“I love Michelle Obama,” the president said at the start of brief remarks at a candlelight reception at the National Building Museum on Sunday. “And to address the most significant event of this weekend: I love her bangs.”
A new study of health records from California found the rate of children diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) rose dramatically between 2001 and 2010. The study found white children from high-income homes are most likely to be diagnosed with ADHD but it also found a spike in new diagnosis amongst black girls.
The Kaiser Permanente study published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics found there was a 90 percent increase in the diagnosis of ADHD among non-Hispanic black girls during the same nine-year period.
The study examined the electronic health records of nearly 850,000 ethnically diverse children, aged 5 to 11 years, who received care at Kaiser Permanente Southern California between 2001 and 2010. It found that among these children, 4.9 percent, or 39,200, had a diagnosis of ADHD, with white and black children more likely to be diagnosed with the neurobehavioral disorder than Hispanics and Asian/Pacific Islander children. For instance, in 2010, 5.6 percent of white children in the study had an ADHD diagnosis; 4.1 percent of blacks; 2.5 percent of Hispanics; and 1.2 percent of Asian/Pacific Islanders.
The study also examined increases in the rates of first-time ADHD diagnosis. Researchers found that the incidence of newly diagnosed ADHD cases rose from 2.5 percent in 2001 to 3.1 percent in 2010 — a relative increase of 24 percent. Black children showed the greatest increase in ADHD incidence, from 2.6 percent of all black children 5 to 11 years of age in 2001 to 4.1 percent in 2010, a 70 percent relative increase. Rates among Hispanic children showed a 60 percent relative increase, from 1.7 percent in 2001 to 2.5 percent in 2010. White children showed a 30 percent relative increase, from 4.7 percent in 2001 to 5.6 percent in 2010, while rates for Asian/Pacific Islander children and other racial groups remained unchanged over time.
“While the reasons for increasing ADHD rates are not well understood, contributing factors may include heightened awareness of ADHD among parents and physicians, which could have led to increased screening and treatment,” said study lead author Darios Getahun , MD, PhD, from Kaiser Permanente Southern California’s Department of Research & Evaluation.. “This variability may indicate the need for different allocation of resources for ADHD prevention programs, and may point to new risk factors or inequalities in care.”
It’s important to note this study only analyzed Kaiser Permenante patients.
“I’m concerned that this paper will raise concerns that are not justified,” Benjamin Lahey, a psychologist at the University of Chicago told USA Today. Lahey was on a scientific panel in the 1990s that helped develop the current definition of ADHD and questions the study’s methods and validity.
“It certainly should not lead to the conclusion that there’s an increase in the prevalence of ADHD in the United States,” Lahey said.
The Weinstein Company is wrapping up a deal to acquire “Fruitvale,” a drama based film based on Oscar Grant’s last days. Grant’s murder made national headlines in January 2009 after cell phone video surfaced showing a BART police officer shooting him while he was laying on the ground.
The film was written and directed by 26 year-old USC grad Ryan Coogler and stars Michael B. Jordan, Octavia Spencer, Tristan Wilds and Melonie Diaz. The film was produced by Forest Whitaker.
The Weinstein Company is wrapping up a deal to acquire “Fruitvale,” a drama based on a tragic true story that was written and directed by 26 year-old USC grad Ryan Coogler.
Deal is worth between $2 million and $3 million and guarantees a sizable theatrical release, according to sources familiar with the negotiations.
And what distribution companies are in the mix? The biggies, like The Weinstein Company, Fox Searchlight, with Paramount Pictures and Focus Features.
In fact, word from Deadline is that buyers are calling it this year’s Precious or Beast Of The Southern Wild, as in the little indie film that goes on to capture audiences and critical acclaim, as it travels throughout the year.
After reciting the official oath of office on Sunday, Obama was first congratulated by the Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., who said “Congratulations, Mr. President.”
The President went on to hug the First Lady and Malia Obama but it was the youngest daughter Sasha who followed up with her own version of a congratulatory note.
After giving Dad a “Good job!” she added a reminder of his flubbed words four years ago. “You didn’t mess up,” Sasha went on to say, teasing the commander in chief.
At a “Poverty in America” forum held last week, Princeton professor Cornel West said he was “upset” after learning that President Barack Obama would be sworn in using Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Bible.
“When I got the news that my dear brother Barack Obama—President Obama—was going to put his precious hands on Martin Luther King’s Bible I got upset,” West said.
THE PRESIDENT: Vice President Biden, Mr. Chief Justice, members of the United States Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow citizens:
Each time we gather to inaugurate a President we bear witness to the enduring strength of our Constitution. We affirm the promise of our democracy. We recall that what binds this nation together is not the colors of our skin or the tenets of our faith or the origins of our names. What makes us exceptional — what makes us American — is our allegiance to an idea articulated in a declaration made more than two centuries ago: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
Today we continue a never-ending journey to bridge the meaning of those words with the realities of our time. For history tells us that while these truths may be self-evident, they’ve never been self-executing; that while freedom is a gift from God, it must be secured by His people here on Earth. (Applause.) The patriots of 1776 did not fight to replace the tyranny of a king with the privileges of a few or the rule of a mob. They gave to us a republic, a government of, and by, and for the people, entrusting each generation to keep safe our founding creed.
And for more than two hundred years, we have.
Through blood drawn by lash and blood drawn by sword, we learned that no union founded on the principles of liberty and equality could survive half-slave and half-free. We made ourselves anew, and vowed to move forward together.
Together, we determined that a modern economy requires railroads and highways to speed travel and commerce, schools and colleges to train our workers.
Together, we discovered that a free market only thrives when there are rules to ensure competition and fair play.
One of the 2012 election surprises was the impressive support President Obama got from Asian-American voters—despite being widely ignored by both parties. A widely circulated CNN exit poll pegged Asian American support for Obama in 2012 at 72 percent. But new poll numbers suggest Asian American support for Obama is even stronger than that, and likely just as misunderstood.
Seventy-seven percent of Asian Americans voted for Obama in 2012, according to new findings released by the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund on Thursday. AALDEF conducted a multilingual exit poll on Election Day in 14 states. But in the biggest surprise, a whopping 96 percent of Bangladeshi voters backed Obama, according to AALDEF. That number is higher even than the 93 percent of black voters who voted for Obama in this election. Ninety-one percent of Pakistani voters voted for Obama, as did 84 percent of Asian Indian voters, 81 percent of Chinese, 78 percent of Korean and 65 percent of Filipino voters.
But Obama didn’t get so much love from all Asian groups. More than half of Vietnamese voters—54 percent—backed Republican candidate Mitt Romney, still less than the nearly 60 percent of white voters who voted for Romney. But the Vietnamese community, not unlike Cuban-Americans in the Latino community, tend to vote more conservatively than other Asian Americans.
“Asian Americans are a diverse community with varying social, political, and economic backgrounds,” said AALDEF Executive Director Margaret Fung. What’s more, understanding Asian Americans is of particular relevance to the country. While they’re but 4 percent of the U.S. population, Asian Americans are the fastest-growing racial group in the country.
The overwhelming majority of 2012 voters strongly support the passage of a comprehensive immigration reform bill that includes a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. According to a new bi-partisan poll released today, voters across racial, geographic and, perhaps most significantly, partisan lines, want Congress to pass an immigration bill.
The poll asked just over 1000 recent voters to weigh in on an immigration reform bill this year and 73 percent of respondents said they support a path to citizenship. Just one in five respondents said they undocumented immigrants should be forced to leave the country.
The poll adds new weight to a push for immigration reform that’s already gained significant momentum in Washington and sends a message to wary Republicans that their constituents support action. In the past, many conservatives on the fence about immigration have decided not to support reform because of fears that they could put off primary voters. Advocates said today that the poll—conducted by Democratic Hart Research Associates and Republican Public Opinion Strategies—would help put these fears to rest.
The poll shows broad support for “rational immigration policy that serves the interests of every American and their family…. Reform that ensures our security and respects the rule of law,” said Jeb Bush Jr., the son of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Sr., and a board member for National Immigration Forum, which co-sponsored today’s press conference along with SEIU and America’s Voice.
Over half of those polled said they would be more likely to vote for a Congressperson who supported immigration from. Only 8 percent said an elected official’s support for immigration reform would drive them to vote against a candidate.
“We have firmly believed that fixing the broken immigration system is not just a Latino or immigration priority but in fact it is a priority for the American people,” said Eliseo Medina, secretary-treasurer at the Service Employees International Union. “The poll tests that theory…. I am absolutely amazed by the level of bi-partisan support.”
For most of the last decade, many Republicans have demanded that before adding their support to an immigration bill, the government must first bolster border and interior immigration enforcement. Poll respondents pushed back against this two step approach, saying clearly that they support immigration reform that creates a path to citizenship along side changes in enforcement practices. Half of Republican respondents said a path citizenship should be coupled with immigration enforcement in the same bill.
Most respondents said that an immigration reform package that creates a path to citizenship should require that undocumented immigrants pay taxes owed and that employers should be forced to check immigration status of those they hire. Two thirds of respondents also said an immigration reform bill should prevent employers from lowering wages by hiring workers. Over half of respondents said immigration policy should reunify separated families.
In the past, Republican lawmakers have proposed reforms that provide a route to residency that does not end in citizenship. But only a third of those polled said they would prioritize an immigration bill without a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
Washington lawmakers from left to right have promised immigration reform this year, and the president reiterated in recent weeks that the issue is at the top of his agenda. But adviocates are nonetheless clear that there remains work to be done.
“We will continue to build support throughout the country and keep reaching out to all sectors of society,” Medina said. “We believe the time is now, and we look forward to getting it done.”
The Voting Wars across America seem lately to be two steps forward, one step back. In Florida, where long lines, blocked voters, robocalls with misinformation and elderly voters denied water reinforced the state’s electoral notoriety last November, Gov. Rick Scott appears to have seen the light. Earlier this week he endorsed a number of electoral reforms, most notably expanding early voting, including the Sunday before Election Day.
In 2011, Scott signed into law HB 1355, which was engineered by a Republican lobbyist and passed purely by Republican state legislators that shrank the early voting period from 14 days to 8 and stripped away the Sunday before Election Day, which was the day that black churches banded together for “Souls to the Polls” to increase voter turnout. I reported on the ugly results of that during election season.
“We are encouraged Gov. Scott is finally joining Mi Familia Vota, Florida New Majority, Florida Immigrant Coalition, Advancement Project and many others in advocating for the expansion of early voting and early voting sites,” said Judith Browne-Dianis, co-director of the civil rights nonprofit Advancement Project. “Gov. Scott’s actions today are an important step but more work remains. While the governor has taken a step forward, his actions are a floor and not a ceiling for the work that must be done to guarantee full access to the franchise and truly restore democracy in Florida.”
Writer and director Kyle Patrick Alvarez will premiere his second feature film at the Sundance Film Festival this coming Saturday. The Cuban-American director’s latest film “C.O.G.” is the first movie ever produced based on a David Sedaris essay, with his permission.
Hollywood had been knocking on Sedaris’s door for years, and he’d always turned suitors away. But Alvarez, whose promising first film, Easier with Practice, was based on a 2006 GQ article by another public-radio raconteur Davy Rothbart, took a more personal approach: he went to a Sedaris book signing. “I waited in line with everyone for him to sign my book after he read,” says Alvarez. “I tried not to be aggressive, but I gave him the a copy of my first film and said there were some things I’d like to talk to him about. I was incredibly anxious about it, but fortunately, he really liked the movie.”
They began exchanging emails, with Sedaris asking Alvarez why he specifically wanted “C.O.G.” — which stands for Child Of God — an essay from Naked, Sedaris’s best-selling 1997 collection. “It’s not like I went through every Sedaris story and tried to find the one to make into a movie,” says the 29-year-old, who also wrote the screenplay. “I liked this story. Had he not written it, and it was another writer, I would still have been incredibly interested and tried to make it into a film. There’s a coming-of-age aspect to it that I felt was really unique and particular.”
Sedaris has yet to see the film. He’ll see it for the first time at the Sundance premiere this coming Saturday.
“C.O.G.” will premiere at Sundance on January 20th, 2013. All five screenings of his film are sold out online and only have “wait-list only” availability.
There are still 987 years left in this millennium but the editors of GQ just unveiled “The 100 Sexiest Women of the Millennium.”
Beyoncé Knowles tops the list and is followed by other notable actresses and models like Jennifer Lopez, Jennifer Aniston and Sienna Miller.
But here’s where the list is creating a stir: a handful of women were categorized by their ethnicity or nationality.
- “Hottest Indian Chick”: Freida Pinto
- “Hottest Pregnant Sri Lankan”: M.I.A
- “Hottest Italian Chick”: Monica Belluci
- “Hottest Chinese Chick”: Zhang Ziyi (sometimes credited as Ziyi Zhang)
Interestingly enough, the magazine included black and Latina celebrities on the list but they were not identified by their ethnicity or nationality.
For example, Beyoncé was “Miss Millennium” but not “Miss African-American Millennium. Eva Mendez, Halle Berry, Penélope Cruz, Rosario Dawson and Shakira are also included on the list with no mention of their nationality.
But when it came down to Freida Pinto she was labeled the “Hottest Indian Chick.”
“If the magazine were saying, ‘These are all the beautiful women from every country in the world’, that would be a bit different; that’s what the Miss Universe pageant is all about,” Ruth C. White told Yahoo’s “Shine” blog. White is an Associate Professor of Social Work in the Department of Anthropology, Sociology, and Social Work at Seattle University.
“But by calling out certain women’s ethnicity and not others, what they’re implying is that these women are not beautiful simply because they’re beautiful; they’re only attractive within the context of their own ethnicity. This is qualifying their beauty and dismisses the idea that beauty comes in many different forms.”
Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., said today that a bronze, full-size statue of Rosa Parks will be installed in Washington, D.C. later this year. Parks will become the first African-American woman to have her own statue in the Capitol’s Statuary Hall.
Statuary Hall is ordinarily reserved for full-size statues from the states; each state sends two statues of its choosing to be put on display. The likeness of Ms. Parks was authorized by a special act of Congress in 2005; it represents the first commission by Congress for a full-size statue since the 1870s, according to the National Endowment for the Arts, which oversaw the design competition for the statue.
Issa Rae appeared on the “Katie” show on Thursday.
So this is a brilliant way of ensuring your new Twitter account get followers: unveil it on your birthday and show off your new hair cut.
Michelle Obama’s office debuted a new official Twitter account for her on Thursday with a tweet seeking well wishes for the first lady on her 49th birthday.
The First Lady’s other account, @MichelleObama, is run by President Obama’s campaign team and has more than 2.6 million followers but hasn’t consistently tweeted since the election.
On Tuesday the Oxygen Media group announced they were canceling a new show titled “All My Babies’ Mamas” that was centered around Atlanta-based rapper Shawty Lo and his 11 children with 10 different women.
Oxygen Media made the decision after the online civil rights group ColorOfChange and a petition (that received more than 37,000 signatures) demanded the network cancel the show.
“The airing of a reality show like All My Babies’ Mamas would have reinforced many of the stereotypes about Black men and women that have power to influence public policy,” said ColorOfChange.org’s Rashad Robinson in a statement. “Research shows that exploiting persistent racial stereotypes that marginalize Black Americans have real world consequences.”
Other folks are wondering, what if? What if ‘All My Babies’ Mamas’ wasn’t canceled? Would it be so bad?
If unconventional families — polygamists, huge broods, marginal celebrities — are a staple of the reality show genre, Babies’ Mamas would seem to fit neatly within those parameters. What if the show’s subjects were mostly concerned with mundane stuff like carpooling logistics and dance rehearsals? Isn’t it possible that Babies’ Mamas could have also granted some humanity to real baby’s mamas and complicated some simplistic, ugly stereotypes about them?
A spokesman for Shawty Lo told RumorFix the rapper plans to fight his show’s cancellation with a petition of his own. Lo has received 123,000 e-mails in support of the show, his representative told RumorFix.
A Change.org petition urging the Oxygen Network “Put Shawty Lo and Baby Mamas back on the air!” had 703 signatures at the time this story was published.
The Sundance Film Festival opens today in Park City, Utah. The 11-day festival will showcase 119 feature films and documentaries that range from a drama based on Oscar Grant’s last 24-hours to a short film that follows real life high-rise window washers in Chicago.
In conjunction with the start of the festival today, the Screening Room YouTube channel will showcase 12 short films from the 2013 Sundance Short Film program.
There are also a number of Q&A sessions and other panel discussions with directors that will be live-streamed on the Sundance website. Visit Sundance.org/live to see the week’s schedule along with an archive of past discussion.
In the meantime take a look at the 10-films below that you’ll undoubtedly hear about throughout the year.
(Film descriptions provided by Sundance.org)
“Linsanity” / (Director: Evan Leong)
Jeremy Lin came from a humble background to make an unbelievable run in the NBA. State high school champion, all-Ivy League at Harvard, undrafted by the NBA and unwanted there: his story started long before he landed on Broadway.
“FRUITVALE” / (Director: Ryan Coogler)
Oscar Grant was a 22-year-old Bay Area resident who loved his friends, was generous to strangers, and had a hard time telling the truth to the mother of his beautiful daughter. He was scared and courageous and charming and raw, and as human as the community he was part of. That community paid attention to him, shouted on his behalf, and filmed him with their cell phones when BART officers, who were strong, intimidated, and acting in the way they thought they were supposed to behave around people like Oscar, shot him in cold blood at the Fruitvale subway stop on New Year’s Day in 2009.
Director Ryan Coogler makes an extraordinary directorial debut with this soulful account of the real-life event that horrified the nation. Featuring radiant performances by Melonie Diaz and Michael B. Jordan as Grant, a young man whose eyes were an open window into his soul, Fruitvale offers a barometer reading on the state of humanity in American society today.
“PARAISO” / (Director: Nadav Kurtz)
Three immigrant window cleaners risk their lives every day rappelling down some of Chicago’s tallest sky-scrapers. Paraíso reveals the danger of their job and what they see on the way down.
An Oklahoma family is still shaken up after ICE agents entered their home at 5:30am on Saturday and handcuffed every member of the family including the father, mother, their 15-year-old daughter, and 18-year-old son.
But 5-minutes later—with guns drawn and the entire family handcuffed—ICE agents realized they had the wrong house.
“I have thousands of questions running through my head asking why this happened because this is something that just damages you profoundly,” Susana Estrada told Spanish-language news station KTUZ-TV.
On Jan. 8 at about 6 a.m., officers from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and District 21 Task Force in Oklahoma executed a search warrant issued by a District Court judge at a Moore, Okla., residence.
Shortly after entering the residence, ICE officers interviewed the alleged target and noted a discrepancy between the residence owner’s social security number and that of the target of the investigation.
Officers conducted an on-site electronic fingerprint comparison which confirmed that the residence owner was not the target of the investigation, even though they both have the same name.
Officers apologized and departed the residence. ICE immediately began investigating this incident, which is ongoing. The investigation into the original target is also ongoing.
You can watch the Spanish-language news report below.
Oregon DMV will accept applications for driver licenses, instruction permits and identification cards as of January 16 from Oregon residents approved for the federal “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” (DACA) program who have been issued immigration Form I-766.
Oregon Driver and Motor Vehicle Services will now accept deferred action work permits, which are renewable every two years, as proof of lawful presence in the United States. Driver’s licenses or identification cards will have expiration dates that match those on the individual’s immigration form.
The decision, released Wednesday morning and effective immediately, comes after DMV officials said last month that they would not issue driver’s licenses for those program recipients. They retracted that decision a few days later in favor of continuing their discussion with the Oregon Department of Justice about the issue.
Applicants must meet all Oregon requirements for driving privileges and ID cards, including proof of identity, age, residence address, passage of tests, and payment of fees. DMV electronically verifies Social Security numbers and federal immigration documents.
Arizona, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska and North Carolina have declined to issue licenses young immigrants approved under the DACA program.
As we await a ruling on affirmative action in the case of Fisher v. University of Texas, CBS’ “60 Minutes” looks at the two Supreme Court Justices of color whose lives were influenced by affirmative action.
Why compare two Supreme Court justices in this week’s Overtime video? Because Sonia Sotomayor and Clarence Thomas are the two justices who “benefited” from affirmative action — they both went to Yale Law School in the 1970s when an aggressive affirmative action policy was in place — and they have both spoken candidly on 60 Minutes (her, this week; him, in 2007) about the role that affirmative action played in their lives. The trouble is: they couldn’t disagree more.
“He resents affirmative action. She embraces affirmative action,” says 60 Minutes producer Henry Schuster. “These two people who should have so much in common suddenly become the yin and yang of this experience.”
The Supreme Court’s decision in the affirmative action case Fisher v. UT is expected this Spring.