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High School Graduation Rates in US at Record High

More kids are graduating High School in 4 years than ever before.

Nation’s high school graduation rate reaches new record high

The nation’s high school graduation rose again in the 2014-2015 school year, reaching a new record high as more than 83 percent of students earned a diploma on time, according to federal data released Monday.

The figures show gains among every group of students — including white, black, Asian, Hispanic and Native American, as well as low-income students, students with disabilities and those learning English as a second language. The broad improvement continues a trend that began with the 2010-2011 school year, when states first adopted a uniform method of reporting graduation rates.

Gaps between student groups continued to close but remained large: Nearly 88 percent of white students graduated on time, 10 percentage points higher than Hispanic students (78 percent), 13 percentage points higher than black students (75 percent), and 16 percentage points above Native American and Native Alaskan students (72 percent).

 

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Posted by on October 17, 2016 in BlackLivesMatter, The Post-Racial Life

 

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Obama Unleashes on the Chumph

Damn, Prez…Tell us how you really feel!

Bout 26 minutes in is where he unloads.

Obama unleashes blistering attack on Trump

The president casts the GOP nominee as a hypocrite and a phony and urges America to vote.

 

President Barack Obama ripped Donald Trump here Friday as a man who’s embraced an attack on the “global elite” only after failing to be accepted as a member of the global elite himself, attacking the Republican nominee for running an anti-American campaign with paper-thin support that’s all about InfoWars.com conspiracy theories.

Rallying a skeptical crowd for Hillary Clinton at a small airport, Obama framed the 2016 election as a choice about democracy and moral values that goes way beyond politics — about the country coming together to reject a dangerous, self-centered cynic without “the basic honesty that a president needs” and the party that propelled that man to be its nominee.

Issues like global warming and immigration reform are important, Obama said, but this race is more about America standing up for itself and Americans standing up for the people who’ve come before them.

“Donald Trump’s closing argument is: What do you have to lose?” Obama said. “The answer is everything.”

Warning that Trump is trying to poison the entire system and nation in a ploy to dispirit the country and depress turnout, Obama urged the people here and everyone else to fight back with their votes. “Don’t fall for it,” he said.

Obama cast Trump as a false prophet, lying about who he is and what he believes. Thursday, at his own campaign events in Ohio, Trump said he was taking on the global elites. That’s absurd, Obama responded.

“This is a guy who spent all his time trying to convince everyone he was a global elite. … All he had time for is celebrities. And now suddenly he’s acting like a populist,” Obama said. “Come on, man.”

Nor is Trump the tough guy he purports to be, the president insisted, taking aim at Trump teasing the idea of the election being rigged against him, as he’s done every time his polls have dipped since the summer.

“He seems to be in the middle of the game making excuses all the time for why he might be losing,” Obama said, eagerly goading Trump. “It’s always interesting to me to see people who talk tough but don’t act tough. Because if you’re tough, you don’t make excuses.”

That’s in contrast to Clinton, whom Obama repeatedly praised for being “in the arena” and fighting for voters, waging a campaign, talking about ideas. He spoke directly to people who say they care about civil rights, inequality, Bernie Sanders’ agenda, and even values like civility, courtesy, honesty and kindness; the only way to sincerely act on those beliefs, Obama said, is to vote for Clinton.

All that Trump’s left with, the president said Friday, returning to an argument he started sounding out Thursday in Columbus, are the rabid conspiracy nuts and the Republicans who’ve aided and abetted them over the past eight years : “Donald Trump didn’t build all this crazy conspiracy stuff. Some Republicans who knew better stood by silently.”

What Trump’s left with are those people, and the kind of people who’ve taken up the InfoWars.com conspiracy site’s offer to pay people for crashing Clinton campaign events if they get on camera screaming that “Bill Clinton is a rapist.”

Obama went right at a heckler who’d made his way into the center of the crowd to hold up a piece of paper with a mock-up of the famous 2008 Shepard Fairey “Hope” poster, done instead with Bill Clinton’s face and the word “rape.”

Obama used to flare with annoyance when hecklers would interrupt him, but he’s started rolling with them more often. Friday morning, Obama turned the heckler into a prop, representing a perfect symbol of the flimsy campaign Trump is running.

“If you’re confident about the other guy, just go to his rallies,” Obama said. “You don’t have to spend time over here. Go knock on doors for your guy.”

He smiled as the security worked its way through the crowd to get to the man.

“Unless you’re getting paid to be here,” he said. “Everybody’s gotta make a living.”

He looked out at the crowd.

“Come on everybody,” he said, “let’s do our little chant: Hillary, Hillary, Hillary!”

And the crowd responded, chanting along with him.

Trump wants to be a tyrant, Obama said, but he won’t let the human rights violations that he’s fought against in other countries as president take root at home.

“Around the world, we talk to other countries, we say no, in a democracy, you can’t just threaten to jail your opponents. There are things called due process,” Obama said. “You can’t just jail or ban reporters you don’t like, because there’s this thing called the First Amendment.”

As for Trump’s telegraphing that he might not concede if Clinton wins, Obama said that represents an anti-American cult of personality: “If you lose, then you say congratulations, but then you move on, because our country, system of government is bigger than any single individual.”

 

 
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Posted by on October 14, 2016 in Chumph Butt Kicking, Giant Negros

 

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The Obama Economy

About that economy Obama supposedly wrecked…

Image result for jobs

U.S. jobless claims at 43-year low; import price deflation easing

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits held at a 43-year low last week, pointing to sustained labor market strength that could pave the way for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates in December.

Thursday’s report from the Labor Department added to data such as September automobile sales and manufacturing and services sector surveys in reinforcing the view that economic growth picked up in the third quarter after a sluggish performance in the first half of the year.

“The data are making the Fed’s current policy look too wrong footed and the markets are waiting for them to get back on track, most likely in December,” said Chris Rupkey, chief economist at MUFG Union Bank in New York.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits were unchanged at a seasonally adjusted 246,000 for the week ended Oct. 8, the lowest reading since November 1973, the Labor Department said.

Claims for the prior week were revised to show 3,000 fewer applications received than previously reported.

It was the 84th consecutive week that claims remained below the 300,000 threshold, which is associated with robust labor market conditions.

That is the longest stretch since 1970, when the labor market was much smaller.

 

The dollar fell against a basket of currencies, while U.S. Treasuries rose.

 
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Posted by on October 13, 2016 in Giant Negros

 

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Still Fixing the Bush Mess – Diversity as a National Security Imperative

Back during the Bush Administration era, the folks who brought us the 7 year futile search of incidents of discrimination against white people also brought us privatization of government. Black folks, due to the sometimes burdensome Government regulations which assured the highest level of employment access and anti-discrimination work for the Government in very high numbers. It is one of the few places where color isn’t a bar to getting a job or rising in the ranks.

Of course, Republicans could not let that continue. So they came up with the idea of privatizing government functions and jobs. Meaning, the hiring and promotion process would be left entirely up to private industry.This led to the whitening of the Federal workforce by several means.

1. The private companies weren’t subject to vigorous review of their hiring practices. A Republican Congress, Extreme Court, and Presidential Appointees fought to reduce or eliminate any penalty for racial or ethnic discrimination.

2. The “Gentrification” of jobs, making the educational and or post educational training requirements (Certifications) requirement substantially higher for the same job, making it more difficult for minorities to apply. This resulted in a number of low level jobs suddenly requiring college degrees, and specific industry certifications which were out of reach of many minorities financially.

3. Allowing contracting companies to easily deny that they couldn’t meet requirements by announcing there was a shortage of “qualified” minority companies or candidates.

This insidious racism also infected the Intelligence Agencies.

8 years later, the Obama Administration finally “gets it”.

Improving workforce diversity a ‘national security imperative’

Before we realized Bill Cosby’s halo was broken, he played a U.S. intelligence officer on NBC’s “I Spy.” There weren’t many black folks on television in the 1960s, and there is too little diversity among the spies and others in national security agencies now.

That’s why President Obama directed agencies “to strengthen the talent and diversity” of their organizations.

“Our greatest asset in protecting the homeland and advancing our interests abroad is the talent and diversity of our national security workforce,” said apresidential memorandum issued Wednesday.

National security agencies “are less diverse on average than the rest of the Federal Government,” including at the senior leadership levels, Obama said in the memorandum. “While these data do not necessarily indicate the existence of barriers to equal employment opportunity, we can do more to promote diversity in the national security workforce.”

Obama told the agencies to take a series of steps to improve diversity, including collecting, analyzing and disseminating workforce data, providing professional development opportunities and strengthening leadership accountability. He said his directive “emphasizes a data-driven approach in order to increase transparency and accountability at all levels.”

Wade Henderson, president and chief executive of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, praised the data collection as “a necessary first step in recognizing the scope of the problem” to design appropriate solutions.

Obama pointed to the pervasive, insidious role of implicit bias, making “implicit or unconscious bias training mandatory for senior leadership and management positions, as well as for those responsible for outreach, recruitment, hiring, career development, promotion, and security clearance adjudication.”

In June, the Justice Department mandated implicit bias training for its law enforcement officers and prosecutors. In May, acting Office of Personnel Management Director Beth Cobert told federal officials that unconscious bias is a major barrier to diversity and inclusion.

Obama also wants agencies to interview a representative cross-section of staffers, including “exit interviews or surveys of all departing personnel to understand better their reasons for leaving.” That information will analyzed by demographics.

Increasing federal workplace diversity has long been a priority for Obama, as demonstrated by his 2011 executive order promoting diversity and inclusion.

This current effort was driven by National Security Adviser Susan E. Rice. During the last several months, she assembled national security officials in the White House situation room to discuss ways to promote diversity. Her May Florida International University commencement address largely focused on the need to improve national security diversity.

Quoting former Florida senator Bob Graham (D), she told the graduates the workforce is too often “white, male and Yale.” Noting that people of color are almost 40 percent of the nation’s population, Rice said they are less than 20 percent of senior diplomats and less than 15 percent of senior intelligence officials and senior military officers.

“I’m not talking about a human resources issue,” she added. “I’m highlighting a national security imperative.”

Vernon Jordan, a veteran civil rights activist and Washington insider, examined the CIA’s poor diversity record in a blunt 2015 report commissioned by the agency. The CIA went backward in at least one key diversity point during the 2004-2014 period, Jordan wrote in the forward to the 54-page report – the number and percentage of African American senior intelligence officers declined.

Jordan cited a “failure of leadership,” “a general lack of accountability in promoting diversity,” “the absence of an inclusive culture,” and “a deficient recruiting process.”

While racial and ethnic minorities were 23.9 percent of the CIA’s workforce, they were just 10.8 percent of the Senior Intelligence Service.

“The Director must also act promptly and aggressively to identify and promote senior minority intelligence officers to positions that will send an unmistakable message of change,” said the study Jordan led.

Pointed words. But it’s action that counts.

Rice understands that.

The United States, she wrote on the White House blog Wednesday, “must lead the world not by preaching pluralism and tolerance, but by practicing it.”

 

 
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Posted by on October 9, 2016 in The New Jim Crow

 

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Presidential Class Acts

Lets face it, George W. Bush has been a far better ex-President than President. And if you have a heart that is still beating, it is very hard not to fall under Michelle Obama’s spell.

In any event, the two couples have tried to exemplify what Politics should be in this country.

For Some, Bush-Obama Rapport Recalls a Lost Virtue: Political Civility

Maybe it was the unexpected warmth of the gesture, the sheer enveloping display of affection.

Maybe it was his response, the beatific expression on his face, eyes almost closed, head tilted toward her shoulder.

Maybe it was the moment: tenderness at a time when presidential politics has become a festival of cruelty.

But when Michelle Obama hugged former President George W. Bush on Saturday, at a ceremony to open the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the image quickly took flight online.

However one chose to interpret it — and overinterpretation is a hazard in such exercises — it became an instant metaphor. Some saw the lost virtue of civility in politics; others, the unlikely friendships that blossom at the rarefied heights of public life. To critics on the left, it was a shameful case of political amnesia by the wife of a president who spent years cleaning up the mess left by his predecessor.

Mrs. Obama and Mr. Bush have had a few such memorable moments. In July in Dallas at a memorial service for five police officers killed by an Army veteran, the two held hands while singing “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” When Mr. Bush began swaying to the music, Mrs. Obama gamely let him swing her arm back and forth. At one point, as the choir sang “glory, glory hallelujah,” he turned to her in a burst of enthusiasm, causing the first lady to crack up, despite the solemnity of the occasion.

In June 2012, when Mr. Bush returned to the White House for the unveiling of his official portrait, he aimed a few wisecracks at President Obama. But he saved his best material for Mrs. Obama, reminding her that when British soldiers set fire to the White House in 1814, another first lady, Dolley Madison, rescued the portrait of the first George W. — as in Washington.

“Now, Michelle,” he said, gesturing to his own painting, “if anything happens, there’s your man.”

Some of these encounters are explained by proximity. When the Obamas and the Bushes appear in public together, protocol dictates that Mrs. Obama stand next to Mr. Bush. Some of it is a function of the former president’s playful manner, which by all accounts has become more playful in his retirement.

But some of it also has to do with the relationship between the couples, which current and former officials say has deepened over the past seven and a half years, both because of the shared bond of living in the White House and because of Mr. Bush’s decorum as an ex-president.

 

 
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Posted by on September 26, 2016 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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Getting Ready to Open a Can of Whooop-A***

 
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Posted by on September 7, 2016 in Giant Negros

 

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Drugbo Alert! Lesbian Farmers Invading the Homeland!

Just when you though the deranged right couldn’t get any more insane. Rush (AKA Drugbo) Limbaugh is trying to save his rapidly falling career as “Chief bloviate of the radio right” by claiming knowledge of a secret plan by the Obama Administration to invade the “Red Zone” with (gasp!)…

“Lesbian Farmers”.

Having just moved to such a rural area a few months ago I find this singularly amazing. In my 20 years of owning a home in this area, I certainly have run into, and in several cases befriended Lesbian couples living in the area – one of whom owns a successful seafood store…But to be honest with you, I haven’t noticed a massive uptick in the number of women shopping together in the local Southern States store. Not to mention it’s a bad health move to ask everyone you see in overalls and a baseball cap about their sexual orientation.

Being a straight male, maybe I’m just not plugged into the scene at the local Farmer’s Market.

And what sexual orientation has to do with a desire to live in the country, or farm for that matter utterly escapes me. Although I am sure the local Trumpazoids being replaced by Lesbians…Makes the farm animals sleep better at night.

A note to Rush Limbaugh: Obama is not building an army of lesbian farmers to take over red America

A note to Rush Limbaugh: Obama is not building an army of lesbian farmers to take over red America

Programs to help rural LGBT people not only help them, but also small American towns

Rush Limbaugh wants his listeners to know that lesbian farmers are coming to get them. Or not them, exactly — most Republicans live in suburban, not rural areas — but the kind of people that his listeners imagine themselves to be. In a recent program, Limbaugh went on a rant about an Obama program that President Barrack Obama supposedly set up to infiltrate rural communities with “lesbian farmers” and destroy them from the inside:

So here comes the Obama Regime with a bunch of federal money and they’re waving it around, and all you gotta do to get it is be a lesbian and want to be a farmer and they’ll set you up. I’m like you; I never before in my life knew that lesbians wanted to be farmers.

I never knew that lesbians wanted to get behind the horse and the plow and start burrowing. I never knew it. But apparently enough money it make it happen, and the objective here is to attack rural states.

The fact that Limbaugh thinks farmers still use a horse and plow speaks volumes about what is going on here. This isn’t about protecting real farmers from anything or even trying to understand how rural Americans actually live. This is about exploiting his suburban audience’s romantic Farmer John fantasies and pretending that this group is somehow under threat from evil lesbian infiltrators.

Other conservative outlets picked up on the same story, which is unsurprising, as this is standard right-wing scare-mongering. Stories about the federal government’s funneling o fmoney through frivolous giveaways to minority groups in an effort to destroy straight, white America is hands down the right-wing media’s favorite form of bullshit since Ronald Reagan popularized the term “welfare queen.”

But as with stories about “Obama phones” and “midnight basketball,” a deeper look shows that these programs are not subversive or frivolous at all but good programs that help revitalize communities.

“We kicked off our #RuralPride campaign really to animate the truism that LGBT people are everywhere,” Kate Kendell, the executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, explained over the phone.

While the right-wing press is trying to frame this story as one of Obama’s bribing LGBT people to move to rural areas, the reality is very different. The lesbian-rights organization partnered with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the True Colors Fund to enter rural communities to connect with the LGBT people who are already there, whether they work directly in agriculture or are part of the small-town communities that exist to support agricultural economies.

“Contrary to myths that the LGBT community lives exclusively in metropolitan areas, members of our community are proudly living, working, raising children, going to school, and making homes for themselves and their families in rural America,”  the one-sheet explainer sent to me by the national lesbian group explained.

“It appeared to be the first time that it occurred to these anti-gay voices that LGBT people already live in rural communities,” Kendell, who was openly amused at the conservative ignorance and hysteria, told me.

The right-wing media would like to promote the idea that these are training camps for queer sleeper cells, but the programming that Kendell described was straightforward and pleasantly mundane: panels of attorneys, activists and federal officials providing education about resources to help improve their lives, find economic stability and escape the isolation that LGBT people can often feel in small communities. Some summits also have anti-bullying programs to help rural LGBT youth.

 

 

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