Saturday Open Thread

Happy Saturday, Everyone. Enjoy your weekend with friends and family!


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61 Responses to Saturday Open Thread

  1. rikyrah says:

    They need to GO TO JAIL IN MICHIGAN

  2. eliihass says:

    I don’t usually play the lottery, but I’m going to play tonight..

    And if I win, each one of our regular fam here will get a check to pay off a few bills…and an all expenses paid one week luxury vacation with your family to any destination of your choice..

    And if I don’t win, I’ll play again when it’s a big one and my promise will still stand then too..

    But as my mother always says, may whoever needs it most, win it…

    • Ametia says:

      Hi ellihaas, mighty generous to think of 3 Chics!

      And after family time, I’d definitely love to meet up with my 3 Chics FAMILY: you, Liza, Yahtzee, rikyrah, SG2, Sunshine, Vitaminlover, Kathleen and any of the commenters whho can make it!!!!

      • eliihass says:

        I’d fly all of us out to meet…and SG won’t have to cook..

        But really Ametia, we only need so much to live a good life…

        I love my life as it is right now…I pretty much have everything I need – and much of what I hanker after materially..

        I honestly wouldn’t make much of a change to the way I live if I won the lottery…as long as I can stay anonymous and just exist as quietly as before…

        Sure, I’ll work at a more leisurely pace, and take a few more quiet vacations…but I’d still want to live my daily life as is, and I want to still live in my home (perhaps make some upgrades and tweak it a bit or a lot – just because I can)..

        But it’ll be wonderful to have all that spare money to quietly do amazing things and make a real difference in other people’s lives…especially those who despair, have given up and wonder if there is a God after all – or if God has completely forgotten or abandoned them..

        I’ve always prayed to God to bless me with the sort of unbelievable money so that I can quietly show really wealthy and materially blessed people what you do with money when God blesses you – and entrusts you with such unbelievable and unexpected and frankly, undeserved wealth…

        I will of course splurge on myself…I just can’t think right now what those would be..but it’ll mostly be under the radar…

        But I will also make a special endowment to the Obama foundation…It’ll be specifically dedicated to the creation of something substantive and enduring in honor of the First Lady…

      • Liza says:

        Y’all are awesome, all of you. Good luck…

      • Kathleen says:

        I would love that! And belated Happy New Year to. all. I’ve been pretty much offline these past two weeks because my computer is in the shop and I hate using phone and commenting because I’m so darn slow on the keypad.

      • yahtzeebutterfly says:

        My wouldn’t that be fun!

  3. Liza says:

    It’s going to be interesting to see what happens to Governor Snyder…

    • eliihass says:

      I’m curious to see too..

      That he and his representatives who made this life-threatening and brazen call, hoping they wouldn’t be found out or called out – or held accountable, are still out there calling the shots, is really something..

    • rikyrah says:

      This was a criminal enterprise, born of right-wing ideology.


      So, poison the people, because DETROIT could not have gotten the water right.

      EXCEPT, Detroit DID have the water purification right.




  4. @WellsFargo called the cops on one of their largest clients for withdrawing large amount of money. #BankingWhileBlack

  5. rikyrah says:

    Zhou Chengjian: Another Billionaire Goes Missing In China

    January 9, 2016 | By Garrett Montgomery | Reply

    Zhou Chengjian, a Chinese billionaire, has gone missing, and many are speculating that police have something to do with it. Mr. Chengjian, who has a fortune of over $2 billion, started off as a the son of a poor farmer, whose diet consisted of sweet potato and one chicken leg that would last for weeks – he is now among the richest men in China.

    Zhou Chengjian, 51, has been missing since Wednesday, according to his family and his employees. According to several media outlets, the billionaire might have been taken by Chinese police as part of Beijing’s anti-corruption drive. The authorities have yet to comment on Chengjian’s disappearance.

    Chengjian’s company, Metersbonwe or Metersbonwe Group, issued a statement explaining that they are unaware of the mogul’s whereabouts and added that they had plans to suspend trading their shares immediately on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange. The statement read:

  6. Thank you for the courage in coming forward to testify. Job well done! May your soul rest in everlasting peace.

  7. rikyrah says:

    from Luvvie:

    Michael Bae Jordan’s Whole Bloodline is FAHN! My Readers Thank God.

    Awesomely Luvvie — January 8, 2016

    Michael B. Jordan has had my attention for awhile. First I knew him as Wallace from The Wire but Wallace don growed up and got FAHNER THAN FROG HAIR! Whew.

    Then he got the nerve to have some fine ass company in his family and friends. Dude posted a picture of his male kinfolk and had women (and men) everywhere drooling because who told him he had the right to be part of a Handsome Troop? Michael Bae Jordan got company, y’all. Behold

    JAYSUS HAROLD CHRISTI!!! When your entire bloodline looks like they should star in a really bad made-for-TV movie whose only redeeming quality is the eye candy they threw in it. Whew. That’s not even fair.

    I mean ALL’EM. When Jesus says yes, nobody can say NO. Look at His handiwork. You can’t tell me Joseph’s stepson AND his Daddy at the Top ain’t the best

  8. rikyrah says:

    Powerball Prize Climbs to $900M — But Good Luck Staying Anonymous If You Win

    The ever-surging Powerball jackpot has grown to a record $900 million just hours ahead of Saturday night’s drawing.

    The lucky winner will take home an estimated $558 million if they choose a lump-sum cash prize, lottery officials announced Saturday morning. And if no one happens to strike it rich this time, the prize for the next drawing on Wednesday will reach a staggering $1.3 billion, officials added.

    But should you wind up with the winning jackpot, odds are good that you won’t be able to hold on to your anonymity.

    With Powerball tickets sold in 44 states, as well as in Washington, D.C., the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, all but six states require lottery winners to come forward publicly.

    Delaware, Kansas, Maryland, North Dakota, Ohio and South Carolina still allow winners to remain anonymous.

    Other states, however, permit winners to create limited liability companies, so that when their names have to be announced, it’s the companies and not individuals that are identified.

  9. rikyrah says:


    Man behind gutting of Voting Rights Act: ‘I agonise’ over decision’s impact

    To his detractors, Edward Blum is one of the most dangerous men in America, a human wrecking ball on a mission to destroy the landmark achievements of the civil rights era and send the country back to a dark age of discrimination and harassment of minorities – in the workplace, in higher education and at the ballot box.

    That’s some reputation for a slightly built former stockbroker who answers his own phone, sounds nothing like the bullying demagogues who once held sway over the deep south, and even has some misgivings about the consequences of his actions….

  10. Liza says: complete coverage of the Flint water crisis. Seven pages of headline links, goes on forever. This is a serious clusterf**k.

    Flint water

    Scroll through all of our coverage of the Flint water crisis below.

  11. Liza says:

    Links to newspaper articles dating back to November 29, 2011. Very good compilation.

    TIMELINE: Here’s how the Flint water crisis unfolded

    The Environmental Protection Agency launched a federal audit — Governor Rick Snyder appointed a panel to look into it — and there is a federal class action lawsuit underway.

    Everyone wants to know how the water went bad in one of Michigan’s biggest cities.

    Michigan Radio has been on top of this story from the start…

    To get a sense of how this happened in Michigan, scroll through the timeline below.

    • Liza says:

      Correction, the events in the timeline are not links. Also, has their own reporters and most of what I’m seeing on their website is their own work, not links to other sources. It appears they’ve been on top of this story for at least a couple of years, yet it flew under the radar, certainly from a national perspective.

    • Liza says:

      I could be wrong, but even Amy Goodman of “Democracy Now” didn’t have anything on this Flint water scandal until 10-9-2015. This was in her headlines, “Michigan: Flint to Return to Detroit Water amid Contamination Scandal.” Since last October, she has followed the story which is more than can be said for mainstream media.

      We talk about mainstream media incompetence all the time, then we find out it’s even worse than we imagined. And the bar just keeps sinking lower.

  12. Liza says:

    They BETTER start rounding up the suspects ….

    How a Racist System Has Poisoned the Water in Flint, Mich.
    Posted: Jan. 9 2016 3:00 AM

    Tainted water is poisoning thousands of children in the predominantly African-American city of Flint, Mich. The high levels of lead in Flint’s water may create a plethora of serious, long-term health problems including brain damage, behavioral troubles, anemia and kidney problems.

    On Wednesday, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder declared a state of emergency in Flint and Genesee County in response to high levels of lead in Flint’s water supply. The U.S. attorney’s office has launched an investigation to understand who is responsible, and filmmaker Michael Moore has called for Snyder’s arrest. This investigation, however, must go beyond blaming one individual, because the current water crisis is a direct result of racialized state politics.

    Flint’s citizens, 52 percent African American, have been deprived of the right to govern their city since 2011. Michigan’s Emergency Financial Manager law allows the governor to appoint an unelected official to control a city determined to be in fiscal crisis. Emergency Financial Managers have been primarily assigned to majority-African-American cities across Michigan. In the past decade, over half of African Americans in Michigan—compared with only 2 percent of whites—have lived under emergency management. EFMs are supposed to take over cities based on a neutral evaluation of financial circumstances—but majority-white municipalities with similar money problems have not been taken over. Flint’s poisoning is one effect of the systematic stripping of black civil rights in Michigan.

    Flint’s water crisis began in 2014 when, to save money, Flint’s successively appointed EFMs, Ed Kurtz and Darnell Earley, switched the city’s water source to the Flint River rather than renewing the city’s water contract with Detroit—an established, safe water supplier. Residents immediately began complaining that brown water flowed from their faucets, yet health concerns were disregarded by officials, including Earley’s EFM successor, Gerald Ambrose.

    As early as March 2015, officials knew that the water contained E. coli and carcinogens. By fall, it was revealed that residents’ drinking water contained high levels of lead and copper, contributing to significant reported health problems. Despite public assurances in July from Michigan’s Department of Environmental Quality that concerned residents should “relax,” an external research team from Virginia Tech found lead levels were a staggering 16 times the allowed limit, and a local pediatrician found that lead poisoning had doubled among Flint children in a single year. (There are twice as many black children as white children in Flint.)

    It took national media attention to make the state apologize and provide tap filters for residents. The city returned to getting water from Detroit in October 2015, but experts argue that the city’s infrastructure was damaged by the Flint River’s corrosive water. As a result, levels are still high, since corroded pipes may not be capable of preventing toxins from leaking into the water supply.

    What gave this unelected person the power to poison a city? Emergency financial management, which grants virtually unlimited power to an unelected official, lies at the heart of this story.

    The EFM law, as designed and implemented, rests on the premise that democracy in predominantly African-American cities is unnecessary and that the state knows best. But the state shares blame for Flint’s fiscal problems: It cut almost $55 million in expected revenue to Flint from 2003-2013 in a move that disproportionately defunded already impoverished (and majority-African American) cities.

    Six EFMs have governed Flint in the past 13 years. Because budget deficits trump all other concerns, EFMs’ financial decisions have followed the austerity playbook, including cutting pay or firing unionized city employees and selling city properties. Cities under EFM have no one to hold accountable for the impact of these decisions—including decisions that result in poisoned water.

    Water provides a telling window into the harmful effects of EFMs on African-American citizens. Various EFMs across Michigan, including Flint, have used water as a revenue stream by hiking fees, attempting to privatize systems or borrowing from the water budget. EFMs in Detroit and Highland Park have implemented draconian punishments for households unable to pay high water prices (including cementing over valves) while ignoring delinquent companies’ bills. And in Flint’s case, the deposed city government couldn’t independently check water quality after concerns were raised.

    Flint’s poisoned water reveals the toxicity of the EFM law. Though several families filed a lawsuit against Earley and others, they are unlikely to succeed, since government agencies can’t be held liable for how they do their job.

    Michigan’s EFM law deprives local residents of basic political rights. Because African Americans are more likely to live in cities with EFMs, they are more likely to be impacted by their decisions. We are left to wonder: Would this happen in a majority-white city? This law and its effects reveal unpleasant truths about race and democracy in 2016.

    • Ametia says:


      What IRONY to appoint an incompetents to posison the predominately BLACK citizens with the foulness of Flint’s water supply and then turn around and declared a STATE of EMERGENCY.

      Why are these folks in JAIL, starting with GOV SNYDER?

  13. rikyrah says:

    zizi has a lot of good points


    can y’all smell what potus is cooking?

    By zizi2

    Barack Obama has decided to put himself on the Democratic “ballot” in 2016. You heard that right. He’s running again. Why not? The entire Republican Party is running against him anyway, so why not get himself on the “ballot”? Give ‘em and their corporate stenographers something to REALLY talk about. POTUS is going to be everywhere front and center, on the trail, in the media, in your backyard cookout.

    He’s not going to campaign FOR the Democratic party’s candidates, he’s going to set and drive the Democratic Party agenda, which Dem pols may choose to join, not the other way around. Why? Because the Democratic Party needs to be shaken from its death throes.

    A party that had everything going for it with the advent of Barack Obama, the organizing energy of his coalition, resources, cutting edge technology, simply gave up on itself after victory in 2008. It got a dead cat bounce during the 2012 re-election, then promptly went right back into willful stupor.

    With a party leadership so cross-eyed, doddering around on two left feet, unwilling to embrace its own legislative successes, running away from Barack Obama, and even more zombified after the 2014 electoral losses, it is a miracle that there is barely any sign of life left to whip up for the 2016 cycle. However, strolling from cycle to cycle hitching ourselves to time-limited election campaigns will not do much to resuscitate the dried out soul of the party. We’ve needed a MOVEMENT larger than the Democratic Party itself.

  14. Liza says:

    Amid State & Fed. Cover-Up, the Story of How Researchers & Residents Exposed Flint’s Water Poisoning
    JANUARY 08, 2016


    professor of civil engineering at Virginia Tech. He led the research team that tested hundreds of water samples from Flint residents, uncovering the city’s lead problem.
    investigative reporter for the ACLU of Michigan. His work focuses on emergency management and open government.

    For over a year, Flint residents have complained about the quality of the water, but their cries were ignored by state officials. In February, tests showed alarming levels of lead in the water, but officials told residents there was no threat. That same month, an EPA official named Miguel Del Toral wrote an email to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality warning about lead contamination. No action was taken. He wrote another email in April to the EPA. Then in July, Governor Snyder’s chief of staff, Dennis Muchmore, wrote an email to health officials admitting that Flint residents are “basically getting blown off by us.”

    AMY GOODMAN: Talk about what you discovered for yourself, how you met LeeAnne and her family and her three boys, and why it is that your team, from Virginia, are the ones doing the testing of the water supply of Flint, Professor Edwards.

    MARC EDWARDS: Well, we met LeeAnne because her child had been lead poisoned at that point, and there was no other lead source in her home at all, based on Miguel Del Toral’s investigation. So we did a very, very thorough sampling, as Curt said, of her home, and we found the worst lead-in-water contamination that we have seen in 25 years of working in the field. And LeeAnne herself figured out that the city and state were lying about the use of corrosion control. The EPA had been asked point—asked the Department of Environmental Quality point-blank, “Are you using corrosion control?” And they lied and said yes. And LeeAnne is the one who figured out there was no corrosion control. So, when she informed us of what was going on, we became involved because it was very clear at that point that the agencies who were paid to protect children from this neurotoxin, lead, were not going to do their job.

    AMY GOODMAN: Now, Professor Edwards, the reason you met LeeAnne, right, is that she and her military husband and her boys moved away from Flint. They were so afraid of what was happening and felt that they were being contaminated. And they came down to Virginia?

    MARC EDWARDS: No. Well, that was after. So she stayed, even after her children had been lead poisoned, to fight for other children in the city, helped coordinate the sampling event. And somewhat fittingly, the day she left Flint, they switched back to the Detroit River. But that was months later. I met her early on because of the contamination and the fact her child was lead poisoned, and she was concerned about what was going on not only to her children, but to other children in Flint.

    AMY GOODMAN: So you go to Flint with your team. And tell us what you did, the extent of your testing and the response of the city and the state of Michigan.

    MARC EDWARDS: Well, this problem should have been stopped, even if there was complete incompetence on the part of the state, with the Del Toral memo. But as Curt mentioned, EPA covered it up. They apologized for this memo that was written. It perfectly explained what was going on, including the fact that Flint was breaking federal law. And EPA administrator Hedman at Region 5 said she was sorry about the memo and that she would vet and edit it, and Mr. Del Toral would not be working on this anymore.

    AMY GOODMAN: What was the name of that regional head?

    MARC EDWARDS: Susan Hedman.

    AMY GOODMAN: Is she still in her position?

    MARC EDWARDS: Yes, she is. And I obtained those documents by email that showed that’s exactly what she said. And then the state went and was bragging to the Flint residents that no one was going to help them, that Mr. Del Toral had been, quote, “handled,” and they wouldn’t hear from him again. So it was at that point we launched, with ACLU Michigan and many, many other groups, a completely outside-the-system effort to determine the safety of Flint water and allow Flint residents to see whether it was meeting federal standards or not. So, we conducted a 300-bottle survey, and the residents did an amazing job. They returned more than 90 percent of the kits. And just as—when we started looking at those samples—this was late August—we knew there was no way that Flint’s water could be considered safe by federal standards. And on our webpage that we established to help the residents fight this battle, we announced that no one should be drinking Flint water. And, of course, the state didn’t like that.

    AMY GOODMAN: Now, I want to read more from the email written by Governor Snyder’s chief of staff, Dennis Muchmore, last July. He wrote, quote, “I’m frustrated by the water issue in Flint. I really don’t think people are getting the benefit of the doubt. Now they are concerned and rightfully so about the lead level studies they are receiving from the DEQ samples. … These folks are scared and worried about the health impacts and they are basically getting blown off by us (as a state we’re just not sympathizing with their plight),” he wrote. That internal email from Dennis Muchmore, Governor Rick Snyder’s chief of staff, dated July 22nd. So, what happened next, Curt Guyette?

    CURT GUYETTE: Well, then, as Dr. Edwards just said, we started working with them and with groups, a coalition in Flint, and we all came up with the idea that we’re going to conduct our own test. And that was in August we did that. Virginia Tech sent 300 sample kits, because Dr. Edwards got an emergency grant from the National Science Foundation. And a small team of people worked to educate people about how to take water samples. We held public meetings, and people came. We distributed the kits. And then, within a three-week period, we tested about four times as many homes as the city had tested over the previous six months. And it was very rigorous. Records were kept. We were very diligent to see that all parts of the city were tested, unlike the city tests, which focused on areas where they knew they weren’t going to find lead. We were looking everywhere just to really honestly find out what was really going on, and did everything we could to make it bull-proof, because we knew that they were going to attack us, and we didn’t want to give them really any legitimate openings to question what we did. And so, we were working like crazy to get the kits distributed and collected and sent back. And Dr. Edwards and his team worked around the clock to analyze all these samples. And as soon as the samples started coming in and they saw that the levels were what they were and very disturbing, very alarming, they started putting the information out. And again, all along the way, the status—the approach taken by the MDEQ was to deny there was a problem—

    AMY GOODMAN: Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.

    CURT GUYETTE: —and attack the people who were trying to tell the truth—yes.

  15. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone! Busy day for me. Work training and an afternoon memorial service.

    Chat soon!

  16. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

    At work today, but it’s all good :)

  17. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    Good Morning :)

    Happy Birthday, Joan Baez!

    • Liza says:

      This is my favorite, I think. It’s getting difficult to remember. :) Anyhow, it’s my favorite theme, lost love, love that couldn’t be.

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