Monday Open Thread

Happy Monday, 3 Chics Family & Friends!


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70 Responses to Monday Open Thread

  1. Liza says:

    Amy Goodman’s entire show today (after headlines) was about Dick Gregory. Video at the link…

    Dick Gregory In His Own Words: Remembering the Pioneering Comedian and Civil Rights Activist

  2. rikyrah says:

    Early America had school choice. The Founding Fathers rejected it.

    They believed public schools were the foundation of a virtuous republic.
    By Johann N. Neem
    August 20 at 10:29 AM

    Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has been a loyal proponent of school choice. In her home state of Michigan, DeVos advocated both public school choice and vouchers to empower parents to send their children to private and religious schools. As secretary, she argues that “parents no longer believe that a one-size-fits-all model of learning meets the needs of every child.” They “know other options exist, whether magnet, virtual, charter, home, faith-based or any other combination.”

    Now President Trump is proposing devoting unprecedented amounts of federal money to expand school choice nationally. Both Trump and DeVos argue that families, not the public, should choose their schools. As DeVos recently proclaimed, “School choice is about recognizing parents’ inherent right to choose what is best for their children. That’s the manifestation of expanding human liberty in America.”

    But this conception of public education ignores our collective interests as a society. America’s public schools developed because after the Revolution, Americans realized that leaving education to parental whims and pocketbooks created vast inequalities and could not ensure an educated citizenry. A return to this type of system threatens to exacerbate educational inequality, which already plagues modern America and weakens our democracy. The Founding Fathers saw freedom as the cornerstone of the nation and public schools as essential vehicles to secure it. Guided by their vision, we should work to fix America’s public schools, not abandon them.


    The Revolution transformed how some Americans thought about education. These Americans agreed with Thomas Jefferson that the future of the republic depended on an educated citizenry. They also believed that the opportunities offered by schooling should be available to rich and poor alike. Many state constitutions included clauses like Georgia’s in 1777: “Schools shall be erected in each county, and supported at the general expense of the State.” But how to execute this directive? The best way, American leaders ultimately concluded, was to encourage local public schools and to limit the growth of academies.

  3. rikyrah says:

    The Brilliance of Buy-in: The Private Market and States Won’t Let Obamacare Collapse

    Spandan Chakrabarti
    August 21, 2017

    When Donald Trump lost the popular vote by the biggest margin of anyone who’d ever won the presidency, his assent to the White House with a unified Republican Congress was seen as doomsday for their primary and first target: the Affordable Care Act. I was worried. Everyone I know was worried. The news of a unified right wing government in Washington was not – and still is not – good news for health care.

    But one person who had never had much patience for the dramatics said he thought Obamacare would survive. That man was, in fact, President Obama.


    Each time Trump was faced with the failure of Obamacare repeal, he comes back to the old refrain: some version of “Obamacare is collapsing, we’ll let it collapse, and then come back and force Democrats to compromise on repeal!”

    That Obamacare-is-collapsing argument, backed nearly universally by national Republicans, is dependent on a singular factor: that many health insurers are now refusing to offer any plans at all in the ACA exchanges for many (mostly rural) counties. Setting aside the fact that this is primarily a phenomenon faced by states originally (and in many cases, still) resistant to Obamacare, the entire basis behind that argument has now, well, collapsed.

    There is now just one county – with 334 private exchange enrollees – left without an insurer.

    You read that right. Not 80 counties, not 50 counties, just one. And even that county might end up being covered by the time open enrollment starts in November.

    That’s right. Insurers are jumping in to cover previously uncovered counties as state officials spring into action to make it happen for their constituents. As a result, as of now, all but one of the 81 counties that were at risk of losing all ACA private insurance options now have them.

    The reason they are doing so is even more detrimental to Republican narrative of a collapsing Obamacare market: it’s profitable. The CEO of Centene, the company that signed up more than half of the “bare” counties, had this to say in an investor call: “For 2018, we intend to grow this profitable segment of our business.”

  4. rikyrah says:

    Dan Pfeiffer‏Verified account
    Dan Pfeiffer Retweeted HowardKurtz
    We should all prepare now for the punditocracy to gush when Trump reads from a teleprompter without saying anything pro-Nazi

    • yahtzeebutterfly says:

      Trump has caused such fear in experiencedMexican farm workers that they are not showing up for the harvest.

      I think that’s what Reagan understood and why he allowed Mexican people who were here without proper papers to receive citizenship.

      Thirty-five years ago, during a primary debate between Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, both former presidents spoke with compassion about immigrants living in the United States when they were asked whether the U.S. should allow the children of undocumented immigrants to go to public schools.

      “Today, if those people are here, I would reluctantly say I think they would get whatever it is, you know, that society is giving to their neighbors,” Bush said at the time, calling immigrants “good people, strong people.”

      “Because, as we have made illegal some kinds of labor that I’d like to see legal, we’re doing two things. We’re creating a whole society of really honorable, decent, family-loving people that are in violation of the law and secondly we’re exacerbating relations with Mexico,” Bush added.

      Reagan responded in kind, stating in part, “Rather than talking about putting up a fence, why don’t we work out some recognition of our mutual problems?” “Open the borders both ways,” he added.


  5. Check your email, ladies

  6. GQ story on Dylann Roof. His dad called the story….fake news! Wow!

  7. rikyrah says:

    SUNDAY, AUG 13, 2017 06:30 PM CDT
    Want to understand white privilege? Look at college golf teams like mine
    It’s time we talked about how colleges let affluent white students be supported by African-American student labor

    More and more discussion has become centered around what white privilege is. But very little dialogue has taken place around white privilege in college sports and the labor of African-American athletes on the football and basketball teams who make it possible for other sports to exist at universities.


    For a good 20 years of my life, I was a competitive golfer. I played on a full athletic scholarship and eventually turned pro, playing a short while on the LPGA and developmental tours.

    While it is no secret golf is made up of a majority of white men, I never fully recognized the privilege I had to play on a golf scholarship, and this realization came to me after reading a Facebook post from another white woman who I used to play on tour with: “If college is free for everyone, then it will be equivalent to a high school degree,” she lamented.

    My first reaction was, “But you went to school for free on an athletic scholarship . . . also, your parents are millionaires.”

    Then I wondered, “How do golf programs exist at universities?”

    In 2011, when Washington’s football program went 0-11 for the season, the football program made a profit of close to $15 million. The basketball program, which did very well that year, pocketed around $6 million.


    For a good 20 years of my life, I was a competitive golfer. I played on a full athletic scholarship and eventually turned pro, playing a short while on the LPGA and developmental tours.

    While it is no secret golf is made up of a majority of white men, I never fully recognized the privilege I had to play on a golf scholarship, and this realization came to me after reading a Facebook post from another white woman who I used to play on tour with: “If college is free for everyone, then it will be equivalent to a high school degree,” she lamented.

    My first reaction was, “But you went to school for free on an athletic scholarship . . . also, your parents are millionaires.”

    Then I wondered, “How do golf programs exist at universities?”

    In 2011, when Washington’s football program went 0-11 for the season, the football program made a profit of close to $15 million. The basketball program, which did very well that year, pocketed around $6 million.


    The cost of playing on the women’s golf team included my equipment, travel to tournaments, physical therapy and insurance on me. In total, my time at the university cost the school around $424,000.

    When I asked how the school could afford to have a golf program, without hesitation she responded, “Well, the football and basketball program, of course.”

    Knowing this I quickly realized that in essence I was the freeloader that America loathes, the one we hear about so often in elections, one of those who takes advantage of a system set up to make people feel entitled.

    In particular, other university sports like tennis, golf, swimming and gymnastics (mostly made up of white athletes) ride off the backs of mostly African-American athletes. According to a study conducted by University of Pennsylvania researcher Shaun R. Harper, black men only make up 2.5 percent of undergraduate students, but comprise 56 percent of college football teams and 61 percent of college basketball teams.

  8. rikyrah says:

    As Trump controversies intensify, Mar-a-Lago faces cancellations
    08/21/17 10:40 AM—UPDATED 08/21/17 11:15 AM
    By Steve Benen

    In D.C., Donald Trump’s response to Charlottesville became so politically toxic, there was a sudden exodus from several White House advisory panels, with private-sector members deciding they no longer wanted to be associated with this president.

    But about 1,000 miles to the south, Trump World faced a slightly different kind of problem stemming from the same controversy. The New York Times reported:

    With its ornate 20,000-square-foot ballroom and manicured lawns, President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Fla., is often the site of elaborate fund-raisers, drawing big charities – and big dollars.

    But several organizations are having a change of heart since Mr. Trump blamed “both sides” for the violence in Charlottesville, Va., after a white nationalist rally and an attack by a driver that left a woman dead. There were “very fine people on both sides,” Mr. Trump said.

    Over the weekend, the Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach and the Palm Beach Zoo and Conservation Society became the latest nonprofit groups to cancel galas at Mar-a-Lago.

    Exact tallies vary, but I believe that was the 10th cancellation of the 16 big-ticket events scheduled at Mar-a-Lago for the upcoming “social season.”

  9. rikyrah says:

    The Secret Service confronts unique challenges in the Trump era
    08/21/17 11:22 AM
    By Steve Benen

    A couple of years ago, the U.S. Secret Service struggled with a series of damaging controversies, including some important security breakdowns, prompting a congressional investigation and a bipartisan report about an “agency in crisis.” Among other things, lawmakers identified budget cuts one of the “primary causes” of the agency’s difficulties.

    And while the Secret Service has tried to turn things around since the release of that report, the agency is now facing another daunting challenge: Donald Trump’s presidency.

    The relationship between the Secret Service and the Republican president’s team has already faced some difficulties. A leading Trump attorney, for example, tried to blame the agency for last year’s infamous meeting in Trump Tower with a Kremlin-linked attorney, prompting the Secret Service to make a rare entry into a political debate in order to defend the agents’ actions. That was soon followed by a leasing dispute between the agency and the New York building the president still owns.

    But USA Today goes a step further this morning, highlighting a different kind of problem.

    The Secret Service can no longer pay hundreds of agents it needs to carry out an expanded protective mission – in large part due to the sheer size of President Trump’s family and efforts necessary to secure their multiple residences up and down the East Coast.

    Secret Service Director Randolph “Tex” Alles, in an interview with USA TODAY, said more than 1,000 agents have already hit the federally mandated caps for salary and overtime allowances that were meant to last the entire year.

    The agency has faced a crushing workload since the height of the contentious election season, and it has not relented in the first seven months of the administration. Agents must protect Trump – who has traveled almost every weekend to his properties in Florida, New Jersey and Virginia – and his adult children whose business trips and vacations have taken them across the country and overseas.

  10. rikyrah says:

    The Daily 202: The elites strike back — getting under Trump’s skin
    By James Hohmann
    August 21 at 7:07 AM


    Seven months into President Trump’s reign, the elites are striking back. From Wall Street to West Palm Beach and West Hollywood, the past week has been a turning point, perhaps even a tipping point. Since Trump abdicated his moral leadership after Charlottesville, the well-connected have used their leverage — like checkbooks and celebrity — to send a message about what truly makes America great.

    The growing number of groups canceling galas, stars boycotting ceremonies and chief executives resigning from advisory boards is further isolating Trump.

    People in his orbit say the president has been in a sour mood about all of this. He stormed the barricades, but now he’s the one under siege. Unlike most of the criticism he’s engendered since taking office, the past week has actually impacted his bottom line. The value of the Trump “brand,” which he once said is worth billions, has taken a bath since he declared that some “fine people” were protesting alongside the neo-Nazis and white supremacists at the University of Virginia.


    — The White House announced on Saturday that neither the president nor first lady Melania Trump will attend the annual Kennedy Center Honors in December. For the first time since the award was created in 1978, they also will not invite the honorees over for a reception beforehand.

    That came after three of the five honorees — television producer Norman Lear, singer Lionel Richie and dancer Carmen de Lavallade — said they would or may boycott the traditional reception. “As for the other two, rapper LL Cool J had not said whether he would attend, and Cuban American singer Gloria Estefan said she would go to try to influence the president on immigration issues,” per David Nakamura, Amy B Wang and Peter Marks.


    As an alpha male, Trump seems to take special satisfaction when people who are richer, cooler and better looking than him kowtow. It seems silly to have to write this, but it’s true: Having his ring kissed seems to be one of Trump’s favorite parts of the job. But there’s not been very much ring-kissing lately.

  11. rikyrah says:

    The Long-Term Effects of Trump Will Be Disastrous for the GOP
    Trump and the alt right will be a curse on the GOP for decades to come.

    by David Atkins
    August 20, 2017

    It may be a bit odd, at a time when the Republican Party dominates all branches of the federal government as well as most governor’s mansions and state legislatures, to declare it a political party in dire peril. From one perspective, Trump seems to have saved the GOP from the brink of disaster and infused it with new energy. But the danger signs are flashing brightly nonetheless, and the cure may well be worse than the disease.

    While it’s true that a combination of district-level gerrymandering, voter suppression and newfound white-working-class appeal has helped sustain Republican majorities and launch Donald Trump into the White House despite a popular vote loss, the demographic tide remains squarely set against the GOP. And even though minority voters did shift slightly to Trump from Romney per exit polling, people of color have nonetheless been shifting sharply away from the GOP over the last two decades. Millennials, too, despite a similar slight shift to Trump from Romney in 2016, remain the most progressive generation in American politics. Even conservative young people are more liberal on a host of issues than their parents.

    These trends have forced Republicans to become much more aggressive in their gerrymandering and suppression efforts to retain statehouses and congressional seats. They have also been the chief reason that Republican presidential candidates have failed to earn a popular vote majority in 6 of the last 7 presidential elections. Only the anti-majoritarian Electoral College has saved the GOP from near annihilation in White House contests over the last 30 years.

    These trends are still working aggressively against the Republican Party. Even if Republicans manage to maintain the white working class voters who switched from Obama to Trump in the last election cycle—and that’s a big if given Trump’s precipitous decline in the polls and the large boost Democrats have received against their baseline numbers in recent special elections—it won’t be enough to save Republicans from the slow-rising tsunami of the emerging Democratic majority.

  12. rikyrah says:

    Prepare Yourself For Talk of Another Trump Pivot
    by Nancy LeTourneau
    August 21, 2017

    There has always been a sort of manic/depressive quality to Trump’s presidency. I’m not suggesting that the president should be diagnosed with bipolar disorder. That would require a more up-close examination of his daily routines. But we’ve witnessed periods where he seems to go off the deep end emotionally, only to be followed by times when his behavior is actually described as “presidential.”

    Last week brought us one of those cycles as it unfolded over a couple of days. Trump’s immediate response to the events in Charlottesville was to suggest that in altercations between white supremacists and counter-protesters, there were “many sides” to blame. Then his handlers got hold of things and scripted a speech in which he condemned racism, only to be followed the next day by unscripted remarks at a press conference where he reverted to his original statement.


    Yesterday we learned that Trump will give a speech tonight in which he is expected to lay out a plan for this administration’s strategy in Afghanistan. Based on what we’ve seen from this president over the last few months, we can expect that to be a very well scripted affair and the media will respond by doing a logical analysis of what he has to say. While it grows increasingly difficult to buy into the charade, there might even be some who will suggest that his remarks were “presidential.” If so, you’ll be able to hear a sigh of relief in their voices that signals the hope that all of this ugliness we’ve witnessed over the past week is finally behind us. I’m sure that is exactly what Chief of Staff John Kelly and his other handlers had in mind when they decided to schedule this speech tonight.

    After that, the president is off to Phoenix for a campaign-style speech in which it is very possible that he will announce a pardon for convicted Sheriff Joe Arpaio—a hero to white nationalists. His staff will have their hands full in trying to keep him on script at this kind of event. As we watched throughout the 2016 election, Trump tends to feed off the crowd, which will be stacked with his most loyal supporters.

  13. rikyrah says:

    Jared Kushner’s firm seeks arrest of Maryland tenants to collect debt
    Doug Donovan

    The real estate company owned by Jared Kushner, son-in-law and top adviser to President Donald Trump, has been the most aggressive in Maryland in using a controversial debt-collection tactic: getting judges to order the arrest of people who owe his company money.

    Since 2013, the first full year in which the Kushner Cos. operated in Maryland, corporate entities affiliated with the firm’s 17 apartment complexes in the state have sought the civil arrest of 105 former tenants for failing to appear in court to face allegations of unpaid debt, The Baltimore Sun has found.

    That’s more than any other landlord in the state over that time, an analysis of Maryland District Court data shows. Court records show that 20 former Kushner tenants have been detained.

    Industry professionals say such arrests, called body attachments, can be the only way to get tenants to pay the money they owe. Kushner Cos. officials say the New York-based firm employs the tactic as a last resort, and follows industry standards and state law.

  14. rikyrah says:

    “The roots of American Christian nationalism—including flavors that insist on white supremacy—stretch back decades”
    — Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) August 21, 2017

  15. rikyrah says:

    As others flee, Trump’s top evangelical ally comes to his defense
    08/21/17 08:00 AM—UPDATED 08/21/17 08:00 AM
    By Steve Benen

    After Donald Trump publicly defended racist activists, to the delight of prominent white supremacists, the White House hoped the president’s Republican allies would rally to his defense. That clearly didn’t happen.

    Last week, bookers and producers for a variety of news programs – including colleagues of mine at MSNBC – reached out to dozens of GOP officials about appearing on camera to defend Trump’s comments, and Republicans simply weren’t interested. That continued yesterday: in an exceedingly rare sight, there were no elected GOP officials on any of the Sunday shows.

    In an interesting twist, when ABC News’ “This Week” asked the White House for a spokesperson willing to appear as a guest, officials directed the show’s producers to, of all people, Jerry Falwell Jr., the president of Liberty University and a member of the White House’s Evangelical Advisory Board. Falwell was one of the few people to defend Trump last week, and he did so again yesterday with ABC’s Martha Raddatz.

    RADDATZ: [Trump] said, there were “very fine people” on both sides. Do you believe there were very fine people on both sides?

    FALLWELL: He has inside information that I don’t have. I don’t know if there were historical purists there who were trying to preserve some statues. I don’t know. But he had information I didn’t have. And I believe that he spoke what was…

    RADDATZ: What made you think he knew that…

    FALLWELL: I think he saw videos of who was there. I think he was talking about what he had seen, information that he had that I don’t have.

  16. rikyrah says:

    GOP base comfortable with Trump’s racially inflammatory posture
    08/21/17 08:40 AM
    By Steve Benen

    More than a few political observers, hopeful that American politics was still driven by decency and principle, saw last week as a deal-breaker of sorts for Donald Trump. The amateur president could spend months testing the limits of the fabric that holds the country together, the argument went, but he couldn’t expect to get away with offering a tacit defense of white supremacists.

    And yet, here we are. The Washington Post reported yesterday:

    A GOP strategist working campaigns in red and purple states said that while support for Trump generally declined slightly since Charlottesville, support rose among his base, after a decline last month because of the failure on health care and revelations about the Russia investigation. This strategist said many Trump supporters applaud the president’s continuing desire to shake up Washington, favor his economic priorities and admire his willingness to speak his mind.


    So, yes, Trump praised the “very fine people” among the racist activists in Charlottesville, and faced an immediate backlash, but to assume that much of the Republican base was troubled by any of this is to lose sight of what made Trump appealing to those voters in the first place.

    When the president fought to take away their health care benefits, the GOP base minded, When he fought with the media and blamed “both sides” for racist violence, these voters liked what they saw.

    • Liza says:

      There’s no accounting for these people. They are lost. All we can do is stop them for destroying the country and the future.

  17. rikyrah says:

    Sen. Claire McCaskill spends August recess trekking through Republican strongholds in rural Missouri
    — CBS News (@CBSNews) August 21, 2017

  18. rikyrah says:

    The Power of Privilege: Why Charlottesville Has Succeeded Where Charleston Failed

    Trevor LaFauci August 21, 2017
    Few remember the name Clementa Pinckney.

    Even the most progressive among us may not recall who this person was or what they did. We can add the title of State Senator to his name and most people will still draw a blank. We can even add the title of Reverend, which may have a couple additional people recognize the name, but most still won’t be able to recall this person. It is not until we add the geographic location of Charleston, South Carolina that people begin to remember the name. Reverend Clementa Pinckney was, in fact, the person eulogized by President Obama after the murder of nine African-American churchgoers by White supremacist Dylan Roof in Charleston in June of 2015.

    Despite the moving eulogy by our then president, the needless deaths of Reverend Pinckney and eight others did very little to affect public policy in this country. Yes, the Confederate flag was removed from the South Carolina statehouse. However, gun laws in this country remained unchanged. Many AME churches had to hire additional security for their church services and Bible study groups. Hate groups ups like the ones Roof idolized not only faced zero repercussions for their influence but actually were able to prosper in the wake of the Charleston shooting. Roof himself was not only kept alive after committing mass murder but was kindly provided lunch by local law enforcement. Even with the public outcry at the time, the murder of Reverend Clementa Pinckney and eight other members of the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church proved to move the needle very little in terms of addressing the problem of White supremacy in this country.

    Now, compare what happened in Charleston to what happened in Charlottesville these past ten days.


    In short, public policy has dramatically shifted more in ten days after Charlottesville than in two years after Charleston.

    The question is why?

    Why has there now been a wide-scale effort to take down Confederate monuments and statues? Why have business leaders and artists now chosen to spoke out? Why are web-hosting sites now all of a sudden concerned about providing Nazis with a platform? Why are people in Boston and throughout the country now feeling compelled to leave their homes, take to the streets, and let it be known that we are not a nation that supports Nazis?

    The answer to all these questions is, quite simply, White privilege.

    Charlottesville did what Charleston could not because the events in that city directly affected White people. This wasn’t simply something that happened in an historically African-American church in a deep-red state. This was a something that happened an affluent, middle-class community with a prominent public university in a purple state that has been trending blue in recent elections. In other words, it was something that could have happened anywhere. People choose to live in and around Charlottesville because they feel safe. Ten days ago, an army of torch-wielding, violent Nazis entered their town, weapons in hand. When on Saturday, three people died including activist Heather Heyer, the community felt threatened as if their own very lives were at stake. For those in the community who grew up in privilege, it was the first time in their lives they had felt this way and for them it was terrifying.

  19. rikyrah says:

    Exclusive: Secret Service depletes funds to pay agents because of Trump’s frequent travel, large family
    Kevin Johnson, USA TODAY Published 5:00 a.m. ET Aug. 21, 2017

    WASHINGTON — The Secret Service can no longer pay hundreds of agents it needs to carry out an expanded protective mission – in large part due to the sheer size of President Trump’s family and efforts necessary to secure their multiple residences up and down the East Coast.

    Secret Service Director Randolph “Tex” Alles, in an interview with USA TODAY, said more than 1,000 agents have already hit the federally mandated caps for salary and overtime allowances that were meant to last the entire year.

  20. rikyrah says:

    Dear Lord,
    If it’s time for Republicans to find courage & stand up to Trump, give us a sign! Like blot out the sun.
    — Rep. Eric Swalwell (@RepSwalwell) August 20, 2017

  21. rikyrah says:

    In response to my question about the USS John S. McCain collision @POTUS at @WhiteHouse South Portico replies “that’s too bad.”
    — Steve Herman (@W7VOA) August 21, 2017

  22. rikyrah says:

    BREAKING: U.S. Navy says 10 sailors are missing, five injured after USS John S. McCain collided with merchant ship.
    — The Associated Press (@AP) August 21, 2017

  23. rikyrah says:

    Virginia is renaming Jefferson Davis Highway and asking the internet for suggestions
    — Jalopnik (@Jalopnik) August 20, 2017

  24. rikyrah says:

    There is nothing more American than voting. Don’t let anyone take that away from us #TW #VotingRights4All
    — Action2getherNetwork (@Action2getherUS) August 21, 2017

  25. rikyrah says:

    398 years ago today, the first enslaved Africans arrived in Jamestown, VA. Today, we mourn their suffering, and that of all slaves.
    — Rep. Terri A. Sewell (@RepTerriSewell) August 20, 2017

  26. rikyrah says:

    Prayers being sent out to SG2’S daughter and grandson. May they both heal and get stronger every day 👶🙌💓🏥🚼😇

  27. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone 😐😐😐

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