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Barack Hussein Obama: The Beginning.


By Jueseppi B.



We all know the current story of POTUSA Barack Hussein Obama, He stands for Women, the LGBTQA1 community, the Poor, Veterans, Students, Youth, the Disadvantaged, and the Uninsured. Barack is a President Of The United States Of ALL Americans. Whether you like and voted for him or not.


Here is how he began.



FRONTLINE | The Choice 2008 (full episode) | PBS




Barack Hussein Obama II ( born August 4, 1961) is the 44th and current President of the United States, and the first African American to hold the office. Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, Obama is a graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School, where he served as president of the Harvard Law Review. He was a community organizer in Chicago before earning his law degree. He worked as a civil rights attorney and taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School from 1992 to 2004. He served three terms representing the 13th District in the Illinois Senate from 1997 to 2004, running unsuccessfully for the United States House of Representatives in 2000.




In 2004, Obama received national attention during his campaign to represent Illinois in the United States Senate with his victory in the March Democratic Party primary, his keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in July, and his election to the Senate in November. He began his presidential campaign in 2007, and in 2008, after a close primary campaign against Hillary Rodham Clinton, he won sufficient delegates in the Democratic Party primaries to receive the presidential nomination. He then defeated Republican nominee John McCain in the general election, and was inaugurated as president on January 20, 2009. Nine months after his election, Obama was named the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize laureate.





During his first two years in office, Obama signed into law economic stimulus legislation in response to the Great Recession in the form of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010. Other major domestic initiatives in his first term include the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, often referred to as “Obamacare”; the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act; and the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act of 2010. In foreign policy, Obama ended U.S. military involvement in the Iraq War, increased U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan, signed the New START arms control treaty with Russia, ordered U.S. military involvement in Libya, and ordered the military operation that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden.


In November 2010, the Republicans regained control of the House of Representatives as the Democratic Party lost a total of 63 seats, and after a lengthy debate over federal spending and whether or not to raise the nation’s debt limit, Obama signed the Budget Control Act of 2011 and the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012.




Obama was re-elected president in November 2012, defeating Republican nominee Mitt Romney, and was sworn in for a second term on January 20, 2013. During his second term, Obama has promoted domestic policies related to gun control in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, has called for full equality for LGBT Americans, and his administration filed briefs which urged the Supreme Court to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996 and California’s Proposition 8 as unconstitutional. In foreign policy, Obama has continued the process of ending U.S. combat operations in Afghanistan.



C-SPAN: Barack Obama Speech at 2004 DNC Convention


Published on Oct 17, 2012

PBS Version of 2004 Obama Speech at DNC Convention











Barack Obama’s Speech – 2008 Democratic National Convention




Barack Hussein Obama was born on August 4, 1961, at Kapiʻolani Maternity & Gynecological Hospital (now Kapiʻolani Medical Center for Women and Children) in Honolulu, Hawaii, and is the first President to have been born in Hawaii. His mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, was born in Wichita, Kansas, and was of mostly English ancestry. His father, Barack Obama, Sr., was a Luo from Nyang’oma Kogelo, Kenya. Obama’s parents met in 1960 in a Russian class at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, where his father was a foreign student on scholarship.


In 1963, Dunham met Lolo Soetoro, an Indonesian East–West Center graduate student in geography at the University of Hawaii, and the couple were married on Molokai on March 15, 1965. After two one-year extensions of his J-1 visa, Lolo returned to Indonesia in 1966, followed sixteen months later by his wife and stepson in 1967, with the family initially living in a Menteng Dalam neighborhood in the Tebet sub-district of south Jakarta, then from 1970 in a wealthier neighborhood in the Menteng sub-district of central Jakarta. From ages six to ten, Obama attended local Indonesian-language schools: St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School for two years and Besuki Public School for one and a half years, supplemented by English-language Calvert School homeschooling by his mother.





In 1971, Obama returned to Honolulu to live with his maternal grandparents, Madelyn and Stanley Dunham, and with the aid of a scholarship attended Punahou School, a private college preparatory school, from fifth grade until his graduation from high school in 1979. Obama lived with his mother and sister in Hawaii for three years from 1972 to 1975 while his mother was a graduate student in anthropology at the University of Hawaii. Obama chose to stay in Hawaii with his grandparents for high school at Punahou when his mother and sister returned to Indonesia in 1975 to begin anthropology field work. His mother spent most of the next two decades in Indonesia, divorcing Lolo in 1980 and earning a PhD in 1992, before dying in 1995 in Hawaii following treatment for ovarian cancer and uterine cancer.


Of his early childhood, Obama recalled, “That my father looked nothing like the people around me—that he was black as pitch, my mother white as milk—barely registered in my mind.” He described his struggles as a young adult to reconcile social perceptions of his multiracial heritage. Reflecting later on his years in Honolulu, Obama wrote: “The opportunity that Hawaii offered—to experience a variety of cultures in a climate of mutual respect—became an integral part of my world view, and a basis for the values that I hold most dear.” Obama has also written and talked about using alcohol, marijuana, and cocaine during his teenage years to “push questions of who I was out of my mind”. Obama was also a member of the “choom gang”, a self-named group of friends that spent time together and occasionally smoked marijuana.







Childhood Years


Right-to-left: Barack Obama and Maya Soetoro with their mother Ann and maternal grandfather Stanley Dunham in Hawaii (early 1970s)

Right-to-left: Barack Obama and Maya Soetoro with their mother Ann and maternal grandfather Stanley Dunham in Hawaii (early 1970s)



Parents’ background and meeting

President Barack Obama’s parents met in September 1960 while attending the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Obama’s father, Barack Obama, Sr., the university’s first foreign student from an African nation, hailed from Kanyadhiang, Rachuonyo District, Nyanza Province in Kenya. Obama’s mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, known as Ann, was born in Wichita. They married on the Hawaiian island of Maui on February 2, 1961. Barack Hussein Obama was born in Honolulu on August 4, 1961 at the old Kapiolani Maternity and Gynecological Hospital at 1611 Bingham Street (a predecessor of the Kapiʻolani Medical Center for Women and Children at 1319 Punahou Street) and named for his father. His birth was announced in The Honolulu Advertiser and the Honolulu Star-Bulletin.


Soon after their son’s birth, while Obama’s father continued his education at the University of Hawaii, Ann Dunham took the infant to Seattle, Washington, where she took classes at the University of Washington from September 1961 to June 1962. She and her son lived in an apartment in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. After graduating from the University of Hawaii with a B.A. in economics, Obama, Sr. left the state in June 1962, moving to Cambridge, Massachusetts for graduate study in economics at Harvard University that fall.


Ann Dunham returned with her son to Honolulu and, in January 1963, resumed her undergraduate education at the University of Hawaii. In January 1964, Dunham filed for divorce, which was not contested. Barack Obama, Sr. later graduated from Harvard University with an A.M. in economics and in 1965 returned to Kenya.


During her first year back at the University of Hawaii, Dunham met Lolo Soetoro. He was one year into his American experience, after two semesters on the Manoa campus and a summer on the mainland at Northwestern and the University of Wisconsin, when he encountered Dunham, then an undergraduate interested in anthropology. A surveyor from Indonesia, he had come to Honolulu in September 1962 on an East-West Center grant to study at the University of Hawaii. He earned a M.A. in geography in June 1964.


Dunham and Soetoro married on March 15, 1965, on Molokai. They returned to Honolulu to live with her son as a family. After two one-year extensions of his J-1 visa, Soetoro returned to Indonesia on June 20, 1966. Dunham and her son moved in with her parents at their house. She continued with her studies, earning a B.A. in anthropology in August 1967, while her son attended kindergarten in 1966–1967 at Noelani Elementary School.




In October 1967, Obama and his mother moved to Jakarta to rejoin his stepfather. The family initially lived in a newly built neighborhood in the Menteng Dalam administrative village of the Tebet subdistrict in South Jakarta for two and a half years, while Soetoro worked on a topographic survey for the Indonesian government. From January 1968 to December 1969, Obama’s mother taught English and was an assistant director of the U.S. government-subsidized Indonesia-America Friendship Institute, while Obama attended the Indonesian-language Santo Fransiskus Asisi (St. Francis of Assisi) Catholic School around the corner from their house for 1st, 2nd, and part of 3rd grade.


In 1970, Soetoro took a new job at higher pay in Union Oil Company‘s government relations office. From January 1970 to August 1972, Obama’s mother taught English and was a department head and a director of the Institute of Management Education and Development. Obama attended the Indonesian-language government-run Besuki School, one and half miles east in the exclusive Menteng administrative village, for part of 3rd grade and for 4th grade. By this time, he had picked up on some Indonesian in addition to his native English. He also joined the Cub Scouts.


In the summer of 1970, Obama returned to Hawaii for an extended visit with his maternal grandparents, Stanley and Madelyn Dunham. His mother had also arranged an interview for possible admission to the Punahou School in Honolulu, one of the top private schools in the city. On August 15, 1970, Dunham and Soetoro celebrated the birth of their daughter, Maya Kassandra Soetoro.



US Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is seen with his mother as a child in a family snapshot



Adult life


College years

Following high school, Obama moved to Los Angeles in 1979, where he studied at Occidental College for two years. On February 18, 1981, he made his first public speech, calling for Occidental’s divestment from South Africa. In the summer of 1981, Obama traveled to Jakarta to visit his mother and half-sister Maya, and visited the families of Occidental College friends in Hyderabad (India) and Karachi for three weeks.


He then transferred to Columbia University in New York City, where he majored in political science with a specialization in international relations. Obama lived off campus in a modest rented apartment at 142 West 109th St. He graduated with a A.B. from Columbia in 1983, then worked at Business International Corporation and New York Public Interest Research Group.



Early career in Chicago

After four years living in New York City, Obama moved to Chicago to work as a community organizer. He worked for three years from June 1985 to May 1988 as director of the Developing Communities Project (DCP), a church-based community organization originally comprising eight Catholic parishes in Greater Roseland (RoselandWest Pullman, and Riverdale) on Chicago’s far South Side. During his three years as the DCP’s director, its staff grew from 1 to 13 and its annual budget grew from $70,000 to $400,000, with accomplishments including helping set up a job training program, a college preparatory tutoring program, and a tenants’ rights organization in Altgeld Gardens. Obama also worked as a consultant and instructor for the Gamaliel Foundation, a community organizing institute. In the summer of 1988, he traveled for the first time to Europe for three weeks then to Kenya for five weeks where he met many of his paternal relatives for the first time.



Harvard Law School

Obama entered Harvard Law School in late 1988. In an interview with Ebony in 1990, he stated that he saw a degree in law as a vehicle to facilitate better community organization and activism: “The idea was not only to get people to learn how to hope and dream about different possibilities, but to know how the tax structure affects what kind of housing gets built where.” At the end of his first year he was selected as an editor of the Harvard Law Review based on his grades and a writing competition. In February 1990, his second year at Harvard, he was elected president of the law review, a full-time volunteer position functioning as editor-in-chief and supervising the law review’s staff of 80 editors. Obama’s election as the first black president of the law review was widely reported and followed by several long, detailed profiles.


He got himself elected by convincing a crucial swing bloc of conservatives that he would protect their interests if they supported him. Building up that trust was done with the same kind of long listening sessions he had used in the poor neighborhoods of South Side, Chicago. Richard Epstein, who later taught at the University of Chicago Law School when Obama later taught there, said Obama was elected editor “because people on the other side believed he would give them a fair shake.”


While in law school he worked as an associate at the law firms of Sidley & Austin in 1989, where he met his wife, Michelle, and where Newton N. Minow was a managing partner. Minow later would introduce Obama to some of Chicago’s top business leaders. In the summer of 1990 he worked at Hopkins & Sutter. Also during his law school years, Obama spent eight days in Los Angeles taking a national training course on Alinsky methods of organizing. He graduated with a J.D. magna cum laude from Harvard in 1991 and returned to Chicago.



Settling down in Chicago

The publicity from his election as the first African American president of the Harvard Law Review led to a contract and advance to write a book about race relations. In an effort to recruit him to their faculty, the University of Chicago Law School provided Obama with a fellowship and an office to work on his book. He originally planned to finish the book in one year, but it took much longer as the book evolved into a personal memoir. In order to work without interruptions, Obama and his wife, Michelle, traveled to Bali where he wrote for several months. The manuscript was finally published as Dreams from My Father in mid-1995.


He married Michelle LaVaughn Robinson in 1992 and settled down with her in Hyde Park, a liberal, integrated, middle-class Chicago neighborhood with a history of electing reform-minded politicians independent of the Daley political machine. The couple’s first daughter, Malia Ann, was born in 1998; their second, Natasha (known as Sasha), in 2001.


One effect of the marriage was to bring Obama closer to other politically influential Chicagoans. One of Michelle’s best friends was Jesse Jackson‘s daughter, Santita Jackson, later the godmother of the Obamas’ first child. Michelle herself had worked as an aide to Mayor Richard M. Daley. Marty Nesbitt, a young, successful black businessman (who played basketball with Michelle’s brother, Craig Robinson), became Obama’s best friend and introduced him to other African-American business people. Before the marriage, according to Craig, Obama talked about his political ambitions, even saying that he might run for president someday.



Project Vote

Obama directed Illinois Project Vote from April to October 1992, a voter registration drive, officially nonpartisan, that helped Carol Moseley Braun become the first black woman ever elected to the Senate. He headed up a staff of 10 and 700 volunteers that achieved its goal of 400,000 registered African Americans in the state, leading Crain’s Chicago Business to name Obama to its 1993 list of “40 under Forty” powers to be. Although fundraising was not required for the position when Obama was recruited for the job, he started an active campaign to raise money for the project. According to Sandy Newman, who founded Project Vote, Obama “raised more money than any of our state directors had ever done. He did a great job of enlisting a broad spectrum of organizations and people, including many who did not get along well with one another.”


The fundraising brought Obama into contact with the wealthy, liberal elite of Chicago, some of whom became supporters in his future political career. Through one of them he met David Axelrod, who later headed Obama’s campaign for president. The fundraising committee was chaired by John Schmidt, a former chief of staff to Mayor Richard M. Daley, and John W. Rogers Jr., a young black money manager and founder of Ariel Capital Management. Obama also met much of the city’s black political leadership, although he didn’t always get along with the older politicians, with friction sometimes developing over Obama’s reluctance to spend money and his insistence on results. “He really did it, and he let other people take all the credit”, Schmidt later said. “The people standing up at the press conferences were Jesse Jackson and Bobby Rush and I don’t know who else. Barack was off to the side and only the people who were close to it knew he had done all the work.”




Obama taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School for twelve years, as a Lecturer for four years (1992–1996), and as a Senior Lecturer for eight years (1996–2004). During this time he taught courses in due process and equal protection, voting rights, and racism and law. He published no legal scholarship, and turned down tenured positions, but served eight years in the Illinois Senate during his twelve years at the university.


In 1993 Obama joined Davis, Miner, Barnhill & Galland, a 12-attorney law firm specializing in civil rights litigation and neighborhood economic development, where he was an associate for three years from 1993 to 1996, then of counsel from 1996 to 2004, with his law license becoming inactive in 2007. The firm was well-known among influential Chicago liberals and leaders of the black community, and the firm’s Judson H. Miner, who met with Obama to recruit him before Obama’s 1991 graduation from law school, had been counsel to former Chicago Mayor Harold Washington, although the law firm often clashed with the administration of Mayor Richard M. Daley. The 29-year-old law student made it clear in his initial interview with Miner that he was more interested in joining the firm to learn about Chicago politics than to practice law. During the four years Obama worked as a full-time lawyer at the firm, he was involved in 30 cases and accrued 3,723 billable hours.


Obama was a founding member of the board of directors of Public Allies in 1992, resigning before his wife, Michelle, became the founding executive director of Public Allies Chicago in early 1993. He served on the board of directors of the Woods Fund of Chicago, which in 1985 had been the first foundation to fund Obama’s DCP, from 1993–2002, and served on the board of directors of The Joyce Foundation from 1994–2002. Membership on the Joyce and Wood foundation boards, which gave out tens of millions of dollars to various local organizations while Obama was a member, helped Obama get to know and be known by influential liberal groups and cultivate a network of community activists that later supported his political career.


Obama served on the board of directors of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge from 1995–2002, as founding president and chairman of the board of directors from 1995–1999. He also served on the board of directors of the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the Center for Neighborhood Technology, and the Lugenia Burns Hope Center. In 1995, Obama also announced his candidacy for a seat in the Illinois state Senate and attended Louis Farrakhan’s Million Man March in Washington, DC.







Family and personal life

In June 1989, Obama met Michelle Robinson when he was employed as a summer associate at the Chicago law firm of Sidley Austin. Assigned for three months as Obama’s adviser at the firm, Robinson joined him at several group social functions, but declined his initial requests to date. They began dating later that summer, became engaged in 1991, and were married on October 3, 1992.


The couple’s first daughter, Malia Ann, was born on July 4, 1998, followed by a second daughter, Natasha (“Sasha”), on June 10, 2001. The Obama daughters attended the private University of Chicago Laboratory Schools. When they moved to Washington, D.C., in January 2009, the girls started at the private Sidwell Friends School. The Obamas have a Portuguese Water Dog named Bo, a gift from Senator Ted Kennedy.



We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration At The Lincoln Memorial





Obama 2008

US President Barack Obama Visits The UK - Day One










@VinylPopArt Thank you @BarackObama I have Health/Dental for the 1st time since I lived w/ my parents 13yrs ago #Obamacare

Thank you @BarackObama I have Health/Dental for the 1st time since I lived w/ my parents 13yrs ago #Obamacare




First term official portrait of Barack Obama by Souza, January 2009

First term official portrait of Barack Obama by Souza, January 2009



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Demetria Irwin Of The Grio: Secret Service failures put Obama supporters on edge.


By Jueseppi B.

goldstartwit Secret-Service-3



From The Grio:


Secret Service failures put Obama supporters on edge


by  Follow Demetria Irwin on Twitter at @Love_Is_Dope and connect with her on Facebook.


There’s never a good time for Secret Service agents to have a lapse in judgment that potentially compromises the safety of the president, but there are times when such shortcomings are especially dangerous.


Now is that time.


Media outlets are reporting a second major failure by President Barack Obama’s Secret Service team.


An investigation about the first incident back in 2012, concluded that 10 personnel were involved in serious misconduct while cavorting with prostitutes in Colombia. President Obama chalked up the actions to that of a few “knuckleheads” and noted that 99.9 percent of the time, the Secret Service agents go above and beyond the call of duty. Officially, the investigation found that the president’s safety was not compromised (the agents were not on the president’s personal security detail at the time), but more than anything, the incident was an embarrassment and showed the agency’s perceived vulnerability.


The latest Secret Service failure is much more serious. Three agents who were on President Obama’s security detail in Amsterdam were put on administrative leave and flown back to the U.S. after they spent a night drinking and one of them ended up unconscious in a hotel hallway just hours before a classified briefing and the day before President Obama was scheduled to arrive in the country.


This is an especially troubling matter because these three men were part of the Secret Service Counter Assault Team, a unit that is directly responsible for fighting off assailants and drawing fire if the president or his motorcade is attacked.  Lying unconscious in a hotel hallway leaves not only that agent’s personal safety at risk in that moment, but also negatively impacts his ability to perform a job that requires focus and acute attention to detail. Agents are forbidden to consume alcohol within 10 hours of an assignment, so this behavior seems to be in clear violation of that rule.


As for President Obama’s safety, it is a tense time internationally and at home.  In addition to tough talks with Russia about Crimea, there are also important global discussions about nuclear security happening right now.  Domestically, 2013 proved to be a heady time for White House security in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing and the much closer to home incident when a woman rammed a White House barricade with her car.


Obama received protection from a secret service detail during his first campaign for the presidency. That decision was made because of the unusually high number of credible threats to his safety. Now into his second term in office, President Obama is in need of just as much special attention, if not more.


The public is not privy to every threat made to the president and that is understandable. Only certain incidents make the news, but the negative sentiments of regular citizens and even elected officials are readily available and sometimes those sentiments are at worst frightening and at best, disappointing. Some people still take issue with a black man being the leader of the free world. It is incomprehensible to them. Hence, the disgusting monkey photo a Belgian newspaper posted of President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama.  Such ignorance could be taken as merely the unenlightened, but harmless opinion of a few people.


However, there is no room to allow for the dehumanization of a world leader (or any other person) to go unchecked.  A persistent narrative of a person not being human or deserving of respect is dangerous and creates an environment that encourages volatile behavior. President Obama has enough outside threats to deal with, he does not need his very own team to fail him at this critical time in history.


The president continued on his trip to the Netherlands without any other reported incidents.


Thank you The Grio &   Follow Demetria Irwin on Twitter at @Love_Is_Dope and connect with her on Facebook.








Why on earth would an advance member of POTUSA Barack Hussein Obama’s Secret Service Counter Assault Team, be drunk on duty? If thats not a major fuck up….what is a major fuck up?


Time for a shake up authority wise at the Secret Service. Get drunk on your off days, which need to be everyday for these dumbass “Secret Service” members.


In Donald Trumps words…..”You’re Fired.”


cropped-b4peace-header obamabottomheader

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NEW WHITE HOUSE REPORT: The Impact Of Raising The Minimum Wage On Women


By Jueseppi B.




NEW WHITE HOUSE REPORT: The Impact of Raising the Minimum Wage on Women and the Importance of Ensuring a Robust Tipped Minimum Wage


“Most people who would get a raise if we raise the minimum wage are not teenagers on their first job – their average age is 35.  A majority of lower-wage jobs are held by women.  These Americans are working full-time, often supporting families, and if the minimum wage had kept pace with our economy’s productivity, they’d already be earning well over $10 an hour today.  Instead, it’s stuck at $7.25.  Every time Congress refuses to raise it, it loses value because the cost of living goes higher, minimum wage stays the same.”

- President Obama, Remarks at Central Connecticut State University, March 5, 2014

Over the past 30 years, modest minimum wage increases have not kept pace with the rising costs of basic necessities for working families. No one who works full time should have to raise his or her family in poverty. President Obama supports raising the minimum wage to help build real, lasting economic security for the middle class and has made it a key part of his plan to create more opportunities for every hardworking American to get ahead in 2014.

The President knows this is important for workers, and good for the economy. That is why the President has already signed an executive order to raise the minimum wage and tipped minimum wage for federal contract workers and is calling on Congress to raise the national minimum wage  from $7.25 to $10.10 per hour and index it to inflation thereafter, while also raising the tipped minimum wage for the first time in over 20 years. Increasing the minimum wage and the tipped minimum wage is especially important for women, who make up more than half of the workforce in jobs that pay the minimum wage and tipped occupations. Today, the White House is releasing a new report that lays out how women and the workforce would benefit if Congress passed legislation to raise the national minimum wage and tipped minimum wage for all Americans. Key findings from the report include:

Raising the minimum wage is especially important for women because:

  • Women in the workforce are more highly concentrated in low-wage sectors such as personal care and healthcare support occupations.
  • Women account for more than half (55 percent) of all workers who would benefit from increasing the minimum wage to $10.10.

Women also make up the majority of workers in predominantly tipped occupation.  Under Federal law, employers are allowed to pay a “tipped minimum wage” of $2.13 to employees who regularly earn tips as long as their tips plus the tipped minimum wage meet or exceed $7.25 per hour.

  • Women account for 72 percent of all workers in predominantly tipped occupations – such as restaurant servers, bartenders, and hairstylists.
  • Average hourly wages for workers in predominantly tipped occupations are nearly 40 percent lower than overall average hourly wages.
  • Workers in predominantly tipped occupations are twice as likely as other workers to experience poverty, and servers are almost three times as likely to be in poverty.
  • About half of all workers in predominantly tipped occupations would see their earnings increase as a result of the President’s proposal.

The national tipped minimum wage has been stuck at $2.13 for over 20 years.  Partly as a result, tipped workers are at greater risk of not earning the full minimum wage, even though employers are required by law to ensure that employees’ tips plus their employer-paid wage meet or exceed the full minimum wage.

  • Since 1991, the tipped minimum wage has declined by 40 percent in real terms.  Today, the tipped minimum wage equals just 29 percent of the full minimum wage, the lowest share since the tipped minimum wage was established in 1966.
  • When surveyed, more than 1 in 10 workers in predominantly tipped occupations report hourly wages below the full national minimum wage, including tips. This fact highlights the challenges of ensuring compliance with minimum wage laws for tipped workers, as the employer contribution has been eroded by 20 years of inflation.
  • Many states have recognized the need for a greater employer contribution to the wages of tipped workers. Currently 32 states (including the District of Columbia) require employers to pay tipped workers an hourly wage that exceeds the national tipped minimum of $2.13 – and seven of these states require employers to pay both tipped and non-tipped workers the same state minimum wage before tips.

Raising the full minimum wage and the tipped minimum wage will help reduce poverty among women and their families, as well as make progress toward closing the gender pay gap.

  • About one-quarter (26 percent) of all workers who would benefit from increasing the minimum wage to $10.10 have dependent children, and 31 percent of female workers who would benefit have children.
  • 2.8 million working single parents would benefit from the President’s proposed increase in the full minimum wage, more than 80 percent of whom are women.
  • Research shows that raising the minimum wage reduces child poverty among female-headed households.
  • Increasing the minimum wage can also help women work their way out of poverty and into the middle class.
  • For every dollar that men earn, women earn just 77 cents. Estimates from the President’s Council of Economic Advisers suggest that increasing the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour and indexing it to inflation could close about 5 percent of the gender wage gap.


Read the entire report in PDF form…..



This report was prepared by the National Economic
Council, the Council of Economic Advisers, the
Domestic Policy Council, and the Department of








Help For A Friend Of A Friend.


By Jueseppi B.




A long time Facebook friend of mine who lives in Sofia, Bulgaria has asked me to help a very close friend of hers. Helping people is the main mission of blogging, so I believe.


This is from my friend, for her friend Olia.



This is Olia.
You don’t know her.
But she is a FRIEND. A good one.
And a Person, who deserves to be loved. A Person, who IS loved.
I love her. But it’s not about me….


Olia deserves to live. And she deserves to live like a normal human being.
She is 29 years old. With an Ukrainian citizenship and Bulgarian origins. She has graduated in journalism in SU “St Clement of Ohrid”.


After receiving an inadequate treatment for viral hepatitis, her liver developed cirrhosis and she had to move back to Ukraine for treatment. Before that she lived, studied and worked in Bulgaria.


In October 2009 she had a liver transplantation. One of her sisters gave a piece of her own liver(after which she developed an infection, there were some complications, but has already recovered), while the other one payed out for the operation up until recently.


In March 2010 Olias condition drastically worsened and her organs failed. She spent a few weeks in reanimation, on haemodialysis and other torturing procedures. It turned out that the canals of her sisters liver haven’t closed up and the livers secretions were flowing directly into her body. She had a catheter inserted, which was supposed to lead the fluids out of her body through a tiny pipe and into a special bag. The catheter even has its own name – Johnny. Olia carries it in her purse or in a bag, so she wouldn’t disturb the people around her. She’s been doing this for almost four years now.



What have you dreamed about in the past few years?


She dreams about going in the shower, raising her hands and letting the water pour over her entire body. This has been impossible for four years, because Johnny can get dirty. She dreams about having a relationship with another man, because even though Johnny makes sure she has a life, even though her days begin and end with him, he can’t offer her a shoulder in times of grief, he can’t congratulate her on her success, he can’t kiss her, he can’t wish her “Good morning”, or “Good night”… She dreams about going on a walk without Johnny, without a bag to keep him in, with hands in her pockets. And about other stuff as well – a family, a home, a job, a child…


Olia can have a normal life. After having a liver retransplantation from a dead donor. After much expensive research a clinic in Belarus has agreed to help, but the operation costs over 100 000 dollars. And her family can’t collect this much money on its own. Ukraine would help only as a last resort, when there will be no guarantees for the life and health of Olia.
You’ll can donate for her here:


Postolova Olga Nikolaevna
IBAN: BG67RZBB91551004513600
Sofia 1504, 18/20 Gogol str., — with Olga Postolova.


Sometimes we all need help, so the best thing is to simply ask for help. Thank you for Ms. Olga.


cropped-b4peace-header obamabottomheader


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Ms. Elayne EK Keratsis; Mom’s Politics, Part 1: The Militant Negro, Social Media & Jiffy Pop.


By Jueseppi B. Reposted from Ms. Elayne EK Keratsis & her blog, One Year Without Mum.




Mom’s Politics, part 1: The Militant Negro, Social Media & Jiffy Pop


Mom, reading the “newspaper” while recovering from surgery. Tampa November 2013

Mom, reading the “newspaper” while recovering from surgery. Tampa November 2013



November 2013 Florida Hospital

“THAT is a very bad word!” Mom wags a finger at me. “You should not call him that!”


I am sitting by Mom’s bed in her room at Florida Hospital in Tampa and reading the daily Twitter news. Mom struggled with both Facebook and Twitter. Determined to learn social media, she dove into Facebook with a vengeance. Twitter is still a mystery to her, but she follows posters through me.


“Mum, ‘Negro’ is not a swear word…”


She shakes her head. “Shame on you! Don’t tell me, I know about bad words! That is the number two N word!”


My parents have their own interpretations of what words, names and phrases mean. My father doesn’t understand all the fuss about the name of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot. “I live in a family of very loud women. I get it.”


Back in 2000, we all encouraged Mom to use the computer for more than just email and news. That suggestion created a firestorm. It started off slow with her learning the basics of what my ex told her was called “The IntraNeck.” In 2009, one of my nieces set her up with a Facebook account and things were never the same in our family.


Vengeance is a nice way of putting it. Mom discovered almost immediately that she could not only monitor our liberal views, but also our very liberal behavior and extremely liberal use of the F word.


“I don’t need anyone to show me, I’ll figure it out!”


Like so many parents of my adult friends, she didn’t even attempt to learn the basics of online etiquette as it related to her tribe and instead posted comments better served in a private phone conversation.


“Your hair looks terrible!” might be a comment you’d find one morning under a photo you yourself had posted because you felt you looked extra fancy.


“That Mary needs to watch her weight! She’s starting to look like a sausage!” could very well show up on Mary’s page instead of the person Mom thought she was addressing.


Mom also friended everyone. “I am a friendly person! It’s rude to not respond.”


These friends included relatives from the distant past, Nigerian princes, strangers with exotic names, everyone’s ex-boyfriends AND ex-friends. She had no problems discussing what may have gone on during these once-current relationships and Facebook became like the dinner table when Dad talked as if you weren’t there.



December 1980

When my step-brother Chuck was diagnosed with cancer, Dad often utilized the evening meal to give us all an update about Chuck’s condition.


“Chuck looks great, doesn’t he? He really looks good.”


From the other end of the table Chuck waved a fork in the air and pronounced, “Hello! Dad! It’s me! Still here! Not dead yet!”


Everyone burst into laughter and Dad slammed his chair back. “You think that’s funny? That’s not funny!”


Chuck laughed the loudest, holding his sides, “It’s funny! Oh my God, IT’S FUNNY!”


Dad grabbed his plate, “I will not eat with YOU PEOPLE!” and stomped off to his chair – a mere ten feet from the table. Then he turned the TV volume up to drown out the rollicking table behavior.




Mom was like that on Facebook.


“I don’t know why she doesn’t want to talk to you,” Mom typed. “Why don’t you just call her up?” I spend an inordinate amount of time removing posts that included my phone number, embarrassing details, or both. Then came the presidential election of 2000 and things sped downhill fast.



November 2013

“Please don’t call him that. It didn’t used to be a bad word, but I’m sure it is now. Why not call him Mr. Militant Black Man? It’s much nicer.”


Mom’s referring to a Twitter accounts she enjoys. Mr. Militant Negro is the handle of a well-written guy who tweets eloquently about a wide spectrum of issues close to her heart as well – social injustice, racial equality, political shenanigans and Trayvon Martin. I find it interesting that although Mom me wants to change Mr. Militant Negro’s name, the “Militant” part is perfectly acceptable. Because that’s how she is herself. Mom is a political militant.


Mom is so angry about the death of Trayvon, she’s brought it up almost every day since I have been visiting, despite the fact it has been a year since the murder. She always links him with Medgar Evers, the young civil rights activist murdered in 1963.


“Mom, Travyon was just a kid walking down the street.”


It doesn’t matter to her. “SOME PEOPLE just want to kill other kinds of people. And you don’t know who Trayvon could have grown up to be.” She’s right and this time I love her for it. Mom is mystified that George Zimmerman is a free man. “Stand your ground doesn’t mean all the ground all over the neighborhood! It means your own house!”


She often asks me to read from Trayvon’s mother’s account.


“I wonder how she’s doing. A year is the blink of an eye. That’s all. I must write to her again when I get out of here.”


Mom writes to everyone.


She also loves playing a game where she calls out a celebrity and I look them up on Twitter to see what they might be saying. Especially Roseanne Barr.


“What the hell is wrong with her today” Mom would ask. “She’s so mad all the time!” And Cher. “She’s a terrible speller but I love her!” And every subject on the front page of the newspaper. Not The Enquirer that Yaya called the newspaper – the other papers. Mom wants everybody’s take on every single thing across the planet.


I am trying to explain to her that I personally have not named every Twitter user in cyberspace, that folks choose their own handles, but she’s not having any of it.


“Mum, that’s the name he chose. I didn’t pick it. Everyone gets to name themselves. He’s making a point!”


“Hmmm,” Mom flips through The National Enquirer. ”Then I bet you call yourself Miss Fancy Pants!” she says slyly.


“I do not, Mum!” Although I do make my iPhone’s Siri call me that. How does Mom know all of this stuff?


“Ecch, take this one away about Oprah. They should leave her alone! All she does is try to help people and if she is a lesbian, I say good for her! Would you look at Bill Clinton?” she points at another story. “He is losing too much weight. He should see his doctor.” Pages flip. “Do you think he’s a Black Panther? I’ve always been interested in the Panthers, I wonder if I should write to him?”


The conversation has derailed. I cautiously say the name of “He Who Should Not Be Named Because He Cheated On His Wife And Do Not Say Anything Bad About Jack Kennedy Because That Was Different.”


“Bill Clinton?”


Mom was a lifelong Democrat. Until the day came that she broke up with William Jefferson Clinton. It was a painful time in our Democratic tribe.


Mom makes a disgusted sound. “Not HIM! I mean Mr. Militant Black Man! You need to keep up. Also ask him if he knows anything about the Weather Underground. THAT is a very interesting story…”


As Mom launches into the details of Dr. Timothy Leary’s jailbreak, I make a mental note to remind myself we will not be asking about the Black Panthers on Twitter. I also notice she seems to have softened toward Bill Clinton and his health issues. It must the painkillers.




The late 1960′s 

Boston has struggled to overcome its sad history of inequality, steeped in the racism of Yawkey’s Fenway Park and paraded forth to Whitey Bulger’s Irish assault on interracial bussing. Decades ago the neighborhoods surrounding Beantown had powerful invisible lines of demarcation respected by all races and religions. You did not go enter any area where your “people” did not reside. It was a specific kind of racism that my grandfather believed was the result of immigrants attempting to recreate their home countries in the small pockets where they now resided. If mixing of these backgrounds occurred through “unfortunate” marriages, the lines shifted to separate the Catholics from everyone else. This created such confusion in some families that many newly married couples moved to New Hampshire.


My mother was a young single mother when she moved Sissy and I to a duplex just above a housing project in Worcester. We attended an experimental elementary school – the forerunner to the Magnet Program – and therefore our classmates came in every race and religion. Isolated from the fear and suspicion of Boston, we never had to learn that people are all the same. We already knew it. Mom was smart, she moved us there – against her parents’ wishes – to take advantage of what she realized could be the best educational opportunity she could offer us.


The schoolyard housed a little pony that all the kids clamored to feed and brush. We learned to read a new way, a technique that eventually became known as “speed reading.” Even kindergarteners were taught to use their peripheral vision to read books a line at a time instead of the traditional “word by word” routine. Yaya, Nana and Mom were all voracious readers-for-pleasure and this only enhanced our lifelong love of books.


Nana kept up with the news. Mom loved literature. Yaya loved the lurid true detective magazines she hid from her daughter but freely allowed her granddaughter – Mom – to enjoy. She also had a library of the early tabloids like Movie Screen so she could keep up with sagas like the marriages of Liz Taylor and Richard Burton and refer back to them for “research material” as new scandals unfolded.


Yaya also harbored a secret crush on Senator Edward Brooks. She had to hide her one-sided romance from her daughter. Not because Brooks was an African American. Because he was aRepublican. My grandparents were unique in their working class neighborhood because they truly didn’t care what color anybody was – as long as they were a Democrat.


“MOTHER!” Nana scolded when she found a pile of True Confessions hidden in Yaya’s laundry basket under her white nursing home uniforms. “Those are awful magazines! When you buy them, the store clerk probably tells the other customers that you’re Shanty Irish!”


Shanty Irish was a terrible insult and indicated that the recipient of such a comment was trashy. Yaya shrugged and waved her daughter off. “Better to be Shanty Irish that reads than Lace Curtain Irish that pretends they don’t!”


She was referring to Nana’s hidden stash of scandalous potboilers like Peyton Place and Valley Of The Dolls.


Lace Curtain Irish basically meant “Miss Fancy Pants.” Nana was known to put on a few airs now and again. It wasn’t until she was way into her seventies that she donned that red latex teddy. I was storing wardrobe in the bathroom closet for reshoots on a Burt Reynolds movie called Big City Blues. While visiting on Thanksgiving, Nana dug around and the cherry color caught her eye. She tried it on and pranced into the living room with a dramatic “TAH DAH!” All the guests screamed with delight.


Our childhood neighborhood on St. Nicholas Ave was a hill of small duplexes inhabited by single mothers. Weekends we’d tear down the street to collect any friends that were on “off weekends.” Off weekends meant this wasn’t your father’s visitation week. During the summer months, there was no need to knock on any doors. If you passed by a friend’s and the windows were open, the sound of Frank Sinatra or Dean Martin loudly spilling into the street was a sign to keep going. That friend was gone until Monday and the resident mother was housecleaning while Dino and Frankie crooned notes of encouragement about a better future.


Mom’s divorce was very difficult. Shunned by both sides of the family, we were her one link to even speaking to her parents. As much as Nana and Poppy were horrified she’d married a Greek, they became apocalyptic when she was “ex-communicated” – as Poppy called – from returning to the Catholic Church because she was now divorced. The bonds she’d made with our biological father’s family were in tatters. As usual, the one person who refused to take sides was Yaya. I can remember my short round great-grandmother coming to our snowy neighborhood in a cab, bearing groceries and treats, shoving small bills into Mom’s purse when her back was turned. This was after her own daughter forbade her to do so. “She made her bed, now she’s got to lie in it.”


But Yaya was a militant.


It was during this time of freedom that Mom flourished more than suffered. She read what she wanted, said what she thought and began a quest that lasted her entire life – learning as much as she could about the world, how it worked and everyone who lived in it. From rock and roll to human rights, Mom was delighted to create her own society. How grateful we are to her.



November 2013 Florida Hospital

“…because regular ties were used to strangle black men in the South.”


I look up from Twitter. “What the hell are you talking about, Mum?”


She sighed. “I was telling you that I met a gentleman who is a Black Muslim and I asked him why he wears a bow tie and he told me. I find that interesting and very sad at the same time. Don’t you?”


Seriously. Mom. “Where did you meet a Black Muslim?” I asked. “At the grocery store?”


Mom considers this. “No, my store is mostly old people. I met him at that vigil, remember? For Terri Schiavo’s parents? When I made that lasagna for them and Jesse Jackson? Because they had been there so long and you just can’t cook big meals in a motor home…”


Mom sure gets around.



March 2005

Terri Schiavo was the young St. Petersburg wife who suffered a cardiac arrest in 1990 and lapsed into a lengthy coma. Her husband and his experts insisted she was in a vegetative state and would never recover. He fought in the courts to have her life support removed. Terri’s parents felt their daughter was still there and would someday fully awaken. The battle waged on until 2005 when federal court allowed the removal of the feeding tube. Terri survived for thirteen days. During that time Mom drove down to the parking lot of the hospice facility where the Schiavos were staying, waiting, as did scores of others including the Reverend Jesse Jackson.


“Why doesn’t he just divorce her?” Mom fumed as she prodded the lasagna in the oven, pulled it out and covered it with Reynolds Wrap.


“Why don’t YOU just mind your own business?” Dad rattled the newspaper for emphasis. ”


“He just wants the insurance money! I saw it on The Intraneck…”




‘I CAN CALL IT WHAT I WANT!” Mom stomped her foot. She did not like to be corrected. “Why can’t he just give her back to her parents? I’m going down there!”


Dad slammed the paper down. “Oh no you are not! There’s probably gonna be a big riot. You could get hurt or you’ll get arrested!” What Dad meant was “You’ll get arrested!” but he threw the safety thing in so no one thought he was bitching he might have to leave the house and miss the ball game.


“Fine!” she fumed. She went into the bedroom and put on her good walking sneakers. She grabbed her keys, purse and the heavy pan.


“I’m going to the library!” she called on her way out the front door.




Mom did meet the Schiavos and Reverend Jesse Jackson. I wish I could relate the intimate details of their conversations, but I don’t know them. Mom said it was private. I do know Mom’s People told her that Terri was ready to move on, but was waiting for her parents to get to the same place. What Mom wanted was for Terri’s parents to have the time they needed. As for Reverend Jesse? No idea what they talked about. I can say that when Mom broke up with Bill Clinton, she never broke up with Jesse. So it must have been something pretty good.



November 2013 Florida Hospital

“He’s a good news friend for us,” Mom says of Mr. Militant Negro. “I like how he thinks.”


She put down The Enquirer and looked at me. “Don’t get on there telling him crazy things about that Al Gore inventing The Intraneck! He’ll think you’re a nut and block you!”


Mom now knows a thing or to about getting blocked. At least from Facebook. And I know enough not to correct her.


“OK Mum.” I read to her and think about Hillary and Mom and how she went from campaigning for Ted Kennedy to listening to Rush and then eventually rounding back to the creation of her own personal militant party. Because once a liberal, always a liberal.


Author’s Note: As children, Sissy and I didn’t want for much. Mom was an only child (or so she thought) and Nana and Poppy, as well as our Greek relatives, made sure there were always toys and trips. Mom saved all summer for school clothes. Even our dog Ziggy had a new collar every Christmas. It wasn’t until I became an adult that I realized it was Mom who often went without. As I write, I remember an “off weekend.” Mom shaking Jiffy Pop on the stove. The thin tinfoil balloon rising. Our duplex filled with the irresistible aroma of the coming evening, watching Creature Feature. Suddenly, the tinfoil exploded and popcorn flew all over the kitchen. Mom just laughed. Then she tossed the burnt tin in the sink and brought down a second Jiffy Pop from the top of the fridge. “I was afraid this might happen! I can’t have my girls go popcorn-less!”  I wonder what she didn’t buy for herself when decided instead to purchase that kernel insurance for us. You can still get those flat pie tins with the wire handle now and again at the Dollar Store and on the occasion when I see them, I always buy two. Thank you, Mom. Everybody needs an extra Jiffy Pop. Just in case.


Nana, Miami 1990′s, rockin’ like a hurricane. Mom was horrified when the photo appeared later on Facebook. Here it is again. Sorry Mom.

Nana, Miami 1990′s, rockin’ like a hurricane. Mom was horrified when the photo appeared later on Facebook. Here it is again. Sorry Mom.



This Is Mum. January 19, 1937 to December 24, 2013. Our Year Without Mum
















Margo Hart Brandt, wife, whimsical mother, grandmother, professional photographer, floral window designer, reader and researcher of everything spiritual passed away on December 24th 2013, the most magical day of the year.
Born to Alice and Edward Hart, Margo joined the world on January 19 in 1937 in Winchendon, Massachusetts. She twirled her way through Wachusett Regional High School as a drum majorette, was the owner of a baby goat who routinely ate her dresses off the clothesline, graduated from Nicholas School Of Business and entered adulthood as a wife, mother and a woman curious about the way everything in the world worked.
Margo spent her summers in Scituate, in a tiny New England seaside town, where she taught her daughters to shuck an entire lobster in three minutes, cheer for her beleaguered Boston Red Sox, to climb a rocky jetty in bare feet, the value of a small sparkle of blue-green sea glass and why periwinkles should remain in the ocean.
She was the manager of all family catastrophes. Margo jumped from the swimming pool and drove in her bathing suit to be by the side of a hospitalized granddaughter. After the death of her adult son, she legally adopted his widow to secure the circle of family.
Her husband Chet Brandt traveled the world from Boston to Japan, keeping America safe as a soldier. He graduated from the University of Miami, got a job providing assurance to needy families and scooped up the love of his life. She kept him hoppin’ for forty-three years.
Margo was the keeper of the flame of family accomplishments. With children and grandchildren employed in a wide spectrum of professions from lawyer, film producer, administrator, boat engineer and pathology technician to homemakers, a film and television stuntwoman and a wardrobe assistant, she made it her life’s work to champion their careers.
She marched to her own drummer and followed causes close to her own heart. Margo was an advocate and volunteer for the rights of abused women, CASA St. Petersburg, a supporter of LGBT equality, and children with Downs Syndrome, a faction of society she called, “God’s Angels.”
In her later years, Margo consumed books and movies like popcorn. Her favorite song was the fifties classic “Sh-Boom” by The Crew Cuts because life could be a dream but she loved all music from Sinatra to Eminem and especially Elvis.
In her mid-sixties, Margo had her belly button pierced because “it seemed like fun” and got a shamrock tattoo on her hip. She convinced her eighty-year-old husband to also visit the tattoo parlor and get his own military rendering on his arm.
Born into an Irish Catholic family, she studied Eastern religion and philosophy and based all of her own studies on the simple mantra of “Why not?”
She always identified herself on the telephone, even before you could say “Hello!” by announcing, “This IS Mum!”
Margo was born into a family of typical New England women. Occasionally referred to as difficult, these women always spoke their minds, never backed down and never gave up. They loved as fiercely as they often disagreed. As her own grandmother wrote, “This little girl I have loved all of my life.” In praise of difficult women!
Margo is survived by her husband, her daughters, her grandchildren and will also be remembered eternally by family and friends around the globe.
This little girl we have loved all of our life.
And she always loved the Bookmobile.
She would want you to know that.
So long Mum, and thanks for all the fish.

















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