Wednesday Open Thread | Black Poets Week: Countee Cullen


Today’s poet is Countee Cullen.

Countee Cullen Born in 1903 in New York City, Countee Cullen was raised in a Methodist parsonage. He attended De Witt Clinton High School in New York and began writing poetry at the age of fourteen. In 1922, Cullen entered New York University. His poems were published in The Crisis, under the leadership of W. E. B. Du Bois, and Opportunity, a magazine of the National Urban League. He was soon after published in Harper’s, the Century Magazine, and Poetry.

He won several awards for his poem, “Ballad of the Brown Girl,” and graduated from New York University in 1923. That same year, Harper published his first volume of verse, Color, and he was admitted to Harvard University where he completed a master’s degree. His second volume of poetry, Copper Sun (1927), met with controversy in the black community because Cullen did not give the subject of race the same attention he had given it in Color. He was raised and educated in a primarily white community, and he differed from other poets of the Harlem Renaissance like Langston Hughes in that he lacked the background to comment from personal experience on the lives of other blacks or use popular black themes in his writing. An imaginative lyric poet, he wrote in the tradition of Keats and Shelley and was resistant to the new poetic techniques of the Modernists. He died in 1946.

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79 Responses to Wednesday Open Thread | Black Poets Week: Countee Cullen

  1. Ametia says:

    Can ALWAYS tell when POTUS is WINNING, there’s a concerted effort for the media, GOP, and SOME Dems to push the negativity about PBO, his polls, his cctions, etc.

    OH WAIT, that’s everyday!

  2. Ametia says:

    Lawrence has breaking news about the moment Darrell Issa cut the mic on Rep Cummings.

  3. Yahtc says:

    I just learned about Garrett Morgan:

    Garrett Augustus Morgan, Sr. (March 4, 1877 – July 27, 1963) was an African American inventor and community leader. His most notable inventions included a type of protective respiratory hood (or gas mask), a traffic signal, and a hair-straightening preparation.

    He is renowned for a heroic rescue in 1916 in which he and three others used his safety hood device to save workers trapped in a water intake tunnel being dug under Lake Erie after a natural gas explosion and fire which took the lives of workers and the first police officers and firefighters who attempted to rescue them.

    He is also credited as the first African American in Cleveland, Ohio, to own an automobile.

    You can read more about him at this link:

  4. Ametia says:


  5. Yahtc says:

    From 2013:

    New EEOC Report Examines Obstacles Facing African Americans in Federal Workplace

  6. rikyrah says:

    Queens Scout sells 2,833 boxes of cookies to become city’s top seller

    Najah Lorde, a 12-year-old from Springfield Gardens, managed to sell 1,722 more boxes than last year, beating her 11-year-old rival Olivia Cranshaw.
    Comments (7)
    By Lisa L. Colangelo / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

    Wednesday, March 12, 2014, 5:31 AM

    The enterprising 12-year-old, who sold 1,111 boxes last year, peddled the famous Thin Mints, Trefoils and other sweet treats to school chums, members of her church and family members.

    She also brought her sales sheet along when she went with parents Deanne and Donovan Lorde to their jobs at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn.

    “I didn’t do anything differently from last year,” said the seventh-grader at Divine Wisdom Catholic Academy in Douglaston. “I was just more determined.”

    Lorde went head to head with 11-year-old Olivia Cranshaw, the reigning Cookie Queen, who sold more than 1,800 boxes last year.

    Najah’s father said he was impressed by his young daughter’s focus in recent weeks.

    “She really put in a lot of work,” said Donovan Lorde, adding with a laugh, “she drove her mother and myself crazy, but we’re very proud.”

    Read more:

  7. rikyrah says:

    Paul Ryan still struggling on poverty
    03/12/14 03:44 PM

    By Steve Benen

    House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) went out of his way in recent months to express an interest in poverty, even touring several parts of the country as part of a fact-finding mission. It’s unclear, however, what kind of lessons the congressman learned from the experience.

    For example, Ryan published an audit, of sorts, criticizing federal efforts to combat poverty, but the Republican was soon accused of misrepresenting much of the research he cited in his report. Soon after, Ryan suggested low-income children who rely on the school-lunch program aren’t treasured the way wealthier children are, relying on an anecdote that wasn’t true anyway.

    The Wisconsin lawmaker continues to dig deeper.

    In his latest remarks on poverty in America, Republican Rep. Paul Ryan accused residents of “inner cities” of having a “real culture problem” and lack of work ethic during an appearance on Bill Bennett’s Morning in America radio show Wednesday. […]

    “We have got this tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning to value the culture of work, so there is a real culture problem here that has to be dealt with,” Ryan said.

    ThinkProgress posted the audio.

    Let’s note that chronic poverty has also plagued many rural areas in the United States, but for whatever reason, the congressman has had far less to say about the cultural decline and decay plaguing rural men.

    What’s more, Ryan may want to give some additional thought to whose work he’s prepared to cite on the air.

    Ryan also pointed to the work of Charles Murray, a white nationalist, who has used “racist pseudoscience and misleading statistics to argue that social inequality is caused by the genetic inferiority,” according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

    “That’s this tailspin or spiral that we’re looking at in our communities,” he told Bennett. “Your buddy Charles Murray or Bob Putnam over at Harvard, those guys have written books on this.”

    As a rule, it’s problematic when far-right lawmakers complain at length about inner-city men while citing the word of Charles “Bell Curve” Murray.

  8. rikyrah says:


    Spandan ChakrabartiMarch 12, 2014

    While the beltway media is Truly Upset (TM) that the President of the United States went to Funny or Die to promote, in real America, the appearance seems to have worked tremendously well. Bill O’Reilly is super upset, other traditional media is crapping their pants, and the White House Press Corpse (no, I know, but is the ‘e’ really unnecessary?) bellyached about it to Press Secretary Jay Carney yesterday.

    In the mean time, the president’s appearance has already had over 12 million views, sent nearly a million people to, and made traffic to jump by 40% in a single day. And to the dismay of the entire beltway media and conservative pundits, this time they did not have a story about how the flood of traffic broke website – because it didn’t! And the people who actually watch the video are overwhelmingly impressed(see the yellow meter).

    The irony of the beltway media complaining is, of course, that had they done their jobs – instead of letting it out that they do not consider reporting the facts to be their job – and told the American people the truth about the Affordable Care Act, the president may not have needed to sidestep their freak show. If the beltway press had concentrated on reporting the facts about Obamacare rather than salivating over the politics and how Republicans were going to attack it, they might have saved themselves the embarrassment.

    But as Jay Carney put it, gone are the days when beltway broadcasters get to claim exclusive access to the president despite failing horribly at their jobs.

  9. Haley: Granny, I’m going to the store when mama gets off work, do you need anything? I have money. I have $30.00

    Me: No thank you, Haley. Keep your money b/c your Mom might take you guys someplace for spring break and you’ll have money to spend.

    Haley: Granny, you’re more important than having fun.


  10. rikyrah says:

    Lesbian Couple Murdered In Texas

    By Lechette Walker

    A beer deliveryman found the bodies of two 24 year old women as he was taking out the trash, said Houston local Fox station.

    “Beer deliveryman found the victims around 7:30 a.m. when he took out some trash.”

    The lesbian couple lived together for two years and decided to go to Galveston for the Mardi Gras which had a tragic ending. Crystal Jackson had a five year old daughter that will now be without a mother from this senseless murder. Jackson and Britney Cosby were raising Jackson’s daughter, and as for now she is left without parents as the death of both women alters her future.

    “Relatives say the two women went to Galveston for Mardi Gras,” Houston’s ABC News affiliate KTRK reports. “Authorities say they were killed in different ways, and it’s possible the suspects murdered them elsewhere and moved their bodies.”

    • Ametia says:

      Old, rotten INFRASTRUCTURE is a bitch. This however looks like a WAR ZONE.

      • Liza says:

        That’s what I was thinking. Read on Reuters they think it’s a gas leak because someone called in about being able to smell gas about 15 minutes before the explosion.

        Aging infrastructure is a huge problem in this country.

  11. rikyrah says:

    Randy Ludlow: ‘Voters Bill Of Rights’ Gets One Step Closer To Ohio Ballot

    Supporters of an effort to add an “Ohio Voters Bill of Rights” to the Ohio Constitution soon could begin collecting signatures in their bid to place the measure on the statewide ballot. The office of Attorney General Mike DeWine yesterday certified language for the petitions as acceptable after rejecting previous wording on Feb. 13. Black legislative leaders, clergy members and civil-rights advocates are behind the initiative, which would require gathering 385,247 valid petition signatures of registered voters by July 2 to make the Nov. 4 ballot.

  12. rikyrah says:

    NYT: Titans In Russia Fear New Front In Ukraine Crisis

    When Vladimir V. Putin returned to the Russian presidency in 2012, one of the first messages he sent to his political elite, many of them heads of banks and large corporations, was that the times had changed: Owning assets outside Russia makes you too vulnerable to moves by foreign governments, he told them. It is time to bring your wealth home. Nearly two years later, those words seem almost prophetic. After a week of escalating tensions between Russia and the United States, it has become clear that the conflict over Ukraine will move to the battlefield of finance. Those same business titans are now contemplating the damage that the crisis could inflict on Russia’s economy.

    Financial sanctions, which the United States and the European Union have suggested they will impose if the conflict escalates, are intended to test the cohesion of the political system. Still, the prospect of losing access to Western finance is a frightening thought for Russian business leaders, whose voice in foreign policy decision-making is muted compared with the tight circle of Mr. Putin’s former K.G.B. colleagues, for whom economic factors may be secondary. Anxiety over possible economic fallout has begun to radiate from business circles, and some wondered whether Mr. Putin had been warned clearly about the magnitude of the possible damage to the economy. One analyst described their mind-set as one of “cognitive dissonance.”

  13. rikyrah says:

    Michael Hiltzik: High Deductibles And Obamacare Derangement Syndrome

    We’ve remarked before on the tendency of businesses and others to use the Affordable Care Act as a scapegoat for changes in their healthcare benefits or in the healthcare landscape that have other causes — such as their own greed or long-term trends. Galen Benshoof, a guest contributor at, identifies a good case of what we might call Obamacare derangement syndrome — the conviction that everything that happens in healthcare today must have been caused by the ACA. Benshoof’s example involves rising deductibles. His jumping-off point is a recent review of a book by Ezekiel Emanuel, one of the ACA’s architects, by David Goldhill in the Wall Street Journal.

    Goldhill is a businessman who, judging from his earlier writings, is predisposed to expect the ACA to fail — in fact, prefers catastrophic coverage to almost all other forms of health insurance. In his review, Goldhill cites “the rapid spread of high-deductible insurance among employers and on the exchanges” as “one of the immediate unanticipated consequences of the ACA.” Benshoof calls him on this misstatement. The truth is that the rapid spread of “high-deductible” health plans (based on IRS regulations, that’s technically any plan with a deductible of $1,250 per person and $2,500 per family, or above) is very much an artifact of the pre-ACA healthcare landscape. Indeed, one of the goals of the ACA is to relieve the economic pressures that prompted employers to jack up deductibles on their employees toward this level every year.,0,5221146.story#axzz2vfaEXbv0

  14. rikyrah says:

    Morning Plum: Get ready for eight months of all-Obamacare-all-the-time
    By Greg Sargent
    March 12 at 8:34 am

    Yesterday, before Republicans won the special election in Florida’s 13th district, Democrats were facing a daunting challenge for 2014: Defending Senate seats in seven states carried by Mitt Romney, amid a sluggish recovery, widespread economic pessimism and low Obama approval ratings.

    Today, after Republicans won the special election in Florida’s 13th district, Democrats are facing a daunting challenge for 2014: Defending Senate seats in seven states carried by Mitt Romney, amid a sluggish recovery, widespread economic pessimism and low Obama approval ratings.

    Yesterday’s GOP victory is being widely portrayed as a sign that Republicans are already succeeding at broadening the Senate map for 2014 into territory that should be safe for Democrats, with Obamacare being the reason why. But does FL-13 — certainly a tough loss for Dems — tell us all that much that we don’t already know?

    To be sure, if Republicans can broaden the map to seriously put states like Michigan and Colorado in play, they’ll likely win the Senate, because Dems would be on defense in too many states. Dems will have to aggressively defend both no matter what, but there’s a distinction to be made between Dems waging campaigns in them and winning by mid- to high-single digits on the one hand and them being seriously contested on the other. If it’s looking like the former, it means Republicans aren’t seriously broadening the map – and control will be decided in the red state battlegrounds, where Obama is hideously unpopular, which is the fundamental structural problem we knew Dems would face. But if it shapes up as the latter, that means Republicans really are broadening the map. This unknown is central to the battle for Senate control.

  15. rikyrah says:

    Stan Greenberg: Fight harder on economic issues, Dems
    By Greg Sargent
    March 12 at 11:52 am

    Veteran Dem pollster Stan Greenberg has long taken the lead in advocating that embattled Dems hew to a “keep and fix” strategy in response to GOP attacks on Obamacare. In an interview with me this morning, he said he saw nothing in the results out of Florida’s 13th district — which are widely being touted as evidence the Dem strategy isn’t working – to change his mind.

    However, Greenberg offered additional advice. He said Dems should focus mainly on fighting the health care wars to a draw while simultaneously using economic issues to motivate the Dem base, to match GOP success in ginning up the base over the ACA. And he said Dems needed to go up with more ads to counter the massive spending against Obamacare from outside conservative groups — right now.

    “This is essentially an even split, and not a wedge issue,” Greenberg said about public opinion on the health law, referencing a new NBC/WSJ poll finding Americans split 48-47 on whether they favor a Dem who would fix the law or a GOPer who’d repeal it. “You have to battle it, and battle it to a draw.”

    Greenberg said the Dem failure to turn out their voters in FL-13 – and not opinion on the health law — was the decisive factor. (The First Read crew noted today that turnout in the district was barely more than half that in 2012, and that Dem voters “didn’t show up.”) Greenberg said, if anything, that the closeness of the race (given GOP turnout superiority) indicated that Dem Alex Sink had mostly neutralized Obamacare as an issue, given all the outside GOP ads hammering her over it.

  16. rikyrah says:

    Between Two Ferns
    03/12/14 08:48 AM—Updated 03/12/14 08:58 AM
    By Steve Benen

    An unexpected political dust-up unfolded yesterday after Funny or Die posted President Obama’s appearance on “Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis.” The point, of course, was to promote the Affordable Care Act in a fully six-minute clip, and depending on your sense of humor, the comedy was either effective or it wasn’t. (I happened to like it, but your mileage may vary.)

    Either way, the video was successful in driving viewers to – which, remember, was the reason for doing the video in the first place – so whether or not it got laughs is secondary.

    But the surprising part was the widespread handwringing from conservatives and some reporters about whether it was inappropriate for Obama to appear in the video at all.

    • Ametia says:

      LOL these idgits can’t keep up with POTUS and his use and savvy with social media. TV is DYING, and especially CABLE, with the Comcast takeover.

  17. rikyrah says:

    Politics, patronage, and the Port Authority

    03/11/14 03:58 PM—Updated 03/12/14 11:09 AM
    By Steve Benen

    We’ve known for a while that New Jersey’s Port Authority has been a problematic agency, used to unfortunate ends by, among others, Gov. Chris Christie’s (R) administration. But as the governor’s scandals continue to unfold, the public learns new details that cast the agency – and the misuse of that agency – in an even more unflattering light.

    Kate Zernike and Matt Flegenheimer report today, for example, on the extent to which the Port Authority had “already been turned into a de facto political operation for Governor Christie,” even before the governor’s team decided it was time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.

    For a state that lost hundreds of lives on Sept. 11, the gifts were emotionally resonant: pieces of steel from the ruins of the World Trade Center. They were presented by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to 20 carefully chosen New Jersey mayors who sat atop a list of 100 whose endorsements Gov. Chris Christie hoped to win.

    At photo opportunities around the mangled pieces of steel, Bill Baroni, Mr. Christie’s top staff appointee at the Port Authority, told audiences how many people wanted a similar remnant of the destroyed buildings, and how special these mayors were.

  18. rikyrah says:

    The Kochs’ ‘drops in a bucket’

    03/11/14 12:57 PM—Updated 03/12/14 01:55 AM
    By Steve Benen

    Charles and David Koch have invested heavily in recent years to influence U.S. politics, to the delight of their Republican allies and the consternation of their Democratic foes. But no matter how freely the billionaire brothers have spent, Koch spokesperson Melissa Cohlmia said last week, it’s “drops in a bucket” compared with what unions have spent to support many positions opposed by the Kochs.

    This is not an uncommon line. In fact, Kimberley Strassel’s latest Wall Street Journal column argues that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and other Democrats have the wrong campaign-finance culprit: it’s “unions,” Strassel argued, and not the Koch brothers, who want to spend “unlimited money” to “rig the system” and “buy elections.” The Kochs spend a lot, she conceded, but not as much as labor.

    There are a couple of problems with the comparison. The first should be obvious: when gauging political impact, it’s misleading to draw parallels between two extraordinarily wealthy individuals and several million unionized workers. But as Jonathan Cohn explained, there’s an even more glaring problem.

    By focusing on direct contributions to the parties and the candidates, [Strassel] did what conservatives defending the Koch brothers almost always do. She severely downplayed the primary way the Kochs influence politics – through unregulated, indirect financing of conservative political organizations.

    According to Robert Maguire, a researcher who pieced together the Koch money trail from disparate Internal Revenue Service and Federal Election Commission reports, conservative nonprofit organizations that received large grants from Koch-backed intermediaries spent $170 million during the 2012 election cycle. Unions spent just $24 million.

    And that kind of money isn’t just “drops in a bucket.”

    To help drive the point home, consider this chart in the Republic Report report showing campaign investments from the 2012 cycle, making a pretty strong case that the Koch brothers’ spending easily outpaced the labor powerhouses combined. The image, unlike Strassel’s WSJ column, includes the “dark money” spending both sides made in support of their partisan allies.

  19. Ametia says:

    Bridget Kelly battles bridge scandal subpoena

    NBC’s Michael Isikoff and Chris Cillizza discuss Tuesday’s hearing in the G.W. Bridge scandal, including Bridget Kelly’s court appearance.


  20. Ametia says:

    Attorney: More Kelly and Stepien documents about GWB lane closures exist
    Mar. 12, 2014

    TRENTON — While it’s not yet known if key aides formerly in Gov. Chris Christie’s inner circle will successfully fend off the Legislature’s effort to subpoena their documents, one thing is clear about the investigation of the George Washington Bridge lane closures:
    This will take a long, long time to unravel.
    Tuesday’s hearing on whether former deputy chief of staff Bridget Anne Kelly and former Christie campaign manager William Stepien must comply with a legislative subpoena lasted three hours. A decision probably won’t be rendered for weeks; then it certainly will be appealed. Kelly’s lawyer won’t even concede she sent the “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee” email that triggered the closures.

  21. Ametia says:

    Former Christie aides to judge: Quash subpoenas

    TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Lawyers for two key figures in a political payback scandal ensnaring Gov. Chris Christie’s administration are trying to persuade a judge not to force them to turn over text messages and other private communications to New Jersey legislators investigating the matter.

    Fired Christie staffer Bridget Kelly and two-time campaign manager Bill Stepien say complying with the subpoenas carries the risk of self-incrimination.

    The subpoenas seek documents involving the intentional blocking of traffic near the George Washington Bridge in September, which created hourslong backups in nearby Fort Lee, apparently to punish the town’s Democratic mayor.

    Kelly did not speak to the reporters who surrounded her when she arrived at the courthouse. Stepien was not in attendance.

  22. rikyrah says:

    RNC eyes health care database
    03/11/14 11:37 AM—Updated 03/12/14 12:59 AM
    By Steve Benen

    As party officials are often quick to admit, Republicans have generally trailed Democrats when it comes to technology and online innovation, but the RNC is reportedly putting together one database unlike anything the DNC has.

    The Republican National Committee (RNC) is building a database with the names of those who received insurance cancellation notices under ObamaCare, with the hope of capturing voters who believe they’ve been negatively affected by the healthcare law.

    An RNC spokesman wouldn’t provide any further details on the initiative for fear of giving away the strategy, but confirmed what Chairman Reince Priebus first told The Washington Examiner over the weekend.

    Priebus described the information as “important for us to have,” and has recruited “top engineers” from the tech industry to work on the project.

    In theory, a database like this could be useful in helping policymakers reach out to affected consumers – if it were easy to identify everyone who received a cancellation note, it’d be easier to make sure they’ve successfully transferred to a new plan at a good price.

    Of course, that’s not at all what the RNC wants to do. The point, rather, is to build the database so as to make attacks on the Affordable Care Act easier, not to help those whose names may appear in the database.

    Regardless, the RNC may be disappointed with the results of the project. For one thing, many of the people whose previous, substandard plans were eliminated are thrilled with the change. For another, many of these same folks would have no interest in going backwards by seeing the law repealed.

    But perhaps most important of all is the fact that the database would only include a tiny percentage of the population.

  23. rikyrah says:

    The Financial Industry Doesn’t Want You to Know About Its Lack of Diversity
    Financial institutions fight a new rule that would have them assess employee diversity.

    Dodd-Frank, the Democrats’ bill to reform Wall Street following the crash, included a provision that creates Offices of Minority and Women Inclusion in each branch of the federal regulatory regime, such as the Department of Treasury and the Securities and Exchange Commission. (The provision doesn’t touch sexual orientation.) These new offices are tasked with boosting diversity within their own ranks and analyzing hiring practices of the businesses in their purview. Late last year, regulators from six of these offices wrote a rule, still in the proposal stage, to enforce the second half of that mandate. It’s a modest measure—a simple request that the banks conduct self-assessments based on a few best-practice guidelines, but it was enough to rile up the banks.

    Complaint letters sent from the main lobbying arms of the financial industry to regulators show a concerted effort to avoid changing their hiring practices and to dissuade regulators from revealing the lack of diversity in the banking sector. “In an otherwise good-faith effort to utilize the joint standards and meet certain standards or metrics relating to ‘diversity,'” the Chamber of Commerce wrote in its letter, “regulated entities may inadvertently run afoul of federal workplace requirements by, for example, engaging in ‘reverse’ discrimination.” Smaller regional banks shared those concerns. The Missouri Bankers Association likened the agencies’ proposal to a “government mandated affirmative action program.”

  24. Ametia says:

    GETTING 11 MILLION VIEWS ON YOUTUBE-PBO “BETWEEN TWO FERNS” has sent heads and hearts exploding. It’s more of PBO’s polls are “lower than dirt.” and Dems RUNNING away from POTUS, like they stole something.

    Keep on Truckin,’ Mr. President. We’re not voting GOP, and the Dems have another thing coming , if they think they can run away from you and gain or keep their status in 2014.

  25. Yahtc says:

    BREAKING: Two buildings collapse after gas explosion in Harlem: sources’We saw people flying out the window,’ one witness said. The buildings were left in rubble on Park Ave. at East 116th St. At least 11 people were injured, according to the Fire Department. Witnesses said the blaze began Wednesday morning in the Absolute Piano store. Metro-North service was suspended in both directions as Mayor de Blasio went to the scene.

    • Yahtc says:


      On January 12, 2010, one day after his 18th birthday, CAPA High School honors student Jordan Trent Miles was ambushed by three plain clothes Pittsburgh police officers, who failed to identify themselves and approached him aggressively. The officers did not say “Stop! Police!”, they jumped out of an unmarked vehicle, one of them yelling “Where’s your money? Where’s the drugs? Where’s the gun?” Miles, never before in trouble with the police and thinking he was being robbed, began to run, and slipped on the icy sidewalk.

      The officers overtook Miles and administered a brutal beating that left him unrecognizable, ripping dreadlocks out of his head, and continuing to beat him as he lay on the ground after their initial assault, stammering the Lord’s Prayer. There can be no explaining away or excusing what was done to Miles.

  26. Yahtc says:

  27. rikyrah says:

    College Costs Are Rising Faster For The Poor Than The Rich

    By Alan Pyke on March 11, 2014 at 9:33 am

    The rise in college costs over recent years is not being distributed equally and students from the poorest families are bearing more of the burden than those from wealthier families, according to a new analysis of federal education cost data from the Hechinger Report.

    The group measured the distribution of cost increases by looking at the net price of a year of school after financial aid is factored in. Colleges and universities report the total cost of a year of tuition, room and board, books, fees, and other expenses, and subtract scholarships and grants. Hechinger looked at how net price figures changed from the 2008-09 school year to the 2011-12 year,and found rising costs across the board. Public school net prices rose by $1,100 on average, compared to a $1,500 average jump at private colleges and universities.

    But students from families with less than $30,000 in annual income had to absorb a $1,700 increase in net price for a year of private college, according to Hechinger, while those with the highest family incomes saw just a $1,200 increase. All the report’s figures are adjusted for inflation.

    State education funding cuts due to the recession have compounded the cost shift for poor families whose kids hope to attend public state schools, with the net price of a year at Arizona State University rising nearly twice as fast for poor kids as for rich ones. In some specific cases, the richest families even saw their costs fall. At Alabama State, the net price rose by $3,800 for families with less than $30,000 in income, but fell by $700 for families who earned more than $75,000 per year.

    As Hechinger explains, shifting costs onto poor students means shifting them onto the public. “Because more low-income students also receive federal Pell Grants, this difference suggests that colleges are leaving it to taxpayers to subsidize the people at the bottom, while they use their own financial aid to court families higher up the income ladder,” the group writes. On top of that, tax breaks for college tuition go primarily to rich families.

  28. rikyrah says:

    Paul Ryan Blames Poverty On Lazy ‘Inner City’ Men
    By Igor Volsky on March 12, 2014 at 10:07 am

    House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) previewed his upcoming legislative proposals for reforming America’s poverty programs during an appearance on Bill Bennett’s Morning in America Wednesday, hinting that he would focus on creating work requirements for men “in our inner cities” and dealing with the “real culture problem” in these communities. Ryan then went on to cite Charles Murray, a conservative social scientist who believes African-Americans are, as a population, less intelligent than whites due to genetic differences and that poverty remains a national problem because “a lot of poor people are born lazy.”

    Ryan’s comments come a week after he released a 204-page report analyzing the effectiveness of the nation’s anti-poverty programs 50 years after President Lyndon Johnson declared a national War on Poverty. The former GOP vice presidential candidate, who argues that federal anti-poverty programs have contributed to the nation’s high poverty rate and “created what’s known as the poverty trap,” is expected to offer reforms to the programs in his upcoming FY 2015 budget.

    “[W]e want people to reach their potential and so the dignity of work is very valuable and important and we have to re-emphasize work and reform our welfare programs, like we did in 1996,” Ryan told Bennett. “We have got this tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work, and so there is a real culture problem here that has to be dealt with.” Listen:

  29. rikyrah says:

    Chicago Police Cannot Keep Complaints Of Brutality Secret Anymore, Court Rules

    The Chicago Police Department has long kept its records of police misconduct secret, even as the city continues to pay out millions
    to victims of brutality. Now, after a state appeals court ruling, the
    department will have to release that information as public records.[….] Greater transparency may also put more pressure on the department to follow through on complaints and hold cops more accountable. Currently, complaints of misconduct against police rarely result in any kind of disciplinary action, and the internal investigation process is murky at best.

    A study by University of Chicago professor Craig Futterman found
    that just 19 of 10,149 complaints accusing CPD officers of excessive force, illegal searches, racial abuse, sexual abuse, and false arrests led to a police suspension of a week or more. In more than 85 percent of internal investigations of complaints, the accused officer was never even interviewed.[….]

  30. rikyrah says:

    25 richest US neighborhoods
    By Paige Cooperstein and Robert Johnson of Business Insider

    Much like the rest of the country, America’s richest neighborhoods continue to evolve in terms of racial diversity.

    In his latest Higley 1000, a list of the highest-income neighborhoods in the U.S., Stephen Higley, a professor emeritus of urban social geography at the University of Montevallo, found that the top neighborhoods are home to more Asian and Latino residents than ever before.

    Higley ranked the most expensive neighborhoods in America based on American Community Survey 2006 – 2010 data. He aggregated contiguous block groups (subdivisions of Census tracts) with a mean income over $200,000. You can read his complete methodology here.

  31. What’s going on in Harlem?

  32. rikyrah says:

    Obama Will Seek Broad Expansion of Overtime Pay

    MARCH 11, 2014

    On Thursday, the president will direct the Labor Department to revamp its regulations to require overtime pay for several million additional fast-food managers, loan officers, computer technicians and others whom many businesses currently classify as “executive or professional” employees to avoid paying them overtime, according to White House officials briefed on the announcement.

  33. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone.

    Had to shovel for 45 minutes before I went to work today :(

  34. Ametia says:

    Big-money partisanship invades quiet realm of secretary of state elections

    The partisan battle over voting restrictions is engulfing secretary-of-state races around the country, as parties on both sides focus on controlling the offices responsible for administering election laws.

    Democrats and Republicans are launching high-profile and well-financed campaigns aimed at spending millions of dollars in what are normally under-the-
    radar contests.

    On the left, veterans of President Obama’s reelection campaign have launched iVote, a super PAC that will funnel money to battleground states with competitive races for secretary of state. Another group, dubbed SoS for Democracy, is being led by longtime labor activists Steve Rosenthal and Larry Scanlon.

    From the right, a super PAC called SOS for SoS — organized by a former top official at an outside group that supported Newt Gingrich — is aiming to raise and spend $10 million on key races.

    “Folks are beginning to understand how important this office always has been,” said Ohio state Sen. Nina Turner, a Democrat challenging the incumbent secretary of state this fall. “You can shave off votes here and there just by [changing] the rules.”

    Last month, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted (R) announced that voters who want to vote early this year will have 22 days to do so — weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. for four weeks, and the final two Saturdays before Election Day, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

    For the first time since early voting was established in Ohio, early-voting locations will not be open on a Sunday.


  35. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone! :-)

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