Friday, August 31, 2012

AAreports interview with Clint Eastwoods chair

By now you have seen Clint Eastwood talking to a chair at the Republican National Convention. Now because he's rich some will say that he's eccentric. Well that's just a nice way of calling someone bat sh** crazy. But enough about Dirty Harry what about that poor chair? How did that poor chair feel sitting out there for 12 whole minutes of it's life that it can't get back? Well I have tracked down that chair and have asked it the tough questions. Read our interview below:

George Cook ( AAreports ): So Chair. Is it okay if I call you that?

Chair: Oh that's fine. That's what I have been called all my life.

George Cook: How are you feeling the day after the speech?

Chair: Confused. I still don't know what the fuc* happened out there but I wish somebody would wash me down with some disinfectant. I feel so dirty.

George Cook: Could it be all of that asses that sit on you that make you feel that way?

Chair: I said dirty not stinky.

George Cook: Fair enough. Take us back to how this tragic event all unfolded for you.

Chair: Not a problem Mr. Cook. I was in the back you know just having people plop their fat asses on me during the night and every once and a while getting lucky and having a nice juicy "phat" a** sit on me....

George Cook: Not to cut you off but did Condelezza Rice sit on you?

Chair: Hey buddy I don't feel and tell. Can I get back to my story? We are here to talk about my traumatic event.

George Cook: Of course we are but I'll ask you again about that off the record.

Chair: As I was saying. I was in the back and then someone ran in and snatched me up and carried me on stage.

George Cook: Did you have any idea what was going on?

Chair: Nope, but you know as a chair you don't ask many questions and you get even fewer answers.

George Cook: What happened next?

Chair: This old white guy comes out and starts talking to me.

George Cook: What was your very first thought?

Chair: That the old dude was off his fu**ing meds.

George Cook: Did you ever actually answer him? Did you tell him to say to Mitt Romney to go fu** yourself?

Chair: I never answered that crazy old man to tell anyone to go do anything.

George Cook: So the media is wrong to attribute that foul language to you?

Chair: Fu**ing hey they are.

George Cook: A question I had was were you paid for your time on stage?

Chair: Hell no they told me some bull sh** about money trickling down to me.

George Cook. That's really horrible. Do you think you will be able to get past this horrible incident?

Chair: I don't know man. I mean the attention from the press and the money I'm making now is helping me sort this out and try to get things back to normal.

George Cook: What media attention have you gotten?

Chair: Fox News has called. They asked me to be a replacement for any segments that would normally go to Sarah Palin. Something about the fact that I work cheaper and give better answers.

George Cook: Are you taking that gig?

Chair: I have to smell sh** all day, I'll be damned if I have to work with it.

George Cook: What's next for Chair?

Chair: I don't have the slightest idea maybe politics. If Todd Akin can get elected why can't I?

George Cook: Well thanks for your time Chair. Please feel free to stop by next time a crazy republican drags you out before a national audience and talks to you.

Chair: Will do Mr. Cook. Thanks for having me.

Well that's my exclusive hard hitting journalistic interview with Chair. I hope all of your questions were answered. George Cook

Blacks spend millions on hair care but missing out on profits from it.

Blacks missing profits on hair [ SOURCE ]


Whether it is fried, dyed and laid or laid to the side; braided or loose; kinky, curly or straight; and even glued, sewn or bobby pinned, one’s hair is essential to every look. According to the Black Owned Beauty Supply Association, the Black hair care & cosmetic industry is a $9 billion industry and it serves millions of African-Americans.

But while African-Americans are spending most of the money in the industry, especially in regards to extensions, they are profiting the least. Most of the money being made in the industry is going to other ethnicities, the Koreans mainly.

“It is very hard breaking into the (hair) industry, being a Black owned business,” said Nora Johnson, an owner of Sisters Beauty Supply, Downtown. “They (Koreans) own it because they have the money. It takes a lot of money and a customer base to keep it going.”

In the Pittsburgh and surrounding area there are approximately four Black owned beauty supply stores, such as Sisters Beauty Supply, Quik-It Beauty Supply Outlet, Nebby Beauty Supply and newly, Annette’s Beauty Supply, but almost twice as many are owned by Koreans, the largest being Hair Day in South Side, Two Cousins in the Hill District and Hair Masters in East Liberty.

While they all sell hair care products and accessories, it is the hair (wigs, weaves, etc.) that are the moneymakers.

Bernard White, owner of Nebby Beauty Supply in Oakland, said, “Most products are able to be ordered easily, but there is not a large profit margin to be made. Hair is where the margin is. You can make $3,000-$5,000 a day on hair sales alone.” He added, “It is not really a hard industry to get into, it is getting hair that is the problem. It is a cold business in terms of the hair game. The Koreans have this industry on lock.”

Both Johnson and White agreed that getting hair is a huge hurdle, because the distributors are Korean and most times they will only sell to other Koreans.

White said, “I have to buy hair through exchange. It is rough, but if I don’t increase my hair game, I won’t be in business next year. It is a cold business in terms of the hair game.”

Johnson said that some Korean distributors say they will not sell to stores within so many miles from their other clients, but when she tried to have hair sent to her Aliquippa location, which has no other beauty supply stores, they still would not let her purchase it. She said one distributor also told her the hair she wanted was no longer being sold, but when she went to a local Korean beauty supply store, that same hair was there. When she inquired about it she was told that a local store had told the distributor that if he sold to her, he would no longer buy from him.

She said she agrees with location rules, “but there needs to be regulations. One Korean store should not be able to dictate the entire industry in one area.” In order for Johnson to get hair for her shops, she explained that she has to have it delivered to other cities and then have it shipped here.

Every year there are several major hair shows and conferences all over the country, such as the Bronner Bros. Beauty Show, the International Hair & Nail Show and more, that cater to the African-American consumer. Johnson said she has attended several national conferences in regards to the Black hair industry and Koreans run a majority of them and the workshops are conducted in the Korean language, even the ones on how to sell to the Black consumer.

Well what resources are there out there for Black owned beauty suppliers, one may ask? Well, the Black Owned Beauty Supply Association, which is supposed to be one of the resources for Black owned beauty suppliers, advertises that it’s a premier national organization that provides African-Americans the platform to demonstrate competitive leadership in the $9 billion Black hair care and cosmetic industry nationwide and nationally. However when trying to contact them to find out what help they give suppliers, the website advertised a number that was disconnected and they never returned emails. When asked about the association, White said, “it is a joke” and Johnson said she has never contacted them, but heard they were not a reliable resource.

Johnson said that not only is hair hard to get, but so are certain hair product lines that cater to women with natural hair or chemically treated hair. She said she has been trying to get a certain brand in her store for years, but they refuse to let her carry it.

White said the same thing, he said he has tried to get certain popular Black hair care lines but they will not let him carry it either because he is too close to one of their major distributors or they want him to buy thousands of dollars in product, which is unrealistic for his store’s size.

Some of the top Black owned hair care companies are Dudley Beauty Corp., Carol’s Daughter, Luster Inc., and Kimba Hair Care.

Jada Robinson, said she spends more than $100 a month on hair and said she prefers to get her hair products at the salon because, “I feel that there is a large mark up on products at the hair places that are not owned by Black people. Since there is a huge demand and Black people will always care about their appearance and getting their ‘Hair Did’ (then) they can continue to charge a lot.”

While many would prefer to shop at beauty supply stores, some feel that they only cater to their customers buying hair and not maintaining their own. “Beauty supply stores certainly don’t cater to them. But, there’s no need to because natural hair, by definition, should require very few products to take care of it,” said Dana Gary Pathare. “What I would like to see is for Black owned beauty supply stores or beauty supply stores in general, to focus on healthy hair care products and practices. Instead of pushing weave and wigs on every customer.” She added that she would like to see more demonstrations for natural hair and that she would always prefer to support a Black business.

When it comes to having experts in their store, Johnson said she has one and White said one of his goals is to hire a natural hair expert for his store, someone who can give tips and recommendations on products. But while getting products can be difficult, so can support. White said Koreans succeed in the industry because they support each other, but the Black community does not. “They (Koreans) have the relationships and work within, we laugh at them when they are living together, then they break through and have four stores in our community. But we won’t help each other out. It is a culture thing.” He said that none of the other Black owned beauty supply stores work together to pull their resources.

Johnson agreed that there is a lack of togetherness and said sometimes, “We are our own obstacles. If Black people stuck together we could make an impact. The competition shouldn’t be among ourselves.”

They both agreed that there is a loyalty amongst the Black community when it comes to shopping at Asian owned stores and working for them. “They do not treat them right, but they continue to go back,” White said.

White said the solution to bringing the Black hair industry profits back to the community is by working together. “We (suppliers) need to form an alliance amongst ourselves and find a way to bring our customers to our stores. We can help each other out. We can sit down together and compose our tools. There’s enough business around here for everyone,” White said.

A win for Obama Campaign: Judge restores 3 early voting days in Ohio

A federal judge in Ohio on Friday granted a request from President Barack Obama's campaign to give all voters in the swing state the option of casting their ballot in person during the three days before Election Day.

U.S. District Judge Peter Economus in Columbus issued a preliminary injunction in the case involving state law that cuts off early voting for most residents on the Friday evening before a Tuesday election. The law makes an exception for military personnel and Ohio voters living overseas.

Economus concluded that the law was unconstitutional in changing the in-person early voting deadline and that the state was wrongly valuing certain votes above others.

Attorney General Mike DeWine quickly announced he would appeal the decision.

The judge's ruling said he expects Ohio's elections chief, Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted, to direct all county elections boards to maintain a specific, consistent schedule on those three days "in keeping with his earlier directive that only by doing so can he ensure that Ohio's election process is 'uniform, accessible for all, fair, and secure.'"

Read more:

Judge restores 3 early voting days in Ohio

Thursday, August 30, 2012

CNN Camerawoman "Not Surprised" by Peanut-Throwing at Republican National Convention

[ SOURCE ] Patricia Carroll, the CNN camerawoman who was assaulted with peanuts and called an animal by two attendees at the Republican National Convention, told Journal-isms on Thursday that "I hate that it happened, but I'm not surprised at all."

Carroll, who agreed to be named for the first time, said she does not want her situation to be used for political advantage. "This situation could happen to me at the Democratic convention or standing on the street corner. Racism is a global issue," she said by telephone from Tampa.

Carroll said no one took the names of the attendees who threw peanuts at her Tuesday on the convention floor and told her, "This is what we feed animals." She alerted fellow camera operators, producers and CNN security. The head of the delegation — she was not certain of the state — told her the perpetrators must have been alternates, not delegates.

But Carroll, 34, said that as an Alabama native, she was not surprised. "This is Florida, and I'm from the Deep South," she said. "You come to places like this, you can count the black people on your hand. They see us doing things they don't think I should do."

Carroll noted of the Republican convention, "There are not that many black women there."

She said she wanted to thank CNN, which "has been behind me 100 percent." Although she was stationed on the floor next to Fox News, she was not operating the camera at the time. The perpetrators "didn't know what I was doing. I happened to be standing there," near one of the delegations.

"I can't change these people's hearts and minds," Carroll added. "No, it doesn't feel good. But I know who I am. I'm a proud black woman. A lot of black people are upset. This should be a wake-up call to black people. . . . People were living in euphoria for a while. People think we're gone further than we have."

Carroll said she had received many requests for interviews and was in meetings most of Wednesday. "I was hoping this story would go away," she said. "I'm not interested in talking to any other media about this."

Federal court strikes down Texas voter ID law

A federal appeals court in Washington Thursday struck down the Texas voter ID law requiring photos for voters at the polls, calling it racially discriminatory.

The decision is a major victory for the Obama administration and its Democratic allies, which had challenged the law.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott promptly announced the state will appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court.

Republican Gov. Rick Perry signed the voter ID measure into law last year, but it had yet not gone into effect because the federal Voting Rights Act requires changes in Texas voting laws to be pre-cleared by the U.S. Justice Department.

Attorney General Eric Holder denied the pre-clearance of the measure in March, concluding that Texas failed to show the law will not have "the effect of denying or abridging the right to vote on account of race."

The three-judge panel agreed.

Read more here Federal court strikes down Texas voter ID law

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Juan Williams calls Ann Romney a "corporate wife"

Because I like to watch actual news I avoid Fox News. So you can imagine my surprise after hearing Juan ( your days at Fox are numbered ) Williams comments after Ann Romney's speech at the Republican National Convention. Juan Williams referred to Ann Romney as a corporate wife. Listen to his comments below:

Black CNN employee racially taunted at Republican National Convention

[ SOURCE ] An African American employee of cable news channel CNN was racially taunted during the Republican National Convention.

An attendee of the convention threw peanuts at the CNN employee and shouted, "this is how we feed the animals."

CNN put on this statement.

"CNN can confirm there was an incident directed at an employee inside the Tampa Bay Times Forum earlier this afternoon," the statement read. "CNN worked with convention officials to address this matter and will have no further comment."

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Mia Love: Speech at the Republican National Convention

Here is the speech of Saratoga Springs Utah Mayor Mia Love a Mormon and congressional candidate who is also a black republican at the Republican national Convention.

1 year later MLK Memorial inscription still not changed

[ SOURCE ] A year after the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial opened to visitors in Washington, the group behind the monument is still working with the National Park Service to change an inscription quoting the civil rights leader.

Harry Johnson, president of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Foundation, told The Associated Press on Tuesday the work will wait until after the height of the summer tourist season. Then the memorial’s sculptor and stone carver will return in September or October to change the words carved in the central “Stone of Hope.”

The inscription is being changed after critics, including the poet Maya Angelou, complained it didn’t accurately reflect King’s words. It reads: “I was a drum major for justice, peace and righteousness.”
The full quotation reads: “Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice. Say that I was a drum major for peace. I was a drum major for righteousness. And all of the other shallow things will not matter.”

Harry Johnson, president of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Foundation, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the work to change the inscription will wait until after the height of the summer tourist season. Then the $120 million memorial’s original sculptor and stone carver will return likely in September or October to change the words carved in the central “Stone of Hope.”

Miners Allege They Had To Give Up Pay To Attend 'Mandatory' Romney Rally

Earlier this month, Mitt Romney was welcomed for a campaign event at the Century Mine in Beallsville, Ohio, by hundreds of coal workers and their families. Now many of the mine's workers are saying they were forced to give up a day-worth of pay to attend the event, and they feared they might be fired if they didn’t, according to local news radio WWVA. Listen to an interview with Rob Moore, Chief Financial Officer of Murray Energy Company, which owns the mine below:

Texas Redistricting: Federal Court Blocks Legislature-Drawn Maps due to discrimination.

[ SOURCE A federal court has found evidence of discrimination in Texas voting maps drawn by the state's Republican-controlled Legislature.

The U.S. District Court in Washington ruled in a lengthy opinion Tuesday that state prosecutors failed to show Texas lawmakers did not draw congressional and state Senate district maps "without discriminatory purposes."

Luis Vera, an attorney for the League of United Latin American Citizens, called the ruling "better late than never" and a win for his and other minority rights groups that sued the state over the maps.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott immediately vowed to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Republican John Boehner hopes African American & Latino voters stay home on Election Day

I'm not one to give Congressman John Boehner credit for much but I will give him credit for his honesty. During a luncheon at the Republican Convention on Monday Boehner admitted that he hopes that African American and Latino voters stay home on election day.

Boehner said:

“This election is about economics,” Boehner said. “These groups have been hit the hardest. They may not show up and vote for our candidate but I’d suggest to you they won’t show up and vote for the president either.” [ SOURCE ]

Gabrielle Douglas Responds to Her Hair Critics - Oprah's Next Chapter

The night Team USA™ won gold, negative comments about gymnast Gabrielle Douglas' hair began to surface on social media. Some Twitter users called her hair "messy," "unkempt" and "hideous." Watch as Gabrielle responds to the hair controversy that became national news. Plus, find out how Oprah says she can relate to Gabrielle's hurt. Watch that segment below:

The truth: President Obama did not waive the work requirement for welfare.

Republicans including Mitt Romney have falsely accused President Obama of gutting the work requirement in welfare. Either they can't read or they didn't read the actual memo from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services( Administration for Children and Families, Office of Family Assistance ).

The actual memo states:

HHS is encouraging states to consider new, more effective ways to meet the goals of TANF, particularly helping parents successfully prepare for, find, and retain employment. Therefore, HHS is issuing this information memorandum to notify states of the Secretary’s willingness to exercise her waiver authority under section 1115 of the Social Security Act to allow states to test alternative and innovative strategies, policies, and procedures that are designed to improve employment outcomes for needy families.

States led the way on welfare reform in the 1990s — testing new approaches and learning what worked and what did not. The Secretary is interested in using her authority to approve waiver demonstrations to challenge states to engage in a new round of innovation that seeks to find more effective mechanisms for helping families succeed in employment. In providing for these demonstrations, HHS will hold states accountable by requiring both a federally-approved evaluation and interim performance targets that ensure an immediate focus on measurable outcomes. States must develop evaluation plans that are sufficient to evaluate the effect of the proposed approach in furthering a TANF purpose as well as interim targets the state commits to achieve. States that fail to meet interim outcome targets will be required to develop an improvement plan and can face termination of the waiver project.

Read the entire memo below:

TANF Banner: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families

Temporary Assistance for
Needy Families
Information Memorandum

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Administration for Children and Families
Office of Family Assistance
Washington, D.C. 20447

Transmittal No. TANF-ACF-IM-2012-03
Date: July 12, 2012

States administering the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program and other interested parties
Guidance concerning waiver and expenditure authority under Section 1115
Section 1115 of the Social Security Act. [42 U.S.C. 1315]; Section 402 of the Social Security Act. [42 U.S.C. 602]
Section 1115 of the Social Security Act provides authority for the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to consider and approve experimental, pilot, or demonstration projects which, in the Secretary’s judgment, are likely to assist in promoting the objectives of Title IV-A.  Section 1115 allows for waiver of compliance with section 402 of the Social Security Act to the extent and for the period necessary to enable a state to carry out an approved project.  The statute also provides authority for costs of such projects which would not otherwise be an allowable use of funds under Part A of Title IV to be regarded as an allowable use of funds, to the extent and for the period approved.
As specified in statute, the purpose of Part A is to increase the flexibility of states in operating a program designed to: (1) provide assistance to needy families so that children may be cared for in their own homes or in the homes of relatives; (2) end the dependence of needy parents on government benefits by promoting job preparation, work, and marriage; (3) prevent and reduce the incidence of out-of-wedlock pregnancies and establish annual numerical goals for preventing and reducing the incidence of these pregnancies; and (4) encourage the formation and maintenance of two-parent families. 
HHS is encouraging states to consider new, more effective ways to meet the goals of TANF, particularly helping parents successfully prepare for, find, and retain employment.  Therefore, HHS is issuing this information memorandum to notify states of the Secretary’s willingness to exercise her waiver authority under section 1115 of the Social Security Act to allow states to test alternative and innovative strategies, policies, and procedures that are designed to improve employment outcomes for needy families.
States led the way on welfare reform in the 1990s — testing new approaches and learning what worked and what did not.  The Secretary is interested in using her authority to approve waiver demonstrations to challenge states to engage in a new round of innovation that seeks to find more effective mechanisms for helping families succeed in employment.   In providing for these demonstrations, HHS will hold states accountable by requiring both a federally-approved evaluation and interim performance targets that ensure an immediate focus on measurable outcomes.  States must develop evaluation plans that are sufficient to evaluate the effect of the proposed approach in furthering a TANF purpose as well as interim targets the state commits to achieve.  States that fail to meet interim outcome targets will be required to develop an improvement plan and can face termination of the waiver project.
The demonstration authority provided by section 1115 and sound evaluation of approved projects will provide valuable knowledge that will help lead to improvements in achieving the purposes of the TANF program.
Scope of Authority
Section 1115 authorizes waivers concerning section 402.  Accordingly, other provisions of the TANF statute are not waivable.  For example, the purposes of TANF are not waivable, because they are contained in section 401.  The prohibitions on assistance are not waivable, because they are contained in section 408. 
While the TANF work participation requirements are contained in section 407, section 402(a)(1)(A)(iii) requires that the state plan “[e]nsure that parents and caretakers receiving assistance under the program engage in work activities in accordance with section 407.”  Thus, HHS has authority to waive compliance with this 402 requirement and authorize a state to test approaches and methods other than those set forth in section 407, including definitions of work activities and engagement, specified limitations, verification procedures, and the calculation of participation rates.  As described below, however, HHS will only consider approving waivers relating to the work participation requirements that make changes intended to lead to more effective means of meeting the work goals of TANF.
Moreover, HHS is committed to ensuring that any demonstration projects approved under this authority will be focused on improving employment outcomes and contributing to the evidence base for effective programs; therefore, terms and conditions will require a federally-approved evaluation plan designed to build our knowledge base.  TANF funds may be used to fund an approved evaluation and state funds spent on an approved evaluation may be considered state maintenance-of-effort (MOE) expenditures.  In addition, terms and conditions will require either interim targets for each performance measure or a strategy for establishing baseline performance on a set of performance measures and a framework for how interim goals will be set after the baseline measures are established.  The terms and conditions will establish consequences for failing to meet interim performance targets including, but not limited to, the implementation of an improvement plan and, if the failure to meet performance targets continues, termination of the waivers and demonstration project.
HHS Priorities
In exercising her broad discretion for waivers, the Secretary is interested in approaches that seek to improve employment outcomes. Accordingly:
  • Waivers will be granted only for provisions related to section 402.
  • The purposes of TANF, the prohibitions contained in section 408 (including the time limits on assistance contained in that section), or any other provision of TANF other than those specified in section 402 will not be waived. 
  • The Secretary will not approve a waiver for an initiative that appears substantially likely to reduce access to assistance or employment for needy families.
  • The Secretary will not use her authority to allow use of TANF funds to provide assistance to individuals or families subject to the TANF prohibitions on assistance.
  • The Secretary will not waive section 402(a)(5) relating to requirements to provide equitable access to Indians. 
  • Waiver demonstration projects may be conducted in limited geographic areas or statewide. The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) is interested in more efficient or effective means to promote employment entry, retention, advancement, or access to jobs that offer opportunities for earnings and advancement that will allow participants to avoid dependence on government benefits.  The following are examples of projects that states may want to consider – these are illustrative only:
    • Projects that improve coordination with other components of the workforce investment system, including programs operated under the Workforce Investment Act, or to test an innovative approach to use performance-based contracts and management in order to improve employment outcomes. 
    • Projects that demonstrate attainment of superior employment outcomes if a state is held accountable for negotiated employment outcomes in lieu of participation rate requirements. 
    • Projects under which a state would count individuals in TANF-subsidized jobs but no longer receiving TANF assistance toward participation rates for a specified period of time in conjunction with an evaluation of the effectiveness of a subsidized jobs strategy.
    • Projects that improve collaboration with the workforce and/or post-secondary education systems to test multi-year career pathways models for TANF recipients that combine learning and work.
    • Projects that demonstrate strategies for more effectively serving individuals with disabilities, along with an alternative approach to measuring participation and outcomes for individuals with disabilities.
    • Projects that test the impact of a comprehensive universal engagement system in lieu of certain participation rate requirements.
    • Projects that test systematically extending the period in which vocational educational training or job search/readiness programs count toward participation rates, either generally or for particular subgroups, such as an extended training period for those pursuing a credential.  The purpose of such a waiver would be to determine through evaluation whether a program that allows for longer periods in certain activities improves employment outcomes.
    Note that this is not a comprehensive list, and HHS will consider other projects consistent with the statute and the guidance provided in this IM. HHS is especially interested in testing approaches that build on existing evidence on successful strategies for improving employment outcomes.
  • Waiver requests must include an evaluation plan.  In order to provide the strongest evidence about the effectiveness of the demonstration, the preferred evaluation approach is a random assignment methodology, unless the Secretary determines that an alternative approach is more appropriate in light of the demonstration proposed.  All evaluation plans and funds to support them must reflect an adequate level of effort and sound methods to produce credible findings.  ACF anticipates actively engaging with states to ensure that evaluation plans are appropriate in light of the nature of the demonstration and that the evaluation findings can reasonably be expected to provide information that will enhance understanding of whether the initiative was successful in furthering HHS priorities.   ACF staff members are available to work collaboratively with states to develop further or refine the evaluation plan.
  • Waiver requests must include a set of performance measures that states will track to monitor ongoing performance and outcomes throughout the length of the demonstration project, along with the evaluation.  Waiver applications must specify interim targets for each performance measure, including a framework for how often the measures will be reported, or a strategy for establishing baseline performance on a set of performance measures and a framework for how interim goals will be set after the baseline measures are established.  Performance measures must be designed to track improvement across the entire set of families targeted as well as appropriate subgroups.  In developing the final terms and conditions for an approved waiver, ACF will work with the state to further refine the appropriate performance measures and interim targets as needed.  All approved waivers will include a provision that requires timely reporting to HHS on the agreed upon performance measures and progress toward meeting established interim targets.  States that fail to meet interim targets will be required to develop improvement plans.  Repeated failure to meet performance benchmarks may lead to the termination of the waiver demonstration pilot.
  • The request must specify the proposed length of time for the demonstration project.  The final terms and conditions will specify the approved length of the project.   Absent special circumstances, the length of an approved project will not exceed five years.
  • A state will need to develop and submit a budget that includes the costs of program evaluation.  TANF and state MOE funds can be used for the costs of evaluation, including third party contributions counting toward meeting a state’s MOE requirement.
  • HHS recognizes the importance of public input into the process of developing and implementing a waiver demonstration project.  Therefore, the state must provide the public with a meaningful opportunity to provide input into the decision-making process prior to the time a proposal is approved by HHS.  Further guidance concerning this requirement will be forthcoming.
  • Waivers are subject to HHS and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval and terms and conditions may include additional requirements, such as site visits, before implementation.  
Terms and conditions will require periodic reporting on how the implementation and operation of the demonstration is progressing, including reporting on the performance measures, in addition to evaluation reports. To support learning and knowledge development, ACF staff may conduct on-site visits to observe demonstration operations and meet with relevant managers and staff.
Inquiries and applications for projects involving waiver requests should be directed to the appropriate Regional TANF Program Manager.

Earl S. Johnson
Office of Family Assistance

July 12, 2012

Dear State Human Service Official:
Today, the Administration for Children and Families’ Office of Family Assistance issued an Information Memorandum that informs states that the Department of Health and Human Services will use its statutory authority to consider waiver requests that strengthen the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.  This Information Memorandum reflects the Department’s commitment to provide states, tribes, and territories with more flexibility to innovate in the TANF program with the goal of helping more families find jobs and move toward self-sufficiency. 
On February 28, 2011, President Obama issued a Presidential Memorandum that directed federal agencies “to work closely with state, local, and tribal governments to identify administrative, regulatory, and legislative barriers in Federally funded programs that currently prevent states, localities, and tribes, from efficiently using tax dollars to achieve the best results for their constituents.”
The Administration for Children and Families took this charge seriously and held a series of consultation meetings with states, tribes, and territories on a variety of topics including TANF.  During those consultations, many jurisdictions expressed a strong interest in greater flexibility in TANF and indicated that greater flexibility could be used by states to improve program effectiveness. We also heard concerns that some TANF rules stifle innovation and focus attention on paperwork rather than helping parents find jobs.  States offered a range of suggestions for ways in which expanded flexibility could lead to more effective employment outcomes for families.  Two states – Utah and Nevada – submitted written comments that specifically identified waivers as one mechanism for testing new approaches to promoting employment and self-sufficiency, and a number of others states – including California, Connecticut, and Minnesota - have asked about the potential for waivers. 
As described in more detail in the Information Memorandum, the Social Security Act provides the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services with the authority to grant states waivers of certain TANF provisions for the purpose of testing new approaches to meeting the goals of the TANF statute.  The Secretary is interested in using her authority to allow states to test alternative and innovative strategies, policies, and procedures that are designed to improve employment outcomes for needy families.  The statute does not permit tribes to receive waivers under Section 1115, however we are committed to using the underlying flexibility in federal law to help tribes innovate in their programs.
TANF Waiver demonstration projects under Section 1115 must be accompanied by a high quality evaluation plan, which is critical to ensuring that the pilots result in rigorous evidence about what works and what doesn’t in order to inform future decisions made by policymakers at the federal, state, tribal, territorial, and local levels.  In addition, states that apply for a waiver must identify interim performance targets that will be used to hold states accountable for improving outcomes for families.  We will work with states interested in developing waiver demonstration projects to design these performance measures and targets.
The Information Memorandum outlines the types of waivers that will and will not be considered.  The Secretary is only interested in approving waivers if the state can explain in a compelling fashion why the proposed approach may be a more efficient or effective means to promote employment entry, retention, advancement, or access to jobs that offer opportunities for earnings and advancement that will allow participants to avoid dependence on government benefits. 
States have shown their ability to innovate in ways that help parents find jobs.  In 2009 and 2010, 42 states used the TANF Emergency Fund authorized under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to create 260,000 subsidized jobs for jobless parents and disadvantaged youth.  Over a short period of time, states exhibited enormous creativity as they developed new subsidized employment initiatives that responded to an urgent need for jobs in communities across the country. 
It is critical that we work together to develop effective employment strategies that prepare workers for the jobs of the 21st century.  We stand ready to work with states interested in developing innovative demonstration projects that test new approaches to helping parents succeed in the labor market.

George Sheldon
Acting Assistant Secretary


Sunday, August 26, 2012

Michelle Howard Becomes First Black Woman To Earn Three-Star-Rank

[ SOURCE ] The Navy says a Virginia-based sailor has become the first black woman to earn a three-star-rank in the U.S. armed forces.
Vice Adm. Michelle Janine Howard was promoted to deputy commander of U.S. Fleet Forces command in Norfolk on Friday.
Howard has a record of setting historic milestones.
Howard was also the first black woman to command a U.S. Navy warship, the first female graduate of the Naval Academy to achieve the rank of rear admiral and the first black woman to command an expeditionary strike group at sea.
Her last assignment was serving as chief of staff to the director for strategic plans and policy for the Joint Staff at the Pentagon. Her hometown is Aurora, Colo.

Black women least likely group to commit suicide

Although rates of suicide are significantly lower among African Americans than among other ethnic groups, suicide still poses a major problem for the culture at large. Some experts believe that the low rates of suicide do not accurately reflect suicidal ideation among African Americans because many members of African-American communities perceive disclosure as a sign of weakness. The stigma that is associated with mental health problems may be disguising the real number of African Americans at risk for suicide. Research on suicide has been focused in many directions to assess the contributing factors. One area of research that has not been examined fully is the relationship between suicide and reasons for living among African-American women.

Read more here New study finds black women less likely to commit suicide

Thought Provoking Book by an Afro-American for Afro-Americans Unveiled

Rev. Dr. John Wesley Hardy encourages the entire African-American population to exercise their right of suffrage and eventually bask in the glory of their freedom

In 1619, twenty Africans were forcefully brought to the United States of America, landing in Jamestown, Virginia. In 1661, Virginia voted on and recognized slavery (mostly with Africans) as legal. Four centuries later, the highest percentage of African Americans voted for the first time in America for a “black man” to become the president of the United States of America. Rev. Dr. John Wesley Hardy further encourages the entire African-American population to exercise their right of suffrage and eventually bask in the glory of their freedom in POSITIVITY OF A PEOPLE.

This thought-provoking piece aims to enlighten African Americans and the rest of humankind of God's power and love despite their struggles and extreme negative treatment previously with slavery. POSITIVITY OF A PEOPLE contains information on the voting process and communication practices primarily affecting African Americans in the United States of America. It differs from a high percentage of books written about the group as an African American is actually writing the piece himself.

“Through a positive voting and communication process for all African Americans and Americans, we can make a greater America,” Hardy explained. “The ultimate goal of this book is to encourage all African Americans and all humankind in America to vote, vote, vote in all elections, especially in 2012 and beyond.”

Rev. Dr. John Wesley Hardy is obviously a prescient observer and erudite thinker. This is primarily evident in between the pages of POSITIVITY OF A PEOPLE. African-Americans and all humankind will greatly benefit from Hardy’s words if they shall heed his advice.

For more information on this book, interested parties may log on to

About the Author

Rev. Dr. John Wesley Hardy, DMin, MPA, B.S. is a 77-year-old African-American pastor of Inner Peace Church Foundation in Montgomery Village, Maryland. He was called to the Ministry at the tender age of 72 believing that he needed more knowledge about Our Creator. He immediately enrolled in an online doctoral program in ministry, and completed his degree at 74. Previously, he retired from the United States Food and Drug Administration as Deputy Director of The Division of Field Sciences after 34 years of service. Hardy has always been interested in the God-given rights for humankind.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Voter ID supported most by those with negative attitudes toward African Americans

A new National Agenda Opinion Poll by the University of Delaware’s Center for Political Communication reveals support for voter identification laws is strongest among Americans who harbor negative sentiments toward African Americans.

Voter ID laws require individuals to show government issued identification when they vote. The survey findings support recent comments by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who portrayed a Texas photo ID law now being challenged as similar to poll taxes used in the Jim Crow era, primarily by Southern states, to block African Americans from voting. Holder pledged to oppose “political pretexts” which, he said, “disenfranchise” black voters.

The national telephone survey of 906 Americans was conducted by the University of Delaware’s Center for Political Communication from May 20-June 6, 2012. Research faculty David C. Wilson and Paul Brewer supervised the study, as states and the federal government confront the voter ID issue.

To assess attitudes toward African Americans, all non-African Americans respondents in the poll were asked a series of questions (see Appendix). Responses to these questions were combined to form a measure of “racial resentment.” Researchers found that support for voter ID laws is highest among those with the highest levels of “racial resentment”

Brewer, the center’s associate director for research, said, “These findings suggest that Americans’ attitudes about race play an important role in driving their views on voter ID laws.”

Read more: National Survey Shows Support for Voter ID Laws Strongest Among Those with Negative Attitudes Toward African Americans

Obama Campaign: Americas doesn't need a "birther" and chief.

President Obama's campaign has answered quickly to Mitt Romney's birther jab early Friday. Check out their reply below:

Friday, August 24, 2012

Pentagon denounces politics of attack ad against President Obama

[ SOURCE ] The US military is pushing back against the campaign of a group of former Special Operations Forces officers who have spoken out against President Obama in what some have described as a latter-day “Swift Boat” campaign.

The group in question is the Special Operations OPSEC Education Fund Inc. (OPSEC is short for operational security). It has criticized the White House for what it says were dangerous leaks of the raid that killed terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden.

Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, responded to the film, warning that using the uniform for partisan politics erodes the trust that people have in their military.

“One of the things that marks us as a profession in a democracy is, it’s most important we remain apolitical,” he said Wednesday. “That’s how we maintain our trust with the American people. The American people don’t want us to become another special-interest group. In fact, I think that confuses them.”

Dempsey rejected the actions of such groups as OPSEC, regardless of whether its members are retired or on active duty. “If someone uses the uniform for partisan politics, I’m disappointed in that,” he said.

Some Special Operations Forces officers have had similar responses. For special operators to take part in political campaigns is “in violation of everything we’ve been taught, and the opposite of what we should be doing, which is being quiet professionals,” Army Special Forces Maj. Fernando Luj├ín told the Associated Press.

Adm. William McRaven, head of Special Operations Command, which planned the raid, took on such criticisms in an interview last month with CNN, noting the great risks involved in the operation.

“At the end of the day – make no mistake about it – it was the president of the United States that shouldered the burden for this operation, that made the hard decisions, that was instrumental in the planning process,” he said, “because I pitched every plan to him.”

Cory Booker to speak at Democratic National Convention

Newark Mayor Cory Booker will speak at the Democratic National Convention next month in Charlotte, N.C., President Obama’s campaign announced late Thursday night.

Booker, one of a dozen speakers the Obama campaign announced, will present the party platform to convention delegates on Sept. 4. He will be joined by Retired Army Lt. General Claudia Kennedy and Rep. Barbara Lee of California.

Read more Cory Booker selected to present party platform at Democratic National Convention

Thursday, August 23, 2012

You can now donate to President Obama's re-election campaign by texting.

So you want to donate to President Obama's campaign but you can only donate a little. Well now you can donate small amounts all the way up to $50 by text.

If you wish to donate via text message text “GIVE” to 62262. The service is available this week for users of Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile and U.S. Cellular. AT&T customers will be able to text donations in the near future.

The most you can donate is $50 and donors will be charged via cellphone bill.

HBCU Morris Brown facing forclosure.

For more than a decade, Morris Brown College has clung to life as it struggled academically and financially in the face of growing debt and dwindling support.

Now, one of the country's oldest black colleges, which at times boasted an enrollment of more than 3,000 student, is now down to about 50, and all but dead.

Morris Brown is facing foreclosure next month, after investors called $13 million worth of bonds tied to the college. An auction of assets, including the administration building, is scheduled for Sept. 4.

Read more With foreclosure looming Morris Brown College on the brink

New NBC/WSJ poll shows zero percent support for Romney among African Americans

[ SOURCE ] A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released on Tuesday shows President Barack Obama holding a four point lead over Republican challenger Mitt Romney. But among African Americans, the poll shows an even stronger lead for Obama, as First Read reports:
Looking inside the numbers, Obama continues to lead Romney among key parts of his political base, including African Americans (94 percent to 0 percent), Latinos (by a 2-to-1 margin), voters under 35-years-old (52 percent to 41 percent) and women (51 percent to 41 percent).
That's right: according to this poll, Romney has zero percent support among African Americans.
"The numbers came from a statistically significant sample of more than 100 African-American voters out of 1,000 total voters in the poll," NBC News senior political editor Mark Murray told Lean Forward. "Given the sample size of these African-American respondents, the margin of error is well within the 95 percent-5 percent split with which Obama won this group in 2008. "
In other words, none of the roughly 110 black respondents to this poll said they would support Romney. The poll should not be taken to mean that Romney has no African American supporters at all.  However, at the very most, he has far fewer than Obama.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Listen to excerpt of newly found Martin Luther King Jr audio tape

An audio tape of a previously unpublished interview with Martin Luther King Jr has emerged, in which King calls the movement "one of the greatest epics of our heritage." Listen to an excerpt of that audio below:

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Memphis mom charged for beating alleged molester coach with a baseball bat

Lakeshia Richmond says that her son told her that his little league football coach had touched him inappropriately. So what does she do? She gets a baseball bat and goes to work on the alleged molesters ass. Watch video on this story below:

Pamela Graddick Is Missing!


Pamela Graddick from the Bronx last seen on Saturday Aug 11, 2012 in the vicinity of 149th and Grand Concourse leaving Target wearing a blue v-neck t-shirt, blue jeans and dark blue converse.

Monday, August 20, 2012

George Hickman, original Tuskegee airman dies

[ SOURCE ] George Hickman, one of the original Tuskegee airmen and a longtime usher at University of Washington and Seahawks football games, has died.

Hickman’s wife confirmed Monday that he died Sunday morning in Seattle.

Hickman was one of the country’s first black military pilots who fought in World War II. In 2007, he received the Congressional Gold Medal – the country’s highest civilian honor.

He was 88 years old.

President Obama responds to Akins rape comments: Rape is rape

President Obama weighed in on the national storm surrounding by Rep. Todd Akin, calling his comments "offensive." and by saying that "rape is rape. Watch him make his comments below:

Sunday, August 19, 2012

For Minority College Students, STEM Degrees Pay Big

Minority college students who major in the STEM fields – science, technology, engineering and math – earn at least 25 percent more than their peers who study humanities or education, according to the results of a new study.

And those who took jobs related to their STEM degrees earned at least 50 percent more than their classmates who majored in humanities or education fields.

Published in the June issue of Research in Higher Education, the study followed more than 1,000 Asian and Pacific Islander, Latino and black students over nine years. The students were scholarship applicants for the Gates Millennium Scholars Program funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which awards grants to highly motivated, low-income minority students.

While minority groups continue to be underrepresented in the STEM fields, the study’s researchers believe this will change if students understand how much more money can be earned in those fields.

Read more For Minority College Students, STEM Degrees Pay Big