October 12, 2013 at 10:08 am #98073
Welcome to your guide to everything that’s happening at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. This week, the President continued to call for the House to reopen the government — by passing a continuing resolution — and avoid an economic shutdown, by raising the debt limit. That’s October 4th to October 10th or “The Shutdown Edition: Week Two.”
As you spend this weekend with family and friends, don’t forget JJP at TWIB.
Drop those links. Engage in debate. Give us trivia and gossip too.
And always, have a peaceful day.October 12, 2013 at 10:08 am #98074
Good Morning, EveryoneOctober 12, 2013 at 10:14 am #98075
-Missing: Avonte Oquendo- -
- – -Avonte Oquendo, age 14, was last seen October 4, 2013 in Queens, NY.
He was last seen leaving Center Boulevard School in Long Island City around 12:45 p.m. Surveillance video shows Avonte simply running out the door. Avonte has the mind of a 7-year-old and suffers from autism and is mute.
To read more about Avonte Oquendo, click here.
Anyone with information can submit a tip to http://www.bamfi.org under “Tip Line”. —-October 12, 2013 at 10:16 am #98076
Obama makes the Tea Party cry (uncle)
Friday, October 11, 2013 | Posted by Spandan C at 2:24 PM
How do you know that a bully is losing? When the bully accuses you of being a big meanie because you dared to stand up to them. The Tea Party came to Washington with one purpose in mind: to destroy Barack Obama and his presidency. But now that they have gone up against the president and lost again, and again, and again, they have sat down on the floor, spread their feet, swelled their lips, and begun to cry (uncle). The National Journal’s Billy House reports:
“The difference is, I don’t think his predecessors have antagonized the other side,” says Rep. Austin Scott, R-Ga., who was president of the tea-party-packed House Republican freshman class last session.
“Bill Clinton did not intentionally antagonize Republicans,” Scott said. “And I think that most of those [earlier] presidents would have welcomed the opportunity to negotiate. And if they’re right on their points, then certainly they’d want to negotiate.”
Wuaaa! The big black man took my candy! Evidently, asking members of Congress to do their job and pay the check on bills they have themselves run up and to keep the government open is “antagonizing” them. But if we must talk about antagonizing, let’s hold a mirror up to the Tea Party, shall we? Tell, Congressman, if you recognize any of the following images:October 12, 2013 at 10:17 am #98077
– –Lee Thompson Young suffered from bipolar disorder before suicide: coroner’s report — -
- —The star of TNT’s “Rizzoli & Isles” who committed suicide in
August had a history of bipolar disorder, authorities revealed Tuesday.
Lee Thompson Young, 29, was taking medication for the condition and also suffered from depression when he shot himself in his right temple while sitting on the couch of his North Hollywood bachelor apartment, a report from the Los Angeles County Coroner said.
“He was known to take his medications” and “appeared okay” when he last spoke with his doctor on Aug. 14, the report said.
Lithium capsules and Quetiapine Fumarate tablets were found in his residence, and both drugs were detected in his blood.
No traces of opiates, alcohol, cocaine or other drugs were found in his system.October 12, 2013 at 10:18 am #98078
Black Women Celebrate Fathers in New Book
In this excerpt, a contributing editor at The Root shares her story of living in the shadow of her father’s memory.
By: Hillary Crosley | Posted: October 11, 2013 at 12:43 AM
Bet on Black: African-American Women Celebrate Fatherhood in the Age of Barack Obama is a collection of 20 essays by black women about their father-daughter relationships and the positive influences their dads provided in their lives. Hillary Crosley, a contributing editor to The Root, also participated in this book, which was edited by Kenrya Rankin Naasel and will be released Oct. 11. In this excerpt of her personal essay, Crosley details how she barely remembers her father, who passed away when she was 5, but still lives in his long shadow. You can also contribute to the Bet on Black Kickstarter campaign, which ends Oct. 11 at 6 p.m. and supports the book’s physical and online release.
The Persistence of Memory
I don’t remember my father at all. Sometimes it seems my whole life has been shaped by other people’s memories, the stories they’ve told me while eating popcorn on the couch when the movie rental got boring, or while celebrating a good high school report card at Red Lobster. One of my close family friends who’s like a grandmother to me believes my amnesia started as early as my father’s funeral. We were driving away from the church and I looked up at my mother and aunts and asked why everyone was crying. I think that my 5-year-old mind couldn’t take the stress of his departure, so it simply blocked him — his humor, his talent for baking Bert and Ernie-shaped birthday cakes, his love for the daughter he’d begged my mother to have — out of my head.October 12, 2013 at 10:20 am #98079
As GOP cries uncle, Obama refuses to bail them out
Friday, October 11, 2013 | Posted by Spandan C at 3:31 PM
As the Republican plan to deprive Americans of health care by holding the government’s operations hostage and threatening default has fallen apart in the face of withering public backlash and the strength of a president who has refused to pay ransom for Congress doing its job, some Republicans are still holding out hope that the same president who they hoped to destroy will bail them out from their own quagmire and save their face. Well, I wouldn’t hold my breath.
Senior Republican sources say Obama is amenable to changes to mandatory and discretionary spending, but needs Republicans to commit to increasing governmental revenue.
In the mean time, Jay Carney has re-iterated that the president will not pay a ransom simply to reopen government and pay America’s bills.
What does all this mean? The best I can tell, the president is exactly in the same position he has always been in: Republicans need to end the shutdown, stop threatening default, and then the normal process of budget negotiations can resume. Once it does resume after the GOP ends the crisis they inflicted on America, the framework, as far as the president is concerned, need to include both long term budget savings and increased taxes from those who can afford it.October 12, 2013 at 10:22 am #98080
Abandoning attempts at persuasion, Republicans simply shut down the voters they can’t win over
Posted by Kay at 8:59 am
We talked about this last week:
With court action over the state’s proof-of-citizenship voting law looming, Secretary of State Kris Kobach is laying groundwork for a system that would allow some voters to vote in all elections while others could only vote for Congress and presidential tickets.
Arizona joins Kansas in creating two classes of voters:
The states are using an opening left in June by the United States Supreme Court when it said that the power of Congress over federal elections was paramount but did not rule on proof of citizenship in state elections. Such proof was required under Arizona’s Proposition 200, which passed in 2004 and is one of the weapons in the border state’s arsenal of laws enacted in its battle against illegal immigration.
The two states are also jointly suing the federal Election Assistance Commission, arguing that it should change the federal voter registration form for their states to include state citizenship requirements. While the agency has previously denied such requests, the justices said the states could try again and seek judicial review of those decisions.
The two-tiered system — deemed costly, cumbersome and prone to confusion by many of its opponents, as well as election officials in both states — threatens to derail an effort by Democrats and their allies to increase voter registration and turnout among Latinos and the poor, part of a push by the party to pick up local offices and seats in the states’ legislatures, where policies have been largely dictated by Republicans in recent years.
Matt Roberts, spokesman for the Arizona secretary of state, Ken Bennett — who, like Mr. Horne, is a Republican — said the small numbers do nothing to lessen the challenge of adding another ballot to a system already full of them, each based on variants like party affiliation, voting precinct, and legislative and Congressional districts.
“We have a hard enough time already to get people to go to the right voting place,” Mr. Roberts said. “The last thing any poll worker wants is to have to tell someone who might be voting for the first time why they can’t vote for governor.” He said Mr. Bennett supports requiring proof of citizenship but wants it for all elections.
Sowing chaos and confusion is part of the playbook for any robust voter suppression effort. We can also expect actual incompetence in election administration to play a role, as we saw in Pennsylvania last cycle where the GOP effort to administer the new rules they rushed in was such an absolute mess a court stepped in and halted the whole thing.
This effort to suppress Latino votes is both a short-term and a long-term strategy for conservatives because ethnic and racial minorities gain political power by winning state and (especially) local elections and developing a “bench” of candidates and a loyal local base of voters. These efforts will stop them before they get started on the path to national office.
Also, I’d just like to reiterate that Kris Kobach, the Secretary of State of Kansas and the person behind this, is not a fringe figure on the Right. He was Moderate Mitt Romney’s advisor (although Romney denied it) and he’s in the absolute mainstream of the modern GOP. He’s also a regular on the conservative media grifter circuit.October 12, 2013 at 10:31 am #98081
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The Vast Right Wing Conspiracy to Scapegoat the Tea Party
Friday, October 11, 2013 | Posted by Spandan C at 8:03 PM
Republicans in the House and the Senate are mad. At each other. They’re not talking to each other. Senate Republicans are fed up with the House GOP’s Tea Party strategy (ironically pushed by one of their own) and want the crazy caucus to pipe down. The crazy caucus, i.e. the House GOP, is aware that a complete surrender is the only option, but they don’t want to believe it. How bad is the lovers’ quarrel? It’s bad:
Each of the conferences is charting its own course to end the saga and evade a debt limit crisis on Oct. 17. But after two weeks of intraparty turmoil, neither side seems to trust the other about what the way out should look like.
The lines are so crossed that GOP senators asked President Barack Obama during a White House meeting on Friday to fill them in on the House plan, senators attending the meeting said. They simply hadn’t seen it.
The battle lines are drawn. What looks like a intraparty fight between the two legislative chambers is in reality the first salvo of the Republican establishment against the Tea Party Frankenstein they have themselves created. The House GOP caucus is completely under Tea Party control; the Senate GOP is far less so, primarily because candidates who have to claim that they are “not witches” or talk about “Second Amendment remedies” have a tough time getting elected statewide in states not named Texas.October 12, 2013 at 10:34 am #98082
Is It Safe for a Black Male to Dial 911?
Watch this: In “Cuz He’s Black,” a 4-year-old black boy in fear for his life learns to hide from police.
By: Javon L. Johnson, Ph.D. | Posted: October 9, 2013 at 4:17 PM
We were reminded again yesterday that in America, color may still matter as much as character when you’re black and male and you have an encounter with police. And we ask this question: When is coincidence more than coincidence? As The Root reported on Tuesday, Jack Lamar Roberson of Waycross, Ga., somehow died while in police custody after his fiancee called 911 for help, saying that Roberson was suicidal.
In September, Jonathan Ferrell staggered away from a crushing car crash, only to be gunned down by North Carolina police officers who didn’t recognize him as a victim but who saw him as a threat. We hear stories from our friends and loved ones who tell us they would be afraid to call 911 if they needed help. They must calculate what might occur when the blue light shows up.
So we are left to wonder, how is a black man supposed to seek the emergency assistance he might deserve when he is seen as a predator, an ominous figure or a criminal?
Then we remembered the story told by Javon Johnson in his brilliant poem “Cuz He’s Black.” It’s about the chilling conversation Johnson had with his 4-year-old nephew and the little boy’s fear of police. Watch the video below. Then read what Johnson has to say about what he learned when his video went viral.October 12, 2013 at 10:37 am #98083
Obamacare is a Triumph for African-Americans
by Earl Ofari Hutchinson
The verdict was in even before the first enrollee inked their signature October 1 on a health care plan under the Affordable Care Act. The law is an unmitigated triumph for the millions of uninsured in America. The triumph is even greater for African-Americans. The checklist of pluses is well known. More than 7 million African-Americans will now have access to a health plan, there will be subsidies for low income persons to offset the costs, a half million children will be covered under their parent’s plans, millions of dollars will be allocated for research and testing, the establishment of more than 1000 new health care facilities in many rural and urban communities, the National Health Service Corps workforce will be tripled and more than 4 million elderly and disabled African-Americans covered under Medicare will have no cost access to health care preventive services. The triumph is even greater because of the grim figures on the health care crisis that has been a national disgrace for so long for African-Americans
The dismal figures have repeatedly told why. Blacks make up a wildly disproportionate number of the estimated 50 million Americans with absolutely no access to affordable or any health care. The majority of black uninsured are far more likely than the one in four whites who are uninsured to experience problems getting treatment at a hospital or clinic. This has had devastating health and public policy consequences. According to a study by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, blacks are far more likely than whites to suffer higher rates of catastrophic illness and disease, and are much less likely to obtain basic drugs, tests, preventive screenings and surgeries. They are more likely to recover slower from illness, and they die much younger.
Studies have found that when blacks do receive treatment, the care they receive is more likely to be substandard to that of whites. Reports indicate that even when blacks are enrolled in high quality health plans, the racial gap in the care and quality of medical treatment still remains low. Meanwhile, private insurers have routinely cherry picked the healthiest and most financially secure patients in order to bloat profits and hold down costs. American medical providers spend twice as much per patient than providers in countries with universal health care, and they provide lower quality for the grossly inflated dollars. Patients pay more in higher insurance premiums, co-payments, fees and other hidden health costs.
It’s been a perfect storm mix of politics, race, and ignorance and fear that has driven the GOP’s mania to dump Obamacare. It’s included every slander, lie, and false flag, countless votes and threats to defund the Act and a crude attempt at blackmail to shut down the whole government over it. The politics is the
claim that this is big government intrusiveness since it allegedly whipsawed Americans into buying insurance and that it was too costly, too overburdening on businesses, and supposedly too unpopular with a majority of Americans.
The race part is two-fold. One it was proposed by President Obama, and anything, that’s any program or initiative that’s been proposed by him by him for every moment of the five years he’s been in the White House has been the trigger for GOP knee jerk opposition. The other part is the great fear of GOP health care reform opponents and the health care industry lobby which includes private insurers, and for a time pharmaceuticals and major medical practitioners was that they’d have to treat millions of uninsured, unprofitable, largely unhealthy blacks. That would be a direct threat to their massive profits. The pharmaceuticals eventually dropped their opposition only after getting assurances that they would not have to cut costs of drugs to make way for more generics and drug competition from Canada and that the millions of newly insured recipients will be drug purchasers.October 12, 2013 at 10:38 am #98084
Why So Many People Believe Blacks Are America’s Racists
Posted: 07/07/2013 12:24 pm
It matters little that every objective study and survey for the past two decades has consistently shown the gaping racial disparities in health care, education spending, the criminal justice system, employment, the wealth gap, and poverty between blacks and whites has either stagnated or widened. Or that blacks are still largely the invisible men and women in executive management spots at the Fortune 500 corporations. It matters even less that the textbook definition of racism explicitly means not just an individual’s thinking or expressing racially skewed bias and animus toward another group, but having the actual power to exert control and dominance through the mechanisms of law, public policy, and economic dominance over that group. This is the defining point between an individual’s personal prejudices, and there are few individuals who don’t harbor some personal prejudice toward another group, and having the actual power to exercise that prejudice against another group that is deliberately missed or distorted in the futile exercise of trying to say who is a racist and what makes them a racist.
The entrenched notion, however, is that if you’re black, poor, uneducated, or locked in a prison cell, don’t blame social, political or economic iniquities, in short, don’t scream race — blame yourself. This does two things: it provides social and psychic comfort to those individuals who think that they’re bigotry-free, and can finger point blacks as eternal racial crybabies who love to scream racism at every slight or failure. They also pound civil rights leaders for eternally playing the race card on every supposedly imagined or trumped up racial malfeasance.
But the far more insidious thing than accusing blacks of being America’s top bigots is that it makes it much easier to ignore or outright assail laws, statutes, policies and initiatives that were hard fought over to put on the books to protect rights and eliminate discrimination. This ploy was on full display in the Supreme Court debate over the key provisions of the Voting Rights Act that for decades mandated Justice Department approval to prevent registrars in targeted Southern and Southwestern states from using every tact to damp down black and Hispanic votes. It was on display and in the ancient court and public debate over affirmative action which has long been encased in public thinking, as “reverse discrimination.” The real victims of this supposed discrimination are not blacks, Hispanics or women, but white males. This was amply borne out in a Rasmussen poll in May that found only 25 percent of Americans favored affirmative action as part of college admission policies.October 12, 2013 at 10:39 am #98085
Dad Suggests Laporshia Massey’s Death May Have Been A Result Of Philadelphia School Budget Cuts
If not for Philadelphia School District budget cuts, one father thinks his child may still be alive.
Daniel Burch said his daughter, 12-year-old Laporshia Massey, died from asthma complications on Sept. 25, according to local Fox outlet WTXF-TV. While Massey, a sixth-grader at Bryant Elementary School, began to feel sick earlier that day, she did not have the option of visiting a school nurse.
As a result of district budget cuts, the school can only afford to have a nurse on Thursdays and Fridays. It was a Wednesday.
Had a school nurse been available, Burch says, he or she would have recognized the seriousness of the situation and made sure Massey got immediate help. Instead, after spending the day at school, Massey died at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia that night, he told Philadelphia City Paper.
This is the second year Bryant Elementary School has not had a full-time school nurse, the outlet reports.
Budget cuts over the course of the past few years have left Philadelphia schools starved for support. Over the summer, the district closed 24 schools and laid off 3,783 employees, although fewer than half of those employees have since been re-hired. Schools are currently operating with bigger class sizes but a bare minimum of staff and support.
Now, Massey’s death has become a rallying point for leaders who believe that Philadelphia schools have become dangerous for children.October 12, 2013 at 12:56 pm #98086
At Howard, abrupt resignation reassures few
By Clinton Yates
October 3 at 12:02 pm
On a sunny fall day following Howard University’s abrupt leadership change, much of the campus was still in the dark. While students, faculty and staff members discussed school President Sidney Ribeau’s announcement that he would retire in December, the blackout on specifics made matters worse: Had he been forced out? What was the real reason? And will this really change the core problems facing the school?
Indeed, Ribeau’s Tuesday afternoon e-mail sent to the school community announcing his departure, was vague at best, confusing at worst. And for many on campus, that lack of transparency and honest discussion of the school’s problems is illustrative of “The Mecca”‘s current struggles.
“My main thought was, ‘Why?’ I feel like we as a campus didn’t get a clear reason why he did that,” Tyler Brown, a junior from Atlanta said. ”Him being our president, I felt like we should have gotten that.”
Howard’s history of student disgruntlement is nothing new. But for many students, life at the school has become a tricky balance between maintaining the morale it takes to succeed academically and facing the real-life issues that come with an unresponsive higher-ups.
“The administration, when you go to the A-building, there’s nothing anybody can do for you,” Ayanna McIntosh, a senior from New York, said, referring to the school’s administration building. “They always send you to somebody else who sends you to somebody else, and it’s a goose chase until you finally say, okay, I don’t want to do this anymore.” Dining at The Cafe, which overlooks McMillian Reservoir, she added: “Howard students love Howard. Administration is the problem, not the morale of the school. That’s it.”
There’s also the tricky issue of faculty. A few chose not to speak on the record about the situation, out of concern that their positions or programs could be compromised if their comments were seen as negative. That alone is a major red flag: Educators who are reasonably critical of their leadership should be taken seriously, considering they are the ones tasked with the teaching. If they feel threatened, it’s unhealthy for the campus culture.
Privately, some will tell you that Ribeau was just the latest fall guy for a regime that can’t get its act together and has acted in shadowy self-interest as to not put at risk the federal appropriation the school receives, which is upwards of $200 million.
“I was shocked, I was surprised,” said one university contractor who asked that his name not be used. He found out after calling a co-worker on personal business, who told him about Ribeau. “I’m hoping some good things happen next. Who the hell ever knows,” he said.
One who has no problems speaking out is Gregory Jenkins, a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Last month, he started a Change.org petition, calling for “open, honest answers from the Administration and [Board of Trustees] about the short and long-term future of the MECCA,” but not specifically the ouster of Ribeau. On Sept. 12, it had received 250 signatures. Last week, at the Opening Convocation, a protest was held. Demonstrators held signs reading: “BOT [Board of Trustees]: Do you really care?” and “Transparency, accountability and responsibility.”October 12, 2013 at 12:58 pm #98087
About crooked Governor Transvaginal Ultrasound of Virginia
Star Scientific chief thought McDonnell was helping firm get state funding
By Rosalind S. Helderman and Carol D. Leonnig, Published: October 11 E-mail the writers
A wealthy political donor has told federal prosecutors that he believed that Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell was helping his company get state research funding at the same time the executive was providing McDonnell’s family with gifts and money, according to two people familiar with the donor’s account.
E-mails obtained through the Freedom of Information Act also show that researchers and scientists working with the company thought that McDonnell (R) and his wife, Maureen, wanted the company to receive the funding from the state’s tobacco commission. The researchers were in communication with Star Scientific Inc. officials during the same months that Chief Executive Jonnie R. Williams Sr. said he believed McDonnell was helping, the e-mails show.
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