Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Mississippi School Ends Discriminatory Policy

Brandy Springer was shocked when she became aware of Nettleton Middle School's policies on class elections.  Her 12 year old daughter had been told that she didn't meet the qualifications to run for the office of class reporter because she was not Black. Upon further investigation, Mrs. Springer learned that the school had enacted a controversial policy in 1980 in an effort to encourage "racial diversity in class elections". Students were allowed to run for class offices according to  race. Accordingly, this year only white students were allowed to run for class president.  Black students could only run for some lesser office.
Since Brandy Springer's daughter was half native-American, she could not run for class reporter because she was not Black.

After reviewing the policy, the current administration decided that beginning immediately "student elections will no longer have a classification of ethnicity".

Nettleton is a town of about 2,000 people with a population that is about 66 percent white and 32 percent black.

Springer's plight demonstrates the complexities faced not only by interracial families, but by school officials trying to achieve racial equality in a state known for tensions between blacks and whites. The school district also manipulated prom and homecoming elections so that the outcome is an equal division of blacks and whites.

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Alveda King: Meet MLK's Glenn Beck-loving niece - War Room - Salon.com

Glen Beck and Alveda King

Alveda Celeste King (born January 22, 1951) is an American minister, conservative political activist, author and politician. She is a niece of the civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. and daughter of the late civil rights activist Rev. A.D. William King, Sr. and his wife Naomi Barber King. She is the director of African-American Outreach at the Roman Catholic pro-life group Priests for Life. She is currently a Senior Fellow at the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution, a conservative Washington, D.C. think-tank. She is a former member of the Georgia House of Representatives and the founder of King for America. (per Wikipedia)

I saw an interview with Alvdea King on the Larry King Show.  Quite frankly, I'm just recently becoming aware of Dr. King's pro-life, anti gay, conservative neice who appeared as a speaker at Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor"Washington Rally.  I noticed she quickly spoke to her desire to talk with President Obama about some things and I thought "Oh no. Another fifteen minutes of fame on the way."  I respect Alveda King's right to her opinions, but I got the impression that her beliefs were not consistent with those of her uncle.  I'm sure we'll hear more from her.  She's an official  Tea Party Darling.

"America the Ignorant"

Tunku Varadarajan wrote an interesting article for The Daily Beast on the baseless beliefs of some Americans that President Obama is Muslim. There's a hint on the content in the title of the article.."America the Ignorant". I thought it was worth sharing and worth the time to read.

Tunku Varadarajan is a national affairs correspondent and writer at large for The Daily Beast. He is also the Virginia Hobbs Carpenter Fellow in Journalism at Stanford's Hoover Institution and a professor at NYU's Stern Business School. He is a former assistant managing editor at The Wall Street Journal.

Click the link below to access the article:
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Monday, August 23, 2010

Levi Johnston running for Wasilla Mayor

Levi Johnston with Sarah Palin's family at the...Image via Wikipedia
According to the media, Levi Johnston is planning to run for city office in the town where ex-Alaska governor and former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin got her start in politics. Surprise, surprise..the campaign will be covered in the reality show, "Loving Levi: The Road to the Mayor's Office".

What's that song..."looking for love in all the wrong places"? 
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Ind. ruling halts caregiver choices based on race - Yahoo! News

A recent federal court ruling brought to light a little known consequence of the patients' rights movement that swept the nation's health care system over the last two decades.

Elderly patients, who won more legal control over their quality of life in nursing homes, sometimes want to dictate the race of those who care for them. And some nursing homes enforce those preferences in their staff policies.

Read the story in the link below:

Ind. ruling halts caregiver choices based on race - Yahoo! News

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Bruce Feiler: Obama a Muslim! Lincoln a Catholic! FDR a Jew! Why Americans Don't Like Their President's God

Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth President of th...Image via Wikipedia

Fear and insecurity shows its head in every generation. People believe just what they want to believe, in spite of the facts.  Click on the link below and read this interesting article.

Bruce Feiler: Obama a Muslim! Lincoln a Catholic! FDR a Jew! Why Americans Don't Like Their President's God
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Next Speaker of the House- John Boehner??? OMG!

John BoehnerImage via Wikipedia
Sharp dresser, golden tan, and smooth tongue... that’s John Boehner, top Republican in the House of Representatives, who could be looking at a promotion come November. If the GOP manages to secure a majority in the House, he may well take over from Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House. If Boehner gets his wish, here’s his problem: get things done by cooperating with President Barack Obama or continue his partisan efforts to take down the president by just saying “No” on everything.

Nothing I’ve seen over the past nineteen months makes me think that Boehner would act responsibly. It’s obvious that getting something done is not his interest or his priority. His biggest efforts seem to be aimed at making every effort to see to it that the President fails. If he becomes Speaker, he has already said, his top priority would be to "repeal Obamacare."

In a recent Daily Beast blog, Mark McKinnon, Republican strategist reminds us of the importance of the Speaker of the House:

More than just being second in line behind the vice president to succeed the president, the speaker of the House wields the power to decide what legislation is debated and by whom, and when and how voting will occur. More importantly, the speaker ultimately holds the purse strings of Congress as all legislative funding approval goes through the House. Though bills may pass both chambers, the House can strangle an initiative by withholding funds.

“Snip” commented to McKinnon’s blog which was devoted to the topic "How the Democrats betrayed us".

...the modern presidency-Barack Obama's presidency-has become a job of such gargantuan size, speed, and complexity as to be all but unrecognizable to most of the previous chief executives. The sheer growth of the federal government, the paralysis of Congress, the systemic corruption brought on by lobbying, the trivialization of the "news" by the media, the willful disregard for facts and truth-these forces have made today's Washington a depressing and dysfunctional place. They have shaped and at times hobbled the presidency itself.

All this does not make me feel real warm and fuzzy about John Boehner becoming the next Speaker of the House and being number three in the line of succession to the presidency.

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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Manhattan Mosque Mania

With his family by his side, Barack Obama is s...Image via Wikipedia

I regularly follow the Washington post blog, The Fix, Political News and Analysis by Chris Cillizza. When I returned from vacation, I tried to catch up on the political news and checked out recent posts on The Fix.  Here's one that caught my eye.
After dodging the "award" for more than three months, President Barack Obama is our choice for the "Worst Week in Washington" winner.

Obama's week began with the controversy created by his comments about a Manhattan mosque and Islamic cultural center and ended with national polls showing that his disapproval numbers had sailed to record highs.

And, to cap the week off, Obama jetted off for 10 days of vacation in Martha's Vineyard -- not exactly the vacation destination of choice for the majority of middle class Americans.
Well, isn't that special... Of course, The Fix is not alone in offering veiled criticism of the President for his comments on the Manhattan Mosque and on his vacation to Martha's Vineyard. Along with everyone else, the Fix also gave space to posts about the Obama Muslin Myth, the President's declining poll ratings, and other prevailing stories that cast President Obama in a negative light.  Understand me, I'm not singling the Fix out as an anti-Obama blog.  It's just interesting that whatever Barack Obama does is news, but isn't it interesting that few have anything positive to report about our leader.

It's newsworthy that so many various groups are dissatisfied with Obama.  There's the disillusioned Left, the Jewish community, the intelluctuals at Aspen, the middle class, the Wall Street Bankers, the CEOs, older white voters, etc. etc. I even saw space dedicated to how Joan Rivers and Donald Thrump's daughter have lost faith in the President.  Of course, Blacks are happy.  They only voted for him because of his race. I guess that means they don't read or care about the issues.

The American people are mad about the Economy, the Housing Market, the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Gitmo, Don't Ask Don't Tell, etc. etc.  Surely, Barack Obama should have turned these situation around by now.  After all,  he's been in the White House eighteen months. How can he drag his feet when Congress and the people are so throughly engaged.  I guess John Stewart of the Daily Show was right when he said no matter what Obama does, it won't be right. 

So I guess I have another change coming when all these disgruntled groups get to go to the polls and vote. Bush and Company are busy rewriting history. Will it be Sarah Palin in the top spot?  Wouldn't that be a blast! We can go back to the old Republican play book of tax cuts for the rich and God knows what else since I haven't heard a single plan addressing any of the problems facing the nation. The wonderful thing about a democracy is that we'll get what we ask for with the power of the vote.  (Ask  Al Gore what happens when all else fails.)

I'll be waiting at the polls when they open on election day, so that I can put my vote to good use.  There's peace in knowing that yes, I can.
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Birthier Army Officer Refuses Orders

Claiming that President Barack Obama was not born in America and therefore is not eligible to be President, a high ranking army officer refuses to follow his orders that would take him to Afghanistan.

Lt. Col. Terrence Lakin went before a military judge -- and a standing-room-only courtroom -- in Virginia  to face three charges of disobeying a lawful order, one count of missing movement (not deploying with his unit) and one count of dereliction of duty. Lakin could face a dishonorable discharge for failing to obey orders.

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Lawmakers Fuel Obama Muslin Myth

The media are not alone when it comes to promoting or insinuating falsehoods about the president's religion and, by extension, his birthplace. We've collected a list of lawmakers whose comments have helped fuel the debate. Most either said outright that the president is a Muslim, that he is not a U.S. citizen or appeared to leave open the possibility that either falsehood could be true.

Click on the link below to read the Washington Post article with names and statements of specific lawmakers. Surprise, surprise...they are Republicans.

44 - Lawmakers and the 'birther'/Muslim myths

Friday, August 20, 2010

Stay Vigilant Despite Obstacles

In January 2009, President of the United State...Image via Wikipedia
While returning to the U. S. from a well-deserved vacation, I thumbed through my passport and read a quote from President John F. Kennedy.  The tone was upbeat and full of youthful determination, foreshadowing a persona of the greatest country on earth.  It took me back to November 4, 2008, a night in Grant Park, as a mega-crowd of happy supporters cheered  president-elect Barack Obama . Little did I know how rough things would be.

I share this quote with you because if you are anything like me, wading through the political lies, the negativity, the hypocrisy, and the subtle racism that abounds, you need something to keep you focused on America's difficult days ahead and on our historic dedication to our country's success.

If you ever think of throwing your hands up and leaving the fate of our future to someone else, stay vigilant.

"Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well, or ill, that we will pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty."    (John F. Kennedy)
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Aunt Sarah Strikes Again!

Radio counselor Dr. Laura SchlessingerImage via Wikipedia
Every day that passes convinces me that Sarah Palin does not understand the U. S. Constitution (among other things).  The most recent case is Palin's defense of Dr. Laura Schlessinger whose repeated use of the N-word in speaking with a caller ultimately resulted in her decision to step down from her radio show.

Aunt Sarah rushed to Dr. Laura's side via Twitter, advising her "don't retreat...reload!"  More Palin tweets quickly followed:
"Dr. Laura=even more powerful 7 effective w/out the shackles, so watch out for Constitutional obstructionists. And be thsnkful 4 her voice, America."

I loved the remarks in the Huffington Post which summed it up for me:
"It's a breathtakingly tone-deaf bit of provacation-even by Paalin's standards."
“Does anyone seriously believe that Dr. Laura Schlessinger is a racist?” Palin asked in a post on her Facebook page. “Anyone, I mean, who isn’t already accusing all conservatives, Republicans, tea party Americans, etc., etc., etc. of being racists?”  (See Politico.com)

I shudder to think that this woman was the Republican candidate for the vice-presidency in 2008 and is being talked about as a serious Republican candidate for president in 2012.  I guess if she could convince folks that Barack Obama pals around with terrorist and that the healthcare bill  would set up death camps and that the government planned to kill granny, she could convince folks that Dr. Laura did nothing wrong. It's another "stop the madness" moment."
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Growing Myth: Obama's a Muslim

President Obama delivering his remarksImage by House Com on Education and Labor via Flickr
Can you believe that nearly one-in-five Americans believe that President Obama is a Muslim?

The Washington Post's Daily Fix blog reports the following stats on the subject:

Since October 2008, the percentage of Americans believing that Obama is a Muslim has risen from 12 percent to 18 percent. The percentage of those believing that he is a Christian, meanwhile, has dropped from 51 percent to 34 percent.

The crosstabs of the Pew study indicate that views of Obama's religion are generally linked to how he is viewed politically: the highest percentages of those believing that he is a Muslim can be found among conservative Republicans (34 percent).

Sixty percent of those who believe Obama is a Muslim said that they learned about his religion through the media.
Well, if some Americans can believe that Barack Obama wasn't born in this country and is inelligible to serve as president, or is a Marxist, Socialist and white bigot, why can't he be a Muslim?

While all the political fact checkers stand firm on the fact that Obama is a Christian not a Muslim, whatever his religion, Barack Hussein Obama is still the President of the United States, so get over it!

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Saturday, August 7, 2010

Economic Advisor Romer Resigning

Official portrait of Christina Romer, Chair of...Image via Wikipedia
Council of Economic Advisors chair Christina Romer is resigning effective September 3rd, which, combined with Peter Orszag's departure, leaves the Obama economic team without two of its lead players. Romer will return to her old job as an economics professor at the University of California at Berkeley.

She said that despite her own dissatisfaction with the high level of unemployment, she leaves feeling good about the sweeping policies and interventions the government took under Obama. Among them was the costliest government effort ever to stimulate the economy and spur private job creation.

Some rumor that Romer leaves due to diagreements with Larry Summers, but Romer own comments belie that allegation as not true.  Romer cast disagreements among key players on the White House economic team as a healthy part of reaching tough policy decisions.

"Everybody knows we're all strong personalities," Romer told The Associated Press on Friday. "We don't hesitate to have a very aggressive back and forth. But I think one of the things that we have done is absolutely find our groove. We're a wonderful team."

Taylor Marsh: Mort Zuckerman's Hit Piece on First Lady Michelle Obama

Here's another article responing to criticism of First Lady Michelle Obama vacation to Spain. It's well worth reading.

Taylor Marsh: Mort Zuckerman's Hit Piece on First Lady Michelle Obama

First Lady's Trip Sparks Criticism

Andrea Tantaros has penned a scorching editorial for the New York Daily News deeming First Lady Michelle Obama a "modern-day Marie Antoinette" for her vacation in Spain with her daughter.

"The First Lady is spending the next few days in a five-star hotel on the chic Costa del Sol in southern Spain with 40 of her 'closest friends,'" Tantaros writes, pointing to a CNN report that Michelle Obama and her group are expected to occupy 60 to 70 rooms. "Not exactly what one would call cutting back in troubled times."

The Chicago Sun Times reports the following:

Mrs. Obama’s U.S. Air Force jet landed at Malaga on Wednesday; she skipped celebrating her husband’s 49th birthday with him. (Daughter Malia, 12, is at overnight camp.) Mrs. Obama pays for personal expenses — as do her friends who arrived on their own — but that only covers a small part of the expense. Taxpayers pick up the tab for staff and security at the exclusive hotel and most of the expenses for the plane.

First ladies often go on vacations, with and without the president. An issue for Mrs. Obama may be how many: New York in March; Chicago, over Memorial Day; Los Angeles in June; Camp David — sort of an extension of the White House — in July; Maine in July, to highlight Acadia National Park, and now Spain. Mrs. Obama is glamorizing Spain’s coastal resorts before her Aug. 14 first family weekend visit to Florida’s Gulf Coast, to encourage tourists scared away by the oil spill. Starting Aug. 19, the Obamas will spend 10 days in Martha’s Vineyard.

Personal expenses are being paid by the Obamas and by friends traveling with them, but there are always related taxpayer-paid costs when a First Family travels. Of course with the Obamas, everything is worse, because of the glare of attention they generate from all who despise them.

If the First Lady stayed a Holiday Inn in Bayonne, would that be okay? I doubt it.

Senate Confirms Elena Kagan

Elena Kagan as Dean of Harvard Law SchoolImage via Wikipedia
Elena Kagan: Supreme Court Justice

In 63 to 37 vote, the Senate confirmed U.S. Solicitor General Elena Kagan as the 112th justice to the Supreme Court, making her the fourth woman ever to sit on the high court.

Ben Nelson of Nebraska was the only Democrat voting against kagan's nomination. Four Republicans voted in favor or confirming Kagan: Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine, Lindsay Graham of South Carolina, Richard Lugar of Indiana, and Judd Gregg of New Hampshire.

Kagan will succeed retired justice John Paul Stevens. She became the second member President Obama has placed on the high court. One year ago, Sonia Sotomayor won confirmation as the court's first Latina.
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Attacks Against Healthcare Reform

Here's an interesting Washington Post article by Ezra Klein on the Republican efforts to stop healthcare reform:

The conservative effort to undermine health-care reform

I'm really not sure why conservatives are so excited that an electorate primarily made of Republican primary voters passed an anti-individual mandate ballot initiative in Missouri. I don't even understand why conservatives would be excited if it passed during a normal election.

For one thing, states can't invalidate federal laws. If a Republican Congress privatized Social Security and Vermont didn't like it, a ballot initiative wouldn't invalidate the law. If Paul Ryan passed his legislation to turn Medicaid into a program of vouchers and private insurance options, Massachusetts couldn't overturn it. The federal government has long resisted letting states decide which federal laws to follow and which to avoid. It will continue to resist.

Moreover, the focus on the individual mandate speaks to how weak the conservative case against the bill is. The individual mandate can be replaced. That wouldn't be a good thing, but you could substitute automatic enrollment, or some form of lock-out. Remember, Barack Obama's campaign health-care plan didn't have an individual mandate. The individual mandate, in fact, originated as a conservative idea. It's a good idea, in many ways, but it's not irreplaceable.

Much more dangerous is the Republican strategy to refuse to appropriate the funds the bill needs. But Republicans are going to have to think hard about that one: If they set the precedent that one side can erode legislation they don't like by refusing to fund it, the same is going to happen to their eventual accomplishments. Policy stability will disappear, as it will become normal for the opposition party to defund the other side's legislation when they take power. This wouldn't be the first time Congress has made a disastrous move toward gridlock and dysfunction, but it would be the one that scares the business community the most, as it would effectively end their ability to plan for the future.

By Ezra Klein
August 5, 2010; 12:05 PM ET

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Sunday, August 1, 2010

President Obama on "The View"

Official presidential portrait of Barack Obama...Image via WikipediaThe Daily Beast commented on President Obama's Thursday appearance on The View
was the day's most talked about event. How'd he do? "The misogynist blowhards who claimed it was beneath the president of the United States to appear on The View ought to be ashamed of themselves," writes Dana Goldstein, who praises his appearance for "one of the more incisive conversations about race we've heard" since Obama's famous race speech. Tunku Varadarajan disagrees however, saying that the interview was "the apotheosis of the anodyne."

I looked forward to seeing the President on The View.  I thought the cross section of topics gave the American people another look at their leader.  The questions addressed the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the economy, race in America, Shirley Sherrod, and other important issues.  At the same time, Obama was asked if he was invited to Chelsea Clinton's wedding, if Sasha and Malia were into boys yet, which songs were on his music list, if he knew Lindsay Lohan was in jail, and if he knew who Snooki was.  All of these questions allowed a look into the man who leads the country.
Before the show was over, the commentary began.  Should the president appear on show like the View?  Was the show dignified enough for the president to make an appearance on?  Wasn't it just like having him appear on the Jerry Springer Show? Why did the president choose to appear on the View vs. attending the Boy Scouts national gathering?  Blah, blah, blah...you get the drill.  Funny, it never changes.  John Stewart got it right when he said that there nothing Obama can do will please his critics.  I for one enjoyed the segment and was encouraged to see the natural way the president interacted with the cast and how he responded to the questions.  However, based on past experience, I anticipated the criticism. Needless to say, I was not disappointed.
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