• Gosh, Gov. Rick Perry (R-Indicted) sure is eager to convince us that he is SO ready to run for president in 2016. He's been practicing his counting and his ABCs, and he's got those glasses, and he's stopped popping pain pills, and this time, America, this time, we won't be laughing our asses off forever and ever and some-other-word-we-can't-remember-what about the comedy gold that was Perry's last attempt to win the White House. And golly gee whiz, he sure is off to a good start:

    "Running for the presidency's not an IQ test. It is a test of an individual's resolve. It's a test of an individual's philosophy. It's a test of an individual's life's experiences," Perry said in an interview at the Governor's Mansion, which he's leaving as his term ends. "And I think Americans are really ready for a leader that will give them a great hope about the future."

    We are already cracking up about the new NEW glasses Perry's going to have to buy for 2020 to convince us that he's been working on his IQ too.

  • So that big storm that was going to hit California on Thursday, which we needed, since we're in the worst drought since Jesus? Yeah. It hit all right. Schools were closed, lotta companies told their employees to stay home, there were emergency alerts for flooding all day, and pretty much everyone lost power at some point.
  • Um, is this really the best use of the California Highway Patrol?

    A demonstration that started in Berkeley ended abruptly in Oakland Wednesday night when an undercover California Highway Patrol officer pulled out a gun and pointed it at the crowd.

    Only a few dozen protesters remained from a mass of between 150 and 200 people. Two CHP officers, both dressed as civilians and wearing bandanas over their faces, were walking with the group when the demonstrators started pointing at them yelling, "Hey, they're undercover, they're cops!" [...]

    The two CHP officers started to walk away, but the protesters persisted, screaming at the two undercover cops. One of the officers pushed a protester aside. The man responded by pushing back and then the officer tackled him to the ground, handcuffing him.

    The crowd, incensed, began to gather around them. The second officer pulled out his gun and pointed it at the crowd. More officers quickly arrived and dispersed the crowd.

  • Speaking of protests, this happened:

    Congressional staffers plan to walk off their jobs Thursday afternoon to show their support for the families of Michael Brown and Eric Garner in the wake of the decision by two grand juries not to indict the police officers responsible for their deaths, according to three staffers who plan to participate in the event.

    The planned walkout comes after days of protests across the country, including in Washington, D.C., where demonstrators have marched through downtown, blocking roads and bridges on an almost nightly basis since last Wednesday's decision by a grand jury in Staten Island not to indict Officer Daniel Pantaleo in the chokehold death of Garner.

  • This is an amazing story, and you should read it:

    It had been 15 years since I’d seen my former mentor, Dr. Ozel Clifford Brazil—a man credited with ushering an estimated 18,000 students from Los Angeles’ inner cities into universities around the country. According to Brazil, 98 percent of those students graduated with a baccalaureate degree or higher. It’s hard to verify those numbers, because in 2003, Brazil was convicted of student-aid fraud. After that, we former students became like members of a secret fraternity, afraid that our association with Brazil might land us in trouble. But as time passes, some of us are starting to acknowledge his role in our lives. [...]

    For a vast number of American families—even middle-class families—four-year college is financially out of reach. If the Taylors earn $50,000 a year, they’re certainly better off than the Smiths, who bring in $15,000. But neither family can afford to pay upwards of $30,000 per year for school. Yet without a university education, a child’s prospect for social upward mobility is severely limited. It’s one hell of a conundrum.

    This was the problem Brazil tried to solve when he established the Los Angeles Community Outreach Program (LACOP), with the goal of helping inner-city high school students gain admission to four-year colleges and universities. The program grew out of the informal college prep workshop he’d started with 30 students in 1986; by 1995, he was working with close to a thousand, shepherding them through the entire process.

  • Another day, another woman -- this time, model Beverly Johnson -- coming forward with her story of being drugged and raped by Bill Cosby.

    As I wrestled with the idea of telling my story of the day Bill Cosby drugged me with the intention of doing God knows what, the faces of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and countless other brown and black men took residence in my mind.

    As if I needed to be reminded. The current plight of the black male was behind my silence when Barbara Bowman came out to tell the horrific details of being drugged and raped by Cosby to the Washington Post in November. And I watched in horror as my longtime friend and fellow model Janice Dickinson was raked over the coals for telling her account of rape at Cosby’s hands. Over the years I’ve met other women who also claim to have been violated by Cosby. Many are still afraid to speak up. I couldn’t sit back and watch the other women be vilified and shamed for something I knew was true.

  • Mallory Ortberg at The Toast gives us The Eight Steps For Making The Perfect Cup Of Tea, including this gem:

    Be sure to follow this rule of thumb: one dip of the tea bag is more than enough. You don’t want to overwhelm the flavor of the water with an overlong steep.

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