Thursday, April 30, 2009

Senate Refuses to Let Judges Fix Mortgages in Bankruptcy

Ed Schultz has really been on this the past couple of days.

Dick Durbin, said, on his show, that THE BANKS OWN THE SENATE.

Now, after getting BILLIONS from the American Taxpayers,

These mofos have gotten their minions in the Senate to vote down a proposal that would help the average American who is having trouble with their mortgage.

Let that sink in.

From The New York Times:



Senate Refuses to Let Judges Fix Mortgages in Bankruptcy
by STEPHEN LABATON
Published: April 30, 2009


WASHINGTON — The Senate handed a victory to the banking industry on Thursday, defeating a Democratic proposal that would have given homeowners in financial trouble greater flexibility to renegotiate the terms of their mortgages.

The House of Representatives, meanwhile, overwhelmingly approved a bill backed by the Obama administration that would limit the ability of credit card companies to charge high fees and penalties. The bill, approved 357 to 70, still faces obstacles in the Senate, where — as the action on Thursday illustrated — the industry has more clout, particularly among Republicans and moderate Democrats. In recent days the White House, partly in response to polls showing the significant public outrage over high fees charged by credit card companies, has begun to work for its passage.

The mortgage provision garnered only 45 votes in the Senate, falling well short of the 60 votes necessary to break a threatened filibuster to a measure sponsored by Senator Richard Durbin, Democrat of Illinois, that would give bankruptcy judges greater flexibility to modify mortgages. In recent weeks, major banks and bank trade associations worked closely with Senate Republicans to stop the measure. Twelve Democrats joined all the Republicans in voting against it.





From Booman Tribune, the list of traitors:




12 Worthless Democrats
by BooMan
Thu Apr 30th, 2009 at 07:39:04 PM EST


In the most demoralizing vote since the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005, twelve worthless Democrats just earned my undying enmity by voting against cramdown.

Max Baucus (D-MT)
Michael Bennet (D-CO)
Robert Byrd (D-WV)
Tom Carper (D-DE)
Byron Dorgan (D-ND)
Tim Johnson (D-SD)
Mary Landrieu (D-LA)
Blanche Lincoln (D-AR)
Ben Nelson (D-NE)
Mark Pryor (D-AR)
Arlen Specter (D-PA)
Jon Tester (D-MT)

Honorable mention: Evan Bayh (D-IN)- who did all he could to kill cramdown in committee and then thought he could be cute and vote for it on the floor.

Justice David Souter to Resign From the Supreme Court...Is It Time for Obama to Repay The Black Community?




Saw this on Rachel Maddow. Considering he's been a dependable 4 in most 5-4 decisions on 'liberal' issues, I guess replacing him with someone younger would be a positive.

Bank on this: the next Justice of the Supreme Court will be a Latino.


UPDATE: talking with others, this has come up:

Myth has been very passionate about this subject, and I can’t fault her reasoning:

Craig told me to stop talking about it until there was a vacancy, well its time. Obama pay up to black women, whom he owes most. Its time for a Supreme Court Queen…............
African Americans have NO representation on the US Supreme Court. Period. It’s time to cash in our election chips and demand that Obama acknowledge the AA community and this impact on his election. The Hispanic community will just have to wait their turn. (Don’t even mention Unca Clarence cause he is not black).


Can’t argue with that.

So, if you think it should be A Black Woman….who are some possibilities?

No Racial Gap Seen in '08 Vote Turnout

From The New York Times:


No Racial Gap Seen in ’08 Vote Turnout
By SAM ROBERTS
Published: April 30, 2009


The long-standing gap between blacks and whites in voter participation evaporated in the presidential election last year, according to an analysis released Thursday. Black, Hispanic and Asian voters made up nearly a quarter of the electorate, setting a record.

The analysis, by the Pew Research Center, also found that for the first time, black women turned out at a higher rate than any other racial, ethnic and gender group.


Rest of article at link above.

History, Race and the First 100 Days

Interesting thoughts by Lawrence O'Donnell.

Melissa Harris-Lacewell on President Obama's First 100 Days

First Lady Michelle Obama's First 100 Days

President Obama's 100th Day Primetime Press Conference


4/29/09: Presidential Press Conference from White House on Vimeo.

GOP Ignorance On Display



Let's make this absolutely clear:

Matthew Shepard was LYNCHED.

He was LYNCHED for being gay.

They tied him to that post, because they couldn't get up to a tree, and didn't want the mess of pulling him, a la James Byrd.

But, he was LYNCHED.

And this woman?

Come on. You know.

Voting Rights Act Under Threat?

The U.S. Supreme Court is debating whether key parts of the Voting Rights Act are still necessary. According to an NPR report, Justice Kennedy (the swing vote) appears to be having doubts.

(I will try to find the transcripts and audio of the hearing later, if it is available...no time right now).

Republican Party Spokesman Arrested in Czech Republic

Republican Party Spokesman David Duke was arrested this week in the Czech Republic and then banned from the Country. Apparently Duke was on a speaking tour (spouting hate propaganda) when he was stopped by Police.

____________________

Additional Report

The President Comments on the Chrysler Bankruptcy

Byron York---does he still think we're 3/5ths?

Hat tip:lamh32

The black-white divide in Obama's popularity
By: Byron York
Chief Political Correspondent
04/28/09 10:52 PM

On his 100th day in office, Barack Obama enjoys high job approval ratings, no matter what poll you consult. But if a new survey by the New York Times is accurate, the president and some of his policies are significantly less popular with white Americans than with black Americans, and his sky-high ratings among African-Americans make some of his positions appear a bit more popular overall than they actually are.

Asked whether their opinion of the president is favorable or unfavorable, 49 percent of whites in the Times poll say they have a favorable opinion of Obama. Among blacks the number is 80 percent. Twenty-one percent of whites say their view of the president is unfavorable, while the number of blacks with unfavorable opinions of Obama is too small to measure.

............................
The Obama Effect even spills over to the subject of Vice President Joe Biden. Forty-four percent of white respondents say they approve of the way Biden is handling his job, while 81 percent of blacks approve.
(rikyrah here: I guess Black folks recognize RIDE OR DIE JOE, and are appreciative)

In the final count, 62 percent of whites approve of the job Obama is doing as president. Among blacks, the number is 96 percent. Together, the two groups give Obama an overall job approval rating of 68 percent. It seems reasonable to guess that if Obama's approval begins to slip in the future, it will likely go down among whites before it goes down among blacks. A continued high rating among black Americans will be a valuable pillar of support for the president, should he one day find himself in political trouble.


Hmmmm...........


don't you get it?

our own RonnieB did:
RonnieB
I was thinking the exact same thing. This muthaf---ah has the nerve to suggest that we are not "actual" Americans. That Black Americans' support of a White president is real, but our support of a Black president is an "appearance".


Yeah, RonnieB, that's EXACTLY what he's suggesting.

dnA of JJP, did a wonderful smackdown of York:

BLACK PEOPLE AND WOMEN RUIN EVERYTHING.

I'm not sure how it makes sense that this means Obama's positions are "more popular overall than they actually are", unless you're arguing that black people don't actually count.

.....................................

Part of the point of York's column is to provoke the common conservative response that black support for Obama is "racist." The problem is that while Obama's support among black folks is high, it's only really a bit higher than that of Al Gore, John Kerry, and Bill Clinton, all of whom earned close to 9 out of 10 black votes in their respective elections. Weigel writes that "black voters strongly support the Democratic Party, and have since the 1960s, for a number of complicated reasons." Maybe black support for Obama has more to do with things like Republicans arguing that black votes don't really count than it does with Obama being black. Note that Al Sharpton and Carol Mosely-Braun have never sat behind the desk at the Oval Office.

It's telling that rather than conclude the GOP should do something about its deficit with women and minority voters, the typical conservative response is to simply fantasize about a world in which we might not actually exist. I don't mean to spook anyone (well, maybe Pat Buchanan) but we're not exactly going anywhere. Deal with it.


Tell me about it. I'm not going ANYWHERE.

When Did Torture and Gay Marriage Become National Priorities?

In case you haven't noticed, Ultra-Liberals have been able to hijack the wider Progressive agenda over the last few weeks.

The Obama Administration clearly misjudged the response to the release of the torture memo's and the release of more abuse pictures from years ago (another gift wrapped present from Obama to the GOP). Yes, some of these memo's and photos were preemptively released because of a Civil Court challenge from the ACLU, but not all of it had to be released. And Obama & Co. should have been better prepared for the PR battle that they should have known would be started from the release of this information. Obama has allowed the far Left Liberal wing of the Democratic Party to hijack his Presidency and his agenda.....at least when it comes to torture. How did torture and Gay marriage become national priorities? He has now created a whirlwind that could possibly overshadow the rest of his initiatives. He thought that he would be able to just "move on" and he miscalculated just how much "torture" and releasing everything that Ulra-Liberals are telling him to would cost him.

If Obama ends up having criminal trials...the circus atmosphere will be huge. I supported indictments and arrests earlier on...when the crimes were still in progress.... but two Congress's allowed the criminals to get away... They blew it. There is nothing to be gained now by having a circus...except attempting to show the World that there is justice in the American system and attempting to regain some sort of moral high ground. But going into Iraq in the first place was the big mistake... that's where this Country lost its moral footing.... the torture was a afterthought. I say... let's have a Truth Commission to investigate all of the Bush/Cheney dirty deeds...not just torture. But criminal show trials at this stage in the game will not help Obama... in fact, it will have the opposite effect.
Obama misjudged the Torture issue and what is on the minds of the American public, just like Republicans misjudged the phony Tea Parties, and how they should remake their Party (making it the Confederate Party).

I'm not suggesting that Torture and Gay Marriage aren't important issues, I am stating that these are not the issues that most Americans are concerned with.

Up until earlier this week, Obama had basically lost control of the torture issue and his agenda. The torture memo's and abuse pictures had taken on a life of their own. Somehow he allowed Liberals in his own Party to hijack his agenda.

Obama can thank Arlen Specter and Swine Flu for providing a reprieve. The ball is back in his Court... he can either get his agenda back on track or continue with the self-inflicted wounds.

Another Blunder from the Obama Administration - This one is Inexcusable

The "Photo Op" flight over New York City was one of those events that makes me wonder who in the Hell is running the government and what kind of narcotics are they using. This one left me speechless... I have had writers block over the past few days and continue to be stuck...and it's because of stories like this one. This kind of nonsense overloads and short-circuits the connections in my brain.

How is it possible for government officials (at any level of management or supervision) to not be cognizant of the political and security ramifications of the decisions they make? It's almost as if these people have been living in a cave for the last 25 years and finally crawled out on January 20th. How can these "educated" people be so clueless about the World around them, and of the context we are living in today? It's amazing that I can't get hired in government, but Obama has a whole slew of idiots on his team. There is a pattern that is beginning to emerge from team Obama. At times it seems as if they don't have a clue. And Gibbs looked like a buffoon when asked about the incident. They dropped the ball on this one big time.

Louis Caldera should take some of the blame (another Clintonite... do you see the pattern of Clintonites and insiders screwing up?....This is why they don't fit into any genuine "Change" equation and it is why I have screamed via my keyboard about why Obama should have steered clear)... But officials in the FAA and the Air Force also dropped the ball. First of all, the "Photo Op" should have never taken place to begin with... not with folks losing their jobs at the rate of over half a million a month, with folks losing their healthcare and running out of their unemployment benefits, with the financial system still reeling, and with folks losing their homes...not to mention all the other problems and challenges. But if you are going to do something as stupid as this, it should have been coordinated at the highest levels....and everyone should have been notified...at least 2 or 3 times.

Someone would have to be either incredibly crazy or clueless not to understand why this was not a good idea.

"Sorry" was the initial response from the White House... but "Sorry" isn't even enough for a down payment on the cost for this level of stupidity. In the video below you can clearly see people panicking. The 911 tapes painted an even clearer picture of the fear and chaos. This incident could have very easily led to deaths or injuries from heart attacks, people being trampled during an evacuation, or someone falling during the panic. But even without that outcome, the Republicans have grabbed onto this story and they plan to get as much as they can from it... as they should. Obama provided this to the Republicans...gift wrapped. This is why I gave Obama the grade of C for Communication. I also gave him a modest grade for Execution. Now you see why.

Hopefully Obama can get back on track (at least with his domestic policy) in the next few weeks.



Wednesday, April 29, 2009

14 Year Old Surgeon Wows Medical Professionals

Hat tip:Booker Rising

tonyhansberry

14-Year-Old Surgeon Wows Medical Professionals
Posted 1 day, 11 hours ago, 0 replies

A medical researcher in Jacksonville, Florida has developed a new stitching technique that could possibly transform surgical procedures around the world. Perhaps the most fascinating detail is the researcher is a 14-year-old high school freshman.

Tony Hansberry II has created a new way to sew up hysterectomy patients in efforts to reduce the risks of post surgical complications and simplify the delicate procedure for less experienced surgeons, reports Jacksonville News. So far, the young man has only performed the surgery on dummies but has managed to fascinate the medical community enough to peak the interests of seasoned surgeons. On April 24 Hansberry presented his findings in the University of Florida's medical auditorium packed with board-certified physicians, with established practices older than Hansberry, eager to see what medical phenomenon awaits.

"I just want to help people and be respected, knowing that I can save lives," Hansberry said. He insists his extraordinary achievements are simply stepping stones to his aspirations of becoming a University of Florida-trained neurosurgeon.


Hansberry, whose mother is a registered nurse, is student at Darnell-Cookman Middle/High School - a magnet school with a primary focus of medical studies. For example, students will have mastered suturing techniques by the eighth grade. Last summer the 14-year-old interned at the University of Florida's Center for Simulation Education and Safety Research, where he began his research.

At the simulation center, where medical residents and nurses practice on dummies, the bashful student took a liking to Bruce Nappi, the center's administrative director. Nappi recognized the student's enthusiasm to learn and encouraged him to explore his medical know-how.

One day, an obstetrics and gynecology professor asked Hansberry and Nappi to help him figure out why no one was using a handy device that looks like a dipstick with clamps at the end, called an endo stitch, for sewing up hysterectomy patients. The endo stitch tool was difficult for many practitioners because it didn't properly close the tube where the patient's uterus was once situated. Hansberry believed using the instrument vertically instead of horizontally could make a difference and his estimations were correct.

"It was truly independent that he figured it out," Nappi said.

Hansberry, who has no formal surgical training, was able to increase stitching speed by three times with the endo stitch versus the conventional needle driver. Further study may prove the technique useful for new and seasoned surgeons worldwide.

"Tony often speaks in the highly technical, dispassionate language of doctors. In that respect, he's not the exception but the rule at Darnell-Cookman," said Angela TenBroeck, the school's medical lead teacher. "But he has surged ahead of others when it comes to surgical skills." She added, "I would put him up against a first-year med student. He's an outstanding young man, and I'm proud to have him representing us."

Hansberry's Friday presentation is a part of the university's medical education week, which highlights teaching developments and advancements.


Stunning.

President Obama's 100th Day Primetime Press Conference Open Thread

petesouza17b
Pete Souza-Official Presidential Photographer


Has it really been 100 days?

How long did it take Dubya to have this many Primetime Press Conferences?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A Specter Shocker

Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter announced he's switching parties and will now caucus with the Democrats. In 2010, he will run for reelection as a Democrat. Read about it here from the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post or New York Times. Here is a timeline of his career.

What does this mean?

Analysis
Most obvious is the boost to Senate Democratic fortunes. The Caucus will now have 59 members (soon to be 60 whenever Al Franken gets confirmed to the Senate). This means the Democratic majority is nearing filibuster-proof majority status. Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans will be virtually devoid of parliamentary tactics to deny the Democratic super-majority.

Less obvious, but more important is why Senator Specter chose to switch. Much less like Vermont Senator Jim Jefford's rejection of the GOP in 2001, Specter is uncomfortable with a party that is far to the right of where it once was.

In his statement, Specter notes, "the Republican Party has moved far to the right." In reality, he joins the 200,000 Pennsylvanians that also switched from registered Republican to registered Democrats during the 2008 election campaign.

This is yet more evidence of how the GOP is an endangered species in the northeast and New England. The Party is geographically isolated because it is ideologically narrow. Until the party broadens its' idea base, its' voter base will continue to shrink.

Media Alert

blacksnob


A MOA Favorite - THE BLACK SNOB, will be on NIGHTLINE TONIGHT.

She'll be discussing The First Lady.

GO SNOB!!

Why Michelle Obama Inspires Women Around the Globe



Thanks to lamh32 for the hat tip:

From CNN.com:


Why Michelle Obama inspires women around the globe
By John Blake
CNN


(CNN) -- Heather Ferreira works in the slums of Mumbai, India, where she has watched thousands of women live under a "curse."

The women she meets in the squalid streets where "Slumdog Millionaire" was filmed are often treated with contempt, she says. They're considered ugly if their skin and hair are too dark. They are deemed "cursed" if they only have daughters. Many would-be mothers even abort their children if they learn they're female.

Yet lately she says Indian women are getting another message from the emergence of another woman thousands of miles away. This woman has dark skin and hair. She walks next to her husband in public, not behind. And she has two daughters. But no one calls her cursed. They call her Michelle Obama, the first lady.

"She could be a new face for India," says Ferreira, program officer for an HIV-prevention program run by World Vision, an international humanitarian group. "She shows women that it's OK to have dark skin and to not have a son. She's quite real to us."

Those who focus on Michelle Obama's impact on America are underestimating her reach. The first lady is inspiring women of color around the globe to look at themselves, and America, in fresh ways.

"She might be the first woman of color that females in male-dominated countries have seen as confident, bright, educated, articulate and persuasive," says Barbara Perry, author of "Jacqueline Kennedy: First Lady of the New Frontier."
..............................

But Michelle Obama offers a personal rebuke to that message. Her personal story -- born into a blue-collar family; overcoming racism and once even making more money than her husband -- makes her a mesmerizing figure to women across the globe, says Susan M. Reverby, a professor of women's studies at Wellesley College in Massachusetts.

Reverby says this is the first time many women have seen their class and color reflected in America's first lady.


--------------------------------------------

Rest of article at link above.

I thought it was an interesting article and expanded my thoughts about the First Lady's possible influence.

Unveiling of the Sojourner Truth Bust in U.S. Capitol

Thank you, C-Span




Senator Arlen Specter to Switch Parties

Hat tip: JJP

Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter will switch his party affiliation from Republican to Democrat and announced today that he will run in 2010 as a Democrat, according to a statement he released this morning.

Specter’s decision would give Democrats a 60 seat filibuster proof majority in the Senate assuming Democrat Al Franken is eventually sworn in as the next Senator from Minnesota. (Former Sen. Norm Coleman is appealing Franken’s victory in the state Supreme Court.)

“I have decided to run for re-election in 2010 in the Democratic primary,” said Specter in a statement. “I am ready, willing and anxious to take on all comers and have my candidacy for re-election determined in a general election.”


Well...well....well....

The President Through the Eyes of the Official White House Photographer

The Obama " Image"

President Obama Speaks at the National Academy of Science


President Obama on the Necessity of Science from White House on Vimeo.

Chairman of the Federal Reserve Goes to Morehouse

Part 1



Part 2

President Obama's First 100 Days

Monday, April 27, 2009

GOP Stripped Flu Pandemic Preparedness From Stimulus

From HuffingtonPost.com

GOP Stripped Flu Pandemic Preparedness From Stimulus

Remember way back in the day, President Obama delivered his Not Really The State Of The Union address, and the GOP trotted out Future Of The Republican Party Supra-Genius Bobbly Jindal to provide a rebuttal? Well, we all had some laughs, didn't we? Mainly because Jindal was all: "They want to spend stimulus money on volcano monitoring? Why everyone knows that the Hill Witch keeps tabs on our volcanoes by floating chicken bones in her own intestinal ichor!" And then Alaska's Mount Redoubt erupted, suggesting there might be something to this "let's monitor volcanoes with government-funded science" idea.

Well, as it turns out, volcano monitoring wasn't the only worthwhile public safety program that was deemed extravagant in the stimulus package, funding for pandemic preparation was axed as well. And playing a critical role was Susan Collins -- for whom the necessity of obtaining her vote is in inverse proportion to the intelligence she shows in policy making.

Via The Nation:

Famously, Maine Senator Collins, the supposedly moderate Republican who demanded cuts in health care spending in exchange for her support of a watered-down version of the stimulus, fumed about the pandemic funding: "Does it belong in this bill? Should we have $870 million in this bill No, we should not."

Even now, Collins continues to use her official website to highlight the fact that she led the fight to strip the pandemic preparedness money out of the Senate's version of the stimulus measure.


Anyone got a quote from Senator Collins today?

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Last Word on Somali Pirate Rescue

Hat tip: A JJP Reader

MAERSK-ALABAMA CAPTAIN RESCUED BY REAR ADM. MICHELLE HOWARD'S SHIP

Whoa!

Nope, this is one you SURE DIDN'T HEAR on the news. The ship that rescued the Maersk-Alabama's captain was skippered by a BLACK FEMALE REAR ADMIRAL?


Rear Admiral Michelle Howard.
rear-admiral-michelle-howard

Rear Admiral Michelle Howard recently took command of several US 5th Fleet task forces, including CTF 151, the multi-national task force that conducts counter piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden, the Gulf of Oman, the Arabian Sea, Red Sea and the Indian Ocean.


Black Women are doing things everywhere in the world.



Michelle J. Howard
From Wikipedia:

Michelle Janine Howard (born 1960) is an American Rear Admiral in the United States Navy. She is the first African-American woman to command a US Navy ship. In 2006, she was selected for the rank of Rear Admiral lower half, making her the first admiral selected from the United States Naval Academy class of 1982 and the first woman graduate of the United States Naval Academy selected for Admiral. In 2009, Howard was nominated for the rank of Rear Admiral upper half, and is being assigned as commander of Expeditionary Strike Group Two in Norfolk, Virginia.

Early years
Howard was born to retired Air Force master sergeant, Nick and Phillipa Howard. She is a 1978 graduate of Gateway High School in Aurora, Colorado. She graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1982 and from the Army’s Command and General Staff College in 1998, with a Masters in Military Arts and Sciences.

Howard’s initial sea tours were aboard USS Hunley and USS Lexington (AVT-16). While serving on board Lexington, she received the Secretary of the Navy/Navy League Captain Winifred Collins award in May 1987. This award is given to one woman officer a year for outstanding leadership. She reported to USS Mount Hood (AE-29) as Chief Engineer in 1990 and served in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. She assumed duties as First Lieutenant on board the USS Flint (AE-32) in July 1992. In January 1996, she became the Executive Officer of USS Tortuga (LSD-46) and deployed to the Adriatic in support of Operation Joint Endeavor, a peacekeeping effort in the Former Republic of Yugoslavia. Sixty days after returning from the Mediterranean deployment, Tortuga departed on a West African Training Cruise, where the ship’s Sailors, with embarked Marines and US Coast Guard detachment, operated with the naval services of seven African nations.

Howard took command of USS Rushmore (LSD-47) on March 12, 1999, becoming the first African American woman to command a ship in the U.S. Navy. Howard commanded Amphibious Squadron 7 from May 2004 to September 2005. Deploying with Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 5, operations included tsunami relief efforts in Indonesia and maritime security operations in the North Persian Gulf.

______________________

RELATED LINKS

Read a great article on Rear Adm. Howard

Another article... She's currently in charge of Combined Task Force 151 as well as other Anti-piracy forces.

Additional Article from the U.S. Navy

Hear an interview with Rear Adm. Howard from NPR.


The USS Boxer was her official flagship. Her command of the Multinational part of the operation is temporary...but she is still in charge of many of the U.S. forces.

I have been planning a post about piracy...and will finally have the time to post this week.

--Angry Independent

From South Central to Oxford

Hat tip: Booker Rising

sharronpearson


I wish I had known about this earlier! Hat tip to Talking Stuff blog for this story. Sharron Pearson, a junior and honors student at Crenshaw High School's gifted program in Los Angeles, was one of 400 high school students from around the world chosen to attend Oxford Tradition 2009. She’s also the first student from Crenshaw High School to be accepted into the summer program, which is at Oxford University in England. She had a scholarship to participate. One hitch: Ms. Pearson needed to raise $2,500 for airfare and other expenses.

Ms. Pearson, who has a 4.2 GPA (out of 4.0), is well-involved at her high school and takes classes at West Los Angeles College for college credit. After high school, she hopes to attend Columbia University and major in anthropology and journalism, then enroll in medical school. Ms. Pearson works hard in her studies. She was willing to work even harder toward her Oxford goal, including car washes. Even when her father (pictured behind her) didn't want her to apply in the first place because the family couldn't afford the program, she didn't let lack of money deter her. She applied anyway and urged her parents to reconsider (her mom says that they really wanted her to go, but they just couldn't financially do it), and the program accepted her.

Here's the tearjerker part. Her high school decided to start a fund. An article appeared in the Los Angeles Times' website on Tuesday evening, April 21 and in the newspaper on Wednesday, April 22. By noon Wednesday, Crenshaw High School (whose assistant principal is coordinating the fundraising effort) had been inundated with inquiries from 1,000 well-wishers offering donations ranging from modest checks to round-trip tickets. Among them was a man who did a long-distance drive to the school and, trying not to cry, personally donated $100.

Ms. Pearson said, "This tells me that you can do anything regardless of background or where you're from or your ethnicity. You can reach for the stars, and anything is possible."

Never let it be said that Americans don’t come out of pocket when there is a verifiable need and a worthy recipient. Even after the high school raised the needed $2,500, folks were (and probably are) still coming out of pocket asking to contribute toward Ms. Pearson's future educational dreams. Congratulations to Ms. Pearson, and keep up the good work!


And, if that isn't enough for this young woman, here are her plans for after Oxford:

If all goes according to plan, Sharron will return in mid-August, just in time to fly off to a separate 10-day academic program for gifted students at UC Berkeley.

"That program," she said, "is completely paid for."


Go on, my young Sista. Let your brain take you places beyond what your eyes can see.

Ahmadinejad tells Stephanopoulos: I Accept Two State Solution

From The Israel Policy Forum

Ahmadinejad tells Stephanopoulos: I Accept Two State Solution (Full Transcript of Interview)
MJ Rosenberg
Washington Director of Policy Analysis,
Israel Policy Forum
Posted April 26, 2009 - 7:09am
Washington, April 26


This is big news. George Stephanopoulos interviews President Ahmadinejad on “This Week” today and the Iranian President tells him that if the Palestinians and Israelis come to terms, he will accept Israel. Here is the relevant passage.

STEPHANOPOULOS: "If the Palestinians sign an agreement with Israel, will Iran support it?"

AHMADINEJAD: "Whatever decision they take is fine with us. We are not going to determine anything. Whatever decision they take, we will support that. We think that this is the right of the Palestinian people, however we fully expect other states to do so as well: the U.S. administration, European governments. The right to determine their fate by the Palestinians should be respected by all of them."

Ahmadinejad’s statement is his reponse to Prime Minister Netanyahu’s demand that he will only engage in negotiations with the Palestinians if Iran’s anti-Israel stance and nuclear program are addressed first, an approach the Obama administration rejects. It believes that implementing the two-state solution must come first because resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will, in itself, help address the Iranian threat.

Ahmadinejad throws the ball back in Israel’s court. Make peace with the Palestinians and I’ll accept it, and you, too, he says.

This statement will strengthen Obama’s hand with Netanyahu. The neocons always want Ahmadinejad to play theiir game and promise to rain destruction on Israel. This time Ahmadinejad refused to play.

Obama’s approach seems to be making a differemce.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Grading Obama's First 100 Days

1. Clear/Focused Agenda: D (needs improvement)

2. Economy: C (needs improvement)

3. Management of Financial/Banking Crisis: C- (desperately needs improvement)
(months after taking office, he still hasn't dealt with the toxic asset problem. Also, making bank stress test results public was probably not a very good idea).


4. Energy Plans: B

5. Overall Vision: B

6. Foreign Policy: F
(please start over from scratch before it's too late)

7. Leadership: B+

8. Execution: C- (needs improvement)
(this fiasco regarding torture and releasing memos and pictures...is being mishandled. These are boneheaded moves. As a result, Obama is losing control of his agenda).

9. Communication: B (still has different officials saying different things...needs more synergy).

10. Openness: B

11. Cabinet Choices: D

12. Style: A
(embracing new technologies like youtube.... a generationally transformational President in terms of style).

13. Statesmanship: C+ (perception on World stage is pretty good).

Overall Grade: C

President Obama's Weekly Youtube Address

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Chickens Come Home To Roost For Jane Harman

Rep. Jane Harman, who was a staunch supporter of Bush's domestic spying programs, has herself been caught on NSA wiretaps, possibly attempting to cut a lobbying deal with AIPAC, the Israeli Lobbying group which had members under investigation for espionage.

From CQ:
Rep. Jane Harman, a California Democrat long involved in intelligence issues, was overheard on a 2005 National Security Agency wiretap telling a suspected Israeli agent that she would lobby the Justice Department to reduce espionage-related charges against two former officials of the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee.

In return, the Israeli agent pledged to help lobby for Harman to become chairwoman of the House Intelligence Committee.

Now all of a sudden, Harman is "outraged" that she was caught on government wiretaps. Even though she was not the target at the time and approval for the wiretap was apparently legally obtained. But more important than that, Harman - A Democrat - had been a cheerleader for the Bush administrations domestic spying programs, including warrantless wiretapping.

From Salon:
Jane Harman, in the wake of the NSA scandal, became probably the most crucial defender of the Bush warrantless eavesdropping program, using her status as “the ranking Democratic on the House intelligence committee” to repeatedly praise the NSA program as “essential to U.S. national security” and “both necessary and legal.”  She even went on Meet the Press to defend the program along with GOP Sen. Pat Roberts and Rep. Pete Hoekstra, and she even strongly suggested that the whistleblowers who exposed the lawbreaking and perhaps even the New York Times (but not Bush officials) should be criminally investigated, saying she “deplored the leak,” that “it is tragic that a lot of our capability is now across the pages of the newspapers,” and that the whistleblowers were “despicable.”  And Eric Lichtblau himself described how Harman, in 2004, attempted very aggressively to convince him not to write about the NSA program.




Hear Harman on NPR attempting to explain her involvement in the AIPAC case.

Investigators acknowledged that Harman "completed a crime" with her actions. However, she apparently was not pursued by the Bush Administration because she was seen as an asset for selling their domestic spying/surveillance program at a time when the case was receiving a lot of scrutiny and negative press.

This is what should happen when a member of Congress tries to work with a group like AIPAC for the interests of another government, even when that government is spying against that Congressmembers own Country. She should have been prosecuted. At a minimum, she should consider stepping down- if the reports turn out to be true.

State Legislator Betty Brown Embarrasses Texas

By now, you're probably familiar with the ridiculous comments of Texas State Rep. Betty Brown on how Asians should change their names so that they are more easily pronounced. Crystal Smith has some choice words on the matter. And, here is the video.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Mr. President, When ARE you going to do right by BLACK FOLKS?

Not something that you can hide behind that rainbow crap, but BLACK FOLKS.

Hat tip: The Field Negro

From The Associated Press

PROMISES, PROMISES: Obama and black farmers
By BEN EVANS – 20 hours ago


WASHINGTON (AP) — As a senator, Barack Obama led the charge last year to pass a bill allowing black farmers to seek new discrimination claims against the Agriculture Department. Now he is president, and his administration so far is acting like it wants the potentially budget-busting lawsuits to go away.

The change isn't sitting well with black farmers who thought they'd get a friendlier reception from Obama after years of resistance from President George W. Bush.

"You can't blame it on the Bush administration anymore," said John Boyd, head of the National Black Farmers Association, which has organized the lawsuits. "I can't figure out for the life of me why the president wouldn't want to implement a bill that he fought for as a U.S. senator."

At issue is a class-action lawsuit known as the Pigford case. Thousands of farmers sued USDA claiming they had for years been denied government loans and other assistance that routinely went to whites. The government settled in 1999 and has paid out nearly $1 billion in damages on almost 16,000 claims.

Farmers, lawyers and activists like Boyd have worked for years to reopen the case because thousands of farmers missed the deadlines for participating. Many said the filing period was too short and they were unaware of the settlement until it was too late.

The cause gained momentum in August 2007 when Obama, then an Illinois senator, introduced Pigford legislation about six months into his presidential campaign.

Although the case was hardly a hot-button political issue, it had drawn intense interest among African-Americans in the rural South. It was seen as a way for Obama to reach out in those areas, where he was not well-known and where he would need strong support to win the Democratic primary.

The proposal won passage in May as sponsors rounded up enough support to incorporate it into the 2008 farm bill. The potential budget implications were huge: It could easily cost $2 billion or $3 billion given an estimated 65,000 pending claims.

With pressure to hold down costs, lawmakers set an artificially low $100 million budget. They called it a first step and said more money could be approved later.

But with 25,000 new claims and counting, the Obama administration is now arguing that the $100 million budget should be considered a cap to be split among the successful cases.

The position — spelled out in a legal motion filed in February and reiterated in recent settlement talks — would leave payments as low as $2,000 or $3,000 per farmer. Boyd called that "insulting."

Boyd noted that Obama's legislation specifically called for the new claimants to be eligible for the same awards as the initial lawsuit, including expedited payments of $50,000 plus $12,500 in tax breaks that the vast majority of the earlier farmers received.

"I'm really disappointed," Boyd said. "This is the president's bill."

"They did discriminate against these farmers, maybe not all of them, but a lot of these people would prevail if they could go to court," he said.

The administration wouldn't discuss specific budget plans or commit to fully funding the claims.

But in a statement to The Associated Press, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the department agrees that more needs to be done and is working with the Justice Department to "ensure that people are treated fairly."

Kenneth Baer, a budget spokesman for the White House, also suggested that the White House is planning to do more.

"The president has been a leader on this issue since his days as a U.S. senator and is deeply committed to closing this painful chapter in our history," Baer said in a statement.

Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.



I don't care if it is the Associated Press. I know my usual take on them, but the bullshit coming from The White House on this is disturbing. You can give those lying mofos on Wall Street BILLIONS upon BILLIONS, but you can't find the money to do right by these farmers who have obviously been discriminated against. It's no secret how completely and utterly RACIST the history of the Department of Agriculture has been towards Black farmers. No ifs, ands or buts. NOT up for debate. I'm tired of these mealy mouthed excuses when it comes to issues dealing with BLACK FOLKS.

As I've said before, there are a lot of issues, that this ' rainbow approach', will cover things.

But, there ARE things that are specific to BLACK FOLKS, and yes, I expect a BLACK MAN, who received 95% of the BLACK VOTE, to get involved in this issue.

There is RIGHT.

And there is WRONG.

And, this continued mealymouthed bullshit when it comes to BLACK FOLK is UNACCEPTABLE.

That he would be no better on this issue than Bill Clinton is UNACCEPTABLE.


STEP UP TO PLATE AND DO THE RIGHT THING.

Reminder: 3 Billion is the MINIMUM of what we give to our 51st State. NO question about finding money for the 51st State, but AMERICAN CITIZENS WHO HAVE BEEN SYSTEMATICALLY DISCRIMINATED AGAINST AND ITS BEEN PROVEN ----nothing but excuses.

Another Republican Lie Has Been Destroyed

The Republican media has been on a rampage over the past week... complaining about the recent Homeland Security Assessment warning about the increase in Right Wing extremist activity, and warning that Right Wing extremist groups might target disgruntled, unhappy, unemployed former military folks for their organizations. Republican talk show hosts and pundits are claiming that the report is an effort by Barack Obama to attack Veterans...and is a politically motivated effort to hurt Republicans. They have labeled the report as "Obama's report"...and they have strongly suggested that the investigation of these groups was started by the Obama Administration. They also claim that DHS is being one-sided in looking at only Right Wing groups.

But it turns out, the Homeland Security Assessment had actually been underway for quite some time before Obama became President. That's right, the assessment was initiated under the Bush Administration, and was overseen by a Bush appointee.... by several Bush appointees in fact. The bulk of the work was done by the time Obama took office and long before he was able to get his administration up and running. So how could this be some grand conspiracy by Obama or his Administration?

The claim that the report is one-sided has also been debunked. I recalled a similar assessment about left-wing groups only a few months ago. The postings from RightWingWatch and Crooks and Liars confirms that I was not hallucinating when I heard the advisories warning about left-wing environmental terrorism. The wingnuts on the left bother me almost as much as the wingnuts on the right. But I have to admit that I find the Right wing extremists to be far more dangerous.

This fiasco is yet another example of Republican Right Wing craziness...and absolute paranoia. Again, what they are trying to do is whip up anger against Obama any way they can. Most of the time these Right Wing media folks know they are lying when they speak...they have to. They can't be this crazy and clueless. I believe that most of this nonsense is calculated.

That being said... I do believe that the vetting of this report before it was released (although it was reportedly "leaked") was poorly done. The highlighting of Veterans was probably unnecessary and Senior DHS officials had to have known that using Veterans in this context, especially when the Country is still trapped in two wars, would spark a firestorm from Right Wing Republicans. The wording of the report could have & should have been changed to avoid highlighting Veterans, while still getting the point across about the Right Wing Extremist threat. No one picked this up earlier in the process? That's incredible! That's what frustrates me the most about this whole situation... the way DHS framed the report (when it was not particularly necessary). Are they clueless about the huge platform that Right Wing media has in this Country and that if you don't have your business in order Republicans will pounce on it for their political gain? Obama apparently has quite a few boneheads working in these various agencies. It's frustrating knowing that I can't get a job in government, but there are all of these idiots working in the Obama Administration.


___________________________

Related Postings

Post from TPM


Post from Crooks and Liars

Article from NPR

Monday, April 20, 2009

Possible Changes With Regards to American Policy and Our 51st State?

Hat tip:Miranda and Craig Hickman

Two articles of note in reference to our 51st State and American Politics.

From the Israel Policy Forum
Obama Loosens Conditions on Palestinian Aid
MJ RosenbergWashington Director of Policy Analysis, Israel Policy Forum Posted April 17, 2009 - 6:45pmCongressional Quarterly is reporting that President Obama is requesting that Congress amend a law that would end the flow of US aid to the Palestinian Authority if a Fatah-Hamas power sharing arrangement is established.

Under current law any Hamas involvement in the Palestinian Authority would end all US aid.

Obama's proposal (included in the 2009 supplemental appropriation) would still ban aid to Hamas or any group affiliated with it until it accepts international conditions but would permit aid to continue if the overall PA remained in full compliance with those conditions.

This would permit the establishment of a government of so-called "technocrats" to be established which could speak for the combined Fatah/Hamas government and still receive US aid.

"It is expected that such a power-sharing government would speak authoritatively for the entire Palestinian Authority government, including its ministries, agencies and instrumentalities," according to the report accompanying the Presidential request.

The new law would also permit aid to flow even to a Palestinian government that did not meet international conditions if the President determines that such aid is in the national interest.

This may be another sign of a shift in US policy. Prime Minister Netanyahu's representative has already visited key Hill offices to warn of the danger that US dollars could fall into Hamas hands and it can be expected that center-right and rightwing Jewish organizations will oppose this change.

Pro-Israel organizations that favor more vigorous US efforts to advance negotiations are likely to welcome this change and make sure Capitol Hill knows it.


Interview With John Hope Franklin

Hat tip:Prometheus 6

johnhopefranklinportrait



April 2009 Blackademics Interview: The Late Dr. John Hope Franklin
This month’s interview is dedicated to the memory of one of the world’s greatest historians. As promised, today’s interview is a rebroadcast of our very first Blackademics interview - Dr. John Hope Franklin. The interview was originally published on August 15th, 2006. Dr. Franklin joined the ancestors on March 25, 2009. May he rest in peace.

It's a four part interview. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Damon Weaver Gets Scholarship

Remember Damon Weaver.



From The HuffingtonPost.com:

Congratulations are in order to Damon Weaver today. According to NBC News in Miami, the kid reporter - whose resume includes a famously viral Joe Biden interview, official credentials to cover the Presidential inauguration, and a segment from 20/20, in addition to tons of yeoman's work done for his school's news bureau - has landed himself a college scholarship. Not bad for a kid looking forward to the sixth grade!

According to the report:

Little Damon Weaver from Pahokee has gained national attention for his reporting exploits and now this junior journalist is getting a free ride to Albany State University.

The school will officially present Weaver with the scholarship at a June alumni convention in Miami. The fifth-grader said he plans on accepting the school's offer.


Weaver says the scholarship "is a big relief to me and my family." I can just imagine!

And yet, Weaver remains steadfast in his pursuit of an interview with President Barack Obama. To which I say, Mr. President - seriously - you need to get yourself on the ground floor with this kid, for real.



We must uplift our youth that are on the positive tip, especially if they're doing it in something other than athletics.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Friday, April 17, 2009

Tea Parties and Make-Believe


When I think of Tea Parties the image that comes to mind is my little sister playing dress-up-- using her mothers clothes for a costume and having a make-believe moment. It's all about children pretending and using their imaginations to keep themselves entertained.

This same kind of make-believe is what the Republican "Tea Parties" were all about this week. The so-called "Tea Parties" were basically PR creations, crafted by Republican Strategists, sponsored by Right Wing front groups like FreedomWorks, and promoted by Right Wing Republican media. These people are masters at creating their own reality when the real world doesn't suit them. The events are designed to whip the Republican faithful into a frenzy. You even had Texas Governor Rick Perry (one of the Confederate Governors opposing Obama and rejecting stimulus funding) attend one of these events saying that Texas could secede from the United States... that whole Confederate thing again (if not in geographical terms...it's definitely alive in terms of ideology). What is it with Republican Governors and seceding from the Union? Sarah Palin and her husband have actually been connected with secessionists in Alaska.

One of the big ironies in all this is the fact that most of these "protesters" actually received a tax cut, which went into effect this month. I really don't believe these people understood exactly what they were protesting. All they knew is that this effort was part of the Right Wings anti-Obama campaign...and at the end of the day...that's all they really needed to know.

But are most Americans falling for this mostly manufactured outrage? Are Americans buying what Republicans are selling? Apparently not... at least not at the moment (although the power of Republican media has a way of changing that rather quickly). According to a new Gallup Survey, the tax issue is much ado about nothing, especially when put in historical context.



The Following Is Courtesy Of Gallup:

Views of Income Taxes Among Most Positive Since 1956

PRINCETON, NJ -- A new Gallup Poll finds 48% of Americans saying the amount of federal income taxes they pay is "about right," with 46% saying "too high" -- one of the most positive assessments Gallup has measured since 1956. Typically, a majority of Americans say their taxes are too high, and relatively few say their taxes are too low.

These results are based on the Gallup Economy and Personal Finance poll, conducted each April, including April 6-9 of this year.

Since 1956, there has been only one other time when a higher percentage of Americans said their taxes were about right -- in 2003, when 50% did so after two rounds of tax cuts under the Bush administration.

The slightly more positive view this year may reflect a public response to President Barack Obama's economic stimulus and budget plans. He has promised not to raise taxes on Americans making less than $250,000, while cutting taxes for lower- and middle-income Americans. The latter has already begun, as the government has reduced the withholding amount for federal income taxes from middle- and lower-income American workers' paychecks.

In this year's poll, slim majorities of both lower- and middle-income Americans say they pay about the right amount of taxes, while upper-income Americans tend to think they pay too much. The views of upper-income Americans have not changed in the past year, while both middle- and lower-income Americans are more likely to say they pay the right amount of tax. Read more of the Gallup report here.

The Republicans, especially those in the Republican media, are trying to convince the American public that this is an issue with legs and that there is genuine anger towards taxes across the social and political spectrum...when in reality, most of the noise about taxes and fiscal responsibility is coming from a small fringe within their Party... almost a fringe within a fringe...because the Republican Party is down to its base at this point. Where were these people when George W. Bush and the last Republican majority were running up huge deficits, trying to hide spending by keeping it off the books, not monitoring Wall Street, allowing the Oil Companies to rape ordinary working Americans, and allowing Special Interest Groups (Government contractors) to literally rob taxpayers blind in Iraq with thefts of historic proportions. They weren't trying to stage these grand protests then. In fact, it was the Republicans lack of fiscal responsibility that largely contributed to the current mess that the Country finds itself in.

This is clearly an effort by Republicans and their media apparatus to whip up anger towards Obama. Many of the people at these "Tea Party" rallies did not show up to complain about taxes at all. Instead, they were complaining about a list of other perceived grievances with Obama... with signs suggesting that he's Muslim, friendly to terrorists, is a communist, a Nazi, ...you name it. To me, the events appeared to have the feel of last years General Election campaign where folks were calling for violence against Obama, carrying racists signs, vandalizing campaign offices, and using stuffed Monkeys to represent him. It almost harkens back to the Southern tradition of lynching picnics, where lynchings were social events. I know that's an extreme comparison....but race is surely playing some role in these events. How many Blacks did you see in these crowds? Let's be honest...these are generally White Americans who are simply looking for any excuse to protest Barack Obama.

This is really an example of Right Wing media using fear & propaganda to take advantage of the ignorant and the uninformed. They prey on folks who are driven more by ideology (religion, race, xenophobia, fears, prejudices, and culture war issues for example) than by facts. It sends the message that Right Wing media is still strong and can make themselves as relevant as they want to be... regardless of whether they are dealing with the real world or not.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Human Cost of The Broken Economy

Hear an NPR story about the way this economy is impacting everyday people. It shows how brutal this economy can be.

American Capitalism can really rob people of their dignity and humanity. It can rip the spirit right out of you. A cruel system indeed.

I am becoming more and more hopeless everyday (and i'm employed full-time...although under-employed). I guess I should feel lucky...but my employment situation is becoming more precarious with each passing day. Bankruptcy was officially announced this week. I started working when I was 16. And I have been employed continuously... and full-time (except for 3 months) since I was about 19 years old. I'll be 36 pretty soon. The idea of not working is unthinkable to me.

But the hopelessness is real. I have the constant feeling that i'm falling face down from the top of the Sears Tower in super slow motion.... going down a little more everyday....knowing what is waiting for me at the bottom but not being able to stop it.

The U.S. Still Seems to Be Itching For A Fight With Russia


NATO plans to hold major military exercises in Georgia next month - in a Country that just finished a war...and for all practical purposes is still at war. The exercises appear to be part of a continuing U.S. effort to instigate conflict in the former Soviet Union.

I was hoping that this madness would cease once Obama took office….but in the back of my mind I knew that there wouldn’t be much “change” on the foreign policy front, especially when it came to NATO and Russia policy.

The continued U.S. instigation in the Caucasus and the push to expand NATO will kill any efforts by the Obama Administration to reboot relations with Russia (which were just cosmetic efforts to begin with). As I stated before…the whole “reset button” nonsense was more photo op than real substance. In fact, these policies may eventually lead to a breakdown in relations altogether and to a renewal of the Cold War... or a rekindling of the Cold War that never really ended. If the U.S. continues in this direction regarding Russia Obama can forget about his dreams of a fresh nuclear arms reduction agreement, or the idea that Russia will help the U.S. with Iran and North Korea….or with any other major conflicts.

Republican Talk Show Hosts Were Hoping That the Rescue of Richard Phillips Would Fail


Wingnut Republicans were hoping for Americas failure once again over the past week... this time regarding the Hostage standoff between the U.S. Navy and Somali "Pirates" who were holding Merchant Ship Captain Richard Phillips for ransom.

Limbaugh & Co. and their supporters were hoping that something would go horribly wrong... that Captain Phillips would not make it through.... so that they would be able to blame President Obama.

Late last week, and into the weekend... I heard all kinds of nonsense from Republican Talk Show hosts... They were setting up a narrative that assumed that any rescue effort would be a failure and that Phillips would not make it through the ordeal alive. Yes folks... this seems like pretty sick and twisted stuff...but this is what the Republicans were hoping for. They were painting President Obama as weak on Terrorism, weak on Security, not a good Commander-in-Chief, not ready for the 3am phone call...you name it, they contrived it. They stated that this was a huge crisis situation for Obama...the biggest of his Presidency... and any failure would spell doom for the Obama Administration. And they were preparing to blame him as soon as disaster struck.

But luckily disaster never came... unless you were one of the 3 Somali thugs holding Phillips hostage. For once there was good news.... the U.S. prevailed (at something). Thanks to the efforts of U.S. Navy Special Forces... Phillips was successfully rescued. After Obama gave clearance for the operation.... Seals carried out the daring assault (which was astonishing in the world of marksmanship...considering targets are always bobbing and moving in various directions on the Ocean).

Once it became clear that a rescue effort had been successful and that Obama had been more involved than the propagandists had thought.... all of a sudden they didn't want to ascribe any of the good news to President Obama. All of a sudden, Obama had nothing to do with the sequence of events in the week leading up to the standoff and rescue. But we know that if it had been a failure... they would have placed President Obama right in the middle of the disaster.

This whole thing shows just how depraved some Republicans and their Radical Right Wing media have become.

Burger King Pulls Commercial With Mexican Theme But Continues to Run The Much More Offensive Rap Ad

Let me get this straight.... Burger King has decided to pull a commercial that had not even begun playing in North America yet, because it was offensive to Mexicans, including a few people in the Mexican government. Mexicans made it clear that they weren't having it. I think it's great that Mexicans who were offended decided to stand up and raise Hell. And it's pretty impressive that this decision apparently came within a few hours or days of the commercial being seen in Europe and someone making a complaint and sounding the alarm.

Video of Commercial



But it begs the question...if Burger King is willing to pull the above ad with such speed, shouldn't they pull the much more offensive Commercial for Kids Meals that targets Blacks? Oh... I forgot... Black folks aren't raising their voices or protesting in any serious resolute fashion... Remember what I stated before about what Blacks will put up with? Blacks are the only group that tolerates their image being mocked, attacked, typecast, and crapped on. Other groups don't tolerate this kind of nonsense.

That being said... I think business is playing a part in this particular decision....which is why there is such a disparity in the way that the company is dealing with the two commercials. Even though one commercial is far worse than the other, they decided to pull the commercial that is the least offensive of the two. Why? Because Burger King is concerned about the bottom line and nothing else. They want to maintain access to the Mexican market and its 100 million people. On the other hand, a few protest letters from offended minorities and parents is no big deal to them. Interesting stuff...

This just reinforces my dislike of the private sector and big business.... Private Corporations are inherently evil.

Related Links

Article from Breitbart

Burger King Goes Off The Deep End Again

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Comments About Community by The First Lady

From USA Today

Nation needs youthful idealism more than ever
By Michelle Obama for USA TODAY


Embedded in our nation's core values is a spirit of community, generosity and entrepreneurship — a can-do attitude that says no challenge is insurmountable.
When so many people are struggling to make ends meet, we need everyone pulling together to solve our nation's problems and to lift up our fellow Americans. And this includes our young people. Today, more than ever, we need their energy, enthusiasm and idealism.

Service groups, non-profits, faith-based organizations, philanthropists, corporations, government and individuals all have a role to play in moving this country forward, and more and more students are filling these ranks.

Every day we hear stories of people rising to the occasion and making a real difference: the retiree who volunteers at the local elementary school to help children learn to read; the woman down the block who watches out for her neighbor's kids after school — providing a snack, some wisdom and a home with a light on until parents return from a long day of work; the mothers and fathers in a neighborhood who coach Little League and soccer and teach kids about good sportsmanship and perseverance and teamwork.

These adults know the value of service and make it an integral part of their lives. And even more importantly, by being good neighbors, concerned citizens and solid role models, they are helping to train the next generation of community leaders.


When I made the decision to leave my job to found Public Allies, an AmeriCorps program in Chicago that prepares youth for public service, I realized right away that I had made the right decision. There are few things more rewarding than watching young people recognize they have the power to enrich not only their own lives, but the lives of those around them as well.

Research shows that the current generation of young people is one of the most socially conscious and active, with 61% of 13- to 25-year-olds saying they feel personally responsible for making a difference in the world. And with the recent passage of the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, we can tap into this enthusiasm and usher in a new era of service in this nation.

This bipartisan legislation promotes the cause of service among young people by investing in service-learning. It is never too early to encourage kids to better their community or begin investing in their own future. And some are truly making a difference.

Students such as those at the Collegiate School in Manhattan, led by Avery Hairston, who launched a program called RelightNY. They are working with companies and foundations to acquire energy-saving light bulbs and install them in low-income housing communities, saving on both electric costs and carbon emissions. These young men represent the next generation of social innovators!

The Serve America Act will also dramatically increase the number of full- and part-time service opportunities for college-age students by expanding AmeriCorps from 75,000 positions a year to 250,000 by 2017, and providing more than $5,000 a year to help those students pay for college.

This will help folks such as Kierstin Quinsland of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps and Nicole Fauble of the Lutheran Volunteer Corps, who work at Miriam's Kitchen, a homeless service agency near the White House. Every day, Kierstin and Nicole provide case management services to homeless men and women who come for a nutritious meal served in an atmosphere of dignity and respect. Each has recently signed up to volunteer for an additional year at Miriam's.

Through a new service corps founded in the Serve America Act, students will work on national priorities such as education, health care, clean energy and supporting veterans' organizations. They will work with organizations such as YouthBuild, an AmeriCorps program providing opportunities for low-income youth to rebuild their communities, learn job skills, complete their high school education and graduate.

YouthBuild began more than 30 years ago as a program to rebuild housing units in low-income communities. It has withstood the test of time because it has evolved to include green building, energy-saving practices and environmental awareness programs.

The message of YouthBuild is so important: Participating in national and community service is not just an escape for the wealthy or for those students who can afford it; it is an integral part of empowering all our young people and making our communities stronger.

And this is what I find so inspiring. RelightNY, the JVC and the LVC and YouthBuild all demonstrate that, given the chance, young people will take responsibility for making their communities stronger. They know that each of us has something to contribute. And they are ready to lead the way.