Rachel Maddow: Thank You for Covering Scott Lloyd (A Plea to Mainstream Media)

“Last night on her eponymous television show, Dr. Maddow showed viewers a spreadsheet maintained by the Trump administration’s Office of Refugee Resettlement. This benignly named civil liberties chop shop is led by a renowned anti-abortion activist with zero previous experience working with immigrant populations.

Scott Lloyd was called before Congress in February to testify about his office’s handling of child separations at the border and irreparable harm they have on the most vulnerable. In a new report, Maddow and her staff drew attention to Lloyd’s creepiest production to date, a document which tracks the pregnancies of unaccompanied minor girls with a singular goal of blocking requests to terminate them. The 28-page spreadsheet contains the names and sensitive personal information of underage rape victims, with an explicit intent to control their invaded bodies further, denying them the health care access guaranteed by the Constitution and the Supreme Court for ALL women within U.S. borders. The committed Catholic is an ungodly man of immeasurable overreach and dehumanizing cruelty.

The multi-faceted immigration horror stories being written by the Trump administration, its political appointees and a militarized ICE warrant relentless media coverage with moral clarity. What’s happening to children on our watch requires more from an admittedly overtaxed and personally threatened profession. Bi-partisan ratings appeal is a figment of the media landscape’s imagination, and has been for some decades. We have a responsibility to inform the public. Let’s follow the lead of journalists like LeTourneau and Maddow and tell the truth.”

Read the full post at Contemptor.

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Little Shop Of Horrors

Mercury Theater Chicago’s ‘Little Shop of Horrors.’ (Photo: Brett Beiner)

“Ever since its 1982 Off-Off Broadway premiere, the sci-fi musical Little Shop of Horrors has been a playhouse staple. From high school and summer stock stages to major productions like the 1986 Hollywood film starring Rick Moranis and the short-lived 2003 Broadway production, the script’s sharp comedic dialogue, eye-popping puppetry and engaging score have proven irresistible to local, regional and international companies alike. Just last fall Drury Lane Theatre presented its own take on the plant with a human-size appetite.

Mercury Theater’s rendition is an excellent burnishing of the legendary teamwork between writer Howard Ashman and composer/lyricist Alan Menken. Helmed by Mercury’s Executive Director Walter Stearns with musical direction and choreography from Eugene Dizon and Christopher Carter respectively, the production boasts a uniformly talented and charismatic cast that brings new energy and excitement to a beloved favorite.

Based on a shoestring-budgeted 1960 black comedy of the same name, Little Shop of Horrors gives audiences the story of Seymour Krelborn, a sweet, intelligent if shy and impoverished young man who often finds himself at the mercy of stronger personalities. As played by Christopher Kale Jones, a musical theater veteran who performed in the first national tour of Jersey Boys, this Seymour is hapless with enough self-aware sexiness to render the character’s tragic flaw painful and appealing. Mr. Jones’ Skid Row botanist knows how his story ends as soon as it starts – so close to love and acceptance he can literally smell it.”

Read the full post at The Broadway Blog.

Smollett vs. Manafort: America’s Color and Class-Coded Criminal Justice System in Action

“..the 16 counts against Smollett carry a maximum sentence of three years per charge. That means that the 36 year-old actor could serve as many as 48 years behind bars for his transgressions, which yes, include deliberately lying to police and the public. But consider that possibility, then compare it with the shambolic sentencing of a famous, traitorous, crooked old Caucasian man who has been fleecing governments, banks and the American public for over 30 years.

The juxtaposition of two grossly disparate approaches to justice, dominated by identity politics, in which the system is rigged to support moneyed, cisgendered white males. Well…that puts me in similar place with New York Times Opinion Columnist Michelle Goldberg. To paraphrase her March 8 comments in response to the real and manufactured outrage being directed at Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar for comments construed as anti-Semitic, when I think of Smollett this weekend, I am angry at him, as well as furious on his behalf.

Earlier this week, former Donald Trump 2016 campaign manager Paul Manafort had the white privilege of appearing before Judge T.S. Ellis III of the United States District Court of Alexandria, Virginia. Robert Muller’s special counsel’s office had recommended a 19 to 24-year prison sentence after bringing more than two dozen felony charges against Manafort, including obstruction of justice, bank fraud and violations of lobbying laws.”

Instead he will serve less than four years.

Read the full post at Contemptor.