Friday, November 21, 2008

The First Black President- Only Comedy

New Jersey and Business - Imperfect Together

The state of New Jersey continues to expand its unfriendly attitude toward small business in the form of added taxes, fees, regulations and mandates that benefit the state, and cost business and consumers more at each turn, all the while destroying jobs.

Recent bills pending, and some passed, have further invaded small business operations causing increased compliance through additional paperwork, administrative costs, certain certifications of owners and employees, and registration fees. These are always designed to benefit the state coffers, and cost consumers more through increased prices for goods and services.

The New Jersey State Commission of Investigation's 51-page report about shoddy and deficient construction practices called "The good, The Bad and the Ugly" has spawned a bill (A1355) that would seriously limit self-repairs by owners. The bill limits what a homeowner can do with his property, and limits that owner to the property they reside in. Also included is a clause that any unlicensed tradesman working for the homeowner under their supervision must have FICA and withholding tax deducted from his pay.

Other provisions attempt to remedy improper installations, shoddy materials and work, and insure that all contractors on the job are licensed, with increased penalties for non-compliance. Building code inspectors, paid by the state and municipalities, did not do their jobs adequately and therefore New Jersey homeowners now have the responsibility of added costs and compliance. This bill also targets most of the building trades, and associated services such as pool and spa service, and heating and cooling service.

Other bills target various service and retail businesses imposing newer and higher fees and regulations. Included are Jewelers (A3337), Health and fitness clubs (S2164), recently passed Landscape Architects (P.L.2008, c.77), and Barbers (S1240). All with one or more requirements including background checks, educational requirements with continuing education a requirement, and of course the fees for applications and maintaining the license-all passed on to the consumer.
These bills, among others now being considered, make the state a major partner in that it attempts to run the show and take a cut of the proceeds to fuel government growth. Businesses are being relegated to do more paperwork and comply with additional mandates. Rules and laws are becoming so complicated that compliance creates paranoia for businesses that they are not following the 'letter of the law'. In effect, the state is eroding the reasons people open and continue businesses such as monetary, independence, and self-fulfillment.

Steve Lonegan
State Director
Americans For Prosperity

Lecture 1 | African-American Freedom Struggle (Stanford)

Monday, November 17, 2008

President Elect Obama Playing Hoops

Right and Wrong on Gay Marriage: Steve Chapman

When you set out to do something important, it doesn't matter just whether you achieve it — it also matters how. That's why Hank Aaron is a baseball immortal for breaking the career home run record, while Barry Bonds, who did the same, is a pariah.

The maxim holds true in public policy as well as sports. Same-sex marriage is a noble goal designed to serve both individual freedom and social health. But a wholesome end doesn't justify every possible means.

Massachusetts, California and (just this month) Connecticut have all legalized gay marriage the wrong way — by impatient, unpersuasive judicial decrees. Now California voters have the chance to do it the right way — by the free consent of the governed.

The Connecticut Supreme Court decision that came down on Oct. 10, which echoed the California ruling, was a reminder of the flimsiness of the case for judicial imposition of same-sex marriage. The justices said depriving gays of the right to marry would deprive their children of the "immeasurable advantages that flow from the assurance of a stable family structure." But the state had already provided those adults and their children exactly that, in a 2005 law giving gays the legal benefits of marriage under the rubric of civil unions.

Under state law, civil unions are, as everyone agrees, substantively indistinguishable from what heterosexuals get. The trial court in this case found that the effect of the civil union law "has been to create an identical set of legal rights in Connecticut for same-sex couples and opposite-sex couples." The only difference is the name.

But that didn't particularly impress the state Supreme Court, which says the law deprives homosexual couples of the equal protection of the law. Far from advancing their equality, it concluded, the legislature "has relegated them to an inferior status." And: "There is no doubt that civil unions enjoy a lesser status in our society than marriage."

Really? No doubt at all? As one dissenting justice noted, expressing his own doubt, "what is perceived or considered to be an inferior status in a given society may not be readily apparent when the subject is a brand-new institution." It may be that over time people will come to regard civil unions as a pale imitation of marriage.
The alternative is they will come to regard them as the full, though distinct, equivalent.

It's a comforting cliche that separate means unequal, but we know better. No one thinks that when a university fields sex-segregated sports teams, it brands women as inferior.

To say that gays should have access to civil unions rather than marriage could mean society regards them as unworthy of true matrimony. Or it could mean society sees same-sex unions not as worse or better than marriage but simply different, and thus properly designated by another name.

Which will it be? At this early stage, the only reasonable answer is: We. Don't. Know. And there is only one way to find out: by giving civil unions some time to operate. The Connecticut court, like its Golden State counterpart, pronounced them inadequate without bothering to acquire the valuable knowledge that would flow from a real-world test.

But the question before California voters is not whether the court correctly interpreted the equal protection clause of the state constitution. It is whether gay couples should be deprived of the right to marry that they gained a few months ago. And the best course would be the one spurned by the Supreme Court: to let the new policy remain in effect long enough to judge its value.

It's not as though any heterosexual couple loses anything from the change. And the effect of letting gays wed is bound to be healthy for everyone, since marriage fosters long-term relationships, discourages irresponsible sexual behavior and offers a tested means of protecting children.

Now that gay marriage is in place in California, the public might as well see if it lives up to the promises of supporters or the warnings of opponents. If the latter prove right, there will always be time to pass the sort of measure that is on the ballot this year. And if not, Californians will be glad they held off.

A few state supreme courts have decided they don't need the evidence of experience to make their judgment on same-sex marriage. That's no reason voters should make the same mistake.

Friday, November 14, 2008

A conversation about oil, Charlie Rose Show

with Charles Maxwell and Daniel Yergin
in Business on Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Who Will Be New Jersey First Black Governor?

A Generation of bad analysis about black boys

America has lost a generation of Black boys

There is no longer a need for dire predictions, hand-wringing, or apprehension about losing a generation of Black boys. It is too late. In education, employment, economics, incarceration, health, housing, and parenting, we have lost a generation of young Black men. The question that remains is will we lose the next two or three generations, or possibly every generation of Black boys hereafter to the streets, negative media, gangs, drugs, poor education, unemployment, father absence, crime, violence and death.

Most young Black men in the United States don’t graduate from high school. Only 35% of Black male students graduated from high school in Chicago and only 26% in New York City, according to a 2006 report by the Schott Foundation for Public Education. Only a few black boys who finish high school actually attend college, and those few Black boys who enter college, nationally, only 22% of them finish college. Young Black male students have the worst grades, the lowest test scores, and the highest dropout rates of all students in the country.

When these young Black men don’t succeed in school, they are much more likely to succeed in the nation’s criminal justice and penitentiary system. And it was discovered recently that even when a young Black man graduates from a U.S. college, there is a good chance that he is from Africa, the Caribbean or Europe, and not the United States.

Black men in prison in America have become as American as apple pie.

There are more Black men in prisons and jails in the United States (about 1.1 million) than there are Black men incarcerated in the rest of the world combined. This criminalization process now starts in elementary schools with Black male children as young as six and seven years old being arrested in staggering numbers according to a 2005 report, Education on Lockdown by the Advancement Project. The rest of the world is watching and following the lead of America. Other countries including England, Canada, Jamaica, Brazil and South Africa are adopting American social policies that encourage the incarceration and destruction of young Black men.

This is leading to a world-wide catastrophe.

But still, there is no adequate response from the American or global black community. Worst of all is the passivity, neglect and disengagement of the Black community concerning the future of our Black boys. We do little while the future lives of Black boys are being destroyed in record numbers.The schools that Black boys attend prepare them with skills that will make them obsolete before, and if, they graduate. In a strange and perverse way, the Black community, itself, has started to wage a kind of war against young Black men and has become part of this destructive process.

Who are young Black women going to marry? Who is going to build and maintain the economics of Black communities? Who is going to anchor strong families in the Black community? Who will young Black Boys emulate as they grow into men? Where is the outrage of the Black community at the destruction of its Black boys? Where are the plans and the supportive actions to change this? Is this the beginning of the end of the Black people in America?

The list of those who have failed young Black men includes our government, our foundations, our schools, our media, our Black churches, our Black leaders, and even our parents. Ironically, experts say that the solutions to the problems of young Black men are simple and inexpensive, but they are not easy or popular. It is not that we lack solutions as much as it is that we lack the will to implement these solutions to save Black boys. It seems that government is willing to pay billions of dollars to lock up young Black men, rather than the millions it would take to prepare them to become viable contributors and valued members of our society.

Please consider these simple goals that can lead to solutions for fixing the problems of young Black men: Short term 1) Teach all Black boys to read at grade level by the third grade and to embrace education. 2) Provide positive role models for Black boys. 3) Create a stable home environment for Black boys that includes contact with their fathers. 4) Ensure that Black boys have a strong spiritual base. 5) Control the negative media influences on Black boys. 6) Teach Black boys to respect all girls and women. Long term 1) Invest as much money in educating Black boys as in locking up Black men. 2) Help connect Black boys to a positive vision of themselves in the future. 3) Create high expectations and help Black boys live into those high expectations. 4) Build a positive peer culture for Black boys. 5) Teach Black boys self-discipline, culture and history. 6) Teach Black boys and the communities in which they live to embrace education and life-long learning.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Brooks Starting New Civil Rights Group

Daryl Mikell Brooks, President

Message from Brooks
My friends, America is a troubled place and we have all seen too many dreams fade away in the face of hopelessness. We have millions who are impoverished, millions in prisons, and millions more without access to decent healthcare. We live in a nation where not one, but both of the leading parties - yes Democrats and Republicans - have abandoned those who need them the most in order to guarantee the privilege of those who line their pockets. But there is one thing they have forgotten; there is one thing that they have underestimated. They have forgotten that it is precisely those who struggle who built this country and it is the poor, the oppressed and the neglected who will fight the good fight to make it great.

As the President of the Poor Peoples Campaign, I have joined people of faith all across this country in taking up the banner of the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to say that we must not let dreams of a better world remain dreams. We must fight to make those dreams a reality. We must always pray with our hearts, but we must also pray with our hands for a tomorrow where equality, opportunity, peace and justice are not just nice words at campaign time but the lived experience of every generation.

And what kind of prayer will that be? It will be a prayer to reform a criminal justice system that continues to measure color of skin towards verdict. It will be a prayer where all people are treated with the dignity they deserve with access to health care. It will be prayer that seeks to squash poverty, where we fight for better schools and education and where we protect affirmative action. It is a prayer to preserve this creation that God has so blessed us with and to restore cities, suburbs and country. It a prayer where we end senseless wars abroad and at home.

My dear citizens it will always be dangerous to raise our voice as the citizens of old once did. We will always be at risk for attempting to right wrongs, but I must ask: if not now, then when? If not us, then who? The time has come for a new voice, one that places peace and justice at the very heart of its ideology. The time has come to admit that the party we have supported for so long has taken us for granted. It is time now for the Poor People’s Campaign.

= To Resurrect the People to go out and improve their communities

To Resurrect the People to go out and improve their community focusing on
Direct Action, Justice System Reforms, Immigration, Community Economics, Random Violence, Gang-related Violence, Non-Violent Methods, and Housing.

 Adequate jobs for the unemployed and the underemployed.
 A massive program of building and renovation to provide decent housing for the poor and those Americans who live on minimum, fixed income.
 Better schools that will provide students with a world class education.
 Adequate medical and dental care for all Americans.
 The elimination from the law enforcement and judicial systems of whatever forms of discrimination against minority groups and poor people.
We are hoping that through these efforts; our citizens will be able to understand and navigate situations of changing safety in their communities, changes proposed by health care reforms that affect the elderly and the poor, and changes that need to occur in public education to help the break the cycles of poverty and violence.

Poor People's Campaign/Resurrection City the Movement History:
The first phase of Poor People's Campaign began in May 1968. Nine Caravans of poor people arrived in Washington D.C. Convoy's started from different sections of America on May 2 and picked up demonstrators along the way. In Washington, D.C., demonstrators erected a camp called “Resurrection City” on sixteen-acre site near Lincoln Monument. Reverend Ralph Abernathy, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference's (SCLC) successor to the slain Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., began the Poor People's Campaign with the proclamation that "the poor are no longer divided. We are not going to let the White man put us down anymore. It is not white power, and I will give you some news, it's not Black power, either. Its poor power and we are going to use it.
The Poor People's Campaign (PPC) was a convergence of racial and economic concerns that brought the poor, including those who were black, white, Indian, and Hispanic to live in shantytowns and demonstrate daily in Washington, D.C. from May 14 until June 24, 1968. The PPC was conceived by Dr. Martin Luther King, but unfortunately, was not led by him.
Our intent in 2008 is to move beyond just making poverty visible (since there are already myriads of programs doing that) toward empowering people to change their environments by training, teaching, and encouraging them to use the skills they have and to gain the skills they lack.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on change

Monday, November 10, 2008

Why Do So Many Marriages Fail?

Chances are you know someone who has endured the pain of a miserable marriage or had to swallow the bitter pill of divorce.

Why do so many men and women who truly believed they were soul mates and lovers for life, find themselves combatants in the divorce court? The answers to those questions are not complicated at all. Follow me closely as we get to the bottom line reasons why so many marriages fail.

by Gillis Triplett

What a Mangled Web We’ve Weaved
Although we read and hear the alarming divorce statistics day-in and day-out, rarely do these facts seem to bother the masses. I’ll put our tragic divorce rate into proper perspective by asking this loaded question. “What do you think would happen if one out of every two aircraft that took off from the runway crash-landed?”

Answer: we the people, both flyers and non-flyers alike, would demand that the (FAA) Federal Aviation Administration and the (NTSB) National Transportation Safety Board perform a thorough investigation.

In all probability, we would insist that the President issue a no-fly order until this grave situation was corrected. We would adamantly demand that all aircraft be thoroughly inspected along with the runways, radars, air traffic controllers, fuel and the mechanics. We would check for terrorist plots and review everyone else and everything else involved in the equation until we got to the bottom line reason(s) why so many aircrafts were crash landing.

Having said that, one out of every two marriages that takes off from the wedding altar, crash lands in the divorce court. In the African American community that figure is worse! Consequently, we should all be in an uproar! We should all be moved to the point that we demand changes!

Surely I can’t be the only person who feels this way?

Irrefutably, this is cause for everyone who desires to marry, have a family and leave a wholesome legacy - to step back and ask these types of questions, “What’s going on? What are we doing wrong?” And most importantly, “How do we fix this mangled web that we have weaved?” But regrettably, for most men and women, it’s business as usual as they continue to marry and then divorce at a blistering pace.

This Is How We Do It?
Below are just a few of the more than four thousand actual cases and incidents of marriage and divorce that I have tracked and archived over the years. Pay close attention to how these men and women entered into their doomed unions.

Keisha H. , was a sweet, trusting and understanding woman until she met her husband, “Grant” during a church revival. The pastor prophesied that Grant would meet the woman of his dreams during the service. After eyeing Keisha, Grant made up his mind, “She’s The One!” The two never got to know each other. Based solely on their seemingly divinely inspired meeting, Grant talked Keisha into believing their union was ordained of G-O-D! It was Grant’s 3rd such trip down the aisle. Each one purportedly inspired by God. Their marriage lasted two and a half years before crashing and burning. Grant is already on his forth union, also supposedly inspired by God. He has tarnished every woman who made the mistake of not recognizing his deceit.

Leonard D. , found out that his wife was HIV positive a year and a half after they exchanged wedding vows. She cut herself in the kitchen and was bleeding profusely so he rushed her to the hospital. It was during the doctor’s examination that Leonard learned of her HIV infection. Asked why she didn’t tell him she was infected before they married, she said: “I didn’t tell Len because I love him and I didn’t want to loose him.” Leonard filed for divorce and was awaiting his HIV test results at publishing.

Karen T., was mesmerized when she laid her eyes on the man of her dreams. Two weeks later they were engaging in knee-buckling, earth shattering sex. Three months later they moved in together and about a year later they married. After the wedding bells quieted, they awakened to the harrowing revelation that the only good thing between them was the SEX. With diametrically opposing views of family, spirituality, husband-wife relations, finances and children, these two had literally nothing in common. They ended up in the divorce court as mortal combatants.

Brian. S. , was informed by a female he was having casual sex with that she was pregnant and he was the father of her child. After much prodding from her, Brian grudgingly agreed to marriage. Four tumultuous years later, his disgruntled wife decided to split, but not prior to taking him to the bank. Suspicious of her, Brian’s attorney urged him to obtain a legal DNA test of the child. Turns out Brian was not the biological father. Needless to say he was furious! After all, he only married her because she was pregnant.

Eric A., asserted after he, his parents and all of his siblings each experienced multiple divorces, that no marriage was designed to last. When asked had anyone in his family received any marriage preparation training or pre-martial counseling, Eric responded by saying, “Why does a person need to get training or counseling for something that comes so natural?”

Without a doubt, marriage is one of the most important decisions we’ll ever make in our lives. Shamefully, too many men and women give more thought to their education, careers and home purchases than they do marriage preparation and the selection of their mate. Why do so many marriages fail? Here are the primary reasons. Learn them and avoid them with every fiber of your being.

They become the wrong mate
They chose the wrong mate
Their marriage was established on a weak foundation, (i.e. sex, unplanned pregnancy, her biological clock, his need to control women)
They didn’t properly get to know each other
They were unequally yoked
Their past relationships/marriages came back to haunt them
One or both spouses:
Made false assumptions about the other
Brought harmful baggage or unresolved issues into their union
Had soul ties with past: spouses, lovers or sex partners
Did not know the “Art of Communication”
Were too immature to marry
Could not accept the other’s child(ren)
Entered the union infected the HIV/AIDS virus or some other STD
Harbored bitterness toward the opposite sex prior to their wedding
Had a defective/bad character
Married for the wrong reason(s)
Were bound by a generational curse of divorce
Had an improper vision for the family
Had unrealistic marital expectations
Didn’t comprehend the financial responsibilities or marriage
Never had proper marital role models
Never submitted to pre-marital training, counseling of mentoring
Didn’t know, understand or comprehend what “True Love” is
Didn’t know or understand what commitment is
Didn’t know, understand or respect the sacredness of the marriage covenant
Who Are You To Judge Me?
The problem is not with the institution of marriage. The problem is with how we have been doing marriage. We have been doing it wrong! People either choose the wrong mate or they become the wrong mate.

However, instead of healing from their past hurts, admitting their bad choices and harmful decisions, correcting their defective characters and properly addressing their baggage, the average man and woman takes the road most traveled. They place the blame of their failed unions on:

[a] The opposite sex, (i.e. all men are dogs - there are no good women)
[b] They start claiming marriage is obsolete
[c] Their belief that no one can be trusted
[d] They blame God, religion, the church morality or their family
[e] They falsely claim that no marriage is meant to last
[f] They blame anything or anyone else, while the true culprit; the man or woman in the mirror continues to make a mangled mess of matrimony.

God forbid that you bring their sins, wrongdoings, shortcomings or faults to the light. I once counseled a man who looked me square in my eyes and brazenly asserted that he had a right to beat his wife. “That’s how I make her obey me,” he said. When I challenged him with the truth, his response was, “Who are you to judge me!”

In another session, I was attempting to persuade an educated woman, that she had to completely change her lifestyle. She expressed a desire to marry, but she was so promiscuous, she had 9 abortions. Alarmingly, she had never tested for the HIV/AIDS virus or any STD and refused to do so. Her response? “Who are you to judge me?” Being the attractive woman that she is, she’ll no doubt eventually snag a husband.

Regrettably, her spouse will mostly likely be in for a rude awakening as he experiences the harmful side effects of her past. This includes but is not limited to the consequences of her numerous sex partners, multiple abortions, soul ties and possible STD infection(s). Yet, according to this woman, any messenger who brings these critical issues to her attention, no matter how their delivery, is being judgmental. In today’s self-righteous society, the mantra is, “Only God can judge me!”

Although their assertion is absolutely false, these men and women continue to use that religious sounding veil as a defense mechanism to hide their sin and gloss over their faults. They adamantly refuse to accept responsibility for their actions. Consequently, these types of individuals make for horrible spouses. They are just another one of the primary reasons why so many marriages fail.

Marriage Is Awesome And It Still Works Just Fine!
Don’t be discouraged by the alarming negative statistics. Don’t lose faith in holy matrimony. Marriage is an awesome institution and it still works just fine! It works when people follow the first and last instruction manual on the subject, which is the Written Word of God!

Do matrimony the right way! Become the right mate and learn how to choose the right mate. Be responsible for your actions. Don’t blame others for your poor decisions and unhealthy choices. Don’t ruin your chances at love by a living low lifestyle. Prepare yourself for your mate by embracing godly morals and family values.

There are couples who are prime illustrations of how to do marriage the right way. Surround yourself with these honorable men and virtuous women and follow their examples! Receive their sage advice and nuggets of wisdom. Allow them to be your marital mentors.

Finally, examine your personal beliefs and attitudes about the opposite sex and matrimony and adjust or eliminate any beliefs, feelings or opinions that would hinder you from experiencing a vibrant and healthy union. Do those things, keep the faith and true love will find you!

A Beautiful First Family: Our New Inspiration, By Alexis Garrett Stodghill

I grew up in a single-parent home as a small child, then with a step-father, who I did not like, as a youth. My role model all my life has really been my mother, and more recently my grandmother. The more I get to know both women, the more I admire their pride, their beauty, their tenacity, their intelligence and their class.

The wonderful love we receive from our everyday heroes is great. Yet, we will always need those higher stars and figures in our lives that deeply move us in our souls to really be great. In this new first family, we will finally have living superheroes who look like us, act like us, have been us and understand us.

Historically, young black people have rarely had these types of higher role models to look up to. We have had to create our own hero images for ourselves, to inspire us in unique ways that the mainstream could not have imagined. The TV show 'Perry Mason' inspired my mother to become a lawyer, at a time when her own relatives thought this was impossible. Many aspects of hip hop culture are inspired by, of all things, old cowboy flicks. These films taught troubled youths tough masculine values that, for all their flawed interpretation, gave them the self-esteem to survive in broken environments.

In the absence of idols who looked like us, we did like our people always did, and got "real" creative. We had to make heroes, or adopt strange ones, to wrap our minds in imaginary armor that shielded us from the stereotypes society sought to project onto us. Remaking mainstream hero images into our own worked well for many. In some instances, this necessity became a wellspring of amazing creativity.

Now, in the new millennium, the Obama family represents a plethora of positive images that teach, inspire and give us something to aspire to -- without this mental wrangling. There are almost too many positive role models to choose from:

-A happy black family.
-A loving black relationship.
-Beautiful, respectful and protected young women.
-A strong black woman who knows how to be feminine, and trusts her man.
-And a black man who is compassionate, cultured, intelligent, accomplished, responsible, but still as cool as hell.

No longer will we have to twist and turn cultural images that are inconceivably unlike us into new forms that can inspire us to do well. When I look at this picture I automatically see all the gorgeous grace that a black family can be.

May this new, real and true image inspire you.

What Black Leaders are Saying About Illegal Immigration

T Willard Fair, from an advertisement
Amnesty for illegal workers is not just a slap in the face to black Americans. It's an economic disaster,... I see illegal immigration and the adverse impact that it has on the political empowerment of African Americans, and the impact it has on the job market.''

-- T. Willard Fair, president of the Urban League of Greater Miami, Fla. to the Miami Herald, 4/26/07

"This guest worker program's the closest thing I've ever seen to slavery. I mean, how do you bring people over here and the employer decides how long you're going to stay and God knows what you've got to do if they have a baby. Do we change the Constitution and say that the child's now a citizen? I would hate to believe that this great country of ours in order to free, or rather, to bring cheap labor for entrepreneurs are willing to have a contract with Mexico to do this

-- Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) on CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight; 01/23/2007

"When the illegals walked out and had their rally [called "A Day Without Immigrants" on May 1, 2006], (Senator) Ted Kennedy (D-MA) compared their rallies to the civil rights marches. They're not the same. When we marched during the civil rights marches, we were citizens of this country, fighting for our God-given rights here -- constitutional rights. These folks are coming in illegally and demanding that we do what they want us to do while flying the Mexican flag. I just don't know how anyone can say that you can break the law and come to this country, protest, and insist that we give them rights, and call that civil rights."

-- Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson; founder and president of BOND, the Brotherhood Organization of a New Destiny in a Roundtable on Religion and Social Welfare Policy interview June 27, 2006

"Credibility in immigration policy can be summed up in one sentence: Those who should get in, get in; those who should be kept out, are kept out; and those who should not be here will be required to leave." "...for the system to be credible, people actually have to be deported at the end of the process."

-- Former Rep. Barbara Jordan on what Americans should expect from immigration laws from her testimony to the House Immigration Subcommittee; February 24, 1995

Steve Lonegan, Americans for Prosperity (AFP)

Dear Fellow Taxpayer:
I need your help. For the past three years, I have been criss-crossing New Jersey recruiting, educating and activating our citizens about the dangers of New Jersey’s expanding government.

Through our “Taxpayer Action Seminars,” Americans for Prosperity (AFP) has reached thousands of concerned taxpayers and recruited them as part of our organized effort to preserve free market values in this state. From Sussex County to Cape May County, AFP has sponsored programs in more than 250 community centers, libraries, Rotary Clubs, Republican Clubs, Democrat Clubs and in front of any group concerned with our state’s economic decline. But to keep up this effort I must be continuously raising money. Every program takes funding from someone like you and now, more than ever, you and I must stand up to the constant attack on our core principles. I am asking you to donate to AFP and help me keep up the momentum when we need it most. Americans for Prosperity is a 501©4 organization. There is no disclosure and contributions are unlimited. No disclosure means you are safe from retribution from vindictive bureaucrats so, even if you are one of the many disgruntled government employees fed up with conditions in this state, you are safe contributing to our efforts.
Everywhere I travel, I hear the same message - taxpayers are fed up with the nation’s highest state and property taxes and want a change. New Jersey’s job producing businesses, both small and big, are being driven out of this state and business owners and employees alike realize the consequences of this slow, but steady decline.

I am more and more convinced each day that our citizens are ready to call on Trenton to return to the principles of limited government, low taxes and individual freedom that was born in this state—the crossroads of the American Revolution—and will settle for no less. AFP is the only organization that is offering leadership, and the resources, to build an effective grassroots movement determined to preserve our future prosperity by influencing legislative decision-making.

To achieve this goal I need your financial support.
Our mission is to recruit, educate, motivate and activate thousands of citizen activists to take back New Jersey.

I hope you will support AFP with your most generous contribution of $50, $100, $1,000, or what ever you can afford, to help us continue to grow.

Americans for Prosperity is the nation's leading grassroots organization of taxpayer activists committed to the belief in limited government, lower taxes and individual freedom. The effort to put New Jersey back on track will be challenging, but it is a challenge you and I must meet.

Along with our regular Taxpayer Action seminars, AFP also produced programs such as the Bloggers Conference recently held at the Glen Pointe Marriott.

This is part of our ongoing effort to dominate the Internet and use all the tools of the “new media” now available to everyone.

Last May, more than five hundred citizens from across our state converged on Trenton to attend our “Defending the American Dream” Summit Conference that included great speakers like WABC and WNTP radio host Mark Levin and newspaper columnist Bob Novak.

And just last month, 2,000 of our activists from across the country converged on Washington, DC for the greatest show of strength the free market movement has seen in years. Our New Jersey delegation, more than 200 strong, came home motivated and ready to fight. (You can see my speech to the conference by clicking here).

It is through these grassroots programs that we have built the state’s most effective organization standing up for taxpayers. That is how we defeated two ballot questions last year that meant higher taxes and more debt and how we were able to stop Governor Corzine’s radical $38 Billion Borrowing and Toll Hike Scheme.

However, like any movement, it must always be raising the funds necessary to keep on winning. I hope you will consider supporting Americans for Prosperity with your most generous contribution so we can continue to put New Jersey back on track.

Please make a minimum contribution of $50.00 today and I will send you a signed copy of my latest book Putting Taxpayers First. This book is the culmination of my 12 years experience as a mayor and the intense learning experience I have had as AFP’s State Director.

I am proud to tell you this book has sold more copies than Nancy Pelosi’s and I hope you enjoy reading it and consider becoming a regular supporter of Americans for Prosperity, both as a donor and by becoming a citizen activist. You will be joining more than 10,000 others who are working to change the course of history in New Jersey.

With your help, we will win.
Very truly yours,
Steve Lonegan
State Director

Thursday, November 6, 2008

One Campaign Over, A New One Begins, By Rich Lee

While Barack Obama assembles his cabinet and works on other transition issues, New Jersey already is thinking about another election – the state’s 2009 campaign for Governor.

On the Democratic side, there is little drama. Unless he is offered a cabinet post in the Obama Administration, incumbent Jon Corzine in all likelihood will be on the ballot seeking his second term.

For Republicans, several party members have expressed interest in the Governor’s Office, but U.S. Attorney Chris Christie is regarded as the GOP’s leading candidate. It is easy to see why. As U.S. Attorney, Christie has built a strong reputation cracking down on public corruption, successfully prosecuting some of the most the state’s most powerful political leaders.

All things considered, however, Christie may be better off if he sits out the 2009 race and sets his sites on 2013 instead. Here’s why.

At the moment, New Jersey Democrats are flexing their muscle. Barack Obama carried the state by a comfortable margin on Tuesday and Frank Lautenberg cruised to re-election in the U.S. Senate. Democrats also gained control of a Congressional seat that has been in GOP hands since 1882. And don’t forget that in addition to having a Democrat in the Governor’s Office, the party also holds majorities in both houses of the State Legislature. Add an Obama presidency into the mix and it may not be the most opportune time for a Republican challenger, especially if the Democratic president’s favorability numbers are still riding high next year. Only New Jersey and Virginia will be holding gubernatorial elections next year, so it is conceivable that Obama could come into the Garden State to boost the Democrat cause.

Secondly, at the present time Christie is a one issue candidate and that issue – corruption – seldom resonates with New Jersey voters. It did not work for Tom Kean Jr. when he ran for U.S. Senate two years ago, and Doug Forrester’s attempts to paint Corzine as a candidate created by political bosses failed to take hold in the 2005 gubernatorial campaign. This year, Republicans were unable to win any freeholder seats in Bergen County even though two of the county’s most powerful Democratic leaders were under indictment. Likewise, campaign ads raising questions about John Adler’s connection to a controversial state grant program failed to keep victory out of his hands on Tuesday.

So what does Chris Christie do for the next few years? He should take a lesson from two former Governors.

After Jim Florio lost the 1981 Governor’s election by the narrowest margin in state history, he was considered the frontrunner for the 1985 contest. But with incumbent Governor Tom Kean enjoying great popularity with the New Jersey citizenry, Florio sat out the race and chose instead to run in 1989 when there would be no incumbent on the gubernatorial ballot. The decision proved to be the correct one. He was elected Governor in 1989 with 61 percent of the vote.

There also is a lesson to be learned from Christine Todd Whitman. After she almost upset Bill Bradley in the 1990 U.S. Senate campaign, she used her time wisely to build support for her successful run for Governor in 1993. Hosting a radio talk show (as Whitman did) may not be in the U.S. Attorney’s future, but there are plenty of ways he could make good use of the time between gubernatorial elections.

With a Democratic Administration about to take hold in Washington, D.C., Christie’s days as U.S. attorney are numbered. He can return to private practice with a law firm that will give him the time he needs to sow the seeds for a run in 2013. In the interim, he plays the good soldier in the 2009 gubernatorial race, raising money, delivering surrogate speeches and building goodwill for the GOP standard bearer.

If Corzine wins the election, Christie then has four full years to wage his campaign for Governor. During this time, he can expand his platform beyond the single issue of corruption. He can become a vocal and visible critic of the Democratic Administration, using the populist appeal that has served him well as U.S. Attorney. He can travel around New Jersey and build a stronger statewide identity by speaking at Kiwanis Club luncheons, VFW meetings, county fairs and the like.

From a strategic standpoint, Christie would be at an advantage by not holding a public office where he would be forced to vote on controversial issues. Instead, his public record would be his long list of successful prosecutions as U.S. Attorney. And he gets a few more years to put some distance between a run for Governor and the most serious controversy of his career – the $52 million contract awarded to former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft's company to monitor t a criminal settlement.

The big question, however, is whether Christie has the patience to wait until 2013. Politics is a world in which people want things now. But Chris Christie has experience at being patient. Among his hobbies and interests outside the office, he is a fan of New York Mets, a team whose last few seasons have tried the patience of even its most ardent followers.

The Charlie Rose Show, Live coverage of the 2008 Presidential Election

Live coverage of the 2008 Presidential Election with Doris Kearns Goodwin, Mark Halperin, Al Hunt, Bernard-Henri Levy, Jodi Kantor, Seth Lipsky, Charles Ogletree, Orlando Patterson and Connie Schultz.

Affion Crockett talks Obama, Bernie Mac, and his new movie Soul Men

Queen Latifah Getting Married

According to the National Enquirer, Queen Latifah and long time trainer boo Jeanette Jenkins are about to get hitched:

“This week’s National Enquirer states that Queen Latifah plans to marry her partner of five years, personal trainer Jeannette Jenkins, after the groundbreaking ruling in California that legalized same-sex marriages.”

But is this tale believable? We all know how tight-lipped King Latifah can be about her love life:

“So if this is true, it’s a big step for Latifah, who’s never even mentioned Jeannette. She has a lot of high-profile endorsement contracts as well as her movie career, so maybe she fears a backlash if she comes out or just doesn’t think it’s anyone’s business. The Enquirer points out that Jeanette isn’t out, either, and that she ‘previously denied being gay and once claimed to be engaged to a man.’

In September of last year, Latifah bought Jeannette a new car, a Range Rover she had delivered to surprise her at a restaurant where they were having lunch.

The two are said to be ‘planning an intimate ceremony with close family and friends.’ Latifah has said she would like to adopt a child, particular an American baby, and this may be the first step toward showing her commitment to Jeannette and to providing a stable home life.”

It’s about time King Latifah quit denying her Lezzy status. If this ish is true, we’re sure it will be a top secret affair. We’ll have to just wait and see….
Source: Bossip

Assassination fears for Obama

A security agent scans the area around Obama with binoculars.
Hate groups believe assassinating Barack Obama can match the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Centre, an expert in political terrorism says.

Grim fears about the safety of America's first black president-elect continue to build, with the country's most reviled racist group the Ku Klux Klan warning of a "race war" after Obama's election yesterday.

Monash University's Greg Barton said: "Obama is such an iconic figure that in the perverse logic of political assassination or terror he is an immensely attractive target."

Professor Barton said the fears for Obama are justified.
"You can imagine in the minds of some, killing President Barack Obama would be just as powerful, if not more powerful, than bringing down the World Trade Center towers," he told ninemsn.

"Yes, we have to be really concerned — but I think there are a lot of people on the job [to prevent it] … but he will never again have an ordinary life."

Obama received the highest level of security ever afforded to a candidate during the election campaign.

Throughout the 22-month campaign the secret service investigated more than 500 death threats against the 47-year-old African-American.

Two white supremacist skinheads were arrested last month over plans to shoot Obama and kill other blacks.

Twenty-year-old Daniel Cowart and 18-year-old Paul Schlesselman have been indicted on charges of possessing a sawn-off shotgun, planning to rob a licensed gun dealer and threatening a presidential candidate.

The Ku Klux Klan on its website "welcomed" Obama's election because "it could mean an awakening of our spirit and blood".

But the site also claimed that "this is a race war — a culture war — being waged against white people".
Victorious Obama waves to his supporters through bullet-proof glass.
The US government has already started testing new designs for a presidential limousine equipped to withstand most bomb blasts and terror attacks.

While Obama's wife Michelle — a corporate lawyer — has expressed her concern over the threats facing their family, Obama has previously said it's "not something that I'm spending time thinking about day to day."

"I think anybody who decides to run for president recognises that there are some risks involved," he said.

Four US presidents have been assassinated — Abraham Lincoln, James Garfield, William McKinley and John Kennedy.

Another eight presidents have survived "credible" attempts of their lives.

Obama has paid tribute thoughtout his campaign to Martin Luther King — the leader of the American civil rights movement who was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee in 1968.

Newspapers all over the world yesterday reported that Obama's elect had achieved King's dream.

But many Americans are fearful the election could ignite racist resentment.

"It a great thing but a scary thing," said 28-year-old Cincinnati nurse Natasha Johnson.

"There have already been two failed [publicised] assassination plots… there are still a lot of people who don't agree with this."

As well as the KKK reaction, "Impeach Barack Obama" Facebook groups have already surfaced on the internet, with one attracting more than 700 members.