Michelle Obama is My Kind of Woman

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(Image: Abagond)

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I should have said this a long time ago:

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Not since Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis has the White House of this country had a First Lady with so much class, sophistication and personality.

In a short piece she wrote for U.S. News, Michelle encapsulated exactly what I feel is discussed far too rarely in the buzz of politics: education standards in the United States.

Particularly surrounding topics like Science and Math.

U.S. News & World Report

“America‘s Future Lies in Its Teachers”

Michelle Obama –

When we think about the qualities that make an outstanding teacher–boundless energy and endless patience; vision and a sense of purpose; the creativity to help us see the world in a different way; commitment to helping us discover and fulfill our potential–we realize: These are also the great qualities of a leader. Today, more than ever before, we need precisely this kind of leadership in our classrooms.

The challenge to our schools is not just an overall teacher shortage but a shortage of good teachers in where they are most essential: high-need schools that face some of the most daunting obstacles but have students with so much potential. We also have a shortage of teachers in subjects like math and science that we know will be critical in our children’s future.

Today, we need a new generation of leaders to take their place in our nation’s schools. We need passionate, talented, committed men and women to step up and devote themselves to preparing our students to succeed in this new century.

James O’Keefe: The ACORN Slander Artist

There are four vicious slanderers that have promoted a smear campaign on a community organization group using so-called “investigative journalism” recently.

In this age of misreported facts and “gotcha-journalism” those who claim to hold the truth dear and have a love for American democracy would do well to take note of these modern propagandists and spreaders of lies.

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1. James O’Keefe III

2. Hannah Giles

3. Andrew Breitbart

4. Mike Flynn

James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles have both lied on the air of the FOX News show “Hannity” regarding the issue of being asked to leave from ACORN offices in the process of their film making.

Both of these slander artists have received training from the same training organization that Ann Coulter attended. They are skilled at crafting a message to be as provocative as possible, but not by any means accurate or provable.

Katherine Conway Russel, Office Director of ACORN Housing Corp. Philadelphia, explains what her group actually does and what a vital role they can serve in the community.

The Philadelphia ACORN office is on record as filing a police report against O’Keefe and Giles for misrepresenting themselves and making illegal requests.

O’KEEFE: “In none of the facilities — none of the facilities kicked us out. That’s a lie.”

BREITBART: “There’s no place, as ACORN tried to state, that kicked them out based upon the premise that they were doing something nefarious.”

Both Breitbart and O’Keefe reveal in their quotes that they have no credibility behind their case. They claim ACORN is a “criminal organization” but engaged in illegal videotaping to produce these videos and have made baseless slanders against ACORN CEO Bertha Lewis even as the people in question have been fired for their actions caught on tape.

Were it the goal of these people to see quality, ethical journalism they would not misrepresent themselves nor place a blanket charge of criminality to the entire organization by value of the misdeeds of a few.

These slander artists are clearly seeking to destroy an organization based on political and possibly racial motives, and are clearly not invested in uncovering malpractice for the betterment of the community.

O’Keefe has been asked to leave the Leadership Institute after taping phone calls with Planned Parenthood representatives in which he made the proposition of a possible donation under the condition the money would go toward an abortion of a black child.

James O’Keefe has expressly chosen to target a group that helps mainly impoverished blacks living in the inner-city. He has a record of creating disgusting racial sentiments in his own mind and then imposing that racist view to any person unlucky enough to answer his phone call. There is no small amount of evidence to assume that O’Keefe harbors ill will toward African-Americans.

It is also very likely that this story has been picked up but poorly reported on by certain media figures because of a strong desire to connect President Barack Obama with ACORN’s problems.

If these same newsmedia-types were to convey that the credibility of these film makers is below even the lowest measuring bar I might not call them biased, but to me it just proves once more that bias against the truth is one of the strongest factors present in the news media today.

ACORN is currently suing Breitbart and O’Keefe for illegally videotaping their offices in Maryland.

One of the only people to speak any amount of truth on the matter has been Joe Conason of Salon.

Joe Conason quite clearly lays out that this has been exaggerated from the very beginning, that ACORN helps struggling families, and stating the fact that ACORN has never been found guilty of any voter registration fraud.

Andrew Breitbart, on the other hand, produced a piece on RealClearPolitics that touts the entire slander crusade as courageous. Breitbart is quite clear that he stands with the McCarthyist tactics involved in the Van Jones resignation.

I see the same anti-American tactics at play in this un-Christian and ungodly campaign against minorities and against all of the poor. These people care nothing for the hard facts, and only care to paint others with a brush of guilt by association.

If one person is guilty of something in an ACORN office, they all are guilty in all ACORN offices. Evidence and solid proof be damned!

There is a strong value in good investigative journalism, but no value in anti-minority slander campaigns.

The people in the videos were dismissed and this in itself was a small service to ACORN, however the purpose of the video series was never to improve ACORN but rather to destroy it. Rather than balancing the matter with facts and open disclosure of the footage, these slander artists have elected to lie about the number of times they were asked to leave. This in itself calls to question if they have any desire to cover the story or if they merely wish to present this as irrefutable case of corruption regardless of solid facts.

The American Media also failed utterly to convey this story in full.

Jon Stewart of The Daily Show jumped on board the ACORN smash-wagon.

The Washington Post has ignored the fact that O’Keefe and Giles previously claimed they were never turned away from any office.

FOX News (to my knowledge) has made no effort to obtain the police report, in the procession of CNN, to refute the on-air claim that they were never asked to leave any ACORN office.

And I won’t even get into the matter of the numerous outright lies told on the radio.

I believe this story is an excellent example of how easy it is to besmirch and publicly defame a group.

On that topic, the group Live Action that O’Keefe belongs to is a corrupt organization that uses racial entrapment to levee false claims against innocent citizens. This possibly criminal organization apparently promotes illegal videotaping, dishonest conduct when speaking with the press and engages in false advertising of it’s purposes and functions.

This group is dangerous to our country, dangerous to our communities and dangerous to our democracy. Live Action films is an agent of propaganda and an actor in baseless public defamation.

James O’Keefe, Hannah Giles, Mike Flynn and Andrew Breitbart are currently invested in actions aimed against the well being of the community and against the well being of the poor.

I cannot remain silent as this group of vile individuals wage war against the needy and seek to destroy a community-based group that lends aid to others, rather than seeking to improve it.

Tea Party Folks Did Not Vote In ‘08

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“I was actually black before the election.”

— President Barack Obama

I well aware of how vastly arrogant my headline for this post is.

I’m not a TEA Party (“Taxed Enough Already”) person, nor a right-winger, nor a libertarian, nor a fringe radical. But I actually pay attention to both sides of the political spectrum, in fact all sides of the political spectrum, and I do it on my own without relying on the work of others to decipher it all for me.

I am stepping outside of my ‘box’ here, but what I’m telling you is based off of real comments of real people who didn’t get paid more if they screamed louder or lied harder.

And these people enraged with everything Obama does or says did not vote. Period.

They all sat home and decided that it was all a wash. Or the vast majority of them did at least. Maybe a few voted for the anti-American psychopath Alan Keyes.

Now Obama came out to say, in a very clever way, that the animosity against him is political and not racial.

I think very likely this is, for the most part, completely accurate.

A lot of these people are so angry because they didn’t vote. And that’s really it. There isn’t a lot more to understand.

Sure they are ‘anti-government‘, but not really. They are only anti-government when the government is run by mainly Democrats and their hatred for the government dissolves as soon as the Republicans are in power. It’s laughable and complete partisanship, but also not racist in any form.

The issue of this modern strain of racism is far more subtle and far more disguised than something so simple as overt anti-black statements.

This is part of why the rightwing cannot process the words of Jimmy Carter.

His courageous words involved looking at the world in more than a black-and-white, on-and-off, bumper sticker mentality. One must dabble in nuance and undercurrents to come to this conclusion.

It’s rather simple:

Some white people in this country are not willing to share power with non-whites.

If you actually read Carter’s comments, that is exactly what he said.

And it would be deplorable and insane if President Barack Obama was going to back up the words of Jimmy Carter. That would be completely wrong-headed and bad for the country.

So this whole issue has been a-swing-and-a-miss in terms of the conservative response to these charges. They constantly imply that Carter said that all rejection of Obama is based on race and everyone political knows that such a statement is completely false.

This example here of the TEA Party people and how they in fact placed no trust in democracy whatsoever during the election and then want to place faith in democracy through protest at this stage is just one of many examples that shows that it‘s not all racial motives.

Basically they came late to table and that’s part of their extreme bitterness. They are quite angry with themselves for the nonsense they were spouting, that I was listening to, that voting was completely pointless. Now they really wish they had gotten out there.

The big point a lot of people on the left fail to make about all this is that it is the failure to reject racialists like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh and the failure to reject McCarthyist claims, that started long before Glenn Beck started repeating them, is the best example of racism in The Republican Party.

The howling silence from major ticket Republicans in regards to race-baiting and McCarthyism running wild in their party is pretty much the best evidence that exists that not only was Carter right, he understated the problem.

But I’m no brazen fool, I know exactly what I’m asking the GOP to do. I want them to throw away the Southern White Racists and throw away the White Nationalists, both of which really do vote Republican. So my request is for them to throw away votes.

And they won’t do that. Especially not now that they are wounded, limping party relying on media hounds to do CPR to their wrinkled husk.

But it’s about doing what is right for the country even when that might not be what is best for the party.

And this complete unwillingness to even admit that a boil of festering racism exists upon the fringe of the rightwing, makes me think that perhaps this veiled racism against any non-white leadership is actually present in a vast majority of cases.

Something Carter never said. Something I’ve never heard anyone say whatsoever.

But when many people won’t even explain why they believe Carter was mistaken and all they do is engage in bigoted insults against him, misrepresent what he said and just plain arrogantly insult anyone who backs Carter up; it truly does the beg the question if they just view the matters from a different lens or if they actually are so enraged because they know these statements are true and cannot abide by it being discussed openly in public.

Druge Report Cover Slanders Obama

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Today on The Drudge Report we see the latest example of bias and slander against the president by means of using a misleading photo of Barack Obama above the title of the wbsite.

ABC has the whole video, in which you can see what truly transpired.

Yahoo News is where the link provided by Drudge leads you, but the headline “The Second Stimulus” has nothing to do with the article on Yahoo from which this image originated from.

Mike Drudge knows exactly what he is doing by only posting that photo above and then linking into an article that not enabled with the video version thus the ‘whole story.’

It is clear to me, and everyone who did more than giggle at the cover piece, that Drudge will use any excuse to slander and degrade the image of President Barack Obama. Even at the cost of his own credibility.

Todd Venezia of The Washington Post managed to squeeze the truth of the matter into the very last paragraph of his piece.

It was in fact Sarkozy taking a look at the young lady’s behind, and not Obama. But such facts mean nothing to people care to do nothing but demean Obama’s character with their every breath.

The only person affliated with FOX News to accurately report on this issue has been Greta Van Susteren. Further enforcing the concept that FOX News is a network mainly dedicated to this style of misleading coverage of news events and utterly biased content.

The Two Americas

Left versus Right political divides seem to be at all time highs.

We live in two different spheres of media and politics, where there is no common ground whatsoever.

Even within defining the past and simple definitions of words there is no mutual understanding between groups.

The Liberal versus Conservative Debate cannot take place under these conditions, and ultimately does nothing but aggravate social divisions.

Each side blames the other for this via biased-media and partisan rancor.

Partisanship is inevitable. Each side must strive to avoid not only personal bias when discussing politics, but also avoid media bias when consuming political media. Many mistake this suggestion as promoting only specifically formatted media shows as “appropriate.”

I instead suggest hearing both sides of the debate. Every liberal should boldly consume partisan media of the right as should every conservative boldly consume partisan media of the left. Bias is easily recognized by being completely unwilling to weigh both sides of a contentious issue.

President Barack Obama, spoke out early in his presidency against partisanship on the right and specifically named the radio conservative Rush Limbaugh. Obama specifically urged conservatives Americans to stray away from partisans like Limbaugh, and with good reason.

While we all have partisanship within us there are certain figures in media who exhibit a bias so strong it’s questionable if it is indeed genuine. Rush Limbaugh may well be far less partisan against liberals than he appears while on the air.

The bottom line is partisanship sells media. As long as media consumers of all political persuasions wish to only have their own opinions echoed back at them the partisan media will continue to thrive. This leads to the Two Americas of our politics today.

A land where intolerance of thought is standard. A land of our own creation.

Eric Lightborn
May 11th 2009