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March 9, 2009


Thursday, March 5, 2009
To those who say President Obama is taking on too much…

By GottaLaff

Here is President Obama’s response to the naysayers:

To those who say we’re taking on too much… and we should put it off for another day. When times were good, we didn’t get it done. During mild recessions, we didn’t get it done. In peace time, we didn’t get it done. When we were at war, we didn’t get it done. There’s always a reason not to do it. Now is exactly the time. The American people, business, government are looking for solutions to this problem.

I’d say, what better time than now? And what better cause for us to take up. Imagine the pride next year… when we can say, we finally got something done on health care.

Posted by GottaLaff at 4:54 PM
Clancy said…
Too much? Do more! And, faster!


March 5, 2009 5:05 PM
GottaLaff said…
My sentiments exactly.


March 5, 2009 5:06 PM
eve said…
Too much?

Do these people tell the Docs and nurses in the ER to slow down they are doing too much?

March 5, 2009 5:17 PM
Dr. President said…

March 5, 2009 5:24 PM
Anonymous said…
leeeerve my prez

March 5, 2009 5:49 PM
Lucy said…
“Do these people tell the Docs and nurses in the ER to slow down they are doing too much?”

No, it’s hurry, hurry, hurry.;)

March 5, 2009 6:22 PM
Anonymous said…
Have you ever seen a president take questions from everyone and answer with such knowledge on every subject, this man impresses me every time I see him, ever since he gave that speech for John Kerry in 2004.On the subject of Kerry, did you see how the rethugs made fun of his Viet Nam service when Limbaugh spoke to them, at least Kerry did not get deferments
for a pimple on his backside.

March 5, 2009 6:49 PM


March 9, 2009




The Obamas – A Mother-in-Law in the White House

by Bethany Sanders Jan 12th 2009 2:04PM

Of all the images that came out of Barack Obama’s November 4th victory, one of my favorites is the one of him and his mother-in-law, Marian Robinson, sitting on the couch watching returns … her hand in his. Their bond was so clear in that one photo — not in-laws, but family.

During the Presidential campaign, Mrs. Robinson filled in the parenting gaps while Barack and Michelle Obama were on the road. And now, it seems, she’ll be following the family to Washington to help daughters Malia and Sasha settle in to their new lives.

Though I’ll never live in the White House, I can understand why the Obamas lean so heavily on Mrs. Robinson, why they’d ask her to move out of Chicago, a city she’s lived in their whole lives. She’s not just reliable childcare, she’s Grandma.

Our primary babysitter has always been my mom, and if I was moving across the country, I’d do everything but pack her in my suitcase to make sure she came along with us. Say the word “Grandma” in my house, and two little pairs of eyes light right up. Both Barack and Michelle likely take comfort in the fact that when they aren’t with their girls, Mrs. Robinson — someone who knows them and loves them like their parents — is.

Not all daughters can lean on their mothers so heavily, but when a relationship is strong — without head games or agendas — it works. My mom respects our role as parents, follows through on behavior issues while my kids are at her house, and is my sounding board for all of life’s little issues.

There’s no doubt that sharing his home with his mother-in-law will make Barack Obama the butt of more than a few jokes, but the Obamas have made no secret of their commitment to family, and I think this decision is evidence that the entire family is making the care of those two little girls a priority.


March 9, 2009


Rev.Dr. Joseph E. Lowery: Inauguration benediction.

By Lynn Sweeton January 20, 2009 (209)
Transcript courtesy Federal News Service

God of our weary years, God of our silent tears, thou who has brought us thus far along the way, thou who has by thy might led us into the light, keep us forever in the path, we pray, lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met thee, lest our hearts, drunk with the wine of the world, we forget thee. Shadowed beneath thy hand may we forever stand — true to thee, O God, and true to our native land.

We truly give thanks for the glorious experience we’ve shared this day. We pray now, O Lord, for your blessing upon thy servant, Barack Obama, the 44th president of these United States, his family and his administration. He has come to this high office at a low moment in the national and, indeed, the global fiscal climate. But because we know you got the whole world in your hand, we pray for not only our nation, but for the community of nations. Our faith does not shrink, though pressed by the flood of mortal ills.

For we know that, Lord, you’re able and you’re willing to work through faithful leadership to restore stability, mend our brokenness, heal our wounds and deliver us from the exploitation of the poor or the least of these and from favoritism toward the rich, the elite of these.

We thank you for the empowering of thy servant, our 44th president, to inspire our nation to believe that, yes, we can work together to achieve a more perfect union. And while we have sown the seeds of greed — the wind of greed and corruption, and even as we reap the whirlwind of social and economic disruption, we seek forgiveness and we come in a spirit of unity and solidarity to commit our support to our president by our willingness to make sacrifices, to respect your creation, to turn to each other and not on each other.

And now, Lord, in the complex arena of human relations, help us to make choices on the side of love, not hate; on the side of inclusion, not exclusion; tolerance, not intolerance.

And as we leave this mountaintop, help us to hold on to the spirit of fellowship and the oneness of our family. Let us take that power back to our homes, our workplaces, our churches, our temples, our mosques, or wherever we seek your will.

Bless President Barack, First Lady Michelle. Look over our little, angelic Sasha and Malia.

We go now to walk together, children, pledging that we won’t get weary in the difficult days ahead. We know you will not leave us alone, with your hands of power and your heart of love.

Help us then, now, Lord, to work for that day when nation shall not lift up sword against nation, when tanks will be beaten into tractors, when every man and every woman shall sit under his or her own vine and fig tree, and none shall be afraid; when justice will roll down like waters and righteousness as a mighty stream.

Lord, in the memory of all the saints who from their labors rest, and in the joy of a new beginning, we ask you to help us work for that day when Black will not be asked to get back, when brown can stick around — (laughter) — when yellow will be mellow — (laughter) — when the red man can get ahead, man — (laughter) — and when white will embrace what is right.
Let all those who do justice and love mercy say amen.


REV. LOWERY: Say amen —


REV. LOWERY: — and amen.

AUDIENCE: Amen! (Cheers, applause.)


January 20, 2009
In the joy of a new beginning
From the Editor — Lynne Elizabeth @ 8:08 pm

Photo of Reverend Joseph Lowery by Pouya Dianat, staff photographer at the Atlanta Constitution [permission pending].

It’s been a day of jubilation, and, as many head off to inaugural parties, local celebrations, and some to fancy balls, I want to share my own gratitude for the closing words of today’s presidential swearing-in ceremony—the benediction offered by the Reverend Joseph E. Lowery.

Reverend Lowery is recognized by the NAACP as “dean of the civil rights movement” and has a lifetime of speaking truth to power. His prayer was a fitting blessing for today’s momentous occasion and the inspiration and wisdom the nation needs.

Thank you, Reverend Lowery, for reminding us to “pray for not only our nation, but for the community of nations.” We are indeed a world community, interconnected and interdependent, economically, environmentally and socially—may we at least respect the heritage of our own citizenry, so very very few of whom come originally from this land. I am still embarrassed by the hubris of this United States and the misbegotten notion that we claim ourselves mightier than others. Let us please extend the vaunted ideal of equality beyond national borders.

Thank you, Reverend Lowery, for asking to “deliver us from the exploitation of the poor, of the least of these, and from favoritism toward the rich, the elite of these.” Our beloved new President has asked us to work with honesty, and here is territory where honesty is especially called for.

Most especially, Reverend Lowery, I thank you for remembering “in the complex arena of human relations, help us to make choices on the side of love, not hate; on the side of inclusion, not exclusion; tolerance, not intolerance.”

These are not just a thoughtful minister’s platitudes and requests to a higher power, but the foundational values that will lead us all to the happiness and prosperity that President Obama entreats us to work for. May we be blessed by taking heed.


March 9, 2009


Michelle Obama Finds Her Voice Too

By Jay Newton-Small/Columbia Thursday, Jan. 24, 2008
Michelle Obama speaks at Rancho High School in Las Vegas, Nevada, January 17, 2008.

On the stage the night he conceded the New Hampshire primary, Barack Obama looked exhausted. Closing his eyes for a moment, he leaned back on his wife, Michelle, who encircled his waist with one arm, giving him a squeeze, while pumping her other fist in the air, as if in victory. If anything, Michelle looked, in the words of her husband’s campaign slogan, “fired up” and “ready to go”.

Obama leans on his wife in many ways — for support, for advice, for grounding and increasingly for her fighting words. In an increasingly nasty race that seems to pit the Illinois Senator against not just a former First Lady but her ex-President husband as well, Obama needs Michelle more than ever. This week, for the first time since Barack Obama launched his campaign 11 months ago, Michelle Obama has left the couple’s two young girls at home with her mother and hit the campaign trail full-time. While she’s no Bill Clinton, Obama does have sharp elbows. One of her more pointed remarks is about how “things have gotten continually worse over my lifetime,” implying the Clinton era did little to help “regular folks” like her and her family. And in a forcefully worded fund-raising letter sent out Thursday, she says, “What we didn’t expect, at least not from our fellow Democrats, are the win-at-all-costs tactics we’ve seen recently. We didn’t expect misleading accusations that willfully distort Barack’s record… We’ve seen disingenuous attacks and smear tactics turn people off from the political process for too long, and enough is enough.”

But more importantly, as she tours South Carolina, speaking on behalf of her husband, she has become the real-life example of Obama’s soaring rhetoric. “I was raised in a working class family on the South Side of Chicago, that’s how I identify myself, a working class girl,” Michelle told a group of students at the University of South Carolina Wednesday. “My mother came home and took care of us through high school, my father was a city shift worker who took care of us all his life. The only amazing thing about my life is that a man like my father could raise a family of four on a single city worker’s salary.”

Obama’s conventional background contrasts with her husband’s childhood, growing up between Hawaii and Indonesia, to which few of his supporters can relate. Where Barack Obama’s speeches are all about soaring rhetoric, with very few mentions of his personal upbringing, his wife focuses on her childhood, telling her story from the ground up. “You think of my parents who didn’t go to college, who sent not one but two of us to Princeton, my brother and I,” she told the 200 or so students that came to hear her speak. “And the one thing that is clear to me as I’ve traveled the country is the story of my father is the story of America, I don’t care what color what folks are, I don’t care if they grew up on a farm or in the inner city.”

Not surprisingly, Michelle Obama resonates especially with black women, many of whom are torn between voting for the first woman President or the first black President. While Obama tries not to focus on race or the historic nature of his candidacy, his wife has no such qualms. In front of black audiences, like one at Benedict College in Columbia, she takes on a much more strident tone. There on Sunday she marveled at how a “little black girl from the south side of Chicago” could be “the next First Lady,” she told the audience to a standing ovation — one of four she received during her that speech.

“We are confronted with the doubters. People who tells us what we can’t do. You’re not ready. You’re not good enough. You’re not smart enough. You’re too tall,” she said as the audience chuckled (Michelle is 5’11”), mindful of the increasingly heated rhetoric flying between the Clinton and Obama campaigns. Growing serious, she continued: “Each and every one of you here has heard and felt those ceilings, somebody pushing you down, defining your limitations, who are you? You know damn well what you are capable of doing… This election is just as much about that as it is about change because the truth is there are millions of shining little lights just like me all over this country. Kids living in the shadows, being told by their own communities what they can and cannot do. This is an opportunity for all of us to send a different message to all those shining lights.”

Her policy-lite message often helps women — a demographic Obama has lost in the last two primary contests — feel better about voting for her husband over New York Senator Hillary Clinton. “She was really a real person, I was inspired, just in awe,” Haley Dreis, 18, a freshman at the University of South Carolina, said after seeing Michelle speak. Dreis had been split between Clinton and Obama but was leaning Obama after seeing Michelle. And while Obama’s rallies tend to get the crowd chanting and energized, Michelle Obama’s are much more poignant, sometimes bringing attendees to tears. At that same speech Amindi Imoh, 18, found himself welling up when she talked about the sacrifices her parents had made. His own parents immigrated from Nigeria in 1981 and, Imoh, said, “It was like she was telling our story.”

Michelle doesn’t credit Obama with lifting her up. She is clear she did it on her own, but stresses that he is what the country needs to get back to a time when people like her had the opportunity to rise — a time, she said, that has not existed since her childhood. “You know every time somebody told me, ‘No, you can’t do that,’ I pushed past the their doubts and I took my seat at the table,” she told the group of students at Bennett.

From her shy, awkward first months in a role that she talks frankly about not wanting, Michelle Obama is finding her voice. And her husband will need it. If he was exhausted in New Hampshire, they have 22 states coming up on February 5th that could well determine the nominee.


March 9, 2009


Michelle Obama’s Savvy Sacrifice

By Jay Newton-Small Monday, Aug. 25, 2008
When she takes the stage at the Democratic National Convention Monday evening, Michelle Obama will surely discuss her husband’s many achievements and the promise for America that his groundbreaking candidacy represents. What she is less likely to talk about is just how instrumental she has been to launching her husband’s political trajectory or that this tough, razor-smart Chicago native had to sacrifice many of her own career ambitions along the way.

From almost the earliest days of their personal and professional partnership, Barack Obama’s political aspirations have guided Michelle’s path. At the end of the summer of 1989, Obama was an intern at Sidley Austin, a prestigious Chicago law firm that also happened to employ a young intellectual-property lawyer and Harvard Law grad named Michelle Robinson. Obama was offered a permanent job at Sidley, though senior partner Newton Minow wasn’t surprised when he turned the firm down; the two had often discussed the intern’s political plans, and Minow had pledged to help Obama in his pursuit of a place in public life. But Obama didn’t just turn the firm down. Minow, a former Federal Communication Commission chairman, recalls that Obama told him to take a seat: “You may not want to help me after you hear the rest of what I’ve got to say. I’m taking Michelle with me.”

“You no good, worthless —” Minnow said, jumping up angrily. “Hold it,” Obama said, raising a hand. “We’re going to get married.”

Most women might not appreciate their boyfriend’s effectively giving notice on their behalf. Michelle, though, didn’t seem to mind. Not only were they engaged a year later, but sure enough, Michelle surprised her family and friends and left the law to go into public service. It was a move that would prove fateful for both her and her husband: the contacts she made were invaluable, some say essential, to his state senate and U.S. Senate races.

The child of Marian and Fraser Robinson, a stay-at-home mother and a city pump operator, Michelle was raised in a close-knit family that ate every meal together, played Monopoly and read together. “Nobody emphasized public service. What was emphasized was doing what you love to do and you’ll be good at whatever you do,” says Craig Robinson, Michelle’s brother, who left his banking job after a decade to coach college basketball. That didn’t stop Robinson from being surprised when Michelle left Sidley Austin to become an assistant to Chicago mayor Richard Daley. “Her father asked her, ‘Don’t you want to pay your student loans?’ ” her mother, Marian, recalls. One of her college roommates, Angela Acree, remembers being stunned. “I’m sure at Sidley she made more money than her parents ever made,” says Acree. “It just seemed incredible at the time that she’d leave.”

The move was not without its benefits. Michelle Obama’s stint at the mayor’s office gave her, and her husband, access to Chicago’s political class. Combined with her own Southside roots — she went to high school with Santita Jackson, the Rev. Jesse Jackson’s daughter — Michelle’s job gave her husband entrée into the best political machine in Illinois, augmenting her ties to Jackson’s powerful civil rights group, Rainbow Push.

“Michelle is a tremendous asset,” says Habitat Inc. CEO Valerie Jarrett, a close friend of both Obamas and a key campaign adviser. As Daley’s deputy chief of staff at the time, Jarrett hired Michelle to help troubleshoot for companies having problems navigating the city’s bureaucracy. “Her being from Chicago, from the Southside of Chicago, was an asset to Barack in terms of enhancing his ties to the community.”

But if Michelle helped give Obama an invaluable new base in Chicago politics, he helped her get back in touch with her home base. It was at the end of her first year as an associate at the law firm that she had been assigned to mentor Obama. In a now famous story, she at first refused to date him, feeling their work relationship would make a romance improper. But Obama’s courtship helped her discover anew her childhood home on Chicago’s Southside. Dates often took them to church basements and protests. “He could’ve gone to Wall Street; those offers were available to him. But instead Barack bussed these young mothers down to City Hall to help them find their voice and advocate for change,” Michelle told an audience in Orangeburg, S.C., earlier this year.

As Obama gradually moved further away from grass-roots organizing and into business and politics, Michelle seemed to fill the vacuum. After 18 months, she left the mayor’s office to head up the Chicago office of a new charity that was forming: Public Allies, which helps place young people at nonprofits.

“Everyone had said at the time that the best young organizer in Chicago was Barack,” says Paul Schmitz, CEO of Public Allies. The group invited Obama to join their board. But when they started to look for someone to head up the Chicago office, Obama recommended his fiancée and resigned when the nonprofit began to court her in earnest. “At a time when the average age of our staff was 23, she was like drafting Brett Favre for the Packers,” Schmitz says. “Michelle was 29 when we hired her. She had a law degree from Harvard, had worked for the mayor, for a corporate law firm. Comparatively, I’d worked a telemarketing group. Frankly, we were surprised that she wanted to do it.”

During her nearly four years with the group, Michelle set fund-raising marks that remain records for the organization. In the process, she developed an unparalleled network of young activists. “She was a connector. They were a power couple. They helped each other along the way,” says Craig Huffman, a graduate student from the Southside whom Michelle took under her wing and recommended for the charity’s board. Huffman was drawn into Obama’s orbit and, like dozens of Michelle’s other protégés, volunteered for Barack Obama’s campaigns. “Each ally was placed with a not-for-profit, about 20 to 30 a year. When you think of the number of people who got to know who Michelle was, and by extension Barack, that’s a whole generation from all over Chicago,” Huffman says.

Michelle went on to work as an associate dean of students at the University of Chicago, launching a community-service program for undergrads before moving to the university’s medical school to become vice president of external relations, a fancy title for the person who helps the well-endowed school relate to its struggling Hyde Park neighborhood. She sponsored yet more volunteer programs, helped expand the hiring of local labor and launched a program that found ER patients clinics for long-term care.

Eventually, the money she had initially walked away from in corporate law did come. Her salary last year between the university and six boards approached $500,000. In addition to serving on the boards of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, Michelle also worked for Wal-Mart supplier Tree House Foods — a board from which she resigned when her husband criticized the retailing giant’s labor practices. Asked in an interview about being the breadwinner of the family, Michelle is shocked by the notion. “Me? No! Barack had, like, four jobs, always,” she laughs. “No, really. Barack’s a hustler. I shouldn’t say hustler, but he’s a humper in terms of work.”

The division of responsibilities in the Obama household, however, hasn’t always been a laughing matter. In his second book, The Audacity of Hope, Obama talks about Michelle’s rage at his ever increasing absence: “My wife’s anger toward me seemed barely contained. ‘You only think about yourself,’ she would tell me. ‘I never thought I’d have to raise a family alone.’ ”

Michelle may have envisioned giving her children the idyllic childhood that she’d had, but she had to know that Obama was far from a city pump operator with regular hours, nor did she show any real inclination to be a stay-at-home mom. But it is her connection to traditional middle-class values that drives her still to make an effort to put her children first and seemingly removes any desire to run for public office herself, though many have suggested it over the years. Her hint of nuclear-family nostalgia is also what helps make this very strong woman a much less threatening figure to the audiences who have throughout the campaign warmed to her homespun, sensitive speaking style. That down-to-earth appeal should be on full display Monday night, when she appears in her biggest venue yet. But that is only part of the real Michelle Obama. The country wouldn’t get a two-for-one Bill and Hillary presidency if she were to become First Lady, but it would definitely get a lot more than many people realize.


March 7, 2009




Friday, March 6, 2009
PhotObama: Michelle Obama’s high school prom date was no Barack

By GottaLaff

Prom Night! 18-year-old beauty named Michelle Robinson: Check. Flirty low-cut dress slashed to the thigh: Check. Handsome prom date: Check. David Upchurch instead of Barack Obama: Ruh-roh!

Back then, [Upchurch] recalls Michelle exhibited the drive that would take her from a rough Chicago neighbourhood to Harvard University and on to a law career where she would later meet her husband, Barack Obama.

David said: ‘I grew up with Michelle and her brother Craig. We were neighbours, and our families were close.

‘When Michelle was in the middle of her junior year, we began dating and continued to date for a year-and-a-half.

‘Michelle knew what she wanted and after graduation she was off to Princeton University. I couldn’t stand in her way.’

Perhaps mindful that her husband is the President, David refuses to ‘kiss and tell’ about their time together.

He says he can’t even remember if he received a goodnight kiss after the prom.
The romance ended when Michelle went off to Princeton to study sociology. […]

‘I wished the best for Michelle because she has always been a wonderful person,’ he said.

‘I always knew Michelle was special and would make a difference in the world.’ […]

David, a divorced father-of-three from Colorado Springs, Colorado, says he finds it hard to believe his prom date ended up in the White House.

‘I cannot tell you how proud I am of her and her husband. I have never met Barack, but I have to say, he is a very lucky man,’ he said.

David Upchurch: The Pete Best of dating.

Posted by GottaLaff at 12:31 PM
Labels: david upchurch, first lady michelle obama, high school, prom
GottaLaff said…
He came THIS close… ; )

He sounds like a sweet man.

March 6, 2009 12:45 PM
Anonymous said…
LOL! I didn’t look close enough at first and just saw the mustache and thought, God Barack looks like crap with a mustache!

March 6, 2009 1:09 PM
Clancy said…
Oh, that dress! Let me tell you, prom pictures should be destroyed within five years of their taking. Every once in a while, mom likes to pull out my junior prom pics, in which I’m dressed in a 18th century period clothes (because I really loved my girlfriend).

March 6, 2009 1:15 PM
Dr. President said…
look at those long ass legs, go girl!

March 6, 2009 2:20 PM
Dr. President said…
look at those long ass legs, go girl!

March 6, 2009 2:20 PM
Anonymous said…
She looks as though she did not age a day. What is ya secret GF?

March 6, 2009 5:34 PM
Belinda said…
I wonder if President Obama is the jealous type. I bet he would pimp slap someone over his woman. I Already know Michelle would snatch a woman bald.

March 6, 2009 9:35 PM


March 6, 2009





Insight and Perspective on the 44th U.S. President
By News

BET’s Historic Presidential Inauguration Interview with the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan
[ – Editor’s note: The following are excerpts of a BET interview with the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan on December 18, 2008, which was scheduled to be aired during BET’s coverage of the historic presidential inauguration of Mr. Barack H. Obama on January 20, 2009. Click here to view the webcast and order the CD/DVD.]

Photo: Kenneth Muhammad
If you love your people, and you want to see your people rise, and you see someone who is doing that for your people, then you subordinate your personal pain to the greater mission, which was Brother ascending to the top of the mountain.

Jeff Johnson (JJ): When this excellent Black man was elected on that excellent night, where were you?

The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan (HMLF): I was in front of my television, with my wife and some of my children, with tears streaming down our faces. And when I saw my brother come out on that stage with his wife and his children; and I watched his demeanor, because now he had fought for this. Now he has it.


JJ: In the very beginning of this process when Barack Obama announced his candidacy, did you ever believe that we would be at this place and time celebrating the soon-to-be inauguration of the first African American president?

HMLF: No, I didn’t believe it, but I’m happy for it. This young man seems to be driven by a force that’s bigger than politics.

Watching him ascend four years ago, he spoke at a Democratic convention, and electrified the convention and the country. Four years later, he’s the president-elect of the United States of America.

This is a meteoric rise. It’s something that I thought I would never live to see.


JJ: You typically—and correct me if I’m wrong—don’t normally endorse candidates. I haven’t typically seen you endorse candidates, but you came out and endorsed Senator—

HMLF: No, I never did endorse him.

JJ: No?

HMLF: No. I was very careful, because I knew that if I endorsed him, that would create a problem for him.

So at Saviours’ Day last year, I talked about him—but, in very beautiful and glowing terms, stopping short of endorsing him. And unfortunately, or fortunately, however we look at it, the media said I “endorsed” him, so he renounced my so-called endorsement and support. But that didn’t stop me from supporting him.

JJ: No, it didn’t.


JJ: Can you talk a little bit about the wisdom that you felt was necessary at that time, in your response not only to the Nation of Islam, but to the United States, so that you couldn’t be further used by the media to create greater division between Senator Obama and his people.

HMLF: Barack is the bigger picture. I have never seen any Black man in our history attract our people; give them hope in the way that Barack has done.

If you love your people, and you want to see your people rise, and you see someone who is doing that for your people, then you subordinate your personal pain to the greater mission, which was Brother ascending to the top of the mountain.


JJ: The first time I got emotional about this campaign was the night of the DNC when Michelle spoke. And after Michelle spoke, those babies came up on stage. And after the babies came up on stage, then Obama comes via satellite. And to me there was this message that “Even though my wife and my babies are on stage, I need to make sure I’m with them.”

And there was this picture of the “Black family,” that Americans—some Black Americans, some White Americans; Asian Americans, Latino Americans—had never seen before in real life.

What is the real potential of a Barack in the White House? Will we really be able to quantify how that will impact men and women in communities that were lacking hope?

HMLF: A loving husband, a loving wife; a loving father, a loving mother, and two very beautiful children: That gave us as a people, with broken families, some hope that we, too, can produce a family like that.

When you see gang bangers, young teenage boys that never thought they might live to see 20 or 21, stand in line four and five hours to vote for him; when I see the impact that he has had on children—little Black children who no longer have to feel “I’ve got to be a NBA basketball player; NFL football player to escape the ghetto, or escape the conditions under which I have grown; but now I can aspire to be a world leader”—that’s a genie that you can never put back in the bottle.

So our job, it seems to me, in backing him, is to be more earnest, more dedicated, more zealous in working in our communities to build our people.


JJ: Is there any truth to the fact that an Obama election means that America is becoming less racist?

HMLF: Yes. The nitty-gritty is probably the same, but America is changing. Again, that’s puts more burden on us.

Barack represents Black excellence. Michelle Obama represents Black excellence. As a family, they represent Black excellence. It’s very hard for you to accentuate White Supremacy in the face of Black Excellence.

Are we capable of becoming excellent? Absolutely. All we need is a level playing field, and if we are cream, we will rise to the top. And once we begin to do this and demonstrate this excellence that we have the capacity to do, and the potential to do, then race will begin to diminish, diminish, diminish, and we really might be living, then, in a post-racial America.
View this interview on the web @

© Copyright 2008 FCN Publishing,

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March 5, 2009

Obama the Entertainerfrom

Obama kicks up White House entertaining

By DARLENE SUPERVILLE, Associated Press Writer Darlene Superville, Associated Press Writer – Mon Mar 2, 11:03 am ET

– In this Feb. 25, 2009 file photo, President Barack Obama presents Stevie Wonder with the Library of Congress …

– The White House is the place to be on Wednesdays.

Since the presidency changed hands less than six weeks ago, a burst of entertaining has taken hold of the iconic, white-columned home of America’s head of state. Much of it comes on Wednesdays.

The stately East Room, where portraits of George and Martha Washington adorn the walls, was transformed into a concert hall as President Barack Obama presented Stevie Wonder with the nation’s highest award for pop music on Wednesday.

A week before that, the foot-stomping sounds of Sweet Honey in the Rock, a female a cappella group, filled the East Room for a Black History Month program first lady Michelle Obama held for nearly 200 sixth- and seventh-graders from around the city.

Cocktails were sipped during at least three such receptions to date, all held on Wednesdays.

Bookending the midweek activity were a Super Bowl party for select Democratic and Republican lawmakers and a dinner for governors, the new administration’s first black-tie affair. It was capped with a performance by the 1970s pop group Earth, Wind and Fire. And a conga line.

The flurry of entertaining is in keeping with the Obamas’ promise to make the White House a more open place for everyone.

The governors’ dinner was “a great kickoff of what we hope will be an atmosphere here in the White House that is welcoming and that reminds everybody that this is the people’s house,” Obama told the state chief executives after they had dined on Maryland crab, Wagyu beef, Nantucket scallops and citrus salad.

“We are just temporary occupants. This is a place that belongs to the American people and we want to make sure that everybody understands it’s open,” he said.

At the dinner in the State Dining Room, the Obamas looked comfortable, chatting and smiling with their guests. Afterward, they escorted the governors down the hall to the East Room, which had been arranged with few tables and chairs to encourage dancing to “September,” “Boogie Wonderland” and other hits from a musical group Obama listened to growing up.

The conga line formed after the media were escorted out and, apparently, after Obama had called it a night.

“Thank you also for waiting until I had left before you started the conga line,” the president told the governors the next morning. “I hear it was quite a spectacle.”

Some Obama guests say he immediately puts them at ease. He indulges them and serves cookies, too.

“People like me felt comfortable in his presence,” said Rep. Mike Honda, D-Calif., a self-described “poor country boy” who said he felt like a “freshman going to the senior prom” when he attended a White House reception for leaders of the congressional caucuses.

“Sometimes when you’re in the presence of the most powerful person in the world, in the most powerful democracy in the world … I was in awe that I was comfortable,” said Honda, chairman of the Asian Pacific American Caucus. “I think that’s his style and how he grew up, who he is.

“He’s down to earth and engaging,” Honda said.

Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., was among those invited for the Super Bowl. He said Obama, an avid sports fan, joined his guests for most of the game between the Arizona Cardinals and ultimately triumphant Pittsburgh Steelers.

“It wasn’t a circumstance where he came in and said ‘Hi’ and then left,” Franks said. “He actually stayed and watched the game.”

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn, said Obama was very cordial, and he and the first lady made guests feel comfortable. The president talked to everyone before the game started, she said, including a 12-year-old boy who asked Obama where the bathroom was.

“My favorite part was when he personally served us cookies — oatmeal raisin — when we were watching the game,” she said.

The gathering in the White House theater over hot dogs and hamburgers was one of several get-to-know-the-members events Obama held as he lobbied Congress to support his nearly $800 billion economic recovery package. His efforts produced no Republican votes in the House and just three in the Senate, but Franks said he still appreciated the Democratic president’s efforts to reach out to the opposing party.

“I think the value of social interaction like this is not so much that it co-opts anyone in any way. It certainly didn’t in my case,” said Franks, who described his conversation with Obama at the party as substantive. “I think it humanizes and personalizes opponents. We can diminish politics and try to work together for what’s right for the country.”

Michelle Obama is doing her own entertaining, too. When her husband visited Canada last month, she organized a “girls’ night” at the White House with secretaries, policymakers and popcorn for a screening of “He’s Just Not that Into You,” the first lady told People magazine.

Obama played the role of “first fan” at the Wonder tribute, and opened up about his and his wife’s common enjoyment of Wonder’s music.

“As Stevie knows, I’m a huge fan. And he has been a great supporter,” Obama said before presenting the award-winning singer-songwriter with the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song from the Library of Congress.

He said Wonder’s songs “became the soundtrack of my youth” and that in them he “found peace and inspiration, especially in difficult times.”

Obama presented the medal to Wonder, then wrapped the singer in a bear hug. As the media were led out of the room, Wonder struck up “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours,” which was a staple of Obama’s campaign rallies.



March 3, 2009


The Ecstasy and the Agony
Barry Blitt
By FRANK RICH Published: March 01, 2009

BARACK OBAMA must savor the moment while he can. It may never get better than this.
As he stood before Congress on Tuesday night, the new president was armed with new job approval percentages in the 60s. After his speech, the numbers hit the stratosphere: CBS News found that support for his economic plans spiked from 63 percent to 80. Had more viewers hung on for the Republican response from Bobby Jindal, the unintentionally farcical governor of Louisiana, Obama might have aced a near-perfect score.
His address was riveting because it delivered on the vision he had promised a battered populace during the campaign: Government must step in boldly when free markets run amok and when national crises fester unaddressed for decades. For all the echoes of F.D.R.’s first fireside chat, he also evoked his own memorably adult speech on race. Once again he walked us through a lucid step-by-step mini-lecture on “how we arrived” at an impasse that’s threatening America’s ability to move forward.
Obama’s race speech may have saved his campaign. His first Congressional address won’t rescue the economy. But it brings him to a significant early crossroads in his presidency – one full of perils as well as great opportunities. To get the full political picture, look beyond Obama’s popularity in last week’s polls to the two groups of Americans whose approval numbers are in the toilet. There is good news for Obama in these findings, but there’s also a stark indication of the unchecked populist rage that could still overrun his ambitious plans.
The first group in national disfavor is the G.O.P. In the latest New York Times/CBS News survey, 63 percent said that Congressional Republicans opposed the stimulus package mostly for political reasons; only 17 percent felt that the Republicans should stick with their own policies rather than cooperate with Obama and the Democrats. The second group of national villains is corporate recipients of taxpayer money: only 39 percent approve of a further bailout for banks, and only 22 percent want more money going to Detroit’s Big Three.
The good news for Obama is that he needn’t worry about the Republicans. They’re committing suicide. The morning-after conservative rationalization of Jindal’s flop was that his adenoidal delivery, not his words, did him in, and that media coaching could banish his resemblance to Kenneth the Page of “30 Rock.” That’s denial. For Jindal no less than Obama, form followed content.
The Louisiana governor, alternately smug and jejune, articulated precisely the ideology – those G.O.P. “policies” in the Times/CBS poll – that Americans reject: the conviction that government is useless and has no role in an emergency. Given that the most mismanaged federal operation in modern memory was inflicted by a Republican White House on Jindal’s own state, you’d think he’d change the subject altogether.
But like all zealots, Jindal is oblivious to how nonzealots see him. Pleading “principle,” he has actually turned down some $100 million in stimulus money for Louisiana. And, as he proudly explained on “Meet the Press” last weekend, he can’t wait to be judged on “the results” of his heroic frugality.
Good luck with that. He’s rejecting aid for a state that ranks fourth in children living below the poverty line and 46th in high school graduation rates, while struggling with a projected budget shortfall of more than $1.7 billion.
If you’re baffled why the G.O.P. would thrust Jindal into prime time, the answer is desperation. Eager to update its image without changing its antediluvian (or antebellum) substance, the party is trying to lock down its white country-club blowhards. The only other nonwhite face on tap, alas, is the unguided missile Michael Steele, its new national chairman. Steele has of late been busy promising to revive his party with an “off-the-hook” hip-hop P.R. campaign, presumably with the perennially tan House leader John Boehner leading the posse.
At least the G.O.P.’s newfound racial sensitivity saved it from choosing the white Southern governor often bracketed with Jindal as a rising “star,” Mark Sanford of South Carolina. That would have been an even bigger fiasco, for Sanford is from the same state as Ty’Sheoma Bethea, the junior high school student who sat in Michelle Obama’s box on Tuesday night and whose impassioned letter to Congress was quoted by the president.
In her plea, the teenager begged for aid to her substandard rural school. Without basic tools, she poignantly wrote, she and her peers cannot “prove to the world” that they too might succeed at becoming “lawyers, doctors, congressmen like yourself and one day president.”
Her school is in Dillon, where the Federal Reserve chairman, Ben Bernanke, grew up. The school’s auditorium, now condemned, was the site of Bernanke’s high school graduation. Dillon is now so destitute that Bernanke’s middle-class childhood home was just auctioned off in a foreclosure sale. Unemployment is at 14.2 percent.
Governor Sanford’s response to such hardship – his state over all has the nation’s third-highest unemployment rate – was not merely a threat to turn down federal funds but a trip to Washington to actively lobby against the stimulus bill. He accused the three Republican senators who voted for it of sabotaging “the future of our civilization.” In his mind the future of civilization has little to do with the future of students like Ty’Sheoma Bethea.
What such G.O.P. “stars” as Sanford and Jindal have in common, besides their callous neo-Hoover ideology, are their phony efforts to portray themselves as populist heroes. Their role model is W., that brush-clearing “rancher” by way of Andover, Yale and Harvard. Listening to Jindal talk Tuesday night about his immigrant father’s inability to pay for an obstetrician, you’d never guess that at the time his father was an engineer and his mother an L.S.U. doctoral candidate in nuclear physics. Sanford’s first political ad in 2002 told of how growing up on his “family’s farm” taught him “about hard work and responsibility.” That “farm,” the Charlotte Observer reported, was a historic plantation appraised at $1.5 million in the early 1980s. From that hardscrabble background, he struggled on to an internship at Goldman Sachs.
G.O.P. pseudopopulism ran riot last week as right-wing troops rallied around their latest Joe the Plumber: Rick Santelli, the ranting CNBC foe of Obama’s mortgage rescue program. Ann Coulter proposed a Santelli run for president, and Twitterers organized national “tea parties” to fuel his taxpayers’ revolt. Even with a boost from NBC, whose networks seized a promotional opening by incessantly recycling the Santelli “controversy,” the bonfire fizzled. It did so because – as last week’s polls also revealed – the mortgage bailout, with a 60-plus percent approval rating, is nearly as popular as Obama.
The Santelli revolution’s flameout was just another confirmation that hard-core Republican radicals are now the G.O.P.’s problem, not the president’s. Rahm Emanuel has it right when he says the administration must try bipartisanship, but it doesn’t have to succeed. Voters give Obama credit for trying, and he can even claim success with many Republican governors, from Schwarzenegger to Crist. Now he can move on and let his childish adversaries fight among themselves, with Rush Limbaugh as the arbitrating babysitter. (Last week he gave Jindal a thumb’s up.)
But that good news for Obama is countered by the bad. The genuine populist rage in the country – aimed at greedy C.E.O.’s, not at the busted homeowners mocked as “losers” by Santelli – cannot be ignored or finessed. Though Obama was crystal clear on Tuesday that there can be “no real recovery unless we clean up the credit crisis,” it was telling that he got fuzzy when he came to what he might do about it. He waited two days to drop that shoe in his budget: a potential $750 billion in banking “asset purchases” on top of the previous $700 billion bailout.
Therein lies the Catch-22 that could bring the recovery down. As Obama said, we can’t move forward without a functioning financial system. But voters of both parties will demand that their congressmen reject another costly rescue of it. Americans still don’t understand why many Wall Street malefactors remain in place or why the administration’s dithering banking policy lacks the boldness and clarity of Obama’s rhetoric.
Nor can a further bailout be easily sold by a Treasury secretary, Timothy Geithner, whose lax oversight of the guilty banks while at the New York Fed remains a subject of journalistic inquiry. In a damning 5,600-word article from Bloomberg last week, he is portrayed as a second banana, a timid protégé of the old boys who got us into this disaster. Everyone testifies to Geithner’s brilliance, but Jindal, a Rhodes scholar, was similarly hyped. Like the Louisiana governor, the Treasury secretary is a weak public speaker not because he lacks brains or vocal training but because his message doesn’t fly.
Among the highlights of Obama’s triumphant speech was his own populist jeremiad about the “fancy drapes” and private jets of Wall Street. But talk is not action. Two days later, as ABC News reported, the president of taxpayer- supported Bank of America took a private jet to New York to stonewall Andrew Cuomo’s inquest into $3.6 billion of suspect bonuses.
Handing more public money to the reckless banks that invented this culture and stuck us with the wreckage is the new third rail of American politics. If Obama doesn’t forge a better plan, neither his immense popularity nor even political foes as laughable as Jindal can insulate him from getting burned.


March 3, 2009


Stephen C. Rose
politics, music, theology, pattern language

Obama — 16 Promises Kept So Far
By stephencrose
Poliitifact’s Truth-o-Meter is a very nice way to keep tabs on the Obama record. They record all of the President’s kept promises and ones they regard as unkept.


Here’s an abbreviated version of the sweet 16 promises kept so far.

Promise Kept rulings on the Obameter

No. 15: Create a foreclosure prevention fund for homeowners
No. 40: Extend and index the 2007 Alternative Minimum Tax patch
No. 58: Expand eligibility for State Children’s Health Insurance Fund (SCHIP)
No. 125: Direct military leaders to end war in Iraq
No. 134: Send two additional brigades to Afghanistan
No. 239: Release presidential records
No. 241: Require new hires to sign a form affirming their hiring was not due to political affiliation or contributions.
No. 278: Remove more brush, small trees and vegetation that fuel wildfires
No. 307: Create a White House Office on Urban Policy
No. 327: Support increased funding for the NEA
No. 411: Work to overturn Ledbetter vs. Goodyear
No. 427: Ban lobbyist gifts to executive employees
No. 452: Weatherize 1 million homes per year
No. 458: Invest in all types of alternative energy
No. 503: Appoint at least one Republican to the cabinet
No. 507: Extend unemployment insurance benefits and temporarily suspend taxes on these benefits
This entry was posted on February 27, 2009 at 8:39 am and is filed under politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One Response to “Obama — 16 Promises Kept So Far”
Haitiana4Obama Says:

February 27, 2009 at 2:02 pm
I’m just pleased to see we have a man of his words in office, the entiriety of our President’s agenda is a direct result of campaign promises to change the direction that we were headed in. Each day my faith is renewed in government, inspite of the lack of bi-partisanship on The Hill.


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