Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Dr. Billy Taylor Passes On

Dr. Billy Taylor

From the Washington Post:

Jazz great Billy Taylor, pianist, educator & media personality, dies at 89
By Matt Schudel

Billy Taylor, one of the musical treasures of Washington and the world, died last night, Dec. 28, at a hospital in New York City. He was 89 and died of a heart attack.

Dr. Taylor, as he was known to one and all, was a first-rate jazz pianist who grew up in Washington and was a graduate of Dunbar High School. He moved to New York in the early 1940s and was present at the birth of bebop, the new vernacular of music that transformed jazz. He played alongside Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis and became a protege of the greatest jazz pianist ever, Art Tatum.

In the 1950s, Dr. Taylor began to branch out into broadcasting with a television series, "The Subject Is Jazz," and with radio programs. He appeared on CBS over the years, particuarly on "CBS Sunday Morning," interviewing and performing many of the great artists in jazz.

Dr. Taylor -- who earned a doctorate in education, by the way -- had been the artistic adviser for jazz programming at the Kennedy Center and was a constant presence at concerts at the center. He often performed with his own trio and other groups and helped make the Kennedy Center one of the most important venues for jazz in America. He launched the annual Women in Jazz Festival at the Kennedy Center and was instrumental in developing other concert series.

For several years, he was the host of an NPR series, "Billy Taylor's Jazz at the Kennedy Center," and many people considered him the foremost jazz educator of his -- or any -- time.

Dr. Taylor received every award there is in jazz and the arts, including the National Medal of Arts in 1992, and was designated a Jazz Master by the National Endowment for the Arts in 1988.

I knew Dr. Taylor somewhat, and I treasure the memory of visiting him once at the Watergate hotel, interrupting him as he was practicing on an electric piano in his room. We sat and talked for more than an hour for background for a story you can find here

We'll have a full obituary up soon, but in the meantime, here's a taste of Dr. Taylor doing what he did best -- talking about jazz and demonstrating at the keyboard why he was so important to the music and everyone who loves it.
See report here. Detailed report here. More information on Wikipedia page.

Hear Billy Taylor's Classic Anthem... "I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free". I like the original vocals from Nina Simone, but must admit that i'm slightly partial to Marlena Shaw's rendition.

For All DREAM Act Supporters, A Question For You

I know that those who supported the DREAM Act are disappointed at its failure during the lame duck session. I watch programs like this:

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

and read articles about how much the Latino community is putting The President's feet to the fire over this issue.

Commentary: Obama must reconnect with U.S. Hispanics

I don't want to spoil anyone's holiday mood, but as we approach President Barack Obama's second anniversary in office, it's time to say that he has not fulfilled some of his key promises to U.S. Hispanics and Latin America.


• Immigration: Last week, the Obama administration failed to overcome Republican opposition in the Senate to the Dream Act, which would have given citizenship to tens of thousands of college students or soldiers in the U.S. military who were brought to the country as infants by undocumented immigrants.

It was the easiest immigration measure to pass, because it was the one that made most sense from a national security, economic and humanitarian stand.


It was the EASIEST?

Shrub Bush couldn't pass it and he shoved this country into TWO WARS without breaking a sweat, but it was supposed to be so easy for this President.

The author continues...

Granted, it was Republican senators who blocked it. But many Hispanic leaders wonder whether Obama spent enough time and effort to get it passed: On the same week, Obama managed to get enough Republican support in the Senate to repeal the military's ban on openly gay troops, and days later he mustered enough Republican Senators to pass the New START nuclear arms treaty.

On the broader issue of a comprehensive immigration reform that would seek to both secure the U.S. borders and provide a legal path to legalization to about 11 million undocumented immigrants, the president did not meet his campaign promise to make it a ``top priority'' of his first year in office, or of his second year.

It was REPUBLICAN Senators who blocked it, but that doesn't matter, because it's President Obama's fault.

Yes, because the President really didn't have anything on his plate the first two years in office, only two wars, the biggest economic crisis since the Great Depression, and trying to find a way to get healthcare for 30 million uninsured AMERICAN CITIZENS...I don't know why that would be more important than dealing with people who a) are NOT citizens, and b) are here illegally. Silly me, I don't know what the President of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA was thinking over these past 2 years.

In all my reading, and my tv viewing, maybe I missed it, but I'd like to know...

When Latinos talk about the GOP knowing the power of the Latino vote, as they continue to pass ' What about IF YOU AIN'T WHITE don't you understand' Laws....

As well as ALL Republican Senators from following states with sizeable Latino populations voted AGAINST the DREAM Act : Texas,Nevada, Florida, Illinois.
How come if the Latino is so ' obviously important', these Senators voted against it?

When I hear them talk about ' all they need are 6 more Senators'...

How come in all this ' the GOP will need to pass the DREAM act to get Latino votes', have I not seen one sentence written about how they've gotten SENATOR-ELECT MARCO RUBIO to be their champion in the new Senate?

what's up with that?

Why have I never heard RUBIO in the same sentence as the DREAM Act?

Being a Republican designated 'anchor baby' himself....why hasn't he taken up this cause?

And, if not, I wanna know why the Latino community isn't calling him on it?
Like I said, I might have missed it...maybe they are calling him on it.

Who better to harness GOP Votes, than their new Tea Party Golden Boy Rubio?

Don't front like the President can do all the heavy lifting himself, if folks in the Latino community that could help - are silent.

Help Raise Funds for a Fannie Lou Hamer Statue

hat tip-Ta-Nehisi Coates

Fanny Lou Hamer, a leader of the Freedom Democratic party, speaks before the credentials committee of the Democratic national convention in Atlantic City, August 22, 1964, in efforts to win accreditation for the group as Mississippi's delegation to the convention. The Freedom group, composed almost entirely of Negroes, is opposed by the regular all-white Mississippi delegation.
----AP Photo/stf

Do for Self
Dec 28 2010, 11:30 AM ET 11

There's an effort under way to raise $125,000 to put a statue of Fannie Lou Hamer in Ruleville, Mississippi. Please contribute. It is not sufficient to spend one's time complaining about how other people tell history, while making no efforts to tell history ourselves.

We have to go beyond correctives.

Some Teena Marie Favs

Put your headphones on :)

Uploaded by oublierleracismeskyblog. - Explore more music videos.

Déjà Vu Live

Another Soul Train performance

On American Band Stand



I'm Just a Sucker For Your Love (instrumental)

Sunny Skies

Now That I Have You

Black Reign

My Dear Mr. Gaye

Out on a Limb

Casanova Brown

Pretty Man

Dear lover

It Must Be Magic

Square Biz

How Can You Resist It

Can’t Love Anymore


Miracles Need Wings To Fly


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Media Alert-2010 Kennedy Center Honors

The Kennedy Center Honors will be televised tonight at 9pm EST on CBS.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - DECEMBER 04: The 2010 Kennedy Center honorees pose for their formal class photo following the formal Artist's Dinner at the United States Department of State in Washington, D.C. on December 4, 2010. Top row, from left to right: Merle Haggard, Bill T. Jones, and Sir Paul McCartney. Bottom row, from left to right: Jerry Herman and Oprah Winfrey.
---- Ron Sachs-Pool/Getty Images

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama arrive at a reception for the recipients of the 2010 Kennedy Center Honors arrive in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Sunday, Dec. 5, 2010.
---AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

Monday, December 27, 2010

Soul Legend Teena Marie (Mary Christine Brockhert) Passes Away

Mary Christine Brockhert (Teena Marie)
The Ivory Queen of Soul

One of the greatest Soul singers of all-time, certainly among women. She easily fits into the top 10 women of all-time in Soul. Although I didn't care much for her bend towards Rap/Hip Hop in recent years. A genius, talented beyond measure. Her impact may never be fully appreciated. "The Brockert Initiative" alone (the Federal law setting precedent for protecting artists from record companies- freeing artists from labels abusing their contracts) puts her in a unique place in history.

Her music was part of the soundtrack to my childhood. A relative exposed me to her work back in the mid 80's. I didn't know until sometime later that she was white....and in the end, it didn't matter. She was a staple...both in our home and on those long 8, 12, 15+ hour road trips that my father seemed to love so much. She never quite got the level of recognition that matched her talent. She'll be in good company in that department.... Donny Hathaway, Chick Webb, Phyllis Hyman, Minnie Riperton, Grant Green & Curtis Mayfield immediately come to mind.

Looking Back on the Past Year

Just Because...

100% marriage material for me.... but I could never come close to affording Leona Lewis.

Would love to be White or Latino, and well-off. At least for a few days just to see what it's like. Just being honest, lol. Haven't started cursing God yet though. There are a few things to be thankful for even when you're at the bottom.

Hear Interview with Tom Friedman

I don't always agree with Tom Friedman (more like Tomfoolery at times - example #1 would be his position on the invasion of Iraq). But here he is talking about the decline of the U.S., the current political malaise, and how this Country will get its but kicked economically if it doesn't take steps to become more competitive. Once in a while he actually says something that makes sense. Listen Here.

An Interview with Robert Reich

Dr. Cornel West interviews Economist & former Labor Secretary Robert Reich. He discusses his latest work "Aftershock", and explains the current economic and political situation. Listen Here.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

From all of us here at MOA, MERRY CHRISTMAS to everyone.

Have a wonderful day, enjoying friends and family.

In case you're wondering what today is about, Linus can explain:

The New York Sun, 1897.

This should be republished every year, right?

Dear Editor,

I am 8 years old.

Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, "If you see it in The Sun, it's so." Please tell me the truth: Is there a Santa Claus?

Virginia O'Hanlon
115 W. 95th St.

Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except (what) they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You may tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

There's the South....and then there's Mississippi (re-Haley Barbour)

There was the South....and then, there's Mississippi.

And, Haley Barbour can't run away from that.

We can't talk ENOUGH about this.

Gov. Haley "Boss Hogg" Barbour Praises the White Citizens Council (aka the Klan in Suits).
Gov. Haley Barbour (R-MS), a potential Republican presidential candidate, has an interesting perspective on the tumults of the civil rights era that swept through his Deep South state.

As Barbour recalls it in a new profile in The Weekly Standard, things weren't so bad in his hometown of Yazoo City, which took until 1970 to integrate its schools (though the final event itself is said to have gone on peacefully). For example, Barbour says that there was no problem of Ku Klux Klan activity in the town -- thanks to the Citizens Council movement, an organization that was founded on the basis of resistance to integration and the promotion of white supremacy.

"You heard of the Citizens Councils? Up north they think it was like the KKK," said Barbour. "Where I come from it was an organization of town leaders. In Yazoo City they passed a resolution that said anybody who started a chapter of the Klan would get their ass run out of town. If you had a job, you'd lose it. If you had a store, they'd see nobody shopped there. We didn't have a problem with the Klan in Yazoo City."

You know, this should just be under the heading..


I know a whole lot about the state of Mississippi. From the time I was born until I was 18, I went to Mississippi 4 times a year. After that, twice a year until Mama died. I've been to the Delta. I've been to the Gulfcoast. I've been to the East. Been to the West. Been to Jackson, Vicksburg, Hattiesburg, Yazoo City, Oxford.

And, I'm here to tell you, IMO, when folks talk about the ' New South', they sure in hell aren't talking about Mississippi.

I posted a few months ago about how Boss Hogg Barbour was attempting to whitewash his past, first with some unbelievable remembrances of his time at Ole Miss. Of course, folks tracked down one of the lone Black students during that time period, and she told THE TRUTH OF THE HELL THAT SHE WENT THROUGH.

Let's not mince words here:

Haley Barbour is a RACIST. Plain and simple. No holds barred.

Oh, you can put him in a suit, but, I've been Black in America longer than 3 days.

He's had no ' come to Jesus' moment about growing up during American Apartheid and the evil that it was for the Black citizens of the South. Not one frigging moment of self-awareness.


Instead, we have these repeated attempts by him to whitewash - LITERALLY - the hell that was the South during that time, and Mississippi in particular.

THIS is the Mississippi of Emmett Till.

THIS is the Mississippi of Fannie Lou Hamer.

THIS is the Mississippi of James Meredith integrating Ole Miss.

THIS is the Mississippi of Medgar Evers.

Myrlie Evers Comforting Son Darryl Kenyatta During Funeral of Husband Medgar Evers

THIS is the Mississippi of bombing the freedom riders.

THIS is the Mississippi of Schwerner, Cheney and Goodman.

There were a whole lot of White folks who resisted the Civil Rights Movement. A whole lot of folks who saw nothing, absolutely nothing wrong with Black folks being 3rd class citizens in THEIR OWN DAMN COUNTRY.

When they talk about ' taking their country back', they want it back to a time where, quite frankly,


Hell, Barbour's own BROTHER Bemoaned Blacks 'Not Listenin' To White People Like They Used To'
"Maybe five years ago," he said, "you could've appointed a colored man yourself. Now you simply can't get away with it. They're goin' to have to pick their own leaders. You could've gotten on radio five years ago using these very words, 'George Collins is this ni**er we've appointed,' and could've gotten away with it. I guess they're just goin' through a state of being rebellious and hard-nosed and not listenin' to white people like they used to."

The town has seventeen policeman in all, which struck me as a substantial force for a town of 14,000, and Mace is standard equipment; the policemen carry it on their belts. "You get a drunk," Jeppie says; "you either get him to come with you or you have to manhandle him. You give him Mace and he'll want to go anywhere with you. It keeps that ni**er's head in good shape."

Discipline has likewise been a problem with "the little ni**ers around town. One seven-year-old stole a pistol, but the chief has his own homemade juvenile delinquency kit. He has a belt that's bigger than a Sam Browne belt, and he calls the parents and gets them to come down and take the kid into the basement and use the belt."

Martin Luther King was the most hated man because he showed them for what they were to the ENTIRE WORLD, and when that mirror was put up to them, it showed them in all their ugliness. How dare this Negro say that American Apartheid was wrong and should end. White folks like Haley Barbour and his ilk didn't think anything was wrong with life in Mississippi during that time.

The reason why Barbour and his media apologists must be pushed back against, and not allowed


to do his whitewash of American Apartheid.

Is because our ancestors who suffered under it, must NOT be forgotten.

The pain.
The degredation.
The humiliation.
The threat of physical violence that they lived under 24/7/365.
Not for one year. or two. or three.
But nearly 100 years post-the ending of Official Slavery in the United States.

The GENERATIONS that were made to live in literal hell.
See, there's a problem when you try to whitewash Mississippi during Jim Crow...

WAYYYYYY too many of us "Negroes" or is it "Coloreds" are still alive....oh, some of us weren't around during that time, but we have parents, grandparents, aunt, uncles, church elders who told us enough stories....and here's the bottom line...

And, no, we're not going to go along with you trying to make it sound better than the hell it was.

The Citizens Council was just the Klan in business suits.

Don't believe me?

Take a read at some of their literature.

The White Citizens Council at the forefront of integration according to Barbour.

The truth is The Citizens Councils were founded in Mississippi in 1954, in protest of the Brown v. Board of Education decision that declared public school segregation to be unconstitutional. The councils were dedicated to political activities opposing civil rights, notably boycotts of pro-civil rights individuals -- including a famous instance by the group in Barbour's town. It was distinguished from the Klan by the public self-identification of its members, and its image of suits and ties as opposed to white robes and nooses.

Like I said...the KLAN IN A SUIT.

Coates has written a couple of good posts on this.
From Coates

In part, I think, that's because with a mere click of the mouse you can discover what actual Confederates were saying:
The declaration of secession from Mississippi

Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery-- the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth. These products are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an imperious law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun. These products have become necessities of the world, and a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization. That blow has been long aimed at the institution, and was at the point of reaching its consummation. There was no choice left us but submission to the mandates of abolition, or a dissolution of the Union, whose principles had been subverted to work out our ruin.

That's the declaration of secession from Haley Barbour's home state. He still proudly displays the flag of that cause, the same flag that authored the death of more American soldiers than Vietnam, World War I and World War II combined, the death of Lincoln, and the deaths of countless freedmen and descendants of freedman. In short, Barbour embraces the flag of America's most prodigious white supremacists, and foremost home-grown terrorists. Of all the United States, Mississippi has the highest percentage of African-Americans. Haley Barbour, evidently, knows very little of their history. Indeed, there may not be a governor more ignorant of his constituents in all this great land.

The blogger Cynic's conclusion in one of them:
If Barbour wants to praise the good people of Yazoo City for their extraordinary restraint in not employing violence as they hounded from their community those black parents brave enough to demand a decent education for their children; to laud their public disavowal of the local Klan even as they turned a blind eye to its activities; or to extol their grudging cession of the inevitability of court-ordered integration after fifteen years of stalling, for its absence of lynchings or riots, that's his prerogative. For the rest of us, though, Yazoo City should serve as a poignant reminder that the civil rights struggle really was "that bad."

Yes, it was THAT BAD..

And Barbour and his media apologists don't get to run away from that.


Rachel Maddow points out Boss Hogg and his attempted whitewash of the Citizens Council.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Rev. Al wasn't having it.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Barbour and his ilk want to be seen better than who they were AND ARE.

The answer to that is not only NO, but HELL NO.

Town has the answer for Barbour:
Somebody needs to have a voiceover of Barbour saying "It wasn't that bad" over images of hoses and dogs on people, COLOREDS ONLY signs, the John Lewis beatdown, Rosa Parks, National Guard at people's universities, etc.


The Medicaid Hustle

hat tip -Prometheus6

from The New York

Full Wallets, but Using Health Program for Poor
Published: December 10, 2010

AFTER immigrating to New York City from China in the 1970s, Z. Y. Tung and his wife worked hard — he as a bank manager, she as a public school secretary — lived frugally and saved every penny they could for the next generation.

Until five years ago, when his wife, Wen Mei Hu, racked by bone-marrow cancer, had to be put in a nursing home, where the bills ran past $100,000 a year, threatening to quickly drain the couple’s life savings of $500,000. The nursing home told him not to worry: If he signed a document essentially refusing to support his wife of several decades, Medicaid, the federal insurance program for the indigent, would pick up the bill.

“What about me, because I am responsible?” Mr. Tung inquired. He was told that only millionaires had to pay such high costs, and reluctantly, seeing no other choice, he agreed.

Last year, more than 1,200 people in New York City officially turned their backs on their husbands and wives to qualify for Medicaid, triple the number of people five years ago. The practice, known as “spousal refusal,” is becoming more common as the population ages and the cost of nursing care rises — and it is coming under increasing attack by government officials looking to curb ballooning Medicaid expenses.

In a recent report, Lt. Gov. Richard Ravitch warned that spousal refusal could be abused as “an entitlement for the less needy” and urged state officials to rethink it, noting that long-term care accounts for nearly half the state’s Medicaid spending.

I've been saying this for awhile now. Everytime you hear a Republican open their mouths about Medicaid, think about this.

They use Poor Black and Brown children to bash Medicaid, because, of course, poor people don't deserve healthcare, and of course Black and Brown people don't deserve healthcare paid for by those 'hardworking real Americans - WHITE Americans'. The soulless parasites known as the Republicans have used the raw meat of the 'undeserving' getting healthcare for many a year.

You even had Governor ' Good Hair' Perry in Texas talk about 'opting out' of Medicaid about a couple of weeks ago. Yet, he dropped it like a hot potato - why?

The revelation of how many middle class folks were pimping the system to pay for Mom and Dad's nursing home bill. When they can't decouple it - i.e., throw the poor children to the wolves, but keep the middle class White pimpage of Medicaid, they drop it.

But, when they can clearly attack the poor, like Arizona's DEATH PANELS denying Medicaid patients transplants, they have no problem in doing so, calling life saving transplants ' Cadillac Medicine'.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

And what was Brewer's response? She, of ' the evil overreach of the Federal Government', tells people to GET MONEY FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. She got money from the FEDS - it was called STIMULUS MONEY. She had 50 MILLION for Prisons -with whom she has been doing side deals, and is part of the underbelly of her 'WHAT ABOUT IF YOU AIN'T WHITE' profiling law is all about - filling jail with Brown people. But, she can't find the money to help save people's lives.

THIS is who they are. This is their Lord of the Flies Mentality on full display.

Then, in Florida, Jeb Bush turned over Medicaid to PRIVATE INSURERS, who, in turn, did their OWN DEATH PANELS. If Jeb ever runs for President, the DEATHS at the hands of the insurance companies need to be placed right at his feet, in political ad after ad.

The main way that the GOP can attack Healthcare Reform at the state level IS through Medicaid. But, the problems are....there are a whole lotta middle-class White folks that wrapped up in Medicaid and are pimping the system.

Keep your eyes on Medicaid in your state. See what tricks the GOP comes up with, because it's nothing good.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Is Barack Obama a ------g Idiot, Naive, or Am I Just Imagining Things?

Rhetorical question.... I already have my opinion on this.

Book smart, eloquent, charismatic, knowledgeable about public policy and government, Ivy League educated and a technocrat... but lacks wisdom.

He has lost me.

That is all.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Congress Votes to Repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell

The United States Senate votes 65-31 to end the policy of Don't Ask, Don't Tell. The House had already voted to repeal it. The President has said he will await it to come to his desk so that he can sign it.

It's done. It was done by an Act of Congress, and the President's path - to get it ended by an Act of Congress - has paid off.

If anyone can send me a link to an embeddable clip of John Lewis and his speech on this on the House floor, I would appreciate. Lewis was fabulous.

from The Daily Dish

Obama's Long Game: 65 - 31

18 Dec 2010 03:45 pm

Do gay activists, including myself, want to doubt it now? Of course, it's my job to push, to criticize, to explain, to shame, to encourage. But I did so precisely to advance what has happened today, and am glad that it was a small part of the climate that made it happen. I reiterate what I wrote barely a week ago:

It seems to me the events of the last month or so reveal that the Obama administration has finally delivered the goods for the military, which is hobbled by this dated, counter-productive policy, and for the gay community, by moving the issue deliberately through the Congress before the executive branch or the judicial branch.

Like 2009's removal of the HIV ban, which was as painstakingly slow but thereby much more entrenched, this process took time. Without the Pentagon study, it wouldn't have passed. Without Obama keeping Lieberman inside the tent, it wouldn't have passed. Without the critical relationship between Bob Gates and Obama, it wouldn't have passed. It worked our last nerve; we faced at one point a true nightmare of nothing ... for years. And then we pulled behind this president, making it his victory and the country's victory, as well as ours.

We also know now what a McCain administration would have done: nothing. The disgraceful bitterness and rancor and irrationality that the Senator has shown these past few months reveal just how important it was to defeat him and his deranged, delusional side-kick in 2008.

Here's the presidential statement:

Today, the Senate has taken an historic step toward ending a policy that undermines our national security while violating the very ideals that our brave men and women in uniform risk their lives to defend.

By ending Don't Ask, Don't Tell, no longer will our nation be denied the service of thousands of patriotic Americans forced to leave the military, despite years of exemplary performance, because they happen to be gay. And no longer will many thousands more be asked to live a lie in order to serve the country they love.

As Commander-in-Chief, I am also absolutely convinced that making this change will only underscore the professionalism of our troops as the best led and best trained fighting force the world has ever known. And I join the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as well as the overwhelming majority of service members asked by the Pentagon, in knowing that we can responsibly transition to a new policy while ensuring our military strength and readiness.

I want to thank Majority Leader Reid, Senators Lieberman and Collins and the countless others who have worked so hard to get this done. It is time to close this chapter in our history. It is time to recognize that sacrifice, valor and integrity are no more defined by sexual orientation than they are by race or gender, religion or creed. It is time to allow gay and lesbian Americans to serve their country openly. I urge the Senate to send this bill to my desk so that I can sign it into law.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

President Obama Honors the late Dr. Dorothy I. Height

On Wednesday, December 15, 2010, the President signed into law:
H.R. 6118, which designates the facility of the United States Postal Service located in Washington, D.C., as the
“Dorothy I. Height Post Office;”

President Barack Obama signs H.R. 6118, the “Dorothy Height Bill” in the Oval Office, Dec. 15, 2010. The bill designates the facility of the United States Postal Service located in Washington, D.C., as the “Dorothy I. Height Post Office.”
-----Official White House Photo by Pete Souza


This bill designates the United States Postal Service located at 2 Massachusetts Avenue, NE, Washington, DC, as the Dorothy I. Height Post Office.

Dr. Dorothy Irene Height was a celebrated civil rights leader and Chair Emerita of the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW). While at NCNW, Dr. Height devoted her energies to advancing quality of life issues for African American women and their families, impacting health, education and economic empowerment.

Dr. Height dedicated her life to service and leadership. She was a recipient of the Congressional Gold Medal in 2004 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1994. She passed away on April 20, 2010, in Washington, DC, and The President and the First Lady attended her funeral, with the President delivering her eulogy.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The President Is Just Cleaning up the Congressional Democrats Mess..

According to the U.S. Constitution, there are three different branches of government: Executive, Judicial, Legislative. Each branch has its own responsibilities.

If you listen to the howling from Congressional Democrats , one would think that the deal the President cut with the GOP just dropped out of the sky, and he just strolled on into negotiations with them, without any CONTEXT whatsoever.

Here's the thing.

The President might have gotten a better deal, hell, he might not have had to make a deal at all..


It was Congressional Democrats who didn't do squat about the 99ers. They've known about them for do I know that? Because I heard rant upon rant from Ed Schultz about this topic.

The extension of unemployment benefits was no surprise either for Congressional Democrats. At any time, with a majority in the House, and Senate, they could have done unemployment benefit extensions.

Now, we get to the tax cuts.

Was the President the only person in Washington that knew that the tax cuts were going to expire and a vote needed to be taken on them?


The Congressional Democrats were asked to vote on the tax cuts and make them an issue for the fall elections - by the President - in September.

They could have decoupled the tax issue between those making less than $250,000 and those making more than $250,000. They could have done an up or down vote on the tax issue BEFORE November 2010.

But, they didn't.

Not only did they not, but now, we're getting a list of Congresscritters who weaseled their way to the White House, begging off a vote on the tax issue.

So, the DEMOCRATS in Congress FAIL to live up to their legislative responsibilities. They chose NOT to vote on Unemployment Extensions. They chose NOT to add another tier to take care of the 99ers (which is the only part of the President's deal that I disagree with entirely). They chose NOT to vote on the tax cuts by decoupling them. They chose NOT to vote on them at the beginning of the lame duck session. They chose NOT to ram through their proposal on the Estate Tax that they've had on the table for at least a year.

So, they chose NOT to do all those things.

AND, now, they have the NERVE to be yelping like a beaten dog when the President steps in and tries to clean up their neglect. Their mess.

Monday, December 13, 2010

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama Speak at Signing of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama Speak at Signing of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010

hat tip-zackboston

Here's a video made by some local Bedford, MA teens that is really fun, in honor of President Barack Obama's support of Michelle's let's move and child nutrition advocacy. . . i think they did a great job and it's funny too:

plus, if you watch and send it on to others, you can help these great young people with their goal to go viral! i think they are trying to get up to 5,000 views in the next week.
Here is the link

Friday, December 10, 2010

The President and First Family light up the WH Christmas Tree.

hat tips-itgurl_29, Angelar

The President and First Family light up the WH Christmas Tree.

US President Barack Obama, joined by his family including First Lady Michelle Obama, daughters Sasha and Malia, and mother-in-law Marian Robinson, react as they push a button to light the National Christmas Tree during a ceremony on the Ellipse near the White House in Washington, DC, December 9, 2010.
----SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 09: U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama (R) reads story to children during the 2010 National Christmas Tree lighting ceremony December 9, 2010 at the Ellipse, south of the White House, in Washington, DC. The first family participated in the annual ceremony to kick off the 2010 National Christmas Tree Festival.
----Alex Wong/Getty Images

U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama reads a Christmas book to children on stage during the National Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony in Washington December 9, 2010.
----REUTERS/Molly Riley

US President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and daughters Sasha and Malia take their seats at the National Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony on the Ellipse near the White House in Washington, DC, December 9, 2010.
----SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

Singer Jackie Evancho gets a hug from first lady Michelle Obama as Santa Claus is seen at right at the lighting of the National Christmas Tree at the Ellipse across from the White House in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 9, 2010.
----AP Photo/Charles Dharapak

President Barack Obama, with First Lady Michelle Obama and daughters Malia, 12, and Sasha, 9, smile as they push the button to light up the National Christmas Tree on the Ellipse, just south of the White House, in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 9, 2010.
---AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 09: Singer B.B. King performs during the 2010 National Christmas Tree lighting ceremony December 9, 2010 at the Ellipse, south of the White House, in Washington, DC. The first family participated in the annual ceremony to kick off the 2010 National Christmas Tree Festival.
----Alex Wong/Getty Images

Adam Levine of Maroon 5 performs after President Barack Obama lit the National Christmas Tree at the Ellipse across from the White House in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 9, 2010.
----AP Photo/Charles Dharapak

US President Barack Obama laughs with his daughter Sasha as they attend the National Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony on the Ellipse near the White House in Washington, DC, December 9, 2010.
---- SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

Just an All-American Family.

U.S. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama stand with their daughters Sasha (2nd R) and Malia (L) during the National Christmas Tree Lighting in Washington December 9, 2010. Marian Robinson, the president's mother-in-law, stands behind Sasha.
-----REUTERS/Molly Riley

US President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, daughters Sasha and Malia attend the National Christmas Tree Lighting on the Ellipse near the White House in Washington, DC, December 9, 2010.
---SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Elizabeth Edwards has passed away at the age of 61

A Political Life Filled With Cruel Reversals

Elizabeth Edwards, who as the wife of former Senator John Edwards gave America an intimate look at a candidate’s marriage by sharing his quest for the 2008 presidential nomination as she struggled with incurable cancer and, secretly, with his infidelity, died Tuesday morning at her home in Chapel Hill, N.C. She was 61.
Her family confirmed the death, saying Mrs. Edwards was surrounded by relatives when she died. A family friend said Mr. Edwards was present. On Monday, two family friends said that Mrs. Edwards’s cancer had spread to her liver and that doctors had advised against further medical treatment.

Mrs. Edwards posted a Facebook message to friends on Monday, saying, “I have been sustained throughout my life by three saving graces — my family, my friends, and a faith in the power of resilience and hope.” She added: “The days of our lives, for all of us, are numbered. We know that.”

In a life of idyllic successes and crushing reverses, Mrs. Edwards was an accomplished lawyer, the mother of four children and the wife of a wealthy, handsome senator with sights on the White House. But their 16-year-old son was killed in a car crash, cancer struck her at age 55, the political dreams died and, within months, her husband admitted to having had an extramarital affair with a campaign videographer.

The scandal over the affair faded after his disclosure in 2008. But in 2009, Mrs. Edwards resurrected it in a new book and interviews and television appearances, telling how her husband had misrepresented the infidelity to her, rocked their marriage and spurned her advice to abandon his run for the presidency, a decision in which she ultimately acquiesced.

Last January, on the eve of new disclosures in a book by a former political aide, Mr. Edwards admitted he had fathered a child with the videographer. Soon afterward, he and Mrs. Edwards separated legally.

Mrs. Edwards, a savvy political adviser who took on major roles in her husband’s two campaigns for the White House, learned she had a breast tumor the size of a half-dollar on the day after Election Day 2004, when the Democratic ticket — Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts and Mr. Edwards, his running mate from North Carolina — lost to President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.

Radiation and chemotherapy appeared to put the cancer into remission. In a best-selling memoir, “Saving Graces: Finding Solace and Strength from Friends and Strangers” (Broadway Books, 2006), Mrs. Edwards chronicled her fight for survival. But in March 2007, with her husband again chasing a presidential nomination, this time against Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton, Mr. and Mrs. Edwards disclosed that her cancer had returned.

They said it was malignant and in an advanced stage, having spread beyond the breast and lymph nodes into her ribs, hip bones and lungs. It was treatable but “no longer curable,” Mr. Edwards explained. But he said he would continue his bid for the presidency, and Mrs. Edwards said that she, too, would go on with the campaign. “I don’t expect my life to be significantly different,” she declared.

Rest of Obituary at link above.

May prayers of comfort come to her children right now and hold them up as they deal with this loss.

President Obama's Press Conference from Today (with Transcript)


President Obama Held A News Conference yesterday.

It was pretty damn good.


Friday, December 03, 2010

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Maxine Waters' Ethics Hearing....the lawyers got suspended

put this under the ' things that make you go HMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM' file.


Waters Has Plenty Of Questions On Suspension Of Ethics Lawyers
Ryan J. Reilly | December 1, 2010, 6:03PM

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) doesn't know why two of the ethics committee lawyers who had been working on the ethics case against her were placed on administrative leave. But she does know that something "has gone wrong in the ethics process." And she's got plenty of questions.

Waters said in a statement late Wednesday that the House ethics committee has yet to inform her directly that two of the lawyers working on the ethics case against her had been suspended. She said the "integrity of the Committee and its investigative process have been compromised" and called on the panel to clarify why the disciplinary action had been taken.

"Did the Committee's attorneys withhold exculpatory evidence? Leak documents or speak to the press without authorization? Engage in partisan activity? Mislead Members of Congress? Was the disciplinary action justified? What impact does this have on my case?" Waters said in a statement issued late Wednesday.

Committee lawyers Cindy Morgan Kim and Stacy Sovereign were placed on administrative leave on Nov. 19, the day the panel announced the Waters trial had been delayed.

Ok, if that's not enough to raise the eyebrow, I don't know what would.

The lawyers in charge of your trial get SUSPENDED?

In what world doesn't that throw shade ON THE WHOLE DAMN CASE?

Something doesn't smell right, folks.

The Lord of the Flies Mentality at work: GOP blocks unemployment benefits extension


Juan Williams is shinning and grinning while earning his Fox paycheck.
Juan Williams: Extended Jobless Benefits Hurt The Unemployed (VIDEO)
On Fox News today, Juan Williams, formerly of NPR, advanced an argument about the detrimental effects that extended jobless benefits can have on people. You see, Williams said, these unemployment checks can kill people's work ethic, hurt their values, even harm their sense of style.

"To me it's crazy because the longer that person is unemployed the more difficult it is then for them to get a job," Williams said. "Because employers, potential employers, will look and see that gee, they've been out forever, it doesn't make sense. And I think that's partly playing in to this cycle. And at some point then it becomes a matter of you lose your work ethic, your values are impacted, you know, getting up, showing up, dressing well, all that good stuff."

hat tip-ThinkProgress:

VIDEO: The Faces Of The Millions Of Americans Who Will Suffer After Conservatives Kill Unemployment Extension
Today, “thousands of Americans are set to begin losing unemployment benefits” after conservatives in Congress successfully prevented an extension from being passed. 8,400 Americans will lose their benefits by the end of this week, and the Labor Department estimates that “by the end of the third week of December, aid to 1.36 million Americans will be interrupted.”

Those Americans are not just statistics. They are very real single mothers, struggling families, hardworking young adults, and non-retired seniors. In every corner of America, everyday people who can’t find work thanks to a disastrous economy created by the misdeeds of Wall Street and other elites will suffer because of Congress’s failure to extend unemployment benefits.

83,000 Pennsylvanians will soon lose their jobless benefits. 10,600 Nevadans will stop receiving aid by mid-December, such as 46 year-old Doyle Carr, who worked in a warehouse until he was laid off in 2008. “I just want to go to work,” Carr told the local media. “I’ve got skills. That’s all I really want to do.” But because of the poor economy, he can’t find work, and he is scared of what will happen to him. “‘They want to squabble about this in Congress? Why?” Carr asks. “Survival. Health issues. That’s what’s important. That’s why people need this money.”

ThinkProgress has compiled video reports from around the country showcasing the suffering Americans are about to experience due to the expiration of jobless benefits. Like Carr, these Americans are hard working and strive to find employment, but the economy, shattered by the misbehavior of Wall Street and not Main Street, is unable to provide them with those opportunities. These are the faces of the Americans who will suffer as a direct result of conservative obstruction. Watch it:

This is who they are. This is who the GOP is. Stop trying to pretend that they're anything other than this.

And for anyone who voted for them and knows someone who is unemployed - no better for you.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

House Votes To Censure Charlie Rangel For Ethics Violations

The House of Representatives voted 332 to 79 to censure Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) on Thursday for violations of the body's ethics laws.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) read the censure on the floor of the House immediately following the vote.

Today's vote brought an end to the investigation of the long serving New York Democrat, who was found to have violated 11 of the House ethics rules. The charges centered upon four issues: that Rangel used Congressional resources to raise money for an educational center bearing his name; that he failed to report taxable income on a rental villa in the Dominican Republic; the he filed inaccurate financial disclosure forms; and that he used a rent-controlled apartment in Harlem as a campaign office.

Several members from both parties spoke in support changing the punishment from censure to reprimand (For more on how these punishments have played out in the past, see here.)

And Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.), a member of the ethics committee, proposed a motion to lessen the sanction from censure to reprimand that ultimately failed by a vote of 146-267. It had the support of 143 Democrats and three Republicans: Reps. Pete King (NY), Ron Paul (TX) and Don Young (AK).

Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA) argued that the whatever sanction was levied against Rangel should be consistent with precedent. "He knows he messed up," Scott said. Censure would be "singularly harsh and unfair and without precedent."

King also spoke in support of reducing the punishment to a reprimand, but upped the ante on the rhetoric. Censure is to a reprimand as the death penalty is to prison, King said, while noting that he and Rangel "disagree on virtually every issue."

A sad end to a long career.

Can We Finally Call Out the GOP for Being Against Our National Security With Regards to the START Treaty?

President Obama & General Powell Push for a New START

From Wikipedia
START (for Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) was a bilateral treaty between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) on the Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms. The treaty was signed on 31 July 1991 and entered into force on 5 December 1994 . The treaty was signed by the United States and the USSR, that barred its signatories from deploying more than 6,000 nuclear warheads atop a total of 1,600 ICBMs, submarine-launched ballistic missiles, and bombers. START negotiated the largest and most complex arms control treaty in history, and its final implementation in late 2001 resulted in the removal of about 80 percent of all strategic nuclear weapons then in existence. Proposed by United States President Ronald Reagan, it was renamed START I after negotiations began on the second START treaty, which became START II.

The START I treaty expired 5 December 2009. On 8 April 2010, the new START treaty was signed in Prague by U.S. President Obama and Russian President Medvedev. It will enter into force after its ratification through the parliaments of both countries.

The first START proposal was presented by United States President Ronald Reagan in Geneva on 29 June 1982. Reagan proposed a dramatic reduction in strategic forces in two phases, which he referred to as SALT III at the time.[2] The first phase would reduce overall warhead counts on any missile type to 5,000, with an additional limit of 2,500 on ICBMs. Additionally, a total of 850 ICBMs would be allowed, with a limit of 110 "heavy throw" missiles like the SS-18, with additional limits on the total "throw weight" of the missiles as well. The second phase introduced similar limits on heavy bombers and their warheads, and other strategic systems as well.

So, the original START Treaty was presented by GOP Hero Ronald Reagan. Ronald ' He defeated the Commies' Reagan.

The President has negotiated START II, and now it needs ratification by the Senate. The problem with is that all treaties need 2/3 majority in the Senate to be ratified.

Of course, the problem is the GOP. They suddenly have a problem with START II.


Because President Obama negotiated it.

If this had been George Bush, and he had negotiated anything with our international allies, the first thing that would have been said about any Democrat who opposed it was how the Democrats were once again ENDANGERING OUR NATIONAL SECURITY. And, how dare they oppose the President. Aren't they REAL Americans?

You know it. I know it.

START II IS about the national security of the United States of America, and these mofos could care less. It's quite obvious that they could care less. How bad is it?

This is what the dean of GOP Foreign Policy in the Senate - Richard Lugar of Indiana has said to his colleagues:

LUGAR: Please do your duty for your country. We do not have verification of the Russian nuclear posture right now. We’re not going to have it until we sign the START treaty. We’re not going to be able to get rid of further missiles and warheads aimed at us. I state it candidly to my colleagues, one of those warheads…could demolish my city of Indianapolis — obliterate it! Now Americans may have forgotten that. I’ve not forgotten it and I think that most people who are concentrating on the START treaty want to move ahead to move down the ladder of the number of weapons aimed at us.

Here is Kyl of Arizona on MTP this past weekend. Please note that they've had the treaty in their hands for MONTHS.

Appearing on Meet The Press, Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-AZ) said that the Senate would not be able to ratify the START treaty during the lame-duck session: "If the leader of the Senate, Senator Reid, were to allow a couple of weeks for full debate and amendment of the resolution of ratification, then theoretically there would be time. But he has made it clear that he has a different agenda in mind. And I, I think clearly they've got to set some priorities here. Are they going to deal with the funding of the government for the remainder of the fiscal year? They've got to do that. Are they going to deal with the issue which is on everybody's mind, that you mentioned earlier, and that is to ensure that we don't have a big tax increase, the largest tax increase in the history of the country. These are higher priority items."

Higher priority than the national security of the United States?


You have other Republicans calling the Senate out for their insanity.

From ThinkProgress:
Former Republican Sen. Warns GOP May ‘Have Gone So Far Overboard That We Are Beyond Redemption’

In an age when far-right tea party activists have taken over the Republican Party and demanded lockstep allegiance, Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN) has been one of the few GOP lawmakers to step out of line. In particular, Lugar, the ranking GOP member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has blasted his own party for relentlessly blocking ratification of the New START nuclear arms treaty with Russia, calling on his fellow GOP senators to “do your duty for your country” and complete the pact.

Not surprisingly, this insubordination has earned Lugar significant scorn within the Republican base, which now seems to value blind obedience over principled independent decision-making. In a New York Times profile of Lugar published today, former GOP Sen. John Danforth feared that the backlash against Lugar from his own party signals that the GOP has gone “far overboard” with no hope of turning back:
“If Dick Lugar,” said John C. Danforth, a former Republican senator from Missouri, “having served five terms in the U.S. Senate and being the most respected person in the Senate and the leading authority on foreign policy, is seriously challenged by anybody in the Republican Party, we have gone so far overboard that we are beyond redemption.”

Mr. Danforth, who was first elected the same year as Mr. Lugar, added, “I’m glad Lugar’s there and I’m not.”

THIS from the man who brought us Unca Clarence.

Richard Lugar, could in no way, be considered a liberal anything. Hell, he couldn't even be considered a moderate anything. He is a conservative, but the man actually thinks about the national security of this country over getting a defeat of the President.

Imagine that - National Security of America and what's in America's international best interests - EVEN IF IT GIVES PRESIDENT OBAMA A WIN - over being a loyal GOP slop.

A REAL American, would want our country to be safe internationally. Would want this country to be in good standing - around the world.

These people are not Real Americans. They are not Good Americans. And, the left has to stop believing that they have any redeeming qualities. That they are nothing but powerhungry animals who could give a rat's ass if this country goes down the tubes, as long as they are in power and can loot the treasury for their friends. They have had MONTHS to look over this treaty. The only reason why they are objecting is because they don't want the President to get any credit for an International Foreign Policy Success.


A sum up of the GOP Obstructionists with START II on Olbermann:

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