It appears that Fox News is at it again. The same network that has commentators like Eric Bolling, who asked why President Obama was "inviting so many hoods to the hizzy" referenced his 50th birthday party as a "Hip-Hop Barbecue."
by Renee Greene, Your Black World
Vote: It’s what our ancestors fought, and died, for.
…even if we take away America’s credit rating. He stays on message, even if he has to shift gears from time to time.
The one thing we’ve seen is that he maneuvers very well in opposition traffic. Though some of his moves have been about as frightening as jumping on a roller coaster while it’s moving, especially considering all of those who keep trying to derail him and get him off-message, the one thing I’ve notice since I jumped on the campaign coaster in mid-2007 is that he keeps saying the same thing over and over, ad nauseum. And the opposition? Well, they apparently are threatening to make the President look bad in the public eye, even to the point where they will kill themselves to get it done. It’s very personal for them, and he’s not letting them go there, and it’s driving them mad. With the President, I noticed, as long as you don’t mess with his wife, his girls, his aunt, his grandma in Kenya, his mother-in-law, or with Bo-bama, he’s fine. That gets his dander up and he’s not so Mr. Cool any more.
Your Black Politics received this message from the White House today. It is President Obama’s first response to recent reports that for the first time in U.S. history, federal government debt has been downgraded from AAA status.
Your Black World reports.
Princeton University Professor and Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman expressed his concerns about the recent debt ceiling deal between President Obama and the Republicans. Krugman said that the president effectively caved in to threats from the Republicans, and gave them what they wanted.
Below is a direct cut and paste of the White House’s most recent work on Civil Rights. I obtained the information from this link:
. I was inspired to visit the page after receiving an email from Michael Blake, Associate Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement (he was on the panel with myself, Al Sharpton and Ben Jealous at the Measuring the Movement forum this year in New York City). They are working hard to get African Americans enthusiastic about the 2012 elections and Blake is the man on the job.
Yes class. This is why we double check and proofread our work. MSNBC reporter Norah O’Donnell, in an effort to get the news out ahead of the competition, sent this message out on Twitter, citing NBC Chief Pentagon Correspondent Jim Miklaszewski as her source. You can imagine that she probably got more than a couple of tweet backs as a result. The killing of Osama Bin Laden was the big news of the day, but some would speculate that the killing of President Obama would make for a more shocking headline.
“The President invited the living participants in the Memphis Sanitation Strike to honor their courage, and their fight on behalf of all workers for safe conditions, respect in the workplace and a better life for themselves and their families. As workers across the country continue to face challenges to their rights, the issues for which these men fought continue to be relevant and the President remains committed to the causes for which they marched.” – from the White House
"Appeasement is like feeding the crocodile, hoping that it will eat you last.” -Winston Churchill
As Hitler’s Third Reich expanded across Europe, and leader after leader sought to placate and temper his appetite for war by surrendering territory in the hope for peace, Winston Churchill took a stand, and stated: "Appeasement is like feeding the crocodile, hoping that it will eat you last.”You see, Churchill understood a basic truth that has been around since the beginning of time: A bully will continue to be a bully, until you take a stand and fight. Hitler’s aggression was built on a platform of racial superiority, of dividing the world into “in-groups” and “out-groups”, the chosen and “the others”, slaves and slave masters. He may have succeeded in his quest for world domination, and global ethnic cleansing had it not been for one courageous leader who said, ENOUGH!
Your Black World reports
President Barack Obama has officially released the long form of his birth certificate in response to the questions about whether or not he was born in the United States. Originally, the president had only released the short form copy, which led to speculation that he was born abroad.
Below you can watch the video of Allen West, a black Republican, engaging in a highly-disrespectful attack on President Barack Obama. West seems to swim like a happy little pig in the attention he is receiving from Fox News for his willingness to undermine the credibility of another black man in ways that would be maligned if he were white. Because he’s black, it’s hard to accuse West of racism. But he can certainly be accused of being a tool for racists to promote an agenda built on sloppy, malicious rhetoric feeding on white American fears of black men in true positions of power.
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed a bill late Monday that would have required President Barack Obama and other presidential candidates to prove they were American citizens, born in the United States, before their names could have been placed on the state ballot.
The so-called "birther bill" got final approval in the state House last week. Now that Brewer, a Republican, has vetoed it, the bill will not become law unless legislators vote to override her veto.
"As a former Secretary of State, I do not support designating one person as a gatekeeper to the ballot for a candidate, which could lead to arbitrary or politically-motivated decisions," the governor wrote in a letter addressed to the Arizona House speaker.
Just when you think you’ve seen it all, the Republican Party does it again. Orange County Republican Committee member Marilyn Davenport is in hot water after distributing an email that features President Obama as the child of a family of chimpanzees. In the email, which was widely-distributed, the long-standing committee member sent out the picture with the caption, “Now you know why – No birth certificate!”
County GOP Chairman Scott Baugh has called for Davenport’s resignation, saying that the picture was "dripping with racism and is in very poor taste." He also referred the matter to the GOP Ethics Committee. But in spite of the backlash from many of her fellow Republicans, there are some in the leadership who are standing firm with Davenport.
Ms. Davenport, however, seems to think that the email has nothing to do with racism. She described the email as a “joke” and wanted to find out who leaked the email, writing “Anyone brave enough to come forward?” She also had this to say when contacted by reporters:
Dear Fellow Democrat,
On Friday, John Boehner’s House Republicans plan to ram through their rightwing TeaParty budget for 2012, which would destroy Medicare to pay for bigger tax breaks for billionaires.
But the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) fought for – and won – a separate vote on the "People’s Budget," which fights for the priorities we and most Americans support.
In a nutshell, the CPC People’s Budget:
1. Eliminates the Deficit by 2021 without devastating Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.
The CPC budget targets the true drivers of deficits: the Bush Tax Cuts, the wars overseas, and the causes and effects of the recent recession. By implementing a fair tax code, by building a resilient American economy, and by bringing our troops home, it achieves a budget surplus of over $30 billion by 2021.
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by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University – Scholarship in Action
I admit feeling a bit of glee upon hearing that Fox News is going to part ways with Glenn Beck. After watching his ratings decline, the network decided that it’s best that Beck take his chalk board elsewhere and find something new to do with his time. The departure is likely good for America, for Beck became one of the most divisive figures in the country.
What can’t be overlooked in Beck’s break from Fox is the fact that the decision was likely a financial one. Fox was losing millions when advertisers decided to boycott Beck’s show, largely because they didn’t want their products to be affiliated with a man with such extremist viewpoints. According to ColorofChange.org, Beck has lost 300 advertisers, largely because of comments he has made about President Obama having a hatred of white people. Remarks like this one, along with other conspiracy theories Beck threw at the nation every afternoon, likely led to his demise.
REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT
AT THE NATIONAL ACTION NETWORK ANNUAL GALA
Sheraton New York Hotel
New York, New York
6:01 P.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Good to be in New York City. Let me begin by acknowledging some very, very special guests. Dr. Richardson, thank you. Charlie Rangel, for your outstanding work on behalf of your constituents. Mayor David Dinkins. (Applause.) Governor David Paterson is here. (Applause.) State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli. DiNapoli, excuse me. This is another one that’s hard to pronounce: Stevie Wonder. (Laughter.) Martin Luther King III. (Applause.) All the Keepers of the Dream honorees with us tonight, and the National Action Network.
by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University – Scholarship in Action
According to a recent survey conducted by YourBlackWorld.com, 27.3% of African American respondents claim that President Obama’s most recent actions in Libya have reduced their faith in his leadership ability. Roughly 20.8% of respondents claim that the Libyan intervention has increased their faith in Obama’s leadership. Equally interesting is that over half (51.8%) of all black respondents to the survey said that the Libyan intervention has no impact at all on their perception of President Obama’s ability to lead.
I gave a speech at a church in upstate New York shortly after Barack Obama was elected President of the United States. During the service, the choir director took the liberty of changing the words from the song “We shall overcome,” to “We HAVE overcome.” I also remember hearing a woman outside the speech proudly announce that she had just bought a new picture of President Barack Obama. The woman said she was going to put the image right next to her pictures of Martin Luther King and Jesus. Apparently, Obama’s election was a second-coming of Juneteenth for those who seemed to feel that a black president could do no wrong.
But there is a more fundamental question in all of this: Should President Obama’s image be placed next to those who’ve fought for Civil Rights in the past? In recent survey by YourBlackWorld.com, 62.9% of the 734 respondents said they do not consider President Barack Obama to be a true Civil Rights Leader. Another 28.5% said that they do consider President Obama to be a Civil Rights leader. The rest claim they aren’t sure.
According to reference.com, Civil Rights are defined as “rights to personal liberty established by the 13th and 14th Amendments to the U.S. constitution and certain Congressional acts, especially as applied to an individual or a minority group.”
by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Your Black World
It turns out that pictures were found on the University of Kentucky campus with derogatory language aimed at President Barack Obama. Police are investigating the incident, and a professor said he found one of the pictures hanging in the College of Law of all places. If the police find out who put out the signs, they could be charged with third-degree criminal mischief.
As an alum of The University of Kentucky, the incident doesn’t surprise me. When I was a student there in the 1990s, there were a multitude of racially-charged incidents. In fact, I feared for my life with all the death threats I would receive after writing articles in the campus newspaper (someone even warned me that they spoke heavily of me at a local klan rally). The school’s racial hostility was a great training ground for years later, when I would get death threats from Fox News viewers after sparring with Sean Hannity on television.
by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University – Scholarship in Action
It appears that the “great” Rush Limbaugh doesn’t believe that Barack Obama is black. On his show, Limbaugh responded to Obama’s suggestion during a meeting that some of the animus being shown toward him was driven by race (which we all know plays a huge role in the unprecedented attacks he’s been facing from his political opponents). On his radio show, Limbaugh had this to say:
"Let me ask you a question. How many people really think of Obama as black? …One of Obama’s parents is black. Undeniable. But he was raised by a white mother, by white grandparents. He went to a highly exclusive private school in Hawaii with rich, white students and white teachers. He went to exclusive colleges that were practically lily-white. Barry Obama is from a very white, albeit radically left, cultural background. He’s not from the hood. He’s not from the movement…I’m telling you, there is a chip on this guy’s shoulder, and it is a factor in every policy decision that he makes."
What’s interesting is that Rush Limbaugh’s statement is a powerful reminder of the kind of racism he embodies with his typical rhetoric. Somehow, Limbaugh was made to believe that being black means that you are “from the hood” or “from the movement.” The truth is that being black can also mean that you were born middle/upper class, attended elite universities, or are a sociopolitical conservative. By confining blackness to mean that a person must have had a specific background or be confined to a particular economic or social class, Limbaugh comes off as the standard sort of racist who remains hell-bent on disrespecting our humanity.
A reader on the Black Agenda Report said this about Rahm Emanuel as Mayor of Chicago, comparing him to President Barack Obama. What do you think?
While I cannot predict exactly what Rahm will do in while he holds office, I can predict what he will NOT do. He will NOT appear in front of a Black audience and brag about how much he upset some members of the Jewish community by paying too much attention to "Black" interests. He will NOT repeat over and over and over again that he is not the "Jewish" or "White" mayor of Chicago. He will NOT make a grand show of avoiding being seen around or with Jewish people or with other White people.
Next week’s State of the Union Address to be offered by President Barack Obama comes at a time when our nation is especially divided, and our future as a country is foggier than it has been in recent memory. The event that will be on everyone’s mind is the attempted assasination of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who is recovering from an assassin’s bullet in the hospital right now. The Giffords shooting has slowed down the most extreme Republican rhetoric for the moment, but it certainly has not ended the animosity shown toward President Obama.
While President Obama must contend with the Republicans, he must also deal with a wide variety of special interest groups, all expecting something in return for their loyalty. With well over 90 percent approval ratings, no group has been more steadfast and committed to President Obama than the African American community. Therefore, as we seek to determine what our community should expect from the State of the Union address being given this week, we have every right to demand what is best for us.
Former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum is a principled and ambitious man. His career took off during the 1990s with a far Right Wing platform and his constituents seemed to love him. In spite of his staunchly conservative disposition, Santorum seemed like the kind of guy who could one day (unsuccessfully) tap at the door of the White House, assuming that he didn’t make any major mistakes. But then again, we all know what they say about assumptions.
In a recent interview with CNS News, Santorum made the latest of a series of serious political errors by invoking race into the debate over abortion. In reference to President Barack Obama, Santorum said the following: “The question is, and this is what Barack Obama didn’t want to answer — is that human life a person under the constitution? And Barack Obama says no. Well if that human life is not a person then I find it almost remarkable for a black man to say ‘now we are going to decide who are people and who are not people.’”
So, it appears that Santorum thinks that because Barack Obama is black, he should automatically be pro-life. I’ve seen this sort of argument on billboards and in private conversations, when pro-lifers drum up conspiracy theories about how Planned Parenthood is strategically located to abort as many black babies as possible. In his version of the racialized abortion argument, Santorum seems to be implying that because blacks were once considered to be three-fifths of a human being, we should be concerned about an undeveloped fetus not having rights to citizenship.
To be clear, I am not a fan of abortion, and I also do not buy into the “It’s my body so I can abort when it’s convenient” argument frequently used by some pro-choice Americans. I find it ironic that killing a newborn baby is considered to be a heinous crime, but aborting one fetus after another barely gets a second thought. At the same time, pounding us over the head with the bible and using Jedi mind tricks to get black people to support their cause makes some in the pro-life camp look silly. Those of us in the middle of the two extremes on abortion find ourselves both confused and manipulated on a regular basis.
Click the link below to listen to Dr. Boyce Watkins on NPR’s “Talk of the Nation” addressing what President Obama must do for the African American community as it pertains to education, economic inequality and mass incarceration.
I was shaking my head over and over again in preparation for a conversation we are going to have on NPR tomorrow about President Obama. The show is called "Talk of the Nation," and I had the esteemed honor of being the resident black guy, as the other two guests are set to discuss various elements of foreign and domestic policy. I’m just joking about the "black guy" thing, since I’m just happy they didn’t choose someone like Juan Williams.
At any rate, my brain started spinning on how President Obama can best use the remainder of his first term as it pertains to people of color. I thought carefully about what he’s done, what he’s doing, what he’s up against and what matters to us. In my course of thought, I came to a few conclusions.
A number of academics speaking over the weekend at Tufts during a two-day symposium “Barack Obama and American Democracy,” which gathered leading scholars to assess the implications of President Barack Obama’s presidency, expressed their belief that Obama has not sufficiently addressed race issues.
While Friday’s panels mainly discussed foreign policy, the conversation on Saturday turned to domestic issues.
University of Louisville Professor of Political Science Ricky Jones criticized the President for his unwillingness to speak out about race, which, he said, was characteristic of a general shift.
“Black leadership is becoming increasingly conservative and less willing to speak about specific racial issues than they have in the past,” Jones said.
Jones, who spoke at one of Saturday’s panels titled “Hope and Change?: Assessing Obama’s Domestic Policies,” focused on the implications of Obama’s presidency for racial minorities or those of low socioeconomic status.
Professor Boyce Watkins from Syracuse University expanded on what Jones said, noting that Obama avoids discussing political solutions to racial problems even when speaking to audiences with a black majority.
“He gives the same ‘pull yourself up by your own bootstraps’ that my pastor says to me,” Watkins said. “I need you to say what you’re going to do as president.”
The other night on the Oprah Winfrey Christmas special, President Barack Obama made an unwise move. When asked what grade he deserves as president, Obama gave himself a B+. Giving himself a grade was not necessarily the best decision, since there are over 300 million Americans who then realized that they should be giving him grades as well.
So, allow me to be the first to provide our president with a grade for his performance. I’ve been giving grades to college students for the last 16 years, and one thing my students will tell you is that I am fair. My other argument is that I never actually GIVE you a grade; I simply report the grade that you’ve earned.
1) Handling of the Economy (B-): President Obama is better than John McCain ever could have been when it comes to managing our economic downturn. The problem is that while the president has spiraled our deficit out of control, our nation has yet to see any concrete evidence that the economy’s fundamental strength has returned. He has made an enemy out of Wall Street by grandstanding around executive pay issues, but he has lost the backing of Main Street because job losses continue to mount. That’s the problem with always reaching across the isle: Sometimes, you don’t have firm support on either side of it. The president’s inability to translate massive spending into real jobs is going to cost him big time.
2) Management of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (B): On one hand, the president must face the stern reality that you can’t just walk out of a war in the middle of it. We all know that Bush got us into these messes, and Obama must get us out. At the same time, Obama pledged to get us out of the wars faster than he is actually doing it, and it is incredibly awkward for a man to accept a Nobel Peace Prize while simultaneously escalating the troop presence in an occupied country. Sure Obama didn’t give himself the Nobel Prize, but he still must be held accountable.
I did a recent CNN appearance along with the actor Hill Harper and Dr. Alvin Poussaint at Harvard University. The series was a one-year anniversary segment featuring political issues within the African American community. for the entire week, the primary focus was on the impact that President Barack Obama has had onAfrican American men. Given that I’ve been a black man for quite a while now, I found this conversation topic particularly interesting, so getting to speak to Richelle Carey again wasn’t the only perk of doing the job that day.
It must be made clear that the president should not be expected to save the entire world in one swoop. His job is difficult, and he can’t give everyone what they want all the time. But to the extent that President Obama has been positioned to trump pre-existing black leadership (remember that some say we now live in a post-racial America), one can argue that President Obama’s rantings in black churches come with some degree of accountability from the Oval Office. Obama has spoken at NAACP meetings, telling black men to take responsibility for our families (as if none of us do) and to engage in more personal responsibility (as if we don’t do that already). Such tough talk should be backed by meaningful policy, since structural incentives play a dominant role in the ultimate choice of the individual. For example, when companies get tax incentives to invest in new projects, they almost always do.
Early on the campaign trail, presidential candidate Barack Obama said, "This country is ready for a transformative politics of the sort that John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan and Franklin Roosevelt represented." Socially, President Obama is beginning to move in such a positive transformative direction.
After 12 years of languishing in Congress, on Wednesday, October 28, President Obama signed into law the Matthew Shepard / James Byrd Hate Crimes Bill. By signing this bill, the president expands the federal definition of hate crimes to include those motivated by gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and disability. It also allows federal authorities to pursue hate-crimes cases when local authorities are either unable or unwilling to do so. This law was named after Matthew Shepard, a gay man murdered in Wyoming in 1998, and James Byrd, the African-American man dragged to his death behind a pickup truck in Texas that same year.
With a decision that has shocked many around the world, on Friday October 9, 2009 the Norwegian Nobel Committee announced that President Barak Hussein Obama is the 2009 winner of the Nobel Prize for Peace. This announcement not only recognizes extraordinary accomplishments but also brings with it extraordinary expectations.
In 1895 Alfred Nobel bequeathed the largest share of his fortune to a series of prizes, the Nobel Prizes. His intent was to award a prize to "the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses." This year the Nobel Committee determined that President Obama, “…for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples… Obama has as President created a new climate in international politics. Multilateral diplomacy has regained a central position, with emphasis on the role that the United Nations and other international institutions can play. Dialogue and negotiations are preferred as instruments for resolving even the most difficult international conflicts.”
What President Obama has demonstrated on the world stage is that by themselves ideologies are not rational. They tend to focus on and confuse the imagery of the “should be” and “ought to be” with the practical “is.” Without people who are able to inject pragmatism and tie logic and reason to an ideology, it can take an institution, group or country down some very perilous roads. This is why ideologues (people who profess ideologies) make terrible politicians and ideology can make for very bad public and foreign policy. Ideologues are so focused on the “should be” that they fail to take into account the practical applications of the “how.”
From MSNBC’s TheGrio.com
Uncle Ben from Spiderman made the most prophetic statement of the entire film series in his dying days (I almost cried, but don’t tell anybody): “With great power comes great responsibility.” Most of us understood what Uncle Ben was trying to say, and that includes Barack Obama.
Uncle Ben should have been the keynote speaker at the latest G-20 Summit, taking place this week in Pittsburgh,PA. The G-20 Summit is a gathering of the Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors of the world’s 19 wealthiest countries, plus the European Union. These countries encompass 85 percent of the world’s gross domestic product, so they would probably meet Uncle Ben’s qualification for “great power,” at least when it comes to money.
The G-20 Summit’s primary objective is to achieve broad cooperation on the preservation of international financial stability. The motivations of the group, created in 1999, are seemingly noble and make perfect sense in light of the fact that the global economy has reached an unprecedented level of integration. If large nations do not work together, the world’s financial system will be subject to alarming amounts of volatility.
Not everyone can see the vision behind G-20 ambitions. Usually, the gatherings of the G-20 are as out of control as a frat party, as protesters have made a game out of disrupting the meetings as much as they possibly can. To prepare for this year’s economic fiesta, the city of Pittsburgh has brought in 4,000 police, 2,000 National Guard troops and 11 Coast Guard vessels.
Police, in an overwhelming show of force, declared Thursday’s march illegal almost as soon as it began, firing rubber bullets and canisters of pepper spray and smoke after small bands of anarchists responded to calls to disperse by rolling huge metal trash bins, throwing rocks and breaking windows. As of Friday morning, reports said nearly 70 people had been arrested and police were bracing for scattered protests around downtown.
President Obama, being the conflicted capitalist/black man/ex-community organizer that he is, made some telling comments about the demonstrators.
Are you serious? Newsweek and other media outlets are reporting that during an off the record remark to an ABC reporter, Obama called Kanye West a Jackass for his attacks on Taylor Swift.
Well, was he lying? Perhaps the world is getting tired of Kanye West.
“Pres. Obama just called Kanye West a ‘jackass’ for his outburst at VMAs when Taylor Swift won. Now THAT’S presidential,” “Nightline” co-anchor Terry Moran leaked Monday evening to his more than 1 million followers.
ABC News issued this apology for the remarks:
“In the process of reporting on remarks by President Obama that were made during a CNBC interview, ABC News employees prematurely tweeted a portion of those remarks that turned out to be from an off-the-record portion of the interview,” Politico reported. “This was done before our editorial process had been completed. That was wrong. We apologize to the White House and CNBC and are taking steps to ensure that it will not happen again.”
USA Today, AP
Tens of thousands of fiscal conservatives packed streets in the nation’s capital Saturday to protest what they consider the federal government’s out-of-control spending.
Demonstrators filled Freedom Plaza and Pennsylvania Avenue in downtown Washington. They waved U.S. flags and held signs reading "Go Green Recycle Congress," "I’m Not Your ATM" and "Obamacare makes me sick."
Some men were dressed in colonial costumes with tri-colored hats.
The protesters were marching to the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol.
FreedomWorks Foundation, a conservative organization led by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, organized several groups from across the country for what they’re calling a "March on Washington."
The Washington march took place on the same day President Obama was headed to Minneapolis to rally support for his heath care reform plan. The plan, which also was the topic of his weekly raido and Internet message, has come under fire from fiscal conservatives who consider it too costly.
The other day, I mentioned that it was time for President Obama to get tough with his critics. Their below-the-belt attacks on the Beltway were getting to the point of embarrassing our great nation. We were reverting to 1920s lynch mobs and watching behavior that fell short of the threshold of human decency.
Well, when you’re confronted with a monster, you sometimes have to become one. And last night, the president was a monster.I applaud his firm approach when dealing with his critics. President Obama stood tall and strong, showing the vision of a great president. He also confronted Republican lies and misinformation directly. From a political standpoint, the speech was a mobilizer, which is called for when the opposition refuses to work with you and consistently pushes to dismantle your agenda. The right wing does not like this president, and they are using dirty tools of American racism and distrust of black men to win their fight with Obama.
The battle was further energized by the ridiculous outburst by South Carolina Republican Jim Wilson, who shouted "You lie!" in the middle of the President’s speech. Sorry Joe, bad move. Sometimes your enemies can be your greatest allies, and in this case, Obama needs to send Wilson a Thank You card. His actions were yet another spread of icing on the cake of energy that the president created with his stellar performance before Congress.
- Obama prepares for pivotal health care speech
- Michael Vick warns students about the dangers of peer pressure
- Welcome to the age of "No Child Left Un-Politicized"
This week, Michael Jordan will be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. He will always be remembered for his many accomplishments and record-breaking achievements in the sport. However, as President Obama prepares to put on a full-court press for health care reform in a speech to Congress tonight, he needs only to look back at one performance from "His Airness" to gain inspiration.
Twelve years ago, in the NBA Finals, Michael Jordan was going to lose. Sick with the flu, he could barely walk, and his aura of invincibility had been shattered in the eyes of the American public. Mike was going to finally relinquish one of his many titles and Karl Malone was going to get the championship that we all now know he never received.
But Mike was Mike, and Karl wasn’t. Mike found a way to win and Karl Malone found a way to become "posterized" as yet another footnote in the astonishing legacy of the great Michael Jordan. Every great man or woman has an opportunity to build his or her legend, and it comes during the most trying of times. It is how we respond to these moments that make the difference between becoming Michael Jordan or just another Charles Barkley.
I once saw a documentary by filmmaker Byron Hurt called, "Barack and Curtis," comparing President Obama to the rapper 50 Cent. Such a comparison might seem silly, given that one of these men is the leader of the free world and the other is a wealthy "gangsta" with more business sense than a Harvard Professor. But in this case, Barack might want to learn a bit from Curtis in order to get a little "gangsta" with the Republican Party, because the right wing has already gotten incredibly "thugged out" with him.
Through a web of lies, unfair attacks and orchestrated campaigns to discredit the president, the right wingers have been relatively successful in slowly eroding Obama’s base of support. While President Obama once rode the wave of 60% approval ratings and amazing popularity, the numbers are now hovering around 45% and morale within the Obama camp has been dramatically weakened. Let Obama lose an additional 10% of his supporters, and you’ve got another President Bush.
I’ve been critical of President Obama when he was wrong, and that won’t ever change. But I stand by my assertion that Barack Obama is the most intelligent and capable leader our nation has had in a very long time. He is certainly better than John McCain and Sarah Palin, whose intellectual and professional flaws make a mockery of our political system.
According to 2008 U.S Census Bureau data approximately 47 million or 15.8 percent of the U.S. population, were without health insurance during 2006 — a 4.9 percent increase. In 2005, census figures showed that 44.8 million people, or about 15.3 percent of the population, lacked health insurance coverage. According to a report released by the Institute on Medicine, the average cost of family health-care coverage more than doubled from 1999 to 2008, from $1,543 to $3,354.
Based upon these realities, presidential candidate Obama made health-care reform a central theme of his campaign. He promised to achieve universal health care in his first term and to cut the average family’s health care health-care costs by $2,500. In the on-going health care reform debate it is very important to remember that as a result of this and other campaign promises, President Obama won the 2008 presidential election with 53% of the popular vote to Senator McCain’s 46% and 68% of the Electoral College vote to McCain’s 36%.
According to a New York Times/CBS News poll taken in June, 85 percent of respondents said the health care system needed to be fundamentally changed or completely rebuilt. According to a June poll conducted by the Employee Benefit Research Institute 83 percent of respondents favored and only 14 percent opposed “creating a new public health insurance plan that anyone can purchase.” These numbers indicate that health care reform is very important to the American people.
"Obama’s first month has been marked by wasteful spending, failed bipartisanship, and questionable ethics," the RNC said in a document circulated to reporters.
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.
Hip-Hop Emcee/Newscaster, Jasiri X returns with his weekly Hip-Hop newscasts. For this week, current events include the ongoing Iraq-shoe fiasco, Bernard Madoff’s $50 billion Ponzi Scheme, the Obama-Rev. Warren controversy, Soulja Boy ‘apologizing’ to his fans, the mysterious death of Billey Joe Johnson and more: