Sunday Open Thread

I hope you’re enjoying this weekend with family and friends.

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77 Responses to Sunday Open Thread

  1. rikyrah says:


    Is Donald Trump Rigging the Election?: A Theory with Circumstantial Evidence

    Let us say, and why not, that Donald Trump is not merely a blithering madman. In fact, let us say, just for a moment, a thought experiment, if you will, that the real reason that Trump is campaigning for president the way he has isn’t merely ego and bluster and neediness. Let us entertain the notion that what’s really going on is that Trump has already set in motion the rigging of the 2016 presidential election. If we do that, then everything he is currently saying and doing makes perverse sense. The big con, then, isn’t Trump running for president in order to do something else that’s more lucrative (like start a TV network). No, the grift is that he’s running as if he’s going to win because he knows he’s going to win.

    The most obvious strategy here is preemptively accusing Democrats and the campaign of Hillary Clinton of election fraud to cover up his own imminent fraud. Most importantly, Trump did this in Pennsylvania, where he said, “The only way we can lose, in my opinion — I really mean this, Pennsylvania is if cheating goes on…She can’t beat what’s happening here. The only way they can beat it in my opinion, and I mean this 100 percent, if in certain sections of the state they cheat.” Clinton right now is leading Trump in the polls in Pennsylvania, which would make a thoughtful man at least pause before outright alleging “cheating.”

    According to Verified Voting, Pennsylvania would be one of the easiest states to hack the vote because the vast majority of its counties currently have “direct recording electronic voting machines” without “voter verified paper audit trail printers.” So electronic voting occurs without a paper trail in “certain sections of the state.” Rhetorically, Trump is setting up his “win” by making sure it seems inevitable. Yes, you could say he’s just sour grape-ing it in advance and delegitimizing a Clinton victory. Or he could be making sure that when he wins despite the polls, he can say that he was right all along and any allegations of fraud against him are defying something that he had predicted months before the election.

    Is this a stretch? Of course it is. But we’re in such a bizarro election landscape right now, where a completely inexperienced candidate refuses to release his taxes and lies constantly, demonstrably, and confidently, all while speaking incoherently and irrationally, and 35-45% of Americans still support him, that nothing is off the table.

    Take, for instance, Trump’s refusal to buy any ad time, despite the fact that his campaign has raked in a large amount of donations. Obviously, it would cost a great deal of money to buy the silence and skills of anyone involved in rigging the election. And why, for instance, would Trump be campaigning in states that he simply has no chance of winning, like Oregon and Connecticut? He’s got to make it seem as if his appearances there turned the tide in his favor when the mailed-in votes of Oregon are changed and the paper ballots in Connecticut are messed with. Trump has derided get-out-the-vote efforts and has minimal staff. Again, in the context of a fixed election, it actually makes sense.

    One other piece of the puzzle is, of course, Trump’s campaign chair, Paul Manafort, and his ties to former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych, a close ally of Vladimir Putin. While Manafort was on his payroll, Yanukovych was what one writer called “a serial election fraudster,” stealing presidential and parliamentary elections over the years. So perhaps Manafort offers a Russian connection to how one rigs an election.

    Finally, there is Trump himself, who has often talked about how he has profited from seeming disasters, be it bankruptcies of his businesses or the housing bubble burst. He has no compunction about cheating contractors out of their fees. He will, in fact, do anything to come out on top in whatever situation he’s in. It’s possible that he could save face and say that a loss in the election made him richer than ever (however rich he might be). But is that really a victory in this scenario?

    Again, this is just a thought experiment. I’m being sarcastic, but not that sarcastic. Trump acts like a man who knows he’s gonna win. So either he does know it because he’s making it happen or he’s so epically delusional, a mad emperor awaiting the restoration of his fake empire, that we’re just watching the pathetic spectacle of someone living in a hallucination.

  2. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    This is a long article but well worth reading:


    As a longtime resident of Montgomery, he often thinks about Rosa Parks, whose refusal to sit at the back of a local bus in 1955 set off the modern era of the civil-rights movement. “We have reduced her activism to this celebratory tale—‘It was all great,’ ” he told me. “Here’s what most people don’t know. After the boycott was declared officially over, and black people were sitting on the buses, there was unbelievable violence. There were a dozen people who were shot standing waiting on buses. We had white people going around Montgomery shooting black people who dared to get on the buses.” For a time after the boycott, the city shut down bus service altogether. And then, to make way for the I-85 highway, the local authorities, led by a state transportation commissioner who was also a member of the Ku Klux Klan, bulldozed the city’s major middle-class black neighborhood.

    Stevenson believes that too little attention has been paid to the hostility of whites to the civil-rights movement. “Where did all of those people go?” he said. “They had power in 1965. They voted against the Voting Rights Act, they voted against the Civil Rights Act, they were still here in 1970 and 1975 and 1980. And there was never a time when people said, ‘Oh, you know that thing about segregation forever? Oh, we were wrong. We made a mistake. That was not good.’ They never said that. And it just shifted. So they stopped saying ‘Segregation forever,’ and they said, ‘Lock them up and throw away the key.’ ”

    • Liza says:

      Thanks, Yahtzee. It’s good to see Bryan Stevenson getting so much national attention as he seems to have taken on the thankless role of teaching US history to the masses. He is an extraordinarily patient and brilliant man.

  3. rikyrah says:

    Omari Sankofa II @omarisankofa
    Ryan Lochte is the same age as LeBron. Hard to imagine anyone defend LeBron as a kid having fun if he tried to pull what Lochte pulled

  4. rikyrah says:

    Derrick Z. Jackson: Milwaukee’s invisible racial cage

    I’VE HAD a bad feeling for a quarter century about my hometown of Milwaukee. As a frequent writer on transportation, I took particular note as the city’s white suburbs built an invisible but impregnable cage around a majority African-American and Latino city.

    The bars of that cage: the lack of public transportation.

    When I was in kindergarten in 1960, Milwaukee boasted 741,000 people, including my parents and many relatives who came to escape Mississippi segregation and to work in factories and hospitals. At the time, 60 percent of the region’s manufacturing jobs were right in the city.

    But by the time I graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 1976, jobs were disappearing, and the population was on its way to plummeting to 597,000 by 2000.

    According to UWM’s Center for Economic Development, Milwaukee went from nearly 120,000 manufacturing jobs in 1963 to 27,000 in 2009. Some of the job loss was due to off-shoring, but thousands of others jobs followed white flight to the far suburbs. While Milwaukee lost 28,000 jobs from 1994 to 2009, Waukesha, Ozaukee, and Washington Counties (known locally as the “WOW” counties) gained 56,000 jobs in office parks, light manufacturing, and retail.

    Other rustbelt cities also struggled for years with job losses, of course. Milwaukee, however, became particularly tragic as poverty rates and levels of hyper-segregation soared to among the worst in America. Milwaukee’s woes are now in the national spotlight after the unrest that followed the fatal police shooting of a black man. But one cannot understand the roots of the joblessness, frustration, and anger until you understand how suburban politicians made it impossible for urban residents to find employment in the suburbs.

    As many US cities fought congestion and downtown malaise with light-rail, commuter rail, and subway improvements, time stood still in Milwaukee. Efforts in the 1990s to connect Milwaukee to the new economy in the suburbs by light rail were derailed by WOW politicians and business opponents, often using racially coded language. One warned that rail would have a “dramatic effect on our neighborhoods and area residents.” Another spoke ominously of “strangers who are not only a threat to your property but to your children.” Conservative talk radio kept up a drumbeat of opposition. Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson said he wouldn’t spend a nickel of state money on light rail. In the face of all that, there was no chance that public transit could be viewed as an economic bridge-builder. To the contrary, the bridge was burned before it could be built.

    Then, of course, there’s Scott Walker. As a state representative representing a Milwaukee suburb, he opposed light rail, calling it “the beast that never seems to die.” As the Milwaukee County executive, he oversaw cuts in local bus service. As governor, he famously rejected $810 million in high-speed rail money from the Obama administration and cut state aid to public transit.

    The result, according to UWM data, was a 22 percent decline in transit services in Milwaukee County and 30,000 fewer transit-accessible jobs today than in 2001.

  5. rikyrah says:

    Mark Kirk on Iran payment: Obama acting like ‘drug dealer in chief’
    By Tal Kopan, CNN
    Updated 2:45 PM ET, Sun August 21, 2016

    Washington (CNN) – Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk criticized President Barack Obama for delivering money to the Iranian government in coordination with the release of Americans being held prisoner there — saying he was “acting like the drug dealer in chief.”

    The comments came in a sit-down last week with the editorial board of The State Journal-Register, according to the Illinois paper’s political writer.

  6. rikyrah says:

    George Curry, Black Press Champion, Dies
    by RICHARD on Aug 21, 2016
    Journalist, 69, Was Reviving Emerge Magazine

    George E. Curry, a veteran journalist who championed the black press and was reviving online his beloved Emerge magazine, died Saturday at 69, according to a message from his sister’s Facebook account.

    “It is with deep regret to inform everyone that my brother, George passed away earlier today,” said the message, from the account of Christie Love.

    “It was a shock to our family and we are dealing with the news, as best we can. R.I.P. brother George Curry.” Curry lived in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, D.C.

    Hazel Trice Edney, publisher of the Trice Edney News Wire, reported Sunday that Curry “died suddenly of heart failure.

    “Rumors of his death circulated heavily in journalistic circles on Saturday night until it was confirmed by Dr. Bernard Lafayette, MLK confidant and chairman of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference shortly before midnight.

    ” ‘This is a tragic loss to the movement because George Curry was a journalist who paid special attention to civil rights because he lived it and loved it,’ Lafayette said through his spokesman Maynard Eaton, SCLC national communications director. . . .” Edney noted the popularity of his weekly columns in the black press.

    Curry was twice editor-in-chief of the news service created by the National Newspaper Publishers Association, trade organization for the black press, but left in October after NNPA cut Curry’s salary in half in response to financial problems.

    He then turned his attention to creating an online version of Emerge magazine, for which he was editor-in-chief from 1993 until its final issue in June 2000. A GoFundMe drive had raised $16,088 of its $100,000 goal. The site posted eight articles on Friday.

    Emerge was best known for its cover stories on Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, one showing the justice sporting an Aunt Jemima knot and the second depicting him as a lawn jockey for the far right. Curry wrote that the covers “were effective because in the minds of many Blacks disgusted with Thomas’ voting record, that’s exactly what he is. And we had the temerity to say it.” Emerge aimed to be the political-magazine counterpart to Ebony, Jet, Essence and Black Enterprise.

    “Emerge covered the most important people, topics, and turning points of this remarkable period in penetrating articles by an all-star cast of writers, including Nelson George, Les Payne, Thulani Davis, Ralph Wiley, Jill Nelson, Tananarive Due, and Trey Ellis,” read a promotion on the cover of “The Best of Emerge Magazine,” a 2003 collection that Curry edited.

    Another standout was “Kemba’s Nightmare,” a 1997 account by Reginald Stuart.

    It “was about an extremely sheltered, straight-A high school student from Richmond who went to college and fell in love with a drug dealer,” Courtland Milloy wrote that year in the Washington Post. “Arrested and convicted of conspiracy to traffic in cocaine, Kemba [Smith] — a first-time offender who prosecutors admit never actually touched the stuff — went to prison in 1995 under federal mandatory minimum sentencing laws for 24 1/2 years without parole. She was 24 years old. . . .”

    Although he had left NNPA, Curry continued to champion the black press.

    • Liza says:

      I find this ongoing discussion about Nate Parker disturbing in some ways, not just this article but others I’ve read as well.

      My overall impression is that people who write these articles are not careful enough when applying generalities to specific events. Without question there are good reasons to know what is generally true with respect to rape and sexual assault. And for this information to be useful, it is necessary to understand these generalities within their historical context. I have no problem with context.

      However, when one is speaking or writing about a specific rape or sexual assault then only the facts and the circumstances of that specific event are relevant. Everything else is guesswork, just people talking, and it is truly unfair to judge a person based on these types of discussions.

      What seems to be happening here is that, not only is Mr. Parker on trial again in the “court of public opinion”, but his credibility in telling certain stories as a filmmaker is being questioned because of his “personal history.”

      Why does everyone hate that big gray area so much? So many people have to know everything, or feel like they know everything, and apparently can’t live with the reality that many times there just won’t be an answer. Sadly, many of these rape and sexual assault cases are that way. And however unappealing this may be, we can’t speak about a specific individual and a specific case without knowing all the facts. When those facts aren’t available, for whatever reason, observers should not draw their own conclusions. We need to accept the gray area because the worst thing that can happen in a court of law is for an innocent person to be convicted.

      So, those who hold these opinions need to ask themselves if someone’s work, no matter how brilliant, doesn’t count because that person has a “history.” We know that something happened back in 1999, there was a trial, and a man was acquitted. Is everything that he does from that point forward tainted and undeserving of praise? Should his work be shunned or forever have an asterisk that notes his “history”? Try to imagine a society where everyone were subject to the same rules, and this is how we were judged, and also how our accomplishments were judged.

      If I’ve missed some major point here, please let me know. Seriously.

  7. Chicas!

    I texted Josh this morning…

    Good morning, thank you for being such a good son.

    Josh texts back…Hey morning. oh don’t thank me, thank yourself for being a good Mom. You deserve it, Mama.

    Crying and blowing nose

  8. rikyrah says:

    This is who they are:

    This is who they’ve always been.

    Pro-life is a FARCE.


    Texas has highest maternal mortality rate in developed world, study finds
    As the Republican-led state legislature has slashed funding to reproductive healthcare clinics, the maternal mortality rate doubled over just a two-year period

    The rate of Texas women who died from complications related to pregnancy doubled from 2010 to 2014, a new study has found, for an estimated maternal mortality rate that is unmatched in any other state and the rest of the developed world.

    The finding comes from a report, appearing in the September issue of the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology, that the maternal mortality rate in the United States increased between 2000 and 2014, even while the rest of the world succeeded in reducing its rate. Excluding California, where maternal mortality declined, and Texas, where it surged, the estimated number of maternal deaths per 100,000 births rose to 23.8 in 2014 from 18.8 in 2000 – or about 27%.

    But the report singled out Texas for special concern, saying the doubling of mortality rates in a two-year period was hard to explain “in the absence of war, natural disaster, or severe economic upheaval”.

    From 2000 to the end of 2010, Texas’s estimated maternal mortality rate hovered between 17.7 and 18.6 per 100,000 births. But after 2010, that rate had leaped to 33 deaths per 100,000, and in 2014 it was 35.8. Between 2010 and 2014, more than 600 women died for reasons related to their pregnancies.

    No other state saw a comparable increase.

    In the wake of the report, reproductive health advocates are blaming the increase on Republican-led budget cuts that decimated the ranks of Texas’s reproductive healthcare clinics. In 2011, just as the spike began, the Texas state legislature cut $73.6m from the state’s family planning budget of $111.5m. The two-thirds cut forced more than 80 family planning clinics to shut down across the state. The remaining clinics managed to provide services – such as low-cost or free birth control, cancer screenings and well-woman exams – to only half as many women as before.

    At the same time, Texas eliminated all Planned Parenthood clinics – whether or not they provided abortion services – from the state program that provides poor women with preventive healthcare. Previously, Planned Parenthood clinics in Texas offered cancer screenings and contraception to more than 130,000 women.

    • Ametia says:

      Yes, Lockte and his white boys’ CRIMINAL acts are viewed as:




  9. rikyrah says:

    I guess SG2 is taking the family out for a ride..


    GO SG2…

    Not mad at you :)

  10. Ametia says:

    So this is what’s happening in Al Roker’ neck-o-the-woods

  11. rikyrah says:

    #Blackgirlmagic Takes Spotlight at Olympics
    Aug 20, 2016, 2:30 PM ET

    Andrea Lawful-Sanders has a ritual for cheering the black heroines of the Summer Olympics.

    She gets into her corner of the living room, sets up her chair, demands silence before screaming at the top of her lungs, flails her body wildly and — in keeping with her Jamaican-American heritage — bangs pot covers together to celebrate victories.

    From Simone Biles’ gravity-defying flips to the history-making medal trifecta of the U.S. women racing in the 100-meter hurdles, many of the Olympics’ most memorable moments have come courtesy of African-American women. Their accomplishments in Rio have spurred excitement and pride at home in the U.S., particularly for black women who say they are seeing themselves in the Olympic Games like never before.

    “While everybody else is talking, we are doing,” said Lawful-Sanders, 50, of Philadelphia. “When we excel, nobody can take that away from us — ever. They may try to marginalize us, but how can you marginalize excellence?”

    With competition continuing through Sunday, America’s black female athletes have won more than two dozen of the 100-plus U.S. medal haul.

    Black women haven’t just shined in this year’s Olympics; they’ve been ubiquitous — from gymnastics to water polo, fencing to swimming. Previous Summer Games featured black women mainly in track and field and, more recently, in gymnastics. Fans at home had to wait days to cheer on sprinter Florence Griffith Joyner or gymnast Dominique Dawes.

  12. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone:)

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