Thursday Open Thread | Amy Sherald Week

They Call Me Redbone but I’d Rather Be Strawberry Shortcake

Like most contemporary theorists, painter Amy Sherald perceives racial identity as a performance in response to external forces rather than an essential attribute. As one of just a few black children in her private school in Georgia, she recalls being highly conscious of how she spoke and dressed, believing these behaviors were the key to social acceptance and assimilation. They Call Me Redbone but I’d Rather Be Strawberry Shortcake alludes to racial labeling directly, as the slang term “redbone” typically refers to a black woman with a light skin tone.

Sherald modifies historical portrait formats to upend the dominant narrative of African American history. She notes: “I create playful yet sober portraits of black Americans within an imaginative history where I do black my way, in the European tradition of painted portraiture.” While historical portraitists aimed to reveal a sitter’s social standing or some essence of character, Sherald’s haunting figures are expressionless and dressed in unusual, costume-style clothing that she has collected.

Typical of Sherald’s art, the young woman in They Call Me Redbone but I’d Rather Be Strawberry Shortcake appears to float against an intensely colored background, which enhances the work’s dreamy quality. The artist achieves this effect by limiting her use shadow along the figure’s contours. Here as in other works, Sherald disrupts viewers’ readings of her portrait subjects as black by painting their skin in grayscale, metaphorically removing their “color.”

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102 Responses to Thursday Open Thread | Amy Sherald Week

  1. rikyrah says:

    a Scandal tweet

    Joe Morton


    Olivia is a girl lost in a miasma of cold white power in a cold white world known as politics. #TheBookOfRowan #Scandal

  2. rikyrah says:

    Bernie Sanders’ NIMBY revolution


    The US senator from Vermont was in the Boston area Monday to support City Council and Board of Aldermen candidates endorsed by the Cambridge and Somerville chapters of Our Revolution, the grass-roots political organization that grew out of his insurgent 2016 campaign. Sanders’ decision to get involved in municipal races in these two cities, where the political spectrum runs from very liberal to super-ultra-wicked-liberal, was bizarre to begin with; Senator Elizabeth Warren, a progressive icon who actually lives in Cambridge, hasn’t similarly inserted herself into these contests.

    In Cambridge, Sanders and his local acolytes faced a choice between two groups of self-styled progressives: one group bent on easing the city’s housing woes by building more units, and another group defined by its vocal opposition to higher, denser private development. Sanders and Our Revolution Cambridge sided with most of the same candidates as the Cambridge Residents Alliance — the city’s most prominent antidevelopment group.

  3. rikyrah says:

    One of Grassley’s staffers was trying to find Hillary’s emails during the campaign, just like the dead guy. – Maddow’s show

  4. rikyrah says:

    Clemson student Senate VP, who sat through Pledge of Allegiance, impeached

    By Bristow Marchant

    Clemson University’s student Senate voted Monday to impeach the student government’s vice president, who recently refused to stand during the Pledge of Allegiance.

    Student senators voted 40-18 to impeach vice president Jaren Stewart. Stewart was out of town Monday at a conference in Washington, D.C., the Anderson Independent Mail reports.

    An impeachment trial for Stewart will be set for a later date. If successful, Stewart will be removed from office.

    Read more here:

  5. rikyrah says:

    These are a couple of good comments from BJ:

    Comment 1:

    ruemara says:
    October 26, 2017 at 5:12 pm
    We may be feeling that way now, but our lives are on the line. Some
    feel it to a greater degree than others, but even with our understanding that neither left nor right really supports minorities, we understand who at least will allow us to live.

    It seems they wish for us to live in silence, at the back, doing the labor and giving out cool points and entertaining them so folks can feel spiritual, but let us live nonetheless.

    This new conservatism melded with nationalism? They are
    overtly championing ethnic cleansing. We look at PR and the completely ignored USVI and we see our neighborhoods.

    Comment 2:

    ruemara says:
    October 26, 2017 at 5:22 pm

    No. We knew we were getting snowed. The bigger damage has been done by the Bernie campaign, where real black folks could rip off the scabs of the mediocre aid Dems give to AA issues and rub serious salt into the wounds mixed in with Bernie super promises.

    And then white folks failed the most basic test of not being complete
    sacks of shit. That was a knife in the soul to see that. Conservative
    might mean biased but full on soaked in haterade, selling the country to Nazis? Wow.

    Then you have the Bernie crewe trying to dismiss our vote
    and stifle our voice by advocating open primaries and caucuses over primaries? For real? And lefty media talking about “identity politics” as the reason why HRC lost and how we need to reach out to racist motherfuckers and promise not to call them racist and keep the browns in their place if they’ll pretty please vote Dem for free college? Nah.

    Poison in the blood, this betrayal is. We did the hard work, we paid in our blood, the bodies of our people to elevate this fucking country from being the goddamned model for apartheid and the Final Solution and this is the way we’re repaid for a fucking minute of near parity.

    It’s not propaganda when it’s real. Begging for help to vote, begging
    for fair & free elections, minimal help from all the committed
    leftists who could fill the street for “Bust up big banks”. Hard to get
    energized when we’ve been doing a lot of the work for decades and now we have to do even more with an even savvier bunch who owns the cops, the military and the DOJ. Great. Thanks. We’ll just run along and all buy guns so we can demonstrate that won’t get you a gun law that does more than criminalize black folks with guns.

  6. rikyrah says:

    Some more thoughts.
    I have been saying for awhile, that they are trying to kill American Citizens.

    I stand by that.

    We have 3.5 million American Citizens who have been without power for over a month.
    We knew that it would take some time for things to get back to normal.
    But, that was before we found out that a completely incompetent company was part of the grift.

    Dolt45 kept on LYING about Puerto Rico’s ‘infrastructure’ being destroyed BEFORE the hurricane. That’s a DAMN LIE.

    The reason he keeps on repeating it, is because that would alleviate pressure from that scam contract given to the company to restore power to Puerto Rico.

    It’s a goddamned GRIFT. They are completely UNQUALIFIED, and it’s thievery.

  7. rikyrah says:

    FEMA will not release the response plan for Puerto Rico. – says Maddow.

  8. rikyrah says:

    Another thing..

    We heard the story of Dolt45 PERSONALLY interviewing US Attorney candidates…
    And, it’s as hanky as it seems

    But, after this week, the focus is even clearer.

    The office of Preet Bahara didn’t Stop working after he was fired. We now know this week, that they have been working hard- with a laser focus on Manafort. Yes, they are desperate.

    Even the tax cuts. Hear from LarryO that something this big takes
    over a year to do, , so why the rush. They are terrified of something.
    Something is about to happen

  9. rikyrah says:

    Here’s a primer to push back against ‘ The Democrats Paid for the Steele Dossier’ bullshyt:

    1. The beginning patron of the dossier was A Republican.

    2. Said Republican was so disturbed by it- THAT they sent it to the Democrats. They wanted Hillary to know what they had found.

    3. Steele, in not so many words, is a WHISTLEBLOWER.

    No, someone hired to do opposition research, DOES NOT EVERYDAY, or every
    decade…SHOW UP ON THE DOORSTEP OF THE FBI saying, ‘I have a story to
    tell you.’

    Show me when that has happened?

    4. The CIA, when alerted by their counterparts about Dolt45 and his cabal, they freaked out.

    5. Putin is not just some head of another country. HE.USED.TO.RUN.THE.PHUCKING.KGB.

  10. Ametia says:

    Hulu to Turn Ralph Ellison’s ‘Invisible Man’ Into a Miniseries
    Ellison’s debut novel critiqued institutional racism and mid-century activism via a nameless Black narrator.

  11. Trump declares the opioid crisis a public health emergency. When crack ravaged Black communities, Black people were told to lock them up and throw away the key. Prison Industrial Complex. Private prisons making money off locking up black people. #opioidcrisis

    • Ametia says:

      It’s a fact that white folks are more likely to be prescribed opioids-(PRESCRIBED) Ask POC how hard it is to get prescriptions for painkillers, when they need them.

      Just because they’re legally prescribed, doesn’t mean they aren’t abused.

      The entire system is RIGGED.

    • Liza says:

      I think Trump was advised to change the conversation (like Don Draper in Mad Men).

      How can he lose with an “opioid epidemic”?

  12. rikyrah says:

    What Is McConnell’s Ammunition in the Battle Against Bannon?
    by Nancy LeTourneau October 26, 2017

    The media is replete these days with stories about the civil war that is heating up between Steve Bannon and Mitch McConnell. To keep the conversation grounded, it is important to remember what this is all about. As Adele Stan documented over a month ago, Bannon and McConnell are proxy warriors in a battle of the oligarchs—Mercers vs Kochs—for control of the Republican Party.


    Really? That is McConnell’s big plan to defeat Bannon? He’s got a Super PAC that is going to accuse Bannon of being linked to white nationalism? Give me a break! My analysis of McConnell has always been that he is not ideologically driven, but is an expert on playing the power games that go on in Washington. It might be that he’s not tipping his hand at this point and has more up his sleeve. He better hope so, because Bannon isn’t the only one who got a good laugh out of that reporting.


    That is the territory Bannon is claiming in his battle against the establishment. What’s interesting to note is that McConnell gave it to him by fanning the tea party base in order to gain their support for his policy of total obstruction during the Obama presidency. The only alternative for McConnell at this point is to make a move away from that extremist landscape—which would mean tacking closer to the Democrats. It sure looks to me like he is between a rock and a hard place of his own making.

    Unless McConnell can do better than what we’ve heard so far, the only prayer for Republicans who are being targeted by Bannon in the primaries is to hope that there are some local factors that keep these races from becoming nationalized as a referendum on Trump. Otherwise we’re looking at a Republican Party in the hands of Steve Bannon and the Mercers.

  13. rikyrah says:

    BREAKING: Interpol just confirmed they’ve blocked Russia’s abusive arrest warrant. This is 5th time Russia has been rejected by Interpol

    — Bill Browder (@Billbrowder) October 26, 2017

    BREAKING (2): Interpol sent warning to all member states that Interpol channels cannot be used by Russia in my case going forward

    — Bill Browder (@Billbrowder) October 26, 2017

  14. rikyrah says:

    Maxine Waters asks Twitter for information about Russian accounts that reportedly attacked her

    — LA Times CA Politics (@LATpoliticsCA) October 26, 2017

  15. rikyrah says:

    This administration is hell-bent on attacking women’s health


    Scott Lloyd, the head of the Trump administration’s Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), is just one example of why Trump’s appointees are so dangerous.

    Today, Lloyd refused to answer for his treatment of Jane Doe and countless others in his so-called “care.” And it’s no wonder — to answer would be to defend the indefensible.

    Lloyd appeared at a House oversight hearing after a month during which this administration brought the full weight of the federal government to bear against a pregnant, undocumented 17-year-old in Texas, attempting to block her from getting the abortion that is her right. While justice finally prevailed for Jane Doe, her case revealed just how frighteningly far the Trump administration’s abuse of power and disregard of the Constitution extends.

    As the office that oversees federally funded facilities that house refugees — including the one that’s housing Jane Doe — ORR is required to provide undocumented and unaccompanied minors with basic needs like food, shelter, and health care, including contraception and access to abortion.

    Yet, Lloyd inserted his personal beliefs into government policy, insisting that he be personally notified if any unaccompanied minor is seeking an abortion. He is actively engaged in preventing unaccompanied minors in the care of ORR from accessing abortion services. His pursuit of policies and personal practices designed to impose his views on young woman after young woman, denying them access to health care and constitutional rights is outrageous and wrong.

  16. rikyrah says:

    Pence says US to stop funding ‘ineffective’ UN relief efforts
    BY MAX GREENWOOD – 10/25/17 07:37 PM EDT

    Vice President Pence on Wednesday said that President Trump has instructed the State Department to stop funding certain “ineffective” United Nations relief efforts and to instead provide humanitarian assistance directly through USAID and “faith-based groups.”

    In a speech at the In Defense of Christians annual Solidarity Dinner for Christians in the Middle East, Pence excoriated the U.N., saying the international body has “often failed to help the most vulnerable communities especially religious minorities.”

    “We will no longer rely on the United Nations alone to assist persecuted Christians and minorities in the wake of genocide and the atrocities of terrorist groups,” Pence said to applause.

    “The United States will work hand in hand from this day forward with faith-based groups and private orgs to help those who are persecuted for their faith. This is the moment, now is the time, and America will support these people in their hour of need.”

    He did not specify what U.N. programs or initiatives the U.S. will no longer fund.

    Those faith-based groups, Pence said, have repeatedly had funding requests denied by the U.N., despite “proven track records.”

  17. rikyrah says:

    Trump Thinks He’s Turned the Whole ‘Russian Hoax’ Around
    by Nancy LeTourneau
    October 26, 2017

    During his impromptu press interview before boarding Marine One yesterday, Trump answered some questions on the Washington Post story about Democrats funding the Steele dossier. In the end, he said that the whole “Russian hoax” was an attempt by Democrats to make an excuse for losing the election. Then he said this:

    They didn’t know what to say, so they made up the whole Russia hoax. Now it’s turning out that the hoax has turned around and you look at what’s happened with Russia and you look at the uranium deal and you look at the fake dossier. So that’s all turned around.

    I assume that he means that, as the right wingers are all reporting, it is now Hillary Clinton who is in the hot seat for colluding with the Russians. Do you see why I would question whether or not this is all a planned attempt to discredit the results of the Mueller investigation? Trump has his talking points all ready for public consumption in order to lie, distract and blame.

    When the president talks about the “Russian hoax,” it is hard to know whether he is referring to the attempt by that country to influence the election (something he’s been all over the map about) or whether he’s talking about the allegations that his campaign colluded with those attempts. It is very possible that in his small mind, he doesn’t make a distinction. But the verdict on the former has already been delivered, there’s no turning that one around at this point. Russia attempted to influence a U.S. election. The only remaining question is whether or not anyone in the Trump campaign was involved in those efforts. The Steele dossier alleges that those ties ran very deep.

    To buy Trump’s line about the Steele dossier is to believe that the Clinton campaign paid big money for it, but didn’t use it—even though the contents were being floated around D.C. prior to the election. Instead, they saved it until she lost and then spread its contents in an attempt to make excuses. How absurd is that?

  18. rikyrah says:

    Jeff Sessions reveals he ‘might’ not be recused from investigating Steele dossier linking Trump and Russia
    David Edwards
    26 OCT 2017 AT 13:26 ET

    Atttorney General Jeff Sessions suggested on Thursday that although he has publicly recused himself from the investigation into Russian interference and possible collusion with the Trump campaign, it might not include an investigation into the so-called Steele dossier, which found evidence that President Donald Trump has been compromised by Russia.

    During an interview on Thursday, conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt posed the question to the attorney general.

    “I know you’re recused from most of the Russia stuff. But are you recused from the investigation into the Steele dossier and GPS Fusion?” Hewitt asked.

    “Well, I have not made a formal announcement on what kind of recusal I might have there,” Sessions said. “But I could well be.”

  19. rikyrah says:

    US attorney general says people should just ‘say no’ to opioids
    Reuters REUTERS
    26 OCT 2017 AT 13:29 ET

    U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said on Thursday that the first step to combating the country’s opioid crisis is to get people to just “say no” to drugs, and he warned that marijuana could be serving as a gateway to the problem.

    “We’ve got to re-establish first the view that you should say no. People should say no to drug use. They have got to protect themselves first,” he said, during a question-and-answer session at the Heritage Foundation think tank in Washington.

  20. rikyrah says:

    Uh huh
    Uh huh

    In recent years, the private prison company GEO Group has held its annual leadership conference at venues near its Boca Raton headquarters. But this year, the company moved its gathering to a Miami-area golf resort owned by President Trump.

    The event last week, during which executives and wardens gathered for four days of meetings, dinner receptions and golf outings at the luxurious 800-acre Trump National Doral, followed an intense effort by GEO Group to align itself with the president and his administration.

    During last year’s election, a company subsidiary gave $225,000 to a pro-Trump super PAC. GEO gave an additional $250,000 to the president’s inaugural committee. It also hired as outside lobbyists a major Trump fundraiser and two former aides to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, one of the president’s most prominent campaign backers.

    GEO Group, meanwhile, has had newfound success in Trump’s Washington.

    The company secured the administration’s first contract for an immigration detention center, a deal worth tens of millions a year. And its stock price has tripled since hitting a low last year when the Obama administration sought to phase out the use of private prisons — a decision that Sessions reversed.


  21. rikyrah says:

    A Coordinated Attack on the FBI Has Begun
    by Nancy LeTourneau October 26, 2017


    In the tweet above, the president basically insinuated that the FBI had colluded with the Russians and the Democrats to produce the dossier, and so I’ve suggested that it is very likely that they will be the next target. Take a look at how that was affirmed when Tucker Carlson interviewed Rep. Nunes (who has reversed his recusal from the Russia investigation) last night.

    Their conversation focused completely on the role of the FBI with the Steele dossier, and is loaded with distortions and lies. Carlson even went so far as to ask, “So is there anything more terrifying than the prospect of an armed rogue agency?” Think about that. An interviewer refers to the FBI as “an armed rogue agency” and a member of Congress simply nods in agreement. Apparently the long knives have come out.

    At the root of all of this is the assertion made in Trump’s tweet that the FBI paid for the Steele dossier (they considered doing so, but didn’t) and whether they actually investigated its assertions (gasp!) One thing that has been missing from most of the discussion about all of this is that when the dossier was shared with Sen. John McCain last December, he immediately turned in over to the FBI. As Martin has written, they already had it because it had been given to them by Christopher Steele. But the point is that it wasn’t just Democrats and the FBI who were concerned about what he was finding.

    These attacks on the FBI, along with John Solomon’s lies and distortions about the fact that they investigated a racketeering scheme involving a Russian nuclear official, are designed to undermine the agency that was initially involved in investigating the Trump/Russia connection as well as Robert Mueller, who has taken it over as the independent prosecutor.

    What we are witnessing is not only a president who is actively assisting an adversary (Russia) in their attack against us, but a willingness to tear down any person or institution that is attempting to stop him. He is being aided in that process by members of congress like Devin Nunes, as well as the entire right wing media (with occasional assists from the Washington Post and the New York Times).

    As with much of Trump’s behavior, I only expect this situation to get worse. Other than that, I won’t make any predictions about what happens next. But based on my read of things, our democracy is in peril unless/until this president is stopped.

  22. rikyrah says:

    Lindsey Graham Trades Principle for Influence
    by Martin Longman
    October 26, 2017


    The apparent and surprisingly abrupt demise in Steve Bannon’s influence offers a major potential opening for neoconservatives, many of whom opposed Trump’s election precisely because of his association with Bannon and the “America Firsters,” to return to power after so many years of being relegated to the sidelines. Bannon’s decline suggests that he no longer wields the kind of veto power that prevented the nomination of Elliott Abrams as deputy secretary of state.

    I can only imagine how Bannon feels about seeing neoconservative stalwart Lindsey Graham positioning himself to have the ear of the president:

    Three times in a single day last week, Senator Lindsey Graham’s cellphone rang. The first time, President Trump called about the health care fight in Congress. The second time, the president thanked the senator for defending his honor on television. Then Mr. Trump rang seeking more intelligence on health care.

    Mr. Graham — Republican of South Carolina and a one-time target of the president’s barbs on Twitter — has transformed himself into the Senate’s Trump whisperer, shrugging off the White House chaos, personal insults and deep ideological differences in exchange for Mr. Trump’s ear.


    Graham recently injected himself into the health care debate, which is an area where he has previously shown little interest and less expertise. And it’s true that these recent calls pertained to health care and not foreign policy. But Graham is establishing trust and a working relationship which he will attempt to use in foreign policy going forward.

  23. rikyrah says:

    AP learns computer server key to lawsuit against Georgia election officials was wiped clean after suit was filed:

    — AP Politics (@AP_Politics) October 26, 2017

    GA Secretary of State Brian Kemp (R) is running for governor in 2018. This is one reason why Dems must stop him & win the SoS election too

    — Stephen Wolf (@PoliticsWolf) October 26, 2017

  24. rikyrah says:

    Scott Brown: more complaints surface over behaviour of US ambassador to New Zealand
    Ambassador said to have been ‘culturally insensitive’ at party in Samoa and is alleged by one woman to have stared at her breasts

    It was a balmy 32 degrees when the US ambassador to New Zealand, Scott Brown, touched down in Apia, the capital of the South Pacific island nation of Samoa.

    Brown had flown in with his wife, Gail Huff, in July for a party to celebrate 50 years of the peace corps in the country. It was his inaugural visit to Samoa – of which he is also the official US representative – and one he was looking forward to.

    The party was intended as the climax of the ambassador’s trip, a night of celebration. People were in high spirits. They were offered beer, wine, champagne and local hors d’oeuvres, including slices of taro topped with palusami, spring rolls and chicken skewers.

    But something went wrong that night. As one attendee describes it, something was “off” and the party is now at the centre of a US state department investigation over the ambassador’s conduct toward two women.

    Brown admitted on Wednesday that he was being investigated by officials who had flown to Wellington to interview him.

  25. rikyrah says:

    I enjoyed the entire article. So much I didn’t clip.

    Bloomberg’s Megan McArdle Can’t Tell Me Shit About White Supremacy

    Michael Harriot
    Yesterday 8:35am


    Are there varying degrees of racism?

    Different people will have different answers. Some will argue that there is a big difference between a lynching and wearing blackface. Others dismiss the idea of a sliding scale of bigotry and believe that being “a little racist” is like being “kinda pregnant.”

    It is a complex debate full of nuances and caveats. As someone who has studied the intersection of race theory and economic theory for years, I cannot give a definitive answer. There is only one thing about which I am 100 percent sure:

    White people do not get to decide.

    On Monday I published a piece titled, “The NFL Protests Are a Perfect Study of How White Supremacy Works.” You don’t even have to click on the link and read it; I can give you the CliffsNotes version:

    1. There are a lot of people who are outraged and feel it is disrespectful for black players to kneel during the national anthem.
    2. Those people think the NFL or the team owners should enact rules or a form of punishment for kneeling during the anthem.
    3. The number of black players who kneel during the national anthem is very small (less than 2 percent of the league’s black players kneel during the anthem).
    4. The fact that fans, owners and the president of the United States are threatening to shut down these players’ protests is a microcosm of how white supremacy works to oppress people of color.

    In response to the article, writer Megan McArdle wrote a piece for Bloomberg titled: “Be Careful Who You Call a White Supremacist.” In her piece, McArdle warns … ummm … me, I guess, that using the term “white supremacist” is hyperbolic and damaging to the hope of productive conversation. McArdle writes that “lexical activists” like myself (Who knew? I have an entirely different job title now! I am getting new business cards as we speak) run the risk of simultaneously neutering the power of the words and causing people to become apathetic.

    McArdle somehow manages to channel the inner workings of my pitiful wittle peabrain to whitesplain how I—or people like me—think that “the idea is apparently that if we put the racial inequalities perpetuated by the criminal-justice system on the same moral plane as lynch mobs and segregated lunch counters, people will have to attack the former with the same vigor we would use against any attempt to bring back Jim Crow.”


    The blurb for McArdle’s article is, “If you’ve cried wolf too many times, no one will listen when you see the real thing.”

    The problem with McArdle and all of the white people throughout the history of white people is that they have never been able to see the “real thing.” They have never been able to recognize racism in real time.

    They are good at seeing everything in hindsight, but their infinitely wide blind spot for white supremacy is how we got the trans-Atlantic slave trade, more than 4,000 public black lynchings between 1877 and 1950, and the deadliest war in the history of America.


    Let us be clear: I and my fellow L.A.s (that’s what we call it at the meetings of BLACC—the Brotherhood of Lexical Activists and Caucasian Complainers) do not ratchet up our language with the hope or expectation that doing so will cause people of no color to fight racism with urgency. To wit, McArdle missed a very important point in her whitesplained defense of white supremacy:

    White people didn’t do a damn thing about the lynch mobs, lunch counters or Jim Crow. We did.

  26. Look at this, y’all. It’s never ending. Kill a black man, get back pay and have it wiped from your record. White supremacy got damn!

  27. rikyrah says:

    Repeat after me…

    They would sell their mother to Lucifer for those tax cuts.


    Putting aside principles, Graham says, ‘I’m trying to get taxes cut’
    10/26/17 10:06 AM
    By Steve Benen
    In a rather dramatic speech on the Senate floor this week, Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) declared, “There are times when we must risk our careers in favor of our principles. Now is such a time.”

    The Arizona Republican, in remarks that were intended as a rebuke to Donald Trump, added that officials’ principles and obligations “are far more important than politics…. Acting on conscience and principle is the manner in which we express our moral selves and as such, loyalty to conscience and principle should supersede loyalty to any man or party.”

    As Vanity Fair noted, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) seemed sympathetic to his colleague’s concerns, but only to a point.

    “I like him a lot,” Graham said on Wednesday when asked about Flake’s speech. “I think it’s a loss to the Senate. I share some of his concerns about what the president said, about the way he behaves. The election is over. I’m focused on results, and that’s why I’m here. I’d rather not be a constant critic. I’ll stand up when I need to, but I’m trying to get taxes cut.” […]

    Graham, as you may recall, once described Trump as a “jackass” and an “idiot,” but now that they’re working together to deliver a gigantic tax cut to corporate America and the rich disguised as tax relief for the middle-class, he describes the president a little differently: “He’s a dealmaker, and he’s extremely flexible,” Graham told The Washington Post,

  28. Carson….😍😍😍😍😍

  29. rikyrah says:

    The Trump administration has spent $1.75 million on furniture for the executive office since his inauguration.

    — Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) October 26, 2017

  30. rikyrah says:

    Puerto Rico’s financial oversight board is moving to install an emergency manager at the island’s state-owned utility amid criticism of a $300 million contract it awarded to a small Montana energy firm for work on the territory’s crippled electrical grid.

    The board said Wednesday that it intends to appoint Noel Zamot, a retired Air Force colonel and member of the oversight panel, to oversee daily operations of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority.

    The decision comes as House and Senate Democrats called for an investigation into the utility’s agreement with Whitefish Energy. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) pledged to examine the grid-rebuilding efforts at an upcoming hearing of the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, which she chairs. San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz on Tuesday told Yahoo News that the contract should be “voided right away.”…

    Whitefish and the utility struck an agreement on Sept. 26, six days after Maria swept through, without a formal bidding process. About 80 percent of customers still have no electricity.

    Under the contract, Whitefish is charging $330 an hour for a site supervisor and $227.88 an hour for a “journeyman lineman.” The cost for subcontractors, which make up the bulk of Whitefish’s workforce, is $462 per hour for a supervisor and $319.04 for a lineman.

    “PREPA has made clear it is not equipped for the enormous task of quickly restoring the Island’s power,” Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-N.Y.) said in a statement, using the acronym for the utility. “The Authority’s dubious decision to contract with a small, inexperienced and obscure company further underscored the need for intervention.”

    House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called the contract with Whitefish “highly suspect” and urged inspectors general to investigate…

  31. rikyrah says:

    The mayor of San Juan wants to void the $300M contract awarded to a tiny Montana company to help rebuild Puerto Rico.

    Here’s why:

    — Splinter (@splinter_news) October 25, 2017

    Here’s Trump-donor-financed company that won a $300m Puerto Rico contract apparently threatening the mayor of San Juan

    — Scream Thielman (@samthielman) October 25, 2017

    We’ve got 44 linemen rebuilding power lines in your city & 40 more men just arrived. Do you want us to send them back or keep working?

    — Whitefish Energy (@WhitefishEnergy) October 25, 2017

  32. rikyrah says:

    In 2010, I ended my review of Heilemann and Mark Halperin’s Game Change with “these guys really, really hate women.”— The Rude Pundit (@rudepundit) October 26, 2017

  33. rikyrah says:

    On taxes, Americans aren’t buying what Republicans are selling
    10/26/17 08:40 AM—UPDATED 10/26/17 08:43 AM
    By Steve Benen

    The Republican effort to overhaul the nation’s tax code isn’t proceeding smoothly, but GOP officials, with a degree of panic and desperation, are scrambling to make it happen.

    A New York Times report explained yesterday, “The Republican tax plan is a bit like having a baby to save a failing marriage. With divisions roiling the party, the prospect of a once-in-a-generation bill to cut taxes on businesses and individuals increasingly appears to be the last, best hope for a fractured establishment desperate to find common ground and advance an effort it has long championed as the pinnacle of Republican orthodoxy.”

    There’s no shortage of moving parts to this, but while observers wait for GOP officials to get their act together – there’s still no bill, and we don’t even know for sure if the House will pass its budget resolution – it’s worth appreciating just how little public appetite there is for the Republican plan.

    Fewer than a third of Americans support Donald Trump’s tax-cut plan, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Tuesday, as the U.S. president went to Capitol Hill looking for Republican backing for his proposal to slash tax rates for individuals and companies.

    A new Fox News poll, released late yesterday, offered a variety of results on taxes, but among the findings was evidence that 78% of Americans are “frustrated” that “the wealthy are paying too little in taxes.” Another recent Fox News poll found that 59% disapprove of lowering taxes on corporations.

    The entire Republican gambit is predicated on the polar opposite conclusions.

  34. rikyrah says:

    May 2016: Mercer mulls looking for missing Clinton emails
    July 2016: Nix emails Assange, CC’s Mercer, about emails

    — Rebecca Ballhaus (@rebeccaballhaus) October 26, 2017

  35. rikyrah says:

    THIS is crystal clear: President Obama is supremely comfortable in his own skin. He leads a healthy balanced life full of love and light.

    — meta (@metaquest) October 26, 2017

  36. rikyrah says:

    and yet, FEMA can’t reach these folks.

    I’m heading to #PuertoRico today to address access to clean water and the restoration of their power grid.

    — Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) October 26, 2017

    On our flight donated by @Delta, we’re delivering water filtration systems, 30,000 bottles of water and deploying 30 State Troopers.

    — Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) October 26, 2017

  37. rikyrah says:

    This “journalist” spent an entire election cycle trashing an accomplished woman who should be POTUS. I’m going to bed now to sleep on this.— Donna Edwards (@DonnaFEdwards) October 26, 2017

  38. rikyrah says:

    *Sahil Kapur brings us what rank and file members of the Republican caucus are saying about their party’s tax cut plan.

    “We don’t know the brackets,” Representative Chris Collins of New York, a Trump ally, told reporters after a Republican conference meeting Tuesday. “We don’t know where we are on estate taxes. We don’t know where we are on” the state and local tax deduction — a contentious issue for members like Collins from high-tax states.

    “We don’t know where we are on the size of the child tax credit,” he continued. “We don’t know, we don’t know, we don’t know, we don’t know, we don’t know.”…

    One member of [the Ways and Means] committee, Representative Dave Schweikert of Arizona, responded succinctly when asked what issues are still outstanding: “All of them.”

  39. rikyrah says:

    Trump tries to avoid responsibility for soldiers’ deaths in Niger
    10/26/17 08:00 AM
    By Steve Benen

    For three weeks, Donald Trump wouldn’t acknowledge the deadliest combat incident of his presidency. On Oct. 4, four U.S. Army Special Operations soldiers were killed in an ambush in Niger, and the president had said literally nothing about it, and the White House refused to release a condolence statement drafted by the National Security Council.

    Yesterday, Trump finally mentioned the attack when a reporter asked whether the president had authorized the mission.

    TRUMP: No, I didn’t. Not specifically. But I have generals that are great generals. These are great fighters. These are warriors and –

    REPORTER: You gave them authority to do this mission.

    TRUMP: I gave them authority to do what’s right so that we win. That’s the authority they have…. My generals and my military, they have decision-making ability. As far as the incident that we’re talking about, I’ve been seeing it just like you’ve been seeing it. I’ve been getting reports. They have to meet the enemy and they meet them tough, and that’s what happens.

    In other words, the president effectively wants to be seen as a bystander. Trump has delegated his powers to military leaders; they make decisions; and the president gets “reports” on what servicemen and women have been up to. He’s “been seeing it just like” the rest of us.

    If this sounds familiar, it’s because yesterday wasn’t the first time he’s tried to pass the buck in the wake of a U.S. combat death. Soon after taking office, Trump authorized a mission in Yemen, which claimed the life of Navy SEAL William “Ryan” Owens, and when pressed for answers on what transpired, the president said the buck stops somewhere else.

  40. rikyrah says:


    Alarm over disease as much of Puerto Rico still lacks clean water
    Rachel Maddow reports on a frustrating run-around in trying to get answers to questions about the spread of the bacterial infection leptospirosis from lack of clean drinking water in Puerto Rico.

  41. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    Prince’s photographer, Afshin Shahid, has created a book of his work:,204,203,200_.jpg
    From Amazon’s review:

    “Prince: A Private View compiles photographer Afshin Shahidi’s work into a journey through Prince’s extraordinary life. With never-before-seen photos, it is the ultimate collection of shots of Prince. Brief, but complete and rich, stories about Shahidi and Prince’s collaboration and time together are alternately incisive, personal, and even funny.”

  42. rikyrah says:

    Senate committee splits as Trump behavior warrants scrutiny
    Rachel Maddow reports on how congressional committees are splitting along partisan lines in the Trump Russia investigation even as new revelations show Donald Trump’s behavior warrants a closer look by committees like the Senate Judiciary.

    Blumenthal hopes committee split speeds up Trump investigation
    Senator Richard Blumenthal talks with Rachel Maddow about the unprecedented nature of Donald Trump interviewing potential U.S. attorneys and what partisan divisions within the Judiciary Committee mean for the Trump Russia investigation.

  43. rikyrah says:

    The Steele Dossier Looks More Credible Than Ever
    by Martin Longman
    October 25, 2017

    On January 11th, 2017, right after BuzzFeed published the Steele dossier, reporter Scott Shane of the New York Times published a piece called: What We Know and Don’t Know About the Trump-Russia Dossier. What Mr. Shane already knew was that “in September 2015, a Washington political research firm, Fusion GPS, paid by a wealthy Republican donor who did not like Mr. Trump, began to compile ‘opposition research’ on him.” Additionally, Shane knew the following: “After it became clear that Mr. Trump would be the Republican nominee, Democratic clients who supported Hillary Clinton began to pay Fusion GPS for this same opposition research.”

    What the Washington Post is reporting today is that the Democratic client who paid for the Fusion GPS research was Perkins Coie, a law firm that was under contract to both the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee. Specifically, their lead election attorney, Mark Elias, made arrangements with Fusion GPS in April 2016 to pay for ongoing opposition research after the original Republican client stopped paying for the work. The way the report is written is vague, but the clear implication is that the Clinton campaign and DNC funded the research indirectly by making payments to the Perkins Coie law firm.


    There’s no evidence beyond what we already knew to suspect that Steele had an incentive to skew his reports. And Steele’s behavior is certainly curious if he thought he was working in close cooperation with the Clinton campaign. For example, when he felt that the information he was providing to Fusion GPS was too explosive to leave to them, he made the decision to contact the FBI:

    Steele dutifully filed his first incendiary report with Fusion on June 20, but was this the end of his responsibilities? He knew that what he had unearthed, he’d say in his anonymous conversation with Mother Jones, “was something of huge significance, way above party politics.” Yet was it simply a vanity to think that a retired spy had to take it on his shoulders to save the world? And what about his contractual agreement with Simpson? Could the company sue, he no doubt wondered, if he disseminated information he’d collected on its dime?

    In the end, Steele found the rationale that is every whistle-blower’s sustaining philosophy: the greater good trumps all other concerns. And so, even while he kept working his sources in the field and continued to shoot new memos to Simpson, he settled on a plan of covert action.

    The F.B.I.’s Eurasian Joint Organized Crime Squad—“Move Over, Mafia,” the bureau’s P.R. machine crowed after the unit had been created—was a particularly gung-ho team with whom Steele had done some heady things in the past. And in the course of their successful collaboration, the hard-driving F.B.I. agents and the former frontline spy evolved into a chummy mutual-admiration society.

    It was only natural, then, that when he began mulling whom to turn to, Steele thought about his tough-minded friends on the Eurasian squad. And fortuitously, he discovered, as his scheme took on a solid operational commitment, that one of the agents was now assigned to the bureau office in Rome. By early August, a copy of his first two memos were shared with the F.B.I.’s man in Rome.

    “Shock and horror”—that, Steele would say in his anonymous interview, was the bureau’s reaction to the goodies he left on its doorstep. And it wanted copies of all his subsequent reports, the sooner the better.

  44. rikyrah says:

    Dave Weigel Retweeted
    Gabriel Sherman‏Verified account @gabrielsherman 37m37 minutes ago
    WOW: Frm NJ assemblyman, who dated O’Reilly victim, says Fox and O’Reilly worked together to dig up dirt on accusers

  45. rikyrah says:

    I’ll say it again…

    Kelly saw nothing wrong with SEPARATING PARENTS AND CHILDREN IN CUSTODY!!

    Think on that.

    Uh huh
    Uh huh

    New York Times this morning;
    This past summer, the Trump administration debated lowering the annual cap on refugees admitted to the United States. Should it stay at 110,000, be cut to 50,000 or fall somewhere in between? John F. Kelly offered his opinion. If it were up to him, he said, the number would be between zero and one.

    Mr. Kelly’s comment made its way around the White House, according to an administration official, and reinforced what is only now becoming clear to many on the outside. While some officials had predicted Mr. Kelly would be a calming chief of staff for an impulsive president, recent days have made clear that he is more aligned with President Trump than anticipated.

  46. rikyrah says:

    get this child to the patent office

    This 11-year-old invented a device to help people in Flint detect lead in their water.

    — AJ+ (@ajplus) October 26, 2017

  47. rikyrah says:

    Republicans are starting to notice another big problem with their tax plan

    I’ve written before about problems with the provision of the Republican tax framework that President Donald Trump touts as good for small businesses.

    This tax break would ensure that people who own so-called pass-through businesses would be taxed at no more than 25% on income from those businesses, unlike wages, which may currently be taxed at rates up to 39.6%.

    A major problem with this proposal is that most small businesses wouldn’t benefit. More than 80% of tax filers with small-business income are already taxed at rates of 25% or less, so only the wealthiest business owners, who currently face high tax brackets, would get a tax cut.

    And many of the businesses getting the tax advantage wouldn’t be small. The president, who would surely contest the idea that his own businesses are small, would get a big tax break from this provision.

    But now another problem with the proposal is starting to get attention in Congress – a problem that will make this provision a huge mess even if you like the idea of a big tax cut for business owners.

  48. rikyrah says:

    From Kay over at BJ this morning:

    Kay says:
    October 26, 2017 at 7:52 am


    I think Halperin was responsible for a lot of the “othering” of Obama- making him out to be foreign or somehow not American- hinting or implying there was something untrustworthy or dangerous about Obama.

    Because I think that was based on race Halperin disgusts me. Watching how supposedly educated and sophisticated media people treated Obama was a real education for me. I did not understand how deep racism goes prior to Obama. I see it now in a way I didn’t before.

    Imagine any other President having to have “the beer summit”- they did that. They insisted he do this “outreach to white people” thing they would never insist a white President offer to black people. Once you see it you wonder how you missed it.

    • Ametia says:

      Halperin’s a DICK.

      And remember that WITCH Cokie Roberts’ attempts at “OTHERING” PBO. The gall of that bitch trying to tell him where he should be vacationing!

  49. rikyrah says:

    Now THIS is a Fox Poll.
    You know how much manipulating they did…
    And, this is the best that they could do.

    President Trump’s approval rating has hit a new low in Fox News polling.

    Trump now has a 38 percent job approval rating in the Fox News poll released Wednesday, down from 42 percent last month. And his disapproval rating has hit a new high, up four points to 57 percent.

  50. rikyrah says:

    (THREAD) The link below briefly summarizes the current—ample—evidence of Trump-Russia collusion. All of it comes from major-media reporting.

    — Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) October 22, 2017

  51. rikyrah says:

    Alabama elections chief wants to send citizens to prison for 5 years for voting

    — Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) October 25, 2017

  52. rikyrah says:

    Oh boy. The new cover of @TIME.

    — Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) October 26, 2017

  53. rikyrah says:

    Time to impeach Zinke. This is outrageous corruption

    — Norman Ornstein (@NormOrnstein) October 26, 2017

  54. rikyrah says:

    These are some evil, rotten, no good muthaphuckas.
    THAT is who they are.

    Nothing but pure evil, all the way through.

    A 10-year-old girl with cerebral palsy is at risk of deportation after being stopped at a Border Patrol checkpoint and accompanied to hospital by officers who waited outside her room as she recovered from surgery.

    Rosa Maria Hernandez was born in Mexico but has lived in the US since she was three months old. She was being taken from the Texas border city of Laredo to Corpus Christi for a gallbladder operation, travelling in an ambulance with a relative who is a US citizen.

    As they drove through an inland Border Patrol station about 60 miles east of the frontier in the early hours of Tuesday, agents discovered Rosa Maria’s undocumented status.

    They allowed them to continue but followed them to the hospital, another 80 miles.

    Her mother, who is undocumented and in Laredo, told the Corpus Christi Caller-Times that officers waited outside her daughter’s room while she recuperated from the operation on Tuesday.

    Rosa Maria left hospital in an ambulance on Wednesday, said her attorney, Leticia Gonzalez. Mohammad Abdollahi, an organiser with DreamActivist, an immigrant rights group, said that Border Patrol agents took her to a shelter for child immigrants in San Antonio that has a contract with the federal government.

  55. rikyrah says:


    Lookey here….

    Uh huh
    Uh huh

    Five women accuse journalist and ‘Game Change’ co-author Mark Halperin of sexual harassment
    by Oliver Darcy @oliverdarcy
    October 26, 2017: 8:35 AM ET

    The first woman told CNN she was invited to visit [Mark Halperin‘s] office in the early 2000s, when he was political director at ABC News, to have a soda, and said that while she was there with him he forcibly kissed her and pressed his genitals against her body.

    “I went up to have a soda and talk and — he just kissed me and grabbed my boobs,” the woman said. “I just froze. I didn’t know what to do.”

    The second woman, another former ABC News employee, described a similar experience in his office during the 2004 campaign cycle. This woman said she was around 25 years old then, and wanted to be a “campaign off-air” — ABC News’ term for one of the reporters who travel embedded with presidential campaigns — so she reached out to Halperin, who was a part of the decision-making process regarding those assignments at the time.

    “The first meeting I ever had with him was in his office and he just came up from behind — I was sitting in a chair from across his desk — and he came up behind me and [while he was clothed] he pressed his body on mine, his penis, on my shoulder,” this woman told CNN. “I was obviously completely shocked. I can’t even remember how I got out of there — [but] I got out of there and was freaked out by that whole experience. Given I was so young and new I wasn’t sure if that was the sort of thing that was expected of you if you wanted something from a male figure in news.”

    The woman said Halperin continued to express a sexual desire for her in subsequent visits, despite being rebuffed.

    “It was more like him coming up too close to me and sort of along the lines of hugging me,” she explained.

    She also alleged that Halperin propositioned her for sex on the campaign trail.

    “He would say, ‘Why don’t you meet me upstairs?’ And I would say, ‘That’s not a good idea.’ And he would push the request further,” the person said. “Eventually I would just ignore him and go about my business.”

    A third woman, also a former ABC News employee, told CNN she was on the road with Halperin when he propositioned her.

    “I excused myself to go to the bathroom and he was standing there when I opened the door propositioning [me] to go into the other bathroom to do something,” she said. “It freaked me out. I came out of the ladies’ room and he was just standing there. Like almost blocking the door.”

    A fourth woman who worked with Halperin and was junior to him told CNN he once asked her late at night on the campaign trail to go up to his hotel room with him, and that she believed him to be propositioning her. She declined.

    The fifth woman who spoke to CNN was not an ABC News employee at the time of the incident she alleges. She was not comfortable sharing specifics of her story for publication, but said Halperin, while clothed, placed his erect penis against her body without consent.

  56. rikyrah says:

    My personal understanding of The Resistance

    The way I see it the resistance has been with us throughout history although it might not have been named the resistance. It has been with us whenever a person or a group of people are resistant to the presence of oppression exploitation and injustice.

    When President Obama was elected I experienced the beginning of what seems to me has grown and is now called the resistance. I have always understood President Obama to be a liberator and the very symbol of him as president was in itself an expression of liberation. I felt a deep need to protect and defend him and what he stood for and what he was trying to accomplish and although I didn’t use the word resistance that was how it felt to me. The pursuit of the defense of President Obama motivated me to find TPV where I found people of like mind.

    As we know the attempt to erase President Obama lead to the election of Donald Trump. On the day of the inauguration of Trump I experienced what I sensed was a tipping point and that the resistance as we see it today was solidified into a powerful force.

    The difference between the resistance of the past and the resistance that is now present is that now it is connected to the unification of diversity. There have been various groups of people who have been in the minority who have been in resistance but they were largely separate from other groups of people who have been in the minority. The inauguration of Trump catalyzed these diverse groups of people into a force that now has the potential for a lot of power.

  57. rikyrah says:

    About them messing with the 401ks:

    I believe that they will try.
    BUt, I believe that they will fail.
    This concerns the middle class and is the heart of the IGMFY group.THEY are Republicans because of taxes and money. You phuck with that, and they will come for you.
    These folks will not have guns or abortion or the little Baby Jesus ,or other shiny objects thrown at them.
    For the same reason why the local tax deduction is no longer floated..
    There are close to 50 GOPers from these states, and these Reps would be committing career suicide

  58. rikyrah says:

    Peter Baker‏ @peterbakernyt

    Abortion rate fell by 25 percent in the US from 2008, study finds, citing improved contraception

    4:58 AM – 24 Oct 2017
    41 replies 667 retweets 977 likes

  59. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone 😐😐😐

    • yahtzeebutterfly says:

      Good Morning Rikyrah!

      Ametia, I have been enjoying your posts this week on artist Amy Sherald and her amazing talent and fabulous paintings!

      • Ametia says:

        Good Morning, yahtzee and Everyone.

        So glad you’re enjoying the posts, yahtzee. Amy has been selected to do FLOTUS’ portrait. YAY! One can see and hear why she was chosen.

      • yahtzeebutterfly says:

        Oh wonderful! I am so glad to hear that Amy will be creating Michelle Obama’s official portrait!!!

        And yes, I am your posts this week!!

        I need to tell you again how MUCH I learn from you, SG2, and Rikyrah every time I visit your pages. I appreciate all that the three of you do!

      • yahtzeebutterfly says:

        I left out the word “enjoying” = I am ENJOYING your posts this week.

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