Thursday Open Thread

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39 Responses to Thursday Open Thread

  1. Liza says:

    Yep. Remember Riley Cooper?

    The owner of the Eagles said he wouldn't hire Colin because of his anthem protest, but hired a white player who called black people "nigger"— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) September 14, 2017


  2. Ametia says:


  3. rikyrah says:

    Wow! This 13-year-old saved not one, not two, not three, but SEVENTEEN of his neighbors during Hurricane Harvey.
    — #becauseofthemwecan (@Becauseofthem) September 14, 2017

  4. rikyrah says:

    Why Democrats are more than happy to negotiate with Trump
    09/14/17 01:00 PM—UPDATED 09/14/17 01:34 PM
    By Steve Benen
    For much of 2017, Donald Trump’s principal complaint about Democrats was simple: they were “obstructionists” who refused to even consider working with him. “The Democrats have become nothing but obstructionists, they have no policies or ideas,” the president tweeted in June. “All they do is delay and complain.”

    In Trump’s mind, congressional Dems were, for all intents and purposes, acting like congressional Republicans did in the Obama era, slapping away an outstretched hand. No matter what the White House tried, Trump assumed, Democratic leaders would simply refuse to work with him – just as GOP leaders refused to work with Obama, even when the Democratic president was prepared to give Republicans some of what they wanted.

    If Barack Obama was for it, the GOP was reflexively against it, even when he agreed with his adversaries. Many Republicans, including the president, expected a continuation of this style of politics.

    Trump’s assumptions, however, were completely wrong. Dems such as Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi have never been really considered maximalist partisanship; like a batter waiting for a pitch to swing at, they were simply waiting for an offer they could accept.


    If given a choice between protections for Dreamers or an opportunity to use Dreamers’ plight for political gain, Democratic leaders en masse prefer the former to the latter. This might give Trump a “win” – if the deal comes to fruition, he’ll take credit for doing something popular and bipartisan – but most Dems don’t care, so long as the young immigrants get the protections they need and deserve.

    For Republicans, this dynamic is flipped. The party’s policy goals have largely been replaced with slogans and soundbites, and few in the party care about working on substantive outcomes. For much of today’s GOP, an ideological crusade and a constant search electoral advantage is the driving motivation behind every decision.

  5. rikyrah says:

    The Fallacy of 1619: Rethinking the History of Africans in Early America
    In 1619, “20. and odd Negroes” arrived off the coast of Virginia, where they were “bought for victualle” by labor-hungry English colonists. The story of these captive Africans has set the stage for countless scholars interested in telling the story of slavery in English North America. Unfortunately, 1619 is not the best place to begin a meaningful inquiry into the history of African peoples in America. Certainly, there is a story to be told that begins in 1619, but it is neither well-suited to help us understand slavery as an institution nor to help us better grasp the complicated place of African peoples in the early modern Atlantic world. For too long, the focus on 1619 has led the general public and scholars alike to ignore more important issues and, worse, to silently accept unquestioned assumptions that continue to impact us in remarkably consequential ways. As a historical signifier, 1619 may be more insidious than instructive.

  6. rikyrah says:

    Voter Registration Is the Real Resistance

    The 2018 midterms will hinge on whether Democrats can register and turn out single women, millennials, and minorities.

    The 2018 midterm elections will test whether resistance to President Trump and anger over his policies can turn out enough progressive voters to buck both the orchestrated assault on voting rights and historic midterm election voting trends.

    From partisan and illegal gerrymandering to onerous voter-ID laws to the absurd Presidential Commission on Election Integrity, the Trump administration and red-state lawmakers are working on many fronts to prevent and dissuade large numbers of eligible voters from exercising their most fundamental constitutional right. The target of these efforts—single women, millennials, and minorities—are the three groups of Americans most at risk of disenfranchisement and the most likely to support progressive causes and candidates—but only if robust registration efforts reach them.

    Single women, millennials, and minorities—the Rising American Electorate (RAE)—make up nearly 59.2 percent of eligible voters. But these citizens don’t register to vote or turn out in proportion to their share of the population. In 2016, even though they accounted for nearly six in ten members of the vote-eligible population, the RAE made up a little more than half (52.6 percent) of the total electorate.

  7. rikyrah says:

    Republicans Want To Cripple Reagan’s Favorite Anti-Poverty Program
    by Nancy LeTourneau
    September 14, 2017

    The one piece of this country’s social safety net that Ronald Reagan embraced was the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). As part of his 1986 Tax Reform Act, he proposed and signed a major expansion of this anti-poverty initiative. To demonstrate how extremist the current GOP has become, they are trying to cripple it.

    Never accuse Republicans of being uncreative. Once again, they’ve found an innovative way to punish the poor and simultaneously increase budget deficits — all with one nifty trick!

    To pull off this impressive twofer, they would put every American applying for the earned-income tax credit (EITC) through a sort of mini-audit before getting their refund. This would both place huge new burdens on the working poor and divert scarce Internal Revenue Service resources away from other audit targets, such as big corporations, that offer a much higher return on investment.

    I have to admit that it is hard for me to comprehend a rationale for doing something like this. But the cynic in me thinks that last part might play a big role—diverting IRS resources away from the wealthy and big corporations. It also adds to the Republican narrative about “those people” abusing government programs.

    In actuality, the EITC has been proven to be one of the most effective anti-poverty programs this country has ever instituted. Last year Anne Kim provided this chart from the Census Bureau’s Supplemental Poverty Measure.

  8. rikyrah says:

    Examining the Reasons Why Hillary Clinton Lost
    by Nancy LeTourneau
    September 13, 2017

    With the release of Hillary Clinton’s book, What Happened, a lot of people are once again weighing in on why she lost the election last November. That is an important discussion for Democrats to have.

    Because I haven’t read her book yet, I’m going to avoid weighing in on whether or not Clinton got it all right. But I totally reject the notion that she should simply shut up. Those who go there are either harboring some deep-seeded antipathy for her, or are engaging in a double standard for the first female presidential nominee—or perhaps a mixture of both. I’ve been around a long time and have never heard that one applied to a male candidate.

    The writers at FiveThirtyEight have, however, engaged in a very interesting discussion that I think is fruitful. It is based on this tweet from a reporter at the Washington Examiner:

    Only a couple chapters in & here are all the things Clinton has blamed for her election loss so far

    — Sarah Westwood (@sarahcwestwood) September 12, 2017

    After noting things like, “How dare Clinton do a reasonable postmortem on the 2016 election instead of nailing herself to a cross!” they acknowledge that it’s a pretty good list and that a lot of those things were important. So they set out to rate each one on a scale of 1 to 5 in terms of how much impact it had on the outcome of the election, with 5 being the most impactful.

    The discussion is really interesting, so you might want to go read it. The end result is that no one scored any of these items below a two—so they think that Clinton is right to name them. Rating lowest was #6 about Fox News, not because it didn’t have an impact, but because it was not any more impactful in this election than it has been for the last 20 years. These folks rated #7, the one addressing sexism, as having the most impact, with Russia, Comey, press coverage of Clinton’s emails, and Trump’s media coverage all coming in a close second.

    • Liza says:

      Why doesn’t one of these Hillary worshipers ask her why she didn’t set foot in the state of Wisconsin during the general election? That and a few other questions related to the three blue states she lost.

      The problem with Hillary’s post-mortem, as I see it, is that it is Hillary’s post-mortem.

      Facts are stubborn and a lot of them are already out there. Hillary doesn’t get to write history.

      I do understand why she wants to exonerate herself. Seeing what Donald Trump is doing to destroy this country would be a heavy load to bear if she were to take any responsibility for what happened. Much better to blame it on Comey and Sanders so she can sleep at night.

      Hillary had to win the electoral vote. Her path to victory was damn near cast in stone. She had 1.3 billion dollars to spend. She won the popular vote despite ALL the obstacles and lost three blue states.

      That’s what happened.

      Hillary can spin this until it snows in the lowest depths of hell. She can blame it on Comey, Sanders, Mook, Podesta, etc… She can blame it on the bossa nova. Who cares? At the end of the day, it’s her, but she will never see that.

  9. rikyrah says:

    What Would Donald Do?
    How evangelical Christians got to the point where they could embrace a Hugh Hefner–like president.

    by Samuel Buntz

    During the 2016 presidential campaign, it became common for some evangelical leaders to defend Donald Trump by comparing him to King David. Sure, King David may have committed adultery and arranged the death of his mistress’s husband in battle, but despite these considerable failings he had still retained the full favor of God. (Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. first made the David comparison after revealing that he’d enjoyed a pleasant repast of Wendy’s cheeseburgers with Trump.) The then candidate, according to this line of thought, was not what he so baldly appeared to be—a personality cut from the same cloth as Hugh Hefner and Larry Flynt. Rather, he was a warrior for righteousness tragically beset by unpredictable appetites. (Perhaps these apologists also recalled King David’s penchant for insulting disabled reporters and accusing debate moderators of being premenstrual?)

    This strained analogy certainly raises questions about the state of evangelical Christianity in America today: how could evangelical authorities pound such a resolutely square peg into such an obviously round hole? After a campaign season marked by unusual theological justifications for supporting Trump (with some notable exceptions), King David the Second won 81 percent of the white evangelical vote, more than any other presidential candidate in history. Coming at exactly the right time, Frances FitzGerald’s mammoth history of the evangelical movement in America, The Evangelicals, helps shed light on conservative evangelicalism’s transformation into a quasi-political institution.

    FitzGerald, who won the Pulitzer Prize for her classic study of the Vietnam War, Fire in the Lake, provides an immense chronicle of fundamentalism and evangelicalism in America, delving into the movement’s anti-intellectualism, narrow literalism, and focus on sexual restrictions—characteristics with which we’re all familiar. At the same time, she highlights oft-overlooked evangelical history and figures who far transcend the more familiar “religious right” mold. There is, for example, the great nineteenth-century evangelist Charles Finney, who made abolitionism a central part of his mission; we also have William Jennings Bryan, whose brilliantly awakened social conscience was undercut by his misguided opposition to Darwinism and cultural defeat during the Scopes Trial; and then there’s Billy Graham, whose political moderation and essential decency seem like ancient history next to his son Franklin’s more aggressive conservatism. (Graham was a southerner who befriended Martin Luther King Jr. and opposed segregation before the 1950s were over.) Additionally, FitzGerald discusses the historical countermovement away from fundamentalism—liberal Christianity—in a way that kindles admiration for theologians like Horace Bushnell and Reinhold Niebuhr.

  10. sunshine616 says:

    Ummmm so here in Florida still a shortage of gas and necessities and wake up to a .50 jump in gas per gallon. Wtf!!! Capitalism is bullshit. Fucking taking advantage. I’m over it. I’m fine chicas. Lost power for two days had minor flooding now deaaling with shortages and outrageous gas prices. Tired

    • Liza says:

      Hey, Sunshine. It’s good to hear that you’re okay. I feel bad for the folks in Florida, but it’s good that power is being restored.

    • rikyrah says:

      glad to hear from you. glad that you made it through ok.

    • Ametia says:

      Hi sunshine. I’m relieved to hear you’re alive and kicking! The powers that be, this is what they do when folks are most vulnerable. The use of fear and devastation to crank up fees$$$, knowing folks will do whatever it takes to surrvive.

      Airlines did the same thing. jacked up flight $$$ when folks were trying to get out of dodge. It’s EVIL. And trust they will not get away with this, in the long run.

      Stay safe, keep the faith. And do what you have to do to survive. Sending tons of love and blessings your way.


    • Good you’re alright. What’s the difference between Best Buy charging $42 for water and people price gouging gas prices? People slammed Best Buy for it….why not people uping their gas prices? Predators preying on people during their suffering is so evil.

  11. rikyrah says:

    Are congressional Trump Russia probes getting in Mueller’s way?
    Senator Mark Warner, ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, talks with Rachel Maddow about whether Special Counsel Robert Mueller is having trouble getting cooperation from the myriad congressional investigations into Trump camp collusion with Russia.

  12. rikyrah says:

    Sen Warner slams Facebook for slow response on Russia cyber op
    Senator Mark Warner, ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, criticizes Facebook for its slow response to being used as a platform for Russian propaganda against the U.S. and using insufficient resources to root out Russia’s full operation.

  13. rikyrah says:

    How the aristocracy preserved their power
    After democracy finally shunted aside hereditary lords, they found new means to protect their extravagant riches. For all the modern tales of noble poverty and leaking ancestral homes, their private wealth and influence remain phenomenal
    by Chris Bryant

    On 11 January this year, Charlie, the genial 3rd Baron Lyell, died aged 77 in Dundee after a short illness. He had inherited his title and the 10,000-acre Kinnordy estate, in Angus, when he was just four years old. After Eton, Christ Church and the Scots Guards, he spent nearly 47 years in the Lords, serving as a Conservative minister from 1979 to 1989. He never married and his title died with him, but under the byzantine rules drawn up when the majority of hereditary peers were excluded from the Lords in 1999, his seat was contested in a byelection in which 27 hereditary peers stood.

    In the short statement required of them, most of the candidates emphasized their career and credentials, but Hugh Crossley, the 45-year-old 4th Baron Somerleyton, went straight for the ideological jugular: “I think the hereditary peerage worth preserving and its principle creates a sense of innate commitment to the welfare of the nation,” he wrote.

    It is not difficult to understand why Crossley would think that way. He was born in, owns, lives in and runs Somerleyton Hall near Lowestoft, Suffolk, which was bought by his carpet-manufacturer ancestor Sir Francis Crossley in 1863. It is palatial, with elaborate Italianate features, a maze, an aviary, a pergola 300ft long, a marina, a 12-acre garden and a 5,000-acre estate. His own publicity material claims that “a trip to Somerleyton is an experience of historical opulence”.


    For most of the 20th century, the aristocracy showed itself remarkably indifferent to the welfare of the nation, if attendance in the upper house is any indication. Debates in the Lords were cursory and poorly attended. Peers had a short week – rarely sitting on a Monday or Friday – and short days, starting at 3.45pm or 4.15pm. During the second world war, there were rarely more than two dozen peers in attendance, and in the postwar years the trend was accentuated. The tedious business of daily attendance no longer interested their lordships, but when their personal interest was at stake or their hackles were raised, they would turn up in force. This became evident in 1956 when the Commons carried a private member’s bill to abolish the death penalty and the Lords voted it down by a resounding 238 votes to 95.

    Today, of course, we are accustomed to thinking of Britain’s aristocracy as a quaint historical curiosity. Under Tony Blair’s first government, most hereditary peers were removed from the Lords. Some might think this a fall from grace, but the very fact that 92 hereditaries were to remain (a larger number than had attended most debates over the previous eight decades) was a victory that proved their enduring strength. They had not just delayed but prevented democratic reform of the Lords, and they had entrenched their reactionary presence.

  14. rikyrah says:

    no kidding


    Frank Rich: Donald Trump’s ‘Independence’ Is a Complete Farce
    Frank Rich

    After President Trump’s decision last week to accept the debt-ceiling deal pushed by Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, shocked conservatives floated rumors that they’d target Paul Ryan’s Speakership to help their agenda, and the Times described Trump as “in many ways, the first independent” in the White House in more than a century. Is this the start of a broader opening for congressional Democrats?
    Before this one brief shining moment of “bipartisanship” goes up in smoke, we must relish the sheer delight of watching Trump stiff Ryan and Mitch McConnell in favor of his new besties, “Chuck and Nancy.” It didn’t turn out well for the Vichy collaborators in World War II, and the same fate in one way or another will befall those Republican leaders who abandoned whatever principles they had once Trump occupied their party. History will be merciless to them, but how much fun to watch them reduced to thunderstruck supernumeraries in real time.

    Still, this instance of victory for congressional Democrats was a one-off. The new coinage that Trump is somehow an “independent,” with its implicit invocation of the Teddy Roosevelts of American history, is a way of dignifying and normalizing erratic behavior that hasn’t changed from the start. It’s the latest iteration of those previous moments when wishful centrist pundits started saying things like “Today Trump became president” simply because he stuck to a teleprompter script when addressing Congress or bombed Syria. Trump is an “independent” in the same way a toddler is. He jumped at the Democrats’ deal solely on impulse. He remains a drama queen who likes to grab attention any way he can, especially when he thinks he can please a crowd, whether the mobs at his rallies or the press Establishment he claims to loathe but whose approval he has always desperately craved. The most telling aspect of this whole incident was his morning-after phone call to Schumer to express his excitement that he was getting rave reviews not only from Fox but CNN and MSNBC as well.

  15. rikyrah says:

    What a charmer…

    Anthony Scaramucci Reportedly Wants a Paternity Test for Newborn Son
    Madeleine Aggeler

  16. rikyrah says:

    Don’t drop the soap, muthaphucka


    A federal judge on Wednesday revoked the $5 million bail of Martin Shkreli, the infamous former hedge fund manager convicted of defrauding investors, after prosecutors complained that his out-of-court antics posed a danger to the community.

    While awaiting sentencing, Shkreli has harassed women online, prosecutors argued, and even offered his Facebook followers $5,000 to grab a strand of Hillary Clinton’s hair during her book tour. Shkreli, who faces up to 20 years in prison for securities fraud, apologized in writing, saying that he did not expect anyone to take his online comments seriously, and his attorneys pleaded with the judge Wednesday to give him another chance.

    “The fact that he continues to remain unaware of the inappropriateness of his actions or words demonstrates to me that he may be creating ongoing risk to the community,” said U.S. District Judge Kiyo Matsumoto, in revoking his bond.

  17. rikyrah says:

    Bernie Sanders’s Bill Gets America Zero Percent Closer to Single Payer
    Jonathan Chait

    The sight of 15 Senate Democrats, including many of the party’s likely presidential contenders, co-sponsoring Bernie Sanders’s single-payer health-care bill may look like a momentous step. “What that means,” writes Jake Tapper, “is that with the notable exception of former Vice President Joe Biden, every top tier(ish) 2020 Democrat is now on board with a policy proposal that Clinton said less than two years ago would ‘never, ever come to pass.’”

    But this image of progress only holds true if you imagine the process as a series of continuous steps. In reality, single payer has always been, and remains, a political dilemma that nobody has been able to resolve, and there is no evidence the resolution has grown any easier. What looks like a large step forward is actually a party edging closer to a cliff it has no intention of going over.

    The barrier to single payer is that the American health-care system has been built, by accident, around employer-based insurance. The rhetoric of single payer concentrates its moral emphasis on people who lack insurance at all. (“Do we, as a nation, join the rest of the industrialized world and guarantee comprehensive health care to every person as a human right?” writes Sanders today.) But the barrier to single-payer health care is the people who already have coverage. Designing a single-payer system means not only covering the uninsured, but financing the cost of moving the 155 million Americans who have employer-based insurance onto Medicare.

    That is not a detail to be worked out. It is the entire problem. The impossibility of this barrier is why Lyndon Johnson gave up on trying to pass a universal health-care bill and instead confined his legislation to the elderly (who mostly did not get insurance through employers), and why Barack Obama left the employer-based system intact and created alternate coverage for non-elderly people outside it.

    In theory, the transition could be done without hurting anybody. The money workers and their employers pay to insurance companies would be converted into taxes. But this means solving two enormous political obstacles. First, most people who have employer-based coverage like it and don’t want to change. Second, higher taxes are unpopular. Yes, in an imaginary, rational world, people could be reassured that Medicare will be as good as what they have, and the taxes will merely replace the premiums they’re already paying. In reality, people are deeply loss-averse and distrustful of politicians.

    Health-care experts have spent decades trying to grapple with this dilemma. Sanders has not come even a single inch closer to resolving it. Instead he hand-waves the problem away.

    • Liza says:

      Private insurance and pharmaceutical companies literally demanding mega profits are the problem, to be sure. And this is not sustainable.

      The elephant in the room in underinsurance.

  18. rikyrah says:

    DA PHUQ?

    White House Ethics Office Now Allows Anonymous Gifts to Staffers’ Legal Funds
    Margaret Hartmann

    Thanks to the U.S. Office of Government Ethics, lobbyists now have the opportunity to donate to a very needy cause: Trump staffers’ legal defense.

    Politico reports that the ethics watchdog quietly reversed its internal policy that banned lobbyists from making anonymous donations to White House staffers’ legal defense funds. The issue centers on a 1993 internal guidance document that said government employees could solicit money for their legal defense funds, as long as the employee “does not know who the paymasters are.” OGE officials quickly changed their minds, but the document was never updated, as it wasn’t needed during the relatively scandal-lite George W. Bush and Obama administrations.

    Then–OGE director Walter Shaub anticipated the issue would come up for the incoming Clinton or Trump administrations, so he ordered a review. OGE didn’t have time to complete it, but in May a statement was added to the top of the document noting that it was “not consistent with current OGE interpretation and practice.” According to Shaub, following discussions with Trump White House attorneys, the note was changed again after he left the office over the summer. Now it says the guideline “has not changed” and decisions should be made on an individual basis.

    “It’s very depressing,” Shaub said. “It’s unseemly for the ethics office to be doing something sneaky like that.”

    The White House disputed Shaub’s characterization, and said officials were talking with OGE because they wanted to make sure they were following the guidelines, not circumventing them.

  19. rikyrah says:

    Median wealth of black Americans ‘will fall to zero by 2053’, warns new report
    Study predicts huge and growing gulf between white US households and black households


    But Hamilton is in the minority, in execution if not intention. A new report calculates that median wealth for black Americans will fall to $0 by 2053, if current trends continue. Latino-Americans, who are also experiencing a sustained downward wealth slide, will hit $0 about two decades later, according to the study by Prosperity Now and the Institute for Policy Studies.

    “By 2020, median black and Latino households stand to lose nearly 18% and 12% of the wealth they held in 2013 respectively, while median white household wealth increases by 3%,” the report states. “At that point – just three years from now – white households are projected to own 86 times more wealth than black households, and 68 times more wealth than Latino households.”

    With the US set to become “majority minority” by 2044, researchers say this spells major economic peril for the nation. “If the racial wealth divide continues to accelerate, the economic conditions of black and Latino households will have an increasingly adverse impact on the economy writ large, because the majority of US households will no longer have enough wealth to stake their claim in the middle class.”

    The authors cite the legacy of discriminatory housing policies, an “upside down” tax system that helps the wealthiest households get wealthier, and the economic effects of mass incarceration as among the root causes for the discrepancy.

    “The middle class didn’t just happen by market forces, and the whiteness of the middle class didn’t just happen by market forces. Both were intentional,” said Dedrick Asante-Muhammad, a senior fellow at Prosperity Now and one of the report’s authors.

  20. rikyrah says:

    AP: Ryan Backs Off Promises That GOP Tax Plan Won’t Add To Deficit

    WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Paul Ryan backed off months of promises that the Republicans’ tax plan won’t add to the nation’s ballooning deficit, declaring Wednesday in an AP Newsmaker interview that the most important goal of an overhaul is economic growth.

    Asked twice whether he would insist the emerging tax plan won’t pile more billions onto the $20 trillion national debt, Ryan passed up the chance to affirm that commitment. GOP leaders made that “revenue neutral” promise in a campaign manifesto last year and many times since.

    “We want pro-growth tax reform that will get the economy going, that will get people back to work, that will give middle-income taxpayers a tax cut and that will put American businesses in a better competitive playing field so that we keep American businesses in America,” the Wisconsin Republican told Associated Press reporters and editors. “That is more important than anything else.”

  21. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone 😐😐😐

  22. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone.

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