Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Video: One woman’s crusade to rescue Detroit’s stranded children

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Video: Do we need a black agenda? The experts say yes

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Mo'Nique's brother admits he molested her

CHICAGO – The brother of Oscar winner Mo'Nique said Monday on Oprah Winfrey's talk show that he molested the actress when they were children and he wants to apologize to her.

Gerald Imes said on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" that the molestation continued for a year or two, starting when he was 13 and Mo'Nique was 7 or 8.

"I abused and betrayed the trust of another sibling, my sister, my blood sister," Imes said. He apologized to the actress, saying "I'm sorry, Mo'Nique. I'm sorry."

Imes said he decided to appear on Winfrey's show to apologize to Mo'Nique and bring their family back together. Imes said he himself was molested and he was using drugs and alcohol at age 11.

"Hopefully somewhere, somehow as siblings we can come back together as brother and sister," he said.

Mo'Nique has discussed her brother's molestation in previous interviews. She hasn't responded to a request for comment sent to her publicist. Winfrey said Mo'Nique didn't want to be a part of the interview but gave Winfrey her blessing.

"She said if your expressing what you had done to her could save one family then it would be worth it," Winfrey told Imes. Mo'Nique's parents also appeared on the episode.

"It was such a heartbreaking thing to accept," said her mother, Alice Imes.

Mo'Nique received the supporting actress Academy Award in March for her role in "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire."

Lauryn Hill Returns to the Spotlight

We can’t believe our eyes. Yes, that is the elusive Lauryn Hill who made a rare public appearance for a good cause in New York City on Monday (April 19). A radiant L. Boogie attended the Tanzania Education Trust New York Gala hosted by President Jakaya Kikwete of the United Republic of Tanzania at the Hotel Plaza Athenee. Now if we could only get some new music. Baby steps…

Can New Jersey Spark Change in American Journalism?

By Richard A. Lee

A little over 35 years ago, in an article about a young artist’s performance as the opening act at a small New England theater, Jon Landau of The Real Paper declared, “I saw rock and roll future and its name is Bruce Springsteen.”

Landau’s prophetic words about New Jersey’s Bruce Springsteen also come to mind on a much different topic – journalism. Between the rise of the internet and the downturn in the economy, the industry has been in a state of flux, searching for new models and platforms to meet the demands of today’s 24/7 news cycle while generating enough revenue to survive financially.

In all likelihood, there is no single, perfect model that will surface to meet the needs of the media and the public in the 21st Century. Instead, news and information will be delivered and digested through a variety of platforms that will include traditional news outlets, social networks, and entities and organizations not previously considered to have a role in the field of journalism.

And to paraphrase Jon Landau, if you want to see the future of American journalism, you may want to take a look at New Jersey today. Here is why:

One of the consequences of being the most densely populated state in the nation is that public policy issues often emerge here before they impact the rest of the country. Likewise, we are among the first to react and respond to them. Think back to the mid-1980s when New Jersey began running out of landfill space for our garbage while states in the Midwest and elsewhere still had plenty of room. We responded with mandatory recycling – long before similar initiatives took place in other parts of the country.

When it comes to the news industry, there is even more reason to look at New Jersey to get a glimpse of the future. The downturn in the economy and the rise of the internet has hit the print media particularly hard, especially when one compares the expenses involved in printing and distributing a newspaper with the cost of posting news and information online. Because we are a state without a major television station, New Jerseyans have come to rely on newspapers for news about the Garden State. We are not the only state to see cutbacks and layoffs in its newspapers, but because of the unique role the print media plays in New Jersey, we could very well be the first state to experience the broader public policy impact of these developments.

The first component of this change is the manner in which New Jerseyans obtain news about the Garden State. What has evolved here over the past few years are a wide variety of platforms in many different shapes and sizes which cumulatively disseminate the information citizens need. Whether the impact of this development has been positive or negative is a separate issue that can be argued back and forth. What is clear, however, is the fact that the media landscape in New Jersey has changed substantially.

Although traditional news entities, such as newspapers, continue to play a role, they are much different than they were five, ten or fifteen years ago. Today, newspapers also exist as online entities which no longer merely replicate their print versions. The online versions are updated regularly and feature audio, video and interactive elements. Radio and television – despite the dominance of the New York and Philadelphia markets – also remain a part of the state’s media landscape. Talk radio, most notably NJ101.5, reaches and influences large numbers of New Jersey listeners.

But beyond these traditional entities, New Jerseyans are finding news in many other places.

• Topic-specific websites provide news and information on subjects of particular interest to different audiences. For example, political junkies who need to keep tabs on breaking news and analysis are likely to visit sites such as PolitickerNJ and In The Lobby, and to subscribe to electronic newsletters such as Politifax. Similar topic-specific sites and newsletters cater to sports fans, educators, environmentalists and more.

• Online-only news sites are becoming increasingly popular. NewJerseyNewsroom, an online site started about a year ago by a group of former Star-Ledger reporters, has attracted as many as 78,000 unique visitors in a week – a figure about equal to the circulation of a midsize daily newspaper. Hyperlocal news sites, such as The Alternative Press, also are attracting large numbers of readers by offering news on community activities, civic affairs and scholastic sports.

• As is occurring nationwide, social networks are being used by politicians, businesses and all types of New Jersey organizations to bypass traditional media outlets and bring their messages directly to the public. By their very nature, Facebook and Twitter also have become vehicles for members to share, spread and even break news stories about developments in the Garden State and beyond.

• New Jersey also is home to a large number of public policy organizations and academic institutions, each of which provides citizens with news and information in its own unique manner, whether it be the virtual debates sponsored by the Hall Institute, the public opinion polls conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute, or the seminars and lectures presented by the Eagleton Institute of Politics.

Moreover, these entities are working collaboratively to pool their resources and produce valuable information for New Jerseyans. For example, NJBIZ, the Rebovich Institute for New Jersey Politics at Rider University, and the Kaufman Zita Group recently launched Capitol Insights, a monthly survey of about 100 experts who offer their thoughts about news and developments in the Garden State. And last year a coalition of groups led by Leadership New Jersey not only sponsored the state’s first Lieutenant Governor debate, but also presented a daylong forum on the new office.

Put all of these entities and activities together – the traditional news sources, the websites, the social networks, and the think tanks – and you will see that this is how New Jerseyans get their news today. It is not a perfect system, and it may or may not be better than what we had five, ten or fifteen years ago. That, as I said earlier, is a topic for a separate debate.

As for the future of American journalism, perhaps, it is too soon or too presumptuous to make a declaration as bold as Landau’s prediction about Bruce Springsteen and rock and roll. On the other hand, New Jersey clearly has the potential to ignite change far beyond its borders, and as we have learned from Bruce: “You can't start a fire without a spark.”

# # #

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.

Liberty Action Report: Tell the Senate to Filibuster the Gov't Takeover of the Financial System!

Dear Liberty Activist,

Despite reports that it might be rescinded, still remaining in the Senator Chris Dodd's financial takeover bill is a permanent revolving TARP fund totaling $50 billion that Americans for Limited Government Bill Wilson has said is "just a means for Congress to avoid having to vote on future taxpayer-funded bailouts."

Senator Mark Warner today defended the $50 billion fund, "If there were other ways to do this, we'd listen… We need to hear specific suggestions, not broadbased partisan attacks."

"Here's a suggestion," said Wilson, explaining, "if Senators want to bail out some favored campaign contributor like Fannie and Freddie, they can do it like Senator Dodd did in 2008 when the GSE's were taken over: have an up-or-down vote so that constituents can hold their Senators accountable."

"Because he was a top recipient of contributions from Fannie and Freddie's PAC's and employees, and received a VIP mortgage from Countrywide, Dodd was forced to not seek re-election. If there is a permanent bailout fund, Senators like Dodd in the future can avoid accountability for government paying back heavy campaign contributors by hiding the bailout behind an unelected bureaucracy," Wilson explained.

Wilson today urged the Senate Republican Caucus to "filibuster Senator Chris Dodd's government takeover of the financial sector before Washington assumes control of yet another sector of the American economy and creates a permanent bailout fund."

"Senate Republicans are all that stands in the way of this bill," Wilson said, "which means the American people are counting on them to finally deal a decisive blow against this massive expansion of government."

"Now is the time to finally say 'no' to more government," Wilson declared.

Wilson noted that since Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were nationalized in 2008, "every single government takeover proposed has been implemented, no matter how much the people protested." He cited the government seizures of GM, Chrysler, AIG, the health care industry, and the retention of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac by the Treasury.

"Unless Republicans can now unify to stop another government takeover when they have the opportunity, this bill will pass rapidly without a debate upon the proper government response to the financial crisis," Wilson explained.

"The answer to a crisis that government caused is to reform the government policies that forced banks to give out loans to those who could not afford to pay them back. It is to rein in the Federal Reserve that kept interest rates too low for too long. And it is to eliminate the culture of corruption that enabled Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to escape oversight and reform for decades while they helped fuel the housing bubble," Wilson said.

Senator Dodd promised that his bill would prevent firms from defrauding investors. "Let there be no doubt in my mind, our bill would have prevented that kind of events from happening, in my view, and that's what the public needs to know," said Dodd.

Wilson disagreed, saying "This bill has nothing at all to do with preventing fraud. It does nothing at all to rein in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which helped to cause the crisis by explicitly defrauding investors when they misrepresented the risks associated with the purchase of GSE-issued mortgage-backed securities."

The bill would, as reported by NPLC.org, create a Financial Stability Oversight Council to put into receivership any financial institution it deems "too risky"; it puts the Federal Reserve in charge of a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau with sweeping powers to regulate any institution with a portfolio exceeding $10 billion; and "[u]pon a consensus by the Fed, the Treasury Department and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), unstable institutions would be turned over to the FDIC."

"The American people do not need yet another government takeover," Wilson said, concluding, "Enough is enough with these endless bailouts. Congress needs to put an end to 'too big to fail,' not perpetuate it by creating a permanent bailout fund for institutions that should be in bankruptcy court."

That's exactly right. Bankruptcy law was created for a reason: to unwind institutions that have failed in a judicious manner such that the underlying assets of the organization retaining value can be used to settle the institution's debts. Without the basic bankruptcy protections, taxpayers wind up filling the role that the institution ought to.

In short, there's no reason why taxpayers should be forced, as a matter of law, to constantly put their money into a permanent bailout fund. It's just wrong.

So, let's make some noise! Obama and Geithner have been planning a financial system takeover since they got in, and now Chris Dodd and the Senate are just one vote away from achieving it! Let's let the Senate know that the people are dead-set opposed to this, by getting on Capwiz!

In today's Liberty Action Report, the Senate is trying to rush the financial takeover bill before anyone has a chance to read it, have a happy Patriots' Day, and the media attempts to distract the American people from the unpopular policies of the Obama Administration.

Please send your letters to the editor to Robert@getliberty.org. We publish all points of view!

Keep fighting, folks!

For Liberty,

Robert Romano
Senior Editor of ALG News

The Bum's Rush

By Bill Wilson

On December 15th, 2010, the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission is due to deliver its report to Barack Obama on the principal causes of the financial meltdown of 2007 and 2008.

Of course, there's a bit of a problem with this timeframe. Namely, the Senate is already fully prepared to begin debate on Senator Chris Dodd's financial takeover this week, as reported by CNN.com.

It is "a bill that Democrats say will prevent another Wall Street meltdown like the one that precipitated the U.S. recession."

Except, that's what the Commission — which Congress voted to create — is supposed to be doing in presenting its report. According to the Commission's website, it is tasked to "examine the causes of major financial institutions which failed, or were likely to have failed, had they not received exceptional government assistance."

Unfortunately, Congress is not waiting for these critical findings prior to passing sweeping changes to the way the financial system operates. Instead, this is another example of the bum's rush by a Congress that wants nothing more than to shove another government takeover down the throats of the American people.

Chief among the institutions the Commission is examining are the failures caused by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The now-nationalized mortgage giants bought some $4.7 trillion of mortgages and sold them all over the world as securities, all the while overstating the quality of the underlying mortgage investments, as revealed by former Chief Credit Officer of Fannie Mae, Ed Pinto, in a recent article by Commissioner Peter Wallison of the American Enterprise Institute.

Writes Wallison, "By the end of 2008, Fannie and Freddie held or guaranteed approximately 10 million subprime and Alt-A mortgages and mortgage-backed securities (MBS)—risky loans with a total principal balance of $1.6 trillion." That's more than one-third of all the securities Fannie and Freddie guarantee.

Sadly, credit rating agencies missed this mislabeling. In fact, they had little to no role in rating the Fannie and Freddie securities. Instead, securities issued by the Government Sponsored Enterprises' (GSE's) were automatically given AAA ratings simply because of their implicit backing by taxpayers.

Most certainly, Fannie and Freddie's deception caused purchasers of the securities to wildly miscalculate the true delinquency and default rates of the underlying mortgages. This inherent feature is what made the assets "toxic," for purchasing them in large quantity was much riskier than was advertised by the GSE's.

Commissioner Wallison has already called this a "principal cause of the financial crisis."

That being the case, one might think the Senate would turn its attention to Fannie and Freddie, or wait for the critical findings of the Commission before reshaping the entire financial system. Regrettably, the Dodd bill does neither. Instead, the GSE's are startlingly omitted from the new legislation.

Although, this is not surprising when one considers the fact that Dodd was the top recipient of campaign donations from GSE employees and Political Action Committees, as revealed by OpenSecrets.org.

In fact, the Dodd bill does nothing to rein in Fannie and Freddie now or in the future. Nor does it seek to begin unwinding government control of the mortgage industry. Instead, Dodd is rushing ahead with legislation that gives government the power to seize any firm it deems "too risky," all the while perpetuating the crisis by leaving the ultimate fate of the GSE's in limbo.

In December the Treasury arbitrarily lifted the $400 billion cap on the GSE bailout, and so far taxpayers have dumped $129 billion into these two agencies. By rushing ahead with legislation that does not begin to unwind them now, the Senate is increasing the likelihood that the government will be unable or unwilling to unwind them later, even if that is what the Commission concludes is the proper course of action.

Bill Wilson is the President of Americans for Limited Government.

A New Kind of Battle

By Rebekah Rast

Today marks the 235th anniversary of the start of the Revolutionary War. In the Battle of Lexington and Concord the first shots rang out between British and American soldiers, starting America's fight for freedom.

The soldiers who fought for America during the Revolutionary War are no different than the soldiers who fought in World War II, Vietnam, Korean, Iraq, Afghanistan, or any other war that had the nation's involvement. They all fought for America; to protect her liberties and freedoms for everyone.

Many soldiers enter the military for different reasons, but when they leave they are changed with a deeper understanding and love of America. They are proud to say they served the country and preserved the peoples' freedom. As America faces a trying time here at home, some veterans are especially concerned about where the country is headed. What is becoming of this nation they worked so hard to secure and keep peaceful for all generations?

Some that fought in the Cold War are seeing a similarity between the Soviet policies then to some of the current U.S. government policies.

"I started serving in the military during the Cold War where our enemy was the Soviet Communist bloc. Now what we're seeing is a lot of policies coming out of the White House and coming out of Congress similar to what we were fighting back in the 1980s, and it's frustrating. It makes me nervous," says Damon Nelson, a Senior Airman in U.S. Air Force who fought in the Gulf War.

Others fear America is losing its leadership and power as a sovereign nation.

"I'm very scared for my children and my grandchildren," says Ted Anderson, a retired Lt. Colonel with the U.S. Army. "I am afraid that by the time they have reached their maturity we may in fact not be a dominant world leader or power that we are now. I don't know if we'll even be in the top 3 or 5. That's how frightened I am."

To some, it seems today's government policies are slowly becoming the enemy.

"I'm a strong believer in small government," Anderson says. I believe less government is better. I am not someone that you can talk to and convince that we need more government in our lives to make us better citizens. As things stand now I am a bit worried about where we're headed, whether it's our perception around the world as a leader or whether it's the fact that our economy is owned by former enemies of this country. I believe that our standing in the world has significantly decreased and it has nothing to do with the previous administration, it has to do with the fact that we are slowly but surely regressing in every other category, whether it is public education, or whether it is just basic economic principles like borrowing and so forth. It's kind of scary."

As we have witnessed this past week, millions of Americans, under the banner of the TEA Party movement, feel the same way as these American heroes. Soldiers take an oath to protect America. They stand up for what they believe in and fight for what is right.

"I took an oath when I was 17 years old to support and defend the Constitution. The oath doesn't stop because I took the uniform off," says Kurt Osuch, a retired Lt. Colonel in the Marine Corp.

Patriots Day reminds Americans of the sacrifices veterans and those currently serving in our military have made. It is citizen's responsibility to step up and take leadership in today's government.

"We are all proud of what these soldiers have done for us," says Bill Wilson, President of Americans for Limited Government (ALG). "It is our responsibility to continue the fight and step into the ballot boxes and change the direction of our government, so that these sacrifices will not have been made in vain."

Rebekah Rast is a contributing editor to ALG News Bureau.

Don't Change the Subject — The Obama Agenda is Still the Dominant Issue

By David Bozeman

Liberals have changed the subject yet again. Instead of calming the fears of millions of Americans over health-care reform, instead of explaining the practicalities (such as how do we heal the sick by empowering IRS agents in lieu of recruiting and training more doctors), liberals, via the mainstream media, would rather wag their fingers and lecture us on civility.

Conservatives must now distance themselves from the man charged with threatening House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. TV news shows routinely profile militia groups and separatists, and Bill O'Reilly, who is supposed to be "looking out for the folks," recently devoted three segments of the Factor to predicting the political fallout of the flimsy accusation that a protestor against Obama-care shouted the n-word to an African American Congressman on the Capitol steps (funny, there's none of this brow-furrowing concern over radical Islam, which liberals can't even bear to mention by name).

Predictably, they charge that the fire on the right is fueled by ignorance. A guest editorial in the Fayetteville (North Carolina) Observer cites the "startling" growth of patriot groups as tracked by the Southern Poverty Law Center and a 400% increase in death threats for President Obama over President Bush, both apparently fueled by the ravings of Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck and Michele Bachmann. A Lou Harris poll is mentioned that claims 57% of Republicans believe Obama is a Muslim and 24% consider him the anti-Christ.

Conservatives take the bait because it's hard NOT to counter such rot. The obvious responses beg to be shouted out: what about the 9/11 'truthers' and the left's propensity for violence that necessitates conservative speakers arriving on college campuses with bodyguards — when they're allowed to speak at all? How many Americans wrongly believe that Sarah Palin, as mayor of Wasilla, AK, tried to ban books? How many believe the media-created myth that Attorney General John Ashcroft, apparently because he is a Christian and a prude, used taxpayer money to cover nude statues at the Department of Justice? Who routinely and viciously attacks such wide swaths of America as the Boy Scouts, SUV owners and citizens who dare to earn more than $250,000 a year?

Again, they have set the agenda for public debate, resulting in a national tit-for-tat rehash of mostly imaginary political wounds. While some shows (including The O'Reilly Factor) have tackled the specifics of Obama-care and other policies, national discourse consists mostly of liberals — who control the three branches of government, the media and who just enacted their most cherished legislation — posing as victims. They trade little in facts and policies, instead vilifying whole groups of Americans, pitting citizen against citizen.

Liberals fancy themselves the idealistic little guys, as modern-day George Baileys defying the evil Mr. Potter, the ruthless banker who tried to arrest Jimmy Stewart's character – on Christmas Eve, no less — in It's a Wonderful Life.

But whatever liberals are or whatever their intentions may be misses the larger point: the federal government has effectively assumed control of health care in America. What does it mean and how do we reverse it?

Countering the faux outrages of poor, put-upon liberals defers the concerns of a majority of Americans concerned with Obama-care and who already instinctively know that liberals, far from being the aggrieved, principled outsiders, are the ultimate paper-pushing drones of a swollen, powerful bureaucracy.

David Bozeman, former Libertarian Party Chairman, is a Liberty Features Syndicated writer for Americans for Limited Government.

Goldman CEO to Perform Community Service as Treasury Secretary

‘Will Do Less Harm’ in New Post, Says Treasury Spokesperson

NEW YORK (The Borowitz Report) – In a settlement of the government’s securities fraud case against Goldman Sachs, the bank’s CEO, Lloyd Blankfein, has agreed to perform two years of community service as Treasury Secretary of the United States.

At a press conference in New York, Mr. Blankfein said that as Treasury Secretary he would “continue to do God’s work as I did at Goldman, but at a significant pay cut.”

A Treasury Dept. spokesperson said that by performing community service as Treasury Secretary, Mr. Blankfein will be able to do less harm to the economy because he will have significantly less power than he had as Chairman of Goldman.

His experience at Goldman, however, will be “invaluable” in his new role as Treasury Secretary, the spokesperson said: “Lloyd Blankfein’s years of marketing worthless securities have prepared him for the important task of selling Treasuries to the Chinese.”

Mr. Blankfein is the latest in a long line of Goldman chairmen to serve as Treasury Secretary, although he is believed to be the first to do so while wearing an electronic ankle bracelet. More here

Now They Are Coming For Goldman Sachs

BY William A. Jacobson
It would be easy to cheer as the Obama administration seeks to take down Goldman Sachs. After all, Goldman Sachs has become a proxy for Wall Street, since so many of the old icons no longer exist or have been consumed as a result of the 2008 credit crunch.

But do not cheer too quickly this time. As even the NY Times now is admitting, the actual civil charges against Goldman Sachs are far from clear cut.

Civil charges by the government can bring down an entire organization for reasons having nothing to do with the charges. As we speak, there is a clamor in Britain for the government to cease doing business with Goldman Sachs as a result of the charges.

Expect the same thing to happen here, as Democrats ratchet up the crisis atmosphere to get a quick vote on financial regulations which would give the government vast powers over the financial services industry. As I documented yesterday, the Goldman Sachs charges are being politicized for the administration's purposes.

It's the health care fiasco all over again. A manufactured crisis with an identifiable demon.

As tempting as it is to say "to hell with Goldman Sachs," remember the saying about "first they came for ...."

Goldman is not the first they came for. This administration already has emasculated the entire private health insurance industry, brought the health of hundreds of millions of people under its regulatory control through Obamacare, and demonized as racists and extremists law-abiding patriotic Americans who spoke out for individual freedom and constitutional federalism.

The pharmaceutical industry was evil until it cut a deal and bought advertising in support of Obamacare, and doctors were greedy -- as they performed unnecessary surgeries so they could bill more -- until the AMA joined the Obama chorus. One center of power after another fell in line in the year-long push for Obamacare.

If the administration gets its way on cap-and-trade, the government will control through regulation virtually all industry through industry's lifeblood, the consumption of carbon-based energy.

State autonomy also is dwindling, and those who point out that the federal government is limited to enumerated powers are derided as "Tenthers."

There are few remaining entities which can stand up to the overweening encroachment of the federal government.

Taking down the leading, and in many ways last remaining, Wall Street powerhouse will remove yet another center of private industry power.

The serial removal of centers of power outside the federal government in Washington, D.C. is a worrisome trend which becomes more difficult to reverse as the dominoes fall.

Don't wish too hard for the demise of Goldman Sachs. Because Goldman Sachs is not the end game.

The Jazz Make It A Series

Tonight in Denver, in a wildly entertaining and super choppy game, the road Jazz shook off the injuries and talent gap to pull off an improbable win, with point guard Deron Williams owning the floor with 31 points and 14 dimes (and 16 of 18 from the line), and Carlos Boozer providing critical support with 20 and 14. The really amazing part of the game was just how the Jazz were better in crunch time, with Carmelo Anthony fouling out in the final minute with a 32/5/4 line, Kyle Korver making critical free throws wih six seconds left, and Chauncey Billups missed two tying three point attempts.

Despite the valiant effort, I don't see the Jazz really capitalizing to pull off the series, even though they now hold the home court advantage and have some of the meanest fans in the Association. The Nugs won't always shoot 4 for 18 from the three point arc, Anthony isn't likely to shoot 9 for 25 and foul out of a game -- really, the worst part of this game were the refs, who seemingly could not resist making a charge call in the last five minutes -- and every Nugget starter finished the game with five fouls, which is the kind of thing you don't see in a triple overtime game, let alone regulation.

Utah is a two man team right now, and once the Nugs get the bright idea of taking one of those two players away, the game will fall to one of the not ready for prime time players (Korver, rookie Wesley Matthews, sixth man Paul Millsap) to make a shot. And while some will fault interim coach Adrian Dantley for failing to get his Nugs to adjust, it's not as if they always adjust for their regular coach, either.

At the end of the day here, it's going to come down to which team has the best player, Williams or Anthony, and if Utah coach Jerry Sloan can continue to get good enough work from deep bench players, so that Boozer and Millsap aren't on total fumes in the clutch. I'm not seeing it, but that's not to say it won't happen, and in any event, this series is going to go long and good. Especially if the refs can let the game go without a stop every five seconds.

This James Fellow Is Good

As is fairly typical in the playoffs, the top seeded Cavs took the very best punch that the road Bulls had to offer tonight in Game Two. Chicago only turned it over 4 times against a very good defensive team, fought the Cavs to a draw on the boards, had no one in foul trouble, and even got 25 points from Joakim Noah, who averaged 10.7 per game this year. They traded the lead, were right with them down the stretch, hustled and passed and generally looked very much like the team that pushed the Celtics to the limit last year.

Unfortunately, the Cavs have LeBron James.

The best player in the world merely went for 40/8/8 last night, with 16 for 23 shooting, a steal and two blocks. With some critical support from bench player Jamario Moon (4 for 5 on three pointers) and just enough work from Antwan Jamison and Mo Williams, it was enough for a 10 point win over a Bulls team that had three starters with over 20 points.

Such is the nature of playoff hoop, where one player can just will a team to victory, provided they are ridiculously talanted and/or driven. James is, of course, both, plus on the most famous contract drive in history. TNT's Charles Barkley made the very sound point that this isn't the best way for the Cavs to beat a low seed, since it required a ton of effort and didn't do much to inspire confidence in the likes of Williams and Jamison. Me, I think a win is a win is a win in the playoffs, and that half of the time that James plays, you can get a night like this one. So how are you supposed to keep them down in Cleveland when the rest of the league is a hazmat zone from the drool of getting him for your own?

Posted by DMtShooter

Obama Heckled By Anti-DADT Protesters At L.A. Fundraiser

by David Badash
President Obama was heckled by anti-”Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” protesters while speaking to Democratic supporters tonight at a DNC fundraiser for Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA). Several times throughout his speech, during a five minute segment, protesters from newly-formed activist group GetEQUAL shouted at the president, “What about ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell?’” and “It’s time for equality for all Americans!”

The President should not have been surprised. The Advocate, and others had reported earlier in the day, “Gay Protest Awaits Obama in L.A.”

Via Pams’ House Blend:

GetEQUAL protesters have been escorted out of an Obama fundraiser in LA for Barbara Boxer after demanding that he add repeal language in the Defense Authorization. According to press pool reports, at 6:17 Pacific Time, members of GetEqual interrupted the President’s speech to expressing anger over the snail’s pace on DADT repeal and the the stories that the White House doesn’t want a vote in 2010.
The crowd, as you might imagine, was not happy and tried to hush them.

“What about don’t ask, don’t tell?” one protester shouted.

Obama yelled back “we are going to do that.”

Early into the protest, the president asked the protesters, “Do you want to come up here?” Then, visibly disturbed, he continued, saying, “Barbara and I are supportive of repealing ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ so I don’t know why you’re hollering.”

Amid shouts of “Yes we can!” the president left the microphone for a moment to speak with Senator Boxer. Then returning, Obama said,

“Everybody, I just want to confirm, I just checked with Barbara, so if anyone else is thinking of starting a chant, Barbara didn’t even vote for “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in the first place, so you know she’s going to be in favor of repealing ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’”

Civil Rights Pioneer Dorothy Height Dies at 98

Dorothy Height, leading civil rights and women’s activist died early this morning at 98, Howard University Hospital confirmed. No cause of death was given.

Height, who was chair and president emerita of the National Council of Negro Women, worked in the 1960s alongside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and A. Philip Randolph. Height stood on the platform when Dr. King delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech at the 1963 March on Washington.

Height will also be remembered for her work with service organization, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated, in which Height served as its 10th National President from 1946-1957. Height remained active with the sorority throughout her life.

According to CNN, President Obama called her a hero, stating “she served as the only woman at the highest level of the civil rights movement, witnessing every march and milestone along the way.”

Height was awarded the President Medal of Freedom in 1994 by President Clinton and the Congressional Gold Medal in 2004. She was present among the small group selected to meet with President Obama at the White House recently for a summit on race and the economy.

Last month, rumors surfaced on the Web particularly on Twitter stating that Height passed. Wikipedia also reported Height’s passing but quickly confirmed its falsehood.

Height was born in Richmond, Virginia, and grew up in Rankin Pennsylvania. Her work in civil rights started in 1933 when she became a leader of the United Christian Youth Movement of North America. Height fought against lynching and for the desegregation of the armed forces.

Dorothy Irene Height will be missed by family, friends, comrades and the youth she shaped and mentored. Height said, “So long as God let’s me live, I will be on the firing line.”

RIP Keith “Guru” Elam

Early this morning Dj Premier Blog announced the death of Keith Elam. Included was an “official” statement from the fallen MC, that suspiciously reads as a thoughtless PR release written by Solar, the shady figure that clouded Guru’s final chapter as a musician, and also, sadly, as a human being suffering through a terrible disease. Much respect to Guru for his impact on the rap community, NYC and popular culture in general. I will refrain from calling out Solar out of respect for the difficulty of this entire situation. It’s sad to think he created this ugly barrier between Elam and his fan base. But it is what it is.

I will take a moment though to call out MTV News for disrespecting the legacy of Guru by having a poorly cited report on the man’s passing, probably written by an unpaid intern. It’s not so much that MTV has a meaningful presence in Hip-Hop but unfortunately they do have a large following among young kids and pop enthusiasts who don’t know any better. It just sucks that people will read that report and be misinformed. Also, it really bothered me yesterday when countless sites distributed that Guru/Mr. Lif collaborative song and discussed it as if it was new. No disrespect to music blogs trying to hustle, but in light of the ongoing situation you could have at least done a quick internet search instead of falling for that distasteful Press Release from none other than Solar.