September 4, 2013 at 8:53 am #96104
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 daySeptember 4, 2013 at 8:54 am #96105
Good Morning, EveryoneSeptember 4, 2013 at 8:57 am #96106
September/ October 2013Dropouts Tell No Tales
An African American journalist returns to his college alma mater to find out why so many students like him never make it out.
By Jamaal Abdul-alim
Back when I worked part-time as a crime reporter for the old Milwaukee Sentinel during my years as an undergrad at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM), one of my regular duties was to check the log at the county morgue. In cases where a death was demarcated by a red-encircled H, for homicide, I’d obtain a copy of the medical examiner’s report to learn more about the circumstances surrounding the person’s untimely demise.
During a return visit to UWM one rainy week this past April, I discovered records for a morgue of a different sort. These records were located in room 170A of Bolton Hall in the office of African American Student Academic Services (AASAS). There, amid stacks of printer paper, a microwave, and a sign that says “Your Mama Don’t Work Here: Keep the Area Clean or Go Home!,” a pair of black three-drawer file cabinets stood filled with transcripts of black students who’d dropped out of UWM.
“We have a file cabinet designated specifically for ‘almost-made-it’ graduates,” a confidential university source told me, referring to the file cabinet labeled “CLOSE TO GRADUATION.” “These are shoulda, woulda, couldas. They’re like three and six credits away, but they don’t come back.”
The other cabinet, labeled “INACTIVE FILES,” contains records for students who’ve withdrawn in recent years but needed significantly more credits to graduate. AASAS keeps these records, the source explained, so if the students return, the college’s advisers won’t have to create their files anew.
In many ways, these transcripts are akin to the medical examiner’s files I used to retrieve from the county morgue. Instead of reporting how individuals departed the physical world, however, these records tell of how students departed from the university without their bachelor’s degrees—of academic lives cut short before graduation. In three out of the five transcripts randomly reviewed at this writer’s request, students had not completed the university’s math requirement, which is one of the biggest stumbling blocks for students at UWM.
The transcripts represent a rare behind-the-scenes look at some of the circumstances behind the abysmal graduation rate for black students at UWM: only 19 percent graduate within six years. (The university’s overall graduation rate isn’t much better, at 40 percent.) The point of my return visit this past spring was to answer this question: Why are those numbers so low?September 4, 2013 at 8:58 am #96107
September 03, 2013 3:09 PM
By Ed Kilgore
Amidst the united front displayed by Nancy Pelosi, John Boehner and Eric Cantor this morning in backing a prospective use-of-force resolution on Syria, there is this important cautionary note from Greg Sargent after a conversation with House Democratic leadership member Chris van Hollen:
In an interview with me today, Dem Rep. Chris Van Hollen — a key member of the Dem leadership who is also respected by Congressional liberals — was surprisingly pointed in warning that doing too much to win over the likes of McCain and Graham could end up driving him away, along with many other liberals and Dems.
“You’ve got some members of Congress, particularly Republicans in the Senate, who would like to use this resolution to open the door to large scale U.S. intervention,” Van Hollen told me. “That would be a big mistake. So to the extent that the administration tries to placate those voices, they’re going to get a lot of resistance from those of us, like me, who believe the scope needs to be significantly narrowed.”
Van Hollen declined to say whether he thought a majority of House Dems would support Obama’s request in the end. “I don’t know the answer to that,” he said. “This is a matter of conscience, and each member must make up his or her own mind. this is not an issue that will be whipped by the Democratic leadership, so the president will have to make his case to members of Congress individually.September 4, 2013 at 9:00 am #96108
Threat of prosecution looms over Virginia’s McDonnell
By Steve Benen
Tue Sep 3, 2013 4:36 PM EDT
We were supposed to know by now whether Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell’s (R) corruption scandal would lead to a criminal indictment, and yet, as of this afternoon, the Republican governor’s legal fate is unclear. Why is that? Well, it’s an interesting story, actually.
Prosecutors have now asked the governor’s and first lady’s attorneys to return for a second round of discussions no later than the week of Sept. 15, during which prosecutors are expected to lay out the key elements of the case, said a person familiar with the schedule.
Prosecutors could decide whether to file charges after the meetings, the person said. But the timing is somewhat tricky, because voters go to the polls Nov. 5 to select McDonnell’s successor, and prosecutors may want to avoid a perception that their work is influencing the results, people familiar with the investigation said.
We are, in other words, looking at a story with quite a few moving parts. Federal prosecutors already met with McDonnell and his wife, which was supposed to help dictate whether criminal charges were filed or not. For reasons that are unclear for now, the U.S. Attorney’s office now wants another meeting, but even if an indictment is on track, Election Day in Virginia is exactly nine weeks from today, and prosecutors are sensitive to the larger political context.
That said, the controversy itself is slowly intensifying. Given how serious it looked before, it hardly seemed possible that McDonnell could look even worse.
But over the weekend, the story took an unexpected twist.September 4, 2013 at 9:07 am #96109
Bill Thompson defeated himself with Black voters. Sad to say, but Black voters don’t ‘ demand’ a great deal from Black politicians, but there is a minimum bottom line that needs to be taken.
When a Black man ‘ evolves’ on Stop and Frisk….
And you have a White man who was out there saying point blank that Stop and Frisk was wrong and needed to be ended…
and 87% of those stopped by Stop and Frisk are Black or Brown..
and those men have mothers, wives, girlfriends, sisters, grandmas, aunts…
You don’t need a Black man that is too mealy mouthed to come out against Stop and Frisk…
September 03, 2013 5:17 PM
De Blasio’s Perfect Timing
By Ed Kilgore
With just a week to go until New York City’s mayoral primary, Bill de Blasio seems to be peaking at the perfect time, according to the latest Quinnipiac survey, which shows the Public Advocate’s support-level among likely voters surging beyond the 40% threshold needed to avoid a runoff. Even though the Q-Pac poll has lately given de Blasio higher levels of support than other polls, the trend-lines seem universal, as does his broad base of support. De Blasio currently enjoys a 47-25 lead over African-American Bill Thompson among African-Americans, and a 44-18 lead over Christine Quinn among women. De Blasio also leads the field among every ideological sector of likely Democratic primary voters.
Quinn has steadily lost altitude since she led the Q-Poll at the end of July, while Thompson is pulling the same 20%-22% of the vote he’s attracted in every Q-Poll.
If de Blasio falls short of 40% next Tuesday, the Q-Poll shows him trouncing either rival in a runoff (Thompson by 56-36, and Quinn by 66-25). Given the city’s massive Democratic registration advantage and widespread fatigue with Republican rule after two decades of Giuliani and Bloomberg, it’s looking like de Blasio’s on his way to Gracie Mansion.September 4, 2013 at 9:21 am #96117
Ex Citigroup Chair Richard Parsons Opening Harlem Jazz Clubs
September 3, 2013 by EURpublisher02
Richard Parsons, the former chairman of Citigroup who was chairman/CEO of Time Warner until he stepped down in 2007, has turned his full attention toward growing businesses in Harlem.
He and wife Laura are opening two new uptown restaurants, Minton’s and The Cecil. Minton’s is a restoration of the famed 1930s/1940s Harlem jazz club Minton’s Playhouse. It will reside in the original location, redesigned as a contemporary jazz supper club. Next-door sister restaurant The Cecil will be an Afro-Asian-American brasserie that integrates the culinary traditions of the African Diaspora with traditional Asian and American cuisinesSeptember 4, 2013 at 9:22 am #96118
Right Before The Holiday Weekend, Iowa Quietly Eliminated Abortion Access For Low-Income Women
By Tara Culp-Ressler on September 3, 2013 at 2:33 pm
Right as the Labor Day weekend began, Iowa officials took steps to severely limit reproductive health access for women in the state. Although that move went largely unnoticed before the three-day weekend, it could end up having a huge impact on the future of abortion care for people across the country.
On Friday, Iowa’s Board of Medicine voted to eliminate the largest telemedicine abortion program in the country. That means doctors in the state won’t be allowed to use video technology to prescribe abortion-inducing drugs to rural and low-income women who don’t have the means to travel to the nearest clinic — even though they’ve been safely doing so for the past five years.
Planned Parenthood of the Heartland has been operating its telemedicine abortion program since 2008, and there’s no reason it should have come under any kind of particular scrutiny this summer. Studies have repeatedly found that it’s a safe method of delivering reproductive care, and patients are just as satisfied after speaking with a doctor over a video conference as they are after making an in-person trip to a clinic. Nonetheless, the Board of Medicine has been considering banning the practice for the past several months — and the Friday vote makes it official.September 4, 2013 at 9:23 am #96119
North Carolina University Student Beats the GOP’s Vote Suppression Road Show
By: Adalia WoodburySep. 3rd, 2013
For years, the chairman of Pasquotank County’s Republican Party, Richard Gilbert went out of his way to challenge as many voters as possible at the historically black public college Elizabeth City State University. More recently, Gilbert challenged ECSU student Montravius King’s candidacy for city council based on the argument that he has always used. Gilbert claimed that since King lives in a dorm, he doesn’t meet the residency requirement. King who has resided in Elizabeth City since enrolling at Elizabeth City State University in 2009, would be the first student elected to the council, if he is elected.
The Pasquotank County Board of Elections accepted Gilbert’s argument and disqualified King’s candidacy. Interesting to note, when Gilbert challenged King’s candidacy, Sue Myrick of the John W. Pope Citivas Institute found time in her schedule to attend the meeting.
After the decision, Montravius King appealed to the state board of elections. Aside from King’s candidacy there was much more at stake with this decision.
Since the qualifications for candidacy on the city council and for voting are the same, this decision was seen as a first step toward disenfranchising all students living in ECSU dorms.
Richard Gilbert has extensive experience challenging the voting rights of ECSU students. He was behind previous attempts to disenfranchise Elizabeth City State University students by arguing they don’t really meet the residency requirement. Gilbert got 56 ECSU students dropped from the voting rolls earlier this year based on this very argument. That makes Myrick’s attendance at the meeting especially curious. Obviously, she wasn’t there to guide Gilbert through the process. The Institute for Southern Studies has a more plausible explanation.
Myrick’s presence at King’s hearing has raised questions about Pope’s involvement in efforts to roll back voting rights in North Carolina, which had made great strides in boosting turnout in recent years.
Fortunately, the State Board of Elections unanimously reversed the county’s decision on Tuesday.September 4, 2013 at 9:24 am #96120
Obama’s Smart Syria Decision Has Fractured The Republican Party
By: RmuseSep. 3rd, 2013
There are myriad derogatory missives applicable to Republicans in Congress that would take ten thousand words to enumerate and justify, but the one overriding constant is that they are all related to Republicans’ devotion to their special interests without regard for the needs of others. In fact, Republicans lack of a sense of urgency to address any issue unrelated to enriching their wealthy donors or advancing their religious sycophants’ theocratic agenda and it is the hallmark of the GOP since President Obama was sworn in office in 2009. Now that President Obama gave Republicans what they wanted and expects them to address America’s response to Syria’s chemical weapons use against the rebellion attempting to topple the Assad administration, they are using the opportunity to advance various special and self-interest agendas with no regard for the task at hand; chemical weapon use against innocent Syrian civilians.
After Republicans return from their 5 week hiatus next week, they will have a small window of time (9 days) to address looming issues such as the budget crisis and debt ceiling deadline as well as debating and deciding whether America should take action against the Syrian government for using chemical weapons against the insurgency battling the Syrian government. Republicans have weighed in on the President’s request for authorization to launch a limited strike to send a message the world cannot tolerate any government using chemicals weapons, but they have splintered off into separate groups that inform an honest debate and resolution will not be forthcoming anytime soon. It is astonishing, really, that for a group normally opposed to anything President Obama proposes, most Republicans praised the President’s decision to revert to the Constitution’s mandate that Congress authorizes acts of war, but that is where the cohesiveness typical of Republicans ends.
There was a typical reaction from neo-con warmongers anxious to exert their imperialistic agenda of using America’s military to impose their will in the Middle East led by Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham who will not comport a limited military response. McCain and Graham want America to repeat Bush’s Iraq debacle of invasion for regime change because a limited strike will not satisfy their lust to antagonize and draw Iran, and likely Russia and China, into a full-scale regional conflict with the United States like an invasion force on Syrian soil. On Sunday McCain revealed his intent when he said the President going to Congress is “sending a bad signal to Iran, to North Korea, to Bashar al-Assad” that a decision to launch a war is no longer in the hands of one warmongering President.September 4, 2013 at 9:30 am #96121
‘Boardwalk Empire’ embraces black characters in season 4
by theGrio | September 3, 2013 at 3:07 PM
Boardwalk Empire is back this Sunday and this season it appears to blacker than ever before.
Fans of the acclaimed HBO gangster drama are giddy with anticipation for the show’s fourth season, since the last season was the bloody culmination of numerous story-lines, savage twists, a quicker pace and more action than the previous two seasons combined.
Still, the African-American characters on the show, especially Chalky White, the tough-as-nails Atlantic City hood, played by Michael K. Williams, always seemed to take a backseat to the exploits of Nucky Thompson (Steve Buscemi) and Al Capone (Stephen Graham).
That all appeared to come to an end in the finale of season three, (spoiler alert) when Thompson, on the lam from his enemies, was forced to seek White out for refuge and protection. White saw his stock rise and his role on the show only grew in significance.
This new season thankfully continues that narrative thrust, while introducing a new African-American character to mix it up with White, Thompson and the rest — the debonair Harlem crime boss “Doctor” Valentin Narcisse, played by veteran actor Jeffrey Wright.
Wright has had such a versatile career on stage and screen he’s never really been associated with any one role or performance.
Narcisse provides a suave counterpoint to the countrified White (who he derides as a “servant trying to be a king”) and their turf war will provide plenty of drama in the upcoming new episodes.September 4, 2013 at 9:31 am #96122
Georgia governor gets paid through secret PAC to obstruct Obamacare
By David Ferguson
Tuesday, September 3, 2013 10:01 EDT
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal (R)’s family and business partner have been receiving payments from a secret Political Action Committee called Real PAC. Half a million dollars of the money donated to the PAC has come from corporate health care interests which — like the governor and Georgia state Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens — oppose the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as “Obamacare.”
According to investigative reporter Jim Walls of Atlanta Unfiltered, the PAC hasn’t filed taxes or the required financial disclosures in two years, and the information it did file for 2011 was incorrect.
Contributors to Real PAC include Aetna, Humana, Blue Cross, United Health care and other interests that want to keep health insurance premiums and other costs as high as possible. Bryan Long of activist group Better Georgia told Raw Story that the list of donors shows who Gov. Deal really works for.
He goes out and he does their bidding,” Long said, “He’s working for them instead of working for the 650,000 Georgians who don’t have insurance at all or access to the Medicaid expansion.”
“What’s remarkable about this isn’t that there’s money in politics,” he continued. “We all know there’s money in politics. He knew that this was so wrong that he didn’t want to tell anyone. He tried to keep it a secret for two yearsSeptember 4, 2013 at 9:33 am #96123
TJ Holmes @tjholmes4m
Obama: “as much as we’re criticized, when something happens n the world, 1st question people ask is ‘what is US gonna do a/b it?’” #SyriaSeptember 4, 2013 at 9:41 am #96124
Mitch McConnell’s muddle
By Steve Benen
Wed Sep 4, 2013 8:29 AM EDT.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has found himself in an awkward position. He’s an unpopular incumbent facing a credible Republican primary challenger and a credible Democratic opponent. His own campaign staff doesn’t really like him, either.
No matter which direction McConnell tries to lead his caucus, the Kentucky Republican risks alienating some key constituency’s support, so he’s left to just bite his tongue, doing nothing.
Last month, for example, when much of his caucus was at odds over a government-shutdown strategy, Senate Republicans needed some leadership. McConnell went out of his way to steer clear of the fight.
This month, Senate Republicans are at odds over U.S. policy in Syria, and once more, McConnell doesn’t want to talk about it.September 4, 2013 at 9:48 am #96125
Rachel Maddow with her update on North Carolina Voter Suppression
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.