Dr. Cornel West apparently has a bone to pick with President Barack Obama. Over time, the good Dr. West has become increasingly vocal in his critique of Obama, and even went as far as to say that Obama treated him "like a cub scout," when refusing to address his concerns about the administration’s behavior.
"Well, I’ll tell you, I had not talked to my dear brother since the Martin Luther King gathering in South Carolina, and very briefly Super Tuesday. But he did come and make a beeline to me after his speech on I think it was Thursday morning in Washington, D.C. I hadn’t seen him for two and a half weeks, and he made a beeline to me, though, brother, and he was deeply upset. He talked to me like I was a Cub Scout, and he was a pack master, you know what I mean?
6:14 PM on 03/04/2010
.WASHINGTON (AP) – Gay and lesbian couples will soon be able to marry in Washington, but the debate over same-sex marriage has sounded different here…
6:05 PM on 03/04/2010
NEW YORK (AP) – The driver who accused British supermodel Naomi Campbell of assaulting him said Thursday through his lawyer that he "got angry and overreacted"…
4:18 PM on 03/04/2010
VIDEO – A 12-year-old girl is being credited with stopping a burglary suspect from coming into her Missouri City, Texas home…
4:02 PM on 03/04/2010
VIDEO – As health care reform continues to dominate the agenda in Washington, a hearing today focused on prostate cancer…
2:55 PM on 03/04/2010
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) – The top spokesman for New York Gov. David Paterson is resigning and says he can’t in good conscience continue to serve…
1:03 PM on 03/04/2010
ATLANTA (AP) – Long before the nation obsessed over the sleeves of its black first lady, Eunice Johnson was shining a spotlight on black beauty and style…
12:25 PM on 03/04/2010
VIDEO – Charlotte-Mecklenburg Animal Care and Control, in North Carolina, mistakenly euthanized a family’s dogs and is now conducting an internal investigation to figure out what went wrong…
On April 15, 1907, Republican president Theodore Roosevelt issued a strong "Message to School Children" addressing the need for conservation and the importance of our environment. At the end of his message, President Roosevelt asked the youngest citizens to go out and help the president – by planting trees. Here’s an excerpt:
We of an older generation can get along with what we have, though with growing hardship; but in your full manhood and womanhood you will want what nature once so bountifully supplied and man so thoughtlessly destroyed; and because of that want you will reproach us, not for what we have used, but for what we have wasted… Source: New York Times Archives – Roosevelt to Children
Can you imagine what the right’s reaction would be if President Obama said something even remotely similar? "He’s turning our kids against our Constitutional right to consume at will!!!" "He’s trying to make our kids green Commies!!!" Yeah, right.
President Barack Obama said Wednesday that police acted "stupidly" in the arrest of prominent black scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. and that despite racial progress blacks and Hispanics are still singled out unfairly for arrest.
"This still haunts us," Obama said.
Obama called Gates a friend, and said he doesn’t know all the facts of the case. Nonetheless, Obama said, anyone would have been angry if treated the way Gates claims police in Cambridge, Mass., treated him. Gates claims he was arrested in his own home after showing ID to police who responded to a report of a possible burglary.
"Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof he was in own home," Obama said during a prime-time news conference that otherwise focused on the health care debate.
"What I think we know separate and apart from this incident is that there’s a long history in this country of African-Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately," Obama said. "That’s just a fact."
The chairman of the Republican Party on Monday called President Barack Obama’s plan to overhaul health care "socialism," accusing the president of conducting a risky experiment that will hurt the economy and force millions to drop their current coverage.
Michael Steele, in remarks at the National Press Club, also said the president, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and key congressional committee chairmen are part of a "cabal" that wants to implement government-run health care.
"Obama-Pelosi want to start building a colossal, closed health care system where Washington decides. Republicans want and support an open health care system where patients and doctors make the decisions," Steele said.
Asked if Obama’s health care plan represented socialism, Steele responded: "Yes. Next question."
Dr Boyce Watkins, Finance Professor at Syracuse University, discusses foreign policy, The Obama Administration and the Economy. Click the image to listen!
By Dr. Boyce Watkins
Let’s be clear: This recession has become President Barack Obama’s personal War on Terror. Like the War on Terror, the enemy is evasive, the challenge is global, international cooperation is necessary, and the battle is unlike any other in our nation’s history. Wars are good for political business: when people get scared, politicians get a blank check to fulfill their legislative agenda. After 9/11, President Bush used fear to get the entire nation to sign onto the Patriot Act, and years later, we are wondering if someone is going to tap our cell phones and illegally imprison us for not eating our Freedom Fries. Bad legislation is like an STD: you can pick it up with a snap decision, but you pay the price for the next 20 years.
For one of his first foreign visits, President Barack Obama will call on NATO ally Turkey, an overwhelmingly Muslim country viewed as critical to aiding the U.S. pullout from Iraq, turning around the Afghanistan war and blocking Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
The invasion of Iraq has strained the long friendship between the U.S. and Turkey, a Western-style democracy that straddles Europe and the Middle East and has an Islamic-oriented government. Obama’s visit, expected at the end of a European trip in early April, would mark an improvement in ties.
"We share a commitment to democracy, a secular constitution, respect for religious freedom and belief and in free market and a sense of global responsibility," U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Saturday in announcing Obama’s plans after meeting with Turkish leaders in the capital.
The visit is "a reflection of the value we place on our friendship with Turkey," the chief American diplomat said on the last stop of her week-long trip to five countries. The president asked her to make the announcement, she added.
Turkey had advised against the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 and refused to permit U.S. ground forces to launch elements of the attack from Turkish soil.
Reversing an eight-year-old limit on potentially life-saving science, President Barack Obama plans to lift restrictions Monday on taxpayer-funded research using embryonic stem cells.
The long-promised move will allow a rush of research aimed at one day better treating, if not curing, ailments from diabetes to paralysis — research that crosses partisan lines, backed by such notables asNancy Reagan and the late Christopher Reeve. But it stirs intense controversy over whether government crosses a moral line with such research.
Obama will hold an event at the White House to announce the move, a senior administration official said Friday. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the policy had not yet been publicly announced.
Embryonic stem cells are master cells that can morph into any cell of the body. Scientists hope to harness them so they can create replacement tissues to treat a variety of diseases — such as new insulin-producing cells for diabetics, cells that could help those withParkinson’s disease or maybe even Alzheimer’s, or new nerve connections to restore movement after spinal injury.
It’s time to talk about marijuana.
Under President Bush, the federal Drug Enforcement Agency undertook several raids on marijuana dispensaries in California. The raids cast into sharp relief the gulf between California state law, which has legalized the distribution of marijuana for medicinal purposes, and federal law and enforcement policy under the Bush administration, which was decidedly less tolerant.
But under President Obama, the scenario might well be changing. According to this recent San Francisco Chronicle article, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is sending strong signals that President Obama – who as a candidate said states should be allowed to make their own rules on medical marijuana – will end raids on pot dispensaries in California.
“What the president said during the campaign, you’ll be surprised to know, will be consistent with what we’ll be doing here in law enforcement,” said Holder last week. “What he said during the campaign is now American policy.”
So what did Obama say on the campaign trail? He told one interviewer that it was “entirely appropriate” for a state to legalize the medical use of marijuana “with the same controls as other drugs prescribed by doctors.”
Republicans attacked President Obama’s proposed $3.6 trillion budget Tuesday as offering "red ink as far as the eye can see," and Democrats even suggested that the president might be trying to solve too many problems at once.
As administration officials trekked to Capitol Hill to defend Obama’s budget, they were met with skepticism from both sides of the aisle because of the huge changes the president has promised to make in taxes, health care, energy and education.
THE OVAL: Proposals and analysis
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and White House Budget Director Peter Orszag, in separate appearances, stuck to the administration line that the president’s budget would benefit 95% of working Americans.
Higher taxes for affluent Americans would not come until 2011 once "we are safely into recovery," Geithner told the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee.
"I’m confident this is the right path for the country," he said.
But Republicans disagreed.
"The president’s budget increases taxes on every American, and does so during a recession," Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., told Geithner.
Camp also complained about provisions that would limit the size of charitable deductions that could be taken by families earning more than $250,000 a year.
Orszag faced similar questioning before the House Budget Committee.
Tax Troubles: Take Five opened at the White House Monday with revelations that another of President Obama’s Cabinet-level nominees has problems with unpaid taxes.
The Senate Finance Committee announced Monday that Ron Kirk, nominee for trade representative, owes roughly $10,000 in taxes from 2005, 2006 and 2007 for speaking fees he donated to his alma mater.
The former Dallas mayor routinely gave his speaking fees directly to Austin College in Sherman, Texas, instead of accepting them, reporting them as income and paying taxes on them, the committee said. It said he has agreed to pay the debt.
Kirk, a lawyer in private practice, also deducted $17,382 for tickets to Dallas Mavericks basketball games as entertainment expenses but could not substantiate more than 7,000 of the expenses, so he owes $2,600 in back taxes for those expenses, the committee said.
Kirk, who served as Dallas mayor from 1995-2001, is the fifth Obama nominee to run into tax trouble.
A man from Chicago has been arrested because he attempted to infect U.S. President Barack Obama with his blood infected by the HIV virus, Fox reported. He also sent Obama’s staff envelopes with the infected blood.
The perpetrator is a citizen of Ethiopia, Saad Hussein. He sent the envelope soaked in blood to Obama’s office in Springfield. Along with the blood-soaked letter, the envelope contained an invitation to Obama’s electoral victory celebration and other documents.
By Dr. Boyce Watkins
I’ll start by saying that I love Tavis Smiley and have a tremendous amount of respect for him. Ok, I’ve said it, and I meant it. I hope you believe me as I write.
Tavis Smiley’s work in the Black community is critically important. But there is a difference between being an intelligent guide to enlightenment and being downright self-righteous. Tavis has a way of putting political leaders “on blast” for not showing up at his forums. When he held a debate for the Republicans in the 2008 Presidential Primaries, there were several Republican presidential candidates who chose not to attend. I understand being upset about this, because the Republican Party has paid dearly for its racism and ignorance of the needs of the Black community. Smiley responded to the Republican snub by putting the name of the candidate on the podium even if they were not there. This was a clear reminder to those in the audience that the leader “doesn’t care about issues in the Black community.”
When holding the State of the Black Union of 2008 (some confuse it with the State of Black America, issued each year by the Urban League), Smiley again invited as many political leaders as he could find, with Hillary Clinton being his star for the day. Then Senator Barack Obama, in the middle of a heated battle for Democratic delegates in Texas and Ohio, said that he could not attend the forum. Instead, he offered his wife Michelle to attend in his place. That’s when the drama got heated.
Tavis, appearing to be offended by Obama’s slight toward his conference, proceeded to nibble away at Obama’s heels every morning on The Tom Joyner Morning Show. The segments started with “he-say, she-say”, in which Tavis claimed that no one from the Obama camp offered Michelle up for attendance. But even if they had, Tavis claimed that no spouse of a presidential candidate would be acceptable for the conference, even Bill Clinton.
I must admit that I felt Tavis was doing a “Karl Rove” on the truth. It was also a slap in the face of Black women everywhere who have tremendous respect for Michelle Obama. Finally, Smiley’s words and actions bordered on petty and angered the millions of African-Americans who’d come to believe that Barack Obama could walk on water. While I’ve never felt that Obama could walk on water, I certainly did not understand Smiley’s confused obsession with Obama’s behavior. Smiley’s comments toward the Black presidential candidate reminded me of the same double standard I can sometimes get as a Black professor. You may have Black students who feel a certain degree of comfort with you, and thus empowered enough to attack you more than they would a White professor with whom they have no prior social affiliation. These situations can be nightmares, as they reflect problems with the collective self-esteem of the Black community, which leads us to feel that attacking and hurting one another is easier, and thus more satisfying than working together to fight Black oppression. In other words, Smiley was reflecting the same sentiment held by Black men who shoot one another on the street, but stand in fear of the racism in White America. Aaron McGruder, creator of the popular cartoon, “The Boondocks”, would refer to this as “a nigger moment.”
Phones were ringing off the hook, as I had friends from California to New York calling and asking “What’s wrong with Tavis?” I had no idea, since I don’t know Tavis personally. However, because we run in the same circles, I know plenty of people who know plenty of people who know Tavis. One of my great and respected friends, Kyle Bowser, is one of Tavis’ best friends, and Kyle rang my phone the day after I made my comments. Going through the blogs of other Black scholars, I had a chance to see their reactions. Melissa Harris-Lacewell at Princeton University, an intelligent (though somewhat elitist) scholar, happened to be incredibly poignant in her critique of Tavis Smiley’s behavior.
Melissa angered Tavis by writing a column that asked ”Who died and made Tavis King?”. I wasn’t as direct in my critique of Tavis, but I did have some strong words for him. I did not want to deliver any commentary on the Tavis via the major networks, since I honestly feel that there are some conversations Black folks need to have behind closed doors. But given that we get nearly 100,000 Black readers per week on our website YourBlackWorld, I felt this to be a fitting venue to let the world know how I feel.
I issued a statement agreeing with my friend Roland Martin at CNN, who felt that Tavis was out of line by making such a strong demand on Obama at such a critical time. Yes, Hillary Clinton showed up in spite of being on the same campaign trail, but the fact was that Hillary was well positioned to win in the upcoming battlegrounds states, Texas and Ohio. Also, Hillary Clinton needed to regain the ground in the Black community that was lost when her husband Bill shot himself in the foot. The words out of Bill Clinton’s mouth were so vile, that his own “ghetto pass” was revoked immediately. Clinton had compared Barack Obama to Jesse Jackson, implying that he was simply a Black presidential candidate with no chance to win White voters. While Jesse ran a great campaign, the notion that Obama’s fate would be similar to his own was disappointing for many Black people to hear. Clinton was no longer one of us, and he certainly was not the “first Black president” anymore.
I also felt that Tavis should have been more careful about being too critical of Obama in light of the fact that he was accusing Barack of doing some things that he himself had been doing. For example, Tavis claimed that he was not going to give Obama a “ghetto pass” just because he was Black. Rather, he would challenge him and question him like he would anyone else. First, Tavis’ words presumed (self-righteously) that he knows what is best for Black folks and we cannot make this determination ourselves. No one gives the “ghetto pass” to Ward Connerly (the guy in California fighting against Affirmative Action) or Condoleeza Rice, so the idea that Black candidates get votes only because they are Black is simply ridiculous. A “ghetto pass”, should such a pass exist, must be earned, and Obama had earned the love, trust and support of the Black community. To presume that people were supporting him just because he is Black is an insult to the collective intelligence of the Black community.
Secondly, Tavis himself had been long receiving the very same “ghetto passes” that he felt Black America was unfairly bestowing upon Obama. As powerful and revolutionary as Tavis may have sounded on The Tom Joyner Morning show, the fact that you hear “This was brought to you by Walmart” at the end of each segment reminds you that the message has been diluted by corporate sponsorship. No great Black revolutionary in American history has ever been brought to you by McDonald’s, Walmart, Wells Fargo, or any of the other corporations that sponsor Tavis’ forums.
Additionally, there is a clear reality in the life of Tavis Smiley, one that he cannot ignore: the Covenant with Black America, The State of the Black Union Conference, The “Pass The Mic” Tour, and everything else Tavis has done was created with the express objective of obtaining revenue and profitability for his corporate sponsors. Tavis has sold himself (and I do not use the word “sold” in a negative sense) to White American corporations as the broker of Black leadership. He is the man that many corporate executives believe they can go to in order to reach the African-American masses. We are the drugs, and he is the pusher: White corporate America represents the group of addicts getting high on the profitability of Black consumption.
As a Finance Professor, I must say that I see nothing wrong with the Tavis Smiley business model. I am not here to say that Tavis has “sold out”, for I don’t believe he has. We all sell something in order to make a living, and even the concept of “selling out” presumes that one has managed the thin line between making a profitable trade, versus giving up something of tremendous value. The problems with the Tavis Smiley business model arise when such a business model is pursued carelessly or selfishly. I do not accuse Tavis Smiley of being careless or selfish. However, his attacks on Senator Barack Obama, none of which were thrust on Senator Hillary Clinton, smelled of self-interest from a man who appeared to feel slighted that Obama jumped his place in the line of great Black leadership.
I felt sorry for Tavis after seeing the reactions of our readers on YourBlackWorld. Hundreds of emails and comments were coming in every day, with many readers claiming that they were once Tavis Smiley fans, but not anymore. Overnight, Tavis went from being incredibly popular, to becoming the Milly Vanilly of social commentary. I can’t help but wonder what happened behind closed doors, as I am sure his publisher became concerned that he could no longer sell books. His corporate sponsors were surely aware of the fact that he was not in control of the Black audience they were buying from him. I am willing to bet that his life was a mess, at least for a while.
I hope this year’s State of the Black Union Conference is a bit more balanced. Tavis is a good brother who deserves our respect. But it is my greatest hope that he learns the difference between balanced critiques and flat out “haterology”. I do a lot of critiquing, but when it comes to Obama, I want him to succeed. I sincerely hope that Tavis wants the same.
“10 Things You Should Consider about the State of the Black Union – by Dr. Boyce Watkins”
President Barack Obama challenged the nation’s vested interests to a legislative duel Saturday, saying he will fight to change health care, energy and education in dramatic ways that will upset the status quo.
"The system we have now might work for the powerful and well-connected interests that have run Washington for far too long," Obama said in his weekly radio and video address. "But I don’t. I work for the American people."
He said his ambitious budget plan, unveiled Thursday, will help millions of Americans, but only if Congress overcomes resistance from deep-pocket lobbies.
"I know these steps won’t sit well with the special interests and lobbyists who are invested in the old way of doing business, and I know they’re gearing up for a fight," Obama said, using tough-guy language reminiscent of his predecessor, George W. Bush. "My message to them is this: So am I."
Some analysts say Obama’s proposals are almost radical. But he said all of them were included in his campaign promises. "It is the change the American people voted for in November," he said.
Nonetheless, he said, well-financed interest groups will fight back furiously.
President Obama has talked tough about the need to shed wasteful spending. But will he practice what he preaches? His one-time rival, Sen. John McCain, brought up a pricey presidential project that seems a bit unnecessary — a fleet of 28 new Marine One helicopters that will cost taxpayers around $11.2 billion.
At a recent summit to cut the federal deficit, Sen. McCain suggested that if President Obama wants to help the economy, perhaps he should consider canceling the order. Obama replied that he’s already looking into it. Obama then joked that perhaps he’s been unknowingly deprived all his life, but his current Marine One chopper seems just fine to him. CNN is reporting that the new helicopters, which were originally ordered by President George W. Bush not long after 9/11, are now on hold (though not officially cancelled…yet).
Naturally, all this talk of gazillion-dollar equipment has people searching. Folks are desperate to know more about the fancy helicopters, what they can do, and why they cost such an exorbitant sum of cash. Queries immediately surged on "marine one photos" and "why is it called marine one." Regarding the second inquiry: It’s called Marine One only when the president is aboard.
President Barack Obama takes center stage on Tuesday to try to sell the American people on his broader agenda for jolting the United States out of deep recession and confronting long-term economic challenges.
Riding high in opinion polls, Obama will deliver a State of the Union-style address at 9 p.m. EST in his first appearance before a joint session of Congress since he took office five weeks ago.
The primetime speech, the opening act on Capitol Hill for any new president, comes in a pivotal week for Obama. He will roll out his firstbudget proposal on Thursday against a backdrop of growing public anxiety over the worst economic crisis in decades.
In a stark reminder of how grim the situation has become, Wall Street slumped to a 12-year low on Monday as investors worried about the government nationalizing ailing major banks, a prospect the White House tried to play down.
Attorney General Eric Holder took heat this week for doing something that most Black elected officials are simply not willing to do: He told the truth about race. During a Black History Month speech, the Attorney General lost some major political points by stating that when it comes to discussing race in America, we have become “a nation of cowards”. I couldn’t have been prouder, for you have to be pretty damn brave to admit that we are as cowardly as we are.
I watched the words roll out of Holder’s mouth like steamy breath pouring out on a cold winter day. I simply couldn’t believe it. Eric Holder wasn’t just speaking about Black History, he was MAKING Black History. While everyone looks to the first Black President to deliver something other than Ebony magazine covers, I am also looking to see if the first Black Attorney General can deliver some real progress on a justice system that has mutilated Black families across the nation.
Sure, being the first Black Attorney General is a nice accomplishment, almost cute. I don’t use the word “cute” to demean the significance of Holder’s achievements, but far too many African Americans are focused on obtaining such accolades in America as long as they remember to never really use their prominence to make a difference. You are given the keys to the vault as long as you firmly agree to keep the keys out of the reach of the Black masses. You are not to mention race in any meaningful way, and if you do, you’ll get body slammed, even by the most liberal among us. Racism in America is deep, and the disease has the greatest impact on those who think they’ve been cured.
Don’t believe me? Just answer this question (I say this as someone who likes Barack Obama and voted for him): When was the last time you heard President Barack Obama even say the words “black man”, “black men”, or “black male” in any forum other than a Black event? Instead, you only hear him speaking for the middle class and gleefully indulging us with borderline ridiculous and hyper-redundant comparisons to Abraham Lincoln (who is given far too much credit for the ending of slavery). Were he to compare himself to Martin Luther King or even acknowledge the existence of Malcolm X, he would be crucified for it. President Obama is allowed to humiliate and chastise Black men in speeches about personal responsibility, but he would be severely punished if he were to give those same speeches to the masses of Americans who have squandered their wealth and helped to destroy our financial system (especially those on Wall Street). He speaks on Black men needing to take accountability in spite of urban Black male unemployment rates as high as 40%, while he uses policy support and massive spending to coddle a nation dealing with 7.4% unemployment. I say all this as a fan of Barack Obama, but I also say this as a man who believes that the hard work on racial equality must be done by those in power if we are to ever have a chance of fulfilling Dr. King’s dream. This does not imply that Barack Obama does not believe in racial equality. It is to say that he is likely being told that discussing the truth on race in America will get him into serious trouble. Even if you are not a coward yourself, you are forced into taking cowardly positions on honest racial dialogue when you realize that the punishment for such engagement is incredibly steep.
I know what Eric Holder was talking about in that speech. I know that the price for speaking honestly on race is high, for I pay it every day on my own campus (I will probably pay it for writing this article). Every day, I witness conversations being had around the dinner table that most Black people know they cannot have in public. Eric Holder, by virtue of his willingness to bring the dinner table conversations into the public eye, has now joined me in the group that has been labeled to be “bad angry Black men”.
Being labeled as the “Angry Black Man” can be sad and hurtful. It doesn’t matter how nice you are. I can be as friendly and personable as I want, but the truth of the matter is that if you speak openly about the mass incarceration of Black males, the horrific conditions of inner city schools or the massive unemployment rates of Black males across America, you are going to be attacked and discredited for it. I saw Lou Dobbs (CNN’s version of Bill O’Reilly) mention that he doesn’t feel that Holder is “passing the test” to be qualified as Attorney General, all because Holder made one strong statement about racial equality, one that Martin Luther King would agree with wholeheartedly. What is saddest about our nation is that we have a long history of crucifying those who’ve pushed hardest for our country to advance its racial dialogue. The response to such conversation is as predictable as a dog in front of a bowl of Puppy Chow.
I once recall mentioning the idea of having a prominent Black scholar come to my campus to speak on the social implications and questionable capitalist incentives of mass incarceration and stock ownership in the prison industry. This was a Finance topic, and I am a Finance professor. The idea was shot down immediately by another Black man who felt it would scare the people on campus. When I do CNN interviews on matters related to race, higher administrators on my campus celebrate interviews by other faculty while pretending that my interview never happened. Black scholarship is considered to be “ghetto scholarship”, because those evaluating the quality of such work are typically those who understand or appreciate it the least. The issue of race is demeaned to being a footnote of worthless banter by those who need to learn to keep their mouths shut.
Where Eric Holder and I differ is that he is far more courageous than me. He has decided that he can both be the Attorney General of the United States and speak honestly on behalf of African Americans. I gave up on being a campus Dean, President or high ranking government official a long time ago, since I enjoy the freedom of speech that comes with academic marginalization. I run my own business so that no one can control me financially and pull the suffocating purse strings that cause the rest of us to keep the truth in our pockets. The funniest part of it all is that every piece of historical evidence says that we are simply engaging in the same denial as the previous generation. When I was approached about joining the Obama Administration, I immediately said no – I love Barack to death, but I am not interested in being controlled by lies and pandering. I am not sure what Eric Holder was trying to do with his statement, but I am incredibly proud of him and I hope his statement is a signal regarding how he will conduct business as The United States Attorney General. Our country should be absolutely ashamed of the way it has dismissed Black men in the prison system, giving them longer sentences for the same crimes, disenfranchising them from the rest of the world and using the criminal justice system as a path to modern day slavery. If only we could get liberal groups to be as passionate over this injustice as they are about saving the environment. Perhaps then, meaningful and mutually respectful multi-racial coalitions can exist.
Eric Holder, you have my respect. Unfortunately, not everyone is going to feel that way. Yes, you are right, we are a nation of cowards, and until we gain the courage to have honest conversations, we are always going to be plagued by race. Dreams (like that of Dr. King) are created while we are sleeping. But these dreams are fulfilled when our eyes are wide open and we are wide awake. Wake up America…..it’s time to be honest.
Dr. Boyce Watkins is a Finance Professor at Syracuse University and author of “What if George Bush were a Black Man?” He makes regular appearances in national media, including CNN, ESPN, BET and CBS. For more information, please visit www.BoyceWatkins.com.
"Obama’s first month has been marked by wasteful spending, failed bipartisanship, and questionable ethics," the RNC said in a document circulated to reporters.
Mayor Sheila Dixon, in her first extended television interview since she was indicted in January, told WJZ that she was "floored" by the accusation that she stole gift cards from needy families and "bothered" that Barack Obama snubbed her during a pre-inaugural visit to Baltimore.
Reporter Adam May said the interview was granted without ground rules, though Dixon told the station that she would not answer specific questions about the 12-count indictment filed against her after a nearly three-year investigation of City Hall corruption by the state prosecutor’s office.
Dixon is charged with theft, perjury for failing to disclose gifts from developers and misuse of office. She has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and did so again in the interview.
Dixon said, "I was floored" when accused of taking gift cards intended for low-income families.
His massive stimulus plan now signed into law, President Barack Obama is turning to attack the home foreclosure crisis at the heart of the nation’s deepening economic woes.
His goal is to prevent millions of American families from losing their houses because they can’t make mortgage payments.
"We must stem the spread of foreclosures and falling home values for all Americans, and do everything we can to help responsible homeowners stay in their homes," Obama said Tuesday as he signed his tax cut and spending package into law.
The ambitious plan he was announcing at a Phoenix high school Wednesday was expected to offer government cash to mortgage companies that reduce interest rates — and therefore monthly payments — for homeowners in danger of default, according to several people briefed on the plan. What remained unclear was how the government will decide who qualifies for relief.
One Democratic official familiar with the plan said it also would allow homeowners to refinance their mortgages if they owed more than their homes were valued. Still another section would give bankruptcy judges more authority to change mortgages. That last provision has been opposed by lenders, who said it would add risk and lead to higher interest rates.
President Obama has dropped the idea of appointing a single, powerful “car czar” to oversee the revamping of General Motors and Chrysler and will instead keep the politically delicate task in the hands of his most senior economic advisers, a top administration official said Sunday night.
Mr. Obama is designating the Treasury secretary, Timothy F. Geithner, and the chairman of the National Economic Council, Lawrence H. Summers, to oversee a presidential panel on the auto industry. Mr. Geithner will also supervise the $17.4 billion in loan agreements already in place with G.M. and Chrysler, said the official, who insisted on anonymity.
The official also said that Ron Bloom, a restructuring expert who has advised the labor unions in the troubled steel and airline industries, would be named a senior adviser to Treasury on the auto crisis.
The unexpected shift comes as G.M. and Chrysler race to complete broad restructuring plans they must file with the Treasury by Tuesday. The companies’ plans are required to show progress in cutting long-term costs as a condition for keeping their loans.
The administration official said the president was reserving for himself any decision on the viability of G.M. and Chrysler, both of which came close to bankruptcy before receiving federal aid two months ago.
One of President Obama’s top advisers said Sunday that the administration had not ruled out a government-backed bankruptcy as a means to overhaul the automakers.
“We’re going to need a restructuring of these companies,” the adviser, David Axelrod, said on “Meet the Press” on NBC. He added that a turnaround of the companies would “require sacrifice not just from the auto workers but also from creditors, from shareholders and the executives who run the company.”
The U.S. Senate gave final approval Friday to a $787 billion recovery package that President Obama hopes will help boost an economy in freefall with a combination of government spending and tax cuts and credits.
Sen. Sherrod Brown speaks to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid at right on the Senate floor Friday.
Approved earlier by the House, the plan — which went through multiple permutations as it bounced back and forth on Capitol Hill over the past week — now goes to Obama’s desk, where he plans to sign it into law by Presidents Day.
Spending in the package includes about $120 billion for infrastructure — new projects repairing bridges, roads, government buildings and the like — more than $100 billion for education and $30 billion on energy-related projects that Obama says will create "green jobs."
More than $212 billion goes to tax breaks for individuals and businesses, and another $267 billion is in direct spending like food stamps and unemployment benefits.
The Congressional Budget Office has predicted that the plan will create between 1 million and 3 million jobs.
Most individuals will get a $400 tax credit, and couples will get $800.
The vote by the Senate took several hours longer than a simple roll call of its 100 members generally would. Sen. Sherrod Brown, a Democrat from Ohio, attended a wake for his mother until about 8 p.m. Friday.
Voting began about 5:30 p.m. Then, the Senate chamber sat nearly empty until Brown arrived to vote about five hours later.
He was flown from Ohio to Washington on a plane provided by the White House, which said no commercial flights were available that would have allowed Brown to cast a vote and return to Ohio in time for his mother’s funeral Saturday.
It is a quick, sweet victory for the new president, and potentially a historic one. The question now is whether the $789 billion economic stimulus plan agreed to by Congressional leaders on Wednesday is the opening act for a more ambitious domestic agenda from President Obama or a harbinger of reduced expectations.
Deal Reached in Congress on $789 Billion Stimulus Plan(February 12, 2009)
President Obama and Gov. Tim Kaine on Wednesday at a parkway project in Springfield, Va., that could get stimulus money.Both the substance of his first big legislative accomplishment and the way he achieved it underscored the scale of the challenges facing the nation and how different a political climate this is from the early stages of recent administrations.
While it hammered home the reality of bigger, more activist government, the economic package was not the culmination of a hard-fought ideological drive, like Lyndon B. Johnson’s civil rights and Great Society programs, orRonald Reagan’s tax cuts, but rather a necessary and hastily patched-together response to an immediate and increasingly dire situation. On the domestic issues Mr. Obama ran and won on — health care, education, climate change, rebalancing the distribution of wealth — the legislation does little more than promise there will be more to come.
In cobbling together a plan that could get through both the House and the Senate, Mr. Obama prevailed, but not in the way he had hoped. His inability to win over more than a handful of Republicans amounted to a loss of innocence, a reminder that his high-minded calls for change in the practice of governance had been ground up in a matter of weeks by entrenched forces of partisanship and deep, principled differences between left and right.
In the end, Congress did not come together to address what Mr. Obama has regularly suggested is a crisis that could rival the Great Depression. What consensus has been forged so far is likely to be tested in the months to come as he faces scrutiny over the effectiveness of the stimulus package and the likelihood that he will have to ask Congress for substantially more money to heal the fractures in the financial system.
So this was hardly a moment for cigars.
If this is the 21st-century version of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s 100 Days, Mr. Obama seems to be pursuing it more as an urgent but imposed necessity than as a self-selected mission.
While he has deployed his political capital freely to win approval of the package and to begin pushing his version of a financial-system rescue, he has left little doubt that he is eager to move on to the rest of his domestic agenda. At his news conference on Monday night, Mr. Obama said with a hint of exasperation that a costly economic rescue package “wasn’t how I envisioned my presidency beginning.” Regardless of the government’s budgetary straits, Mr. Obama has signaled that he sees his other signature initiatives not just as salvageable but as more urgent than ever.
I am overcome by the following news from Sri Lanka that more than 100,000 of my people are sandwiched between the Sri Lankan government and the Tamil militants. http://tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=28378
It is a pity that we hear very little in our media about potential human tragedies of this magnitude.
Although not a poet, I have written this poem to express my feelings and to awaken the conscience of the international community.
Please pass this on to people who may be able to do something to save the lives of these innocent civilians.
Tamil people and a Silent World
When their rights were being taken away, the world was silent.
When their land was being colonized, the world was silent.
When their protests were being ignored, the world was silent.
When their politicians were being expelled, the world was silent.
When their press was being crushed, the world was silent.
When their ladies were being raped, the world was silent.
When their loved ones were being abused, the world was silent.
When their leaders were being bought, the world was silent.
The world was willing speak only after matters reached the two extremes:
The world expressed their sorrow after their people were massacred in 1983.
The world expressed their anger after their youth spoke back with violence.
Of world, do you have eyes to see only the violence of their youth?
Don’t you have eyes to see the prejudice of their government?
Oh world, do you have ears to hear only the lie of their government?
Don’t you have ears to hear the cry of the Tamil people?
Oh world, won’t you speak while the Sri Lankan Tamil people are still alive as a people group?
Do you have to wait for another massacre to break your silence?
A coalition of Democrats and some Republicans reached a compromise that trimmed billions in spending from an earlier version of the Senate economic stimulus bill.
Senators worked late into the night to trim billions from the original stimulus bill.
CNN obtained, from a Democratic leadership aide, a list of some programs that have been cut, either entirely or partially:
• $3.5 billion for energy-efficient federal buildings (original bill $7 billion)
• $75 million from Smithsonian (original bill $150 million)
• $200 million from Environmental Protection Agency Superfund (original bill $800 million)
• $100 million from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (original bill $427 million)
• $100 million from law enforcement wireless (original bill $200 million)
• $300 million from federal fleet of hybrid vehicles (original bill $600 million)
• $100 million from FBI construction (original bill $400 million)
• $55 million for historic preservation
• $122 million for Coast Guard polar icebreaker/cutters
• $100 million for Farm Service Agency modernization
Seems that everyone didn’t like Beyonce’s performance of "At Last" for the Obama’s on inauguration night. The original singer of the song,Etta James, had some harsh words for Beyonce, and even threatened her. During a performance in Seattle Etta told the audience,
"You know, YOUR President, the one with the big ears-he ain’t MY President–had that woman singing for him at his Inauguration. She’s going to get her ass whooped….Beyonce…I can’t stand Beyonce."
DAMN, she was going hard on Obama too. What is she so mad for???
Posted By N. Taylor to Your Black Gossip at 2/04/2009 08:44:00 PM
A contentious debate over a "Buy American" provision in the economic stimulus package poses an early test for President Obama on both domestic politics and foreign policy.
The Senate this week is considering an $885 billion bill designed to help mend the ailing economy, which requires all "manufactured goods" purchased with stimulus money to be made in the United States. The House already has approved a narrower bill mandating the use of domestic iron and steel.
To supporters, including labor unions that helped the Democrats retake the White House last year, a "Buy American" requirement is just common sense at a time of economic crisis and rising unemployment. Factories have been hemorrhaging jobs for years; manufacturing employment is now 12.9 million, down from 17.2 million at the end of 2000. If Congress doesn’t insist upon the use of U.S.-made materials, taxpayer funds could line the pockets of European or Chinese workers rather than hard-hit Americans.
"I don’t think Washington wins," President Obama tells NBC’s Brian Williams in the interview that the TV network will broadcast this evening — one of five sit-downs the president did with national news anchors this afternoon.
"The fact of the matter is Tom Daschle pulled out today," Obama continues. "And I’m here on television saying I screwed up and that’s part of the era of responsibility; is not never making mistakes; it’s owning up to them and trying to make sure you never repeat them and that’s what we intend to do."
The networks are sending out excerpts. Highlights from the others we’ve gotten so far:
• Obama tells ABC’s Charles Gibson this was an embarrassing day for his administration, with the collapse of Daschle’s nomination as Health and Human Services secretary and Nancy Killefer as chief performance officer.
"We’re going to have some glitches," Obama adds, "and I understand that that’s what people are going to focus on. And I’m focused on it because I don’t want glitches. We can’t afford glitches because, right now, what I should be spending time talking to you about is how we’re going to put three to four million people back to work. And so this is a self-induced injury that I’m angry about, and we’re going to make sure we get it fixed."
Ariel Binns is cute, smart, outgoing and looks remarkably like first daughter Sasha Obama.
Young model Ariel Binns, right, resembles Sasha Obama.
The similarity has not gone unnoticed by the fashion industry. Harper’s Bazaar magazine cast the 6-year-old Brooklyn, New York, first-grader with model Tyra Banks in a photo spread showing an African-American family in the White House.
Binns, a child model, was peering out from under a big wooden desk in an image reminiscent of John F. Kennedy’s time in office.
When it comes to fashion there’s nothing like a powerful brand to boost sales, especially if that brand is a dynamic first family.
“Marketers are finally waking up to it — you know — black is beautiful,” says global branding expert David Rogers who predicts African-American models will play a more prominent role in fashion photography as a direct result of the Obamas. “It’s just going to become part of the fabric of the fashion imagery of pop culture, which is a great thing,” says Rogers. Watch young first daughter look-alike model »
At Wilhelmina Kids, a modeling agency in New York for kids and teens, agents say there is increased demand for first daughter look-alikes.
“It’s a trend because, what little girl doesn’t want to emulate the first kids?” said Marlene Wallach, president of Wilhelmina, which represents Binns.
Unlike the Bush twins or Chelsea Clinton, global branding experts say the appeal of the Obama girls is unique — and infinitely marketable. After the first kids appeared in their J.Crew outfits on Inauguration Day, the company’s Web site got so many hits, it crashed.