Friday Open Thread | Nature Week: Feather Star Fish

Nature week is dedicated to Rikyrah’s co/worker/friend in Chicago who passed away. A lover of nature. This week is for you and your mentor, boo.

About SouthernGirl2

A Native Texan who adores baby kittens, loves horses, rodeos, pomegranates, & collect Eagles. Enjoys politics, games shows, & dancing to all types of music. Loves discussing and learning about different cultures. A Phi Theta Kappa lifetime member with a passion for Social & Civil Justice.
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83 Responses to Friday Open Thread | Nature Week: Feather Star Fish

  1. eliihass says:

    LOL at Ed Rendell saying that the special interest monies that funded his political campaigns and career never swayed him or influenced the his decision making process…

    And when all fails, invoke President Obama’s name and insist that he too took money…so that he’s smeared with the corrupt Wall Street owned Hillary …

  2. eliihass says:

    Nurturing, seeing, hearing the children, and letting them know that she sees and hears them and will look out for them…this is what it’s all about for FLOTUS…

  3. Liza says:

    Posted by Michelle Alexander
    April 8, 2016
    Source: Facebook

    “”Bill Clinton says that he “almost” wants to apologize for his remarkable episode yesterday — you know, when he embraced long-debunked, racially coded “super-predator” rhetoric, compared Black Lives Matter protestors to Republicans and insisted that they support murderers, and blamed his crime bill on black politicians. Personally, I am not demanding an apology from Bill Clinton. Instead, I would like to say thank you. Thank you, Bill, for giving the nation a ten-minute tutorial on everything that was wrong (and apparently remains wrong) with the “New Democrats” and their approach to racial politics.
    Unfortunately much of the mainstream media seems to be buying (yet again) much of what Bill was selling yesterday. So to recap what should be obvious by now: Black politicians and activists were not asking for “get tough” measures and nothing else back in the 1990s. Some black politicians opposed the Clinton crime bill, and those who supported it weren’t seeking punishment and nothing more; they desperately wanted massive investment in jobs and schools so the young people trapped in communities where work had suddenly disappeared would have some hope of survival. It is a gross distortion to suggest that black people wanted billions of dollars slashed from child welfare, housing and other public benefits in order to fund an unprecedented prison building boom. It was Bill Clinton’s deliberate political strategy — one he championed along with the “New Democrats” — to appeal to white swing voters by being tougher on struggling black communities than the Republicans had been, ramping up the drug war and gutting welfare. That strategy of “getting tough” while at the same time eviscerating the federal social safety net was NOT supported by many of the black politicians he seeks to use as cover. Rep. John Lewis (who Clinton referred to yesterday as the “last remaining hero of the civil rights movement”) fiercely opposed welfare reform, accurately predicting that it would thrust more than a million more kids into severe poverty.
    John Lewis said back then: “How can any person of faith, of conscience, vote for a bill that puts a million more kids into poverty? What does it profit a great nation to conquer the world, only to lose its soul?”
    The young people challenging Bill Clinton yesterday were asking these very same questions. You may not agree with their tactics, but they were, in their own way, fighting for the soul of the Democratic party and American democracy itself. Whether our nation can be redeemed in the long run remains to be seen.””

  4. eliihass says:

    The First Lady with kids at a school in New Jersey April 7, 2016

  5. eliihass says:

    We’ve got a responsibility to live up to the legacy of those who came before us by doing all that we can to help those who come after us.

    – First Lady Michelle Obama

    I know what it feels like to struggle to get the education that you need
    – First Lady Michelle Obama

    Whether you come from a council estate or a country estate, your success will be determined by your own confidence and fortitude.

    – First Lady Michelle Obama

    I want you to know we have very much in common. For nothing in my life ever would have predicted that I would be standing here as the first African-American First Lady.

    -Michelle Obama

    • eliihass says:

      See how that little girl has her arm linked with FLOTUS’…so proudly possessive and defiant and like FLOTUS belongs entirely to her…

      This is what this unassuming and unpretentious black First Lady who retains her core and just is…this exceptional human being who could very easily leverage her position to wine and dine the high and mighty, schmooze the hoity toity and try to get in and carve a place for herself with the self-appointed king makers, with teas at the White House and pretentious and choreographed appearances …Making pretentious small talk with self-congratulatory types in their elitist bubbles – and only to promote themselves…and full of affectation, and borrowed designer clothes, competing with each other on who sounds most profound in their contrived and fake narratives about feminism, politics, the lot of women and starving children in Africa…but not because they actually give a rats a**s….It only presents another opportunity to forcefully promote themselves as more than the shallow folk they really are…and of course in the case of Hollywood types, to promote yet another movie or project, or to try to shake off the chip on the shoulder and convince that they are more than the shallow, vacuous beings who play pretend for a living…

      FLOTUS instead chooses another way…She chooses instead to focus on these kids…a lot of them minority children often forgotten and invisible – and never the focus…These kids who have no clout or voice or money …and even when kids are marketed for commercial purposes by adults in various industries looking to exploit them to pawn certain goods and certain acts…these are not usually the kids they target…

  6. US extradites Romanian hacker linked to Hillary e-mail scandal

    • Liza says:

      Yay, Bernie! This means, of course, that the Clintonistas will step up their smears and attacks. I wish Hillary would get indicted before the California primary.

  7. rikyrah says:

    Scenes from Hamilton – my new love

  8. rikyrah says:

    Inside America’s Auschwitz
    A new museum offers a rebuke — and an antidote — to our sanitized history of slavery

    By Jared Keller
    April 4, 2016

    At t first glance, the “Wall of Honor” at Louisiana’s Whitney Plantation slavery museum — a series of granite stones engraved with the names of hundreds of slaves who lived, worked and died there — evokes any number of Holocaust memorials. But as the future mayor of New Orleans noted at the museum’s 2008 opening, this site is different; this is America’s Auschwitz.

    The former indigo, sugar and cotton operation, which finally opened to the public after years of careful restoration in December 2014 as the country’s first slave museum, is a modern avatar of injustice. Nestled off the historic River Road that runs alongside the slow, lazy crook of the Mississippi, the estate was built in the late 1700s by entrepreneur Jean Jacques Haydel upon land purchased by his German-immigrant father, Ambroise. It was the younger Haydel who expanded the estate and established the plantation as a key player in Louisiana’s sugar trade, transitioning the main crop away from the less-profitable indigo markets. A couple of years after the Civil War, a Northerner by the name of Bradish Johnson bought the property and named it after his grandson Harry Whitney.

    The restored property, a mix of original structures and replicas, includes an overseer’s home, replica slave cabins — scenes from Django Unchained were filmed right next door — and a blacksmith’s shop, among other buildings. Even when nearly deserted, it feels like the place could spring to life at any moment as the slaves return from the adjacent sugar cane fields. The 15-year restoration effort was backed by John Cummings, the local lawyer and real estate mogul who purchased the land from a petrochemical company and invested $8 million of his own money into restoring the property and developing the museum — reportedly out of his own sense of white guilt over the horrors of slavery, according to the Times. “When you leave here,” he told the New Orleans Advocate, “you’re not going to be the same person who came in.”

  9. rikyrah says:

    Obama pursued transformation as Republicans chose self-destruction
    By Fareed Zakaria April 7 at 8:10 PM

    In an interview during the 2008 campaign, Barack Obama said that Ronald Reagan changed the trajectory of the United States in a way that Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton did not. Clearly, Obama aspired to be a transformational president, like Reagan. At this point, it’s fair to say that he has succeeded. Look at what’s happened during his tenure to the country, his party and, most tellingly, his opposition.

    The first line in Obama’s biography will have to do with who he is, the first African American president. But what he has done is also significant. In the wake of the financial collapse in 2008, Obama worked with the outgoing George W. Bush administration, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and members of both parties in Congress to respond forcefully on all fronts — fiscal, monetary, regulatory. The result is that the United States came out of the Great Recession in better shape than any other major economy.

    Obama’s signal accomplishment is health care, where he was able to enact a law that has resulted in 90 percent of Americans having health insurance. Although the law has its problems, it achieves a goal first articulated by Theodore Roosevelt 100 years ago.

    Then, there is the transformation of U.S. energy policy. The administration has made investments and given incentives to place the United States at the forefront of the emerging energy revolution. Just one example: Over Obama’s terms , solar costs have plummeted by 70 percent and solar generation is up 3,000 percent.

    Finally, Obama has pursued a new foreign policy, informed by the lessons of the past two decades, that limits U.S. involvement in establishing political order in the Middle East, focusing instead on counterterrorism. This has freed the administration to pursue new approaches with countries such as Iran and Cuba and to direct attention and resources to the Asia-Pacific region, which in just a few years will be home to four of the world’s five largest economies.

    Just as Reagan solidified the ideological position of the Republican Party — around free markets, free trade, an expansive foreign policy and an optimistic outlook — Obama has helped push the Democratic Party to be more willing to use government to achieve public purposes. And his party has responded.

    In that 2008 campaign interview, Obama pointed out that Reagan had not changed the country single-handedly; he took advantage of a shift in the national mood. The same could be said about the United States today. Years of stagnant wages, rising inequality and the financial crisis have created a new political atmosphere, one that Obama has helped shape.

    The biggest impact of his presidency, however, can be seen in his opposition, the Republican Party, which is in the midst of an ideological breakdown. Surveying this scene, conservative columnist Daniel Henninger writes in the Wall Street Journal that Obama “is now close to destroying his political enemies — the Republican Party, the American conservative movement, and the public-policy legacy of Ronald Reagan.” Obama’s success in this regard, if it can be called that, is a passive one. He has let his opponents self-destruct and never overplayed his hand.

  10. rikyrah says:

    Obama’s Greatest Triumph
    He is six months away from destroying both the Republican Party and Reagan’s legacy.

    Columnist Dan Henninger on how President Obama destroyed Ronald Reagan’s conservative legacy.
    March 30, 2016 7:16 p.m. ET

    Barack Obama will retire a happy man. He is now close to destroying his political enemies—the Republican Party, the American conservative movement and the public-policy legacy of Ronald Reagan.

    Today, the last men standing amidst the debris of the Republican presidential competition are Donald Trump, a political independent who is using the Republican Party like an Uber car; Ted Cruz, who used the Republican Party as a footstool; and John Kasich, a remnant of the Reagan revolution, who is being told by Republicans to quit.

    History may quibble, but this death-spiral began with Barack Obama’s health-care summit at Blair House on Feb. 25, 2010. For a day, Republicans gave detailed policy critiques of the proposed Affordable Care Act. When it was over, the Democrats, including Mr. Obama, said they had heard nothing new.

    That meeting was the last good-faith event in the Obama presidency. Barack Obama killed politics in Washington that day because he had no use for it, and has said so many times. The Democrats survived the Obama desert by going to ground. But frustrated Republicans outside Congress eventually started tearing each other apart.

  11. rikyrah says:

    Cruz Will Not Apologize For Calling McConnell a “Liar”
    April 8, 2016

    An apology from Ted Cruz for calling Majority Leader Mitch McConnell a liar “ain’t gonna happen,” the presidential hopeful said during a Thursday interview with CNN’s Dana Bash.

    “If the Washington lobbyists want to see that happen, they can hold their breath a long, long time,” Cruz said. “My focus is on the American people.”

    Last summer, Cruz made headlines when he accused McConnell of lying to him over a deal to vote on reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank.

  12. Liza says:

    Wrong answer, Bill.

    Bill to #BlackLivesMatter: "You're defending the people who killed the lives you say matter"— Newsweek (@Newsweek) April 7, 2016


    • Liza says:

      I wonder if Hillary is mad at Bill today. She wants to attack and smear Bernie, this was not on her agenda.

  13. rikyrah says:

    Speaking at a high-dollar, celebrity-attended fundraiser in Los Angeles Thursday, President Obama predicted Donald Trump won’t win the presidency in November.

    “I recognize that there is a deep obsession right now about Mr. Trump. And one of you pulled me aside and squeezed me hard and said, ‘Tell me … that Mr. Trump is not succeeding you!’ And I said, ‘Mr. Trump’s not succeeding me,'” the president said Thursday.

    Obama also shared an unusual bit of praise for the Republican front-runner and his rival Texas Senator Ted Cruz, saying the two GOP candidates should be thanked for expressing the sentiments felt by some in the Republican Party.

    “Mr. Trump has actually done a service as Mr. Cruz is doing a service and that is laying bare, unvarnished some of the nonsense that we have been dealing with in Congress on a daily basis. People act as if these folks are outliers but they are not!” the president said. “We should thank Mr. Trump and Mr. Cruz for just being honest that this is how we’re thinking these days, or not thinking these days. But it gives you a sense of what’s at stake in this election.

    • Liza says:

      This is interesting. The hell of it is, Hillary was the First Lady when she was giving speeches supporting Bubba’s crime bill. She really shouldn’t have been doing this, and clearly her involvement in policy of this sort was to advance the political career she envisioned for herself when Bill’s term was over. And this is much of her so called “experience” that makes her so “qualified.”

      Well, now it backfires. Bill’s not defending her use of the term “superpredator”, he is defending himself. He doesn’t want his legacy tarnished by an awareness of the mass incarceration and devastated communities, apparently unaware that his legacy is already tarnished. No one worships you, Bill, you can sit down now.

    • Liza says:

      This is one of the most disturbing pictures of an American president. Those men in the background, forced to stand for the photo op, apparently handcuffed.

  14. rikyrah says:

    T. Greg Doucette ‎@greg_doucette
    Just saw Bill Clinton’s comments about his crime bill. I wish he’d spend some time with my clients so he can see how thoroughly wrong he is.

    T. Greg Doucette ‎@greg_doucette
    That legislation may very well have helped punish murderers too, but it’s absolutely devastated many for non-violent minor offenses

    T. Greg Doucette ‎@greg_doucette
    It created so many new crimes that more plea bargaining became a necessity just to manage the caseload

    T. Greg Doucette ‎@greg_doucette
    It eliminated education for inmates, so folks who went in had less chance to become productive members of society when they got out

    T. Greg Doucette ‎@greg_doucette
    And he deliberately exploited race to get it passed, relying on this notion of “superpredators” that weren’t even an actual thing

    T. Greg Doucette ‎@greg_doucette
    It remains one of the darkest blots on his presidency, and for him to keep defending it is just… wow

    T. Greg Doucette ‎@greg_doucette
    Like say “hey I thought it was a good idea at the time, but I was wrong. Let’s fix it.” Or something.

    T. Greg Doucette ‎@greg_doucette
    But don’t pretend like it’s a good thing when the end result of your handiwork is visible every day a defense attorney goes to court

    T. Greg Doucette ‎@greg_doucette
    When the end result of your handiwork is visible every day a kid ends up a federal felon bc he needs drug treatment but we prosecute instead

    T. Greg Doucette ‎@greg_doucette
    When the end result of your handiwork is visible every day people don’t trust police b/c you created incentives that corrupt law enforcement

    T. Greg Doucette ‎@greg_doucette
    I’m done. Bill Clinton beclowned himself today and he can go kick rocks. Carry on.

  15. Liza says:

    This is funny.

    Bernie won't say it- I will! HRC Isn't qualified 2 run our country. In bed w/banks, Wall Street, & global elitists!— Kristine (@atxnrs_kristine) April 8, 2016


    • eliihass says:

      Oh puhleeze…Neera Tanden – Podesta handmaid and Clintonista opportunist extraordinaire …

      Suddenly they’re all quoting the President but only to advance their own agenda of getting Hillary into the Oval office…

      The truth is that these people don’t really care about the president or what he has to say…

      Don’t fall for the okey doke…

      “…People say the reason Obama wouldn’t call Clinton is because he doesn’t like him,” observes Tanden. “The truth is, Obama doesn’t call anyone, and he’s not close to almost anyone. It’s stunning that he’s in politics, because he really doesn’t like people. My analogy is that it’s like becoming Bill Gates without liking computers…”

      Tanden also suggested that the president’s renewing relations with Clinton was not genuine, but rather a calculated political move.
      “Obama engineered this reconciliation, and I think the whole time he was, like, ‘Why do I have to do this?’ ” Tanden told New York. “He did it because he wanted to win, and this was the way to do it.”

      It’s easy to see why so many are completely turned off politics and the dubious antics and self-serving shenanigans of politicians and their flunkies..

  16. rikyrah says:

    Wisconsin’s voter-ID scheme comes into sharper focus
    04/07/16 04:00 PM—UPDATED 04/07/16 04:02 PM
    By Steve Benen

    Rep. Glenn Grothman (R), a far-right freshman from Wisconsin, generated national headlines this week when he admitted on television what many have long assumed. Looking ahead to this year’s presidential election, the Republican congressman expressed confidence about the GOP doing well in the Badger State, thanks in part to one specific policy.

    “[N]ow we have photo ID,” Grothman said, “and I think photo ID is going to make a little bit of a difference.”

    At least in public, Republicans are supposed to say voter-ID schemes have nothing to do with rigging elections by suppressing voting rights, though some on the right occasionally slip and accidentally tell the truth, as Grothman helped prove.

    Now, another shoe has fallen. A former Republican staffer in the Wisconsin legislature wrote a Facebook message this week, confirming that he saw GOP state lawmakers who, while considering voter-ID measures, “were giddy about the ramifications and literally singled out the prospects of suppressing minority and college voters.”

    The staffer talked to MSNBC’s Zack Roth today about the Republicans’ disenfranchisement campaign in Wisconsin.

    Todd Allbaugh, who served as chief of staff to a Republican state senator, said in an interview Wednesday that at a closed-door caucus meeting in 2011, GOP lawmakers openly discussed how the ID bill would hit minorities and students hardest.

    “One of the senators said, ‘We need to think about the ramifications here, what this means, particularly in Milwaukee and college campuses across the state, what that could mean for us,’” said Allbaugh. “What I’m interested in here is winning, and we need to use the opportunity, because if Democrats had the power to do it to us, they’d do it,” another senator said, according to Allbaugh.

  17. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

  18. When Bill Clinton took office in 1992, 845,000 ppl were in prison. When he left there were 1,334,000. Mass incarceration of black people.

    • Liza says:

      I wonder if Michelle Alexander is going to respond to this. I haven’t seen anything yet, but I hope she does because she is, without question, the expert.

      Other than that, this is Bill Clinton shooting off his mouth, never able to admit that he or his partner could ever possibly be wrong about anything. If he were ever honest with himself, even for a single moment, he would admit that the crime bill was for his own political gain.

      I really hope that the mothers of murdered black children who have supported Hillary Clinton give some further thought to this.

  19. Good morning, Chicas.

    The feather star fish looks like a spider to me. YIKES!

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