Friday, December 19, 2008

Is Obama Dodging The Illinois Senate Issue?

President-elect Barack Obama has deftly deflected the question regarding whether anyone in his camp has had contact with Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich. Obama has used the pending investigation as a crutch to not release the results of an internal investigation, but Chicago news reporters want to continue to put heat on Obama to push for a special election according to the Chicago Tribune.

Obama is clearly trying to protect his boy Rahm Emanuel, who clearly had contact with Blaagojevich about preferred Senate candidates. I can't put heat on our president-elect for that as it appears that Emanuel did nothing wrong in making contact with the Illinois governor.

Is Caroline Kennedy Going The Affirmative Action Route?

Caroline Kennedy has been the buzz in political circles since she expressed interest in the New York senate seat now being vacated by Sen. Hillary Clinton. Yesterday she met with Rev. Al Sharpton at Sylvia's Restaurant, and was bombarded by throngs of reporters once the two exited the restaurant.

The New York Daily News writes that Kennedy shouldn't be given the seat by Gov. David Paterson simply because she's the last remaining child of John F. Kennedy. There will be heavy pressure on Paterson to appoint Kennedy to the seat, as she endorsed our incoming president-elect and was part of the V.P. vetting process. With Obama, Clinton, and now Sharpton in her corner Kennedy will probably get appointed to the post. The fact that she has a passion for education seals the deal in my opinion.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The 1980 Obama Cool

Back in 1980 when Lisa Jack was a college student at Occidental College in Los Angeles she asked "a really cute" young man to pose for a photo shoot. Little did she know that 28 years later, that Barack Obama would be our President-elect.

The new president-elect was chosen Time Magazine's 2008 Person of the Year this week and Jack supplied the magazine with some of the photos which can be viewed here. Thanks to the New York Post for the article.

Keyshia Now 3 For 3

R&B Superstar Keyshia Cole released her third album this week titled "A Different Me" and expects the album to debut with sales in the 250k-300k range, which would give her a #2 debut behind singer Taylor Swift on next weeks charts.

It looks like Cole is headed to her third straight platinum disc, further cementing her role as the Mary J. Blige of her generation.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Queensberry Avenue Needs A Bailout Too

Linda Dennis grew up on Queensberry Avenue in Baltimore in the 1950s and 1960s, and now laments about "how happy people were." Fast forwarding to 2008, and the neighborhood is not quite the same. Drug dealers now harass the neighbors and vandalize property in an effort to force their will on the neighborhood, and essentially keep the neighborhood hostage.

Dennis, who moved back to her childhood home in 1996 so her mother could live her final days in her childhood home, now fears for her life and spoke to the Baltimore Sun in an effort to solicit help from anyone who will listen. Mrs. Dennis has the courage to speak out against the dealers, who are ravaging her childhood neighborhood. There are many more people who simply live as prisoners in their own homes and neighborhoods. Since we're we now in the business of bailing out everyone, perhaps the president-elect will travel to Queensberry Avenue in Baltimore and lend a helping hand.

Paterson Wants To Implement iTax

If New York Gov. David Paterson has his way, music and movies downloaded on iTunes will require a tax in an effort to minimize the New York budget shortfall according to the New York Post. The average song downloaded on iTunes that costs $.99 would cost $1.07 if the tax is implemented. Critics of the measure state that it will only increase music piracy, which is still out of control. Gov. Paterson may want to reconsider this proposal, he probably will be disappointed in the revenue that would be generated from the taxes.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Detroit School Board Ousts School Chief

It looks like city school superintendents now have the job security of an N.B.A. head coach. Last week, Los Angeles city schools ousted their school head, and yesterday, the Detroit School Board removed Connie Calloway of her duties as head of the city's school district as reported by the Detroit Free Press. Calloway has been blamed for the financial issues of the troubled school district, and was only on the job for 18 months.

In these tough times, bottom line accomplishments is all that matters.

Obama Taps Arne Duncan As Education Secretary

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that President-elect Barack Obama will nominate Chicago public schools chief Arne Duncan to be his Education Secretary. Duncan's bio is listed below:

Arne Duncan graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University in 1987, majoring in sociology. He was co-captain of Harvard's basketball team and was named a first team Academic All-American. From 1987-1991, Mr. Duncan played professional basketball in Australia, where he also worked with children who were wards of the state.

Duncan returned to Chicago in 1992 to direct the Ariel Education Initiative, which seeks to create outstanding educational opportunities for inner-city children on the City's South Side. In 1998, he joined the Chicago Public Schools.
In June, 2001, Mayor Richard M. Daley named Duncan Chief Executive Officer of the Chicago Public Schools.

Duncan currently serves on the Boards of the Ariel Education Initiative, Chicago Cares, The Children's Center, the Golden Apple Foundation, the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence, Jobs for America's Graduates, Junior Achievement, the National Association of Basketball Coaches' Foundation, Renaissance Schools Fund, Scholarship Chicago and the South Side YMCA.

He also serves on the Board of Overseers for Harvard College and the Visiting Committees for Harvard University's Graduate School of Education and the University of Chicago's School of Social Service Administration. He was a fellow in the Leadership Greater Chicago's class of 1995, and a member of the Aspen Institute's Henry Crown Fellowship Program, Class of 2002. He has received honorary degrees from the Illinois Institute of Technology, Lake Forest College and National Louis University.

In 2006, the City Club of Chicago named Duncan Citizen of the Year.

This is one of Obama's most critical appointments, as our educational system is in shambles especially in our inner cities. Duncan, is a basketball buddy of the president-elect, here's hoping that Duncan is up to the task.

Barkley Rips Alma Mater For Not Hiring Black Football Coach

Former NBA basketball player turned sports analyst and social commentator, Charles Barkley, has ripped his Alma Mater Auburn University for not hiring a black head football coach who he felt was qualified for the position. Auburn hired Gene Chizik who went 5-19 in his only coaching experience at Iowa State, instead of a black coach Turner Gill whose record is 15 - 22 at Buffalo State. Barkley stated the following:

“It’s a comment on Auburn. It’s a comment on the state of Alabama,” Barkley said Monday night. “I just feel sadness because you know what people think of the South and Alabama, things like that. And you just hope that at some point, that people are going to say we’re going to change this. Or it’s just going to stay status quo.”

Charles Barkley is one of the few ex-athletes who will openly speak about race issues. Whether you agree or disagree with him, he calls it likes he sees it. Thanks to the Atlanta Journal Constitution for the article.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Unanswered Questions

The weekend has passed, and the Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich arrest scandal still simmers with no real answers from our President-elect Barack Obama regarding who on his team spoke with the embattled governor about the now vacant Senate seat in Illinois. writes about the "unanswered questions" from the president-elect. It's already been confirmed that incoming chief of staff Rahm Emanuel had spoken with the Illinois Gov about the vacant Senate seat.

If Blagojevich doesn't resign within the next few days, Obama needs to simply address the ongoing issues of who spoke with Blagojevich, and go about working on his transition to the presidency.

Google to Digitize Ebony and Jet Archives

The Chicago Tribune reports that Google will be digitizing archives of Ebony and Jet magazine in a partnership with Johnson Publishing Company. Currently issues published after 1960 can be viewed at Google Book Search.
I must admit that I never knew that this existed. School aged kids looking to do research can read an entire older issues of the magazines on their computer. Amazing!.

Michelle Supports Defense Secretary Gates

The New York Daily News is reporting that Robert Gates, who's staying on as Secretary of Defense has a friend in Michelle Obama. The incoming First lady is said to be deeply moved with Gates' penchant for sending personal handwritten letters to families of troops killed in action. Michelle Obama is too smart not to have heavy influence on her husband's decision making. I'm sure she'll continue to work behind the scenes, and ultimately find her own niche and sphere of influence within the Obama administration.

Trillion Dollar Stimulus

Reuters is reporting that the once projected $600 billion stimulus package being projected by President-elect Barack Obama, may reach $1 trillion. I thought that welfare as we knew it, had ceased to exist. These numbers just keep getting larger and larger.