Friday Open Thread

TGIF, Everyone!

The heat is on with HEATWAVE.

About Ametia

I am a Spiritual traveler, a devoted wife, mother, sister, lover of dream study, reading, theater, music, dance, and thought-provoking discussions on love, life, humor and service.
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37 Responses to Friday Open Thread

  1. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    They are going to look their best this weekend.😊

    Like

  2. rikyrah says:

    Trump resents lack of gratitude from Keystone XL executive
    03/30/18 03:10 PM
    By Steve Benen

    Donald Trump devoted a chunk of his infrastructure speech in Ohio yesterday to celebrating his decision to approve the Keystone XL pipeline. Given the project’s track record, that may not have been wise, but the president isn’t exactly detail-oriented.

    There was one part of Trump’s remarks, however, that stood out for me. From the transcript:

    “So [the pipeline project] was dead for a couple of years, had no chance. I get elected, I approve it almost, like, in the first day, right at the very beginning.

    “And I just say to myself, can you imagine the boss of whatever the hell company it is – who never actually called me to say thank you, but that’s OK. We’ll remember. [emphasis added]”

    For now, let’s put aside the debate over Keystone on the merits. I think approving the project was a mistake, but we can renew that discussion at another time. What amazed me about the president’s comments was the insight into what he considers important.

    Exerting practically no effort, Trump approved Keystone on his fourth day in office, Jan. 24, 2017. More than 13 months later, he’s not only bragging about the misguided policy; he’s also whining about not having received a personal thank-you call from the relevant oil executives.

    “We’ll remember,” Trump said.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. rikyrah says:

    Just thought I’d share this commentary I found on another blog.

    “Where’s Your Messiah Now, Republicans?

    Your “pResident” promised you that Mexico would pay for his border wall. Well, guess who’s paying for it now – and I’ll be damned if it isn’t your own sweet self.

    Your “pResident” promised a healthcare plan that would cover everyone more cheaply and efficiently than Obamacare. So exactly what happened to that coverage? Are you really still waiting for it?

    Your “pResident” promised to bring jobs back to the USA – but he still has all of his branded merchandise manufactured in low-wage countries. But don’t take my word for it – just check the made in China label on your MAGA hat.

    Your “pResident” promised to populate his administration with “the best people”. Ever wonder why so many of those “best people” have been indicted, fired, or resigned? If he had hired the “best people” when he said he would, why are they being replaced on a weekly basis?

    Your “pResident” promised to be “too busy” working for you to have time to play golf. Have you ever wondered why he has so much time on his hands, he has spent almost 25% of his time in office on the links?

    Your “pResident” promised to “drain the swamp” of corrupt government officials. So why are so many of his appointees under investigation for everything from colluding with the Russians to using taxpayer dollars to fund personal vacations, extravagant office furnishings, and unnecessary first-class travel?

    Your “pResident” promised to wipe-out the national debt while in office. So why is the country further in debt than it’s ever been in history?

    Your “pResident” promised to lower taxes for the hard-working middle-class. So why did his “tax reform” give millions of dollars in tax-breaks to the wealthy, while giving a paltry pittance to people like you?

    Your “pResident” held himself out as being a “very stable genius”. Have you ever wondered why your genius can’t spell, can’t put a coherent sentence together, and has to be spoon-fed his daily briefings because he doesn’t understand them?

    Your “pResident” represented himself as a successful businessman. Are you completely unaware of his multiple bankruptcies, and the fact that he has been sued hundreds of times for failing to pay labourers and material suppliers who worked for him and were cheated out of their due compensation?

    You insisted that your “pResident” is a good Christian. Do you think that good Christians mock the disabled, refer to Nazis and white supremacists as “fine people”, and have to pay off porn stars in order to secure their silence about their sexual proclivities?

    Your “pResident” swore an oath to defend and protect the country he was elected to serve. So why did he hand over highly-classified information to our enemies, the Russians, in the Oval Office? Why does he insult our traditional allies, while praising Putin at every opportunity? Why was his response to Putin’s claim that he can wipe-out the US – complete with a graphic showing nuclear hits on Florida – a tweet-storm about Alec Baldwin’s SNL performances?

    Your “pResident” represented himself as the champion of downtrodden Americans. So why are our fellow citizens in Puerto Rico still without electricity? Do you really believe that throwing rolls of paper towels at people is demonstrative of caring for our fellow Americans, or that tweeting covfeve is a display of leadership?

    You will continue to wait for your coal-mining jobs to miraculously reappear. You will continue to pray for your Trump-promised jobs to come back. You will continue to believe that a man who has lied to you repeatedly is somehow telling the truth. You will persist in your delusional belief that the man who can’t face the children of Parkland is a fearless leader who would have faced a crazed gunman without hesitation in order to protect them.

    Your messiah, the man who you believed would save you from those crazy “libtard ideas” – like access to healthcare, a decent education for your children, freedom from crushing national debt, and a strengthening of international cooperation that would make our country safe – has actually accomplished NOTHING. And yet you believe that any day now, he will deliver on the promises he made to people like you – the people he disdains because they were dumb enough to vote for him in the first place.”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. rikyrah says:

    The Atlantis, Paradise Island resort said Friday that it would be pulling its advertisements from Fox News host Laura Ingraham’s show over her comments about a Parkland, Fla., high school shooting survivor.

    “Atlantis does not support or agree with the recent comments made by television broadcaster Laura Ingraham,” a spokesperson for the Bahamas resort said in a statement to The Hill.

    “Although we are an organization that believes in freedom of expression, we do not condone discrimination, bullying, mockery or harmful behavior of any kind. As a result of these events, we have decided to remove all brand advertising tied to the program,” the statement read.

    Atlantis is at least the 10th advertiser to pull support from Ingraham’s program.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    Our immigration department needs to keep families together. It is the humane thing to do.

    Like

  6. rikyrah says:

    Texas Woman Sentenced to 5 Years in Prison for Voting Illegally

    A Texas mother who says she didn’t even know she was ineligible to vote has been sentenced to five years in prison for illegally voting in the 2016 presidential election, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports.

    Crystal Mason, 43, was convicted of a seperate fraud charge in 2011 and served about three years in federal prison before being released on probation. She says she had no idea that felons were still not permitted to vote while under community supervision, noting that it was not among the rules outlined by her probation officer.

    So on November 8, 2016, she showed up to her polling place planning to vote after having been encouraged to do so by her mother. Her name wasn’t on the list of registered voters, but she filled out a provisional ballot, which was eventually flagged. Mason was informed that her vote didn’t count, but didn’t find out why until she was arrested after a meeting with her probation officer in February.

    https://www.thecut.com/2018/03/texas-woman-sentenced-to-5-years-for-voting-illegally.html

    Liked by 1 person

  7. rikyrah says:

    Trump’s own words are again used against him in court
    03/30/18 12:00 PM
    By Steve Benen
    In fall, a group of Democratic state attorneys general and immigration lawyers sued the Trump administration, arguing that the president’s decision to scrap the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) was unlawful, in part because it was motivated by Donald Trump’s alleged bigotry toward communities of color.

    The Justice Department tried to get the case dismissed. A New York judge yesterday rejected that effort, citing the president’s “racially charged language.” The New York Times reported:

    [I]n his order rejecting the motion to dismiss, [Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis of Federal District Court in Brooklyn] pointed directly at Mr. Trump, noting that his numerous “racial slurs” and “epithets” – both as a candidate and from the White House – had created a “plausible inference” that the decision to end DACA violated the equal protection clause of the Constitution.

    “One might reasonably infer,” Judge Garaufis wrote, “that a candidate who makes overtly bigoted statements on the campaign trail might be more likely to engage in similarly bigoted action in office.”

    Liked by 2 people

  8. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    Video: “GOP donor says he won’t fund politicians who don’t propose assault weapons ban”

    Like

  9. Liza says:

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Liza says:

    Liked by 1 person

  11. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    Happy Birthday Tracy Chapman 🎈🎂🎈 (March 30, 1964)

    Everyone, what are your favorite Tracy Chapman songs?

    Like

  12. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    “Audit Finds Portland’s Gang Patrol Officers Disproportionately Target African Americans”
    https://www.portlandmercury.com/blogtown/2018/03/28/19774027/audit-finds-portlands-gang-patrol-officers-disproportionally-target-african-americans

    Liked by 1 person

  13. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    http://www.afro.com/meet-african-american-candidates-prince-georges-county/


    “African American Candidates in Prince George’s County. Maryland Gubernatorial Candidates: Rushern L. Baker, Ben Jealous; District 24: Tiffany Alston, Joanne C. Benson, Everett D. Browning Sr.; District 25: Angela M. Angel, Melony Griffith, Wala Blegay; P.G. County Executive: Angela Alsobrooks, Donna F. Edwards, C. Anthony Muse. (AFRO File and Courtesy Photos)”

    Liked by 1 person

  14. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    “African-American history museum to offer ‘walk-up Wednesdays’ in April”
    https://wtop.com/dc/2018/03/african-american-history-walk-up-wednesdays-april/

    WASHINGTON — One of the most popular museums on the National Mall is testing “walk-up Wednesdays” in the month of April.

    The National Museum of African American History and Culture opened to large crowds in September 2016, and until now, visitors have only been able to gain entry with timed passes.

    But in April, those who do not have passes may be able to get in on Wednesdays on a first-come, first-served basis.

    Like

  15. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    ???

    “Black Lives Matter activist arrested after dispute at anti-racism training”
    https://www.citizen-times.com/story/news/local/2018/03/29/activist-arrested-after-dispute-anti-racism-training/468862002/

    Excerpt:

    BILTMORE FOREST – Police forcibly removed a Black Lives Matter leader from a recent anti-racism training after event organizers said she spoke out of turn, causing a disturbance.

    Sharon Smith, 64, was arrested on March 16 at a Racial Equity Institute event at Mountain Area Health Education Center, in Biltmore Forest. Police charged her with misdemeanor counts of resisting a public officer, disorderly conduct and marijuana possession, which she said was added only after she was searched at the jail.

    According to Biltmore Forest Police Chief Chris Beddingfield, the situation was “handled great.”

    Smith, the educational director of Asheville Black Lives Matter, disagrees.

    “It’s a perfect case study in how systemic racism works, absolutely perfect,” she said.

    Shortly after the training started at 9 a.m., Smith answered a question one of three panelists posed to the group of several dozen participants. In doing so, she violated a Racial Equity Institute policy prohibiting alumni of the training from participating and thereby set in motion the chain of events that ended in her arrest.

    Carol Rogoff Hallstrom, a fellow alumna of the training and a veteran of the civil rights movement, reached over the person sitting between her and Smith and told Smith that she wasn’t allowed to speak out, per policy. Smith told Hallstrom she should be allowed to speak.

    “There’s no way, according to systemic racism theory, that any white woman should be telling a woman of color what she should and shouldn’t be saying. That’s just not OK,” Smith said.

    Frustrated by the disruption, a MAHEC employee then asked Smith to leave and called security who in turn called Biltmore Forest Police.

    For important background, Sharon Smith was at an Asheville City Council meeting where she and other members of the public called for:

    “The removal of top officials and a tourist boycott of the city were among demands by the public who spoke during a heated and emotional City Council meeting, that body’s first regular meeting since revelations of a police beating of pedestrian stopped for jaywalking.”

    https://www.citizen-times.com/story/news/local/2018/03/13/removal-top-officials-boycott-asheville-called-wake-police-beating/422304002/
    (You can see a video clip of the meeting at the above link.)

    This is the video of the jaywalker being beaten:

    Like

  16. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    Liked by 1 person

  17. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    “Chicago ‘Dreamer’ to Sen. Durbin: ‘We are tired, and we are lost’ “
    https://chicago.suntimes.com/news/chicago-dreamer-to-sen-durbin-we-are-tired-and-we-are-lost/
    Excerpt:

    Elizabeth Cervantes has been an undocumented immigrant since she was brought to Chicago as a toddler nearly three decades ago. She had a simple, but emotional, question Thursday for Sen. Dick Durbin.

    “We are tired, and we are lost. So you’d think that after all we have experienced we can take any reality we are facing,” she said. “And so I ask humbly, yet firmly for an honest analysis of what’s next this year for people like me and the thousands of young people like me in this country.”

    Cervantes, 29, is co-founder of a non-profit for immigrants in the southwest suburbs. She participated in a roundtable discussion with Durbin Thursday morning in Little Village.

    Her status as a so-called “Dreamer” under the program now called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, expires next year.

    And she just wants to know, what now?

    “And because I have to face a community back at home after this, I ask, should I keep trying? Should I keep working? Should I even stay?” Cervante asked in tears…

    …Cervantes, who serves as the organizer and co-founder of the Southwest Suburban Immigrant Project in Bolingbrook, was among dozens at a Latino Policy Forum discussion with Durbin. She came to Chicago when she was just two, from Mexico. Her organization serves Will and DuPage counties and helps advocate for immigrant rights.

    Durbin has led the push to provide permanent legal status for young adults in the U.S. who were brought to the country illegally as children.

    “Don’t give up. Don’t give up. I’m not giving up. Don’t give up,” Durbin said. “Your fate is in the hands of the court at this point.”

    He urged Cervantes to renew her status as soon as possible if it becomes an option via a court decision. And he warned that changes might not be made without more Democratic control in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.

    Like

  18. rikyrah says:

    This is INSANE. Trump talked to Shulkin on the phone yesterday, before firing him, and didn’t even tell Shulkin he was about to be fired.

    He made John Kelly call Shulkin back, to tell him.

    Weak,

    @POTUS @realDonaldTrump. Weak.

    https://t.co/nx2Pi8h2q9— VoteVets (@votevets) March 30, 2018

    Liked by 1 person

  19. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    This is so incredibly sad and inhumane:

    “A Dreamer’s impossible dilemma: where to die?”
    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/mar/30/daca-cancellation-dreamer-uscis-immigration-dilemma-dream-act

    Like

  20. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    Here is a great letter written by a middle school student:

    “Don’t rip DACA recipients away from their homes and lives: Letter”
    https://www.delmarvanow.com/story/opinion/readers/2018/03/29/dont-revoke-daca/411457002/
    Excerpt from beginning of letter:

    “I feel it is incredibly inhumane and inconsiderate to revoke Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals.

    “It’s only fair we keep this DACA program going. Thousands of people come to the United States in hopes for a better life.

    “Getting rid of those people for no apparent reason like this is beyond cruel.

    “So many people have been in that situation, then they heard of DACA and were filled with hope. Then — years later, after you’ve grown up and gotten used to living in America — you’re told to go back.”

    Like

  21. rikyrah says:

    Pruitt scandal dwarfs Shulkin’s, giving lie to firing excuse

    Rachel Maddow points out that the explanation that David Shulkin was fired over his travel scandal doesn’t make sense in light of the administration’s other travel scandals, particularly that of EPA administrator Scott Pruitt, who not only used more taxpayer money but is literally staying in a lobbyist’s house.

    Like

  22. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    “Judge says lawsuit against Trump’s DACA move can proceed”
    http://thehill.com/regulation/court-battles/380882-judge-says-lawsuit-against-trumps-daca-move-can-proceed
    Excerpt:

    “A federal judge on Thursday ruled that a lawsuit targeting President Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program can proceed, despite a push by the Trump administration to dismiss the suit.

    “U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis ruled in New York that the lawsuit could move forward, but narrowed the scope of the legal action, Bloomberg News reported.

    “He said the plaintiffs — which include New York State, the District of Columbia and 15 state attorneys general — could proceed with a claim that Trump’s decision to rescind the Obama-era program was racially motivated and was intended to unlawfully target Latinos.

    “Garaufis, an appointee of former President Clinton, previously issued an injunction barring the Trump administration from moving forward with deportations of immigrants brought to the country illegally as children, known as “Dreamers,” who were offered protections under DACA.

    “The Trump administration argued, however, that the lawsuit — particularly the claim that the president’s actions were racially motivated — should be thrown out, because there was no evidence to prove it.

    “The plaintiffs maintained that Trump’s statements about Mexicans on the campaign trail and in the White House amount to proof that he acted with hostility toward minority groups.

    ” ‘Although the use of racial slurs, epithets, or other racially charged language does not violate equal protection, it can be evidence that official action was motivated by unlawful discriminatory purposes,’ Garaufis wrote in his ruling, according to Bloomberg.”

    Liked by 1 person

  23. rikyrah says:

    The Trump administration will require immigrants to submit five years of social media history https://t.co/i8HJgnvpIF

    — CNN (@CNN) March 30, 2018

    Like

  24. rikyrah says:

    American once touted as possible ambassador to EU tells of being detained at Boston airport and subpoenaed by Robert Mueller’s Trump-Russia inquiry: FBI questions Ted Malloch, Trump campaign figure and Farage ally https://t.co/Ej5k8qIAMf

    — meta (@metaquest) March 30, 2018

    Liked by 1 person

  25. rikyrah says:

    Fight over V.A. privatization overshadows Shulkin dismissal

    Leo Shane, deputy editor of Military Times, talks with Rachel Maddow about the circumstances of David Shulkin’s dismissal as secretary of the V.A. and the forces at work trying to privatize the V.A.’s services.

    Like

  26. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    Top of the morning to all of you 😃

    Liked by 1 person

  27. rikyrah says:

    The Hawaii State Senate Judiciary Committee has unanimously voted to approve that a Statue of Former President Barack Obama be erected in the state. WELL DESERVED! That’s one more statue then Donald Trump will ever have erected.

    — Ed Krassenstein 💎 (@EdKrassen) March 30, 2018

    Liked by 1 person

  28. rikyrah says:

    Meet Trump’s New, Homophobic Public Health Quack
    The Centers for Disease Control will soon be run by a military doctor with a long history of pushing discriminatory AIDS policies.
    BY LAURIE GARRETT | MARCH 23, 2018, 4:37 PM

    The extraordinarily disruptive turnover in the Trump administration’s senior staff has officially reached the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The White House, having already cycled through one CDC director, has named its second: Robert Redfield, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel and former University of Maryland opioids and AIDS researcher.

    He is exactly the wrong person for the job. Amid an exploding influenza epidemic across the United States, an opioids crisis that has decreased the statistical life expectancy of Americans, and a budget crisis that twice compelled closure of critical laboratory and disease-fighting services, the CDC desperately needs a leader who can promise stability and expertise. Redfield represents the opposite; he is someone whose track record in HIV research and public health policy has been a scientific and moral failure.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. rikyrah says:

    Trump makes White House aides tiptoe around Russia, Putin policy

    Carol Lee, NBC News national political reporter, talks with Rachel Maddow about new reporting that while White House aides encourage Donald Trump to get tough on Russia, Trump tells his staff to keep quiet on Russia policy.

    Like

  30. rikyrah says:

    Mueller reportedly eyeing Sessions as Sessions cheats on recusal

    Rachel Maddow shares new reporting that Robert Mueller’s investigation includes looking at Jeff Sessions contacts with Russians, while at the same time, Sessions is sending investigators to look at the conduct of the Trump Russia investigation.

    Like

  31. rikyrah says:

    Those REAL AMERICANS in Iowa are now gonna get them some Free Market Healthcare.

    From Mayhew at BJ:

    Iowa’s new monopoly
    by David Anderson
    at 7:12 am on March 30, 2018.

    Iowa’s governor signed into law a plan that will intentionally break the ACA market in Iowa

    Wellmark, Iowa’s Blue affiliate, and the Farm Bureau will be allowed to sell to any Farm Bureau member “health benefit plans” that are explicitly not health insurance and therefore unregulated by the ACA. These plans can underwrite. These plans can exclude pre-exisiting conditions. These plans don’t need to offer a full set of benefits. These plans are basically a reversion to the 2009 status quo.

    And if an individual can pass underwriting and does not qualify for significant ACA subsidies, these plans are a good deal as that group of people are mainly looking for hit by a meteor protection. Well subsidized individuals will be indifferent to these plans as the subsidies buys affordable comprehensive insurance on the Exchange. The people in trouble from this scheme will be individuals who either can never pass underwriting or will pass with so many upcharges or restrictions that passing is still pointless. Their options are to either move out of the state or to drop their incomes so that they qualify for ACA subsidies.

    This tweet explains it quite well:

    When you step back, Iowa’s plan to let the Farm Bureau sell unregulated insurance is pretty wild.

    Although it looks like health insurance, the Farm Bureau’s plan will not be called health insurance. Therefore, it won’t be regulated by the state or have to follow any ACA rules. pic.twitter.com/Ik4Gj0GP6I

    — Larry Levitt (@larry_levitt) March 28, 2018

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Happy Good Friday, everyone!

    Like

  33. vitaminlover says:

    Gooooooood morning, rikyrah.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning Everyone 😄😄😄

    Liked by 1 person

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