Ponzi Frenzy


As horrible as the whole Madoff scandal is, there is always a silver lining and in this we can find and increase in reports of possible Ponzi schemes. Maybe the authorities can catch some of these guys before they do more damage and make it not worth it for others to get into the Ponzi game. Troubled Times Bring More Ponzi Inquiries -

But the number of other people who have been caught running Ponzi schemes in recent weeks is adding up quickly, so much so that they have earned themselves a nickname: mini-Madoffs.
Some of these schemes have been operating for years, and others are of more recent vintage. But what is causing them to surface now appears to be a combination of a deteriorating economy and heightened skepticism about outsize returns after the revelations about Mr. Madoff. That can scare off new clients and cause longtime investors to demand their money back, which brings the charade tumbling down.
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Again from the "it looks like photoshop but it isn't" file, this real photo is taken in Morroco of a goats who adjusted to the lack of food on the ground by learning to climb trees.
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The RNC Catches the "Change" Wave


The ultra-conservatives might not be happy because Steele is not one of them, but this is the only good news the Red Team has to offer in a long time. I still don't believe the Right can make minority headway until they can get some black Senators and Governors elected, but Steele's win is good news. I wish him well.

Steele becomes first African-American RNC chairman - "Michael Steele, a former Maryland lieutenant governor, was elected chairman of the Republican National Committee on Friday. Michael Steele was chosen Friday as the first African-American leader of the Republican Party. 1 of 2 Steele, the first African-American to hold the post, defeated South Carolina GOP Chairman Katon Dawson, 91-77, in the final round of voting among the RNC's 168 members. Only 86 votes were needed. 'This is our opportunity. I cannot do this by myself,' he told the crowd at the annual RNC meeting Friday. 'God bless you, and God bless our party. ... It's going to be a new day.' Steele also told his fellow party members that it will be a 'great honor to spar' with President Obama."
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More in the "looks like a photoshop but it isn't" file, here is a freaky enormously huge stage set up for an Opera scene in Sweden. The opera is called "Ein Maskenball" and this scene depicts Death reading from the book of life.
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Local Odds & Ends

Critics said the proposal would tarnish Nashville’s reputation as a cultural mixing pot and drive away immigrants and businesses. Nashville Won’t Make English Official Language - Nashville voters on Thursday rejected a proposal to make English the city’s official language and largely to prevent government workers from communicating in other languages. The proposal was introduced by Eric Crafton, a metropolitan councilman. It was opposed by a broad coalition including the mayor, civil rights groups, business leaders, ministers and the heads of nine institutions of higher education.

Detroit’s Top Lawyer Resigns Over ‘Ghetto Court’ Remark ABA Journal - Law News Now: "The chief of Detroit’s law department has resigned in a flap stemming from her reference to one of the city’s courts as “a ghetto court.” Kathleen Leavey, who is white, made the comment in a meeting last week with court staffers, according to the Detroit Free Press and the Detroit News."

1st Black Federal Judge in Ala. Resigns; Waited So Obama Could Fill Vacancy ABA Journal - Law News Now: "After almost 30 years on the bench, Alabama's first African-American federal judge resigned today. U.S. District Judge U.W. Clemon had said last year that he planned to retire once President Barack Obama was in office, the Birmingham News reported at the time, and he has now officially notified the new president in a letter of his resignation, the newspaper reports today. A civil rights lawyer before he was appointed to the court by President Jimmy Carter in 1980, Clemon will continue on the bench until Jan. 31. On Feb. 1, he plans to begin practicing with White Arnold & Dowd in Birmingham."

In School for the First Time, Teenage Immigrants Struggle -
"New York City classrooms have long been filled with children from all over the world, and the education challenges they bring with them. But hidden among the nearly 150,000 students across the city still struggling to learn English are an estimated 15,100 who, like Fanta, have had little or no formal schooling and are often illiterate in their native languages. More than half of these arrive as older teenagers and land in the city’s high schools, where they must learn how to learn even as their peers prepare for state subject exams required for a diploma."
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France Takes Action To Curb Illegal Immigration


I'm surprised that a European country would do this. We'll see how it goes. This would never go over in the U.S. and it shouldn't. Illegal immigrants to be DNA tested under new crackdown in France Mail Online

"France's hard-line new immigration minister is set to implement legislation that would allow DNA testing of new arrivals. Eric Besson, who was appointed this month, has said the tests would establish which foreigners were claiming visas by making up fictious family ties with those already settled in the country. Civil liberties groups have reacted furiously to the controversial scheme, which was approved by the French parliament 15 months ago but does not come into effect until the appropriate minister has signed the legislation."
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Treasury Hitting Hard At China?

This is going to be interesting. Geithner statements could very well be true, but do we want to make an enemy out a country that basically become our bank?

Geithner Hints at Harder Line on China Trade -
"Timothy F. Geithner stated that the president believed that China was “manipulating” its currency, signaling a more confrontational approach to a delicate issue.

Mr. Geithner’s comment was made in writing to the Senate Finance Committee hours before it voted 18 to 5 to recommend that the full Senate confirm him. The statement, which is certain to anger the Chinese government, comes at a particularly sensitive time, with economies in both the United States and China weakening and tensions already rising around the globe over trade. The United States, moreover, is increasingly dependent on China to finance its ballooning deficit."
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Military Numbers Going Back Up


Military entrants always ramp up in a bad economy, but I also think that an Obama promise to move out of Iraq has more people willing to sign up. More Americans Joining Military as Jobs Dwindle -

As the number of jobs across the nation dwindles, more Americans are joining the military, lured by a steady paycheck, benefits and training.

The last fiscal year was a banner one for the military, with all active-duty and reserve forces meeting or exceeding their recruitment goals for the first time since 2004, the year that violence in Iraq intensified drastically, Pentagon officials said.

And the trend seems to be accelerating. The Army exceeded its targets each month for October, November and December — the first quarter of the new fiscal year — bringing in 21,443 new soldiers on active duty and in the reserves. December figures were released last week.
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Parsons Going From Time Warner To Citigroup

Apparently Mr. Parson likes a challenge. The appointment will put to use Richard D. Parsons’s ties to the Obama administration as well as his experience in running companies under a federal microscope. He was previously thought to be Obama's new Commerce Secretary but other names are

Parsons Is Named Chairman of Citigroup - "Richard D. Parsons swatted down talk last November that he might become the chairman of Citigroup, the struggling financial giant. “I have every confidence that we have the right team on the field to pull this thing out,” Mr. Parsons, then chairman of Time Warner and a Citigroup director, said in an interview with CNBC."
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A New Image

This story is a little harsh but I get the point and its an important one. Black first family 'changes everything' -

Jamaal Young was watching Barack Obama and his family greet an ecstatic crowd in Chicago, Illinois, on Election Night when he realized that something seemed wrong. Obama didn't shout at his wife, Michelle, to shut up. The first lady didn't roll her eyes and tell Obama to act like a man. No laugh track kicked in, no one danced, and no police sirens wailed in the background.

Young had tuned in to celebrate the election of the nation's first African-American president. But he realized that he was witnessing another historic first. A black family was being featured as the first family, not the "problem family" or the "funny family."

"They are not here to entertain us," says Young, a New York Press columnist. "Michelle Obama is not sitting around with her girlfriends saying, 'My man ain't no good.' You're not seeing this over -sexualized, crazy black family that, every time a Marvin Gaye song comes on, someone stands up and says, 'Oh girl, that's my jam.' "
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This is not a photoshop. This is an art program where people are painted to match the environment and appear to be invisible. Looks like the Predator.
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Good News for Obama


I wasn't so much surprised that they are confident he can do this. This is the main reason he was elected. What I am surprised is that so many people are willing to give him 2+ years to start seeing results. That's a good thing. Patience has never been our strong point.

Poll Finds Faith in Obama, Mixed With Patience -
Americans are confident Barack Obama can turn the economy around but are prepared to give him years to do so, according to the latest Times/CBS News poll.
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Michelle & Barack Private Moments


Huffingtonpost has a collection of private pictures of the Obamas on inauguration day and they really show how close the couple is and tells me that they have accepted that they will not have anymore private moments. These two pictures in particular just tug at the romantic in me.

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Other Black Presidents

How the Movies Made a President - "in November demonstrated, to the surprise of many Americans and much of the world, that we were ready to see a black man as president. Of course, we had seen several black presidents already, not in the real White House but in the virtual America of movies and television. The presidencies of James Earl Jones in “The Man,” Morgan Freeman in “Deep Impact,” Chris Rock in “Head of State” and Dennis Haysbert in “24” helped us imagine Mr. Obama’s transformative breakthrough before it occurred. In a modest way, they also hastened its arrival."
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Art - Black History Lives Throughout the Neighborhoods and Museums of Washington D.C. -

Washington D.C. has a lot more than Ben's Chili Bowl and Howard to add to its black history. It's a very amazing city for history. Art - Black History Lives Throughout the Neighborhoods and Museums of Washington D.C. - "In 1957 Washington officially became the country’s first city where blacks were the majority. But by then, artists, writers and performers of African descent had been flourishing there for a century and a half or more. Seeking out their traces makes for a lively city tour, and one very much of the moment as an African-American first family makes Washington its home."
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Illegal Immigration Update

Bush recently said one of his biggest regrets was not tackling the illegal immigration issue well enough during his administration. His plan for amnesty was not very popular. Obama has consistently said he supports enforcing existing immigration laws, but doesn't seem interested in doing more; not now at least. I agree with others that his time is better spent somewhere else, but that doesn't mean ICE and/or Homeland Security shouldn't continue to work on this.

Push on Immigration Crimes Is Said to Shift Focus - "The prosecutors make quick work of the immigrants. Under a Justice Department program that relies on plea deals, most are charged with misdemeanors like improper entry.

Federal prosecutions of immigration crimes nearly doubled in the last fiscal year, reaching more than 70,000 immigration cases in the 2008 fiscal year, according to federal data compiled by a Syracuse University research group. The emphasis, many federal judges and prosecutors say, has siphoned resources from other crimes, eroded morale among federal lawyers and overloaded the federal court system. Many of those other crimes, including gun trafficking, organized crime and the increasingly violent drug trade, are now routinely referred to state and county officials, who say they often lack the finances or authority to prosecute them effectively."
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Obama Info

I know some people are upset about this, but I agree with Obama's decision. First, if he were to do this, it would take up so much of his time better spent on the economy. Just let his Justice Department do its job.

Obama Signals His Reluctance to Look Into Bush Policies - "Barack Obama signaled in an interview...that he was unlikely to authorize a broad inquiry into Bush administration programs like domestic eavesdropping or the treatment of terrorism suspects. But Mr. Obama also said prosecutions would proceed if the Justice Department found evidence that laws had been broken."
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Good News for Surgical Patients


A more streamlined, efficient and tech savvy healthcare process can save countless lives. It doesn't have to be that complicated. Look at what creating a simple checklist can do.

Simple checklist cuts surgical deaths in half - Health care- "Scrawl on the patient with a permanent marker to show where the surgeon should cut. Ask the person's name to make sure you have the right patient. Count sponges to make sure you didn't leave any inside the body. Doctors worldwide who followed a checklist of steps like these cut the death rate from surgery almost in half and complications by more than a third in a large international study of how to avoid blatant operating room mistakes. The results — most dramatic in developing countries — startled the researchers."
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Stuff White People Like Update

Have you checked out one of the funniest blogs on the net, Stuff White People Like, recently? The owner of this blog has just blown up. He has a book, he's on Conan and is still in the middle of a tour.

Despite the fame, the blog is still funny. Here's one of my favorite of "stuff white people like" - Black Music that Black People Don’t Listen to Anymore
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The New Face of Race Relations -


Interesting article on the generational issues around discourses on race.

The New Face of Race Relations -
Cross-racial discussion about the topic of race seems to have become more common, and somewhat less fraught, with the rise of Mr. Obama, according to historians, psychologists, sociologists and other experts on race relations, as well as a number of blacks and whites interviewed around the country.

“All this exposure to this very counterstereotypical African-American has actually changed — at least temporarily — what is on the tip of the tongue,” said E. Ashby Plant, a psychologist at Florida State University and an author of a new study examining the impact of Mr. Obama on the attitudes of whites. “It may have very important implications.”

In Dr. Plant’s study, 400 white college students in Wisconsin and Florida were asked, between Mr. Obama’s nomination and his election, questions like, “What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of African-Americans?”

The unpublished study found that the answers revealed little evidence of antiblack bias, in sharp contrast to many earlier studies (including one by Dr. Plant) showing that roughly 80 percent of whites have some degree of bias.
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Obama Is A Night Owl

Obama returns night-owl presidency - Carrie Budoff Brown - "Barack Obama is bringing back the night-owl presidency.

With the metabolism of a White House set by its occupant, Obama's team is preparing for a return to long nights, heavy weekend shifts – and a boss who will venture into Washington far more than the place's current resident.

It’s a throwback to Bill Clinton’s cramming-for-an-exam style, a shift from George W. Bush’s early-bird routine. Aides expect the workload to be so intense, at least for the early months, that they’re trying to formalize ways to help staffers stay in touch with spouses and kids – with ideas under consideration that include inviting family members into the White House for casual after-hours meals."
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Black Love for the World To See


There was so much about yesterday to be excited about. History was being made during the day and in the evening, it was a national party before reality comes back to us on Wednesday morning.

What I remember most from yesterday and especially last night was the affection between our President and First Lady. Obamas dance, celebrate at inaugural balls - They were smiling all day long, sharing quick words, holding hands or with their arms around each other. In the evening, when they danced, they joked and flirted and laughed and it seemed very genuine to me. At some of the 10 balls they danced the way the first couple always dances, but at other balls, they danced close with his arms around her waist and hers wrapped around his neck.

It's so nice to see this image of black love and mutual respect and positivity. It's clear that they love each other, but it also looks like they are in love with each other and they're friends. This was reinforced this morning with the pictures from last night of scenes we didn't see on video. They have almost no personal space between them which reminded me of how he hugged her on election night. He didn't just hug her, he held her tight. And there are countless pictures of them during the campaign on the bus or plane where she is practically sitting in his lap.

This is good not just as an example of a modern marriage for Americans of all color. Seeing them together last night made me feel more confident in knowing that he has a strong woman who is completely devoted to him at his side. He's gonna need it because the party is over and he has a lot of sleepless nights and stressful days coming to him.

And can we all agree that the girls were just the cutest little ladies? Yes or yes?
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Chicago 2055

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Best Week Ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Monday - MLK Holiday

Tuesday - Black President!!!!!!

Wednesday - LOST comes back!
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Michelle Obama's Fashion Style

The Huffington Post has a collection of pics of Michelle Obama's fashion style. Unlike other first ladies who reveal their inaugural outfits and evening gowns prior to the event, Michelle has not. Since she will be completely covered up due to the freezing weather, the swearing in outfit probably won't be revealed. I'm looking forward to seeing what she has to wear.

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Ain't No Party Like an Inauguration Party Cause.....


You know the rest.

I will be staying in the safety of my own home on inaugural day. Living in Northern VA, I know it would be a nightmare to go out. They are blocking all the bridges from VA so everyone on this side of the district will have to either take public transportation or drive into DC by way of Maryland. It will be freezing, but I am still certain that everyone will have a great time. Things have been hard lately and this country needs a good party. We'll get back to reality on Wednesday.

The Obama's have a big evening ahead of them. I hear that Michelle may wear as many as 10 different gowns that evening for the various events.
If you're interested in how the new First Family likes to party, the new White House social secretary shares the plans. Desirée Rogers, Obama Social Secretary, Shares White House Party Plans With Vogue
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Happy MLK Day!!!!!!!!

It's sad how MLK day now means a day off for many people in this country and a marketing/commercial opportunity for corporations. I hope that at least this year, people can see the significance of this day because of what will happen tomorrow. They are directly related and extremely significant.

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The Ad Business Diversity Task


The Ad industry is in need of some "updating" but I have seen a lot of new ads featuring interracial couples on TV, online and in magazines, so someone is listening. But salaries and promotions within the industry is the real issue here. If you have more, higher paid, higher quality minority executives in the industry, the ads will look different. Updated: Diversity Study Takes Ad Biz to Task

NEW YORK African Americans in the advertising industry are significantly underrepresented and underpaid compared to their white counterparts, in part due to a "culture in which deeply embedded racial bias, both conscious and unconscious, creates systematic barriers to inclusion" for black professionals, according to a new study commissioned by civil rights law firm Mehri & Skalet.

The study, "Research Perspective on Race and Employment in the Advertising Industry," was released today. It cites employment and salary statistics and compares them to similar industries in an effort to illuminate the disparities between black and white workers in the $31 billion ad industry.The 73-page report concludes that general market agencies need to fundamentally transform the current workplace culture to achieve "substantial, permanent change" in industry racial trends.
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Voting Rights Act is Challenged

Voting Rights Act is Challenged News "Do we still need laws ensuring fair election practices now that an African American has been elected to the nation’s highest political position? That’s now a question for the U.S. Supreme Court, which in April will entertain a challenge to the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Pictured: President Johnson with Dr. Martin Luther King celebrating the signing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. A Texas utility district contends that the law – which ensures that African Americans and other groups are no longer hindered from voting by such obstacles as poll taxes and literacy exams – was rendered unnecessary when Barack Obama was elected. Congress reauthorized the Voting Rights Act in 2006, and President Bush signed it into law."
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Modernizing Healthcare


I think this is a very good idea. If you look at the pockets of health care systems in different parts of this country, transferring records to a computerized system increases efficiency in many different areas. Also, this will create a lot of full-time and part-time jobs.

Obama's health care challenge - Jan. 12, 2009: "President-elect Barack Obama, as part of the effort to revive the economy, has proposed a massive effort to modernize health care by making all health records standardized and electronic. Here's the audacious plan: Computerize all health records within five years. The quality of health care for all Americans gets a big boost, and costs decline. Sounds good. But it won't be easy."
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Too Fat To Adopt?

Can you deny an adoption because one of the two parents is obese? I know obesity is not a protected class, but you have to have some reasonable justification and the fact that obesity is a health risk doesn't seem like enough. It isn't a guarantee that he'll die. I've seen many obese older people. I have heard of people with a history of cancer being denied adoption, but is this really the same thing?

Husband deemed too fat to adopt - Yahoo! Canada News "A man has been told he and his wife cannot adopt children because he is so fat that the authorities fear he will die, he said Monday. Damien Hall, who stands six feet, one inch tall, weighs 24 and a half stone. He therefore has a body mass index (BMI) of more than 42 and is thus considered morbidly obese. The call centre worker, 37, and his nanny wife Charlotte, 31, cannot have children of their own and approached Leeds City Council, about adopting."
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Obesity Outweights Overweight

The news stations are readying all that file footage of fat people walking down the street or eating, with their faces obscured because a new report offers some very serious news. There are now more obese people than overweight people. This is prolonged suicide.

Obese Americans now outweigh the merely overweight U.S. Reuters: "The number of obese American adults outweighs the number of those who are merely overweight, according to the latest statistics from the federal government. Numbers posted by the National Center for Health Statistics show that more than 34 percent of Americans are obese, compared to 32.7 percent who are overweight. It said just under 6 percent are 'extremely' obese. 'More than one-third of adults, or over 72 million people, were obese in 2005-2006, the NCHS said in its report."
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Interesting Odds & Ends


An interesting look at how we might be abl eto undercut the human traffikers in this country. Op-Ed Columnist - Striking the Brothels’ Bottom Line - The brothel business model is more vulnerable than it looks. There are ways we can make enslaving girls more risky and less profitable to push traffickers to quit.
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Obama's Re-election Chances

There are many different factors that will determine Obama's re-election possibilities, but we can all agree that his performance on the economy is the key factor. However, we should let the guy actually get into office and do something before we start talking about his re-election.

NYT reporter warns of one-term Obama - Alexander Burns - "White House reporters for The New York Times predict that the market collapse will force President-elect Barack Obama to abandon for now many of his campaign promises. If his stimulus plan 'doesn’t work out, he may very well be a one-term president,” said Jeff Zeleny, who covered Obama’s campaign. “It’s hard to imagine that he could be reelected if the economy’s in the exact same position four years from now.”"
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Blacks & The Horseracing Industry

I would argue that most black people are interested in horse racing than hockey, unless they live in the Midwest. But this article, Zast's Trackwords Column Horse Racing Commentary Horse Racing -, argues that the horse racing industry is to blame for the lack of interest.

"What is it about thoroughbred racing that makes it like ice hockey to African-Americans? Although black jockeys and trainers integrated the sport about 150 years before Willie O’Ree strapped on skates for the 1958 Boston Bruins, today – in the time of Barack Obama’s inauguration as the 44th president, horse racing seems as welcoming to blacks as Harry Reid was to Roland Burris."
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On Being A Black Lawyer


If you are a lawyer, or like me, a law student wondering what it is like being a minority lawyer in the industry, check out this blog, On Being A Black Lawyer. It's not philosophical or scientific, but still interesting to read.
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Immigrants Benefit from Charter Schools

Immigrants See Charter Schools as a Haven - "Charter schools, which are publicly financed but independently run, were conceived as a way to improve academic performance. But for immigrant families, they have also become havens where their children are shielded from the American youth culture that pervades large district schools."
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G.O.P.s Diversity Choice

Michael Steele seems like the best choice here. I hope he wins this.

At Key Moment, Diverse G.O.P. Leadership Choice - "As the nation is on the verge of inaugurating its first black president, the Republican Party is facing a telling choice: whether to elect its first black chairman. The contest for Republican Party chairman comes as Republican leaders seek to figure out what the party stands for, as well as what face to put forward as they struggle to avoid shrinking into a party of Southern white men in an increasingly diverse country. The six candidates are four white men, including two from the South, and two black men: Michael Steele, the former lieutenant governor of Maryland, and J. Kenneth Blackwell, the former Ohio secretary of state."
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Obama's Leadership In Black Health


Black health in America is in a crisis. Every new medical report seems to show an increased health risk to African Americans whether its heart disease, colon cancer, breast cancer, diabetes, blood pressure or obesity.
While Obama has been criticized for working out on Sundays instead of going to church, I think his fitness ethic could act as a positive message to African Americans about the need for exercise and good health.
He works out almost every day. He does cardio on the treadmill and elliptical machine. He does weight lifting and weight machines. He jogs, plays golf and of course, loves playing hoops. He snacks on trail mix and protein bars. Although it isn't necessary to be as stringent as he is (protein bars are gross), the country as a whole could use the example.

Poynter Online - Al's Morning Meeting "Presidents lead. Or they are supposed to. Will Barack Obama lead the country toward the same physical fitness that he has discovered?Presidents lead. Or they are supposed to. Will Barack Obama lead the country toward the same physical fitness that he has discovered?"
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African American Could Head NASA

Ex-astronaut emerges as NASA prospect - Space- "Former astronaut Charles F. Bolden Jr. is emerging as a lead candidate to head NASA in the Obama administration. If selected for the post, the 62-year-old would be the first African-American appointed to serve as NASA administrator. Bolden is a veteran of four spaceflights, with more than 680 hours in space, and retired from the Marine Corps in 2003 as a major general. A Naval Academy graduate, Bolden would be at the helm of the space agency for the construction and launches of NASA's new Ares rockets and Orion and Altair spaceships being built to return America to the moon."
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Jack Bauer & Barack Obama

The NY Times has an interesting article asking the question, can Jack Bauer make it in the age of Obama? The last two black presidents he worked for brought him nothing but trouble. With a New Era in Politics, Fox’s ‘24’ Has a New Focus -

Day 7, beginning this Sunday (can't you just stand it??!!) has Jack under interrogation for his torture tactics, but I think we all know he'll get out of this fine. Jack's punishment is his own misery.
Remember Day 1? Remember the opening scene of a plane explosion full of innocent people while the terrorist girl parachuted to safety? This episode premiered only two months after 9/11. The world doesn't have the taste for "any means necessary" anymore, so will this be reflected in Day 7? Is Jack wrong to continue his torturous ways or are his torturous ways one of the main reasons 9/11 hasn't happened here again?

It's a tough question, but all that matters is that Crazy Jack is coming back.
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A First in Black Leadership In Colorado


Obama sort of upstaged any other candidate who won election on November 4, but there are some worth noting in terms of African American progress. For the first time in Colorado both houses of the state legislature will be lead by African Americans.

Washington Times - Blacks lead both houses in Colo. "Terrance Carroll and Peter C. Groff can be forgiven if they're secretly annoyed with the president-elect for stealing their thunder. The two Coloradans are about to make history as the first blacks to preside over both houses of a state legislature in the same session. When the 2009 Colorado legislative session convenes Wednesday, Mr. Carroll will be sworn in as House speaker and Mr. Groff will resume his role as Senate president. It's a historic first in American politics, albeit one that's been largely overshadowed by the election of the first black man to the presidency. Mr. Groff, who served as Barack Obama's state campaign co-chairman, hinted that he may be getting a little tired of the president-elect's limelight-hogging ways."
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Can Obama Guarantee 3 Million Jobs Stay Here?

We all know Obama wants to create 3 million jobs through his stimulus plan, but can he guarantee those jobs stay in the U.S.? This CNN article, Stimulus made in the U.S.A., asked the same question. It's clear that this is Obama's intention, but when we look at how irresponsibly the banking industry used its bailout money, how do we know that companies who are part of this stimulus won't decide to save a little extra for themselves by sending jobs overseas? How can they be prevented from doing so? How can they be forced to guarantee that all jobs needed for the projects will stay in the U.S.?

"President-elect Barack Obama this week proposed a massive economic stimulus program with a lofty goal amid a deep recession: create 3 million jobs. How many of those jobs will end up in China, South Korea or other countries? Obama plans to rev up the nation's job-creation machine by spending hundreds of billions of dollars on a variety of public infrastructure projects, including rebuilding crumbling roads, bridges and schools. That will create new demand for fabricated building materials, creating an opportunity for out-of-work mill and factory workers to get back on the job."
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Obama Not Giving Up The Blackberry

I can relate to Mr. Obama because I would probably go into a state of shock and helplessness if someone took my Ipod Touch away. It's amazing how dependent on these things we get. It's just so convenient for hectic lifestyles and his will be the most hectic in the world for the next 4-8 years. CNN Political Ticker: All politics, all the time Blog Archive - Obama not giving up BlackBerry without a fight « - Blogs from "Barack Obama faces a host of challenges when he assumes the Oval Office later this month, but the hardest personally for the president-elect might just be relinquishing his cherished BlackBerry. Those who follow Obama on a regular basis know the president-elect is constantly on the addictive e-mail device. But the Secret Service, as well as Obama lawyers, are concerned it could easily be hacked and are demanding the new president hand over the BlackBerry before he moves into the White House. But in an interview with CNBC Wednesday, Obama made clear he's not giving it up without a fight. 'They're going to pry it out of my hands,' the president-elect said."
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Gupta For Surgeon General


Although I will miss his bits on CNN, I hope he takes this job. He's a very smart guy who can explain very complicated issues in a non-complicated way.

Sanjay Gupta Tapped for Surgeon General - BLACK ENTERPRISE: "America's most famous television surgeon, Sanjay Gupta, is poised to take his black bag and microphone to the White House as President- elect Barack Obama's choice for U.S. surgeon general . A neurosurgeon who is also a correspondent for CNN and CBS, Gupta was chosen as much for his broadcasting skills as his medical resume, suggesting that the incoming administration values visible advisers who can drive a public message. He has also been offered a top post in the new White House Office of Health Reform, twin duties that could make him the highest-profile surgeon general in history."
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Parsons to be Commerce Secretary

It's unfortunate that Bill Richardson had to pull out of consideration, but Time Warner former Chair and CEO, Richard Parsons wouldn't be a bad second choice. Rumors are that he is one of the top runner ups and he was a member of Obama's Transition Economic Advisory Board. He was a White House aide all the way back in the days of Ford.

Richard Parsons May Be Considered For Commerce Secretary - Broadcasting & Cable: "CNN was reporting late Tuesday that Richard Parsons, former chairman of CNN parent Time Warner, may be in line for Commerce Secretary in the Obama administration. That comes after former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson withdrew his nomination for that post Sunday (Jan. 4) due to an ongoing investigation into campaign contributors and state contracts."
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Jeb Bush Warns GOP

Yet another Republican coming out to warn against attacking Obama. Are these warnings necessary? If the Republicans didn't learn their lesson in this last election, then they never will.

Jeb Bush To GOP: Don't Attack Obama "In an interview with the LA Times, President Bush's brother Jeb explained why he isn't running for Senate and asked Republicans to go easy on the new president. Still, the former governor said he would continue to advocate for conservative ideas, and he offered a bit of advice to fellow Republicans: Don't target the new president with the same kind of partisan attacks that he said Democrats had hurled unfairly at his brother -- attacks that he summed up as 'Bush-hating.'

'The opposition should be about ideas, and not what my brother suffered through in the last eight years,' he said. 'I don't wish that on President Obama.' Bush said he had been impressed so far with Obama's appointments and called the president-elect someone who is 'smart, disciplined, not rash.'"
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Thanks But No Thanks

People find it scary that China might not want to buy anymore U.S. debt. I find it scarier that they have already bought $1 trillion.

China Is Losing Its Taste for U.S. Debt - "China has bought more than $1 trillion of American debt, but as the global downturn has intensified, Beijing is starting to keep more of its money at home, a move that could have painful effects for American borrowers. The declining Chinese appetite for United States debt, apparent in a series of hints from Chinese policy makers over the last two weeks, with official statistics due for release in the next few days, comes at an inconvenient time."
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Gov. Paterson Moving New York Forward

NY Gov. David Patterson has been the bearer of bad news, the unfortunate responsibility of the man in charge. New Yorkers are adults. They can take it, but after a while bad news only can take a toll on anyone. Good thing he has recently begun coming up with ideas to get people enthusiastic and optimistic again.

Editorial - Moving Forward in Hard Times - "Mr. Paterson’s low-budget wish list is full of compelling new ideas on energy, health care, obesity and other difficult issues. In the past, we would have warned that his biggest problem might be pushing New York’s notoriously difficult Legislature to go along. But this year, both legislative chambers are dominated by his fellow Democrats. That should make progress vastly easier, but it also should make it impossible for Democrats to blame Republicans if something does not get done."
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Burris Resolution Probably Soon


In watching the news, it appears that Burris is going to get the seat. Politics say no, but the law in the State of Illinois says yes.

Reid: Burris may ultimately get Senate seat - Capitol Hill- "Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had warm words for Roland Burris Wednesday, but said he likely won't be allowed to fill Barack Obama's Senate seat until a court in Illinois rules on a dispute surrounding his appointment.
Reid said the Senate is awaiting a court ruling in a case that tests whether the signature of the Illinois secretary of state is needed for Burris to take the seat vacated by President-elect Obama. He suggested that would be a step toward seating Burris."
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Obama Picks CPO From McKinsey

She sounds like a smart lady. I know a few McKinseyites and they are all pretty impressive. She should be able to help his streamlining efforts. And kudos for Obama continue to find highly qualified diverse folks.

Obama names pick for chief performance officer - "President-elect Barack Obama on Wednesday announced Nancy Killefer as his pick to be chief performance officer, a new position that Obama called 'one of the most important' appointments he will make.

'Change and reform can't just be election-year slogans. They must become fundamental principles of government,' Obama said at a news conference. The CPO will be charged with restoring fiscal order and reforming government. Killefer is a senior director for McKinsey & Company, a management consulting firm. She was an assistant secretary of the treasury in the Clinton administration."
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Political Cartoon of the Week


This is by Rex Babin at the Sacramento Bee

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Egyptian Women Paving The Way

Up to a 1,000 women may show up for the Quran lessons or twice-weekly religious lectures by women. On any given day, several hundred women buzz around the mosque, organizing clothing drives, cooking meals for the poor or teaching women to read. Al-Sedeeq also has medical clinics and a day care center for children of women who do volunteer work at the mosque.

Egyptian women break new ground at the mosque - "It's a startling sight in Egypt, where mosques have long been a man's realm. The few Egyptian women who appeared at mosques in the past had come to pray _ usually in small, partitioned-off corners _ or to make appeals at the shrines of holy figures, hoping for marriage, pregnancy or good grades for their children.

While men often socialize in mosques, women have traditionally been encouraged to practice their religion at home, where they can care for their children and husband."
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U.S. Colleges Go To Baghdad

A sign that things are getting better.

Bring Rifles and Books: College on a U.S. Base in Baghdad - "BAGHDAD -- It makes for a strange college campus: Cement blast walls, helicopters roaring overhead, packs of wild dogs howling, the risk of mortar and rocket attacks. Faculty keep Kevlar flak jackets at the ready. Students bring their rifles to class and leave them on the floor with the barrel pointing toward the front of the room.

In November, University of Maryland University College became the first U.S. college to begin offering classes on the ground in Iraq, soon joined by a school from Texas. It is a reflection of the greater stability in Iraq, as violence has dropped, and of the number of American troops leaving small urban outposts for large bases where the courses are taught."
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Burris Goes To Washington


Burris To DC: "The Lord Has Ordained" This: "Illinois U.S. Senate appointee Roland Burris is leaving for Washington on Monday afternoon for a high-stakes showdown on Capitol Hill about whether he'll succeed President-elect Barack Obama in Congress. Burris, appointed by embattled Gov. Rod Blagojevich, was leaving a day after dozens of black leaders and ministers organized by U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush gave him a rousing send-of at New Covenant Church on Chicago's South Side."
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Bill Richardson Departure

Rumors are that NM Gov. Richardson was not particularly candid with the Obama Transition team about the investigation and grand jury activity. However, I'm sure it was available to be found out and investigated without Richardson's cooperation. Either way, he's resigned and Obama will have to go back to the drawing board on this one. Richardson was going to be the highest ranking Hispanic on Obama's team so far, so unfortunately this puts a ding in that as well. Too bad. I like Richardson.

"Richardson, 61, who competed unsuccessfully for the Democratic presidential nomination last year, becomes the first political casualty in Obama's Cabinet, and his withdrawal marked the first visible crack in what had been one of the smoothest presidential transitions in modern history.

The former energy secretary and U.N. ambassador under President Bill Clinton was positioned to become the highest-profile Hispanic in Obama's administration. But Richardson made it clear yesterday that he thought confirmation was far from a sure thing, even with Democrats firmly in control of the Senate."

Political Punch: "Obama Team Feels Richardson Wasn't Forthcoming About Investigation Before Being Offered Commerce"
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Obama Girls Start School

CNN Political Ticker: All politics, all the time - Blogs from "President-elect Barack Obama doesn't begin his term for another two weeks, but daughters Sasha and Malia began theirs on Monday. According to the president-elect's transition office, Michelle Obama accompanied the two daughters to the Sidwell Friends School Monday morning — along with an expansive motorcade of U.S. Secret Service agents."
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A Threat To The Black Middle Class

Black middle class in crisis on The Louisiana Weekly: "The current economic crisis has waged a particularly severe attack on the Black middle-class in the United States, experts say.

For African-Americans, '2008 was not a good year,' said Algernon Austin, director of Program on Race, Ethnicity and the Economy at the Economic Policy Institute, 'and unfortunately, it looks like things will get worse.'"
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New Crime Statistics Not Good For Black Men

NEWS 25 - WEHT: Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro "New crime statistics show the number of younger African-American males involved in shooting deaths has skyrocketed over the last eight years, even as the murder rate nationwide is slowing down.

A study by criminologists at Northeastern University says 426 black males between the ages of 14 and 17 were killed in gun crimes last year. They say that's a 40% increase from 2000. The study finds an estimated 964 black males in the same age group committed fatal shootings in 2007, which is a 38% increase from seven years ago. The number of young white males committing gun-related homicides also rose during the same time period, but was not as dramatic.

The researchers put some of the blame on the Bush administration for cutting grants to local police and juvenile crime prevention programs. Incoming Vice President Joe Biden has promised funding to put 50,000 new police officers on the street."

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Resolution Breaker


I just wanted to do my part in breaking your new year's resolution to eat healthy. Come on. 2009 is going to be a tough year. Indulge. These are Rib Tips, very popular in my hometown of Chicago. I swear I gain 10 lbs everytime I go back to that city. Don't act like you don't want them.
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Time For Change


I hope you had a great New Year. It was an amazing year in so many ways; personally, professionally, politically, economically...take your pick.

You may have noticed that my presence at POLITOPICS has been sparse in the past few months. Actually, it has been pretty sparse since I came back from Europe last summer. Well, I've decided not to end POLITOPICS, but to change the format. I love sharing news that I find interesting and offering a centrist perspective on issues of race and/or politics. However, a lot has changed for me. Trying to finish law school, working and planning a wedding are about all I have time for.

So from now on, I'll be sharing interesting news with you, but not with so much commentary. Maybe a sentence or two, but mostly just the articles I'm reading and I think are interesting or are not being looked at by the mainstream media. Of course I'll be following the Obama administration and all the firsts and looking to share where black people are making a change, bucking a stereotype or just doing something new.

Here's to having as best a 2009 as we can have. I get the feeling its going to be a rough and tumble year for all of us, but we'll get through.
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