Friday Open Thread

Happy Friday, Everyone! We hope you have enjoyed a few highlighs from the 2015 Kennedy Center Honors thhis week.

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 06: Honoree George Lucas and Mellody Hobson arrive at the 38th Annual Kennedy Center Honors Gala at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on December 6, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Kris Connor/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC – DECEMBER 06: Honoree George Lucas and Mellody Hobson arrive at the 38th Annual Kennedy Center Honors Gala at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on December 6, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Kris Connor/Getty Images)

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43 Responses to Friday Open Thread

  1. vitaminlover says:

    OMG, ladies, I just finished viewing the latest “In Performance at the White House! President and First Lady Obama were really getting into the performances especially at the end. Some of the performers were….Smokey Robinson (wow), Queen Latifah, Usher, James Taylor ,a young jazz trumpeter whose name I missed, (whoops), another young lady jazz performer whose name I missed (sorry) and a few more. I already know that Michelle can dance but Barack shows evidence that he can dance too! I am going to view the whole thing again at 1 a.m. to get the parts I missed.

  2. rikyrah says:

    Because that is who he is…

    the creep thinks he sounds ‘Presidential’


  3. rikyrah says:

    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ @amakainc
    The. President. Cannot. Pardon. State. Crimes.

  4. rikyrah says:

    The election and the Supreme Court’s ‘make-or-break moment’
    01/08/16 11:20 AM
    By Steve Benen
    In October, a voter in Iowa asked Ted Cruz about the future of the Supreme Court. The Texas Republican had an answer at the ready.

    “One more liberal justice and our right to keep and bear arms is taken away from us by an activist court,” Cruz said. “One more liberal justice and they begin sandblasting and bulldozing veterans memorials throughout this country. One more liberal justice and we lose our sovereignty to the United Nations and the World Court.”

    Substantively, the remarks were ridiculous, but as we talked about at the time, they were nevertheless a reminder of the significance of the high court as a 2016 campaign issue. MSNBC’s Irin Carmon added that Republicans, arguably more than Democrats, have acted as if the Supreme Court itself is “essentially on the ballot.”

    I think the point about the partisan imbalance is true, though I also believe that’s starting to change. Hillary Clinton has a new op-ed in the Boston Globe this morning, emphasizing the importance of the high court in this year’s election.
    On Election Day, three of the current justices will be over 80 years old, which is past the court’s average retirement age. The next president could easily appoint more than one justice. That makes this a make-or-break moment – for the court and our country.

    As president (and a lawyer and former law professor), I’ll appoint justices who will protect the constitutional principles of liberty and equality for all, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation or political viewpoint; make sure the scales of justice aren’t tipped away from individuals toward corporations and special interests; and protect citizens’ right to vote, rather than billionaires’ right to buy elections.

  5. rikyrah says:

    Reaching the point at which even tears are politicized
    01/08/16 12:48 PM
    By Steve Benen
    During remarks on gun violence this week, President Obama was briefly overcome with emotion, and attendees and viewers could see tears on his face as the president reflected on the children massacred at Sandy Hook elementary.

    Almost immediately, Obama’s conservative media critics started complaining, with a variety of far-right figures arguing that the president had used some kind of trick and his emotional reaction to dead kids was insincere. Even by today’s standards, it was unnerving to see such a callous display from the right.

    Fortunately, when House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) sat down with Yahoo News’ Katie Couric this week, he did not share any nonsensical conspiracy theories. But as TPM reported, when the Republican leader was asked about Obama being overcome, he came up with a curious response.
    House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) said although he was moved by President Obama’s tearful gun control announcement this week, the deaths of citizens around the world at the hands of Islamic State militants should have warranted the same emotional response.

    “I was affected by it, but I thought we should’ve had the same kind of reaction when James Foley was beheaded, when San Bernardino and Paris occurred,” Ryan said in an interview with Katie Couric. “That’s the kind of reaction I had when those occurred.”
    Wait, is this where the debate is headed? Crying over murdered children is fine, but only if it’s accompanied by comparable reactions to violence Republicans consider politically salient?

    The GOP Speaker added, in reference to the president’s efforts to reduce gun deaths, “What I think he’s trying to do is distract from basically his failed policies.”

  6. rikyrah says:

    New Orleanian of the Year 2015: Leah Chase
    On the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, we salute a civil rights pioneer
    by Helen Freund

    January 04, 2016

    With its first issue of each year, Gambit honors a New Orleanian of the Year for all he or she has done for the city. This year’s honoree is a familiar one: Leah Chase, the pioneering chef who turns 93 this week and who still can be found working at her iconic Treme restaurant, Dooky Chase’s.

      Though many are familiar with Chase’s gumbo, greens and hospitality, her role in achieving equality for African-Americans is less discussed, at least by those who have bestowed upon her some of the nation’s highest culinary awards for her Creole cuisine.

      On this, the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, we honor Leah Chase for setting a particularly special table: one where much of the Southern civil rights movement was planned.

    You won’t see her memorialized in grainy black-and-white photographs of civil rights protests, holding up protest signs or sitting handcuffed beneath the scornful gaze of baton-wielding police officers. But in June 2014, when more than 100 veterans of the Louisiana civil rights movement gathered in New Orleans to commemorate the Freedom Summer and honor the civil rights activists of the 1960s, it was Leah Chase’s restaurant that everyone remembered.

      ”It was just a place where we felt safe,” recalled Doratha “Dodie” Smith-Simmons, a key figure in the civil rights movement who was a Freedom Rider and member of the New Orleans chapter of Congress of Racial Equality (CORE).

      ”For a lot of the people and students who came down here to work on voter registration, their fondest memory was of going to Dooky Chase’s for a meal,” Smith-Simmons says. “Because of what Leah and her husband did, people didn’t forget that.”

      2015 marked the 50th anniversary of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, a crowning achievement of the civil rights movement that prohibited racial discrimination in voting. Its passage came a year after the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and in the years leading up to both historic events, Dooky Chase’s became a well-known meeting place for leaders and activists.

  7. Ametia says:

    UH UH UH

    Witnesses to the police killing of Laquan McDonald were questioned for hours, threatened by officers and ordered to change their accounts to match the official Chicago police version of the shooting, attorneys for the teen’s estate say.

    The allegations are contained in more than 3,000 pages of recently released documents related to the case. The attorneys also allege that officers up the chain of command fabricated witness accounts to support officers at the scene who described the October 2014 shooting as justified.

    • Liza says:

      Chicago. You know, these folks think they can get away with doing this to people forever, then something changes. They aren’t ready and they keep digging their hole. I’ve changed my mind about Rahm Emmanuel. Instead of just resigning, maybe he belongs in a jail cell. Right now he’s “not available for comment.” We’ll see how well that works for him.

  8. rikyrah says:

    Exclusive: House Republicans recruited Carson for Speaker
    Jan 7, 2016

    House Republicans reached out to GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson in 2014 about replacing John Boehner as Speaker of the House, Carson told The Hill on Thursday.

    “They were looking for an alternative, they were looking for someone strong and courageous who might really be able to add some spine and some backbone,” Carson said. “I was very flattered that there were several members that thought I’d fit the bill very well, but I think it played out correctly the way that it did.”

    There is no rule stipulating that the Speaker be a member of the House.

    A second source with knowledge of the situation said that in 2014 “several” House conservatives summoned Carson to Capitol Hill to pitch him on the idea of becoming the next Speaker in the event that they were successful in voting the Ohio Republican out of the position in 2015.

  9. rikyrah says:

    Why McCain’s shot across Cruz’s bow matters
    01/07/16 11:07 AM
    By Steve Benen

    There was a fleeting moment around this point eight years ago in which some questioned John McCain’s eligibility for the presidency. The Republican senator, well on his way to becoming his party’s nominee, was born in the Panama Canal Zone in 1936, prompting some pointless questions about whether he was literally a “natural-born citizen.”

    Few took those questions seriously; even McCain’s harshest critics dismissed the concerns out of hand; and the Senate quickly approved a resolution – written and sponsored by Democrat Claire McCaskill – declaring, “John Sidney McCain, III, is a ‘natural born citizen’ under Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution of the United States.” It passed without opposition.

    The recent history adds a degree of irony to McCain’s comments about Ted Cruz yesterday.
    Arizona Sen. John McCain said he doesn’t know if the Canadian-born Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas is eligible to be president, saying the Supreme Court might have to decide if Cruz is eligible to be president.

    “I don’t know the answer to that,” said McCain on the Chris Merrill Show on KFYI550 on Wednesday of Cruz’s eligibility.
    As the BuzzFeed report added, McCain went on to say, in reference to Cruz, “I think it’s worth looking into.” McCain added he thinks Cruz should try to get ahead of these eligibility issues, though without access to a time machine, how he’d go about doing this is a bit of a mystery.

    It’s a genuine shame that Donald Trump has pushed this issue into the spotlight, because as best as I can tell, this entire line of attack is misguided. For all intents and purposes, natural-born citizens are those who were citizens at the time of their birth. This applies to Cruz. End of story.

    I can think of about a thousand reasons to be concerned about a Cruz presidency, but his eligibility isn’t one of them.

    What I find more interesting, however, is Cruz’s sudden need for friends in high places.

    With the developments surrounding McCain in 2008 still in mind, the New York Times asked this morning, “Now the question is, will the Senate again weigh in to clarify the constitutional status of another one of its members and declare Mr. Cruz eligible to be president?”

    The answer is, almost certainly not. Among senators from both parties, Ted Cruz is extremely unpopular. He’s gone out of his way to alienate his colleagues, pick fights with his own party leadership, and generally make as few friends in the chamber as possible during his tenure.

    On the campaign trail, this serves as a point of pride. Cruz can, in complete honesty, boast to the Republican base that the GOP establishment inside the Beltway has nothing but disdain for him – and the feeling is mutual. John McCain himself once referred to Cruz as a “wacko bird,” which is why it’s not too surprising that the Arizona Republican was needlessly adding fuel to a foolish fire yesterday. He just doesn’t seem to like his colleague very much.

    Right about now, Cruz would probably love to see the same level of Senate support McCain received eight years ago, but he shouldn’t hold his breath. As the Times added, for most senators in both parties, “assisting Mr. Cruz would amount to a foreign concept.”

  10. rikyrah says:

    UH HUH

    UH HUH


    GOP Rep. Moves To Censure Obama Over Executive Action On Guns

    Published JANUARY 7, 2016, 2:06 PM EST

    Staunch gun rights advocate Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-MS) introduced a resolution on Wednesday to “censure and condemn” President Barack Obama over his newly announced executive actions on gun control.

    “For seven years, the President has gradually expanded his powers through executive overreach,” the Mississippi lawmaker wrote in a statement published on his website. “His actions this week to take away the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens is just the latest, if not most egregious, violation of the separation of powers found in the United States Constitution.”

    The executive actions announced Tuesday by the president include expanding background checks for gun purchases and investing $500 million in mental health treatment.

    While gun reformers see the actions as small but necessary steps towards regulating firearms in the United States, Second Amendment advocates like Palazzo have dismissed the actions as unhelpful overreach by the executive branch.

    As the National Constitution Center notes on its blog, censuring a government official amounts to little more than a “public shaming.” But as TPM previously reported, when Republicans in Congress were considering censuring Obama in late 2014 over his executive actions on immigration, censuring a President actually may run afoul of the Constitution.

  11. rikyrah says:

    PragmaticObotsUnite @PragObots
    Blk men UER dropped 9.9% to 8.7%. Blk women UER dropped 7.9% to 6.9%. Blk teen UER rose from 23.5% to 23.7% #DecJobsReport #BlackTwitter

  12. rikyrah says:

    Barack Obama is ruining the economy…


  13. rikyrah says:

    They POISONED these people.




    Water donations run dry in Flint, no action from Governor Snyder

    Stephainie Gosk, NBC News correspondent, talks with Rachel Maddow about how the people of Flint have been relying on scarce water donations to replace their toxic water supply as Governor Rick Snyder has increased the amount he’s talking about the crisis without taking any actual short-term action for the people of Flint who are without options.–no-state-plan-598134339963

    • Liza says:

      Someone should tell Rick Snyder this ain’t a third world country. There are still a lot of folks out there who believe in laws and expect them to be enforced. I hope he ends up in prison along with his cronies.

  14. rikyrah says:

    He’s mad because the grift isn’t as strong for him as it used to be:

    An angry Mike Huckabee lashed out at evangelical Christians who declined to back his struggling presidential campaign.

    The former Arkansas governor and conservative commentator spoke with his erstwhile colleague Todd Starnes, of Fox News, about his disappointment with the Religious Right establishment, reported Right Wing Watch.

    “As I’ve often said, ‘I don’t go to them, I come from them,’ but because of that I do understand them ,” Huckabee said.

    Huckabee, who has been criticized for selling his mailing list to quack doctors and conspiracy-mongers, complained that conservative Christian leaders seemed more interested in raising money off anti-abortion hysteria and same-sex marriage fears than actually ending their legal acceptance.

    “A lot of them, quite frankly, I think they’re scared to death that if a guy like me got elected, I would actually do what I said I would do, and that is I would focus on the personhood of every individual, we would abolish abortion based on the Fifth and 14th Amendment, we would ignore the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage decision,” Huckabee said.

  15. rikyrah says:

    Oh that Obama….he’s ruining the economy….


    I will continue to ask this question:

    What would our economy look like if one political party had NOT decided to commit ECONOMIC TREASON against this country beginning January 20, 2009?


    The U.S. created 292,000 new jobs in December, as hiring sped up toward the end of the year. Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected a gain of 215,000 nonfarm jobs. The unemployment rate remained at 5%, largely because almost a half-million people joined the labor force.

    Employment gains for November and October, meanwhile, were revised up by a combined 50,000, the Labor Department said Friday. The government said 252,000 new jobs were created in November instead of 211,000. October’s gain was raised to 307,000 from 298,000, marking the biggest increase of 2015.

    In a surprise, average hourly wages paid to American workers fell a penny to $25.24. Still, hourly pay has risen 2.5% in the past 12 months, matching a six-and-a-half-year high. The amount of time people worked each week was unchanged at 34.5 hours. The labor-force participation rate rose a tick to 62.6%.

  16. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

  17. Ametia says:

    Happy FRY-day!

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