Month: June 2017

New ‘Hamilton Mixtape’ Music Video Takes Aim at Immigration

American flags. References to border security. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents dragging away immigrants in the thick of night. A music video released on Wednesday for “Immigrants (We Get The Job Done),” a song off “Hamilton Mixtape,” is replete with stark political imagery and not-so subtle messaging targeting President Trump’s rhetoric on immigration. “Hamilton Mixtape” is an album of covers sung by mainstream artists including Alicia Keys and Usher, inspired by the Broadway musical-turned-cultural phenomenon “Hamilton” and released shortly after the presidential election in 2016. The song “Immigrants,” performed by K’naan, Snow Tha Product, Riz MC (known to film audiences as Riz Ahmed) and Residente, is the first from the album to spur a music video

The Senate’s Unaffordable Care Act

aidspicIt would be a big mistake to call the legislation Senate Republicans released on Thursday a health care bill. It is, plain and simple, a plan to cut taxes for the wealthy by destroying critical federal programs that help provide health care to tens of millions of people.

The Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, and other Republicans have pitched the bill as a fix for the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. But their true ambition is not to reform Obamacare, which, whatever its shortcomings, has given 20 million Americans access to health insurance. If passed in its current form, the Senate bill would greatly weaken Medicaid, the federal-state program that provides insurance to nearly 69 million people, more than any other government or private program. It would do this by gradually but inexorably shifting more of the financial burden of Medicaid to states, in effect, forcing them to cover fewer people and to provide fewer services. Over all, the Senate would reduce federal spending by about $1 trillion over 10 years and use almost that much to cut taxes for rich families and health care companies.

In the days ahead, while the Congressional Budget Office totes up the bill’s cost, and before a floor vote, some Republicans, President Trump included, might be tempted to see the Senate bill as an improvement over the draconian House measure passed in May that would take insurance away from 23 million people. Mr. Trump previously expressed the hope that the Senate version would be less brutal. It isn’t. True, Mr. McConnell and his colleagues have made a few superficial improvements; the rollback of Obamacare’s intended expansion of Medicaid would proceed more slowly than under the House’s timetable. But the long-term damage might be worse. That is because the Senate bill would cap federal spending on Medicaid on a per-person basis. Currently, federal spending varies from year to year based on demand for medical services and the cost of care. Starting in 2025, the cap would be allowed to increase at the rate of inflation in the economy. But the overall inflation rate has typically been much lower than the inflation rate for medical services; in 2016, the overall inflation rate was 1.3 percent, whereas medical costs increased by 3.8 percent. Over time, this would means states will get a lot less money than they do under current law. The inevitable shrinkage in Medicaid will be particularly devastating to older Americans. Contrary to what many people think, the program does not just benefit the poor. Many middle-class seniors depend on it after they have exhausted their savings. Medicaid pays for two-thirds of the people in nursing homes. The disabled and parents who have children with learning disabilities also rely on Medicaid. The program covers nearly half of all births in the country. And in recent years, it has played a very important role in dealing with the opioid epidemic, especially in states like Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Ohio and West Virginia. Medicaid pays between 35 percent and 50 percent of the cost of medication-assisted addiction treatment, according to two professors, one from Harvard and one from New York University.

Like its House counterpart, the Senate bill would also hurt millions of non-Medicaid beneficiaries of Obamacare, those who buy insurance on federal and state marketplaces. It would greatly reduce federal subsidies that help low-income and middle-income families buy health coverage, while allowing insurers to increase deductibles, forcing people to pay more for medical services. It would let states waive rules that now require insurers to cover essential health services like maternity care, cancer treatment and mental health care, which is likely to happen because this will be the only way that states can lower premiums. In sum, it will make health insurance more expensive and less useful, to the great misfortune of the poor, elderly and sick.

Mr. McConnell seems determined to steamroll this travesty through the Senate before July 4, despite complaints by conservatives and moderates. Expect him and his colleagues to try to buy support of wavering lawmakers by offering sweeteners like a few billion dollars for addiction treatment and some extra cash for states with high medical costs. Republican senators like Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Rob Portman of Ohio and Dean Heller of Nevada ought not to fall for these cheap gimmicks. Instead, they should vote no on a bill that will take a devastating toll on millions of Americans and that no amount of tinkering around the edges can make better.

T r u m p ’ s L i e s

EYESMany Americans have become accustomed to President Trump’s lies. But as regular as they have become, the country should not allow itself to become numb to them. So we have catalogued nearly every outright lie he has told publicly since taking the oath of office.

Jan. 21 “I wasn’t a fan of Iraq. I didn’t want to go into Iraq.” (He was for an invasion before he was against it.)Jan. 21 “A reporter for Time magazine — and I have been on their cover 14 or 15 times. I think we have the all-time record in the history of Time magazine.” (Trump was on the cover 11 times and Nixon appeared 55 times.)Jan. 23 “Between 3 million and 5 million illegal votes caused me to lose the popular vote.” (There’s no evidence of illegal voting.)Jan. 25 “Now, the audience was the biggest ever. But this crowd was massive. Look how far back it goes. This crowd was massive.” (Official aerial photos show Obama’s 2009 inauguration was much more heavily attended.)Jan. 25 “Take a look at the Pew reports (which show voter fraud.)” (The report never mentioned voter fraud.)Jan. 25 “You had millions of people that now aren’t insured anymore.” (The real number is less than 1 million, according to the Urban Institute.)Jan. 25 “So, look, when President Obama was there two weeks ago making a speech, very nice speech. Two people were shot and killed during his speech. You can’t have that.” (There were no gun homicide victims in Chicago that day.)Jan. 26 “We’ve taken in tens of thousands of people. We know nothing about them. They can say they vet them. They didn’t vet them. They have no papers. How can you vet somebody when you don’t know anything about them and you have no papers? How do you vet them? You can’t.” (Vetting lasts up to two years.)Jan. 26 “I cut off hundreds of millions of dollars off one particular plane, hundreds of millions of dollars in a short period of time. It wasn’t like I spent, like, weeks, hours, less than hours, and many, many hundreds of millions of dollars. And the plane’s going to be better.” (Most of the cuts were already planned.)Jan. 28 “Thr coverage about me in the @nytimes and the @washingtonpost gas been so false and angry that the times actually apologized to its dwindling subscribers and readers.” (It never apologized.)Jan. 29 “The Cuban-Americans, I got 84 percent of that vote.” (There is no support for this.)Jan. 30 “Only 109 people out of 325,000 were detained and held for questioning. Big problems at airports were caused by Delta computer outage” (At least 746 people were detained and processed, and the Delta outage happened two days later.)Feb. 3 “Professional anarchists, thugs and paid protesters are proving the point of the millions of people who voted to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” (There is no evidence of paid protesters.)Feb. 4 “After being forced to apologize for its bad and inaccurate coverage of me after winning the election, the FAKE NEWS @nytimes is still lost!” (It never apologized.)Feb. 5 “We had 109 people out of hundreds of thousands of travelers and all we did was vet those people very, very carefully.” (About 60,000 people were affected.)Feb. 6 “I have already saved more than $700 million when I got involved in the negotiation on the F-35.” (Much of the price drop was projected before Trump took office.)Feb. 6 “It’s gotten to a point where it is not even being reported. And in many cases, the very, very dishonest press doesn’t want to report it.” (Terrorism has been reported on, often in detail.) READ MORE:https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/06/23/opinion/trumps-lies.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=opinion-c-col-left-region&region=opinion-c-col-left-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-left-region&_r=0

watch: drake premieres a new track at the louis vuitton paris menswear show

Drake joined designer Kim Jones for a spot of fashionable island-hopping today, the 6 God premiering a brand new track inspired by the Louis Vuitton spring/summer 18 menswear collection as models walked the runway at the show in Paris.

Dubbed “Archipelago,” the collection is inspired by travel and remote islands. “Someone gave me the book Atlas of Remote Islands: Fifty Islands I Have Not Visited and Never Will. And I realized I’d been to about all of them!” Kim Jones says in a statement. “I thought of specific islands — New Zealand, Easter Island, and especially Hawaii — but I was also inspired by the idea of an island, and of travel. Of moving easily from place to place, and experiencing these different pockets of civilization, these different identities simultaneously.”

There fresh new takes on the Maison’s signature Aloha shirts, with outdoor sports influences, and plenty of desirable luggage via reworkings of the iconic Louis Vuitton trunk. As for the footwear, it crossbreeds “clogs with hiking boots, Harajuku with Honolulu.”

Revealing the Drake collaboration on Instagram last night, Kim wrote, “We are very proud to announce that Drake @champagnepapi will be premiering a brand new song inspired by our #louisvuitton #pfwSS18 collection,” with Drizzy himself noting in a similar post that the track is produced by “@OVO40,” AKA Noah Shebib.

Here Are the 5 Projects Competing in the HBO Short Film Competition at ABFF

The American Black Film Festival (ABFF) announced its 2017 lineup short films that will compete intango-300x180 their annual HBO Short Film Competition which awards a grand prize of $10,000 to one filmmaker, and $5,000 to the runners-up, after a panel of HBO executives judge the final entries during the festival. In addition, all finalists will have the opportunity to have their films licensed by HBO for exhibition on HBO, HBO Go, and HBO Now, as the premium cabler continues with their support, celebrating 20 years as an ABFF founding sponsor. The complete list of films selected for the HBO Short Film Competition is as follows:

— “Amelia’s Closet”
Writer and Director: Halima Lucas
— “Gema”
Writer and Director: Kenrick Prince
— “Plaquemines”
Writer and Director: Nailah Jefferson
— “See You Yesterday”
Writers: Frederica Bailey and Stefon Bristol Director: Stefon Bristol
Presented by Spike Lee, two Brooklyn teenage science prodigies build a time machine to stop one’s brother from being wrongfully killed by the police.
— “We Love Moses”
Writer and Director: Dionne Edwards

 

‘Love Jones’ Cast & Crew Celebrate 20th Anniversary in Conversation Moderated by Barry Jenkins

Two nights ago, June 13th, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences hosted the event “In the Mood for ‘Love Jones’ – The Academy Celebrates the Film’s 20th Anniversary,” which included a special screening of director Theodore Witcher’s first and still only feature film, “Love Jones,” in front of a packed house at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. The evening also reunited the film’s cast including Nia Long, Larenz Tate and Isaiah Washington and more, in a panel discussion with members of the crew, starting with writer/director Witcher and others.

The conversation was moderated by Barry Jenkins (“Moonlight”) and was thankfully videotaped and has now been released online via the Academy’s YouTube page.

Watch the entire panel discussion below, split up into 5 individual videos, for a conversation during which Witcher’s start in Hollywood is talked about, as well as casting the film, the technicals including the film’s look and sound, the cinematography, editing and soundtrack, and more.

Bravo Greenlights 4-Part Special ‘Xscape: Still Kickin’ It’ (Working Title)

screensceneAs TV One preps its previously-announced unauthorized biopic on the group, Bravo Media has giving the greenlight to a four-part special “Xscape: Still Kickin’ It” (working title), chronicling the much-anticipated reunion of one of the most successful, chart topping, female R&B groups of all time. Coming this fall, the series will follow Xscape’s former members Kandi Burruss of Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of Atlanta,” Tameka “Tiny” Cottle and sisters LaTocha and Tamika Scott.

Xscape exploded onto the music scene in the 90’s and emerged as one of the most prolific girl groups of all time. The women had three consecutive Platinum albums, with six of their top-ten songs hitting the Billboard 100. However, fans were shocked at the group’s seemingly sudden split and have been persistently calling for a reunion ever since. With the upcoming 25-year-anniversary of Xscape’s first album release, the women have decided to reunite for this special milestone and most importantly as an ode to their loyal fans.

“We are so excited to team up with Bravo and give our fans an up-close-and-personal look into our lives as we get ready for Essence Fest!” says Xscape. “This process has been a whirlwind with so many ups and downs, but we are loving every minute of being back together, and cannot wait to share the love, laughs, and craziness with you all!”

Each episode will document the group as they attempt to heal past wounds and reconcile after nearly two decades apart, all in an effort to make beautiful music together culminating at Essence’s 2017 Festival.”Xscape: Still Kickin’ It” (wt) is produced for Bravo by Truly Original and Monami Entertainment. Steven Weinstock, Glenda Hersh, Lauren Eskelin, Lorraine Haughton-Lawson and Thomas Jaeger (Truly Original) and Mona Scott-Young and Stephanie Gayle (Monami Productions) serve as Executive Producers.