’s management, Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust, wrote in a statement Sunday night. It’s one of only 12 Adventure to Santa attractions in the country.

    “Families who experienced this exciting amenity last year commented that it was nothing like any Santa visit they had ever had before, and parents were thrilled with not just the adventure but the quality of the photos as well,” the PREIT statement said.

    It was also free.

    The Santa display in Cherry Hill features characters from Dreamworks’ Shrek movies and offers kids a 15- to 20-minute range of experiences in addition to seeing Santa, including a simulated sleigh ride to the North Pole, a concert performed by “holiday elves” and games, like iPads for designing gingerbread houses.

    The statement also noted, “we were mindful of all our customers’ wishes and therefore host the more traditional Santa visits at our six other PREIT malls in the Philadelphia area.”


  5. rikyrah says:

    Elderly couple praised for random act of kindness to help young man at train station
    A caring couple helped a young man who was struggling to tie his tie in Atlanta

    By Mark Molloy5:31PM GMT 16 Nov 2015
    An elderly couple who stopped to help a young man tie his tie at a train station have been praised for their random act of kindness.

    A commuter in Atlanta, Georgia, captured the moment the pair stopped to help the man who was struggling with his tie.
    Redd Desmond Thomas, who posted the image on Facebook, said the woman in the red coat spotted him and asked her husband to go and help out.

  6. rikyrah says:



    Speaking on “Fox News Sunday,” Carson could not name a specific country or leader he would call to assemble an international coalition to counter the Islamic State, despite being asked three times by host Chris Wallace.
    “My point being that if we get out there and we really lead and it appears that we’re making progress, that all of the Arab states and even the non-Arab states who are, I think, beginning to recognize that the jihad movement is global” will join, Carson said.

    He suggested that he would shoot down a Russian plane if it violated a U.S.-led no-fly zone over Syria, even when told that the decision could prompt Russia to shoot down a U.S. plane in response.

    “If they violate it, we will, in fact, enforce it. We’ll see what happens. For us to always be backing down because we’re afraid of a conflict, that’s not how we became a great nation, Chris,” he said.

  7. rikyrah says:

    Dental Insurance 101

    By IvoryWine
    Thursday Nov 12, 2015 9:37 AM CST

    Since it’s ACA open enrollment time, and dental plans are being offered (but not required), I thought it might be helpful to detail out some information in regards to dental insurance. This may be far reaching, but if you are thinking of purchasing dental Insurance, or have questions about your own insurance, I hope you find this information helpful. (For the record, I have been working in dental offices for the better part of 30 years, the last 10 billing (and fighting) insurance companies.)

    First and foremost: Stop thinking about dental insurance as “Insurance”. It’s not. It’s really a gift card that can be used for certain purchases for certain amounts. The trick, as a consumer, is to figure out if you are going to spend more money on the gift card than you will actually use.

    Second: The information I’m providing should be useful for both people who have dental through an employer, and for people purchasing individual dental. Because there are many specific things to know about individual plans, I will detail that out towards the end of the article, so feel free to skip ahead if this is TLDR.

  8. rikyrah says:

    Watch 7-Minute Preview of New Documentary on Black-Owned Detective Agency Run by Exonerated Men
    By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act

    November 16, 2015 at 12:00PM

    An update to a documentary project I’ve been tracking on this blog for about 2 years, starting with its Kickstarter fundraising campaign in early 2013 – a campaign that I should add was successful, squeaking by its $30,000 goal, to raise just over $31,000.

    A year and a half later, in the summer of 2014, it was one of 9 projects selected out of 560 submissions to receive the Tribeca Film Institute’s Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund (a total of $150,000 in grants were given).

    Initially titled “Freedom Fighters,” based on the preview that the filmmaker uploaded to his Vimeo account today, the feature documentary is apparently now titled “True Conviction,” and its tagline reads: “There’s a new detective agency in Dallas, Texas, started by a group of exonerated men who have all spent decades in prison… for crimes they did not commit.”

    They call themselves the Freedom Fighters (hence the film’s initial title), and have tasked themselves with the job of freeing those who are wrongly serving sentences in prison for crimes they didn’t commit.

  9. rikyrah says:

    American Fault Line: Race & the American Ideal with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. & Ken Burns
    By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act

    November 11, 2015 at 6:54PM

    Hey Charleston, SC, Washington, DC and New York City! Here’s an announcement of an upcoming event that you may want to be aware of, courtesy of BAM in Brooklyn. For those in Charleston, it takes place a month from now; while those in DC and NYC will have to wait until March of 2016; all leading up to the national broadcast premieres of 2 brand new documentaries previously profiled on this blog.


    On March 16th acclaimed documentarian Ken Burns and historian and professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. will share the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House stage and engage in a dialogue about race in America, one that begins in Charleston, SC on December 9th and continues in Washington, DC on March 14th before coming to BAM. These live conversations contextualize the national broadcasts of their upcoming films on PBS: Burns’ “Jackie Robinson” on April 11 and 12 and Gates’ “Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise” on April 18 and 19 (check local listings).

    The two-part, four-hour documentary “Jackie Robinson,” directed by Ken Burns, Sarah Burns, and David McMahon, tells the story of Jack Roosevelt Robinson, who rose from humble origins to cross baseball’s color line and become one of the most beloved men in America. A fierce integrationist, Robinson used his immense fame to speak out against the discrimination he saw on and off the field, angering fans, the press, and even teammates who had once celebrated him for “turning the other cheek.” After baseball, he was a widely read newspaper columnist, divisive political activist, and tireless advocate for civil rights who later struggled to remain relevant as diabetes crippled his body and a new generation of leaders set a more militant course for the civil rights movement.

  10. rikyrah says:

    Shadow And Act @shadowandact

    Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Has written a novel about Sherlock Holmes’ brother, set in Trinidad, and features a black Watson

  11. rikyrah says:

    Yes…..this is one of our stories that is long overdue to come to the screen.


    OWN Developing Mini-Series About the 1921 Tulsa Race Riots Starring Octavia Spencer

    Shadow and Act
    By Sergio | Shadow and Act

    November 11, 2015 at 8:21AM

    The 1921 Tulsa Oklahoma race riots were maybe the most deadliest and devastating in American history. Taking place over an 18 hour period, between May 31 and June 1, 1921, the riots started when a group of angry whites attacked blacks in the Greenwood district, known as “The Black Wall Street,” which was actually the wealthiest black community in the entire United States at the time.


    But that may start to change, as, previously announced, Octavia Spencer will star in a two-night event mini-series, “Tulsa” (working title), which is currently in development at the OWN network. “Tulsa” will tell the story of the largest race riot in U.S. history in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The mini-series will center on Mattie Clay (Spencer), a journalist from Tulsa, who moved to Chicago with the hopes of getting off the society pages and away from racism. Mattie’s journey eventually brings her back home to Tulsa where she must face the demons of her past and decide where her future lies.

    • eliihass says:

      I think Octavia Spencer is such a great actress…effortless and uncontrived…
      I especially like her after I found out she joined the cast of Fruitvale Station – the Oscar Grant story…to help bring attention to the movie with her higher profile…

  12. rikyrah says:

    Review: ‘My Friend Victoria’ Is a Subtle, Well-Observed Critique on Class, Identity, Race in France (Opens Dec. 4)
    Shadow and Act
    By Wendy Okoi-Obuli | Shadow and Act

    November 12, 2015 at 5:02PM

    It could just be lack of exposure (or adventure) on my part, but I’ve become accustomed to (and almost expect), films set in modern day France and featuring black people, to be about immigration, social marginalisation, disaffected black youth… all of which tend to serve up images of grit, grime, poverty… So Jean-Paul Civeyrac’s “My Friend Victoria,” was something of a surprise.

    Set in Paris, the film is based on a Doris Lessing story, “Victoria and the Staveneys,” and tells the story of Victoria, a young black woman of no remarkable talent, drive or ambition. The story is narrated by Fanny (Nadia Moussa), Victoria’s literature devouring adopted sister and friend, and starts when Victoria is 8 years old and has to spend a night in the home of a white, liberal, middle-class family. That one night, which is easily forgotten by the family, has a profound effect on Victoria, bordering on obsession. Her next contact with the family is several years later with the younger son, with whom she has an affair the summer before he goes away to university in the US. This short, affectionate but not particularly passionate affair results in a child, Marie, who is welcomed into the family at around the same age that Victoria was when she first met them.

  13. rikyrah says:


    You come home late,and your Daddy meets you at the door with THAT LOOK!

    You know your azzz is gonna hurt that evening…..LOL


    • eliihass says:

      LOL…First time I recall hearing POTUS make that (albeit deeper version) of the ‘I see you a**hole and your silly gotcha question’ uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh sound as they asked their gotcha questions…FLOTUS is a maven of the uh-huh, uh-huh when you start asking her silly questions…that is before she finally shuts you down if you persist…

    • vitaminlover says:

      Lol. love this

  14. rikyrah says:

    Media Alert:

    ‘Broadway at the White House’ on TLC – One-Hour Special Airs on Thanksgiving, November 26 at 8/7c

    By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act

    November 13, 2015 at 1:27PM

    This Thanksgiving, TLC cameras will follow deserving high school students who were chosen for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to attend an all-day symposium on careers in theater, which will be held at the White House, alongside some of the biggest names on Broadway. 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue will transform into a space for students to explore their creative aspirations and receive help from the pros on molding their emerging talent.

    The special will be hosted by Kristin Chenoweth and Matthew Morrison with special guest, First Lady Michelle Obama. Also participating throughout the day will be Cicely Tyson, Whoopi Goldberg, Gloria Estefan, Christian Borle and other current Broadway performers

  15. rikyrah says:

    ‘Sleepy Hollow’s’ Abbie and Jenny Will Reunite With Their Father
    By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act

    November 13, 2015 at 5:04PM

    The father of the “Sleepy Hollow” characters Abbie and Jenny, played by Nicole Beharie and Lyndie Greenwood, will be reuniting with his daughters on the series, in the form of James McDaniel, who will play Ezra Mills when the Fox drama returns for the second half of its currently season next February.

    Fans of the series may already know that Ezra has been estranged from his daughters since their childhood, when he abandoned them with their mother who had to be institutionalized soon thereafter. Now Ezra will return hoping to become a part of his daughters’ lives once again. I’m sure drama will ensue.

    Earlier this week, FOX announced that “Sleepy Hollow,” which has its fall finale on Thursday, Nov. 19, from 9 to 10pm ET/PT, and which has been under-performing in terms of ratings, will move to Friday nights at 8pm, when it returns after the holidays, with all-new episodes on Feb. 5.

  16. rikyrah says:

    Watch: ‘Destined to Witness: Growing Up Black in Nazi Germany’ – Hans J. Massaquoi’s Story
    By Wendy Okoi-Obuli | Shadow and Act

    November 10, 2015 at 10:44AM

    As a sort of compliment to Tambay’s piece – “Equating “Liberal Struggle” Under Nazi Rule to “Black Struggle” in Roland Gall’s ‘How I Became A Negro'” – published yesterday…

    “Destined to Witness: Growing Up Black in Nazi Germany” is based on the biography of the same name by Hans-Jürgen Massaquoi, former Managing Editor of Ebony Magazine, who was born in Germany in 1926 to Bertha Nikodijevic, a German nurse, and Al-Haj Massaquoi, son of the Liberian Consul General in Hamburg, Germany.

    It seems the book was first published (in English, anyway) in 1999 and was so popular in Germany, where it was entitled “Neger, Neger, Schornsteinfeger” (“Negro, Negro, Chimney Sweep”) that the autobiography remained on top of the bestselling list of the German weekly news magazine, Der Spiegel, for a couple of months. A screenplay of “Neger, Neger, Schornsteinfeger” was adapted from the book and a two-part film aired on German ZDF TV channel in 2006.

  17. rikyrah says:

    How Paris ISIS Terrorists May Have Used PlayStation 4 To Discuss And Plan Attacks
    NOV 14, 2015 @ 06:17 PM

    Following Friday night’s terrorist attacks in Paris which killed at least 127 people and left more than 300 injured, authorities are discovering just how the massacre was planned. And it may involve the most popular gaming console in the world, Sony ’s PlayStation 4.

    The hunt for those responsible (eight terrorists were killed Saturday night, but accomplices may still be at large) led to a number of raids in nearby Brussels. Evidence reportedly turned up included at least one PlayStation 4 console.

    Belgian federal home affairs minister Jan Jambon said outright that the PS4 is used by ISIS agents to communicate, and was selected due to the fact that it’s notoriously hard to monitor. “PlayStation 4 is even more difficult to keep track of than WhatsApp,” he said.

  18. rikyrah says:



    CNN anchors berate innocent Paris Muslim because he won’t ‘accept responsibility’ for attack
    16 NOV 2015 AT 09:59 ET

    Two CNN host berated the spokesperson for a Muslim outreach group over the weekend because he would not agree that all Muslims share responsibility for the recent attacks in Paris.

    During an interview early Sunday morning, Yaser Louati of the Collective Against Islamophobia in France told CNN anchors Isha Sesay and John Vause that hate speech was being directed toward the Muslim community in response to the attacks.

    “The problem is that you’re still mixing the Muslim community and somehow giving them an affiliation with these terrorists,” Louati explained. “But [French Muslims] are paying two prices. The price of being targeted by these terrorists and some of the right-wing columnists.”

    “We are being asked to choose our camp,” the guest pointed out. “Our camp is the French one. Make no mistake about it.”

    “If your camp is the French camp, then why is it that no one within the Muslim community there in France knew what these guys were up to?” Vause asked.

    “Sir, the Muslim community has nothing to do with these guys,” Louati insisted. “Nothing. We cannot justify ourselves for the actions of someone who claims to be Muslim.”

    “Why not?” Vause interrupted. “What is the responsibility within the Muslim community to identify people within their own ranks when it comes to people who are obviously training and preparing to carry out mass murder.”

    “Sir, they were not from our ranks!” Louati exclaimed. “We cannot accept the idea that these people are from us, they are not. They are just byproducts of our societies exporting their wars abroad and expecting no repercussions back home.”

  19. rikyrah says:

    GOP offers a lesson on how not to respond to terrorism
    11/16/15 08:00 AM
    By Steve Benen
    About 10 months ago, after terrorists attacked the Charlie Hebdo office in Paris, killing 11 people, congressional Republicans quickly began looking for ways to blame American leadership for the violence. It was reflexive; it was immediate; and it was ugly. The GOP reactions were practically a case study in how U.S. officials shouldn’t respond to an attack.

    Friday night’s terrorism in Paris was, by every metric, deadlier and more devastating, offering Americans an opportunity to speak with one voice while extending support to the nation’s oldest ally.

    It was an opportunity many leading Republicans chose not to take. The New York Times reported over the weekend:
    Visions of two Americas emerged from the 2016 presidential field on Saturday, at the Democratic debate and at Republican campaign events, as the candidates sought to project leadership after the Paris attacks and maneuver for political advantage in a rare moment when national security held voters’ attention.

    A dark portrait of a vulnerable homeland – impotent against Islamic State militants, susceptible against undocumented refugees and isolated in a world of fraying alliances – came into sharp relief as several Republicans seized on the crisis to try to elevate terrorism into a defining issue in the 2016 election.
    It’s an odd strategic choice, given that the Republican field is dominated by candidates with no meaningful experience in or understanding of foreign affairs, and nearly all of whom continue to think the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq was a great idea.

    And yet, it was quite a weekend for GOP chest-thumping. Ted Cruz issued a statement suggesting U.S. military strikes against ISIS targets should be less concerned about “civilian casualties.” John McCain said the rise of ISIS, an outgrowth of the disastrous war McCain celebrated, should be blamed on President Obama’s foreign policy.

  20. rikyrah says:

    Cotton connects disability benefits, drug addiction
    11/13/15 03:52 PM
    facebook twitter 5 save share group 46
    By Steve Benen
    We’ve arguably reached the point at which high-profile Republicans should probably stop talking about addiction issues altogether. MSNBC’s Aliyah Frumin reported this week on the latest discouraging comments.
    Republican Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas is suggesting there is a correlation between those who receive Social Security disability benefits and drug addiction.

    During a speech at the conservative Heritage Foundation on Monday, the lawmaker said “It’s hard to say what came first or caused the other – population decline or increased disability usage [in several Appalachian counties]. Or maybe economic stagnation caused both.” Either way, Cotton argued, there seems to be what he called a “disability tipping point” – when such benefits become a norm instead of a last-resort safety net program.
    With this in mind, the far-right freshman added, “Population continues to fall and a downward spiral kicks in, driving once-thriving communities into further decline. Not only that, but once this kind of spiral begins, communities could begin to suffer other social plagues as well, such as heroin or meth addiction and associated crime.”

    At a certain level, I suppose it’s a good thing when policymakers take an interest in addiction issues and look for root causes and possible solutions, but the idea of connecting disability benefits and “heroin or meth addiction” is hard to take seriously without evidence.

    But just as alarming is the political pattern that’s begun to emerge. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) recently made the case that heroin addiction only afflicts the unemployed. “If you work all day long, you don’t have time to do heroin,” he recently told a New Hampshire audience.

  21. rikyrah says:

    Elon James White @elonjames
    So tell me why I should move on on a candidate who I know blatantly used racism/islamaphobia as campaign strategy?

  22. rikyrah says:

    My review of the Patti LaBelle Pie:

    My sister got me one. I tasted it last night. I gotta say, it was pretty damn good. The spices are obvious, which is wonderful. I have never bought a sweet potato pie in a mainstream (re:Non-Black) establishment, that tasted as good as this one did. It had enough sugar and butter in it. I prefer mine to be a bit chunkier, but I know for mass production, they smooth it out. The crust, though, was the real surprise. It was pretty damn good for a store bought pie. The only crusts I usually like for store bought are either cookie or graham cracker crusts. Regular crusts just don’t make it for me, but this did.
    Two thumbs up from me. I would buy it again in a minute and save myself the time of trying to make one.

  23. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone:)

  24. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone. :))

  25. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    W.C. Handy was born on this day in 1873. What a world of great music he brought to the world!

  26. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    Good Morning :)

    Thanks for bringing us Macy Gray week, Ametia.

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