Friday Open Thread

Happy Friday, Everyone!


This is Nyakim Gatwech aka ‘The Queen of the Dark’

The South Sudanese model has become a viral sensation on Instagram.

Her deeply pigmented skin and defiant personality has begun to change the way people perceive conventional beauty around the world – it’s really amazing.
The 24-year-old is now making waves in the fashion world, and judging by these stunning posts from her Instagram feed it is easy to see why.

More photos here.

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65 Responses to Friday Open Thread

  1. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    Remembering S. Allen Counter
    Inaugural leader of Harvard’s race relations foundation helped create a more inclusive University

    Excerpt from article:

    . Allen Counter, the founding director of the Harvard Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations and a noted neurophysiologist, educator, and ethnographer, died on July 12.

    “Harvard has lost a great champion of inclusion and belonging in Dr. Allen Counter,” said President Drew Faust. “Through his leadership of the Harvard Foundation, he advanced understanding among members of our community and challenged all of us to imagine and strive for a more welcoming University and a more peaceful world. We remember today a campus citizen whose deep love of Harvard, and especially our undergraduates, leaves a lasting legacy.”

    “During my years as president of Harvard, no one did more than Allen to make minority students feel welcome and at home at Harvard, to promote fruitful interaction among all races, and to serve as understanding adults to whom many undergraduates could turn in order to register their concerns, answer their questions, and have their legitimate problems communicated to the Harvard administration so that they could be understood and acted upon in appropriate ways,” recalled Derek Bok, who led the University from 1971–91 and from 2006–07. “Much of what he accomplished was unrecognized, but his contributions were invaluable, and I will always feel a great debt of gratitude for his service to the University.”

    Counter did his undergraduate work in biology and sensory physiology at Tennessee State University and his graduate studies in electrophysiology at Case Western Reserve University, where he earned his Ph.D. He earned his M.D. at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden. He came to Harvard in 1970 as a postdoctoral fellow and assistant neurophysiologist at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital. Early in his University career, Counter lived in a student residence hall as dormitory director, resident tutor, and biological sciences tutor.

  2. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    The third annual African fashion show organized by Edith Muyinda was held June 25, 2017 in Denver.
    Edith Muyinda

    Excerpt from article linked below:

    The African Fashion Show Denver began in 2015 after Edith Muyinda set aside her degree in business and finance to pursue a career in fashion. Since then the show has significantly grown — attracting audiences from within and outside the African community here in Denver.

    This year, the show will include fabrics sewn by nine African designers, all of who represent the six African countries whose flags are featured in the artwork for this year’s events flyer — Togo, Mali, Uganda, Congo, Kenya and Ivory Coast.

    “There are six countries represented through the fabrics worn at this year’s fashion show,” said Muyinda in an interview with 303 Magazine. “We have nine different designers including myself, but three are from the same country,” she stated.

    Here is a one minute video of some of the highlights of the show:

  3. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    Oliver Mtukudzi & Ringo Madlingozi-Into Yami :

  4. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    Rangarira by Munyaradzi Nyamarebvu:
    “Munyaradzi Nyamarebvu is a Zimbabwean musician (guitarist, singer and songwriter) who sings in the nation’s dominant language, Shona. The genre of his music is less specific; it draws on various elements from different musical traditions across Africa with a touch of modern classical and jazz rhythms.
    “Rangarira “always remember” is a collaboration song with Wally Warning composed during Munyaradzi sabbatical in Munich, Germany 2014.”

    JAMARAM meets THE ACOUSTIC NIGHT – Munya “Rumurika”

  5. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    Creative Discovery Museum Celebrates African, African-American Cultures At Folk And Traditional Arts Event


    The Museum will host two more Folk and Traditional Arts Events throughout the summer allowing children and their families to experience a diverse array of art and music from different cultures presented by local and regional talent. This Saturday is next in the series with a spotlight on African and African-American cultures.

  6. rikyrah says:

    GOP Health bill / #BCRA penalizes Medicaid users as “’takers’ who are effectively stealing from the deserving rich.”
    — ThinkingAutismGuide (@thinkingautism) July 14, 2017

  7. rikyrah says:

    ‘There is no plan B’ – this woman is battling stage 4 cancer and Trumpcare at the same time
    — NowThis (@nowthisnews) July 14, 2017

  8. rikyrah says:

    White House released 112 pages of voter comments to Kobach & Trump’s Election Integrity Commission—they’re amazing.
    — Anna Massoglia (@annalecta) July 14, 2017

    • yahtzeebutterfly says:

      The White House just posted the emails of critics-Without censoring sensitive personal information Some of the emails include not only full names but actual addresses and phone numbers.

      The White House just responded to concerns it would release voters’ sensitive personal information by releasing a bunch of voters’ sensitive personal information.

      Last month, the White House’s “election integrity” commission sent out requests to every state asking for all voters’ names, party IDs, addresses, and even the last four digits of their Social Security numbers, among other information. The White House then said this information would be made available to the public.

      A lot of people did not like the idea, fearing that their personal information could be made public. So some sent emails to the White House, demanding that it rescind the request.

      This week, the White House decided to make those emails from concerned citizens public through the commission’s new website. But the administration made a big mistake: It didn’t censor any of the personal information — such as names, email addresses, actual addresses, and phone numbers — included in those emails.

      In effect, the White House just released the sensitive personal information of a lot of concerned citizens giving feedback to their government. That’s made even worse by the fact that the White House did this when the thing citizens were complaining about was the possibility that their private information would be made public.

  9. rikyrah says:

    The Senate health bill cuts coverage for 4 million children:
    — Annie Lowrey (@AnnieLowrey) July 14, 2017
    The Senate health bill continues end the ACA’s expansion of #Medicaid to low-income people:
    — Center on Budget (@CenterOnBudget) July 14, 2017

  10. rikyrah says:

    NEW: How pre-existing condition protections have been eliminated in GOP proposals.
    — Andy Slavitt (@ASlavitt) July 14, 2017

  11. rikyrah says:

    BREAKING: judge tosses jury’s conviction of woman arrested after laughing at Jeff Sessions hearing
    — Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) July 14, 2017

  12. rikyrah says:

    Kobach Says People Who Are Canceling Voter Registration Might Not Be Citizens
    Published JULY 14, 2017 10:46 AM
    After the state of Colorado announced it would comply with the White House’s bogus “election integrity” panel’s request to share voter data, hundreds of Denver-area residents cancelled their voter registration to keep their private information safe, according to a report from local KDVR News.

    But the man leading the panel, Kansas Secretary of StateKris Kobach thinks it’s just a “political stunt.”

    In an interview with Breitbart News Thursday, Kobach said he heard about the wave of residents unregistering, and called the move “interesting” and likened it to a “political stunt.”

    “It could be a number of things. It could be, actually, people who are not qualified to vote, perhaps someone who is a felon and is disqualified that way or someone who is not a U.S. citizen saying, ‘I’m withdrawing my voter registration because I am not able to vote,’” he said. “It could be a political stunt – people who are trying to discredit the commission and withdrawing temporarily because they are politically active but planning to get back on the voter rolls before the election next November.”

  13. rikyrah says:

    Why I Think McConnell’s Bill Is Doomed
    by Martin Longman
    July 13, 2017 11:15 PM

    In order for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to pass his health care bill, he must first clear a procedural hurdle on a motion to proceed to consideration of the bill. To accomplish this, he’ll only need fifty votes rather than the typical sixty because this is a budget reconciliation bill that can bypass all filibusters. Yet, according to the Washington Post’s whip count there are already three Republicans (Susan Collins of Maine, Rand Paul of Kentucky, and John McCain of Arizona) who are hard “nays” on affirming the motion to proceed. If this doesn’t change, the bill is dead because the GOP caucus only has 52 members and so can only afford to lose two votes.

    I think we all know better than to rely on John McCain to back up his words with action, but the list of potential ‘no’ votes is quite a bit longer. There are twenty Republican senators from states that expanded Medicaid, and only a handful of them are truly indifferent to the devastation the McConnell bill would do their states. Not only would millions upon millions lose their access to health care but rural hospitals would go out of business and state budgets would be gutted.


    McConnell can certainly tinker around the margins, but the Medicaid issue is the one that he can’t seem to solve. Sens. Collins and Murkowski explicitly want the cuts taken off the table, but they’re currently in the bill because they need to be in the bill.

    There’s another incentive for Republican senators to oppose a motion to proceed, and that is that if the bill is taken up on the Senate floor there will be a vote-a-rama on dozens of proposed amendments. And the Democrats are prepared to drive wedge after wedge into the divisions that already exist within the Republican caucus. The whole thing will fall apart if the Senate starts passing Democratic amendments so the GOP members will be whipped relentlessly to say no to virtually all of them. This they will not want to do, especially because some of them actually will agree with those amendments. They won’t want to vote against things they support, particularly if they don’t think the bill will ever became a law. The best way to avoid that nightmare is to kill the bill in its crib.

    If the bill is going to fail, the next step is shift around the blame. Most Republicans can hide behind the few courageous ones and say that they voted to take up the bill. This is why many senators won’t say they support the bill but also won’t say that they’ll oppose it. They’ll try to blame the Democrats for refusing to cooperate, but the Democrats are actually powerless to stop this bill. They haven’t even been asked to support it and none of their ideas have been solicited or incorporated. The whole idea was the pass a bill with no compromises.

  14. rikyrah says:

    The Republican health care gambit reaches a crossroads
    07/14/17 08:00 AM—UPDATED 07/14/17 08:51 AM
    By Steve Benen


    Maine Sen. Susan Collins did not take very long, after seeing the new version of the Republican health care bill in a meeting on Thursday morning, to announce that she would not support it. She listed the many, many problems she still had with the bill, such as the cuts to traditional Medicaid – which remain just as they were in the first version of the bill. She would also vote no on the motion to proceed, the procedural vote that sets up debate on the bill. She is gone.

    Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul also wasted no time after the meeting to declare that he, too, would vote no on the motion to proceed, from the opposite end of the spectrum…. He will not vote to proceed. He is gone.

    A funny thing happened, though, after Collins and Paul immediately announced that they would not vote to advance the bill: No one else did.

    This left health care advocates with a sense of uncertainty. On the one hand, opponents of the far-right approach were encouraged by the fact that the Republican plan was already struggling, just hours after its unveiling. On the other hand, two “no” votes won’t be enough to stop the bill. One more is needed.

    What’s unclear is whether some GOP senators who balked at the plan in June will find a way out of the box they’ve put themselves in.

    There are plenty of head-counts available, showing where the various members stand – the New York Times’ version looks the most accurate to me – but I’m especially interest in Nevada’s Dean Heller and Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski, two Republicans who opposed their party’s plan last month.

    Heller, in particular, said he simply couldn’t go along with legislation that made such brutal cuts to Medicaid and undermined those with pre-existing conditions, and when he announced his opposition, the Nevada Republican left himself no wiggle room. And therein lies the rub: the newest version of the GOP plan leaves those same Medicaid cuts intact and is arguably even worse for Americans with pre-existing conditions.

    Heller, in other words, has backed himself into a corner. Either he honors the concerns he raised just a few weeks ago, or reverses course and completes a very public betrayal – the year before his re-election campaign.

  15. rikyrah says:

    Don’t count on John McCain to follow through on his posturing
    07/14/17 09:20 AM
    By Steve Benen

    Now that the latest iteration of the Senate Republicans’ health care plan is available, health care advocates are keeping a close eye on the head-count. Two GOP senators have announced their opposition, but to kill the bill, critics of the far-right bill will need a third.

    According to the Washington Post, however, there’s already a third. In addition to Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.), whose opposition is unambiguous, the Post’s head-count, as of this morning, showed Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) as another “no” vote.

    And while I think that’s a mistake, I can understand why the newspaper reached such a conclusion. McCain issued a written statement yesterday that sounded a very critical note about his party’s bill and the process that created it.

    “The revised Senate health care bill released today does not include the measures I have been advocating for on behalf of the people of Arizona. That’s why if the Senate takes up this legislation, I intend to file amendments that would address the concerns raised by Arizona Governor Doug Ducey and other leaders across our state about the bill’s impact on Arizona’s Medicaid system. Arizona has been nationally recognized for running one of the most efficient and cost-effective Medicaid programs in the country.

    “This legislation should reward states like Arizona that are responsibly managing their health care services and controlling costs – not penalize them.”

  16. rikyrah says:

    Collins points to an underappreciated flaw in the GOP health plan
    07/14/17 11:21 AM
    By Steve Benen


    The basic idea behind Cruz’s proposal is to empower insurers to sell plans that ignore the ACA’s insurance safeguards alongside plans that include those safeguards. So, consumers could purchase a good plan, with protections for pre-existing conditions and essential health benefits, or a bare-bones plan, that wouldn’t meet any of the existing standards under the Affordable Care Act.

    As health care experts have repeatedly explained, this would create an unsustainable two-tiered system, with older and sicker patients buying real coverage, and younger and healthier consumers buying cheaper insurance. This, naturally, would lead to vastly higher premiums for people who need coverage the most.

    The GOP approach would try to ease the burden by creating a fund to help offset those costs, creating what would, in practice, become high-risk pools. And while that’s inherently problematic for all kinds of reasons, as TPM noted, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) raised a separate concern: the money her party’s plan sets aside is being used more than once.

    [The Cruz] amendment takes money already appropriated in the bill for other needs and says it can be used for these payments to insurers under the Cruz Amendment.

    “It seems to me you’re using that money over and over again,” she said. “It’s supposed to relieve the cost of high premiums. It’s supposed to solve the problem with deductibles being unaffordable. It’s supposed to be available for high-risk or reinsurance pool. It’s supposed to be available under the Cruz Amendment to help prevent a huge increase in rates for people with pre-existing conditions.”

    Matthew Fiedler, a fellow at Brookings Institute’s Center for Health Policy, confirmed this double-dipping to TPM.

  17. rikyrah says:

    This is a blistering ad: “Senators did make the bill better for one group of Americans…themselves.”
    — Topher Spiro (@TopherSpiro) July 14, 2017

    • yahtzeebutterfly says:

      Thanks, rikyrah for all you do to keep us informed about health care news and what Congress is up to.

  18. rikyrah says:

    BREAKING: ATLANTA (AP) — Spokeswoman: Former President Jimmy Carter has left hospital in Canada after being treated for dehydration.
    — Meg Kinnard (@MegKinnardAP) July 14, 2017
    MORE: After release from hospital, spokeswoman says Carter attended Friday AM devotional to begin last day of Habitat for Humanity project.
    — Meg Kinnard (@MegKinnardAP) July 14, 2017

  19. rikyrah says:

    Reporters- #TheResistance is huge. It’s not some fringe group. I’ll prove it. Retweet this if you’re a proud member of The Resistance.
    — Scott Dworkin (@funder) July 14, 2017

  20. rikyrah says:

    Drs/RNs send 20-45 sec videos to @HouseCallsAHCA and we will post. Remind @USSenate that #HealthcareBill will harm patients #protectourcare
    — HOUSE CALLS CAMPAIGN (@HouseCallsAHCA) July 14, 2017

  21. rikyrah says:

    In both House & Senate, GOP added late provisions cutting protections for ppl with pre-existing conditions, with little ‘moderate’ pushback.
    — Taniel (@Taniel) July 14, 2017

  22. rikyrah says:

    The Cruelty and Fraudulence of Mitch McConnell’s Health Bill, via @nytimes
    — Judy Solomon (@JudyCBPP) July 14, 2017

  23. rikyrah says:

    NEW: Cheat sheet on Senate health bill. Is GOP keeping their promise to repeal the ACA?
    What is repealed and what isn’t.
    RT if helpful.
    — Andy Slavitt (@ASlavitt) July 14, 2017

  24. rikyrah says:

    New version of #Trumpcare exempts Congress.
    So worse care for everyone except the people who vote for the bill!
    — Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) July 13, 2017

  25. rikyrah says:

    This is it: There will be a big PEOPLE’S FILIBUSTER at the U.S. Capitol next Mon. and Tues. =>
    Please RT
    — Topher Spiro (@TopherSpiro) July 14, 2017

  26. rikyrah says:

    Rev. T. Anthony Spearman, 66, came from Greensboro NC. Said he’s thinking of a mom in his congregation w/ heart condition saved by ACA
    — Jeff Stein (@JStein_Vox) July 13, 2017

  27. rikyrah says:

    Long line of Capitol Police getting in position to arrest Rev. Barber, rabbis, pastors after reading out warnings over bullhorn
    — Jeff Stein (@JStein_Vox) July 13, 2017

  28. rikyrah says:

    Hard to see but Capitol police encircling the scrum on both sides as Barber decries a bill of “political murder” against the poor
    — Jeff Stein (@JStein_Vox) July 13, 2017

  29. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    Sessions Thanks Anti-LGBT Group for Its “Important Work”

    On Tuesday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions came under fire for giving a closed-door speech at a summit organized by a religious freedom group known for advocating anti-LGBT policies. The group, Alliance Defending Freedom, has a legal case in front of the Supreme Court right now—it’s representing a Colorado baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. It has also worked to bar transgender people from bathrooms of their choice, and it has promoted anti-sodomy laws in the United States and abroad.

    The event was not open to the press, and the Justice Department later declined to release a transcript of Sessions’ remarks. But on Thursday, the Federalist, a conservative media outlet, published the full speech, in which the attorney general pledged to defend religious freedom. “In all of this litigation and debate, this Department of Justice will never allow this secular government of ours to demand that sincere religious beliefs be abandoned,” he said.

    (If you go to the link above, you can read his full speech.)

  30. rikyrah says:

    Average age of U.S. Senator is 62. None would buy health insurance lacking these benefits. So why is it okay for their constituents?
    — Chris Lu (@ChrisLu44) June 22, 2017

  31. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    Congratulations to this talented team. Wow!

  32. The jury was a got damn freaking joke. Convicting a woman of laughing at Jeff Sessions while he lied under Oath at his confirmation hearing…

  33. rikyrah says:

    Ted Cruz Tried To Mansplain Healthcare To Me, But I Had The Last Laugh
    — Amy M (@aem0503) July 13, 2017

  34. rikyrah says:

    By creating minimal plans, they concentrate those who need health care into higher premium pools. Not just older, sicker, it’s maternity!
    — Patty Kimura (@pattykimura) July 14, 2017
    $30,000 for uncomplicated vaginal delivery. $50,000 for C section…Will we bankrupt young families who believed ins was for the sick & old?
    — Patty Kimura (@pattykimura) July 14, 2017

  35. rikyrah says:

    New GOP plan same as old one. Medicaid cuts, tax cuts. Except they did add something basically eliminating minimum standards for plans.
    — Brian Schatz (@brianschatz) July 13, 2017

  36. rikyrah says:

    Oh Fer Phuck’s Sake!!!

    From The Hill

    A former Soviet counter-intelligence officer was reportedly in the meeting with Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer in June 2016, in which Trump Jr. was promised damaging information on Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

    NBC News reported Friday that some U.S. officials suspect the former intelligence officer of having ongoing ties to Russian intelligence.

    The former Soviet official, whom the news network is not naming, denies any current ties to the Kremlin.

    A former Soviet counter-intelligence officer?


    So, the lawyer that IS working for The Kremlin
    Would allow someone in that ISN’T working for the Kremlin?
    Does that make ANY kind of sense?

    Do we understand NOW why the CIA went into a panic mode with the election?

  37. Ametia says:


  38. OMG! Black beauty!

  39. rikyrah says:

    She is absolutely beautiful 😄😍😍😍

  40. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning Everyone 😐😐 😐

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