Relics of segregation

I am way out of touch with popular culture and so I had never heard of John Legend before the Oscars this year when the news reported that he and Common (another performer whom I had never heard of until recently) had given a boffo live performance of the song Glory from the film Selma during the Academy Awards show, where it won an award and where the two gave great acceptance speeches.
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The abusive practices of the chicken cartel

On his show Last Week Tonight, John Oliver exposes how the chicken industry is dominated by four major companies (Pilgrim’s, Tyson, Perdue, and Sanderson Farms) that use their monopoly power to create hellish conditions, not just for chickens of which we are all aware, but also for the chicken farmers who work for them on contracts that are incredibly exploitative. And Congress protects these abusive companies.
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John Fortune (1939-2013)

Somehow I missed the sad news that British comedian John Fortune had died on December 31, 2013. Michael Coveney provides a retrospective of his life. I came across Fortune only about a decade or so ago, when the brilliant improvisational sketches that he did with John Bird appeared online. These took the form of an interview in which one of them would question the other on the issues of the day. I love this kind of deadpan comedy, where the conversation takes an absurd turn but the speakers discuss it quite seriously.
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Another Fox News whine fest

Fox News is all of a doodah because president Obama said something that is blazingly obvious by saying that they demonize the poor. They have gone on a weeklong whine fest about being so unfairly maligned. The Daily Show poses the question of whether this shows that Fox News in merely lacking in self-awareness or is cynical or stupid or just downright evil.
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Jordan Klepper covers the British elections

US elections are absurdly long and ridiculously expensive. People in other countries cannot believe what an absurd system we have in which one has to be either a multimillionaire or beholden to multimillionaires merely in order to be even considered as a serious candidate. Not only that, it is the GRAGGS issues (guns, race, abortion, gays, god, sex) that generate the most attention.
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I’ll bet Ted Cruz never expected the Spanish Inquisition

Texas senator Ted Cruz, one of the many contenders for the Republican presidential nomination, is one of the most obnoxious people around. Even his colleagues in his own party seem disgusted with his arrogant, preening, headline-hogging antics. So that raises the question as to whether it would be ever possible for him to come off as a sympathetic figure in an exchange with anyone.
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