Tag Archives: independent

Oprah – Media Royalty

Article first published as Oprah – Media Royalty on Technorati.

"Oprah is a transcendent figure"
Oprah the King Maker

Oprah Gail Winfrey, better known to her adoring fans as just Oprah. Internationally known as the queen of daytime television (sorry Ellen DeGeneres your time will come).

For 25 years the Oprah Winfrey Show, or better known as the O, has been the show that has been penciled into almost every woman’s schedule at 4 o’clock eastern time has created a fan base that words can try to depict but cannot describe how many are dedicated to this show.

From humble beginnings in the Deep South to being one of the most powerful women in the world, her claim to fame is nothing short of amazing. Since this is the final season of Oprah we’ve decided to take a look back on not only Oprah’s career but the diverse number of fans and how much power the “Oprah Effect” has had on politicians, movie stars, ordinary people with a story to tell and everything in between.
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Republicans and Latinos

Article first published as Republicans and Latinos on Technorati.

Virgil Peck hates Latinos
Virgil Peck hates Latinos

Just when I thought I had heard it all, another conservative white guy tops the last idiot that says something goofy! I don’t know if I’m appalled,angry, surprised or what. It’s simply amazing to me. The Republican party’s tent keeps shrinking with each gaffe and insensitive remark. It’s absolutely amazing! The GOP’s “big tent” has turned into a circus!


They don’t seem to think that Republicans and Latinos go together. At least with former President Bush, he reached out to Latinos. His Attorney General was Latino as well as several members of his cabinet. His brother, Jeb Bush Gov. of Florida is married to a Latina and they aggressively sought their participation in the party.

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Michael Steele and the GOP

Embattled GOP Chairman Michael Steele will in all likelihood not be reelected to serve as head of the RNC. He has spent all of his political capital. His lack of money management skills and bad judgement has cost him dearly. It is the opinion of most liberals that he was the Republican Party’s stooge. Being named as the head of the RNC has always been viewed as a knee jerk reaction to President Obama’s election. He is window dressing at best. He was the GOP’s boy when it was convenient and it suited them.

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A Few Good Men

Gen Stanley McChrystal gets put in place by Obama"
Gen Stanley McChrystal gets put in place by Obama"

A Few Good Men -The ax has fallen on the fate of Gen. Stanley McChrystal; His insubordination has cost him his job. This is not the first time a general has been called on the carpet by the president. History is full of examples where presidents and generals have clashed.

The most notable examples of history are the famous clashes between Pres. Abraham Lincoln and General George B. McClellan. General McClellan frustrated Pres. Lincoln more and longer than any other general during the Civil War. He was eventually replaced by Gen. Ulysses S. Grant. We all know how the story ends.

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The New Jim Crow

I first heard of Michelle Alexander while listening to a podcast of Bill Moyer. I was riveted by what she had to say about the new Jim Crow. I was always aware of the disproportionate incarceration rates of young black males. The pathology and statistics she quoted were bone chilling. I was especially disturbed by her research on the complexities of the laws that have been enacted in order to keep black people, particularly black males in their place.

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Trouble ahead for RNC Chairman

Reporting from Washington — Republican National Committee Chairman Michael S. Steele said Sunday that he would provide records from his 2006 U.S. Senate campaign to the FBI in an effort to speed an apparent investigation into allegations of improper campaign spending.
Steele confirmed that his sister was recently contacted by FBI agents looking into allegations that his campaign paid a company she owned more than $37,000 in 2007 for campaign work that was never performed. The allegations were made by Steele’s former campaign finance chairman in an attempt to gain a more lenient prison sentence after he was convicted of fraud in an unrelated case.

In his first public comments on the issue, Steele said the transfer of records to the FBI was voluntary.

“I’m not going to wait for them to come to me. I’m going to take it to them and give them everything that they think they need. And if that’s not enough, we’ll give them more,” Steele told ABC’s “This Week” in an interview scheduled before the allegations became public.

Steele repeated denials issued by his spokesman in response to news reports after an article on the campaign manager’s allegations appeared in the Washington Post.

“It’s all false,” Steele said. “We’re being very proactive about this because I’m sick and tired of this ‘gotcha’ business that the Washington Post and others in the media attempt to engage in.”

Steele expressed frustration that the allegations had surfaced barely a week after his election as the first African American chairman of the Republican National Committee. In that position, he is responsible for raising and spending hundreds of millions of dollars.

“I want to clear up my good name. This is not the way I intend to run the RNC, with this over my head. We’re going to dispense with it immediately,” he said.

The U.S. attorney’s office in Baltimore has refused to say whether Steele or his sister, Monica Turner of Potomac, Md., are under investigation. However, a spokeswoman has confirmed that a document outlining the allegations against Steele was unintentionally provided to a Post reporter.

Alan B. Fabian, who had been finance chairman of Steele’s Senate campaign in Maryland, made the allegations in March in an effort to get a reduced sentence for his part in a $40-million fraud scheme.

Steele said Fabian’s inability to cut a deal with prosecutors showed there was “no credibility” to the allegations. But Fabian’s defense lawyer, in the sentencing document, maintained that Fabian got no credit for cooperating with the prosecution “presumably because its investigation is ongoing.”

Steele said that the $37,000 paid to a company owned by his sister was “a legitimate reimbursement of expenses.” The payment, for “catering and Web services,” was made in December 2007, more than 11 months after his sister folded the company.

“At the time when the checks were written back to her to reimburse her, she just said, ‘Go ahead and write the checks to the company,’ because the company had, you know, done the services that were provided,” said Steele, an attorney who practiced corporate law during the 1990s. “There are many companies out there that dissolve and still receive payment for services that are rendered, and so forth.”

Among the questions about the incident is why an investigation into Steele’s finances appears to have become more active about the same time that his political career was getting a huge boost with his election to head the RNC.

The former lieutenant governor of Maryland said federal agents recently contacted his sister “for purposes of closing out this matter. . . . The FBI is now in the position of winding this thing” up.

Steele contended that “if there were any funny business” involved with his 2006 Senate campaign, it would have been caught by other federal agencies before now. He said he has not been contacted personally by the FBI.


Will Obama have to be better because he’s black?

Just days before he was sworn in, President Obama was giving his daughters a tour of the Lincoln Memorial when one of them pointed to a copy of Abraham Lincoln’s second inaugural address carved into the wall.

Obama’s 7-year-old daughter, Sasha, told her father that Lincoln’s speech was really long. Would he have to give a speech as long? Obama’s answer was completed by his older daughter, 10-year-old Malia.

“I said, ‘Actually, that one is pretty short. Mine may even be a little longer,’ ” Obama told CNN recently. “At which point, Malia turns to me and says, ‘First African-American president, better be good.’ ”

The story is light-hearted, but it touches on a delicate question: Will people hold Obama to a different standard because he is the first African-American president?

Americans appear split by race on that answer. According to a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll, 53 percent of blacks say the American public will hold Obama to a higher standard than past presidents because he is black. Most whites — 61 percent — say Obama’s race will not matter in how he will be judged.

The question divided several people who were racial pioneers themselves.

Alexander Jefferson was one of the first blacks allowed to become a fighter pilot. He was a member of the Tuskegee Airmen, a group of black pilots who escorted bombers in World War II.

“We had to be twice as good to be average,” he said.

Obama won’t face the same pressures he did because his presidential predecessor was so inept, Jefferson says.

“No, the world is ready for him,” he said. “The [George W.] Bush debacle was so depressing.”

Jefferson was shot down by ground fire on his 19th mission and spent a year in German prison camps. He wrote about his POW experiences in “Red Tail Captured, Red Tail Free: Memoirs of a Tuskegee Airman and POW.”

Jefferson says he dealt with the pressures of being a racial pioneer by drawing on the strength of black leaders who opened doors for him.

“I sit on the backs of everyone who came before me,” said Jefferson, who attended Obama’s inauguration with other Tuskegee Airmen.

Jefferson says he would have emotionally imploded if he’d thought too much about the pressures of representing all blacks and dealing with the racism he encountered when he returned home to a segregated America after the war.

“I did what I had to do so I didn’t go stark-raving mad,” he said. “There wasn’t all this self-analysis and back and forth. I was too damn busy with a wife, a child and a mortgage.”

Michele Andrea Bowen couldn’t avoid a bout of constant self-analysis. She was one of the first African-American students admitted to a doctorate program in history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

“I know Obama is going to be held to a different standard,” said Bowen, author of “Up at the College” and books such as “Holy Ghost Corner,” which celebrate black faith and culture.

Bowen says she faced relentless scrutiny, and so will Obama.

“You know that it was hard for you to get in it, and you know they’re watching you,” Bowen said. “And you know that they’re judging you by a critical standard that’s sometimes not fair.”

Bowen says a white classmate, her partner in dissertation, once confided to her that he received the same grades as she did, even though he knew his work was inferior.

“It toughened me up,” Bowen said. “It can give you headaches and stomachaches. I learned you have to be thankful that God blessed you with that opportunity. At some point, you stop worrying, and you trust God.”

‘Would Bush have been president if he were black?’

Perhaps Obama will avoid those stomachaches because of the massive good will his election has generated. But that could change quickly if Obama makes a controversial decision or a mistake, says Andrew Rojecki, co-author of “The Black Image in the White Mind: Media and Race in America.”

Rojecki says people who say Obama isn’t going to be held to a different standard because of his skin color didn’t pay attention to his campaign.

He says Obama had to deal with challenges that other candidates didn’t have to face. Obama’s run for office was almost ended by his association with his minister, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, whose incendiary sermons shocked many.

But Republican presidential nominee John McCain’s relationship with the Rev. John Hagee, who was accused of anti-Semitism, never threatened to end his campaign, Rojecki says.

“Obama was held responsible for what his minister said, and McCain was associated with Hagee, but somehow that didn’t stick,” Rojecki said.

Even people who regard themselves as the most progressive, open-minded supporters may subconsciously hold Obama to a different standard, Rojecki says.

He says several academic studies show that it often takes people longer to associate good qualities to blacks when different faces are flashed across a screen.

“They have these stereotypes buried in their subconscious,” he said. “That’s why people cross the street when they see a young black man. They’d rather not take a chance.”

Obama virtually had to be perfect to overcome those stereotypes, Rojecki says. He was the first black editor of the Harvard Law Review, he has an Ivy League-educated wife and adorable daughters, and he ran a great campaign.

“He’s the perfect symbol of achievement,” Rojecki said.

White candidates for office don’t have to have an uninterrupted life of achievement to be considered for the Oval Office, Rojecki says.

“If George W. Bush were black, do you think he would be president?” Rojecki asked.

Jefferson, the Tuskegee Airman, says Obama should have at least one consolation. The problems he confronts now are so immense that anyone, even someone who was considered by many to be perfect, would not be able to escape withering judgment.

“If the president was Jesus Christ, ” Jefferson said, “they would still debate if he’s qualified.”


Recovering Republican

I have been a republican for 20 years. I took up the call for smaller, less obtrusive government, got a good education and pulled myself up out of poverty by bootstraps. And now, burning rubber out of the GOP and voting for Barak Obama! The last eight years of George W. Bush has sent our country into a tailspin. We have record deficits; we have lost respect all over the world. We are yet in another quagmire; Iraq! Our economy is the worst since the great depression. Our political currency is fading fast!

Obviously I could go on. The subprime mortgage meltdown could well be our undoing; As well as our allies and emerging nations around the world. We have a serious problem! What really has got my ire is the race baiting, demagoguery and fear mongering employed by the Republican Party. It’s disgusting, shameful and embarrassing. For the first time in a long time, I’m not very proud of my country!

I’m officially a refugee of GOP! And telling everyone I know they should vote for Obama. Here’s a man who is eloquent, intelligent, charismatic and has a lot of style. Not to mention very presidential! Someone we can all take pride in as our president. I actually thought we had gotten past the race issue in this country – not! When America was attacked on September 11th, 2001 we were all Americans. The terrorists didn’t give people a color a head start out of the towers. We all died together that day as Americans. That was the one day and for a few weeks afterwards I felt we were all in this together. That feeling has since dissipated.

It’s amazing to be that people would actually vote against their own best interests just because of Obama’s skin color. This election has proven once again that we have a long way to go in race relations. My white friends have asked me if I’m voting for Obama because he’s black. I’m voting for Obama as a Recovering Republican! I find this very amusing. I point out to them that when Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton ran I didn’t vote for either of them. I’m voting for Obama because he is qualified and our best chance at turning this country around. Yes this is a historic moment. I’m voting for a better America and a solution to our problem. It also happens that we are all taking part in history.

The double standard that is in play is sickening on a lot of levels. First off, if Michele Obama was on illegal pain killers and forging prescriptions Obama’s campaign would have been so over! If Obama’s daughter was a 17 year old who was pregnant out of wedlock the Republicans would have ran with it. If he was involved with firing a state employee and then trying to cover it up; you get the picture? If any one of these things had occurred Barak Obama would have been out of this race a long time ago.

The conduct of the crowds at McCain rallies is deplorable. This disgraceful behavior serves no purpose and is ultimately self-destructive. It’s hard to imagine civilized people behaving in such a fashion. So much for the stereotyped behavior of inner-city residents! McCain’s admonishment for the crowds to dial down there hateful and racist rhetoric comes too little too late. We don’t have to see eye to eye, however at the very least we should be able to agree to disagree.