Serendipity SOUL | Monday Open Thread | Neo Soul Week!

Happy Mun-dane, Everyone! Today’s featured artist is Maxwell.

Maxwell (1)

Wiki: Gerald Maxwell Rivera, (born May 23, 1973), known mononymously as Maxwell, is an American singer-songwriter, record producer and multi-instrumentalist. His music spans R&B, funk and soul, but he is best known as one of the exemplars of the subgenre neo-soul movement of the latter 1990s.[2] After a hugely successful debut album Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite, he released Embrya, Now and a live album MTV Unplugged. After an 8-year hiatus, he returned with the platinum-selling BLACKsummers’night, the first of a trilogy. He has received 12 Grammy nominations with two wins.

Woman’s Work  

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74 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Monday Open Thread | Neo Soul Week!

  1. rikyrah says:


    An elderly couple in their 70′s were about to get married.

    She said: I want to keep my house.

    He said: That’s fine with me.

    She said: I want to keep my Cadillac.

    He said: That’s fine with me.

    She said: I want to have sex 6 times a week.

    He said: Put me down for Fridays.

    • blushedbrown says:



      • blushedbrown says:

        An old man lived alone in the country. He wanted to dig his tomato garden, but it was very hard work as the ground was hard. His only son, Vincent, who used to help him, was in prison. The old man wrote a letter to his son and described his predicament.

        Dear Vincent,
        I am feeling pretty badly because it looks like I won’t be able to plant my tomato garden this year. I’m just getting too old to be digging up a garden plot. I know if you were here my troubles would be over. I know you would be happy to dig the plot for me.
        Love, Dad

        A few days later he received a letter from his son.

        Dear Dad,
        Don’t dig up that garden. That’s where I buried the bodies.
        Love, Vinnie

        At 4 a.m. the next morning, FBI agents and local police arrived and dug up the entire area without finding any bodies. They apologized to the old man and left. That same day the old man received another letter from his son.

        Dear Dad,
        Go ahead and plant the tomatoes now. That’s the best I could do under the circumstances.
        Love you, Vinnie

      • LOL!

        Good one!

    • @Rikyrah


    • Ametia says:


  2. rikyrah says:

    Bro-gressives’ love affair with Rand Paul

    The hero-worship of the racist, misogynistic Kentucky senator brings out the worst in certain progressive dudes
    By Adele M. Stan

    There’s a certain breed of progressive dude who, when told that the object of his latest man-crush is, say, a bit racist (or misogynistic, or is stoking the fears of right-wing preppers), gets really mad. Unable to refute the fact of his worship of the racist, misogynist, prepper-stoker, he resorts to falsifying the intention of the person who pointed out the inconvenient facts. In his latest Salon column, David Sirota proves himself to be just such a dude.

    At issue was my AlterNet blog post, published earlier the same day, in which I stated how horrifying it was to see progressives lauding as courageous and “heroic” Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., as he took to the Senate floor in a 13-hour “talking filibuster” designed to win him a media tour of top right-wing talk shows (as he signaled his intention to run for the presidency in 2016, which he confirmed to Politico just hours after leaving the Senate floor).

    Heroism, by its definition, implies the taking of a risk. But Paul had almost nothing to lose and much to gain from his filibuster, which was born less of passion than careful calculation, according to a National Journal account. As political publicity stunts go, it was an act of genius.

    Because part of what Paul had to say about the Obama administration’s policy on drones and the president’s dreadful nomination of John Brennan to lead the CIA comports with progressive opposition to those things, a small but vocal cadre of progressives were slobbering over C-SPAN, tweeting the hashtag, #StandWithRand.

    Never mind that to stand with Rand is to stand for a man who sponsored a “fetal personhood” amendment that would “end abortion on demand once and for all,” in Paul’s words, even for rape victims. Try not to notice that to stand with Rand is to exalt a guy who opposes the section of the 1964 Civil Rights Act that desegregated restaurants, lunch counters and housing. He’s also opposed to the Americans With Disabilities Act, preferring the specter of people in wheelchairs barred from full participation in public life to an inconvenient demand on proprietors of establishments otherwise open to the public.

  3. rikyrah says:

    Next Up: Another Budget Fight

    Jamelle Bouie

    March 11, 2013

    Both Republicans and Democrats are set to release budgets that show very different views of America’s future.

    Senate Democrats are set to release a budget this week, the first time they’ve done so since 2009. As always, it will be a collection of the party’s goals and priorities—more a political statement than a plan for governing. Democrats, according to National Journal, will propose new revenue beyond the fiscal-cliff deal as well as new spending on education, infrastructure, and job training.

    They will look for ways to undo sequestration, and offer instructions for tax reform. And while they’ll look for entitlement savings, they won’t go as far as the White House in adjusting Social Security or Medicare, for reasons political—they don’t want to give ammunition to Republicans—and substantive—Democrats, including Senate Budget Committee chair Patty Murray, don’t want to see large cuts to entitlement programs.

    Republicans are already gearing up to oppose the plan. “I fear the Democrat proposal will fail this defining test and will never achieve balance. I fear it will crush American workers and our economy with trillions in new taxes, spending and debt,” said Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, the ranking Republican member of the Budget Committee. He calls balancing the budget and reducing the debt the “great challenge of our time,” and blames spending for stagnant wages and a sluggish recovery.

    Of course, this is nonsense. There’s wide agreement from economists that demand—or the lack thereof—is the key problem facing the economy. The economy needs government spending, and attempts to reduce the deficit—or balance the budget—are bound to hinder progress on growth and joblessness.

    With that said, Democrats are right to avoid major entitlement cuts in their budget. Far from creating the space for compromise or action, a detailed proposal to trim entitlements will inspire Republicans to demand even more in negotiations. The last two-and-a-half years of policymaking are instructive here.

  4. rikyrah says:

    Five things you should know about Tom Perez, Obama’s pick for Labor Secretary
    Posted by Suzy Khimm on March 11, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    President Obama is preparing to nominate Tom Perez as the next Labor Secretary. Currently the Justice Department’s assistant attorney general for civil rights, Perez, who is Hispanic, has attracted a lot of media attention for being one of the few minorities poised to join a second-term cabinet that’s looking increasingly white and male.

    Here are five things worth knowing about him and his work:
    1. Under Perez, the Justice Department opened a record number of civil rights investigations into local police departments accused of brutality and/or discrimination.
    2. Perez led the push to challenge voter ID laws in Texas and South Carolina:
    3. Civil rights groups and labor unions are enthusiastic about the nomination: This track record at the DOJ — along with Perez’s earlier work as Maryland’s labor secretary — have fueled enthusiasm for his nomination among civil rights advocates and labor groups.
    4. But Republicans in Congress have already raised major concerns about Perez’s work at DOJ, which could set the stage for a confirmation fight:
    5. Perez is a lifelong public servant, but he also has a personal connection to labor issues: Perez has been in public service for his entire professional life, having previously worked as an aide to Sen. Ted Kennedy, a member of Montgomery County Council in Maryland, and an assistant to former AG Janet Reno, in addition to his work in the Maryland Governor’s office.

  5. rikyrah says:

    Governing is hard; talking about governing is easy

    By Steve Benen

    Mon Mar 11, 2013 4:56 PM EDT.


    The headline on Fred Hiatt’s latest column immediately got my attention: “Obama could get things done by governing today.” As best as I can tell, the president is eager to govern, but has run into some trouble with congressional Republicans who won’t budge, so I was eager to hear how Hiatt would improve the political paralysis.

    In context, it’s worth noting the broad strokes of the White House’s approach to policymaking in 2013 and 2014: meet Republicans in the middle with mainstream proposals on immigration, gun violence, and deficit reduction, while positioning Democrats for gains in the 2014 midterms. There’s obviously more to it than that, but generally speaking, that’s what Obama has in mind.

    Given this, how does Hiatt believe the president “could get things done by governing today”? Apparently, it’s a thesis built on compromise.

    I agree that the Republican Party has moved far to the right and that too many of its representatives equate compromise with treason. But I also think it would be a mistake to accept that “to get anything done” Obama has to secure majorities in both houses of Congress. […]

    The most rational policy position isn’t always in the middle. But you can’t solve the debt challenge without raising more revenue and controlling entitlement costs. You can’t fix immigration unless you provide a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants and establish laws and procedures to discourage future illegal entry.

    Eventually, in other words, you’re going to have to wheel and deal and compromise — you’re going to have to govern. It might as well be now.

  6. rikyrah says:

    The GOP’s love/hate relationship with ‘Obamacare’
    By Steve Benen
    Mon Mar 11, 2013 3:32 PM EDT

    If you peruse today’s news, you’ll run across stories that may seem contradictory. On the one hand, you’ll find plenty of coverage of congressional Republicans saying they remain committed to repealing the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”). On the other, you’ll also see pieces noting that congressional Republicans intend to use the savings from the health care law to balance the budget.

    Which is it? Actually, it’s both.

    It remains true that GOP lawmakers are committed to Obamacare repeal as if the 2012 election never happened.

  7. rikyrah says:

    Bernie Sanders: Just say No to any entitlement benefits cuts

    Posted by Greg Sargent on March 11, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    In an interview with me today, Senator Bernie Sanders said that progressive Democratic Senators should be prepared to band together to block any “grand bargain” that includes cuts to entitlement benefits — and even hinted that he and others might filibuster such a deal, if necessary.

    As talk increases of White House outreach to Republicans in search of a big deal to replace the sequester, a question has presented itself. Is there any other realistic endgame in this battle, aside from either continued sequestration or a deal to avert it, in which Republicans agree to new revenues in exchange for entitlement cuts, including Chained CPI for Social Security and Medicare means testing? Republicans will never agree to repeal the sequester. So realistically, isn’t the choice between a deal or sequestration limbo, with future budgets configured around lower spending levels, damaging the economy?

    Sanders insists to me that this framing — which I had adopted — is the wrong way to look at this fight. Instead, he says Dems must build a coalition to leverage public opinion to force Republicans to accept a resolution that combines judicious spending cuts with new revenues from the rich and corporations — while preserving entitlement benefits.

    “It’s a question of making Republicans an offer they can’t refuse,” Sanders tells me. “Their position is no more revenues. You and I know that is not the position of the American people. One in four corporations doesn’t pay any taxes. What Democrats and progressives should say is, `Sorry, we’re not going to balance the budget on the backs of the vulnerable.’” Sanders described the idea of cutting education, Social Security, Medicare and veterans’ benefits as an “obscenity.”

  8. rikyrah says:

    What do you do when one party is this dishonest?

    Posted by Jonathan Bernstein on March 11, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    We’re still waiting for a full rollout of House Budget Chair Paul Ryan’s Republican budget, but there’s confirmation now that it will once again rely heavily on retaining the Medicare cuts passed in the Affordable Care Act (even as Ryan’s budget repeals the rest of the law).

    Others have noted the hypocrisy at work here. But everyone is under-appreciating just how outrageous this is. For the second time in a row, Paul Ryan and the Republicans have run a national election campaign (the 2012 presidential election) in which the main theme was bashing the Democrats … for a policy which Republicans support — and indeed are making a key part of the most important policy blueprint that they will roll out this year.

    This is no garden-variety flip-flop. It’s a fundamental decision to govern one way and campaign the exact opposite way.

    This is one of those cases where it’s so audacious that reporters just don’t want to believe it. Sure, they’ll note that Republicans hit Obamacare on “death panels” or “government takeover” because those were clearly lies, and because they were the kind of smears that are consistent with conservative ideological rhetoric. But they didn’t advertise in 2010 on death panels, at least not all that much; they ran ads, again and again, attacking Democratic candidates for supporting those Medicare cuts

  9. rikyrah says:

    Fox News Race Baits Thomas Perez Nomination

    Posted on March 11, 2013 at 4:00 pm by JM Ashby

    President Obama has nominated Thomas Perez, an assistant attorney general who was appointed to the Justice Department’s civil rights division in 2009, as the next Secretary of Labor. And if the Secretary of Labor is to play a prominent role in shaping immigration reform, it would seem like a logical choice.

    Fox News has a somewhat different take

    Megyn Kelly is very concerned about Perez’s connection to the New Black Panthers because he opined that the facts didn’t support the case against the party.

    If you’re curious about the lawyer cited by Kelly, J. Christian Adams, to cast doubt on Perez’s integrity, let’s take a trip in the way-back machine via TPM

    Adams was hired to the Civil Rights Division in 2005 by Bradley Schlozman, the Bush appointee who, as acting head of the division in 2006, was found to have violated rules against politicized hiring, then lied to Congress about it.

    Adams is also a former volunteer with the right-wing National Republican Lawyers Association, which has criticized the Obama Justice Department for dropping the New Black Panther case.

    And in 2004, as a Bush campaign poll watcher in Florida, Adams publicly criticized a black couple that refused to accept a provisional ballot, after election officials said they had no record of the couple’s change of address forms, Bloomberg reported.

  10. rikyrah says:

    Monday, March 11, 2013

    Ben Carson will speak at GOP dinner

    Dr. Ben Carson, the Johns Hopkins physician who became a star after his National Prayer Breakfast address earlier this year, will headline the Baldwin County Republican Party dinner in Alabama, June 14, according to Alabama Media Group.

    [County Party Chairman Matt] Simpson said the party was excited to bring Carson to Alabama. He said Gov. Robert Bentley also has confirmed plans to attend the meeting.

    “We expect this to be a big event and we are looking forward to great turnout,” Simpson said.

    Btw, Carson recently said he didn’t identify with either the Democratic or the Republican party but only the “Logic Party.”

  11. rikyrah says:

    RNC chief brings listening tour to Brooklyn to hear from black voters

    By NBC’s Sarah B. Boxer

    BROOKLYN, N.Y. — RNC Chairman Reince Priebus met with a small group of black Republicans in Brooklyn as part of a “Listening Tour” effort, aimed at understanding what went wrong in the 2012 election, and how the party can improve its outreach, particularly to minorities.

    The meeting was closed to the press, but Priebus talked to reporters before his discussion at the Christian Cultural Center in East New York.

    “We can’t just be a party of purity,” Priebus said. “We have to be a welcoming party.” He added, “We gotta put a smile on our face. We can’t just go from one mad interview to the next about the national debt and deficit. We have to tell the story of our party that’s inspirational, and we have to be in it for the long haul.”

  12. blushedbrown says:

    When is going to get warm!

    I first heard this Womans Work from the movie “She’s having a Baby” and loved the song ever since. I think Maxwell out did himself on this song. Love him!

  13. Ametia says:

    Can’t wait for the NRA to fade away into the dust bins of HELL.

    NRA steps up lobbying efforts in Connecticut
    Source: Associated Press

    NRA steps up lobbying efforts in Connecticut
    By SUSAN HAIGH, Associated Press | March 11, 2013 | Updated: March 11, 2013 4:17pm

    HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The National Rifle Association helped bus hundreds of supporters to the Connecticut Capitol on Monday, the latest sign of its stepped-up presence in a state that hasn’t typically posed a challenge to the gun rights organization’s mission.

    The NRA decided a week ago to help organize a lobby day after Gov. Dannel P. Malloy released his package of gun control proposals and a bipartisan legislative panel unveiled competing gun violence recommendations from Democrats and Republicans, said John Hohenwarter, an NRA state liaison.

    Legislative leaders are considering those recommendations and others as they try to draft a bipartisan bill for the full General Assembly to consider, likely later this month. The leaders met behind closed doors Monday as the gun rights supporters descended on the Capitol.

    Dom Basile, a firearms instructor from Watertown, said he attended Monday’s lobby day to make sure what he called onerous and constitutionally questionable legislation does not become law. He opposes proposals to require guns owners to register annually, an expanded assault weapons ban and a ban on large-capacity ammunition magazines.

    Read more:

  14. rikyrah says:

    11 injured in drive-by shooting in Washington, D.C.

    Eleven people were injured in a drive-by shooting in northwest Washington, D.C., early Monday.

    Follow @NBCNewsUS

    Authorities say people in two cars opened fire on a crowd in the 1200 block of N. Capitol Street around 2:10 a.m.

    The crowd had gathered outside an apartment complex around the time that the club scene in the area was winding down for the night.

    One victim was a teenager; the rest are adults. All are expected to survive.

    “We have mostly gunshot wounds to the legs, extremities, hands, some graze wounds… Eleven people have been transported to a hospital for some sort of treatment,” Lanier said.

    The most serious injury was in a man who was shot in the back, reported News4’s Megan McGrath.

    It’s also possible some victims were injured by flying glass from a shattered bus shelter.

    Police spent the morning collecting evidence at a crime scene that stretches nearly a block. A section of N. Capitol Street was cordoned off from M Street to New York Avenue.

    Investigators had to wait until the sun rose to finish laying down evidence markers, placing at least 46 to record where bullets and fragments landed.

    Lanier said some people were stopped near the scene and are being questioned by officers. They are still looking for two vehicles: a dark, older BMW and a silver sedan.

    Police have released a video of the

  15. rikyrah says:

    For sale: Most expensive home in the U.S.

    A 1939 estate in Dallas is being offered at $135 million. The home, designed by one of the top architects of its time, was meticulously expanded and restored by the current owners.
    By Teresa at MSN Real Estate Thu 3:51 PM

  16. Ametia says:

    Reddit Revolts Over Maddow’s Scant Answers In ‘Ask Me Anything’

    Reddit users were largely disappointed with MSNBC host Rachel Maddow’s “ask me anything” Q&A on Friday, directing ire at the cable news host for ignoring many of the social news community’s questions. As of Monday afternoon, Maddow had answered 21 questions.

    “This AMA was a bust,” user Chafuter wrote.

    “Yup, agreed. She only answered soft ball questions. One less viewer here,” user Recall_Coordinator wrote in reply.

    “It’s really disappointing considering the whole style and tone of her show,” user jack_spankin wrote on the same thread.

    more here: http://livewire.talkingpointsm

    This is what happens when you try to be PRESIDENT, Rachel. Remember that fake POTUS Oval Office stunt she pulled?

  17. Ametia says:

    Lil Eddie’s a desperate, over-rated HACK

    Paul Ryan’s Budget is So Delusional that Even Fox News is Calling BS
    By: Jason Easley


    Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget is so out of whack with reality that even Fox News has step back and say, ‘Whoa, wait a minute, there buddy. What are you smoking in order to make these numbers work?’

    Ryan has always been reluctant to discuss the assumptions built into his budget plans. When Chris Wallace pointed out that the repeal of Obamacare is not going to happen, Ryan’s answer was that it should. Rep. Ryan has finally outed his budget as nothing more than ideological wish list. There is no reality in his budget. The Ryan Budget is the byproduct of a grown man trapped in a teenage boy’s Randian fantasy.

    It turns out that the Republican numbers guy is basing his budget on things that ought to happen instead of what is really happening. Despite all the hoopla Ryan generates for himself in the mainstream media, his budgets have become a yearly self inflicted wound on the Republican Party.


  18. Must-See: Bride Surprises Groom With Full-On Beyonce Routine.

  19. rikyrah says:

    Good People, Racist People
    By Ta-Nehisi Coates

    Mar 8 2013, 9:35 AM ET289

    My Times column yesterday focused on something we’ve talked about quite a bit here: the idea that racism is not merely the property of the morally deformed. Before we get to that, I wanted to acknowledge Thomas Sugrue’s Sweet Land of Liberty, which is probably the definitive history of the civil rights movement in the North. I’ve written about the book’s rendition of Levittown’s segregationist policies before.

    But I thought this quote from racists in Levittown really illustrates what I mean. Here you find people in the practice of not just actual racial discrimination, but the kind of actual racial discrimination that gifted us the wealth gap we now struggle with, insisting that they are doing no such thing:

    Last night I had the luxury of sitting and talking with the brilliant historian Barbara Fields. One point she makes that very few Americans understand is that racism is a creation. You read Edmund Morgan’s work and actually see racism being inscribed in the law and the country changing as a result.

    If we accept that racism is a creation, then we must then accept that it can be destroyed. And if we accept that it can be destroyed, we must then accept that it can be destroyed by us and that it likely must be destroyed by methods kin to creation. Racism was created by policy. It will likely only be ultimately destroyed by policy.

    That is hard to take. If Forrest Whitaker sticks out in that deli for reasons of individual mortal sin, we can castigate the guy who frisked him and move on. But if he — and others like him — stick out for reasons of policy, for decisions that we, as a state, have made, then we have a problem. Then we have to do something beyond being nice to each other.

    • Ametia says:

      Saw Coates on MHP yesterday morning talking about this article.

      Yes; this notion of racsim being a figment of our imagination is absurd. It is a creation of policy. Just ask my ancestors and yours about those JIM CROW LAWS & VOTING. Look at how Scalia wants to destroy policy and laws that protect us from racism, by creating laws that would re-institute RACISTS JIM CROW and VOTER SUPPRESSION.

  20. rikyrah says:

    March 11, 2013 2:28 PM

    Best Way To Address Violence By Mentally Ill: Implement Obamacare

    Since the Newtown massacre, both supporters and opponents of tougher gun regulation have talked a lot about the parallel issue of inadequate monitoring of and treatment for violence-prone people with mental health problems. In the March-April issue of the Washington Monthly, one of the country’s preeminent health policy wonks, the University of Chicago’s Harold Pollack, addresses this issue comprehensively, and concludes that the single most important thing America can do to prevent violent acts by the mentally ill is pretty simple: fully implement Obamacare.

    Why do so many people at risk—many of them young low-income men—fail to receive appropriate mental health services? The most important single reason is this: most are categorically ineligible for Medicaid. These men are not custodial parents. They are not veterans. They have not (yet) been diagnosed with federally recognized disabilities. Many get into trouble because they have serious drug or alcohol disorders. Since 1996, substance use disorders are no longer qualifying conditions for federal disability programs.

    People often assume that an unattached adult might qualify for Medicaid if he is sufficiently poor. In fact, only a handful of states provide such coverage, even for individuals with no income at all. The homeless man who is not deemed physically or mentally disabled but who does suffer from chronic alcohol or crack dependence is typically ineligible for Medicaid. He might need substance abuse treatment or mental health care (not to mention care for any number of other health needs). If he’s locked up, the correctional service is required to provide these services. If he’s out in the community, he’s both more vulnerable and more bereft of help. He’s reliant on a patchwork of safety-net services, public hospitals, clinics, and emergency departments that’s financially stressed and disorganized under the best of circumstances, and that often allows vulnerable and occasionally dangerous people to fall through the cracks.

    This will begin to change in 2014. That’s when the ACA will start providing subsidies that will eventually reach thirty-three million Americans without health insurance. An estimated sixteen million will eventually be covered by expanded Medicaid to low-income Americans with incomes below 138 percent of the federal poverty line. That number will include the hundreds of thousands of mentally ill men cycling in and out of places like Chicago’s Cook County Jail and sleeping on grates in cities from Washington, D.C., to Seattle. For the first time, nearly all of these individuals (undocumented immigrants are the big exception) will gain access to regular health care. Moreover, if the law is properly implemented, these same individuals will gain access to mental health services that can reduce their propensity to commit violent acts.

  21. rikyrah says:

    We Won’t Have Boehner to Kick Around

    by BooMan
    Mon Mar 11th, 2013 at 11:57:23 AM EST

    At the end of an incredibly boring written interview with Roll Call, Speaker Boehner provides one last non-responsive answer.

    CQ Roll Call: Most political observers assume that you’ve already decided to hang up your cleats at the end of 2014. Some have told me that they wouldn’t be surprised if you called it quits earlier. Would you like to stick around long enough for the opportunity to serve as speaker under a Republican president in 2017?
    Boehner: I’m in a fight to cut spending, create jobs, and — frankly — save the American Dream. I intend to lead that fight as Speaker of the House. And I’m far from done.

    I take that as affirmation that he would not “like to stick around long enough for the opportunity to serve as speaker under a Republican president in 2017.” And who can blame him?

    Last Wednesday, he watched sixteen members of his caucus defect on a rules vote. The only reason the resolution passed anyway was because many Democrats were hunkering down for a forecast snowmageddon that never quite manifested itself.

    It’s considered extremely disloyal to vote against your own party’s rules. The problem is the size of this bloc. Boehner has already punished some of them by stripping them of their best committee assignments. But he simply can’t discipline sixteen members in that manner. He’s lost control of his caucus. He can’t negotiate with the president because his caucus won’t trust him or follow his lead. He’s basically given up, which is why some observers expect him to quit even before the next election. I continue to wonder why he has not resigned already.

    However, unlike Roll Call, I haven’t noticed any consensus or even much discussion about Boehner “hanging up his cleats” anytime soon.

  22. rikyrah says:

    Scott Brown, lobbyist

    By Steve Benen

    Mon Mar 11, 2013 1:33 PM EDT.


    Getty Images

    There’s a fairly common trajectory for many notable politicians: get elected, serve, leave, become a pundit, cash in as a lobbyist.

    In Scott Brown’s case, he’s completing the same cycle we’ve seen before, but he’s doing so with remarkable speed.

    Former Republican U.S. Sen. Scott Brown, who was defeated in his re-election bid last year, announced Monday that he had landed a new job with the international law firm of Nixon Peabody LLP.

    Brown will serve as counsel in the firm’s Boston office.

    According to a statement from the firm, Brown will be involved in business and governmental affairs, with a focus on the financial services industry and commercial real estate.

    The news comes just three weeks after the Massachusetts Republican also became a Fox News pundit.

    Stepping back, Scott Brown has gone from the state legislature, to the U.S. Senate, to media, to a lobbying gig, all in the course of about three years. Off the top of my head, I can’t think of anyone else who’s been able to spin the revolving door quite so quickly.

  23. rikyrah says:

    GOP triumphalism about the sequester is premature

    Posted by Greg Sargent on March 11, 2013 at 1:23 pm




    John Boehner is promoting a new Marist-McClatchy poll which supposedly shows that Americans love cutting government spending. Boehner claims the poll shows that “Americans want spending cuts,” and quotes a Marist official asserting it demonstrates that Americans “are not in a mood to increase taxes.”

    Which is funny, because the poll actually shows that majorities of voters would rather increase taxes than cut spending on education, Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid, and infrastructure. In other words, it demonstrates a central fact about public opinion that may help determine how the sequester “blame game” will play: Americans say they love cutting government but suddenly balk in a big way when you start talking about cutting specific programs.

    The poll’s toplines do at first glance appear favorable to Republicans. It finds that voters prefer reducing the deficit by mostly cutting spending in general rather than by mostly increasing taxes by 53-37. It finds that a plurality of Americans think spending cuts won’t impact them — and that as many think the cuts will help the economy or have no impact on it as think the cuts will hurt it.

    But the poll took the welcome step — which I haven’t seen before — of asking whether Americans prefer tax hikes rather than cuts in specific programs. The results:

    * by 65-31 they prefer to raise taxes than cut spending on education;

    * by 60-33 they prefer to raise taxes than cut Social Security;

    * by 57-36 they prefer to raise taxes than cut Medicare;

    * by 53-40 they prefer to raise taxes than cut spending for transportation including roads and bridges;

    * by 50-42 they prefer to raise taxes than cut Medicaid.

  24. rikyrah says:

    The wrong poll for Boehner to tout
    By Steve Benen
    Mon Mar 11, 2013 2:37 PM EDT.

    When a party is on the wrong side of public opinion on a major policy fight, its leaders and members have a choice. They can (a) acknowledge reality, explain why they believe the public is wrong, and take steps to persuade more of the mainstream to their point of view; or (b) pretend polling says what it does not say.

    Take a wild guess which option House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) prefers.

    In this case, the Republican leader is flagging a new McClatchy-Marist Poll on the fiscal debate, which includes a big quote from Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion: “Voters are not in a mood to increase taxes.”

    And broadly speaking, that’s true. The problem for Boehner is that he refers supporters to an article that we can read, and wouldn’t you know it, the poll the Speaker is excited about doesn’t endorse the GOP line at all.

    At the surface, a 53% majority said they prefer to reduce deficits by “mostly cutting government programs” and rather than “mostly by raising taxes.” (The poll did not ask about support for the Republican position: only cutting spending.) Just below the surface, however, most Americans would prefer to raise taxes than cut education, would prefer to raise taxes than cut Social Security, would prefer to raise taxes than cut Medicare, would prefer to raise taxes than cut infrastructure, and would prefer to raise taxes than cut Medicaid.

  25. rikyrah says:

    From Balloon Juice:

    These 18 For-Profit Companies Are Fighting to Eliminate the Birth Control Benefit

    By Imani Gandy (ABL) March 11th, 2013

    Eighteen for-profit companies are trying to wiggle out of compliance with the birth control benefit, and are doing so based on misleading scientific and legal claims. One claim — that the birth control benefit requires organizations to cover “abortifacients” or “abortion-inducing” drugs — is horseshit. The pill, Plan B, and Ella prevent fertilization and do not “abort” already fertilized eggs. Another claim — that the birth control benefit infringes on for-profit company’s religious freedom is legally unsound: the birth-control benefit does not represent a substantial burden to individuals’ exercise of religion. (Of course, that’s my opinion and the opinion of a handful of courts — it has yet to be litigated by the Supremes.)

    Via Jodi Jacobson at RH Reality Check

    Eighteen for-profit companies have filed lawsuits to avoid complying with the the birth control benefit in theAffordable Care Act (ACA), which requires that all insurance policies cover birth control without a co-payas part of preventive care. Oftenmisleadingly characterized as mandating “free birth control,” the ACA, otherwise known as Obamacare, requires that all insurance policies cover all forms of basic preventive care without a co-pay, including well-woman, well-baby, and well-child visits, as well as other basic prevention care for men and women. This coverage is intended to save costs and promote public health.

    Basic preventive reproductive and sexual health-care services, including contraception, are therefore also covered without a co-pay; as part of the mandate, all insurance plans must provide coverage without a co-pay for all methods of contraception approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Employees earn their salaries and their benefits, and many pay for all or a portion of their health-care premiums out of their salaries. As such, none of this coverage is “free,” but is rather covered by the policies they are earning or for which they are paying.

    Nonetheless, the 18 companies that have sued to overturn the birth control benefit are doing so based on several misleading claims. One is that providing insurance policies that cover birth control violates the “religious freedom” of the companies’ owners. It is difficult to see how a critical public health intervention accessed through an employee’s health plan violates the religious freedom of the owner of the company. In fact, the reverse seems to be true; not allowing an employee to access coverage he or she has earned would appear to violate the employee’s freedoms, first and foremost.

    The owners of these companies share the belief that a woman is pregnant as soon as there is a fertilized egg (the medical definition of pregnancy is successful implantation of an embryo in the uterine wall) and that a fertilized egg has the same rights as a born person. They also claim that the ACA forces them to cover “abortifacients,” with most pointing to emergency contraception methods such as Plan B to make their case. Emergency contraception, however, is just that: Contraception. It prevents ovulation, and therefore fertilization, and does not work after an egg has been fertilized.

    These lawsuits, now in various phases of litigation, are posing a critical challenge not only to the Affordable Care Act, but ultimately to the ability of all people to make the most profoundly personal decisions about whether, when, and under what circumstances to have a child and build a family.

    Below is a list of these companies and the status of their cases. And Planned Parenthood Federation of America has launched a campaign enabling you to tell these companies what you think.

  26. rikyrah says:

    A breakthrough on immigration reform?

    Posted by Jamelle Bouie on March 11, 2013 at 11:45 am

    Writing for the Los Angeles Times, Brian Bennett reports that the bipartisan “gang of eight” Senators have come close to an agreement on how to offer legal status to the nation’s 11 million unauthorized immigrants. The plan isn’t straightforward, but it seems to satisfy the framework laid out by President Obama and supported by Marco Rubio, one of the leading Republicans (along with John McCain and Lindsey Graham) in the gang of eight.

    To earn initial legal status, immigrants will have to register with the Department of Homeland Security, pay a fine, and file federal income taxes for their time in the United States. Once granted legal residency, they will be barred from collecting food stamps, Medicaid, unemployment insurance, and other federal benefits. It’s not hard to imagine liberal opposition to this additional punishment, which will complicate efforts to bring immigrants into the system and provide assistance. What’s more, the immigration working group is still undecided on how long immigrants would have to wait before they become eligible for permanent legal status and a path to citizenship. The administration has called for an eight-year waiting period, but the Senate will likely extend it in order to maintain Republican support.

    It’s still too early to say if something like this will pass. Democrats, who want a comprehensive immigration bill, are likely to support the gang of eight’s proposal. The problem lies with Republicans, who are divided. Republicans with an eye toward the White House are eager to pass something — hence Rubio’s continued support for a bill, and Jeb Bush’s odd flip-flops on the issue of a path to citizenship.

  27. rikyrah says:

    The Morning Plum: Didn’t we just have an election?

    Posted by Greg Sargent on March 11, 2013 at 9:15 am

    Imagine that Mitt Romney had decisively defeated Obama in the 2012 election on a platform of tax cuts for the rich and deep cuts to government as the only way to reduce the deficit, dramatically repudiating the President’s call for higher taxes on the wealthy, continued implementation of the biggest expansion of the safety net in 60 years, and more government spending to boost the economy.

    Then imagine that Democrats in the Senate (the only part of government they controlled) responded to this by proposing to dramatically expand health care and stimulus spending and pay down the deficit only with 100 percent tax hikes — and not a single penny more in spending cuts — and on top of that, then suggested President Romney has failed to sincerely try to find common ground with them.

    This is pretty much what Republicans did on the Sunday shows yesterday — in reverse. On Fox News Sunday, Paul Ryan confirmed that his budget will repeal Obamacare (even as he counts in his budget the $700 billion in Obamacare Medicare cuts that Republicans campaigned against in 2012). The Ryan budget will supposedly wipe out the deficit in 10 years. This likely will mean even deeper cuts than the ones in his previous budget, which represented the GOP’s fiscal agenda writ large and broadly speaking was rejected by voters last November.

    At the same time, Republicans fanned out across the Sunday shows to claim that they’re glad Obama has tried to reach out to them, but only time will tell whether Obama will make real offers to them that prove his outreach is genuine. Paul Ryan — the same Paul Ryan who again called for repealing Obamacare yesterday — said this: “The proof will be in the coming weeks as to whether or not it is a real sincere outreach to find common ground.” Meanwhile, there were no signs GOP leaders are willing to give an inch on new revenues, even though they are being offered more in entitlement cuts in exchange for them.

  28. rikyrah says:

    ok, you learn something new everyday.

    Rita Moreno and Marlon Brando?

    for EIGHT YEARS?

    found this in the comments at another site I frequent:

    Subject: Rita Moreno and Marlon Brando had a tumultuous affair for eight years. She talked
    From: sonnyslady
    Date: Sun, 10-Mar-2013 8:36:47 AM PDT

    talked about it on CBS Sunday Morning today. She is a hoot. And, she’s 81!
    She said when she and Marlon met her entire body got hot. Wowsa. In her memoirs, she said he was a fantastic lover, so giving, etc.

    But he cheated on her so much, that one time she got fed up and went out with Elvis Presley, and Marlon found out and he went ballistic, she said. Rita was soooo happy.

    Sadly, the two reunited and she tried to kill herself by swallowing lots of sleeping pills. (He was cheating on her again.) Marlon’s assistant, however, found her in time.

    The two broke up. The show only mentioned her late husband when they said she married a cardiologist (IIRC), and that he died two years ago.

  29. Maxwell —>sooky sooky! …with his sexy self.

  30. rikyrah says:

    Jeb Bush and the ‘Full Ginsburg’

    By Steve Benen
    Mon Mar 11, 2013 8:01 AM EDT

    The “Full Ginsburg” is a silly little phrase that refers to instances in which one person appears on all five of the major Sunday morning talk shows — ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, and Fox — on the same day. As a rule, it’s reserved for those commenting on major news events (earthquake in Haiti, H1N1 outbreak, Benghazi attack) or those engaged in national political campaigns.

    It was curious, then, to see former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) pull off the feat yesterday — he actually went further, also talking to Univision yesterday — for no particular reason. He didn’t have any new plans to announce, and he didn’t play a direct role in any major news event, but the Republican apparently felt like raising his national media profile, and the Sunday shows were happy to accommodate his wishes.

    Of course, it wasn’t too difficult to figure out Bush’s motivations. The former governor struggled all week to explain his own position on immigration — ostensibly his signature issue, about which he recently published a book — and he likely reached out to the Sunday shows to do damage control. After looking rather foolish contradicting himself and flubbing basic policy details, Bush likely hoped to get back on track by blanketing the airwaves.

    I’m not convinced it helped. Yesterday, for example, the Florida Republican took his fourth different position on comprehensive immigration reform over the last six days, and his sixth different position since December.

    In politics, flip-flops can be problematic, but flip-flop-flip-flop-flip-flops are considerably worse.


    Indeed, I have to admit, at this point, I’m still not sure exactly what Jeb Bush’s position is on a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants already in the United States. I know the former governor published a book last week saying he’s against it, and I know he told interviewers yesterday he no longer supports his own position. But as Annie-Rose Strasser noted, on one of the shows, Bush endorsed both positions over the course of a few minutes.

  31. rikyrah says:

    This bitch right chere is trying it…..

    Laura Ingraham ‏@IngrahamAngle
    .@FLOTUS Would we save enough money to reopen WH tours if we shut down your Let’s Move tour? #AskFLOTUS

    Laura Ingraham ‏@IngrahamAngle
    .@FLOTUS How much will you charge taxpayers so Beyoncé and Adele can sing at your 50th birthday bash? #AskFLOTUS

    • Jealous bee.itch.

    • Ametia says:

      LOL The 2520 Beckies are seething with JEALOUSY

      Michelle Obama comes on strong, but what’s next?
      Love her or hate her, you can’t avoid her as her husband starts his second term.

      She’s already danced on TV with Jimmy Fallon. She’s dropped in at the Oscars, worked out on the White House lawn, sparkled at state dinners, become a fashion trendsetter. She’s even gotten Americans to think more about what they eat. What’s next for first lady Michelle Obama?

      From her new bangs-and-bob hairstyle to her dance moves to her couture gowns, people can’t stop talking about her — and she kind of can’t be avoided. She’s a master of Twitter, a star of TV talk shows, a crowd-pleaser wherever she goes.

      But is she overexposed? Are we going to see even more of her on our screens in the next four years?

      Over exposed my ASS!
      LMBAO IT’s much tooooo much BLACKNESS-GORGEOUSNESS-SMARTNESS-SEXINESS for SOME of these 2520s.

  32. rikyrah says:

    HuffPost Media ‏@HuffPostMedia
    Barbara Walters on Elisabeth Hasselbeck rumors: ‘we have no plans for Elisabeth to leave the show.’

  33. rikyrah says:

    and This, folks, is why I will continue to say that the GOP has committed ECONOMIC TREASON AGAINST THIS COUNTRY.

    Not only the Government Jobs..

    what would the UR be if the American Jobs Act had been passed and implemented?

    Somewhere in the low SIXES for sure


    Number of the Week: Unemployment Rate Without Government Cuts

    7.1%: What the unemployment rate would be without government job cuts.

    While most industries have added jobs over the past three years, the recovery has largely bypassed the government sector.

    Federal, state and local governments have shed nearly 750,000 jobs since June 2009, according to the Labor Department‘s establishment survey of employers. No other sector comes close to those job losses over the same period.

    • rikyrah says:


      This right here is why the unemployment rate amongst African American workers has remained so poor: massive cuts by *Republicans* of public sector jobs. It’s what makes all of the GOP’s newfound concern-trolling re: the state of black America so grotesque. They actively undermined the stimulus’ attempt to stop the bleeding of public sector jobs, then turn around and claim that the POTUS doesn’t care about black employment. The current attacks on the USPS are going to have a disproportionate effect on us to—relative crickets from the CBC and their media people.

  34. Ametia says:

    Thank you, DU!


  35. leutisha says:

    Good morning. We have spring like temps here in DC (55 degrees and rising)

  36. rikyrah says:

    The sequestration ‘wolf’ is already showing his fangs

    By Steve Benen
    Mon Mar 11, 2013 11:10 AM EDT

    In February, the U.S. economy added about 236,000 jobs, and the unemployment rate dropped to its lowest level in nearly four years, renewing optimism about the health of the national job market. Of course, the optimism was immediately dashed by the realization that Congress is punching the economy in the gut, on purpose.

    Merrill Lynch said this morning that job creation will likely shrink to below 100,000 in April and May as “sequester-related job cuts are implemented.”

    I mention this for a couple of reasons. The first, obviously, is the mind-numbing realization that Americans’ own elected officials are choosing to deliberately make the economy worse.

    But the other reason is that it offers an important rejoinder to those who spent last week asking whether President Obama “cried wolf” over the dangers associated with sequestration. The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza, for example, said after the sequester hit, “(almost) no one noticed” and the “sky-is-falling language seemed overblown.”

    Outside Washington, as the Huffington Post reported, Americans are seeing a different message.

    • leutisha says:

      I am one of those in DC seeing the effects of the sequester. I got a call from the Interior Department about a job in civil rights that they might not be able to fill because of the sequester. You know it’s deep shyt when the Federal Government can’t fill their own damned job vacancies.

  37. rikyrah says:

    A voucher by any other name…
    By Steve Benen
    Mon Mar 11, 2013 8:36 AM EDT.

    House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) Medicare plan really isn’t popular. The proposal, which involves scrapping the existing system and replacing it with a voucher scheme, has been rejected repeatedly by American voters, and for good reason — it’s an awful idea.

    But Ryan doesn’t care. Even after Republican losses last year, and despite his own defeat in his bid for national office, the right-wing congressman is still pushing his wildly unpopular Medicare plan, despite the fact that the American mainstream, the Senate majority, and even some of his own Republican colleagues don’t want it.

    But there he was on Fox News yesterday, telling Chris Wallace his voucher plan isn’t a voucher plan.

    “[I]t’s not a voucher. It’s premium support. Those are very different. A voucher is you go to your mailbox, you get a check and you go buy something. That’s not what we are saying.”

    Look, I realize the semantics debate can get tiresome, and some Republican pollster no doubt told Ryan that “voucher” didn’t test well with focus groups.

    • leutisha says:

      Weird Harold Ford said the same damned things about school vouchers when he was pushing that shyt in Congress. If I were Paul Ryan, I’d just shut the hell up right about now.

  38. rikyrah says:

    Cornyn hails VAWA law he opposed

    By Steve Benen
    Mon Mar 11, 2013 9:14 AM EDT

    We talked last week about an unfortunate attempt at political spin: at least eight House Republicans issued press releases claiming they voted for the Violence Against Women Act, even though they opposed the bipartisan legislation signed into law last week.

    Sen. John Cornyn’s (R-Texas) rhetorical tactics weren’t quite as outrageous, but they were close.

    Shortly after Obama signed the VAWA reauthorization, Cornyn released a statement titled, “Cornyn Bill to Eliminate Nationwide Rape Kit Backlog Signed Into Law.” He hails the passage of the Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence Reporting (SAFER) Act, which helps to reduce the number of rape kits in the possession of law enforcement authorities but not yet tested. The SAFER Act was rolled into the VAWA bill before it passed the Senate.

    “An unacceptable national backlog of untested rape kits has compounded the pain for too many victims of sexual assault over the years. Today, we take a significant step toward reducing that backlog,” Cornyn said. “I’m pleased with the wide bipartisan support the SAFER Act received and with the President’s signature today, law enforcement can begin working immediately to test outstanding kits and see that justice is served.”

  39. rikyrah says:

    Satirical Krugman item trips up conservatives

    By Steve Benen
    Mon Mar 11, 2013 9:56 AM EDT.

    Just what conservative media needed: another embarrassing misstep. ridiculed Paul Krugman for filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection in a since-deleted post whose claims originated with a satire website. Just last month, castigated a news outlet for running with a story from that same website.

    Yes, this morning,, a prominent far-right news site, published a piece claiming the Nobel Laureate has filed for bankruptcy, which is not true. The report was based on a satirical item published by a humor site called the Daily Currant.

    This morning, Krugman said he caught wind of the joke a few days ago, but didn’t say anything because he wanted to see “which right-wing media outlets would fall for the hoax.” Krugman added, “And came through! Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go give a lavishly paid speech to Friends of Hamas.”

  40. rikyrah says:

    $166 Billion of Corprorate Profits Not Taxed

    by Steven D
    Mon Mar 11th, 2013 at 08:39:46 AM EST

    That’s right folks. According to the Wall Street Journal (via Raw Story) 60 American corporation alone have put One Hundred and Sixty-Six Billion Dollars in off-share accounts in order to avoid paying taxes. Pretty good deal if you can get away with it:

    The business newspaper said its analysis of 60 big American companies had found that they had collectively parked a total of $166 billion offshore last year.
    That shielded more than 40 percent of their annual profits from US taxes, the report said. […]

    The practice is a result of US tax rules that allow companies to not pay taxes on profits earned by overseas subsidiaries if the money is not brought back to the United States, the report pointed out.

    Look at it in these terms. What of you had a federal tax credit tax law that allowed you to shield 40% of your income from taxes. Not a deduction, which reduces taxes you owe but a credit law that says 40% of what you earn cannot be taxed – period. I know I would be dancing in the street if some lawmaker proposed a bill for ordinary people that allowed me to only have to pay taxes on 60% of my family’s income. But that’s the problem. You and I don’t get such favorable treatment from the tax code, nor can we afford the accountants and lawyers to set up such tax dodges for us. But major US companies can and do.

  41. rikyrah says:

    White House official who bettered Hispanic media access steps down

    Published: March 8, 2013

    By Lesley Clark — McClatchy Newspapers

    WASHINGTON — An Obama administration official credited with improving White House access for the burgeoning Hispanic news media is leaving his post.

    Luis Miranda, 36, who grew up in South Florida and staffed then-presidential candidate Al Gore’s Miami-Dade campaign office, is stepping down to return to the private sector as a communications consultant. The White House’s director of Hispanic media, Miranda is credited – within the White House and the Hispanic media – with helping to provide access not seen in previous administrations. The outreach came as the White House was courting the growing Hispanic vote, which helped President Barack Obama win re-election last fall.

    “The Hispanic media too often has been treated as a distant second string,” said Cecilia Munoz, Obama’s chief domestic policy adviser. “Luis really has shepherded a new era of access.”

    Read more here:

  42. rikyrah says:

    Fox News guest receives rape, death threats following gun segment

    by Joy-Ann Reid | March 11, 2013 at 12:39 AM

    Writer and Democratic strategist Zerlina Maxwell is speaking out about the ugly responses she received on social media after appearing on Fox News last week to talk about rape and guns.

    Maxwell, who appears frequently on Fox and is also a contributor to theGrio, has written often about what she calls unfair cultural messages to women, instructing them on how to avoid being raped, rather than focusing on the men who commit these crimes. On Sean Hannity’s program last Tuesday, she applied that message to the issue of gun control, saying arming women isn’t the answer to preventing rape, and that teaching men not to attack women is.

    “I think that the entire conversation is wrong. I don’t want anybody to be telling women anything,” Maxwell said during the show. “I don’t want men to be telling me what to wear and how to act, not to drink. And I don’t, honestly, want you to tell me that I needed a gun in order to prevent my rape. In my case, don’t tell me if I’d only had a gun, I wouldn’t have been raped. Don’t put it on me to prevent the rape.”

    Her comments prompted a volley of ugly — even threatening — responses on Twitter and Facebook, including from someone named Michael Shapiro, who describes himself as a “Barry Hussein Obama HATER…. Proud American Patriot, Infidel and Rabid Islamaphobe” and who, after calling Maxwell the n-word, added that he hoped she would “get raped” and have her “throat slit,” adding, “may be [sic] then you understand why white women have to be armed.” Shapiro later deleted the tweet.

    • leutisha says:

      I admire her work, but she needs to quit appearing on Fake Noise. If these responses don’t wake her up, nothing will. She has a powerful message to empower rape victims and teach men how violence against women won’t get them anywhere. The fact that the Fake Noise group is responding the way they are and Fake Noise is not defending her, speaks louder than Sean Hannity at a Klan rally.

      • Ametia says:

        Ditto! Zerlina’s message is lost on the viewership a FAUX NOISE.

        Klannity had her on his show to get the rabid racist and ignorant hateful 2520s to respond.

  43. rikyrah says:

    U.S. Department of Education Announces New Executive Director of White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans

    March 7, 2013

    Press Office, (202) 401-1576,

    U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan has announced the appointment of David J. Johns as executive director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans.

    “David’s expertise will be critical in helping to address the academic challenges that many African American students face, and I am delighted to have him on our team,” Duncan said. “His wealth of knowledge and passion will help the Department move forward in its quest to ensure that all children are college and career ready.”

    As executive director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans, Johns will work to identify evidence-based best practices to improve African American student achievement—from cradle to career. The initiative will work across federal agencies and with partners and communities nationwide to produce a more effective continuum of education programs for African American students.

    Prior to joining the Department, Johns was a senior education policy advisor to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) under the leadership of Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa. Before working for the Senate HELP committee, under Chairman Harkin, Johns served under the leadership of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass. Johns also was a Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Fellow in the office of Congressman Charles Rangel, D-N.Y. Johns has worked on issues affecting low-income and minority students, neglected youth and early childhood education, and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). His research as an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow served as a catalyst to identify, disrupt and supplant negative perceptions of black males, both within academia and society. Johns is committed to volunteer services and maintains an active commitment to improve literacy among adolescent minority males.

    Johns obtained a master’s degree in sociology and education policy at Teachers College, Columbia University, where he graduated summa cum laude while simultaneously teaching elementary school in New York City. He graduated with honors from Columbia University in 2004 with a triple major in English, creative writing and African American studies.

  44. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone! :-)

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