Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Obama Signs Health Insurance Bill for Low-Income Children

Four million low-income kids can now join another 7 million children with health coverage after President Obama this afternoon signed a bill renewing the state-based program for low-income children for another four and a half years.

The White House ceremony came just hours after the House gave final approval (290-135) to the bill and caps a nearly two-year struggle to extend health care coverage to children whose families cannot afford private insurance. With the program’s expansion, 11 million children are now covered.

In signing the bill, Obama said:

Since it was created more than 10 years ago, the Children’s Health Insurance Program has been a lifeline for millions of children whose parents work full-time and don’t qualify for Medicaid, but, through no fault of their own, don’t have and can’t afford private insurance.

Before today’s vote, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called today “a special day for us in the House.”

We’re going to help 11 million children….In the course of the past two years, we have passed this bill a number of times in the House. Today after we pass it, it will go to the president’s desk.

The move to renew the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) and extend coverage to more children began in 2007. But former President George W. Bush first vetoed the renewal in October 2007. After a second bill—revised to meet Bush’s objections to the original bill—passed with bipartisan support, Bush vetoed that bill in December 2007. Congress eventually passed a temporary reauthorization that did not expand coverage to more children and which expires March 31.

This year, the House first passed the children’s health bill Jan. 9, and the Senate followed on Jan. 29. Today’s House vote was required because of some minor differences between the House and Senate versions.

Aquan Lewis: 10-Year-Old's School Death Ruled Suicide

EVANSTON, Ill. — A 10-year-old boy reportedly found hanging from a coat hook at his suburban Chicago school took his own life, according to a preliminary coroner's office ruling on Wednesday. A daily ledger released by the Cook County medical examiner noted "hanging" and "suicide" as the cause of death for fifth-grader Aquan Lewis, who was found unresponsive in a bathroom at the Evanston school Tuesday afternoon and was pronounced dead at a hospital Wednesday morning.

The boy's distraught mother, Angel Lewis, left a school district building hours earlier, not speaking directly to reporters but saying over and over, "He should have been accounted for. He should have been accounted for."

A janitor at Oakton Elementary School, Elliott Lieteau, said he found Aquan on the floor of the restroom and that others told him the boy had been pulled off a hook. Lieteau said he performed CPR.

Speaking before the coroner's finding, a community activist who accompanied Lewis and acted as her spokeswoman said Lewis did not believe her boy committed suicide.

"She sent her son to school yesterday morning in good spirits," Dawn Valenti said. "The next thing she knows she's getting a call that her son died. ... He did not commit suicide. There was nothing wrong with her son."

Evanston police Cmdr. Tom Guenther said the coroner's finding of suicide would not affect how police conduct the investigation. Asked if the finding ruled out any possibility of foul play or an accident, Guenther said, "I don't think we're going to jump to any conclusions at this point."

The medical examiner's office did not return a message from The Associated Press seeking details about the suicide finding.

Before leaving the school district building, Aquan's mother stood at the back of the room during a news conference with police and school officials, crying and sometimes shaking her head as officials fielded questions.

Harry Belafonte, Incarcerated Youth

A long-time civil and human rights activist, Harry Belafonte has denounced the American justice system for its "prisons filled with victims of poverty." In response to the crisis of incarcerating young people, he created The Gathering for Justice to stop child incarceration.

His many humanitarian efforts have also included serving as cultural adviser to the Peace Corps, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, amfAR board member, R.F. Kennedy Memorial for Peace and Social Justice and founding the Harry and Julie Belafonte UNCIEF Fund for HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa. I saw it on a breaking television news story: Ja'eisha Scott, a five-year-old African-American child in a Saint Petersburg, Florida school being forced across a desk by three police officers, her arms pressed behind her back as they handcuffed her. It was incomprehensible, the idea that she was going to be taken to a police station for being "unruly." That was the charge, being "unruly" in the classroom! In the scene being played out on the TV screen there was no one - no teacher, no principal, no social worker to intervene on behalf of this 5 year old. In pursuing the details I telephoned one of the most informed attorneys in America on the subject, Ms Connie Rice, a poverty lawyer with a legal practice based in Washington DC called "The Advancement Project." She had already known of the case and informed me that this case was not unusual. All over America there was growing evidence that this practice of child incarceration was well on its way. My first response was to organize what I called a "Gathering of the Elders." Luminaries of the civil rights movement and community-based social organizations from all over the country came together to exchange views on why, after al the work we have done we had no engagement, no visible response to this tragic circumstance. How could this happen? We all searched for answers.

The United States of America has the largest prison population in the world. As a fact of public policy we build more prison cells than schoolrooms or health care centers. We fill these prisons with a disproportionate number of young Black and Hispanic men and women charged with nonviolent crimes. In fact according to government statistics, of the over two and a quarter million prisoners in our system, only 7% of the prisoners have been incarcerated for violent crimes such as murder, rape and armed robbery; the rest typically involved crimes related to property, drugs, immigration violations and public-order issues.
I believe that an infinitely larger number of prisoners should have been directed to social programs and/ or service agencies while they were young and provided with the opportunities for training of skills and academic engagement. Unfortunately, the lack of parenting and the absence of proper counseling in their communities and in schools around the country have forged a pipeline from the cradle to the penitentiary. To compound this tragedy, we are turning over a disturbingly large number of our prison institutions to the private sector, exploiting the labor of the inmates for the profit of special interests. This is not only unethical, it is immoral.

It became apparent that the elders, while groping for answers, could not come to workable solutions without having significant participation of the young people caught in this poverty and incarceration tragedy. We soon realized that our young should not only be taking the baton, they should be leading this movement. I began reaching out to youth leaders from various backgrounds, including those who were once lost teenagers and kids caught up in the criminal culture. The result of this undertaking created The Gathering for Justice, a movement engaging youth of all races, ethnicities and religions to end child incarceration and violence. The birth of The Gathering for Justice ignited the challenging task of embracing the Kingian philosophy of nonviolence in the building of community organizations. The purpose of the Gathering is to bring a moral voice to the table, as Doctor King, Gandhi and Christ all did. They suggested a moral argument that was irrefutable, and beckoned societies to do the right thing. This, too, is our approach.

Participants in The Gathering attend workshops studying nonviolence and its application to issues such as children being arrested, gang violence in our communities, gun control, education and unemployment. They speak directly to their concerns on what is to be done about incarceration and the closing down of our schools. We get two or three communities with different stories talking to one another and soon people begin to cross-pollinate information. When this process starts to happen on a neighborhood-to-neighborhood basis, the neighborhoods then become the city. This growth then spreads to the state, regional and national levels. So far, upwards of six thousand youth leaders from across the nation have come together, committing themselves to the aims of the Gathering.

What can you do to help? First, pull up Then go to our allies, the Children's Defense Fund, The Advancement Project, Barrios Unidos or the United Nations websites; go to any source that talks about child incarceration. Take a look at what you're doing in your community to bring citizen engagement to the table in finding solution, and ask how the rest of the country is faring in this endeavor. Could your business employ youth, even those who have a criminal background who have paid their debt to society? Will you give them the opportunity to learn new skills, develop a stronger sense of self, form bonds within communities beyond the streets and learn that they are of value and have something to offer? Our goal is community, not charity. We need to develop methodology that will help make sure young people have the choices that will take us on the right path to a positive future.

We have a responsibility to overcome the hurdles that have so dangerously inhibited our capacity to expose our young people in knowing who they are, where they come from and the history of the struggle that has brought us to where we are today. In doing so, they will become more engaged in the idea that they can affect change that will make a true and permanent difference. Ultimately, it is only through our common humanity that we can begin to heal our communities. Our human dignity is our common denominator; the one thread connecting us all. As Dr. King has said, "Either we go up together, or we go down together. Let us develop that kind of dangerous unselfishness." With this understanding, let us look upon one another with new eyes. We belong to the human family and disowning one another is not an option. Ja'eisha Scott belongs to us all. The thousands of young people behind bars belong to us all. The soul of this nation belongs to us all. For each of us who dares heed the call to action in the face of indifference, we need only ask ourselves one question, "Am I not my brother's keeper?"

Blagojevich V. Letterman: Who Ya Got?!

Like most of you, I have mixed feelings re: one Milorad "Rod" R. Blagojevich, former God-Emperor of Illinois. On the one hand, I like the rest of you believe that he should be staked down in a desicated turnip field so that the worms might devour him alive. On the you all remember the old Warner Bros. cartoons in which Wile E. Coyote actually spoke? There is a poignance there, seeing this poor wretched creature, so sure of himself, so completely in the grip of psychotic delusions of grandeur that he fails to see that Man and God and Fate and all of the Universe are arrayed against him. Blago is our Wile E. Coyote, a visionary brought low by the petty machinations of those not worthy to lick his Acme Jet-Powered Roller Skates. Last night, Rod Blagovich appeared on The Late Show With David Letterman. One could ask, "What was he thinking?" The question is moot. Following the jump, you can watch some of Letterman/Blagojevich, courtesy of the folks at The Huffington Post.

There's more, but apparently CBS wants you to go to their website to see the rest. So I'll recap: after he blames his troubles on the Republicans, the Democrats, and the Illinois Senate, Blagojevich then proceeds to list the rest of his enemies. These include the lobbyists, PAC's, the Special Interests, the media, the Knights of Columbus, the Catholic Church, the Jews, the American Nazi Party, the Freemasons, the Illuminati, the Slytherins, the road runner (I knew it!), a little boy that lives in his head and talks to him and is named Tony, his seduction by the dark side of The Force, the Matrix, Twinkies, and the coming of the year 2012 in which the world will come to an end. Then Letterman made a joke about Blagojevich's hair, so Blagojevich donned his trademark black armor and challenged Letterman to a duel. And as you can see here, that fight ended predictably, if not well.

Cheney Says Obama’s Policies Will Make U.S. Vulnerable To Terrorist Attack


So whoever seriously thought that former Vice President Dick Cheney would go quietly into the night or give the new President more than just two weeks to prove himself? If you did then here’s proof that those who practice the kind of baby-boomer-era derived “smart good guys us versus dumb and weak and dangerous guys them” politics won’t give it a rest — not even for a single month:

Former Vice President Dick Cheney warned that there is a “high probability” that terrorists will attempt a catastrophic nuclear or biological attack in coming years, and said he fears the Obama administration’s policies will make it more likely the attempt will succeed.

In an interview Tuesday with Politico, Cheney unyieldingly defended the Bush administration’s support for the Guantanamo Bay prison and coercive interrogation of terrorism suspects.

There’s nothing wrong with Cheney defending his policies, which he sincerely believed were for the good of the country. But, using the political style to which he is accustomed, he goes into attack mode — less than three weeks into Obama’s term:

And he asserted that President Obama will either backtrack on his stated intentions to end those policies or put the country at risk in ways more severe than most Americans — and, he charged, many members of Obama’s own team — understand.

“When we get people who are more concerned about reading the rights to an Al Qaeda terrorist than they are with protecting the United States against people who are absolutely committed to do anything they can to kill Americans, then I worry,” Cheney said.

Protecting the country’s security is “a tough, mean, dirty, nasty business,” he said. “These are evil people. And we’re not going to win this fight by turning the other cheek.”

Firstly, when did Obama or anyone in his administration claim that the policy was to “turn the other cheek?” They didn’t.

This is truly a breathtaking interview, if you follow American politics or American history.

You will find few instances of a former President or former Vice President going after someone who replaced them, even if the next administration greatly shifted policies. Most politicians when they leave office exercise a certain amount of “class” where they will for the good of the country and national unity not try to stir up resentments among their followers.

Cheney has no such goal:

Cheney called Guantanamo a “first-class program,” and “a necessary facility” that is operated legally and with better food and treatment than the jails in inmates’ native countries.

But he said he worried that “instead of sitting down and carefully evaluating the policies,” Obama officials are unwisely following “campaign rhetoric” and preparing to release terrorism suspects or afford them legal protections granted to more conventional defendants in crime cases.

The choice, he alleged, reflects a naive mindset among the new team in Washington: “The United States needs to be not so much loved as it needs to be respected. Sometimes, that requires us to take actions that generate controversy. I’m not at all sure that that’s what the Obama administration believes.”

PERSONAL NOTE: Yesterday I talked with a well-known blogger and told him that I feel the country will be far better off when all of the baby-boomers — practicing their Vietnam War era-based politics that was picked up and exploited effectively by Richard Nixon (read the book Nixonland) — have totally passed from the scene. And this is not being said by someone who is not a baby boomer.

“The country will be better off when no more baby boomers are around to ruin our politics, ” I told him. “Of course, I hope I live to be 120 and that I’m the one baby boomer around to see the change.”

In terms of lifting the quality of our discourse into the realm of ideas and policies, baby boomers are not “The Greatest Generation.” My generation has proven to be in terms of lifting the quality of our discourse to be the greatest degeneration.

Could Cheney prove to be right?

Time will tell — but he isn’t willing to give any time in the interest of national unity. Just attack and claim the Obama administration is ready to “turn the other cheek” when there is nothing on record or even quoting unnamed sources that indicates that is under consideration as a policy.

It’s part of the political culture in which Cheney was raised.

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. 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 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 indict the color of skin. It will be a prayer that begs that all people are to be treated with the dignity they deserve, that they will have access to health care. It will be a prayer that seeks to squash poverty, to fight for better schools, we that protects affirmative action. It is a prayer to preserve this creation that God has so blessed us with and to restore suburb, city, and country. It will be a prayer that ends 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 in danger 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 move the People to go out and improve their community

To focus on direct action, justice system reforms, immigration, community economics, 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 when nine caravans of poor people arrived in Washington D.C.. The convoys started from different parts of America on May 2 and picked up demonstrators along the way. In Washington, D.C., demonstrators erected a camp called “Resurrection City” on a sixteen-acre site near the Lincoln Memorial. 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 2009 is to move beyond just making poverty visible, since there are already myriads of programs doing that. Our intent is to move 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.
Poor People's Campaign/ The Movement
Mail to: P.O. Box 5430
Trenton, NJ 08638

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on change

Car bomb injures head of Ark. medical board

WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. – A car bomb explosion critically injured the head of the Arkansas State Medical Board on Wednesday, detonating in his driveway as he was leaving for work, authorities said.

Trent P. Pierce, who oversees the board that licenses and disciplines the state's doctors, was injured after "some type of explosive device" tore through his car, West Memphis Police Chief Bob Paudert said.

"We believe he was on the outside of the car when the explosion occurred," Paudert said.

Pierce, a family physician, was taken to Regional Medical Center in Memphis, Tenn., where he was listed in critical condition, hospital spokeswoman Sandy Snell said.

FBI spokesman Jason Pack in Washington said a second person also was injured. He would not provide further details.

Board attorney William Trice, of Little Rock, said he knew of no heated disputes involving Pierce and said Pierce often didn't take part in board votes.

"This is just off the wall," Trice said. "It's just such bizarre circumstances."

U.S., Iraq Continue Security Transition

As U.S. forces in Iraq continue to hand over security issues and sites to Iraqi forces, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is confident Iraq's troops can handle the transition of power. (Feb. 4)

Obama Caps Executive Pay, Pokes CEOs

President Obama torched Wall Street executives during a morning press conference to announce that firms receiving "extraordinary" federal aid must limit CEO pay at $500,000 a year.

"We all need to take responsibility," said Obama, who was flanked by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. "And this includes executives at major financial firms who turned to the American people, hat in hand, when they were in trouble, even as they paid themselves their customary lavish bonuses. As I said last week, that's the height of irresponsibility. It's shameful."

The new Treasury Department guidelines cap executive pay at $500,000 a year for financial firms receiving "exceptional assistance" (as opposed to more widely available capital access programs). Any amount beyond that must be made in restricted stock options that can be cashed in only after the government has been paid back.

Obama also used the press conference to make another pitch for his stimulus package, which hasn't won over a critical mass of lawmakers. The plan as it stands now is not perfect, he admitted, "but let's not make the perfect the enemy of the essential. Let's show people all over our country who are looking for leadership in this difficult time that we are equal to the task."

Seventy-five percent of Americans favor passing a package in some form, according to a Gallup poll released Tuesday, but 54 percent either want to make changes or reject it entirely.

Israel's Netanyahu rejects evacuation of settlers

JERUSALEM (AFP) — Hawkish former premier Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed not to evacuate Jewish settlements in the West Bank if he is named prime minister after February 10 elections, Haaretz daily reported on Friday.

Netanyahu, the frontrunner for the parliamentary elections, insisted he would not be tied by any pledge made by outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to withdraw settlers from the occupied Palestinian territory.

"I will not keep Olmert's commitments to withdraw and I won't evacuate settlements. Those understandings are invalid and unimportant," the newspaper quoted Netanyahu as saying.

Olmert told visiting US peace envoy George Mitchell earlier this week that Israel had offered in negotiations with the Palestinians to remove 60,000 settlers from the West Bank, according to Yediot Aharonot newspaper.

He also wants Israel to annex large Jewish settlement blocs in exchange for the transfer to a future Palestinian state of territory in southern Israel, the daily said.

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, whose centrist Kadima party trails Netanyahu's right-wing Likud in opinion polls, distanced herself from Olmert's statements, telling a meeting in Tel Aviv on Thursday they did not represent her views.

A total of 285,000 settlers live in the West Bank and another 200,000 in annexed east Jerusalem, both of which Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war.

Palestinians and the international community consider settlements a major hurdle to the peace process.

Vatican: Williamson Must Recant Statments on Holocaust

Holocaust-denying bishop Richard Williamson must “unequivocally” distance himself from his statements before he can be admitted to episcopal office in the Roman Catholic Church, the Vatican said on Wednesday.

It also said that Williamson’s remarks denying that the Nazis used gas chambers to eliminate millions of European Jews in World War II were not known to Pope Benedict XIV when he decided to lift the excommunication of four renegade bishops last month.

The Vatican statement also said that the rebel Priestly Association of Saint Pius X, to which the rebels belonged, must recognize the reformist Vatican II Council of 1962-65 and the popes who followed it.

Assessing the State of the New Industry: Is the Glass Half Empty or Half Full?

With an unprecedented number of layoffs and buyouts, 2008 was a devastating year for journalism in New Jersey.

Or was it?

It all depends on whether you are looking at the glass as half empty or half full.

From the half empty perspective, it was truly sad to witness the struggles the state’s newspapers confronted in order to survive. Likewise, it was alarming to watch so many talented journalists depart the news industry in New Jersey. As Joe Strupp, a senior editor at Editor & Publisher, wrote in the current issue of New Jersey Monthly, “Many in the business – especially those whose jobs have evaporated – question whether these decimated newspapers can continue to fill the Garden State’s information needs.”

This has been the sentiment in several eulogistic and nostalgic pieces on the state of journalism not only in New Jersey, but also nationwide. “What will the public know -- and what will the public not know -- if our poorly understood, and often unappreciated, craft perishes in the Darwinian jungle?” John S. Carroll, a former editor of three major U.S. dailies, said in a 2006 speech to the American Society of Newspaper Editors.

But for those who are consumers of the news with no professional or personal attachment to the industry and its employees, the glass is half full. We live in an era in which news and information are more readily available and more accessible than ever. It comes not from traditional media outlets such as newspapers, radio and TV, but from blogs, YouTube, Twitter and other new media.

Putting aside concerns over the fiscal struggles news organizations are facing, as well as the personal crises that journalists and their families experience when jobs are lost, think about why we as consumers read newspapers, watch television and listen to radio. We do so primarily to obtain news and information that it is important to us.

For several years now, the Internet has served this function, generally in a manner much superior to traditional media outlets. The Internet provides news and information faster than any other media. And it does so with great convenience and accessibility – bringing text, audio, video and interactivity directly to our desktops, laptops and handheld devices. It also makes it possible to personalize the news, allowing us to eliminate or filter those items that have little interest or impact on our lives.

Why pick up a newspaper when a few clicks of the mouse can yield everything from the latest details on the federal stimulus package to what your kid’s school is serving for lunch this week? Likewise, the stock prices and sports scores found online usually are more current than those in traditional media outlets. Here in New Jersey, the state web site can tell you the status of any bill pending in the Legislature, link you to many of the same studies and reports lawmakers are using to make decisions, and even allow you to access live and archived audio and video of committee hearings and voting sessions.

But veteran journalists such as Carroll contend that, despite the many benefits of the Internet, there still remains an important role for traditional media. Journalists serve as watchdogs over government and conduct investigative reporting that helps and protect citizens. “Newspapers dig up the news. Others repackage it,” Carroll said in his speech to the American Society of Newspaper Editors. “The blogs, noisy as they are, have virtually no reporters. They may be keen critics, or assiduous fact checkers, but do they add materially to the nation’s supply of original reporting? No, they don’t.”

While much of Carroll’s comment rings true, the truth is new media have substantially and forever altered the landscape of the industry.

Bloggers played an instrumental role in Dan Rather’s departure from CBS; Twitter feeds provided some of the first accounts of last year’s terrorist attacks in Mumbai, and The New York Times has even entered the picture, elevating the status of its Interactive Newsroom Technology group which develops and implements a wide variety of projects that go far beyond simply placing the content of the newspaper’s print version online. The projects bring Times readers “closer through comments and interactivity, rendering the relationship between reporter and audience more intimate, immediate, exposed,” Emily Nussbaum explained in a New York magazine article about the group.

The time to debate new media versus traditional media is over. The industry no longer is changing. It has changed. Those willing to embrace change will survive. Those who attempt to carry on as they did in the past may not be so fortunate.

As Bob Dylan warned some 35 years ago when he declared “The Times They Are A-Changin’,”: “You better start swimmin' or you'll sink like a stone.”

Dylan is a good model for the news industry to follow. He practices what he preaches. In an earlier era, he rose to notoriety with just a guitar, a harmonica and his songs. Today, he hosts his own radio show – and it’s on a satellite station.

# # #

Richard A. Lee is Communications Director of the Hall Institute of Public Policy – New Jersey. A former journalist and Deputy Communications Director for the Governor, he also teaches courses in media and government at Rutgers University, where he is completing work on a Ph.D. in media studies.