Monday Open Thread

Welcome to Monday, folks! Houston National Black Film Festival

ICYM & want to explore this new enterprise further.

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61 Responses to Monday Open Thread

  1. rikyrah says:

    For Westside Atlanta homeowners, city unveils means to combat gentrification
    APR 17, 2017, 1:16PM EDT

    In the elongating shadow of Mercedes-Benz Stadium, just west of Northside Drive, the real estate market is dotted with dilapidated, sub-$50,000 fixer-uppers and remodels north of $400,000 that tout proximity to the forthcoming Beltline.

    That disparity creates a pinch. Especially with home prices in the vicinity of the Westside Trial doubling (and tax bills subsequently ballooning) in the last two years alone, as Atlanta Agent Magazine notes.

    There may be no panacea, but the City of Atlanta has launched an initiative meant to help people burdened by the effects of gentrification and economic growth in neighborhoods just west of downtown.

    The city is partnering with the nonprofit Westside Future Fund to launch what’s being called the Anti-Displacement Tax Fund Program, Mayor Kasim Reed announced last week.

    The initiative will pay any property tax increases for qualified homeowners in Vine City, English Avenue, Ashview Heights, and Atlanta University Center communities. It’s designed to ensure that rising property values—the result of public and private investments these communities have been starved for—don’t force out current homeowners who can’t handle the burden of increased taxes.

    Residents won’t have to pay back any funds received.

    The application process is open until March 15, 2018, and payouts will begin sometime in the 2018 tax year, officials said.

  2. rikyrah says:

    ABC News Politics‏@ABCPolitics
    @PressSec calls Obama-era policy of releasing White House visitor logs a “faux attempt” that “didn’t serve anyone well.”

  3. rikyrah says:

    William Butler‏ @wbutlermd

    A key Schneiderman advantage as a state AG: the Prez power of pardon applies only to ~federal~ crimes. NY State crimes are unpardonable

  4. Liza says:

    Y’all deserve a treat tonight. Mississippi Fred McDowell, “I do not play no rock and roll, y’all. I just play the straight and natural blues.”

  5. eliihass says:

    This was your media just 2 weeks ago..

    And the video on post just below ⬇️⬇️ Is them now…

    Mealy-mouthed…5 prong-tongued…

    America is in trouble…

  6. eliihass says:

    This was your media just 2 weeks ago..

    And the video on post just below ⬇️⬇️ Is them now…

    Mealy-mouthed…5 prong-tongued…

    America is in trouble…

  7. eliihass says:

    Please watch this…

    This is your media at work on behalf of the plutocrats and the military industrial complex…

    • Liza says:

      Seriously, they were at the WH? I feel embarrassed for them.

    • eliihass says:

      Everything about this alternate universe insanity playing out before us is as phony, counterfeit and cheap knock-off as it gets..

      No legitimate artiste or celebrity is willing to associate with this buffoonish nightmare, so it’s spun as ‘renewing’ the tradition and ‘returning the focus to the family’…and the ‘Easter Bunny’…

      They insist that the Obamas egg roll events were ‘too star-studded’ …so, no more…the plan now is to go back to ‘tradition’….stressing ‘quality over quantity’…😂🙄

      So that up there is your ‘quality’ in the alternative fact world of the buffoon and cohorts…

      Why have fun bonafide professionals and celebrities …chefs, artists, sports stars, musicians, child stars etc. read and play with kids for a day, when you can have the Jim Crow white supremacist chipmunk and spicey…?

      “…Attorney General Jeff Sessions and White House press secretary Spicer stopped by the reading nook to read some children’s book classics…”

      “There was no outreach from the Trump East Wing staff to find out how the Easter Egg Roll had been run in the past as of February, when these discussions should have been well underway,” Andersen Brower said.

      “They’re amazing hosts. I think people will see,” she said of the Trumps. “(Melania Trump) is super thoughtful, and she takes her time with things … Her team is amazing.”

      Top that Obamas…

      The buffoon’s are eschewing ‘stars’ and going back to ‘tradition’…and the buffoon’s rocket scientist/Mensa-caliber 3rd wife has been hard at work planning this event…reading up all those handbooks…between hours of dress-fittings…

      “…The first lady did a lot of research on previous White House Egg Rolls as she planned the event, her staff says.

      “She wanted to get back to the tradition, so we’re bringing back some traditional elements, like military bands, and focusing on the family itself,” Stephanie Grisham, Melania Trump’s communications director, told CNN.

      The White House is expecting fewer guests than in recent Egg Rolls — more than 35,000 people attended 2016’s event, the Obama’s seventh and final Egg Roll, including Beyoncé, Jay-Z and their daughter, Blue Ivy Carter.

      “We’re really focused on quality of the experience over quantity of attendees,” Grisham said…”

  8. rikyrah says:

    Both sides blame Trump in case about campaign-season violence
    04/17/17 10:00 AM
    By Steve Benen
    One of the more alarming aspects of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign was his tacit embrace of violence as a legitimate tool at his rallies. In ways without precedent in modern American politics, the Republican candidate often seemed a little too eager to encourage vicious behavior.

    After one protester at a Trump rally was punched by one of the candidate’s supporters, for example, Trump declared, “Maybe he deserved to get roughed up.” On other occasions, Trump promised to “pay for the legal fees” for supporters who “knock the hell” out of protesters.

    And as we recently discussed, three protesters were physically assaulted at a Trump event in Kentucky in 2016, and they later filed suit, alleging the president bears some responsibility for encouraging the confrontation and insisting that inciting violence is not protected speech under the First Amendment.

    A federal judge recently agreed to allow the case to proceed, and late Friday, the president’s attorneys argued that by virtue of winning the election, Trump was given immunity from lawsuits like these. The Washington Post reported:

    “Mr. Trump is immune from suit because he is President of the United States,” his lawyers wrote Friday, rebutting a complaint filed by three protesters who claimed Trump incited a riot against them at a Louisville event in March 2016.

    Trump’s team challenged the accusations – negligence and incitement to riot – on many other grounds, too. But a federal judge already rejected their attempt to have the lawsuit thrown out earlier this month.

  9. rikyrah says:

    Tough Talk and Indiscriminate Bombing Are Not a Successful Foreign Policy
    by Nancy LeTourneau April 17, 2017 10:20 AM

    David Ignatius echoes a lot of what we’re hearing these days when he writes that Donald Trump has tasted some foreign policy successes lately. But he’s really saying that the president is embracing what Obama called the Washington playbook.

    There’s a playbook in Washington that presidents are supposed to follow. It’s a playbook that comes out of the foreign-policy establishment. And the playbook prescribes responses to different events, and these responses tend to be militarized responses.

    When a president begins to use that playbook, apparently the word “success” takes on a whole different meaning. Merely the use of military force gets defined as success, whether or not any tangible progress has been made.

    For example, the case most often cited as a success for Trump is his bombing of an airfield in Syria after Assad used chemical weapons against his own people. To judge whether or not that was a success, we need to know what the goals were. At this point Assad still has his chemical weapons (or the ability to manufacture them) and the airfield that was targeted was used the next day to continue bombing civilians.

    Perhaps the goal was to send a message to Assad. If so, those who are calling it a success have completely ignored the fact that up until a couple of days prior to the Syrian president’s use of chemical weapons, the Trump administration had been sending the message that he was free to do whatever he wanted. Calling that a success stretches the meaning of the word beyond recognition.

    Ignatius credits Trump’s successes to the fact that he has developed a competent national security team and is listening to their advice. While it might be true that they have convinced him of the importance of NATO and of the need to work with China to deal with North Korea, let’s take a look at what else they’ve been up to in just three months:

    the botched raid in Yemen where “almost everything that could go wrong did,”
    the bombing in Mosul that is said to have killed up to 200 civilians,
    the accidental bombing of Syrian allies, and
    increasing the number of drone attacks, even if it means more civilian casualties.

  10. rikyrah says:

    The power of GOP partisanship captured in new polling
    04/17/17 10:40 AM
    By Steve Benen
    Republican voters opposed bombing the Assad regime in Syria, until Donald Trump took office, at which point they changed their mind. GOP voters thought the American economy was awful, until a Republican became president, at which point they suddenly reversed course.

    And Gallup reported late last week that Republican voters had deeply negative attitudes about the current U.S. tax system, right before they changed their minds in early 2017.

    With the deadline to file federal income taxes looming, 61% of U.S. adults regard the income tax they have to pay as fair, the most positive sentiment since 2009. A year ago, 50% held this view, which is lower than all but one other reading in Gallup’s trend. […]

    Republicans are mostly responsible for the variation in perceived income tax fairness over time

    According to Gallup’s data, 39% of GOP voters said last year that the amount of money they paid in income taxes was fair. This year, that number among Republicans jumped to 56%.

  11. He married into the family and then helped killed her family off for the oil. Cold hearted evil mofos. Subhuman really. And people helped cover up the murders. My God!

    • eliihass says:

      Misleading lede..

      The so-called holdovers are actually only volunteers who have signed up to help out at White House events spanning several years…

      They can’t say they’re ‘renewing’ the event away from the very successful Obama years…while trying to cunningly insert some association so they can assign blame for this sad embarrassing counterfeit of an event…

  12. Ametia says:

    100 Days of Horror
    Charles M. Blow APRIL 17, 2017

    With Donald Trump’s 100th day in office fast approaching, White House staffers are reportedly trying desperately to “rebrand” the colossal failure of the first 100 days as some kind of success.
    Trump’s legislative agenda has been stymied. The drip, drip, drip of negative news about connections between campaign associates and Russia — and Russia’s efforts to impact our election — continues unabated. He seems to have no real strategy for governance other than pouting and gloating. His advisers are at each other’s throats. And the public has soured on him to a historic degree.

    • Ametia says:

      Sessions and Cook are preparing a plan to prosecute more drug and gun cases and pursue mandatory minimum sentences. The two men are eager to bring back the national crime strategy of the 1980s and ’90s from the peak of the drug war, an approach that had fallen out of favor in recent years as minority communities grappled with the effects of mass incarceration.”

      The clock is being turned back. Vulnerable populations are under relentless attack by this administration. This is a war, and that is not hyperbole or exaggeration. While folks are hoping that some Russia-related revelation will emerge from the darkness to bring this administration to a calamitous conclusion, the administration is busy rebuilding and reinforcing the architecture of oppression in plain sight.

      • eliihass says:

        “…While folks are hoping that some Russia-related revelation will emerge from the darkness to bring this administration to a calamitous conclusion, the administration is busy rebuilding and reinforcing the architecture of oppression in plain sight…”


  13. Please let authorities find him before he kills again. He’s a demon unleashed from hell.

    • Liza says:

      IMO, he clearly wants to commit suicide by cop. But he wants to kill some folks first. Absolute evil.

  14. rikyrah says:

    Some misreading Trump confusion as evolution: Dan Rather
    Dan Rather, host of The Big Interview on AXS Tv, talks with Rachel Maddow about how Donald Trump’s actions are being perceived by Americans and around the world, and what is motivating those actions.

  15. rikyrah says:

    Judge holds up Arkansas execution spree after drug company sues
    Scott Braden, chief of Arkansas Capital Habeas Unit, talks with Rachel Maddow about getting an emergency stay of execution for Bruce Ward, and the drug company lawsuit that had put on hold the eight executions Arkansas had planned this month.

  16. rikyrah says:

    Trump North Korea brinkmanship puts millions of lives at risk
    Sue Mi Terry, former CIA senior analyst on Korean issues, talks with Rachel Maddow about North Korea’s military capacity, the options and potential consequences for Donald Trump, and how Trump’s brinkmanship policy puts millions of lives at risk

  17. rikyrah says:

    Trump skimps on Syria, Afghanistan policy while blowing stuff up
    Rachel Maddow reports on the continued confused messages from the Donald Trump administration about U.S. military policy in Syria and Afghanistan even as Trump enjoys positive media feedback for missiles and bombs directed at those countries.

  18. rikyrah says:

    How a Little-Known Standardized Test Harms Community College Students
    The Accuplacer test funnels students into costly remedial classes that many probably don’t need.

    by Emily Hanford April 17, 2017

    The nation’s colleges have made their admission decisions, and now, as college signing day draws near, high school seniors around the country are making their own decisions on where to attend.

    But most students will not be heading to an ivy-covered campus in the fall; in fact, today’s undergraduate is more likely to be a working adult at a community college. And for that student, the future does not depend so much on an admissions committee poring over grades, teacher recommendations, and extracurricular activities. Instead, it may very well depend on a single standardized test score—and not the one you’re thinking of.

    The test that matters for community college students isn’t the SAT. It’s one they’ve probably never heard of—let alone prepared for—until they’re told to walk down the hall and take it. The test most of these students take is called the Accuplacer. It’s a multiple-choice math and English test that schools use to decide who’s actually ready for college classes. Get into an elite school like Harvard and no one’s going to question your ability to do college-level work. But community colleges need some way to assess the academic skills of incoming students because pretty much anyone can walk into a community college and sign up to start a degree.

    That doesn’t mean you’ll be allowed into college-level classes, though. If you don’t do well on the Accuplacer, you’re probably going to be put in what are known as developmental, or remedial, classes. More than two-thirds of community college students end up in remediation.

    Some need to be there. But many probably don’t.

  19. rikyrah says:

    Pence: ‘All Options Are On The Table’ With North Korea
    Published APRIL 17, 2017, 7:00 AM EDT
    During a visit to South Korea and the Demilitarized Zone, Vice President Mike Pence said that “all options are on the table” when it comes to preventing North Korea from using a nuclear weapon.

    “The United States and our allies have stood together for a denuclearized Korean Peninsula. We hope to achieve this objective through peaceable means. But all options are on the table,” he said in Seoul after a visit to the demilitarized zone between North Korea and South Korea.

    The Vice President said that “the era of strategic patience is over.”

  20. rikyrah says:

    It’s not just the golf: Trump’s Mar-a-Lago ethics mess gets worse
    04/17/17 08:40 AM
    By Steve Benen
    It seems like only last year that Donald Trump was not only mocking Barack Obama for unwinding too often on golf courses, but also promising voters to be an entirely different kind of president. “I’m going to be working for you,” Trump vowed. “I’m not going to have time to play golf.”

    Wait, that was only last year.


    [S]ince his January inauguration, President Trump has spent seven of 13 weekends at his Palm Beach, Florida estate. According to NBC News’ estimates by Sunday Trump will have spent 28 percent of his term traveling to or staying at Mar-a-Lago.

    It’s not just a question of travel time, but of ethics and cost efficiency, according to watchdog groups and ethics experts.

    While presidents have always traveled on the taxpayer’s dollar – the Obamas were partial to Hawaii and Martha’s Vineyard while President George W. Bush frequented his Crawford, Texas ranch – Trump’s travel is “unprecedented,” one expert says, because he’s repeatedly visiting his own privately owned commercial property at Mar-a-Lago.

  21. rikyrah says:

    Trump keeps appointing officials to lead agencies they oppose
    04/17/17 09:20 AM
    By Steve Benen
    As a candidate for the presidency, Donald Trump assured voters he was a staunch opponent of the U.S. Export-Import Bank. Then he had a conversation about it, after the election, with a CEO whose company benefits from the office.

    Trump told the Wall Street Journal last week that he “was very much opposed” to the Ex-Im Bank, but “it turns out [that] lots of small companies will really be helped.”

    “It turns out” is a polite way of saying, “When I said all that stuff on the campaign trail last year, I didn’t really know what I was talking about.”

    All of this became more confusing on Friday afternoon, however, when the president announced his nominee to lead the Bank.

    President Donald Trump said Friday he would nominate former congressman Scott Garrett, who has supported closing the U.S. Export-Import Bank, to head the credit agency.

    Mr. Garrett voted in 2012 and in 2015 against renewing the charter of the Ex-Im Bank, which guarantees loans for companies that export U.S. products. Mr. Garrett, a New Jersey Republican who served seven terms in the U.S. House, lost a bitterly contested election in November to Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D., N.J.).

  22. rikyrah says:

    Trump and The Problem of Militant Ignorance
    Published APRIL 14, 2017, 2:36 PM EDT

    It is what we might call ‘the consensus judgment’ that President Trump is a deeply ignorant man and perhaps a profoundly ignorant President. But it is worth stepping back and considering just what this means, the different kinds of ignorance that exist and how they differ.

    Without making a direct comparison, it is worth remembering that each of the last three Presidents came to office with a steep learning curve about the modalities of the presidency and many aspects of the challenges and issues they would face. Clinton, Bush and Obama were each, in different ways, pretty green. Bush’s father, since he had served in Congress, as head of the CIA and especially because he had served as a fairly active Vice President for the previous eight years, came in knowing quite a lot about the specifics of the Presidency.

    Some of the difference with Clinton, Bush and Obama (let’s call them CBO) is that they had good staff or at least knowledgable staff who could help them understand what they didn’t know and advise them on the almost infinite number of details they could never hope to understand in depth. But there’s another key issue. You don’t become President by being excessively humble. Yet CBO each had a sense of what they did not know. At a bare minimum, they didn’t advertise it when they learned something they later realized a lot of other people knew.

    What is endearing, terrifying and hilarious about Trump is not simply his ignorance, really his militant ignorance, but his complete lack of self-awareness about his ignorance. Trump told a reporter for The Wall Street Journal that his understanding of the problem of North Korea changed dramatically after hearing ten minutes of history from the President of China. Needless to say, Trump didn’t need to admit this. But neither was it candor.

    So far the Trump Presidency has been a sort of Mr Magoo performance art in which the comically ignorant Trump learns elemental or basic things that virtually everyone in the world of politics or government already knew – things that the majority of adults probably know. Health Care: “Nobody knew health care could be so complicated.” North Korea: “I felt pretty strongly that they had tremendous power. But it’s not what you think.” There are perhaps half a dozen examples equally stark.

  23. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone 😄😄😄

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