May 23, 2013 at 7:21 am #88885
President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama host a concert in the East Room honoring singer-songwriter Carole King, the recipient of the 2013 Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. May 22, 2013
As you make it through the day, don’t forget JJP at TWIB.
Drop those links. Engage in debate. Give us trivia and gossip too.
And always, have a peaceful day.May 23, 2013 at 7:22 am #88886
Good Morning, EveryoneMay 23, 2013 at 6:56 pm #88919
Christopher Picciano, D.C. Police Officer Accused Of Michelle Obama Threat, Says He Was Joking
The Huffington Post
The D.C. police officer accused of threatening to shoot first lady Michelle Obama claimed Wednesday in a disciplinary hearing that he was joking.
The Washington Post reports Christopher Picciano, a 17-year veteran of the Metropolitan Police Department, “maintains that he made a sarcastic quip while inadvertently displaying an image of a gun on his smartphone,” according to his attorney.
But a colleague said she perceived Officer Christopher Picciano’s words at a Washington restaurant as a threat. She said Picciano deliberately showed her the picture and said, “This is the gun I plan to do it with.” The witness said she waited several hours before reporting it to a superior because she feared retribution from fellow officers.
The hearing, called a trial board, is presided over by two police captains and an inspector. Picciano, whose job included escorting motorcades for the president, vice president and other dignitaries but who is now on desk duty, is expected to testify Thursday. The proceedings are providing the first detailed accounts of a case that embarrassed D.C. police and made international news.
The alleged threat occurred on July 11, 2012, at Jack’s Fresh restaurant at 20th and L streets NW, when Picciano reportedly told colleague Officer Leslie Clark and her partner, “Yeah, because I want to kill her (Michelle Obama).” Later he allegedly answered, “I guess I would,” when the conversation turned to who would want to kill the first lady.May 23, 2013 at 7:02 pm #88920
President Obama’s base won’t desert him
Don’t Hold Your Breath Waiting for Public Opinion to Turn Against Obama:
The president has a base of loyalists that won’t quit…
Given the noise level on Capitol Hill, cable TV, and social media, Obama’s 50 percent-plus showings in recent polls from CNN, Pew, and ABC/Washington Post seem somewhat surprising. But two veteran political pollsters, one from each party, say that Obama can expect to maintain his standing as long as there’s no evidence that he was involved in the two big furors of the moment…
Republican Bill McInturff and Democrat Stan Greenberg agree that Obama is in a relatively strong position short of “a real set of facts that implicates the president,” as Greenberg put it. The reasons include Obama’s steadfast coalition of blacks, Latinos, and young people…
The president’s core base has kept his approval rating in the mid-40s or higher through the five years of his presidency, McInturff says, and won’t desert him.
You bettcha!!!May 23, 2013 at 7:04 pm #88921
Thu May 23rd, 2013 at 11:19:00 AM EST
George Will does his part for the new Republican minority outreach program by penning a column that compares our nation’s first black president to George Wallace. I guess Nathan Bedford Forrest was a bridge too far. What does George Wallace have to do with the National Labor Relations Board? Well, nothing, but that’s not the point. The point is that the NLRB wants employers to post information alerting their workers of their right to form a union.
According to Mr. Will, this is roughly as Maoist as compelling restauranteurs to post reminders about hand-washing in their restrooms, and clearly an unconstitutional violation of our oligarchs’ right to be silent. What’s more, Mr. Will is under the firm impression that when the DC Circuit of Appeals makes a ruling, that is the end of the matter and no appeal is possible or necessary before the government must comply with that ruling. So, for example, when the DC Circuit ruled that the president improperly made recess appointments to the NLRB when the Senate was not in fact in recess, that meant that the administration had to immediately agree with that ruling and disband the NLRB for lack of a quorum. And his failure to do so is exactly like when George Wallace “stood in the door of Foster Auditorium at the University of Alabama to prevent two young blacks from registering as students.”May 23, 2013 at 7:05 pm #88922
J. Anthony Murders Another Hit: ‘I Really Miss You Scandal’J. Anthony Brown has a song for all the abandoned “Scandal” fans who don’t know what to do with themselves now that season two of the hit series has ended.
http://v3.player.abacast.com/player/player.php?pid=reachmedia_tjms&mediaurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwm-ondemand.abacast.com%2Freachmediainc%2F052313%2FHIT0523.wma&gateway=http://asx.abacast.com/dynamic/reachmediainc.asxMay 23, 2013 at 7:06 pm #88923
Posted at 03:14 PM ET, 05/17/2013
Historically black colleges are seeing an increase in white students
By Alyssa Paddock
For several months, students at Howard University’s school of communications have been writing stories for The RootDC about a range of local and national issues. The students have written about college students struggling to pay rising tuitions after their parents had lost jobs and homes to foreclosures and the impact of funding cuts to public school arts programs in poor communities, among other issues. Today, The RootDC is publishing the story below by Allyssa Paddock on the increase of white students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
White students are becoming a more frequent sight on the campuses of Historically Black Colleges and Universities across the country. Although African Americans still make up the large majority of the students at HBCUs, the enrollment rate of white students has grown in recent years.
As more African-American students attend majority white institutions, there are more available slots open at HBCUs for non-black students and more possibilities for diversity on the campuses.
Although HBCUs were originally created to educate black people who were excluded from attending white colleges and universities during the era of racial segregation, over time they became a source of pride for many in the black community. These institutions once provided educational opportunities that blacks could not get anywhere else and helped graduates launch impressive careers. They also churned out some of the country’s leading black political and cultural figures, such as author and Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison and the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, who both graduated from Howard University.
As a result, many people are very protective of the unique historical legacy and mission of HBCUs, and opinions are still divided over whether the increasing diversity on formerly all-black campuses is a positive development.
“Although I appreciate all races and have friends of all kinds at home, I definitely think that Howard was created for black students and the integrity of the majority black institution should remain that way,” said Courtland Lackey, a junior at Howard. “I don’t see why other races would attend when it was created for the benefit and growth of our black race and culture.”
Several white students who attend HBCU’s said that in many cases they welcomed being in a different kind of cultural environment. Jillian Parker, a senior at Howard University, who is white, said she learned a lot at Howard and really enjoyed her experience for unique reasons.
“As a school, I love it and I love the people. I really enjoy being unique and for that reason I appreciate my experience,” she said. “I feel as though you have a bit more notoriety being so different at a place like this. I think that I truly learned one hundred times more in terms of life and culture than I ever would have at a predominantly white university. It has been a blessing and a growing experience.”
But others said it’s a tough adjustment going to a black school Daryl Bradley, a white freshman said that her experience on campus has been mixed.
“I would only suggest it to another white person if I knew they had a strong self-esteem and were outgoing enough to make friends easily,” she said in an interview. “Being the minority is something “white people” are not used to.”May 23, 2013 at 7:10 pm #88925
GOP Hero Petraeus, Not Obama, Was Behind Changed Benghazi Talking Points
By: Sarah JonesMay. 22nd, 2013
The bombshell that Republican hero David Petraeus was behind changes in the Benghazi talking points is another reason why Obama should not only clean out the Bush appointees, but should stop trusting Republicans in general.
The Washington Post reported late Tuesday that the emails released by the Obama administration reveal a rather shocking surprise. No, the Obama White House did not craft the Benghazi talking points to protect their reputation or that of the State Department. Nor did the State Department protect their image with “changes” to the talking points.
It was Republican hero, General David Petraeus, then the head of the CIA, who sought to burnish his image with demands to change the talking points. In fact, his version put him at “odds” with the State Department, the FBI, and officials within his own agency:May 23, 2013 at 7:18 pm #88926
Mississippi Could Soon Jail Women for Stillbirths, Miscarriages
The state’s manslaughter laws weren’t supposed to apply to women who lose pregnancies. Prosecutors don’t seem to care.
—By Kate Sheppard
| Thu May. 23, 2013 3:00 AM PDT
On March 14, 2009, 31 weeks into her pregnancy, Nina Buckhalter gave birth to a stillborn baby girl. She named the child Hayley Jade. Two months later, a grand jury in Lamar County, Mississippi, indicted Buckhalter for manslaughter, claiming that the then-29-year-old woman “did willfully, unlawfully, feloniously, kill Hayley Jade Buckhalter, a human being, by culpable negligence.”
The district attorney argued that methamphetamine detected in Buckhalter’s system caused Hayley Jade’s death. The state Supreme Court, which heard oral arguments on the case on April 2, is expected to rule soon on whether the prosecution can move forward.
If prosecutors prevail in this case, the state would be setting a “dangerous precedent” that “unintentional pregnancy loss can be treated as a form of homicide,” says Farah Diaz-Tello, a staff attorney with National Advocates for Pregnant Women, a nonprofit legal organization that has joined with Robert McDuff, a Mississippi civil rights lawyer, to defend Buckhalter. If Buckhalter’s case goes forward, NAPW fears it could spur a wave of similar prosecutions in Mississippi and other states.May 23, 2013 at 7:19 pm #88927
GOP Food Stamps Proposal Would Discriminate Against African-Americans
—By Erika Eichelberger
| Thu May. 23, 2013 7:15 AM PD
On Wednesday the Senate agriculture committee approved a GOP proposal that would amend the farm bill the Senate is considering to ban “convicted murderers, rapists, and pedophiles” from getting food stamps. On its surface, the idea sounds unobjectionable, but the measure would have “strongly racially discriminatory effects,” according to the non-partisan Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP).
The amendment, introduced by Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), and agreed to by unanimous consent in the committee, would bar anyone who has ever been convicted of certain violent crimes—even if they committed the crimes in their youth and have served their sentence—from ever getting food stamps (called SNAP benefits) ever again. CBPP president Robert Greenstein slammed the amendment in a statement Tuesday, calling it “stunning.” Because African Americans are incarcerated at a higher rate than other races, he says, “the amendment would have a skewed racial impact. Poor elderly African Americans convicted of a single crime decades ago by segregated Southern juries would be among those hit.” Under current law, there is only a lifetime ban on food stamps for convicted drug felons, and many states have opted out of that ban.
The measure wouldn’t just hurt ex-cons. Greenstein points out that “the amendment would mean lower SNAP benefits for their children and other family members.”
Plus the amendment could cause higher rates of recidivism. “Ex-offenders often have difficulty finding jobs that pay decent wages,” Greenstein says. “The amendment could pose dilemmas for ex-offenders who are trying to go straight but can neither find jobs nor, as a result of the amendment, obtain enough food to feed their children and families.”
The House of Representatives has also voted to cut food stamp funding from the farm bill; their plan would throw some 2 million people off the program.
There’s still time to rethink the senators’ ill-conceived plan, though, Greenstein says. “The farm bill is still on the floor, and the amendment can still be modified,” he says. “Senators should gather the courage to step up to the plate and address this matter.”May 23, 2013 at 7:20 pm #88928
Bronx ‘ghetto’ tours stop amid residents’ outrage
by Verena Dobnik, Associated Press | May 23, 2013 at 10:03 AM
A company that promised sightseer tours to the Bronx that included a New York City “ghetto” has stopped the bus rides under protest from an outraged neighborhood.
Real Bronx Tours, which took mostly European tourists from Manhattan to see life in the South Bronx “from a safe distance,” issued a statement this week saying it would immediately cease all tours there.
Three times a week, the $45 ride took visitors past food-pantry lines, a housing project and a park a guide described as a pickpocket hangout.
Tourists were told they’d get a look at the Bronx that reflects one of the darkest chapters of the city’s history, the 1970s and ’80s, when the tour website said “this borough was notorious for drugs, gangs, crime and murders.”
The Bronx lost hundreds of buildings to fires intentionally set by landlords to collect insurance money, hence the phrase, “the Bronx is burning.”
But residents say the tours are a misrepresentation of the area where former Secretary of State Colin Powell and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor lived in as children.
“Those days are over, the Bronx is being rebuilt, it’s rising again,” said Bronx resident and Grammy-nominated musician Bobby Sanabria.
On Monday, Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and City Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito sent an open letter to the company owner, Michael Myers, saying they were “sickened by the despicable way” the borough was being portrayed to outsiders.
“We strongly urge you to stop profiting off of a tour that misrepresents the Bronx as a haven for poverty and crime, while mocking everything from our landmarks to the less fortunate members of our community who are availing themselves of food assistance programs.”
The tour company did not respond to calls and emails requesting comment. It was not clear whether they would resume any of their tours. And by Thursday, the website of the company was no longer accessible.
Other companies in the city still offer regular guided trips to the Bronx.
Three weeks ago, NYC & Company, the city’s tourism bureau, launched a promotion of the South Bronx as “one of our safest, most exciting boroughs,” with highlights including Art Deco architecture and the Yankees.May 23, 2013 at 7:21 pm #88929
Ex-U.S. Attorney Leaked Confidential Docs to Media
By LORRAINE BAILEY
(CN) – Former U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke leaked confidential documents related to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ “gunwalking” operations to Fox News and The New York Times, a Justice Department probe concluded.
In July 2011, Special Agent John Dodson, who worked for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), was contacted by a Fox News producer asking for comments about a confidential ATF memorandum he had written.
When the Department of Justice opened an investigation into the leak, U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona Dennis Burke admitted he had released the Dodson memorandum to Fox News reporter Mike Levine, but said the reporter already seemed familiar with the report’s contents.
Burke had previously been investigated by the Justice Department for leaking a internal U.S. Attorney’s Office memo regarding Operation Fast and Furious suspect Jaime Avila to the New York Times.
Burke resigned in August 2011 and declined further Justice Department requests for an interview.
In a report released this month, the Justice Department found that Burke violated Department policy by releasing the report to Levine. It also found that Burke was aware his disclosure was illegal, because rather than emailing the memorandum directly to Levine, he emailed it to a personal friend in D.C., who provided Levine a hard copy.
The report said Burke’s misconduct was “particularly egregious because of Burke’s apparent effort to undermine the credibility of Dodson’s significant public disclosures about the failures in Operation Fast and Furious.”May 23, 2013 at 8:05 pm #88931
The New Counterterror Policy
Thu May 23rd, 2013 at 03:51:33 PM EST
Here is the president’s speech on the future of American counterterrorism and war fighting against terrorism groups. I have to say that my faith in the president has been vindicated. This is pretty close to the speech I would write myself. And, with the exception of my concern about getting too embroiled in Syria’s nightmare, these are policies I have long advocated. This is the major progressive turn we were hoping to see four years ago, and it is in many ways reminiscent of Eisenhower’s Farewell Speech, except that Obama still has three and a half years to go to implement these policies.May 23, 2013 at 8:16 pm #88932
The Media Refuses to Challenge John Boehner’s ‘Obama Scandals’ BS
By: Sarah Jones
May. 23rd, 2013
Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) carefully started off Thursday’s press conference by instructing reporters that Republicans’ number one priorities are jobs and economic growth… but IRS scandal!
The media refused to challenge the Speaker on the facts that have come to light over the past week, many of which threw cold water on Republicans’ various claims regarding the “Obama scandals”
The Speaker condemned the President for slow job growth, but his House has not passed a jobs bill.
Boehner skipped over the specifics for jobs, throwing the Keystone Pipeline out as one of their jobs plans (even though a State Department draft environmental impact statement found it will only create 35 permanent jobs). Then he quickly launched into Operation Heritage Institute Get Barack Obama, saying of the IRS scandal, “This White House — The lights are on, but there doesn’t seem to be anyone home.”
Luckily for the Speaker, he doesn’t need facts to indict. Boehner assured the press that the IRS has been systematically destroying Americans rights for two years, but we can’t get a straight answer from this administration. Are you getting the Nixonian references or should I put it in bold around Obama’s name just in case you missed it? Since there is no real evidence suggesting Obama had anything to do with any of these scandals, we might need to repeat the Nixon theme a LOT in order to smear via suggestion.
What the American people are seeing in this administration, the Speaker repeated again this week, is an “arrogance in power.” Nixon! Nixon, because suggesting there is an atmosphere of “intimidation” and “arrogance” is the best they can do. Notice that those are feelings, and not facts, and they serve to both silence critics and smear the target, who is now caught unable to aggressively fight back because — “arrogance”.
Asked about disagreements on aid for Oklahoma, Boehner tried to avoid the topic by sidestepping into a “we have programs in place to help people in need” beginning, but in order to kill the notion that aid should be given, he was sure to add that “Washington has a spending problem…”
I’m happy to report that Boehner did revert back to debt fear-mongering (in spite of the actual numbers improving), as I feared he’s forgotten about his alleged mission amidst the manufacturing of scandals against the President.
Boehner was reminded that last week he said someone should go to jail over the IRS scandal. The press was very helpful in pushing the Republican narrative forward, noting that we have to get these people in the IRS to talk somehow (that’s a NO to your right to plead the fifth, apparently) if he wants to send them to jail. Boehner backtracked by noting that the DOJ has opened a criminal investigation into the IRS “scandal” of asking nonprofits for proof that they aren’t overly involved in politics. Currently, this “scandal” looks more like incompetence and bad target words, but unlike Republicans, we reserve final judgment until the facts are uncovered at great expense to us all, because it’s not as if Republicans should be doing any actual legislating.
No one asked Boehner about the news that a Capitol Hill Republican leaked doctored Benghazi emails to the press.
No one asked Boehner about the fact that Darrell Issa (R-CA/Obama Hunter) was told of the IRS investigation last year, while Republicans keep claiming no one told them anything and asking why Congress was not informed.
No one asked Boehner about the fact that the only person who changed Benghazi talking points was Republican hero General David Peteraeus. No one asked him if he might want to clear the record of his previous allegations against President Obama and Hillary Clinton.
No one asked why Republicans have not passed one single jobs bill, but instead keep trying to pass off this as their jobs bill (“this” translates to killing ObamaCare, subsiding big oil more, cutting taxes for corporations and rich people, etc), even though nonpartisan economists agree that their list will not create jobs in the short term and we need jobs created in the short term.
The Republican public relations “presser” is now concluded.May 23, 2013 at 8:26 pm #88933
got a movie recommendation for you
I loved it. I really loved it. I had no idea who the Black lead actor is, but he was so funny in a sweet, cudly way.
I understood why Kerry Washington’s character was with him, and how he rounded out her life, and why she needed him.
I loved the entire ‘meet the family’ where the Black family isn’t full of stereotypes.
it totally wasn’t marketed well, because folks should go see it.
I mean, this movie had David Allen Grier, S. Epatha Merkinson, Diahann Carroll and a cameo by Melvin Van Peebles.
If you have known any Black Bougie people, it will crack you up.
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