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I’m suffering from both too much and not enough to say today, plus tons of life stuff to get to. So, Happy Father’s Day, happy Juneteenth and happy weekend!

Open thread.

I don’t know about you, Shinners, but things are starting to feel a bit less scary from the COVID-19 perspective. I’ve started to relax a bit, not wearing my mask outside unless I’m about to go inside (in other words, I bring my mask on walks/hikes but don’t wear it by default). I had three social weekends in a row, where I saw vaccinated friends and family inside, without masks, and last night, I went to a movie! It was the first time since the world, as we knew it, ended in March of 2020.

Going to a movie in this day and age is different. There is hand sanitizer everywhere and social distancing is baked in. Theaters are at 50% capacity, seating is reserved, and there is a requirement for empty seats around each group of ticket holders. We wore masks inside except when we were eating popcorn, and it was a bit eerie and quiet. No one’s phone rang during the movie, and there were no commercials in the preview reel – just “thank you” messages from first the theater chain for coming back, and then from the stars of the movie.

Different.

The movie was “In the Heights,” a musical written by Lin-Manuel Miranda. Hubby and I, having lived in Manhattan for decades prior to moving out West, enjoyed it thoroughly. In fact, I cried during most of it because I was so happy to be there, watching a show! The singing and dancing were outstanding, the storyline was compelling and the music (even the hip-hop/rap bits) was excellent. I particularly enjoyed the group numbers, which were bursting with color and life – just what so many of us have been missing in this awful, lonely time.

If this dreadful year and half has taught me anything, it’s that we never know what’s going to happen, so it’s even more important to treasure the “bit of fun” you can have in this life. What have you been enjoying lately?

Here’s a clip from the film. Open thread, of course.

Shinners, I still believe Sinema and Manchin will do the right thing about the filibuster in the end, hopefully by Labor Day. After all, their re-elections depend on Democrats in their states being able to vote. But man, it is totally infuriating to see them dig in and act so idiotic about their Republican colleagues, who only got all those judges (including the Supreme Court justices) passed through because they amended the filibuster. Worshiping at the altar of bi-partisanship while the opposition Party has become fascist and traitorous, is nothing short of brain-dead. And I do credit Manchin and Sinema with, at least, the instinct to politically survive.

The frustration with these Senators is not only coming from progressives, liberals and Joe Biden. It’s coming from former GOP as well.

Former Arizona Attorney General Grant Woods urged Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and Senator Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.) to agree to kill the filibuster or resign from office on Friday.

Sinema and Manchin have both faced heavy criticism for the opposition to eliminate or change the rule, which effectively requires most bills to have the support of 60 senators in a chamber that is currently split 50-50. Republicans used the rule for the first time in the Senate‘s current session last week to block the formation of a bipartisan commission to investigate the violent January 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol.

Woods, who served as Arizona’s Republican attorney general from 1991 to 1999, was a prominent backer of Sinema’s 2018 Senate campaign after switching parties during the same year. He now says that both Sinema and Manchin no longer belong in office if they remain unwilling to kill the filibuster in order to pass Democratic voting rights legislation.

“I do think that Sen. Sinema and every senator should support ending the filibuster for the voting rights bill,” Woods told HuffPost on Friday. “To keep the Jim Crow filibuster while losing some of these basic voting rights that are central to our democracy is preposterous.”

I know that Sinema and Manchin aren’t dumb, and I continue to hope this adherence to a racist and dangerous Senate rule is a clown show meant to impress their conservative voters in Arizona and West Virginia. But as Forrest Gump would say, Stupid is as Stupid Does. Right now, the stoopid – it burnssssss.

Feel free to post any songs that remind you of stupidity. Open thread, as always!

Shinners, I am a curious person. I like finding out all the five W’s and H (Who, What, Where, When, Why and How) to learn more about a subject of interest. Like birds – I’ve spent a lot of time recently learning about them.

But damn, when your educational system prevents you from even knowing what you don’t know…neither curiosity nor all the will in the world will help.

I was never taught about the Tulsa Race Massacre in school. I guess whomever wrote the textbooks knew how much negative perception would go along with that knowledge – the deep-seated racism in this country, the pure evil of that mass murder, and the reality that would tarnish America’s well-crafted egalitarian image. It was only in the past year (I think it was on Rachel Maddow’s show?) that the veil of my ignorance was lifted. And for the first time, an American President has addressed it, on the shameful and tragic anniversary of its occurrence. Biden made a historic speech, in which his trademark empathy was on full display. But as we’ve started to see with Biden and Harris, words are just the beginning. And now, Biden is looking to begin to address some of the racial disparities that have been kept in public policy and hidden away from public view.

The Tulsa massacre has only recently entered the national discourse — and the presidential visit put an even brighter spotlight on the event.

Biden, who was joined by Housing Secretary Marcia Fudge and senior advisers Susan Rice and Cedric Richmond, also announced new measures he said could help narrow the wealth gap between races and reinvest in underserved communities by expanding access to homeownership and small-business ownership.

The White House said the administration will take steps to address disparities that result in Black-owned homes being appraised at tens of thousands of dollars less than comparable homes owned by white residents as well as issue new federal rules to fight housing discrimination. The administration is also setting a goal of increasing the share of federal contracts awarded to small disadvantaged businesses by 50% by 2026, funneling an estimated additional $100 billion to such businesses over the five-year period, according to the White House.

It is shocking to think that Black prosperity in Tulsa could have been extinguished so quickly. 30 blocks of “Black Wall Street” were destroyed, up to 300 Black Tulsans were killed, and the Greenwood area has never recovered, 100 years later. White people just couldn’t handle the fact that Black people clearly aren’t inferior – when they have equal opportunity, they are able to prosper – and so they made up some excuse about a black man stepping on a white woman’s foot to justify their murderous hatred. But really, they just wanted to stop Black Americans from prospering, and scare them into leaving all the money for white people.

The attempted coup on January 6th was the same type of rage. White men (mostly) are in a panic that when those uppity wimminz (especially Black women) gain power, their power diminishes; thus they decided to scream and attack and kill. Just as on that day in 1921 in Tulsa, no one got arrested on the scene, and it took national attention and a new Justice Department leader to really get the investigations moving. Republicans have begun to gaslight and try to wipe the horrific event from everyone’s minds.

I sure hope they don’t succeed.

Hello Shinners! I’m extra heads-down at work this week, but wanted to give you all some fresh thread to munch on.

Here are some stories that interested me this week:

The Arizona Audit: A Fricasseed Chicken Ate My Ballot

The Ford F150: Electric Biden Boogaloo

It’s up to you, Noo Yawk

Injustice for Andrew Brown Jr.

Fighting for Florida

Tawk amongst yerselves!


Biden illustration: REBUILD WITH BIDEN

Nice picture of our gal

Madam Vice President

Our President

It’s here: QUARANTINE BINGO!

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Not done yet with you

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