Raise Taxes on the Rich or Cut Head Start?

"The Congressional Budget Office estimated last year that the automatic cuts would slice $590 million from federal spending on Head Start, which will be more than $7.9 billion in 2012. The National Education Association said the cuts would eliminate 80,000 of the 962,000 slots for children and more than 30,000 jobs of teachers, aides and administrators in the program. It began in 1965 to provide summer school for children about to start kindergarten and later expanded to include year-round preschool classes.

"Concern about federal spending cuts is increasingly driving the debate in Washington and the action on Capitol Hill. On Wednesday, Senate Democrats narrowly pushed through legislation that would extend expiring Bush-era middle-class tax cuts for one year but allow tax cuts on incomes over $250,000 to lapse, arguing that the savings could be used to help undo the automatic cuts, known as sequestration." [Read more]


What happens if GOP’s voter suppression works?

"Suppose Mitt Romney ekes out a victory in November by a margin smaller than the number of young and minority voters who couldn’t cast ballots because the photo-identification laws enacted by Republican governors and legislators kept them from the polls. What should Democrats do then? What would Republicans do? And how would other nations respond?" [Read more]


How Hip-Hop Failed Black America

"But hip-hop also failed black America, and failed itself. It’s unavoidable that hip-hop and the war on drugs would become intertwined. But the music could have been a tool of resistance, informing on the drug war’s hypocrisies instead of acquiescing to them. Hip-hop didn’t have to become complicit in spreading the message of the criminalblackman, but the money it made from doing so was the drug it just couldn’t stop getting high on." [Read more]


Debunking Race and IQ Claims Again

"If so many genetically-indistinguishable European populations—of roughly similar cultural and historical background and without severe nutritional difficulties—can display such huge variances in tested IQ across different decades and locations, we should be extremely cautious about assuming that other ethnic IQ differences are innate rather than environmental, especially since these may involve populations separated by far wider cultural or nutritional gaps." [Read more]


An African American Swimming Powerhouse

Five years ago, the Kingfish swam in the least competitive division in the Prince-Mont Swim League.

This summer, after going undefeated for three consecutive years, they are swimming in the league’s most competitive division. Now the swimmers come to them, from miles around, to the Lake Arbor pool in Mitchelleville.

The team’s rapid ascent is even more notable because almost all the kids on it are African American. And I didn’t talk to a single parent who swam competitively as a kid.
[Read more]


Wal-Mart Wealth

In 2010, the Walton family, the family behind Wal-Mart, was 1,158,000 times wealthier than the median American family. This is up from being 62,000 times wealthier in 1983.

[Read more]


Massive Felon Disenfranchisement

"1 of every 13 African Americans of voting age is disenfranchised, and in three states -- Florida, Kentucky, and Virginia – the figure is one in five." [Read more]

Romney's "Sister Souljah" Moment?

The former Massachusetts governor didn’t go to the NAACP expecting to win votes. In fact, his true audience wasn’t the one in Houston, but the one in Montana, at a fund-raiser later the same day, where he bragged about giving his NAACP hosts heck:

“When I mentioned I am going to get rid of ‘Obamacare,’ they weren’t happy. I didn’t get the same response” as here. That’s OK; I want people to know what I stand for and if I don’t stand for what they want, go vote for someone else, that’s just fine. But I hope people understand this: Your friends who like ‘Obamacare,’ you remind them of this, if they want more stuff from government, tell them to go vote for the other guy — more free stuff. But don’t forget, nothing is really free.”

That he’s trumpeting to donors how he’s just disabused black voters of thinking they were gonna get “more free stuff” is indeed a bold move — boldly ugly, that is. Somewhere, Newt “Give Those Kids a Mop” Gingrich is thinking he and old Mitt have more in common than he knew.

[Read more]


It's Time to Start Raising Revenues

"But I just don't see how, based on these facts, anyone can make a case that we're overtaxed, and to be clear, this includes all federal taxes, including business taxes. I also think there's a strong, reality-based case in here for new revenues in any deal to stabilize the debt situation, starting at the top of the income scale, as I've argued before." [Read more]

GOP to the uninsured: Drop dead

"Only in America could a Democratic president pass Mitt Romney’s health plan and fund it partly through John McCain’s best idea from the last campaign (taxing some employer provided plans) and be branded a “socialist.” " [Read more]


Why Won't Unemployment Go Down?

"Our goal for the black unemployment rate should be about 4 percent. We can’t get to a 4 percent black unemployment rate while the national unemployment rate is over 8 percent. To address the broad economic stagnation we are in, we need more job-creating investments in the American people and the American economy. We know what works.
"The Congressional Budget Office (as well as all of the major professional macroeconomic analysts) has indicated that the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (editor’s note: this is informally known as the “stimulus bill” of 2009) created more than 3 million jobs. We need more of these types of policies, since we have a current jobs deficit of about 10 million jobs.
"But to break the 2-to-1 black-to-white unemployment-rate ratio, we will also need targeted investments in high-unemployment communities. There are many black communities that can best be described as economically depressed. They have not been depressed for two or three years, but two or three decades. For these communities, we need a modern Works Progress Administration. Only something of this sort can break the decades-long pattern of high unemployment in these communities." 


The Student Loan Crisis

"The student loan crisis needs to be tackled head-on. Part of the answer is to make student debt more manageable, including by making it dischargeable under the appropriate circumstances. For-profit schools, which have proved themselves to be better at exploitation than at delivering a valuable education, need to be effectively and forcefully regulated. Even more important will be increasing government investment in higher education to bring tuition costs down. Such investments would have high economic returns, and would even help bring our country closer to our ideals." [Read more]


Black Lose Jobs Big in Las Vegas

  • In 2011, the Las Vegas and Los Angeles metropolitan areas had the highest black unemployment rates, at 22.6 percent and 21.1 percent, respectively.
  • Of the metro areas examined, Las Vegas experienced the largest increase in black unemployment from 2010 to 2011.
  • Metro areas in or including parts of Virginia—Virginia Beach, Richmond, and Washington, D.C.—had the lowest black unemployment rates. However, at around 10 percent, these areas still had high rates of black unemployment.
  • The biggest black-white unemployment rate disparity was in the Minneapolis metropolitan area, where the black unemployment rate was 3.3 times the white rate.


African American churches focus on being holy and healthy

"First Baptist is among many big African American congregations locally and across the country that in recent years have decided to make health and wellness a major priority. The health ministries’ efforts range from nutrition to Zumba classes to showing parishioners how a healthful lifestyle is promoted in scripture.

"The programs are a response to rising awareness of illnesses caused by obesity, fueled by a national public health focus on the issue, including first lady Michelle Obama’s campaign against childhood obesity. High blood pressure and obesity, both of which can be alleviated with proper diet and exercise, have a disproportionate impact on African Americans, who are 1.4 times as likely as whites to be obese, according to a 2012 report from the Office of Minority Health at the Department of Health and Human Services."

[Read more]