July 24, 2013 at 12:17 pm #93483
High-Profile Black Actors Pay Tribute to Trayvon Martin: “Little Black Boy Wonder”
As you make it through Hump 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.July 24, 2013 at 12:18 pm #93484
Good Afternoon, EveryoneJuly 24, 2013 at 12:27 pm #93486
Racially Profiled in Palm Beach
On a late-night bike ride, a law professor finds that neither his polite demeanor nor academic pedigree seems to outweigh the color of his skin.
Kevin Noble Maillard Jul 23 2013, 2:20 PM ET
Race is America’s Voldemort: That-Which-Must-Not-Be-Named. Even when discrimination’s role in an event is obvious, there has to be another reason. It’s not about race, it’s about class. It’s about safety. It’s about line dancing. But we are arguably experiencing the greatest racial tensions since the 1960′s, Barack or not.
The most prominent racial issue dividing America today is racial profiling. Trayvon, Stop-and-Frisk, Obama’s Beer Summit, and Arizona’s Show-Me-Your-Papers law are all about acting on racial presumptions.
Three years ago, on a balmy summer night in Palm Beach, I went for a midnight bike ride. Earlier that day, I presented a paper at a law professor conference at the Breakers Hotel. The whole day and early evening was crammed with intense intellectual schmoozing, so I was glad to have some solitary time to explore the long, narrow island. I hopped on my rented beach bike and headed south and over a bridge.
The air was warm and fragrant, the sky clear, and all was quiet. At moments like these, I start thinking about South Florida real estate and what it would be like to live there. Am I a bay person or an ocean person? What do you wear in the wintertime? Is there a beachside university in Florida, with an accredited law school?
So I’m pedaling along, thinking about Miami Vice, imagining myself as an academic Philip Michael Thom–
Suddenly I am blinded by a profusion of oncoming lights, accompanied by a siren, crossing against traffic into my lane on the two-lane road. Reacting quickly, I squeeze left and right brakes in addition to steering the bike sharply to the right. All together, it is perfect choreography for an overbar face-plant. I spill onto the blacktop.
I skid a little in front of my bike, scraping my elbows, wrists, and forearms on the road. Blood, but not too much. My childhood comes back to me in that odd mix of pain and nausea I felt from bike accidents in fifth grade.
No one is getting out of the police car to help. They’re saying something through that electric bullhorn on the roof, unintelligible to me. I remember I’m in Florida, sprawled out in front of a police car, and consider the implications.
Painfully, I stand. My shirt is ripped. I try to get my bike but I’m told to stop moving. I can’t see much because of the Klieg-like wattage pointing at my body. I keep my hands at my sides but away from my pockets, jazz-hand style. I wonder what I’ve done. I’m not wearing a helmet. My rental bike didn’t have one to fit my cartoonishly large dredlocked head. I also didn’t have a safety light or any reflective clothing. The man at the bike store said not to worry about it.
The first policeman steps out of the car. “Where are you headed?” I tell him I’m on a bike ride. “Why so late?” I say I like it late. “What are you doing here?” I tell him I’m a law professor attending a conference at The Breakers.July 24, 2013 at 12:31 pm #93487
Replicating Nate Silver
Tue Jul 23rd, 2013 at 08:47:42 PM EST
It takes a pretty smart mind for math to do what Nate Silver does with his statistical analysis, but it’s not like there aren’t a lot of people in the world who can easily understand Silver’s methodology and replicate it. He’s a good writer, too, but not to the point that people read him for his prose. If it’s true that the New York Times tried to keep him and was preparing to give him substantial staff and his own “mini-department,” then they should go out and recruit a statistician who can write and who has an interest in politics. I’m sure someone can be found, particularly since Silver has already laid the groundwork.
His analysis may have irked AdNags and several other bigfoot reporters at the Grey Lady, but it was the most accurate and informative political reporting that the Times produced, which is why it drove so much traffic to the site. There is no good reason to abandon that type of analysis now that we know that it exists.
For one thing, it provided countless people with reassurance when scoundrels like Dick Morris tried to psych us out with their “skewed polls” analysis. There was not one second during all of 2012 when I didn’t know with virtual certainty that Obama would be reelected, and my faith in Silver was the reason why. I probably owe him a couple years of my life that I didn’t lose to stress. The dogged truth, as expressed by Silver, was a powerful antidote to our horrible world of political punditry.
We can’t let something so valuable just vanish. If the Times doesn’t figure this out, someone else will, and they’ll get all the traffic and attention.July 24, 2013 at 12:35 pm #93488
Imani ABL @AngryBlackLady37s
Actually stunning: X Factor called out Obama for complimenting Kamala Harris, but calls Anthony Weiner’s sexual predation, “boring.”July 24, 2013 at 4:37 pm #93491
a searing essay
The Worst of White Folks
Way back in the day when Twitter was a bootleg reindeer name, David Rozier invented farting during Mass. A few minutes before we marveled at the six Catholics at Holy Family Catholic School sipping out of one gold goblet, and right after Father Joe suggested we offer each other “a sign of peace,” David tapped me on my shoulder, swung his right arm around his back and farted in his hand. Father Joe rolled his eyes from the pulpit as David proceeded to shake the hands of Ms. Bockman, Ms. Raphael, and all the other sixth-and seventh-graders in our row.
Side by side, David and I looked as different as two Mississippi black boys could look. He reminded me of a shorter version of my cousin Jermaine, who lived up in Chicago. David had the forearms and calves of a wiry point guard, with the teeniest head you’d ever seen in your life. He had bright, curious, clear eyes, a voice that was octaves deeper than you’d expect, and these elephant ears that Angela Williams would pluck on field trips. David wasn’t the flyest dresser in the seventh grade, but he—like our boy Lerthon—came to school fabric-softener fresh with just a whiff of fried eggs and canned biscuits. I, on the other hand, was slightly less husky than the Human Beat Box and smelled like stale sweat and off-brand dishwashing soap.
The day David offered us his sign of peace, Ms. Bockman, who initially thought David was finally being respectful of Catholic tradition, went off on me in homeroom. When I wouldn’t tell her why I was laughing, she walked me into the hallway and pointed down to the principal’s office.
“Kiese, you’re not giving me a choice,” she said. “Move it!” As I walked down the hall to the principal’s office with Ms. Bockman at my side, our homeroom door opened behind us. “Hold up!” It was David Rozier. “Kiese ain’t do nothing,” he told Ms. Bockman. “It’s my bad he was laughing. I’m responsible.” I looked at David and waited for something more, something familiar.July 24, 2013 at 4:46 pm #93502
[Eleanor Holmes] Norton says the death of #TrayvonMartin has focused this nation on the lives of black men and that should be Trayvon’s legacy.July 24, 2013 at 4:48 pm #93503
Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice: The 1st female president of Morehouse School of Medicine
by Kunbi Tinuoye | July 24, 2013
Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice has made history. The natural born leader has been appointed the new president of Morehouse School of Medicine – the nation’s first African-American woman to lead a free-standing medical school.
And when you consider the under-representation of black women in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields, Montgomery’s selection is a remarkable accomplishment.
But for those who have followed her impressive career it does not come as a surprise. The Macon, Georgia, native has an outstanding resume.
When asked about the secret of her success the Harvard-educated obstetrician and gynecologist says in no uncertain terms that it is her “passion.” She adds, “The one thing I have always been fortunate to have is passion.”
Indeed, she is a renowned infertility specialist and reproductive endocrinologist. Her work in women’s health and research has earned her international recognition, especially her steadfast commitment to eliminating disparities in women’s health.
Rice says women make the majority of health care decisions for the family so it is important they take better care of themselves and make the right choices. “It is critical for women to be healthy because they play a very pivotal role in determining the health and welfare of their family.”
Among her many triumphs is her founding of Meharry’s Center for Women’s Health Research in Nashville, Tennessee. The center has been credited as one of the nation’s first research facilities devoted exclusively to studying diseases that disproportionately impact women of color.
By all accounts, Rice’s journey to the highest position at the medical school is expected to be a seamless transition. Unlike external candidates who she beat to get the job, Rice is already settled as dean and executive vice president of the Morehouse School House of Medicine (MSM), a role she assumed in 2011.
She will spend the next months in his current job as well as preparing to take the helm alongside the current president John Maupin Jr., who will retire in a year. Her inauguration as the medical school’s sixth president is slated for July 1, 2014.
In a new arrangement, Rice will also retain her position as dean alongside her new role.
Rice says despite her success she still has more to accomplish. She is on a mission to keep MSM relevant, while staying true to its original ideals to diversity the workforce and work towards the elimination of health disparities.
Some of the school’s main areas of research include neuroscience, HIV intervention, cardiovascular diseases and cancer prevention, she says. “We focus our research on areas where we see disproportionate inequalities in under-served communities.”
In fact, a recent study ranked MSM as the number one medical school in the country in the terms of social mission. This is something the incoming president is especially proud of.
The community-based medical school has achieved great success with the majority of graduating physicians – more than 60 percent – opting to practice primary care and work in underserved areas, she says.
Still, despite the handful of HBCU medical schools there is a notable shortage of African-American doctors. Moreover, according to a recent report from the American Association of Medical Colleges a decreasing number of black males are applying to medical school.
To address this imbalance MSM has put together a strategy to expand its pipeline programs to K-12 students interested in exploring STEM fields, says Rice. There are also plans to extend these ongoing initiatives with MSM alumni, she adds.
Mindful that the Affordable Care Act will likely increase the demand for primary care physicians, Rice is passionate about plans to continue to “incrementally increase the number of students each year” from an entering class of 70 to 100 by 2016.
She also believes change is an opportunity to diversify. “We’re looking at a physician assistant program as a viable career option for students,” that are not interested in becoming physicians but want to work within the profession.
The medical school already has a close partnership with Atlanta’s Grady Memorial Hospital. But it is set to forge new alliances and partnerships to keep the program relevant and on the cutting edge of emerging medical science.
Rice’s future vision is to provide creative, holistic and culturally appropriate patient care by “educating and training clinicians and scientists who will lead the nation in the elimination of health disparities.”
“It’s not just about medical intervention but social intervention,” she says. “We have to engage people in their communities to make sure we can get patients engaged in the research.
“We have to provide patients with resources to help them self-engage in their care.”July 24, 2013 at 4:52 pm #93505
Steve King fills a vacuum left by Boehner
By Steve Benen
Wed Jul 24, 2013 8:00 AM EDT
The Democratic Party’s general approach to immigration policy is pretty straightforward: create a legal process through which millions of undocumented immigrants already in the United States can become legal citizens, while taking concrete steps to improve border security. The Republican Party’s position on immigration is … less clear.
GOP officials are divided, confused, and overwhelmed by uncertainty. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) was asked over the weekend for his personal opinion on a pathway to citizenship, and the Republican leader was so overwhelmed by weakness and fear that he refused to give an answer.
This in turn creates a vacuum within the Republican Party, which is filled by folks like Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa).
For those who can’t watch clips online, here’s what the GOP lawmaker told a right-wing website about Dream Act kids:
“There are kids that were brought into this country by their parents unknowing they were breaking the law. And they will say to me and others who defend the rule of law, ‘We have to do something about the 11 million. Some of them are valedictorians.’ Well, my answer to that is … it’s true in some cases, but they aren’t all valedictorians. They weren’t all brought in by their parents. For every one who’s a valedictorian, there’s another 100 out there who weigh 130 pounds and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert. Those people would be legalized with the same act.”July 24, 2013 at 4:57 pm #93506
Rick Scott Thinks That He Can Buy Another Term As Florida Governor
By: Jason Easley
Jul. 23rd, 2013
Gov. Rick Scott thinks that Florida voters will be fooled by $80 million in television advertising into electing him for a second term as the state’s governor.
According to the National Review, Scott thinks he can win another term because he is going to spend big, “The other question, of course, is: Can he win? The incumbent, Governor Rick Scott, says he can’t. When I ask him why he’s so confident, Scott, who is on message with metronomic reliability, says, “I will have $25 million in the bank by the end of the year and will use it in early 2014 to define my opponent.”
The problem for Scott is that is looking more and more likely that he will be running against Charlie Crist. While the conventional wisdom is that the state’s Republicans will turn out in droves to vote against Scott, but Crist still got 13% of Republican support in the latest Quinnipiac poll. The problem for Scott is that he has the support of 75% of Republicans, but Crist has the support of 83% of Democrats and leads with Independents by 12 points.
The Tampa Bay Times’ unscientific insider poll of Florida’s political elite found that Republicans are gaining optimism. The reason for this optimism is both dubious and familiar, “When it comes to Rick Scott being re-elected, never underestimate the power of a strengthening economy and $80 million on TV. Scott will pound into the frontal lobes of every Floridian that he promised jobs and delivered on his promise. He wins on this critical question: Did you do better under four years of Charlie Crist or four years of Rick Scott?”
This thought process should sound familiar to anyone who followed the Mitt Romney campaign last year. Republicans are trying to take an unpopular candidate, wrap him around the economy, and carpet bomb voters with advertising. This is the same strategy that led to Mitt Romney’s collisional failure as a candidate in 2012, but the GOP brain trust is sure that it will work in 2014.July 24, 2013 at 5:04 pm #93508
What’s the Matter With North Carolina?
The state went from beacon of tolerance to bastion of voter suppression in a month.
By Dahlia Lithwick|
Posted Wednesday, July 24, 2013, at 11:20 AM
North Carolina is proving itself to be the poster child for all that is wrong with modern American democracy and—with thanks to Moral Mondays—also highlighting all that may someday save it.
Once a temperate and tolerant beacon of the South, the state is poised to enact a rash of inexpressibly awful legislation, rushed through a Republican legislature. Because the GOP has veto-proof super-majorities in the state House and Senate and a Republican governor—for the first time since Reconstruction—the party has been on a spree. Republican-controlled redistricting was fantastically effective. So much so that in the 2012 elections, nearly 51 percent of North Carolina voters picked a Democrat for the U.S. House, yet Republicans won nine of the state’s 13 House seats, as Chris Kromm and Sue Sturgis recently pointed out.
Some of the gems advanced recently in the legislature include an abortion bill tacked first onto an anti-Sharia law and then snuck in through a motorcycle safety law (new TRAP regulations may shutter all but one clinic in the state). Another bill forces all educators to teach seventh graders that abortion causes preterm birth (it doesn’t). Lawmakers also enacted legislation (described here and elsewhere as “the harshest unemployment insurance program cuts in our nation’s history”) that resulted in 70,000 North Carolina citizens losing their unemployment benefits. The state is one of the 15 to have refused Medicaid expansion under Obamacare. A proposed education bill would slash teacher compensation, (already ranked among the lowest in the nation), eliminate tenure, and use vouchers to reallocate $90 million of public-school funding to private schools (The school superintendent issued a statement this week saying that in light of the proposed deep cuts to the education budget “For the first time in my career of more than 30 years in public education, I am truly worried about students in our care.”) Don’t forget the embarrassing proposed resolution allowing counties and cities to enshrine a state religion. Or the proposed ban on nipples.July 24, 2013 at 5:09 pm #93512
Far-right support for GOP shutdown threat grows
By Steve Benen
Wed Jul 24, 2013 12:45 PM EDT
As best as I can tell, Sen. Marco Rubio was first. At a speech two weeks ago, the Florida Republican argued that Congress should shut down the government instead of funding the federal health care system. If Democrats agreed to defund “Obamacare,” then Rubio would back off the shutdown threat.
A week later, campaigning in Iowa, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said the same thing. On Fox this week, Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) endorsed the idea. And all of a sudden, the shutdown threat is metastasizing.
The conservative Club for Growth is pushing Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to use the threat of a government shutdown to deny funds for ObamaCare.
The group urged McConnell on Wednesday to back an effort led by Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) to filibuster any government funding bill that includes money for the healthcare law.
Lee has been circulating a letter summarizing the plan. It has 15 signatures so far, according to the Club.
Whether the letter actually has 15 signatures is unclear, but a related letter has circulated among House Republicans, and according to proponents, it’s picked up 64 signatories and counting.
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