Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The President and First Lady Begin Their Overseas Trip

The President and First Lady leave for Europe aboard Air Force One

The Federal Agency That Insures Retirement Funds....look at what Bush did to it.

The horrors from the Bush Administration is like the nightmare that won't ever end.

Hat tip: djchefron

From the Boston Globe:
Pension insurer shifted to stocks
Concern increases as losses mount; Failing plans could overwhelm agency
By Michael Kranish
Globe Staff / March 30, 2009

WASHINGTON - Just months before the start of last year's stock market collapse, the federal agency that insures the retirement funds of 44 million Americans departed from its conservative investment strategy and decided to put much of its $64 billion insurance fund into stocks.

Switching from a heavy reliance on bonds, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation decided to pour billions of dollars into speculative investments such as stocks in emerging foreign markets, real estate, and private equity funds.

The agency refused to say how much of the new investment strategy has been implemented or how the fund has fared during the downturn. The agency would only say that its fund was down 6.5 percent - and all of its stock-related investments were down 23 percent - as of last Sept. 30, the end of its fiscal year. But that was before most of the recent stock market decline and just before the investment switch was scheduled to begin in earnest.

A Discussion With Dr. John Hope Franklin

Hear a special interview with Dr. John Hope Franklin from 2006. The interview was part of an event at the Los Angeles Public Library, and was conducted by Tavis Smiley.

Hear an additional interview from NPR.

See post on the passing of Dr. Franklin (Thanks to Rikyrah).

Will Obama's Healthcare Proposal Go Down in Flames?

I think it probably could. The costs of dealing with Healthcare this year could be too high. As much as I would like to see more affordable healthcare made available to those who don't have it or to those who are currently underserved, I don't really think it's a realistic goal right now, due to the economy. At a time when Obama needs to get spending under control to restore fiscal sanity, he wants to try to pass a massive program. This only increases the risk of failure or increases the chances that the program will be so watered down that it will just be a waste of money afterall, with few being able to truly benefit from the legislation. There's already the problem of Obama's plan not being a single payer program, and not being truly Universal. Obama's approach still leaves the Private Health Insurance industry in charge...determining who gets care, what services are provided, and ultimately who lives or dies. I have always believed that as long as we maintained a "for profit" Healthcare system in this Country, there would never be a fundamental change in the kinds of problems that Michael Moore and others have pointed out.

It might be better to wait a year or two... give the economy a chance to recover, and revisit the issue again. In fact, the economy might recover faster, because there won't be a massive healthcare bill weighing down the budget.

The Blue Dog Democrats- Moderate/Conservative Democrats such as Kent Conrad and Evan Bayh- may already be gearing up to try to scale back some of Obama's proposals, because the costs are too enormous. Some might say that the costs might be higher long term if investments in Healthcare aren't made right now. But Conservative Democrats, many of whom represent purple districts, have to be responsive to their constituents.

This could be an effort by Obama to say that he at least tried. Perhaps they realize that this will eventually have to be taken out of the budget, at least for the next fiscal year, and they at least want to be seen as having made an effort to get a comprehensive Healthcare plan through the Congress.

Dr. Cornel West Takes Obama to Task On Economic Policies

In comments from this weekend, Dr. West calls for more of a fundamental shift in economic policy, criticizing Obama's effort to hold on to the traditional economic architecture. Where are the bailouts for poor and working class Americans? (I sure could use a bailout right now... a student loan bailout.... because I purchased an education that I couldn't afford).

While I tend to agree with Dr. West, I also understand that for practical purposes, Obama may see the corporate Wall Street elites who helped crash the financial system as having the solutions for getting the system running again. I personally disagree with the choice of Geithner and Corporate elites serving in the Administration. But Obama obviously sees a practical benefit from their participation.

I think there probably has to be a balance....at least for the moment. I agree that long term, this Country has to invest more time and resources improving the lives of working people. On the other hand, Obama must first fix the economy. In the short term, fixing the economy may require Obama to get cozy with the elites who West rails against.

Earl Ofari Hutchinson Is Dead Wrong on Limbaugh

In a recent commentary on the Huffington Post, Hutchinson criticized those who highlighted Rush Limbaugh's role in the Republican Party. Here's what Hutchinson had to say in a commentary entitled Wave the White Flag in the Limbaugh War:

Dated March 28, 2009

President Obama and the Democrats should wave the white flag in their strawman war on Rush Limbaugh. The Media Research Center delivered the grim casualty figures for the Democrats. Since January, the top talk show gabber's ratings have soared off the charts. Radio affiliates that carry Limbaugh's syndicated show call the ratings boost he's gotten from the Democrat's orchestrated attack on him a "dramatic surge." This writer predicted as much when President Obama cracked to Congressional Republicans in late January that they should knock off listening to Limbaugh if they expected to get anything done in Congress and with his administration.

The gabber instantly snatched at the quip and turned it into a multi show bonanza. No matter what topic Limbaugh gassed on, he managed to slide in a reference to Obama's prop up of him as the Democrat's prize punching bag. This did three things. It gave him an even bigger pile of fodder to puff himself up as the emperor of talk radio, claim to be the real kingmaker in the GOP, and in a perverse way paint himself as a credible and thoughtful political critic. It snapped many shell shocked Congressional Republicans out of their post election funk. Now suddenly feisty and combative, they draw a deep line in the sand against any and everything that Obama proposed. And it stiffened the spines of many timid Republicans and made them determined not to be bullied, or at least appear not to be bullied, by a mere talk show host into standing up to Obama.

This should have been the red flag warning to the Democrats to drop Limbaugh from their enemies rolodex. But no, they continued to blunder on. They took out ads, radio spots, and email blasts bashing and trashing bogeyman Limbaugh. The idea was to make sure that when the public thought GOP, they thought Limbaugh.

This was even more grist for Limbaugh. An he went on a tear. In quick succession he picked a fight with Republican National Committee chair Michael Steele, Newt Gingrich, a handful of GOP accomodationists, and the usual suspect to him liberal Democratic interest groups. But the real payoff was that it let him pad his bully pulpit to further whip up the pack to nit pick, poke fun at, and blow up any and every alleged slip or misstep by Obama. This in turn added even more steam to his inflammatory campaign of rumors, half truths, distortions, and flat out lies about Obama, liberals, and just about any other issue he rants on.

Any other time this might be fun and games stuff, a side show distraction that bored reporters and TV talking heads used to fill up column space or a talk cast on off a slow news day, but the Democrats just couldn't let it go. And that insured that the Limbaugh as Democrat's foil ploy would continue to have shelf life.

Limbaugh in a phony self-deprecating moment mockingly minimized his importance as a radio talk show host, feigning puzzlement at why the Democrats were so obsessed with him. He was right. They never should have been. Obama didn't need him to get Congressional Democrats and whipsaw a few Republicans into backing his program and to approve his cabinet appointees. He still doesn't. And that's all the more reason to wave the white flag in the Limbaugh war.


I think that it's great that Progressives are finally starting to fight back and are linking the Republican Party to a leadership figure who is a bigot, a drug addict, and a windbag....an unpopular one as a matter of fact. Progressives should do everything they can to wrap Limbaugh and Co. around the necks of Republicans. Limbaugh and his ilk have been given a pass by the Republicans for years, allowed to say whatever they wanted while being the Spokesmen/Spokeswomen and defacto leaders for the Republican Party. Now the beast has grown so big that even the Republicans have no control over what they started.

Republicans should be forced to either support or reject what these people are saying on their behalf. They should be embarrassed and shamed. Either they support the repugnant behavior of their spokesmen and leaders or they don't. The resulting friction will create a mess within a political Party that is already in distress. That's good news for Progressives. It will further marginalize the GOP. Highlighting their hate speech will also cause them to lose moderates and independents, at a time when they need as many votes as they can get. They are already losing young people and minorities, two growing demographics. Within the next few decades, the U.S. will be a majority minority nation.

Who cares if Limbaugh sees a momentary spike in ratings (which are skewed by the way). Limbaugh is going to make money and have these spikes no matter what. He has been around for over 20 years now. In fact, he has tended to do well in years when there was a Democratic President.

Take a look at my Republican media page (still under construction).

Huffpo readers tended to see my view on this issue. Here are a few of their responses.


Mr Hutchinson,

To heck with his ratings; Rush has repeatedly and eagerly humiliated himself (even more then usual) in the past several weeks, transforming himself and the party he heads into an ever larger laughingstock. It's been fun to watch the self-immolation. I therefore figure the Democrats are doing an excellent job of driving him straight up the wall. Perhaps they shouldn't stop until he explodes; it's coming, you know.

To those who accuse moderates and liberals of not listening to Rush's filth I say that I have listened to him but don't regularly because he is spiritual poison. I avoid him the same as I avoid tainted water; he's sick and the exposure makes me sick. Same goes for psychopaths at Faux Noise.



Every time a Republican denounced Limbaugh, only to go crawling back to Rush with their tail between their legs... it was a huge win for the White House.

In politics, nothing is more important than making your opponent look weak and impotent. Seeing the so-called "leaders" of the Conservatives run begging Limbaugh for forgiveness made them look more weak and impotent than ANYTHING else ever could. So did presenting a budget with no numbers, or being the "Party of No"... but to a much lesser extent than licking Limbaugh's boots.

Revealing Limbaugh as the leader of the GOP was the smartest thing the Democratic Party, as a whole, has done in decades.



Totally disagree with you on this one Earl. Let Limbaugh have his ratings, and let the Congressional GOP think that Limbaugh is the way. Except for much of the deep south and Utah, most of these states are getting bluer everyday. Rush Limbaugh marginalizes many in his own party let alone Democrats. The Obama Administration should treat him just like Obama did Palin, let the fool keep talking and dig an even bigger ditch for himself. Most intelligent people do not even want to remotely be associated with what Limbaugh has to say. It will become painfully evident next year when even more Repubs are voted out of the house and the senate. Perhaps when there are only 20 house repubs and 10 senators, it will start making sense to them then.



Limbaugh isn't the target. The Republican party was the target.

Yes, Rush got an ego boost when the Democratic party correctly IDed him as the current leader of the GOP. So what? He won't be on any ballot, and people aren't voting for his causes this year.



Totally wrong on this one Earl. The more people listen to his BS the better. As people realize he is nothing but hate and obstruction, the more they will abandon the Republican party. Talk about a great cause and effect.



Why would you wave a white flag when you're winning the war? Expose the hatred and venom that Rush Limbaugh spews - mission accomplished.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Obamas Will Pay for White House Redecoration

Hat tip: isonprize

From NYMagazine:

Home Decorating With the Obamas
By Erica Orden
Published Mar 29, 2009

At a time when people are having trouble holding on to their houses, Barack and Michelle Obama have sensibly decided not to use taxpayers’ money to renovate theirs. New presidents are allotted $100,000 to overhaul the White House residence and the Oval Office, and the Obamas hired Hollywood decorator Michael S. Smith (known, per his site, for mixing “Old World classicism with very contemporary settings”). But the First Couple isn’t spending that money. They “are not using public funds or accepting donations of goods for redecorating their private quarters,” says Camille Johnston, director of communications for the First Lady. Nor is the couple, who reported $4.2 million in household income in 2007 tax returns, using money from the White House Historical Association, a privately funded foundation that paid for a $74,000 set of china shortly before Laura Bush left town.

But does this mean they’re going to spend more than $100,000 or less? Though Michelle Obama has talked up Pottery Barn, Smith’s client list includes cost-is-no-object types like Rupert Murdoch, Steven Spielberg, and former Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain—for whom he procured that $87,783 rug. “There’s no question that he’ll get it done in the way that it’s supposed to be done,” says Smith client and Democratic donor Katherine Chez. “But how, I don’t know.” The White House declined to disclose the budget, saying that all expenses would remain private as a result of the Obamas’ decision to absorb the cost.

So, however much it cost, since it's not taxpayer money - it's NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS.

How The President Rolls When He Goes Overseas

From The Guardian:
Prospect of Barack Obama show causes UK to clear its decks
Paul Harris in New York and Robin McKie
The Observer,
Sunday 29 March 2009

With an entourage of 500 staff, an armour-plated limousine and a fleet of decoy helicopters, America's new president will arrive for his first visit to Britain amid huge razzmatazz on Tuesday for the G20 summit. But it will be his closed-door meetings with world leaders that are likely to prove the most significant of the trip.

Britain will get its first chance to see Barack Obama this week when a White House cavalcade - complete with armoured limousines, helicopters, 200 US secret service staff and a six-doctor medical team - sweeps into the UK.

Obama will fly into London for his first visit to the UK as president of the United States on Tuesday to take part in the G20 summit in the capital's Docklands area. He will not be travelling light.

More than 500 officials and staff will accompany the president on his tour this week - along with a mass of high-tech security equipment, including the $300,000 presidential limousine, known as The Beast. Fitted with night-vision camera, reinforced steel plating, tear- gas cannon and oxygen tanks, the vehicle is the ultimate in heavy armoured transport.

In addition, a team from the White House kitchen will travel with the president to prepare his food. As one official put it: "When the president travels, the White House travels with him, right down to the car he drives, the water he drinks, the gasoline he uses, the food he eats. America is still the sole superpower and the president must have the ability to handle any crisis, anywhere, any time."

US security teams have already carried out three visits to prepare for Obama's first official visit to Britain. The first was a "site survey", the second a "pre-advance visit" which was carried out to pick sites that the president would visit. Finally there was the "advance trip", which took place last week. Its purpose was to set up equipment, sweep venues for electronic bugs, test food for poison and measure air quality for bacteria.

Obama will start his first presidential visit to Europe when he steps down from the US presidential jet, Air Force One, at Stansted airport on Tuesday. The Boeing 747-200B is fitted with its own gym, electronic defence units and shielding to protect its complex communication devices from radiation from nuclear blasts. Among the officials on the flight will be a military officer carrying America's nuclear missile launch codes.

The Economy and Job Loss

Down but Not Out: Overcoming Job Loss
Rick Rose did just about everything right with his finances.

He worked hard. He saved well from the $85,000-a-year job he had as communications director for a nonprofit in Washington. He bought a home he could easily afford. In fact, he had saved about a year's worth of living expenses.

But in two months, Rose, 43, could be out of money. He lost his job last spring and has been living off his unemployment and savings ever since.

By contrast, Juan and Bobbie Wilson made many mistakes. When the couple earned $98,000 a year, they admittedly spent too much. They weren't extravagant, but they did what many families do. They ate out too much. They overspent using credit. They didn't budget.

Come May, both Rose and the Wilsons will be in the same position: They will barely have enough money to make their mortgage payments. Rose will also worry about coming up with the money to pay for the expensive medication he takes for HIV. The Wilsons will be wondering whether they can pay for health insurance for their family.

The fact that Rose and the Wilsons are faced with the same financial issues illustrates how cruel this recession has been and how none of us can arrogantly think we're better off than our down-and-out neighbor or friend or family member or former co-worker.

Full article at the Washington Post

Michelle Singletary is one of my favorite finaincial columnists. She puts a human face to many of the issues that we all face as the country (and the world) struggles with the economic recession. Over the next nine months, Singletary will chronicle the story of Rose and the Wilsons in the Washington Post as they struggle to find secure employment and a more secure financial footing.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Women Giving Up Their Dignity To Survive the Economy - What Would You Do In a Desperate Financial Situation?

What Are You Willing to Do If The Going Gets Rougher? What's Your Plan B if you lose your Job? Have you thought about it? If not, you probably should.

A recent MSNBC report highlighted the fact that many ordinary women are now turning to the Sex Trade in order to support themselves and their families in what's being called "The Great Recession" (perhaps soon to be a Depression). To me, this is one of those things that really gives you a true indication of how well an economy is working for the average citizen. It's more powerful than any abstract Labor Department number that rarely gives you a human face.

This latest story follows a story from ABC News which aired late last year.

This really tells the tale about what's going on in the economy more than any other measure. It really shows the kind of nightmare that Bush/Cheney left for us....and it isn't over yet. Sad and horrifying at the same time.

Whether I lose my job this year is basically a toss up. Bankruptcies from businesses are spreading through the economy, since many are finding that they can't meet their obligations to creditors and suppliers or found themselves owing too much for expansions they started 1 or 2 years ago.

But - for the women reading this - could you ever see yourself giving up your dignity and turning to sex work to earn money? How bad does it have to be for someone to get to a place where they have to make this kind of decision?

Things are bad...but it isn't quite the 1930's ...at least not yet (although if the Country keeps bleeding jobs at the rate of more than half a million a month...it won't be long before we get there). I believe that we are likely to reach the technical definition of a Depression sometime this year... I may discuss that more in another posting. But how bad does it have to be for you to consider dehumanizing and objectifying yourself by selling your body? Or is that just not an option for you?

And have any of you made your plan B? Have you thought about what you would do if you lost your job? What are your plans? The NPR program On Point had a great discussion this week where they talked with real everyday folks about their "Plan B's". Take a listen.

I know it's easy to sit in judgment when some of us still have our jobs... even those like myself who hate the jobs we have... but are actually feeling lucky right now (which is a pretty creepy feeling). But I personally couldn't Prostitute myself if I were a woman and if I faced a desperate situation. I would simply take lesser work and work harder... In fact, as a man, I am facing a desperate situation at the moment. I'm currently under-employed...But my attitude is just to keep trying.... I can't trade my dignity for cash... no matter how bad things get. If worse comes to worse, I can try to find a family member to move in with (which would be a crushing blow for me... since I have worked so hard establishing a good work history and have worked so hard putting myself through college...not to mention the fact that i'm extremely independent..hate to admit that I have lost a battle, am a personal failure and hate the idea of needing help. But I would pull a Dr. Kevorkian before parting with my dignity.

But then again, we don't know for certain what we would do if things got truly desperate.


Related Articles & Blog Posts

Gina from What About Our Daughters Argues that All Money Isn't Necessarily Good Money

Additional link for this story from HuffPo

The No Snitching Culture Still Holding Black Communities Hostage

An NPR report from this week shows how this culture is still being embraced by the "Black Community". It may have played some role in the killings of 4 Police officers in Oakland California just a few days ago.

What will it take for Blacks to stop contributing to the deterioration of their own neighborhoods? I have always suggested that Police Departments and States should have more creative and more accessible programs that would allow witnesses to report anonymously and that could provide protections. But even in cities where programs are available, Blacks still tend to avoid cooperation with Police.

Much of this has been brought on by the Cancer called Rap Music....and the Hip Hop culture.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Historian John Hope Franklin Passes Away At 94


Brief Audio Remembrance from NPR

From the Duke Library System:
Biography of John Hope Franklin

We mourn the passing of Dr. John Hope Franklin.

John Hope Franklin was the James B. Duke Professor Emeritus of History, and for seven years was Professor of Legal History in the Law School at Duke University. He was a native of Oklahoma and a graduate of Fisk University. He received the A.M. and Ph.D. degrees in history from Harvard University. He has taught at a number of institutions, including Fisk University, St. Augustine's College, North Carolina Central University, and Howard University. In 1956 he went to Brooklyn College as Chairman of the Department of History; and in 1964, he joined the faculty of the University of Chicago, serving as Chairman of the Department of History from 1967 to 1970. At Chicago, he was the John Matthews Manly Distinguished Service Professor from 1969 to 1982, when he became Professor Emeritus.

Professor Franklin's numerous publications include The Emancipation Proclamation, The Militant South, The Free Negro in North Carolina, Reconstruction After the Civil War, and A Southern Odyssey: Travelers in the Ante-bellum North. Perhaps his best known book is From Slavery to Freedom: A History of African-Americans, now in its seventh edition. His Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities for 1976 was published in 1985 and received the Clarence L. Holte Literary Prize for that year. In 1990, a collection of essays covering a teaching and writing career of fifty years, was published under the title, Race and History: Selected Essays, 1938-1988. In 1993, he published The Color Line: Legacy for the Twenty-first Century. Professor Franklin's most recent book, My Life and an Era: The Autobiography of Buck Colbert Franklin, is an autobiography of his father that he edited with his son, John Whittington Franklin. His current research deals with "Dissidents on the Plantation: Runaway Slaves."

Ed Henry's Bitchslap by President Obama

No matter how CNN tried to spin it, here is what ACTUALLY happened:

from ebogan

That was the President cooly snappin' on Henry's azz. It was like Henry was made to get a branch from the back woods so's grandma could beat his azz with it. Loved how some in the press laughed at him for being so stupid.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Accurately Counting Our People And Our Children

Beginning in 2010, the Education Department is mandating a new method of counting the race of new students. Best will be if local school districts apply the new method to all students, but new students is the requirement.

The change involves multiracial students.

Many have been forced to choose either black or white, or as this story indicates, Hispanic or Asian. The new method will lead to a better accounting of America's growing multiracial population. Estimates suggest that 4% of the population under age 18 is multiracial. And, in fact, so is the president.

Some civil rights folks have qualms with this; fearful that the changes might lead to decreased numbers of blacks and Hispanics. Possibly. But, accuracy must be paramount in developing good public policy.

Media Alert


The President will be having a Primetime Press Conference,
Tuesday, March 24th at 8pm EST.


An old rare gem from Motherlode courtesy of Music Mike. No I don't have a love interest or relationship (I don't earn enough money to have one of those).... but I do love these old rare melodies and arrangements. They are a contrast to the cookie cutter sound you hear today on Pop radio.

I haven't posted a double-take in a while because it takes too much time to find good songs. I ended up giving myself too much work...but I may post a few more before i'm completely done. They sparked little interest anyway.

Years ago I had a station on Live365 and I may start that back up again at some point... so that I can post my playlists again without the American mafia hassling me.

How Clinton Got the "Reset Button" Wrong

Amazing story.... lol

I told you all....

Monday, March 23, 2009

Tammy Bruce Calls The Obamas ' Trash In The White House'

Hat tip: Ta-Nehisi Coates and several JJP Posters

From HuffingtonPost.com:

Tammy Bruce Calls The Obamas "Trash In The White House"
The Huffington Post Megan Slack March 23, 2009 02:44 PM

Tammy Bruce, guest host for Laura Ingram's radio show, had some harsh words for First Lady Michelle Obama

Discussing the First Lady's visit to a Washington D.C. classroom last week, Bruce incredulously recalled Obama's story about wanting to get A's in school and called out her use of a "weird, fake accent."

"That's what he's married to," Bruce said. "...You know what we've got? We've got trash in the White House. Trash is a thing that is colorblind, it can cross all eco-socionomic...categories. You can work on Wall Street, or you can work at the Wal-Mart. Trash, are people who use other people to get things, who patronize others, who consider you bitter and clingy..."

See video and transcript:

From the March 23 broadcast of Talk Radio Network's The Laura Ingraham Show:

BRUCE: But here's Michelle Obama explaining to some kids what it was like for her growing up because she sounded like a white person, whatever that means.

OBAMA [audio clip]: I did do my best, getting good grades was always important to me, and it wasn't because my parents were -
BRUCE: It's all about her.

OBAMA [audio clip]: -- hounding me or that they had the expectation, it was just something that I wanted for myself. I wanted an A. And I didn't care whether it was cool, ‘cause I remember there were kids around my neighborhood who would say, "Ooh, you talk funny, you talk like a white girl." I heard that growing up my whole life, and I was like I don't even know what that means, but you know what? I'm still getting my A.

BRUCE: What? What? What -- what is that? And then she devolves into that weird fake accent, like Hillary did when talking to black people. What? What is that? That's, that -- you know what that is.

DAVID AFTER DENTIST [audio clip]: Is this going to be forever?

BRUCE: Yeah, that - remember nitrous oxide kid, on You Tube. No it's not going to be forever, nitrous oxide kid. It's not. Can you -- can you believe that?
OBAMA [audio clip]: So do I need to introduce myself?

BRUCE: What a shame. That must've just ruined her damn day. "I wanted the A for myself, and I wanted to do it, and ooh, they said you sounded like a white person, I don't know what that means, but uhh." Huh?

Man, oh, man. That's who he's married to, what does that tell you? This is what we've got -- you know what we've got? We've got trash in the White House. Trash is a, is a thing that is color blind, it can cross all eco -- ecosocionomic kind of categories, you can work on Wall Street or work at the Wal-Mart. Trash are people who use other people to get things, who patronize others, who consider you bitter and clingy.

I call BULL on the 'Trash is a thing that is colorblind'. If it were, then your lying, racist behind wouldn't have had to made the qualifier.

Some of you White folks just better get over it. The Black Man with the Black Wife and Black Children WON The Presidency. He's smarter than you. He beat Country Last and Caribou Barbie mercilessly and made it look easy.

Bruce can kiss my Black A--!, because our First Lady has more class in her pinkie than Bruce will ever muster.

For those of you wondering about The First Lady's SUPPOSED Fake Accent, here is the post I did on that visit to Anacostia High School.

If you want to see the ENTIRE program with her at Anacostia HS, CLICK HERE FOR THE C-SPAN VIDEO.

When Are White People Going To Stop Waiting For A Handout?

From Brown Man Thinking Hard:

When Are White People Going To Stop Waiting For A Handout?
Sunday, March 22, 2009

A phrase you will hear every now and then is "when are blacks going to stop waiting for a handout?" I saw it in print last night while reading commentary by Roy Blount Jr. in the Oxford American , whose latest edition is dedicated to race (that means its only about black people in America) this month.

I chuckled a bit after reading that phrase - it wasn't a half an hour earlier that I'd watched a news clip on The Larry King Show that featured a small group of protesters going from house to house in Connecticut to demonstrate in front of the mansions and estates of AIG executives.

If you've been watching the news, reading the newspaper (SUBSCRIBE NOW - THEY NEED THE MONEY), or surfing the web the last two weeks, you can probably understand why I was busy trying out that age-old phrase, one that is often uttered by those who feel that hundreds of years of racial discrimination should be bygones, with a substitution of my own.

When are these white men going to stop waiting for a handout?

The alliteration between "handout" and "bailout" does not escape me. Because that's what it feels like right now - that there is absolutely no difference between the two.

The only people I see on my TV these days, arguing with Congress about how much they think they should make even though their businesses would closed by now without taxpayer assistance, or pouting to cable news analysts about the severity of their company’s situation, are white people. White men in particular. They all seem to be waiting for the government to do something to help them now that they are in trouble.

And I imagine we are about due now for another bombshell announcement in your local newspaper (THE MOST INFORMATION YOU CAN GET FOR THE MONEY) about yet another "paragon of investing virtue" whose financial chicanery will be unveiled as a total fraud. There have been several who have been uncovered in the last few months, including Allan Stanford, the “billionaire” from Texas whose tight lipped exhortations were prominently featured on CNBC on a regular basis. Haven’t seen one black face in the bunch.

This racial stereotype has gotten so bad that the CEO of Dominoes Pizza, in a commercial that skewers the whole bailout fiasco, is walking down what is supposed to be a New York City street amid a gang of Dominos delivery guys who are handing out boxes of pizza to everybody on the street when he pauses to snatch a box back from a pinstriped suited, grey haired, gruff looking white man.

Rest of article at link above.

This is nothing but WELFARE, but has anyone uttered that word?

Uh huh.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Israeli President Tries to Undermine Obama - Chooses to Work Against U.S. Interests

And this time the undermining comes from Israel's moderate President Shimon Peres.

Israel is worried about the U.S. and Iran sitting down to talk about anything, because it may have an impact on Israel's own hardline policy toward Iran. Therefore, Israel will be trying their best to undermine and sabotage the Obama Administrations Middle East strategy. This is what makes incoming Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu - an already dangerous, hawkish and destabilizing figure - even more dangerous.

First Brother-In-Law Craig Robinson On Rachel Maddow

President Obama's Weekly Address

Friday, March 20, 2009

The First Lady Inspires

I admit, when I first looked at this picture, I just took it superficially. I didn't see the second girl, and when I did, I got choked up.


From Myth:

When I looked at the clip of her with the students yesterday, the reality really hit me that Michelle Obama knows who she is. She really feels obligated to use the power of her office and husbands election to uplift whole generations who never thought this would happen. She is a part of the greater community, particularly with her husband, but she makes no beans nor offers excuses about her real purpose which is to inspire AAs. I guess if she had just sat in the White House twiddling her thumbs like Laura or just presented herself as a "trophy" wife we would have accepted that because that's all we have ever known. But she has made it her business to use the power of her office to INSPIRE. It just doesn't get any better than this.

Keith Olbermann's Special Comment on The Bankers

Keith Olbermann's Special Comment on The Bankers

Mayor Adrian Fenty on DC Voting Rights

The First Lady Meets With Students & Stars

If you want to see the ENTIRE program with her at Anacostia HS, CLICK HERE FOR THE C-SPAN VIDEO.

From Politico.com
FLOTUS meets with stars, students
| 3/19/09 4:38 AM EDT

Thirteen lucky students at Washington’s Anacostia High School were told only that they would spend about an hour Thursday morning chatting with someone famous. Imagine their surprise when Michelle Obama walked in.

They huddled close, in awe, and peppered her with questions about her life, her family, her home. One student wanted to know how she had achieved such success.

“There’s no magic to being here,’’ the first lady said, repeating what has become a signature line. “What I want people to know is that my parents were working-class people. We didn’t have a lot of money.”

Her makeup? (She does it herself, unless there’s a special event.) Her girls? (Up early, they get their own breakfast and make their beds.) College? (A necessity.)

But mostly, FLOTUS talked about the journey — her girlhood in Chicago, and the drive and discipline that propelled her along.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Administration's Black Women Form A Strong Sisterhood

Hat tip: djchefron

From The Washington Post:
The Ties That Align
Administration's Black Women Form A Strong Sisterhood

By Krissah Thompson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, March 18, 2009; Page C01

Like two old girlfriends catching up, they ignored onlookers, hugged and laughed.

Donna Brazile, the political strategist and Washington veteran, peppered Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson with questions.

"How are the kids?" "Have you contacted the church? I don't go every Sunday but they know me."

Before she left, Jackson had an open invitation to Brazile's place for home-cooked red beans and rice, served up every Monday night.

"The sisterhood in this town, there's deep history here," Jackson said.

The "Obama women" -- as African American women who've taken big jobs in his administration have been nicknamed -- mark another step in the long journey of black women from outsiders to gatekeepers in political Washington. They have quietly entered their jobs with little attention paid to the fact that they are the largest contingent of high-ranking black women to work for a president.

Many are firsts -- as in the first black woman to run the Domestic Policy Council, the first black EPA chief and the first black woman to be deputy chief of staff. Last week, Obama tapped Margaret (Peggy) Hamburg to lead the Food and Drug Administration. If confirmed, Hamburg -- who is biracial (her mother is African American, her father Jewish) -- will also be a first.

Seven of about three dozen senior positions on President Obama's team are filled by African American women. Veterans in town see them as part of the steady evolution of power for black women, not only in the White House but also across the country -- in the business world, in academia, in policy circles.

Obamas to Plant White House Vegetable Garden

From The NYTimes:
Obamas to Plant White House Vegetable Garden
Published: March 19, 2009

WASHINGTON — On Friday, Michelle Obama will begin digging up a patch of White House lawn to plant a vegetable garden, the first since Eleanor Roosevelt’s victory garden in World War II. There will be no beets (the president doesn’t like them) but arugula will make the cut.

While the organic garden will provide food for the first family’s meals and formal dinners, its most important role, Mrs. Obama said, will be to educate children about healthful, locally grown fruit and vegetables at time when obesity has become a national concern.

In an interview in her office, Mrs. Obama said, “My hope is that through children, they will begin to educate their families and that will, in turn, begin to educate our communities.”

I think this is a good idea. I read sometimes in the comments the posters discussing their gardens and I admit that I'm a little jealous. I have no green thumb. I have no thumb whatsoever, that could sustain living things. I love that the garden will be organic. I love that it's being done in the city. The garden itself is Old School. That it's organic is 21st century. The First Family brings the best of both - values that have sustained us throughout hard times, yet with a modern spin. I can't wait for the right wing to find something WRONG with this idea of The First Lady's.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Does AIG Stand For A*Holes In Gotham?

Even though AIG wasn't legally prohibited from doling out the bonuses, their demonstrable foolishness is indicative of a wanton greed, a willful ignorance and pure disrespect for the taxpayer. I'm not sure what Congress or the Executive Branch can do regarding the bailout bonus money, but given the populist sentiment in America right now, I applaud their efforts. Follow Andrew Cuomo and Max Baucus to know what New York state and the Senate have in mind.

Dana Milbank notes that the bully-pulpit isn't enough for Obama on this issue. So it's no surprise that Obama's poll approval numbers are finally starting to drop.

Former Evangelical Slams the GOP

Former Evangelical Frank Schaeffer smacks down the crazies running the GOP during an appearance in the DL Hugley show:


Related Post

The Christian Right In America (sorry, some links are dead).

But I Thought Hillary Clinton Pushed the Reset Button?

Here's why Hillary Clinton's meeting with Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov was part of an empty photo op... just like I said it was. The "reset button" was one of the dumbest gimmicks I have ever seen from a Senior U.S. official. I knew there was something pretty symbolic about Clinton getting the translation completely wrong. (also see report from the UK Times).

Just like I stated a few days ago... it will take more than gimmicks and empty photo ops to change the situation between the U.S. and Russia. The U.S. will have to decide to make real substantive changes in its foreign policy if it wants to get back on track. Unfortunately, Obama doesn't seem to understand the situation with Russia...at all. He is getting horrible advice from the Cold War relics that he has surrounded himself with. He is allowing the hawks in his administration (and just about all are Democratic Hawks... I also like to call them "Neo-Con Lite") to run his foreign policy regarding China, Russia, the Middle East, and other hot spots. And he's going to find himself in a situation where many of his domestic ambitions will have to be canceled or watered down due to misguided policy abroad. The U.S. can't afford an arms race or another major conflict, yet Obama is leading the Country down a road that will lead to one or both of those two outcomes. He is continuing many Bush Administration policies that were already leading to an arms race in Europe.

I don't think Americans will begin to pay attention to this until something major happens or until they see how Obama's right wing foreign policy will impact their domestic programs. At some point they will see that Obama's foreign policy is not much different from that of Bush & Cheney. Then they will take notice. But unfortunately it will take a couple of years before people start paying attention.

And the Russians are looking at more than just an arms race and strengthening their nuclear weapons arsenal... they are also considering basing their strategic bombers in Cuba and Venezuela. To put that into perspective.... the U.S.S.R. didn't even have long range bombers in the Caribbean during the Cold War period. In public statements, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Mike Mullen and Obama officials are saying that this would be no big deal. But in their private meetings they are worried about these developments.

In terms of Cuba.... it's Obama's own fault for not taking advantage of the rapid changes in that Country. If the U.S. doesn't fill the void, and doesn't take advantage of business and tourism opportunities there, then the Cubans will seek support elsewhere. And that's exactly what they are doing...while the Obama Administration sits on its hands. The Europeans have already been putting more investment into Cuba. Now the Russians and the Chinese are making more connections to the island....all while the U.S. has stood by and has failed to establish a comprehensive, sensible, robust policy towards Cuba. Raul Castro has made it clear that he wanted to take his Country in a new direction and signaled that he wanted to revamp the broken economy. He also signaled that he might be open to political reforms. Cuba should have been one of the first Countries that Obama visited as President... but the U.S. hasn't even sent a high level figure to the Country. That was a signal to Raul Castro that he probably wasn't going to see much "change" from the new U.S. President. Now we are seeing some of the consequences from those failings (which started under the Bush Administration long ago).

Much of this is bluster on the part of the Russians to hit back at the U.S. for meddling in Russia's back yard - instigating conflict with Georgia and establishing bases throughout the Caucus's. The Russians are also upset (and rightfully so) about NATO expansion...which is now out of control. But the Russians could and likely will go ahead with this strategy if NATO is expanded any further east, and if Obama goes ahead with placing Missiles in Poland (and it looks like Neo-Con Lite Inc. has convinced him to go forward with this suicidal policy which, by the way, won't improve anyone's safety and security). They don't want you to know this...but the Polish and the Czech public ...and most of the people in the EU were against this missile plan from the beginning. European leaders never allowed this issue to to be voted on by the people in a referendum... because it would have been soundly defeated. The public is still against this move because they rightfully fear that it will lead to an unnecessary Cold War situation, will spark an unnecessary arms race, and will reverse all the the gains made over the last 20 years in the realm of East-West relations.


Related article from the New York Times

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Obama's No Socialist. I Should Know.

Finally -- an article on the "Is Obama Socialist" question from the perspective of an actual, card-carrying member of the Socialist Party! An excellent read and a surprisingly astute critique of Obama's healthcare and financial policies.

During his campaign, the ever-desperate McCain, his hard-charging running mate Sarah Palin and even a plumber named Joe lined up to call Barack Obama a "socialist." Last month, Huckabee even exclaimed that, "The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics may be dead, but the Union of American Socialist Republics is being born."

We appreciated the newfound attention. But we also cringed as the debate took on the hysterical tone of a farcical McCarthyism. The question "Is Obama a socialist?" spread rapidly through a network of rightwing blogs, conservative television outlets and alarmist radio talk shows and quickly moved into the mainstream. "We Are All Socialists Now," declared a Newsweek cover last month. A New York Times reporter recently pinned Obama down with the question, "Are you a socialist, as some people have suggested?" The normally unflappable politician stumbled through a response so unconvincing that it required a follow-up call in which Obama claimed impeccable free market credentials.

All this speculation over whether our current president is a socialist led me into the sea of business suits, BlackBerrys and self-promoters in the studio at Fox Business News. I quickly realized that the antagonistic anchor David Asman had little interest in exploring socialist ideas on bank nationalization. For Asman, nationalization was merely a code word for socialism. Using logic borrowed from the 1964 thriller "The Manchurian Candidate," he portrayed Obama as a secret socialist, so far undercover that not even he understood that his policies were de facto socialist. I was merely a cudgel to be wielded against the president -- a physical embodiment of guilt by association.

The funny thing is, of course, that socialists know that Barack Obama is not one of us. Not only is he not a socialist, he may in fact not even be a liberal. Socialists understand him more as a hedge-fund Democrat -- one of a generation of neoliberal politicians firmly committed to free-market policies.

Full article at the Washington Post.

Online chat about this theme on Monday

Friday, March 13, 2009

Bernie Madoff ...NO, I'm NOT satisfied

I have no ' proof' for what I am about to say, except for that I wasn't born last night. I sat, watching the talking heads discuss the Madoff case, and I got madder and madder.

NO, I am not happy about how this case turned out, because it's utter bullshit.

This man is involved in a 64 BILLION DOLLAR FINANCIAL SCHEME.

And, HE is the only one going to jail?


No one puts 64 BILLION in banks without someone knowing about it on the banking level. And, I don't mean the lonely teller. I mean middle and higher management.

No one approves of the phony stock transactions without knowing. And, I don't mean the low level entry employee.

No one continues to put the stamp of GOVERNMENTAL APPROVAL FROM THE SEC without there being accomplices in the Governmental Regulatory Agencies, and no, I don't mean the lowly G-5 entry worker.

This scam had accomplices from top to bottom in BANKING, and GOVERNMENT. Accomplices that should be in handcuffs also.

So, no, I'm not satisfied with the Madoff outcome.

Rant over.

Here's The Rude Pundit dropping wisdom:

President Obama In the Midst of a Military Stand-off with China

In response to the recent incident in the South China Sea involving the USS Impeccable surveillance ship, President Obama has dispatched U.S. Warships to the area, setting the stage for a potentially more serious incident. In his first military challenge since becoming President, Obama has decided to use military muscle, over diplomacy. See China's response to President Obama's decision to "up the ante".

Change That I'll Believe In When I See It

I am not so sure that brinksmanship was the way to go in this situation. It is clear that the U.S. is spying (although technically legal) on Chinese military activities in their own region. This would be the equivalent of China having spy ships off the coast of San Diego monitoring U.S. ships and military installations.

China could send ships of its own into the area to face off with the U.S. ships or as a show of force - China has a formidable naval fleet. Or if this spat is allowed to grow, China has plenty of leverage that it could use to punish the U.S.... One being dumping U.S. debt and turning the U.S. dollar into monopoly money. Thanks to poorly thought out and downright reckless economic policies of the past 25-30 years... China basically owns the U.S.

No need to panic...at least not right now. The dumping of U.S. debt is not likely to happen, because the Chinese need a stable and healthy U.S. economy to absorb their exports. If we don't recover economically...neither do they. But reshaping the financial relationship between the two Countries (to our detriment) could be one of the cards available to the Chinese...under the guise of some other reason such as concern about getting a good return on their investment or whether they will be paid back.

Obama has to figure out what kind of foreign policy he wants to have when it comes to China. This is a Country which, as of right now, is not presenting a direct threat to the United States. Although technically Obama has the UN on his side on this issue, but he is not likely to win the international PR war, because the U.S. comes off looking like the global bully and an a** to the rest of the World. This comes at a time when the U.S. is trying to transform its image abroad.

These spy patrols don't paint the U.S. in a positive light.... and only serve to create tension in my view. If you recall, Bush stepped into a similar crisis not long after taking office... when a U.S. spy plane crash landed in China after a mid-air collision. That set a negative tone for relations between the two Countries for the remainder of Bush's time in office. This latest incident....and Obama's brinksmanship could have the same impact. And Obama will never win the PR war in my opinion.

From China's standpoint...this may be an effort to test Obama. Because these spy flights and surveillance ships have been in the general area for years now. China knows that. But perhaps the rest of the World did not know...and by helping to create an incident.... they are able to bring international attention to the fact that hey...look... the U.S. is still at it... they are still spying off our coast. That's a PR war that the Chinese will win every time. Because the U.S. patrols smack of imperialism.

My view is... there would not have been an incident if U.S. ships weren't spying near the Chinese coast. If Chinese ships were near the U.S. coast...holding exercises, spying, etc... the U.S. would be in a panic. In my opinion this is unnecessary, stupid brinksmanship.... a case of someone fighting the wrong battle at a time when there are much bigger and more important fish to fry. This is not a distraction that we need right now or at any time.

Tent City Grows in California - Reminiscent of the Great Depression

See detailed story from the UK Times

By the wide stretch of the American River in Sacramento, history is repeating itself. Here, during the Great Depression of the 1930s, men and women who had lost everything and despaired of finding work built rough shelters and huddled around fires.

Now the spiral of job losses and house repossessions has left another wave of Americans homeless, and a new tent city is growing rapidly on lumpy, derelict land between the river and the railway tracks here in the capital of California.

There are more than 300 people living in scattered encampments stretching a couple of miles along the river bank. As many as 50 more arrive each week. Unemployment in Sacramento reached 10.4 per cent in January and California is suffering some of the worst repossession rates in the country, with as many as 500 people losing their homes every day last year.

Charity workers in the city can no longer cope with the number of people coming to them for help. The shelters are full, with one home that caters for women and children turning away 200 people a night.
Continue to full report

Skin Whitening All The Rage In Asia

Skin whitening has been around for many years, particularly in Asia. Its popularity has grown in recent years...and has become big business across Asia. It's mostly an issue for Asian women. I first read about this (as it relates to Asians) back in the early 2000's and I have always been a little intrigued by it. This is because I find Asian women to be most attractive in their natural state...in their natural skin tone.

Hear a public radio story (from theworld.org) from earlier this week... which explores this issue. Some of these women are risking their health just to look more white.

What is behind this social craze? Who are Asian women trying to please...or who are they seeking approval from? (I have my ideas on that). Is the White European standard of beauty behind it? I believe that this is probably part of what motivates these women. A Filipina woman offers her take on what's behind this phenomenon, and she provides some very good insight. It's interesting how the "n" word comes up.... but then again it all ties in to the bigger issue of racism and how having darker skin is seen as negative, inferior, etc. Skin lightening products and the topic of skin tone have been issues for Blacks as well. The story regarding Asians just shows how global this issue is.

I also believe that the desire for White/European men has something to do with it. It's probably no coincidence that many Asian women prefer white men... especially if these women are in a setting where White men are plentiful and available. This is what I have noticed over the years just through general observation. Unfortunately this is something that isn't studied extensively. But I wonder what the role of colonialism... self-esteem... Western Pop culture, etc plays in this.

Does One Man's Troubles Stigmatize Their Race?

In the case of Black Americans... I say absolutely yes... And it's not just one man's troubles. There are constantly reports of prominent Blacks screwing up... Add that to the general stigmatization that already exists...and it easily creates a situation of constant collective shame for the wider group. At least that's how it is for me. I admit being embarrassed every time someone who looks like me screws up. Because whether I like it or not....their behavior reflects negatively on me... it will have a negative impact on the collective image of Blacks. NPR's News and Notes discussed this issue on Wednesday... they suggested that there should be no collective shame.... that negative images no longer exist (that seemed to be what they were getting at).


In a related story....it appears that Rihanna is cozying up with her abuser. I'M SO SHOCKED. Folks can't say that I didn't predict this... it fits the predictable pattern that I have mentioned before. This is why I wrote 'Black Women and the Race to the Bottom III' (my third rant on this issue, lol)... because I already saw this coming. This is why it is hard for me to feel sorry for women who seek out these "thug" characters... and return to the same abusive situation or seek out the same qualities in the next guy..over and over again. It's a never ending cycle. And what a great example Rihanna is setting for the young women who emulate her...and for the young men. This is the kind of thing that poisons the race IMO. This... and just about everything else that comes from the Black Hollywood/BET culture.

There have to be issues within these women from the beginning regarding how they view their self worth... how they feel about themselves, etc. Something is screwed up in the brain IMO.

Any Black women out there who care to explain this? And before you say... "Rihanna is under the control of her abuser and she is trapped". That excuse relates to women of ordinary or modest means who are trapped financially, fear for their children and therefore feel that they can't leave the relationship...or women who fear further abuse. None of that applies to Rihanna. She's rich.... so the financial argument is out of the window... she doesn't need to rely on any man for financial support. Secondly...she doesn't have children and is not in a home situation where she is "trapped". So that argument doesn't apply. Some might say..."Well perhaps she fears reprisals". That argument might work... except for the fact that this is an independent, wealthy young woman...who has family....the resources to leave....plenty of places to go....and she can hire bodyguards. So please....spare me the excuses.

But if anyone has a logical explanation for this behavior... then fire away.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Just exactly how does marijuana legalization work?

I'm asking this seriously. How does the government go about legalizing marijuana and taxing it? Where will it be sold? Will there be little Governmental stores that set up across the country to sell it? Is the government going to guarantee purity and quality? Walk me through it. How will this work?

President Obama Addresses Business Roundtable

I have not found an embeddable clip,but HERE IT IS ON C-SPAN.

Media Alert - First Lady Michelle Obama

Hat tip: GreenLadyHere and Angelar

Michelle Obama

The first lady will give her first television interview since her husband took office Friday, and the backdrop will be her first ...

... trip outside of Washington in her new role.

ABC News' Robin Roberts will sit down with Michelle Obama in an interview that will air on Friday, March 13th on "Good Morning America."

Roberts also snagged the President’s first post-inaugural interview on the night of January 20.

From ABC:

Roberts will travel with the First Lady as she embarks on her first official trip to Ft. Bragg, North Carolina, to meet with military families and servicemen and women. Roberts will also talk with the First Lady about life in the White House as well as many of the issues that are affecting the American people today.

Portions of the interview will air on "World News with Charles Gibson" and "Nightline."

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

President Obama Establishes the White House Council on Women

Further Explanation of the White House Council on Women. From The White House:

The White House Council on Women will be composed of the heads of every Cabinet and Cabinet-level agency and will meet on a regular basis. Its purpose is to ensure that each agency takes into account the needs of women and girls in the policies it drafts, the programs it creates, and the pieces of legislation it supports.

Given the critical importance of its work, the Council will have strong leadership from the White House and will be directly accountable to the President. That’s why the President is appointing Valerie Jarrett, one of his closest advisors and most senior members of his Administration, to lead it. Tina Tchen, another senior member of the White House Staff, will serve as the Council’s Executive Director.

Today, women make up a growing share of America’s workforce and the majority of students in its colleges and law schools. Women are breaking barriers in every field, from science and business to athletics and the armed forces and are serving at the highest levels of government.

At the same time, women still earn just 78 cents for every dollar men make; one in four women still experience domestic violence in their lifetimes; women are 50 percent of America’s population, but just 17 percent of our Congress; and women are 45 percent of the workforce, but only 3% of its Fortune 500 CEOs.

These issues are by no means just women’s issues. When women make less than men for the same work, this hurts families who find themselves with less income, and have to work harder just to get by. When a job doesn’t offer family leave, this also hurts men who want to help care for a new baby or an ailing parent. When there’s no affordable child care, this hurts children who wind up in second rate care, or spend afternoons alone in front of the TV.

The President believes that when inequalities like these stubbornly persist, even in this new century, then we as a country need to take a hard look at where we’re falling short, who we’re leaving out and what that means for the prosperity and vitality of our nation.

That’s why he is establishing this Council – to continue building on government efforts like Title IX and the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act that have made progress towards leveling the playing field for women and girls – and enhance them.

Why Some of Us Fear HOMEGROWN Terrorists MORE to the Foreign Kind

Two different posters have brought this story to my attention today:

Report: Slain US Nazi hated Obama, had parts for 'dirty bomb'
Stephen C. Webster
Published: Monday March 9, 2009

Claim: Depleted uranium purchased over the Internet from an American company

Trust fund millionaire James G. Cummings, an American Nazi sympathizer from Maine who was slain by his wife Amber in December, allegedly had the radioactive components necessary to construct a "dirty bomb," a newly released threat analysis report states.

The man, allegedly furious over the election of President Obama, purchased depleted uranium over the Internet from an American company.

"According to an FBI field intelligence report from the Washington Regional Threat and Analysis Center posted online by WikiLeaks, an organization that posts leaked documents, an investigation into the case revealed that radioactive materials were removed from Cummings’ home after his shooting death on Dec. 9," reported the Bangor Daily News.

"Amber (Cummings) indicated James was very upset with Barack Obama being elected President," reported the Washington Regional Threat and Analysis Center (PDF link). "She indicated James had been in contact with 'white supremacist group(s).' Amber also indicated James mixed chemicals in the kitchen sink at their residence and had mentioned 'dirty bombs.'"

"Also found was literature on how to build 'dirty bombs' and information about cesium-137, strontium-90 and cobalt-60, radioactive materials," said the Bangor Daily. "The FBI report also stated there was evidence linking James Cummings to white supremacist groups. This would seem to confirm observations by local tradesmen who worked at the Cummings home that he was an ardent admirer of Adolf Hitler and had a collection of Nazi memorabilia around the house, including a prominently displayed flag with swastika. Cummings claimed to have pieces of Hitler’s personal silverware and place settings, painter Mike Robbins said a few days after the shooting."


RonnieB asks:

How long will media and law enforcement ignore this pink elephant in the room? I've been saying for years that anti-terrorism measures need to start first with the White supremacists right here in the U.S.


Didn't Ted Stevens get CONVICTED and defeated for this reason?

Hat tip: Craig Hickman

From The New York Daily News:
Conflict-of-interest issues grow for President Obama's new urban czar Adolfo Carrion
BY Greg B. Smith

President Obama's new urban czar, Adolfo Carrión, admitted Tuesday he has not paid an architect who designed a renovation of his Bronx home two years ago.

Updated Wednesday, March 11th 2009, 9:15 AM

That presents conflict-of-interest issues because at the time the architect was a key player in a Bronx development that needed approval from Carrión, then the Bronx borough president.

In a statement to the Daily News, Carrión admitted he hadn't paid architect Hugo Subotovsky to design a porch and balcony for his City Island home.

The renovation occurred more than two years ago. The last document filed with the city Buildings Department is dated Feb. 2, 2007. The work permit on the job expired that same month.

Most documents stamped by Subotovsky on Carrión's house renovation date even further back, to October and November 2006, including a blueprint for the extensive work done on the front of Carrión's house.

In his e-mailed response to The News, Carrión claimed the architect spent 51.5 hours on the renovation for a total bill of $3,627.50, "based on their usual rates." That works out to about $71 per hour.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Chas Freeman Forced Out!

Chas Freeman has been forced to pull his name out of consideration for the chairmanship of the National Intelligence Council. I knew it was too good to be true.

Pressure from pro-Israel members of Congress, AIPAC, and the Israeli leadership turned out to be too much. Once again Israel has shown that it can control American politics. We might as well call Benjamin Netanyahu the President of the United States. Because in many ways... he, along with the Israeli lobby groups in this Country, determine U.S. policy. Obama is nothing more than Israel's poodle. Members of Congress are like Prostitutes working for another Country.

It's absolutely amazing to me that even with a Democratic House of Representatives, a Democratic Senate, and even with a popular President, Progressives still don't hold any sway in this Country. They have no say in the formulation of policy nor in determining who works for the President. They (Progressives) don't even have a platform to make any demands, since no media infrastructure exists. The airwaves are dominated - more like clogged and polluted - by Right wing zealots, religious Conservatives, and "Neo-Con Lite" Democrats who repeat Right Wing talking points...allowing the Right to control the narrative on damn near every media outlet in the Country... so it doesn't matter who you listen to.

The Rethuglicans claim there was a conflict of interest... that Freeman had too many Saudi business dealings. What about the Bush's? George H.W. Bush and Skull & Bones Jr. were basically sleeping with Saudi royalty... One of the younger Bush brothers, Neil Bush, was neck deep involved with the Saudi's.

Bush exchanging saliva with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia

Remember how Bush wanted to sell U.S. ports to UAE interests? They didn't have much of a problem with all of Clinton's MANY overseas dealings. For them, they made an accommodation... because they can tolerate Neo-Con Lite. But when Chas Freeman comes along, now all of a sudden these Conservatives come out of the woodwork claiming a problem. Of course none of this was the real problem.... the problem was Israel and AIPAC. It seems to me, they gave some folks an ultimatum on Freeman. And Joe Lie-berman - Senator from the State of Israel - couldn't be more disingenuous. Where were these jackass Republicans when Bush was selling us out? Go and read up on the Bush's and The Carlisle Group and their connections with Saudi Arabia. Chas Freeman's dealings pale in comparison... it's not even close.

It's almost enough to make me sick to my stomach.

Obama better grow a backbone and a pair of testicles and learn how to fight for something. All this caving has to stop.


NPR story on Chas Freeman's nomination


See Freeman's statement from Juan Cole's Blog

The President's Doing Too Much?

The new meme from the MSM is that President Obama is ' taking on too much.'

Poster Myth has this in response:

I started this conversation yesterday, and I still want a vigorous debate that talks me down about how much is TOO MUCH:

Who is most afraid that the President of the United States is trying to do too much? Is it the media because they can't give enough attention to everything he is doing and proposing or give it all a thorough vetting, so they want him to slow down so that they can catch up? They can’t wrap themselves around all of it so they can either defend it or kill it off in the media? Are his changes too drastic for Congress because it takes them a whole session to hear from their constituents back home on how they are supposed to vote and all of these policy changes will make them have to work too hard to keep up? Are there too many changes for the Republicans and they don't have enough leaders left to talk them all down at once so you go get Gingrich?

How do you/they define "too much"? Who is doing the defining of "too much?" Does David Gergen want the POTUS to just sit still in the White House twittlin’ his thumbs waiting for the stock market to crash or waiting to see if the banks can get their acts together? Bush sat in that White House for 8 years looking at nothing but the war in Iraq and it totally ran him crazy. That's boring...the POTUS can only do what he can do. Besides, he’s got peeps to do the watchin’. This POTUS has millions of people counting on him to deliver us so is he supposed to just stop and spend every waking moment, like Morning Joke does, trying to figure out how to force the banks to work again and wait to see if the economy is going to turn on a dime. Wait for what? Gimme a break. Maybe Gergen sees the issue coming down that we will have to have a second stimulus package, that’s just great. OMG=How in the world will Congress pass a second stimulus package AND fund health care, OMG! I’ll tell you how, just print some mo damned money, that’s how. Let the next President figure out how to balance the budget. WE inherited a big mess and we have to buy and spend our way out of it. I ain't mad at the POTUS ‘cause a good crisis IS a good opportunity that needs to be taken advantage of. What they gon do, talk about him....ANNNNNNNNNND

We need to defend our POTUS and ask Gergen et.al. how and why he defines the term TOO MUCH? Who sets the limits on what and how much this President can do at once time? Yeah we may be socialists, tax and spend Democrats, and we are going to spend enough money until we make this nation fair, equitable, working, healthy, war-free, get our 40 acres and mule, then make the rich pay taxes for it and everything else it takes to turn it around as part of this divine providential mission that President Barack Hussein Obama is on.

Well guess what, this is a young, aggressive POTUS that has millions of people behind him, willing to volunteer for him, work and make policy changes for the betterment of the United States. Unfortunately while the media was waiting from Nov 4 to Jan 20 for Bush to turn over the power and key to the people’s house, Obama was working it out. While the pundits were demanding for him to lead before it was his time and he was telling them that there could only be one President at a time, this new energetic, young, gifted and black POTUS was thinking and working it out in the midnight hours with his young, bright, articulate , gifted and black lawyer wife and Pillow-Talk-in-Chief.

Telling a black man that you want him to “fail” is just motivation for our racial species to work twice as hard to succeed. We need to defend our POTUS and ask Gergen et. al. how and why he/they define the term “TOO MUCH”? Who sets the limits on how much can be done at one time? So, if you can't keep up with the relay, get out of the damned race.

Go head on, Mr. President.

Jon Stewart is at it again - BWA HA H AH AH HA HAHA

This Takes ' Driving While Black' to a Whole Other Level

From The Chicago Tribune's Howard Witt:

Highway robbery? Texas police seize black motorists' cash, cars
Suit says cops force motorists, largely black, to forfeit cash and cars—or be charged with trumped-up crimes
By Howard Witt Tribune correspondent
March 10, 2009

TENAHA, Texas— You can drive into this dusty fleck of a town near the Texas-Louisiana border if you're African-American, but you might not be able to drive out of it—at least not with your car, your cash, your jewelry or other valuables.

That's because the police here allegedly have found a way to strip motorists, many of them black, of their property without ever charging them with a crime. Instead they offer out-of-towners a grim choice: voluntarily sign over your belongings to the town, or face felony charges of money laundering or other serious crimes.

More than 140 people reluctantly accepted that deal from June 2006 to June 2008, according to court records. Among them were a black grandmother from Akron, who surrendered $4,000 in cash after Tenaha police pulled her over, and an interracial couple from Houston, who gave up more than $6,000 after police threatened to seize their children and put them into foster care, the court documents show. Neither the grandmother nor the couple were charged with any crime.

Officials in Tenaha, situated along a heavily traveled highway connecting Houston with popular gambling destinations in Louisiana, say they are engaged in a battle against drug trafficking and call the search-and-seizure practice a legitimate use of the state's asset-forfeiture law. That law permits local police agencies to keep drug money and other property used in the commission of a crime and add the proceeds to their budgets.

"We try to enforce the law here," said George Bowers, mayor of the town of 1,046 residents, where boarded-up businesses outnumber open ones and City Hall sports a broken window. "We're not doing this to raise money. That's all I'm going to say at this point."

But civil rights lawyers call Tenaha's practice something else: highway robbery. The attorneys have filed a federal class-action lawsuit to stop what they contend is an unconstitutional perversion of the law's intent, aimed primarily at blacks who have done nothing wrong.

Tenaha officials "have developed an illegal 'stop and seize' practice of targeting, stopping, detaining, searching and often seizing property from apparently non-white citizens and those traveling with non-white citizens," asserts the lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Texas.

The property seizures are not just happening in Tenaha. In southern parts of Texas near the Mexican border, for example, Hispanics allege that they are being singled out.

According to a prominent state legislator, police agencies across Texas are wielding the asset-forfeiture law more aggressively to supplement their shrinking operating budgets.

"If used properly, it's a good law-enforcement tool to see that crime doesn't pay," said state Sen. John Whitmire, chairman of the Senate's Criminal Justice Committee. "But in this instance, where people are being pulled over and their property is taken with no charges filed and no convictions, I think that's theft."

David Guillory, an attorney in Nacogdoches who filed the federal lawsuit, said he combed through Shelby County court records from 2006 to 2008 and discovered nearly 200 cases in which Tenaha police seized cash and property from motorists. In about 50 of the cases, suspects were charged with drug possession.

But in 147 others, Guillory said the court records showed, police seized cash, jewelry, cell phones and sometimes even automobiles from motorists but never found any contraband or charged them with any crime. Of those, Guillory said he managed to contact 40 of the motorists directly—and discovered all but one of them were black.

"The whole thing is disproportionately targeted toward minorities, particularly African-Americans," Guillory said. "None of these people have been charged with a crime, none were engaged in anything that looked criminal. The sole factor is that they had something that looked valuable."

Rest of Article at link above.

Will the Obama Justice Department investigate this?